For newbie retailer Sophie Zembra, few things are as fashionable as sustainability—and a commitment to eco-friendly manufacturing and retailing.
The French-born fashion hound debuted Antidote, a boutique in the artsy Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, late last year to showcase a curated selection of eco-friendly apparel, accessory, and jewelry collections.
The eye-popping space—which is filled with low geometric furniture pieces painted in saturated pastel tones—was conceptualized by Miami interior designer Guillermo de Yavorsky and was also built to reflect the retailer’s values.
“The space was created with a conscious mind,” says Zembra, “incorporating ecological materials such as eco-cement, nontoxic paints, and natural woods.” She and de Yavorsky ultimately strove to “achieve eco-friendly practices every step of the way.”
We recently caught up with Zembra to chat about her chic new shop.
JCK: What was the idea behind Antidote?
Sophie Zembra: The idea was to create a universe around sustainability and creativity—a place where you can approach the conscious fashion with positive vibes, a personal experience that frees itself of tired norms of “eco-conscious fashion” and renews it.
What types of jewelry lines do you like to stock?
We currently stock mostly emerging jewelry brands with different stories and aesthetics, from African-inspired minimalistic brass pieces to elaborate handmade leather earrings. [Every] piece needs to speak for itself.
What jewelry brands are currently in the store?
A favorite is LLY Atelier, a jewelry brand made in Montreal. Each piece is handcrafted with great attention to detail. I [also love] Soko, a fair-trade African brand that uses recycled brass and marries contemporary design with artisanal craft. Lozza D Marin, a Colombian brand of handmade leather accessories, is one of my favorites as well.
Antidote’s color-drenched interior
A hand-illustrated wall with custom racks inside Antidote
How did you and interior designer Guillermo de Yavorsky collaborate?
I gave Guillermo complete liberty to create the project. He translated my concept into a reality by creating a strong aesthetic. I love the way he played with the color scheme, while at the same time respecting the eco-friendly aspects by choosing materials that are as natural and eco-friendly as possible. As soon as I stepped into [the finished store], it was my dream transformed into reality.
What’s your favorite interior element in the store?
The colorful furniture is definitely among my favorite components. They are strong geometrical shape fixtures that add…personality to the space. The functionality is ideal as well. I’m able to move the pieces around and play with the interior setup.
What kind of shopping experience do you hope shoppers will have?
I don’t want customers coming in solely to purchase goods. I want them to have a unique experience—from the store’s smell, to the captivating interior, to the discovery of unique brands that have valuable stories.
Top: The exterior of new Miami boutique Antidote (all photos by Claudio Napolitano; courtesy of Atelier de Yavorksy)