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Diary + Photos // Desmond Sam

Every December, a plethora of New Yorkers trade their puffer coats for bikinis and speedos to participate in a week of artistic debauchery in the good ol’ city of Miami. Now this is a tradition not for the weak hearted and one I haven’t entertained for about 4 years. You know, feeding myself the usual “I’m in my eat pray love era, I simply don’t have the time to get wasted in Miami for 5 days!”. Well this year, like many others, was a different story. I worked blood, sweat and tears within my craft, fighting personal obstacles but craving the need to be creative and free. Also, I’m the type of boy who creates my art on the dance floor, within the lips of hot strangers and through the lens of my new Kodak Cameo camera.

So this year I packed my suitcase, stuffed my XL Telfar bag with all the looks I could fit and ran to the LaGuardia airport to join the chaos patiently waiting for me on South Beach. Now to avoid being my own trigger, we’re not going to talk about how my flight got canceled 3 times and my Vrbo (what I get for betraying my faithful baby girl, Airbnb) was double booked. We’ll fast forward straight to the fun, starting with a private dinner and kickoff party at Gitano Miami hosted and curated by yours truly. You’re probably wondering, “How was he able to gather some of his most fabulous friends from the Clermont Twins to Selah Marley all under one roof to enjoy a delicious feast before dancing all night long on a moonlit rooftop?!” Some may say it was pure luck, but actually it was the start of my interactive dinner party, “Dine with Dez”. After a successful night the mischief truly began and gave very much “On The Run” Tour for the rest of the weekend. If it wasn’t a sponsored Wander+Ivy Brunch or soaking up art at the Scope Festival then it was party hopping from Miami beach to Wynwood on a party binger that surprisingly always ended at a bar crawl through the infamous Twist Nightclub every night!

The Art Basel ritual of turning nightlife into art, gives us the chance to truly immerse ourselves into a drunken haze of open bar fun! This year, I focused on capturing the many faces that ended up by my shoulder and instead of the casual glance, I snapped a picture so it could last longer. My favorite party spiral I must say was when my fashion fairy godmother, Shaun Ross, swopped me away from a huge brawl that started outside an event Friday night. Shaun graciously led us behind the PR team who brought our crew directly to VIP which led to me being inches away from Janelle Monae! Unfortunately, I had no film left at that point, so that’s a moment you’ll just have to take my word for.

And to close out the festivities Ladygunn celebrated the latest issue N.23! The celebration began with an intimate dinner experience with EIC Phil Gomez and some of our favorite creatives like Dylan Ali, Dope Tavio, Lily Gatins, knitwear designer Caitlin Farradas, choreographer to the stars Soraya Lundy and all-star event producers Evan Kine and Jake Resnicow. We were greeted with spicy margaritas while mouth watering entrees kept on flowing throughput the night. The Wagyu Albondigas were delicious and the Chorizo Con Queso Fundido gave you life. Making N.23 celebration a multi sensory over indulgence!

Oh one last thing! Welcome to Art Basel… from my eyes straight to yours!



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