BON Chocolatier, A Fave

 

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“Magnifique” is the only way to describe the chocolates from Parisian chocolatiers Deborah and Yoann Andreu at their new  factory store BON Chocolatier. It’s in Bay Harbor, minutes from  Bal Harbour Shops.  I was in chocolate heaven. The quality, perfect calibration of ingredients that make the flavors and intensity of the chocolates pop, and artistry of everything in the shop is exceptional in Miami. 

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Fab New Miami Boutiques

Wonderful is the only way to describe Upper Buena Vista. It’s described by the architects as a “community driven lifestyle destination where specialty retail, hospitality and wellness coalesce, embracing Miami’s culture and injecting it with global flare”. Picture this: lush vegetation and huge trees including an 80 year old banyan tree, their leafy canopies almost embracing the single story shops ressembling Japanese temples, thatched roof huts , and expansive windows that allow you to look into the fashion and décor finds inside. And finds there are, in 21 tasteful retail shops, including micro and petite boutiques. The concept is to offer affordable space for emerging designers and entrepreneurs. Then there are the complementary services – food, coffee bar, cryotherapy, hair, nails and beauty bar, tattoos and more. Here’s a short rundown of my favorites (and there were plenty), with a short description of each. This is not to be missed.
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Exciting New Fashion Designers

Thanks to a new friend I met at my recent reader event – Chuky – I got plugged into exciting new fashion designers and came up with some great discoveries. Must admit, I also did some damage to the pocketbook, an “occupational hazard” of being a blogger. The finds – three Latin American designers — are in the emerging Little River area which is a growing hub for creatives and art galleries. You can find some neat gift items for Mother’s Day as well.
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Roses et Pivoines

Roses et Pivoines is not your ordinary upscale florist. But then, wouldn’t you expect a special floral shop in the Miami Design District? Edi Soledad, the owner and creative director comes from a fashion background in London and it shows. I bought several white tinged with green hydrangeas which he wrapped in thick black paper, tied with a black ribbon, and attached a black card with the word “enjoy” in gold ink. As I walked around the District with my bouquet, an affordable luxury at $9, people stopped me to ask where I got them. Then there are his over the top floral arranging classes. Perfect for gifts – or for self gifting – for Valentine’s Day or anytime. And for another indulgence, while in the Design District, check out new ice cream and sweet shop, MadLab Creamery by Soraya Kilgore (yes, the wife of Alter chef Bradley).
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Antidote: Slow Fashion Chic

Miami is woefully lacking in European fashion boutiques or those with a European fashion sensibility. I’m not talking about the now ubiquitous global luxury brands. But the individually owned, upscale but not four figure pricey fashions you find in places like the St.Germain area of Paris, Barrio Salamanca in Madrid, and Brera in Milan. So it was with great pleasure I came across Antidote one of the newest of Wynwood shops, which features multiple designers with a point of view. Everything has to be eco conscious and ethically made, and the designers passionate about artisanal practices. She calls it slow fashion chic and I’d add with a serious element of cool.
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New Latin American Boutiques – Part 2

More Latin American designers are coming to Miami, especially from Colombia and Venezuela. The ones here are established in their home countries and are branching out to the USA with a first stop Miami. Yesterday I wrote about Seta Apparel in Part 1. Today there are two more worth putting on your list to have a look, and the good thing is they’re within a few minutes from one another in City Place, Doral. In other related news, there’s a terrific new website, www.cooperativashop.com that features designers from all over Latin America, with Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico most heavily represented. Finally, Filomena Fernandez in Coral Gables has launched a new program of trunk shows of Venezuelan designers, one per week, with part of the proceeds going to an in country charity. Check out the eye candy.
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