At this point, most would argue that Art Basel Miami concerns far more than selling art (though that’s obviously still an important purpose and component of the event). Rather, it has predominantly turned into a branding extravaganza, with all kinds of industries cashing in on the global spotlight turned on the Magic City.
Luxury fashion, in particular, has seized the moment with a slew of high profile store openings. In the Design District alone, Prada has moved one block north into a much larger space with a more tropical, Miami-specific feel (152 NE 41st St.). (The company has made mention of de-streamlining its global identity to sync more with its site-specific outlets—it tried this originally with a recent pop-up store in St. Barts). The new Miami design boasts lime-green palm tree reliefs on the walls, Brazilian midcentury furniture, and a striking harlequin marble entrance inlay.
Down the street, Gucci opened its newest store (139 NE 41st St.) on December 1st, and packed its 4,700 square feet with the kind of lovely knick-knack-ery for which creative director Alessandro Michele has become so famous. The store also hosts a graphic vertical mural on its exterior, currently painted a shade of saffron yellow, and covered with words by the artist Coco Capitán.
Just before Basel, the contemporary label Rag & Bone plastered downtown with posters announcing the arrival of its second Miami outpost (89 NE 41st St.). It clocks in at 4,000 square feet, and has its own murals—these by the street artist 2Alas, who is well-known for his linear portraiture. Van Cleef & Arpels—the haute jewelry line—also celebrated a new Design District opening (140 NE 39th St.).
Lastly, the Los Angeles-based (as of now) Tenoversix—which carries brands including Eckhaus Latta, Illesteva, Gigi Burris, Thierry Lasry and Zero + Maria Cornejo—is previewing its new location in Miami’s up-and-coming Little River neighborhood. To fete the relocation, the store (7338 NW Miami Court) is hosting an exhibition featuring works by the artist Andrew Kuo through December 10.