The Art of Design

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 10 - 2012


Charles Cohen, Erick Winnick, Joe Fava, Henry Richardson, A Keith Powell, Donanne Ramos, Franco Planegonda, Jennifer Post, Kiran Shiva Akal, DJ Hay, Clodagh, Chad Oppenheim, Iran Issa Kahn, & Alison Antrobus

By:   Mary Jo Almeida-Shore 

Innovations in design are just causes for celebration- at the forefront of these are the designers themselves.  Over the course of the past few weeks, we have crisscrossed Miami to fete great designers- from the traditional sense of the word, such as those spotlighted at the Stars of Design Awards at DCOTA; to masters at the art of designing a great deal- such as at the Gilt Insider’s event; to Breguet’s breakthroughs in watch making.  We were fortunate to raise a glass among those who make this town prettier, more stylish, more comfortable and overall a much more enjoyable place to live.  

DCOTA’s Stars of Design Awards 

On Wednesday, February 1, the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) and Charles S. Cohen, Owner, CEO and President of Cohen Brothers Realty, hosted the Sixth Annual Stars of Design Awards, to highlight the work of some of the design industry’s leading professionals. For the first time, five young designers were recognized as “Stars on the Rise” for having already made a significant mark in the design world.  Cohen established the Stars of Design Awards over a decade ago at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles to honor professionals who have attained recognition for their talent, ideas, creativity and business savvy in various fields of design.  Selected by a panel of industry leaders in the fields of art, design, media and beyond, the 2012 Stars of Design Award recipients included Clodagh for the category of Lifetime Achievement, Chad Oppenheim for Architecture, Jennifer Post for Interior Design, Kiran Shiva Akal for Graphic Design, Franco Pianegonda for Product Design, DJ Hay for Landscape Design, Iran Issa-Khan for Photography, and Henry Richardson for Art. The “Stars on the Rise” honorees included Alison Antrobus, Eric Winnick, Joe Fava, A. Keith Powell and Donanne Ramos 

Immediately following the ceremony, the 350 guests in attendance had the opportunity to speak to the 13 luminaries and congratulate them on their awards.  Stars in each of the categories spoke about their careers, inspiration and passion for design.   Shortly thereafter, the crowd was whisked backstage for a whimsical reception which included a 12-foot-tall stilt-walker, a performer encased in a gigantic clear balloon (think:  giant hamster ball) and a full-piece marching band from the Alliance for Musical Arts.   

The award winners, along with guests including editor emeritus of Architectural Digest Paige Rense Noland, 2011 Stars of Design award winner Sam Robin, photographer Scott Frances, Barbara Becker, Michael Leondas Kirkland, Athina and Eduardo Marturet and an impressive turnout of the award winners’ supporting clients, enjoyed beverages courtesy of 42 Below, Alacrán Tequila and Mandarine Napoléon, and delicious Latin-inspired light bites.

 photo credit: Sachs


Good Gilt

On Thursday January 26, Gilt City Miami feted its inaugural Insider, Internet mogul, entrepreneur, writer and jewelry designer, Loren Ridinger. Loren and JR Ridinger welcomed fashion-forward guests to their gorgeous ocean-front estate on a beautiful Miami night. The evening kicked-off Loren’s personally curated slate of sales, including Cowshed Spa at The Soho Beach House, Curve boutique, and a fabulous haircut and style package from Rik Rak Salon.

The evening’s notables included Loren Ridinger, Gilt City Miami’s James Wark and Luisa Jimenez; NY Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and Baron Davis; Univision’s Barbara Bermudo; actor and publicist Jonathan ChebanViolet Camacho; actress Ivelin Giro,  Ashley & Therese Gibb; Tracy Mourning; fellow Gilt Insider, Lee Schrager; Raquel Perrera, Jilian Sanz, Sarah Mirmelli, Kamal Hotchandani, Daniel and Marcella Novela, Michelle & Tommy Pooch, Rodner Figueroa, and Amy Zakarin, to name a few.

  For the latest deals and steals, check out:



Also on Thursday, January 26, Breguet and U.S Brand President Michael Nelson hosted the storied watch making house’s grand opening celebration at Bal Harbour Shops, followed by an intimate dinner at the brand-spanking new St. Regis Resort Bal Harbour.   Four historic pocket watches from the 18th and 19th centuries, previously on loan to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles were on display at the boutique for an exclusive preview.  Three of the four watches were designed in the late 1700s and used in the 1800s.  The watches were originally on display at the Breguet Museum in Paris, which houses more than 100 timepieces and items related to the history of the House of Breguet.  Stephane Aubert, Breguet’s master engraver was on hand to demonstrate the fine art of engraving, which has become a hallmark of the Breguet brand. 

After the boutique’s opening reception, a group of about 50 made its way to the St. Regis Resort including Michael Nelson, Ambassador Hélio Vitor Ramos Filho, shoe designer, Lisa Pliner; philanthropist, Lea Black; Bal Harbour Shops’ Randy and Gigi Whitman, owner of Lifestyle Magazine, Gabriel Erem and members of the Breguet team to enjoy a cocktail reception at the Ocean Palm Court followed by an elegant four-course dinner at the Astor Ballroom Foyer.

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