Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim- Week Part II

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On July - 29 - 2011
"Mercedes-Benz Presents" designer Lisa Vogel

"Mercedes-Benz Presents" designer Lisa Vogel

By:  Maryanne Salvat and Mary Jo Almeida- Shore

From Road To Runway 

Lisa Vogel’s swimwear line, Luxe, was honored as this year’s “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer.  A self-professed “car chick” Vogel’s fondest memories are of riding around in her dad’s Mercedes as a child, she told an exclusive group at the Mercedes-Benz kick-off lunch at Kane Steakhouse.  Vogel explained that convertibility in design and functionality were the inspiration for her designs.  The sexy, yet sophisticated styles can be converted to fit and flatter any woman.  With the use of luxurious, free flowing fabrics, coupled with one-of-a-kind accessories and hand braided details, Vogel’s line is practical yet contains pieces that resemble high fashion couture.  With a contemporary color palate of sea foam, coral, along with neutrals, multi-colored prints and feather accents, Vogel’s 70s inspired line infuses textiles, chiffon and moldable fabrics, to create a multi-use line for the modern woman. During the luncheon at Kane, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and SLK-Class cars, which, like Vogel’s designs, also emphasize style and functionality while maintaining the sleek design, impecccable workmanship and power for which the German luxury car brand is well-known. Guests were treated to a preview of the newest addition to the collection. The hard-top convertible transforms the luxury roadster experience with the use of cutting-edge technology. The latest design incorporates Magic Sky Control, which allows the transparent glass roof to be darkened or lightened in seconds at the touch of a button. The SLK combines sporty handling with stylish comfort, resulting in a striking car design that is suitable for all-weather driving year round. 

At the gathering Vogel expressed her gratitude and mentioned how honored she was to be chosen by Mercedes-Benz for her ingenuity in fashion design.  “I’ve had a strong personal connection with Mercedes-Benz from a very young age and it is an honor to be acknowledged for my dedication to quality materials and craftsmanship that translate into highly-valued designs for the modern beach sophisticate.” 

Lisa Holladay, manager of brand experience marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA added, “Lisa Vogel’s passion for exotic travels and fine art transcends beautifully into designs that offer convertibility to match every mood,” said.  “Her swimsuits and resort wear appeal to individuals who enjoy luxury and warm weather lifestyles, which is a natural fit with the newest Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class convertible in South Florida.” 

Vogel joins an exclusive list of designers who demonstrate dedication to the use of quality materials, unique style and innovative design. In the past “Mercedes-Benz Presents” has honored such names as Hervé Léger by Max Azria, Monique Lhuillier, Badgley Mischka, Narciso Rodriguez, Red Carter, CHADO Ralph Rucci and last year’s designer, Trina Turk.  


 To watch an exclusive video of “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer Luxe by Lisa Vogel visit :

Mercedes-Benz Presents designer LUXE by Lisa Vogel .


Martin Solorzano, Rachel Russel, Brittany Rawlings, and Jeffrey Rodriguez Echeverri

Martin Solorzano, Rachel Russel, Brittany Rawlings, and Jeffrey Rodriguez Echeverri

Style Saves at Soho Beach House

A stylish crowd gathered at the Soho Beach House’s Tiki Bar to celebrate the launch of Style Saves, Inc., a non-profit charity founded by fashion stylist Rachael Russell with the Miami Foundation. Moet Ice was free flowing and delicious bites were passed around courtesy of the Soho Beach House. Despite the sweltering heat, people enjoyed the shows and musical stylings by Ess & Emm (Sasha Louzon and Michelle Leshem) who varied their music for each runway show:  from Jazz during the Papi presentation to Bossa Nova for Trina Turk and upbeat tempos for Neiman Marcus.  The male models in the Papi show looked like they had fallen from Mt. Olympus.  The models in the Trina Turk and Neiman Marcus shows were styled naturally- with long flowing locks and seemingly little make-up- comprised of nudes and earth tones.

 The Papi Underwear bathing suits ranged from teeny bikinis to mid-thigh trunks with several that resembled colorful boxer briefs.  Most were extremely bright colors- orange, red, Kelly green, electric blue and the trunks boasted colorful prints and black palm leaves against a solid background and matching flip flops. The men were tanned and chiseled, each with their hair styled in a Pompadour or simply slicked back.  Each male model wore a Deadly Sin necklace created by Danjebbis Rodrigues, who also created the purple wristbands for the show.


According to Alan Zelcer, Papi underwear founder, the inspiration for the line is “Sex and love in Miami.  Living in Miami is a lifestyle,” Zelcer explained, “You look at Soho House and over at the Fontainebleau and you realize you have the world.  Papi suits are designed with that lifestyle in mind.”  

Trina Turk showcased beautiful bathing suits in bright solids and intricate prints against a black background.  Each of the suits was accentuated with Turk’s signature gold hardware jewelry.  The models wore bright silk turbans or oversized, whimsical hats in bright colors. The line is beautiful yet playful.  Turk conveyed that by having the models walk the runway tossing beach balls to the audience or playing with colorful rafts. Jewelry designer, Brittany Rawlings, founder of B.Rawlings, hand-crafted each of the beautiful accessories the models wore during the show.  Each necklace was comprised of multiple strands of precious stones, which Rawlings gathered while living in South America, and perfectly accentuated each of Turk’s bathing suits. 

 The Neiman Marcus show followed Trina Turk, with the same models showcasing colorful tunics in varying lengths to compliment the suits seen earlier.   

Following the runway presentation at the Tiki Bar, the party moved upstairs to the private 8th floor pool area, where guests were able to bid on luxury items at a silent auction benefitting Style Saves, that provides new school clothes to underprivileged children. Local socialites (Soho-ites) Jilian Sanz, Hadley Henriette, Ashley Turchin, Alan and Ruth Zelcer, Edison Lozada, Martin Solorzano, Michael Kirkland, Marnie Howard, Lauren Gnazzo, and Tito Gaudenzi were spotted in the front row.


Meanwhile, at the Catalina Hotel and Beach Club, Betty Bangs Swimwear kicked-off Swim Week with a BANG! Hotelier Nathan Lieberman and Designer Beth Gerharts, transformed the venue into Rock and Roll fashion playground, where guests enjoyed live performances, themed cocktails, a Pop Up Shop and none other than the Betty Bangs Show Pony models.   


Nicky Hilton, Vikram Chatwal, and Laure Herald Dubreuil

Nicky Hilton, Vikram Chatwal, and Laure Herald Dubreuil

Dream A Little Dream Hotel 

 The Dream South Beach celebrated its recent grand opening, combining and transforming two iconic, Art Deco South Beach hotels, the Tudor House and Palmer House. Over 700 VIPs, industry execs and tastemakers, including Nikki Hilton and the R&B artist Maxwell, attended the Grey Goose sponsored event at the hotel’s rooftop pool area, High Bar.  Guests enjoyed Grey Goose vodka popsicles, as well as the signature cocktail of the evening, which was Peggy’s Punch – a watermelon-based punch with mint garnish. DJs Andrew and Andrew spun party beats while guests mingled and enjoyed culinary creations by Geoffrey Zakarian’s Tudor House restaurant, as models strutted around poolside in gold bikinis and white Marie Antoinette wigs.

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