Allison Weiss Brady’s The Life of a Social Scribe

Rushing Through Art Basel

SocialMiami’s Social Scribe, Allison Weiss Brady, hosted a fantastic shopping event with Russell Simmons at Jackie Abraham Jewelers in Bay Harbor. Proceeds from the sales went to Russell’s Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.

Jackie Abraham surrounded by his family

It’s been a busy winter for me! Attended a fabulous gala at my college alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). They honored the Award of Merit winners, including a family friend David S. Pottruck, who was the former co-CEO of Charles Schwab. Yours truly was named the 2008 Young Alumni of the Year for my fundraising efforts for Penn, particularly events with legendary opera singer Placido Domingo.


We helped raise funds for a rare bone disease known as FOP that is being researched at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Got back to Miami just in time for Art Basel! From what I could tell, there were slightly fewer events than last year but still far too many to attend.

Russell Simmons was in town hosting events for his arts education non-profit, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, for which I serve as a board member. He hosted a private “Kiss My Art” dinner party honoring New York-based artist Mickalene Thomas. The dinner celebrated the opening of the Mondrian Hotel with guests including David LaChapelle, Kehinde Wiley, Shepard Fairey, Tony Shafrazi, Naomi Campbell and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. The Mondrian sits on Biscayne Bay, and the views of the Miami skyline are quite breathtaking. It’s sure to become one of Miami’s elite hotels.

Another of Russell’s events was a “Gold Rush” shopping event with co-chairs Diane N. Weiss, Jill Viner (co-owner of the Florida Panthers) and my husband Chip and me. It took place at the new salon of Jackie Abraham Fine & Estate Jewelers. The committee consisted of the who’s who of the Miami social scene, including Kim Wood, Alison Zhuk, Kelly Gold, Nicole & Edgar Lozano, Sarah Arison, Elsie Howard, and Jillian Jacboson-Altit. Guests included Morgans Hotel Group CEO Fred Kleisner, his wife Johnna and daughter Heather; HSBC and Rush Philanthropic Board President Javier Evans; Rush’s Executive Director Tangie Murray; SocialMiami’s Aaron Glickman; CBS Channel 4’s Lisa Petrillo; Liam and Christine Murphy; Greg and Leslie Oars; and socialites-on-the scene Erin Newberg, Suzanne Dewitt, Amy Rosenberg and Zurami Pascual. Event sponsors were pop art gallery,, Miami Modern Luxury and Quintessentially.

Russell Simmons

The event marked the opening of Jackie Abraham’s new boutique on Kane Concourse in Bay Harbor Islands (just a few blocks west of Bal Harbour Shops). Some of you may remember Jackie from the Loehmann’s Plaza Jewelry Exchange. Because of success there and the stellar reputation he built, Jackie has opened his own store, co-designed by hipster decorator Briggs Solomon. The salon is gorgeous – white, crisp and oh-so chic – the décor allows the gems to sparkle.

Jackie and wife Johanna were perfect hosts, serving cupcakes and Emack & Bolio’s Wicked Good chocolates, Tasmanian Rain Water and flutes of Nuovo pink champagne. Russell expressed to me how very appreciative he is of Jackie and Johanna Abraham’s support. They are also donating vintage pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier, as well as new collections from La Nouvelle Bague, to benefit Rush Philanthropic.



More than $20,000 of jewelry was purchased at the event with a handsome portion of the proceeds going to Russell’s foundation. Those lucky enough to make a purchase also received VIP gifts bags with goodies from Frederic Fekkai, Emeshel’s Nubia perfume, Jillian Jacobson-Altit’s make-up line Jillicious, and Hanae Mori eau de toilette. The Jillicious lipgloss is yummy! So minty and fresh, I’ll be carrying it around in the new Fendi bag I bought at Saks Key to the Cure event.

At the party, I was honored to interview Russell Simmons for a segment, as well as for a new gig I’m working on with CBS. Russell spoke about his love for Miami and its gorgeous weather, Art Basel, yoga on the beach, and some of the art shows he attended, including a photography exhibit by David LaChapelle. He’s got the life! I asked him if he could ever permanently move to Miami. He smiled and explained that though he loves Miami, he can’t because his businesses are in New York City.

Russell also discussed his upcoming Rush Philanthropic’s Art for Life 2009 gala at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Be sure and check out for more information on Russell’s upcoming gala!

Until next time, I bid you adieu.

Allison Weiss Brady

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