In a nutshell, Miansai is our new favorite shopping destination with a tea bar in front, outdoor seating in the back and plenty of minimalistic accessories packed with personality in between. Follow me to 33 Crosby Street for a closer look.
By Sophia YiRui Liao
When I arrived at Miansai, the Miami-based, cult-favorite brainchild of Michael Saiger, I immediately noticed the sleek space and was reminded that minimalism can be deceiving; there was nothing boring about the space and there were plenty of details to be noticed. The interior décor put the focus on the products and I immediately gravitated further inside. Kayla, the brand’s account exec, and Alex, the store manager, greeted me and we began sifting through the collection. My first impression was that superior quality and unconventional shapes made all the difference with Miansai’s minimalistic accessories. The jewelry came in a variety of quality metals such as sterling silver, matte-black rhodium, polished stainless steel, gold and the ever popular rose gold. Kayla and Alex informed me that customers are often able to pick a specific piece and have it customized in a different metal if they are interested. There is also a station where customers are able to create their own signature hook-and-rope bracelets with any permutation of the available materials. The nylon rope is maritime-grade and will withstand the test of time. The bracelets are perfect for a personal style statement and people often go to Miansai to have them made as simple but thoughtful gifts.
What made the biggest impression on me, besides Miansai’s commitment to their customer’s individual desires and concerns, was the brand’s constant awareness of social issues and regard for their local community. Miansai’s Fashion Director, Rachael Russel, is the Founder of the non-profit Style Saves. Earlier this month, Miansai and Illesteva partnered on a sample sale where 20% of all sales went to Style Saves in a campaign to help the Miami community affected by Hurricane Irma. Miansai also hosts the occasional yoga session in their open air space at the back of the store, to which all interested individuals are welcome. Whether you want to unwind with some exercise or pick out one of their delicious, specialty teas to fuel your day, the little area in the back of the store is a true hidden gem.
When Kayla and Alex tell me about Miansai’s mobile retail strategy, I am immediately intrigued. This past summer, Miansai started selling their products out of vintage refurbished airstreams and Piaggio trucks that are parked near beaches, hotels, festivals and transportation hubs. During the summer tour, there were mobile retailers at Navy Beach in Montauk, Newport, RI (still upset that I missed it during my time there) and Dumbo. Make sure you keep eyes and ears open for this truly unique (and photogenic) shopping experience.
Falling in love with the store and its variety of concepts is not hard at all. There are sleek but roomy leather bags to rush to the New York minute with. The screw cuff bracelets and the tricolor cuff will look beautiful next to the Cartier Love and Juste un Clou bracelets adorning your wrist. All the accessories are delicate yet sturdy and refined yet emboldened by character. Shop here for something unconventional that you can seamlessly integrate into your daily look. Everything is a conversation piece but nothing cries for attention. In fact, my whole experience at 33 Crosby street was a dichotomy; after being sent off with a caramel crème brûlée black tea in hand (drinking it felt like being hugged), I stepped out of the well-lit warmth of Miansai and into a chilly, fall drizzle, already daydreaming about my next visit.
Miansai, 33 Crosby Street
All photos courtesy of Miansai.