7 Must-Know MIA Guys Who Rule Fashion (And Look Good Doing It)

Behold, the men who have put Miami fashion in the spotlight in a major way. These influencers aren't just pretty faces (though, they have those, too) — these designers, buyers, and accessory gurus have put their indelible — and dapper — stamp on the scene. For them, a typical denim and button-down isn't enough; each of these handsome fellas aspire to help the city's men put their best face/foot/self forward.
From making it onto the pages of GQ to claiming the Project Accessory prize, from styling basketball stars to leading a long-standing boutique, these seven men began their careers in the place we love to call home — and it just so happens that they’re each pretty damn good lookin’. Don’t say we didn’t make your day.
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Camilo Rios, in-house photographer, The Webster Miami
We always expect the team at The Webster to produce a glamorous and lust-worthy editorial each season, but devotees should know that the man behind these beautiful shots (and videos) is Camilo Rios, the boutique’s official photographer. Rios studied filmmaking at Florida International University and is now lucky enough to team up with the fabulous duo behind the store, Laure Heriard Dubreuil and Milan Vukmirovic. He also freelances for local magazines and brands.

How does Miami influence your personal style?
“I think a personal sense of style comes through life experiences — the cities you visit, the books you read, the magazines you pick up. My personal style is influenced by everything from Japanese urban culture to classic American prep. Miami provides that international platform to express yourself and feel comfortable while doing your own thing.”

How has Miami shaped your career?
“Three years ago, I walked into The Webster Miami with little to no expectations and was given the opportunity of a lifetime to work as an in-house fashion photographer alongside Milan Vukmirovic and Laure Heriard Dubreuil. The Webster provided me with a channel to shape my career in an enormous way.”

What do you love about living and shooting in the Magic City?
“What's not to love about working in Miami? The Art Deco backdrop, the beaches, the weather — it really is paradise and a lot of people take it for granted. Most people perceive Miami as a nightlife destination, but I see it differently. In the world of photography, it's like an unchartered destination. I really enjoy unraveling and discovering this city one shoot at a time.”

Photo: Courtesy of Camilo Rios
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Esteban Cortazar, designer
Esteban Corazar made his first collection when he was in elementary school. While he didn’t have flashing lights and top models then, the man has been sketching, conceiving, and designing since his days as a South Beach kid in the ‘90s, mingling amongst the glitterati that would eventually take him to New York Fashion Week. After a stint as chief creative director of Emanuel Ungaro, he now has his own line and is based in Paris. Though he is no longer on our shores, the city's influence still pulses through his work.

How does Miami influence your personal style?
“I think growing up next to a beach for most of my childhood made me have a very relaxed and comfortable personal style, which I still follow today although it has evolved. I love hot weather and shopping for summer clothes, which probably comes from being in Miami for so long.”

How did Miami help shape your career?
“I grew up on South Beach in the ‘90s above the News Café during the best and glory years. I saw first hand when Gianni Versace, Todd Oldham, Bruce Weber, Herb Ritts, Madonna, and all the supermodels started to come to South Beach to shoot on holiday. It was a magical time — amazing vintage stores, authentic style. South Beach is where it all started for me — my first fashion shows at school as a kid and the amazing support system that I started to have there, which I still have now. Miami will always have a very special place in my heart both personally and professionally.”

How often do you return to visit Miami?
“I go to Miami at least once a year or once every two years. I have many good friends there and I miss the Cuban food, stone crabs, and the weather so much. I always find an excuse to go. I’m planning a trip right now hopefully for end of year.”
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Matthew Chevallard, cofounder and creative director, Del Toro Shoes
Though Chevallard was born in Italy, he is Miami. The stylish dude behind one of our favorite lines of wingtips, sneakers, espadrilles, and chukkas was a student at the University of Miami and, now, heads the company straight out of Wynwood. He’s the force behind the brand, enforcing its streetwear-meets-prep look and always forms new collaborations with bloggers, artists, and athletes (think Leandra Medine, Alexander Mijares, and Dwyane Wade).

How does Miami influence both your personal style and your design aesthetic?
“Miami is such a melting pot that it enables a great platform for me to mix and integrate the elements that comprise the Del Toro lifestyle — American prep, Italian elegance, and NY-slash-Japanese streetwear.”

How did Miami help launch your career?
“Miami really helped because it's still in strong development stages in terms of cultural movements, and I think we are all looking for substantial movements to engage in. People are able to relate and involve themselves in our movement, and that's significant and moving.”

Photo: Courtesy of Matthew Chevallard
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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
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Brian Burkhardt, winner, Project Accessory Season One
Based in Miami and full of quirk and wit, Burkhardt won the first cycle of Lifetime’s Project Accessory and took home the $100,000 prize last fall for his eponymous jewelry creations. He co-owns Triian, a jewelry line, with his wife, Trisha, and is known for sculpting luxe pieces of art. Some of his creations have been shown at Art Basel Miami Beach — the guy once put together a mega-sized butterfly made of Louis Vuitton-patterned wings!

How does Miami influence your personal style?
“Miami is a colorful, energetic hot mess — which is also how I see myself!”

How did Miami help shape your career?
“Living in such a transient, multicultural, and vibrant city like Miami creates an environment that is always looking for the new, the hot, and the fresh. This keeps you on your toes, like it or not.”

What's your favorite thing about the city?
“Besides the food, the food, and the food, I would have to say food.”

How did Miami influence your experience on Project Accessory?
“Living in Miami you kind of realize, 'WTF, it's okay if I want to wear my neon jumpsuit with my plaid hat!' Rules here are different and nonexistent. So, I guess my motto on Project Accessory, ‘take risks or go home,’ is derived from that mind-set and served me well.”

Photo: Courtesy of Brian Burkhardt
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Alejandro Ingelmo, designer
This always-well-groomed 2008 CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund candidate — whose grandfather crafted men’s wingtips in Cuba — was born and raised in Miami, but moved to Manhattan to officially launch his first women’s shoe collection in 2006. Since then, he’s grown his brand to also include chic accessories (handbags, totes, backpacks) and men’s shoes.

How does Miami influence your personal style?
“Growing up in Miami's warm, tropical climate, my personal style tends to be a little more relaxed. I like to feel comfortable, but, at the same time, have an edge.”

How did Miami help shape your career?
“Miami is a consistent inspiration in my collections. Growing up in Miami around girls who love to get dressed up is probably one of the reasons I started with high heels.”

How often do you return to visit Miami?
“I love Miami and try to go down as much as possible. I am there about five times a year.”

What's your favorite thing about the city?
“My family, friends, food, and the weather.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alejandro Ingelmo
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Steven Giles, curator, Base Miami
As the curator at Base, Giles must know a thing or two about fashion. The store has been featured in The New York Times, Ocean Drive, Lucky, GQ, and Elle Décor, among others, and is a Lincoln Road institution. His job? He’s the man responsible for the sultry mix of Nixon watches, life-sized horses, up-and-coming brands, and indie magazines found at the store."

How does Miami influence your personal style?
“Living in a constant tropical climate calls for some adaptation. Tweed is not an option, for instance, so I have learned to dress appropriately for the weather without losing all sense of style integrity.”

How has Miami shaped your career?
“I guess it gave me unparalleled opportunities to be myself and to have found an audience that seems to appreciate what I do.”

What separates the Miami male consumer from that of other markets?
“Without wishing to offend in any way, I do wish more men saw clothing as something other than mere covering. If I had wanted to wear a uniform, I'd have joined the Marines. We live the lifestyle dream in Miami, and that should be expressed in every possible way. There are alternatives to button-down shirts and boat shoes! Most style is largely the result of peer pressure and perhaps that extra layer of confidence is yet to permeate our market, which is undeniably filled with some of the most attractive specimens on the planet.”

Photo: Courtesy of Steven Giles
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