Michael Saiger was still in school at the University of Miami when he got frustrated trying to find a decent men's bracelet. He started his accessories brand Miansai when he threaded a leather cord through an empty bullet case. The rest, as they say, is history.
He's created even more bracelets since his dorm-room days, and sells them (along with belts, wallets, watches, jewelry, and leather goods) at J.Crew, Barneys, and in his self-designed boutique on New York's Crosby Street.
"I try not to design anything that I wouldn't wear. So I'd like to think if you pick up something from us, you won't go wrong," said Saiger.
But there's one notable exception from this product lineup: Miansai doesn't have a men's bag. Yet. "We'll see," Saiger said when we asked if he'd ever create one. "I'm not going to say yes or no."
But he will say no to the term "arm party." Read on for his recommendations on buying a bracelet,
1. If you're starting out with bracelets, begin with one that you love, wear it, enjoy it, and then you'll end up getting compliments and you'll really enjoy wearing it. If you start with a basic rope or hook bracelet, then you [graduate to] a screw cuff bracelet.
2. I like to stack a cuff and a hook bracelet. If you're going to stack, wear bracelets in different materials or that come in different finishes. But an arm party is definitely a woman's thing; it's not for guys.
3. [Wear] what you like. You can go for sterling silver or gold. For the normal guy, you probably want to stick with sterling silver or bronze. Try it out. It's not complicated.
4. I like to have things personalized. It makes a great gift. And it might make you like something that much more.
5. Right now it's 90 something degrees in Miami and 100% humidity, so I'm wearing shorts and a T-shirt or shorts and a tank top when it's really hot. I keep it really light. I have button-downs that are very lightweight. And of course, a pair of Vans.
6. In Japan, they are very fashion forward. There's actually more men's stores than women's stores. People there will try anything. There are no boundaries.
7. A bag for a guy has got to be about comfort but also sort of minimalistic—I'm not into many pockets. With my backpack, I like to go with leather straps; I like mining different materials. I also like to have a little padding for comfort, but something that looks rugged.
8. For my grooming regimen I use Kiehl's. All I do is shave every 12 days with a buzzer, wash my face at night, and use a normal moisturizer.
9. I like minimalistic belts, something that's super simple. I'm doing these woven belts that will incorporate leather. What you want in those kind of belts is something that won't unravel and will last for years.
10. I go sockless all the time. I put Dr. Scholls inserts in my shoes and when they get disgusting, I just throw them out and get a new pair. Richer Poorer has these really thin socks, and I just pull them up halfway and they keep the stink away.
• • •