Why Miami Has the Best-Dressed Waiters
by jared shapiro
Stacey Galbut (left) and Ashley Liemer at the Gale South Beach, where staff members wear their designs.
If you ever feel out-dressed by the staff at a South Beach hotel, restaurant, or bar, blame Stacey Galbut and Ashley Liemer of Noble Uniforms.
This dynamic style duo operates a boutique design and tailoring business supplying the South Beach lifestyle category with anything but your standard service uniforms, producing cutting-edge employee clothing.
From hot spots like Sushi Mikasa, mega-clubs like Set, and hotels such as the Gale South Beach, Galbut and Liemer are dressing nine-to-fivers (of course that’s pm to am) for success. And as the real estate and hotel boom expands, so does the importance of investing in getting the perfect look. “What’s the point of spending so much money on interior design and furnishing, [when] your staff looks horrible?” Liemer says. “It doesn’t [jibe] well together.” So businesses are taking notice: Noble has clients in Miami, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlantic City.
No detail is left untouched, from polka dots, stripes, aprons, and keyhole buttons to the bartenders at Jeffrey Chodorow’s new Biscayne Tavern proudly wearing bottle opener necklaces. “It’s more kitschy for the style effect, but it works,” Galbut says. The team uses UV-resistant shirting fabric for staff uniforms on the club level upstairs at Soho Beach House, while designing modern, custom-tailored slim-fit uniforms for the bellmen lifting bags at the Gale hotel (the housekeepers at the Gale sashay through the halls in seersucker). It all promotes a perfect blend of fashion and functionality.
And while these fashionistas seem like they’ve sewed together since nursery school, their relationship has only just begun. Liemer, a University of Miami graduate, worked at a mortgage lending company. “I hated it. I wanted to go out on a limb and start my own path.” A want ad led her to Mark’s Quality Cleaners, where she became a tailor. “I got my first sewing machine when I was 5, and it’s always been a passion. I’ve been sewing my whole life.” Galbut was styling for Ford Models and had just booked a gig to be a stylist with Menin Hotels. They wanted her to design their uniforms. “But I didn’t know how to sew,” she says.
So she turned to Liemer. “Stacey used to come in with all her vintage clothes every week to my tailor shop,” Liemer recalls.
“I just kept on going in,” Galbut says. “I really enjoyed her. We had this same energy. So when the Shelborne [part of Menin Hotels] approached me, I was like, ‘I have the perfect girl.’”
Now Liemer and Galbut spend their days hustling to factories in Hialeah, where they check on hundreds of seamstresses (another factory is located in New York). They recently designed uniforms for Atlantic City’s Revel hotel. “No job is too big or small,” Galbut says.
It seems what happens in Miami isn’t going to stay in Miami, as the duo has its sights set on a very fitting next city: Las Vegas. “That’s our next goal,” Liemer says. A safe bet for any Vegas hotel that wants to look good. Noble Uniforms, 700 W. 51st St., 305-766-6013
photography by nick garcia/blindlight studio