Destination Fashion 2016 Raises Millions of Dollars

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On March - 17 - 2016

DSC_8590By: Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

A party four years in the making, Destination Fashion 2016 in Bal Harbour Shops, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the luxury shopping mall and The Miami Project’s 30th anniversary to raise funds for the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis on March 5, 2016. A host of celebrities, including: Savannah Guthrie, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Christian Slater, Pitbull, Charlie Weber, Phil Collins, Justise Winslow, Alonzo Mourning, Barry Gibb, Wayne Newton and

Jack Nicklaus gathered for the highly-anticipated celebration.

The event began at 6:00 p.m. with a multi-course dinner under the stars in the front parking area of the mall. During the dinner portion, co-Anchor of NBC News’ Today Show Savannah Guthrie emceed the program, introducing VIPS and celebrities, including Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Brittany and Christian Slater, who served as Honorary Co-Chairs; Wayne Newton, Barry Gibb (both of whom drew the biggest applause from the crowd), Pitbull, Charlie Weber, Phil Collins, Justise Winslow, Alonzo Mourning and Jack Nicklaus.

Guthrie then introduced the 2016 Women of Substance and Style, each of whom was escorted down the runway by a celebrity companion. The program also included a presentation by the Buoniconti Fund of the Presenting Sponsor Award to Swanee and Paul DiMare, Humanitarian Award to Stanley Whitman, Randy Whitman and Matthew Whitman Lazenby, The Christine E. Lynn Champion for a Cure Award to Micky and Madeleine Arison, The Outstanding Philanthropists Award recipients will be Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and The Miami Project Spirit of Giving Award will go to Edie Laquer.

Following the procession of Women of Substance and Style, guests enjoyed a fashion show by Italian luxury brand Brunello Cucinelli (known as the “King of Cashmere”) presented by Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour.

Despite a sprinkling of rain, at 8:30 p.m. guests eagerly moved from the dining area into the mall for a night of shopping, cocktails, desserts, tasty bites, exciting experiences and casino games.

Inside the mall, event-planner Barton G. Weiss, had transformed the shops to showcase fashion trends, movies, television and entertainment from the past 50 years in honor of Bal Harbour Shops’ milestone anniversary. A 30 foot lipstick, the base of which was made up of desserts and the top of actual lipsticks served as one of the many whimsical attractions of the evening. Others included the James Bond bar, a boxing ring, a stage set of I Love Lucy, complete with antique furnishings; Sex and the City, Downton Abbey and Devil Wears Prada vignettes; Central Perk from the show Friends and a tribute to Audrey Hepburn, to name a few.

Throughout the mall, guests posed with an enormous lit-up robot who shot co2, Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice and Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

Partygoers also mingled with celebrities throughout the progressive party. Christian Slater was extremely friendly and chatted with guests and posed for photos. He expressed that it was his first time co-chairing Destination Fashion and that he was honored to be a part of such an important cause.

Emilio Estefan explained that he was still celebrating his birthday from the night before. He and wife, Gloria Estefan have been huge supporters of the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis for decades. The couple had donated $100,000 earlier in the evening.

How to Get Away with Murder star, Charlie Weber, said that he was “thrilled to be here for such a great cause.” Wayne Newton lauded the young actor, expressing that he was a big fan of the show and the two posed for photos together.

At 10 p.m. Pitbull, AKA, “Mr. Worldwide,” dressed in black from head to toe, wearing his signature aviator sunglasses, took the stage along with female dancers to perform an energetic concert of his most popular songs. He opened the show with Enrique Iglesias’ “Baby I Like It” and a cover of Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” mashed up with “I Know You Want Me.” He followed with “Let it Rain over Me,” “Don’t stop the Party,” “Manos Pa’ Arriba,” “Fireball,” “Timber,” and closed the show with “Give me Everything Tonight.” During his performance, Pitbull thanked Gloria and Emilio Estefan for paving the way for his success. He also explained the importance of being positive and of giving back. Pitbull said, “I travel around the world spreading a positive message. When I’m down, I get a ‘despojo’ (Spanish for an exorcism.)” He waved his hand over his head and laughed when he said this. Pitbull performed until just after 11:00 p.m.


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