The queen of decorating joined a group of prominent friends last week to celebrate the birthday of businessman and artist Jean Pigozzi on his island in Panama.
When you’re a larger than life figure like Jean “Johnny” Pigozzi – a successful investor, photographer, philanthropist, art collector, and recently, fashion impresario – milestone birthdays need to be celebrated in true style. This is easier, of course, when you have an incredible private island in an exotic locale like Panama, and plenty of glamorous friends to invite to the party. It was revealed through her Twitter feed on January 4th that Martha Stuart flew down for Pigozzi’s 60th birthday, whose island guest list also included Ricardo Martinelli, the President of Panama, and according to one guest, Michael Douglas and wife Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The prolific Pigozzi is the son of Henri, the founder of the French car company Simca, after which he named his Panamanian isle, and was a pioneering investor in early hedge funds. With his fortune, he was been able to fund his plethora of interests, including photography, assembling the world’s largest collection of modern African art, and starting his own fashion line, LimoLand. According to an article in the August 2011 edition of The New Yorker, Pigozzi started his now-popular brand after being unable to find stylish clothing in his larger size, and, according to the author, being told by a slender Tom Ford after a frustrating shopping trip that men of his girth were not his desired clientele.
In addition to his artistic pursuits, Pigozzi has also taken a keen interest in the environment, and founded The Liquid Jungle Lab (LJL), a tropical marine research station located on the vast Simca Island, also known as Isla de Canales de Tierra, which borders important habitats like the Bahia Honda. The LJL monitors the local climate, the health of the jungle ecosystem, and uses an underwater observatory to track the impact of atmospheric changes on the marine environment. The LJL’s partners include the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the island offers a research centre for the Coiba National Park.
Despite its wild nature, Pigozzi has ensured that Simca Island has no shortage of amenities, including a vast modern villa decorated with huge pieces of African art, a perfect setting for his 60th birthday party. According to the website of entrepreneur, NY Observer columnist and arts scene fixture Adam Lindeman, other guests joining Martha Stuart at the fete included landscape artist Maya Lin, Elon Musk, founder of experimental car company Tesla, and the art-loving Roman Abramovich and his stunning collector girlfriend Dasha Zhukova. All in all, a fitting birthday celebration for a man who has always strived to blend an admiration for beauty with his love for Panama’s extraordinary environment!
View photos from the party: Adam Lindemann
Martha Stuart’s Twitter Feed: Link