Miami Shopping Tips for the Gay Shopaholic

Bal Harbour Shopping
Bal Harbour Shopping

By: Gino Campodonico

Miami is a shopper’s paradise for every type of budget and taste.

Whether you’re looking for haute luxury goods, vintage finds, a show-stopping outfit for a night on the town, souvenirs or even those silly, neon Spring Break tees – Miami has it all and then some. So get those credit cards ready, because you’re in for quite the shopping spree!

Legendary Fashion on Miami Beach

Miami’s South Beach has been a bonafide gay capital since the late ‘80s. Almost three decades later, South Beach remains a top LGBTQ travel destination because it’s home to several of the nation’s most popular community events (Winter Party, White Party, Miami Beach Gay Pride) and, of course, because of its beautiful beaches and weather. However, South Beach’s longstanding connection to the fashion industry is legendary.

During the ‘90s, South Beach reigned as the “It” place for all things fashion. Gianni Versace ruled; while Christy, Naomi, Linda and Cindy – first-name-only supermodels – made Ocean Drive their catwalk.

Nowadays, South Beach’s fashion sense continues to soar, this time as a source of inspiration for many designer spring/summer collections, as host city to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim, and as home to renowned brands including John VarvatosTed Baker and Swedish street fashion giant, H&M.

Strut Your Stuff on Lincoln Road

Talking about catwalks, South Beach’s Lincoln Road Mall is a mile-long pedestrian shopping mecca perfectly suited for the fashion-obsessed. Hit up the ultra-cool BASE Superstore where you’ll find a curated selection of men’s clothes, scents, quirky accessories, and also, a music bar offering a variety of must-have ear candy.

Looking for well-made, stylish gear? Then visit Scotch & Soda for swimwear, distressed denim, dresses and knitwear. And don’t miss AllSaints — the British retailer will take care of your grungy and rocker chic needs.

Anthropologie caters to the ladies with inspiring and whimsical clothing, accessories and home good options to spare.

Anchor stores such as MacysForever 21, and H&M are go-to shops for fresh looks that won’t hurt your wallet.

Other sure bets include American Apparel, Urban OutfittersDieselOriginal Penguin and the newly renovated GAP.

Oh, and don’t overlook the literary wonderland of Books & Books, the hub of Miami’s literary scene, is a must when you’re ready to pick up a good read for your much needed beach day.

You also don’t want to miss Lincoln Road’s Herzog & de Meuron-designed 1111 Building carrying hotspots including Babalu MiamiY-3TaschenOsklen, the first U.S. location of adidas by Stella McCartney, and Alchemist – 1111’s crown jewel specializing in high-end duds such as Alaïa and Givenchy.

Love thrifting? Then plan a visit to Lincoln Road’s seasonal Antique and Collectibles market, which is open on select Sundays starting in October through May. The flea market features close to 100 local vendors selling a myriad of funky clothes, jewelry, furnishings, old magazines, comic books and other collectibles.

Big Name Brands on Collins Avenue

South Beach’s other infamous shopping areas are located on Collins and Washington Avenues.

On Collins Avenue, you’ll find well-known brands such as ZaraBarneys Co-OpMACKenneth ColeTommy Hilfiger, and Intermix, but make sure not to miss The Webster.

Housed in a gorgeous, historic Art Deco building, The Webster is a three-level boutique devoted to men and women’s luxury, ready-to-wear items made by fashion’s biggest names.

In a sharp contrast, Washington Avenue is the perfect place to pick up those delightfully tacky souvenirs. But make sure not to miss hidden gems, Funky Sexy Couture and Beatnix, for outlandish costumewear, trendy club gear, wigs, wearable art and more.

Fab Touristy Finds in Downtown

Hop on the MacArthur Causeway for a picturesque ride to Miami’s mainland. Once you’re there, head to Downtown Miami’s shopping district where you can visit Bayside Marketplace for specialty shops and kiosks, and a touristy stroll along Biscayne Bay.

Or head to Flagler Street, where you’ll find a variety of stores including standouts such as La Epoca, a three-story boutique department store imported from Cuba carrying a range of brands from Lacoste to Ralph Lauren, and Lost Boy Dry Goods, which offers a wide collection of premium denim for men and women, vinyl records and mind-blowing hot sauces.

Downtown Miami is also the destination for world-class jewelry shopping, including the Seybold Building, which boasts more than 280 jewelers.

Ultra Luxurious at the Design District

Further north, you’ll end up in one of Miami’s hottest areas of the moment: the Miami Design District. Once known only for its home design stores, the Miami Design District is currently enjoying quite the fashionable renaissance that could soon possibly rival the likes of Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive or New York City’s Fifth Avenue.

Major luxury brands including BurberryCartierChristian LouboutinDior HommeHermesLanvinLouis VuittonPrada and Valentino have already taken the area by storm — with more on the way.

Visit the Design District’s glamorous Palm Court. Recently unveiled during Art Basel, Palm Court houses jewelry power players Bvlgari and Piaget.

Quirky Boutiques and Art Galleries in Wynwood

Looking for something with edge? Then visit Wynwood, Miami’s hub for art galleries and internationally recognized street art scene.

After you’re done admiring the works of prominent artists such as Kenny Scharf, Retna and Shepard Fairey, leave some time to peruse the array of small boutiques and concept stores specializing in design and lifestyle goods.

At Elemental, you’ll find fun quirky clothes, accessories and home designer trinkets.

Got a green thumb? Then don’t miss Plant The Future, a beautiful boutique with wildly creative terrariums and other plant based architectural designs.

Located just outside of Wynwood, Creative Male, a men’s apparel store, will have you feeling sexy with swimwear, underwear and gym options designed by Whittall & Shon, PUMP! and more.

Shop‘Til You Drop at the Malls

Experienced shoppers will be more than satisfied with a day at one of Miami’s many malls. Visit luxurious outdoor malls like Bal Harbour Shops or the Village of Merrick Park for high-end pieces.

Or check out one-stop shopping destinations such as Aventura MallDadeland Mall or Dolphin Mall to get the most out of your shopping trip.

Insider Tip: Go to Out of the Closet on Alton Road on Miami Beach for more vintage finds – they’re open year-round. Plus, your purchases will help support people living with HIV and AIDS.

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