Born from the ashes of a once-neglected neighborhood, Miami real estate mogul Craig Robbins of DACRA reimagined the area as a place where creativity, art, design, and fashion collide. The grid of streets has transformed into a refined destination for the best in luxury fashion, some of Miami’s hottest restaurants and an unrivaled concentration of contemporary art (and iconic blue umbrellas).
From vegan treats, easy valet parking & in-Vogue fashion, here’s a list of some of our favorite places to dabble, dine and delight in the district….
For Unexpected Art
Museum Garage - Miami loves a parking garage with a good PR angle, and Museum Garage does not disappoint in this respect. Located across from the ICA, five prominent architects and designers were selected to each design a section of the garage with no creative limitations apart from the assigned dimensions and no knowledge of the other designs. Incongruous? Yes, but its multi-purpose design ensures there’s always good Instagram opportunities at every corner.
Groundbreaking Contemporary Art
De La Cruz - Way before the first LVMH door opened, the Design District was a place where one could find Miami’s most respected and avant-garde galleries and furniture showrooms. One of the earliest collections to establish in the Design District, the de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space is consistently a source for interesting contemporary art – everything from Sigmar Polke to Alex Israel. We’re partial to their public workshops and the occasional Kim Gordon sighting.
Rad Nail Art
Vanity Projects - Let’s be clear... you don’t get manicures at Vanity Projects, you commission works of art. They just happen to be on your nails. Founded by Rita Pinto, a former art curator, her original salon in New York’s LES (lower east side) quickly achieved cult-status for merging the nail art subculture with fine art sensibilities. The Design District outpost continues that ethos and hosts artist-in-residency programs of notable nail artists from all over the globe. Time to elevate your nail game, babe.
Hibiscus Tea and Healthy Snacks
OTL - Did you really visit the Design District if you didn’t snap your avocado toast at OTL? An “influencer” haven — we recommend grabbing a table on the sidewalk to see the queue of fashion bloggers wait their turn for a photo in Fendi’s neon orange promenade. We don’t just spill the tea at OTL, we’re partial to sipping on their Iced Hibiscus variety as well.
A Museum for Free Thinkers
ICA - We appreciate a good public thumbing of the nose as much as the next Housewives fan. And when the feud involves two very prominent art collectors and their respective museums, well, pass the popcorn. A bit miffed with the Perez Art Museum Miami’s naming, fellow collector Norman Braman decided to boycott the institution and build his own museum, thankyouverymuch. The winners of this art feud? The art-loving public, who can now admire (free of charge, no less) a rotating cast of contemporary artists including everyone from Donald Judd to Francis Alys. The program is robust, ranging from academic art talks to abstract dance performances and late night rooftop art raves. Better than TV, n’est pas?
Chef Chloe - Sprinkles!! On Cake!! The little kid in all of us was jumping for joy when we first laid eyes on the vegan sprinkle cake (and cupcakes) at Chef Chloe in the St. Roch Market. Made by vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli, these delicious sweets are where it’s at. We demurred with a nibble of the cupcake, then we ate the whole damn cake. It happens.
For Out of the Box Fashion
Maison Margiela - Oh, you need an Art Basel look that says, “I’m art, but also Fashion?” The Paris fashion house Maison Margiela always provides an irreverent take on the model off-duty look, but it’s their jewelry and everyday objects that are worth the splurge. Luxurious quilted leather travel pillows, oversized gold ID necklaces, and the cotton calendar – an embroidered cotton page calendar that becomes, once the year is over, a 12 piece napkin set. Chic AF.
In & Around Palm Court - Zaha Hadid, Sol Lewitt, John Baldessari, Konstanin Grcic, Buckminster Fuller… the list of gram-worthy art at MDD is almost maddening. We vote for posing with French artist Xavier Veilhan’s fiberglass render of architect Le Corbusier in the Palm Court to honor the design legend. Pics or it didn’t happen.
Face Creams on Face Creams
Deciem - Nobody at Jacober Creative majored in chemistry, but we love to play mad scientists at Deciem. Specializing in isolating high-performance ingredients at budget prices, we love layering their potions based on concern and mood – which shifts daily. This Canadian beauty company has been making headlines for creating products with legions of devout followers and we are one of them. Pro-tip: get the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, which is like a 10-minute exfoliating facial for only $7. What can we say? We’re vain and we like a good deal.
For Pop Art and Skateboards
Gelareh Mizrahi - For chill vibes and pop art that you can wear, head to Gelareh Mizrahi. The oh-so-of-the-moment millennial pink shop retails cheeky pins, custom-made accessories and a line of whimsical python handbags – think red python pepperoni pizza – and provides a skate ramp if you’re looking to get in a few ollies. BYO skateboard.
Locust Projects - Locust Projects is the OG non-profits arts foundation that has been bringing Miami's art scene to the fore since the beginning. Their innovative programming regularly brings in everyone from hipsters to the well-heeled and a ticket to their annual Smash & Grab fundraiser ensures you'll walk away with piece of art. Combine that with with their annual Spring Fling ( one of the year's best dance parties ) and our founder's spot on the board (we have connections) we couldn't not include them on our hot list. It was destined.
Want to learn more about our favorite Miami go-tos? Check out our guide to Lincoln Road
or read more posts on our blog for insider tips on Miami’s vegan restaurants
and cool local brands
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