LEFAIR Magazine Spring 2018

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hits the streets of Puerto Vallarta



Travel Essentials

an interview with



Sofia Carson Inspiring Young Women







sophisticated lounge that features stunning and thought-provoking decor, personalized table-side cocktails, sophisticated lounge that features stunning and thought-provoking decor, personalized table-side cocktails, delectable tapas and communal plate selections, DJ performances and live acts such as Monday night jazz delectable tapas and communal plate selections, DJ performances and live acts such as Monday night jazz




You’re an original. Your bag should be too.







10 CONTRIBUTORS 64 ZODIAC STYLE - The Spring Signs 114 GET THE LOOK - Flawless Face 108 GET THE LOOK - Frequent Flyer 123 LYRICS WE LOVE - Back to Beautiful - Sofia Carson 130 RAD APPS - Our favorite apps right now 143 LINKS WE LOVE - The Kindness Diaries

FASHION + BEAUTY 14 COOL LIKE KAHLO Spring style hits the colorful streets of Puerto Vallarta. 36 MAKE A STATEMENT Models Anna, Georgia and Joy rock bold silhouettes. 58 BLOWN AWAY Carolina Cruz flows with the wind wearing gorgeous gowns in white, red and black.


ON THE COVER Sofia Carson @sofiacarson Photographer Tiziano Lugli @tizianolugli Wardrobe Stylist Nicolas Bru @mr_nicolasbru Makeup Artist Kelsey Deenihan @kdeenihan Hair Artist Caile Noble @cailenoble Location The London Hotel @thelondonweho Reem Acra Dress, Bulgari Ring & Earrings


84 COVER STORY - TRUE BEAUTY: SOFIA CARSON Actress and singer Sofia Carson chats with us about her rising success and the reason she does what she does. 52 FEED THE HANGRY Belly full of brunch: The best brunch in Los Angeles and New York City. 72 SAM BLACKY Model and DJ Sam Blacky sports heavenly swimsuit styles in white and blue at the breathtaking Villa Premiere in Puerto Vallarta. 118 LA HOT SPOTS Explore La-La Land! Check out five of our favorite hot spots for your next night out on the town! 124 LUDOVIC NORTIER French photographer Ludovic Nortier shares his stunning work and talks about his life as a successful photographer. 132 A FIERCEFUL FORCE: DANIELLE ESPLIN Ride this fierce female’s Shockwave and stream her new single on Soundcloud. 140 KINDNESS IS FREE Leon Logothetis has a keen eye for kindness in the Netflix hit, The Kindness Diaries.

TAVEL 24 FALL IN LOVE WITH PUERTO VALLARTA Join us as we explore the streets, beaches and food of Puerto Vallarta and the luxury hotel Villa Premiere. 48 A DECADE DOWN Experience unparalleled style at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills. 68 POSTCARDS FROM SOUTHERN FRANCE Enjoy the European elegance Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills has to offer. 98 GET THE TRIP - Mexico From Cabo to San Miguel de Allende, we’ve got you covered for your next trip to Mexico.

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TRACY KAHN Editor in Chief, Creative Director & Photographer @tracykahn

MADELINE ROSENE Senior Editor @madelinerosene

RILEY YAHR Art Director @rileyyahr

BEN SHANI Videographer @benshaniproductions

JAYE YOUNKIN Editorial Assistant & Writer @jayemary

ELLIE JUNE Editorial Assistant & Writer @elliefjune

HEATHER DEVINE Editorial Assistant @heatherdevine21 ARI SIMONET Editorial Assistant TAYLOR CONFORTI Editorial Assistant @tayconforti BEN COPE Photographer @bencope HOLLY PARKER Photographer @hollyparkerphoto JORGE DUVA Photographer @jorgeduva TIZIANO LUGLI Photographer @tizianolugli


FRANCESCA LOPRESTI Wardrobe Stylist @francesca_lopresti_

@kdeenihan MARLEY GONZALES Hair Artist @marleythebarber

NICOLAS BRU Wardrobe Stylist @mr_nicolasbru

JEFFREY FOUNTAIN Videographer @jeffreyfuente

KENDELL COTTA Hair & Makeup Artist @kendell.cotta

PHOTOGENICS LA @photogenicsla

JEAN BRUCE Hair & Makeup Artist SUSANA BETANCOURT Hair & Makeup Artist @susimakeup CAILE NOBLE Hair Artist @cailenoble KELSEY DEENIHAN Makeup Artist

WILHELMINA MODELS @wilhelminamodels MARILYN AGENCY NY @marilynagencyny NEW YORK MODEL MANAGEMENT @newyorkmodels NEWMARK MODELS @newmarkmodels

the S T A R S

SOFIA CARSON Singer/Actress @sofiacarson 9.8m followers

GEORGIA GIBBS Model @georgiagibbs_ 482k followers

*Number of followers taken at date of publication

JOY CORRIGAN Model @joycorrigan 566k followers

LEON LOGOTHETIS Inspirer @llogothetis 31.2k followers

SAM BLACKY Model/DJ @samblacky 257k followers

ANNA SIZYKH Model @annasizykh_official 109k followers

CAROLINA CRUZ Model @carolinacruzosorio 3.5m followers

MARGAUX BROOKE Model @margauxbrooke 85.1k followers

ISABEL MADISON Creator of Nude Envie @nudeenvie 12k followers

LUDOVIC NORTIER Photographer/Art Director @focustheblur 6,040 followers

DANIELLE ESPLIN Musician/Author @danielleesplin 199k followers

Connect with us! Are you a writer, photographer, model or musician and want to contribute to LEFAIR Magazine? Tag us on Instagram and email us to receive our submission guidelines. If you would like LEFAIR to produce a fashion or music video for your brand, we’d love to hear from you! hello@lefairmag.com | www.lefairmag.com


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Photographer Ben Cope @bencope Wardrobe Stylist Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene Creative Director Tracy Kahn @tracykahn Model Margaux Brooke @margauxbrooke Model Agency Photogenics LA @photogenicsla Hair & Makeup Artist Kendell Cotta @kendell.cotta Location Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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Photographer Tracy Kahn @tracykahn

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TE AMO, PUERTO VALLARTA Photographer Tracy Kahn @tracykahn Writer Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene

“That’s just how people in Puerto Vallarta are. They’re nice,” said Sara Sanchez, our Puerto Vallarta guide and friend. We needed to repair an intricate statement jewelry piece just before our shoot with celebrity photographer Ben Cope and model/actress Margaux Brooke. Sara was kind enough to take the beaded silver mess to an artisan in town who insisted that the repair cost nothing. Because the hospitality and generosity of the locals in Puerto Vallarta is unparalleled and the resorts are exquisite, Puerto Vallarta is LEFAIR Magazine’s favorite spring 2018 vacation destination.

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LEFAIR Magazine flew to Puerto Vallarta via Volaris Airlines. The team stayed at Villa Premiere (part of Hoteles Buenaventura), an intimate contemporary adults-only property with a five-minute walk from the famous seaside boardwalk “El Malecón” and all the major attractions that historic downtown Puerto Vallarta has to offer. We were welcomed with champagne and a five-minute massage/ transcendental experience, and then invited to pick our own pillows from the pillow menu — orthopedic (rigid and firm), pleasure (medium soft goose feather), essence (soft hypoallergenic)… No detail is overlooked at Villa Premiere. We were also asked to choose fragrances for our rooms like gardenia or cucumber. Suckers for words and poetry, our team was drawn to the poem written in a large cursive gold font on the white wall near the hotel’s entrance. The poem reads: queda este enorme cansancio la debil certeza de no saber nada, de no querer ya nada de conformarnos con esta tarde en la playa y con los ojos palidos del mar, los que no ven, lo hechos para ser contemplados - Hugo Gutierrez Vega 1934 - 2015

Photos on this page courtesy of Villa Premiere

“He was a friend of ours,” General Manager of Villa Premiere Alessandro Stifani explained. “He died just a few years ago. He wrote this poem for us. I don’t really know how to translate it. It’s difficult with poems.”


This, non-Spanish-speaking American can only roughly translate the poem (with the help of Google Translate) to: Is this huge fatigue just the certainty of not knowing anything of not wanting anything anymore Wanting to settle for this afternoon on the beach And with the pale eyes of the sea, Those which do not see The facts to be contemplated Bottles of champagne awaited each of us in our rooms along with colorful assortments of candies and chocolates under bell-shaped glass trays. Tranquil music played through speakers. We met up with DJ and model, Sam Blacky by the pool where she and our Editor in Chief, Tracy Kahn, ordered iced almond milk lattes, guacamole and chips, and shrimp ceviche.

The word “chic” is entirely overused and vague but somehow, Margaux Brooke is the very essence of the word and gives it meaning. She is poised, feminine and fashionable without trying. Even if she just rolled out of bed and threw on sweats and sneakers, she’d look beautiful without makeup. Sitting in the glam chair under the masterful hands of hair and makeup artist, Kendell Cotta, Margaux’s hair was sleek and straight with some movement using Amika Straightener, heat protectant and hair serum, and IGK foil frizz static control spray. Her skin was prepped with Pacifica beauty, and makeup was kept simple — clean, glowy skin with peachy cheeks using Tarte and Glossier products. The eye look was tamed brows, a metallic neutral eye with wispy lashes using Nudestix. The lip was kept natural and hydrated. The team was off to downtown Puerto Vallarta — the colors and textures of the buildings and walls made for a perfect canvas for Ben Cope’s photos of Margaux. Picking flowers for her hair along the way, we ran into iconic structures like the love nest of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton where they stayed during the making of “Night of the Iguana.” L E FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 2 7

The locals and tourists looked on at the shoot as they passed, admiring Margaux’s beauty and the framing of the shots. Popping in and out of local P.V. restaurants and boutiques to change looks, Kendell slicked down Margaux’s hair into a low bun using IGK vicious strong gold hair spray and changed her lip color using Nudestix lip pencils. Part shoot, part downtown Puerto Vallarta exploration, Margaux often stopped to take Polaroids of old Beetle Bug Volkswagens. In downtown Puerto Vallarta, you will find bars, clubs, shops, an outdoor amphitheater, and a gazebo in which elderly people gather on Sunday nights for traditional Mexican dancing called Danzón. Next to the gazebo there is a “safe space” meeting ground for the town to gather in the event of an emergency. There is a reverence for history, tradition and community in Puerto Vallarta coupled with a welcoming attitude and open-mindedness towards its tourists. The savory delights of the street food in Puerto Vallarta are evidenced by one ceviche cart in particular located on Guerrero and Matamoros where we cooled off in the shade with fresh shrimp ceviche and waited for our Uber back to Villa Premiere.

group of foodies. The hotel’s Chef ’s Table is a 5-course menu created by Chef Martínez that reflects creativity, passion, teamwork and the art of flavor. The dinner is available at an additional cost for groups with hotel reservations. Our culinary journey began with a bouquet of mushrooms accompanied by five sauces to choose from. Most agreed that the mushrooms paired best with the passion fruit cream sauce. Each diner was given a small fire contained in stones on their setting to cook their dishes and have the meal remain hot. The dishes were plated beautifully, and 27-year-old Executive Chef Tony Martinez is quite the dish himself. Raised in a family of chefs and restaurateurs, Chef Martinez proved himself to be gifted in the culinary arts at a young age. To name a few of his notable diners, he has cooked for the President of Mexico, the President of Spain, the Crown Prince of Norway, and now LEFAIR Magazine. Those who have tasted his extraordinary creations say that this young culinary wizard was born with a special gift.

“There is a reverence for history, tradition and community in Puerto Vallarta coupled with a welcoming attitude and open-mindedness towards its tourists.”

Two shoots in two days and Sam Blacky was up next! Of course, Sam is already beach bunny perfection, but Kendell Cotta took everything one step further and gave Sam textureheavy beach waves that would turn any beach bum into a beach babe! She used the Amika hot tool barrel to create the waves with the heat protectant serum and texture spray. Sam’s makeup was kept natural and minimal (since things were about to get wet!)

Playing with the curtains of the hotel’s massage cabana at the end of the pier and in the sand on the beach, the rays of the sun hit Sam Blacky’s skin. “You have such a great way of moving and I just want to follow you, so you’re leading,” Tracy Kahn said to Sam. Sometimes photo shoots look more like an un-choreographed dance. This is how it looked at sunset as Tracy shot Sam in the waves on the beach. With a drone flying overhead, a sailboat at sea, Sam lying in the sand like a beached mermaid, and the sun just settling over the horizon, the scene was picturesque. The team’s last night was spent together immersed in culinary refinement and excellence. Upon request, Villa Premiere provides a unique sensory experience that will delight even the most demanding 2 8 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE

The culinary team introduced Chef Tony by telling us that he has ten different pencils in his office. They all look the same but he says they’re different and they’re used for different things. “He is always drawing and always creating,” they explained. He was a hippy, surfing on the beach in Sayulita when he started as a kitchen helper in a restaurant near the beach. From there he worked his way up. When someone asked him how he created the egg in the nest dessert, he said he was listening to Pink Floyd. After dessert, We were served Mezcal in wooden sipping cups along with salt and a lime. “This Mezcal is from Oaxaca, the south of Mexico,” explained the jovial Isabel Fernández, Food and Beverage Assistant at Villa Premiere. “It’s very strong. I don’t want you to fall over, so just give your cup a little kiss at first!” Most of us gave our Mezcals a few too many kisses that night. Chef Martínez combines his natural-born talent with authentic passion to create extraordinary experiences. He was even eager to cater to some of our more high maintenance gluten-free, pescatarian needs, creating special dishes like a delectable tofu in a mustard plantain crust. In his own words, the food and experiences he creates “nourish not only the body, but the soul, as well,” as he said at the November 2014 Gourmet Festival in Puerto Vallarta, at which he cooked shoulder-to-shoulder with master chefs from all over the world.

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With its incredible cuisine, rich cultural history, and prominent artistic community, visiting Puerto Vallarta in general does just that, nourishes the body and the soul. During our stay at Villa Premiere, we learned that Puerto Vallarta is a city dedicated to the love and appreciation of art. Almost every bar or restaurant features some kind of live entertainment. The city is known for fostering and cultivating talent and creativity. Children in Puerto Vallarta are encouraged at a young age to pursue arts and music as evidenced by The Puerto Vallarta Youth School Orchestra. The OEPV (Orquesta Escuela de Puerto Vallarta) was founded by Hoteles Buenaventura as a community action program that helps develop young kids and teenagers into musicians, with the intention of expanding their outlook and forming a better community within the city.

“Relish in the ref inements of our surroundings and ref lect on what it is to be loved and to give love.�


Its rigorous and extensive music development regimen assures students have a chance at competing with graduates of the best music conservatories and schools. The OEPV project looks to, among other things, create and educate better citizens within all walks of life. It’s a project that aims to develop better leaders who are committed and consistent in their respect of their city. Along those lines, the project aims to give back to the community, making P.V. a more attractive place for everyone. In the past, The International Poets and Art Conference “Letters by The Sea” has chosen Puerto Vallarta as the perfect backdrop for this International Conference. One of the most important literary events in Mexico, this professional exchange between poets based in P.V. and guest poets visiting from Uruguay, France, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Quebec and elsewhere in Mexico creates a profusion of poetry, with the goal of transforming it into a basic necessity of good living. “Letters by the Sea” has rendered Vallarta the “Poetry Port in America” since 2011.

Thanks to prose and poetry, love and beauty are in the air and on the walls at Villa Premiere. The Oscar Wilde quote, “Who being loved is poor?” and The William Shakespeare quote, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date...” remind us to relish in the refinements of our surroundings and reflect on what it is to be loved and to give love. Romance is all around Villa Premiere (and the city of Puerto Vallarta) and even though it was a running joke that Kendell Cotta and I were on our couple’s retreat, in all seriousness, this is a destination that should be visited with love in your heart, be it selflove or the love of another. Fall in love with Mexico like we did and take to heart the words of Hugo Gutierrez Vega, and “settle for this afternoon on the beach... with the pale eyes of the sea...” Thank you Villa Premiere and the people of Puerto Vallarta! ■

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Book a flight to Puerto Vallarta today! flights.volaris.com

Videographer Jeffrey Fountain @jeffreyfuente Edit & Music Ben Cope @ben_cope

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“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – A N O N Y M O U S

Photo courtesy of Villa Premiere 3 4 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE

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MAKE A STATE MENT Photographer Holly Parker @hollyparkerphoto Models Georgia Gibbs @georgiagibbs_ with Wilhelmina Models @wilhelminamodels, Joy Corrigan @joycorrigan with Marilyn Agency NY @marilynagencyny and Anna Sizykh @annasizykh_official with New York Model Management @newyorkmodels Hair & Makeup Artist Jean Bruce


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A Decade Down:


Writer Ellie June @elliefjune



s you glide atop pearly granite floors and enter through a set of glass-paned double doors, The London West Hollywood marches gallantly through its second decade fully redesigned. The London Team celebrated 20 years in 2018 with an $11 million makeover in January.

A new elegance in design, The London has continued to speak the clash between London chic and California chill since its opening in April 2008. With the redesign comes a re-emphasis on all things cool with a transformed rooftop pool deck, the new London Bar, and an updated Boxwood restaurant—all of which we explored like kids set wild in a candy store for our soft and sweet spring cover shoot with the lovely Sofia Carson.


A cool breeze passes through the lobby, as we did on that frigid winter morning in L.A. (a cool 70 degrees). The lobby bustles just as Bristol would and guests cannot help but feel reminiscent of returning from a stroll through London fog where gentleman at the door in soft gray suits check your coat and note your dinner reservations.


Turn the corner and the London Bar boasts a mid-century flow as if guests have returned from an afternoon splurge at Harrods, feet propped up upon a crushed velvet chaise while babysitting a gin and tonic (more affectionately known at the London Bar as the Bond Girl). The bar is designed to entice the incoming flow of last minute check-ins when afternoon light pours a flood through the grand skylight. In comes an order of fish and cube-shaped chips stacked in lattice form.


Helmed by Chef Anthony Keene, the Boxwood dining room was redesigned with an afternoon like this one in mind. “California inspires my cooking and creativity,” Keene says. “Los Angeles has become such an important part of the U.S. food scene. A friend of mine goes to the farmers markets for me and picks out the freshest food. It’s great to have that at our fingertips.” The setting is not so much aromatic as it is posh. Boxwood’s sitting rooms, foyer, and dining rooms can be segmented to create intimate settings for understated rendezvous, celebratory receptions, and private meetings. Both Boxwood and its pair, the London Bar, are as glam as they are cool.


AKA Architecture + Design lead the Rooftop Pool Deck’s legendary renovation. Its new design intends to enhance the picturesque views of the Hollywood Hills while honoring a feel for an afternoon in an English garden. Focused around a perimeter of iconic palm trees, the deck flows in perfect symmetry. Hotel guests can draw the curtain facing the pool and keep the other side open to the Hollywood hillside of L E FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 4 9

mega estates and palm trees that provide an intimate backdrop. Others can lounge across classic fabrics on plush white seats atop painted wooden decks ideal for poolside sunning and outdoor dining at Boxwood on the Roof. The rooftop restaurant is located on the rooftop’s west side, and offers an al fresco dining experience open to guests and to the public. The character of the hotel’s original design is honored, but it embraces new. The rooftop deck is now equipped to suit various experiences from newly-touched private cabanas with private seating, televisions, and mini refrigerators to intimate poolside sunning areas, a separate fire pit area, as well as cocktails and light bites.


Lights up on The Screening Room, a high-tech new theater right off the lobby fit for industry screenings, or maybe just a movie night in style. Seats for 110, the room houses a 20-foot screen with Dolby digital, surround sound and 3D capabilities, plus a private elevator from the garage, and satellite live-streaming. It is the hotel’s best kept secret.


Room décor is soft and muted. Designer David Collins, a friend of Madonna’s, is best known for his work in some of London’s 5 0 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE

most notable restaurants and bars, including Claridge’s Hotel Bar and the National Dining Rooms at the National Gallery. All rooms boast either a balcony or terrace, and guests wake up to a sweeping view of Beverly Hills. Sophia took note and hung her head gracefully over the banister for some of her most gorgeous shots by Tiziano Lugli overlooking Hollywood, and what was to be her most exciting award season yet. The room’s open-plan suite feels serene contrast to the hustle just floors below on Sunset Boulevard. Bathrooms are grand and enormous. Sparkling marble and mosaics line wading tubs and newly done showers with multiple shower heads for good company.


The London teamed up with the renowned Vivienne Westwood, British fashion designer-businesswomanpunk and new wave fashionista, to design a luxurious bilevel penthouse that will literally take your breath away. The hotel group invested over $25 million in the top level suite’s renovation, and starting next month it will accept reservations for it, at $25,000 per night. Guests are beckoned to stay in the largest hotel suite in Los Angeles, spreading over 11,000 square feet. A private access opens this penthouse from the tenth floor through a private corridor which latches opens to a large foyer, and then to a Grand Salon sitting room tastefully decorated with exclusive art and décor and customized furnishings. Inside can be found chic cushions and upholstery designed by Westwood, bespoke cabinetry and furniture, handmade tapestry, builtin bookcases, elegant mirror panels, and a big rug with the renowned squiggle pattern. The penthouse also includes a full-sized kitchen, media room, a dining room, and a massive, 5,000 square foot, private outdoor terrace from where you can enjoy some of the most beautiful views of Century City.


Since its opening in 2008, the London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills has curated an atmosphere of British style intricately melded into a Los Angeles lifestyle. The 226 all-suite hotel underwent a propertywide renovation of its guest suites, meeting spaces, and additions to the London Bar. Its most recent refit is its 100-seat screening room, a state of the art fitness center, and 26 new suites including the 11,000 square foot two story penthouse inspired by Vivienne Westwood.


Beyond the magnificence of this mega-suite, what sets the London aside from other Beverly Hills properties is its keen attention to detail. Service details are of special importance here: the chilled lavender washcloths by the pool, the remarkably resourceful concierge staff, the "welcome back" from the fedora-topped doorman every time a guest walks through the front door. At checkout, London guests are sent off even more young, vibrant, and hip from one of U.S. News’ most “raved about” hotels. In commemoration, the British flag waves gallantly beside the 50 stars and stripes, and the Hollywood sign signals a cheek in the corner of your eye. ■ For more information, visit thelondonwesthollywood.com. L E FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 5 1


Oreo Cookie Pancake, Beauty & Essex 5 2 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE


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BLU JAM CAFE Feed the hangry! Blu Jam Café Founder/Executive Chef, Kamil Majer, emigrated from former Czechoslovakia, where he developed his strong passion for the culinary arts at a young age. Upon arriving in Los Angeles in 1983, Kamil started out in kitchens and dining rooms at the famed Century Plaza Hotel, and quickly worked his way up. It wasn’t long before Kamil was chosen to be part of the team tasked with opening The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Kamil took jobs in several high-end restaurants throughout Los Angeles and Tokyo before opening the original Blu Jam Café on Melrose in 2006. At Blu Jam Café they have no freezers at any of their locations, so everything is fresh and made-to-order. Many of their ingredients are organic. Whenever possible, they source locally from farmer’s markets and ranches. Chef Kamil believes that food does not have to be complicated to be amazing. Simple and good quality ingredients can create stunning dishes, and presentation is paramount to an incredible a dining experience. The LEFAIR Magazine team highly recommends the French toast churros, bites of which are commonly handed out to guests waiting in line at the Melrose location. #FeedTheHangry

7371 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90046 blujamcafe.com 5 4 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE

FARMSHOP Farmshop will help you remember why Sunday is the best day of the week. Located in Brentwood amongst some of the finest shopping (Warning: There is an Intermix next door), The Farm Shop is the perfect destination for a lazy Sunday outing. Half farmer’s market-half restaurant: since shopping on an empty stomach is dangerous (especially here), we recommend eating and then perusing the fine selection of organic produce and cheeses. Our favorite Mainer and restaurant manager, Kyle Jones, made the day even more of a delight with his spot-on recommendations. Some of our favorites include the avocado hummus, gluten-free blueberry muffins (superior to the glutenridden muffins) from the pastry basket, house made pastrami and poached eggs, the egg frittata with shishito peppers, and the white peach bellini!

225 26th Street, Suite 25 Santa Monica, CA 90402 farmshopca.com

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BEAUTY & ESSEX The brunch at Beauty and Essex Los Angeles can be summed up in one word: decadent. It’s a plus that our waiter had the charm and looks of one of our favorite rappers, J. Cole. Be warned. It’s a food coma waiting to happen. “I have a wheelbarrow in the back if you need help to the car,” said Collin (AKA J. Cole). Entering on a melodic note — the entryway to Beauty and Essex is a pawn-inspired gift/ guitar shop with a beautifully curated selection of electric Fenders, Gibsons, and some lesser known guitar brands like Cindy’s lining the wall. Seated outside in the ivy covered courtyard, the LEFAIR Magazine team ordered tuna poke tacos, grilled cheese tomato soup dumplings, avocado latke Benedict, and lobster BLT rolls. We also drank enough Berries and Bubbles, Wake Up Calls, and Bloody Marys with bacon to make several liquid confidence-induced trips to the bathroom’s selfie station (yes, this is real). With the Bee Gee’s “Love You Inside and Out” playing over the speakers, things were turning up. Finally dessert was served — a layered chocolate cake with a crumble garnish and vanilla ice cream and a sundae with drizzled dark chocolate, whipped cream, and toffee sauce.

146 Essex Street New York, NY 10002

1615 Cahuenga Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90028





Cafe Fiorello is an institution across the street from Lincoln Center serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends. Brunch offers an array of options including omelets and frittatas, eggs Benedict, Tony Bennett’s French toast, fluffy pancakes and smoked fish. Other tasty items such as their signature thin crust pizzas topped with eggs, house made pastas, chicken parmesan, salads and an elaborate vegetable antipasto bar are also available. ■1900 Broadway New York, NY 10023 cafefiorello.com L E FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 5 7

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zodiac style

Writer Barbara Rosene, Astrologer astrologybybarbararosene.com















































MAR 22

APR 21

ARIES Looking first at the colors which are associated with the signs of the zodiac, Aries, ruled by Mars, the little fireball, is always happy in red. Aries is the initiator and is always a bit rogue, and that is reflected in Aries’ fashion statements. Powerful energy and vibrancy of spirit associated with the first child of the zodiac, is served up with bright color. Aries likes to be first of course, so they are trend setters in many ways, but they aren’t really innovators like Aquarians. That would actually require a little too much thought. They need pieces that can mix and match and that they can throw on as they spontaneously run out the door. They’re attracted to anything which helps keep them on the move- sneakers, for example, red Chuck Taylor’s, or even combat boots. No one pulls off a short jacket, especially jackets with a military feeling, like Aries the warrior. Clothing in “camo” always works for them too. Aries rules the head as the first sign of the zodiac, and in keeping with that idea, Aries loves hats and all head accessories. So barrettes, hairbands, sunglasses, and scarves are worn as statements. They are the sign of the Ram which is already adorned with prominent horns. Aries is not afraid of what others think of their fashion statement. And they are not ones to follow fashion advice (or any advice for that matter). They are just themselves. And they love to turn heads as they walk into a room, but again, not necessarily in heels. They just can’t move fast enough in them. Get out of their way and let them be the life of the party. Arian designers include: Guccio Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, Kendra Scott, Kidada Jones, Jazmin Whitley, Loai Naseem and Vivienne Westwood.

Photographer Eric Michael Roy @ericmichaelroy L E FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 6 5

APR 22

M AY 2 1

TA U R U S Earth Child Taurus feels nurtured in fresh greens. It revitalizes Taurus’ spirit and reinforces its connection to nature and the earth. Just like the verdant pastures the Bull resides in, green represents growth and beginnings, and Taurus is a sign of expansion and strength. The return of green in the springtime — Taurus’ season — further enhances its connection to this sign. Light blue — as in sky blue — is another natural color for nature oriented Taurus. And of course, Taurus also loves all earth tones. Taurus has a preference for a luxurious way of life, which they incorporate in their unique and elegant style. So cashmere, silk and leather — anything that is a natural fiber — is highly desired. Shopping is their favorite activity, and they are not necessarily looking for a bargain. Their motto is quality over quantity. Taurians are sensual and in touch with their bodies, so clothes in which they can show off their physique are definitely a preference. And because they are down to earth, They want their clothing to be timeless and to set a statement of class and sophistication. No throw-away, disposable frocks for them. They want something that will last. Taurians love to accessorize their throat and neck, as this is the part of the body ruled by Taurus. You will often see them wearing a scarf or necklace that accents this area of the body. Similar to the clothing, the accessories are high quality and classic in style. They don’t “put on” however, as they strive to be authentic. And they do like to be “comfy,” so their cashmere sweat pants are their favorite article of clothing. Of all the signs, they are also the most likely to hold onto their clothing. They probably have their high school letterman’s jacket or their parochial school plaid skirt still in the closet and they probably still fit. Taurus designers are: Chiara Ferragni, Donatella Versace, Lillie Lexie Gregg, Tinker Hatfield, Nikkie Plessen, Cameron Furniss, Miuccia Prada, and Sofia Sanchez.

Photographer Eric Michael Roy @ericmichaelroy 6 6 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE

M AY 2 2

JUN 21

GEMINI Gemini’s color is yellow — not golden yellow, for that is for Leo — but the yellow of daffodils waving in that sunshine. This inspiring color lifts Gemini’s spirit and triggers curiosity and brilliant thoughts. It shines through in Gemini’s exciting, upbeat slightly crazy, nature. Yellow lightens and brightens everything around it. As the color of the mind and the intellect, yellow enhances Gemini’s mental powers and focus. Of all the signs Gemini probably has the most clothes in their closet. Many clothes for their many moods. They also love crazy pairings — things other signs would never think of wearing like flip flops with a fur wrap — Only Aquarians are similar in this way. The fashion style of a Gemini can be described as eclectic, funky and eccentric. They love to draw attention to their hands and arms. You will often find them with some form of accessory or decoration on their arms, fingers, or hands. The shoulders are also part of the body designated to Gemini, and the provocative, ever young twin loves off the shoulder blouses and hoopy earrings. Gemini loves jewelry in general. Chunky bracelets and big rings — or a whole lot of bangles. They also make a statement with their bags. Usually bags consisting of fun fabrics and bright colors. Gemini always wants to have a youthful look is attracted to styles that bring out their inner youth. Whether their shoes, clothes, or accessories, they enjoy making a statement. Although styles for most signs change and develop over time, the Gemini style may change the most. They love flitting and floating from one style to the next and enjoy changing it up. Not following rules is a true mark of a Gemini — in fashion and in life. Gemini is far more of a creator than a follower. Many shoe designers are Gemini. The passion being to design in pairs. Salvatore Ferragamo, Tory Burch and Charlotte Olympia make natural and talented shoe designers. Other designers include: Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, Luella Bartley, Jessica McClintock, Henry Holland, and Lulu Guinness. ■

Photographer Tracy Kahn @tracykahn L E FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 6 7

Postcards from Southern France: SOFITEL LOS ANGELES AT BEVERLY HILLS Writer Ellie June @elliefjune

Sofitel calls its vision “l’art de vivre,” or the French art of living. Its message is to ensure guests feel like they are staying the night in the comfort of a grand palace. Glamour ensues upon entrance as guests leave the sites and sounds of Sunset Boulevard to the City of Angels for an impromptu European escape. Positioned on the corner of La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard, opposite the Beverly Center, Sofitel Los Angeles is a home away from Paris mid-reverie of old Hollywood. With a keen eye for understated luxury, Sofitel urges its guests to travel, sleep, and eat in true French fashion.



Estérel restaurant satisfies the appetite with a traditionally French farm-to-table style complimenting plates with fragrant, fresh herbs and Middle Eastern spices. Chef Peter Manfredini curates the menu with a Mediterranean palate in mind, stirring up dishes like fluffy zucchini beignets paired with a garlic aioli before its savory traditional main course, the Cioppino — an assortment of seafood humming with tomato and onion basted in braised fennel and saffron. Guests can seamlessly transition to drinks at Riviera 31. The seating room offers an intimate table-side cocktail preparation for a unique bottle service experience. Mixologist expert Frederic Zemmour dreams up his cocktails inside the sensual baroquestyle lounge amidst ruby red and sapphire blue crushed velvet sofas under a grand Rococo ceiling. The menu’s most popular drink, La Rosa Picante, pairs its finest tequila with jalapeño, ginger, lime, and an unexpected splash of rose water for a deep, passionate flavor (much like the lounge’s dark and sexy color palette under quelled, romantic light). The tapas menu transitions by season and focuses on fresh flavors for guilt-free late night bites. Favorites include gourmet sandwiches and flatbreads to pair with a crisp aperitif. Stepping through time [and even space], Le Jardin transports the romanticism of the South of France to Hollywood. Los Angeles nightlife brand, Sunset Entertainment Group, opens Estérel’s terrace to the secret garden come to life. A summer in

Provence, channeling views of snowed mountain cap behind the lush of olive groves — this outdoor lounge is a soft and natural escape while subtly true to Los Angeles glamor. Le Jardin is a toast guests who wish to experience the pace of L.A.’s nightlife subdued under twinkle lights and jasmine vines.


Inside this grand chateau, the choice comes down to a lotting 295 rooms on 10 floors including 26 suites and two Imperial Suites all featuring posh, glass-enclosed rainfall shower and French-milled bath amenities. Guests claim Sofitel’s plush feather top and duvet sleep system, affectionately named the SoBed, may just be the secret to creating an unrivaled sleep worldwide.


Think of Le Jardin but with a pool a.k.a. a dream among dreams. A smaller outdoor atmosphere, the pool at Sofitel Los Angeles is a nod to everything L.A., ideal for those in need of a private afternoon dip without the pressure to see and be seen. Rather, to see the inside of eyelids and be seen by a private cocktail server who’s refilled your rosé running low. Summer pool parties at Sofitel are private and exclusive apart from other Beverly Hills summer gatherings, which often notoriously end up on headlines the following morning. The privacy is unparalleled and rather underrated.

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What is not so underrated is Sofitel’s emphasis on a healthy lifestyle. Its fitness center is equipped with commercial standard cardio machines and weights of every range not for the faint of heart. The lobby is stocked with chilled Evian, organic ripened fruits to nourish, and Himalayan salt blocks set beside a three-foot tall Buddha statue curling mini dumbbells in hand. Sofitel’s gym staff calls the Buddha the gym’s resident cheerleader for gym-goers who dare to stay true to their workouts even on holiday.


This is a French-infused spa with a touch of East Asia. Sofitel guests are globetrotters and the SoSpa welcomes them to experience services focused on energy rejuvenation. Deep red backlight illuminates dark, wooden walls and bamboo trimmings. Jasmines and lilies float atop water in the entryway pond. Services are range from mini-facials for those on a time crunch to full body massages tailored to slap the jetlag right out. The therapists at SoSpa are skilled in holistic principles and aim to serve guests with modern techniques while still keen on ancient practices.


By far, some of the most notable features of the Sofitel Los Angeles are found in its entryway. The grandeur of the sculptor called “Knot No. 11” by artist Damon Hyldreth, is a piece specifically commissioned by the hotel to represent the Gordion Knot, a symbol of swift and decisive decision making. The “Butterfly Coin Chair,” made of 1,480 American half dollars, is more fondly known as the most instagrammed place on the property.


AccorHotels group is the only French luxury hotel brand with a presence on five continents. With 120 addresses in nearly 40 countries, Sofitel prides itself on another art — adapting to the city. Sofitel Marrakech exudes Andalusian magic with vibrant colors and stylish décor to keep with the hotel’s “art lounge” theme, while Sofitel Bali has kept tradition amidst a Balinese countryside with compliments of the hotel group’s French aroma lingering through hallways paned by natural light. Though properties can be found all over the globe, Sofitel’s most destined to retreats are London, Singapore, New York Ciy, Marrakech, Morocco, and the endeared Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Chic like the French; edgy like L.A. Sofitel, “L’Art de Vivre.” ■ For more information, visit sofitel.com. 7 0 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE

Life is a Luxury


You can’t compare yourself to the standard or to other people. You have to just go out and do it...

SBlacky am DJ and model, Sam Blacky has no problem expressing herself. “My personal style?” Sam Blacky asks, “Oh, it’s like wild childrocker-slutty-tom boy… I’ll wear drop crotch sweatpants with a see-through mesh shirt,” But this self-proclaimed “wild child,” is maybe not as wild as her fans think. As a DJ and model, of course Sam Blacky is deep in the party and festival scene. Sam DJs all over the world, playing music festivals in Bali and on private islands. Sam says, “Everybody thinks that I’m this really wild and crazy girl, which is true and is also how I portray myself on social media,” but what a lot of people don’t know is that, more often than not, she would rather be on the couch at home, giving advice to her friends (who gave her the nickname Dr. Phil). “I give the best advice,” Sam says, “and I’m a great friend.”


Sam Blacky @samblacky Photographer Tracy Kahn @tracykahn Writer & Wardrobe Stylist Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene Model Agency Newmark Models @newmarkmodels Hair & Makeup Artist Kendell Cotta @kendell.cotta Drone Videographer Jeffrey Fountain @jeffreyfuente Location Villa Premiere, Puerto Vallarta @villapremiere

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MR: When did you first start getting into music? When I was 16 I started getting into house music. Calvin Harris’s first album was my jam. I was obsessed with Boys Noize. My friends and I would go to all the festivals, do all the drugs. I remember Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) back when it was really small! I moved to Australia when I was 18, to get my degree out there on the Gold Coast. One of my best friends, Sammy Prosser, was a club owner and paid for me to get DJ lessons. I took three 2-hour lessons. Then I would go to Guitar Center as often as I could to practice on equipment there. He started getting me gigs at clubs and we made a reel of my work. When I finished university, I stayed in Australia and moved to Melbourne where I got my first job in marketing. One of the clients was Chupa Chups, a lollipop company. They wanted to target people in their teens and twenties instead of children. My idea for them was to do a campaign surrounding music festivals since everyone is fucked up and wants lollipops! The campaign went great — we were throwing Chupa Chups balloons off the stage into the crowd. After that, started working in marketing for music festivals, traveling and interviewing DJs backstage. I booked DJs like Deadmau5 and Laid Back Luke. Then I really realized I had great taste in music and I could actually be a DJ too! MR: So what came first, modeling or DJing? Definitely DJing. One of my friends, Scott Russo told me I should meet with Jules at newMARK models. I was like, “What? I’m not a model!” But Jules loved me. I was 25. That’s so old to start modeling! As far as DJing goes, I became the go-to person for all the fashion events thrown in Los Angeles. Brands like LF Stores, Scotch and Soda, Intermix, Guess, and the ZOE Report — everyone loved that I could DJ and wear their clothes too. It’s taken about three years, but this past year I’ve become more of a known DJ and play at festivals and clubs all around the world. MR: What have been some of your favorite places you’ve played? SB: I’ve loved Festivals in Bali — Bestival was insane! Sports Illustrated Swim Issue Release Party was pretty crazy in New York. Playing in Vegas at the Daylight Pool Club was a landmark for me. I just opened for Duke Dumont there. I played on Richard Branson’s private island, Necker Island before it washed away!

It’s taken about three years, but this past year I’ve become more of a known DJ and play at festivals and clubs all around the world.

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MR: Do you express yourself through music? SB: Honestly, it’s more just fun for me and it makes me feel incredibly happy. I love seeing other people feel good. I don’t think it’s an outlet for me to express myself as much as it is for me to have a good time and share with others. I feel like my Instagram and fashion are more my outlets for self-expression. MR: Who are some of your musical inspirations? SB: I love all of the producers from Dirtybird — like Claude VonStroke. He was my favorite producer ever. He started an independent record label based in San Francisco, California with all these producers called Dirtybird. My ex, Thomas Jack is an incredible producer and just downright amazing at music. I also love Duke Dumont. MR: What shows do you have coming up?

Honestly, it’s more just fun for me and it makes me feel incredibly happy. I love seeing other people feel good .


SB: I’ll be in Turks and Caicos DJing on April 6th. I’m DJing the Superdry Launch Party in London on the 10th of April and then I will be at Coachella and will hopefully play a surprise set at the Do LaB. The music they play at the Do LaB is a lot like Dirtybird. MR: What is the most important part of DJing? SB: It all comes down to the music that they play. There is nothing worse than shitty music. The DJing skills come second. If you beat match a little off or you don’t mix perfectly, most people don’t catch it. But it’s the songs that you pick that matter most. I have such a massive stage presence — I mean — I go crazy. Some of my favorites just kind of stand there. Think about Kygo, he’s not going crazy on stage. Some people hype the crowd like Chainsmokers— like one is hype man while the other one DJs. MR: Have you done any collaborations with other artists and producers? SB: I worked on some stuff with Thomas Jack. The main guy I work with is Curt Reynolds (Ben Curtis), he is a surfer kid from my hometown in San Diego. We never knew each other as kids but we met in LA. We have three remixes out. One has 100,000 plays. We are working on more now. He is the only person I have collaborated with so far on a producing level but I’m open to collaborating with other artists.

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MR: How did your Instagram following come about? SB: I don’t know to be honest. I had Instagram for a long time. I had maybe 10k followers. When I moved to LA, I guess it started growing from modeling and then it grew more from DJing. I was modeling with people like Alexis Ren and Sahara Ray. This was back when influencers tagged you and you could get like 5k followers from that tag. Playboy and Guess would post me. Now when someone posts you, you don’t go up as much. I just hung out with cool people and we all posted for each other. MR: You’re very popular on social media. What are some of the weirdest DMs you’ve gotten? SB: Oh my God, I get DMs from foreign countries from people asking me how much will I sell my underwear for. Some people will write to me asking to send me money. I’m like, “For what?” It’s insane. I get people who write crazy-ass gnarly poems that are so deep and fucked up and they don’t even make sense. Sometimes I’ll get really nice messages from girls that say things like, “You inspire me,” or something about how I’ve helped their body image. I get a minimum of 50 DMs per day. It’s awesome. I didn’t realize that just by posting photos of myself, I give people confidence. I never thought it was a big deal. One time, an overweight guy DMed me and said, “The fact that you are so comfortable in your body, makes me comfortable in mine.” This all comes from the fact that I have no boobs and people think it’s amazing that I am a swimsuit model with no boobs. MR: Body image is something everyone struggles with. People can be so mean and judgmental… SB: When I was in 7th grade, the girls in my grade had a book called The Slam Book and they wrote shit in there that was really mean. They used to write, “Sam Black is as flat as my back. She’s really hot but she has no boobs…She could be in Playboy if she had boobs.” Well, I’ve been in Playboy three times. MR: Do you have advice for young people regarding body image? SB: YES! Don’t judge yourself based on what other people look like. I never thought I would be a model, let alone a swimsuit model. You can’t compare yourself to the standard or to other people. You have to just go out and do it, whatever it is that you want, even if you don’t fit in the current parameters or beauty standards. If I had compared myself to other people, I never would have tried. I also have a bunch of tattoos. A few years ago, no models had tattoos. If you do your own thing and do it well, people will follow. ■

You have to just go out and do it, whatever it is that you want, even if you don’t fit in the current parameters or beauty standards.

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Videographer Jeffrey Fountain @jeffreyfuente Edit & Music Ben Cope @ben_cope




TRUE BEAUTY Sofia Carson @sofiacarson Writer Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene Photographer/Videographer Tiziano Lugli @tizianolugli Wardrobe Stylist Nicolas Bru @mr_nicolasbru Creative Director Tracy Kahn @tracykahn Hair Artist Caile Noble @cailenoble Makeup Artist Kelsey Deenihan @kdeenihan Assistants Ben Shani @benshaniproductions and David Madison @honest__eye Location The London West Hollywood @thelondonweho


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azz played in a suite at The London Hotel in West Hollywood, California. “What kind of music do you like?” Photographer, Tiziano Lugli, asked our cover star, Sofia Carson. Adding the finishing touches of hair and makeup, the scent and sounds of hairspray filled the room. “I like everything really,” Sofia said, her voice soothing and silky. Keith Jarrett’s Someone To Watch Over Me came through the speaker. Star of Disney’s Descendants, which recently confirmed Descendants 3 debuting Summer 2019 and cast member of Pretty Little Liars’ spin-off, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, Sofia Carson manages to juggle these impressive projects with passion and pride. We sit face to face for our interview. Sofia is engaged and genuinely enthused while talking about her busy schedule and what’s next. MR: You are a communications major at UCLA and you speak several languages. Why is communication so important in your life? SC: I grew up bilingually speaking English and Spanish. English was my first language. I was born and raised in the states. When I was thirteen, I took my first French class at my middle school. There was something so romantic and elegant about the language. I fell in love with language. I began to understand the power of language when I went on my first press tour for The Descendants. Because I could speak French, Spanish, and English, I could travel to France or Spain and do interviews in different languages. I realized I could connect with fans all over the world. It’s an amazing thing to be able to connect with people in their own language. They become a part of you and you become a part of them. MR: You’ve almost completed your degree at UCLA. How has education impacted your life? SC: I have nine classes left so that’s about a year. At the moment I am trying to take classes when I can. Education is a huge part of who I am. I was always a nerd and passionate about learning. No one can take your education away from you. When you walk into a room and people know you’re trying to educate yourself. There is a level of respect. No matter how long it takes, I will finish my degree. Education is our greatest weapon and it should be our only weapon. When you are armed with an education, you are unstoppable. MR: Do you relate to your character in The Descendants? SC: I fell in love with Evie three years ago. I fell in love with her because she tells the story of a girl who was raised in a vain world which we all live in. Even though she lives in a fairytale with blue hair and gorgeous costumes. She was told she could

never be more than a pretty face and that she is defined by the reflection in a mirror. But she is powerful because she tells every boy and girl that we are defined by what we are inside. She fell in love with learning. She knows that as a girl, she is always more than enough. The thought of her just being a pretty face is just very incorrect. It’s truly a story of girl power and we are living in an era of females ruling the world. Well, we always have but it’s finally coming to fruition in a different way. Descendants 3 is confirmed. The cast only found out three days before it was announced. I was on the edge of my seat, praying it would happen. I truly can’t wait to be Evie again and tell her story. I am so excited to see where her story will take us, what songs she’s going to sing, and what fabulous outfit she will wear. I love Evie so much so I am truly grateful to able to play her again. When I was a young girl and dreamed of what I wanted to do with my life, I knew I wanted to inspire and empower young girls like me. Even if was just one girl, to be able to do that with Evie and to be able to do that with my music is priceless to me. Inspiring young women to chase their dreams is the most important thing I could ever do.

Inspiring young women to chase their dreams is the most important thing I could ever do. MR: You also have a music career. Do you write your own music or do you work with writers? SC: I write many of my own songs but I also collaborate with writers. I collaborated with Julia Michaels, who wrote my single Back to Beautiful. It’s hard to sing songs that aren’t completely mine but with Julia, it’s like she has this way of reading your heart and knowing what you want to say. So it’s a special collaboration when we work together. Back to Beautiful is an anthem about how beauty isn’t skin deep. It’s about how beauty sees no race and how it doesn’t matter who you love or where you come from, we’re all beautiful. This song is very close to my heart. It has a great message. It’s my favorite. I’ve always wanted to tell a meaningful story and the story that this song tells is very important to me as an artist and who I am as a person.

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MR: You have so many projects going on. Is music currently a big part of your life? SC: In between projects, I am always working in the studio. When I’m not shooting on set, I am in the studio. My notes app in my phone has all of my lyrics. I make voice notes too, especially when I’m on an airplane. I’m a writer. I have been writing song since I was 10. I find inspiration in a lot of things and I like to exercise that as much as I can. In music you tell your own story. You’re not playing a character. So for me, it’s much more personal and deeply emotional. I am a perfectionist. Whatever I release next has to feel one hundred percent personal to me, honest and true. The beauty of music is that it allows you to share a piece of your heart with the world. The first song I ever wrote was called Leave Me Alone. I always wrote really dramatic things about heartbreak! My sister had an ukelele. I wrote it in Spanish. The inspiration just struck me. It was awful, but we still sing it. I played piano when I was younger. I got back into it when I started writing. In between homework I would run to the piano and teach myself chords. That’s how I taught myself how to write music. I always wrote love songs. I had never had my heart broken or been in love. I was ten! I must have had my heart destroyed in a past life because heartbreak is my constant inspiration. It’s so easy to write about love. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because there are so many different kinds of love. That’s why we keep writing about it. MR: Your dancing in your music videos is very natural. How has dance been a part of your life and creative expression? SC: I’ve been dancing since I was three years old. Although my mom would claim that I was dancing before I was walking. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing and dancing. I have practiced everything from modern dance, to contemporary, and ballet. I remember when I put on my first pair of point shoes as a child. To go on point, that feeling — it’s a big deal for dancers. I loved being on stage in school. There’s nothing like the rush of giving everything you have to give on the dance floor. Dance is such a big part of who I am. The LA Ballet has a program called POP (Power of Performance) I went last year. A young girl went on stage and she said she never dreamed of going on stage because her parents couldn’t afford dance lessons. POP helps under privileged youth dance in after school programs. I know the power of performing arts and how they can change people’s lives. The gala is this Saturday. I am going to one of the POP classes tomorrow and meeting some of the girls who are part of this program. This is a dream come true for me. In first grade, I


The beauty of music is that it allows you to share a piece of your heart with the world. had a class project in which I had to explain what I wanted to be when I grew up. I drew a big theater and said I wanted to have a charity that helped young women. MR: When you were growing up, did you watch the Disney Channel? SC: It was one of the only channels I liked to watch — Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens. My Date With The President’s Daughter to Hannah Montana and The Cheetah Girls. I knew I wanted to sing and dance and act for the rest of my life. I moved to LA and started auditioning. I went to over 200 auditions until I landed on the Disney Channel. I adore Disney and Disney princesses. I dressed up as Belle, Cinderella or Esmeralda all the time. I was always singing songs from Mulan. There’s something about Disney that kind of brings the world together. It’s universal. And there’s something about fairy tales. But modern fairy tales are no longer about damsels in distress. I think Mulan was one of the first movies to start changing what the Disney Princess was. Mulan is a warrior. Belle was also a more empowered princess. She saw something for herself and she pursued it. MR: Can you tell me something that your fans don’t know about you? SC: I’m an introvert. I’ve never had many friends. I’ve always had one or two best friends. Growing up, I was never the cool girl. I was always a nerd. I always had my nose in a book. I spent all my hours after school in a dance studio. When I came home, I was writing songs. I never really had much of a social life. I still am very much an introvert except for when it comes to being on camera or being on stage. Apart from those things, I’m pretty shy.

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MR: How did your role for Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, come about? SC: I will never forget when Marlene King, writer, producer, and director of Pretty Little Liars, called me on a Tuesday afternoon. I had been a fan of hers for years. I was sick in bed. She said, “Hi! Guess what! You are my new pretty little liar!” My sister introduced me to Pretty Little Liars two years ago. I was late in the game. I binge watched it every single night for hours on end. I sometimes wouldn’t be able to sleep. I am such a fan of the show and of Marlene’s work. I am honored that she believes in me to continue the legacy of Pretty Little Liars. I play Ava. She is a fashion designer and icon. It’s a great role because I love fashion. I was talking to the makeup artist and costumer. We are creating Ava. I am really excited to sink my teeth into her. In the liar world, not everything is as it seems. The thing is, when you first play a character, it’s like you’re getting to know a friend for the first time and the more time goes by, the more you discover about her. You have epiphanies while you’re playing her and then there’s one point when you completely become that character and really step into their shoes. For Ava, that would be a killer pair of boots. It’s a beautiful process getting to know a character. MR: Do you have any advice for young women who aspire to live a life similar to yours? SC: First and foremost, you can’t be afraid to dream and believe in your dreams and fight for your dreams relentlessly. In every business, there are closed doors and no’s but if you truly believe in yourself, educate and prepare yourself, you can be and do anything you dream of. Every girl needs to know she is unstoppable. One big lesson I’ve learned while being in this world is that Hollywood can be vain and it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be more beautiful or perfect and worrying about how many Instagram likes you get. But there is so much more to being beautiful than that. Being in the position that I am in, I feel honored to give another person strength by making them feel beautiful. The true honor of being in this business is having the ability to touch, influence or empower another girl in the world. Maybe Evie’s story or Back To Beautiful will remind girls that they are beautiful. To have this connection and influence is my greatest honor and something I take very seriously.


In every business, there are closed doors and no’s but if you truly believe in yourself, educate and prepare yourself, you can be and do anything you dream of. MR: What’s happening for you next? SC: I am going to Tokyo to perform my music at a festival. My last experience in Tokyo was incredible. During the press tour of Descendants, the second we landed at the airport there were hundreds of fans. The love that we received is indescribable. Thousands of people showed up to the premiere, most of them dressed in costume. I’m forever grateful for that experience and I’m looking forward to going back to Tokyo at the end of March. I’ll be doing a lot of flying in the next few weeks. I’ve lived more on a plane than I’ve lived inside my house. There’s something special about that though. It lets me connect with so many people. I’m excited for everything I have going on this year. I’ll be attending the Oscars for the second time and the day after that, I’ll be flying to Oregon to shoot Pretty Little Liars. ■

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Videographer Tiziano Lugli @tizianolugli


7 hotels for your ideal Mexican vacation


ONE&ONLY PALMILLA oneandonlyresorts.com L E FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 9 9


One of the world’s most exclusive luxury resorts, One&Only Palmilla, perched right along the oceans edge, benefits from an ideal climate year-round and boasts the most dramatic ocean views in all of Los Cabos. Located on the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, the resort is unrivalled in its suite of offerings including world-renowned service from genuinely warm staff and multiple fine-dining culinary experiences, each offering a unique ambiance and menu, including SEARED by Michelin-star Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten who brings his internationally renowned, signature culinary style to a steakhouse with the finest meats and freshest Pacific seafood. Retreat into this contemporary paradise and relax to the eternal rhythm of breaking waves and light sea breezes in swaying palms. Relish in the comfort of ultra-luxurious ocean view accommodations. Set in lush tropical gardens, the acclaimed One&Only Spa provokes utmost serenity and treatments that blend the purest extracts of natural ingredients, ensuring all the spa’s wellness experiences are both therapeutic and personalized. A trip to the renowned Beverly Hills OBO Salon is a must and is complemented by a unique Barber&Blade experience. With its bespoke service, twinkling lights and pristine sands of private beaches, One&Only Palmilla is genuinely Baja’s most romantic resort destination for a couple’s retreat. Celebrate your love with a romantic rendezvous for two and enjoy your 4th night free, daily breakfast, 60-minute couples massage, an ocean front dinner including a bottle of wine and a special romantic turndown amenity. Carr Transpeninsular, 23400 Los Cabos, Mexico oneandonlypalmilla.com 1 0 0 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE

THOMPSON PLAYA DEL CARMEN Playa del Carmen , Mexico

Thompson Playa del Carmen is a luxury lifestyle hotel located on the famed La Quinta Avenida — Playa’s two-mile, pedestrian-only shopping and dining district – and Calle 12, which boasts the trendiest bars and nightclubs in Riviera Maya. The hotel offers guests a first-of-its-kind hotel experience in Playa del Carmen with its two locations — the centrally-located, lively 92-room 5th Avenue Building and the intimate, oceanfront 27-room Beach House, located just a few blocks away. The oceanfront Beach House features an exclusive pool, private cabanas and an oceanfront restaurant, among several amenities. The Beach House exudes a private beach club feel, offering highly personalized intuitive service, private balconies and ocean views. The 5th Avenue Building is known for its vibrant nightlife, impeccable location and luxury accommodations. It's 30,000-square-foot rooftop is the social mecca of the property (and the highest point in Playa). It boasts NYC-famed concept CATCH, a massive infinity pool, swim-up bar, panoramic ocean views and luxury cabanas. Guests can sip signature CATCH and Cinco cocktails under the sun and relax listening to the DJ-spun tropical house music, or privately in a plush cabana or daybed. Calle 12 entre 5ta Ave. y 10 S/N Centro Playa del Carmen, Mexico thompsonhotels.com

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CASA MARAVILLOSA San Miguel de Allende Casa Maravillosa is a stunning San Miguel Villa purchased by Jane Briton after one visit to San Miguel from her own beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada. Casa Maravillosa is walking distance to the epicentre of town, the Jardin with its Parroquia, and all the great restaurants and shops. This extraordinary home combines modern architectural allure with classic Mexican charm. You can enjoy toasting by one of the five fireplaces or relaxing in the rooftop jacuzzi with a glass of champagne. This villa has a plethora of light with its twenty skylights and is set back from the street in a quiet neighborhood to ensure peaceful evenings. A delightful full-time housekeeper will make your stay extra easy and special. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico airbnb.com

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Photos by Thomas Hart Shelby

Los Cabos

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The Cape features 161 guestrooms, all with unobstructed views of the Sea of Cortez and the destination’s famed icon, El Arco — a natural phenomenon of granite carved into an arch by centuries of wind and sea exposure. Guests enjoy two pools, including an infinity pool with a swim-up bar; a sixth-story rooftop lounge and garden with unmatched views of the city and sea; an intimate spa and fitness center with two private outdoor cabanas for treatments with an ocean view; and a diverse array of chef-driven food and beverage destinations, including a signature restaurant overseen by the award-winning chef Enrique Olvera. A knowledgeable staff seamlessly guides guests through an intimate exploration of the regional offerings, ranging from activities like diving, surfing, and kayaking (many of which are available just steps from the resort along Monuments Beach), to day trips to sister city San José del Cabo to soak in its celebrated art and architecture. Complementing these Baja-inspired activities is the Thompson Hotels’ commitment to bold and original lifestyle programming, offered daily and nightly. From thoughtfully produced culinary events celebrating the fresh catch of the day to marquee — and emerging — musical talent spinning on The Rooftop in perfect rhythm with the setting sun, The Cape is a proven destination for guests looking to discover a decidedly fresh approach to luxury in Cabo. Carretera Transpeninsular Km 5 Misiones del Cabo, 23455 Los Cabos, Mexico thompsonhotels.com

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IBEROSTAR PARAISO MAYA Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Located right on the beach between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, on the Mexican Riviera Maya, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya hotel is a 5-star AllInclusive resort with extraordinary guest service, gastronomy, entertainment and sports. The traditional Mayan decor brings great beauty to this hotel that features Mayan art and ruins. The Iberostar ParaĂ­so Maya hotel was designed to entertain the whole family. From relaxing on the lazy river with a drink in hand, to playing beach volleyball with the entire family. This All-Inclusive hotel offers exquisite delicacies in its four restaurants and its huge international buffet. Its varied gastronomy offers hundreds of flavors and textures. Carretera Federal 309, Playacar, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Mexico iberostar.com 1 0 6 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE


Located directly on the tip of Baja California Sur, Marquis Los Cabos sits beachfront where the desert mountains meet the Sea of Cortez. The adults-only, all-inclusive resort offers a tranquil oasis with all-suite expansive, guest room accommodations, ideal for the couple seeking an intimate escape. Marquis Los Cabos is an ideal getaway fusing effortless luxury with romance and authentic Mexican flair, offering five superb dining options; a cafe and bar; a 13,000 sq. ft. Spa Marquis with holistic-inspired couples massages and treatments; three stunning on-property pools, including the infinity-edge sunset and sunrise pools, as well as an infinity-edge central pool which features a three story waterfall; and an extensive guest activity menu for those looking to stay active; and more. Carretera Transpeninsular km 21.5 Fracc. Cabo Real, 23400 Los Cabos, Mexico marquisloscabos.com

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Making a splash in the heart of San Jose Del Cabo on the coast of Baja California, the forthcoming Viceroy Los Cabos’ architecturally stunning and futuristic design will begin captivating its guests upon re-opening in May 2018. Formerly known as Mar Adentro, Viceroy Los Cabos will debut with a striking new look after undergoing an extensive renovation with exciting additions. With a dreamscape design embodying the essence of water throughout every facet of the resort, Viceroy Los Cabos is a canvas for discovery with cinematic views and evocative experiences around every turn. A beachfront property located on the Sea of Cortés, the soon-to-be 194-room masterpiece features pure white buildings connected by elevated walkways surrounded by water. The vibe-led resort amenities include a cinema room for movie screenings, versatile meeting spaces and energetic restaurants and bars. Minutes away from downtown San José del Cabo, guests can take in the art walk of San José and its colonial architecture, explore multiple dining options, and discover local culture. ■ Paseo Malecón San José Lote 8, Zona Hotelera 23400 Los Cabos, Mexico viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

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An interview with the creator of Nude Envie, Isabel Madison

NUDE Writer Jaye Younkin @jayemary

We love how cosmetics have beautiful, fun, trends like metallic beauty, glossy eyelids, and even feathered eyebrows. The spectrum of creativity is endless. Though beauty trends come and go, there’s one that is timeless: nude lips. Cosmetology expert and creator of Nude Envie, Isabel Madison, recognized that the beauty industry was missing a reliable nude that reached her standards of perfection and took it upon herself to create lipsticks in every shade of nude to complement one’s unique skin tone. JY: What was your inspiration for starting Nude Envie? IM: I grew up in this industry. My dad is a biochemist and created formulas for makeup brands. Then he founded his own company called Visage de Beaute which was an amazing beauty line sold at big department stores. Customers could bring a swatch of any color and, two days later, go pick up their new, individualized lipstick. As young as age 10 I was helping with product development and forecasting next season’s shades. I was completely immersed in the business. Back then, cosmetic companies used paraben [cosmetic preservatives] and animal products but it was really important to me that all my products be vegan and cruelty free. JY: What happened to his company? IM: He sold the company to a larger makeup brand and then I was

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jobless! Now big companies help smaller makeup brands flourish, thrive, and keep their own identity. I think the passion just stayed in me; I loved going to the lab and beautifying things. JY: What happened when you became an adult? IM: I grew up and I went into the real estate world where I was making homes look beautiful. I’d buy homes, beautify, and sell them. But that drive and desire to help make people look beautiful stuck with me. And honestly, I could not find a perfect nude. So for years I was just mixing and mixing and I’d always get stopped and asked, “What’re you wearing? What’s your lipstick?” And it was mine! I was mixing and creating my own shades. After my kids grew up I thought, this is just too strong of a desire to not pursue it. I needed to do this, people need it. So I did it. JY: Does your dad help with Nude Envie now? Do you get advice from him? IM: I had to do it myself. It was really important to me as a woman to design a brand focused on making women feel beautiful! We have many men designers that are super talented but I felt the need to contribute because as a woman I really understand a woman’s comfort level and what makes her feel confident and sensual without masking her natural beauty. JY: What makes your formulas different than other makeup brands? I know you mentioned it’s vegan, but what specifically did you focus on when you were mixing in the lab? IM: I wanted it to be extra moisturizing and make women feel like they’re pampering themselves; like applying body lotion that feels good and smells good except for our lips. I wanted something sultry that made women feel good about themselves. I think scent is also super important.

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JY: Yes they smell so good! I mentioned this to you before, I wore Nude Envie out for a Mexican meal and it stayed on through the whole night! It didn’t smudge or get flakey. I mean lipstick can go wrong. IM: Exactly, lipstick can go wrong. And it’s the last thing you put on your face, it’s the finishing touch to the makeup. You don’t really see or feel eyeshadow but your lips you feel; it has to be smooth and creamy. It has to be luxurious. JY: How do you create the different shades? A lot of people think nude is only one color but in reality, that’s not the case. How do you take into consideration customer’s different skin tones?

there with my name on it, unless I absolutely love them myself. JY: Right, it needs to be good quality. IM: With the shades, you could add a dot of red or yellow and ruin it. I mean just a tiny, little dot. You have to have the eye and the passion. JY: Do you work with other people and ask for advice? IM: I’ll ask my daughter. She helps me. We love playing with makeup; sometimes really late at night, when we’re both done working, the fun begins. JY: How old is she?

IM: I created the line from light to dark, for all skin tones. The same model on my website is wearing the first seven shades I came up with and they all look beautiful on her. So it also depends on your mood, the rest of your makeup, what you’re wearing, and whether you want to be more girly or sultry or womanly or powerful. One shade has a golden tone to it called Naked and that’s amazing in the summer when you have a tan. Lips and Mesmerize are good any time of the year, any time of the day. You could wear them to yoga, an evening event, a black tie party and it’s still gorgeous. I’ve been told that I’m too picky with my formulas and shades. JY: You have to be to get it right! IM: I think you have to be picky. I don’t want to throw things out 1 1 4 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE

IM: She’s 19 so she’s very relevant, she knows what’s going on in the younger world. But I still want to keep it classic and traditional. I want it to be universal and include everyone of all skin tones and age groups. JY: These days the younger social scene is looking up to influencers like Kylie Jenner who started the lip enhancements trend. How would someone who wanted to avoid needles make their lips look bigger using Nude Envie? IM: The lip liner is super, super important and you have to apply it before the lipstick. I think that everyone who buys a lipstick should buy a lip liner too for their own benefit. That will create the

lips and the dimension. We also have three shades that include a pearly sheen in them which adds a lot of dimension. The lighter shades actually make your lips look bigger.

woman’s go-to line. JY: What are your favorite makeup brands that give you inspiration?

JY: Which shade is your favorite? IM: I love Radiate. But I’m really excited about our lip glosses which are coming out this spring. They’re super shiny and can go on top of everything. We have five great shades coming out: one is clear, one is peachy/peary, another one is pinky/ pearly which is my go-to favorite, one is a mauve-y color which is very elegant, and one is a beige-y color which will have a sophisticated look and be great to wear in the fall. JY: Do you have any other products in the works besides the glosses? How are you planning on expanding the company? IM: In fall 2018 we’re going to add eyeshadows that will match the lip shades. In spring 2019, we’re going to have blushes and highlighters. It’s all about balance; if someone’s worried about a lipstick washing them out, then they just need to add a little bit of shadow or highlighter then they’re good to go. Our goal is to get our customers that natural beauty that allows them to shine and feel beautiful. JY: So you’re going to expand on different face makeup but all within the different tones of nude. IM: Right. I want it to be a

IM: I think there are so many great brands out there right now and each designer probably has something different that I like. We’re planning on selling single eyeshadows instead of big palettes though because I realized that so often we buy these big, beautiful palettes and only use one shade while the others just sit there wasted. JY: I especially love the eyeshadow that almost feels wet. IM: Yes, velvet-y. Our eyeshadows will be very creamy and velvet-y. The cheeks have to blend in a little better, but the eyes need to stand out and have good coverage. I think women are ready to feel sexy again. JY: What do you think about the people out there who believe makeup is just a way of wanting to change yourself? IM: If the lotions and the creams make you feel better, then just do that. Whatever makes you feel good. For me, makeup is very powerful and makes women feel beautiful. It’s not about changing yourself, it’s just enhancing features. Eyes and lips say a lot. They convey a beautiful message and can be very powerful when done correctly. ■


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HOT SPOTS Los Angeles

Hyde Sunset

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I. HYDE SUNSET Located on an iconic corner of the sunset strip, Hyde Sunset represents a welcome evolution in cuisine and nightlife as West Hollywood’s latest hospitality experience. This hybrid Los Angeles destination features fresh seasonal California cuisine, signature craft cocktails and an elegant yet inviting ambiance curated by acclaimed designer Waldo Fernandez. A favorite among local foodies and nightlife connoisseurs alike, Hyde Sunset is sure to charm any palate with delicious dining and enticing energy. sbe.com

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II. NIGHTINGALE PLAZA Nightingale Plaza is the next step for elite Hollywood nightlife where refined elegance meets tastefully crafted technology. The latest offering from Hospitality giant sbe, this 6,500-squarefoot design mixes modern style with an exclusive nightlife experience complete with three distinct environments: a highenergy main room, two interior bar/ lounges and an exterior garden oasis. sbe.com

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III. AVENUE Writer Ellie June @elliejune

Avenue LA is a 4,000 square-foot dimly lit space and strikes the vibe of a grand estate for some of Los Angeles’s most epic parties and events. Enter through a jarring custom made glass and metal greenhouse where vines wrap tastefully across palatial ceilings. Interior design mastermind David Rockwell adorned disco balls at staggered heights just heads above the courtyard where plush red booths gather guests for an indoor-outdoor glamorous bottle service experience. A stairway leads to an intimate club space reminiscent of prohibition’s risk and sex appeal where velvet walls and dated ceilings insulate the pulse of world-class DJs. Avenue blinds the senses with its state of the art sound and light systems. Offwhite and blush pink laserbeams ricochet delicately at vintage mirrors and bounce off champagne flutes, while artists like Politik and French Montana get the mood going with heavy beats. Guests leave the night with eardrums humming and chests pulsing to the sights and sounds of this sensual LA hideaway. avenuela.com

Photo by Alen Lin

IV. STATE SOCIAL HOUSE State Social House has been a neighborhood restaurant serving West Hollywood for over five years. This gastro pub has the best bar food on the sunset strip and hold ups to the West Hollywood standards. There is something for everyone at State Social House, providing live music and comedy five nights a week with no cover charge. The back room is one of the only places in all of West Hollywood where you can drink, smoke, and eat. Stop by on Saturdays for the high energy of 90s cover band, Saved By The Band. Owner and New Yorker Chad Weiner, who was previously the Director of Nightlife for the HardRock Hotel in Las Vegas for 8 years, was attracted to State Social House he says because, “We take the Hollywood out of Hollywood and make it more like home. We have celebrities sitting next to regular people all the time — from Dr Dre and Justin Bieber to Kevin Durant and Kurt Russell…” statesocialhouse.com LE FA I R MA G A Z I NE | 1 2 1


Writer Heather Devine @heatherdevine21

The Highlight Room, set on the rooftop above The Dream Hotel, is one of Los Angeles’ newest hot spots known for majestic views of the Hollywood sign, the city life down below, and 11,000 square feet of pure relaxation aesthetic. Brought to you by the Tao Group, The Highlight Room features a lounge, pool, and grill situated in a chic atmosphere that encourages lively entertainment day and night. Spend the day renting out a private cabana on the sundeck while enjoying the Hollywood sun and looking over a light menu featuring specialty cocktails, then visit The Highlight Room’s grill open for any meal of the day. Once sundown hits, the daytime retreat turns into a hip rooftop bar and lounge enclosed in glass to provide vast city views. The Highlight Room is the perfect spot to have different Instagram-worthy experiences all within the same place. thehighlightroom.com

Photos by Wonho Frank Lee

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Writers Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene & Tracy Kahn @tracykahn

t a young age, French photographer and videographer, Ludovic Nortier, was captivated by images around him. Before he could read, Ludovic was entranced by the billboards around Paris, interpreting their meanings. “Pictures don’t feed me,” Ludovic explains. “They make me hungry. I’m also a poet,” he jokes. Many years later, now Ludovic has worked on advertising campaigns for Diesel, Ralph Lauren, Disney, L’Oreal, Heineken, and a slew of other top brands and companies. His creative mind, vision, and ability to communicate with and direct his subjects lend themselves easily to video and photo content creation in both advertising and editorial scopes. He moved three years ago from Paris to Los Angeles where he finds the availability of various rich landscapes — city, mountains, ocean, and beach — highly inspiring. While building a network of creative types throughout Los Angeles, Ludovic continues to pursue his dream being a creative director, photographer and director.

LEFAIR: How did you start being a creative? LN: I started as a graphic designer. Before that, I wanted to be a professional soccer player. When they asked me at school what I wanted to be, I said I wanted to be a physical therapist. But some time during school, I created a blog with my friend. I did some retouching and photoshopping LEFAIR: So you got into the creative industry because of Photoshop? LN: I didn’t want to go to University so I went to private school in Paris. We call this Visual Communication in France. The first year you do art, you draw, you learn art history, and computer science. That’s what I did for a year. Then I specialized in advertising and graphic design. I started photographing when I was a kid. I was probably five or six years old. My first camera was a Christmas gift from my parents. My great grandfather wasn’t a professional photographer but he loved taking pictures. Maybe it’s in my genes. I got a camera and I shot everything all the time. It was film. There was no digital then. My personal touch as a five or six year old was to put part of my finger in each picture. Every time I got my film developed I was excited because you never

know what you’re going to get. It’s like getting a present and there’s no pressure as a kid. LEFAIR: What was your first job? LN: When I went to school, I worked three days per week and went to school two days per week. My mentors were many different creative directors of the agency, Publicis. I started to work with them as an intern in Paris. My goal was to work with them. So I did my internship with them. I progressed and became an assistant art director and then I became an art director. After this, I started working with Havas. LEFAIR: What is one of your favorite projects as an art director or a photographer? What is the project you’re most proud of? LN: I worked on a campaign for Heineken. It was worldwide. We spent so much time on it and you could see it on billboards everywhere. It was one of my favorites. It was while I was working for Publicis. I worked on many campaigns while I was there — L’Oreal, Garnier, Orange…The Garnier. There were some of my favorite projects. The hair, femininity, the beauty, those are the things I love the most.

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LEFAIR: How important is Instagram as far getting work in LA? LN: I can find work but I can also reach out to models. I can find them online. I don’t think it’s more powerful than word of mouth but at some point when you get like 500K followers, it will bring you work. And then the work doesn’t just come from LA. It starts coming from anyone in the world who sees your work. LEFAIR: Where do you see yourself in five years? LN: I am sure I will have many more campaigns. I want to start writing and directing movies. I just did my first short movie. We are working on the editing right now. I have so many ideas. Sometimes you meet people who inspire you with their stories and you want to tell this story because it’s so compelling. I see myself as a photographer but also as a storyteller. LEFAIR: What is one thing that surprised you during

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the development of your career? LN: I thought when I went into advertising that I would do everything but there’s always such a big team. Personally, I like to do everything — shooting, retouching, editing… LEFAIR: Which photographers do you emulate? LN: I like Peter Lindbergh. I have watched a lot of behind the scenes footage to see how he works. His images are never too much or over the top. I love Annie Leibovitz. The post-production that she does is amazing. It’s so beautiful. She says she is not a technical photographer and that she just focuses on the person and the composition. She is great at composition. In an interview I read, she said that if she had to define herself as a photographer, that she is a portrait photographer and that she likes stealing moments of people’s lives. Her mom was her first muse. She was always shooting her family in the beginning.


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LEFAIR: What inspires you to pursue photography and video? LN: About a year ago, I was trying to figure out what I really wanted to do so I asked myself, “What did you like to do as a kid?” I used to make fake commercials with my brother. I used him as a model. I started to do more and more photography when I moved to Los Angeles. I like communicating with images. Photos and videos are ways I can do that. When I was a kid, I would always pick the books with bigger letters, more pictures, and fewer words. I like images. LEFAIR: What’s the best part about being a photographer in Los Angeles?

in LA. Everything you need for production is right at your fingertips in LA. When you’re beginning your photography career and you have a shoot, you have to find the location and the models until you get to a certain point. In LA, connections and word of mouth and networking is everything. If people in LA like your work, they will recognize it and recommend you to everyone else. In Paris, networking is not as important but here we spend so much time networking that we never really have normal conversations. Work is always brought up at some point. Here people don’t buy what you’re doing. They buy why you’re doing it. People want to work with you because of your personality. If you do a good job, that’s great but if you’re also nice and easy to work with, that’s even better. LEFAIR: What is your dream project?

LN: The landscape. The vistas are spectacular. We are lucky to have everything here in LA. You can shoot in the desert, the mountains, and by the ocean all in the same day if you want to. That doesn’t exist in Paris. When I was in Paris, I wasn’t shooting as much. I actually prefer to direct people in English. It’s easier. I’m not sure why. There is also a huge pool of talent

LN: I just want to work for big brands. As creatives, we still have pride. We want to see our work out there. I would love to see my work in Times Square. I want to see the fruits of my labor. But the most important thing is to work with nice people in a good atmosphere. ■

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a Fierceful


Dainelle Esplin@danielleesplin Writer & Wardrobe Stylist Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene Stylist Assistant Jaye Younkin @jayemary Makeup Artist Kendell Cotta @kendell.cotta Hair Artist Marley Gonzales @marleythebarber Videographer Ben Shani @benshaniproductions Assistants Ludovic Nortier @focustheblur and David Madison @honest__eye Location Sofitel Los Angeles @sofitellosangeles

On the rooftop of the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, it is a windy, freezing cold day—okay, maybe not freezing, it’s LA—but to almost everyone at the shoot, 60 degrees on a helipad is uncomfortably cold. We all stood in our jackets shivering with tears streaming down our cheeks from the wind sweeping against our eyes. Everyone stood frozen hugging themselves for warmth, except Danielle Esplin, the star of our shoot. Musician, author, and actress Danielle Esplin is more than a trooper. She’s a soldier. Fierce, free-spirited, and independent, Danielle always has her game face on. From organically growing her social media following to managing her own music career and publishing a book, Danielle has proven that she can do it all on her own. Her new single Shockwave is available on Soundcloud now!

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MR: You don’t have a talent agent or manager. How do you do everything by yourself?

projects. But it paid off eventually. I’ve had steady growth for more than a year now.

DE: I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I grew up in South Africa. It was sort of an unspoken rule in our house that you either you do things properly or you leave it. My parents divorced when I was 12; it was not a friendly or amicable divorce. Being independent was drilled into our heads. Don’t rely fully on people or expect other people to do things for you. I came here knowing I had to make things happen for myself.

MR: Are you a writer or a performer first?

MR: So you’ve had to be very strong to accomplish so much on your own.

MR: How did your career start taking off when you moved to Los Angeles?

DE: Yes, but I think just being strong is about coping. Being fierce is more about taking matters into your own hands—that go getter attitude. If you’re strong, you could be sitting on the right path but not necessarily moving forward. When you’re fierce, you take action. You should have willpower and intent,

DE: My first priority when I moved to LA was to get my material out there. I took my own headshots, tried to have a consistent online presence, and I also had my first book signing at the LA Times Festival of Books. I eventually started going to acting auditions, and I got the ball rolling on writing my first pop song, Shockwave. I also collaborated with EDM producers around the world where I’d write the songs and melody and then I’d get the vocals recorded professionally at a studio here in Hollywood.


otherwise you’ll just sit there. It’s like knowledge is NOT power, it’s potential power unless applied or unless you take action. MR: You are very popular on social media! How did you get such a large following of over 200K? DE : I think my following is a combination of artists and fans. In the beginning, I mostly attracted readers because of my book Give It Back. I decided to promote my book on Instagram and that was how it all started. I used the platform to reach my readers. As I got the hang of it more, I decided to be more cognizant of what I post, and I went about it as a creative director would. I started creating beauty and fashion posts. I tried to be consistent, which was hard at times since I’m very busy with singing and acting 1 3 4 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE

DE: I’ll always be a writer in my essence, but I’m big on performing. I went to a private primary school where a large portion of funding came from the concerts we held. We would have shows and events with dancing, acting and singing to make money. I saw the monetization of performance at a very early age.

MR: Tell me about your relationship with fashion. DE: Most of my clothes back in South Africa were hand-medowns from my older sister. So growing up I never really paid attention to fashion. It was when I moved out to America that I fell in love with the creative side of fashion. Suddenly I could get clothes delivered right to my door. I started creating professional content on my Instagram and shortly after I received emails from clothing companies to work together. MR: How are music and fashion related? DE: They’re both an image you portray. You are giving people a part of you. That’s why I decided to get this jewelry piece. It symbolizes strength, endurance, and persistence. When I see it, I think of those qualities. I think of strong figures back in the day. In my mind it’s beautiful and it represents the things I go by. MR: Where do you find most of your inspiration? DE: I always go with what feels right for me. I find a balance between approaching a project logically and emotionally. I go with what feels right but I make sure I’m always in the right field theoretically while knowing when and where to break the rules. Before I did research on who wrote what, I had a bunch of songs I would cover like Christina Aguilera’s You Lost Me and Rihanna’s Shine Bright like a Diamond. I felt like they were written for me. I discovered that, coincidentally, both were co-written by Sia. I channeled it down to more of a cinematic or theater-like pop very much like Imagine Dragons and Florence and The Machine. So I’ll focus on my creative process while keeping the music in mind that I tend to gravitate to.

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MR: You initially lived in Seattle, correct? DE: Yes. I moved to Seattle the first week of January, 2015. I was working as an au pair for a single mother in Bothell, Washington. After I left that job, I moved in with Nick, my now husband, into an apartment closer to the city. He moved to America (Orange County) from Russia when he was a teenager. After University, he moved to Seattle to work for Amazon as a software engineer. At the time I didn’t have a work authorization card so I couldn’t work or sign contracts. It prevented me from signing contracts with agents too. Nick was working aroundthe-clock, sometimes coming home at 2 A.M. and leaving at 6 A.M. MR: How did you and Nick meet? DE: We met online; I was having a hard time meeting people in a suburban area. My host mother from the au pair agency told me to go online and meet friends. I thought that was crazy because in South Africa no one does that. I went online and eventually met Nick. It was a serendipitous moment. We were both supposed to be meeting other people and both of our dates canceled. I was about to delete my account because I got bombarded with messages and it seemed too sketchy. But just before I deleted my profile, I saw his picture and the message he sent. It was well thought-out and his profile description made me laugh. I decided to meet him that night for sushi. MR: How did you get into writing? DE: Since I didn’t have a work authorization card, I decided to write my book in the meantime, as nothing prevented me from doing that. I wasn’t allowed to work for anyone nor sign contracts, so I decided to write Give It Back and have the final copy ready for when I receive my green card. It was perfect timing! That enabled me to receive royalties, pay taxes and sign contracts. Once I started writing the psychological thriller, I started reading much more. I created an author account on Goodreads which I also used for reading recommendations. I like mysteries, suspense, and psychological thrillers. After I finished writing Give It Back, I submitted query letters to a handful of literary agents. The response was positive, and most of them requested to read the full manuscript. From the get-go I was leaning towards self-publishing, and as the months went by I decided to commit to my decision and I published my book on Amazon. I knew going the traditional route could take another year or two before my book hit the shelf and I wanted to build a platform of readers as fast as possible. I knew I had it in me to promote and market my own book. A few months after self-publishing, Black Rose Writing offered me a publishing contract. I decided

to sign and I had to remove my book from all the platforms. It was re-published in March 2017. I’m proud to say that my book is actually doing really well. In the beginning it was downloaded 16,000 times in three days when I had free promotion going on, which helped to initially boost my sales. It was ranked #1 on the Amazon store and fluctuated in the top 10 section for more than a week. You can also find reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. MR: How did you end up in LA? DE: The weather brought me to LA. I realized how much I missed the sun when I went home to South Africa. Nick and I felt like the winters were too long in Seattle. We made the decision together. We had to choose between San Diego, Orange County or LA, and we chose LA because of my career. Nick was also excited to enjoy the sun and beautiful weather in California again, so we were very excited. Nick’s first option was San Diego, but he agreed on LA because he believes in me. Shortly after we made our decision, he asked for relocation to Santa Monica’s Amazon office. MR: Where did your career go after the move? DE: The first thing I wanted to do was to get my feet on the ground. I researched what I had to do to go to auditions. I’m from South Africa and back there I had an agency, Faces, who sent me out. I grew up doing modeling work and appearing in many international commercials. The problem is, it was a bunch of buyout deals, and they never gave me the content or photos. So when I came here, I had nothing to show for it. I basically had to start from scratch even though I’ve had a lifetime of experiences. MR: When did you realize you could sing? DE: I was probably like five years old. I would sing Celine Dion songs at the top of my lungs alone in my room. On road trips I would listen to songs and fantasize about singing the song myself on stage. I was never acknowledged or noticed by anyone. I have an older sister who is a fantastic singer. So, the family decided she was the singer and she was going to have professional training. I ended up in the school choir and I was told to just blend in. But our choir was fantastic, we won the Gala event year after year. Sports and modeling were my main focus growing up. I never really sang in front of my family since it wasn’t encouraged. I would wait until I was alone and sing by myself. I would keep an eye on my driveway and make sure no one was coming in. When I came to LA, I got a vocal coach, Lauren Carter. I had to get out of my shell and shake the feeling that it was wrong. She has helped me get more comfortable singing in front of people and she’s been very supportive of my art.

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MR: Do you have plans for a full album? DE: My biggest challenge now is funding. I do have plans for a full album and I am working really hard to make it happen. I receive many requests and tracks from producers to decide whether I want to collaborate or not. It’s a lot at the end of the day so I had to prioritize my collaborations due to the amount of requests. I receive many requests via Instagram DM too, but I prefer to be contacted via my website seeing as Instagram DM gets very busy and it’s not really designed to discuss work or keep track of important conversations. MR: Are you looking for talent representation? DE: Yes, but it is a big decision to make. I need someone who will root for me. I need someone who works really hard because I work really hard. It’s a partnership. They have to genuinely love my style and me as an artist. MR: What inspires you? DE: It’s hard for me to get inspired easily because I had to deal with a lot of hardships in my personal life. It’s all about how many times you have to get back up, and being able to push forward no matter the obstacles you face. That’s one reason why I like Sia. Her story inspires me because she kept her head above water and never gave


Videographer Ben Shani @benshaniproductions 1 3 8 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE

up on her passion regardless of her circumstances. I like Jessie J’s attitude and who she is as a person. I love Florence and The Machine and their vibe. I also love Of Monsters and Men. I especially listened to them when I was in Namibia. I think music that sticks with me inspires me the most. MR: What was your song Shockwave inspired by? DE: There was a time in my life when everything was just going wrong and I had that blank stare on my face, thinking, is this really happening? You know when you laugh uncomfortably, like how is this even possible? I told the producers about the concept and they had a little trouble grasping the idea at first. I said “You know, like a shockwave,” and we took that idea and narrowed it down to something more specific. The last few years spent in South Africa was probably the worst few years of my life. I decided I didn’t want to live that way anymore so I dropped out of university and I left to clear my head in Namibia. I eventually ended up here in America, where I changed my life around. I can pull from those experiences back in South Africa but I’m not in that mind space anymore. Now I can bring half of the South African Danielle and half of the new Danielle to the stage. My life is like a treasure box of unfathomable stories. No one really knows me besides my husband Nick and my twin sister. But I think if you listen to my music, you will get to know me. ■


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Writer Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene

earing beaded bracelets and the same worn grey hoodie he wore when we met a day or two before, Leon Logothetis seems happy inside of himself. He is comfortable talking to almost anyone and strikes up a conversation with our videographer immediately. He appears to derive great joy from telling bad jokes that somehow manage to land and make his listeners laugh likely due to his British accent and deadpan expressions. “I like your energy,” he will occasionally say to certain people he meets. This sort of sprightly social ease may have something to do with traveling to 20 countries and approaching hundreds of people during the course of the filming of Leon’s television show, The Kindness Diaries. Relying only on the kindness of others, the first season of the show, which can be streamed on Netflix, centers around Leon making his way from Los Angeles all the way around the world visiting travel-worthy destinations, educating viewers on historical facts, and of course, looking for places to crash and food to eat. Here’s the twist: anyone Leon encounters on the show who displays a great deal of kindness to him and others, receives a generous gift. Past gifts have included eye surgeries, schooling, and even homes.

And I started to travel the world on kindness.”

“I quit my job.

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MR: We’re going to talk about your Netflix show, The Kindness Diaries. I’ve heard it’s inspired by the Motorcycle Diaries. Is that where you got the idea?

MR: Interesting, and that’s going really well so far. I’ve only seen a few episodes. I just met you so I had very little time to catch up! So there are two seasons?

LL: Yeah, so basically I use to be a broker in the city of London and on the outside I had pretty much had everything and on the inside I had pretty much nothing. Very depressed, very disconnected and I stumbled across the Motorcycle Diaries. And I quit my job. And I started to travel the world on kindness.

LL: There’s season one in which I drove a bike from LA all the way around the world back to LA. Then there’s going to be a season two which is going to be driving from Alaska to Argentina but, without the bike. Because, if you’ve seen the show, you would notice that the bike keeps breaking down.

MR: Okay, so tell me a little more about that. You’re traveling on a motorcycle relying only on the kindness of others. You have no money and nowhere to stay…

MR: Right, I did noticed that.

LL: So basically I have one motorcycle with a sidecar. The motorcycle is called Kindness I sort of like Air Force One but a bit yellower. I have no money, no food, no gas, no place to stay, nothing. All I had was relying on the kindness of strangers.

LL: So we changed it to Kindness II, which is 1971 Vintage VW with an open top. MR: Got it. So, tell me about this concept of kindness and why it appealed to you. Is kindness something you can teach other people? Is this more of a social experiment or is this being made in the hopes that you can teach other people to be kind? LL: Sure, so I was bullied very badly and profoundly as a kid. I was a sensitive kid. I was bullied not just by kids, but adults as well. And I was always wondering, why are you being mean? Like, why are you going out your way to make me feel badly? And there were a few people in my life that were really kind and very inspiring. And I never forgot those people because they kept me going. For years they kept me going, feeling like I had value and I wanted people to feel what it feels like when you are kind to someone else because it’s a win-win. If I’m kind to you, you feel good and I feel good by being kind to you. So, I just want to inspire people to go out into the world and treat people with respect.

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And I think this is something people have lost. Many people have lost their ability to discuss things with people based on intuition. MR: Why do you think that is? Do you think it has to do with technology and our constant dating apps and social media? We aren't making actual human connections anymore? LL: I think a lot of it has to do with technology. A lot of it has do with western societies, western culture. Where many of us, not all of us, but many of us pretty much have everything we need. We don't have to go out of our comfort zones. We don't have to take a trip to some foreign country. When you do step out of your comfort zone though, I think you become more human. You know, when you sit behind an iPhone all day, you lose your humanity. And when you lose your humanity, you can't connect with others. MR: Right. That's so true. Do you have any favorite examples from the show when people have displayed kindness to you?

That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. If I would have given you different numbers of my ex girlfriends, they will tell you how imperfect I am. I make a commitment everyday to show up with love in my heart. Sometimes I fail, but more often I don’t. MR: So, the people that are featured in the show. You stumble upon for different reasons. You need food, you need gas…but these people are aware they are on camera, so do you think they are more kind because they know they are being filmed? But also there are people that are not kind too, that are straight up like, “You can’t stay at my house.” LL: Sure, I think that overall the camera helps. But there are moments people don’t want to be on camera in certain countries and certain locations where people are like “Look, get the camera out of my face” and sometimes we get people on film saying that. But what I think the camera does is make people feel safe, make people feel like okay this chap has a camera he’s not going to do something really bad to me. So that’s the icebreaker and that’s the thing that enables people to be a little bit kinder. MR: Well that brings me to my other question. I think a lot of times people are unkind based on fear. You may be approach women for instance about staying at their house and you can come across as totally creepy. And it would prevent them from being kind or being generous because they are afraid. Do you have any thoughts on that? LL: Yeah, I mean it definitely happens. So, I'm very careful with who I approach. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I get it wrong. Ultimately, it’s about energy. Even without the camera, how you show up, you know the energy you bring into an interview or everyday life — people kind of get to the point of thinking, Ok, this person is safe. And they go with intuition, they go with their gut. 1 4 2 | L E FA I R MAG AZI NE

LL: Sure, so part of the show is the unexpected life changing gift. They don't know that by being kind to me, they can receive something. I ended up in Pittsburg and I was trying to find some help and no one would help, which is fine. And I stumbled across this chap in a park and I started talking to him and asked that I normally ask after talking to someone a little bit: “Can I stay in your house tonight?” He turns around to me and says, "Look, I'm very sorry but I'm homeless.” He didn't look homeless but he was homeless. I felt a lot of shame. I was about to walk off but then he turned around to me and said, “but if you want you can stay with me tonight, I'll feed you, I'll protect you and I'll give you some clothes.” It was like every part of me, or 99.9 percent of me was like, “Leon you're not sleeping on the streets of Pittsburg.” But then there was like that little counter intuitive part of me that said "Leon, you are sleeping on the streets of Pittsburg tonight.” So, I ended up sleeping on the streets Pittsburg. And he fed me, protected me and gave me some clothes. And he taught me a beautiful lesson, which was that kindness is free. It's free! It doesn't matter how much money you have or money you don't have. Kindness is free. And true wealth is in our hearts, not in our wallets. ■



“Kindness is free.

And true wealth is in our hearts, not in our wallets.”

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