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DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF CHOPARD’S L ATEST HIGH JEWELRY COLLECTION, THE GARDEN OF K AL AHARI.

LA VERA SPREZZATURA!

WE TAKE YOU ON A SARTORIAL JOURNEY TO DISCOVER THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN HUBLOT, ITALIA INDEPENDENT AND THE HOUSE OF RUBINACCI.

WITHOUT OBSTACLES

DISCOVER THE ALL-NEW MERCEDES-BENZ G500 AMG 4X42.

TROPICAL RACE

The annual regatta in St.Barthelemy, Les Voiles De St Barth, is a true test of endurance and seaworthiness featuring some of the finest boats ever to sail the oceans.


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Spirit of Big Bang Moonphase. Titanium case. Self-winding movement. Big date and moonphase.

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STEEL, 42 MM SELF-WINDING www.baume-et-mercier.com

DUBAI Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons / Dubai Mall Boutique +971 4 339 8880 / Mall of the Emirates +971 4 341 1211 ABU DHABI Al Manara International Jewellery / Sowwah Square +971 2 674 3444 / Abu Dhabi Mall +971 2 645 7575 / Yas Mall +971 2 565 0054 Abu Dhabi Marina Mall +971 2 681 3232 / St. Regis Hotel +971 2 667 3535 / Emirates Palace Hotel +971 2 681 9222 / Al Maryah Island +971 2 674 3444


Bloomingdale’s – The Dubai Mall Harvey Nichols – Mall of the Emirates Ounass.com


Publishers’ letter SIGNÉ

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LUXURY LIFESTYLE

S I G N É

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF CHOPARD’S L ATEST HIGH JEWELRY COLLECTION, THE GARDEN OF K AL AHARI.

LA VERA SPREZZATURA!

WE TAKE YOU ON A SARTORIAL JOURNEY TO DISCOVER THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN HUBLOT, ITALIA INDEPENDENT AND THE HOUSE OF RUBINACCI.

WITHOUT OBSTACLES

DISCOVER THE ALL-NEW MERCEDES-BENZ G500 AMG 4X42.

BLUE ESCAPADE VOLUME 04 - ISSUE 03

TROPICAL RACE

The annual regatta in St.Barthelemy, Les Voiles De St Barth, is a true test of endurance and seaworthiness featuring some of the finest boats ever to sail the oceans.

Edition 26

BLUE ESCAPADE

Cover Illustration Nujoomi Denjypady

Summer is upon us! Time to sign off from work and head to the great outdoors. This edition we have shortlisted features that we hope will inspire you to pack up and enjoy the blue skies. We start off with the London Craft Week, a gathering of artisanal excellence. Highlighting key talents from across various segments simultaneously alongside famous brands, London reminds us why it’s still the Savoir Faire capital. Moving over to Italy, the collaboration between Hublot, Italia Independent and the House of Rubinacci scores a winning composition that represents the best of watchmaking, design and fine tailoring. Our cover story this edition is an exciting race sponsored by Richard Mille annually. The Les Voiles De St Barth is a spirited race that takes place every year in the pristine waters of St.Barthelemy. Featuring some of the highest performing boats in the world, the race is a test of endurance and seaworthiness for both man and machine. The winner of the contest will walk away with an equally enduring Richard Mille RM 60-01 Voiles de St Barth timepiece. For this edition, we test drove the insane Mercedes-Benz G500 4x42, a vehicle that has no equal on-road or off-road. This getaway car is an engineering over-achievement, but its true excellence lies in the fact that it continually reminds you how much fun a luxury vehicle can be. We had a chance to sit down with horological genius Christophe Claret on his recent visit to Dubai and discuss his unconventional approach to watchmaking excellence. We also spoke with Dubai-based Turkish restaurateur Umut Özkanca on his plans for placing Turkish cuisine on the international culinary map. Our shortlists this edition feature the best of world time watches so your travel plans across cities are always in sync. Our travel section highlights one of the Pearls of the Aegean Sea, the Caresse Luxury Resort and Spa. Located in the beach capital of Turkey, Bodrum, the Caresse has a host of luxury suites and private villas for a perfect seaside getaway. Head out, and as always, enjoy the read!

Daniel & Sunaz

www.signemagazine.com EDITORIAL Publisher Daniel Giacometti Editor-in-Chief Sunaz Sharaf sunaz@signemagazine.com Associate Editor Mehdi Mabrouk Art Director Nujoomi Denjypady Photography Vivek Vijayan COMMERCIAL INQUIRIES sales@signemagazine.com MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE Fierce International Business Central Tower A Dubai Media City P.O.Box 502979, Dubai U.A.E Tel: +9714 421 5455 Tarek@fierce-international.com PUBLISHED BY ALTA VERBA FZ LLC 17, The Iridium Building, Umm Suqeim Road, Al Barsha P.O.Box 391186, Dubai U.A.E Tel: +9714 360 3498 info@signemagazine.com Published under licensing from

All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or utilised in any form or by any means, without written permission from the Publisher. SIGNÉ does not take any responsibilities for incorrect information. The advertising appearing within this publication reflects the opinion and attitudes of their respective brands and not necessarily those of the Publisher or SIGNÉ.

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ISSN 2410-4523


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CONTENTS

Selections Scholars

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ORIENTAL BOUQUET Yves Cassar, perfumer extraordinaire presents us his latest creation, Calvin Klein’s Pure Gold Euphoria.

Savoir faire

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THE FRENCH PRODIGY We look back at the rise of Nicolas Ghesquière, the gifted designer behind Louis Vuitton’s recent success.

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SUMMER SCENTS

WHEN ART TAKES OVER

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Art takes over the British capital for the London Craft Week.

Jens Henning Koch, The Executive Vice President of Marketing, Montblanc International discusses heritage, perception, and business performance.

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THE POWER OF PASSION

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8 of the fragrances you should wear at least once this season.

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THE MUST HAVE

INKED STYLE

All you need to know about Givenchy’s latest tuxedo collection.

Tod’s presents its latest collection created in collaboration with tattoo artist Saira Hunjan.

IN CONVERSATION WITH ANAS BUKHASH

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A discussion about social media, public speaking and entrepreneurship.

The Hublot and Italia Independent release their third collection with the help of the House of Rubinacci.

Signé’s selection of some of the most iconic World Time watches available on the market.

LA VERA SPREZZATURA!

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ON TIME: WORLD TIMERS

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UNICEF does not endorse any brand or product. Part of the proceeds from the “Montblanc for UNICEF Collection� will be donated to UNICEF and its literacy projects, with a minimum amount of US$1.5 million being guaranteed by Montblanc. Licensed by Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department.

Hugh Jackman and the Montblanc for UNICEF Collection Montblanc supports

With the Montblanc for UNICEF Collection, we celebrate the gift of writing and in partnership with UNICEF aim to improve the learning conditions for over 5 million children by providing quality learning materials and better teaching. Discover more at montblanc.com/unicef Crafted for New Heights.


CONTENTS

For Her

Obsession

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THE NEW LUXURY

TROPICAL RACE

Sofia Al Asfoor shares her entrepreneurial journey, love of craftsmanship and definition of luxury.

Art & Design

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The Story of the unique diamond that gave birth to Chopard’s latest high jewellery collection.

Audemars Piguet collaborates with Chilean artist Sebastian Errazuriz for Art Basel 2017.

Christophe Claret tells us everything about his vision of independent watchmaking.

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Kristina Fidelskaya presents her latest line, the Côte d’Azur Resort Collection.

Meet the first Microsoft font inspired by a city and named after it.

Discover the all-new Mercedes-Benz G500 AMG 4x4 2.

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

INDEPENDENT VISION

PATRON OF THE ARTS

SUMMER VIBES

WITHOUT OBSTACLES

WRITING THE FUTURE

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Signé tells you more about Les Voiles De St Barth as well as its partnership with Richard Mille.

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CONTENTS

La Dolce Vita 92

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Join us for an escapade to the Turkish Riviera.

During his latest visit to Dubai, Gary Robinson sat with us, to talk restaurants and everything that revolves around them.

TURKISH DELIGHT

COOKING WITH STYLE

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CENTRE POINT LONDON Iconic London landmark, Centre Point gets a new lease of life thanks to developer Almacantar and their modern vision for the property.

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ESCAPE TO PARADISE The Coco Bodu Hithi reflects the charm of the Indian Ocean, blending signature elements of luxury with timeless experiences.

High Fashion

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INDIE’S – ROSSINI The Rossini is one of INDIE DIFC signature dishes and one you must try.

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AL MAYASS’ – SUBEUREG We tell you everything you need to know about Al Mayass’ signature dish.

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A look at the fashion label’s latest exclusive capsule collection.

Signé met with Turkish restaurateur Umut Özkanca to discuss his latest ventures, Rüya.

Signé rounds-up some of Dubai’s latest food and beverages novelties.

A MAN WITH A DREAM

GUCCI X MR PORTER

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RESTAURANTS

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SCHOLARS · THE FRENCH PRODIGY

THE FRENCH PRODIGY Like Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière began at the bottom of the ladder, climbing one step at a time in the world of fashion by dint of creative boldness and talent. We look back at the rise of a gifted designer.

Born in 1971, in Comines in the North of France, Nicolas Ghesquière discovered his love for fashion the age of 14. Very soon, he started sending his drawings to the large Parisian couture houses and landed an internship at Agnès B. when he was only seventeen. She saw thousands of interns but was marked by her meeting with the French teenager, she later said that “He had a clear and strong look and I remember him clearly, he reminded me of Montgomery Clift.” The following year, he obtained his first job as an assistant to Jean Paul Gaultier, who hired him after having validated his sketches. It was the opportunity of a lifetime for the young stylist who sees Gaultier as a mentor. “I promised myself that by the age of 18 years old I would be working for Jean Paul Gaultier and I did. From him, I got my eye and my hand, he taught me the technique.” He later joined Balenciaga for what would later be the turning point of his career. At the time he was asked, by the brand, to design golf uniform, rental wedding dresses and funeral attires for the Japanese market. This job, which many designers refused at the time, opened Balenciaga’s doors to the French designer. “In this business, you have to convince everyone, all the time, at all levels, to give substance to your dream. I learned that you have to be self-confident to get there,” explains the designer. In 1997, Nicolas Ghesquière was appointed Artistic Director of the Balenciaga house, whose couture activity

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has considerably reduced since the departure, in 1968, of its creative force, Cristóbal Balenciaga. In four collections, Nicolas Ghesquière reconciled the brand with the present, installs his vision and dictates new trends. Hyper robotic parades, precise casting, sharp silhouettes and the guidelines of his runway shows. A futuristic poet, Nicolas Ghesquière made Balenciaga the bastion of the anti-bling bling trend. He managed to impose his vision of fashion, both technical and avant-garde. A favorite of fashion writers, he regularly receives praiseworthy criticisms from the press and especially from Suzy Menkes, who already presents him as “the most influential creator of his generation.” In 2001, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) named him the creator of the year, and in 2008 he was named Knight of the Order of The Arts and Letters. After 15 years of collaboration with the Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquière accepted the proposal of Louis Vuitton to succeed Marc Jacobs, who left to focus on his brands, as head of the artistic direction. Nicolas Ghesquière had to bring a spirit of innovation and impose his creative vision to the LVMH group while relying on the values that have made Louis Vuitton what it is today, refinement and knowhow. It is a goal that seemed to be shared by the stylist. “Louis Vuitton has always incarnated for me the symbol of ultimate luxury, innovation, and exploration. I am very honored of the mission that I am entrusted with and proud to join the

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history of this great Maison. We share common values and vision. I cannot wait to join the team. Together we will build the future of the brand while preserving its precious heritage,” said Ghesquière, shortly after his appointment. The choice of such a personality underpins an industrial strategy: Vuitton wanted to tighten its range, make it more luxury and exclusive. In short, it is a question of prioritizing, in terms of image, collections of ready-to-wear, rather than leather goods full of logos, which made a fortune for the label in the early 2000s. “He will have to reinvent his style, but he is so talented that I don’t worry about him,” said Karl Lagerfeld after Ghesquière’s appointment. The designer’s talent and his conception of fashion, often defined as radical, rapidly adapted to the new and vast fashion empire he inherited. Joining a powerhouse such as Louis Vuitton was a challenge in itself, but Ghesquière had to fill Marc Jacobs’ shoes, the designer who put Vuitton’s fashion division on the map. He welcomed the challenge and presented, in March 2014, his first collection; a line globally acclaimed, proving once again that Ghesquière is a name and vision that will be remembered in fashion history. “What I find particularly interesting in fashion is that it must be a reflection of its time. People categorize me as a futuristic fashion designer, but you know, for me, the future is now,” often says the designer.


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S C HOL A RS · T H E P O W E R OF PAS S ION

THE POWER OF PASSION During a busy SIHH Signé met with Jens Henning Koch, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Montblanc International to discuss heritage, perception, and business performance.

Daniel Giacometti What was the thought process behind the 1858 collection? We first launched this collection two years ago as a collection for watchmaking enthusiasts. We started by looking at the heritage of our brand, and we wanted to create a sporty, functional watch. These watches were originally pilot watches in the 1930’s and we wanted to develop it further as the revival of the lines was a success. To stay close to the line’s origins, we looked at the original movement and created a new one, with similar features. Last year we had a blue version of the watches with a tachymeter, and it won the Grand Prix in Geneva. We were happy, the watch has an amazing retro-chic look, but we wanted to stay close to the line’s roots, so we went with bronze, a material that was heavily used in the 1930’s. It is the first time we are using bronze, and we thought this line was the perfect one because it has a vintage element to it. How did Montblanc perform in 2016? What markets will you be targeting in 2017? Overall, when you look at the official Richemont statement, you’ll find that Montblanc is mentioned as a very successful brand. One

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particular element of our brand is that we are very strong locally. When I say locally, I mean with the local customers within each market. It means that we do not depend on tourists that much but that we have strong clients who quite often buy products from different categories, they’ll start with writing instruments and leather good to finally get to the watchmaking group. In the last three years, we have seen that the perception of Montblanc as a watch brand has been changing and thanks to our high-end models, customers see us as a genuine watchmaker. Do you think that in the future customers will associate Montblanc with watches before associating it to writing instruments? When we think of Montblanc, we think of a Maison. Our leadership in the writing instrument field is so strong that it will always be an asset and people will associate us with writing instruments. But with strong launches in the watchmaking field as well as the leather goods division this perception is set to change. The perception of the brand might be different for young customers.

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In which markets is the brand performing the best? We are a truly global brand, our bastions are developing nicely, and of course, we keep investing there; Yet we see that many markets are growing in the southern hemisphere where the speed with which luxury is developing is quite impressive. We are, as a Maison, very often the first to enter many markets and you can see this trend in the Middle East. The Middle East is a very active market, new markets are opening up, and Montblanc has already a presence in these places. Regarding revenue, how would you rank the brand’s different divisions? Writing instruments is performing the best, but it represents a little below 50 percent of our revenue. Watches and leather goods combined represent more than half of our performance. Regarding sales, what was last year’s strongest model in the watch line up? The 4810 collection, across the entire range, was a very strong launch for the brand; from the ExoTourbillon to the day or day date models. Regarding timing, the launches happened a bit late in the year, so we are still to feel the full effect of that launch.


“In the last three years, we have seen that the perception of Montblanc as a watch brand has been changing and thanks to our high-end models, customers see us as a genuine watchmaker.” Jens Henning Koch, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Montblanc International

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SCHOLARS · ANAS BUKHASH

IN CONVERSATION WITH

ANAS BUKHASH Signé sits with Emirati entrepreneur Anas Bukhash to talk about social media, public speaking and his future ventures.

Mehdi Mabrouk From your perspective who is Anas Bukhash? How would you categorize yourself? Even though people should not be classified, I would say that most people would classify me as an entrepreneur. I think it is somewhat an accurate title because I like to launch new enterprises. I started Ahdaaf, which is the first artificial grass indoor football field in the United Arab Emirates, this project has been very successful and is now on autopilot. My second venture was Bukhash Brothers, a celebrity and influencer management, and marketing agency. I am currently working on a third venture, which is a high-end fashion brand inspired by street style. I have set my sights on a fourth venture, and the project details for that have yet to be disclosed publicly. Is it all work and no play? Not entirely. I love sports, and I have been quite involved in sports due to which I have landed a role on the board of the Dubai Sports Council. I was the Chief of Operations and Communications for the UAE professional football league for two and a half years. I have a vast network of connections in the football industry, and I think that is one of the reasons I was placed on the board of the Dubai Sports Council. With so many business ventures and professional commitments, how do you manage your time efficiently? I have my own method of addressing the time management issue. Everybody has the same amount of hours in a day. The only difference is how they choose to use these 24 hours. Some people waste their time in coffee shops for hours and hours on a daily basis. I know individuals who spend at least 3 hours in coffee shops almost every single day; which amounts to 21 hours in a week. Don’t get me wrong I am not against these practices, I am against overdoing it; if

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you want to go to the cinema or read or spend time with friends, it is totally okay because you are investing time in yourself. I try to be as organized as possible, I am overly protective when it comes to my time. If I were not like that, I would not be able to manage more than one responsibility. One key to managing a business is also having a good team, a team that you can rely on. I think that’s how the most successful people and companies in the world are able to flourish and people tend to forget that. If Messi or Cristiano did not have good players around them to pass the ball, they would not have reached the level they are at today. Can you tell us more about your latest venture, Bukhash Brothers? Bukhash Brothers is a celebrity and influencer management and marketing agency. We have a personal relationship with these celebrities and influencers, and it gives us an edge. We don’t directly manage celebrities or influencers; our job is to market them. We try to find campaigns, brands or events that require a certain talent, be it social media influencers or celebrity, and we pitch them to clients. We are a very creative team, so we are always working on new concepts, and we love generating new ideas to promote brands in a modern yet genuine way. We come up with creative ideas for our clients, and then we find the right celebrity or influencer for their campaigns. The second part of the business is campaign management, once we find the concept and the right influencer we make sure that everything is delivered on time and that every bit of information is compiled in a report to be sent to the client. The Victorious put the United Arab Emirates on the football map, what is your involvement with the project? The third season is being aired now, and it is a talent show like the X

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“Everybody is good at something, and one of the first steps towards success is identifying what you are good at and start building your project based on your strengths. The road to success is a long and hard one; if it were easy everybody would be successful.” Anas Bukhash

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SCHOLARS · ANAS BUKHASH

Factor but for football players. It is a very simple concept, but nobody thought about it before. The cast is amazing, all the players we admired when we were young are part of the jury, and it works; since the first season every winner, as well as the second and third place winners have ended up signing a professional contract. I have an advisory role on the show, and I also help the creators of the show to bring players on board. This year we are also taking care of the show’s digital content. What advice would you give entrepreneurs who want to start their own venture? Firstly, I believe from the bottom of my heart that the United Arab Emirates is a land of opportunity. I think that there are more opportunities here than anywhere else in the world. The USA is marketed very well, but the market is more saturated than here in the UAE. If you have an idea, then it will be one out of a hundred thousand ideas. In UAE because it is such a young country there are more opportunities. You can come up with an idea, and you might be the first one. Everybody is good at something, and one of the first steps towards success is identifying what you are good at and start building your project based on your strengths. The road to success is a long and hard one; if it were easy everybody would be successful. My advice would be to identify your strength, weaknesses, and interests. Think about what

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you love doing and what you are good at because loving something does not mean you’ll excel at it. A lot of people want to do something they love but they are terrible at it, or they are not good enough. An example I like to use is the TV talent shows, some people are good, and some are not and I always wonder where some of them get their false confidence. You are known to be active on social media and in public forums. What motivates you to speak and express your thoughts at conferences and on social media? I am passionate about freedom of thought and free speech. I speak at conferences and frequently ask important questions on social media to prompt people to think. People do not think anymore; they just follow trends. People follow what they learned at home or in school, but nobody sits down and questions these teachings. I launched a hashtag called #ABQuestions where I ask my followers questions about social affairs, and I am very happy with the response I am getting. People engage and debate, they write paragraphs to explain their point of view, and I am very proud of that. The videos are in Arabic, with an English translation in the caption, because I do what I do for the Arab world. I feel the region needs motivational speakers.

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Anas Bukhash

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S AV O I R FA I R E · W H E N A RT TA K E S O V E R

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WHEN ART TAKES OVER Taking place over five days the London Craft Week showcases the very best international and British creativity and craftsmanship through a ‘beyond luxury’ journey-of-discovery.

When we usually think about art one of the first thing that comes to mind are paintings or sculptures, but if we look closely, art is present in every discipline. From watchmakers to automobile manufacturers, all craftsmen are artists. As one of the art capitals of the world London has always been at the forefront of innovation and creativity in the field, and with the London Craft Week, the city proves once again that it deserves its place on the global art calendar. The London Craft Week is an independent, non-profit, initiative that was launched by Guy Salter, a British luxury expert, in partnership with Vacheron Constantin, London City Council, Crafts Council, Arts Council England, Walpole Group and Heritage Crafts Association. The objective of the week is to celebrate tradition and innovation. “London Craft Week is a response to a renaissance in the appreciation of creativity and craft; to the role of hand, head, unique skills, and true talent. It is another example of what, at its best, the world’s creative capital does so well – mixing glamor with cutting edge; heritage and contemporary and the commercial with the cultural.’’ Guy Salter, OBE MVO, Chairman of London Craft Week The program of the festivities is an invitation to travel and discovering the world of hand-made through 230 events and meetings spread around the British capital. The main themes are crafts, culture, art, and gastronomy, as well as design and luxury. “We want to show beautiful things, not as immobile objects, but as part of their creation; Show how talent and imagination combine with sharp techniques and the finest materials” summarized the organizers.

London Craft Week is spread across the capital’s iconic buildings, influential institutions, and off-the-beaten trackside streets. Likewise, the program spans a broad spectrum from unknown makers to celebrated masters, famous designers, brands, and galleries. To achieve their goals the London Craft Week organizers have been, since the exhibition’s inception, looking for, and finding, some of London’s most secretive and unique workshops and venues. In places that are usually closed to the public, Craft Week brings creators and craftsmen from around the world together to discover and discuss art. The Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Shard, House of Lords, Geffrye Museum, British Museum, Wallace Collection, Fashion and Textile Museum are some of the traditional venues where pieces are exhibited during the London Craft Week. The London Craft Week differentiates itself by hosting events and exhibitions in Michelin starred restaurants, chic boutiques in Mayfair as well as studios and workshops. The Craft Week takes over a wide range of London locations and buildings’, showing that art belongs to everyone and that it come in different forms. “A cultural experience in the broadest sense of the word, we embrace food, drink, and performance as a way of animating the core program and show the making that goes on behind-the-scenes in theater, opera, ballet, film, TV and iconic buildings,” explained the organizers. Artists such as Tom Raffield, Bill Amberg, Felicity Aylieff, Julian Stair and Grayson Perry are scheduled alongside major luxury brands -Vacheron Constantin, Princess Yachts, Rolls

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S AV O I R FA I R E · W H E N A RT TA K E S O V E R

Royce, Mulberry, Georg Jensen, and fashion designers: Vivienne Westwood, Mary Katrantzou, Hussein Chalayan During its 2017 edition, London Craft Week hosted wood carvers from Japan, artisans from Korea, wood block printers from China, designer-makers from Hong Kong, ceramists from Taiwan, umbrella and cufflink makers from France, porcelain painters from Germany, glass artists from Sweden, furniture makers from Denmark and a guitar maker from Spain. These artisans were featured alongside craftsmen from the UK’s regions and devolved nations including upholsters from Norfolk, knitwear from Derbyshire, steam bending from Cornwall and a special focus on Scotland’s creativity, with Scottish tailoring, weaving and woodworking demonstrations. “An accessible and immersive cultural experience, you can eat, drink and view performances, meet artists, designers, makers, and engineers, get a glimpse behind-the-scenes of famous brands and landmark buildings, see familiar products deconstructed, learn how things are made and even have a go yourselves,” explained the London Craft Week team.

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Visitors will be able to attend demonstrations, meet craftsmen and designers, discover behind the scenes of famous brands, observe how familiar objects are made, participate in workshops and get hands-on. “The best-made of things are a magical mix of imagination, individuality, passion, knowledge, and skill. This is as true for buildings, lighting, furniture, knives, cameras, cars or even dry stones walls, as it is for porcelain, watches, couture, jewelry, crystal, silver or sculpture. These objects and their creators have never been more in demand. Despite this, they are dispersed far and wide, and it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between good and outstanding. Hence, London Craft Week a ‘Beyond Luxury’ showcase of exceptional craftsmanship & creativity from around the world,” concluded the chairman. Supported by some of the most exclusive luxury brands in the world, the London Craft Week is an interesting event; much like art and design, it is an ever-growing festival bringing together artists from different countries but also with different styles. Acclaimed throughout the world for its innovative spirit the event is set to return to London in 2018 from May 9 to 13.

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S AV O I R FA I R E · I N K E D S T Y L E

INKED STYLE Italian fashion house Tod’s presents its latest collection, a limited edition, Tod’s Tattoo, in collaboration with the famous British tattoo artist Saira Hunjan.

The luxury industry is becoming more and more daring, following the trend set by watch brands; fashion labels are now looking for new sources of inspiration, and the latest domain the industry is drawing from is the street culture. It started with the release of luxury sneakers and today customization is becoming the norm; after all, the epitome of luxury is uniqueness. Pushing the limits and breaking the codes of the industry, the Italian fashion house Tod’s has released a new limited collection named Tod’s Tattoo. Created in collaboration with the famous Londonbased tattoo artist Saira Hunjan.

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Hunjan has been the celebrities’ go-to tattoo artist for years, no wonder she found herself in Tod’s fashion radar for a very inspired collaboration. “I knew the brand, but I needed to find the right leather to tattoo, and we did many tests. I went to Tod’s factory in Italy because the leather we originally chose did not properly absorb my herbal ink. Depending on the location of the animal’s skin, it did not react the same. In the end, we chose specific pieces from Tod’s signature leather,” explained the artist. This collaboration celebrates the similarities between tattooing and leatherwork. They both require a certain

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degree of savoir-faire as well as an incredible attention to details. Once a piece of leather is stretched and worked on, if there is any issue it can’t be re-used, the same goes for tattoos. “I was training on a grapefruit to control the machine and the depth of the needle. Tattooing on leather is the same as with humans, except that it does not bleed and I am not asked to stop,” said Hunjan. The collection features the Double T-bag, one of the brand’s iconic pieces, as well as sneakers and loafers. The motif used on the bag is a chimera; the mythical animal finds itself bearing the head of a lion and the body of a dragon. This design was inspired


Saira Hunjan inking leather for the TOD’S Tattoo collection. SIGNÉ · EDITION 26

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Saira Hunjan sketching before applying ink on the leather.

by the brand’s logo, which boasts two lions and is present on all Tod’s products. “I loved drawing this hybrid animal with a lion’s head and a dragon body. I have interpreted it in a poetic style, which makes it both powerful and romantic and gives it a mythical side,” added the tattoo artist.

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This collaboration is an encounter of precision and perfect execution that combines the style of the tattoo artist best loved by celebrities and the great craft tradition of Tod’s in a project of dual manual artistry. For the advertising campaign, the British model Suki Waterhouse lends

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her silhouette for a video showcasing the artist’s and the brand’s know-how. Emphasizing on the shared values of the brand and the artist, Tod’s CEO Diego Della Valle concluded, “This collaboration was a fun idea for us because we are a company with a great sense of quality leather and a traditional philosophy.”


TOD’S Tattoo white loafers SIGNÉ · EDITION 26

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S AV O I R F A I R E · L A V E R A S P R E Z Z AT U R A !

LA VER A SPREZZATUR A! The Hublot and Italia Independent duo just became a trio with the addition of House of Rubinacci to the mix. The result of this unexpected collaboration is a series of six watches created for today’s sartorial gentlemen. Collaboration is becoming more than a trend in the luxury industry. We usually see brands with similar values and heritage working together, but the best collaborations are the ones we cannot predict. Hublot is a brand that knows how to take the world by surprise every time they announce a partnership. We had a chance to take a look at the watchmaker’s latest collaboration with Lapo Elkann and the famous Italian tailor Luca Rubinacci. Since 2014 Lapo Elkann and the Swiss watchmaker have released two collections based on Hublot’s iconic Big Bang Unico model. For their third line, both brands decided to work on a model that seem to have been created for collaboration, the Classic Fusion. This piece being the pillar of Hublot’s philosophy, the art of fusion, it was natural for it to be at the center of the 2017 lineup. “We are very proud to be able to continue this partnership with Italia Independent and Lapo Elkann, whose creativity and character never cease to surprise us. This new project was an extraordinary experience for us: putting Hublot’s capacity for technical innovation and willingness to experiment with the service of the House of Rubinacci—a monument to Italian elegance—and the incomparable style of Lapo Elkann. The Classic Fusion Italia Independent truly represents the fusion of three forms of expertise,” explained Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot’s CEO. For this collection, the meaning of collaboration is taken to the next level. The first stages were focusing on Italia Independent as a brand, but now the designs revolve around Lapo Elkann as a person. To achieve this goal the famous Luca Rubinacci, Elkann’s tailor, was brought on board to share his knowledge. The house of Rubinacci is one of the most famous sartorial brands on the planet, and Luca Rubinacci is one of the most photographed people in the last few years. Since 1932, three generations of the Rubinacci family have been at the reins of this institution of good taste and masculine refinement: Gennaro, the founding grandfather, Mariano, the father who now manages the house from Naples and, of course, Luca, master of the store in Milan.

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Lapo Elkann, founder of Italia Independent, inspecting Rubinacci fabrics.

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Hublot X Italia Independent collection

The style of the house is an ode to the Italian style. From unique fabrics to very special cuts, gentlemen covet the Rubinacci designs across the globe. Rubinacci has dressed several generations of the Agnelli family, of which Lapo Elkann is the worthy successor, so it was only normal to have them on board. “I chose these fabrics thinking about the costumes that we make for Lapo Elkann. I began with the extravagant colours of a vivid tartan with a sporty tone, then a more traditional houndstooth—in the style of an Italian gentleman—that I wanted in black and white, the colours of his favourite team Juventus F.C. I didn’t think that it was possible to put wool on the straps and dial of a watch. But, Hublot managed it, and the result is better than I could have hoped for. We have achieved a balanced watch, with a pattern effect that is neither too bold nor too light,” said Luca Rubinacci. This collection of six watches in limited series of 50 or 100 pieces has the particularity to integrate Rubinacci fabrics on the bracelets and dials. If the style of these models will not suit everyone, one must admit that the idea of putting fabric on the dial of a watch is at least interesting, especially since few brands make this kind of reconciliations. The world of watches and fashion are often linked, many watch enthusiasts pay attention to what they wear, but the two fields rarely collaborate. Hublot and Italia Independent decided to change the norms, and Lapo Elkann went to draw from the 60,000 square

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meters of fabrics of the house of Rubinacci, a real institution of Italian fashion. The dial and straps have therefore been made using these precious fabrics to offer this range of 45 mm timekeepers an end result that is the epitome of elegance. “La Vera Sprezzatura!” One piece that caught our eye is a Classic Fusion adorned with three different styles in authentic Rubinacci fabrics, Tartan, Prince of Wales and Pied de Poule. A total of six models is available in this collection with three types of boxes, titanium, ceramic matte or gold King Gold. “As a creator, I have always put customization and bespoke designs, which for me represent real luxury, at the heart of my different projects. It is with this in mind that I conceive and design unique objects, which meet my tastes and requirements, but also satisfy my clients. I like the fact that they become truly mine and that they are distinctive, and this is the case for the Classic Fusion Italia Independent collection,” explained Lapo Elkann, Founder and Artistic Director of Italia Independent. At Hublot, like any other brand, everything starts with encounters and meetings; the difference is the ability to improve the offering year on year to keep collaborations going. The third Hublot X Italia Independent collection is a more sophisticated one that will please sartorial gentlemen around the world. With this collection, the Swiss watchmaker has proved once again that its Art of Fusion is an unlimited source of inspiration and that it is a concept to be reckoned with.

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Lapo Elkann and Luca Rubinacci SIGNÉ · EDITION 26

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S E L E C T I O N S · O R I E N TA L BO U Q U E T

ORIENTAL BOUQUET Yves Cassar, the perfumer behind Calvin Klein’s Pure Gold and Liquid Gold Euphoria, presents us his latest creation Calvin Klein’s Pure Gold Euphoria; from marketing to inspiration and ingredients.

Mehdi Mabrouk A man with love for flowers and scents, Yves Cassar, is one of the most talented perfumers of his generation. Powerful memories of his grandmother’s garden, with its bouquets of citrus, jasmine, and tuberose, set the basis for his love of the olfactory. Known as a perfumer who brings a scientific approach to his work, his formulas are simple and intricate at the same time, which adds depth to his accords. His talent lies in complimenting dark notes with light notes, juxtaposing tender floral notes with the subtle warmth of spice, adding a new dimension to their scent on the skin. He is the creative force behind some of the most iconic perfumes on the market from Estée Lauder’s Pure White Linen to Ralph Lauren’s Polo Blue Pony Number 1 and Loewe’s Quizas Quizas Quizas, just to name a few.

had to be powerful, durable and inspired by Middle Eastern oriental scents.

What was the initial brief from the marketing team? The brief for pure gold euphoria was to create a euphoria that would appeal to a Middle Eastern audience. The fragrance

According to you, does this fragrance have similarities with the existing Calvin Klein fragrances? I see the overall Calvin Klein and CK portfolios as sharing a characteristic

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What were the sources of inspiration you used to create Pure Gold and Liquid Gold Euphoria? I wanted to create a fragrance around the seductive allure and luxury of musk. I was inspired by Lawrence of Arabia, dressed in that regal white tunic with gold accents. It reminded me of the Pure Gold Euphoria bottle, and I wanted to capture his spirit. I wanted this fragrance to be daring yet mysterious and debonair. Having grown up in North Africa, I also took inspiration from the Sirocco, a Mediterranean wind from the Sahara that blows across North Africa. I envisioned the fragrance conveying an impression of the warm sirocco on bare skin.

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Yves Cassar, Perfumer

of elevated and sophisticated sensuality, and this scent certainly adheres to this notion. It shares a foundation of mystery and allure with liquid gold euphoria, continuing that story of opulent sophistication while moving into a new space with musk providing a modern facet of rich sensuality. How would you describe this fragrance in your words, and what family of fragrances does it belong to? I would describe Pure Gold Euphoria as exotic, daring, and mysterious with a modern sensuality. I would categorize it as an Oriental Woody fragrance. Could you explain what each ingredient brings to the fragrance? There are three key ingredients I would highlight - Cardamom, Rose Absolute, and Musk. Cardamom is one of the world’s oldest spices. It

awakens the senses with its aromatic and slightly spicy aroma. Rose absolute is one of the most important and widely used ingredients in perfumery, and Rose is also one of the most expensive materials. Rose Absolute brings a delicious and fragrant floral note that adds body to the fragrance. Musk is sensual and magnetic, and musk provides warmth and smooth richness. It is the key element that infuses an irresistibly addictive quality. There is a unique blend of spices and musk infused with rich floral notes of rose absolute and osmanthus absolute to give faceted depth to the fragrance. If you had to choose three keywords to describe the fragrance, what would they be? Mysterious. Opulent. Adventurous.

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SELECTIONS · SUMMER SCENTS

SUMMER SCENTS Ahead of summer Signé presents 8 of the fragrances you should wear at least once this season.

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Ajmal Aristocrate Statutory and noble, the fragrance evokes success. The fresh and citrusy top notes of bergamot, watermelon and lime delve into a Musk encompassed heart, before settling on a woody amber base with a long-lasting imprint.

Azzaro Marettimo This fragrance is a fresh Eau de Toilette, with accords of citrusy fruits, aquatic notes, and woods, evoking the sunny open sea. Crisp lemon opens the composition and leads to the heart of the aquatic molecule Calypsone.

Mr. Burberry Inspired by the tradition of British perfumery, the fragrance opens with zesty accords of grapefruit, cardamom, and tarragon. The heart notes include birch leaf, nutmeg oil, and cedar, followed by the base of sandalwood, vetiver and guaiac wood.

Gucci Guilty Absolute Born from a close collaboration between Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele and master perfumer Alberto Morillas, Gucci Guilty Absolute is an ode to leather that will satisfy sartorial gentlemen.

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Hugo Iced The new Hugo Iced is a refreshing aromatic that brings a wave of icy freshness and energy, designed for modern men. The top notes include iced mint and wild tea.

Maison Margiela ‘Replica at the Barber’s’ Men’s Cologne This fragrance is a fresh Eau de Toilette, with accords of citrusy fruits, aquatic notes, and woods, evoking the sunny open sea. Crisp lemon opens the composition and leads to the heart of the aquatic molecule Calypsone.

Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi Launched in 2017 as a part of the Private Blend collection and as a flanker of Mandarino di Amalfi from 2014. The fragrance boasts notes of tarragon, mint, black currant, grapefruit, lemon and basil.

UOMO Salvatore Ferragamo This masculine fragrance boasts top notes of black pepper, cardamom and bergamot along with middle notes of orange blossom and tiramisu. With its base notes of sandalwood and tonka bean, UOMO is a long-lasting perfume made for the summer.

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S E L E C T I O N S · T H E M U S T H AV E

THE MUST HAVE Associated with the ultimate elegance, the tuxedo was not always the classy attire that it is today. Before James Bond made it his official costume, the tuxedo was a jacket worn indoors, in the smoking room, to avoid the smell of tobacco that would linger on gentlemen’s formal suits. This was an irksome issue from an era when men used to spend a considerable amount of time in the smoking room discussing politics and business matters while enjoying cigars. While the tuxedo is, in essence, a British creation it was made famous by the American millionaire, James Brown Potter after he took the jacket from the New York’s smoking rooms to its ballrooms. Called a smoking jacket in England the American gentleman named it Tuxedo after Tuxedo Park, the chic neighborhood where his residence was located. Today the tuxedo is a wardrobe must, and almost every fashion brand has a tuxedo in its line-up. Not a lot of brands take risks when it comes to designing tuxedos, Givenchy is one of the few fashion labels that are trying to modernize this timeless piece. Since 2014, the brand releases a capsule collection with its reinvented tuxedos. For Fall 2017 Givenchy’s tuxedos are made with the finest fabrics, and in accordance with the highest standards of Italian tailoring craftsmanship, these styles blend fashion-forward elegance with high-voltage tailoring and the distinctive embellishments that are the Maison’s signature. The Tuxedo is more than a piece of clothing; it is the representation of a lavish yet classy lifestyle. The modern gentlemen still adorn tuxedos whenever attending certain functions and through the ages, it has evolved from a smoking jacket to a fashion statement.

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Givenchy Tuxedo Fall 2017 SIGNÉ · EDITION 26

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Givenchy Tuxedo Fall 2017 44

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Givenchy Tuxedo Fall 2017 SIGNÉ · EDITION 26

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SELECTIONS · ON TIME: WORLD TIMERS

ON TIME: WORLD TIMERS With the twenty-four time zones, the world time function is one of the most useful and sophisticated watch complications. Watches boasting this complication have two rings, one to display the time zones and another to indicate the hours. Here is our selection of some of the most iconic World Time watches available on the market.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time Tourbillon Jaeger-LeCoultre is a brand known for its impressive complications and the Universal Time Tourbillon is the embodiment of this statement. Housed in a 43.5mm platinum case, this timepiece boasts an orbital flying tourbillon, placed at the bottom right of the dial, but remains very legible; this extra complication barely intersects with the cities ring.

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Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum Originally released in a 41mm case, the new Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum is a beautiful timepiece. It displays the time anywhere on earth at any given moment and shows the day and night cycle. This timepiece adopts a universal approach, telling the time in 24 time zones and additionally indicating how day and night evolve all over the world, thanks to a Manufacture complication developed in-house by Montblanc.

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IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph The IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph is one of the few in its category to look like a diver’s watch, and that is what makes it stand out. This 45mm watch combines the Vogard technology with IWC’s famous internal bezel expertise allowing the wearer to set a new time zone with a simple bezel rotation. The names of 24 cities are shown on the rotating ring, with each name standing for one of the international time zones. The chronograph operates smoothly and boasts a 68-hour power reserve; hours and minutes are highly legible, making it, as the name suggests, a perfect pilot watch.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time Vacheron Constantin is a watchmaker that likes to take its art to the next level, and with the Overseas World Time the brand proves, once again, that technical challenges are nothing to them. The watch features 37 time zones, certain with a time difference of 15 and 30 minutes, and its dial is available in 3 different colors. The Overseas collection has always been promoting travel, and with this fine piece of watchmaking, it asserts its position as one of the most beautiful and functional watches in its category.

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FOR HER · THE NEW LUXURY

THE NEW LUXURY

Signé speaks with Bahraini designer Sofia Al Asfoor to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey, love of craftsmanship and definition of luxury.

Sunaz Sharaf Sofia Al Asfoor is a self-made woman; her eponymous brand is firmly inspired by her strong and charismatic personality. Often described as the new generation of luxury, her label is a representation of what luxury in 2017 should be, sophisticated, adventurous and smart. Born and raised in Bahrain into a family of successful entrepreneurs, Al Asfoor always had the ambition to create a triumph of her own. Well aware of the entrepreneurship’s challenges, she still decided to embark on her own journey instead of joining the family business. To drive her soul, she found the strength within her to rebel against a life of uninterrupted prosperity and struggled her way to self-earned accomplishment. Ambition and humility are two concepts the designer understands completely. She started her journey in Italy, Milan to be more precise, with one goal in mind, learning about women’s fashion and the textile industry. Later, Al Asfoor completed her creative studies in London where she finally grasped the meaning of being a designer. From all the disciplines available she chose leatherwork, one of the most tedious and demanding fields in the industry. Four years later the real entrepreneurial journey begins and Sofia Al Asfoor, the label, was born and along with it a bag, The Shield; a symbol of strength, worn by a woman on a mission to prosper. The rest is history. In 2017, the brand welcomed a new addition to its line-up, the Crossbody Shield, a bag designed specifically for the spring and summer season. The bag is meant for on-the-go women who need nothing but a wallet, smartphone and lipstick to keep them going. The Cross-body Shield is the result of one year of design and alterations in her workshop located in southern Spain, a region famous for its leatherwork. The craftsmanship that Sofia Al Asfoor is known for continues throughout the design and artisanal process of the Cross-body Shield. The cross-body style from the Classic Collection is available in Azul, black, orange and tan and is made with soft calf skin and smooth Nappa leather that lines the interior. The Cross-body Shield’s interpretation of the original pyramid design is magnificent. Embellished with Sofia Al Asfoor’s signature 18kt gold emblem, the bag is a symbol of empowerment and success.

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Signé had the opportunity to speak with Sofia Al Asfoor and learn more about her journey, her business decisions and the future of her brand. Tell us about your design education. What inspired you to get into fashion / creative school? I have been brought up by a creative family, design, and interest in fashion has always been around me since I was a child, so when the time came that I had to choose what I wanted to study, it was a no-brainer. As a child, my mother had always insisted classes to do with art, music and sports. I hadn’t taken any fashion classes until I went to study abroad in London and Milan. My last year of school I focused on practical work on leather accessories, where you are taught the basics of the leather craft and to stitch your pieces. Why did you decide to focus on handbags rather than clothing design? I was drawn to the craft of leather handbags. I discovered a deep interest in bag construction which made me curious to learn. Once classes started on learning the craft process, I felt deep into wanting to create the unachievable. This is the moment I knew that this was the field for me. I can’t see myself designing anything else; I am in my element while in the factory and sample room. What prompted the move towards being an entrepreneur? I had a vision that I wanted to achieve and stopped at nothing until it was done, this drive is the entrepreneurial spirit. What were the primary struggles and challenges - to be an international (woman) designer from the GCC? It was a challenge to be accepted and to start positioning the brand within the international market, but after this phase, I am grateful to have clients who understand and appreciate the craft

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Sofia Al Asfoor

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FOR HER · THE NEW LUXURY

Sofia Al Asfoor

of my products. Building a global brand is an ongoing challenge and every day you must learn and push to succeed. Where do you see your business in the future? The brand is growing at a healthy pace, and with continuous efforts, our goal is to be retailed within renowned retailers globally, and our current collaborations with luxury brands such as Rolls-Royce gives us exciting new projects. What was the inspiration behind the shield? What does the trademark pyramid design represent? I am inspired by a woman who seeks power, a woman who is the definition of daring elegance. Each piece resembles a Shield for a

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woman that encapsulates the energy of one’s true self with an aura of artisanal handmade luxury. Offering a Shield that will help you get what you want in life; a weapon of protection. What are your plans for the collection going forward? How do you see this collection evolving? The pieces always have the signature pyramids featured on them, so this theme will of course continue, but I want to always stay up to the trends while maintaining a timeless feel. The cross-body and backpack that recently launched are a modern style as these types of pieces are trending a lot right now, but like I said, they maintain a look that will last forever. So, going forward I see this process continuing. I do not see the pyramid design ever leaving the pieces though as that is the signature symbol of my brand.

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“I was drawn to the craft of leather handbags. I discovered a deep interest in bag construction which made me curious to learn. Once classes started on learning the craft process, I felt deep into wanting to create the unachievable.” Sofia Al Asfoor

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FOR HER · DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER Found in the heart of Africa by Chopard, the unique Queen of Kalahari diamond is the source of the jeweler’s latest exclusive collection, Garden of Kalahari.

Mehdi Mabrouk What makes Chopard a unique Maison is the brand’s capacity to source exclusive gems and use them to create timeless pieces. In the depth of Botswana, in Karowe, the Geneva-based Maison found in 2015 a rare treasure, a 342-carat diamond. “It was at the heart of the deposit mined in Karowe, Botswana, that this exceptional stone was found. Born of the volcanic rock known as kimberlite, formed at high temperatures and pressures across endless ages, this diamond enshrines a sense of permanence and the strength of the ties that bind human beings to the earth,” described Caroline Scheufele, Chopard co-president. Several rocks have been discovered in Karowe, but Caroline Scheufele is convinced that the one found by Chopard is one of the purest on earth. “I was really lucky to put my hand on this one. It’s not the biggest, but the others don’t have the same purity,” explained the brand’s co-president. Besides being one of the purest and whitest rocks on the planet, the diamond is not fluorescent, and it has been identified as a Type IIA D-coloured gem. The D is the ideal color a diamond should have, and the

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Type IIA is a very exclusive certification granted to less than two percent of the planet’s gems. It basically means that it as pure as it gets. After receiving a call from the brand’s mining partner, Chopard’s co-president made the trip to Botswana in 2015 to see the diamond first hand before anyone else. The message was clear; the team had found something that should not be missed. Once onsite she saw the rock, a rough piece of diamond the size of a tennis ball with rough edges and smooth sides. “It was an emotional moment when I opened the package,” she says: a moment depicted in a dramatic 50-minute documentary charting the discovery of the stone, which Chopard screened with due ceremony in Paris during Haute Couture Week. There was no doubt about whether she’d buy the stone – the only question was, what to do with it once it was in her possession. “We could have cut two big 80-carat stones from it and maybe made a pair of drop earrings,” Scheufele explains. “Somebody else would have done that, but Chopard is all about creativity. I didn’t just want one piece; I wanted a whole set.”

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The gem was named Queen of Kalahari, a name referring to the location of the Karowe Mine, in the Kalahari Desert. It was named Queen because a female miner found it and Scheufele wanted to pay her tribute. The stone was there; the only remaining challenge was to use it wisely. Computers suggested that there was a possibility of dividing the rock into 23 smaller diamonds, to use in traditional jewelry, but that was not something Chopard wanted to do. You don’t find this type of diamonds every day and, in a way; it would be a waste to use it in a traditional way. The diamond spent few months in the hand of expert gem polishers in Antwerp, and after the last stop at Chopard’s High Jewellery workshops, the African rock became a unique six-piece parure named the Garden of Kalahari. The collection is composed of a necklace, a bracelet, earrings, a watch and two rings. Each item was designed after a type of flower from sunflower to poppy. This versatile jewelry line can be worn in seventeen different styles. “I’ve always wanted to do a whole set that you can play with, detach, wear in different ways.


Garden of Kalahari necklace SIGNÉ · EDITION 26

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FOR HER · DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

Garden of Kalahari parure

I think women like to have something they can alter for different occasions,” explained Scheufele. The Garden of Kalahari collection is set on white gold frames that received a special certification from the Responsible Jewellery Council. It proves that Chopard’s

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raw materials are sustainably sourced and respect the highest international standards. From melting the gold to sketching the pieces, to setting and polishing each diamond; It took the brand more than 3,200 hours of work to bring the Garden of Kalahari to life, and almost all of the

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brand’s atelier employees worked on it at some point in time. “The ateliers really outshone themselves in working on this exceptional project and the synergies among the different crafts were further strengthened by the process,” concluded Scheufele.


Craftsman working on the Chopard Garden of Kalahari collection.

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FOR HER · SUMMER VIBES

SUMMER VIBES With summer around the corner, Dubai-based label Kristina Fidelskaya presents its latest collection, the Côte d’Azur Resort Collection.

Kristina Fidelskaya is a contemporary Dubai-based fashion label founded by Fidelskaya in 2014. Headquartered in Dubai and produced in Italy the brand features a wide array of ready-to-wear pieces as well as jewelry and accessories. Presented during Dubai’s latest Arab Fashion Week Kristina Fidelskaya’s ‘Côte d’Azur Resort Collection’ is an elegant line that will surely fill your social media feed this summer. With 25 different looks available, this collection has a definite 70’s feel. Regarding colors the collection embraces neutral tones such as ivory, powder rose, trench, taupe, smoked orange, golden ebony and midnight blue to name a few.

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“Côte d’Azur is destined to allow all beautiful women who wear the collection to feel relaxed and elegant for their entire holiday,” explained the brand. Staying close to its DNA the brand only uses luxury fabrics in its collections; for its resort collection, Kristina Fidelskaya used delicate materials from Italy with different textures, which play with the structure and flow of each piece, making them versatile and easy to wear. “All 25 pieces drape exquisitely on the body, playing on fluidity with the extremely light silk organza as well as more structured woven fabrics which each have outfit details such as the embellished Swarovski buttons and intricate French lace,” added the brand.

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Kristina Fidelskaya Cote d’Azur Resort Collection

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FOR HER · SUMMER VIBES

Kristina Fidelskaya Cote d’Azur Resort Collection

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Kristina Fidelskaya Cote d’Azur Resort Collection SIGNÉ · EDITION 26

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FOR HER · SUMMER VIBES

Kristina Fidelskaya Cote d’Azur Resort Collection 60

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Kristina Fidelskaya Cote d’Azur Resort Collection SIGNÉ · EDITION 26

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A RT & D E S I G N · PAT R O N O F T H E A RT S

PATRON OF THE ARTS For the second consecutive year, Audemars Piguet has collaborated with Chilean artist and designer Sebastian Errazuriz on their booth at the Collectors Lounge in Art Basel 2017. We are proud to present our new booth in the Collectors Lounge and bring our artistry and origins to Basel. It is always a great inspiration to work with artists who understand our core values and who are able to creatively translate them through their own point of view,” said Olivier Audemars, Vice President of the Board of Directors. The artist brought the Vallée de Joux forest, the home of the Audemars Piguet, to Art Basel. The booth boasts a large sculpture of a tree created by the artist using traditional and avant-garde wood processing techniques. The lounge, named Second Nature, is a living concept meant to evolve with the seasons and will look different at each Art Basel show throughout the year. For Art Basel in Basel, the tree’s bare branches will have started budding, representing growth and forward thinking, while the roots stand for respect of tradition and heritage. The Swiss watchmaker also collaborated with Cheng Ran during Art Basel Hong Kong 2017 and will showcase his video installation at their booth in Basel. Ran’s project, Circadian Rhythm, was inspired by his discovery of the Jura region in 2016. The film showcases jawdropping shots of the landscape surrounding the Audemars Piguet Manufacture in Le Brassus. The film’s soundtrack is an ever-changing melody mixing the sound of a mechanical Audemars Piguet watch with the natural sound of the manufacture’s surroundings. The piece was first exhibited at Audemars Piguet’s exhibition, To Break The Rules you Must First Master Them, at the Yuz Museum

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A RT & D E S I G N · PAT R O N O F T H E A RT S

Shanghai in October 2016 and has since traveled to Art Basel in Hong Kong. “These works represent the artists’ interpretation of the watchmaker’s home in the Swiss Jura Mountains, reflecting Audemars Piguet’s sense of deep-rooted history, its connections with nature and commitment to creativity, innovation, and independence,” explained the brand in a statement. Both pieces are part of a series of collaborations with creative individuals who are re-interpreting the watchmaker’s cultural and geographic origins through their art. Along with the commissioned artworks, the watchmaker will also showcase a collection of vintage and contemporary watches curated by the Audemars Piguet Museum. Exhibited at the Collectors Lounge, the watches will represent three categories of watchmaking arts; perpetual calendars, decorations and finishing such as the Florentine hammering technique applied on the Royal Oak Frosted Gold, as well as gem-setting savoir-faire, showcased by three exceptional High Jewellery timepieces. “Since its founding, Audemars Piguet has explored connections between the worlds of arts and crafts in an ongoing quest to combine artistic excellence and technical mastery. There are countless parallels between contemporary art and the artistry that lies at the heart of Audemars Piguet’s timepieces. The brand has long shared these affinities along with its interest in creativity and innovation with the art world,” concluded the brand.

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Second Nature by Sebastian Errazuriz SIGNÉ · EDITION 26

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ART & DESIGN · WRITING THE FUTURE

Light

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 Regular

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 Medium

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 Bold

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 66

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WRITING THE FUTURE

Dubai has always been at the forefront of innovation; the emirate’s latest digital effort is the Dubai Font; the first Microsoft font created by a city and named after it. Launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai on April 30, 2017, the font is designed to support 23 languages and is available globally through Office 365. “The launch of the Dubai Font to the world is a very important step for us as part of our continuous efforts to be ranked first in the digital world. We are confident that this new font and its unique specifications will prove popular among other fonts used online and in smart technologies across the world. Therefore, we urge all government entities to use the Dubai Font in their official correspondence, which is considered as a positive shift that will boost the emirate’s competitiveness in smart technology. This should be a commitment from the Dubai Government to guarantee the dissemination and success of this initiative on a local and global level,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. In line with the UAE’s vision to become a regional and global leader in innovation, the Dubai Font will reach more than 100 million users worldwide and can be used across all Microsoft software. The creation of this font is the

digital embodiment of Dubai’s will to be a leader in the digital sphere. The Dubai Font was developed, locally, as a font with unique specifications that aims to encourage self-expression and reading. The font was created with one idea in mind, bridging the gap between Arabic and Latin characters. Its design boasts harmonious typefaces that blend both scripts seamlessly. The font also represents some of the Emirate’s core values, happiness, smartness, boldness, living in harmony, respecting one another and combining the authenticity of the past and the modernity of the present. “The openness and harmony of the people in the UAE, the essence of Dubai and its vision to become the quintessential modern Arab city were our sources of inspiration to design the Dubai Font,” explains Dr. Nadine Chahine, Type Director and Legibility Expert at Monotype and designer of the Dubai Font. “The challenge wasn’t to create a quality font but to create a new and a special medium of expression to unleash ambitions and transcend borders.” With this digital initiative, Dubai is once again proving that it can be a bridge between east and west while remaining true to its roots.

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TROPICAL R ACE St. Barthelemy is a small Caribbean island that attracts a lot of attention. One of the highlights of the island’s social calendar is Les Voiles De St Barth, an elite sailing competition that Richard Mille has been sponsoring since its inception. Signé tells you more about the island race as well as the brand’s latest timepiece, the RM 60-01 Flyback Chronograph Regatta. Since its discovery, the small but famous Caribbean Island of St. Barthelemy, better known in English as St. Barts, has charmed countless visitors. It offers long white sandy beaches lined with coconut palms, turquoise seas, azure skies, and year-round warm temperatures. Known as a playground for the rich and famous of this world, the island offers a broad range of hospitality options, from simple comfort to five-star luxury, nestled amid an ocean of greenery or overlooking idyllic coves. Regarding its gastronomy, the St. Barts cuisine is famous around the world for offering a blend of French and Carribean cuisine, making the most of the fresh seafood available around the island. Boasting state of the art yachting facility the 24 square kilometers island attracts some of the world’s most beautiful sailboats. Les Voiles de St. Barth is an annual boat race that was created in 2010 and for its latest edition more than a thousand sailors are expected to compete around the island’s pristine water. “Les Voiles de St. Barth has evolved into a major Caribbean sailing event over the past eight years and is now considered one of the top three regattas in the region, attracting sailors representing over 15 different nationalities racing on some of the highest performing boats in the world. The world-class event will continue its reputation for excellence for its 2017 edition,” said François Tolède, the event’s director. Very much like a Formula One race the event celebrates sportsmanship and conviviality with action taking place on and off the water. Anchored as one of the region’s major sailing event, Les Voiles de St. Barth brings together some of the best sailors in the world making it one of the most exciting boat race in the world.

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Boats lining up for the start of Les Voiles De St Barth 70

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“Our strength is in creating a regatta that offers a magical experience. St. Barth is beautiful, and the small islands all around it are magnificent for coastal racing. Les Voiles de St. Barth brings some of the best sailors in the world together not only for top competition but also for the atmosphere, hospitality, gastronomy and all the charm of the French West Indies,” said explained Luc Poupon Les Voiles de St. Barth Race Director. Spanning over four days the event also brings some of the world top musical acts and brands to turn the island into the major entertainment hub of the Caribbean. “For us, the eight edition is a kind of realization that the event is now clearly established on the international race schedule. The fact that the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the owners of the 72-foot Mini-Maxis have integrated Les Voiles de St. Barth into their program is also rather telling of the event’s increase in importance,” explained François Tolède.

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More than just a simple regatta, Les Voiles de St. Barth is also a unifying event, bringing together partners from various sectors, such as watchmaking, textiles, and finance. “St. Barth’s configuration is a real advantage for us, as the coastal landscapes of the island are very different from one another and there are about 15 small islands around St. Barth. This gives us the opportunity to organize diversified race courses, with multiple legs and sail angles and therefore a lot of maneuvers for the crews,” explained Luc Poupon Les Voiles de St. Barth Race Director. Richard Mille has been the principal partner of Les Voiles de St. Barth since 2010 and renewed its commitment for the latest edition. “When François Tolede told me about Les Voiles de Saint-Barth, I thought that it was the perfect opportunity to get involved in the sailing world. The sailors that participate in the event know my watches and know me, so I feel like it has become a family,” explained Richard Mille.

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The watchmaker’s philosophy arguably finds its purest form of expression within the nautical universe, combining extreme performance with cutting-edge technologies and a strong artistic dimension in keeping with watchmaking traditions. “Even as a child, I was fascinated by sailing, and this passion has never left me. I admire all the developments needed to design a sailboat, and that constant search for aerodynamic performance and lightweight yet resistant materials. There is a real parallel between watchmaking and sailing. Many hours of R&D are needed to design a Mille watch or a racing yacht, and just as boats in the shipyard, our watches are created by human hands, passion and expertise,’ explained Richard Mille. Like the world of sailing, Richard Mille’s universe is continuously expanding, and the watchmaker made innovation its unique selling point while respecting the codes of traditional Haute Horlogerie.


Crew member in action during Les Voiles De St Barth

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RM 60-01 Flyback Chronograph Regatta

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RM 60-01 Flyback Chronograph Regatta

“Generally, the two have the same philosophy. Both have had crazy developments. My brand is often called the ‘Formula 1’ of watchmaking and the boats that race in St. Barth are the ‘Formula 1’ of the seas. Both have undergone tons of research, development, and tests and each one is unique and rare. My concept is to create products that are the best of technology and innovation. The aesthetics are also important. The crafting is all done by hand, and the result is a final product that is beautiful, efficient and high performance, showing the sublime work of these artisans,’ added the watchmaker. Since the creation of the iconic RM014 and RM015 Perini Navi, Richard Mille has been proving several times that the brand’s

expertise when it comes to diving watches is as reliable as any other brand. Later, with the RM025 Tourbillon Chronograph and the RM028 Les Voiles de St Barth special edition, the brand confirmed the importance of the yachting universe in its collection. To celebrate the 8th edition of Les Voiles de St Barth, Richard Mille is presenting a new model, the RM 60-01 Flyback Chronograph Regatta, greatly inspired by the race and the sailing world. Boasting a RMAC2 automatic calibre in grade 5 titanium, and endowed with a 55-hour power reserve, a balance with variable inertia and flyback chronograph, annual calendar, large date and UTC

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functions; the RM 60-01 facilitates navigation thanks to its special rotating bezel with indicators at the four cardinal points and a 360°graduated scale in addition to a 24-hour dial. What differentiates the RM 60-01 from other similar watches is its ability to serve as a compass in the Northern as well as Southern Hemispheres without any additional calculations. “We are proud to see Les Voiles de St Barth and these extraordinary nautical creations meeting with success hand in hand, and to celebrate this partnership, the winner of this year’s competition will receive an RM 60-01 Voiles de St Barth timepiece,” explained François Tolède.

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INDEPENDENT VISION

Christophe Claret is a man with a passion for the intricate mechanics of time. From the inception of his career to his vision for the watch industry, the watchmaker tells us all

Mehdi Mabrouk Christophe Claret realized early in his life that the path he wanted to pursue was that of a watchmaker. He ventured into it at a tender age of 14, repairing old clocks in one of Lyon’s workshops. He later attended watchmaking school with the likes of Roger Dubuis and went on to graduate at the age of 20. With the dream of creating his own brand eventually, Claret started off in the world of watchmaking by restoring old watches. He set up his first enterprise as a service provider creating watches for other brands. After making timepieces for more than 60 brands, he decided to launch his own brand of watches in 2009. We had the opportunity to sit down with the renowned watchmaker on his recent visit to Dubai, to discuss his vision for the watch industry, the current crisis and the specificities of his brand. Can you tell us more about the origins of your independent brand Christophe Claret? I have worked with 65 brands and created 120 products in all, in a period of fewer than 30 years. Around 2009, there was a crisis; we went from having 25 clients per year to around 8. I always had this intuition about the market; I sensed this dive in business, and that is when I decided to decrease the dependency on external manufacturing activities and focus on my own brand. I launched my own brand in 2009, and I went from solely creating watches for other brands to creating products for my own brand. I also came up with a new business model that kept the

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whole manufacture alive. Today we are a team of almost 70 people with 32 different specializations. How did you approach the idea of setting up your own brand and what was the philosophy behind it? What were the major obstacles? If you create a new and innovative product, you gain more credibility. For me, it has always been necessary to be innovative. My inspiration comes from aeronautics, magic, antiquity and nature and inspiration is therefore not limited to horology alone. That is why I create innovative products that have never been seen before. If we take the Margot for example, it is a highly-sophisticated product for women. I proposed it to some retail clients, but it was turned down. I was personally convinced that there was a new market for this type of pieces. It was a small market, but still uncharted. Some brands make watches for women with modest complications. However, I created one with 731 components, one of the most complicated women’s watch on the market today. In a period of crisis, it was tough to do. But you can see today that there is a market, and other brands are starting to make complicated watches for women as well. We are like a brand who traces a path in the jungle with a machete; the other just follow our footsteps. The greatest obstacle I had was my own clients saying, “You went too far Mr. Claret!”. But I am not

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“The market is currently demanding innovative products. There was an era when watchmakers used to have complete control over their brands, and at that time it was easier to be creative and to release innovative and iconic pieces.” Christophe Claret

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Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 StingHD 78

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Christophe Claret X-TREM-1 StingHD

afraid to go too far. When you are a pioneer, you face many technical and commercial challenges, but you need to decide on how you plan to address them and act on your intuition. Which markets and regions are most receptive of your creations? It depends on the individual customer and not necessarily the market they’re in. Sometimes, you will meet clients who want to show their status by wearing something very pricey on their wrist. Some customers might be more inclined to buy a commercial brand because of the prestigious name it carries, but a real collector would definitely consider a Christophe Claret. We create sophisticated products, and we have customers who buy complicated watches because they understand them and are passionate about them. So, you can say our market is that of sophisticated clients. I always had this market intuition for demand of sophisticated timepieces. I would tell my retail clients that they would sell a certain number of watches and they always ended up selling more. They would order 12 pieces and then would end up coming back to me for more. If you take the X-Trem 1 for instance, I proposed it to some of my retail clients but their feedback was that commercially and technically it was impossible. We ended up selling 65 of them. I know the market, and I know that there are sophisticated clients who want something different. How long does it take you to create a complicated watch? It is not always the most complicated of watches that takes the longest time; some watches have taken us seven years while others were designed in less than a year. It depends on the types of products and the complications they carry. Our poker-themed watch, for example, took

five years to produce because we had to display 52 cards as well as the thousand different hands one can receive during the game. For some, it is a toy, but it is a very complicated piece of watchmaking. This model might have been easier to sell with the marketing power of a big brand name, but in the end, collectors will appreciate its value. You mentioned big brands; do you think that marketing is the only way to sell watches? The market is currently demanding innovative products. There was an era when watchmakers used to have complete control over their brands, and at that time it was easier to be creative and to release innovative and iconic pieces. But then again in that era, there was enough cash flow to manage the risks. Today it is not the watchmakers that manage the big brands; it’s the finance department of a brand managing watchmakers. Big brands pay more attention to financial risks than to creativity and innovation. There are always risks when it comes to new products. Today you need to be able to inject more money into marketing, social media and overall with so many layers of marketing, it can get very pricey. Too much money focus can kill creativity. In today’s market conditions, word of mouth is your best marketing tool for an innovative product. For us to sell our product, we don’t need to sell that based on our name. We sell on our innovative products. Clients are our greatest marketing asset. We talk directly to the collectors, and I talk to them with a passion. It is easy because they feel the same emotion and they can relate to our products. They are also very pleased to have the creator in front of them. That is why I go to events all over the world. Yesterday I was in Kuwait, tomorrow I will be in Tokyo, and then I have three other events in Shanghai and Beijing. We meet the collectors, and that is how we sell our products.

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WITHOUT OBSTACLES Only a G-Class can be better than a G-Class. This is the belief followed by the developers with the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6x6, and they are now stepping up a gear with the G 500 4x4². Photography: Vivek Vijayan

Since its launch in 1979, the G-Class has made history and is the foundation for the entire Mercedes-Benz SUV family. More than 250,000 vehicles have been delivered to customers since the first model of the G-Class was introduced. The new G500 4x4² is a new highlight in the rich history of the G-Class and blends all the advantages of the model series. The G500 4x4² takes the best off-road ability of the iconic G-Class to the next level and combines it with the Mercedes-Benz luxury which owners are familiar with. The G500 4x4² is a pure new creation in the G-Class family which understands the need for extreme off-road driving with no boundaries and at the same time, preserves the legendary Mercedes-Benz comfort and style.

The idea of the new G-Class was inspired by the superior all-wheeldrive power train including portal axles from the legendary 6x6 with a newlydeveloped variable chassis, one reduced portal axle which increases the ground clearance from 240mm to 450mm and the series-production G-Class body. The new series is powered by an all-new Mercedes-Benz biturbo V8 engine with 422 hp and a choice of 22-inch wheels or 18-inch beadlock wheels, carbon-fibre fender flares and roof spoilers with LED lighting body parts, and seductive designo Exclusive range for the interior. “Embedded within the existing DNA of the iconic G-Class and more, the G500 4x4² pushes the boundaries of design and

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performance to new extremes. With on road and off road capabilities, the new show car boasts portal axles and three differential locks, which gives the G500 4x4² extreme ability on sand and rocky terrain. The car was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March and interest from the public, both globally and in the Middle East, has been immediate and intense. There’s no doubt that what is essentially the most extreme production off-road SUV, offering the highest ground clearance will be in high demand in our region,” said Dirk Fetzer, Director of Sales & Marketing at Daimler Middle East & Levant. One of the key technical highlights of the G500 4x4² is a feature that was last seen in the G63 6x6, the legendary portal axles.

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Unlike on conventional rigid axles, the wheels are not at the height of the axle center but are instead situated much further below on the axle heads thanks to the portal transmission. As a result, the ground clearance of the G500 4x4² increases to 450 millimetres and the fording depth to 1,000 millimetres. The chassis is fundamentally based on the series-production G model and offers a perfect symbiosis of sporty dynamism and relaxed comfort, both on the road and off. The new damper adjustment, derived from rally sport, has a decisive effect here. Two spring/ damper struts running in parallel are used per wheel. One spring/damper strut works conventionally with set damper characteristics. The second spring strut has electronically controlled adjustable

damping, which thus varies the entire damping behaviour depending on the current driving situation. During dynamic cornering, the sporty setting performs sterling work because the significantly tauter connection of the chassis allows higher cornering speeds. If the driver is more in the mood for pleasurable cruising, the COMFORT setting effortlessly dampens all the unevenness in the ground. In extreme situations such as abrupt evasive manoeuvres, the system automatically switches over to the firm setting for the sake of maximum possible handling safety. The comfortable setting also helps during off-road sessions, because the wheels retain better surface contact. Even on heavily contoured offroad terrain, every surface traction possibility can be utilized effectively.

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Should the chassis ever come into harsh ground contact in spite of an anticipatory driving style and the excellent ground clearance, the developers have integrated a robust, two-piece under guard in stainless steel. These means that the most important assemblies in the front and rear area are well protected against impact and more severe shocks. With 422 horses, ground clearance of 450 mm and a fording depth of 1000 mm this vehicle is truly without obstacles on the road. The G500 4x4² is king amongst the superlatives, leaving no doubt about its vocation or traditions. The G-class is a legend amongst luxury off-roaders, but the new sibling proves to be the crown amongst the legends.

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HIGH FASHION · GUCCI X MR PORTER

GUCCI X MR PORTER Gucci, along with MR PORTER, the award-winning global online destination for men’s style, has announced the upcoming launch of an exclusive capsule collection under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele The 43-piece Gucci X MR PORTER capsule collection is inspired by urbanism and self-expression, anchored in classic tailoring silhouettes and eccentric sportswear. The collection is across ready to wear, shoes and accessories and infuses the House’s rich textures and fabrications in a vivid colour palette of zesty oranges and yellows, azure blues and Bordeaux reds. “We are the thrilled to partner with Gucci on this exclusive project, at a time when the House is so vibrant and influential in its designs. Alessandro and his team’s talents truly shine through with this unique capsule collection of iconic pieces, all of which we’re sure will be an instant success with our global customer,” said Mr Toby Bateman, Managing Director, MR PORTER Predominant through the collection are Gucci’s iconic motifs such as the bee and tiger, and the newest additions, such as the skeleton and the cat, that are playfully emblazoned across the body of a blazer or pocket of a pair of washed jeans.

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Stand out pieces include a lilac fil coupé shirt, a yard wool jacquard bee crewneck sweater, a blueberry-coloured technical jersey zipped jacket with paisley print and embroidered tiger, and a pair of iconic horse bit loafers in a GG wallpaper print elaborated in striking mimosa. The rest of the collection features blue-washed five pocket jeans, prep school-inspired tailored jackets and trousers along with two formal suits, technical sportswear, and small accessories including leather bracelets, cufflinks, ties, watches, and scarves. A yellow Gucci label will feature across each ready to wear piece, unique to this exclusive capsule collection. “We are pleased to build on the success of our exclusive capsule collection for Net a Porter last year with a new capsule this time for Mr Porter, whose clients are unquestionably some of the most knowledgeable and sophisticated menswear fashion consumers in the marketplace,” said Mr. Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO, Gucci.

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L A D O L C E V I TA · T U R K I S H D E L I G H T

TURKISH DELIGHT Signé takes you on a journey to the Turkish Riviera to discover the beautiful Caresse, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Bodrum

Nestled in the heart of the Turkish Riviera, Bodrum is a charming seaside retreat attracting more and more Arabian Gulf-based travelers. Offering a wide array of natural landscapes from azure bays to windmill fields and citrus groves; the region is also home to the remains of the Mausoleum of Mausolus - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Regarding nightlife, Bodrum has been

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branded, Turkey’s Ibiza, due to its pulsating and vibrant nightlife. Its fantastic weather, food, and choice of activities have made the city one of the most visited destinations in the country after Istanbul. “Bodrum is a high demand destination for Gulf travelers, just a few hours away by flight from the Arabian Gulf,” said Makis Antonatos, General Manager of Caresse, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Bodrum.

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“Residing on a private cove on the Aegean Sea, and a few minutes’ drive from the port city, Caresse is a bespoke escape that offers the perfect combination of luxury, serenity, and nightlife for Gulf-based guests.” The Caresse, Bodrum comprises 67 guestrooms, nine suites, and Villa, the Caresse King Villa. Each room boasts spacious interiors, modern technology, tasteful en-suite bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling


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View of the Aegean Sea from the King Villa bedroom.

windows, sea-facing private balconies or terraces, The Luxury Collection signature bed, and select amenities. The property, Caresse is one of the city’s most versatile locations; showcasing the best of Bodrum, while offering something for everyone. Whether guests are looking for an intimate family escape, a romantic getaway or even a peaceful, solo retreat, the hotel aims to offer all the comforts of home and the convenience of a luxurious, exotic getaway. A trip to Turkey is the synonym of a culinary journey; the hotel offers two distinct venues where guests can indulge in Turkish, Mediterranean, and Asian culinary experiences. The Glass Restaurant & Lounge, the perfect vantage point to watch the moon rise over the peninsula, serving international cuisine with a South Aegean twist, while the

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stunning décor and seductive ambiance of the all-day dining venue, La Plage Restaurant, offers South Aegean and Mediterranean flavors and a dedicated sushi counter. “At Caresse Bodrum, the vibe is one of rustic chic, with pared down palettes, abundant greenery and finishes of fine woodgrain and stone. Located on a secluded peninsula in an area of unspoiled natural beauty, it’s a world away from the city center’s dated properties built in the 1970s. The area of Bodrum has seen the evolution of travel trends catering to a variety of needs from serving as a popular local Turkish holiday destination to an international hub for luxury escapes,” explained Antonatos. Caresse Bodrum is home to a 17,000-square foot spa offering a wide range of treatments performed by some of

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the most qualified therapists in the world. Taking advantage of its location and of the availability of natural products the spa only uses, for its treatments, locally sourced essentials and ESPA skincare products. The Spa boasts a traditional Turkish Hammam, a cleansing experience you can recover from in the spa’s open-air Jacuzzi. Guests can also enjoy a beautiful sauna, steam room, and an indoor pool as well as an infinity pool perched above the shoreline providing sweeping views of the bay and blissful seclusion. The hotel also offers some activities that take place outside of the property. “Guided by the resort’s knowledgeable concierge, guests can explore the city’s rich cultural heritage and discover local attractions, from snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, chartering a luxury yacht, and sailing around neighboring


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La Plage Bar and Beach

View of the Spa Caresse pool facing the coastline

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islands to journeying through enchanting whitewashed villages and relishing the local tangerine orchards”, added Antonatos, General Manager of Caresse. More than a luxury resort, Caresse Bodrum is also a responsible one that is conscious that to keep operating it must make sure that its environment is preserved. The resort is an eco-friendly property that communicates transparently with its guest when it comes to its efforts. The United Nations has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, highlighting the sector’s potential to advance the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Guests from the Middle East are starting to become more conscious regarding sustainability, and we have systems in place to conserve water, recycle waste and minimize energy use, enabling us to reduce our overall carbon footprint,” he said. “We are receiving more questions from our customers regarding these types of initiatives – they appreciate these aspects and some are even starting to make it a determining factor before booking.” For Caresse Bodrum, preserving the environment starts with small gestures. Some of the fruits and vegetables used at the property are grown on-site without using pesticides and the hotel regularly invites guests to make confit using the hotel’s

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tangerines. Lines catch the fish used at the hotel’s restaurants and not nets to ensure the reproduction cycles are respected. Younger Gulf nationals are increasingly attracted by elements such as sustainably sourced produce and authentic cultural experiences that support local communities. Antonatos added: “As a property, we pay close attention to detail and are acutely aware of the experiences demanded by today’s high-networth holidaymakers. I believe that the trend towards boutique eco resorts will continue.” According to industry reports Turkey hosted more than 500,000 visitors annually from Gulf countries; with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE accounting for the highest number of Gulf visitors to Turkey.

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THE HIGH LIFE

One of London’s best-known landmarks, Centre Point has been used as Londoners ‘North Star’ since its arrival in the 60’s. The icon has undergone a complete transformation over the last few years thanks to its new owners, Almacantar, who are now providing the gateway for others to own and occupy this landmark in London. Originally built as an office development at the junction of Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road in 1966, Centre Point is recognized as one of the great works of modern architecture. The 389ft building was amongst the tallest building in London at the time and was commissioned by Britain’s most influential

property developers, Harry Hyams. The architect behind the icon, Colonel Richard Seifert, built a number of buildings in London. While many were considered controversial at the time, they have since come to be recognized as design classics worth preserving. Its status as a national treasure was confirmed when it became

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protected by English Heritage thanks to the exceptional, and pioneering design of the building. The iconic property is set for a relaunch this summer thanks to the property developer, Almacantar. Founded in 2010, Almacantar embraces emerging creative talent from the worlds of architecture, art, and design to

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bring its properties to life and ensuring that its schemes have a transformational impact on the surrounding area. The result is a “halo effect” from its investment in new high-quality public space, restaurants, shops and public art. The company has acquired over 1.5 million sq. ft. of prime assets in the heart of London including; Centre Point, Marble Arch Place, CAA House, One and Two Southbank Place and 125 Shaftesbury Avenue. The redevelopment of Centre Point this summer will mark the completion of the first development for Almacantar. This ambitious redevelopment perfectly showcases Almacantar’s skills and its tenacity to deliver a vision for the area that few could achieve. The transformation plans will put Centre Point back at the center of the cultural map as a place where people “arrive” to live, shop and socialize. As well as becoming the “go to” place in London, Centre Point will introduce 82 stunning residential apartments, featuring design influenced by the pattern and rhythm of the tower’s façade, and raise the standard for luxury living in London.

With the Centre Point transformation, Almacantar is helping meet soaring demand for super-prime city center homes by building 82 apartments in the 33-storey tower, comprising of 16 one-bedroom, 37 two-bedroom, 26 threebedroom, two four-bedroom and one fivebedroom flats. Spanning the 33rd and 34th floors, with a vast wrap-around terrace, the 7,223-square-foot duplex has three receptions and five bedroom suites. From the master bathtub you can see over Hampstead Heath; to the south, you look past Parliament to the North Downs; the City is to the east, and Heathrow’s control tower is to the west. Highflyers can rely on the navigational neon Centre Point letters to find their way home. The new public square at the base of the tower will be lined with contemporary cafes and restaurants, while Londons’ newest cinema and theater complexes are soon to join the neighborhood. Within the 15,000 square feet of open space is direct access to the highspeed railway Crossrail, allowing residents to travel to Heathrow airport in under 30 minutes from next year.

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With the completion of Centre Point and a strong pipeline of new projects, Almacantar is now providing the gateway for others to own and occupy their landmark buildings in London. The transformation of London’s landmarks comes as a new wave of Middle Eastern buyers are looking to invest in London’s real estate, following a favorable shift in currency rates. Mike Hussey, CEO Almacantar says, “London has long been a favorite property investment market for Middle Eastern buyers, and now even more so with the favorable exchange rates and increased interest from Sovereign Wealth Funds in prime real estate. By taking on complex development sites in the best locations and putting design at the center of everything we do, we are creating a collection of timeless property assets that compelling investment opportunities. Our properties are incomparable in terms of design, quality and location. We are driven by our love of London and strive to create world-class assets for a world-class city.”

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ESCAPE TO PARADISE

The coral atolls of the Maldives play host to some of the most pristine clear blue waters in the Indian Ocean. The Kaafu Atoll in the North is home to the Coco Bodu Hithi, part of the Coco Collection of resorts, and the preferred destination for those seeking a luxury experience interwoven with the blue ocean. Atolls are some of the most complex and vibrant structures on the planet. Beneath the surface of the crystal-clear water lay the participants of the creation of every single atoll, the Coral reefs. The theory is that volcanic islands form in deep tropical islands, giving coral polyps a foundation to grow on. In time these volcanoes become dormant, and the islands sink to the bottom of the ocean floor. Over thousands of years, the Corals who start off as guests living on the fringes of the island eventually become a barrier reef, creating an outline of the original island coastline. After the island has disappeared, the coral atoll that remains serves as a testament to the fact that a fiery volcano once rose and subsequently submerged beneath the ocean floor. Consisting of about 1,200 coral islands clustered into 26 natural atolls and beautifully distributed over 90,000 square kilometers, The Maldives is a long and narrow country resting on top of an ancient

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volcanic mountain range off the coast of India, in the Indian Ocean. Lying in a unique double chain, spread from north to south, atop a 960-kilometre long submarine ridge, that rises from the very depths of the Indian Ocean, this coral chain crosses the famous trade route running through the territorial waters of Maldives. The Maldives is accepted as one of the best diving destinations in the world and the North Malé Atoll, part of the Kaafu Atoll, is renowned for its crystal-clear water. Located minutes away from well-known diving sites including the Manta Point and the protected marine area of Rasfari Faru, the Coco Bodu Hithi is a private resort offering chic, luxurious accommodation that blends in beautifully with the Maldivian surroundings. The island is rich in indigenous flora with naturally designed walkways and coconut trees, edged with white sandy beaches and turquoise water. The resort acts as the perfect backdrop to enjoy

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The Coco Residences feature a split-level terrace with steps directly leading into the lagoon

View from the bedroom of the Coco Residence - the infinity pool overlooking the ocean

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Aerial view of the Coco Residences SIGNÉ · EDITION 26

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The Coco Spa features private treatment rooms each with their own pool

The Coco Spa features techniques inspired by different cultures and traditions

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Latitude Bar offers the ultimate sunset experience the Islands breath-taking underwater landscapes, a scenery ideal for underwater photography and exploration as you drift-dive with the ocean current amongst the fascinating coral caverns teaming with fish. The island resort has a range of stunning Villa living options fusing contemporary and tropical elements, both on shore and off shore. Each of the Villas features private indoor and outdoor spaces opening out to breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean, and special indulgences such as a private pool. For adventurers who want to take in the lush green Island surrounding, the Island Villas are artfully designed retreats combining the best of traditional Maldivian architecture with the latest in personal luxury. For those who want to leave everything behind and relax to the uninterrupted views of the Indian ocean, there are private villas suspended on stilts above the lagoon, surrounded by the soothing sounds of the lagoon as it ebbs and flows. The natural beauty of the Maldives is framed flawlessly by the floor-to-ceiling windows in every room. These private villas reflect the vastness of the ocean with the intimacy of an island hideaway. The epitome of luxury, the true sanctuary within the Coco Bodu Hithi are the Coco Residences. Spaciously comfortable, each Coco Residence features high ceilings and large windows that render stunning natural light, highlighting the exquisite interior. The Coco Residence features a separate living room with entertainment options, a king-sized bed, spacious dressing area and bathroom with an enormous double bath, and showers both indoor and outdoor. The split-level alfresco terrace area features a dining area and serves as the perfect place to laze thanks to the four-poster day bed and its own private infinity pool. With steps leading from the terrace directly into the lagoon, you can go from relaxing on the sun loungers to snorkeling in the lagoon within minutes. For the discerning traveler, Coco Residences also reveal an unparalleled stay experience - dedicated lifestyle hosts trained to craft your experience with the discreet charm of a private butler.

The Bodu Hithi features the exclusive Thémaé Spa, offering a range of products and treatments inspired by the distinctive healing properties of tea. The stunning spa sits over crystal waters and features private treatment rooms each with their own pool, bath or relaxation deck. Talented therapists offer a broad array of tailor-made healing treatments for the mind and body, featuring rituals that are a blend of methods and techniques adopted from different cultures and traditions of Indonesia, Thailand and India. In combination with an exclusive range of products using high-quality ingredients such as fresh spring water and numerous varieties of Tea, the Thémaé rounds up the ultimate spa experience. For those who wish to have total privacy, invilla treatments are also available. The Coco Bodu Hithi also serves up an unrivaled array of stunning wining & dining venues. Guests can choose from The Wine Loft overlooking a glorious sunset which offers bespoke wine and cheese evenings; Aqua, the romantic overwater seafood restaurant; Tsuki, the cozy Japanese restaurant; and finally, the remote Stars Restaurant which offers haute cuisine. The Coco Bodu Hithi reflects the charm of the Maldives in every way possible. Blending signature elements of luxury with timeless experiences, the Coco Bodu Hithi is the perfect destination to rekindle romance, invigorate the senses and reconnect with yourself and nature. Meet the Hawksbill turtles. Witness the quiet majesty of the native Nurse sharks. Explore the exotic colors of the reef’s inhabitants. Swim with Manta Rays. Take a sunset cruise across calm waters. Sink your toes into the white sand and ease yourself into island life and its relaxing, dreamy pace. When the time comes to pack your bags and leave the lush tropical vegetation of the Coco Bodu Hithi, you will be left wishing you could trade the disquieting realities of the city life for a more serene experience of reality in the Lagoon.

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L A D O L C E V I TA · A M A N W I T H A D R E A M

A MAN WITH A DREAM Signé had the opportunity to sit with Turkish restaurateur Umut Özkanca to discuss his latest outlet, Rüya, Turkish food and expansion plans.

Mehdi Mabrouk Umut Özkanca was born in Istanbul and completed his high-school at The American School in Switzerland. He pursued his higher studies in International Economics at the Bentley College in Boston. After his graduation, he had the opportunity to work at the French Culinary Institute in New York for a year. We met with Özkanca against the backdrop of his recently opened restaurant in Dubai Marina to discuss his journey to establish the first internationally recognized Anatolian restaurant in the world. A journey that started in Dubai and will expand globally with a Rüya restaurant soon to open in London. When did you decide to work in the food & beverage industry? It was an easy decision for me because

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my family is in the restaurant business. I started working for the family company when I was 13 years old; I grew up in our restaurants. Later I went to high school in Switzerland, college in Boston and then culinary arts school in New York. During that period, every summer I was working in my family’s restaurants. In 2001, I came back to Turkey, more precisely to Istanbul, and opened my first restaurant called Loft. When I was 23 years old, and I was a chef-owner, cooking and managing the restaurant. But while living abroad, one thing I noticed was that Turkish cuisine was not adequately represented and too often associated with street food. I wanted to change this, and it became my dream to open a decent Turkish restaurant, that’s why we called the restaurant Rüya, meaning dream in Turkish.

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How do you change people’s perception of Turkish food? By teaching them about Turkish food. Some recipes are my grandmother’s; some are from my hometown, some are from the center of the country, the menu showcases Turkish cuisine as a whole. You have to visit the restaurant 5 or 6 times to get an idea of what Turkish cuisine is. What I suggest is to, ask questions, start with a dish that you know and go from there. The restaurant is still young but we already have repetitive customers, and it is amazing to see how they seem to enjoy every time they come. How do you go about sourcing products? Is everything coming from Turkey? We have a lot coming from Turkey, but also the beauty of Dubai is that when you


Umut Özkanca, Founder of Rüya SIGNÉ · EDITION 26

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Rüya’s dining area

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pay you can get anything you want. Colin Clague, our executive chef, has been here for a decade, so he has the right channels to get us the best products possible. We have the right channels in Turkey I have been working for almost twenty-five years with the same producers. We pay the price, but we get the best tomatoes, best lobsters, and best steaks from places like New Zealand or Australia. Do you think that being a chef makes you a better restaurateur? The restaurant experience is a journey, and this journey starts from the back of the restaurant, in the kitchen. It is a chain of events that, when put together, makes the experience. The chef sources the products and then makes the dishes. The waiters welcome our customers and then bring them the food they order. To be a good restaurateur you have to surround yourself with the best team possible. A restaurant is like a chain if one link breaks everything falls apart. After all, even if you have the best chef in the world, bad tomatoes won’t give you a good tomato sauce. Service is a key aspect of a restaurant; how do you train your

staff compared to other venues here in Dubai? In Dubai, there are a lot of restaurants, some are run independently and some by hotels. Hotels have training manuals, and we use them too. Sometimes when the staff follows the manual to the letter things can sound scripted, and they don’t always solve the issue they are facing. I have a very pragmatic vision when it comes to crisis management in my restaurants; I tell my staff that it is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. If something happens and you don’t know how to solve it, be natural, smile, apologize and come to me for help. A lot of restaurants open in London first and then venture in Dubai; What are the challenges of doing it the other way around? Challenges are a never-ending concept in this business. You cannot say that you know everything about this business because everything changes constantly. I think that the main challenge is to position your product the right way and know your market. I have seen a lot of international franchises opening and closing in Istanbul, but I have never closed a restaurant there.

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You have to know and respect the market you want to conquer. You have to understand your clientele, and you have to adjust your brand accordingly. The restaurant business in Dubai is in my opinion, a competitive market, maybe more competitive than London, Paris, New York because it is small; yet you have the best of the best. So, after London, do you think you’ll want to go further? Yes, but I don’t want to rush because we have to make it in London first. The restaurant has to be successful, the foundation has to be solid, and it has to be recognized before we think about anything else. After the opening, our priority will be to maintain the same growth and level of service because I want this restaurant to be running for years. Consistent food and consistent service are the keys to success. You have to maintain the same growth for a year or two before thinking, “Let’s go to New York.” Strategically we’re working on it, after London we might consider the US market. I’ve lived there for six years, so I have an understanding of the scene.

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L A D O L C E V I TA · C O O K I N G W I T H S T Y L E

COOKING WITH STYLE

After spending seven years as personal chef to the House of Windsor, Gary Robinson has embarked on a new adventure with Condé Nast International Restaurants. He sat down with Signé, during his latest visit to Dubai, to talk restaurants and everything that revolves around them. Chef Robinson is a strong advocate for classical cooking techniques where the ingredients are cooked in ways to retain their natural goodness. He is dedicated to revisiting classics, authentic reproductions, and honest cooking. Robinson has also been honoured with several “Young Chef of the Year” titles as well, and has played an important role in the many awards received by his restaurant. Today he looks after some of the most recognizable names in lifestyle cuisine. We sat with him to learn more about his job and what it means to head magazine-inspired restaurants. What does it mean to be the head of Condé Nast International Restaurants in your own words for our readers? I am currently the Director of Restaurants and Executive Chef for Condé Nast International Restaurants. As a part of the world’s leading media publisher, we are extending Condé Nast’s iconic magazine titles into food and drink concepts, developing and opening four brands: VOGUE Café, VOGUE Lounge, GQ Bar and TATLER Club. Why has Condé Nast decided to open branded restaurants and How did Condé Nast International Restaurants begin? Restaurants were a natural leap for the company, as we wanted to move in a direction, which, while being entirely different to the world of magazines, is very much rooted in the lifestyle sector. In the early 2000’s, Condé Nast Russia was searching for somewhere to meet and entertain the fashion and media industry. In 2003, VOGUE Café Moscow was launched to great public and industry acclaim. Condé Nast International Restaurants followed and today delivers unique food and drink concepts in dynamic and diverse locations across the globe. Do you use the magazine brands’ data when researching for new restaurant launches? How involved are the magazine teams in the process?

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We do use the magazine brands’ data, and this vital information coupled with our team’s extensive knowledge of global food and beverage allows us to be very strategic on where we are going next. Intrinsically; we lean on the support and guidance of our core brands and their editorial teams, and use the last century plus of standard setting to create our own benchmarks. Do you target territories where the magazine brands already have a presence? Not necessarily. We work with forwarding thinking partners in dynamic and diverse locations. We approach each partnership with the same aim in mind, to deliver successful restaurants and bars. Design is an important aspect of creating a restaurant. Who have you enjoyed collaborating with in particular? Working with renowned designers David Collins Studio on VOGUE Lounge Bangkok was an absolute joy. From seeing the designs of the custom-made furniture come to life to selecting VOGUE images created by world-class photographers such as Cecil Beaton and Patrick Demarchelier, the entire process has been a masterclass in how to design an iconic and timeless space. How active are you in deciding on what goes on to the menu? I set the vision and tone for all the food and drinks at the restaurant concepts. Then trust the incredible chef’s we’ve hired to execute that vision with personalized and local touches. What was the most challenging part of setting up the first Condé Nast International Restaurant? The starting point for any new restaurant business should always be researching the market in which you intend to make an impression. Then getting the right people in place to ensure our vision is carried through at every single moment.

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R E S TA U R A N T S

INDIE’S ROSSINI The Rossini is one of INDIE DIFC signature dishes and one you must try when you visit financial center’s latest hotspot. INDIE DIFC combines a unique combination of restaurant, lounge and three exclusive bars within a relaxed, rustic-chic interior. Each designated spot has a distinctive identity, blending eras together with beautifully crafted décor and vibrant furniture. Offering a cozy, antiquated space ideal for a dinner or drinks encounter. INDIE DIFC provides the perfect location to sit back and enjoy an assortment of eclectic global cuisine, fresh cocktails and a premium selection of international drinks amidst a mix of funk, house and classic indie tunes.

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The Rossini, originally a French dish, is said to have been created for legendary Italian music composer Gioachino Rossini by French master chef Marie-Antoine Carême. Meticulously put together by Indie Difc’s Chef Moustafa, it is achieved by briefly pan-frying Angus fillet, decadent Foie gras, balsamic, sea salt and garnished with black truffles. The varied elements all play an important role from start to finish. At first bite the distinctive flavor of the prime Angus beef regales your taste buds, it is followed by the earthy yet smooth taste of black truffles. This dish is surely haute cuisine at its finest. The Rossini goes well with sides of sautéed mushrooms, mashed potatoes, or steamed greens beans.

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ALMAYASS’ SUBEUREG Founded by an Armenian family in Beirut in 1996, an old, characterful villa was lovingly restored and adapted, bringing to life the first outlet of the Lebanese-Armenian restaurant. Fast forward to 2017, Almayass has branches in Kuwait, Riyadh, Jeddah, New York, Doha and Abu Dhabi and now in Dubai. One of the venue’s iconic dishes is the Subeureg. To call it an Armenian cheese pastry is an understatement; it is so much more than that. Ask any Armenian if they have eaten it and watch the smile appear! It evokes memories of childhood because the preparation is laborintensive requiring a skilled pair of hands and a lot of love, so days when

Mum or Grandma produced this amazing dish were to be celebrated! A traditional and much-loved dish, the ingredients are quite basic – flour, water, butter, eggs, mozzarella, string cheese and finely chopped parsley. It is when it is put together that the magic happens. Paper-thin layers of dough, interspersed with melted butter, cheese, and parsley and baked in the oven combine to make an irresistible treat. There is no shortage of skilled pairs of hands at Almayass, and they are justifiably proud of the kitchen team’s talents that faithfully reproduce this glorious pleasure to a traditional family recipe passed down over the years through the owners’ family.

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MATTO Created by the award-winning team behind Iris and Indie, Matto is Dubai’s latest Italian restaurant. This home-grown concept is based on classic Italian food but with a twist. The restaurant’s aim is to redefine the Italian dining experience through creative dishes and a unique atmosphere. MATTO offers a wide array of dining options tailored to please different type of guests. You can visit the restaurant for lunch, dinner, sunset drinks, business meals and even

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brunch; something Italian restaurants tend to shy away from. Some of the restaurant signature dishes include traditional pizza as well as a large selection of pasta and other authentic Italian dishes. Located at The Oberoi, Business Bay, next to the heart of Downtown Dubai, MATTO is set to take you on a journey as you discover a new side of traditional Italian dining. “Brunch del MATTO was born with the

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ultimate goal of spreading the ‘MATTO’ way of life with our guests,” said Christian Carrieri, MATTO’s Executive Chef. “A true culinary experience, coupled with a side of mischief, our unordinary brunch is set to take you on a journey to Italy, one bite at a time.” Location: The Oberoi, Dubai (first floor, lobby level) Opening times: Daily from 12pm-12am; Thursdays and Fridays till 1 am.


GLUTEN FREE: ROYAL CHINA Located in the heart of DIFC, the awardwinning restaurant Royal China has added a wide selection of gluten-free items to its menu to cater to its gluten intolerant guests. Only using the freshest and best quality ingredients, the outlet offers an opulent culinary journey with delicately prepared starters, exquisite main dishes, and sophisticated desserts, so that customers do not have to compromise flavor when exploring the true essence of authentic Chinese cuisine. Highlights from the mouth-watering array of new gluten-free options include Prawn &

Chive Dumplings, Scallop Dumplings, and Chicken & Coriander Dumplings while notable dishes from the main course section feature Singapore Rice Vermicelli, Sautéed Prawns with Vegetables as well as tender Chicken with Cashew Nuts. The menu concludes with delightful desserts featuring Chilled Tapioca in Coconut Milk and Almond Tofu with Fruit Cocktail, sweet treats that should be savored with a refreshing and aromatic Chinese Tea. “Providing the most sophisticated dining ambiance with an enticing indoor and outdoor

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setting, including a Secret Garden, Royal China is the ultimate destination for diners to indulge in traditionally prepared Chinese delicacies,” explained the restaurant. Royal China Dubai, 4L2-001 The Balcony, Precinct Building 4, D.I.F.C Kitchen Opening Hours: Daily, 11:30 am – 11:30 pm Bar Opening Hours: Daily, 12noon - 1 am Brunch: Friday – Saturday, 12noon – 4 pm

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KATSUYA BY STARCK Katsuya by Starck is an institution when it comes to fine Japanese cuisine; following the tremendous success of its Los Angeles branch, which attracts A-listers all year long, the famous franchise just made it to Dubai’s latest hospitality complex Jumeirah Al Naseem. Nestled in the heart of the property, the restaurant proudly boasts views of the Burj

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Al Arab and offers its guest several seating options. Guest are free to choose how they want to experience their meal by either seating outdoors, adjacent to the turtle lagoon, or indoors at the sushi bar. The restaurant is the result of a partnership between sushi legend, Chef Katsuya Uechi and the famous designer

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Philippe Starck. The menu features dishes like crispy rice with spicy tuna, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, miso-marinated black cod, and wagyu filet with Foie gras. Location: Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim Open daily noon-1am


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Julius Baer is the leading Swiss private banking group and present in some 50 locations worldwide. From Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Guernsey, Hong Kong, London, Lugano, Monaco, Montevideo, Moscow, Nassau, Singapore to Zurich (head office).


Signe Edition 26  

Signe Edition 26 Cover Story: Tropical Race The annual regatta in St.Barthelemy, Les Voiles De St Barth, is a true test of endurance and se...

Signe Edition 26  

Signe Edition 26 Cover Story: Tropical Race The annual regatta in St.Barthelemy, Les Voiles De St Barth, is a true test of endurance and se...

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