Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

The Ruby “Coin-ed”: Roberto Coin

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On April - 20 - 2010

Roberto Coin

We recently had an opportunity to meet and interview Roberto Coin at a “meet and greet” event hosted by Saks Fifth Avenue. 

Roberto Coin is synonymous with uniqueness, style and beauty. The elegance of Coin’s chic creations is attributed to his Italian heritage.  According to Coin, “Italians were the original architects, artists, painters; we designed the jewels for the monarchs”.  Coin is as passionate about life and learning, as he is about his jewelry.  Confessing that he is an avid “people watcher”, he enjoys human interaction and reaction.  The main focus of each line is to create an “emotional act to satisfy sentiments, reward oneself, to create happiness and memorable moments.”    His distinctive style conjures up the past and “creates happy memorable moments”.

 In 1996, Roberto Coin adopted the ruby as his signature, setting the precious stone inside each piece of his jewelry collection. The legend of the ruby is quite romantic; Egyptians believed that wearing it near their skin would promote a long, healthy and happy life.  Burmese warriors inserted rubies into their skin to protect them in battle, and women in ancient times used it to promote fertility, banish evil thoughts and reconcile disputes.

 The Roberto Coin line introduces 400 to 600 new models every year, continuously reinventing his “one of a kind” jewelry.  You can find his line exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue by clicking:

The Golden Touch: Faraone Mennella

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On March - 28 - 2010

Roberto Faraone Mennella and Amedeo Scognamiglio

Saks Fifth Avenue recently hosted a meet and greet event with Amedeo Scognamiglio, one of the creators of Faraone Mennella by R.F.M.A.S.  We had an opportunity to sit down and chat with Amedeo and learn about the vision and inspiration behind their jewelry.

 Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’, inspires thoughts of classic romance, beautiful women, and never-ending style, as does the jewelry of artists Amedeo Scognamiglio and Roberto Faraone Mennella.  Together they have created jewelry reminiscent of fashion icons such as Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, and Jacquelyn Kennedy. 

The lifelong friends launched Faraone Mennella by R.F.M.A.S in the Spring of 2001 upon reuniting in New York after attending law school.  Scognamiglio was expanding the family business (the art of carving cameos by hand) to the United States and Mennella had studied Design Marketing; ultimately graduating from The Parsons New School of Design.   Always having a vision for the latest styles and trends,  Mennella and Scognamiglio decided that they wanted to create a line of high-end jewelry that integrated their Italian heritage with “Italian elegance” and timeless beauty using 18 karat gold and precious stones. 

The passion-driven duo had their big break when renowned New York fashion stylist Patricia Fields of Sex and the City fame, fell in love with their pieces and took all of their designs for six months to use in the series.  Kim Cattrall’s character, Samantha, donned the baubles and created the buzz among New York’s finest.  Before they knew it, Scognamiglio and Mennella were bombarded with requests.  First to come calling – Saks Fifth Avenue.  Scognamiglio confesses that he didn’t even know the term C.E.O and had to showcase their creations in their studio loft in New York.   Faraone Mennella was then featured in WWD; making the cover with one of their classic designs, an 18 karat gold cuff, titled “The Gold and the Beautiful” – talk about the Midas touch! 

 “We are involved in all of our designs, from start to finish.  We enjoy the creative adrenaline.”   When asked specifically about designing for the Miami woman, Scognamiglio replied “The Miami woman is exactly the type of woman we design for: classy, sophisticated, bold and natural, the woman that takes pride in how she looks and feels inside and out.”

To view the complete line of Faraone Mennella by R.F.M.A.S. at Saks Fifth Avenue visit .

DONALD J. PLINER: Heart and Sole

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On March - 19 - 2010
Donald and Lisa Pliner

Donald and Lisa Pliner

Renowned designer, Donald J. Pliner, celebrated 20 years of groundbreaking success in the luxury footwear industry hosting a meet and greet event at his flagship store, Donald J. Pliner, in Aventura, on March 13, alongside his creative director, muse, and wife Lisa Pliner.  Pliner has established a global cult following among men and women with his fashionably chic and comfortable shoes.  His success stems from his passion for the craft.  Designing shoes for over 43 years, Pliner has been committed creating beautiful pieces that are comfortable and inspired by the world that surrounds him.  Glass beads, snake skins, suede, and elastics are the instruments he uses to interpret his inspirations.  The secret to his success lies in the mantra that is central to his fashionable, comfortable shoes:  “When the feet are uncomfortable, so is the mind, so is the body, so is the soul.”

The stylish Lisa Pliner, known as “the lady with the green-soled shoes,” debuted her 2010 spring collection “LISA” for Donald J. Pliner during the 20 year celebration.  Inspired by Starr, the Pliners’ five year old daughter, the fashionable collection incorporates a traction platform that gives height and stability for women on-the-go, who need a little extra support, especially for those chasing down toddlers at a mall or at the grocery store, to which Lisa is no stranger.

Staunch philanthropists and humanitarians, the Pliners started the PEACE for the Children Foundation, which provides safe playgrounds for children of underprivileged families.  The organization provides charitable funds in support of non-profit organizations that foster peace in the lives of children.  Proceeds from the 20 year celebratory event benefitted Jewish Adoption & Foster Care Options, Inc.

Donald J. Pliner, the man and the brand, known for quintessential elegance and perfection, puts his heart and soul into all of his “soles.”  The result:  shoes you will love to live in.

South Beach Wine & Food Fest: So Much Fun!

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On March - 4 - 2010

Morimoto, Symon, Boulud, Flay at BB2010

The ninth annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival has come and gone, leaving the South Beach sand wine soaked, the air tinged with delicious aromas and our scales tilting in the wrong direction.  This year’s festival boasted an unprecedented number of events, with more than 50, 000 attendees, and over $2 million raised for the Florida International University (FIU) School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center.


The Amstel Light Burger Bash kicked -off the four day festival on Thursday night. Bobby Flay, Daniel Boulud, Guy Fieri, Rachael Ray,Rocco DiSpirito Burger Bash 2010 and Michael Symon all under one tent is any foodies dream, and this year’s carnivorous romp made that delectable dream come true as chefs from all around our nation battled it out to see who could come up with this year’s People’s Choice Award for “Best Burger.” The party, held in a giant tent behind the Ritz Carlton, was a blast, the cool weather adding to the already high-spirits of SBWFF lovers, who didn’t seem to mind the smoke and barbecue “fragrance” which permeated their lungs, hair and clothing.  Last Year’s defending champ, Spike Mendelsohn, wore a heavyweight championship belt, boxing trunks, robe and gloves and had the Rocky theme song blaring from his section, while serving his classic burger with American cheese and bacon on a soft bun accompanied with a cotton candy milk shake (yummy!).  Masaharu Morimoto’s burgers were rumored to be among the best, as evidenced by the line of people waiting that spanned the length of the tent.  The Iron Chef won for best “toppings” and was awarded a Tiffany Heinz Ketchup Bottle.  The 2010 People’s Choice Award winner was Michael Symon of B Spot and his Swiss, pastrami, and coleslaw burger (Pepcid, anyone?).  Former champ, Mendelsohn graciously handed over his heavyweight belt to Symon to solidify the win.  Our very own, Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine Food (who in our humble opinion makes the best burger in Miami) took top honors earning the Allen Brothers Golden Grill Award – the judge’s choice for best burger for his bacon cheeseburger on brioche with a side of crispy hominy with chili and lime. Other celeb-chefs spotted included Sandra Lee, Michael Chiarello, Sunny Anderson, Rocco DiSpirito, Jeff McInnis, Govind Armstrong, Tim Love, Carla Hall, Art Smith, Anne Burell, and Michael Schwartz among many others. The delightful dessert selections from Jeni’s Splendid Gourmet Ice Creams (almond brittle and Cocoa Zin and salty caramel-ooh la la!) and Levain Bakery’s 6 oz cookies (yes, almost half a pound) capped off a perfect evening. 

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Michael Capponi: A man of action

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On February - 19 - 2010

Rob_Schmidt,_Laurie_Jennings,_Michael_Capponi,_Adonis_GarciaWhen the chips are down, you can count on nightlife impresario and entrepreneur, Michael Capponi.  Over the  past several years, he’s helped countless numbers of  underprivileged and afflicted people during disasters such as the Tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina and has hosted events to benefit the United Way, Red Cross, Make-A-Wish and Bay Point Schools, to name a few, not to mention the homeless food drive he hosts every Thanksgiving. So it came as no surprise that Capponi took action once again to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. In addition to loading a private jet with emergency personnel, doctors and supplies just a few days after the quake, and heading to Haiti, Capponi threw an exclusive party  a few weeks ago, “Save Haiti Saturday,” along with a few of his influential friends, at his beautiful Sunset Island home- Villa Capponi  to benefit Project Medishare, which provides medical assistance to earthquake victims. Read the rest of this entry »

Super Bowl Makes Miami Celebrity Central

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On February - 19 - 2010

The Super Bowl blew through town last week, taxing my endurance, bank account and liver (Forget the guest list, just add me to that transplant list will you?). And in addition to the game, there were celebrity appearances, concerts and parties, parties, parties!  Since the helicopter and speed boat were in the shop, I couldn’t make it to EVERYTHING, but managed to put together a “short” recap of who was where and what they were doing.  Unless otherwise noted most of the A-list celebrities (and B and C for that matter) spent most of their time at the parties they attended just hanging and milling about, as if they were a display at the Museum of Natural History.  The biggest bashes in terms of shear number of guests (Bashes for the Masses) were thrown by ESPN, MAXIM, TAO and Playboy.  Notable concerts included: Rhianna, Marc Anthony at the Icon Brickell, JLO in a cat suit at LIV, Ne-Yo at ESPN at the Fontainebleau, Wycleff Jean and Snoop Dogg at the 944 Hotel on separate nights, and an impromptu concert by Wycleff Jean at the Florida Room during which Queen Latifah and Robin Thicke jumped on-stage.   Read the rest of this entry »