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IRIS COVET BOOK
FROM THE PUBLISHER & EDITOR:
On a recent trip to Mexico, I was lounging poolside at the Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort and I realized how lucky I was to be able to travel there and enjoy all of the amenities and beauty of the area. Traveling has really become a passion of mine. I will be in Spain, France, and Italy for most of August, luxuriating in the wine countries and relaxing in between meetings. For my recent birthday I spent a week in New York City shopping and going to my favorite restaurants with some of my closest friends. Whether it is for work or for pleasure I relish the sensation of going someplace far away and remembering all of the memories of my last trip there, or enjoying new memories I have yet to make. I am truly delighted to present this issue, our very special Travel Issue, because the team at Iris Covet Book has presented some of the best international artists, fine hotels and restaurants, and essential accessories and beauty products for every travel need. As a working woman, I am constantly bombarded with social events, meetings, and other stressful and demanding tasks on my schedule, so when I am given the chance to hop on a jet and go to Mexico, Paris, or Los Angeles I pack my bags and go. I hope that you too will be inspired to get off your computer, call up your boss to request some time off, and book a trip to your dream destination, wherever it may be. Just don’t forget to pack this issue of Iris Covet Book to read on the flight! Irma Brindis, Publisher After we wrapped up our last issue, we were not entirely sure how to follow it up thanks to the amazing shoot we had with living-legend and supermodel, Pat Cleveland. However, I am happy to say that this issue has many exciting stories, interviews, and photoshoots to shed some light on new summer styles and finish off the season with a bang. Iris Covet Book had the amazing opportunity to interview iconic makeup artist François Nars about his life, career, and new boutique opening in Houston, as well as the equally legendary hair styling guru Garren who along with many other integral beauty moments in his career, transformed Madonna for her infamous SEX book. An appreciation for the history of culture and glamour is a constant source of inspiration for us at Iris Covet Book, so we felt it was important to pay tribute to the mythic figure of Muhammad Ali in the wake of his passing. While celebrating the iconic accomplishments and life’s work of such forebearers and pioneers, Iris Covet Book also understands the need for the emerging, for without them there really is no future for fashion or the arts. I’m delighted to present fifteen year old Oklahoma native cover star Eliza Sowle, an on-the-rise model with angelic features and surprising star presence, who was photographed by legendary photographer, Thom Jackson. Along with Eliza, we are excited to present the girls of the Houston Ballet who possess unequaled grace, poise, and charm. Whether you’re off to a faraway, exotic escape or “staycationing” closer to home, set sail into summer with the latest issue of Iris Covet Book. Marc Sifuentes, Editor-In-Chief Instagram@marc.sifuentes
FROM THE PUBLISHER & EDITOR
Nancy Gonzalez Crocodile Small Trolley/Roll Aboard Suitcase After rows and rows of black suitcases, duffels, and knapsacks roll past you in the airport, no one will mistake you for the average traveler with this sky blue luxury trolley. Nancy Gonzalez designs are modern but classical and luxurious. Featuring exotic skins, along with rare and unique materials, her bold and colorful handbags stand out from the rest. Made from the finest Caiman Crocodile skins, a signature of Nancy Gonzalez design and quality, and four multidirectional wheels, large slip pocket on front, two comfortable carry handles and one expandable handle- this piece of high-end craftsmanship will fit into every travel need. Nancy Gonzalez Crocodile Small Trolley is available at neimanmarcus.com, $7,750.00
Irma Brindis EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/FASHION DIRECTOR
Marc Sifuentes firstname.lastname@example.org
CREATIVE DIRECTOR/PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR
Louis Liu email@example.com
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER
NEW YORK SALES DIRECTOR
MIAMI SALES DIRECTOR
CONTRIBUTORS / SPECIAL THANKS WRITERS: MIGUEL FIGUEROA, PAULINE GOODWIN-SNYDER, LOUIS LIU, DUSTIN MANSYUR, BENJAMIN PRICE, MARC SIFUENTES. PHOTOGRAPHERS: CHRIS BROWN, THOM JACKSON, DUSTIN MANSYUR, RODOLFO MICHEL, DANIEL ORTIZ, ANGÉLICA VÉLEZ. ADDITIONAL EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS: EMILY BAILEY, CLAIRE CASNER, TAREK EL-BJEIRMI, RHYS KOSAKOWSKI, CHAD LANDRY, SAMANTHA LANDIS, MAKEUPBYDIEGO, KEI MEGURO, JORDAN NAN, GARY PARSON, TONYA RINER, CHERYLL SMITH, ELLIOT SNEDDEN, JONATHAN STAFFORD. SPECIAL THANKS TO : GABBY FISCHER @ABRAMS, MICHAEL VAN HORNE @ ART & COMMERCE, KATHERINE BROOKS @BOLLARE, KRISTINE KEELEY @COUSINE ISLAND, SHANNON SMITH @ CLARK COOPER CONCEPTS, LINDSEY MURRELL @THE DRAGONFLY AGENCY, JERROD ROBERTS @GARREN, RHYS KOSAKOWSKI @HOUSTON BALLET, MARTINO ACAMPORA@J.K. PLACE, EVAN ROME @KARLA OTTO, JANICE GAMLIN @KIM DAWSON, MAURICIO BARRETO @LOPEZ NEGRETE, SANDRA ARROYO @LOPEZ NEGRETE, LAINE LIEBERMAN @MFAH, MEGAN MARSANICOBYRNE @NARS, HILLARY STRONGER @NEIMAN MARCUS, LAURA NEIMAN @NEIMAN MARCUS, WENDY SEGAL @NEIMAN MARCUS, STACEY SWIFT @NEIMAN MARCUS, MARK SULLIVAN @ON THE MARK, AMANDA CALDERON@ON THE MARK, KATHRYN WORSHAM @ON THE MARK, BRITTANY MEISNER @ON THE MARK, JENNIFER LOGAN @PISCO PORTÓN, EMILY SHEFFIELD HANDLY @PR BOUTIQUE, JOSHUA FISCHER @RICE GALLERY, SAMANTHA PAZ @SAKS, TIJUANA HARVEY @ SAKS, ELAINE MOOCK @SEAMINX, SUNNI SMYTH @SEAMINX , AUBREY MAYO @SEAMINX, ELEANOR ADAMS @SERLIN ASSOCIATES, TINA LIVERAS @SERLIN ASSOCIATES, SHANNON HALL @ SLOAN HALL, KRISTYN CLARK @SOUL CYCLE, BECKY KATZ @SOUL CYCLE, ZOE KASISKE @SOUL CYCLE, BARBARA MARI @ST JUDE, CHAD BUSCHELL @ST JUDE, WANDA BRILL @ST JUDE, LINA BEY @ STEVEN MEISEL STUDIO, ASHTON DO @STEVEN MEISEL STUDIO, JULIE CONSTANTINE @TASCHEN, FADY ARMANIOUS @TOOTSIES, VICO PUENTES @TOMO MAGS, KEVIN CHONG @TOMO MAGS, MAUREEN DALTON WOLFE @THE PHOTO DIVISION, RACHEL EBERSOLE @THE PR BOUTIQUE,KAREN HENRY @THE PR BOUTIQUE, EMILY HANLEY @THE PR BOUTIQUE, MEGAN MALANIO @WALLFLOWER MANAGEMENT,
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IRIS COVET BOOK
COOL FOR THE SUMMER Youthful rebellion and coquettish looks make for a boyish beauty that will bring out the flair for southern style and casual elegance of this summer’s trends.
COLORS OF THE WIND Bold prints and dashes of color make for fun summer days, and even better summer nights. Explore the world, be young and free, enjoy the technicolor of life in the sun.
COVERS COOL FOR THE SUMMER Photography by Thom Jackson. Model Eliza @ Wallflower Management. Vintage Suede Cowboy Hat, from Dolly Python. Gold/ Bronze Sequence Tank by Tom Ford, available at Neiman Marcus.
COOL FOR THE SUMMER OUTTAKE: Photography by Thom Jackson Studded Leather Jacket and Star-print Tie-neck Blouse by Valentino, both available at Neiman Marcus.
FROM THE PUBLISHER & EDITOR
COVET BOOK FAVORITES
Photography by Thom Jackson. Model Eliza @ Wallflower Management. Studded Denim Jacket by Saint Laurent Paris, available at Neiman Marcus.
DAVID DOWNTON Premier fashion illustratrator shares his thoughts on the industry, his favorite clients, and what he see’s for the future of the artform.
IRIS FAMILY 28
COOL FOR THE SUMMER
COOL FOR THE SUMMER
#LOVEISLOVE Photography by Thom Jackson. Model Eliza @ Wallflower Management. Necklace by Lanvin, available at Tootsie's.
Founder and creative director of his namesake brand gives details of his early beginnings and how his company became a household name. A genius of the hairstyling world who as transformed our modern beauty, we discover how the icon has created his gloriously coiffed empire.
IRIS SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT
BACK PAGE Q&A
COLORS OF THE WIND
Street artist with a pension for floral prints Micheal De Feo, transforms glossy corporate ad campaigns into graffitied works of fine art.
COLORS OF THE WIND
Photography by Thom Jackson. Models: Bridget and Abby B. @ Wallflower Management Edward H. @ The Dragonfly Agency. On Bridget, Dress by Valentino, On Abby B. Dress By Marni, both available at Neiman Marcus.
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IRIS COVET BOOK
MOST COVETED TRAVELING EVERY CORNER OF THE WORLD, WE HAVE SOUGHT OUT TO COMPILE A COLLECTION OF BEAUTIFUL ACCESSORIES, JEWELRY, AND EPHEMERA TO ACCOMPANY YOU ON YOUR SUMMER TRIPS ACROSS THE GLOBE. WE AT IRIS COVET BOOK SEEK TO PROVIDE THE MOST INTERESTING, FUN, CREATIVE, AND EXCITING OBJECTS AND IDEAS FOR YOUR JET SET STYLE. WITH A NANCY GONZALEZ CROCODILE TROLLEY, WHEEL YOUR WAY ONTO THE JET WITH UNIQUE ELEGANCE, MAKE SURE YOUR FLIGHT IS ON TIME WITH AN 18K WHITE GOLD ROLEX, AND THEN ONCE YOU LAND TOSS YOUR KINDLE AND SLEEPING MASK INTO AN HL JAMES ALLIGATOR AND CALF SKIN BACKPACK. THEREâ€™S NO REASON TO WEAR SWEATPANTS AND FLATS THROUGH AIRPORT SECURITY, BECAUSE THE OLD WAYS OF TRAVEL DRESSING ARE BACK AND LOOKING CHICER THAN EVER. PACK YOUR BAGS AND TOUR THE SEVEN CONTINENTS OF FASHION, CULTURE, AND TIMELESS STYLE.
IRIS COVET BOOK
SHOES ROGER VIVIER LASSO PEARLY ANKLE-WRAP SANDAL The lasso is a true Texas classic for a reason, and Roger Vivier honors the southern icon with this beautiful sandal. Crafted from the finest metallic leather and silk satin, this sandal is perfect for the summer heat without sacrificing glamour. With the luxury of pearls, silver, and silk, these sandals elevate a look as serious as a black Tom Ford evening gown, or as casual as a Marc Jacobs t-shirt and Rag and Bone jeans. $3,350, available at neimanmarcus.com
NM ESTATE JEWELRY COLLECTION
Neiman Marcus has provided a fabulous service that gives us the ability to go back in time to enjoy the opulence of generations gone by. Some may say the Edwardian and Art Deco periods were some of the most important periods of jewelry, and these rings are a perfect example of the delicate and ethereal designs that characterise the rejection of previously machine-made, quasi innovative design during the Industrial Revolution. The classical patterns, beautiful stone quality, and attention to detail make these rings gorgeous, unique, rare, and exclusively offered by one of the best retailers in the world who only promises the highest quality. $15,250- 112,500, available exclusively at neimanmarcus.com.
WATCH NM WATCH COLLECTION BY CROWN & CALIBER CLASSIC ROLEX LADIES' PEARLMASTER DIAMOND WATCH
Crown & Caliber has been deemed the dominant buyer and distributor for vintage luxury timepieces. Exclusively for the Neiman Marcus customer, this watch has been hand selected by Neiman Marcus from Crown & Caliber's expansive vault. Crown & Caliber offers only the highest quality timepieces, each watch undergoing a thorough 45-point authentication and inspection process by its certified watchmakers. This stunning piece of painstaking craftsmanship is a wonder, even in regards to the storied Rolex name. Surrounded by a ring of diamonds and encased in an 18-karat white gold shell, this timepiece is a notch above the rest and due to the fact that this is a vintage piece, it is also very unique. If you are thinking of purchasing remember, many of these pieces are one of a kind, so be one of the few to get your hands on these exclusive luxury watches. $28,575.00, available at neimanmarcus.com
IRIS COVET BOOK
BRACELET IPPOLITA PERSONALIZABLE 18K GOLD SENSOâ„˘ WIDE ORGANIC CUFF BRACELET World renowned jeweler Ippolita is known for creating effortlessly chic jewelry since her successful 18-karat gold collection in 1999. She combines the decadence of her Italian heritage with a modern flair in order to bring her fans of celebrities and aristocrats the unique designs of her handcrafted jewelry. This simple and absolutely stunning cuff is made with the Ippolita signature hand hammered touch which makes the bracelet appear as if the bracelet was melted and forged around your arm in an elegant curve. Without being gauche or ostentatious, impress the crowd with this simple and understated piece of luxurious, personalizable 18 karat gold. $25,000.0, available at neimanmarcus.com.
GUCCI BAMBOO CLASSIC SMALL CROCODILE BAG
Luxury, art, and personality. These are the defining qualities of the Gucci girl and this bag perfectly embodies the unique style and ode to vintage fashion that Alessandro Michele has become known for. Made from emerald green crocodile skins, light pink leather lining, hand painted edges, and bamboo top handle and closure, this accessory is a luxurious nouveau classic. An idiosyncratic, intellectual, and individualistic woman would be remiss without this beautiful piece of exotic leather workmanship by her side. $24,000, available at Neiman Marcus.
BACKPACK HL JAMES ALLIGATOR & CALFSKIN BACKPACK The perfect fit for any city dweller with a taste for the exotic, this utilitarian backpack is a much chicer alternative to its nylon counterparts. Made from the finest skins available, HL James strives to produce the best quality products while also delivering functional, elegant, and minimalist style. Any man who appreciates fine leather goods and exotic skins will realize the impeccable craftsmanship of this backpack and timeless style provided by it. As alligators glide their way through the muddy waters of bayou swamps in an attempt to climb to the top of the food chain, so will you embody that same speed, power, and ferocity with your scaly skinned friend on your back to climb the ladders of success in the city. $29,500, available at saks.com.
IRIS COVET BOOK
BOLD, GRAPHIC AND VISUALLY IMPACTFUL A DIVERSE GLIMPSE INTO THE WORLDS AND PERSONALITIES OF FASHION, BEAUTY, TRAVEL, CULTURE, AND ART.
AVAILABLE IN PRINT AND DIGITAL NEW YORK · MIAMI · HOUSTON · LOS ANGELES · MEXICO CITY · MADRID IRISCOVETBOOK.COM
IRIS COVET BOOK
GOAT Champ's Edition: Hardcover in clamshell box with 4 prints and Jeff Koons sculpture "Radial Champs”, Copyright: GOAT / TASCHEN
C CO O VV EE TT BB O OO O KK FF A A VV O O RR II TT EE SS
CLÉ DE PEAU BEAUTÉ – LA CRÈME Sun damage, rough sand, and abrasive salt water can really do a number on one’s skin, but Clé de Peau Beauté brings luxury, instant moisturization, and a rich texture infused with silk and pearl minerals. The top of the line ingredients which have been cultivated and refined by top scientists in France has given this life-saving salve the ability to go the extra mile in skin plumping and anti-aging rejuvenation. This overnight cream diminishes the look of fine lines and gives skin a firmer, more resilient appearance. Le Creme reduces visible sagging, minimizes dark spots, and brightens the overall appearance of your skin. This wonder cream gives off a deep elegant fragrance of rose and rare orchid which will bring you even further to paradise. Out of all of the dozens of creams, balms, toners, etc that we collect and depend on for their beauty promising attributes, La Creme stands alone in luxury and ability to work in every layer of the skin for the ultimate agedefiance and correction. $535.00- 795.00, available at Saks.com.
YEPREM 18K WHITE GOLD DIAMOND HAND PIECE Yeprem Chakardemian was inspired by a golden bracelet bestowed by his mother, intended to provide him and his family a brighter future. Lebanese born Chakardemian used the inspiration to establish his own jewellry label and give women around the world sculptural works of art. Founded in Beirut, Lebanon in 1964, Yeprem is internationally renowned as one of the most innovative brands in the realm of jewellery design. This angelic cuff gracefully wraps around the arm like a glimmering vine, and stays true to the jewelry atelier’s truest values to be “innovative, revolutionary, unique, and different”. The perfect accessory to accompany any woman looking to make a statement that is subtle, yet compliments her sun-kissed skin. $22,200.00, available at neimanmarcus.com.
GOAT. CHAMP’S EDITION Greatest of All Time. Muhammad Ali has passed away, but we will always remember that he was truly the greatest boxer of all time and an icon of athleticism, masculinity, and black pride. Taschen has further immortalized the legend of a man by creating this fantastic tribute to him and all of his accomplishments. Like Ali himself, this book wields the power, courage, depth, creativity, and dazzling energy of its extraordinary subject. 792 pages contain a plethora of photographs, art, memorabilia, original essays, interviews dating back five decades, and many other wonders that make up this epic collectible that pays due tribute to The Greatest. Included with this unprecedented publication comes four gelatin silver prints signed by photographer Howard L. Bingham and Muhammad Ali, the sculpture Radial Champs by Jeff Koons, and many other surprises. This is not only for sports enthusiasts, but is in itself an art piece, historical record of an icon, social justice advocate, and peace warrior, and it is part of the tapestry of American history. Champ’s Edition, 1,000 copies, $15,000, available at Taschen.com.
IRIS COVET BOOK
FENDI TO-GO When packing for any trip, the key to reducing stress while traveling is packing lightly. Gone are the days of multiple suitcases and trunks and carry-ons, now you have to run from airport to hotel to meeting to dinner etc, etc. Anyone traveling knows that the perfect bag to take on a plane is the backpack. Small, easily transportable, utilitarian, and hands-free: the Mixed-Fur Geometric Monster Backpack is not only stylish and cool, but incredibly useful. Unlike the more traditional “monster” styles, this patchwork knapsack is unique with several types of fur sourced from Finland and Italy which have been custom dyed and pastiched in an intricate and stunning design. Pack your laptop, Tom Ford makeup travel kit, moisturizer, and sleep mask for the long trip and you’re ready to go! $3,850, available at neimanmarcus.com.
SHADES OF PARADISE After working for one of the oldest and most renowned London optician shops, Karin-Karlson began her own sunglass business after being inspired by a fabulous pair her friend owned. Now, Anna designs these and much more fantastic glasses for you to travel in style. Whether lounging by the pool, or shading your eyes from the glare of sunlight radiating into your airplane cabin, these sunglasses suit all jetset women of style. Equipped with marquis rhinestones, metal detailing, and highgrade acetate frames, every onlooker from Ibiza to the Galapagos Islands will be stunned by the dazzling flare of these shades. $815.00-1,930.00, available at neimanmarcus.com.
BEACHES BY GRAY MALIN In the realms of fashion and Hollywood, Gray Malin is the artist of the moment. His breath-taking aerial photographs of the world’s beautiful beaches are shot from doorless helicopters, creating awe inspiring images of light, shape, and perspective, and bliss. Gray combines the spirit of travel, adventure, luxury, and artistry to forge synergy between wanderlust and adventure. Malin gives us a visual escape on our coffee table thanks to his eponymous lifestyle brand and a deep passion for photography. Beaches showcases the beauty of Sydney, Miami, Kaua’i, Capri, Rimini, Forte dei Marmi, Viareggio, and many other fabulous oceanside destinations to put on your vacation wish list. $40, available at Barnes & Noble. www.graymalin.com ©graymalin Opposite Page: Top Image: Neon Umbrellas ©Gray Malin Bottom Image: Coogee Wave ©Gray Malin Following Spread: Ipanema Beach Umbrellas ©Gray Malin
COVET BOOK FAVORITES
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A conversation with the
IRIS WOMAN STEPHANIE VON STEIN On the outside she may appear to be the fashion powerhouse career woman and tireless single mother of three. But as a domestic abuse survivor who has used her voice to share her story and empower others, stephanie von stein proves she is a force to be reckoned with. Photography and Interview by Dustin Mansyur Styling by Marc Sifuentes | Art Direction by Louis Liu Hair and Makeup by Tarek El-bjeirmi @ Cerón Hair Studio Can you tell us how you became interested in working on the administrative side of fashion? My mother had stores when I was growing up and I enjoyed working alongside her and learning the business. When I was in college I worked for a woman whose husband co-founded an international franchised chain of restaurants. I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and relationship building through her and spending time with her family. I worked on a lot of fashion shows and because I loved fashion so much it really didn’t seem like a job to me at all!
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of your job? Travelling away from my children is the most challenging part. When I worked as a regional manager I had nine stores in the USA and had to travel internationally every few months. I soon pursued a different career which would keep me home with my family. They mean the absolute world to me.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to pursue the business side of fashion? I would tell someone to find a mentor in the fashion business and offer to be an intern or a paid assistant on some level. Be ready to work and be humble. Do any job they ask. If you have a great personality and are willing to work you will be successful.
Can you tell us about some of your charitable causes and which one’s do you feel the most connected to? I worked with crimestoppers last year talking with women about domestic violence. I was invited to be on a panel which included representatives from the police, district attorney’s office, and women victim’s advocate groups. This is my passion to help people who
are caught in the cycle of domestic violence and show that it can happen in any socioeconomic group.
You have turned your experience as a domestic abuse survivor into something that has been able to empower women. Can you talk about what motivated you to speak out for the greater good? I spent a long time being very humiliated and embarrassed about my personal situation and what had happened to me. I blamed myself for not seeing the signs and getting out sooner. When the man I loved called me names, screamed at me, said I was fat, ugly, stupid over and over again I started to believe it. When the person I loved hit me, pushed me around, and then blamed me for his behavior, I began to think I deserved it. I realized that by hiding this situation I wasn’t helping anyone or myself. Once I began talking with other victims and survivors I realized I could help them as much as myself. I have finally felt I wasn’t alone and many women come to me even privately now for assistance and guidance on the cycle of violence.
Can you explain what some common reasons domestic abuse victims continue in abusive relationships? I loved my abuser and kept thinking if I could get him help he would be ok. He would desperately apologize and beg me to stay and tell me how much he loved me. Then the abuse would start again after a period of calm. I wanted to keep our family together and had a newborn baby at the time. No time is ever a good time to destroy your family life. But one minute everything was fine and then something would trigger him and the abuse would start all over again.
Have you ever experienced any stigmatization or victim-shaming in or around your circle of friends? People do not like to talk about domestic violence. People tend to stick their heads in the sand and don’t want to think this happens to their friends and neighbors. It’s the elephant in the room. Most people have been very supportive of me and have shared their experiences too. I have been very blessed in this regard.
What are practical ways that those close to a victim can offer support? Listen to them and believe them when they tell you what happened. It took me a very long time to ever discuss what had happened or go to the police. Often times, abuse victims don’t want to leave because of the financial stability their partner or spouse provides because they may not have an income of their own. Sometimes they are also threatened by the abuser that they will be killed or that their family will be harmed if they leave. In Houston, AVDA is a great resource because they have attorneys who can assist with filing restraining orders. Be strong for them and contact the hotline for domestic violence: 1-800-787-3224. This hotline is especially helpful because it will give you the names of resources that can provide practical assistance such as housing, legal, and financial advice. It will also aid you in coming up with an emergency safety plan.
What are some of the methods that you use to engage and empower women? I try to tell women and friends to remember how smart and beautiful they are. Remember to use your voice even if you think it has been lost. I also encourage women to find an outlet to read about domestic violence, narcissistic abuse, and the domestic violence cycle so they can recognize the signs in dating and marriage. This will help prevent them from getting caught again with someone with those tendencies.
What makes you feel confident & powerful? When my children tell me how much they love me and are proud of me. There is no greater confidence and power boost to me than having a happy and peaceful home.
Abuse is never a one time event. Learn more about the Violence Wheel: domesticviolence.org/violence-wheel/
Stephanie Von Stein Shot at her Houston residence. Dress by Ralph Lauren. Hair using Orbie products, Makeup using Tom Ford and Hour Glass products.
Mariana Valdes Debes photographed with her dog at her home in Houston, TX. Dress by Helmut Lang, Shoes by Marni, Earrings by Cartier. Behind her, Painting by Rodolfo Morales and Sculpture by Javier MarĂn
IRIS COVET BOOK
A conversation with the
IRIS MAN ALEX LÓPEZ NEGRETE Small beginnings lead to great things and Alex López Negrete, co-founder and CEO of López Negrete Communications, Inc. has proven just that. With his finger on the pulse of the Latino community, Mr. Negrete has led his clients to successfully connect with the Hispanic consumer-a super buying force in the U.S. economy. It was a privilege for us to learn more about his agency and expertise in Hispanic marketing. Photography by Rodolfo Michel Styling by Marc Sifuentes | Art Direction by Louis Liu Interview by Pauline Snyder-Goodwin Can you tell us about the early beginnings of the López Negrete agency and how it became the empire it is today? My wife Cathy and I opened in 1985, in the foyer of our little townhome in Alief, Texas – with a dream of building an agency dedicated to marketing to the burgeoning Hispanic community in the U.S., an agency that would create work that was culturally relevant, respectful and effective. The truth is that it takes a unique combination of perseverance, stubbornness, dedication, and vision to go from one pitch to another, winning and keeping each client as you go through the years. It’s been a wonderful journey – and we’re far from done.
What is your favorite part of being CEO of your own advertising agency? What is the most challenging? There’s nothing quite like leading a large number of talented and creative people in a day and age where it’s all about creativity and innovation. To see your work and that of your teams get published and create great results for your clients is one of the most thrilling experiences I can describe. And, to do that, consistently for three decades is very fulfilling. Cathy and I are a different breed of CEO and COO. We’re in the business, in the trenches, in the work, every day. I don’t know how else to do it. To be sure, there is pain and there are sacrifices – at least there are if you are truly dedicated to your business, your people and your clients. The hours are long – and the risks are high. But then, again, nothing truly worth doing is easy or without risk, is it? I’m glad we chose the road we chose.
How vital is the Hispanic consumer in this country? Tremendously so. Latinos are one of the key drivers of the American economy and that is undeniable. Just think: This is a population of 55 million people, growing to 100 million people. It is essential to the American future. It is already making a major contribution in many areas of American life, from religion to politics to entrepreneurship and to corporate business and as consumers. There’s about a trillion-and-a-half dollars of spend by Latinos in this country today, growing at $80 billion to $90 billion per year. On top that, over the last decade, 51 percent of all new home mortgages taken out in the United States of America have been taken out by Latino families. When you look at entrepreneurship, in the last half-decade, 86 percent of all new business formations in the United States shows that Latinos were creating 86 percent of all new business formations. Without Latinos in the mix, we as a nation would have had net negative business formations.
America's Latino community is composed of Hispanics from many parts of the world all having their own unique tastes and customs from one another. How does your agency tailor its marketing efforts from one Hispanic culture to another? This is a big and deep question. We have to realize that, over time, what has happened is the creation of a very unique U.S. Hispanic Identity that is unique and different to the identity of other Latin American countries. The U.S. is where all Latino roads meet. This is the only market where you have
people from Mexico, Salvador, Nicaragua, Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Colombia, Puerto Rico…(and so on), meet, work, live and create together. That does not happen anywhere else in the world – and in the United States that has been happening for decades upon decades. And, as a result, we have a very unique Latino identity that is as diverse, deep and nuanced as we are.
What charitable causes are you currently involved in? We are consistently involved with the Advertising Education Foundation Houston, Purple Songs Can Fly (Texas Children’s Hospital Oncology), Houston Food Bank, and many others, either through individual donations or an actual program. We’re very proud of the community involvement unit we have created inside the agency called “APOD” (Advertising Professionals On Duty). You see, we use the analogy that you cannot be a strong tree with big branches if you do not have deep roots – and as such, individually and collectively, we are very involved in the community. The number of schools, organizations and events we engage in is very large – and it’s an amazing thing to witness.
As a CEO and Hispanic marketing guru with a busy schedule, what do you do to disconnect? As an entrepreneur, I don’t know that you ever really do disconnect from your business. Nevertheless, music is one way that has been close to my heart since my youth. I’ve been playing guitar since the 4th grade. The other thing I absolutely love to do is to play with my 2 year-old granddaughter Mia. That’s become my favorite pastime!
What would you like your legacy to be? As an entrepreneur, a legacy that serves as an example that if you dream it, you can do it, as long as you are willing to work for it and put everything on the line for it. Every day. As a marketer, a legacy that leaves undeniable evidence that the Hispanic consumer is an undeniable source of growth for marketers in this country who have the courage and open-mindedness to pursue it on a consistent, dedicated basis and are willing to invest in the opportunity accordingly.
To find out more, visit LopezNegrete.com
Alex Lรณpez Negrete shot at the offices of Lรณpez Negrete. Suit and Tie by Billy Reid, Custom Shirt by Sid Washburn, Vintage Coral and Gold Buddha Cufflinks, Shoes by Donald J. Pliner and Vintage Patek Phillipe Watch.
Dr. Ted Voloyiannis photographed at his home in Houston, TX. Jacket by Bogosse, Shirt by Hugo Boss, Pants by Gucci, Watch by Rolex Submariner, Necklace: Ancient Roman coin mint in Jerusalem.
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Chae, Bridget, Alyssa, Natalie, Mackenzie.
Willowy and sinuous, the girls from the Houston Balletâ€™s corps de ballet embody the spirited-diversity & beauty of todayâ€™s youth culture. Standing poised to propel their art form for a new generation, these prima ballerinas are our new favorite muses. Photography by Dustin Mansyur Styling by Marc Sifuentes Art Direction by Louis Liu Hair & Makeup by Tonya Riner Interview by Marc Sifuentes
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From Left To Right: Alyssa Springer, From Orange County, California Instagram @alyssa__springer What's your favorite part of being in the Houston Ballet? At Houston Ballet, we have the opportunity to perform many different types of pieces. It's so rewarding to tackle everything from full length classical ballets, to contemporary pieces, to world premieres from leading choreographers. Mackenzie Richter, From a small town near Atlanta, Georgia. Instagram @mackenzierichter.ballet What's the best advice you've ever received? My grandma told me that "You'll never work a day in your life if you're doing what you love." She told me to think about this when I was most exhausted. It has always helped me keep going because it's true. Natalie Varnum, From Dothan, Alabama. Instagram @natisacoolkid What advice would you give young students that want to join a ballet company? Don't be scared and just go for it. I look back and think of how nervous I was to be in a room surrounded by so many talented people. You've just got to put yourself out there and trust yourself! Bridget Kuhns, From Bellville, Ohio. Instagram @Bridgek320 What's your favorite ballet and where did you see it? Romeo and Juliet. The first time I saw it was on a VHS tape at home when I was very young and I instantly fell in love. Chae Eun Yang, From Seoul, Korea. Instagram @chaechae91 What dancers do you admire and why? Alina Cojocaru and Marianela Núñez. I adore how delicate, elegant and extremely controlled they are when they dance. Casting by Rhys Kosakowski, Production by XTheStudio
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This Howard Bingham print, Ali vs Liston II, 1965, is one of four gelatin silver prints that come with the GOAT Champâ€™s Edition. Each print is signed by Howard Bingham and Muhammad Ali. Copyright: Howard Bingham, GOAT / TASCHEN
Copyright: Neil Leifer, GOAT / TASCHEN Photo 1966
MUHAMMAD ALI Muhammad Ali is an icon and a legend. After decades of fighting all-stars in the ring, racial oppression outside of it, and national injustices along the way, Ali has become emblazoned in the tapestry of American culture as “The Greatest of All Time”.
influential black men in the world, protested the war in Vietnam and its injustices, and would go on to start the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center after he was diagnosed with the degenerative disorder.
hen Cassius Clay was twelve years old he experienced his first personal injustice when his bike was stolen, and from that day on he spent his formative years training to fend for himself and prevent further injustices which would become a theme in his life’s work. After years of training and hard work and dedication, Muhammad Ali won his first Olympic Gold Medal at the age of eighteen shortly after his high school graduation. His boisterous personality and larger-than-life spirit bolstered his name and image at the Olympic games and then later into international fame. The future three-time Heavyweight World Champion was not only interested in training and sore muscles, but in Ali’s own words, “boxing was just a means to introduce me to the world,” and soon the man became an international sensation and the posterboy for American strength, pride, and prowess. Throughout the rest of Muhammad’s life he fought for racial equality as one of the most
Pictured above: A dramatic and perfect overhead shot by Neil Leifer, generally regarded as one of the greatest sporting images of all time, featuring the prostrate form of Cleveland Williams and in high contrast, Ali in victory pose, during a knockdown in their 1966 title fight. Leifer captured the shot at the Houston Astrodome from 80 feet above the ring. With equally unique good fortune, he then activated the remote control camera at the perfect moment. Leifer himself regards this as his favorite photograph from a 40 year professional career. Greatest Of All Time: A Tribute To Muhammad Ali available at Taschen.
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F E AT U R E
Opposite Page: Valentino Haute Couture, 2010
For the past two decades, world renowned illustrator David Downtown has painted, sketched, and re-imagined the most iconic garments, models, celebrities, and socialites. Now, we have been given a view into the beautifully colorful life of a humble artist of the rich and fabulous. Interview by Marc Sifuentes
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he fashion world has cherished fashion illustration as a high art form for centuries. We have all been in awe over the long and graceful graphite lines of flowing silk, shadows and tones of watercolor, or choppy textures of pastels or charcoal that perfectly create the mood of the garment while still looking effortless. One of the reigning kings of fashion illustration is undoubtedly David Downton, the London transplant has become a seminal figure in the realm of fashion illustration from his early work for couture designers and now to his appointment as the first ever fashion artist in residence at Claridge’s Hotel in London. However, his work transcends fashion illustration as he does not focus on the garments, but rather the personality behind them which has enabled him to garner an impressive client list within and without fashion that includes Chanel, Dior, Tiffany & Co., the Victoria & Albert Museum, Cate Blanchett, Dita Von Teese, Catherine Deneuve, Iman, Linda Evangelista, and Paloma Picasso. After one sees Downton’s work it is easy to see how he could have collected such a starstudded following. Here he tells us first hand how he became such a large figure in fashion illustration, his thoughts on the industry, his favorite clients, and where he thinks it is going with the advent of social media and the wide access we all have to fashion images and illustration.
What drew you to fashion and to sketching garments? I was sent to illustrate the haute couture collections twenty years ago on the whim of an art director I knew. In a sense, I never really left that first job. It was a baptism by fire. Prior to that, I hadn’t really thought about being a fashion illustrator. I suppose you could say fashion ‘happened’ to me, and I am very grateful it did.
Using brush strokes to create movement, and negative space, what do you find to be most important - the woman, garment, or the mood? I believe that you need all three working together. The Chinese say you need eye, hand, and heart to create a great drawing. I agree.
Your illustrations are so unique to a style that is all your own. How did you develop this signature style? It evolved gradually. I don’t really think of it as a style, more as a response to the subject. I think there is much too much focus on style, especially when you are starting out. Style isn’t something you pursue, it’s something that will find you, when you are ready.
You have said in interviews that your favorite subjects are the subjects that have great lines and body shapes could you name some favorites? Carmen Dell’Orefice, Erin O’Connor, Dita Von Teese, Iman, Anna Piaggi, Farida Khelfa. It’s a long list and I don’t want to be rude and leave anyone out. I am attracted to style and beauty, character and individuality. The person across the drawing board is the drawing.
Who would be one of your dream subjects? Past and present? From the past: Garbo, Ava Gardner, Josephine Baker, Edith Sitwell
What type of garments/designers inspire your work? I have always loved Christian Lacroix, Valentino, Dior, Schiaparelli: designers with art and artistry in their DNA. I have been lucky in that I have worked with some of the most extraordinary talents. My main job is to observe, absorb, and record what I see. I don’t create,I react.
Was there a person in your life who inspired you to become an artist? I had discovered my talent as an artist when I was very young and was encouraged to use it by my parents. I also realised early on that people who didn’t draw thought that what I did was magical and I suppose I just enjoyed the attention. From then on, other people always inspired and encouraged me to work on my skills and show off.
Today: Tilda Swinton, Grace Jones, Julianne Moore. Another long list and that’s without including men.
Who are some fashion illustrators that you admire and why? From the ‘Golden Age’, Gruau, Antonio, Vertès and Tom Keogh. Today: Stina Persson, Tina Berning, Bil Donovan, Richard Haines, Carlos Aponte, among others. All of them draw brilliantly and have a personal viewpoint as well as a strong sense of design and colour. They don’t rely on gimmicks or chase ‘likes’. Of course, the opinions that really matter come from your peers.
Which are your most memorable brand collaborations? I just worked on the poster and graphics for the opera La Traviata, in Rome. It was directed by Sofia Coppola and designed by Valentino which was a very exciting collaboration for me to be a part of. I have been drawing Valentino couture for 20 years now, and it continues to be a magical experience working with such skilled designers, artisans, and models. One of my other favorite jobs was when Chanel commissioned me to cover their Metiers d’art collection outside Edinburgh. Of course, I am always relishing my ongoing role as artist in residence at Claridge’s hotel in London, illustrating some of the most fabulous women in the world.
Opposite Page: photograph of David in his studio by Jacobus Snyman 2015. This Page: Erin Oâ€™Connor, Paris, 2002 Headdress by Stephen Jones for Dior Haute Couture 43
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This Page: Dita von Teese, Paris, 2008 Robe by Dior. Opposite Page: YSL 2016
Fashion never stops. You have to keep up and stay relevant. I always feel that every year, on the first of January you set the clock to zero and start again.
Where do you go to escape and relax? Where are your favorite destination spots? To really relax, I go to Ithaca, my favourite Greek Island. If it’s a mixture of work, relaxation and fun, L.A or Paris always inspire me. I love Venice in the winter, Rome anytime. I live in the countryside but am basically an urban dweller, so I usually head for cities.
Throughout your illustrious career, what has been the most rewarding part? The most rewarding part is undoubtedly the people you meet and work with along the way.
Fashion illustration has had a very long and beautiful place in fashion history, what do you think the future holds for the profession? I think it’s exciting that so many people want to take it up. Fashion illustration never ‘went away’ but now it is seen as a
Who was the first person to commission a piece from you? I did a book cover right after leaving Art College. It was a disaster.
What do you think of other artist that copy your style? It happens to everyone who achieves any level of success. At first, I’ll admit, it was a bit of a shock. I would hate to be the discount version of someone else (although of course I have my influences). Ultimately though, it is not my concern, there are too many other important things in the world to think about.
For you, what is the hardest part about being a fashion illustrator? Fashion never stops. You have to keep up and stay relevant. I always feel that every year, on the first of January you set the clock to zero and start again. I like to think that it’s a positive to reinvent myself and push my abilities so my clients stay happy, and I remain proud of my work.
How do you know when it’s time to stop working and declare your illustration as complete? You have to learn to listen to your ‘inner voice’. As a rule of thumb I stop a little before I want to and then revisit the drawing after a cooling down period. For me the worst drawings are the ones where I didn’t catch the moment and stop in time. It’s a very precise skill.
viable career and that is attracting a wide range of talent. That can only be good!
How do you think the fashion industry has changed over time? The biggest thing is the digital revolution and the need for fast fashion. Also couture has whittled down to half of what it used to be and that took a toll on many facets of the industry.
If you were not working in fashion illustration, what do you think you would be doing? I don’t have any other skills, so I’ve never really thought about it. That said, I am starting to write here and there and I am really enjoying it. I haven’t written anything properly since school, so I am starting all over again.
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Interview by Dustin Mansyur
Hailing two decades as a fashion and beauty industry tycoon, the artist who gave his die-hard fans their first “Orgasm” opens a new boutique in Houston’s affluential River Oaks District. 46
Franรงois Nars, Founder and Creative Director of NARS Cosmetics Image credit: Patrick Demarchelier
F E AT U R E
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rancois Nars is one of the biggest names in makeup and beauty, and has created a business with international acclaim and reverence which leaves us with one question: how? The makeup mogul who has helped push beauty boundaries and set new standards within the fashion industry is a true revolutionary. The French perfectionist has helped his fans the world over truly embrace their inner beauty by fluidly weaving his creative roles as a makeup artist, photographer, and creative director of Nars Cosmetics. Catapulting into success after moving to New York in 1984 at the encouragement of then Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, Polly Mellon, Francois’ work has infiltrated fashion and beauty media, gracing the pages of famed publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and Vogue with his advertising campaigns and editorial work. No stranger to the runway, Nars has also been the industry’s go-to artist for designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, & Anna Sui. Ten years after his relocation to New York, Nars launched his eponymous line (then a modest collection of 12 lipsticks) at Barney’s New York and was met with such demanding success, that he was moved to create a full line of cosmetics and skincare, for which he photographed it’s earliest campaigns. With the launch of his first book, X-Ray, a photo expose of fashion’s elite and celebrity portraits, Francois lifted the veil of his world; and allowed others to see his natural ability to connect with and capture the inner beauty he sees within all his brush or lens has met. Here we had a chance to discover how the multifaceted cosmetic king has successfully been making others shine for so long.
Growing up, was there a seminal moment that inspired you to become a makeup artist? I’m not sure if there was a single moment, but when I was quite young, I was obsessed with fashion. I was very lucky to have an extremely beautiful, glamorous and elegant mother, on which I was able to practice makeup. But in a funny way she never wore a lot of makeup. I think that’s where my love for natural looking, very light makeup came from, as much as I love extreme makeup in photographs… my mother gave me the appreciation for natural beauty.
When you first began doing makeup, what was the hardest thing about breaking into the industry? I had no connections, and the fashion world was a closed elite. My mother made appointments for herself with three top Parisian makeup artists and spoke highly about me - she was my first publicist! She was so beautiful and elegant that they must have figured that her son had taste, and one offered me a job as an assistant.
Isabella Rosselini, actress, photograph by François NARS, 2009, previously published in NARS 15X15. Image credit: Nars Cosmetics
What is the biggest change that you have seen happen within the beauty industry since you have entered it? There has been an incredible evolution of makeup. Women are learning and experimenting more. Magazines, professional artists, and of course the freedom of fashion are helping women to make fewer mistakes. I think NARS especially has pushed women to have fun while still keeping their look sophisticated.
Are there any photographers’ work or favorite photoshoots that influenced your desire to become a makeup artist? I started seeing Guy Bourdin’s work at a very young age, around when I was 10 or 11 years old. My mother use to always read French Vogue in the late 60’s early 70’s, and it was extremely creative, with works by fabulous photographers such as Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin. All those images woke me up to a certain sense of color, makeup and artistry. I didn’t know anything about photography at that time, but I had a very, very strong attraction to those images. It was around that time that I knew that world was something I wanted to be a part of and make mine. It was from that age to my graduation that I knew I wanted to become either a photographer or a makeup artist, either way; it definitely had to be in the fashion industry.
When did you decide to explore the photography side of your creativity? Was there any one person or event that gave you
the confidence to decide to start shooting your own Nars makeup campaigns? When I first launched NARS, we didn’t have the budget to hire somebody so I thought, ‘What the hell. Give me a camera.’ It wasn’t easy and took a lot of work and concentration, but I was used to working with so many photographers – Avedon, Penn, Newton, Meisel. And many times Meisel would invite me to look in the camera and that helped a lot.
Do you have a creative mentor that influenced your career path? There are so many icons that have inspired me. I had a huge crush and obsession with Yves Saint Laurent when I was younger. He's always been a huge inspiration for me when it comes to style and creativity, elegance and beauty. Actresses have always been so important to my creative inspiration process. Garbo and Dietrich were incredibly inspiring. I remember staying up very late at night when I was a kid watching those fabulous silent movies. I was already learning about makeup, light and style. And of course photographers. Man Ray is one of my favorites of all time.
Tell us about your favorite collaborations and why they were your favorite? Each collaboration is special, but Guy heavily influenced me in my career as a makeup artist and a photographer. I have paid tribute to him many times in the past. 2013 was the right time for us to do the collaboration, but it could have been five years ago or five years from today because his work will always be relevant.
Risks are important to take in art and business for the growth they bring about. How do you personally define risk? I am not afraid of risks, and I owe a lot of my success to risk-taking. I like to push boundaries. I like the idea of taking something that may be controversial and bringing it to a different level. I think it's a symbol of freedom to be able to push; it allows you to express yourself in any way you want. No matter what you do – fashion, art – any field, it’s so important to be as free as possible because that is where great things are created.
What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken (either creatively or in business)? Starting my own makeup line was certainly the biggest risk I’ve ever taken. It’s always very stressful when you start something new. You’re excited but
terrified at the same time because you never know what the public response is going to be. It was the hardest, but most rewarding and exciting thing I’ve ever done.
What has helped you to balance so many creative roles in your career? Do you feel they are all integrated (creative director, makeup artist, photographer)? It was when I started NARS that I picked up the camera professionally. I felt I didn’t want to be stuck just creating makeup, I needed more in my life, and I felt like I could do something else. I had worked with the best photographers in the world, Avedon, Penn, Meisel, all those big legends so it was like being schooled. I learned so much about photography over the 20 years of doing makeup; watching how they worked and watching the light,
watching the sensibility. I captured it very quickly. I was creating the makeup and then photographing it so it was very, very linked.
Is there one role that you prefer over the other? If so, what is it and why? I love makeup and I love photography. I couldn’t choose. So for now I’m here to inspire the NARS team, provide the vision and the creative direction for what I think the brand should be – a fun brand with great products.
Does the pace and demand of the industry ever prove a challenge in remaining creative and original? I’m always reinventing, never settling for the same thing. We are constantly moving and looking forward, we try not to create the same thing twice. It’s important to be open minded and fresh, never boring.
In previous interviews you have said that you cannot help but be nostalgic, what is it that you miss most about those “early days”? It feels like yesterday that I started NARS. For me, the concept of time is very abstract. There is a certain point in your life when you start losing track of time; I don’t calculate the years. I’ve hit the point in my life where I try not to look back; I look forward to the future. It’s been a great ride so far and I hope it continues.
NARS Fall 2011 campaign, model Mariacarla Boscono, photograph by François Nars. Image credit: Nars Cosmetics
You took a ten year break from doing makeup for the runway collections reemerging for the Marc Jacobs show in 2009. Why the long hiatus and why for the MJ show? Returning to fashion shows in 2009, I wanted to bring a new eye to beauty. The vision of makeup at New York fashion week at that time was very natural, subdued. Marc Jacobs was the perfect partner to help change that—the theme for his show was ‘New York by night in the 80s.’ Not only have we known each other since the beginning of our careers, but we lived through that era together, and were finally able to bring that energy back. We changed the mood by creating strong, bold, theatrical looks with a twist of night-clubbing.
You’ve always been known for your strong sense of color, not to mention the playful, bold, and coy color names. What color trends are happening at the moment? The palette of my new fall collection is soft and warm and the textures are either
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NARS 1996 campaign, model Alec Weck, photograph by Franรงois Nars. Image credit: Nars Cosmetics
NARS 1996 campaign, model Karen Park Goude, photograph by François Nars. Image credit: Nars Cosmetics
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Why did you decide to open in Houston and why now? There is a great energy in Houston, and I wanted to introduce a boutique where fans can experience the brand in a way that brings out the true spirit of NARS. It’s a home for makeup artists and fans to explore color and play with texture –to dream and be inspired.
Where do you like to go when you want to relax and recharge? I visited Le Pilat in the South of France this past summer for the first time. It has these amazing sand dunes which are very rare in that area. It’s a beautiful place and not very well-known, which I like. And of course, Bora Bora will always be a special place for me. I find so much inspiration when I’m there. There is beauty in everything.
NARS's first flagship boutique, 413 Bleecker Street, New York. Image credit: Dean Kaufman
shimmery and iridescent or totally matte. There’s a suede-like quality to the colors and textures that just felt very fresh and modern to me. The red lip balances out the softer shades on eyes and cheeks—and signals that this is fall.
French movies. I am inspired by many, many, different things - even the streets. I love traveling as well. I’m touched by many things when I create colors. I also like books that are related to the arts. And painters! Picasso and Matisse. And, opera…Verdi and Puccini.
What do you see for yourself in the future as an artist and creative person? What’s your next step? I never think too much about the future. I work a few months in advance because I have to, but for the most part, I take it day by day. I celebrate the past but live in the moment.
Are they inspired by anything specifically? The fall shades and campaign are “inspired by was Pam Grier in ‘70s films like Coffy and Foxy Brown. The characters she played in those movies were strong and assertive; and her look was tough, but at the same time never hard. Instead of a lot of color, her makeup was more natural. The campaign references those characters and that time period with the contouring on the cheeks and the more natural palette.
How do you continue to create new names for your colors? What things do you reference to come up with fun new names? I keep a little Hermes book that I write in 24 hours a day–even the middle of the night. It is important that that the colors have an identity and the names help give them that identity. It makes you dream a little bit.
How do you continue to create with fresh perspective after being in the beauty business for over two decades? Everything inspires me. I am inspired by beauty. It could be from nature, from music, fashion, books or movies. I love old Hollywood and old European films from the start of the film industry up through the 70’s. I also like Italian, American, and
Are there any projects that you’ve been working on that you are excited to share? I am currently working on new celebrity portrait book which is a follow up of my first book of photography, X-Ray.
New product releases?
Do you have any words of wisdom that have helped guide you to be the creative industry leader you are today? Try to be happy as often as possible. It’s a very simple motto but it’s not so easy to achieve. That’s what I try to do as much as I can.
I am very excited about the NARS holiday collection, which is a collaboration with Sarah Moon. Sarah is an amazing fashion photographer. Her love of fashion and beauty combined really create the stunning images she captures.
Tell us about the new store opening in Houston? What can visitors expect to find that might surprise them? Our boutiques are meant to be inviting. Clients should walk in and want to play – with the makeup, the objects on our book shelf – it’s a home for makeup artists and fans to explore color and texture. All of our boutiques have a bookshelf with objects that I’ve hand-selected – books from Richard Avedon, Paul Gaguin and Henry Miller and films from over the years (like Fellini’s La Dolce Vita!) – all the things that have and continue to inspire my work. They also rotate seasonally so our clients can always find something new.
Opposite page: Naomi Campbell, model, photograph by François Nars, 2009, previously published in NARS 15X15. Image credit: Nars Cosmetics
Garren Portrait by Michael Del Buono
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F E AT U R E
Interview by Dustin Mansyur
A genius of the hairstyling world who has transformed our modern beauty. Deemed the â€œstylist to the starsâ€?, we discover how the icon has created his gloriously coiffed empire.
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Vogue Italia December 2004 Photography by Steven Meisel, Model Karen Elson, Hair by Garren Makeup by Pat McGrath, Fashion Editor Edward Enninful.
e took Madonna to platinum for her cult photo book expose SEX; transformed Victoria Beckham’s infamous angled-bob of the Aughts into a pixie cut; and turned a pair of sunkissed girls, Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss, into pristine young women for the cover of Vogue. Fashion’s go-to hair guru has had a decadesspanning career, a lifetime achievement in an industry known for its volatile, fickle, and often cutthroat nature. In the process, he’s amassed an editorial and advertising portfolio that includes work created with every major photographer, stylist, supermodel, and celebrity that has worked within the last four decades to be exact. There is no denying that the visionary hairstylist known simply as Garren, is a creative force to be reckoned with. Still, for as much pageantry as his resume demands, especially in a world as excessive as fashion, it isn’t necessary. As we discovered, Garren’s humility, authenticity and talent are a rare blend for people of his caliber. With a salt-of-the-earth story telling ability and a natural gift to connect with others, it’s easy to understand why the living legend is still one of the industry’s leading mane magnates.
I first want to talk a little about your background, when did you know that you wanted to work in fashion? When I was 13 I was obsessed with Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. They were like my bible, my mother would buy them and I would go through each page. My mother was prematurely grey; every time she would go to the hair dresser they would do a skip wave like an old lady’s hair, I would tease her out and make her into a bouffant. Her friends started asking who did her hair and she would reply, “You wouldn’t believe if I tell you, it’s my son.” They thought it was my older brother, but before you know it, they all wanted to get their hair done. So I started going from house to house after school on Friday and Saturday. I would do three ladies on Friday and six ladies on Saturday.
This was at 13? Yes, in the 60’s. I was obsessed with Jackie O, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor – all the glamorous women. My father built a little salon for me in the basement where I did hair after school on Thursday and Friday, and all day Saturday too. My father and mother would make all the appointments so that every twenty minutes there was another lady coming to get washed, set, and cut. I used to look at magazines which used to have little booklets to show how Kenneth [Battelle] did the hair. It would have a picture and instructions of how you set or cut it. I kind of taught myself!
Onset with Audrey Hepburn, Steven Meisel, Kevyn Aucoin, and Garren for Vanity Fair Magazine, 1991. Photography by Steven Meisel. Hair by Garren. Makeup by Kevyn Aucoin. Styled by Marina Schiano.
That’s amazing and sounds like your parents were very supportive. Yes, there was no issue…until it was a big issue when I was in 10th grade. The student counselor at my high school called me for a meeting to talk about my goals and which college I wanted to attend. I told him that I wanted to go to the beauty school and he objected, “Men don’t go to beauty school.” Later, he called my father and I in for a meeting together. He told my father that he thought it was the wrong career path for me because he thought I couldn’t make money out of that or have a future. My dad was quiet for a moment... He stood up and said, “Mr. McDonald I understand your concern but my son has been doing hair since he was 13. He’s very good at it, and already making a good living at it; he will do this in the future, it’s going to give him a big future. This conversation is over and my son will go to beauty school. My son will be really successful so you better watch out for his name.” Then he walked out of the room! I went to beauty school and started doing hair right away in Buffalo in a big department store. It was there that I competed in my first hair show. Christiaan Houtenbos – he’s been in New York forever now – was one of the judges. At dinner, after the show, I asked him what I needed to do to get to New York and he gave me his information to contact him if I ever visited. When I went to visit, he introduced me to some people at Glenby,
which owned 1600 to 1800 salons around the world in major department stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales in New York. I met the people who owned the company, and they decided to appoint me as style director at a salon in the Boulevard Mall in Buffalo. They wouldn’t bring me to New York City right away – I had to prove myself first. After three years, I was ready for change, so I gave them an ultimatum and I ended up at a salon in Bergdorf Goodman. My husband ended up at Henri Bendel. We came together in the city in the end of ‘73. I guess we were at the right place at the right time. Within a year I was asked to go meet Polly Mellon and Irving Penn for Vogue, so I started doing Vogue. I was on a rollercoaster, I didn’t know how I had got there, but I knew it was a big deal! Polly took me to Paris. She asked me, “Do you realize what’s happening to you?” The truth was, I didn’t know at that time because I was having fun working and creating. Everyone was so nice then… but now I know that they are not nice and dramatic! (laughter) I absorbed every bit of knowledge I could. In New York, I was working with Irving Penn and Patrick [Demarchelier]. I was doing all the big sittings and getting all the right covers and editorials. That was all the way through the 80’s. Three years later in ‘76, Glenby decided to open a salon for me at the Plaza Hotel, since I had become the style director of the company. Then I left in ‘82, as the
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was what you saw in the final printed photographs. Now everything is so digital, if you’re a wiz on the computer, you can make anything look good. But the quality of the work isn’t as good.
Did you ever imagine that your father’s words to your high school guidance counselor would become a self-fulfilling prophecy of your life? Not until I started doing these educational hair seminars for R+Co. For a portion, we do a question and answer and we also share our stories. We talk about our journey and it starts connect with lot of stylists. The hair stylists that are in the audience are overwhelmed and appreciative. You see parts of yourself in them and… it kind of takes all that celebrity out of us and makes us human.
Garren and Kim Alexis
company was slowing down and just in time before they closed everything. So I continued freelancing doing advertising and editorials. At that time I was working with Bill King, Arthur Elgort, Patrick [Demarchelier] and then I met Steven Meisel. I worked for him exclusively for about 20 years. During that time, Paul Cavaco had become involved with Henri Bendel, and he invited me to meet the President of Bendel’s so that they could build a salon for me. After my contract was up with Henri Bendel, I decided to open my own salon at the Sherry Netherland, where we were for 9 years. I was lucky to be in the game with the supermodels of the 80’s and 90’s. Back then, I could fantasize and take it to a place where we created amazing images together. Now it’s only celebrities. Working with celebrities now you need to be politically correct. You have to do what they want you to do. Fortunately, with me they let go and aren’t as demanding. I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to cut and create looks for celebrities and all the supermodels. It’s allowed me to go against the grain of what’s really in the fashion…to make a statement of what is going to be in fashion. Now, I still freelance and I’m also working on my product line, R+Co. I’m very grateful because I know I have an amazing career. And sometimes, people don’t get it! You had to have a mastery over your skill and craft because at that time there was nothing digital. Whatever you created
So I think that whole story about of my father, is always something that people gravitate towards and they really… they can connect with it because that is something they have gone through or relate with.
It sounds like you have a natural ability and gift to connect with all kinds of people. And it has done me well! But it’s like when I look back at it now, my god, I mean… When you have a salon and start raising your family of hairdressers that work for you, you realize all the baggage that comes with them. You try to pick them up and make them know that it is okay to be who they are. It was a learning experience for me, because it was so easy for me to come out as a gay person. My family was very supportive of it. You know they just wanted me to be happy. So during my whole career, my life, I have constantly made an effort to keep people’s morale up and to help them understand that it is okay to be who they are. You know, there are a lot of kids that forget how they started. Then they become so super that they get out of touch with who… you know like manners and politeness, and all that goes away and I look at them and watch them…
They become their own celebrity. …and it is kind of like they only get “it” after they have one misstep. They remember there are rules, that there are things you have to follow and ways of being while on the job. Kenneth’s [Battelle] advice has always stuck with me when he told me, “We are
in the service business. You are not on that same level as that celebrity or supermodel whose hair you are doing. Remember they are hiring you.” I know it sounds crazy to some, but as fabulous as you think you are, you really have to be careful that you don’t overstep boundaries or start bragging about yourself. Your client or model or actor just wants you to know them. You know what I mean? They might be interested to hear about you sometimes, but it could be really devastating for a hair stylists’ career if they cross that line.
Advice that stuck with you and you’ve passed on? Yes! That always kind of stuck with me. That humble part of me is there. I try to instill that into my assistants as well. Some kids get overly-fabulous right away just before they get stomped out. But, if they realize what’s happening to them at the moment that it’s happening, then they’ll be able to climb that ladder of success easily. They’ll be able to take their time instead of raging to the top and then falling off.
Has it been an enjoyable experience for you to create your product line with R+Co? R+Co, is completely the opposite of the way I did my first line [Garren NY]. It has everything for something. If you want a curly look, a straight look, a wet look, then we have a product for it. The genius part of it is that it’s fun and eclectic because it is three of us, Howard Mclaren, Thom Priano [my husband] and myself. We keep growing our wish list of what we want to create and what the kids are asking for. Our attitude is like, “What else can we do?” It’s been a great two years that we’ve been traveling for regional hair seminars with an audience of 300 – 400 hair stylist. We get to engage and educate them and in turn the product is getting it out there, reaching the middle of America, the UK, Europe, and Australia. We’re currently putting a team together that will travel to provide training with our techniques, products and brand DNA for other hairstylists at our partnering salons.
You’ve experienced a sustaining level of longevity and notoriety within your career, essentially you’ve been in business since you were 13. Would you say that spirit of entrepreneurship has always been intrinsic and come very natural? It is natural, but on the other hand I have always promoted other people to take
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care and handle it. I learned in last 10 years that you really have to be on top of everything to keep it going to the place where you want it to go. I started letting go and trusting others to do the jobs I’d hired them to do. But then, it sort of humbled me to realize that they can fuck up too. You really have to be on top of everything. So that in itself was a learning experience, and I think in terms of success and career, that it was another growing pain. Growing pains are good because I have learned from it. I might not have liked or wanted the outcome of certain circumstances or situations, but it is what it is and I am always trying to figure out what I am doing next.
I’m sure a great assistant has been imperative? YES! I always bring the assistants on and they stay with me for two years and then the agreement is they go on to create their own career. I continue doing it this way because I get off on that. I enjoy helping someone create their future. For example, when I work with, let’s say, a makeup artist, I sometimes hear the makeup artist going, ‘Well my assistant went in and did the job. How dare they.’ And I’m like… don’t you feel like compassion for this kid? I mean he or she’s been with you for a while and they’re not stealing your ideas. It’s like you have to cut the apron strings! And it is beautiful! The work he or she did is beautiful! Yet the makeup artist doesn’t even compliment them and stops using them as an assistant. It surprises me that there are loads of people out there that still like that. It’s no difference with big editors who work for a magazine—a big magazine– and they have these assistants that become almost the backbones of what they do. They are so capable and they understand what’s going on. But when it’s time for them to leave they never take them into the fold. They throw them back into the world and dismiss them. They are really great people, but I just never understood why they don’t generate their own talent and drink from that pool.
And it also looks good on you too. By training them, you get to foster that creativity and give them the foundation. I have always been proud of them moving up. The only time that it would upset me when they undercut me for a job or do something deceitful. But when they are
going out and they are starting to do their own thing and they are not overlapping with my world, I think that is very cool and I am very happy for them because they found their way. They find their little piece of magic and they are allowed to do it. They have their own world to create.
You’ve worked with some of the most talented people in the industry: photographers, models, makeup artists, editors; what do you do to keep yourself inspired so that you can continue creating with fresh eyes? I think it’s about having an open mind and knowing that it is a team effort. It’s not going in and doing your own thing. You are having a collaboration of hair, makeup, the stylist, and possibly the designer. You are all working together to make that image the most amazing image. But remember, you are only creating part of it. I’ve been lucky to work with people that have a specific point of view. With those people, we can discuss it openly and come up with an idea with which we go forward. If it isn’t working or it is not looking great, we know how to tweak it. You cannot go in with the solid idea, and think that you are going to be able to execute it because it might be on the wrong person and the wrong situation. During the whole 90’s, I was so lucky to be able to have Amber (Valletta) and Linda (Evangelista) and all of them as my muses. I would get on set, and those girls would inspire me to cut their hair a certain way and create certain styles. So this is how I have always nurtured the looks that I do. It’s how I have always pushed myself by being open in the collaboration process.
And you feed off the energy of the photographer when collaborating? Yes! For example working with Steven Klein, I know his aesthetic is very strong and aggressive. Whatever I create with him is going to be a real woman that has something cold and sexual about her. Or, Steven Meisel is like a master of making anyone look cool, modern, and gorgeous. Even when it is a subtle thing it becomes a major inspiration. So I already know the DNA of the photographer and I have always absorbed what the photographers are going for. Sometimes I get hired by the client and there is a new photographer working that is way younger than I am, but I walk in and they don’t even know how to have
a conversation because they might feel afraid of me. So I sort of say, “Okay let’s do this or that. I want to know what you want. I want to know what you want to get out of the model. Where you are going with this?” We have to talk about the hair, makeup, wardrobe, and lighting so that I know what I am going to give them.
What do you think is stifling creativity in fashion right now? When I started the business, we would do two pictures a day; then it became four pictures a day. Then it got to be 6 pictures a day. Then 10. Then 10 pictures plus behind the scenes stills and video! On set, everybody is working in a circle and there is never a break so I think it’s kind of lost the art part of it. The thing that’s unbelievable is that now all the actresses are wearing clothes that just fall off the runway and it gets online or on social media first. By the time it gets to the consumer it already feels old. No one wants to spend five, ten, or fifteen thousand dollars on a garment that’s already been worn by 4-5 other women already. I don’t know how they are going to figure that one out. I do feel there is a disconnect, it’s just a different world. I’m just glad that I had been in the old world, it’s hard for me to adjust sometimes because I get really upset because people are not doing the quality work that they should be doing.
I’ve been lucky to work with people that have a specific point of view. With those people, we can discuss it openly and come up with an idea with which we go forward.
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I have to stay relevant, and to be relevant you have to be ahead of the game and force through it. Fashion, for me, has been through four cycles already. Every time it comes back of course it is a different point of view, different model, different photographer. It’s a different approach. I laugh when people are putting tear sheets up, and I see my work in the references. A lot are still so consumed by Madonna’s fashion. They are like, “Do you remember when Madonna did this or that with her hair?” The kids are so young these days they don’t even know that I was who did most of those looks for Madonna, so I just chuckle.
What was it like working on the Sex book with Madonna and Steven Meisel? We had so much fun! We were hysterical most of the time and it was because our team was so solid. It was Francois Nars, Paul Cavaco, Fabien Baron and Steven Meisel. We really just had fun doing it. When I look back at the scenarios in the book, I know exactly what we were laughing at while it was happening because it was us directing, “Put your hand a little more there…a little more there! Now do this! No! – stand in that position just like that…” and laughing because it looked so funny. But what the photographs captured…it’s like, “Oh My God that’s so sick!” A lot of things were done spur of the moment. That’s what made those photos so major because she really did have that reaction of what was going on with the piercing and wax or whatever and it wasn’t so calculated.
So there was a sense of honesty that translated throughout the Sex book? Yes, when I look back at it, it’s really pure, and I remember when we started talking about the book, she was a brunette. I just said, “If you’re doing a coffee table book, you’ve got to be blonde.” And everyone agreed with me. I hadn’t worked with her for a while before we started the book, but her body was in the best shape. She was 30 years old at the time and she was ready to expose everything. We knew that whatever we did it had to be top notch, cool, beautiful. It had to be sensual and at the same time push boundaries so that people would stop and look at it. Now when you look at it there’s like nothing shocking about it.
But for the time it definitely pushed boundaries. I think it’s interesting that
you’ve talked about her being 30 in relation to her self-confidence of being ready to expose herself creatively in that way. Models start very young, how is it different working with a model who is just getting started as opposed to an established celebrity. They are teenagers, though they’ve always been kind of young. Now a lot are being discovered because they are Instagram girls. When I was asked to work with Kendall [Jenner] at the very beginning when she just started working with Vogue, I was placed in a position where I’m always placed when someone is new. Everyone really wants to create who they are and give them confidence and teach them how to model. I worked with Kendall when David Sims and Camilla [Nickerson] shot her for American Vogue and then I worked with her when she first started doing [Estee] Lauder. Kendall is a pleasure to work with because she really wants to learn and is very professional and on point. Her self-awareness is like a breath of fresh air. She really wants modeling to be her career and I respect her for that. It’s totally different when you have a celebrity or actress because they already have been in the game and they have that understanding. Celebrity or model, they all want Estee Lauder and Maybelline behind them, but now it’s a different route. A lot of these girls’ names were celebrated before they actually became the celebrity models. So they really want to prove that they can do it and that is natural confidence that pushes them to succeed.
I just want to close with two personal questions. The first one is: what is the best advice that you have ever received? The best advice I received was from Polly Mellon, when she said “Garren remember where you are at every present moment. Right now, we’re in Paris, we’re doing the collection and you’re at your first show. You’re with me, you’re with Mr. Penn and this moment you need to seize it and this will help build your career by the attention that you’re giving it. Absorb it.” I remember how Polly would hold her collar up and how Mr. Penn wanted a cuff to look. I would watch how they created the detail of a still life. As well, I loved observing how Avedon taught the girls how to jump and move, or how Meisel taught them how to pose and carry themselves. Those experiences honed me. I knew exactly how I could make it more if they wanted more. I watched every movement, every gesture, and learned
from that so that I was able to give them the type of girl that they wanted.
What is the advice that you would give to your younger self ? I wouldn’t change anything because if I would have changed something back then, I probably wouldn’t have been where I am today. Like if I would have smoothed out some of the rough edges, or the transition periods, I wouldn’t have been able to learn from those highs and lows in life. But advice I would probably give: pinch yourself when you’re in the moment. Absorb that this is really happening and this is a big deal, but don’t go out and brag about it. Let other people tell you how good you are so that you don’t become disconnected from the whole process.
I admire how you draw such appreciation for the growth and learning provided by transition periods in life. You definitely have to, if you don’t learn then you haven’t really gone through a transition. There are lots of times when we get scared, I still do! I have a big project coming up and I’m just doublethinking myself. If I didn’t have that little bit of anxiousness before the project, I probably wouldn’t perform as well. I think that is missing in a lot of people today, that nervousness before a job. The thing that has always stuck with me is that you can never be overly prepared but on the other hand, if an idea of your own is shot down you can’t take it at heart. That’s the other thing: to be really successful in this business, if everyone else is saying that it doesn’t look right or cool, or maybe it needs more, you have to take a step back. Ask how you can make it more or how you can make it work. Listen to the feedback of those around you and consider it. Don’t be defensive. Be open to collaborating.
Opposite Page: Vogue US March 2001 Photography by Steven Meisel, Model Stella Tennant, Hair by Garren, Makeup by Pat McGrath, Fashion Editor Grace Coddington
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This Page: Denim Fringe Jacket by Etro, available at Saks Fifth Avenue. Black Floral Sequin Cropped Tank by Needle&Thread, available at Tootsies. Denim Jeans by Frame, available at Neiman Marcus. Opposite Page: Vintage Suede Cowboy Hat, from Dolly Python. Gold/ Bronze Sequin Tank by Tom Ford. available at Neiman Marcus. 62
COOL FOR THE SUMMER
COOL FOR THE SUMMER YOUTHFUL REBELLION AND COQUETTISH LOOKS MAKE FOR A BOYISH BEAUTY THAT WILL BRING OUT THE FLAIR FOR SOUTHERN STYLE AND CASUAL ELEGANCE OF THIS SUMMERâ€™S TRENDS.
Photography by Thom Jackson @ The Photo Division Styling by Marc Sifuentes | Art Direction by Louis Liu 63
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This Page: Tan Patent leather Jacket and Skirt by Courrèges, available at Tootsies. Crop Top by T by Alexander Wang. Opposite Page: Cotton Crochet Knit Top by Céline, Denim Jeans by Frame, both available at Neiman Marcus. Black Lace Up Stilettos by Fendi, available at Tootsies. 64
COOL FOR THE SUMMER
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This Page: Dress by Dior, available at Neiman Marcus. Leather Cowboy Boots, from Dolly Python. Opposite Page: Studded Denim Jacket and Gold Sequin Dress by Saint Laurent Paris, both available at Neiman Marcus. 66
COOL FOR THE SUMMER
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This Page: Studded Leather Jacket and Starprint Tie-neck Blouse by Valentino, Denim Jegging by The Row, all available at Neiman Marcus. Opposite Page: HandPainted Leather Fringe Jacket by Valentino, White Shorts by Rag & Bone, both available at Neiman Marcus. Hair and Make-up: Samantha Landis @ Seaminx Casting by XTheStudio Stylist Assistant: Jordan Nan @ Seaminx Photographer's Assistants: Claire Casner and Emily Bailey Digital Tech: Elliott Snedden @ A Digital Guy 68
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BOLD PRINTS AND DASHES OF COLOR MAKE FOR FUN SUMMER DAYS, AND EVEN BETTER SUMMER NIGHTS. EXPLORE THE WORLD, BE YOUNG AND FREE, ENJOY THE TECHNICOLOR OF LIFE IN THE SUN.
Photography by Thom Jackson @ The Photo Division | Styling by Marc Sifuentes | Art Direction by Louis Liu Models Abby B., Beckh and Bridget @ Wallflower ManagementEdward H. @ The Dragonfly Agency
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On Beckah, Dress by Jason Wu. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue. On Edward, Shirt by H&M. Dress Pants by Giorgio Armani. Available at Neiman Marcus.
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COLORS OF THE WIND
Opposite Page: Neoprene Crop top by Clover Canyon, available at Tootsies. Printed Denim Jeans by Cavalli, Star-print Tie-neck Blouse on waist by Valentino, both available at Neiman Marcus. This Page: Black Floral Sequin Cropped Tank by Needle & Thread, available at Tootsies. Blue Denim Jeans by Saint Laurent Paris. Available at Neiman Marcus.
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COLORS OF THE WIND
This Spread: From Left, on Bridget, Dress by Valentino, on Edward, Shorts by T by Alexander Wang, on Abby, Dress by Marni, all available at Neiman Marcus.
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This Page: Dress by AlaĂŻa, Skirt by Prada, both available at Saks Fifth Avenue. Opposite Page: Jacket by Giorgio Armani, T-Shirt by T by Alexander Wang and Shorts by Brunello Cucinelli, all available at Neiman Marcus. Makeup & Hair by Gary Parson @ Kim Dawson .Hair by Cheryll Smith @ Campbell Agency. Casting by XTheStudio. Photographer's Assistants: Claire Casner and Emily Bailey. Digital Tech: Jonathan Stafford.
COLORS OF THE WIND
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Opposite Page: Untitled (Grace Hartzel by Willy Vanderperre for Vogue, March 2016), acrylic on magazine page, 11 x 8 inches, 2016
Michael De Feo, Crosstown Traffic, 2016 Commission, Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, Texas Photo: Nash Baker © nashbaker.com
Michael De Feo AT RICE GALLERY
Michael De Feo has elevated fashion ads to a new realm of fine art with his signature floral graffiti he applies to commercial glossy corporate ad campaigns of mainstream media.
tisements is that although I’m subverting the ads, they frequently end up reading like they were designed that way.” Known as “The Flower Guy,” De Feo has painted flowers on the streets of New York and in over 60 cities internationally. His iconic line drawing of a curving stem topped with daisy petals can be seen sprouting from the bases of telephone poles, tucked in between signs, and embellishing a myriad of surfaces. A project that started nearly 25 years ago and continues today began with a simple aim, says De Feo, “to spread some cheer and smiles in a city full of concrete, steel, and glass.” Crosstown Traffic on view June 9 - August 28th at the Rice Gallery in Houston. Michael De Feo is represented by Danziger Gallery in New York where he will have a solo exhibition opening July 13th, 2016.
ichael De Feo has elevated fashion ads to a new realm of fine art with his signature floral graffiti he applies to commercial glossy corporate ad campaigns of mainstream media. Michael De Feo, who was profiled this spring in The New York Times, is a painter with a penchant for street art, gaining international recognition for painting over outdoor fashion ads with buoyant floral patterns. In Crosstown Traffic, De Feo treats Rice Gallery’s front glass wall like a supersized commercial display kiosk, enlarging a selection of fashion ads from magazines, printing them at nearly billboard size, and hand painting over them. De Feo plunges inside the seductive, fantasy world of highend advertising, normally kept at a distance behind glass or beneath the sheen of a glossy magazine page, and adds a human touch. Says De Feo, “One of the compelling aspects of working on fashion adver-
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This Page: Untitled (Kiera Knightly by Mario Testino for Chanel), acrylic on bus-stop shelter advertisement, 68.5 x 47.5 inches, 2016 Opposite Page: Untitled (Gisele Bundchen by Patrick Demarchelier for Chanel), acrylic on bus-stop shelter advertisement, 68.5 x 47.5 inches, 2015
MICHAEL DE FEO
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Bailey Krouse SOULCYCLE INSTRUCTUR
BURN. BABY BURN. Party with the rockstars at SoulCycle while you destress, detox, and melt away those unwanted pounds.
Photography by Dustin Mansyur | Styling by Marc Sifuentes Art Direction byLouis Liu | Hair & Makeup by Chad Landry Interview by Pauline Snyder-Goodwin
Instructor Bailey Krouse of SoulCycle, River
Oaks, Houston, TX, conducts an energetic class that will transform your body while simultaneously feeding your SOUL. We recently talked with Bailey to learn what motivated her to join SoulCycle, a boutique style indoor cycling studio offering a cardiopumping workout set to high energy music in a zen-like atmosphere. Sound like fun? We thought so too. Bailey tells us how her background in professional dance brings a unique dimension to the classroom. She also shares some nutritional tips that will help students endure this intense workout. Indoor cycling has been no stranger to the fitness world since it’s beginnings in the early 90’s. Studios focusing on this workout method have emerged in the last few decades along with local gym chains offering indoor cycling classes to their members. So for most fitness junkies, indoor cycling has been a part of their workout routines for some time. However, indoor cycling has evolved and taken on new heights with SoulCycle being the leader of the pack. Creators Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice opened their first studio on the Upper West
Side in NYC in 2006. They call their workout a “cardio party”. We wanted to learn more about SoulCycle and how their workout method sets themselves apart from the competition. And how it has contagiously swept across the fitness community all the while enticing a celebrity following. With Houston being the first TX location opening it’s doors in April 2016 we were eager to learn how the fitness community has welcomed SoulCycle into their lives. Bailey Krouse gave us some great pointers and left us with a deep desire to want to race to the studio and join the party. We think you will feel the same. Come party like a rockstar with Bailey at SoulCycle, River Oaks and let her guide you through the best ride of your life. And who knows, you just might meet your soulmate or at the very least your thighs will thank you. Well, maybe not at first.
How did you get started with SoulCycle? How long have you been teaching? My talent agent first connected me with SoulCycle. After just a few classes, I knew
SoulCycle was something that I not only wanted to be a part of, but that I wanted to be a part of me. I auditioned to be an instructor and before I knew it, I was in New York City for the Instructor Training program! I’ve been teaching now for four months, two of those being here in Houston.
What makes SoulCycle different from other indoor cycle methods? SoulCycle is indoor cycling reinvented. We make exercise FUN! We call it a cardio party on a bike. The combination of inspirational instructors, epic spaces, rocking music, and dark candlelit rooms allow for a transformative experience. SoulCycle is a full body workout where riders engage in high intensity cardio while also toning their upper bodies using hand weights and core-engaging choreography. SoulCycle focuses on rhythm and we ride to the energy of
Casting and Shoot Production: XTheStudio
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the pack, which creates a strong bond between riders.
You have a background in dance. How has dance influenced your instruction in the SoulCycle classroom? As a dancer, I feel a deep connection to music. The songs that I play in my class are ones that move me so that I can lead with my body and my energy, as well as with my words and instructions. My career in dance performance and teaching has also played a large role when it comes to leading the pack. My confidence and comfortability on the podium is definitely accredited to years on stage and in the studio.
What would a newbie to SoulCycle need to know before taking class? Is SoulCycle for everyone? SoulCycle is for everyone! With inspirational coaching, fun music and a full body workout, newbies can expect to transform the way they look and feel after our signature 45-minute class. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t keep up with the pace or choreography, every move can be modified and it takes practice! Expect to sweat and have lots of fun. If it is your first class, introduce yourself – our staff and instructors are incredible at making everyone feel welcome and comfortable. We will walk you through everything!
What do you do to motivate riders to keep going when they want to give up? I am constantly reminding my riders to stay present in order to keep their goals and intentions alive in their bodies. The 45 minutes we spend in the dark candlelit room can go by as fast or as slow as we let them, but they can’t be taken
Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t keep up with the pace or choreography, every move can be modified and it takes practice!
back or redone. I try to hold the riders accountable for every individual decision and action that leads them to executing challenges. I encourage them to take a risk, be uncomfortable, and surprise themselves with new strengths they may not have know they have.
Are there different class levels? Does SoulCycle offer one on one personalized instruction? SoulCycle is for everyone and our class is designed to be modified by the rider – for example, adding resistance and heavier hand weights can add to the challenge. Our signature class is 45 minutes and we also offer 60 and 90 minute classes as well. SOUL101 is a onehour introductory class for beginners to learn the ropes quickly. In those classes, we go over proper form, bike set-up, and more. We also offer theme rides every week. Each studio has a different theme ride schedule so look out for our weekly email updates!
How is a SoulCycle workout different from someone using their home stationary bike? SoulCycle is a full body and mind workout that simultaneously engages the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. Our patented SoulCycle bike allows riders to safely perform choreography that challenges both the large and small muscle groups throughout the body. The bike forces riders to engage the core throughout the entire ride and activates the underused posterior muscles as well. During class, riders work with speed and resistance to push their aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels. SoulCycle is all about community – we ride as a pack together to the rhythm of the music. This is an active meditation for our riders and allows them to find joy in movement.
How often should one do a SoulCycle workout to see a transformation?
communities across the country, and the response from Houston has been so positive.
How important is it for students to hydrate before, during, and after class? Before each class, it is very important to fuel properly. At least one hour before class, riders should eat a smart snack like a banana, handful of almonds, or a protein bar. It is also super important to stay hydrated both before and after class.
What other nutritional tips can you give to someone before taking a SoulCycle class? I like to have a smoothie or a pressed juice for a pre-class boost. They elevate your blood sugar and are easily digested. Anything that isn’t going to be diverting the energy in your body or breaking down your last meal during the workout is a good choice.
What is your favorite music to play in the classroom? Everyday is different! Many factors go into curating new playlists day after day. I play whatever speaks to me in that moment. A few of my favorite artists that you will frequently hear in my class include Jess Glynn, Beyonce, Disclosure, and Kanye West.
Favorite healthy go-to snack? A greek yogurt with chia seeds and mixed berries.
Favorite guilty pleasure snack? CHIPS. Any and all chips!
What makes you smile? My friends, my family, and my riders.
When you’re not leading students into an intense cardio frenzy what other fun things do you like to do? I love yoga and pilates to maintain balance in my fitness routine. Aside from exercise, I love attending concerts, going shopping, and soaking in my bathtub.
The mental benefits are immediate. To see a significant transformation in body, we recommend riding 2-3 times per week.
The studio has been open for a few months now. How has the Houston community responded to SoulCycle? The Houston community is incredible! The energy and excitement is so inspiring. We always try to open in dynamic
For more information contact SoulCycle, 2549 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77019. 832-968-7685 | soul-cycle.com
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SaltAir SEAFOOD KITCHEN
The seafood fine-dining eatery, SaltAir, of the wildly successful Clark Cooper Concepts is one of the group’s latest project. Executive Chef Brandi Key helms the kitchen, inviting us to join her on a tour-de-flavour of internationally-inspired seafood cuisine.
Photography by Dustin Mansyur | Styling by Marc Sifuentes Art Direction by Louis Liu | Hair & Makeup by MakeupByDiego Interview by Dustin Mansyur
rom capricious seafood creations like carpaccios to crudos, Chef Brandi Key, has spun the seafood-restaurant scene on it’s head with her globally-influenced fare at Houston’s swank restaurant, SaltAir. She created the menu with goal of establishing a new original for seafood, taking cues from the Gulf, as well as Houston’s own diverse, multi-cultural palate. “I want you to be a little surprised when you get here,” offers Chef Brandi Key. “We always wanted to do a seafood restaurant. Being here on the Gulf, everybody loves seafood. But we didn’t want to copycat [that standard].” Boasting a warmly-lit 28-seat raw bar, anchored idyllically by a exotic Birchwood tree, SaltAir offers a dining experience sure to linger into the evening. We had a chance to chat with Chef Brandi and delve into her creative process here as Executive Chef.
When did you first know that you wanted to become a chef and work in the food industry? I didn’t really know that I wanted to be a chef. I was supposed to go off and be a career woman. My sophomore year in college, I had the opportunity to go to New York and really got to see some very cool things in the food industry. One day a friend told me about an opening for a position at a restaurant. It was Pappadeaux, and I walked in and the guy was like, "You have a business degree and a double major, double minor with accounting and finance, and marketing? Why do you want to work at a restaurant?" I just got bit by “the bug” honestly. I grew up cooking, but I never thought that I would do it in an actual restaurant setting
day in and day out. But as soon as I walked in, that was it.
Can you describe what the creative process has been like in your experience working with SaltAir and partnering restaurants that you’ve opened? There's always multiple layers for us as a group. I am one piece of it and that is what I'm a specialist at. For the restaurant itself, we wanted to create an ambience that was very comfortable and inviting, that you could dine in for hours. There's also a creative process that happens with the kitchen where I actually draw out kitchen floor plans according to equipment needs for the specific type of cuisine being prepared. And then there's the menu process. I spent a good four
to six months on the menu here, really hashing through different ideas. So we spent hours on these dishes, thinking about every component, every layer that could be fit into the cook line without compromising quality or freshness.
Do you have a favorite signature dish that you like to prepare? Here, at SaltAir, I love the octopus carpaccio. That one's really good. The other thing that I really like here is our whole fish because I think a lot of people are still intimidated by a whole fish because they’re terrified of their dinner staring back at them. For me it’s special if I can prepare a dish for you and you eat it in it’s entirety. If I can make it easier for you to dig in and eat a whole bronzini,
then I know I can get you to eat a whole flounder or whatever else may be out of your comfort zone.
So you feel responsible in a way to educate your consumer? Honestly, any time somebody asks me what is it that I do, I will always tell them that I teach. I teach more than I do anything else. I teach the chefs how to be good cooks. I teach the managers how to be good managers. I teach financials how to actually run a profitable business. I teach guests how to eat. And I think you'll find that most chefs are good teachers. We have to be able to get what we’ve envisioned in our head, manifest it, and then instill that same passion and process into someone else.
What challenges have you had to overcome in pursuing your dreams to become an executive chef ? I think one of the biggest challenges has been understanding the physical demands that happen in a restaurant. It's a lot of long hours, and a lot of time on your feet. I manage a lot of different people and different cuisines, so I have to keep myself organized in order to get from A to B.
And what sorts of cuisines are you inspired by right now at this moment? What’s great about SaltAir is that it allows for a lot of creativity. I love the Cape and what fish are available from that region. The Pacific Northwest is really fun with totally different type of environment,
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S A LTA I R S E A F O O D K I TC H E N
and different products that can be sourced for us. I’ve always enjoyed the Mediterranean, and have been inspired by Northern African and Middle Eastern flavors.
going to ask you to tourne a carrot, but because for thousands of years, all these people who've been setting the path for what we do today tourned a carrot.
What chefs do you admire right now? What's the best piece of advice that you received in pursuing your career? People are always saying to me, “I want your job! how do I get your job?” If you're interested in the work and what we do every day, don’t be doing anything else. For instance, don’t go to school for a business degree if you really want to be in the food industry. If you really want to cook, then you need to come get a line-cook position and see what a line's like. And if you get bit by “the bug” and you love it, then you need to keep doing that. I think the most important thing for young people right now coming into this industry is making sure that they understand what that good basis of technique is because this business can have a lot of “fluff ”. You need to know how to tourne a carrot, not because I'm
I think, collectively-speaking, I admire the chefs in Copenhagen have helped to really push some very interesting dishes that are going to continue to happen. Most people only think about Rene Redzepi at Noma and he's fantastic! However, some of those restaurants there have lived longer than Noma's been on the map. Here in the United States, I've always admired Cindy Pawlcyn. She's one of those old school people that started a business in the middle of Napa Valley, before the Napa Valley was the Napa Valley. Now Mustards Grill is an iconic place. She really understands the whole art of taking care of people and making people feel special simply by providing good food without the “fluff ” factor-just the true art and nature of cooking. There's so many, I could go on and on.
Houston is such a foodie town. There's so much competition with restaurants. How do you set yourself apart? I think what's interesting with our group is that we've been around for 14 years. A good portion of our clientele is like family to us. It's a little bit easier for us because we listen and talk to them like family. They actively give us feedback. This allows us to always be adapting, making changes to ensure that things are good. We know how to talk and react to people, and give the people what they want. We don’t rely on attentiongetting strategies or food-prep techniques to attract our customers. At the end of the day, everything that happens in these four walls is the only way that I can truly dictate if we're going to be successful or not.
For reservation or information about SaltAir Seafood Kitchen, call 713-521-3333 or visit saltairhouston.com
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Hacienda La Caravedo
Pisco Portón’s Master Distiller, Johnny Schuler
BEHIND THE GATE: A LOOK INSIDE PISCO PORTÓN AND THE OLDEST DISTILLERY IN THE AMERICAS
Nestled in the Ica Valley of Peru amidst the foothills of the Andes mountains lies the oldest distillery in the Americas, Hacienda La Caravedo, established in 1684 and home to Pisco Portón. Travel with us to Hacienda La Caravedo and learn about Pisco Portón and how pisco has come to be Peru’s national spirit.
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ometimes you tell stories over a drink and sometimes the drink is the story. To Peruvians, the history and tradition of Peru is entwined in the story of its national spirit, pisco. Honoring this heritage is what Pisco Portón, the makers of the most awarded pisco, do best. With a techno-artisanal distillery and estate-owned vineyards, the story of Pisco Portón is as unique and steeped in tradition as pisco itself. For the uninitiated, pisco is a distilled white spirit made entirely of grapes with a 400-yearold pedigree. It has its roots in the 1560’s when the Spanish imported grape vines to the Ica Valley on the south western coast of Peru with the intent of making wine for use during the Catholic mass. Production grew, but feel-
ing threatened and in an act of protectionist pique, the Spanish crown began imposing heavy taxes on Peruvian wine entering Spain. In an act of rebellion, vineyard owners turned toward distillation of the grapes instead and pisco was born. Pisco has what only a handful of other spirits can claim: a Denomination of Origin. That means all pisco must be made in a specific region along the south western coast of Peru and under the strictest of guidelines, including the use of eight specific aromatic and non-aromatic grape varietals. The grape juice must be fermented with naturally occurring wild yeast, distilled only once in traditional copper pot stills, and left unaged or unaltered, meaning that not even
water is added to the finished product. Finally, it must be left to rest in non-reactive vessels such as concrete so only the flavors of the grapes are evident. In 2011, after living in Peru and developing a passion for pisco’s heritage and distinctive flavors, father and son team Bill and Brent Kallop set about bringing the finest expression of Peruvian pisco to the United States. Enlisting the aid of Johnny Schuler as their Master Distiller – who is internationally recognized as the foremost pisco expert in the world and received the Peruvian Congressional Medal of Honor for his work regulating the pisco industry—they purchased Hacienda La Caravedo, the oldest distillery in the Americas, established in 1684 by Juan Facun-
Add Pisco Portón to your summer parties with these cocktail recipes: PORTÓNERO – 2 oz Pisco Portón Mosto Verde – ½ oz fresh lime juice – 2 dashes of Angostura bitters – Top with ginger ale or ginger beer Directions: Build in a glass filled with ice by adding Pisco Portón Mosto Verde, lime juice, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters. Top with ginger ale or ginger beer. Gently stir and garnish with a lime.
There are three styles of pisco: puro, which is made from only one of the eight approved grape varietals; acholado, which is a blend of two or more of the eight varietals; and mosto verde, a style applicable to either a puro or an acholado in which only the must, or freshly pressed juice of the grape, is partially fermented and results in the highest level of flavor and aroma. While puro and acholado piscos require about eight pounds of grapes to make a bottle, a mosto verde pisco requires at least 16 pounds.
PORTÓN PISCO PUNCH – 1 (750ml) bottle of Pisco Portón Mosto Verde – 12.75 oz. simple syrup – 8.5 oz fresh pineapple juice – 8.5 oz fresh lime juice – Abundant ice Directions: Mix all ingredients in punch bowl or beverage dispenser. Serve in rocks glasses filled with ice. Garnish with pineapple chunks.
Pictured on the left: The vineyards of Hacienda La Caravedo in Ica, Peru
do Caravedo Roque. Here traditional production methods such as a wooden usillo are used to press the grapes, gravity-fed distillation is used to gently extract the flavors, and traditional wood-fired copper pot falcas distill the spirit. In addition, a state-of- the-art distillery with a lush rooftop garden to offset natural carbon dioxide emissions, and a water treatment system that recycles water from the distillation process to irrigate the vineyards, are also employed. The grapes are estate-grown with the utmost care and dedication to environmental stewardship. From this combination of old and new technologies, Pisco Portón Mosto Verde was born and has become the number one exported pisco from Peru to the United States and the
Pictured below: The original gate welcomes visitors to Hacienda La Caravedo, home to Pisco Portón.
recipient of over 150 awards and accolades for its taste and quality. An acholado, or blend, in the mosto verde style, Pisco Portón Mosto Verde is made from the quebranta, torontel, italia, and albilla grapes and exceeds the standards for a traditional mosto verde pisco by containing 18 pounds of grapes in every bottle and resting for a minimum of one year to ensure the fullest flavors. They have also brought Pisco Portón Acholado and La Caravedo Quebranta to the United States, with more expressions available soon. The portfolio delivers the sophistication of the mosto verde, the complexity of the acholado, and the distinctiveness of the puro that provide a unique cocktail experience. Tours of Hacienda La Caravedo are available
and visitors pass through the original gate that welcomes them inside the lush vineyards and stunning distillery, with the Andes mountains as a backdrop to over 150 acres which includes the vineyards, distillery, tasting room, horse stables, restaurant, and boutique hotel. While a trip to Ica and Hacienda La Caravedo is a wonderful journey, one only has to sip a Pisco Portón Mosto Verde cocktail for an experience as bold as those who discover it.
For more information and cocktail recipes, visit piscoporton.com. To book a tour of Hacienda La Caravedo or to inquire about a stay at the boutique hotel, contact email@example.com or call the office in Lima at +511 711 7800
Poltrona Frau HYDRA CASTOR BY LUCA SCACCHETTI
Modularity and elegance are the key concepts of Hydra. It is a single seat that can be equipped with different backrests and arms thus obtaining a variety of different formal impressions. The base structure is made from extruded aluminum and the adjustable feet are made from chromed metal, as are their central inserts (calyx).
For more information visit poltronafrau.com
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Poltrona Frau GHOSTFIELD BY PAOLA NAVONE
Poltrona Frau exposes itself and reveals the soul of one of its icons. Chester, straight from the historical archives, the year 1912. Armchair and sofa in an experimental and special revival. A structure of pure craftsmanship wrapped in a simple sheet of PVC. Thick, transparent, it lets you see the skeleton of the chair. A supporting structure in seasoned beech dyed a pale white. Jute webbing. Biconical springs. Wood. Accompanied by careful craftsmanship, where comfort and timeless beauty originate. The PVC sheet is shaped so it can be used as a chair and sofa. For more information visit: poltronafrau.com
Announcing the New CASADESUS Showroom at RAIL 71 Miami OPENING JUNE 2016
5046 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami FL 33137 Ph. 305 576 0620 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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J.K. Place Capri
NESTLED INTO THE CLIFFS OF THE ISLAND OF CAPRI RESTS THE STUNNING J.K. PLACE HOTEL, A DREAM TRAVEL DESTINATION.
Since 1885, this luxury resort has been a sought after by nobility, celebrities, and socialites as the premiere resort destination for holidays on the island. The island is exclusive, private, and only reachable by boat, ferry, or helicopter. The J.K. Place Hotel is an escape into a cliffside getaway.
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J.K. PLACE CAPRI
Capri cannot help but conjure up images of Greta Garbo and Marlon Brando cavorting around the island in chic cropped trousers and sandals, and still the tiny, rocky island contains that same reputation of glamorous beauty. In the summer, upwards to 20,000 visitors can be caught on the island touring and shopping each day. However, it is the crowds that stay on the island once the ferries leave to dine and promenade after the sun sets that are the ones to watch. Some of these glamorous people are guests at the world-renowned J.K. Place Hotel. The luxury of discreet sophistication and taste make the J.K. Place Hotel a location where comfort and wellbeing are combined with an enviable panoramic position and setting in the luxuriant Amalfi coastline. The venue possesses an understated charm and elegance which offers the comfort of the hearth while surrounded by precious details of subtle luxury. With twenty-two spacious rooms designed with the artful revival of classical style in mind, the concept of the resort is that of a luxury house that amplifies the light, color, and breathtaking beauty of the sea. The airy curtains let light spill onto the white stone
floors, highlighting the picturesque views of the Capri coastlines. The rooms also offer large windows and panoramic views so guests may really immerse themselves in the opulent setting. The stylish touches of mosaic and stone , elegant black and white furnishings, and other premium decor highlight the casual beauty of the space. However, the great beauty of the space with equally superb service. The guests are coddled by warm and friendly care that starts once you arrive and continues on until you may just mistake yourself for an empress or pampered courtesan. The hotel offers a splendid pathway that spirals down into the ocean so guests may enjoy the azure waters off the windswept cliffs. The building overlooks the Marina Grande beach, near the Amalfi Coast, and provides guests with ample space for sunbathing and enjoying the salty Mediterranean waters. After you lounge on the white sands of Marina Grande, you can head up to the JK Spa for a relaxing sauna or massage. The spa of J.K. Place is what every spa should aspire to be. Stocked with products from the famed Santa Maria Novella brand, it is easy to lose yourself in a lavender scent-
ed haze and shea butter lotions. Or perhaps get in a workout at the premium JK gym before heading out to dinner. J.K. Place is just steps away from the port, and the characteristic “Funicolare” railway transports visitors from Marina Grande to the Piazzetta, pulsating heart of the island, in just three minutes for one-of-a-kind dining and shopping experiences. J.K. Place also offers its guests unforgettable excursions and mini vacations towards the most enchanting locations of the Blue Island and Amalfi Coast, night excursions to watch the sunset, and tours around the island to discover all of the natural wonders that the area has to offer. All of these amenities as well as the sheer majesty of the resort have made this space a highly coveted vacation destination, so rooms are booked months in advance. However, it is not surprising since this is an exclusive destination and source of inspiration, a resort for emperors, poets and noble travelers, a haven for the soul in which you can lose yourself in admiration of the sea. For more information and booking, visit jkcapri.com or call +39 081 838 4001 Via Provinciale Marina Grande, 225, 80073 Capri NA, Italy
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Cousine Island COME WITH US ON AN ISLAND GETAWAY TO EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTIFUL AND PRISTINE PRIVATE ISLAND OF COUSINE AND THE GRANDEUR OF ITS VILLAS AND WHITE SAND BEACHES.
To escape the smog covered roads of LA, the congested and bright towering landscape of New York City, or any other sprawling citydwelling, one usually heads to Hawaii, Saint Tropez or the Virgin Islands. However, one cannot be further removed from the stress of our modern lifestyle and more in touch with the natural world than the heavily preserved paradise that is Cousine Island.
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the beautiful cerulean waters of the Indian Ocean lies a rarified gem which offers paradise and escape from our usual urban culture. The unique environment of the island has created an immaculate habitat for all sorts of life, however, human-kind is the one species which has taken a backseat in participation. People are now invited to protect the ecosystem and help it thrive, while enjoying exclusive, private, eco-friendly accommodations. Cousine Island is one of the least touched or changed granitic islands of the Seychelles archipelago and is internationally famous for being an extremely ecologically important, privately owned island. Reopened in April 2016, Cousine Island offers a rare natural experience without sacrificing truly unparalleled luxury and mindfulness of our impact on the world around us. On the island there is a sensation of seclusion and privacy that we almost never have in our largely urban lifestyles. You too can become a part of pristine nature and live, not as an intruder, but as a guest at one of mother nature’s most stunning creations. Cousine Island has four beautifully designed French colonial luxury villas and one impressive Presidential villa which offers two master bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a study area, personal gym, spa, kitchen, dining room, and outside bar and living space. All five of these villas are surrounded by lush, vibrant, local flora and are just a stone's throw from the beach. Each villa is specially designed with handmade furniture as well as the most innovative technology to ensure each guest is living in luxury and comfort. The island offers an option for a full-time butler and accommodation for a private au pair for families with small children who wish to enjoy the beauty of the island sanctuary without worrying over their little ones. No expense has been spared to ensure the happiness of each guest. On this vacation getaway expect to have a gastronomical experience that will leave you enchanted by the chef extraordinaire’s ability to craft delectable dishes filled with color and aromas inspired by Creole, Asian, and Western cuisine. There is no menu, but instead the chef discusses each meal
with the guest to ensure a bespoke eating experience which is custom made to ensure satisfaction. All of the ingredients in the haute cuisine meals are sourced locally or from Cousine Islands’ garden supply of fruit trees, herbs and vegetables. Fresh fish is caught locally and sustainably by fisherman on Praslin and Mahé Island. The private island is the first exclusive eco-luxury conservation based model of its kind to ensure that all of the revenue derived from each guest is reinvested to ensure the long healthy life of the island and its many animal inhabitants. The lodgings give a comfortable and familiar atmosphere while providing opulence and paradise that coincides with strict building protocol and regulations to make sure the human needs of its ambassadors do not outweigh the needs of the ecosystem. The materials and colors of the interior blend into the ocean, sands, and surrounding vegetation which creates a soft, seamless transition from the outside in. Cousine Island strives to reinvent the way that we view tourism; they believe that sustainable ecotourism should benefit the island and promote conservation and sustainable resources and practices by involving the guests on the island directly with the region’s biodiversity. There is much conservation work on the island such as the planting of indigenous trees from the island’s nursery, assisting the monitoring of marine turtles and birds, and “to promote and practice nature conservation and the wise use of nature resources of the island and its surroundings”. When you leave the magnificent island preservation, you will have a greater knowledge of the environment and importance of respecting nature and appreciating all of its gifts and beauty. Even if you choose not to get involved directly with the conservation, by visiting the tropical oasis you will be supporting its efforts to spread the beauty of ecotourism and keep the habitat thriving.
For more information and booking, visit cousineisland.com or call +27 11 706 3104 Cousine Island, POBox977, Victoria, Mahe
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14 ANNUAL FEDEX/ST. JUDE ANGELS & STARS GALA Stars shined on downtown Miami on Saturday, May 14, when just over 500 guests filled the InterContinental Hotel to celebrate the carnivalthemed 14 annual FedEx/St. Jude Angels & Stars Gala. Thanks to events like this one, families never receive a bill from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. The evening recognized Cubanborn American journalist and one of Time Magazine’s “25 Most Influential Hispanics in America,” Cristina Saralegui, for her commitment to giving back and educating the Hispanic community. This year, the evening was happy to welcome back gala co founder & model and entrepreneur Daisy Fuentes, whose husband, legendary Grammy Award winner Richard Marx, performed a special set for the crowd. Guests also dined & danced the night away to a lively set by Venezuelan pop duo Chino y Nacho, with DJ Mauricio Parra spinning late into the evening. The event was all in the name of the lifesaving mission of St. Jude, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancers and other lifethreatening diseases. Additionally, Miami based business woman and philanthropist Patty Gutierrez was also honored for her longtime fundraising work with St. Jude. Gutiérrez’s son Stephan is a former St. Jude patient who at the age of 11 was diagnosed with a rare cancerous tumor in his stomach. Stephan, now 21, is finished with treatment and is currently pursuing a college degree in Boston and returns to St. Jude for checkups annually.
Photography by Angélica Vélez 1/ Richard Marx & Daisy Fuentes 2/ Scarlet Gruber 3/ Ismael Cala, Cristina Saralegui, Elizabeth Gutierrez & Julio Barrionuevo 4/ St. Jude patients - Christopher, Crista & Nic 5/ Richard Marx 6/ Karla Monroig 7/ Alberto Sardiñas 8/ Dr. Ramzi Younis & Ragheb Haddad
9/ Candela Ferro & Khotan Fernandez 10/ Alejandro Chaban 11/ Jose & Zayda Hernandez 12/ Arturo & Ana Hernández 13/ Elizabeth Gutiérrez 14/ Tony & Amy Dandrades 15/ Cristina Saralegui & Marcos Ávila 16/ Enrique Lopez & Irma Martínez 17/ Ximena Córdoba
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KICK PLEAT GRAND OPENING IN HOUSTON Thursday, June 16th Kick Pleat hosted a private in-store gathering to celebrate the opening of their new Houston boutique located on the high-profile corner of Kirby Drive and Westheimer Road. Kick Pleat Founder Wendi Martin (Koletar) warmly greeted more than 100 style mavens and sophisticates who enjoyed an evening of mingling and shopping along with fajita tacos and margaritas from Armandos’ shiny red food truck. Event-goers admired and combed through the carefullycurated store collection boasting a unique designer roster including Apiece Apart, Caron Callahan, Common Projects, Creatures of Comfort, Dusan, Issey Miyake, Jil Sander, Lemaire, Nehera, Rachel Comey, Rodebjer, and Samuji, to name a few.
The Austin-based women’s fashion and accessories shopping destination opened the Houston boutique – its first expansion store – at the end of April. Martin founded Kick Pleat in 2003 and has garnered legions of devoted fans in Austin and beyond thanks to a unique roster of coveted designers and silhouettes, as well as a stellar online platform and digital presence.
“I am thrilled to join the Houston community. Many loyal Houston-based customers have been visiting us throughout the years, and I look forward to developing many more relationships,” said Martin. “We greatly appreciate the warm welcome, and are eager to become a trusted resource for timeless and classic pieces.” Photography by Daniel Ortiz
1/ Sarah Cox, Jessica Barkley 2/ Wendi Martin, Ceron 3/ Suzanne Duin, Ben Johnston 4/ Jennifer Ellzey, Meg Lonergan 5/ Roz Pactor, Jill Panky 6/ Rachel Summers, Victoria Christensen 7/ Wendi Martin, Kylie Campbell, Shelley Nelson and Allie Thomas
THRIVE DRIP SPA GRAND OPENING Wednesday, May 25, ThrIVe Drip Spa invited guests to experience Houston’s first and only luxury wellness Drip Spa for a fabulous evening at the grand opening in a tricked out air conditioned tent in the parking lot in front of the new store on Wirt Road. Models lined the Drip Lounge inside the spa as they showed off ThrIVe’s customized Drips, shot boosters, and stateof-the-art Cryo-Therapy machine. More than 250 guests entered the custom tent styled by En Vogue Events with GTX Event Productions creating the ThrIVE vibe. Light blue and purple lights set the tone of sophistication and relaxation while guests were seen enjoying the sounds of the DJ’s top hits in sleek lounging areas. Bartender Andrew Grala served top-notch cocktails and Eddie V’s provided savories including Cocktail Shrimp, Caprese Salad, and Ahi Tuna Tartare. The stylish crowd included ThrIVe partner and highly regarded orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eugene Lou and wife Jodi Lou, ThrIVe Director of Operations Gilad Lutfak, Marketing Director Erin Kemp, former baseball player Royce Huffman and wife Haylie Huffman, former Texans players Chris Myers and Chester Pitts and wife LaToya Pitts, MMA fighter Mike Trinh, undefeated boxing prospect Regis Prograis, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, Ned and Laura Davenport, Neera Patidar, Jared and Caroline StarryLeBlanc, Kirby Wittoesch, and CKO Digital owners Mishelle Echeverria and Seth Bruce.
Photography by Chris Brown 1/ Matt Vandever, Lauren Mallory 2/ Amy and Tyson Mire 3/ Rogelio Rendon, Caroline Starry LeBlanc 4/ Erin Kemp, Gilad Lutfak 5/ LaToya and Chester Pitts 6/ Jeremy Garcia, Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl, Brian McCulloch 7/ Stephen DePatie, Stephanie Ayles, Rylie Ayles 8/ Cindy Pham, Johanna Terry, Savanna Gray, Jeannie Tram
IRIS COVET BOOK
Iris Insider MR. FADY ARMANIOUS
Tootsie’s Boutique is renowned around the country as a leader in high-end, highly curated, designer shopping. Fady Armanious is one of the creative minds behind the elegant, elevated store.
A modern day dandy, Fady Armanious is a peacock with a Celine bag and Gucci loafers. Fady has brought this effortlessly exuberant style to the aid of Tootsie’s and its esteemed place at the head of luxury retailing in Houston since the early 70’s. Armanious gave us the inside scoop to life as the Creative Director and Buyer for the store and a list of his favorite places to eat, shop, and relax in Houston. Portrait illuatration by artist Kei Meguro for more of her work visit: keimeguro.com | instagram @keimeguro
HELEN GREEK FOOD & WINE A great neighborhood type restaurant located in Rice village which implements a creative and modern take on classic Greek fare. My favorite dish is the grilled octopus, so it is a must if you enjoy seafood and a quaint environment. There are tons of amazing options though, for example a salt-roasted shrimp with a honey dipping sauce that comes on a bed of salt, rosemary, and bay leaves is another favorite of mine. If you want a lighter meal, their Greek salad cannot be beat thanks to their imported olives and feta: the perfect amount of salt. For more information visit: helengreekfoodandwine.com or call 832-831-7133 2429 Rice Blvd, Houston, TX 77005
TOOTSIE'S I am the Creative Director of Tootsie’s Boutique in Houston, a luxurious 35,000 square foot boutique housing an eclectic assortment of women’s luxury brands. From contemporary to designer and evening, all different price points, there is something here for everyone. It is one of the best shopping destinations in the city and we have a great team that will help any woman look fabulous. For more information visit: tootsies.com or call 713-629-9990 2601 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON The Museum of Fine Arts Houston in the Museum District is one of the largest museums in the United States. The permanent collection of the museum spans more than 6,000 years of history with 64,000 works from six continents. The MFAH really inspires my own creative flow and is a constant source of knowledge and interesting work. For more information visit: mfa.org or call 713-639-7300 1001 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005
ROTHKO CHAPEL The Rothko Chapel, which was commissioned by the Menil family, is a non-denominational space designed around Rothkoâ€™s famous works, and itâ€™s a great get away from how busy life can be. It is part gallery and part worship space. It is an intellectual fusion of decoding and contemplating. If you need to find peace, tranquility, and zen definitely stop by to enjoy the beautiful space. On the plaza, Barnett Newman's majestic sculpture "Broken Obelisk" stands in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and each season the Rothko Chapel brings together programs and discussions. The aim of the chapel is to encourage mindfulness in all of its delegates. For more information visit: rothkochapel.org or call 713-524-9839 3900 Yupon St, Houston, TX 77006
IRIS COVET BOOK
Q&A: STEVEN KOLB
Steven Kolb joined the CFDA in 2006 after many successful years working with the American Cancer Society, the Design Industrial Foundation Fighting AIDS and the MTVN International Staying Alive Foundation. With both a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters degree in Public Relations, it is no surprise that Steven has masterfully combined the two skills to give artists in fashion around the country the ability to showcase, fund, and propel their work to the global stage. Ever since becoming CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, he has merged the world of philanthropy, health and fashion by creating the CFDA Health Initiative which stresses the importance of a healthy lifestyle for models as well as Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. In 2014, he created the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund to assist in the first steps of the development of a young fashion brand and provide these young entrepreneurs with a mentor and network. With the upcoming men’s fashion week coming to NYC, we are in fevered anticipation to hear from one of its leaders. We had a moment to chat with Kolb as he shared some of his important insider knowledge of the industry and why American fashion is so important right now.
Can you describe in a few words what do you do as CEO of the CFDA? As CEO, I work with the Board on strategy and manage the day-to-day of the Organization. Diane Von Furstenberg, our President, and I started together and we work as a team day in and day out. We work together to provide the best leadership possible for the CFDA members.
How does someone working in the fields of cancer and HIV/AIDS land in the fashion industry? How does it all intertwine? I’ve always worked in non-profit and the CFDA is a non-profit, so my experience as a manager, fundraiser and organizer lends itself to my work at the CFDA. Beyond having the necessary experience, I would say that I love fashion and I think it is fun and gives us the ability to be expressive every day. Marrying my business experience with my fashion experience made a lot of sense to me.
Kendall Jenner, Hood by Air and even now mass market brands like Tory Burch and Michael Kors are taking the global fashion village by storm. American models and brands are having an important moment worldwide. What do you think makes American fashion so unique? I believe that there is an entrepreneurial spirit in the United States which sets it apart
from other countries. Anyone can make it in America, and that has created some of the brand giants you mentioned and made the US a big presence on the international stage.
The United States is a great fashion moodboard. Why do you think Americana is so inspiring? It is the diversity of culture and people and the mix of urban and rural living that makes Americana so inspiring. From the Midwest to the South and on both coasts of the country, the plethora of culture and style is truly unique.
Popular high consumption American retail companies like Abercrombie and Fitch, The Gap and J. Crew are seeing hardships in recent time. How does the CFDA advice these brands to stay on solid ground? The retail landscape is ever changing. Retail needs to be omni-channel, and by that I mean it has to approach the consumer through many different means of communication. Whether on our phones or on the streets the messages that the brands are giving have to be delivered. Consumer markets are always shifting, and the companies need to keep moving to stay relevant.
The CFDA recently published a book about Instagram and Fashion. What do you feel is
the ultimate power behind this app? Which are some of your favorite Instagram pages? Instagram is a way to share inside stores and personal moments. People like that. The CFDA members all have great pages.”
How does American fashion differ around the country? What's fashionable in Brooklyn, may not be the rage in Austin. Have you ever encountered some of these distinctions working with the CFDA? Fashion does reflect the streets of cities but with technology connecting us all, a trend can travel very quickly.
Where do you see American fashion going in an age where gender lines are blurred? Gender neutrality is something we see being explored more now in fashion but it is not a new thing. Women have worn men’s clothes back in the days of Marlene Dietrich and men started growing their hair long in the 1960s.
What advice would you give to young people who are interested in venturing into the fashion world? You have to love fashion to work in it. It is hard work. Also, be original and creative.
Interview by Miguel Figueroa Photography by Dario Calmese
La Confluencia Jarabacoa