During Miami’s late ’90s nightclub boom, a phenomenon that was the scion of glamour was born. At the new Argyle Nightclub, memorabilia of one of history’s great legends sat next to pictures of Malcolm X and Hubert Humphrey. A porcelain lion, huge elephants and reproductions of the baggy sweatshirts sported by the scantily clad ladies selling the Red Light Mascot Sex Wax set the scene for night owls like Chris Paciello.

Mr. Paciello is the son of wealthy Sicilian immigrants and a former stripper who often hung out at Miami clubs during the Miami Vice era, connecting with other veterans of the dance hall beat. He had long wanted to open his own club. His path in late 1997 took him to a spot on Miami Beach called a “bachelorette pad,” Watson Island, where he immediately leased a space he found on a map pinned to the wall.

A year later, two women, Leslie Dixon and Sandy Andrews, became Mr. Paciello’s live-in girlfriends. They had been dancing at the Argyle Nightclub for a few months when Mr. Paciello invited them into his mansion to try out the mansion’s swimming pool.

“My first thought was, how are you gonna dress for that?” Ms. Andrews recalled. “He said we were going to get really hot. I was naked in the pool that first night, and I could see all the girls watching and it looked like I was modeling.”