Fifty-five years after opening, and 10 months after locking the doors for good at its landmark, 50-year-old shop at Dadeland Mall, the redoubtable arango design store is back in a new urban incarnation — in downtown South Miami. The little shop that introduced Miami to modern high-design housewares, furnishings and accessories reopened this week in a storefront on Sunset Drive to the delight of its legion of acolytes, about 200 of whom crowded an opening reception at the store on Sunday.
“I’m so glad,” said Eva Marie Kiene as she purchased a lightweight armchair and shopped for accessories Tuesday morning. “I’ve followed them everywhere. It’s different. Just my taste.”
The arango store long enjoyed an outsize reputation not just as a long-lived, one-of-a-kind retailer, but also as cultural lodestone, hosting design exhibits and programs of lectures, classes and workshops over the years. Related Arango store on Tuesday as the store reopens on Sunset after being forced out of Dadeland Mall.
Arango store on Tuesday as the store reopens on Sunset after being forced out of Dadeland Mall. | Al Diaz / MIAMI HERALD STAFF The new arango — the name is not capitalized, in the minimalist spirit of its founders, the late Judith and Jorge Arango — will strike patrons of the Dadeland store as both familiar and fresh.
Classic pieces by famous European purveyors like Alessi, iitala and Georg Jensen mix it up with new work by independent American designers, all carefully selected and artfully arranged by the shop’s longtime owners, the married team of David and Marianne Russell.
On Sunday, the Russells brought in the designers to speak at arango with students from Design and Architecture Senior High.
“It gives us once again the joy of doing what we want to do, and that makes us very happy,” David Russell said.