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Welcome to Style Sabbaticals, where we reveal what the fashion industry's top professionals did on their Miami vacay and most importantly, where they shopped!
Tommy Hilfiger, Dee Ocleppo, and Deborah Slack, Vice President and General Manager of Saks Fifth Avenue at Bal Harbour Shops
A few weeks ago, Dee Ocleppo and Tommy Hilfiger paid a visit to Saks Fifth Avenue at Bal Harbour Shops to launch her eponymous label's Fall/Winter 2014 collection of Italian-crafted handbags with mix-and-match covers made out of python, fur, crocodile and more. "I had a bag like this when I was little, and it had little buttons and pockets… so I thought of this bag, and that was my inspiration," said Dee at the champagne-infused fête. In fact, Saks at Bal Harbour is one of the only four locations in the U.S. where you can find these versatile luxury bags (most retail in the $1000s), unless you trek the pond to Harrods in London.
We'll be seeing a lot more of these two, now that they've taken over the Raleigh Hotel and have decked out their own mod pod up in Golden Beach (where there are actually houses on the sand)! While Miami is now more of a second home for them than a vacation destination (because remodeling an entire art deco hotel could be considered work, after all), we couldn't help but expose the couple's favorite Miami haunts, from their favorite places to dine and shop to what the masters of classic, all-American prep think of Miami style.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you're in Miami?
Dee Ocleppo: I love to eat here and go shopping.
Tommy Hilfiger: I love to eat. I love all the great restaurants.
Do you have a favorite restaurant?
Tommy: Casa Tua.
Dee: I have to admit I love going to Prime 112, Joes, Mokato... There's just so many great restaurants! I haven't eaten anywhere badly here.
What are some of your favorite places to shop?
Tommy: Bal Harbour.
Dee: Definitely Bal Harbour. I've been around the world everywhere and to me it's one of the most pleasant shopping experiences you can have. I hate being stuck in a shopping mall. I love the indoor, outdoor experience with the the fish and the climate, not to mention the best of the best as far as stores.
Any stores you like in particular?
Tommy: My wife likes Valentino and Saks Fifth Avenue. I like the bookstore [Books & Books], and I like the Ferrari dealership. It's a toy store.
A closeup of Dee Ocleppo's handbag section at Saks Bal Harbour
What is Miami style to you?
Tommy: Cool, relaxed, and chill.
Dee: Miami is such an international place, so you've got the whole European and Latin influence, but I think in general Miami is a little bit sexier. It's different than New York. I feel the women here dress a little more body conscious because of the weather. I do feel like I have to step my game up a bit when I come here.
What's one thing we should be excited about at your new hotel?
Tommy: We're bringing it back to its original glory.
And you guys just moved here. Tell me a little bit about that!
Dee: We have an incredible house here on Golden Beach. That's exciting in itself! I have a lot of friends here and I'm excited about meeting new people and experiencing different things. I'm excited about driving down to the Keys one day... I was more familiar [with Miami] because I had a place in Williams Island, so I knew, but Tommy… I would drive everywhere because he would get me nowhere! He didn't know where he was. It's fun for me to be here with him, because he'll drive past a strip mall and discover something, like 'I found this great burger place in Hallandale, and then 'I found a great place that makes great chocolate shakes!' So he's finding all these little neighborhood places and it's really cute. He's 63!