Mirabai Kwan Yin is a textile & apparel artist based in New York City.
Mirabai’s designs are based on a wide variety of cultural influences for a wide variety of end uses including costume, installation, luxury, contemporary and mass market. Her sculptural and textural aesthetic combine media in unexpected ways.
Mirabai started MiraKwanYin Wearables in 2002. Under that label she sold a line of original fabric accessories in Washington, DC and New York City. She also designed custom special occasion clothing for men and women.
Mirabai attended The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City where she earned a BFA and AAS in Fashion Design, as well as an AAS in Fashion Merchandising Management.
Mirabai loves to travel and draws inspiration from the cultural wealth around the world. While in India in 2006, she did primary research on women's roles and costumes in the religions of India. In 2007 she made costumes in Melbourne, Australia for the National Institute of Circus Arts. Following her 2008 travels in Mexico, where she studied indigenous textiles and costumes, Mirabai consulted for Ethni-k, a Mexican contemporary fashion label that employed indigenous artisans in Oaxaca. In 2011 Mirabai reported on the trends in the women's retail market in Paris to Li & Fung USA. She has visited factories and fabric mills in China, rounding out her understanding of the supply chain. Whether she is in the United States or abroad, Mirabai is constantly looking for inspiration from art, architecture, dance, costume, and history.
Mirabai has worked on a wide variety of women's wear lines sold at retailers from Barney's to Target. Mirabai was the Design Director for Phelan, a designer womenswear brand with a focus on custom knit and woven textiles, working with a highly collaborative team including suppliers from Italy, France, Peru, China and New York. Through her long association with VPL by Victoria Bartlett, Mirabai fell into the the role of Design Director for VPL during their segue into the fashion-active category. She has also contributed to Vena Cava, Viva Vena for Nordstrom, Labworks for Target, French Connection for Sears, Charter Club for Macy's, and many more.
Mirabai is also the curator for Night Multimedia Art, leading collaborative installations and hosting events and exhibitions including music, costume, dance, and visual art.