The Best of Miami Fashion Week 2013 – Part One

By Phillip D. Johnson

Runway and Other Images photographed by Sheldon Baldie and Inta G. Waylett/Staff Photographers

Other Images Provided by Miami Fashion Week/A Sobol-Perry Fashion Production Inc. Event

Beth Sobol and Miami Fashion Week 2013 celebrated its 15th anniversary this past March by honoring Brazilian designer

Beth Sobol

Beth Sobol

Carlos Miele (www.carlosmiele.com.br who used the occasion to showcase his 2013 Fall/Winter collection otherwise seen during New York Fashion Week) with the International Designer of the Year Award for “his continued innovative vision and contributions to the fashion industry,” as well as presenting the collections of designers from over 25 countries (including Peru, Nigeria, Canada, Columbia, Israel, Pakistan, Brazil,  Trinidad & Tobago, Dubai, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Africa, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Jamaica, Ecuador, Venezuela, Algeria, Chile, West Indies, Bolivia) and the United States. Miami Fashion Week 2013 plays an important role in the international fashion week calendar because, with fashion having become a global entity in and of itself, it affords young designers in countries off-the-beaten path (and on-) to show their work in a very important marketplace (the United States) and gain some experience on the circuit. Rosa Clara (www.rosaclara.es) was also honored as the International Bridal Designer of the Year.

This year marks our most successful yet,” says Bethe Sobol, Founder and CEO of Miami Fashion Week. “Our relationships with the world’s most influential media, buyers and personalities are stronger than ever, allowing us to cultivate an ideal platform for these internationally recognized designers, while unveiling their latest collections to consumers. It is truly a celebration of emerging fashion, art, cuisine, music and style from across the globe.”

After-Party 2

SWIMWEAR

The three swimwear collections shown at Miami Fashion Week 2013 were all noteworthy and newsworthy. Tantrik Swimwear Collection by Cady Ann Brown (Jamaica) was fearless in her designs and I was most impressed in the way she incorporated the color of the Jamaican flag in her designs. ShaLaJa Swimwear by Shaquoya Jackson (USA) used metallics and multiple patterns to create a vibrant mosaic of beach beauty we can all appreciate. Sambarela by Katiuska Encarnacion, a Brazilian luxury swimwear brand created for fashion-forward bathing beauties, showed sophisticated designs in flower and optical prints as well as beauties in black & white.

Tantrik Swimwear Collection (Jamaica) (Photo Credit: Sheldon Baldie)

Tantrik Swimwear Collection (Jamaica) (Photo Credit: Sheldon Baldie)

Tantrik Swimwear Collection (Jamaica) (Photo Credit: Sheldon Baldie)

Tantrik Swimwear Collection (Jamaica) (Photo Credit: Sheldon Baldie)

Tantrik Swimwear Collection (Jamaica) (Photo Credit: Sheldon Baldie)

Tantrik Swimwear Collection (Jamaica) (Photo Credit: Sheldon Baldie)

Tantrik Swimwear Collection (Jamaica) (Photo Credit: Sheldon Baldie)

Tantrik Swimwear Collection (Jamaica) (Photo Credit: Sheldon Baldie)

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Happy Anniversary, MARTINI®: MARTINI®–THE ICONIC ITALIAN BRAND–CELEBRATES 150th ANNIVERSARY

Acclaimed brand salutes playful, stylish Italian MARTINI lifestyle with consumer party, limited edition vermouth, new sparkling wine packaging and commemorative label

Bacardi Limited is marking the 150th anniversary of its world-famous MARTINI brand, and with it, a century and a half of an unrivaled heritage that has made MARTINI the world’s leading vermouth and best-selling Italian sparkling wine. This milestone year showcases the brand’s iconic culture and defining association with stylish and playful Italian living. MARTINI is sharing the moment through retail exclusives, commemorative labels, refreshing cocktails and one-of-a-kind collaborations. One of the most iconic brands in the world, MARTINI is the leading name in Italian winemaking and a purveyor of the highest quality aromatized and sparkling wines. The MARTINI portfolio includes: MARTINI Bianco, MARTINI Rosato, MARTINI Rosso, MARTINI Extra Dry, MARTINI Asti, MARTINI Moscato d’Asti, MARTINI Prosecco, MARTINI Rosé, MARTINI Brut and MARTINI Royale.

Martini

Martini & Rossi was founded in 1863 by wine merchant Alessandro Martini, master winemaker and herbalist Luigi Rossi, and accountant Teofilo Sola. The company began by producing vermouths and later diversified into Italian sparkling wines. It soon became the internationally acclaimed, cosmopolitan Italian-drinks-and-lifestyle brand it is today.

MARTINI produced products far smoother, more sophisticated and consistent in taste than any previous aromatic wines. To this day, the recipes are closely guarded secrets, only known by four MARTINI Master Blenders. Each vermouth recipe contains more than 40 botanicals––a combination of specifically selected aromatic herbs, scented flowers, fragrant fruits, exotic woods, rare roots and spices from around the world––married into perfectly balanced liquids.

martini-and-rossi-vermouth

Since 1863, MARTINI has created exceptional drinks synonymous with “gioia di vivere” (joy of living), one filled with style, passion and the enthusiasm to live life to its fullest. MARTINI exudes a distinctly Italian mindset that has transcended beyond drinks to define an entire culture.

Bacardi, a family-owned company that recently marked its own 150th anniversary, acquired the Martini & Rossi Group in 1993. With this landmark acquisition, Bacardi doubled in size to become one of the world’s largest premium spirits companies.

As we celebrate the MARTINI 150th anniversary, we are so proud of the important role that this global and cultural icon has in the dolce vita lifestyle,” says Facundo L. Bacardi, Chairman of Bacardi Limited. “In reflecting on MARTINI’S rich history, we look forward to furthering the legacy of this remarkable brand to spirits consumers throughout the world.” Continue reading

Fashion Show Review: Dennis Basso 2013 Fall/Winter Collection

by Phillip D. Johnson

Runway Images provided by HL Group

The Dennis Basso 2013 Fall/Winter Collection shown at Lincoln Center this February marked the beginning of his celebrating 30 years in the fashion business– and what a glorious celebration it was. While he named style icons such as Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness, Millicent Rogers and CZ Guest— “All women who were not afraid of putting their personal signature on what they wore“– this was not an occasion of a designer looking back. This collection, with a multitude of favored (and present) clients and well-wishers looking on, was all about looking to the future and the greatness yet to come. The color palette, featuring shades of evergreen, French grey, tones of blue, sheer black, ivory and hints of chartreuse, was sophisticated and classy. There were metallic plaid on tweed, plaid sequins on chiffon, and plaid combined with embroidery in ivory and black on tulle. Lace, duchess satin, organza and washed velvets made up the bulk of the collection in deep box pleats and knee grazing skirts with fitted bodices. The touch of alligator leather (in form-fitting blazers) was edgy and fashion-forward.

Dennis Basso 2013 Fall-Winter Collection - Images Provided by HL Group

Dennis Basso 2013 Fall-Winter Collection – Images Provided by HL Group

Mr. Basso is known for his magnificent work with animal skins and this celebratory collection was chuck full of sumptuous jackets, capes and coats: sable coats, chinchilla sporty anorak coats, vented micro-sheared mink and broadtail with alligator detailing. Nothing here was over-the-top or less than perfect. The collection was a seamless mix of glamour and tailored sophistication that today’s modern women are looking for; and the best is yet come.

Dennis Basso 2013 Fall-Winter Collection - Images Provided by HL Group

Dennis Basso 2013 Fall-Winter Collection – Images Provided by HL Group

Dennis Basso 2013 Fall-Winter Collection - Images Provided by HL Group

Dennis Basso 2013 Fall-Winter Collection – Images Provided by HL Group

Dennis Basso 2013 Fall-Winter Collection - Images Provided by HL Group

Dennis Basso 2013 Fall-Winter Collection – Images Provided by HL Group

Dennis Basso 2013 Fall-Winter Collection - Images Provided by HL Group

Dennis Basso 2013 Fall-Winter Collection – Images Provided by HL Group

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Kenneth Cole Launches Limited-Edition Holiday 2013 Kinky Boots Collection

Fashion Designer and social activist, Kenneth Cole, is partnering with the Tony Award winning musical, Kinky Boots, on the launch of a limited-edition capsule shoe collection.  Arriving in stores this holiday season, 100% of net profits from the sale of the shoes will be donated to AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation in support of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).  Following consultation with Kinky Boots costume designer, Gregg Barnes, Kenneth Cole has also designed the red high heel pump featured in the opening act of the show.

Inspired by a true story and based on the Miramax motion picture written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth, in Kinky Boots, Charlie Price has suddenly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola. A fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he’s meant to be. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… and discovers that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

Kenneth Cole And Kinky Boots.  (PRNewsFoto/Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.)

Kenneth Cole And Kinky Boots. (PRNewsFoto/Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.)

With a Tony Award-winning score by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, a book by four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein, and direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots opened on Broadway on April 4, 2013 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, where it continues to play to standing-room-only crowds.  Kinky Boots took home six 2013 Tony® Awards, the most of any show this season, including Best Musical, Best Score (Cyndi Lauper), Best Choreography (Jerry Mitchell), Best Actor (Billy Porter), Best Orchestrations (Stephen Oremus), and Best Sound Design (John Shivers).  The show also received the Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Broadway.com Awards for Best Musical, along with many other accolades.

The collection features three styles:  a red patent leather peep-toe pump (also available in different color ways), as well as two versions of a knee-high boot – one in black and white leopard, and one in black patent —  both with red zipper detailing, and a red patent leather insole and heel. All three styles will feature a “Kinky Boots by Kenneth Cole” logo embossed on the sole. The Kinky Boots collection will retail from $150-$400 and will be sold at Kenneth Cole stores, www.Kennethcole.com, as well as select department stores in December.

Being the son of a women’s shoe factory owner, Kinky Boots resonated with me on so many different levels,” said Kenneth Cole.  “It was such an inspiring story, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to collaborate on a shoe collection that makes people look good, and do good by raising funds for HRC.”

AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation promotes, encourages and inspires meaningful social change, and supportsKENNETH COLE LOGO like-minded Change Agents and organizations to make a difference. The foundation also sell products and host events in support of their important causes. As part of each partnership, an AWEARNESS “Change Agent” is selected, and their story of social activism is highlighted to inspire others to get involved. These interviews and products can be seen on the AWEARNESS website www.awearness.com.

To support the collaboration, a designated area in front of the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street), will encourage passersby to try and win a pair of Kinky Boots tickets by following @kennethcoleprd and @kinkybootsbway and Instagraming a photo of their “kinky” shoes using #KCKinkyboots.

Additionally, a 20% shopping discount will be extended to any customer presenting a Kinky Boots ticket stub at Kenneth Cole

Kenneth Cole logo.  (PRNewsFoto/Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.)

Kenneth Cole logo. (PRNewsFoto/Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.)

stores nationwide.  Finally, the brand will dedicate its West Side Highway billboard during the month of October to the Kinky Boots collaboration.

Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. designs, sources and markets a broad range of footwear, handbags, apparel and accessories under the brand names Kenneth Cole, Kenneth Cole Reaction, and Unlisted, as well as footwear under the proprietary trademark Gentle Souls. The Company has also granted a wide variety of third party licenses for the production of men’s and women’s apparel, as well as fragrances, watches, jewelry, eyewear and several other accessory categories. The Company’s products are distributed through department stores, better specialty stores, company-owned retail stores and its e-commerce website. Further information can be found at http://www.kennethcole.com.

Stuart Weitzman’s Fall 2013 Advertising Campaign Inspired by Kate Moss’s Street Style

Art imitates life in Stuart Weitzman’s Fall 2013 ad campaign, as fashion icon Kate Moss serves as both the face and the muse. The styling of the dramatic black and white images, photographed by Mario Testino, aims to mirror Moss’s effortless signature look. Moss, who debuted as the face of the Stuart Weitzman brand in the Spring 2013 ad campaign, was chosen because of her unparalleled status as a global style icon.

Kate Moss Fronts Stuart Weitzman's Fall 2013 Advertising Campaign.  (PRNewsFoto/Stuart Weitzman)

Kate Moss Fronts Stuart Weitzman’s Fall 2013 Advertising Campaign. (PRNewsFoto/Stuart Weitzman)

In the world of Stuart Weitzman, “sexy” means being comfortable and confident in your own skin, and the campaign captures this essence in a natural, classic, chic way while clearly showcasing the new season’s lust-worthy boot styles.

Stuart Weitzman Holdings LLC, a global leader in designer footwear, operates 44 retail stores across the United States, including New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Boston and Las Vegas.  The company also has 49 international stores and is sold in more than 70 countries. A luxury brand built upon the idea of creating a beautifully constructed shoe, founder and designer Stuart Weitzman’s main objective has always been to merge fashion and function. The first thing a women puts on in the morning and the last thing she takes off at night, his shoes are designed to feel as good as they look and to look as good as they feel.

Kate Moss Fronts Stuart Weitzman's Fall 2013 Advertising Campaign.  (PRNewsFoto/Stuart Weitzman)

Kate Moss Fronts Stuart Weitzman’s Fall 2013 Advertising Campaign. (PRNewsFoto/Stuart Weitzman)

While Moss’s style has been inspirational and aspirational for years, her edgy aesthetic resonates now more than ever as fall runways teemed with 90s-inspired looks reminiscent of her personal style. Since Moss was an originator of this aesthetic, Stuart Weitzman decided to use her “perfectly imperfect look” as the creative inspiration for the campaign. From her trademark shaggy furs, to fitted blazers, to cut-off shorts, to hip all-black ensembles, Moss’s must-haves are perfect pairings for Weitzman’s trademark boots. The fall campaign showcases in-demand trends, including thigh-highs, lace-up combat boots and menswear-inspired Chelsea boots. Also featured is the brand’s iconic 5050 over-the-knee boot, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this Fall season.

I enjoyed working with Stuart Weitzman again this season to showcase his fabulous fall boots,” said Kate Moss. “Shooting the campaign with Mario is always fun and, with such a great team, it really doesn’t feel like work.”

The international advertising campaign will launch in September in the United States, Italy, France, Canada, Dubai, Germany, Spain and Asia. Outdoor advertising (billboards and kiosks) will run in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Milan and Paris. Behind-the-scenes video and additional creative content will be featured on www.stuartweitzman.com and in Stuart Weitzman boutiques worldwide. A short film featuring Kate Moss in an engaging multi-channel campaign will also launch in conjunction with advertising to maximize social activation worldwide.

Stuart Weitzman is a division of The Jones Group Inc. (NYSE: JNY)

 

New York City AIDS Memorial Reaches $4 Million Fundraising Goal

Generous Support from Public & Private Sectors Will Finance Memorial’s Design & Construction

 

The New York City AIDS Memorial‘s Board of Directors (http://nycaidsmemorial.org) announced that the organization has reached its initial goal of $4 million to finance the design and construction of the new memorial, which will be located in the planned St. Vincent’s Hospital Park at the intersection of West 12th Street and Greenwich Avenue in the West Village neighborhood.  The memorial will honor the 100,000+ New Yorkers who have died from AIDS, celebrate the caregivers and activists who fought against it, and educate current and future generations about the history of the AIDS crisis and the ongoing struggle to defeat the disease.

The New York City AIDS Memorial will feature an 18-foot steel canopy as the dramatic gateway to the new St. Vincent's Hospital Park in the West Village neighborhood.  For more information or to support the memorial, visit http://nycaidsmemorial.org.  Rendering: a2t for studio a+i.  (PRNewsFoto/New York City AIDS Memorial)

The New York City AIDS Memorial will feature an 18-foot steel canopy as the dramatic gateway to the new St. Vincent’s Hospital Park in the West Village neighborhood. For more information or to support the memorial, visit http://nycaidsmemorial.org. Rendering: a2t for studio a+i. (PRNewsFoto/New York City AIDS Memorial)

The memorial has received two allocations in the recently-approved 2014 New York City capital budget.  New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who was responsible for brokering the deal for the memorial’s location within her council district and shepherding the project through the City’s approval process, secured $1.5 million towards the project.  Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, the first elected official to publicly support the project, secured an additional $1 million in City capital funds.

Private-sector donations totaling more than $1.5 million include generous support from The Arcus Foundation, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The M·A·C AIDS Fund, The Elton John AIDS Foundation, The Calamus Foundation, and The Keith Haring Foundation.  The memorial has also received a significant donation from Lenox Hill Hospital, which will operate a new 24-hour emergency care center and neighborhood medical facility in the O’Toole Building, which sits immediately adjacent to the new park and memorial.

We are thrilled to reach our initial $4 million goal of fundraising and create a lasting memorial for our community that will become a true New York City landmark,” said Keith Fox, President, New York City AIDS Memorial Board of Directors.  “We are grateful beyond words to our donors, who are true heroes.  Their support is essential in preserving the history of the impact of AIDS on our city, and educating future generations as we work to realize the promise of an AIDS-free generation.”

The memorial project was launched in 2011 by urban planners Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterborn to recognize and preserve the history of the AIDS crisis through the creation of a memorial to honor New York City’s 100,000+ men, women and children who have died from AIDS, and to commemorate and celebrate the efforts of the caregivers and activists who responded heroically to the crisis.  Their efforts evolved into the New York City AIDS Memorial organization The two young urban planners, who have never known a world without AIDS, launched a grassroots campaign to create the memorial in 2011.  Nearly 500 architects from around the world submitted designs for the memorial during an ideas competition held in late 2011, sponsored by Architectural Record and Architizer and displayed at the AIA’s Center for Architecture. The jury, chaired by Michael Arad, designer of the National September 11th Memorial, selected a winning design by Brooklyn-based architectural firm studio a+i. After the New York City Council designated a site for the memorial in March 2012, the New York City AIDS Memorial organization continued to work with the original team of architects to finalize the design.

The memorial will feature an 18-foot steel canopy as the dramatic gateway to the new park, as well as a central granite fountain, benches and a paving surface carved with educational and commemorative text. The text will be curated by a team of historians, artists, community members and activists led by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner.

With initial fundraising goals met to cover the memorial’s capital costs, the organization will now focus on raising additional funds for the memorial’s ongoing maintenance as well as funds for public and educational programming, including a significant virtual exhibit to renew the fight against AIDS.  Construction of the memorial is scheduled to begin in 2014 and slated for completion by late 2015.

Speaker Quinn said, “I thank all who have generously contributed in any way to fund this important asset for our community and City.  This memorial will connect existing generations of New Yorkers with their history and help inspire a new generation of young people to become active in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS, which is still ravaging so many of our communities in all five boroughs of the City.”

Borough President Stringer said, “When it is completed, the AIDS Memorial will be an important place of reflection for so many of us who lost loved ones and friends–and it will also be a reminder to future generations that New York City must be forever vigilant when it comes to protecting the health and well-being of our residents.”

John Gupta, Executive Director of Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat of Lenox Hill Hospital and its Center for Comprehensive Care, said, “As we bring vital health care services to this storied neighborhood, we honor the unique importance of this site to the history of the AIDS crisis and to the many caregivers who came before us to serve the needs and health of this community. We’re extremely pleased to contribute $100,000 to the Memorial. Having been recently recognized as a ‘Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality’ by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, we look forward to working with the New York City AIDS Memorial organization to continue to develop educational programming to renew the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

To learn more about the memorial or to make a donation, visit http://nycaidsmemorial.org.

For more information about the New York City AIDS Memorial, visit http://nycaidsmemorial.org, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCAIDSMemorial and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AIDSMemPark.

 

SEASON FOUR OF THE GREAT FOOD TRUCK RACE HITS THE ROAD

WITH FRESH CAST OF FOOD TRUCK HOPEFULS AND LANDMARK-FILLED, LONGEST ROUTE IN SERIES HISTORY

Hosted by Tyler Florence, Cross-Country Culinary Road Trip’s Fourth Season Premieres Sunday, August 18th at 9pm ET/PT

The Great Food Truck Race kicks off season four with a brand-new cast of food truck hopefuls, who hit the road for the longest route in series history (4,181 miles) and exciting culinary challenges that celebrate the country’s national landmarks from the Hollywood sign to South Dakota’s Crazy Horse Memorial to Chicago’s iconic Buckingham Fountain to the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.

The Great Food Truck Race Teams (Left - Right starting at the top):  Tikka Tikka Taco , Murphy’s Spud Truck, Philly’s Finest Sambonis, and Bowled and Beautiful

The Great Food Truck Race Teams (Left – Right starting at the top left): Tikka Tikka Taco , Murphy’s Spud Truck, Philly’s Finest Sambonis, and Bowled and Beautiful

The Great Food Truck Teams (Left - Right starting at the top left): The Slide Show,  Frankfootas (New York), Aloha Plate (Los Angeles, Maui and Oahu, Hawaii), and Boardwalk Breakfast Empire.

The Great Food Truck Teams (Left – Right starting at the top left): The Slide Show, Frankfootas (New York), Aloha Plate (Los Angeles, Maui and Oahu, Hawaii), and Boardwalk Breakfast Empire.

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