A showcase for luxury brands called Art Basel Miami Beach

This week the inaugural art festival, Art Basel Miami Beach, has been
taking place. The event brought together more than 250 of the main art
galleries from all corners of the world beginning on December 3 and ending
on December 8. The event draws in more than 70,000 visitors during a week
dedicated to art lovers and collectors, that also has no problem attracting
the attention of major fashion brands and fashion houses. They see Art
Basel Miami Beach as the perfect opportunity to approach buyers of high
purchasing power, while managing to link their image to the elite and
refined world of art.

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Since the Art Basel fair decided to expand beyond the historical borders of
the Swiss city of Basel, where it was founded around 1970, and decided to
make Miami Beach its second home, many fashion brands have made it an
increasingly important time on their calendars. Well known brands involved
with Art Basel this year include Bottega Veneta, Loewe, Versace, Miu Miu,
Chloé and Gucci, who all used the five day festival to have exclusive
presentations, parties, and to sell collectors products.

Bottega Veneta’s pop-up restaurant
After winning big at the British Fashion Awards, which were presented in
London earlier this week, Bottega Veneta and its creative director Daniel
Lee packed their bags and headed to Miami. To coincide with the celebration
of Art Basel Miami and to commemorate the opening of the brand’s first
store in the Design District, Bottega Veneta decided to open the pop-up
“Bottega Diner”, a restaurant that will remain open exclusively from 4 to
14 December.

Located at 11 Diner Street in Miami Beach, the restaurant will be open 24
hours a day, and inside, customers who come to the restaurant will be able
to enjoy a whole range of exclusive products. Everything from hamburgers to
paper straws, napkins, coffee mugs and matches are all specially designed
by the brand. “I wanted everyone to be invited to our opening in Miami,”
said Daniel Lee in a statement. “The Bottega Diner mixes classic American
style with extravagant Italian gold.”

Loewe and the fifth exhibition in his series “Chance Encounters”.
Another brand that involved with the annual Art Basel event is Loewe, owned
by the French conglomerate LVMH. The brand presented the fifth exhibition
of its series “Chance Encounters”, which brings together different artists
from different disciplines with the intention of generating interesting

This year’s exhibit features the work of British installation artist Hilary
Lloyd, who has created an installation where she combined textiles, sound
and video. “Chance Encounters” also features pieces from English artist
Ewen Henderson, who created large ceramic sculptures for the exhibit.

“Hilary Lloyd’s work is in perfect tune with the contemporary moment and
the way we engage with the surrounding visual world,” said Jonathan
Anderson, Loewe’s creative director, in a statement. He added that,
“Lloyd’s installation will generate an impressive dialogue in relation to
the daring material richness of Ewen Henderson’s pieces”.

A limited-edition of “Fendi Baguette”.
Another LVMH company present at Art Basel was Fendi. They saw it as the
perfect opportunity to present a limited-edition of their iconic Fendi
Baguette bag. The bag comes in two different sizes, which will be
exclusively available in its Miami store and whose new claim to fame is
that it is made of a scented leather, which makes the piece a
“multisensory” article that can be seen, felt and smelled. Fendi
collaborated with the Canadian artist Christelle Boule and the famous
perfumer Francis Kurkdjian to create the bag.

Versace: photographs and pieces of furniture to pay tribute to their
creative heritage
Versace, part of the multinational Capri Holdings (Michael Kors) since
January 2019, decided to organize the “South Beach Stories” exhibition. The
exhibition was curated by interior designer Sasha Bikoff — a regular
collaborator with the brand — and features work from artist Andy Dixon. The
exhibit opens its doors today, serving as a tribute to the book of the same
name published by the brand in 1993.

Visitors will be able to admire different designs taken from the Versace
archives, Doug Ordway’s own photographs from the original book, and
different pieces of furniture specially created by Bikoff and inspired by
some of the brand’s most acclaimed collections. Among them viewers will
find a bed made of surfboards, a swing and a golden coffee table.

Miu Miu wooden stool
Another brand that opted for the furniture meets fashion approach is Miu
Miu. They presented the second edition of their M/Marbles stool, a unique
stool that will be available at a slightly higher price than its original
version, which according to the brand denotes its character as a work of
art over a functional piece. Made of palm wood, walnut and hand-blown
Murano crystals, the piece can be purchased both online and in the Miu Miu
store in Miami.

From the Dior show to the Chloé, Gucci and Lenny Kravitz festivities
In addition to this series of initiatives specially devised for Art Basel
Miami Beach, there are many fashion brands and fashion houses that also had
exclusive parties and events.

Among them is the Dior menswear pre-fall fashion show, during which they
debuted the Air Jordan x Dior collection, which Dior menswear director Kim
Jones developed with Nike. Chloé also organized a dinner in honor of the
exhibition, “Lara Favaretto: Blind Spot”. Singer Lenny Kravitz organized a
party to celebrate his collaboration with LVMH-owned Dom Pérignon, which
was attended by Tommy Hilfiger, his wife Dee Ocleppo, Paris Hilton and Sean
Penn. Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director, hosted a party where
he brought together regular members of his creative universe including
Jared Leto, Sienna Miller, Iggy Pop, Gucci Mane, Chloë Sevigny and Jeremy
O. Harris.

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta / Courtesy of Loewe / Versace,
official Facebook page / Miu Miu, official Facebook page.

Translation: Kristopher Fraser

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