In this year's Spotlight Scene, I would like to introduce you all to an amazing individual in and out, a powerhouse and an epitome of a "boss lady". She has a penchant for fashion, a heart of gold when it comes to giving back to the community, Miami socialite, fashionista and a wonderful wife and mother; Ariel Penzer Milgroom- whom I am lucky to know and call friend!
(Ariel in unique fashion pieces with her friends at Miami social and philanthropic events)
Before I jump the gun and get too excited, I met Ariel in 2019 at a Chanukah Party in South Beach as both of us are part of the same Jewish community in Miami Beach. As a fashionista myself, I was immediately drawn to Ariel's unique fashion and from there on, not only finding a common ground and interest and also getting to know more of her as time went by is really inspiring and motivating to any woman especially with her presence in the world of philanthropy. I had the opportunity and honor that Ariel allowed me to share and feature her, so without further ado; welcome to the colorful world of Ariel Penzer Milgroom.
The Parisian Panda: Please tell us a little bit about yourself of where you are from, your childhood, where did you grow up and how did you end up living in Miami?
Ariel: I grew up on Long Island, New York. I am the middle child of 3 siblings. After living in the same town both my parents grew up in and commuting to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in NYC where I went to college, I needed a change. My dad was working with Hebrew Language Charger Schools in Miami and Broward County and I came down on a few business trips. I fell in love with the weather, the culture and the overall fun vibes. I moved to Miami, met my husband at Story night club and made a life together. I’ve slowed down my NY pace, and really feel a sense of Miami zen in my life. The Latin carefree fun attitude exudes in the (Miami) lifestyle and I love it.
(Pictures of how Ariel carefully curates her clothing and fashion style that embodies a tropical, care free Miami vibe)
PP: Have you always loved fashion? Who were your early inspirations?
A: I have always loved dressing up. My mother is and has always been my biggest fashion inspiration. For her, it was always about having fun with it. I still wear all the amazing things she has collected throughout the years--from her gold Fiorucci cowboy boots to her amazing Chanel handbag collection. She always picked the most fun pieces. People think of timeless as neutral, but these standout pieces still stand out 30-40 years later.
(Some of Ariel's daytime, casual and night looks while showcasing timeless pieces)
PP: Did you ever want to pursue fashion design as a career growing up and what do you do now in Miami?
A: I have never wanted to be a fashion designer, I do not think my sensibility translates to the masses. I wanted to be a window designer for some time. Now, I am mainly a mom and philanthropist while enjoying fashion as a hobby.
PP: Tell us about your philanthropic activities and participations within South Florida or elsewhere. How did you start getting involved in it and why?
A: I am a 3rd generation philanthropist. I was raised with hands on giving back at the forefront of my upbringing. My parents go through life finding people that need help in various ways and do everything they can to help them. My mother has always used her intelligence, power and law background to give power to those who may not have it or know how to use it.
(Even in various philanthropic events in Miami, we can see Ariel's keen eye when it comes to fashion)
A: Miami is my home now, and I try to identify the needs of the city as a whole. For me, I love working with organizations like Chapman Partnership. They do not just work to feed the homeless, they work to end family homelessness with job trainings, medical care and all other amazing programs. Once I started donating and getting involved, I met all these amazing friends who also love giving back, and we love to share ideas and advice to one another. Also, it is amazing to have such a community working together to make the world a better place. I also love to donate to the local gardens like Vizcaya and Fairchild, as well as important causes for local children like Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and Little Lighthouse Foundation.
(Pictured are some of Ariel's amazing and fashionable friends who love to give back and help the community)
PP: How do you balance life as a wife, mom, fashion icon and other philanthropic activities? Any advice or tips?
A: Know how to say NO! I have to say no to a lot of amazing things that just do not fit into my lifestyle anymore as a stay at home mom to an active toddler. I say no to almost any night time party now, unless it is an amazing fun theme, even if it an organization I love. I also find other ways to support that work for where my life is now, which is so different than 2 years ago before becoming a mom. Most importantly, I lean heavily on my support system. I am messy and hate to clean so my housekeeper is a lifesaver. I also have a very helpful and supportive husband and parents, in-laws who live nearby, and a really great babysitter so I am grateful for that.
(Pictured with Ariel's loving and supporting husband, Jeremy Milgroom)