In Miami, all it takes is a bit of money, ingenuity, and voilà! — a new neighborhood is born Cinderella-style in a classic rags-to-riches tale. The Design District shares that tale, originally known as Buena Vista, which sits at the intersection of the neighborhoods Wynwood and Little Haiti. As little as 15 years ago, the area was a series of warehouses that had fallen into disrepair, but now it's growing at a such a rapid pace that even the locals can't keep up with the new, exclusive shops opening up every month. Within the Design District's 130 art galleries, showrooms, restaurants, and boutiques, you'll find upscale brands from Christian Louboutin to Louis Vuitton. Even guests who have shopped Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue will be oohing and ahhing when they stroll the streets of the Design District, which even features a public art installations. Guide your guests in the right direction in the Design District with a few of these Miami recommendations to enjoy throughout your wedding weekend.
To See & Do
Just across from the Piaget shop, you'll find one of the district's public-art pieces, Buckminster Fuller's Fly's Eye Dome, a 24-foot geodesic dome originally designed back in 1965. After viewing the outdoor art, your guests can check out the new Institute of Contemporary Art which is set up temporarily in the Moore Building; it features exhibits by local and up-and-coming artists. When looking for a break from shopping and strolling, they can even "sit" in a piece of art at Netscape, an area with 24 steel hammock-style swings by German designer Konstantin Grcic.
To Dine & Drink
It's hard to play favorites when it comes to restaurants in the Design District. You've got multiple eateries by two of Miami's dining scene culinary artists: Michelle Bernstein and Michael Schwartz. Bernstein's bakery, Crumb on Parchment, is great for a pitstop when travelers need to refuel on something sweet or indulge in a casual breakfast. For a full-on brunch, Schwartz's Michael's Genuine is the winner, hands-down (you can't go wrong with the duck confit hash or breakfast pizza).
If it's pizza your guests are after, Harry's Pizzeria is the spot to visit. Named after Schwartz's son, it boasts a wood-burning oven and diner-style florescent lights. For dinner, there are two standout selections that are on opposite ends of the spectrum. For casual home cooking, Mandolin Aegean Bistro creates the feeling of sitting in a remote Grecian village dining on homemade specialties (even just the eggplant purée and hummus starters are to die for), while Schwartz's Cypress Tavern is more of a fine-dining brasserie with a cocktail bar that's just as much of a draw as the restaurant itself.
While the district is prime for window shopping with over-the-top displays at all of the big-name boutiques, travelers looking for something simpler (but just as stylish) will love The Bazaar Project. Founded by a Turkish transplant, the boutique is just as its name suggests, a bazaar-like shop inspired by owner Yeliz Titiz's many travels, with global gems from jewelry and purses to Turkish rugs and pillows.
Guys with a penchant for stylish suits will bow down to SARTORIAL, a menswear shop with collections from over 20 Italian brands (Malo, Luigi Borelli and Pal Zileri to name a few), plus a made-to-measure area where gents can order customized suits. This is also a great place to direct your male guests to who may have forgotten an essential item in their wedding-day ensemble.
It's not hard to keep up with Kardashians in Miami if you know where to shop — and what to shop for — and an eyewear and sunglasses store is the perfect place to start in sun-filled Miami. Inspired by European concept stores, I On The District carries sunnies by hard-to-find brands like Cutler & Gross and Thierry Lasry that will have guests fitting into the Miami scene in no time.