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Miansai, the fast-growing accessories maker known for its trendy rope bracelets, has opened its first store in New York. The narrow 650-square-foot space is located at 33 Crosby Street on a stretch of SoHo that has become a magnet for directional men’s wear retailers including Saturdays Surf, Bonobos, Aether and Carson Street Clothiers.
This story first appeared in the December 13, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I’ve always loved Crosby Street — it has like-minded brands and our customers are here,” said Michael Saiger, founder and creative director of Miansai. “I don’t think I could have picked a better street.”
A small cafe area fronts the store, but rather than conventional coffee, the copper-topped bar offers 20 loose blends of tea and four types of Kombucha, the latter a mild obsession of Saiger’s, who drinks it daily.
Both the tea bar and the cash wrap in the rear of the boutique are fashioned from black walnut topped with copper. The glass display cases are also constructed of a base of black walnut, lending the store a warm, elegant feel. “I wanted it to feel very Scandinavian,” said Saiger, 27. “I wanted it to be homey and inviting. I didn’t want it to feel like a jewelry store.”
The store’s spare, contemporary aesthetic includes exposed brick walls painted white and floors tiled in white porcelain that is designed to resemble pale wooden planks. Instead of an exterior sign, an enormous fishing hook hangs above the entrance, a monumental version of the signature clasp on Miansai bracelets.
The brand’s bracelets and jewelry mostly retail for $55 to $250, leather goods for $95 to $195 and watches for $355 to $500. There are also belts, key chains, iPad and iPhone cases, candles and leather-bound journals in the assortments. While most of the product is unisex, men account for about 65 percent of the brand’s customers and women are 35 percent, estimated Saiger.
A custom bracelet station in the boutique allows customers to create their own designs, in a multitude of rope and leather strap options and a range of hook, anchor or “Brummel” clasps, either in brushed brass, silver, gold or rose-gold finishes.
All of the other product is made in Miansai’s factory in Miami, which employs about 50 craftsmen in an 8,000-square-foot space in the Design District. “It makes us very agile. We can do a run of 10 pieces and test it out before we do a larger production run,” said Saiger. “We do all the sampling, molding, fabrication and production ourselves every step of the way. Not many companies can say that.”
Launched in 2008 while Saiger was still in college, Miansai is today sold in more than 250 wholesale accounts in 36 countries, including Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, Mr Porter, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, United Arrows and Beams.