Forget those pretentious whispers that SoFi -- the area south of Fifth Street -- is the chicest neighborhood in South Beach. There's a fashionable, earthy, and hip crop of local shops emerging on 6th St. between Euclid and Meridian Avenues in "NoFi" (north of Fifth), in what used to be a solely residential neighborhood.
Miami Life Center, Uhma Organic Spa and Green Shop, Vita Life, and newcomers Under the Mango Tree and its sister shop, Native Boutique, are all health-inspired, independent, locally owned and local-centric businesses that are thriving despite their off-the-beaten-path locations. Now a new addition, Creme Fresh Vintage Clothing (720 Sixth Street), has taken up residency along this trendy row.
Read on to find out about an upcoming neighborhood jam -- complete with free food and drink -- at the Sixth Street shops.
Owner Yvonne C. Ramos-Guim is a Miami Beach native, a first-generation American, and a third-generation thrift store fashionista.
As Johnny Cash cooed in the background, Yvonne's Cuban mother Lilian, hanging out in the shop last night, explained how she used to admire her glamorous mother, a sometimes-model who always dressed in the most unique and elegant fashions, but would never disclose their origins.
"She was a very eccentric woman. She wore marvelous pieces of clothing, jewelry, and shoes. Only as she got older did she start leaking that they were from thrift stores," said Yvonne.
"It was the seventies. It was taboo in Cuba to buy clothing second-hand," added her mother Lilian.
As a young woman, Lilian also became infected with the fashion bug, and went on to collect vintage clothing herself, also working at Saks Fifth Avenue for a number of years. "My mom has been the culprit behind my hobby-slash-addiction," said Yvonne with a sideways smile.
She added that she sold her vintage "wears" at the market on Lincoln Road several years ago, until heavy winds and rains literally washed out her entire line one day. Demoralized, with her beautiful clothes clogging the gutters of South Beach, she decided never to risk her goods to the elements again.
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At the new shop, her hot ticket items carry labels like Dolce and Gabbana, Chanel, and Roberto Cavalli, which go for up to $400 a piece. But she's also got beaded Indian bracelets for children that cost just $2. The average shopper could buy an outfit for between $28 and $35, Ramos-Guim advised.
Creme Fresh and neighboring businesses Under the Mango Tree, Native Boutique, Uhma Spa, and Miami Life Center are teaming up to host a local power party headlined "The 6th Street Movement," from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight. It's going down on 6th St. between Euclid and Meridian Avenues. Chill live music, free wine and hors d'oeuvres, and funky hula hooping will all add character to this dog friendly social event. Go to Under the Mango Tree's Facebook page to stay updated.
Creme Fresh is located at 720 Sixth Street, Miami Beach; 786-247-6906.