The Design District: Miami’s Coolest New Shopping Mecca

The neighborhood merges art, fashion, architecture, and commerce.

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Craig Robins at the Palm Court of Miami's Design District in 2014.
Xavier Veilhan, Le Corbusier (2013).
Jungleby 2 x 4.
Vortex by 2 x 4.
Zaha Hadid, Elastika (2005).
Buckminster Fuller, Fly's Eye Dome (1979/80–2014).
Marc Newson, Dash Fence (2007).
Celine store in Design District.
Prada store in Design District.

With the newly minted ICA opening in time for the Art Basel frenzy (see “The ICA Miami Will Build a New Home“) and retail stores cropping up, the Design District of Miami is heading in only one direction: total domination.

The development and resulting gentrification of the area will see dozens of new buildings built by established and emerging architects, such as the seasoned Zaha Hadid and new up-and-comer, Sou Fugimoto. A bevy of fashion conglomerates will open flagship stores in the city’s artsy downtown center, joining Cartier, Maison Martin Margiela, and Hermès, to name a few.

Craig Robins, CEO and president of the real estate company Dacra, told artnet News that developing the Design District “has been an evolving process, and the nice thing is that each stage of the Design district has been stimulating and exciting. First it was re-established as a neighborhood for furniture design—then with Art Basel, we added art and culture;  and then once Art Basel became successful, we founded Design Miami. And once Design Miami was here, the neighborhood became branded, and restaurants started opening and fashion brands started to come. And now it’s coming together at a new stage—the success of the neighborhood has given us resources to invest in the culture.”

Since the district’s evolution, there has been increasing foot traffic, and Robins expects it to only grow—there are only 10 stores open in the area now, but by March of 2015, there will be around 45. Lest it not be another shopping epicenter, the area will also host a number of public art installations, albeit temporary ones. On view currently are fun Baldessari posters plastered onto building facades, a Xavier Veilhan sculpture, a huge jungle mural by 2 × 4 studio, a sci-fi dome by Buckminster Fuller, and an optical fence by Marc Newson.

Go to artnet News’s Art Basel in Miami page for the latest coverage, including:

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