Neushop is the kind of concept — cool and functional clothing, home accessories and more— that would be a perfect fit in Wynwood or South Beach. But the owners chose downtown Miami, betting on its cultural transformation.
But Neushop is reclaiming the word basic and bringing it back to its intended meaning: elemental and essential. Take, for example, its line of signature shirts made from 100 percent Peruvian-grown Tangüis cotton that come in nine styles and 48 colors for men and women. They’re well-made, exquisitely soft and — unlike many “designer” T-shirts — reasonably priced.
“We’ve always been about basics, but now so many are priced as luxury objects and not as everyday objects,” said Nicolas Delgado Alcega, 23, who runs Neushop. “It becomes difficult to say, ‘I’m going to wear this every day,’ because it’s a price point that doesn’t work with the nature of the product.”
A place to shop, meet, think
Located along a historic stretch of downtown Miami, Neushop is a unique multi-use space with a retail component and an architecture/design studio. It also serves as a hub for creative thinkers and community events.
Delgado Alcega, who recently graduated from the University of Miami’s School of Architecture, began Neushop as an online clothing retailer several years ago. Over time, it dovetailed with a design firm and clothing-manufacturing brand called Neutroni that his parents, Kika Alcega and Raúl Delgado, started in Venezuela.
As their online orders grew, so did their need for a larger fulfillment center and physical storefront, where they could display clothing, accessories and home décor from global designers. Rather than settle for a small and overpriced space in a more-established neighborhood like Wynwood or South Beach, they picked an area where they saw untapped potential.
“We came to downtown and saw that people were doing something,” Delgado Alcega said. “People were creating a scene from the street and not from a development perspective. That’s the opposite of what normally happens in Miami: The developer pushes the street scene. But here, the street scene was pushing the change in the neighborhood.”
A new downtown Miami
The Langford, Supply & Advise, Shoe Gallery, Niu Kitchen, Second Miami — the businesses revitalizing downtown are infusing the community with culture and personality. Neushop takes it a step further by hosting frequent lectures, gatherings, pop-ups and workshops on architecture, design, fashion, mindfulness and more.
Standing in Neushop, it’s hard to imagine that just more than a year ago, this majestically deconstructed space was a Radio Shack. Delgado Alcega and his team at Studio Miami, a collective of architecture students and recent graduates who focus on urban revitalization projects (and who also happen to work out of Neushop’s lobby), chipped away at the concrete walls, the Armstrong ceiling tiles, and the carpet flooring of the Schultze & Weaver-designed edifice. They discovered artfully withered coffered ceilings, terra cotta tiles and exposed brick. Peeling away the layers, they revealed its original version of basic.
A decal on Neushop’s windows says “Downtown is Back.” It’s a confident, hopeful look. Neushop is reminding us that any basic city relies on small, local businesses to contribute to its culture and personality.
Downtown is back. Or well on its way.
Neushop, 15 Southeast Second Avenue, Miami; 305-603-7198.