Archive for the ‘Profiles’ Category

Philly Socialholic: Barnes Foundation Names Thom Collins New Director

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On January - 8 - 2015


The Board of Trustees of the Barnes Foundation announced that they have named Thomas “Thom” Collins as the new Executive Director and President of the Barnes Foundation. An innovative educator, accomplished art historian, administrator and author, Mr. Collins, a Philadelphia native, has more than 20 years of experience at some of America’s top arts institutions. He comes to the Barnes after serving for five years as director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Florida (PAMM). At PAMM, Mr. Collins oversaw construction of the new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building located in downtown Miami, which opened to great acclaim in December 2013. During his tenure, the museum achieved an overwhelming increase in membership, annual giving, attendance, and major gifts, published important exhibition and collection catalogs, added significant works of art to the collection, and began in-house production of critical new digital education tools.

“It will be a privilege to lead the Barnes Foundation in its next chapter,” said Mr. Collins. “With its world-class collection, critically acclaimed new building, award-winning programs, growing membership and engaging array of courses in art and horticulture, the Barnes has become increasingly accessible to a more diverse audience than ever before. I look forward to working with the staff and Trustees to further its mission.”

Prior to joining PAMM, Mr. Collins served for five years as director of the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York. Mr. Collins’ tenure at the Neuberger Museum of Art was highlighted by significant growth in attendance and annual giving, and the creation of major endowments for new programming initiatives and capital improvements. He also oversaw the museum’s exhibitions, permanent collection displays, and a far-reaching platform of community-based educational programs for school children and adults in Westchester and Fairfield Counties.

Before heading the Neuberger Museum, Mr. Collins served as director of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, 2003–2005; chief curator at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, 2000-2003; associate curator at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, Washington, 1998-2000; and Newhall Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, 1994-1997.

Mr. Collins earned his MA in Art History from Northwestern University and his BA with honors in Art History and the History of Religion from Swarthmore College. He currently holds memberships in the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Art Museum Curators, and the College Art Association. For more information visit:

Iran Issa-Khan: Natural Beauty Personified

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 12 - 2014


Photo Courtesy of Iran Issa-Khan Studios

Photo Courtesy of Iran Issa-Khan Studios

By:  Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Photos courtesy of Iran Issa-Khan Studios.


 “The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,

Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.”

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Edward FitzGerald

  Read the rest of this entry »

Mayoral Candidate, Michael Góngora

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On November - 1 - 2013

mgBy:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore


Cuban-American Mayoral Candidate, Michael  Góngora serves as a Mami Beach Commissioner and has been a long time Miami Beach resident and business owner.  For decades, Gongora has served in numerous civic, charitable, business and legal communities throughout Miami-Dade County and has worked closely with many public benefit organizations such as the Little Lighthouse Foundation and Equality Florida to name a few.  

As a result of his long-term community activism, Michael Góngora was first elected Miami Beach Commissioner in 2006. Some of his many other public service efforts were serving as chairperson of the Environmental Coalition of Miami & the Beaches, the Miami Beach Latin Chamber of Commerce and the Miami Beach Bar Association. In 2007, as the president of the Miami Beach Bar Association, Commissioner Góngora was able to successfully accomplish the reinstitution of the North Beach Pro Bono Law Clinic.  Read the rest of this entry »

Rebecca Minkoff in Print

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On March - 18 - 2013

MBFW Spring 2013 - Official Coverage - Best Of Runway Day 2By: Maryanne Salvat

The term “Morning After” could be the result of more than one scenario: a long night of party bliss or one that you may not (would rather not) remember. Thankfully, lifestyle designer Rebecca Minkoff has redefined the “Morning After” and has bestowed positive attributes along with fanciful colors as fashion lovers carry her signature “MAB” (Morning After Bag) all about town.

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure to sit down with the delightful designer during her personal appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue Raleigh promoting her Ready-to-Wear Spring 2013 line.

As we chatted about the line, I asked her about the inspiration for her fresh and delicate looks for spring. Minkoff discussed that she had casually picked up a book by famed photographer Slim Aarons, best known for his celebrity and socialite photos from the 1960’s. The beach portraits caught her attention. She went on to say that the beauty and simplicity of the time period motivated her to create the embroidery details and in-house digital prints with mixes of florals and bright colors along with flared–pants, mid-thigh dresses, and peplum tops that flatter all body types.

We also spoke about her fabulous handbags and shoes. This season’s Italian laser-cut leather, fringes, zippers, studs, and tassels, in all colors graced the runway- mint being the most popular of the season. Minkoff mentioned that studs are a “must” on all of her handbags and more importantly that they are all affordably priced.

On a more casual note, we discussed the topic of motherhood and how her life and style aesthetic had changed since having a toddler around the house. She mentioned that she now wears flats on the way to the office and changes into her heels when she arrives and that she’s more casual on the weekends, but for the most part that her style remains the same.  When asked about designers that she most admires, Minkoff expressed that she had recently finished reading the biography about Coco Chanel and respects her forward thinking and strong work ethic. I also asked her if she would consider a swimsuit line, considering that summer is right around the corner. Minkoff said, “Maybe in the future.”

Minkoff exclusively designed a collection line of handbags for Saks Fifth Avenue. During her personal appearance several pieces from the collection quickly sold out, making it quite clear that lifestyle brand Rebecca Minkoff has a very strong following and quite the future ahead of her.

photo courtesy of getty images

GLAMA-GUY: Renato Armijo

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On November - 20 - 2011

BIO_PICseattingRenato Armijo is one of the fashion world’s up-and-coming creative geniuses- an artist who creates art and fashion from concept to completion. With an extensive talent for design, his work has caught the eye of international designers and socialites who desire sophistication and elegance in their clothing. Hailing from Lima, Peru, Armijo’s attention to detail is evident in every masterpiece he creates.  “My creative process begins with a song, a scene, a story, a journey that starts with something I desire or live; creating forms and shapes in my mind as I sew and feel them…sometimes I imagine a picture, a scene of a movie or a melody which transports me to a place and time that for a second inspires me to create. I enjoy expressing myself through different media; from fabrics and trimmings to canvas and acrylics.”

While attending the Miami International University of Art & Design, Armijo received the award for Best Men’s Wear Collection in the United States by the Hispanic Designers’ Association. He was also recognized by the Le Jeaunes Createurs de la Mode in Paris, where his creations were put on display at the Louvre. Upon the completion of his education, Armijo became the Assistant Creative Director for Kenneth Cole NYC Menswear.  During his time there, Armijo was honored by Kenneth Cole himself at the Fashion Group International as the overall National Award Winner.
Renato Armijo is presently the Creative and In-house Designer for Ever After Miami, a fashion label sold alongside other notable designers including Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and Vera Wang, at specialty retailers across the United States. Armijo shares, “The Ever After experience gives me an opportunity to have a national platform and understand women in multiple markets. As a designer, being able to create the highest level of fashion is very rewarding.” His understanding of the feminine form and his pattern making skills allow him to create unique and exceptional designs that are sought after by his very exclusive clientele. Each piece has a personality of its own, such as evening wear that is detailed with Swarovski crystals, distinctive embroidery, and advanced technique.
Armijo is currently working on two new projects, a menswear line, call Refugio, a personal venture and concept in which he plans to deliver a unique product to the menswear market and his brilliant Glamadolls fashion illustration coffee table book, where he pays homage to the amazing fashion icons who have inspired him, making the fashion industry what it is today. “I enjoy expressing myself through different media; from fabrics and trimmings to canvas and acrylics. I always find a way to merge them all together.”

This Holiday Season Armijo is creating personalized Glamadoll greeting cards- for the socialite who has it all and will settle for nothing short of perfection.  Each unique Glamadoll is made to order by Armijo to bear the likeness of the real-life glamorous girl for whom she is created.  For more information about this trailblazing artist, or to  order your Glamadoll cards today, contact: or

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: