Red Carpet @ the Latin Billboard Awards
Greetings from Miami, or as they say "Saludos de Miami". Without sounding too nostalgic, I forgot how much I loved Miami. It was , in fact, the first stop my family and I made when I arrived to the US from Caracas , Venezuela over 25 years ago. With the perfect blending of Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, and South American influences, I feel at home in Miami, as if I was back in Venezuela.
I was asked , as you know, by Heineken, to design a "Green Ribbon/Pin" to raise music awareness within the Latin community for the Celia Cruz Foundation which was to be worn by the presenters and performers at the Latin Billboard Awards as well as the "Special Pins" which were worn by Los Angeles-based band Ozomatli. Last year , designer Narciso Rodriguez designed the pins for the Grammy Awards, so I was beyond honored to have been asked.
Tarah and myself @ the National Ribbon Unveiling
Tarah and her sister Sabrina in Nick Verreos
Lenny (Tarah's Beau), Myself and David
I first met up with my "Project Runway 2" model, Tarah, whom I had not seen since I left the show(as well as her beautiful sister Sabrina) to attend an "Unveiling of the Ribbon/Pin Party" at the fabulous "National Hotel" in South Beach. Tarah and I were so giddy together, it was as if we were 10 years old! She is looking more beautiful than ever (if that is even possible) and it was just really nice to be reunited with her. Tarah has such a positive energy and exudes kindness and warmth --I forgot how much she was the glue that was holding me through the mess that was going on during the filming of the show. Along with David, Tarah's boyfriend, model Lenny came along as well. We joked how much he looked like a "Ken Doll" to her "Barbie"! I dressed both Tarah and her sister in my silk-print cocktail dresses that were perfect for the balmy 85 degree weather. They loved the dresses and looked sexy and very "Miami" in them. We had a lot of fun at the party and were surprised to find so many Miami locals who were big fans of the show and loved my work.
Ribbon unveiling by the pool @ the National Hotel
Red Carpet @ the Heineken Ribbon Unveiling
Ozomatli and myself on the Red Carpet @ the Ribbon Unveiling
The next day , along with Ozomatli (who were so great by the way, we are totally going to hang out back in LA), we arrived at the awards show, via a limousine to do the Red Carpet and attend the show. We joked how no one would know who we were and they would be saying "Who are these guys?". Much to my surprise, fans in the bleachers were calling out my name and wanting to take photos. We were interviewed by many reporters including Telemundo, NBC affiliates as well as other news sources. It was a bit difficult to change from Spanish to English and visa versa every two minutes, and at times, I became a bit nervous at the whole process, but overall it was lots of fun. For the actual awards show, David and I had great seats and enjoyed the show immensely. Highlights were seeing Shakira shake her "thang", cutie Alejandro Sanz, and seeing "Reggaeton" idol, Daddy Yankee, perform. I was even more excited to see my Ribbons on the lapels of some of the performers who went up to receive their awards. I also have to add that it was a treat to see how different Latin performers, actors, singers, dress to these events (as opposed to the Emmy's, Academy Awards, Grammy's, etc). It was nice to see that not everyone was "safe" and "boring". Were there train wrecks? Yes. Was there fabulousness? Yes. It was great "eye candy" to see how everyone dressed for this event. All in all, Miami was amazing. The weather , the beach, the food, everything was great! I am definitely coming back! Special thanks to Heineken and the beautiful team of Diane Von Furstenberg wrap-dress clad gals at Shorefire Media --you rock! Now I have to moisturize the slight burn I got from laying out in South Beach! Ciao.
Ozomatli and myself on the Red Carpet @ the Latin Billboard Awards