London, Paris, Milan... Miami? According to research from Bundle.com, Miami is one of America's most fashion-conscious cities. Which isn't to say we dress well, just that we spend a lot of money on expensive designer clothes.
As Dolly Parton once said: "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap."
The tidbit comes from some April research by Bundle.com:
To do this, we selected the 50 largest cities by population in our data set and created a fashion-conscious index, with 1.0 being average. We based our index on the percentage of "fashion-conscious households" in our sample, which we defined as households that had at least four transactions at top-end designer merchants in the past 30 months.
Below is a snippet of Bundle's infographic. Miami ranks behind only Irvine, California (AKA "the O.C."); New York City; and Los Angeles.
Other Florida cities didn't do nearly as well. Only Fort Lauderdale managed to be ahead of the fashion curve, and only then just barely. What's interesting about the findings is that the results are so top-heavy. Jacksonville, to no one's surprise, was Florida's least fashionable big city, and the third least fashionable overall.
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This data goes a long way in explaining recent retail real estate news. Miami's luxury market is now too big to be ensconced in just the Bal Harbour Shops. The Design District is in the beginning of a major transformation into a luxury shopping destination that will feature stores like Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton. Aventura Mall is also expanding its luxury ring.
Even lower-placed brands are looking to appeal to the rich as they move into Miami. Word is H&M has had its eye on the Miami market for a long time but didn't want to be seen as just another mall store. That's why it waited until it could make a statement with its 305 debut by moving into the historic Lincoln Theater on South Beach. Forever 21 is also moving into fancy digs on Lincoln Road, and Gap will give its Lincoln Road store a major makeover. This particular blogger, who likes to feel fancy while buying cheap, sweat-shop-produced fast fashion, hopes Top Shop and Uniqlo get the memo and follow suit.
Of course, Miamians may be spending a lot on clothes, but whether they're flattering and tasteful clothes, well, we'll leave that judgment up to you.