By: Shayne Benowitz
Bal Harbour Shops is every fashionista’s go-to hotspot in Miami.
Miami’s Bal Harbour Shops is a destination unto itself. A beautifully landscaped al fresco luxury shopping hub since 1965, its breezeways are lined with shiny boutique windows with names like Chanel, Prada and Gucci emblazoned on them. With lush palm trees, bright tropical flowers, koi ponds and limestone and marble fountains, it’s a chic destination for both window shoppers and power shoppers. The 450,000 square foot, two-story mall features over 100 shops and is anchored by upscale department stores Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
While it’s home to every designer flagship under the sun (Dior, Chloe, Celine, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, the list goes on and on…), fine jewelers (Audemar Piguet, BVLGARI, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co.) and ready-to-wear boutiques (Calypso St. Barth, Maje, Rag & Bone, Vince), you’ll also find shops and restaurants unique to this luxury shopping destination. Here are a few not-to-be-missed stops during your visit to Bal Harbour Shops.
A smartly edited boutique by a French couple bringing Parisian fashion to Miami, Oxygene has been a staple at Bal Harbour Shops for over three decades. With ready to wear brands like Isabel Marant, Balmain, Alexander Wang and Emanuel Ungaro, the boutique also specializes in jewelry and kids fashion—but bébé can’t be seen in just anything. That’s why you’ll find pint-sized designs for the little ones by Dolce & Gabana, Chloe, Moncler and Stella McCartney here.
Books & Books
Miami’s beloved local bookstore Books & Books has an outpost at Bal Harbour Shops, which according to owner Mitchell Kaplan is a natural fit since both the mall and his shop are independently owned. In addition to fiction and non-fiction, Books & Books also caters to the luxury crowd with its Assouline art and fashion books section. The bookstore also regularly hosts celebrity book signings and author readings.
With additional locations on Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue, Intermix is a go-to boutique for the fashion set. With a hand-selected assortment of both established and emerging designers, you’re sure to find the hottest trends of the moment at Intermix. At Bal Harbour Shops, you’ll find everything from Derek Lam blouses to Jimmy Choo sandals and Alexis Yulia neon cutout dresses.
Another Paris to Miami import, The Webster, established in 2009 on Collins Avenue, is the brainchild of Laure Heriard Dubreuil. The Bal Harbour Shops location soon followed and has swiftly become the go-to boutique for highly coveted haute couture. Their smartly edited inventory ranges from Saint Laurent and Givenchy bags to Sonia Rykiel and Mugler frocks. The store resembles a chic closet that every fashionista wishes was her own.
Of course, every good shopping trip requires a chic stop for lunch and Le Zoo by prolific restaurateur Stephen Starr is the latest addition to Bal Harbour Shops. A French bistro with ample indoor and outdoor terrace seating, it’s the perfect stop for a glass of Sancerre, a plate of oysters and steak frites. With mosaic tile floors, a mirrored bar and playful neon, the décor is as pleasant as its menu of classic French dishes.
Ask a Miamian what his favorite Japanese restaurant is and there’s a good chance he’ll respond with a far off twinkle in his eye: Makoto. A Stephen Starr restaurant helmed by Chef Makoto Okuwa, it’s become a mainstay at Bal Harbour Shops for both lunch and dinner. Sumptuous, inventive dishes include the frosty kobe fried rice with foie gras and a jidori egg that cooks tableside before your eyes, wagyu short rib robata grill and Hamachi ponzu sashimi.
Founded by Sara Colombo, a Miamian by way of Paris and London, Nest Casa is the epitome in covetable home furnishings. With such visionary and daring brands as Missoni Home, Hermes, Fornasetti and Kelly Wearstler, Nest Casa has all the interior design elements to construct a truly dreamy dream home.
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