Closet Confidential: 5 Miamians and Their Fashion Obsessions
BY KATHLEEN BECKETT
The Supergas Stockpiler: Keith Menin
Unless he is attending a formal, black-tie affair, South Beach resident and dapper man-about-town Keith Menin, 31, wears one, and only one, kind of shoe, no matter where, no matter what, no matter when: the Superga sneaker. “I went to Cuba with a very good friend from New York, who had bought a pair in Italy. He wore them everywhere, with everything— with jeans, shorts, bathing suits, to dinner. They are so cool. When I arrived back in the States, I bought my very first pair.”
The Superga may come in different colors—a muted beige or a bright blue, or even the pink ones model Alexa Chung, who appears in the ads celebrating the Italian label’s 100th anniversary, prefers. But Menin only wears the straightforward and simple white version. “I love a fresh, clean, classy white sneaker.” And he has a game plan to be sure he keeps them so: washing them at the first sign of a smudge, and just in case that’s not enough, he always has a few new unworn pairs on hand. At latest count, that means as many as 60 total—all exactly the same style and the same color. “I have a pretty big closet,” he adds. “I’ll buy three or four new pairs at a time.” If he’s traveling anywhere on business, “I’ll just grab three and go.”
Not only does Menin like the look of the Superga, he also likes the way they feel. “They’re super-comfortable.” Which is important in his job, as a principal in Menin Hotels (which runs the Sanctuary, the Bentley, and the Shelborne hotels in South Beach, and the Raffaello in Chicago). “I’m on my feet a lot, as long as 17 hours a day. I have to run all over the properties, welcoming guests, overseeing staff, checking out the rooms. It’s nonstop.” But even in his afterwork hours, he reaches for the Supergas. He’s so enamored with the brand, he even purchased them for all the valets and bellmen at his hotels (in gray, however—“the white would get too dirty”). Chances are they, unlike Menin, own only a pair or two.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Menin wants to spread the joy even further—by broadening Superga’s retail presence. He already has a pilot boutique, GuyandGirl, in the Shelborne South Beach on Collins Avenue, where visitors from far and wide can experience the good looks, comfort, and style of the sneaker, for men and women alike, in every conceivable color. The price of perfection: well under 100 bucks.
The Fine Jewelry Collector: Elizabeth Kane Beracasa
My husband Alfredo and I love to buy jewelry,” says Elizabeth Kane Beracasa of Brickell Key and Caracas. Within limits: As serious collectors, their choices aren’t just coups de foudre, but informed additions, selected with an educated eye toward amassing pieces representing what a jewelry house is best known for. “Van Cleef & Arpels invented the invisible setting (now called their ‘Mystery Setting’), where you don’t see the prongs holding the stone,” Kane Beracasa explains. “So I have ruby Van Cleef Mystery-set earrings.” Cartier, she says, stands out for its “colored stones.” A whopping 23-carat yellow- diamond ring was added to represent the best of Cartier. Of the more than four dozen pieces in her growing collection, Kane Beracasa says that half are significant enough to be considered investments (although she would never part with them).
The Beracasas’ passion seems to run in the family. “In the 1960s, Bulgari made a solid-gold minaudière with diamond clasps,” Kane Beracasa says. “There were only three made, and Alfredo’s father acquired one of them, which Alfredo then bought from the family collection and gave to me.” The Bulgari bag is one of the rarest treasures in her collection. But it is hardly the most extravagant piece. She also owns a 32-carat diamond necklace, a 12-carat ruby ring, 18-carat diamond earrings, and a gold Rolex GMT Master watch with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds.
The Beracasas understand what makes a piece of jewelry not just a “wow,” but a truly appreciable asset, thanks to a course Kane Beracasa enrolled in more than 15 years ago at Sotheby’s in London. “It was more for the trade than the consumer,” she explains. “We learned a lot about the history of jewelry and jewelry-making,” as well as the heritage of all the big jewelry houses.
Sotheby’s is just one source for Kane Beracasa’s remarkable collection. There’s Christie’s in New York, and the Seybold Building in Miami (“Ten stories of jewelry!” she exclaims). Also, there is travel. When Kane Beracasa was in Turkey, she had a field day in the markets. “I purchased a necklace with big green and blue glass beads in the Grand Bazaar for $8. I love to mix it with my other pieces, like the blue Chopard watch and a pair of blue Marina B aquamarine and diamond earrings.” When she is not wearing the jewels, they are stored in safes at home and at the bank. Well, maybe not the $8 Turkish necklace. “But you know,” she says, “sometimes I like the inexpensive trinkets as much as the others.”
The Textile Queen: Adrienne Bon Haes
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PRESSCOTT MCDONALD