In Miami Beach, a Vibrant Pair of Boutique Hotels6 min read
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The Model and Artist Sharon Alexie’s Beauty Regimen
My mother is Cameroonian, and she always wears a very vivid red lipstick — that’s her signature. When I go out at night, I do a brownish contour on the lips with an elegant dark red in the middle. Rouge Dior Lipstick in 964 Ambitious Matte Finish is a shade I like. I also love Dior Forever Couture Luminizer; the way it melts into the skin looks so natural. I use Vaseline as a highlighter on my eyelids, a trick I picked up on set. To finish, Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder is the only powder that I feel works on me. I like Fenty’s eye shadows, too. In the morning, I use the Cream Cleansing Gel by Augustinus Bader, followed by the Essence as a toner and Dior’s Hydra Life Fresh Sorbet Crème. A really feminine perfume gets me ready for the day. I like the Attrape-Rêves fragrance from Louis Vuitton and Miss Dior Eau de Parfum. I’m very particular about how I get my hair done; either my mom does it or I do it myself. When I take out my braids, I’ll use a creamy cleansing conditioner, like Coconut CoWash from As I Am. I’ll use a mask, too, like the Olaplex 4-in-1 Moisture Mask, or Jamaican Black Castor Oil Moisturizing Masque, also from As I Am, depending on what issue I’m having with my hair. At the end of the day I take off any makeup with a liquid remover, like Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water, and then double cleanse, again using the Cream Cleansing Gel from Augustinus Bader. I use scented creams before going to bed: I gravitate toward anything that smells like honey or vanilla, or a traditional Cameroonian oil called Manyanga.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
For her first-ever hotel project, the Manhattan-based interior designer Jessica Schuster took on a doozy, or rather, two of them: Over the last five years, she re-envisioned a pair of Miami Beach boutique hotels, the Esmé and Casa Matanza, both backed by the New York-based firm Infinity Hospitality and located across the street from each other on South Beach’s Española Way promenade. The 145-room Esmé’s interiors were meant to be “softer and sweeter,” Schuster says, while at 42 rooms, Casa Matanza is “darker and moodier,” but in both, Schuster employed a color palette of saturated citrus and jewel tones, and retained many architectural features from the hotels’ original 1920s buildings, including arched doorways, pecky cypress ceilings and a fireplace uncovered during demolition. The result is a richly eclectic space that guests may not want to leave, and won’t need to: Schuster connected Esmé’s multiple roof decks with a series of small bridges, so visitors can saunter from the new pool to cabanas to the Spanish tapas restaurant and sangria bar, and the sibling properties will soon be connected via a subterranean passageway so that people may take discreet advantage of each property’s amenities. “I was borrowing from yesterday, today and tomorrow to create this whimsical and fantastical experience,” Schuster says. “It’s very different for Miami.” Rooms at Esmé or Casa Matanza from $300, esmehotel.com.
Sneakers in Spring Colors
Though Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel, the founders of the New York-based accessories line Mansur Gavriel, are not lacking for options when it comes to choosing their own footwear, the two like to “wear sneakers nearly every day,” they said in an email to me. They’re big fans of Veja, the French brand founded in 2004 by Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion — recognizable for the letter “V” emblazoned on the shoe’s side — and respected for its efforts in sustainability, including sourcing wild rubber and organic cotton from Brazil, as well as working with chrome-free leather as much as possible. “We love that Veja is environmentally conscious, as this is something we have always thought about at Mansur Gavriel,” wrote the duo. “We intentionally create classic shapes that have longevity and use leather that wears well and sustains over time.” A new collaboration between the two brands debuts this week that offers Veja’s classic Campo trainer in four striking colors. Choose among a morpho butterfly blue, a soft clay, a rose pink or a sunrise yellow — and match your new pair of shoes with Mansur Gavriel accessories, such as a woven tote or a slouchy shoulder bag, while you’re at it. $175; veja-store.com or mansurgavriel.com.
A Revived East Hampton Gallery Space
From hosting women’s liberation salons led by Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan to sitting for one of Andy Warhol’s first portraits, the art collectors Robert and Ethel Scull were at the glamorous center of the 1960s culture, as was their modernist mansion in East Hampton. Staying true to the original ethos of their home as a living art gallery — the Sculls once covered the walls with works by Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, to name a few — the art collector, designer and women’s rights advocate Lisa Perry purchased the property in early 2021 and reimagined it as Onna House, an arts space devoted to creating visibility for the work of women-identifying artists and designers. When it opens to the public this May, the home, which Perry transformed to incorporate Japanese design elements like a verdant moss garden and a tranquil tearoom, will host its inaugural exhibition, consisting of colorful woven tapestries by the Japanese textile artist Mitsuko Asakura and a paper dress collection by the Swiss-born artist and designer Ligia Dias. Though visitors can book viewing appointments, Perry also hopes Onna House will be a gathering place for discovery and collaboration among creatives, with regular community events and discussions. onnahouse.com.
It was a desire to look polished while “cooking up a storm and building giant cakes” on photo shoots for the likes of Saveur magazine and Williams-Sonoma that, she says, led the Brooklyn-based food stylist Mariana Velásquez to design her signature cross-back, pinafore-style aprons. She had them made by a women-owned workshop in her native Colombia and started selling them about a decade ago. While planning her 2021 cookbook, “Colombiana,” Velásquez began imagining a line of tableware that evoked the essence of Santa Cruz de Lorica, the Colombian port town where her grandmother lived that had made a vivid impression on Velásquez as a child for its fusion of Caribbean and Lebanese cultures. Now, in partnership with the Colombian workshop owners Blanca Muñoz and Catalina Avila, she’s produced Casa Velasquez, an elevated line for entertaining that includes table linens, her trademark aprons and hand-painted menu and place cards in the exuberant local palette of terra-cotta, mustard and pink, as well as dresses and tops with voluminous sleeves inspired by the dramatic arches in the town’s public market. The debut collection’s cotton and linen pieces, in stripes and chrysanthemum prints, are meant to be mixed and matched, and though Velásquez believes entertaining is making a comeback, they could also be used to brighten up an otherwise routine weeknight dinner. From $30, casavelasquez.co.
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