"The moment when I decided to launch is a big reason why we are doing so well," Pereira says of the success of her company, now in its second year. Style Mafia's looks are available in boutiques from coast to coast and on stylemafia.us. "It's impossible to not notice that the city has been growing like crazy," she says. "That's why we think it is important to be in it now."
Pereira rooted herself in Miami's fashion scene shortly after crossing the stage with the first graduating class at Ronald W. Reagan High School in Doral. In 2010, an internship at 944 Magazine connected her to a job with Morgans Hotel Group. Pereira began producing visuals for the group and rubbing shoulders with photographers, designers, and other creatives in Miami's fashion industry. Soon after, she started her first fashion blog.
It wasn't long before the clothing resale website Poshmark — also in its infancy — hired her as a brand ambassador. She began selling items from her own wardrobe on the site. Within a month, she had 250,000 subscribers (a number now closer to 500,000). To keep up with demand, she scoured sale racks at local retailers. The items she sold were so popular that it became a full-time job.
With some encouragement from her business-savvy mother, Pereira decided she would rather produce her own looks than continue to sell someone else's. Thus Style Mafia was born.
Each piece is conceptualized by Pereira, who finds inspiration daily on Instagram from artists such as New York-based photographers Zhenya and Tanya Posternak and architecture firms like Teget. "[My mom] definitely was my mentor and helped me get on my feet," Pereira says. "To this day, she runs the shop."
Inside the flagship store at 2324 NW Fifth Ave., shoppers can find everything from cherry-print retro dresses to bad-bitch leather skirt-and-jacket combos. Sequined pieces, see-through tops, and office-friendly blouses hang on the racks. Pereira says of her inventory: "We want to target more people and always keep things that are cool and interesting." And the run of every item is limited to 100, which allows for more creativity in every design (and a lesser chance of seeing someone else wearing the same thing).
To spread the word about the brand, Style Mafia has held pop-ups from the Freehand in Miami Beach to New York's Lower East Side. For Miami Art Week 2015, Style Mafia will host an interactive collaboration with Italian eyewear line Oxydo, with a reception December 1 at the flagship in Wynwood.
"Everything is up for grabs here," Pereira says. I feel like we're determining a new style."