Sami Miró climbs her way up a paint-splattered yellow ladder posted squarely in the center of her closet. “As you can see, it’s kind of precarious,” she laughs, “but it makes it that much more fun.” It’s clear from the get-go that Miró isn’t afraid of a little risk. In fact, it’s exactly what has set her apart from any of her multi-hyphenate contemporaries. Sure, she studied marketing and worked in tech, but it was a swerve to follow her high school passion that led her to where she is now: a stylist, designer, and social media influencer currently perched in a room surrounded by her vintage treasures.
Today Miró may dress the likes of Selena Gomez and Bella Hadid in her Sami Miró Vintage designs, but in the beginning, fashion branded Miró an outsider. Flash back to Miró’s teenage years in San Francisco: “I went to high school with kids who wore designer brands, and I didn’t come from that same financial background,” she tells me after our photo shoot. “I discovered it as a way to be able to wear the popular brands but get them at an affordable price.”
At the time, the requisite stains and distortions of her vintage picks elicited the judgment of her logo-anointed peers, but to Miró, it sparked something different. “It gave me confidence,” she says. “I was shy and realized what made my clothing unique was the wear and the tear. I started to appreciate what made each piece individual.”
Despite her penchant for building her own killer vintage wardrobe, she never parlayed her passion into a fashion career. She endured a degree in marketing, a graduate degree, and a job at a tech startup before something finally clicked. This is where Miró’s sort-of Cinderella story swerves. She moved to L.A. on a whim and started to make friends in creative fields who were so impressed by her vintage collection that they suggested she get into styling.
“I had no idea about the fashion industry or what a stylist was,” Miró laughs. “I was confused because I didn’t understand that they needed help to put together an outfit—that’s how far from fashion I was.”
But starting from the bottom didn’t scare Miró, and in a city that’s all about ego, she chose hard work. “On the weekends, outside of my corporate job, I would intern at fashion magazines as a coffee runner,” she explains, noting that it was her opportunity to throw herself into the fashion world and get a feel for what it was all about. Eventually, she quit her tech job too. “I was doing different things like little random styling jobs or modeling, and I realized what my route was—Sami Miró Vintage. That was two years ago.”
When I ask Miró about her aha moment, or the moment when she knew that designing and repurposing clothing out of vintage was what she wanted to do, she points to the 2016 MTV Awards. She was styling a client (Zac Efron, who was her boyfriend at the time). “I decided I wanted him to look cool and different, so I designed and made a patchwork vintage denim bomber,” she tells me.
From that one jacket sprung not just an idea—repurposing vintage to make it new—but an entire brand. “Within 10 days from drawing my first design on a piece of paper,” she says, “I created a few more pieces for the collection, figured out manufacturing and production, built my first website, shot my first campaign, and launched the company.”
In the age of one-click shopping and two-day delivery, vintage shopping can feel like drudgery, as it requires stamina and a knife-sharp focus—there is no instantaneous reward. In fact, there’s an art to digging through piles and heaps and racks of old clothes that Miró is familiar with.
“I’m insane at finding what I want. There’s never been a piece where I’ve never been able to find it,” she notes. “Every shopping experience is an exciting one for me because I can go there with something in mind and come out with a whole new selection, I pretty much always find gems.”
Miró relies on both big warehouses and small curated shops and travels the world, picking up a blazer in London or a top in Tokyo and mixing them with pieces she sourced from home in L.A.
Miró’s outfit-laden Instagram serves as a résumé of sorts—evidence to her almost 200,000 followers that this woman is on top of her game. And though further evidence may not be necessary, you can count the fact that top models, actresses, and, well, the entire Kardashian-Jenner family have all worn her pieces as proof of both her style and business acumen.
“I started Sami Miró Vintage as part of a passion project,” she reflects. “For the first time, I dove into the fashion industry and showcased my creative side. I didn’t really have any expectations.”
The beginning may sound humble as Miró voices it, but the proof of how far she’s come is right there as she sits in her closet/showroom surrounded by the gently used fruits of her labor. If you don’t take the risk to get on that rickety old ladder, you’ll never know what the view is like when you sit on top.