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no. 80 oct/nov 2015 LL10,000

Flower power Fall has never been brighter A誰shti CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF STYLE - 01 99 11 11 ext.592

1 4 1 E L- M O U T R A N E S T R E ET







137 el-moutrane street

downtown beirut

telephone +961 1991 111 ext 148

BEIRUT 62 Abdel Malek Street 01 99 11 11 ext. 222








Inside No. 80 OCT/NOV 2015


54 Beirut Scents and stress relief 58 London Art and artful eating 60 Paris Beauty and bistros 62 Milan Brunches and beautiful gardens 64 New York Happy hour and haute cuisine


70 Mixed media Ely Dagher 72 Comedian Women storm the stage 74 Crooner Jack Savoretti


80 News Glamorous grunge 82 Collection Jeremy Scott 84 Debate Are selfies narcissistic? 86 Style tribe Look the part 94 Maverick Hideki Seo 100 Gallant Modern gentlemen 104 Fluidity Androgynous catwalk 108 Print Young, wild and free 116 Hot stuff Glitz and glitter 114 Runway Key trends 120 Accessories Picking up the pieces 128 Floating pretty The ’90s, again 150 Botanical society Petal pushing 166 Born to run Ferrari California T 190 Border line The desperate housewife


202 Counter Get the look 204 Treatment Golden oldies 206 Bohemian Embrace your inner hippie


209 Celebration 25 Years of Aïshti


306 Update Globetrotting 310 Trend Sleek sportsters 312 Discovery A Cuban adventure 316 Silhouette Building like Beyoncé 320 Philosophy Deborah Berke Partners

High Art

330 Exhibitions What’s on view 334 Newcomer Young artists to watch 338 Collaboration Blurred boundaries

Inside Lifestyle

346 Eatery Meat the Fish 350 Network Today’s gourmands 352 City Sights set on Shanghai

Last Word

356 Shoulder bag Mischief managed

No. 80 OCT/NOV 2015 LL10,000

Flower power Fall has never been brighter AĂ?SHTI CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF STYLE

Cover Her look is by Valentino and her hair pin is by Prada Photographer Marco Pietracupa. Stylist Amelianna Loiacono. Hair and makeup Maria Cesardi at Atomo Management. Model Mia Stass at MP Management

FOR THOSE WITH DRIVE. The new Infiniti Q70. This is for those who live ahead of the curve - the audacious, raw spirits who drive beyond the borders of now, who not only see tomorrow, they own it.


Tony Salamé Group TSG SAL

Editor-in-chief MacKenzie Lewis Kassab

Acting editor Pip Usher

Art directors

Senior art and production director Maria Maalouf Senior art director Mélanie Dagher Junior art director Josée Nakhlé Guest art director Raya Farhat


Associate editor/Digital editor Christina Tkacik Assistant editors Celine Omeira, Natasha Tabet Italy editor Renata Fontanelli UK editor Grace Elena Banks US editor Robert Landon Editoral intern Rowan Usher


Alexandra Marvar, John Ovans, Venetia Rainey, M. Astella Saw, Natalie Shooter, Rich Thornton Jasper Toms, Millie Walton, J. Michael Welton


Fashion photographers Simon, Tony Elieh, Marcelo Krasilcic, Marco Pietracupa Contributing photographers Ziad Antar, Ieva Saudargaitė, Bachar Srour


Joe Arida, Amine Jreissati, Amelianna Loiacono, Lori Messerschmitt

Rowan Usher A writer with family in the Middle East, Rowan Usher divides her time between London, Munich and Beirut. She joined the A editorial team this summer, contributing to both print and online.

Venetia Rainey Having worked in and out of the Middle East for six years, Venetia Rainey has written stories and filed radio packages on everything from refugees to fusion food. She is currently based in Beirut.


Melhem Moussallem, Karine Abou Arraj, Stephanie Missirian

Production and printing

Senior photo producer Fadi Maalouf Printing Dots: The Art of Printing

Responsible director Nasser Bitar

140 El Moutrane St., Fourth Floor, Downtown Beirut, Lebanon, tel. 961.1.974.444,,

rare bloom Let’s get one thing clear: a chill in the air does not excuse a slip in style standards. Resist the urge to hibernate in woolen socks and soup-stained pajamas, dear reader – if anything, these cooler months offer an opportunity to explore a more complex relationship with fashion. Our advice? Layer up, invest in brightly colored pieces and trade disheveled summer locks for a sleeker, more serious ’do. With animal prints gone wild on the catwalk, adding sauce to a sensible wardrobe comes easy; if you’re still searching for your style tribe, turn to page 86 to see whether you’re more “punk rebel” or “graying guru”. For men floundering with this season’s sartorial quandaries, there’s only one solution: throw on your three-piece suit, à la David Gandy (see how to dress like a modern gentleman on page 100). See? Told you there was no excuse.

Pip Usher, Acting Editor


25 years of style It’s hard to imagine there was ever a Lebanon without Aïshti. After 25 years, the department store has become synonymous with Beirut the same way Saks Fifth Avenue, Galleries Lafayette and Harrods have come to represent their respective cities. In this special anniversary edition of A, we reflect back on a quarter century that started with a small boutique outside Beirut and ended with an empire. MacKenzie Lewis, Editor-in-Chief

m a r c j ac o b s s to r e s w o r l d w i d e

w w w. m a r c j ac o b s . c o m

SYLVIE SALIBA - Quantum Tower Achrafieh - Beirut - Lebanon - Tel 01 330 500

A cityscape

Just in Beirut 8Js (left)

Formula One racecar driver Alain Prost was once known as The Professor for his intellectual approach to motor sports. Now his son and daughter-in-law have started a clothing and lifestyle brand inspired by car racing. Available at Aïzone stores

Contro Corrente Italia (below)

H. Stern (above)

Founded in Brazil in 1945 by a young German émigré named Hans, jewelry company H. Stern has gone on to gain international recognition and acclaim for its unique designs. This season, stock up on sparkle. Available at Sylvie Saliba, Charles Malek Ave., Quantum Tower Bldg., Ashrafieh, tel. 01.330.500,

Loris Café & Restaurant Libanais (below)

Affectionately named after the fashionable older women of ’60s Ashrafieh, Lebanese restaurant Loris has the feel of a family home in a peaceful village – right in the center of Gemmayzeh. Rue Pasteur, Gemmayzeh, tel. 01.567.568,

Buccellati (above)

Famous faces like Elisa Sednaoui know their timeless beauty is best offset with Buccellati’s stunning creations. Channel the star’s jewelry brand of choice and invest in a sinuous white gold and diamond Ramage ring for red carpet appearances of your own. Available at Aïshti by the Sea, Jal el Dib, from November onwards A 54

© Urban Retreat, Loris, Seven Sisters, H. Stern, Mandala, Contro Corrente Italia, 8Js, Trainstation Studio, Buccellati, iDay Spa

The founder of Contro Corrente Italia began mixing scents as a young boy passionate about aromas but unable to afford his own. Today, he runs a thriving fragrances company that draws inspiration from France, Italy and Spain. Available at Beirut City Center, Hazmieh, tel. 76.700.669,

A cityscape

Just in Beirut Urban Retreat (left)

Check out of the hustle of city life and into pure relaxation at Urban Retreat, Harrods’ signature spa that arrives at Aïshti’s new seaside location this December. The spa will offer a wide range of body and cosmetic services in a sumptuous environment. Aïshti by the Sea, Jal el Dib

Mandala (above)

The instant facelift (below)

Seven Sisters (below)

French skincare company Biologique Recherche has a new anti-ageing trick: the Cryo 3R Facial, which includes a “yoga for the face” massage. A remodeling face machine, a 12-ingredient special serum and an ice-cold facemask leaves the skin lifted, smooth and glowing. Available at Ï Day Spa, tel. 01.995.757

Whether it’s Tiki Night Mondays or Prohibition Wednesdays, each evening offers something new at Seven Sisters, a new club located on an outdoor island of greenery on the Beirut waterfront. Beirut Waterfront, tel. 70.777.170

The Unit at Trainstation Studio (above)

Fatigued with your current fitness regime? The Unit is home to Pavigym’s Energy+ program, a groundbreaking new style of workout that combines high intensity circuit training with a nightclub atmosphere. Selim Bustros St., St. Nicolas Sector, Sayegh Bldg., Ashrafieh, tel. 01.322.103, A 56

© Urban Retreat, Loris, Seven Sisters, H. Stern, Mandala, Contro Corrente Italia, 8Js, Trainstation Studio, Buccellati, iDay Spa

Yogis have a new studio to practice their savasanas in with the opening of Mandala, a peaceful space in the heart of Ashrafieh. Stop by to expand your consciousness and explore new poses. Saints-Coeurs St., Tabaris, tel. 03.082.524

A cityscape

Just in London Pop Brixton (right)

Brixton is fast becoming a hub for London’s most exciting restaurants, as proved by the arrival of food space Pop Brixton. Expect a wild variety of pop-ups that offer their interpretation on everything from fish and chips to donuts. 49 Brixton Station Rd., tel. 44.20.7274.2902,

The Library at Sketch (below)

The Line (above)

The imminent arrival of the London Crossrail has the city’s creatives exploring fresh ways of presenting their work. This unusual walk combines a tour of London with cuttingedge, contemporary sculpture. Visit

Pierre Gagnaire’s new tasting menu at Sketch is one of the most talked about events in London. The ten-course meal comes with a bespoke wine tasting – or, select something yourself from the champagne trolley. 9 Conduit St., tel. 44.20.7659.4500,

Farm Girl (below)

London continues to follow Los Angeles’s lead in the health food sphere. New to the scene is Farm Girl, a slickly designed café serving vegan food, superfood smoothies and seriously nutritious breakfasts. 59A Portobello Rd., tel. 44.20.7536.2108,

He’s political, poignant and finally coming to London. Ai Weiwei is taking over The Royal Academy with a series of radical and revolutionary works that explore his role as an artist and cultural commentator. Burlington House, Piccadilly, tel. 44.20.7300.8000,

Present & Correct (left)

Stationery elicits a special kind of enthusiasm in some. If pencil holders from the ’60s and mid-century writing pens are your thing, this is a concept stationery store to rival all others. 23 Arlington Way, tel. 44.20.7278.2460, A 58

© The Royal Academy, Farm Girl, Pop Brixton, Present & Correct, Sketch, The Line

Ai Weiwei at The Royal Academy (below)

A cityscape

Just in Paris

La Fidélité (below)

The lush greenery at this fashionable new bistro calls to mind that ’80s wonderland, Club Tropicana, as sung by the boys of Wham! And while the drinks here aren’t free, they’re served straight from the black marble bar. 12 Rue de La Fidélité, 10th arrondissement, tel.,

Beloved by Parisiennes, the city’s famous department store has launched a newly renovated area dedicated to all things bright and beautiful. The loft-inspired space carries nearly 60 beauty brands, sourced from all over the world. 24 Rue de Sèvres, 7th arrondissement, tel.,

Hôtel Bachaumont (below)

Guests luxuriate in sleek, modern surroundings – from the plush cocktail bar to the balconied bedrooms – at this storied hotel in the heart of the city. Breakfast, in the sunlit winter garden, is worth waking up for. 18 Rue Bachaumont, 2nd arrondissement, tel.,

A 60

GrandCoeur (above)

In a tranquil courtyard in the buzzing Marais neighborhood, chef Mauro Colagreco has created a smart, seasonal menu served by a team of good-natured staff. Leaving with a happy stomach is guaranteed. 41 Rue du Temple, 4th arrondissement, tel.,

Sprezzatura (below)

Sprezzatura means “a studied carelessness” in Italian, but there’s nothing offhand about the intriguing silhouettes to be had at Sima Rozikova’s sharply curated, multi-brand boutique. 132 Rue de Turenne, 3rd arrondissement, tel.,

© Paul Bowyer, Le Bon Marché Beauté, Patrick Lazic, Elodie Chapuis, David Grimbert

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche (below)



A cityscape

Just in Milan

The Doping Club (below)

Harking back to the heady days of Prohibition, The Doping Club exudes a ’30s, vintage-style feel. Barman Massimo Stronati amazes clientele with an array of bespoke cocktails that meet the individual requirements of each one’s tastebuds. Piazza XXIV Maggio 8, tel. 39.02.8941.5901,

Pellini (above)

This elegant boutique showcases jewelry designs by Donatella Pellini, famed for her unique, handcrafted pairings of precious and semi-precious stones. An authentic glassand-steel Viennese counter is used to display the pieces. Via Morigi 9, tel. 39.02.7201.0213, Named in honor of Poseidon’s son, it’s no surprise that this restaurant specializes in premium, fish-focused dishes. Pair with a bottle of wine from an extensive collection that boasts more than 130 labels. Via Achille Maiocchi 29, tel. 39.02.2024.1973,

Peck (above)

The prix fixe Sunday brunch at Peck serves up fish, meats, homemade breads and an incredible selection of cakes, for those with a sweet tooth. Stop by its shop to browse a selection of Italian and international produce. Via Spadari 9, tel. 39.02.802.3161, A 62

La Vigna Di Leonardo (above)

Set in the gardens of Casa degli Attelani, a 15th-century Milanese palace, this new museum explores the legacy of Leonardo da Vinci, who famously painted “The Last Supper” in the nearby Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Corso Magenta 65, tel. 39.02.481.6150,

© Julien Oppenheim, Rina Nurra, Kristen Pelou, Honor, Piero Fornasetti

Glauco (below)


LEBANON BEIRUT SOUKS +961 1 991 111 EXT 595

A cityscape

Just in New York

Leyenda (below)

Leyenda’s stucco façade harkens back to old San Juan. Inside, find a relaxed ambiance, bright cocktails of cachaça and curaçao and a smart menu of Mexican and Puerto Ricaninspired creations from panuchos to pernil. 221 Smith St., Brooklyn, tel. 347.987.3260,

Butter & Scotch (above)

Oiji (above)

The menu at Oiji is devoted to refined, authentic elevations of Korean classics, including an elegantly reimagined bibimbap, slow-cooked oxtail and mandatory honey butter chips paired with singular sojus and plum wines. 119 First Ave., tel. 646.767.9050,

U.P. at Dominique Ansel Kitchen (above)

Unlimited Possibilities, Dominique Ansel’s bakery, is a Soho staple. His newest offering is an exclusive, after-hours tasting table devoted to desserts. Be quick! U.P.’s eight seats get booked months in advance. 137 Seventh Ave. South, tel. 212.242.5111, A 64

The Gordon Bar (below)

Dress for understated, Art Deco glamour at the Sixty Hotel’s exceptionally sleek, secondfloor bar. Sip a Figs & Sage cocktail by the fireplace as you take in a Helmut Newton monograph – it’s an ideal evening downtown. Sixty Soho, 60 Thompson St., tel. 212.219.3200,

© Paul Wagtouicz, Lam Thuy Vo, Gordon Bar, Leyenda, Oiji

Butter & Scotch offers plenty of both in a retro diner setting, blurring the line between Brooklyn bar and bakeshop with its expert tipsy tortes, spiked s’mores and sinfully sweet cocktails. 818 Franklin Ave., Brooklyn, tel. 347.350.8899,

Proenza Schouler

A誰shti By the Sea, Jal el Dib

A playground _ mixed media

Alone on a desert island… By Venetia Rainey

Ely Dagher, Palm D’Or winner in the 2015 Cannes Film Festival For some, being stuck on a desert island would be the perfect chance to absorb yourself in something new, something you’d never quite had the time to read, see or hear before, but had always wanted time to get to grips with. But for Ely Dagher, the Lebanese director behind the ambitious animation short Waves ’98 – which recently picked up the prestigious Short Film Palme D’or at Cannes – it’s the exact opposite. When packing his suitcase, Dagher would be sure to include two literary picks that are old favorites: The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton, a book about not where to travel but how and why, and Labyrinths, the early20th-century work by Jorge Luis Borges, sometimes called the founding father of Latin American magical realism. “It’s very deconstructive and has that surrealist aspect that I’m drawn to,” says Dagher. “And The Art of Travel is one of those books – like Labyrinths – that I end up reading again when I feel like I need a boost for my imagination. I always go back to those two books.” His approach is the same when it comes to picking a movie for the island, choosing David Lynch’s Blue Velvet because “it’s one of those classic films I watch over and over again.” Lynch’s work made a huge impression on Dagher when he was growing up in Zalka and studying at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA), particularly the director’s use of music to create atmosphere. “That’s something that I’m very drawn to and try to recreate myself in my work,” he explains. Music, however, is trickier. “I’m very much into music, but my taste is very eclectic and it changes all the time,” he says. Instead of selecting classics, he settles for his two current top picks: Caribou’s latest infectious album, Our Love – “because it’s very dancey and I’d need something to dance to on the island” - and Chet Faker’s electronica offering, Built on Glass – “because it’s full of feel-good tracks.”

A 70

The Aïshti Foundation New Skin Selections from the Tony Salamé - Aïshti Collection Curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director of the New Museum Opening October 25, Beirut Building by David Adjaye Image courtesy of Wade Guyton Studio

A playground _ comedian

Female comedians are having the last laugh In the boys-only club of professional comedy, female comedians have often been the butt of a joke. Women just aren’t funny, men have claimed again and again (case in point: Christopher Hitchens’ polemic declaration of said sentiment in a Vanity Fair piece, which sparked outrage). Yet the critical and commercial success of summer blockbusters Spy and Trainwreck, and their stereotypeshattering leading ladies, suggest that, finally, the tide is turning. Women are occupying space in the comedic sphere in a different way as they alter the preconceptions of what it means to be a woman – and above all, a funny woman. Make no mistake – a female character delivering a humorous line is no new phenomenon. In Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, it is Beatrice’s wickedly silver tongue that is responsible for much of the comic relief. From Audrey Hepburn’s turn A 72

Funny women

By Rowan Usher

in My Fair Lady to half the cast of sitcom sensation Friends, female leads had already proved their knack for comedic timing. But these parts were devised and written by men; unsurprisingly, they are a man’s projection of how a woman should be. And with Hollywood dominated by packs of male writers, directors and producers, female characters have tended to be marginalized as either the romantic interest or the endearingly goofy friend. While they may be witty, their behavior has always been carefully steered clear of the crude and uncouth.

Since then, modern-day mavericks like comedian Amy Schumer have continued to shape the portrayal of women until it reflects the reality. Responsible for the screenplay of Trainwreck – in addition to her role as leading lady – Schumer plays a commitment-shy journalist with a proclivity for casual sex and heavy drinking. Her screenplay captures the subtle nuances of the female experience through characters based on personal experiences and observations; her character is flawed, unabashed and totally hilarious. Even better yet, she’s the focus of the story.

Box office smash hit Bridesmaids is cited as a turning point for women in film. Written by Saturday Night Live regular Kristen Wiig and boasting an almost entirely female cast, it held nothing back in its portrayal of the modern woman. From harsh one-night stand realities to ill-timed and explosive diarrhea (yes, women do it too), the film celebrated a painfully awkward and gleefully crude version of womanhood. And it wasn’t just women that were impressed. The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw declared Bridesmaids to be “at the vanguard of a feminist revolution in Hollywood comedy,” praising the delicate line it trod between crudity and poignancy.

Or there’s Spy, a spoof espionage film starring Bridesmaids alumn Melissa McCarthy. Another comedy with serious female credentials, McCarthy’s turn as a dowdy CIA agent on an assignment showcases her hilarity in all its vulgar good humor. Not only does she take center stage, but other key roles in the film are played by women – her boss, her friend, the villain. How many films can you say that about? This new wave of talent knows exactly what it means to be a woman, in all of its messy, unadulterated glory. Their skill lies in their ability to share it with the world. So let’s stop laughing at female comedians – and laugh with them, instead.

© Moylin Yuan / Brownbook

Amy Schumer has challenged preconceptions of female comedians with foul-mouthed humor (left) and Melissa McCarthy’s recent turn in Spy showcased her talent for slapstick comedy (right)



A playground _ crooner

From the heart By Millie Walton

Head over heels for Jack Savoretti Jack Savoretti is exactly what you hope every musician is really like – charming, handsome and poetic. It helps that he’s also Italian, with an accent to match. Watching Savoretti on stage is like an evening with spent drinking too much wine with friends. It’s the sort of night where conversation turns deep and meaningful after midnight, and everyone starts hugging and crying. Unsurprisingly, his new album, Written in Scars, entered the U.K. charts at number 13, receiving five-star reviews and cementing an already impressive fan base. Now, Savoretti’s ready to hit the road.

I wonder if Jack is making the most of his celebrity status, throwing backstage parties and requesting pineapples flown in from the Caribbean. It would make sense to make the most of his job’s perks, but his demands are suspiciously modest: “Beer, water and fruit – the fruit is A 74

just to make it look a bit more exciting.” He adds, “And Jameson Irish whiskey. It’s a tradition to have a shot before every show.” What about lucky charms, a strand of his wife’s hair or special socks that he can’t go on tour without? Jack laughs and tells me the only thing he can’t travel without, “as unromantic as it sounds,” are his headphones. “They’re like a ‘do not disturb’ sign. I get very little time alone when I’m on tour, so sometimes I put them on when I’m not even listening to music, just to be in my own world.” When he is listening to music, it’s probably one of his old standbys: Paul Simon’s Graceland; Déjà Vu, by Crosby,

© Andrew Whitton

“Life on tour isn’t as glamorous as it looks from the outside,” Savoretti tells me over the phone en route to the Independent Music Awards in London. He leaves in a few days and is “trying to cram in as many meetings as possible.” It sounds stressful, but he comes across as relaxed, accustomed to the whirlwind his life has recently become. “There’s this saying that home is somewhere you leave and spend the rest of your life trying to get back to. Going on tour is like a magnifying glass on that statement. You’re reminded of what you spend your whole youth trying to leave, and then all you want to do is get back to sitting at home, writing songs. It’s hard, but then when you stand up in front of an audience, it just makes sense.”

Stills, Nash and Young (“The first album that made me realize music could not only transport you through movement, but also open your mind up to all this weird, psychedelic stuff”); or Dark Eyes, by Half Moon Run. “They’re a band that don’t fit a genre,” and labeling is something Jack does his best to avoid. “I try to make every album sound different,” he tells me – or at least different versions of his “Spaghetti West Coast music,” a description the musician came up with to encapsulate his varied influences and love of pasta, of course. It was at the age of 17 that Jack that realized he wanted to be a musician. That was also the age he wrote his first “proper” song, “Once Upon A Star,” which he still plays

at almost every show. “I don’t think I’ve beaten it yet,” he says. “And I think of songs as old friends, so I like to remember them along the way.” He fondly recalls playing the track to various record companies, hoping to land a deal that would turn something he loves into a career. To Savoretti, success is simply “being able to keep doing what I’m doing.” Well that, and football. “The highlight of my career is actually not music-based,” he admits. “The absolute greatest experience of my life was when I was invited to play football at La Partita Del Cuore.” The annual charity football match pits Italian singers against former athletes and artists – and proves that Savoretti’s talents are endless.

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LEBANON 225 Foch St., Downtown Beirut Te l . + 9 6 1 1 9 9 1 1 1 1 E x t . 4 8 0

A fashion _ news

Fashion fragments

Haute couture and handbags

The highest fashion (below)

Yves Saint Laurent has announced its return to haute couture after a 13-year hiatus. Creative director Hedi Slimane will oversee the new ateliers – one for dressmaking and another for tailoring – to be housed at Hôtel de Sénecterre, a renovated 17th-century mansion in Paris. Visit

Made in Italy (right)

Following weeks of rumors, Balenciaga confirmed the departure of wunderkind designer Alexander Wang as creative director. New York-based Wang will now focus on his eponymous line, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a re-release of some of its top-selling items of the decade. Visit

Totes chic (right)

L.A. designer Deborah Sawaf draws on inspiration from nature, architecture and cinematic history for her newest collection of handbags for Thalé Blanc by Deborah Sawaf. This season’s Audrey tote comes in mini, clutch and backpack versions, made of calf ’s leather and hand painted in Italy. Available at Aïshti stores A 80

© Alexander Wang, Pal Zileri, Victor Soto/Creative Commons, Thalé Blanc

Wanging it (above)

The fall/winter 2015-16 Pal Zileri collection is all about contrasts: biker jackets with tailored shirts, T-shirts with formal wear. Invest in Italian tailoring with an international outlook. Available at Aïshti stores

A fashion _ collection

In focus By Pip Usher

Jeremy Scott is having the last laugh

An American at the helm of an Italian label may sound like an unlikely pairing, but brassiness like Scott’s is entrenched within the house’s DNA. Franco Moschino, the founder of the eponymous label, was an eccentric visionary with an acerbic take on the industry that he inhabited. Launched in 1983, Moschino came to represent the brash excess of the ’80s – shoulder pads, bratty color palettes and all. But while other designers took their bad taste seriously, Moschino kept his tongue firmly in one cheek: in a decade renowned for its compulsive consumerism, he sent a cashmere jacket down the runaway with “this is an expensive jacket” embroidered in gold across the back. Like his predecessor, Scott isn’t afraid to mock the industry that made him a superstar. After gaining a fashion design degree from the prestigious Pratt Institute, Scott showed his first, rather unusual, collection in Paris: it mostly consisted of paper hospital gowns. He has captured the attention of the international fashion community ever since. “If I did not feel a connection with [Franco’s] work, I would never have agreed to the position,” he explains of his appointment as creative director in 2013. “The most unique point that we share together is the fact that we both use humor in our work, which for fashion is very rare!” And humorous he is – under his tutelage, handbags inspired by McDonalds’ French fry containers, garish SpongeBob SquarePants dresses and an entire collection devoted to Barbie have A 82

re-purposed American popular culture and sent it out on the catwalk. Suddenly, those still in monochrome look outdated and austere. In Scott’s world, luxury fashion shouts with exuberance – and if you don’t get it, the joke’s on you. Scott isn’t afraid of the spotlight, and has welldocumented fashion friendships to prove it. Scroll through his Instagram account and life looks like a Technicolor explosion of clothes, red carpet appearances and celebrity selfies. His public displays of affection with Miley Cyrus, his wild child counterpart in the music industry, have long been noted: during his spring/summer 2015 show, the models were adorned with Cyrus’s playschool-chic, brightly beaded necklaces, earrings, bracelets and headpieces; at this year’s VMA’s, her flamboyant array of body-baring outfits were designed by – you guessed it – Scott. Then there’s his long-standing love-fest with Katy Perry, with a friendship that he describes as “like brother and sister.” There have been a number of high-profile collaborations that included Perry’s flame-encrusted, girl power dress at this year’s Superbowl (Scott was the mastermind behind all of her outfits). Few were surprised to see the pop star fronting Moschino’s fall/ winter 2015-16 campaign several months later, rocking a shoot that recalls the ’80s in all its hedonistic bling. It is, says Scott, a “a Katy-Jeremy year.” Now Scott is the star of a documentary that examines his journey from rural America to international acclaim. Like any visionary, he has his disciples; in the film, rapper A$AP Rocky announces, “Jeremy Scott changed my life.” Yet Scott seems unfazed by it all. When asked for style advice, his response reflects the entire ethos of the empire he’s building. “Fashion shouldn’t be taken too seriously,” he exclaims. Hats off to that. Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer premieres on September 18,

© The Vladar Company/Jeremy Scott Project LLC, Moschino, Giampaolo Sgura

“I started from the very bottom, and now I am at the top,” Jeremy Scott says with vigor, each word punctuated with enthusiasm like a stream of exclamation marks. And while the fashion industry may thrive on hyperbole, the creative director of Moschino isn’t exaggerating. His rise from the backwaters of Kansas City, Missouri to the larger-than-life personality presiding over an iconic Italian fashion house has been meteoric; this September, he cements his superstar status as the subject matter of a documentary titled Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer.

Gal pal Katy Perry (left) is a creative muse for Jeremy Scott and stars in Moschino’s new campaign (bottom right); the designer (center) has become famed for his outlandish approach to fashion and is now the star of a documentary charting his journey to international acclaim (bottom)

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A fashion _ debate

Yes or no Are selfies narcissistic?

YES These days, we’re a society of self. Self-affirmation, for those seeking it. Self-help, for those needing it. And, now, selfies – an image of yours truly, captured in all that pouting, god-I’m-gorgeous glory. They’re a do-it-yourself marketing campaign, the role of publicist served by the only one who really knows (or cares) which filter is most flattering for your skin color. Some selfies serve a purpose. Fashion bloggers use them as a platform for their style; yoga fanatics snap away to showcase complicated poses to others. And Kim Kardashian’s recent book, Selfish, is the ultimate ode to an age of selfies: the queen of modern celebrity’s autobiographical account is told entirely through a curated selection of her self-portraits over the years. As the selfie’s fame has skyrocketed, it has morphed from an impromptu #YOLO moment into a manufactured business tool that launches stars overnight – and seemingly sells books to boot.

So let’s call a spade a spade. Selfies are fun. They are also a rampaging act of egotism. I’m willing to admit that to myself next time I snap a pic from my best angle – are you? by Pip Usher

NO Selfies aren’t narcissistic – they’re practical. If I happen to be in Paris with my best friend but can’t be bothered to ask some stranger on the street to take our picture, all I need to do is reach out an arm as we both slap on our signature selfie faces (everyone has one). At their best, selfies are sweet and intimate, capturing a shared moment in which the only people present are seen in the frame. For supermodels, selfies are more than just a convenience – they’re a career changer. Take Cara Delevingne, aka Eyebrows on Fleek. The British Burberry model has used her Instagram account, replete with selfies and Rumi quotes, to establish a following of over 18 million. These selfies allowed her to reclaim her widely sought-after image for herself, expressing a side to her personality that doesn’t come across on the catwalk or in fashion shoots. There are bizarre faces and crossed eyes; with the help of app Dubsmash, she often lip-syncs over movies. Such self-portraits have no doubt helped Delevingne transition out of the fashion industry – a field she now says made her hate herself and her body, and worsened her outbreaks of psoriasis – and into acting. In a recent interview she said that today, as an actor, “I am the happiest person in the whole world.” But even for a mere mortal, selfies are no more narcissistic than looking in a mirror, or painting a self-portrait. In fact, there is such a thing as healthy narcissism, a certain faith in oneself that allows a person to get out of bed in the morning and to go to work and eat a healthy breakfast. If I didn’t have at least some confidence I’d still be back in bed, staring at the crack on my ceiling, waiting for it to overtake me. by Christina Tkacik

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© T-Mobile

Yet however you dress it up, these selfies are there for one reason alone: to show the world that you’re winning. That new handbag proves you’re winning. The handstand proves you’re winning. All this carefully packaged success seems to point to a disorder in which “people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others” – in other words, the medical definition of narcissism. Real life is messy, filter-free and filled with bad hair days; to pretend otherwise is both a manipulation of the truth and a craven call for validation.

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A fashion _ style tribe

Pick your pack By John Ovans

Cara Delevingne

The punk rebel The Hells Angels of the fashion world, the punk rebels are led by notorious model-turned-actress-of-themoment Cara Delevingne, who beams East London vibes wherever she happens to be in the world. Delevingne has admitted that she wakes up only ten minutes before she has to be anywhere, so her look is what one might call low-maintenance (except in fashion, we call it grungy). Delevingne and her cronies – who include the likes of Rita Ora, Jourdan Dunn and Rihanna – favor a tomboy look, opting for beanies, hoodies, leather jackets, acidwash denim jackets and skinny jeans. It’s a very British kind of cool; to join this gang, look to homegrown labels, such as Burberry and Alexander McQueen, or New Yorkbased Rag & Bone for an equally edgy aesthetic. A 86

Rag & Bone

© Shutterstock, Bruce Weber/Magnolia Pictures, Dries van Noten, Roberto Cavalli, Pucci, Jil Sander, Rag & Bone

Rag & Bone

If it came to a fashion battle, who would have your back?

Isabella Rossellini


The graying guru These graying ladies have made their style mistakes and learned from them, proving that youth isn’t always beauty. Of course, they’re not always gray. Leading the way is the uber-glam Isabella Rossellini – whom one journalist referred to as “your fantasy European aunt” – in simple, muted cuts by the likes of Emilio Pucci and Dolce & Gabbana. Flying the flag on behalf of all fashion designers is 68-year-old Diane von Furstenberg, pulling off patterns, sequins and her own collections with regular aplomb. If you wish to enter eccentric old lady territory, there’s no need to look any further than Iris Apfel, although she falls under the “art teacher” style tribe – more on her later.


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Roberto Cavalli

The glamourpuss For Lebanese ladies, getting dressed up to the nines is a national pastime, so we don’t have to look further than our own celebrities, mothers or sisters. From Balenciaga at brunch to Valentino at dinner, nothing is too O.T.T. for these girls – and since last year heralded the rebirth of Italian fashion, it’s a good time to be a glamourpuss. The Italian look is a high-stakes, coherent one, all elements pulled together with a sexy finish. Raid the racks of Gucci, Roberto Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana, get yourself a sweet tan and start smoking with a cigarette holder. Instant allure.

Salma Hayek

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© Shutterstock, Brxuce Weber/Magnolia Pictures, Dries van Noten, Roberto Cavalli, Pucci, Jil Sander, Rag & Bone

Roberto Cavalli

A fashion _ style tribe

The power dresser Let’s be clear: we’re not talking about the boardroom here. Shoulder pads are not back. Instead, we’re talking about women whose wardrobes are polished, perfect, well-oiled machines. Looking stylish is their raison d’être, and they mean business with it. Often because it is their business – fashion editor Anna Wintour, for instance, might wear florals, but beware that sharp tailoring: there’s no doubt she could beat the crap out of you if she needed to. Look to labels such as Jil Sander and Victoria Beckham for slick, superpower dressing that is sure to send the right message.

Jil Sander

Anna Wintour

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© Shutterstock, Bruce Weber / Magnolia Pictures, Dries van Noten, Roberto Cavalli, Pucci, Jil Sander, Rag & Bone

Jil Sander

A fashion _ style tribe

The art teacher Okay, they’re not actual art teachers, but they look like they could be. Queen of the art teachers is Tilda Swinton, who has basically patented androgynous dressing, with almost-apprentice Mia Wasikowska and Milla Jovovich in tow. For something altogether more bonkers, there’s the aforementioned Iris Apfel, the 93-year-old “geriatric starlet,” whose choice of oversized accessories, owleyed glasses, and basically everything but the kitchen sink, makes her a style icon for the ages. Offbeat fashionistas will find their calling in labels such as Alexander McQueen, Maison Margiela, and Dries van Noten, all of which are ubafraid of mix high fashion and eccentric inclinations.

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

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© Shutterstock, Bruce Weber / Magnolia Pictures, Dries van Noten, Roberto Cavalli, Pucci, Jil Sander, Rag & Bone

Iris Apfel

A fashion _ maverick

Bigger than fashion

Hideki Seo, creative chameleon

His own children may sometimes go barefoot, but for Hideki Seo that’s not really an issue. The Paris-based native of Japan works by day as first design assistant for Azzedine Alaïa, who’s arguably the most gifted fashion designer in the world today. At night, Seo designs for himself, striving to create tufted, riveted, rounded and colorfully wearable sculptures. It’s a Herculean effort that often keeps him up until 2:00 a.m. “I don’t have time to go shopping because I always have to work,” the 41-year-old says. “So it’s simple: I buy what I like. It has to fit my body.” He grew up in Hiroshima, influenced by his mother’s love of knitting

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© Kurt Stallaert, Etienne Tordoir / Foundation Azzedine Alaïa, Claire Dorn, Pierre Mahieu

By J. Michael Welton

This and opposite page Japanese designer Hideki Seo is known for his fantastical imagination

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and impressed by his father’s work ethic. “When I was four or five years old, I was always seeing my mother’s work and it stayed in my mind,” he says. “My father worked for a big electric company – he taught me that you have to work a lot.” Suburban Hiroshima, with views of distant mountains and a river, guided young Seo toward the freedom of travel. By the time he’d trained as a graphic artist, he was touring Tibet, India, Africa and Europe. The native clothes and costumes caught his eye, then sparked his A 96

imagination, and finally directed him to a new career. “Travel inspired me a lot to see the different cultures in each country, and how the differences appear on the clothes,” he explains. “I decided to quit my graphic design job and started looking for a school to study and learn fashion, and found three good schools – in New York, London and Antwerp.” He conducted his due diligence in each then ruled out New York and London as too big. Instead, he decided on Antwerp

© Kurt Stallaert, Etienne Tordoir, Claire Dorn, Pierre Mahieu

Seo’s 2005 collection, shown in Antwerp, was aptly titled “Swimming in the Garment”

A fashion _ maverick

In recent years, Seo has stepped away from the traditional realms of fashion to explore a more sculptural approach to design, like these pieces from exhibitions in 2014 (top) and 2012 (bottom)

and its Royal Academy of Fine Arts. “That was almost 15 years ago,” he says. “That’s where I studied fashion.” It’s also where he met his destiny, in the shape of Alaïa, whose designs are coveted by nearly every celebrity on the planet and worn by international figures like Michelle Obama. “He was on a jury in Belgium, and when I finished my course, he liked my work and invited me to work with him in Paris,” Seo says. Speculation suggests that Alaïa hand-picked Seo for his one-of-a-kind talent, as well as his imagination, sensibility and work ethic – not to mention his hyperrhythmic ability to design quickly and correctly. “I’ve been working with Alaïa for ten years now, and I’m always making drawings,” he says. “He gives me direction and then I make the drawings. His brand is quite important – it’s a legend in Paris.”

He’ll be easy to spot at the openings of his upcoming shows in Stockholm and New York as the one who’s wearing the least sculptural clothing, though he does add his own touch to a simple wardrobe. “Whatever I buy, I come home and make a fashion show of it,” he says. “Then I can change the neck line or form and cut it to fit me.” Chances are, it’s still a work of art. “Utopian Bodies” runs until February 7 at the Liljevalchs Museum, Djurgårdsvägen 60, 115 21 Stockholm, tel. 46.850.831.330, and “Fairy Tale” runs from January 15 - April 16 at FIT Museum, 227 W 27th St., New York, tel. 21.217.7999,

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© Kurt Stallaert, Etienne Tordoir, Claire Dorn, Pierre Mahieu

Seo continuously pushes the design envelope, stretching the boundaries of fashion and art as he moves also into artistic lighting design. “Now, the form I want to create is bigger than fashion,” he says. “The form I want sometimes cannot be wearable. I’m also making sculptures.”

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A fashion _ gallant

The anatomy of a modern gentleman By John Ovans

“Gentlemanly behavior sets one human apart from another,” wrote the editor of British upper class bible Country Life magazine recently. It is indeed good to act like a gentleman, but trust us: you can hold open as many doors and pick up as many checks as you like – if you’re dressed like a vagrant, it’s all meaningless. Well, okay, not meaningless. Those are still nice things to do for a lady friend, but looking the part is pretty important too.

David Beckham

Dior Jil Sander

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While zeitgeists come and go – hipster dandyism has at long last been toppled out on the streets by sportswear – gentlemanly style holds steadfast. There are a few millennial tweaks, mind you: pocket watches have been edged out by Apple timepieces, pennyfarthings have been left rusting in the bike shed – but there are certain sartorial rules that won’t budge, whether it’s 1915 or 2015. The gentleman, of course, is one of England’s greatest exports, so we can look to the likes of David Beckham, David Gandy and Jude Law (not to mention James Bond) for inspiration. All possess immaculately turned-out style, immaculately turned-out manners, and women throwing themselves at them at every opportunity. Not a bad life, really. So how to pull it off? Well, the first thing you’ll need to do is ditch the tracksuits and start filling your wardrobe with suits. Luckily, there’s plenty on offer from the fall/ winter 2015-16 collections to help smarten up your look. The likes of Prada, Burberry Prorsum and Gucci leap to the fore in their offerings every season, but there were some bolder aesthetics on the catwalk, too. If you’re brave, opt for a poppy-infused number by Alexander McQueen, or a rose-colored two-piece from Rodolfo Paglialunga’s debut menswear collection for Jil Sander. Not only did the collection prove to be a hit, but it

© Dior, Jil Sander, Alexander McQueen, Etro, Shutterstock

Sorting the pocket squares from the pocket watches

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A fashion _ gallant


featured a wealth of smart, chic outerwear to see a fellow through winter. Our tip? A singlebreasted suit can be jazzed up by a pocket square – although first you’ll have to learn how to fold one – and goes with an Oxford shoe, which generally works for any occasion. Speaking of bravery, a gentleman should never be afraid to temper his wardrobe with feminine accents, such as sprigs of pink. Accompany your suit with Burberry Prorsum’s pink scarf, or choose from the range of gloriously hued numbers that appeared in the collection. Etro, too, knows that the manliest of men know how to accessorize, and thus their own offering was full of brightly colored, patterned and A 102

paisley scarfs. Stepping out somewhere particularly fancy? Look no further than Dior Homme’s refined collection, sent down the catwalk alongside a line of violinists. Here, eveningwear dominated, with a series of sharp, black tuxedo suits paired with dress shirts, cummerbunds and bow ties for an ensemble hailed by critics as a macho night at the opera. With this gear hanging in your closet, you’ll likely snare more dates to Tosca than you can handle. Just remember that a gentleman always drives a lady home afterwards and that he is not, according to Country Life, allowed to Tweet, wear Lycra or write with a ballpoint pen. Got all that?

Jude Law

© Dior, Jil Sander, Alexander McQueen, Etro, Shutterstock

Alexander McQueen

A fashion _ fluidity

Gender bending By Christina Tkacik

“You’ve got your mother in a whirl / she’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl,” sang David Bowie in his 1974 hit “Rebel, Rebel,” calling to mind a fusty mother bothered by the gender bending of the ’70s. Well, that mother may have the same reaction looking at some of the recent collections for fall/winter 2015-16. Androgynous dressing is reaching a peak not seen since the glam rockers of Bowie’s day, and glancing at many faces on the runways, you might face the same confusion.

Incidentally, Backus – a Jodie Foster look-alike who was recently pronounced a “rising star” by W – made her runway debut in the Gucci menswear fall/winter 2015-16 show by Alessandro Michele, in which she modeled a long captain’s coat that would look equally appropriate on a man. Saint Laurent also included women in the house’s fall/ winter menswear show, with some observers wondering if it’s only a matter of time until gendered fashion shows go the way of the dodo bird.

Jil Sander defied traditional breakdowns of masculine and feminine with men in bobbed haircuts and trousers with women’s tailoring, and female model Marland Backus dressed in boyish button-up shirts with sweaters.

But why this sudden surge towards genderless fashion? It may in part be a product of our gender-fluid times, in which transgender folks like Caitlyn Jenner have gone from freak show attraction to the cover of Vanity Fair, former

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© Burberry Prorsum, Gucci



Designers embrace androgyny on the runway



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Disney child star Miley Cyrus is publicly dating a Victoria’s Secret model and the U.S. Supreme Court has declared gay marriage legal in all 50 states. But it’s also a product of a shift in global patterns of consumption. As Asian consumers throw around their buying power, designers are making clothes for a smaller, slimmer clientele that can pull off androgyny with aplomb.


What’s more, the closet-swapping has begun to go both ways, with menswear stealing more and more from women’s wardrobes. Gucci’s fall/winter 2015-16 collection had men in pussy bow shirts with long flowing hair. Saint Laurent had one male model in a pink fur coat, another in zebra stripes. Even Burberry got in on the action: men walked down the catwalk wearing animal prints and carrying purses. Pardon me, man bags.

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Which brings us to one final point: gender has always been socially constructed. Baby girls aren’t born wearing pink, any more than Alexa Chung was born with perfectlyapplied eyeliner. As RuPaul once said, “We’re all born naked. The rest is drag.”

© Burberry Prorsum, Gucci

Certainly, it’s been chic for women to borrow from the men’s section for several years now. Alexa Chung became an “It Girl” by doing little more than wearing boy blazers and forgetting her hairbrush. And Chung was only the latest in a long tradition of fashionistas to do so – think of Diane Keaton’s suits and Marlene Dietrich’s tuxedos. Yet those femme icons always tempered their masculine looks with liberal quantities of eyeliner, while today’s crossdressing makes it less obvious. Take Alexander Wang’s gothic fall show, for example. The models were styled with pale skin and wet-looking hair that was utterly devoid of any girlishness (even Kendall Jenner looked tough.)

A fashion _ print

Run wild

By Grace Elena Banks

Fashion redefines the animal print In the fashion world, animals cause controversy, with any discussion of a paneled snakeskin skirt or a zebraskin handbag quickly turning heated. Yet this isn’t a case of animal rights, vegetarianism or even a debate about leather. The conflict is simple – animal prints have different cultural meanings for fashion enthusiasts across the globe. For Londoners, a leopard-print coat evokes trashy TV dramas and the punk rock styling of Nancy, Sid Vicious’s girlfriend, while in France the mood is more classic, with elegant leopard-print cuffs and matching handbags at the ready.

favorite. At Burberry Prorsum, Joni Mitchell’s aesthetic was infused into a floor-length, leopard-print dress that wouldn’t look out of place in Glastonbury circa 1975. Always one to mix it up, Marc Jacobs went full Marilyn Monroe in How to Marry A Millionaire with a boxy jacket complete with fur-lined lapels. Maison Margiela featured jackets too – thick, fuzzy leopard-print styles ideal for the imminent party season. With the support of such prestigious fashion houses, the most outrageous of animal prints was instantaneously transformed from a gaudy design quirk into the best way of exemplifying your fashion prowess.

Until the ’60s, animal goods were widely worn to signify wealth and prowess, with a fur coat signifying to all that you had the good stuff in droves. But when the mass manufacturing of animal print took off, it became the go-to of high street designers looking to add a dose of glamour to their collections. Quickly, snakeskin went from a luxury investment to an everyday print, cheaply copied. But now, designers are referencing this tackiness and turning it into looks heavy on attitude. Never before have they featured animal print so exhaustively on their runways. Miu Miu premiered thick panels of snakeskin on skirts, coats and separates, with these simple details bringing animal skins right into fall’s austere aesthetic. Over at Céline, there wasn’t a snake in sight as zebra was the print of choice. Used to breathe life into utilitarian silhouettes and paired with box-fresh trainers, the look was trademark of Phoebe Philo’s fashion moxie. For all-out glamour, leopard print was an obvious A 108


© Céline, Burberry Prorsum, Maison Margiela, Marc Jacobs, miu miu

Fall/winter 2015-16 has been the unifier of animal print. Marc Jacobs, Maison Margiela and Prada all used it as a flag of boundary-pushing modernity, creating a minimal palette that slips easily into the wardrobes of astute fashion followers across the globe. The result? The Parisian who may have refrained from her Italian counterpart’s take on the trend is now coveting the same structured funnel dress. And if, like Amazonian women of legend, you are already using animal prints to bare your fashion teeth, looks from this season will be your calling card from day until night.

Maison Margiela

Burberry Prorsum

Marc Jacobs

Burberry Prorsum

Miu Miu

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Maison Margiela


Great lengths


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Alexander McQueen

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Fine China Dries Van Noten

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Michael Kors

Alberta Ferretti


Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum




Marc Jacobs

Diane Von Furstenberg

Sonia Rykiel


Alexander McQueen

Diane Von Furstenberg

Bottega Veneta

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Patched up

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Glitterati Etro


Marc Jacobs

Giambattista Valli

Alexander Wang

Michael Kors

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Michael Kors

Dries Van Noten

Tory Burch

Marc Jacobs

Oscar de la Renta

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Alberta Ferretti

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Oscar de la Renta

Gilded lily

White collar

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Picking up the pieces Photographer Tony Elieh Stylist Joe Arida

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Clockwise from left Dior shoe, ring and bag; Stella McCartney clutch; Gucci scarf; Thom Browne sunglasses; Dior wallet; Balenciaga earrings; Lanc么me eyeshadow pen in Turquoise Infini, No. 06 and G茅nifique Eye Light Pearl

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Clockwise from left Prada bag; CÊline fur stole; Prada shoe; Diptyque scented candle; Chanel Lèvres Scintillantes Glossimer lipgloss, No. 171 and No. 104; Dior necklace; Chanel Douceur Scintillante powdered perfume

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Clockwise from left Céline bag; Lancôme mascara; Diptyque Crème Riche body lotion; Dior boot; Thom Browne eyeglasses; Céline fur stole; Balenciaga brooch

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Clockwise from left Tom Ford Noir de Noir perfume; Loewe bag; Jill Haber clutch; Dior scarf; Tom Ford lipstick in Violet Fatale, No. 17 and nail polish in Plum Noir, No. 09; Gianvito Rossi boot; Fendi iPad cover

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Clockwise from left Olympia Le-Tan clutch; Fendi bag; Gianvito Rossi boot; Dior shoe; Stella McCartney clutch; Chanel Coco body cream; Marni clutch; Lanc么me foundation brush

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Clockwise from center Anya Hindmarch clutches; Prada bag; Fendi charm; Dior shoe; Diptyque Essences InsensĂŠes perfume

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Clockwise from left Tom Ford Tuscan Leather perfume; Gucci bag and shoe; Tom Ford nail polish in Toasted Sugar, No. 02, in African Violet, No. 08 and in Scarlet Chinois, No. 14; Dsquared2 bracelet; CĂŠline sunglasses

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Floating pretty Photographer Simon Stylist Amelianna Loiacono Location Venice, Italy

She’s wearing a Stella McCartney coat, a Valentino jacket, a Philosophy top and See by ChloÊ pants. Her bag is by Michael Kors, her shoes are by Moncler and her sunglasses are vintage

She’s wearing a dress by Fendi. Her sunglasses are vintage

Her skirt and jacket are by Iceberg and her shoes are by Michael Kors. She’s wearing Fendi sunglasses

She’s wearing a Maison Margiela backpack and a vintage Gucci watch

She’s wearing a skirt, top and sunglasses by Michael Kors. Her belt is by Marni and her scarf is by Fendi

Her jeans are by Red Valentino, her top is by Moncler and her belt is by Marni

She’s wearing a Tory Burch dress. Her headband is by Fendi and her sunglasses are the stylist’s own

She’s in a Gucci coat, Jil Sander top and Helmut Lang pants. Her belt is by Fendi

She’s wearing a look by Fendi

Her skirt and jacket are by Red Valentino, her top is by Dsquared2 and her bag is by Dolce & Gabbana

She’s wearing a Maison Margiela jacket and sneakers. Her bag is by Iceberg. Hair Emanuela di Giammarco at Massimo Serini Makeup Chiara Corsaletti at Massimo Serini Model Lea Rostain at WM Models

Botanical society Photographer Marco Pietracupa Stylist Amelianna Loiacono Location Brindisi, Italy

She’s wearing a jacket and skirt by Dsquared2. Her shoes are by Michael Kors

She’s in a Michael Kors sweater. Her gloves are the stylist’s own

She is wearing a blouse by Paul & Joe and a top and brooch by Prada. Her shoes are by Tory Burch

She’s in a Sonia Rykiel coat, a Chloé sweater, Balenciaga gloves and shoes by Dior. Her pants are the stylist’s own

This page Dolce & Gabbana bag. Opposite page She’s in a look by Dolce & Gabbana. Shoes are the stylist’s own

She’s wearing a Stella McCartney dress, Agent Provocateur lingerie and Tory Burch boots. Her sunglasses are by Michael Kors

This page Her dress is by Philosophy and her bag is by Dolce & Gabbana Opposite page Prada brooch

She’s wearing a Parosh coat and a top by Roberto Cavalli

She’s in a Sonia Rykiel coat, a Chloé sweater, Balenciaga gloves and shoes by Dior. Her pants are the stylist’s own

This page Her look is by Valentino and her hair pin is by Prada Opposite page She’s wearing a Parosh dress

She’s wearing a Balenciaga coat, Sacai Luck pants and Dior shoes. The shirt and gloves are the stylist’s own

Her look is by Dolce & Gabbana. Stylist Assistant Barbara Laneve Hair and makeup Mary Cesardi at Atomo Management Model Mia Stass at MP Management

Born to run Ferrari California T Photographer Tony Elieh Stylist Amine Jreissati Location Zaarour Country Club, Lebanon

She is wearing a Jitrois jacket

She is wearing a Victoria Beckham coat and Ellery pants. Her clutch is by Olympia Le-Tan

She is wearing a CĂŠline turtleneck and sunglasses

Her look is by Altuzarra

Her jacket is by Jitrois

Her top is by Victoria Beckham and her pants are by Ellery

Her jacket and skirt are by Jitrois and her top is by Alexander McQueen

She is in a look by Dries Van Noten

This page She’s wearing a Valentino dress, Moschino shoes and Dolce & Gabbana earrings Opposite page Her earrings are by Dolce & Gabbana

Her look is by Altuzarra

This page CĂŠline sunglasses Opposite page She is wearing a shirt and jeans by Sonia Rykiel

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She is wearing a turtleneck, pants and sunglasses by CĂŠline. Her shoes are by Prada

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This and opposite page She is wearing a coat and top by Victoria Beckham and Ellery pants

She is wearing a Michael Kors top and Prada pants. Her shoes are by Miu Miu and her bag is by Balenciaga

This page She is wearing a Michael Kors shirt Previous page M2Malletier clutch. Hair & Makeup Ivanna at Velvet Model Management Model Marianna at Velvet Model Management

Border line Photographer Marcelo Krasilcic Stylist Lori Messerschmitt

She’s wearing a top by Dsquared2 and a skirt by Marc Jacobs. Her necklace is by Giambattista Valli

Her shirt is by Prada and her skirt is by Alessandra Rich. Her shoes and sunglasses are the stylist’s own

Her look is by Prada

She is wearing a shirt and shoes by Miu Miu. Her skirt is the stylist’s own

She’s wearing a jacket by Saint Laurent and a skirt by Alice & Olivia. She’s wearing a Dsquared2 coat, a Bottega Veneta skirt, a Joseph roll neck sweater and Chloé shoes.Hair Her Owen glovesGould are Makeupthe Akiko Sakamoto stylist’s own Model Susannah Liguori at IMG Models



A beauty _ counter

Tips from the top

Where celebrities go, we follow

Blast from the past Love it or hate it, the ’90s was an iconic decade for style – and Rihanna’s plum-colored lips are testament to the glamour of grunge. Indulge your nostalgia with Bobbi Brown’s latest lipstick in a deep shade of berry. Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color No. 31 in Berry Noir A 202

Cat-eyed Chanel ambassador Kristen Stewart took the feline flick to new lengths, proving that the cat-eye is an act of rebellion in itself. Get the look with lashings of liner and smoky charcoal shadow smudged to (im)perfection. Chanel Soft Touch Eyeshadow No. 118 in Midnight

© Shutterstock, Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Christophe Robin, Giorgio Armani

Half measures All hail the half-bun, a hairstyle that beauty trailblazer Rooney Mara brought into the big league with one red carpet appearance at Cannes. Spritz Christophe Robin’s Brightening Hair Finish Lotion over your own variation and you’re ready to go. Christophe Robin Brightening Hair Finish Lotion with Fruit Vinegar

Summer for all seasons Summer may be over, but let the tan live on with Giorgio Armani’s bronzing liquid. We’re looking to Gisele for inspiration. Despite being one of the world’s biggest supermodels, she always looks like she’s just stepped off a stand-up paddle board. Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer No. 100

A beauty _ treatment

Golden oldies

By Pip Usher

Ancient treatments in modern times

Bath time Let’s get one thing straight: the hammam is not a wham, bam, thank you ma’am style approach to beautification. My treatment lasted nearly four hours, during which I was bathed, scrubbed, swaddled, stretched, oiled, exfoliated and massaged into a dazed, euphoric puddle of peacefulness. Whether it was the swampy heat or the skilled hands of my kessala, Urban Retreat’s hammam, housed on the top floor of Harrods, blends Western preferences (none of that brutal scrubbing and walloping one expects from Eastern A 204

hammams – and my kessala was a chirpy girl in her twenties) with ancestral beauty rituals from the East. It’s all thanks to the Romans and their clever preoccupation with public bathing that the hammam exists at all. After they cemented the tradition, Islamic countries adapted it to suit their own religious rituals of cleansing, incorporating the hot, steamy air that unclogs pores, releases toxins and opens the nasal passages. Now, I may have spent several decades bathing myself, but it’s peculiarly pleasurable to hand the process over to someone else. Lying naked but for a soggy loincloth, water so warm it’s almost painful is sluiced over me in rhythmic motions as I’m soaped down with an inky-black Moroccan soap. It’s followed by a thorough exfoliation, again teetering on the pleasurable side of pain, and seemingly endless rounds of washing, rinsing and massaging. The hammam is the magic carpet of skincare – and better yet, the treatment needs only water and natural products. Visit Tough love The bruised, purplish marks left by cupping always led me to dismiss the treatment as faddish self-torture. That, and the fact that

Victoria Beckham was a fan. But Nadim, my cupping therapist at Le Gray’s PureGray spa, explains that it derives from ancient Chinese medicine – and those trailblazers had a serious knack for alternative healing. An energy treatment similar to acupuncture, it seeks to balance the yin and yang of the body by the removal of tensions from the muscles. With some trepidation, I ask if it’ll hurt; Nadim assures me that I will feel a strong sucking sensation as the glass cups are placed on my back, but that most find it relaxing. The experience is curious. I flinch every time a cup is placed on my back, and the tight sensation against my skin feels like a vacuum hoovering toxins from grouchy, unyielding muscles. But twenty minutes of cupping and a brief massage later, my skepticism has disintegrated into a groggy, slightly delirious state. I cancel yoga, drink a lot of water and drag myself to bed. A quick Google the following day shows that I keep good company – in 2008, a Chinese swimmer showed off her cupping marks at the Beijing Olympics, and Gwyneth Paltrow has been a devotee for the past decade. As she explained to Oprah, “It feels amazing and it’s very relaxing.” If it’s good enough for Goop founder Gwynnie, it’s good enough for me. Visit

© Shutterstock

With beauty treatments, the temptation is always to try the sparkliest, most insanesounding arrival at the spa. New treatments are bursting on to the beauty scene at a ferocious rate: there’s Botox and its “no-tox” equivalents, facial massages and noninvasive peels. Hell, even lunchtime facelifts are on the menu. But with personal grooming now more high-tech than a board meeting in Silicon Valley, the stakes (and costs) can be high. Rather than let chemicals and machines dictate the fate of your face, why not herald the apple pies of the wellness world? They may be a staple of your grandmother, but their sturdy endurance over the millennia proves their right to be included in any beauty regime today.

A beauty _ bohemian

Boho beauty By Grace Elena Banks

One gray morning a couple of weeks back, I was added to a WhatsApp group of discerning London women. Was it an easy way to make evening plans? Perhaps an urgent cat-sitting request? The opening message explained that it was a place “for wellness, beauty and literature” – so far, so good. But nothing could have prepared me for the profusion of holistic health advice that these faceless women – I knew only one – would bestow upon the group. The information was endless. Who knew that raw charcoal could be used as a hangover cure or mixed into clay as a face mask? Then

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the household tips came as we discussed finding the right cheese plant for your lounge and a succulent for each bedroom. As the days passed, women were accessing the thread 24/7: “Making tumeric bath milk at home this weekend? I got you!” Aside from the camaraderie, something else stuck out. All these trends were ’70s-style, bohemian living personified. Weren’t we laughing at people who carried crystals five years ago? And when did it become okay to ask advice on the best dry sage to burn as an energy cleanser? In the wake of grim facts about paraben-laden beauty products and the impact

© Stocksy, Glossier

It’s time to embrace your inner hippy

This and opposite page The modern day bohemian includes cacti, charcoal water purifiers and sage smudging in her holistic regime

of environmentally unsound packaging, we appeared to be returning to the more simplistic wellness rituals of yesteryear. As any modern-day hippie worth their collection of vintage Woodstock photos knows, Zen cannot be packaged. However, building a home of mellow-inducing paraphernalia is a good place to start. Crystal enthusiasts can place a rose quartz between their palms during a bath, then drench it in midday sunlight to recharge. If that doesn’t appeal, there’s sage smudging. Once a peculiar add-on suggested when you bought herbal oils on Amazon, this small bundle of dried herbs is now an essential ritual for

any aspiring holistic health practitioner. The premise, like most bohemian trends, is rooted in ancient spiritual teachings; derived from Native American custom, the smoke of air-dried sage is said to clear negative energy from a space. Official proof that it’s gone mainstream was provided when Into The Gloss, the site of beauty magnate Emily Weiss, included it in an online giveaway alongside the more conventional face masks and moisturizers. And what if you’re partial to plants? Succulents and cacti become popular in the late ’70s, thanks in large part to the hazy allure of California’s Joshua Tree and the wild

folk that inhabited it. Back then, bulbous plastic structures housed miniature cacti gardens. These days, terrariums have taken their place, although the connotations of alternative living still remain. Aztec healing clay, mustard bath powder, bentonite clay used by Peruvians – the more obscure, raw and unbranded the product, the better. Which brings us back to charcoal. In its many guises, charcoal is a companion for life: it brightens your skin, quashes hangovers and, as I discovered via a 4 a.m. WhatsApp message, purifies your water for six whole months with one tiny, $4 stick. It doesn’t get much hippier – or hipper – than that. 207 A

Mitsulift escalator installation August 2015 in preparation for the grand opening of A誰shti Foundation

Enhance City Living Mitsulift is proud to contribute towards A誰shti's brave new vision of bridging the world of international art to Lebanon and the greater Middle East.

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Like a dream It’s one thing to have big dreams and believe in them, but it’s quite another to see them take shape. Twenty-five years have passed since the opening of the first Aïshti shop. Even then, I knew we wouldn’t stop there, but I never imagined we would build an empire. I never thought that Aïshti would lend its name to an international contemporary art foundation. None of this would have been possible without those who believed in the dream with me and helped it become a reality. It’s a meaningful anniversary, and one that I share with my wife Elham, who has always provided unwavering support, and my four children, Tasha, Giorgio, Matteo and Sandro; Michel and Micheline, my brother and sister, who helped me build everything from almost nothing; and my sister Sophie, especially, who sadly passed away a year ago and whose elegance leaves a lasting impression on our company. Finally, I celebrate with the pillars of Aïshti, those who have stood by us since the beginning and helped us build it stone by stone, without sparing any effort: Lina, Simon, Randa, Samer, Ludwig, Carole, Sylvie, Naji and Nagi, Omar and all of those – nearly a thousand today – who have joined our team and continue to push it forward. My gratitude also goes to my friends in the art world, especially Jeffrey Deitch, for his invaluable advice; Massimiliano Gioni, for the Foundation’s inaugural exhibition; and David Adjaye, for the Foundation building’s exceptional architecture. I also extend a special thank you to my friend, architect Ziad Kassem, who, despite the tragedy that struck his family, spent his days and nights working to complete the Foundation’s construction in a record time. I would like to add that, in order to commemorate and honor the people who have touched us along the way, the Aïshti Foundation will host a library dedicated to Sophie Salamé and a free art academy for children, dedicated to Tarek Kassem, Ziad’s son. Together, we have spent this past quarter century rebuilding an inspirational, peaceful image of Beirut, against the odds. No matter what happens, we will continue to advance, armed with optimism, energy and determination. Tony Salamé CEO of Aïshti

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The legacy Lebanon’s history can be broken down into two periods: B.A. (before Aïshti) and A.A. (after Aïshti). When the doors to a small Jal el Dib boutique opened in 1990, the region’s style landscape was forever transformed. Twenty-five years later, that modest operation is a multimillion-dollar luxury empire employing over 900 people across the Middle East. Encompassing home furnishing, publishing, restaurants, spas and art galleries, Aïshti today represents a lifestyle that transcends fashion. Every glittering runway show, boutique opening and art exhibition leading up to this anniversary will culminate in the October opening of Aïshti’s newest destination, the Aïshti Foundation. We celebrate this milestone with a look back on what it took to get here.

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A誰shti illuminates Downtown Beirut

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The beginning In 1990, Tony Salamé channeled an interest in fashion into a boutique on a quiet street in Jal el Dib, just outside Beirut. Salamé was working against the odds – the country’s civil war, to name just one – but knew that beautifully designed and expertly crafted clothing would find a loyal market in Lebanon.

The first Aïshti boutique brought international runway looks to Lebanon

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What’s in a name Japan was dictating style trends in the ’90s, and Salamé thought a Japanese boutique name would capture the moment. When toying with options, he considered the best motivator for getting dressed each morning: being in love. Aïshti translates to “I love” in Japanese. Partnering with New York-based creative team Sagmeister & Walsh, Aïshti has seen its logo evolve from Asian-inspired typography to its current incarnation.

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AĂŻshti brings global fashion and culture to Beirut on the pages of A magazine A 220

Š Raya Farhat

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Fit to print Since day one, clients have trusted Aïshti to curate a selection of looks from runways around the world. But as Tony Salamé’s interests expanded with his travels, so did his desire to share more than just fashion with Aïshti shoppers. A magazine was launched in 2002 as a new way to bring the best in international art, design, food, books, travel, beauty and fashion to Lebanon. Today, A is the Middle East’s authority on the luxury lifestyle, exploring global trends through a local lens. With reporters, photographers and stylists in eight countries, A combines provocative editorial content with cutting-edge photography and influential styling. It highlights items from the hundreds of luxury brands found at Aïshti department stores and affiliated boutiques. A magazine is published bimonthly and distributed to all Aïshti clients in Lebanon and the region. Complimentary issues are also sent to key figures in the fashion industry around the world, and readers can purchase it on newsstands. In recent years, A has amassed a strong global following on, the home of its digital edition. October 2010 saw the publication evolve into its current identity with a name change. Formerly Aïshti Magazine, the publication is now called simply A, showcasing a new visual identity and logo courtesy of Sagmeister & Walsh.

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Flash point When it comes to photo shoots, A magazine taps a combination of high-profile and emerging talent to show established fashion houses in a whole new light.

Bird of paradise Photographer Marco La Conte Stylist Amelianna Loiacono Location Art Jungle, Brazil

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Merry and bright Photographer Bachar Srour Stylist Joe Arida

On the scene Photographer Tony Elieh Stylist Joe Arida

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Golden girl Photographer Marco Pietracupa Stylist Amelianna Loiacono

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Daydreamer Photographer David Bellemere Stylist Amelianna Loiacono

City slicker Photographer Alice Rosati Stylist Amelianna Loiacono

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Between the covers

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A’s Beirut team has contributing editors in New York, London and Milan. It has reporters in Paris, Bangkok, Shanghai, Los Angeles and beyond. With a network as connected and globally dispersed, no stone is left unturned when it comes to tracking down the latest news and trends.

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L’OfficielLevant Aïshti initially planned to launch a magazine in French, the unofficial language of Lebanon before the war. But English was quickly becoming trendier in Lebanese society, and it ultimately won out when Aïshti first broke into publishing. Still, French was the language of fashion, and a few years after A magazine began publishing, Tony Salamé met with Benjamin Eymère, General Director of Les Éditons Jalou, to discuss the idea of launching a French-language magazine alongside A. The project came to life in December 2009, when the first issue of L’Officiel-Levant hit the stands.

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Behind the brand Aïshti was founded by Tony Salamé, but it’s never been a one-man show. Twelve of the company’s earliest employees reflect on the last 25 years.

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© Tony Elieh

Elham Salamé Purchasing Director

How did it all begin? I met Tony in 1996. At that time, I was working with my father in advertising at The Daily Star, and he had come to buy an ad. We were married two years later. I loved fashion as much as he did, and I designed my wedding dress, which was made by Gai Mattiolo. Tony trusted my taste – he liked my style, my choices. If I bought a piece from a brand he didn’t have, he did everything to get it. He even opened a spa because he would see me run to the spa as soon as we arrived at a hotel.

Later, he introduced me to contemporary art. Personally, I buy what I like – what speaks to me – for my house. Tony, however, thinks primarily about the Foundation.

What was the beginning like? Once we were engaged, I began to travel with him to see the runway collections. I always had the freedom to choose what we would take back to Beirut. Our four children arrived a few years apart, but I didn’t stop working. I’ve been looking after the selection for 17 years.

Three great moments reflect Tony’s efforts: the Aïshti store opening in Downtown Beirut and the success it represented when nobody believed in it; the day he was awarded the Italian Medal of Merit; and the opening of the Aïshti Foundation, a monumental project that still is considered impossible.

Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? Yes, I had a feeling it would. Tony is ambitious, but he also has taste and fearlessness. He is a perfectionist and an aesthete. He is confident but he welcomes the opportunity to learn. He listens. He has a vision and nothing can stop him.

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Michel Salamé COO & Men’s Department Director

What was the beginning like? We were all still students. My father found us a Jal el Dib shop on a side street, because wartime bombings made the highway too dangerous. Tony frequently traveled for goods, and was often stuck abroad when the Beirut airport had to close. Meanwhile, every morning I went to my political science class (I wanted to enroll in the diplomatic corps course and fight corruption), while Micha opened the shop. At 3 p.m., after taking the baton, the shop was my responsibility. The beginning was mainly overseeing the arrival of crates and labeling goods. We had to prove ourselves to the family business, which already had roots A 234

in the market. We worked hard and reinvested every penny. We had better prices than others and our items were trendier, more likely to sell. We always approached customers with a totally personalized service. Whatever happened, we never closed. Even in 2006, under Israeli bombings, we set up guerilla stores in tents in Fakra to sell merchandise from Downtown. We suffered a lot, but we’re a good team. Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? First, there is Tony’s character. He has an innate power to convince and galvanize, but still, everything happened so fast. I remember, at the beginning of the adventure, the day he said, “At this point, you can stop and move on. We have no debt and we’ve enjoyed ourselves.” But everything was going so well that no one stopped. The shop openings had multiplied until they reached a point of no return. So we each took over a part of the company to better distribute responsibilities and tasks. Today, when I see the level of competition in the fashion world during my travels, I see what a great job we did. The spaces we offer our brands are often three times larger and better treated than in the most prestigious stores in Europe.

© Tony Elieh

How did it all begin? Tony has loved fashion since we were very young. During the war, when Beirut was cut in two, he never hesitated to cross the city to buy items that others envied from Hamra. When he traveled for his studies, he started bringing clothes to sell to his acquaintances. A little word of mouth and the house was overrun with customers. Our sisters, Sophie and Micha, and I started giving him a hand. And then it became more serious, and we started taking more concrete measures to create a legitimate business.

Micheline Salamé Director of Sales

How did it all begin? From the start, I was Tony’s shadow. At first, in the mid’80s, he bought scratched leather stock during a trip to Italy. I started looking around at existing stores to place the goods for him. He reinvested everything he earned, buying stock that our older sister, Sophie, and I aimed to sell. I remember a day of intense bombing during the war, when he called to tell us that he’d come across a large stock of brands famous at the time, including Basil and Genny. We went to negotiate with banks to obtain credit and we opened an outlet in Zalka. Afterwards, we opened the first store, in Jal el Dib. Tony wanted an exceptional opening party with the most prominent people. It was a huge success at the time. Mona Hrawi, who was the Presidents wife, and Gai Mattiolo, the designer of the moment, showed up in person. What was the beginning like? When we received collections, clients would open the boxes with us and reserve pieces before we even put prices on them. It was an overwhelming period. Tony was in charge of buying, Michel oversaw the men’s collections, Sophie ran the sales and reception of clients – which she loved to do and was so good at – and I dealt with labeling and accounting in the early days, along with the warehouse (with Simon) – we had the trade in our blood. There were days we worked 20 hours straight. We were more than a united team; we were a real family. Mom was cooking meals and sending them to the Jal el Dib shop. We had lunch together at the same table in the small kitchenette. Lina and Simon were right there with us, and they’re still an important part of my life. We took a lot of risks. Tony wanted to be on both sides of the capital when it was still cut in two [during the war]. We made the journey on foot, from East to West, to the Mar Elias shop. It was difficult but thrilling. Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? Tony probably always had a vision of the path he wanted

to take, and he was always motivating us with speeches. His professionalism with suppliers was also a strength. He always paid what he owed and respected deadlines, even during the war. And then the stores started opening – the whole country made it to the opening of the Verdun Dunes store. It was one of the first luxury shops in this part of the capital and a sign that the country was being reborn. When Aïshti opened in Downtown, it was hard to believe that it would work in a place so deserted and devastated. From a small Lebanese company, Aïshti became a big name. In New York, it’s already a reference. 235 A

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Lina Chehadé Senior Executive Assistant & Bank Coordinator

What was the beginning like? I was supposed to take care of accounting and administration, but I found myself opening boxes and sticking price tags on products in no time. Everyone was involved in all operations. A 236

Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? I had no time to think about the future – it went by so fast. I started to believe in it when we opened “real” offices on the fifth floor of the building where the original shop was, and even more so when Aïshti got the Gucci franchise. When we unpacked the goods, “Gucci, Gucci!” became our way of saying “Quick, quick!” With Tony, we learned speed and responsiveness. I’ve never had time to stop and think about doing anything else because it doesn’t stop. Even during the 2006 war, when everyone around us was closing, we were still working. We are constantly under stress, but when you see the result, it’s really rewarding.

© Tony Elieh

How did it all begin? It all started in 1991, when I was looking for a job in accounting and filled in an saw an ad for Aïshti in L’OrientLe Jour. At the time, the whole team consisted of Sophie, Micha and Michel – who was still a student – a seamstress and a saleswoman. My office was installed on the mezzanine level, between floors, at the Jal el Dib shop.

Samer Esta Architect How did it all begin? When I started, I was working on site at Hotel Dieu hospital, which was expanding and making renovations, and later joined Galal Mahmoud Architects. One day in 2000, I came across an advertisement in L’Orient-Le Jour; Aïshti was recruiting an architect. I introduced myself and started immediately. Tony had already made the decision to open a department store in Downtown Beirut, so we studied the plot, and construction began in March 2000. The store opened on December 7, 2001 – a record! It’s unusual for a fashion company to employ architects, but in Aïshti’s case, with constant shop openings and renovations, there isn’t an idle moment. What was the beginning like? I started when Aïshti undertook its first major project, but the projects now are becoming larger and larger, more and more international. Before, everything seemed big. A 200-square-meter Zegna is already a good size, but now we’re talking about a minimum of 30,000 square meters. At first, we were 10 or 15 people

on these projects, but now we’re now close to 400. With the Foundation, the spirit of Jal el Dib is becoming even more impressive than Solidere. Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? No, not at all. But without realizing it, we saw projects becoming larger over the years. I didn’t see it coming, and whenever I was faced with a project, I couldn’t imagine it being done. In the city center, there was only rubble, not even roads. We would just park our cars and hike to the site. It was a ghost town populated by a few cats. Similarly, for the Foundation, we started on a small project with existing buildings. Then we had the idea of digging a first floor, and then a second. We started with the existing team, but as the project changed course, Tony looked for a proposal that really spoke to his vision. We went to New York for a presentation of 8 or 9 projects and Tony ended up with David Adjaye. Working for Aïshti is an ongoing challenge – pure adrenaline.

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Simon Tereza Clothing Storage and Distribution Manager

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Immediately, I was in charge of the warehouse. I’m still here, with more responsibilities and a team to help me. I never felt like a foreigner and I have never had a bad experience. Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? Given how I was hired, I understood Tony’s energy and determination early on. He’s an amazing man with an exceptional memory. At first, there were long periods between two collections, where there was nothing to do. Then I saw the company grow at full speed and my warehouses were filling and emptying instantly. I haven’t had time to think about the future, because everything happened so quickly.

© Tony Elieh

How did it all begin? In 1995, Tony was with one of his major customers in Bahrain. That’s where he met my brother, who worked for the man. Tony asked if any of his family or acquaintances would agree to work for him in Beirut. My brother thought of me. We’re Indian, and I lived with my family in India. Even before I had time to think about his proposal, I received my visa, ticket and employment contract, so I came.

Carole Boulos Senior Section Supervisor How did it all begin? Before Aïshti opened, I was a saleswoman at Noni, a leading fashion store in Beirut. When Aïshti bought Noni, I was one of 15 employees who stayed on – I had experience, many customers knew me. That was back in 1997. At first, I was constantly moved from one store to another, but they liked my work so they made my position permanent after a month. What was the beginning like? Back then, we were confined to two or three shops and a dozen brands. Today, everything has been multiplied by 20 or 30. We started to see more and more customers – more and more foreigners – whereas before we had mostly regulars. But we managed to build relationships, even with people stopping in to browse. They’d call us to see if we’d received a particular piece or make appointments to make sure that we’d be there. Sometimes, clients would buy pieces the minute they were delivered, without even trying them on. Twenty-five years ago, women wanted “sets”. They wanted it all to be coordinated. Today, everything is in the accessory. Women come in wearing jeans but pay fortunes for bags and shoes. Before, I only dealt with clients. Today, I also take care of the presentation of the collections. I know what to highlight, how to make a less successful brand look desirable.

Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? Definitely not! For one thing, I didn’t think that I would stay in the business so long. But I’m committed to my work. Tony encouraged us a lot, and we could see the shops opening, one after another, and the pieces coming in and out at a rate we never imagined. I’d just like to say thank you. It’s been very gratifying.

Nagi Abi Nakad Sales Director, Men’s Department (Aïshti Seaside) What was the beginning like? In Jal el Dib, when a shipment would arrive, we’d put the goods in the vacant lot next to the shop, then carry them up to the 5th floor. There were just four of us, including Simon and me. With the Salamé brothers and sisters, we were a real family. Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? Yes, I knew – Tony would tell us all the time! In the city center, Solidere was handling post-war reconstruction and organized a flea market. One day we were there with Tony, and he showed us ruins amidst the rubble and announced that he’d open a store on the site. It was hard to believe, but he’d already done the same with Aïshti Seaside. Same pattern – he had set his sights on the ruins of an old oil factory, I believe. Look at what it’s become. How did it all begin? I worked in a company that specializes in men’s clothing, but there were many internal problems. In 1995, I heard that Aishti was recruiting salespeople and went to ask for a job. It turned out that I knew the family: Sophie, Michel, their dad. I was hired at the Jal el Dib shop but only stayed there for one month and two days, because the openings began.

If I were to do it again, I would without hesitation. Today, the family has expanded to the customers, some of whom have been coming since the beginning. When they were 30 years old, I helped them choose outfits. Today, at the age of 50, they want ripped jeans and dress like teenagers. They went from Zegna to Prada and Dolce & Gabbana.

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Randa Bejjani Transaction Control Manager had received an offer from another company. He was so young that at first it didn’t register that it was him. I kept wondering when I was going to talk to the “real” boss. I thought Lina was the owner. What was the beginning like? My mission was to manage and develop computer programming for inventory that would indicate our needs to technicians. I had no computer training. I learned on the job, through trial and error. Eventually, I found myself trying to fix failing programs and computers that crashed. There was no work the first five months because it was a period between the end of one collection and the arrival of another. I was tempted to leave, but there was always something new happening and so I stayed. Soon the work started piling up and the team had welcomed new people.

How did it all begin? I arrived in 1993, after answering an ad in L’Orient-Le Jour. The company was looking for someone to assist Lina, who welcomed me and introduced me to Tony. I wanted to meet the boss, because in the meantime I

Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? Tony was a dreamer. His dreams were big, and even if we didn’t always believe in them, he’s a great motivator. He knew where his ambitions would lead him. We followed. Things happened very quickly. Today it’s calmer and less impulsive, but it’s absolutely because of his instinct that we’re here today.

Ludwig Keoushguerian Finance and Accounting Manager How did it all begin? I started in 1998, in response to an ad in the daily Al Diyar newspaper. I was given an appointment for an interview on November 22. I thought there was a mistake, because November 22 is Lebanese Independence Day – a holiday. But I was recruited and started that day, at the famous fifth floor of the building where the first Jal el Dib shop was.

MasterCard and Fransabank.

Tony Salamé, Michel Salamé and two architects were on the site of The Aïshti Home Collection. Tony asked me a few questions. I asked him why my life interested him so much. He was so young, I had no idea that he was my boss!

Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? Tony is the kind of boss who throws you out to sea and sees if you can swim. Aïshti was my first job and I’m still here, though I learned a lot through trial and error. Despite my early inexperience, I adapted to the mechanics of a business that requires accuracy, speed and efficiency, above all.

A few days later I found myself in the hospital with typhoid. I was sure it was going to cost me my new job. I came back on December 3 to find out that I was still employed, but with a temporary assignment: I had to be the D.J. changing radio stations at the shops! But I soon took part in the launch of the partnership between Aïshti,

Tony has an amazing memory. He can remember specific accounting details that go back more than two years, and even the color of a folder containing the document that he’s looking for. I’ve seen the company grow without anticipating it, but I’m not surprised. It all seemed natural to me.

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What was the beginning like? The Aïshti Home Collection had just opened on the site of the current Aïshti Seaside, soon to be Aïshti by the Sea and the Aïshti Foundation. I was asked to hold the store’s cash for 15 days, the time needed to hire cashiers. Nervous to take on a job that wouldn’t be mine, I accepted against my instincts, even though I had other job offers.

Sylvie Anatian Senior Section Supervisor How did it all begin? I was an intern at a fashion design atelier and at the same time creating mannequins for local fashion companies, but I was poorly paid. Aïshti had just opened the Gucci shop, so I submitted a job application and was hired in 1995. Sophie Salamé interviewed me. At the time, alongside Gucci, the brands that sold best were Gai Mattiolo and Rocco Barocco. What was the beginning like? I was very young and I loved fashion, the clothes, the fact that customers were so elegant. Aïshti was already a name, even though it was still a small company. It grew and we grew up with it. I got ahead because I’ve always loved my job. Today, I teach the staff how to display collections and accessories. We style items and suggest selections. We inform clients, we listen, we advise. Ultimately it’s quite a creative job. Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? In my eyes, Aïshti has been big since the very beginning.

Naji Achkouty Sales Director, Men’s Department (Downtown) How did it all begin? I worked for a menswear company that was on the rocks. Meanwhile, Aïshti was booming and took over brands from that company. I tried my luck, submitted a job application at Aïshti and was hired as a salesman. What was the beginning like? When I arrived, Aïshti was still modest-sized company. But the Dunes store opening in Verdun quickly followed, and I already knew the Verdun customers well, which was an advantage. Later, the boutique in Ashrafieh opened, two and a half years before the opening of the Downtown store. With it came more and more customers, and the staff was gaining experience. Major brands sent consultants who explained the fabrics to us, the trends, cuts and silhouettes. We learned how to give our customers effective advice. Did you ever imagine Aïshti becoming what it is today? I knew that the company was growing, but I never imagined it would be so big. I assisted in the creation of Aïshti Seaside, in Jal el Dib. It’s a relatively new project that was huge to begin with. I didn’t expect it to be replaced by a project on the scale of the Aïshti Foundation so quickly. 241 A

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Destination: Luxury With Aïshti, Aïzone, Aïshti Minis and 21 monobrand boutiques, Aïshti has transformed Downtown Beirut into the region’s definitive shopping locale for well-heeled locals and their glamorous international counterparts.

1. Canali 2. Corneliani 3. Diesel 4. Dior 5. Valentino 6. Gucci 7. Céline 8. Ermenegildo Zegna 9. The Kooples 10. Façonnable 11. Fendi 12. Dolce & Gabbana 13. Marc Jacobs 14. Roberto Cavalli 15. Burberry 16. Bottega Veneta 17. Emilio Pucci 18. Tory Burch 19. Cartier 20. Chloé 21. Saint Laurent 22. Balenciaga 23. Stella McCartney 24. Etro 25. Jimmy Choo 26. 7 for all mankind 27. Camper 28. True Religion 29. Aïzone 243 A

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A moment in time From runway shows and new boutiques to fashion trends and ad campaigns, Aïshti’s had an eventful quarter century.

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- 1990 Events

In print

Inaugural advertising campaign

Store openings

First store opening 245 A

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Ashrafieh store opening

Debut men’s campaign

Ashrafieh store opening

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Runway show at Verdun store opening

Phoenicia store opening Vedrun store opening

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Verdun store window display

Downtown Beirut store opening

Downtown Beirut store window display

Fall/winter 2001-02 campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi

Spring/summer 2002 campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi

Zegna Downtown Beirut store opening Downtown Beirut store opening

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Fall/winter 2002-03 campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi

Premier issue of AĂŻshti Magazine

CĂŠline Downtown Beirut store opening

People Restaurant Downtown Beirut opening

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Spring/summer 2003 campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi Fall/winter 2003-04 campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi

Jal el Dib store opening A 250



Fall/winter 2004-05 campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi Fall/winter 2005-06 campaign by Leo Burnett

Ă? Day Spa Downtown Beirut opening Cartier Downtown Beirut store opening

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Spring/summer 2005 campaign by Leo Burnett Fall/winter 2006-07 campaign by Leo Burnett

Diesel Downtown Beirut store opening

People Restaurant Jal el Dib opening Roberto Cavalli Beirut store opening

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Spring/summer 2006 campaign by Leo Burnett

Fall/winter 2007-08 campaign by Leo Burnett

Spring/summer 2007 campaign by Leo Burnett

Dolce & Gabbana Downtown Beirut store opening Marc Jacobs Downtown Beirut store opening 253 A

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Spring/summer 2008 campaign by Leo Burnett

Fall/winter 2008-09 campaign by Leo Burnett

Fendi Downtown Beirut store opening A 254


Fall/winter 2009-10 campaign by Leo Burnett

Canali Downtown Beirut store opening

Corneliani Downtown Beirut store opening

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Stefan Sagmeister, graphic designer and co-founder of Sagmeister & Walsh “The reconstruction in Downtown Beirut, especially the “revival” orchestrated by Tony Salamé, touches me enormously. The youth are open, curious and eager for information.” A 256

A show by Stefan Sagmeister in Paris examined the role of art in commercial ventures

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Spring/summer 2009 campaign by Leo Burnett

Dior Downtown Beirut store opening

Burberry Downtown Beirut store opening ChloĂŠ Downtown Beirut store opening

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Spring/summer 2010 campaign by Leo Burnett

Fall/winter 2010-11 campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh

Stella McCartney Downtown Beirut store opening

Balenciaga Downtown Beirut store opening

Yves Saint Laurent Downtown Beirut store opening

Etro Downtown Beirut store opening 259 A

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Bottega Veneta Downtown Beirut store opening

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Camper Downtown Beirut store opening

Jimmy Choo Downtown Beirut store opening


Fall/winter 2011-12 campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh

Spring/summer 2011 campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh

Emilio Pucci Downtown Beirut store opening 261 A

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Spring/summer 2012 campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh

Fall/winter 2012-13 campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh

Tory Burch Downtown Beirut store opening

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Spring/summer 2013 campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh

Fall/winter 2013-14 campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh

The Kooples Downtown Beirut store opening

True Religion Downtown Beirut store opening

Faรงonnable Downtown Beirut store opening

Prada Downtown Beirut store opening

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Spring/summer 2014 campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh

Fall/winter 2014-15 campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh

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Spring/summer 2015 campaign by Sagmeister & Walsh

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The collections Aïshti’s success largely comes down to the fashion houses it has partnered with over the years. Just as its team of employees have become family, so have many of the brands on display in its stores.

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Dolce & Gabbana

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“For an international brand like Corneliani, choosing top-class partners is a duty. It was therefore only natural that Corneliani found the ideal partner for its Lebanese branded boutiques in Aïshti. This professional partnership immediately evolved into a natural affinity thanks to a system of common values that profoundly strengthened our bond. Our shared passion for art and culture in general, a strong attachment to our roots and tradition but, at the same time, the same intransigent desire to make decisions based on modernity and innovation and the wish to tackle increasingly ambitious challenges together have, over the years, transformed the union between myself and the Salamé family into a solid and profound friendship. As such, working with Aïshti is a reciprocal pleasure that continues to grow day by day.” - Cristiano Corneliani, Corneliani 269 A

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“Unlike the Lebanese market, which is considered ‘emerging’, the Lebanese clientele is far from unrefined. It has a long culture of luxury and is more sophisticated than American clientele. Lebanese people often have two passports and different jobs around the world, but they spend part of their lives in Lebanon, which is why having a Fendi boutique in Beirut is important to us.” - Michael Burke, former CEO of Fendi

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The curators

Never one to do anything halfway, Aïshti is launching the Aïshti Foundation with some of the biggest – and most talented – names in the business.

Massimiliano Gioni “I’m excited to be curating the inaugural show at the Aïshti Foundation. Tony is a dynamo and Beirut a city that in the last few years has captured the attention of the international art world. I look forward to seeing the Aïshti Foundation amplify the energy and talent of many artists locally and internationally.”

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Jeffrey Deitch

“Tony Salamé is the most energetic person I have ever met. He effortlessly combines family, friendship, business, art and a bold and optimistic civic vision. In less than 10 years he has become one of the world’s leading collectors and patrons of contemporary art. Tony has approached art collecting with the same level of ambition and passion that he brings to his other pursuits. He does not collect art in a tentative way. When he is enthusiastic about an artist he does not just buy one work and take it home to see how it resonates over time. He goes all in, getting to know the artist personally, and if he can, buying their work in depth. He has built what is probably the finest collection of contemporary abstract painting, but that is just one aspect of his expansive artistic interests.” 273 A

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The creators Tony Salamé has said that fashion today is an everyday expression of what’s happening in artist’s studios around the world. Forging a literal connection between the two, the Aïshti Foundation will serve as a backdrop for a collection of over 2,000 contemporary works from veteran and emerging artists.

Jim Lambie

David Salle

“A great collection is always made by one person or one couple, not by committee. It’s the product of a sensibility developed over time, not fashion – eyes over ears. These people are rare. When Tony first visited my studio, I could see that his reaction to art was primarily visual, instinctive, highly personal. “The defining thing about my friendship with Tony and Elham? The lunches at Peter Luger Steakhouse following a studio visit. Finally, that rare thing: a great collector who is also an eater.”

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“I was around 12 years old when the war started in Lebanon, and I grew up with these violent images on television and the idea that these problems would never end. There’s always an element of surprise when you announce that you’re going to Beirut. I was looking forward to my trip, and thanks to Tony Salamé, I discovered a vibrant and moving city that I didn’t want to leave.”

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Dan Colen

Wade Guyton

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Ziad Antar

Walead Besthy

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“Teaming up with an unrelenting partner in the context of artistic expression can be daunting on my uber-sensitivity to continuous pressure, or so you would think. That same unwavering attitude, however, provided the necessary structural integrity for the project.�

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The gallerists Collaborating with distinguished gallerists is at the top of the Aïshti Foundation’s agenda, promising an ever-evolving collection of works that provoke thought and encourage discussion.

Shaun Regen “We met Tony Salamé in our booth at the Basel art fair about six years ago, and then shortly thereafter Tony and Elham visited my gallery in Los Angeles. Their vision and passion for art are irresistible. Their curiosity, intelligence, appetite and charm have drawn many artists, curators and dealers into their circle. And finally, their incredible generosity and joie de vivre have made them some of the most compelling collectors internationally today. What they are doing in Beirut is significant and will enhance the dialogue about art in the Middle East. I look forward to the discourse the collection will engender, and also to the David Adjaye building that will warehouse the collection.”

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Massimo De Carlo “The basic idea was to introduce international art to Lebanese culture‌ In turn, the major players in the contemporary art scene will, in this context, discover Lebanese artists and strengthen their relationship with Lebanon.â€?

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A誰shti abroad With its passion, creativity and cachet, Beirut will always be at the heart of A誰shti. But as the brand continues to grow, so does its reach across the Middle East. The company first entered the regional market in 2005, when A誰zone opened in Dubai. Five years later, A誰shti was known as the Middle Eastern eye on Western fashion, eventually courting customers in Dubai, Jordan, Kuwait, Syria and Bahrain.










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Aizone Jordan First store opened in 2006 City Mall Amman, Jordan

Aizone Dubai Aishti Kuwait Opened in 2009 The Avenues Mall Kuwait City, Kuwait

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First store opened in 2005 Mall of the Emirates Dubai, UAE

I Day Spa Aïshti made the transition into beauty and wellness in 2005 with the opening of Ï Day Spa. Located on the fifth floor of Aïshti Downtown, the spa is divided into a treatment area, hair salon and nail bar. The tranquil, ultramodern space is home to an expert team of beauticians, masseuses, natural therapists and hairdressers who use the world’s finest products.

People By 2004, Aïshti was about more than fashion. Its clients were craving the luxury lifestyle that the brand had come to represent. Aïshti opened People restaurant in Downtown Beirut to rave reviews, followed by a second outpost in Faqra, a high-end resort in the Lebanese mountains. A constantly evolving menu created by guest chef Franck Paulmier honors the finest ingredients of each season.

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MAS Beirut A 19th-century Ottoman mansion in Ashrafieh was once known as Abdallah Bustros Palace, home to the aristocratic Bustros family, who lived there throughout much of Lebanon’s Civil War. In 2013, after extensive restoration, it became the Metropolitan Art Society, or MAS, under the guidance of Tony Salamé. “Beirut was missing this kind of place,” Salamé told reporters at its opening. “It’s a place where you can really have the top artworks and the most renowned galleries be part of the local scene or show their artworks here.” With MAS Beirut, Salamé elevated Beirut’s art scene to the global level. It was a natural fit for Lebanese art enthusiasts, as well. “The main aim is to introduce the Lebanese to this kind of artwork,” Salamé said. “Serious art. It needs a little bit of time, but the Lebanese are willing and they have the eye.” In just two years, MAS Beirut has already become a community for art appreciation in Lebanon, where artists and curators from around the world show their work to Lebanese audiences. “The reason I called it a ‘society’ is to build a small community where people can go and talk only about art – not politics, not fighting, not religion. I think art can change a lot of things in the city,” Salamé said. A 286

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Window shopping Like everyone else driving north of Beirut during evening rush hour, Omar Pallante was stuck in traffic. But unlike everyone else, he was inspired. He spotted a billboard cloaked in fabric. It’s a prosaic sight for many Beirutis, accustomed to the ever-changing roadside ads and construction. But to Pallante, it was inspiration. The fabric was billowing in the wind; it looked like water, or the sail of a ship, covering the ad underneath. He pulled over and took a video with his iPhone. Back in Italy, he met with his team at Arte Vetrina Project, a company that designs and builds high-concept installations for window displays and fashion shows. In preparation for a children’s fashion show at Pitti Bimbo in Florence, they created an enormous cube, which he then covered in fabric. During the fashion show, as miniature models walked down the catwalk wearing the latest in microfashion, machines blew fake wind to make the walls come alive. “Everything was in movement,” he says. Pallante, too, is always in motion. Work brings him from his studio in Bologna, Italy, to Milan every week, and to Beirut and elsewhere in the Middle East six to seven times a year. He meets with clients – department stores like Aïshti, as well as fashion retailers like Calvin Klein. When he returns from trips, he works with the rest of his staff to bring new ideas into action. Pallante has a team based in Padua that focuses exclusively on creative work, visiting museums and coming up with ideas, but his employees acknowledge that he’s the chief source of creativity. It seems it’s the work he was born to do. When he was growing up, his parents ran a window design company in Italy, and he and his siblings helped out before they even understood what a mannequin was for, and why they might have so many A 288

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large, human-shaped dolls stored in the house. Eventually, he started his own company, the Arte Vetrina Project. To create Aïshti’s windows, Pallante focuses on straightforward concepts executed with the best materials. “If you have a look at the Aïshti window, everything is perfect, like a painting,” he says. Passersby sometimes stop to offer advice: move something here, or over there. He welcomes this feedback. For an upcoming display, the team purchased some of the finest mannequins in the world, made in Italy and costing over $1,000 each (by contrast, a Chinese-made mannequin might cost only $100). When it comes to luxury, only the best will suffice. To use an ordinary mannequin, Pallante says, would be like “selling a Ferrari in a parking garage.” For all his creativity, Pallante acknowledges that his work is foremost about selling products. That’s a challenge when people are changing the way they shop, with many shoppers becoming more goal-oriented about their purchases. But for those days when you don’t know what you want, Pallente’s designs are there to show off something “that is so special that you come in and buy it.” A 290

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The Aïshti Foundation restaurants and a spa – all with spectacular views of the city and sea. The Aïshti Foundation came to life in collaboration with worldrenowned architect David Adjaye. Adjaye, who was born in Tanzania

© Bachar Srour

After years of anticipation, the doors are opening to the Aïshti Foundation, set just outside Beirut on the Mediterranean coast. The art gallery and shopping destination includes over 4,500 square meters of exhibition space, several floors of luxury fashion stores,

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and spent part of his childhood in Beirut, found inspiration in the natural environment and local culture when conceiving the building’s design. The red exoskeleton that envelopes the building makes reference to the terra cotta of traditional Lebanese homes and features layers and patterns reminiscent of Arabic woodwork known as mashrabiya. Inside, large windows open onto the shore and skyline, creating a visual dialogue between the art galleries and the sea. Massimiliano Gioni curated the inaugural exhibition, “New Skin”, featuring works from Tony Salamé’s personal collection. In close

dialogue with Adjaye’s interwoven façade design and architecture, the exhibition imagines new relationships between surface, texture and form. The title is a reference to a sculpture by artist Alice Channer, as well as the building itself. “I am excited to be curating the inaugural show at the Aïshti Foundation,” Gioni said. “Tony is a dynamo and Beirut a city that in the last few years has captured the attention of the international art world. I look forward to seeing the Aïshti Foundation amplify the energy and talent of many artists locally and internationally.”

David Adjaye, architect “Having spent time in Beirut as a child, it is a pleasure to return to the city to work on this project. I have been particularly excited to explore a new typology, to democratize high culture through a series of adjacencies: from art to retail to well-being. We have tried to find a way to provide the art world experience alongside a retail experience and to establish dialogues between those two entities, with the atrium acting like a traditional majlis space or meeting point between the two.” 293 A

Š Ieva Saudargaitė

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The brands Aïshti Women ADD Agent Provocateur Alaïa Alberta Ferretti Alessandra Chamonix Alessandra Rich Alexander McQueen Alexander Wang Alexandre Birman Alexandre Vauthier All Things Mochi Altuzarra Anya Hindmarch Aperlai Army Fur Ashlyn'd Balenciaga Barbara Casasola Bottega Veneta Boutique Moschino Brunello Cucinelli Burberry Burberry Brit Burberry London Burberry Prorsum Ca&Lou Capogiro Car Shoe Casadei Cecilia Ma Céline Charlotte Olympia Chloé Christian Dior Clips Clips More Clips Tricot Cushnie Et Ochs David Koma Dellera Diane Von Fürstenberg Diego Mazzi Dion Lee Dolce & Gabbana Dries Van Noten Dsquared2 Ekaterina Kukhareva A 300

Eleventy Ellery Emilio Pucci Ermanno Scervino Esteban Cortazar Etro Fabiana Filippi Fausto Puglisi Fendi Galvan London Giambatista Valli Gianvito Rossi Grinvest Gucci The House of Vintage Shades Iosselliani Jenny Packham Jerome C. Rousseau Jill Haber Jimmy Choo Jitrois Jonathan Simkhai Justicia Ruano Le Silla Lindsey Thornburg Loewe Loro Piana Lovers M2Malletier Madame Rêve Maison Margiela Maneesha Ruia Marc Jacobs Marni Max & Moi Meteo Michael Kors Miu Miu Moncler Moncler Gamme Rouge Moschino MSGM Nancy Gonzalez Not Shy Olympia Le-Tan Oscar de la Renta Parosh Paul Andrew

Paul & Joe Philosophy Prada Proenza Schouler Rene Caovilla Roberto Cavalli Sacai Saint Laurent Sam Rone Self-Portrait Simonetta Ravizza Sonia Rykiel Stella McCartney Tabitha Simmons Talitha Temperley London Thalé Blanc Valentino Valentino Red Victoria Beckham Yves Salomon Aïshti Men Alexander McQueen Bottega Veneta Balenciaga Brooks Brothers Brunello Cucinelli Burberry Comme Des Garcons Junya Watanabe Corneliani Canali Church's Car Shoe Dior Homme Dolce & Gabbana Ermenegildo Zegna Etro Façonnable Eleventy Isaac Sellam Fendi Loro Piana Gucci Moncler Marc By Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs

Prada Prada Sport Prada Denim Jacob Cohen Pal Zileri Malo Santoni Sonrisa Valentino Saint Laurent Aïshti Minis 7 For All Mankind Aeronautica Militare Dl1961 Alpha Industries Juicy Couture American College Armani Junior Asics Baby Dior Burberry Camper Colors Of California Deeluxe 74 Diesel Dolce & Gabbana Dsquared2 Emu Gallucci Gucci Hunter I Pinco Pallino John Galliano La Martina Little Marc Jacobs Melissa Met Moncler MSGM Napapijri New Balance Paris Hilton Schott Sonia Rykiel Stella McCartney Troizenfants Toonstar


beirut souks, souk el tawileh - beirut city center, hazmieh, level 1 also available at all a誰zone stores in beirut, dubai, amman

Camper Beirut souks, Souk El Tawileh Street, Beirut central district, Tel: 01 99 11 11 ext: 568 Beirut City Center, Level 1, Hazmieh • Aïshti Seaside, Jal el Dib

A design _ update

Global positioning By J. Michael Welton


Stop by “The World Goes Pop,” the Tate Modern’s groundbreaking exhibition of 160 works from the ’60s and ’70s. Telling the global A 306

story of Pop art, it demonstrates how artists interpreted the phenomenon in Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Visit

© Mercer & Sons, Karman, Nathalie Rancillac, Jeff Goldberg, The Peabody Essex Museum, Judi Harvest

Where to be and what to see in the world


For the 2015 Biennale, artist Judi Harvest was asked to create an everyday, universal object. She selected pillows and created an installation of them – out of handmade Murano glass, and in a bedroom complete with dreamprovoking sounds, scents and lighting. Visit


The Peabody Essex Museum in this Massachusetts city is hosting an exhibition of around 100 works of Native American fashion created since the ’50s. “Native Fashion Now” features work like Jamie Okuma’s boots, handstitched with antique beads. Visit


For 30 years now, Mercer & Sons has produced some of the finest handmade shirts on the planet – first in Maine and now in Montana. The family-run business calls its soft collar shirt a benchmark of style on Madison Avenue, and boasts some of the best shirts in the industry. Visit 307 A

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New York


Italian lighting company Karman has introduced seven new lights designed by art director Matteo Ugolini. He works in fiberglass, Lycra, rebar, glass and ceramics, manipulating light to create ethereal stories of lost words, forest creatures and subtle ironies. Visit A 308

Š Mercer & Sons, Karman, Nathalie Rancillac, Jeff Goldberg, The Peabody Essex Museum, Judi Harvest

Archtober is the Big Apple’s architecture and design month, a 31-day festival of architecture activities, programs and exhibitions throughout October. Every day is packed with tours, lectures, films and exhibitions that focus on architecture and design in everyday life. Visit Available at all A誰zone stores, +961 .1. 99 11 11 Produced and distributed by Cristiano di Thiene Spa

A design _ trend

Powered Up By J. Michael Welton

Fast, sleek sportsters, loaded with style

Torino Wild Twelve (left)

Alfa Romeo Giulia (above)

Said to be an extension of the driver’s soul, the new Giulia offers a 50/50 weight distribution, providing a perfect balance of power and control for an on-road experience that’s more about the heart than the head. Visit

Porsche 918 (above)

At six minutes and 57 seconds, this little speedster celebrated its global debut by shaving 14 seconds off the record at the 12.8-mile lap at Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife. It looked like a winner, too. Visit A 310

© Alfa Romeo, Audi, Torino Design, Rezvani, Shelby American, Porsche

This supercar, created by 14 automotive stylists under the direction of Italian designer Giuliano Biasio, features a carbon frame. The floating wing formed raises its front and accommodates the needed flow of air for downforce. Visit

Audi A8 V10 (left)

With a V10 mid-engine and 610 horsepower, this A8 slips from zero to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds. It’s no sleepyhead at the high end either, with a top speed of 205 mph. Visit

Rezvani Beast (right)

With a powerful engine, a carbon fiber body and a chromoly steel chassis, this oneof-a-kind vehicle weighs just 1,650 lbs. A supercharged, 500-horsepower engine rips it up to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds. Visit

Shelby Cobra (left)

Shelby American is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 427 Cobra by offering 50 sizzling, limited-edition versions of the roadster. They’re component vehicles that can be finished by customers or dealers. Visit 311 A

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By Robert Landon


Viva Cuba

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This and opposite page Havana Vieja, the historic center, is undergoing significant renovations as the city anticipates a huge boom in tourism

A city in transition

After wandering through the cavernous rooms of Fábrica de Arte Cubano – a factory-turned-arts center at the edge of Havana’s leafy Vedado neighborhood – my friends and I sit down in one of its quieter nooks as we tried to determine if an equivalent for this new institution exists in New York, where we all live. In the end, we were stumped. There is nothing quite like it. In one room, a D.J. pumps out electronica. In a gallery hung with drawings and etchings by a new generation of Cuban artists, a small and very much unplugged band delivers up the sensual rhythms of Son Cubano. After a little courtyard where we dodged the evening rain, a café served up quiches, sandwiches and inky-black espresso. In a giant space that could double as an airplane hangar, beautiful young Habaneros lounge on beanbag chairs. Beyond them, a labyrinth of galleries shows off yet more artwork in which Che Guevara appears with the same

regularity as the Virgin Mary in a Catholic cathedral. Most compelling of all, people of every age, race and level of chic look utterly at home here. I notice none of the social jockeying that subtly infects cultural spaces in New York, London and Paris. Fábrica de Arte Cubano could exist nowhere except Havana, where artists form a relatively protected and privileged cast, where the profit motive is kept firmly in check, where brotherly love is still considered a higher value than social one-upmanship and where the people possess a national genius for letting the good times roll. Encouraged by these reforms, Havana-born architect Kendra Ashton moved back to her hometown and, together with her British-born husband and fellow architect Jonathan, purchased and renovated a pair of apartments a few blocks back from the Malecón, the city’s 313 A

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Casa Concordia (top) and Fábrica de Arte (bottom) are two stylish spots that reflect the city’s thriving creative scene

legendary seaside promenade. Their Tropicana Penthouse is a cozy rooftop love nest with a huge veranda and 360-degree views. I ended up staying at their other property, Casa Concordia, a neocolonial apartment with bright, airy and elegantly spare rooms, all with feastlike views of the city’s skyline. Especially remarkable to me is the fact that I have booked my stay on Airbnb. After more than five decades of ironclad embargo, the U.S. is profoundly reconsidering its Cuban policy. As part of the thaw, U.S.based Airbnb has been granted a special license to operate in Cuba, helping entrepreneurial Habaneros like Kendra and Jonathan restore the city’s gorgeous but largely crumbling historic fabric.

Everywhere I go, I find a city in transition. At one end, Havana Vieja is being restored to its past glory – and helping to drive an enormous boom in tourism. And way off at the city’s edge, Fábrica de Arte Cubano is experimenting with new and creative ways into the future. It is a delicate balancing act, as liberalization rubs uncomfortably against top-down, state-run hegemony. But it is exactly these contrasts, and the creative energies they unleash, that make now the time to go. Visit,, A 314

©Jonathon Ashton, Alejandro Gonzalez

From Casa Concordia, a short stroll brings me to Havana Vieja, the city’s UNESCO-protected historic center. Eighteenth-century palaces and Parisian-style, 19th-century apartments crowd narrow lanes that open suddenly onto elegant, baroque-lined plazas. As Cuba bets heavily on tourism – including a likely explosion in U.S. visitors – large stretches of Havana Vieja are undergoing renovations. And Eusebio Leal, head of the city’s Office of the Historian, has won wide praise for both the ambition and sensitivity of his team’s work.

available at a誰zone stores +961 1 99 11 11

A design _ silhouette

Shaping up

Š Kevin Scott

By J. Michael Welton

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This, previous and following pages Beyoncé’s notorious curves inspired Melbourne’s latest skyscraper, the Premier Tower

A tower in Melbourne finds form in a pop icon It’s a building said to be inspired by Beyoncé’s curves. Really? But wait – there’s a precedent for it – in architecture criticism, anyway. Back in 1997, in his brilliant critique of Frank Gehry’s groundbreaking museum in Bilbao, Spain, The New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp compared the curvaceous, titanium-clad structure to Marilyn Monroe. “Gehry and Monroe never met,” he wrote. “But for a period of time they reclined on the same couch; consulted the same analyst, anyhow. Even without knowing that, you know that Bilbao is a sanctuary of free association.” The same might be said for the mixed-use Premier Tower, designed by Melbourne’s Elenberg Fraser and recently green-lighted for construction. It’s to be 226 meters tall, with 68 floors, 660 apartments and a 160room hotel. Retail space will occupy the ground level. “The building is responding to commerce and design principles,” says design architect Jansen Aui. “We started the way we do all buildings – we find a unique building model for construction, environmental and amenity considerations.” But it’s the building’s sinuous curves – a metaphor for a series of messages embedded in Beyoncé’s popular 2014 music video, “Ghost” – that have set tongues a-wagging and architects a-flutter around the planet. “When our design director saw it, he went on YouTube and pulled up this video of her dancing in a stocking form, and it was kind of like all the things driving the shape of the tower,” Aui says. “It’s also a really, really interesting and complex video in what it’s saying about women.” 317 A

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“We used it all to inform the communal spaces within our building,” he says. “We used some of her personality to interpret the building. We looked at close-ups from that video, and especially at her big brown eyes as part of the material palette.” Despite its unusual source of inspiration, the tall structure is designed to work within the context of a heritage precinct densely populated with 19thcentury buildings, all between six and 12 stories tall. Its curvaceous glass walls begin as residential units and ascend to the top of the tower. But at ground level, A 318

the architects were careful to use scale and proportion to blend with the neighbors. “Through the process of consultation with the authorities, they said to us, ‘The tower belongs to the sky and the skyline, but the podium belongs to the city,’” he says. “So it relates to where the corners and window lines are.” So, too, are the architects sensitive to suggestions of sexism in the well-rounded nature of the tower’s design. “We’re not interested in making a building look like Beyoncé,” he says. “It’s not a shapely woman as a physical thing, but a complex collection of conflicting personalities, and a push from the inside out to shape the tower from that. It’s the unseen body pushing out from that stocking’s shape.” Surely, Herbert Muschamp would understand all that. Visit

© Fragrance Group, Elenberg Fraser and Pointilism

Accompanied by Beyoncé’s voluptuous form writhing within a tube-like stocking, the lyrics of “Ghost” suggest a woman made up of different personalities – among them a primal warrior, a fashion star, a pop icon and an indulgent seductress.

A design _ philosophy

A background for living

Š Deborah Berke Partners

By J. Michael Welton

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This and opposite page The newest 21c in Durham marries modern design with the building’s original Art Deco features

The human experience comes first at Deborah Berke Partners

It’s a little like an iceberg. Deborah Berke Partners’ designs for the 21c Museum Hotel brand generate scads of media attention for the architecture firm. But there’s more to the firm than that. Below the surface, 60 architects are busy creating other designs that are modern backdrops for the human experience. Sure, their newest 21c in Durham, North Carolina, dazzles. It’s the brand’s fourth, following successful projects in Louisville, Cincinnati and Bentonville. This one’s located at the center of a bustling, revitalized downtown in a 1937 Art Deco masterpiece, 17 stories tall. It was designed by Shreve, Lamb

and Harmon, architects behind Manhattan’s Empire State Building. “It was a bank, so we kept the details like the silver leaf in the elevator lobby, and the bank vault and terrazzo floors,” Berke says. “But then we created entirely new spaces – like the double height retail space that’s now a restaurant and the banking hall that’s now a ballroom.” With 21c, she’s proven a whiz at adaptive reuse, taking inspiration from what she found while accommodating the company’s cutting-edge art in a carefully managed environment. “You’re welcomed in many 321 A

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Left Deborah Berke Partners were behind Bard’s illustrious music conservatory Top right The firm is renowned for creating architecture with an emphasis on natural light Bottom right Artworks adorn the lobby of the 21c in Durham

ways, both by the people who work there and the spatial hospitality, warmth, softness and planning,” Berke says. “So you see the artwork in a non-intimidating way.” Take, for instance, the life-sized, full-frontal nude image of Jackie Onassis, shot by paparazzi in 1972 as the former first lady swam near Aristotle Onassis’s private Greek island, which sits in the lobby of Durham’s 21c. The starkness of the image is sure to startle the first-time visitor. But the lobby’s gallery-like context, with its white walls and focused lighting, softens the blow – as though the image were nothing more than a stray segment from an ancient Greek tableau. That’s the kind of magic the firm delivers with each of its projects, whether a music conservatory for Bard College or second homes throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. “We have a kind of balance – between an incredible design eye and an interest in providing a great project for a client,” says Marc Leff, a partner who’s been there 22 years. “That sets us apart from those architects interested only in their own architecture.”

She’s applying that thinking in a new East Hampton home for Carolyn Brody, former chair of the National Building Museum. It’s a modern update to the local shingle-style and white-trim vernacular. “It’s like the white shirt that never goes out of style,” Brody says. “Inside, the stair rails will be metal and hand-crafted, with a real punch.” In the meantime, four more 21c’s are now in the works. Each may generate its individual headlines – but all of the firm’s projects will earn respect. Visit A 322

© Deborah Berke Partners

At the heart of the firm is a design philosophy that interprets relationships between people, foregrounds and backgrounds, almost like theater. “It’s of interest to me when architecture is the background for activity – seeing art, having dinner or reading a book quietly on the porch,” Berke says. “I like natural light and beautiful proportions, but I also like seeing them faded into the background so you can appreciate being alive.”

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A high art _ exhibitions

Josh Smith at Galerie Eva Presenhuber Josh Smith is hip. In an interview with (also hip) director Harmony Korine in (very hip) Interview Magazine, he said, “I made my art to be hated.” Does that tell you everything you need to know? He first became famous for “Name Paintings,” in which he paints his name over and over again in a quest for artistic authenticity. Currently, he deals with motifs of skeletons and insects. An exhibition of his work is up in Switzerland through November. Love it or hate it, Josh Smith is happy – as long as you go. “I’m an exhibitionist,” he said. On view until November 7 at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Löwenbräu Areal, Zürich, tel. 41.43.444.70.50, presenhuber. com

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© Josh Smith, Galerie Eva Presenhuber/Davide Balulua, Gagosian/Liu Wei, Jackal Lau, White Cube/Liu Wei Studio and White Cube

On view

Davide Balula at Gagosian Athens, Greece French artist Davide Balula made a splash at this year’s Art Basel when he collaborated with a chef who made ice cream flavors inspired by Balula’s paintings. His new exhibition at Gagosian Athens invites viewers to contemplate their own interaction with their environment: Balula made subtle alterations to the space, removing and replacing sections from the floor, for example. The event is a reflection of its location, Balula said in an interview. “Greece is a magical and inspiring place! You cannot leave without being changed.” On view until December 19 at Gagosian Athens Greece, 3 Merlin Street, Athens, tel., Liu Wei’s Silver One of China’s most influential and irreverent artists brings his work from the mainland to Hong Kong. “Silver,” his latest show of sculptures and paintings, incorporates discarded materials such as old TV sets and refrigerators to serve as an indirect commentary on China’s urbanization. In an interview with Time Out, Liu said he hopes his work will inspire Hong Kong’s citizens to look at their city with fresh eyes. “You leave and discover that far from the inside of the museum or the gallery, the world outside is also being exhibited, that it has force.” On view until October 24 at White Cube Hong Kong, 50 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, tel. 852.2592.2000, A 331

Nigel Cooke: Black Mimosa For his Ph.D. at Goldsmith’s, Nigel Cooke wrote a dissertation on the “death of painting,” exploring the 20th-century idea that the medium’s ability to communicate viewers had disappeared in the photographic era. Since then, the Manchester-born artist has gone on to become one of the most influential British painters of his generation. He now has his first exhibition up at Pace Gallery, featuring his latest work of hallucinatory urban landscapes. The pieces are inspired by Cooke’s internal world and experiences, but upon closer examination they reveal a searing commentary on art history and the cultural relevance of painting in the modern age. On view until October 24 at Pace Gallery, 6 Burlington Gardens, London, tel.,

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© Nigel Cooke, Pace Gallery/Robert Irwin, White Cube/Robert Rauschenberg, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

A high art _ exhibitions

Space Age From 2001: A Space Odyssey to David Bowie’s Space Oddity, the upcoming exhibition “Space Age” at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris Pantin explores mankind’s fascination with conquering space since the time of Daedalus. The exhibition features historic and commissioned work by 20 different artists from around the globe: Tom Sachs shows a video inspired by the Challenger crash, Cory Arcangel has installations made from Nintendo video games. On view until December 23 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Avenue Du General Leclerc Fr-93500, Pantin, tel. +, Robert Irwin Robert Irwin got his start as an abstract painter in ’50s California. He later worked with dots and faint lines, and then acrylic discs, and in the ’70s began working with light installations that transformed exhibition spaces into optical illusions. White Cube Bermondsey hosts three sets of Irwin’s light sculptures that probe nothing less than human perception itself, what the artist calls “the pure subject of art.” According to Irwin, “You don’t think about whether it’s art or not art. It’s just about what you’re seeing or not seeing.” On view until November 15 at White Cube Bermondsey, 144-152 Bermondsey St, London, tel. 44.20.7930.5373,

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A high art _ newcomer

The prominent youth By Millie Walton

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Francesca Jane Allen Shot over five years and compiled as her final project at London College of Communication, Francesca Allen’s playful, moving and romantic coming of age series “GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! ” landed her a place at the “FreshFace+WildEyed” exhibition of exciting new photographers. As the series’ name suggests, her interest lies in the female form, though she resists labeling the images as feminist purely because she’s a woman, declaring, “No men are ever accused of masculinism.” Recently, Allen’s snapped pictures for the likes of i-D, Nylon, Topshop and Nike – to name just a few – but the young artist defines success simply as “feeling good.” “I’ve taken photos since I was really young, just stupid ones of my friends messing about that I would then bulk upload to social media,” she says. “I’ve always had a camera with me.” And, with praise falling at her feet from all angles, it seems she always will. Visit

© Francesca Jane Allen, Oliver Charles, Nicolette Clara Iles

The art world is always looking to unearth the innocent and the undiscovered. There’s plenty of fresh talent around, but it’s rare to find the breed of brave individuality exhibited by these three young photographers. Still on the cusp of their careers, they’re going against the tide and making better art because of it.

Oliver Charles At just 19 years old, Oliver Charles was named by Flickr as one of its most talented young photographers and invited to showcase his portfolio at the award’s famed exhibition, curated by Vogue photo director Ivan Shaw at New York’s Milk Studios. No minor feat for someone still studying at college. Charles’s collection of work, including particularly powerful self-portraits, expresses the surreal and often dark side of human emotion, juxtaposed with more “whimsical elements” to add a sense of lightness. He focuses “on creating scenarios which one could only dream of visualizing in the real world, and making them come to life.” What are his aims for the future? “To never stop shooting or lose my passion to curate, as well as to become the best possible artist I can be.” Visit

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Nicolette Clara Iles Nicolette Iles consistently crops up on lists of young artists to watch. Inspired by fashion editorials, the London-based photographer first picked up an SLR at the age of 16 and now boasts an impressive portfolio of varied and captivating series, including images shot exclusively for NME and Haunt Mag. Iles describes her style as “a cross between bright primary colors of the ’70s, red velvet, darkness and witches mixed into a caldron. It’s light and dark, like the way I see the world.” She seeks “to create what [her] mind displays,” combining reality with the imagination needed to produce work that is as intriguing as it is beautiful. Remember this name – you’ll be seeing a lot more of it. Visit A 336

© Francesca Jane Allen, Oliver Charles, Nicolette Clara Iles

A high art _ newcomer

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A high art _ collaboration

When creative meets commerce By Rich Thornton

Whether it’s Pharrell the fashion designer, Jay Z in an art gallery or Jamie xx making music for a ballet, today’s artists are using crossover collaborations to gain fame and make the big bucks. Sometime during the ’60s, Pop art showman Andy Warhol changed the future of art with one juicily cynical sound bite. “Art is what you can get away with,” he declared. And he acted upon his words: credited with discovering, managing and creating the iconic album art for The Velvet Underground, Warhol proved that his was the era of the medium-crossing, self-made creative. Ever since his irreverent comment, artists and advertisers, salesmen and showmen alike have scrambled to collaborate on projects they believe to be mutually beneficial, both financially and artistically. Warhol may have worded it best (although – beautiful irony – he actually stole the quote from a book on communication theory by Canadian intellectual Marshall McLuhan), but he was not the first to build collaborations between artists of different mediums. In 1917, French writer Jean Cocteau asked composer Erik Satie for music for his new ballet Parade, scheduled to be performed by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in Paris. The masterstroke came when Cubist artist Pablo Picasso was asked to design the set and costumes. Historically, the collaboration is fascinating – but in practice, Picasso’s awkward cardboard outfits left the dancers struggling to move, and Satie’s delicate piano was drowned out by Cocteau’s insistence on metallic theatrical sound effects.

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© Sarah Lee/The Guide, Anna Randal/Art Sheep, Verve

Boundaries blur in today’s collaborations

This page Jamie xx is the musical muscle behind contemporary ballet Tree of Codes (top) while superstar Jay Z drew inspiration from Marina Abramovic’s performance art (bottom) Opposite page Andy Warhol not only managed The Velvet Underground, but also designed their iconic album cover

collaboration with acclaimed contemporary artist Marina Abramović. In 2010, Abramović performed “The Artist is Present,” an art piece in which she sat silently on a chair in an art gallery and invited the public to sit in front of her. Three years later, Jay Z asked Abramović’s permission to use her idea in a music video for his song “Picasso Baby,” where he gave one-on-one, Artist-is-Presentstyle performances to members of the art world elite at the Pace Gallery, New York. “When art started becoming part of galleries, it became a separation between culture. In hip-hop people say art is too bourgeois – but we’re artists, we’re alike, we’re cousins. That’s what’s really exciting for me, bringing the worlds back together,” explained Jay Z.

A century later, and a new balletic collaboration seeks a little more coherence. Inspired by writer Jonathan Safran Foer’s enigmatic novel Tree of Codes, choreographer Wayne McGregor asked visual artist Olafur Eliasson and electronic musician Jamie xx to collaborate on a very modern type of ballet. Famous for his melancholic bass lines and haunting highs, Jamie xx’s score is the first of its kind in a fullproduction ballet, while Eliasson’s obsession

with mirrors and light spawn an urban, angular set for McGregor’s dancers to play in. “I didn’t know anything about ballet before this,” Jamie xx told The Independent. “I get a lot of random offers from people, but this one was exciting. I need different things to move into, otherwise it will get stale.” Rap music is another hotbed for musicians looking to expand their artistic repertoire. Take rap mogul Jay Z’s controversial

While the video was a success, Abramović criticized Jay Z for not upholding his end of the bargain – a promise to promote the Marina Abramović Institute. Later, it transpired that Jay Z had donated a large sum to the institute, but they’d never told Abramović. Considering the substantial press coverage of the dispute, some critics argued that Abramović’s outburst was, in fact, a planned performance in itself – straight out of the Andy Warhol school of self-promotion. Visit 339 A


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A lifestyle _ eatery

Till we meat again By Stephanie d’Arc Taylor

© Josette Sultan

Meat the Fish opens its second outpost

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This and previous page Meat the Fish’s loyal diners will soon have another place to indulge their cravings

A stroll through the faux French mandate buildings of Saifi Village is usually a meditative experience, accompanied only by the sounds of leaves rustling on trees in Saifi Square and high heels clicking on cobblestones between boutiques. Meat the Fish, the shop and attached restaurant selling freshly imported fish, shellfish, poultry and steaks, has disrupted the reverie. Since its opening in November 2014, Saifi’s pedestrians between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. will see a scrum of well-dressed people spilling out of the doors onto the street, waiting for up to an hour to nibble inventive sandwiches, salads and what might be the freshest sashimi in Beirut. For those tempted to recreate the menu at home, shimmering fish and fat mollusks are attractively displayed on ice and wooden palettes, with hand-written signs indicating their provenance. But the days of Saifi Village’s monopoly on Meat the Fish are numbered. In October, residents of Beirut’s northern suburbs will also have the chance to wait for a Meat the Fish lunch, hungrily eyeing still-occupied tables, as the shop’s second location opens in the Aïshti Foundation in Dbayeh.

While expansion would seem like a natural outgrowth of such a successful first location, founder Karim Arakji had to be convinced to partner with Aïshti, he says, chuckling. “When Tony [Salamé] suggested it, I was flattered by his interest but thought we weren’t ready,” Arakji recalls. “But when I went to visit the new space, I saw his attention to detail… and felt his excitement about having us be a part of it, not to mention the beautiful space he offered us overlooking the sea and the unbelievable art foundation attached to the mall.” Arakji was persuaded that this was an opportunity too fresh to pass up. The Aïshti location, says Arakji, will embody the same “spirit” as the Saifi Village shop. More tangible similarities include the same wood-and-Styrofoam meat and fish market, the same tiny restaurant and the same menus; a “lovely terrace” will be an added bonus for Dbayeh patrons. The concept of a brick-and-mortar space spent rather a long time in development. Having grown up cooking under the auspices of his father, who holds a Ph.D. in food science, Arakji moved back to Lebanon from the U.S. in 347 A

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1997 to found Royal Gourmet, a smoking business, with the intention of selling smoked salmon to Middle East Airlines. From salmon, they branched out into selling wholesale other kinds of fish, then beef, veal and poultry, to restaurants and other business clients throughout Lebanon. From there, the team shifted to a customer-based approach, selling to individual clients via a delivery service. It became clear that there were “lots of discerning clients in Lebanon who weren’t getting what they need from supermarkets,” says Arakji. “We already had the road to market, so what was the risk?” he asks with a smile.

Based solely on its two locations, one would guess correctly that a visit to Meat the Fish comes dear; guests will definitely pay more for animal protein here than at the supermarket. But Arakji is quick to reject the idea that Meat the Fish is a luxury service. “Our food is accessible to everyone,” he says. “Every week at Souk el Tayeb [the farmer’s market in downtown Beirut], all the other vendors buy their weekly meat from us,” Arakji says. “These people aren’t rich, but they’re willing to pay more because they know the value of the product.” Aïshti by the Sea, Jal el Dib A 348

© Josette Sultan

When Arakji brought chefs Mitch Tonks and Reem Azoury on board – for the dual purpose of guiding clients looking for advice on preparing their freshly delivered goods, as well as hosting exclusive pop-up meals to help get the word out – the idea for the restaurant concept came close behind.


A lifestyle _ network

Breaking bread By John Ovans

Š Eat With

The new community of authentic eaters

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This page Eat With allows its users to experience “authentic travel” with its dining app Opposite page Cory Quach, an amateur chef, offers fusion cuisine in Hong Kong (top) and diners enjoy their meal in New York (bottom)

Have you ever been to a dinner party where you don’t know a single person there – not even the host? What about throwing a dinner party where none of the guests are your friends? Both curious concepts, but nevertheless the basis of brand new website and app EatWith, a platform where chefs can register and then invite complete strangers into their home to cook for them. EatWith was founded in 2012 by Guy Michlin and Shemer Schwarz, after Michlin ate with a local family while holidaying in Crete and credited it as a transformative experience. Travel is at the heart of the EatWith philosophy – or as they call it, “authentic travel,” suggesting that the places we choose to eat when we are in an unfamiliar country very much define our experience. With this in mind, the founders wanted to enable users to leapfrog tourist traps straight into the kitchens of locals, earning EatWith the nickname “the Airbnb of dining”, and absorbing the site and its users into what EatWith refers to as a new “home-dining community.” Yet while eating as a social experience is hardly a revolutionary activity – especially not in a country such as Lebanon, where food and family are closely linked –the intrusion of technology in every aspect of our lives suggests it may not stay like this without effort. This, of course, requires us to disregard the obvious irony of an app suggesting it’s time we put away our smartphones in order to reconnect with others. “There’s definitely a yearning for real life interactions that can explain the rise of social dining,” the EatWith team explains. “But food has a real equalizing effect because when people enjoy a great

meal together it makes them more sensitive to one another.” The other plus to this personal touch is the fact that it’s coming from pretty fantastic chefs, all of whom have been vetted by the EatWith team. While many are professional, it’s also an opportunity for amateurs to monetize a hobby and try out new menus. One such chef is Hong Kong-based fashion professor Cory Quach, who was recommended to EatWith by a friend, Skyping first with one of the founders to make sure he was a good fit for the site. “They were looking for diversity, especially around food offerings,” says Quach, who was born in Vietnam but grew up in Texas. “They liked my ‘brand’ of southern Vietnamese and American South authenticity and fusion.” Of course, inviting strangers into your home is a little peculiar to begin with, but Quach maintains that the experience has been positive so far. “It takes a type of person who is willing to try new things, and to be open,” he admits. “I have learned a lot about what people like and things I can do better, but no one has been overly critical.” EatWith believes it has created what is essentially a third dining category –and trend forecasters are currently discussing whether it’s a model that could seriously disrupt the dining industry. While its chefs span everywhere from Argentina to Australia, Beirut is still lacking– although the company reveals that they are currently working with a Lebanese chef based in New York City, who apparently can’t wait to offer New Yorkers a taste of Beirut in the Big Apple. Visit 351 A

A lifestyle _ city

By John Ovans

Shanghai charges into the future

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Š Shutterstock, The PuLi, Bar Rouge, The Waterhouse, Alexander Wang, Burberry Prorsum

A cultural revolution

This page A traditional pavilion in Yuyuan Gardens Opposite page Shanghai marries modern skyscrapers with tradition (top) while the French Concession blends Chinese and European architecture (bottom)

Forget London; forget New York – Shanghai, a city that has westernized at a breathless rate, is happening. It’s happening so fast, in fact, that this article is becoming redundant as quickly as the rate that you’re reading it. China has the world’s largest economy, and Shanghai sits at its epicenter as an increasingly cosmopolitan hub for business and culture. But while many know Shanghai as a metropolis of skyscrapers – and certainly, the Bund view of the city’s skyline is one of its star attractions – old Shanghai is still stitched into its fabric, albeit continually under threat from developers seeking to modernize the city further. Replete with rockeries, temples, bridges and more, classical gardens from the Ming and Qing dynasties dot the city, the most famous being the centrally located Yu Garden. Meanwhile, the mix of European and Chinese architecture in the former French Concession has made it an attractive area for foreigners living in the city. With verdant London planetrees lining the roadsides, colorful washing hanging from wires and swarms of rust-bucket bicycles jostling for space at the traffic lights, you’re just as likely to stumble upon a trendy bar as a pair of stately Shanghainese gentlemen playing Chinese chess in string vests. Stuffed to the gills with cosmopolitan restaurants and drinking holes, the city’s current obsession with speakeasy-style bars means there’s every chance the spot

you’re looking for will be hidden behind a bookcase. A visit to Shanghai always affords the opportunity for some first-rate people watching as the city’s ever-increasing elderly population spends its retirement living a very active, and very public, life. In the morning, local parks are teeming with seniors enjoying their daily activities, from ballroom dancing, tai chi and kite flying to fishing, playing the saxophone or singing in a choir. Whatever the pursuit, they are likely to assert it helps maintain their qi, meaning flow of energy. Stop by Fuxing Park to cop an eyeful of some of the sprightliest old folk you’ve ever seen; come evening, huge groups of ayis (translating as ‘aunties’, the term given to all older women) congregate in parks, in the streets, and outside metro stations to perform elaborate choreographed routines. The breadth of international cuisine available in Shanghai is now extensive – much more so than ten, or even five years ago, and certainly more so than in Beijing. There’s street food aplenty, though, so try xiaolongbao – pork and soup-filled dumplings – which are the quintessential Shanghainese snack. For fussier eaters, check out Gucci Café, the luxury fashion house’s first full-service restaurant on Huaihai Road. It seems that the Chinese appetite for luxury brands now extends to, well, their appetites. 353 A

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The Waterhouse Housed inside former Japanese Army headquarters on the South Bund docks, the Waterhouse hotel is in a fashionably gritty setting. Its curious industrial design includes a rusted rooftop with a flower garden overlooking the city. Visit, tel. 86.21.6080.2988

Bar Rouge Attracting only Shanghai’s most stylish set, and with an expansive terrace overlooking the glittering Lujiazhui skyline, the exclusive Bar Rouge offers some of the best views, and cocktails, in town. Visit, tel. 86.21.6339.1199

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© Shutterstock, The PuLi, Bar Rouge, The Waterhouse, Alexander Wang, Burberry Prorsum

Alexander Wang

Burberry Prorsum

The PuLi An “urban resort” concept hotel hidden behind a bamboo thatch, the PuLi offers a rare opportunity for peace and seclusion from the blare of the famous West Nanjing Road. Rooms with ceiling-high windows overlook the bustling Jingan district. Visit, tel. 86.21.3203.9999


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A last _ word

Mischief managed

Got a wild side? Your secret’s safe in a structured bag with a polished “pill” closure.

© Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs Mischief shoulder bag

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© 2015 TUMI, INC.




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Profile for Aïshti

A Magazine, Issue 80  

The October/November issue of A Magazine celebrates 25 years of Aïshti, debates the merits of selfies, struts her stuff in Venice, voyages t...

A Magazine, Issue 80  

The October/November issue of A Magazine celebrates 25 years of Aïshti, debates the merits of selfies, struts her stuff in Venice, voyages t...

Profile for aishti