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Base—a South Beach lifestyle shop and designer collective—is about as cool as it's difficult to categorize. Yes, it's a menswear boutique. But you could also call it a gallery, a newsstand, a design shop, an excruciatingly hip, sleek-pretty-funny way of life. Then there's the salon, the rotating spectacle of gallery shows and events, the in-house songwriting and production team (called the Life Project, the duo is Base-based and often performs at Miami's swank Delano hotel).
First things first—the shop is high-ceilinged and airy, with grayish walls, checkered carpeting, and rows of massive spherical paper lanterns. A series of white-washed, almost-Victorian looking glass cubes showcase Nixon watches, Paul Frank sunglasses, Comme des Garçons fragrances, DB Clay wallets, figurines by Kidrobot, plus assorted jewelry and furnishings, decorative objects, toys and gifts.
Hanging from racks on either wall, find tongue-in-cheek basics by Loden Dager, Rogan and Converse by John Varvatos (though these will soon give way to exclusive collections from Adidas). Quirky socks, slutty swimwear and a nice collection of sneakers by Vans, Adidas and Converse round out the wearables.
In the rear there's a veritable interior design shop complete with quirky wall art, glitter-upholstered furniture, slogan-emblazoned or crab-festooned pillows, stools fashioned from raw tree trunks and statuettes of various members of the animal kingdom. That nook—and much of the store—is peppered with a beautifully curated array of art and gift books ranging in subject from Louis Vuitton to Kehinde Wiley. Beyond that there is a fully-stocked rack of harder-to-find magazines about men's fashion, design, art and music.
But one of the main draws is actually right up front and to the right: A CD bar. Yes, there's an actual bar, complete with listening stations and seats and bits of information on the music at hand. Behind that: A wall featuring a hand-picked array of electronic, lounge, indie, jazz, soul and world music. Much of which might just shuffle on over the shop's sound system (or, if you've left Miami, while browsing its impressive website).
· All Miami Coverage [Racked]
· Base [Official Site]