Miami in the 90’s was arguably the best decade in recent history. From trend-setting fashion to being the home of the rich and famous, Miami in the 90’s was the place to be and be seen.
Now, with Miami ranking as the eighth best party city in the world and taking the number three spot for the most fun city in the U.S., the Magic City is a vibrant metro area full of diversity and poised for continued growth throughout the decades to come.
But the 90’s is when the city really shined.
In a time of high-top sneakers, acid wash denim, neon accents and boy bands, there’s no doubt Miami in the 90’s was the place to be. Whether you lived through the decade or wished you did, here are the 9 ways Miami rocked the 90’s.
1. Modeling and Fashion
But the memory of Miami, bustling with style and design and bursting at the seams with models and agencies, lives on.
In the 90’s, the city of Miami was ubiquitous with fashion. The city served as the center of the fashion industry, with New York and L.A. trailing behind in the shadows created by the glow of the Miami fashion scene.
Modeling crews lined the streets of this fashionista city. Ocean Drive, a popular hotspot, saw a continuous merry-go-round of trailers, cars, models and their agents pushing for the perfect Art Deco backdrop – a mainstay in fashion shoots – for their photographs.
The beautiful people brought to the area through modeling and high fashion filled the sidewalks and nightclubs, making people-watching a tourist attraction as much as the city itself.
2. Hot Nightclubs
The 90’s were a hotspot for the best in entertainment and nightlife in Miami. Clubwear – namely, cycle skirts paired with spaghetti strap camisoles and platform heels – emerged as the newest fashion statement.
Club Liquid in South Beach was the center of nightlife in the 90’s and brought in celebrities like Madonna, Niki Taylor, Jennifer Lopez, Naomi Campbell, and Daisy Fuentes.
The still popular Nikki Beach first got its start in the 90’s as Café Nikki, a garden at Penrod’s Beach Club. It’s seen explosive growth from those early days and Nikki Beach is now a worldwide luxury lifestyle brand.
3. The Rich and Famous
Miami in the 90’s saw a sizeable increase in population. Celebrities were drawn to the warm, tropical climate, the fashion industry took off, and the Art Deco architecture became the mainstay of backdrops for modeling crews.
And tourists flocked to the area to sneak a peek at the rich and famous.
Once Madonna and Stallone bought their homes in Miami Beach, the city shot to the top of the list as a place for celebrities to reside. News of the tropical beauty quickly spread, leading to a vacation home buying spree by numerous other celebrities.
4. Fewer People
While the argument could be made there were fewer people in general, the 90’s saw a smaller population in the Miami metropolitan area. There were also a fewer tourists, since Miami didn’t become overrun with celebrities until later in the decade.
Though there is something to be said about the economic benefit of the added vacationers and residents drawn into the Miami Beach and South Beach hotspots.
With the area known for its celebrity-spotting and people-watching opportunities, it’s unlikely you’ll enjoy a Sunday on the beach without throngs of others joining you
5. The Food
Most notable in Miami in the 90’s was the neon-colored Miami Subs sign, boasting the best chicken wings and gyro platters. Delivering delicious sandwiches and fries to the food scene, a trip to Miami Subs was a big treat in the 90’s.
There is a re-vamped version available today called The New Miami Subs Grill, owned by Latin hip-hop star Pitbull. Aimed at helping to lead the revival of the chain and bring back the old South Florida icon, it’s a welcome blast from the past.
Though for true nostalgia, nothing beats the old-school deliciousness that was Miami Subs’ in the 90’s.
6. Real estate
After a building boom in the 80’s, the 90’s real estate market offered a lot of deals in Miami. Affordable living was attainable and home ownership was transformed from dream to reality for many area residents.
The market has seen its ups and downs since then, but one thing is certain: the Miami real estate market, poised for elite and luxury clientele, is here to stay.
7. Miami Vice and Golden Girls
Because of its tropical climate and the high amount of sunshine, Miami has been and continues to reign as a popular location for the filming and sets of movies and television shows. Today, the city is one of the largest centers for the production and distribution for commercial advertising, film, music, photography, and television.
And it’s all thanks to the 90’s.
The two most notable classics? Miami Vice and the Golden Girls, both set in Miami. From chasing down crime as counter-narcotics agents to following the lives of four older, single women, Miami is showcased on the big screen as one of the most glamorous places in the U.S. to call home.
Here are a few more you might recognize:
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
- Bad Boys (and Bad Boys II in 2003)
- The Bodyguard
- There’s Something About Mary
- Dave’s World
- Empty Nest
- Silk Stockings
8. Big Wins in Sports
Home to some of the best sports teams in the country, the 90’s brought fame and awareness to the many Miami sports teams. Facing a losing record and lack of recognition, the 90’s marked a rise to fame for the Miami Heat. Sporting one of the best wins in franchise history, they beat the Los Angeles Clippers and set the record for the highest individual single-game point total in a game against the Orlando Magic, bringing fame to Miami’s NBA team.
You can’t mention 90’s sports in Miami without these two words: Dan Marino. The lucky number 13 Miami Dolphins player is a legend to all who grew up in the 90’s.
Another Florida-based team, the Miami Marlins – known in the 90’s as the Florida Marlins – would go on to qualify for the postseason and bring home a win in the 1997 World Series, making fans out of everyone – even those who weren’t into baseball.
9. The Music
Murk, a house-music production team of Oscar Gaetan and Ralph Falcon, brought Miami to the music scene with their seven consecutive singles topping Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. Starting in 1991, Murk also performed as Funky Green Dogs, Liberty City, and Oscar G & Ralph Falcon. The two also have mad skills as DJs, performing around the world at top clubs.
And who could forget the elegant Gloria Estefan? Winning seven Grammy Awards with multiple albums reaching the number one spot on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Las Vegas Walk of Fame. With international hits like “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “Get On Your Feet,” Coming Out of the Dark,” and “Turn the Beat Around,” Gloria Estefan, who made her home in Miami, became a household name.
From sports and music to real estate and nightlife, Miami in the 90’s was quickly rising to the top of the must-see cities. What’s your favorite memory of Miami in the 90’s?