May 24, 2017
By Becky Randel | December 22, 2016 | Style & Beauty
Adios, boring bellman uniforms! Coconut Grove's first new condo in over a decade has couture uniforms created by one of the country's top design duos.
Husband-and-wife design team Isabel and Ruben Toledo.
As you pull into Grove at Grand Bay—the new Bjarke Ingels-designed condominium from David Martin’s Terra Group, you may notice the valet looking uniquely stylish in a short-sleeved motorcycle jacket, or perhaps you’ll be struck by the receptionist’s pretty linen shirtdress or the concierge’s chic indigo ensemble. These outfits are the work of designers Isabel and Ruben Toledo, the duo behind some of Michelle Obama’s most famous looks.
“The collaboration helps [me convey] to my customers and clients that not only am I working with great architecture, but that good design is all-encompassing,” Martin says of his decision to work with the pair. The Toledos created custom-fit outfits for every employee, from the pool boy to the parking attendants. “These are the un-uniform uniforms,” says Ruben. “It was really key that they didn’t feel institutional,” Isabel adds. “I wanted them to be harmonious with the space, and yet have an identifier so that I know I can ask this person a question.”
The couple was inspired by the inventive architecture of the twisting towers and the “big panoramic views,” particularly of the ocean and the lush grove, which ultimately led to the collection’s color palette of sand tones, blues, and grays with green piping. The building’s shape also influenced the actual construction of the collection.
“Isabel always takes into account the sides, how seams travel through the body,” says Ruben. “The whole thing has a very mod, futuristic feeling.” The developer couldn’t be happier with the result. “You want people to have an emotional connection to their home,” says Martin. “And anything we can do to further that makes the owners—and the employees—feel happy and excited.” 2665 S. Bayshore Dr., Coconut Grove, 305-929-8646
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBIN HILL (GROVE AT GRAND BAY); COURTESY OF ISABEL & RUBEN TOLEDO (TOLEDO); IMAGE BY TERRA (SKETCH)