Bal Harbour has long been synonymous with luxury in Miami. The storied Bal Harbour Shops celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and is poised to enter its second half-century with new, cutting-edge luxury brands, restaurants and almost double the square footage—if they can get approval.
The spate of new and redesigned stores kicked off with the redesign of Bulgari by Peter Marino and La Perla more than a year and a half ago. Since then, there have been a slew of new arrivals that represent a mix of casual designers like Phillip Lim and IRO, plus haute winter-wear maker Moncler and men’s bespoke suit brand Kiton. Younger brands are vying for a slice of the serious shopper’s budget and are, deservedly, getting it. Take for example Aquazzura, the sexy Italian shoe brand known for clever cut-outs and other whimsical elements. Fashionistas who were used to finding the brand at Neimans or Bergdorf were happy to see last year’s Basel-era pop-up evolve into a full-blown, permanent boutique.
Goyard, Paris’s most esteemed quiet luxury hand bag and travel brand, opened on the first floor. The brand, which eschews advertising, social media and the press altogether, has been putting more and more of its iconic “Goyardine” chevron-printed canvas on the arms of Miami’s shopping set since its arrival last winter. The Miami boutique boasts the Alpin, a special backpack launched this past July, as well as an exclusive marquage, hand-painted design that is based on constructivism and will only be available in four stores worldwide. The black, white and blue geometric addition will give your Goyard not only a monogram but will also bring a totally new look to handbags, card carriers and more.
On the subject of French imports, Ladurée has installed a cart carrying its just-flown-in-from-Paris macarons on the mall’s second story. Not only is it the perfect shot in the arm to prevent an afternoon shopping lull, but it adds to the notion that, perhaps, the mall really does have the best of the best in the entire world.
But because shoppers can’t live on sugar alone, the mall has upped its eating game by adding onto a decade-long favorite, Carpaccio. The first new restaurant is Le Zoo, a French brasserie concept by Stephen Starr that really does Gallic fare justice. There is also The Grill, part of Hillstone group, which never fails to have a great menu and a packed restaurant.
Just across the street, the St. Regis Bar & Sushi Lounge offers a tony respite after a long day of shopping. One needs only walk directly across the street, through the iconic mirrored lobby and under the dripping rock crystal chandeliers to get a taste of swank on a stick. The newly revamped space, concepted by Jillian Jacobson, offers a complete menu of top-notch Japanese cuisine. Imagine a sexy environment with sensual live entertainment and a parade of affluent, attractive hotel patrons. These are the ingredients that make this Bal Harbour haunt a home run.