Though barely out of high school, Elan Savir believed he had something to prove to his family and friends: That the native of Israel, who was raised mostly in New York and South Florida, could find success in Miami. And he could do it with a sense of style. “When I was 18, I started working in clothing stores,” Savir recalls. “At that time [the late 1980s], everyone who I knew that was successful was involved in the fashion industry. To me, success equaled a clothing company. I always had a good eye, and I wanted to make something out of myself. At the time, Miami was a huge fashion hub. There were many factories and fabric mills. Pursuing this industry felt very natural to me.” Inspired by his future father-in-law—who operated a string of successful boutiques in Hollywood Beach, creating clothing and bathing suits for the business—Savir started by thrifting for used jeans and other fabrics. He would then color, cut and stitch the pieces together into edgy denim creations and 1990s-style club dresses. Once finished, he would pack up the trunk of his car and drive up and down the Florida coast to sell his designs. As his work evolved, the industry took notice. “Everyone thought I knew what I was doing,” he says. “No one realized that I was actually just starting out.” It was the beginning of one of the longest-running and most beloved fashion acts in South Florida. In 1991, Savir launched Elan, his namesake company for women’s clothing that, initially, focused exclusively on designing and producing an annual line of resort wear. Three decades later, Elan has transformed into a contemporary, year-round line—not to mention, a family affair. Savir, along with his wife, Galit, and three daughters (Leah, Sarah, and Senaya), as well as more than 150 employees, all have a hand in creating collections for every season—fall, winter, spring, summer and resort. No matter the time of year, there are consistent and flattering threads of comfort and confidence that run through collections designed for the “adventurous fashionista.” “About 12 years ago, we started to make the transition into ready-to-wear collections,” he says. “We started with a fall line, which helped to open up a new client base for us. It was natural to expand to spring, summer, and winter, with resort being our fifth component.”

As an interior designer who has appeared on HGTV’s Design Star and other TV shows, Trish Beaudet thrives on mood boards: “My vision board is built around the ocean and island living,” says the former Michigander who now calls the Lighthouse Point-area home. “I just recently went to Bermuda and...

SFBW recently convened a well-attended panel to consider the multifaceted issue of transportation infrastructure and planning in South Florida. The meeting was moderated by Anthony Abbate, professor of architecture and director of the MetroLab at Florida Atlantic University, who was joined by Beth Alton, executive director of Hillsborough Transportation Planning Organization in Tampa; James Cromar, deputy executive director of mobility initiatives at the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization; John Englander, oceanographer and author; and John Renny, professor and urban planning expert at FAU. In a wide-ranging conversation, these experts touched on topics including public/private partnerships to Elon Musk’s tunnels proposition to assessments of the various models of sea level rise. WATER WORKS We recently heard from an expert who noted that the character of our cities is determined by the transportation systems we choose for them. Given that we live so close to the water here in South Florida, do you think Fort Lauderdale’s moniker as “The Venice of America” might foretell the future of our region? Englander: Transportation planning is a great lens through which to look at climate change and sea level, because transportation planning is typically done looking 30 years to 100 years in the future. Not many other professions look at things like that. I’d like to frame things a little bit by pointing out that, while we see climate change headlines in the news—flooding in Germany, fires out west—and we’re all aware of climate change, even if we went to 100-percent electric vehicles and renewable energy today, the weather is not going to go back to what it was. We’ve warmed the planet. We need to be resilient in addition to being sustainable. And we need to be adaptive. When sea level is many feet higher, it won’t require sustainability and resiliency—it will require adaptation. Anybody who has been to Venice recently knows that the idyllic city we remember is not the same. St. Mark’s Square did not used to flood and now it floods 80 to 100 days a year. Venice forces us to confront reality. Renne: In South Florida we are very much vulnerable to climate change. The concept of adaptation is very important for us. We need to address adaptation and mitigation at the same time. We do need to reduce carbon emissions, and, on the other hand, there is a certain amount of heat built into the ocean that is going to make the levels rise. Even if we stop today, we will see the impacts for the rest of our lives and beyond. Alden: The role of metropolitan planning organizations is in a way connecting vision to dollars, and numbers about how we can really make a difference. How can we make it real when our community members say that they want change? From a big-picture perspective, we have had a couple of very different transportation paradigms. We had a water-oriented transportation system for many decades, and then we built a rail-based system, and then an automobile-based system. And we have been having a conversation in [the] Tampa Bay [area] and many other metro areas about needing to make a big change and reshape our transportation system to allow for more choices that are not automobile dependent. That’s a big shift. And its a decision about investing. Resilience and sustainability are big factors in the conversation—and to that end one of the big things we brought to the table is, how do we make the systems we have more resilient to the changes that we already know are happening. Cromar: The big event for us at the Broward [Metropolitan Planning Organization]—a turning point—was in 2012 when Superstorm Sandy washed out part of [Highway] A1A in Fort Lauderdale, the section north of Sunrise Boulevard. For a few weeks there was a lack of connection, and we thought, what do we do? Do we consider not rebuilding the road, because it was on a barrier island? There were a lot of questions about economic activity. It’s along the beach—there are hotels and tourists and people spending money—so the decision was reached to rebuild the road at great expense: about $10 million for a half-mile segment. Renne: Typically, in the past, we have looked at streets as being about moving cars—and now how important it is to think about them not just as a way to move cars or even people but how to address the climate impacts that were seeing, like the increase in heavy rain. How do we use landscaping to improve the livability of a street—increasing shade canopy, increase green space, which has psychological benefits to some people, and do it in a way to manage climate impact.