Elisa Sednaoui was in Russia, Paris, New York and Miami, just this past week. All she wants, is to be home and chill, not work, take a break, enjoy her couch. Her acting and modeling career has taken off triple speed since the beginning of this year. The 23-year old Italian beauty just finished two movies and has become somewhat of a Karl Lagerfeld muse, as the face of the Chanel sunglasses and the star of his short “Remember Now”. She also shot a few H&M campaigns, one just here in Miami the past two days. Elisa explains that her needs have changed since acting became the focal point of her life. “The engagement in the work and the research is totally different. I can no longer simply do “missions” (that’s what I call my jobs around the world; I like to laugh with myself and think I’m a secret agent). I used to just travel, arrive on set, do my job and then when I leave it is done and I can just disconnect. Now I need to prepare ahead, study, focus, and above all allow a space of vulnerability where I can really go beyond myself and act as someone else. For this space to exist, I figured out I need to travel less (frequently) and be more in one place.”
Today, she can finally take a well-deserved breather and dip her tired feet in the warm sand. “This is perfect,” she sighs. She closes her eyes and reclines in her plush chaise lounge at the Soho House in Miami Beach. “Just two hours of sun, sand and salt water and I’ll be as good as new.” I can’t feel but a little bit guilty for whisking her away from her tropical dream, but I am pretty sure playing dress-up at Keni Valenti’s secret vintage store will be a little piece of heaven all on its own.
Keni Valenti is a staple in the vintage business. He started back in 1995 when stylist Lori Goldstein asked him to shop for her. She was working with Prada and Versace at the time. Though he’s a real New Yorker – and I mean down-to-the-Italian-accent REAL – he’s built up a beautiful part-time life for himself in Miami. When he’s not relaxing on the beach or entertaining friends, he receives and serves (a lot of celebrity) clients at his local vintage shop, a few steps from his gorgeous apartment on Collins Street. “It’s the size of a walk-in closet. You can close the curtains and change right here in the store!” The selection of vintage in Keni’s Miami affiliate is very colorful, bright and well, beachy. While we devour the single rack and the accessories display case, Keni tells us about a girl in LA who asked him to send her a long animal print gown for Nicole Richie’s wedding. “Is that what people are into now? Animal prints?” I’d say she’s probably a bit behind already. But she definitely made the right call. Keni confirms, “People come to me because I have the shit.”