Two weeks ago, I flew to Miami to celebrate my birthday with warm weather, cold drinks and a high octane nightlife. I’ve been to the Florida city multiple times and never grow tired of it. I usually stick to Miami Beach and Brickell but I decided to venture outside the beach and downtown territories to see what the rest of Miami had to offer. First stop was the Miami Design District, which I’d heard so much about but never been. If you’re into shopping and art, this is the neighborhood for you.
The Design District is just minutes from downtown via Uber or taxi and offers a different Miami vibe for fashion and art lovers. It is home to designers like Tom Ford, Louis Vuitton, Celine (you must visit the store to see the architecture), Gucci, Balenciaga, Alice & Olivia, Cartier, Harry Winston, Hermes, Lanvin, the two-story Christian Louboutin store, Tiffany & Co. and so many more. It’s a luxury shopping experience without hassle. If you decide to drive, there are parking concierge located at various check points to park your car for you.
Shopping not your thing? Don’t worry! The Miami Design District is also an epicurean haven. Start with a latte at Blue Bottle Coffee, where my photographer Daniel and I stopped for croissant and cappuccinos. There are several coffee shops in the area depending on your mood. Crumb on Parchment or Ella are two good choices. I had lunch at Mandolin Aegean Bistro, a Mediterranean restaurant with Greek and Turkish fare. The grilled fish and roasted lamb are to die for. On another visit, I tried Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, an unpretentious restaurant with a killer shrimp ban mi sandwich.
The Miami Design District is also home to over 130 art galleries, showrooms, antiques dealers. The neighborhoods facade includes contemporary artwork, murals and installations by both established and up and coming artists. Stop by the De la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space, which houses the personal collection of billionaires Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz. The couple, who met in Havana, Cuba as teenagers, are avid art collectors and decided to share their passion with the world by opening a museum with art they’ve collected over the years. Works showcased include over 300 pieces by artists as varied as Félix González-Torres, Ana Mendieta, Sterling Ruby, Wade Guyton, Sigmar Polke and Martin Kippenberger.
Other galleries and museums in the district include the recently opened Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Juan Carlos Maldonado Art Collection, Maman Fine Art and Opera Gallery. Take a break from shopping by lounging in one of the hanging chairs by Konstantin Grcic called Netscape (it’s located on the second level by the chic restrooms and elevator). Don’t forget to pop by the giant Jungle mural by 2×4.
***I’ve gotten so many messages about my Eloquii Crochet skirt. Unfortunately, it sold out pretty fast. I contacted the brand’s social team and they said they might restock. I will let you know as soon as it’s back on the site. By the way, Eloquii is having a Customer Appreciation sale with every dress and top under $69. Yea! I have several things in my cart.
Photography by Daniel Zuliani
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[…] I fell in love with the Miami Design District when during my visit in April and spent a few days exploring art galleries, shopping for the summer and trying a few restaurants that had been on my radar for the trip. A lot of my friends go to Miami for the beach but the art scene is exquisite. After all, Art Basel chose the city for it’s annual event outside of Switzerland and Hong Kong (click here for my review of the Miami Design District). […]