Michael Saiger, founder and creative director, MIANSAI
Saiger has most recently teamed up with the guys at GQ.com
for a weekly Monday bracelet giveaway (we’ve tried, we’ve failed), but his roots are, of course, here in Miami. MIANSAI
, which boasts a studio in the Design District, was born during Michael’s time at the University of Miami and has since expanded across the globe into venerable boutiques such as Saturday’s NYC, Colette, Bergdorf Goodman, and, our very own, Base and The Webster.
How does Miami influence both your personal style and your design aesthetic?
“Seeing it as basically summer in Miami year round, my personal style tends to lean toward casual, but pulled-together looks. For me, it's most important to be comfortable. Some of my favorite items are the most simplistic — classic white sneakers, basic soft cotton T-shirts, and denim. I'm from New York originally and travel quite a bit for work, so I always have to make sure I have a good range of pieces for colder climates. Miami is one of many things that influence my designs. If you look at MIANSAI's collection, I think the coolest thing is nearly every piece can be worn with any kind of outfit. It's versatile, much like my personal style.”
How did Miami help launch your career?
“MIANSAI began when I made a bracelet for myself while still in college. Every time I'd wear it, people would ask me where I bought it because they wanted one. It made me realize there was an opportunity in a market that no one had tapped, so I began selling a few pieces locally at Base Miami. The rest is history.”
Did any particular event at the University of Miami motivate you to start MIANSAI?
“I started the company while I was in school, and MIANSAI actually began with the bullet cuff. I had been on vacation with my family in Africa and brought back a bunch of bangles from a safari. I went to the shooting range one afternoon when I got home and took the extra bullets from my session back to my apartment. They were sitting on my desk near the bangles, and I thought it would be cool to combine them, so I emptied the gun powder from the bullets, cleaned them, drilled a hole in each end, and strung one through the bangle. That's the original moment MIANSAI was born, and I'm lucky I didn't blow the roof off my apartment with the amount of gunpowder on my deck!”Photo: Courtesy of Michael Saiger