by Nissa Hanna
We’re back from Iconosphere a little more tan and a lot more energized. And we’d like to extend a special thank-you to the clients who joined us in Miami for some inspired shopping — all for research, of course. Our Retail Safari brought them to the intersection of Modern Day and Boundary Pushing.
The excursion focused on four stores that are making waves with their displays, curation and experience. First stop: The Webster. Set in a historic 20,000-square-foot Art Deco building, the lifestyle store offers a blend of contemporary brands (like Rag and Bone) and exclusive collaborations on the ground floor, while the more intimate top floor seamlessly displays luxe labels (like Saint Laurent and Céline) in a setting that suggests an impeccably stylish friend’s (enormous) closet.
Alchemist’s sidewalk storefront integrates the influence of its local environment: The wall designs are inspired by beach-essential Styrofoam coolers and pebble pool decking. But those in the know head down the street and take an unassuming elevator to the fifth floor of the Herzog & de Meuron-designed parking garage to check out the edgy selection (Rick Owens leather jackets) in Alchemist’s lofty second location.
The Safari also made stops at two retailers that are widening their influence with innovative outposts. Base, a menswear boutique with a well-honed art-and-commerce vision, is extending its presence with outsize vending machines in posh hotels like the Mondrian, and the online-mostly eyewear brand Warby Parker lets guests and visitors of the Standard hotel try on frames at the Readery, its 1960s-esque newsstand kiosk (complete with beatnik-era tomes).
We covered a lot of retail ground that afternoon. And whether the stores stock $2,000 designer jackets or $95 spectacles, each had something to teach us about connecting with consumers through spaces that blend imagination, meaning, discovery and intimacy. These retailers aren’t just offering the latest trends — they’re creating them.