You don’t truly know luxury until you’ve stroked a $4,500 yard of rare Loro Piana vicuña fabric, produced by a small member of the camel family that roams wild in the Andes. Or passed your fingers — eyes closed — along the hills and valleys of sumptuous silk and luscious velour. Or had a seamstress drape a panel of hand-woven crystals, beads and feathers over your shoulders. Step into the world of Rex Fabrics, where these fashion fantasies are everyday realities — and have been for almost 50 years.
“We do not look at how much it’s going to cost; we just want it to be different,” said Ricardo Aldama, the Italian-Cuban owner and curator of every inch of Rex Fabrics. “So we use the best stones, the best accessories, the best lace houses in the world. It’s a hell of a job, let me tell you.”
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Rex Fabrics offers a bespoke experience
Upon arrival, guests are greeted by an impeccably dressed doorman. Inside the massive, two-story showroom and warehouse, you can find more than 5,000 rolls of fabric, elaborately decorated mannequins and a small army of highly skilled seamstresses, tailors and upholsterers. Whether you need a couture evening gown, a bespoke suit or a tufted chaise, they’ve got you covered.
Aldama travels the globe to source materials for his store, keeping his loyal following of celebrity and high-rolling customers fitted with the latest and greatest. Men’s shoes and belts are a recent introduction to Rex’s portfolio, which includes a robust web inventory.
“We have more than 28,000 products on the website,” said Juan Marcano, Rex’s marketing manager who runs the store’s e-commerce and social media platforms. “Every day I get orders from all over the world. I can send one day to Saudi Arabia and the next day to Hong Kong.”
Bigger and better over the years
The international operation got its start in 1970 when Aldama and his mother took over a small fabric shop near Northwest Eighth Street and 48th Avenue. They filled it not only with standard $5 yards of cotton, but also with fine and rare fabrics from Italy to India that you couldn’t find anywhere else.
Eventually, Rex outgrew its original space and moved a few blocks east, to where Coral Gables meets Miami. Despite nearly a half century of success, Aldama and his staff of 25 manage to keep a relatively low profile, which his discerning clientele seems to appreciate.
After all, they don’t come to Rex Fabrics simply to fill a need. They come for a desire to have the best. That’s true luxury.
Rex Fabrics, 825 Southwest 37th Avenue, Miami; 305-306-8033; rexfabrics.com.