Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

1111 Lincoln Road garage. Photo by Jan Berghege.

A lot is happening on Lincoln Road, the most famous pedestrian street in Miami Beach and probably in the whole South Florida region. The popular street had somehow become too popular and overwhelmed by low-class tourist restaurants where service was known to be bad and food barely acceptable.  Lincoln Road‘s “facelift” started in 2009/2010 when the 1111 Lincoln Road building featuring the only garage to be rewarded by the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects arose on the South end of the street, just across the street from the Lincoln Road Regal cinema theater. The building, built by Miami-based developer Robert Wennett and designed by awarded Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron ( whose firm is also building the new Perez Art Museum in Bayfront Park, formerly known as the Miami Art Museum ), was shaking the local Art Deco architecture style while bringing international and creative retailers such as German art and deco book publisher Taschen, Nespresso boutique and cafe, Brazilian clothing designer Osklen, fashion avant-garde spot The Alchemist  and great to be seen at penthouse restaurant Juvia which opened a few months ago.

As mentioned in a recent article by The Miami Herald , this transformation of the Lincoln Road area was also initiated by the move of the New World Symphony school and theater from the historic Lincoln Theater to their new Frank Gehry-designed campus on 17th Street in 2011. Their monthly outdoor concerts or “Wallcasts” have dramatically changed the way South Florida families perceive classical music and created a needed sense of community in the area.

H & M 2012/2013 winter/fall collection. Photos from http://www.hm.com

Now a new wave of retail and restaurant have appeared and more are on their way. The historic Lincoln Theater has been beautifully restored and is now the home of famous Swedish retailer H&M, which opened a few days ago, creating very long lines around the block, Israeli soap and beauty product retailer Sabon, and Swatch. Lacoste opened last summer. Amongst many other surprises, the fashion store Forever 21, which has a large space at the Aventura Mall, will open the biggest retail space at 701 Lincoln Road, a new two-story Gap store will appear at 1001 Lincoln Road and the 1000 building, which is currently under construction, will feature more retail space and a rooftop restaurant.

The cost to lease a retail space located on Lincoln Road has obviously jumped, leading to an average of $300 per square foot per year and in many cases, an additional $150-200,000 in key money to be paid by tenants at the beginning of a lease to get an improved condition retail space.

I am glad that some of the Lincoln Road area building owners had the vision to see the street and the area’s potential. The famous pedestrian street is now offering a wider variety and a higher quality of shopping and entertainment experiences. It is certainly becoming an urban destination that will increasingly appeal to the Miami Beach and to the South Florida resident community.

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artist RETNA-designed facade of new Louis Vuitton boutique in the Design District ( photo from http://www.freshnessmag.com )

A few months ago, I wrote about the evolution of the Miami Design District, progressively turning into the new luxury mecca of South Florida. The new retailers who are going to change the spirit of the area are now progressively appearing. CARTIER opened a few weeks ago. LOUIS VUITTON opened is boutique earlier this week. The luxury retailer commissioned L.A. based street artist RETNA to create the facade of its temporary store in the Miami Design District. Over the past decade, graffiti art has gained recognition in the art world. It has been exhibited in major contemporary art museums and street artists have been collaborating with fashion and interior designers to revamp their collections. The LOUIS VUITTON boutique will be moving to a permanent location in the area once the new shopping center, created in partnership between Miami-based developer Craig Robins and the LVMH group opens, sometime in 2014. Until then, nobody knows how pedestrian traffic will change and how these developments will impact the lifestyle of Miami residents and visitors.

Another luxury retailer, certainly less known to most Floridians, will also open in a temporary space, next to Michael’s Genuine Food and Wine restaurant, early December, just in time for Art Basel Miami Beach : AGNONA. This exotic sounding name is the name of an elegant Italian women ready-to-wear brand, that was bought by ZEGNA in the late 90s. The subtle sophistication of this line should be an interesting addition to the area.

Agnona clothing ( Photo from http://www.veraclasse.it )

Since the announcement of the transformation of the Miami Design District was officially made a few months ago, retail space and residential real estate prices have jumped. The neighboring condos located in Midtown 2 and Midtown 4 now sell at approximately $360 a square foot and asking retail space lease prices go for $100-150 per sf per year ( vs. $50 over a year ago ).

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Upcoming Cartier boutique in the Miami Design District

A few months ago, I wrote about a few tenants leaving the Bal Harbour Shops to plan to open a boutique in Miami’s Design District. Miami Developer Craig Robins, who owns most of the properties located in the Design District, recently announced a $312 million mixed-use project to be created in partnership with luxury group LVMH to transform the area into Miami’s new luxury destination to open in 2014. The city still needs to approve the project, however, it is expected to feature a selection of boutiques from the LVMH group ( Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Pucci, Bulgari, …) as well as a few others such as Hermès ( in which LVMH holds approximately 20% shares ) and Cartier, a shaded pedestrian promenade, filled with trees, a mid-rise condominium, a hotel, cafes and restaurants. Even at a time when the announcement that new high-end boutiques were going to join current Design District tenants like Christian Louboutin and Marni was not official, commercial and residential real estate values rose significantly in the area, which development impacts areas stretching from the Design District to Midtown and Wynwood.

Midtown 2 and 4 buildings, full service condominiums, which are located just four blocks South of the Miami’s Design District are actually experiencing an increased interest from renters and buyers as a result of the news  about the Craig Robins‘ developement plan.The developer for Midtown still had units to sell from 2007, when the market collapsed. The last round of developer sales started in March. As of today, there are only 13 developer units left for sale at Midtown 2 and 300 new units at Midtown 4 are being launched. Prices are very accessible, starting in the low $300,000 for a one bedroom apartment up to over $ 1 million and the value of real estate in the area is showing a continuing potential for increase . The neighborhood has been attracting people who left Miami Beach for a more urban and bohemian living environment

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New Stella McCartney boutique ( here under construction )

There has been quite a lot happening these last few months at the Bal Harbour Shops. The premier luxury destination of South Florida has seen some of its oldest tenants leave, giving their retail space to new fashion or jewelry designers. It all started last spring, when famous leather accessory designer Louis Vuitton closed its large store, soon followed by the Christian Dior boutique. Both companies belong to the Louis Vuitton- Moet Hennessy luxury group ( LVMH ) and  probably did not come to an agreement with the owners of the Bal Harbour Shops before having the option of ending or renewing their lease. Louis Vuitton moved to the Aventura Mall and both tenants opened a shop at Saks Fifth Avenue, located at the Bal Harbour Shops. Since then, Cartier has closed its flagship store and Hermes will leave after the end of its lease, in December 2012. Believe it or not, all these major luxury players will be moving to the Design District. Craig Robins, the developer who owns most of the Design District, is trying to turn the area into one of South Florida’s major luxury destinations. These new boutiques are planned to open between 2013 and 2014 and would join names already established in the area such as Italian fashion designer Marni and French shoe designer Christian Louboutin. These moves will inevitably change the shopping habits of our high-end local and international clientele.

La Perla new store

However, although some major names of the luxury industry are leaving the Bal Harbour Shops, the famous South Florida mall, who is famous for achieving the highest sale dollar amount per square foot for decades, does not seem ready to lose its leadership. New tenants from the PPR group, one of LVMH‘ s largest competitors, have already opened a new boutique at the Bal Harbour Shops and others will be joining the club soon. Balenciaga opened last Fall,  British designers are increasing their presence, such as Stella McCartney who opens on the first floor  this week-end and Alexander McQueen who should follow in the near future. Other luxury players such as Italian fine lingerie designer La Perla has also opened a new store and current tenants are relocating in order to get a larger retail space ( Jimmy Choo, Graf Jewelry from London, Yves Saint Laurent, Opera Gallery ).

These changes are taking place at a strategic time  for the Bal Harbour area : the  five-star St-Regis Bal Harbour hotel, located across the street  from the shopping center, is finally opening its doors on the third week of January. Jean-Georges, one of the world’s most famous chefs, will be opening Jean-Georges’ Grill, which promises to be one of the hottest dining spots in town.

South Florida’s high season is back, bringing its hundreds of snowbirds and younger birds visiting  from all over the world to enjoy our sun, beaches, restaurants, cultural scene and gorgeous water view properties.

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FNO top-Photo from http://www.shoppingblog.com

Fashion’s Night Out is celebrating its third anniversary on Thursday September 8th, 2011, from 6pm to 10 pm, and is meant to be the international and yearly celebration of shopping, fashion and designers. The worldwide  shopping  extravaganza event is organized in partnership with Vogue magazine and its international editions : Vogue US is the United States, Vogue France in France, Vogue Brasil in Brazil, and so on… The seventeen participating countries feature cities ranging from Sydney to Paris, Chicago to Milan, Seoul to Miami. In the United States, celebrations are taking place nationwide, from New York City to San Francisco, Los Angeles to Las Vegas…

You got it: you’d better be out there on September 8th, sipping a martini with friends, listening to live music and discovering the latest women and men’s fashion trends and shopping.

A range of FNO designed items celebrating the event such as the FNO tee-shirts, totes and Cole Haan flats are currently for sale on the Fashion’s Night Out official website ( see Url below ) and in various spots. In Miami, the event is taking over most shopping areas, especially major local shopping destinations such as Aventura Mall, Bal Harbour Shops and The Village of Merrick Park. Aventura Mall will feature in-store events and a main party location in the Center Court, near Macy’s, showcasing live music and a fashion exhibit. Bal Harbour Shops will present many events throughout the shopping mall.

Plum Miami magazine will offer a fashion show at Neiman Marcus. Shoe designer  Edmundo Castillo, who used to be the Creative Director for Sergio Rossi, will be at Saks Fifth Avenue to present his new shoe collection. Chanel will feature its newest Chanel nail color collection, De Beers will be presenting its new gorgeous book “De Beers jewellery“, published by Assouline. Fendi will be organizing an event in partnership with the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach and Marc Jacobs will be partnering with the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. The Village of Merrick Park will host three FNO lounges, DJ music, informal modeling, lite bites and complimentary cocktails. Participating stores include Jimmy Choo, Diane Von Furstenberg, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

The cast of the internationally acclaimed TV series “Glee” was chosen to perform the song “Fashion” by David Bowie for the Fashion’s Night Out public announcement for Vogue magazine ( watch above video ).

An interesting piece of information needs to be added to the description of these fashion and shopping celebrations :  most events are organized in partnership with cultural organizations and charities and a portion of each retailer’s proceeds will benefit the selected organization.

A smart way to promote philanthropy to the hot crowd of  fashion trend-setters and followers.

For further information on Fashion’s Night Out worldwide events or to purchase FNO items, please visit : http://fashionsnightout.com

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Miami can often be viewed as a newly developed US megalopolis, offering a mix of high-rises, houses, golf courses, shopping and entertaining places and endless beaches. It is true that Miami is an electic combination of all of the above and a city which does not truly offer a sense a harmonious architectural style or specific visual identity. However, as mentioned by journalist Beth Dunlop in today’s issue of The Miami Herald,  behind the apparent chaos one can be surprised to find hidden treasures, architectural surprises combining art and design all over South Florida.

Magnificent house for sale at 484 Ocean Boulevard, Golden Beach

Most noticeable or famous architectural accomplishments feature a wide range of large properties; concert halls such as the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts near Downtown Miami, hotels such as the W Hotel in Miami Beach, the Delano Hotel or the National Hotel pool and cabana area in the South Beach area, modern condominiums such as Midtown designed by Miami-based architect Chad Oppenheim in the Midtown area, Epic in Downtown Miami or Jade Beach in Sunny Isles. Private homes  can create a more subtle buzz as their design stands out from the rest of the neighboring houses. It could be the case for this magnificent house located at 484 Ocean Boulevard in Golden Beach or this unusual outdoor facade house located at 1833 West 27 street on Sunset Islands in Miami Beach. Both houses are actually for sale at similar asking prices; the first is for sale at $5,999,000 and the second for $5,950,000.

Noticeable architecture is often related to large properties or spaces such as residential or office buildings, museums, hotels and concert halls. However, there is a multitude of hidden architectural wonders in South Florida. I recently had lunch at the newly opened Rosa Mexicano restaurant at 1111 Lincoln Road, the striking garage and shopping center designed by world-renowned architects Herzog and De Meuron. The contemporary interior design, darker lighting and vivid pink shades do offer a totally difference experience than the one I have previously had in most Mexican restaurants. The food was also creatively crafted, flavorful and very well presented.

Alchemist store, 1111 Lincoln Rd, 5th floor. Photo from http://www.ShopAlchemist.com

In the same building but somehow nested on the fifth floor of the parking garage, stands Alchemist, a gorgeous clothing and accessory store which surprising large windows offer a shopping experience filled with light while and  spectacular view of Miami Beach. The store was designed by most acclaimed Miami-based architect Rene Gonzalez who, amongst other things,  designed the CIFO exhibition space in Miami. Not too far away pedestrians can enjoy the not-so-hidden New World Center park, “Soundscape”, designed by Dutch architectural firm West 8, in collaboration with architect Frank Ghery, is located on 17th Street in Miami Beach, providing with metal trees filled with real Bougainvillea, which dark pink color provides with an interesting color contrast with the grass.

As specified ed in The Miami Herald article, other hidden architectural treasure include the glamorous 1950s-style Trina Turk boutique located at the Bal Harbour Shops or the colourful gift shop designed by New York architect Rafael de Cardenas and located at the Standard Hotel on the Venetian Causeway in Miami Beach.

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The South Florida fashion scene is probably one of the hottest in the United States and fashion lovers sometimes travel from far away to come to shop in Miami; either at the luxurious Bal Harbour Shops, Aventura Mall or in the Design District . Aventura Mall, one of the largest malls in the country has actually become one of the hippest places to shop over the past few months and the trend is keeping-up. The news became official on the third week of March: the luxury French label Louis Vuitton is leaving the Bal Harbour Shops to open a large store at the Aventura Mall by June 2011 offering the brand’s bags, shoes, accessories and ready-to wear collections. Apparently, their current lease at Bal Harbour Shops did not allow for expansion or the opening of a second location. The company is also planning on opening a boutique in the Design District within the next few years. Louis Vuitton is part of an enormous holding company called LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, which,  among many other luxury fashion, Champagne and spirit brands, owns Fendi, Donna Karan, Givenchy, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Loewe, Celine, Thomas Pink, Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Guerlain, Sephora as well as Champagne labels such as Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, Moet et Chandon, Hennessy and Krug. The Louis Vuitton women’s collection in Paris is designed by Marc Jacobs, who also designs his own line in New York.

This news confirms that Aventura Mall has progressively become a key South Florida location for dining but also one of the hottest spots for designer fashion in the country. Over the past year, labels such as Michael Kors, Burberry, Cole Haan and BCBG Max Azria have opened magnificently designed boutiques, inevitably attracting a more demanding and sophisticated local, national and international clientele.

Location : 19501 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura, FL 33180.

Opening hours :

Monday-Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Sunday: 12 noon to 8:00 p.m

For further information : www.aventuramall.com

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