3 Rising Miami Designers to Watch

Attention global shoppers: Miami isn’t exactly a fashion capital yet, but with a melting pot of locals hailing from all over the world, South Florida designers are slowly redefining the shopping landscape.

Stroll the Bazaar
For a true international fashion journey, wander the four floors of the new-ish Faena Bazaar located in hotelier Alan Faena’s ever-evolving, blocks-long Faena District. Housed in an Art Deco-white building sprinkled with red lips, it’s the antithesis of a traditional mall. Designed to feel like a souk (minus the haggling), shoppers will discover an upscale and eclectic mix of new and emerging global designers along with incredible talent from Miami. “Everything is curated through the kaleidoscope of Faena, with every layer very much thought-out. It’s all about the global shopper and creating conversations,” says Danielle Vigliotti, store manager of Faena Bazaar.

Designers and labels intermingle in 15 “pocket stores,” boasting mostly womenswear and fine jewelry, with brands rotating every six months to a year to keep things fresh. “Some of these amazing artisans haven’t had a retail outpost in Miami before, so what Faena Bazaar allows them to do is have a retail footprint without opening their own store,” explains Vigliotti. This is the first U.S. outpost of Spanish designer Adriana Iglesias, known for her vibrant prints made of Italian silk and hand-printed in her atelier in Valencia, Spain; also hanging nearby, the clothing of Diego Binetti, an Argentinean designer new to Miami. Binetti sources fabrics from around the world and focuses on accentuating the woman’s body. “His clothing is extremely flattering and very female-focused. Even if a top is billowy and romantic, you’ll still see the waist,” says Vigliotti. Shoppers have access to brand exclusives from Argentinian designer Carolina Klienman of Carolina K, such as hats, pillows and shoes in bright prints that she sources from India, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. Look for gorgeous custom trunks and hat boxes from Voutsa created in Lake Como, Italy, and unique silk kaftans weaved together with scarves from Hermes and Missoni by Berlin-based designer Rianna + Nina. Move to the third floor to float past walls swathed in Gucci swan wallpaper for more luxe brands like Kimberly McDonald, whose high-end jewelry is created with some of the best geos in the world. “We mix price-points, so you’re going to find a $90 t-shirt next to a pair of $90,000 earrings,” explains Vigliotti, who also offers this advice. “See something you like, buy it. Most are either one-of-a-kind or one of each size.” 3400 Collins Ave., Miami; 786-490-2003; faena.com

Queen of the Beach
Another company making a big splash at home and internationally is Just Bee Queen — the name coined from the queen bee of the colony and a representation of powerful women. Created by Cuban-born Maria Strauss, who’s now joined by her daughter Sydney, the high-end resort line is centered around stand-out skirts made of organic linens from Turkey (think Turkish towels). The skirts’ calling card is the Tulum, a skirt designed with a scrunchie detail instead of the traditional beach-wrap knot, that can literally be worn from the beach to the bar, and dressed up or down with a swimsuit or blouse; and the new Marbella skirt which has a flat front and drawstrings to make it shorter if desired. “We wanted to create a piece of clothing that when you travel, it’s the first thing you’ll pack,” says Maria Strauss of her line’s versatility, adding that the fabric dries very quickly. Strauss makes her own prints, and you’ll have a tough time choosing between the dizzying array of stripes, colors, stonewashed and tie-dye options. Strauss also creates covet-worthy, one-of-a-kind dresses made of vintage African textiles. “I was raised in Miami, but I definitely have Mediterranean and Caribbean roots and I think my heritage and personality shows in the clothes that we are making,” says Strauss. The designer strives to be as ethical and sustainable as possible, with 99% of her products made of organic and biodegradable materials and infused with plant-based dyes. She also hires seamstresses to work out of her Key Biscayne atelier. “Each skirt is made by one person and takes around two and a half hours to finish. They don’t cut patterns, the skirts are built and wrapped on mannequins,” explains Strauss.

The company is seeing fast success and is currently sold in eight stores around South Florida like Boho Hunter, Splash, SAAVY, Moda Boheme, along with boutiques in Mexico, Panama and Costa Rico; and the biggest thrill for the mother-daughter team is the recent pick-up by Shopbop. “We grew organically and kept expanding. Now we’re producing 150 skirts a week.” The Strauss’ are now adding cotton bandeaus, wrap tops, and matching two-piece sets to the collection. With a multitude of colors and prints, we dare you to buy just one. Skirts priced from $295-$426; One-of-a-kind dresses priced from $600-$800; justbeequeen.com

Eye on Style
Someone else to keep your eye on is Briana Guerra, a budding international jewelry designer who splits her time between Miami and Madrid. Her jewelry line, Briana, consists of beautiful baubles like earrings, necklaces and rings that are hand-made in Istanbul, Turkey. Guerra graduated from Miami International University of Art & Design, where she studied fashion, but pursued designing jewelry after a trip to Istanbul. “I fell in love with Istanbul and it’s stones and craftsmanship,” says Guerra. Her line bursts with vivid colors of turquoise, emerald green and pink, and pieces are made of gold-plated silver and semi-precious stones as well as hand-painted enamel. A best seller is the large, evil eye heart earrings which come in gold, sapphire, and emerald. “My trademark is definitely the evil eye which I always try to incorporate in every new collection,” she says. “I’m inspired by my travels around the world, gaining ideas from architecture, tiles and tapestries.” Now that she’s in Spain, her new collection is reflective of all the colors and people there, including statement earrings inspired by La Feria de Sevilla. “It happens every year and it’s incredible to see all the women in their dresses and accessories.” You can find her pieces at Miami boutiques like Jenna White, SAVVY & Sole Mate, The Wardrobe, Habit and Camila Canabal.

Prices range from $45-$275;
Shop Instagram at ShopBriana or email

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