Aventura Mall Shopping
Ferrari is just one of many specialty stores at Aventura Mall. If your South Florida sugar daddy already owns a Ferrari, you can buy him some brand cologne instead.
I’m not like most women. I don’t like to shop. Usually, I just go to a store or mall when I need something, like a hunter who knows exactly where to find her prey. I pounce on it quickly and no sooner do I get my receipt, I’m outta there. I’d rather spend an afternoon fishing for tarpon instead of scouring the racks. And besides, isn’t every Miami-Dade mall full of obnoxious teenagers?
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I was invited to be an Aventura Mall insider for half a day. I was pleasantly surprised, especially by all the luxury store options and fine artwork on display. I was happy to see there was more to it than meets my jaded local’s eye.
COOL FACTS ABOUT AVENTURA MALL
Founded in 1983, the mall is a destination for the retail hungry. Six department stores and three hundred specialty stores spread over 2.7 million square feet. Aventura Mall is one of the top five highest grossing shopping centers in the country, thanks to 28 million shoppers a year, twenty percent of which are domestic and international travelers.
Quickly rivaling upscale Bal Harbour Mall for luxury goods in exclusive stores, Aventura Mall is upping the ante with shops like Henri Bendel, Burberry’s, Hugo Boss and Stuart Weitzman.
Louis Vuitton left Bal Harbour to open a two-story shop at Aventura Mall, which will be the largest Vuitton store of its kind in the Western hemisphere, comparable to the one in Dubai. Louis Vuitton is currently open, but in a temporary, smaller storefront.
Ted Baker from the U.K., as well as La Martina and Etiqueta Negra from Argentina, to name a few, have also called Aventura Mall a second home.
SHOPPING FOR THE BEACH LIFESTYLE
If you’re a girlie girl who loves shopping and the beach, and have a generous number of clams in your purse to spare, the trip from your hotel in Miami Beach to Aventura Mall might be worth it. Locals with a generous fashion budget, also take heed.
On the beach, of course, consider sunscreen your most important accessory.
Sephora offers some very attractive products that don’t come in a bottle. Don’t you hate buying a cosmetic only to toss it out because it doesn’t work for you? Sephora avoids that costly nuisance with free express consultations where you can try a product before purchasing. Other seductive deals: purchase $50 worth of merchandise and get your makeup done for a special occasion. Spend $125 and get a private beauty advisor for 90 minutes who will help you on any beauty questions of your choice—from skin care to makeup and fragrance—and get your makeup done to boot.
Water and humidity proof makeup, with built-in sunscreen, is essential in South Florida if you’re going to spend a lot of time outside. Or you can hide indoors until the sun goes down, like I do.
The finished look was simple but polished. Not that this model needed makeup anyway.
So your face is ready. Now you have to dress up your body. Zingara is a one-stop shop for bikinis, one-piece swim suits, cover-ups, scarves, bags and matching sandals.
The only thing they don’t sell at this store is a matching speedo for your poolboy, but you can buy some adorable matching bathing suits for your little girl.
The Zingara line was created by an Uruguayan family and is based in Mexico. Bathing attire comes up to size 12 in select styles and up to cup size DD. Most items retail from $80 to $250.
It’s too bad Borat didn’t make this pretty style famous.
These cover-ups at Zingara would turn some eyes at those Ocean Drive cafés and fancy hotel lobbies.
You won’t find any run-of-the-mill flip flops here.
OUT ON THE TOWN
Zingara sells beautiful, full-length beach dresses you could easily wear to go out. But what if you want something fancier for a club or something different than a cover-up for hanging out?
Step-in Koko Palenki, a boutique created by Chilean-born, Miami-raised Pamela Garcia. “I was always into clothing,” Garcia said. “In my stores, I go for what the Miami woman wants.” She’s got a curated selection, devoid of some of the trashy looks you could find in South Beach. If you’re not from Miami and want to see what Miami women really wear, stop by and at least browse for some education. Ditto if you are from Miami, but are fashioned-challenged.
The Aventura location is one of five in Miami and sells heels in addition to clothes and accessories.
I could totally see this as a “casual hanging out on Lincoln Road if you want to stay classy” outfit. The Flashdance style top reveals shoulder but not the entire rack.
This beautiful Halston dress has Miami Beach resort wear written all over it. The model, who was about 12 feet tall, wore it in flats for a more casual look. The dress was retailing for $495.
Pamela Garcia suggested this beaded top with white pants for a fun and fanciful evening outfit.
A good animal print dress for clubbing or a tasteful cougar. In the back, it’s styled to enhance any booty curves. No wonder Kim Kardashian has worn it. This Rebecca Minkoff dress was on sale for $298.
SKIP THE FOOD COURT
Now that you’ve indulged in fashion, you might as well indulge in food. Nosh at The Grill on the Alley, a Miami version of the original restaurant on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. This is a sophisticated but unpretentious spot for girl talk over a cosmo while sharing generously portioned appetizers.
PLUS SIZE OPTIONS
None of the shops I visited catered to women over size 12 and honestly, that’s probably pushing it. But take heart, there’s a Lane Bryant at Aventura Mall as well as six department stores. For larger girls, Aventura Mall has far more to offer than all of Miami Beach fashion retail put together.
IF YOU GO
Are you visiting Miami Beach and looking for a good mall?
Aventura Mall has something for everyone and isn’t limited to luxury shops. With six department stores including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, plus 300 stores, including an Apple center, Aventura is a much closer and more convenient option than Sawgrass Mills Mall, South Florida’s other shopping giant.
For luxury goods, Bal Harbour is closer to Miami Beach, but Aventura is a legitimate rival.
If you have a car, the mall is a very pleasant drive up Collins Avenue to the William Lehman Causeway in the City of Aventura. Parking is free in the garages or take of advantage of reasonably priced valet. For those without private transportation, use Miami-Dade bus routes.
Aventura Mall offers a rewards program for domestic and international visitors that features savings and special offers at participating merchants. Talk to your travel agent about the program before coming to South Florida or visit the MasterCard Concierge Center with your passport or driver’s license. You do not need a MasterCard to be part of the program and it’s available to anyone who can prove they live outside of the tri-county area of Miami-Dade, Broward and West Palm Beach.
Aventura Mall is located at 19501 Biscayne Boulevard in the City of Aventura, near the border of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, approximately 20 miles from South Beach. For more information, call (305) 935-1110 or visit www.aventuramall.com.
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"Aventura Mall Shopping"