Pair of Aces: Mira Mariah of GirlKnewYork
New York's hottest tattoo artist talks nostalgia meets sneakers.
Hi, hello, I am Mira Mirah, @girlknewyork on the internet, and welcome to my studio in New York. This is Pair of Aces, the story of my first pair.
Q: What are some parallels between your art and sneakers?
A: I love customization, and whenever someone customizes something it always makes me like it more. I read an article in Teen Vogue when I was a teenager about lacing your sneakers with pearls, talking specifically about doing it with Converse’s. That same article had this quote from Simon Doonan about having one lipstick color that you wear till you die, but I decided that wouldn’t work for me because I need too much variety in my life, but I acquired one pair of red converses that I planned to wear until I was dead. For me, fashion is about wearing it, so I think worn-in shoes are very cool, and I like seeing people’s worn-in sneakers.
Q: What was your first pair?
A: I was fascinated by shoes since I was a small child, but I was born with a birth defect, which meant that I could only exclusively wear sneakers. So I started to try and find the coolest, most fun, and interesting sneakers around. These are a pair of gold Coach sneakers. I couldn’t go to prom in the kind of shoes I had imagined, so I hunted these down, and I thought they were the most amazing things I had ever seen – like a modern Cinderella shoe. After I wore them to prom, my sisters wore them for a few years which is why they’re as worn down as they are.
Q: What do sneakers mean to you?
A: Your shoes, especially for a New Yorker (and for someone who travels very often), I think your shoes are your home. Maybe you wanna think of it as a Horcrux (from Harry Potter), a piece of your soul is in those shoes. My siblings and I have all the same shoe size, so these sneakers have been all around the world with me and my siblings. I’ve taken them to Paris, my brother took them to Afghanistan, my sister has taken them to LA, and wherever they go these are the sneakers that will (hopefully) last me for the rest of my life.
Q: What is your favorite pair today?
A: I brought with me today, some shoes that I keep in my archive that help me tell the story of my relationship with sneakers. The most recent pair of shoes that I’ve purchased are these Miu Miu sneakers. They have these sparkly ends and this very shiny patent leather top. I think I see myself in these because Miu Miu shoes are always the color of ballet shoes and I love ballet very much.