By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
From Wynwood to the Design District, South Beach and beyond, Miami offers visitors a bounty of shopping opportunities for every taste and preference.
Some of the best are found at compact boutiques, whose small size belies their big appeal. Packed with must-have merchandise and spring’s hottest looks, our favorite trendy-but-tiny retailers are proof that small can be beautiful – and stylish!
Secreted in plain sight in a pass-through on the west end of Lincoln Road, this miniscule store is filled with a dizzying assortment of things you never knew you wanted but suddenly realize you desperately need. Where else will you find Paul Smith socks nestled next to Fornasetti candles, and Mason Pearson’s legendary hairbrushes sharing counter space with neoprene espadrilles, Malin + Goetz bath products, and Marvis licorice toothpaste? With an international inventory that’s arguably the most diverse of any SoBe store, we dare you to leave Babalú empty-handed.
Trend Alert: Featuring candy colors, oversized lenses and crystal-embellished frames, Babalú’s statement sunglasses are spring must-haves.
1121 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Photo: The Bazaar Project
Steps from the Design District’s posh boutiques, Turkish designer Yeliz Titiz has created a shopping destination for those whose tastes veer away from merely expensive toward delightfully eclectic and genuinely unique. It’s the kind of boutique where you can find gifts at every price point, from dangly earrings embellished with rabbit fur to leather-bound journals and Parisian perfume oils. Titiz’s homeland is well represented with plump Ikat-patterned pillows and table linens, as well as a selection of evil-eye-embellished merchandise that includes modern furniture and accessories. Don’t miss the trove of silver and gold-dipped jewelry, most designed by Titiz herself.
Trend Alert: Patterned silk kaftans and rompers from Brazilian designer Adriana Barra are colorful companions to this season’s white swimwear trend.
4308 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33137
Tucked away in the Wynwood Block arcade, this treasure (which, coincidentally, is what its name means in a language from Gabon, the owners’ homeland) is a go-to for all things African. Amalgamating art, craft, clothing, and accessories from Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Kenya, South Africa, and Zanzibar, this Anthropologie-meets-Africa emporium offers a contemporary take on classic African design—with traditional masks and footstools crafted in vivid fiberglass, and clothing and table linens made of colorful African wax prints. Come for the feathered ceremonial “Juju” hats from Cameroon; stay for the small-batch Ethiopian coffee, served daily.
Trend Alert: Pop Caven’s cheeky graphic T-shirts (we love “Africa is Not A Country”) pair perfectly with spring’s wide-leg cropped jeans.
2621 NW 2nd Avenue, Suite 19, Miami, FL 33127
To lure people away from selfie sessions with Wynwood’s famous murals, you better have something equally compelling on display. This four-year-old neighborhood staple does, drawing shoppers from the neighboring Wynwood Walls to its airy space filled with clothes, gifts, and accessories for men, women, and pets by companies based everywhere from Morocco to Mexico. Our picks: Super-cool leather-and-cord leashes from Found My Animal and buttery unisex leather pouches from Minor History. Frangipani is also one of the few places in the neighborhood that sells cool clothing and toys for kids, so stock up for the littlest ones on your list here.
Trend Alert: Whether you go hard or hardly at all, do “athleisure” like a boss in athletic and loungewear from Spiritual Gangster, whose line is carried here.
2516 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33127
Gisela Balassa and Alejandro Orestano’s petite boutique has been lending international flair to its suburban South Miami neighborhood since 2013, with an inventory culled from independent designers from all over the globe. Drool over salmon skin clutches from Mexican brand Mosicuss; Cavilani leather sandals from Spain; and an impressive selection of unisex pieces from Miansai, the Miami-based jewelry and accessory house famous for its wrist wraps and brass cuffs. Respice (pronounced “ree-spice”) is also the only place to pick up the Miami version of Apolis’ popular burlap market bag, which makes as bold a statement on the beach as it does in the grocery store.
Trend Alert: Jump on the enduring photo-realism fashion trend with local designer Nath & La’s handy zippered pouches, featuring Miami’s iconic lifeguard huts.
5760 Sunset Drive, Miami, FL 33143
The sign on the wall of the store at Miami’s waterfront repository of contemporary art commands you to “SHOP”—and shop you will. That’s because there’s merch for everyone here – pressed tin Haitian wall hangings for your arty cousin; an exclusive cobalt-blue plaster pig by artist Harry Allen for your eccentric co-worker; coffee table art tomes for your mother – much of which you’ll be tempted to keep for your self. There’s memorabilia from current exhibitions, of course, but we’re partial to PAMM’s own Miami Kitsch line, which includes T-shirts, scarves, and backpacks with whimsical Miami imagery.
Trend Alert: Tropicalism’s metal pins, featuring papayas, plantains, and palm trees, are a #SoMiami way to add on-trend embellishment to a classic denim jacket.
1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132
Featured Photo: The Bazaar Project
About the Contributor
Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon is a Miami-based travel expert, award-winning travel journalist, TV personality, and black-belt shopper. Former Executive Editor of Caribbean Travel + Life magazine, she ventures to the beach and beyond, sharing the diverse culture, relaxed lifestyle, and colorful people of the world’s favorite warm-weather destinations.