When Rag Trade owner Stephanie Spiegel decided to leave the sunny shores of Miami to work in an organic farm in Israel, it left many perplexed. In less than year, Spiegel had created one of Miami’s most lauded boutiques, garnering lots of press in publications and shows like Ocean Drive, Plum TV, the Miami Herald and Spin. So when she put the shop up for sale, it left many wondering who would come to the rescue? And if someone did, would they keep the spirit of Rag Trade alive?
In came Lauren “Lolo” Reskin and Jason Jimenez, owners of Sweat Records, to the rescue. They bought the store, promising to keep Spiegel’s original vision of a trade-in clothing store and a place to purchase items by local designers running, albeit with a few tweaks.
Friday night, at the grand reopening celebration, Reskin and Jimenez invited Miami to come check out the store everyone loves (including this publication, who awarded it “Best Secondhand Store” for its Best Of Miami 2007 issue). Part funky clothing store, part hipster living room, RagTrade’s home is an apartment-turned-store that sits above mostly vacant retail spaces along NE 2nd Avenue and NE 46th Street.
While things never got busy, a steady stream of people stopped by to check out the store. DJ R. Grimes, who is also the designer of the local line Faction, spun tunes as shoppers sifted through the racks while enjoying complimentary drinks.
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It’s easy to see why this store is so loved. Vibrant colors and easy-to-navigate layout make for an inviting shopping experience. Reskin says little has change from the way Spiegel kept the store. Some local designers available include the aforementioned Faction, Helena Garcia and So-Me, and, coming soon, shoppers will be able to get a hold of Alvaro Ilizabre’s Freegums line, which seems to be quickly growing in popularity thanks to a little help from Bronques of Lastnightparty.
Faithful shoppers might notice one change - the section of local band Tees in the far back. T-shirts from Otto Von Schirach and Down Home Southernaires, can be found neatly hung against - no surprise here - Sweat Records' very own merchandise.
Prices range from the very affordable to the obscenely priced (well, for Rag Trade anyway), making this the perfect store for everyone, from the down-on-his-luck urban dweller to the trendsetting fashionista.