Fendi x Fashioneer: The Design Miami Welcome Cocktail Party

It’s only the second day of our partnership with Fendi, and, if these sore feet have anything to do with it, we’re already off to a festive start. Last night, the luxury fashion house’s head of accessories, Silvia Venturini Fendi, and Design Miami co-founder, Craig Robins, welcomed an elite group of design collectors, art veterans, and fashion folk to the swanky W South Beach for the Design Miami 2011 opening bash. Needless to say, there wasn’t an empty glass or idle dancing shoe in sight.

Silvia (left) was also joined by her mega-talented daughter, jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez (right), who was beaming in support of her family’s fourth year sponsoring the annual fair. Although Fendi has been a Design Miami collaborator since 2008, this was the first year that the brand co-hosted the show’s official welcome party – so naturally, they went for gold. Highlights included bottomless Skyy Vodka cocktails, self-serve antipasto stations, choice tunes, and, of course, fierce fashion.




Next Week’s NY Happenings: Txikifest, The Living Room, Taste of LIC

SUNDAY: Basque in the Sun At Txikifest
Legendary Basque wine Txakoli gets its turn in the spotlight at this year’s Txikifest. Chelsea’s Txikito (pronounced “chiquito,” but you knew that) does the hosting, with a mini-street fair going off in their back alley. Pintxos will be served by co-hosts El Quinto Pino and La Vara. Ringers like The Hurricane Club and Sullivan Street Bakery will also be pitching in on the Basque tapas action.
Txikifest at Txikito (240 Ninth Ave., Chelsea) starts at 1pm on Sunday, June 2nd. Tickets are $50, with proceeds benefitting Sanctuary for Families. To learn more about the restaurant, check out Txikito’s listing at BlackBook Guides.

TUESDAY: South Beach Into FiDi
The W New York – Downtown celebrates the return of the heat with this week’s Terrace Fest at The Living Room. Tuesday night sees W South Beach barman Tomer Doar paying a visit to the big town, with a Pavan Liqueur bar and Cuban sandwiches to keep the Miami vibes flowing.
Travel Tuesday at The Living Room Bar& Terrace (123 Washington St., Financial District) starts at 6pm on Tuesday, June 4th. Tickets are required. To learn more about the bar, check out The Living Room’s listing at BlackBook

TUESDAY: The 8th Annual Taste of LIC
To witness Long Island City’s continuing evolution, look no further than the 8th Annual Taste of LIC, which brings all the new hotspots to Gantry Plaza State Park. Alobar, M. Wells Dinette, and Pachanga Patterson are among the local heroes dishing out delights along the East River.
General admission entry to the 8th Annual Taste of LIC starts at 6:30pm on Tuesday, June 4th. Tickets are $60. M. Wells Dinette (22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City) will be among the many purveyors of food and drink. To learn more about the restaurant, check out Dinette’s listing at BlackBook Guides.

Know every inch of this city by visiting BlackBook’s NY City Guides

Calling On a Kingpin Named Afrojack

Dutch DJ/Producer Afrojack was undoubtedly meant for big things. Born in the small town of Spijkenisse in Holland, he was raised with some of the core values a big-city kid might not get. Considering that small town lies just outside the largest port in Europe (Rotterdam), it makes sense that he came up thinking about the vastness of the whole wild world. Furthermore, there’s the revolutionary legacy of Erasmus, de Kooning, and Koolhaas to consider. A legacy that now lives on in the beat of the deep, dark night. Add the fact that Afrojack himself is a full six-foot, nine-inches of unmitigated talent and, well, you get the idea.

But big things only come to those who grab them, and for the past year and change Afrojack has been out grabbing with all the gusto a go-getter can manage. TTen singe-ful singles in 2010, and another rage-crazed eight this year alone, not including Pitbull’s #1 “Give Me Everything” (along with Ne-Yo and Nayer). Then there’s his hectic DJ schedule. When Afrojack last hit Miami, he boothed up at LIV, and on Saturday he was back in town at Mansion for a sold out show. I caught up with the man born Nick van de Wall at the W South Beach, where he was ensconced in a sky-high penthouse duplex perfectly befitting his position as a DJ kingpin.

Like all kingpins, Afrojack traveled with a rather large entourage. It consisted of a childhood pal, a Vegas club owner, and another half-dozen or so swells of various notoriety. Despite being about to face thousands upon thousands of rabid dance fans at Mansion, the Dutch DJ was completely cool, calm and collected. Almost too cool. Then again, he’s already faced enough rabid dance fans to fill a few stadiums, and we’re just talking about this month.

Out under the stars of South Beach on that exquisitely-appointed W balcony, Afrojack chatted about getting with Pitbull (“His manager reached out to me… I went into the studio and did my thing”), learning their track had topped the pop charts (“I was on a plane to Miami and my manager emailed me the news”), the rapid-fire mouthpiece’s way and wile (“I’m pretty sure that Pitbull knows just what he’s doing at all times”), and how the song they did together gets spun “everywhere” he goes, even Lollapalooza (which Afrojack played on Friday), Tomorrowland, and Electric Daisy in Vegas.

We chatted about other powerhouse DJs such as David Guetta (“he’s like my best friend”) and Pete Tong (“he’s like a role model”), and how the latter continues to kickoff each and every weekend “not just in the UK,” but across the entire continent. “Everyone who listens to dance music in Europe listens to [Tong’s] Radio One show.”

We chatted about mixing it up (“I ask them what kind of remix they need, whether it’s a radio remix, club remix or whatever; then I listen to the track to see how it feels, see if I even want to do it), and what’s coming up (“I’m actually working on a track with Cee Lo Green“), and how Afrojack was really keen on getting back into the studio this September in order to record his first proper LP, which will be released on his own Wall Recordings. Also slated to appear will be Pitbull (“we’ve got to do a followup”), Leona Lewis (“I really like her voice”) and DJ R3hab (“he’s like my protege of sorts, and he’s killing every remix right now”). Among those remixes R3hab is killing is “Judas” by Lady Gaga, who just so happens to be on Afrojack’s wish list. The way things are kicking for the DJ kingpin though, one may as well switch that wish list to one that simply says “to do.”

Photo by dhArma.

Industry Insiders: Danny Clinch, Rock Star Photog

Danny Clinch’s images of rock stars, his travels, his life, and everyday events will adorn the walls of the new W South Beach opening in May 2009. An excitable Clinch talks about these new opportunities, his style of work, and the photos he’s about to unveil at the new W.

What’s your job description? I photograph musicians for the most part. That’s how I make my living, and I do some advertising work. I did the John Varvatos campaigns, which I’m really proud of. I also do a lot of album covers and album packaging and publicity. It’s a great gig — I can be as creative as I want because there aren’t really any rules working with musicians. I like to photograph on location or go to a situation or atmosphere and photograph. I make concert films and documentaries and a couple of music videos here and there.

What are you working on now? John Varvatos’ wife has always been a curator of art, and we were talking about this project that she was working on at the W. She wanted to see more of my personal work, like images of records and trapezes and surfboards and things that were more personal and not necessarily musician-oriented. They wanted to use my art work for the entire hotel. Then we started to go through more of my work, and they decided that in the rooms … they would stick with more abstract images that were not about the subject, but more about the photograph. They also decided to use my large photographs on the landings of the elevator. Each floor will have just one large photograph. For that, we tried to pick things that were really portrait-oriented.

Are you happy about joining forces with the W? Yes. I think that it’s all about publicity and promoting yourself in the sense that it’s like a gallery show. Art Basel in Miami has become an institution down there. There are people from all over the world who show up and will be staying at the W during that time. I made some photography books around 10 years ago, with old photos of mine, and they’ve offered to put these books in the hotel as well. It’s an opportunity to promote myself. To really boil it down, it’s a great opportunity for me to showcase my work somewhere where there are people who can afford to buy gallery prints.

Are these books available anywhere else? You can get them at the Morrison Hotel gallery and at John Varvatos stores. These books are pretty cool for music fans. I did the second book around the concerts the Beastie Boys put on for Free Tibet. I photographed everything around those shows.

Is this the first time you are showing your work outside of rock stars? In the gallery shows that I’ve had, I would display images that might not be of a celebrity. It might be their hand or the back of their head or something where it was not quite so obvious. This was my first real opportunity to get people to recognize my personal photographs. It will open my work up to people who maybe aren’t big music fans. Although I can’t imagine someone not being a big music fan — because that’s my life. There are people who don’t really pay it much mind, so it’s an opportunity to tap into another market.

Where are your favorite places? If you ever go to Nashville, go to the downtown strip there. Around lower Broadway. There are a couple places, first is Tootsies Orchid Lounge. People like Hank Williams and George Jones and all those old country guys would walk from the Ryman Auditorium across the alley. There’s also Roberts and The Bluegrass Inn.

Photo: Danny Clinch Photography/Levine/Leavitt