Chances are you’ve grown out of a few things since you were 19-years-old (unless of course, you are 19). For example, making an excuse to buy a going-out top nearly every weekend, or sleeping until 1 p.m. on a Tuesday because you can. Simonett Pereira experienced the same thing, except alongside the aforementioned examples, the young entrepreneur found herself growing out of the super successful brand she started before she turned 20 and into another one.
You may remember Simonett from just a year ago when it was called “Style Mafia” and was widely available on e-commerce sites like Shopbop and ASOS. However, as of February, the label changed gears (and name) as pictures of sophisticated sheer fabrics, playful silhouettes, and soft color palettes started to appear across Instagram feeds and on the backs on notable influencers.
At first glance, the new line didn’t necessarily seem closely connected to Style Mafia, but it was the change Pereira was ready for. “The name change came from not being able to identify with what I once started,” says the Miami-based designer. “I wanted to reintroduce myself and tell my story.”
Today, Pereira is using her platform differently with Simonett. “With this new vision, I honed in on one aesthetic: very clean and minimal,” she explains, calling this look the “backbone” on her brand. “And for the pieces themselves, I also wanted to hone in on the aesthetic and make it more wearable. We still have the conceptual pieces, like the sheer organza, but you can pull it over a pair of jeans, you can wear it to work with sneakers or penny loafers.”
Pereira is referring to the see-through pieces that are signature to the new collection, designed in both tailored separates and romantic silhouettes. In addition, she says some of the most popular pieces from Simonett thus far are the Solar dress, a mini style with lantern sleeves and a high neckline, and the Kinu top and Halapi pants, a lightweight, all-white, flared-sleeve and -leg set that’s already become an influencer favorite. “I feel like in the beginning, I was more extravagant and now I want to make a statement in subtle ways. It’s a little more mature without losing the spirit of enjoying what you wear and having fun with it,” says Pereira.
The response to the new line has been positive, as the designer explains, with different pieces resonating in varied parts of the world. For instance, her white sets sold well in New York, but in her hometown, Simonett’s crop tops are a hot item. “Maybe because I’m in Miami or maybe because I’m known for that, but our cropped tops sell out every time.”
As evidenced by her brand’s global appeal, Pereira says she doesn’t necessarily design with one type of customer in mind, instead, she combines her varied sources of inspiration. “Simonetta still has that feminine meets masculine flare with a little bit of vivaciousness which you can see in the colors and the silhouettes,” she says. “There’s a little bit of a Latin American influence, too,” she adds, referring to her Venezuelan roots.
With a new (and very personal) name, Pereira doesn’t just approach her new chapter as a change of aesthetics. She’s planning an experiential pop-up in Miami’s Design District as well as a number of artists collaborations this year. Furthermore, she’s maturing Simonett in ways that could lead to an even more successful future than the one she’s already built, including focusing on sustainability, producing locally, and reevaluating the brand’s packaging, she says. The goal: “To do better as a brand, in general.”