Long LIV the King

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On December - 18 - 2008

Niki and Cindy Taylor“I used to rule the world — seas would rise when I gave the word” springs to mind. So begins Coldplay’s prolific “Viva La Vida,” a song that could have been written about any of the select “rulers” of South Beach past and present. Currently, there is new royal blood on the South Beach throne, in addition to the mainstays — Capponi, the Milons, Siervo, Seikaly, Edwards, Masri, Pooch, Roth, Guerra, Casares and a few others whose names you love to drop. Of course, I’m talking about Jeffrey Soffer, the new ruler of all things Fontainebleau.

Anyone who endured the grueling James Bond-type secret op mission required to attend the Fontainebleau opening last month can attest to Soffer’s power and pull, especially in the form of celebrity friends. After all, Soffer showed the world the hotel opening version of China’s grand opening ceremonies for this year’s Olympics. Young, handsome and charming, the billionaire has rapidly become our very own “John John” — there’s even a resemblance. For the past four weeks, VIPs, socialites, scenesters and celebs have been clocking a great deal of time at the Fontainebleau, and this week was no different.

This Must Be the Place

On Thursday night, at the posh resort’s sushi spot, Blade, DJ Irie celebrated the launch of his Milano Hi-designed shoe with a red carpet toy drive and fundraising event, where he presented Big Brothers Big Sisters with a check for $10,000. In attendance at the party were friends and superstars Dwyane Wade, Alonzo Mourning, Shawn Marion, Dorell Wright and Miami Dolphins player Akin Ayodele. For a mere $185, you can pick up a pair of this limited-edition shoe (there are only 200 pairs available).

LIV Goes On

On Saturday night, more than 1,000 members of the fashion industry elite gathered at LIV to celebrate Irene Marie Models’ 25th Anniversary. Guests of the exclusive gala included Latin music sensations Willy Chirino and wife Lissette Alvarez, Harry Wayne Casey of KC & the Sunshine Band, pop star Jesse McCartney, baseball greats Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa, and basketball star Alonzo Mourning.

Sexy host Cindy Taylor kicked off the night and was joined on stage by news reporter, author and Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program  President Jennifer Valoppi, who acknowledged Irene Marie’s contributions to the WOT and presented the founding mentor with a special congratulatory award.

Guests enjoyed a multimedia presentation featuring giant images of Irene Marie

Models past and present — including Kimora Lee Simmons, David Fumero, Amber Smith, Beverly Peele and Marcus Schenkenberg — followed by a Miami fashion retrospective produced by top stylist Danny Santiago. The procession of 40 Irene Marie models dressed in vintage attire concluded with Irene’s first supermodel, Niki Taylor. After the presentation, Christina Christian of American Idol, Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet saxman Alto Reed and guitarist George Terry treated attendees to an all-star rock ’n’ roll performance. The party went on all night.

The celebration coincided with Soffer’s birthday. Although it was extraordinary, it didn’t hold a candle to his multimillion-dollar birthday party last year, held in an airplane hangar and featuring Prince as the entertainment.


• Julio Iglesias Jr. and Louis Aguirre at Louis Bar-Lounge on Thursday.

Flo-Rida performing at Mansion on Friday and presented with the Hennessey Celebration Hi-Top sneaker designed by Jhung Yuro.

• Fran Drescher at Regent Bal Harbour and at the Sagamore. (Joined by Rosie O’Donnell, Drescher held her elite Cancer Schmancer event on Friday).

• Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union and Ludacris dining at Café Martorano.

• Samantha Ronson and Lindsay Lohan partying at Karu&Y and Louis on Saturday.

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