THE TOLEDO TOUCH: Isabel and Ruben Toledo are widening their design influence. While Isabel Toledo may be well known for designing the lemongrass yellow ensemble worn by First Lady Michelle Obama at the inauguration ceremony of her husband in 2009, the Toledos have created the wardrobe for the staff of the Grove at Grand Bay, the Bjarke Ingels-designed condo in Miami.
The design duo have created outfits for the entire staff ranging from the pool boy to the parking attendants, and including housekeeping and front desk personnel. Tapping into the bohemian vibe of Miami’s Coconut Grove, the lineup includes pretty shirt dresses for the women and casual shirts, shorts and pants for the men. Developer David Martin spent 10 times more than a typical uniform budget to make this happen. The expense stemmed from the fact that the line was custom created by the Toledos, and every piece was custom fit and cut to the specifications of each staff member after multiple fittings. The uniforms are predominantly made of linen and were manufactured in the U.S.
Developed by Terra, the twin 20-story towers in Coconut Grove recently opened with the staff outfitted in their new outfits.
Asked how the collaboration came out, it turns out Martin, president of Terra, became friendly with the Toledos through his wife, Christy Martin, who help organize (and Terra underwrote) a retrospective on the Toledos during Art Basel Miami Beach in 2012 entitled “Full Circle.” The exhibit was housed in the historic Freedom Tower in downtown Miami, where back when the tower served as a processing center for Cuban migrants, the Toledos arrived in the U.S. in the Sixties.
Martin and his wife have become close with the Toledos over the years and have enlisted the design duo for his firm’s other Miami developments, including the Renzo Piano-designed Eighty Seven Park and Rem Koolhaas-designed Park Grove condo towers.