The belief that business and friendship should never mix doesn’t apply to Kristine Michael. More than two decades later, the South Miami staple named after founders Jeanie Bonner’s and Barbara Hinterkopf’s eldest children remains a destination for a rotating hot list of designers like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Elizabeth and James, and brand-new addition Marchesa Voyage. But what really keeps it on patrons’ speed dials is customer service. “We text clients about new arrivals, shop for them in New York, drop off packages, you name it,” says Hinterkopf, who with Bonner also constantly updates the store’s Facebook page. “Our loyalty points program is another department store-style perk without the parking hassle.” Lightweight leather sweatpants by A.L.C. and luxe sweatshirts from Vince lead their seasonal wardrobe boosters, which also always includes the perfect anorak. 7271 SW 57th Avenue, Miami; 305-665-7717; kristinemichael.com.
Seven years and a second location later, Jenna White has fine-tuned its roster of coveted collections for fashion (the Florida exclusive on Jenni Kayne) and home (like Missoni’s complete line from furniture to candles, as well as Alexandra Von Furstenberg’s chic Lucite accessories such as boxes and bowls in saturated neons and python prints.) “People are surprised how much we’ve expanded fine jewelry, too,” says owner Jenna Kaplan, who carries Erickson Beamon, Shourouk and Lizzie Fortunato among 10 jewelry designers. “We specialize in mixed media statement pieces that glamorize a sleek black dress.” Feeling leather for fall, she ordered fitted bomber jackets in electric violet or magenta by Veda, and sweatshirts with leather necklines and cuffs from Lot78. But save up for Tibi’s second annual pop-up that takes over the week of October 7. 5842 Sunset Drive, South Miami; 305-669-5940; jennawhitemiami.com.
Beach Boutique lures socialites and working girls alike for owner Patricia Costa’s wickedly sharp sense for resort and travel wear. The vivacious curly top Cape Cod native has another secret weapon in Laura Di Niro, who shapes eyebrows on Wednesdays and Saturdays. “With such a nondescript storefront, I’m definitely aword-of-mouth destination,” says Costa. This fall, she introduces See by Chloe’s color-blocked shifts in jewel and earth tones, as well as its corduroy interpretation of the boyfriend jean. Black leather and silk dresses by Chris Gramer jump straight out of a Lucy Lui action flick, while LoveShackFancy’s maxi slip dresses in silk charmeuse scream endless summer. For her own jewelry line, Costa strings giant pearls and tassels for opera-length necklaces befitting The Great Gatsby. 1701 Sunset Harbour Drive, Miami Beach; 305-531-8908; beachboutiquemiami.com.
Sharing a courtyard with Michael’s Genuine, Sebastien James beckons fashionable foodies. The store’s generous Parisian assortment is also on the radar of Floridian Francophiles especially with Carven coming in for fall. “I’m excited about their structured jackets in black and white, or even mustard and white,” says co-owner Leslie Benitah, who counts the item among her personal wardrobe picks for the season, along with baggy pants from Helmut Lang and Mason’s silk tops. Always up on the latest buzz, she recently introduced Aennis Eunis’ Italy-made shoes sporting intricate Arabic patterns to the U.S. Beach attire by Claudia E., and diamond and 18K gold jewelry including cuff links and children’s bracelets from Orianne Collins, the former wife of the famous drummer, are local lines new to the store. 130 NE 40th Street, Miami Design District; 305-576-5200; sebastienjames.com.
Karen Quiñones really racks up airline miles in shopping the world for En Avance. Currently catering to women only, the 20-year-old mainstay officially celebrates with weekly events throughout November. (Keep an eye out for New York jewelry designer Susanna Galanis Age of Gods’ spring 2014 trunk show later this year) In the meantime, shop the signatures including Majestic leggings that don’t stay in stock, her one-and-only denim brand MiH and Anna Baiguera’s ultra comfy ballerina flats. Milan import Anjuna’s cotton muslin and linen maxi dresses and voluminous tops with metallic hand-embroidery debut this fall. “It’s modern hippie,” says Quiñones, and fits perfectly within a well-rounded wardrobe that starts with her Kiki de Montparnasse lingerie layered with Aviu’s embellished sweatshirts, and silk crepe tuxedo joggers by Jean-Paul Knott. “Besides these pieces, I recommend picking up anything in an engineered print.” 161 NE 40th Street, Miami Design District; 305-576-0056; enavance.net.
Oxygene has stuck around Bal Harbour Shops for 30 years because it’s got the goods (Balmain, L’Wren Scott, Isabel Marant). Lately, a London fog has also been rolling into this Parisian powerhouse. “Our body-conscious clientele is going crazy over Britain-based David Koma’s futuristic dresses with panels of laser-cut leather and organza,” says co-owner Shayne Cohen, who also shows the love for local designers like Uli Herzner. “Tourists really appreciate taking a bit of Miami home.” Fall’s must-have pieces are haute sweatshirts with witty, often racy, sayings by Christopher Kane and Alexander Wang. This season, regulars of Loree Rodkin and Repossi jewelry trunk shows are discovering AS29 designed by a fourth-generation diamond dealer. Hooking them young, the store holds many local exclusives on children’s designer collections as well. 9700 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour; 305-864-0202; oxygeneboutique.com.
Ever since a trio of fashion insiders launched the Webster in its namesake former Art Deco hotel in 2009, the men’s and women’s multi-level emporium has dazzled Prada-wearing devils worldwide. Today, founder Laure Heriard-Dubreuil helms her chic ship solo, overseeing a nonstop swirl of soirees, collections and collaborations with everyone from the likes of Target to this fall’s exclusive azure blue and coral hues for Rag & Bone’s Pilot bags. She’s also wild about Aurelie Bidermann’s tribal jewelry, whose horn mimics ivory, and the British invasion including digital print masters Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou. For subtle sex appeal, check out ATTO’s silver sequin turtleneck paired with a knee-length number with a serious side slit. “The magic is the whole skirt is held together by one giant military button,” says Heriard-Dubreuil. 1220 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-674-7899; thewebstermiami.com.