Posts Tagged ‘Miriam Alden’

Fashion Jobs – Q&A with Miriam Alden Founder of Brunette the Label

Monday, September 10th, 2018

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaMiriam Alden - Brunette the Label

Since 2014, Brunette the Label has been a staple for women across Canada. Whether you’re scrolling through Instagram, cruising the mall or walking down the street, chances are you’ve seen a boss babe rocking her ‘Brunette’, ‘Blonde’ or ‘Red Head’ pullover from Brunette the Label. In the past four years, the Vancouver-based brand has blown up nationally and internationally as of late, becoming more and more of a staple in wardrobes around the world. Style Nine to Five had a chance to speak with the founder and mastermind behind the brand, Miriam Alden, and learn how she started her brand, 


SNTF:  What was your inspiration in starting Brunette the Label?


MA: I wanted to start a clothing line that was inclusive and for all body types and for everybody, whether they lived for fashion, or just needed something cute to wear. Brunette the Label originally started as a marketing tool, I made one sweatshirt to promote my first company, Brunette Showroom, and then we grew authentically from there! I always had a goal of having my own clothing line, and it grew organically. I think that this saying is true, “If you have goals the universe helps you.”


SNTF: ‘Babes Supporting Babes’ has become such a motto in Vancouver. Where did this come from? 


MA: It’s an authentic feeling that I have about working together for the greater good with our clients, individual customers, colleagues, and my team. I had some not very Babes Supporting Babes experiences when I first started the showroom and I got to choose whether to be angry, upset or grow and learn from those experiences and create the life I wanted to lead. I chose to learn and grow, and Babes Supporting Babes was born as a result. So be thankful for all experiences good and bad as they create growth and intention. 


SNTF:  What is your favourite piece from your label?


MA: Currently, either our cropped sweatshirt/jogger combo or oversized “Be A Babe” hoodie, both from our fall collection! But on a regular basis, I wear our tees or Florence vegan leather jacket the most often. 

Miriam Alden 2

SNTF:  Brunette the label is a lot more than just sweatshirts. Where do you find the inspiration for all of your collections?


MA: A lot of my inspiration comes from travelling, immersion is hugely important! I’m always interested in what’s going on around me, keeping an eye open whether I’m speeding through a city in a taxi or out for quiet dinner. I think by nature you start seeing things that call to you and then creating from there. I’d say about 50% of my inspiration just comes from what I’m feeling, too. My team also helps to inspire me and grow the collection, everyone in the office has their own unique style that connects to the brand, and we are all a big part of the ideas because we all bounce off our individual styles to create. 


SNTF:  What is your favourite thing about running your business?


MA: My team, and the fact that we can create the type of working environment that I believe to be a positive place to work, somewhere is authentic to the type of place I want people to be able to grow and feel safe in. 


SNTF:  What advice would you give other ‘Boss Babes’?

MA: Be authentic to yourself. And care about your team! Relationships are mutual and you have to care about people to be cared about. 

Miriam Alden 3

SNTF: You recently opened up your first flagship store. How was that experience?


MA: Quick! We opened the store two weeks after we signed the lease. My husband drew out the plans on a napkin at a restaurant one night, and then construction took a week!  It was also very inspiring. My team really buckled down and powered through to get it done. It was amazing to see the reaction when we opened from all of our customers, both wholesale and retail. Plus, our opening night involved just a little bit of bubbly, which is always an ingredient for a good time! 


SNTF: From being largely an online based company, what about having the store open is your favourite aspect?


MA: I’m actually not there as much as I thought I would be, so I really especially enjoy being in there when I can and feel the energy of the store. I love meeting with our clients and hearing their feelings on fits and designs. Honestly, seeing people wear our pieces still makes me really excited and I always leave with my heart full. It’s a fun environment!


SNTF: Now for some fun questions. If you could only use one social media app for the rest of your life, what would it be?


MA: Instagram


SNTF: What would your Starbucks order say about your personality?


MA: I always get an almond milk Americano Misto, I think it says that I’m strong but loves animals! 

Miram Alden

SNTF: When it comes to makeup, what’s your favourite feature to accentuate?


MA: Always lips. I love a good red! I’ll do a shimmer or neutral eye, with good mascara of course, but I’m a lip girl. I have larger eyes and more of an almond shape, so I feel they need less makeup than my lips.


SNTF: What is one thing you do every day that you couldn’t live without?


MA: When I’m, I always home see my animals, my horse Josephine, my dog Frederick and cat Baguette. When I’m away, I also talk to at least one of my family members every day.


SNTF: Regardless of if they are from the past or present, who is one celebrity you would love to have a dinner party with and why? 


MA: I think it would be a tie between Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham, and Anna Wintour. They are all strong female leaders that I admire, but they also all possess many different qualities that I admire. I think I would learn a lot at that dinner. 


SNTF: Finally, what can we expect next from you and Brunette the Label?


MA: I feel like for spring, we are evolving our collection to be more fashionable. We have new fabrics, new lounge pieces. it’s going to be really fresh! We’re also focusing on becoming a bit more international and getting the brand into new countries around the world! We actually just opened an account in Japan, which is super exciting. 


You can follow along with Miriam’s journey by following her and Brunette the Label on Instagram.


Inspirational Images
Images courtesy of Miriam Alden


By: Megan Renaud, Vancouver, @meganbrigette

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Fashion Jobs – Brunette The Label Officially Opens the Doors to it’s Flagship Vancouver Store

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaBrunette the Label

Local Vancouver brand, Brunette the Label has officially opened the doors to its first flagship store on Union Street in Chinatown. This is the brand’s first stand-alone store, expanding its outlet from online and other retailers.

Brunette the Label

Beginning in 2014 as a marketing tool for owner Miriam Alden’s sister brand, Brunette Showroom, the classic “Brunette” crewneck sweater was born. With so many curious customers inquiring about where and how to purchase the sweater, she decided to create 12 more and the concept rapidly popularized. With impressive marketing and social media combined with easy to wear items, it appealed to a wide group of customers, helping the brand grow steadily and organically in the last few years.

Brunette the Label

Brunette the Label is now sold in 40 different Nordstrom locations and 300 independent retailers all over Canada, the United States and one store in London, England.

Brunette the Label

The flagship Brunette the Label store will have the latest collections available, carrying charming and casual lines of crewnecks, hoodies, pants, t-shirts and accessories such as their signature “Rosé Okay” and “This Wine is Making Me Awesome”. I can definitely relate!

Brunette the Label

Owner, Miriam says she wanted to open a stand-alone location to “hear what our customers think of the products and give them the opportunity to try on the clothing!” It’s also a way for the brand to demonstrate that customer service and how they make people feel remain part of their core values. “We felt to truly do this we needed to be able to connect with our customers face to face.”

Brunette the Label

We love this company for their ability to demonstrate their passion for an inclusive community of women lifting each other up. Or as their adorable (and super comfy!) crewneck sweater puts it, “Babes Supporting Babes”. Designed at their headquarters in Vancouver, BC, Brunette the Label has cornered the market on a generation of women wanting to be comfortable in what we’re wearing while still looking good and representing an important message.

Brunette the Label

We’re thrilled to see the brand continue to develop and broaden their reach to loyal and new “babes” that love their product. We can’t wait to have the opportunity to shop the new collections in the very first flagship Brunette the Label store!

Brunette the Label

Images courtesy of
Brunette the Label

By: Laura Findlay, Vancouver, @lofindlay

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Fashion Jobs – Q&A: Miriam Alden of Brunette the Label

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Style Nine to Five - Fashion JobsMIRIAMALDEN

Have you ever wanted to run your own fashion business? We get all the deets from Miriam Alden, owner of Vancouver’s Brunette Showroom and creator of Brunette the Label, on her fashion start-up journey and how to gain the right exposure for a new brand.


SNTF: You have been representing multiple apparel and accessory brands through your fashion wholesale agency, Brunette Showroom. What made you decide to tackle a new venture and create your own clothing line, Brunette the Label?

MA: I feel like it really was just meant to be. I always knew that I wanted to have my own line. I found the manufacturing side of the fashion business very interesting from the beginning, but also loved working with retail stores on the sales side. When I first started in the fashion industry, I had worked for a showroom for about 5 years before I started Brunette Showroom. Throughout these years, I spent a lot of time growing my relationships with my retailers. Then when it was time for me to start my own business, a showroom just seemed like the right first step. I started with Brunette Showroom in 2009 and within the showroom we always held a lot of marketing events. We had something called BITNB (Brunette is the New Black), which was originally a combination of many branded products that were marketing tools for Brunette Showroom. BITNB quickly evolved into Brunette the Label, which is what our line is now. I’m super thankful and inspired by all the people that support the line and post amazing photos.

SNTF: Your classic crewnecks are the definition of fun fashion and literal statement pieces for a wardrobe. What was the original inspiration behind the design of your products and their witty phrases? 

MA: We made items such a bags and lip glosses for marketing giveaways that read “Brunette is the New Black”. One day before a trade show in Las Vegas, I made and wore a sweatshirt with the tagline. Many of my clients and friends kept asking me to make them one, so we did, and started selling them to our current retail clients. Myself, and one of my dearest friends, Ryan Pugsley, who used to work in the showroom but still does all of our graphics, started thinking of sayings to put on sweatshirts. Brunette the Label quickly went from just one original sweatshirt design, to a full collection of fun sayings on crewneck sweatshirts, mugs and water bottle accessories. We are really excited to announce that in Fall 2016, we will be launching our full fashion range…so, all you Brunette the Label babes stay tuned!

SNTF: Your line is very approachable and is not targeted to one girl with a specific look. Describe the types of attitudes or lifestyles you try to embody through Brunette the Label.

MA: The original idea of Brunette the Label was to create a line that would work for everyone. Although I love high fashion, on a business side I relate way to more to accessibility. I want our line to work for someone who loves fashion, but at the same time, work for someone who is just looking for something that’s easy, fun, and comfy to wear. I feel our sweatshirts fit both of these girls. Each design is meant to be specific to a person or feeling. We want someone to see it and HAVE to have it, because it speaks to them. We want the girls to have fun with fashion and not take it too seriously. To be the kind of girl who can relate to all kinds of people.

SNTF: When you’re introducing a new concept, it can be a challenge to get customers interested in what you sell and the services you offer. How can you develop the right exposure for a brand?

MA: It can be very challenging at the beginning. But like I said earlier, it has to be authentic and I think it shows when it is. I feel very fortunate, as a lot of my retail clients within the showroom have been extremely supportive in the growth of the label. Many of my clients bought Brunette the Label before we even had a following at all! They just trusted and supported us. Their support was huge to our early growth, and also having our friends/influencers getting behind it at the same time. Both of these have really been amazing!

SNTF: What social platforms or industry/marketing events have contributed to the growth of your business?

MA: Well, of course Instagram has been very beneficial to us. I feel you can get the vibe of a business and the team behind it based on their Instagram. We have also done a lot of “pop-up shops” around the city, so we have met and made new consumers ourselves. You can learn a lot when you meet with the end consumer. We do Vancouver Fashion Week, which is really fun, and we can show who we are through our music and the way we put the looks together. Lastly, working with influencers has been amazing. We have been so lucky to work with people like Jillian Harris, Cara Jourdan from A Fashion Love Affair (we currently have a collab… she’s the BLONDE from the Blonde crew), Kiara Schwartz from Tobruck Ave, Susie Wall from BTV and so many other amazingly supportive babes that have helped support Brunette the Label. We feel very fortunate to have created such great friendships along the way, but business is mutual and you need to have a product that connects with the influencers that you work with.

SNTF: Due to your experience with selling to retailers and now the general public, what have you learned about the importance of developing positive lasting impressions and strong relationships with your customers?

MA: Brunette the Label would have never worked if I did not have those long-term genuine relationships with my retail customers. I have never sold something that I didn’t think was right for them. I always wanted their business to be successful, and ultimately continue to work together long-term. I really care that they do well, and vice versa; it is a mutual relationship. They trusted me, and bought Brunette the Label because they knew I wouldn’t point them in the wrong direction. I am now translating that same model to the end consumer. If something doesn’t work, or you don’t like it, we will take it back. We don’t want you to have something you don’t like. It is so important to care about your customer. I would say the majority of our online customers have purchased more than one item from us – and of course, our retailers continue to carry the line.

SNTF: What is your key piece of advice for our readers who want to try something different and work on building their own fashion start-up – or in better Brunette the Label terms, want to be a true “BOSS BABE”?

MA: You have to go out there and try! I do suggest learning from someone whom you look up to as both a businessperson, and a human being. The moment you think you know everything, you realize you have a lot to learn. You can learn something from everyone… so always keep your ears and eyes open. I strongly believe you can be a Boss Babe while being a good person. Be happy, and be kind to people. You should do it for the right reasons and whatever you do, just make sure it is genuine to you. Show up early, offer extra help, and learn. Then go out and DO IT! The only difference between the person that did it, and you… is that they went out and DID IT.

By: Alicia Elliott

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