Archive for the ‘Profiles’ Category

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.

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 »

The Man (ny) Behind the Lens

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On December - 20 - 2009


If you have glanced at the pages of the Miami Herald, Ocean Drive Magazine, People, Vogue, Rolling Stone, US Weekly, Paper,, or the New York Post over the past two decades, chances are you have come across Manny Hernandez’s photos. And if “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder,” then you are lucky if you have been “beheld” by Manny’s eyes and lens. A lens that has captured such beauties as: Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Jennifer Lopez, and Sharon Stone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Single and Fabulous

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On May - 1 - 2009

tiffany-rosen-and-erin-newbergSingle and Fabulous was founded by gorgeous, young,  and, you guessed it, single, entrepreneur Tiffany Rosen.  The organization was conceptualized one evening in January while Rosen was on Facebook, and noticed several of her  young friends’ statuses going from “in a relationship” to “engaged”, and realized she was not on that boat, causing her to update her status to: “Am I the only single individual in Miami, who’s ok with it?”. Rosen soon noticed an endless stream of comments as a result of her post, the catalyst for the establishment of a company for Miami singles like herself.

Rosen created a group on Facebook called “Single and Fabulous”, which was  joined by hundreds. Comprised of Miami-ans: from notables to professionals, Tiffany planned her first launch event at the penthouse of the chic Hotel Victor.  Unsure of what or how many people to expect, Tiffany was pleasantly surprised when over 200 beautiful, like-minded individuals showed up,  looking to meet new people! In the process of planning this event, Tiffany met single, Miami socialite Erin Newberg, who joined Single and Fabulous as a partner. Both young women brought different talents to the table- Tiffany brought the marketing know-how and Erin the PR expertise. After the Hotel Victor event, an overwhelming amount of positive emails poured in, requesting membership information. Rosen and Newberg decided to proceed on a per-event basis for future events, allowing them to throw their second successful event at Miami hotspot, Louis on Valentines Day. Once again, over 200 of Miami’s finest attended the event sponsored by Life Style condoms, Stoli, MyEventBooth, and PLUM TV.

Rosen and Newberg have since thrown other Single and  Fabulous events: Rock the Boat, on a yacht in May and a Halloween bash in October.

The organization is thriving, with creative and successful events planned in the near future.  Both girls continue to be single, and all the more fabulous  for it!

Long LIV the King

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On December - 18 - 2008

Niki and Cindy Taylor“I used to rule the world — seas would rise when I gave the word” springs to mind. So begins Coldplay’s prolific “Viva La Vida,” a song that could have been written about any of the select “rulers” of South Beach past and present. Currently, there is new royal blood on the South Beach throne, in addition to the mainstays — Capponi, the Milons, Siervo, Seikaly, Edwards, Masri, Pooch, Roth, Guerra, Casares and a few others whose names you love to drop. Of course, I’m talking about Jeffrey Soffer, the new ruler of all things Fontainebleau.

Read the rest of this entry »