Maike Dietrich’s love affair with traditional handcrafts blossomed as a tot; in fact, it’s all the way back to this early age that the Berlin-based creative and founder of Maiami can trace her career as a knitwear designer.

“I have really early memories of knitting," Maike tells us. "It was taught in school and I vividly remember practicing with my grandmother, who showed me new patterns and techniques."

Fast forward to 2018 and, with over a decade in the business following the launch of her label in 2004, Maike has honed her aesthetic of classic and cozily oversized layers, which take their design inspiration from cinema, vintage magazines, and objet d’arts of the everyday.

As she makes her mark on the knitwear domain, we speak to the designer to discuss the myriad benefits of taking things slow in an age of fast fashion.

Image courtesy of Maiami; artwork by Amanda Eliasson.

Handcrafted pieces are slowly and steadily gaining traction in a world of mass production...
To me, the growth of fast fashion to its absurdly large proportions could possibly be a blessing in disguise. With the ever-growing availability of cheap, low quality clothing, customers are starting to see behind facades and are actually growing tired of the whole system – at least that’s what I’ve observed in my circle of friends and acquaintances.

So, what’s next? What do you hope for the future of the industry?
Hopefully, this consciousness and ecological awareness will continue to grow as more people realise that we need to change the way that we consume. We have reached a point of environmental destruction that is very hard to overlook. Since the textile and fashion industry is a large contributor to the continuous pollution of the earth, slow fashion and a more sustainable approach is an absolute must.

Image courtesy of Maiami; artwork by Amanda Eliasson.

How does this translate into your brand?
When it comes to the production of our collections, we rely heavily on the skills of our knitters. We’re lucky to work with a handful of European yarn companies who produce a variety of incredible yarns out of mohair, wool or alpaca, and we meet up with them each season to get an update on all new developments. Just like them, we have worked with our knitters and manufacturers for many years now; our personal relationships with them and the family-owned factories in Germany and Europe are the highest of our priorities. The mutual trust and transparency we have with them is a great virtue that we are very proud of.

Cosy up and consume consciously with Maiami:

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