The Tale of a True Fashion Hustle: Andrea Tomlin of MimiDre

Remember the days when Artscape embraced fashion with their annual runway shows and fashion design competitions. In 2010, Artscape presented the “Sew Your Inner Green” contest where participants had to make garments using at least 75 percent of non-traditional materials. One of the top five finalist happened to be Andrea Tomlin, who was fresh out of fashion school.


“[The dress] was made with fabrics from IKEA,” Tomlin said. My aesthestic hasn’t changed too much since then actually. If you look at that collection and what I do now, you see some of the same silhouettes. The greatest difference will be in the styling with the addition of the t-shirts. The looks are a lot more funky now.”


Combing her passion for graphic design as well as fashion, the MimiDre clothing line consists of T-shirts with a street edge and one of kind garments sewn in her studio. Each new piece that Mimi creates conveys a message of embracing who you are.


“People often ask what does Fly Nerd mean,” Tomlin said. The term “nerd” usually has a negative connotation while “fly” used a slang term means cool. Its a way to allow folks who have unique interests, style or personalities to embrace who they and what they like no matter how quirky and weird. Be Yourself!”


The karaoke loving fashion designer who is inspired by brands like Betsey Johnson and Brooklyn Circus can be seen all over town spreading the word about Fly Nerd. Whether it’s a surprise fashion yard sale in a secret location or teaming up with other local designers for a pop up shop event, Mimi doesn’t take a day off. Hence, a true fashion hustler.

“The partnership with For Rent shoes came about through their looking for local brand for the store before they initially opened in October 2013,” Tomlin said. I was referred to them and they felt that my brand was a good match for their store. I believe it is a great match because the person that identifies with being a FLY NERD loves being finding their own unique style. For Rent Shoes carries a diverse collection of very unique sneakers, accessories, eyewear and clothing.”


From being a highlighted brand at For Rent Shoes to creating a “Fly Nerd” lifestyle, she is a top designer that eats, sleeps fashion. This year, Mimi was honored to be nominated for the Emerging Fashion Awards MD.

“Winning Emerging Designer of the Year meant a great deal,” Tomlin said. If was a very overwhelming and humbling experienced. I simply make clothing and print tees because I like it. Its amazing to me that people connect with the brand and notice what I do. I am extremely grateful!”