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Trendsetters, Miguelina

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Just because it's not technically summer anymore doesn't mean you can't still squeeze in a few beachy items into your wardrobe. At least, that's the mind frame over at Miguelina.

For creative director Miguelina Gambaccini, vacation time is 365 days a year. That's because her collection of lacy caftans and boho dresses is designed with the jetsetter in mind, meaning that her pieces work in pretty much any setting from Miami to Monaco and everywhere in between. And with a fan base that counts Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry, Gambaccini has clearly tapped a fashion goldmine. Which is exactly why we're catching up with the New York-based designer on everything from this fall's hottest trends to her biggest sources of inspiration and how you (yes you!) can work tropical pieces into your wardrobe all year round.

Trendsetters, Miguelina

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What was your first job?
A paid intern on a movie set—I was 17 and followed the film crew from the Dominican Republic to England!

How did you get started in your career?
Back when I first moved to New York City, my sister‐in-law knew I was trying to make curtains for my new apartment, so she gave me a sewing machine as a housewarming present. Instead, I started sewing tunics out of cheesecloth and eventually sold them to Calypso and Fred Segal. (I actually think I never put up curtains!)

What is a typical day like for you?
I don't even know what typical means.

Tell us about your office décor.
I love big, airy proportions. Clutter and claustrophobia make for bad vibes, so our space is wide open, with super high ceilings and lots of clean, white surfaces. To give it a Miguelina feel, I imported six 10-foot‐tall palm trees from Miami to line the sides of the main showroom...it's a little tropical destination in the middle of the Garment District.

When did you last give your office a makeover?
We relocated last spring and we did some major renovations (who knew it was so hard to get central air?) before we moved in to the new space, so it's still fresh!

Trendsetters, Miguelina

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Do you have a workspace at Home  How does it differ from your other office?
My home is like a temple—I only use a phone or my laptop there, so it's my place to be when I need to really disconnect from everything. I think it's freeing not to have a traditional desk when you come back from the office: It's important to have a visual work/life balance.

What's the best part about your job?
Designing clothes that make girls look and feel pretty is incredible, as is being, in a way, part of so many of their vacations. And, because my brand is for the globetrotter, I get to travel a lot too, for, uh, inspiration. No, but seriously, I have based so many collections on random trips!

What's one trend you can't wait to see this fall? And what trend do you hope will go away for good?
I'm all about the poncho. They're featured big in both of my latest collections, and I'm super excited about the enthusiastic response I've received from buyers. It's definitely a way to bring some warm-weather style whimsy into the colder months, especially with the cool, sunny Tulum‐inspired patterns I have going on. As for a trend I want to go away, I'm happy as long as you feel good about what you're wearing. Don't try to rock a "trend" just because everyone else is doing it, you know? Wearing that $1,000 logo T-shirt to show you can afford it doesn't make you fashionable.

What are your biggest sources of design inspiration right now?
To be completely honest, I'd have to say my customers. I love looking at who is tagging my pieces on Instagram because the Miguelina girl is always on an adventure—I love how they will rock a poncho to go cliff diving in Croatia, or something crazy like that. Looking at these girls, I feel like I'm visiting different country every day—they know how to travel!

Trendsetters, Miguelina

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What's your ideal day‐to-night outfit? And how would you describe your personal style?
Most of my pieces are made to transition easily from the beach to the bar—my version of day to night! One of my signature lacy caftans can get amped up with some killer heels by my friend Brian Atwood, statement jewelry (like my new magic mushroom‐inspired jewelry collection), and smoky eyes. As for my individual aesthetic, I'd classify it as bohemian luxe. I always like to look effortless but not disheveled. Jet-set made easy! And, of course, I love starting a conversation...it's important to me that everything I wear tells a story. I'll mix a bracelet I found in Burma with a designer clutch as long as the narrative behind both is interesting.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
"Authenticity is the best makeup."

Who are some of your career heroes?
Valentino and Oscar de la Renta.

What's the most daring career risk you've ever taken at work?
The decision to make summer clothes all year round!

Finish the sentences below:
Today for lunch I had kale salad with fresh chicken.
The first website I log onto every day is Instagram or Net-A-Porter.
My usual Starbucks order is… decaf almond milk latte.
If I wasn't doing this job, I would be a photographer.
My favorite place to visit is… Tulum.
My favorite accessory is… my Miguelina X Oceana wrist bag.
The item that's always in my makeup bag is Clarin's Beauty Flash Balm.
List five things that are on your desk right now Palo Santo (South American sacred wood that I burn to purify my workspace), iPhone, sketch book, custom Le Labo perfume and an orchid from Ovando.
The book I'm reading right now is…The Library At Mount Char by Scott Hawkins.