Wynwood continues to move upscale. Happily, that doesn’t mean yet another area for global luxury brands or even other brands you see everywhere. Instead, I’m witnessing what happened with New York City’s SoHo area as it moved from bohemian to quality, unique offerings. But back to Wynwood, first came Alter, then Montreal fashion designer Marie Saint-Pierre, Ilesteva and some other shops I wrote about last year. A recent “recon” (as in reconnaissance) mission to the neighborhood uncovered new Wynwood shopping finds including an Argentine home store that would be at home in the Hamptons, a men’s store that would do fashion forward guru Tyler Brule of Monocle magazine proud, and a perfumery with unusual niche offerings. Plus, a permanent home for Salty Donut.
Looking for white furniture that’d be perfect for a beach house or just for that one white piece of furniture? The Argentine Patrizia Bozzi’s home décor shop is the place. She designs and manufactures the contemporary classic sofas and chairs, and a line of casual white ceramic dishware ideal for everyday use that are made by disabled children in her home country.
Also find well priced gift items including an Argentine brand of long-lasting fragrant candles , lovely supersized dish towels for $10 and jam pots with crocheted covers and handsome spoon. I also liked the unusual leather necklaces . Coming soon is a line of all natural fabric sleepwear.
Bozzi’s shop is in the new Wynwood Arcade, 50 N.W. 24th Street, the area’s clever and arty answer to a new retail environment. Wrapped in an art mural, it features an open-air central atrium and curving corridors that house the “new” look for Wynwood that’s more about quality and still accessible prices.
Here find Osme, a perfumery and apothecary started by the Jamaican born Maurice Locke and Bhavika, his England born South Florida- raised partner.As Locke tells it, he was looking for scents different from those of the global fashion brands one finds everywhere, and discovered the world of niche perfumes. He welcomes guests saying, “ Please feel free to try everything. The store is one big tester”.
So you’ll find everything from scents inspired by cities and resorts including Ilha do Mel (meaning honey flowers) in Brazil and Marfa (star note is tuberose), recalling champagne and grapefruit and another one that is Scotch whiskey in a bottle, to still others in luxurious jewel like bottles with scents of frankincense, myrrh, and clove from Oman, called Amouage (The Gift of Kings).
There are twenty seven lines in all with more to come including Galimard, one of the oldest perfume houses from Grasse, France. What they all have in common is a high percentage of natural oils, from 15 to 40% versus the usual 3 % to 10%. This means a richer and longer lasting scent. Prices range from $50 for 30 ml. to $490 for 100 ml. The average price is $120 and lower.
Also find a unique line of candles inspired by Basquiat and Keith Haring at $48 and luxury scented soaps, and the men-care line called Beardbrand ranging from $12 to $32.
While you’re there check out Please Don’t Tell. Its point of view is styles by upcoming brands from different countries, in small quantities, so you won’t see a lot of other people wearing the same thing. Find trendy, casual, fun clothes and accessories sure to be a favorite of millennials – jumpsuits, playsuits, sun dresses, all matter of tops, and even a new line of nail polish called Toy (don’t you love the name). I especially liked a pencil jean skirt with laceup detail in front, some well priced Colombian made leather shoulder bags in pastel colors, and statement textile earrings by a Venezuelan designer. To keep your energy going, stop into Salty Donut for a coffee and outrageous donut (serious sugar overload promised!) like maple bacon, torched s’more, guava and cheese as well as classic glazed varieties.
Leaving Wynwood Arcade, make a stop nearby to BASE, men’s hip and sophisticated fashion store, 2215 NW 2nd Avenue. Designers from Japan, England, France and Sweden, represent eclectic styles, from classic with a twist and street style, to fashion forward “tech” fabrics and minimalist designs. Brands include Chapter and Stampd from Los Angeles, Folk of London, namamerica of Tokyo and Our Legacy of Stockholm.
Find pants, sporty jackets, tops, hats and bathing suits. Accessories Include popular leather and metal bracelets for men by Miami’s own Miansai who started with Base and are now in New York, and sunglasses from Los Angeles designer Super, made in Italy and all made from one piece. There’s also a line of their own fragrances that work for men and women, and very reasonably priced. In fact, their one ounce roll on is $35 and great for travel and gifts. While you’re there, check out the artsy magazines from around the world including cult favorites Kinfolk and Monocle.
And last but not least, coming soon to the Arcade, a restaurant by Norman Van Aken.