Burberry, Cartier, Emilio Pucci, Ermenegildo Zegna, Givenchy, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Max Mara, Omega, Rolex, Miu Miu, Christian Louboutin — the boutique lineup at the Design District reads much like the pages of Vogue magazine. This de rigueur area across the pond from Miami Beach is home to design stores, high-brow boutiques, art galleries and gourmet restaurants galore. Give the area an even closer glance and you’ll find not just designer boutiques, but instead anything from throw pillows to metallic sneakers to stellar spa services.
And the IT neighborhood is growing by leaps and bounds. By late 2016, the 10-square-block district is expected to have more than 120 luxury-brand stores, a boutique hotel, 15 to 20 restaurants, luxury residential condos and lofts, galleries, furniture showrooms, as well as large-scale public art, design and graphic art installations.
Here are some can’t miss locally loved haunts:
Billionaire Italian Couture: This luxe menswear boutique marks the Italian brand’s second U.S. door joining its sister in Las Vegas. Men who want to stand apart from the masses can scoop up the shop’s eponymous label of expertly crafted and exotic mens jeans, suits, outerwear, knitwear, active wear, shoes, accessories, swim, luggage and more. Billionaire, 4000 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, www.billionairecouture.com.
Emena Spa: If you’re in desperate need of some “me time” then mosey on over here. Emena is the Design District’s eco-friendly spa using Eminence Organic Skin Care infused with fitness, wellness and nutrition philosophies. The must-have service here? The 110-minute Foot Master Reflexology Pedicure. Your piggies will thank you later. Emena Spa, 180 NE 39 St., Suite 223, Design District; (305) 438-3777, emenaspa.com.
EnAvance: Originally on Lincoln Road, EnAvance made a move just when The District was about to boom. Known to be ahead of the curve, EnAvance owner Karen Quinones takes pride in personally editing the boutique, making sure the place is constantly stocked with the hottest trends from up-and-coming designers, mainly from overseas. Here you’ll find fragrances by Santa Maria Novella and Dsquared; Robin Rotenier cufflinks; denim by Anlo and MIH Marrakesh; leather and Swarovsky encrusted headbands by Cara; and a variety of clutches and handbags by R&Y Augousti, Kotur Ayers, Carlos Falchi and Violet Manhattan Clutch. Apparel for guys are also on hand. EnAvance,161 N.E. 40th St., Miami, 305.576.0056, www.enavance.net.
Louis Vuitton: Think of this particular Louis Vuitton store as the freshest and most over-the-top addition to the French maison’s repertoire. The sun-filled four-story architectural gem boasts numerous noteworthy nods to Miami. Art Deco nuances, palm-frond print wall coverings, pops of citrus hues, midcentury modern furnishings, terrazzo floors, limestone columns and celestial photographs from NASA exude a decidedly Florida feel. In addition, there are several exclusive products only found in the Design District store. Louis Vuitton, 140 NE 39 Street, Miami; (305) 573-1366, louisvuitton.com.
Marni: This Milanese-based company made its debut during Art Basel Miami Beach 2008, which is fitting considering the small corner space is a work of art in its own. Floating stainless steal racks around the store’s perimeters carry dresses, knee-length skirts and tops in Marni’s signature pastel patterns. Scattered throughout the store are round-tiered shoe displays carrying sky-high platforms that could even make Carrie Bradshaw fall down the runway — again. Also on hand are statement necklaces, chunky bracelets, vintage-inspired clutches and a Miami-proof ultra-thin leather jacket. 3930 N.E. 2nd Ave., Miami, 305.764.3357, www.marni.com.
Tom Ford: The former Creative Direcor of Gucci and red carpet staple, Tom Ford, boasts a vast corner location in the Design District. The jewel box store is brimming with the celebrity loved designer's (think Beyoncé, Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lopez) women's and men's ready-to-wear collections. For those of you vyiing for Jennifer Aniston's go-to bag, the Jennifer, it's displayed fron and center at the shop's grand entance. 103 NE 39 Street, Miami, (786) 749) 2600, www.tomford.com.
Jason of Beverly Hills: Nestled in the Palm Court area (dedicated to high-end jewlers and watch companies) this jewlery store is brimming with quirky pieces by celebrity designer Jason Arasheben. Handcrafted in Los Angeles, Arasheben’s baubles have been worn by royalty across the globe and an A-list entourage including Dwyane Wade, Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Sean “Diddy” Combs and the late Michael Jackson — just to name a few. 140 NE 39 Street, Miami; (786) 838-0557; www.jasonofbh.com.
Marc Jacobs: The two words that pop into mind when conjuring Marc Jacobs' designs are "fun" and "whimsical." Shoppers can scoop up Jacobs' off-beat clothing, watches, bags and more at this sun-filled space. A favorite of Vogue's Anna Wintour, Jacob's conistently cranks out conversation pieces with aplomb. 3930 NE 2nd Ave., Miami; (305) 864-2626; www.marcjacobs.com.