October 29th, 2014
Women's Wear Daily
GGP and Ashkenazy Take MDD Stake
by Sharon Edelson
GENERAL GROWTH Properties and Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. are taking a stake in the Miami Design District.
The companies on Tuesday said they will pay $280 million net after debt for a 20 percent stake in the district, an 18-square-block neighborhood that boasts retailers such as Prada, Marni, Maison Martin Margiela and Rick Owens.
The district is owned by Miami Design District Associates, a partnership between Dacra and L Real Estate, a global real estate development and investment fund that specializes in luxury shopping destinations. The stake is being purchased evenly from Dacra and L Real Estate, a fund in which LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is a minority shareholder.
Craig Robins, founder and owner of Dacra, had the vision to transform the dilapidated Art Deco area of South Beach into the Miami Design District. He said that partnering with L Real Estate gave him access to better dialogues with luxury brands, which in turn “gave us credibility to work with other brands.”
“Marc Jacobs, Dior, Bulgari,” Robins said. “Once people knew that LVMH brands were going to come into the neighborhood, they wanted to come, too.” Cartier, Hermès and Van Cleef & Arpels also polished the gloss of MDD. “The strategic partnership with L Real Estate enabled us to strategize our merchandising in an international arena,” he said. “We’ve completed 15 buildings and 50 global flagships.”
MDD will continue to expand with the help of GGP and Ashkenazy’s investment. Robins said construction will begin in January on 20 buildings for 60 new stores. This section of MDD will also have a boutique hotel and some residential units.
With the completion of the initial phase of the Miami Design District in December, the second phase is expected to come online by 2016. Then the district is expected to house more than 120 luxury retailers, a boutique hotel, 15 to 20 restaurants, luxury residential condos and lofts, galleries and furniture showrooms. Miami Design District Associates will own and operate 1.2 million square feet of space, the majority of which will be retail. Almost a quarter of the new space will be dedicated to other uses. Future expansion could include an additional 2 million square feet of space.
“The design district has had a growing presence of art, a very solid presence of design and more and more restaurants,” Robins said. “Jean Georges Vongerichten just signed a lease to open ABC Kitchen. We’ve been expanding our cultural offering. The board of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, decided to relocate and name a new museum, the Institute for Contemporary Art, to the Design District in December. All these things are converging. We’re becoming solid.” The district has public art installations by Buckminster Fuller, Zaha Hadid, John Baldessari and Marc Newson.
“We made this investment in the Miami Design District as it is the urban retail destination in South Florida,” said Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive officer of GGP. “This provides a tremendous opportunity for GGP to add to its portfolio of unique, experience-based retail neighborhoods,” adding that “it is a destination for those who are in search of creativity, style and culture.”
Ben Ashkenazy, CEO of Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., said, “The Miami Design District has emerged in the past few years as a leading player in the global market of luxury retail development, reinventing the model for creating neighborhoods. We made a strategic investment because we believe this will be among the most innovative and valuable retail projects in the world.”
Mathieu Le Bozec, managing director of L Real Estate, said, “The addition of GGP and Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. is a testament to the value that has been created.”
Miami Design District pioneers such as Christian Louboutin and Martin Margiela are renovating and/or expanding their stores. “A lot of retailers came here and took temporary space while building big flagships, including Hermès, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Céline, Pucci and Lanvin,” said Robins. “We’ll be doing global flagships for Dior, Dior Homme, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Ermenegildo Zegna, Loewe, Max Mara, Tom Ford, Tod’s, Loro Piana, Bulgari, Céline, Harry Winston and Versace. In addition, 15 major watch and jewelry brands will open stores such as Hublot, Piaget and IWC.
“We’re committed to the next phase with Dolce & Gabbana, Creed, Rag & Bone and Diane von Furstenberg,” Robins said. “We’ve also reached an agreement with some of the major Kering brands.”
Robins said the district will bring in contemporary brands. Zadig & Voltaire, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Helmut Lang and Theory have signed leases. Rents are about $125 a square foot plus CAM, which Robins said is a “low number compared to street retail rents in Miami.”
The Miami Design District’s buildings have been designed by a who’s who of architects. The master plan was developed by Duany Plater-Zyberk. Other participating architects include Sou Fujimoto, Aranda\ Lasch, Johnston Marklee, Neri & Hu and Studio Gang.
September 25th, 2013
Women's Wear Daily
Sou Fujimoto Tapped for Miami Design District Facade
by Sharon Edelson
When the name of your project is the Miami Design District, it goes without saying that the architecture has to be impressive.
Sou Fujimoto impressive. Fujimoto, the rising star who was selected this year to design the Serpentine Gallery pavilion in London — considered one of the world's plum commissions — created a facade for a 15,200-square-foot mixed-use retail building in the Design District's Palm Court, which is set to bow in 2014. Meanwhile, the Design District revealed the next round of tenants to sign leases, a list of 22 upscale brands.
The development is owned by Miami Design District Associates, a partnership between Craig Robins' company Dacra, and L Real Estate, a global real estate development fund focused on luxury retail-driven mixed-use projects in which LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is a minority investor.
Luxury retailers view the district as an alternative to the Bal Harbour Shops, which has been enforcing a radius restriction clause that prohibits tenants from opening stores within 20 miles of the mall. Brands that opened stores in the Design District include Hermès, Agnona, Berluti, Cartier, Céline, Christian Louboutin, Dior Homme, Emilio Pucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Maison Martin Margiela and Marni.
The next phase of tenants will include Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Harry Winston, Hublot, IWC, Loewe, Longchamp, Marc Jacobs,Miu Miu, Panerai, Parmigiani, Piaget, Rick Owens, Rolex, Tag Heuer, Tiffany & Co., Tod's, Vacheron Constantin, Valentino and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Robins said 50 stores will open in fall 2014, with 60 bowing in 2015. "Sales have been very strong already, even though we don't have critical mass."
Fujimoto's facade encompasses the building's first and second floor arcades and creates a structural waterfall pedestrians can walk under. The Palm Court will house about 20 watch and jewelry brands.
"The neighborhood is evolving organically," Robins said. "Steadily, new things are happening. There's new architecture and new businesses are opening. We control 70 percent. It's nothing like a mall, it's a real place." A real place with amazing art. Zaha Hadid designed an installation, Marc Newson created a fence, and John Baldessari will do an art installation.
Design District rents range from $100 a square foot to $200 a square foot.
March 6th, 2013
Women's Wear Daily
Hermès Events Celebrate Temporary Miami Home
by Rebecca Kleinman
MIAMI — Hermès hopped down to Florida for a party-filled winter weekend.
Its first order of business was orchestrating the final details for the move from Bal Harbour to a temporary store in the Miami Design District, which opened Feb. 23. Robert Chavez, president and chief executive officer of Hermès USA, said temporary spaces aren’t unusual for the brand. The 5,000-square-foot space on Northeast 40th Street joins those in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Houston, which are pending a renovation and relocation, respectively. Due December 2014 at more than double the size, Miami’s permanent, threestory flagship with a rooftop garden by RDAI is being built from the ground up a block south.
“The most important thing is that we don’t cut back on categories in the meantime, that the full assortment is available, though nowhere near the amount that the flagship will offer,” said Chavez, adding that Miami marks the first time the brand designed furniture and fixtures specifically for a temporary store. “They’re elegant without making a major investment.”
Light decor in looks and materials works with the mobility theme. Rather than the typical stately seating, the fine jewelry and watch section has natural okoume wood vanities and small stools with clean lines. Cork drawers and wall fixtures referencing the brand’s signature saddle stitching also demonstrate a different approach to luxury, according to Chavez.
He said every store layout differs for maximum convenience within the market. In that case, silk scarves are expected to be the big draw in Miami. Stretched squares in bright pinks and greens hang above a bar overflowing with patterns. Referencing the neighborhood’s interior design history, the home section also is situated up front.
“The flagship will continue to recognize this aspect by keeping home on the first floor instead of the third like at our Madison Avenue store,” said Chavez, of one of the company’s largest furniture offerings worldwide to come.
A central equestrian department carries everything from saddles to the Evelyne bag, originally developed for horse-grooming items and which are ventilated through a decorative perforated H. It also houses luggage, such as the high-tech Calècheexpress collection that launched in 2012. Considered another safe bet in the region, color explodes in rainbow displays of floppy sun hats, wide belts and ties.
Far back in men’s, an unlined, two-button blazer and slim pants with selfbelt in pale lime cotton, as well as a chic gray sweatshirt in mixed materials, hark back to Don Johnson’s television wardrobe. They’re a tease for the city’s initial Hermès Men’s Universe fashion presentation beginning May 30. Chavez said several factors contributed to staging the event, like last year’s successful versions in New York and San Francisco, and the Moore Building, a historic venue down the street.
“The location lends itself to a beautiful event,” he said, not feeling that it’s a premature move versus waiting until 2015. “It’s more about promoting the product, including made to measure.”
From the get-go, the company dived into its local event platform. Following a private cocktail party at the store on Friday, a small group of clients dined in the property’s rooftop garden with several members of Hermès’ New York and Paris teams. Sunday afternoon, it hosted the Hermès Jumper Derby at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Fla.
“We’ve participated at WEF [FTI Winter Equestrian Festival] for decades,” said Chavez, who awarded the $50,000 prize after 20 riders, including newly appointed Hermès of Paris-sponsored rider Nicholas Dello Joio, had taken a crack at the outdoor course’s natural challenges of water and shrubbery. “The timing was incredibly fortunate with Nick riding our new Cavale saddle.”
Though officially launching at Le Saut in Paris in April, a duo of Cavale jumping saddles was on view at the Hermès cabana decked out in French salon chairs and bales of hay. Fabrice Crespel, European equestrian sales manager for Hermès France, and equestrian ambassador Mathieu Pinon presented the sleek style’s concave panels and padded, perforated flaps customized for riders’ and horses’ comfort. Simon Delestre, a member of the French Olympic equestrian team and Hermès International-sponsored rider, consulted during every step of the design process. Leathers and stitching may be tailored for orders, which take about three months.
October 3rd, 2011
Women's Wear Daily
Christian Dior's Art Project
by Miles Socha
Taking its longtime links to the art world to a new place, Christian Dior will today unveil a vivid accessories line in collaboration with German contemporary art star Anselm Reyle.
The range — spanning everything from wallets up to metallic leather handbags — is slated to arrive in select Dior boutiques worldwide on Jan. 9.
But they will first make an appearance during the Art Basel Miami Beach fair. A Dior pop-up shop is slated to open Nov. 28 in the Miami Design District for a three-week run. “It’s young and modern. There’s a lot of energy,” Delphine Arnault, deputy general manager at Dior, said Monday during an exclusive preview of the project at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s headquarters on the Avenue Montaigne, where products were installed amidst black lacquer shelving and colored mirrors. Visitors to today’s presentation in the building’s courtyard will first pass video columns bearing Reyle’s camouflage patterns which, Arnault pointed out, go well with the colorful figures by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami that stand like sentinels in the window. “Art has always been at the center of Christian Dior’s life. We thought it would be great to continue the story and we chose an artist with a strong vision,” Arnault said, describing Reyle’s work as “joyful” in its use of vivid colors and shiny materials like foil. “Christian Dior, before becoming a visionary couturier, was a gallerist,” she reminded.
Reyle applied his aesthetic to existing models in the Dior accessories universe, rendering Lady Dior handbags in matte or metallic leathers and canvas totes in vivid prints with a metallic sheen. Throughout, Reyle tilted the house’s famous “cannage” pattern on a 30-degree angle, occasionally stitched in neon thread. Colorful bangles, chunky necklaces, sunglasses, scarves and a tight selection of footwear — including chunky platforms — complete the line. Retail prices range from about 190 euros, or $268 at current exchange, for a bangle, up to 2,850 euros, or $4,018, for a metallic Lady Dior. To the famous “C” and “D” charms that dangle from Dior leather goods, Reyle added shards of colorful Perspex, telegraphing his penchant for found objects and industrial materials. “We left him very free on this project. It’s important to give freedom to artists,” said Arnault, echoing a sentiment often expressed by her father, Bernard, chairman and chief executive officer of the world’s biggest luxury goods group. “[Reyle] was very interested in working on objects that would follow women all day.”
Extending the range to the beauty department, Dior developed five nail polishes and a limited-edition eye shadow palette with a mix of colors painstakingly set in camouflage patterns. Reyle, who is represented in New York by Larry Gagosian and in Europe by Almine Rech, told WWD it was his first time working with a fashion brand. “It was a challenge. At first I wasn’t sure about the result, but now I am happy,” he said. “In my work, I deal a lot with found objects, and influences beyond the traditional art context; for example, elements of subculture, architecture and design. That’s why I thought this project could make sense.” Reyle said he was struck by how a big company like Dior develops its products much like an artist does in his studio. “I am very curious to see ladies wearing the bags and other things on the street,” the Berlin-based artist mused, adding, “but I guess where I live I won’t see too many of them.”
September 26th, 2011
Women's Wear Daily
Hermes to Open in Miami Design District
by Sharon Edelson
Hermes is trading the established Bal Harbour Shops for the burgeoning Miami Design District, an 18-square-block area with a hip undercurrent that's in the throes of gentrification.
The move gives Hermes the opportunity to open a 10,000-square-foot two-level flagship in the Design District in fall 2013, more than double the size of its existing 4,Soo-squarefoot unit at the Bal Harbour Shops. The retailer's lease expires Dec. 31, 2012. Hermes in January will operate a temporary store in the district until its permanent store is ready.
Robert Chavez, president and chief executive officer of Hermes USA, said the move in Miami is as dramatic as Hermes' 2000 decision to replace a S,ooo-square-foot store on East s7th Street with a four-floor lS,ooo-square-foot flagship on Madison Avenue and 62nd Street.
"The plans Craig Robins [the Design District's primary landlord] has for it are quite dynamic," Chavez said. "It's a great thing he's doing, and we want to be a part of it. Our business in Miami has been very strong."
Men's will receive a much larger space, there will be a more significant presentation of watches and jewelry, shoes will be expanded, and accessories, which is "sorely represented, will get a new presentation." Chavez doesn't see any need to expand women's, as it has a fair amount of square footage already.
Furniture will also be added. "We'll increase our home offering significantly. Now we're carrying home in six stores and only three of those stores carry it in a pretty significant way. Adjacent to our new store will be a small St. Louis crystal shop, the first of its kind in the U.S."
Chavez isn't worried about Hermes customers traveling to the Design District. "What Craig is doing in the district is going to significantly change that whole area, and will become a major draw over a longer period of time," he said. "We think other luxury retailers will join us."
Already, Louis Vuitton exited Bal Harbour at the end of May, when its lease expired, and announced its intention to open a Design District store in 2014. Vuitton will also open a new location at the Aventura Mall. Other luxury brands in residence at the Design District include Christian Louboutin and Marni. Robins has said his goal is to sign leases with 20 to 30 luxury retailers over the next five years, and he's targeting other LVMH brands, as well as Prada, Chanel and Gucci.
March 25th, 2011
Women's Wear Daily
Louis Vuitton Expands in Florida, Dubai
by Miles Socha
Louis Vuitton is doubling up — and then some — in South Florida.
The French luxury brand plans to exit Bal Harbour Shops at the end of May and establish a new location roughly double the size at the Aventura Mall, where Vuitton already operates a leased department at Bloomingdale's.
What's more, Vuitton plans to add a unit in the burgeoning Miami Design District in the coming years, said Vuitton chief executive officer Yves Carcelle.
He said details on the global store at Aventura are still being worked out and that Vuitton would open a temporary store there on June 5 to ensure a continuation of the business in a dynamic region for the brand. The size, location and concept for the design district boutique are also being fine-tuned. Vuitton decided to exit Bal Harbour upon the expiration of its lease as the complex would not allow it to expand or open a second location in the area, according to Carcelle.
The luxury goods firm revealed the plan to expand in south Florida as it opened a larger unit in Dubai and said it will continue to expand aggressively in the Middle East even as certain countries in the region are in political turmoil. Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet, president and chief executive of Louis Vuitton South Europe and Middle East, speaking during the reopening of Vuitton's Mall of the Emirates boutique in Dubai, said clientele in the region have an appetite for luxury and most of the company's current retail spaces are too small to meet the demands of customers.
Chapoulaud-Floquet said the company's short-term strategy is to "expand or relocate existing stores to give more space to meet the clients' needs in terms of products and services."
The newly expanded Mall of the Emirates store almost doubles the retail space with a much larger product offering, including a full selection of women's ready-to-wear as well as a new section dedicated to men's rtw.
The expansion also includes the first-ever family room within a Louis Vuitton store. Conceptualized to meet the unique needs of customers in the region, the room offers a space for families to relax while parents enjoy a leisurely shopping experience "Family is central to life in the Middle East, and we noticed that there were many families in the store," explained Chapoulaud-Floquet. "The idea was to create an environment where our customers and their families can shop in a more relaxed way."
Future plans for the Middle East include a possible expansion of the store opened last year in Beirut, Lebanon. "The relaunch and expansion of this store is a great example of what we have to do throughout the region," said Chapoulaud-Floquet.
Chapoulaud-Floquet said Vuitton's business in the region has been largely unaffected by the political unrest, since most of the countries in turmoil are not large markets for luxury goods. "Fortunately we have not been very exposed in the areas where there has been unrest," she said. One store in Bahrain has been closed for a week during the current anti-government protests. She added that stable markets like Dubai are benefiting as people move from areas of unrest like Egypt.
December 1st, 2009
Women's Wear Daily
Pop-ups Ready for Art Basel
by Rebecca Kleinman
More than art and design booths will be popping up, come the Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami fairs that kick off today.
Limited Edition Experiences, dozens of temporary boutiques in Miami's Design District, opened Monday, just in time for the art crowd to descend for a week of purchases and parties. But even after crowds depart, many shops plan to operate for months.
Categories are men's and women's clothing, accessories, footwear, innerwear and novelties. Confirmed tenants are Fendi, Gucci, Maison Martin Margiela, Cynthia Rowley, Jessica Trosman, Katherine Fleming. Duncan Quinn, Christopher Ross, Stubbs & Wootten, Touche Muah, Billionaire Boys Club, Ice Cream and Neon Monster, with a number of major fashion houses working out last-minute negotiations. They join permanent freestanding stores for Marni, Tomas Maier and Christian Louboutin, which has opened its largest U.S. flagship at 2,500 square feet, according to Craig Robins, chief executive officer and president of Dacra. a Miami-based real estate firm that owns much of the Design District. And. as part of a worldwide tour. Gucci is bringing its sneaker store. Icon-Temporary, with limited edition collaborations by DJ Mark Ronson.
'We had the art. design and dining components, so fashion was the next step in creating a complete neighborhood," said Robins of the designated strips for fashion retailers along the eastern end of Northeast 40th Street, and Northeast Second Avenue from Northeast 39th to 41st Streets. "We're starting with short-term lease agreements, but the goal is to build long term."
As one of Design Miami's veteran sponsors, Fendi already has a vested interest in the area. Robins reports it was one of the first companies to commit, mostly due to Silvia Fendi's strong belief in supporting young designers. (One of the contract's stipulations for all pop-up shops is that designers lecture at nearby Design and Architecture Senior High.) Participants have been attracted partially by the chance to test the Miami market, and less stressful leases regarding time and space. Based on needs, they can stick around a week to several months in 340 to 4,000 square feet.
Men's wear designer Duncan Quinn has fully embraced the concept. At 4,000 square feet, his two-story store with a croquet court, art installations and poker and bespoke rooms is a giant leap from much smaller shops in New York. Los Angeles and Dallas. Because Quinn doesn't do wholesale, he's eager to see how his line performs in South Florida, though a top customer lives around the corner from his Miami address. Ready-to-wear makes up 50 percent of merchandise, and he plans to stock beach items such as sunglasses, swim trunks and towels.
"I'm trying to create an experience far beyond retail with private wine dinners, car tie-ins and croquet," he said.
Martin Margiela will occupy 1,100 square feet for a month before relocating to 2,700 square feet for an undisclosed period. An extensive selection of men's and women's wear, eyewear, accessories and shoes are offered. Monica Voltolina, ceo of Staff USA, reports the brand believes in retail expansion in the U.S., with Miami being a key market
"Miami's Design District corresponds with Margiela's artistic and design DNA, and we love the idea to feel and test this environment." she said.
Miami native Katherine Fleming is offering her New York-based handbag line that launched last year. Through the holidays, the spring collection will retail between $400 and $1,100 in a 400-square-foot section in the program's F Factory in the Moore Building.
"That's at least three months before it hits stores," said Fleming, who wholesales to Barneys New York, Opening Ceremony and Linda Dresner, among others.
Jessica Trosman, a Buenos Aires-based designer with three stores there, originally considered a store in Los Angeles, but held off to research U.S. and foreign markets through international diversity in Miami and at the fairs. For one or two months in the F Factory, she will sell her spring women's wear in natural fabrics with metallic and plastic embellishment from $100 to $700, plus denim, accessories and jewelry.
"It's not as much of a financial drain or risk on my part," she said of the temporary shop.
Christopher Ross' store is selling his vintage, chunky metal belt buckles. Retailing between $500 and $1,200,30 designs in 24-karat gold and sterling silver include an exclusive double eagle. The shop closes in February.
"The whole atmosphere is a good match for us, since his buckles are more like works of art than fashion," said co-owner Karin Ross.