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Quarantine Q+A with Venice Magazine

Interview by Ariella Bernick.

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For their Summer Issue, Venice Magazine asked me and some stylish friends from C&I Studios, The Miami Dolphins, Inter Miami CF, The Florida Panthers and more to show our #AtHomeSelfies + dish on what’s keeping our spirits up. Here is my full quarantine Q+A with Ari Bernick.

Venice Magazine Summer Issue 2020

Venice Magazine: What has been your can’t-live-without piece of clothing/accessory during this time?

Diana: Can’t-live-without pieces at the moment would be Baianá Eco Swimwear’s “Marjorie” suit, a handcrafted fouta from Fouta Harissa and Bikini’s Over Everything swim wash. Lately, I can’t help but throw on a suit and just lounge in that all day. I’ve also been making more of an effort to support businesses that encourage environmental awareness and sustainable living. With that said, a sustainable wardrobe thrives on versatility, and Baianá’s Marjorie top can be tied in so many different ways, leaving you with a high-quality, eco-friendly suit that’s timeless and très chic. It’s perfect for Spritz’in by the pool, and even as a top with stacked jewelry (like from female-owned Miami-based company Moonfish Jewelry) and a pair of trousers or Levi shorts for lounging. Casual yet stylish is the vibe for my quarantine.

Venice Magazine: We recently read your article about your favorite local boutiques/restaurants you are supporting during quarantine. Could you highlight a few? 

Diana: There are so many fantastic local spots that are near and dear to my heart that need our support right now, but here are some quick-fire picks:

  • Kousine Peruvian Kitchen – One of my favorites in town and possibly the most underrated restaurant on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Nestled on A1A just south of Sunrise, Kousine is the move for when you’re in the mood for fresh, mouthwatering ceviches, colorful tiraditos and savory anticuchos. Chef Danny Kou welcomes you with heart-warming hospitality and food that makes you do a happy dance as soon as you eat it.
  • Radio-Active Records – Music has always been an integral part of my everyday life, and the Radio-Active fam hasn’t missed a beat keeping business going (safely) for everyone and supplying the hits from The Beach Boys to Pink Floyd. While I miss digging for records at the brick-and-mortar shop, they’ve set up a great online store that offers curbside pickup and delivery.
  • Sweet Rustic Bake Shop – 100% that shop for your sweet tooth craving or when you’re having a #TreatYoSelfDay. They’re as delightful as their famous Sweet Mascarpone Fruit Danishes, and if you haven’t had the chance to try one of their Everything Croissants, don’t walk, RUN.
  • Temple Street Eatery – TSE is Fort Lauderdale’s favorite little noodles and dumplings house, serving up incredible Chino-Latino flavors. Chefs Alex Kuk and Diego Ng have bought our city something special with comfort foods reminiscent of their upbringing that meets the affordability of traditional Southeast Asian street food. Also, three words: Mini. Beef. Arepas!
  • Harpke Family Farm – Harpke Family Farm is an urban farm growing specialty produce for chefs and local families, and is the go-to for microgreens, edible flowers and other specialty produce. Fun fact: They’ve teamed with Frice Cream, a South Florida chef-driven ice cream company, so you can grab flavors like Rocky Road Stout, Raspberry Lime Sorbet, and Chocolate Hazelnut with your pickup orders.

Venice Magazine: What has been your creative outlet?

Diana: Last Christmas, I asked for a bunch of cookbooks, and I’m finally putting them to good use. I’ve always loved cooking, but since we’ve all had to hunker down and stay home, it’s given me the time to get more creative in the kitchen. There’s something inexplicably heartfelt when preparing a meal and *pat on the back* when it actually turns out great. Alison Roman’s “Dining In” and my monthly Bon Appetit Magazine have been on hand, along with NYT Cooking (@nytcooking). Culturally, I’ve been finding inspiration at my fingertips accessing virtual tours at NSUArtMuseum.org and PAMM.org.

Venice Magazine: How has your fan base changed throughout the past few months?

Diana: Social media/Instagram is a place where we can gather, share and discuss, and I’m incredibly humbled at the reception I’ve received throughout this time. We’ve been quarantined as the world changes around us, and I’ve used my platform to amplify the voices of our local community. There’s been an outpouring of support for my Local Guides, and I’m proud that not only is my work resourceful but that people see me as a genuine human and friend. I feel like we all need someone to lean on right now, and I’m grateful that my audience views me as a person they can turn to.

Venice Magazine Summer Issue 2020

Venice Magazine: How have the past few months evolved your sense of fashion?

Diana: In the past three-plus months, I’ve gone through my clothes, re-evaluated them and decided what should stay and what should be donated. Things that I haven’t worn in a while or that don’t necessarily represent my style anymore took up unnecessary (and coveted) closet space and definitely had to go. Aside from wearing yoga pants and band T-shirts for probably too many days in a row, this time has inspired me to do my part in supporting conscious brands with quality clothing that mix-and-match easily for effortless looks. Currently, I am coveting Miami-based brand and independent store Simonett, anything For Love and Lemons, Sézane and The Frankie Shop.

Venice Magazine: What are some ways you have been practicing self-care during quarantine?

Diana: My quarantine self-care has come in many forms! It can be as simple as my morning coffee routine and meditation, long walks with my one-and-a-half-year-old basset hound Winston, or a socially distanced chat with a neighbor. It’s the little things that have been grounding and helpful in making life seem a bit more peaceful in the chaos. Some of my favorite yoga studios like Zen Mind Space, Sol Yoga, The Yoga Joint and other local teachers have been offering free classes as a way to give back to our community during this time. I’m also reading “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero that my best friend bought me pre-quarantine, and it is literally rocking my world. Big-time recommend.


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Venice Magazine: What have been other quarantine essentials?

Venice Magazine: What are some practices that you have acquired during quarantine that you would like to continue when things go back to “normal”?

Diana: I am keeping my inner chef going because one, it makes my tummy happy, and two, it makes me proud when I master a slammin’ recipe that I can share with loved ones post-quarantine. This time has also taught me that it’s OK to slow down and not be “on” 24/7. It’s easy to be consumed by the constant stream of news and social media, and I’ve learned it’s alright to unplug, decompress and come back with a fresh set of eyes.

Venice Magazine: What is your quarantine guilty pleasure?

Diana: Basically anything on Bravo, tiny house videos on YouTube… And Shake Shack. Cheesy bacon fries? Yes, please.

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