Our atelier is like a nuclear reactor of clothing. It’s like a space where things can explode. You know when people put on the glasses to watch the bomb go off, that’s how I feel about it. It’s like, ‘OK Carmen, let’s put the glasses on, push the button. Ready? Whoosh!
– Milla Jovovich

Information on Milla Jovovich and Carmen Hawk’s critically acclaimed fashion label, Jovovich-Hawk. Launched in 2003, the designer duo received much praise for their whimisical, feminine and romantic design aesthetic, and were one of the 10 renowned designer finalists in contention of the prestigious CFDA Fashion Fund Award in 2006. The label was folded in 2008 by mutual decision, due to Milla’s other, full-time commitments.

Selected Quotations

Some Jovovich-Hawk, fashion- and style-related quotations from various interviews with Milla and Carmen.

Milla Jovovich in BlackBook (US), March 2007:

“Our clothes definitely have an old-worldness. They have that charm from another time.”

Milla Jovovich in Glamour (US), October 2007:

“Buy — and wear — only what you love. Who cares about trends? If you’ve got that urge to take something home, by all means, do it!”

“As models, we often wore things that were over-the-top at the expense of being flattering. But our clothes make the woman look her best.”

Milla Jovovich in Lucky (US), July 2006:

“My friend Carmen and I started our clothing line because there were so many things we wanted that we just couldn’t find — ans we thought other girls would want them, too.”

“Lately I’ve been fixated on the early 19th century. There was such an innocence and a sense of magic. It’s something we’ve definitely tried to re-create in our pieces.”

Milla Jovovich in Lucky (US), September 2008:

“I’m in a time of rediscovery, from my career to my personal style. I was looking through my pre-pregnancy clothes and found so much I had forgotten about. I’m loving pieces with a fun, ’70s feel.”

“I like to create characters with my wardrobe, so I pick pieces with story. Lately I’m obsessed with mid-20th century accessories and anything with a high waist.”

Milla Jovovich in Paper (US), March 2007:

“I walked into the hotel and this girl was checking in. I saw her from the back and I thought, ‘Oh, she looks great. Is she wearing vintage?’ And then I thought, ‘God! I recognize that floral! That’s Country Disco in black — our dress from Fall!’”

“I was still wearing baseball caps and baggy jeans. When I saw Carmen, it was like I was Christopher Columbus discovering America — seing a strong woman who was super-feminine.”

“I loved the stuff Carmen was making on her own. I said to her, ‘I don’t have any experience — I only have some drawings — but I know what I like. I don’t know where that can take me, but you’ve already made the things that you see in your head so why don’t we work together?’”

“This business is important in my life because it’s not dependent on my outward appearance. Starting a company that could potentially bring us into our forties means that we don’t have to worry about doing this modeling job or doing that movie.”

Carmen Hawk on Milla in Paper (US), March 2007:

“Milla came to play a show. I remember watching her sing — just watching all her passion and talent — and having this vision of some future thing. It wasn’t even me and her in the future, it was about her, that she was going to evolve into this really amazing person.”

“I think we were apprehensive to dive in because I don’t have a lot of random friends. I have close friendships and people around that I’m doing something with. We’re not girls who go to lunch together and go shopping.”

“I was raring to go. I came to her house with two giant bags [of clothes]. I just dumped them on the floor and whipped through all these vintage pieces. I told her, ‘I like things like this! Like Brigitte Bardot in the fifties!’ We just sat in this mess of clothes and then she pulled out her stuff and said, ‘I like this scary Victorian goth dress,’ and we were ready to do something.”

Milla Jovovich in The Sunday Times (UK), July 2 2006:

“We believe that this is all very wearable. It’s what girls want on a lot of different levels; what makes them feel sexy, demure or cute.”

“If it were just about sending off the drawings and letting someone else make it and just count the money that comes in, fine. But that’s not how I’ve ever worked. Even the action movies I’ve made, there’s always been a personal reason why I’ve made them. Resident Evil was my brother’s favorite video game.”

“Do you know what our thing is, Carmen? We don’t match at all.”

Carmen Hawk on Milla in The Sunday Times (UK), July 2 2006:

“Someone like me has no problem going to the Salvation Army and wearing the polyester thing with the itchy lining inside. Whereas Milla has so much more experience of the fashion world and wearing designer clothes. You need someone who has worn the best to know.”

Milla Jovovich in The New York Magazine Fashion Blog, February 16 2009:

“It was actually really amazing when we were very private and doing everything in-house, sewing all the clothes in-house, but as soon as the orders got too big and we had to outsource, it was disaster with production companies and factories. I mean, we just couldn’t handle it. We were two artist girls who didn’t have our business together. […] We were like, all right, let’s end on a high note.”

Label History

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In 2003, together with long-term friend, co-designer and model alike, Carmen Hawk, Milla Jovovich launched her own clothing label, the updated retro chic-style Jovovich-Hawk in Los Angeles, USA.

According to Milla Jovovich herself, the decision to launch her own label sprung partly from her modeling industry past. “Before, being a model, it was just a job, and I was making fun of it. But today, I take my career more seriously. The fact that a reader may buy an Armani item because she’d seen it on me in a magazine is very important to me. So much so that I intend to launch my own label,” she said prior to the label launch.

Carmen Hawk also has a long modeling career behind her – indeed, she became designer Alexander McQueen’s “muse” only shortly after entering the modeling industry at the age of 16. Hawk and Milla met for the first time in a mid-90′s Parisian cafeteria through a mutual friend and, being alike in so many ways, soon hit it off. In early 2000 or thereabouts, Hawk was in the progress of designing her own clothing line, when the two decided to team up – and voila! Jovovich-Hawk was launched.

The first Jovovich-Hawk collection was a huge triumph. Fred Segal, one of the many high-end boutiques in America, purchased the entire collection exclusively, which was quickly sold out at an average of $2,500 (!) a piece. Their second collection, being even more successful than the first, was also instantly sold out, and in 2006, Jovovich-Hawk was one of ten highly reckoned designer finalists at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award dinner. (The winning prize, however, went to Doo-Ri Chung.)

Since the label launch, Jovovich-Hawk designs have been spotted on celebrities such as Kirsten Dunst, Rachel Bilson, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Heidi Klum, and following the success of their first seasons, Jovovich-Hawk teamed up with a number of labels and organizations for special collections and design pieces.

In 2007, street wear label Mango invited Jovovich-Hawk to design a Limited Edition collection for the label, which debuted that Spring in select Mango boutiques. The collection featured several flowing, floral maxi dresses and loose-fitting, feminine cocktail dresses, and was modeled by Milla’s longtime friend, French model-actress Lou Doillon.

Another special collection was the Jovovich-Hawk Target collection, launched in the United States on March 2 2008. The collection, designed in the Jovovich-Hawk trademark fun and feminine style, was aimed as a more affordable alternative for fashionable, young women, with pricing on some individual pieces being as low as $8. The collection has since been sold out.

Furthermore, in 2007, Jovovich-Hawk collaborated with the Clothes Off Our Back charity organization, one of Milla’s many supported causes. The duo designed several unique pieces to be exclusively sold at charity auctions benefiting COOB. Milla and Carmen also designed a Jovovich-Hawk tee for Glamour magazine’s 2007 charity initiative “Fashion Gives Back”, benefiting Malaria No More.

Jovovich-Hawk has also designed special design pieces as part of collaboration with the Diamond Information Center (2008) and Helio (2006) respectively. Milla furthermore designed her own outfit for the role of Alice in the 2007 movie Resident Evil: Extinction, and often contributes to the respective wardrobes of her onscreen characters.

Label Style

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The style of the Jovovich Hawk label represents comfort and effortlessness – Milla and Carmen “share the view that clothes have to be wearable, comfortable and need not make a spectacle of the wearer.” Many Jovovich-Hawk dresses reflect the elegance and romance of the 20′s and 30′s – “our clothes definitely have an old worldness, they have that charm from another time,” – and according to the duo, some of their designs have been inspired by cultural classics (e.g. a bluebird embroidered on a Jovovich-Hawk shirt draws reference from a Charles Bukowski poem).

However, although many of their outfits are inspired by cultural history, they reject the idea of their collections being “costume-esque” clothing. “It’s wearable and emotional. – Character-driven. – But not spectacle.”

While Jovovich-Hawk has folded as of mid-2008, the label official site remains online at, where contact information for inquiries as well as collection previews are still available.

Label Close

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In the September 2008 issue of Lucky magazine, Milla Jovovich announced the designer duo would be folding the line:

She also shared the news that her clothing line, Jovovich-hawk, has run its course. “It’s like, when one door closes…” she mused.

In February 2009, Milla discussed ending the line to New York Magazine’s Fashion Blog:

“It was actually really amazing when we were very private and doing everything in-house, sewing all the clothes in-house, but as soon as the orders got too big and we had to outsource, it was disaster with production companies and factories. I mean, we just couldn’t handle it,” she explained. “We were two artist girls who didn’t have our business together.” Their Target line, she says, was their big good-bye. “We were like, all right, let’s end on a high note.”

She plans to design again, but with a bigger house that can take care of production, and has been talking with companies in Europe, although nothing is signed yet. Jovovich has also been dreaming up a line of children’s clothing now that she’s a mom. “A huge part of my life is dressing my little girl, and I spend way too much money doing it, so I’d like to make an affordable line for other mothers with cute stuff,” she said. Her inspiration comes from clothes that her mother sewed for her when she was a child in Russia. “There are some really special pieces that I was photographed in with my mom, like back in the seventies, that are just amazing.” She says the kids’ clothes will be cool, modern, utilitarian, and definitely mass-market. “Unfortunately, I don’t think many moms have the option to buy many great designs unless they spend a lot of money, so I would love to give them that option.” Jovovich says she’s still trying to find the best deal, but expects to make an announcement next year.

The Spring 2008 collection paired with their Target collection remain the label’s last.

Jovovich-Hawk Online

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If you’re interested in reading more about Jovovich-Hawk and its span, please have a look at some of the below websites and links. These also constitute sources of information and quotations used in compiling our Jovovich-Hawk-page.

Articles > New York Times Magazine Fashion Blog, February 16 2009