Why Miami Could Be The Next Fashion Capital Of The US

Photo courtesy of Eliou

Miami’s renaissance over the past decade has been city-wide: the rise of Wynwood, the Design District, Art Basel, the expansion of Midtown and Brickell, and the development of vibrant new design hotels like Life House and Palihouse. It’s an alchemy that has transformed the city’s reputation and tourist footprint from the garish party scene in South Beach to a world-renowned hub for art and design. The fashion community is following suit. The emergence of up-and-coming Miami designers continues to flourish, with local boutiques like Volver, Antidote, and Mrs. Mandolin supporting them. Without succumbing to the pressures of the fast fashion cycle, Miami offers creative communities and sustainable fashion brands the opportunity to grow at a more sustainable pace. And with the fashion industry continuing to support the slow fashion movement, Miami could be a compelling alternative for new designers looking to make a name for themselves in fashion. Below we’ve talked to some of the coolest brands in the Miami fashion scene about how their city is creatively evolving.

Cristy Mantilla and Duda Teixeira from Éliou

Photo courtesy of Éliou

You will be surprised to learn that the cult favorite brand Éliou, whose quirky jewelry is preferred by It celebrities like Gigi Hadid and Harry Styles, does not come from New York City, but from Miami. Founders Cristy Mantilla and Duda Teixeira attribute much of their success to being a big fish in a small pond. “We all know it’s natural to work in a fashion house, a big magazine, or a main studio in New York City, but it’s also competitive enough to get lost,” says Cristy. “Here [in Miami] There’s room to stand out, grow, and make some real noise. ”While many creatives toss their hats to the more prestigious fashion cities, Cristy says she has seen an increase in investment in the Miami’s art scene, invading creative communities, that draw people back. But despite the greater chance of shining in a smaller city like Miami, Duda warns that you will have to work twice as hard to find the resources. “It leads to character building, and those who make something out of nothing are darn special,” adds Duda. “We have some of these, and most of us stick together.”

Simonett Pereira by Simonett

Photo courtesy of Simonett

Simonett, headed by Simonett Pereira, is a women’s ready-to-wear label of the same name and an independent shop that celebrates design ingenuity and sustainable practices. While the store itself carries sustainable and versatile brands from all over the world, Simonett’s line of the same name has become an international success with its iconic statement pieces such as the Nanu Top and the Sweater Sleeve, which are worn by almost every fashion influencer on Instagram. “One of the things I love about emerging cities,” says Simonett, “is the freedom that creative people have to design their own space and to go their own way.” The new cultural landscape that Miami has created over the past ten years attracts an influx of people from larger cities, which helps strengthen the creative scene. “There’s definitely a global magnifying glass on Miami, but it’s still a city small enough for designers and creatives doing something interesting to make a wave.”

Natalia Teran from NST Studio

Photo courtesy of NST Studio

The contemporary accessories brand NST Studio is known for its uniquely shaped knot bags and earrings in a baroque style. It’s a series of carefully crafted heirloom-style pieces that are equally timeless and desirable. The brand’s founder, Natalie Teran, grew up in Miami and has always felt that it is a city that marches to the beat of its own drum. “It’s a big, cosmopolitan city, but it has a slower lifestyle than New York,” she says. “And since the fashion scene is not that established here … I think there is an opportunity for up-and-coming creatives to go their own way instead of conforming to an already existing form.” Slow fashion and sustainability can be found in a city whose pace is not dictated by an unrealistic fashion calendar are easier to maintain. “There’s less pressure to over-deliver … or lead new fashion trends because you can create more of your own seasonal schedule and follow a much more organic and human creative process.”

Inés Vieira Varela from Norte

Photo courtesy of Kayla Mendez Photography

Inés Vieira Varela named her brand Norte, inspired by an expression from her home country Spain. “Perder el norte” directly means to lose the north (in relation to the north star), in the sense of disorderly action or against the current. Introducing her brand in Miami was her way of resisting the fast fashion cycle that encourages overconsumption of substandard goods – it was her way of losing her north. Her line is an ode to slow fashion: high-quality garments that last a long time. Though she still attributes New York as the country’s fashion capital, she notes that the cultural events and institutions that have flooded Miami over the past fifteen years certainly make a compelling alternative. “Miami is a melting pot of cultures and that’s one of the main reasons I love having Norte here,” says Inés. “The other part is the sea, which plays a major role in my life as a source of inspiration and an opportunity to switch off.”

Eeva Musacchia by Eveliina Vintage

Photo courtesy Eveliina

Eeva Musacchi launched her vintage essential dress brand Eveliina in Helsinki in the 1970s before moving to Miami to run it with her twin daughters Emilia and Amanda. The operation is as Miami as it gets: it takes customers by appointment just to shop poolside at their Key Biscayne home; The shopping experience is a fairy tale that exudes romance and nostalgia and reflects the ethos of the brand itself. “That is definitely on purpose,” notes Eeva. “We love the experience of being able to shop by the pool. The parts also look much better in the sunshine. ”Nature and sunshine are what Eeva finds most compelling about the Miami lifestyle. “That really inspires a lot of people. I know we’re inspired by the green, the beach and the sun. ”Aside from the tropical setting, Eeva notes that Miami is a very different city than it was eight years ago when her daughters graduated from high school. “A lot of money is invested in the art scene, for example in Art Basel; it just keeps getting bigger. I think Miami is a real creative destination [now] and they change the city. “

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