Though only established two years ago, CFDA Fashion Incubator Program has given rise to some pretty serious talents, like Prabal Gurung and House of Waris. The most recent program has some feisty emerging talent, and amongst them is Ruby Kobo, the delicate jewelry company helmed by Magic City native Yuvi Alpert. Alpert cut his teeth at the University of Miami, where he studied finance, marketing, and, of course, getting some major sun (We kid! Yuvi doesn't deny the lure of the beach, but swears by his education). Now, along with partner Danna Kobo, he heads up both Ruby Kobo, and, one of our favorite purveyors of friendship bracelets for adults, Shashi.
As he moves forward, we ask him to look back on his time as a Miami resident. Yuvi shares some of his must-try student picks and lets us know where he heads when he returns home — he's back on the regular to hang out with his bro. We're thrilled to hear that Yuvi isn't too caught up rubbing elbows with New York's fashion elite to remember his favorite haunts (the beach at 3rd and Ocean, y'all!) and share his tips and tricks for students and non-students alike. Yuvi spills on how Miami helped put him on the map of Anna Wintour, so design hopefuls: get ready to take notes!
What it was like being a student in Miami?
"It was a beautiful experience. I had the opportunity to meet some interesting people that came from around the world to study at UM that I remain in touch with to this day. The University of Miami used to be called 'Sun Tan U', so I got a little taste of party life with the balance of a good education. I majored in International Finance and Marketing."
Why did you choose Miami? How did the city appeal to you?
"I wanted to be in a major city that has an international atmosphere...and the beautiful beaches and vibrant design scene didn't hurt. While education didn't seem so critical at age 18, I ended up really enjoying my studies."
What is it like being a young creative in Miami?
"There is no lack of inspiration in Miami, with the beaches, stunning sunsets, art deco architecture, and diverse cultures including Cuban, Brazilian, Argentinian, Columbian."
Photo: Courtesy of Rio PR
How often do you return? What are the places you stop by when you are in town? "I go back to Miami every year for Art Basel, get on my Vespa and go visit art exhibits. I always make sure to eat at Jimmy's Kitchen, along with my favorite acai bowl at Pura Vida and blackened grouper sandwich at Joe's Stone Crab for an amazing take-out treat.
Then I always try and stop by The Webster and definitely jump in the water at 3rd and Ocean at least once during my stay."
What does Miami have now that you wish it had when you were in school?
"My brother Roy works in hotel development and recently began work on a pop-up bar called Broken Shaker at the Indian Creek Hotel. It's a very different experience for Miami: A great local hangout in a beautiful old art deco setting with good music and amazing drinks. I wish it was open when I was living in Miami. As a student, I felt there was a lack of cool, laid-back nightlife venues."
Photos: Courtesy of Jimmy's Kitchen and Indian Creek Hotel's Tumblr
Can you name one crucial thing a student in Miami needs to know? What is a trick that got you through his collegiate years?
"Swimming in the ocean! No matter how stressful mid-terms ever got, one short swim in the ocean always helped me clear my head."
What are some products you can only get in Miami that you need to stock up on before heading back to NYC?
"Oh man! Good Cuban food... I have never figured out how to sneak a lot of Cuban food on the plane!"
In what ways does Miami influence the design of Ruby Kobo?
"I am inspired by a global aesthetic and certainly the diverse culture I experience in Miami has a big impact when I am creating the collection."
Photos: Courtesy of Ruby Kobo