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60 YEARS OF ADVENTURE AND DISCOVERY
EDITOR’S WORD T
HIS SPRING, the City took on a new lease of life. I’m
not talking about the FTSE hitting an all-time high (although, that obviously did happen, too), but rather, the renaissance which has been unfolding outside of your office walls. A day hasn’t gone by without the launch of a new restaurant, bar, or even hotel with an EC postcode. It felt like perhaps a momentary blip, establishments clawing to open before the summer exodus. However, it seems that the Square Mile is only just getting started. Last month, final plans were announced for the new Bloomberg Arcade. Running through the site of the US company’s new European headquarters, the arcade will host ten independent restaurants. There’s no Nando’s here, no siree. Instead, think Brigadiers, a new concept by the team behind Trishna and Gymkhana, which will serve classic Indian barbecue cuisine in a space inspired by a traditional Indian Army mess. Caravan, Homeslice and Vinoteca, as well as Tokyo-style noodle café Koya, will all find new homes here, too. And there will be new permanent spots for Bleecker Burger and Ahi Poké. It’s all very hipster, all very à la mode, and soon, all very City. Crucially, the arcade isn’t just reserved for business lunches – it will be open seven days a week. Turning the City into a weekend destination isn’t ending with hospitality, either. Culture is next on the agenda. A new decadelong initiative has been announced to transform the area between Farringdon and Moorgate. It includes three major building projects: the new Museum of London at West Smithfield; a concert hall for the London Symphony Orchestra; and an overhaul of Beech Street, the tunnel that runs under the Barbican. It even has a name: Culture Mile. See what they did there? So what else is missing? Well, a decent nightclub wouldn’t go amiss. How else are we going to get Steve Aoki to perform on City turf? For now, though, you’ll have to enjoy Max Williams’ absorbing interview on p88.
Mark Hedley, Editor, @mghedley
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WE ALWAYS ARRIVE LATE, BUT WE MAKE UP FOR IT BY GOING HOME EARLY. – Cath Tate Work Tends to Ruin Your Day is out now (Portico, £7.99)
square mile ISSUE 126
@SQUAREMILE_COM SQUAREMILEUK SQUAREMILE_COM THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS
JOSH SIMS Josh Sims contributes on lifestyle and business to the Financial Times, the Independent, Esquire, and Wallpaper*, among many others. He has also written a fair few books on style, which is why we asked him to interview fashion mogul Stefano Ricci. [p96]
SAUL WORDSWORTH With a name like Wordsworth, you’d hope Saul could string a sentence or two together. Fortunately for us, he can, esepcially given that he’s square mile’s longest serving columnist. In this issue, he starts a brand new column full of much humour and little wisdom. [p22]
HANNAH SUMMERS Hannah is a two-time winner of the Young Travel Writer of the Year Award and Contributing Editor to Escapism magazine. So we sent her to write about a, er, Fiat. But, to be fair, we did send her to the Italian Lakes to write about an Italian car, so it kind of makes sense. [p120]
DARREN KENNEDY Presenter, style entrepreneur and fashion columnist Darren Kennedy is regarded as one of the UK and Ireland’s most stylish men and top lifestyle influencers. Our new style correspondent explains how to make this season’s hit colour – orange – work for you. [p38]
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FEATURES 064 . JEAN-MARIE PÉRIER See the world’s most famous fashion designers as you’ve never seen them before: through the lens of photographer Jean-Marie Périer.
072 . MARK WEBBER The racing driver and Rolex obsessive talks us through life on the Formula One circuit.
076 . MILITARY WATCHES Atten-hut! Military watches reporting for duty.
088 . STEVE AOKI
096 . STEFANO RICCI Go behind the curtain at one of the most exclusive fashion brands on the planet.
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PHOTOGRAPHY (Aoki) byDavid Ellis
Superstar DJ, music mogul and crazy cake thrower (?), nobody can accuse Steve Aoki of doing things by halves. Meet the man behind the mania in this exclusive interview.
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T H E EX CH A N G E SQUARE MILE 101 WORDS Saul Wordsworth
#1 HOW TO CLOSE A DEAL
▽ DEALS ARE born open. Being open makes them nervous. They like nothing more than to be closed. Which is where you come in. First: identify the decision-maker. This can be done using your eyes, which came with your body and live in your face. Swivel them about until you spot a man or woman in a suit. Next: create a sense of urgency. Do this by delivering lines such as, “this offer is only available today,” “my bus leaves in five,” and “FIRE!” The client is bound to throw objections your way (“there is no fire,” “you arrived by car,” and “I hate you”). Overcome these, before
performing your pièce de résistance: closing the muddy funking deal. This is ideally accomplished in a foreign language so the client doesn’t know what’s been agreed. When attempting to close a deal choose a style that suits. Some dealmakers rely on charm, pleasing cologne and an unusual handshake. Others will try to ‘break your balls’ by ‘playing hard ball’, along with other phrases that include the word ‘ball’. While at home you can practice closing deals by closing doors instead. Other things to practice on include ranks, loops and encounters. Nothing can replace closing a real deal, though. Get in the mood by negotiating on price at your local supermarket, or proposing marriage to someone you once met. Deals can be found wandering the Square Mile, begging to be closed. Please put them out of their misery. Oh, and while you’re at it would you mind closing your legs? ■
THE ‘MUST SEE’ BOATS AT THE CANNES YACHTING FESTIVAL 2017
THE SUPERYACHT: AZIMUT GRANDE 35M
▷ The Azimut Grande 35 Metri is the new flagship in Azimut Yachts’ most exclusive line, the Grande Collection. Drawing on the expertise of design supremo Stefano Righini, it has a pure carbon-fibre superstructure and hardtop. She also boasts the largest extending terrace on the market. Add to this two big beach clubs – one in the stern and one in the bow – plus the option of an additional sundeck on a third level, and you have the world’s most exclusive sun bed. There’s also a side garage for tender and jet ski, but once you’re on board, we doubt you’ll want to disembark. To see more, see cannesyachtingfestival.com
BONUS BUS TER
IGUANA YACHTS ORIGINAL, FROM £350,000 WORDS Ben Winstanley
▷ It’s a simple enough conundrum: how do you get a yacht in and out of the water? The answer usually involves trailers or winches, but in the
THE CARAMARAN: SEVENTY 8
▷ More than 24m in length, Seventy 8 has been designed by the great names of naval architecture – VPLP, Patrick Le Quément and Nauta Design. Lagoon catamarans such as this are famed for their stability and their space, making them perfect for entertaining friends and family. The twin-hull design and shallow draft means you can access secluded bays and coral reefs out of reach of normal monohulls. It’s powerful, too: a 580HP John Deere engine is available, allowing speeds of up to 19 knots. And large fuel tanks mean a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles. To see more, see cannesyachtingfestival.com
case of Iguana Yachts, forget about that: these bad boys drive on land. The yachting world may have had varying degrees of success when it comes to amphibious vehicles, but the French-based Iguana Yachts has created
tracks deploy in three seconds and you’ll be transported at 4.5mph across land. Early adopters have included private island and superyacht owners looking for a vessel to transport them from the shore, but this is much
an ingenious solution that makes no compromises on style, comfort and luxury. In the water, the performance speedboat travels at up to 35 knots, but when it’s time to get out of the water, the caterpillar
more than an A-to-B machine. The way we see it, this amphibious vehicle is the gateway to isolated beaches in the Caribbean or island hopping in the Maldives. We can get on board with that. ■ iguana-yachts.com
THE DAYCRUISER: EVO 43 WA
▷ Evo Yachts revolutionised the day cruiser sector with the Evo 43. This updated version also has the innovative ‘XTension’ stern sidewalls that can be opened hydraulically in less than 30 seconds by simply tapping a touchscreen. This increases the space in its beach area by 40%, turning it into a sea terrace covering over 25 square meters, something usually only offered by boats more than twice the size. The standout feature of this new 13m motor yacht is the fact that you can move easily between the stern beach area and the bow by ‘walking around’ the helm station – hence the name. To see more, see cannesyachtingfestival.com
ZIA YUSUF, FOUNDER OF VELOCITY BLACK
▽ AFTER GRADUATING from LSE in 2009 into the smouldering embers of the financial crisis, I began my career at Merrill Lynch before moving to Goldman Sachs in 2012 and I learnt the ingredients that make great businesses – this, combined with the rise of technology, stoked my entrepreneurial fervour. The idea of harnessing technological advancements and channelling them to solve problems was irresistible. My business partner, Alex Macdonald, and I founded Velocity in 2014 to create a digital platform that connected customers to curated experiences conveniently. Simply download the app, browse restaurants and events, and use in-app technology to pay, Uber style. Last year we launched Velocity Black, which offers extraordinary experiences in the most convenient way possible. Members can discover and book the best restaurants in the world, make travel reservations, or arrange some of the most incredible adventures including flying to the edge of space in a fighter jet, all from the palm of their hand. Now with offices in New York, London, Los Angeles and Miami, and launching Asia and the Middle East in Q4, we look forward to expanding even further. ■
ESC APE ARTIS T
For more info, see velocity.black
TH E E X CH A NG E
WIN £1,000 AT DUCHAMP LONDON
▷ We’ve teamed up with Duchamp London to offer you the chance to win a £1,000 spending spree with the luxury brand. Duchamp London, founded in 1989, initially specialised in cufflinks characterised with bold colours and flamboyant designs. Today, it is an established luxury menswear brand offering a range of clothing and accessories. Named after French conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp,
it still pays homage to his inspiration with clever use of print and colouring techniques. Almost all fabrics are exclusive and all print has a painterly feel. Duchamp London products are designed in UK and all fabrics are woven in England, Scotland and Italy.
To enter the competition, log on to squaremile.com.
Go to squaremile.com/ competitions and answer a simple question. T&Cs can be found online.
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PIPING UP BY VICKY SMITH
STREETS AHEAD Urban art is growing in popularity, in a big way. Case in point: Moniker Art Fair, the world’s leading event dedicated to the genre, which has tripled in size for its eighth edition. But why the surge in interest? It could be something to do with the tasty investment opportunities that come with buying pieces by emerging artists. So, if you’re looking for big returns as well as big artistic impact, we’d suggest you go along and see pieces such as Spinach Boy by Pez – surely a strong buy. ■
IMAGE: courtesy of Avenue des Arts
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O PI N I O N
NO LOOKING BACK John McDonnell isn’t letting prior controversial comments impact his bid for success, and that’s why it’s time to take note of his actions, says IAIN ANDERSON
OK, MEA CULPA: like most of the City, I didn’t spend too much time poring over the Labour manifesto before 8 June. I assumed Corbyn-led Labour would not win – and that was right – but rarely have the losers emerged from an election proclaiming victory quite so assertively.
However, his failure to secure these nominations is also revealing: for his first 18 years in Parliament, McDonnell was a complete outsider within the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP). Whereas a sufficient number of colleagues were willing to ‘lend’ Corbyn their nomination in 2015, McDonnell enjoyed no such luck in his aborted leadership bids of 2007 and 2010. A former Labour minister and fellow member of Labour’s 1997 intake of MPs told me that McDonnell was “rarely around” and was “much more interested in the extra-parliamentary circuit – party rallies, protest groups, fringe groups.” It is quite a feat to have gone from being such a peripheral figure within the PLP to being the most influential ally of the party leader. Yet McDonnell is undoubtedly adept at speaking the language of a leading politician. In his appearances on Andrew Marr or the Today programme, he exudes an air of reason and common sense which belies the decades spent in ardent support of hard left causes and movements.
❱❱ JOHN MCDONNELL IS A PRAGMATIST, PREPARED TO DISOWN SOME OF HIS UTTERANCES OF THE PAST TO EARN A HEARING IN THE PRESENT
ILLUSTRATION by Mark Boardman
There is no denying that Corbyn ran “Theresa May’s Team” far closer than could have been predicted just a few short weeks before the election. We suddenly need to pay serious attention to Labour again – and, in particular, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. McDonnell is a man of real ambition. He twice attempted (unsuccessfully) to secure the nominations required to run for leader of the Labour Party. Make no mistake, he is someone who has set his sights firmly on the top.
With his past comments in support of various extremists, McDonnell arguably carries even more baggage than his boss. Among the most notorious are his calls to honour the “bombs and bullets and sacrifice” of the IRA, and his “joke” that he would assassinate Margaret Thatcher if he could go back in time. But he has also been much more unreserved in apologising for such comments than Corbyn. In 2015, he apologised “from the bottom of [his] heart” for offense caused by his IRA remarks.
This illustrates another notable feature of the John McDonnell of 2017: he is a pragmatist, prepared to disown some of his utterances of the past if it helps him to earn a hearing in the present. Would he be willing or able to be similarly pragmatic in policy terms if he ever secured the keys to No 11? The Labour manifesto of 2017 undoubtedly had McDonnell’s fingerprints all over it. From commitments to raise taxes on the wealthiest and corporations, to plans for a major programme of renationalisation of utilities, it was a programme for government which resonated strongly with McDonnell’s long-held leftist beliefs. But there were also signs of comprise. The manifesto committed the party to the renewal of Trident; extolled the virtues of the single market; and set a target of eliminating the government’s deficit on day-to-day spending within five years in a bid to demonstrate fiscal restraint. Some of these positions reflect the democratic structures of the Labour party in respect of policy development. Corbyn and McDonnell cannot simply dictate policy, with bodies such as the National Executive Committee and National Policy Forum having a key role to play. Unless they can succeed in tipping the balance of these bodies in their own favour, the Labour party itself is likely to reign in the most radical policy instincts of the would-be PM and Chancellor. But be in no doubt, John McDonnell wants to be Chancellor, and his ambitions may not end there. If ever he succeeds in making it to Downing Street, he will vigorously pursue a radical left-wing agenda for corporate Britain. But in doing so, don’t be surprised to see him making compromises along the way, and portraying it all as simple common sense. The City should not underestimate or ignore John McDonnell anymore. ■ Follow Iain on Twitter @iain_w_anderson
O PI N I O N
ART OF THE MATTER The global art market is worth more than ever, and demand in the UK is high, but is it wise to invest in something that’s so subjective, and can worthwhile returns ever really be guaranteed? REBECCA BURN-CALLANDER weighs up the pros and cons
ART DEALERS ARE forever claiming that their wares make good investments. But is it really worth adding a few paintings or sculptures to your portfolio? It depends very much on the kind of art you’re looking to collect – and your budget. In 2014, the global art market was worth more than €51bn worldwide – a 7% increase on the previous year, according to a report by the European Fine Art Foundation. This is an all-time high, beating the last peak in 2007, when the market was worth €48bn. The same report showed record demand for art in the UK – good news for domestic art investors. In fact, the UK art market grew 17% in 2014, following years of relatively muted growth. There’s still room to grow further, as the UK’s current market value of €11.2bn is still a fair way below its 2007 peak. Yet a separate report, this time by Deloitte, the professional services firm, suggests a softening in demand in 2015, mostly
transactions was still a far cry from the peak of the market in 2007. The 2014 Art and Finance Report, compiled by Deloitte Luxembourg and market research firm ArtTactic, found that 76% of art buyers were picking art and collectables for investment purposes. This compares to just half of buyers in 2012. The most expensive pieces of art are generally viewed as a way to hold wealth, rather than investments to increase in value over time, although this is often a happy coincidence. Investment experts argue among themselves over the merits of putting cash into art; beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, after all. Some say that art should be bought for enjoyment alone, and point out that art investments are unregulated, so if the deal goes sour, investors can’t go crying to the FSCS. Plus, selling a work of art on requires a willing buyer, which makes
❱❱ INVESTMENT EXPERTS ARGUE WITH EACH OTHER OVER THE MERITS OF PUTTING CASH INTO ART; BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER AFTER ALL
this market rather illiquid. Lastly, you’ll probably need to pay for some specialist advice on what and when to buy, not to mention the transaction, insurance and storage costs. Despite the warnings, many investors do find art to be a rewarding part of their overall portfolio. The value of art doesn’t rise or fall in tandem with the equity markets, which is certainly a benefit, and it has been shown to be an effective hedge when inflation is rising.
So, if you are thinking about investing in art, you must consider the fact that not all individuals are buying pieces because of their passion for art; instead, it may be because of their desire to hold their wealth in an asset. Although to some this is a sensible idea, all art investments should be considered as relatively risky as there is no guarantee that the value of the piece of art won’t change. ■ The Daily Telegraph Guide to Investing by Rebecca Burn-Callander is out now (£14.99).
ILLUSTRATION by Mark Boardman
because consumers have been spooked by dodgy economic conditions across Europe, the United States and China. The art market is completely polarised, however. At the top end, a few works – the Picassos, Pollocks and Gauguins – are changing hands for vast sums, giving the impression of a massive industry when in fact there are a relatively small number of artists, buyers and sellers doing deals. This was proved in 2014, as the volume of sales grew by 6%, but the number of
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O PI N I O N
GUNNING FOR THE WRONG TEAM? Arsenal’s major shareholder Stan Kroenke is a divisive and at times controversial character. JAMES MONTAGUE goes to St Louis, Missouri, to learn about the toll of his sporting ownership
A SHORT STROLL AWAY from the centre of town, St Louis’ best-known soccer pub is opening its doors for early drinkers and the city’s dwindling number of Arsenal fans. The Amsterdam Tavern has only recently started opening early on a Sunday to cater for the English Premier League lunchtime kick-offs, which start around 7am Central Time. St Louis has always been a soccer town, from back in the days when America’s first pro-soccer league was formed there. But only in recent years, with the explosion of global interest in the game, have people filled the dark-wood interior of the Amsterdam for English, Spanish and Italian matches. Inside the tavern, walls are covered in soccer jerseys from around the world. A Celtic top hangs over the bar. On most nights and afternoons the place is filled with drinkers and supporters. Arsenal had kicked off their mid-afternoon/early morning match against Bournemouth. It was a crucial game. Leicester
❱❱ I DETEST HOW STAN KROENKE IS AFFECTING MY TEAM. I HATE THE LACK OF CONTROL WE HAVE OVER THINGS IN THE FACE OF THIS BILLIONAIRE were still, surprisingly, at the top of the table. But the fans of the traditional giants of English football, Arsenal among them, still couldn’t believe the underdog story would continue. Arsenal had to win, and keep the pressure up. That morning, two men, both called Mike, are the only Arsenal fans present. One is wearing a retro yellow Arsenal away jersey with ‘SEGA’ plastered across the front; the other Mike is sporting a traditional red ‘Emirates’ Arsenal top. “I detest how Stan Kroenke is affecting my life – not only Arsenal but with the Rams in so many ways,” says
Sega Mike. “I hate the lack of control we have over things in the face of this billionaire. There’s absolutely loads of Tottenham fans now. Sure, there were a lot of Americans who played for Spurs. That is one reason. But the other is that if you are a St Louisan… well, you’re not going to pick the one with Kroenke. You’ll pick his mortal enemy.” Sega Mike has been an Arsenal fan for almost 20 years. “That’s as real as an American fan can get, pretty much,” he says, of a period of time that almost exclusively covers the modern era, with TV money and all-seater stadiums. But even fans like Mike, detached from any geographical connection to north London, have felt the destructive pull of the new breed of soccer club owner – a strangely familiar feeling. “It is something a lot of Britons are not familiar with. When the Glazers took over [Manchester United],” he says, “there was a lot of shock that private stock owners were getting enriched. And that is just America. That is going to be the new future for English football: a lot of private enrichment.” This presents an ethical issue for soccer fans. While in England, the club you support has traditionally been connected to geography or family connections, American soccer fans consciously chose a team. And part of that choice for many involves a consideration of ethics. Who owns the club? And where do they get their money from? “At least the slave-owning Emirates and the mob-tied Russian billionaires spend money on their club to get results!” jokes Sega Mike. “The man ripping apart the fabric of America with Wal-Mart is doing nothing for his team.” “Look at other teams Kroenke owns,” adds Emirates Mike. “The Avalanches, the Nuggets, [MLS team Colorado] the Rapids….” “Jesus,” interrupts Sega Mike, shaking his head. None of the teams have enjoyed much in the way of success since Kroenke took over.
ILLUSTRATION by Paul Holland
“When you think about it, he’s the worst. In the past, at least you had lord-y English owners who invested for prestige, not necessarily making money. Now the American ideal is [about] absolutely enriching yourself first. That is how American business is. The Glazers and everyone else.” There are no good guys to root for, not in the top leagues anyway. “It is either an emirate or a dodgy Russian former Sovietenriched billionaire. Which way do you want to be ethically compromised?” Working behind the bar, Dave isn’t much of a soccer man. He was a Rams season ticket holder and went to his first game when he was six, with his father. “My dad doesn’t care for soccer, he’s old school,” he said. “I come home from work and Arsenal lose, and he shouts: ‘Yeah! With Kroenke teams I hope they never win.’ He is genuinely stoked when Arsenal lose.” His father wasn’t just alienated from the Rams – no one in St Louis would follow the team in LA – but from American football as a whole. Dave’s family had invested thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of free time supporting the team through thick and thin. There was one Super Bowl to show for the glory years, when the team was so good they were dubbed the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’. But since then the Rams had declined markedly. Over the past ten years, no NFL team had ever acquired as bad a record as the St Louis Rams. “Me and my dad, we are not going to watch the Super Bowl. We are done with football,” Dave says. “St Louis will be the only city in America not watching the Super Bowl. The Rams were a 20-year thing. It was the worst team ever for ten years. And we still turned up! Twenty years that just ended in an instant. It’s heartbreaking.” Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners at Bournemouth. As soon as the match finished, the bar filled to bursting. There was talk that the soon-to-be abandoned stadium in the centre of the city might now be put to good use. There had been talk of an MLS expansion team in St Louis, which might be able to take up the lease. But, of course, whether a team could compete in the league wasn’t dependent on merit, on rising up through the leagues and earning your place. You had to prove your wealth and your worth, and join the same kind of financial club of rich owners that had, in the end, destroyed the St Louis Rams. “We deserve an MLS soccer team,” Sega Mike says. “Just don’t let Kroenke near it.” It was hard to find anyone with a good word to say about Stan Kroenke – Rams fans, Arsenal fans, businessmen, barmen, mayors,
❱❱ ST LOUIS DESERVES AN MLS TEAM. JUST DON’T LET KROENKE ANYWHERE NEAR IT activists, journalists alike. Even the Uber driver who picked me up from the Amsterdam at 11am and who stunk of weed was dismissive. Kroenke was referred to as ‘Silent Stanley’ in the US media for his low profile and few conversations with the press. The handful of interviews he has given painted him as an unassuming, down-to-earth guy. The title of the 2011 Sports Illustrated profile on him hinted as much: ‘The Most Powerful Man in Sports… You Had No Idea, Did You? Stan Kroenke.’ While many in the city were planning to boycott the Super Bowl, one accident and injury lawyer from St Louis had decided to make a more visible protest, paying for and starring in his own advert to be shown at half time. Super Bowl is famous for its adverts, which can cost as much as $5m a minute. I clicked on the story on the CBS website, and the picture at the top looked familiar. It was Terry Crouppen, the lawyer of the ‘Winningest’ billboard that I’d seen all over town. I checked the picture on my phone and called the number, but it went straight to answerphone. I left a message. He called me back within five minutes. Ten minutes later he is sitting next to me in a bar. “We were voted the ‘winningest’ law firm in the entire state and we are very proud,” he says, ordering an orange juice. “It didn’t cost $5m to take out the ad, but it was a lot, the most I’ve ever paid for an advert,” he says when he sits down. “If I had $5m going spare, I’d probably hire a hit man.” There’s a moment of silence. “That’s a joke, by the way.” ■
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THE WALK OF LIFE . 052
IN IN 1934, 1934, BRITANNIA BRITANNIA DIDN’ DIDN’ T T JUST JUST RULE RULE THE THE WAVES WAVES
On October 22nd 1934, two exhausted airmen landed on a racecourse in Melbourne, surrounded by On October 22nd 1934, two exhausted airmen landed on a racecourse in Melbourne, surrounded by cheering crowds. Flying a specially-built De Havilland Comet DH-88, Charles Scott and Tom Campbell cheering crowds. Flying a specially-built De Havilland Comet DH-88, Charles Scott and Tom Campbell Black set a new record, flying the 11,000 miles from England in just 71 hours. The Bremont DH-88 Black set a new record, flying the 11,000 miles from England in just 71 hours. The Bremont DH-88 commemorates their aircraft and their achievement. Containing actual material from the record-breaking commemorates their aircraft and their achievement. Containing actual material from the record-breaking plane, the Bremont DH-88 is available now in a strictly limited edition. But it won’t be available for long. plane, the Bremont DH-88 is available now in a strictly limited edition. But it won’t be available for long.
Mayfair Boutique · 29 South Audley St, London, W1K 2PE · Tel: +44 (0)207 493 5150 Mayfair Boutique 29 Courtyard, South Audley St, London, 2PE · EC3V Tel: +44 City Of London Boutique · 12 ·The Royal Exchange,W1K London 3LQ(0)207 · Tel: 493 +445150 (0) 207 220 7134 City Of London Boutique · 12 The Courtyard, Royal Exchange, London EC3V 3LQ · Tel: +44 (0) 207 220 7134
CATWALK EMPORIO ARMANI
EMPORIO’S NEW CLOTHES
The Emporio Armani boutique on New Bond Street is back, providing an inspirational fashion space housing key pieces influenced by the catwalk but made infinitely wearable by the brand’s signature touches of class, style and elegance
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LET LOOSE The men’s fashion rulebook has been relaxed in a big way, with formal lines and restrictive cuts relegated in favour of a new unstructured aesthetic. Emporio Armani has taken the new look and transitioned it into formal wear with a dose of its signature elegance, and the results are impressive – the loose-fit trouser provides a nod to the season’s new look, while the inky velvet dinner jacket keeps things undeniably formal. Smart thinking.
FASHION HOUSE The reopening of the Emporio Armani store on New Bond Street is welcome news for style aficionados, who will find fashion inspiration within a space that’s as well designed as the items it stocks. Two white-walled floors showcase men’s and women’s clothing collections and the EA7 sportswear line, with accessories displayed on bright glass sculptures throughout. ■ 51-52 New Bond Street, W1S 1DQ; armani.com
GET THE LOOK: Tux shirt in micro weave cotton, £370; jacket, £POA; trousers with wide asymmetrical darts and wide leg in black plain wool, £330; black velvet bow tie, £85.
STYLE DARREN KENNEDY
ORANGE? NEW BLACK
This season, it’s all about orange. Don’t be nervous about wearing the vibrant hue – DARREN KENNEDY talks us through the ways we should be rocking Autumn/Winter 2017’s hottest colour, and what to avoid
F YOU THINK autumnal dressing is all about muted colour palettes and sombre tones, then it’s time to think again. For a long time – especially in menswear – bright colours have been fashion’s sworn enemy, with dark and dramatic ensembles considered the epitome of a high-end aesthetic. However, Autumn/ Winter 2017 is bringing the fun back into fashion, with menswear designers embracing colours like never before – filling their catwalks with 1990s street-wear and eye-catching neon hues. Bold primary colours stand alongside striking citrus tones this season, but perhaps no shade was more prevalent than orange. DESIGNERS’ FAVOURITE British label Blood Brothers triumphed with a selection of eye-catching orange designs, as did Alex Mullins, and the colour featured prominently on the runway of cult nineties label, Maharishi. Even established labels such as JW Anderson and Givenchy favoured orange in their autumn collections, sealing its fate as the must-have colour of the season.
WHAT TO AVOID
HOW TO WEAR IT When approaching a new trend, think about how it will work for you rather than the other way round and opt for items that complement
FULL OF ZEST: Noon Goons’ cotton-corduroy Club jacket is a bold buy, and a great way of introducing a hit of orange into your look. Wear it with neutral tones to avoid any awkward colour clashes.
your existing wardrobe. Go for sartorial staples, rather than seasonal or runway-driven pieces. A fisherman’s cable-knit sweater in burnt orange is a fantastic entry point to this look; perfectly blending old and new as the shade gives the much-loved classic a fresh, contemporary feel. Shirt jackets have been everywhere the last couple of seasons and this one from Noon Goons [above] is a striking take on the trend. However, avoid all colours, save for white, black or navy with this piece, as you don’t want to look like you’re joining the circus. Puffer jackets made a massive comeback a couple of seasons ago and they’re here to stay – outdoor label Columbia’s orange version
offers an instant update to the ubiquitous puffer. Meanwhile, Balenciaga trainers made a big streetwear splash at every major fashion week and if you’re feeling like spoiling yourself, the hint of orange on the sole is a subtle way of introducing the shade to your wardrobe.
TOP TIP While black works pretty well as a base for orange, try replacing it with navy, which can look really striking when worn with zesty shades. The prevalence of orange on the AW17 catwalks is a key indicator that it’s time to become more relaxed and playful with what we wear and how we wear it. ■
PHOTOGRAPH by YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP
Orange is one of those colours that has a slightly dubious reputation; often instilling an immediate fear in prospective wearers – but this is largely unfounded. Surprisingly, it’s actually quite a versatile hue that suits most skin tones and can be very flattering. However, it’s all about how you wear it and what you wear with it. To begin with, it’s probably best to avoid wearing with any primary colour as colour-blocking is a hard one to master with citrus. It goes without saying that head-to-toe orange should be avoided – unless you want to look like you’re en route to a prison cell. I’d also suggest keeping this trend within the realm of casualwear, as more formal pieces in orange look eye-catching for all the wrong reasons. Of course, accenting formalwear with a vermillion tie or rust pocket square is a subtle way to inject some life into a classic suit.
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OXFORD UNION One of England’s finest shoemakers since 1890, Edward Green is a master at creating stylish variants of the iconic Oxford
PHOTOGRAPH by David Harrison
GREEN, WITH ENVY: Lichfield, £925; Chelsea, £900; Malvern, £900; all available from Edward Green, 75 Jermyn St, London, SW1Y 6NP; edwardgreen.com
SHOE STOPPERS All Oxfords are not created equal. This trio from Edward Green shows the diversity of the iconic British shoe style. On the far left is a Lichfield in midnight antique calf – a modern chiselled Adelaide. The nearest shoe, in black, is the Chelsea: a definitive cap-toe oxford, its signature swan’s neck stitch across the facing is a detail originating from the 1930s. And below is the Malvern, complete with rich decorative punching and dark oak wing-tip. ■
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THOM BROWN: Cap-Toe Herringbone Shetland Wool Oxford Shoes, £910; from mrporter.com
PHOTOGRAPHAY by David Harrison
SPLIT DECISION see more on
From herringbone to two-tone, don’t settle for one shoe colour when you can opt for a double whammy 043
CROCKETT & JONES: ‘Gerrard 4’ mahogany calf and stone canvas two-tone oxfords, £405; Crockett & Jones, 92 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6PF; 020 7839 5239; crockettandjones.com
JM WESTON: bi-material oxford in burgundy calfskin and suede, Â£755; JM Weston, 60 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6LX; 020 7629 9494; jmweston.com
PHOTOGRAPH by publinc larit em potinium vid ces blah
PHOTOGRAPH by publinc larit em potinium vid ces blah
UNDANDY: Customised 15’ Full Brogue Derby, £145, undandy.com
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Didn’t think tracksuits were trendy? Think again, as it’s time for leisurewear to shine. You just need to make sure you do it right, says Mr Porter’s CHRIS ELVIDGE
HE IDEA OF wearing sweats as actual
clothing – not just for the gym or lazing on the sofa – is a relatively new one, but it’s catching on fast. It’s part of a larger trend known in the biz as ‘athleisure’, one of those ghastly compound words that marketing executives use to make themselves sound clever. Translated into plain English, it means that the contents of your gym bag and the contents of your wardrobe are becoming ever more interchangeable. As the relaxed fits and technical fabrics found in athletic wear begin to infiltrate the world of casualwear, we’re seeing the sharp, structured silhouettes of traditional tailoring give way to something softer, stretchier and more comfortable. Any trend that lists comfort as one of its selling points is sure to get our vote. So, how do you go about wearing it? Suffice to say, it’s not quite as simple as digging out the sagging sweatpants that have spent the last decade languishing at the back of your wardrobe and last saw the light of day when you were still playing sport at university. Modern sweats are a more stylish proposition altogether. Take the heritageinspired track pants and sweatshirt from the latest Kingsman collection, which launches this September to coincide with the release of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Designed in collaboration with US designer Todd Snyder, they’re made from quality French loopback cotton, cut for a flattering fit. Throw in a pair of Adidas Superstars and Cutler & Gross spectacles – also part of the Kingsman collection, and available exclusively at mrporter.com – and you’ve got an easy off-duty outfit that says sporty rather than slouchy. Just, please, don’t call it athleisure. ■ The Kingsman shop will open on 7 September at 4 St James’s Street, SW1A 1EF.
ALL THE KING’S MEN: Kingsman x Adidas Sneakers, £140; Kingsman x Todd Snyder Track pant, £130; Kingsman x Todd Snyder Crew neck sweater, £130; TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 Kingsman Special Edition Watch, £3,100; Kingsman x Cutler & Gross sunglasses, £325; mrporter.com
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SHOPPING THE ROYAL EXCHANGE
SHOPPING BAG THE ROYAL EXCHANGE, LONDON, EC3V 3DG THEROYALEXCHANGE.CO.UK
Style isn’t necessarily something that you can buy, but these smart accessories from The Royal Exchange will certainly help
BACK IT UP The practicality of a backpack is undeniably attractive, but the often casual aesthetic has historically made them an unsuitable choice for work. Until now. Carl Friedrik’s new range of leather backpacks and bags – ‘Collection 3’ – combines refined craftsmanship with elements inspired by performance accessories, meaning you can transport everything around easily, without looking like you’re off to the gym. ■
BREMONT Keep the pace fast with Bremont’s new limited-edition watch that plays homage to the Norton V4 superbike. Featuring numerals inspired by the classic Norton typeface, and a gold brand logo, it costs £5,495. 12 The Courtyard, EC3V 3LQ
SAGE BROWN The compact wash bag from leather specialist Sage Brown is a faithful travel companion, crafted from full grain or crocodile skin-textured calf leather with piped edges to ensure durability. £110. 31 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LP
POWER PACK: As well as sleek design and quality craftsmanship, the bags in the Collection 3 range are really rather clever, with a custom power bank that integrates neatly with every product in the range. Prices start from £265. Carl Friedrik, 3 Royal Court, EC3V 3LN
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PENHALIGON’S Jasmine, incense, vetiver and sandalwood combine to produce Penhaligon’s heady, intoxicating new fragrance, Agarbathi. As ever from the brand, the design of the bottle more than matches up to what’s inside. £164. 4 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LL
As a leader of adventures, Belinda Kirk believes exploration is an experience worth sharing. For her, true wealth is found when taking groups of people to places theyâ€™ve never been before. San Miguel have been exploring the world since 1890. Throughout our journey we have discovered more trailblazers like Belinda who share our thirst for discovery, creativity and new experiences. This unique collection of inspirational people form the San Miguel Rich List, coming 12th October.
STYLE MY WORLD
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
Lyndon Cormack, co-founder of retailing phenomenon Herschel Supply Company, tells JESSICA PHILLIPS how it all began, the inspirations behind the label, and where the hugely successful brand can go next THE HERSCHEL BRAND About seven years ago my brother and I decided to get into the bag industry. We looked into the current offerings and we found a lot of sport-driven brands and luxury-driven brands. We took the category and stripped it down and looked to inject design and attention to detail, but also simplicity into a product category that we felt needed a nice strong anchor. We wanted a utility item, something that celebrated the design aspect, that was thoughtful, and we also wanted something that was not loud and in everybody’s face. We wanted to make something that was sophisticated and was reasonably priced. Although our bags look quite simple, there is a functionality layered into them.
GROWTH SPURT The first time we delivered products to market was in July 2010 and we just managed to fill one of those big shipping containers full of bags. About half of the units were risk stock. At first we were like, “Woo, we’re shipping containers full of these things”. Then we were like, “If this doesn’t work out everyone we know is getting these bags for birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries for the rest of their lives because we have so many of them.” We had 4,000 bags then. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a particularly crazy number but imagine if you had 4,000 bags in your closet. This year we’ll sell 110 million pieces.
STARTING THE BUSINESS We didn’t do a business plan and we didn’t do a lot of things that a lot of brands do. We had ideas in mind but we didn’t write them down. They were more conversations than
a route map. I only went to high school, but I tell people all the time, “Make sure you go to school. Maybe take a year off.” I’m basically still on that year off. But write business plans, be strategic, and don’t do what I did just because it worked out. There are flukes in life.
INSPIRATION THE HERSCHEL NAME Herschel is where my great grandparents settled in Canada. It’s a small little town in the middle of Canada, which currently has 23 people in it. We’d always go back to visit Herschel. Over Disneyland, Hawaii or Vancouver, our favourite place to go back to was this little town where we could ride dirt bikes or snowmobiles, shoot guns, go exploring. There were very few rules, you could just go and have a good time. This idea of exploration and being free and being able to create your own fun. So when we started the brand and were thinking of places that resonated with us, and places that were a huge part of our lives, this little town kept coming up. So that’s where the name comes from.
A FAMILY AFFAIR I work predominantly with my brother Jamie. I’m the youngest of three, and Jason is also involved with the brand, but more on the business development side. We’ve always been close brothers, and we tend to agree a hell of a lot more than we disagree. We are tough on each other to deliver great results but tough in a way that’s more inspiring than authoritative. We don’t candy coat a lot – if we like it, we love it; and if we don’t like it, we don’t like it. It allows us to make decisions quickly and move forward. Now there’s many more people: when we first started there were just two, and now there’s close to 170. But there’s definitely still the same spirit.
KEEPING IT CLOSE
We wanted a utility item, something that celebrated the design aspect, that was thoughtful and not loud 052
that there’s a lot of people who want to take Herschel to a different level. At this point in time our current business strategy doesn’t really require a lot of external help but we’re certainly not trying to put our hand up to it.
I don’t know if we’ve turned down 500 investors but it’s certainly been a lot. They’re all very nice people and we’re very gracious to all the investors out there, but we haven’t taken any external investments to help the brand because we feel we’d like to do it ourselves. It’s certainly a positive conversation
We look at what has worked in the past: we like looking at what worked for early adventurers, what people used to use to travel in the fifties and sixties, and learn from them. There was a lot more utility back then and less fashion. We can take all of that stuff that’s behind us and then figure out how to make it modern. That’s really what we do and what we’ve done since day one – reference the past with a big modern outlook. We’re modern, nostalgic, we’re classic, and we pay attention to detail, and we have our product.
THE SECRET TO POPULARITY I’ve always carried a backpack, whether it be on a trip or to work. People have asked me about the backpack trend. I guess I went from being totally untrendy to trendy and hopefully we stick on the trend path, but I think ultimately it comes back to utility. We produce a utility item, a functional piece which helps you get from A-Z, whether that’s home to the office, office to the gym, or Heathrow to Istanbul. I think we’re in more of a commuting culture than we ever have been. The world is becoming more ‘casual Fridays’, and people are dressing more comfortably. I think that the trend will continue into the future with people going to work with a backpack or a tote instead of a bound briefcase.
BRAND EVOLUTION From day one we had a very modern aesthetic. It had the same logo and everything but we had a lot of red, black and white perforated leathers mixed with canvas, and we also had the more tan leathers mixed with washed greys, navys and blacks. I’d say that when we went to sell, those products resonated way more with our consumer than the modern aesthetic did, so we went more for the heritage style look bags. If the consumers had bought evenly along the way we’d probably look ➤
Pull quote Min con nos voluptium lacerum que estet qui sam, quis sinima audicat enihiliaDi praet vero ta re
LOOKING BACK TO GO FORWARDS: While Lyndon Cormack and his brother believed there was a gap in the market for their functional, stylish backpacks, they couldnâ€™t have predicted Herschelâ€™s huge success. They named the brand after a small Canadian town where they holidayed as children.
IN THE BAG: The Voyage Coach jacket from Herschel’s recently launched outerwear range fits neatly into a handy internal pocket.
➤ different as a brand right now. You deliver options. It’s like when you’re at a restaurant and you’re asked whether you want steak or chicken. You’re led by decisions your consumers are driving you to. You go with the grain, work with momentum, while ensuring that we’re modern and classic.
FAVOURITE PRODUCT We make a range called the Packables and they’re nylon bags that pack into these small little pouches. Like a backpack in a small bag. I live in a waterfront community, if I go shopping I take my boat over to the little towns, so I’ll always have one with me in case I buy something. I find them really functional and they’re like, 25 quid. It’s just a nice, cool product. There’s obviously lots of beautiful products and collaborations that we’ve done but that’s the style of bag I use the most.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK Everyone says we’re a young brand but we started before Instagram, which makes us old. As a brand, we grew up with social media – and we were active users on the platform, so it wasn’t like we read a ‘How to be Successful on Instagram’ manual. When we started the account we started shooting images and sharing others’ images of things we like, places we wanted to go, and places we were yet to discover. We used our consumers a lot to take us on a journey. This started a community of people out there documenting where they were going and what they did when they got there. People who generally carry our brand march to the beat of their own drum; they love to find the local secrets. If they’re travelling to a city, they like to know where the best coffee is or where the best art museum is or where’s the best place to grab a bite to eat. With things like Instagram and Facebook we leverage off our community and our community leverages off us.
THE SECRET TO SUCCESS I think we knew that the market was big. We didn’t know if we were going to be as successful as we are, but did we imagine
I think that the perfect collaboration for us would be one where the end result was very thought provoking 054
success this big? Yes. We didn’t imagine us being really tiny. Did we imagine working with some of the brands we’ve worked with? I think yeah, we probably imagined that as well. And we’re sort of living out the imagination right now, we’re living out the dream. But we’ve had to do a whole bunch of things, certainly more than just Jamie and I, to make those things happen. We’ve said no to so many retail opportunities and opportunities in general that we haven’t capitalised on which could have changed the DNA of the brand. We’re still trying to figure out where the next step is and how we can continue to grow.
THE COLLABORATION GAME By putting the Herschel filter on other product categories we can sell to a very like-minded consumer. I like Apple a lot. I think the perfect collaboration would be one where the end result was very thought provoking and actually created something that didn’t exist before. That could be anyone from Apple to an industrial designer to a fashion designer. We really love fashion. The inspiration I draw from collections is endless. We love it when fashion brands take on more utility designs. Louis Vuitton makes great backpacks but they’re really expensive, so not everyone can afford them. So for us, we like the price points that we’re in but we love it when brands inspire us to look at the category differently. We did a really exciting piece with Coca-Cola where we took recycled Coke bottles and made bags out of them. So all the Coke collection was
made out of recycled Coke bottles. I think it takes 12 Coke bottles to make a backpack. So that was an interesting collaboration, not just because Coca-Cola is so iconic but the fact that there was this idea in the manufacturing process. With Disney, they’re the most iconic characters in the world, and so having the opportunity to work with companies like that was just amazing. You get taken to another land and have to figure out how to make it work on the product. All those collaborations are fun for various reasons.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR HERSCHEL? Over the years that we’ve been doing this we’ve had the opportunity to venture out to making sweatshirts or T-shirts or simple, basic apparel items, and we’ve always kept the reins really tightly in. Partially because we wanted to be known for the fact that we were a bag supplier, even though we thought we could make solutions for other things. So this July we decided to get into making some outerwear. As we continue to build on this foundation of the windbreaker and the rain jacket, we’re going to be able to tap into other solutions within the category. We feel that at this point we can make anything with our filter on it and can come up with some really thoughtful solutions in any category in our space. We believe that what’s in the rear-view mirror is a lot less exciting than what’s still ahead of us, so we look forward to building on all the success we’ve already had. ■ For more info, see herschelsupplyco.co.uk
Wild & Sons is an American car specialist supplying restoration, service and performance parts. They also carry out repairs, servicing, full restorations and custom builds including hot rods. Wild & Sons is a dynamic business and is already gaining a great reputation for their work. They cover all American makes and models from 1900 up to present day and also create bespoke bicycles.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK Who’s to say what’s stylish and what isn’t? Well, these social influencers are doing just that, and it’s proving pretty successful. Meet London’s maestros of style who are impacting the way that you dress DEDICATED FOLLOWERS OF FASHION: [clockwise from here] Matthew Zorpas, aka The Gentleman Blogger; Jack Guinness has amassed nearly 58,000 Instagram followers; Darren Kennedy has made such a name for himself as a fashion expert, he now writes for us. #goals
PHOTOGRAPHS: Jack Guinness by Bartek Szmigulski; Darren Kennedy by Aaron Hurley
THE GENTLEMAN BLOGGER
INSTAGRAM: 176,000 FACEBOOK: 27,205 TWITTER: 8,127 Matthew Zorpas founded online platform The Gentleman Blogger in 2012, and over the past five years he has risen to the top of the industry. Whether posting videos, articles or photographs, Zorpas invariably exhudes class and erudition. It’s not hard to see why this gentleman continues to thrive.
INSTAGRAM: 40,600 FACEBOOK: 968 TWITTER: 19,500 No relationship to his Essex namesake – as far as we’re aware – Joseph London has translated his love of culture and fashion into a successful career as a lifestyle influencer. His favoured subjects include fitness, travel and food, while his website offers something for all tastes. Well, when a man is tired of London…
INSTAGRAM: 33,100 FACEBOOK: 11,198 TWITTER: 24,600 Our style columnist Darren Kennedy is a man of many talents. He recently hosted the London Fashion Week Festival and worked the red carpet at the Brit Awards for River Island. His #SixtySecondStyle videos regularly exceed a million views – watch and see why.
INSTAGRAM: 57,900 FACEBOOK: 27,236 TWITTER: 16,800 Our only influencer not to possess a personal website, Jack Guinness has been described as “the coolest man in Britain” and “the very epitome of the modern man about town”. Chums with numerous celebrities, the hirsute model is a Guinness you want to be seen with.
INSTAGRAM: 2.3m FACEBOOK: 27,205 TWITTER: 986,542 One of the most famous vloggers in the world, Jim Chapman was one of the first people to fully utilise YouTube as a means of reaching their audience. He models for numerous brands, adorns many ‘Best Dressed’ lists, and is a regular on the catwalk front row.
INSTAGRAM: 65,300 FACEBOOK: 6,903 TWITTER: 6,922 Specialising in classic and luxury menswear, Permanent Style was launched in 2007 by journalist Simon Crompton and has garnered much acclaim over the subsequent decade. The author of five books on style, Crompton certainly knows his subject – and his prose.
THE DAPPER CHAPPER
INSTAGRAM: 10,000 FACEBOOK: 1,295 TWITTER: 15,500 Strictly speaking, The Dapper Chapper isn’t a single man but a collection of lifestyle experts from London and Edinburgh. Founder and director Adam Tanous is the face of the blog, which not only covers fashion but also events, drink, and dining: what more could you want?
INSTAGRAM: 109,000 FACEBOOK: 2,699 TWITTER: 5,360 Joel Mcloughlin started blogging at college, and after a post-graduation spell as a stylist assistant, he went solo in 2015 under the moniker Gallucks. His Instagram, dominated by monochrome hues with the occasional dash of colour, is a visual treat.
INSTAGRAM: 74,500 FACEBOOK: 27,205 TWITTER: 13,428 One of the world’s leading fashion and street photographers, Jonathan Daniel Pryce has been published by numerous publications including Vogue, GQ and Esquire. His Instagram is basically a succession of incredibly stylish men, shot to perfection.
INSTAGRAM: 281,000 FACEBOOK: 17,825 TWITTER: 124,000 Anybody sceptical about the creative potential of the blog should pay a visit to Steve Booker’s. He aims to “inspire people through my travels, photography and documenting life in a creative and authentic way.” Judging by his followers, we’d say he’s succeeded.
ACROSS THE POND NEW YORK’S MOST STYLISH INSTAGRAM INFLUENCERS
ADAM GALLAGHER BLOGGER
JOHANNES HUEBL MODEL
SCOTT SCHUMAN PHOTOGRAPHER
NICK WOOSTER FASHION DIRECTOR
723k followers @squaremileuk @squaremile_com
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KEEPING IT SIMPLE
When it comes to watches, is the key to style down to embellishment, or is the secret actually adhering to the concept of ‘less is more’? ADRIAN HAILWOOD examines the new wave of simplicity in the watch world
N A 1965 interview, Coco Chanel famously
said, “Fashion passes; style remains” and while she was not the first to make this observation, it has attached itself to her above all others. She went on to add, “Fashion is made of a few amusing ideas, meant to be used up quickly, so they can be replaced by others in the next collection. A style endures even as it is renewed and evolved.” So, what are we in the watch world to make of this? Is a stylish watch, as opposed to a fashionable one, achieved by stripping away all superfluous detail, anything that could be considered ‘on-trend’ or this year’s ‘big thing’? If we get rid of the exotic materials, avant-garde case shapes and dial decorations, throw out the faux patina and pre-aged lume, and while we are at it, toss out all the dive watches, chronographs and any other extraneous complications that never really get used, what do we get? Maybe Coco Chanel would have approved of the Bauhaus minimalism shown by the Junghans ‘Max Bill’ collection. The simplest 2017 model adheres to the ‘form follows function’ edict perfectly with the slimmest lugs and bezel, a clear baton dial and only a date window to break up the lines but I suspect that a designer of haute couture would possibly balk at such severity and look for a little more ‘luxe’ to go with the minimalism. For a luxury ‘three-hander’ the new Classique 7147 [pictured] from Breguet is hard to beat. Taking cues from its predecessor the enamel dial version of the 5140 keeps the same idiosyncratic dial layout and the 40mm case but loses almost half of the case thickness. More intriguingly and subtly, it loses the step between the main dial and the seconds sub-
2017 seems to be the year when horological histrionics are out of fashion, and watches are being paired back squaremile.com
DON’T MAKE THINGS COMPLICATED: Breguet’s new Classique 7147 is a perfect example of the current trend for pareddown watches, where embellishments have been replaced with classic, ultra-simple design.
dial, the enamel finish seeming to flow into the depression seamlessly. This tiny detail elevates the watch from being a copy of a pocket watch to a tactile experience for the eyes that, once seen, you can’t help returning to. If you prefer a little more colour than Breguet’s white enamel, look no further than Moser’s new Endeavour Centre Seconds Automatic. Baton hour markers, a maker’s name and nothing else to impair the view of the most gorgeous fumé dials in either grey or blue. The contrast between the dial tones and the watch cases in either rose or white gold give a richness that seems almost at odds with the simplicity of the pieces. This
idea is taken further in the limited-edition Endeavor Concept Guilloché watch shown at SIHH in January, which loses both the seconds hand and batons, relying purely on the delicate play of light on the dial engraving to show the 12-hour sectors. This year, horological histrionics have fallen out of fashion; watches are being pared back and even the word ‘value’ is being whispered by the manufacturers. While you certainly cannot pretend that any of these simple watches are cheap, when it comes to style, less is definitely more. ■ Fellows’ next watch auction is on 25 September. For more information, see fellows.co.uk
#WATCHWEWANT Tudor has a reputation for creating some of the best value watches around – and its new Black Bay Chronograph shows this doesn’t come at the expense of quality
SMART MOVEMENTS Adapting Breitling’s B01 movement, Tudor has created a robust column-wheel chronograph caliber MT5813 for a price that’s almost too good to be true. Thanks to a free-sprung adjustable mass balance and use of a silicon balance spring, it should be less susceptible to variation in rate over time – in other words, it’s designed for accuracy and longevity. ■
BAY WATCH Tudor follows up the triumph of last year’s Black Bay Bronze with a real beauty. The new Black Bay Chronograph is a tool watch that takes its design cues from Tudor automotive chronographs of the 1970s, with the option of a woven denim-style fabric strap adding a contemporary flourish. £3,220;
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WIN A BRIEFCASE FROM FILSON PRIZE WORTH £315
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square mile has teamed up with adventure outerwear brand Filson to offer you the chance of owning a piece of timeless American style. Designed to stand the test of time, the Original Briefcase (£315) is manufactured using heavy-duty fabrics and hardware, with its quality assured by a lifetime guarantee. To enter, go to squaremile.com/competitions and answer the simple question. T&Cs are online, too.
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PHOTOGRAPH: Jean-Paul Gaultier by Jean-Marie Périer / Courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
MAN OF THE CLOTH The French photographer Jean-Marie Périer has made his name – and his portfolio – shooting the fashion industry’s great and the good
OU MIGHT NOT have heard of Jean-Marie Périer but you will unquestionably recognise his subjects. Over the last 50 years, the biggest stars of music and fashion have enjoyed the attention of the Frenchman’s camera – and his unique perspective. Born in 1940, Périer became the official photographer of Salut Les Copains, the world’s leading music magazine, aged just 22. His shots of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and James Brown remain iconic cultural images of the 1960s. Périer left Salut Les Copains in 1972, and spent most of the 1980s in America directing commercials for the likes of Coca-Cola and
Ford. In 1990, he returned to Paris and photography. Elle magazine commissioned Périer to produce The World of Fashion Designers, a series of portraits over which Périer enjoyed complete creative control. Saint-Laurent, Gaultier, Lagerfeld, Westwood – the names need no introduction. Yet through the eyes of Périer, these most celebrated of subjects are seen afresh. With a new retrospective – Designers – coming to Chelsea, take this opportunity to discover some of his work. Designers by Jean- Marie Perier is on at The Little Black Gallery from 14 September - 17 October.
YVES SAINT LAURENT: “I knew him for a long time, in the 1960s I used to come with Françoise Hardy to meet him for fitting dresses. This session is the last one he did in his studio. He was very tired at this time, and I thought it was a beautiful way of showing him saying ‘goodbye’. Later, one night as I was in a club, I met him and he asked me if I could send him a print of this picture. Obviously I did this the next day. Three weeks later he died.”
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KARL LAGERFELD: “I don’t know how many houses he had at this time, I remember that a company of movers was working for him full time, moving stuff all over Europe from one house to another. He was very easy to work with, so clever, a really fascinating man.”
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STELLA McCARTNEY: “I didn’t know her. But I supposed that she was fed up with people talking to her about The Beatles. So I didn’t tell her that I worked with the group and her father from 1963 until 1968. I found that moment rather funny, she looked at me as a fashion photographer, without knowing that I was known as a rock photographer and that I knew them long ago before she was born.”
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD: “This session was made at the Wallace Collection. I didn’t know what I was expecting with Miss Westwood. Everything was ready when she appeared in that dress. The director of the museum was there to welcome her. And when her fiancé arrived completely nude, the director didn’t say a word, as if everything was normal, typically English. I was really happy to make this picture in London, because, let me tell you, I don’t think we could have done that in the Musée d’Orsay.”
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“99.9% need not apply” Formula One legend Mark Webber talks us through what it takes to be an elite racing driver – and what it’s like retiring from life in the fastest of lanes. Interview by BEN WINSTANLEY Photography by THOMAS LAISNÉ
EWIS HAMILTON WRESTLES his Mercedes-
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AMG Petronas around Turn 16 at Silverstone before snapping the steering wheel in the opposite direction, taking the sweeping final corner and attacking the finish line – the wasp-like sound of the engine drowned out by the roar of the home crowd. Mark Webber leans forward in his chair, elbows on his knees, hands clasped. His eyes dart between the screen, to the track outside our window, and me. Meanwhile, I’m staring blankly at the action, figuring out what on earth you say to a nine-time Formula One Grand Prix winner. “Hamilton’s heart rate should be running around 160-170bpm right now, but you wouldn’t know it,” he says in his raspy Aussie drawl. It must be strange to watch from the sidelines for such a seasoned pro. Does he miss the rush? “In the same way any 40 year old misses being in his twenties,” he smirks. You could say that, I suppose.
Of course, Webber wasn’t your average 20-something. After finishing runner-up in the 2001 Formula 3000 Championship, he earned a starting place in the 2002 Minardi Formula One racing team at the age of 25. Fast forward to 2009 and Webber is standing on top of the podium having won the Germany Grand Prix with Red Bull Racing – the first Australian driver to win a Formula One race since Alan Jones won in Las Vegas in 1981. In an era where Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso fought the emerging talents of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, Webber held his own, earning a reputation as a fierce competitor on the track but one of the most popular drivers out of the car. In our exclusive interview, Webber discusses tussling with the modern greats of the sport; becoming Rolex’s latest ambassador; and how the 2017/18 Formula One season is shaping up under its new American owners. ➤
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➤ WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET IN THE SEAT TODAY? Nah, I wouldn’t. I’m definitely undercooked at the moment – as a racing driver, we love to be prepared and have everything in order. Especially somewhere like Silverstone, it’s so, so fast, you’ve got to be fit and very committed. At short notice, it’s probably one of the worst venues in the world to just stroll up and get in the seat – you know what, I’m happy here in the stands, thanks. I retired at the right time. It’s a big decision for anybody in sport to come to the point where it’s time to move on. It worked out very well for me. My last race, I was on the podium with Sebastian [Vettel] and Fernando [Alonso], I did the fastest lap of the race, and I walked away feeling very rewarded about my whole career. Then I’ve been very lucky to come out of that and have the tremendous opportunity to work with Rolex. For me, the history of them and motorsport is truly remarkable, and for me to continue to talk about the sport I love with other incredible ambassadors is great. They’re real racers as well, of course; they love precision and timing. To leave an arena where attention to fine detail is so important and find it again with Rolex makes me feel very blessed.
ourselves, we’re wired up to deliver the best performance in a given situation. And when you get out of the car at the other end, the emotion you feel, the respect and camaraderie you get from the other drivers… They’re the special moments in this sport.
WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR HEAD DURING THOSE FIRST FEW CORNERS OF A RACE? There’s a tremendous amount of experience that you draw upon during that micro-second management at the start of a race. So if I’m in the middle of the pack, am I worried about what the leader’s doing? No. I’ve got my eye on one or two guys around me, but I’ve also got to be very proactive in positioning my car and controlling the situation around me. It’s a micro-chess match that’s going on very, very quickly. It’s aggressive, decisions have to be made fast, so the way we teach our brains to manage this information as it comes at us is incredibly skilful. The race obviously settles down and you switch to trying to get the most out of the car, but yeah it’s hectic at the start. There’s a lot of different parameters inside a driver’s make up that shapes us into winners.
SO RACING DRIVERS ARE MODERN GLADIATORS? HOW HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR FIRST YEAR AS A ROLEX AMBASSADOR? I’ve been buying Rolexes for a number of years – at the moment, I’m rotating between the new Sea Dweller and the white-dialled ceramic Daytona – so it was a real honour when they asked me to be an ambassador. All racing drivers appreciate timekeeping and precision, but for me Rolex really is miles ahead of the competition in terms of performance. The fact that it cares deeply for motor sport is a bonus.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE EXPERIENCE FROM YOUR CAREER IN FORMULA ONE? It’s always nice to win. Success is thin on the ground for Australians in this sport, so to hear the national anthem is an incredible feeling. It was 28 years between the anthem playing for Alan Jones and my first win, so hearing that was huge for me personally. Other than that, the feeling of this huge number of people working towards a common goal is an irreplaceable feeling. The team is pushing to create the best performing car, then it’s the weekend and you’re looking after the car through practice, then qualifying and then we go to the race on Sunday. There’s a point where everybody walks away from the car on the grid – and it’s over to you. Nothing comes close to that. The expectation, the responsibility, the cocktail of adrenaline. Racing drivers love the pressure, we thrive on that – we love backing
Well, another Rolex ambassador – Sir Jackie Stewart – is sat just across from us. In his era he lost many a friend to the sport in a time when it was incredibly dangerous to be a racing driver. The sport moved on and became a lot safer because of the advancement of technology: we’re introducing a new head protection system next season; our fuel tanks don’t explode now; fire is a much rarer occurrence. There’s no beating around the bush that if you go through a corner at 290kmh then it’s still got a risk factor: 99.9% of people need not apply to this job. It is… different. I mean, I see it as normal but that’s because this sport weeds out those people who can’t deal with the pressure, the speed or the risk. That’s why you’re left with this gladiatorial aspect. People like to see us put our lives on the line, to a point – professional sport is about doing things that most people can’t do themselves.
This sport weeds out those people who can’t deal with the pressure, the speed or the risk
Then you have this other facet of the technological aspect of Formula One. These cars are incredibly advanced. This is the best laboratory in the world for furthering the motor industry – and that’s why the synergy with Rolex works so well. You’re dealing with the crème de la crème of mechanical engineering in sport and watches.
IS THERE A MISCONCEPTION OF WHAT RACING DRIVERS ARE ACTUALLY LIKE? It’s quite tricky to appreciate what we do because it’s hard to see the athlete working. That’s the hard thing: there’s so much technology in the car, that it can obscures the skill of the racing driver. If you watch Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal we can see just how hard they’re working – and in many other sports you get a direct emotional involvement on the TV of how they might be feeling emotionally in their eyes. How are they moving, how much they’re sweating, what expression’s on their face. With Formula One, everyone loves the gladiatorial component of man and machine, the drivers putting these cars on a knife edge, and watching to a degree these guys managing the risk, but I think we’re quite easily misunderstood. You know, we’re in a car, we have a helmet on – you can’t see that in the car there’s a young driver taking a lot of risks. It’s very hard to project that outwardly. If one of us were to take you out even in a normal Porsche high-performance street car – you would only get a small snapshot of what these guys are dealing with week in week out.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO RACE AGAINST LEWIS HAMILTON AND SEBASTIAN VETTEL? They’re very different characters. Lewis is incredibly fast, probably the fastest of his generation – and his pole record tells you he’s the fastest driver over one lap since Ayrton Senna. Michael Schumacher was exceptional but he made more mistakes than Lewis makes on Saturday afternoon qualifying. Sebastian is German in that he is incredibly process driven, very diligent on understanding what he’s going to do on the track. He’s not blasé with leaning on his skill, he doesn’t fill in the blanks with his natural talent, he takes nothing for granted. The ‘she’ll be right’ attitude is not in the German make up, whereas Lewis might have some of that because he’s so skilful – he backs himself to a degree that he can rely on his natural talent. It’s different how they get there, but the result is usually very similar. I have a good relationship with both of them now. We pushed each other to the limit: I had a lot of great races against Lewis and I loved
Lewis is the fastest of his generation – and the fastest driver over one lap since Ayrton Senna racing against him. He’s tough but very fair on track. Seb and I went over the edge a couple of times, but that happens duking it out week in week out: the kitchen can get hot.
WHO WAS YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE DRIVER TO RACE? I was very, very fortunate to race in a Formula One era where the depth of driver talent was just immense. I mean, if you look at the 2010 championship you’ve got Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen – and everybody brought something different on race day. On Sunday, Fernando and Michael were probably the toughest competitors during a race, but all of those guys are world class. It was a real purple patch for Formula One, and I had many a year where I was thankful to test myself against the best of the best.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CHANCES OF MOVING THE BRITISH GP AWAY FROM SILVERSTONE? I think we need to find a way financially for it to work going forward – and at the end of the day the numbers aren’t lining up right now. The drivers want it here. Silverstone is up there with the most historical events on the calendar: we’ve been coming here since the 1950s, it’s a brilliant track and it’s an all-round challenge. No doubt, there has to be a British grand prix going forward because a lot of the teams are based here, it’s a colossal industry in these parts: so many people are employed at McClaren and Red Bull. Is the answer a London circuit? I don’t know, but we need to find a solution that works for everyone.
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WHAT ARE YOUR OPINIONS ON THE NEW OWNERS OF FORMULA ONE? I think the new owners are sleeping well at the moment. They’re making their way through changes to the old regime. There’s a very big focus on fan engagement and getting them much closer to the sport, a lot of different activities around race weekends. That can only be good for the sport. ■ Mark Webber is a Rolex watch ambassador. For more information, see rolex.com
WarTime Heroes Whether historically commissioned or simply inspired by the military, these wristwatches are ready for battle Photography by DAVID HARRISON 076
THE WATCHES: Tudor Black Bay 41 on a camo strap, £1,790, tudorwatch. com; Longines Military Heritage L2.8220.127.116.11, £1,390, longines.com; Breitling Avenger Blackbird Boutique Edition, £4,495 exclusive to Breitling boutiques.
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MILITARY CREDENTIALS: These aren’t just props, but rather mementos from two of Britain’s greatest soldiers – both relatives of Caroline Walker, a prized member of the square mile team. This spread is dedicated to Lieutenant General Sir Johnny Watts, commander of the SAS. The medal in the centre is his Commander of the Order of the Bath. The map is the actual one used during the assault of the Jebel Akhdar, Oman, by D Squadron 22 SAS.
THE WATCH: Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Aeronavale, £3,650 MILITARY CREDENTIALS: The large medal is the OBE awarded to Sir Johnny Watts after an operational tour of Oman, and the SAS beret – complete with the ‘Who Dares Wins’ motto – was his, as worn while commanding D Squadron.
THE WATCH: Vertex M100, ÂŁ2,500, vertex-watches.com MILITARY CREDENTIALS: The sword and uniform belong to General Sir Antony Walker KCB. He was General Officer Commanding 3rd Armoured Division in 1982, Chief of Staff at Headquarters UK Land Forces in 1985 and Deputy Chief of Defence Staff at the Ministry of Defence in 1987. His last appointment was as Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1990 before he retired in 1992.
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THE WATCH: Omega Seamaster Diver 300m ‘Commander’s Watch’ Limited Edition Watch, £3,720, omegawatches.com MILITARY CREDENTIALS: Lt Gen Sir Johnny Watts’ medals below include the KBE (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire), CB (Commander of the Order of the Bath), MC (Military Cross), as well as a handful of general service medals.
THE WATCH: Cartier Tank Americaine Steel Large, £4,600, cartier.com MILITARY CREDENTIALS: These days, a General is likely to be dressed like any other soldier – combat dress, boots, perhaps a respirator. But for formal occasions he may look in the cupboard and dig out uniforms like these of Gen Sir Antony Walker: red tabs on his jacket, sword with royal cipher on the blade, medals, and a cap with gold laurel leaves on the peak. The latter detail is why senior officers are known as ‘brass hats’.
GIEVES & HAWKES Gieves & Hawkes is going back to 1970s London for AW17, with a collection inspired by the spirit of rock’n’roll, the heyday of London’s recording scene, and the decadent style of 1970s rock aristocracy. The collection is centred around luxurious casualwear, sophisticated textures, and a colour palette of chocolate, biscuit and saffron, while patterns range from subtle houndstooths to vintage paisley prints (for those who want to go full Jagger). Our pick? The Stewart technical polyester jacket (£795), and fine whale corduroy cotton trousers (£225). All you need now is to source that Fender Stratocaster you always wanted, and you’re set. gievesandhawkes.com
The Fall Guys Autumn/Winter 2017 is ready and waiting for you. Weâ€™ve sifted through the menâ€™s collections to bring you the sharpest looks of the season
SELFNATION Donâ€™t usually associate Switzerland with ontrend fashion design? Think again, and turn your eye to SELFNATION. With a typically Swiss approach, the brand produces trousers meticulously designed to your exact measurements, providing a 3D visualisation of your item pre-purchase via software developed by founders Michael Berli and Andreas Guggenbueehl with a little help from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Items are produced with traditional tailoring in both Switzerland and Germany, from Italian fabric, and because everything is made-to-measure, the company is eco-friendly too. Thatâ€™s all bases covered, if you ask us. selfnation.co.uk
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Just because John Smedley owns and runs the oldest manufacturing factory in the world, it doesn’t mean its designs aren’t bang on trend. This season sees the British brand turning its attentions to the style staple du jour, the bomber jacket – giving it a luxurious touch by crafting it out of extra-fine midnight-blue merino wool. The piece (£220) combines the comfort of a cardigan with the cool style of a bomber, creating an almost beatnik-esque aesthetic, particularly when paired with a neat-fitting roll-neck sweater. It’s a classic in the making, much like your good self. johnsmedley.com
NOMOS The Nomos Glashütte Club Campus is a masterpiece in minimalist design – and has the diminutive price point to match. It’s loaded with Nomos’ in-house Alpha caliber, a manually-wound movement with 17 jewels and a 43-hour power reserve. We particularly like its California dial – Arabic numerals on top; Roman below – and the bright blue SuperLuminova. Prices from £1,000-£1,300; harrods.com
HARDY AMIES Clean and relaxed is the look at one of Savile Row’s most iconic labels this winter, with pieces that have been designed to be lightweight but still practical for cooler months – think fluid wools and cashmeres. Shirts are unstructured, while there’s a nod to militarism, with a restrained colour palette and military details. Classic motifs such as the pin stripe are incorporated throughout, as a nod to the brand’s heritage. Field jacket, £495, zip-up knit, £295, trousers (sold as part of a suit), £650. hardyamies.com
BALLY Each pair of shoes from Bally’s iconic Scribe collection is handmade using a process that involves 240 working phases and 18 people. That’s no insignificant amount of effort dedicated to keeping your feet looking and feeling on point. The AW17 Skyman boot from the seasonal capsule collection demonstrates how all that hard work pays off. £695; bally.com ■
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PLANET A KI His live shows are already regarded as out of this world, but we ainâ€™t seen nothing yet: superstar DJ Steve Aoki has ambitions that go way beyond the confines of Earth, finds MAX WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPH by publinc larit em potinium vid ces blah
Photography by DAVID ELLIS | Grooming by ZOE CORNWELL
TEVE AOKI WANTS to DJ on the moon.
It’s a bold ambition but then the 39-yearold left ‘plausible’ behind long ago. Aoki is the fifth-highest paid DJ in the world, according to Forbes – earning a cool $23.5m last year from spinning the decks. His Dim Mak label spans both music and fashion – one week putting out the latest Chainsmokers single, the next debuting a new collection on the New York catwalk. His sneakers collection alone is worth more than $100,000. If anybody plays the moon in the coming decades, bet the house on it being Aoki. He’s that kind of superstar. Even if the lunar logistics aren’t feasible for another century, don’t rule the man out. He’s already paid $220,000 for his body to be preserved at the Alcor Life Extension Program, so he can quite literally chill out until science has found a way to circumvent the whole mortality gig. Which makes one wonder: is he investing through love of life or fear of death? “Maybe a bit of both,” he confesses. “To be alive is the most extraordinary phenomenon that I can understand, right? To not exist – I just don’t know what it’s going to be like.” We’re speaking in a sparsely elegant hotel room in Covent Garden, the rush of St Martin’s Lane outside the window nicely contrasting to the calm within. It’s just me and Mike, Aoki’s international manager, listening to the star expound on his theories of the great beyond. “It’s not like I don’t believe in an afterlife,” he insists. “I just don’t know. I understand the idea of faith, I understand the idea of imagination, and I know that human civilisation, we live in our imagination. The imagination is an incredible thing, because
ICING ON THE CAKE: Aoki throws a cream tart into the crowd during the first day of the Tomorrowland music festival, in Boom, back in July, 2014.
Do I want to go to heaven? Yeah, that’d be cool. Do I want to go to hell? No! That would suck! with the imagination we’re able to progress into technology, and to progress forward and to advance our species. And also, imagination allows us to conjure up all kinds of interesting ideas that may not exist.” He cites Greek mythology and belief in witchcraft as examples, before clarifying, “I’m not saying that all religions are hoaxes; I’m just saying that we have a history of imagining things; and imagining them to become such a real thing that we’re going to change our entire lives around the idea.” “What I understand now – at 39, in 2017 – is going to be different from what I’m gonna understand at 40 in 2018. And it’s definitely different from what I understood in 2010. You know what I mean? We’re constantly evolving and changing and transforming; I’m always going to have a completely wide-open doorway. Is there a god, is there not a god? I don’t know those answers. Does it make me feel a certain way? Yes, of course. Do I want to go to heaven? Yeah. That would be pretty cool. Do I want to go to hell? No! That would suck! Do I want to live life? Yes. I know that. This at least is something I know to be real.”
CONSIDERING THE SUBJECT, it seemed only right to book out the exclusive Chinawhite nightclub in Fitzrovia. (Aoki has played there in the past. He thinks.) It’s early June, so naturally it’s ➤ 090
PHOTOGRAPH by Jonas Roosens/Afp/Getty Images
What else is real for Steve Aoki in the year 2017? Primarily, the inside of a private jet: a legendary work ethic sees Aoki traversing the globe like a 21st-century Flying Dutchman, engaged on an everlasting world tour. He plays hundreds of shows every year – surely the lifestyle must get tiring? “Of course. The naps are the most disorientating. I’ll take a nap at like 2pm until 6pm or whatever time I can, and I wake up and I’m truly, ‘where the hell am I?’ I don’t even know if it’s the morning, I don’t know if it’s afternoon, and I definitely don’t know where the hell I am. I’m like, shit, my brain’s not working at all any more. But we travel so fast – I remember last summer we did five shows in 40 hours. Five countries. I was literally just napping wherever I could.” Then there is the exertion of the actual shows, which would surely be enough to kill anyone who isn’t named Steve Aoki. His performances operate on a policy of shock and awe. A major Aoki concert is nothing less than a carnival of smoke, noise and light, one that requires a stage the size of a small castle for Aoki to cavort on before thousands of screaming disciples, a sweat-drenched dervish of a showman. Spectacle is everywhere: most notoriously in the ritual ‘caking’ of a willing member of the congregation, Aoki hurling a large gateau into the face of his ecstatic target. YouTube compilations abound. The pyrotechnics are a legacy of his rocker days. “I was in bands for years, since I was in high school. And the bands that I looked up to then were the bands that were doing the most fucked-up and craziest shit.” And so fucked-up, crazy shit became Aoki’s modus operandi. A 2016 Netflix documentary – appositely entitled I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead – captured a moment of bitter disappointment for Aoki: his long-cherished ambition to play Madison Square Garden fell through after a delay to the album. Head bowed, eyes screwed shut, Aoki is distraught; the viewer is suddenly an intruder on a moment of private grief. Yet Aoki isn’t a man to mope about. With the Garden now impossible for the album launch party, Aoki enlisted the help of Mayor Eric Garcetti and roped off a section of downtown LA to play a free street concert christened LAoki instead. “Every failure,” Aoki later tells me, “is progress – as long as we make sure we use that progress. Do not drown in that failure.”
ENTER THE DRAGON: Steve wears ‘The George’ a Gold Dragon Silk Dinner Suit by Joshua Kane, £1,850; Joshua Kane, 68 Great Portland Street, London, W1W; joshuakanestore.com
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FOR THE RECORD: [clockwise from here] A rare moment of calm for Aoki, who has been known to play five shows, in five countries, in 40 hours; reflecting by his personalised pool; the DJ’s live shows are full-on productions, incorporating some serious pyrotechnics.
➤ drizzling; welcome to London, Steve. As a native Californian, you must feel right at home. Aoki and his team arrive mid-afternoon. He’s slim and sleek, a quiet presence who you would barely register were it not for the hair, flowing blackly over his shoulders, and the fact that the gravity of the room entirely revolves around him. The team are young, male, and have a pleasingly Entourage-ish buzz about them – I don’t think that anybody was called Turtle but I couldn’t be certain. The plan is to do the photoshoot first, interview after – get the crucial front cover shot in the bag. However, the shoot overruns – as photoshoots always do – and Aoki can’t hang around; he’s attending the Glamour Awards straight afterwards. Here’s the thing about Aoki: his schedule isn’t just packed, it’s bursting at the seams. A week of engagements shoehorned into an afternoon. Time must constantly be manipulated; turn 3pm into 3.30pm, stretch this hour as far as 60 minutes will allow, then try to cram two meetings into its space. The night is just another working day.
Yet Aoki is nothing if not accommodating. The interview is pushed back to the following day – provided, of course, we can find the time.
NEXT AFTERNOON – almost a sunny one – I meet Aoki and his team at a TV studio in central London. He’s due to appear on Trending Live!, a daily afternoon show on 4Music. How was the Glamour Awards? It takes him a moment to realise what I’m referring to. “Oh yeah, man. Pretty cool.” The green room has a little lightbulb sign bearing the name ‘Steve Aoki’, showbiz style. He chuckles, then flings himself onto a sofa.
Here’s the thing about Aoki: his schedule isn’t just packed, it’s actually bursting at the seams
A TV is showing Trending Live! – the presenters are sampling weird food pairings: fish fingers and custard, etc. Aoki watches with detached interest, perhaps curious to see just what it is that he’s let himself in for. Somebody with a clipboard enters the room and lays down the rules. “We don’t do swearing, and we don’t do politics because of the election tomorrow.” “I don’t know about the election,” says Steve Aoki, disappointing any viewers who had possibly been hoping to hear his opinion on the recent Corbyn surge. The show goes well. He’s a brilliant guest: engaged, eloquent, possessing zero selfimportance. During the first ad break, the presenters ask if Aoki might participate in their daily attempt to break an obscure world record – today it’s running around a chair three times while wearing a blindfold. Not only does Aoki join in, he gives a very good impression of a man fully invested in breaking the world record for running blindfolded three times around a chair. “It’s always good to do fun stuff, right?”
PHOTOGRAPHY (pool and crowd shots) from Aoiki’s Instagram @steveaoki
he says to me when I ask him where the enthusiasm comes from. We have time for a quick chat between segments; Steve speaks eloquently about the legacy of his father, Rocky Aoki; his childhood in California; and his regret at not learning Japanese as a child. “Then you grow up and you’re like, damn – I should’ve done that.” A regret shared by erstwhile French GCSE students across the nation. A word on Rocky Aoki. The man was himself a phenomenon: a Japanese-born wrestler who moved to America and founded the restaurant chain Benihana (currently 116 outlets around the globe). Rocky became a theatrical presence in American life, charming chat shows, racing powerboats (he once crashed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge), and launching a pornographic magazine. His private life proved no less hectic; Rocky managed three marriages and seven children before his death in 2008. The influence of Rocky – and that of Steve’s mother, Chizuru – forms the central strand of I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead. Suffice to say, if you’re wondering where Steve Aoki attained his near superhuman energy and zeal for life, simply move up the family tree. After ten minutes, Steve is whisked back to the green room to record further skits in which he discusses the infamous caking segment of his act, and muses on what kind of noise the rapper Flo Rida might make when working out. He seems to be having fun. After the studio, we take a taxi across town to Aoki’s hotel, where he’s offered to finish our interview; time, once again, has sold us short. In the cab, he asks Mike (the manager) to arrange a meeting with someone who sounds like an eminent industry figure. They can do 6:30pm? OK, but be quick because Steve has another meeting at 7pm. It’s currently 5:55pm. As soon as Aoki leaves the taxi, somebody asks for a photo. He obliges. Then another. Passing heads start to turn. For a suffocating moment I glimpse what it must be like to be really, properly famous – not a city in the world where they don’t know you. Although, the hair can’t help in terms of staying incognito.
IF NOBODY HAS yet bought the rights to Steve Aoki: The Movie then Hollywood is really slacking: all the ingredients are definitely there for a proper feel-good gem. Act One would be set in Newport Beach, California. Our young hero is lost, lonely and oppressed: the only Asian kid in a predominantly white area, he’s an easy target for bullying and racial abuse. “I grew up in a
If nobody has yet bought the rights to ‘Steve Aoki: The Movie’ then Hollywood is slacking neighbourhood that was conservative and a large part white, so there was no checking on that racism. They didn’t even understand what racism really meant.” Insulting Steve would guarantee the laughter of your peers; racial slurs were flung at him on a daily basis. “Group mentality name-calling is the worst,” says Aoki with feeling. “I mean, they’re all bad but when you have one person that’s name-calling and six other guys laughing and cheering them on. That was dominant; that’s something that I faced all the time when I was younger.” Desperate to fit in, Steve decides to seek refuge in sports. However, his need for acceptance is betrayed by his lack of skill. “I was always the benchwarmer, I was always the guy that got picked last.” Failure on the field only makes matters worse. “I was the only Asian in the whole school… So when I sucked, I not only sucked but I also sucked for being who I am.” He’s never forgotten the feeling of isolation, never lost empathy with the millions of lonely souls around the world who once included him. At the hotel I ask what lessons he would like to impart to his fans. He proceeds to deliver a four-minute monologue which sees him bouncing around on the hotel sofa like he’s warming up for a DJ set. It’s an astonishing performance; part sermon, part philosophical diatribe, a call-to-arms for the outcasts and misfits, its passion surely fuelled by the memory of unhappier times. Frankly it’s wasted on the audience of two in the hotel room; he needs a stage, or a pulpit. “[…] When you’re in that position of the little guy, and you’re the guy that always second-guesses yourself, because whenever you open your mouth, whenever you do something nobody listens to you, or when you say something and it doesn’t really come out right, or when you’re physically active and perform at a lower tier level – that was me for a long period of time. “[…] You have to find people that will support you regardless of your skills or how well you can charm someone or whatever it might be. You have to find people that will
value you just because you’re a human being, just because you exist. The value of someone is not based on their beauty, on their voice, their talent; the value of the human being is based on the fact that they exist, that they’re alive. “[…] A lot of people base their value on their talent or their lack of – whatever they’re missing. And they drown themselves in that misery or they drown themselves in their own ego. And when that’s gone, you live this rollercoaster life of emptiness and feeling amazing, emptiness and feeling amazing, when really you should just be grateful to be alive.” There is a moment of silence once Aoki is finished – how could there not be? Mike breaks it:“I want to say that to my kids!” He laughs. “I want to hear that again!”
ACT TWO IS where the Aoki movie raises the spirits. A teenage Steve discovers the hardcore community, a group of spiky adolescents thrown together by social rejection, then bonded by a love of music. “They’re all kind of a band of misfits and outsiders and rejects; ➤
➤ whether you’re too overweight, you have too many pimples on your face, or you’re Asian. It was just a bunch of weirdos that were like, ‘well, we can skate everyday, hang out with each other and go to shows.’ “And then the next step is, ‘well, we can also start a band and play really bad music together and play in front of our friends.’ And then that lead to the idea – the most important thing is the idea to create. The power to create through friends and having fun.”
LONG HAIR, DON’T CARE: Aoki experienced racism and bullying as a child, but found solace in music as a teenager and the rest is, well, history. He’s now one of the most wellknown, not to mention recognisable, DJs in the entire world.
It may have started out as fun, but for Aoki music quickly became a serious business. “I started a band, I wanted to learn every instrument, I recorded my first demo, I played every instrument by the time I was 16. I was just constantly like, ‘I got to create, I got to do more, I got to do more.’ And that lead me to start the label, and then later on become a DJ.” “The label” is Dim Mak Records, founded when a 19-year-old Aoki was still in college. He lived in an apartment called ‘The Pickle
Patch’, which subsequently became the venue for a number of underground concerts. “The Pickle Patch was a whole building of just punks. So we could do whatever the fuck we wanted to do, and thank god we’re in this community of students where they’re having parties and keg stands, and we’re having hardcore shows. So they’re making noise in their own way, and we were making noise of our own, and we kind of co-existed.” A bunch of young tyros electrifying the Californian music scene with no plan and no playbook. Many extremely successful people have cited the period before their success as actually being more enjoyable than the success itself. Is that true of Aoki? “No, I’m fine.” He smiles. “I’m good. It was a moment in time that was very important in my development, but I try not to dwell on the past; I try to think ahead.” In that case we’ll race through Act Three: The Superstar Years – in which Dim Mak Records sign the likes of Bloc Party, The Kills, Klaxons, Mystery Jets. Aoki’s reputation as a DJ grows, and he releases his debut mixtape in 2008, then his first studio album Wonderland in 2012, which is nominated for a Grammy. He hits the road and never really stops, his relentless tour schedule bringing further name recognition, and by 2013 he’s closing Tomorrowland, a hugely influential EDM extravaganza which Aoki still sees as “the most important festival for electronic music.”
REACHING THE TOP brings its own problems. Aoki has attracted a fair amount of backlash over the years, the vitriol rising in proportion to his fame. (Funny that.) “Negative feedback and just plain trolling,” as he describes it. The online hate mob will protest their issue is with his music, as if that somehow justifies the abuse. “I have matters of taste,” notes Aoki. “That doesn’t mean I’m going to go out there and call someone a piece of shit. “You talk to someone like a human being. Just because you don’t like their T-shirt, doesn’t mean, like ‘your shirt is so ugly it makes you ugly.’ ‘I hate your shirt, that means I hate you.’ That’s what happens. I don’t like your shoes – you’re a horrible person inside. “It’s sad that people actually go to that length. I think it’s important even to tell myself: you are not ugly inside, you are not shit inside, just because someone doesn’t like the fact that I throw a cake at someone.” It’s an unsettling experience, hearing someone so famous, and also so amiable, so clearly one of the good guys, recount the cruelty that humanity has in the locker. Somehow, online abuse is now the accepted
price of success – hey, you can’t have everything in life. Achieve your wildest dreams or not become a hate figure to millions of strangers: your choice, bub. Does he ever experience racial abuse now? “I mean, I’m 39. If someone’s gonna call me a nip or gook there’s probably something wrong in their head. They’re probably a bit deranged or have dementia or something. That’s not going to happen often.” Talking about deranged, how does he rate the Trump administration? “I think it’s pretty obvious how I feel about the current state of affairs. No doubt about it at all, we’re regressing, which is just so sad because we’ve made such progress. Now we’re taking major steps back…” As often with Aoki, the answer quickly evolves; first into a paean to the power of protest and how “you don’t have to necessarily be a lobbyist to change the system because the people that protested for civil rights, the people that protested for women’s rights in the streets, they did create change”, then a reflection on 21st-century human existence. “At the end of the day, you’ve gotta think, what are we all trying to do? We’re all trying to look out for each other, we’re all trying to live happy, healthy lives, we want to take care of the people who have got shit on and pick those people and help them up.” His passion is striking. Would Aoki ever think about going into politics? “No,” he says immediately. Really? He certainly has the vision. “No, no, no. Music’s my platform, and I can speak my mind this way without having to get involved politically. I do believe that with the right people in politics that you can make a major difference, of course. I feel like Obama really did bring about serious change for the United States in terms of progression on so many different levels.” That reminds me – over the course of the past two days we’ve barely touched upon the subject of music at all. So. DJing. What’s the biggest misconception? “There’s a lot of misconceptions,” says Aoki with air of someone who’s encountered most of them. “People don’t really understand what’s going on up there. “I realise that a lot of fans, a lot of people, have no idea what I do. ‘You just push a few buttons and you jump around.’ Now, I don’t take offence to that. Because I’ve heard it so many times, they really don’t know what the hell’s going on. In the beginning I was like, ‘What? What are you talking about? Of course I’m mixing, I’m doing all this live shit!’” How should we become better informed?
“Go ahead and try it. And you’ll see for yourself what you have to do. And then you realise that it’s not the actual technical skill of mixing songs, which actually requires not that much skill, I’ll be honest. Mixing and matching beats – that just takes time and you’ll figure it out. This is something everyone could do. It’s how you decide to tell the story in your set is what defines you as a DJ from someone that’s watching. You are the one conducting and putting together that particular musical narrative, and how you present each song – that’s up to you. That’s clearly up to you. And I’m presenting it in my own way.” By now we have inevitably overrun; the Eminent Industry Figure is waiting downstairs. Aoki shifts on the sofa, eager to get moving but too polite to cut the interview off. Last couple of questions then. How does the great innovator see the future of music? “It’s getting smaller and smaller, the way in
DJing isn’t about the technical skill of mixing songs… It’s about how you tell the story in your set
which we create and record music is getting more mobile. Maybe it will get so mobile and small that we can literally just think it and it comes out. That would be pretty cool. “There’s so many ideas I have in my head, like I can’t create this sound with any tools of the trade that I have in front of me. I cannot put what is in my mind into my computer. And eventually we’ll be able to do that.” So there you have it. Perhaps in 2117, Steve Aoki will be raised from the dead to play a show on the moon, the setlist transmitted directly from his mind. If not, he is very clear on the subject of his legacy. “I don’t want to say, ‘oh yeah, when I got the Grammy nomination…’. Those things are great moments when you’re alive, but legacy? It all really boils down to the people who are around you, your loved ones. I want to spend more time with my family. “When you think about your eulogy, you don’t think, ‘He signed this band.’ Who cares? When you’re on your deathbed you think about the people that you love, the people around you. Those are the most important things.” ■
To see exclusive behind-thescenes footage of our front cover shoot at Chinawhite, go to squaremile.com
BEHIND THE CURTAIN Stefano Ricci takes us back stage at his ultra exclusive clothing company. JOSH SIMS finds he has an unusually low-key approach to running his eponymous brand
HERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY that comes with
a new generation,” says fashion mogul Stefano Ricci, waving a hand across his two sons, Niccolo and Filippo. “They bring a certain passion. But then we also share a lot of passions too – old cars, big game hunting – so it made sense to add business to that list as well. Fortunately, we’ve never actually talked about work at home, which has helped. And I really think, as head of the company, I’d have hired them both even if they weren’t family. Not that it was necessarily my decision. The big boss is their mama.” It’s a quintessentially Italian scenario: the patriarch passing the family firm – and a fashion firm, no less – onto his male offspring, overseen in the background by the real heart of matters, the matriarch. But Stefano Ricci’s is not some kitchen-table company: less well
known than contemporaries – the likes of Armani and Versace – it is nevertheless 45 years old this year, and turns over US$117m. It has recently opened a $7m flagship in Mayfair, and has another one lined up for Istanbul later this year. Make a note of that destination: it’s where the new money will be next. For if Ricci – with his Father Christmas bonhomie and portliness, and Karl Marx beard and hair – has excelled in one thing, it is in knowing his market: oligarchs, the billionaire class – Russians, Indians and Chinese rather than those from the Middle East these days – and the occasional “world leader”. It’s an extremely small but extremely well-off market he is surprisingly candid about. “There’s a point where menswear becomes too ostentatious,” admits Ricci, a man known to occasionally make belt buckles out of ➤
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PHOTOGRAPH by publinc larit em potinium vid ces blah
➤ solid platinum, cufflinks encrusted with diamonds and sneakers out of crocodile skin. “But the fact is that people who are successful through the new economy want to express through their clothing that they’re winners. And that can lead to ostentation.” Much of what the company sells, however, is entirely accessible – in style, at least – exactingly finished classic menswear of a Florentine flavour, after Ricci’s home town. That makes it soft and cocooning rather than bullet-proof – as some of his clients might require – and entirely made in Italy (“not made outside of Italy and then having the last few stitches done here,” he stresses, somewhat disgruntled with the flexibility of EU regulations on the matter). That, and the fact that the brand name has become something of a nod between those who move in such circles, has made Ricci’s clientele extremely loyal. Take, for example, the businessman who last year was followed around the world by a Stefano Ricci tailor for six months, being shown fine fabrics and giving measurements without actually offering any commitment to buy anything. Then who, one day, announced that he was satisfied with the product and service, and placed an order for 50 suits. At over $10,000 a pop. It’s a loyalty that’s mutual. “It’s about building a relationship with your client,” Ricci explains. “It’s about respecting them. So we don’t do the usual marketing – people like this aren’t impressed by ads or celebrity testimonials any more. You won’t see our products in outlets. We don’t ever do ‘sales’. We’ll even destroy products at the end of a season to protect the brand’s image. “The idea of luxury ended with 9/11,” he adds. “That’s when everything was suddenly ‘luxury’ and things became very confused. What we sell now is emotion – a connection. They trust us to only offer the very best. That means there’s something of an arms race going on – and every season we have to push ourselves a little bit further, in the materials, in the finishing. After all, our clients don’t actually need any more suits, or any more pairs of jeans, or any more anything. And the brand alone could never justify the prices. You have to be able to feel it in the products.” Making that connection with the men with serious money, however, has taken some gumption. For a while Stefano Ricci made products for other brands too, and it was good business. But he knew if the brand was to make the right impression on the big oligarchy, then its know-how had to be exclusive: it cancelled the contracts and saw sales drop 85% overnight. “It was tough, but it was a decision that had to be made,” Ricci says.
Then, back in 1991, and way ahead of the curve, Stefano Ricci opened its first store in China. “And this was when there were no clothes shops, when there was barely even lighting in the streets in China,” laughs Ricci. “OK, so in every family there’s someone who’s not right in the head. But I could sense that China was going to conquer the world. All the young people were running. And people moving fast is always a good sign.” This is why, Turkey’s slide into dictatorship notwithstanding, you might keep an eye on Istanbul. The company also launched its first boys’ collection, too – scaled-down tailoring that will have five-year-olds putting much of Savile Row to shame. This is not to cash in on the nouveau love of creating mini-mes, but because Ricci sees a desire among his customers to pass on their newly acquired appreciation for fine clothing. It’s insightful stuff, likewise his decision, over the years, to avoid both rapid increases in volumes – “because with what we do you can’t jump with the quantities without damaging the quality,” he notes – or putting his name on all and sundry. Yes, there’s a homewares line now, and the company does operate a restaurant above one of its shops where those clients who spend upwards of $100,000 a year are hosted, and the kitchens are kept busy. But it has declined the opportunity, unlike Armani or Versace, to open, say, a hotel, despite offers to do so. “It’s one thing being consistent in clothing, or in the shop you sell it from, and maintaining that service at the level of something like a hotel. That’s very hard to do. You can’t control it all. And quality is what we’re all about,” explains the man who once turned down a short-notice request to outfit a visiting head of state because he knew they wouldn’t have enough time to offer the quality they typically aspire to. “If you trust any company – it could be one that makes pasta, anything – then you’re reassured by its consistency. That goes beyond the product. It means we can stretch a little, because if your customer likes what you do in one area, they’re prepared to give you a chance in another – if the quality and the price is right. Sure, some customers get really attached to a brand and want that designer label in all aspects of their life. But there are limits.” Ricci certainly exudes a certain satisfaction with his lot. He speaks of having had a lot of fun along the way, of how much he’s enjoyed seeing his kids grow up inside the business. It’s an acknowledgment that the company he initially launched just as a tie-maker – Ricci loves his ties, although, a sign of the times, both sons go tieless, “because,” Ricci jokes, “they can’t afford the ones we make” – has
The brand alone could never justify the prices; you have to be able to feel it in the products done somewhat better than initially planned, and that as a result he should not push his luck. And there has, he concedes, certainly been luck along the way. “The fact is that we haven’t always been alone,” says Ricci. “One of the reasons for our success is that our competition – and there
were several companies operating right at the top, quality-wise, without mentioning them by name – didn’t believe in the power of this niche. These other companies had their hands on the prize. But then they twisted themselves into fashion brands and lost their position. They lost the quality and service that people would have got them from in the past. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.” Business is, he adds, all about people – the people you sell to, the people who work for you. It’s human, not mechanical; physical, not puff. “Everything comes from the human element,” says Stefano Ricci, “and that’s not something that is easy to replicate. I’m very proud to say that in our 45 years we’ve never had a day of strikes. We’ve never had to be bailed out. We grow slowly, but well.” ■
SRI LANKA TURKEY FOOD & DRINK GOLF MOTORS
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TRAVEL SRI LANKA
THE CALL OF THE WILD
Sick of the concrete jungle, BEN WINSTANLEY heads to Sri Lankaâ€™s wild south-east region to get an experience of the real thing instead
RI LANKA, 9PM: we’re walking through a
thorn scrub forest in the pitch black. The beam of my torchlight knifes through the darkness, while shadows dance along rustling branches above – grey langur monkeys en route to bed. Out here in the wilderness, the soundtrack comes courtesy of waves crashing against the beach a few hundred metres away as cawing tropical birds and chirping insects join the chorus. All around is nature in blissful isolation from the human world. It’s too easy to get lost in the beauty of it all. The walkway swings round to the left and we stop dead in our tracks: there’s something pushing through the trees up ahead. “Shhh,” I mouth at my startled girlfriend, but she’s already turned on her heels and is off in the other direction at pace. Good effort, mate. People react differently to coming face to face with a five-tonne Sri Lankan elephant, I guess – you just don’t know until one’s ten feet away from you. For my part, I was determined to get my David Attenborough on: tip toeing like Wile E Coyote, I advanced three steps forward, made direct eye contact with the humongous beast, paused… and quickly followed my partner down the path. Sod this, I want to go home – there’s none of this shit at Longleat. Keep your nature, Tarzan, I’ll stick with humanity. I’m visiting the lesser known south-east region of Sri Lanka, home to Yala National Park, numerous herds of Asia’s largest elephant (we’ll check back on them later), and two of the finest new hotels in south Asia. As transport links from the capital Colombo improve, my money is on this part of the country becoming a hotbed for global tourism. You’ll also find the best of Sri Lanka’s often temperamental weather here, a plethora of natural oases teeming with all kinds of flora and fauna, and gorgeous wild beaches that are begging for your favourite Instagram filter. For those seeking a balance of R&R and adventure, it’s a traveller’s paradise – and you can bet that many of those people will be making use of Sri Lanka’s latest and largest resort, the Shangri-La Hambantota Golf Resort and Spa. Located in a former coconut estate, the property’s massive 145 acres backs onto a handsome crescent of raspberry-ripple beach, ➤
PHOTOGRAPH by publianc larit em potinium vid ces blah
We stop dead in our tracks: there’s something pushing through the trees ahead squaremile.com
This is as far removed from your usual sandy destination as you can possibly imagine
INTO THE WILD: [clockwise from here] Chena Huts is situated in Yala National Park, overlooking rugged coastline and jungle; the resort’s huts come with private plunge pools; drinks on Chena beach; one of Yala’s many resident elephants.
➤ where purple-pink sand weaves through the typical golden hue. It’s deserted, save for a smattering of colourful boats that local fishermen haul into the raging surf once a day, and me in my Orlebar Brown’s feeling pretty darn pleased with myself. It’s as far removed from your usual sandy destination as you can possibly imagine – and a welcome sight after the not-so-small matter of a four-hour journey down from Colombo. Turning my back on the Indian Ocean, the hotel offers plenty to its inhabitants. As you might expect from a 300-room behemoth, Shangri-La Hambantota caters for everyone without overstretching itself. For starters, there’s the three pools – including the infinity pool a hop, skip and a running bomb away from our premier ocean suite room – an Ayurvedic spa and even a 23ft-high trapeze for more acrobatic guests to throw themselves into. It’s symptomatic of Shangri-La’s holistic approach to creating resorts; fun without sacrificing elegance. Rooms are as bright and breezy as the climate: polished bamboo flooring and hand-woven rugs under foot, beautiful local artwork on the walls and an enormous bed upon which to flop in the evening. It’s a safe design, befitting an international audience, but charming nonetheless – not that you’ll notice when a sea-view balcony commands your attention throughout the day. Elsewhere in the grounds, I tee it up at the 18-hole championship golf course – it’s Sri Lanka’s first resort course, but is wizened beyond its years. It’s no small feat to build a high-class course in a country with almost no experience in doing so but, here, ShangriLa has succeeded. Everything from the sand in the bunkers, the resilient paspalum grass on the fairways and even the resident pro has been carefully considered and shipped from more golf-savvy countries. The result is a promising 6,110-yard track that makes up for its short yardage with tight, well-guarded fairways and clever hole designs tasked with testing every aspect of a player’s game. Testament to its quality, discussions have already taken place with the European Tour about hosting a tournament in the near future,
and it’s safe to assume the course would be an interesting addition to the circuit. Five days of quiet luxury – drinking coconuts grown on site (a memory of the property’s previous usage), gorging on the south Asian cuisine prominent across all three of the hotel’s restaurants, and occasionally getting taken out by the waves (the swell is so strong here, swimming is a no go) – and it’s time to move on. From Sri Lanka’s largest resort to one of the smallest, we make the 40-minute journey from the harbour town of Hambantota into the jungle for our stay at Chena Huts. It’s an immediate and wild departure, but one that excites the inner adventurer in all of us. Perched on the shore at the edge of Yala, Sri Lanka’s oldest and second-largest national park, this boutique hotel is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever visited. Monkeys, residents long before the hotel arrived, greet your arrival with curiosity before bounding off into the trees; birds every colour of the spectrum dart through the muggy air; and wooden walkways, dotted with 14 camouflaged luxury huts, weave through compact thorny jungle before opening out onto a beach where sea turtles come to lay their eggs. It’s another world. Chenas were originally small clearings in the jungle where locals farmed crops – their huts simple affairs in close enough proximity to chase hungry elephants away. Other than sharing the name, Chena Huts couldn’t be further removed. More elegant pavilion than hut, these palmthatched cabins are furnished in safari-chic style with a large bed and free-standing bath. It’s a luxurious escape from the wild, aided by a terrace and a plunge pool handy for when the heat and dust gets too much. The beauty of Chena is not just its style or situ, but the daily safari excursions included in the room rate. Taking the 4x4 out for the day in search of Yala’s famed leopards (the highest population density of anywhere in the world) is a joy, especially when it’s on your doorstep. The hotel’s rangers are also happy to take you on beach walks in search of saltwater crocodiles (no biggie, just the largest living reptile alive) or into the brush in search of even bigger beasts. Anyway, back to the elephant in the room – or startlingly close to the room at least. When
we arrive at Chena, the hotel rangers are on high alert. One of the quirks of the property’s location is its position on an elephant crossing, and right now an adult male is believed to be circling the site. This might sound fun, but when you’re dealing with something as heavy as a lorry and capable of travelling 27mph you’ve got to have your wits about you. Undeterred, we accompany head ranger Steaurt on his early morning rounds and end up on the animal’s tail. “Excuse my interest in dung, I just like shit,” he smirks at us before passing a big ball of the stuff to me. “Get your nose in there. It’s fresh.” I can’t say I’ve ever been excited by poo before, but it’s difficult not to get a thrill when you’re tracking an animal – even with a fistful of excrement. Sri Lanka’s answer to Steve Irwin then pulls us towards a
ripped tree branch, it’s wound still wet with sap. Oh boy, this is happening: we’re close. Steaurt’s eyes dance into the undergrowth: “It’s funny. For big bastards you never see them coming.” Spoken like a man who’s seen it all before. But we lose the scent and end up circling back to grab egg hoppers and curry at the hotel’s sensational restaurant – we’ve earnt it. It’s only that evening the elephant finally scythes through the trees in front of us. Maybe in time I’ll come up with a better ending than wimping out, but it’s safe to say Chena Huts over delivered on its promise of being at one with nature, and I’ve more than had my fill. ■ Rates at Shangri-La Hambantota start from £232;
shangri-la.com/hambantota. Chena Huts start from £775 per night, including food and drink, and daily safari excursions; ugaescapes.com/chenahuts
It’s hard not to get a thrill when you’re tracking an animal – even with a fistful of excrement squaremile.com
PRESIDENTIAL SEAL OF APPROVAL
If you’re going to travel, you might as well do it in style. This thriller of a villa at the Mandarin Oriental in Turkey should fit the bill. Alternatively, take to the high seas in a rather spectacular superyacht
HOME FROM HOME: The Presidential Villa at the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum makes a pretty spectacular base for your holiday. In fact, with its impressive outdoor entertaining area, plus private sauna and fitness centre, you probably won’t want to leave. mandarinoriental.com
ALL VILLA, NO FILLA You expect the best from a hotel group like Mandarin Oriental, and that’s exactly what you get at its spectacular offering in Bodrum. The 60-hectare site on the northern side of the Turkish peninsula overlooks the aptly named Paradise Bay, and features eight restaurants and bars, two sandy beaches, and accommodation that includes seven pretty swish villas. And when we say swish, what we mean is the most spacious on the whole of the Bodrum peninsula. The Presidential Villa [pictured] is 910sq m of secluded luxury – complete with seven bedrooms and a private pool – that you can call your own. Well, for a few days at least. ■
EXPLORING ALL OPTIONS
Dynamic positioning allows the ship to stay in location without anchors, so it can’t damage the sea bed, and is well suited to safe exploration near shore areas, rivers and lagoons. And when you’re not busy exploring the world, there’s even an outdoor cinema onboard. ■
PHOTOGRAPH (MANDARIN ORIENTAL) by George Apostolidis
Some yachts are for made for speed, others for capacity, and most for showing off. But Arcana is made for exploration – whether above or below water. The 126ft vessel, which sleeps 12, features all the luxury amenities of a superyacht combined with incredible extras such as an innovative three-seat submarine.
£POA; for more info, see ypigroup.com
OVER LEAGUE OVER 250 250 PREMIER PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYERS A COOL COOL CARD CARD PLAYERS HAVE HAVE A
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FOOD & DRINK REVIEW
A LOVE LETTER FROM FRANCE
Many have tried but few of the world’s best chefs have made a success of opening in London. Can the most decorated female chef on the planet, Anne-Sophie Pic, do any better? BEN WINSTANLEY finds out
THE PIC OF THE BUNCH: Le Dame du Pic is a departure from traditional French cuisine, with influences from AnneSophie Pic’s culinary travels around the world.
HEN BIG HOTELS employ big chefs to
run their restaurants, food lovers collectively hold their breath. Ever heard the phrase ‘too many execs spoil the broth’? No? That’s because few of the world’s culinary elite would dream of getting tangled up in the poisoned chalice of a hotel opening. Then madame Anne-Sophie Pic floored London’s restaurant community by announcing that she would be opening Le Dame du Pic in the new Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square. The Pic name may be unfamiliar, but it’s a
Anne-Sophie Pic is the most decorated female chef in the world, with a stellar six Michelin stars 108
biggie. Granddaughter of legendary French chef André Pic and daughter of former threeMichelin-starred chef Jacques Pic, Anne-Sophie is the most decorated female chef in the world, with a stunning six Michelin stars to her name. Tucked away in a corner of the old Port of London Authority building, her restaurant has a more relaxed dining room than you might expect from such a revered chef. On the plate, however, there is no shortage of star power. Skip the a la carte and pile into the six-course tasting menu – the exact opposite instruction I normally advise – it’s worth the excess. My entry into Pic’s culinary style comes in the form of a clever crab dish composed of the sweet white meat, steamed in sobacha tea, laid atop a clementine jelly-shrouded savoury dill panacotta. It breaks your heart to eat something so pretty until it hits the taste buds. Later, a Scottish langoustine, supped up by a basting in shellfish butter, is served with carrots and a pine tree bouillon in a left-field
combination that brings out the sweet and earthy profiles of the crustacean. Pic’s globally influenced style of cuisine is shepherding her native country away from traditional French fine dining, and her complex plates show the extent of her culinary travels while keeping you guessing as to whether it may have European or Asian origins at its core. Berlingots, a Provençal boiled sweet, is here appropriated by Pic to describe fine pasta parcels filled with smoked Pélardon cheese and the more exotic tonka bean and Madagascan voatsiperifery pepper. Dessert, too, plays with Japanese sencha green tea, grapefruit, and hibiscus meringue scented with the rose-like essential oil, geranium roast, to create a highly perfumed bouquet of flavours. It’s different, it’s unusual, but dammit, it all works. You’ve got to hand it to Pic: French cuisine famously doesn’t travel well but, it goes to show, there ain’t nothing like a dame. ■ See more at ladamedepiclondon.co.uk
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EICA IS RENOWNED for making some of the best cameras in the world – and we’re giving you the chance to win one of them. It really couldn’t be much more simple: take a photograph in the City, and send it to us. Yup. That’s it. Now, in order to actually win, the photo will have to be pretty damn good. But you do have up to 20 photos to send us as options, so you don’t have to put all your artistic eggs in one basket. All we ask is that the photo is taken somewhere within the traditional City of London or Canary Wharf. Beyond that, you can let your creativity go wild. Please send your photographs, with the subject header ‘Photo Prize’, as high res as possible to email@example.com. If they’re really large files, send them via WeTransfer. ■ The deadline for entries is 29 September 2017. The winner will be announced in the November issue.
The Leica TL is the only system in its class that combines groundbreaking design, craftsmanship and instinctive use. The camera is crafted from a single block of aluminium, and features a CMOS sensor with 16.5 million pixels, a highresolution touch screen, and a simple layout with just four physical controls. The prize also includes the Leica Vario-Elmar-T 18-56 mm lens – a superb all-round lens that lets you capture richin-detail, high-contrast photos that are sharp from edge to edge and corner to corner, even in unfavourable light.
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PHOTOGRAPH by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
The Ice Man from Sweden is a force to be reckoned with on both the PGA and European Tour, but his Open victory in 2016 and silver medal at the Rio Olympics saw him raise his game to the next level. A boomer off the tee and a fabulous ball striker from the turf, Stenson’s gifts have taken him to 18th on the all-time career earnings list. As championship courses get longer and relentlessly tougher, expect this cool Swede to show the field who’s boss.
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THE WHITE CLIFFS: Portugal’s newest course, West Cliffs on the Silver Coast, is also one of its best. The rugged terrain creates a wild and unique challenge for those lucky enough to tee it up here.
THE GOLD STANDARD
Choosing between Portugal’s excellent golf courses is hard work, but BEN WINSTANLEY discovers four gems that rise above the rest
WEST CLIFFS Scything through pine trees, vast expanses of sandy wasteland and lush green vegetation, West Cliffs is an usual setting for one of Europe’s brightest young golf courses. But here on Portugal’s Silver Coast, Cynthia Dye has created a wild, rollercoaster of a layout that pulls its players in every direction before spitting them out 18 holes later totally smitten. Niece of the legendary golf architect Pete Dye, this is Cynthia’s first foray in Europe – and already has both players and critics whispering about its possible inclusion in the
hallowed top ten courses on the continent. Views of the Atlantic abound, but distracted golfers will see their score punished heavily. This is a highly demanding track, accuracy imperative, with challenges coming thick and fast from the start. The 419-yard third, stroke index one, requires iron nerves on the tee to thread the undulating fairway, past water left and trouble right, before navigating a huge dune on the second shot en route to the green. Take a par four and run. Expect to work hard on this track, but you’ll fall in love much harder. For more information, see westcliffs.com ➤
CREAM OF THE CROP: [clockwise from here] Quinta Do Lago has been named ‘Europe’s Best Golfing Destination’ twice, but also has a pretty stunning pool; Ria Park Hotel & Spa’s epic private beach; Monte Rei is famed for its worldclass bunkering.
➤ QUINTA DO LAGO When Quinta do Lago, the pipe dream of entrepreneur Andre Jordan, opened for play in the early 1970s, few could have predicted its influence on Portugal’s golfing landscape. Named ‘Europe’s Best Golfing Destination’ at the World Golf Awards in 2015 and 2016, the resort now has three courses to its name, a Paul McGinley Golf Academy and TaylorMade Performance Centre. The jewel in its crown, however, is the par-72 South course – the original 18-hole layout, designed by American architect William Mitchell. Its pine-lined fairways and excellent bunkering are as imperious today as when they opened in 1974. Around the corner, the five-star Ria Park Hotel & Spa offers an ideal setting to wind down after a day on the course, thanks to gorgeous
When Quinta Do Lago opened, few could have predicted its influence on golf in Portugal 116
sea-view rooms with balconies overlooking the Atlantic and Ria Formosa National Park. For more information, see quintadolago.com and
MONTE REI The charms of Monte Rei waste no time before making an impression on its players. Found in the hills northeast of the Algarve’s prettiest town, Tavira, the drive to this secluded course is scenic enough. Once on the Jack Nicklausdesigned course, however, this sprawling track makes the best use of its surrounds. Weaving past numerous water hazards along fairways peppered with world-class bunkering, Monte Rei delivers hole after beautifully designed hole. The pick of the bunch by a hair is the par-four 13th: playing 404 yards, the player must find a fairway that rolls downhill, before a precise second shot must find a green guarded by large bunker short left and a natural lake long. It’s a fiendish design and a great challenge – symptomatic of the course at large. With a second Jack Nicklaus course and new luxury accommodation due for completion by 2022, this excellent track is due to be a global force in the years to come. For more information, see monte-rei.com
DOM PEDRO Host of the Portugal Masters, one of the European Tour’s most popular annual tournaments, for the last ten years, the Victoria (now owned by the Dom Pedro Group) is a testing track that has put some of the best players in the world through their paces. Characterised by huge, slippery greens, this Arnold Palmer is relatively flat and relies on a great deal of water and cavernous bunkers to defend its par 72. The intriguing 388-yard 14th hole has a complex design that requires a thoughtful approach to make a par four. There are two fairways to choose from, separated by waterfalls: the right path leads straight to the green but requires a 250-yard carry to get to safety, while the left-hand fairway is a safer drive, but will test your approach play on the second shot. Tee it up and make your choice. As you would expect from a course that regularly hosts the pros, facilities are second to none, including a vast 2,500sq m putting green and an excellent driving range. It’s a fine addition to any golf tour. For more info, dompedrogolf.com ■ The Portugal Masters take place 21-24 September. For more information, see europeantour.com
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SPIDER LUSSO PLUS
ALONG CAME A SPIDER
The Mazda MX-5 may be the king of the weekend roadsters, but HANNAH SUMMERS says the Fiat Spider is ready to usurp its throne
EAD SCARF? CHECK. Oversized sunglasses? Check. Tina Turner blasting on the stereo? Yep, you know where this is going. I’m here in the Italian Lakes to road test the new Fiat Spider – a reborn version of the pretty little 1960s icon. An all-new snappy twoseater sports car available for comparative pocket change? You betcha. Yes, move over Maseratis, Lamborghinis and Ferraris; I was an anxious mess when I drove you anyway. For £21,050 you can bag yourself an all-new 1.4 litre turbocharged sports car – and don’t go thinking the impressive price tag will result in something naff and tinny. The Fiat Spider is as sophisticated and well made as a Rubinacci suit. And it’s about as flambouyant, too. The casual car enthusiast may be most familiar with Fiat’s dinky, retro 500 – you can’t walk down a street without a hoard of tourists papping the battered, faded blobs on wheels. The Fiat Spider, however, gets just as much attention. The car feels small and manageable – there’ll be moments you’ll forget you’re sitting in something so cool – but the long, slightly bulky and vaguely menacing nose, smooth lines and 17-inch alloys result in endless admiring glances. It’s hard to imagine the Mazda MX 5 – which the Spider is actually based on, as the two manufacturers worked together on the model – getting such a good response. This car, especially when it’s finished in Urban White like ours, knows how to work a crowd. Inside, I’ll admit, it’s a little less ‘wow’. We’re in the Lusso Plus – the top of the range version (which still only comes in at £27,060).
This car – especially when it’s finished in Urban White – knows how to work a crowd squaremile.com
It does feel plush – leather panels, comfy, almost-racing-style seats, automatic headlights and wipers (you never realise what a slog turning these on and off is until you don’t have to do it). Beefy men would call the space cramped, but I’m going to go with… snug. The steering wheel is close – even with my seat extended it grazes my pizza-padded belly. And you’ll need to adopt a less-is-more policy: handbags in the passenger footwell are a no-go, there’s space near the handbrake for a lip balm and not much else, while the boot capacity is a diminutive 140 litres. Don’t let any of this put you off. This car isn’t built for practicality, long journeys or dozens of empty coffee cups stuffed into your driving cabin – and, above all, it’s built for fun. And on that it delivers. Start with the canvas roof, which we whip off for the duration of our trip. Rain, hail and 2am drives through sleepy lakeside villages, the lid is tucked away and those tunes are blaring (sorry, Italy). Unlike most modern sports cars where you have buttons, mechanisms and whirring to rely on, the Fiat Spider is refreshingly old-school: unclip it, swivel round in your seat, and use one arm to shove it into the compact space between your headrest and the boot. For a technophobe like me, this was a huge relief. What wasn’t so simple was the satnav. Some would blame this on technological ineptitude, but for the majority of the trip I struggled to get the on-screen map working. Nor could the hotel valet, police man (yes, I was pulled over – I like to think they just wanted a chat), and a random geeky-looking bloke on the street. No fretting here, though, the combination of nine speakers, easy bluetooth hookup and a 1980s-inspired rock anthem playlist – made the sound system an absolute dream. Of course, the Lakes’ residents will naturally corroborate. So, how about that drive? You couldn’t wish for a better setting than the Italian Lakes, a network of smooth fast roads through dark, Bond-film type tunnels (on the eastern shores of Como), wiggly, terrifying narrow lanes ➤
BEST FIAT FORWARD: The new Spider’s design is based on the stunning 124 Sport Spider from 1966. However, the technology underneath – inlcuding a spritely 1.4-litre turbo – is a lot more up to date.
➤ through crumbling old villages, and curvy swoops of waterside tarmac with vistas you’ll spot from Hollywood hits. The Spider laps it up. The stats will tell you the automatic version is capable of a 133mph top speed, and a 0-60mph in 7.6 seconds. It isn’t fierce – there’s no snarl when you put your foot down (even with the roof down), which is a little disappointing when you are really trying to show off. And it doesn’t quite take off at the lights in the way you’d expect an Italian sports car to. But it is punchy, and is undoubtedly a snazzy little cruiser, wherever you take it. And that’s the thing. I became very attached to this car. In fact, I really want to buy it. I even
want to crawl around traffic-clogged London in it. And the best bit? With a price tag so low, it’s within the realms of possibility.
WHERE TO STAY Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como As far as location goes, this daffodil-coloured art nouveau landmark is hard to beat. Set on the western bank of Lake Como (and a short walk from the famous Carlotta gardens) it’s also every bit as decadent as a former palace should be – think hundreds of vases stuffed with roses, gold picture frames and the best balcony views you could hope for (mountain and Bellagio views included). When you’re not swanning around the biggest breakfast buffet you’ll ever see, then hang out at the various swimming pools – from the floating lido at the front (that’s where you’ll find Heidi Klein models hammering the hell out of Instagram on a bikini shoot), or the more peaceful, just as pretty, pool out the back. Along the coast you’ll find CastaDiva Resort & Spa, with a restaurant that serves a creative duck tasting menu. Eat it while watching the ducks paddle on the lake. Yikes.
I became very attached to this car. I even want to crawl around trafficclogged London in it glass of wine, then try Villa Cordevigo, a sprawling 16th-century Venetian manor that’s been converted into a 33-bedroom hotel. The pool is set in acres of vineyards, and the staff won’t bat an eyelid when you start sampling the produce just after breakfast. Rooms are big on that classic Italian charm – curtains and bedspreads that would look outdated in your London penthouse – but in this setting are nothing but opulent. It’s about ten minutes from the water, meaning you can make the most of the peaceful countryside, before joining the crowds for an Aperol Spritz on the water. ■ Classic Collection Holidays (0800 047 1064;
classic-collection.co.uk) offers three nights at Grand Hotel Tremezzo and three nights at Villa Cordevigo from £1,499 per person. Price includes flight
Villa Cordevigo, Lake Garda
and private airport transfers.
If, like the best of us, you’re partial to a 10am
For more info on the Fiat Spider, see fiat.co.uk
TA K E T H E TA K E T H E LL OO NN GG W A Y H O M E WAY HOME
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Fish Island Village blends the excitement of the city with the luxury of a waterside setting. This creative community of 2 & 3 bedroom apartments will play host to a resident’s gym and concierge service, as well as an on-site restaurant, café and vibrant artist studios. Westfield’s range of shops and restaurants are nearby, as well as convenient connections to the Square Mile with Hackney Wick Overground station within an 8 minute walk.
D I S C OV E R M O R E 2 bedroom apartments from £620,000 Marketing Suite and Show Apartment now open
fishislandvillage.co.uk 020 3906 1950 #madeinhackneywick *Stamp Duty contribution up to 3% of property value on 2 & 3 bedroom homes only. Incentive for reservations taken at the event only. Terms and conditions apply, please speak to a member of the sales team for more information. Offer not available in conjunction with Help to Buy. External image and gym image are computer generated and indicative only. Prices correct at the time of going to press. Walking time taken from Google Maps.
KITCHENS DESIGN FOR LIFE INTERIOR DESIGN PROPERTY
. . . .
129 131 133 134
SHELF LIFE . 133
PHOTOGRAPH: Enignum Shelves by Joseph Walsh | Photo by Andrew Bradley | Courtesy of Sarah Myerscough Gallery, exhibiting at PAD 2017.
A STUNNING NEW COLLECTION OF HOMES FOR NORTH WEST LONDON The Park Collection is the latest release of high spec homes at Colindale Gardens, the exciting new development in the heart of north west London. With an on-site school, gym, 9 acres of landscaped gardens, cafés, restaurants, retail space and fast connections to central London, it offers a superb investment opportunity, as well as being an ideal place to live.
3 and 4 bedroom homes available. Prices from £560,000*
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Computer generated image is indicative only. Show apartment photography is indicative only. *Price correct at time of print.
PLAYING IT COOL As LG’s first ultra-premium brand, LG Signature represents the very best the electronics company has to offer – including the ultimate refrigerator
FREEZE STYLE Making a fridge a genuinely desirable commodity isn’t an easy task. But LG’s team has managed it with its new LG Signature refrigerator. It includes an opaque door which goes transparent with a simple knock, allowing you to see inside without having to open the door. Even more innovative is the new Auto Open Door feature which allows for hands-free access. Who knew you could make a fridge cool as well as cold? ■
COOL RUNNINGS: LG Signature LSR100 Smart 60/40 Fridge Freezer in stainless steel, £6,499.99; currys.co.uk. For more info: lg.com/uk
VIP INVESTOR EVENT THURSDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER 5PM-8PM Join us for a glass of champagne at this exclusive event and discover the investment opportunities available on these high specification homes, including our stunning Show Home which is available on sale and leaseback. Totteridge Place is a stylish and contemporary collection of 3 & 4 bedroom houses in the popular suburban setting of Totteridge & Whetstone, just 450m* from the tube station in Zone 4. Placesforthiseventarelimitedandexclusiveoffers willbeavailableonthenight,sobookyourplacetoday!
1201 High Road | Totteridge & Whetstone | London | N20 OPD Selling from | Barnard Marcus | 1285 High Road | Whetstone | London | N20 9HS
Distances taken from Google Maps. **Offer applies to additional 3% SDLT payable on second homes/buy to let properties. Digital illustrations are indicative only. Pricing correct on 18.08.17.
DESIGN FOR LIFE Red Paxton, Director of Habitat First, is on a mission to create the most exciting collection of modern architecture in the world. Find out what influences him… IN THE BEGINNING I wasn’t particularly interested in school – apart from the social side of things – and started full-time employment immediately after my GCSEs. For five years, I worked full time selling DJ/audio equipment, which I loved. A bad leg break took put me out for some time, and forced me to re-evaluate. I had always dreamt of becoming my own boss – so I opened a record shop with a friend. We maxed out credit cards to make it happen. It was fun but also scary, especially when bills had to be paid and rent was due. While it was never going to make big money it taught me some serious lessons in business. I got out of the record shop business when vinyl died, with some money in my pocket, and thought that it was a good idea to get into clothing distribution just as the recession hit. It wasn’t a good idea. The family business was never on the radar but when my father offered me a job opportunity at Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds, I jumped at the chance. He sadly passed away in 2013, but I have been growing the business successfully with my siblings ever since. We have turned a £7m-turnover business in to a £21m-turnover business in the four years since his passing. I’m sure he would have been turning over more by now, but it feels like an achievement.
•• PHOTOGRAPH by Ian Macaulay
I particularly like combining a variety of materials such as Cotswold stone with steel squaremile.com
SIMPLY RED: Paxton is at the helm of his family business, Habitat First, and that means overseeing the development of several rural UK sites into design-led holiday home communities.
OUT NOW Our new development, Silverlake in Dorset, is an exciting project. We have outline planning for 1,000 holiday homes, a hotel, spa and health club set within a 650-acre nature reserve. We have sold 40 plots in 18 months. Purchasers can buy a freehold plot and then instruct a recommended builder to build the design for a fixed price over a fixed period. The properties have been designed by some of Britain’s most talented architects.
IN THE MATERIAL I particularly like combining a variety of materials such as traditional Cotswold stone with corten steel, Tecu cladding or cedar. The result is a combination of materials that blend seamlessly with the natural environment.
ON THE INSIDE I’m a big fan of Frank Gehry and I like the look of his proposed apartment design next to Battersea Power Station.
ON THE DRAWING BOARD We have just achieved outline planning permission for 158 holiday villas, a
40-bedroom wildflower-roof hotel and spa at our new brand-new development site in Devon, Birchwood Lakes.
WISH LIST My ambition is to create the most exciting collection of modern residential architecture in the world. We are well on the way with more than 50 completely unique designs across our two developments – and an exclusive collection of landmark homes designed by some of the world’s leading architects including Eva Jiricna, Sarah Featherstone, Piers Gough and Roger Sherman.
IN YOUR SPACE My wife commissioned a beautiful piece of artwork from the very talented Alex Baynes when my father passed away. The whole artwork has been created in pencil and the detail is outstanding. It is so clever and I love it.
ON YOUR RADAR I want to explore the UK coastline. We have the most beautiful countryside in the world and I want to see it all before I pop my clogs. ■ For more info, see habitatfirstgroup.com
Blake Tower is London’s hidden secret in Zone 1. With superior specification, a concierge service and the surrounding green space of the Barbican Estate. • Zone 1 location on London’s Square Mile • Designed by Conran & Partners • Forthcoming Crossrail 2018* at Farringdon Station • Moments from Barbican Station • Parking available A collection of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments
Prices from £710,000
DESIGN FOR LIVING
Source: www.tfl.gov.uk. Details correct at time of press. Photography is indicative only.
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DESIGN PAD 2017
DO THE TWIST Joseph Walsh’s clever new collection for PAD is crafted from wood that’s been manipulated in ways that will intrigue the eyes and mind
NATURAL CURVES Irish wood designer Joseph Walsh is renowned for his inventive ways with the material, and his collection for PAD 2017 – a unique console table and shelf – is the latest example of his unique creativity. The hand-carved pieces are more than merely functional items: they are significant works of museum-quality design.
BEST IN SHOW These pieces are an extension of Walsh’s Enignum series, where he employed the same technique of stripping the wood into thin layers, enabling it to be manipulated into free-form compositions. See the remarkable works at PAD – London’s leading fair for 20th century art, design and decorative arts – where they will be on display with the Sarah Myerscough Gallery. ■ PAD London is on from 2-8 October at Berkeley Square, W1; pad-fairs.com
IS IT WALKING DISTANCE? Looking for a luxurious home that’s within walking distance from work? Of course you are. These three stylish London pads are just a short stroll away, yet couldn’t feel further from the fast pace of the City BRANDON HOUSE, BOROUGH While it’s an easy walk to the City from this new state-of-the-art Crest Nicholson development, you couldn’t feel further away from its frantic pace, with Borough and Maltby Street markets on the doorstep, as well as fantastic local restaurants, bars and pubs. Comprising a collection of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, two-bedroom duplexes and two- and three-bedroom townhouses, the site provides flexible living space whatever your requirements, and there’s a dedicated concierge team on hand to provide a range of services from receiving packages to arranging your dry cleaning, leaving you plenty of time to go out and explore your new manor. Prices for the remaining available homes start from £699,995 To find out more, see crestnicholson.com
VALENTINE PLACE, SOUTHWARK With a beautifully landscaped communal courtyard and gardens at its heart, close proximity to cultural hubs such as the Old and New Vic Theatres and South Bank, and highspec design and build, it’s easy to fall for the charms of Valentine Place. The latest collection of homes to be launched at the development is a collection of five three-bedroom mews houses which feature outside space on each floor. It’s a great opportunity for families seeking extra space to remain in central London and, crucially, within such easy reach of the City.
CITY LIMITS: [clockwise from here] Every home at Brandon House comes with at least one terrace or balcony; the secluded courtyard at Valentine Place; views from the Blake Tower penthouse are rather spectacular.
Prices for the mews houses start from £2,149,995. See
crestnicholson.com/valentineplace for info.
BLAKE TOWER, BARBICAN PHOTOGRAPH (Vaeltine Place) by Andrew Beasley Photography
The Grade II-listed Blake Tower is one of the most iconic residential blocks in London, and its penthouse – newly released for sale by Redrow – has to be one of the City’s most prestigious addresses. Situated on the 16th and 17th floors, the incredible three-bedroom duplex provides 2,108sq ft of Conran and Partners-designed interiors. Arresting views of the city skyline are, naturally, part of the package. ■ The penthouse is priced at £3,700,000. See
blaketower.com for more information.
Computer generated image is indicative only
Launching 13th September 2017 Studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. Your refined haven in the heart of the City. K E Y F E ATUR E S Crossrail, Underground and National Rail within walking distance | Sits at the crossroads to Clerkenwell, Farringdon and Shoreditch | 24-hour concierge services Residents' cinema, games room and residents' lounge Fortune Street Park on your doorstep RE G IS TE R YO UR IN TE R E S T 0 2 0 378 0 24 8 3 T H E DE N I Z E N .C O.U K
Discover the life within
LONDON LIVING AT I T S F I N E S T
Imagine a home that is so well positioned that it offers you the best of everything; the hustle and bustle of the City, the relaxation of a village lifestyle and some inspiring views of your surroundings. With Crest Nicholson you can experience all of this and more. Enjoy a hassle-free move with Part Exchange*.Weâ€™ll buy your home so there are no complicated chain delays or estate agent fees to pay so you can move on your own terms.
www.crestnicholson.com www.crestnicholson.com Terms and conditions apply. Please speak to a Sales Advisor for more information on Part Exchange. External Show Home photography. Digital illustration is indicative only. Pricing correct on 18.08.17. Terms and conditions apply. Please speak to a Sales Advisor for more information on Part Exchange. External Show Home photography. Digital illustration is indicative only. Pricing correct on 18.08.17.
Beautifully designed 3 bedroom mews houses all with outside space on every floor. Located just a few minutes’ walk from Waterloo station & with secluded communal gardens. Ready to move into. Prices from £1,950,000 Book your appointment to view now 1-19Valentine Place, London SE1 8QH 020 3437 0448
3 bedroom townhouses, with roof terraces. Located in Zone 1, directly opposite Borough underground station. Ready to move into autumn/winter 2017. Prices from £2,088,000 Find out more now 180 Borough High Street, London SE1 1LH 020 3437 0454
Situated on one of South East London’s highest points, Sydenham Hill. A luxury collection of townhouses boasting 4 bedrooms & far reaching views across London & Kent. Prices from £1,450,000 Launching this Autumn, register your interest. Exeter Place, Sydenham, London, SE26 6RP 020 3437 0488
ON THE TOWN
London in the Sky London in the Sky – the most open-air restaurant in the capital – returned this summer to a brand-new Chelsea site. For a fortnight, breakfasts, lunches, afternoon teas, dinners and cocktails were served to groups of 22 guests suspended 100ft in the air. Veteran Michelin-starred chefs Pascal Aussignac from Club Gascon and Robert Ortiz from Lima were among the stars serving up – and each evening a mixologist from Mr Fogg’s took care of the cocktails. London in the Sky is returning next summer and you can register online to be the first to hear when the limited-edition tickets go on sale. It’s also available for corporate and private hire throughout the year. ■ For more info, see eventsinthesky.co.uk
PHOTOGRAPHS by Rudi Netto
GAME ON: [This image] Junkyard Golf is a fresh take on mini golf; [top left] Greenwich Peninsula driving range; [middle] London Golf Club is a great facility close to the City; [bottom] Urban Golf offers golf simulators – and the beer to match.
Corporate Entertainment: Golf in London JUNKYARD GOLF 91 Brick Ln, E1 6QL
In 2015, crazy golf was repossessed by four guys with one mission: saving the kitsch pastime from the scrapheap. The result is three nine-hole mini-golf courses the likes of which you have never seen before. Done away are the windmills and green felt ‘grass’, and in comes holes that
At Junkyard Golf, holes run through washing machines, on top of a BMW, and much more 140
run through washing machines, on top of an old BMW and much more besides. It’s whacky, random and perfect for groups. For more info: junkyardgolfclub.co.uk
GREENWICH PENINSULA 265 Tunnel Ave, SE10 0QE
Driving ranges aren’t designed with views in mind – they’re all about bashing balls after all. But Greenwich Peninsula is no ordinary practice centre. Along with its 60 range bays and Vinoteca Italian restaurant, it sports views of Canary Wharf right across the Thames. It’s also available for private hire for all your corporate needs.
perfect corporate gig: booze in the form of craft beer and quality spirits, decent food and excellent golf simulators playing 60 of the world’s most famous courses. Corporate memberships are available as well as private venue hire and lessons with a pro. We’ll see you on the green. For more info: urbangolf.co.uk
LONDON GOLF CLUB Stansted Lane, Ash, TN15 7EH
12 Smithfield St, EC1A 9LA
As one of Greater London’s finest golf courses – an hour away from the City – this is the ideal location for a corporate golf day, which is exactly why square mile is hosting the Banks and Brokers Championship here on 19 October. The pairs Stableford event brings together readers and other golf-mad City professionals in the name of charity.
This Smithfield bar is the recipe for the
For more info: banksandbrokersgolf.com ■
For info: greenwichpeninsulagolfrange.com
+ TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION PLEASE CALL ON 020 7819 9999
Paul Parkman makes luxury shoes with the same level of quality, exclusivity, and attention to detail as a made-to-measure service. Only a very limited number of shoes are created in a single factory. Paul Parkman selects the raw materials and rare leathers. The shoes are then constructed and painted by hand. With an obsessive amount of research and handiwork devoted to every shoe, youâ€™ll ďŹ nd that each one is a couture-level creation with its own unique hue and polish. Visit paulparkman.co.uk to view his whole collection
Apply SQUARE20 on paulparkman.co.uk for a 20% discount
Coach Event & Win a £1,000 Spending Spree
Art in the Autumn THE VERVE: PHOTOGRAPHS
FRANK HINKS, ILLUSTRATIONS
Bermondsey, 4-17 September
Cello Factory, 29 September-8 October
The Verve’s Urban Hymns is one of the best-selling British albums of all time. Not only that, but lead singer Richard Ashcroft is just about the coolest frontman of a generation. Celebrate one of the best bands of the 1990s at this exhibition of photographs by Chris Floyd at the Art Bermondsey Project Space.
To celebrate the publication of his book Rock of Ramion, illustrator, author and prominent QC Frank Hinks will showcase over 100 of his surreal paintings. Inspired by the adventures of his family, the colourful (and sometimes quite macabre) images are heavily influenced by Hinks’ passion for punk rock.
For more information: project-space.london
For more information: ramion-books.com
THE OTHER ART FAIR
Old Truman Brewery, 5-8 October
Berkeley Square, 2-8 October
Presented by Saatchi Art, The Other Art Fair is the UK’s leading fair for emerging artists. Buy pieces from artists on the verge of global recognition, as well as seeing interactive performances. There will be an as-yet-to-be-announced guest artist in attendance, with previous names including Tracey Emin and Martin Parr.
London’s leading fair for 20th century art, design and decorative arts returns to Mayfair, bringing with it a stunning array of modern art, photography and sculptures (such as Matthew Chambers’ Symmetry and Increase Twist, pictured above) from some of the most prominent galleries in the world.
For more information: theotherartfair.com
For more information: pad-fairs.com
HIS AUTUMN, WE’RE teaming up with Coach – the original American house of leather – to provide you with an amazing competition as well as an awesome event. For the former, you have the chance of winning £1,000 to use at Coach House Regent Street, where you can indulge in the brand’s deep-rooted American heritage and superior leather craftsmanship. And for the latter, we’re inviting you to join us for an evening of New Yorkinspired food and cocktails at the Regent Street flagship this October. You’ll also have the chance on the night to win bags from Coach’s stylish Rogue collection. ■ To enter the competition, go to the ‘Win’ tab on squaremile.com. To register your interest in attending
the reader event, go to squaremile.com/signup
SEE MORE ONLINE
Go to squaremile.com/ events for complete listings of upcoming events and parties occuring in the City and beyond.
‘FBD’ is a limited edition giclée print of a French bulldog by contemporary artist Richard Levine. Finished with a UV high gloss screen print embellishment, Levine’s work can be viewed at the Affordable Art Fair Battersea in October.
A British masterclass in men’s beard care. Exquisite handcrafted beard oils, aimed at men who pay close attention to detail and luxury. Putting quality above anything else, Claan’s artisan craftsmen worked closely on alchemy, blending of fragrances and using the purest natural oils. Creating a collection of not only the finest elixirs to nourish your beard and skin but have also embodied them with fragrances of alluring depth and soul. Simply a must have. W: claan.co.uk
BUNDORAN 1966 TEE
“Tonn”, Irish for Wave, is an ethical, luxury Irish brand. Their designs are inspired by Ireland’s Wild Atlantic coast and Surf culture. All of their tees 100% organic cotton. Tonn have mixed vintage American athletic style with a natural Celtic flavour. Check out their latest styles @39.95/£35
@tonnsurf W: tonnsurf.com
With a unique “bowl” shaped design that allows the watch to sit lower and hug your wrist better than many mechanical watches, VERO Watches build, test, assemble, and warranty all watches in their workshop in Portland, Oregon USA. Built to last with 100% US case and dial production, Swiss movement, and French hands. Every watch comes with 3 straps and works great for any occasion. @verowatches VERO Watch Company
Swedish Tusenö has in a short period of time become a brand to remember. Through a mix of exciting materials and an extraordinary attention to details their pieces speaks to both watch enthusiast as well as the style conscious man. Available in both 38mm and 42mm. Priced at approximately £315. Explore all 16 models on our website.
The story of the branch is three years in the making and began with one very simple idea. We wanted to create a clean and simple device that held a tablet and meant we could watch hands (and stress) free. Since then, we have worked hard to overcome language, knowledge and geographical barriers to create our first consumer-ready product. It contains more than 70 uniquely designed and specially crafted parts that slot together to create a stylish accessory we love to call ‘branch’.
W: 209Mare.com @209Mare 209Mare
MARLOE WATCH COMPANY
The Iconic 209 Mare Beach Blazer re-writes the rules when it comes to men’s luxury beachwear thanks to its cashmere-like bamboo towel lining which allows you to go from beach to beach club without missing a beat. This summer stand out in a sea of turtle-printed swim shorts and conquer the beach in art-deco inspired luxury.
Marloe Watch Company is an independent designer and producer of watches based in Oxfordshire. Founders Oliver and Gordon created Marloe to reinvigorate the world of hand-wound timepieces. Taking its name from the town of Marlow, where Oliver grew up, the company’s values are strongly bound to tradition and design. @marloewatchco @marloewatchco marloewatchco W: marloewatchcompany.com
What if you could have a watch with vintage design aesthetics but without the wallet-incinerating price tag? And - even better - designed by someone with vintage watch DNA in their blood? Watch collector extraordinaire Dan Henry has turned watchmaker with models that fuse cues from Breitling, Omega and other twentieth century classics with modern materials and accurate, high-quality movements.
What one wears when dominating the world of style. Let your fantasy unwind; come tailor with us. We specialize in modern African style garments and fine tailored western Wear. Designing / Tailoring / Styling
W: aitsegamelu.com E: email@example.com
BEST JOB IN THE WORLD
Dyro: DJ and producer He plays gigs around the world, he’s founded his own record label – WOLV Records – and he’s only 25. Meet Dyro...
WAS VERY MUCH a ‘bedroom’ producer early on. I was producing when I was still at school, and I wanted to experiment in that world. Being Dutch, we are always surrounded by dance music, electronic music from when we are children. SO MUCH PREPARATION goes into a set. Track selection, working on edits and solo productions of my own in the run-up to huge festivals. In some cases I can be working on a track for months just to get it exactly how I want it. PREPARATION, ENVIRONMENT AND the crowd can also have a lot of influence on the direction a set can go in. Tracks and the vibe of the set can chop and change but if you’re not prepared and you’re having technical difficulties, it can be hard to pull that back.
GET PROPER ADVICE from a trusted source when joining labels and signing contracts. Seek legal advice if you have to, take your parents with you, whatever you have to do – just make sure you fully understand what you’re moving forward with.
RUNNING A RECORD label takes a lot of time but is very rewarding. It is a lengthy process which people underestimate, y’know? NURTURING ARTISTS IS very important. It’s not, like, talent-at-first-sight all the time; it’s about the bigger picture. ■ To read the full article, go to squaremile.com
SEE MORE ONLINE For more ‘Best Jobs in the World’ go to squaremile.com. Know a contender? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspired by the high-octane thrills and physics-defying engineering of the automotive world, the C7 Rapide Chronograph Automatic shares the same prized values of mechanical precision and innovative design, coupled with the highest quality materials used throughout. Bold in appearance and championing a Swiss-made automatic movement, this is a watch with horological horsepower in abundance.
Swiss movement English heart
Discover the new breed of watchmaker...
Square Mile Magazine - Issue 126 - The Wealth Issue The Style Issue / AW17