By  on September 13, 2005

MIAMI BEACH — BCBG is sitting pretty in Florida. As part of its aggressive retail expansion, which included the debut of its Los Angeles flagship in July, the company has plucked a prime corner location on the 50-yard line of Miami Beach's Lincoln Road.

Opened in late August, the nearly 5,000-square-foot store joins A-listers such as Gap and Banana Republic and a slated Apple store.

"We had to be in the hottest retail area in Miami," said Max Azria, chief executive officer and designer of BCBG Max Azria Group.

The move not only cements Miami Beach's increasingly important retail status and year-round tourism, but serves as the jewel in BCBG's Florida crown. Ten stores already operate within the state, and another is coming to Waterside Shops in Naples, Fla., in December. Azria reports Miami Beach took awhile because he was waiting for the right location.

"Miami Beach will be one of our largest flagships, definitely in line with Rodeo Drive and Madison Avenue," he said.

Living up to its flagship image, the space equals its bicoastal counterparts design-wise. The neighborhood's Art Deco history, celebrated through a landmark building address, original terrazzo floors and period-inspired furniture, is balanced with modern Miami decor such as floor-to-ceiling glass-bead curtains, brushed stainless steel fixtures and various lighting from incandescent to a 60-foot central skylight.

Its tropical environment won't affect merchandise, according to Azria, who said monthly deliveries already are structured with warm climates in mind due to the company's numerous southern outposts. "Regular collections will contain product assortment perfectly suited for the Miami market," he said.

Like all flagships, Miami Beach will carry the entire brand, including Max Azria Collection, BCBG Max Azria Collection, swim, denim and accessories. Azria believes tourists and locals will relate similarly to merchandise such as a bohemian floral dress in silk jersey, retailing for $510, or in chiffon, for $364, from BCBG Max Azria's fall 2005 collection.

"That's because our customer is more about attitude," he said.

A large-scale grand opening party will be held late this month or early October.

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