FashionFashion 101The Issue

THE HUB STORES Bring European Style & Sophistication to South Beach

By Katie Jackson 
Photography by Imani Ogden 

When walking into the lobby of the Franklin Hotel in the heart of South Beach, the smell of fresh coffee and sight of luxury boutiques take over the senses. The historic Franklin, which was recently remodeled into a chic boutique hotel that offers loft style apartments for short-term rentals, houses the innovative Hub Stores. Nestled into the Franklin’s swank lobby, the Hub Stores offer eight temporary retail spaces for European companies. In addition, the Hub Café provides a place to sit and soak up the ambiance.

The Hub Stores 3While these companies have flourished overseas, expanding to the U.S. may seem overwhelming to the owners. The Hub Stores aim to make that transition simple. They also help find professional photographers and host both promotional parties and other pop up events.

Mark Howell, Director of Retail for the Hub Stores says, “When choosing a location to launch the first Hub Stores, Miami was an easy decision.” “Miami is very cosmopolitan,” says Nadine Curmi Borgomanero, owner of MADinItaly . “And of course, the weather is amazing!” Opening just last December, the Hub Stores immediately filled all of the available rental spaces, and quickly became a popular destination for both Miami locals and tourists. With an eclectic selection of upscale European brands, including accessories, beachwear, shoes, furniture, and art, it’s no surprise that the Hub Stores attract crowds. Local Europeans that recognize the brands are frequent patrons of the shops as well. “It’s really becoming a neighborhood destination. People really like to come here and hang out,” says Howell.

Though it has only been a few months since the launch of the Hub Stores, it will not be long until the company expands. “It’s a concept that is going to be repeated in other hotels,” says Howell. With a unique atmosphere and an equally exceptional shopping experience, the Hub Stores have made South Beach that much more enticing.

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MADINITALY: AN ITALIAN OASIS

When walking into the MADinItaly retail space within the Hub Stores,
customers cannot help but be drawn to all the unique Italian furniture and home décor that the store has to offer. The exquisite selection of Italian designed masterpieces, curated by owner Nadine Curmi Borgomanero, is truly lust-worthy. But Borgomanero not only offers customers beautiful items, she also provides superior interior design and remodeling services that will turn any home into an Italian oasis.

Though constantly evolving, MADinItaly continues to bring customers the most prestigious home décor by designers such as Karim Rashid, Mario Bellini, and Gaetano Pesce, whose work has been displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. With products ranging from specially handcrafted decorative pillows, glasses, chairs, candles, and home fragrances, there is no shortage of gorgeous items. “Everything is very unique,” says Borgomanero.

After opening MADinItaly five years ago in the Design District, Borgomanero decided to move her company to South Beach, hoping to bring her tastefully chosen items to a broader clientele. Borgomanero is excited for the store to be a destination for both Miami locals and tourists looking to fulfill their luxury home needs. She is also passionate about providing her services to other Europeans who have purchased a home on South Beach, and helping them feel comfortable. “Usually, there are a lot of Italians or Europeans who buy homes here, and since the language can be a problem for them, we can help.”

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LA FOLIE BIJOUX: ENVIABLE GIFTS

Yara Nagro founded La Folie Bijoux, an eclectic accessory store, with the idea of providing customers with special and unique items to give as gifts. With collections from designers from Italy and France, there is an enormous selection of pieces that anyone would love.la folie1Opening a new location within the Hub Stores, Nagro has curated jewelry and accessories that customers will not be able to find elsewhere. From hand chains and finger- length rings inspired by tattoos, to the popular sunglasses, hats, midi rings, and diamond- encrusted necklaces, La Folie Bijoux has it all. “There’s nothing traditional. There’s nothing simple,” says Nagro.

With price points ranging from $50 to $3,000, there is something in the store for everyone. “Teenage boys come in and buy the chain rings for their girlfriends,” says Nagro. “And then their mothers get jealous and come in and buy them too!”

 

Miss Bikini 1MISS BIKINI LUXE: BEACH COUTURE

Miss Bikini Luxe provides the ultimate in beachwear glamour. With beautifully handcrafted collections and one-of-a-kind accessories, the brand has become immensely popular all over Europe. In a quest to expand their well-loved line to the U.S., the Miss Bikini Luxe designers and sisters, Alessandra and Francesca Piacentini and President Andrea Teofilatto, have chosen to rent a retail space within the Hub Stores and make Miami their first destination.

Launching Miss Bikini Luxe twenty years ago, the Piacentini sisters made it their goal to revolutionize the way in which bikinis were made. “They really put their hearts into the collection,” says Clelia Redeghieri, manager of the Miami Miss Bikini Luxe Hub Stores location. Using the finest materials and manufacturing resources from Italy while incorporating elegant details like Swarovski crystals, the Piacentinis create elegant bikinis that will flatter all body types. “You can actually find a bikini that fits you perfectly, and then from there you can pick that style in any collection,” says Redeghieri.

Miss Bikini 5It’s not just the bikinis that are coveted. The unique accessories captivate customers and can be worn from the beach to the bar. In addition to the exquisitely designed cover-ups, dresses, and sandals, there are also the ingenious “t-shirt bags,” which are popular pieces that convert from a bag to a chic cover-up. “It’s basically a triangle, and you can wear it over the shoulder as a bag, or over the neck as a loose top to cover the bikini,” says Redeghieri. “It’s really elegant, fancy, and comfortable. But it’s also an accessory. It’s almost like a piece of art.” Miss Bikini Luxe also carries one-of-a-kind vests that a customer can choose in silk, suede, or cotton that are numbered by hand by the Piacentinis. “Once the customer buys it, they feel special because they know that they are going to be the only one that has that particular piece.”

The Piacentinis pride themselves in putting the customer and the customer’s tastes first.

“They [the Piacentinis] are always in touch with me and ask me, ‘how did they like the bikini?’ ‘Were they comfortable?’ So it’s really personal,” says Redeghieri. With prices ranging from $160 to $300, the Piacentinis make sure Miss Bikini Luxe has something for everyone. “The quality is extremely high and the price is accessible,” says Redeghieri.

With big plans on the horizon, including an appearance during Mercedes- Benz Fashion Week Swim 2016, Miss Bikini Luxe hopes to obtain a permanent location in the Magic City. “Miami is a really glamorous city, and everyone is talking about it, so the designers wanted to start here, in the most beautiful city,” says Redeghieri.

HGTHE HAUSAMMANN GALLERY BRINGS CONTEMPORARY ART TO SOUTH BEACH

After successfully exhibiting contemporary art for over 50 years in Europe, the Hausammann Gallery has opened its first U.S. location in Miami at the Hub Stores in the Franklin Hotel. Providing a unique contrast to the otherwise home accessory and fashion-related retailers within the Hub Stores, the Hausammann Gallery offers fabulous exhibitions of Italian artists. With new exhibitions about every other month, there is always fresh and exciting art for customers to enjoy.

Founded by the great collector and lover of contemporary art, Renato Hausammann, the first Hausammann Gallery opened in Cortina d’Ampezzo Italy, in 1961. With his continued dedication and passion, the Hausammann Gallery flourished. Now a family run business, the Hausammann Gallery has been taken over by the third generation, Beatrice and Federico, along with their mother, Gioia.

With goals of expansion within the U.S., the Hausammanns are thrilled to be in Miami.

“I’m particularly interested in graffiti street art, and that’s the reason why I decided to move to Miami,” says Federico. “There’s a lot of it in Wynwood.”

Hausammann Gallery3The Miami Hub Stores location regularly showcases different Italian artists, such as famous Italian graffiti artists Raptuz and Rae Martini. Both Raptuz’s Deconstructions Reloaded and Rae Martini’s Futureshock were very successful, and they hope to have similar successes in the near future. To announce a new exhibition, the Hausammann Gallery always throws a party in the artist’s honor. “We’ll have an event with cocktails and music,” says Federico. This provides the perfect setting for the art to be appreciated. Customers thoroughly enjoy perusing the new exhibit in a relaxed and pleasurable atmosphere.

The Hausammanns are excited to bring Italian culture to the Miami art scene. “I want to show Miami what we are. I love European graffiti artists, and I want to share them with the U.S., ” says Federico.

 

 

Click here to view post on the 2015 March/April issue.  

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