In Celine’s New Miami Flagship, the Emphasis Is on Art and Design as Much as Fashion

The spectacular, newly remodeled, sprawling space, is filled with commissioned and curated art. Naturally, it's in the Design District.

Celine's new Miami flagship. Courtesy of Celine.

It’s a cool but strange thing to say about a fashion brand, but if a Celine store was completely devoid of product, if the shelves were barren and the hangers were bare, it would still be highly worth a visit. This is because to creative director Hedi Slimane, the outposts aren’t just shops, but a showcase for his passions and an extension of himself.

What drives him is his deep affinity for design and art. The boutiques double as galleries, featuring a growing constellation of artists, and showcasing work both sourced and commissioned. It’s not rare for a fashion brand to put art in a store these days. But the scope and edit at Celine is singular and it signifies a distinct aesthetic and vision.

Slimane’s modus operandi seems to be “let’s open an art gallery that happens to sell fashion” rather than “let’s add some decor to a clothing store.” The initiative is aptly called the Celine Art Project.

Maia Ruth Lee’s Bondage Baggage Reader (2022) and SoiL Thornton’s Ring Leader. (Road to 74 Years ~ Dictionaries Show a Progression For “Queer.” The 1949 Printing of Wester’s New Collegiate Dictionary Lists Just One Slang Usage For “Queer”: “Counterfeit Money,” (2022). Courtesy of Celine.

Earlier this month, Celine’s 4,000-square-foot two-story Miami Design District flagship reopened. The redesign is a vast expanse of mirrors, travertine, and antique marble with warm oak accents. It’s the perfect backdrop to showcase an austere collection of art that veers from stark abstraction to brutalist minimalist sculpture.

There are curated contributions from Simone Fattal, Antonia Kuo, Maia Ruth Lee, Eli Ping, Marcelo Silveira, and Lucy Skaer. SoiL Thornton wields aloe vera gel on burnt wood to a hypnotic effect.

Antonia Kuo's Turbine (2022) sculpture can be sitting upon a table int he new store. Courtesy of Celine.

Antonia Kuo’s Turbine (2022) sculpture can be sitting upon a table int he new store. Courtesy of Celine.

Elaine Cameron-Weir’s foreboding/glam copper and metal chainmail “snake” sculpture is a standout commission and adds an intricate touch of suspended ancient opulence and bling to the selection.

Davina Semo’s bronze and cast-iron bell sculpture, Embody, is her first commission for the brand. “It makes sense with Celine’s aesthetic,” the artist said. Semo has a broad sculptural language and output, and the bells have been a component since 2016.

“The bell can be used for personal meditation,” she said. “And it also has this role that can be very loud and part of a protest, like an alarm. In terms of being a citizen of the world and an introverted, introspective person, it did all those things, and then I’ve just really gone deep into the bell world. I see bells in everything.”

Celine commissioned Elaine Cameron-Weir's Snake 13 (2023) and Davina Semo's Embody (2023) for the new Miami store. Courtesy of Celine.

Celine commissioned Elaine Cameron-Weir’s Snake 13 (2023) and Davina Semo’s Embody (2023) for the new Miami store. Courtesy of Celine.

Semo has other pieces in the two other Celine stores. “Celine has been putting together really good artists,” Semo said and recalled her first pairing with the brand. “If that had been a group show, it would’ve been my dream group show to be in, basically. It’s an honor to be in this company of people that I respect and whose work I love. In this case, it was a commission, and it was nice to work on something for someone when you feel like they really know and like your work.”

Celine’s new Miami flagship. Courtesy of Celine.

Semo’s bells can indeed be rung (the clapper of the Celine piece is leather-clad like many of the brand’s denizens). Presumably, the staff won’t clang the art each time a sale is made.

A dramatic staircase and Lucy Skaer’s Fog on Fire (2020). Courtesy of Celine.

Celine’s Miami flagship is located at 154 NE 41st Street, Miami, Florida.

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