Miansai was conceptualized in 2008 while Michael was studying at the University of Miami. Through searching for something unique and finding nothing on the market that caught his eye, Michael started making jewelry himself. Before leaving for summer vacation that year, some of his pieces were placed on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. When Michael returned from his vacation, the pieces had sold and Miansai had gotten visibility in GQ. At a time when no one was designing cool men’s products at a decent price point, the Miansai line was well received and the demand kept increasing.
From day one, the importance of putting any money that was made right back into the business was clear to him. Thus began the act of purchasing machinery and tools in order to produce creative, consistent and handmade pieces. The first Miansai flagship store was opened in the Soho neighborhood of New York in 2014 and a second one in Abbot Kinney in LA in 2016. The brand has since grown to include nine mobile Piaggio, Lambretta and Volkswagen retail vehicles, a presence in prestigious department and ecommerce retailers, and a successful direct-to-consumer online platform.
Miansai has always kept the focus on an elevated aesthetic and functionality, starting with the iconic bracelets and cuffs that the brand was founded on. The jewelry that has been crafted throughout the years is wearable for anyone. Jewelry that quickly turns heads with sleek, utilitarian, and minimal designs. Miansai invests in pieces that will carry throughout each season, with casual yet refined collections that take you from day to night. The brand has been fortunate enough to work with quality suppliers, taking great pride in long-term partnerships with Asian, Swiss, Japanese, French and Italian manufacturers that are trusted to deliver beautiful materials.
Over the years, and with the heavy investment into machinery, such as a CNC laser engraver, camera equipment and a 3D printer, Miansai is able to prototype and sample rapidly. Offering hardware, nautical and architectural inspired pieces designed entirely in-house, the team of artisans sketch and assemble each concept using the high-tech machinery and tools that have been acquired over the years. Michael is heavily involved in all aspects of the business and on any given day you can find him designing, leading sales meetings, checking production/quality control, or anything else.
Although the company has grown, Miansai is still relatively small in terms of the office. In Michael’s words, “I don’t like the idea of not knowing what’s going on in each department. Paying close attention to our brand image, and being detail-oriented, I prefer everything be portrayed to match the Miansai aesthetic. I’ve always liked the idea of making products for the individual who doesn’t like to wear jewelry and I want my accessories to be the kind of thing you don’t want to take off. They should be easy to wear and become part of our customer’s everyday style.” He goes on to add, “I’m proud of what we’ve created for our clients: everything from steel watches, rings, necklaces, brass cuffs, portfolios and journals.” The success has been rooted in the use of precious metals, silvers and golds, often coupled with beautiful Italian and French leather and custom-made US marine grade rope.
The industry has changed over the last 10 years with more and more brands and products available than when we first started designing. When looking around and seeing what other brands are producing, Miansai is motivated to continue putting time and energy into uniqueness and quality because ultimately, this only benefits our customers and keeps them coming back.
“What I want Miansai to be is a place where any guy or girl can go if they need any kind of accessory. I never want to go into clothing, I want to stay in accessories—things that people can really count on and trust.” Michael Saiger
“Everything I make, I try to make it timeless. If you were to find a piece I made 20 years from now, you’d think it was relevant then. There’s definitely a bit of nautical to it too. It’s industrial, clean, modern.” Michael Saiger
“Founding a business, especially while still being in college, matures you quickly. You suddenly have more responsibilities and things to think about on a daily basis while feeling pressure to grow and learn in order to be the lead in the industry and marketplace.” Michael Saiger
“To be successful, you don’t have to be good at everything. I am fully hands-on with all operations at Miansai but I hire experts in different fields who have a deep understanding of the aesthetic DNA of the company.” Michael Saiger