About This Creator
As Miami grows as a bona fide fashion market, the opportunities grow as well. For Simonett Pereira, Miami's fashion evolution meant adding her own personal touch to the mix. At the age of 23, Simonett decided to launch a fashion label that operates out of Miami's most sought after Arts District, Wynwood. We met with Simonett (Simo to her pals) to discuss her inspiration, her thoughts on fashion in Miami, and her plans for the future.
Where are you from:
Where do you currently call home:
Miami. I've been here since I was 5.
What is your favorite travel destination? Why?
Greece. I just love the little shops in Mykonos, the view in Santorini, and all of the different islands have so much diversity. Everyone there is also so laid-back, and hospitable. People are just trusting, it's refreshing.
What inspired you to start Style Mafia? What were you doing before launching the company?
Starting the label was a natural process for me. The fact that is was so hard for me to find things that I wanted to wear in the price point I could afford--I wanted to create affordable and accessible luxury. I wanted to have pieces that were stylish and affordable, so I traveled to China and made it happen. It's been an amazing experience and I have learned every step of the way. Before, I was working as an events coordinator for an entertainment company, in fact, I handled all of the fashion programming for Delano Tuesdays and also some events at Mondrian. I love the Morgans properties!
Tell us the story behind the name Style Mafia—what’s that all about?
Well, while I was working as an event coordinator, I started a blog called Miami Style Mafia, which was created as a guild for fashion creatives in Miami. In a sense, it was a directory with bloggers, models, stylists, photographers, where companies and brands could find who and what they needed. I thought 'mafia' was just kind of cute and memorable. The clothing brand was a side project, and sense it wasn't Miami specific I just shortened it to Style Mafia.
Describe the type of girl who wears Style Mafia.
I love to say it's worn by the independent woman who has her own ideas on how she wants to dress. Not trend obsessed, but someone who wants to create their own identity. The creative, vanguard women who want to leave an impression.
You started with one store here in Wynwood, and now you’ve got an international presence. In what countries are you currently selling your brand?
We're in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Dubai, and we're curating Guadalupe. It's been exciting, challenging, and also incredibly rewarding to grow at the pace we are.
What are your plans for the future?
Honestly, right now I am trying to focus on living in the present. I'm thrilled. Eventually, I would love to have more collaborations with artists and designers. So far we have done collaborations with a handful of Miami artists and I would love to grow that somewhere down the road.
How does the internet contribute to Style Mafia's success?
It's definitely broadened our audience, and Instagram has been a platform thats been great for reaching new audiences. Working with magazines and other websites is a great way to expand and support the community of new businesses. Bloggers, models, and other personalities with their unique followings have been a great way for us to grow our customer base.
To many, Miami is notorious for bikinis, flip flops, and cutoff shorts. How do you think fashion has evolved in Miami?
The whole art movement, Art Basel in particular, has put a spotlight on Miami that has created a great evolution of the local fashion. There is a lot of South American influence, and the tropical nature of Miami brings so much color, earthy tones, and palm prints--these are all regional influences on local fashion and are so great at capturing the multi-cultural spirit of Miami.
Do you have any advice for other people looking to launch a brand?
Honestly, if you have a vision, just start doing it. Trust yourself. The main thing that stops people from what the way to do is self-doubt, or a fear of failure. Be persistent in what you want and know there will be obstacles. Have confidence and keep creating.
Who do you find inspiring and why?
I really admire Chiara Ferragni. Starting as a blogger, and then having a shoe collection--she's a brand in herself. She might have started out as a fortunate girl with an amazing wardrobe, but she's completely created this internet persona that people want to follow and want to be a part of, and she has positioned herself as just another girl. Having such an impact and influence, and the way she has marketed herself… honestly she's just a badass.
Favorite place to grab lunch: Crumb on Parchment in the Design District. The kale quinoa salad with peanuts its amazing.
Favorite place to have a cocktail: Broken Shaker. It's not necessarily for the cocktails, I mean they are great, but this year I am trying to focus on drinking wine. I like the vibe there and just having a glass of Malbec.
Favorite way to spend a Sunday: I try to avoid doing repetitive things on Sunday, it's my only day off. Sunday is just my day to do yoga, ride my bike, relax, and just recharge.
Favorite museum: PAMM
For someone traveling to Miami for the first time, what is your recommendation for them to see and do for an authentic Miami experience? Go to Perez Art Museum in downtown, go vintage shopping at C. Madeleine's, eat at El Ceilo in Brickell, and come check out Style Mafia in Wynwood.