If you don’t already know who Mikiel “Maikeeb” Benyamin is, you’re definitely familiar with his high-fashion streetwear aesthetic spotted on his one of his favorite muses, Cardi B. With features in everything from Coveteur to InStyle (and with us!), the 22 year-old stylist is basically fashion’s new wonder kid, so when BET.com got the opportunity to riffle through his rack of designer threads, we couldn’t pass it up.
We learned his chaotic closet littered with Jimmy Choos, Juicy and Vetements — lots of Vetements — and more is a direct reflection of his hustle and grind. On having that "aha" moment where you know you’ve made it, he says, “I don’t think I’ve had that yet. I think that I just wake up every day and I’m like, 'I’m gonna make it, I’m gonna make it.' Like, regardless, I just keep it in my head.”
He may be a ham for the camera, but his humble mindset brings a much needed balance to the anarchy that is fashion. “Like, I didn’t start out knowing anyone or really referred by anyone. I was just wanting to be a stylist one day. So I started out interning. I found one internship with a stylist and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is amazing. I want to continue to grow, and continue learning and I want to be a stylist on my own one day.’” And just to put things in perspective for you, Mikiel was interning just two years ago.
He pays it forward by highlighting lesser known labels and giving them a moment he knows will be an instant hit with the paparazzi. “If I’m pulling something, I want to put it in full, so that you could get your full credits, your full moment. You know, the whole thing kind of like runway. Like a friend of mine, Weslah, he’s an upcoming brand. He’s amazing, amazing, amazing and every time I pull from him, I’m like, ‘Please give me a full look! I love your full look; from head to toe I want her to just wear you.’” But he admits that if he’s going for a top designer, he goes BIG. Versace, Gucci — you name it!
Cardi B and Keke Palmer have played a major part in his snap-worthy ensembles that bring on the shock value. “All my clients, they have their own direction that they want to go in. So we just keep pushing that route and, if they see something like, let’s say, Cardi loves Gucci. I, like, literally will go online and try to find whatever Gucci piece and see where it is. Or, let’s see, Keke sees something that she likes that’s streetwear and edgy and cool — I have to, like, go online, find that designer name and find their contact, reach out to them, make sure that we get it for them. They tell me what they want to look like and I have to literally go out and run and go and get it and come back."
“And you know, every time we have to make people gag more, you know what I mean?” he continues, using Keke’s trademark lingo. We know exactly what he means. We had a total gag-worthy moment when we set eyes on this mosh posh of heels that lined the floor.
“I think of myself as just a fashion kid. Like, I always have. Like, I think of myself as someone who’s, like, walking through SoHo. You know, going into VFiles and Opening Ceremony, and just exploring brands.” Because at the end of the day, he’s still that kid with a closet full of dreams that he’s about to dress the world up in.
(Photo: Mikiel Benyamin via Instagram)
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