LU X U R Y W I T H O U T C O M P R O M I S E
Image Matters What the modern man should wear right now
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Kiton blazer in wool, silk, and linen, and cotton pocket square (kiton.it); Gieves & Hawkes cotton T-shirt (gievesandhawkes.com); Thom Sweeney wool trousers (thomsweeney .co.uk); E.B. Meyrowitz acetate sunglasses (ebmeyrowitz.co.uk).
m a r c h 2 0 1 9, v o l u m e 4 3 , n u m b e r 3
SPRING STYLE 98
They’ve Got Game The savvy teens who are cashing in on the cult sneaker biz. BY MAX BERLINGER PHOTOGRAPHY BY SASHA ISRAEL
Mano a Mono Monochromatic dressing is the way to go this season. Think multiple shades of a single color and you won’t go wrong. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DIEGO MERINO
The Wardrobe Fixers Conquer the details of dressing with the experts who completely get menswear. BY MAX BERLINGER
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
TO NOT ONLY BE ALIVE... BUT TO FEEL T
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The Lost Generation The return of Italy’s postwar car designs. BY ROBERT ROSS
A Long Way from Bordeaux LVMH is putting a spin on the tag “Made in China” with Ao Yun, a wine made from grapes grown on the highelevation mountains along the Mekong River.
BY SARA L. SCHNEIDER
The hotel, deconstructed; an Arctic thrill on skis; and the Experimental Group makes a foray into hotels.
Bergdorf ’s new store-in-a-store, dress shoes that multitask, and the rain coat you should wear this springg.
A sea-changing timepiece, a dramatic cliff dwelling, and a groovy turntable.
ED IT O R’S LE T T E R
OB JE C T IF IE D
T HE DUE L
Eric Clapton’s yacht vs. The Edge’s
FOOD & DRINK
A renegade winemaker and a meaty new dining trend, plus the case for a democratic wine collection.
Vacheron’s powerful new innovation, ation Daytona’s unpoppable bubble, and IWC’s CEO on what makes his brand tick.
ART R & DE SIGN S GN A sculptor whose work speaks volumes, plus the artful items for every virtue and vice.
GENIUS AT WORK
ON T HE W E B
The best machines from the Swiss shows, a spring-break escape, and wine on island time.
Michele Lupi of Tod’s
What’s your tuxedo style?
THE ITALIAN WAY.
VW climbs to the top, Lambo’s brainy bull, GAC Motor’s design guru, and a bike with gusto.
A look at the 25 hours it takes for a handmade suit at Kiton.
WATER Oceanco’s huge hybrid, a yacht architect turns landlubber, plus a charter for the young at heart.
WINGS Fly like Iron Man, Boeings new business jets, Tahiti Nui’s Dreamliners, and why turboprops make sense.
TECH Small components, but big sound from an analog trio.
The lure of luxury SUVs, a plea to leave the furniture past behind, ﬁnding a trusted cryptocurrency advisor, and the power of investment clothing.
Image Matters What the modern man should wear right now
C OV E R IL LUST RATIO N BY
Take control of your digital reputation, McKinsey & Co digs into design, and Out of Office with Lamborghini exec Stefano Domenicali.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
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HANDCR AF T ED CHAIN AND POWER ROCKS
Sasha Israel Israel, a portrait and lifestyle photographer, brought her signature naturalism and authenticity to her disarming images of teenage sneaker dealers in this issue’s “They’ve Got Game” (p. 98). Israel was the principal photographer for The New York Times best seller In the Company of Women, and her work has been featured in publications such as Vogue, Elle, Self, Glamour, and New York magazine. She splits her time between New York City and Providence, R.I.
Berlinger is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who focuses on the intersection of style, culture, and technology. This month the native Californian covered the growing cadre of teenage sneaker dealers in “They’ve Got Game” (p. 98) and rounded up some of the country’s top style advisors in “The Wardrobe Fixers” (p. 132). Berlinger’s work has also been featured in The New York Times, GQ, Bloomberg, and Los Angeles Times, among other publications.
“I just like well-designed, well-made, nice things,” says Lamb, who styled this issue’s spring fashion shoot, “Mano a Mono” (p. 106). The British stylist and writer previously served as a fashion editor at magazines i-D, GQ, and GQ Style. Lamb’s work has also appeared in the Financial Times’ “How to Spend It,” The Sunday Telegraph’s “ST Men’s Style,” GQ France, and Kinfolk, among many others. He lives in Cambridgeshire, UK, with his agent/ producer wife and their family.
Arlidge has reported on and interviewed some of the world’s most prominent political and business leaders; in this issue of Robb Report, he penned “The Web’s Spin Master” (p. 147) about the man to see if you want to improve your reputation online. Arlidge writes the annual Sunday Times “Rich List” and is a regular contributor to Wallpaper* and Condé Nast magazines worldwide. He lives in London with Bloomberg global head of economics, Stephanie Flanders, and their son and daughter.
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RICHARD MILLE BOUTIQUES ASPEN BAL HARBOUR BEVERLY HILLS BOSTON BUENOS AIRES LAS VEGAS MIAMI NEW YORK ST. BARTH TORONTO www.richardmille.com
As this is the style issue, can we talk about color for a minute? Though maybe I’m not the best person to start this conversation, being that I’m technically color-blind (reds and greens—terrible for snooker). Perhaps that’s why, when it comes to clothes, I’m pretty consistent. Navy. Gray. Tan. The odd lighter shade. That’s pretty much it. And I’ve noticed I’m not alone.
auction. “For industrious automotive artisans and engineers, no time or place was as ripe with opportunity as Italy in the 1950s,” he says. I defy you to take one look at the mid-’50s Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America, with coachwork by Pinin Farina, and tell me you don’t crave to be behind the wheel, cruising the Riviera, scarf ﬂying in the breeze. With maybe a bag of fragrant Amalﬁ lemons on the seat next to you, just for that pop of color. Enjoy the issue.
Paul Croughton Editor in Chief
JOSHUA SCOT T
Style, like so many things, is about balance, and, as a general rule, most men are better served in clothes in shades of blues, grays, and browns than anything more primary or lurid. The pop of contrast provided by a pocket square, a scarf, or even a watch strap in an unexpected but complementary hue is usually more than enough to signal that beneath a put-together exterior beats the heart of a man of ﬁre and passion. That’s not something you’d necessarily see affirmed on the world’s catwalks, though, where neon has just made another return. But just to be clear, I’m not talking about fashion here. As the eminently stylish David Coggins notes in his column on page 95, “Fashion is concerned with novelty and shock value, and is mastered by a very few true avant-gardists.” What you have in your hands is not a fashion magazine. But style? That, I hope we can help with. So alongside some fresh new brands to discover (p. 48), outerwear with history (p. 50), and some shoes with magical powers (honest; p. 52), I would direct your attention to a master class on tonal dressing on page 106. Stylist David Lamb shows numerous simple, sophisticated ensembles for spring with not a Hawaiian shirt in sight. But that’s not to say color isn’t integral: It’s the subtle changes in palette—not to mention the difference in texture from cashmere and cotton to linen and leather—that makes tonal dressing so effective as part of a warm-weather wardrobe that’ll take you from beach to bar to boardroom. (And it’s just as easy a ploy to adopt with those rows of blues and grays in your wardrobe, too, in case spring takes a while to warm up.) To update your image further, we’ve scoured the country for the style insiders who are advising Silicon Valley CEOs and the low-key famous on how to look sharp without trying. If your closet resembles the one on the cover—that is to say, lacking a little in imagination–don’t fret. To learn the labels to covet and some useful tricks of the trade, meet the wardrobe ﬁxers on page 132. Writer Max Berlinger put together our panel of advisers for that story, and he also noted a growing phenomenon and tracked down its key players—the teenage sneaker dealers. These entrepreneurs juggle school assignments with buying and ﬂipping rare kicks for, in some cases, serious money. If you’re in the market for some box-fresh Yeezys, you’ll know where to go. Of course, style isn’t just sartorial. With expert market analysis and a deeply held affection for the subject, our autos authority Robert Ross sheds light on a generation of profoundly stylish Italian sports cars that, if you can ﬁnd them, are worth considering at
F O OT W E A R | L E AT H E R G O O D S | T I M E P I E C E S | TA I LO R I N G | B R U N O M A G L I . C O M
Out to Sea Watches linked to yachting are nothing new, but few come packed with all of the bells and whistles of the Ulysse Nardin Mega Yacht ($310,000; limited to 30). This timepiece features a ďŹ‚ying tourbillon shaped like an engine propeller, a 3-D moon and tide display, and a patented power reserve indicated by a windlass and anchor that lasts 80 hours before needing to be rewound. PAIGE REDDINGER
DIEGO OPA ZO
In the old Spanish ﬁshing village of Calpe in Alicante, Fran Silvestre Arquitectos created a modernist stunner. Overlooking the Mediterranean, the ﬁrm built “House on the Cliff” to give the sensation of ﬂoating on air, with the main ﬂoor jutting out from the mountainside. The home is in pleasant juxtaposition to its natural surroundings: Its crisp, concrete form, covered in gleaming white lime stucco, contrasts starkly with the jagged rocks of its perch. JEREMY REPANICH
Spin Doctor Artisan Fidelity’s Christopher Thornton takes LP playback to unprecedented heights, building turntables that combine aesthetics and performance rarely matched in contemporary ’tables. Each is a bespoke creation, based on legendary models from Garrard, Thorens, or Technics. These collector’s pieces are completely reconstructed, using improved drive motors, mechanical components, and platters—like this Garrard 301 Statement featuring a quilted bubinga wood plinth, Ikeda IT-401 tonearm, and Koetsu coralstone cartridge for $41,380. ROBERT ROSS
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
There are many perks to achieving rock royalty status. There’s the adoration of millions, the heaps of awards, and, of course, the ﬁner things in life. For super guitarists Eric Clapton and U2’s The Edge, that includes their own personal superyachts. We break down which vessel best shreds the seven seas.
Eric Clapton’s Va Bene
The Edge’s Cyan
L E NG TH
156ft 160ft WHAT THE Y PAID
(in 2005 plus a $4 million reﬁt)
HOW MA NY PR E MIUM TIC KETS THEY HAV E TO S ELL TO BU Y IT TODAY
YO U C O U L D R E N T I T YO U R S E L F ( P E R W E E K ) F O R
$161,000 $224,000 TOYS ON B OAR D
32-foot deep-sea ﬁshing boat, two 17-foot inﬂatable motorboats, two Yamaha WaveRunners, two stand-up paddleboards, ﬁve-person banana boat
21-foot and 15-foot power boats, Yamaha deluxe WaveRunner, two-person WaveRunner, two inﬂatable kayaks, sailboard
AWARDS CARGO (GR AMMYS)
17 22 Sundeck turns into a dance ﬂoor; karaoke
Baby grand piano; state-of-the-art outdoor cinema with drop-down screen
HOW MANY BANDMATES CAN IT FIT
THE S ON G L IKE LY PL AYIN G ON BOARD
“I Shot the Sheriff ” (Clapton’s Bob Marrley cover is his lone Billboard No. 1 single)
“With or Without You”
(U2’s longestrunningg Billboard No. 1)
ERIC CLAPTON, THE EDGE, YACHTS , BANDS: SHUT TERSTOCK
MOST ROC KSTAR-WORTH Y PERKS
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On the Web
The Best of Baselworld The second wave of big watch releases for 2019 will be unveiled at Baselworld this month; stay tuned for our verdict on who wins best in show. robbreport.com/baselworld
The Anti-Spring Break Getaway Forget Florida. Do spring travel without the crowds by escaping to these little-known retreats, from the white sands of a secret Caribbean island to an incognito jet-set getaway in Mexico.
The 89th Geneva International Motor Show See our comprehensive on-the-ground coverage of one of the auto world’s biggest events, taking place March 7 to 17. robbreport.com/genevashow
Where Great Wine Meets the Sunshine Maui’s ﬁrst Wine & Food Classic gathers nearly 30 top vintners—from Harlan Estate and Opus One to Krug and Château Cos d’Estournel—along with signiﬁcant chefs for three days of exceptional tastings at the Four Seasons resort in Wailea this month. robbreport.com/mauiwineandfoodclassic
BASELWORLD: DIDIER OBERSON; GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW: CYRIL ZING ARO/EPA-EFE /REX /SHUT TERSTOCK
L U X U R Y R E S O R T + 2 0 B E S P O K E R E S I D E N C E S | O N LY 2 R E M A I N A V A I L A B L E | N A P A L U X U R Y L I V I N G . C O M / R O B B | 7 0 7 . 6 3 7 . 6 1 2 3
T R AV E L b
FOOD + DRINK
WA T C H E S
ART + DESIGN
The Goods T H I S M O N T H ’ S W H O , W H AT, A N D W E A R
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
TOMOOKI KENG AKU
Dispersed hotels are giving cool hunters a reality check-in. T H E A L LU R E of the hermetically sealed hotel—that reliably consistent bastion of sterilized luxury we all once swore by—has practically become a taboo among modern travelers. But lately, even a place that successfully brings the local culture inside its curated walls isn’t enough. We’re greedy; we want more. We want to stretch out across a block, a row, even an entire village. That’s the idea behind Enso Ango (ensoango.com), a new hotel in Kyoto that’s spread over ﬁve buildings and more than a dozen blocks. There’s an art gallery here, a tearoom there, a Zen garden in one building, a restaurant and bar in another, and scattered h
Enso Ango’s Tomi II property has 75 rooms, a restaurant and bar, and, in lieu of a lobby, this sprouting art installation.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
The Goods | T R AV E L
throughout, a collection of rooms, some simple hotel accommodations, others more spacious apartments, and all designed in that classic Japanese minimalist style of neutral colors and clean lines. Enso Ango isn’t just a means to cast guests out into the real world (as it were); it’s a better way to bring the outside in, with dashi-making classes, meditation workshops, and tea ceremonies replacing the usual spa-gym lineup. The property calls itself the world’s ﬁrst “dispersed hotel”—a new term maybe, but the concept actually dates back several decades to the 1980s, when Italian hoteliers began building alberghi diffusi that transformed
old villages into sprawling, modern resorts. It was an attempt to tap into history and architecture (two things Italy has plenty of ) but, most of all, daily life. And ﬁnally, the notion appears to be catching, with Enso Ango emerging as the latest of several to join in. Around the world, hotels are moving in and spreading out, possessing rows of old canal houses in Amsterdam, clusters of mansions in Mexico, and even a ﬁsherman’s village in Montenegro. Check into one of them and you might feel a bit spoiled for choice at ﬁrst, too. But trust us, you’ll be swearing by dispersed hotels soon enough. Meredith Bethune
FOUR MORE WHERE MORE IS MORE
Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada In Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende, six colonial mansions—including a 17th-century fort and the archbishop’s 16th-century home—were merged to create this enclave of 37 rooms patched together via courtyards and cloisters. (belmond.com)
Monteverdi Tuscany A medieval village brought back to life, this 900-year-old hamlet-turned-resort in the heart of the Val d’Orcia is an albergho diffuso done right, with a contemporary art gallery, an enoteca, a culinary academy, and just 18 rooms and suites. (moneteverdituscany.com)
Pulitzer Amsterdam A labyrinthine maze of 25 canal houses along Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht Canal serves as the historic backdrop for this hotel, where hidden gardens and an old apothecary shop give way to 225 guest rooms. (pulitzeramsterdam.com)
VERY FAR NORTH W H E N YO U O P E N a heli-ski lodge in one of Europe’s last pristine swaths of wilderness, you’re bound to face some unique challenges. For Jossi Lindblom, the current obstacle is a herd of reindeer standing on the southern face of Sweden’s Kåtotjåkka Mountain. Lindblom—an international mountain guide and co-owner of the new Niehku Mountain Villa (niehku .com)—is circling overhead in a helicopter, plotting out the perfect line his skis will scribble into the mountain’s snowy slope. But around here, the reindeer always get ﬁrst tracks, so rather than touch down, Lindblom directs his pilot to another peak. No doubt there’s plenty to choose from: This part of Swedish Lapland is home to
Aman Sveti Stefan A 15th-century fortiﬁed village and a 1930s royal villa separated by a stretch of Adriatic Sea make this Aman resort in Montenegro feel like a town unto itself. The walk from your room (in the former ﬁshermen’s quarters) to the spa takes you through beach, forest, and city. (aman.com)
more than 60 skiable peaks—and that’s precisely the reason Lindblom and his partner, former ski racer Patrik Strömsten, chose it as the site for their new lodge. The pair grew up carving turns on the pistes of nearby Riksgränsen, but here, some 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle, it’s another world. The powder is untouched, the season is long, and the terrain is wide open. Unlike in the Alps, where strict rules limit the number of runs from designated landing spots, you can basically ski anywhere, anytime. With more than one million acres at Niehku’s doorstep, skiers can score up to 15 runs and collect more than 26,240 vertical feet in a day. Still, Lindblom, who has skied every-
where from Chamonix to the Caucasus Mountains, is well aware of the effects overtourism has had on the world’s best peaks. “Heli-skiing in large volumes is not environmentally friendly,” he admits, noting that Niehku operates just two helicopters. Even so, Strömsten says he and Lindblom are considering cutting back to just one chopper—consequences (and proﬁts) be damned. “If we lose some clients, we lose some clients,” he adds. Turns out, the less-is-more approach is a brilliant strategy on—and off—skis. Niehku has just 14 rooms, and allows only 10 skiers in two groups of ﬁve to ski the surrounding mountains at any time. At the lodge, no more than 28 guests share
The powder is untouched, the season is long, and the terrain is wide open.
the 500-bottle wine cellar (curated by Strömsten, who also happens to be an award-winning sommelier) and tundrato-table cuisine. While some are out skiing, the others can go ice ﬁshing or strap on snowshoes and explore. In addition to their roles as hoteliers, Strömsten and Lindblom also act as stewards of the land. To that end, they work closely with the local Sámi people, sourcing fresh meat from them, enlisting their expertise for hunting and ﬁshing advice, and, on some days, relying on them for details about which peaks are being occupied by reindeer herds. “At the end of the day, this is their home,” Strömsten says. “They’re just letting us play here.” Jen Murphy
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
The Goods | T R AV E L Clockwise from left: The Experimental Chalet in Verbier, Switzerland; it started with cocktails; Pierre-Charles Cros (far left) with the partners.
Are the same people who sidled up to your bars now checking in at your hotels? Yes. We have evolved with our clientele. When we started, we were 23—we were up until 4 am drinking cocktails. Then our wine bars opened as we grew up a little. Then came the hotels. The best surprise was in Verbier, seeing our clients from our cocktail bars come with their families 10 years later.
F R A N C E ’ S E X P E R I M E N TA L G R O U P
(experimentalgroup.com) made good on its name more than a decade ago when it started turning some of Europe’s least desirable addresses—a Chinatown hole-in-the-wall in London; a graffiti-covered dive in Paris’s second arrondissement—into some of the world’s best cocktail bars. Now the company’s killer instincts and derring-do are about to disrupt another industry with a collection of modern hotels in Paris; London; Verbier, Switzerland; and, later this year, Venice and the Spanish island of Minorca. Here, cofounder PierreCharles Cros tells us why the guys who make your favorite drinks are so well suited to make your bed, too. Jemima Sissons
How did you go from cocktail bars to hotels? Hotels were always the goal because they are the pinnacle of hospitality. You can have all your skills under one roof, and you can take care of people 24/7. Our main skill from the ﬁrst bar was putting the customer at the center. It is the same with hotels. A lot of places are designed just with efficiency in mind, but those constraints are sometimes misaligned with the customer experience. For example, when we chose the beds and linens, we tried 15 different mattresses ourselves until we found the best [from France’s Davilaine]. What do Experimental’s hotels look like? We are not cookiecutter—we’re not a chain—so we start every project as a blank page. We think about the whole
“Young, successful people don’t necessarily want a suite or a butler.” experience and what the guest wants in a destination. For example, our hotel in Venice is for people who are more attracted to the cultural events that the city has to offer than just tourist attractions. They have seen the Grand Canal before; they’ve seen the monuments. Now they are coming for the Biennale, the architecture, the Guggenheim. The hotel is in the Dorsoduro, in a former maritime headquarters—not in San Marco. It is the area where all the locals will come for a coffee.
How have modern travelers evolved? Young, successful people don’t care so much about status. They don’t necessarily want a suite or a butler. They want to make sure they can connect. The hotel is the ﬁrst place that they are going to connect with people. Also what has changed is that businesspeople don’t want to be in a business hotel. They don’t want an office with a bed. They want somewhere fun where they can relax. The lines between business and pleasure are blurred now. Most important question: What kind of drinks can we get in Experimental’s hotels? We’re curating all our cocktail menus and minibars to reﬂect their locality. So, in Verbier, you’ll ﬁnd Swiss vodka and abricotine, a local liqueur that is made around the corner from the hotel. We’ll also have bottled cocktails that change every couple of months, like a Negroni à la Vieille Prune, which is Campari, sweet vermouth, and prune liqueur from the canton of Valais.
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TAKING THE BAR TO BED
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GRAPE STRIDES Meet wine’s new throwback innovator.
ago, while Krista Scruggs was working for one of the biggest conglomerates in the wine business, she had a realization. “The FDA would allow you to add up to 300 additives [to wine],” the 33-year-old vigneronne recalls of her days at the company, which used artiﬁcial enhancements to alter both the look and taste of wine. It was an unwelcome deviation from what Scruggs considered to be the natural process of winemaking. At the mass-market level, “wines were being made in a lab,” she says. “Not in the vineyard.” h
A FEW YEARS
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The Goods | F O O D & D R I N K
That’s not the case at Zafa Wines (zafa wines.com), Scruggs’s biodynamic winery in Vermont. Just a year old, it’s making waves not for its cutting-edge innovation, but for its throwback methods: There’s no ﬁning or ﬁltering, no herbicides or pesticides, and no additives. “Just f***ing fermented juice from responsibly farmed living fruit,” Zafa’s website so eloquently states. Scruggs even crushes her grapes the old-fashioned way: by foot, a method she learned while interning with Vermont’s game-changing winery La Garagista. “It’s softer on the seeds, so they don’t crack and impart a ﬂavor you typically don’t want in wine,” Scruggs explains. “It’s also about being more gentle on the fruit itself.”
It’s like tasting an organic strawberry for the ﬁrst time after a lifetime of pink Pop-Tarts. Scruggs’s affection for the fruit is no surprise given her background. Raised in California, she comes from an agricultural family: Her grandfather operated a farm in the San Joaquin Valley, and she grew up working on it on the weekends. But the climate and cost of land in her home state don’t yield the kind of wine she wanted to produce: affordable wine for people who, like her, are “concerned about what they’re putting in their bodies.” So she left the land of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon for central Vermont and adopted the motto “farm+forage+ferment.” When her ﬁrst vintages were released in 2017, that motto was self-evident: Made with fruit sourced throughout Vermont (including grapes from La Garagista’s Vergennes Vineyard), her wines and ciders are vibrant—like tasting an organic strawberry for the ﬁrst time after a lifetime of pink Pop-Tarts. The ﬁrst vintages included an acidic pétillant-naturel (a sparkling white made from La Crescent grapes) and a Frontenac Noir that’s cofermented with apples (which Scruggs helps forage) for a vinous cider that’s true to Vermont’s terroir. In keeping with Scruggs’s own character, meanwhile, are the saucy names she’s given her creations: Against All Odds, No Love Lost, and Jungle Fever among them. When Scruggs debuts her 2018 vintages this month, you can expect more of the same—including the lightning-fast sales that sold out 2017’s releases. To address the demand, she’ll also be slowly ramping up production; she is now planting her own ﬁrst vines on roughly 10 acres to yield an eventual 2,000 bottles per year. Yes, Scruggs admits, that number is still “really, really, really, really small.” But it’s worth it to make wine her way. Anna Peele
GOING WHOLE HOG the Whole Animal Experience at Chicago’s Frontier (thefron tierchicago.com), there’s the inevitable discussion about eyeball shots. “Two people at a whole-animal party have to eat the eyeballs from the pig, lamb, or whatever animal it is,” says the restaurant’s chef and partner, Brian Jupiter. “We drop the eyeball in a shot glass of booze, cheers, and that’s that.” Unappetizing as it sounds, it’s all part of a new food movement that’s serving up animals cooked in “large format,” as Frontier’s menu calls it, and plunked right on your table. It’s a meal no doubt reserved for the most steadfast of carnivores—and W H E N YO U O R D E R
brave ones at that, with restaurants like Jupiter’s serving whole goat, antelope, and even alligator alongside the usual pig and wild boar. The rising popularity of wholeanimal dinners can be attributed to a few theories, one of them being the evergrowing farm-to-table obsession. “When the farm-to-table movement really started to move into meat, you started seeing more whole animals,” Jupiter says. But it’s also more primal than that, the chef argues. “A lot of people in so many cultures cook a whole pig, whether it’s in a pit, on a spit, in a smoker, whatever. That’s part of the reason people go pig-crazy.”
F O O D & D R I N K | The Goods
Philippe Guigal E. Guigal’s fearless leader believes in building a democratic wine collection. E. Guigal has mastered both ends of the winemaking spectrum: The Rhône Valley winery’s single-vineyard expressions like La Landonne and La Mouline are famously hard to acquire, while its beloved Côtes du Rhônes can easily be found around the world at bargain prices. For thirdgeneration vintner Philippe Guigal, there should be a place for both at any table— and this year, he’ll prove it by opening E. Guigal’s ﬁrst public tasting room, in the medieval village of Ampuis. Here, the winemaker makes the argument for going high and low when it comes to stocking your cellar. Sara L. Schneider Why build a tasting room in Ampuis when you already have a devoted fan base around the world? The idea is not to sell, but to share our passion for this region. This cellar door is more of a consumer experience than a selling structure.
There’s deﬁnitely something celebratory about cooking a whole animal, one reason being it might take your entire extended family to polish off a $575 lamb cooked over apple and cherry woods. “The whole animal laid out on a table familystyle just brings people together,” says Servio Garcia, owner of BISq (bisqcam bridge.com) in Cambridge, Mass. His menu offers feasts of whole suckling pig, lamb, goat, duck, chicken, and ﬁsh. Other restaurants are going wholeanimal in the name of sustainability. Washington, D.C.’s Tail Up Goat (tailup goat.com) buys only whole animals, butchering them in-house and using as many
parts as possible (rendered fats can be used in place of frying oil, for instance). In January, the restaurant held the ﬁrst dinner in its new Dairy Cow series, serving a variety of cuts from a retired dairy cow for a meal that fed more than 100 guests. Such large portions surely require high demand, but Jupiter says that hasn’t been much of a problem at Frontier. “We’ve done as many as 15 whole-animal dinners on a single Saturday night,” he boasts. And as for those eyeball shots? Turns out they’ve become the icing on the meat cake. “It’s now something groups are ﬁghting over. We even had a bride and groom toast their guests with eyeball shots.” Jason Horn
ILLUSTRATION BY JOEL KIMMEL
Will E. Guigal’s Côtes du Rhône have a place next to the single-vineyard wines at the new tasting room? Yes. We are working hard for the Guigal family name to be synonymous with quality wherever the Rhône wine is coming from. What’s the difference between your Côte-Rôtie and Côtes du Rhône wines? A single-vineyard Côte-Rôtie is made from outstanding terroirs. If we focus on the vineyards, attention to the place, and dedication in the viniﬁcation and elevage, we’ll bottle an outstanding wine, a masterpiece. The Côtes du Rhône is a different story. Every new vintage starts with a white page. We spend hours selecting wines from samples—800 to 850 different growers in southern Rhône—age them in barrels or foudres, and then blend them in harmonious proportions. This takes at least three years. Sounds like you don’t play favorites. No. We’re creating a new painting with a very large palette of colors. They are two different approaches, but I truly love them both and ﬁnd them technically very challenging.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
STYLE Bergdorf’s new B. shop springs from social media.
PASK’S PICKS THE PERFECT TOPPER: The authentic Parisian workman’s jacket, Le Mont St. Michel, made just for B. in three new colors.
THE ESSENTIAL LAYERING PIECE: Comme Des Garçons’s Shirt Forever chambray button-down.
THE GO-TO PANTS: Wide-leg, ﬂat-front khakis from Germany’s Closed.
A CHILDHOOD FAVORITE: Clarks Originals desert boots, updated in a basket-weave, exclusively for B.
“It’s for the guy who doesn’t want to stylistically shout…” B. arrives at a moment when men are, quite frankly, desperate for wardrobe direction. With the customary suit on its way out in most workplaces, and street style waning in popularity (it never really worked for grown men anyway), the new concept shop is like an incubator of modern fashion, perfecting an informal yet polished look with pieces that successfully walk the middle ground. To that end, Pask has tasked some of his go-to designers to create custom versions of classic styles, like Clarks Originals’ woven suede desert boot (which Pask has worn since his teenage years in Yuma, Ariz.) and Closed’s wide pants with a tapered leg in navy and khaki. And in a rare case of social media actually making us more social, Pask also plans to dole out in-person fashion advice at B. “I grew up working in a shop,” he says. “I love interacting with customers and putting things together.” Now that’s what we call engagement. Jill Newman
has been doling out style advice for more than three decades. The men’s fashion director for Bergdorf Goodman and former fashion editor has amassed a legion of followers who regularly stalk his sartorial style on Instagram. And now, he’s taking his authoritative feed—which is ﬂooded with requests for where to ﬁnd the often obscure brands that make up his singular wardrobe—to RL (you know, real life) with February’s opening of B., a new store-within-a-store stocked with his favorite ﬁnds. B. is “for the guy who doesn’t want to stylistically shout, but wants things that are special, well-crafted,” says Pask. For his faithful followers, the new shop, on Bergdorf’s third ﬂoor, is like walking into his Instagram—or better yet, his closet— only it’s designed in the spirit of a nostalgic general store. Among reclaimed wood shingle panels, Navajo rugs, and succulents is an eclectic mix of Pask’s personal picks, from Z Zegna double-pleated jeans and Want Les Essentiels selvedge totes (his everyday work bag) to Emily Bode’s botanical camp shirts and a collection of go-to grooming products. B R U C E PA S K
The Goods | S T Y L E
W TO WEAR . . . A MAC JACKET be caught in one shower s our mind come rainy March and April for yo to leap to the question: trench coaat or heir difmackintosh? But ﬁrst, a note on th ferences: The former, which was invented to shield Allied officers from grim weather in World War I, is double-breasted d with ulets an oversize revere collar and epau on the shoulders. The latter is sim mpler, single-breasted, with a smaller collar, raglan sleeves, and an A-line silhouette. wear, As with many things in mensw the winds of change blow unprediictably mphrey between the two. One season, Hum Bogart–style trenches are in; the next, n the mac is the stormy staple of choice. The truth is neither is wrong, but this spring, attention does seem to be turning toward the mac. It’s cooler and cleaner—m more Michael Caine in The Ipcress File than t Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther.
YO U O N LY N E E D
CLOC CKWISE FROM ABOV VE: The mac ket in its many jack form ms, from Coh hérence, Grenfell, Aquascutum, and Mackintosh.
The mac comes with its own set of sartorial decisions. Old English or new preppy? Rubberized cotton or waterproof gabardine? To start, familiarize yourself with the thoroughbred British heritage brands that earned the mac its early prestige. Burberry and Aquascutum are the obvious go-tos, as is Mackintosh, the originator of the rubberized cotton raincoat (and the nickname “mac”), which is better worn in truly freezing weather than in chilly spring showers. There’s also Grenfell, a lesser-known London brand that’s been weaving lightweight waterproof gabardine into reliable rainwear since 1923. The label’s Campbell mac is a timeless choice, both practical and elegant. For a more modern look, you could rely on mainstays like Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren—bo oth of which design new raincoats everyy sp pring—but we prefer Tokyo’s cult label Coh hérence, which re-creates midcenturyy rainwear worn by famous artists, musicians, and creatives. The sharplyy tailored Corb C II, for instance, is inspired byy French architect a Le Corbusier, who preferred a jacket with a crisp silhouette. Whatever your favored label, remember the ﬁrst rule off meenswear: Less is more. Skip the military look in favor of simplicityy and you’ll weather w this spring in style. Aleks Cvetkovicc
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The Goods | S T Y L E
SOLE SEARCHING Put a spring in your step with dress shoes that do double duty. B Y PA I G E R E D D I N G E R PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSHUA SCOT T STYLING BY C H A R L E S W. B U M G A R D N E R
Lighten Your Load Bruno Magliâ€™s ultralightweight Iko neutral tassel loafers ($495, brunomagli.com) will go with just about anything, from your suit to your denim, without weighing you down.
Footloose and Flexible Ermenegildo Zegna’s dark brown L’Asola loafers ($695, zegna.us), combining ﬂexible soles and soft lamb-nappa uppers, are so comfortable, they’ll feel like slippers.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
The Goods | S T Y L E
Competitive Edge These Hubertus calf-leather shoes from Christian Louboutin ($1,250, christianlouboutin.com) are business up top and adventure down below, with unobtrusive rubber lug soles made for stepping off-road in style.
The Goods | S T Y L E
SPARKLE THERAPY the UK on edge these days, but that doesn’t mean Londoners have all lost their sense of humor. Take Cora Sheibani (corasheibani.com), for instance: The Swiss-born, London-based jeweler is having plenty of fun with her bold pieces inﬂuenced by everyday objects, from her Pill collection—which pairs carved gemstones like turquoise and aquamarine with faceted bands of smoky quartz to create multicolored pillshaped beads strung into necklaces—to her assemblage of rings and bracelets resembling cupcakes, cacti, and clouds. Sheibani’s irreverent style might be just the thing we need to take our minds off more serious subjects. And she isn’t alone, as more and more independent designers deign to disrupt London’s old-school jewelry scene, which has long been dominated by heritage brands boasting royal warrants. Noor Fares’s designs (noorfares.com) may carry an air of mysticism—chalk it up to her many trips to India—but her jewelry is as playful as it is exotic. The deﬁning piece from her newest collection, called Prana, is a bespoke eye pendant, handpainted by an Italian miniaturist to mimic its owner’s own iris. Alice Cicolini (alicecicolini.com) is having a good time, too, using a rare combination of Indian enameling techniques and British goldsmithing to craft designs—rings in lacquer, handcarved ebony, and engraved and enameled Japanese kimono patterns, among them— that appear innovative and antique all at once. Clearly, tradition has gone out the window, replaced with styles that are more daring, less formal, and even a little entertaining. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Annabel Davidson B R E X I T M AY H AV E
Clockwise from left: Cora Sheibani Triple Pill necklace, $26,400. Noor Fares Personalised Eye pendant, $3,730. Alice Cicolini Jodphur ring, starting at $6,500.
FOUR MORE MODERN GEMS
Ruth Tomlinson From her Hatton Garden studio, Tomlinson handcrafts intricate pieces informed by nature and historical design. (ruthtomlinson.com)
Venyx World Eugenie Niarchos’s audacious label takes far-out galactic and fantastical motifs and turns them into rockstar-worthy jewels. (venyxworld.com)
Ming Jewellery Designer and bench-jeweler Ming Lampson portrays her passion for unusual stones and glorious color in a beautifully reﬁned style. (ming jewellery.com)
Anissa Kermiche Alexander Calder, Constantin Brancusi, and Pablo Picasso are among the muses that have inspired Kermiche’s sculptural pieces. (anissa kermiche.com)
WATCHES THE BEAT GOES ON Vacheron Constantin’s new complication has serious stamina.
dedicated watch collector, maintaining a perpetual complication can become a perpetual chore. Resetting the calendar components could take so long you have to pencil it into your schedule (pretty counterproductive for a watch, don’t you think?). Of course, there are plenty of collectors who relish every moment of attention they can lavish on their babies. For those of us who’ve got other things to do, Vacheron Constantin’s new platinum Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar ($199,000, vacheron -constantin.com) is the answer. EVEN FOR THE MOST
Launched in January at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, the Twin Beat is the ﬁrst timepiece to have a user-controlled dual frequency that allows the wearer to switch via a single pusher between an active (5 Hz) and a standby (1.2 Hz) mode, allowing for more power reserve. If the watch is kept in standby mode— lying ﬂat and untouched—the perpetual calendar can keep accurate time for more than 65 days. That’s an incredible amount of power reserve: not days or hours, like other high-complication timepieces, but two entire months. h
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The Goods | WA T C H E S
It’s a major stride—and one that was serious work for Vacheron. “It was a challenge for our engineers to come up with something that would vastly increase the autonomy of the power reserve of the movement,” says Christian Selmoni, the watchmaker’s style and heritage director. The solution was to create a separate gear train for each mode. “One is the standby mode for maintaining the information of the perpetual calendar, and the second one is active mode, which is the mode in which you are wearing the watch.” The upshot: If you were to wear the watch
every day in active mode, you wouldn’t need to rewind it for four days. If you wore it for 12 hours a day, putting it in standby mode at night when you took it off, you could wait a little over a week. That’s a whole lot of innovation crammed into a very wearable 42 mm x 12.33 mm case (which means it won’t sit like a hubcap on your wrist, either). Even though the Twin Beat will not be a limited-edition watch, it will be hard to get ahold of. Because of its complexity, production will remain small for now—just a few watches will be made this year. Paige Reddinger
Christoph Grainger-Herr IWC’s man in command tells us about what makes his Swiss powerhouse tick.
W H E N PA U L N E W M A N ’ S Rolex Daytona ref. 6239 sold for $17.8 million at Phillips auction house in 2017, Daytona prices were suddenly launched into the stratosphere. Pre-owned watch e-tailer Crown & Caliber (crownandcaliber.com) has charted the famed model’s ascent through sales data from the last six years, using its most popular references to illustrate its massive climb in value. “When we see a vintage watch, like the Paul Newman, publicly sell or auction for a high dollar amount, it has an almost immediate effect on the pre-owned market,” says Crown & Caliber founder Hamilton Powell. “It essentially becomes the tide that raises all boats in terms of price—sometimes dramatically.” How dramatically? Just look at the ref. 16520. Back in 1988 when it was introduced with the Zenith “El Primero” Caliber 4030, it retailed for about $3,300. A year after the Newman sale, it was selling for up to $26,500 on Crown & Caliber. That’s good news for Daytona owners, but for aspiring collectors, it may be dark times ahead: Rolex’s latest model, the ref. 116500, retails for $12,400, but good luck ﬁnding it anywhere other than the auction block or the pre-owned market—for nearly double that amount. P.R.
A discontinued classic known for its larger 40 mm Oyster case and self-winding movement. 2013:
A two-tone upgrade to the 16520 in steel and yellow gold.
An uprade to the 116520 considered by some collectors to be an undervalued Daytona.
The ﬁrst Daytona to feature an in-house Rolex chronograph movement.
Christoph GraingerHerr may be just 41 years old, but he’s already had two careers that would make most men envious: The CEO of one of Richemont’s top watch manufacturers started out as an architect before being named the brand’s top executive in 2017. We sat down with the man of many talents to ﬁnd out where he’s taking IWC, and how he’s going to get there. P.R.
How did you go from buildings to watches? I have no idea! I’m always trying to ﬁnd a rational answer to that question. Ultimately, I’m a brand person, and the more you design, the more you start to think about all the different dimensions of a company. But to make a gut decision about what feels IWC and what doesn’t? Either you bring that to the table or you don’t. What is your gut telling you about the future of IWC’s most iconic watches? When you design a watch, you want it to be timelessly beautiful. Think about the Porsche 911: When you put the 1964 next to the 2019, they’re
quite different, but no one would question they’re both 911s. That’s exactly what we’re doing with our Portugieser and Pilot’s watches. There are incremental developments, but the DNA is never lost. Which IWC releases should we have our eye on right now? The new Spitﬁre collection is very impressive, and there has also been a good response to the slightly smaller diameters we’ve released for our Pilot’s watches. The Ceratanium Double Chronograph watch is also popular. It’s a new material that allowed us to create an allblack watch, including the crowns and the pushers. Speaking of Spitﬁres, you have a vintage Spitﬁre ﬁghter plane spreading IWC’s message this year. We’re getting ready to ﬂy it around the world. It’s not a museum piece; it’s not a mock-up—it’s an original. Matt Jones and Steve Boultbee Brooks are the fantastic visionary adventurers who will be piloting it. They’ll make more than 150 stops in 26-plus countries. We’ll be inviting clients along the way, and there will be surprises for sure.
ILLUSTRATION BY JOEL KIMMEL
Daytona Rising: Rolex’s Crown Jewel
ART & DESIGN 1960s Austria, Erwin Wurm and his friends had an expression for expensive automobiles that were instantly recognizable and driven, they surmised, by rich people: “fat cars.” As one of contemporary art’s more iconoclastic conceptual artists, the Vienna-based Wurm has spun the term into a series of corpulent, life-size sculptures that contemplate our consumer society. “The car and the house, the two objects which I’ve made fat, were always the most beloved objects of human beings—before they created the iPhone,” Wurm says with a chuckle. “It’s how we address our well-being, our wealth, our coolness. It’s social status.” Wurm has fattened up Porsches and Ferraris, but his latest is a lumpy, forest-green Mini Cooper, which is on view in a solo exhibition at London’s Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (ropac.net) through March 23. The oxymoronic Fat Mini takes a humbler vehicle as its subject but still explores the biological, cultural, and artistic associations with weight gain that have long intrigued him: At the most basic level, he notes, sculpture is about adding or subtracting volume. (Last summer in Brooklyn, in conjunction with the Public Art Fund, his bulbous, yellow Hot Dog Bus handed out some 50,000
GROWING UP IN
Left: Wurm’s Untitled, 2019, Polaroid. Right: Fat Mini, 2018, mixed media.
WEIGHTY MATTERS Erwin Wurm’s art speaks volumes.
A R T & D E S I G N | The Goods
Nearby, 2017, watercolor and crayon on paper.
Code of Conduct SINNER OR SAINT—
“I am very much interested in the absurd.”
there’s no excuse for average design. Whatever vice or virtue rules your world, do it in style. Here are ﬁve ways, for better or worse. Arianne Nardo
h Clean up your diet with a healthier humidor: the Lotusier Jangala tea box crafted from sycamore wood. ($16,310, lotusier.com)
Treat your gluttony T l with h Phanes’s Mademoiselle BC Parme caviar spoon in silver, mother-of-pearl, and parma shagreen. ($1,250, phanes.fr)
If you must puff, use Joe Doucet’s Fetish ashtray in 24-karat-gold-plated aluminum. ($2,000, shop -tetra.com)
unsure expectation of the world.” He captured this new group using, for the ﬁrst time, a large-format Polaroid camera, a near-obsolete technology that in the old analog days was the closest photography came to instant gratiﬁcation. Wurm, who also has exhibitions opening this month at Lehmann Maupin Hong Kong (lehmann maupin.com) and König Galerie in Berlin (koeniggalerie.com), says he had the most fun making the show’s ceramics and drawings because both offered solitude. “No assistants, nobody,” he says. “It was just me.”
free wieners; the people who ate them, Wurm posits, could be considered sculptures themselves.) Also on view at Ropac is a group of his signature “One Minute Sculptures,” in which a willing participant follows simple instructions for interacting in often ridiculous ways with a given prop—think placing a shoe on your head, stuffing your legs into the sleeve of a sweater, or balancing an arc of oranges with your forehead— then holds the pose long enough for a photograph to be snapped, documenting the performance. “I am very much interested in the absurd,” Wurm says. “It creates an
Sweat it out with Teckell’s sculptural and smart Ciclotte Bluetoothenabled bike. (Starting at $14,000, teckell.com)
Pick your poison wisely when sipping from Vista Alegre’s Pºison Bottle porcelain snake ﬂask. ($765, vistaalegre.com)
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
The Answers with . . . MICHELE LUPI
Late last year, Michele Lupi—the longtime editor of magazines such as GQ Italia, and Rolling Stone Italia—quit his desk job to become a visionary. Believe it or not, the title is legit: Fashion label Tod’s created the position of Men’s Collections Visionary speciﬁcally for him, as he helps develop the group’s new Tod’s Factory project. For Lupi, a man of taste in everything from the cars he drives to the denim he wears, the title was half the allure. “It is a strange position, but I am always open to trying new things— even trying out a new life at 53 years old,” he says. Robb Report caught up with the stylish Italian in the ﬁrst days of his new gig to talk vintage watches, analog phones, and the arrival of the “Shoeker.” BY JACKIE CARADONIO P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y M AT T I A B A LS A M I N I
What have you done recently for the ﬁrst time? I had my ﬁrst pair of custom Italian craftsman shoes made. I just started working at Tod’s, so the ﬁrst thing that I did was have a pair of shoes made by them. They are called Shoekers—a merge between a classic shoe and a sneaker. I have a lot of shoes, and usually I am more into British and American classics like Alden or Church’s, or original Jordans, but I think the Shoeker is really interesting. It’s a new way in footwear that fuses Italian craftsmanship with the world of sneakers.
What do you do that’s still analog? I’m a really big fan of analog. Digital is so perfect, it becomes annoying. It’s important to use technology in a way that doesn’t destroy your life. So I carry a Punkt phone,1 which only does phone calls and text messages. I went to the Punkt offices a week ago—they are based in Switzerland—and they told me they are ﬁnding their biggest market is in Silicon Valley.
Do you have a uniform for certain occasions? Yes. For most of the year I’m dressed exactly the same. I wear a chambray shirt with a navy-blue V-neck cashmere sweater; Lot No. 1 Levi’s, which are made-tomeasure jeans; blue socks; and an old pair of Alden shoes.
1 At $349 and just 4.6 inches long, Punkt’s MP02 “dumb phone” has no touchscreen, no apps, no camera, and only 16 GB of storage.
What’s the most recent thing you’ve added to your collection? My blue 1981 Mercedes 280TE. It is my second Mercedes; my ﬁrst was a red 300TD, which is diesel, so I needed one that takes gasoline. The 280TE is very difficult to buy in Europe. It’s not a really expensive car, but it’s a classic. I think it’s one of the last beautifully designed cars of the ’70s and ’80s.
The most recent thing you regret not buying? 2 Over the years, a handful of models have been dubbed “the poor man’s Porsche,” including the Boxster, the 928, and, yes, the 912.
A Porsche 912. It’s called “the poor man’s Porsche”2 because it was the slowest one, but it’s also the sleekest. It’s like a 911 but simpler and, technically, it has a smaller engine. It’s not usually considered much by collectors because they tend to prefer the fastest and most expensive cars. But for me, it’s not about owning the most expensive thing; it’s about owning the real thing. This car is for people who know.
What are your three favorite stores? There is a beautiful bookstore in London called Daunt Books that is ﬁlled with books about adventures and travel. There’s another shop in London that’s called Arthur Beale that’s really great. It’s a 400-year-old ship chandler that sells ropes and other supplies for adventures and expeditions.3 And in Amsterdam, there’s a store called Gastronomie Nostalgie that has everything for the kitchen and home.
How many watches do you own?
4 The Andretti is named for Italian racecar driver Mario Andretti, who was gifted a version of the chronograph in 1966 after posting a 167.411 mph lap at the Indianapolis 500.
I own three. Lately, I wear a classic black-and-white Swatch. When I was working as an editor, I was meeting the most interesting people and they always seemed to be wearing a black-and-white Swatches. Renzo Piano wears one. I also have a 1965 Rolex Explorer because I like the story behind that watch and the idea that it was made the year I was born. And my third watch is a rare chronograph, a Heuer Autavia Andretti.4 In the ’80s, I bought it from a vintage shop for $200. Now its price has gone crazy—almost as much as a Rolex Daytona. It’s really old and scratched, and I like it for that reason.
3 In the early 1900s, Arthur Beale supplied ropes, pulleys, and ice axes to Ernest Shackleton for his famed trans-Antarctic expedition.
How would you describe your look? A point of balance between Milan and Wyoming.
Do you still write letters? Yes, always with F. Pettinaroli,5 a classic stationery made by an old shop in Milan. It’s quite expensive but beautiful.
Bowie or Dylan? Mostly Bowie, but I have to admit that Dylan is incredible. You don’t have to like his music, but you cannot deny that he is a cultural giant of the 20th century.
5 F. Pettinaroli was founded in 1881 by Francesco Pettinaroli. Nearly 150 years later, the Brera district cartoleria (stationery shop) is still run by the Pettinaroli family.
Read the full interview online at robbreport.com/lupi.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
A DEVOTION TO MOTION
Dream Machines WHEELS
WA T E R
Volkswagen at the Vanguard After setting a new record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the marque’s electrifying zero-emissions racer continues to charge ahead.
International Hill Climb—in Colorado Springs, Colo.—is a litmus test for efficient automotive design and engineering, and the innovative, all-electric Volkswagen I.D. R has proven it has the winning chemistry. “In computer simulations, limiting weight was the obvious key to conquering Pikes Peak,” says Volkswagen I.D. R chassis project manager Cedric Delnatte. “Light weight, balance, and grip to be fast on the corners.” With front and rear electric motors delivering 479 ft lbs of torque and about 670 electric-equivalent hp to all four wheels of this 2,425-pound racer, there were no concerns about power. h
THE PIKES PEAK
The Volkswagen I.D. R in its historic ascent of Pikes Peak.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
requires dramatic measures—the course ends above the clouds at just over 14,000 feet. The car’s visual signature is its cartoonlike dining table of a rear wing. The front splitter is nothing delicate either. Last June, Le Mans–winner Romain Dumas saddled up and, ever so quietly, put the hammer down, climbing 4,720 feet and spearing through 156 turns in 12.42 miles. By taking the checkered ﬂag a few seconds under eight minutes, Dumas smashed the absolute record of 8:13.878 set ﬁve years previously on the fully paved course by a Peugeot rally car. For perspective, a 2017
“No sound from the engine, no gear change, no rev band. At ﬁrst the quiet is irritating.”
Delnatte’s corporate mission was an engineer’s dream: Design a performance car for the Pikes Peak Unlimited class, where anything goes if it passes safety inspection. The I.D. R follows patterns of Le Mans prototypes: carbon-ﬁber tub, alloy suspension, and enveloping bodywork with no shortage of aerodynamic trickery. Battery packs are placed on the ﬂoor for a low center of gravity, one alongside the driver on the right-hand side, the other directly behind it and well ahead of the rear axle line for chassis balance. Generating downforce at high altitude
W H E E L S | Dream Machines
“Hey, Mercedes, where do I want to go?”
CAR TALK (VR) technology is working its way into every facet of life, in every way imaginable. Initially available only in the odd smart appliance, VR exploded with the advent of connected homes and operating systems like Nest and Google Assistant. Now smart speakers with virtual assistants with sexy names like Alexa, Siri, Bixby, and Cortana are waging war for the chance to become your full-time robot butler (and surreptitious data collector, but that’s another story). In some applications, VR doesn’t make all that much sense. Sure, you can command your smart microwave to “heat chicken” with the voice of God, but you still have to pull the bird out of the fridge, plate it, and prep it when it’s done. Did you really save that much effort by eliminating the insufferable step of pushing a button? The one place voice recognition is becoming more and more indispensable, however, is in your automobile. “Call Mom,” “play Drake playlist,” and “ﬁnd nearest Whole Foods” are the kinds of commands you probably use daily. We might already take them for granted, but these protocols are critical advancements—ensuring you keep your eyes safely on the road while your Jag XJ multitasks. Sending texts, reading e-mails, tracking weather forecasts, and broadcasting news updates while being stuck in traffic have unlocked hours of lost productivity and kept us safer. Daimler’s robust Hey Mercedes system—standard even in the entry-level A-Class—promises to be more intuitive and understands conversational questions. For the most part, it doesn’t require rote commands like other systems; you can ask “Do I need sunglasses tomorrow?” in place of a formal weather check, or utter “I’m cold” instead of “Set temperature to 75 degrees.” “It’s not the human who has to adapt to the machine, but the other way around,” explains Nils Schanz, Mercedes’ VO I C E R E C O G N I T I O N
Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Time Attack class was driven by factory driver David Donohue and set a time about 100 seconds adrift of Dumas, at 9:37.152. “No sound from the engine, no gear change, no rev band. At ﬁrst the quiet is irritating,” says Dumas. “You are missing aural feedback. It is a visual experience of speed. You get used to it, and the sound of the electric front motor helps a bit. In hairpins, it is a challenge not to go down in tire smoke and wheelspin.” The I.D. R has delivered engineering lessons about ultrarapid charging systems
and keeping the batteries cool, as well as regenerative braking. These insights will inform VW’s unique electric motor design that will power a family of I.D. production cars scheduled to arrive in 2022, including the I.D. Buzz that electriﬁes and updates the look of the iconic “Kombi” microbus. By 2023, the brand will have invested $34 billion in I.D. development. In the meantime, the I.D. R may compete closer to home in 2019 as VW Motorsport (volkswagen-motorsport.com) will attempt a one-lap EV record at Germany’s Nürburgring circuit. Augustus Brooks
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
Dream Machines | W H E E L S
Going for Gusto One cannot help but admire the tenacity with which MV Agusta (mvagusta.com) pursues jaw-dropping design when it develops
but soon your SUV could transform from robot butler to trusted conﬁdante. While industry analysts predict nearly 90 percent of all new vehicles will have “onboard” VR capability by 2022, the true game-changer will be “off-board,” or cloud-based, voice recognition. Off-board VR’s ability to converse and learn with a much greater neural network—one found in the cloud—will have profound effects on how we interact with our cars. Two Massachusetts-based companies, Affectiva and Nuance, are building what they dub the ﬁrst “empathetic” automotive AI platforms. With these new systems, your car will learn your habits and interpret moods. It will do so ﬁrst by predicting your normal cycles: Not a morning person? Your Audi will know. And secondly, by picking up subconscious cues in your speech patterns or tones. Feeling bummed out? Your G-Wagen may soon tell you a Bill Burr joke. Cranky because a project meeting went long and you had to skip lunch? Your Bentley may
a motorcycle. As with all the brand’s bikes, the styling is meant to capture “the heart of the rider through unadulterated aesthetic appeal,” says design director Adrian Morton of the new Brutale 1000 Serie Oro. “A
conscious decision was made to retain a naked motorcycle. No filters, no screens, no wind protection. Just pure, raw adrenaline.” That energy, cloaked in custom red-weave carbon fiber, satin ink paint, aerodynamic winglets, side-mounted slashcut exhausts, and the very latest electronic rider aids, hits harder than ever before. This is the most powerful production naked bike on the planet, with 208 hp on tap from a motor forged in the hotbed of Superbike World Championship competition. Getting to that level of horsepower was a challenge, says Brian Gillen, head of research and
“Feeling bummed out? Your G-Wagen may soon tell you a Bill Burr joke.” just suggest a soup dumpling place piling up positive reviews nearby (it knows you prefer Shanghai style to Cantonese, naturally). Your car will remind you that your anniversary is coming up and that you’re out of almond milk (again), and even coordinate the air-conditioning, lighting, seat massage, and music to enable a wellness setup tailored speciﬁcally to your mood. How considerate. When was the last time a human companion took you out for soup dumplings while giving you a massage and trying to make you chuckle? The age of connected cars is already here, but the age of your automobile encroaching on your best friend’s territory might be closer than you think. Nicolas Stecher
development for the company, “because a race engine has no emission regulations and gets rebuilt every 1,500 kilometers.”
MV Agusta’s Brutale 1000 Serie Oro will be limited to just 300 examples worldwide, each priced at around $46,000. Peter Jackson
head of voice control. Hey Mercedes also recognizes indirect speech, as well as complex sentences. For instance, Schanz notes that the VR can interpret manifold queries like, “Hey, Mercedes, I’m hungry— show me kid-friendly Italian restaurants in San Francisco with four or more stars that have free Wi-Fi and parking.” Expect more industry-wide innovations soon. “Sonic curtains” will block unwanted in-car noise from interfering with the voice recognition while still allowing passengers to converse naturally, and a “virtual cube in space” (which desperately needs some marketing love via a new name) will accurately sense commands coming only from a speciﬁc place (say, the driver’s seat’s headrest area) and ignore all other stimuli. New systems will better detect sirens in loud conditions, lowering the radio’s volume and sending audio and visual cues to notify a potentially distracted driver of oncoming ﬁre trucks or police. These are incremental improvements,
2019 C OLLEC TIO N
furniture | lighting | accessories
Dream Machines | W H E E L S
AUTOS FOR THE APOCALYPSE S O M E W H E R E B E T W E E N T H E F I C T I O N of The Walking Dead and the realities of the California ﬁres, it occurs to us that it could be smart to own a vehicle capable of escaping zombie hordes and natural calamities. These are your best bets for getting away from it all, whether you’re escaping an impending cyclone or the mayhem from an erupting volcano.
Jason H. Harper
THE 101: BMW’s adventure motorcycle, brand-new and primed for on- and off-road retreats SPECS: Flat-twin boxer engine with 136 hp and 105 ft lbs of torque; $17,695 FOOTPRINT: Burly and tall enough to intimidate New York City taxis; slim enough to slip through clogged streets DISASTER FLICK TO MATCH:
Independence Day. Aliens are attacking your city, and you’ve gotta get out of town fast BOTTOM LINE: The best way to beat traffic
Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
Mercedes-Benz G 550 An all-new version of the military-minded Geländewagen SPECS: 4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, with 416 hp and 450 ft lbs of torque; $124,500 FOOTPRINT: The brute is 6.4 feet high and weighs more than 5,500 pounds THE 101:
DISASTER FLICK TO MATCH:
World War Z. This Mercedes-Benz will give you a ﬁghting chance at escape BOTTOM LINE: The apocalypse just got comfortable
THE 101: It’s a Jeep Wrangler—with a truck bed SPECS: 3.6-liter V-6 engine with 285 hp and 260 ft lbs of torque; $48,000 (estimated) FOOTPRINT: 31 inches longer than the four-door Jeep Wrangler DISASTER FLICK TO MATCH: San Andreas. This Jeep could negotiate quake-broken streets and maneuver around abandoned vehicles BOTTOM LINE: The legendary Jeep now has room to carry all of your survival gear
Unimog THE 101: This Daimlerproduced multipurpose truck is the equivalent of a tank—and you can potentially live inside it SPECS: Option for 6-liter, turbocharged diesel engine with 300 hp; $100,000-plus (estimate) FOOTPRINT: A movable house DISASTER FLICK TO MATCH:
Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo S A souped-up, openair buggy SPECS: Turbocharged fourstroke, twin-cylinder engine with 168 hp; $30,499 FOOTPRINT: Carries four, has 32-inch wheels and 16 inches of ground clearance DISASTER FLICK TO MATCH: Mad Max. The vehicle should be in every road warrior’s garage BOTTOM LINE: A fast, super-capable off-roader that Mel Gibson would approve of THE 101:
The Day After. The Unimog would allow you to roll across the wastelands safely BOTTOM LINE: Might be the most capable off-roader on the planet
ILLUSTRATION BY ASAF HANUK A
BMW R 1250 GS
TIME INSTRUMENTS FROM THE COCKPIT TO THE WRIST BR 03-94 Black Matte Â· Automatic chronograph
Dream Machines | W H E E L S
A car that knows the future, or at least has a pretty good guess.
W H E E L S | Dream Machines
(lamborghini.com) Huracán stormed the scene in 2014, a surge of variants followed that showcased the marque’s innovations, including the Performante’s acclaimed ALA system of active aerodynamics. Replacing the original coupe, the marque’s latest automotive tempest, the Huracán Evo, represents a new benchmark for the brand—a car that knows the future, or at least has a pretty good guess. The Evo’s ability to predict driver intent comes from its Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata (LDVI), tongue-twisting technology that took roughly 30 months to develop. It comprises a super processor that monitors and adjusts the car’s already ﬁnetuned systems, such as all-wheel steering, torque vectoring, and advanced traction control (to name just a few), in order to constantly foretell the pilot’s actions and prepare accordingly within 20 milliseconds. “LDVI uses all the input data you can give the car—how fast you push the accelerator or brake, how fast you release, the way you touch the steering wheel—to anticipate and align the car to your wishes in the blink of an eye,” says Lamborghini’s chief technical officer, Maurizio Reggiani. Further distancing itself from the ﬁrst Huracán, this successor presents improved body styling and air-ﬂow features—including new side air intakes, rear slotted spoiler, and rear diffuser—that bolster aerodynamic efficiency by six times and downforce sevenfold. The vehicle, developed to be Lamborghini’s two-door daily driver, does not have the Performante’s track prowess (or rear wing) but is not far aﬁeld, especially since it shares the latter’s 640 hp, naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10. My turn behind the wheel came recently on the Bahrain International Circuit’s 3.3mile track. The LDVI-enhanced handling paired with carbon-ceramic brakes instantly translated responses to the customized Pirelli P Zero tires as they bit the circuit’s serpentine aggregate. On the straightaways, the engine’s soundtrack rose from whine to war cry as I quickly closed in on 170 mph, still well south of the car’s 202 mph top speed. It was impossible to not be impressed, but then, the Evo already knew I would be. Viju Mathew
Pontus Fontaeus GAC Motor’s design guru explains why he’s driven to expand the automotive experience. A graduate of ArtCenter College of Design in Switzerland, Pontus Fontaeus has worked on projects for Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, and Bugatti. Now based in Southern California as the executive design director for China’s GAC Motor (gac-motor .com), he shares why car interiors have room for improvement and why his newly debuted all-electric concept could be the answer. V.M. What is your approach to design? I really like to challenge myself and my design team. If we stay in our comfort zone, we will never push boundaries or invent something new.
LAMBORGHINI: CHARLIE MAGEE; ILLUSTRATION BY JOEL KIMMEL
LAMBORGHINI’S BRAINY NEW BULL
How has aviation inﬂuenced your perspective? I had the opportunity to act as lead designer for the latest new business class from Singapore Airlines, which led me to understand the future of great cabin design in cars. We have to incorporate the same luxury and well-being found in ﬁrst-class ﬂying into an automotive setting, especially with autonomous driving. When there isn’t anyone to serve you, everything has to be built into the machine. Tell us about the company and your latest project, the Entranze EV concept. One of the 10 top companies in China, GAC Motor is a collection of true car people who really want to innovate and go global. We have three R&D facilities in the U.S., and have done joint ventures with Toyota, Honda, and FCA, among others. Our Entranze EV concept is a hyper family car. It offers an aircraft-inspired, seven-person seating arrangement with a bench seat up front and an aisle in the second and third rows. Overhead consoles, air vents, and a moving trolley are all similar to an airline experience. Its silhouettes also reﬂect aviation with a bullet design inspired by the fuselage, small winglets, and curved surfaces. It’s a show car, but I know exactly what to do to make it ready for production.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
WATER GORGEOUS AND GREEN Oceancoâ€™s Project Bravo is a hybrid yacht worthy of applause.
WA T E R | Dream Machines
“Our approach was to maintain a stunningly sleek proﬁle without sacriﬁcing any interior space.” The design principles, says James Roy, managing director of Lateral Naval Architects, produce a “harmonious balance” among the yacht’s weight, power, technical areas, and interior. On the exterior, Bravo’s low proﬁle and slender shape give the hybrid engines an aerodynamic boost and a badass look, enabled in part by its single-tiered engine room. Traditional engine rooms usually need two tiers, eating up cabin or deck space. This yacht’s single-level example allows more space for guests. Oceanco has created some of the world’s most impressive bespoke yachts, including recent launches such
as 295-foot Dar, 350-foot Black Pearl, and 361-foot Jubilee (recently sold to Stan Kroenke and his wife, Ann Walton, for $310 million). And Alfa Nero, Oceanco’s 2007 launch, was one of the most recognized yachts of its time. Venice-based Nuvolari Lenard, designers of Alfa Nero and many leading superyachts, was tasked with raising the bar on Project Bravo to craft another revolutionary aesthetic. “Our approach with Bravo was to maintain a stunningly sleek proﬁle without sacriﬁcing any interior space,” says Dan Lenard, a principal with the ﬁrm. The edgy, sport-yacht lines can be seen in the dramatic open stern and a curved transom that slopes gently to the water. The third member of the Bravo dream team was UK-based Reymond Langton, tasked with designing an interior that matched the exterior’s lines. Pascale Reymond and her studio team worked with artists and craftsmen on the yacht’s bespoke art, fabrics, and furniture. “It all creates a warm, inviting environment for the owner’s family and guests,” says Reymond. Oceanco did not release many details on the interior, but the superyacht’s 53-foot beam provided exceptional space for the designers to work with. Inside and out, Project Bravo could be a trendsetter. “This new exterior style concept is bound to create a new design stream,” says Lenard. We expect it to be increasingly copied. Geri Ward
Philippe Briand London’s renowned naval architect and sailing-yacht designer is shoring up his portfolio with a land-based project. Inspired by the design of sailing yacht Grace E, the Pavilia Bay in Hong Kong is naval architect Philippe Briand’s ﬁrst residential project. Elements of his maritime structural expertise are found throughout the waterfront development, such as 650 steel plates welded together like the hull of a yacht, and the two towers of the building made to evoke the mast of a yacht under full sail. The overall result delivers nautical-chic nuances to a skyscraper skyline. Julia Zaltzman How did you go about applying nautical lines to Pavilia Bay? The starting point for us was to explain to the developer the main rules of yacht design and to translate what materials will and won’t work. We identiﬁed the lines, and the materials followed, such as the white external painted facade that resembles the bow of a yacht, the use of metal and carbon-ﬁber podiums to resemble a mast, and the idea to use teak and mahogany. The lines themselves derived from how space is used on a yacht—the pool area, external terraces, and the internal ﬂow.
A-List Access: To commission your own Oceanco yacht, contact Bas Swanink at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BRAVO: TOM VAN OOSSANEN; ILLUSTRATION BY JOEL KIMMEL
(oceancoyacht.com) new 357-foot Project Bravo is a lean, green, sailing machine that’s destined to be a record breaker. While a growing number of vessels include hybrid engines, they are still rare on superyachts, just because of the sheer effort it takes to power boats of that size. But Project Bravo is a sleek example of what can be done at the top of the gigayacht class. Launched in the fall, the custom boat is the ﬁrst Oceanco to have the new LIFE (lengthened, innovative, fuel-efficient, eco-friendly) design, which combines progressive naval architecture with a clever hybrid-engine conﬁguration.
What elements of terrestrial architecture are found within yacht design? Yacht design and land-based architecture have many similarities. Had I not become a yacht designer, I would have surely been an architect, so I have had an affinity with that discipline. It’s common today to have the superstructure of a boat inspired by land-based architecture. There’s a real trend to make the similarities between the two transparent, even in terms of renewable energy. The use of liqueﬁed natural gas ﬁrst came about in buildings and is now being replicated at sea, so too the increasing use of glass. I take inspiration from the latest land-based designs, and I particularly like the work of Norman Foster and Renzo Piano.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
Dream Machines | WA T E R
New to Charter
Recess Reﬁned The elegantly dressed Driftwood is an aquatic playground for up to a dozen guests. and a 27-foot Xtender facilitate beach access and can serve as towboats for wakeboarding and waterskiing. Sporting a Tim Heywood exterior, the yacht was designed to entertain. In addition to that slide, the boat’s sundeck features a bar and a Jacuzzi. The beach-house-style interior, designed by Rémi Tessier, is accented by bleached teak, ivory onyx, and brushed spruce. Bursts of natural light blend with the outdoor spaces to create a ﬂuid layout, but when the sun goes down, a complex lighting system takes over. Movie nights can go alfresco with an outdoor cinema screen viewed from the sundeck, and upper-deck ﬁrepit tables offer a cozy spot to stargaze. Driftwood is cruising the Caribbean and Central and South America for winter 2019. Rates start at $275,000 per week, excluding VAT and expenses. A week in the summer starts at about $315,000 for Central and South America. Julia Zaltzman
I F A N I N F L ATA B L E slide that runs from sundeck to sea makes you grin, the 180-foot Amels Driftwood might be the right choice for your next charter. New to the Y.CO (y.co) ﬂeet in November, the yacht was built in 2017 by an experienced owner and build team with extensive knowledge of the Amels 180 series. That insight translates to long sweeping deck spaces for outdoor dining, ﬂexible accommodations for up to 12 guests (with the option for two larger suites), and a spacious full-beam master stateroom with a private balcony that drops down at the touch of a button. Ideal for active adventurers, Driftwood offers a toy-stocked watersports garage with paddleboards, equipment for jet surﬁng, and Seabobs for powering under the waves. The 13-member crew has extensive watersports and adventure-cruising experience and includes an onboard scuba-diving instructor. A Sacs Strider 19 chase boat (aptly named Quikwood)
An on-the-water master and toys galore make up a Driftwood charter.
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WINGS Gravity Industries’ real-life Iron Man suit (left) and a JetPack Aviation pilot in ﬂight (below).
in aluminum trousers, ﬁreproof layers, and heavy boots. No, I’m not about to ﬁght a ﬁre in Southern California’s hills. Rather, I’m about to ﬂy a jet pack, and its owner is keen I don’t fry myself with the 1,000-degree engine blast. Earplugs in, helmet on, jets alight—I’m ready for liftoff. Rising on columns of thrust is literally the stuff of dreams, except this can hurt badly if it all goes wrong. Teaching me how to control the machine supplying all this heat, noise, and potential disaster is David Mayman, one of its inventors. His JetPack Aviation’s latest design ($340,000, jetpackaviation .com) uses six small jet engines (the version I tried had two larger ones) in a backpack weighing around 90 pounds.
I’M KITTED OUT
Any altitude up to 10,000 feet, at which you would need oxygen, is theoretically attainable.
JET PACKS TAKE ON TONY STARK You don’t have to be a superhero to ﬂy like one, as we found on recent test ﬂights of two self-propulsion systems.
Handgrips control height, speed, and yaw, and the engines are gimbal-mounted so the jet pack can go forward, backward, or sideways. Tiny, delicate movements of the controls lift the weight off my legs—and suddenly I’m ﬂying, keeping my body as still as possible to avoid the jets shooting me off in a direction I don’t want to go. I rise only 20 or 30 feet in the air under a safety-rope system, but people on the ground are already starting to look small. For the trained jet-pack pilot, any altitude up to 10,000 feet, at which you would need oxygen, is theoretically attainable. Aviation regulators, however, are still working out how to deal with jet packs; in the U.S., they’re being treated as small
TOP LEFT: RICH COOPER; BOT TOM: ANDREAS LANGREITER
W I N G S | Dream Machines
aircraft that can ﬂy low, away from urban areas. Mayman will teach someone to ﬂy in seven to 10 days for about $50,000. He also offers a day-long taster for $4,950. Unlikely as it seems, rival individual jet propulsion is also just out. In less than two years Britain-based Richard Browning’s Gravity Industries (gravity.co) has produced a real-life Iron Man suit. Browning’s Jet Suit is harder to master than Mayman’s pack, but he has already sold a couple for £340,000 (about $446,000), training included. He will teach nonowners to ﬂy for £15,000 (about $20,000) per day. Zipped in to the suit, I have one jet engine strapped to my back (along with a fuel tank) and two jet engines in a sort of sheath that goes over each forearm, with a throttle trigger in the right one. And that, apart from some electronics to stop everything blowing up, is it. Where thrust is directed and what I can do with it is down to where I point my arms. Balancing the 380 pounds of total thrust from the ﬁve engines is not easy. But once I learn the angles at which I need to hold my back and arms to ride those hot waves of kerosene-fueled force, I lift gently—but loudly—off the ground. For both systems, ﬂight time is about 10 minutes (depending on a person’s weight). Mayman claims more than 200 mph is possible with his system, but speeds seen so far are closer to 30 mph. Once regulation issues are resolved, the sky really is the limit. Rohit Jaggi A-List Access: For purchase inquiries through JetPack Aviation or Gravity Industries, contact David Mayman at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
THE X FACTOR
If you go with the same cabin design concept—from Switzerland’s Jet Aviation—that Boeing presented at the MEBAA Show, you can meander from one of the lounges to the cinema area to the D O C T O R S T E L L U S we shouldn’t sit for office to the master bedroom (or one of too long, that it’s bad for our health, that the three guest bedrooms). every hour or so we should get up and Another interior conﬁguration that take a stroll around the office, the house, Boeing displayed—from Greenpoint the yard. That’s all ﬁne and good, unless Technologies of Kirkland, Wash.—features you’re stuck in an airplane ﬂying from one a library, a guest suite, and a backlit bar side of the world to the other. Most cabins overlooking a sunken media lounge. In don’t offer much room to roam, but the addition, the master suite features heated newest Boeing Business Jet model, the hardwood ﬂoors, a 777X, is just what the king-size bed, and doctor ordered for ultraYou can meander a master bath with distance travelers. from one of the heated marble ﬂoors. The aircraft, which “Our most exclusive Boeing introduced lounges to the customers want to travel recently at the Middle cinema area to the with the best space and East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) office to the master comfort and ﬂy directly to their destination,” Show in Dubai, derives bedroom. said Greg Laxton, head from the company’s of Boeing Business Jets, widebody airliner. It’s at the unveiling. “The BBJ will be able to available in two variants, the 777-8 and the do this like no other airplane before it.” 777-9. The former has a range of 13,400 As green aircraft, the 777-8 and 777-9 miles, which is greater than that of any are priced at roughly $440 million and other business jet. $450 million, respectively. Boeing expects The 777-9 doesn’t ﬂy as far as its to begin deliveries within the next three sibling (only about 12,660 miles), but its years. M.D. Seaton cabin is 3,689 square feet (more than 400 square feet larger than the 777-8’s), so A-List Access: For purchase inquiries, contact there’s plenty of space to stretch your legs James D. Detwiler, vice president of Boeing Busiwhen journeying straight through from, ness Jet Sales, at email@example.com. say, Seattle to Dubai or London to Sydney.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
Dream Machines | W I N G S
Kenny Dichter The Wheels Up founder and serial entrepreneur talks hoofbeats and turboprops.
postcard-ready overwater bungalows and colorful coral reefs have always had the power to attract mainlanders searching for a tropical getaway, but for many years, high-end travel options were limited. Now, with the arrival of Air Tahiti Nui’s new ﬂeet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners making daily trips from Los Angeles, the islands ﬁnally have transportation options that beﬁt the idyllic setting.
F R E N C H P O LY N E S I A’ S
Air Tahiti Nui admits that its previous ﬂeet of Airbus A340s was no longer passing muster: The decor was outdated, and its business class did not even feature lie-ﬂat seats for the eight-hour journey. However, choices are few for a nonstop commercial ﬂight from the West Coast. Aside from Air Tahiti Nui, Air France ﬂies from Los Angeles to Papeete (the nation’s capital), and United Airlines began servicing Tahiti from San Francisco last year, though both ﬂy the route only three times weekly. Air Tahiti Nui’s updated business class uses a 2×2×2 seating conﬁguration that it shares with United’s Dreamliners. It doesn’t offer quite as much room as the 1×2×1 conﬁgurations on Air France’s older Boeing 777s, but the carrier settled on it because the islands are often a destination for couples who want to sit together. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by just how much room was available, though I would
The islands ﬁnally have transportation options that beﬁt the idyllic setting. have appreciated more storage space and a headphone jack that didn’t require a yoga pose to reach. The overall aesthetics are toned down but still evoke the tropics, with a cerulean palette and Tahitian prints on the pillows. And the crew greets you on board with a fragrant tiare blossom, the national ﬂower of French Polynesia. You arrive refreshed and energized thanks to the Dreamliner’s low 6,000-foot cabin altitude (others simulate an 8,000foot altitude) and a still-uncommon air humidiﬁer. Upon arrival, take advantage of Air Tahiti Nui’s newly launched VIP helicopter service to zip you directly to your destination island or hotel. John Lyon
Why has Wheels Up stayed committed to ﬂying turboprops? We discovered that more than 80 percent of private ﬂights ﬂown average two hours in-ﬂight time with fewer than three passengers on board. That stat was important in our decision to make the massive investment we did in our exclusive ﬂeet of King Air 350i aircraft. Are there any amenities you sacriﬁce? It’s the perfect private plane for ﬂights up to three hours, and it comfortably seats eight with incredible baggage capacity and all of the amenities on board you would want: Wi-Fi, fully stocked refreshment center, and a private lavatory. The King Air 350i can use many airports that other eight-passenger jets can’t because of its performance on shorter runways. If you examine the cost of ﬂying one from Teterboro to Nantucket with eight people versus an eight-passenger jet, there’s no comparison. What was it like seeing Justify win the Triple Crown? Having Justify and jockey Mike Smith cross the ﬁnish line while carrying our company name was an unbelievable feeling. What’s next for the brand? Our membership offering, Wheels Up Connect, and our Wheels Up Charter Marketplace are both new products now available via our app. They were introduced in early February to make private ﬂying with us even easier and more accessible.
ILLUSTRATION BY JOEL KIMMEL
Kenny Dichter is a man of many passions. He heads aircraft charter company Wheels Up, which operates a ﬂeet of Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops, but he also cofounded Tequila Avión and Marquis Jet. Last year, Wheels Up sponsored the Triple Crown–winning racehorse Justify, and this year, it has launched a new entry-level membership tier that includes access to app-based private ﬂight bookings and serious savings on empty-leg and shared ﬂights. John Lyon
T H E U R - 2 1 0 B L AC K H AW K HOUR SATELLITE INDICATION WITH AUTOMATIC WINDING REGUL ATED BY TURBINES W W W.URWE RK.CO
TECH FINETUNED TRIO Components from FM Acoustics offer escape from the digital age.
like the vinyl LP, is to digital music ﬁles what mechanical watches are to quartz. But unlike movements powered by an oscillating crystal, which are demonstrably more accurate than their traditional horological counterparts, music playback is arguably most realistic and satisfying when a tiny phonograph needle glides through a spiral record groove. Zurich-based FM Acoustics (fmacoustics.com) is a 45-year-old company ﬁrmly committed to the ﬁnest, Swiss-made high-ﬁdelity audio, with equipment that has earned a reputation among both professional recording studios and audiophile circles for being some of the most musical and accurate in the world. Like Swiss national treasure Patek Philippe, the electronics manufacturer is committed to artful design, engineering precision, and a build quality that eschews compromise.
A N A LO G M E D I A ,
New components in the Resolution Series bring FM Acoustics’ ultra-high-end cachet within reach in a small, streamlined conﬁguration, while presenting the same ultra-detailed, natural sound signature of the brand’s larger gear. A complete Resolution system is composed of the FM 155 MKII line stage preamp ($18,750), 70-watt FM 108 MKII monoblock ampliﬁers ($23,600 per pair), and an exceptional phono stage, the FM 122 MKII linearizer ($15,975). Like the ﬁnest watches, the exquisite exterior casework hints at the superior parts within. Combined with a top-notch turntable and loudspeakers, these FM Acoustics electronics open the window to a reﬁned and immersive listening experience. Robert Ross A-List Access: For purchase inquiries, please e-mail exclusive U.S. distributor Audio Arts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPEN THE DOOR TO
luxury With the Delta Private Jets®, you are welcomed into a world of ﬂexibility and convenience, catered with exceptional service. With our affiliation with Delta Air Lines®, we get you there seamlessly, effortlessly, and luxuriously. Regardless of where your journey takes you, you will have access to both private jet travel and commercial travel on Delta Air Lines® providing you countless options to combine your travel choices. While you are on the go, our 24/7 client services team will be there every step of the way. Learn More at DeltaPrivateJets.com
D E LT A P R I V A T E J E T S . C O M
8 7 7. 5 4 1 . 3 5 4 8
Delta Private Jets® ﬂights are operated by Delta Private Jets, Inc., an FAA-certiﬁcated FAR Part 135 air carrier, or by another FAA-certiﬁcated Part 135 or Part 121 air carrier. Offers void where prohibited by law. Offers, beneﬁts and rules subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Fuel and Federal Excise Taxes included. Hourly rates are subject to a premium for travel on peak days, for travel involving international locations and for travel requested on a Citation Excel/XLS. Government taxes and carrier-imposed fees (including, F.B.O. surcharges, incidental expenses and non-refundable administrative and handling fees) may apply. Additional fees for ﬂights to or from certain ﬁxed-based operators and airports may apply.
Genius at Work
THE ITALIAN WAY
At Kiton, it takes 25 hours to handmake a suit that will endure the ages. Here’s what that looks like. BY J I L L N E W M A N
Inside Kiton’s sprawling workshop, the ﬁrst thing you notice is the
noiselessness. No machines buzz; only the hushed banter of men gathered around tables rhythmically sewing swaths of creamy fabric into exceptionally crafted Neapolitan jackets. This type of handtouch is impossible to automate; each bespoke model gets cut and sewn to ﬁt the anatomical nuances and movements of its owner. Today, the brand that patriarch Ciro Paone established in Naples in 1956 employs more than 350 skilled tailors and operates a school to train the next generation. “Our tailors are artists,” says Antonio Paone, one of Ciro’s nephews and Kiton’s U.S. president. “They take pride in what they make; a well-made jacket can last a lifetime.”
There is no standard size; a man’s right shoulder might be slightly higher than his left, or one arm longer than the other. A tailor’s tedious measurements account for every distinction and serve as a road map for an individual’s paper pattern. Clients select from a wide range of exclusive fabrics—Super 180s lightweight wool, heavier cashmere, ultrasoft vicuña—and their cloth of choice is then cut to the pattern.
Stitches in Time
The jacket pieces are loosely sewn together (basted) before the whole gets turned over to the most accomplished tailors to sew the collar and shoulder in place, a skill that requires eight to 10 years of practice to master. Once the basted trial garment is ﬁtted on the client, a tailor makes adjustments before ﬁnishing the ﬁnal suit coat.
What separates the Neapolitan jacket from British, American, or other tailored styles is the softly rounded shoulder, which not only looks more relaxed, but also makes motion a heck of a lot easier. To achieve this unique construction, the most proﬁcient tailors (typically 40 to 50 years old) hand-sew the sleeve into a precisely calibrated armhole; it takes know-how to shape the shoulder with just the right amount of give in the stitches to allow that ease of movement.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
Genius at Work
The Hole Shebang
It takes a steady hand, hammer, and sharp blade to slice the buttonhole; one mistake and the jacket is ruined. Women—with their typically more delicate hands—sew Kiton’s hallmark embroidered button holes; a single hole requires precisely 137 stitches.
The vast workshop executes everything from shirts and suits to shoes and neckties, and, like the bespoke jackets, nearly everything is handmade by local Neapolitans, many whose parents and even some grandparents have worked for the Paone family. Doing this work is more than a job; it’s a way of life. When the lunch bell rings, the tailors vacate the ﬂoor and convene in the lunchroom where the chef prepares fresh pasta and local dishes, ensuring the same Italian traditions continue—the food, like the jacket, is a ritual not to be sacriﬁced, but honored.
Ben Oliver on cars, p. 93
Paul Sullivan on wealth, p. 94
David Coggins on style, p. 95
Arianne Nardo on design, p. 96
The SUV Conundrum If even motoring purists succumb to their allure, will sport utility vehicles drive sedans out of existence?
roof of our obsession with SUVs can be seen in every highway lane and parking lot. But if you need empirical evidence, look to digital stats: On Robb Report’s website—populated with many supercars—the most clicked-on car last year? BMW’s new X7. This passion for SUVs is an irrational one. Automotive purists (like me, supposedly) know SUVs are heavier, slower, and less efficient than sedans. They have a higher center of gravity and thus handle worse, especially on hairpins. They often (but not always) counter with more cabin room. But their killer advantage is their higher ride height. In their early years, when SUVs were still in the minority, this elevation gave their drivers a sense of superiority over
most other road users. Experts project that next year SUVs will account for more than half of U.S. passenger-car sales. You now need one just to avoid feeling like an automotive prey species, trapped in the shadows of the Suburbans and G-Wagens that loom over sedans like canyon walls. I don’t believe that anyone really loves his or her SUV the way we love cars that thrill us with their dynamics, seduce us with their looks, or delight us with their quirks. We’re just addicted to the sense of security that SUVs give us and prepared to ignore their obvious vehicular failings. That addiction now poses an existential risk to the sedans we grew up with. Last year, Ford made the onceunthinkable announcement that it will allow all of its non-SUV models—bar the Mustang and the Fusion hatchback—to die off. The other mainstream brands are following suit. Premium sedans and wagons from Mercedes and its rivals seem untouchable, for now. But their buyers are being distracted by complete, parallel ranges of SUVs: That new X7 plugs the last gap in BMW’s SUV range. And of course the sports and über-premium carmakers almost all now offer SUVs. Porsche got there ﬁrst with the original Cayenne back in 2002. Rolls-Royce is the latest to crack with the Cullinan, deliveries of which are just beginning. Aston Martin will
reveal its DBX later this year, and Ferrari will follow in 2022 with the “FUV” it once swore it would never build. The industrial logic of an elite brand adding an SUV is now inarguable. These vehicles bring a scale and a stability that many low-volume marques—Aston particularly—have never achieved with their traditional range. Even so, there’s a backlash every time a storied sports or luxury carmaker launches its ﬁrst SUV, as purists decry the abandonment of design principles. But CEOs of such ﬁrms show little concern. Those protestors aren’t always customers. And our notions of what the elite carmakers ought to make are subject to generational change. The modal buyer of a superluxury car is now Chinese and in his 30s. He didn’t grow up seeing Ferrari supercars on the streets of Beijing and thinking that’s all Ferrari should ever build. The SUV’s hegemony extends as far into the future of the car as we can reasonably predict. The new breed of pure electric vehicles (EV) from the premium carmakers will almost all come as SUVs or high-riding crossovers ﬁrst. Jaguar’s I-Pace is already on sale, and the Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC launch this year. Porsche’s ﬁrst EV will be the Taycan four-door sports car later this year, but a crossover follows in 2021. An SUV’s extra energy use is of far less signiﬁcance when it’s powered by electricity. By salving the conscience of those of us who drive SUVs but are bugged by their environmental impact, these new EV-SUVs might remove the last major barrier to their complete global domination. Yes, I said “us.” As an auto writer I might bleat about engineering purity and ﬁtness for purpose, but I’ve just replaced my Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon family car for a seven-seat Land Rover Discovery SUV. Resistance is futile. And man, the view’s so nice from up here. Ben Oliver is an award-winning automotive journalist, consultant, and speechwriter based in the United Kingdom.
Illustrations by CELYN
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
Who Can You Trust in the Cryptocurrency Economy? Finding a ﬁnancial adviser who can navigate—or even understand—the often shady cryptocurrency market is half the battle.
he rapid rise in Bitcoin’s value in December 2017 gave credence to true believers who had been promoting the world-changing possibility of cryptocurrency. Then came Bitcoin’s sudden crash in 2018, which was proof to skeptics that it was just another mania, like Dutch tulips in the 17th century or Las Vegas housing developments in 2006. Though Bitcoin and its cousin Ethereum, which has emerged for marketing the underlying blockchain technology, may be well known, they are not well understood. And that’s a problem for investors intrigued by the technology or just determined not to miss out on the next big win. The area has attracted so much interest that people holding themselves out as experts may be little more than enthusiasts. “Many of these advisers are kids who don’t have a day job,” says Daniel L. Gottfried, partner and chair of the international transactions practice at the law ﬁrm Day Pitney. “These kids are traveling all over the world. They’re showing up at conferences, where they talk about crypto stuff that they market to their wealthy friends to invest in. In these circles, I have a lot of trouble ﬁguring out who’s for real and who’s not.” The pull of the next new thing is strong, though, and there has been a boom in so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), attracting investors through online forums. In that space, not getting hoodwinked requires work. New cryptocurrency or blockchain companies often put out a white paper in lieu of an investment prospectus. White papers are quicker to put together, but
they aren’t done with the same rigor as a prospectus, which every sophisticated investor would demand for a more traditional early-stage investment. That can make researching the claims made ahead of an initial coin offering difﬁcult. ICO Alert (icoalert.com), a website that tracks these offerings, has compiled a list of 5,000 companies looking to raise money through selling tokens, but some 1,500 of them are fraudulent, says Mike Finch, the site’s cofounder and chief operating officer. “New investors come into the market, and they don’t have the prerequisites to understand this stuff.” He claims the risk is exacerbated by companies selling ratings from selfproclaimed experts. These experts may not know what they’re talking about or, worse, may be part of the company trying to sell the coins. Finch’s company uses a three-step process to determine if an offering is fraudulent—but the ones found to be credible are still technology start-ups with all the start-up risks. How people put money into coin also shows where this area lacks for advice on the investment process. Ken Nguyen, chief executive of Republic (republic.co), which has been hosting token presales for more than a year, has been pushing the companies his site works with to create contracts that protect investors.
Many early coin sales were executed with a simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT). Nguyen says these contracts contain fewer controls on what can be done with the money. “Companies can take the money and go to Vegas.” Under his contract system, he says, investors would get a portion of their money back if the project failed to launch or issue digital tokens. But he emphasizes that none of the offerings under this contract have failed, a testament to more stringent requirements. Looking for advice is fraught both for people who want to raise money for a blockchain company and those who want to invest in one. Edward Cotler, founder of Gotham Crypto, which advises crypto ﬁrms, says he is working to set up a network of registered advisers. “Our job will be to supervise them and raise money properly,” he says. Still, he cautions: “This isn’t for momand-pop investors. It’s for investors who are sophisticated and want good deals.” Sounds sensible. The only problem is: What investor doesn’t think he or she is sophisticated and in search of a good deal? Paul Sullivan is the author of The Thin Green Line: The Money Secrets of the Super Wealthy and the Wealth Matters columnist for The New York Times.
I have a lot of trouble figuring out who’s for real and who’s not.
The Man Makes the Clothes Quality investment pieces can be powerful tools of connection and self-reﬂection.
t’s always red-carpet season somewhere, and, for a man who loves tailoring, it can be depressing. While there are some notable exceptions, in general the scenes are of a parade of actors hyperstyled and sleekly packaged when they should be at their effortless best. Their elegance and charisma are chastened by shiny new costumes, and too often they resemble grownups heading to prom. Who can blame them? They’ve been managed by stylists, contracted to brands, and poured into clothes with which they have no enduring relationship. It’s a pity, because a man in a tuxedo is a recipe for sophistication. Like a martini, there are very few ingredients, so quality should always trump novelty,
then adjust to taste. Here’s a radical ideea for an actor: Go to a tailor and buy a tuxedo. Wear that when you’re nominated and even when you’re not. When somethingg is trulyy yours, you’ll look sso much better. What’s true for actors is true for th he rest off us. When you own somethingg fo or a longg time, it becomes you. I love seein ng a man who wears something that mattters to him, something beloved. But thaat love can’t come straight from a runway— — it’s too new. The same way your favorite book or ﬁlm is probably years old, even decades, so should your favorite suit be treasured and revisited. It’s been with you in the trenches—on a ﬁrst date, to an important meeting, to that great party. That’s why heirlooms are so powerful. They can be formal or merely functional: an uncle’s club tie before he was ejected from the club, a grandfather’s army watch with his initials inscribed on it. These literal pieces of inheritance convey a sense of enduring style and tradition, but also a connection to your personal history. These are the things that matter, in life as in dressing. Fashion is concerned with novelty and shock value, and is mastered by a very few true avant-gardists. For the rest, it’s a slippery slope that leads to a collective groan of “What were we thinking?” ﬁve years from now (though in the age of Twitter it may be ﬁve minutes from now). When you invest in something, you necessarily take the long view. You want something that suits your temperament and can last. That’s a useful starting point because it encourages some worthwhile self-analysis. What am I trying
to communicate to people? What is my own approach to formality? This is why clothes are interesting and why they matter. Clothes should help you look like yourself, and that can only really happen when you know yourself. Which is why, historically, the best-dressed have been older men. But this is not to say you shouldn’t buy something new. On the contrary. I support coveting and scheming. Go to London just to have a pair of
Clothes should help you look like yourself. Lobb shoes made. Go to Naples to visit your secret tailor. It’s perfectly defensible to smuggle clothes into your home past unsuspecting loved ones. There is nothing wrong with subterfuge when you’re dealing with a bespoke suit. Be honest in your love of clothes, but their cost remains strictly between you and your tailor. But once you’ve acquired this suit or tuxedo, you must wear it. Make it part of your life. Even wear it out. When a sweater is darned, a tweed jacket patched, shoes resoled, then you are celebrating your connection to something that deserves to endure. David Coggins is the author of Men and Manners. He lives in New York City.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
Blasted Past Enough with the tribute-act merry-goround that has paralyzed product design in recent years. Where are all the new ideas? DESIGN
n a recent episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld was driving around Los Angeles with his guest, Neal Brennan, a stand-up comedian and cocreator of Chappelle’s Show, who turned out to be funny in his dispassionate view of material things. He wasn’t interested in watches or cars. Exasperated by his apathy, Seinfeld asked, “Don’t you care how a suit ﬁts? How a couch is upholstered? Don’t you care?!” The response was gripping like a data breach. “No,” said Brennan. “The only thing I really value in the world . . . [is] ideas. New ideas are the only thing I care about.”
That is a crisp way of expressing my current thinking on product design. Countless pieces of furniture debut every year, but only a few make a serious impression. Recently, design has been in an era of proliﬁc reeditions—work that has reemerged from the past, and always with a killer backstory. A chair that was discovered in a lost sketchbook, a drawing that had escaped notice in the archives for half a century, a design deemed too bonkers to put into production at the time. Having a sense of history is essential, especially if you’re serious about aesthetics. But during the last few seasons, high-end design brands have released so many reissues with such passion that the word iconic has lost all meaning. Yes, new work is shown, but it’s frequently overshadowed by the enthusiasm over the special anniversary collection or the classic reborn for today, limited to only 10, and available in white for the ﬁrst time! While most are worthy creations deserving of being dusted off and admired anew, the design landscape is
starting to feel like another formerly revered band’s anniversary record, followed by a Greatest Hits Live, Ultimate Hits, two box sets, and an additional Ultimate Hits release. Is there a B-side party anthem that we’ve missed? I am all for reminiscing, but scientiﬁcally accepted notions of time dictate that we can only move in one direction. Furniture’s revival of the ﬁttest pushes us deeper into an already endless love affair with midcentury modern design, which officially feels like a hangover. And that has to do with the aesthetic becoming so mainstreamed, knocked-off, and mass-produced that I am dying to see work that dares to reject rosewood. I like a sofa with a built-in backstory but not at the risk of aesthetic uniformity and a fanatical devotion to the Barcelona daybed. You can honor the legends and buy a few classics, but let’s keep moving. Mies will be ﬁne. What we need are more designers willing to take risks and anticipate the design needs of the future. No one knew 60 years ago that we’d be attached to laptops, phones, tablets, and all their chargers and accoutrements, or that sitting would be equated with smoking. Is there a healthier—and still beautiful—chair out there, waiting to emerge from the creative brains of artists like Patricia Urquiola and an organic, lab-created material that’s as cozy as cashmere, improves circulation, can charge our digital accessories, and still look like a sculpture? If furniture continues to be a tribute to one golden era, our homes are destined to become mere Greatest Hits compilations. Meanwhile, emerging talents have to take to Instagram to search for independently minded patrons or start producing their own “inspired by” works that vaguely resemble the originals that the market is already saturated with. My vote is for new ideas. I’ll be riding shotgun with Brennan. Arianne Nardo is Robb Report’s former home and design editor. She lives in Los Angeles.
Brands have released so many reissues with such passion that the word iconic has lost all meaning.
They’ve Got Game With business and fashion savvy to spare, teen entrepreneurs are making a killing off high-end sneakers.
By Max Berlinger Photography by Sasha Israel Does your teenage son exhibit all the warning signs: the surreptitious texts and phone calls, the unexplained inﬂux of cash, the constant need to leave suddenly to go “meet a friend”? Could he be dealing? Perhaps, but it’s not what you think. We’re not talking drugs here, but the 2019 update: sneakers. A new breed of enterprising young men is leveraging the fashion world, seriously depleting their classmates’ wallets in the name of proﬁt and social standing—and it’s all perfectly legal. Fifteen-year-old Mitchell Sozio is one such budding entrepreneur. Inside his family’s tastefully decorated Upper East Side apartment on a prime stretch of Fifth Avenue, in a closet dedicated exclusively to his sneaker collection, two towers of shoe boxes soar high above his 5-foot-6-inch frame. Truth be told, “closet” isn’t exactly the right word; it’s more a walk-in shrine to hype footwear—hype, of course, being teen parlance for shoes cool enough to draw a passerby’s attention or, more important, to garner likes on social media.
MITCHELL SOZIO 15, in his Fifth Avenue shoe closet × × × “I source [the shoes] from multiple places … but I can’t tell you where.”
Sozio’s Adidas Futurecraft 4D
To have a pair of Yeezys is the male teen version To Sozio and his friends, the unassuming brown cardboard boxes are instantly recognizable as vessels for Yeezy, the sneaker line designed by rapper Kanye West for Adidas. “These boxes come in and out when a new shoe releases,” Sozio explains, wearing a black James Perse T-shirt and Nike sweatpants— a sporty-minimalist outﬁt that allows his pair of the shoes in highlighter yellow to really shine. “I only ever keep a few pairs sitting. I usually sell them immediately, because people have preordered them.” This day was active, as there was a rerelease of a sought-after style, the Yeezy 350 V2s, which ﬁrst launched in 2016. “I was really busy today, juggling school and these orders,” says Sozio, a freshman at the Birch Wathen Lenox School. “During my free periods, I’m always doing this.” Sozio has learned to take advantage of Yeezy’s business model of launching extremely limited quantities according to a drop sales system—meaning they are often made available online with little to no forewarning, or, when there is warning, in a highly orchestrated and much anticipated event that leads to a frenzied ﬁrst-come, ﬁrst-served onslaught indulged in mostly by young men. The sneakers frequently sell out within seconds. Since 2015,
Brody’s Air Max 97/1 Sean Wotherspoon
They’ve Got Game
West and Adidas have been cleverly unfurling an entire taxonomy of silhouettes and colorways, sending the internet into paroxysms of sneaker-induced fervor. To have a pair of Yeezys is the male teen version of owning a Birkin bag: It’s not just a trendy accessory but an incontrovertible symbol of social status. In the secondary market that has arisen, Sozio and his ilk can ﬂip the shoes for vastly inﬂated prices, sometimes selling a pair for 10 times as much as the $200 retail price. For Sozio it all started less than three years ago, when he was in sixth grade and the popularity of sneakers and hypewear exploded. “I started to pay attention to it, and to Yeezys,” he recalls. “I really wanted to get a pair. That was the main goal of everyone in the grade. If you had those and they were real, that was the top.” He managed to get his hands on some Yeezy Boost 350 Pirate Blacks through a dealer. Afterward, as he wore the eye-catching advertisement laced up on his feet, classmates began to ask him if he could get them a pair, which is when the idea of ﬂipping sneakers for a proﬁt wormed its way into his consciousness. Some people saw dope shoes; Sozio saw dollar signs. He’s hardly alone among New York’s privileged private-school set. Take Max Brody, a 17-year-old senior at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx. Brody resells clothing from the popular New York–based streetwear brand Supreme and, sometimes, sneakers made by Nike in collaboration with the label Off-White, which is led by designer Virgil Abloh, who is also the creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton. Brody, who lives in Scarsdale, New York, caught the bug as a freshman, when he used his winnings from a fantasy football league to buy two pairs of previously worn Nike Air Jordans (an Air Jordan 4 “Toro Bravo” and an Air Jordan 5 Retro “Raging Bull,” as he remembers it), cleaned them off, and resold them on eBay, pocketing $250 in the process. “I realized there was a market for these shoes to be resold,” he said. He started looking into new releases and became interested in Supreme because it often has a high proﬁt margin on the resale
market, due to its limited availability. Supreme, which, like Yeezy, won’t talk numbers, is known to sell its products exclusively through its own stores and website—and intentionally makes the stuff hard to come by. On Thursday mornings, the day the brand releases new merchandise, lines snake around the stores hours before opening. That strategic scarcity has been a boon to dealers like Brody— and pushed Supreme’s valuation to a billion dollars in 2017. In the past four years Brody estimates he’s made around $55,000 reselling apparel and accessories. For Axel Petochi, a freshman at the United Nations International School, it began innocently enough, when he and a friend went to wait in line to buy a T-shirt at the streetwear store Kith in New York’s NoHo. They arrived one summer morning at 8 am and received tickets to return later that morning, when they retrieved the tees, only to sell one after being approached on the corner, ﬂipping it for a quick $40 proﬁt. Later, Petochi watched a documentary about people who make a living reselling streetwear. “So I texted my friend,” Petochi recalls, “and was like: ‘Yo, we should do this again.’”
ou’ll likely already have noticed that streetwear is currently the dominant force in the apparel market. The NPD Group research ﬁrm reported that in 2017, the U.S. athletic footwear industry grew two percent, bringing it to a $19.6 billion business. The same year, management consultants Bain & Co. pinpointed streetwear as a leading cause of growth in the luxury goods market. Matt Powell, senior industry advisor for sports at NPD, estimates that in the fourth quarter of 2018, Yeezy’s retail sales leaped 500 percent. In 2016, Forbes estimated that the secondary commerce system for sneakers was worth $1 billion, and in the two years since then it has no doubt grown, as the movement has only trickled up, invading the collections of high-end designers like Valentino and Louis Vuitton (which collaborated with Supreme for its fall 2017 collection)
of owning a Birkin bag: It’s not just a trendy accessory but a symbol of social status.
Brody’s Nike x Off-White Chuck Taylor
Brody’s red Louis Vuitton x Kanye West Don
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
They’ve Got Game
and as more celebrities—think Justin Bieber, rapper A$AP Rocky, and LeBron James—have embraced the look. An entire cottage industry has developed. The website Grailed specializes in preowned, limited-edition hype releases, while StockX bills itself as a “stock market of things” and tracks the ﬂuctuating values of items—recently, a pair of blocky yellow Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Fab Fives were up for sale for $10,000, while someone else was asking $6,400 for cherry-red Air Yeezy 2 Red October high-tops. Through these sites, young men interested in fashion and commerce mingle, making trades but also connecting. It’s a brotherhood that’s easy to monetize. Sozio declines to reveal the particulars of his ledger sheet, though he does say that the Kardashian-adjacent reality TV celebrity Jonathan Cheban was a client, and Sozio happens to be sporting a Rolex Air-King, which he bought for himself with his proﬁts. Sozio’s business is in some ways a surprisingly old-school, interpersonal affair, especially today, when mobile apps and algorithms dominate the scene. His dealing depends on a worldwide network of contacts he’s cultivated to reserve shoes for him from each release—a size here and there, sent from specialty and big-box retailers around the world, landing in his building’s foyer before he inspects them and sends them off to his customers. There’s a level of obfuscation that lends the transactions a certain illicit energy. “It didn’t start off this way, but I have strong connections, and now I don’t really have to do anything before a release,” he says. “I source [the shoes] from multiple places … but I can’t tell you where. There are people in stores, or people I’ve met on Instagram. There’s a whole market out there for streetwear.” On an average Yeezy release, Sozio will acquire about 15 pairs. A best-case scenario is that he can resell a roughly $200 shoe for $2,000. That’s a $27,000 proﬁt. In recent months, some Yeezy styles have been more readily available, making them less desirable. The key to staying in the black, Sozio says, is monitoring the vacillating market. The Yeezys Sozio deals his clients may be hard to get, but his own personal shoes are on an even higher echelon of rare. He considers the Balenciaga Speed trainers (which go for $770 and were immortalized by rapper Cardi B as “the ones that look like socks” in her track “I Like It”) a go-to as well as his Maison Margiela high-tops. His most prized shoe is a collaboration among musician Pharrell Williams, Chanel, and Adidas, a model that’s incredibly scant—500 pairs were produced. On the website Flight Club, depending on size, they can run you as much as $15,000. Once, outside of Nobu Fifty Seven, Sozio thought two guys on the street were going to jump him for them. The shoes mostly stay in the closet, though, where they have pride of place. Thanks to his network of well-placed deputies, Sozio is able to run his business while sidestepping the rigmarole of the online purchase process. His clients, who range from men in their 60s to an 8-year-old (not counting the baby-size Yeezys he sold to some mothers)—come to him mostly by social media or word of mouth. Brody uses the internet to his advantage, leveraging technology to acquire items that would otherwise require him to miss
MAX BRODY 17, in his Scarsdale bedroom × × × “I just go out of class for ﬁve minutes, set up the bot, watch it run, and go back to class.”
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
They’ve Got Game
class on a weekly basis. He wields a bot, which he programs to do one thing: Buy Supreme clothing. “I just go out of class for ﬁve minutes, set up the bot, watch it run, and go back to class,” he says matter-of-factly. “I actually asked my ceramics teacher. I said, ‘I have an opportunity for arbitrage, to make some money.’ I didn’t give him the speciﬁcs. He said, ‘OK, but you have ﬁve minutes.’” Before the weekly drop, Brody consults online resources like the site Supreme Community, where users vote whether products are “hot or not,” to gauge which items are likely to attract the highest prices. Post-drop, he uses StockX as an intermediary to handle the selling and shipping because it cuts out the annoying variables of selling directly—like returns or complaints of damaged products. “It’s a pretty ﬂawless system,” he says. In a strange way, these young men are gleaning very adult lessons from this endeavor—about economics, branding, and the whims of consumer behavior. “The crazy thing is this market— Supreme and everything—it changes every day,” says Petochi. “One day it’s falling, and then the next day they announce a collaboration with a big company and it’ll cause some controversy and people are talking about it.”
Sozio has parlayed what he’s learned into his own brand, Litty Sneaks, which has 11,000 followers on Instagram. “Tell the story about the girls in France!” his mother, Amy Kamin, who has been listening in from another room, calls out. It turns out that some young women there were wearing his Litty Sneaks hoodies. They’ve evidently also caught on among a certain Upper East Side set, so much so that Sozio now avoids their hangouts. When his mother dragged him to Pinkberry on Second Avenue one night, she says, “I thought it was Bieber! They were screaming!” Sozio shrugs. He’s planning to take a course in entrepreneurship at Columbia this summer but could probably teach a few lessons himself. He’s already partnered with the body-care brand Axe and the store Journeys to promote them on his personal Instagram page. “It’s taught me about competition,” Sozio says. “With sneakers you have limited time, limited quantity. You really have to strategize.” Brody, perhaps, has learned the business world’s most important lesson of all. I ask him if there’s anything in his collection that he’d never part with. He thinks a moment before answering. “No,” he says. “Everything has a price.”
In 2016, Forbes estimated that the secondary commerce system for sneakers was worth $1 billion. In the two years since then it has no doubt grown.
Petochi’s Nike Off-White Air Max 90, part of the Ten Collection by Virgil Abloh
AXEL PETOCHI 14, in his family’s Upper East Side apartment × × × After ﬂipping a Kith T-shirt for a $40 proﬁt, “I texted my friend and was like, ‘Yo, we should do this again.’”
Mano a Mono This season take your spring style up a notch with subtle monochromatic palettes. Playing with texture and shades in light, relaxed styles, the tone-on-tone look is both nonchalant and elegant.
P H OT O G R A P H Y b y D IE G O MER IN O S T Y L IN G b y D AV ID L A MB
Richard James suede jacket (richard-james.com); Thom Sweeney cotton T-shirt and wool trousers (thomsweeney.co.uk); Todâ€™s suede espadrilles (tods.com); DKR wire chair by Charles & Ray Eames for Vitra at Conran Shop (conranshop.co.uk).
Mano a Mono
Build the monochromatic look with varied shades of a similar hue—think creams, light grays, and dusty beiges for spring.
Canali wool-linenblend suit (canali.com); Tod’s leather sneakers (tods.com); Hans J. Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn oak stool at Conran Shop (conranshop .co.uk). RIGHT: Ralph Lauren linen jacket and trousers, and cotton shirt (ralphlauren.com).
Mano a Mono
Louis Vuitton cotton-andwool double-breasted jacket and wide-leg trousers, silkand-cotton shirt, and leather sneakers (louisvuitton.com); Charles Pollock for Knoll lounge chair at Conran Shop (conranshop.co.uk).
The monotone palette should extend to footwear: Pristine sneakers work with suiting or separates.
Mano a Mono
Stefano Ricci deerskin blouson and cotton trousers (stefanoricci.com). LEFT: Connolly cashmere sweater (connollyengland.com).
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
Mano a Mono
Don’t limit the tonal look to solids; mix it up with textures and patterns in the same low-key palette.
LEFT: Hermès cotton jacket and trousers (hermes.com). RIGHT: Paul Smith leather coat and cotton polo shirt (paulsmith.com); Kiton cottonand-silk jeans (kiton.it).
Will Chalker at Select Model Management PHOTO ASSISTANT:
Peter Hargroves DIGITAL ASSISTANT:
Robert Self STYLING ASSISTANTS:
Keyleen Nguyen and Katy Kingston PRODUCTION BY: Caroline Lamb at Lamb Creative HAIR:
Keiichiro Hirano at The London Style Agency using Dyson Hair Care and Bumble and Bumble ﬁnishing range.
The Lost Generation Sleek and stylish, the cream of Italyâ€™s postwar car designs are making a welcome return. By Robert Ross
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
talian cars are like pasta. Everyone knows the popular shapes of spaghetti and fettuccine, yet there are more than 350 varieties that reward the curious looking for less common fare. Similarly, in addition to high-proﬁle sports cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati, there are many dozens of Italian marques and coachbuilders that arose between the birth of the automobile and today that remain largely unknown. Most are long defunct; like shooting stars, they lit the landscape with a ﬂash and disappeared. Others started off with fanfare and faded away. A few coachbuilders, like Bertone and Pininfarina, have been recently relaunched. All have stamped a legacy into automotive design that we can see now in the current high-proﬁle Italian marques. For industrious automotive artisans and engineers, no time or place was as ripe with opportunity as Italy in the 1950s. Many cars from the era survived thanks to those who squirreled them away in barns, or families who passed down a grandfather’s GT to younger generations. Until recently,
they were just old cars. Now, whether they have “matching numbers”—their original chassis and engines—or not, they are highly coveted. A Ferrari 250 GTO, made from 1962 to 1964 and today worth between $40 million and $80 million, was purchased in 1977 by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason for £35,000 (about $60,000). Carroll Shelby couldn’t give his race-worn Shelby Daytona coupes away for $7,000 each when they became uncompetitive by 1967. Today, any of those original six is worth up to $30 million. Italian automotive history isn’t complete without a look at the carrozzerie, the coachbuilders who designed and built the bodies that breathed soul into every machine. Usually, a carrozzeria would manufacture complete bodies, delivering them to the carmaker for ﬁnal assembly at the factory. Most of the carrozzerie no longer operate independently or have gone belly-up. Which currently undervalued Italian car is poised to break into the big leagues is a complicated question. But one thing is certain: The quick, the beautiful, and the rare will always have admirers.
The Lost Generation
1952 Siata 208 CS Corsa Spider by Bertone
lthough Siata (Società Italiana Auto Trasformazioni Accessori) is one of the least-known Italian automakers, its contribution to motorsports during the 1950s was signiﬁcant. Amateur race-car driver Giorgio Ambrosini established the Turinese company in 1926 to make performance accessories; Siata didn’t build its ﬁrst car until 1948. Siata’s most interesting model, the 208S, was made from 1953 to 1955 and used the same engine that powered the Fiat 8V. That 2.0-liter alloy V-8 engine earned a reputation as feisty but fragile: Many failed early on and were swapped out, which explains the number of Siatas powered by American small-block V-8s. The company ran on fumes through the 1960s and was out of business by 1975. Only 35 of the lightweight 208 Spiders were made, with bodies designed by Giovanni Michelotti and fabricated by Rocco Motto. The unique 208 CS Corsa Spider pictured here is a one-off styled and built by Bertone, whose owner, Nuccio Bertone, raced it in the early 1950s. The muscular shape with outboard fenders recalls a competition car from an earlier era.
While all Siatas are rare, some, like this 208 CS Corsa Spider, are one of a kind.
That 2.0-liter alloy V-8 engine earned a reputation as feisty but fragile.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
The Lost Generation
1947 Cisitalia 202 SC Cabriolet by Vignale
isitalia (Compagnia Industriale Sportiva Italia) was a Turinese race-car builder established by the wealthy industrialist Piero Dusio in 1946, but it folded in 1949 trying to put its 202 GT into series production. That diminutive berlinetta (“little saloon” in Italian) could rightfully be regarded as the ﬁrst modern automotive styling exercise. The coupe was designed by Battista “Pinin” Farina, the most famous of all Italian stylists, whose carrozzeria Pinin Farina began in 1930, when the 37-year-old opened shop in Turin. Small in stature, his nickname, Pinin, or “little,” led him to change his legal surname to Pininfarina in 1961; the ﬁrm has been known as Pininfarina ever since. The Pinin Farina shape was the ﬁrst to blend fenders with fuselage, creating a harmonious form that was both aerodynamic and aesthetically pleasing. No one had ever seen such a thing before, and testament to this groundbreaking achievement is
One of only approximately 60 Cisitalia 202 SC Cabriolets produced, this car features coachwork by Vignale and was the subject of a meticulous restoration to its original colors.
the fact that the Museum of Modern Art acquired an example for its permanent collection in 1972—the ﬁrst automobile to be deiﬁed by a ﬁne-art institution. Like most Italian cars of the era, the Cisitalia 202 GT had a svelte aluminum body wrapped around a tubular chassis. It was powered by a 1,089 cc, overhead-valve, inline-4—essentially a hopped-up Fiat engine with twin Weber carburetors, propelling the little Cisitalia with 63 hp, roughly the same oomph as the Mercedes Simplex back in 1903. A convertible followed the coupe. The one shown here was designed by Vignale. Established in 1946, Carrozzeria Vignale is known for creating not just many signiﬁcant Ferraris, but bodies of other sporting marques as well, including American sportsman Briggs Cunningham’s eponymous Cunningham C-3, a Chrysler-powered Ferrari-ﬁghter from the mid1950s. Shortly before Alfredo Vignale’s death in 1969, the ﬁrm was taken over by Ghia, which continued the Vignale name until 1974.
Vignale is known for creating not just many signiﬁcant Ferraris, but bodies of other sporting marques as well.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
The Lost Generation
1963 Iso Grifo A3/L Prototype by Bertone
ike Germany, Italy after World War II had a decimated economy and a population in need of inexpensive transportation. Refrigerator manufacturer Iso (Isothermos), founded in 1939 and restructured as Iso Autoveicoli in 1953, responded to the opportunity. Under industrialist Renzo Rivolta, Iso produced motorcycles, scooters, and a tiny bubble car that was also made under license by BMW as the BMW Isetta. With his fortune made, Rivolta hired Giotto Bizzarrini, the magician behind Ferrariâ€™s 250 GTO; stylist
Giorgetto Giugiaro; and coachbuilder Bertone to create a luxury GT with performance to rival Ferrari. The Iso Rivolta IR 300, introduced in 1962, was beautiful and practical, using a powerful Chevrolet 327 cubic-inch V-8 engine that, with 340 hp on tap, could compete with anything made at the time. Iso followed with a racier design called the Grifo, produced from 1965 until 1974, when the company folded. The car shown here is the original Iso Grifo: a one-off prototype with unique coachwork, ďŹ rst exhibited at the 1963 Turin Auto Show. The shape was created by a young Giorgetto Giugiaro, whose time
with Bertone produced memorable 1960s designs like the Alfa Romeo Giulia GT. Bertone began in 1912 in Grugliasco and was guided by Nuccio Bertone after World War II. The company designed prototypes and built bodies for production cars, closing its doors as a family-owned company in 2014. In its heyday, Bertone was a giant, noted for cutting-edge creations. An affiliation with Lamborghini and Maserati cemented its reputation for the avant garde, thanks to Marcello Gandiniâ€™s designs for Lamborghini that included the Marzal show car, Miura, and game-changing Countach of the 1970s. Cars from Iso are the most exciting Italian exotics that no one has ever heard of. The Iso Grifo was a powerhouse with a potent stance, able to outrun the fastest cars of its era.
In its heyday, Bertone was a giant, noted for cutting-edge creations.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
The Lost Generation
8V Supersonic by Ghia
The 8V Supersonic showcased Jet-Age fantasy and the era’s most aerodynamic styling.
The most ambitious Fiat was the 8V—shorthand for Otto Vu—and refers to Fiat’s 1,996 cc, overhead-valve, alloy V-8 engine that made a whopping 113 hp. The power plant for the most exclusive Fiat was initially designed for a luxury sedan that never saw production. But a small run of 114 8Vs was made from 1952 to 1954, most of which were designed by Fiat’s own special body department, as well as coachbuilders Vignale and Zagato. One variant—the 8V Supersonic created by Ghia stylist Giovanni Savonuzzi—showcased Jet-Age fantasy and the era’s most aerodynamic styling. Ghia was established by Giacinto Ghia in 1915 and was at the height of its fame during Savonuzzi’s tenure in the mid-1950s working with American manufacturers, especially Chrysler designer Virgil Exner, giving Americans a taste for Italian automotive style.
No Fiat was more evocative of the optimistic 1950s than the 8V Supersonic styled by Ghia. This car is the ﬁrst of just 15 examples made.
o discussion of unknown Italian marques would be complete without a deep bow to Fiat, whose engines were the basis for many small manufacturers and carrozzerie, including the long-defunct but inﬂuential Ghia. Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli and made a name in early competition with contraptions like the “Beast of Turin,” a 28.5-liter, four-cylinder monster built in 1910 to beat the land speed record held by Germany’s “Blitzen Benz.” Following World War II, Fiat reemerged with the tiny 500 Topolino, or “little mouse,” and gave Italians an option beyond the two-wheeled Vespas and Lambrettas. The founder’s grandson, industrialist Gianni Agnelli, ran Fiat from 1963 until he retired as chairman in 1996.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
The Lost Generation
Aurelia B24S Spider America by Pinin Farina
possessing impressive technical advancements, exceptional build quality, and, often, unsurpassed beauty. The Aurelia coupes played a major role in motorsports throughout the 1950s, but the Aurelia B24 was the ultimate combination of engineering and design and was the most desirable road-going Lancia sports car of the time. Just 240 Spiders were made from 1954 to 1955, followed by 521 convertibles from 1956 to 1957. The former is the most collectible, with a simple wraparound windshield and more minimalist appointments.
SHOOTS & GIGGLES
hile the mid1950s unleashed great automobiles such as Britain’s Jaguar D-Type and Germany’s Mercedes-Benz 300SL, nowhere was the variety greater than in Italy. One of the country’s most beloved brands was Lancia, founded in 1906 by Vincenzo Lancia, the inventor of independent front suspension and a host of other important engineering ﬁrsts. Lancias have always been special cars,
The B24 used the ﬁrst-ever seriesproduction V-6 made—Lancia’s 2,451 cc overhead-valve engine, producing 125 hp. What made the B24 so exquisite was its Pinin Farina body, a perfectly proportioned beauty representing the pinnacle of the designer’s aesthetic output. Lancia atrophied and was absorbed into the Fiat organization by 1969, and its last notable cars were the Stratos rally car and 037 racers that carried the Lancia torch into the ’80s. Lancia became a ghost of its former self by the late 2000s and remains a marque in name only.
One of 181 left-hand-drive spiders built, this Lancia B24S is equipped with a rare Nardi competition kit for added performance.
The Aurelia B24 was the ultimate combination of Lancia engineering and design.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
The Lost Generation
1961 Osca 1600 GT Coupe by Carrozzeria Touring
Carrozzeria Touring was the grande dame of coachbuilders.
Osca’s 1600 GT was a race-car manufacturer’s attempt to make a proper Italian GT. The rarest of them is the Touring-bodied version, of which only two were produced.
sca was a small carmaker in Bologna with a big name (Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili— Fratelli Maserati S.p.A.). The company was started in 1947 by the surviving Maserati brothers, who had sold their eponymous company to the Orsi family a decade earlier. Until closing in 1967, Osca made small but mighty race cars that captured wins in the hotly contested 1,100 cc class. In the 1960s, Osca made a limited series of elegant road cars powered by 1,200 cc Fiat engines, as well as by an engine of its own design. That 1,568 cc, DOHC inline-4 developed 123 hp, and made the 1600 GT a delightful grand tourer. Most of the approximately 130 examples wore bodies by Fissore, Boneschi, or Zagato. The most rare were bodied by Carrozzeria Touring and had a futuristic interior with elaborate molding and ﬁttings. Carrozzeria Touring was the grande dame of coachbuilders, and its excess-free Flying Star designs for Isotta Fraschini and Alfa Romeo in the 1930s were unmatched for elegance and purity of form. Felice Bianchi Anderloni set up shop in Milan in 1926, patenting his superleggera (lightweight) construction method of wrapping aluminum panels around a framework of delicate steel tubes. “Superleggera” is widely used today, but was—until Touring closed in 1966—a proprietary technology licensed to carmakers like Aston Martin for the beautiful DB5. Touring’s design for the tiny Osca 1600 GT reﬂects a grandeur that is the hallmark of all of Anderloni’s creations.
Just A Little Overboard.
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The Lost Generation
1959 Fiat-Abarth 750 GT by Zagato
The Fiat-Abarth 750 GT was a popular sight on the track. While records no longer exist, it is estimated that as many as 600 Zagato-bodied examples were produced.
Zagato expressed the Italian metalworker’s art at its best.
metalworker’s art at its best. Zagato craftsmen handformed aluminum panels into discernible shapes by beating them over wooden bucks, with the result that no two cars were exactly alike, and making the job of today’s restorers an exercise in reverse engineering. A notable Zagato design signature is the famous double-bubble roof, a solution to ﬁnding headroom for taller drivers while reducing the aerodynamic drag resulting from a higher rooﬂine. Upon his father’s death in 1968, Elio Zagato took over the ﬁrm, running it until his own passing in 2009. His son Andrea still runs Zagato today, making the carrozzeria the longest-lived independent coachbuilder in the world.
MATHIEU HEURTAULT; ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF GOODING AND COMPANY
n 1949, Carlo Abarth founded Abarth & C. after acquiring the liquidated assets of his former employer, Cisitalia. While Abarth was known at the time for making performance accessories for tiny Italian cars, its highly modiﬁed and special-bodied Fiatbased race cars brought luster to the marque, whose logo, in reference to Abarth’s astrological sign, was a scorpion. Fiat bought Abarth in 1971, and the brand lives on only as a badge used to adorn Fiat’s current high-performance models. The “giant killers” for which Abarth is known were purpose-built racers, like this Fiat-Abarth 750 GT. At less than 1,200 pounds, the car was ably—if modestly—powered by a 43 hp, 747 cc Fiat inline-4 engine. Its featherweight Zagato bodywork is key to a performance-to-weight ratio that made it highly competitive in its class. Founded by Ugo Zagato in 1919 to build and repair bodies for automobiles and aircraft, the Milanese ﬁrm eventually became known for designing and making lightweight bodies for limitedproduction sports and competition cars. The ﬁrst to apply sound aerodynamic principles to automobile design, Zagato also expressed the Italian
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THE WARDROBE FIXERS × × ×
Meet the fashion experts who are overhauling the contents of men’s closets coast to coast. By Max Berlinger × × ×
A-list celebrities have stylists who dress them for everything from ﬁlm premieres to their walks from the car to the airport terminal (yes, really). But who can civilian men of means turn to for their own personal clothing conundrums? A new breed of “wardrobe ﬁxer” has arisen in recent years to hack the closets of ﬁnanciers, tech moguls, entertainment executives, and other elites. Today, thanks to social media, C-suite execs who once went incognito are expected to be publicfacing representatives of their companies, which means having plenty of judgmental eyeballs sizing up not only their business acumen but also their sartorial choices. In other words, ill-ﬁtting clothing and square-toed shoes are no longer acceptable. To make matters more confusing, the days of the suit as a trusty go-to are over—the nebulous term “business casual” rules the day, leaving many brilliant minds scratching their heads when it comes to dressing their bodies. So Robb Report asked a few of the country’s leading style advisors to weigh in on how a man of accomplishment should dress in today’s world. Here’s what we discovered.
The Wardrobe Fixers
Iconic Chelsea boot: Saint Laurent.
What makes you successful at y your job? j “I don’t work with people’s posses,” says Hitchcock, who insists on dealing directly with clients. “I’m not a ‘yes’ person. I’m here to help you show your authentic self.” What is the number-one mistake that men make? “Getting bedazzled by brand name or price tag; these measures do not necessarily equate to quality. Also, men’s shirt lengths are always off. The cuff is too long, or on shortsleeve shirts it’s almost to the elbow. Some guys are still wearing a polo too wide, almost like a golf shirt.” What’s the most common advice you give your clients? “I ask people, ‘Why are you looking to upgrade? Are you going through a midlife crisis? Is it because you’re single and you want to step it up? Is it because you work with people who all look a little cooler?’ Figure that out. And no matter what you buy, buy make sure itit’ss comfortable and functional.”
VICTORIA HITCHCOCK VICTORIA HITCHCOCK STYLE, SAN FRANCISCO AND THE BAY AREA × × × YEARS IN THE BUSINESS: 25 SERVICES: “Excavation,” or editing a closet; “Rejuvenation,” which is
focused on building a wardrobe from the ground up; and “Lifestyle Optimization,” a full style upgrade. FEE: $2,000 to $25,000
Sporty jacket: Loro Piana.
What does every guy need in his closet? “A cashmere version of a car coat or a peacoat, something soft and elegant—think Giorgio Armani, Loro Piana. Also, a leather jacket—every guy wants one. Everybody should have a really crisp, white shirt with a great collar that’s ﬁtted, trim, in good-quality cotton.” As for shoes, she suggests a Chelsea boot. “Saint Laurent’s have been iconic since the ’50s.” What are items that men in Silicon Valley, in particular, need in their closet? “Hoka Bondi shoes: They are really cool but may be fashion-forward for some people. They’re insanely comfortable, like walking on a cloud of air. Plus, they add an inch or two in height!” Other stylish but subtler items Hitchcock recommends are sneakers from Maison Margiela, Lanvin, or Golden Goose; Frame denim jeans; a Moncler puffer jacket, and a Maurizio Baldassari vest.
Elegant car coat: Giorgio Armani.
“I’m here to help you show your authentic self.”
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
ANDREW WEITZ THE WEITZ EFFECT, LOS ANGELES × × ×
YEARS IN THE BUSINESS: Officially ﬁve; pro bono,
more than a decade SERVICES: Everything from a one-off “getting
started” program for those who’d like “a taste of the services” to an annual retainer program. FEE: $500 and up
You were a Hollywood talent manager and an agent at William Morris Endeavor; how did you get started in fashion? “I was always known as the bestdressed agent, and it was because I wanted a competitive edge.” Clients and colleagues took note, and a new career was born. “It’s about standing out in the right way, minding your details, and appearing smart and in control of yourself. You’re branding yourself.” What is the number-one mistake that men make? “Old shoes that are worn out, or square-toed shoes. I see a lot of ill-ﬁtting blazers that don’t sit on the shoulders right or are a little too long. Men who wear jackets from their suits as blazers, which is a no-no. Tailoring is the most common problem. People think the bigger the clothes you wear, the more you’ll hide your ﬂaws, and that’s not the case.” The right tailor, Weitz notes, can elevate an item from looking offthe-rack to made-to-measure.
“It’s about standing out in the right way.”
Essential blazzer: Giorgio Armani double-breastted.
Polished sho oes: Bontoni loaferrs.
What’s your favorite example of how fashion helped change a client’s life? “I had a guy whose wife thought he was having an affair because he looked so good, yet she was also more attracted to him than she ever had been. And a month after working with this one executive, who was a messy guy but good at what he did, his ROI [return on investment] was 20 percent higher.”
BILL BOLLING SALES ASSOCIATE, BOYDS, PHILADELPHIA × × × YEARS S IN THE BUSINESS: 40 SERVICES: Perso onal shopping services at home;
in n-house tailoring. FE EE: Complimentary
Patterned sportt coat: Eleventy minni check.
Is therre a piece of advice you o every client that seems give to rk? to work? “Buy clothing that you’re not only physically comfortable in but mentally comfortable in as well. I don’t recommend wearing something that’s not a reﬂection of you or your personality just because someone else is wearing it.”
The Wardrobe Fixers
How do you start to make ove er a man’s closet? ne “I say, ‘Let’s ﬁt one shirt, let’s ﬁt on jacket, one suit, the pants. Let’s make sure everything ﬁts perfectlyy.’ They always want it fast, but I worrk with Kiton, and I have to tell them, ‘We don’t rush. This is a handmadee garment.’ You need to make sure everything’s right, ﬁrst.”
What are the key pieces you n think every man should have in his closet? “My top ﬁve go-to items include a dark suit—I prefer charcoal; a solid-colored blazer or patterned sport coat; a pair of dark slacks; beige or white linen pants; and a nic ce jacket—three-quarter length, long enough to cover a suit. I like Zegna’ss n full line; it’s a brand that is classic in its appeal but with a modern touch.. I also like Scuderi, a private label that we carry. It’s high-quality at a reasonable price point.”
Dark sneakers: Brunello Cucinelli.
What do you order? “Navy suit, blue suit, gray suit. White shirts. Kiton has seasonal fabrics that I use to make them suits and jackets for going out and having fu un. Then I build out the looks from theere. k If a man doesn’t need a suit for work, I’ll give him ﬁve-pocket pants and put them with a nice sweater—a nice V-neck or crewneck. And a beautiful, elegant loafer.”
Do guys in Silicon Valley wear sneakers? “Iff my clients do, they have to be really dark and understated—navy, gray, black, like barely black. No color, though, not even white. For running, yes, but not every day.” What’s your best piece of advice for men? “I have to see the person, to see what size he is. If he’s a big guy, it’s one thing, and if he’s small, it’s different. I like to see the character of the man, what job he has. What is his social life like? I need to know what color his hair is, what color his eyes are, his skin tone. That’s how I pick the best colors for him. Everything is connected to the client’s personality.”
Classic dark suit: s it E Ermenegildo ild Zegna suit.
FARAN SHEIKH STYLE ADVISOR, WILKES BASHFORD,
“In a professional environment, a coat is a ‘ﬁnishing garment.’”
PALO ALTO × × × YEARS IN THE BUSINESS: 18 SERVICES: Personal shopping, in-house tailoring. FEE: Complimentary
What do a lot of men need in their wardrobes but don’t already have? “Most men—especially younger guys— tend to not own outerwear. They think coats are worn strictly to avoid being cold. But in a professional environment, i t a coatt is i a ‘ﬁnishing ‘ﬁ i hi garment.’ To me, this reﬂects someone’s thought process in business.”
Comfort piece: Brunello Cucinelli deconstructed jacket.
“Everything is connectedd to the client’s persoonality.” 2
Versatile ﬁvepocket trousers: Kiton.
The Wardrobe Fixers
Is there a big trend you’ve noticed lately? “We are selling a lot of sneakers, but in the $300 to $3,000 range. Guys wear them with everything from jeans to suits. Something sleek from Lanvin or Cucinelli.” Is there some piece of advice you ﬁnd yourself giving over and over? “Fit is the most important thing to looking current. I think there’s a lot of misconceptions out there, like bigger guys thinking they can’t wear skinny pants, but they actually look better. Or we get guys who buy skinny pants, but they still want to buy a coat that’s really long, and it looks ill-proportioned.”
Sharp sneakers: To Boot.
“Fit is the most important thing to looking current.”
What should every man have that he doesn’t already own? “You know the ﬁve-pocket jean style? We’re selling a lot of wool dress pants in the ﬁve-pocket style. I’m wearing a Cucinelli one today; Zegna does one. Also, very soft sport coats that feel like you’re wearing nothing. It’s an element of being dressed up but in a casual way. Don’t be afraid to buy something timeless and highquality. Another thing on my list every man needs is a piece of Loro Piana outerwear. Our number-one coat for ﬁve years is a threequarter-length waterproof navy cashmere. When people ﬁrst see [the price, $4,595] they’re like, ‘Man, this is crazy.’ It’s an investment piece! You’re going to wear it 100 times more than anything else in your closet.” Is there a common mistake you come across? “Length of pants. As the bottom of pants has gotten narrower, it should be shorter or it just stacks on itself.”
BOB MITCHELL CO - CEO, MITCHELL STORES, WESTPORT, CONNECTICUT (AND EIGHT OTHER LOCATIONS ON BOTH COASTS) × × × YEARS IN THE BUSINESS: 28 SERVICES: The store, family owned since 1958, offers house
calls and will send over selections from your favorite brands or host VIPs before or after store hours. FEE: Complimentary
Investment coat: Loro Piana
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The Wardrobe Fixers
Sleek, ﬂat-front dress pants: PT01.
$25,000. I’ve noticed that people have been buying jackets in the color Bordeaux. The problem is that once you wear it one or two times, it’s been seen. You have to put it away for a little while.” What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed in men’s tastes over your career? “There was a time when no guy would touch a ﬂat-front pant; now 90 percent of our store—all of our pants, really—are ﬂat-front. And guys want tapered pants. When I started at Ralph Lauren, people wanted them bigger and fuller. And everyone wants to wear sneakers now. Cucinelli makes a cool one. Keep in mind they’re like $950, and customers will say, ‘Wow, that’s expensive,’ but they wear them almost every day.”
GENTLEMAN’S PERSONAL SHOPPER, STANLEY KORSHAK, DALLAS × × × YEARS IN THE BUSINESS: 25 SERVICES: House calls, doing closet assessments, and sometimes
bringing in a tailor to give items that extra little l tweak. k FEE: Complimentary
“Every man needs ‘a navy blue suit, and a charcoal one is a plus.’”
What does every man need d in his closet? oal “A navy blue suit, and a charco one is a plus. A beautiful lightw weight cashmere blazer you can wearr all year round. A selection of whitte shirts—I have 20 or 30, becausse anytime I don’t have time to think about what I want to wear, thaat’s where I go. I love Kiton, but it’s an exclusive brand for a certain client.” Any advice for guys when they’re shopping? “Bring your wife along, if you have one. I love to have wives’ opinio ons: If she says it’s beautiful, boom,, it’s a done deal.”
Crisp white shirt: Marol.
uys in Is there a must-have for gu Dallas to wear? om “Honestly, it’s a blue blazer—fro the new kid who just graduated d to the guy who’s running a hedge fund. What matters is the quality of the t blazer, though. You can have it in vicuña, but that can be as much as
Stylish formal jacket: Kiton.
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A Long Way from Bordeaux An experiment in a remote region of China upends conventional wisdom about where wine can be madeâ€” and how it should taste.
LEISA T YLER /GET T Y IMAGES
By Sara L. Schneider
A Long Way from Bordeaux
t 8,500 feet above sea level, in the foothills of the Himalayas, the tag “Made in China” is getting a startling new spin. The product in question here, in the northern reaches of the Yunnan province, which y commodity. rested painsro t i remo nd challenging a itse f w e Speciﬁca y, Ao Yun, w ic trans ate o or roaming) C ina- rown w n n a new enomeno mea . A couple ingxia and Shandong—ar ga n n utable traction i arren of more th n o yards spread vi age o t steep banks Rive i t southwest of m r- nown regions, A n i n’ rowth route res ecta i it W only two vintage un e it e t t young winery ri l international acclai o i Caberne S vignon blend. rm a n $3 0 retail), ow e Moë positioned i t r es from the to Bordeaux-variet cing regions wor . An ye try g to be nothing i n T beverage lux y company s ﬁn t n unique t rr r ina—a incre ingly importan w n mar et s d only to the c nsumption. An t t am tas wit he search took time— ou years accor ing to winema ax n Du ou ative of France, rdeaux and Bur un “W as e ‘Ca we ﬁnd it in hina ’” h says “‘Lan t t will produce ﬁne an e egan w ne? e sent a 70-yearm n wa on a mission, an w n w w n t be brave and conﬁdent th w coul do this.” T at a wa dan, a consult n spen more 0 years as a Mo t and executive. 2011 Jordan found t pot, a fourou ri ro t Shangri-La now mor th ust ent of James Hi ton mag nat o n t 1933 novel s nestl t e base of the ramat M i now M tains. Farmers there wer steeply terrace vineyar s p ant in an earlier ven ure i ar o ive the selves an ea o i come, in additio to th cor barle w eat, walnuts, ac p gs an ya t nd year-round. Eve tho h overs h o e wine-
Winemaker Maxence Dulou seeks a clear taste of the Himalayas in a French-style Cabernet.
“CAN WE FIND IT IN CHINA? LAND THAT WILL PRODUCE FINE AND ELEGANT WINE?” making had been neglected, when Jordan tasted the wine, he knew—given the right expertise—it coul d be great. (And at the risk of vast understatement, Moët has some serious expertise.) What Moët didn’t have was experience with the unique challenges of making wine in this corner of the world. The locals might already be skilled vineyard workers, but the French- and English-speaking Dulou was not adept at their dialect. And while the fact that the vineyard blocks here are too steep and small for machine work might not overwhelm a good viticulturist ( just do everything by hand, the old-fashioned way), each block, according to Dulou, has its own microclimate in the terraces, some with more wind, all with varying soil compositions. The altitude itself also turned
out to be a problem. With 25 percent less oxygen in the air than at sea level, Dulou has found he needs to compensate by providing more exposure to oxygen during the winemaking process. So for the ﬁnal blending, he takes samples of the different barrels down to sea level. Still, the terroir was promising. While the latitude in southern China in general might be too warm and wet for wine, the air is cooler at the winery’s altitude. Temperatures, in fact, are similar to those in Bordeaux. And diurnal swings—the contrast between daytime and nighttime temperatures—are huge, the colder nights allowing the fruit on the vines to retain acidity, and the wines, therefore, freshness. As Dulou puts it, “We’re not cooking the grapes.” At this altitude, though, the UV rays from the sun are strong.
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WHEN JORDAN TASTED THE WINE, HE KNEW—GIVEN THE RIGHT EXPERTISE—IT COULD BE GREAT.
The rows of Ao Yun grapes, protected from the rain and pests by the Himalayan foothills, slowly ripen in Bordeaux-style temperatures.
To protect against sunburn, the grapes develop thicker and darker skins, with the happy result of more color saturation and ﬂavor concentration in the wine. Then, too, the soaring, snow-capped peaks surrounding the Mekong River valley are good for far more, in winegrowing terms, than vertiginous views and treacherous travel (both of which they offer in spades—an oxygen tank reportedly accompanies all visitors in). The mountains act as a natural rain barrier, forcing the clouds to unburden themselves on the other side, creating dry conditions that minimize the threat of mildew and pests. That makes organic farming a natural choice here. And because the grapes lie in the shadows cast by the mountains early in the day, they get 30 percent less sun in the morning, delaying ripeness and lengthening the growing season. (For comparison’s sake, the time from bud break to harvest here is, on average, 160 days; in Bordeaux, it’s about 120.) This long, slow ripening, during which the decision about when to pick is never rushed, is a winemaker’s dream.
The soils, too, play no small part of the terroir early Ao Yun wines are expressing. According to Dulou, a combination of schist and clay, which have slipped from the mountain slopes, and gravel deposited by the river itself gives the wine a rich and generous mouthfeel and at the same time, structure and minerality. What he’s looking for, says Dulou, is a clear taste of the Himalayas in a wine that is still unmistakably a French-style Cabernet—something fresh and elegant, without the overripe and jammy fruit ﬂavors once (and sometimes still) typical of New World Cabs. To be sure, the 2014 Ao Yun leaves you ﬂipping through your mental wine inventory for reference points. At 15 percent alcohol, it’s not shy, yet its concentrated ﬂavors and silky textures are never heavy-handed. Substantial time in a decanter opens up layers of savory fresh herbs, tobacco leaf, crushed rock, mushroom, and dry loam under bright red cassis and raspberry fruit. That those layers take time to emerge suggests this wine has great aging potential.
Alexandre Calvi, head sommelier of New York’s DaDong restaurant, the ﬁrst U.S. outpost of Chinese celebrity chef Dong Zhenxiang, has Ao Yun on his wine list for $488. (For perspective, his range runs from $40 on up to $9,888.) In fact, it’s the only Chinese wine on the list. “This wine is unlike any other,” says Calvi. “As Chef Dong likes to showcase reﬁned food, we have to be the representative of what’s best from China. Ao Yun is that kind of unique product.” (Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the wine goes beautifully with the chef’s legendary roast duck.) Considering the obstacles—the languages, the altitude, the treacherous four-hour drive from the nearest city, the unfamiliar terroir, even the government (“It’s complicated,” says Dulou, adding wryly, “they’re part of the terroir.”)— it’s tempting to ask: What makes sense about a project in this Chinese eyrie for luxury-oriented LVMH? According to Margareth Henriquez, president of the company’s Krug and the Estates & Wines division, absolutely everything. She cites LVMH’s long history of buying pioneering wine houses around the world, from Chandon Argentina and Napa Valley’s Newton Vineyard to Cloudy Bay in New Zealand. And having spent nearly 30 years heading up multinational companies in Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, and France (she joined Moët Hennessy in 2001 as CEO of Bodegas Chandon in Argentina), Henriquez relishes that pioneering spirit: She likes getting there ﬁrst. Dulou, for his part, is embracing the learning curve, improving on every vintage (2015 will be released later this year) with techniques both modern and ancient. To monitor moisture in the vineyards, he uses a drone for infrared mapping. But he walks the blocks, too. “There’s nothing better than someone coming in person,” he says, “so we do both.” Dulou is also already experimenting beyond the Cabernet blend for the future. He says he’s planted a little Syrah and an even smaller amount of Chardonnay. In a few years, we might be sipping a superb Rhône-style red or Burgundian white— from the seemingly inhospitable foothills of the Himalayas. He shrugs off the incongruity. “Everything is more difficult in China,” he says. “Also, everything is possible.”
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The Web’s Spin Master IT’S TIME TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DIGITAL REPUTATION— YOUR BUSINESS DEPENDS ON IT. By John Arlidge
ich Matta upends the typical model of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur: He’s trying to make his fortune by reining in the internet, not expanding its reach and inﬂuence. Matta, 46, runs Reputation Defender. It’s the leading player in one of the hottest new digital markets: online reputation management. It’s his job to make sure his clients look as good, if not better, on the internet and social media as they do in real life. That doesn’t mean making sure Instagram shows their best image. It’s reputation he’s concerned with—because that is now constructed online via URL as much as IRL.
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
“Anyone can publicly say almost anything about anyone, whether or not it is true or fair, and those comments can turn up in Google’s search results forever,” he explains. “You or your business can be tarnished by someone whose version of the truth is not correct. We provide a way to ﬁght back.” Reputation Defender alerts its users to negative content online and then uses proprietary algorithms and positive stories that its staff write in a way that makes it very likely that they appear high in Google rankings to “overwhelm negative search results with positive ones,” Matta explains. Forcing negative results down the search ranking is remarkably effective because 92 percent of people never venture past page one of Google’s search results, and more than 99 percent never go beyond page two. Celebrities and high-proﬁle executives were the ﬁrst to start using his service, but the spread of unregulated social media has made it attractive to professionals and small-business owners. Reputation Defender, Matta says, has served more than 330,000 people since its founding in 2006.
“MY LAWYER VINDICATED ME IN COURT. BUT IT WAS REPUTATION DEFENDER THAT GAVE ME MY CAREER, MY ‘NAME,’ AND MY LIFE BACK.” Matta was helping educational consultant Sue Scheff get her business back on track after she was defamed online by a disgruntled client. She won damages in court but couldn’t stop negative search results ranking high on Google. So, she turned to Matta. “My lawyer vindicated me in court,” she says, “but it was Reputation Defender that gave me my career, my ‘name,’ and my life back. When you search for me online now, you get the real me.” Unfair criticism of work or a business is a common issue the company handles, but Matta has seen “everything under the sun. An embarrassing statement someone now regrets. Or a Google search item that is hindering a job hunt, such as details of problems at a previous company or a messy divorce. Hacked personal information turning up online.”
Digital reputation management is in a growth spurt, and Matta’s company now competes with numerous others, including Igniyte, Proﬁle Defenders, Big Blue Robot, Brand Yourself, and Digitalis Reputation. The explosion isn’t without its critics, however. Some free-speech activists claim that the service limits freedom of expression. “We are not against a person’s right to express their views online,” Matta says. But he does object to Google being “the de facto arbiter of free speech.” The trouble with the search engine, he says, is that the most salacious stories rise up the search rankings because they attract the most interest. “That’s ﬁne, if the story is true,” he says. “But if it’s untrue, no one should have to put up with that. The victim has just as much right to use the digital tools at their disposal to present their version of themselves as the person who’s criticizing them.” Prices for Reputation Defender’s services vary from $3,000 a year to more than $100,000 for the same period, depending on the client’s proﬁle and the degree of difficulty of the task. Americans have more reason than Europeans to use the service because the European Union (EU) has introduced “right to be forgotten” legislation that EU citizens can use to compel Google and other search engines to delete negative stories if the private right to be forgotten outweighs the public’s right to know. Could Matta help someone like Roseanne Barr, whose negative (and offensive) social media posts caused the actress to be ﬁred from her eponymous TV show? “We don’t have a magic eraser, and the internet has no delete button,” he says. He advises anyone who has ever tweeted and regretted it “to delete the post and apologize, which often works.” How else can you polish your digital character? Matta recommends monitoring personal search results using Google Alerts. On social media, restrict comments to a limited audience. And create a strong online presence with a personal website and by publishing your biography, articles, and blogs. “This gives you a positive protective layer,” he says. In the unhappy event that you do become the victim of malicious or inaccurate comments online, don’t necessarily react in that space, despite the temptation, Matta advises. “In most cases, it only makes things worse by attracting more attention.” What about those who should not be protected online or anywhere else? What does Matta say to clients who ask him to cover up something serious, such as a criminal conviction, that the public has a right to know? “We say a ﬁrm no.” There remain some limits to privacy.
Businesses that scored in the top quartile for product design increased their revenues and raised total shareholder returns dramatically beyond their competitive counterparts: Over ﬁve years, they earned 32 percent higher revenue growth and 56 percent higher shareholder returns.
GOOD DESIGN HAS TRANSFORMED INDUSTRIES THAT PRODUCE PRODUCTS LIKE MUNDANE HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES.
McKinsey Design Studio
McKinsey’s Magic Bullet THE CONSULTING GIANT GOES BEYOND SPREADSHEETS TO BUILD BRANDS THROUGH KILLER DESIGN. By Christina Binkley
here was a time when we didn’t expect a desktop computer to resemble a minimalist art piece, or an electric car to rival a Ferrari in sex appeal. But now we’ve seen how good design has transformed industries that produce products like mundane household appliances or dreary tech devices— yet there is still one place it hasn’t permeated: the corporate mind-set. Despite the importance of great design in an increasingly competitive global economy, C-suites are still chock-full of execs who are typically far removed from the quirky design studios that house creativess and engineers. Leave it to the very efficient folks at McKinsey & Co. to measure the impact of that and facilitate change. Recently, McKinsey has built a team of 350 designers in 14 offices all over the globe. Why the new focus? They found they lacked the language to discuss great design—and how to achieve it—with the ﬁnancially minded executive-decision
Lunar designer John Edson created a “squircle”-shaped thermostat that moved the project from technology to design. design
makers who were focused on return on investment and proﬁt growth. So, the company—known for quantifying everything—studied 300 businesses in a range of industries, collecting data on their performance and running regression analyses to arrive at this conclusion: When it comes to design, brands should playy hard orr go home. home
The real lesson may be in companies that didn’t make it into the top quartile. They saw marginal returns at best. In other words, if you want to beat Tesla, be very, very good or the investment isn’t likely to be worth your while. This is all an outgrowth of massive shifts in 21st-century technology and a highly competitive global economy that offers consumers a plethora of choices. “The bar for design is higher,” says Ben Sheppard, a partner at McKinsey Design’s London office. His pedigree is a sign of McKinsey’s growth into being a more design-centric company itself. Sheppard describes himself as “an engineer-geek designer by birth.” As a kid, he wanted to be an inventor. At Cambridge, he created an inexpensive deep-sea camera called “Pebble” (which was almost immediately destroyed by an illegal trawler). At McKinsey, Sheppard has applied design principles for a European luxury watchmaker that is accomplished at creating complications priced at tens of thousands of dollars, but which faced dreadful customer satisfaction ratings for repairs. “The bit that was missing was experiencingg what it was to be a luxuryy customer, customer”
R O B B R E P O R T. C O M
Out of Office with
CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF AUTOMOBILI LAMBORGHINI
Growing up in Imola, Italy, Stefano Domenicali worked at the nearby Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari racetrack. This early passion for fast cars turned into his life’s work. After graduating from the University of Bologna, Domenicali landed a job in Ferrari’s ﬁnancial division. His career accelerated at the carmaker, and he was named director of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team, which went on to win the Constructors’ Championship during the ﬁrst year under his leadership in 2008. After piloting several successful seasons, Domenicali joined Audi as vice president of new business initiatives before landing the pole position at Lamborghini in 2016. He recently parked for a moment to share what keeps him on track. VIJU MATHEW
What one thing do you do daily to stay sane? Because I don’t live near my family during the week (I join them on the weekends), I’m at work from 8 am until very late in the evening. Therefore, I need to start the day with an hour to an hour and a half doing some exercise, just for me to refresh, disconnect, and think about myself. Your biggest annoyance at work? To be repetitive. It is something I really hate, so I try to be creative. For example, I always take a different chair during meetings—it gives my mind a different approach. How long should a meeting last? From a half hour to an hour, maximum. Otherwise the level of attention will decrease and effectiveness will be even lower. It’s not only how long the meeting will last,
but how many people are attending. I want to have at a meeting only the people that will make it effective and efficient. What do you look for in an employee? I look for trust, professionalism, and someone who is a team player— whatever the position. Do you prefer e-mail, phone, or text? If it’s business, I prefer e-mail. When you reach a certain position, you receive so much input and information that, if you are not organized, you run the risk of not processing everything. I want to be spot-on. The best advice you were given? Never give up. What would you tell your younger self ? I would say to be totally yourself and not try to copy others.
Is there one adjustment everyone can make in their lives to be more successful? Learning on the job. Know that there are always opportunities to improve. One thing you want to improve in your work life? The time that I am the most effective. When you have to do many things, you might lose that as an objective. Effectiveness is really what I have in mind in terms of my maximum result, and part of that is making decisions. One must avoid ﬁnding excuses to postpone decisions. Do you have a favorite app? I’m not a super-connected guy. I don’t really have one other than WhatsApp, which helps me manage time [communicating] in a proper way. What is your daily driver? The [Lamborghini] Urus. I am very privileged, I have to say.
MASATOSHI OK AUCHI/SHUT TERSTOCK
he says. Having a watch repaired was annoying and time consuming, requiring dropping it off when the store was open, then waiting weeks for the servicing. Designers studied the experience of repair customers and ran a regional pilot test on a new phone app. Watch owners could request pickup and delivery of their needy watch, or schedule an appointment to drop it off in a store, where they might be met with a glass of Champagne or a nibble of something delicious. The app can keep the owner in touch with his or her beloved device—sending video of the repair and diagrams of the watch’s innards—particularly appealing to those watch collectors who are as obsessed with their mainspring mechanisms as car buffs can be with their transmissions. This redesigned experience has signiﬁcantly raised approval ratings and accessory sales. At San Francisco–based Lunar Design, John Edson designed keyboards and other components of HP computers. Lunar’s projects include ergonomic OralB toothbrushes, sleek-looking sustainable eating utensils, and an audiophile’s Alpine headphones. McKinsey bought the ﬁrm in 2015—part of a wave of consolidation in design ﬁrms that is expected to continue as corporate interest in the ﬁeld grows. As an example of the heated competition in an industry that didn’t exist a decade ago, Edson was recently challenged to design a smart “luxury” thermostat for a Toronto technology company called Ecobee, which is competing against rivals such as Nest. “Why spend two to three times as much for something you don’t care about?” Edson asks. His team solved the conundrum by doing something that 40 percent of the companies McKinsey studied fail to do: They spoke with end clients—homeowners and heating/ air-conditioning contractors—during the design phase. They learned that people think their thermostats are ugly and that the devices function poorly from the out-of-the-way hallways where they are generally placed. Lunar designers created a wireless smart thermostat that looks like a minimalist digital clock in a shape they called a “squircle,” a square-and-circle crossover. It communicates with discreet sensors placed throughout the house that monitor temperatures. The product focus, Edson notes, shifted from thermostat technology to thermostat design. Most important, he says, the device and its sensors “didn’t look like tech on the wall.” Further proof that the mundane can be transformed into a desirable consumer product with potential for big returns.
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Do you want to get noticed, too?
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Let him shine
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