A parking garage may not sound like the ideal locale for a luxe new boutique, but, true to it’s name, The Alchemist has converted the nominally banal into something beautiful. Granted, this isn’t just any ol’ heavy-gray-concrete-and-low-fluorescent-lighting type of car park—this unique site was designed by the tony Swiss architecture firm Herzog & De Meuron. As the building’s sole retail space above the ground floor—which features a variety of dining and commercial spaces—The Alchemist boasts a view that nearly outshines its selection of haute brands, including Rodarte, Azzedine Alaïa, Celine, Haider Ackermann and Rick Owens.
For this second Alchemist outpost, husband and wife proprietors Erika and Roam Cohen sought “to fuse architecture, art and design with fashion, as [they] believe fashion today is completely intertwined together with these things.” As such, this multidisciplinary approach takes a more expansive view on the confluence of fashion, design and creativity. The moving mirror installation embedded in the ceiling, for instance, creates a seemingly infinite visual echo chamber, and was specially commissioned from London-based design firm Random International, which is known for championing young cutting-edge designers. Meanwhile, the Cohens are in talks with none other than Zaha Hadid (also a client of theirs) to collaborate on an installation for their retail space for or Art Basel/Miami Beach.
The high ceilings, walls of windows and blocks of geometric mirroring give the interior space an unparalleled atmosphere. “I love seeing the look on clients faces when they come up and see the space for the first time,” admits Erika. “They feel as though they have discovered a little secret, and with the brands we are carrying at this location, the clientele appreciates the exclusive merchandise and the ethereal feeling of the location itself.”
Apparently parking your car five floors up can be just as exciting a part of the shopping experience as, well, the shopping itself.
Store location: 1111 Lincoln Road, 5th level, Miami Beach FL