Ocean Drive contributor Joyce Chehebar, Ines, Univision host and fashion expert Rodner Figueroa and Quintessentially’s events director, Edison Lozada
Ines Rivero strides with athletic femininity into The Setai’s penthouse, wearing a sheer white blouse, half a dozen swaying strands of pearls and a short gray skirt featuring a subtle leopard print. She brings it all together with aquablue stilettos. A clutch of Latin editors and PR women immediately greets her as she is handed a glass of Champagne (we’ve been invited by Bulgari to peruse their Fall 2010 accessories collection). Once the kiss-kiss-hug-hug dust settles, I introduce myself. “Where’s your drink?” she asks bluntly. She’s dead serious. With that, my flimsy veneer of professionalism is dashed and I do as she suggests. I soon find out she’s a very busy girl as of late, running around Ecuador for the past 10 days, planning earth-friendly renovations on one of boyfriend Ernesto Estrada’s water-packaging plants and enjoying the Galápagos. In short order we’re on the balcony chatting with best buddy Hernan Arriaga (a fellow Argentine) about the proliferation of shrinks in Buenos Aires and the merits of chakras in the betterment of the self.
We sit down to the Bulgari dinner. “I’m flying out to Mexico on Sunday to meet my family,” she says. I’m thinking Mom and Pop and maybe a sibling. “All my cousins are going to be there. There are 22 of us.” I introduce her to Edison Lozada, to my right. They recognize each other and are soon off to the races about the pending Soho Beach House Miami. “I just want a club where I don’t have to worry about a fat old man hitting on me with his four-inch-deep chest hair,” she says. “Oh, my God,” says Edison, pleased. “She did not just say that.”
After dessert we debate the merits of going out. It’s between shots at Club Deuce, cocktails at the W’s Living Room or Ines’ actual living room. She decides on her casa and brings Edison, Hernan and his boyfriend, Fábio Lopes, along.
There’s a soccer ball on the lawn, ivy growing over the Neoclassical architecture and a dock in the back on Biscayne Bay. Inside it’s eclectic elegance with an emphasis on big, comfy couches. Ernesto and a buddy from Ecuador play guitar to whatever streams through the iPod as Ines plays hostess, with ample spiced rum and single-malt Scotch. Dave Matthews’ “Crash Into Me” comes over the stereo. Ernesto strums. Ines’ singing is smoky and precise—a small performance for her guests. Next she’s dancing to Bowie. After another Scotch it’s time to bid my farewells. She’s talking about getting up early and going paddleboarding for the first time. Busy girl. There’s no way that’s happening, I think.
The next evening I text her to see if I missed anything crazy. I get a text back: WENT TO THE BEACH AND TRIED PADDLEBOARDING, YAY! Like I said, busy girl.
TOP: With longtime friend and interior designer Hernan Arriaga