Road Trippin’

By Joann Plockova

Photos courtesy of Miansai


 

Retail went on a road trip over the summer as Miami-based contemporary accessories brand Miansai took its expanded mobile retail show on the open road. With stops including South Beach in Miami; the Dumbo neighborhood of New York; and the Hamptons, the brand offers its recently launched leather goods and signet rings from a 1965 Piaggio Scooter, a 1976 Fiat and a 1949 Airstream—bringing the total company fleet up to five units. “This mobile retail concept works, because we’re able to test markets without having to commit to formal leases or be locked into a specific place,” says Miansai’s Founder and Creative Director Michael Saiger. “It gives us the opportunity to be agile and location independent, which is really cool. No other brands are doing what we’re doing.”

 

It all began back in 2012 when Saiger restored and renovated the first vintage unit in the fleet: a 1958 Airstream. Each of the new units will continue to tap into the brand’s nautical theme with features like custom-made walnut furniture and antique light fixtures, and be in alignment with Miansai’s Scandinavian-inspired brick-and-mortar shops.

“When refurbishing our mobile retail units, we strictly used all original parts, and carried over our core aesthetic of black marble and copper accents we used for our two flagship retail locations,” Saiger says. “It’s important for us to capture the nostalgia that these vintage vehicles inspire, while modernizing them to make sense logistically.”

Following its first flagship in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, the brand recently introduced a second location in Venice Beach, Calif., which includes a cold-pressed juice and kombucha bar, along with an inviting backyard garden. But it’s the mobile shops that are proving to have the most fuel. “What started as a great marketing and branding tool has turned into a financial benefit with the mobile retail business outperforming standard retail operations by up to 30 percent year over year,” Saigen says. Looks like retail on the road works!

 

 

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