New to Beaches Town Center, the father-daughter duo behind Milo Fashion are working hard to bring the fine art of Italian leather goods to folks at the beach. We chatted with Sabrina Chaker to get the scoop on everything about her newest venture!
Q: WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE MILO FASHION? DOES RETAIL COME NATURAL OR IS THIS A COMPLETELY NEW VENTURE? A: Sabrina is a recent graduate from the University of North Florida where she received her bachelor’s degree in marketing and economics and her MBA with a concentration in marketing. During her undergrad years, she worked at a boutique in Jacksonville Beach where she got her first taste of local retail and loved it. While completing her MBA, she started working with her father to launch Milo Fashion. Mokhtar was raised on the Mediterranean shores and travelled extensively around the world. After a career in technology, and thru retail experiences with global luxury houses across Europe, the Americas and Asia, learned the beautiful trade of leather craftsmanship and its heritage. Q. LET'S TALK ABOUT ORIGINS - HOW DID MILO FASHION GET ITS BEGINNINGS? A: Milo Fashion started as an online store, based in Ponte Vedra, with a mission to offer unparalleled quality leather pieces, by partnering with a select design houses and vegetable tanneries in Florence. Based on the craftsmanship and careful use of traditional techniques developed over centuries, the vegetable tanning process results in leather with a distinct appearance and unmatched durability. One of the best features of vegetable-tanned leather is that it develops a patina over time with prolonged use and exposure to the environment. The fibers of the hide used for the leather are visible in the finished product, lending an authenticity and personality to the leather. Each piece made with this leather has unique shades and nuances, which are a mark of genuineness. Q: WHAT DROVE YOUR DECISION TO OPEN YOUR FIRST STORE AT THE BEACHES? A: The vibrant scene of the Beaches community was a natural choice for Milo Fashion. The shopping, dining and entertainment area puts us close to our customer. The re-imagined Shoppes of Northshore project allows us the opportunity to offer an elevated shopping experience in an intimate setting. We are looking forward to meeting our neighbors and sharing the Milo Fashion story. Q: WHAT GOES INTO THE PROCESS OF MAKING YOUR LEATHERGOODS? A: For Milo, offering leather goods is an intimate process. Before deciding on feel, thickness or color, we think about who will be carrying that piece and for what occasion. All our products are exclusively designed and manufactured by local artisan houses in Florence. Florence continues to be a special destination for our house to seek the latest fashion trends in handbag design, coupled with a unique tradition of quality, rooted in centuries of artisan excellence. Local leather sources from the most renowned tanneries and the personal dedication they showed to the raw material inspired us to offer "Made in Italy" only products. Completely opposite to an industrial approach, we view each piece as an extension and a complement to a unique expression of style and fashion. Q: WHAT SEPARATES MILO FASHION FROM OTHER LUXURY BAG BOUTIQUES IN JACKSONVILLE? A: From the hand-selected unique designs, inspired by the latest fashion trends in Milan and Paris, Milo brings exclusive leather handbag pieces, anchored in the tradition of Italian craftsmanship. Milo Fashion is completely opposite to an industrial approach, we view each piece as an extension and a complement to a unique expression of style and fashion. We pride ourselves on our vegetable-tanned leather versus the typical chemical based tanning. Q: BEING NEW TO BEACHES TOWN CENTER, WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO? A: We’re definitely most excited to get involved in the community and work with other local businesses! Q: WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO FROM MILO FASHION? A: Shoppers can look forward to Milo adding more accessories to our collection such as scarves and jewelry. Italian scarves are hand sewn in the traditional artisanal way, they are dyed and printed with special techniques handed down through families for centuries in Como. Italian jewelry designs are unique and artisanal which are made in at a level of quality that is rare in the rest of the world. Stop by and visit Milo Fashion to check out what they're all about! You can find them at 363 Atlantic Blvd by Peterbrooke and Poe's.