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THE LUXURY LIFESTYLE • SPRING 2010

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CONTENTS 100KUS11_sep09 23/02/2010 11:29 Page 13

CONTENTS Fashion & Luxe

32

Traveluxe

46

Vertu You

128 Step Lightly


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CONTENTS People 56

All The Glitters

66

Yanik Silver

102 A Private Paradise 110 Timeless Treasures 116 Master of Ceremonies


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CONTENTS Travel 50

Meeting Magic

60

French Decadence

74

Magical Marrakech


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CONTENTS 100KUS11_sep09 23/02/2010 11:30 Page 19

CONTENTS Features 82

Luxury Property Management

86

Panerai Sets Sail

96

The Delicious Deep

123 SIHH 2010


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ED NOTE_feb10 23/02/2010 09:52 Page 22

T H O U S A N D

C L U B

The Editor’s Note

F

or inspiration, education and excitement, our best advice is always to travel. Whether

you’re going far outside the sphere of your own experience or simply taking a break from the everyday, there is nothing like the feeling of stepping out of a plane, boat, train, bus, car, pack mule—we’ve tried all of these—into a whole new world awaiting discovery.

When it’s relaxation you seek, we can’t speak more highly of a destination than legendary Mo-

roccan resort La Mamounia. One of the most hotly anticipated openings of the year, welcomed back to Marrakech with a celebrity-studded party and Cirque du Soleil dancers flying through the sky, the hotel reopened after several years of renovations bigger and better than ever before, but with all the warmth of history and experience that you would expect from a destination that opened in 1922. If you’re traveling for business, as so many of us are these days, you need resources you can depend on. We went to Hong Kong, one of the fastestgrowing business centers in the world, to check out the best spots for a power meal and explore the Intercontinental Hotel’s new meeting facilities, that let an out-of-towner create a real presence in the city, if only temporarily. We also went to London, to see what went into the Vertu Axyta, a veritable business center in itself—after all, who can work without their phone these days? And of course, in travel and hospitality arguably more so than any other industry, there are the people. We spoke with David Hew, whose Caribbean childhood has evolved into Kalamame Cay, a private island resort, and Temple St. Clair, who wears her passion for travel right on her person, in the form of her cult hit jewelry line. In addition, for well-traveled watch aficionados, we spoke with CEO Angelo Bonati of Panerai Watches and headed to SIHH in Geneva, to see what you'll be wearing around the world this coming year. We hope you enjoy this issue of The 100 Thousand Club—and we wish you safe travels, wherever they may be.

Kate Winick, Editor-in-Chief


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CONTRIBUTORS US11_aug09 23/02/2010 10:46 Page 24

Contributors

Nick Kolakowski

Natalie Brandweiner

Sydney Cannon

Nick Kolakowski has written about some

Though Natalie began her career as a

Her fleeting feet and studies of Philoso-

of life’s finer accessories for publications

business writer, interviewing executives

phy have taken Sydney around the world.

such as Playboy, Private Air, AutoWeek,

from a variety of industries, and still con-

The Los Angeles native now combines her

Trader Monthly and Thrillist. The Vertu

tributes to several business magazines,

wanderlust, passion for all things luxe,

phones profiled in this issue, however,

her understanding of the needs and de-

and love for literature to contribute to

represented a whole new category, merg-

sires of high-profile people give her

100thousand Club.

ing timepiece-caliber craftsmanship with

unique insight into creating maps, lists,

cutting-edge electronics: the perfect de-

and feature stories that will grab her

vice to accompany a wide-ranging tour

reader’s attention.

around London.

Josh Sailor

Matt Buttell

Norimichi Inoguchi

After working in production for the better

Matt’s interests in the jet set lifestyle,

Born in Japan, Norimichi Inoguchi received

part of his professional career, Josh even-

fashion, gadgets and style meld perfectly

his education in New York where he refined

tually caved into his passion for photog-

with his other writings as a business jour-

his passion for photography. His love for the

raphy, and hasn’t looked back since.

nalist, which also help to offer a different

luxurious lifestyle and desire to create visu-

Based in New York, his portfolio is as di-

persepective to his work. Having con-

ally stunning images inspired him to become

verse as his experiences, and he creates

tributed to 100thousand Club before, his

an expert in still-life photography. Using new

fabulous shots of people, installations,

extensive and varied ournalistic experi-

techniques to achieve amazing purity, clar-

and beautiful places around the world.

ence are a welcome return.

ity and definition in the resulting photos.


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CREDITS US11_feb10 23/02/2010 13:29 Page 26

Advertising, Marketing, and Client Services T: +44 117.921.4000

Executive Director THOMAS PORTS Project Manager SARA COHEN Account Executives STEVE CAMPO, SAVANNAH LEE, JANICE RYAN, ANDREA SANFORD

Finance Director JAMIE CANTILLON HR and Personnel Manager HANNAH DUFFIE Production Manager LAUREN HEAL

Information Editorial/Executive Chairman/Publisher SPENCER GREEN Director of Projects HARLAN DAVIS

Production Coordinators RENATA OKRAJNI, AIMEE WHITEHEAD Circulation Manager BEN KELLY

Subscription Enquiries T: +44 117.921.4000 www.100thousandclub.com

Creative Director ANDREW HOBSON General Enquiries Editor-in-Chief KATE WINICK

info@100thousandclub.com

Associate Editor NATALIE BRANDWEINER Assistant Editor MATTHEW BUTTELL Online Editor JANA GRUNE

Letters to the Editor letters@100thousandclub.com

Assistant to the Editor TSVETANA ARAPOVA

Printer Design Director JAMES WEST Senior Designers ZÖE BRAZIL, SARAH WILMOTT

Workbrands Ltd. Ferodo House, Willway Street, Bristol BS3 4BG, United Kingdom. T: +44 (0) 117 9669189. E: info@workbrands.co.uk.

Contributing Writers

www.workbrands.co.uk

REBECCA GOOZEE, MARIE SHIELDS, HUW THOMAS, BEN THOMPSON

100 Thousand Club (Vol. 4, Issue 3, Q1 2010) is published four times a year

Contributing Photographers JP GREENWOOD, NORIMICHI INOGUCHI, JOSH SAILOR

by GDS Publishing. All rights reserved. GDS Publishing, Ltd. Queen Square House, 18-21 Queen Square, Bristol, BS1 4NH, UK.

Designers MICHAEL HALL, CRYSTAL MATHER, CLIFF NEWMAN, LIVIO BONDI, CATHERINE WILSON

Legal Information The advertising and articles appearing within this publication reflect the opinions and attitudes of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the publisher or editors. We are not to be held accountable for unsolicited manuscripts, transparencies or photographs. All material within this magazine is © 2010 100Thousand Club.

Head Office GDS International Queen Square House, 18-21 Queen Square, Bristol, BS1 4NH, UK. T: +44 117 921 4000. F: +44 117 926 7444. E: info@gdsinternational.com


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Brooks

Brothers: The Black

Fleece line of suiting has revolutionzed this classic American brand, with fresh lines and modern tailoring. This mid-weight suit is a go-anywhere, do-anything ensemble for the modern man.

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Cartier: The New York flagship of Cartier is one of the most famous retail corners in the world, and it is here that they’ll be bringing their first serious collection of men’s watches, including this Roton de Astro tourbillon, one of the most beautiful and innovative new watches we’ve seen this year.

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Asprey:

If you’re never fully

dressed without the perfect watch on your wrist, take your collection on the road with Asprey’s elegant padded box, designed to keep your favorites safe and close at hand.

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Ettinger: This range of leather accessories combines a powerful aesthetic with just a little bit of flash—suitable, as they were made in collaboration with Bentley motorcars.

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Berluti: Though best known for their luxuriously customized shoes and boots, the leather experts at Berluti have made their latest luggage set yet another homage to the intersection of form and function.

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Hermès: For the gentleman on the go, Hermès’ princely leather overnight case has just enough room for a fresh shirt, a clean tie, and a few small sundries—all you need for a quick overnight jaunt.

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Audemars: The new ambassador of Audemars Piguet jewelry is Moscow Ballet prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova, who embodies the delicate strength and grace of the Millenary collection.

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Richard Mille: Known for his strong, masculine lines and innovative constructions,

watchmaker

Richard

Mille created this pocketwatch for a man who isn’t afraid of something substantial—the chain unscrews to allow the mechanism to be used as a small clock.

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Roberto Cavalli: For a weekend in the city or a quick getaway to the Maldives, we love this upscale duffle bag from Roberto Cavalli, whose Cavalli Club in Dubai has quickly become a destination for vacationers and locals alike.

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Porsche Design: In the land of fast cars and bright sunshine, what could be better than a pair of sunglasses from the team at Porsche. Clean lines and a mirrored fi nish toe the line between modern and classic.

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Miura: Katsuhiro Miura is one of the most well-respected crafters of precision golf clubs in the world, and his latest, the Miura Precious Edition, is a tour-quality utility club that is nevertheless extremely playable. Make sure this weapon is in your arsenal when you hit the course to impress.

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Ulysses Nardin: In the techsavvy world of Japan, you’ll have no trouble standing out with the fi rst cell phone from Swiss

watchmakers

Ulysses

Nardin, combining the best of watchmaking craft with the lastest mobile technology.

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Vertu You

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down the road. They never last.

I

t helps to think of the

Things that never last are not

Vertu

something you want in a phone

Constellation

Ayxta as something

whose price ranges from 4,900 to

other than a phone.

6,500 for the basic model. (Having

Yes, it makes calls,

snaps photos, and surfs

the Web. Yet the Constellation Ayxta is a phone only in the way that the De Witt Tourbillion Différentiel is a timepiece: once you handcraft a device from aerospace metal and sapphire crystal and fine-grain leather (precious stones optional), it stops being merely functional and becomes a piece of jewellery. One that happens to make calls, snap photos, and surf the Web. The Constellation Ayxta represents the first folding phone in Vertu’s collection, but

One company tries to take mobile phones on the same luxury path as cars and timepieces.

the company has been creating its high-highend devices since 1998, when Frank Nuovo,

a one-of-a-kind custom one built, of course, costs a lot more.)

Handmade in England It all starts at the factory. Actually, the term “factory”, as it applies to the facility where Vertu makes its phones, is something of a misnomer; that word suggests giant industrial processes, a rough ballet of massive machines, sparks and smoke. The Vertu Factory is more of a workshop, in the sense of artisans performing tiny, precise actions to craft something limited – the same detail-obsessed spirit you find in watchmakers’ shops. There are still conveyor belts, and com-

whose resume includes stints as Design Direc-

puter screens flashing complex diagnostics,

tor of BMW/Designworks and Chief of Design

but each Vertu phone (with its hundreds of me-

at Nokia, sat down to sketch his first ideas for

chanical parts) is assembled primarily by hand.

making a mobile phone—ordinarily disposable,

Then the phone’s electronics are tested a fi nal

ordinarily ordinary—into a luxury item. “It boils down to what a phone really

time, the craftsperson’s signature laser-etched onto a back panel, a last polish by an expert – and

needs.”Nuovo says, hefting the Constellation Ayxta

the device is lowered into its foam-bed inside the

in his palm to show off its weightiness (“You can feel

distinctive Vertu box, ready to be shipped from

it; you know it’s there,” he chuckles. “I mean, you

this white-box facility in the quintessentially rolling

wouldn’t want to lose it.”) before setting it on long soft

English countryside to the Vertu boutiques north,

pad alongside earlier examples of his company’s work: the Vertu Ascent Ti, and the Vertu Signature. The first thing that strikes you about the phones is how old-fashioned they appear, if such a term can be applied to technology that made its first appearance when Ronald Reagan still popped jellybeans in the White House;

south, east and west. Despite the factory’s fine-tuned nature, Vertu’s executives feel that the luxury-phone market is a relative newborn. “We are just in the beginning stage,” says Perry Oosting, Vertu’s president. “It is very much a young industry.”

nonetheless, the phones’ hefty bar shapes seem a generation

There is a historical analogy, Oosting feels, between

removed from today’s mobile phones with their sliding and

Vertu’s experience and that of the original luxury car- and

swivelling keyboards, their glowing touch-screens. “We didn’t rely on trendy inspirations,” Nuovo says. “We wanted tested technology.” In other words, those things that the masses love about the

timepiece-makers. As originally engineered, Henry Ford’s Model T performed a single function: moving people from Point A to B. It did so in an unadorned manner (you could have the vehicle in any colour,

Palm Pre and Apple iPhone are design fads, likely consigned to

Ford once allegedly said, so long as it was black), a situation

the technological graveyard for the next innovation six months

quickly corrected by carmakers such as Rolls-Royce, which in

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1907 rolled out the iconic, six-cylinder Silver Ghost. In the same manner, devices used to tell time have evolved over the centuries from boxy contraptions to increasingly miniaturized, intricate wristwatches. “We’re proud of what we’re beginning to provide,” Nuovo says, acknowledging the tightrope his machines need to navigate between style and technology. “There are a lot of disciplines that need to work together in order to make this happen.”

The Elephant in the Room The inevitable retort by owners of Apple’s iPhone, or the Palm Pre, is that their device is a handheld office; that it boasts dozens of applications, and can send email; that you can use it to book fl ights or check football scores, via the Web browser, while jammed in a slow meeting.

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Ah, yes, the Vertu owner

Bentley

Continental

responds. But see this little

Spur

button here? Press it to hear the

lbs/2,440 kilo) and roll the

soothing voice of the Concierge—

car forward. The Ayxta, with

capable of fulfilling any number of requests both mundane and ludicrous. (Once upon a time, the Vertu’s Web site insists, the Concierge booked an elephant for a client; because sometimes, someone just needs a two-ton Loxodonta Africana). (Another client wanted the perfect

weight:

5,279

See this little button here? Press it to hear the voice of the Concierge, capable of fulfilling any number of The Evolution of Style requests both mundane and ludicrous

pair of shoes. A harder item to find,

arguably—the Concierge delivered on that, as well.)

(curb

Flying

its stainless steel frame and

aerospace-grade aluminium parts,

may very well survive better than

the everything-plastic Pre, which

will be reduced to plastic shards. Unless the divorce proves unex-

pectedly messy, of course, you likely

won’t have a luxury car rolling over

your hip pocket and its phone anytime

soon. But you get the idea.

And take a look at this, the Vertu

owner adds, navigating through screens to

On the day that Vertu launches the

the City Guide, which offers up a regularly

Constellation Ayxta, Frank Nuovo and Perry

updated list of eateries, bars and shops worth

Oosting pile onto a gleaming-white boat with

visiting; no tourist-traps, no obnoxiously hip

a couple dozen other guests and head, in a

hidey-holes where you need a bone through

burst of foam and a roar of engines, down the

your nose to attract the bartender’s attention.

nighttime Thames, out of bright and honking

The places, in other words, you would have a

London towards the suburb Greenwich. Twenty

hard time finding with Google. But as with so many things, it comes down to the small details. Set the Vertu’s alarm; once it starts blaring its merry little tune, in the predawn hours (early meeting; early international flight; early drinks), you can merely flip it over,

minutes later, the boat thumps softly against a pier, a few yards from a parked line of BMWs, their engines already rumbling for a winding drive up a hill to the Royal Observatory. Later on, a celebratory dinner of sorts will be held under the dome of the Octagon Room, the

back-to-front, in order to engage the snooze function.

building’s main chamber. Before that, the guests

The hinge has been finely engineered, opening with

fi lter through a downstairs exhibition where, under

a smooth but somehow regal motion. That ringtone on

brightly lit glass, sit John Harrison’s four tries at cre-

the Constellation Ayxta comes courtesy of Grammy-

ating the perfect marine chronometer: three of them

nominated Zero 7, who spent a thoroughly lengthy

big clockwork machines, with dozens of gears moving

amount of time composing the tune in the basement of

in sync; the fi nal one a compact device that looks like

the Hospital Club, a London members-only establish-

an oversized pocket-watch, capable of keeping perfect

ment (and former hospital, says legend) whose basement studio is elaborate enough to make an audiophile break into Pavlovian drooling. Necessary elements for a phone? Absolutely not. But then, if accoutrements were determined strictly by the necessary, everyone would be wearing a Timex. Plus, the Vertu phone represents a hardy specimen of engineering. Place a Palm Pre and the Vertu Constellation Ayxta under the left and right wheels, respectively, of a

GMT time even at sea. Before 1761, Harrison made that intuitive leap, streamlining his bulky but functional designs into a thing of beauty. Vertu seems to want to make the same analogy to its guests: at a certain point, all devices make that evolutionary leap, becoming something elegant in addition to merely useful. “It continues to evolve,” Nuovo says, and his own Constellation Ayxta—this luxury brick, this platinum-and-crystal jewellery that makes calls—breaks into song. „

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I

t’s the rare executive who doesn’t have business in Hong

for their opulent yet individual styles as well

Kong these days—this sparkling waterfront city attracts

as their incredible cuisine. Other notable

power brokers from all over the world to take advantage of

European destinations include CÉPAGE,

the explosive growth in Asia. But where to stay and where to

noted for their excellent 2,100 bottle cellar

meet when you’re in town? As any experienced dealmaker

and wine pairing recommendations to go with

knows, not all business is done in meeting rooms, and in

their French cuisine, Gaddi’s in the Peninsula

a city a food-centric as Hong Kong, where better to show yourself a

Hotel, where French food first became the

tastemaker than the city’s top restaurants?

byword in fine dining in 1953, and Grissini

French has long been the dominant European cuisine in Hong Kong,

in the Grand Hyatt, traditional Italian food

and the city’s own Michelin guide was launched last year. It handed out

done with a light, fresh touch. These restau-

three stars to just two restaurants, including French classic Caprice,

rants are frequently at home in hotels to take

in the Four Seasons, and two stars to seven restaurants in Hong Kong,

advantage of their high traffic and excellent

among them Amber, in the Mandarin Oriental, for Chef Richard Ek-

views of the harbor, and sometimes it can be

kebus’ contemporary cuisine, and Petrus in the Shangri-La, all notable

an embarrassment of riches in one building;

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for example, the Intercontinental, where The Steak House winebar and grill and the Harbourside’s international buffet receive accolades alongside SPOON by Alain Ducasse, where the best of French cuisine is combined with the freedom and flexibility of less-formal Western dining, to increase enjoyment of the modern sensation on your plate and the dramatic backdrop of the Hong Kong skyline, a visual feast in and of itself. Other inroads have of course been made from the east, as Japanese cuisine continues to exert an influence on Hong Kong’s foodie style. Aqua, an Italian/Japanese blend in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district, and Zuma, a Japanese restaurant in The Landmark hotel and office complex both benefit from their central locations, but stand on their own drawing diners at every meal to experience their modern décor and light, fresh food. There is also an outpost of Nobu Matsuhisa’s empire at the Intercontinental, and at this location of NOBU they’ve blended his signature visual and taste experiences with local ingredients and visuals—the stunning ceiling evokes an ocean floor covered in sea urchins, while the bamboo-studded walls and black river stone bar frames Nobu’s trademark Japanese cherry blossoms, for a pan-Asian experience all around you, including on your plate. Chinese cuisine itself has become more elevated in recent years, with the awarding of Michelin stars to Lung King Heen, led by Chef Chan Yan Tak at the Four Seasons in the inaugural guide, as well as to Yan Toh Heen, the Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant in the Intercontinental, which is a popular power-lunch spot for locals as well as travelers where top-quality, fresh ingredients are transformed into incredible delicacies by the talented Chef Lau Yiu Fai. For gatherings larger than a single table can provide, many restaurants can be rented out privately or have private dining rooms, but the big name in business meetings here for the last 30 years has been the Intercontinental Hong Kong. In addition to arranging transportation and access to top private golf and country clubs for daytime outings, the hotel’s top of the line facilities and unfailingly excellent service, including 24-hour concierge and business services, serve the 495 contemporary guest rooms. Spacious and plush, they’re designed to welcome weary travelers and get them ready for action with high-speed broadband internet access, LCD televisions, and iPod docking stations. While the rooms are equally adapted to business and leisure, the operations team is able to pull off meetings and conferences with seamless aplomb in a variety of spaces, to suit the most particular needs. “Our catering operation is the largest in Hong Kong,” said Carole Klein, Director of Public Relations at the InterContinental Hong Kong, as she showed off the facilities advantages. The hotel’s capacious and versatile ballroom space can host up to 200 for dinner or 300 for cocktails, while 11 harborview rooms contain a full audiovisual setup, high-

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speed broadband connection, and wireless internet access. To really

art technology to please any executive. And

make the facilities work for you, however, the events managers and

in this case, it can please their guests, too—

banquet team who assist behind the scenes assign a personal Meeting

these suites are a unique venue for private

Butler to each room, who is fully trained to handle food and beverage,

cocktail receptions for up to 50 people.

audio-visual, temperature control, as well as miscellaneous tasks that arise—no more fumbling with speakerphones at a crucial moment!

54

The hotel’s central location and impressive reputation have made it the choice of

And to maximize that view even further, the hotel now offers a truly

travelers in Hong Kong for many years, but

unique experience, tailored to either personal or professional needs—

as with all great hotels, it’s the service that

the Terrace Suites. The Presidential Suite, 7,000 square feet of pent-

makes or breaks the experience, and at the

house and 2,500 square feet of terrace with the most incredible view

Intercontinental Hong Kong, it’s a class apart.

in the city, has long been considered one of the top luxury suites in the

From the first welcome in the lobby to the last

world, the infinity pool alone a truly unique experience. In light of their

bite of dim sum, the hotel works behind the

success with that suite, the hotel has recently added two new specialty

scenes to make your experience both special

suites in the same vein. Both boast broad terraces and outdoor Jacuzzis,

and seamless. Standing on the terrace of the

but in slightly different styles. The Terrace Suite is a honeymooner’s

CEO Suite with a glass of champagne over-

paradise, with capacious bedrooms and bathrooms, and a luxurious

looking the harbour, we were immediately

outdoor bedroom setup, with a white-curtained bed positioned to catch

impressed by the power the view provides, as

the sunrise, and en-suite treatments from the hotel’s luxurious I-Spa a

uniformed servers glide silently from guest to

phone call away. The CEO Suite, meanwhile, is just as it sounds—dark

guest: it’s a situation any dealmaker should

glossy wood and masculine décor are artfully mixed with state-of-the-

take advantage of. „

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All The Glitters Artist dishes about life, art, and inspiration

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T

The Calvin Klein store on Madison Avenue

sparkles darkly around the windows, the bright open expanse behind interrupted here and there by dresses and suits suspended from the ceiling like acrobats caught midair. And in the midst of the circus is Hedi Ferjani, champagne in hand, smiling broadly under a dark map of curls, greeting his friends and guests to celebrate his latest project. “Projects” is rather more accurate, as Hedi has a great deal to celebrate, as he explains one rainy day, chainsmoking in the corner of a friends’ studio in Mahattan’s flower district: the Calvin Klein project—“I’m glittering the whole store, all over the inside,”— his film project—“It’s called Kosher Nostra, it’s about Jewish Gangsters. “We’re shooting it in London for HBO, with Franceso Civetta directing,”— and a new exhibition at the Michaeli Gallery in New York. From the 17” ceilings of his Brooklyn studio, the pieces he glitters were installed along with a video installation he made. “ I worked very closely with Francisco Costa, who I’ve known for a long time. He was easy to work with, it was sort of like, we should work on something together, or don’t, no pressure. We’re a group of guys who all do different things, some of us in fashion and arts, some of us in business, but all very successful.” Though perhaps best known in his adopted city as the longtime partner to designer Erin Fetherston, he has long been a creative force in his own right, engaging in multiple mediums all over the world.

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He has exhibited previously at the Palais

the guns. “These objects are very technical but I wanted to show how they

Tokyo for his photographs, which he describes

were physically very beautiful although they were so dangerous.” The

as abstract landscapes. “I found portraits to be

critical and commercial responses to his work were equally good, and he

very difficult, not everyone is good at working

takes care not to forget both sides. “I design for me, but I’m always care-

that way. I get too romantically involved. I only

ful with what I’m doing. I’m aware of who’s looking at me. I have terrible

shoot manually, I like to play with the images

ideas, but you need to take risks, open your eyes, open your soul. Like

and develop them myself, do really huge prints

with the semi-precious weapons, there were all these pictures I wanted to

and things like that.” He has also done films

make with children and things I don’t make all my really terrible ideas,

of several kinds, but has lately been getting a

but I need to have them. He has been through the mill of finding artistic

fresh start in his new chosen medium. “Here

representation several times, and it made him wary of exhibiting until he

in New York, I decided to use a small gallery,

could find a place he felt worked fairly. “I find the art salons like Basel

I didn’t want it to be pretentious. I thought I

very tricky, very disgusting. It’s very manipulated, they have to bring

wanted to start a bit smaller with my new

down a Picasso and a Kandinsky in order to bring down one new young

work.” A word about the glitter: it is color, it

artist, but there are honest galleries. The best compliment someone ever

is texture, it is an object in itself, it transforms

gave me, it was a gallerist who kept asking why I didn’t have a gallery. I

other objects. At 34 years old, his projects

said I didn’t know, and did she want to represent me. She said she would,

are as big as his imagination, and as small as

because I reminded her of a bad Tapiès.”

whatever happens to be sitting on his desk. His

Q: Do you like collaborations?

art is a natural extension of his personality,

A: I love endorsements!

dormant until he began collecting the work of

No, I do love collaborations. I’m working with Converse to do a line

others, which inspired him to make his own.

of glittered shoes, because I love Converse. The idea of my art is that it’s

He’s now doing new hotel in Qatar. “All the

very accessible. I can glitter anything, I can do anything I want.

lobby, the walls in the rooms, it’s all going to be

The nature of his work naturally raises the age-old question of what

glitter. I imagine a man who’s having an affair

constitutes art, but he stays firmly in the camp of intent outweighing

and he comes home, and his wife says, “Hey,

technical merit. “The idea is more important than the technique. The

why’ve you got glitter all over you?! Hah!” Ar-

technique comes after, when I figure out how to do the thing I thought

guably the best known of his recent work is a

of. But now, I process my glitter a certain way, I mix it with things, so

collection of glitter-covered machine guns and

you can put it anywhere, you can put it on anything, you can put it out-

grenades called “Semi-Precious Weapons,” a

side and it will stay for 150 years. I’m always covered in glitter. It’s good

manifestation of his own aesthetic response to

when you’re sleeping with someone, you can tell they’re yours,” he says

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with a grin in his eyes. “Glitter is my signature, I also love marbles,

the scenes, too.” He hits all the right artistic

sculpting marble, I did all these sculptures of weird, cartoony people,

notes visually on his person—disheveled hair,

and this guy in Switzerland ordered a set done of his whole family, like

paint-splattered jeans—though his tastes

a crypt. It was weird, but I enjoyed it, I love to work on commission

do run to some of the finer things, including

because you discover new ideas. I set the bar very high.”

the uber-exclusive Rose Bar in the Gramercy

He enjoys jumping from idea to idea, using different parts of his

Park Hotel (“I like Rose Bar here because I

experience to create. “I think if you’re an artist, you shouldn’t stick

like Ian Schrager’s taste in art, I like all of his

to one media. If you’re sensitive, you must be able to paint, to write,

hotels.”) but as he puts it, “I love to integrate,

to do everything. Try something new—just try! It’s only a matter of

love to eat, try new things. There’s an Indone-

confidence.” It’s that natural sensitivity that makes viewers respond to

sian place on Baxter that I love, I go to a new

his artwork, and he clearly thinks of it in very personal terms. “I think

restaurant every week. It doesn’t have to be

art is important for me—it’s my way to go into life. And it gives you

somewhere new or expensive, just something

this sensitivity to your environment and the people around you that is

different. You travel with your palate. I love to

so important to who I am.” Who he is, of course, is at the core of his

walk in Chinatown, you feel so disconnected,

artistic identity. Born in Paris, and raised there and in Switzerland,

because Asian people, they never look at

his mother studied with Picasso when she was very young; he was her

you, and you can never connect with them, it’s like being in a foreign country. It reminds

“I think if you’re an artist, you shouldn’t stick to one media. If you’re sensitive, you must be able to paint, to write, to do everything.”

me of Napoli, where people live in the street, grandmothers, children, everyone out there.” His travels around the world have served his artistic sense as well. “I love Tokyo, Okinawa. I fell in love with it, it’s very quiet, and there are these two huge body builders that walk around surrounded by these tiny people. I

mentor. “He told her she was lucky she wasn’t older because he would

thought it was the funniest things. I made

have made her his mistress. She said she was lucky too. They were

friends with them. I love Korea, I love Prague,

good friends. I grew up surrounded by good art. I wasn’t sure I would

I love Spain—my mother is Spanish. I like

be capable of it…it can be scary for me to go too deep into art, too deep

somewhere with a real sense of place—you

into myself. I’m very passionate and I can get lost. I tried to write, but I

get in the airport and it smells like fried oil

prefer to paint.” He went to Paris for school, then lived in London for a

and you know where you are right away.”

time, until encountering Fetherston on her first day in Paris seven years

For inspiration closer to home, he says,

ago, and moving to New York with the company. Of the relationship now

“we go bicycle. And we make sure we have

he simply says, “We were together for a long time but I think she just

an accident. He calls his friend over from the

needed to grow up a little more,” but has continued to work with her

pile of floral wire she’s untangling to show a

fashion house, including on a movie for one of the recent collections and

massive scar wrapping her rib cage—“I did

a series of glittered animal masks that lent the perfect surreal touch to

that!”—he says, which makes her laugh. “I

her runway show. “I want things to be presented as they are, in their

try to do 11 miles a day, and everything just

natural condition,” he says, expressing the natural contradiction of an

goes away.” Having worked in art, photogra-

artist, who is presenting things not as they are but as he thinks they

phy, film, music, he’s not done yet seeking

should be to more accurately represent their true nature. “I don’t think

out new projects and new inspirations. “I

of it as a job,” he says, “I wake up and I’m happy. Well, I wake up, and

want to do furniture, I’m talking to a Swed-

I have sex, and then I’m happy.” Some of the most memorable moments

ish guy right now about doing a line. I like

from the last few years have been doing movies with Kirsten Dunst, he

very organic, unexpected shapes, but natural

says, “She’s a very close friend and I enjoyed doing it. When we did the

things.” He can’t stop, he says: “If you don’t

movie with Zooey Deschanel for Erin I got very good pictures behind

learn every day, you’re dead.” „

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By Natalie Brandweiner


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A

As the plane descends to our destination of Nice International Airport in the south of France, it is immediately apparent that this is the place for careless frivolity and the perfect getaway to satisfy the urge to splurge. The world’s most luxurious superyachts dot the stunning coastline, and the blazing sunshine warms us on our short but scenic drive into Cannes. The luscious green palms line the road’s edge before thinning out, to be replaced by grand hotels, stylish restaurants, and the luxe boutiques of the Promenade de la Croissette, including Balmain, Tom Ford, Saint Laurent, Rykiel and Hermиs, as well as those of the lesser known designers, such as Claude Bonucci and Durani. Also located on the promenade is the Carlton Intercontinental, one of the world’s most renowned five-star hotels, where we were to spend our short but extremely glamorous break. Regarded as the gold standard for the luxury and glamour that Cannes has come to represent, the Carlton has long been home to the extravagant parties of the city’s annual film festival. Le Festival de Cannes, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious and glamorous festivals dates back to the 1930s – its history is that of Hollywood starlets and old-style glamour. The hotel has remained at the epicenter of the festival’s frenzy sine the early days of Brigitte Bardot. One of the city’s icons, she visited for the first time in 1953, posing for photographs on its famous shore at the early age of 19, and was often found partying along the city’s seafront before hanging up her dancing shoes and retiring to the city’s neighbor, St Tropez. The increased media attention since those early days has seen a steady influx of Hollywood’s glamorous A-list pass through the doors and into the marbled lobby – where on our visit, a team of attentive staff greeted us with the warmest welcome. The film festival’s origins and legacy have created an arena for the bold and the beautiful, and not only for the festival’s 12 days. And for those beautiful people, the Carlton is regarded as the most prestigious place to stay. One natural outcome of this has been the extravagant parties for which Cannes has become notorious. The nightly entertainment, privately commissioned by the film festival, is pure luxury for the world’s A-list; never diminishing in its notoriety for Cannes is the flowing champagne amidst the backdrop of a scenic summer night. The most prestigious parties of the festival are those held at the Carlton. This is where, historically, the world’s stars come to party, and have done since the hotel’s construction in 1911. Long before the festival’s conception the hotel has been a favorite of those wanting the privacy to party in a well-established setting of age-old glamour. The Carlton’s interior was designed to recapture that 1950s Holly-

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wood feel, retaining the associations of its youth and combining them with

the likes of Arabian princes and celebrities such as Madonna. Large, plush

the technologies of modern-day luxury. For its elegant deign and infamous

and luxurious, the suites are perfect for accommodating those wanting a

structure it is registered as a historical monument with a faзade that is re-

glamorous stay – the dйcor retains that French aristocratic feel that is dis-

cognized the world over and classified as one of the seven splendors of the

played throughout the hotel but with a minimalist touch that adds a heigh-

Cote d’Azur. Its colonial-style exterior incorporates 338 rooms and 39 su-

tened sense of sophistication. Each of the rooms bestows views of the

ites; in tribute to the festival, the hotel’s most prestigious suites are named

seafront and private balconies on which to soak up the sun in seclusion. The

after some of the worlds greatest film stars – from Sean Connery to Alain

hotel itself has also played its part in film history, hosting the set for Grace

Delon to Sofia Loren.

Kelly and Cary Grant’s appearance in the 1955 movie ‘To Catch A Thief’.

The suites have housed some of the world’s most important people,

It is not just the decadence of the Carlton’s Hollywood style that sets

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With its unique architecture, the Carlton Hotel has long been an icon for Cannes and the Cote d'Azur. A sumptuous snowwhite building in the Belle Epoque style, the hotel was built over a century ago in 1909. After enjoying the view of its elegant facade decorated with a huge variety of ornamental elements, guests enter a luxurious lobby that stuns with its graceful marble columns (complete with Corinthian capitals), huge crystal chandeliers, caissons with fanciful ornaments and mosaic carpets. In August 2009, the Carlton Hotel became the first five-star hotel in Cannes and is one of only 26 French hotels to comply with a new five-star classification system.

The decadence of the hotel is typical of its surroundings: be it the Old Town or the more developed parts of the city. Most typical of the restaurants nearby are those such as L’alhambra, which we visited on our first evening. Offering a chic inner-city sophistication with a gastronomic menu of calf kidneys madeira sauce or pain-bagant. The area is home to many such restaurants and provdes a great setting in which to spend the night socializing and relaxing over a glass of sumptuous champagne. Further inland lies the heart of traditional Cannes – the Old Town. Built on the site of a Roman military camp before being owned by Monks in the 11th century, who later moved to the nearby island of St Honorat, the original part of this modern city is steeped in cultural history. The architecture of the picturesque port and Suquet hill that make up the area is simply breathtaking. The narrow and winding streets are a labyrinth of architectural beauty, and upon reaching the top of the hill we discovered a view of the entire city. However, do not be fooled that old necessarily means lifeless. The Rue Saint Antione snaking its way up the Le Suquet hill is home to several restaurants, each providing an authentic French experience. There is one that sets itself apart from the rest. The Mйditerranйe restaurant on the top floor of the Sofitel bestows views of the city, including the old harbour and the sea as far as the Lerin islands. Offering what it describes as a ‘haute-couture’ version of Mediterranean gastronomy, the menu lived up to its name as did the views, which we enjoyed on the roof top sun terraces. It is not just the stylish and modern bars that create the vibrancy and buzz that is found in the Old Town. Marchй Forville is the town’s main daily market and offers a real insight into the traditional Cannes way of life. Taking up a full block, the market is covered, trapping inside the exotic smells and sounds of the multiple grocers, fishmongers and dairy farmers. The vibrant colours of the Mediterranean vegetables continue into the flower market situated at the west end of the market. Surrounding the market are the favourite eateries of the locals. Traditional they may be, but they are certainly no less decadent than those on the Croissette. La Cave du Marchй is a popular hotspot and certainly one that’s hard to define. On first entering it appears to be a wine store; bottles of the most luxuriant wine adorn the walls, be it the pink rosй so notoriously loved

64

it out from the various hotels lining the Croissette, but the services that it

in Cannes or glasses of the most exquisite champagne. But alongside such

offers are far beyond the usual standard of luxury. It also incorporates 14

arduous drinks is a bistro-style menu boasting the best of Mediterranean

meeting rooms and a private beach, which includes its own restaurant. The

tapas – from delectable goats cheese to succulent gnocchi to a most dis-

food itself is also of the highest standard, luring in residents of the hotel as

tinguished octopus salad.

well as locals to enjoy its gourmet menu. During our stay we were treated

Gorgeous food and wine, stunning scenery, designer shopping, luxu-

to the infamous €49 lobster and champagne menu at the hotel’s La Brasse-

rious accommodation; whatever experience you’re looking for in Cannes,

rie restaurant. A summer menu proven to be a huge hit with the locals, the

from authentic French tradition to the full celebrity treatment, you won’t

combination of crab and lobster is delightful and is the perfect way to spend

be disappointed. As I watch the jeweled coastline recede from the window

a summer’s evening.

of my flight home, one thing is certain: this visit won’t be my last. n

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Yanik Silver 100 Thousand Club

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W

hen you meet a CEO who founded multiple multimillion dollar startup companies before the age of 36, and puts his business plan for his latest

company online for all to see, it’s a safe bet that he has some interesting hobbies. But Yanik Silver, a serial entrepreneur by nature, couldn’t help but turn his hobbies into yet another business—one that combines his thrillseeking nature and his passion for work into a concept that is irresistible to his contemporaries. The company, Maverick Business Adventures, began in 2008, the blossoming of an idea that had formed after one of Silver’s friends’, knowing his love of adventure (he cites running with the bulls in Pamplona as one of his best travel experiences) took him racing in Baja, California, going at breakneck speeds over part of the giant course. “We met a CEO there, a lot of businessmen, and that kind of sparked that idea in my idea,” says Silver. “Unfortunately about six or seven months later, my buddy who had brought me died in a racing accident. We’d made all these plans to fly jets in Russia and things, he really got it, and that was part of the catalyst for starting it as well. I took a look at my internet businesses and thought it wasn’t as fulfilling as it could be.” His enthusiasm was something he wanted to share, but over the years, he had found that most of his friends either didn’t have enough money or enough time to accompany him, so he decided to combine the experience with elements of business development opportunities, teaching, and philanthropy, and see who came along for the ride. “The first group was a lot of friends, when I set the deadline for myself for the first trip in January of 2008. I knew nothing about adventure travel, but I decided that would be the deadline. We got Jesse James to come lead a Baja racing adventure, 24 guys that came there and they were all people I knew previously except for one or two. Some of our best members to this day were in that group. After that we asked people if they wanted to continue and charged them a membership fee.” The adventure trips are combined with business sessions, including everything from a “hot seat” experience, where members brainstorm around one particular person “in a thatched hut in the middle of nowhere, with a beer in

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their hand,” says Silver, to more formal sessions like

seem particularly male oriented, Silver’s enthusiasm

sharing best practices, an informal Q&A with a celeb-

for his adventures could entice anyone to give it a try.

rity business icon, who have included Jesse James, Tony

He lists of several of his favorites, including the third

Hawk, John Paul DeJoria, and Richard Branson, to small

year of racing in Baja, diving the tectonic plates and

brainstorming workshops done in small groups. “We’ve

snowmobiling an active volcano in Iceland, zero-gravity

also done really out-there sessions where we have every-

flights, flying planes, and a road rally in exotic cars with

one take paper airplanes, write their business problem or

a twist—participants were required to deck their cars in

opportunity on it, fly them and pick one up, and everyone

80s gear and drive in mullets and wristbands. “It takes

has a minute to come up with their best advice, and then

a certain kind of individual to roll with that,” he admits.

launch them again.” The qualifications for entry strictly

“Next, we’re doing Costa Rica, ziplining and bungee

require members to be a founder of a million dollar plus

jumping, then South Africa, cage diving and bungee

business, so the members all have proven success with

jumping as well as attending the World Cup. It’s mostly

entrepreneurial ventures, and with the intensity of ac-

along the lines of what I like to do, which is how it origi-

tivity, members form particularly strong bonds over the

nally started. There’s enough golf in the world, nothing

course of a trip or several, and are highly motivated to

boring. I want to do stuff that the members can’t do on

help one another.

their own. We’re actually setting up a HALO skydive,

The mix of participants have happened organically,

where you jump out at 30,000 feet wearing an oxygen

with about 15% of the membership female, “which runs

mask. My wife was not happy about that. It wasn’t too

along with the stats I’ve seen for business overall. It’s

bad, it was just a whole experience,” he says placidly.

grown word of mouth, we haven’t necessarily sought

As for his business interests, MBA is a counterintui-

women out, but we love our female members, they bring

tive fit for his lifestyle. Though it’s a very different model

a great diversity to the group.” Though the activities may

and focus than his other endeavors, it provides him with

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something he feels enhances his lifestyle. “I think most

free business basics to local students, they create a busi-

executives don’t get away enough, so it gives me a real

ness plan, and the best plans actually get funded. We’ve

chance to put five things on my calendar where I know

had a small group mentor their students and engage with

I’ll be away.” To his members, to ensure they have a

them. We’ll be down there for world cup and we’ll be able

similarly rejuvenating experience, he says “I really rec-

to teach in person.”

ommend that to our members, not to bring a laptop or a

Going forward, they plan to open up regional groups,

cell phone, it’s incredibly liberating to give yourself that

the first of which will be in Philadelphia, and run shorter

kind of re-creation experience, recreating your business

trips. “We’ll have regional directors who will be running

or your passion, getting back to your ideas. You get so

them, it’ll be a recurring group of members so you get the

stuck in your email boxes. I get SOME of them to do

same people, the same adrenaline but a quick weekend,

that, not all—some of them are very addicted to their

instead of six days in Europe.” Currently, MBA does

Blackberries or iPhones.”

about six trips a year, five or six days apiece on average,

They’re equally committed, however, to MBA’s

though there are exceptions on both ends—the trip to

philanthropic goals, spreading their collective knowl-

South Africa will be 10 days, while a planned covert ops

edge beyond their own tight circle. Silver believes pas-

trip in October will be three days of combat pistol shoot-

sionately in teaching and sharing, and reaching out the

ing and surveillance, “very James Bond,” says Silver.

global community was a goal from the beginning. “We

Even as he’s created a vehicle to indulge his dreams,

bring in kids, for example there were a hundred of them

he still has a long list of places to go. “There’s a life list

in Iceland, and discuss entrepreneurship. We have some

on my blog of things that I still want to do. A couple of

of our members there to help them home their ideas. It’s

them I’ll hit this year, likeattending the world cup, but

something we want to get going even more, I have a goal

I’ve never been skiing in the Alps, Id love to do that,

by 2020 getting a million kids aged 13-23 to start their

to go bobsledding up there or something. I want to see

own companies. The live learning wont reach a million

more of the Scandinavian countries, go dogsledding, see

kids, but online learning is getting up and going, we’ve

the ice hotel, get out there, go heliskiing in Canada. I’ve

just finished a virtual test with the Branson School in

definitely done a lot, but you want to keep adding things

South Africa, to see how the curriculum works. It teaches

to your list.” While entry to his group is naturally inac-

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Yanik.indd 72

cessible to many, he focuses on finding a different kind

successful in their lives and who on paper have every-

of special experience, not necessarily of the five-stay va-

thing they want, but at the same time they still have

riety. “Every once in a while we do luxury hotels, but we

things they’ve never gotten around to doing it. It almost

definitely want to create something a bit more memora-

gives them an excuse to do these things they’ve always

ble. My goal is to make them unable to stop talking about

wanted to do without taking the time away from their

it. We try to build in some surprises. In Baja, Mexico

business. There have been some significant deals that

last year, one of the nights—I was a little nervous about

have happened, an international resort developer met

this—we had tents at Guadaloupe Canyon with natural

Carl Banks from the New York Giants on our trips, and

hot tubs. The first year we went to Scorpion Bay, which

they did a deal where he’s opening a new restaurant at

was in the very first issue of Surf magazine, you need to

a resort in Pennsylvania. We’ve had members go into

get down there in dune buggies, and it’s the second lon-

business together, and make millions in a month, or on

gest surf break in the world. We literally stayed in a con-

a smaller scale but still worthwhile. It’s a real return on

verted water sewage plant, but you look up at night and

their investment, or else it wouldn’t keep going. I know

I’ve never seen the stars that bright. At the same time,

they need it because I’m the same way; left to my own

we’ll try and make it really special with exclusive access,

devices I would be a workaholic—unless I have some-

like when we did air combat in Vegas, we did a private

thing scheduled that forces you to take the time away.

dinner at Simon restaurant with a special menu created

The other thing I think they get from the group is the

by Kerry Simon and the CEO and COO of Zappos, which

platform to help that next generation. We tend to be a

you can’t really do generally. Personally, while he loves

giving, sharing kind of group and they’re happy to help

the Sky Lofts at MGM, the Mandarin Oriental, and the

the next person, but they don’t have a platform. The live

Ritz, for his purposes, Necker Island is the right kind of

sessions and virtual mentoring give them a way to have

five star—unpretentious but very, very private.

a significant impact. On the entreprenurial success con-

For the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, Silver

tinuum, between start up to growth to legacy, this give

knows he’s filling a niche that many don’t even know

them the opportunity to share between the growth and

exist. “I think it helps people who have been extremely

legacy phases, and look ahead to the future.” „

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La Mamounia ed_27 APR 23/02/2010 11:40 Page 74


La Mamounia ed_27 APR 23/02/2010 11:40 Page 75

Marrakech

E

veryone in Marrakech tells the

the desert. They tell these jokes in any of

same two jokes. The first joke is

three, four, five languages, to visitors from all

when they ask you if you’ve tried

over the world, in taxis and in shops, in the

Moroccan whiskey, which in this

souk and in the hotels. They tell them and

Muslim part of North Africa refers to the sweet

you know that you’ve arrived in one of the

mint tea that is served in every home, restau-

world’s great resort towns, where the jet set

rant, and cafe. The second is when they offer

has relaxed for decades, and if you’re very

to let you pay with Berber credit—half now,

lucky, you’ve arrived here on your way to La

and half when you leave, a gentle dig at their

Mamounia, the great goddess of the North

neighbors in the Atlas Mountains, the only

African desert, back to life after several

thing that breaks the endless sightline into

years of renovations.


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As you watch the red city rises up slowly

begin to explore the magic of La Mamounia.

(the Rolling Stones made Morocco a dream

out of the desert on the road from Casablanca,

Built in 1922, the hotel has long been con-

destination for traveling youths in the 1960s),

the bright sun blurs the line between sand and

sidered the ultimate expression of Moroccan

to the theatrical: the hotel itself has been the

structure. It surrounds you quietly, welcoming

style and luxury. It takes its name from Prince

site of many films, and played a particular role

you into the embrace of the medina, the walled

Moulay Mamoun, who received the land on

in the oeuvre of Hitchcock, who was startled

old city that stands for the cultural heart of

which the hotel now sits as a wedding gift from

by pigeons on his balcony while filming "The

Marrakech, and just steps inside, prepared to

his father during the 18th century, and who

Man Who Knew Too Much" there, an experi-

welcome her guests, stands La Mamounia, be-

began growing the beautiful gardens that are

ence that later became “The Birds.” More re-

hind a wrough-iron gate, wrapped with a cob-

still one of the best-loved features of the prop-

cently, stars like Sharon Stone, Sylvester

blestone drive. The staff greets you in

erty. The 20 acres are thick with 700-year old

Stallone, Charlton Heston, Tom Cruise, Or-

traditional garb and ushers you into a cocoon

olive trees, stands of orange trees heavy with

lando Bloom, Hillary Clinton, and the cast of

of dark, and silence. Before your eyes adjust,

fruit, and now a kitchen garden, providing

Sex and the City, who stayed for several

your nose is filled with the scent of dates and

herbs and vegetables to the hotel’s restaurants,

months while filming their second movie.

cedar, a memory instantly formed, and when

and two clay tennis courts, pristine and ready

The property, redesigned under the care of

the surroundings snap into focus, the velvety

for play. Throughout its various owners and

French designer Jacques Garcia, is in a word,

couches, flowing drapery, smooth marble and

renovations, it’s continually attracted a who’s

spectacular. Every square inch of the property

stained glass, it’s almost too much to take in.

who of famous names, from the political (the

has been treated with exquisite care, from the

The light beckons again, drawing you forward

suite Winston Churchill used as his winter

most intricate mosaic to the plain white walls,

into the lushly landscaped gardens, and you

quarters still bears his name), to the musical

which, it was explained, are not actually plain


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white at all, but a painstakingly applied mixed plaster smoothed on by master artisans, waterproof and buffed to a luxurious sheen. The attention to detail borders on comical: the nailheads studding the side of each upholstered chair don’t simply terminate, they blossom into a flower; the art isn’t just beautiful, it was commissioned from a series of North African artists capturing the hotel and the city in totally new ways; the bread isn’t just baked fresh, your waiter will pause, note out loud that one piece is shaped like a heart, and present it to the lady at the head of your table with a flourish. As with any luxury, the staff is what makes the experience, and the ratio of staff to guests is extremely generous, 777 employees for 210 rooms – and an aesthetic delight in itself, as they are all closed in exquisite custom uniforms from Terre & Ciel Conseil, tailored and embroidered differently for every hotel role, and for some, different costume for day and night. Clocking in at over three years and 120 million euros, the renovation involved up to 1,400 workers at any given time, incorporating artisans from all over the country to redesign everything from scratch. The result is an unusual aesthetic harmony, that manages to be richly layered and luxe while also being well-ordered and logical – it has all the charm of an old hotel without the idiosyncrasies and technical difficulties that come with an aged building. The experience of staying here is intended to engage all five of your senses, from the low lighting, running water, and soothing music, to the signature cedar and rose scent designed by Olivia Giacobetti, which is diffused via flickering scented candles around the hotel. The various rooms are divided between single rooms, suites, and three magnificent 3bedroom riads, which have private and direct access to the kitchens for the house staff. They all express the same aesthetic, from the intricately tiled shower walls and studded head-

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They feed you, welcome you, delight you and surprise you – and this, truly is the secret of La Mamounia

boards to the carved wooden shutters that open

sor of what’s to come. The restaurats L’Italien,

onto private balconies, but even beyond the

Le Francais, and Le Marocain represent the

spectacular specialty suites, there are special

absolute best of the country’s culinary her-

rooms, with garden views and some with a

itage, and serves the needs of its guests’ most

prime view of the Koutoubia mosque, whose

experienced palates, from the first custom

call to prayer echoes across the city five times

Bernardaud plate that touches your table to the

a day. The outbuildings on the property echo

final sip of mint tea. L’Italien by Alfonso Iac-

the look as well: the pavilion at the pool is

carino and Le Francais by Jean-Pierre Vigato

modeled after the Manara Resevoir, while the

both bear the marks the Michelin 2-star chefs

Menzeh, a garden pavilion, serves mint tea and

who direct them, serving the best of their na-

delicate French pastries on Morocco’s famous

tive cuisines, right down to the homemade

engraved silver. The incredible light of the city

limoncello and macarons, to close out your

is so bright and clear, there’s nowhere for any-

meal respectively. The cuisine changes with

thing less than perfection to hide.

the crop from the garden and the bounty of the

In addition to the historic nature of the

nearby sea, but always maintains a level of

hotel itself, the city Marrakech has long been

quality that can compete with any European

one of the world’s most welcoming play-

equivalent. Le Marocain, however, is a truly

grounds. Visitors today enjoy the same caliber

unique dining experience and an absolute

of incredible cuisine, fashionable restaurants

must for the foreign visitor – as any Moroccan

and nightclubs, pristine accommodations and

will tell you, the best Moroccan food is in the

exciting shopping opportunities as guests

home, but Chef Rachid Agouray serves a mod-

have for decades. These days, the action is at

ern take on traditional Moroccan dishes, in

a few key hotspots (Pacha has an outpost

such plenty and of such quality that you feel

here, and Téatrô and Diamant Noir still draw

as cared for as if you were personally his guest.

crowds) and shopping has expanded beyond

The restaurant’s tables are set back into ro-

the souks into the new areas of the city, but

mantic, private alcoves, while musicians play

the old appeal still holds. The Majorelle Gar-

under a fabric-festooned ceiling just out of

dens are a peaceful oasis, particularly early

sight, and tagine after tagine arrive to delight

in the morning before the crowds come

your imagination.

(guests of La Mamounia can examine at their

The great resorts of the world ask nothing

leisure a mural by Majorelle that decorates

of their guests but to enjoy. They ask you to

the cathedral-like ceiling of the hall that

wrap yourself in a plush white robe and make

leads to the garden), and the hotel provides

your way to the blue-tiled spa, where you de-

some of the best-connected and helpful

scend into bliss in a massage or enjoy an an-

guides in Marrakech to lead you through the

cient hammam ritual. They invited you to

souks – or to any of the newer boutiques pop-

fill your plate at the poolside pavilion with

ular with guests. Some of the most upscale

custom-mixed tartars and fresh fish and sal-

drinking and dining in the city, however, is

ads, and then sleep off your meal on a

right in La Mamounia itself. The Churchill

padded lounge chair. They feed you, wel-

Bar has long been one of the most famous

come you, delight you and surprise you –

bars in Marrakech, its underground speakeasy

and this, truly is the secret of La Mamou-

atmosphere enhanced by a live jazz singer

nia. In every room, around every corner, in

every night, and each of the restaurants have

every bite, there is a new world of luxury

their own unique, adjoining bars as well, serv-

just waiting to be discovered, by those who

ing signature cocktails that are only a precur-

dare to truly indule. n

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more repairs. “In an emergency, the homeowners want us to take the lead and be the main contact because we’re local, it helps them to have someone onsite. For a house recently that was hard hit with some water damage, with guests arriving within the week, we really had to push to get vendors in and do a complete overhaul on the drywall, interior, paint, all within a week before the guests arrived for a month-long stay.” For those who dread the negotiations with contractors and repairmen and wonder if they’re getting a fair deal, a property manager can ensure peace of mind and even

When we reached William Sayegh, head concierge for Beau Monde

provide an advantage in quality and pricing.

Villas, he’s standing by the pool at Frank Sinatra’s former estate, wait-

“We can give our vendors a lot of work because

ing for a repairman to come diagnose the pool heater. This is a typical

we have so many homes, so we have a lot of pull

morning in the life of a property manager, whose job it is to maintain,

with them as opposed to an individual owner,

manage, and market second and third homes for their clients. “It’s a

and it gets us a courtesy rate. That means we

service that’s evolved over the last ten years, and for a certain sector

can use them because they’re good, not be-

of the population, it’s here to stay,” says John Brian Losh, publisher

cause they give us the cheapest estimate—it

of LuxuryRealEstate.com, an industry website and magazine featuring

works for everyone concerned.”

high-end homes from independent brokers. “People like this kind of a

Like most property management services,

concierge service, stocking and preparing their home so it’s to turn-key.

Sayegh’s charges a monthly retainer fee, with

You can get services a la carte, a lot of them are catered to the environ-

several tiers of service to choose from, but

ment. For a ski property, it’s nicer to come to a place where the heat’s

many customers feel they receive fringe ben-

been turned on and you have firewood, so you can just go ski. Some

efits simply from having someone around

homes require more maintenance than others.”

their home. “They know we’ve been through

And that’s where Sayegh comes in. The company he works for, the

everything before: when it rains we go check

Capitis Group, is an umbrella company for a variety of real estate sales,

on houses, we make sure everything is okay,

rentals, and services based in Palm Springs, and in the last three years

see if the electricity went out so that the alarm

has expanded into LA and San Diego, parts of Florida, and Hawaii.

doesn’t go out. The crime rate is low, and we

Sayegh oversees a staff of property managers who take care of their

rarely have issues with vandalism, but accord-

clients’ homes. Like Losh, he says that the home maintenance aspect

ing to the local police, having people at the

is one of the most compelling reasons homeowners enlist the services

house is a major deterrent for theives, so we go

of a property manager.

in, we turn lights on and off, we can keep on

“In a day to day sense, I own dozens of homes,” he says. “I can

top of their own staff, working with them and

answer questions about water heaters and pool cleaning; for instance, I

working with the homeowners.” Property man-

know this technician is about to tell me that this repair costs $1200. I can

agers supply their clients with regular updates

tell you never to buy a Viking dishwasher; no matter how much you want

and check in immediately when a repair needs

a full Viking kitchen, we’ve had three in three years that didn’t work, the

to be made, from scuffed furniture to an entire

motherboard goes within the first month.” Most homeowners, particularly

replacement roof.

those who can’t visit regularly, just want someone to watch their house

Another reason homeowners may choose

and keep it running smoothly. “They want it in occupant-ready condition

to use a property management service is that

at all times, and on short notice,” Sayegh says. It’s particularly important

many of them come bundled with concierge

during times like the rainy season in California, when properties need

services. “We have a basic guideline of ser-

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vices we provide, but we custom tailor our services to the customer,” says

been rented, as well as maintaining an updated

Sayegh. “We have a customer from London who wants us to do all his

online calendar. We have to keep them in the

groceries and wants a car at the airport when he gets off his plane, a

loop.” They derive many of their clients from

dinner with a private chef, all these sorts of things. We can provide these

both ends of the rental spectrum—some are

to homeowners of a certain level as well, since they’re on vacation when

homeowners who tried renting their homes

they come here, in addition to watering plants and feeding the cats.” Of

themselves and found the process too over-

course, sometimes they’re offered a more significant challenge, but that’s

whelming, while others are guests who tried

something at which the professional concierge services excel. “There was

out homes by renting and liked them so much

a guy who hadn’t seen his girlfriend in six weeks and was home from New

they purchased them. “If someone purchases

York for her birthday—we did a soup to nuts itinerary, from picking her

a home through us, or come in to us as owners

up at the airport, surprising her by having a staff of people there singing

after being renters, we’ve started helping buyers

happy birthday in the house when they arrived, manicures, pedicures,

as early as their initial remodel,” says Sayegh.

massages, a car and driver, dinner reservations—it’s a combined effort

Since property managers take a very long-term

between a guest’s idea and our own expertise,” he says. Again, the tiered

view of what it’s like to own a home, they can

service is important here, since many people don’t need once-in-a-life-

provide useful advice as to how to homeowners

time experiences created for them every time they visit their own home.

can maximize their ownership of their prop-

As Losh puts it, “It’s just a matter of convenience, comfort and afford-

erty. “It’s wasteful for a unit to sit vacant for 11

ability. Some people want to go to the mall with free parking, other people

months out of the year, which is not unusual,

want to go to the valet, it’s a question of personal preference. But having those services available if people want them is important, because it can add value for some people. That’s why they all offer it a la carte.”

“We have a customer from London who wants us to do all his groceries and wants a car at the airport when he gets off his plane, a dinner with a private chef”

Perhaps the most compelling ser-

84

vice a property manager can offer in these straitened times is the ability

for a unit to stay vacant for 11 months out of the

to manage second and third homes like rental properties on behalf of

year,” says Losh, and many of Sayegh’s clients

their owners. While vacation rentals by owner are a rapidly expanding

are trying to think ahead as to how they can

phenomenon online, there are plenty of people who have neither the time

improve their cost structure. “Our homeown-

nor inclination to manage such an endeavor themselves, and here a prop-

ers are putting in improvements, they’re being

erty manager can be invaluable. Their basic maintenance and concierge

very forward-thinking. A New York lawyer

services mean that guests are guaranteed to arrive to a clean, comfort-

moved here and put in solar panels first thing,

able place that’s been prepared for visitors (most homeowners maintain a

you’re guaranteed sunshine the majority of

locked closet for personal belongings during guest stays, which the prop-

days here—it’s just sitting there waiting to be

erty managers will return to their original place before the homeowners

used.” It’s thinking green in both senses of the

arrive) and homeowners will not have to handle the collateral damage

word. Says Losh “It makes more sense to have

and inconvenience that comes from renting out their home themselves.

the property used when they’re not using it, to

“Most of our homes have no limitations, thought there are a few where

defray the cost of ownership. It’s just a part of

they use us just to coordinate rentals for photoshoots and film shoots,”

our culture now, it makes things affordable,

says Sayegh—this being Palm Springs, the many architecturally impor-

and in tough economic times it becomes es-

tant homes and proximity to the film industry can provide a steady stream

sential,” such that, while the value may not be

of revenue to homeowners without the attendant inconvenience of being

obvious at the outset, hiring a trusted property

displaced out of their primary home. “Depending on the home, we sort

management service can be the simplest way to

of know who will lend themselves to different types of visitors, so we

coordinate all the factors that go into having a

do run particular events by them. We of course let them know when its

working vacation home. „

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“Our purpose was to establish a brand, not a trend, we continue to follow our own way. What is important in luxury is coherence. You cannot lose your identity”

bought…say, the name, Panerai, from the family, and the Luminor Marina. In the beginning we had the watch and a history full of value, but it was not linked to manufacturing. We had to understand how to build up the brand, to keep the DNA to fill that kind of box.” Production began slowly; even Panerai in its previous iteration had produced only 300 watches in 60 years, for the Italian military. What had once been a military secret was ready to come out, once Richemont purchased the family shop in Florence to produce the cases (they began producing their own movements five years ago in Switzerland, discard-

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sitioned them to be the leader they are now, famously in the world of extra-large watches. “It was so fun at the beginning, in 1998 when I presented the first watches. In 1997 we had sold 1,000 watches at 30 points of sale in one week to test the market. Three or four months later at SIHH we presented the watch, and people said, “Are you proposing a war clock

ploring Antigua during his first visit to the is-

for the wrist?” And I said, “This is a train. You

land for the Classic Yachts Challenge, he

can get on it and take it to success, or you can

came across something that made him stop

stay here.” At the time 38mm was the max for

and stare. The remnants of an old wooden

men’s, and only Rolex and Audemars Piguet’s

boat, Eilean, were lingering in a boatyard,

Royal Oak went that large. Women’s watches

beautiful but destroyed. The story of the

were at 31mm. After a year they all started to fol-

boat’s rescue and rejuvenation is not unlike

low; even Rolex now offers something bigger.”

the feat he pulled off ten years earlier, tak-

But Bonati rejects the notion that Panerai should

ing the mere idea of a Panerai watch and

ever be trendy; that was not the goal at the time,

transforming it into one of the most successful

nor is it now. “Our purpose was to establish a

brands on the market today.

brand, not a trend,” he says, “we continue to fol-

more than 28 years, in various positions in-

100 Thousand Club

and their strong entrance into the market po-

When Panerai CEO Angelo Bonati was ex-

He’s been with the Richemont Group for

88

ing their previous Rolex-made movements)

low our own way. What is important in luxury is coherence. You cannot lose your identity.”

cluding the Italian management of Cartier, but

Clients love Panerai for their distinctive

his biggest success story by far has been the

shape, signature size and heft, and practicality

creation of Panerai. In 1997, when

of design. Though the entry level price is

Richemont approached him about becoming

higher than for some other sport watches (and

CEO, he saw an opportunity to create in-

on the high end, goes up to $150,000USD),

stead of manage that was an irresistible

collectors can’t get enough. “When you look at

challenge. “The brand didn’t exist then. We

a Panerai Tourbillon it seems simple on the


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face, you can only see the movement on the back. The back shows it – it’s not our idea to show off at all.” This subtle luxury is arguably the new byword for luxury spending since the recession, and Panerai’s small production has kept them from losing significant sales, as their clients buy out of passion. Bonati says he is always involved with the design of the watches, and it is his influence that keeps the direction of the company on track. “Our designers are young people, and it’s difficult for them to create. We have to be on this railway, so they just work on small details, subtle changes to the case, and the case has to work around the movements. They don’t take white paper and just start fresh, it can be a little frustrating for them. So I check them and make sure they’re still Panerai,” he says.


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His biggest project lately, however, has been the rebuilding of Eilean, marking a significant step in the brand’s evolution. Though it is of course a significant corporate investment, Bonati clearly has a personal connection with his passion project. “I didn’t buy this boat for nothing!” he jokes, explaining, “We base our focus on classic yachts because it’s something of value, of history. The tradition of the sea is linked. That’s why we chose to sponsor the Classic Yachts Regatta. And on the other side, I noticed this boat, I asked to go inside, and the owner, the man, he was a bit desperate, an old hippie named John. I asked him why it was in such bad shape and he told me, “You know, this boat is linked to me and when I die, it will sink with me. I said ‘Hey, you can survive a bit longer,” and he agreed to sell it to me.” As they explored the idea a bit more, he discovered an exciting connection to Panerai. “The boat is William Fife, and the date it launched is the same year that Panerai made their first watch, 1936. It could be the right way to commemorate, I said, we can restore it, so we moved it to Martinique, got it on a ship and brought it to Italy to refurbish it. It took three years and we’re ready to show it.” Of the actual project, he says “I spent every weekend of the last three years going up and down, 600 kilometers each way, to Viareggio to supervise. We saved a lot of parts but it had to be completely restored. I learned a lot about the boat during the process, I had expected it to be much easier. Every detail had to be discussed, there were 20 or 30 people who couldn’t proceed without my decision—red? Black? Gray? I’m not a technician, but the yard doesn’t want all the responsibility, they won’t just go ahead. And it had to follow our plan.” The finished boat is an expression of the drive that Bonati has put into all aspects of his career, to truly live out his aesthetic and philosophic desires. “You have to put your passion in it, whatever you do. I’m proud to have contributed to a piece of history of the sea.”

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“My overall belief is beauty has no limits”

The project currently is essentially com-

communications tool. “We plan to race the

pleted, with just a few more preliminary steps

boat with a crew and participate in the classic

to go. “We are finishing all the details and ex-

yacht regattas, and incorporate some social re-

pect the registration soon – it’s still an object,

sponsibility too, to educate, bring people on

you know, not yet a boat. I think we’ll test it in

board and show them how it was rebuilt. We

January, I want to be sure before we cross the

want to do something for people who can’t do

Atlantic. That’s a long trip if we’re not sure.” A

this kind of project.”

sailor himself for the past 20 years, he would

Hardly the first watch company to get in-

love to make the trip himself, but isn’t sure he

volved with the sailing world, he postulates

can spare the three weeks for delivery. Of the

that the appeal is in the purity, of the sport and

future plans for the boat, he sees it as a useful

of the sea. Brands can have a great deal of impact on their clientele without a huge impact on the planet, but even in that regard, Bonati tries to go above and beyond, personally attending as many of the sponsored regattas as he can schedule. “The owners of the boats [in the regattas they sponsor] appreciate my presence, I attend a lot of the events. In most events the sponsor is not present, they’re just a banner. They find us really different.” Though those boat owners covet their Panerai prizes, the proud owner of Eilean doesn’t plan to commemorate her that way. “We thought about an instrument for Eilean, but I didn’t want to capitalize on the boat. I think it’s vulgar. We don’t want to compromise the boat or the brand – it’s part of our image, but it’s not used to sell.” He has similarly refused to compromise on anything regarding Panerai’s direction from his earliest days at the company, and sees a fundamental similarity between watchmaking and boat building. “From my point of view, it’s based on values. The watch is to have a long-lasting life. When you build it, you know it has to last for a long time, you don’t buy one and expect to throw it out two or three years later. When these classic boats were built, they intended them to keep sailing. There is knowledge; technique; craftsmanship, it’s real, it takes time to learn how to do. My overall belief is beauty has no limits.” n

Angelo Bonati


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hen the sun is shining and

As much as Cancun has become synony-

vice marina accommodating up to 61 boats, up

the blue water beckons,

mous with college students and tequila, the by-

to mega-yacht size, and three charter boats to

there are some people who

words for fishermen are sailfish, wahoo,

serve the resort’s 30 suites. With a five-star

want to dive in—and there

barracuda, and tarpon. With good conditions

restaurant and a private ferry to the downtown

are others who see a golden opportunity to ex-

year round, the high season runs from mid-

nightlife area in Cancun, it’s a relaxing and

tract some of the ocean’s bounty. Offshore sport

March to June, and runs the length of the Yu-

comfortable destination for fisherman and their

fishing is a sport growing rapidly in popularity,

catan Peninsula. The destination for those

guests alike. On Cozumel, another resort des-

with big-money tournaments, magazines, and

staying in Cancun is the Hacienda Del Mar, 58

tination, with its own airport and ferry from

gadgets galore, but once you’ve mastered the

slips attracting the finest sport-fishing boats,

Playa del Carmen, the fleet of six 32-footers at

basics, it’s the perfect adventurous addition to

captains, and crews in the area, for the duration

Club Nautico rivals anything on the mainland.

your relaxing holiday, as the best spots for fish-

of the season. At Puero Aventuras, forty-five

On the western side of Mexico, the govern-

ing are some of the world’s prime vacation des-

minutes south, a self-contained community has

ment-designated resort town of Ixtapa has

tinations. For decades, during the high season

sprung up, oriented around the fishing industry,

more than 5,000 hotel rooms to choose from,

from December to May visitors have flocked to

which is practically unavoidable with sailfish

including resorts like the Intercontinental, the

the Caribbean, the Florida Keys, and farther-

flying out of the water in plain view from the pri-

Barcelo, and the Meliá Azul Ixtapa. The town

flung destinations like the Pacific Coast of

vate beach. However, it’s a great deal more, in-

of Zihuatanejo, a family spot, specializes in

Guatemala, with one of the highest concentra-

cluding three hotels, shopping, restaurants,

shopping, condominiums, and boutique ho-

tions of sailfish in the world.

nightclubs, and a nine hole golf course.

tels—as well as the local fishing dock, of

While you can find fishermen nearly any-

For those who’d prefer a more island-ori-

course. Paseo del Pescador serves charter

where in the world, one of the most welcoming

ented experience, just 15 minutes away from

boats out of Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa, and with

destinations in the western hemisphere is Mex-

Cancun by boat is the Isla de Mujeres. The

a huge variety of fish active all year round and

ico, for its scenic location, luxury resorts, and

oldest dock in town, Club de Yates, owned by

all hours of the day, it’s ground zero for anglers.

of course, big-time fish. There are also a wide

Enrique Lima Zuno, is walking distance to the

Stan Lushinsky, owner of Ixtapa Sportfishing

variety of outfitters ready to provide everything

very and the classic destination for those

Charters, offers inshore and offshore fishing

from a bare-bones excursion to a fully crewed

bringing their own boats down from the Gulf.

carters as well as fly-fishing trips, and highly

luxury charter, so you can find the experience

There’s competition, however, from Puerto Isla

experienced captains to guide you through the

that’s right for you.

Mujeres Resort and Yacht Club, a new full-ser-

local conditions.

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In Puerto Vallarta, also on the Pacific Side near the Bahia de Banderas, which offers some of the best fishing in the world. The bay is known for a variety of fish, including sailfish, mahi-mahi, dorado, tuna, roosterfish, and red snapper all within its 40-mile span, and both the bay and the Mexican Pacific farther offshore are known for their record-setting blue and black marlin, a coup for every fisherman. The crew from Prime Time Adventures, who have been featured on ESPN and in Sportfishing and Marlin magazines—most recently when a member of Marlin’s camera crew was nearly killed by a marlin launching himself towards the boat—have one of the best rides around, on the yacht Conquistador, captained by Josh Temple. Temple personally recommends staying at Punta de Mita, a gorgeous little village that is home to the Four Seasons Resort, which includes the 20,000 square foot Casas de Casas villa on the property, some of the most beautiful, exclusive, and private accommodations around. For those who think they’ve seen it all dangling off the back of a fishing boat, head south to Cabo San Lucas at the tip of the Baja Peninsula for the wild party scene, pristine beaches, and some of the best accommodations around. Cabo is known as a place where the rich and famous flock to buy second homes, and many upscale resorts, like the Capella Cabo, entice frequent visitors to take the plunge into ownership at their residences. After all, who wouldn’t want to come back after the pure adrenaline rush of fishing with the Marlin Masters fleet right here in Cabo? Owner Durance Lowendick decided to go beyond the luxury charters and traditional boats to offer charter kayak fishing, an on-the-water experience like none other. Experienced and amateur anglers set out in Hobie Outback kayaks, fully outfitted for safety and action, with a chase boat following in case things get dangerous—or in case you catch the big one, and want to haul it home. n

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A

family moves from their home in Miami to start fam a new life on a small piece of paradise in the C Caribbe Caribbean Sea. It may sound like the beginning of a novel, but for David Hew, it’s the story of ho how he grew up—and the story of one of the most intimate, classic resorts in the Bahamas.

Kalamame Cay, encompassing two slices of land on either side of a deep-green bay known as the Cay and the Cove, began as a private home for the Hew family more than fi fteen years ago. “We weren’t at all hoteliers to begin with, we’d been going to the Bahamas since my sister and I were young, traveling back and forth on the boat from Miami,” says Hew, currently the director of the resort. “We ended up spending more and more time there, we rented, we bought, we built, and my parents finally said yes, this is where we want to be. We found the Cove first, it was privately owned and they wanted too much, so we looked across and found the Cay, which was Crown land, owned by the British government. We petitioned to buy it, presented our whole plan for building and for giving back to the community, but it was honestly, “We like to entertain, lets do it on a larger scale.” By that time, the Cove had come back with a reasonable offer, so we bought both. My dad definitely had an “oh shit” moment, at that point,” says Hew, laughing, “but we went ahead. My mother designed it all and my father built it; we moved into the house in the Cove on Christmas Eve 1994.” When it officially opened, the property was comprised of the Great House and three other buildings; dining was at the family table, guests mingling together at every meal.

“You’d be sitting next to royalty one night and tech tycoons the next, it was all very cool.”

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Hew’s memories of the place from those years are fond, though very different from those of more recent visitors. “I was maybe 12 and it was such a cool way to spend those years. You’d be sitting next to royalty one night and tech tycoons the next, it was all very cool.” The resort was originally a top location for fly-fishermen, attracting a wide variety of those who were interested in the sport, but along with the demographics, the landscape itself has change. “When we first got there, there wasn’t anything there. We planted all the young coconut trees from seeds, we had no TV, spent all our time reading or outside, running around on the island or out on the boat.” Though his older sister lobbied to stay at school in Miami on weekends instead of coming home (in a fit of teenage pique, she referred to the island as “Alcatraz”) Hew took a different tack: “When I was around sixteen, I started importing my social life, bringing friends with me on weekends, and it was great fun, lots of freedom. At the time our demographic for the guests was a lot older, couples coming to fish, but it’s come down a lot now.” The property currently has 18 rooms spread over villas of various sizes, as well as a handful of homeowners. “It’s turned into quite a little village. The word is spreading farther and wider through word of mouth, and it’s getting bigger, but you still have your privacy, it’s still remote. There’s nothing on Andros except us, so you don’t really leave, life is centered around there. It’s a place to get away from it all and really disconnect. We’ve of course added more new technological amenities, if you need the Internet it’s there, but it’s not at your fingertips, you sort of have to entertain yourself.” The planning and decoration of the property, from the earliest design vision to execution came from Hew’s mother, who grew up in Jamaica in a family of builders and engineers, at a time when the island was, as Hew describes is, “between two worlds, still a colony when she was young, and then in her early teens it became independent.” There is a strong reference to the old Caribbean design in her aesthetic, blending the refined mahogany and antiques of the English with more rustic Indo-Caribbean pieces, with a happy underlying homey quality. The resort is as much about old books and Persian rugs as it is about the beach house French doors and perpetual ceiling fans, all breeze and light. “We were doing this on a sort of phase by phase process, it grew organically, so it was designed like it would be part of our house and then an extension of our house. Every room has its own character and personality; guests say its almost like you’re at a friends house. When we first opened we moved all our books from our house in Miami, and they filled all the rooms, but with everything from nursery rhymes and physics textbooks to “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” like at a friends house, and we try to stay true to that.” Hew’s own role in the company has evolved along with the property, at first strictly in PR and marketing, and now that he’s based back at the resort in the Bahamas, taking on a more integrated role. “I was living in England after university, and I realized

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after my sixth English winter, “What was I doing?” so I ended up coming

down, but instead of a six course meal and white glove service, we’re find-

back. Now I’m running it more hands on; part of the charm of the place is

ing that people don’t need an unnatural variety of food to feel like they’re

that we do live there, we’re in the dining room every day, we spend time

being pampered. Wherever possible we use locally grown and sourced

with the guests and chat, and continue the feeling that you’re at our house

ingredients, which is particularly hard on an island; we’re converting all

and you’re our guest. It’s a nice progression for me, although in some ways

the water heaters to solar and the generators eventually as well. A number

it does defy having a title.”

of the guests that come through are asking about that as well, and we

As Kalamame has grown from almost a bed and breakfast into a full-

108

want to go down that path.

fledged hotel, its goal of remaining true to the family’s nature made the

“The foundation for a new system like that is hard work, but once

learning curve somewhat quicker. “It’s still white tablecloths in the eve-

it’s laid it’s sustainable. I think we were all due for a wakeup call, and

ning and casual breakfasts, because it’s how we live. It’s just a challenge

because of all our effort, it’s not something we would decide, ‘forget this,

of keeping in intimate, but we’re not looking to expand that quickly.” All

we only want white asparagus.’ Regardless of the ethical aspect, it doesn’t

signs, however, point to Kalamame not remaining under the radar much

make sense to invest that time and effort only to have it go away, and I

longer; in the past six months alone, Hew says he’s seen a change in the

think on a broader scale it will remain, because in the long run once you

resorts’ guests. “It’s been a lot of newcomers recently, but they’re coming

do it, the cost comes down so much.” For example, a recently installed

back within six months, which is crazy. When we opened it was for fish-

water filter means that the water from Andros, which actually supplies

ing, where men could come and not leave their wives somewhere they’d

bottled water companies in Jamaica, can be filtered here and served di-

enjoy, not a fishing lodge. We wanted to shift it from adventure travel to

rectly; they’ve also had a great response from local farms who can now

leisure travel, and that broadens our audience as well.” Mostly, though

expand and build with the extra business. “I think as we’re going into this

he attributes it to a change not in the resorts’ tactics, but in travelers

process we’re really reminded that here, you don’t need a lot. We picked

themselves. “Everyone is traveling a lot farther a lot younger, the sky’s the

Kalamame because of the surroundings, because you can wake up, watch

limit, people are more inclined to take a gap year and go to Asia or do a

the dolphins, see the sunrise, and go back to bed. Once you remove some

year abroad, so by the time people reach their early 30s, they’ve seen a lot

of the distractions, you actually see where you are and go ‘Wow.’”

of the world. When we first started out it seemed like there was a big edu-

The Hew family has continued their personal and professional ex-

cation process to make people realize you didn’t need a TV or a phone,

pansion into the islands with Kanopi House, in Jamaica. “We opened

and now everyone gets that, and they’re getting it younger. We’re getting

in Jamaica about a year ago, that again started as a private house and

those niche clients who have the same mindset and the same likes. Last

expanded. It was emotional to have that homecoming in Jamaica. When

week I looked around the dining room and there was no one over 40 or

my family left, it was like they were never going back, so seeing my

45; last year there wouldn’t have been anyone under. It can be quite a

grandmother spend time there, it’s wonderful for her to see it again. I am

comical mix sometimes, that’s how we’ve seen it changing.”

personally mesmerized by the idea of Dominica, even more remote and

Looking to the future, Kalamame, like many of its peers, is looking

far away. We’re always talking about what’s next. My father’s a doer, you

towards improving their eco-consciousness aspect to go along with the

have to be to move to the middle of nowhere and do this, and everything is

changing expectations of their visitors. “I don’t want to say we’ve pared it

starting to run itself here, so all I can say is, ‘watch this space.’” „

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Treasures Timeless

O

ut of a bright, sunny studio in Soho in downtown

New York, spin orbs of gold, amulets of crystal and

diamond, yards of shiny gold links, charms and pendants, glittering rings. They’re destined to adorn women all over the world, who see themself reflected in the uniqueness of the piece, and at the

center of this international whirlwind of creation is Temple St. Clair: designer, scholar, mother, and world traveler extraordinaire. Though she describes herself as a Southern girl, and speaks with an accent to match even after years up north, the sweet tea and magnolia blooms were just the background to a life that has long been out of the ordinary. As a girl, St. Clair attended boarding school in Switzerland, perfecting her French and mixing with girls from all over the world, and then as a student at Smith, switched to Italian in order to study abroad longer. She returned to Florence for a masters’ degree in Italian literature, and unexpectedly encountered her life’s work when her mother asked her to have an antique Italian coin set into a necklace. The goldsmiths in Florence, she found, opened up a whole new world to her and her sketches. “They work in a traditional way, everything done by hand,” she says, remembering that, “It took them some time to get used to me, I tried for a little while to learn how to make jewelry myself, but I realized I could never catch up, so now they produce my designs.” Her designs are well-suited to this kind of craftsmanship, borrowing as they do

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from ancient cultures and art – not just Italian, but Greek, Roman, and the ancient cultures of Byzantium and the Etruscans. Educated in absorbing other cultures from the time of her travels as a young girl, St. Clair takes inspiration from many aspects of what she sees, sometimes reproducing details from jewelry depicted in paintings, to abstract effects and colors in ancient mosaics. The stones she uses are referred to in the jewelry industry as “semiprecious,” but she feels the term is a misnomer: “I seek out rare and unusual stones that are of great quality, and nearly all natural stones,” meaning not heat-treated to enhance their color, which are extremely rare in today’s market, particularly among traditionally valued stones like emeralds and sapphires, but extending to many colored gems. “The stones I used are sourced from all over the world and I love that aspect of search and discovery; I feel they’re more special than some precious stones.” In her latest collection, St. Clair turned to aquamarines, sapphires, and is most excited by her latest discovery, the Paraiba tourmaline. “It’s this incredible blue-green color, but it can go almost turquoise; it’s named for the mine in Brazil where it was discovered. They’re real one-of-a-kinds, so I wanted to do something really special with it,” the end result being a stunning statement bracelet. In a departure

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from the antiquarian patterns and lines of the majority of her collection, this season evokes another part of St. Clair’s fascinating history—her time spent working on Project Ocean Search with Jean-Michael Cousteau, son of Jacques Cousteau. A life-long scuba diver, St. Clair was just a teenager when she joined the project, diving day and night to take macro photos of coral, sea creatures, and plankton, all the tiny details her artists’ eye was drawn to from the beginning. Her color palette has from the beginning incorporated the blues and greens of the ocean, and this season, inspired by Matisse’s freeform cut-outs, she has let the asymmetrical, organic lines of her imagination run free over her various pieces. This includes, of course, her signature rock-crystal amulets, which have been part of her collection from the beginning (she still wears the first one she ever made every day), and more than anything symbolize the kind of role that St. Clair has cast for jewelry in her life: a talisman, a symbol, to be given or received or bought for yourself to carry with you throughout your life. “I’ve always been a fan of Matisse’s cutouts, which were very late in his life, because they’re very free and whimsical, just about enjoying color and shape—it was fun for me.” She produces two collections a year for a variety of retailers, from small but trendsetting specialty boutiques to major retailers like Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Barneys New York, and as far-flung as TSUM in Moscow and stores in Dubai and Lebanon. With such a diverse base of clients to satisfy she’s found that the key is to remain true to her aesthetic that’s brought her success—that authentic blend of history, artistry, and imagination. “My collections are always seasonal and different,” she says, “but I see these pieces as a strong part of the line, new classics.” While the inspiration for this line, in stores in February, may have come from the depths of the ocean and the art museums of Europe, who knows from where this perpetual traveler will bring back her next inspiration? Having just returned from Christmas in Italy, visiting both her favorite places and her artisans there, she’s traveling to Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and Japan within the next six months, and offers perhaps a hint at the future: “I’m looking at Tibet and Bhutan right now, and I’m hoping to go soon,” she says, explaining simply, “I love their colors.” She’s on her way to the airport in just a couple of hours, taking off from her aerie to absorb the world, and distill it down to its essence, into something as organic, as natural, as a single, perfect jewel. n

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Master of

Ceremonies Elie Saab in his workshop in Beirut


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The king of red-carpet glamour remembers his roots

W

hen the lights go up on an Elie Saab runway

edge sharp. “I still love couture, it has no

show, the most glamorous women in the world

boundaries on the creative side and it gives me

put down their Blackberries to watch the pa-

pleasure to interact with the clients and helps

rade of their sartorial fantasies come to life.

me understand women and what appeals to

Well – not theirs, exactly: the vision belongs to

them. I love luxury and fanciful styles; I like to

Elie Saab, but the designer has proven year after year that he knows how

see a woman elegant at all times.” To aid in this

to produce exactly what women want.

effort, he began offering a ready-to-wear line in

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Saab’s interest in clothing design was ir-

1996, maintaining his vision of a more polished

repressible from a young age. “Since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed design-

and refined way of dressing. “It still consists of

ing clothes and making dresses out of my mother’s tablecloths and

cocktail dresses, elegant tops and trousers; my

newspapers that I found around the house.” The budding talent was

way of perceiving women,” he says, and to com-

honed much to the delight of those around him, and his talent was en-

plete the look, “I also have accessories, shoes

couraged by their responses. “I was always surrounded by beautiful

and bags that are sold at my stores.”

women, from sisters to cousins to neighbours, so the desire to dress them

Couture has always been an international

and make them look stylish was my constant inspiration. I then went to

business, but Saab’s presence in the Middle

Paris to pursue my studies in fashion.”

East means that he is an established force in

After less than a year in Paris, he returned to Beirut to make fash-

one of the fastest-growing regions in the world,

ion design his full-time career. Drawn by the opportunity to work di-

but he has moved significantly beyond his

rectly with the clothes and clients, he opened his first eponymous atelier.

roots. “Our global clientele for couture is ever

He considers himself to be self-trained; “I did not seek help from any-

changing. It has grown beyond the Middle East

body at that time. My early influences were the people that I was sur-

and the US to Asia and Russia. The clients

rounded by and the society I was brought up in.”

coming from the Middle East as well as the

Unlike many young designers, who begin their careers with a large,

United States have existed for a long time and

established house, or else begin producing clothes that are more acces-

are probably the most faithful ones. Over the

sible to the average consumer, Saab has always worked in this highest of

past years we have witnessed the increase of

high-end businesses. “Couture was my unique choice at that time. When

clients coming from the emergent countries:

I started, there were no fashion designers in my country; there were tai-

Turkey, Greece, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine

lors but not designers, so I initiated custom tailoring and started making

etc.,” and this rush of new fashion blood is an

dresses as per the client's measurements, preferences and occasions and

exciting contribution to the world of couture

it developed into a career.”

clients. Saab welcomes his new buyers, say-

This lineage of customisation and tailoring has provided him with a constant stream of stimulating work, and allows him to keep his creative

ing, “My ideal woman is the one who has beauty within.”

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It is no surprise that Saab inspires this kind of loyalty; there is an au-

In regards to his most recent couture col-

thenticity and originality to his clothing that evinces how deeply he feels

lection, for fall 2009, he says, “My latest inspi-

the inspiration behind his work. “We are the fruit of our cultural and

rations have been architecture and how a body

past heritage. The Arab culture is my background and I am definitely in-

interacts with volume and line within the strict

spired by the richness it offers, the elegant women surrounding me, our

parameters of one ultimate colour.” On the run-

love of luxury and generosity and the sunny weather almost all year

way, this translated a deeply textured and sur-

round. In general, this is reflected through my choice in fabrics, rich ma-

prisingly engaging collection of all-white gowns,

terials and warm colours like, sand and natural tones.”

which managed to avoid looking like any typical wedding-dress confections – the highly designed Art Nouveau styling, as well as a plethora of detailing techniques: pleating, draping, sequins, embroidery, quilting and more, made these gowns red-carpet ready, especially with some shorter dresses in the mix.


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With a clientele that is constantly seeking new and exciting options, he’s learned to provide them with the originality they want, draped in the technical excellence and good taste they need. “The vision for my line as a whole is prosperity, continuous success and to bring happiness and fantasy to my

With the demands of multiple collections a season, plus the chal-

clients…in past seasons, Haiku poetry has

lenge of combining one’s various influences into high-quality designs and

been another inspiration with its balance of

concepts, many designers are temped to retreat from the quotidian con-

contrasts in soft colours and sharp, strong sil-

cerns of building their brands. But in this competitive market, Saab’s

houettes.” The intellectual in him provides

business instincts have given him not only the ability to help grow his

depth to his collections, and tapping into

company, but to enjoy doing it. “I have always been keen on and involved

these larger concepts is arguably part of what

in both aspects of my business; creativity and strategy with all its differ-

makes his work translate so well around the

ent categories,” he says, dating back to the early days of founding his

world. “There is no difference in designing

label. “Both aspects show a different type of challenge which I enjoy com-

for my various clients, especially between the

bining and working on.” Like many motivated businessmen, he has a rou-

Middle Easterners and Westerners. My client

tine that works for him: “Before anything, I like to take it easy in the

is the same everywhere. She is a woman who

morning so that I can set a great mood for the day. I start with my coffee

wants to be glamorous, elegant and distin-

and exercise, then head to my office where I go and do the usual: meet

guished.”

with my couture clients and work on new collections. Everything there is

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122

exciting. I have been doing this work for decades and I still enjoy every

I usually love to do the South of Italy and every

minute of it – the interaction with my clients, the creation of a new col-

summer I go and enjoy their foods. I also like

lection.” Being on the front lines of his business has kept him grounded

exotic islands such as the Maldives and other

in what his customers need and expect, and he delivers clothes that keep

Indonesian islands; these are my favorite des-

them coming back for more. “I create wearable clothes; clothes that high-

tinations. I am Mediterranean and therefore I

light the woman’s body at best. I tend to work on each woman’s body and

have to always be near the sea. It gives me a

not on the dress,” a concept that was once standard in fashion design,

great peace of mind and a wonderful sense of

but has been lost in the rushing tide of ready-to-wear options. “I believe

relaxation. I also love the buzz and energy of

it is the woman who wears the dress and not the dress that wears her and

New York, it is very contagious.”

this is very important in my creativity process. We all change and evolve

As he has returned from the summer holi-

as per the trend and styles of the time. When my style evolves, my clients

days and is back into the swing of business,

do and vice versa.”In order to keep his style evolving, he is constantly

preparing for the next round of fashion weeks

seeking out inspiration – but for a creative mind, it’s not hard to find.

and shows, Saab is looking straight ahead, fo-

“Everything is inspiring to a designer; every detail can bring up new

cused on the things that have brought him suc-

ideas; but behind everything lies the woman, an elegant woman with a de-

cess in the past and how he can reinterpret

sire to be distinguished and unique; that is my constant inspiration.”

them for the future. Growth is the key word for

Above all, he is inspired by architecture and travels frequently to ob-

his goals, both geographic and creative, and

serve and absorb the architecture and spirit of new cities. “I currently

the love and passion he has for his work and

live between Beirut, Paris and Geneva, where my wife and three children

his clients stand him in good stead all over the

live. My favourite way to travel is going somewhere, anywhere on a boat.

world. n

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SIHH 2010 ooking forward from 2010 was all

L

a new turn with the equation of time concept,

about looking back this year at

which appeared in several places: essentially,

the Salon International de Haute

the watch is programmable anywhere within

Horlogerie. While the halls were

the 55th parallels to show the most exact time,

full of buyers and collectors, the new watches

sunrise and sunset for a specific city. As a

on display were mainly subtle updates and line

simple but subtle way to make a watch more

extensions, and even the newest models bor-

individual without a full-on customization, we

rowed a great deal from the successes of the

predict that more companies will explore this

past—ultra-flats were making a comeback, as

concept in the years to come. Mainly, we were

were traditional decorative techniques like

heartened as always to see that innovation

guilloching. Gray and brown faces and cases

continues apace in the workshops of Swit-

seemed to be taking back some of the market

zerland (and Germany too!) and that as the

share from the black, black, and more black

buyers return, the brands are more than ready

of the last few years, though there was plenty

to delight them, as they always have. These

of noir on hand as well. Personalization took

are some of our favorites from SIHH 2010.

Vacheron Constantin debuted several unique additions, including a new pocket watch, but it was their Historiques Ultra Fine (1955 is a round face, 1968 is a square face) that garnered most of the attention, with their classically slim profiles making a refreshing new direction next to the behemoths of recent years. We also like the latest in the Patrimony collection, and the newest Métiers d’Art, a collaboration with the Zohiko maki-e workshop in Japan that continues to delight with their artistic presentation.

IWC declared this the year of the Portugese, their staple model with classic, clean lines. The latest is the Portugese Grande Complication, the first time the Grande Complication has been housed in a new 45mm Portugese case, and what a housing it is—a striking ardoise dial evoking a globe and actual rose-gold stitching band, as sporty as ever, but with some seriously stylish chops, limited to just 50 pieces a year. 124

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Montblanc has turned their attention to two

models

in

particular:

the

Riussec,

debuting this year with a new kind of silicon escapement, and their more conceptual TimeWalker

Metamorphosis,

featuring

several new developments, the most obvious of which is on its face, literally—the patentpending concept created by Franck Orny and Jonny Girardin allows the classic face to fold inwards towards the center, revealing a totally different chronograph.

Cartier is making a concerted effort to expand their men’s collection, and while their movements haven’t quite convinced the techies, their styling is sure to win converts. The Calibre Tourbillon Volange deserves serious consideration, with its exceptional flying tourbillon front and center over the bridge, as does the Rotonde de Cartier, as seen on pg 33.

Richard

Mille

continues

adding

to

his

numerically-designated collection, this time featuring RM 022, the Aerodyne dual time zone, in classic Richard Mille tonneau style, with sporty accents like the honeycomb support structure built into the dial and the delicate bridges supports the winding barrel and the tourbillon. New colors, styling, and stones decorated the face of many older models, giving them a fresh new look for the future.

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First-time participants at the SIHH, Greubel Forsay wanted to expand beyond their Baselworld booth, as their business expands from its beginnings, in 2004, as two watchmakers trying to realize their ultimate vision. The 24 Secondes is an asymmetrical beauty, with great sightlines into the case to view this off-centered mechanism, a priority for the brand’s styling.

Audemars Piguet showed a diverse range of new offerings, from the ultra-butch Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix, with a forged carbon body that looks straight off the racetrack, to the finely designed Jules Audemars Perpetual Calendar, just 4mm thick with a sunburst brushed-satin dial that would look right on any man in the world for a century in either direction. AP also debuted their ultra-personalized Royal Oak Equation of Time, an extra-flat engraved with your city of choice.

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Panerai turned its considerable face to the sky this year, with a special room to observe their Jupiterium, a glass globe with a geocentric model of the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter (as observed by Galileo) showing the planets rotating in real time. On the wearable timepiece front, there is a fully customizable equation-of-time tourbillon model associated with the piece, called L’Astronomo, which takes 8 months to make. Incredibly good-looking as well is the Radomir Composite Marina Militare, featuring a new process for the case, heating aluminum until it turns into ceramic, a process borrowed from Formula 1 car construction, which creates a really unique finish.

Riding high on the successful launch of their Zeitwerk, launched last year, which showed their modernist guts, this year A. Lange & Söhne reminds us that even as a young company, their roots run deep. To celebrate their 165th anniversary the brand is celebrating with three new editions of some of their best-loved watches. The Tourbograph Pour le Mérite is the beginning of a second edition, after five years of producing the first, in a new honeygold color that is sure to spark imitations. The Lange 1 Tourbillon has been further perfected with a stop-second mechanism, and the 1815 Moonphase has a new guilloched dial in an edition of just 265 pieces.

Jumping into the ring just last year, Ralph Lauren returns this year with more of their equestrian-inspired

collection

that

so

embodied their brand’s aesthetic, it was hard to believe they hadn’t been producing these for years already. But unlike previous licensed watches, these had real horological chops with the weight of the Richemont Group behind them, so the only question is how watch buyers will respond. 100 Thousand Club

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hampagne Piper Heidsieck CuvĂŠe Brut finds the perfect mate for its devilish red label in a classic black stiletto bearing the iconic red

sole of Christian Louboutin. The twist? The designer, in his first ever collaboration outside the fashion world, created this glass slipper to serve as a Champagne flute, to make this set, Le Rituel, a luxurious continuity of color and excess. It evokes the sex appeal of a phenomenon that has stood for generations as a symbol of excitement and decadence...we don’t suggest enjoying it alone. Available through early 2010 online via www.lerituelpiperlouboutin.com

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