Society Confidential: Nino Cutraro keeps busy with TV, fashion and music roles

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News
Native Detroiter Nino Cutraro, Jr. spreads some Detroit love and talent

Nino Cutraro keeps busy with TV, fashion and music roles

Native Detroiter Nino Cutraro Jr. (he currently lives in Los Angeles), is spreading his talent in several mediums. He recently launched a collection of sleek fashion that will most likely get stuck on you. Excuse the pun, but this functional fashion is laced with strategically placed magnets that connect to turn a simple scarf into a hood, sleeves, a cowl, a wrap or a hijab. Known simply as De Florencio, designed by David De Florencio, the limited collection includes 8 unisex garments that easily go from the beach to the club. Nino says we should look for some De Florencio pop-up shops in Metro Detroit soon. Nino is also a partner in a new TV production company called Unrealistic Ideas that just sold its first five-part docu-series to HBO. And if that’s not enough, he’s an accomplished musician having just laid a beat placement on a new single with hot new Australian singer Sexton and Detroit rapper Snap Dogg.  We just love Detroiters spreading Motown talent and love nationwide. For the clothing, visit

Musician Paul Riser of the Motown Funk Brothers.

Spirit of Entertainment Award goes to Paul Riser 

Keeping with the spirit of celebrating the 60th anniversary of Motown Records, this year, the Detroit Music Awards has recently added Motown Funk Brother Paul Riser as the recipient of the Spirit of Entertainment Award. Riser is a trombonist and musical arranger who was responsible for co-writing and arranging dozens of top 10 hit records. The 28th annual Detroit Music Awards takes place April 26  at the Fillmore Detroit. Visit

Remembering Lavan Hawkins

Manicurist Andrea Johnson has some fond stories to tell. She was the personal manicurist for the famed and controversial restaurateur Lavan Hawkins, who died earlier this month. Johnson was a constant companion to LaVan, often at his side polishing his nails during some very important meetings with some rather well-known guests. And more often than not at these meetings, there was an abundance of food and really good Champagne in the mix, preferably expensive bottles of Cristal. She says she sat in on meetings with people such as Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, lawyer Willie Gary and the late Johnny Cochran. “I remember going to Steve’s Soul Food to get dinner for Johnny Cochran,” she recalls. While there are no immediate plans for a book, Johnson has some pretty juicy stories. “I’m very sad right now, and I miss my dear friend,” she says.

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