How can one person be so impossibly cool? We sat her down in the Summer Garden, plied her with questions, and took copious notes.
MIA CARUCCI: I grew up in Miami in a house with a lot of music. My mom is a freestyle dance queen from the Bronx, and my dad’s a disco king from Argentina. I was 13 years old going to nightclubs because I loved music so much that I would just always want to be around it. And I was always very critical of DJs and I didn't understand why.
And then I dated a DJ and realized I needed to do it. I couldn’t just sit on the sidelines and watch someone else do it anymore. It was killing me. So he taught me how to DJ on vinyl, and I think that was really important because I learned a lot of the fundamentals that I wouldn't have on digital. Eventually I got into digital because RnB and hip-hop records are so hard to find and so hard to carry around. Now you have to pay me to lug my records. I'm not taking those anywhere! [Laughs.]
When I was a kid. Southern hip-hop culture was a big influence in Miami. In sixth grade, I went to the flea market and got this cheap bottom grill made, and I would wear it to school and hide it from my parents. I gave up on it for a minute because I thought it wasn’t girly enough. Now I feel so naked if I leave the house without them. I almost low-key have an anxiety attack if I do. I got the dude who makes my teeth to engrave my dog's face in one of them.
How would you describe your style?
I have so many personalities. Sometimes I'll wake up and feel like someone’s cholo boyfriend, then sometimes I'll feel really girly. People are so multifaceted. You should explore all parts of yourself.
How has your style changed over time?
I was a full tomboy as a kid. I was so cute, but hideous. I wanted to be my brother. I wanted to wear tee tanks, basketball shorts, and FUBU. And then I was like, “Boys don't care about me and I don't get it!” [Laughs.] So then I went through this really girly stage, and for women in Miami, there’s this idea that sexy is wearing skintight dresses and always showing your body. So I went through that phase because I thought I had to dress sexy in the club scene. And that was such a weird time for me. I was in body
con dresses and couldn't breathe or eat.
Since moving to LA, it's become so different. I've just become more comfortable with what I exude instead of what I'm showing outwardly. What makes someone sexy is their aura, personality, and the way they carry themselves. I feel the sexiest when I'm in an XL tee.
Aaliyah, Penelope Cruz, Tyler the Creator, low-key old school Diddy. [Laughs.] Current Diddy’s clothes are too tight for me, but ’90s Diddy was FIIIRRREEE.
What's your most-prized clothing item?
It's sentimental in a stupid way. It's a massive linen button-up that my dad gave to me a long time ago. My dog fully ripped it up, but I still wear it every day. It's got holes on the shoulders and holding on by literally one whole thread. I love it so much. My dad's my best friend, so I throw it on when I miss him or I'm sad.
Any style regrets?
Brazilian jeans. Oh my God! Brazil jeans are so tight that they're like bubble gum. They’re like jeggings but really low cut and bellbottomed. I can remember the tag. It said "ninety-eight percent elastic, two percent nylon." And I was like, this is not good for anybody's body, this is hideous! I don't know why anyone allowed me to wear those. It's so bad. A nightmare. I looked like a trash can!
What do you love about LA style?
People glow. When I moved there, I became a lot healthier. I was like, damn, I need to eat healthy so I can wear a massive hoodie and still glow.
What are your favorite shops in LA?
Union, Undefeated, a vintage shop called Painted Bird. I can't believe I even just told you about it. It's so good! No, it's terrible. Everything's hideous. Nothing ever fits anyone. Don't ever go.
What are you going to do while you're here in town?
I'm going to the Bronx tomorrow to visit my family. I haven't seen them in a long time. They call me Hollywood. They're like, “Oh, you can't come to the Bronx and say hi, Hollywood?” I'm like, “I’m coming, stop yelling at me!”