If you’re still picturing Miami style as '90s South Beach and Versace, get with the times. Amongst the style trendsetters currently making waves in the city’s scene, journalist Danié Gomez-Ortigoza (@journeyofabraid) caught our eye with her self-described “Floridian Frida look.” Not only is her singular colorful style and trademark braid inspired by her Mexican heritage, but it also carries a deeper meaning. She explains, “Every time I braid my hair, as I tie the final knot with the scarf, I think of how I can push forward in some way that day.” Her style speaks to a larger trend that she’s noticed in her fair city. As she describes it, “The growing art scene is having a huge impact on the visual stimulation of the city, and, by default, on fashion.”
DANIÉ GOMEZ-ORTIGOZA: Fashion and clothes are the tools I use to show the world who I am. We are all trapped souls in funky bodies that we didn't choose. My style is an abstract translation of what's inside my body.
My style had never been more colorful, and I dare to be myself because I feel there is an appreciation for authenticity in this city. Even though I'm Mexican, I was never into Latin American fashion until I moved to Miami three years ago and realized this is the boiling point of Latin American designers who are for the most part based here. The best part of these brands? Most of them give back to communities in need from their country of origin.
It's the perfect mix between American culture and Latin American values with lots of emerging artists, and the coolest people in the world who come here often—like Isabel Marant, Damien Hirst, Claude Picasso, Baz Luhrmann, Carolina Herrera, and Charlie Le Mindu—give us their best in spoon-sized versions. They make their time here so very special. Plus, we have peacocks and beaches.
It's often baroque and colorful, yet the growing art scene is having a huge impact on the visual stimulation of the city, and by default, on fashion. Spend an afternoon at Mandolin or at any of the restaurants in Bal Harbor and you'll see Miami style at its best. We have so many tourists all the time that Miami style often gets lost in the mix.
The sun is always out and we are happy people. We smile, we chat, and know that we are not wasting our time by doing so. A big percentage of us have Latin American roots, and many belong to countries that are going through terrible political situations that have made them more human. We know how lucky we are to be here, and we are willing to do all in our power to build something of worth. It's the new definition of the American Dream: LA and New York are saturated markets, but Miami is blossoming. We believe that community, that people, and especially women, who are so very powerful and hard-working in this city, will push you further. I've lived in Mexico, Madrid, New York, Toronto, and Stockholm and this is the first city that feels like home to me.