BASE, 939 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, is where you go either to acquire or to adorn a hip lifestyle. I joined the Friday night crowd of LGBTwinks who had assembled for the unveiling of the 2011 Jeremy Scott SLVR X for Adidas collection.
(Alas, Mr. Scott himself was in New York City preoccupied with the annual Fashion Week showings.) Many in the sexy throng had strong ties to New York City where Scott has a store in SoHo. And yes, in that crowd, I put the silver in SLVR. No one complained about my age because when you enter an event in Miami Beach accompanied by a real photographer - in this case, Jarrett Terrill whose photos these are - you are offered just about everything that most men of a certain age have to pay for.
Trendies of all ages seem to subscribe to the BASE ethos that prescribes not just clothing, jewelry, music and toys, but even its own fragrances including the ever-popular "Sand". The youngest guys come to BASE for guidance in getting a life and a style that they have yet to own. The 30-somethings were there to ornament and enhance the pizzazz of their prime. The 40-somethings came to refresh it, while the 50-and-beyond-somethings were there either to reclaim their mojo, or simply to enjoy the sight of it.
(More, plus photos, after the jump.)
With the bar open, and the festivities ruled by trustworthy impresario Thomas Barker, owner/editor of WIRE Magazine, all seemed to have gotten what they came for.
Bruce Cannella, founder and manager of BASE with his partner, Steven Giles, has managed to "keep it fresh" for 11 years and to succeed as an independent presence on Lincoln Road despite the overpowering infiltration of chain stores. They have also accomplished something that other couples fail to do: live and work together. "It's kind of like having a baby" explained Bruce, who was also eager to talk about their latest birth, the Adidas "store within a store" realized by Corey Valestra of Adidas who set up the BASE display as a Miami exclusive.
Mr. Cannella's retail secret, which helps him afford the horribly escalating rent on Lincoln Road, is to "keep evolving". With his partner's nephew, Patrick Giles, as the evening's dj, and with the staff of the Palace Bar gyrating in the windows in Adidas gear, BASE seems to know its market, but the proof was in the response of Miami's ubiquitous and handsome young charmer, Max Emerson, (in the pink plaid shirt) when asked if he would wear Jeremy Scott.
"Hell's fuckin' yeah."
Max has two shorts in the upcoming Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, one of which is entitled "Dipspit". His winning smile and presence at BASE was benediction and proof that this was the right look, time and place to be, for anyone seeking the right look, time and place to be.
More photos at South Florida Gay News