Miami’s South Beach has long been synonymous with sex appeal—and we don’t mean the string bikini variety, per se. The South Beach of today is a mecca of cool – from the food and the shopping to the beaches and the nightlife — and the city’s biggest cultural event, Art Basel, has blossomed into something far bigger than an art fair.
Art Basel Miami has become one of the must-attend events on the cultural calendar of the international jet-set, attracting thousands of visitors to the fair’s contemporary art and design exhibits. Elaborate fetes are held throughout the week, and the well-heeled make strategic investments in new art while the style set arrive in droves to take in the scene. This week offers opportunities to hear Kanye West discuss art, watch Kendrick Lamar perform in a castle, drink bubbly at a champagne bash hosted by Jeff Koons and Dom Perignon, dance in the Versace Mansion, dine on custom silk pillows on the beach with ISSA London, and attend pop-up parties hosted by nearly every New York club (think: Westway, No. 8, 1OAK, Rec Room, Amy Sacco’s Bungalow 8 and Johnny Lennon’s FunDay party).
Truly, the fair offers no better backdrop to celebrate the stylish fixtures of Miami itself. The men and women of Miami are devastatingly good-looking—and not afraid to show it—which made narrowing the list of this year’s most stylish honorees a real challenge. This year’s edition of Miami’s Most Stylish features a whopping 25 stylish residents, and spans generations and disciplines: We spotlight Amanda Del Duca and Dani Ramirez, two of the city’s hottest young fashion bloggers, as well as true icons like Alan Zelcer and Elysze Held, who have been defining and redefining Miami Beach style for more than 30 years. We also profile style-setting lawyer-turned-shop owner Ariel Burman from Cottage Miami, whose mission is to redefine men’s wear on the beach. And let’s not forget the textile-collecting, world-traveling, contemporary art-dealing couple Adrienne Bon Haes and Marvin Friedman.
The old school-meets-new school nature of this year’s feature also extends into our locations, which included the Delano Hotel, a modern fairytale fantasy decorated entirely in white, as well as The Raleigh Hotel, a bungalow-style locale that exudes a ’70s Hollywood glamour, (True story: Karl Lagerfeld once took over the entire hotel and all of its rooms to throw one of the glitziest parties the South Beach strip has ever seen.) A trip to the Wynwood Walls in the Design District found us inside a neon explosion of an art installation with Jessica Goldman, the CEO of Goldman Properties; and Brett David, the CEO of Prestige Imports, took us for a spin in a $750,000 Lamborghini into the Florida wetlands at dusk.
But enough spoilers, why don’t you dive in and get a glimpse of this year’s list for yourself? Read on to get the scoop on this year’s 25 most stylish people in Miami!
Photographer: Camilo Rios
Production Team: Deep Sleep Studios
The 2013 Edition of Miami’s Most Stylish is Presented by Neiman Marcus
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Meet 25 of Miami's most stylish residents—from street artists and designers to nightlife impresarios and philanthropists.
Rachael Russell, The Gypsetter
This fashion stylist is taking a stab at design with her upcoming collection KEMANA, a line of travel-inspired accessories that she produces in Bali. She’s also the founder of Style Saves, a non-profit that raises funds through fashion events to provide new back-to-school clothes for those in need.
Russell is a constant traveler, though feels most at home in Miami. "Miami style is casual chic. It's great for fashion because we are never limited by layers or the ability to wear color. I am just as comfortable in combat boots as I am in couture."
Danielle Hamo, The Nutritionist
This Israeli-born bombshell is a model-turned-dietician who works at Aventura Hospital and gourmet meal company The Fresh Diet. She’s also in the midst of launching her own healthy eating and lifestyle company to help Miami residents stay fit and fabulous. Her must-have when it comes to style? "Confidence. You have to love the way your body looks to feel comfortable to rock any fashion trend!"
Amanda Del Duca, The Fashion Blogger
Style icon to Miami’s cool kid set, Amanda Del Duca swapped out her heels for sneakers on our beachside shoot, rocking a silver bob, black crop top, and leather jogging pants. Often traveling between New York and South Beach, Del Duca collaborates with the likes of Terry Richardson and Galore Mag for her style blog, Capture Fashion, and is also the creative director for a swim and resortwear store. Her style rules? "Be mindful of fit and proportion; Dig what you are wearing; and there are no rules."
Brett David, The Prodigy
He sold his first Lamborghini at age 14, and at just 28, Brett David is the top dealer of exotic cars in the country, and CEO of Prestige Imports, which represents Lamborghini, Audi, Pagani & Lotus. In a casual conversation with him you’ll hear about anything from his love for Converse sneakers to how he’s about to sell a $4.7 million exotic car. (True story: he once sold a $1.8 million car by posting a photo of it on his Instagram page!)
Adrienne Bon Haes & Marvin Friedman, The Traveling Romantics
This couple makes us believe in true love—we had to peel them apart on our shoot just to be able to get a glimpse of their (incredible) individual style. Adrienne Bon Haes, an artist and a designer, made her lace turtleneck out of old Victorian curtains. "My wardrobe is the bounty of our travels, and my closet is a blaze of color, prints, and embroideries arranged by nationality." She wrapped it with a tablecloth found at one of their many treasure hunting trips. Marvin Ross Friedman, a trial lawyer and private 20th century art and film dealer, is her best and most constant accessory, sporting his signature printed socks and neckerchief.
Daniela Ramirez, The Miami Flavor
The Nany's Klozet fashion blogger brought a serious does of colorful style to our set. "I like trying out new trends without being too over the top—really feminine, but still wearable. Miami style is bold and colorful. People are not afraid to wear color and hey, the shorter the better!"
Marcella Novela, The Philanthropist
This striking blonde is the founder of Art Conductor, an organization that stimulates the flow of energy and creativity between artists and the Miami community. "The style in Miami is very sensual," says Novela. "It adds to the fabric of what has for years attracted people from all around the world." She spends the rest of her time supporting the arts on the Board of Trustees at the Perez Art Museum and Chairing the PAMM Contemporaries and Young Collectors council.
Ariel Burman, The Style Authority
This dashing lawyer-turned-boutique owner brings a preppy-surf style to the street at his store Cottage Miami. "Living in Miami (and in the heat) allows you to play around with the northeast prep vibe." In the store, you can enjoy beer on tap while you browse men’s lifestyle brands such as Michale Bastian, Band of Outsiders, and Todd Snyder. His latest sartorial tip? "Buy a pair of slim-fitting chinos and retire the distressed jeans."
Jessica Goldman, The Powerhouse
As the CEO of Goldman Properties, Jessica Goldman has a foothold on the hottest emerging street art scene in the world: The Wynwood Walls. The collection of buildings on several blocks of the Wynwood district currently houses the largest selection of curated street art in the world, making it a required destination for art fans. This power girl likes to keep things simple. "I love clothing that is comfortable and easy to wear, nothing complicated," says Goldman. "Miami has kind of an urban-resort look. People like to be sexy and show a little more skin than you might in other places, and you can push the envelope on color."
TYPOE, The Street Artist
How can you not automatically love a guy who wears a sweatshirt decorated with cheeseburgers and cupcakes?
On the cusp of debuting his one-man show, Game Over, at Spinello Projects, this wide-eyed street artist has enough creative energy to fuel a rocket. One word to describe his style? "Fresh." His work spans from street art to fine art, and he’s also a partner in Primary Projects, which is focused on public arts like the Primary Flight wall, a revolving mural at Wynwood.
Elysze Held, The Style Maven
A personal stylist, fashion editor, and contributor to almost every Miami-based style magazine and television show, Elysze Held has been curating South Beach style for 30 years. Decked out in thousands of dollars worth of gems, she mixes and matches old and new like a pro with a handmade scarf and the shoe of the season, Valentino Rockstuds. Her favorite designers include avant garde heavyweights Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, and Martin Margiela although she also embraces the Miami look: "chic, glamorous, fun, and prints! prints! prints!"
Lauren Gnazzo, The Publicist
Name anyone in Miami, and chances are Lauren Gnazzo knows them. This leggy publicist shapes careers for some of Miami’s finest, dresses herself in effortlessly chic dresses, sky-high stilettos, and beautiful baubles. "Miami style is an attitude, a state of mind. The Miami woman is diverse, elegant, and casual yet sophisticated." Her professional advice to making it in Miami? “You have a matter of seconds to make a strong first impression, so make it count. And #KIC, keep it classy."
Anthony Spinello, The Gallerist
When it comes to stylish gentlemen, Anthony Spinello is as dapper as it gets (one of his friends described his style as “Italian gay matador”). Decked out in a hipster-means-business suit, his wardrobe is the epitome of how creative business owners should dress. "If you're going to wear it, then you better work," says Spinello. His gallery, Spinello Projects, is only in its second year, but has already been asked to show at Art Basel Miami.
Jessica Motes, The Hippie at Heart
This Miami-born model (who has two years in Milan and an Oscar de la Renta campaign under her belt) runs a new e-commerce store and lifestyle website, Hippie Bling. "I love the flowy bohemian chic style, but then what girl doesn't love her little black dress and red lipstick? Style is all about feeling confident and beautiful in what you are wearing."
Biz Martinez, The Tastemaker
Working in nightlife is not for the faint of heart, especially if you’re going to make a career out of it. Biz Martinez has been working the scene in Miami for 13 years, is currently the Music Director and Talent Buyer for LIV/Story and Miami Marketing Group. "My style is neat, minimalist, but effortless," says Martinez. "Everyone is always dressed to the nines in Miami, but it is usually the opposite—simple, natural, less is more—that gets my attention." He’ll be curating some of the hottest parties at Art Basel this week, so be sure to keep tabs on this him @bizmartinez
Charlotte Joncquiert, The Parisian
Joncquiert's soft voice and charming personality are as sweet as the perfume she handles as the marketing manager for Hermes Parfums. "I always look for the perfect cut," she says. "Then associate a classic look with fun and colorful accessories. That is the secret to remain elegant but trendy.”
Franck Izquierdo, The Hair Genius
If there’s a good hairstyle in town, Izquierdo probably cut it. His Prive Salon in the SLS Hotel is building out an even larger flagship location and opening in two more cities this year, catering to his fiercely loyal fan base. He tells us, "Miami style is so different, you have hipster, rock 'n roll, classic, and super tacky all in the same place. It changes so much and is always getting better."
Agustina Woodgate, The Artistic Import
A Miami resident via Buenos Aires, Agustina Woodgate is a rare bird of an artist who describes her style as "Abuela [grandma] meets rock 'n' roll." Right now, she’s working on everything from a solo show to designing commemorative art benches for Miami Beach. "I happen to dress as the art I create, most of the times without even realizing." For Art Basel, she is creating a 180-square-foot rug made from the pelts of stuffed animals!
John Lin, The Creative Mastermind
If you’ve been to a luxury event in South Beach, you've likely seen John Lin's handiwork. Founder of Lin Projects, he’s worked with everyone from Conde Nast to The Standard Hotel to create branded Miami experiences that define Miami chic. He’s also heavily involved in the art scene and contributes to several art and fashion magazines. He describes his style as "simple, colorful, but most importantly comfortable."
Dani Parets, The Free Spirit
Dani Parets knows what it means to really be a hard-working stylist. Not only did she rush to our shoot after styling a day-long shoot, she did it all in the middle of a torrential Miami downpour. "I relate most to the 1960-70s era when it comes to fashion," says Parets. "I seem to channel a bit of that in everything I wear," she says of her bohemian-meets-rock 'n roll style. At this year's Art Basel, she helped put together the “Patterns of Eternity” exhibition.
Robert Onuska, The Sweet Sartorialist
Of all the candy and ice cream in his store, the sweetest confection is Robert Onuska’s personality. As the owner of Stella’s Sweet Shoppe, he creates the most delectable desserts in Miami, as well as plans special events and catering. "Food, like fashion, is a very visual business and both engage a client's senses," says Onuska. "Presentation is a huge part of my business, so I always think the way I dress is a reflection of my work ... My style is classic, colorful, country club prep."
Shauna Slavin & Nikki Galper, The Jewelry Designers
This designer duo launched their jewelry collection, MasonHarlie, last year. Combining Shauna’s classic, edgy style with Nikki’s boho-chic vibe, the designers' pieces are delicate stand-outs—perfect for every woman’s wardrobe. "Miami style is about having fun, being sexy, and taking risks! It can be interpreted in so many ways and styles," say the two designers. "We take little bits of inspiration from everything and incorporate the ideas into our jewelry designs and personal style."
Alan Zelcer, The Fashion Mogul
A Miami resident for 30-plus years, Alan Zelcer has made his iconic style mark in Miami as the CEO of Isaco International Corporation, launching brands like Papi, Rico, and Equipo underwear in hundreds of stores nationwide. "My style is updated traditional with a twist," he says. "You'll often find me in jeans and a blazer. I love to mix and match, even changing up my shoestrings from plain to colorful for a subtle statement."