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We invite you to book a virtual meeting and tour or visit our presentation gallery at 181 Davenport Road (Yorkville), Toronto. Monday–Friday 10am–7pm, Saturday, Sunday 10am–6pm. Over 75% sold. Construction started.

Specifications and features subject to change without notice. E&OE illustration is artist’s concept.

At the corner of Bloor Street West and Yonge Street, the iconic intersection of Canada. U N D E R C O N S T R U C T I O N . R E S I D E N T I A L O C C U PA N C Y 2 0 2 3 .

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Select one of our consultation services that suits you best Studio Visit Book an appointment for a private viewing with your designer.

On-Site Visit Browse our website at wstudio.ca, select carpets you would like to view in your space, and we will gladly bring them for you to decide.

Virtual Appointment Select carpets from our website and let us know which designs you would like us to prepare for a virtual viewing via FaceTime or Skype.

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Contact Founder and Creative Director Alan Pourvakil for your complimentary virtual consultation today!

1330 Castlefield Ave. Toronto, ON | info@wstudio.ca | 416-929-9290

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Alan Pourvakil, founder and creative director of the award-winning Toronto carpet design house W Studio


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Tailored Elegance. Timeless Address. A place of unmatched individual expression, 89 Avenue is Yorkville’s most refined, custom-tailored address. The 20-storey landmark residence with a classic Manhattan limestone design will feature a limited collection of only 35 elegantly-appointed Bespoke Residences. Each individually tailored to your style to reflect the personal taste and character of those who call it home. Like a custom residence in the sky. Each experience, each amenity and every feature will be carefully crafted to a standard that meets, and exceeds, the highest of expectations.




Illustration is artist’s concept. Brokers protected. E.&O.E. 2020

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Luxury and elegance are enhanced by the skill and craftsmanship of the artisans at Cameo Kitchens and Fine Cabinetry with each boutique project collaboration

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WINTER 2020/21 • VOLUME 24 • ISSUE 2

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief MICHELLE ZERILLO-SOSA michelle@dolce.ca Director of Operations ANGELA PALMIERI-ZERILLO angela@dolce.ca

ART DEPARTMENT Co-Founder/Creative Director FERNANDO ZERILLO fernando@dolce.ca Senior Graphic Designer CHRISTINA BAN Senior UI/UX Designer YENA YOO Web Developer JORDAN CARTER Junior UI/UX Designer MARIA KOROLENKO Digital Content Designer MARCO SCHIRRIPA



ADVERTISING Director of Marketing ANGELA PALMIERI-ZERILLO angela@dolce.ca Senior Account Managers MARIO BALACEANU, JOSEPH LUONGO

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES T: 905-264-6789 info@dolce.ca • www.dolcemag.com Front Cover JANE GOODALL Portrait by GLORIA RODRIGUEZ

Dolce Magazine is published quarterly by Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont., L4H 3H9 T: 905-264-6789, info@dolce.ca, www.dolcemedia.ca Publication Mail Agreement No. 40026675. All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited without written consent from the publisher. Dolce Magazine reaches over 900,000 affluent readers annually through household distribution across Canada. Dolce Magazine is also available to over 100 million digital consumers of Magzter Inc. and Issuu. Inquiries about where else Dolce Magazine is available for sale may be directed to Dolce Media Group: info@dolcemedia.ca or 905-264-6789. Visit www.dolcemag.com for single copy and yearly subscription fees. The opinions expressed in Dolce Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or advertisers. Dolce Media Group does not assume liability for content. The material in this magazine is intended for information purposes only and is in no way intended to supersede professional advice. We are proud to be a Canadian company that has successfully published magazines for the past 24 years without any government funding or financial assistance of programs to cover editorial costs. It has all been possible thanks to the wonderful support of our readers and advertisers. ISSN 2370-4063 Next Issue: Spring 2021 ©2020 Dolce Media Group. Printed in Canada.

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Fernando Zerillo

Co-Founder/Creative Director

Believe In a world that is fast becoming soulless Be challenged to find your own soul Then make it selfless. When the television portrays only tragedy Be challenged to turn it off Spend your time working on your own humility. If you’re surrounded by people who are envious Be challenged to cull the herd around you Fill your life with those who bring joyousness. During the times you feel utterly hopeless Be challenged to claw your way out Understand that genuine happiness is timeless. Find your soul. Believe in yourself. Trust in your God. Love your family. Share your plenty. Lean when you need. Live out loud. Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Love heartily. Grow your humanity. Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Infect the world with your faith. — from The Wife by Iris Imeneo

Finding your why


his year, in the midst of the pandemic, the shutdowns and the travel restrictions, unable to hug our families Michelle Zerillo-Sosa, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief or shake hands with strangers, we have had more time than ever to ponder: “What is the meaning of it all?” Confined to our homes and neighbourhoods, we’ve had so much space to reflect upon our existence, our relationship with the planet, the future, and humanity as a whole. Life as we knew it, our dolce vita, has come under threat. — Les Brown Was this pandemic a disaster of our own making, caused by deforestation and our now ell, in the case of Yolanda Gampp, this could be close proximity to wild animals? This is a theory a real possibility. If you’re not yet familiar with held by our cover subject, Jane Goodall. Her in a time, a world, respecting andYouTube caring her and work, she is where a multi-millionaire lifelong study of chimpanzees has led her to for onebaker another, our shared planetthat is the (3.3 and million subscribers, is) only … all thanks to her wayincredible forward.”imagination. Jane Goodall discovered her why in believe that humankind’s impact on the natural This is athe woman cakes a it living —big not habitat of animals, including deforestation and jungle who moredreams than 60up years ago,for and was so tiered flavours, but cakes thatInstitute, look like mining in remote regions of the world,traditional has that sheshapes found and her how: the Jane Goodall hot dogs, huge candy apples, watermelons, avoursaround like the negatively affected the balance of nature. Before a conservation organization, within 31floffices ultimate red velvet and chocolate cake … You get the the pandemic, Goodall travelled an average of 300 the world, that supports her pioneering researchidea. at Sweet mother of God, thisNational lady hasPark. the power to tempt even days per year to speak to youth and world leaders Gombe Stream the as strongest-willed person with cakes! Her belief is that about the threats faced by chimpanzees, as well Our why could be her as simple as wanting to anything is possible, and with the love and support of family learn where our food and consumer products other environmental issues and reasons for hope and friends, the highest levels of success are attainable. Read that we can eventually fix these problems. come from; our how could be as easy as making her story on page 38. This November, Canada introduced the Jane small, conscious acknowledgments in daily life. Speaking of belief, we all pray that our faith need never be Goodall Act, which, if passed, will ban the new Take a moment to reflect on the positive impact tested the way Paul De Lio’s is. Many of us go through life captivity of great apes and elephants, establish that shutdowns and travel restrictions have had without ever having to question why tragedies strike our lives or legal standing for great apes, elephants, whales and the environment. Exercise creativity well as the lives ofon others in the world. A few years back, weaspublished dolphins in sentencing for captivity offencesanand community support by discovering new businesses article about the definition of God. I remember asking the strengthen the ban on the import of elephant writer ivory to pose in your own city and shopping local. Set an this question to various religious leaders: “Where and other hunting “trophies.” Goodall said: “We live intention to help preserve craftsmanship in fashion, was God in moments such as 9/11?” Given the recent state of

“When your why is big YOU enough,HAVE you will CAN your how” YOURfind CAKE AND



natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, one could ask the same question now. In De Lio’s case, where was God when deadly bacteria infected his body, nearly taking his life and resulting in the amputation of both of his legs? that article years to ago, one things of the questioned religious leaders artIn and décor. Learn value that take time replied that God was in the fi remen going up the stairs to rescue to be produced, appreciate the care and skill that go the people in the towers. It’s a response that to this date gives me into their making. Conservation can apply not only comfort. Likewise, now, God is in the rescue workers bringing to the natural world, but also to local, independent relief to Puerto Rico, Mexico and Florida. And God was in the businesses. We can become guardians of all doctors who fought to save Paul De Lio. He was with the family these things. and friends who prayed for De Lio’s life and later, for his recovery. Through creativity, weordeal, connect withis filled with Today, just a art fewand months after his De Lio nature and with one another. Visual art, fashion, positivity and gratitude. He is ready to help others find ways to literature, design, architecture, music, live with motivation. Dare I say, then, Goddance, also resides in De and science and technology are all human gifts Lio’s heart. See his story on page 32. weOf must preserve for future canmy thoughts course, it’s possible yougenerations. do not agreeWe with do better. We can find our We whyall and begin on the whereabouts of God. know thatwith one should not small Likeof a seed, intention can flourish intoare sensitive speak acts. casually politics or religion, for these action — actions teaching, empowering, topics (although the like weather isn’t exactly a safe topic anymore, sharing, creating, repairing either). But perhapstransforming, you will be interested in and our story about the Bahá’Í Faith, a relatively religion with 5 to 7 million uniting. There is hope for us tonew come into harmony adherents practising globally. If you believe thewe betterment of with our planet, together. That’s the dolcein vita the world,forin2021. unity,To love andend, service, you might find your place envision that we hope you take here. Bahá’Í’s believeofinthe equality of all sexes, races to heart the stories individuals featured in and creeds, and in the harmony of science and religion. Story on page 74. this issue. In Go this out day and and do age,something we could allgreat. use more unity, love Your why is and faith, regardless of what form it takes. May you enjoy this edition of waiting to be explored. City Life Magazine. It, like life, is yours toholiday experience and do We wish you and your family a blessed with what you will. and a stellar new year.

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Fernando Zerillo Co-Founder/Creative Director

@dolcemag / @amorebagstoronto / @fernandozerillo @dolcetweets @amorebagstoronto

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2060 Steeles Avenue W. Concord, Ont. FIND US ON SOCIAL MEDIA T. 416.667.8910 | F. 905.669.3665 @nimakitchens www.nimakitchens.ca @nimakitchens

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NIC VON RUPP: This danger man lives life on the edge, where threats meet thrills and challenges are opportunities to overcome fear


JANE GOODALL: Hero to the animals, crusader for the truth and visionary for our planet, Dolce appreciates a most remarkable life


JEWELRY: Shiny objects that sparkle and dazzle, and will beautifully reflect the lights and magic of the holiday season


AMEDEO & ROBERTO: Amedeo Scognamiglio opens up about the passing of his partner, his cherished memories and his many plans for the future


GULSHAN: The Londonbased influencer is the new breed of a social media maven, showing life’s luxuries with a captivating style

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STÉPHANIE COUTAS: The interior designer’s pied-a-terre in Paris is the definition of an urban oasis of design and style

COLOUR RETURNS: Bold, bright and beautiful, fashion, style and design are celebrating vibrant colours just when we need them the most

58 SICILIAN STYLE: Salvatore Vita displays the best of Italian chic and style via Instagram 62 GLAMPING: This family-owned oyster farm is a luxury retreat unlike any other More stories inside ...

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DISCOVER BRILLIANT, NEW LIGHTING CREATIONS Toronto’s premium destination for luxury lighting and décor. Committed to serving customers, interior designers and builders with the most discerning taste. Visit our store or shop online. 6260 Hwy. 7, Vaughan, Ont. | (905) 850-7978 | www.dolcelighting.ca

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Two exceptional automobiles: the 1938 two-seat Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Coupe and the and Aston Martin Victor and both feature leather interiors by Bridge of Weir

Exclusive Bugatti and Aston Martin featured at prestigious Concours of Elegance


here are many elements by which one can identify the world’s finest automobiles, but perhaps real leather interiors are the most distinguishing feature, which determines the highest in quality of handcrafted bespoke design and detailing. Since 1905, the Bridge of Weir Leather Company of Scotland has been one of the world’s most admired leather manufacturers, recognized for its innovation in technology and quality of leather material used in icons as diverse as the Ford Model T, the Eames Lounge Chair and the Concorde. Earlier this fall, the Bridge of Weir “icons” display at the Concours of Elegance featured some of the

world’s most exceptional supercars and classic cars, showcasing the distinctive craftsmanship and quality of Bridge of Weir’s leather. Begun in 17th-century France to showcase ornate carriages, the annual “Competition of Elegance” is where the world’s most prestigious vehicles are displayed and judged. This year, Bridge of Weir initiated The Design Award, honouring a one-of-one 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Coupe by Gangloff, which exemplifies remarkable exterior and interior design. The competition also featured the stunning debut of a oneoff Aston Martin Victor. Bridge of Weir was proud to have supported the famous British carmaker by being responsible for the hides used for its luxurious forest green leather interior.

For more than a century, Bridge of Weir Leather Company has continuously evolved, using the latest technology to produce the world’s lowest carbon leather. Only the finest hides sourced from the best heritage breeds are used, along with the purest of water, which, combined with generations of handfinished craftsmanship, produce the world’s finest Scottish leather. The excellence of Bridge of Weir leather used in the interiors of these world-famous automobiles is a comforting reassurance that, whatever is ahead of us, high quality and craftsmanship will always matter. www.bowleather.com @bridgeofweirleather

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Luxury retailer Cartier is the latest to join the United Nations initiative for animal conservation


t is most likely no coincidence that some of the world’s most respected and successful companies have a deep sense of corporate responsibility, giving back to help make Earth a better place. Such is the case with Cartier, one of the world’s leading luxury retailers. Cartier has become the latest global brand to join The Lion’s Share Fund, a program led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that connects brands, conservationists and consumers to tackle the crises in nature, biodiversity and climate. A coalition of businesses and UN partners, The Lion’s Share Fund aims to raise more than $100 million per year within the next five years to halt biodiversity loss and protect natural habitats by asking brands to contribute 0.5 per cent of their media budget every time an animal is featured in their advertisements.

Through extensive worldwide research by the UNDP, animals are shown to appear in approximately 20 per cent of all advertisements globally, yet despite this, animals do not always receive the support they deserve. The Lion’s Share Fund gives brands such as Cartier the opportunity to take urgent and significant action and play its part in protecting the planet. “The beauty of the natural world has always been a source of inspiration and creativity for Cartier’s timeless pieces,” says Cyrille Vigneron, president and CEO, Cartier International. “As citizens of the world, we believe it is our duty to protect its biodiversity and make an impact on wildlife conservation.” Launched in 2018, the fund already has helped eliminate elephant poaching in Mozambique, co-financed the purchase of land for critically endangered orangutans, elephants and tigers in

Indonesia and created an all-female team of forest rangers and the island’s first rhino sanctuary. All of this is even more important during this challenging time in Earth’s history. “The COVID-19 crisis is a stark reminder that we ignore our disruption of nature at our peril,” says UNDP administrator Achim Steiner. “But the crisis continues to show the potential of humans to act collectively, to address a shared global challenge.” According to its annual report, Cartier Philanthropy initiatives operate worldwide with more than 40 partnerships, including in 29 lowerincome countries. In the past seven years, it has invested more than 65 million Swiss francs, evenly split between health, nutrition, education, and water and sanitation initiatives. www.undp.org @UNDP

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Stylish spaces for stylish people




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The two-storey LED screens at the entrance, whimsical touches and backlit mesh screens throughout make Louis Vuitton a retail destination of choice at Yorkdale

Louis Vuitton’s new store at Toronto’s upscale Yorkdale Mall is a multicoloured and captivating ode to its Canadian hosts


s one of the world’s leading global luxury brands, the House of Louis Vuitton has never stopped reinventing the retailing environment and improving the retailing experience for its customers. A quintessential example is Louis Vuitton’s stunning new store, which opened in early October in Toronto’s high-end Yorkdale Mall. This is customer engagement on a new level, destined to become a focal point in the 270-store, two-million-square-foot shopping emporium. The grande facade is a two-storey LED screen, featuring illuminated animations of Louis Vuitton’s archetypal Monogram flower motif in ever-

changing colours, punctuated with dramatic and revealing double-height display windows. Correspondingly, there are two separate entrances on different levels leading into the dedicated women’s and men’s collections. While the men’s entrance features a sweeping wooden ceiling, the women’s entrance is a double-storey atrium with a skylight and canopy of Concertina Shades by Raw Edges from the Louis Vuitton Objects Nomades collection hanging over the top. It is the ideal introduction to the treasures which are housed inside. This store underlines Louis Vuitton’s continued presence in Canada by incorporating art and cultural elements designed specifically for this

Canadian celebration. Its innovative materials and architectural design reference the house’s history and craftsmanship, while carefully integrating that legacy with ultra-modern components. Columns feature prominently through the store, all wrapped in the emblematic Louis Vuitton leather complete with stitching, while the floors are finished in limestone and oak wood, predominate elements of the great Canadian outdoors. The new Yorkdale Louis Vuitton store includes a full offering of all the house’s products, including leather goods, travel, ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories, watches and jewelry, and publishing. www.louisvuitton.com @louisvuitton

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Peter Triantos Art Gallery New Location Opening Soon! You will be able to purchase unique, colourful collectable art pieces while you shop at the luxurious Yorkdale Mall.

WINTER 2020/21


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Creative, cosmopolitan and crushing it, Toronto offers an eclectic array of decadence and delicious in order to live the sweet life TEXT BY R ICK M U LLE R


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Discover la dolce vita by following us on @dolcemag

1. Artful style, modern décor and creative accents are yours to browse and can be found at Black Rooster Decor. www.blackroosterdecor.com 2. Inspired by Italy, Oretta presents authentic Italian fare with modern day classics, available for takeout or delivery. www.oretta.to 3. Lux matches, scented candles and floral artistry will leave you positively warm, glowing and beautiful on cold winter nights. www.teatroverde.com 4. Use art to stimulate your creative senses and improve the walls you’ve been starting at, while remembering a memorable year. www.tagto.ca 5. For the finest in Italian meats, cheeses, breads, chocolates and gift baskets, there is no better place to indulge than at Pusateri’s. www.pusateris.com

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  Since 2009 Ferrari & Associates has provided specialized insurance services with our team of highly skilled insurance professionals. Our core business is Commercial Insurance with a strong emphasis on construction, builders, contractors and bonding. Along with a multitude of specialized commercial insurance risks such as automotive repair and collision garages, specialty automotive(ex: driving schools), manufactures, retail operations, restaurants, real estate and media companies. Ferrari & Associates is capable of insuring local businesses around the corner to businesses with ofďŹ ces and facilities on a global scale. Along with our Commercial Insurance expertise, we have a team of expert Personal Insurance Specialist that are able to tackle some of the challenges of High Net Worth Individuals and families, be it exotic cars, classic cars, high valued homes and luxury condo packages. Our white glove approach ensures that we provide not only provide great advise and value, but provide the service many of our customers have become accustom to.

Enzo Ferrari Chairman & CEO eferrari@ferrariinsurance.ca

To round out all your insurance needs, Ferrari & Associates also has and extensive Life & Group BeneďŹ ts Division offering individuals, business and business owners a full range of life insurance, group employee beneďŹ ts and company pension plans. Discover how Ferrari & Associates can protect and support your insurance and ďŹ nancial needs.

Visit us at www.ferrariandassociates.ca to learn more or call 1-888-467-8989 WINTER 2020/21


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This is the time of year you can go over the top and sparkle



1. Looking for something different? Pomellato’s Tango necklace in rose gold and burnished silver with brilliant and rose-cut brown diamonds is simply bedazzling. www.pomellato.com 2. Bee your own kind of beautiful. Have some fun, don’t take life too seriously and remember to laugh — and don’t be afraid, as these adorable bee earrings won’t sting. www.joiejewelry.ca



3. It’s not stuffy, that’s for sure. Whimsical jewelry evokes the sight of flowers dancing in the breeze, and a ladybug coming to take a look. www.maisonbirks.com

4. Treat a special woman in your life to an original piece. If you work with Penwarden Fine Jewellery, there’s still time to create something extraordinary.



5. The classic Bon Ton collection of Pasquale Bruni is the symbol of an elegant lifestyle. The five-petal flower is superb for a romantic look with casual flair. us.pasqualebruni.com 6. These fun and flexible bracelets are ideal to match all of your casual looks. Choose the one you like the most or stack them all. www.finchcentrejewellers.com


7. Put a sun-shiny ring on it. Custom pieces, such as this natural fancy yellow diamond surrounded by a double halo, are available for the holidays. www.valentejewellers.com

8. Originally designed for Coco Chanel, the Maltese Cross Cuffs, featuring peridot, blue topaz and diamonds, are as stylish today as they were in the ’30s. www.verdura.com


9. It doesn’t get any better than this exclusive sublime necklace. It has everything: carved emeralds and rubies, cabochon sapphires, brilliantcut diamonds, 18-karat gold and platinum. www.davidwebb.com

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Fashion-forward and flamboyant, find something fabulous in the city that never sleeps TEXT BY CASSAN DRA G IAM MARCO





Discover la dolce vita by following us on @dolcemag




1. Known for delicate luxuries in small packages, Cartier goes grand in wrapping the building for the holidays. ca.cartier.com 2. A soaring landmark meant to be explored, The Vessel in Hudson Yards will have you seeing NYC in a whole new way. www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com 3. Creativity takes courage — and is easily found in Alice + Olivia’s rich jewel tones, bold designs and sequins. www.aliceandolivia.com 4. A true Manhattan energy comes from the shimmering atmosphere inside Baccarat Hotel and Residences. www.baccarathotels.com 5. Sourced from American small businesses, beautifully curated gift boxes from Panache Gift Shop are the perfectly personalized presents to give this season. www.panachegiftshop.com

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Life has been a winding road for Yseult, but she’s feeling good about herself, with nowhere to go but up now

The world got to know French electro-pop singer Yseult Onguenet as an 18-year-old, when she appeared on Nouvelle Star in 2013. Unfortunately, she lost in the final, but like many other participants in this kind of show, Yseult’s musical journey was just beginning



orn in Paris in the early 1990s, Yseult was immersed in a rich musical universe from a young age. But it was her participation on a reality-type TV show, the Nouvelle Star (a French TV show based on the popular Pop Idol TV series), that allowed the world to get to know her. In the first audition, Yseult tells everyone that she is skipping classes to audition in Paris, and she also reveals that her father forbade her to make music. It’s been a long road, but today that is a different story, as both of her parents are so proud of her. Right from the start, the viewers and the jury loved Yseult and her moving performances of “Papaoutai” and “Roar.” She rose to the final, where she lost to the winner, but a month later, she signed with Polydor Records and announced that she was already working on her first album. When it was released, she admitted she did not really like the album, a mix of electro-pop sounds. As a result,

she left the record label and went out on her own. Two years ago, Yseult left Paris and moved to Brussels. She wanted to prove to herself and her parents that she could be independent. And she has done just that, working on music about love, the past and independence. The artist works hard now, but she also controls her art. The rising star is trusting herself and taking her time. It took Yseult four years to release new music under her own label, YYY. Her EP Rouge was followed quickly by the EP Noir last year, which features her brave and moving autobiographical song “Corps,” with more than four million views on YouTube. Her lyrics talk about her naked body on the floor and hurting herself, then asking the way home. As the video progresses, more of her body is revealed. In the end, however, she is determined, adding that no matter what happens, she will find the keys to reason, coming to terms with herself and getting to a place where she is comfortable in her own skin. Yseult is already working on a followup, expanding on her thoughts. It’s not easy to

describe Yseult’s musical style, but, basically, it’s a mash-up of pop, trap, hip hop, soul, gospel and French chanson. She herself calls it “Y-Trap.” Yseult was scheduled to appear in many festivals this past summer, but, unfortunately, the novel coronavirus took that away from her. She’s active on social media, though, and in one bright spot, she opened for Balmain’s 75th anniversary show this past July in Paris. For Balmain’s couture show during the first-ever Paris Haute Couture Fashion week, creative director Olivier Rousteing presented an exclusive fashion show aboard a boat on the Seine River, which featured a beautiful musical performance by Yseult. And what a performance she gave. She stole the show on the Balmain boat, serenading onlookers on the banks and bridges with her stunning voice, as the barge, organized by Rousteing, cruised down the Seine. Her courage, her creativity, her music — all are lifting Yseult on her journey in life. For her, the sky is the limit now. @yseult___

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UNDETERRED There are times in life when one hears about events so horrific that they can only describe them as ‘incredible’ or ‘unbelievable.’ Judy Cohen, a Holocaust survivor, shares what it was like to be a part of one of history’s blackest, most ‘unbelievable’ moments WR ITTE N BY CECE M. SCOTT

Cohen, 92, is a speaker, advocate and author. She is also an outspoken champion of sharing the stories of women of the Holocaust

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he was 15½ years old when the horrors began. Her 16th birthday was marked in Poland’s AuschwitzBirkenau concentration camp, reportedly one of the worst Nazi death camps of the Second World War. There was, of course, no celebration, no cake, no balloons, no happy gathering of friends or presents from family members. In fact, Judy (Weissenberg) Cohen did not even know where some of her family members were — her parents, Margit and Sandor, or her brothers. Her sisters, Erzsebet, Klari and Evi, were in the camp with Cohen — their youngest sibling — and they surreptitiously whispered a “happy birthday” to her on that miserable September 17 day in 1944. Describing herself as an everyday Jewish school girl, Cohen lived in Debrecen, Hungary, with her family and her six siblings. It was a religious life, one that is common to modern Orthodox Jews. “There was nothing extraordinary about me,” Cohen says. “I was in high school, in Grade 9, my

An intimate journey of fear, courage, resilience and hope as told by Holocaust survivor, Judy Cohen




father owned a store and my mother looked after our big family. Although we were not rich, we lived quite comfortably. And while we Jewish citizens lived under the restrictions and edicts that were imposed by the Miklós Horthy regime starting in May 1938, our lives at that point were not in immediate peril.” Mischievous and determined, Cohen shares some of her childhood memories in her new book A Cry in Unison, published by the Azrieli Foundation (September 2020). In one of the stories, Cohen reminisces about coming home one night and telling her parents that she’d eaten the ear of a pig at a friend’s house, because she was told that while the pig itself was not kosher, the ear was OK to eat, as it was on the outside of the pig. The events leading up to the incarceration of Cohen, and the killing of 450,000 Hungarian Jews during the last 10 months of the Holocaust, were unequivocally insidious. All Jews were under strict orders to wear the Judenstern — a specified size, canary yellow Star of David that identified them as Jews. The removal and relocation of Jewish people from their homes and communities, to ghettos that were far removed from the general population, followed. Evacuees were allowed to take only the possessions that they could physically carry. What evolved — the deportation of a highly significant percentage of the Jewish population to what can only be described as a horrific, hard-to-believe nightmare to the Nazi concentration camps — was unimaginable and shameful. The names of these death camps, which are carved into history, and the prisoners’ identity numbers, which were carved into their arms, not to mention their souls, resonate: Auschwitz-Birkenau; Bergen-Belsen (where Anne Frank and her sister Margot died); Aschersleben, a slave-labour camp that was a subcamp of Buchenwald; Belzec; Chelmno; Majdanek; Sobibor; and Treblinka. On June 29, 1944, the Jews living in Debrecen — young, old and everyone in-between — were rounded up and shoved into cattle cars by Hungarian soldiers. Most of the young and fit Jewish adult males between the ages of 18 and 48, that is, all the husbands, fathers, sons and brothers, had already been conscripted into the Hungarian army’s slave labour units, including three of Cohen’s brothers. “Seventy-eight of us were jammed into one cattle car,” Cohen says. “Women carrying babies tried to find a place to sit down. My three sisters and I stood — it was incredibly hot. The atmosphere was ominous; there was a definite sense of dread in the air, that something quite frightening was about to happen.” The trip lasted two or three days. With neither a calendar nor a watch, Cohen is unsure of how much time had passed. Seventy-eight people had to share one pail of water each day and also one pail into which they all defecated. It was an extremely hot time of year, and within a few


hours the smell of both the frightened, sweaty hostages and the uncovered toilet pail were virtually unbearable. “It is so very hard to describe,” Cohen says. “What I remember is the feelings — the frightening atmosphere. My father was a religious man, and he was praying, but I don’t even think he thought it would help.” When the cattle car clattered to a halt, and the doors slid open at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, Cohen remembers being relieved just to have the opportunity to breathe in some fresh air. But that moment did not last long. The prisoners were hurriedly pushed into formation by two guards, who were yelling at them in Yiddish and German as they got ready to effect what was known as the “selection” process: a procedure that separated the young and healthy from the old and sickly. Cohen distinctly remembers an unusual occurrence, where a prisoner guard whispered quietly to the women who had babies in their arms, urging them to give their child to the grandmothers or the older women without telling them the reason. At the time she had no idea why. But decades later, through research, Cohen found out that these prisoner workmen, who were known as the Kanada Kommando, whose job it was to get all of the prisoners out of the cattle cars, knew that the grandmothers, children, babies and visibly pregnant women would be immediately killed in the gas chambers, an effective mode of killing people en masse — up to 700 people in 20 minutes — without impacting the mental and psychological well-being of their executioners. The young mothers who were not carrying their children would be saved — at least for the time being — for their hard-labour usefulness. “That was the intent of the Kanada Kommando — to save the lives of the young mothers,” Cohen says. “For the longest time, we (the prisoners) could not identify what the unfamiliar, incredibly putrid smell in the air was,” Cohen says. “We found out, through rumours, that the gas chambers were killing people faster than the crematoriums could accommodate; they did not have the capacity to burn the large volume of bodies. So, the ‘surplus’ bodies that had been gassed were being burned in open pyres — that was the odour we inhaled day and night,” she says. “Realizing that we were inhaling the smell of all the people who had been murdered, including my parents, was devastating. How we kept going, we don’t understand that ourselves. But, we had few choices. We either committed suicide by throwing ourselves on the electrified fence, or we kept going as we struggled with the starvation, with the fear of being gassed any minute of the day or the fear of being separated by selections from our sisters or mothers.” While Cohen and her sisters were together in the camp at the beginning, they were eventually separated during the selections by Nazi doctors. Dr. Mengele and some of his colleagues were the

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were given nothing to survive on, not even a drop of water to sustain us. We surreptitiously dug out whatever was growing by the sides of the road. We raided garbage cans when we went through small towns. I honestly don’t know how we even survived; although, many of us didn’t. There were 500 of us at the start, but by the time we were liberated, there were only about 200 of us left,” says Cohen. “It definitely helped that the three of us — the Feig sisters and myself — were together. If one of us failed — sat down or said that we couldn’t go any farther — the others would pick us up.”




inspectors, and any sign that a prisoner was unwell signified the death knell for that person — they were slated for the gas chamber. “I was the youngest of my four sisters, and when three of them were selected out of Birkenau, I was left alone. Eventually, however, while on a transport to another concentration camp, I met up with the Feig sisters — Edit and Sari — whom I knew well from Debrecen,” Cohen says. “I asked Edit and Sari if I could be their lagerschwester, their ‘camp sister.’ The answer was a quick and unhesitant ‘yes.’ They saw how sick, depressed and lost I was. They told me to stick with them, that they would look out for me. I wasn’t getting any medication. But somehow I got better. Being accepted as a third sister really helped me to survive.” The cry in unison, for which Cohen’s book is titled, is a metaphor for the shared agony of hundreds of women prisoners in Birkenau, who “burst out in a cry — in unison” as one woman prisoner began to recite the “Kol Nidre” prayer on the most poignant of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur. “This heart-rending sound has stayed with me all of my life,” Cohen says. At some point in fall 1944, bad news, which was the very breath of Auschwitz, befell Cohen. She, along with a group of other prisoners, had been selected to be gassed. “I was extremely sick that day. I had a high fever and strong dysentery. I was totally out of it. A group of us were ordered to sit on the ground naked. The guards took away our clothing and my leather shoes, which were the only things that I still had from home,” Cohen reminisces. “I had no idea what was happening around me. And it was just as well that I didn’t know.” In a miraculous turn of fate, Cohen was spared. In late December 1944, she volunteered to work at an airplane factory in Aschersleben, Germany. “It was the first time that I’d had the opportunity to make a decision as to where I was going,” Cohen says. Conditions were marginally better at this new camp, a situation that gave Cohen hope that she could and would survive. However, after a huge bombardment one fateful evening, the factory where she was working was virtually destroyed. “There was no more work, and it was dangerous not having a job,” Cohen says. “We were told by high-ranking Nazi military officials that we had to leave the Aschersleben labour camp. We heard that there were orders to take us to the Buchenwald death camp to be executed. But the war was coming to an end, and those Nazi military leaders decided not to follow through on the execution order. Instead, we were sent on a forced march to nowhere (the march was approximately 100 kilometres), which ultimately turned out to be a death march,” she says. “We

On a sunny Saturday in May 1945, Cohen and the rest of her group were liberated. They were told by the militia that if they took one road, a walk of 10 kilometres, they would meet up with the Soviets; the other road, which was six kilometres the other way, would take them to the American camp. The American camp was four kilometres closer, so Cohen chose that road. It was a decision, a choice, which would forever impact her future and success. After the war, Cohen spent two years in the Displaced Persons (DP) camp in Bergen-Belsen, where she was reunited with her brother Laci and sister. Two of Cohen’s other sisters died from starvation. Of the seven Weissenberg children, only three survived the Nazi devastation. But, the DP camp provided food, medicine and the basic necessities of life, as well as skills training to the detainees. “We were born-again human beings,” Cohen says. “There were people from a myriad of countries, and we were all Jews

connected by our religion and the Nazi selection. We talked incessantly about the Holocaust, the painful memories, the terrible stories that we had all experienced. But by the time we’d left the Displaced Person camp in Germany and settled down into a ‘normal’ life in Montreal, we no longer talked about it,” she says. “People were simply not interested. They had their own complaints, which seemed inane: how they didn’t have enough butter and other such things during the war, which, compared to the unimaginable suffering of the Holocaust, were hard to sympathize with.” Life questions abounded for Cohen and her siblings: “Where were they going to go when they left the DP camp? How were they going to move on from not only where they had been, but also from what they had experienced? How were they ever going to repair the tears in their soul?” While Sweden and France welcomed Jewish immigrants, it was not until 1947–48 that Canada opened its doors to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. “I experienced all of the difficulties that other immigrants do, with the language and life skills being the first ones. But, there was also the emotional and psychological scars to deal with as a survivor of the Holocaust,” Cohen says. “No one wanted to hear about our stories; no one had the time to listen. But, in 1961, when Adolf Eichmann, a German Nazi high-ranking official and a major Holocaust organizer, went on trial in Israel, the whole issue came to the surface again, with all its horrors and complexities. Survivors of the Holocaust became living witnesses and public speakers about the atrocities they experienced.” Cohen and her sister and brother went on to live what she describes as a normal, successful and even happy life. She met her husband, Sidney, in 1959 when she was 32. They had two children, Michelle and Jonathan. “Sidney was Canadian-born,” Cohen says. “So we didn’t speak a great deal about my experiences in the camps or the Holocaust. I didn’t want to frighten my children, either, so I was very careful and sensitive to their ages when telling them about the Holocaust. I did not want them to be afraid to be Jews.” After she retired from work, Cohen became a public speaker, sharing her experiences around the Holocaust. Recognizing that women were an important part of the resistance, both during the war and during the Holocaust, Cohen made the decision in 2000 to launch a website to tell their stories. “All Jews suffered from the racial issue of being Jewish,” Cohen says. “But, nobody at that point had thought of it in terms of gender. Then, scholars started to read some of the Holocaust memoirs written by women and found that they had suffered different horrors than men. The fact that women would have babies and carry on the

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Jewish lineage was a threat to the Nazis,” she says. “Females had to be destroyed — every pregnant woman — and that is what the Nazis set out to do.” Cohen became quite interested in this particular issue, and with the help of Jonathan she created a website in 2001, Women and the Holocaust: A Cyberspace of Their Own (www.theverylongview. com/WATH/), to bring the story of women who survived and of those who did not to the forefront, highlighting the specific extreme cruelty and the violence that took place in the death camps. The website is meant to be a bridge between academia and the general public, especially students, with the ultimate intention of being a strong teaching aid. Feisty, determined and with a crystal-clear memory for both dates and details, Cohen, who turned 92 on September 17 of this year, just one day shy of the start of Rosh Hashanah, has denied the Nazis the exact things that they ached to take from her: a zest for life and a passionate voice that keeps the world informed, cognizant of what happened to Jewish people and prisoners during the Second World War. She is also passionately vocal as to what is happening with both Holocaust naysayers and those who are driven by prejudice. Cohen has been an unfailing champion of bringing awareness to the violence and suffering that women endured in the Nazi camps. She has spoken at conferences and networked with scholars and survivors, inviting them to be vocal and to share their stories. And Cohen is vocally chagrined that Fascism has become fashionable in so many countries. “I can see from what is going on in the world today — some countries, in particular — just how the Nazis were able to gain power all those years ago. The incessant propaganda and the destructive elements in society are being encouraged to spew their hatred and advocate for intolerance, nationalism and religious discourse,” Cohen says. “So many hate groups have evolved, and people are identifying with them. Ethnic animosities are being ignited again. Nobody is learning — the power-brokers, the ones who make the major decisions — have not learned from the Holocaust. The lesson of the Holocaust is not the horrors, per se; the relevant lesson is about the political, social and judicial processes that evolved into the path that led to Fascism, Nazism and eventually to the gas chambers,” she says. “Once citizens are deprived of basic human rights, it is a spiral that evolves into more injustices; ideologies are accepted and civil societies acquiesce. But, when the populace objects, there is an awareness as to what is happening. In the end, it is about the democratic process,” says Cohen. “The situation that I was in, that I experienced, was so brutal that it is hard for a normal human being to fathom that another human being could do those things.” memoirs.azrielifoundation.org

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SUSTAINING BEAUTY: HOW PAUL RAFF STUDIO ARCHITECTS SUCCEED BY BEING ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE Given that materials such as brick, glass and concrete are used in building, new thinking is needed, and this is where Paul Raff Studio is being socially conscious and globally minded WR ITTE N BY R ICK M U LLE R

Paul Raff, Knob Portrait: President Trump, 2020. Doorknobs mounted on wood. 36 x 54 inches (91.44 x 137.16 cm) Framed 38 x 56 inches (96.52 x 142.24 cm)

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Paul Raff and his studio of architects are leading in the transformational field of being architecturally aware of the environment when designing and creating




ustainability has now become part of our everyday thinking and ongoing dialogue — sustainability of our food supply, climate, natural resources, water systems and irrigation, and even our delicate ecosystems. We have been blessed by a good Earth and have one shot at keeping it sustainable by our own actions, especially for those who will inherit it. But what about “sustainable architecture”? The notion seems odd at first, given the materials such as brick, glass, steel and concrete that are used in building. But how thought is given to the permanence of architecture and building is where sustainable architecture flourishes, and where Paul Raff Studio architects of Toronto are leading in this transformational field, being architecturally aware of the environment when designing and creating. “The idea of just reducing everything and living with less is never going to fly with people on the whole to make sustainability palatable with the masses,” says Raff in a recent interview with Dolce. “We need to figure out how to be sustainable and deliver more. More fresh air, more quality places to live, work and go to school. We simply need to find a way to be sustainable and deliver more.” Raff ’s natural affinity for the environment is a byproduct of growing up on the expanse of Canada’s Prairies. “I spent my childhood on the Prairies and I’ve always been interested in the physical world around me, the environment, the buildings and the landscapes,” he says. It has led his award-winning firm to always think of energy efficiency and sustainability when designing homes, multi-unit developments and even large municipal buildings. “Any building or place that works really well, that functions well, is inherently more sustainable, because it is a better use of resources,” says Raff. “I myself focus a lot on energy efficiency and associated carbon footprints. Buildings and construction actually use more energy than the entire transportation sector, and everyone can do their part by enhancing the energy performance of their building, through insulation and solar efficiency.” Raff began his career by practising to be both an artist and an architect, and he completed several pieces of installation art before creating Paul Raff Studio, after having worked in New York, Barcelona, Spain, and Hong Kong. The studio has created projects in Canada, Asia, the United States, South America and the Caribbean and takes pride in being socially conscious and globally minded. “Working internationally and designing for different climates is like learning different languages,” says Raff. “It gives you a better appreciation for things, and I love it all. I am very interested in history. It’s not about the current trend; it is always about the larger picture.” Paul Raff Studio is internationally recognized for its passion for culture, which enriches its

perspective and by which applies an informed approach to art, architecture and sustainability. Its projects are conceived for each particular situation, and the studio creates a vision of the highest calibre, with thoughtful and evocative designs, be it such world-class projects as the Chinese vice-president’s house in Shanghai or awardwinning designs for waterfronts in both Barcelona and Toronto. Even a utilitarian building such as a commuter subway station gets the special Paul Raff Studio crafting for achieving exceptional value and architectural quality. Among Raff ’s recent personal favourite projects is the Atmospheric Lens feature at the Toronto Transit Commission’s Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station, located just north of Toronto. This architecturally integrated artwork is a series of polished steel mirrors in the convex ceiling, reflecting life inside the station. Commuters moving under the “lens” see their reflections in the mirrors above, themselves becoming part of the ever-changing atmosphere of the station. It won Paul Raff Studio the prestigious 2018 global CODAworx Award, celebrating design projects featuring commissioned artworks. In 2001, Raff became the youngest-ever

recipient of the Ontario Association of Architects’ Allied Arts Award for lifetime achievement, and his studio’s designs have been recognized with numerous awards from the highest authorities, including the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts. More recently, Raff has further pushed the creative envelope by designing a portrait of U.S. President Donald Trump. The portrait is made up of thousands of doorknobs, purchased at Ikea and made in China. The idea is to sell this distinctive piece to raise funds for Casey House, a hospice for those living with HIV-AIDS, which is located not far from Raff ’s office in Toronto. Not meant as a political statement, Raff explains that “it’s meant to help us all stand back and reflect on him and the time in the world right now.” Raff — part artist, part architect, full-time creator — will always keep innovating and exploring through his commitment to sustainability and the fascinating results that brings. “In every project I do, thinking about issues such as sustainability can actually drive beautiful solutions.” www.paulraffstudio.com @paulraffstudio

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Each room is exclusively styled in this exceptional location: the designer and decorator played with the signature Haussmannian style to create a warm and inviting family home

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When you have a pied-à-terre in one of the loveliest areas in Paris, with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and you are looking to create a chic yet cozy home, then you turn to one of the leading interior designers in the world, Stéphanie Coutas I NTE RVI EW BY DON NA PAR I S

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Coutas showcases her love of fine materials in all of her designs. Exhibit A: the lush bedroom filled with textures, light and striking design elements

he beautiful space is like something out of the movies — only it is the real deal. Steps from the Eiffel Tower on the famed Trocadéro, in the 16th arrondissement, the home is an homage to the owners’ wholly contemporary spirit, featuring a view of the Eiffel Tower. In fact, Trocadéro offers some of the best views, as well as housing prestigious museums, splendid gardens and ornamental fountains. This is the place to go for a stroll in the City of Lights, and history buffs will be delighted to know that the name Trocadéro comes from a battle led by Napoleon in Spain in the early 1800s. The 220-square-metre abode, belonging to two globetrotting art collectors who were looking to make the most of the gorgeous place, is not only memorable but, well, simply breathtaking. Understandably, the homeowners wanted only the best for their living quarters. And, so they turned to Stéphanie Coutas, one of the top interior designers in the world, whose agency of the same name consists of an international team of professionals. Architects, interior designers and decorators all work closely together with leading craftspeople and renowned artists. Apartment, pied-à-terre, penthouse, hotel, spa, restaurant — Coutas’s agency has managed numerous international projects from the design to delivery, all to international acclaim. Designing plush yet modern spaces, Coutas creates a fresh take on distinct heritage and culture, while subtly infusing her love of romanticism with unparalleled craftsmanship. Her work brings the neoclassical into the contemporary, emanating an enduring elegance. She expresses her talent through three cardinal values: elegance, joie de vivre and comfort. It all starts by sweating the small stuff. At every stage, the attention to detail is exceptional, and Coutas’s desire to manage each phase of a project ensures its flawless completion. Every project is different, yet they all share a common feature: the exemplary quality of the chosen finishes. This project was a collaboration borne of a mutual admiration and a professional love-atfirst-sight meeting between Coutas and her client, Kate. Coutas was given carte blanche to design a classically Parisian space, albeit with a distinct sense of creativity and tone. In this remarkable location, the designer and decorator played with the signature Haussmannian style to create a warm and inviting family home. Each room is uncommonly styled, mixing contemporary art with luxury materials. Coutas has a way of blending cultures and materials to create plush and modern spaces, with luxurious results that are

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Left: Mirrors expand the spaces, and plush rugs and rich fabrics are ideal in a cosy bedroom, while accessories inject a sense of fun Right: Coutas loves the clean, fresh design of the kitchen space, which flows seamlessly into the openplan living area




never ostentatious, and perhaps this is a nod to her childhood, which was spent abroad, much of it in Asia. Combining a love of life with undeniable elegance, Coutas did what she does best in designing this playful pied-à-terre, with which even the most discerning Parisian would fall in love. Luscious velvets combine with graphic floorings that envelop the space with just the right amount of focus and line, while sumptuous textures suggest an effortless serenity, ideally positioned for an unquestionably chic home-away-from-home. Take the kitchen, with a suspended central island, and with clean lines blending imperceptibly into the open-plan living room. The Versailles parquet flooring contrasts beautifully with the white marble entrance and extra-large mirror, which opens up the space and seems to defy physical boundaries. Moving on to the bedroom, this is a place where one immediately feels a sense of calm come over them, with fabrics and textures enhancing the restorative space. The master bedroom boasts a 15-metre-long pelmet allowing for a clean look; sea-green curtains add richness in a variety of velvety tones and textures; rich, dark grey-flocked

velvet wallpaper adorns hand-moulded and assembled wall panels; and there’s a custom-made pedestal table in Galuchat cowhide. All contribute to the lush, quieting environment. And then we move into Coutas’s favourite living space in every home — the bathroom. For her, it’s where she likes to relax after a day at work. Signature to her style, Coutas has utilized noble materials throughout the master bathroom, including noteworthy marble and crystal, echoing the same lustrous tones of cream and gold adorning the master bedroom. Woven glass, wood and polished brass are found in the boutique-like dressing space, with style and taste to rival any fashion atelier found on the Avenue Montaigne. The green Antigua marble found in the bathroom further complements the selection of luxury materials. And, last but not least, Coutas makes a final daring statement with the dressing room, combining precious wood, brass and mirrors, ensuring it’s never viewed as simply an afterthought, but as a wonderful place, instead, to get ready to face the day or to slip into something more comfortable in the evening. www.stephaniecoutas.com @stephaniecoutas

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Throughout his career, Hani Roustom has helped shape some of the world’s most renowned hospitality brands. Today, he’s managing director of The Hazelton hotel, Toronto’s finest five-star luxury establishment





or Hani Roustom, hospitality isn’t something you learn. Rather, it’s a mindset founded on the idea of taking genuine care of the people you’re serving. “I have always looked at hospitality as an act of love,” says Roustom, whose career in the sector has spanned more than 25 years. “In order for you to be able to be in hospitality, you need to be able to love everyone — without discrimination.” Roustom was born in Lebanon, but took his first step into the world of hospitality at age 18, when he left for the island of Cyprus to study the subject. Since then, he’s propelled his career forward. Roustom worked on cruise ships for five years, visiting locations from the coasts of Africa to the Mediterranean, falling in love with travel and culture. After, he relocated to the United States, and in 2006 he completed his master’s degree in hospitality management. Since that time, he’s worked with brands such as the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C., comprising part of the team that opened a new flagship hotel in the brand’s hometown. Roustom joined the ShangriLa Hotel in Toronto soon after.

Today, all of those experiences — both professional and personal — combine in his role as managing director at Toronto’s The Hazelton hotel. Situated in the heart of Yorkville, it’s Toronto’s first luxury boutique hotel and offers

more than 70 luxurious rooms and suites. When Roustom started work there, the hotel sat at a respectable No. 23 on the list of Tripadvisor’s top hotels in Toronto. Within six months, he and his team elevated it to the No. 1 position, where it has remained for four years. “A lot of people ask about the secret behind being the No. 1 hotel. It’s the general service we aspire to deliver, day in, day out,” Roustom explains. “Being No. 1 or No. 2 is a reflection of the guest experience. I really give credit to the amazing team we have — passionate, driven hoteliers who give their best every single day.” Alongside celebrating the four-year Tripadvisor milestone, The Hazelton recently completed a large renovation, bringing a renewed vision to the restaurant, bar, lobby and rooms. To achieve this, staff worked with the hotel’s original designers, Yabu Pushelberg, not just as a nod to the establishment’s history, but also so it was in keeping with the local, Canadian ethos of the brand. “We started renovations before COVID-19. We’re almost there and super-excited we’re at this stage and launching a new vision,” Roustom

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Within six months of joining The Hazelton hotel, Roustom had propelled it to Tripadvisor’s No. 1 hotel in Toronto

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says. “There’s been a lot of meticulous views of the renovation details and process, and we can’t wait to share the new look of the property with guests and the city.” The pandemic has changed the world in which we live, hitting the hospitality industry particularly hard. With The Hazelton shutting its own doors in March 2020, it’s a realization Roustom has had to deal with. But, as someone who believes people in hospitality are “life-loving optimists,” he looked at how he could turn this closure into an opportunity to help the community. That opportunity was realized as #HazeltonCares, an initiative launched to provide front-line workers and those in need with meals fresh from the hotel’s ONE Restaurant kitchen. Within the first two months of setting up #HazeltonCares, they had provided more than 1,000 meals to local churches, community centres, shelters and hospital health-care workers.

“It was born from our team’s want to help and do something that was beneficial in this time of crisis,” Roustom explains. “As soon as the hotel closed its doors, the first question on top of the team’s mind was, ‘How can we help our city?’ It was a consensus to launch #HazeltonCares.” While Roustom is busy at The Hazelton, he’s also a father of three and finds there are similarities when it comes to managing a team at work and a younger team at home, with his wife. “One aspect I adore about being a managing director is being a mentor,” Roustom shares. “I look at mentorship as a way of giving back and sharing life and work with your team members. As a father of three kids who are trying to be inquisitive, you find yourself putting that mentorship and guidance hat on and trying to help them discover themselves and question themselves as well.” There’s no denying Roustom is passionate about what he does. Indeed, when we asked what

his definition of la dolce vita was, he said it was “being a hotelier and an avid traveller. The good life is the ability to explore and discover the beauty of our universe, a moment of true inspiration. The last time I felt so was when I stood on the point of Utah’s Angels Landing.” It’s also clear that when you talk to Roustom, his passion is born from a place of love, which, as the interview began, is where he chooses to close it. “As long as we continue focusing on [hospitality being an act of love] and do our best to really exceed expectations of our guests and really extend that love and genuine care for them at every stage, then we’ve achieved the goal of our presence and our brand. Success follows excellence — not the other way around.” www.thehazeltonhotel.com @HazeltonTO @haniroustom

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When COVID-19 forced The Hazelton to shut its doors in March 2020, Roustom and the team used the hotel as an opportunity to help the community



A selection of scents inspired by private rose gardens and dawn, bringing together notes from all corners of the globe WR ITTE N BY JOS H WALKE R

THE ALCHEMIST’S GARDEN, A MIDNIGHT STROLL, BY GUCCI Incense-scented and created to be layered and combined with other fragrances. Finished with notes of smoky cade wood and cypress. www.gucci.com

K, BY DOLCE & GABBANA A delicate blend of Sicilian lemon and Mediterranean blood orange that results in an elegant scent to take you to other places. www.dolcegabbana.com

ROSE DE GRASSE D’OR, BY ESTÉE LAUDER Take the timelessness of the rose and its symbolism of beauty and femininity, and blend it with a top note of ambrette seeds. www.esteelauder.ca

ROSE PRICK, BY TOM FORD Inspired by Tom Ford’s private rose garden, Rose Prick seeks to fuse the beauty of a rose’s petals with the sharpness of its thorns. www.tomford.com

SUPERSTITIOUS, BY DOMINIQUE ROPION A free-flowing fragrance crafted with Turkish rose, Egyptian jasmine, peach, patchouli and Haitian vetiver. www.fredericmalle.com

DAWN, BY CARLOS BENAÏM Capture the moments before the sun with a simple but powerful scent of vibrant frankincense and warm oak moss. www.fredericmalle.com

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Q. Tell us a bit about you. I was born in the U.K. and have spent most of my life living in London. I studied at Cambridge University and Harvard Business School and worked in investment banking and then private equity. I travelled extensively with my work and have lived in a few different cities, including Boston and New York. I started my Instagram account a few years ago as a pastime and love to showcase life in London. As my following has grown, I have been lucky to work with some of my favourite luxury brands and inspirational entrepreneurs. Through my Instagram account, I share beautiful images and celebrate the artistry of the creative people with whom I partner.


Gulshan is a London-based influencer. Her Instagram account @GulshanLondon has more than 175,000 followers and celebrates the vibrancy of life in London I NTE RVI EW BY M ICH E LLE Z E R I LLO -SOSA

Q. What are some of the things you aspire to do in the near future? In the short term, I am looking forward to working on my new channels. I recently launched my website, www.gulshanlondon.com, which I hope will allow me to share a wider range of content with my followers. Instagram is a wonderful medium; however, there is only so much you can communicate with photographs and short captions. I enjoy writing in long form, and, along with more extensive lifestyle, fashion and beauty content, I am most excited about

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What started as a pastime for Gulshan has grown into a career, where she works with luxury brands and inspirational entrepreneurs

Q. What are some things that have helped you reach your success as an influencer? Consistency is particularly important; I have been posting every day for years and communicate with my followers on a daily basis. I have had a clear theme and style from the beginning of my journey, which I have largely stuck to; however, my Instagram has also evolved, based on what my followers enjoy most, and I have adapted my content to current trends. Social media can be tough, and you need to be resilient. It’s crucial not to place importance on negative engagement. Sometimes you can spend a lot of time and effort creating content to which your audience does not respond. Growing an audience is a continual learning process; there is an element of luck to social media algorithms, so it’s not always the highest quality content that performs the best. I enjoy creating my own vision. I don’t get distracted by what others are doing, and I stay focused on my own goals.

Gulshan captures beautiful images and showcases the city and lovely spots as they change with the seasons

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Gulshan started her Instagram account as a pastime and loves to showcase life in London

wonderful mothers. Growing up, I saw how hard they all studied and, later, I watched with admiration as they managed their demanding careers alongside raising their families. My respect for them continues with the new generation. My eldest niece is an exceptionally gifted and humble young woman who is training to be a doctor. My biggest role model, however, is my mother. Her life has been dedicated to tirelessly helping others, whether it was supporting her family, those in the community or with charitable causes.

Q. Growing up, you have had a lot of female role models in your family. What are some of the qualities that you admire most in them? That is a difficult question to answer concisely. I have been blessed to be surrounded by many strong women. I have four sisters: two are doctors, and two are lawyers. They are all incredibly successful in their respective fields and are also




sharing interviews with inspirational women. I wish to create a space where people can escape and be inspired, especially by women who are shaping the future. My goal is to champion femaleand minority-owned businesses, especially those who are pioneers in their fields.

Q. What are some things you love to do in London? There is always something new in London, and there is something here for everyone, regardless of your interests. My favourite things to do in the city are the everyday things: going for a walk in Kensington Gardens, browsing flowers at Neill Strain’s boutique in Belgravia, getting cupcakes at Peggy Porschen’s parlour on the King’s Road or wandering around the endless food halls at Harrods. I enjoy capturing the city as it continuously changes with the seasons. During spring, I love to photograph all of the blossoms as London bursts into a riot of colours. During summer, there is the Chelsea Flower Show, where Chelsea and Mayfair dress their stores in stunning floral installations. During autumn, the city turns into golden hues of red and yellows, and, of course, winter brings spectacular Christmas decorations. Q. What is your definition of la dolce vita (the sweet life)? My perspective of the sweet life is very simple: it is enjoying quality time with your family and your friends — sharing a home-cooked meal together or a great cup of coffee. It is the luxury of having the time to pause and enjoy the company of those you love.

www.gulshanlondon.com @gulshanlondon

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COLOUR. IT’S NICE TO SEE YOU BACK It’s the newest trend this year: A fearless mash-up of bold colours and patterns leads the way PHOTOG RAPHY BY OLIVE R RAU H


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Blouse: VAN LAACK Sunglasses: BOTTEGA VENETA Earrings: YULYAFFAIRS Veste: SOPHIE SCHNOOR Stulps: COS Leather pants: 8 BY YOOX Shoes: MAX MARA

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Hatpiece: SPATZ Scarf: BEGG & CO Turtleneck: WOLFORD Suit: MARC CAIN

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Photographer: Oliver Rauh Production: Oliver Rauh Styling: Samir Abou-Suede & Oliver Rauh Makeup & hair: Suzana Santalab @ Agency Bigoudi using Paul Mitchell & Fenty Beauty Digital operator: Daniel Peter Schulz Retouch: Christoph Maleh Model: Lara @ Promod Location: The Heart House, Munich


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A five-year program renewal allows The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute to curate top international fashion designers


ow does creativity survive a pandemic? In a discipline that requires human engagement and the stimulation brought forth from social activity, what impact does “social distancing” and staying home have on the creative process, particularly for those involved in the arts and fashion design industries? It’s a real question that Suzanne Rogers, honorary patron of The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute (SRFI) at Toronto’s Ryerson University, considered, as the SRFI recently announced a five-year program renewal that will continue to foster Canada’s exceptional world-class fashion design talent. “I think people have to become more creative during this time,” says Rogers. “Today, designers are more focused on sustainability, as you can’t go out and shop for clothes. They are working with recycled fabrics, redesigning vintage clothing. Sustainability is important right now, using what you have in order to design a collection. The pandemic is a speed bump; it will end, and things will improve. This has been a great challenge on how to do things differently.” Robert Ott, director of the SRFI, says the pandemic is yet another example of how creativity prevails in compromising times. “In fashion, designers have looked to new ways to design, create and share fashion. Creativity is the natural human response to adversity by bringing us together and allowing us to share common feelings and providing an outlet to escape these trying times.” This second gift of $1 million from The Edward and Suzanne Rogers Foundation continues to enable design students and recent alumni from the School of Fashion in Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication & Design to nurture their talents and build upon their academic achievements. Founded in 2016, the SRFI is a fellowship program designed to promote, inspire, educate and invest in third- and fourth-year fashion design students to

elevate their creative potential to pursue national and international opportunities. This is especially important because in Canada, unlike the British Design Council, government support is lacking, and designers need the stepping stone the SRFI provides. “The world knows about Canadian music, acting and comedy, and I think the government should support our incredible designers in a stronger way,” says Rogers. “Because there are no scholarships or financial support, it can get very discouraging, and many design students get lost, work in retail and choose another path.” “What I’ve done is, bridge the gap with financial support that perhaps helps them study abroad or get international work. The results speak for themselves, as the proof is in the many achievements of our fellows. Fashion is a huge worldwide industry, and Canada should play a bigger role. And there is no reason we can’t,” she says. Rogers, who has been described as “the fairy godmother of Canadian fashion,” works tirelessly to support young designers in the Canadian fashion industry by giving her time, effort, expertise and guidance, and her patronage of the SRFI is yet another example of giving back and mentoring the institute’s brilliant talent. She is especially encouraging to young people during these challenging times. “Keep on being creative, because creativity does prevail,” she advises. “You have to adapt to the world and think of new ways to engage audiences. We still have to keep going and we still need to work together. Self-care is important during this time. Don’t get lost in the heaviness.” “The generosity of the Rogers family and the Rogers Communications Inc. entities have changed the lives of hundreds of students from across our university,” says Ryerson University president and vice-chancellor Mohamed Lachemi. “From research chairs to scholarships to capital donations, their contributions have been

instrumental to building Ryerson’s reputation as a leader in innovative education.” While these turbulent times have been challenging, Ott sees many young designers as resilient, adaptive and eager to take a challenge and turn it into opportunity. “Some have turned to social media as a retail platform to sell small product drops, with an emphasis on storytelling,” observes Ott. “Others have looked at ways to transform existing products into new fashion pieces. Now is the time for young designers to demonstrate their perseverance, regardless of what life throws at them.” As a long-time observer of fashion style and trends in the industry, Rogers has no doubt, much like how the Depression or world wars influenced fashion design, we’ll look back someday and be able to identify today’s emerging fashion style as a result of the pandemic. “After the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 came the Roaring Twenties and the dresses, hats and hairstyles of the flapper era, as there was a huge shift in culture,” says Rogers. “Now, everyone is casual, but when this is over people will be happy to go out more and celebrate more, and fashion will reflect that. People will be ready to go out and enjoy life again, and dressing up is a big part of that. There may be a surge of creativity, and I think we’re going to be in for a pleasant surprise.” This optimism is part of the tone of encouragement that Rogers has brought to the SRFI. The resources provided by The Edward and Suzanne Rogers Foundation will empower emerging Canadian designers to continue to make their mark in the international world of high fashion design, ensuring that creativity can not only endure, but also flourish during challenging times. www.srfi.ca @srfi_ru www.suzannerogerspresents.com @suzannerogerstoronto

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Rogers is one of the leading ladies of international fashion and style, and a mentor to some of the brightest young designers




— Suzanne Rogers

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The current McCarthy home is an 8,000-square-foot ultra-modern showpiece located at Kingscross Estates, near Toronto

THE PRIDE OF Hard at Work is a leader in custom-estate home design and build


any people are making the most of this year by reconnecting with old friends, taking personal stock of what is important to them, and for many homeowners, they are using this time as an opportunity to customize their homes and rethink how they live. Peter McCarthy, founder of Hard at Work Inc., one of the Greater Toronto Area’s most respected boutique custom home builders, has seen firsthand this trend emerge throughout this year. “People these days are making significant investments into their residential properties, as they want to be more comfortable in their homes,” says McCarthy on the recent trend. “Home offices are getting larger, and outdoor amenities and spaces are becoming more essential.” Founded in 2009, Hard at Work has grown to become a leader in high-end estate homes and

renovations for homes ranging from 4,000 to 20,000 square feet. It operates primarily in the Kingscross Estates, the oldest estate subdivision in Canada. It is located among the lush, rolling hills surrounding the Greater Toronto Area, home to some seven million people. This proximity has Hard at Work perfectly positioned to accommodate those seeking some wide-open spaces, as opposed to dense vertical urban living. Desire for “residential distancing” has been recognized as another global trend during this turbulent year, and McCarthy feels this will only increase over time. For more than a decade, homeowners have been turning to Hard at Work for its excellence in beautiful, creative yet functional designs and its commitment to provide expertise, guidance and workmanship by giving its clients the confidence to build the home of their dreams. Currently, McCarthy’s home is a modern

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Peter (centre) is joined by his wife Ellen and son Steven in the family-owned and -operated boutique business, serving clients since 2009

8,000-square-foot showpiece that could easily be placed on Malibu Beach, Calif. “Our architect worked on our wish list and brought it together in a spectacular design. The home is ultra-modern with an open concept, lots of glass and floor-toceiling windows and striking cantilevers.” The home is a testament to Hard at Work’s focus and leading-edge creativity when it comes to architectural design. The result is a bold, beautiful statement, which is a stunningly cool and sophisticated fusion of form and function. Hard at Work partners with renowned designers, creative architects and skilled tradespeople to ensure maximum client satisfaction, whether it is a complete custom-built estate home or a renovation to make an existing space more functional and beautiful. When working with clients, Hard at Work focuses on understanding how the client lives day to day, their entertaining style and their plans for the future. Hard at Work is a family-owned and -operated business that subscribes to a simple business philosophy: excellence in client service and relationships, pride of quality craftsmanship and beautiful designs. “We have a wonderful group of trades, and for that we are very fortunate,” says McCarthy. “We’ve developed great relationships with our trades, whom we have vetted, and we’re very loyal to them. They know we have high expectations, and we love what we do.”

Hard at Work brings leading-edge creativity to architectural design

DuROCK ALFACING INTERNATIONAL LTD Supplier of leading-edge specialty coatings and PUCCS exterior insulated finish systems and metallic finishes EZOL DESIGN Behzad Sabbaghi Architect Finalist prize award 2020 ECC Architectural Design Awards

McCarthy attributes the company’s success to the “dedication and hard work of our team of site supervisors, employees and business partner, Vince Oppedisano. “Without this team, Hard at Work would not be where it is today,” McCarthy says proudly. www.hardatworkinc.com

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INFLUENCE Salvatore Vita is a Sicilian influencer attending events, collaborating with brands and taking the Italian Instagram world by storm





ith more than 250,000 followers on Instagram and a feed filled with images of him relaxing in Taormina on the east coast of Sicily or next to the ocean that borders Apulia, you’d be forgiven for calling Salvatore Vita a model, but he starts his interview with Dolce by saying that’s exactly what he’s not. “It has never been my inspiration, even if at times I have worked on fashion catalogues as a model,” he says. “My career as an influencer started for fun. I was reposted from many pages, and from there, I ‘collected’ my followers and started to collaborate with brands.” His Instagram feed is brought together by an esthetic that’s distinct and held together through a collection of presets for whatever mood he wants to share, be that inspiration, communication or freedom. Though his Instagram feed tells a story of travel and wanderlust, and his favourite place to visit is Kenya, Vita is a family man, attached to his native home of Sicily. “I am very attached to my family,”

he explains. “My mother is my best friend, I had a very present father, even today, and a brother and sister I love more than life … [I admire the love my parents] feel for each other, and the fact they are united in any decision.” He’s also someone who believes in destiny and sees sincerity as his best quality. “Many see it as a defect, because sometimes I don’t have the right ways to say things, but sincerity always satisfies.” Represented by Mariano Di Vaio, best friends with Antonello De Marco and with an online following that’s on the rise, Vita has become a prominent figure on the Italian influencer scene. It’s something he enjoys, but acknowledges it didn’t come without its challenges. “There’s certainly unfair competition with other Italian influencers,” he shares. “It’s easy now to buy followers, and proving your authenticity has become difficult.” Looking back, he says he would advise a younger Vita to “create content you like without trying to emulate other influencers.” He’s also overcome personal health difficulties, having to undergo various operations since 2015.

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Though Vita has worked as a model, he makes a point of saying he’s not

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Vita has become a prominent figure on the Italian influencer scene

“It was heavy at the beginning, mainly because I limited myself a lot — even with work,” he says. “But now, everything seems to be back to normality.” Vita is also just getting started. He notes the red carpet at the 76th Venice International Film Festival as “one of the most beautiful experiences” of his life, and he was chosen by Di Vaio as the only Italian influencer for three social campaigns for his Italian menswear brand, Nohow. In the next five years, he has no plans to stop and wants to further embed himself in the world of Instagram not just in Italy, but also internationally. “Vita is very familiar to me,” Vita concludes, pondering what la dolce vita means to him. “It is everything that makes you feel good about yourself, regardless of material possessions. La dolce vita is when you feel in the right place at the right time.” www.salvatorevita.store @salvatorevita

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Vita’s feed features images taken across Italy, from Sicily to Apulia

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A FARM FOR THE FUTURE Built on pillars of culinary and cultural discovery, Le Domaine Tarbouriech is a family-owned oyster farm and luxury retreat unlike any other WR ITTE N BY JOS H WALKE R


hen Florent Tarbouriech took over his father’s oyster farm in 1986, he did so with a desire to turn the Mediterranean oyster into an exceptional product. By taking the sun, the surrounding waters and their tides as his ingredients, he created the “marée solaire” or “solar tide process” in 2006, transforming what was a small family operation into a full-fledged farming

business. It was, and still is, an original and patentprotected farming method that works by taking oysters out of the water every day through solar and wind power. It’s one that fuses the history of a farm that started in 1962 with innovation and sets the standard of excellence with which Le Domaine Tarbouriech has become synonymous. Located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France, Le Domaine Tarbouriech is the sum of many parts. By taking its innovative

approach to oyster farming and pairing it with the rich and diverse heritage of a region known for its natural beauty and history, it’s a place that serves as a bridge between the past and the present. For guests, it’s an opportunity to recharge and a chance to experience luxury through simple refinement. As you would expect, it’s the oysters that shine. Since Tarbouriech himself took over the farm more than 30 years ago, Tarbouriech farms have been created in lagoons spanning Italy, Spain,

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Le Domaine Tarbouriech farms its oysters via its patent-protected, innovative solar tide process

The resort is family run, spanning three generations of oyster farmers




Morocco and Japan, and Le Domaine Tarbouriech has been welcoming guests to experience the oyster-farming process since 2018. As well as the farm itself, where guests can get a closer look at the process powered by solar panels, there’s Le St. Barth, a renovated oyster farmer’s house used for tastings, and an “Ostreathérapie” concept, where guests can go beyond taste to experience well-being treatments derived from the oysters’ active ingredients. It’s not just oysters that have propelled Le Domaine Tarbouriech forward, but also its approach to hospitality. Spearheaded by hotel professional Anthony Pegahi, the site offers 15 units across its Manor House and Farm House, some with private gardens and Jacuzzis. It’s something the establishment calls “the Tarbouriech way of life,” where, as a statement from the brand reads, “everything has been designed to enable the Domaine’s guests to let go, to let themselves be carried away by their feelings and their desires, and to enhance their physical and moral energy in this residence, which, between the vineyards and the lagoon, embodies a genuine Mediterranean way of life.” Given the climate of the region and its connection to vineyards and local gastronomy, Le Domaine Tarbouriech is a destination that

Le Domaine Tarbouriech is located in the heart of southern France’s LanguedocRoussillon region

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Alongside its oyster farms, Le Domaine Tarbouriech invites guests to eat in its on-site restaurants, serving traditional Mediterranean dishes


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goes beyond oysters when it comes to culinary discovery. Where La Folie is an on-site restaurant that takes its name from the Domaine’s history and offers traditional Mediterranean fare, Le Bar à Huîtres offers fish and seafood, as well as smaller dishes, accompanied by refined local wines. No matter what you come to Le Domaine Tarbouriech for, sustainability holds huge importance. While the oyster farming itself is founded on being environmentally friendly, it’s a promise carried through to every part of someone’s stay. “Oyster farming remains the company’s main activity,” says Tarbouriech. “It was very important for us to ensure that Le Domaine Tarbouriech was

placed not only into the continuity and coherence of the site’s history and our activities, but also into the approach to environmental responsibility and to the circular economy that has been part of the Tarbouriech company’s values since our very beginnings.” It’s this commitment to the planet that sparked Le Domaine Tarbouriech’s development team to introduce the expertise of various energy experts to better implement tools to save or better use energy, while still keeping the historic heritage of the site. As a result, you’ll see a roof created in sagne (Camargue reed), to reinforce thermal insulation of the farm building during summer, a

restored windmill to contribute to energy input, and solar panels across the entire technical area to again provide a more positive approach to energy. Not only that, but three-quarters of the furniture you see at Le Domaine Tarbouriech has been designed and built locally (with the remainder provided by sustainable suppliers), and any material generated as waste from one activity is utilized and repurposed elsewhere. So, don’t be surprised if you see wood from the oyster farms used for your room’s headboards, or oyster shells that have been repurposed as paths. www.tarbouriech.fr @domainetarbouriech

Le Domaine Tarbouriech also has 15 luxury units for guests to stay and recharge

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LEAD, FOLLOW OR GET OUT OF THE WAY Strength, independence and confidence are Ann Kaplan’s secrets for success WR ITTE N BY R ICK M U LLE R

From her French château–inspired home in Toronto’s tony Bridle Path, Kaplan commands an empire of success and inspiration Pink cape: Michael Zoffranieri @zoffranieri Pink dress: Versace



o say someone is accomplished can sometimes be misleading, as it’s in the past tense, as if their journey is done. Dr. Ann Kaplan is an accomplishment — in progress. Award-winning entrepreneur, CEO, academic, lecturer and motivational speaker, author, designer, television host and personality, and devoted wife and mother to eight kids, Ann Kaplan displays glamorous style and chic sophistication, while bursting with confidence and possibilities that took their root at a young age. “In my early teens, I said to my mother I will never work by the hour,” says Kaplan, in a recent wide-ranging interview with Dolce. “Whatever I do, I needed to make widgets; I just didn’t know what the widget would be. I’ve always been a self-starter. I’m very confident and like my mind. I became independent at age 14, and my whole life has been a testament that I need to stand on my own two feet. Today, I embrace everybody and live a life of extraordinary happiness.” Speaking with Kaplan leads one down a labyrinth of life adventures full of triumphs and tragedies, all of which have shaped and guided her, with success as its common denominator. Perhaps not what she envisioned as a child, but not that far off. “I don’t think we can envision our lives, but I always knew I’d be successful and not dependent on anyone,” says Kaplan. “I always felt completely in control of my life, and I wasn’t going to be owned by anyone.”

With a PhD in business and an MBA in business and finance from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, today Kaplan is CEO and president of iFinance Canada Inc., the parent company of Medicard, Petcard, Dentalcard, iFinance Tech and iFinance Home Improvement — a North American consumer finance company that she took from start-up in 1996 to now being one of the largest consumer finance companies in Canada. These successes have garnered her more than 40 business awards, including being named the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year twice, and being recognized as among Canada’s Top 100 Women in Business, as well as among Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. It’s especially gratifying while succeeding in the usually maledominated world of high finance. “I don’t think of myself as a woman in finance; I’m a person in finance,” says Kaplan. “I once walked into a boardroom filled with 14 men, and one of them took me aside to say, ‘I hope this isn’t too intimidating,’ to which I replied to him, ‘No, I’ll try not to be too intimidating.’” The man’s comment is even more bizarre considering the incident didn’t happen in the 1960s, but about six years ago, showing the malefemale gap in business still exists, and equality may be some time away. “We’re likely still a long way away, but women have made great strides,” observes Kaplan from her front-row seat. “I have more than 100 employees, and I look at people equally, judging

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As one of the Real Housewives of Toronto, Kaplan exudes chic style and the ultimate in glamour and sophistication




their skills and values. I would never hire someone just for a diversity or gender balance; I will hire the right person.” Another of those strides is that the United States will soon have its first female vice-president with Kamala Harris, upon whom the world should look for the right reasons. “Just focus on her values and how well she’s done and how’s she going to lead, rather than the fact she’s a female. She’s the right person,” says Kaplan. Kaplan’s many business successes have all been the product of a large brain and a passion and determination to do the required heavy lifting to ensure that success. “There is no such thing as luck. Luck is when opportunity meets preparedness,” she says, confidently. “I prepare myself for the opportunity, and you have to know how to recognize an opportunity and know how to take it.” Even being one of those women who “have it all” as a mother, business leader and striking the

right work-life balance, Kaplan still sees younger women struggling with questions about the balance, and it’s a message she delivers strongly as an in-demand motivational speaker on the lecture circuit. “After speaking, young people come up to me, questioning whether they can have both a life and a career, so some people do still think that way,” says Kaplan. “I tell them to be who you want to be and find the person to be with who encourages that; otherwise, walk out the door, because that person will not change.” The fierce independence Kaplan possesses is another key part of her message to younger people, who she strongly feels should take greater personal responsibility and not unwittingly block their own way. “I teach them how to be successful in spite of yourself and how to get out of your own way,” she says. “You cannot be defined by how you were brought up or what happened to you.

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Dress: AnnKM with Christopher Paunil

Devoted wife and mother, CEO, author, speaker and TV personality, Kaplan’s message to youth is to “be who you want to be” Dress: Evan Biddell @biddell

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Proceeds of her book on Fashion Cares’s 25th anniversary went to the AIDS Committee of Toronto and the Elton John AIDS Foundation Dress: Michael Zoffranieri @zoffranieri Earrings: Rita Tesolin @ritatesolin

You’ll be defined by what you do going forward. It’s us that can get in the way of ourselves. If you change your attitude, you can move forward. Respect your parents, but don’t be what your parents want you to be, because you’ll limit yourself. You can exceed that. There are no limitations to what you can achieve. I get a lot of nodding heads when I say that.” It is a message Kaplan uses in one of her books, How to Be Successful in Spite of Yourself. It’s been said that everyone has a book in them. Kaplan has five — and counting: If You Don’t Laugh, You’ll Cry; Best Practices; The Internet (about marketing yourself online); and her significant Fashion Cares:

25 Year Retrospective Book demonstrate her varied and intense personal interests. One hundred per cent of the proceeds of Fashion Cares benefited the AIDS Committee of Toronto and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “I really understand the struggles that exist today, and the HIV/AIDS fight is not over,” says Kaplan. “I’ve made a lot of friends in the fashion industry whom I cherish, and I’m very passionate about this cause.” Kaplan’s latest offering is Eating With Purpose, due out in March 2021, which she describes as avant-garde cooking and incredible recipes. It is part of her passion that everything you eat should

help your body, internally and externally. “I make my own sauces and pastes, and I demonstrate in this book how to do that. We should all be eating foods that are wholesome and right from scratch, and the book includes fun, funny and fashionable pictures, and every recipe has a bit of humour attached,” she says. Humour is a baseline emotion for Kaplan. “I love intelligent humour, and I love great banter and wit, and I love to laugh,” says Kaplan. “Every day, I love to do things that make me laugh. The greatest dinner parties are not the food on the table, but the people at the table.” Always co-hosting at that table is her beloved husband of 20 years Stephen Mulholland, one of Toronto’s top plastic surgeons. Their French château–styled home in Toronto’s exclusive Bridle Path area was featured when Kaplan starred on the hit TV show Real Housewives of Toronto in 2017, which is just another one of her many notable accomplishments. Together, Stephen and Ann have eight children, two of whom are solely hers, another two are Stephen’s, two are theirs together and two they took custody of when her sister died. She suffered another loss earlier in the pandemic when another sister died, and there could be no funeral, which just added to the surreal nature of this most challenging time. “My heart has been so heavy, but I didn’t want grief to define me,” Kaplan recalls. “This year has been a year to be transparent and upfront with each other and to not spend a minute with people who are cruel, mean or hurtful, and I have no problem telling people like that in person. I am realizing this year how important every moment is, and every call and every conversation. I realize that much more now. I’m being the person I want my children to be.” It’s not the only thing about 2020 that surprised her. “I was really surprised I like my husband,” she laughs. “I love him dearly, and we’ll be married forever, but I wondered how we’d do together staying home. I realized how much I enjoy him, and it’s been a revelation. I like him, and I enjoy him, and it’s been wonderful.” It’s only part of the learnings that we can all experience from this time, especially younger people. “Stay strong and get creative by giving yourself an outlet using another part of your brain,” Kaplan advises. “There are creative people coming out right now who can do more. Just because you can dance, doesn’t mean you can’t sing.” Ann Kaplan is an inspiring dynamo who takes a “lead, follow or get out of the way” approach to life, and even with everything she has accomplished, it is hard not to have the feeling she’s just getting started. www.annkaplan.com @annkaplan_ownit

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Shoulder bags and totes are getting more interesting. Check out these cross-body bags and see how each of them are quite compelling WR ITTE N BY SAMANTHA ACKE R

PALOMA MINI LOUBINTHESKY SUEDE TOP-HANDLE BAG: With a clever feature of metal feet at the bottom to protect the bag from wherever you place it, this Christian Louboutin handbag also offers a removable, adjustable shoulder strap. us.christianlouboutin.com

MINI ELEPHANT LEATHER BAG: Made in Spain, this mini leather crossbody bag, in the shape of an elephant, comes complete with a trunk, ears and dot-perforated eyes. And it has a removable, adjustable shoulder strap. www.loewe.com

MEDIUM ROCKETED LEATHER TOTE: Made by Valentino Garavani, this tote bag offers room for your shopping-trip goods, or you can take it for a night on the town with your own black leather jacket. Made in Italy. www.valentino.com

HACKBERRY VINTAGE CHECK CROSS-BODY BAG: Made in Italy, this Burberry crossbody bag has the signature check for which Burberry is known. Made with canvas and calf leather trim, it has a detachable, adjustable shoulder strap. ca.burberry.com

SOHO LEATHER DISCO BAG: Featuring a hanging tassel, this small shoulder bag from Gucci also has a zipper-top closure, an embossed, timeless Gucci logo on one side, internal slip pockets and an adjustable shoulder strap. Made in Italy. www.gucci.com

DEVOTION MEDIUM QUILTED CROSS-BODY BAG: This small and chic clutch is made with quilted leather and features a golden heartembellished flap closure. Made in Italy. www.dolcegabbana.com

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Founders Amedeo Scognamiglio (left) and Roberto Faraone Mennella started their jewelry brand right after graduating from college



After the passing of his lifelong partner, Roberto Faraone Mennella, cofounder Amedeo Scognamiglio reminisces about their time together, both on a personal and professional level, and looks toward the future WR ITTE N BY CE ZAR G R E I F I NTE RVI EW BY M ICH E LLE Z E R I LLO -SOSA

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I) THE BRAND Not many people know it, but Roberto Faraone Mennella’s grandmother probably played a key role providing inspiration for the start of the brand. “She was the biggest love of his life,” explains Amedeo. “He lost her too soon, when he was 21 or 22. He always said, ‘My grandmother trained my eye for art, beauty and jewelry.’” Not only that, but her name, Stella, played a role, too. “We named the famous earring we made in our debut collection after her,” says Scognamiglio. Born in the more conservative south of Italy, going into design wasn’t a natural path for Faraone Mennella. “His parents didn’t want him to go into design. They were pushing him to go to law school or business school,” reveals Scognamiglio. They both attended law school at the University of Naples. “He was struggling in law school. I liked it. Roberto was depressed. It was long before we worked together. I realized Roberto was dyslexic. He was very visual and very much into design. I told him: ‘You need to go to art school.’ He said, ‘My parents will never let me.’” At the end of the ’90s, they both decided to move to New York. “Roberto got into Parsons, which was very difficult,” explains Scognamiglio. “I helped him; we told his parents it was basically a business school!” He attended the design school for four years, getting his bachelor of fine arts. “While he was doing that, he was helping me with my cameo business, something my family has been doing for many generations,” says Scognamiglio. But Roberto Faraone Mennella already had a keen business sense. “Roberto told me, ‘You need to do a press kit, a catalogue, a portfolio, do some trade shows,” explains Scognamiglio. “I didn’t care.” This gradual involvement led to the inevitable. “More and more, Roberto got involved in the jewelry business. “When he graduated a few years later, it was





n June 4, 2020, famed Italian designer Roberto Faraone Mennella passed away from cancer. He was only 48 years old. Faraone Mennella, the brand of the same name, was probably best known to the public for its earrings, as seen on the hit TV show Sex and the City. Its most famous piece, the Stella, was a sexy 18-karat gold earring often worn by Canadian actress Kim Cattrall’s character Samantha Jones. It had beaded pendant loops, which came in either tiger’s eye, diamonds, turquoise or aquamarine. Soon after its work appeared on the show, Faraone Mennella started attracting A-list clients, such as Jennifer Aniston and Hilary Swank. But, who was behind this success story? Roberto Faraone Mennella’s partner, Amedeo Scognamiglio, fondly recalls a lifetime of memories and discusses his plans for the brand’s future.

— Amedeo Scognamiglio very natural to decide to do something together. He told me, ‘You want to elevate your family tradition to something bigger, artistic, fashionable and modern. I want to design; let’s start.’ At the beginning, the company was going to be our initials, RFMAS.” But then, why was Faraone Mennella, the company, named only after Roberto’s surname? “It haunted me for several years, because everyone asked me, family and friends, ‘Why is it called Faraone Mennella, if it’s the two of you?’ We never had the approval or support of our families, until the end. His family asked, ‘Why do you have to work with Amedeo?’ It was very heavy at the beginning. There was a lot of pressure from people. But, it was a beautiful name, a beautiful logo. It was easy to trademark. I chose the name.” Faraone Mennella and Scognamiglio didn’t have it easy at the beginning. They started from the ground up, being actually present at their shop. “Roberto and I spent so much of our time meeting clients and being behind the counter, during the first 10 years of the business,” says Scognamiglio. “We met all of our clients. We didn’t follow trends blindfolded. We knew what they looked like, where they went on vacation, what they like to wear for special events or when they go out with friends.” When the brand expanded, it became very important to build a team around them that shared the same values. “Honesty and character were always a priority for us — everything else, you can teach,” says Scognamiglio. “Even when I hire people, we never hire away from other companies. The manager of our store in New York has been with us for 10 years now.” Being closely associated with a successful TV show had its advantages. “Suddenly, we were celebrities for a younger generation,” laughs Scognamiglio, when reminiscing. “This guy sent us an email from Italy. He had seen an interview of us on TV. He said his dream was to come to New York to work for us.

The Faraone Mennella flagship store is located at 946 Lexington Ave. in New York City

I said, ‘I’m not hiring anyone from Italy. Living in New York is hard. You need to already be living in New York. What if you don’t like it here?’” “A year later, he sent me an email saying, ‘I’m still available, I’d like to work for you. I’m in New York! I came in June. I’m working in a restaurant. I have an apartment; I’m set up.’ So, we met, I gave him a chance, let him work part time at the store. Things went well, we hired him, we sponsored him and gave him the same visa we have. Then he became the manager of the store. I always say [that] he’s my biggest success story, in terms of human resources. He was somebody I really did not want to hire, and then he persevered. I see him almost like a father would see a son.” Leandro Scarpa, the store manager, is in agreement. “Personally, I’m very thankful to Amedeo and Roberto,” he explains. “Over the years and under their guidance, I grew as a professional, and I matured as a man.” Scognamiglio’s enthusiasm for his craft is definitely shared by his employees. “I’m lucky enough that my workplace is my ‘happy place,’” says Scarpa. In the end, having a quality product makes everyone’s job easier. “When you have a product that’s loved as much as Faraone Mennella & Amedeo jewelry is, you don’t need much of a marketing campaign,” explains Scarpa. “Because, ultimately, this is what Amedeo and Roberto stand for: love, passion and complete dedication for their job.” After a brand becomes established, there’s always a danger of becoming complacent, of just relying on your “greatest hits.” Scognamiglio made sure that didn’t happen, so that Faraone Mennella stayed relevant. “In the last few years, I realized I had to really shock Roberto,” says Scognamiglio. “We had a long talk, and I pushed him to design something else. He didn’t need to design the new Stella. So, he came up with this new collection, called

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‘the Abracadabra,’ last year. It had nothing to do with what he had done before. We’re using titanium and ceramic colours, different stones, more graphic. Before, everything had to be nongraphic, linear forms, linear shapes, very smooth shapes. Suddenly, he sat at the drawing table, and I said, ‘Feel cool, feel young again, don’t feel like you should sell at Bergdorf Goodman, it might go somewhere else, it doesn’t matter.’ And he did it. It was like a rejuvenation. Even with my guys in the workshop here, we were so happy, because we had convinced Roberto to be less classic. Then he was unstoppable, he designed a whole collection of one-of-a-kind pieces. Now it’s our best-selling collection, even though we still love the Stella — the Stella is like the Alhambra of Van Cleef for us, it’s an incredible classic. He was so proud and so happy of this new rejuvenation.” II) THE LOVE STORY Faraone Mennella and Scognamiglio’s relationship was instrumental to their professional partnership. But coming from a conservative background, it wasn’t easy for either of them to be open about their love for each other to their family. “The best gift I ever received was when I met Roberto,” confesses Scognamiglio. “But, we were always very private about that, about our relationship. We kept it very professional. I don’t want to say it was mysterious. Since we were 20 years old, we’ve never been open about our private life. Roberto was very private and shy. Maybe he was a bit insecure about that part of his life. We never wanted to mix it with our work. Of course, when you don’t say things, people will assume. But our professional relationship was fuelled by our personal relationship.”


Roberto Faraone Mennella’s parents initially resisted his desire to pursue jewelry design


That relationship was even the reason why the brand was born. “We were sitting in a coffee shop in New York on 52nd Street,” remembers Scognamiglio. “It was almost like a proposal. He had just graduated from Parsons. He had to decide about what to do with his Parsons diploma. He didn’t want to go back to Italy without me. So, he said, ‘Let’s start a company together.’ There were many reasons behind that decision, but the main one was to stay together, to not be separated. The second one was to have

a shared project, just like when you start a family.” Success was quick to come by, and a call from Sarah Jessica Parker to meet with Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field helped the brand attain global visibility. “The immediate success was because it was started out of love, not a desire for riches,” explains Scognamiglio. “It was never about the bottom line,” he adds. Faraone Mennella’s unorthodox business approach sometimes confused more financeminded professionals. “When we hired business people, they didn’t get it,” says Scognamiglio. “‘Why open a store in Capri when 75 per cent of your market is in the U.S.?’ they would say.” But the reason for such a move was quite simple. “It was because we wanted to be in Capri. We wanted to spend the summer there,” laughs Scognamiglio. “It ended up being a super-smart decision. But, business people didn’t understand it.” Equally controversial was their decision to sell more affordable versions of their jewelry on the Home Shopping Network, on cable TV. Items would retail around US$100, making them affordable to the everyday shopper, whereas the Stella used to retail for $450. “‘Why sell on QVC, on TV, while you’re doing so well at Bergdorf? You could ruin your brand,’ the business strategist would say,” remembers Scognamiglio. “But we always did it because it connects you with the public. For example, you can sell a $100,000 necklace to one wealthy lady. But to sell 100,000 pieces in a year is better. You can collect the credit, the appreciation of a hundred thousand women. It really gives you the certainty that you’re doing something right. It doesn’t matter if it’s gold or diamond — the price is really given only by the material. All of a sudden, to have this incredible overflowing of love from women all over who appreciate our design really made it all worth it; and it never tarnished the brand.” Pamela Fiori, the former editor-in-chief of Town & Country, saw first-hand the blossoming of both the relationship and the brand. “Roberto, Amedeo and I forged a friendship that became, as the Italians would say, ‘like family,’” she reminisces. “At first, it was strictly professional when I was editor-in-chief of Town & Country, but the more I got to know them — each in their entirely different ways — the more I learned to love them. Amedeo, gregarious and high-powered. Roberto, the quiet and self-effacing man. A perfect match. We saw each other whenever they came to New York, usually for dinner at my apartment.” When discussing the life of Roberto Faraone Mennella, it’s impossible to avoid mentioning his dashing physical appearance. “Roberto was one of the most handsome men I ever met and totally unaware of his looks,” remembers Fiori. “Tall, elegant and unassuming, he was breathtaking. As for Roberto’s temperament, he was all sweetness and tenderness. I never heard him raise his voice or get angry. He was always calm and low-key.”

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Scognamiglio now leads both the Faraone Mennella and AMEDEO brands

Maybe because he was an introvert, Faraone Mennella let the jewelry do the talking. “In his own discreet and creative way, he designed some of the most extraordinary jewelry I have ever seen: never garish or over the top,” approves Fiori. “It was always finely crafted and original. No one took better care of Roberto when he was ill than Amedeo. He was at his side whenever he could be and constantly in touch. There was no greater love than theirs. It was a joy to behold.” III) AMEDEO, THE MAN AND THE STORE Scognamiglio was the perfect partner for Faraone Mennella, because he came from a family of jewellers. “I can say I learned the basics, the fundamentals of the business, from my father and my mom,” explains Scognamiglio. “I started to work with them when I was very young, when I was 14 or 15 years old. I started in the family business, learning the craft. Then I was my father’s attaché in the early trade shows, in America, in Japan. I wasn’t even technically allowed to be in the show, since I was so young. I was in love with the business, with the sales, with being in touch with the clients.” Scognamiglio didn’t mind starting at the bottom, and would target a wide variety of retail outlets, from Macy’s to little shops in Chinatown. “I would go to independent retailers with a bag of jewelry, showing them the collection,” he remembers fondly. “This was before Internet. You had to deal with rejection; it was hard. But I learned the discipline from my father, and the fact that, if you do your homework, you will be OK. Seventy per cent of your business comes from the work you do in the workshop. If you produce quality, in the artisanal way, then when you go to sell, you don’t need to be an expert in sales. Your expertise is in the product. “My father always said, ‘We are experts in cameos, that’s what we do. Yes, we have clients, but it doesn’t mean we have to sell them pearls or diamonds. You want to be their cameo guy.’ That was true. I learned customer service, how to really appreciate the partnership with retailers. When I stepped up with Faraone Mennella, it was easy to work more with department stores and fashion directors. I had so much training behind me that nothing could destroy me.” But gaining mainstream distribution for his own brand was much harder for Scognamiglio than he initially anticipated. “When we started Faraone Mennella, we had everyone behind us, from Bergdorf to Neiman, Saks,” he explains. “For many years, we didn’t have a sales team. We didn’t need one. All the big shops would come to us. We didn’t need marketing campaigns. But, when I started to rethink the Amedeo brand in a modern way, when I approached them after all the success we had with Faraone Mennella, they’d say, ‘We’re not sure about cameos.’ They were hesitant.

Roberto would get very upset about it. He was very protective of me. I said, ‘Forget it, we’ll open our own shop.’” It turns out that opening the Amedeo store was a key step toward wooing back bigger players. “It took a couple of months for the buyers of Bergdorf and Saks to crawl back to us, because they realized their clients were coming to our shop,” says Scognamiglio. “The CEO of Bergdorf, Jim Gold, once stopped me on the floor of Bergdorf and asked me, ‘What is this collection you have at your shop? My mom is telling me she’s coming in from Dallas to go shopping at your store!’ I said, ‘It’s our cameo collection.’ He said, ‘Why don’t we have it?’ I said, ‘Your buyers didn’t want it.’ He was fuming. That same afternoon, he sent the buyers running to my store. In a matter of two days, the collection was in Bergdorf.” IV) OVERCOMING THE LOSS AND LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE It’s hard for people who haven’t experienced the loss of a partner to relate to what Scognamiglio went through. “I’m trying to learn in many ways, reading and listening to lectures,” he admits. After a loved one passes, acceptance is the hardest part. “I’ve been reading Dr. Brian Weiss’s book, Many Lives, Many Masters,” he explains. “My perception of life and death was already different, even when we thought Roberto was going to make it, which was until the end. I never really gave up. I’ve always been very mindful and spiritual. I feel I’ve reached my expiry date, and I’m

on an extension. I perceive everything differently now. I read a lot.” Perhaps what helped Scognamiglio the most is the knowledge that his love for Faraone Mennella was shared by so many. The fans don’t hesitate to let him know their feelings. “I’m collecting all the messages from people who dream of Roberto,” he says. “The dream is always the same; it’s Roberto giving them a message for me. After he died, I was dreading my birthday on September 3, then dreading his birthday on September 25, because we would celebrate together, the same way I dread the first Christmas and the first New Year’s Eve.” After experiencing this heartbreaking event, Scognamiglio is focusing on compassion and generosity. “I saw so much hurt in Roberto,” he explains. “I was able to help to an extent, but not to the extent that would’ve saved him. I’m learning from that experience. I try to divert that mindfulness toward wholeness. I constantly try to learn from my mistakes. I’m so hungry for more information about consciousness and gratitude. I just go with the flow. I wake up thanking Roberto for everything he gave me. I try to make my employees happy, my clients happy, and myself and Roberto proud. In the future, I want to start a foundation for young designers and young people who aren’t appreciated by their family. In the memory of Roberto.” www.FaraoneMennella.com @faraonemennella_official www.Amedeo.Shop @amedeojewelry

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Toronto-based Soltanian Real Estate Inc. Brokerage represents some of the city’s most stunning properties




here are few areas in business where relationships matter more than in luxury real estate. Trust is a paramount concern — between you and your broker of record, you and your contractor or you and any designer you may engage. Few experts in luxury residential real estate understand the importance of relationships more than Sharon

Dynamic mother-daughter partners Sharon and Anita Soltanian are leaders in the luxury residential real estate marketplace

and Anita Soltanian, the mother-daughter team heading Soltanian Real Estate Inc. Brokerage in Toronto. “Working with your loved ones is a privilege,” says Sharon, whose 18 years of experience have made her the No. 1 broker in Willowdale, Ont.’s C14 District for many years. “We both have the same vision for women and for work. We are in

different eras of life and have different experiences, but my daughter brings energy and new ideas, and I bring extensive experience. The combination of both of us is great.” Sharon and Anita founded the company in 2015, and it has quickly become recognized as a leader in the buying and selling of luxury real estate in the Greater Toronto Area. This standing,

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Sharon moved to Canada from Iran more than 20 years ago

‘‘ ‘‘

— Sharon Soltanian

says Anita, is a product of their expertise in the field, a keen eye for good properties and listening to the requirements of their clients. “You really have to know and care about what people want and what they need,” says Anita. “Whether it’s something they want to live in or as an investment, you have to deliver what their expectations are. When people are buying or selling a home, it’s often the biggest investment of their lives. We have to put a lot of love and care into what we do.” One such prime example of the type of luxury properties Soltanian Real Estate Inc. Brokerage represents is 92 Highland Cres., in Toronto’s exclusive and centrally located York Mills neighbourhood. It’s also special for Soltanian Real Estate Inc. Brokerage because Sharon led the property’s design concept, creating a marvellous four-bedroom home with high ceilings and heated floors and including a home gym, spa and theatre room. It is urban living at its best. “Whatever I do, I put my heart into it,” says Sharon, speaking about the home’s design and working with the builder to make her vision a reality. “Houses are my passion. I wanted a house for myself, from my own ideas and vision. This home is a vision of all of those years working as an artist and an interior designer.” Sharon’s background in those fields tells a tale of determination and drive so evident in the stories of immigrants to Canada. Sharon and Anita arrived in Canada from Iran more than 20 years ago and are a testament to hard work and the commitment for a better life. When Sharon first



Founded in 2015, the brokerage is a true family business, built on a motherdaughter partnership

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The address 92 Highland Cres. is a four-bedroom house, complete with a gym, spa and theatre room

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Anita works with her mother to provide an unparalleled customer experience for their clients




arrived, she taught painting for $7 per hour, then moved to work in a furniture store and finally in an engineering office as an interior designer before making the commitment to real estate. With that background, Sharon fully understands the importance of buying a home and the financial commitment that means, taking a personal interest in every transaction. “We came here to leave a trace of ourselves in another human’s heart,” she passionately states. “We want to make good memories and a good reputation for ourselves. When you help people, the universe will help you, too.” More recently, Sharon graduated from the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program and has fought passionately for women’s equality, with her efforts recognized by the Women Economic Forum. “I came to Canada with this hope that there is no discrimination between men and women. There’s a ceiling here, but it’s made of glass, not concrete,” she observes. In dealing with luxury properties, Soltanian Real Estate Inc. Brokerage deals with hundreds of impressive properties every year, but 92 Highland Cres. is a home in which Sharon has a personal interest and therefore a sense of deep attachment. But she is happy it will soon be a new home to

— Anita Soltanian

welcoming owners. “If you keep what you create, it’s not good karma,” says Sharon. “You have to give it to the world and, when you do, create more. It’s a lesson I learned from my first master in painting.” Anita Soltanian has over 15 years of experience in real estate negotiation, client care and real estate wealth management. And today, she utilizes the newest technologies in order to keep up her pace of seeing five to 10 different properties each day. She, too, recognizes the special qualities of 92 Highland Cres. “From the outside, you can’t tell what’s waiting for you on the inside,” says Anita. “It’s beautifully designed. Every corner and detail are accounted for, and when you walk in, it’s like you’ve walked into a dream. It’s stunning.” For Sharon and Anita and everyone at Soltanian Real Estate Inc. Brokerage, relationships matter. Whether it’s your family at home or in the workplace, the confidence you feel in any relationship is a feeling that just cannot be replaced, and it brings with it a deep sense of trust. Trust in the process, trust in the people and trust they have your best interests at heart. www.soltanianrealestate.com @soltanianrealestate

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What’s in a name? In this case, it’s Untitled, a Toronto high-rise project at Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue that defies conventional monikers. It’s a place built on a cornerstone of natural elements, parametric design and universal spaces in an unprecedented collaboration with Grammy Award– winning Pharrell Williams. It’s a place to call home WR ITTE N BY DON NA PAR I S

The team looked to Japan for innovative ideas. As a result, they brought inspiring architecture and interior design to the Toronto market

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t’s hard to believe that the neighbourhood of Yonge and Eglinton started out in the early 19th century as a small farming village that grew into an agricultural hub. But today — with its shops and restaurants, charming tree-lined streets and an ambitious crosstown LRT project on the way — it’s no wonder that Yonge and Eglinton has evolved into one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Toronto. Now, in a fresh collaboration, Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties are bringing Untitled, a new tower and residential development, to midtown Toronto, with 751 condo units, ranging from studios to three-bedroom units. As part of the plan, the development teams will also be fabricating a separate building, delivering a range of rental housing options. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration for the Toronto market to create an exciting project that will stand the test of time,” says Shane Fenton, chief operating officer of Reserve Properties. Right from the start, when the team was presenting the project to buyers, and they wanted

to represent what the building would be like in terms of fixtures and fabrication, they chose partners with the same meticulous attention to detail as themselves. “Unique came to mind because of their experience, their knowledge and the pride that they take in their work,” he adds. For them, it was a perfect fit. “We were trying to create a unique opportunity for buyers to live in the Toronto marketplace, [so] we found it extremely important to be very select in terms of partners,” says Fenton. It was a process that saw the development teams collaborating with recording artist, fashion designer and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams alongside architects from IBI Group and designers from U31 to realize a collective vision like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The team looked to Japan, and Tokyo, in particular, for innovative ideas. As a result, they brought inspiring architecture and interior design to the Toronto market. The seed for Untitled’s architecture is rooted in the cultural background of lead architect Mansoor Kazerouni of IBI Group. He introduced the concept of a jugalbandi,

Fenton, chief operating officer of Reserve Properties, is excited to bring this project to the Toronto market. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration,” he says

a performance in Indian classical music featuring an intricate duet between two solo musicians. The term translates to “entwined twins,” and that is how Kazerouni envisioned the project; his work entwining with sound waves from one of Williams’s songs. Using parametric design, the sculpted, fluid form of the balconies follows the wave pattern of Williams’s hit song “Gust of Wind,” articulating the building as a visual abstraction of music. “We arrived at the concept fairly early in the process and worked with Pharrell to select a song that really meant something to him and helped bring this idea to life,” says Kazerouni. “There is a sophisticated, elemental feel to the building, which is why ‘Gust of Wind’ works so well.” Once they had the song, there was a lot of testing to find the right notes that would produce the most fluidity, he says, adding that as you go around the building, no two faces are the same. They all represent different moments from the song. As for the interior, the design aims for universality throughout the common areas, amenities and suites, but with a goal of individual spaces serving as a backdrop to the user’s

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Above: Views through glass screens frame a dramatic water feature that flows into the far end of the pool Left: The interior features Japanese-inspired minimalism, emphasizing darker tones balanced with natural materials

individual experience. Helmed by Kelly Cray of U31, the result is an exploration of the interplay between nature, essentialism and Japaneseinspired minimalism, emphasizing darker tones balanced with natural materials, using a palette of plants, water and light. “Everything is engineered towards supporting the function of the room,” says Cray. “When we transition into the gym or the rec room, the palette shifts to brighter tones in specific spaces to encourage activity and play.” In the lobby, a cascading water feature welcomes residents, evoking feelings of energy and movement when you first step into the building. A wellness centre, featuring a spa and

indoor-outdoor swimming pool, round out the offerings, with expansive floor-to-ceiling glass screens separating the two sides of the pool. Views through the screens frame a dramatic water feature that flows into the far end of the pool. “To me, the key elements were water and space — with water moving in the building the way it does. There’s this continuous flow of motion that’s recharging for people,” says Williams. “Certain places just hit us as humans, reminding us that we’re alive.” The best part is an unbelievable offering of more than 34,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor amenities extending throughout the building.

Actually, it’s a series of indoor and outdoor spaces, including a co-working garden space, a screening room, a basketball court, a state-of-the-art gym, a kids’ club and a social lounge and private dining area that flows out to the rooftop terraces. On any project, finding people who have a similar sense of pride, passion and a commitment to quality is paramount, says Fenton. But, it’s equally important to find people with a different perspective, and that’s where Williams comes in, he adds. “For us, it was a perfect match of bringing together people with different mindsets, so we could see how to create something out of the box.” For Fenton, he is grateful to be able to spend every day with people he cares about and doing things that he is passionate about. “I love creating; I love what we’re doing for the city skyline, for the city streetscaping,” he says. “I’m very fortunate that I get to do that every day.” www.untitledtoronto.com @liveuntitledtoronto

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A curation of objects from the team at Dolce, from statement to subtle, contemporary to traditional TEXT BY JOS H WALKE R





MAGNUM ICE CREAM: Iris Arfel indulges in the pleasures of Magnum Ice Cream. Perfect for summer but also a treat in winter. | www.magnumicecream.com


NON GENDER SPECIFIC EVERYTHING MASK: A multifunctional clay mask from the brand with no gender boundaries. The Everything Mask gently unclogs pores as it clears, restores and renews the skin. | www.nongenderspecific.ca


PETER & PAUL’S GIFTS: Based in Vaughan, Ont., Peter & Paul’s Gifts lets anyone take a piece of luxury home with gifts, sharing baskets and florals for any occasion. | www.peterandpaulsgifts.com


NIMA KITCHEN & BATH: Canadian craft meets Italian esthetics with an offering of modern and inviting kitchens from a passionate, familyrun business. | www.nimakitchens.ca


JENNIFER BEHR MAZARINE BOBBY PIN: A statement twist on the classic bobby pin, complete with gold, detailed butterflies. Made in New York with goldtone plated brass. | www.jenniferbehr.com


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RIMOWA : A collection of travel essentials that takes the timeless design of suitcases with grooves, but finishes them with a camouflage look. | www.rimowa.com


W STUDIO, RUG NO. 28106: Made with Tibetan hand spun wool and woven in Tibet, Rug No. 28106 is a colourful, original rug from W Studio’s W Artisan Collection. | www.wstudio.ca


CAMEOCAPS: A collection of caps complete with hand-carved cameos designed by Amedeo Scognamiglio on the front. | www.amedeo.shop




PRAIRIES AND PETALS: Offering arrangements described as “a pinnacle of craftsmanship,” Prairies and Petals puts together long-lasting luxury arrangements with flowers designed in collaboration with a floral farm in Ecuador. | www.prairiesandpetals.com


PETER TRIANTOS: Toronto-based contemporary abstract artist Peter Triantos offers pieces alive with colour and expressionism for residential and corporate spaces. | www.petertriantos.com


ASSOULINE: With an aim to create everything for a contemporary library, Assouline offers stunning coffee table publications covering art, design, fashion, food and more. | www.assouline.com




LUXURY LIFESTYLES With its captivating design, the striking 66-storey, sailboat-shaped tower will feature 391 luxury residences and penthouses

THE RIDE IS COMPLIMENTARY The world has been waiting for this moment. Now it’s arrived in North America with a roar. The Aston Martin brand has released its first SUV, the 2021 Aston Martin DBX. And owners of the Signature condo at the Aston Martin Residences get the vehicle for absolutely no charge WR ITTE N BY DON NA PAR I S


t doesn’t get any better than Miami — the beaches, the art scene, the restaurants are all within a stone’s throw to one of the best downtown addresses, the Aston Martin Residences on the waterfront. The project is the brand’s first real estate venture and its expansion into luxury residential design. Designed by Revuelta Architecture and Bodas Miani Anger, the striking 66-storey, sailboat-shaped tower will feature 391 luxury residences and penthouses priced from just below US$1 million to upwards of $50 million. Construction of the luxury condominium tower, being developed by global property developer G&G Business Developments, is expected to be complete in 2022. And the new homeowners of the 38 oceanview Signature condos, priced from $5.3 million to $7.7 million, will get an awesome bonus: they get the new SUV to complement their new

digs. Owners of the other residences won’t get an opportunity to buy this edition of the Aston Martin SUV. The 38 Signature condo owners will get their choice of a DBX Riverwalk Edition or a DB11 Riverwalk. The DBX Riverwalk Edition is quite simply breathtaking, featuring Jet Black paint with 22-inch alloys, an Obsidian Black leather interior with Piano Black veneer, contrasting Satin Chrome detailing and a few subtly positioned Riverwalk Edition badges, taking high-end transportation to a whole new level. While it’s expected that most Signature condo buyers will opt for the DBX on the house, they do get the choice of the Aston Martin’s twodoor DB11, and it also has the Riverwalk Edition specifications. Forty-six Riverwalk Edition models will be offered, split between the DBX and DB11. So, when the first car to land in North America made its debut at (where else?) the sales centre for the Residences, heads were turning to get a good premier look at the stunning handmade yet technologically advanced model. “We’re delighted that the first customer DBX built for the Americas

is here in Miami,” said Germán Coto, CEO of G&G Business Developments, at the unveiling. “This brand-new Aston Martin joins our DB11 and Rapide S sports cars, enabling purchasers of the Signature condos to test drive the DBX and the DB11 directly from our sales centre before deciding which Aston Martin is right for them.” As a true Aston Martin, the DBX is the first model to be made in Wales. In fact, Prince Charles visited the new factory in St. Athan this past February, driving there in his own blue vintage Aston Martin DB6. The convertible, which has been converted to run on bioethanol fuel made from wine and cheese (true story), is the same one that Prince William and Duchess Kate drove with the top down out of Buckingham Palace after their wedding. With its designs and proportions reflecting the unmistakable style of Aston Martin, the five-seater DBX celebrates the brand’s design language in a new form. It’s a world of luxury, with an opulent interior offering a plethora of natural material options, including full-grain leather trim in one of five colours, sourced from Aston Martin’s longterm supplier, Bridge of Weir Leather in Scotland. As well, the interior will feature the first-ever use

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The Aston Martin name is synonymous with excellence, and these residences are the brand’s first real estate venture

www.astonmartinresidences.com @amresidencesmiami


of a natural wool blend in a production road car. The upholstery can be further combined with a choice of bold, modern new veneers, including a bronze mesh and a flax composite, as alternatives to carbon fibre. Another thing DBX owners won’t have to worry about? Getting their vehicles scratched in a parking lot. There are some amazing storage amenities being planned, with super-garages in the building’s parking structure — individual spaces for owners to personalize, so they can enjoy their cars. They can work with Aston Martin designers to create customized flooring, wall coverings, lighting and distinctive cabinetry. G&G Business Developments is committed to the development of innovative, luxury projects that mix the latest technology with uncompromising design, delivering exceptional results by creating particular residential and business properties with long-term value. “The fleet at the Aston Martin Residences forms part of our exclusive butler service, which enhances the ownership experience by offering personal support for our valued clients and VIP guests,” says Coto.

The Aston Martin Residences offer the same unrivalled prestige and unequalled craftsmanship as the motor cars themselves. Panoramic views of Biscayne Bay, the Miami River and the Miami skyline abound

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CREATIVE EXPRESSION Dima Ahmad Interiors colours outside the lines in creating spaces and experiences

Since bursting upon the scene in 2015, Ahmad now offers advice, consultation and full service to beautify any home


the thought of reorganizing your closet can be intimidating, the notion of planning and executing the interior design, look and feel of your entire home can be positively overwhelming to most. This is where interior designers, such as Dima Ahmad, come to the rescue. Her Dima Ahmad Interiors studio in the Toronto area has both local and international

clients, attracted by her passion for design, fashion, beauty and lifestyle, and her innate ability to replace the intimidation of interior design with inspiration. “There is a mutual respect between ourselves and our clients,” says Ahmad. “They allow us into their personal space, and they come to us for a creative vision, and we have the tools to explain that vision. We’ve cultivated clientele

who understand us, and we’re strong in our communications that we push the envelope, and that clients must respect the creative. All of our clients have a mutual respect for the ‘crazy,’ as I believe in my vision to create something unique in attracting the right clients to allow me to push and play on my concepts.” Grateful and blessed to be born in Hamilton, and growing up in a culturally rich experience with parents from the Middle East, Ahmad is a product of not only her upbringing, but also her travels, which included living in Italy for a year. “The creative lens comes from my upbringing and my travels and values and manners, which I translate into design elements,” says this fiercely independent and confident designer. “My lens is art, and I tend to look at art as an immersive experience, which ignites my senses. I’m an observer of life, and places, and a very relationshipdriven person. I’ve kept in touch with everyone I’ve ever sat beside on a plane.” Since her first solo renovation project in 2015, Ahmad has grown her company to offer both design advice and consultation, as well as fullservice capturing all elements of interior design to ensure that every detail is developed with a handson, personalized approach. “We’re unique because we’re relationshipdriven, and our clients know our trades by name and they enjoy that,” she says. “We are hard-working, driven, creative and eager to have a successful outcome on every project. It’s very satisfying to return to a repeat client only

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to find they haven’t changed a thing; that’s a great testimonial.” The Dima Ahmad Interiors approach to design begins with layering. “People see interior design as pretty, but there are many layers to design,” says Ahmad. “The best projects are ones where everyone lets the project breathe. We layer texture, art, lighting, and the layering evolves, and each element must speak to one another. Design should always evolve and tell the story of who you are, as we’re always evolving. The technical is important, but sometimes that can undermine the whimsical and creativity, which must be allowed to breathe.” In working with her clients, Ahmad takes the time to get to know them, their lifestyles, their travels and plans for the future, which she feels is very telling. “Many people don’t know where they want to go with design, as it is subjective because there are many different disciplines,” says Ahmad. “Design gives an individual reaction, which marries back to an immersive experience. It ignites all of our senses — as it should.” In overcoming the intimidation challenge, Ahmad recommends both observation and experimentation. “Observe how you live. Rid yourself of the norms, and you’ll get to a place that is optimal for your lifestyle and have a place that speaks to who you are. A den is a perfect place to experiment with — just transform it as to what you want. Be experimental and don’t be afraid,” she advises. These challenging times may be right for this type of experimentation, says Ahmad, who is

An observer of life and places from her many travels, Ahmad brings these traits to every client relationship and project

noticing a few emerging trends. “There is a deeper appreciation for privacy and alone time,” she says. “Clients with open floor plans are looking for more separation, either with screens or furniture creating more designated areas. Because we are all home so much, clients are returning to us and asking how we [can] take our design one step further, and how they can layer and evolve their designs.” As a keen observer of so many spaces during her life, there is one that stands out to Ahmad — La Sala delle Carte Geografiche (the room of the geographic maps) at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. There, an oversized globe in the centre of the room greets you, and cascading along the walls are framed maps from the 16th century, representing the known world at the time, both terrestrial and celestial. It has since inspired Ahmad to continue to grow her vintage map collection, and she feels the room could easily translate to a den design in a Western home.

“I can see it so clearly: walls covered with framed maps of places you’ve visited, the floor adorned with a beautiful rug, with custom seating and some spot tables,” Ahmad envisions. “Dim the lights, light a candle, beverage in hand, and that’s a room I’d happily spend hours in.” Bursting with self-assuredness, Ahmad’s spirit and passion for design and art are infectious, and her intuition allows her to create spaces and experiences, giving her clients freedom of expression. To inspire imagination, Dima Ahmad is leading a new generation of young designers colouring outside the lines. “I have a lot of trust in myself, which translates into the art I’m allowed to create,” says Ahmad. “I highly recommend getting into trouble, because it creates opportunities. I like to push boundaries. Many unique experiences come from that.” www.dimaahmad.com @dimaahmadinteriors

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A FORCE OF NATURE Professional surfer Nic von Rupp talks fear, passion and preparing yourself to take on Mother Nature WR ITTE N BY JOS H WALKE R I NTE RVI EW BY M ICH E LLE Z E R I LLO -SOSA

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nown as the Portuguese version of Nazareth, Nazaré is a seaside location with a history tied to Christianity. It’s not just biblical stories that draw people to Nazaré, though, but the behaviour of its ocean. Between October and March, this coast becomes home to the largest waves in the world, bringing photographers and tourists to its beaches, and people similar to Nic von Rupp to experience their size first-hand. “For us, it’s the only wonder in the world,” says von Rupp. “There’s no place in the world that refracts the wave in the way Nazaré does. There’s a lot of big waves, but none are as consistent and big as Nazaré. It’s amazing. People are starting to realize that and comparing it to wonders in nature.” Having grown up around this phenomenon, surfing is something that came naturally to von Rupp. It’s something he says happened “spontaneously.” He’s been professionally surfing since he was 14, spending time competing in the World Tour until something changed. “It got to a point where I reached out to my sponsor and said I want to do the biggest waves in the world. They were a bit skeptical because anything you do that’s outside the norm is criticized, but I wanted to do it anyway.” Head to von Rupp’s Instagram page or YouTube channel and you’ll be treated to not just some of the waves he’s tackled, but also the

von Rupp has been surfing professionally since the age of 14

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skill, determination and resolve it takes to enter the water to surf the waves. “In my profession, there are two types of people,” he explains. “The crazy ones and the skilled ones. To ride these waves, you have to have the skills and really respect the process of getting to a certain place. There are steps that need to be taken, and it’s a long process.” And, while von Rupp makes it look easy, navigating the swell of the ocean and its looming barrels with finesse comes with a fear that never goes away. In a 2017 interview with CNN, he stated that he had a particular phobia of the rocks and, after three more years on the water, it still remains. “Fear is natural and part of everything


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Though the fear of facing huge waves and rocks remains, von Rupp tries to approach every surf as another day at work

you do,” he continues. “It’s how you deal with it, and whether you let yourself be blocked by fear. When I was very young, I was always told to face my fears, be it big waves or the rocks. That’s a lesson I brought into my life.” Another way von Rupp grounds himself before facing the current is to approach it as he would any other job — as just another day at work. “I’ve prepared hard for that moment,” he continues. “It’s something you work on as you go. When I wake up in the morning, I just pretend it’s another day. Don’t let the fear get into your head and prepare hard.” The time he spends on shore is no less intense. Last year, von Rupp launched his own brand,

Brusco. Inspired by the rawness of the Atlantic Ocean, its name comes from the word for ‘rough’ in Portuguese. “The Atlantic is a rough ocean,” he says. “It’s where the biggest waves in the world are created and the people that define the Atlantic are rough people. They wake up on a cold morning and make a decision to leave the family behind to surf big waves. It’s a pretty rough lifestyle.” von Rupp attributes the passion that drives his work in the water as a surfer and out of the water promoting his career to his parents. “My parents educated me in being respectful, passionate, a fighter,” he says. “Not being content with what we have today, and really trying to evolve myself. My parents definitely shaped me into who I am today.”

He’s also found a way to use the passion he has for surfing to benefit others. In particular, he supports Wave By Wave, a charity funded by the Portuguese government that takes underprivileged children surfing — a sport he says has been clinically proven to benefit their state of mind. “In every work you do — and I consider surfing work — there are ups and downs, but it’s the balance that counts,” he says. “The balance of professional surfing is la dolce vita. I get to live my life to the fullest, face and overcome my fears, and become a better version of myself, while tackling the biggest force of nature.” @nicvonrupp

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Called curious, a hero and a crusader, Goodall’s research into animal life and the environment will be felt for generations

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GOODALL Jane Goodall has opened our minds, hearts, souls and senses to the fact that we share this planet with other living animals, for which we shall all be eternally grateful



retrospect and to our collective embarrassment, it’s almost impossible to believe we’ve all been so blatantly ignorant. As one species occupying this singular planet, we humans were almost completely oblivious to the other species occupying our rock — those animals. The human species claims to have the intellect of reason, curiosity, logic, invention and self-preservation, but seemingly lacks that one important component: awareness. Awareness that there was something else in the room. Until Jane Goodall. The list of people who have influenced the modern world is very short, but Goodall is on that

list. And we all owe her a debt of deepest gratitude for opening our eyes to the fact that animals have an equal place on this planet and should be treated with kindness, dignity, compassion and respect. Before Goodall entered our collective consciousness, wild animals were to be avoided unless we had captured them and put them in cages or in a circus. Chimps were sort of cute and even funnier little guys if they rode a little tricycle and smoked a cigar. Elephants looked menacing, but when they walked around a circus ring with trunks wrapped around tails, they were rather docile beasts. We even put wild animals in our cartoons and festooned them with funny voices. Nothing wrong with laughing along with mischievous hippos,

crocodiles or a Curious George on a Saturday morning. We made animals into characters. In actuality during those years, we really knew nothing about the “other” species with which we share Earth, and we didn’t have to. We were in charge here, thank you very much. How blind we were. “Ecosystem” and “endangered” were only good scores in Scrabble. The balance of nature was never a consideration. Until Jane Goodall. When she burst upon the collective reality in the 1960s, she showed us how animals not only live, but also feel, fear and protect their families. Just like us. And by doing that, she showed us, to our amazement, the many similarities we have with the other animals occupying our planet.

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Goodall first set foot in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania in 1960, at age 26. Her observations of wild chimpanzees were revolutionary and brought awareness to life throughout the animal kingdom

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and through National Geographic TV specials or feature articles, she made sure we got it. She recognized the power of the camera and would have no problem snuggling up in the arms of her adopted gorilla deep in the rainforest if she thought it could communicate her message that we had to pay attention to these vital members of our natural ecosystem. That these were natural feeling species — just like us. Goodall brought the raw reality of the jungle and humankind’s threats to the animal kingdom to our safe, neat and tidy suburban doorstep. Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall was born in 1934 in Hampstead, London. As a child, as an alternative to a teddy bear, Goodall’s father gave her a stuffed chimpanzee named Jubilee, and she carried it with her everywhere. Goodall has said


They protect their homes and their families, they search for food, can play with one another and feel pain. Turns out, they’re just like us. And she taught us how to communicate with them. And the world’s nations were humbled and gave thanks to her for exposing this reality — buried in all these generations until she came along. The latest was Canada, which, in November 2020, introduced the Jane Goodall Act, which, if passed, will protect great apes, elephants and other wild animals in captivity and will ban the import of elephant ivory and hunting trophies into Canada, continuing the influence and impact Goodall has had in the world. “Jane Goodall is a hero who inspires us to do better by all creatures of Creation with whom we share this earth,” says Senator Murray Sinclair, who introduced this notable bill. “Named in Goodall’s honour, this bill will create laws to better protect many animals, reflecting Indigenous values of respect and stewardship.” “We live in a time, and a world, where respecting and caring for one another and our shared planet is the only way forward,” says Goodall. “As humans around the world accept that animals are sentient beings, there is a growing call for improved living conditions and treatment of captive animals. This bill being tabled by Senator Sinclair has the best interests of captive animals in mind. And the proposed ban on elephant ivory products and hunting trophies in Canada will decrease the worldwide market which fuels the senseless slaughter of endangered species. I commend Senator Sinclair for tabling this bill and I am honoured that it bears my name.” When you get a bill of law named after you, you’ve had an impact. It is testament to Goodall’s almost mystical influence on all of us in making us think of the animal world. She was successful in this by her endearing and natural way of communications. Albert Einstein knew, well, pretty much everything, but he was challenged in explaining it to the masses, because his subject matter was so dense that the rest of us mere mortals often wondered what the heck this guy was talking about. No so with Goodall. Her real words, understandable explanations and authentic empathy for the animals she was studying broke through. Whether she was that “crazy lady who rolled around with gorillas in the jungles of Africa” or that lady who bantered late at night with Johnny Carson, she brought the reality and plight of the animal kingdom into our living rooms and onto our bookshelves, having authored more than two dozen books. She understood optics and the power of visual mass communications and television in the 1960s,

— Jane Goodall

her fondness for this figure started her early love of animals. “My mother’s friends were horrified by this toy, thinking it would frighten me and give me nightmares,” she recalls. Today, Jubilee still sits on Goodall’s dresser in London. Her love of animals led her to a friend’s farm in the Kenya highlands in 1957, where she obtained work as a secretary. There, she had the audacity to telephone noted Kenyan archeologist Louis Leakey, with no other thought than to have a discussion about animals. Unknown to her, Leakey was looking for a chimpanzee researcher and proposed Goodall work for him as a secretary, where he grew increasingly impressed by Goodall’s work and natural curiosity. On July 14, 1960, Goodall first set foot in what is now known as Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania to launch her pioneering research with wild chimpanzees. She was just 26 years old.

With his encouragement, Leakey, who arranged her funding, sent Goodall (who had no university degree) to the University of Cambridge, where she obtained a PhD. She became only the eighth person to be allowed to study for a PhD there without first having obtained a BA or B.Sc. Her groundbreaking doctoral thesis, “Behaviour of free-living chimpanzees,” was completed in 1965, detailing her first five years of study at the Gombe Reserve. In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues to support the research at Gombe. Now with 31 offices around the world, Goodall and the institute continue to be widely recognized for effective community-centred conservation. Goodall is a leader who continually looks for ways to make a difference. In 1991, after meeting a group of Tanzanian teenagers to discuss community problems, she created Roots & Shoots, a program dedicated to inspire young people to take action in their communities. It has since grown to include approximately 150,000 individuals in more than 50 countries. Before the pandemic, Goodall travelled an average of 300 days per year speaking to youth and world leaders about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental issues and her reasons for hope that we will eventually solve the problems that humans have imposed upon Earth. Wherever she goes, she urges audiences to recognize their personal power and responsibility to effect positive change through lifestyle change, consumer action and activism. “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make,” Goodall has famously said. She has done just that in this country through the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, and the Jane Goodall Act elevates her influence even further and in a lawful and meaningful way. The act would: - Ban new captivity of great apes and elephants unless licensed for their best interests, including individual welfare and conservation, or nonharmful scientific research. - Ban the use of great apes and elephants in performance, including elephant rides. - Establish legal standing for great apes, elephants, whales and dolphins in sentencing for captivity offences, allowing court orders for relocation or improved conditions. - Ban the import of elephant ivory and hunting trophies. - Empower government to extend all the protections to other species of captive, non-

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With the Noah Clause in Canada, the bill authorizes the federal cabinet to extend the legal protections to additional captive, nondomesticated species through regulation. The government could protect “designated animals” after consulting with experts on the species’ ability to live a good life in captivity. We may not think of Canada as a haven for exotic animals, but it is estimated there are approximately 1.5 million privately owned exotic animals in the country, including nearly 4,000 big cats. Senator Sinclair, in introducing the Jane Goodall Act, pointed to the topic of big cats and the documentary Tiger King. “I am excited this bill can protect many animals, based on science,” says Senator Sinclair. “If the Jane Goodall Act becomes law, I hope the government protects big cats to prevent the kind of shameful exploitation seen in Tiger King.” In Canada, there are 33 great apes in captivity made up of nine chimpanzees, 18 gorillas and six orangutans. There are also 20 elephants living in captivity in Canada, with some wildlife parks using elephants for performances and rides. “This legislation is not necessarily at odds with all zoos — it is for animals,” says Senator Sinclair. “I look to credible zoos as potential partners and hope the bill generates dialogue and innovation, with consensus on putting animals first.” That is what Goodall has done all her life since those early days in Tanzania, observing the lives of wild chimpanzees. Instead of numbering the chimpanzees she observed, she gave them names, such as Fifi and David Greybeard, and found them to have individual personalities — an unconventional thought at the time. “It isn’t only human beings who have personality, who are capable of rational thought and emotions like joy and sorrow,” she has observed. Goodall’s extensive time in the bush allowed her to witness such behaviours as hugs, kisses, pats on the back and even tickling — what we would consider “human” actions. Goodall insists that these gestures are evidence of “the close, supportive, affectionate bonds that develop between family members and other individuals within a community, which can persist throughout a lifespan of more than 50 years,” which she has written in her studies. “In what terms should we think of these beings, non-human yet possessing so very many humanlike characteristics?” she once asked. “How should we treat them? Surely, we should treat them with the same consideration and kindness as we show to other humans; and as we recognize human rights, so too should we recognize the rights of the great apes? Yes. The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Goodall didn’t number the chimpanzees she observed, but gave them names, such as Fifi, which strengthened her emotional connection to them

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domesticated animals — such as big cats — by regulation with the “Noah Clause.”

CHIMPANZEE CHAMPION AND INFLUENTIAL PRIMATOLOGIST JANE GOODALL, 86, ON … … attending the University of Cambridge: “I was nervous going to Cambridge in the U.K. and shocked when the professors told me that I shouldn’t have given the chimpanzees names; numbers were more scientific. I couldn’t talk about personality, mind or emotion, because those were unique to us.” … climate change: “One of the big problems, which is beginning to be understood, is that we really need to move toward a plant-based diet … an awful lot of water is used to get vegetable-to-animal protein. And then on top of all of that, all these billions of animals are producing methane gas, which is a very virulent greenhouse gas … “The methane from all this animal agriculture is another really important aspect. So, something we can do is eat less meat or no meat or be a vegan even, as long as people do something — and think about it.” … individual responsibility: “The big message I take around is: every single person makes some impact on the planet every day. And you get to choose what you buy, where it comes from. But the thing you have to do first to make this work is to alleviate poverty. Because if you’re really poor, you’re going to cut down the last tree, because you’ve got to live. You’re going to take money to kill an elephant, because you have to survive.” … what it means to be human: “I suppose it’s because we’ve developed this language which has enabled us to talk about things that aren’t present. We are in a position to understand our relation to the rest of the planet. We can ask questions like, ‘Why am I here? And do I matter?’ And I think that’s what makes us different, that we can question the reason for existence. We can question why we’re on the planet, our role.” … her first visit to Africa: “I saved up money waitressing and then, when I was 23, I went to visit an old school friend living in Kenya … The idea was to stay for a year and see what happened. I got off the boat at Mombasa, and we drove up into the highlands. “The very first morning, there was a fresh leopard track on the farm, and I saw an aardvark on the road — I’ve never seen that since. And seeing a giraffe close up … however much you know giraffes, to see one in the wild for the first time feels prehistoric.” … how her life’s work influenced her as a mother: “A chimp mother … is patient, she is protective, but she is not overprotective — that is really important. She is tolerant, but she can impose discipline. She is affectionate. She plays. And the most important of all: she is supportive, so that if her kid gets into a fight, even if it is with a higher-ranking individual, she will not hesitate to go in and help.” … fighting sexism in the scientific community: “I had to work 10 times harder than the average man just to get the same level of recognition, but once I had made a name for myself, I let the data speak for me. I also realized early on, once I had started to gain some notoriety, that the future careers of many women rested on my shoulders … “If I could show them the way and open those doors for them, then it would be that much easier for the next generation of women scientists to break into their chosen field in a substantial way.”

The chimps would also take twigs from trees and strip off the leaves to make the twig more effective, a modification that is the rudimentary beginnings of toolmaking. In response to Goodall’s findings, her mentor, Louis Leakey, wrote: “We must now redefine man, redefine tool, or accept chimpanzees as human!” It was revolutionary thinking, and by pulling back the dense foliage and showing it to us on television, Goodall changed our reality in how we think about the animal kingdom. Much like Jacques Cousteau revealed the wonders of the world below the waves, Goodall’s pioneering work and everyday observations and commentaries made human beings reconsider our place in the pecking order of the planet. Her work also first revealed to us humankind’s impact on the natural habitats of animals in countries we would only casually read about in a back-dated magazine in a doctor’s waiting room. The dangers of deforestation, logging roads, poaching and mining for minerals in remote regions of the world are all having a severely negative effect on the balance of nature. “How could a species just disappear from the world?” we wondered. Goodall showed us how. “We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place,” says Goodall. “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” Her work continues today through the Jane Goodall Institute, where she remains an outspoken environmental advocate, speaking on the effects of climate change on endangered species, such as chimpanzees. Goodall, alongside her foundation, collaborated with NASA to use satellite imagery from the Landsat series to remedy the effects of deforestation on chimpanzees and local communities in Western Africa by offering the villagers information on how to reduce activity and preserve their environment. Despite the environmental challenges and animal threats she has seen, Goodall remains an optimist and has stated “Four Reasons for Hope,” based upon four things she has observed: the power of the human brain; the strength of our spirit; the resilience of nature; and the determination of young people. “Surely, we can use our problem-solving abilities, our brains, to find ways to live in harmony with nature,” she says about the human brain. “Millions of people worldwide are beginning to realize each of us has a responsibility to the environment and our descendants.” “My second reason is that there are so many people who have dreamed seemingly unattainable dreams, and because they never gave up, achieve their goals against all odds,” says Goodall, when championing the human spirit. “I meet so many incredible and amazing human beings. They inspire me. They inspire those around them.” Speaking about the resilience of nature she observes, says Goodall: “I have visited Nagasaki,

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site of the second atomic bomb. Scientists predicted that nothing would grow there for at least 30 years. But I carry a leaf from a large tree that survived the bombing. I have seen such renewals time and again, including animal species brought back from the brink of extinction.” “My final reason for hope lies in the tremendous energy, enthusiasm and commitment of young people around the world,” says Goodall. “Young people, when informed and empowered, when they realize that what they do truly makes a difference, can indeed change the world.” In August 2019, Goodall was honoured for her contributions to science with a bronze sculpture in midtown Manhattan, N.Y., alongside nine other women, part of the Statues for Equality project. Even in 2020, continuing her organization’s work on the environment, Goodall has vowed to plant five million trees, part of the One Trillion Tree initiative founded by the World Economic Forum. Goodall also sees the current global pandemic as another sign to protect the natural balance of life on this one good Earth. She has been sharing her hope for the future, where interconnection between human health, animal health and environmental health is understood and respected. “To avoid another pandemic, we must have more respect for the natural world,” she has written. Today, Jane Goodall is 86 years old and can reflect upon her life, as a human, helping animals, from her beloved first stuffed chimpanzee Jubilee to moving world governments to enact long-

Goodall was the first to observe chimp families live similarly to humans, with personal relationships developing over a lifespan

overdue laws and regulations to protect the animal kingdom and the environment. In a video produced by National Geographic Television to celebrate her 80th birthday, Goodall cautioned that we not get too overwhelmed by the tasks at hand and to keep them small and manageable. “If you think globally, you become filled with gloom,” she says. “But if you take a little piece of the whole picture, my piece, our piece, [you think,] ‘This is what I can do here, I’m making a difference, and hey, wow, they’re making a difference over there, and so are they,’ and so gradually the pieces get filled in, and the world is a better place, because of you.”

The world is a better place because of Jane Goodall, by her bringing two species together on the only planet they know to co-exist, to understand each other, to appreciate each other, to respect each other. Thank you, Goodall, for opening our eyes, our hearts and our souls to the animals. Has there ever been a more influential life lived? Has there ever been a better mission served? Or a better message delivered? Talk to the animals. www.janegoodall.ca @janegoodallcan www.janegoodall.org @janegoodallinst

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— Jane Goodall



Fun, flirty and green seems to be all the rage in the Miami Design District

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1. Known for its upscale interior design stores, art galleries and luxury fashion boutiques, the Miami Design District is a great shopping destination. www.miamidesigndistrict.net 2. Upon first glance at this Gucci leather-trimmed suitcase, observers might think it’s a “Fake”, until they see the other side, which says, “Not.” www.Gucci.com 3. With the perfect esthetic, this Isabel Marant ensemble is ready to hit the streets of Miami — or a jungle. www.isabelmarant.com 4. Head over to a modern “greenhouse” restaurant and enjoy delicious meals prepared by a Michelin-starred chef. www.lejardinier-miami.com 5. In the Miami Design District, you can find mule-style shoes at the Bottega Veneta Boutique, which are so fashionable that they’ll get a nod from French fashion model Vanessa Duhaut. www.bottegaveneta.com

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Whether it’s fishnets, a little T-shirt, a blazer or a flowy dress, if it’s black, it’s just the thing to tap into the femme fatale of the City of Light — right here at home PHOTOG RAPHY BY THOMAS LOUVAG NY

Coat: DICE KAYEK @dicekayek Hat: BENOIT MISSOLIN @benoitmissolin @stationservice Underwear: DROME @drome_official @publicimagepr Bodysuit: DIOR @dior Jewels: HELENE ZUBELDIA @helenezubeldia

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Dress: JULIEN FOURNIE @julienfournie @lappartpr Bodysuit: DIOR @dior Shoes: LOUBOUTIN @louboutinworld Jewels: HELENE ZUBELDIA @helenezubeldia

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Dress: DICE KAYEK @dicekayek @stationservice Gloves: DROME @drome_official @publicimagepr Wader: LOUBOUTIN @louboutinworld

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Suit: OUD PARIS @oudparis @dresscode_pressoffice Tank top, jewels & shoes: BARBARA BUI @barbarabuiofficial

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Corset, skirt & underwear: MAISON FIFI CHACHNIL @maisonfifichachnil Bodysuit: DIOR @dior Jewels: JULIE EULALIE @julie_eulalie Gloves: MAISON FABRE @maisonfabre @universpresse Shoes: REPETTO @repettoparis @catherinemiran_agency

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Photographer: Thomas Louvagny @thomaslouvagny Model: Christina Wilhelm @christinarosewilhelm Stylist: Veronique Droulez @veroniquedroulez Stylist’s assistant: Alexis Landolfi @alexislandolfi Hair & makeup: Ludovic Dupuis @ludovicdupuis Videographer: Eleonore Djen @eleonoredjen Studio: @Atelier_adric

Leather suit & tank top: BARBARA BUI @barbarabuiofficial Jewels: HELENE ZUBELDIA @helenezubeldia


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Artsy and racy, modern and beautiful, L.A. serves up something for fashion enthusiasts TEXT BY SAMANTHA ACKE R

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1. The “sun is shining, the weather is sweet” by American artist David Flores, on La Molina Street, gives off an urban vibe. www.davidfloresart.com 2. This Scarf Patchwork Printed Bomber jacket will make a statement when you walk into a room. www.amiri.com 3. Get your makeup on at L.A.’s hottest black woman-owned beauty supply store. Now open seven days a week in North Hollywood. www.beautybeez.com 4. Head over to RH Modern to see their inspiring spaces, which may just inspire you to modernize your own space. www.rh.com 5. You can race around L.A. in this SK8 Fanatics’ red Boardwalk Skate. It’s back in stock now. www.sk8fanatics.com


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Lambskin Jacket: BELSTAFF Sunglasses. GUCCI Pullover: ALLUDE Skirt: ETRO Boots: BALLY Jacket: ETRO Pullover, pants & boots: BRUNELLO CUCINELLI

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Leather shirt & pants: RICH & ROYAL Cardigan & bag: ETRO Earrings: THOMAS JIRGENS Boots: UNÃœTZER

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Photographer: Bela Raba/www.belaraba.com Photographer’s assistant: Ariane Raba/www.arianeraba.de Styling: Oliver Rauh/www.oliverrauh.com Styling assistant: Samir Abou-Suede Post-production: Florian Wagner/www.bavarianretouch.de Hair & makeup: Arno Humer/www.arno-humer.de Models: Damian Orgun/www.louisa-models.de Alice/www.mostwantedmodels.com Pierre Dannemann/www.zimt-casting.com Location: www.schloss-elmau.de/en/

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Bottega Gold is a multiaward-winning Prosecco sparkling wine. This elegantly styled, fresh and floral Prosecco has a moderate alcohol content and is ideal with seafood or turkey dinners. www.lcbo.com

Whether you’re hungry or thirsty, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy at any of the eateries shown here WR ITTE N BY SAMANTHA ACKE R

This upscale trattoria brings the romance of Italy to Toronto, serving up traditional dishes from south-central Italy. www.sottosotto.ca

This antipasto features seared jumbo scallops topped with honey, Sicilian pistachios and mortadella chiffonade and can be found at Avenue Cibi e Vini. The fashionable restaurant offers wood-fired pizzas and elevated Italian main courses, plus a diverse wine list. www.avenuecibievini.com Visit the café, Barocco X Nino on Toronto’s College Street and try the Crema coffee. It is also an Italian roastery and bakery offering espresso drinks and made-from-scratch sandwiches, pizzas and treats. www.baroccoxnino.com

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Profile for Dolce Media Group

Dolce Magazine - Winter 2020/21  

Dolce Magazine - Winter 2020/21