LA Brand Cult Gaia opens pop-up in Miami’s Design District – WWD

As with many of her creative and business decisions, Cult Gaia founder Jasmin Larian let serendipity lead the way, this time in Miami.

The Los Angeles-based brand opened its year-long pop-up in the Miami Design District with a cocktail party co-hosted by influencer Aureta. The Brandi Howe-designed 2,000-square-foot space marks Larian’s only retail store until a similarly sized permanent flagship bows on Melrose Place this summer. If all goes well, Miami could also become permanent.

“Everything we did successfully came to us,” said Larian, whose pieces were already worn all over Miami, its third-biggest market after New York and Los Angeles, when district promoter Craig Robins presented the opportunity. “Miami is this magical place. People there have the joy of living, the joy of living, that’s what we respond to.

Howe, a recent transplant from New York with a background in stage design, also came to her by chance. For the boutique, they envisioned a Zen garden growing custom pedestals in pineapple onyx and calacatta rosa marble with bags and shoes as flowers. Pebbles, greenery, and ceramic planters by Los Angeles artist Sloane Angell, as well as artisans in Miami, heighten the effect. Other standout pieces include a bench by Mexican architect Frida Escobedo and the Phantom wall mirror by Fiam, while creamy white Venetian plaster helps achieve the minimalist, sanctuary vibe that Larian prefers.

“We were also very inspired by the silver chrome,” she said, wrapping a wire-like chrome installation around the interior to hang clothes. “Chromium is beautiful to me because it looks like a liquid. We’ve interpreted it organically here.

A Cult Gaia linen dress.
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Instead of headings dedicated to categories, swimwear, ready-to-wear and accessories are mixed together. Larian said she likes to create a sense of discovery. Cult Gaia Mini, its inaugural child capsule, hits stores next month. Pieces like the Lev shorts for $58, the Berry active swimsuit for $118, and the Francis sundress with a ruffled neckline for $138 are available exclusively through e-commerce on her website.

Homewares are also on the horizon, starting with custom glass pieces debuting this summer. Larian plans to develop exclusives for Miami once she has a read on the market. She was unable to make personal appearances on her Miami wholesale accounts because the division was launched during the pandemic. The line is represented at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, among 300 wholesale accounts, including international and online stores and a current pop-up at Harrods.

“Visiting the Miami store was the first time I’ve been in front of customers in a while,” she said, explaining how invaluable feedback is to her design process. “Instagram is great for customers to connect directly, but seeing them touch, style and wear pieces is a whole different experience.”

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