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VOLUME IV / ISSUE IV / JUNE 2020

FORM A SPIRITUAL CONNECTION WITH YOUR POLO PONIES EMPIRE POLO CLUB - TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY POLO CLUB












VOLUME IV / ISSUE VI / JUNE 2020

Ambassador Claude-Alix Bertrand

Stanley Pierre-Etienne

Joshua Jakobitz

Luxury Contributor

Contributing Photographer

Mark Wine

Lifestyles Contributor

Michael J. Snell

Brand Representatives Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre - Dubai Rudy Volel - New York City Michael J. Snell - The Hamptons Stanley Pierre-Etienne - Caribbean Sara Ali - London

Publisher

Style Contributor

Philippe Lucas

Editor-in-Chief

Fitness Columnist

Joey Velez

Wellness Columnist

Cezar Kusik

Wine Contributor

Raphael Dapaah Art Contributor

Jyoti Paintel

Spiritual Contributor

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Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre Style Contributor

William Smith Philanthropy Contributor Gregory Bertrand Copy Editor

Elle Chrysler

Polo Contributor

Claire Barrett

Head of Photography

Eva Espresso

Jessica Foret Wax - Santa Fe Charles Ward - Montecito K & Co. Media - Los Angeles Contributing Photographers

Claire Barrett U.S. Polo Association Michael Rego Tali Photography

Polo Lifestyles is a publication of HT Polo Publishing Co. 995 Detroit Avenue, Suite A Concord, CA 94518

Content Copyright Š Polo Lifestyles 2020 All Rights Reserved. For information or to advertise Contact editor@htpolo.com Read online at www.pololifestyles.com Cover photo by Nat Prakobsantisuk


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SCOREBOARDS & COCKTAILS T R A N S F O R M A T I O N

GRANDIOSE EVENTS O N TH E F I E LD - W H E N P O LO S LE E P S

page 28 POLO LIFESTYLES EDITORS & CONTRIBUTORS

Ambassador Claude-Alix Bertrand

Josh Jakobitz

Publisher Polo Lifestyles @haiti_polo_captain

Elle Chrysler

Stanley Pierre-Etienne

Polo Contributor U.S. Polo Connection @ellechrysler

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Claire Barrett

Head of Photography Claire Barrett Photography @clairebarrettphoto

Editor-in-Chief Polo Lifestyles @joshuajakobitz

Eva Espresso

Mark Wine

Jyoti Paintel

Fitness Columnist Functional Muscle @functionalmuscle

Spiritual Contributor Polo Lifestyles @jyotipaintel

Michael J. Snell

Gregory Bertrand

Style Contributor Photographer Lifestyles Contributor Lanmou Pou Ranyon Eva Espresso Photography MJS Groupe @stanleypierretienne @eva.espresso @agnello_1

Copy Editor Polo Lifestyles @bertrand7367

Philippe Lucas

Cezar Kusik

Luxury Contributor Flip Lucas @flipohlucas

Wine Contributor Polo Lifestyles @cezartastesearth

Joey Velez

William Smith

Wellness Columnist Philanthropy Contributor Velez Mental Performance Santa Fe Comm. Fdn. @velezmentalhealth @willismith_2000


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Ralph Lauren pledges $10m Great wines under the for COVID-19 page 146 Tuscan sun pg 139

Vernissage profile: REWA page 126

Prada reopens production in Italy page 118

GARDENING'S RESTORATIVE POWERS It's good for the earth. It's good for the soul. Just about anyone can grow something.

Plus chic garden accessories and a peak inside Martha Stewart's quarantine life with her gardener, housekeeper and driver. page 76

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR The mail delivery has become the most-anticipated part of the day in the last three months at our house. With limited social interaction, we find ourselves waiting to see what our friendly essential workers will drop in the mailbox for us. From bills to cards, online orders to Mother’s Day flowers, every envelope and box is a mini-Christmas. Several friends have taken to sending hand-written cards with beautiful messages and memories. During a time when they seem so far away, the cards are a physical manifestation of relationships that existed before COVID-19 and will endure beyond it. In that spirit, this month’s issue presents an extensive section on creative, unusual and just-plain-fun gift giving ideas. In “Wow ‘Em with a Special Delivery,” we profile industry leaders in gift giving – from corporate to personal. The gifts range from outrageous to thoughtful. What a beautiful way to surprise someone you love, but can’t be near, with a special gift sent in the mail. In our third month of quarantine, lock-down, shelter-in-place, a polo magazine could start to suffer the consequences of a certain paucity of polo action. Our team dug deep, again, to feature grandiose events held on polo fields. The transformation is utterly astounding – the polo fields we know and love at Empire Polo Club take on a completely new aura for weddings, celebrations, shows and, of course, Coachella. The design concepts and production execution blows our minds. Traveling virtually around the globe this month, we focus again on the country of Italy – slowly but surely emerging from lockdowns and quarantines. Prada’s stores and factories are reopening with the new-normal cleaning and sanitation protocols in place. Tuscan wines and stories from the hills where the grapes grow are the subject of Cezar Kusik’s wine column… you can pick up his recommended blends anywhere, turn on some music, close your eyes and pretend you’re in Tuscany for the summer. Raphael Dapaah, our resident art contributor is back after a welldeserved sabbatical, and he brings us his insight into the world of contemporary art with an inspiring interview with Nigerian artist REWA as well as a new section, Patrons’ Place, wherein he profiles art collectors. In a time of extremes and difficulties, let me say personally, that it is my sincere desire that June’s issue of Polo Lifestyles can bring a bit of respite and inspiration to you, wherever you are. When you read this, know that I think about you and hope you’re safe and well. Josh Jakobitz josh@pololifestyles.com

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bazaaruk The Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrated their two-year wedding anniversary

kerbito Kerby Jean-Raymond rolled out a plan for a drive-through fashion experience, defining the new normal

sfbucketlist Social distancing circles were drawn in Dolores Park in San Francisco prior to Memorial Day weekend page 24

cotedazursir

clairebarrettphoto

Fancy a summer isolated on the Cote d'Azur? So do we. Sotheby's CdA office has the villa of your dreams

Just a couple of minutes before the ceremony, a quiet moment for two grooms in Savannah

poloperformance Hand sanitizer has taken on many forms, the most recent being produced by Performance Polo

prada Prada boutiques in Italy implemented cleaning techniques and protocols in the wake of reopening

_madge12 High school graduations took on a new look this year with protective gear and social distancing

gillesmarini Like many men at home, Gilles Marini got creative with his facial hair during quarantine, trying out a beard


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Click and comment on our choices... tag @pololifestyles. We will share noteworthy comments with you next month.

bethennyfrankel Bethenny Frankel supplied PPE to hospitals across the country, but it wasn't easy

telegraph Authorities are rolling out new methods of fever detection for public spaces

erickjjr "Quack-rantine" Miami residents keep cooler during long, hot days of social distancing

okuntakinte Depression is on the rise as masses seek online counseling; implementing a routine can help

michelebennettduvalier Forty years ago, Michele Bennett wed President for Life of Haiti JeanClaude Duvalier

agnello_1 Photographers on Vespas and on foot are capturing iconic images of New Yorkers

jeanelie Jean Elie, of HBO's Insecure, credits his mom to keeping him out of trouble while he pursued his dreams

schneiderschumacher Countries and cities are getting more creative with social distancing techniques

globalpolo Streaming services are at an all-time popular, including the robust @globalpolo page 25


The Ultimate Driving Machine.


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Photos by Claire Barrett and Tali Photography


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T R A N S F O R M AT I O N

T

he splendor of an afternoon of polo at an established club draws hundreds and thousands of spectators throughout the polo season. But for many clubs, the polo season only accounts for one-quarter to one-third of the calendar year. Ideally geographically located clubs, such as Aspen Valley, make use of a, albeit short, winter season on the snow, waking the club from what could otherwise be a deep winter’s hibernation.

weather, ending long before the dry and scorching summer can scathe either horses or players.

For many clubs, luxury events, festivals and corporate buyouts are a lifeline for operational costs. Such is the case in Indio, California, where the league-playing polo club’s season takes advantage of temperate winter

One such event planner is Jeff Brown, founder and CEO of BrownHot Events in Los Angeles. In 2019, Brown designed and produced an elaborate wedding on the grounds of the Empire Polo Club. The wide-open space

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Between season, polo facilities and fields are ideal spaces for events and meetings. Acres and acres of flat, green fields, readily available highend facilities, and the allure of horses on-site all work together to create an enticing package that major event planners have noted.

allowed Brown’s crew to construct two distinctly different but complementary spaces: one outdoor area for the ceremony and another for the evening’s reception. The former boasted a custom boardwalk and seating for more than 200 guests on Louis Ghost Chairs. The couple exchanged vows under a modern all-lucite chuppah. As the sun set, guests were transported across the facility in wagons pulled by the polo club’s tractors to the Forum where a futuristic open-air tent had been erected and outfitted to the 9s. Lounge areas flanked buffets and tables, set to reflect the couple’s taste: modern, lush and posh.


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BETWEEN POLO MATCHES: EMPIRE POLO CLUB IS THE ANNUAL HOME OF COACHELLA MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL STAGECOACH MUSIC FESTIVAL THE KENNEL CLUB OF PALM SPRINGS DOG SHOW SAND STORM LACROSSE FESTIVAL SOUTHWEST ARTS SHOW

Nontraditional dining vignettes such as this 14-top marble table evoked pure “commune” to enjoy the station-driven California fresh menu.

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Nontraditional dining vignettes such as this 14-top marble table evoked pure “commune” to enjoy the station-driven California fresh menu. Six days of installation – with 9 different design and production crews - transformed the open polo field to a 12,000 sq. ft. desert-chic, open-air ballroom built just for the night. page 33


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The iconic Empire Polo Club entrance sign welcomed guests to wedded fun as they arrived via chartered coach shuttles from nearby accommodations at the Ritz-Carlton of Rancho Mirage. A sixty-foot long, wood planked “runway� was built atop the otherwise-polo playing-field and served as the dramatic entrance for the wedding party.

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Guests searched for their personalized agate coasters-turned-escort cards amidst a moss-laden slab of wood. The “you may now kiss” moment under a modern, all-lucite chuppah adorned with succulents – and the exact spot where they made their duet “official” while attending Coachella weekend five years prior.

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Top: Hundreds of lucite chairs juxtaposed the raw woodplanked aisle to evoke a magical, modern Boho nuptials setting. Opposite: Bride and groom Jamie and Glenn Cagan savored a “just the two of us� moment under the canopy before guests arrived. Underfoot, the same wood-plank floor design from the ceremony. page 38


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Personalized, wooden dinner menus greeted each guest at their dining spot. Weekend welcome bags included a heartfelt note of gratitude from the bride and groom. A change into all-white sneakers helped bride Jamie to get the party started – and continuing through to their Coachellainspired afterglow. Oversized cement urns filled with cacti, succulents and other natural botanica accompanied Boho-chic floor ottomans and floor pillows, creating the perfect welcome Lounge. page 39


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N E W Z E AL AN D BMW POLO OPEN

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Miles of crisp, white gauze and thousands of bulbs modernized thePost-match, traditional Nacho “ceilingFigueras swag” tomade honorathe bride’s vision for a chic, A 20-foot tall birthday cake was the photo op du jour on the General Admission side. surprise luxurious under the desert stars. appearance in front of the cake to spray champagne while a duo of DJs popped out of the top ofand theyouthful cake for celebration a dance party. page 41


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EMPIRE & COACHELLA The Coachella Music and Arts Festival is a three-day music and arts festival presented by Goldenvoice, held annually on the grounds of Empire Polo Club since 1999. Fans from around the world flock to Indio to hear live music performed by rock, indie, hip-hop and electronic artists that have included Beyonce and Madonna in years past. In 2013, event organizers added a second weekend called Coachella Two to accommodate the demand for fan tickets.

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EMPIRE POLO CLUB HOME TO COACHELLA MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL SINCE 1999

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EMPIRE POLO CLUB HOME TO COACHELLA MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL SINCE 1999

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The creation of this exceptional clock draws its inspiration from the concept "tempus fugit" (times flies), providing an endless source of fascination. Whether long or short, friend or foe, time runs wild and free. The idea of "taming" it - not to gain mastery over it but rather to better appreciate it - this was the starting point of the amazing adventure which gave birth to the mare and her foal, an automaton and exceptional clock baptized “Hippologia.� The Parmigiani Haute Horlogerie Manufacture has mastered the fine art of creating beautiful timepieces shrouded in mystery. Through its restoration work, Parmigiani is intimately acquainted with historical masterpieces, enabling it to hone its own creativity. This manifests itself in the form of unique timepieces, each a real piece of watchmaking bravura. In the past, the manufacture has already created many table clocks decorated with sculptures reproducing a dynamic movement. This year, Parmigiani Fleurier wanted to dream bigger and go further.

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TCU POLO CLUB

ELLE CHRYSLER @ellechrysler Polo Contributor

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n a continuation of the series based on COVID19’s impact on Interscholastic and Intercollegiate (I/I) polo, I interviewed the president of the Texas Christian University’s polo program Morgan McBride to learn more about how the lockdown has impacted them and the challenges that they face as they move into the fall semester. As a former collegiate team president myself, I page 52

understand how sensitive the teams are to disruptions in their membership and activities. Unlike most competitive sports teams such as football or soccer, I/I polo is not fully funded by colleges or universities. These teams operate like small businesses, and each has its own unique format. Teams, like Yale, have become independent entities that own their own horses and employ workers while others, like TCU, form partnerships with local clubs and pay to rent horses and facilities. Each approach has its benefits and drawbacks, but both rely on a steady income to operate, which boils down to active membership.

M

cBride is a graduate of Culver Academies and an experienced

equestrian. She is studying journalism in the hopes of becoming a future correspondent of polo for the US Polo Association. EC: When the lockdowns first went into effect, what were your initial reactions? MM: My teammates and I were disappointed, to say the least. We missed out on the closing of our season, which is when we celebrate our hard work with cookouts, senior send-offs and other team bonding events. We couldn’t help but feel the weight of the memories we missed this semester. What were some of the immediate impacts of the lockdown on how you operate?


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PART II: Covid-19 brought Interscholastic and Intercollegiate Polo to a screeching halt. How are teams planning for an uncertain future? COVID-19 has completely changed how our club operates. Beyond the physical practices, the spring semester is essential in preparing members for the leadership roles they will assume in the fall and completing required paperwork for our university. TCU requires us to hold elections for leadership roles in person. This has presented a unique challenge for us! Instead of being able to communicate face-to-face at practices and ruminate over things in a comfortable manner, we are now forced to communicate with one another solely through email, text messages, and Zoom. Conversations are no longer organic. That being said, we are all reveling in the peculiarity of the situation and trying to make the most of our conversations. You mentioned that TCU has requirements that have to be met by the team, can you explain more about this relationship?

TCU Polo was founded in 2011 as a rec sports club that receives partial funding through the SGA. The rest of the budget for the team comes from membership dues. To remain an active club and receive funds from TCU, we have to meet minimum requirements in membership.

We are hoping that come Fall 2020, we have the club reorganized to provide the best environment for new club members!

What are your biggest concerns?

My team and I used to gripe about TCU not allowing us to own our horses, however, now we are thankful that we don’t have the financial burden of caring for a herd during this pandemic.

Club membership. Many underclassmen are considering transferring to different colleges closer to home due to financial burdens or uncertainty about how to return to physical classes next semester. Teachers at TCU have been instructed to prepare online classes for Fall 2020 if we do not return to campus. If this happens, how will we recruit new members? We are also worried that incoming freshmen won’t feel financially comfortable enough to try a new sport. Our facility and horse rental are dependent upon maintaining a large club membership.

How have you dealt with funding your club during this crisis? Do you have advice for other programs?

My thoughts go out to the clubs that do have to manage and care for their herd. My best advice for other clubs is to be as transparent with their members as possible. This is a time of uncertainty for all of us. Including all members on financial difficulties or other issues within the club will help keep everyone united. By Elle Chrysler Polo Contributor Polo Lifestyles 2020 •

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JYOTI PAINTEL @jyotipaintel Spirituality Contributor

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ay’s issue of Polo Lifestyles covered many topics for Mental Health Awareness Month, and it was never timelier, especially with the world collectively grieving the terrible tragedy and death toll from COVID-19. page 56

What is more daunting is that we are just beginning to understand how the novel Coronavirus will disrupt our family, work and most especially, our social lives for the unforeseen future. Three months into the pandemic, we have accepted that it is our duty to protect our lives and to respect the lives of others by limiting our time and interactions with people in public spaces, something that we could not have imagined before the outbreak.

Peak Performance for Athletes As the world waits for a vaccine and a clear path out of the Coronavirus pandemic, we must be optimistic, with a measure of caution, if we are to persevere. The BBC recently published an article about the psychology that drives athletes and professional sports competitors to perform at their peak, both physically and mentally, and how the Coronavirus has devas-

tated both. When leading up to a major event, such as the Olympics, athletes experience anxiety known as anticipatory emotions, according to Chris Dawson from the University of Bath. “These are feelings triggered by the anticipation of a future event that cause you to either take immediate pleasure in inevitable success, or, conversely, feel dread about impending failure... balancing your expectations can be tricky, but in most cases, once the event


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MENTAL HEALTH TOOLBOX

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has transpired, you can find at least partial relief in knowing the outcome.” Unfortunately, with the postponement of most events and competitions, the closure that the outcome would provide is out of reach, and has left many feeling frustrated with very little in the way of an outlet for that anxiety. Peak Riding Performance and How to Maintain Your Competitive Edge The preparation that goes into competitive sports permeates all aspects of life for an athlete. It includes monitoring food intake, committing to a rigorous training regime and working with coaches and trainers who provide the mental and emotional motivation to maintain a state of optimal fitness. For equestrians, the shelterin-place orders, closure of training centers and social distancing protocols make training all but impossible. Dr. Darby Bonomi, a specialist in the psychology of peak performance riding, believes that equestrians have the grit to weather the storm, as strength and toughness are characteristic of the sport. An equestrian must work in harmony with their horse, an animal known to be moody and unpredictable. Bonomi believes that equestrians are particularly suited to deal with external and uncontrollable factors. “Equestrians have all the tools to adapt, to dig in, to make lemonade out of page 58

lemons. Riders, and horse people of all stripes, live with uncertainty daily. We ride horses, after all. We know that a horse can scoot from underneath us in a split second. Or spin us off. Or be sound today and dead lame tomorrow,” Bonomi said. Additionally, she points to the solidarity horse people feel for each other, whether they are helping their fellow riders pursue an opportunity, or coming together during disasters, such as when people worked together to rescue horses from the devastating California wildfires; equestrians know how to unify and do whatever needs to get done. The virus presents some very different challenges, though, and many equestrians are struggling to cope without the dedicated time to practice with their horses. Like many of us, one of the most difficult aspects involved in readjusting is that the Coronavirus has completely altered the routines and schedules that once kept us grounded and focused. So, what are some tools for equestrians to maintain their peak? A unique aspect of Bomoni’s methodology is that she infuses her coaching with her own special tools. Not only is she a lifelong expert rider, but she is also an equally accomplished and experienced clinical psychologist with a private practice. Being certified in Intuition Medicine further supplemented her training, and she uses that certification as an approach

to help clients to surpass mental or psychological blocks that might be holding them back.

alization meditation if you cannot be there physically, and it is beneficial for the rider and the horse.

Equestrian Strategies

Bonomi believes that horses also need this constant nurturing connection as it releases endorphins. Through visualization, put yourself back in the saddle and try to take in all the sensory details you can, such as smells or touch. Bonomi suggests to talk directly to your horse and ask for understanding and mercy during this challenging time.

Two strategies to get through the uncertainty of the pandemic are keeping long-term goals and staying in the present moment. One crucial aspect of keeping your eyes on the long-term goals ahead is staying physically fit, as it helps with building a new routine. To stay optimistic, be mindful of the amount of coverage you take in, instead, try finding joy in the little things around you. Intuition is an important bond with your horse when you are with them, but you can also do it through visu-

Read more about her special work by visiting her Web site and staying up with her blog, where you can also directly ask questions and get advice. By Jyoti Paintel Spiritual Contributor Polo Lifestyles 2020 •


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JOSH JAKOBITZ @joshuajakobitz Editor-in-Chief

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n lieu of visits, vacations and long weekends together, thoughtful gifts sent in the mail have come to mean so much more. As worldwide lockdowns and stay-at-home orders were rolled out in March, one of our event partners showed up with a surplus of expensive perfumes left over from a soiree he organized in Los Angeles. We promptly wrapped and prepped them to shipment to contributors,

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magazine friends and family. Nothing, at this point in time, says, Thinking of you, like a thoughtful and beautiful gift delivered by an essential worker. When Mother’s Day rolled around in the United States, we rolled with the punches and didn’t plan any elaborate weekend brunches or trips. Instead, we thought, What would Mom really like? What is unusual and fun, that we could pick up, wrap and box? We admit to being inspired by BrownHot Events, whose bespoke client gift baskets are favorites of

ours. Founder and CEO Jeff Brown’s corporate Valentines gift boxes are highly anticipated items. He times the delivery specifically for February 14, no matter what side of the country or world you reside. His curated boxes of holiday goodies are usually themed – Bee Mine, Peace & Love, etc. – but his wedding welcome packages and corporate gifting equally wow us: I Regret Nothing (complete with Advil and rehydrating liquids) and Me Undies, featuring fun underwear samples that you have to break out of a miniature piñata.

This regal objet d’art was the perfect symbol for announcing the arrival of this new company and their lion-esque moniker – to serve as a paperweight on recipients’ desks. A miniature gold-gilded foldout shared their launch story. Giant, handspun pompons adorned the glossy giftbox.


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The iconic CONVERSATION HEARTS inspired this edible Valentine delivery to customers. Hand-painted sugar cookies and an oversized plush heart pillow delighted all the senses. The glossy white box lid was gold-foiled to deliver the clever messaging.

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A “smash-your-own” piñata kit revealed the undergarment brand’s newest line to influencers – complete with a logo’d stick and custom blindfold made from their most popular patterned textiles.

A KISS-THEMED Valentine’s delivery arrived in a gold-foiled tube, with each oversized Hershey’s kiss custom-foil wrapped in striking pinks. Unique branded, logo’d wrappers emerged from each of the popular confections.

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Clients were encouraged to CHOMP SMACK POP at the unveiling of a custom, branded bubble gum machine. Even the token roll of pennies was included, logo-wrapped and all.

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A party in a box upon arrival in the penthouse suite of the Four Seasons, complete with 2006 Louis Roederer, smoked salmon, breads, jams, chocolates, truffled salt and comfy lounge accessories.

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At the bride and groom’s request, their wedding Welcome Bags of childhood favorites also included a curated HANGOVER KIT to pace guests through the weekend.

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Honey-laced Adam Turoni chocolates and a honeycomb-shaped tree ornament and gift box set the theme for this “BEE MINE” Valentine gifting project sent to clients and prospects. A message card inside proclaimed the sender’s thoughtful donation to “saving the bees” in each recipient’s honor.


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Media and influencers were the first to TASTE a new vodka flavor - arriving in a summer sherbet-themed, lucite-encased gift box – complete with hand-blown, branded swizzle sticks, and coupled with a duo of frosted stemless martini glasses.

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Touted as one of America's most-coveted confections, these kernels of delight are enjoyed by and gifted from a cult following of celebrities and mainstream popcorn afficionados. Order and send this sure-win gift at garrettpopcorn.com

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Roses in a Dior hat box made a striking first impression for guests

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Lucca gift baskets were sent with a variety of their most popular items as well as a few specialty and higherprice-point items. Below: Beautifully encased perfume bottles were just dying to be broken free from their confinement. Also below: Summer makeup samples arrived in a Tory Birch bag with a Marc Jacobs book, all coordinated by a national upscale retailer for their best consumers.

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M

artha Stewart has been in quarantine on her New York farm with her gardener, housekeeper, and driver for nearly two months.

Long days in the garden, surrounded by a rainbow of flowers and adorable baby geese. Dinners of fettuccine Alfredo or scallops cooked with leftover Dom Pérignon champagne, followed by $300 bottles of wine and competitive card games. This is what life in quarantine looks like for Ryan McCallister, the head gardener at Martha Stewart’s farm in Bedford, New York. McCallister, along with Stewart’s driver and housekeeper, have been at Stewart’s 150-acre estate for more than 45 days. McCallister, who is staying in Stewart’s guest house, told the magazine that he didn’t expect the lockdown to last long when he left his New York City apartment in March. “I thought to myself, ‘Why not just stay in the guest house for a few days until this is over?’” he recalled. McCallister has since been posting updates from Stewart’s farm on his Instagram page, sharing pictures of brilliant flowers alongside selfies with Stewart’s adorable pets.

And McCallister, who has been Stewart’s head gardener for the last nine years, said plenty of work is being done as well.

“This is actually working out pretty well,” he said. “Since we’re at the house all the time, we can work earlier and later and we get a lot more things done. And Martha doesn’t just sit there and say, ‘Do that!’ She’s out there doing everything with you.”

Stewart has been sharing numerous Instagram videos and photos from her farm, giving fans a peek as she whips up dinner, organizes her pantry (with 39 different types of salt), and enjoys a ride on her new mower to the tune of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It.” Since Stewart’s usual film and photography crew aren’t at her estate during the lockdown, McCallister is the one who is often behind the camera.

The pair are currently preparing Stewart’s outdoor vegetable garden and planting trees. McCallister said Stewart has “hundreds of saplings waiting to go into the ground,” including maple, oak, and chestnut.

“All the videos you’ve seen of her since March were done by me,” he said. “I hope I’m getting better at it.”

“Martha decides what to plant and where it should go,” he added. “I’ve been gardening my whole life and studied plants and landscapes in school, but I learn something new from her every day.”

McCallister said that Stewart eats meals and plays cards with her staff, and has been cooking up a storm for

But it’s not all work and no play when you’re staying at the home of Martha Stewart.

Stewart said in March that she grows almost everything she eats right on her farm, “Even during the winter.” “I have a vegetable greenhouse now that is full of gorgeous plants,” she said. “I make salads every single day from my greenhouse. I’m growing cucumbers, tomatoes just started, and I raise my own chickens for eggs.” page 77


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them as well. “Ordinarily, I can burn off extra calories,” McCallister added. “But when Martha offers you a cookie, you can’t just say no. They’re delicious and you eat three.” There’s also been plenty of wine. Evidence of nightly rituals found its way to her Instagram

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page, where she revealed she had accidentally opened a very expensive bottle of wine during a nightly card game of Gozo. Stewart opened a bottle of 2013 Domaine Roulot Mersault des Boucheres, worth about $380. “Must have been a gift,” she joked. “But the detainees (Mc Callister and other staff) deserve it.”


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THE RESTORATIVE TONIC OF GARDENING DURING QUARANTINE

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CREATING ZEN SPACE L

THERE IS NO BALM FOR THE SOUL LIKE PLANTING SEEDS

ast summer, when the world seemed mad but, in retrospect, was fine, I was searching for a permanent home.

I found a big flat with a sunny roof terrace and, down a metal staircase, cursorily divided from the downstairs lady’s domain by an elfin picket fence, a wasteland of a yard. It was a mere nine by five meters, full of brambles, ivy, weeds and a yucca the size of Ozymandias’s skull: not perfect, not remotely, but I envisioned that, one day, perhaps, I would transform it. That was B.C.—Before Coronavirus. Now I write this at my new study window, looking out at a London that appears to be functioning almost as usual. Even in lockdown, nobody knows how to behave. My view, mildly softened by translucent blinds, is of a busy road still populated by double-decker buses and red post-office vans, men in gas masks and old women on mobility scooters with toddlers on their laps. We’re teetering on the edge of panic, cartoon toes curling and each of us is doing what brings sanity. The important people—nurses, teachers, social workers—grit their teeth and carry on. What all gardeners know, and the rest of you may discover, is that if you have even the smallest space: a pot on a window ledge, a front step or a small yard, then there is no balm to the soul greater than planting seeds.

Watching them begin to sprout, checking far too often as the firm yet fragile stems break free of the soil, the dry seed-case caps, is a joy so strong you can feel it in your knuckles. Rosegeranium leaves and thyme flowers and the hit of petrichor from damp soil, are the scents of heaven. Dispersing homemade compost feels like alchemy: turning dead tulips and carrot tops to black gold. Some people grow flowers; unless they are edible— tangerine-orange calendula, Ionian borage—I’m not interested. On the other hand, Red Russian Kale could supply my loved ones with Vitamin C and bioflavonoids while simultaneously distracting us with its beauty: those gray-green fragile-looking leaves, their veins like rivers of wine.

Even before the coronavirus, the potential to grow things and feed people was a thrill. Now it makes me tearful with something new: gratitude. Suddenly, my least-garden-y friends are panic-buying radish seeds, punching holes in the bottoms of plastic boxes to start their seedlings. I delight in the new additions to my team, like a cheery pusher. Before quarantine, when I was dehydrating, canning, making bread, yogurt and kimchi, they laughed at me. Now, suddenly, such things are almost a necessary act for maintaining sanity. To grow and preserve food is to remember that life continues.

I do not dare tell my new gardening friends that, despite all the renewed talk of victory gardens, self-sufficiency is an elusive dream. Growing edible plants, particularly in a city, is neither cheap nor easy. Without an abundance of space, and far more manure, any hopes of feeding the family without one’s weekly grocery delivery are unlikely to come true. However, that is not the point. It’s the journey, not the harvest. Or so I tell myself. We all know in theory that nature brings peace, but now, more than ever, we should self-prescribe a dose of it. Look down as well as up. Look at the glossy dinosaur shells of wood lice, the scribbled clots of earthworm casts, the weirdness of what Thoreau called “the tonic of wilderness”, the patterns in lichen lobes and leaf veins, tree branches and bark. Wilderness is everywhere, even in cities. The greatest evangelist for the peace which nature brings is the poet Mary Oliver, the patron saint of noticers. page 87


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She would have appreciated the complexity of feeling garden-giddy in a time of crisis—of how it is to be, as she put it in her poem “The Summer Day,” page 88

both “idle and blessed.” Meanwhile, outside, as a result of the shutdown, a miracle is occurring: birds sing from everywhere. I may have heard an

owl. The springtime air, scented with magnolia and blossom, is, for London, almost pure. I have passed the time bagging ivy and wrenching roots from


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a predecessor’s forgotten borders, merrily chucking manure at the feet of my old pot-bound gooseberries, checking obsessively for vine buds. We

who are healthy in our homes, with a pot of compost or a small patch of soil, are lucky. Let’s get going.

Charlotte Mendelson is a prize-winning novelist and author of “Rhapsody in Green,” a memoir about her passion for gardening.

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MUST-HAVE GARDEN TOOLS If you have a backyard, you probably have a garden hose, and chances are, it’s a generic green one that came with your house. That, or you bought it at a big-box home improvement store. But why settle for ugly gardening tools when you could have ones that match the style and taste of your backyard? Garden Glory, a Scandinavian brand, makes stylish gardening tools and outdoor accessories. Garden Glory’s founder Linda Brattlöf started the company when she was frustrated by the lack of stylish gardening tools on the market. She bought a new home on the Swedish West Coast and could not believe the only tools for sale were dull green garden hoses, ugly nozzles and clunky wall brackets. So, she took matters into her own hands and made them herself. You are going to want to buy everything, but these are our must-haves. Garden Glory also sells stylish pots, bird feeders, outdoor cushions, and wall mounts for your garden hose that will transform your backyard into a stylish, relaxing oasis. We love the entire collection—and we can’t believe elevated gardening tools didn’t exist until now.

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HIGH SOCIETY

WE’RE READY FOR YOU,

TUATARA

HIGH SOCIETY

MICHAEL J. SNELL Luxury Lifestyles Contributor

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hen it comes to being a ‘leader in class’ many strive to achieve, but few actually do just that. When SSC set out to design and further produce what they hope to be a record-breaking hyper-car nearly a decade ago, no one could have imagined that the outcome would have been… well, so sexy. The Tuatara is a 1,750-horsepower culmination of research and development that has led to a high-performing vehicle capable of delivering an otherworldly driving experience. Designed by Jason Castriota, who has page 96

been notably accredited for his longtime automotive designs, the SSC’s design emulates Castriota’s brilliance as the body shape and aerodynamics take notes of influence from that of fighter jets. The goal of its presence was to create a bond between futuristic and function, hitting hard on a striking design. It, unto itself, screams “Limitless.” The 2020 Tuatara, which was showcased at the first client reveal event presented by Manhattan Motor Cars, had both mouths dropping and palms sweating. The handpicked crowd of select buyers, influencers and enthusiasts entered to see the Pearlescent Black aerospace-grade carbon body (which left them speechless) while both Castriota and Manhattan Motor Cars Owner, Brian Miller highlighted the vehicle’s features to guests.

Starting at $1,625,000, but potentially reaching closer to just under $2 million, especially when fully equipped and including the must-have High Downforce Track Pack, true adrenaline junkies smirked amongst the crowd as they heard Tuatara’s body also features an active rear wing which lowers as the car’s speed increases. “Not only does the car boast a class-leading 0.279 drag co-efficient,” explained Castriota. “But it also maintains an identical aero balance from 100 mph to well over 300 mph.” Under the hood, well, actually it’s a rear-positioned, the Tuatara features a V8 Nelson Racing Engine. Industrywide, Nelson is known for high-output performance and, in this case, it goes without saying that Nelson makes an obvious choice given that SSC has their eye on achieving hyper-car speed


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“Not only does the car boast a class-leading 0.279 drag co-efficient,” explained Castriota. “But it also maintains an identical aero balance from 100 mph to well over 300 mph.”

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HIGH SOCIETY

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history by aiming to break the 300 mph mark for a production vehicle. The 5.9-liter block was built from the ground up and uses a flat-plane crankshaft for reduced rotating mass, making it atypically rev-happy for a V8 of its size. Redline can be found at 8,800 rpm, where the Tuatara produces its peak power of 1,350 horsepower on 91-octane gas. SSC North America CEO Jerod Shelby set out to build this car so fine-tuned that his goal was to incorporate track-level handling, dynamic driv-

ability and extreme horsepower. The Tuatara’s industry leading engineering is now set to make history. Manhattan Motor Cars is SSC’s official U.S. Northeast represented dealer, to which they are also known for their prestige brand portfolio from the likes of Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Koenigsegg, Rimac, Glickenhaus, Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche and now SSC. The dealership, which prides itself on true one-of-a-kind cars is no stranger to showcasing both new and vintage collectible autos with price points

around that of Tuatara - to even quadruple it. Their detailed curation of inventory is what continues to uphold such a strong respect and reputation as a purveyor in the industry. SSC is a welcome addition to their collection and the Tuatara is surely a sight to be seen with your own eyes, and if you’re especially lucky, they’ll start it and give your ears something to remember, for days. Possibly weeks. By Michael J. Snell Lifestyles Contributor Polo Lifestyles 2020 •

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JOSE ANDRES

O

THIS AWARD-WINNING CHEF KEEPS SHOWING UP IN DISASTER ZONES

ver the past few years, he has responded to many major crises. After an earthquake devastated Haiti, or when Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, when wildfires scorched Southern California and a refugee crisis intensified on the Venezuelan border, he mobilized volunteer chefs in each of those spots to prepare meals for thousands of people in need. Now, during the global coronavirus pandemic, Andrés is again leading the charge to provide food relief to the elderly, those suddenly without work and front-line health care and essential workers. He was early to spring into action. His nonprofit World Central Kitchen (WCK) set up makeshift kitchens at ports in Japan and California to feed quarantined cruise ship passengers and crew in February and even turned the Nationals’ baseball stadium in Washington, D.C. into a field kitchen to cook and distribute free meals. In Arkansas, when schools closed in response to the pandemic, WCK teamed up with the Clinton Foundation to feed children who rely on school-provided meals. And at a time when America’s restaurants have come to a near standstill, with about six million restaurant page 102

employees laid off or furloughed since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, Andrés is aiming to turn hundreds of restaurants and other locations into community kitchens. A decorated chef whose innovative dining concepts have earned two Michelin stars, Andrés has opened an award-winning group of restaurants, written several cookbooks and created a collection of Spanish-inspired food products that are supplied to wholesalers and retailers nationwide. He could have easily kept himself out of harm’s way. He’s had plenty of work to do just managing his for-profit restaurant empire. Instead, he has put himself on the front lines of crises at personal risk to himself. It is a dramatic departure for a chef of his caliber and stature. Andrés could, like some of his peers, just worry about appealing to the broadest swath of people in the friendliest, least polarizing way. Instead, he has taken time away from his business, and he has not worried about doing so in a way that can make him a political figure, criticizing President Trump and pushing for action on crises like hurricanes and the coronavirus.

Often, Andrés himself leads the cadre of volunteer chefs, said Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit emergency food-relief organization Andrés founded in 2010. “When there’s a medical crisis anywhere, we send doctors. So, when there’s a food crisis, we send chefs to help,” he said. Andrés was on the ground with his team in Oakland, California overseeing food relief work for the cruise ship passengers; In New York City and the DC area, he has personally delivered meals and much needed personal protective equipment like masks and gowns to hospitals, shelters and senior centers amid the coronavirus pandemic. “At the end of the day, José jumps in. We all jump in,” said Mook. “When someone is hungry, they aren’t hungry next week or next month. They are hungry now.” WCK has already delivered close to 18 million meals around the world thus far in places like Haiti, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, California and Mozambique. The non-profit is funded by individual donors, foundations and businesses. The organization logged $28.5 million in revenue in 2019.


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Now, as the world collectively faces an unprecedented situation with the coronavirus having taken a foothold in more than 200 countries, and infecting over 3.5 million people in a matter of months, Andrés again is all in, mobilizing chefs on the front lines. In early February, 712 passengers and crew were quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that docked in Yokohoma, Japan. Nearly half of the people on board eventually tested positive for the virus. Within days of the ship’s lockdown, WCK and its chef relief team had mo-

bilized to set up a field kitchen at the port outside of the ship to heat up and deliver fresh meals daily to quarantined passengers. “We got a lot of help from different Japanese chefs,” Andrés explained to CNN during a global town hall event in early March. “Everything was done in a very professional way to make sure that everybody will be safe, achieving what we wanted — feed everybody in a healthy way,” he said. Mobilizing local chefs and restaurants is key to quickly activating WCK’s operations in a crisis area, explained

Mook. “Tapping into the local resources — chefs, kitchens, materials — rather than flying everyone and everything in, helps us rapidly scale our emergency efforts.” In April, WCK assembled another chef relief team to feed passengers and crew quarantined aboard a cruise ship in Oakland, California. Then, as the pandemic spread in the U.S., shuttering businesses, closing schools and bringing life to a standstill, Andrés ramped up food relief efforts not only for front-line health and other essential workers but also page 103


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for the many families now struggling to put food on the table.

uting 100,000 meals a day in New York City and New Jersey, said Mook.

pare 1 million relief meals, providing them with a crucial economic lifeline.

In New York City, the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak, Andrés has turned his sprawling 35,000-square-foot food hall, Mercado Little Spain, which encompasses three full-service restaurants and over a dozen food and retail kiosks, into a community kitchen serving low-cost (or free) grab-and-go meals to people in need.

WCK has served over 7 million meals distributed in 234 cities in more than 35 states and territories, as well as 35 towns and cities in Spain.

WCK is paying participating restaurant owners $10 per relief meal. Mook said the effort is designed to help get restaurants back on their feet and prevent many from going out of business.

Over 3 million have been served in 890 individual locations to date, which includes but is not limited to community kitchens. In mid-April, Andrés’ friend Jacques Torres, a New York City resident and one of the most renowned chocolatiers and pastry chefs in the world, witnessed the scale of the effort. “I was in the kitchen in Little Spain, and there were thousands of little trays filled with food for people on the front lines,” said Torres. “It was humbling to see.” The volunteer chefs, united under the #ChefsForAmerica banner, are distrib-

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The non-profit, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, is also providing meals specifically to NYC healthcare workers. During the shutdown in the US, WCK has contracted with shuttered restaurants to help pre-

Health and safety protocols are mandated for everyone involved in the effort, with restaurant staff advised to wear face masks, gloves and hairnets, and food preparation stations required


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to be at least six feet apart. Andrés’ own company ThinkFoodGroup has also taken a hit amid the shutdown. The business was able to keep all of its employees on payroll with full compensation during the first five weeks of the shutdown. But in late April, the company furloughed its hourly employees and made them aware of their unemployment benefits. ThinkFoodGroup said it is covering 100% of employee health benefit premiums while they are not actively working.

continues to pay chefs and restaurant managers responsible for operating the community kitchens,” the company said. As he reflects on his evolution from chef to dedicated humanitarian wanting to feed people at their most vulnerable, Andrés has courted risk along the way, particularly with his activism as a proud and successful immigrant.

swore in as an American, that we need to participate in the democratic process,” said Andrés. “When you feel sometimes that things are unfair and unjust, I do believe it’s the role of every American to speak up,” said Andrés. Story by Parija Kavilanz, CNN Business

“It was very clear to me the day I

“This pertains to employees in DC, NY, Las Vegas and Orlando. TFG

“When you feel things are unfair and unjust, I believe it’s the role of every American to speak up." Chef José Andrés

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Thank you for not riding with UBER.



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STAY-AT-HOME

GREGORY BERTRAND Copy Editor @bertrand7367

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art of being a book critic is having an ever-growing stack of material that you need or want to read. Admittedly, some of these books you will never get to, mostly because there is only so much reading any one human can do in a day, even if reading is what you love. Not to mention that staying current with what books are coming out is always going to be a losing battle, for every book you finish, five more come out the next week. Meaning, you have to take a look at that stack of books by your desk or that list you have saved in your com-

puter and find those that speak to you. With all that said, here are five books, either already released in 2020 or will be later in the year that I have designated must reads. "Pew"

CATHERINE LACEY

Catherine Lacey is on a steady path toward greatness, and in her wake is a collection of soon to be classics. First, there was “Nobody Is Ever Missing” in 2014, a book about a woman jetting off to New Zealand, leaving behind her husband, family and a deep sense of dissatisfaction in search of something to soothe her haunted past. The best way I could describe it is a millennial’s answer to “On the Road,” the seminal novel by Jack Kerouac, only “Nobody Is Ever Missing” feels more urgent and tragic. In 2017, Lacey

followed up with “The Answers,” about a woman taking on a strange job as a man’s “emotional support girlfriend.” Then, in 2018, she published the criminally underrated short story collection “Certain American States.” Not too shabby for a 35-year-old. Lacey’s latest novel is “Pew,” which was released in January by publisher Macmillan. Chinelo Okparanta, a former writing teacher of mine, once said that there are only two types of stories, a stranger comes to town and a stranger goes on an adventure. From descriptions, “Pew” seems to be the former. Set in a rural, southern town in the U.S., “Pew” follows a titular character. One day, a family discovers a stranger sleeping in their church. They (the stranger) are genderless and racepage 111


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JUNE 2020 READING LIST

not in it merely for the shock value. With her razor-sharp prose, Moshfegh is a cultural critic, often taking aim at the absurdities of everyday life. “Cool for America: Stories” ANDREW MARTIN

I have a deep affinity for short fiction. Sure, I might be biased because short fiction is what I write in my free time, but on a more critical level, I feel like, ironically, the shorter format lends to more freedom in storytelling. With that said, I am eagerly anticipating “Cool for America: Stories” by Andrew Martin, set for publication on July 7.

less, they have no name, their age is unknown and there is no clear idea where in the world they came from. The family, believing themselves good Christians, take the stranger, who they later name Pew, into their home, and from there, the novel centers on Pew’s interactions with the small town. If it’s not obvious by my introduction for Lacey, I am a huge fan of her work. Her prose are lush, and they stick to the reader like tar. She, more than any other contemporary author I have read, seems to get the plight of an aimless adult in a post-recession America. I cannot wait to get my copy of “Pew”. “Death in Her Hands” OTTESSA MOSHFEGH

Like Catherine Lacey, Moshfegh has done a lot in a short amount of time. Her novella “McGlue” was released in 2014. “Eileen,” her 2015 debut centered on an unhappy woman working in a prison in the 1960s. After that, Moshfegh published “Homesick for Another World,” a short story collection in 2017, and quickly followed up page 112

with “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” in 2018. “Death in her Hands,” her third novel, is set for release on June 23. According to Penguin Random House, the book’s publisher, the novel plays out as a murder mystery in conjunction with Moshfegh’s traditional black humor. The plot centers on a woman trying to solve the murder of someone named Magda after she finds a note while she is on a walk in the woods. The note says, “Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her body.” But the narrator finds no corpse nearby. She is quite shaken by the note, and eventually becomes obsessed with the mystery woman, even going so far as to making up her own personality for her. I would categorize Moshfegh’s writing by her vivid descriptions that often do not shy away from the disgusting. In “Eileen,” the titular character describes her bodily functions in vivid detail. But, do not be mistaken, Moshfegh is

Kirkus Reviews says of the collection and Martin, “Martin has emerged as a leading chronicler of millennial ennui in contemporary America…The 11 stories all feature young people struggling to find authentic connections to friends, family, work, and culture in a modern America not particularly interested in them or their opinions.” I’m not familiar with Martin’s work, but often, finding your next favorite author or book is a shot in the dark. However, a short fiction collection about “millennial ennui” is right up my alley, and I will definitely add “Cool for America: Stories” to my Amazon cart as July 7 approaches. “Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick” ZORA NEALE HURSTON

Zora Neale Hurston is undoubtedly an American literary icon and on the Mount Rushmore of AfricanAmerican writers. A figure of the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston is perhaps most known for her novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Her writing is known for its highly stylistic African-American Vernacular English dialogue, use of traditional African mysticism and folklore tinged


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escape their bullish men.” This is a subject Hurston returned to over and over during her career. Really, I am most excited for this collection, which was released in January, because other than “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” I have not read Hurston enough to say I know her well. And seeing as how I am always trying to keep up with contemporary fiction, “Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick” seems like the best opportunity to familiarize myself with an icon.

with racial and gender politics. “Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick” contains 21 of Hurston’s stories, eight of them never before seen by readers as they were

previously lost in various archives. In his review for The Guardian, Colin Grant described the collection as containing “…feisty women who deploy whatever strategies are available to

So, whether you remember reading Hurston in high school or college, are ashamed you have never heard of her or just want to re-read stories you already know, go pick up “Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick.” By Gregory Bertrand Copy Editor Polo Lifestyles 2020 •

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FASHION & STYLE

PRADA REOPENS PRODUCTION IN TUSCANY


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THE NEW NORMAL

PRADA EN COULISSES FACTORIES REINVENTED IN TUSCANY

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strict safety protocol has been introduced for employees, working in partnership with Careggi hospital in Florence. The Prada Group has recommenced operations in Tuscany, recalling around 300 employees to work in the leather goods, apparel and footwear departments at its Arezzo premises. In doing so, the house has taken necessary precautions, putting their workforce first and setting a road-map for other houses to follow.

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The reopening, which was communicated to the local authorities in advance, involves the prototyping and sample-making departments essential for developing the company’s forthcoming collections. The factories in Umbria, Marche and Veneto partially will reopen next, followed lastly by the collection and sample-making workshops in the Milan headquarters. This return to work coincided with the implementation of a full range of

measures to protect against infection from Covid-19, with meticulous precautions taken to safeguard employees’ health. As set out in the internal safety protocol signed by the company, employee health and safety representatives, the medical coordinator and the Health and Safety service, the measures involve reduced hours, or hours split up over multiple shifts, to ensure staggered access to the sites and the correct distancing of approximately six feet between workstations.


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Every day, on arrival, employees have their temperature taken and are provided with personal protective equipment (gloves and masks) to wear for the full duration of their shift. The company places bottles of sanitizing gel near all workstations, and sanitizes the rooms twice daily. As a precau-

tionary measure, the canteen will not operate for the first few weeks after reopening. In addition, the Prada Group is the first Italian company to introduce a cutting-edge safety protocol that involves the double screening of employees, in a collaboration al-

ready agreed with Careggi hospital in Florence. The Prada Group will apply this procedure at the Tuscan sites that are currently operational and will later be extend them to all premises in the other Italian regions. From Tuesday, April 28, a team of specialist nurses in dedicated rooms have carried out serological testing on all employees, and those who test positive also receive a viral test, conducted on the premises. The company’s entire workforce will receive serological testing every month, with no end date currently set for the screening program. The cost of this demanding diagnostic operation will be borne in full by the company. In this initial phase, there will be an estimated 1,000 tests per week, a figure which will significantly rise once production is back to full capacity. If any employees test positive, the company will also extend the double

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signed with Menarini Diagnostics to supply the testing kits for the serological test, and with a world-leading company in the molecular diagnostics sector to supply reagent testing kits to hospitals. With the aim of not depleting the public health system’s stocks these materials will be bought directly from the above-mentioned suppliers.

screening process to their family members.

frequent viral tests is currently being investigated.

The possibility of employees voluntarily requesting more

Moreover, commercial agreements have been

Patrizio Bertelli, Prada Group’s CEO, said, “In this emergency situation, we have not only been considering when to reopen our manufacturing facilities but above all how to reopen them in total security, in order to safeguard

our employees’ health and protect them from the virus. We therefore immediately sought advice from leading healthcare facilities and from specialist pharmaceutical companies to identify the top-rated medical technology currently available to safeguard the health of our employees with these virus-screening procedures and to contain the virus. The introduction of these measures means we can now confidently restart production in Tuscany and look forward to extending the above protocols to our plants and offices in other regions when they reopen.” Reprinted with permission from The Impression page 121


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{PRIVATE VIEWING}

REWA

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REWA'S BOLD & REGAL LUMINOUS PORTRAITS

DIGNIFIED PERSONAL DEPICTIONS

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RAPHAEL DAPAAH Art Contributor @dg_luxe

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ew things move me more than the arts and history.

Stumbling across REWA’s bold, luminous portraits, radiating with regal energy was enough to leave me stunned. However, what absolutely bowled me over about her proud, dignified depictions of her muses, often close relations of hers, was the captivating narratives behind the pieces. Stories brimming with ancient tradition, rites of passage and customs of the Igbo people of Southeastern Nigeria are preserved, and thriving in spite of centuries of external subjugation and being undermined. What struck me most was the knowledge that whilst the Igbo in recent years have been famed for their artistic prowess in the arts, chiefly, literature, where giants such as Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have highlighted the ancient culture and customs of their people to contemporary global audiences, the visual arts are yet to have an Igbo talisman—or taliswoman, for that matter.

With this in mind; and my art historian senses in overdrive, I was extremely keen to learn more about REWA’s journey as an artist to date, uncovering the story behind her practice, and of course, her personal odyssey, too. How long have you been painting, and at what point did you consider yourself a professional artist? Formally, my journey began in 2016 when I was living in Johannesburg, but informally, it began much earlier. I’ve always had a relationship with art. Growing up, my dad encouraged my creative drive and his expansive art collection from West Africa, provided further impetus for my development. I’d always doodled and sketched, but it wasn’t until 2016 that I truly discovered my artistic style and began to create consistently and in earnest. Because I am self-taught, I sometimes struggle internally about whether or not I will ever be considered a professional artist, but I’ve since come to realize that I am doing my associated galleries and collectors a disservice by dwelling on such misplaced insecurities. Tell us a bit about your background. Where were you born and raised, and what was your upbringing?

I was born in Nigeria and moved to England when I was 11 years old to join my mother, grandmother and sisters. Life in Nigeria and life in England were worlds apart from culture to climate to cuisine. My upbringing was much like that of anyone who has ever had to undergo such a huge geographical shift; adaptability was key to societal acceptance and survival. Fast forward a few years, and I went on to receive a BSc. in Physiology and Pharmacology from University College London. I began my career as a Management Consultant at Accenture in London. After a number of years, I joined Old Mutual and was repatriated to the Lagos office. I was nominated for the company’s Leadership Rotation Program, and this is when I then moved to Johannesburg. I absolutely love South Africa, but it was a very lonely time for me, and this is why I began painting. Where do you currently live and work now? Today, I go between London – as my family is still there, except my older sister, who is now Singapore-based - and Lagos, where I live with my page 127


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husband, our perfect baby boy and our English cocker spaniel – she’s a pain in the proverbial. Your work today pays homage to your Igbo heritage and customs, why was it important for you to depict your culture in your work? For context, the Igbos are one of the three major tribes of Nigeria and comprise the largest group of people living in the south-eastern region of the country. As I already mentioned, I spent my formative years in England, raised with my bi-racial mum and white grandma. It was only when I returned to Nigeria in 2014 and rekindled with my dad that I began learning about my heritage in earnest. With my personal learning, it was important to begin to express that in my art in tandem, drawing on elements of cultural awareness with my work because I didn’t just want to create art for art’s sake, which, by the way, is perfectly okay, too. In this way, I educate an audience and in the process, educate myself. My dad provides a lot of my source material on the history and traditions of Igboland, specifically Onitsha which is our ancestral village. It was quite dismaying to see that without his materials, there wasn’t much I could get my hands on by way of educational material on this subject matter, so I decided I would make it my opus vitae to bring this to the fore. This is why I prefer to label my work as Igbo Vernacular Art because it is drawn from life itself and deeply anchored in the place and culture from which it was derived. How a culture survives depends on its people’s capacity to learn and transmit it to succeeding generations. Postcolonialism, we imported Western practices and customs. Many of the older Igbo traditions and rites, from aspects of marriage to naming ceremonies, have since become obsolete as cultural customs faded. page 128

Through my art, I would like to provide viewers with an understanding of who we are as a people, educate about our rich legacy and educate a wider audience on the symbolic practices of our forebears before it is lost entirely.

am guided by, so I must get a good education, enter into a good marriage, which I hold with the utmost sanctity and raise a well-rounded family. Tick, tick, tick on those three counts – my ancestors would be proud!

It is my hope that one day, my work will be included in art historical dialogue about Africa, beyond the confines of the wide-reaching Contemporary African Art designation; therefore, the edification of my culture plays a huge role in my narrative.

It is well documented that the Igbo people have long had a great sense of ethnic pride and celebrate their identity. Do you think the same is still true today or has a greater push for a Nigerian national identity and allegiance taken root?

How do you reconcile the age-old customs and traditions of your Igbo heritage, with contemporary culture and modernity? Onitsha has a very long history and set of traditions, which I am firmly rooted in. There are entrenched behavioral codes of conduct and societal norms that still pervade modern living. On the female side, this life playbook is propagated by institutions such as the ikporo-Onitsha, a group of women, community mothers, who are the custodians of culture within their individual quarters of the village. There is also the aspirational Otu-Odu society, which signifies wealth and leadership in the individual communities for the women. I give these two examples because for young women, these two institutions, amongst others, lay out the do's and don’ts of life. For a young married woman, there are expectations on you and ceremonies you must undergo in society, and these guiding factors mean that my behavioral patterns are maintained within certain moral and societal parameters. In modern society, this mandates the need for respect and regard for certain institutions such as those of education, marriage and family. The evolution to womanhood and transcendence into larger society assumes that a lot of discipline and respect is brought to bear. What this means in practice is that there are norms and ethics that I

The former is largely the case. We are still firmly who we are. There may have been such modifications and things we have let go of because of Christianity and other external tribal influences, which are an add-on and not a distraction. However, the fundamental pillars still remain. As I mentioned earlier, these fundamentals have guided us in terms of family union and guided us in terms of commerce and enterprise. Importantly, these factors remain a unique identifying factor of the Igbo race. We assimilate with other ethnic groups and respect their culture but neither absorb theirs nor impose ours on them. As an artist of African descent, what are your views on the surge of interest in modern and contemporary African art? I think momentum and interest over Contemporary African Art that has built up over the past few years will continue to snowball, and a number of emerging artists will be key in putting Nigerian art on a global platform – hopefully including me. I believe the arts are now being taken more seriously with the grandmasters such as Ben Enwonwu now fetching millions at international auctions and the likes of Njideka Akunyili Crosby, a modern, living artist, winning genius grants and fetching similar sums. I believe this is why platforms such as ArtxLagos are so key to further


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drive the importance of the creative industry in Nigeria. I see our creative output eventually taking center stage and becoming an invaluable export, much the same way that music and commodities like petrochemicals have, and I hope that this isn’t wishful thinking. Where have you exhibited your work to date, and what has been the reception so far? To date, my work has been exhibited in Cape Town (Zeitz MOCAA), Lagos (ReLe Gallery and the Nigerian National Museum), London (the Gallery of African Art), New Orleans (the Contemporary Art Centre of New Orleans and the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery) and in New York (MoCADA). I was also invited to work on the Nike Women’s World Cup campaign last year, and the Unilever Vaseline pop-up during Essence Fest in New Orleans. The reception has been nothing short of overwhelming and positive, which has given me a lot of motivation to keep going. Viewers are drawn in by my explosively colorful women and subsequently go on to enjoy the underlying narrative.

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Although, come to think of it, I don’t think anyone would ever be so unkind or forthright as to tell you to your face at an exhibition that your pieces are ugly. Or would they?

ReLe Gallery in Lagos does a great job of this.

Nigeria and South Africa have been considered hubs for contemporary African art on the African continent, what has been your experience of being exhibited and collected in these hubs?

I’m working on building my network within the curator community and working on new representation. There are some conversations ongoing in this space, so I’m keeping all 10 fingers and toes crossed. I’m also working on a new body of work called Umu Ada, an ideology that was created by tradition during the pre-colonial era where women were held sacred, and they participated in collective decision making on political and social issues. The Umu Ada are defined as the powerful daughters in Igbo culture.

It has been an absolute honor. Showing at the Zeitz MOCAA was one of my pipe dreams. One of my observations of Nigeria is that collectors tend to value your work a tad bit more when they view you as an export; that is, you are more so international than homegrown. In my experience, there is a premium placed on your work when you are deemed to be international. That said, one of my biggest and most supportive collectors is in Nigeria. I’ve also found that my narrative is better appreciated outside of Nigeria, which is probably understandable given that much is already known about Igboland in Nigeria. As far as exhibitions go, the turnouts and caliber of the audience are always fantastic –

What is next for you as an artist, and what can we expect in the future?

My proposed exhibition will highlight and acknowledge the various roles that this group plays in the life of the societies within which they operate despite their limited access to resources and paternalistic domination. I am very excited by this collection, as it is challenging me on a number of levels, both in size and scope. Needless to say – watch this space! By Raphael Dapaah Art Contributor Polo Lifestyles 2020 •


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PATRONS' PLACE

INSIDE THE MIND OF A COLLECTOR RAPHAEL DAPAAH Art Contributor @dg_luxe

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fter five months, Raphael Dapaah is back at Polo Lifestyles with a fresh perspective and new series, “Patrons’ Place” that explores the collections and insights of budding and established art collectors and patrons. This series will run every other month with the artists’ vernissage series, thus highlighting the contingent journeys of artists and collectors. Name: Chantel Akworkor Thompson Occupation: Teacher Location: Currently Praslin, Seychelles, usually London, UK Collector Level: Established RD: When did you buy your first piece of art, and what was it? CAT: Wow, I had to think about this. I can’t believe I couldn’t immediately remember which was the first piece in my collection that I bought. I mean, I have always gathered small artworks on my travels throughout the African continent since I first visited in 2008, but nothing on the scale of what I collect now. But my first real pieces were three prints by Prince Gyasi in 2018. I had been traveling frequently to Ghana that year and had come across his work on Instagram. I just loved the vibrancy of page 132

the colors, the way he depicted black bodies, child bodies and the concept of “boxed kids”. As a teacher, that really resonated with me. At the time, Prince was not signed and was working independently. I hadn’t originally wanted three, but he had made a mistake with the order and then later convinced me to take all three, a decision I don’t regret. I met him in Accra to collect the pieces and I got a great vibe off him. A short while later, he was signed, and one of the pieces I have was no longer allowed to be reproduced for sale, so I guess it’s a rarity. How many pieces of art do you currently have in your private collection? Twenty-three originals, but I’m in the process of purchasing another couple. Collecting is so addictive. What drew you to start collecting, and what does contemporary art by Artists of African heritage mean to you? I think a love of art is part and parcel of being Ghanaian personally; the creative arts are so ingrained in our culture that we can’t help but love it. For me personally though, when it comes to collecting, I saw it not only as a way to own and cherish pieces I fell in love with, but also as a way of honoring those creating the works by being their collector of African heritage. The world of art collecting is White, middle or upper class and male, but the creators of African Art are not. The narratives and bodies depicted in the works, in my opinion, need to be owned by those that understand them, have lived it and respect it, for what they are, not for their monetary value. I feel that as people of African descent we need to place more value in that which is our own to keep it authentic.

We can’t let art be the ‘new Scramble for Africa’. What does contemporary art by Artists of African heritage mean to me? So much: The authenticity, royalty, vibrancy and diversity of a country so often misrepresented, embodied in a work of art on a canvas. Which piece of art in your collection is your favorite, if any, and why? An unfair question. Each piece has a different place in my heart. Also, with all but four or so, I have met or talked at length with the artists of each piece. And most times it is through that connection with the artist that I have actually confirmed purchase. Therefore, each piece touches me differently. I don’t have a favorite, but many of my friends and family favor Affen Segun’s Black is Beautiful. Name three living artists you would love to include in your collection in future. It was going to be a Ghanaian trio, but I just swapped one out. Serge Clottey, who is one of my faves, hands down, I don’t actually know why I don’t own anything of his, but I will before the year is out. Not only is he a great artist across a number of mediums and different, yet distinctive styles, he is also a great person. Always greets me with a warm smile and a hug. The personal connection is always a winner. Lynette Boakye, everything she produces is stunning. I’m in awe of her work, haven’t met her but would love to. Would be properly fan-girling. Really needed more than three, I’m deciding now between Toyin Ojih Odutola, Alexis Peskine and Nelson Makamo.


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PATRONS' PLACE

INSIDE THE MIND OF A COLLECTOR I think I’m going to go with Alexis Peskine, his nail work; remarkable, I was speechless when I first saw it. The beauty is hard to encapsulate in words. And his photography, especially the series he did in Senegal, loved. The richness of the black bodies. I’ve heard him talk a couple of times and I’ve always left inspired. For me, it’s usually a personal connection with artist that consolidates purchase, it just adds another layer to the work. So, I’m choosing Alexis. Name three late artists you would love to include in your collection in the future. Malick Sidibe, Hokusai and Matisse, cut outs. Other than Sidibe, not contemporary African but all loves of mine. If you could have dinner with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be, and why? I’m going to think about the art and be cheeky and choose two. Photographer James Barnor, I’ve seen him talk before and he just seemed to be full of amazing stories that as a Ghanaian, I would want to know. For me a photo only captures a second of a story that only the photographer and subjects know and I would want to hear about them from him. Second, Frieda Kahlo. Everything about her intrigues me, but so much of what we know about her is told by someone else. I want to hear her story. What about an artist and their work attracts you the most? An artist’s distinct style. The ability to be able to say ‘that’s a …’ just by first sight. I think that’s the mark of an artist. Also, the use of color is important. Bright colors always attract my attention. But equally the richness of a black is page 134

incredibly attractive to me. Some of my favorite pieces are black and white, like Sungi Mlengeya’s work, which I adore. Use of materials is also something that I consider, mainly innovation in use of materials like the way Serge Clottey uses jerry cans for sculptures or how Hassan Hajal uses tinned cans as a frame or the way Prof Ablade Glover creates the hustle and bustle of Ghana through the thickness and density of his application of oil paint on a canvas. Ultimately though, when it comes to portraiture, it’s how the black body is depicted and messages departed through their work. Is there a particular theme to your collection? Black bodies. It wasn’t intentional, and I wasn’t aware of it really until I was asked this question before. However, I’ve noticed that I have a collection of beautifully depicted black bodies that have a variety of stories to tell, that don’t necessarily follow the trajectory of the black narrative forced on us, created mostly by black men. What advice would you give to a new/ budding art collector who wants to start a collection? Choose something that you love. Take your time and make sure that it’s something you feel you can’t live without, like you would do about a pair of shoes or an item of clothing you’d seen and can’t stop thinking about. Choose passion for the piece rather than its future value. The future increased value of a piece is never guaranteed, whilst a piece could become an investment, I would focus on initially choosing pieces that personally capture your heart.

Don’t be put off by figures. Talk to artists and gallerist and see if you can pay in installments. I have done that for many of my pieces. Another reason to talk to the artists is sometimes, just as you have chosen their work, they may later choose you. By that I mean, an artist having noted your passion and enthusiasm for their work will choose you as their collector, possibly letting go a potential client who has the money immediately or wants to pay more to give their work to you. This kind of relationship is invaluable. What advice would you give to unknown and emerging artists who want to attract collectors and art patrons? Be authentic and have a clear vision. I think it’s important to have a distinctive style, something that is not like someone else’s and be clear on that. Five cohesive pieces, that are well thought through are so much more visually appealing than a plethora of experimental pieces with not clear direction. Exhibit your work, don’t rely on social media, and when exhibiting be present and approachable. A potential buyer hearing your passion ooze when you discuss your work could decide in that instant that your piece is a must have. Be creative about how you exhibit your work. Try to appeal to the people you want to buy your work rather than “the art world”. Know your worth and that of your craft. Don’t sell yourself short, but be flexible with payment, by this I mean offer the option of installments and payment plans. By Raphael Dapaah Art Contributor Polo Lifestyles 2020 •


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Recently, drinks at the bar turned into drinks in our individual homes, but that doesn’t mean you have to drink alone.

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CEZAR KUSIK Wine Contributor @cezartastesearth

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uscany may be the best known of all Italian regions. For centuries, its culture, landscape, and of course, wine, served as an inspiration to writers, filmmakers, painters, travelers and enthusiasts of the culinary arts. It carries a rich history, dating back to 1000 B.C., when the Etruscan tribes occupied the region then known as Tuscia. Now, Tuscany is where the

cities of Siena and Florence stand with their centuries-long turbulent rivalry, artistic prolificacy and architectural magnificence. It is where the tower of Pisa stands slanted, looking at the world in disbelief. It was between the years of 1434 and 1737, at the peak of the European Renaissance and under the rule of the Medici family, when the region reached its hey-day. With Florence as their capital, the Medicis supported and commissioned such artistic and scientific giants like Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei, giving birth to modernity.

Tuscany’s landscape is a combination of coastal plains, gently rolling farm hills and rugged mountain peaks. With its mild Mediterranean climate, agriculturally, Tuscany is one of the most fertile regions in Italy. It specializes in cereals, olives, an abundant variety of fruits and vegetables, and of course, wine grapes. The region is where cattle, poultry, horses and pigs are raised extensively. All this, is coupled with locally sourced seafood and game results in a rich and diverse cuisine which has given inspiration to some of the best chefs and restaurants worldwide. In June 2007, after two memorable visits to the Brunello di Montalcino wineries,

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Tuscan Wines: Versatile & Ubiquitous During the 1970s, Chianti’s reputation drastically diminished, caused by loose and poorly implemented wine regulations. Lower quality grapes were allowed to blend with Sangiovese (even some white grapes), and mass production focusing on quantity rather than quality was a common occurrence. The 1990s brought about a dramatic change. The laws were revised, and both farming and wine-making regulations became stricter. New sub-regions, like Chianti Colli Aretini and Chianti Colli Senesi, among others, were created allowing for a more precise territorial distinction.

I drove to Siena. The old town felt dense with history, exuding architectural richness and intensity from every cobblestone, staircase, statue, chapel and fountain. After a few hours of shopping and sightseeing, I sat outside a cafe on the brim of the crowded and lively Piazza del Campo. A friend of mine, Maria, came to meet me; a middle-aged waiter with a flawlessly detailed mustache brought us a couple of perfectly drawn espressos and tall glasses of Averna on ice. A sweet scent of cigar smeared against my nostrils. Maria rolled us two cigarettes, licking the paper with exquisite detail. We smoked, talked and marveled at the meticulously preserved architectural wonders. A dreamlike woman in a polka dot dress walked by giving me an inviting smile just moments before falling into the arms of a brutally handsome man. I shot the espresso and took a long sip of Averna, put my hand on top of Maria’s and pressed it gently. She smiled, blew me a kiss, and I closed my eyes to cherish the moment. All sounds became one deep, cosmic murmur spanning centuries, transcending space and time and I wished that day was forever. In that peaceful moment, I reflected on the strong wine-making heritage of the region. page 140

Sangiovese, is the signature grape in Tuscany and is the most widely grown grape in Italy. It is a dark-berried grapevine, valued for its high acid and firm tannins, greatly contributing to its balanced structure. Good quality Sangiovese wines offer aromas of cherry, dark stone fruit and savory notes of dried herbs and licorice with a touch of smokiness. Its widespread distribution throughout Tuscany contributes to its nuanced differences as well as a variety of nicknames. In the region of Montalcino, it goes by the name Brunello. In Montepulciano, it is known as Prugnolo Gentile. Around the medieval village of Scansano, it is called Morellino, which lends its name to a DOCG region of Morellino di Scansano. Outside Tuscany, one of the most exciting expressions of the grape comes from the island of Sardinia, where it carries the name Nieluccio. Chianti is the largest and arguably most popular Tuscan DOCG area whose wines are based on Sangiovese. It was the Medicis again who demarcated the first Chianti wine zone in 1716. The area was given the DOC title in 1967, followed by the promotion to DOCG in 1984.

In addition to local red grapes, Canaiolo and Colorino, quality international reds were introduced into the mix and since 2006 the use of white grapes has been prohibited. The categories of Chianti Classico, Classico Reserva and Classico Gran Selezione wines were introduced to further the quality of the region. Each one respectively requires the implementation of more rigorous rules of vinification. Another vital factor that has contributed to the resurgence and improvement of the wines of the Chianti region is the involvement of some reputable Italian wine families in the area like Antinori, Frescobaldi and Mazzei. Montalcino’s hillside town rising 1,850 feet above sea level and located about 20 miles south of Siena is where one of the most coveted red wines in the world is made. For a wine to carry the name of the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG on its label, it has to be made from 100 percent Sangiovese. The first records of wines in the region date back to the 14th century, but the birth of the modern all-Sangiovese Brunello, did not come until the 1870s, and it was inspired, in no small measure, by Ferruccio BiondiSanti. After returning from Garibaldi’s campaigns, he took charge of his grandfather’s estate and immediately began to implement new, and unique for


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the time and the region, wine-making techniques. Vinifying Sangiovese separately, introducing the second (malolactic) fermentation, and aging wines in wooden barrels, often for years, were all considered highly unorthodox practices in the area. Montalcino is one of the driest and warmest regions in Tuscany, producing grapes of a dense concentration of flavor and high tannin content. The vineyards at the foothills with warmer temperatures and more productive soils, produce juicier and more fruit-forward wines. In contrast, the hillside vines result in a racier, lighter style. Regular bottlings of Brunello must be aged for five years before the release. Riserva must be aged for six years. High quality Brunello di Montalcino, especially from top producers, costs $80-$150 a bottle. Rosso di Montalcino, which comes from the same area, is also required to be comprised of 100 percent Sangiovese and can be a great alternative to Brunello. These wines are usually made

from younger vines awaiting the maturity level worthy of Brunellos and come at a fraction of the price with great quality. The Super Tuscan category of wines was born from the rebellion of some innovative wine makers wanting to produce wines from “unauthorized” grapes, which were not permitted by the DOC or DOCG regulations. Bolgheri, where the first and by now legendary Sassicaia wine was produced in the 1960s, stands out in that category with its Tenuta San Guido wine. Eventually, both Bolgheri and Sassicaia were granted the DOC status. The region set a standard and cleared the path for a slew of wines made from single varietal and blended wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Sangiovese. Some of these wines, like Masseto, Tignanello, Solaia, Ornellaia and Sassicaia have established themselves as some of the most sought-after wines in the world. A bottle of 1990 Sassicaia, a blend of

Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, retails for around $500. In the region of Carmignano, only 10 miles northwest of Florence, the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were a part the grape ensemble before the introduction of the Super Tuscans—another area with a long history of wine-making going back to the 14th century with documented records. Here, at least 50 percent of the blend has to be Sangiovese with the remainder of both Cabernets and the local Canaiolo Nero. Stylistically the wines resemble those of Carmignano’s famous neighbor, Chianti. Two other Tuscan regions specialize in Sangiovese wines; Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano. Both hold the DOCG status, and both allow a small percentage of other grapes in their blend. They produce a slightly more unaffected expression of the grape with a generally

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Tuscan Wines: Versatile & Ubiquitous

riper and fruitier style considering warmer temperatures in these southern areas. If picked carefully, these wines can offer a great quality to value bargain with a versatile drinkability factor. Are red wines based on Sangiovese grape dominant in Tuscany? Yes, by far! Are there any whites made there, and are they worth mentioning? Absolutely! The most notable white wine, and the only DOCG region for whites in Tuscany, is Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Vernaccia is the grape; San Gimignano is a small, walled, medieval hilltop town in the province of Siena. In its pure form, Vernaccia is a crisp, dry white wine of a golden hue with brisk flavors of lemon, tart apple, herbaceous notes thyme and a finish of bitter almonds. Aside from Vernaccia, there are other white grapes, indigenous and international, cultivated in Tuscany. Used for both dry whites as well as the decadently sweet Vin Santos wine, the ubiquitous and versatile Trebbiano and Malvasia belong to the indigenous category. From the international camp, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc have experimented with promising results. By Cezar Kusik Wine Contributor Polo Lifestyles 2020 •

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SPECIAL: PHILANTHROPIST IN FOCUS

HOW RALPH LAUREN'S

$10 MILLION PLEDGE RESPONDS TO COVID-19 INFLUENTIAL PHILANTHROPY

BILL SMITH Philanthropy contributor @willismith_2000

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he name Ralph Lauren is wellknown to every reader of Polo Lifestyles. His design sense and branding have made the culture of polo iconic even for those who may know nothing about the sport itself. The creative talents of Ralph Lauren also extend into philanthropy. He founded the Ralph Lauren Foundation, now known as the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, to carry out his charitable efforts. Often focused on health issues, Lauren spearheaded Fashion Targets Breast Cancer in 1990 and then in 2000, he launched the Pink Pony Fund to continue efforts to fight against cancer. In 2003, Lauren continued that passion with founding the page 146

Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In late March of 2020, the Foundation pledged $10 million USD to efforts in combating COVID-19. Among the benefactors is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) efforts through their COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The WHO and its many partners, including UNICEF, are working to track and understand the novel Coronavirus, ensure patients the world over are getting the care they need, and working on research and development of vaccines and treatments. Another focus for the gift will be ensuring that the brand’s philanthropic commitment to cancer will be expanded through the Pink Pony Fund. People with cancers are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 as a result of this underlying health condition and typically have some type of immuno-suppression. Lauren will also focus a part of the $10 million pledge to the Fashion Fund for COVID-19 of the Council of Fashion

Designers of America and Vogue magazine. Originally started in the aftermath of 9/11 this relaunch of the Fund is designed to assist those within the fashion community who’ve been impacted by COVID-19. Lauren’s support of a fund to assist those in the fashion world is a natural for the brand’s philanthropy. So, too, is the fund created for his own employees, the Emergency Assistance Fund. Part of the $10 million pledged will go into this Emergency Assistance Fund to support employees facing circumstances like medical, elder care, or childcare needs, according to the company’s website. Finally, Lauren is putting his manufacturing partners in the U.S. to work in producing and donating 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns. So remember….next time you choose to don the “pony” remember its not just a fashion statement, but a statement on the power of philanthropy. Bravo, Ralph. By William Smith Philanthropy Contributor Polo Lifestyles 2020 •


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SPIRITUALITY DEFINING THE DIVINE

OUR BRAVE NEW WORLD:

MOVING FORWARD “In this bright future, you can’t forget your past. So, dry your tears I say.” - BOB MARLEY JYOTI PAINTEL Spirituality contributor @jyotipaintel

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hange has never been more visible or universally felt in the world’s consciousness than at this moment in history. Humanity is slowly evolving, changing its behavior to fight a common threat to its survival. A few short months into 2020, the world was thrown into the cataclysm of a pandemic that immediately yanked away the physical freedom to live life as we had always done. All of this occurring with little guidance on how to adjust emotionally. Now, the world must watch the daily coverage of heartbreaking defeats and rousing victories of epic heroes on the front lines from behind masks. This joining of hearts renews our compassion and our sense of duty to others during troubling times. COVID-19 has also forced many of us to face our worst fear: our own sudden death or that of a loved one. Protecting our

families and ourselves from a microscopic biological enemy and the stress of an economy spiraling into unknown depths has taken many of us into unfamiliar territory. The indefinite closure of schools, public places and most businesses also brought the new realities of pandemic life directly into every household. Learning to live in the confines of our home and especially the psychological effects of social distancing, is frustrating and traumatic for many of us. But we must behave responsibly, as it is clear our actions can affect everyone around us. Somehow, we must alter the way we live and relate to the rest of the world, no matter how unwelcome this change is. Limit Intake of the Negative One thing I can advise to help ease the stress is to be aware that our spiritual centers (our psyche and emotions) can easily become overwhelmed when inundated with nonstop media coverage and too much information. If possible, limit your news consumption and the intake of information to once or twice a week on your television, and if possible, try to read a news magazine or newspaper; at least there is only a finite amount of information that can fit in your

hand instead of endless online hours. Evolution During Crisis It might be challenging to remember where we were in our “soul’s evolution” before the pandemic, but tapping into those meaningful life goals and dreams might be key to feeling more centered and stable today, and allow us some measure of comfort about tomorrow. Many friends have revealed that their biggest anxiety is not getting sick, but the unpredictability of not being able to plan ahead. I can relate to this fear, but then I remember that this variable – not being in control of the future, existed before the virus. Life can us throw curve balls that literally change our lives instantly, such as a pandemic. When this causes our ideas or the structures that we painstakingly built to disintegrate, the tendency is to hover our emotional helicopters over the destruction, lament, and wish we could go back to our previous comfortable existence. Currently, we all want to change our lives back to the era of social inclusion, and most of all, freedom. Similar to when other major life events strip away our comfortable semblance of normalcy, we then can become lost and depressed. Prioritizing the care of our spiritual self is now more important than ever because we page 149


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are all collectively sad, and that in its own right is also quite a heavy load.

major past events up to the present in very general terms without details.

It is something of a curiosity to me when I see endless commercials post-pandemic promoting solidarity and encouraging us to put on a brave face and embrace our new world, but I have rarely seen anything that explicitly allows us to grieve something we fear most: a not-so-distant past that was in all ways a better place.

Consider yourself the master architect of your own life and this timeline as a blueprint. What were the foundational events leading up to this very moment?

In our haste to plant new gardens of digital hope, maybe it is good to remember that we still can transplant the tangible growing seeds that we were once nurturing. Reclaiming the Past Set aside some time when you can be undisturbed and create an environment that you know will be soothing either by lighting candles, playing music or just being outside in your backyard. Take some time to clear your mind and have a sketchpad ready. Draw a timeline to represent all

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This might include choices made even before you became an adult regarding your education, career, personal passions, and of course, relationships. What were they? Write them at the top of the timeline. Rarely can we build something so complex without some significant hurdles – what did you have to overcome? List them in order under the timeline. One way to assuage the unpredictability we all feel now is to embrace it with the attitude that no matter what problem is presented, we are fully capable of handling it. Looking back at the unpredictable and chaotic events you overcame, do you see the proof that you somehow triumphed if even in small ways?

Usually, there is a larger purpose, always trying to unfold in our lives - where were you before the pandemic? What goals went unmet or problems unresolved in your timeline? If you could create the last part of your timeline by imagining scenarios of the best possible resolution of issues, or achieving those goals without the new limitations we have now, what would it look like? Start general and then fill in the vivid details. How does this make you feel? Hopeful and optimistic? It should. Revisiting, examining and improvising our life blueprint, we might discover that we can strengthen our foundation even when the world around us seems to be unstable. Eliminate the need to predict or worry about the unseen obstacles ahead by having faith that those bridges will be crossed. You have been solving problems your whole life, so have confidence that you can handle even what the pandemic might throw your way. By Jyoti Paintel Spiritual Contributor Polo Lifestyles 2020 •


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FUNCTION A L MUSCLE

MISCONCEPTIONS

& F L AWS O F S PORT-S PECI F IC TR AI N I NG The entire balance of your bank account and all the tips on the Internet can't help if you don't follow some basic guidelines.

MARK WINE CSCS, BA, USAW, PT, PES, CES @functionalmuscle Healthy Lifestyles Contributor

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ociety’s craving for athletic performance training has changed with the rise of direct marketing platforms like social media. As more and more athletes seek out the aid of quality performance coaches to help enhance their skills, the industry has seen a boom.

The ease of availability in reaching additional coaches, athletes and parents through social media has created a shift in what is falsely considered as a more “functional” form of performance training. Making up movements to look exactly like a professional athlete is inherently flawed; furthermore, more “traditional” forms of training are just as functional. My brief analysis will highlight three major factors: I will analyze the sport by the muscle required to perform it, rather than “sport-specific” page identical 166

patterns. I will introduce an understanding of how overuse can be accelerated by this new age “sport-specific” model. Knowing how to implement and program is not cultured by merely learning exercises from YouTube, Instagram, E-Books, Facebook or Twitter. Sport Analysis As coaches, we must analyze the characteristics of the sport from a metabolic and physiological perspective. Here are a few questions that go into my breakdown: 1. Is the sport classified as a loaded or unloaded sport? 2. What joints are the most susceptible to load and impact? 3. What and how so are muscle groups mainly used? 4. What kind of thresholds need to be met? 5. How does one categorize the energy systems? 6. What do the performance enhancements results from? 7. What are the Range-ofMotion (ROM) requirements? 8. How can we train to avoid overuse injuries?

As we do our analysis, we discover what is vital for each athlete to be able to train. However, before beginning

sport-specific training, we must first evaluate the athlete to determine their training level. Train the athlete first and the sport second One of the biggest things to understand is that overall athletic performance is extremely important. Joint stabilization, powerful hip extension, core, hip mobility, postural strength and a healthy understanding of nutritional requirements are focus areas for both regular people and athletes. The body must be taken care of prior to engaging in sport specific training. Once an athlete has reached an age to begin more sport tailored training, the sport analysis should guide you. Certain exercises and movement patterns are universal across all sport arenas; examples are Olympic lifts, squats, pull ups, deadlifts, etc… These movements can be programmed in to all sports while factoring in sport-specific characteristics. Go beyond the exercise A major portion of successful performance training is not merely understanding exercises but developing their purpose for implementation; knowing the requirements from a mobility and muscular

standpoint while being able to factor in the metabolic requirements. Point three is where most ex-athletes now turned performance coaches go wrong. Having a base education platform, which is rooted in what that individual has done in their playing career (performance wise), is simply not enough to begin training athletes. For these ex-athlete-coaches, they must dive deeper in the Strength & Conditioning field to better understand training age, volume fluctuations, muscular activations, progressions and mechanical drive components. From a business and coach standpoint, I understand the marketability of high-level “cool” looking exercises. They get tons of likes and make athletes and parents want to train with you. Marketing these exercises by saying “train like the pros” or “train like this athlete” neglects the training age of the athlete and their specific limiters. Instead, we should be showcasing multiple movements while training all athletes to their level, advancing them from there. Teach first, advance second, perform third. Each athlete is untapped potential that needs to be cultivated in their own unique way.


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MOLD YOUR MIND

BUILDING AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR? JOEY VELEZ MA, MBA @velezmentalperformance Healthy Lifestyles Contributor

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he

Covid-19 pandemic challenges us in many ways, page 170

from learning a new daily routine, to rationing our household goods and even how to remain productive with the ever-constant distractions that surround our home lives, such as the temptation to relax every time we walk into the living room. However, in some ways, there is a slight silver lining to this dark cloud.

This time in isolation has allowed us to connect with people from our past and with family members more often. It has afforded us the opportunity to try new things due to the amount of “free time� there seems to be.

With the majority of the world in a state of crisis and a lot of our luxuries and privileges taken away from us for the time being, now is an excellent time to think about all we are grateful for. You


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do not realize how good you have it until something gets taken away from you. Therefore, we should develop an attitude of gratitude to use as an everyday reminder of that.

Developing My Own Attitude of Gratitude Last year, I experienced a couple of firsts within the game of basketball. It was my first experience as the head coach at my old high school where I led the junior varsity team. The role opened up the opportunity to be a head coach at the club level after the high school season ended. The organization that I coached for was widely known throughout the club circuit, especially on the west coast. I noticed early on that the coaches and the administrative staff emphasized the importance of gratitude to the kids. After every practice, the head coach of the top team would always remind everyone to thank their parents, coaches and even their teammates, culminating with the kids saying how grateful they were to have and enjoy this experience. The organization’s mission was to have an “attitude of gratitude”. While I agreed that we should be grateful, I definitely thought that what they were doing was somewhat corny, but they were paying me, so I went along with it. I enjoy playing and coaching the game, and I appreciate every chance I get to do so, but my mind would begin to wander when they started talking about gratitude. It was not until the early stages of this pandemic and moving across the country for work that I began to adopt this attitude of gratitude, and truly understood the impact this mindset can have. As I am writing this, I cannot help but think about my family and how grateful I am for them. Not just with how supportive they have been in my recent move, but I had to lean on them a lot over these past few years as I dealt with financial instability and trying to find

myself. There were times when I struggled to pay rent and buy groceries, and they never hesitated to help me out. I was scammed to start the year, and they did not think twice about providing me with the emotional and financial support that I needed. Without them, I would not be in the amazing place where I am now, where I am pursuing my life’s mission in motivating and inspiring others to be the best versions of themselves, and to not feel the burden of financial instability. Not only am I grateful for them getting me to this point, but also helping me to take a deeper look into how they have helped me grow throughout my life.

Don’t Wait, Incorporate! There are several ways to include an attitude of gratitude practice into your daily routine. One of those is to start your morning by telling yourself, or a significant other, three things that make you grateful. By starting your day off this way, you develop a sense of appreciation, which is a very powerful way to positively affect not only your life but the lives of others. You can also incorporate journaling every night before you go to bed and include three things you were grateful for that day. This process can help you become more aware of what goes on behind the scenes with the daily tasks you completed. For example, if you went grocery shopping in the morning and the shelves were fully stocked with the items you were looking for, an attitude of gratitude would realize that somebody had to get up before the crack of dawn to stock those shelves, and without them, you may not have the groceries that you need. It can also help you end your day with that same sense of appreciation that you did to start your day, thereby completing your day with a rush of positive emotions and going to bed with a clearer conscious.

If you live at home with your family and eat together, you can incorporate a brief discussion on things that you were grateful for that day. Again, bringing light to the things, people or anything else that helped you get through the day. Even if you do not typically have family dinners, this is a great way to start having them because it is an opportunity to connect with your family on a different level. With the way technology is nowadays, these small moments where we can sit and talk with our family about real-life experiences as opposed to being engulfed in our phones do not happen as often. So, we should be grateful that we have this opportunity, and we should make the most of it.

I’ll Leave You with This The negative impact this pandemic has had on society cannot be understated. However, it can have an enormous positive impact on our mental wellness and our ability to acknowledge things about our life we may have let slip through the cracks. We take for granted being able to go outside and go to the park; we take for granted being able to see family and friends as we please, and do not understand the importance of doing those things until they have been taken away from us. We also take for granted certain professions and the daily operational duties performed by others where we previously viewed them as “they are just doing their job” versus an actual necessity for functional living. You can start developing an attitude of gratitude by using this time to form a better understanding and appreciation of the world around us. So, I challenge you to really think about all the things you are grateful for after you read this. Come up with a list of 5-10 things you are grateful for and share them with another individual. Turn this into a daily habit and begin the process of a great appreciation of all that we have in our lives. By Joey Velez Wellness Contributor Polo Lifestyles 2020 •

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