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Nikki Beach Brings the Heat to the Sundance Film Festival

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Jennifer Hudson appears at the Nikki Beach pop-up lounge at the Sundance Film Festival. Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Nikki Beach.

“Twas the night before…” I was almost done packing to leave the gorgeous 80-degree Miami weather—to travel to Park City, Utah for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival—when I received about eight text messages from people warning me of the below freezing weather I was about to encounter. At first, I wasn’t concerned: I was born and raised on the East Coast so I knew I had my winter coat in my closet. And by “knew,” I really mean I assumed I had my winter jacket in my closet and, unfortunately for me, I assumed wrong because my winter jacket was nowhere to be found. I frantically called my mother and asked if I may have left it at their house in MD after Thanksgiving—and I did. I mentally prepared myself to freeze for the day it would take the coat to be overnighted to me courtesy of what was then two extremely concerned parents.

I arrived in Utah that night and it was cold—very cold! But thanks to Custo Barcelona, who outfitted my colleagues and I with amazing sweaters, I survived the chill. My boss, Jack Penrod, the founder and owner of Nikki Beach Worldwide, has always been a strong supporter of the film industry and having done (and continuing to do) pop-ups at the Cannes International Film Festival for 10 consecutive years and Toronto International for four consecutive years, Jack decided it was time to debut at Sundance. The only difference? There wouldn’t be a beach, there would be snow.

Nikki Beach Pop-Up Lounge & Restaurant At The Re:Treat - Day 2 - 2013 Park City

Matthew McConaughey attends the Nikki Beach pop-up lounge at the Sundance Film Festival. Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Nikki Beach.


The next day marked the debut of Nikki Beach Sundance, which took place on the indoor-outdoor rooftop patio of the amazing Sky Lodge Hotel, home to the RE:treat during the 2013 festival. I arrived at the hotel freezing cold but wasn’t worried because I knew my winter jacket would be there but, once again, I assumed wrong. It wasn’t. But it didn’t matter because when I went up to the rooftop where our Nikki Beach pop-up was located, the sun was shining so bright that it the minus-20-degree temperature didn’t faze me.

Between the corporate team, all of which are based in Miami (myself, Lucia Penrod, Peter Higney, Cleo Vo-Dai and Maritza Solorzano), and the Nikki Beach St. Tropez team who were there, we literally brought the tropical heat from Miami and St. Tropez to Park City, Utah. Our three day pop-up was amazing, and tons of celebrities stopped by for lunch, dinner or late-night fun including Alicia Keys, Bill Pullman, Gael Garcia Bernal, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Keri Russell, Kristen Bell, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Cera, Naomi Watts and Tony Danza, among others.

mamie gummer and Kristen Bell at nikki beach sundance pop up lounge & resturant on January 20, 2013 - photo credit - John Parra Getty Images

Mamie Gummer and Kristen Bell attend the Nikki Beach pop-up lounge at the Sundance Film Festival. Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Nikki Beach.

I saw many familiar LA & NYC faces but what I didn’t expect was to see so many recognizable Miami peeps and brands. Although a majority of my time was spent at Nikki Beach, I did manage to enjoy Park City. I had lunch one day at Udi’s Gluten Free Table and went to the Miami Lounge, which was put together by my talented and dear friends of BMF Media Group. It was definitely a hot spot. I saw a one-hour private One Republic concert (they were incredible) that took place at The Star Bar, I stopped by The One Group’s party and made a quick cameo in Deer Valley to see my friend who was in charge of the “Ski Dream Home” celebration hosted by RAND Luxury.

nikki beach sunglasses

Most Popular Boot Brand of Sundance: Minnetonka

Most Overheard Phrase: “Do you have an outlet here? I need to charge my phone.”

Most Talked About Event: Nikki Beach Sundance

Final Word: I must apologize to my mom for having her overnight me my winter jacket at a ridiculous price of $160 (that didn’t even arrive until the day after because of an ice delay). I didn’t wear it. Nikki Beach was hot—White Hot.

Julie Fogel is the Global PR & Communications Director for Nikki Beach.



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