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Brief Published: 18 Feb 2015

Art-Infused Miami Retail Openings, February 2015

Extra
A sculpture of architect, Le Corbusier in Palm Court

A clutch of major luxury fashion and accessories retailers have opened new stores in Miami's Design District this February, with most trading on artistic connections to forge stronger links to a neighbourhood increasingly renowned for its art and design scene. All of the shops are located in Palm Court – a new high-end, open-air retail complex that opened in December 2015.  

Luxury Italian fashion house Max Mara has dedicated the front half of the first floor of its 3,325 sq ft boutique to an exhibition space for emerging artists, including students in the neighbourhood's recently opened Design & Architecture High School. It will also host Max Mara's Heritage Project – a travelling exhibition detailing the history of the label's coats, as discussed in Mall Museums: Luxury Retrospectives. See also Monetising Brand Heritage.

Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin's first store in Miami (a modern, masculine-looking 1,400 sq ft space) similarly taps into the tactic of serving as a patron of the arts. It houses a gallery wall featuring a rotating selection of local artists, and an in-house watchmaker to field queries. According to Vincent Brun, the brand's North American president, the concept is designed to engage the "interesting collectors' market in Florida, from watches and art to cars".

New York-based jeweller Tiffany & Co.'s new boutique features Canadian sculptor David Altmejd's abstract interpretation of the famous Atlas figure that appears above its New York store (recrafted for the Miami location). It also houses a gallery of contemporary art selected for the store by Tiffany's design director Francesca Amfitheatrof, who has previously worked as an art consultant and curator (for more on her, see Tiffany & Co. Rebrands Via Pop-Up). The store design also pays homage to Miami's Art Deco movement via its steel façade, curved staircase, and interior mural in pastel and jewel tones.

Italian luxury men's label Ermenegildo Zegna's new 2,800 sq ft, two-storey boutique is based on its Milanese flagship, designed by US architect Peter Marino. The space is differentiated and localised via art by Italian painter Ettore Spalletti, created specifically for this new location.

Find out more about how art is being used to enhance retail in the luxury sector in Art-Fuelled Fashion Spaces and Art Basel Miami 2014: Branded Spaces.

Review how other brands with bricks-and-mortar locations are being inspired by their environs in Specialise to Survive and Community & Commerce.

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