True Originals

PHOTOS BY CARLOS HIDALGO

Oscar de la Renta once said, “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.” These 6 Miamians live by that motto.

Farah Abassi
Founder of Scent Marketing company Aroma360

Miami and Boca Raton
I spent four years working in finance before taking the plunge and turning my passion for fragrance into a career. Work is my passion—it’s what gets me out of bed every day and I love the never-ending challenges. I have the privilege of working with an incredible team and amazing clients from all corners of the world that never cease to inspire me

PERSONAL STYLE: My style is best described as polished, chic and timeless.

ON STYLE RULES: In my opinion, the most important style rule is to dress for your body. Knowing what styles and cuts flatter your figure and tailoring key pieces so that they complement your shape will go a long way. The old saying of “no white after Labor Day” is a rule that should be thrown to the curb. The sun shines 12 months a year in Miami, so seasonality is irrelevant.

CLOSET STAPLES: Little black dress that can take me from day to night; nude stiletto; black Balmain blazer.

FASHION CITY OF CHOICE: Milan is the fashion mecca of the world. It’s elegant and classic—the entire city exudes beauty, sophistication and timelessness.

GO-TO DESIGNERS: My favorites right now are Mugler, Saint Laurent and Cushnie et Ochs. Gucci’s most recent collections have been amazing too.

STYLE PHILOSOPHY: Fashions fade, style is eternal. —Yves Saint Laurent.

 

Rachael Russell
Founder & President of Style Saves, a non-profit that raises funds through fashion-focused events to give underprivileged students clothing, school supplies and more; Fashion Director of the international multi-category accessories brand Miansai

Miami Beach
I’m a fashionable philanthropist who likes to spend my time between the two, and on any given day you can find me running around the Style Saves warehouse sorting donations or at Miansai working on international events, shoots or design.

PERSONAL STYLE: Timeless over trendy—I am just as comfortable in couture as I am in combat boots.

ABOUT STYLE RULES: It’s important for women to dress for their bodies and take the time to understand what cuts, prints and styles look best on them, but regardless of societal norms of age or body types, a girl should do what she feels most comfortable for her.

MOST IMPULSIVE FASHION PURCHASE EVER: One time I bought red and white gingham Christian Louboutin shoes. I thought I’d have so many great summer moments in them—I think I wore them twice! #regretland

FASHION CITY OF CHOICE: There’s only Paris—their style is the epitome of effortlessly cool. The best designers and fashion houses in the world were born and are based there.

FAVORITE DESIGNERS: I’m always changing; I like to find small specialty brands, but some of my favorites include Oscar de la Renta, Balenciaga, Self-Portrait, Marysia, Caroline Costas, Derek Lam, Alice McCall and Theory, to name a few…ha!

FASHION PHILOSOPHY: That’s easy, and I say this all the time to everyone about everything: “Timeless over trendy.”

Michael Saiger
Founder & Creative Director of Miansai

Miami Beach
I’m from New York and have been coming to Florida since I was a kid. After graduating from UM, which is when I started Miansai, I decided to make this my permanent home. Our headquarters is in Wynwood and our house is next to The Standard in Miami Beach, and when I’m not traveling, you can usually find me between the two. I make accessories for the guy who doesn’t wear accessories and really strive to make pieces that elevate any guy’s personal style.

PERSONAL STYLE: Simple, and for the most part I’m in Levi’s with Vans and a t-shirt, but I like to mix it up with some cool collared shirts, specialty sneakers and of course a mix of Miansai accessories.

FAVORITE STYLE ACCESSORY We just launched this new bracelet called the Nyx cuff, which is really cool because it’s made from hollowed wire and is easy to put on and also really light on the wrist.

FAVORITE DESIGNERS: I like to find small specialty brands that are lesser-known and more unique. The other day I got really cool, simple leather sneakers from this brand called Arigato, and I like to get t-shirts from Industry of All Nations, and mix it up with throwbacks like Champion.’

STYLE PHILOSOPHY: Less is more, and I like to keep my personal style cool, but effortless.

 

Danié Gómez-Ortigoza
Storyteller and Digital Strategist

Miami
I’m a nomad with a chameleonic career, and an absolute passion for Latin America and for fashion as a reflection of the self. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and did branding for different companies and agencies in Mexico, Canada and Sweden. I became a feminist while building the Mexican Delegation for the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society, presided by Salma Hayek, in France, and had a love affair with writing while being the Correspondent for Glamour México and Latin America. I’m married to a Frenchman and have two children. You can recognize me by my “Floridian Frida” braid, which I carry as a feminist manifesto whenever I’m on a mission. I share my journey through life at journeyofabraid.com and @journeyofabraid.

STYLE RULES TO BREAK: Women should break every style rule at least once in their life. Style is an eternal work in progress. The only unbreakable commitment you should have is to let authenticity rule in your outfits. Never pretend to be someone you are not. That’s cheating…and it never works.

CLOSET STAPLES: Tulle skirts, hair scarves and black pants.

Fashion city of choice: Stockholm. It’s so inspiring to walk through Ostermalm. People have small closets, and taxes make everything really expensive, which makes people think twice before they buy. Their style is minimalistic and geometrical, always perfectly ironed and never showing any logos, but with a cool edge.

GO-TO DESIGNERS: I love Latin American designers, because they tend to give back to their communities and take pride in the artisanal work they do. One of my favorite designers is a guy called Pompi Garcia who lives in Oaxaca and makes unique pieces full of history. For example, I have a kimono made of the fabric that was used for 10 years to cover the floor of the studio of a painter. It’s rough and full of history. That’s what luxury is about. Florida has amazing local designers from all over the world. For everyday looks, I love Carolina K, Adriana Barra or Isabel Marant. When it comes to bags, I’m all for Ximena Kavalekas, Nomadic Collector and Valeria y Elena. My earrings are often Mercedes Salazar or Katherine Cordero. For bracelets I adore Miansai and Soledad Lowe. Ángel Sanchez makes the most amazing evening gowns. And nothing beats a nice pair of shoes by Sergio Rossi or Giuseppe Zanotti. Swimwear is really important in this city. My favorite brands are Agua Bendita, Sinesia Carol, Adriana Degreas, and Phylda. When I want to give my outfits a special touch of funkiness I use pieces from Mary Jane Claverol or Artizan.

STYLE PHILOSOPHY: The way you dress is a statement of who you are. Tell your story. Be bold. Be authentic. Reflect what’s inside.

 

Iman Hasan
Co-founder and Partner at RAC, LLC, Full-Service Branding, PR & Creative Agency

Miami
I’m a complete extrovert whose biggest joy in life is friends and family. I am Pakistani, was born in the States, grew up in London and lived in Dubai, but Miami feels most like home. I’ve done everything from styling for Bloomingdale’s and Harvey Nichols to contributing as a columnist to Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, The Tribune and Mojeh and working at the fashion desk for vogue.com. I love to eat and enjoy my fair share of pasta. I swear by Jetset Pilates and I go to Gee Beauty for all things beauty. I’m passionate about charities that involve children and dogs. I believe in the power of manifesting your dreams and that the universe is made up of energies. The most inspirational book I have ever read is A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson.

PERSONAL STYLE: I feel like I don’t have one set style, so I’d definitely say that the best way to describe my personal style is versatile. I do love dressing up but I don’t like sticking to one specific style because I’m always open to stepping out of my comfort zone and changing up my look. I love mixing and matching—whether it be color or print to create different outfits with the same pieces. I believe in dressing high to low and always mixing price points.

CLOSET STAPLES: Black heels, a good pair of jeans, and a crossbody bag.

FAVORITE FASHION CITY IN THE WORLD: London by far is the most incredible fashion city; it’s the center for emerging brands and talent. London doesn’t put the pressure on the designers to be commercial or wearable—look at Christopher Kane, Nicholas Kirkwood, the late Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Erdem. There are so many designers that are changing fashion. I think the British Fashion Council manages the support really well in presenting collections and expressing personal style. It’s all very inspiring.

STYLE PHILOSOPHY: I think that “half the job is dressing the part” would be something I live by. Fashion and PR is all about branding yourself, and how you come across visually today is becoming more and more important. Your style is an extension of who you are, and I feel that it is important to make an impact and establish how you want to be viewed.

 

Tomi Rose
Realtor, Senior Vice President, Sports and Entertainment Specialist, Developer, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Miami
I’m a developer, 15-year real estate mogul and founder of the first luxury real estate brokerages Sports and Entertainment Division in 2013, of which I’m currently the senior vice president. I’m also a wife, to former NBA player Mark Strickland, we have two beautiful children and reside in Miami. We’re strong supporters of After School All Stars and I’m a board member of the Miami Chapter.

Personal style: My style is very simple. I love classic styles and I love to add the latest accessories, which is my stylish staple for each season.

Closet staples: Tom Ford shoes, Chanel bag and Hermès accessories.

Fashion impulse buy: A pair of $4,000 shoes. Mr. Christian Louboutin signed the bottom. They are now collector’s items that will eventually be my daughters’ first pair of high heels.

Fashion city of choice: Paris and New York, when the season fashion styles are previewed.

Go-to designers: Karl Lagerfeld, who’s designing his first luxury condominium building lobby for The Estates at Acqualina Sales Center, where we’re shooting.

Favorite places to shop: The Webster and Dion Atelier Boutiques and Neiman Marcus are my guilty shopping pleasure. I’m not an online type of fashionista. I love the in-store and at home experience my stylist Norma Castro spearheads for me.

Style philosophy: “Simple is better.”

 

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