Trade Show: Shop&Dine

Traveling to trade shows means three things: making big sales, eating out and discovering a new store to provide a nice pick-me-up.

It seems every big trade-show city is popping with choices. The restaurant environment is benefiting from a recovering economy, prompting top chefs to branch out with new ventures that keep getting more elaborate. Specialty stores are not dead yet—only better curated and located.

Here are a few suggestions on some of the newer restaurants and fashionable boutiques found in the major cities on the trade-show circuit.





257 S. Spring St.

(213) 372-5189

It’s not often that a restaurant rises so fast that it is classified as one of the top three restaurants in Los Angeles, but Spring shot to the summit within months of opening in February.

That makes Spring’s chef de cuisine, Tony Esnault, one of the most talked-about culinary artists in Los Angeles.

Spring not only has a topnotch menu but also is housed under a beautiful atrium inside the historic, turn-of-the-century Douglas Building, which looks as if it were flown in from Paris and plopped down in the old Bank District of downtown Los Angeles.

Years before arriving in Los Angeles, Esnault raked in several awards and rave reviews since studying at the François Rabelais culinary school in Lyon, not too far from where he grew up in France’s Loire Valley.

He went on to work in several Michelin-starred restaurants and was trained by famed French chef Alain Ducasse, working for him in Monte Carlo and New York. In 2009, Esnault made his way to the West Coast to take over the kitchen at the highly regarded Patina restaurant, which sits at the base of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Esnault left Patina to work with his wife and business partner, Yassmin Sarmadi, owner of the French bistro Church & State, located in another historic building in the Arts District.

The husband-and-wife team has extended their love of French food to Spring, where seafood and seasonal vegetables in a South of France ambience have been wowing restaurant critics and customers.

In a secluded courtyard with a burbling fountain and shaded by potted pepper trees, restaurant goers get a chance to sample tasty dishes such as the lobster and chestnut soup with chives and cognac or the maple leaf duck breast with honey-spiced skin, radishes, turnips and huckleberries.

For seafood lovers, there is the slowly cooked wild halibut with cannellini beans, cabbage, carrots or the fish stew with fennel, potato, leeks, tomato, garlic, saffron and aioli.

Save room for dessert, which includes bittersweet chocolate ganache with lemon honey sorbet and pralines and Tahitian vanilla panna cotta with exotic fruits.


The Shop: Curve X Tom Dixon

The Shop: Curve X Tom Dixon

8820 Washington Blvd., Suite 101

(310) 237-5422

Tom Dixon developed an international reputation for crafting wildly imaginative looks in furniture, lighting and accessories, but after broaching new frontiers in design, the London-based Dixon said there remains a big unknown for him; it is Los Angeles fashion.

“I like to stick myself in unfamiliar and challenging territory, like Los Angeles, in a fashion shop,” he said. “When I’m completely naive and not an expert in something, that pushes me to innovate.”

Earlier this year, he jumped into this great unknown by opening an emporium in the Los Angeles area. Called The Shop: Curve X Tom Dixon, his design space shares a 7,000-square-foot area with fashion store Curve. It is located at Platform, a recently introduced boutique retail center across the street from a light-rail Metro stop in Culver City, Calif., about nine miles west of downtown Los Angeles.

Dixon also runs his brand’s retail spaces in London and New York, and The Shop is his first experiment with something of a retail roommate. “For a long time I’ve been wanting to experiment with getting outside of the interior-design ghetto and work in other contexts. I think we can learn a lot from fashion in terms of being fast moving, more exciting and better at communication. Plus, I like the idea of decorating a bigger store and having some softness and color coming in from the clothes,” he said.

Dixon took the Platform space and illuminated it with lighting designs with richly imaginative shapes. In The Shop, his marble shelving and vignettes also mesh the design of his décor and Curve’s fashions.

Curve offers high-end designers such as Ann Demeulemeester along with those who sport a streetwear inspiration, such as Robert Geller. Other designers in the store include J.W. Anderson, Fannie Schiavoni and reconstructed jeans from Re/Done. The Platform Curve is the seventh location in Curve’s line of stores. Other locations are in Malibu, Calif.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Miami Beach; New York City; and Sag Harbor, N.Y.



Beauty & Essex

Beauty & Essex

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

(702) 698-7000

Everyone has been waiting for Beauty & Essex to open at the former Comme Ça restaurant location at the high-end Cosmopolitan hotel.

About five years in the making, the wait was worth it. The menu seems to have traveled around the world, taking the best from here and there. And the décor has a jewel-box theme complete with a jewelry-based pawn shop.

The force behind Beauty & Essex, which first opened in New York City, is chef/owner Chris Santos, also known as a judge on the Food Network’s culinary TV show “Chopped.” Santos is partnered with The Tao Group, which has opened other Las Vegas eateries such as Tao at The Venetian, Lavo at The Palazzo and Marquee at The Cosmopolitan.

The large 10,000-square-foot interior of Beauty & Essex was designed by the Rockwell Group, which worked on a jewel theme. At the entrance, guests walk through a pawn shop–inspired space into the Pearl Lounge, which has a custom chandelier made from thousands of pearls hanging from the ceiling and swags of pearls flowing down the walls to the purple banquettes.

Guests then walk through a 40-foot-long screened wall made of framed vintage lockets that leads to three ornate dining rooms that also have a jewel-box quality to them. Think of Russian Fabergé eggs and you get the idea.

The menu, with prices ranging from $31 to $60, is far different from many choices found on the Las Vegas Strip. For a touch of Latin America, try the chili-relleno empanadas, the pulled-chicken arepas (corn pancakes), the lobster tacos or the elote-style scallops with charred-corn salad.

For an Italian twist, there is crispy eggplant pizzetta, a basil pesto ravioli and spaghettini with zucchini, parsley pesto and a sunny-side-up egg.

In a nod to Asian cuisine, there is Thai-style deep-fried shrimp with mango slaw.

For those who can’t make it to Las Vegas or New York, a Beauty & Essex restaurant is in the works for Los Angeles in the soon-to-be constructed Thompson Hotel in Hollywood.


DNA 2050

DNA 2050

3708 Las Vegas Blvd., Ste. 5

(702) 698-7610

There’s boutique shopping and then there’s boutique shopping on the Las Vegas Strip, according to Iraklis Karabassis.

On most days and in most locations, shoppers can be tough. They try on clothes at bricks-and-mortar shops and later buy them for cheap online. The Greek-born Karabassis opened the boutique DNA 2050 at the luxe Cosmopolitan in December 2010 when the 2,995-room hotel and resort made a gala debut. Six years later, the resort continues to receive plaudits, including a 2016 Reader’s Choice Award fromCondé Nast Traveler magazine.

Being located in a destination for well-off tourists puts the boutique’s salespeople in a good position, Karabassis said.

“We are getting the consumer in a moment when [the shopper] is happier. He or she is not shopping for discounts. It’s the reason why we keep our store in high gear,” he said.

When shoppers are in a festive mood, they find themselves making impulse purchases. They also outfit themselves for nightclubbing and fine dining on the Las Vegas Strip at his 2,600-square-foot shop, he said.

The focus of the shop is contemporary styles, and the most popular items are denims, dresses, handbags, shoes and accessories. The brand mix includes Alice & Olivia, Rag & Bone, Rebecca Minkoff, Gypsy 05, Jeffrey Campbell, The Blank, John Varvatos, Parker, Frame Denim and G-Star. The store also offers European brands such as Freddy, which has made a splash in its native Italy with athleisure pants.

The boutique’s price points range from $50 to $800, Karabassis said. Women make up 65 percent of the store’s sales and men make up 35 percent.

Karabassis is headquartered far from the noise and bright lights of Vegas casinos. He is based in Washington, D.C.’s upscale Georgetown neighborhood, where his company, IK Retail, runs the second DNA 2050 boutique. It opened in 2009. He started his U.S. retail career in the 1980s when he served as distributor of the Benetton brand. He also operated a fleet of Benetton and Max Mara boutiques in America and Canada.





888 Brannan St.

(415) 430-6580

In the Flower District of San Francisco, located south of Market Street, sits a new restaurant that has a Spanish vibe that greets diners with Moorish tiles on the entrance steps and extends to the haunches of Ibérico ham hanging near the kitchen and the dark-wood barrels of sangria, sherry, cider and vermouth perched overhead.

Bellota, which means “acorn” in Spanish and is the main ingredient fed to the pigs that account for Spain’s famous ham, has cast its lot with the Iberian Peninsula and all the cuisine that makes it special.

Heading up the kitchen is Ryan McIlwraith, who grew up in Vancouver, Canada, pretty far from Spain. But the chef has worked in a number of high-end eateries, such as Bottega Napa Valley, cooking alongside famed chef and restaurateur Michael Chiarello. McIlwraith later relocated to San Francisco three years ago to open Coqueta, Chiarello’s Spanish tapas bar and restaurant.

When you think of Spanish dishes, one of the first things that comes to mind is the country’s rich seafood-laden paella dish. At Bellota, the paella, which feeds two to four people, comes in four varieties and takes 40 minutes to cook. There is a vegetarian option with mushrooms, kale and garlic or the paella with chicken. Most authentic is the seafood paella served with shrimp, scallops, squid and green beans. Then there is the pork-oriented paella with pork shoulder, ham and garbanzo beans.

For those who can’t decide, a two-sided paella dish separated by a metal divider gives you the option to eat two different paellas served on the same plate.

For something less elaborate, the kitchen has a wood-fired hearth over which the kitchen staff grills a variety of meats and fish such as Moorish-spiced lamb, sea bass served with a sauce and pan-roasted aged flannery beef.

Bellota is the latest eatery launched by The Absinthe Group, which owns five San Francisco properties, including the Comstock Saloon, Arlequin Café and the Boxing Room.


Hero Shop

Hero Shop

982 Post St.

(917) 539-1562

Emily Holt’s newly opened boutique, Hero Shop, is located on the ground floor of the Saratoga Hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

The retailer looked at several neighborhoods before settling on the Tenderloin, the up-and-coming neighborhood between Nob Hill and Union Square. The neighborhood is home to the popular Jane Bakery, where Holt took meetings for a year before opening Hero Shop in mid-July, as well as interior designer Jay Jeffers and the Jessica Silverman Gallery. Event planner Stanlee Gatti is opening a market across the street. And a new bar and restaurant—run by the owners of Bay Area restaurants the Village Pub, Mayfield Café andSpruce—is under construction next door.

The 15,000-square-foot boutique features an exposed brick wall, wood floors, industrial beams that help delineate the space without sacrificing the open and airy loft-like feel.

The merchandise mix includes ready-to-wear labels such as Creatures of the Wind, Gabriela Hearst, Adam Lippes, Rosetta Getty, Mother, Levi’s and Tse as well as accessories brands including Edie Parker, Pamela Love, Repetto, Myriam Schaefer and Vans. Holt also carries home décor and gift items. Hero Shop’s prices range from $7.50 to $6,000.

“That’s how I shop and that’s how people dress,” Holt said. “You wear a $30 T-shirt with $200 jeans. We have fine jewelry, but we also have fashion jewelry. We have Pamela Love earrings that are $110. We carry Jennifer Fisher pieces that are $200. It’s not $30, but it’s still an accessible or beginning aspirational price point.”

The merchandise mix is grown-up but not stuffy, Holt said. She carries jeans but not ripped jeans. She sells Vans, but they are sneakers Holt thinks a grown-up would wear. “It’s all put together. It’s not sloppy and it’s not bohemian. It’s upbeat and colorful. Hopefully it excites people and they discover something they hadn’t seen before.”

Since opening over the summer, Hero Shop has drawn a customer base that includes people living in the neighborhood as well as some fellow ex-pat New Yorkers and a core fashion clientele that ranges in age from 35 to 55.

One customer Holt would like to see shopping at Hero Shop is the Silicon Valley professional who isn’t the typical fashion customer or claims to be not even interested in fashion.

“These women—who are being featured in magazines or on television or on panels—need something to wear. I truly believe that no matter how disinterested anyone is in fashion, as a woman you still want to look good, which helps you feel good, which helps you perform well.”

The Bay Area native spent the first half of her career as a fashion writer in New York working for publications such as Vogue, W and Women’s Wear Daily. She returned to Northern California with an eye to open a store that carries pieces she loves—often from labels owned by friends.

“San Francisco has terrific stores, but I think there’s room for something a little more,” she said.





541 Edgewood Ave. S.E.

(404) 524-5005

In an historic brick building in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta sits Staplehouse, a neighborhood eatery that has taken the city by storm.

The laid-back vibe of the casual restaurant belies the praise heaped on the place ever since it opened a little more than a year ago. Bon Appétit named it America’s best new restaurant, and the James Beard Foundation nominated its executive chef, Ryan Smith, for “Best Chef in the Southeast Region.”

The lunch and dinner menus at Staplehouse change about every two weeks, timed to use food that is seasonal. Most recently, the dinner menu, which is not extensive but different, had items such as chicken liver tart with burnt honey glaze, which many customers raved about. There is also lamb sausage with celeriac, turnip, okra and garlic. On the seafood side, there is octopus with matsutake mushrooms, field peas, puffed wheat and bresaola (salted beef) or blue crab with sunflower, basil, lime and radish.

Diners have called the menu imaginative and delicious.

The story behind the restaurant is worth a novel. Ryan Hidinger and his wife, Jen, moved to Atlanta in 2004 when he started working as a chef in several restaurants. But there was always the dream of starting his own place.

Plans were on the way to create a new eatery when Hidinger died of gall bladder cancer in 2014 at the age of 36. Still, his wife and their mutual friend Ryan Smith kept his dream going and opened Staplehouse a year later.

Because many restaurant employees in the industry do not have healthcare, the restaurant has been set up as a for-profit subsidiary ofThe Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit that raises money for crisis-stricken restaurant workers. Any profits left over after the restaurant’s expenses are paid go to The Giving Kitchen.


Bill Hallman

Bill Hallman Inman Park Store

299 N. Highland Ave., Ste. Q

(404) 814-0030

In the mid-1990s, Bill Hallman ran a design studio in Atlanta’s Inman Park. It was the start of his journey to being one of the city’s premier clothiers.

But when it came time to open his flagship store, he did it a short drive away from Inman Park. It is in Atlanta’s high-end Virginia-Highland section. However, Inman Park beckoned. In 2015, Hallman looked for a place to open a store that would offer a wide array of styles, including bespoke suits, to Atlantans. He opened the shop in Inman Park, and it was a wise choice for a location.

Inman Park has long been an eclectic neighborhood that offered unique boutiques and new restaurants in Atlanta. The neighborhood is regionally famous for its annual Inman Park Festival, which offers parades, art shows and a tour of the unique, historic homes in the neighborhood.

When the Inman Park shop opened, Hallman offered the Bill Hallman Bill-to-Fit Collection, an exclusive, custom-clothes label for women. He partnered with Morgan CODA, a custom suit group to make bespoke suits and shirting for men. Morgan CODA ran a shop-in-shop at the Inman Park boutique.

In the past he has sold ready-to-wear from lines such as Nudie, Cotton Citizen, Rag & Bone and Umano, an Athens, Ga.–based line.



Le Coucou

Le Coucou

138 Lafayette St.

(212) 271-4252

The amount of press surrounding the newly opened Le Coucou makes you wonder if all the fanfare is true.

But reviews by culinary experts confirm that the eatery on the ground floor of the 11 Howard hotel is indeed a feat to be admired, especially if you have a lot of time to dine and don’t mind spending more than $150 for a meal with wine.

The chef behind the restaurant, which in French means “a little crazy,” is Daniel Rose, who is not French but who had been living in France since the late 1990s. During that nearly 20-year sojourn, he has become as French as the French themselves, having studied at the Institut Paul Bocuse and opened two Parisian restaurants—Spring and La Bourse et La Vie.

The Chicago native, however, was lured to New York by famed restaurateur Stephen Starr to open a high-end restaurant in SoHo that looks as if it had been built several decades ago in France.

The interior was created by Roman and Williams, the design firm whose principals are responsible for the interiors of the Ace Hotel and the Standard Highline in New York.

The result is an elegant and opulent interior that has the feel of a large mansion sitting near the Bois de Boulogne but as comfortable as a studio loft.

Hardwood floors lend warmth to the restaurant, which has brick walls, large-paned windows, a French-inspired mural and 11 circular cast-iron chandeliers with handblown glass shades that hover like extraterrestrial satellites.

The menu is French through and through. Appetizers include warm oysters, endives with crispy Iberian ham and Wagyu beef tripe.

Special delicacies include lobster stuffed with squash blossoms, a pike quenelle in lobster sauce and beef tongue with caviar and crème fraîche.

Main courses, whose prices range from $36 to $48, include everything from halibut in a white butter to Dover sole with grapes and chanterelle mushrooms, pheasant with foie gras and stuffed cabbage, a whole rabbit, duck and rack of lamb.

Reservations are a must at this new restaurant.


Hatchet Outdoor Supply Co.

Hatchet Outdoor Supply Co.

77 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn

(347) 763-1963

The urban lumberjack trend has come and gone, but Gene Han remained convinced that there was ample room for a boutique offering a taste of nature and the great wild to those living in an urban jungle such as New York.

He opened Hatchet Outdoor Supply Co., a more-than-1,300-square-foot boutique, in the genteel Brooklyn Heights section of Brooklyn in 2013. If you’re looking for an axe, first-aid kits and waterproof jeans, Hatchet will be a destination, Han guarantees. “We’re not going to have the stuff for a Mount Everest trip, but we’re going to have stuff for all of the essentials,” he said. What convinced this successful retailer—he also runs two high-end sneaker boutiques called Alumni in Brooklyn—was that there was a lifestyle to outdoors gear. Hatchet sells a lot of clothes. He aims to make sure that his shop’s apparel comes from high-endçeven exotic—outdoors outfitters.

Hatchet offers brands such as Snow Peak, a Japanese brand, and Norse Projects, which hails from Copenhagen, as well as Canada Goose and DU/ER, both headquartered in Canada. The shop also offers made-in-America and U.S.-based brands such as Yellow 108, Filson, Carhartt and Ebbets Field Flannels. Hatchet and Ebbets Field collaborated on a cap for the boutique, which features, aptly enough, an icon of an axe. The boutique’s price points range from $20 to $250; however, they can climb to $1,000 for parkas.

The décor of the Brooklyn shop looks like the brownstone of an outdoors enthusiast. The place has rustic touches but is outfitted with sofas, coffee tables and a sound system that is typically playing folk or jazz. Hatchet also came out west recently. In September, Han opened a boutique in downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District.



Flora Street Café

Flora Street Café

2330 Flora St. #150

(214) 580-7000

Renowned Texan chef Stephan Pyles has opened or been associated with some 21 restaurants over the past 32 years. The recently openedFlora Street Café is being called one of his best creations in years.

Located in the Dallas Arts District at the base of the KMPG building, Pyles has taken Texas and Southwestern cuisine and elevated it 10 notches to create an astounding menu not found in many places west of the Mississippi.

Earlier this year, Pyles closed his self-named restaurant in downtown Dallas to concentrate on his new endeavor that has many lining up to get a table.

First, a word about Pyles. He is a fifth-generation Texan, born in Big Spring. He worked in his family’s West Texas truck stop and later was trained in French cuisine. At an early age, he published a 200-plus recipe book called “The New Texas Cuisine” and soon was being called one of the founding fathers of Southwestern cooking. In the late 1990s, he had a short-lived PBS TV series called “New Tastes From Texas With Chef Stephan Pyles.”

So, as you can see, the man is serious about Texas regional cuisine. That is seen in the various dishes on the menu at Flora Street Café, which is really more a high-end eatery than a café as seen by the décor.

Upon entering, diners are greeted by a multi-colored silk curtain hand sewn by fiber artist Tim Harding, which sets the tone for the modern décor inside the restaurant.

Starters on the menu are out of the ordinary, such as a lobster tamale pie with paddlefish and caviar served in what looks like a large martini glass. Other starters include sea scallops served in a bowl of kelp and a golden squash soup with prawns and piquillo pepper.

For the main course, there is plenty of meat including the pork loin on a fava bean purée and coffee-and-brown-sugar marinated ribeye steak with a bone-marrow custard. For fish lovers, there is a wild coho salmon with mussel escabeche, corn and huitlacoche, okra and chanterelles or the wood-grilled snapper with purple hull peas, chayote squash and peanut-sesame salsa.

For those who want it all, there is a tasting menu for $125 or $225 with wine pairings.


DLM Supply Co.

DLM Supply Co.

837 W. Davis St

(469) 917-8081

Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood built a reputation for its eclectic, venerable old buildings, no better place to open a new business, thought Deavon Moore. She opened men’s boutique DLM Supply Co. on Labor Day weekend in the once-tough neighborhood, which has blossomed to become the place for independent boutiques and chef-driven restaurants in Dallas.

Moore hoped that she would bring something new with her store. “There’s not many specialty men’s shops anymore. It’s going to be a big box or a store selling 90 percent women’s clothing,” Moore said of the men’s retail market.

She spent 14 years working at Nordstrom, which included a gig as a national buy planner for men’s sportswear, and after building years of experience she felt she could do something different.

“I wanted to create the opposite, a place where men could come in and get everything they need,” she said.

But everything was going to have an independent flavor. DLM Supply Co. focuses on emerging brands and lines that are under the radar. In her merchandise mix there are Iberian brands La Paz and Portuguese Flannel; American-made jeans brands Raleigh Denim andS.M.N. Denim; basic knit line Good Life, hailing from New York City; PAC Clothing; and better-known brands Billy Reid, the U.S.-made brand based in New York and Alabama; and Rodd & Gunn, which is headquartered in New Zealand.

DLM took its bow in a refurbished building that features exposed brick and paneling made from recycled wood for a rustic feel. Dressing-room curtains are made from gold-colored blankets first used by NASA. The rectangular room features 1,700 square feet of selling space and is bounded by glass walls. Moore designed the look of the place with Patrick Craine, an architect who has lectured at Columbia University.

Retail price points start at $25. The average ticket is $100 to $125. Moore makes it a point to stock sizes for the smaller to the very big guy. Most of all, she wants men to feel more comfortable at her place than at any other shop.

The goal led her to ask a question that should be on most salespeople’s minds, Moore said. “Is it uncomfortable? Can he not wait to take it off? Or is that you not only want to wear it you want to sleep in it?”



Osteria del Teatro

Osteria del Teatro

1200 Collins Ave.

(305) 538-7850

Osteria del Teatro has been around for nearly 30 years, but a recent move to the Art Deco Marlin Hotel has put it back on the radar.

This northern Italian-style restaurant started by Dino Pirola, originally from Bergamo, Italy, has always been a favorite among locals. In its new location, the stellar cuisine gets a new feeling with a sparkling ambience and outdoor seating. The Marlin Hotel, built in 1939 but recently renovated, is only a few blocks from the beach and ensconced in the Art Deco District.

The eatery is one of the oldest Italian fine-dining places in Miami Beach with a number of repeat customers. The prices are reasonable and the maitre d’, Gilbert Gonzalez, who is a partner in the venture, gets rave reviews for his style and friendliness while the chef, Martin Perez, also a partner, dishes up some excellent Italian recipes. Everything, from the pasta to the bread, is homemade.

Some of the pasta specialties include a handmade candy-shaped ravioli with roasted veal stuffing, Parmesan cheese and crispy pancetta in a butter sage sauce, linguine sautéed with chunks of shrimp and roasted red peppers, capers, tomatoes, olives and anchovies or homemade black squid-ink linguine with seafood in a saffron cream sauce.

Every Italian restaurant has to have its veal scaloppini, and Osteria del Teatro has several varieties, including one made with marinara sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Seafood specialties include salmon with arugula, cream and white wine and a locally caught red snapper that is sautéed in white wine, lemon and capers.

Another plus is that all the restaurant’s desserts are homemade.




2085 NW Second Ave.

(786) 534-8480

When Parisian-born Deborah Kerchache moved to Miami, she thought that her new home was ready for not only a new way to dress but a new way of seeing.

She opened a more-than-2,000-square-foot boutique, D-Koncept, in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District, the address for art galleries, bars and independent boutiques in the South Florida metropolis. Her shop could be mistaken as a gallery. On the walls of D-Koncept, prominent San Francisco muralist Ian Ross produced big murals of his abstract art. Ross, whose résumé includes murals at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas resort and Facebook headquarters in Northern California, is scheduled for a re-engagement at D-Koncept. Kerchache said that he will paint new murals on the store when Art Basel international art fair decamps to Miami in December.

Inside the store, Kerchache curates a gallery of French and Florida artists. Consider D-Koncept’s store a gallery. Like the art gallery, the interior look of the store changes every few months. Kerchache’s specialty is bringing new French brands to South Florida such as Wanda Nylon, Dukas and Les Maraisian. She also stocks better-known French brands such as The Kooples, Paul & Joe and Eleven Paris as well as looks from one of the premier Euro fashion houses, Prada.

A reason for her move to Miami is that she loved South Florida’s tropical weather. She also thought there was room for new looks, unlike the crowded fashion scenes of places such as New York City. “I can bring a little taste of France,” she said.

Retail price points range from $12 for small gifts such as key chains to $2,500 for customized leather jackets from brands such as American Retro.