Music Director Mimi Xu On Creating Fashion Soundtracks For And More

12 September 2013 by

As part of our Fashion Week 360 coverage we're looking at the catwalk from all-angles, whether that's through the eyes of designers, models or industry insiders. So we were delighted when introduced us to music director, sound designer and DJ Mimi Xu who has curated a bespoke Fashion Week soundtrack for the ecommerce site for Autumn Winter 2013. The playlist has been inspired by the key designers and trends of the season, as well as's brand selection. Mimi Xu, who DJs under the name Misty Rabbit has worked with the Fashion World's biggest brands from Prada and Versace to ACNE and Alexander McQueen and was also the music curator for the much-famed Club Miu Miu, which popped up last December in London. Find out what it takes to be one of the industry's key music players - and how to get a party party started! - in our Q&A below...

Grazia Daily: How do you go about designing music for the catwalk?

Mimi Xu: It is always a collaboration when I do a soundtrack for a show, as I am helping the designers to give a solid dimension to a catwalk presentation. I propose songs, ideas and music directions, but it's never about how cool the music is - it's about enhancing the experience of the collection. Often the brands will send me mood board so I can get an idea of colours, fabric etc. Sometimes it will be last minute while others I'll have more time to prepare -  anything between one month and two days. I have to be full ideas, but the more I work with a particular designer the more I know what they like and how to approach a their briefs.

Grazia Daily: So do you try and veer away from the song of the season?

Mimi Xu: I try and not use a current song - I try and look ahead or look to the past. Finding something no one has heard of is the challenge.

Grazia Daily: How do you decide on the style of music?

Mimi Xu: Depending on what time the show starts the music needs to be softer or stronger or easy listening. Also the sound has to work in the room. If there are a lot of echoes it needs to be very clean

Grazia Daily: What's the difference between creating a party playlist and show soundtrack?

Mimi Xu: Everything is in the preparation for a show. I spend a lot of time in a studio mixing a soundtrack so on the actual day of show I'm usually quite relaxed. Where as for a party I have to be totally dynamic on the night and deliver the best time for the people who are there. I do a little bit of prep depending on what type of party it is, but at the end of the day it is all about getting people to have fun.

Grazia Daily: How does the show music vary between New York, London, Paris and Milan?

Mimi Xu: There are no differences between cities, just the designers - it's so diverse. The strong woman theme is recurrent though. Sometimes it's all about dirty hip-hop and sometimes classical music - my work is so varied.

Grazia Daily: What has been your favourite designer brand to work with?

Mimi Xu: Topshop is a fun show to do - I love the team and it really reflects London fashion. ACNE has also been a great experience, as the designers are big music fans.

Grazia Daily: How did you get into music curation and DJing?

Mimi Xu: I did classical music and piano as a kid, and my dad does acoustic design for living. I started DJing and working with music labels first and then the fashion thing just sort of happened. I also score fashion films too.

Grazia Daily: Tell us about your collaboration...

Mimi Xu: It has been very interesting as I've never done anything online before. I particularly wanted to understand the DNA and as a result the soundtrack is a homage to German music. One part is for the morning and involves ambient sounds, the second part is an afternoon tea soundtrack where I used a lot of classical German composers and I finished it off with 1920s Berlin tracks and some guilty pleasure German pop music.

Grazia Daily: What do you play to liven things up at a party?

Mimi Xu: Old school disco songs and house tracks. People like to dance to songs that they remember!

What is Grazia 360?

In celebration of fashion weeks around the world, we're bringing you an all-angles look at how the shows come together. Throughout September, we'll be showcasing exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes videos from the world’s greatest designers - we've talking everyone from Victoria Beckham to Karl Lagerfeld.  And we need your help! Vote for what we should wear on the FROW and play our Matchy-Matchy game for your chance to win the fashion editor's kit. Stay tuned to  this very site for the latest updates as well as #Grazia360 on Twitter and Instagram. Do join us! And let us know what YOU want to see...


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