When the designer and artist Sade Mims launched her label Edas eight years ago, she never imagined it would eventually resonate with Tessa Thompson, Laura Harrier, and hordes of Gen-Z and Millennial folks alike. In fact, in 2013, when Mims moved from her hometown in New Jersey to Brooklyn to pursue a career in fashion design, her now-viral accessories brand looked wholly different. Back then, Mims was making jewelry, coasters, and lamps fashioned out of welded metal, not the minimal leather purses with ‘70s-inspired lucite buckles for which she’s now known.
But according to the 29-year-old—who joined a Zoom call from her living room in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn—making those things was simply what felt right at the time. That guiding principle—creating whatever feels good for her at any given moment—led her to contact Cameron Tea, a Los Angeles artist who specializes in beading in 2020 on a whim. Together with Tea, she created a beaded bucket hat that became a favorite among the Hollywood set—you may have seen Thompson model her purchase on Instagram.
“Growing up, my mom and dad always said, ‘Sade, you're such a dreamer, you dream so big and vivid,’” Mims says. “Maybe, subconsciously, I did dream Edas up, but it wasn't something I knew was going to be the thing for me. It just was like, I want to create and release and if people gravitate toward it, boom, that's great.” Following her intuition has brought Mims this far—and she's stuck with it for her latest project: a new collection that will be released with an accompanying short film.
You’ve said in the past that your ideas come to you, typically, in the middle of the night. Is that how you got the idea for the name of the brand?
Edas has actually been decades in the making. Growing up, everyone pronounced my name wrong. And as a kid, I was so embarrassed by it. I asked people to just call me Shar. But in high school, I had a teacher who said you should have people call you by your name—it’s so beautiful. And I was like, no, no, no. I would never. They butcher it! But I remember her putting so much emphasis on the beauty of my name. That’s when I started to think about Edas. How can I use this name and create something out of it to fall in love with my name and embrace it a little bit more?
Tell me about this upcoming collection.
What we’re going to be releasing is a project with the Black in Fashion Council and IMG. Edas will be doing market, working with them for this fashion week and market week. This collection taps into older styles and revamps them into something new. To me, it reads as sensual and mature. The tones are rich—the colors are a little darker hued within three main palettes. I wanted it to speak to an older audience, because younger girls tended to gravitate toward the styles that really popularized the brand. And that was so shocking for me because I always felt I didn’t tap into that demographic deeply enough. With these new colorways, I was like, well, how do we speak to both? How do we merge those worlds? How do I still keep that younger, Gen-Z, Millennial person engaged, but also tap into the older side of it? From a business and marketing standpoint, it was something that I was very conscious of.
You’ve mentioned wanting Chaka Khan and Tracee Ellis Ross to wear your stuff.
If I saw Chaka Khan in my stuff, I would flip. I'm honored and I'm excited and geeked up about everything that has come my way and everything that has happened. But Chaka Khan? That would take my breath away.
I'm curious about the documentary film that accompanies the upcoming collection.
We went to Jamaica to film—I actually just got back a few days ago. We're now finishing shooting in New York. It's a piece about love, creativity and showing the many variations of the Edas bag; how they act as a fashion piece, but also a utilitarian piece because they're so multifunctional, adjustable, and customizable. So we're trying to tell that story by introducing a person who mimics that same concept: a woman who does many things. Specifically, we're highlighting Shereen Muhammad. She embodies all the things that we want to portray within this body of work.
Let’s get into the Style Notes questions. What’s your go-to outfit on a day off?
It changes based on the weather, but for working from home during the winter, it’s kind of what I’ve got on now, which is a colored hoodie with a crop top underneath. I have a bunch of these hoodies in various browns, I have an army green, I have a maroon. I wear them with a nice, loose pant.
What was the last thing you purchased?
I recently purchased this Adidas dress from Farfetch that I really, really love. It's a beautiful balance between feminine and also very sporty. It's bodycon, which is interesting, because I typically would never, but I just loved the colorway that they used. I'm always either in hoodies or baggy jeans with dress and heels, so this dress felt like me.
What's the best fashion tip that you've picked up on set?
That sometimes, less is more. So cliché, but I think sometimes all you need is something simplified—and it's beautiful.
What was your style like as a teenager?
Very eccentric, very eclectic—mix and match. I was born in Philadelphia, but I was raised between both Philly and New Jersey, but I went to high school in Jersey and was mainly raised there. It was very suburban-ish, and people often had yard sales. So I grew up in that environment, loving vintage: very thrift, very secondhand. My family and I would go to Burlington Coat Factory, and then I would buy a jacket from the yard sale up the street. Also, I always wore dresses over jeans. I used to never show my legs. I don't know where this conservative notion came from—although I did grow up around a lot of Islamic culture. So maybe that influenced me.
What were the other kids wearing when you were growing up?
Not what I was wearing. They were probably wearing Hollister or Abercrombie, Aéropostale. I do remember my sister and I being teased for our style. I was so like, ‘I'm not doing that. I'm gonna put on this vintage.’ My aunts would give me clothes. People used to say, ‘You and your sister dress a little older.’ My mother let us explore so much growing up. She let us just do so much that I don't think most parents were letting their kids do, if I'm being honest. So I had a very mature sense of style early on.
What is the most prized possession in your closet?
I have these Giuseppe Zanotti shoes that I love, but I don't really wear. They're vintage, made of linen, and powder blue with silver trimming. I bought them on eBay—I'm an eBay fanatic. I'm typically shopping on eBay or Etsy or Depop. I take pride in my eBay abilities. I am obsessed. It doesn't get talked about enough, but shopping on eBay is a full on skill. You have to have patience. You have to have to know search keywords what to type in.
What was your first major fashion purchase?
I got this beautiful pleated jacket from Bergdorf Goodman that was a collaboration with Cento x Cento around 2018. It's a pinstriped and pleated, navy blue coat, and I sometimes wear it as a dress. That was a big girl purchase where I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I'm dropping a few hundred dollars.’ At that time, I was always shopping secondhand or I was buying things for under a hundred dollars. It was the first time I had purchased something that ran me almost 400 bucks.
What is always in your bag?
I always have hand lotion, always have some sort of lip balm, and an essential oil of some sort, whether it's lavender, eucalyptus, Clary calm by DoTerra—something that just calms me if I'm feeling anxious on the train or cramping. Even CBD oil, too, is always in my bag. I also have a pen, a notebook, and my cell phone, and an additional lip gloss.
Which friend or fellow designer’s style do you most admire?
My twin sister’s, of course—to me, she is such a stylish woman in her own right. Also, my best friend Mecca, who is a stylist and styles most of our look books for Edas. I appreciate and admire her style, and we collaborate well.
Describe your style in three words.
I would say adventurous, classic—I know that may sound like a bit of a contradiction—and eclectic. I use this word a lot, but we'll throw it in there.
It definitely sounds like a lifelong categorization.
It really is. While I was growing up, my uncle always used to say, ‘You're so eclectic.’ He was the first person I learned that word from. Now, I use it when I talk about how I design, I use it to describe the Edas woman or person. It's definitely a running theme for me.
Do you have a favorite accessories brand?
I love Simon Miller. I also like If I Fell, I used to love the designer Ashli Parker Fell’s bags. She's starting to do dresses, but she started out as solely a leather bag brand.
What is your preferred footwear?
I'm always in a heel, 90 percent of the time—actually, probably 95 percent of the time. I'm someone who wears heels around the house. I only own a couple pairs of sneakers. I don't really own flat shoes at all.
Are you more comfortable in heels than flats?
I am, because I have a really arched foot. But not only do I feel more aligned posture-wise, I find more comfort in a heel outside of physical comfort. I experience comfort within myself in a high heel. I feel more confident. I feel more me.