When it comes to the beach and sun, Miami is your best bet. But it’s also a shopper’s paradise, from upscale shopping malls to the Design District, art museums, selfie-ops and more that prove that this city is much more than just the beach.
With the rise of the Brickell district, Miami is obviously becoming a luxury fashion paradise. And it has its roots in fashion, too. Miami was the home of Gianni Versace before he passed away in 1997 (his former home Casa Casuarina is now a hotel and event venue), and in this city, the legacy of high fashion stays strong.
“I love the diversity of fashion that is so prevalent in Miami,” says Barnette Holston, a style and fashion expert who blogs as the DCFashion Fool. “People tend to embrace the color, warmth and vibrancy inspired by the South Beach scene. I see people paying homage to the city by wearing Versace, or looking to brands like Casablanca to give that Miami feel.”
Here are some must-see fashion hotspots across Vice City.
Boutique shopping by foot
The design district in Miami is where fashionistas head to shop and dine in style. This new, revamped area is where you can shop, see live music, and visit the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami or the De La Cruz Collection.
One highlight beyond your typical luxury shopping fare—like Gucci, Chanel and Off White—is Gaucho, an Argentinian luxury brand that recently opened their first flagship in the country. Gaucho is a Buenos Aires-founded brand, and is one of the few luxury fashion brands out of Argentina, offering lifestyle and home décor. They recently expanded from e-commerce to their first retail flagship in Miami. It’s what the brand’s CEO Scott Mathis says is “a visceral glimpse into our growing portfolio,” adding that the brand seeks to create “a global community built on a shared passion for living well, on our estates, through our products and in homes across the world.”
Lincoln Road in South Beach is another shopping destination, filled with boutiques, al fresco dining options and major brands, like Zara. “I always love shopping at Zara, it’s a European brand with different, unique styles,” says Estefania Salinas, a journalist based in Miami.
To Lauren Foster, a trans model and style influencer based in Miami, some of the best boutiques include Fly Boutique “for all things vintage,” she says, as well as “Ease on Sunset for simple, chic looks from The Row and Rick Owens.” Foster also recommends the Bazaar Project in Coconut Grove. “They have the coolest selection of home décor, gifts, clothes and funky jewelry.”
Bal Harbour Shops is the foremost luxury shopping mall in Miami. It is home to an exquisite collection of designer boutiques and department stores set in an open-air tropical garden-like design. It includes boutiques by Alexander McQueen, CH Carolina Herrera, Stella McCartney, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, and Neiman Marcus. “When it comes to style and fashion, to me, it’s more than just the look, but also the experience,” said Jonathan Bonanno, the CEO of The Showroom Miami. “That’s why I only go to the best, Neiman Marcus Bal Harbor not only carries the latest styles fashion has to offer, but my personal shopper Andy Bisbal goes above and beyond.”
Another great brand that Bal Harbour Shops is home to is Brunello Cucinelli. “Almost all of his pieces are timeless, and made in Italy,” said Tyler Biddle-Barrows, a sales executive with the Standard Residences in Miami. “Brunello Cucinelli has lots of linens to power through the Miami heat—his clothing is made ethically and is sustainable, and gives back a large portion of his proceeds to help others. I also love the design of Loro Piana, too.”
Another shopping destination is the Brickell City Centre, which features four floors of luxury brands and dining options, alongside a Saks Fifth Avenue and luxury cinemas from CMX.
There are countless spots to take picturesque selfies in Miami. The Roof at Esme Hotel in South Beach is a design lover’s dream, featuring a quaint rooftop pool alongside a stellar bar and set of pink striped sofas. Other options: Rent a chartered boat and cruise along Biscayne Bay from sunrise to sunset to take advantage of the best photo possible, or head to South Beach at sundown, then grab a cocktail in one of the restaurants set in one of many the Art Deco buildings, like at Pink Taco.
Another key area for photo shoots is Wynwood, which has much of its industrial walls awash in murals. “I love the Rebecca Moses art mural in Wynwood, I first attended the opening of the project at Ralph Pucci International during Art Basel Miami Beach, and came back there during Miami Swim Week to shoot there,” said Katya Tolstova, an influencer and fashion blogger. “I also love shooting at The Miami Beach EDITION hotel because they have so many events there during Art Basel and Miami Swim Week.”
The Vizcaya Museum & Garden is a short drive from South Beach and is worth the trip to see the sprawling manicured gardens and classy estate. The Design District is also home to numerous public art pieces worthy of photo shoots. And the nearby Mediterranean restaurant Mandolin Miami is a style scene hotspot, too.
The best bet for a well-rounded, stylish stay is at the Lowes Miami Beach Hotel, which is home to a sprawling palm tree-lined pool. The hotel also has private cabanas for rent by the day, which include their own private day beds, exclusive service, and private washrooms and showers in air conditioned huts with fridges and coffee machines. It’s the ultimate chic luxury.