Behind the Velvet Robe

Scene: In March. I did a post on social media and Sandra Smith-Doghmi, Founder and Publisher, Red the Luxury Life magazine contacted me saying “I love the photo of you and your wife in front of the neon and would like to do a story about it”. Sure, I said. I gathered photographs and wrote a draft. She then asked me to be part of the team as Executive Producer and Editor at Large for Red.
The photo mentioned was from Studio 54: Night Magic at the Brooklyn Museum as we were entering the Opening Ceremony event.
I was invited to Studio 54 Radio SiriusXM with Myra Scheer, former Executive Assistant to Studio 54 co-owner Steve Rubell, and Marc Benecke, former Studio 54 Doorman, on the Marc and Myra show. I surprised them with my ad for Studio 54 Jeans I art directed at Bloomingdale’s.
A few days later Myra introduced me to Matthew Yokobosky, Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture, Brooklyn Museum, because he was curating the Studio 54: Night Magic exhibit. Matthew included a handful of our archives in the show.
The photos in the reel include my captures of our archives, the exhibit, and guests. First page original photo by Robin Platzerat, 1977. Platzer/Twin Images/The LIFE images via Getty Images/Getty Images. Photo of us inserted into Robin Platzerat photo by Dave Turner.






Bergdorf Goodman and Ex Nihilo Paris

Scene: Benoît Verdier, co-owner of the luxury Parisian fragrance house EX NIHILO at Bergdorf Goodman. EX NIHILO Presented by Bergdorfs, Powered by Éclat Public Relations. At the press preview the French brand launched 10019 Wonders fragrance which one can customize, exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman. Benoît also featured the Speed Legend fragrance in his presentation and spoke of their other scents.
The event was held in the private lounge on the eighth floor of the store. Verdier spoke about the unconventional luxury brands art, ingredients, and process of making EX NIHILO fragrances.
“We source our ingredients according to the most strict protocols all over the world: from France (Grasse) for our Rose of May Centifolia, Tuscany in Italy for the Iris, and Vanilla Bourbon from Madagascar — the most splendid raw materials in perfumery. We only choose the best quality with no limits of cost. Today we focus on the most demanding sustainability programs, reducing our carbon footprint, exploring bioscience, and promoting social consciousness because we think all these elements are the future of high perfumery.”
Marine Roland, Director of Americas EX NIHILO, spritzed several fragrances on scent strips for our olfactory experience. We encountered the fresh, warm, smokey, and other notes of their perfumes.
EX NIHILO is a Parisian fragrance house founded in 2013 by a young trio from Paris, with other co-owners Sylvie Loday and Olivier Royère. It is an alternative to stereotyped luxury products, inspired by both the creative Avant-Garde and the French spirit of pure refinement.

Scene: Speed Legend was launched as a means of embodying a love of speed and performance in olfactory form. EX NIHILO Speed Legends eau de parfum gets off to a racing start, in part due to the invigorating presence of bergamot before deeper notes of vetiver and tonka bean.

Scene: Admiring the Speed Legend fragrance during the presentation is Daise Bedolla, Freelance Journalist, Harper’s Bazaar, Into the Gloss, The Cut, and Vogue.

Scene: Emily Marx, Bergdorf Goodman Public Relations, and Tatev Poghosyan, EX NIHILO Boutique Manager at Bergdorf Goodman.

Scene: Benoît Verdier introduced the new 10019 Wonders fragrance for men and women exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman which can be personalized. Top notes almond, cinnamon; Heart notes orange blossom, dates, caramel; Base notes cocoa, vanilla, tonka bean, sandalwood.

Scene: 10019 Wonders cap top.

Scene: Benoît Verdier, co-owner and scent aficionado, discussed their luxury fragrances. Experiencing the essence of a scent is Daise Bedolla, Freelance Journalist, Harper’s Bazaar; Into the Gloss; New York Magazine; The Cut; and Vogue.

Scene: Tatev Poghosyan, EX NIHILO Boutique Manager at Bergdorf Goodman; Carrie Wittmer, Senior Features Editor L’OFFICIEL USA Magazine; and Jamie Rosen, Founder Office of the Surface.

Scene: Andrea Rios, Fashion Assistant Esquire Magazine, and Lauren Swanson, Editorial Director NBC Select.

Scene: Jillian Scheinfeld, Founder The Dandy, Creative Copywriter A Million Ads, and Staff Writer DVEIGHT.

Scene: Nelson Sanchez, Sales Counter Manager and NY Business Coordinator, EX NIHILO.

Sene: Tatev Poghosyan, EX NIHILO Boutique Manager, holding the scent sticks as Marine Roland, EX NIHILO Director of Americas, spritzed the various fragrances for all of us to experience.

Scene: Various scents at the press preview.

Scene: Vanes Sacoppes, CEO and Editor in Chief BELLA Magazine; Founder and CEO of BELLA Media Company.

Scene: Janet Mercel, Editor in Chief DVEIGHT Magazine; US Editor A Hotel Life; and Senior Editor, Upstate Woman.

Sene: View from Bergdorfs private lounge of the Grand Army Plaza and Central Park.

Scene: Hanane El Moutii, CEO Éclat Public Relations.

Scene: Jamie Rosen, Founder Office of the Surface.

Scene: Carrie Wittmer, Senior Features Editor L’OFFICIEL USA Magazine.

Sene: Dr. Tara Lalvan, Founder and CEO BEAUTIFECT, and Vanes Sacoppes, CEO and Editor in Chief BELLA Magazine and Founder CEO BELLA Media Company.

Sene: EX NIHILO shopping bags.

Scene: Marine Roland, Director of Americas EX NIHILO, who was an integral part of the presentation and Benoît Verdier, co-owner EX NIHILO.

Scene: Janet Mercel checking in after the presentation. Editor in Chief DVEIGHT Magazine; US Editor A Hotel Life; and Senior Editor, Upstate Woman.

Sene: EX NIHILO Boutique at Bergdorf Goodman.

Sene: Speed Legend packaging.

Scene: 10019 Wonders packaging. 10019 is Bergdorf Goodman’s zip code.

Scene: EX NIHILO 10019 Wonders. A fragrance for men and women.

Scene: Benoît explained the process of creating ones personalized 10019 Wonders fragrance exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman. Using 10019 Wonders as the base he outlined the three raw material choices, rose, orange, and amber to create a fragrance expressly for you.

Scene: The chemistry begins with EX NIHILO’s 10019 Wonders fragrance as a base.

Scene: Amber, the raw material used in this case, was placed into 10019 Wonders fragrance base.

Scene: EX NIHILO 10019 Wonders fragrance base and amber meld into a unique personal scent.

Scene: EX NIHILO Programme De Personnalisation exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman.

Scene: Jamie Rosen, Founder Office of the Surface; Jillian Scheinfeld, Founder The Dandy, Creative Copywriter A Million Ads, and Staff Writer DVEIGHT; and Lauren Swanson, Editorial Director NBC Select.

Scene: EX NIHILO fragrance testers.

Scene: Ric Cobos attending to an inquisitive customer.

Scene: Hanane El Moutii, CEO Éclat Public Relations; Troy Salmans, Digital Coordinator Éclat Public Relations; and Janet Mercel, Editor in Chief DVEIGHT Magazine; US Editor A Hotel Life; and Senior Editor, Upstate Woman.

Scene: Benoît Verdier, co-owner EX NIHILO; Dr. Tara Lalvan, Founder and CEO Beautifect; and Vanes Sacoppes, CEO and Editor in Chief BELLA Magazine and Founder CEO BELLA Media Company.

Scene: EX NIHILO Blue Talisman for men and women is a cutting edge fragrance symbol of an infinite spiritual energy expressed by the subtle freshness of Ginger, softened by abstract Musky and Ambery notes. 

EX NIHILO Presented by Bergdorfs, Powered by Éclat Public Relations.






Nancy and Harry’s Shindig

Scene: Harry King and Nancy Donahue at their fun event at Slate in New York City. It was the perfect Friday evening for a fashion reunion! Their parties have stayed true to a musical beat. The vibe was upbeat and happy as the DJ spinned Studio 54 dance music pumping up the buoyant mood. The attendees mingled over cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and music. It was a get-together full of joy, celebration, and conversation. Guests included art directors, bloggers, family and friends, fashion designers, hairstylists, magazine editors, makeup artists, models, photographers, producers, public relations, stylists, and other industry greats and notables. Talented, wonderful, and fun people. The mood was festive. Another stellar night with Nancy and Harry at their shindig!

Scene: Loris Diran, Gildo Spado, Esma Korn, and Tony Spinelli.

Scene: Joey Hunter and Karen Lee-Grybowski.

Scene: Rodger del Valle, Renaldo Barnette, and Barry Weinbaum.

Scene: Lisa Zari and Vivian Scalia Dash.

Scene: Nancy Donahue, James Bosco, and Harry King.

Scene: Rashgene Gazi-White, Yasmine Guenancia, Deborah Hughes, and Rob Walter.

Scene: Tony Spinelli and Jade Albert.

Scene: Gretchen and Steven Maginnis.

Scene: Joanne Russell and Sandy Linter.

Scene: George and Yasmine Guenancia.

Scene: Nancy Donahue, Constance von Collande, and Harry King.

Scene: Joey Hunter, Debbie Dickinson, and Freddie Leiba.

Scene: Mitch Klien and Rob Kaplan.

Scene: John Warner and Denise Walch.

Scene: Russell Dash and Vivian Scalia Dash.

Scene: Mother and daughter, Carolyn Rea and Jennifer Backus.

Scene: Harry King and Tony Spinelli.

Scene: Ricardo Marin and Joshua Kokeny.

Scene: Nancy Donahue and Gretchen.

Scene: Yasmine Guenancia and Gildo Spado.

Scene: Ricardo Marin and Sandy Linter.

Scene: Terry Foster and Donald Eckert.

Scene: Ricardo Matinez and Harry King.

Scene: Robert Vordi and Deborah Hughes.

Scene: Gloria Dare and Jim Roderick.

Scene: Mike McGuire and Andy Fuhrmann.

Scene: Rashgene Gazi-White holding Andy Walhol bust, Karen Lee-Grybowski,and Duane Gazi-White.

Scene: Steven Feldman and Diane Smith.

Scene: Joanne Browne, Alberto Ferreras, Ken Browne, Harry King, and Constance von Collande.

Scene: Liz Temkin and Bob Menna.

Scene: Loris Diran, Gildo Spado, Esma Korn, and Tony Spinelli.

Scene: Nancy Donahue, Joey Hunter, and Karen Lee-Grybowski.

Scene: Ruthie and Richard Warren.

Scene: Bonnie Pfeifer Evans.

Scene: Yasmine Guenancia and Vivian Scalia Dash.

Scene: Sandy Linter and Dan Brennan.

Scene: Ja’Dee Murphy and Nancy Donahue.

Scene: Flo Kirley and Stephanie Shulman.

Scene: Scott Martin and Elijah Vielma.

Scene: Juan Gamboa and Lisa Ernst.

Scene: Rob Kaplan and friend.

Scene: Gina Nanni and Jeffrey Vanwoods.

Scene: James Bosco and Nancy Donahue.

Scene: Constance von Collande and Ja’Dee Murphy.

Scene: Dustin Pittman and Alva Chinn.

Scene: Debbie Dickinson and Harry King.

Scene: Rodger del Valle and Barry Weinbaum.

Scene: Tony Spinelli, Jade Albert, Joey Hunter, and Debbie Dickinson.

Scene: Dan Brennan and Ann Marie Mobley Lieberman.

Scene: James Bosco and Joanne Russell.

Scene: Freddie Leiba and Phillip Bloch.

Scene: Gina Nanni and Duane Gazi-White.

Scene: Maurice Tannenbaum, Helen Murray, and Drareni Chekib.

Scene: Joey Hunter and Debbie Dickinson.

Scene: That’s me with Joanne Russell. Photo James Bosco with my camera.

Scene: Pat Tracey and Joe James.

Scene: Nancy Donahue and Dustin Pittman.

Scene: Rochelle Mello, and Roderick Plummer with Alva Chinn dancing.

Scene: Roderick Plummer with Alva Chinn.

Scene: Joshua Kokeny, Sandy Linter, and Ricardo Marin.

Scene: Rochelle Mello and friends.

Scene: Joanne Russell and Dan Brennan.

Scene: Bonnie Pfeifer Evans and Alva Chinn.

Scene: Karina and John Verni.

Scene: Ingrid Carleton and Barbara Tate.

Scene: Guests.

Scene and Heard: Young Hearts Run Free.

Scene: Dancing the night away…

Scene: Harry King.

Scene: Big photo bomb by Pat Tracey with Alva Chinn and James Bosco.

Scene: Pat Tracey and Joe James.

Scene: Ramy Gafni.

Scene: Ann Marie Mobley Lieberman, John Verni, Karina Verni, and James Bosco.

Scene: Mike McGuire, Paul Morejón, and Andy Fuhrmann.

Scene: Joanne Russell, Sandy Linter, and Yasmine Guenancia.

Scene: Rahul Nag with Janet Wolfman in the background.

Scene: Janet Wolfman and Rahul Nag.

Scene: Kissy Mentovay and Max Herrera.

Scene: Sarah Stavrou and Renaldo Barnette.

Scene: Man-Laï Liang, Xavier Griffiths, and Lea Pelloux.

Scene: Nancy Donahue and Dustin Pittman.

Scene: Flo Kirley and Stephanie Shulman.

Scene: David Noh and friend.

Scene: Alva Chinn and Bonnie Pfeifer Evans.

Scene: Jennifer Backus and Joe Ryan.

Scene: Duane Gazi-White and Rashgene Gazi-White.

Scene and Heard: Last Dance.

Scene: A pair of Jimmy Choo Heels on the dance floor.

Scene: Nancy and Harry. Thanks for another wonderful party, Nancy and Harry!






NYFW Naeem Khan

Scene: The Naeem Khan Spring Summer ’24 collection at New York Fashion Week. The theme was To India My Love. The show was a heartfelt homage to the colors, culture, and craftsmanship of India which inspired the vibrant tapestry of the designer’s homeland, where beauty and diversity, tradition and innovation intertwined seamlessly on the runway. A true marriage between East and West.
Talent for the show: Hair by key hairstylist Jon Reyman and team for Aveda complemented Naeem Khan’s vision with elegant back braids with strong parts, a fusion of Indian heritage and high fashion achieved with artistry — Couture Indian Princess. Key makeup artist Georgi Sandev and team enhanced the collection with gold eyeshadow and glowing skin with d’Alba global skincare and especially by using their White Truffle First Spray Serum. Key nail artist Julianna Dahdura, Founder of Deco Beauty, and team applied matte gold and high chrome look nails. Stylist Anna Katsani. Jewelry Sterling King, Bonheur Jewelry, Uncommon Matters, Alexis Bittar, and Ben-Amun By Issaac Manevitz. Undergarments Commando. Shoes Alexandre Birman. Location Naeem Khan’s Showroom. Photos Fred J. DeVito.

Special thanks to Helen Oppenheim, hair historian, archivist, and blogger, for asking me to collaborate during Fashion Week.






NYMD PM

The PM Shows at New York Men’s Day Spring/Summer 2024. The start of New York Fashion Week begins with New York Men’s Day (NYMD). While focused primarily on menswear (including genderless and unisex), NYMD gives up-and-coming designers an opportunity to showcase with visibility This was the 10th installment of NYMD, a showcase of menswear collections which in some cases also included women’s wear. The biannual fashion initiative was founded by Agentry PR. Presenting sponsor Hilldun and returning sponsor De’Longhi along with Vitamin Water and Smart Water at Location 05 and Daylight Studios. Five designers showcased their presentations at NYMD that afternoon, TheSalting, Tarplay, Raleigh Workshop, Skyco, and Sebastien Ami. All unique with their own vision.

Scene: TheSalting’s presentation. Founded by Michael Ward and Michael Smaldone in 2018, with co-owner Manel Garcia Espejo joining in 2020, the brand aims to bring unisex clothing with a focus on craftsmanship to consumers. The collection was classic modern with a twist in lightweight linens in pastels, opaque colors, and navy blues. The breezy airy vibe reminded me of walking on the beach by the seashore. The bucket hats added another dimension to the collection and the sandals reinforced a causal walk at a ocean town while boutonnieres pinned to labels gave whimsical breathe of fresh air. The stage was raised platforms channeling the boardwalk. Simple styling and beautiful details.
Talent for the show: Hair by lead hairstylist Ashley Brecken and team for Oribe utilizing Oribe hair products. Makeup by lead makeup artist Michelle Webb, First Assistant Monique Marquerite, and team for Augment Tokyo utilizing Burn Beauty products. Jewelry Sasha Samuel , Boutonnieres Megan Guip for Wilhem NYC Florals, Footwear Nomadic State of Mind, Photos Fred J. DeVito.

Scene: Tarplay’s presentation Softwear. Conceived by Brooks Jones, he has transitioned from the idyllic expanses of Tennessee to the artistic hubs of New York City. This brand is an embodiment of a spirit of both tranquil fly-fishing in Montana and the dynamic art parties of New York. Some other characters the models represented were, a gardener, a hiker, a bird watcher, and a skateboarder, illustrating his line can be worn during a variety of activities. The brand specializes in garments crafted with innovative technologies that meld avant-garde design, groundbreaking materials, and craftsmanship with a sustainability and environment conscience. Innovative materials such as apple leather, abaca leaf, bio nylons and linens, have been incorporated into many of the pieces.
Talent for the show: Hair by lead hairstylist Mandee Tauber and team for Oribe utilizing Oribe hair products. Makeup by lead makeup artist Michelle Webb and team for Augment Tokyo utilizing Burn Beauty products. Stylist Tarpley Brooks Jones and Marisa Jones, Photos Fred J. DeVito.
Photo above and below model representing a Tennessee farm boy.

Scene: Raleigh Workshop’s presentation The 1/1 Collaboration. Founders and married couple Sarah Yarborough and Victor Lytvinenko showcased a unique collection celebrating its legacy of denim craft, quality, and tradition. Denim is the core of its business. The North Carolina based brand have separated themselves from the inundation of fast fashion through meticulous handcraft and styling. This collection explored how denim can be created and worn in different ways. Using different techniques, the looks ranged from patchwork to deconstructed styles with vibrant color blocking, bright patterns, and contrasted stitching patterns. The collection both reimagined denim while paying homage to the traditions of the fabric.
Talent for the show: Hair by lead hairstylist Katie Manselle and team for Oribe utilizing Oribe hair products. Makeup by lead makeup artist Michelle Webb and team for Augment Tokyo utilizing Burn Beauty products. Watches Giles Clement of Clement Design Studio, Footwear Justin James of Opie Way, Photo seventeen and eighteen courtesy of Raleigh Workshop, Photos Fred J. DeVito.

Scene: The label on his forehead reads — Made in USA of Imported Fabrics, 55% Cotton 45% Linen, RN 142257, R1 – 20, When the Time Comes, Mend or Donate.

Scene: Skyco’s presentation The Running Man. The quests were intrigued as they viewed the collection of Creative Director and Designer Skylar Hertz with its vibrate colors and graphics. There was a feeling of the Pop-Art movement of the late 1970’s and the graffiti subculture of the 1980s with an artistic jumble of typography, newspaper imagery, and illustrations. It was fun and playful. He experimented with his design language to create this collection which took over a year to formulate for his brands first showcase. His passion for design started in his dorm room, teaching himself how to use a sewing machine that he rented and some YouTube videos.
Talent for the show: Hair by lead hairstylist Christian Ceja-Copin and team for Oribe utilizing Oribe hair products. Makeup by lead makeup artist Michelle Webb and team for Augment Tokyo utilizing Burn Beauty products. Stylist Julianna Yao, Jewelry Dinosaur Designs, Footwear Puma and Dr. Martens, Photo two, seventeen through nineteen are courtesy of Skyco, Photos Fred J. DeVito.

Scene: Sebastien Ami’s presentation Camping. A luxury menswear company with a unisex lens established by designer Sebastien Amisial and co-directed with partner Marianne Amisial. The collection was a homage to not only the aesthetics of nature, but the sense of community cemented by excursions in the outdoors. The color palette of the collection was inspired by a 1966 photograph of Mt. Ranier. Muted colors and old-school fabrics. Their fabrics are sourced from Italy, Japan, and the United States. The goal of the house is to create timeless pieces that carry no gender or season classification. Every item is crafted with the intention to create timeless design, with a traditional outlook of an heirloom.
Talent for the show: Hair by lead hairstylist Kien Hoang and team for Oribe utilizing Oribe hair products. Makeup by lead makeup artist Michelle Webb and team for Augment Tokyo utilizing Burn Beauty products. Stylist Christopher Cambell and Mia Hurley, Bags in collaboration with Chantel Le, Footwear Merrel, Camping Accessories Snow Peak, Photo fifteen courtesy of Sebastien Ami, Photos Fred J. DeVito.

Special thanks to Helen Oppenheim, hair historian,  archivist, and blogger, for asking me to collaborate during Fashion Week.