Sixteen years ago, Michelle Leshem flew direct to Miami from Toronto, and she's never looked back. "I'm a snowbird who turned into a flamingo," she jokes.
In her day job as the leading lady at SuperMarket Creative — the agency behind many of Miami's wildest nightlife adventures — she helps local and international brands find their style and tap hip demographics through colorful designs, experiential events, and more. And after the sun sets, she's regularly rocking the scene with one of her melody-driven, era-hopping DJ sets.
Now, as head of music programming at downtown's latest favorite late-night haunt, Libertine, she's found a space to combine her talents. Her latest venture: a new monthly party designed to give extra-special attention to all of the fiercest females in Miami's growing counterculture.
On the last Saturday of every month, Leshem's Bitch Fit brings a heavy dose of girl power, teaming a lineup of Miami's most in-demand DJs with a key player in the counterculture community. The music varies from set to set, while the hosts range from local artists to fashion designers. The only thing for certain is that it's going to be all badass women all the time.
It's not political. It's just a party that gives the so-called fairer sex space to highlight its accomplishments in what remains a de facto male-driven scene.
"I think it's just nice to highlight the few women that we do have and to hear their different take on music," Leshem says. "Let's not take it too seriously. We're fucking playing music, and we're going to have fun with it."
Most club parties around town are already all-boys nights simply because most Miami DJs are men. Leshem has been laying records down professionally for about five years, and while she's always felt included by the fellas, she's had ample opportunity to see what her fellow females can do. Bitch Fit is her way of building togetherness in the community while highlighting the special talents of each player.
"I love being part of that boys' club," she says, "but there's nothing more fun than being with other really amazing girls in Miami that are doing really awesome, innovative, and entrepreneurial things."
Each month features a different roster with eventual slight rotation. For the August edition, Leshem handpicked a fresh mix of genres and tastes to sit beside her own disco-to-deep-house sound.
"[Veronica Gessa] is a fixture in nightlife, so the energy she brings to a room with her presence is magnetic," Leshem says. "Andie Sweet Swirl is absolutely flawless when it comes to programming the right mix of indie dance, cult classics, and new wave to get the crowd going. She can read a room like no other, and Laura of Miami is one of my favorite DJs in Miami. Her selection and mix of new and vintage disco along with deep house never ceases to amaze me. I fell in love with her taste in music when she ruled the airwaves at 90.5."
Simonett Pereira — the 24-year-old visionary behind Wynwood boutique Style Mafia — will play host, as well as showcasing her prefall collection by tabling her wares and outfitting each of the night's selectors. For Leshem, she's the perfect special guest to set the bar for future Bitch Fit functions.
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"From blogger to designer, she's obviously making waves in Miami and abroad," she says. "She brings a certain type of culture to this city, and I think all the girls that we will get involved once a month are making up Miami's fabric."
Like all Libertine parties, Bitch Fit is free to attend, and because it's Saturday, it'll probably stay rowdy until well after 5 a.m. And don't worry, boys. Leshem says it's a girls club, but you're all still invited.
"Cool chicks on the decks? That's a cool thing for guys too," Leshem teases. "You're welcome!"
Bitch Fit With Michelle Leshem, Laura of Miami, Andie Sweet Swirl, and Veronica Gessa. 10 p.m. Saturday, August 29, at Libertine, 40 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-363-2120; libertinemiami.com. Admission is free.