ICONIC LIFE April/May The Black & White Issue

Page 122

Live Beautifully

Creating beautiful gardens is our business…what you do in them is yours.

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50 Glow Up By Emily McKenzie 62 An Unspoken Connection By Renee Dee 64 Eternal Elegance By Sam Micatrotto 68 New York State of Mind By Nakayla Shakespeare CONTENTS 68 CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Renee Dee. PHOTOGRAPHER: Paul Moore. LIGHTING: Rick Gayle. MAKEUP: Laura Flagler. HAIR: Laura Flagler. MODEL: Caleigh, Ford Robert Black. ICONIC TEAM: Nakayla Shakespeare, Emily McKenzie, Alex Abati, Sydnee Sanchez. WARDROBE: Michelle Farmer. LOCATION: Rick Gayle Photography. ON THE COVER Live Beautifully 82 Written in the Stars By Nakayla Shakespeare 88 Never Out of Fashion By Nakayla Shakespeare LAST WORD 144 ICONIC: The SevenYear Itch By Sam Micatrotto 46 The I List: Check It Out By Emily McKenzie 88 26 ICONICLIFE.COM

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92 Legend Behind the Lens By Nakayla Shakespeare 98 History is Served By Sam Micatrotto 104 The Sound of Music Steinway’s Legacy By Nakayla Shakespeare 110 The History of Print By Nakayla Shakespeare 120 elemental By Nakayla Shakespeare 126 A Grand Introduction to Paris By Elyse Glickman 132 Taking a Closer Look By Nakayla Shakespeare 138 Aged Like Fine Wine By Fran Miller 138 132 30 ICONICLIFE.COM

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Some of the most ICONIC photography is immortalized in black and white, like “A Shot in the Dark,” a Mid-Century Modern image of the Stahl House by Julius Shulman. We all know the famous V-J Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt, Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange, or the renowned Lunch at the Top of a Skyscraper by Charles Clyde Ebbetts.

Ansel Adams was one of the most famous monochromatic photographers who made black-and-white photography ICONIC. Interestingly, he has Arizona roots; during his life, he co-founded the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, and his complete library of negatives is archived there. His “pure” photography movement inspired his tonal landscape photography of the West, making him best known for shooting in black and white after color was available.

Filmmakers like Steven Spielberg in Schindler’s List and Martin Scorsese in Raging Bull turned to the power of black-and-white cinematography for dramatic effect, stripping away the color to elicit emotion and draw you into the story.

Today, modern artists like David Yarrow create black-and-white photography to hone our focus on the images.

Black and white is more interpretive, making us focus longer on an image and inspiring a more emotional response. Its power is impressive, and that is why we turned to a full black-and-white presentation of ICONIC LIFE this month, to celebrate the artistry of black-and-white photography and essentially return to our roots of the early days of printing, our artistry.

This artistic idea originated from our own Nakayla Shakespeare, and I immediately loved it. But what about our clients? Would they too embrace the opportunity to share their messages in black and white? As you can see, our challenge was met with a resounding yes. Given all the creativity that went into creating this issue’s ads, we are honoring that effort with a gallery-style presentation of the ads at our black-andwhite anniversary party this month.

Only a publisher who loves publishing would step back in time to create something beautiful. At ICONIC LIFE, we aren’t afraid of taking risks, and we are committed to creating true beauty with every issue. I hope you’ll hold on to this one for a long time.

With Gratitude,


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An all-black-and-white issue is a risk. I’m going to be the first to say it. Color has a powerful impact on our lives and has an affect on how we make decisions. Have you ever booked a vacation solely because of the stunning crystal-clear blue waters or decided to make a reservation at a restaurant based on the vibrant dish you saw on its website?

I am an advocate for color and absolutely respect the power of beautifully colored imagery; However, I wanted to do something different for this issue and take the risk of eliminating color. There is something hauntingly beautiful about strong black-and-white imagery; not only did it lay the foundation of print magazines before we had the ability to produce in color, but it also allows us to interpret images in ways that color does not.

This black-and-white edition is an ode to the history of print, and, as a journalist, understanding the history of where we came from holds great importance. So, the ICONIC team risked returning to print’s roots and published in black and white. And I couldn’t be prouder of the result.

As a young editor, I always push myself to develop original ideas. While that can be challenging at times, given the massive amounts of creativity circulating within the magazine industry, I truly feel that this issue pushes the boundaries of the norm and will inspire readers to reflect on how far we have come with media and print.

This issue is extremely special to me, and I hope you enjoy the vision as much as I do because a black-and-white magazine in a world full of color is truly ICONIC.

Yours Truly,

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For more than two decades, we have been building homes and great relationships in the most prestigious communities across the Valley. We strive to foster a true collaborative experience that endures beyond move-in as we continue to care for every home we build.


RENEE M . DEE | Publisher

MEG PERICH | Associate Publisher

DOROTHY COSTELLO | Business Development Director OC

SYDNEE SANCHEZ | Client Relations Manager

ERIN SUWWAN | Publication Designer

NAKAYLA SHAKESPEARE | Editorial Coordinator

EMILY MCKENZIE | Social Media and Marketing Coordinator

ALEX ABATI | Social Media and Marketing Intern

NANCY ERDMANN | Features Editor

MARK SACRO | Fashion Photographer

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at concierge@iconiclife.com 8145 E. Evans Road, Suite 7 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 480.330.3737 Subscribe NOW: ICONICLIFE.COM Follow us @iconiclifemag ICONICLIFE.COM Live Beautifully © 2024 ICONIC LIFE. All rights reserved. All material in this magazine may not be reproduced, transmitted or distributed in any form without the written permission of ICONIC LIFE VOLUME 03.24 42 ICONICLIFE.COM
Elyse Glickman, Sam Micatrotto and Fran Miller
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Exploring the evolution of eye makeup.

Throughout the course of history, eye makeup has been a reflection of technological, societal, cultural and economic changes. Melissa Evans is a professional makeup artist who has worked for remarkable companies such as Netflix, Sports Illustrated and FORD Robert Black Agency, is known for her remarkable detail and creativity, highlighting the techniques, products and practices that have transformed this art form over the decades. Here is a look at a few ICONIC eye makeup styles that revolutionized the makeup industry.

The 1920s and 1930s were a time when film became predominant. Influenced by those on the screen, women began to practice at-home makeup and mimic the looks of glamorous stars. “The dramatic and dark eye look using eyeshadow and mascara was the beauty trend that dominated this period,” Evans says.

As companies began noticing this, popular brands such as Revlon and Lancôme became easily attainable.

The Silver Screen alone didn’t influence makeup trends. Social issues also directly impacted them, and changes in fashion introduced new products and techniques to the market.

Although the nation faced economic downturns during The Great Depression, cosmetics remained a steady industry. New makeup formulas were tested, leading to a product that revolutionized the industry—waterproof mascara. Helena Rubenstein developed it for the New York World Fair underwater ballet, and it was a smashing success.

Flash forward to the 1960s and 1970s, when bold eyeliner reached a peak in popularity. Following Elizabeth Taylor’s portrayal of Cleopatra, statement eye makeup became a trend. Eyeliner expanded to other areas of the eye, and people began demonstrating higher levels of artistry in their techniques.

“The winged eyeliner technique was a go-to since BCE, but the ICONIC Twiggy eyeliner introduced something new and became a staple that defined this period,” Evans says.

Enter crease eyeliner, a technique that applies eyeliner to the base of the lash line with upper and lower lashes and lash paint on the lower lash—Twiggy’s signature style. When Twiggy was named “The Face of 1966” by the Daily Express it drew women to re-create this fashionable look and experiment with eyeliner on their own.

Modern makeup incorporates contemporary styles with hints of the past. The beauty industry has expanded in many ways, allowing one to achieve any look desired. Innovation with techniques, products, applicators and lighting contributes to the rich and unique makeup we see today, and the opportunities to experiment are endless. What new makeup look will you try?

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Creating value for clients is a hot topic in the luxury real estate community in Paradise Valley and Scottsdale today. Given our very hot market, increase in home sale prices and new records set for uber-luxury properties coming on to the market, creating value for buyers and sellers is of paramount importance.

As a leading luxury real estate expert who has served clients for decades, Frank Aazami, principal of Private Client Group with Russ Lyon | Sotheby’s International Realty, has established himself as a master in the industry, understanding the

complexity of managing important real estate transactions.

“Great agents know the market. Local experts who know the streets and the neighborhoods that are earning more and who understand the styles and assets of homes that are in demand by the buyers are the leaders who provide the greatest value to their sellers,” says Aazami.

“When you know what people are gravitating to, you know how to properly price a home,” he says. “Additionally, today’s top agents need to understand great architecture, fine materials and finishes, and the kinds of spaces that really make a house highly desirable, like garages with storage for car collections, closets that you could almost live in and single-story floorplans that work for everyone,” says Aazami.

For example, BMW encourages its top salespeople to see how the team designs and builds every car, and makes sure they intimately understand every feature and the benefits. “A professinal agent should be able to point out these upgrades and valuable features and build value.”

“Today’s sophisticated buyers and sellers expect not only representation for their property; they want a trusted advisor who can navigate and net them most,” says Aazami.

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An Unspoken

ICONIC Frank Lloyd Wright and Georgia

O'Keeffe share the spotlight in a celebration of the two American legends.

Frank Lloyd Wright Standing at the Entrance of The Chapel, 1957
Photography courtesy of Tony Vaccaro Studio and Monroe Gallery of Photography

Are you a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright and Georgia O’Keeffe? The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation shares a behind-the-scenes look at the ICONIC work of these two art and design masters through the photography of Tony Vaccaro. You will think you’re seeing double at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s current exhibit at Taliesin West, where both artists are celebrated and similarities are compared in a photography exhibition that runs through June 3.

The exhibit aims to show how Wright is connected with ICONIC artist Georgia O’Keeffe through the similarities of their past, journey and work.

The exhibition is curated by the foundation in partnership with the Tony Vaccaro Studio and the Monroe Gallery of Photography. The showing presents an exclusive behindthe-scenes comparison of Wright and O’Keeffe in their homes and studios, offering a closer look into the similar lives of the two American artists, how they inspired one another and how their Modernist principles continue to encourage the public today.

While many know of these two masters for their exquisite work and artistry, not many know that they met in 1942 and had a mutual admiration for each other’s work. The exhibit aims to shed light on the connections between the two and contribute to the more extensive conversation about artists in America—they don’t all work in isolation. Instead, Wright and O’Keeffe inspired one another, finding ways to connect through friendship.

“Frank Lloyd Wright and Georgia O’Keeffe are American icons. Their legacies are larger-than-life and their names are known worldwide,” says Niki Stewart, exhibition curator and vice president and chief learning and engagement officer for the foundation. “In this exhibition, we explore their connection through the intimate photographs of Tony Vaccaro, from their shared start in Wisconsin to the homes and studios they built in the American Southwest. I’m excited to bring Wright and O’Keeffe together again through these beautiful photographs.”

Georgia O'Keeffe with Her Favorite Mountain, 1960


Unleash the hidden magic of PICCHIOTTI.


Diamonds have long held an allure, symbolizing love, luxury and light. But for discerning collectors seeking exceptional stones, the journey extends beyond the traditional 4 C’s of cut, color, clarity and carat weight.

Enter PICCHIOTTI, the Italian jewelry house renowned for its exquisite diamond artistry, where each gem transcends mere technical perfection to be a radiant expression of craftsmanship and ICONIC, timeless design.

PICCHIOTTI’s story began in 1967 in Valenza, Italy, where generations of skilled designers crafted exquisite jewelry. PICCHIOTTI carries this heritage proudly, applying it to every sparkling diamond it chooses. Instead of focusing on ticking technical boxes, it looks for gems with personality and diamonds that complement the overall design of its pieces.

As Maria Carola Picchiotti, the brand’s marketing director, explains, “PICCHIOTTI has very high minimum standards coupled with an accurate and precise selection process. We only use diamonds that have these criteria:

F-G color, VS clarity, and for round diamonds, anything 0.25 carats and above comes with a lab report and will be chosen specifically for the design of the piece.” This process ensures that the diamonds PICCHIOTTI selects are in pristine condition.


This meticulous selection process is just the tip of the iceberg in PICCHIOTTI’s diamond journey. Unlike many brands, the jewelry house doesn’t directly engage in cutting or polishing. Instead, its focus lies in the virtuosity of design and the craftsmanship that brings its creations to life.

PICCHIOTTI’s quality is particularly evident in its signature baguette cuts, where each stone undergoes a precise re-cutting process to frame a central diamond or gemstone perfectly. While staying true to its classic, timeless and elegant design aesthetic, the firm also embraces contemporary trends, such as mixing diamond shapes, a practice it has mastered.

“Our clients love when we mix different diamond cuts, using round and square shapes like baguettes or emerald cuts in the same design,” Picchiotti shares. “The fusion of geometric shapes is pleasing to the eye, and the design often makes the stones enhance each other. Other times, we will pair two unusual diamonds together to create a larger center stone presence, for example, two baguettes.” This innovative approach adds a modern flair while remaining true to the brand’s core values of elegance and sophistication.

Looking beyond technical aspects, Picchiotti understands the emotional connection people have with diamonds. “The ultimate decision is always very personal,” Picchiotti points out. “At the end of the day, a beautiful design that brings a smile to your face is more important than anything.”

This philosophy resonates with its high-earning clientele, who appreciate the technical prowess behind each diamond and the craftsmanship, history and emotional resonance that PICCHIOTTI imbues into its creations.

In today’s conscious world, the origin of your diamonds matter. Look for jewelers like PICCHIOTTI, who prioritize ethical sourcing and transparency. Ask about stone origins and lab reports for larger diamonds and choose brands with a proven track record of integrity. After all, a diamond’s sparkle should reflect not just its brilliance but the values it embodies.

“At the end of the day, a beautiful design that brings a smile to your face is more important than anything.”

State of Mind NY New York


Steal a look inside this stunning NYC penthouse on Park Row.

Photos courtesy of No. 33 Park Row

High above the clouds overlooking the city that never sleeps, is a beautiful sanctuary of sophisticated elegance, refinement and innovation. Designed by highly acclaimed Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Rogers and Graham Stirk of RSHP (formerly Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners), Penthouse 3 has rare unobstructed scenic views of Lower Manhattan’s historic City Hall Park.

Penthouse 3 is located at No. 33 Park Row, a luxury condominium complex offering tenants a luxurious and elevated residential experience. With large floor to ceiling windows bridging a connection between the inside and out, Penthouse 3 is designed to take advantage of the building’s location, light and views and integrate modernism while still emphasizing the historic architecture of Manhattan.

Most living quarters in NYC are small and crowded, with the average size of an apartment being 700 square feet. Space, however, is not an issue with this penthouse, which has more than 5,000 square feet of living space. Walking into the contemporary residence feels like walking into Grand Central Station. The open floor plan is dominated by floorto-ceiling windows that invite captivating views of the city’s grand architecture.

The two-story, five-bedroom, five-bathroom residence is a statement of luxury in one of the most opulent destinations in the world. Light oak floors, white walls and light-gray cabinetry juxtaposed with black industrial window frames infuse the apartment with a modern aesthetic.


The use of primary colors in the décor and Mid-Century Modern furniture adds an element of simplicity and sophistication with pieces that promote lounging and relaxation. Marble floors and walls occupy the bathroom, along with a floating vanity and freestanding tub, giving the space a clean and polished feel.

“The design of No. 33 Park Row complements and enhances the rich textures of the existing historic architecture in this essential New York location, capturing the spirit of downtown Manhattan’s industrial past,” says project lead Simon Davis.

Building amenities include a fifth-floor indoor/outdoor fitness center and yoga studio, an outdoor kitchenette and dining area, a 24-hour door attendant and concierge, a rooftop terrace, a library, a craft studio, a movie screening room and bike storage. From workouts and yoga on the loggia terrace to alfresco lounging and dining on the rooftop garden, residents can enjoy a tranquil and relaxing setting amidst some of Manhattan’s most ICONIC vistas.

Penthouse 3 and No. 33 Park Row reflect the rich history of the Manhattan area by integrating original architecture with a modern flair to create something new and exciting with a nostalgic touch. The materials, design and craftsmanship are inspired by Lower Manhattan’s history and innovation brought together to create something truly unique. No. 33 Park Row is a building that blends the past and the present and balances the need for a retreat with the fast-paced lifestyle that pulses through the streets of New York.

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Sipping with Guy Sporbert, Resident Master of Scotch

Join us at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our ICONIC Scotch Library, with certified Master of Scotch, Guy Sporbert. Guy earned his certification from The Council of Whisky Masters at Rothes Glen Castle in Speyside, Scotland, and brings his passion and expertise to every pour. Our Scotch Library offers over 350 whisky labels, curated for both seasoned aficionados and newcomers to Scotch.


On Fridays at 6 p.m. experience an unforgettable flighted tasting with three Scotch Whisky selections paired with small bites. Explore labels, Scotland’s regions, and various ways to enjoy Scotch.


Elevate your journey with our exclusive monthly tasting events featuring diverse distilleries. These one-of-a kind experiences offers the chance to learn from industry experts and deep dive into each distillery. Visit KierlandAfterDark.com for details and subscribe to our newsletter for updates on upcoming events.

Or join us Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. to enjoy any Scotch in the library and visit with one of our Scotch Ambassadors.

Raise a glass with us as we celebrate over a decade of excellence in The Scotch Library.

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Scottsdale / Paradise Valley / Carefree


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Real estate is like the mafia. You can never really ‘get out’.

Which is why I’m still here, still selling, and loving it after 34 years in the valley! I work with professional integrity and guide my clients through the process and make it a pleasant and fun experience all along the way. If you would like a private tour of this beautiful home in Fountain Hills, just contact me. The views are amazing, and the house is a perfectly planned 7,000 SF, 4 bed, 5.5 baths with a true home theater, gym, and 5 car garage!

Lucia (Lu-she-ah) Burns Broker Associate, REALTOR, CLHMS, CNE 602-885-3256 | soldbylucia@msn.com

LIFESTYLE BROKER MLS 6664428 | 9020 N Flying Butte, Fountain Hills | $3,600,000
Photos courtesy of Lowell Observatory Archives

written Stars in the

This historic and ICONIC observatory allows you to see to infinity and beyond.


When thinking back on Arizona’s history, you may think of the tales of the famous Wild West, where cowboys and outlaws grazed the ground, which could very well now be your local Starbucks. One thing that may surprise you is that while cowboys were having their hoedowns, astronomers were here making groundbreaking discoveries about space and the sparkling stars that occupy it.

The study of the sky and space has a rich history that dates back to some of the earliest traces of civilization. Historic astronomy started with people looking up at the sky to observe the moon, planets and stars. These observations have shaped crucial parts of the human experience, such as the understanding and conceptualizing of time.

Ancient civilizations also relied on astronomy to create their calendars, using the placement of stars as key indicators of when to plant crops.

“Astronomy is history,” Kevin Schindler, public information officer for the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., says. “You’re looking back in time. When you look at the stars, you’re looking at light that started


traveling toward us a couple million years ago, before humans were ever around.”

For more than 130 years, the Lowell Observatory has explored the Arizona skies, researching constellations, solar systems and galaxies far beyond ours.

The observatory was founded by Percival Lowell, who always had a fascination with astronomy. He took over the research of an Italian astronomer who was losing his eyesight, the goal was to study the canals on Mars in hopes of finding proof of life. This goal led Lowell to open a research observatory in Arizona, now known as the Lowell Observatory.

“The observatory was set up to be a research facility,” Schindler notes. “However, Lowell said, ‘What’s the point of researching unless you share it with the public?’ From the beginning, he welcomed visitors to look through the telescopes.”

Since its founding, the Lowell Observatory has made groundbreaking discoveries and achieved massive breakthroughs in research. For instance, it was involved in NASA’s DART mission to test a method of planetary defense against harmful asteroids that make their way into Earth’s orbit, as well as the discovery of Pluto.

“Fifteen years ago, we knew of one planetary system with nine planets, our system,” Schindler says. “Technology has allowed us to start discovering that other stars have planets. Scientists are finding new planets every day now.”

Public outreach has remained an integral part of the observatory. With high visitation volume, the observatory is opening a 40,000-square-foot science center to better accommodate those who wish to learn more about astronomy.

“When you’re looking through a telescope at a galaxy or a star cluster, it doesn’t matter how many people are around you. When you’re looking through that telescope, it’s just you and what you see. You are completely connected with the universe around you, which I think is a special experience,” Schindler remarks.

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Never Out of AHION

Amy Yount is an expert in fashion retail and we dive into what keeps a high end business alive for the long-term.

Amy Yount, operating owner of Amy & Man Atelier is not only a fashionista with a keen eye for trends and luxury pieces, she is also a smart business woman who has cracked the code of growing a successful small business for more than 19 years. While Yount’s personal preferences of merchandise have changed over the years, her talent for curating the best of the best is something that will never go out of style.

How does she do it? I sat down with Yount and discussed her tactics that have allowed her to grow her business and company into a household name.


NS: Being in business for as long as you have, what are your secrets to operating a long-term business?

AY: I have always been hands-on in my business. I feel that in customer service based you have to be owner operated. The majority of customers respond better to that. When I opened Amy, inc. in 2005 (rebranded to Amy Atelier in 2020), online shopping was just starting to come about so I would call clients on flip phones. This classic approach to doing business has been thrown away due to technology and I think that’s what hurts many small businesses. I like to split my business model up between classic business tactics and modern business practices. For our type of sales and customer interaction this mix of old school and new school has been the right formula.

NS: What do your everyday operations look like?

AY: Every day is different. Throughout the week I am balancing marketing meetings and media planning, managing our website, meeting with clients in the store, fulfilling personal client styling needs for everyday needs, travel and events, dealing with constant shipments from our suppliers and buying inventory. Connecting all these moving parts is very challenging, never stops, but each is very important. On the weekdays, I dedicate myself to the business side of things, and on the weekends I am managing the floor and working closely with our sales staff. I have an amazing team to help me manage all this, but I am around it at all times. My office is an open-air concept so my desk is separated from the store by a pony wall, so even though I am working, I am still able to monitor everything going on in the store.

NS: What does it mean to you to be a business owner?

AY: This answer has changed a lot as I have truly spent my entire adult life growing with this company. I think it is a big responsibility to be a business owner, but it is also a privilege, not to those around you but in terms of opportunity. To have the opportunity to be a business owner is a massive privilege to me. It means putting your heart and soul into things and constantly persevering through adversity and challenges, a lot of which people aren’t willing to withstand. Being a business owner is also having the confidence to understand that not everyone is your customer, and that’s okay. This took me a long time to accept because I am someone who wants to go the extra mile and do anything to make someone else happy.

NS: How has Amy Atelier shaped you into who you are today?

AY: I think this goes back to the question of what being a business owner means to me. When I first started I was living and breathing my business, but now I am in the maintenance stage. I have pursued coaching as of late that has helped me both personally and professionally to grow and best manage a team. When I opened my first small store at Biltmore Fashion Park, I had no corporate training so I have learned so much about the business side and what it takes to run it successfully. Once these skills are developed, that type of confidence can’t be taken away.

NS: What advice would you give your younger self?

AY: Everything that is hard comes to an end. I was so driven in the beginning, I had this mindset that if things didn’t go perfectly, it could be the end of the world. I also always used to think finances created future security, but in reality the value of intangible skills and knowledge is what truly creates security within. I wish I knew not to be afraid to have those tough conversations with employees and customers. I used to run my business with no boundaries in order to please others, but I have found that creating those boundaries is really important not only for the business but for yourself.


BEHIND Legend the Lens

MLB Hall of Famer Randy


focuses on his next passion since retiring from baseball.

MLB legend Randy Johnson made his mark with his baseball career and has the hearts of thousands of Arizonians. Named one of the best baseball pitchers of all time, Johnson’s talents and fierceness on the field go without question. After his retirement in 2009, many have asked, “What now”? Johnson has transitioned his unparalleled hand-eye coordination from the field to capture magnificent scenes of the world through his keen eye and talents with photography.

Johnson, a Cy Young award winner was an elite athlete known for his intensity on the field. Nicknamed “The Big Unit” for his staggering height of 6’10”, Johnson is also the tallest player in MLB history.

With pitching speeds of 97 mph, 1,703 runs and 303 game wins in his career, Johnson’s place in the MLB Hall of Fame is incontestable.

His athletic career cements his legacy, and he is famous for his ferocity as a top-performing athlete. However, Johnson always remembered his second passion in life, photography.

“When I was in sixth or seventh grade, I had one of those Instamatic cameras that I would use for family trips and vacations. My interest grew as I got older. I began taking courses in high school and shot for my college newspaper. I began to understand film photography and cameras. I had a lot of fun doing it. But photography took the back seat when I started my Major League Baseball career,” Johnson says.


Since retiring in 2009, Johnson has transitioned his focus from baseball to freezing moments in time through the power of the camera. Johnson’s reputation opened many doors for his new photography career, including museums contacting him about exhibiting his work.

“The biggest opportunity I’ve had was having my first exhibit,” Johnson recalls. “I enjoy sharing my photography through my website and Instagram, but when I was asked if I wanted to have an exhibit in Cooperstown, New York, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, I thought, wow, this is amazing! It’s like being called up to the major leagues.”

Johnson captures all of the beautiful things about life, from concerts, where the energetic atmosphere radiates through the images of the performers, to travel, where Johnson encapsulates the wonders of nature and culture into a still image.

“I love capturing the moment,” Johnson remarks. “I am always trying to capture the moment. I feel like taking a photograph is really about the opportunity that presents itself and the timing of that. It may only be one frame, but being able to capture something at one moment, everybody seems to know exactly what you were feeling, seeing and experiencing.”

On his recent excursion, Johnson traveled to Africa to immerse himself into the culture of the land, connecting himself with its wildlife, people and terrain to capture the essence of what Africa represents and provoke feelings in those who have yet to experience the beautiful destination.

“When we talk about my experience in Africa, we’re talking about animals, the tribe people of Ethiopia, the vast desert, dunes and 700- to 800-year-old petrified trees in Namibia,” Johnson says. “I’m trying to capture a little bit of everything. I’ve

trekked into the mountains in Rwanda, so I got close to Silverback Gorillas.”

Johnson’s images are moving to view and help one understand the process and patience it takes to capture the gripping images, which is equally inspiring.

“The animals don’t stop and pose for you,” Johnson says. “I get out there by six in the morning and don’t come back until six at night. Hopefully, during those 12 hours, I come back with pictures I’m happy about. I have lived in tents and driven 12 hours through the Kibish mountains to get to tribe villages. It’s not like it’s easy to capture; it’s extremely difficult. That makes me appreciate photography more because I know it’s difficult.”

Scottsdale Museum of Performing Arts noticed Johnson’s work and recently began a partnership to showcase his photography in his second exhibition.


“These opportunities don’t present themselves often,” Johnson explains. “I just enjoy it now and if it continues, I’m lucky to have something beyond this next exhibition. This has been a great run and experience.”

The exhibition not only displays the results of hard work and dedication Johnson puts in to produce striking images but also strives to bridge the gap between two worlds—sports and art—with one legend, Randy Johnson.

“Growing up, there was always this notion that artists were artists and athletes were athletes,”

Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO of the Scottdale Museum of Contemporary Arts, explains. “When you think about it, so much of what makes a great athlete is also what makes a great artist. I am fascinated with the idea that arts and athletics come together.”

Johnson’s sports fans can now walk through the gallery and immerse themselves in the art world, allowing them to observe the overlap between athleticism and artistry.

While Johnson is aware of his intimidating reputation as a former athlete, he hopes his

art brings another side of him to light to the public.

“The side that people probably know of me was a fierce competitor that was intimidating. I was always kind of demonstrative on the mound,” Johnson explains. “Now that that’s all over, people come up to me and talk about photography and what they like about a photo, and it has even inspired people to go to the destination that I’ve captured in my photos.” Johnson’s latest exhibit is now open at Scottsdale Museum of Performing Arts until April 28.


is ServedHistory

Discover the diverse menus, rich history and community spirit that define these Arizona culinary landmarks.

Arizona’s culinary scene boasts a broad, vibrant tapestry of flavors and experiences, from fine dining to hole-in-the-wall taco stands. But amidst this diversity, two ICONIC restaurants hold a special place in the hearts of many locals and visitors: El Chorro and The Stockyards. Each has a rich history woven into the very fabric of the state, and each offers much more than just a meal; they provide a taste of Arizona’s unique character and growth.

Both establishments represent two distinct corners of Arizona’s culinary landscape. One embraces the tales of Hollywood glamour and desert sunsets, while the other echoes the spirit of the Wild West and the enduring legacy of cattle ranching. Yet, they both share a common thread: a dedication to quality, heritage and creating memorable experiences for their guests.



Surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, El Chorro exudes an air of timeless splendor. Initially built in 1934 as the Judson School for Girls, the property was transformed into a restaurant and lodge in 1937, quickly becoming a watering hole for guests of the nearby Camelback Inn. Its name, “El Chorro,” translates to “running stream” or “watering hole” in Peruvian Spanish, a fitting moniker for this desert oasis.

Over the years, El Chorro has hosted generations of families and Hollywood stars like Clark Gable and Milton Berle. The restaurant’s charm lies not only in its breathtaking views and historic ambiance but also in its commitment to sustainability. From utilizing solar panels and recycled materials to becoming the first restaurant in Arizona to earn the LEED Gold Certification, El Chorro embodies responsible hospitality.

El Chorro underwent a refresh in 2009, the current restaurant was designed by Candelaria Design and built by Desert Star Construction.

But, of course, the true magic of El Chorro lies in its cuisine. Defined as “Arizona cuisine with a Southwestern flare,” the menu features fresh, seasonally inspired dishes. The ICONIC sticky buns served warm before every meal, are a must. Their sweet and gooey goodness is evidence of the restaurant’s dedication to comfort food with an elevated, gourmet touch.

While sticky buns may be the first course to steal hearts, El Chorro’s culinary offerings extend far beyond this beloved appetizer.

The menu reflects the changing seasons, showcasing Arizona’s bounty with dishes like roasted quail with prickly pear glaze, grilled Sonoran sea bass with citrus salsa, and pan-seared scallops with roasted corn and poblano cream. Every plate reflects the stories of the desert landscape and culinary traditions of the region.

“As locals, we’re passionate about sharing our distinctive style of food, inviting guests to savor the authentic flavors and traditions that define our region,” Charles Kassels, El Chorro Lodge, Executive Chef says. “Many of our guests, including locals who frequently bring friends and family, inspire us to create a menu that resonates with our community.”

But El Chorro isn’t just about the quality of the cuisine; it’s about creating an experience. The attentive service, the warm ambiance, and the breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain all contribute to a sense of occasion. Whether you’re enjoying a romantic dinner for two or a celebratory gathering with friends, El Chorro creates memories that linger long after the last bite.

“What sets us apart is not just the exceptional dining experience but the profound connections we forge with our guests over the years,” Ryan Prentiss, El Chorro Lodge, General Manager says.

Photography courtesy of El Chorro Lodge

The Stockyards


Enter The Stockyards and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Established in 1947 on the site of the original Phoenix Stockyards, the restaurant embodies the spirit of the Wild West. A massive mahogany bar, hand-carved in 1954, and the handpainted murals depicting Western scenes transport diners to a bygone era.

The menu reflects the restaurant’s rich heritage. While staying true to its “beef-centric” roots with prime rib and aged steaks, it also embraces the “New West Cuisine” movement, incorporating local and seasonal ingredients into its innovative dishes. The restaurant takes pride in its commitment to quality, sourcing beef from local ranches and utilizing fresh, indigenous ingredients like mesquite-grilled quail and native prickly pears.

However, The Stockyards is more than just a steakhouse; it’s a community hub. The “Arizona Influencers” booths–dedicated to individuals who have shaped the state’s history–and the warm hospitality solidify The Stockyards’ role as a local landmark. Generations of families have celebrated many milestones here, from birthdays to graduations, creating a shared thread that binds the community together.

Beyond its historical significance, The Stockyards offers a vibrant atmosphere. The lively bar scene attracts locals and visitors alike, while the patio provides a relaxed setting to enjoy Arizona’s 300-plus days of sunshine. Whether celebrating a special occasion or enjoying a casual weeknight meal, The Stockyards offers an experience steeped in history and flavor.

Photography by John Ormond Photography

The Music of Sound



A deeper dive into the making of some of the most ICONIC pianos in the world.

The sound of a Steinway piano is captivating. When a pianist sits down and begins to play the ivory-colored keys, the medley of dark, warm base notes echoes a deep vibrato. In contrast, delicate melodies of bell-tone keys add a playful dimension to the melancholy tones of the tenor notes. Steinway & Sons pianos are the vessels that allow us to experience true craftsmanship in ways that go beyond the quality we can see and hear but the quality we can feel.

Founded in New York City, Steinway has a 171-year history of handcrafting world-class pianos that can take more than a year to produce. Understanding the meticulous processes a Steinway goes through during production is not only eye-opening but also educational.

The shape of a Steinway is conceived with long pieces of hard rock maple—one of the densest woods on the market—glued together

Photos courtesy of Steinway & Sons

to create a long, thick sheet. This sheet is then bent around a rim press to create the shape of the piano and placed in a conditioning room for three to four months for the rim to stabilize in shape and moisture content.

“This process of piano making is critical because the rim holds everything together,” Henry Welsby, Steinway & Sons Scottsdale manager, says. “By using one consecutive piece of wood for the entire rim, you don’t have to worry about it splitting later down the line. We use the same rim press for every piano we make, so when you purchase a Steinway, your piano will be bent around the same mold that Vladimir Horwitz or Arthur Rubinstein used.”

The next step in the process is the installation of the soundboard. A piece of Sitka spruce derived from a privately owned forest in Sitka, Alaska, is crafted to create a fine-grain board (10 grains per square inch).

“Spruce is a very high-resonant piece of wood,” Welsby explains. “It is very light, and because each rim is hand bent, each will be a little different in width or length, so each soundboard will be unique to the piano, precisely fitted to the rim.”

The soundboard provides the piano with a complete and rich sound. This is one of the secrets to the great sonority of a Steinway grand piano.

“The soundboard is thicker in the middle of the piano than on the edge,” Welsby points out. “The reason for that is so it can vibrate more freely on the inside while also giving those warm, rich tones at the center of the piano. The base strings of a Steinway cross over the center of the piano’s soundboard, allowing those warm, rich tones to resonate and fill the room with welcoming sounds.”

The fabrication of the soundboard requires attention to detail and a delicate hand. Each board is checked with extreme care and precision to ensure no imperfections.

“Like any other piece of wood, there are going to be imperfections— trees don’t grow out of the ground perfectly,” Welsby remarks. “To combat this, we have guys looking over soundboards all day, looking for any imperfections like knots, dents and scratches, and cutting them out to make sure the soundboard is pristine and perfect as possible.” A cast-iron plate is installed once the soundboard has been examined and perfected.


The third component of a Steinway is the composition of the piano’s action. This is also why many performing artists choose to play on a Steinway. The piano’s action is everything from the key you depress to the hammer that strikes the string. There are more than 50 intri cate parts that make up the action for each of the 88 piano keys. In other words, the action is what makes the sound.

“When you’re playing the action, or playing the keys, you want it to be very freeing and very light,” Welsby explains. “Steinway’s action is all made of wood, while other pianos may use plastic. The wood not only gives the keys a lighter feel, but it also makes every key feel uniform across the keyboard.”

The details implemented during a Steinway’s creation are why they last for years. Every aspect of the piano is held to the highest quality standard.

“Not only do our pianos sound good and play well, but they last a very long time, and that’s why they’re special,” Welsby remarks. “People pass our pianos down to the next generation in their family. My uncle passed his piano down to me. It is still in impeccable condi tion, plays nicely and maintains that warm Steinway sound.”

The new Steinway SPIRIO piano is a prime example of a perfect marriage between tradition and innovation. It is considered the world’s finest high-resolution player piano. A masterpiece of artistry and engineering, the piano enables owners to enjoy performances played by great pianists, captured with such nuance and power that they are indistinguishable from a live performance.

Steinway & Sons continues its commitment to excellence through its precision, ingenuity and production methods, allowing owners to create memories and experiences for generations to come.

Scan to learn more 108 ICONICLIFE.COM


TJourney back in time to discover the inspiring history of print, photography and publishing.

he history of print has a timeline that dates back to early civilizations. Not only was print an essential form of communication long before the digital age, but it also shaped societies and cultures as we know it today. There are so many moving parts that go into creating a beautiful publication. The combination of striking imagery and powerful storytelling takes readers on a journey and gives them an experience beyond reading words off a screen. There is something special about experiencing the work of others through a tangible magazine. Here is the timeline of how print went from writing on a wall to beautiful, thought-out publications like the one you are holding.



59 BCE

First Newspaper Published

Writing Invented

It is hard to imagine a time before writing. But before its invention by the Sumerians, people passed information along by word of mouth. The original purpose of writing was to solidify codes of law, genealogies and other essential matters. People wrote information on scripts to document and archive important issues.

The first newspaper was published in Rome, called Acta Diurna, or Daily Doings Acta Diurna was carved on stone or metal plates and while there are no physical copies, it is believed to have published events, gossip, births, deaths, and happenings.


Woodblock Printing

The Tang and Song dynasties can be credited with the invention of woodblock printing. This process involved carving out the design onto a block of wood. The ink was then applied to the carving and imprinted on fabric or paper. Wood blocking enabled the widespread publishing of texts for the first time in history.


1040 1440

Movable Type

Invented by Bi Sheng during the Song dynasty, the movable type made printing different pieces of work easier. With woodblock printing, lettering had to be written out in full, while with movable type, individual letters were carved and could be placed in any order.

The Gutenberg Press

The invention of the Gutenberg printing press marks a turning point in print history. Johannes Gutenberg is one of the most influential people in the evolution of print. The German inventor created a machine that allowed people to arrange movable type on a flat wooden plate. The ink was then applied to the plate, and a sheet of paper was laid on top; the plate and paper were then pressed together to create sharp images and text on the paper. This invention increased the printing speed significantly and allowed for increased accessibility to printed text.



While the exact date that etching was invented is unknown, the first dated etching came from the Swiss artist Urs Graf. Etching is the method of incising lines onto a metal plate using acid. A wax or resin is coated on a copper or iron plate, and a scalpel is used to carve out writings or drawings, exposing the metal underneath the wax coating. Once the drawing is etched, the metal sheet is exposed to acid, creating an indent in the exposed pieces of metal. Ink is then applied to the sheet to fill the indented etching. Finally, the plate is placed on the paper and sent through a press to create the print. 1513

1663 1798


Invented by Alois Senefelder, the lithography method is similar to etching, using a crayon or pen to draw on limestone and then applying an oily ink that only adheres to the drawing. The print is then transferred onto paper via a press. This method of printing had a cheaper production cost compared to its predecessor.

First Magazine Published

The first magazine was the German publication Erabuliche Monaths- Unterredungen, “Edifying Monthly Discussions,” which was started by Johann Rist. Erabuliche MonathsUnterredungen was focused on his literary works and philosophy. Rist showcased his beliefs through poems and hymns.


Photography Invented

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce took the first photo. Niépce developed a technique called heliography, a process that dissolves light-sensitive bitumen in the oil of lavender and applies it to a specific plate. The plate is then inserted into the camera and positioned to capture an image. After a few days of exposure to sunlight, the plate begins to yield an impression. The first photo in the archives is of Niépce’s courtyard.

The Rotary Press

The Rotary Press uses two rotating cylinders (one with printing plates attached and one without) to apply the print. The paper gets fed through the cylinders, and the pressure from the two cylinders creates the print. This was the first printing method that allowed paper to be continuously fed through the press.

1843 1822


Color Photography


James Clerk Maxwell invented the mechanism of creating a color image by adding blue, red and green filters on top of an image to assemble a full-color image. This process is known as the ‘Additive color process’.

1875 1848

First Journalistic Photograph


On July 1, 1848, the first journalistic photo was published alongside a news story in the French publication L’Illustration. The image captured barricaded streets of Paris due to a worker strike during the June Days Uprising.

Offset Printing

Developed from the concept of lithography, offset printing is based on the science that water and oil do not mix. The offset plate (usually zinc or aluminum) is coated with a photosensitive material when the ink is deposited on the grease-treated areas of the plate. As the plate is exposed to an image, it hardens on the printing areas, and the coating on the non-printed area washes away, leaving the printed image on the page.

Offset printing is a common form of commercial and magazine printing today.

Photo courtesy of Hulton Archive/Getty Images



Photograph Published in an American Newspaper

The first photograph published in a newspaper was in the New York Tabloid Daily Graphic

It was the first photo posted without the engraving process. The image depicted a shanty town in New York.


Film Photography Invented

Film photography was created by George Eastman, who was originally inspired when he wanted to capture an image of his trip to the Caribbean. He wanted to create a process of taking photos that was so easy, a child could do it. After experimenting with glass plates, he concluded they were too heavy, so he introduced a film roll holder that fit into existing cameras. Eastman would cover paper in a soluble non-light sensitive gelatin layer followed by an insoluble light-sensitive emulsion. After the image was snapped and completed the exposure and development process the image-beating layer was stripped away from the paper and transferred onto a sheet of clear gelatin and coated with collodion (a protective film substance). This photography process took the world by storm until the digital camera entered the picture (pun intended).




First Magazine to Create a Color Cover

Scribner’s Magazine was the first magazine to introduce color illustrations. The publication was an American periodical designed to compete with the already successful Harper’s Monthly and The Atlantic Monthly


First Photocopy Made

Invented in an apartment in Queens, N.Y., Chester Carlson used static electricity from a handkerchief, light and the chemical selenium to create the first photocopy. In the dark, selenium is an electrical insulator and a conductor when exposed to light. A printed document is first exposed to a beam of light, sending an electrical shadow onto an aluminum drum coated with the chemical selenium. The original image is then transferred to the drum through the chemical reaction selenium has with dark areas of the image and light areas of the image.

Photos courtesy of Xerox Corporation 118 ICONICLIFE.COM

1975 1991

First Digital Printing Press

While the first digital print was made in 1989 on watercolor paper, the first digital printing press came out in 1991. Digital printing allows a print to be made from a digital file. This is the most used form of printing today.

Digital Camera


Steven Sasson, an engineer at Eastman Kodak, invented the first digital camera. It was about the size of a toaster and weighed almost eight pounds. The digital camera could only capture black and white images on a digital cassette tape but revolutionized the world of photography.

Photos courtesy of Alfonso Verduzco Design

One designer is taking the industry by storm and his ambition, passion, boundary-pushing creativity and meticulous craftsmanship shine through in his work. His name is Alfonso Verduzco.

Verduzco graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in environmental design. He quickly realized that his true passion lay in shaping interior spaces and began a career in the cabinetry industry.

“I kicked off my design journey as a design assistant at a company that specialized in importing high-end cabinetry and wall systems from Europe,” Verduzco recalls. “In no time, I stepped up as the lead designer, handling everything from A to Z, from smallscale renovations to full-blown new builds.”

After wrapping up approximately 60 projects nationwide, he hit a point where he knew he needed a new challenge. “That’s when I stumbled upon Studio Como in Denver—a showroom filled with the finest Italian furniture brands all under one roof,” he says. “They were seeking a designer to spearhead their cabinetry department, focusing on none other than Poliform from Italy.”

Introducing the Karbón Collection designed by the esteemed Alfonso Verduzco.

Within a year, Verduzco assumed the role of lead designer for Poliform, expanding his responsibilities to include projects not only in Aspen but also in Denver, Boulder, Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Bozeman, Mont.

While Verduzco found great success in the high-end cabinetry business, he yearned for more, and the idea of one day owning his own design business was planted. His determination to achieve this dream did not waver and he began working on projects that brought culture and a fresh perspective to the design scene. Verduzco established Alfonso Verduzco Design in 2021.


“I want to leave a legacy and make a positive impact, not just for me and my family, but for everyone involved in my collections,” Verduzco remarks. “I felt a deep calling to celebrate my heritage, culture, and the remarkable talent we have in Mexico through my work.

“Mexico is bursting with creativity and skilled artisans, and I was excited to find new ways to showcase our craftsmanship,” he continues. “Bringing traditional techniques to the high-end design world was challenging, but I was determined to do it in a way that felt authentic yet sophisticated and elegant.”

Enter the Karbón Collection. A bold and visionary offering that’s set to redefine contemporary furniture design. Crafted with precision and passion, Karbón pieces are all about sleek lines, minimalist vibes, and high-quality materials. From solid charred


wood and luxurious leather to sleek metal accents, each item in this collection is about craftsmanship and style.

“Karbón Collection draws from my exposure to high-end luxury brands and the innovative designs I encountered during my training in Europe,” Verduzco says. “The inspiration behind the furniture collection draws from the intricate architectural details of pre-Hispanic structures in Mexico and historic buildings in Italy.”

He explains that this fusion of influences, combined with the concept of design originating from a grid system, forms the foundation of each piece. “It’s a marriage of tradition and modern design principles, resulting in a collection that resonates with heritage and contemporary sensibilities.”

Karbón is the first collection where Verduzco focuses on clean lines and the geometric forms of his pieces. Using charred wood as a primary material is a first for Verduzco and adds a distinctive touch, blending modernity with natural texture. “Overall, Karbón represents an evolution of my design approach,” he says.

The collection comprises six pieces, all manufactured with precision and care by Solido—one of Arizona’s top custom furniture manufacturers.

Using solid wood and employing the ancient technique of Shou Sugi Ban to char the wood creates a sense of authenticity and quality. This technique not only enhances the durability of the wood but also imbues it with a rich, deep blackened hue, adding a unique aesthetic to each piece.

See it Come to Life Experience the Collection in Motion

ICONIC Design Award-winning black tiles from Verduzco’s previous collection, Raíces Black Collection, are also featured in the work, emphasizing the fusion of heritage and modernity. Using high-end European leathers, clay tiles, charred woods, and metal components produces more than just furniture; it produces works of art.

“Karbón has revealed to me that designing is not just a career—it’s my true calling and source of fulfillment. My journey, including my time in Milan, has affirmed that my dreams are attainable with dedication and faith in God’s guidance,” Verduzco says.

“This collection embodies more than mere furniture. It symbolizes my unwavering commitment to pursuing my dreams while staying grounded in faith and humbleness,” he adds. “And I’m excited for the journey ahead, knowing that this is only the beginning of what God has in store for me.”



The InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel lives up to its name, fusing history, gastronomy and luxury into the heart of the city.

Paris is gloriously awash with boutique hotels reflecting the modern traveler’s desire for exclusivity along with upcycled history at the hands of today’s top interior designers and architects. As these small, fashionable gems embody the fantasy Paris sojourn, the 458-room InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel may be overlooked.

However, a stay inside this historic building—by design—is a reminder that a well-conceived hotel that’s meticulously cared-for will forever be relevant, and according to the hotel’s motto— “Some people visit Paris for its landmarks; others stay in them!”

The InterContinental Paris is nestled within the 9th Arrondissement, the heart of the city. It faces the Opera Garnier and is steps away from the flagships of Paris’ most internationally-beloved department stores (Galleries Lafayette Haussmann; Printemps Haussmann). The Place de L’Opera Metro station, sandwiched between the hotel and the opera house, puts one within minutes of Paris’ indelibly ICONIC landmarks (including The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris and the Arc de Triomphe). It is also the home of Café de la Paix, an essential Paris dining experience.

Photos courtesy of InterContinental Paris

Staying in a glamorous first-floor suite, I walked onto my terrace to see morning sunlight bounce off the Opera Garnier’s gilded neoclassical structure. It was impossible not to have sweet dreams about the next day’s adventures after people-watching in the glass ceiling lobby.

Commissioned by Napoleon III during France’s Second Empire, the InterContinental Paris was completed in 1862 and opened on May 5 to usher in a new golden age in Paris after decades of political strife and economic vicissitudes. While architect Charles Garnier is credited for designing the hotel, top artists, sculptors and furniture designers of the day were invited to put their stamp on every corner of the InterContinental Paris. The Opera Ballroom was restored to its original glory in 2014. Café de la Paix, meanwhile, became known as the meeting place in Paris among elites and others in positions of power.

There was something undeniably special about savoring plump and garlicky escargot, sole meunière and a sublime signature dessert (“Norwegian Omelet,” said to be a precursor to Baked Alaska with torched meringue and rum raisin ice cream on a sponge cake base) at Café de la Paix.

In anticipation of the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle, the hotel introduced game-changing amenities such elevators and a grand reception area and implemented exclusive and personalized guest services. Waking up with a view of the Opera Garnier or another significant Paris monument just outside the window was another exclusivity the hotel offered. Hotel Le Grand was fit for royalty, and the careful planning was validated with royal families, dignitaries and delegations from around the globe visiting on a regular basis.

Celebrities and personalities from a variety of fields have fed the InterContinental Paris’ legend through the decades and continue to do so today. 19th century actress Sarah Bernhardt is immortalized in a portrait by Georges Jules Victor Clairin hanging beside the main elevators. In addition, famous writers like Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Guy de Maupassant made frequent appearances at the InterContinental in the 19th Century. Marlene Dietrich and Josephine Baker were mainstays during the 1920s. General Eisenhower and Winston Churchill visited toward the end of World War II, when the hotel was operated as the Allied Expeditionary Forces Club #1.

Negotiations for the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty, resulting in the creation of NATO, took place in mezzanine-level meeting spaces in 1948. As I strolled through the Opera Ballroom, it occurred to me that my mother, a professional antique doll dealer and collector, would have gotten a kick out of the fact that it was the site for the 40th birthday of the Barbie doll on November 23rd, 1999.


Even among those who have visited Paris before, I found that staying at the InterContinental Paris enables one to be woven into the fabric of the city’s character.

According to the gentleman showing me around the InterContinental Paris, the registered landmark Opera Ballroom (which today can host gala dinners with up to 450 guests, conferences of up to 600 participants, and cocktail parties for 700) has been a site for political gatherings, prestigious couture fashion shows, and theater performances.

In 1878, statesman Léon Gambetta (associated with the creation of the Third Republic) presided over a banquet in the Opera Ballroom. One year later, Victor Hugo gave a magnificent reception for the restaging of his dramatic piece, “Hernani.” The Comédie Française chose the Opera Ballroom to celebrate the 300th anniversary of its

creation by Molière in 1982 with a sumptuous dinner attended by the entire troupe.

Although maintaining the building's history while factoring in up-todate ambiance and comfort is a challenge—especially with a hotel of this size—architect/interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon has rose to the occasion since 1985 with both public and private spaces. He was lauded for overseeing the 2014 restoration of the Opera Ballroom and removing the false ceiling, which concealed a glass roof with intricate architectural detail and natural light. In recent years, he collaborated with art consultancy La Photofactory (operated by mother-daughter team Nathalie and Lisa Fera) to carry public areas visually into the 21st century.

Between 2003 and 2021, Rochon took on the challenge of making rooms more residential and charming. Four “Presidential” suites


on the first floor retain a definitive Second Empire character, with luxury amenities subtly worked in.

To provide some added dimension to the InterContinental Paris’ top offerings, he orchestrated the design of five “Signature” suites as Parisian apartments, each with its own distinctive color palette and contemporary decor.


In a city with monuments, museums and restaurants with bonafide ICONIC status everywhere you look, it is truly satisfying to stumble upon something that’s well-loved by the locals or on the cusp of becoming “must-do’s” before everybody else does them.

Like Le Grand Hotel, Restaurant LE Drugstore, at the crossroads of the Champs Elysée and the Arc de Triomphe, has been around since 1958. Against a jewel-toned Mid-Century Modern backdrop, one can spend hours vibing to the house DJ’s inventive spins while savoring a delightful menu of one-of-a-kind Pan-Asian/French appetizers along with photogenic cocktails devised by lead mixologist Nicholas Usselmann.

French cuisine traditionalists will appreciate Le Rotisserie d’Argent (concentrating on roasted chicken, foie gras terrine and other landbased items) near the Quartier Latin or Cafe le Petit Flottes, a pretty oyster bar just off of Rue St. Honoré also serves croque monsieur sandwiches and a grown-up “mac-and-cheese” dish made with decadent ten-year aged Comté cheese.

Restaurateur Moïse Sfez, meanwhile, is taking his place in a long line of culinary darlings with glowing notices in top fashion and lifestyle magazines throughout the world. He’s throwing tradition a curveball with his recently-opened Janet by Homer restaurant, a stylish rethinking of New York City delis, noted for its takes on New England lobster rolls, tuna melts and more.

La Galerie Dior, a museum in Paris is fashion heaven with its fantastical layout, captivating displays and arrangements of Christian Dior’s original creations as well as those from current designers. Savvy Parisians are making their fashion statements shopping at local vintage shops, and any one-off boutique specializing in sustainable chic. Many of the top treasure hunting sites are concentrated in the Marais district. Galeries Lafayette Haussman’s year-old “ReStore” occupies the entire third level of the flagship and is a one-stop shop destination for vintage, upcycled and ethically-sourced finds.

Finally, should you be interested in extending your time and your pursuit of historic and ICONIC destinations beyond Paris, you may want to consider Viking Cruise’s “Paris and the heart of Normandy.” This itinerary is an engaging road trip alternative that features visits to royal chateaux and castles that deserve greater attention as well as meaningful tours of Normandy’s key World War II battlegrounds, cemeteries and museums.



An unconventional approach to photography through X-ray technology.

Say Hello Wave Goodbye 132 ICONICLIFE.COM
Photography by Nick Veasey

Photography is an art form with a prolific history. It’s safe to say that photography would not be where it is today without innovators who push the boundaries to express their creativity and inspire others. Enter Nick Veasey, a British photographer and pioneer in the photography field. Veasey combines the lost art form of film photography with the unconventional tactic of utilizing X-ray technology as a form of creative expression.

Veasey’s work captures everyday items and settings on a deeper level, revealing their beauty within—with intricate mechanics from cars and the human skeleton, for example—Veasey unveils complexities behind movements and objects that we often categorize as mundane or straightforward.

“We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” Veasey remarks. “Beauty is more than skin deep. By revealing the inside, the quintessential element of my art, speculates on what the manufactured and natural worlds consist of.”

Photography has always been a passion for Veasey. As a self-taught photographer, experimentation laid the foundation for his career. “I’m a lover of photography, particularly analog experimental photography, and I would go and see exhibitions and read books on the different processes. However, I never studied art or

photography, so there was some pushback as I tried to establish myself as an artist. What did it was the quality of the work, not my contacts or intellect. I like to let the pictures do the talking,” he explains.

Utilizing X-ray machinery more potent than what you would find within a hospital or airport, Veasey captures his images using X-ray film. Aware of the health concerns and speculations associated with X-rays and radiation, Veasey does not use human subjects.

“Every X-ray I take has to be risk-assessed as the equipment emits radiation,” Veasey says. “My studio is a two-foot-thick concrete room that traps the radiation inside.”

While the outcome of Veasey’s work is striking and beautiful, it comes with many challenges. One is that because the images are shot using film, the images cannot be enlarged or reduced, so larger projects require meticulously connecting each film sheet to reveal the finalized picture. Veasey refers to this process as “solving a jigsaw puzzle.”

Aware of the public’s speculations about his work and methods of practice due to the association X-rays have with cancer, Veasey believes there is beauty within his art and the process it takes to create it, and he hopes it brings joy to those who see it.

1948 Mercury Cowboys
“X-Ray is democratic. It shows things for what they are truly made of.”
BanXsy After

“I just hope that my work helps people to see beauty in the everyday,” Veasey remarks. “We are all mostly too busy to stop and look, but if you can, you will discover beautiful things, often little things, everyday things, not just the view from the top of the mountain. I try to look at the world in another way.”

ICONIC vintage pieces of design and pop culture inspire his current projects. Influenced by films, books and music, Veasey brings back to life the ambiance of the 70s and 80s reminiscent of the rebellious youth of that time.

The combination of simplicity and complexity within one image is hard to accomplish. The interpretation of Veasey’s work is easy to understand, yet the photos reveal the complexity of objects that some consider simple. The dance between the two concepts creates a beautiful experience for the viewer.

“X-Ray is democratic,” Veasey says. “It shows things for what they are truly made of. By removing the surface and concentrating on the inner workings, my work reveals how my subject came to exist, whether designed by man or nature. My work is straightforward. I like that. You don’t need an art history degree to understand it. It’s an X-ray, and you can see inside. Simple can be effective.”

Veasey’s X-ray photography will be showcased at the Art Angeles Gallery in Los Angeles in May. “I have been with Art Angels from the very start,” Veasey says. “Ten years later, they are doing great, expanding frequently and showing quality art. They have a great eye for this, and their curation is impressive. They make me look good, so I am excited to be showing in LA.”

X-ray photography demonstrates a different approach to capturing life and allows people to see art through a deeper lens.

Land Rover


Where California wine-tasting culture began.
Photos Courtesy of Charles Krug

One of wine culture’s greatest allures is the wine-tasting ritual. It is standard practice that most wineries worldwide offer varied hospitality experiences where guests are toured through the winemaking facilities and barrel rooms, followed by food and wine pairings that spotlight a label’s varietal wines.

In California, the wine-tasting practice originated at the Charles Krug winery, founded in 1861 in Napa Valley by Prussian immigrant Charles Krug, who opened his estate for public tastings in 1882, establishing the Golden State’s first wine-tasting room.

Today, the Charles Krug Estate is renowned for its exceptional wines, which tourists can enjoy within its stunning world-class St. Helena venue, where the winery’s rich history can be fully explored and appreciated.

Charles Krug

Though, at the time, he was considered a winemaking visionary, Krug would probably be quite surprised by the transformation of his humble winery and the original 540 acres of prime land that he acquired via his marriage to Carolina Bale. She was the daughter of early Napa pioneer and miller Edward Turner Bale and the granddaughter of María Isidora Vallejo from the esteemed Californio Vallejo family.

Today, the Charles Krug Redwood Cellar (built in 1872) and Carriage House (built in 1881) are home to a tasting room and hospitality center designed by the talented architect Howard Backen. The renovations and restorations won the winery several awards, including the Napa County Landmark Award of Merit and the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award.

Backen, a famed designer of many of Wine Country’s most scenic properties, worked within strict standards, as the legendary estate is a registered California Historical Landmark. His inspiration was two-fold: to preserve the elegant and significant structures for generations and

Carriage House Interior
Carriage House Exterior

continue utilizing them for winemaking, cultural activities, and hospitality.

The motivation was particularly pertinent to the current owners, the Mondavi family, whose forebears Cesare and Rosa Mondavi purchased the winery in 1943 to continue building the winery’s reputation for quality and innovation, which Krug was well-known for. He introduced novel ideas, such as using a cider press to press grapes and meticulously selecting rootstocks, varietals and vineyard sites.

Krug’s dedication to learning and sharing knowledge was pivotal in advancing the budding California wine industry, something the Mondavis take seriously as stewards of the oldest winery in Napa Valley.

“Hospitality has always been at the core of our philosophy at Charles Krug, and our ICONIC Redwood Cellar tasting room is central to showcasing

Redwood Cellar (today) Redwood Cellar (1940)
Rosa and Cesare Mondavi

our position as a pioneer in Napa Valley tourism,” says fourth-generation family member Riana Mondavi, co-proprietress of the winery. “We’re excited to continue evolving Charles Krug as the winery for Napa’s next generation and the epicenter of culture in Napa Valley.”

At Charles Krug, guests can sample the winery’s varied bottlings, such as the core-foundation Napa Valley Series of wines crafted from sustainably grown, pristine fruit from estate vineyards in Napa’s best wine appellations. Or the Family Reserve portfolio, offering expertly crafted Bordeaux-style wines.

Generations Red Blend and Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, two of Charles Krug’s most popular and critically acclaimed offerings, showcase the expertise of Angelina Mondavi, fourth-generation family member and consulting winemaker. Angelina is a winemaking veteran with extensive experience making highly regarded wines. Her deep-rooted knowledge of her family’s 857 acres of prime Napa Valley land allows her to craft elegant, balanced wines evocative of their distinct terroir.

Top photo photograhy by Rocco Ceselin

Enjoy the “Tour and Tasting” experience and trace Charles Krug’s winemaking history with a guided tour of the beautiful, historic estate. Try the “Blind Taste Like a Somm” experience and learn the nuances, tips and tricks of identifying wines like a sommelier. Or select the “Food & Wine Pairing” experience, which pairs small bites with exclusive wines. The “Caviar & Wine Pairing” features Italian Calvisius Caviar, exclusively hand-selected for Charles Krug, expertly paired with small-lot sparkling and white wines.

For an al fresco experience, reserve an outdoor private cabana and relax with a tailored experience of tasting flights by the glass, full-bottle selections and delicious culinary fare.

“As we toast to 80 years of bringing guests an experience like no other, we pride ourselves on being the pioneer of Napa Valley wine experiences,” says Peter Jr. and Marc Mondavi, co-proprietors of the winery. “Today, five generations later, our family legacy continues as stewards of this historic estate, the ultimate wine country destination.”

Redwood Cellar Interior


From Hollywood’s Golden Age to modern interpretations, a single image remains ICONIC.

Chances are, when you hear the name Marilyn Monroe, the first thing that comes to mind is that ICONIC photo, a radiant Monroe standing over a New York City subway grate, her white dress billowing upwards with playful ripples as a gust of wind blows beneath her.

This seemingly innocuous moment, captured by Sam Shaw on a September night in 1954, transcended its film set origins to become a cultural touchstone, sparking endless interpretations and debates.

While often mistaken for a candid capture during the filming of “The Seven Year Itch,” the image was, in fact, a carefully orchestrated publicity stunt. Director Billy Wilder staged the shot, eager to titillate audiences for the film’s premise. And titillate it did.

But the photo’s power goes beyond its calculated beauty. It taps into a primal fascination with femininity and its expression through fashion. The white dress, reminiscent of a 19th-century maiden caught in a breeze, evokes a sense of innocence and desire. Monroe’s infectious laughter further amplifies this duality, suggesting a woman both carefree and aware of the impact she creates.

The photo has been endlessly reinterpreted, appearing in advertisements, music videos and even fine art. Each new iteration reflects the evolving cultural landscape and an ever-shifting perception of Monroe.

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