Articles on this Page
- 06/17/14--21:00: _Timepieces for Your...
- 06/18/14--21:00: _Q&A: What Classixx’...
- 05/29/14--21:00: _Peter Max Captures ...
- 06/19/14--21:00: _How Stacie Orloff R...
- 06/22/14--21:00: _Spotted: Pharrell W...
- 06/23/14--21:00: _Food and Film at SB...
- 06/24/14--21:00: _Erin Heatherton Kno...
- 06/24/14--21:00: _Healthy Dishes at M...
- 06/25/14--21:00: _Behind the Scenes: ...
- 06/25/14--21:00: _5 Cooling Cocktails...
- 06/20/14--21:00: _Charity Register: H...
- 06/25/14--07:00: _Where to Get an Exc...
- 06/26/14--21:00: _Dine by the Bay at ...
- 06/26/14--21:00: _Is South Beach the ...
- 06/26/14--21:00: _Real Estate Trend: ...
- 06/26/14--21:00: _Why Miami's Billion...
- 06/26/14--21:00: _Stylish and Highly ...
- 06/26/14--21:00: _What's Coming Next ...
- 06/26/14--21:00: _The 'It' Seafood Di...
- 06/26/14--21:00: _Only in Miami: Why ...
- 06/17/14--21:00: Timepieces for Your Weekend-to-Workplace Transition
- 06/18/14--21:00: Q&A: What Classixx’s Michael David Likes About Miami Music Fans
- 05/29/14--21:00: Peter Max Captures the Spirit of Miami
- 06/19/14--21:00: How Stacie Orloff Revamped Bell & Ross
- 06/22/14--21:00: Spotted: Pharrell Williams and Helen Lasichanh Out on the Town
- 06/23/14--21:00: Food and Film at SBH; Vietnamese Pop-Up at Khong River House
- 06/24/14--21:00: Erin Heatherton Knows She Isn't Perfect
- 06/24/14--21:00: Healthy Dishes at Miami's Most Indulgent Restaurants
- 06/25/14--21:00: Behind the Scenes: Erin Heatherton
- 06/25/14--21:00: 5 Cooling Cocktails to Drink Poolside
- 06/20/14--21:00: Charity Register: How to Give Back This Summer
- 06/25/14--07:00: Where to Get an Exclusive Salvatore Ferragamo Handbag
- 06/26/14--21:00: Dine by the Bay at Mandarin Oriental's New Eatery
- 06/26/14--21:00: Is South Beach the New NYC?
- 06/26/14--21:00: Real Estate Trend: Stylish Interior Design Collaborations
- 06/26/14--21:00: Why Miami's Billionaires Are Staying Put
- 06/26/14--21:00: Stylish and Highly Functional Dive Watches
- 06/26/14--21:00: What's Coming Next to Fort Lauderdale’s Culinary Scene
- 06/26/14--21:00: The 'It' Seafood Dish at AQ by Acqualina
- 06/26/14--21:00: Only in Miami: Why a Luxury Car Won't Cut It Anymore
The much-coveted chronograph takes gentleman jocks from the weekend to the workplace.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP:
1. The Louis Vuitton Tambour Blue Chronograph ($7,100) features a 44mm stainless steel case and a blue dial with Clous-de-Paris black counters. The Swiss-made watch houses an ETA mechanical movement that offers date and chronograph functions.
2. This Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono ($1,795) is a 42mm stainless steel watch with automatic H21 movement and 60 hours of power reserve.
3. This Baume & Mercier Capeland watch ($4,350) comes with an automatic movement that features a tachymeter, telemeter, and date functions. It has a sun satin–finished blue dial and a black-brown alligator strap with ecru stitching.
4. From TAG Heuer, this Carrera 1887 Chronograph ($5,400) is a limited-edition piece with a navy dial and steel case. It houses the in-house-made 1887 mechanical movement.
The world’s finest timepiece makers are taking chronographs—watches that track intervals of time—upmarket. No longer are chronographs just for sports; they have become so sophisticated in styling and offer so many features that they are proving to be great business partners, too. With hues of blue being a predominant summer theme, a chronograph in azure or navy makes a power statement on the court, course, or in the conference room.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP:
1. The Harry Winston Ocean Sport Chronograph ($27,200) is crafted out of the alloy Zalium. This 44mm rubber-strapped watch houses a mechanical movement and features a striking blue dial.
2. This Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar watch ($10,700) is crafted in steel with a black and blue guilloche dial. It houses the El Primero 4054 automatic caliber with column-wheel chronograph, developed and manufactured in-house.
3. From IWC, this Portuguese Chronograph Classic Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation” watch ($10,800) houses a mechanical chronograph movement with 68 hours of power reserve. Just 1,000 pieces will be made, with proceeds benefiting more than 100 Laureus projects globally.
4. This Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue watch ($4,425) is crafted in steel and features a bidirectional rotating bezel for second time-zone display. The watch houses a self-winding mechanical movement, Tudor Calibre 2892, with chronograph function. Water-resistant to 150 meters.
5. Men’s silk pocket squares in the season’s latest prints, courtesy of Hermès (prices upon request).
Michael David tells us how Classixx’s Miami fans compare to those in Los Angeles, and where he gets his Cuban food fix in the Magic City.
Childhood friends Tyler Blake, left, and Michael David of Classix.
American producers Michael David and Tyler Blake, known together as Classixx, have remixed everyone from Major Lazer and Phoenix, to Lana Del Rey and Madonna. But this year the LA duo, who got together in 2007, are giving fans what they’ve been waiting for: Classixx’s debut album, Hanging Gardens. We caught up with David before his sold-out show with headliner Cut Copy last night at Miami’s Grand Central, and got the scoop on his favorite local cuisine and what’s next for Classixx.
Any special plans while you're in Miami?
MICHAEL DAVID: Yeah. We like Cuban food a lot, so we've been eating that since we got here and drinking Cuban coffee.
Anywhere in particular?
MD: We just ate at a really great spot. It’s called Tinta y Cafe. It was right by our hotel, and it was really good. It's a small Cuban cafe.
Besides getting some great Cuban food, what's your favorite thing about performing in Miami?
MD: Everyone seems like they're in really good shape [laughs]. The crowds are usually really attractive people. That's one thing I can say about Miami for sure. Even more than Los Angeles. I feel like people wear less clothes in Miami than in LA.
Your recent collaboration with Nancy Whang on “All You’re Waiting For” has garnered a lot of attention. Do you have plans to collaborate with anyone else from DFA Records in the future?
MD: Possibly. The guys from the band Holy Ghost! are some of our closest friends, and we've been meaning to collaborate with them on something. That's something that we'd be looking forward to in the future—maybe making an original, joint track.
You’re spinning a DJ set tomorrow (June 19) with Neon Indian at the new Gap flagship store in Miami (1001 Lincoln Rd.). What can fans expect in comparison to tonight's show with Cut Copy?
MD: Tonight they'll witness all of our compositions with keyboards and guitars. We rarely play our own stuff at DJ sets. I think it'll be similar energy [at the Gap]. We just like to make sure people are having a good time and that people are dancing.
Artist Peter Max has captured everyone and everything from the Dalai Lama to the Beatles to the spirit of Miami in his psychedelic cosmic style. Exclusively for Ocean Drive, he interprets the Magic City, while the hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, discover the colorful stories—and the man—behind the masterpieces.
Peter Max with his Ocean Drive cover, done in the artist’s signature “cosmic style”
One of the most prolific artists working today, Peter Max is widely known for his “cosmic style,” with creations that have been seen everywhere from the hull of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Breakaway and a Continental Airlines Boeing 777 fuselage to the massive stages of the 1999 Woodstock music festival. His mixed-media works can be found in the collections of six past US presidents, while his art—recognizable for its energetic brushstrokes of primary colors and psychedelic panoramas of stars, planets, profiles, and icons from Lady Liberty to the Beatles—has been used to represent five Super Bowls, the World Cup, the World Series, the US Open, the Grammys, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “I’m just very happy to be in the middle of all this,” says Max of his many accomplishments. “I’m happy to do all the painting and have all the museum shows.”
Born in Berlin and raised in Shanghai, Max and his family moved around the globe, from Tibet to Israel to Paris, with each destination influencing his art. Eventually, Max settled in New York, where, at age 76, he continues to produce a dizzying array of works, including this Ocean Drive cover, one of a collection of 10 covers created exclusively for Niche Media publications that also includes LA Confidential, Gotham, Hamptons, Aspen Peak, and Michigan Avenue. The original painting will be auctioned on Charitybuzz starting this month to benefit The Humane Society of the US. “I paint and draw every day, and I loved creating this cover art for Ocean Drive,” says Max. “I went through files of my drawings to choose the right inspiration for this cover. I love nature and creating landscapes that are natural and yet fantasy, with colorful skies, clouds, and cosmic characters. I featured South Beach’s iconic lifeguard stands, palm trees, Art Deco hotels, beach and sea, and the nature all around, and gave them all my colors in this cosmic landscape.”
Well-used paintbrushes attest to Max’s ceaseless creativity
In his studio—two full-floor lofts near New York’s Lincoln Center—Max has galleries’ worth of his work: a towering portrait of the Statue of Liberty he painted on the White House lawn for President Ronald Reagan in 1981; a multicolored Baldwin piano signed by his pal Ringo Starr; rows of Lucite sculptures taken from his “Angel” series; a painted guitar originally made for Jon Bon Jovi; and portraits of everyone from Marilyn Monroe to John F. Kennedy, all done in Max’s distinctive style. “When you’re a singer and you have a really great voice, it’s not like you create a voice—it’s just there. My art is just there,” says Max. “I just put the brush on paper and I don’t even know what I’m doing, but I know it’s going to come out great. Twenty-four seven, creativity, creativity, creativity—it’s all I do. I draw on airplanes, I draw in limousines, I draw when I wake up in the morning, and in taxicabs.”
Beyond the studio, Max is a longtime vegetarian and practices yoga and meditation daily—a part of his routine for more than 40 years. He also gives freely of his time, money, and art to benefit animal charities such as The Humane Society of the US and the equine rescue organization Wild for Life Foundation, and works for conservationism. “Nature itself is the most beautiful and creative work of art, and we should do all that we can to protect it for future generations,” says Max. “As an artist, I visualize our cities with gleaming skyscrapers, beautiful trees and flowers, and clean color-blended skies. But it’s up to us as individuals to live a more sustainable lifestyle and help keep our cities and countries green.”
Artist Peter Max in the early days of his career, in New York, 1967
By his side in all of it is his wife of 17 years, Mary Max, whom the artist calls “one of [his] greatest inspirations.” “When I met her, it fueled me, and she still fuels me today, quite a few years later,” he says of his wife, whom he spotted one day while out for coffee and declared he would marry at first sight. “We donate money left and right, we have events up [in the studio] all the time, and we have six rescue animals of our own at the house.”
At the present, Max also has seven feature film and animation projects in the works, including one yet to be announced for the estate of Frank Sinatra. Here, in celebration of Max’s 50 years of commercial success and his collection of city renderings exclusively for Niche Media, the artist opens up to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski about his unparalleled career, his spirituality, philanthropy, and the famous friends who have helped influence his work.
Behind the Brushstrokes
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski at Max’s custom Baldwin piano signed by Ringo Starr; in the background are works from the artist’s “Flower Blossom Lady” and “Abstract Flowers” series
JOE AND MIKA: Many artists will agree that it’s a struggle to gain recognition, but to keep it and have it last 50 years is staggering. What do you think is the key to your success?
PETER MAX: It’s just being present, letting creativity come through. I’m also really lucky because we live in an age of media. It used to be, when I was on the cover of Life magazine 45 years ago, there were only three magazines—Time, Life, and Fortune. My art got to be on two of those covers. Today there are thousands of magazines out there, and my work has been on 2,000 to 3,000 covers.
Early in your career, you studied a lot of the masters, from Rembrandt to Sargent. So how did you develop your cosmic style?
I always used to draw never even thinking that drawing is something you could do [as a career] once you became an adult. In China, I studied with the 6-year-old daughter of a street artist. Then in Israel, my mother hooked me up with a famous art professor from Austria. After we left Israel and moved to Paris, my mother signed me up for the classes for kids at the Louvre. And when we came to America, I found a private teacher, Frank Reilly [at the Art Students League of New York]; after high school, I used to go into the city and I studied with him. Frank Reilly went to that school 30 years earlier, and the kid who used to sit beside him was Norman Rockwell. So Norman Rockwell and Frank Reilly studied together and Rockwell became Rockwell; Reilly became Peter Max’s teacher. Then I hooked up with some people with certain art schools who were very design oriented.
Max’s work has appeared on thousands of magazine covers. “I’m really lucky because we live in an age of media,” he says
For someone who studied realism, your painting style is not necessarily realist.…
No, I’m kind of impressionistic. Realism gave me the skill to paint, but my eye was more into design-ery art.
The Art Students League has produced some famous alumni, including Jackson Pollock and Cy Twombly. Ever have any celebrity encounters?
I once met Marilyn Monroe. The steps to the street were very narrow, and some of the students used to sit on the steps. I sat there one day with a friend of mine and I see this girl walking by, and I did a double take. I said to my friend, “It’s Marilyn Monroe,” and as she’s walking by, she turns to me and says, “I like your pants”—I had a lot of paint on my pants—and then she kept on walking. She was so stunning; all her features were just perfect.
I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends
This “Love” image from the 1960s was inspired by the spirit of the decade and is among Max’s best known
People will recognize your paintings of the Statue of Liberty or the “Love” series, but what do you think your most defining piece is?
There are so many defining pieces. Painting the Statue of Liberty was a big thing because it’s an emblem; it’s the symbol for the United States of America, so it got so much [attention]. Then I’ve painted so many unbelievable people, like the Dalai Lama, John F. Kennedy—close to 800 portraits.
Posing with Larry King in front of a Peter Max painting in honor of King’s 50 years of broadcasting, at The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York in 2007
You’ve also painted portraits of all of the Beatles, who also just celebrated 50 years in America. Tell us more about your relationship with the band.
I met John [Lennon] way, way back, and I was best friends with Yoko Ono. One day I read in the paper that my little friend Yoko was going out with John. I knew John, I knew Yoko; I could have introduced them in a second. I used to go pick both of them up at the Dakota where she lives, and we used to go to Central Park. We used to walk around and bullshit and talk and sing songs.
Here in your studio, you have a colorful piano that’s signed “To Peter, Love Ringo….”
I did a Baldwin piano for Ringo Starr, and he loved it. Then Baldwin called me up and said, “We love it so much, we’re going to send you a piano.” Two days later, they deliver it, the guys assemble it, and I roll out my paints and start painting the piano beautiful colors. Just as I’m finishing, my girl comes from the front desk and says, “Your buddy Ringo is here.” Ringo had been uptown and wanted to say thanks; instead he said, “I like yours better!” and I said, “No, Ringo, yours is the first; it’s the nicest.” He asked if I had paints and I said, “Do I have paints?” We roll out a cart of paints, and he writes, “To Peter, love Ringo,” followed by a star.
Signing the Baldwin piano he painted for Ringo Starr
There’s a photo right on top of you and Ringo. Was it another famous Beatle, Paul McCartney, who turned you on to vegetarianism?
Paul and I became vegetarian at the same time. I’ve been a vegetarian now for over 40 years. I’ve had everybody up here in the studio—from Mick Jagger a couple of times to Ringo Starr to Paul McCartney—they’ve all been up here, they’re all my friends. We hang out; I’ve been very lucky.
Is it true that you also have a DJ who works here in your studio?
Yes—Joe. I have two or three radio stations I like, and he has certain CDs he’s made for me. He plays for me all good contemporary music—jazz, bebop, fusion jazz, certain rock ’n’ roll. When I start painting, the music is on and I’m just in the groove. Music inspires my whole will to paint, the will to be creative—it fuels the creativity.
Max created a series of portraits of Sir Paul McCartney for his longtime friend’s 70th birthday
You worked with George Harrison on the Integral Yoga Institute, a yoga center and ashram in New York’s Greenwich Village based on the teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda, whom you brought to America in 1966. Was it George who introduced you to the Swami?
No, George was involved with the Maharaji out of England. George and I talked about my Satchidananda and his Maharaji, and we introduced each other to the other guys. The institute teaches how to go into meditation, get your mind focused, do stretching, become a vegan—a lot of health, behavioral, and mental benefits that have changed my whole life.
Max with his family in NYC in 1967
How did you first meet Swami Satchidananda?
Conrad Rooks, who was the heir of Avon cosmetics—he was a billionaire kid—called me one day when I was still in my early 20s, and he wanted me to come to Paris to help him with the colors on a film he was going to make. A day or two later, I pack a little bag, my driver drops me off at Kennedy Airport, and I go to Paris. Conrad picks me up from the airport and we’re hanging out in the restaurant at the hotel that he’s staying in, and then in comes the Swami—long beard, beautiful long black hair, gorgeous eyes—and Conrad introduces me to him. After spending a day with the Swami, I knew I had to bring him to New York. All my hippie buddies were taking LSD, and I was thinking, This is the man we need to be with, not this other stuff. I brought him to America and I opened yoga centers for him.
New York, 1967
The Best is Yet To Come
Over your career, you’ve accomplished so much. Is there something—a goal—you have yet to achieve?
I’ve been listening to music very intensely my whole life, but especially in the last 36 months because I’ve been collecting music for seven feature films and animation. Characters and stories—I have so many; the only thing I hadn’t collected was music, so I called my friends—Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Bon Jovi—everyone I knew. Out of 200,000 pieces of music, I selected about 3,000 or 4,000 that I adore.
Have you ever thought about retiring?
I’ve been retired since I was 20. [Laughs] Retiring is getting to do completely what you love, right? It’s not like sitting in a chair somewhere. This is a nice life—it’s creative, colors, music, and people. I love it.
Stacie Orloff, one of the few female execs in the watch business, is changing the face of Miami-based Bell & Ross.
The global watch industry has long been dominated by men; only in the past few decades have women begun taking on leadership roles. One such pioneer is Stacie Orloff, who became the president of Bell & Ross in the Americas six years ago. With 20-plus years of experience in the watch industry working with brands such as Corum, Gucci, and Montblanc, Orloff took over the reins at Bell & Ross with army-like determination. In the six years she has been in charge of the Miami headquartered brand, Orloff has grown the business more than 300 percent, built an entire technical service center (complete with four watchmakers), and has increased the average retail sale close to $1,500.
“When I met with the two male owners of the brand about establishing the US arm here, everything clicked,” says Orloff. “They wanted someone the retailers could trust and have confidence in, someone who could realize the Bell & Ross vision, which is to create watches for professionals who demand optimal reliability, meeting four basic principles—legibility, functionality, precision, and water-resistance. I was that someone. I knew I could execute the plan.”
Stacie Orloff’s“power watch” is the Bell & Ross45mm Big Date. Tourneau, Aventura Mall, 19575 Biscayne Blvd., 305-932-2280
While Orloff often travels back and forth to Switzerland, her primary itinerary is between North and South America, building relationships with retailers and increasing brand presence in these important markets. As company president, she aims to maintain the brand’s dominant position in the $3,000-to-$5,000 category while expanding into more expensive timepieces using new case materials and complications. “I run Bell & Ross as though it is my own brand,” says Orloff, who had a staff of just two employees when she started with the company; today she oversees 17—seven of whom are women. “We are small and family owned, and you have to make every minute count in the run for success.”
To monitor those minutes, Orloff alternates between several different Bell & Ross timepieces, her favorite being a 45mm Big Date watch. “If you are wearing a strong and recognizable accessory, it gives you the confidence that says I can easily handle anything thrown my way,” explains Orloff, who also favors the sleek BRS Automatic Silver; the 1940s aviation-inspired Officer Black bracelet; and the Grande Date, which was inspired by the pocket watches of the 1920s. “This watch makes the statement that I am strong. It says I am here.”
Where did Pharrell Williams bring wife Helen Lasichanh for dinner in Miami? That and more in this week's celebrity news.
Pharrell Williams and Jamie Foxx Dine at Zuma
Musician/producer Pharrell Williams had dinner with wife Helen Lasichanh and friends at Zuma on Thursday, June 12. While there, he posed for a photo with a fan.
The day before, Jamie Foxx was spotted at Zuma, laughing with his friends while they dined.
A-Rod and Wilmer Valderrama Party at E11even
Baseball player Alex Rodriguez (a.k.a. A-Rod) celebrated Father's Day and his dad's birthday at E11even in the early morning hours on Sunday, June 15. He drank bottles of Belvedere with his dad and friends the VIP area.
Actor Wilmer Valderrama was also at the club that morning, arriving at 5 a.m. and partying in the main pit.
Graceland Stars Swing by Steak 954
Graceland cast members Vanessa Ferlito, Daniel Sunjata, and Brandon Jay McLaren ate at Steak 954 on Sunday, June 15 while they were in town filming.
Ryan Phillippe's Whirlwind Week in Miami
Ryan Phillippe and girlfriend Paulina Slagter were all over town last week during a stay at the W South Beach. They were seen kissing at WALL (in W South Beach), hanging out at EAST, Miami at Mandarin Oriental Oasis Beach, and dining at Cavalli and Seasalt and Pepper.
Scottie Pippen Chows Down at Bâoli
NBA champ Scottie Pippen visited Bâoli Miami with wife Larsa Pippen and former MLB player Rondell White while he was in town for the NBA finals. The trio ordered the Hamachi jalapeño roll, tuna tartar and lobster risotto.
Radamel Falcao Dines at Prime 112
On Tuesday, June 17, Colombian soccer star Radamel Falcao dined in the wine room at Prime 112.
Omar Benson Miller Eats at Yardbird
CSI: Miami star Omar Benson Miller swung by Yardbird last week for a meal of fried chicken and North Carolina trout.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY
Summer is in full swing, and this week’s food and drink events offer the perfect excuse to get out of the house on a warm evening.
Khong River House will host a pop-up for one night.
On Friday, June 27 at 7 p.m., SBH South Beach Hotel will host the last of its free Courtyard Art & Cinema events, featuring artwork on display and for sale, short films, and a feature film screening of The Woodmans. Order light bites from a special menu by Orange Blossom with items like fig prosciutto, salmon tartare, and homemade hummus, or sip wine, beer, and special punches. 236 21st St., Miami Beach, 305-531-3464
The Federal Food Drink & Provisions’ Chef Cesar Zapata is bringing back his Vietnamese pop-up menu at Khong River House for one night only on Thursday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. Zapata will team up with 50 Eggs Culinary Director Clayton Miller to create a five-course dinner inspired by gourmet and Southern Vietnamese street food. Tickets can be purchased here. 1661 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach, 305-763-8147
Underground dining program The Hidden Kitchen Workshop is celebrating its one-year anniversary with the Southern Seafood Bash on Wednesday, June 25 at 7 p.m. The Dutch's Chef Conor Hanlon is teaming up with the Workshop's Chef Michael B. Jacobs to prepare dishes for this family-style meal with Southern specialties such as crawfish etouffée, crispy Okeechobee frog legs, fried catfish, and Florida stone crab croquettes. Purchase tickets here. 5255 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, phone number not available
Before the 13th annual Miami Spice kicks off in August, local chefs are coming together for a series of Miami Spice Mash-Ups to offer samples of the dishes on their Spice menus. On June 25 at 7 p.m., the first of three Mash-Ups will be held at J&G Grill at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. The intimate dinner will be prepared by J&G's Chef Brad Kilgore and Pubbelly group's Chef Jose Mendin, and include six courses, a complimentary Botran cocktail, and two desserts. Call 305-993-3333 for reservations. 9703 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour
Classic American beauty Erin Heatherton sizzles in summer's hottest trends on the sands of South Beach.
Space Garden one-piece swimsuit, Clover Canyon ($255). Bloomingdale’s, The Falls, 8778 SW 136th St., Miami, 305-252-6300. Green resin and metal cuff, Gucci ($1,250). Village of Merrick Park, 342 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables, 305-441-2004
Plenty of young girls arrive in South Beach with the intention of becoming a model, but very few actually achieve that goal—let alone supermodel status—especially just minutes after touching down. But for model Erin Heatherton, that’s exactly what happened. As a junior in high school on a college visit to the University of Miami, the Illinois born 5-foot-11 stunner stepped out of a minivan and onto South Beach, and before she could even burn her feet, a model scout was chasing after her, business card in hand. Since then, the 25-year-old has walked the runway for everyone from Diane von Furstenberg to Victoria’s Secret, graced the pages of Vogue Paris, and been romantically linked to Leonardo DiCaprio. On a gorgeous Miami Beach day, Ocean Drive brought Heatherton back to where it all began.
Ocean Drive: You were discovered within seconds of stepping foot in Miami Beach. Had you always wanted to model?
Erin Heatherton: [Coming to Miami] was my first time on a plane. I came with my friend and her mom; it was a beautiful day when we arrived, so we decided to walk around South Beach and then in the afternoon go to the University of Miami campus. That’s when I was scouted. Some guy jumped out of a cab and asked me what agency I worked for because he was scouting for Abercrombie & Fitch. I was horrified—I was like, “I don’t model,” and I was embarrassed that he didn’t ask my friend to be a model. But my mom followed up with him, and after my junior year of high school, we packed and went to New York. My mom left after two days because I signed with an agency.
Model Erin Heatherton heats up Miami Beach in the season’s sexiest swimwear.
You moved to New York City at 17 years old—what was that like?
I really loved it. I felt so charged by the energy, and I would just walk around alone. New York is a place where everybody is just alone together in the street, doing their thing. It was a lot of self growth during those years; that kind of education is priceless.
Bikini, Roberto Cavalli ($380). BalHarbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-865-1749. Matt aviator sunglasses, Isabel Marant par Oliver Peoples ($365). Eyes on Lincoln, 708 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-532-0070; designereyes.com. Watch, 40 Nine ($49). Miami Surf Style, 421 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-604-8592
The world sees you as beautiful, but how do you see yourself?
I’m not perfect. I never identified with the way I look; I was just born this way. I don’t feel rejection if I’m not the right person for a job, because that’s not where I find my self-worth. I’m a beautiful person, and that’s not because of my modeling career. There are good shots, and there are bad shots, but it’s just like playing a character. If you think of the top five people that you care about the most in your life, you probably don’t care if they look good in every angle or photo.
Clubbing swim top, Eres ($285). Aquamarine, The Shops at The Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-674-4783. Crystal fringe earrings ($215) and Aurora gold bracelet ($330), LeleSadoughi. Mayda Cisneros, 4102 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, 305-448-5848
You’ve said you didn’t fit in very well when you were younger because of your height.
That’s the standard tale of most models. I was always the tallest, so that contributed to me being a tomboy and playing sports. A lot of my friends were boys, but I didn’t have “boyfriends” in high school, really. I was 5-foot-5 in fifth grade; I grew six inches in two years. When I was 15, I stopped growing at 5-foot-11.
Cabrillo one-piece, ToriPraver ($264). Mermaids Boutique, 7328 SW 57th Ave., South Miami, 305-662-8621. White iconic chandelier earrings, Oscar de la Renta ($395). BalHarbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-868-7986. 18k yellow gold Sugarloaf ring with white opals and diamonds, Kara Ross ($5,400). Neiman Marcus, 151 Worth Ave., Palm Beach, 561-805-6150. Zephyr beach towel, Lacoste ($42). 1026 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-674-6810
You’re Jewish—did you get Bat Mitzvahed?
I did; it was just a wonderful day in my life…. and humiliating. I sang! They’re like mini weddings for awkward preadolescent weirdos changing voices.
Space Garden one-piece swimsuit, Clover Canyon ($255). Bloomingdale’s, The Falls, 8778 SW 136th St., Miami, 305-252-6300. Peggy sunglasses, Tory Burch ($195). BalHarbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-867-7469. Green resin and metal cuff, Gucci ($1,250). Village of Merrick Park, 342 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables, 305-441-2004
Are Jewish mothers always trying to set you up with their sons?
Yes. The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city—grandmothers, too. But I’m probably going to do that too one day.
Bikini, Missoni ($475). Saks Fifth Avenue, 7687 N. Kendall Dr., Miami, 305-662-8655. Limited-edition Renaissance bracelets in black and gray aluminum, David Yurman ($350 each). BalHarbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-867-1772
How do you handle working with women who are considered icons in the modeling world?
In the beginning, I was surrounded by the most beautiful people in the world, and I spoke to these icons for five minutes and I didn’t think they were beautiful anymore. When you’re surrounded by the best of the best, it’s a really quick way to understand what does matter. Ever since I was a kid, I never really cared what people thought. I was kind of a loner.
Adriana bikini top ($110) and bottom ($110), SinesiaKarol. opheliaswimwear.com. 19k white gold and diamond necklace, Djula ($1,940). Vault, 1024 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-673-5251. Gold-plated bracelets ($290 each), gold-plated zipper bracelet ($490), and silver-plated ring ($250), Salvatore Ferragamo. BalHarbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-866-8166. Cabana stripe beach towel, Kassatex ($63).Bloomingdale’s, The Falls, 8778 SW 136th St., Miami, 305-252-6300
Being that type of person, what is it like dating in the spotlight and reading gossip about yourself?
It’s not a comfortable feeling. With modeling it’s fantasy, so it doesn’t touch you, but when it’s your personal life, then it can burn. But that’s part of the job. It helped me to find more inner strength.
Pushkar one-piece swimsuit, La Perla ($408). BalHarbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-864-3173. Goldfoil leaf earrings, Jennifer Miller Jewelry ($285). 5 Via Mizner/Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, 561-659-9095. Large polished gold dome ring, Kenneth Jay Lane ($100). Babalu Miami, 1121 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-538-0777
What do you love about Miami?
Miami is amazing. It’s such a comfortable place. There are so many different neighborhoods and so many different experiences you can have. The beaches are beautiful. The people are really alive, and the spirit is quite eclectic. It’s just a bold place, a colorful place. It’s so laid-back and carefree.
Does it feel like every local restaurant wants to sabotage your beach body? We found five hearty yet healthy entrées to help you stay on track this summer.
Grilled octopus at Bianca.
When we hear Italian, we think cheese, pasta, and cured meats. While Bianca at Delano is definitely a hotspot for truffle-laden pasta dishes (like the truffle tagliatelle), the restaurant also has a number of seafood items that are just as flavorful, but less caloric, like the char-grilled octopus with cherry tomato salad and walnut vinaigrette. 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-674-5752
Fresh escolar at Zuma.
Decadent Japanese restaurant Zuma is not only a great place for dining with a view of the bay, but also for light dishes sans tempura. While we can't get enough of Zuma’s sushi and sashimi, one light option we love is escolar no tataki—seared escolar with white asparagus, and yuzu shallot dressing—which has a refreshing, citrus kick. 270 Biscayne Blvd.Way, Miami, 305-577-0277
The Bazaar by José Andrés serves a unique version of ceviche.
The whimsical menu at The Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS South Beach combines Latin flavors with Singapore street food—everything from foie gras PB&J to bao con lechón (Chinese bun with pork belly). Stake out a spot on the outdoor terrace and go for an option on the healthier side. While a few favorites are the watermelon and tomato skewers and gazpacho Patricia, our top pick is the dragon fruit ceviche, a piece of dragon fruit filled with tuna, pecans, lime, and hibiscus. 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-455-2999
Hakkasan's green salad is served with a plum dressing.
The sultry setting is one reason to dine at Hakkasan at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, but the restaurant is also ideal for feasting on fried and steamed Chinese goodies like lobster dumplings and crispy duck rolls. With your beach bod in mind, order the new green salad packed with plenty of Asian flavors and topped with a plum-peanut dressing. 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 877-326-7412
The heirloom tomatoes surround a bed of silky tofu at Pubbelly's.
In between the chopped bone marrow, pork belly croquetas, and Korean-style sweetbreads, we found a dish on Pubbelly's menu that incorporates the gastropub's signature Asian street-food flair minus the fatty pork. Jose Mendin's heirloom tomato dish is our pick, served with soft tofu, amazu ponzu, blueberries, and sesame oil—perfect for light eaters and vegetarians who dine at this meat-centric restaurant. 1418 20th St., Miami Beach, 305-532-7555
Cover shoot: July issue of Ocean Drive magazine.
Sit back, relax, and sip these light libations with cooling ingredients during the next pool party.
Light and Stormy: the Fontainebleau's take on the classic dark and stormy.
The Fontainebleau Miami Beach’s poolside dining area, La Cote, has no shortage of cocktails to help you cool down. The Summer Fling is concocted with Van Gogh Melon, fresh watermelon, cucumber essence, and fresh lime juice. Or pick La Cote’s take on the Dark and Stormy: the Light and Stormy with Mount Gay Silver, ginger beer, and hand-pressed lime juice. Whichever you choose, enjoy your cocktail with poolside jams from DJ Jax on Saturdays and Sundays. 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305- 674- 4710
The brains behind the Broken Shaker at The Freehand Miami know how to do light and flavorful. Their ever-changing menu gives patrons the option to create their own daily punch with choice of spirit, fruit, and botanical. Or take the guesswork out and enjoy the Lavender Caipirinha (French lavender reduction, fresh citrus juices, and Leblon Cachaça) during the weekend pool parties where DJs spin their favorite indie music. 2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach, 305-531-2727
Order the Machu Picchu at Bluewater for a spicy kick with your cocktail.
If you prefer a kick in your summer libation, the Machu Picchu has your name on it. Cross the causeway to Bluewater at the InterContinental Miami and enjoy this mix of Capurro Pisco, St. Germain, jalapeño, green grapes, and fresh lemon juice at the pool overlooking Biscayne Bay. 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, 305-577-1000
Gale South Beach’s rooftop pool menu includes classics like the mojito, the whiskey sour, and then some. The Ginger Ricky is a summer standout, made with gin, lime, cucumber, ginger, and soda. 1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-673-0199
Find the Cucumber Collins at W South Beach.
At the W South Beach, guests can lay out by the pool with the Living Room Bar’s take on the classic Tom Collins: a Cucumber Collins with cucumber vodka, lemon, yuzu juice, seltzer, and fresh and pickled cucumber slices. The Living Room’s juices are pressed daily, and the all-natural cocktails set the scene for soothing lounge music and swaying palm trees. 2201 Collins Ave., South Beach, 305-938-3000
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF FONTAINEBLEAU; ANDRES ARAVENA (BLUEWATER, LIVING ROOM BAR)
We found six opportunities to give back this summer.
Debbie Gomberg, President of the Huntington's Disease South Florida Chapter.
COURAGE OF ONE
Cause: Helping single mothers achieve self-sufficiency, free of government assistance.
Founder: Antoinette Rogers
Event: Sperenza Di Amore All White Soirée Fundraiser, Saturday, July 12, at 6 pm, location to be announced
BLACK GIRLS CODE
Cause: Empowering young women of color between the ages of 7 and 17 to embrace the technological marketplace as builders and creators.
Founders: Kimberly Bryant
Event: Summer of Code Workshop, Saturday, July 26, at 10 am, Miami Dade College Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center;
HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE SOUTH FLORIDA CHAPTER
Cause: Improving the care of those with Huntington’s disease and eradicating it through research.
President: Debbie Gomberg
Event: 23rd annual Huntington’s Disease Triathlon, Sunday, July 27, at 6:40 am, Larry and Penny Thompson Park
ST. JOHN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Cause: A celebration of culture and cuisine to raise funds to continue to build affordable homes in Overtown.
President: Ola Aluko
Event: 15th annual Things Are Cooking in Overtown Fundraising Gala, Friday, August 22, at 6:30 pm, Jungle Island
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
Cause: Raising funds and awareness in the battle against cancer.
Florida division board chair: Maureen Mann
Event: Relay for Life on the Runway, Saturday, August 23, at 5 pm, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
MARCH OF DIMES
Cause: Qualifying organizations raise funds and awareness through the direct sale of the Shop for a Cause savings passes from Macy’s.
President: Dr. Jennifer L. Howse
Event: Ninth annual Shop for a Cause, Saturday, August 23, all day, all Macy’s locations
Italian powerhouse Salvatore Ferragamo unveils its newest handbag, with an exclusive style offered at its Bal Harbour Shops boutique.
Only in Miami: the medium Fiamma bag in plum, Ferragamo ($2,250).
This fall could bring a new wave of It bag frenzy when Salvatore Ferragamo introduces its covetable new handbag, the Fiamma. Named after the designer’s late daughter, the Fiamma bag is made of supple leather and will come in three different sizes and multiple colors and treatments, including fringe embroidered nappa. The medium semicircular top-handle bag in plum (pictured), however, will be available exclusively at the Ferragamo boutique at Bal Harbour Shops. The vibrant color and modern shape are perfectly aligned with the attitudes of Miami women, while the soft satin lining and double-zip hardware further emphasize the house’s special attention to craftsmanship.
Fiamma Ferragamo began working for the family company at age 16. As the brand’s leather accessories and shoe designer for almost 40 years, she was responsible for the house’s iconic Vara pump, and her spirit of femininity and creativity can be seen not only in her namesake bag but also in a film series on the brand’s website. The series of online shorts will highlight inspired and inspiring women worldwide, including famous sisters Lola and Stella Schnabel and Mariel and Langley Fox Hemingway. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-866-8166
La Mar by Gaston Acurio brings celebrated ceviche to a waterfront setting on Brickell Key.
La Mar by Gaston Acurio, at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami, is an ode to all things oceanic, from its menu to the view overlooking Biscayne Bay.
When you’re sitting bayside at a Brickell Key resort, chasing the tart perfection of a snapper ceviche with a cool beer, the word “disorder” could not be further from the tip of your leche de tigre-coated tongue. But that’s precisely the word Executive Chef Diego Oka uses to describe the Mandarin Oriental, Miami’s newest restaurant, La Mar by Gaston Acurio. “It’s a beautiful disorder,” says Oka, a disciple of Acurio, perhaps Peru’s most globally celebrated chef. “There is beauty in not being perfect.”
The food at La Mar is indeed beautiful, but not in a “too pretty to eat” kind of way. There is, for example, the tiradito of wagyu beef—thin slices of deep-red meat topped with bright greens, rocotooroshi, and golden garlic chips in a rich orange ponzu sauce that gives you a hint of the dish’s subtle earthiness even before you taste it. The beef tiradito is memorable, not least for the large grains of pink salt that ring the plate, but it’s actually a bit of an outlier for La Mar. As its name implies, this restaurant is an ode to the sea: the pattern of turquoise scales under the bar, the fishnet lamps, and Biscayne Bay, visible from nearly every seat in the house.
Executive Chef Diego Oka is a disciple of Peru’s acclaimed Gaston Acurio.
On the way to your table, you pass an open kitchen where black-clad cooks grill chicken, octopus, asparagus, whole jumbo prawns, and veal hearts on an open fire. The veal hearts—dubbed “Corazon” on La Mar’s anticucho (grilled skewered meat) menu—are Oka’s first attempt to push Miami diners into riskier culinary territory.
The veal hearts may be a hit, but ceviche is the true corazón of the La Mar menu, the “starting point” of the whole restaurant, Oka says. Drenched in a blend of lemon juice, fish stock, aji, garlic, celery, red onion, and salt—the aforementioned leche de tigre—La Mar’s ceviches all feature large, luscious chunks of fresh seafood topped with garnishes like peanuts and cancha, a homemade Andean version of American corn nuts.
Chefs behind the anticucho bar preparing skewers of grilled meat.
Ceviche is the perfect beginning to your meal. From there, you can sample the tiraditos—“Japanese sashimi Peruvian style”—and the Peruvian nigiri, “inspired by more than 100 years of Japanese immigrants.” (Oka, a proud Peruvian, is himself of Japanese descent.) Then move on to the causas, which are a bite’s worth of cold potato puree topped with anything from tuna tartare to a quail egg. “In Peru, we don’t have traditional salad, so causas are our salad,” Oka explains.
Among La Mar’s entrées, the early favorite is the whole fish Nikei, served in fried, meaty chunks that are nestled in the curving body of the fish itself, drizzled in a spicy ginger sauce and plated with bokchoy and broccoli rice. “La Mar is a place to celebrate,” Oka says. “We usually eat ceviche in Peru with a beer in front of the sea. So La Mar, here in Miami, is that, no?”
It is that, yes. 500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami, 305-913-8358
For a New York-based development organization and a multi-market luxury broker, it’s easy to see why South Beach is where New Yorkers are settling.
PietroBelmonte and Michael Tillman at the new 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach.
A new wave of New York buyers and developers are hitting Miami. Michael Tillman, director of Florida development and acquisitions at LeFrak, a privately held group of real estate companies, and PietroBelmonte, associate broker at real estate firm Douglas Elliman, discuss why, with only the sand in mind, these new players are buying up South Beach.
Michael Tillman: When people come here, their natural attention is to the Beach. Most heads of the companies know the Beach. It’s a proven entity, and even in the cyclicality, it has remained relatively stable and is the first to grow again. There is more and more interest from New York developers who want to start platforms down here. It’s saying something different for the South Florida market. When developers at the [level] of LeFrak start showing up, they expect certain infrastructure developments to be happening, which you’re seeing. Those were necessary to attract the attention of bigger guys.
PietroBelmonte: We started seeing New York [buyers] coming down before it was a tough market. It’s a trend that’s been happening for the last two years.
MT: New York has made a huge presence, and it’s a different kind of money. It’s not necessarily capital that’s looking to get into the safety of the shore of the United States. This is a second house, a third, fifth, sixth.
PB: They’re seeing an opportunity—who else is going to think $2,500 a square foot is a screaming deal? This is a bargain, and they want to be on the sand.
1 Hotel & Homes offers floor-to-ceiling-glass end units, a restaurant by star chef Tom Colicchio, and access to the beach.
MT: The buyer who’s coming down wants to be on the beach, so we did something very creative [at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach]. We took the concrete wall off the eastern end, and it is glass from floor to ceiling. Those end-cap units are our units in most demand. They’re two and three bedrooms, going at around $2,200 per square foot. We have 156 condos and we’ve sold about 60, and 30 percent of sales are from the Northeast.
PB: Before, developers were like, “How many Brazilians do you know? How many Venezuelans?” Now it’s, “Who’s connected to New York?” I sold real estate in New York City for 10 years prior to coming down to Miami. I personally get two to three referrals from my New York office per week. To them, Miami is interesting because the top restaurants from New York are coming down here.
MT: You have the same chefs popping up here. One of the biggest chefs in New York, Tom Colicchio, is doing his first restaurant in Miami here at 1 Hotel & Homes. Then you have the culture, the vibrancy of South Beach, and, most importantly, the pedestrian nature of this city. New Yorkers love that.
PB: For New Yorkers, it’s convenience. Like you said, they don’t want to drive. They want easy access to everything, with a sophisticated attitude. They want the building with the amenities. You guys really hit every target [with 1 Hotel & Homes]—its location, Tom Colicchio, access to the ocean. That’s why you’re getting all these New Yorkers. 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach, 2399 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-361-5100; Pietro Belmonte, 135 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, 305-335-1981
Miami developers enlist the help of high end designers and luxury brands for the ultimate in chic real estate collaborations.
The quirky Mybrickell is a joint effort of Arquitectonica and hip designer Karim Rashid.
The opening earlier this year of Mybrickell (75 SE Sixth St., Miami, 305-442-0055), designed by Karim Rashid in collaboration with Arquitectonica, was more significant than most of the party attendees probably realized. Sure, as one of the first condo towers in Miami to be completed in years, it was a sign of the real estate market’s revival. Yes, it involved a “hip” designer—Rashid—and true, Mybrickell had sold very well. But this quirky, brightly colored tower with moderately priced units was the physical realization that, in Miami, you can’t just throw up a building.
There’s a design one-upmanship movement afoot, and you have to keep up.
Now that architecture is all the rage, the city is benefiting from a broader range of players setting a higher standard than before the last boom and bust. Stemming from Miami’s starchitecture craze, we marked a spike in designer collaborations on new real estate projects. Far beyond just hiring a big-name architect to draw something up, developers are investing heavy resources into elaborate interior and exterior designs by exotic names like Rashid and Pierre-Yves Rochon, who is currently crafting Jade Signature (16901 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach, 305-940-0335). Developers are collaborating with auto companies like Porsche at the Porsche Design Tower (18555 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach, 305-890-2026) and Pininfarina, the designer of Maseratis, at 1100 Millecento (1100 S. Miami Ave., Miami, 954-829-1447) in Brickell and Beachwalk (2801 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale, 954-457-4488). They’re decking out entire buildings in furniture by Ligne Roset, Fendi Casa (Chateau Ocean), and Baltus (Baltus House, Mybrickell). Every unit in The Mansions at Acqualina (17749 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach, 305-933-6666) is being fitted with a $100,000 closet/ dressing room from Ornare.
At the Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach, living rooms (and sky garages) will offer ocean views.
Fashion designers are getting in the game, too, with the two-towered Armani-branded condo development by The Related Group and Gil Dezer in Sunny Isles Beach, and the recent purchase of the iconic Raleigh Hotel by Tommy Hilfiger himself. The Design District’s reconstruction project has the neighborhood overflowing with collaborations between fashion and architecture. Hilfiger has kept mostly mum about what he plans to do at the Raleigh, beyond giving it an extensive restoration “to its original, chic Art Deco style,” and running it as an exclusive private club and hotel. The very historically conscious fashion designer may just create a world in which his clothes fit the context perfectly, or vice versa.
The biggest development going on in Miami Beach right now, Faena District Miami Beach, is a collaboration on steroids. Its developer, Alan Faena, has collected a flock of architects, artists, designers, and even moviemakers to whip up a Wonderland-like neighborhood out of a section of Miami Beach that was for years in the doldrums. The Faena District will have a hotel, arts center, ultraexpensive condominium tower, cabaret, and a “bazaar.” Hollywood film director Baz Luhrmann and his partner in work and life, Catherine Martin, have taken the helm at the flagship element of the project, the historic Saxony Hotel. The hotel will become the embodiment of the kinds of over-the-top, ultraextraordinary worlds that Luhrmann routinely creates in his movies. Far from a Disney World-like realization of The Great Gatsby or Moulin Rouge!, the hotel will set the tone for Faena’s entire Miami Beach universe. “Faena Miami Beach is a country, with a flag, a coat of arms, and heraldic symbols” designed by Studio Job, Faena has said. “You do in reality what [Martin] and I do in the theater,” Luhrmann tells Faena in a promotional video. “Faena Miami: It’s like it’s a movie, but it’s real.”
A rendering of Faena Saxony Hotel, as envisioned by Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.
Up Collins Avenue, the romance of a cinematic Paris has been replaced by the roar of a roadster…. 30 floors up. Gil Dezer worked with the Porsche Design Studio on the Porsche Design Tower, which contains three car elevators that transport you and your vehicle to a sky garage within your unit. As you park just off your living room, windows in the garage offer ocean views before you open your car door. The tower, with its pool-bedecked balconies and on-site mechanic (for basic luxury auto maintenance) is for boys who love their toys and, having struck it rich somewhere or other, finally have the means to realize their inner video game fantasies.
Echo Brickell (1451 Brickell Ave., Miami, 786-360-1904), meanwhile, a 180-unit development by PMG, might top that. The company has partnered with Tesla Motors to give every penthouse owner a fully loaded Tesla Model S. Of course the building will be equipped with charging stations so owners can just “battery up” and go.
These days, decent art in the lobby just isn’t enough. The 47-story Muse (793 NE 125th St., Miami, 305-899-0014), which consists of 68 oceanfront residences, is partnering with world-renowned sculpture artist Helidon Xhixha, who will be conducting one-on-one interviews with buyers and creating personal sculptures, valued at over $500,000, for each unit.
Miami’s new style collaborations indulge the fantasies of residents, hotel guests, or just people on the street. In each instance, outside talent can create something stunning, over the top, or simply beautiful. Either way, it’s fun to watch.
No longer a resort stop on the way to or back from the rest of the world, Miami is becoming the go-to destination for the world’s wealth.
Miami as a millionaire’s playground? Been there, done that, got the tuxedo. That was the Miami of the 1930s through the 1950s, culminating in the years when Dean, Sammy, Frank, and the rest of the Rat Pack made Miami Beach clubs like Copa City and the iconic Fontainebleau hotel a part of their lives.
Fast-forward five decades and the wheel has come full circle. This time around, however, Miami—and Miami Beach, in particular—isn’t just appealing to plain-vanilla, single-digit millionaires; it’s an elite group of billionaires who have rediscovered the city. Instead of just dropping in once or twice a year for a few days to see what’s happening at Art Basel Miami Beach and catch up with friends, they’re looking about, liking what they see, and deciding to stick around for a bit longer. They fly into town in their private jets, using one of four South Florida private jet-landing airports, then book a suite at whatever happens to be the hotel of the moment, and perhaps drop $20,000 to rent a Lamborghini Aventador to drive around South Beach.
While in town, they realize that not only is the weather fabulous, the beach great, and the club scene exciting (none of this has been in doubt), but also that their favorite restaurants are now to be found in Miami, just as they are in New York (Wolfgang’s, Cipriani) or London (Zuma, Nobu). They can find the same stores that they do in Paris or Hong Kong as well as perhaps even some special items they can’t source elsewhere. Here in Miami, the cultural life is increasingly vibrant—a new symphony hall, a new art museum—and yet there’s a laid-back vibe that many other big cities simply can’t offer. So, why not buy a condo—or two or three? And art and furniture? And a car that’s always gassed up (or in the case of the many Teslas down here, charged up) and ready for you.
The ranks of the world’s ultrawealthy have decided to admit Miami to the list of their favorite cities, boosting it to number seven—ahead of Paris and Dubai—in this year’s annual survey by Knight Frank, a London real estate consulting firm, up from eighth place in 2013. (London and New York constantly jostle for first and second position; Miami is the only other US city to make this year’s list.) It’s the quality of life that this elite group really loves, ranking Miami fourth on that criterion. For them, it’s no longer enough merely to be birds of passage, as they are in so many other cities worldwide; they want to stick around.
The results can be seen most readily in the frenzy of ultra luxury waterfront condo construction activity. Consider, for instance, the 60-story Porsche Design Tower Miami in Sunny Isles Beach. Already 85 percent sold, the condos, whose price tags start at $6.1 million and range as high as $32.5 million, reportedly count some two dozen billionaires among the buyers. Those moving in will join the likes of MickyArison, Norman Braman, Jorge Pérez, Edward Lampert, and a handful of other billionaires who have called Miami home for decades. As of 2013, there were approximately 24 billionaires living in South Florida (not including the many mysterious international billionaires who often go unnamed in megaresidential purchases).
For the ultrawealthy, the prices in the Porsche Tower could look downright modest compared to Manhattan, where iconic apartments like those at 15 Central Park West might start at the high end of that range. At the Porsche Design Tower, when the billionaires take residence in early 2016, they will get plunge pools and summer kitchens on their 15-foot-deep terraces, private wine lockers, an oceanfront ballroom, a car concierge, and yes, car elevators allowing them to park their actual Porsches (or Jaguars or Lamborghinis) in sky garages adjacent to their condos.
Single-and double-digit billionaires are lining up to sign on the dotted line to purchase these and other ultraluxury homes. Goldman Sachs Group CEO Lloyd Blankfein snapped up a Miami home for himself and his family at the $1 billion Faena Miami Beach. When he’s at the RemKoolhaas–designed arts center, he’ll be able to swap Wall Street gossip with Leon Black, the billionaire founder of Apollo Global Management. Maybe Black will choose to hang his recently purchased $120 million pastel version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream on the walls of his new Miami home. “Miami has grown up,” says Richard LeFrak, a New York–based real estate developer with properties around the globe. “It was Grandma’s place to go for a vacation, and then it became a fun mecca for the really young crowd.”
Last year The Collection, a luxury car dealer in Miami, had its best year to date, with $428 million in sales.
Now, in contrast, LeFrak says, there’s something for everyone. “My wife is a composer; she loves the Frank Gehry–designed concert hall,” which opened in 2011 and is home to the New World Symphony. LeFrak’s name is intimately associated with the New York real estate scene—so much so that LeFrak City, a Queens apartment complex, is a city landmark. But that hasn’t stopped him from spending more and more time in Miami, a trend that began when he started working on the recapitalization of a troubled bank in 2009. Before long, he found himself as an investor in another financial institution and, as a result, owning a large inventory of unsold condos in Miami. “The world was yelling that this was a 20-year supply, a glut on the market, and we had real-time information that this was nonsense, that buyers were coming up from Latin America and literally inhaling them.”
LeFrak remains a die-hard New Yorker, but the amount of time he has spent in Miami has doubled, to about six weeks a year, and he now owns four condos in the city. He’s been spotted everywhere, from celebrating 1 Hotel & Homes (a coproduction with Barry Sternlicht, chairman of Starwood Capital Group) to dinner at Bâoli. Would he move here permanently? “I could,” he says, slowly. “A lot of my friends are thinking about Miami; they say it’s different than it was or than they thought. More and more, they’re willing to plant a stake in the ground.”
The more members of the affluent crowd who make the move, the more follow. That’s the kind of chain reaction that LeFrak and others say is spurring the current real estate boom. “People like to be around their peers,” says Don Peebles (net worth: $350 million), CEO of a privately held, multibillion-dollar portfolio of real estate investments and developments. “Increasingly, that happens in Miami.”
One of Peebles’s own real estate development partners is Steve Witkoff, CEO of The Witkoff Group, which has a portfolio of residential and industrial real estate. “Our offices are 10 blocks apart in Manhattan, but I see him more in Miami than I do there,” Peebles adds.
Indeed, wanting to hang around with fellow citizens of what journalist and author Robert Frank dubbed “Richistan” is one of the characteristics that distinguishes the world’s 1,600 or so billionaires and its slightly larger group of those able to boast of a net worth in the seven or eight figures. If you have a private jet and use it to hop from art fairs to business meetings to fashion shows, dropping in periodically at one of the four or five homes you may own worldwide, it’s tough to mingle with the hoipolloi. Only that tiny circle of peers really understands your world. And if a growing number of those peers are choosing to spend more of their time in Miami, shopping in the Design District or BalHarbour (whose stores generate more in sales per square foot than any other mall in the world), then you want to be there too.
It also makes sense economically. Florida is the ultimate in tax-friendly states: no personal state income tax to pay and no state inheritance tax. “Not only is it a great place to live, it’s also a great place to die,” quips Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. And as long as you’re living, odds are you can do so more inexpensively—even at the ultraluxury end of the spectrum—than you could anywhere else on that Knight Frank list.
Art Fair #2, by Eric Fischl, 2013, Mary Boone Gallery.
Peebles, who built his fortune doing business in Washington, DC, rattles off the numbers. Buying a condo in a top New York building will cost you $5,000 per square foot; in an ultraluxury apartment, you’ll pay $13,000 per square foot. In Miami? Those figures are closer to $1,000 and $6,500, respectively. “It’s tough to pay more than that,” says Peebles. And in Miami, you get oceanfront views; in New York, if you want ocean, you have to venture out to the Hamptons, where lots on the waterfront start at $30 million for houses that most owners will only use a few months of the year. “A friend of mine paid $100 million for the lot alone—and then he had to build the house,” says Peebles, whose latest Miami venture, The Bath Club Estates—13 ultra luxury, customizable residences priced at $10 million to $55 million—are a bargain in comparison. He points out that in the same time it takes him to make the arduous weekend drive out to his Bridgehampton house from Manhattan, he can hop on his jet and travel all the way down to Miami.
While Peebles’s target audience is domestic, those bargains are equally compelling to buyers from Europe. Miami also offers a way for ultrawealthy citizens from Russia, China, and Latin America to hedge some of their bets on their still-emerging local economies. As EdgardoDefortuna pointed out, when he first moved to Miami from Buenos Aires three decades ago, it wasn’t just exciting, but safe—he could drive his sports car down the highway without worrying about kidnappers. And that global twist to the tale may mark the biggest change since the last time Miami was this hot, back in the aforementioned Rat Pack days. “If Brazil is booming and Venezuela collapses, Miami benefits,” says Mayor Levine. “If Venezuela suddenly explodes, and Brazil goes south, we’d benefit as wealthy Brazilians choose to come to Miami.”
All that movement is spilling over into consumption, especially during the height of the billionaire season: Art Basel Miami Beach in early December. That’s when the jewelry and watch stores at BalHarbour, always flush with one-of-a-kind items, fly in their priciest and choicest offerings from elsewhere in the world to tempt buyers. And unsurprisingly, that’s when top-tier luxury buildings make their most subtle and most convincing pitches to those who come for the art and decide to stick around for the lifestyle. “We try to entertain them, to show them the possibilities,” says Defortuna, “because they’re coming more often, staying for weeks at a time, and they know that trying to get a hotel for Art Basel is almost impossible. They can buy without having to worry about it; they can make another base here, whether or not they ever decide to relocate.”
Another element that has helped make Miami so appealing to the ultrawealthy today is its diversity. As real estate prices soar, diversity can all too easily evaporate. “If this became a homogeneous society of wealthy people, it wouldn’t be very appealing,” says Mayor Levine, who is focused on improving public-transportation links, “workforce housing” initiatives, and developing subsidized office spaces lining a park near Miami Beach’s new convention center that entrepreneurs can rent inexpensively while they’re developing new business ideas.
However sunny the weather, the horizon isn’t without its clouds. There’s a hangover effect of the “Occupy” movement and the 2012 presidential election debate, in which the growing national wealth gap emerged as a topic of contention. With the Miami City Commission’s decision to give the green light to a $600 million project that would include berths for billionaires’ superyachts, Miami Herald columnist Fred Grimm vented his wrath, arguing that Miami seems to exist only to solve “rich guy travails” like trying to “parallel park a 150-foot yacht” as “we fawn, we grovel, we see to the whims of the super rich.”
That’s one argument. Another is that to the extent that these ultrawealthy individuals put down roots and invest in the community, what we’re witnessing today could just be the earliest stages of a far more dramatic and long-lasting transformation of Miami into another London or Hong Kong. “The Miami of 10 years ago doesn’t resemble what is here today,” argues LeFrak. “A decade from now, it will be radically different again.”
The world’s finest watchmakers plumb the depths of Miami’s devotion to deep-water exploration with a series of functional yet fashionable dive watches.
New from Cartier, this bold 42mm Calibre de Cartier Diver ($28,100) is crafted in 18k pink gold and offered on a rubber strap. Not only does it look good, but it is also highly functional. It houses the self-winding Manufacture Calibre 1904 MC, with small seconds and calendar, and is water-resistant to 300 meters. The ADLC unidirectional bezel and sword-shaped hands and markers coated with Super-LumiNova enable easy underwater reading. 151 NE 40th St., Miami, 305-864-8793
One of the fastest-growing sports around the globe is scuba diving. As people look for adventure and enlightening experiences, the concept of mingling with marine life and experiencing a world that is both beautiful and foreign becomes ever more appealing. Recognizing this desire to explore new frontiers, luxury watchmakers have begun offering timepieces suitable to the depths.
A dive watch should be water-resistant to at least a diver’s International Organization for Standardization (ISO) rating of 200 meters, with 300 meters and greater being preferred. Additionally, it should be easily readable and include features such as a unidirectional bezel, antireflective crystals, Super-LumiNova hands and markers, and interchangeable or expandable bracelets for use over wetsuits. Often these timepieces are COSC-certified (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute) chronometers, tested over a specified length of time for ruggedness and durability under a variety of conditions. Deep-dive watches that go 300 meters and deeper also offer helium escape valves. If you plan to take to the waters, you may want to explore these six watches that take the necessary factors into consideration.
This Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date watch ($34,250) is a 40mm 18k yellow gold professional instrument. The 31-jeweled COSC-certified chronometer is water-resistant to 1,000 feet. It features a rotating blue ceramic bezel and is fitted with an Oyster Glidelock bracelet. 135 NE 39th St., Miami, 305-576-5391
This Breitling Avenger II Seawolf with a Cobra yellow dial and Diver Pro III strap ($3,825) is designed to withstand shock. Lateral reinforcements protect the large screw-locked crown, and its antiglare-coated crystal and large hands and markers with luminescent coating make it extremely functional. It is a COSC-certified chronometer and water-resistant to 3,000 meters. Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-935-9350
From Tudor, this self-winding mechanical Heritage Black Bay watch ($3,100) is the newest addition to the Heritage collection, inspired by a diving model the brand first introduced in 1954. The 41mm watch features the historic “snowflake” hands that are legible under water, and it is water-resistant to 200 meters. Like all models in the Heritage line, it comes with two bracelets or straps: an adjustable blue fabric strap with a sophisticated weave and a choice of either a midnight-blue distressed leather strap matching the bezel or a satin-finished and polished steel bracelet. Both come with a folding clasp. Mayors, 1000 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-672-1662
From Ulysse Nardin, this Marine Diver watch ($22,200) is crafted in titanium and gold with a rubber strap. The 45mm watch houses the UN-26 self-winding caliber with 28 jewels and powerreserve indicator. It features luminescent hands and markers and is a COSC-certified chronometer. It is water-resistant to 200 meters. Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-830-1786
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver ($19,000) is crafted in stainless steel with a 42mm case, glare-proof sapphire crystal, screw-locked crown, and rubber strap. Highly functional, the self-winding watch offers luminescent hands and markers and dive scale on an inner rotating ring that is activated via a unidirectional click mechanism. The watch is water-resistant to 300 meters. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-864-6776
Restaurateur Tim Petrillo helped kick-start Fort Lauderdale’s dining renaissance—and he’s not done yet.
Tim Petrillo relaxing in front of one of S3’s oceanfront fire pits.
Two decades ago, Fort Lauderdale’s Riverfront was barely in its developing stages, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts had just been built, and only a handful of bars existed where the sensational Las Olas now buzzes with life. Then, restaurateur/nightlife maestro Tim Petrillo and his company, The Restaurant People, entered the scene, first with Himmarshee Bar & Grille in 1997, followed by the homey Tarpon Bend Food & Tackle and Vibe Las Olas. But it wasn’t until 2008, when YOLO (which stands for “You Only Live Once”) opened its swanky doors, that the city got a full taste of Petrillo’s talents. “You look at the market and find what’s missing, then you fill that opportunity,” explains Petrillo of YOLO, which will finish its massive makeover, complete with new uniforms, menus, drink lists, and an all-new design, by the end of July.
“We’re going to be spending a huge amount of money to renovate that space—everything will be redone,” says Petrillo. “It’s one of those spaces where we have such a local and loyal following that I want to make sure we’re always keeping them engaged.”
Pulling from what bigger cities like Las Vegas and New York were offering, YOLO blurred the lines between restaurant and lounge, integrating the best of both worlds and featuring a chic yet laid-back environment that’s as suitable to nightlife aficionados as it is to epicurean connoisseurs. The restaurant provides a novel dining experience and solidly abides by its vibrant motto.
Petrillo in the kitchen at S3 with chef and business partner Peter Boulukos.
When it came to S3, short for Sun, Surf, and Sand (you can see all three from the veranda), which opened in 2013, Petrillo and his team created a haven for sushi, steak, and seafood. Depending on what you’re in the mood for, the dining experience can range from casual (sit at the bar in a tank top, beer in hand) to fancy (valet your car and sip top shelf in an exclusive booth). Only at S3, the come-as-you-are mantra is given an elevated setting—the 7,000-square-foot space has two high end lounges, mesmerizing S-shaped fire pits, 225 seats overlooking the water, and three Turkish granite bars.
This year, Vibe will also undergo an update, and Petrillo has two new ventures in the works. The first, Fork & Balls, he describes as a “casual, fun, and funky meatball concept” with a variety of meatballs, including spicy duck, lamb, and seafood. The second, which will be a sky bar on the 27th floor of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, is due to open sometime in October. “The space is magnificent,” Petrillo raves. “I knew we had to do something up there. It has completely unobstructed views of the ocean.
“It’s a very demanding business,” he adds, “but it’s a very rewarding business, too.” YOLO, 333 E. Las Olas Blvd., 954-523-1000; S3, 505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., 954-523-7873; Vibe Las Olas, 301 Las Olas Blvd., 954-713-7313
Dewey LoSasso’s pan-seared black grouper at AQ by Acqualina mixes haute cuisine and comfort food basics for an unexpected epicurean twist.
Pan-seared black grouper meets its unexpected match at AQ at Acqualina.
Chef Dewey LoSasso jokes that the menu at AQ by Acqualina is “modern American, which pretty much means I can do whatever I want, depending on how much coffee I drink.” With that kind of latitude (and attitude), he’s created the clever combo of grouper with pancake.
LoSasso is no stranger to mixing frivolity and fine dining—he concocted the lobster PB&J at The Forge, a restaurant he helmed for nearly five years before making the jump to AQ this past spring. His new pan-seared grouper variation keeps you on your toes with apple and celery root in the pancake, a jammy pomegranate reduction, a smoky charred serrano-and-carrot reduction, and a piquant topping of pea and corn shoots from nearby Paradise Farms.
Inspiration:“For me, it started with the snow pea shoots and the corn shoots,” which have clean flavors fit to accompany any fish, LoSasso says. “You have a pop from the pea shoots, then you go into the creaminess of the pancake.” To bring the whole ensemble together, he added celery root and apple to the pancakes. “I like celery root and apple against the chili [of the carrot-serrano reduction].”
Chef Dewey LoSasso carefully drizzles the sauces onto the empty space of the plate.
Building the supporting cast:LoSasso chars serrano chilies on the grill, blends them into the carrot juice, and reduces the mixture without whipping in oil or butter. He then reduces the pomegranate juice down with white wine and lemon, adding sea salt and pepper at the end. Why pomegranate? “It’s astringent,” he says. “There’s a sourness to it that’s not overbearing. I think it opens itself to a savory direction.” The pancakes are made with eggs, potato starch, and flour blended with raw grated celery root and peeled apple.
The star: With good fish, less is inherently more. LoSasso’s simple pan-searing creates caramelization and a crust—a lovely texture, but also sweet and earthy flavors that play with the supporting cast. LoSasso cuts his eight-ounce grouper filets from a whole 16-to 20-pound local fish. He sprinkles each filet with salt and pepper, and black smoked sea salt. “The trick is to put a little oil on the fish as well,” he says, before gently shimmying the filets in a very hot pan over high heat until they’re brown. Next, LoSasso flips the filets, sprinkles them with salt, sears for another minute, then tosses everything into a 500-degree oven for two to five minutes, depending on the thickness of the grouper.
Plating: With the sizzling fish resting on the pancake, LoSasso hits the corn and pea shoots with a little olive oil and sea salt, tosses them, and delicately places them on top of the fish. “It’s a clean bite,” he says. “It works together with the radish-y flavors in the celery root.” As a final touch, he carefully drizzles the two sauces—one orange, one red—on the negative space of the plate, creating visual balance.
Assembling a dish: corn and pea shoots, pomegranate and carrot-serrano reductions, pancakes, and grouper filet.
The results: Although the fish prep is simple, there’s a lot happening on the plate. Big flakes of seared fish hit the surprisingly smoky carrot reduction; the pomegranate sauce is dense, impactful; the pancakes have a nice, delicate chewiness, and their earthiness picks up on the sear of the fish. On top of it all is the intermingling of the greens.
Pairing:LoSasso likes to pair the dish with Sauvignon Blanc. “A Chardonnay’s oakiness wouldn’t work with serrano chili and carrot,” says the chef. “Spicier food works better with a Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne. Sauvignon Blanc has a crispness to it that helps the spice of the sauce and the astringency of the pomegranate.” We’re not arguing at all. 17875 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach, 305-918-6816
Miami’s obsession with arriving in style is taking travel to new heights.
I ride the bus. Don’t tell anyone. Please. It’s important that no one finds out. I live in Miami Beach, where riding the bus is taboo. This isn’t New York City, where millionaires rub elbows (literally) with the homeless on public transportation and pat themselves on the back for being “real New Yorkers.” This is Miami Beach, where, much like on our golf courses, it’s not how you drive but how you arrive.
Take Justin Bieber, for example. When he was here in January, he could barely drive at all, according to police, who nabbed the pop tart for allegedly speeding while under the influence in a $200,000 Lamborghini Gallardo. Wherever he was going (in this case jail for the night), he was arriving in style. That car made headlines.
That’s Miami—style first. You can take an air-conditioned local bus in Miami Beach for 25 cents, or you can rent a DecoBike, where, for $4, you’ll be much hotter but look way cooler.
There’s also Segways, Vespas, Beach Cruisers, scooters, and mopeds—all carefully portraying a certain image, and mostly form over function. We drive restored Jeeps that took $75,000 to make “new” again, then break down on the I-95 (true story), convertibles without their tops that can’t be driven on rainy days, Porsches that can’t make it through flooding on Alton, and two-seaters even though there are three of us. Thinking green? It’s not easy being green in Miami. Unlike in Los Angeles, where every other car is a Prius (average base price of the 2014 model: $25,000, according to Kelley Blue Book), here we prefer the Tesla, an advanced, electronic luxury vehicle that even with a federal tax credit has a starting cost more than double that of the Prius.
But cost comes secondary in the Magic City. We fight to bring Uber (the town car alternative to taxis) to our city because, ugh, cabs, gross. We send our tourists who want to see both where Diddy lives and Versace was killed on Duck Tours—a Back to the Future-esque boat/bus contraption that goes on both land and sea—because it just looks cooler than those double-decker buses in every other city (although I have seen a few of those here now too). And we take out second mortgages on our homes to arrive at LIV nightclub at the Fontainebleau in something only Bieber should borrow.
In Miami, there’s a Lamborghini on every corner, and most of them have to be back to the dealership by morning. The arrival is the beginning to the great night that only this city can provide, and there is no way someone popping magnum bottles of Ace of Spades Champagne inside will be seen popping out of some stinky taxicab outside.
It’s a battle of bigwigs, one-upping from one car to the next, and with locals and tourists alike trying to outdo one another in the transportation game, what’s next? Helicopters landing outside of Prime 112? Jet packs taking tourists above and beyond the gridlock? “Renting ambulances is the new thing to avoid traffic,” says LIV’s David Grutman.
I’m not sure he’s kidding.