A Chat With Maiami Founder Maike Dietrich

A Chat With Maiami Founder Maike Dietrich

Handmade knitwear label, Maiami, turns 20 next year. Its beautiful creations can now be found right across the world, and that's a long way from where it all began for founder Maike Dietrich. We chat here about the journey.

1. We LOVE what you're doing with Maiami, and your knitwear is getting a great response here in Palm Beach (Sydney) Australia. Tell us about how it all started.

First of all, thanks for the compliment. It always makes us happy to hear when our clients love what we do just as much as we love creating it. Many moons ago, I used to work as a stylist. In-between jobs, I re-discovered knitting which I had learned from my grandma. When my editor friends saw my first sweaters, they started putting them in their magazines. Soon after, I started selling to Japan – today, we sell to many corners of the world, including Australia! By the way, Maiami turns 20 in 2024.

2. Preserving traditional craft and skill transfer are two of our key values at Hearth Co. Can you talk a little about their importance to you and to Maiami?

Of course these values are vital for us. We want to believe that by transporting this traditional craft into the now we help to preserve it. We are always surprised ourselves how popular knitting still is. Maybe it’s not the grandmothers anymore who pass on their knowledge. But there’s an abundance of Youtube tutorials – and on Instagram there are 3.6 million entries with the hashtag “knittingaddict”. From our perspective, the art of hand-knitting won’t get lost any time soon.

Maimi Sweater Holiday 2023
Maiami Honeycomb Cardigan
Items from upcoming Holiday 23 Collection

3. How did you go about finding your network of knitters across Europe? Is it often generations working together?

This is a process that has been going on for the last 20 years. When the production became too much to handle for myself I first found knitters in Berlin but I have expanded that circle ever since. Today, we work with manufactures in Poland, Bulgaria, Italy and Bosnia. Only our alpaca comes from outside Europe, from Peru. Sometimes it can be a young mother who works from home, sitting her kids at the same time, contributing to the household income. It could also be a woman who wants to be a productive part of a community beyond retirement.

4. We know stripes are your best sellers... Do you have a favourite design? Or a few favourites you wear every season? 
We love our Stripes Galore theme which combines the stripes with new textile surfaces. It’s very haptic, you can feel the structure when you glide over it with your hands – you can see the lace detail on the example from the Spring 23 collection - below.

5. You have such a fabulous aesthetic - where do you get your inspiration?

It could literally be anything. A film or a woman walking down the street. In the end, everything will be processed through the Maiami filter to make it our own. And with each season we want to push ourselves in terms of uniqueness and sophistication in design. What’s important to us is a certain durability, not only
regarding quality but also design. We’re modern and contemporary but independent from short-term trends which makes our design wearable for more than one season.

6. Anything else you'd like our audience here to know about you or the label?

As I have mentioned before, it is our 20th anniversary in 2024. Stay tuned … we are just working on all the surprises to celebrate this special occasion appropriately ;)

Thanks Maike, we can hardly wait! 

Shop our curation of Maiami here. 

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