Now Playing

A Touch of Class

Miami’s most under-the-radar stylemaker steps into the spotlight

Irma Martinez

You may not know her name, but odds are you’ve seen Irma Martinez’s work. The co-founder of Trendy Inc. has styled a roster of celebrities that includes everyone from Gloria Estefan to Eva Longoria, and her savvy fashion expertise is on display on magazine covers, TV commercials and music videos on a regular basis. Now, in her new role as style expert for Birks & Mayors, Martinez is spreading her gospel of good taste to a whole new audience. Her job? To teach customers the myriad ways classic jewelry can be worn.

“The most scary part of jewelry for women is to overdo it,” says Martinez. “That’s where I come in.”

Martinez’s fashion career began shortly after moving to Miami from Colombia. She was a manager at a retail chain when her brother, who worked for EMI Records at the time, asked her to help some of his clients “get a look.” Her big break came when she was tapped to help a Colombian singer in dire need of “oomph.” The damsel in wardrobe distress? A 17-year-old Shakira. Even then Martinez knew the key was to shy away from the over-the-top approach of telenovelas and focus on creating intriguing icons. “I hate that stereotype of the sexy bombshell Latina,” she says. “Clients would say, ‘We don’t want that Miami look.’ I felt insulted that they would box us in like that.”

She certainly worked hard to change that notion. The sum of her efforts can be seen at the Trendy Inc. headquarters in Wynwood, which comprise a production company, warehouse space, atelier and her upstairs office, decorated with a cowhide rug and boots with hooves as soles—“Ricky Martin loves those,” she divulges. “I have a photo of him wearing the pair.” It’s from these stylish digs that Martinez handles a madcap schedule of work. In addition to her Birks & Mayors gig, she’s also a brand ambassador for Procter & Gamble and we may soon see her on her own TV show dispensing style tips to the world.

“It’s not difficult to be stylish,” says Martinez. “Just be a woman of today.”

Martinez's Hots
Fashion magazines, dark chocolate, red wine at night, vallenatos, shoes, and Thai and Indian foods

Martinez's Nots 
Too much cleavage, transparent plastic footwear, fried foods, bad attitudes, lack of loyalty