Set Sail with Jewelry Visionary Michael Saiger as he Brings Miansai aboard Virgin Voyages

Michael Saiger is in a good place. Fresh off a maiden season with Virgin Voyages that included designing a sleek boutique for his jewelry company Miansai aboard the hip cruise line’s new Valiant Lady, the man who disrupted his industry over a decade ago is far ahead of the pace he set when he created his first rope bracelet as a college student.

His minimalist jewelry designs became a way for men to accessorize and personalize their style with approachable, streamlined pieces. In an arena that was then saturated with complicated, overworked chains and bulky pendants, Miansai’s pieces stood out. The thoughtful designs, filled with modern odes to ancient Greek and Italian heroes, harken back to Saiger’s early years in New York, frequenting his mother’s antique store that brimmed with global finds. Saiger complemented those designs with a maritime line, incorporating familiar elements like anchors and maritime rope, and then elevating them with a polished finish. The gender-fluid Miansai pieces were a hit, with everyone from Brad Pitt, Zac Efron, Miley Cyrus, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Holland, and Kate Hudson sporting the brand.

Since then, Miansai has been thrust into the international spotlight, with pieces sold online and around the world in 40 states and 36 countries. It has a bustling headquarters in Miami and flagship boutiques in New York City and Los Angeles. And now with the Virgin Voyages boutique, Saiger feels Miansai’s possibilities are boundless.

“We came out at a really good time,” Saigers says of Miansai’s rise. “There’s a generation of jewelry wearers who want to uncomplicate the idea of personal style, who believe that wearing accessories can be egalitarian: meant for men, women, wealthy, working class, and everyone in between. And Miansai is giving them a chance to express themselves without convoluting the space.”

Saiger designed the boutique on Virgin Voyages himself, creating a streamlined look that fits the Miansai philosophy that when done right, less can be more. Slat wood wall panels of laser-cut white oak planks contrast against a wall of floor-to-ceiling fiberglass framed by black edges for a streamlined, neutral palette. A soft curved exterior wall emulates the undulating waves of the ocean. Shelving in the same timber creates a monochromatic look that’s modern and elegant. Overhead track lighting gives clients an exceptional opportunity to view Miansai pieces in the finest light.

Located on Deck 6 of Valiant Lady, the Miansai boutique is situated on the ship’s High Street, named as a nod to the British reference for a city’s retail and commercial sector. A sprawling space that is set around the architecturally striking Roundabout Lobby, High Street is an exclusive collection of luxury and designer labels (think a fun, curated version of Rodeo Drive – if it were floating in the middle of the sea). Some brands on board are Marc Jacobs; Squid Ink, the first-ever tattoo shop on board a cruise ship; and Voyage Vinyl, a record shop and the go-to spot to experience music from all eras and genres, as well as limited-edition albums and special editions of classics. After spending her summer with a port of call in Barcelona, Valiant Lady will make her way to her new home port of Miami this fall. Itineraries include sails to Central America and the Caribbean.

“It means a lot to us to be partnered with Virgin Voyages, whose premiership Scarlet Lady was recently named Best New Cruise Ship by Cruise Critic,” says Saiger, who also designed Miansai’s retail space off Abbott Kinney. “Many of our principles are similar, including a dedication to energizing our respective industries with new ideas that touch our community in out-of-the-box manners.

Miansai’s retail innovations don’t just lie with its Virgin Voyages. Saiger has long championed a multidimensional way to interact with customers that’s not just out of the box, but more wholesome than traditional standoffish venues. In addition to the partnership with Virgin Voyages, Miansai’s retail innovations include pop-ups in its branded Airstream trailers and vintage Piaggio, Fiat, and Lambretta vehicles. Shopping inside one of these highly stylized automobiles-turned-stores allows the Miansai customer to experience the brand differently, in a more authentic manner, says Saiger.

As Saiger moves the brand into its next phase, he believes it’s a chance for Miansai to touch more communities and diversify its offerings. That includes working with designers who offer an eccentric spin to the minimalist narrative.

“I’ve been doing this for 14 years, and I still go back to the original practice that it’s all the little things that make the difference,” Saiger says. “Partnering with like-minded brands, selling at the right price point, never cutting corners. It’s moments like these that can build longevity for a brand.”

Written in partnership with Ascend