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    Everyone wants in on the art game—old guard, new guard, flippers, bon vivants. That means the rules are changing, for better and worse.

    Rules of Engagement Illustration

    To understand the tumult in the world of art collecting today, take a look at @StefanSimchowitz on Instagram. The LA-based media provocateur, a self-described “cultural entrepreneur,” is the most visible, vilified, and valorized art flipper, a new breed of collectors who use social media, lots of cash, and a network of like-minded friends to juggle the price of young artists’ works upwards, close to the collapsing point.

    Richard Massey, a Miami-based collector, jokes that Simchowitz and company have stirred up such ire because the brashly public deal-making chafes against “the WASP mores that have ruled the business for decades.” True or not, those mores are fading. Dealers are losing control of their artists’ markets. Curators and critics are no longer the gatekeepers. The next generation of collector, armed with viral media skills and cash to boot, is changing the art world, perhaps for good.

    “Now everybody wants to be a collector. If you have three pieces, you are a collector. If you have five, you can open a warehouse,” muses Martin Z. Margulies, who, by contrast, presides over both a 45,000-square-foot art warehouse space in Wynwood and a penthouse collection that looks like the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Modern wing. “We’ve seen an amazing acceleration,” he says, pointing out the exponential growth in all corners of the art world.

    Last year, 75,000 people visited Art Basel in Miami Beach, the event that spawned 19 satellite fairs around town. If you tally all the fairs of Art Week, Miami saw more than $3 billion worth of art. But how to navigate this world, how to rub elbows without stepping on toes? Here are some pointers from the best in the business.

    For many, collecting is just an excuse to learn about art. Don and Mera Rubell collect both art and books on art. With upwards of 40,000 volumes, the Rubell Family Collection’s library in Wynwood speaks to the wealth of knowledge (and time spent) behind one of the country’s best private collections. Research ensures a balanced, relevant collection, and is sound financial advice. When you know history, you know how tastes and the market change over time. Dennis Scholl, the vice president of arts for the Knight Foundation, has amassed a formidable collection alongside his wife, Debra. “The great secret about collecting is that if you focus and do it with connoisseurship, there are always one or two works that take care of the cost of acquiring the entire collection.”

    Margulies concurs. “Read, educate yourself, develop relationships with good dealers, go to museum shows to see the whole body of work by an artist. Are they progressing or regressing?” When asked about his own regimen, Margulies puts it bluntly: “I do work. I run around. I go to 20, 25 galleries a day when I’m in New York.” It’s not window shopping, it’s research.

    Art collecting rules crane

    For many, fairs like Art Basel in Miami Beach and Frieze Art Fair are an excuse to score free Champagne and take in the sights—both on and off canvas. Not so for the big collectors. “The serious collectors don’t come for the dinners or the parties. This is serious stuff for them,” says Margulies. “If the fair opens on Wednesday, the big-time collectors are gone by Thursday.”

    Even if a backroom deal hasn’t already been sealed with two clinking flutes of Veuve Clicquot, a good piece won’t last long in the open. “If you don’t buy it at the booth, you might not have a chance,” he says, and relates a story from last Basel: He watched a couple and their advisor examining a painting. After a moment’s hesitation, they walked away to further discuss the purchase. That’s when Margulies swooped in, acquiring the work for himself. “They didn’t pull the trigger,” he says with a laugh.

    At the booth or the gallery, discounts should be asked for tactfully. “Most people can get 10 percent off the top,” says a Miami dealer who asked to remain anonymous. “Twenty is reserved for friends and family.” Lowballing does little to create a lasting relationship with the dealer and the artist, which—because of future deals—should be everyone’s main goal. Also, remember that the sticker price is split with the artist, so any money kept in your pocket is kept from the artist’s.

    Then there’s online. In 2011, blue-chip gallerists James and Jane Cohan founded the VIP Art Fair, the first virtual art fair. It wasn’t a startling success, but it did test the waters for other virtual collecting sites, such as Artsy, Paddle8, and Artspace, which acquired VIP Art in 2013.

    For Jack Benmeleh and his wife, Tara Sokolow, two of Miami’s most visible young collectors, Paddle8 got them more than a good price on a piece. “The experience was identical to buying a work from one of the major auction houses,” says Benmeleh. “Same dance, different players.”

    The laptop offers young collectors unfettered access to what can be a secretive industry. “Back in the day, you had to be connected to a specific gallery to get in on the hot artists. Now everyone has access,” says Benmeleh, who notes that “the relationship with the gallery or artist, however, is what takes you to the next level.”

    Collecting Art Rules

    Collecting is often described as a drug—a very fun, expensive, and addictive drug. But what makes a good collection? “The key is getting the right work, not just getting a Stella, a Lichtenstein,” Margulies says, although he concedes that this takes a lot of money, and the right relationships.

    You also have to balance the personal benefits with the social. According to the Benmelehs, you should be honest about what moves you. “You’re not going to like everything you see, so the key is to be honest with yourself and pursue only the work that you truly love. Especially if you’re going to live with it.”

    Don and Mera Rubell second this. “Follow your heart, mind, and soul,” they advise, and “support as many young artists as you can.” That simple formula has proven quite successful for them, as they were early patrons of Richard Prince, Mike Kelley, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

    However, there is a responsibility that comes along with collecting art. “I always try to get collectors to ask themselves what the end game of their collecting might look like and how their present activity will play into this,” says Aramis Gutierrez, an account manager at the Wynwood-based art firm Museo Vault. “I want them to think about how, through collecting, they are entering an artist’s conversation and assisting to propagate a certain type of aesthetic.” Simply put, you collect what you want remembered.

    But it’s naïve to think that money doesn’t factor into this. There is a lot of money to be made—and quickly. For instance, a Sotheby’s Evening Auction in May 2014 resulted in $364,379,000. “There are two types of collectors,” says Margulies. “There are the collectors who love and support art, but the majority are getting in because they think they can make money. At the end of the day, they are stock pickers and speculators.”

    And then there’s flipping. It’s been around, in some form, for decades, but the acceleration that Margulies mentioned can mean vast profit margins. Lucien Smith saw his value increase 3,000 percent in one year; Oscar Murillo’s (one of the Rubell discoveries) increase was 5,000 percent. This would be fantastic if it were based on talent or historical import, and were totally sustainable. But it’s not. If an artist’s market doesn’t sustain a NASA-level trajectory, collectors walk away. Curtains. One need only visit the pseudo tongue-in-cheek website, which divides upcoming artists into categories such as “buy now,” “sell now,” and “liquidate,” to see how the market can wreak havoc on today’s art and tomorrow’s art history.

    Understandably, art world insiders are wary. One anonymous Miami gallerist doesn’t mince words. “Once you are branded a flipper, other galleries and artists will have serious reservations about selling to you. The art world is small, and people talk. While there are no rules or regulations, there is etiquette. You have to abide by it.” Collectors and gallerists agree that you should first offer a piece for the gallery to buy back, instead of sending it to an auction house. That can get messy, and oftentimes can result in a blacklist.

    Collecting Art Rules Does it match

    Because no two homes are the same, collectors must consider how the work they purchase will fit on their walls. Or through the door. “We live on the 31st floor, so cranes are not an option,” says Benmeleh. “The elevator becomes the gatekeeper.”

    Even if you don’t live in a condo, displaying art in your home presents its own difficulties. “Humidity, light, and insects are all forces to be reckoned with in South Florida,” says Gutierrez.

    Many condo dwellers opt for video art, as it can be easily stored and displayed, but that too has hidden costs. Several years ago, Margulies complained that he was going to have to stop collecting video because the projector light bulbs were getting too expensive. When asked about this three years later, he laughed and said, “A hundred videos later, I’m still changing light bulbs.”

    For Dennis Scholl, “Collecting work that is difficult to exhibit is a hallmark of Miami collectors.” For example, he and Debra fell in love with Inverted Retrograde Theme, USA (House for a Songbird), a 2002 piece by Turner Prize winner Simon Starling. The only problem: The sculpture was 300 square feet and contained two live finches, which promptly “escaped from the piece and flew around in our space for a month, doing what birds do, all over our floors.”

    As artists experiment with new materials, collectors hold their breaths. Richard Massey bemoans the fact that he stored a Paul McCarthy Santa Claus doll, made out of chocolate, in his home freezer. He has kids. They like chocolate. You get the point. But the story doesn’t end there. Perhaps that piece would still be around if not for another work in Massey’s collection.

    As part of the 2004 Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh, the Belgian artist Carsten Höller filled a greenhouse with Solandra maxima, a potent aphrodisiac. After the exhibition ended, Massey acquired the plants for his Coconut Grove home. The amorous effects? “I now have two beautiful children to show for it.” That’s the thing with art. You often get more than you pay for.

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    Conservation International's new Nature Is Speaking campaign seeks to redefine the conversation about the relationship between people and nature. In a series of short films, celebrities lend their voices to parts of nature, such as the rainforest, ocean, and redwood. All deliver an important message everyone needs to hear: Nature doesn't need people. People need nature.

    This week's film features Lupita Nyong'o as Flower. Watch below and learn more on

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    Celebrated Miami artists Brandon Opalka and Reed van Brunschot choose Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market on the banks of the Miami River to talk art, ABMB, and the joys of fried food.

    Reed van Brunschot and Brandon Opalka
    Artists Reed van Brunschot and Brandon Opalka.

    Peruvian-Dutch artist Reed van Brunschot creates three-dimensional pieces that can be both wry and forlorn, depending on how the wind blows (literally), and Brandon Opalka’s work shifts between painting and installations meant to honor as well as disrupt our notions of where we are. Each artist has art displayed at local galleries this month.

    How does the environment and physicality of Miami affect your work?
    Brandon Opalka
    : For me, I’ve been interested in the history, to go back as far as the Native Americans that lived along this river. [I’m interested in] how their souls could be present in this modern society now, how we’re building all this architecture on sacred Indian land. So I’ve been feeling, as an artist, how I can put myself in their shoes.
    Reed van Brunschot: I grew up in Miami and went away for 10 years to Amsterdam and came back. There was culture shock, for instance, the use of plastic bags that creeps into my work. Yet South Florida [has] some of the best sunsets and skies I’ve ever seen. Miami is colorful and hot blooded, and there are a lot of personalities here. That makes it a really interesting melting pot to feed artwork.

    Fried oysters and mahi-mahi fingers arrive at the table. Van Brunschot swoons. Opalka chuckles. 

    RVB: These are amazing. I tend to not like fried things, but this [mahi-mahi] is not overly bready. And the fried oysters—I love them raw, since working with Mignonette [a seafood restaurant that commissioned her work], but it’s nice to have them fried, too, to just pop in your mouth.

    Trio of appetizers from Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market
    A trio of appetizers at Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market.

    Since we’re talking fried food, Brandon, let’s talk about your art installation Janigans, in which you actually served fried food.
    BO: Growing up down here, my mother always took me to dive bars. I had this idea of making an installation inspired by this dive bar [Flanigan’s], and named it after my mother, Janice. It was an homage to her. I built all the furniture, we had kegs and TVs and sports, and at the opening we had all fried food—fried Oreos, fried cheese. I think people had a good time and forgot they were in an arts experience.

    Reed, what about the piece you did for Mignonette?
    : The restaurant wanted an arch, but I found these things called hyperbolic paraboloids—shapes formed by lines, and by the way that the lines are shaped, without bending them, they create curves. And I like that contradiction—the illusion of curves without having to bend. So I created these structures out of copper, which will patina.

    Brandon, does your research on place play into the work you’ll have up at Emerson Dorsch this month?
    BO: I’m making a cave. You’ll crawl through 30 feet. It’s less about making something that works in your house, and more about something enjoyable that inspires people. Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams also plays into it. I was like, “Wow, we’ve been painting for 30,000 years and this is where we’re at? Jeff Koons?” There’ll also be a Neanderthal reciting Neil deGrasse Tyson’s show the Inexplicable Universe.

    Reed, what will you have up during Basel week?
    : I’m working with Primary Projects in a group show called the “International Friendship Exhibition,” and it’s based on where North Korea houses all the gifts that [foreign] diplomats give to the government, like, “Oh, look how much the world loves us.” [The exhibit] is an exercise in contradictions, since that’s very much what’s happening there—this contradiction of blatant lies and propaganda. I’m making a ride with stair-lift chairs used to help old people. I can’t reveal too much. It’s a ride where you’re supported but not supported.

    Reed van Brunschot and Brandon Opalka at Garcia's Seafood Grille and Fish Market
    Van Brunschot and Opalka talking art by the Miami River.

    How has Basel affected art commerce for you?
    : I had a show last year at the Freehand, and I met a curator from Brazil and ended up doing a show there. The art scene here casts a wider net now.
    BO: This notion of Mary Boone coming to your art show and discovering you… [Shrugs] It’s great to have the fair, but I don’t think the huge collectors get off the beach.
    RVB: There are a few different worlds going on. There’s the gallerist and the collectors, then there’s the smaller curators doing more experimental things, and the onlookers. Every once in a while, you have some good luck. And it’s about everybody that circles around this giant machine. It’s done great things for Miami—art programs, residencies, more education with contemporary art, driving more people to move here, to come back, like myself.

    The conch steak entrée arrives.

    RVB: I’ve had conch fritters but never steak.
    BO: I love conch. Why not have it in a steak form? If they had a conch dessert, I would try it. It’s the right amount of fishiness. I play with conch in the bay, on sandbars. You know, one thing about being here is that with all the stress of living in a city, we have the beach and can always go. There’s a chemical in the salt water that helps refresh your mind. Even if you don’t go, you still know it’s there. Reed van Brunschot’s work is on display this month at Primary Projects, 151 NE Seventh St., Miami, 954-296-1675. Brandon Opalka’s is on view this month at Emerson Dorsch, 151 NW 24th St., Miami, 305-576-1278.

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    With his new South Beach iteration, Masaharu Morimoto strikes a delicious balance between tradition, experimentation, and whimsy.

    Morimoto Sashimi Terrine Dish
    Morimoto Sashimi Terrine—bite-size stacks of seared chu-toro, smoked salmon, eel, tuna, and hamachi—epitomizes the chef’s playful approach at Morimoto South Beach.

    On an unassuming balmy weeknight, deep within the newly renovated Shelborne Wyndham Grand, South Beach’s restaurant scene has reached its apex. The setting is New York transplant Morimoto, where Iron Chef dominator Masaharu Morimoto’s expertly prepared plates pass among leggy models and famous DJs to the sound of untz-untz—a new context for the Iron Chef’s soul-satisfying food. But then you experience a piece of chutoro (medium fatty tuna), shipped from Tokyo’s unmatched Tsukiji Fish Market within the last 48 hours, and for a brief moment you taste nirvana. Almost porcine in its glorious pink perfection, this is not a fish you chew and swallow—it just disappears in your mouth, like a dream you desperately want to retrieve.

    Millions of Food Network fans have seen Morimoto vanquish culinary competitors on Iron Chef America. With the Japanese flag proudly pressed on one sleeve, he may be the most intimidating of the Iron Chefs, perhaps because masterfully prepared food seems to command more reverence than almost any other cuisine. And it doesn’t hurt that viewers hear Chef Morimoto through a translator, adding to his air of gustatory godliness.

    Masaharu Morimoto and his kitchen staff
    Masaharu Morimoto and his dedicated kitchen staff.

    At his South Beach outpost, the sashimi is divine—the Morimoto Sashimi Terrine, a bite-size stack of seared chu-toro, smoked salmon, eel, tuna, and hamachi, is decadently so—but not all of the food at Morimoto is so precious. And that’s a good thing. The noodle bowls offer a hearty counterweight to the daintier dishes. The South Beach Chilled Noodle—cold, thick, nutty, served with a spoonful of pork sauce and drizzled with garlic chili oil—is especially good. Then there’s the unexpected uni carbonara, a Japanese-Italian fusion that features a piece of urchin and a raw quail egg atop a creamy bed of udon noodles. It’s one whimsical dish among several that Morimoto uses to break down his guests’ dietary reservations.

    “Playfulness is a key element in making a dish approachable,” he says. “Uni is not an ingredient that is very common or familiar to all guests. By the use of a familiar name (carbonara) and a common ingredient like noodles, it makes the dish more familiar and inviting. Since Japanese food can sometimes be considered too exotic or foreign, it is important that I take this approach without sticking to the traditions.”

    Morimoto Ceviche Local Ingredients South Beach
    The Morimoto Ceviche uses local seafood in a nod to its South Beach location.

    You get a hint of this approach just by browsing the menu, which includes such agreeable dish titles as tuna pizza and Duck Duck Duck. But when you taste the food, whether it’s an appetizer like the hamachi tacos or an entrée like the braised black cod in a ginger-soy reduction, you know Morimoto and his staff of focused cooks aren’t playing around.

    It’s this impeccable balance—between tradition and experimentation, quality and whimsy—that has made Morimoto one of the most recognized chefs in the world. Opening a location in Miami has always been in the plan, he says, so when a poolside space became available at the recently renovated Shelborne, he seized the opportunity. “Aligning myself with a hotel that has a deep-rooted legacy was important to me,” he says of the midcentury Art Deco landmark. “The new renovation of the entire resort is beautiful, combining elements of the original with modern-day design. This is similar to my cuisine, which combines traditional and modern flavors and techniques.”

    Morimoto restaurant interior design
    The interior of the restaurant has a club-like feel.

    While the menu does feature Miami-inspired offerings, including a lobster, conch, and white fish ceviche, it’s mostly signature Morimoto dishes. Sometimes that signature can be hard to detect, for example, with a raw piece of fish served on a humble bed of rice. And sometimes that’s where you’ll experience a taste of culinary bliss. Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach, 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-341-1329

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    Tennis star and Miami local Serena Williams serves up the ultimate run to help kids around the world have better lives.

    Serena Williams Ultimate Run
    Tennis star Serena Williams hosts her first road race, the Serena Williams Ultimate Run South Beach 5K & Quarter Marathon, to benefit her foundation.

    Most of us in Miami will never get a chance to play tennis with Serena Williams. But this month, we’ll all have the opportunity to run with her. Williams—who just made history with her 18th Grand Slam title after winning the 2014 US Open—will host the Serena Williams Ultimate Run South Beach, a quarter-marathon, 6.55-mile race in which the tennis star will participate along with 3,000 locals and celebrity athletes, including elite runners from the Nike Oregon Project. Proceeds will benefit the Serena Williams Foundation, which is aimed at helping youth all over the world.

    The foundation’s efforts are two-fold: First, it provides financial support to kids whose families are affected by violent crimes (Williams’s own half-sister was killed by a gunshot in 2003). The tennis player now raises money for families working to rebuild from tragedy, helping them secure counseling, daycare, housing, food, and education. “It is the hope of the Serena Williams Foundation to continue to [bring about] change in the lives of children who have been negatively affected by violence in the US,” says Williams.

    The foundation also has helped build schools in Kenya and strives to provide educational opportunities to kids both around the globe and in the United States. Through granting scholarships, it funds the scholastic endeavors of deserving high school students for college, job training, and entrepreneurship.

    “Over the past five years, we have helped fund the construction of two schools with a goal to assist underprivileged kids in receiving the highest quality of education available to them,” says the tennis star.

    Marc Wachter CEO president of live Ultimate
    Ultimate Run CEO Marc Wachter crossing the finish line at last year’s event with his wife and daughter.

    The race’s philanthropic intent drew the involvement of Miami Beach financial advisor Michael Rose, who sits on a variety of high-profile boards and is often credited with orchestrating the kind of partnerships and programs that buoy the South Florida community. Rose—whose charity work has included the Mourning Family Foundation and Make-A-Wish Foundation—is a frequent consultant to Williams on a variety of projects. After discussing with her the goal of organizing a race that would combine the tennis player’s athletic and altruistic interests, he, along with Marc Wachter, the CEO/president of Live Ultimate, got behind her in organizing a union with the race formerly known as the Live Ultimate Run.

    “Everyone is doing so much heavy lifting to make this race a success,” says Rose. “I’m a big believer in giving back. I want to give a lot of my time and have a big impact.”

    “December is beautiful in Miami, and I thought that it would be a great time to bring everyone out for a great running experience,” says Williams. “I have lived in Florida for the majority of my life. Miami is home to me, so of course I’m excited to host the event here.”

    Miami Ultimate Run Crowds Runners
    Thousands of runners streaming down Ocean Drive for the 2013 Ultimate Run South Beach.

    The city’s classic architecture will provide the scenic backdrop—from the Art Deco buildings, chic lounges, and patio cafés to the rippling waves of the Atlantic Ocean and the towering palm trees lining it all. The race itself winds along Ocean Drive, which will be closed to cars for the occasion.

    The weekend festivities, however, will touch upon much of Miami Beach, kicking off on Friday with a swanky VIP reception and continuing on Saturday at Nikki Beach, where a fitness expo—open to everyone—will be packed with demonstrations from the top makers of apparel, sporting goods, athletic gear, and sports nutrition products. It concludes on Sunday night with a karaoke event at the Clevelander. “Maybe it’s the nice weather, but everyone is so friendly,” says Williams. “Living in such a beautiful place encourages people to get outside and be active.”

    Black Girls Run! Post Party
    Members of Black Girls Run! celebrating at last year’s post-race party.

    And it would seem that her long list of high-profile sponsors could not agree more. Even from the outset, national brands have lined up to support the event. Nike will be providing runners with hightech fit shirts, while Gatorade, Delta, Beats by Dre, and Mission Athletecare signed on for the chance to get their names in front of Miami Beach runners—both practiced and first-timers.

    “You don’t have to be a professional runner to participate,” says Williams. “If you are a veteran runner trying to set a personal record, that is great! However, we are encouraging first-time runners to race as well. My goal is to bring out a lot of participants to raise money for the Serena Williams Foundation.” The Serena Williams Ultimate Run South Beach takes place December 14 at 8 am, 1 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, 305-538-8899

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    A hometown Coconut Grove girl, model Gigi Paris is in high demand all across the country.

    Gigi Paris Model
    Gigi Paris posing in front of her favorite restaurant, Mandolin Aegean Bistro, her go-to dinner spot in Miami.

    “I’m basically on a plane every week,” says model Gigi Paris. Such is the oft-assumed “glamorous” life of the 22-year-old Wilhelmina agency stunner, who flies 5,400 miles roundtrip to Seattle each week. And when she’s not posing for Nordstrom catalogs there, it’s Hollywood and New York for movie auditions, Esquire photo shoots, and starring in country star Keith Urban’s music video. Then there’s Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, and local lingerie line Eberjey. Though the phone rings for gigs more often than not, it’s the “ringeroff” mode of Miami that Paris cherishes most.

    Describe your week.
    My number-one rule is not to work the weekends. Monday night, I fly to Seattle. Work starts the next day at 7:30 am. I’ll shoot two days, about 100 looks a day, and I always do yoga after that. Then, I get on the next plane to LA or New York and go straight to the studio at 8 am to do two more days of work.

    How were you discovered?
    I was 13 and driving back from the beach with my brother in his bright yellow Jeep. Some crazy guy stopped us at the red light, and my parents were like, “Drive faster, don’t pull over!” He ended up being a photographer and asked if he could take my picture. I never even thought about modeling. I was a total klutz and a nerd growing up. I begged my parents, “Please let me do it. It’s like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

    What’s a recent crazy story for you?
    I shot a music video for Keith Urban’s song “Somewhere in My Car.” There was this little old Chevy that we had to sit in [on set]. It’s a tiny car, and the whole theme [of the video] is “making out.” So it’s me, the crew, and the actor that I basically had to make out with trapped in this tiny car. It was all steamy and sweaty. It was ridiculous, but it turned out really cool, and the video looks great. The process behind it was not sexy at all.

    What do you do when you aren’t modeling?
    I love to sketch with charcoal or watercolor pencils. My mom is an amazing artist, and she always did portraits, so that’s what I’ve done since I was a kid.

    Are there any models you’ve met that you’ve been in total awe of?
    Elle Macpherson is just insanely beautiful—her hair, her skin, her smile. I met her when I was 16 and was like, “Now I definitely want to be a model because of you.” The ’90s supermodels were a whole other level of gorgeous.

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    Johanna Mikkola brings Silicon Valley skills and a hockey coach-like attitude to Wyncode Academy, Florida’s first coding boot camp.

    Joanna Mikkola Wyncode Academy
    Johanna Mikkola at the Wynwood Building.

    Johanna Mikkola isn’t afraid to play hard. The cofounder of Florida’s first and only brick-and-mortar coding boot camp was raised in Toronto by way of Helsinki, and after playing floorball (akin to hockey on a gym floor) on an international level, worked her way up the ladder at the National Hockey League. There, she became the highest-ranking female in the officiating department and spearheaded the development of a custom app that’s used to this day to train referees. In early 2014, just a few whirlwind months after Mikkola decided to pursue her dream of having a start-up, she landed in Miami to launch Wyncode Academy, the first code school licensed by the Florida Department of Education’s Commission for Independent Education.

    Wyncode’s nine-week courses (or “cohorts,” in techie parlance) consist of 21 students culled from hundreds of applicants. Once accepted, a serious coding cram session ensues to create the next generation of developers: Monday through Friday, for upwards of 10 hours a day, students are drilled in the Web framework Ruby on Rails. Weekend attendance, while not mandatory, is “expected.” “It’s called boot camp for a reason,” Mikkola says. “If you’re not frustrated, you’re not working hard enough. The beautiful thing is when you finally have that breakthrough, and you’re like, ‘Holy shit, I get it!’”

    In addition to teaching coding know-how, Mikkola is resolute in equipping her students with the soft skills that will give them a professional edge. Like a coach hell-bent on a winning season, Mikkola is often found working directly alongside her students, providing one-on-one mentorship that is at once encouraging and blunt, or attending networking events to connect her pupils with the who’s who of the tech scene.

    Her tenacity is paying off: Wyncode’s first cohort, in May 2014, was the largest inaugural launch in all of the United States, and saw 93 percent placement of its students four weeks after the course, with most graduates entering Miami’s workforce. She’s also been invited to a roundtable tech discussion at the White House, and will continue working with the White House to advance access to accelerated learning programs. “There were boot camps in New York City and San Francisco, but it was an unproven concept here,” says Mikkola. “It turned out that Miami was not only ready, it was overwhelmingly ready. Right now, we’re on the cusp of something great, and everyone involved is playing their role in the history of tech.” 400 NW 26th St., Miami, 305-570-9767

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    On the occasion of 2014's Art Basel in Miami Beach, three Miami locals—a gallerist, a collector, and an artist—talk about the importance of the annual fair.

    Snitzer, Mora and Singh at Art Basel Mandarin Oriental
    Snitzer, Mora, and Singh, at the Mandarin Oriental, see ABMB as a vital meeting point for collectors, artists, and gallerists around the globe.

    Over 70,000 expected visitors will experience more than 250 of the world’s most prestigious galleries during the annual Art Basel in Miami Beach. As the city readies itself for another banner year at the festival, three in-the-know aficionados talk about the ABMB experience from three different angles: Fred Snitzer is a Miami-based gallerist who has been on the selection committee since the fair’s inception. Javier Mora is a respected collector and has opened his home many times for the Basel VIP collector tour. The Argentine painter Diego Singh has shown in museums and galleries around the world, including Fredric Snitzer and Tomio Koyama in Tokyo. During a relaxed afternoon at the Mandarin Oriental hotel on Brickell Key, they spoke about what ABMB means to them.

    Fred, you have been on the selection committee since the beginning. In your eyes, how has Art Basel in Miami Beach changed over the last 13 years?
    Fred Snitzer: It could have grown much more quickly and it could be 10 times the size that it is, but they’ve chosen over the years not to do any of that. There are probably 20 more dealers than there were in the beginning. I think there are 700 or 800 applicants for those spaces, so the demand has gone up every year. The quality has also improved.

    Fred Snitzer Gallerist Miami Beach Art Basel
    Longtime Miami gallerist Fred Snitzer has been on ABMB’s selection committee from the beginning.

    Javier, tell us about your history with the Miami fair.
    Javier Mora: We were fortunate enough to be invited by the Art Basel organizers to open up our house to the Basel VIP program from the beginning. We catered it, serving Venezuelan food and typical Cuban food—the Europeans especially loved that. They would have a lot of art conversations and then they would just lounge in the yard. Usually you’re supposed to go for an allotted time—like half an hour or so—but they would stay for three or four hours, just lounging. That was a fun way to meet collectors, trustees, curators—people from all over the world.

    It seems like everybody uses Basel not just to buy and sell art but to meet others who are equally passionate about contemporary art.
    FS: Absolutely. In a funny way it’s a trade show. It’s a natural meeting place.
    JM: And the exchange is real. When we travel to London or Paris, we contact collectors that we’ve met and we visit their houses, just like they come to my house here.

    Diego, you show with two galleries that are in Art Basel. How have you as an artist navigated the shift from the brick-and-mortar gallery to the international fair network?
    Diego Singh: To me it’s part of the discourse. The fairs come with the territory for everybody, but that’s not the center of my practice. But I’m not an artist who has been commissioned to do a fair project; there are people who do that.

    Fred Snitzer and Diego Singh at La Mar
    Snitzer and Singh at La Mar.

    How do you think ABMB differs from all of the other fairs across the world?
    JM: It is unique because of the selection committee’s due diligence in finding quality galleries. Each one of the galleries has looked for serious and interesting artists. With Basel, in one week we are able to have the exposure that would take a year to get to.

    Fred, you’ve worked as a gallerist in Miami for decades. How has the fair changed the city?
    FS: Profoundly—no one that I had been in business with for the 25 years before Art Basel had any kind of aspiration or fantasy about a fair like Basel coming to Miami. The impact has been across the board. It’s been cultural, it’s been economic, it’s impacted real estate, it’s impacted museums. The whole community has benefited from it.

    How did the fair predict or contribute to the growth of the art market?
    : Like any smart business people, the Art Basel management saw it coming. They could see it in the market. We had had a big crash of the art market in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and it was time for another tier, another evolution of that market. So they anticipated, and luckily that anticipation was realized with the fair. Their timing was amazing.
    JM: Just to talk about numbers, the other day I read that the number of worldwide art collectors is supposedly 600,000 and the number of worldwide millionaires, 32 million. You can see that it just keeps on growing exponentially.
    FS: It’s still one half of one percent of the world, or less, who looks, cares, is interested in, collects, does anything with contemporary art. It’s a huge opportunity. It’s just a problem in that it’s difficult to educate the public. How many millionaires—how many people in Miami with huge houses—spend fortunes in real estate, spend anything on art? None, almost none, even now. So there is a dilemma within the art world, but that’s another story.

    The Helly Nahmad Gallery booth Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, and Fernand Léger, Alexander Calder sculpture, Brontosaurus
    The Helly Nahmad Gallery booth at 2013’s ABMB showed works by Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, and Fernand Léger, as well as this Alexander Calder sculpture, Brontosaurus.

    How do you buy art in the fair?
    JM: You always have to have good, comfortable walking shoes to move around quickly.

    Have you seen people running?
    JM: The first few years, yes; now, lately, I think that it’s more of a walk. You have a list of galleries that are visiting that represent the artists you initially focused on. Once you move away from that, you are going to discover somebody new.

    Fred, when Javier walks in, you’ll already have been there. How do booths get set up?
    FS: The fair opens on Wednesday. The soonest a dealer can get in is on Monday morning, so all the trucks and all the containers are there Monday morning. Over the years, the organizers have been so incredibly Swiss about solving any issue immediately. It runs like a clock. [But] Basel has had some funny incidents where a major international collector will have gotten a badge that says installer.
    DS: What’s the selection committee like?
    FS: Those committee members know every dealer and every artist. The directors travel the world. If some little gallery in Bora Bora has a show of a young artist, and if the artist is any good, they know about it.

    Of all the places in the world, why first expand to Miami?
    DS: The weather! [Laughs]
    JM: It’s the center of the world. It’s Miami.
    FS: They were looking for a counterpoint. They were looking for a winter fair, and you want to do a winter fair somewhere where it’s warm. Also, starting in the ’80s, there was this revelation that there was Latin American art, and of course Miami is the gateway to Latin America, without a doubt. It also had a collector base. Miami has the Bramans and Marty Margulies, Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz, the Rubells. The city has all those people here—that critical mass of international collecting.

    The Forgotten by Enrique Martinez
    The Forgotten (2013), by Enrique Martinez Celaya, was exhibited at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery booth at last year’s Art Basel.

    Let’s talk survival tips.
    DS: Drink soup, eat well, hydrate, don’t party too much, don’t get drunk, watch what you say. 
    FS: There are about 18 fairs during the time of Art Basel, and none of them would be there if there was no Art Basel. A lot of people think, It’s too expensive; it’s not for me; I need to go to the fair that’s in the closet under the bridge because that’s really what I can afford. That’s a huge mistake. There’s a price range that goes from very affordable to extraordinarily expensive in Basel. You must go to Basel; it’s like not visiting the Museum of Modern Art when you’re in New York.
    JM: You have to dedicate a major part of your time to Basel. Maybe you go to one of these other fairs and you find a few galleries, but when you go to Basel, you find so many galleries that you may not have enough time to spend. I like some of the other fairs, don’t get me wrong, but we found over the years that spending 80 percent of our time in Basel and maybe 20 in other fairs has worked out well. Also, the Basel app will help you organize yourself.
    DS: A good tip for artists is that at the end of the fair, you can go up to booths and ask for catalogs. Instead of buying a catalog that is $50, go there and they will give it to you because they don’t want to ship it back to Germany.

    Is there any anxiety about people starting to buy more work online, or do you think the fair model is here to stay?
    FS: There is absolutely nothing that can replace the experience of standing in front of a work; there’s no competition. 
    JM: I’ll have the work that I’m thinking of buying as my screensaver on my iPhone, so I’m seeing it every day. But I will not buy it until I see it in person. Once you get there, you see it—it’s a done deal.
    Art Basel in Miami Beach takes place December 4-7.

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    The Magic City sparkles even brighter as watchmakers add their own particular shine with diamonds.

    Watches Diamond

    These diamond-bedecked beauties don’t merely track time, they also offer breathtaking appeal that will have heads turning all over town this holiday season. On top of that, they tend to keep their value for generations to come, making them heirloom quality.

    The first timepieces dressed in diamonds appeared in the 16th century and were most likely a reaction to John Calvin’s ban on jewelry. To save their trade, many gem-setters and goldsmiths combined their craft with that of clockmakers—as clocks were still allowed—and began adorning these instruments with elaborate diamond and gemstone detailing. Within a few years, the clock and pocket watch were transformed into pieces of beautiful, wearable art. Over time, these watches have become ever more extravagant, employing a host of different diamond settings, shapes, and fancy cuts. This season, your wrist can shine brighter than the lights along Lincoln Road. 

    1. Breguet used the ocean’s unique gems— Akoya pearls from Tahiti—for its magnificent multirow bracelet on this Reine de Naples watch ($267,200). The unusually shaped case is crafted in 18k white gold and set with 76 baguette diamonds weighing approximately 6.06 carats. Another 42 baguette diamonds weighing 2.77 carats form the inner chapter ring of this self-winding watch. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-866-1061 

    2. From Graff Diamonds, this Classic Butterfly watch (price on request) is meticulously set with 11.3 carats of diamonds on the dial and the case. At 12 and 6 o’clock, four fancy-cut pear-shaped diamonds form the likeness of a butterfly. A single emerald triangle—Graff’s signature—sits at 12 o’clock. The strap is black satin. Just 300 will be made. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-993-1212 

    3. From Chopard, this Classic Collection oval timepiece (price on request) is crafted in gold and features a dial ensconced in diamonds surrounding a mother-of-pearl center. The oval case and the bracelet are also bedecked in diamonds for a total weight of 9.11 carats. It houses a quartz movement. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-868-8626

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    Clink your glasses together and toast to the holidays. Why December in Miami is not just like the one you used to know—it’s better.

    Miami Ballet performing the Nutcracker
    Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.

    Between miracles happening on 34th Street and Bing Crosby dreaming of a white Christmas, movies have distorted the world’s view of winter. But picture this scene for a second: a leading man driving across the Julia Tuttle Causeway with the top down, sweat dripping off his brow as he braves the 80-degree weather (well, to be totally accurate, Miami hit a high of 78 on Christmas Day 2013), and heading into the bright blue yonder beyond the white sands of South Beach. Now that’s an Oscar worthy December. Sure, you won’t be dashing through the snow or walking in a winter wonderland, but in Miami you can throw on a pair of flip-flops, sip a martini at the Raleigh pool, and be laughing all the way, while your blizzard-ridden relatives up north realize winter isn’t as glamorous as in the movies.

    Miami has its own version of Hollywood glitz and glamour, though. Whether it was The Supremes performing at the Eden Roc over the holidays in 1965 or Liza Minnelli putting on a show at the classic Miami Beach hotel on the day after Christmas in 1972, the holidays have a time-honored tradition of being star-studded. These days, you might bump into a vacationing Adam Sandler at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, Hayden Panettiere in Hollywood Beach, Michael J. Fox and his family dining at Prime 112, or Lenny Kravitz at Soho Beach House, as many stars now call Miami home for the holidays.

    The Supremes Diana Ross Cindy Birdsong and Mary Wilson
    Over the decades, Miami’s holiday season has attracted top entertainers of the day, such as The Supremes. FROM LEFT Diana Ross, Cindy Birdsong, and Mary Wilson, pictured in 1968.

    But nobody brings the holiday spirit like Englandborn actress and filmmaker Gabrielle Anwar and her fiancé, Shareef Malnik, owner of The Forge Restaurant. “It begins at 6 am with all of us donning red matching onesies,” says Malnik of Christmas morning with Anwar and her kids, Paisley, Hugo, and Willow. “After the log fire is built, we move on to raiding the stuffed stockings hanging on the fireplace. Then we have Gabrielle’s famous Yule Tide breakfast, which consists of Britishstyle omelets and pancakes, scones, and her homemade GG’s Granola made with macadamia nut butter.”

    Other royal Miami families, like the Estefans, couldn’t think of anything better than to spend the holidays right here in paradise. They’ll do the typical Latin-family celebration on Nochebuena, and on Christmas Day the family will open presents with 2-year-old grandson Sasha. “It’s always fun to share Christmas through a young child’s eyes,” says Gloria (thus the inspiration behind Estefan’s holiday tune, “Christmas Through Your Eyes”).

    While many stars are relaxing, some are still performing in Miami as they did years ago. The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is ringing in the holidays this year with The Colors of Christmas, featuring performances by Peabo Bryson, Taylor Dayne, Jennifer Holliday, and Ruben Studdard. “Miami is known for drawing some of the best celebrity talent and entertainment over the holidays,” says Scott Shiller, executive vice president of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “This season, the Arsht Center is carrying on that tradition with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and classics such as Miami City Ballet’s The Nutcracker.”

    Miami Heat Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City
    Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder driving to the basket against then-Miami Heat player Joel Anthony (now with the Detroit Pistons) during a Christmas Day game at AmericanAirlines Arena in 2012.

    Of course, if you’re looking for bright lights, there’s no bigger stage on Christmas Day than AmericanAirlines Arena for the return of LeBron James. The entire country will have its eyes on Miami, as James and the Cleveland Cavaliers roll into town to take on our Miami Heat. From the celebrities sitting courtside to the A-list crowd partying inside Hyde, the arena will host an unmatched holiday celebration regardless of the final score. But let’s hope Santa brings us a victory. “There’s no question that the American- Airlines Arena will be the best place to be on Christmas Day,” says DJ Irie, the Heat’s official DJ. “Hyde will be going off. Everybody will be at the game, so the social scene that day will be super strong as well.”

    But there’s more to this city than fame and fortune. One of the beauties of Miami being a melting pot is that the residents bring traditions from all over the world. Chef Michael Mina continues his late mother-in-law’s holiday tradition by preparing a hearty cioppino—a seafood stew popular in San Francisco—for Christmas Eve dinner. At his restaurants, Michael Mina 74 and Stripsteak at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, he’ll mix traditional dishes with local flavors, just like he does at home. “We decorate the house and pull fresh flowers and greenery from our garden to accent the dining table,” he says. “And we always have my wife’s amazing Bloody Marys. They’re a crowd favorite.”

    Chef Michelle Bernstein of Seagrape at Thompson Miami Beach comes from a Latin-Jewish household. “We had classic Nochebuena dinners, or as typical Jewish families often do, we went out for Chinese on Christmas night,” she recalls. But when she met her husband and business partner, David Martinez, she spent the holiday with his family in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the tradition changed. “That was my first taste of true authentic Mexican food, and ever since, our Christmas feast is filled with flavors and recipes of Oaxaca, my own mother’s Jewish/Latin specialties, and some things I’ve picked up along the way,” she says. “It has evolved into a beautiful, eclectic, international food-centric holiday.”

    The Forge Restaurant Interior
    Festive dining at The Forge.

    Miami is packed with flavor over the holidays. There are giant Italian feasts planned at restaurants like Cavalli and Cecconi’s, and a holiday brunch at Tongue & Cheek, where last year they offered gingerbread pancakes with apple butter and peppermint, and the eatery’s famous eggnog cocktail. But every culture has its special holiday dining hot spots. “If you want to turn it up a notch for an even more traditional Spanish dining experience, La Dorada in Coral Gables is an excellent choice,” says Alejandro Muguerza, president of catering and event design company Le Basque. “Their wide selection of ancestral dishes includes the most customary, sea bream, which is commonly used for Christmas in the Basque Country in Spain.”

    And leave it to body-obsessed Miami to let you order your healthy holiday meals right to your door. DeliverLean, a popular healthy food delivery service, adds items like Paleo pumpkin muffins, maple-roasted butternut squash, and cranberry turkey meatloaf to the menu for holiday time. DeliverLean CEO Scott Harris eats clean over the holidays, but he also relaxes. “Ever since I moved to South Florida, I head down to Islamorada in the Keys for some downtime in December,” he says. “I love going out on the boat with friends, fishing, and cooking fresh meals during my visit. The laid-back vibe of the Keys helps me relax and reflect on the past year and the year to come.”

    The New World Symphony at Miami's New World Center
    Pulse: Late Night at the New World Symphony, at Miami’s New World Center.

    Rest and relaxation are always in the cards in South Florida with some of the best spas, pools, and pampering services in the world. But you can also get out and feel the holiday spirit at venues around town. The flourishing Russian population of Miami- Dade can experience a taste of home with Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at the Fillmore Miami Beach, while the New World Symphony’s Sights and Sounds of the Season will feature music from a variety of heritages. You can hear Christmas carols in the Drawing Room at Soho Beach House, or have your jingle bells rocked on Saturdays in December at Little Havana’s Ball & Chain, which is adding a pig roast and holiday sounds to the high-energy Cuban music at its La Pachanga party. Or you can throw on your most hideously festive pullover and party with scenesters at the Broken Shaker’s annual Ugly Sweater party. Then there’s the 28th annual Matzoball, held at LIV this year, where you can toast your way through a Jewish Christmas Eve, and maybe even find a spouse. Oy vey, it’s a miracle! “The Matzoball is one of my favorite nights of the year,” says Jimmy Vargas, director of marketing at LIV Nightclub. “The dance floor is packed, there’s great energy in the room, and the drinks don’t stop until well into Christmas Day.”

    But ultimately the best part of the holiday season in Miami is that you’re in Miami—the same Miami that exists year round, the Miami where you can relax on a beach chair at the Delano, where we don’t just have presents under a tree (although shade is certainly a gift), we have them all around us. There’s no snow to shovel from driveways or ice to scrape off windshields. It’s sun and fun and smiles for everyone. It truly is the season to be jolly.

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    This season's hottest styles pair elegantly with tomorrow's boldest Miami homes in the sky.


    One Thousand Museum
    ON JESSICA, LEFT: Coat, Michael Kors ($3,695). Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-864-4144. Bra, Agent Provocateur ($190). Bal Harbour Shops, 305-865-3909. 18k yellow-gold Athénée Scroll diamond ring, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry ($5,990). Hamilton Jewelers, 215 Worth Ave., Palm Beach, 561-659-6788. Spike Me pumps, Christian Louboutin ($1,295). Miami Design District, 155 NE 40th St., 305-576-6820. ON SARAH, RIGHT: Cut-out gown, Roberto Cavalli ($3,335). Bal Harbour Shops, 305-865-1749. Valencia wedges, Diane von Furstenberg ($375). Village of Merrick Park, 358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables, 305-446-4003. Blue glass minaudière (on table), Salvatore Ferragamo ($2,050). Bal Harbour Shops, 305-866-8166

    One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects marks the Pritzker Prize-winning architect’s first skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The 62-story, 83-unit iconic tower will offer an unmatched standard of luxury and high design. 1000 Biscayne Blvd., Miami


    One Thousand Museum 2
    ON JESSICA, LEFT: Dress, Talbot Runof ($3,590). Neiman Marcus, Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-993-4620. Belt, Alexander McQueen ($1,395). Bal Harbour Shops, 305-866-2839. Iriza patent pumps, Christian Louboutin ($675). Miami Design District, 155 NE 40th St., 305-576-6820. ON SARAH, RIGHT: Candee wrap coat, Escada ($3,750). Bal Harbour Shops, 305-867-9283. Spike Me pumps, Christian Louboutin ($1,295). See above.

    Terra Group and The Related Group have partnered to create uniquely appealing residences at Park Grove, a 5.2-acre property directly across from Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, with exclusive sales by Douglas Elliman Development Marketing. 2701 S. Bayshore Dr., Miami, 305-834-7600


    One Thousand Museum 3
    ON JESSICA, LEFT: Halter gown with sequin embroidery, Roberto Cavalli ($6,710). Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-865-1749. Pigalle Follies floral pumps (on ground), Christian Louboutin ($675). Miami Design District, 155 NE 40th St., 305-576- 6820. ON SARAH, RIGHT: Dress, Alexander McQueen ($2,585). Bal Harbour Shops, 305-866-2839. Spike Me pumps, Christian Louboutin ($1,295). See above. Blue glass minaudière (on table), Salvatore Ferragamo ($2,050). Bal Harbour Shops, 305-866-8166

    Jade Signature is a 57-story oceanfront building in Sunny Isles featuring 192 spacious homes. The high-luxury condo building, developed by Fortune International Group and created by Pritzker Prizewinning Herzog & de Meuron, PYR led by Pierre-Yves Rochon, and Raymond Jungles, offers a seamless connection that links the entrance with the lobby, pool, deck, gardens, beach, and ocean beyond.


    Muse Sunny Isles
    ON SARAH, LEFT: Cape ($2,990) and shorts ($2,640), Emilio Pucci. Miami Design District, 155 NE 40th St., 305-576-1830. Candy clutch (on counter), Jimmy Choo ($850). Village of Merrick Park, 358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables, 305-443-6124. ON JESSICA, RIGHT: Coat, Emilio Pucci ($3,525). See above. Green clutch (on counter), Alexander McQueen ($2,595). Bal Harbour Shops, 305-866-2839

    Developed by Property Markets Group and codeveloped by S2 Development, Muse Sunny Isles offers 68 exclusive oceanfront residences. The boutique development is a collaboration of sleek architecture by conceptual designer Carlos Ott with the unique design aesthetics of Antrobus + Ramirez. 17100 Collins Ave., Ste. 201, Sunny Isles

    SLS LUX Brickell

    SLS LUX Brickell
    ON SARAH, LEFT: Jacket, Chanel ($8,750). Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-868-0550. Pink-gold diamond Serpenti bracelets, Bulgari (prices on request). Bal Harbour Shops, 305-861-8898. Lee sandals, Jimmy Choo ($750). Village of Merrick Park, 358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables, 305-443-6124. ON JESSICA, RIGHT: Evening gown, Donna Karan New York ($3,595). Neiman Marcus, Bal Harbour Shops, 305-993-4620. 18k yellow-gold, diamond, and onyx Amulette de Cartier necklace ($75,000) and 18k yellow-gold, tsavorite garnet, onyx, black lacquer, and diamond Panthère de Cartier necklace ($25,500), Cartier. Miami Design District, 151 NE 40th St., 305-864-8793. Issey sandals, Jimmy Choo ($575). See above.

    Located in the heart of Brickell, the chic urban SLS Lux is the latest project being codeveloped by The Related Group and The Allen Morris Company, in collaboration with leading hospitality group SBE. 801 S. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-521- 1619

    Hair, makeup, and manicure by Bo at creativemanagement @ MC2 using Redken, Chanel, and MAZ lacquer Models: Jessica Motes for Next Model Management Miami, Sarah Miller for Ford Miami

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    Louis Vuitton brings an unrealized residential lifestyle collection by the late modern master Pierre Paulin to life in an evocative exhibition in the Design District—just in time for Design Miami.

    Pierre Paulin
    Pierre Paulin on a trip across the US to show his project to modern furniture design company Herman Miller.

    Many design aficionados who lived through the 1970s remember the decade as the end of the modernist era as we knew it. Some regard this period as the turning point that led to the degeneration of the high-minded principles that fueled modernism as a dominant influence on our ways of living for more than five decades. Others see it as a creative period when industrial design icons like Ettore Sottsass, Gaetano Pesce, Paul Evans, and Pierre Paulin were at their most prolific—and inspired.

    Thanks to an exhibition called “Playing With Shapes,” envisioned by the creative forces at Louis Vuitton and presented at the Palm Court in the Design District, old- and new-guard modernists alike can get a glimpse of an essentially unknown yet visionary project of the era that offers food for thought for a new age of design innovation. Conceived in 1972 by the iconoclastic furniture, interior, and industrial designer Pierre Paulin, a French master of the time, this multifaceted yet never realized collection of modular furnishings, storage elements, and accents sheds light not only on the genius of the renowned designer, but also on the conceptual thinking of leading designers of the day.

    Herman Miller 1972 mock up furniture designer
    A 1972 mock-up for furniture designer Herman Miller, showing the different modules of the project.

    Though the project was never brought to market, it remained one of Paulin’s favorite creations. And now, more than four decades after the project was shelved, Louis Vuitton has sponsored the manufacture of the elements in the collection—true to the scale and materials of Paulin’s original vision.

    Tapped by the revolutionary furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, Paulin was commissioned to create a cohesive system of components that could adapt to a more fluid modern lifestyle— allowing everyday people to craft and deconstruct their environments at will, reconfiguring the elements as needed as their families expanded or contracted, or circumstances changed over time. With all of his designs, his first priority was always comfort, according to Paulin’s son Benjamin. “The pieces had to make sense to be useful,” he says. “When you look at [a piece of his furniture], you could think at first sight that it is a very fanciful and free design, almost an artistic act, but it isn’t. My father used to consider himself, with a little bit of humor and provocation, as the comet tail of functionalism.”

    At the same time, these elements were also intended to ease the inner psyche of their owners by allowing them to control their surroundings and cocoon themselves within their personal refuge by keeping at bay the excesses of the information age that were beginning to emerge at the time.

    Pierre Paulin view exhibition presented by Louis Vuitton
    A view of “Playing With Shapes” presented by Louis Vuitton at this year’s Design Miami.

    The drawings and models Pierre Paulin produced for this lifestyle system of components, which are now among the Pompidou Center’s collections in Paris, merge notions of beauty, comfort, simplicity, and ease in a system that could be mass-manufactured to bring function and form to a wide range of modern dwellings.

    Among the most intriguing of the 18 elements in this collection are the petite déclive, an articulated recliner, and the Tapis-siège, a lounge seat that emerges from the carpet. The designer intended to take advantage of the strengths of new materials, like plastics and resins that had been developed during WWII, which stretched possibilities for the sculptural form and durability of his furnishings and components.

    Pierre Paulin’s innovations are a testament to the enduring power of principled modern design. And if he were alive to know his cherished project would be brought to life and seen by the international art and design cognoscenti in Miami this month, he’d surely relish the fact that each element was made to meet the exacting standards of another legendary and groundbreaking French icon of design. “Playing With Shapes” runs from December 2-7 at Palm Court, Miami Design District, 140 NE 39th St., Ste. 326.

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    Celebrating Design Miami's 10th anniversary, new executive director Rodman Primack is pioneering the future of the design universe.

    design miami executive director rodman primack
    Rodman Primack at the 4141 Building

    In typical Miami fashion, Design Miami’s recent appointment of Rodman Primack as its executive director was a departure from the traditional. In his new role, Primack draws from a CV that spans architecture (junior designer, Peter Marino Architect), design (chairman, Phillips de Pury, London—now Phillips), interiors (founder, RP Miller Design), and art (specialist of Latin American art, Christie’s), to name just a few of his past titles.

    How has your unconventional background prepared you for your new role at Design Miami?
    I have this very diverse background that has always folded over design. Even when I was working for Larry Gagosian, we did one of the first shows Larry did with furniture with Patrick Seguin [at Gagosian Gallery] in LA with [ Jean] Prouvé and [Charlotte] Perriand. Having a bit of a decorator and contemporary art background gives me a broad view of the marketplace and how collectors look at this market. [Also], I’ve been to every edition of the fair, at times as a competitor, an advisor, or a collector, and even an exhibitor. So my understanding and knowledge of the fair comes from different perspectives.

    What’s new this year?
    We’re introducing Design Curio, an invitational program geared toward the broader design community. Institutions, galleries, designers—they’re micro-groups that together will show interesting trends that are happening in design outside of collectible design or furniture. In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we are looking forward at the next 10 years [with] a new award, Design Visionary. The award recognizes people who have made an impact in the design world in a broader way. This year, we are giving it to Peter Marino

    What’s the relationship between the city and the fair?
    I first started coming to Miami in the late ’90s with Christie’s. Art Basel, Design Miami, and other fairs have had such a huge impact on the way the city sees itself. Today, when you go to the fair, you have a very polished, sophisticated experience, which reflects what’s happening to Miami in general.

    What pieces would we find in your personal collection?
    My husband and I have such varied tastes [in our homes in] Miami, Guatemala, and New York. We have works of Perriand and Jean Prouvé. We love Memphis [from] Michele De Lucchi, [and] contemporary work from David Wiseman. And then art: Gabriel Orozco, Marilyn Minter. I live what I’m preaching. Design Miami takes place December 3-7 at a new exhibition venue at Meridian Avenue and 19th Street

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    In collaboration with Venus Williams, French design house Roche Bobois made Miami women’s shelter Lotus House a beautiful place to be.

    Venus Williams Lotus House Roche BoBois and Julian Bigan
    Venus Williams and Julien Bigan at Overtown women’s shelter Lotus House.

    The power of good design is a palpable one, albeit a luxury not everyone can afford. In an effort to bring beautiful furnishings to those who deserve it most, French design house Roche Bobois teamed up with tennis star Venus Williams to outfit the Lotus House, a women’s shelter that has been supporting Miami’s homeless women and children for the past 10 years.

    “Whether you’re very rich or very poor, to come home and find yourself surrounded by beautiful furniture gives you a sense of inspiration. That is what Roche Bobois does for them,” explains Julien Bigan, US communications director for Roche Bobois.

    Located in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood, Lotus House has been providing health and wellness services, housing, job training, and personal support to hundreds of women and children since it opened its doors in 2006, after being founded by President and Executive Director Constance Collins in 2004.

    To furnish the shelter’s 35 apartments, dining areas, common spaces, and offices, Roche Bobois donated an extensive selection of new items from previous collections, from chairs to area rugs and bedroom furniture. Along with his team, Bigan personally hand-delivered and placed many of the items throughout the shelter. “Julien was one of the individuals who came to help literally move furniture— and it was a hot day,” remembers Collins. “Sleeves rolled up, right in the middle of it. That’s pretty impressive.”

    It proved to be a fulfilling day of personal exchange and creative inspiration as residents involved themselves in the design process. Says Bigan of the experience, “The intention was to respect the owner of the space, the residents. When we were doing the donations, we said, ‘How do you feel about this?’”

    To cap the event, Williams, who is also owner of the design firm V Starr Interiors, made a personal appearance with her mother, touring and getting to know the shelter with Collins, and closing the afternoon with an inspirational speech. “She gave a talk that was very heartfelt to the women in the shelter,” recalls Collins. “To have a woman of her stature visit, share, and speak one on one, it’s extraordinary. Her speech was very inspirational, about how perseverance against all the odds was so critical in her achieving success and how believing in herself was a strong motivating force.”

    The reactions of the residents upon seeing their new apartments reflected Roche Bobois’s and Williams’s common objective. “All I heard repeatedly was, ‘This feels like home,’” recounts Collins. “There’s something really nurturing about living in a shelter and then having this group of people who care about you descend upon it, and flood you with furniture and rugs and lamps and chairs and couches and goodwill. That was very uplifting for the shelter as a whole. I have nothing but gratitude.” Lotus House, 217 NW 15th St., Miami, 305-438-0556

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    Art advisor Mia Romanik shares her expertise on the financials of collecting art.

    Mia Romanik Art Advisor Collection
    Mia Romanik helps clients to build and maintain their world-class art collections. below: Painting of a houseplant by Jonas Wood.

    With more than $3 billion worth of art on display at last year’s Art Basel and a host of “satellite” art shows taking place all over town, there are treasures to be had at this year’s fairs, but knowing a good “get” when you see one sometimes requires a little help. Mia Romanik is an art advisor who trades in her knowledge of art history and relationships in the art world to help her clients build and maintain collections. Born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, she travels to fairs, galleries, and studios around the world on behalf of her clients.

    Who do you think are four artists to watch at this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach?
    Cory Arcangel explores our society’s rapid pace of consumption through obsolete technologies and cultural ephemera. His work operates as a time capsule of our generation.
    Represented by Team Gallery in New York and Lisson Gallery in London and Milan.

    Jonas Wood’s paintings of domestic interiors, televised sports, houseplants, and sports trading cards turn moments from the artist’s life into kaleidoscopic collages of color, shape, and pattern.
    Represented by Anton Kern in New York, David Kordansky in Los Angeles, and Shane Campbell in Chicago.

    Eddie Martinez is masterful with paint, both technically and through his knowledge of art history.
    Shows with Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles and Timothy Taylor in London.

    The works of Tony Lewis, an African-American artist based out of Chicago, revolve around text, with a connection to other language-oriented artists such as Ligon, Kruger, and Holzer.
    Shows with Shane Campbell and Massimo de Carlo.

    Are more people collecting because of a love for art or because they see it as any other type of financial investment?
    People collect for all different reasons, with a love for art always being the platform to start on. However, there has been a lot of investment opportunity for art over the past few years.

    Is there a risk of art depreciating in value?
    Collecting and investing in art should be based on passion for the work, but as with any other investment, there is risk involved. Art is hard to buy and often hard to sell, too.

    How do your younger clients behave in comparison to the older generation?
    Younger clients are definitely more excited by the investment opportunity side of this business. Older clients are a bit more comfortable in what they are looking to achieve with their collection and its focus.

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    Million-dollar Koons sculptures and designs by Schnabel—it’s all part of the collaboration between art and Miami's expanding real estate boom.

    Jeff Koons Sculpture Pluto and Prosperina
    Jeff Koons’s Pluto and Proserpina at Oceana Bal Harbour is one of two of the artist’s works that will be owned and shared by the building’s tenants.

    The art scene in Miami continues to grow at an extraordinary pace, so much so that for many residents living in some of the most high-end buildings in the world, a trip to the museum isn’t always necessary for a daily dose of creativity. Developers are engaging major artists in large-scale collaborations, raising the aesthetic bar at their latest projects and putting installations and one-of-a-kind pieces on display for inhabitants to enjoy.

    In these new condo towers, art is a fundamental aspect of the entire project, and not just a colorful wall-hanging picked up at moment’s notice because it matched the drapes; these are big new vertical Xanadus dripping in art. Everyone is trying to outdo one another—Faena House, developed by Alan Faena, will house the Faena Bazaar and an artist-in-residence center by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, while Oceana Bal Harbour will feature two larger-than-life works by Jeff Koons—Pluto and Proserpina and Ballerina, purchased in 2013 for $14 million—both of which will be shared and owned by building tenants. 250 Wynwood—an 11-unit condo developed by Fortis, will feature terrace overhangs decorated with curated graffiti. Not far away, the Filling Station Lofts in Wynwood has enlisted local artist Daniel Fila to create unique works of art for each individual floor, as well as to consult on the building’s aesthetics.

    Helidon Xhixha Art at Muse Residences Sunny Isles Beach
    Rendering of the entrance of Muse Residences in Sunny Isles Beach. The building will feature custom artworks by Helidon Xhixha in every unit.

    Up in Sunny Isles Beach, Property Markets Group’s Muse Residences—47 stories with 68 units—will deliver a custom $200,000 piece of art by Helidon Xhixha, created after consultation with the owner, into every $4 million-and-up unit. CMC Group is developing Brickell Flatiron on a wedge-shaped site at the convergence of South Miami Avenue and Southeast First Avenue. Besides its shape, the Brickell Flatiron building’s single most distinctive feature is an extensive and very public collaboration with the artist Julian Schnabel. CMC has Schnabel creating the spaces for the general public: the temporary sales center, the lobby, and the exterior, among others. Although not particularly huge, the sales center, built in adjacent Flatiron Park, is as lavish as Miami sales centers get (and that’s saying a lot). Along with filling the interior with his art, Schnabel has modeled the space after his famed home in New York. It’s Miami’s own miniature Palazzo Chupi, and a singular art installation in itself—perhaps Miami’s first “museum-quality” condominium sales center. And if that’s not enough, CMC is sponsoring an actual museum exhibition of Schnabel’s work, at Fort Lauderdale’s NSU Museum of Art, curated by the incomparable Bonnie Clearwater. “The goal is to involve the public,” says Vanessa Grout, president of CMC Real Estate.

    Julian Schnabel working on the Brickell Flatiron Sales and Design Gallery
    Artist Julian Schnabel at work on the Brickell Flatiron Sales and Design Gallery.

    Over at The Related Group, Art Director Patricia Hanna is tasked with creating the art collections that adorn every luxury condominium project that the company builds. And in Miami, they’re all considered luxury. Hanna and Related head Jorge Pérez have fostered a partnership with the National YoungArts Foundation that should blossom in all sorts of interesting ways. YoungArts scholarship recipients will have their work displayed within Related projects, including at the sculpture garden at Icon Bay, a condominium tower near the new YoungArts campus. And an artists-in-residency program will house at least three artists a year in Related condos. Other Related buildings with their own collections include One Ocean, which is currently under construction; Baltus House, which recently topped off; Brickell Heights and SLS Brickell, both of which broke ground earlier this year; and SLS Lux, which features a giant Botero statue in the sales center courtyard.

    These developers are obviously considering way more than a return on investment when deciding to do “art.” They’re doing it because it’s good for Miami, but they’re only able to do it because in this economy it’s finally cost effective. “Fortunately Miami is experiencing a newly popular alignment between artistic ambition and financial incentives,” says Grout. “Private money is investing in art, which directly impacts the public good while providing a good return on investment.” Are developers doing it for the money? Not necessarily, but they couldn’t do all this without it.

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    Philanthropist and woman around town Arlene Chaplin stops to breathe, just for a second, to give us her must-knows for style.

    Arlene Chaplin
    Arlene Chaplin at PAMM, where this year she serves as gala chair for the PAMM Art of the Party gala.

    Breathe in, breathe out. It’s one of the most important things to do in the middle of a busy season, but all too often, many of us forget. Not Arlene Chaplin, whose philanthropic endeavors make her one of the most in-demand women in Miami, from cochairing lunches for the Women’s Cancer League and Project Newborn to serving on the Board of Trustees at PAMM. But her breathing goes far beyond her own lungs with her YogArt, an open-to-the-public collaboration of yoga, art, and music she cocreated in 2011 and which takes place this year during Art Basel.

    YogArt Art Basel Miami
    Chaplin and daughter Jennifer at YogArt at the Loews Miami Beach in 2011.

    Chaplin is also a go-to Miami resident in the know for all things fashion and lifestyle. “I can always find fun and trendy casual clothes at Atrium (1931 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-695-0757) for myself and my 23-year-old daughter, Jennifer.” She lists designers like Valentino (“elegant and timeless”) for the perfect fit, and relies on Abbey Glassman at Neiman Marcus at Bal Harbour Shops (9700 Collins Ave., 305-865-6161) to “find me a fabulous gown at the last minute,” while her “dear friend Mary Harris sets aside the perfect matching bag.”

    For beautiful and one-of-a-kind jewelry, it’s Phillips Frankel (1935 West Ave., Stes. 200–202, Miami Beach, 800-892-5656). “My friend Lisa Frankel started making jewelry and selling out of her house,” Chaplin says. “Now she sells it in her own store in Sunset Harbour, as well as at Saks.”

    Love Always Bracelet Phillips House
    Love Always bracelets, Phillips House ($1,800–$7,500).

    While Chaplin’s beauty is more than skin deep, a facial from Lauren Anavim at Le Petite Skin Retreat (400 Alton Road, Miami Beach, 305-604-9709) never hurts. “It’s the best little secret in town.”

    Chaplin has her own treasures, too. “My mother gave me my grandmother’s engagement ring,” she says. “I made it into earrings that I have worn and I now share with my daughter. Whenever [she] wears them, I am reminded of my grandparents and their love. They were married over 50 years.”

    Her own husband, Wayne Chaplin, president and CEO of Southern Wine & Spirits, must have taken note. “[He] had a few special pieces made for me on an anniversary or a birthday,” Chaplin says. “They have great meaning because they were given with loads of love. We just celebrated our 28th anniversary in September at one of our favorite romantic spots, Fisher Island.” YogArt, Wynwood Walls, 2520 NW Second Ave., Miami

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    The Design District, Midtown, and Wynwood proffer more than just art—here’s what's new and noteworthy in food since last year's Art Basel.

    Wakgyu smoked gouda croquettes at Shikany restaurant
    Wagyu smoked gouda croquettes at Shikany.

    It’s that time of the year when the world’s erudite and moneyed swoop into town to relish in the cultural phenomenon that is Art Basel Miami Beach. While the focus is primarily on the art, everyone has to eat. To that end, snagging a seat at Design District mainstays such as Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, MC Kitchen, or Mandolin Aegean Bistro will be like trying to get into one of Art Basel’s many invite-only soirées—impossible.

    All hope is not lost, however. Since last year’s fair, a baker has risen in the rankings, the craft beer scene has exploded, and degustation menus (multicourse tastings of small bites of a chef’s signature dishes that often play into a diner’s senses) have become a weekly happening. Here, we take a look at what’s new in food on the artsy blocks from Wynwood to the Design District.



    Located in the former Lester’s space, Mmmm shows off its creative f lair before you even get inside with a banana leaf-painted façade and the iconic Martinique wallpaper that is the same as the one adorning the Fountain Coffee Room at The Beverly Hills Hotel. Chef Alan McLennan uses a version of Poilâne sourdough (from the eponymous Parisian bakery) on his tartines. Want something light? Try the Shanghai chicken salad with napa cabbage, peanuts, crisp wontons, and ginger hoisin dressing. 2519 NW Second Ave., Miami, 786-703-3409

    Zak the Baker

    In between gallery and tent hopping, make sure to drop by Zak the Baker, a bakery-cum-café. They make the bread right there, and top it with ingredients such as beets and feta, avocado and ricotta, or Paradise Farms honey butter. Zak Stern and his pastry chefs and bakers will be working around the clock, staying open late during Art Basel. “It’s possible that we’ll do 24-hour days for that week,” says Stern. “We’re bulking up to make sure we can handle the swarms of people.” 405 NW 26th St., Miami, 786-280-0327

    Herbed cream cheese toast at Zak the Baker
    Herbed cream cheese toast with cucumber and radish on house-made bread at Zak the Baker.



    Amid all of Wynwood’s new breweries, Kush is pouring plenty of the town’s best craft beers in the city. Its ballyhooed burgers include the Frita, with guava jelly, melted Gruyère, and bacon; and the Johnny Utah, with pastrami, diced onion, and cheddar. New additions include Florida alligator bites and Bahamian conch salad. “Art Basel is going to be interesting,” says owner Matt Kuscher. “We are definitely going to have to turn people away.” Luckily, there might just be a secret botanica where you can wait next door (or so we’re told). 2003 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-576-4500

    Salumeria 104

    Not exactly new, Salumeria 104 has been Midtown’s go-to trattoria since three Art Basels ago. Don’t let the faux hams hanging from the ceiling fool you—chef Angelo Masarin brings the Italian authenticity. Standouts include the vitello tonnato (discs of thinly sliced roasted veal doused in a creamy tuna sauce and fried capers) and the San Daniele prosciutto. Masarin also whips up his grandmother’s braised rabbit recipe with artichokes and Taggiasca olives. 3451 NE First Ave., Miami, 305-424-9588


    You might be drawn to SuViche because of the new mural, but you’ll stay for the Japanese/Peruvian fusion. Try the La Cruda Verdad roll (fresh salmon, mango, and avocado topped with ceviche-style marinated white fish) or the lomo saltado spring rolls. “Basel is madness; catch a table if you can,” says owner Sebastian Stahl. For the best seat in the house, head out to the patio and grab a swing next to the lounge tables designed by local artist Daniel Fila. 2751 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-501-5010

    R House Restaurant Interior


    R House

    At R House, not only can you bid on art from the integrated gallery while you slurp on a moqueca (a traditional Brazilian seafood stew), but owner and chef Rocco Carulli will cook it and personally deliver it. His past experience as a chef in the summers and server in the winters prepared him well for his first solo endeavor, which fuses music from local DJs with internationally recognized artists and globally inspired cuisine. “We don’t want to turn anyone away during Basel,” he says. “We’re going to take it to the limit.” 2727 NW Second Ave., Miami, 305-576-0201


    After spending time in the kitchens of Gramercy Tavern and Le Bernardin, Michael Shikany has brought his talents to Wynwood, where he plates molecular-style degustation menus and whimsical à la carte offerings with cocktails to match. Think nori macarons with ginger spiced tuna tartare, or scallops and sweetbreads served alongside vanilla cotton candy. For the week of Basel, Shikany is making a special exception to open for lunch service and stay open straight through dinner. 251 NW 25th St., Miami, 305-573-0690

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    After four days of nonstop art fairs, parties, and cocktail-heavy outings, chances are you'll experience your annual post-Basel crash. From your scalp to your toes, these five Miami spa treatments will reenergize your body and mind and get you ready for the holidays.

    Acupuncture at exhale


    If you've never tried acupuncture before or haven't been in for a session in months, now's the time to book a post-Basel appointment with one of exhale's Master Acupuncturists, who carefully place up to 50 thin needles throughout your body’s pressure points. After an hour-long acupuncture and massage session, you'll no longer feel the physical and mental exhaustion brought on by barely sleeping for four days. Loews Hotel, 1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-200-1301

    MoroccanOil Body Ritual at McAllister Spa

    All those celebratory cocktails can take a toll on your skin's hydration, but you can get your glow back with McAllister Spa's 75-minute Moroccan oil treatment. After a preparatory dry-brush exfoliation comes a light, neck-to-toe massage with hydrating argon oil infused with organic chamomile water and organic sunflower seed oil. Next up: an orange-peel buff to eliminate dead skin on your hands and feet. Cap it off with an optional Moroccan oil scalp treatment and your hangover will feel like it never even happened. 1301 Alton Road, Miami Beach, 305-604-0550

    Muscle Melt at Canyon Ranch

    Weekend warriors are going to need a lot more than a vitamin C supplement to recover from Basel. Extreme partiers, let us introduce you to a relaxation method used on Thai warriors returning from battle. Spend 80 or 110 minutes undergoing the Muscle Melt, which begins by relaxing your muscles with warm herbal pouches; then a Thai massage with lemongrass oil and fresh herbs vanishes all remaining post-partying agony. 6801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-514-7000

    Kundalini Journey at the Spa at Mandarin Oriental

    Intense massage treatment.

    Once Basel is over, it'll be hard to get all of the beautiful exhibits (and the fact that you bumped shoulders with a few celebs) out of your head. Reset your mind with Mandarin Oriental’s 120-minute Kundalini Journey, a combination of massage techniques—from stretching and rotating movements to sound, color, and gemstone therapy—that guide you to the highest possible point of relaxation. You’ll receive a gift to help you maintain your relaxed state—at least until next year's Art Basel. 500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami, 305-913-8332

    Lapissage at Lapis

    Basel shenanigans will inevitably thrown off your chakras; to realign them, book the signature Lapissage massage. Light pressure movements, warm candle oil, and crystals strategically placed on the body’s energy spots will get you right back on spiritual track—or at the very least, feeling ready to tackle the world. Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-674-4772


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    Luxury retail catches up with Miami's billionaire boom.

    Billionaire Boom Shopping
    Shift dress ($2,125) and patent signature tote (price on request), Versace. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-864- 0044. Brass triple ball cuff, Jennifer Fisher ($945). Barneys New York, 832 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305- 421-2010. Candy clutch ($850) and Lythe sandals ($1,195), Jimmy Choo. Village of Merrick Park, 358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables, 305-443- 6124. Woven raffia and leather Sicily bag, Dolce & Gabbana ($1,895). Bal Harbour Shops, 305-866-0503. Saffiano Galleria bag, Prada ($2,500). Miami Design District, 180 NE 40th St., 305-438-2280

    How times have changed. Back in 1982, I was walked to the roof of the old Senator Hotel by a seer. In the distance was the Atlantic in mid-morning reverie. Just below, though, was the slow-moving Ocean Drive foot traffic of the retired Northerners who’d made South Florida an easy punch line. But my guide, the legendary preservationist Barbara Capitman, saw something else: She rhapsodized about a place that would become a sizzling metropolis, a place of the chicest hotels, finest restaurants, and “most exclusive shops.” I remember thinking—as a lot of other non-visionaries did at the time—Don’t hold your breath.

    It seems Capitman, from her plush Art Deco armchair in the heavens, is having the last laugh. The metropolitan area’s well-documented arrival as an urban global player has brought the requisite upgrades to the local cultural, nightlife, and real-estate scenes. Now comes a renaissance within what was already home to a respectable collection—if not a surfeit—of designer shingles.

    Miami Worldcenter
    Renderings showing an aerial view of the 27-acre Miami Worldcenter.

    Miami’s retail construction and expansion, as foretold by the still unfolding metamorphosis of the Design District, will be led by Miami Worldcenter, a 27-acre mixed-use development downtown, in which a whopping 765,000 square feet are slated to be devoted to shopping. Anchored by Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, the behemoth will also be home to a host of top-drawer retailers. Its Seventh Street Promenade—open to pedestrian traffic only—will practically run from the AmericanAirlines Arena to the complex’s hotel and exposition space. The first phase of construction, set for next year, is expected to yield a $1 billion impact on the region.

    Merely a few hundred yards south, and adding 565,000 square feet of shopping and entertainment options to the area, will be Brickell City Centre. Lending verve to the Brickell financial district, the billion-dollar complex has snagged the posh Saks Fifth Avenue, sure to flood the Brickell Avenue sidewalks with “hers” Louboutin heels and “his” Gucci loafers. Fashion aside, the center is likely to make headlines with its trademarked and groundbreaking green “Climate Ribbon,” an elevated trellis connecting all Brickell City Centre entities and creating a pedestrian-friendly microclimate, otherwise known as a breeze.

    Taking stock of the competition, the venerable Bal Harbour Shops has embarked on a $300 million expansion, adding 350,000 square feet that will include some 20 tony boutiques and a theater. Not only will flagship Neiman Marcus grow larger, but an entirely new department store, Barneys New York, will launch among the palm fronds.

    Continuing its real-time awakening, the Miami Design District will shape the luxe-shopping landscape with an abundance of sophisticated retailers over the next year. Starting with Bulgari, slated for its opening this month, doors are scheduled to swing open next year at Christian Dior, Harry Winston, and Hermès, to name only a few. “By 2016, the Design District will boast over 100 international high-end retailers,” says real estate developer Craig Robins, a signal force in the district’s high-fashion ascent.


    Gohard gold leaf vase
    Featuring 22.5k gold leaves applied by hand at the prestigious Ateliers Gohard, the Gold Leaf Rayons vase is sold at Lalique for $50,000.

    Bal Harbour earns $2,555 per square foot in sales, making it number one in the world.

    It’s a far cry from the perfunctory up-market offerings that once would have been more than adequate for a city the size and makeup of Miami. Not anymore. Today’s bilingual and multilingual retail cognoscenti can spot a Vuitton knockoff a mile away. Just as they look for certain vintages where they dine, particular menu offerings at their spas, and, of course, spectacular ocean views in their local high-rise homes, so, too, do they expect—some would say demand—only the finest from a shopping experience.

    For nearly a half century, that experience has been the purview of the Bal Harbour Shops. With its koi-stocked ponds and exotic plants, the complex carved out a place in the hearts of everyone from the region’s old guard to its heady, English-as-a-second-language arrivistes. As longtime resident and public relations maven Amy Zakarin says, “It’s of the region. It’s authentic; it belongs in and to Miami.”

    Though the city has hardly outgrown the subtropical sophistication that has been a Bal Harbour signature, the rise of downtown and its new inhabitants inevitably has affected the where and how (and how-much) of shopping. The residents of towers on and off of Brickell Avenue may like their Porsches and Mercedeses, but many of them—relatively young, physically fit, and, perhaps most important, at ease on the sidewalks of New York, Paris, and Buenos Aires—don’t want to be fulltime slaves to internal combustion engines. Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, managing partner of Cervera Real Estate, sensed this shift coming several years ago when she stood on the sidewalk waiting for a Brickell light to change. “I looked around, and there were 10 other people,” she recalls with a laugh. “It used to be I was always alone. Now, of course, with all the new buildings, there are joggers and strollers—you name it.”

    Not that the international influx and the top-tier hotels catering to it hadn’t already had an impact on the number of designer names found in such places as the Design District. “Every time I’m in New York now, I say, ‘I can get that in Miami,’” says Zakarin. “I don’t know anyone who takes trips to New York just for shopping anymore.” Indeed, with stores like Barneys taking up occupancy at the Bal Harbour Shops, other Manhattan mainstays are poised to become Miami staples, as well.


    Graff Diamonds
    Sapphire and diamond Rhythm collection necklace with 19.25 carats of sapphires and 34.70 carats of diamonds, Graff (price on request). Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-993-1212

    But the developers of Miami’s billion-dollar, superluxe emporia emphasize that the additions to the retail cityscape won’t simply be cookie-cutter, glass-and-steel structures. Christopher Gandolfo, vice president of development for Swire Properties, the developer of Brickell City Centre, for example, is looking forward to the day when mall designers from around the world come to study the center’s exclusive climate- control system. For his part, Nitin Motwani, Miami Worldcenter’s managing principal and also the economic-development and marketing chair of the Miami Downtown Development Authority, revels in the idea of the complex “acting as a connector of downtown,” with its Metromover access: “We’re designing with the area in mind.”

    Attention to what makes Miami Miami is paramount for Bernard Zyscovich, who emphasizes that in updating and expanding Bal Harbour Shops, he and his team have “carefully taken into consideration type, scale, location, and character enhancements to this world-class retail destination.”

    Whether taking their cues from a luxury-shopping pioneer or creating one for another generation, the players who order up scaffolding and give the commands for more cranes to soar over the skyline are confident their timing is right. Debora Overholt, senior director of leasing for Brickell City Centre, points to the “solid” forces informing the current retail explosion. Those forces include new and potential homes rising into the sky such as SLS Lux and Brickell Heights; thriving after-office-hours activity at hot spots such as Cantina La Veinte and Segafredo; and top-tier hotels popping up in places once ghostly beyond 6 PM. As for concerns that the cavalcade of retailers in the pipeline could create a glut, Overholt counters, “As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.”

    What all the “boats” will have to offer today’s seen-it-all consumers is what stakeholders in the new retail developments frequently—or, more to the point, incessantly—refer to as the “total shopping experience.” In other words, there is a certain cachet to trading at, say, Dolce & Gabbana along the fashionable Avenue Montaigne or Fendi in the stratospheric reaches of Madison Avenue. As Craig Robins observes, “Seasoned international visitors and part-time residents from around the world have high expectations in regards to fashion and cultural destinations.”

    Brickell City Centre
    The billion-dollar Brickell City Centre.

    To help meet those elevated expectations, Miami’s power brokers have had to dig as deeply into their imaginations as into their pockets. The results have been by turns innovative and responsive to the changing rhythms of life in the metropolitan area.

    Developers of the sprawling Miami Worldcenter, for example, assert that it will be one of the nation’s largest private mixed-use construction projects. Encompassing 10 downtown blocks, it will help link up the Central Business District with the increasingly vibrant Arts & Entertainment District. “The magic of making Worldcenter is that—unlike other projects where people have worked with existing properties—we’re starting from scratch,” says Motwani. “We’re taking a lot of time to make sure we get it right.”

    Bal Harbour Shops has indisputably gotten it right from its debut in 1965. Patrons enjoy the ambler-friendly scale of this elegant arboretum-style complex and its reputation for quality service. So the pressure is on for the Zyscovich Architects firm as it devises the expansion of the venerable retail destination. “Our team’s proposed vision calls for enhancing its current lush, tropical landscaping and beautiful walkways and lighting,” says Bernard Zyscovich. With that third anchor store—added to stalwarts Neiman Marcus and Saks—and several boutiques in the works, a new pedestrian-welcoming façade will help maintain its manageability.

    If preserving a treasure is part of the Bal Harbour plan, creating one is on Swire Properties’ agenda with Brickell City Centre. As part of the emphasis on “experiencing” a visit to its sprawling shopping and entertainment space, the center will herald the US appearance of Mexico’s fine-dining cinema chain, Cinemex. Movie night there will include the cuisine of chef Mikel Alonso of Mexico City’s prized Biko restaurant.

    Roger Viver Sandals
    Limited-edition Rendez Vous Ombre sandal, Roger Vivier ($12,000). Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-868-4344

    Discerning international shoppers are likely to feel at home among the public spaces and art that have secured the Miami Design District’s place on the must-experience map. The 100 international designers set to open doors in this hip enclave over the next 12 months or so include Tom Ford, Piaget, Valentino, and Zegna.

    But the prevailing image of money-to-burn consumerism in the city’s throbbing heart—even as lunch mates at db Bistro chat about a new residential tower with a reported dozen-plus billionaires moving in—doesn’t always match reality. It’s not that simple, says Brickell City Centre’s Christopher Gandolfo. The savvy international consumer, Gandolfo contends, “is looking for value, not necessarily to throw away disposable income.”

    The value of keeping pace with the region’s seismic demographic shifts surely won’t be lost on such established players as Dadeland, Aventura Mall and, more recently, the Village of Merrick Park, in their own quests for a slice of Miami’s ever-more sophisticated residents and visitors.

    As philanthropist and inveterate shopper Yolanda Berkowitz muses, “Luxury consumers seek out the products they want, [so] all the players will have to step up their game. It’s win-win for everyone involved.” And if the luxury-shopping boom hoists Miami into the pantheon that already includes the likes of Paris and New York, well, as Berkowitz enthuses, “Yay for us!”


    Bernard Zyscovich, Bal Harbour Shops
    In its version of a mission statement, Zyscovich Architects trumpets the importance of “a sensibility to the defining cultural characteristics of the community.” Those are reassuring words to customers who, over time, have formed an almost proprietary relationship with Bal Harbour Shops.

    Still, architect Bernard Zyscovich, founder and CEO of the firm bearing his name, knows the scrutiny he’ll receive as he expands the shopping icon, which turns 50 in 2015. Yet, it’s the breadth of Zyscovich’s knowledge of cities worldwide that comes into play as the architect reimagines a local jewel. “Its consumer is, by definition, global and sophisticated,” he says. “In our research, aside from the highest-quality fashion offerings available in the world, we also found that people like to leisurely stroll and take in the natural ambience that is unique to the Bal Harbour Shops.”

    The already-bustling dining scene, too, will be buttressed, as Hillstone at Bal Harbour Shops vies for hungry luxury hunters.

    Nitin Motwani, Miami Worldcenter
    There’s an almost boyish excitement in Nitin Motwani’s voice as he describes a complex that will take Miami one step closer to its all-but-fated place in the luxury-shopping galaxy. But then, with the revitalization of downtown a year-round consuming passion, Motwani is understandably jubilant to be at the top of the team breathing life into Miami Worldcenter.

    “What’s really exciting is it’s not just us thinking it, it’s actually doing it,” says Motwani, managing principal of the center’s developer, as well as economic-development and marketing chair of the Downtown Development Authority. “It’s truly a humbling experience. I spend a lot of time focused on downtown, following the lead of so many prolifi c developers.”

    Among the things he’s learned from their example is the three R’s of urban viability: residents, restaurants, retail. His 27-acre Worldcenter will include all three. “The parks and sidewalks and how connected things will be to the cultural institutions—people will be amazed at how well it’s all been integrated.”

    Craig Robins, Miami Design District
    It’s tough to think about the Miami Design District without the name Craig Robins coming to mind. Yes, he’s the visionary who spotted the potential for greatness in what was once a lackluster neighborhood north of downtown. But he’s also continued a stewardship now defined by the pending arrival of scores of world-renowned designers over the next two years.

    The CEO and president of his own company, Dacra, Robins is reshaping the Design District’s image in the way he did that of the Art Deco District. The perception of the former took a leap toward the big time when designers under the sterling LVMH umbrella—including Vuitton and Dior—decided the time was right to be part of the Design District’s simmering—if not yet sizzling—urban frontier. “We’ve been able to become a solid world-luxury retail destination,” says Robins, “and our focus is to solidify that.” 

    Always impeccably turned out, Robins embodies the fashionable sensibility that has become the Design District’s identity. Leading retailers, he says, “have recognized that the neighborhood has taken on an interesting character— urban, authentic, sophisticated, and culturally engaged. In the past two years, we have welcomed Cartier, Céline, Prada, and [others] to the district, and there will be numerous additional brands launching in 2015,” including Tod’s and Miu Miu.

    From what Robins describes as a “nexus of commerce, creativity, and multiculturalism,” he contends a “Miami point of view” has emerged: “There’s a clear appreciation of quality, graciousness, and craft.”

    Debora Overholt, Brickell City Centre
    When Debora Overholt moved from Washington, DC, to Miami in 1999 to manage Dadeland Mall, she thought she’d be returning to the nation’s capital in a matter of a few years. “Back then,” she says, “it wasn’t easy to find someone in the organization to transfer to Miami.” Not anymore.

    Today, as the new Brickell City Centre’s senior director of leasing for retail, Overholt has a new attitude about a community she’s come to see as her home, bringing just the right mix of retail to the groundbreaking shopping complex. It helps that Brickell City Centre will be anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue. “One of the things I observed when I worked with Saks at Dadeland was how well it served the Latin American market,” she says. 

    The intelligence gleaned from her 15 years in South Florida tells Overholt that “in Miami, the consumer is more interested in the brand; there isn’t as much attention to the price of an item.” Still, she cautions, “You can’t just open your doors and expect people to walk in.”

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