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2015 was a big year for Miami retail. Plans that were set in motion years ago, like the Design District's first phase, Sawgrass Mills' expansion of the Colonnade Outlets, and Wynwood becoming a livable neighborhood, came into fruition. Cool brands made Miami their new homes, fast fashion expanded out to Miami's north western reaches, and select malls changed hands and even names.
It was a big year in retail indeed, making it one of the most exciting times to be a part of this city (as our influencers will tell you). So without further ado, let's walk through the biggest store openings and happenings in Miami retail and fashion this year!
27 New Stores and Boutiques Open in Wynwood
Wynwood literally blew up this year with the opening of 27 new stores. There were big brand openings like all-American watchmaker Shinola and technical cashmere creator Kit & Ace (which opened soon after in Coconut Grove). There was Aesop and its Aussie apothecary, Marie St. Pierre and its Canadian luxury, and finally Warby Parker with the coolest overhead photo booth you've ever seen. There was also Barcelona-based womenswear brand Double Agent and Cali-based basics brand Marine Layer. Eyewear had a huge boom in the neighborhood with the openings of Illesteva and Italia Independent, plus small local boutiques like Wynwood Shades and Zthea Eyewear just blocks away. Wynwood Letterpress brought stationary goods, Spice of Life opened a sex shop, Rumors brought Wynwood it's first vintage thrift boutique, and Foldaway Bicycle brought just that: foldable bikes.
Home stores opened, like Donald J. Pliner's home store and gallery Coming Home, as did Cassanieu and Designer Casa. Malaquita Design, Iniva Boutique, and Boho Hunter all opened to bring us goods from South American and African designers, and Bodhi Treehouse opened to bring us holistic goods and programs. There were clothing and swim stores like Mimo Market, Nomad Tribe, Orchid Boutique, and Swagger Gallery, not to mention a bike and car store, Walt Grace.
Merrick Park Changes Name and Direction
May we not forget that Merrick Park was Miami's second mall venture into luxury after Bal Harbour Shops, years before The Design District was even a thought in our minds. This was a big year for the mall, starting with the opening of a few key first-in-market stores like Vineyard Vines, a very Coral Gables-themed Lilly Pulitzer, and J.Crew Men's. Other stores opened too, like the mall's first Sephora, a very simplistic and perfect Vince, and Lululemon, which moved from its very first Miami location on Sunset Drive. Also huge was the opening of SoulCycle, which was the first spin studio to open inside a mall in Miami, ever. But the biggest news for the mall, by far, came just weeks ago: Merrick Park changed its name from "Village of Merrick Park" to "Shops at Merrick Park." That, friends, is huge.
Fast Fashion Invasion
Hialeah got its very first fast fashion powerhouse when H&M opened at at Westland Mall. Even more grand was its opening at Dolphin Mall, which saw Jaime King attend in support of the company's green initiatives. Another first for Miami? Forever 21 opened F21 Red, its even cheaper version filled with basics, inside The Palms at Town and Country in Kendall. At this point, there's not a corner in Miami without a fast fashion store, and 2015's openings cemented this.
Sawgrass Mills' Massive Expansion
Sawgrass Mills had quite the year! The nation's largest value mall saw the opening of 11 luxury outlets, and this doesn't include other outlets inside the confines of the alligator-shaped mall. Marc Jacobs, CH Carolina Herrera, Rag & Bone, Helmut Lang, La Perla, Vince and Tod's all opened their first discount locations in this market at the Colonnade Outlets.
Design District Completes Phases I and II
21 stores opened within a two block radius, as the Design District officially completed its first two phases. the biggest opening of all being Hermes, who threw a tropical gala to rival all tropical galas in celebration of its third stateside flagship. Roughly 20 more stores opened throughout the year, including Louis Vuitton's four story masterpiece filled with historical trunks, artwork, and a rooftop garden, Fendi's orange-hued flagship which opened with Solange Knowles on the turntables. There were some firsts too, like Loewe and the massive 18th century Spanish granary that marvels as a centerpiece, Tom Ford and its sleek, elegant design, and Parmigiani Fleurier, which just so happened to open its very first U.S. store. Plenty of other jewelry and timepiece stores opened too, including Tiffany & Co., Jason of Beverly Hills, Harry Winston, Cartier, and Vacheron Constantine. Miu Miu, Lanvin, and Pucci moved into their larger locations, and contemporary labels like Max Mara and Zadig & Voltaire settled into the neighborhood as well. Get ready for 2017 though, when 60 stores and restaurants will join the Design District's growing luxury family.