Design Miami

Dates: December 2–6
What to expect: A different kind of fair, Design Miami/ (yes, that forward slash is part of the name) heavily focuses on galleries and collectors of significant architecture- and design-related wares, from furniture and lighting to decorative objects. So, many of the pieces are not just exhibited for the public’s delight, but also for selling and buying with the respective galleries. Don’t expect bargain prices, though: Items can fetch prices up to six figures. (R & Company sold a brass sculpture by Harry Bertoia for $425,000 one year.) Special exhibitions are another major component, and feature both installations and small displays­—curated by guest designers, curators, and gallerists—of 20th- and 21st-century objects and furnishings. Satellite exhibits and numerous talks on related subject matters are part of the program as well. If you get the chance, check out sister show Art Basel Miami Beach, which runs concurrently in the same convention center.
Who you will see: Leo DiCaprio, in disguise, is a regular at Art Basel Miami Beach, and during the 2019 fair, Sean Penn and Lenny Kravitz hosted an auction to support hurricane relief in the Bahamas. (Incidentally, Leo donated an original Warhol for that event.) You’ll also mingle with fellow design and art enthusiasts and A&D practitioners, in addition to gallerists and collectors.
Estimated costs: Economy flights will run you about $300 and up, while hotel rooms range from $60 (for a no-frills property) to $700 per night. These numbers climb the closer the event gets, so book early.
You should go if: You’re an A&D professional, a design aficionado, or a collector. (This isn’t really for specifiers.)
Pro tips: Make sure to take a second lap around the show floor—there is so much to see, and details can be missed during the first pass. Also remember that there is more design inspiration to discover outside the fair tent: check out the Herzog & de Meuron–designed Perez Art Museum MiamiNina Johnson gallery, or the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens—a gorgeous Gilded Age estate. Other pointers: Pack a sweater, because although Miami is warm year-round, it can still drop to the 50s in December. Lastly, be sure to also pack a chic outfit—Miami is all about the party, and you never know if you’ll wind up dancing the night away at Twist!

1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132