Boys like shopping, too -- as long as it involves plain t-shirts and paint.
By Nikki Novo
Ladies in Miami have very little to complain about when it comes to specialized boutiques. It seems that new shops are regularly popping up (and, unfortunately, down) in both up-and-coming and veteran neighborhoods. But, what about the guys? They deserve and -- as many girls will tell you - could use a little style themselves.
"If a guy wants to look fresh, this is where they come," says Alex Delgado, owner of urban lifestyle boutique One Stop Hip-Hop Shop. Tucked away in what Delgado likes to call a "bastard neighborhood," just outside of Coral Gables, the newly-opened boutique caters to Miami's hip-hop enthusiasts - sorry ladies, this one is for the boys. The space, located in a strip mall neighbored by a barbershop (frequented by Pittbull) promoting fades and blowouts and a muddled convenience shop, features mouse grey walls, streaming video of classic hip-hop artists like Wu-Tang Clan, exposed ceilings and a street-art mural of a life-size hip-hop comic character created by local artists Gems, Eraze, Namer and Cure. The colorful hard-to-find sneakers are displayed along the walls like art, the shelf of plain black and white tees are meticulously folded and the bottles of spray paint are perfectly placed on shelves - all a result of Delgado's background as a Marine.
When the Miami native decided on a concept for his store, he originally aspired to open a specialty boutique in the neighborhood he grew up in, selling stylish sneakers and one-of-a-kind apparel. During the months it took to open the store, Delgado embraced the suggestions from his neighbors, who ultimately became his clientele. The guys from the barbershop insisted on the staple black and white tees and the artists who created the mural filled him in on the demand for professional spray paint (only found in Hialeah). With the help of his family and friends, Delgado has created a store that embodies its name, selling everything from mixed underground hip-hop tapes and sketchbooks to clothing by local brands Dade Wear and Dirty Dade Gear.
In addition to local brands, guys can expect to find shirts by urban skate brand Famous Stars and Straps, unique designs from Blac Label, flashy wear by Juxed Goods and old school hip-hop inspired looks by Leroy Jenkins Limited.
By encouraging art and offering a platform for local rappers looking to promote their music, Delgado hopes to depict the hip-hop culture positively. "I'm looking to better the neighborhood by offering an outlet for the kids who might otherwise be on the streets," Delgado muses. "I just truly love the music and the culture."One Stop Hip Hop Shop, 2028 SW 57th Ave; 305-370-5688
One Stop Hip-Hop Shop.