Saya: Peruvian Sensibilities 

Saya at Merrick Park Brings Unique Design and Fabrics to the Gables

When consumers think of shopping at specialty boutiques they don’t necessarily run to their nearest mall. Malls typically house big box stores and global brands that attract a multitude of people, with retail spaces that are usually too expensive to lease for smaller businesses. 

I’m happy to write that The Shops at Merrick Park now has a new specialty store with its own unique design sensibilities. It’s Saya, by acclaimed Peruvian designer Sitka Semsch, which opened its doors earlier this year next to Neiman Marcus. 

A native of Peru, Semsch has been a part of the international fashion community since 1995, winning accolades for her namesake Sitka Semsch brand of formal wear. In 2011, she was appointed Peru’s Fashion Ambassador. But it wasn’t until 2019 that Saya, a fashion and lifestyle brand, was created by Semsch and her partner Patricia Hurtado, bringing the brand’s first U.S. location to Coral Gables in February. 

Having previously lived in Miami for 8 years, Semsch developed a deep connection with Greater Miami, its people, and its culture. She says Miami and Coral Gables embody her brand’s value and identity, combining quality design and workmanship with a flair for active living. 

Saya is a breath of fresh air, figuratively and literally. It’s a cavernous white space with white linen drapes, endless ceilings, greenery, macrame and other earthy, botanical features throughout. It has a fresh airiness that welcomes you along with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. The racks along the walls house beautifully hued vignettes of women’s wear that are unique, wearable, and design driven with lovely natural fabrics at their core. 

Sitka’s vision for both her brands “is to incorporate elements of my native Peru in my designs using handcrafted textures and applying traditional techniques using the finest indigenous materials and fibers such as Alpaca and the so-valued Pima cotton.” Saya is her ready to wear label with dresses, pants, tops, skirts, sweaters, and ponchos. The price points are very reasonable, ranging from $118 to $250. Her Sitka Semsch brand of occasion and event wear is also housed in the store, with prices ranging from $400 and up depending on the fabrication and design. 

The target customer for Saya is a woman in her late 20s to late 50s. She enjoys travel, values design, and appreciates quality fabrics. “Our customers look for stylish and accessible clothing that will stay in their wardrobe for a long time – leaving them feeling beautiful and empowered,” says Semsch. “SAYA [and Sitka Semsch] exist solely because our customers trust and believe in what the brand stands for: confidence, self-regard, sensuousness, class, and sisterhood.” 

Saya/Sitka Semsch

358 San Lorenzo Ave.