Today marks the first day of summer. But what does that really mean to a Miamian? If you’ve broken a sweat walking to your car in the last month, you might’ve mistaken the sweltering, tail end of spring for the rainy, humid three months we’ve come to know, and begrudgingly accept, as summer. But there are some upsides to the new season, like the fashion, specifically accessories. Wearing less (because it’s about a zillion degrees out now and you’ll die in long sleeves) gives you greater surface area to express yourself through bracelets, hats, sunglasses and other extras that won’t stifle you any further. For help on what we should be stacking and layering this season, we tapped Michael Saiger, whose Miami-based accessories label Miansai features nautical motifs and is all about looking cool at the beach. Here he tells us what to look for in the perfect summer piece and why you should never be afraid to go for a swim with your accessories.
What makes for the ultimate summer accessory?
For us, accessories are something you can wear every day in the water and something you don't want to have to worry about—just live in it and enjoy.
Miansai is sold in a rainbow of colors. Do you have any favorites for summer or Miami?
Navy is a popular colorway in Miami. The vintage brown leather is popular but more traditional, and we also have some bright pops of color. A bracelet is a great way to introduce color. I never wear red clothing but I’ll wear a red bracelet.
Off or on with bracelets and accessories when you’re going for a swim?
Listen, it depends. I can tell you that if you have one of our cuffs and it’s gold vermeil (sterling silver with gold on it) and you want the cuff to stay nice forever, you’re not going to shower with it. But if you want to live in it and go swimming with it, the plating is going to last a couple of years. I just like to live in everything and let it get its own character. If it fades, it’ll fade to sterling silver anyway and you’ll have a great bracelet—just in a different color.
What’s your advice for a guy who’s thinking about buying jewelry for the first time?
I would say try our leather wrap bracelet—Miansai really kind of started [the trend]. If a guy would wear a watch, he’d wear a Miansai leather wrap bracelet. Then if he gets compliments, he’ll try a cuff. Get a leather or rope hook bracelet and don’t think about it. You’ll get compliments, and who doesn’t like compliments?
You launched mobile retailers in Miami recently. What’s the story?
We have six of mobile retailers and they’ve been a big thing for us this year. I bring these old vintage vehicles from Italy, completely refurbish them and just [use them] as traveling pop-up stores. It’s really exciting to be in places where people don’t expect to be shopping. In Miami, we’re at the Delano, the 1 Hotel South Beach and the Fontainebleau. Each vehicle is curated for its location and we do exclusive colorways and pieces for each. A lot of time we’ll test small runs of new pieces in the vehicles before launching them on a big scale.
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