In honor of the annual Pride Month in June, the Scoop celebrates some of South Florida’s notable creatives who are members of the LGBTQ community. This larger-than-life bunch excels in so many areas of expertise. Our region is lucky to benefit from their enormous accomplishments that contribute to how we live from our wardrobes to our gardens to our meals. Here, we share their stories and news.
Fashion designer Alvin Valley is sweet on Miami. He attended UM, opened his first boutique here and recently returned for a three-month pop up at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. Along with pants, his claim to fame, his namesake women’s collection covers all the bases from jumpsuits to sarongs. Visit his Palm Beach boutique and pending partnerships at Ritz-Carltons in Puerto Rico and Mexico too.
Photo credit: Nick Mele
Karla Dascal positively glows. The Miami native and founder of Karla Conceptual Event Experiences and the Sacred Space has widely shared her transformation into one of the city’s most celebrated wellness visionaries. She applies her holistic lifestyle to her many entrepreneurial ventures like a vegan eatery, organic farm, wellness workshops and organic products. Her constant growth is a gift of health to others.
A breakthrough artist who came out of Miami’s New World School of the Arts, Hernan Bas is represented by major galleries like Victoria Miro and Perrotin. Early paintings inspired by The Hardy Boys established his fascination with figurative works depicting male youth, among several recurrent themes. Numerous works are on view at his solo show at Rubell Museum through December 12.
Fernando Wong, who immigrated to South Florida from Panama, has risen to great heights in the landscape design industry. His eponymous, Palm Beach-based firm, which he founded with his life and business partner Tim Johnson, is behind many residential and commercial projects including Four Seasons at the Surf Club and a landmarked John Volk estate featured in Town & Country.
Miami-raised, Latinx chef Eileen Andrade plans to unveil her third culinary concept soon. Located in the Doral Yard, Barbakoa builds upon the signature Latin-Asian fusion cuisine that popularized her Finka Table & Tap and Amelia’s 1931. On top of running her restaurant empire and slaving over a hot stove, the young gun is a prominent female and LGBTQ voice in the local dining scene.
Rene Gonzalez’s innovative architecture with a holistic approach has always been one step ahead of the times. Since establishing his firm in 1997, his projects have been recognized for working with their surroundings and using natural elements. The New York Times featured a Miami Beach home that he designed, while Florida International University commissioned him for CasaCuba, its all-encompassing Cuban cultural center.