By Lieba Nesis Miami Art Basel dominated the globe this week with exhibitions, parties and celebrity news. Despite the impressive showing of art-fashion also played a dominant role. It is no accident that Virgil Abloh chose Miami to showcase his last Louis Vuitton men’s collection. Other houses such as Valentino, Gucci, Balmain, Givenchy, Gaultier, Saint Laurent and Moncler also spent millions to gain a foothold at Basel. The fashion forward crowd was cutting edge as I witnessed conducting random interviews with Basel attendees on my way home from the gym. The lobby of the Faena and W South Beach were perfect venues to observe the creativity and attention to detail of these Basel standouts.
Ismet Sabic-This 6 ft. 4 standout’s brash style was exceptional. Flying in from Mexico for the week Ismet brought three large suitcases for his stay at the W hotel South Beach. He was spending the week with dozens of friends from 6 different countries. His style was “art chic” with a $700 jacket gifted to him by artist Daniel Dugan the focal point. $800 Gucci sneakers, $350 Lexxole glasses, and a $70 shirt from his friends Bryand label topped off the daring look. Ismet was heading out to 3 private parties after hanging out with DiCaprio on Thursday night. The Bosnian Ismet, runs a luxury concierge service where finding the right people jets and villas consumes his daily life. He counts top models and celebrities as his friends and said Miami was fast becoming a destination for his wealthy European and South American cliente who appreciate Miami’s proximity to these countries-as compared to Los Angeles. Ismet said he “sets fashion trends rather than follows them.” This guy knew how to pose and after looking him up on Facebook it became apparent he used to model.
Diana Kubasova-This 32-year-old Latvian stunner stopped me in my tracks as she headed from the Faena to the Setai for dinner. Diana moved from Dubai to Miami two years ago because she loves the lifestyle and people. A former beauty queen who won Miss Multiverse 2018, Miss Europe 2017 and Miss All Nations 2010 this star now runs the skincare label “Fast Beauty.” Her $700 Elisabetta Franchi dress, coupled with a $6,000 Dior bag, $1,500 Hermes shoes and a pricey Rolex watch screamed “class and sass.” Diane said she prefers big brand parties as opposed to more intimate ones and the Louis Vuitton show was her favorite of the week. Walking in Hermès heels to the Setai, which is nearly a mile away, is a feat only a practiced beauty queen could manage.
Phree Hester-Wearing his own line this up and coming 30-year-old designer flew in from Los Angeles for his pop-up show at the Faena. His week-long exhibition had him selling only $3,000 worth of clothing-which left him slightly disappointed. Phree is known for his custom hand painted jackets and his art and tassel fedoras. On the night I bumped into him in the Faena lobby he was wearing his own jacket for $2,000, $400 Yeezys, a $1,000 Off-White belt which he wore as a sash, $195 Future Mood glasses and a $500 hat designed by him. His attire was otherworldly-there was so much to digest I found myself overwhelmed. His artistic abilities abound as he is currently in the process of selling an $18,000 NFT. Phree is a designer and artist to watch and has a casual nonchalance that makes his outrageous fashion choices seem de rigueur!