Miansai Turns Vintage Wheels Into Mobile Shops
Spring means time for a wardrobe refresh, gals and guys alike. Accessories speak volumes, especially arm candy like a gleaming gold or vermeil screw cuff for the former, leather wraps for the latter. Yes, the fashion cognoscenti knows we’re talking about Miansai, the jewelry, leather goods, and eye wear collection begun by Michael Saiger in 2008. Actually, his work predates the formal launch as he started designing and creating jewelry while in college. Ever the entrepreneur, the Miami-based Saiger has given a new twist to both retail and the pop-up phenomenon. Yes, there are now independent Miansai shops in New York’s SoHo and Venice, California as well as representation by such heavy hitters as Fred Segal, Barneys, and Bergdorf Goodman. Yes, Miansai sells online. But what about wanting to try things on (especially gold and diamond pieces at the upper end of the price spectrum) and not in proximity of the retail sites? Fear not. Miansai has a mobile fleet that might bring the collection closer to home. In fact, the first vehicle hit the road even before New York and California locales opened in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Saiger wanted to test the waters and bring brand awareness before committing to brick and mortar operations.
Design savvy that he is, Saiger chose not any vehicle, but super cool vintage wheels. The first was a 1958 Airstream. Last year it hit some 15 U.S. cities and made guest appearances at festivals such as South by Southwest, Coachella, and Jazz Fest, before heading to the Hamptons and Palm Beach. Then came two Piaggios, a Lambretta, and a VW bus, with another slated to arrive from Italy before year’s end. All are refurbished and fitted out in Miami, where Miansai makes much of the jewelry in its metal shop. As for the fleet, “we do about half of the work in house, and all the of the metal work,” Saiger explains.
“For the last four years, we concentrated on festivals. This year, we’re looking at cool hotels and restaurants,” he says of venues. “We like to catch people where they’re not expecting to be shopping.” Look for the vehicles at the Jeremy West Hollywood hotel, the Malibu Pier, the 1 Hotel and Delano in South Beach, the Fontainebleau of Miami Beach, and Navy Beach, Montauk. Maybe you can pick up our personal favorite, the gold offset cuff.