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The Future of Fashion. Sawaya & Moroni Get Personal. Playing at Aïshti by the Sea. Malta the Magnificent

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DREW in airy grey quilted calfskin



aishti by the sea, antelias t. 04 717 716 ext. 247

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94 No.

May/June/July 2018


The Forward Issue


FRONT / 48 Who’s Who / 50 Editor’s Letter The inspiration behind this issue / 52

Contributors A brief selection / 58 Movers and Shakers Honoring creatives pushing

boundaries / 76 Frolicking by the Sea Aïshti by the Sea’s six hot spots / 80 In Focus

Where we’ll be this summer / 100 Objects of Desire The bags and shoes we’re after /

108 Fashion and the Revolution On the fashion industry’s future / 114 Color Codes

Abby Haliti talks hair color trends / 116 Great Expectations Art on a remote island in

Japan / 122 Sway Me More Today’s influencer economy / 124 Iconic Women What’s

in our closets / 132 Domestic Bliss The season’s trendiest pieces / FASHION / 140

Sizzling Swim Shot by Bachar Srour at Aïshti by the Sea / 146 Brooklyn Baby Jasmine shot by Petrovsky & Ramone and styled by Sonny Groo / FEATURES / 188 Center of

the Ring Visiting Vienna’s 25hours hotel / 192 In the Studio with MakerBrane / 198

Subject In conversation with Anastasia Elrouss / 200 Monuments to Change Four new buildings transforming the landscape / 206 Fabulously Vintage La DoubleJ’s perfect

prints / 210 Beauty and the Beat Getting the rundown from spa experts / 212 Modern

May/June/July 2018

Rebels Sawaya & Moroni’s contemporary designs / 222 They’ve Got Sole Nora Aytch’s luxury footwear hits London / 224 All Together Now On sharing workspaces / 226 If

Words Could Thrill Sarah Bahbah’s audacious work / PLAYGROUND / 238 On Food

Exploring Miami’s culinary scene / 242 Where We’re Eating / 246 On Happiness From cryotherapy to well-being / 248 Where We’re Detoxing / 252 On Drink Uncovering the drink of the future / 254 Where We’re Drinking / 256 Once Around Malta Exploring

magical Mediterranean islands / 260 Where We’re Staying / THE END / 264 The Last

Page Virtual model




The Future of Fashion. Sawaya & Moroni Get Personal. Playing at Aïshti by the Sea. Malta the Magnificent

no.94 May/June/July '18 LL10,000

On the Cover It’s time to step into unknown territories, to leave our comfort zones and explore the possibilities. This issue is about embracing change, conquering fears and being dauntless. Our cover girl is Jasmine Dwyer wearing a Bottega Veneta top, Stella McCartney pants and Gianvito Rossi heels. Shot in Brooklyn, New York, by Petrovsky & Ramone / Styling by Sonny Groo

People/Style/Culture/Art Publisher Tony Salamé Group TSG SAL

Editor-in-chief Marwan Naaman

Creative director Mélanie Dagher

Senior art and production director Maria Maalouf Associate editor Rayane Abou Jaoude Coordinating editor Sophie Nahas Junior digital editor Nour Saliba

In-house fashion photographer Raya Farhat 48

Senior photo editor Fadi Maalouf Contributing writers Nicole Anderson

Renata Fontanelli Tala Habbal

Karim Hussain

Michael Karam Niku Kasmai

Sabina Llewellyn-Davies Ramsay Short

Joséphine Voyeux J. Michael Welton Folio artist

Sarah Bahbah

Fashion photographers Petrovsky & Ramone Aly Saab

Bachar Srour

Feature photographers Tony Elieh

Marco Pinarelli Stylist

Sonny Groo Illustrator

Maria Khairallah Intern

Clara Melki

Advertising director Melhem Moussallem Advertising manager Stephanie Missirian

Chief marketing director Karine Abou Arraj Printing Dots: The Art of Printing

Responsible director Nasser Bitar

Aïshti by the Sea, Beirut, Lebanon tel. 961.4.717.716,,

Documented by Steven Meisel


Destiny’s Child What does tomorrow hold for us? The Forward issue of A Mag gazes into a crystal ball to determine what we can look forward to in the coming years. Whether it’s virtual models, supernatural-looking buildings, tech-infused clothing, futuristic hotels or progressive individuals from Lebanon and beyond, we uncover what the rest of the 21st century has in store, while celebrating our contemporary best. Here’s to a wild, adventurous ride into the not-so-distant future. Marwan Naaman @marwannaaman



Nicole Anderson Nicole Anderson is a New York City-based writer and editor, focusing on architecture, design, urbanism, and the arts. She is currently the executive editor at Modern Magazine and senior editor at The Magazine Antiques. She received her BA in American Civilization at Brown University, and a Master’s from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she focused on long-form and literary journalism. When she is not writing, she is making jewelry or spending time with her energy-filled aussie shepherd pup, Briscoe. Check out her article about the Benesse Art Site Naoshima in Japan on page 116.

Sonny Groo New York-based fashion stylist Sonny Groo works for various media and publications. His work includes styling portraits for Vogue US and creating looks for international stars and celebrities such as dancer Michaela DePrince and model Romee Strijd. He’s also the founder and editor-in-chief of Mykromag, a global and independent fashion, art and music publication. For this edition of A Mag, Groo styled the cover story. See his work on page 146.

Maria Khairallah Maria Khairallah is the Digital Art Director at Aïshti. Born and raised in Lebanon, she received her BA in Art Direction from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA). Passionate about music, photography, traveling and the outdoors, she finds her work at Aïshti exciting because “every day is different.” She especially enjoys working on collages and visuals as a means of self-expression and abandoning all guidelines. View her work for A Mag on page 224.

Aly Saab Beirut-based fashion photographer Aly Saab moved back to Lebanon after graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. His work has appeared in numerous local and European publications, including Cold Cuts and Yearbook. Aly has also produced an experimental short film, “God at the Door,” and a music video with pianist and composer Vladimir Kurumilian. His work takes on its own identity and is mostly about being “stripped down.” He’s currently working on a series of portraits for an exhibition, “Blank,” set for 2019, as well as a collaboration with fashion designer and stylist Joe Arida. See his work for A Mag on pages 100, 210 and 222.

Casa d’Aste Il Ponte, Milano #EtroRoots

Aïshti by The Sea, Aïshti Downtown, Aïshti Verdun


MOVERS AND SHAKERS Words Rayane Abou Jaoude


Photography Marco Pinarelli

It’s about looking ahead and seeing the possibilities, overcoming the hurdles and taking things to the next level. It’s revolutionary advancements in technology, virtual reality, art, architecture and aerospace design, and we’re more than ready for it. A Mag speaks to some of Lebanon’s greatest innovators and forwardthinkers, to shed light on their creations and how they’re making a difference.



ARCHITECT, TEACHER AND YOGI Architect Karim Nader dreams big. He founded Karim Nader Studio in 2016, and his work, from Villa Kali in Mounsef and Tahan Villa in Jounieh to the reinvention of an abandoned sugar-refining factory in Zalka and Amaret Chalhoub, shows the designer to be a passionate, engaged and responsible individual. His next project, Immeuble de l’Union, is the much-awaited renovation of the 1952 building by Lucien Cavro and Antoun Tabet near Sanayeh in Beirut. Where does he hope to be in 10 years? “Doing a few meaningful projects. Meaning happens when your work touches the lives of others.”

What keeps you motivated? Passion, possibility, creativity within our contemporary chaos Something you’re looking forward to in the future A more harmonious and peaceful global living, like everyone I guess The most challenging thing about your job Having to constantly explain in words the unnamable experience of architecture What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? Not a single thing, but quite often I burst out laughing at my clients’ mood swings The best place to eat in Beirut At home with a few friends




Brothers Lebnan and Arz Nader are co-founders of Game Cooks, a mobile game application that covers puzzles, action and arcade games, and which has recently entered the world of virtual reality and experiences. Lebnan has been working with mobile applications, games and systems development for the last 10 years, and has extensive experience in lottery and betting solutions and mobile technology. Arz has worked in the digital entertainment industry, and now builds the studio’s portfolio of mobile games. Where do they unwind after work? They love quaint Spanish bistro Ortega in Badaro.

What keeps you motivated? LN: Creating a game that makes people happy AN: I am a hardcore gamer by nature, meaning that the passion for gaming itself is a huge part of my daily motivation Something you’re looking forward to in the future LN: Scaling up Game Cooks internationally AN: Creating a game title that would bring the gaming community together The most challenging thing about your job LN: Nothing is hard about my job. I am surrounded by the best team there is. I am super relaxed! AN: The most challenging part is the ideation process itself, since we need to innovate and appeal in times where everything that might occur to you is already made What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? LN: I was invited to dinner at a seafood place, but I don’t eat seafood. I ate a whole lot of bread and was hiding the seafood dishes under the table AN: I met someone that I’d heard about from a coworker without knowing his name or how he looks like in a random street in San Francisco, and he eventually joined our Game Cooks development team in Lebanon Fast-forward 10 years. Where do you hope to be? LN: Wherever life takes me AN: I would love to see Game Cooks being recognized as one of the biggest Triple A Studios in the world



DESIGNER, RESEARCHER AND SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR Doreen Toutikian, founding director of Beirut Design Week, has a lot on her plate: she’s also the co-founder and president of the board of MENA Design Research Center and the co-founder of LOOP. Her book, Design Education in the Middle East, was awarded the Cologne Design Prize in 2010. Currently based between Beirut and Athens, Toutikian has been an educator, mentor, advisor to global networks and member of the Young Cultural Innovators of the British Council, among other things. What keeps her going? “My love for life and adventure, for discovery of new things, for learning, developing new curiosities and accomplishing more goals for as long as I am alive.”


Something you’re looking forward to in the future Becoming a good drummer and playing live for an audience The most challenging thing about your job Understanding and managing the expectations of people, building trust and encouraging people to think of the greater good of the community rather than the self What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? I was in my flat in Athens making sushi, and my boyfriend and I had invited friends over. One of his friends asks me about the ingredients, and I explain the different fish you can use and vegetables. He says, “This is awesome, next time I will bring Nectarilia with me,” and I go, “Oh yeah sure, we can add anything to the rolls! Is it a fruit?” He says, “No, it’s my girlfriend.” The best place to eat in Beirut Makhlouf in Dora or Barbar Hamra for shawarma, Enab in Mar Mikhael for fattet batenjen, Tsunami in Ashrafieh for sushi and Badguer in Bourj Hammoud for mante Fast-forward 10 years. Where do you hope to be? On a Greek island, on a beach, under a tree, in a hammock, with a bottle of Sailor Jerry, lime and an ice bucket




IMAGE MAKER AND MANAGING PRODUCER AT BIGBANG STUDIOS Laurent Saad and Karim Chams Eddine are some of the minds behind Bigbang Studios, Lebanon’s first production house and cinema dedicated to creating virtual reality (VR) content for and from the Middle East and North Africa. Saad is (among other things) the chief creative officer at Cinemoz, a platform dedicated to the production and distribution of digital content, and Chams Eddine, who spends most of his time inside a VR headset, is a video editor and music composer. Where’s their favorite place to eat in the city? “Marinella. Best homey Italian food in Lebanon,” says Saad. For Chams Eddine, it’s his girlfriend’s kitchen, “hands down.”

What keeps you motivated? LS: My constant drive to do better KC: I find “motivation” to be quite elusive, but what keeps me going is that I wholeheartedly enjoy all the things I do in life Something you’re looking forward to in the future LS: Teleportation KC: A more streamlined availability of all the headsets and content. I am ultimately looking for VR/AR to reach the tipping point and truly become the norm The most challenging thing about your job LS: Finding ways to always stay relevant and creative without repeating myself – coming up with new ideas all the time KC: VR has little to no standard yet. Sometimes you envision that a concept will be awesome, then you try it inside VR, and it is terrible. It’s a hectic trial-and-error process What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? LS: Nothing funny ever happens to me – I am too serious KC: The daily interactions with my niece Riri and my cat Louise. It’s a show that never repeats itself Fast-forward 10 years. Where do you hope to be? LS: Somewhere, continuing this strange, unpredictable adventure KC: Celebrating the 10-year anniversary of you asking me this question



FOUNDER AND PARTNER OF BEIRUT ART RESIDENCY AND COFOUNDERS OF CUB GALLERY Superwomen Amar A. Zahr and Nathalie Ackawi head Beirut Art Residency, an independent artist-run residency hosting both regional and international artists to develop and exhibit their work. They also run CUB Gallery, a unique exhibition space dedicated to promoting young students and fresh graduates in the arts. Having majored and worked in the arts, both women are passionate about Beirut’s cultural scene and hope to see the city turn into a hub for artistic exchange, residencies and art.


What keeps you motivated? AZ: Setting unrealistic goals (that often feel insane!) and getting as close to them as possible NA: A challenge The most challenging thing about your job AZ: Needing to explain the role of art residencies in promoting cultural diplomacy, particularly to people from different industries NA: Fundraising What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? AZ: Someone called me to book a table at the Beirut Art Residency. I’m still not sure what they thought we serve NA: I met an albino kangaroo The best place to eat in Beirut AZ: Varouj, a little Armenian eatery in Bourj Hammoud. Great food but skip the kisses afterward! NA: Varouj in Bourj Hammoud Fast-forward 10 years. Where do you hope to be? AZ: Hopefully in a position to make bigger cultural contributions to Lebanon NA: I’d be lacking imagination if I knew




Passionate about innovation and building technology with a tangible value, Fouad Fattal kicked off his career as project manager of a workflow solution dedicated to advertising agencies. He then established his first firm, Distimania, which specializes in the distribution of innovative IT accessories. Looking to expand further, he co-founded Krimston, a hardware company about to mass produce its very first product, TWO, the first dual SIM case for iPhones. Fattal is looking forward to making a difference in the world. “Life is too short, the only way to extend it is by leaving a mark,” he says.


What keeps you motivated? Ambition is the main driver behind my motivation. I always wanted to make it big! I would add challenge given the complexity of what we’re doing and my passion toward tech The most challenging thing about your job Finding the right talents and advisors. Hardware research and development is not very common in our part of the world. The learning curve we had to go through in a very young ecosystem was extremely challenging, and still is What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? Attending a 60-minute meeting with the C level executives of one of the biggest telecom operators in the region while having a Hello Kitty sticker on my blazer carefully placed by my four-year old daughter The best place to eat in Beirut Not only because I am the proud son of its founder, but also because I love the food – definitely Boubouffe Fast-forward 10 years. Where do you hope to be? Besides embracing life and living it to its utmost extreme, running a successful fund that will give young talents and brilliant minds the proper chance to make an impact




In 2008 Raffi Tchakerian started collaborating with Architecture and Vision (AV), a cutting-edge practice involved in art, space architecture, product and transportation design based in Italy. He’s been teaching various university subjects since 2015, ranging from kinetic structures to aerospace architecture. He’s also been involved in the creation of aerospace architecture courses at the American University of Beirut in the hope of creating aerospace-related research a department reality in the future. The most challenging thing about his job is pretty much everything, he says. “Designing for harsh environments, whether it’s on earth or in space, is tricky, but extremely exciting.”

What keeps you motivated? Technology. “Playing” in the creative field, it’s difficult to lose interest and motivation as there is so much you can do. It’s our mission as designers to use these solutions and find new ways to improve our daily lives whether here on earth or in space Something you’re looking forward to in the future The moment we obtain cheap and sustainable space access, the opportunities that we will have and the industries that will be created will literally be something out of this world What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? I was on a mission deep inside the Sahara Desert in the Siwa Oasis in Egypt with a group of students. In this oasis people used to build their homes with salt blocks. The place where we were staying was also built with the same technique. In the middle of the night I kept waking up because I felt salt all over the bed and had to clean it every time. One night I stayed up long enough to notice the students jumping around over my room, leading the salt particles to rain all over me. Definitely minus five for that! The best place to eat in Beirut Gavi Fast-forward 10 years. Where do you hope to be? In orbit around earth, inside a space resort gazing upon the planet and enjoying a cold space beer while floating in microgravity


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Words Marwan Naaman Photography Tony Elieh

FROLICKING BY THE SEA A day at Aïshti by Sea is full of sensory experiences, from the luxury shops and worldclass art, to the bespoke spa and unique collection of specialty restaurants It’s the most exciting destination in the country for food lovers. Aïshti by the Sea in Antelias now offers six different culinary experiences, ensuring a pleasurable escapade for gourmets and gourmands alike. Visitors can enjoy a quick cappuccino break in between shopping bouts, lunch along the waterfront after checking out the latest electronic offerings at Aïshti Home Solutions or enjoy live music shows on the rooftop following a spin through the Aïshti Foundation’s “Trick Brain” art exhibit. A good time for all, in Lebanon’s most architecturally splendid landmark.


SIP A shot of coffee hits the spot any time of day. And when you’re at Aïshti by the Sea, you can drop by newly opened Sip specialty coffee for your caffeine fix. (You may already be familiar with Sip and their original location in Gemmayze.) Set on the ground floor, which is the same level on which bags, cosmetics and jewelry are located, Sip offers the usual favorites – espresso, cappuccino, latte – made with regular milk, coconut milk or almond milk, and with grade-A beans sourced from such places as Mexico, Kenya, India and Nicaragua. For a coffee alternative, try the matcha latte – it’s just the right balance of creamy and savory. You can also snack on Sip’s moist banana bread (with or without chocolate chips) or pistachio chocolate chip cookies. A pick-me-up in between shopping expeditions. Tel. 04.717.716, ext. 273

ART PEOPLE Nothing beats dining on ART People’s waterfront terrace. With the cool Mediterranean breeze blowing, the sound of waves gently crashing nearby and architect David Adjaye’s red latticework standing guard in the background, ART People certainly offers one of Lebanon’s dreamiest restaurant settings. In terms of cuisine, many of the menu’s offerings are now local classics, and they include the tomato and mozzarella tart with one of the finest crusts you’ll ever sample, the fresh crab salad and its complex ocean flavors, the lobster linguini and its addictive crushed tomatoes and the tender, tasty, tremendous grilled Black Angus striploin. On the sweeter side, ART People’s banana tart is easily a national institution. And every Sunday, the open-air BBQ by the Sea is a lunchtime celebration. Tel. 04.725.725



MATTO The primary Italian restaurant north of the capital, Matto serves pizzas and pastas both in a sprawling indoor space and on the seaside terrace. Signature dishes range from panzanella (Italian salad with tomatoes, cheese, olives and more) to cotoletta alla Milanese (breaded veal chops), with unusual desserts like the Matto Rock, which is essentially a big Ferrero Rocher that comes with a hammer – to be broken down by guests prior to eating. The Italian theme pervades the entire experience, with many employees actually hailing from Italy. With the warm-weather season now upon us, Matto is also hosting an outdoor DJ for a dazzling musical experience under the sky and a special apéritif on select evenings. Tel. 71.444.335 ZURUNI It’s the latest restaurant to open at Aïshti by the Sea. Specializing in Lebanese cuisine – both traditional and with an updated twist – Zuruni seats 150 diners indoors, under a skylight and with a burst of greenery, and 180 on its open-air waterfront terrace. Some of the new flavors you can sample here? Goat labneh with fig preserves, meat baklava with pomegranate molasses (debs el remmen) and knefeh fondue. As for unusual cocktails, try the Byblos mule, a very Levantine take on the standard Moscow mule. Tel. 70.771.133

MEAT THE FISH When it first opened in Beirut’s Saifi Village, Meat the Fish revolutionized the way Lebanese people enjoyed their meals. Suddenly, the trendiest thing to do was choose your fish or cut of beef, grab it and then head outside to eat on crates strategically placed up and down the sidewalk. At Aïshti by the Sea, Meat the Fish offers both indoor and outdoor dining, still giving guests the option to choose their own fish or meat. Some menu options here include wild fish, shellfish, smoked fish, meat cuts from Australia and the United States, truffle chips and beetroot sashimi. For spring, Meat the Fish is offering special bar bites served at its newly launched outdoor bar. Available at night Thursday through Saturday, during sunset cocktails, and for lunch on both Saturday and Sunday, the menu includes addictive nibbles like popcorn furikake, blistered edamame, crispy rice salmon and zucchini chips with yogurt dip. All the more reason to meet the friends at Meat the Fish. Tel. 04.725.781

It’s the most exciting destination in the country for food lovers B BY ELEFTERIADES So you’ve shopped, you’ve lunched, you’ve viewed art, you’ve had your spa treatment and you’ve knocked back a cup of Joe. What next? Head to Aïshti by the Sea’s rooftop and enter the realm of Lebanon’s self-proclaimed Emperor of Nowheristan, Michel Elefteriades. His dazzling open-air musical hotspot, B by Elefteriades, hosts a diverse lineup of performers and DJs, while mixing exquisite cocktails and serving superlative cuisine. During dinner, you’ll hear live music performed by international artists from such varied places as France, Cuba and America. After midnight, everything changes, and B turns into a lounge with deep house, electronic and dance tunes spun by some of the world’s best-known DJs. Dancing on Adjaye’s rooftop, under the stars and right along the sea, has got to be one of this world’s most memorable experiences. Tel. 81.290.029


In Focus

Maria Khairallah


Good Things Come in Fours_____ There are four new reasons to visit Aïshti by the Sea: in April, the David Adjaye-designed shopping and leisure complex launched four new boutiques. Three of them – Italian labels Max Mara (second floor), Sportmax and Weekend (both on the third floor) – belong to the Max Mara family and offer casually

elegant fashion targeted to women of various ages. The fourth brand, Off-White, also based in Italy, was created by GhanianAmerican DJ and fashion designer Virgil Abloh. One of the hippest and youngest brands on earth, Off-White prides itself on being rooted in current culture. Off-White’s unisex boutique is set on Aïshti by the Sea’s first level (the men’s floor).


In Focus Counting Stars_____ It’s a new season at Stella McCartney, and the house is celebrating its latest accessory, the Stella Star bag. It comes in seven variations, from mini to holdall, and is quilted with a metallic brass star closure. Ethically manufactured, the bag is a real statement piece, all the while maintaining the house’s simplicity and elegance. Says McCartney, “Glamour on glamour I’m not really interested in, and I never really have been. It’s taking that high and providing the low to it, and having a line that’s in reality.” We couldn’t agree more. Available at the Stella McCartney boutique in the Beirut Souks and Aïshti by the Sea

Stella McCartney


the modernist collection



TEL. +961-1-566-538


In Focus Under the Belt_____ Even though it’s part of the spring/summer collection, Burberry’s delightful new Belt bag is inspired by the brand’s signature trench coat, most visibly in the oversized belt that wraps around the bag and gives it its name. Designed in London and made in Italy, the leather bag comes in three distinct hues: black with a bright yellow belt, chalk with a sage green belt and pale ash rose with a black belt. Three colors to fit every occasion. Available at the Burberry boutique in the Beirut Souks and Aïshti by the Sea

Burberry, Raya Farhat, Alexander McQueen, Salzburg Festival


Wild Country Girl_____ A little bit gothic, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, a whole lot of tailoring. Alexander McQueen’s collection brings together a Victorian vibe mixed with feminine silhouettes, with creative director Sarah Burton focused on the wild country girl. Black pantsuits are bunched up at the waist and paired with embellished and clunky utility boots and wild earrings and chokers. McQueen retains its deconstructed and adorned garments, powerful yet strangely delicate and beautiful. Available at Aïshti in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea

The Sound of Music_____ Every summer, the now legendary Salzburg Festival stages operas, concerts and drama interpretations that draw the culture crowds from all over the world. In this lovely Austrian medieval town, visitors encounter stars of the classical music world, such as Domingo, Garifullina, Muti, Rattle, Barenboim and many more. Opera highlights this year include a new “The Queen of Spades” conducted by Mariss Jansons, “Salome” directed by Romeo Castellucci and Les Arts Florissants tackling Monteverdi’s “L’Incoronazione di Poppea.” The festival’s artistic director is Austrian Markus Hinterhäuser. Now in its 98th year, the Salzburg Festival has become a major social event for culture buffs, with many performances selling out just hours after having been announced. July 20-August 30,


The Finer Things in Life_____ Baxter’s Beirut flagship, located on Al Arz Street at the very edge of Saifi and steps from Downtown, just underwent a major makeover. The upgraded two-level boutique now features a profusion of potted plants throughout the space, new wallpaper and an engaging décor that feels more like a lifestyle experience than a standard retail destination. Baxter is one of Italy’s most coveted high-end furniture manufacturers, and its offerings include sofas, dining tables, chairs, coffee tables and home accessories, all luxurious and handmade in Italy, and most available in a variety of sizes and materials. The label is particularly appreciated for its exquisite leather. Contemporary, glamorous, seductive and rife with tradition – much like Italy itself. Tel. 01.563.111

In Focus

Ring Me Up_____ Spring is always in bloom at Buccellati. The Italian jeweler carries a number of nature-inspired pieces, including a particularly lovely ring made from yellow gold and adorned with precious diamonds. Shaped like a flower, with six delicate petals set with diamonds, the ring celebrates spring’s sense of magical renewal. Available at Aïshti by the Sea


Glamour Tan_____ Emporio Del Sole, the first tanning center to open in Lebanon back in 2003, just launched its newest outpost at ABC Dbayeh. Located on Level 1, the sleek salon holds six spacious and private cabins to ensure customer comfort. Four of the cabins have the regular sun showers, one houses the revolutionary collagen sun shower and the last holds Il Divo, which focuses on the face. The ABC Dbayeh branch is the seventh Emporio Del Sole to open in Lebanon, and it features the signature sun showers made in Italy, allowing you to tan in just 10 minutes, without sweating and in total safety. Now you can have a gorgeous golden glow all year long.

Finding Frida_____ If you’ve ever wondered about the eyebrow pencil Frida Kahlo used to emphasize her monobrow, look no further. “Making Her Self Up,” an exhibition presenting a unique collection of Kahlo’s personal artifacts and belongings (which had been locked away in Mexico for the last 50 years), is running at the V&A Museum in London. The exhibition features over 200 items, including Kahlo’s clothes, makeup, jewelry, corsets that supported her back, as well as her prosthetic leg – a veritable treasure trove of personal belongings – in an effort to show how the troubled artist empowered herself through her possessions. June 16-November 4, exhibitions/frida-kahlo-making-her-self-up

Borgo de Nor, Buccellati, Raya Farhat, Heidi Horten Collection/Bildrecht Wien 2018, Nickolas Muray Photo Archives

I Am Woman_____ London-based label Borgo de Nor exudes pure femininity. Romantic, playful and colorful, the brand creates sultry silhouettes designed to move with a woman’s body. Spring’s must-have affair? A dreamy pink dress featuring a plunging neckline and adorned with falling red leaves and delicate calla lilies. Available at Aïshti in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea

First Showing_____ The private collection of Austrian billionaire Heidi Horten is showing for the first time ever at Vienna’s Leopold Museum. The stupendous show chronicles nearly three decades of art collection by a woman who professes a great passion for art and whose long-cherished wish was always to make her masterpieces accessible to a wide audience. “WOW! The Heidi Horten Collection” showcases over 170 artworks and covers 100 years of art history, with the bulk of the works belonging to the Expressionist and American Pop Art movements. Visitors can view some of the most iconic works of the past century, by the likes of Damien Hirst, Marc Chagall, Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Egon Schiele, Lucian Freud, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and many more. A highlight of the Vienna art scene. Until July 29,


In Focus Remembering Paris_____ In Paris, the pavé is a symbol of centuries-old marches and revolutions, including the marches of 1968, which saw Left Bank students revolting against the status quo. It has also been 50 years since Sonia Rykiel first opened its doors, and as the celebrations continue, the brand has decided to launch its own Pavé Parisien: a cuboid, edgy, functional and all the while modern bag sporting eight shades of leather and exuding a subtle femininity. Available at the Sonia Rykiel pop-up at Aïshti by the Sea

Sonia Rykiel


+961 1 983443 -


Beirut Souks ABC Dbayeh - ABC Achrafieh - ABC Verdun

In Focus

Revolution in Red_____ Two overlapping exhibits at the WolfsonianFIU in Miami Beach investigate the power of Russian propaganda during the early 20th century. Through particularly powerful posters, “Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from Between the World Wars” (until August 12) examines how the Soviet state used graphic design to inspire and manipulate the public. The second exhibit, “Red and Black: Revolution in Soviet Propaganda Graphics” (until August 5), highlights Soviet propaganda art in books, periodicals, postcards and portfolio plates from The Wolfsonian–FIU Library’s archives.

Spirited Style_____ With the aim to continue appealing to a new generation, Lebanese jeweler George Hakim has launched the Spirit collection, a new range of jewelry with an easy-to-wear sensibility. Featuring four-leaf clover pendants, flower-shaped rings and other trendy pieces made from gold and delicately set diamonds, the collection is youthful, daring and designed to be worn every day.

Collection of Svetlana and Eric Silverman/Matthew Cronin, George Hakim, LACMA, Hala Younes


Memories of Persia_____ The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) hones in on Iranian art this season, with an exhibit that explores the continuous and inescapable presence of the past in Iranian society. “In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art” brings together 125 artworks, including photography, painting, sculpture, video, posters, political cartoons and more, to illustrate Iran’s multidimensional culture. Pre-Islamic kings and heroes, martyred Imams and current Islamic leaders carry forward and sometimes overlap in singular art pieces rich with social commentary. May 6-September 9,


Somewhere Down the Crazy River_____ It’s Lebanon’s first time participating in the Venice Biennale of Architecture, and we’re absolutely thrilled. The Lebanese pavilion is showing works under the theme “The Place that Remains” and is curated by Hala Younes, assistant professor of architecture at the Lebanese American University. The pavilion’s focus is on Nahr Beirut (the Beirut River) and its watershed, exploring the preconditions for architecture through assessing certain challenges like the territory’s nature and scarcity of resources. Says Younes, “We are counting on developing knowledge of the territory in Lebanese society in order to become familiar with it and defend its value, because our heritage is not only architectural but also geographical and landscaped.” May 26-November 25,

In Focus

My Bijou_____ The iconic Drew Bijou bag, with its clean, contemporary lines, first hit the Chloé shelves in 2014. Revisited by current creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi for her debut collection, the bag has now taken on new elements, launching in quilted calfskin and adorned with a chain of multiple interlinking rings and a long leather strap, and in an array of colors. A symbol of femininity and strength, much like the house itself. Available at the Chloé boutique in the Beirut Souks and Aïshti by the Sea

Beirut Design Week, Beiteddine Festival, Chloé, Gay Pride Beirut


Changing Beirut_____ Ready yourselves for the seventh edition of Beirut Design Week (BDW). This year’s theme, “Design and the City:___________,” has designers consider their work’s transformative role in the city, from public spaces to the home, and put forth their visions of how their work can contribute to social change. This year also sees BDW’s first Open House, which invites designers as well as activists, writers, educators and students to present the theme and the possibilities of design. Definitely worth checking out, as always. June 22-29,


In God’s Palace_____ Carla Bruni, Ute Lemper, a grand opening by Ziad Rahbani – those are only some of the names playing at the Beiteddine Festival this year. Taking place in the Chouf’s spectacular Beiteddine Palace, the festival was first launched in the summer of 1985 amid war and chaos, and it hasn’t stopped since – a true tale of resilience to promote the arts in Lebanon. Make sure to check out the Pierre Sadek exhibit, “Picturing History,” in which more than 300 of the artist’s caricatures are displayed. July 12-August 15,

In Focus

Tales of the City_____ In “The Shape of a City,” British artist Nathaniel Rackowe looks at Beirut in an attempt to understand the changing nature of cities and the seemingly endless cycle of destruction and renewal. Taking place at Letitia Gallery in Hamra, the show features Rackowe’s signature artworks, made from industrial materials such as galvanized steel, corrugated roofing and cement blocks, all combined with artificial

Istanbul and the Sea_____ Up until the 1920s, and in spite of their home city’s endless stretches of coastline, residents of Istanbul only frequented baths when they wanted to go for a swim. But these enclosed swimming destinations quickly gave way to a nascent beach-going culture as a result of two major societal changes: secularism and the arrival of liberal-minded White Russian émigrés fleeing Communist Russia. “Istanbul’s Seaside Leisure: Nostalgia from Sea Baths to Beaches,” showing at Istanbul’s Pera Museum, takes a look at the golden age of the city’s beach culture, from the ‘20s to the ‘60s, when Istanbul developed a new sense of freedom that was reflected in a more intimate relation with the sea. The nostalgic show includes photographs, magazines, comics, objects and books, all shedding light on this hopeful and rapidly changing era. Until August 26,

light. “LP48,” a massive installation that dominates the gallery space and made from locally sourced construction materials like glass-reinforced plastic and folded galvanized steel, invites viewers to reconsider their relationship with the city. “These sculptures and works on paper seek to explore the notion of a fleeting beauty that an urban environment can surprise us with,” says Rackowe. June 28-August 26, Marc Jacobs, Musée de l’Orangerie, Nathaniel Rackowe, Suna and Inan Kiraç Foundation Photography Collection


Revisiting Monet_____ In the 1950s, after one of Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” panels was brought to New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the work began to be seen in a different light, “a bridge between the naturalism of early Impressionism and the highly developed school of Abstract Art.” And so the idea of Abstract Impressionism was born, with Monet at the helm. “The Water Lilies. American Abstract Painting and the Last Monet,” at Paris’ Musée de L’Orangerie, focuses on the time those panels were rediscovered at the New York School of Abstract Art, while also featuring some of the artist’s later works and almost 20 paintings by the American greats. Not to be missed. Until August 20,


Around the World and Back_____ Reflecting New York’s multicultural vibe, the spring/summer 2018 collection by Marc Jacobs is a melting pot of international influences complete with sequins, glitter, florals and a wild array of colors. A standout this season is an all-white feathered top and skirt, matched with white floral slippers and an explosively pink fuchsia bag. Available at Aïshti in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea

In Focus

Looking at Bamako_____ Posing for Malian photographer Seydou Keïta was never taken lightly: you wore your best dress and an elaborate headdress, sometimes a bow tie, sometimes leaning against a motorcycle. Keïta’s subjects showed how Bamako’s citizens saw themselves at a time when the city was transitioning into Mali’s independent capital. His 10,000 negatives were then discovered in 1992, turned into new prints, signed by Keïta, and introduced to the art world. Now you can view his signed modern prints and vintage prints at Foam in Amsterdam. Another reason to fly to the beautiful city. Until June 20,

Building a Mystery_____ The later works of Surrealist painter René Magritte are highlighted in a new exhibit at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Focusing on the artist’s output from 1943 to 1967, “René Magritte: The Fifth Season” features over 50 oil paintings and a dozen gouaches in nine immersive galleries. By choosing these specific works, the SFMOMA seeks to illustrate how Magritte emerged as a champion of the role of mystery in art. Paintings of note include 1952’s “The Listening Room” and 1960’s “The Tomb of the Wrestlers.” May 19-October 28,

Charles Herscovici/Artist Rights Society, Seydou Keïta/The Pigozzi Collection


In Focus

New Wave_____ The Kooples’ spring/summer 2018 women’s collection is inspired by French New Wave cinema and its most memorable icons – Jeanne Moreau, Marie-France Pisier, Stéphane Audran, Anna Karina. While staying faithful to The Kooples’ rock ‘n’ roll ethos, the new collection has more than a few 1950s and ‘60s touches, including miniskirts and ethereal dresses with retro prints. Two spring must-haves: a flouncy ultra-short dress that’s a as light as a feather with delicate floral prints and a ruffled sheer white blouse with playful cherry prints. Available at The Kooples boutique in Downtown Beirut and Aïshti by the Sea

Barcelona’s Sonic Boom_____ Legendary electronic music festival Sónar is back, and it’s bigger than ever. Celebrating 25 years, the Barcelona festival features more than 140 performances across 10 stages at Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night, including performances by musical icons like LCD Soundsystem, Diplo, Gorillaz, Thom Yorke, Cornelius and countless others. Sónar is also taking things to an extra(terrestrial) level, turning its antennas toward outer space and sending radio messages in an attempt to communicate with the great beyond. Need we say more? June 14-16,

Tarek Atoui/Alexandre Guirkinger, Sónar, The Kooples


Songs of Land and Sea_____ It’s Lebanese-French artist Tarek Atoui’s first solo exhibition in Southeast Asia, and it’s at the NTU Center for Contemporary Art Singapore. The sound artist and composer has created a composition in the form of a large-scale exhibition using interweaving objects, instruments and recordings, including interventions by local and international musicians. “The Ground: From the Land to the Sea” consists of two layers of auditory experiences that also interact with the exhibition hall, merging into one single, spectacular composition. With sounds of underwater environments as well as human and industrial activities on land, Atoui’s composition has it all. You’re in for a unique experience. Until June 24,

p. Paola Naone - ph.Andrea Ferrari

Baxter flagship store Al Arz street, Saifi Beirut Lebanon +961 1 563 111 Vivre Dbayeh internal rd & Congress Center bridge inters Antelias +961 4 520 111

OBJECTS OF DESIRE Photography Aly Saab



Bag Off-White __________ Streetwear reigns supreme in 2018, with OffWhite at the helm. Complete with black diagonal prints and a leather shoulder strap, we’ve got the streetwear aesthetic nailed down


Shoes Jimmy Choo _______ It’s a fantastic plastic collection! We didn’t expect any less from the OffWhite x Jimmy Choo collaboration, and we’re pining for these Claire 100 Pointy Toe Pumps





Shoes Arcosanti __________ It’s party season, so put on your dancing shoes, preferably nude sandals that complement any outfit. We’re ready to go!




Shoes Prada ________ After a harsh winter, we ache for delicate slingbacks, and Prada’s leather pumps with a pink arch are just what the doctor ordered



Words Niku Kasmai


FASHION AND THE REVOLUTION What does the future hold for the fashion industry? Until recently, fashion had been happy to rest on its laurels. While the technological revolution was overtaking the globe, fashion remained attached to traditional production techniques, with the vast majority of fashion houses still producing shirts, dresses, pants, skirts and shoes the same way they did 100 years ago. As other industries invested heavily in research and development, fashion most noticeably didn’t, limiting itself to shifting production from Europe and the United States to more affordable labor markets.

But the fashion world is on the verge of a revolution. For the first time in recent memory, and due to fierce competition from the likes of Internet giant Amazon, which now offers eight in-house clothing brands, designers are teaming up with

tech companies to introduce incredible new manufacturing techniques and innovative materials.

When he showcased his spring/summer 2017 collection, Hussein Chalayan was one of the first designers to combine technology and fashion, and he did so with sunglasses powered by an Intel system that picks up the wearer’s emotions, and then projects imagery through the wearer’s belt to illustrate those feelings.

Other futuristic collaborations mixing fashion with tech include the Fitbit accessories designed by Tory Burch, allowing you to track your fitness routine in style via Tory Burch’s double-wrap, metal hinge bracelet. Then there’s Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard

This page and opposite page: Prada’s spring/summer 2018 collection

by Google. The jacket’s left sleeve is actually an interactive touchpad powered by a bluetooth-operated tag that’s rechargeable. Tech offerings inside the jacket sleeve are still limited – GPS, music – but they are a harbinger of things to come, a time in the near future when tech will operate via screenless devices located within our clothes. Technology is also changing traditional manufacturing techniques. In a bid to transform fashion into an environmentally friendly industry, biotech companies are developing new clothing materials that no longer require needle and thread. They are instead grown in a science lab with DNA.

The shift toward sustainable fashion started a while back, most famously when Stella McCartney launched her fur-free and


Hussein Chalayan’s spring/ summer 2018 runway

leather-free label in 2001. Insisting that great design was as important as the choice of fabrics, McCartney shocked the fashion world by achieving great success for her brand, while remaining true to her ethical fashion philosophy. “The really great thing about my shop is that there’s not one dead animal in it,” McCartney said. “Manolo’s got a load of fabric shoes as well! We use plastic, fabric, rubber – anything but leather. I almost feel like I’ve been put here to show everyone that it’s unnecessary.” 110

Fast-forward 17 years and there are now more eco-friendly brands than one can count, including clothing labels Nudie Jeans and Filippa K, both from Sweden, and Jungmaven from LA. Amsterdambased Dick Moby creates ethical eyewear, and shoe manufacturer Nisolo, based in the United States, carries handcrafted shoes made through sustainable practices in Peru, Mexico and Kenya. Knowledge Cotton Apparel from Denmark uses 100% organic cotton and recycled PET polyester for its casual menswear line, and New Yorkbased women’s label Edun works with artists and local communities across Africa to manufacture its ethical clothing. “We see the future in recycled materials and cellulose-based materials,” said Filippa K’s sustainability manager Erin Larsson, “but also in completely new ones. For example, what is waste for one industry might be a resource for us, such as milk fibers, coffee grounds, plastic retained from waste water, bi-products from algae processes.”

The major fashion brands have also taken note of this global shift toward greener manufacturing practices. Prada now offers a selection of clothing pieces made across the globe that use each country’s area of expertise, and Giorgio Armani has banned faux fur from its fashion lexicon. Last year, Christopher Kane teamed up with ethical fashion business Eco-Age to create a sustainable collection for the Emma Watson flick Beauty and the Beast. The label used green materials like organic cotton

The spring/summer 2018 collection by Christopher Kane

A futuristic look from Christopher Kane (above) and three styles from Giorgio Armani’s spring/ summer 2018 collection (below)


and organic silk satin. And trailblazer Stella McCartney is developing new materials, including a type of silk made from yeast. “We try to make earth-friendly decisions whenever we can,” said McCartney. “It’s part of our brand DNA.” Looking even further into the future, some companies are developing a type of machine that makes clothing, canceling out the need for human labor altogether. Seattlebased Sewbo has created an industrial robot that sews together a T-shirt, marking


the first time ever that an entire piece of clothing was created through automated sewing. This milestone was announced by the technology’s inventor, Jonathan Zornow. “Avoiding labor issues and shortening supply chains will help reduce the complexity and headaches surrounding today’s intricate global supply network,” he said. “And digital manufacturing will revolutionize fashion.”


Stella McCartney’s vision for spring/ summer 2018

Aïshti, Downtown Beirut 01.991111 Aïshti by the Sea, Antelias 04.717716

Featuring artwork by Andy Warhol ©/®/™ The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Words Rayane Abou Jaoude



the team as hair color director and balayage expert at the Julien Farel Restore Salon, Spa & Fitness in New York, and her clientele includes big names like Olivia Palermo and Rita Ora. She also travels on demand and works on the Miss Universe pageant, and is doing regular visits to Aïshti by the Sea’s spa in Antelias.

A Mag catches up with celebrity hair colorist Abby Haliti at Aïshti by the Sea Abby Haliti is the hair colorist most people dream of visiting. Renowned for the French hair technique balayage, which involves highlighting hair to create a natural-looking effect, Haliti offers a simple approach to coloring: making her clients feel comfortable and empowered.

“I’ve always enjoyed making people feel good about themselves, and I found a way to transfer that passion into my work,” she says. “I started off doing both cut and color, and eventually I began to specialize in balayage. Nothing makes me happier than being able to empower and make people feel good about themselves.” Haliti, who is originally Albanian, first launched her career about 21 years ago when she moved to the United States. She now leads

“Aïshti by the Sea has by far one of the most pleasant hair salons that I’ve ever been to. It’s hard to find a salon that’s not just about the hair, but also has an amazing, welcoming staff that has a genuine passion for what they do,” she says. For Haliti, hair coloring is an art; choosing the right color is an integral aspect to delivering the right results, “almost like painting on a canvas,” she says. Her work process is a rigorous one, and begins with observing the client’s hair: the head sculpture, the density, how the hair moves and the length.

“I go through a very realistic and detailed process – I won’t do color just for the sake of finishing the job and calling it a day. I am always honest with my clients,” Haliti says.

During the summer, people tend to move toward lighter colors, so there is a rise in bright highlights, she explains. But trends are also always changing and evolving, which means it’s difficult to point out what clients will be looking for in the future. One thing is certain, however; they are moving toward a healthier and more organic approach to hair. “My mantra has always been ‘less is more.’ I believe that balayage will continue to be a rising trend since it allows for a more natural-looking appearance,” Haliti explains. “People are leaving oversaturated, frosty highlights in the past.” Abby Haliti is back at Aïshti by the Sea’s spa on May 14 and 15.

Words Nicole Anderson

GREAT EXPECTATIONS On three remote islands in Japan, art reigns supreme



Upon arriving by ferry to Naoshima’s Miyanoura port, you’re first welcomed by artist Yayoi Kusama’s colossal, black-dotted “Red Pumpkin.” Set against the blue waters of Japan’s Seto Inland Sea and verdant hills, the whimsical installation is the first indication that this is not a typical seaside retreat but a far-flung cultural mecca for those who have a particular wanderlust for contemporary art and architecture.

This page and previous pages: Teshima Art Museum Opposite page: Chichu Art Museum

Mitsuo Matsuoka, Noboru Morikawa, Ken’ichi Suzuki



Benesse Art Site Naoshima, like other remote destinations – from Donald Judd’s Chinati foundation in Marfa to Storm King in upstate New York to Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania – offers an alternative context for experiencing art, one where land and nature interact with the artwork, where local traditions rub shoulders with modernity and innovation. The art, however, isn’t just for the benefit of the passerby or the transient art lover, but also serves as a tool in the revitalization of the place itself and its community, and for Soichiro Fukutake, the billionaire art patron and former chairman of Benesse Holdings, Inc. that was the driving motivation for establishing Naoshima as a cultural hub. “I became firmly convinced that the region could be transformed by establishing attractive contemporary art museums bearing a critical message toward modern society on the very islands where Japan’s primeval landscape still survives,” he says in a personal statement.

LAND AND NATURE INTERACT WITH THE ARTWORK To bike the pine tree-lined roads of the island, hopping from one museum and installation to the next, it is nearly impossible to imagine that this serene landscape – also Japan’s first national park – was nearly turned into an industrial wasteland, home to refineries and a Mitsubishi metals processing plant. To make matters worse, the population had declined, as more people in rural areas left for cities. But then a twist of fate set the island on a new course. Fukutake conceived a plan to

Michael Kellough, Mitsuo Matsuoka, Ken’ichi Suzuki


The journey to get there is an odyssey of near Homeric proportions, that, when traveling from abroad, requires several modes of transit, including flights, trains, taxis and ferries. But once stepping ashore, it is a trek well worth taking, and embedded in the landscape of this 3.1-square-mile island are installations by the likes of James Turrell, Walter De Maria, Lee Ufan and Dan Graham, with structures, of equal measure, by Tadao Ando, Hiroshi Sambuichi, and Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA.


bring contemporary art to Naoshima, and eventually to the neighboring and equally idyllic fishing islands, Teshima and Inujima. And soon a cultural district was born on the southern end of Naoshima, first with the opening of Benesse House Museum, a hotel and a museum.

What followed was an expansive and pioneering approach to art, which in turn, recast the viewing experience through the commissioning of site-specific works, immersive installations and dynamic buildings, much of them designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. One of the finest examples on the island is the Chichu Art Museum. The building, designed by Ando, is a series of concrete subterranean spaces built into the land. You move through the museum almost as if in a ceremonial art procession, each space commanding quiet and contemplation – from James Turrell’s “Open Field,” a glowing blue dream-like installation, to the celestial light flooding the stairs of Walter de Maria’s room. A short ferry ride away brings you to Teshima, where artist Rei Naito and architect Ryue Nishizawa collaborated on the Teshima Art Museum, an amorphous and sparse white structure, perched on a hill and overlooking the Seto Inland Sea. The building, exposed

to the trees and sky through two ovular apertures, is designed to mimic the form of a water droplet, meanwhile actual droplets of water glide across the floor, as if in an improvisational and mesmerizing dance. And some of the most compelling art on the island are the smaller works that suddenly reveal themselves, such as Noe Aoki’s “Particles in the Air” at the entrance of the village of Karato, which was installed as part of the Setouchi Triennale in 2010. But at every turn, art emerges and communes with the surroundings, in both bold and subtle gestures, and that is what makes the islands so enchanting – and so deserving of the journey to get there.

This page: “Time/Timeless/No Time” by Walter de Maria Opposite page: View from Benesse House Museum (top) and James Turrell’s “Open Field” (bottom)

Words Ramsay Short

SWAY ME MORE simply being a hobby, but that’s absolutely not the case. It’s a full-time job, with lots of responsibilities and a very hectic rhythm.”


Fashion blogger and Insta influencer Lana El Sahely concurs. “I have to admit that it’s crazy how being an influencer became such a legitimate ‘job,’” says the Lebanese fashion social media entrepreneur, who originally built up an audience of loyal followers through her L’Armoire de Lana fashion blog. She’s now created an e-shop on her website where she curates and collaborates with brands to sell their products. “So I approach brands, and they approach me. It happens in both directions. Personally I endorse the brands that I genuinely love in my daily life and that makes a difference and brings opportunities,” says El Sahely, who has almost 230,000 Instagram followers.

If you’re on Instagram, have 1,000 followers or more and your images are good, it is entirely possible you can become an Insta influencer and get paid upward of $150 per promotional post.

Arida, El Sahely and popular fellow Lebanese fashion blogger Miriam Abadi, of course make it very personal, with images of themselves in particular outfits and glimpses of their personal lives too. “In 2016 I was chosen by Harpers Bazaar Arabia as one of their best dressed people in the region,” says Abadi, who has over 30,000 followers on Instagram. “I launched my Insta profile and brands began to approach me to be part of their campaigns though I only choose ones I would use and which reflect my philosophy.”

The leading areas are travel, food and fashion. Just search #vanlife, for example, and you’ll find numerous (goodlooking) couples and single travelers who traipse around in traditional VW Campervans, taking beautiful images of themselves against a background of sun-soaked beaches, perhaps wearing a brand name bikini, or carrying an ecofriendly water bottle, tagged and paid for.

With the news that Instagram has made products “shoppable” – click on an image of a watch and be directly able to buy it – and provided brands with the direct statistics of how the number of followers you have is translating into sales, influencers’ stories and ability to connect via video and image are now all the more crucial to their ability to make a living out of it.

Instagram has spawned a new influencer economy

The influencer economy on Instagram is worth a billion dollars and growing all the time, the idea being that in the era of social media, traditional advertising has lost much value to the power of personal recommendation. Of course big social media stars and celebrities with hundreds of thousands of followers can make thousands of dollars from posts, but brands are just as interested in quality (when it comes to followers) over quantity.

Influencers don’t just get cash either. In exchange for posts endorsing beauty products, food, hotels and more, they’ll get free gifts, holidays, comped meals and drinks. All in all it’s a bona fide career. Just ask Lebanese influencer Nour Arida, whose Instagram followers number 280,000. “I think there’s a big misconception about being an Instainfluencer,” she says. “Some people may perceive it as

To do really well as an Insta influencer in what is a constantly evolving ecosystem, it’s increasingly important that you have a story that chimes with your audience, so you must be prepared to share. “It’s not enough to say that a product or experience is great,” says Abadi. “To succeed in influence marketing you must provide genuine feedback that might make your followers choose a certain product. You need to be credible.”

Arida believes that influencers have become an important part of the media universe. “Advertising through influencers has become more authentic and more accessible to people,” she says. “I personally believe that influencers are here to stay, but not all of them. This market is saturated and only influencers with a true identity and a clear message will remain.”





7. 2.







9. 14.

10. 15. 12.

11. 17.

1. Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini 2. Saint Laurent 3. Off-White 4. Chloé 5. Loewe 6. Alexander McQueen 7. Zimmermann 8. Balmain 9. Prada 10. Chloé 11. Balenciaga 12. Burberry 13. Rag & Bone 14. Jimmy Choo 15. Gianvito Rossi 16. Stella McCartney 17. Gucci

13. 16.











11. 8.


1. Phillip Lim 2. Cult Gaia 3. Nada G Blat Beirut rings 4. Dolce & Gabbana 5. Etro 6. Marni 7. Diane von Furstenberg 8. Jimmy Choo 9. Chloé 10. Miu Miu 11. Gucci 12. Tory Burch 13. Pucci 14. Chloé 15. Azzedine Alaïa 16. Loewe


15. 9.



4. 3.

8. 1. 9. 5.


6. 7.


12. 13.

11. 14.


10. 1. Off-White 2. Dolce & Gabbana 3. & 4. Saint Laurent 5. Calvin Klein 6. Stella McCartney 7. Balenciaga 8. Diane von Furstenberg 9. Alice + Olivia 10. Stella McCartney 11. & 12. Jimmy Choo 13. Saint Laurent 14. Gucci 15. Stella McCartney 16. Gucci 17. Dolce & Gabbana 18. Gucci

17. 18. 16.

4. 3.

2. 1.







13. 8.



14. 1. Alexander McQueen 2. Dolce & Gabbana 3. Etro 4. Prada 5. Gucci 6. Balenciaga 7. Attico 8. Prada 9. Saint Laurent 10. Burberry 11. Saint Laurent 12. Alexander McQueen 13. Proenza Schouler 14. Y/Project 15. Maison Margiela 16. Stella McCartney 17. Saint Laurent 18. Prada


18. 16. 15.





Prada top and purse GPO Rotary Telephone


Balenciaga bag, MSGM dress


Sonia Rykiel dress, Burberry shoes GPO Bermuda Classic Retro Style Turntable


ChloĂŠ bag, Sonia Rykiel top and Proenza Schouler skirt Sony PlayStation DualShock 4 wireless controller


Valentino sneakers, Off-White top Pieces printed with Ultimaker 3D Printer


Off-White heels Illy Francis Francis X7.1 iperEspresso machine Fashion items available at AĂŻshti stores. Electronics and home accessories available at AĂŻshti Home Solutions

Lebanon: Aïshti Downtown Beirut Aïshti By the Sea Antelias Aïshti Verdun


She wears a dress and shoes by Sonia Rykiel, earrings by Oscar de la Renta and bracelets by Chloé and Mishky

She’s in a Mara Hoffman swimsuit and Dior sunglasses. Her bag is by Heimat Atlantica

Karina is in a Red Valentino kimono, Oye swimsuit, and Yulyaffairs necklace. Her bag is by Miu Miu

She’s in an Off-White swimsuit, Sara Battaglia pants and Massada sunglasses. Her bag is by Sara Battaglia

She’s in a Mara Hoffman swimsuit and Moschino sunglasses. Her bag is by Weekend Max Mara

She wears a Kenzo swimsuit, Helmut Lang top, Dita sunglasses and Saint Laurent sandals Model Karina Khan at Velvet Management Hair Eddy at Aïshti by the Sea’s spa




Jasmine wears a Bottega Veneta jacket and Oscar de la Renta pants

This page and opposite: She’s in a CÊline total look

She wears a Max Mara dress

She’s in a Sonia Rykiel jumpsuit and Céline top and boots

CĂŠline boots

This page and opposite: She wears an Alexander McQueen coat

She’s wearing a Dolce & Gabbana dress and Prada sandals

This page: Bottega Veneta necklace and Stella McCartney pants Opposite page: She’s in a Gucci suit and Dolce & Gabbana bra

She’s in a Prada total look

She wears a Gucci suit and Dolce & Gabbana bra

She’s in Oscar de la Renta pants and Gianvito Rossi boots

She’s in a Céline coat

She’s in a Calvin Klein total look

She wears a Balenciaga shirt and carries a Max Mara bag

She wears a Miu Miu dress and underwear, and Gianvito Rossi boots

She’s in pants Bottega Venetabybag Sonia Rykiel

She’s in a Bottega Veneta top, Stella McCartney pants and Gianvito Rossi heels

She’s in pants by Sonia Rykiel

This page: Jasmine is in an Altuzarra dress Opposite page: She’s in a dress and underwear by Miu Miu, and Gianvito Rossi boots

She’s in pants by Sonia Rykiel

Julia (left) wears an Alexandre Vauthier swimsuit and CÊline earrings and carries a Valentino bag. Barbara (right) wears an Alexandre Vauthier swimsuit and Miu Miu earrings and carries an Alexander McQueen bag She’s in a Bottega Veneta top, Stella McCartney pants and Gianvito Rossi heels Models Julia and Barbara at Agents Model Management Hair and makeup Rory Rice

She’s in apants Balenciaga by Sonia total Rykiel look

She’s in a Prada jacket

This page and opposite page: She’s in a dress by Alexander McQueen

She’s in pants by Sonia Rykiel

This page: She’s in a Miu Miu total look Opposite page: She’s in an Altuzarra dress

She’s in pants by Sonia Rykiel

Julia (left) wears an Alexandre Vauthier swimsuit and CÊline earrings and carries a Valentino bag. Barbara (right) wears an Alexandre Vauthier swimsuit and Miu Miu earrings and carries an Alexander McQueen bag She’s in a Balenciaga total look Models Julia and Barbara at Agents Model Management Hair and makeup Rory Rice

She’s She’s in in apants Dolceby&Sonia Gabbana Rykiel bra and wears a Stella McCartney bag

She’s in a Miu Miu top and shorts, and Alexander McQueen boots

She’s in pants by Sonia Rykiel

This page: She wears a Miu Miu dress and underwear, and Gianvito Rossi boots Opposite page: She’s in an Altuzarra blazer and Dolce & Gabbana bottom

She’s in a Balenciaga shirt and bracelet

She’s in a Dolce & Gabbana bottom and Gianvito Rossi boots Model Jasmine Dwyer at New York Models Makeup Mariko Hirano Hair Junya Nakashima




Words Marwan Naaman






What happens when you take over a former youth hostel in Vienna and convert it into a circus-themed design hotel? You get 25hours, a neighborhood gathering spot that embodies the new century’s casually hip lifestyle. While there are many hotel options in the Austrian capital, few have been able to understand the needs of the modern-day traveler quite like 25hours. With its eye on the future, the hotel offers dining, drinks, a health space and even transportation that capture the coming zeitgeist.

You can spot 25hours from afar. On its façade, in bold colorful letters, it says: “Come as you are.” And above the entrance, it reads: “We are all mad here.” But it’s really more irreverent fun than madness. To the right of the entrance you have the check-in desk, which looks like it was made from recycled metal and wood. Then right next to it, the Kiosk holds cards and knickknacks for those who want an offbeat Vienna souvenir. On the other side of the room, a retro photo booth allows you to live out your Coney Island boardwalk fantasies. A cozy sitting area, complete with tables and chairs that look as if they were gathered during a rummage sale, leads to 1500 Foodmakers, the on-site, ground-floor restaurant. This is where a generous buffet breakfast is served (bread, pastries, cereal, fruit, eggs, cheese, charcuterie and more). For lunch and dinner, 1500 Foodmakers serves trendy Italian cuisine, with a restrained but creative

menu that includes pizza and pasta dishes, plus a few meat and fish options. Take the elevator to the top floor, and you’ll be at The Dachboden Loft, a rooftop bar that’s easily one of Vienna’s most popular nighttime haunts. Beer, wine and specialty cocktails are served in a décor that’s somewhere between a beach bar and a cafeteria. Weather permitting, you can exit onto the terrace and gaze over MuseumsQuartier, the museum-rich neighborhood in which 25hours is located. Ride the elevator to the bottom floor, and you’ll enter the Mermaid’s Cave, a postmodern health den that includes a gym, lounging area and relaxation space. The lounging area, with its huge mural of a floating mermaid and comfy chaises, is a particularly good place to unwind. You can also keep in shape at the spacious gym or relax some more on the swinging chairs at the center of the space.

And in between the attractions on the lower floors and the happening rooftop bar, you have 183 spacious guestrooms and 34 suites, all reflecting the same circus theme that runs throughout the hotel: there are murals depicting mystical clowns behind the beds, artistic paintings of horses and ballerinas and amusing sayings written here and there to remind you that life is a joyride. On the pillows, it says “Let’s spend the


night together” and “Almost home,” while elsewhere you’ll read “Don’t feed the monkeys.” In many rooms, the shower and toilet areas are separate, affording utter privacy while you tend to your personal needs, and complete exhibitionism when you shower thanks to a glassed-in shower stall with an unobstructed view of the bedroom. When you’re ready to explore Vienna, you can, of course, do so on foot: the city is a treasure trove of architectural marvels, complete with pedestrian streets, ancient monuments, historic churches, grandiose palaces, trendy bars and more dessert parlors than you could ever imagine. Or, you can borrow one of 25hours’ bicycles and experience Vienna like a local. The entire city is lined with bike lanes, so navigating Vienna on two wheels is both easy and a feast for the senses.

It’ll be hard to leave, but there are more 25hours hotels you can explore in other cities, each with its own theme, in Berlin, Zurich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Munich, Cologne and Hamburg. And in the near future,

a brand-new 25hours is set to open in Paris, near the Gare du Nord. Or you could perhaps book another trip to Vienna and get to experience this dazzling hotel all over again. For more info, visit



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Words Rayane Abou Jaoude Photography Tony Elieh





The MakerBrane space is every child’s dream: shelves upon shelves of LEGOs, puzzles, toy figurines and toy parts, Star Wars kits, endless books and even a 3D printer and a virtual reality mask. It’s a small, cozy office where the imagination runs wild. Founders Ayssar Arida and Sabine de Maussion first began to think about creating a new toy platform when, back in 2014, they realized their two daughters were playing with the same types of toys: Barbies in Miami, pink and Victorian dollhouses – entirely Western themes. “It means my daughters in Beirut play with toys that have been designed for other kids,” de Maussion, who has a background in art, curation and cultural strategy, explains. And the reason parents buy these toys is because there’s nothing else on the market, which begs the question: if you were to create a new toy product, would you do it the same way, or would you do something different? So the couple created “Urbacraft City Crafting System,” a mass customizable

This is the software we created, the 3D MakerSpace

The 3D mouse and the computer are part of our main everyday work. The mouse allows you to move in 3D space very easily. You can see how worn out it is

When we redesigned our parts, we made these 3D-printed prototypes

These are one type of electronics that are manufactured by a German company. We don’t have to bother or worry about manufacturing electronics. We just made our parts compatible with them This is a LEGO-compatible strip that you can stick on anything. There are a lot of things that are compatible with LEGO, which means that by extension, they’re also compatible with us


We love the play on words, which is why we have these stickers Ayssar’s background is in architecture, urban design and writing about the city. Quantum City is the book he wrote

This is a virtual reality View-Master created by Mattel, and it was such a big part of our childhood. Last year, they took the same thing and transformed it into a VR viewer


We created something called Urbacraft, and these two guys are a part of it Grendizer and all the rest are hints to a much less cynical toy time. It was so basic when it started, but it was cool. He’s also our protector

These are 3D-printed prototypes, temporary structures. We thought they looked cool so we kept them as souvenirs

Ayssar started coding on this computer in 1982 when he was 10

like LEGO, Meccano, littleBits, etc. They allow children to combine all their existing toys in new ways, using design recipes from MakerBrane’s website rather than having to buy new boxes to get building instructions. Instead of making money selling plastic like most toy companies do, MakerBrane makes money from selling designs and encouraging individuals to reuse and think about their environment and sustainability, as well as providing a cultural and educational value. “The idea was to make our parts compatible with other toys, and that was the key,” Arida says. “We like to say that we don’t compete, we complete.”

Children thus become creators instead of mere consumers, with MakerBrane encouraging them to think outside the box and not be limited to particular brands. “We want to think about the [pieces] as material that could be combined to create your own design, wherever you live,” de Maussion says. “And thinking, trusting that everybody could be a designer, and if you’re not, you could shift from the position of being a consumer to a creator step by step.”


construction toy themed around architecture and urban spaces. Two months into it, they had already developed a system allowing children to replicate any building in Beirut and the world, such as the Sursock Museum, Dover Street Market in London and the Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design in New York. They invited the top 40 architects, designers and artists to build collectors’ items that were exhibited at the Beirut Art Center. The project took on a life of its own and caught the attention of startup accelerators in Beirut and New York. The family project became an international business and over the last two years it’s raised $1 million and pivoted into something far bigger: the MakerBrane platform.

To help designers and kids create their own toys, MakerBrane has also put together 3D MakerSpace, an online software that allows anyone to build digitally with everything. The software includes an infinite library of toy parts, including Branes, and can automatically turn anything you build into a step-by-step guide for a design that can be shared with others, moving from the digital to the physical. It’s an easy way to reach out to kids who love to spend time online.

But the entire process comes with its fair share of challenges, primarily finding local tech talent and manufacturing. Arida and de Maussion had tried to manufacture Urbacraft locally, but quickly found out that they were limited to certain types of plastic. So, like everyone else, they moved their manufacturing to China. They use French engineers, designers in Beirut and designers and writers in the United States, and a branding agency in the United Kingdom. “If we execute properly, there’s a fantastic future for us as creators, for a product that we really believe could make a difference in the toy industry, and for the idea that a small start-up from Lebanon can do this,” Arida says.


“That helped us move from just an idea of a toy that can be customizable to something that is much bigger,” Arida, whose background is in architecture, explains. “And so we went back and reinvented this whole thing as a platform for any kid in the world and redesigned the pieces so they could do more than just build things.”

The name brings together the maker movement, an umbrella term used to designate inventors and designers, and branes, which, according to string theory, are the tiniest particles that can create entire universes. MakerBrane created special modules, “Branes,” which are compatible with thousands of parts from existing brands

MakerBrane is changing the way toys are designed and made, and promises to shake up the global toy industry by becoming the Instagram of toy designs. The 3D MakerSpace is now live at, pre-sales start in June and MakerBrane is opening another round of investment this summer, in time for a worldwide launch from New York. We can’t wait.

Aïshti By The Sea, Antelias - Fakhry Bey Street, Beirut Souks, Downtown Beirut

Words Marwan Naaman Photography Marco Pinarelli

IN CONVERSATION WITH ANASTASIA ELROUSS Through her NGO Warchée, a Lebanese woman wants to reinvent the future


Can one woman change the world? Based in Lebanon but setting her sights on the globe, Anastasia Elrouss is certainly willing to give it a try. In November 2017, the 35-year-old architect created Warchée, a Lebanese NGO that aims to achieve gender equality in the engineering, architecture and construction fields. “Even in Europe and the United States,” she says, “equality may be present in the law, but it’s not in the workplace. Women feel they’re required to act like men, and they even worry about having children.”

Elrouss is well placed to determine the status of women in her chosen field. In addition to Lebanon, where she was born and still lives, she’s worked extensively as an architect in Europe, the United States and beyond, and virtually everywhere she’s practiced her trade, she’s faced obstacles and roadblocks simply because of her sex. When she shows up at construction sites for example, whether in Lebanon or elsewhere, people are always puzzled, expecting to see a man but instead having to deal with a brown-haired young woman. “I’m the third of a family made up of seven women,” Elrouss says. “I’ve lived all my life without a male figure. Psychologically, people force you to have a male reference, and I always tried to rebel against this.” But the absence of a male presence also served to embolden Elrouss. She grew up believing she could do whatever she wanted, and thus chose to become an architect. “Through architecture, I felt I could really express myself and leave a physical trace,” she says.

Immediately after earning her architecture degree from the American University of Beirut in 2005, she started working at Samir Khairallah & Partners in Lebanon. In 2007 she moved to Paris to work for Jean Nouvel, and in 2008 she became the head of Youssef Tohme Architects and Associates (YTAA) in Beirut, moving up in the firm to become founding partner and general manager by 2011. But to truly make her mark as an architect and as a woman, Elrouss realized that she had to venture out on her own. In November 2017, the exact same moment she created Warchée, she exited YTAA and founded her own firm, ANA-Anastasia Elrouss Architects, with headquarters in Beirut’s Gemmayze neighborhood. For Warchée, Elrouss is working on an official launch that’s sure to grab international headlines. She’s asked Lebanon’s “it” band Mashrou’ Leila to create a clip that addresses gender equality in the workplace. “It’s a new way of fundraising,” she says. “And Mashrou’ Leila are good messengers for Warchée.”

The newly created NGO has various goals in mind, the first of which is to tackle primary schools through education. “We want to take boys and girls to places where there is physical activity and explain to them that they can both do the job, that there’s no physical difference,” says Elrouss. Another goal is to create, initially, two safe spaces for women in Lebanon. Dubbed “La Maison de la Femme,” these places will encourage women to help each other through work: some will cook, some will babysit, others will use the facilities to work. “It’ll be a 24-hour thing,” says Elrouss. “But this isn’t a charity, and all women will have to contribute through work. They will learn to rely on themselves, to become morally, financially and culturally independent.” Warchée’s third aim is to coach educated women to become more aware of their abilities and to understand the importance of what they do. “Women tend to be submissive culturally,” says Elrouss. “The idea is to teach educated women to be leaders, to ask for what they want so they can accomplish great things.”

After Lebanon, Elrouss hopes she can set in motion the wheels of global change. To that end she enlisted the help of French architect Michèle Laruë-Charlus, as vice president of Warchée. Laruë-Charlus, one of the stars of France’s urban planning scene, and whose impressive credentials include reinventing the city of Bordeaux’s public space, will help expand Warchée’s reach outward. The international scope of her project saw Elrouss travel to 30 countries in 2017 to interview and film 30 women about gender quality in the workplace. “It’s a global issue,” she says, “but things are changing faster than ever, and we need to be part of this change.”



Words J. Michael Welton

The Beirut Museum of Art by HW Architecture

HW Architecture


MONUMENTS TO CHANGE Four new buildings promise to transform their urban landscapes



The transformative nature of architecture – its ability to change perceptions of a city, to provide connective tissue between urban areas and to bring cultural and economic assets to a community – is arguably its most potent benefit. Monumental buildings in particular can serve the public interest in functional ways, while adding enduring value. Consider New York’s Metropolitan Museum, the Paris Opera House and the Pantheon in Rome. Each has changed the meaning of the cities they inhabit – for the better. Here we have four new monumental works from around the globe, each designed by world-class architects, and each seeking to transform their city and their culture.

On New York’s West Side, Related Companies is developing 16 tall buildings at Hudson Yards, with architects from Kohn Pedersen Fox; Skidmore Owings and Merrill; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Foster + Partners and Gensler, among others. In Dundee, Scotland, architect Maurizio Mucciola has created the V&A Museum of Design, linking that city and its inhabitants up with the banks of the River Tay. In Richmond, Virginia, Steven Holl Architects has

designed the Institute for Contemporary Art for Virginia Commonwealth University, transforming a somewhat scruffy site into a sleek, new agent of change. And the Beirut Museum of Art by HW Architecture combines below-grade green space with a totemic tower, inviting museumgoers, university students and the public at large to mingle in a park-like setting.

Hudson Yards In January 2005, the New York City Council approved a comprehensive rezoning plan for the West Side of Manhattan, creating a new business district in midtown Manhattan. Related Companies was selected to develop the site as an entirely new, mixed-use neighborhood – the largest since Rockefeller Center. The entire development will be completed by 2025. Tenants include Neiman Marcus, Coach, BlackRock, Time Warner and KKR, along with a number of firstrate chefs and restaurateurs. “Hudson Yards will offer New Yorkers and visitors alike a great, new neighborhood to live, work and play in, with a variety of retail, restaurants and public open space,” says Jay Cross, president of Related Hudson Yards.

V&A Museum of Design In 2010, architect Maurizio Mucciola helped his firm, Tokyo-based Kengo Kuma & Associates, win a design

“Hudson Yards will offer New Yorkers and visitors alike a great, new neighborhood to live, work and play in”

This page: Hudson Yards in New York Opposite page: V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, Scotland

Kengo Kuma & Associates, Related-Oxford



This page: Institute for Contemporary Art in Richmond, Virginia

competition for the V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, Scotland. By 2016, Mucciola had set up his own London firm called PiM Studio – but continued to work on the museum. “I was the project architect, and very much involved,” he says. “Kuma was happy for me to continue to work on the project, and it was easy for me.” Mucciola wanted to create a connection between river and city, and to deliver people down to the riverfront. “There’s a very beautiful view,” he says. “We wanted to tie together the people walking around the riverfront, the museum, the riverfront walkway and the wall at the riverside.” And he found his inspiration in the landscape of water. “We wanted to recreate that relationship between the river and the building,” he says.

Institute for Contemporary Art At the busy corner of Broad and Belvidere Streets in Richmond, Virginia, where 50,000 automobiles pass by each day, Steven Holl Architects has designed a cuttingedge museum for Virginia Commonwealth University – one that’s transformative on a number of levels. “It’s an urban catalyst on that corner – you can see that in the opening of the new Quirk Hotel a year ago,” says project architect Chris McVoy. “And it’s catty-cornered to Jackson Ward, an African-American community – a bridge between the university and that community.” Inside the zinc and glass façade are 41,000 square feet, with three galleries for the visual arts and one for the performing arts. “It’s a provocation for the artists to engage the architecture,” he says. Like the Beirut Museum of Art, the V&A Museum and Hudson Yards, it’s a cultural institution, a social space and an agent for change.

Steven Holl Architects


Beirut Museum of Art Paris-based HW Architecture, led by acclaimed architect Hala Wardé, won a 2016 international competition for planning and designing the Beirut Museum of Art. The firm’s solution – a below-grade park and soaring central campanile rising nearly 120 meters – won praise from a jury headed by Peter Palumbo, chairman of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, and one that included Rem Koolhaas, Richard Rogers and the late Zaha Hadid. Architecturally, the building ramps up from grade like a meandering promenade to the campanile, a counterbalance to the well of a garden amphitheater. “The tower acts as a beacon, evocative of the historical structures of treasury, lighthouse, outlook tower, belvedere and campanile,” says Nayla Abdelnour, administrative manager at the museum. It’s also a striking landmark that will include space for workshops, performances and artists’ residencies. The Beirut Museum of Art is scheduled to open in 2022.

Aïshti, Downtown Beirut 01.99 11 11

Aïshti by the Sea, Antelias 04. 71 77 16

Words Marwan Naaman Photography Tony Elieh



JJ Martin, founder of La DoubleJ, models four of the brand’s spring/ summer 2018 looks


La DoubleJ looks to the past to create the prints of tomorrow 208

JJ Martin is reinventing the way women wear print fabrics. The American-born, Italy-based creator, who worked for over 15 years as a journalist in Milan for the likes of Harper’s Bazaar USA, Wallpaper*, Elle Décor and Vogue Japan, now helms La DoubleJ, one of the hottest fashion brands to come out of Europe in recent years. “I always thought I would be a journalist,” she said during a recent visit to Beirut, adding that launching her own label was spontaneous, an unexpected plan.

While she was working as a journalist in Milan, Martin started an online shopping magazine through which she sold vintage pieces. At the same time, she tried to write about the lesser-known figures in the fashion world, “the cool Italian women doing great things.” Her search for vintage items and her exploration of Italy’s undiscovered artisans and craftsmen took her on a different career path, and she launched La DoubleJ in 2015. “I was inspired by my love of vintage,” she says. “And I also wanted to show the best of Italy.”

For her label, Martin sourced vintage prints and fabrics and reinvented them into the most show-stopping and unusual dresses currently on the market. She started with only eight prints but she now stocks tops, skirts and dresses (and a handful of pants) in 45 different vintage patterns.

Two things inspired Martin to launch her brand. First, she wanted to communicate happiness through her work. “I wanted to go into an idea of bright colors and fresh, fun and uplifting fashion,” she says. She also strove to highlight the know-how of her adopted land. “I’m presenting the best of ‘made in Italy,’ people who are working outside of the spotlight.” She gives the example of Mantero, a textile company founded in 1902 and located in Como. “They provide fabrics to some of the biggest fashion houses, but nobody talks about them.” From Mantero and other Italian companies, Martin sourced bold archival prints to create her signature tops, dresses and skirts. There’s a dashing red, white and black geometric pattern from 1960s designer Sergio Bini, a bright orange fabric with huge fuchsia floral prints and a turquoise, pink and white affair in a kaleidoscope pattern. These vintage-inspired fabrics all find their way into La DoubleJ’s fashion offerings. “They’re meant to be versatile and easy pieces,” says Martin, “nothing too complicated and not extreme fashion. But mixing and matching prints is a real trick, you have to learn to master it.” This season, La DoubleJ is featuring its first swimwear collection, including bikinis, one-piece plunging swimsuits and even a surf top with long sleeves. “It can be worn on its own or with a skirt as a bodysuit,” says Martin. And for the upcoming winter, La DoubleJ will offer pieces in more expensive fabrics – jacquard, Crêpe de Chine, knitwear – to fit the cold-weather season.

In less than three years, Martin has been able to achieve international popularity for her brand. La DoubleJ is now available at 30 points of sale, including Le Bon Marché in Paris, Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Liberty and Selfridges in London, The Webster in Miami, Harvey Nichols in Dubai and Aïshti in Lebanon. “We’re not taking ourselves too seriously,” says Martin. But it looks like La DoubleJ is now a serious fashion contender.

Words Rayane Abou Jaoude Photography Aly Saab


BEAUTY AND THE BEAT Aïshti by the Sea’s spa experts tell us what trends are hottest this summer

Rashad, hairstylist With every season comes a plethora of trends to play with, and there’s possibly none more fun than summer hairstyles. This year sees the advent of the straight cut, says Rashad, hairstylist at Aïshti by the Sea’s spa, with ombre and dip dye, which are two-tone coloring techniques. “Trends go in circle,” he explains. “In Lebanon [women] like what I call the ‘Europe’ look, which is more natural.” An up-style specialist, he adds that clients are no longer looking to style a bulky chignon, but are instead opting for a more effortless look with more movement and even a little messiness. Summer also sees a retro curl, or the beach wave, making a strong comeback. The colors become lighter to complement a darker, tanned skin. Rashad, who’s been working at Aïshti by the Sea’s spa for two years, has been a hairstylist for 20 and has a world of experience across the region, from Dubai to Jordan. “I love everything about my work,” he says. “I’m attached to it. Many times we sacrifice our time for the job. We stay the extra hours.”

Tamar, senior skin therapist Tamar started out as a personal assistant for a plastic surgeon, and after self-studying, went on to both study and work in general aesthetics, having been given the opportunity to learn about laser and makeup. She enrolled in regional and international seminars, assembling a range of skills that saw her take on new responsibilities at Aïshti by the Sea’s spa. “What clients ask for the most is the éclat, of course. Net, clear skin, less wrinkles,” Tamar explains. “Women like to go out without applying makeup so they like to have that bright, clean skin.” More recently, products are taking on a more natural direction, using plants, fruits and all things organic. There are also numerous machines coming out that focus on skin rejuvenation, dermabrasion (a skinresurfacing procedure), mesotherapy (a technique that uses injections of vitamins, enzymes, hormones and plant extracts to rejuvenate the skin) and lifting, of which there are many options at Aïshti by the Sea’s spa. “I love my clients, they are my business family,” she says of her work. “I follow up with them, I motivate them, but the most important thing is I educate them.”

Dina, makeup artist One summer, a young Dina decided to take on a job to pass the time and began working at a makeup salon. Before she knew it, she found herself enjoying the field and decided to pursue it full-time. “I love makeup. I feel like I’m bringing out the best features in a woman. I am projecting myself, what I feel is beautiful, on a woman,” she tells A Mag. “It’s also about knowing what looks good, because not everything looks the same on women.” Dina prefers earth colors herself, citing them as forward and classy all at once. Current trends include soft glitter over the eye, which looks great in photographs, as well as highlighter, smoky eyes with nude lipstick and lashes to accentuate the face. With a simpler and more natural approach to makeup, skincare has become that much more important. “Everyone now takes care of their faces with serums and creams,” Dina explains. “This generation is more open-minded and educated. Twenty-year-olds don’t really wear much makeup, and they don’t have surgeries or Botox. They’re more natural and take on a more natural lifestyle.”

Hanadi, physiotherapist Hanadi initially wanted to become an engineer, but unforeseen circumstances drove her into the field of aesthetic physiotherapy, and she’s been hooked ever since. Unlike medical physiotherapy, aesthetic physiotherapy aims to alleviate people’s stresses and tensions, and includes body treatments and massages – powerful anti-depressants in a very demanding age. “I always say that there’s nothing better than making a person feel at ease, making the person who’s in your hands feel comfortable,” she says. “The best thing is the contact between the hand and the person’s body so you can feel it, so you can get the message from them about what’s bothering them,” she says.

Hanadi uses her hands for most of her work, but occasionally also employs self-heating massage tools from products like Lava Shell. Most of her clients’ ailments come from stress, she explains, and massages and treatments help them relax tremendously. With new techniques to learn every day, Hanadi makes sure to sit for massages at local or international hotels she visits to pick up on novel methods and innovative oils.


Words Renata Fontanelli

MODERN REBELS By launching new designers and continuing to produce some of the world’s edgiest pieces, Sawaya & Moroni remain at the forefront of contemporary furniture design

Everyone is silent at Sawaya & Moroni’s showroom on Via Manzoni in the center of Milan. A hushed conversation is taking place on the upper floor about Salone del Mobile, the world’s leading design fair, set in Milan every year in April.

Tony Elieh, Photo Archives Sawaya & Moroni


The Sawaya & Moroni showroom at Aïshti Home Solutions in Antelias

The conversation is about the design projects of two of the world’s hottest architecture firms – Snøhetta, based in Oslo and New York, and MAD Architects from China – both of whom were asked by Sawaya & Moroni to design new pieces for 2018’s Salone del Mobile.

For architect and designer William Sawaya, co-founder of Sawaya & Moroni Contemporary Furniture, the styles of Snøhetta and MAD couldn’t be further apart, yet they both fascinate him and, in his opinion, complete Sawaya & Moroni’s wide panoramic design view. “We live every edition of the Salone as a challenge, as a permanent research of new concepts, aiming to come out with innovative and unexpected ideas,” says Sawaya. “Through the intellectual creative capacity of Snøhetta, we are investigating today’s Scandinavian design. It is becoming more difficult to design evergreen archetypes that survive over time. Nowadays, very few companies still have the will and the courage to take on such projects.”

Sawaya is the creative soul of the firm, and his partner Paolo Moroni takes care of the business and communication aspects. Besides being the main designer of the company, Sawaya, who was born in Beirut where he also completed his studies, oversees and investigates every design detail. Although most of the Italian design production is made abroad, both partners continue to manufacture all of their products in Brianza and Northern

“LUXURY IS FIRST A MENTAL ATTITUDE” Italy, the world’s leading hub for furniture production and home to skilled craftsmen, even though the cost there has become a bit prohibitive. The end designs, which range from masterpieces by major architects to avant-garde items by rising designers, are exhibited in Sawaya & Moroni’s Milan showroom. The great variety of furniture offerings is the reason behind the immense amount of work and the frenzied atmosphere that overtake the firm when time for the Salone del Mobile approaches. “Every year, the sector becomes more and more chaotic, and unfortunately lots of companies do surrender to the general vulgarization


Over the past three decades, Sawaya & Moroni has been able to capture an important share of the top-end niche, both in terms of market share and creative designers




of the production panorama in order to satisfy the request of the new economic and commercial markets,” says Sawaya. “The larger distribution requires and imposes lower prices, which automatically affect the design concept and impoverish the quality of the product.” That said, Sawaya admits that he needs the stress that surrounds the annual fair in order to come up with his out-of-the-box designs. “I can only create under pressure,” says Sawaya. “Relaxing only makes me lazy. And when I start designing, I often begin with a specific idea, but the final product might become completely different than the initial one.” The Sawaya & Moroni label was launched in 1984. “When William suggested to form our brand and start making furniture, I asked him if he had suddenly gone crazy,” recalls Moroni with a laugh. Prior to that, the two men had been working together at their architectural practice, founded in 1978. Their interior design projects required specific types of furniture that weren’t always available on the market. “The residences the studio was building were for selective people, so the furniture had to be equally selective,” says Moroni. “But we couldn’t always find the highly sophisticated products we were looking for. I am a businessman, and William is the creative architect. So from my point of view, to become an industrialist seemed to me kind of complicated.” At the beginning, few people believed that the two young men would succeed in creating a new design furniture brand. In a way, they were defying the old established Italian companies and setting their own course. But naysayers had to quickly change their tune when, thanks to a remarkable instinct, Sawaya & Moroni scored one hit after another. Over the past three decades, the company has been able to capture

an important share of the top-end niche, both in terms of market share and creative designers, many of whom now stand in line for the coveted opportunity to be produced by Sawaya & Moroni.

In addition to presenting the work of famous architects such as Jean Nouvel, Dominique Perrault, David Adjaye, Daniel Libeskind, Ettore Sottsass, Ron Arad, Toni Cordero, Toshiyuki Kita and John Maeda, among many others, one of Sawaya & Moroni’s biggest successes was the two-decade-long collaboration with the late Zaha Hadid, who produced some of her best designs for the Italian brand. “She was an inspiring leading figure, an icon, a genius,” says Sawaya. “All those who initially criticized her are now taking inspiration if not copying her.”

The two partners describe their brand as a design hub. “Although most of our production, especially the limited editions designed for collectors and museums, are conceptually elevated for large distribution,” says Sawaya, “we do our best to introduce some semi-industrial production in order to appeal to all types of customers. Luxury, beside being quality craftsmanship, is first a mental attitude.” Sawaya & Moroni furniture and accessories are available at Aïshti Home Solutions in Antelias.


A better way to live

AĂŻshti, Seaside Road Antelias, Lebanon T. 04 711 941

A better way to live

AĂŻshti, Seaside Road Antelias, Lebanon T. 04 711 941


It’s every budding fashion designer’s dream to have his or her collection stocked at the most prestigious department stores around the world. For Lebanese-American shoe designer Nora Habbal, that dream came true after her debut shoe collection Nora Aÿtch showcased at London Fashion Week last September. Habbal, who calls London home, had her luxury shoe line picked up by iconic department store Harvey Nichols – no easy feat for a newly launched brand. 222

The 27-year-old London College of Fashion graduate is not new to the fashion scene. With nearly 55,000 followers on Instagram, Habbal is a fashion influencer in her own right. Before moving to London in 2016, she worked in digital media for an online fashion platform based in Dubai. Working alongside influencers on brand collaborations, Habbal learned the intricacies of building a successful social media presence. “Instagram has really helped me launch my brand,” she says. “I’ve been able to reach a wider audience, and I love getting feedback from my followers about my designs.” Explaining where the Aÿtch in Nora Aÿtch came from, she says: “I wanted to use my last name, but in a quirky way, so I chose to spell out the first initial.”

Her fabulous footwear line is Carrie Bradshaw meets Blair Waldorf. Fitting, considering the shoes are handmade in Milan in a small town called Vigevano, at the same factory where Manolo Blahnik’s designs come to life. Habbal oversees every detail of production, from sketch to fabric selection and prototype conceptualization. She also handles the brand’s distribution, social media, marketing and e-commerce to ensure that everything stays in line with her overall vision. The spring/summer 2018 collection, comprising 11 styles that range from sexy metallic stilettos to chunky mules with

intricate woven PVC detailing, has even found its way to Hollywood, with Kourtney Kardashian and Gigi Hadid hand-picking the brand’s Kayla shoe. Insta-celebs Rocky Barnes and Something Navy are also fans of the brand’s Floria style – a cool block heel with a floral embroidered appliqué. Nora Aÿtch’s latest collection embodies the designer’s fun and individualistic sense of style. It’s whimsical and daring, featuring denim, glitter and lots of metallics. “I used classic styles like a pointed pump or flat sandals and played around with the fabrics to create something classic with an updated and modern feel. I love things that are different and unexpected.” Visit and

Words Tala Habbal Photography Aly Saab

Aishti By the Sea, Antelias T. 04 717 716 ext. 288 Aizone Stores T. 01 99 11 11

ALL TOGETHER NOW Millennials don’t just share their beds – they also share their workspace

Words Ramsay Short Illustration Maria Khairallah

Similar to the global-based leader in the field, WeWork, but with more of a Google-like campus feel and a business model that offers flexible daily, weekly and monthly levels of membership at a fraction of private office costs, Antwork offers huge and measurable benefits. In less than two years, the organization has gathered over 2,000 members with 250 working onsite daily, and expansion across the Middle East is planned. A single day costs $16 and a full month $249.

It’s a value model that makes sense. People thrive in co-working spaces according to a recent Harvard Business Review article, and what start-up or freelancer wouldn’t want to have access to a workspace populated with like-minded people, a network of entrepreneurs, freelancers and dynamic companies with all the benefits of a professional office at their fingertips? Where conventional office space rentals have remained expensive and rigid, co-working companies have stepped in, moving with the requirements of the millennial generation.

In the United Kingdom and United States, the popularity of co-working has become so prominent that banks, department stores and restaurants are getting in on the act. Otherwise underused and abandoned sites are being transformed. Eagle Labs, an arm of Barclays Bank, takes unprofitable branches in buildings it owns, closes them and converts them into desirable workspaces for small businesses.


The rise of co-working spaces for start-ups, freelancers, independents and small companies in alternative or formerly unused locations is a current and future trend that sees no sign of abating. WeWork, Industrious, Eagle Labs, 3Space, Workbar, Labs, Haus, Spacious, Antwork. Recognize the names? These are just nine of a growing number of start-ups proving that co-working office space is all the rage.

Take Antwork, for example. Founder Zina Dajani leased two otherwise empty buildings in Sanayeh, Beirut, and across them created 5,000 square meters of versatile office, lounge, lab, event and rooftop workspace that is fully tech-enabled, offers coaching programs, breakfasts and yoga sessions, and cuts general operating costs of new businesses by utilizing and nurturing a co-working community of members.

New firms like Haus in London and Spacious in New York and San Francisco are prioritizing the bar/ restaurant sector for their business model – their strategy is to make use of locations that are otherwise closed during the day. Haus’s USP is in its inspiring design (smart restaurants) and price – just £95 per month allows access to any of their sites. The current one is at Soho’s 100 Wardour St. restaurant, with another opening in Shoreditch soon. Fast Wi-Fi, free coffee and a community come as standard. In New York, Spacious operates 13 co-working spaces, partnering with some of the city’s finest restaurants for a rate of just $129 per month. In a world where jobs for life are increasingly few and far between, remote working and multi-tasking is increasingly the new normal. As packed coffee shops with poor Wi-Fi no longer cut it, co-working start-up firms are set to grow and grow – just ask US-based Industrious. With the third largest co-working network in the United States behind WeWork and IWG plc: from 2015 to today it grew revenues by 150%, has locations in 25 cities and in February raised $80 million of funding to expand to 60 locations by end 2018. The future is co-working.




For this issue’s exclusive series of artistic visions, A Mag features Sarah Bahbah, the Australia-raised, LAbased Palestinian artist whose art “you’ve probably seen on someone else’s account.” Audacious and provocative, the 26-year-old photographer manages to unravel the mystery of our emotions and expose them in broad daylight. The key to Sarah Bahbah’s success lies in her work’s transparency and honesty. The photographs she publishes on her Instagram account are inspired by her own story, her own adolescence – her doubts, her pride and her setbacks. Her images appear to have been taken right out of movie scenes, with the subtitles creating a dialogue that plunges the observer into the heart of the story. While her work doesn’t appear serious, it’s nonetheless intense, and the message is clear. Bordering on some fairly refined savagery reminiscent of Éric Rohmer’s New Wave and a great sense of aesthetics, her shots liberate the woman, both physically and morally. She is powerful, evades social conventions and is in control of her own destiny. She no longer succumbs to a man’s desire but becomes the mistress of her own.







Emma Connolly, model


7fo ra l l ma nki nd.c o m

Camper Beirut souks, Souk El Tawileh Street, Beirut central district, T. 01 99 11 11 ext. 568 AĂŻshti by the Sea, B1 Level , Antelias, T.04 71 77 16 ext.271


Miami has long been a meeting point for people from across the globe. Lying at a veritable crossroads of continents, oceans and seas, the South Florida metropolis is home to a thriving Latin American community, as well as thousands of immigrants from Canada, Europe, the Middle East and beyond. This multicultural wealth has translated into a dynamic culinary scene that is perhaps the most inventive in all of North America. Miami hotels in particular have laid claim to some of the city’s most creative chefs, serving delectable, highly unusual dishes in seductive settings



What We’re Eating


Pao by Paul Qui

Words Marwan Naaman

Faena Hotel, 3201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, When the Faena Hotel opened in Miami Beach, at the very end of 2015, it recaptured the Art Deco glamour that once characterized the town. Housed inside the landmark Saxony, which in the 1940s was the area’s first luxury resort, the Faena shimmers with brilliantly colored murals, massive golden columns and an iconic gilded mammoth standing guard near the oceanfront pool. At the heart of the hotel, you’ll find Pao restaurant, a beacon of Asian fusion cuisine helmed by chef Paul Qui. Born in the Philippines, 38-year-old Qui first made a name for himself in Austin, Texas, where he owns a few humble restaurants that began as food trucks and where he serves his signature fried chicken. (You can sample this dish at Pao, with sweet chili sauce and roasted banana ketchup.)

At Pao, Qui has let his creativity run wild, and the dinner menu offerings are as thrilling as the $6 million unicorn statue that reigns supreme at the center of the restaurant. Particularly impressive dishes include the Unicorn, a pudding-like mixture of sea urchin, sweet corn, sake aioli, chili and lime. Served atop a bed of peppercorn, this heady treat is one for the ages. You can also sample the lacquered pork belly with black garlic caramel and long pepper, the delicately roasted fish with cilantro, chili and garlic-ginger rice, and the melt-in-your-mouth smoked shortrib asado, made from Wagyu beef cooked for 72 hours and accompanied by Japanese sweet potato purée. There’s also a nice

selection of crudos: the toro – seared tuna belly with strawberry gazpacho – is a combination of complex tastes, nicely balancing the tang of the tuna with sweet hints of strawberry.

Be sure to try at least one dessert. Choose the Volcanic Earth, a decadent mix of cocoa, cardamom toffee, yuzu chocolate mousse and mandarin sorbet, or the roasted tea meringue with white chocolate, kaffir lime-mango sorbet and orange honey. As you dig into these sweet affairs, sit back in your circular booth and imagine yourself in an exclusive cabaret during the Prohibition era. Pao will satisfy your taste buds and your imagination.

Faena, Mandarin Oriental, Miami Beach Edition



Market by Jean-Georges Vongerichten Jean-Georges in New York. More casual than other projects from the 61-year-old chef, Market is part food hall, part patisserie and part café, making it a great destination at virtually any time of day.

The food at Market is inspired by Italian cuisine but enhanced with an international outlook. Menu options include oysters, stone crab claws, tuna tartare and a kale salad as starters. A more decadent choice is the board of artisanal salumi and cheeses – a must for cheese and charcuterie lovers. Main courses include a selection of pizza and pasta dishes, including a standout spring pea pizza with mozzarella, pickled chilies and mint.

Miami Beach Edition, 2901 Collins Avenue, The Miami Beach Edition is a design triumph for Ian Schrager. The hotelier successfully revived the property’s vintage glamour, infusing it with Havanainspired tropical flair: lush palms explode throughout the lobby in a profusion of

greenery, providing flashes of color that contrast with the stark white furnishings and dreamy gold flourishes. Market, located on the lobby level of the hotel, comes from Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the star French chef whose impressive roster of restaurants includes

After dinner, be sure to the check out the delectable dessert offerings displayed at the counter. You’ll find an ever-changing selection of freshly made cakes, including chocolate marshmallow cake, key lime pie and an abundance of other sweet delights.

La Mar by Gastón Acurio

Mandarin Oriental, 500 Brickell Key Drive, La Mar offers a most dramatic view of the Miami skyline. Set on manmade island Brickell Key, which floats above Biscayne Bay and is accessible from the mainland via a scenic causeway, the Mandarin Oriental hotel’s chic restaurant has an engaging outdoor terrace that’s directly on the water, with Brickell’s high-rises glimmering in the background.

While Peruvian restaurants abound in Miami, La Mar is a cut above the rest thanks to Gastón Acurio, who offers a fresh take on culinary specials from his native Peru. The 50-year-old celebrity chef and restaurateur owns several restaurants around the world, including Astrid & Gastón in Lima, one of the most renowned eateries in all of South America. In Miami, and in the talented hands of executive chef Diego Oka, Peruvian cuisine has found its zenith at La Mar. Showcasing the influences that give Peruvian food its specificity – Inca, Italian, Spanish, African, Chinese and Japanese – the lunch menu at La Mar offers raw fish and seafood options in the form of ceviches and tiraditos, traditional dishes prepared on the anticucho grill and elaborate Peruvian specialties for sharing. Start off with the ceviche sampler, which features three kinds of ceviches – salmon, fluke (flounder) and a delightful mix of snapper, shrimp, octopus and calamari – all served

in a leche de tigre citrus-based marinade of lime and ají peppers. Heartier options include the octopus anticucho, served like an artwork over a bed of potato cream and Peruvian aioli, its purple hue promising untold palatial pleasures. Be sure to also try the salmon fusion, floating in a creamy Peruvian pepper curry and coconut milk concoction, along with bok choy, kale and broccolini. Lunching outdoor, with the blue-green waters of Biscayne Bay in sight, is a magical experience.




Where We’re Eating

Come for the warm space, stay for the tempura. Open daily 12:30-4pm, 7-11:30pm. Monnot Street, Ashrafieh, Korus Lounge is fine dining in a spectacular setting. The restaurant offers an exciting blend of Italian and Japanese cuisine, which presupposes – and I can’t stress this enough – ordering off both menus. Start with the popcorn crab and black cod miso, and be sure to try the shrimp tempura, a Japanese classic, while you’re at it. The entire experience is best paired with white wine, of which Korus has plenty. But don’t put down your fork just yet: sample the delicious risotto con zucca e tartufo nero (risotto pumpkin and black truffle) first, and end the evening with a zesty lemon tart and another glass of white wine. – Rayane Abou Jaoude

Open daily 12-2:30pm, 6-10:30pm. 30 Upper Grosvenor Street It’s one the most anticipated restaurant debuts of the year. Rüya, which originally opened in Dubai, is launching a new outpost in London this June, with a menu focused on contemporary Anatolian cuisine. Under the helm of chef Colin Clague – a Zuma alum – the restaurant serves dishes from a region that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, including such specials as 24-hour slow-cooked short rib with Turkish chili barbecue glaze and spiced Konya chickpea purée, and Zeytinyagli ahtapot, which is marinated and grilled octopus with black-eyed beans and apple vinaigrette. Rüya is inspired by restaurateur Umut Özkanca’s Istanbul heritage. “We have taken authentic traditions, which I retain a deep personal connection to, and interpreted modern details for the sophisticated London audience,” says Özkanca. The inventive drinks menu includes a great selection of raki, the anise-flavored alcoholic drink that captures Turkey’s indomitable spirit. – Niku Kasmai

Korus, Rüya




Available in all AĂŻzone stores T. 01 99 11 11

The Phoenix


Where We’re Eating

The Phoenicia Hotel’s signature restaurant is one of Malta’s finest.

Salted Open daily noon-midnight. Gouraud Street, Gemmayze, What’s in a name? Salted brings you exactly that – salt, and lots of it. Delicious pink salt from the Himalayas for red meat, black salt from Cyprus for fish and red salt from Hawaii for white meat, and there’s enough on your table to go around and sprinkle over everything. Make sure to ask for the salmon tataki (softly torched fresh salmon topped with a drizzle of ponzu sauce) and the salmon kale salad (with capers, grapefruit, ginger, avocado and lemon mustard sauce) to start. Brace yourself for the Tomahawk Experience, an Australian MB5 steak marinated with olive oil, Himalayan salt and black pepper. Add the ebi shake sushi (crunchy breaded shrimp and avocado wrapped in grilled salmon), and you’ve got yourself a divine evening. – Rayane Abou Jaoude

Salted, The Phoenicia



Open daily 7-10:30am, 12:30-3:30pm, 7-10pm. The Phoenicia Hotel, The Mall, Valletta, Amid a dreamlike space with blue print wallpaper, ultra-high ceilings and seats and pillows in a mix of royal blue and pinkish colors, The Phoenix serves dishes inspired by Maltan cuisine and made with local ingredients. For starters, you can sample the quail salad with medjool dates, the local tuna carpaccio with tabbouleh and harissa or the prawn ceviche with chilies, coriander and citrus. As a main course, highlights include such specials as bouillabaisse, veal sweetbreads and guinea fowl with polenta. Be sure to save some room for dessert: the cardamom crème brulée, Valrhona chocolate orange tart and Gozo honey parfait are even more decadent than they sound. Ask for a table near the window – the terrace and garden are a little bit of paradise. – Marwan Naaman - AĂŻshti by the Sea, Antelias T. 04 71 77 16 ext. 273 and all AĂŻzone stores T. 01 99 11 11 Produced and distributed by Cristiano di Thiene Spa

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How We’re Detoxing

Words Karim Hussain


Cryotherapy is the latest and most futuristic way to achieve well-being

For someone who’s addicted to spa treatments, you’d think there’s nothing unusual about standing around in skimpy underwear with just a towel for modesty, but today you’d be mistaken. Instead of losing the towel to a set of warm hands (and maybe even a set of warm volcanic stones), I was about to be disrobed and locked in a chamber designed to trick my body into thinking it’s dying in three minutes. Yes, I was about to try cryotherapy, a process in which you experience -90 Celsius temperatures for a monitored time period, in order to produce a fight-or-flight response in the body, and a huge rush of endorphins. This conventional medical treatment has become the latest unconventional beauty treatment craze of elite athletes and celebrities alike.


From a medical perspective, cryotherapy is the use of low temperatures to treat a variety of benign and malignant tissue damage, medically called “lesions.” The term itself comes from the Greek where “cryo” means cold, and “therapy” means cure. You might have experienced it already in your life, at a doctor’s surgery, if you’ve ever had a cold-blast treatment from a canister sprayed on everyday warts. In the arena of elite sports, cryotherapy is widely used to relieve muscle pain, sprains and swelling, and ranges from the very low technology application of ice packs or immersion in ice baths, to the use of cold chambers (whole or partial body cryotherapy) or face masks or body cuffs with controlled temperature, sometimes called hilotherm. It is the latter that is now becoming widely available and – with one cryotherapy treatment center opening at the spa at London’s Harvey Nichols – also clear that the therapy is fast commanding devotion from fashion followers.

After stripping down, expect to don protectively warm booties, gloves, headband and a face mask, so as to avoid frostbite to the less-well-circulated extremities (fingers, toes, ears and nose). Then you stand in a chamber with a glass façade, overseen by a therapist (on the outside), who watches you while every hair follicle on your body is crystallized in ice. You can’t hear anything or see much… and, you start to shiver. Fast-forward three minutes and you are shaking uncontrollably, and… it’s over. So, why do it? Devotees claim it has a range of benefits: to start with it helps with weight loss by burning calories and boosting the body’s metabolic rate. Cryotherapy shocks with extreme cold temperatures and the body responds by speeding up to warm up. This boost in metabolism lasts for around five to eight hours and burns calories. The session also tricks the body into thinking it’s going into hypothermia, causing it to boost the metabolic rate in order to increase heat production. This causes the body to burn between 500-800 extra calories. For more serious athletes, think about how elite sportsmen are frequently plunged into ice baths post match. Cryotherapy increases muscular resistance to fatigue and also enable the muscles’ capacity to regenerate; this means it gives you more energy pre-workout and helps muscles to recover faster post-workout. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of cryotherapy can also improve joint disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, as well as reduce itching and inflammation in serious skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Lastly, cryotherapy improves blood circulation, which causes an increase in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients around the body. The brain releases natural “feel good” endorphins to help keep up with the extreme cold temperatures. These same endorphins increase energy levels and leave you with a euphoric feeling, which can last several hours. And is it the treatment of the future? In the sense that it doesn’t involve any physical exertion and requires high tech equipment and supervision, it is. But it’s also not cheap, and I wonder if someone who can immerse themselves in a cold shower or plunge pool might achieve similar benefits by just standing under the cold tap a little longer.


Book a cryotherapy treatment Antelias Urban Retreat, Aïshti by the Sea London Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge New York Quick Cryo, Tribeca Los Angeles Tonic, Central Los Angeles


Occupying a beautiful forested area overlooking the mountains and the city, Zenotel is the paragon of tranquility and serenity. Ideal for both a day trip and a long weekend (we definitely recommend staying for the weekend), the resort and spa offers a holistic approach to wellness and also serves as a hotel and wedding venue. The dimly lit spa is a veritable haven that offers a range of massage therapies (detox, relax, silhouette, glow and many others) using Clé des Champs, French organic and cold pressed essential oils that include Esprit du Liban, made exclusively for Zenotel. If you want to forgo the sauna and steam room, take a dip in the pool and breathe in the spectacular view. There are herbal gardens, a café and restaurants, a bar, a gym and other amenities. Zenotel is also childfriendly, so make sure to bring your kids this summer. – Rayane Abou Jaoude


University Arms University Arms in Cambridge brings together two British architecture and design legends. First opened in 1834 as the city’s original hotel, University Arms relaunches in summer 2018 after a $110-million transformation courtesy of John Simpson (Buckingham and Kensington Palaces, Eton College) and Martin Brudnizki (Miami Soho Beach House, Scott’s, The Ivy). Home to 192 beautiful and playfully designed rooms and suites, a destination restaurant, bar, library, event space, underground valet car park and gym, the hotel aims to create an environment reminiscent of school days past, lazy afternoons spent on the banks of the River Cam and the raucous revelry of students. Truly a space for locals, tourists, Cambridge students and their families alike. – Karim Hussain

University Arms, Zenotel

Where We’re Detoxing 248


Where We’re Detoxing


Six Senses The latest Six Senses comprises 24 spacious pool villas and 60 residential villas, all offering privacy, seclusion and luxury. With its state-of-the art gym and 650-meter stretch of private beach, the destination incorporates the sustainable practices so fundamental to the group’s ethos. As it’s 100% solar powered, Six Senses is the first hotel in Fiji to function off Tesla batteries, with LED lighting to minimize energy expenditure. In true Six Senses style, the group’s new Fijian outpost offers bespoke advice and treatments according to their Integrated Wellness Program, along with locally inspired cuisine available in five restaurants, sourced from the hotel’s own vegetable garden, and from local farmers, markets and fishermen. – Karim Hussain


La Réserve It’s one of the French capital’s most coveted hideaways. La Réserve, with its new two-starred Michelin restaurant Le Gabriel, houses 26 suites and 14 rooms, all featuring butler service. Those seeking rest and relaxation can head to the hotel’s bespoke spa, which offers three treatment rooms set around an utterly peaceful 16-meter pool. The spa uses products by Nescens, the revolutionary Swiss anti-aging range created by professor Jacques Proust. For total indulgence book the fifth-floor Imperial Suite, which was just renovated and now boasts handpicked antiques, precious fabrics and a Carrara marble bathroom. The views over Paris from the suite – of the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais and Notre-Dame – are as breathtaking as ever. – Niku Kasmai

La Réserve, Six Senses



What We’re Drinking

Words Michael Karam

Tomorrow’s Cocktail Back to the past to uncover the drink of the future

it wrong. There’s nothing worse than a martini bore. Do you shake it or stir it? Do you make it with gin or vodka? (By the way, a martini is always made with gin. If you want vodka you have to ask for a vodka martini, which apparently was invented in Tehran in the 1930s by Americans who needed to tame the rough Russian vodka on sale at the time.) Do you serve it with a lemon twist, olives or even an onion? But then you’d have a Gibson. And how dirty – essentially how much brine from the olives you use – is too dirty? Do you like it wet – more vermouth – or dry – less vermouth? It’s a minefield.

Two things about the martini: first off, and most importantly, it can do immense damage to the uninitiated. Four years ago, I attended a dinner in Beirut at which my host promised me “the finest gin martinis in Christendom.” He had prepared by freezing his cocktail shaker and ensured that the vermouth, the additive that makes the martini – the greatest drink in the history of Western civilization and not just a glass of neat spirit – was calibrated to make his martinis take dryness (more of that later) to new heights.

But he didn’t heed Dorothy Parker, who famously declared “I like to have a martini; two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.” Well my host only had two and he was under his table before we’d even sat down to dinner. Another guest, who is now a prominent political activist in Beirut, also had a couple and tried to cycle home, crashing into a Sukleen bin and ending up in the hospital. I was ok… just. And while I have grown to love and – more importantly – respect the drink, I have subsequently, and on more than one occasion, seen one drink prematurely curtail the evening of those who are unprepared. You’ve been warned. The second thing about the martini is how it is made. In her book Ten Cocktails: The Art of Convivial Drinking, Alice Lascelles says that if ever you crash land on a desert island and need to summon help, simply start making a martini, because sooner or later someone will turn up and tell you you’re doing

The best vodka martini I’ve had was served by a barman at Soho House in Berlin, but the best place to drink martinis must surely be New York. You go to a bar, any bar, and they’ll as sooner make you a martini than serve you a beer. In fact Ilili, Philippe Massoud’s fabulous Lebanese restaurant on Fifth Avenue, serves a “Not So Bloody Vodka Martini,” and if ever I become extremely wealthy, I will employ somebody whose sole purpose for existing would be to keep me supplied with this remarkable concoction. So what of the future? There are, as always, variations on a theme. They include a lychee martini made with vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice and lychee juice; a ginger martini, which pundits have touted rather bizarrely as being good for colds, and lastly the espresso martini made with vodka, espresso coffee, coffee liqueur and sugar syrup. Quite what Buñuel would make of those is anyone’s guess, but to each their own I suppose.



Attempts to explain how dry a martini should be have been elevated to the poetic, if not the surreal. Alfred Hitchcock liked his so dry he said all one needed to do was simply glance at the vermouth bottle. But it was the Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel who offered up the finest paean to the dry martini by declaring that all that is needed is a ray of sunlight to shine through the vermouth bottle before it hits the gin, as the Holy Ghost pierced the virgin’s hymen “like a ray of sunlight through a window – leaving it unbroken.”


Fast Building, 344 Pasteur Street, Gemmayze, Lebanon T. +961 1 562 777 F. +961 1 449 000

Bar Principal


Open Monday to Sunday 5pm-2am. Mar Mikhael, And Bar Principal has the best of both. Taking on a South American vibe, the place comes with a vintage-y feel, a relaxed setting and some of the best cocktails Beirut has to offer. A word of advice: don’t order your run-of-the-mill rum and coke. Opt for something a little more exciting, like the signature Beirut Lover: arak, star anise, cinnamon, rosemary, pineapple and lemon juice, sugar water and absinthe. Potent? Absolutely, so sip slowly. If you’d prefer to forgo the arak and take on Gordon’s Gin, try the Thyme Grenade with fresh thyme, grapefruit and pomegranate, or the London Rose, with blood orange, rosemary, sugar water and bitters. We recommend you take your drinks to the stools outside and strike up a conversation with a stranger. – Rayane Abou Jaoude

Legacy Records

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 5:30-11pm. 517 West 38th Street, A restaurant and upscale bar that’s already won wide praise from the likes of Vogue, Legacy Records is set inside a residential building in Hudson Yards – New York’s most coveted new neighborhood. Fierce cocktails on offer include Pomme Pomme, an apple-flavored vodka concoction, and Stone’s Throw, made with Japanese whisky and plum eau de vie. The place was designed by San Francisco-based Ken Fulk, whose fascination with iconic places from years past is evident in the velvet feel that pervades this fabled destination. – Niku Kasmai

Raya Farhat, Le Méridien Vienna, Legacy Records

The people who brought you ultra-hip New York restaurants Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones just launched Legacy Records. NEW YORK

Where We’re Drinking 254

It’s a general rule that a good bar is contingent on two things, the ambience and the drinks.

VIENNA - YOU Open daily noon-1am. Le Méridien, Opernring 13,

A stylish pub and restaurant located inside the sleekly designed Le Méridien hotel, YOU is the kind of place where you seldom feel the time go by. Amid a plush décor of green velvet sofas set near a glimmering bronze bar, a live DJ spins lounge music while statuesque male and female waiters and mixologists attend to your every need. The trendy menu focuses on light bar fare, including a Hawaiian poke bowl made with either sashimi or tofu and a power bowl featuring quinoa and avocado. While the dishes are quite good, the real reason to visit YOU is the drink menu. There’s a wide selection of wine and champagne, plus specialty cocktails that include delectable options like blueberry mojito, cucumber fizz and gin basil smash. Be sure to stop by for the aperitivo, between 5pm and 7pm, when all you-can-drink spritz, prosecco and martini bianco are served with a selection of finger foods. It’s hard to ever leave YOU. – Marwan Naaman


Words Marwan Naaman



EUROPE’S SOUTHERNMOST ISLANDS ARE PURE MEDITERRANEAN MAGIC You may not immediately think of Malta for your summer vacation, but you really should. The world’s 10th smallest country, Malta is an island archipelago just south of Sicily and north of Libya’s capital Tripoli, and it offers unspoiled Mediterranean delights enhanced by impressive historical wealth.

While you may never have been to Malta, you’re most certainly familiar with many of its parts, as it provides the setting for various films and TV series. Movies that were filmed here include Gladiator, The Count of Monte Cristo and the recent remake of Murder on the Orient Express. Steven Spielberg used Malta’s ochre architecture and splendid Mediterranean backdrop to depict Beirut in his movie Munich. Various Malta landmarks were also featured in HBO’s epic series Game of Thrones: the original King’s Landing, the Great Sept of Baelor and Illyrio Mopatis’ house (in which we first come upon Daenerys Targaryen) are all Maltese architectural landmarks.

Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta

VALLETTA In spite of its diminutive size, Malta packs a powerful punch. Its main and capital city Valletta is this year’s European Capital of Culture, with various festivals, exhibits, concerts and special events planned to celebrate the country’s cultural riches. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Valletta is a treasure trove of Baroque architecture, complete with lavish palaces, magnificent churches and sprawling gardens. While a walk through the partly pedestrianized seaside city can be accomplished within two hours, it will take weeks to discover all the jewels hidden inside Valletta’s nooks and alleyways, as every door opens onto a marvel.

Some of Valletta’s most dazzling sites include St. John’s Co-Cathedral, built between 1572 and 1577. While the cathedral’s exterior is elegantly simple, the Baroque interior, designed by Italian artist Mattia Preti during the 17th century, is prodigiously opulent, complete with carved stones walls, vaulted ceilings, brilliantly colored frescoes and a preponderance of gold ornaments. The Grand Master’s Palace, built between the 16th and 18th centuries in the Mannerist style, is now a sprawling museum, currently hosting a fascinating exhibit of works by Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró (until June 30). At the entrance of town, you can view and visit Renzo Piano’s breathtaking Valletta City Gate (Parliament House), completed in 2015. The brand-new National Museum of Art in Malta (MUZA) opens this year in May, inside the 15th-century Auberge d’Italie. If you walk down Valletta’s plunging streets, you’ll eventually reach Grand Harbour, the city’s port. From here, you can take the Upper Barrakka Lift, a scenic 58-meter elevator (built in 2012) that whisks you up into the sky and leads you to monumental Upper Barrakka Gardens, the highest point of Valletta’s city walls and where you’ll catch the most dramatic views of the harbor, the sea and the Three Cities in the distance. To visit the Three Cities, go back down to the harbor and catch the six-minute ferry ride across the sea. VITTORIOSA Across the water from Valletta lie Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua, collectively known as the Three Cities. While each has its own attractions, Vittoriosa (also known as Birgu) lays claim to magnificent Fort St. Angelo, a medieval structure originally built as a castle that was transformed into a fort by the Order of St. John (the Knights of Malta) during the mid16th century. A Malta highlight, the fort is a living

Valletta City Gate by Renzo Piano

testament to the country’s tumultuous history: due to its strategic location at the crossroads of three continents, Malta was perennially invaded, with each occupier leaving an indelible imprint of the tiny islands. Those invasions are chronicled in a fascinating film shown at Fort St. Angelo as part of any visit. Many years in the making, the restoration of the fort was completed in 2015, and visitors can once again walk throughout the massive structure, viewing D’Homedes Bastion, with its ancient canons and strategic position high above the seas, and Ferramolino’s Cavalier, a fortification that surrounds the fort, offering vertiginous views of Valletta and the surrounding areas – and allowing you to live out all of your Game of Thrones fantasies.

Once done with your tour of Fort St. Angelo, you can walk back down to the harbor and from there take one of the hidden staircases up to the residential part of Vittoriosa. Walking around town, you’ll come upon cafés, small boutiques, ancient churches and the Inquisitor’s Palace, a landmark, labyrinthine palazzo that functioned as the seat of the Maltese Inquisition during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta



Fort St. Angelo in Vittoriosa

MDINA The spectacularly lovely town of Mdina lies west of Valletta, roughly at the center of the island. Landlocked and built upon a high hill amid semi-arid terrain, the fortified city was Malta’s capital from antiquity all the way into the Middle Ages. Mdina’s importance is evident in its architectural legacy: Norman, Medieval and Baroque structures, including palaces, churches and monasteries, speak of a bygone glory. Now home to 300 residents only and having instituted an almost complete ban on cars, Mdina is known as the “Silent City,” and even the 750,000 visitors who annually descend upon its gates cannot disturb its peaceful aura – or overshadow its singular magic.



The view from The Phoenicia Hotel

Where to Stay The Phoenicia Hotel: Part of the Campbell Gray Hotels family (which also includes iconic Le Gray in Beirut), The Phoenicia is Malta’s grande dame, a historic property built in the 1930s that was just renovated into its current five-star glory. With its splendidly manicured gardens, infinity pool and elegant suites overlooking Malta’s Mediterranean beauty, The Phoenicia has long been a favorite of stars and celebrities, including Queen Elizabeth, Gérard Depardieu and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Where to Eat Caffe Cordina: This is one of Malta’s most famous establishments. A restaurant, café and dessert parlor, Caffe Cordina first opened in 1837. Extremely popular with visitors, the place is best-loved for its selection of pastizzi, the traditional Maltese pastry that comes stuffed with either ricotta cheese or mushy peas.

Where to Shop Ta’ Qali Crafts Village: Set in Ta’ Qali near Mdina, the Crafts Village allows visitors to watch skilled craftsmen plying their trade. Items being produced and available for purchase include accessories in blown glass, jewelry and pottery.

AÏSHTI Aïshti by the Sea Antelias, Level 3, Tel. 04 717716 ext. 403


Hotel VIA


Where We’re Staying

South Beach is a different kind of San Francisco neighborhood.


Rediscovered in the 1990s, when the Silicon Valley dot-com boom created a veritable gold rush in San Francisco, South Beach had until then been a sparsely populated neighborhood, its industrial warehouses abandoned and languishing along the waterfront, from the foot of the Bay Bridge all the way to China Basin. The neighborhood’s fortunes took an upswing in 2000, when AT&T Park (home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team) opened, and South Beach was suddenly rife with stylish new buildings, wide sidewalks and some of the city’s trendiest restaurants and cafés. The extension of the N Judah and the launch of the T Third Street Muni train lines ensured easy access to the area from the rest of the city, while the Bay Bridge made it accessible to those coming from the East Bay.

Enter Hotel VIA, the first hotel to open in South Beach in 12 years. The ultra-modern, 159-room property, which welcomed its first guests in June 2017, is set directly across from AT&T Park, and it encapsulates San Francisco’s 21st-century vibe: a place that celebrates its colorful history but also rushes into the future at a dizzying speed. Hotel guests who enjoy spectacular views can opt for the Park

View Suites, which offer vistas of AT&T Park and San Francisco’s picturesque hills, or the Harbor View Rooms, which overlook the South Beach Marina, the Bay and the East Bay hills. All rooms and suites exude a pure, minimalist vibe, with a soothing color palette of blues, whites and grays. This being San Francisco, Hotel VIA offers the latest tech amenities, including keyless entry, in-room tablets, Smart 4K HDTVs and energy-efficient thermostats. All rooms also offer complimentary Wi-Fi, with the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices.

On the hotel’s ground floor and set directly on King Street, you’ll find stylish Bar VIA, where you can enjoy handcrafted cocktails, beer, boutique wines and seasonally driven small plates. Take the elevator up, and you’ll hit Rooftop at VIA, South Beach’s first rooftop lounge, featuring communal tables and open-air fire pits – and breathtaking 360-degree views of San Francisco and its surroundings. Rooftop at VIA is particularly appealing at sunset, when you can watch the sun sink into the Pacific.

Once you step out of Hotel VIA, you’ll have some of San Francisco’s most cutting-edge attractions right at your fingertips: the Ferry Buildings and its food offerings, SFMOMA’s artistic treasures, lively Yerba Buena Gardens, the SOMArts Cultural Center’s exhibitions and performances, concerts at Mezzanine and nightlife venues that include Slim’s, Public House, Alchemist and Temple. Hotel VIA is a place to dream about the past and celebrate the future. – Marwan Naaman

Hotel VIA

138 King Street, While the City by the Bay is known for its lovely Victorian and Edwardian architecture – colorful, gingerbread-like homes running up and down the city’s steep hills – the South Beach area is a beacon of modernity, with soaring glass towers, sleek condo buildings and sun-drenched lofts.




Where We’re Staying

Amid Reykjavik’s bustling Laugavegur street, lies the charming Sandhotel

Laugavegur 34-36, The boutique hotel was lovingly created by the founders of the famous neighboring Icelandic bakery Sandholt. The Icelandic gem comprises a collection of historic townhouses refurbished into sleek and contemporary luxury accommodations, which include 52 Art Deco-inspired rooms, a restaurant and a bar. The Sandhotel prides itself on highlighting Reykjavik’s rich heritage through the themes of food, literature and fashion. In addition to its cozy atmosphere and stylish interiors, the hotel is a stone’s throw away from the city’s best shops and cafés, making it the ideal spot for a lavish Icelandic getaway. – Tala Habbal

1050 Washington Ave., You can’t beat Washington Park Hotel’s location: the property is set in South Beach, a few minutes’ walk from the Atlantic Ocean’s sandy shores and right next to some of Miami’s most dazzling bars, restaurants and boutiques. The 181-room hotel, which encompasses five gloriously restored Art Deco buildings, complete with a pool and courtyard, is home to hip nightspots Employees Only (which also has outposts in New York and Singapore) and Swizzle Bar. Washington Park Hotel was created by Bigtime Design Studios, the people behind Taste Kitchen in Fort Lauderdale and Bagatelle in Dubai. Now you know where to stay next time you visit America’s most dynamic city. – Marwan Naaman

Sandhotel, Washington Park Hotel


Washington Park Hotel


AĂŻshti by the Sea, Antelias T. 04 71 77 16 ext. 274 and all AĂŻzone stores T. 01 99 11 11 Follow us on instagram: @melissashoeslebanon

Words Marwan Naaman

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A Magazine, Issue 94