Inspired by the innovative millennial, who is keen to explore new concepts via their wardrobe, Style Mafia was birthed in 2013 when Miami based fashion blogger Simonett Pereira noticed a need for affordable luxury. Hailed as a fashion wunderkind, this spunky creative is just 24 years old, and has single-handedly founded a fashion house that is focused around the progressive nature of Miami. “I wanted to provide clothing for the style connoisseurs of the world with a gap between their social life and their income level”, the business orientated designer explained.
Originally from Venezuela, but rooted in the Miami fashion scene, Pereira graduated at Ronald W. Regan High School in Doral and eventually ended up interning at the now defunct 944 Magazine in 2010. After a chance connect with Morgans Hotel Group, the designer began producing visuals for the company, building up a repertoire with other artists, designers and photographers in the Miami fashion industry. This is what spurred her on to start her first fashion blog called Miami Style Mafia, which was originally created as a type of a guild for fashion mavens residing in Miami.
The blog lead to her being selected as a brand ambassador for clothing resale website Poshmark. This sparked an interest in clothing retail and she soon started selling items from her own closet on the site. Quickly growing in popularity, she found herself having 250,000 subscribers after only a month, and to keep up with the incredible demand she began to source clothing items from the sale racks of local retailers. The clothing she sourced was so popular that it quickly became her full-time job.
Pereira’s business savvy mother then encouraged her to produce her own items, rather than to sell someone else’s, and that is how Style Mafia was born. “[My mom] definitely was my mentor and helped me get on my feet,” Pereira told the Miami New Times. “To this day, she runs the shop.”
Pereira has continued blogging, now merging her online space with the official Style Mafia website and blogging solely from there. The Style Mafia look books are filled with futuristic looks at fashion and beauty, and Pereira adds her flair, bringing her art direction to each post.
She claims to find daily inspiration on Instagram from other artists such as popular New York photographers Tanya Posternak and Zhenya. She also hails architecture firms, like Teget, as highly inspiring.
Pereira also lends a bit of her spunk and personality to her own Instagram account, where she shares snippets of her life, her fashion sense and where she finds her inspirations. The fashion forward designer is no stranger to the modeling scene, and poses for photos like a professional, showcasing some of the latest Style Mafia trends, as well as some of the cool places her work takes her to. She hails Greece as her favorite travel destination and mentions a trip to China as one of the biggest game changers behind the founding of Style Mafia. “I wanted to have pieces that were stylish and affordable, so I traveled to China and made it happen.”, says Pereira in an SBE Collection interview.
Featuring statement-sleeve tops, ruffled dresses and asymmetric shirts in runway-worthy styles, the trendy fashion house aims to keep it affordable, thus opening up their brand to a LSM of young people who may not be able to afford a designer piece. Pereira prides herself in interpreting current fashion in a fresh way that fuses fashion concepts with the Style Mafia craftsmanship and modern design. Labeled as “fast fashion”, the retail house caters to the e-commerce generation.
The first Style Mafia collection was released in October 2013, featuring 35 unique pieces that included outerwear and accessories, separates and dresses. The brand has since grown and is now sold in over 50 store fronts in Latin America and across the United States.
“The moment when I decided to launch is a big reason why we are doing so well” she explains. “It’s impossible to not notice that the city has been growing like crazy. That’s why we think it is important to be in it now.”
Pereira describes the typical ‘Style Mafia Girl’ as a fashion conscious go getter, who “keeps current with everything going on in the tents during February and September, but interprets trends in a very personal way.”
“It’s worn by the independent woman who has her own ideas on how she wants to dress,” she explained. Not trend obsessed, but someone who wants to create their own identity.”
But, while this more contemporary collection is indeed fashion-forward and trendy, the fashion house aims to portray minimalism and sophistication with each design, paying attention to detail and confection.
The fuse of minimalism with sophistication is not always a successful one, but Pereira has found the sweet spot, bringing her interpretation of fashion concepts across to consumers in a fresh and original way. Pereira combines her fashion industry savvy, built from years of experience as a tastemaker and blogger, to develop and hone the Style Mafia culture. Her vision is to see consumers have access to affordable luxury mixed with high-quality design – some calling it the perfect high-low mix.
Your typical Style Mafia outfit will include easy wearing basics, such as a black and white gingham skirt suit or double breasted tops with shoulder pad detail and draped sleeves. The brand also has a vegan range, featuring product such as a circle heel mules in vegan leather. You can purchase your Style Mafia threads online at stylemafia.us or on location at the Wynwood Miami showroom. Visit the flagship store at 2324 NW Fifth Avenue for everything from a statement leather skirt and jacket combo to cherry-print retro dresses, see through tops, office friendly blouses and even sequined pieces that are designed to have you standing out.
Pereira tells the same Miami New Times interview that “we want to target more people and always keep things that are cool and interesting. And the run of every item is limited to 100, which allows for more creativity in every design (and a lesser chance of seeing someone else wearing the same thing).”