Miami Beach, FL – October 14, 2013 – LIV on Sunday was in top form this week with The Game on the mic and Norris Cole celebrating his birthday. Kelly Rowland and Greg Oden came out for the party that turned into a classic LIV on Sunday celebration.
Miami, FL – July 15, 2013 – Jaguar and Gilt City Miami celebrated the all-new 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE at Soho Studios, The Pavilion. Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Rowland presented the #MyTurnToJag social media contest and as part of the prize, one lucky winner had the chance to experience the all-new Jaguar F-TYPE around Miami with Rowland. DJ Trey “ACE” Smith provided the music for the night while father, Will Smith stood by in support.
Kelly Rowland, Trey “ACE” Smith, & Raymond Warren
James Lewis Wark, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Kelly Rowland, & Raymond Warren
Romeo Mcnairy, Kelly Rowland, & Brandy Lee
Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, James Lewis Wark, & Vanessa Santos
Alexandra Wilkis Wilson & James Lewis Wark
Alexandra Wilkis Wilson & Vanessa Santos
Trey “ACE” Smith
Trey “ACE” Smith
Trey “ACE” Smith & DJ Fabrega
DJ Fabrega, Marco Fabrega, Dylan Fabrega, & Christina Angelo
Frank Consuegra & Christy Cartaya
Christina Stejskal & Hilary Shawn
Basmah Marouf & Thais Venturini
Larry Zinn, Raymond Warren, Floyd Raglin, & Robert Lentoski
Marco Fabrega, Ariel Fabrega, Eli Fabrega, Dylan Fabrega, & Christina Angelo
Miami Beach, FL – May 8, 2013 – This Friday, May 10, marks the 3 Year Anniversary of WorldRedEye.com. To celebrate this milestone, we’re counting down with some of our most amazing photos that have been on the site over the past three years. Starting it off, we’ve got the best of what we’re known for- our celebrity photos. While many of them come to and live in Miami, World Red Eye has flown across the country to photograph and party with the stars. From the year it all began in 2010, we hit the ground running by covering the biggest names in music and entertainment from legendary hip hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs to Fashion’s infamous cut-throat editor of Vogue, Anna Wintour. The year ended with an epic New Years Eve party in Las Vegas where we still remember the amazing energy of having Rihanna, Jay-Z, and Kanye West all in one club at Marquee. After our first year, 2011 brought even more excitement to our lenses as we got to photograph big time actors like Jeremy Piven, Andy Garcia, Sarah Jessica Parker, and even former President George W. Bush, among many, many others. And then there was last year. Without a doubt, the biggest moment of 2012 we can’t stop thinking or talking about is when legendary icon Madonna made a surprise performance at Ultra Music Festival during Avicii‘s closing set on Day 2. World Red Eye was the only photographer allowed to photograph Madonna when she came on the main stage, making it a historical night we won’t ever forget. You’d think after each year, we couldn’t top the last, but 2013 is already off to a stellar start. Take a look back at all these incredible moments captured of our favorite celebrities- we can’t wait to see what this year will bring!
The Opium Group‘s empire has spanned over 20 years of South Beach nightlife. The founding trifecta of brothers Eric and Francis Milon and Roman Jones started from just a tiny cafe, and have now grown to own and operate four of South Beach’s biggest, most prominent clubs on the scene- Mansion, SET, Mokai, and Cameo. They ran the hottest spots on the strip and had celebrities coming out to party at their clubs and lounges on the regular throughout the nineties and 2000’s like Living Room, Opium Garden, and Prive. Having seen it all and accomplished so much to date, The Opium Group continues to evolve and reinvent itself- most recently though the reopening of Lincoln Road’s staple club SET. Here we chat with founder Eric Milon and get to hear his stories first hand from back in the day to present day- talking about Opium’s current and future projects and rumors last month of a buyout. Take a look at photos from our archives from over ten years ago up to recently and get a glimpse into the life of one of Miami’s biggest nightclub operators.
Living Room – 1995-2001
Living Room was the first club/lounge that brothers Francis and Eric Milon opened in 1995. That was the year nightlife really took off in Miami, and it was always packed with party people and the biggest celebrities like Al Pacino and Sylvester Stallone. It was the VIP of the VIP, where people came to enjoy themselves in the comfort of what felt like the Milon’s living room.
Eric & Francis Milon at Living Room for an Ocean Drive shoot on October 18, 2000
Eric Milon & Tyson Beckford at Crave Party at Living Room on October 12, 2000
Eric Milon: It was the scene then, and it’s still the scene today. Of course there are more nightclubs now as business has grown, and the scene is booming more than ever. It was 1995 that the scene started buzzing. When we opened our lounge The Living Room, it was the best the beach had ever seen. We had celebrities, singers, actresses- Harrison Ford, JLO, P. Diddy, Madonna- everyone showed up to the club unannounced– none of them were paid to appear, it was just for fun. Since then, it’s become a business for a lot of celebrities to go to clubs and get paid for it. Eventually their fees became more expensive, and we said to ourselves, let’s change the celebrities for DJs as the DJ and the music is the staple of what draws people to the club. So over the last six or seven years, the DJs became celebrities, and their fees also went up, some of them are through the roof.
Mike Tyson & Cedric Adegnika at Living Room on January 10, 2001
Lil’ Kim & Susan Scott at Living Room on June 7, 2000
Jay-Z at Living Room on March 2, 2001
Café Tabac – 1997-2001
Café Tabac was where it all started for The Opium Group. It was the first space that they acquired, and through its success as a restaurant, ended up expanding even further and branching out within the space to open the clubs. The indoor/outdoor cafe was perfect for the breezy South of Fifth locale where they served French Moroccan food in the late nineties and early 2000.
Francis Milon at Cafe Tabac on January 15, 1999
EM: It was actually my brother, Francis, who asked his friend, Roman Jones, to join us in looking at a space in South of Fifth that was a then-shuttered nightclub. We were offered a little cafe space on the ground floor which we called Café Tabac. The cafe became very successful, so we took the next space available above the cafe which we made into Japanese restaurant with a DJ, and from there, we then grew into another space in the building and built a mojito room with a jungle theme. Then the large courtyard space became available, and next thing we knew, we had taken over every space in the building which was then known as Opium Restaurant and Opium Garden.
Opium Garden – 2001-2009
The first club of The Opium Group was born in 2001. Opium opened under the realm of the Milons and Roman Jones, and was like nothing South Beach had ever seen. It was in the former Amnesia space, and from day one was a smashing success. It became one of the first real super clubs as it expanded to have some indoor/outdoor area, Prive as the VIP, and the garden.
Opium Garden, January 2001
Michael Robbins, Gene Simmons, Stacy & Eric Milon at Opium Garden on January 9, 2001
Prince at Opium Garden on March 20, 2001
Eric Milon, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, & Stacy Milon at Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ Birthday at Opium Garden on November 2, 2001
Keenan Wayans, Eric Milon, & Shawn Wayans at Opium Garden on June 30, 2002
Paul Oakenfold & Eric Milon at Opium on November 25, 2002
Ja Rule, Eric Milon, & Sean “P. Diddy” Combs at Opium on December 15, 2002
Destiny’s Child & Eric Milon at Opium on December 15, 2002
JC Chasez of N’SYNC & Eric Milon at Opium on December 15, 2002
Opium Garden, March 2003
Tommy Matola, Thalia, & Eric Milon at Opium on May 8, 2003
Wyclef Jean & Eric Milon at Opium on June 1, 2003
EM: The day we opened Opium Garden, 2,000 people showed up, which was both overwhelming and awesome. Shortly after, we opened Prive as a VIP room within the club, and simultaneously, we formed The Opium Group through which we created Mansion. Mansion was the answer to the noise issues we had with Opium as an open outdoor space , but with Mansion we could bring in big DJs and turn up the music as loud as we like. From Mansion, there was the need to create a club for our VIP clientele, and our answer was SET. So we took the space at 320 LIncoln and successfully opened SET almost 7 years ago. From that we spinned off a couple other clubs – Louis, Mokai and Cameo, which was formerly Crobar.
Eric Milon, Jamie Kennedy, & David Grutman at Opium on May 23, 2003
Enrique Iglesias & Eric Milon at Opium on August 29, 2003
Roman Jones & Mark Ronson at Opium Garden on August 30, 2003
Darryl “D.M.C.” Matthews McDaniels & Eric Milon at Opium on October 12, 2003
Method Man, Eric Milon, & Redman at Opium on October 12, 2003
Prive – 2002-2009
Opium Garden grew tremendously in its first year, with tons of celebrities always filling the club. So the demand for an exclusive VIP lead to the opening of Prive the following year in 2002. For seven years, the VIP extension of Opium was always packed with the who’s who of the scene and had the best DJs spinning.
Eric Milon, Michael Capponi, & Sofia Vergara at Prive on October 18, 2002
Jason Statham & Eric Milon at Prive on September 24, 2004
Michael Capponi, Alicia Silverstone, Eric Milon, & Navin Chatani at Prive on April 15, 2005
Francis Milon & Tiesto at Prive on January 13, 2006
Prive, January 2006
Louis – 2008-2012
In 2008 TOG found the time and perfect space to open Louis. The downstairs club at the then-Gansevoort hotel was one of the first to extend South Beach, and Opium Group’s, realm into the north side of Collins Avenue with its location at 23 Street. Smaller than the super-mega Opium, Louis threw some of the best parties on a weekly basis, and due to its size, was very exclusive.
Marilyn Manson & Isani Griffith at the Trismegistus Exhibition After Party at Louis on December 4, 2008
Chris Jones, Lindsay Lohan, Samantha Ronson, & Roman Jones at Louis on December 13, 2008
Chris Jones, Michael Phelps, & Roman Jones at Louis on January 6, 2009
Mansion – 2004-present
The second mega-club in The Opium Group came in 2004 and has been going strong ever since. After a major redesign, Mansion has updated its look but stayed true to TOG concept. Its name became synonymous with South Beach nightlife, and has been bringing the biggest DJs and tons of celebrities since it opened nearly 10 years ago.
Mansion when it first opened in January 2006
Mansion, February 2004
Eric Milon & Jeremy Piven at Mansion on December 25, 2004
EM: Fifteen years ago, house music was in, and hip hop was just emerging on the club scene. Then hip hop took over, moved from the back room to the front room. And then then six or seven years ago it started changing again, with hip hop fading out a little, and rock and roll mashups taking over.Then house music started coming back, and over the last five years, ithas become a constilation of DJs. They’re commanding scenes, with six figures and it’s something we never thought would be possible. That’s the evolution. EDM is not just nightclub driven- now it’s stadium driven- it’s on the radio and has mass appeal. People listen to [Swedish House Mafia] and they they sing the lyrics just like they would to any rock song.
Mansion, December 2004
Mansion, February 2012
Francis Milon & David LaChapelle at David LaChapelle’s ‘Rize’ Premiere at Mansion on July 9, 2005
Nick Nolte & Eric Milon at Mansion on June 16, 2005
Roman Jones & Mark Lehmkuhl at Mansion on June 17, 2005
Eric Milon & Roman Jones at New Year’s Eve at Mansion on December 31, 2005
Mansion, January 2013
Eric Milon & Robert Downey, Jr at Mansion on April 1, 2006
Francis Milon, Wyclef Jean, & Roman Jones at Wyclef Jean & The MisShapes at Mansion on January 28, 2006
Francis Milon, Wyclef Jean, Roman Jones, & Zoe at Wyclef Jean & The MisShapes at Mansion on January 28, 2006
Francis Milon & DJ Irie at Kevin Federline & Taye Diggs at Mansion on June 16, 2006
Francis Milon & Mr Mauricio at DJ Vice’s Birthday at Mansion on October 13, 2006
Francis Milon & Gabrielle Union at Mansion on December 27, 2006
Eric Milon & Roman Jones at Mansion on November 30, 2007
Paris Hilton & Francis Milon at Mansion on December 5, 2007
Roman Jones & Nicki Minaj at Mansion for Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday” Album Release at Mansion on November 1, 2010
EM: I think EDM is here to stay. This year has shown that more than ever with a record number of people coming to town for Ultra and Miami Music Week. As for The Opium Group, we’re really embracing different music formats and enjoy being at the forefront of the industry in this respect. In the same way that we’ve not gone corporate, we’ve also introduced the market to different DJs, allowing guests to experience great music without always going to the megaclub for the mega DJ with mega fees. Of course we bring our share of those mega DJs to the beach as well, but for example, our Thursday night at Mansion, Kontrol, is at the forefront of cultivating the underground sound, being the first club on the beach to book underground acts like Art Department, Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones and many more.
Mansion, March 2013
Mansion, March 2013
SET – 2007-present
Much like how Opium Garden created a need for Prive as the VIP, Mansion grew to need a VIP club as well. This time, TOG took over Spin and made it into SET. The only true club on Lincoln Road, SET is in the midst of the hustle and bustle, and after five years, just reopened with its new look. The redesign has completely updated and transformed the experience to be even better than before.
SET, February 2007
Roman Jones, Eric Milon, Francis Milon, & Michael Capponi at SET on February 9, 2007
EM: We had Mansion, but we needed a boutique-sized club for our VIPs. SET satisfied that demand. Megaclubs are great, and they have a purpose- we have the space to accommodate big DJs that people want to see. Places like SET can’t accommodate such large scale events, so we create a club that’s just for VIPs and has a restricted number of tables- in this case 12 tables in all- and bring the right people together to enjoy a great party combined with a great surrounding, exciting features, beautiful people, and the right guest list.
Roman Jones & Francis Milon at SET on February 9, 2007
Eric Milon, Mickey Rourke, & Santa Fe at SET on March 30, 2007
Tonia Sergei, Mr Mauricio, Gabrielle Union, Navin Chatani, & Francis Milon at SET on April 5, 2007
Wayne Boich & Eric Milon at SET on October 12, 2007
Tonia Sergei, Cedric Gervais, & Francis Milon at SET on October 21, 2007
SET, November 2007
SET, March 2013
EM: It had been almost 7 years, and I believe every few years a club should reinvent itself. It’s the same reason you change your car every few years– people like change, ourselves included.
One of the newer Opium acquisitions, what used to be Crobar was taken over by TOG to reopen as Cameo. In what has only been nearly three years, Cameo feels like it’s been a South Beach staple much longer because it’s always busy and the topic of conversation, mainly for its top-of-the-line hip hop bookings.
On TOG’s recent decision to stay independent and not go with a corporate buy out… EM: It gives us the ability to do things the way we want. We can keep growing in the direction we choose, and that’s as important as any financial deal. And as locals, we saw it as a good decision for the growth and prosperity of South Beach.
Mokai is the other newer offspring for TOG that joined the 23 Street neighborhood in 2010. It’s smaller and more intimate, which allows things to get a little more wild at some of the more scandalous parties that go down there. Its Monday night party has become infamous as one of the best things to do on a Monday night.
EM: 2013 has been a great year for us, and right now I’m focusing on what we have going on in front of us. Going into 2014, we may have another project- a beach club or restaurant. I’d also like to see an underground music-focused club, as personally I like that sound. As for The Opium Group, we’re continuing to do what we always have – buy new clubs, renovate the ones we have, discover new DJs – we are here for the long haul.
Miami Beach, FL – December 8, 2012 – On Saturday, at SLS Hotel South Beach, Rico Love celebrated his 30th Birthday among his closest family, friends and industry leaders. As cocktails courtesy of GREY GOOSE Vodka were served, dozens of the most powerful individuals from the music industry joined select guests from the sport, entertainment, fashion and art world, to pay tribute to the man who has influenced their artistic lives and creative repertoires. The evening featured an exclusive fashion show by Roberto Cavalli Spring/Summer 2013, presented by Saks Fifth AvenueBal Harbour followed by a private dinner at Katsuya.
Sean “Diddy” Combs & Rico Love
Sean “Diddy” Combs, Fat Joe, & Rico Love
Rico Love, Sean “Diddy” Combs, & Pharrell Williams
Fat Joe, Rico Love, & Pharrell Williams
Rico Love & Pharrell Williams
Kelly Rowland & Rico Love
Pharrell Williams & Kelly Rowland
Rico Love & Sean “Diddy” Combs
Sean “Diddy” Combs & Ivana Trump
Jason Binn, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Rico Love, Ivana Trump, & Judith Light
Ivana Trump, Judith Light, Jonathan Cheban, & Jason Binn
Rico Love, Helen Lasichanh, & Pharrell Williams
Rico Love & Fat Joe
Rico Love, Sean “Diddy” Combs, & Fat Joe
Sean “Diddy” Combs, Gabrielle Bozza, & Pharrell Williams
Miami Beach, FL – September 16, 2011 – Friday at Arkadia gained such a big name that celebrity Kelly Rowland decided to show up last week for some good times and dancing with friends. As always, Friday’s was wild and the “Not for the Radio” party had tourists and locals alike hitting the dance floor.
Kelly Rowland & Olivia Griffian
Latasha Wright, Angela Meadows, Kelly Rowland, & Olivia Griffian
Alex Twist & Tanya Vartanian
Amanda Aldecoa & Tanya Vartanian
Courtney Rodriguez & Amanda Aldecoa
Los De La Vega
Los De La Vega & Tony G
Los De La Vega
Biz Martinez, Sam Baum, & Gaudi Castro
Evelyn Rodriguez, Gianna Patino, & Vanessa De Las Casas
Samara Khalil & Ginevra Renzetti
Alex Twist, Tanya Vartanian, Gaudi Castro, & Amanda Aldecoa
Miami Beach, FL – July 9, 2011 – The fun and excitement peaked this Saturday night at Cameo as host Kelly Rowland brought the party up a notch and DJ Affect kept it swinging until the early hours of Sunday morning.
June 21, 2011 – Truly one of my oldest friends. DJ Irie is a Miami boy through and through. We went to the same high school (Palmetto), I saw him DJ college parties, and then on to his first gigs in the Grove. We’ve been doing this so long buddy … To see DJ Irie’s career take off is a testament to the real payoff seen only through hard work, dedication, and true passion. As a DJ on 99 JAMZ, Irie helped put the Miami hip hop scene on the map and brought the 305 notoriety world-wide. As the Miami Heat DJ, the crowd partied with you, the team rallied around you, and a city fell in love with you. Irie became a part of the city’s DNA and a true face of Miami. I’ve watched Irie DJ at international hot spots and events world wide. Whether it’s the MTVVMA’s, Sundance, All Star Weekend, or a hotel opening in San Juan, I’ve shot photos of Irie making the crowd go wild … He has a knack for making sure that everyone in the room is smiling and dancing. The Irie sneaker and headphone were soon launched, but it was obvious that Irie was one of the only people I TRULY know who wanted to use his fame and notoriety to help others… After the hugely successful creation of Irie Weekend and the Peace Through Music jewelry line, he has now launched the most impressive extension of the Irie brand to date – The Irie Foundation. I can’t wait to hit the golf course (and of course the parties) this weekend to help you raise money, have fun, and celebrate all for a good cause. And, Happy Birthday DJ IRIE … You are truly one of a kind and an inspiration to all who are lucky enough to call you a friend .
KristIn Cavallari, Haylie Duff, Ciara, DJ Irie, & Nick Cannon
Erykah Badu, DJ Irie, & Q-Tip
Rachel Ray & DJ Irie
DJ Irie, Will Ferrell, Diana, & Chris Jones
Paris Hilton & Dj Irie
Micky Arison, DJ Irie, Robert Iler, & Nick Cannon
Nick & Micky Arison, DJ Irie, & Nick Cannon
Alonzo Mourning, Jerry Powers, Shaquille O’Neal, Shareef Malnik, Jason Binn, & DJ Irie
Rick Ross, DJ Irie, & Dwyane Wade
Mark Ronson, DJ Irie, & DJ AM
DJ Irie & Samantha Ronson
DJ Irie & DJ Khaled
DJ Irie & LL Cool J
Al B Sylk, Lisa Erickson, Mark Strickland, & DJ Irie
Chris Lighty & DJ Irie
Christina Milian & DJ Irie
Clark Kent & DJ Irie
Cool & Dre, DJ Irie, & DJ Khaled
DJ Irie & Amy Zakarin
DJ Irie & David Grutman
DJ Irie & Kelly Rowland
DJ Irie & Kid Capri
DJ Irie & Patrick Ewing
Dj Irie & Charles Barkley
DJ Irie, Damon John, Star Jones, & Al Reynolds
DJ Irie & Dwyane Wade
DJ Irie, Kevin Federline, & Scooter Braun
DJ Irie, Randy Jackson, & Navin
DJ Ruckus & DJ Irie
Fabolous, DJ Irie, & Chris Jones
Doug E. Fresh, Lil Jon, Kid Capri, & DJ Irie
Bill Spector, DJ Irie, Moe Garcia, & Justin Levine