411: Hermès Delivers A Journey into the Extraordinary

Hermès promised “A journey into the extraordinary” for its A Man’s World event on May 13 and delivered with a party filled with multi-sensory experiences and illusions designed to impress and overwhelm. The unprecedented event took place at the iconic Moore Building, itself an architectural monument, in Miami’s Design District, a few doors down from the Hermès boutique and utilized the building’s fascinating three-story interior structure as the backdrop for the artistic installations. Upon entering guests marveled as they looked up at male models who dangled from and walked across giant square columns almost fifty feet above, dressed in classical Hermès understated style. Guests walked across a mirrored floor that gave the illusion of endless elegance and beauty as they looked “into the floor.” The effect was dizzying.

Inside the main room of the first floor, six faux elevators banks, created for the event, sporadically opened and closed to reveal more male models, engaged in all sorts of sporting activities, in keeping with the design house’s theme for 2013, “It’s a Sporting Life,” from carrying English saddles, to riding a bicycle or skateboard, to playing chess atop Hermès luggage. The models periodically crossed the main floor among the guests who indulged in gourmet bites from Le Basque catering and champagne as they made their way to the buffet of lobster, foie gras, and lamb chops.

The second floor boasted a locker room, complete with showers, lockers, and of course- barely-dressed men. As we stood in front of a shower door, our name would appear, letter by letter, followed by a themed personalized message pertaining to baseball, to match the sporting motif. Such as “What’s your game winning move?” And “what was your worst strike out?” One could only delight in the thought that one of the gorgeous models just might be writing the message from inside the steamy shower. Also in the locker room was a kaleidoscope experience where ones image would be displayed amid Hermès wares and beautiful men- driving home the notion of, “your view of an alternate reality… being a woman in a man’s world.” Each of the personalized experiences came courtesy of a radio frequency ID with a chip inside carrying each guest’s name, which allowed for all of the guest’s experiences with the installations to be recorded and a personalized webpage to be emailed to each guest after the event.

Also on the second floor was a bedroom completely outfitted with Hermès bedding, office accessories, and other luxe home decor items. In the room, was a man, looking in the mirror, making faces, shaving, and seemingly studying his reflection. “What’s so special about this?” we thought. Upon closer inspection, we realized that adjacent to the room was an identical room and that the “reflection” the man was studying was actually that of his identical twin brother who was mimicking his gestures through a window, made to look like a mirror. Mind bending, indeed.

But the most buzzed-about installation was the seemingly unending fitting room maze, reminiscent of a fun-house, but with windows where mirrors should be. As we meandered through each identical room, expecting to see our reflection, we were actually looking at another guest. Each section of fitting rooms included strategically placed mirrors for the illusion of infinity. Mind-blown. Boom!

Guests were also given the opportunity to sport a variety of Hermes scarves and accessories for an interactive photo booth, the photos of which were recorded and animated for their personalized webpage. Another installation included a full-sized boxing ring, where guests could don boxing gloves and take swings at each other in front of a photographer, who took fast-action shots.

The artistic installations, which perfectly merged the worlds of art and fashion were the result of the creative genius of Argentine artist, Leandro Erlich, well-known for designing spaces with fluid and unstable boundaries, who created the various whimsical yet elegant scenes and Hermès Men’s Artistic Director Véronique Nichanian. Erlich manifested Nichanian’s vision, of “displaying finely conceived masculine objects within extraordinary imagined settings; a world of sporting elan where menswear literally defies gravity.”

After 11 p.m., most guests retreated to the first floor for wild dancing to classic favorites before parting with a customized Hermès silk pocket square, printed with aqua and lime green tennis balls and emblazoned with the name of the event, ”A Man’s World, Miami 2013.”

The experience was absolutely surreal from beginning to end; a structured illusional fairy tale of sorts, which proved to be truly a show-stopping, unforgettable journey into the extraordinary, unlike anything Miami has ever seen.

Celebrity Sightings:

Shakira was spotted at WALL nightclub at W South Beach shaking her famous hips on Saturday, June 8, with her boyfriend/baby daddy, Gerard Piqué. The couple enjoyed a few cocktails and danced for a few hours.

The Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh celebrated Sunday night’s win with friends and family at SUGARCANE raw bar grille.

Game of Thrones “Brienne of Tarth” or Gwendoline Christie, was spotted at Zuma enjoying Sunday Brunch with a friend. Kate del Castillo, was seen enjoying a late night dinner at Zuma with a girlfriend on Thursday

Soccer star and model David Beckham was at the SLS Hotel South Beach last week. He was also spotted at the Soho Beach House and at the AAA for the Miami Heat game.

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