FROM LEFT: The Ocean Drive team in Miami Beach; and in New York
When Ocean Drive magazine was born 20 years ago, no one suspected that an oversize, black-and-white publication would become the glossy, international calling card it is today—and its success is owed to our staff. Many have come and gone, but in honor of all our employees over the years, the current team (some of whom have been here from the start) share their most memorable Ocean Drive moments:
Susan Abrams, associate publisher: In January 1993, everyone in every café had a copy of the magazine delivered to them by a beautiful girl on Rollerblades. We were so excited to be the chronicler of all that is fresh, new, and exciting in our city.
Michele Addison, associate publisher: My aha moment was the three-year Ocean Drive anniversary party on Fisher Island—one of the best events Miami has ever seen to date! Jack Nicholson, Niki Taylor, Steven Tyler, Cindy Crawford, and Oliver Stone all partied with us!
Lana Bernstein, vice president of marketing and public relations: During the 2007 Super Bowl, we produced the mega Ocean Drive Village on the Sand, right on the beach. There were football games, celebs and athletes relaxing in our glass house, and a $3 million concert headlined by Jennifer Lopez—it was the hottest ticket in town.
Ana Blagojevic, sales assistant: Working at Ocean Drive not only gave me a second family, but also an opportunity to work closely with Best Buddies, a great organization that we support.
Laurie Brookins, fashion director: I’ve been lucky to share so many moments. The standout memory, though, is Karl Lagerfeld in The Raleigh penthouse in May 2008, when he debuted the Chanel Cruise collection there. The day before the show, he had the biggest smile on his face; his joy at being in South Beach was palpable, and it was lovely to be a part of that.
Cristina Cabielles, sales assistant: Being welcomed into the Ocean Drive family just in time for its 20th-birthday celebration is a dream come true!
Michelle Chala, account executive: At our 2007 Super Bowl party, I watched Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, and Fergie perform. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were all cuddled up flirting on the side of the stage—best party ever!
Brianna Corrado, sales and business coordinator: While compiling our past magazine covers for last month’s 20-year retrospective, I was amazed at how many of our cover stars had gone on to great fame.
Josephine Cusumano, research editor: I loved working on our Elettra Wiedemann cover story (April 2012). I’m a big fan of Isabella Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman, so it was great to learn about their family legacy.
Asha Elias, account executive: For the Ocean Drive Village in the Sand in 2007, we erected gifting suites, a beach volleyball tournament, and an oceanfront concert—it was unquestionably the place to be that February.
Dina Friedman, national account director: One of my favorite experiences was back in 2005 when MTV’s Video Music Awards came to Miami and partnered with Ocean Drive magazine on a kickoff party hosted by Jamie Foxx.
Adriana Garcia, art director: Our parties are legendary, but some of the best moments have happened in the Ocean Drive offices. Whether we were hosting puppy costume fashion shows or going on company beach days, no day has ever been predictable.
Bill Kearney, acting editor-in-chief: I spotted a father and young son reading a story I’d written about fishing at night in Biscayne Bay. It felt good to give them something to share on a sunny afternoon.
Courtland Lantaff, publisher: I had the privilege of meeting Muhammad Ali at our office. To have one of the most famous people ever come in to our little magazine showed the power of the brand we all help build.
Jackie Mailhe, public relations and events director: The first time I traveled out of Miami International Airport and saw the lights of The Shoppes at Ocean Drive airport store, I got goose bumps.
Jennifer Pagan, photo editor: Working on last month’s anniversary retrospective gave me such insight into OD’s rich history. As I combed through all those photos, I knew I was part of something special.
Cristina Parra, public relations and events coordinator: The energy at our 18th-anniversary party was incredible, especially when Pharrell Williams and Enrique Iglesias showed up.
Ken Rivadeneira, senior managing editor: At OD’s 13th-anniversary afterparty at Mansion, Paris Hilton said I was hot. It was like being knighted by the queen of pop culture.
Barbara Shale, production manager: The number one memory of my 18 years at OD is of when the crew of The Real World: Miami followed us around the office for three months.
Lauren Shapiro, national account director: When traveling in Rome last summer, I told a restaurant owner I worked at Ocean Drive. “Everyone knows Ocean Drive!” he said. I felt so proud to be a part of that legacy.
Omar Sommereyns, assistant editor: When Olivier Martinez had an unfortunate scrap last November, national media outlets picked up on a cover story I’d written about him in which he talked about his past as a boxer—a testament to
Julia Steiner, copy editor: The first OD event I attended (the ’06 anniversary party), Seal performed an acoustic set, and I remember aerialists on trapezes and performers wearing headdresses with actual burning candles in them weaving throughout the space....
Pelayo Vigil, office assistant from Best Buddies: One of my favorite moments was when I got to meet Pitbull at the Univision studio.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CORKY BUCZYK (NYC); JESS SWANSON (MIAMI)