Friday, December 19, 2008
Miami, Sears Fashion, Sharks and Venezuelan Arepas?
Click Above Video to see my segment on Despierta AmericaAs you may remember I filmed a Sears Commercial for their Grant A Wish Campaign for the current Holiday Ads which are running on TV right now. As a bilingual designer, I filmed one in English and one in Spanish. Two weeks ago, I flew to Miami to film a "How to Dress for the Holidays" segment on one of the most popular morning show for the Spanish-Speaking population in The US, "Despierta America". In English "Despierta America" translates to "Wake Up America!", and just like it's English-speaking counterpart, it is a four hour talk fest comprised of news, entertainment, fashion and everything in between. It is hosted by Fernando Arau, Ana Maria Canseco, Neida Sandoval, and Raul Gonzalez and there's even a dog, Cosita ("Little Thing"), who serves as their unofficial mascot.Ana Maria Canseco: Ana Maria was my co-presenter for the Despierta America Holiday Fashion Segment For the segment, I was asked to style an entire family (dad, mom, son and daughter) for a Holiday Party in outfits that we would get exclusively from Sears. And then, of course, go Live on Despierta America all across the US and talk about the outfits. My trusty confidante and design partner, David Paul came with me to Miami. For years, David helped style and assist in the Wardrobe of various shows, including "Queer Eye For the Straight Girl", NBC's "Passions" Daytime Drama and MTV's "Undressed". Since his expertise is Styling, I had a feeling that I would be needing his assistance when it came to the shopping portion of this trip. Rooftop Lounging: The Gansevoort South Miami Rooftop Pool and Lounge--In case you are wondering, we never got to use it or even partake the chic lounging part... After arriving in gorgeous Miami (the weather was a balmy 75 degrees), we settled into the stylishly new and UBER hip, Gansevoort South Miami Beach Hotel. The hotel is located right on Collins Ave., where all the other fabulous hotels are. In the lobby, waiting for us was the huge aquarium/tank filled with fish and sharks. What is it about aquariums, sharks and me? They seem to be following me around! First, last month at the Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas and now Gansevoort Miami Beach. Shark Attack! Miami Style: The Aquarium Fish and Shark Tank, Gansevoort South Miami Lobby Needless to say, the hotel was very chic. There were gorgeous models everywhere I looked in the hotel, which led me to think that the only people in Miami (or allowed into the Gansevoort) are gorgeous models! But alas, I soon discovered that the main offices of Wilhelmina Models was located IN THE HOTEL! Not surprised. Art Basel was also going on at the same time we arrived so there were a lot of "artsy" and very stylishly "eclectic" people around. Lots of Europeans. Barely any Americans. I guess in these economic times, the Europeans are the only ones who can actually afford to travel.... The day after arriving, we went right to work. We spent an entire day shopping at a local Sears to find just the right "Holiday" outfits for our "TV Family". Along with David, the clients also provided me with a fabulous stylist who styles a lot of Despierta America segments, as well as other shoots. She was a local and knew the "lay of the land", as they say. After we found all the necessary clothing, accessories, and shoes, we went back to the hotel for fittings and now we were ready for our segment. Despierta Family: Nick Verreos poses with Despierata America's "TV Family" in their fabulous Sears Outfits For the Mom, we picked a fitted blue and silver grey dress with a royal blue jacket to go with it. To finish her ensemble, we added some fantastic metallic shoes and clutch bag, to add that air of "festiveness" (and because metallics are so hot right now). For the Dad (he was a gorgeous model from Ford Miami!), we chose a fitted gray blazer, slick fitted pants (with a subtle plaid), a sweater and a dress shirt. To accent it all, we added a great plum-colored pocket scarf. The kids looked so CUTE in their "Holiday" outfits as well. The little girl (who has modeled in these types of TV segments before) wore a pretty 50's style red party dress accessorized with a little black purse, Heels and Headband. The little boy (who was the actual son of the "mom") looked dressy-but-casual in khakis, a black and red argyle sweater, white dress shirt and tie. Too cute! The tie was one of those new "zip-up" ties. I did not even know they made those. When I was a little boy, it was all about the "Clip-on". If you watch the segment (sorry but it's all in Spanish), I ask the little boy if he feels comfortable in his new look and he does the cutest "No" with his head---on LIVE TV!!!! I was like "No he didn't!" but in the end, he recovered and quickly did a "yes" nod ( I stopped breathing for 1.2 seconds!). Posin' with Dad: Nick Verreos poses with model, Darian Faroy, who played "The Dad" on the Sears Fashion Segment We shot the segment and time just flew by; it was over in less than five minutes! My co-presenter was the beautiful Ana Maria Canseco, who could not have been any sweeter. Before going live, she told me that she was a fan of me and Project Runway and how much she loved my work. I told her that the next time she visits LA or does any presenting or red carpet, she should come by my Los Angeles NIKOLAKI studio to take a look at my dresses and gowns. We might just see Ana Maria in a NIKOLAKi in the near future! I had such a great time at the Univision Studios filming the segment and meeting everyone there.Yummy Arepas: The Venezuelan "taco", it is the national "bread" of Venezuela and eaten for breakfast , lunch and dinner and can be stuffed with cheese, chicken,ham, beef or just about anything else! I finished my morning in Miami (which began with a 4:30AM wake up call!!) by driving back to Miami Beach and to my new favorite Venezuelan bake shop, Moises Bake Shop on Collins and bought about TEN Venezuelan Arepas, Tequenos, and Empanadas! Before heading to the airport, David and I had a hearty Venezuelan-style breakfast back in our hotel before heading to the airport. It was a perfect way (for me at least) to end my quick stay in Miami.