As with many of her creative and business decisions, Cult Gaia founder Jasmin Larian let serendipity lead the way, this time to Miami.The Los Angeles-based brand opened its yearlong pop-up in the Miami Design District with a cocktail party cohosted by influencer Aureta. The 2,000-square-foot space designed by Brandi Howe marks Larian’s sole retail store until a same-sized, permanent flagship bows on Melrose Place this summer. If all goes well, Miami could also become permanent.
“Everything we’ve done successfully has come to us,” said Larian, whose pieces were already being worn all over Miami, her third biggest market after New York and Los Angeles, when district developer Craig Robins presented the opportunity. “Miami is this magical place. People there have joie de vivre, a zest for life, which is what we cater to.”
Howe, a recent transplant from New York with a background in set design, also came to her serendipitously. For the boutique, they envisioned a Zen garden sprouting custom pedestals in pineapple onyx and calacatta rosa marble with bags and shoes as blossoms. Pebbles, greenery and ceramic planters by Los Angeles artist Sloane Angell, as well as Miami artisans, accentuate the effect. Additional standout pieces include a bench by Mexican architect Frida Escobedo and Fiam’s Phantom wall mirror, while creamy white Venetian plaster achieves the minimalist, sanctuary mood Larian prefers.
“We were very inspired by silver chrome, too,” she said, of wrapping a thread-like, chrome installation around the interior to hang clothing. “Chrome is beautiful to me because it feels like a liquid. We interpreted it in an organic way here.”
A Cult Gaia linen dress.
Courtesy of Nordstrom
Instead of devoted sections for categories, swimwear, ready-to-wear and accessories are mixed. Larian said she likes to create a sense of discovery. Cult Gaia Mini, her inaugural children’s capsule, arrives in store next month. Pieces like the Lev shorts for $58, Berry active swim set for $118 and Francis sundress with a ruffled neckline for $138 are available exclusively through her website’s e-commerce.
Home goods are also on the horizon, starting with custom glass pieces that will debut this summer. Larian plans to develop exclusives for Miami once she gets a read on the market. She hasn’t been able to do personal appearances at her Miami wholesale accounts because the division 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 was in front of customers in a while,” she said, regarding how feedback is invaluable to her design process. “Instagram is great for customers to connect directly, but watching them touch, style and wear pieces is a whole other experience.”