There are two layers to Mia Khalifa. An unbreakable, courageous shell on one hand; a peace-seeking, honest core when peeled back. For Aries founder Sofia Prantera, it was clear from the start that Khalifa was an undeniable ‘Aries Girl’.
Aries has never been afraid of an underdog. The brand’s ethos is built from an innate desire to form a collective – a place where all are welcome. The Aries community, forged by an electric range of artists, image makers and change-makers, has been creating a new narrative for genderless streetwear for years through boundary pushing collections and multidisciplinary exhibitions, publications and international art shows.
Now, the model and rule-breaking label have joined together for the release of a limited-edition monograph, painting an intimately raw portrait of Khalifa. Featuring juxtaposing image sets shot both in studio and at Mia’s home, the Jonny-Lu designed release touches upon reality, diaspora and – at the crux of it all – openness. “I felt immediately inspired by Mia’s ‘Punk’ attitude,” said Prantera of Khalifa. “She is strong but extremely humble, and under her glossy appearance there is a tough young girl who has had to fight her way through so much adversity. I wanted to capture her wild spirit; raw and unpolished.
The book’s exterior, crafted from pulped, textured paper almost acts as a representation of Mia’s humble, unpolished side – whilst a baby blue ribbon sits daintily on top, a vision of softness often disregarded when observing Khalfia’s spirited personality. Inside, in full glory, you’ll find a two-part story of a true ‘Aries Girl Blueprint’, Mia Khalifa. On one hand, a glossy, polished Mia poses in studio for renowned photographer Conor Cunningham – stretched out in Aries’ AW23 preview collection, unfazed by cameras and oozing modelesque confidence. On the other, a Clare Shilland-produced set of images showcases Khalifa’s often unseen, softer side at her home in Whitstable, Kent: smoking alone by her sun trapping window; eating at her dining table; intimate shots on her bed.
The limited edition monograph is also accompanied by interview excerpts conducted by writer, activist and model Deba Hekmat. Reflecting on her career, love of London and inner issues with identity, Mia reveals to Hekmat: “I still very much struggle with my identity. I think that my values, my roots – everything about me is very much Lebanese, and I never want to lose that entirely.”
Mia by Aries is now available to purchase exclusively from www.ariesarise.com.
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