Events / Insights

Pharrell Williams Launches a Liqueur

The Miami resident and rapper unveiled his new drink, Qream, at LIV.

October 04, 2011

Pharrell Williams—the sometimes-Miamian who rests his shiny kicks in Ugo Colombo’s former penthouse digs at Brickell’s Bristol Tower—launched a new liqueur at LIV cleverly named Qream. Rolling in an hour late, wearing shorts (David Grutman let him in?), the superstar musician/ entrepreneur led a private tasting of the strawberry-flavored ladies-focused concoction, pausing only occasionally to trade good-natured barbs with thick-skinned Diageo reps as TV reporters like NBC Miami’s Sharon Lawson clamored and swooned. Pharrell, fittingly smart, funny and cool, explained that the libation’s vibe and bottle design were inspired by the legendary Marie Antoinette. The afterparty featured hundreds of women (by design), including perky social-media maven Bette Ann Schlossberg, with trays of Qream served by towering white-toothed male models ready to please.

By Dirk DeSouza


W South Beach Turns Two

Theophilus London tore up the stage at the hotel's birthday fête.

September 26, 2011

The W South Beach, that gleaming oceanfront jewel that makes some of the adjacent properties look downright forlorn by comparison, celebrated two years on the scene with a whiz-bang poolside performance by red-hot rapper/ singer/noisemaker Theophilus London. He didn’t disappoint—not even close—tearing through track after track with smiles for miles and that superstar charisma few possess. An American flag draped behind his riser was a killer touch, indicating to the crowd—including Purdy Tran, Joshua Bailer, Zac Courtney and Dustin Heil—that this Trinidadianto-Brooklyn import is indeed one of us.





   Theophilus London at the W South Beach

By Dirk DeSouza


Up Late: "Barely Private" Exhibit

Casa Tua hosts the provocative photography show featuring the likes of Drew Barrymore and Kat Fonseca.

September 08, 2011

No Miami Beach summer is verifiably complete unless a world-famous photographer stages an intimate soirée at a members-only club. Sante D’Orazio’s “Barely Private” photography exhibition at Casa Tua debuted to agape mouths. Casa Tua owner Miky Grendene and the artist had scattered about enormous print works featuring Kat Fonseca, Drew Barrymore and Pamela Anderson in various stages of artsy undress. The party upstairs was certainly the spot to be, not only for the bubbly but for the social buzz. On hand? Purdy Tran, Joshua Bailer, Leticia Grendene, Tom Sullivan, D’Orazio himself and photographer Hugo Lopez.

—Dirk DeSouza


Up Late: The Scandi Party

Matthew Miceli brings a bit of Sweden to Vizcayne.

September 05, 2011

Nicolas Intriago, Micke Pravda and Andy Krasnansky at the Scandi Party at Vizcayne

Rounding out the summer, Scandinavia won over the hearts and minds of Miami for at least five hours on the pool deck of Vizcayne, the monstrous condominium project abutting Biscayne Boulevard near Bayside. The occasion? The Scandi Party, masterminded by Matthew Miceli, he of Stockholm and lover of Absolut, Saabs and blondes. A veritable Swedish lovefest ensued, anchored by vodka and meatballs and water views, with DJ Jason Vernau spinning house music that could be heard for blocks. Speaking of blondes, the sheer number of towheaded hostesses greeting guests was mind-boggling, like a wormhole to a faraway universe non-brunette enough to short-circuit Tiger Woods. And me.

—Dirk DeSouza


Up Late: Bulgari Trunk Show

The Roman brand channels a Mediterranean Eden in Coral Gables.

September 02, 2011

Eva Hughes, Maria Michella Zarillo and Carolina Lanao

Bulgari, the Rome-based purveyor of jewels, bags and misty, nape-applied concoctions that smell very, very nice, rolled into Miami to debut its new jewelry collection, Mediterranean Eden; its Fall/Winter 2011 accessories collection; and Mon Jasmin Noir, a tasty yet civilized new fragrance. Guest Alison Brungart marveled as hostess Daniela Frewa choreographed quite the evening of excess—Champagne effervescing aside a lagoon-inspired pool, a table for 40 VIPs, impossibly beautiful white floral centerpieces, outrageously colored jewels and intricate handbags as far as the eye could see. Did I mention the party was in a $19 million, boutique-hotel-size waterfront house on Arvida Parkway in Gables Estates? I probably didn’t have to.

—Dirk DeSouza


Up Late: Virgin Atlantic Anniversary

Sir Richard Branson and cover girl Karolina Kurkova celebrate Virgin Atlantic’s 25th anniversary.

August 23, 2011

Sir Richard Branson and cover girl Karolina Kurkova partnered with the aquatic speed demons at Cigarette Racing to celebrate Virgin Atlantic’s 25th anniversary of flying its swanky London-to-Miami route. Sir Richard’s legendary daredevil prowess proved handy as he and Kurkova engaged in a cops-and-robbers-style chase around Biscayne Bay with a hundred or so bemused onlookers surveying the high jinks from the luxuriously white and red digs of the Mondrian’s Rhode Island-size pool deck. The Miami Vice theme song blared while the apparently naughty Kurkova was apprehended off Star Island, handcuffed, then hoisted on a shoulder by Sir Richard, who was media-savvy enough to jump into the Mondrian’s pool, soaking her and causing a flurry of photos and a chorus of laughter. Later that evening, the Virgin road show decamped to The Raleigh, where Branson wowed the crowd, fireworks blasting, band blaring (exceptionally performed covers, anyone?) and vodka flowing, as the throngs realized that they were in the presence not of another South Beach carnival clown, but an actual billionaire.

—Dirk DeSouza


No Party Like a Tree House Party

Jeremy Waks' woodwork den of debauchery debuts.

April 19, 2011

Sky Dawn and Andrea Biter at Treehouse  

On 23rd Street—overtaking the back-in-the-day Groovejet Lounge space—debuted the Jeremy Waks-owned Tree house Miami, a wooden-clad three-roomed party box, brimming with hotties, sound and enough libations floating around to kill Jabba the Hutt. Barn-like olfactory overload aside, it was a killer crowd packing the rafters, dancing, singing, smoking and drinking as if their very lives depended on it. Welcome to paradise, right?

—Dirk DeSouza


Wild Tea Party

Absolut celebrates the release of Absolut Wild Tea at Arkadia.

April 12, 2011

Elsa Remoy Hodt, Karolina Lundberg, Valerie Wigardt, Dudu Dias, Tiago Cesar and Anna Jackson-White at the
Absolut Wild Tea launch at Arkadia

The preposterously radiant, sun-kissed tag team of Valerie Wigardt and Karolina Lundberg held center couch at the Absolut Wild Tea launch at Arkadia. Wild Tea, for the uninitiated, doesn’t remotely resemble anything Lipton currently has on the market. No, with soda and lemon, it’s sultry enough to get 400 VIPs to that happy place, all amid soulful house music, snappy photographers, bonsai-haired geishas and spine-defying contortionists. On hand? David Schultz, Leilani Toivanen, Ina Stamatina and Hugh Burkett.


Mondrian Model Soiree

Wilhelmina's genetically blessed roster invades Sunset Lounge.

April 05, 2011

Karla Acevedo, Jorge Urena, Pamela Burgos, Johnny Sibilly and Nalani Ravelo at the Mondrian South Beach

Wilhelmina Models, purveyors of the world’s top-tier, one-in-a-million genetic specimens, took over Sunset Lounge at the Mondrian South Beach for a seasonkickoff soirée loaded with six-footers of all flavors, sundry New York VIPs and local hangers-on of various ilks. Though there was nary a glass of wine in sight (models prefer the buzz-to-calorie ratio of vodka, apparently), trays of cheese, bread and meats floated in from the sidelines, eagerly scarfed down by the Others. Giggles, laser stares (though not of the “blue steel” variety) and the occasional dance move provided a good-time texture. Milling about were Erin Lucas, Beth Studenberg and stunners Karen Carreno, Anne Marie Kortright, Carly Engleton and Reanna Spaulding.

—Dirk DeSouza


Audemars Piguet Makes Time for Good

The luxe watch brand celebrates a partnership with Miami's Baptist Hospital Foundation.

March 22, 2011

Luxury timepiece house Audemars Piguet recently announced a five year partnership with Miami’s own Baptist Hospital Foundation of Baptist Health South Florida.

The collaboration, which also marks Audemars Piguet as the official timekeeper of Baptist Hospital of Miami, was fêted with an invitation-only dinner organized by Bryan Johnson Events.

Lourdes Jofre-Collet, a constant on the healthcare and visual arts philanthropy scene, hosted the event, where Audemars Piguet president and CEO Francois-Henry Bennahmias was honored, at the private residence of Roger and Armida Jaar. Guests included Rita Cabases, Gordon Myers, Carole and Oscar Seikaly.

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