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Men’s Fashion Summer, 2014

T Emirates : The New York Times Style Magazine 

The Quintessential Brit: Jeremy Hackett in Dubai Time Collectors: The UAE’s Burgeoning Market for Luxury Timepieces Diving Class: Yousuf Al Hashimi and the Calibre de Cartier Diver

Men’s Fashion Summer 2014



Emirati entrepreneur and master diver Yousuf Al-Hashimi

Page 58

Features 58  Diving Class

In just a few years, Emirati entrepreneur Yousuf Al-Hashimi’s Ahdaaf Sports Club has become one of the region’s pivotal models for a successful small business. Also a master diver, Al-Hashimi was recently chosen by Cartier to represent the brand’s new Calibre de Cartier Diver watch. By Rebecca Anne Proctor.


 he Case of the Accidental T Superstar

In the peculiar-looking, former crossdressing Shakespearean actor Benedict Cumberbatch, Hollywood has found an unlikely leading man. By Sarah Lyall. Photographs by Karim Sadli. Styled by Joe McKenna. 66  The Shape Shifter

At the Austrian estate of Erwin Wurm, blue-chip paintings and the artist’s own whimsical sculptures live in oddly compelling harmony. By Maura Egan. Photographs by Andrew Moore.

ON THE COVER: Photograph by Karim Sadli. Styled by Joe McKenna. Hair by Paul Hanlon. Grooming by Hannah Murray. Benedict Cumberbatch in an Ermenegildo Zegna Couture T-shirt, price on request, shirt, AED 2,553, and T-shirt (worn underneath), AED 2,167. ALL PRICES ARE INDICATIVE


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Copyright © 2014 The New York Times


Men’s Fashion Summer, 2014

Table of Contents

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Page 47

From left: Emperor 1688's Fall/Winter 2014 collection, the musician Zachary Cole Smith in Balmain overalls, AED 5,877, and T-shirt, AED 1,286;; Jeremy Hackett in the desert.


15  Sign of the Times

Decoding the meaning of the man bag. 18 The Moment

Men’s wear calls in sick to work with a hang-loose vibe that’s perfect for the beach. 22  This and That

Teju Cole explains why New York stole his heart; dangerous accessories; socks that rock; and more. 25 Media Report

Andrew Ross Sorkin wonders if Big Data is bad for business. 26  Take Two

Gary Shteyngart and CeeLo Green consider taxidermy and neckties, and bathe with beer soap.

Lookout Emirates 31

Male Order

Hermès’ made-to-measure program Sur Mesure for men has arrived in Dubai. T Emirates meets with Jocelyn Persod, the program’s director in Dubai, to learn about what goes into an Hermès Sur Mesure garment.

Quality 43  In Fashion

The new play on shifting proportions. 47  Style Memo

Four indie frontmen whose hairstyles are as singular as the music they make.

32 Imperial Creations

The Golkar brothers are setting the pace for men’s fashion in the UAE with their Emperor 1688 label. Rebecca Anne Proctor meets with the trio in Dubai to speak about the historical and cultural influences in their work and their recent foray into womenswear. 36 Quintessential and British

One of Britain’s most iconic menswear labels, Hackett has become an integral part of his country’s heritage. Rebecca Anne Proctor meets Jeremy Hackett during British Polo Day in Dubai and reports on the resonance of his quintessential British look.


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Copyright © 2014 The New York Times






Bahrain, Euro Motors W.L.L.: 17 750750 | Kuwait, Al Zayani Trading Co.: 1808010 Ext. 111 | KSA Jeddah, FAST Auto Technic Co. Ltd.: 02 6835148 KSA Riyadh, FAST Auto Technic Co. Ltd.: 01 4664748 | Lebanon, G.A. Bazerji & Sons LLC.: 01 883450 | Oman, Alfardan Motors LLC.: 024 523014 Qatar, Alfardan Sports Motors Co. S.O.C.: 044 208788 | UAE Abu Dhabi, Premier Motors: 02 4935000 | UAE Dubai, Al Tayer Motors LLC.: 04 3037878

Table of Contents

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Page 52

Arena 49  Wanderlust

The YouTube filmmaking sensation Casey Neistat takes his teenage son to Africa, documenting every hashtagworthy moment along the way. 52

Page 54

Food Matters

Takashi Murakami teams up with a trio of Norwegian coffee and design gurus to open Tokyo’s hippest new bar. The restoration of a storied French neo-Classical salon reveals as much about polite society as it does about high design.

From top left: the artist Takashi Murakami in Bar Zingaro, his new cafe in Nakano, Tokyo; Owen Neistat atop a sand dune in Sossusvlei, Namibia; restorers in San Francisco labor over the Salon’s pieces.


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine


54 Legacy

Sacai cardigan, AED 3,812; Junya Watanabe Man shirt, AED 1,653; Comme des Garçons,


Chief Executive Sandeep Sehgal Associate Publisher Ravi Raman

EDITORIAL Consulting Editor Rebecca Anne Proctor Correspondents Mia Fothergill Fox Cordelia Ditton Gwenda Hughes-Art Richard Thompson-Travel





Art Director Steven Castelluccia

Assistant General Manager Poonam Chawla



Senior Designer Nadia Mendez

Deputy Advertising Manager Neema S. Purswani

UMS International FZ LLC P.O. Box: 503048, Building no 10, Office 346, Dubai Media City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel:+9714-4329467 Fax: +9714-4329534 Printed at Emirates Printing Press LLC, Dubai

Editor in Chief Deborah Needleman

General Manager Michael Greenspon

Creative Director Patrick Li

Vice President, Licensing and Syndication Alice Ting

PRODUCTION Production Manager Viktor Ahmed Production Supervisor Tushar Raval

Marketing Coordinator Disha Gagwani Circulation Manager Sunil Kumar Circulation Executive Rex Emmanuel

For marketing queries please call +97150-1447656 E mail:

Deputy Editor Whitney Vargas Fashion Director at Large Joe McKenna Managing Editor George Gustines Photography Director Nadia Vellam


Vice President, Executive Editor The New York Times News Service & Syndicate Nancy Lee

LICENSED EDITIONS Editorial Director Josephine Schmidt

Coordinators Gary Caesar Karen Hanley

BPA Worldwide Consumer Membership Applied for September 2013.


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Editor, T International Editions George Gustines

Sign of the Times

To Have and To Hold

Once upon a time, a man’s bag indicated his trade. But these days, men have an increasingly complicated relationship with the things they carry their things in. BY TROY PATTERSON

HEAVY BAGGAGE A man’s carryall is seemingly a simple choice, yet loaded with symbolic weight.

THE MACGUFFIN, IN ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S formulation, is ‘‘the mechanical element that usually crops up in any story’’ — the object of desire, the ball all eyes are kept on. The Maltese Falcon is a MacGuffin, as are the letters of transit in ‘‘Casablanca,’’ and a MacGuffin par excellence is all the more potent, dramatically, because its exact significance and innate value go unexplained. One thinks of the briefcase in ‘‘Pulp Fiction’’ as an iconic MacGuffin: What is in it? No one will ever know, but every viewer feels the power of the symbol. One thinks also that, in real life, the briefcase — every briefcase and every satchel and knapsack and tote and much derided so-called murse — is itself a kind of MacGuffin. The exact details of the personal effects and professional necessities a man daily organizes in his bag don’t matter. What’s meaningful is the male bag itself, which, ever evolving, has developed into a fascinating index of masculinity. I hope that I will not run afoul of the gender police in supposing that the typical man’s relationship with his bag is different in kind from a typical woman’s relationship with hers — more utilitarian, less personal and mystifying even in its mundanity. He operates according to a system of codes that are harder to read and quicker to change, and when his semiotic

knapsack opens, a thousand questions spill out. What can it mean that I have seen the editor of GQ on the street wearing a simple backpack labeled JanSport? Don’t get me wrong; he looked good. But if such a major arbiter of male fashion sees fit to wear a bag scarcely distinguishable from that shouldered by Johnny Sixth Grader or Average Joe Busboy, then we have ourselves a puzzle on (and in) our hands. The pinstriped senior partner porting a leather case back and forth to Larchmont, N.Y., the graphic designer toting a bourgeois revision of a prototypically bluecollar kit bag, the dude swinging a Louis Vuitton carryall to the gym — each is lugging around an awful lot of symbolic weight. No bag in the history of male bags — a history that stretches back to the leather loculus (meaning ‘‘little place’’) of the Roman soldier — has more cultural baggage than the briefcase. With its right-rectangular rectitude and immutable sense of authority, the iconic attaché case is as rigid as the values of the corporate culture of which it remains a symbol. A look around Grand Central Station during the morning rush will suggest that the popularity of traditional leather cases and folios is waning, but common sense tells you that they will never disappear. As long as the British government retains the ritual of the chancellor of the Exchequer

Summer, 2014



Sign of the Times

hefting his traditional red box on the day of announcing his budget — and as long as grown-up schoolboys recall that the word ‘‘budget’’ derives from bulga (meaning ‘‘leather bag’’) — the briefcase will have a place in the power game. The world was once a place where, in the right hand, even a softer-handled case indicated firm resolve and projected a comforting solidity. Think of Gregory Peck’s Atticus Finch carrying his into the courtroom in ‘‘To Kill a Mockingbird’’; it was a tool of justice and must have smelled to Scout like the promise of safety itself. But in our pluralistic times, the authority such a briefcase represents can feel less like a comfort than a constraint. The object’s associations are more ambiguous; it has become, perhaps, too potent a symbol. One thinks of the poster for Ben Stiller’s recent remake of ‘‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,’’ where the briefcase speaks of the daydreaming hero’s conventionality and humdrum burdens. His head is in the clouds; his briefcase is unhappy ballast. Not for nothing, Mitty is carrying an iconic number called the Zero

person carrying a computer used for business is wearing a reminder of business obligations, and is also mixing his business and personal lives in a way that must, on at least some vague level, change his sense of pleasure. Is there something galumphing and inherently inelegant in this relationship with technology? In having a mobile command center mingling with your own stuff? Or is this the way of all personal things in the time of the personal brand? On the other hand — well, the other hand has a phone in it. This facet of modern life is one reason for the rise of the omnipresent offspring, the bikemessenger bag: Look, Ma, there are no hands for gripping handles because I am texting to ask what’s for dinner. When the messenger bag first appeared — in the mid-1960s, manufactured by a sailmaker — couriers appreciated its shape-shifting ability. When it caught on in the 1990s, as Manhattan Portage nylon bags swarmed the sidewalks, customers appreciated its durability. When it persists in transforming the pedestrian silhouette, as it does, we must conclude that its amorphous quality is in step with the newly flexible idea of masculinity, in which a dude might simultaneously be a daddy in need of a diaper bag, a greenmarket shopper in want of an eco-conscious tote, a gym rat packing his yoga pants and a yuppie announcing his status with a Jack Spade label. This is portable pluralism. It is all to the good to reject the hegemony of the Halliburton and its ilk. It is a fine thing that fancy lads are shopping heritage brands for $5,000 versions of their grandfathers’ tool bags, and it is an irony to be savored that the men in the best position to purchase such status symbols instead demonstrate their status by getting on the Acela with no bag at all and running their hedge funds from their phones. But where’s the romance? It is possible for a man to love his bag, I know, as the veteran of a collegiate companionship with a cotton khaki shoulder bag, Israeli paratrooper gear purchased at Banana Republic back in its safari-shop salad days. The thing was trim but rugged, exotic but uncomplicated — and, right now, remembering its flairful red-winged logo, I find myself smiling wistfully. I Google my paratrooper beauty, see that I can order one online from an Army-Navy store for $20, and contemplate the purchase for a quarter-hour before an internal alarm goes off: Put away childish things. Thus do I resolve to maintain fidelity to my bag of the past year, a tasteful blue Herschel backpack that I kind of stole from my wife, possibly guided by the feeling that its spruce reserve is correct for the cultural moment. Ladies’ hall-of-fame purses — the Birkins and Balenciagas and what have you — are known as statement bags. I wonder if, by contrast, what even a peacock wants is an understatement bag, something to keep him calmly carrying on.

Halliburton, an aluminum model named for the oilman who started the company. That Halliburton’s name — now, of course, most famous as a byword for military-industrial menace — should grace the briefcase amounts to a haiku about corporate imagery. And one thinks, further, that in 2014, the man wielding a corporate briefcase as an emblem of traditional values looks a bit like the protagonist of Ralph Ellison’s ‘‘Invisible Man.’’ In the 1952 novel, the nameless Negro hero wins his briefcase in a night of combat that’s as cruelly and casually absurd as capitalism — and afterward can locate himself only in its gleaming calfskin. ‘‘He carries it everywhere,’’ the Yale scholar Robert B. Stepto once observed, ‘‘never realizing that it possesses him far more than he possesses it.’’ You can see at least one Invisible Man and one Mitty in every car of every commuter train — guys toting briefcases as if their contents include an empty suit or a set of golden handcuffs. And what about the guy just across from him? The 50-something fellow shouldering a blocky Dell laptop in a blockier black synthetic bag is carrying the contemporary equivalent of Willy Loman’s sample case, one fears — and so is that fellow’s younger, more fashionable colleague, the one with a Mac in the twill Ghurka tote that goes so well with his A.P.C. barn jacket. The strap on a laptop bag is also a kind of yoke, for the liberating laptop has its flip side. The

What’s in a Bag?

Utility case Zero Halliburton, AED 2,296;


Tote Ghurka, AED 2,553.

Messenger Coach, AED 2,564;

T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Backpack Want Les Essentiels de la Vie, AED 1,928;

Soft briefcase Tod’s, AED 8,907;

Duffel Louis Vuitton, AED 9,550;



You can see at least one Walter Mitty and one Invisible Man in every car of every commuter train — guys toting briefcases as if their contents include an empty suit or a set of golden handcuffs.

Lookout The Moment

Endless Sunday A relaxed hippie vibe runs through men’s wear this spring with casual cuts and let-loose prints — a welcome break from the buttoned-up look of workaday clothes. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MATTHEW KRISTALL STYLED BY JASON RIDER

An Airy, Untucked Shirt Dries Van Noten shirt, AED 1,634; Antwerp. Ann Demeulemeester pants, AED 3,434;


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Socks and Sandals Lanvin sandals, AED 3,647. Margaret Howell socks, AED 367; Missoni cardigan, AED 6,666, shirt, AED 2,112, and tank top, AED 1,800. Tommy Hilfiger jeans, AED 511; Proper Gang shorts (worn underneath), AED 1,341;

Summer, 2014



The Moment

Soft, Faded Denim Gap jacket, AED 330; Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane shirt, AED 2,387, and belt, AED 1,194. Vince jeans, AED 716;


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine


A Cheeky but Sensible Hat Moncler hat, AED 771; (646) 350-3620. Canali shirt, AED 992. Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane shirt (worn underneath), AED 1,065. Tiffany & Company bracelet, AED 2,387;


Summer, 2014



This and That A Cultural Compendium

Sock Hop


The most overlooked of knits gets asked to the fashion dance.


Spiritual Healing

ART MATTERS FORCE OF NATURE Clockwise from right: Davide Balula; ‘‘Burnt Painting, Imprint of the Burnt Painting (Ember Harbor #7),’’ 2013; ‘‘River Painting (La Seine, Paris),‘‘ 2009-2010.

A Dangerous Method Buried, burned and drowned, Davide Balula’s canvases brave the elements in his pursuit of perfect imperfection. Rather than languish on a gallery wall, Davide Balula’s art keeps busy: paintings grow mushrooms, spaces heat and bend and sculptures record surrounding movements, loudly playing back what they hear. ‘‘I take inspiration from natural phenomena,’’ says the 36-year-old French artist, who now lives in New York City. His materials of choice are earth, wind, fire and water. With them, he creates situations open to chance and then lets nature do its thing. Blank canvases that he buries in soil attract microbes and mold; drowned in rivers, they collect mineral deposits and emerge as marbled abstractions. For ‘‘Ember Harbor,’’ his current show at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen in Brussels, he used a blowtorch to burn seven panels of wood blocks arranged in checkerboard patterns, squeezing each set into successively narrower frames. By pressing charred surfaces to virgin canvas, he created ghostly charcoal prints, then hung each opposite its original. As viewers pass between the increasingly tapered paintings, the walls seem to close in. ‘‘It’s a weird sensation,’’ admits Balula, who will exhibit new work at Frieze New York in May. — LINDA YABLONSKY ALL PRICES ARE INDICATIVE


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Clockwise from top: Marcomonde striped socks, AED 88; Chup Fair Isle socks, AED 129; Anonymousism polka-dot socks, from AED 129; Moss Green star socks, AED 44;

While North India has no shortage of ashrams, the recently opened Vana, Malsi Estate, located in Dehradun near the foothills of the Himalayas, is taking wellness to new heights. The 31-year-old physics major-turned-organic farmer Veer Singh has spent nearly five years and $155 million building this tranquil spa retreat, which offers everything from a few days of yoga to three weeks of Ayurvedic healing. From AED 1,892 per person, per night, all-inclusive; — MAURA EGAN


This and That


Wrench Not Required Suave meets chav when baggy shorts are paired with white slip-ons and matching socks. Extra points for tattoo sleeves.

Fashion’s greatest oxymoron since dress pants, the formal jumpsuit is easily achieved by dandifying an airy one-piece with a button-up and bow tie.

Thanks to a play on proportion and an unexpected accessory or two, stylish jumpsuits step out of the garage.

Denim layered loosely over a sailor-stripe T-shirt, sans beret and baguette, adds an air of machisme to Gallic gallantry.

A graphic jumpsuit tied around the waist and worn with a bicep-baring tank gives sporty streetwear a touch of rugged hauteur.

Architecture for Living THE FIND

Wish You Were Here Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt were the closest of friends, their bond informing much of their work. A new book, ‘‘Converging Lines,’’ chronicles their kinship through personal photos, affectionate letters and, as shown here, postcards from across the globe.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL Above: a mural by Paulo Werneck at his grandson’s house on Paquetá Island in Rio de Janeiro. Right: Cabral coffee table, AED 38,530.

Oscar Niemeyer, the Brazilian architect who died in 2012 just days before his 105th birthday, was one of the most influential figures in Modernist design. Many of his playful buildings were ravishing for one reason in particular: the mosaic murals designed by Niemeyer’s childhood friend and collaborator Paulo Werneck. Werneck’s grandson Gaspar Saldanha, who, along with his sister Claudia, manages his grandfather’s archive, has teamed up with the Brazilian furniture company Etel on a new line of mosaic-topped tables and a credenza, some of which are exact replicas of pieces Werneck designed in the 1950s; others reinterpret the patterns that brought so much life and sensuality to public spaces in Brazil. ‘‘I pretty much spent my childhood in his atelier,’’ says Saldanha, who is producing many of the tabletops in the same workshop where the original murals were made. — DAVID NETTO

A BIT OF WISDOM In the summer of 1966, LeWitt wrote to Hesse: ‘‘Do a lot of little things — it’s better than large things. Make nets with things in them.’’



T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine


The grandson of a master mosaicist pays tribute to his heritage with a new furniture line.

CROWD SOURCING ‘‘80 Backs,’’ a burlap and resin sculpture by the Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, depicts a faceless mass.

Media Report

Big (Bad) Data The buzziest idea in business may be its greatest downfall.



IN LATE DECEMBER, the Twittersphere was set alight by tens of thousands of voices who were furious about antigay comments made by Phil Robertson, the bearded patriarch of the A&E reality show ‘‘Duck Dynasty,’’ in GQ magazine. Executives at the cable channel were monitoring the response and, understandably, became concerned about the future of its No. 1 program. Based in part on feedback from social media, it seemed as if the show’s audience — and, potentially, its advertisers — might abandon it. The controversy had gone viral. Hoping to quell the firestorm, A&E announced it was suspending Robertson indefinitely. Social media and Big Data, the term du jour for the collection of vast troves of information that can instantaneously be synthesized, are supposed to help us make smarter, faster decisions. It seems as if just about every C.E.O. of a global company these days is talking about how Big Data is going to transform their business. But with increasing frequency, it may be leading to flawed, panic-induced conclusions, often by ascribing too much value to a certain data point or by rushing to make a decision because the feedback is available so quickly. This digital river of information is turning normally levelheaded decision-makers into hypersensitive, reactive neurotics. That appears to be the lesson that A&E quickly learned after effectively firing Robertson from ‘‘Duck Dynasty.’’ Many of the negative tweets weren’t coming from the show’s core audience in the middle of the country. Instead, they were coming from the tweet-happy East and West Coasts — not exactly regular watchers of the camo-wearing Louisiana clan whose members

openly celebrate being ‘‘rednecks.’’ About a week later, after A&E analyzed the feedback with some more perspective, the network reversed course on Robertson’s ‘‘indefinite hiatus,’’ reinstating him before he even missed a day of taping. So much for the wisdom of crowds. Or at least we’re finding out that some wisdom is needed to know which crowd to follow. Amazon, eager to get into the content-creation business and rewrite the rules of Hollywood, thought it had a brilliant idea when it announced a plan to crowdsource the views of its customers in choosing which TV programs to greenlight. The shopping giant had seen Netflix use Big Data to help pick its slate of hits like ‘‘House of Cards’’ — Netflix executives had combed through millions of hours of programming and the intentions of its users (what genre they gravitated toward, when they’d watch, pause or rewind) to understand what kinds of shows they wanted to see. Amazon, which didn’t have that data but did have a huge customer base, decided to let its patrons vote on which pilots to turn into full-fledged series. Amazon’s users are unlikely to become Hollywood studio heads, at least not yet: The company’s first big production, ‘‘Alpha House,’’ a political comedy starring John Goodman, was greeted with solid reviews but has gained little traction. The greatest challenge of Big Data — especially social media — is separating the signal from all the noise. A study by the Pew Research Center, for example, found that Twitter users are more often than not negative. The study, which examined reactions on Twitter to news events, including Barack Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s presidential race, discovered that ‘‘for both candidates, negative comments exceeded positive comments by a wide margin.’’ More disturbingly, that reaction is not representative: ‘‘The reaction on Twitter to major political events and policy decisions often differs a great deal from public opinion as measured by surveys,’’ Pew reported. That is due, in part, to the fact that ‘‘Twitter users are not representative of the public’’: They are younger and more likely to lean toward the Democratic Party. It turns out that what’s ‘‘trending’’ on Twitter may not really be ‘‘trending’’ at all. Big Data and massive efforts to analyze it aren’t going away. But the need for judgment — and patience — is more important than ever. A crowd may be wise, but ultimately, the crowd is no wiser than the individuals in it.

Summer, 2014



Take Two

Danny McBride

Judy Blume

Actor and foulmouthed comedian who will appear in Cameron Crowe’s next film, and is now writing a new HBO series with the cocreators of his hit show, ‘‘Eastbound & Down.’’

Beloved American writer and tween-whisperer who has sold more than 82 million books. Her 29th, which she is currently working on, involves love and loss in 1950s New Jersey.

Even if I could pull off the design, it’s too small a backpack for me to wear. Maybe if I was in Japan in 1995. I still carry around a very basic Herschel bookbag. I go to and from work like I’m headed to high school.

It weighs 100 pounds — so, so heavy. It reminds me of Santa Fe in the ’70s, when I lived there. I could hang it on my wall as an objet and be very happy looking at it. But I’m little, and it just about took me down.

Bag Chanel’s graffiti canvas backpack (AED 12,488;


There’s something nice about knowing that if something does suddenly come loose, you could tighten it. But no one, not even Marlon Brando, would look cool with this toothpick hanging off his face.

The IN1 case, a multitool iPhone case that includes two screwdrivers, a nail file and a set of scissors, among other things (AED 165;


They look like something one of Judy Blume’s characters might wear. I feel like they should come with gel and tickets to Miami. I wish I knew someone who could wear these around and not get laughed at by me.

They didn’t inhibit me from sleeping. I never even think about my pillowcases, but now that I’m looking at them, I think I’ve been rocking the ones I’ve got for a long time. Could be years.

The capsule collection for Moncler Lunettes designed in collaboration with Pharrell Williams (AED 1,873).

Pillowcases by the artist John Baldessari for the latest installment of The Thing Quarterly (AED 882 for a one-year subscription;


I was a girl who hankered for Swiss Army knives. I always wanted my own, and now I finally get one to carry around. I broke a fingernail trying to get the cute little tools out, but still, I like it.

I love the feel of them, but I could never wear these because they have red lenses and I live in Key West. I would use them on top of my head to hold my hair back. They look pretty cool.

I tend to use all white, myself, but I like the double sets of lips. Would I order the magazine? Probably not, but it’s a great gift idea. It’s like a Fruit of the Month club, except a Thing of the Quarter club.



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A dual review of what’s new.


Lookout Emirates

The Luxe List

From Bulgari’s Indian-inspired perfume to local Emirati design house Nomad’s sporty shirts, here is a selection of covetable luxury items.

Zegna Bag Ermenegildo Zegna’s summer accessory collection boasts a wonderful assortment of signature pieces that are at once smart and able to make a powerful statement. One such item is this calf leather business bag with external zip pocket, shiny palladium hardware and removable strap. It can be used for a variety of occasions – at work or out on the town. The light blue color will add an extra spark to an otherwise dull business outfit.

Jo Malone Tuberose Angelica

Adorning your outfit with the right accessory can make a big difference. This Salvatore Ferragamo belt has a smooth black leather strap featuring an enameled silvertone double gancio buckle with pin closure and a five-hole adjustment strap. The belt is made in Italy of the finest leather. A versatile accessory, it can be worn for an elegant occasion or a more casual affair.

Jo Malone’s latest scent is Tuberose Angelica, a fragrance devised by master perfumer Salamagne. The cologne intense combines sensual white florals of tuberose with the green spiciness of angelica. There are also base notes of amberwood, giving a warm and earthy feel to the fragrance.

Available at Salvatore Ferragamo in The Dubai Mall, AED 1,275

House of Nomad Dubai-based label House of Nomad is a fashion brand founded by creatives Ahmed El Sayed and Saleh Al Banna. This season sees the brand offer pieces for both men and women in a single-toned nude color palette. The women’s selection introduces a range of pieces from lace detail gowns to elegant skirts and sweaters. The menswear component offers bold separates such as bomber jackets and drop crotch pants. The entire collection is unified by its use of heavy jersey as well as its incorporation of Arabic calligraphy – a characteristic that emphasizes the designers’ heritage. Available exclusively at S*UCE stores across the UAE, AED 1,265


T Emirates: The New York Times Style Magazine

Available at all Jo Malone stores throughout the United Arab Emirates, AED 685.


Salvatore Ferragamo Enameled Gancio Belt

Available at Ermenegildo Zegna at The Dubai Mall. Price available on request.

Bulgari Indian Garnet Perfume Bulgari’s latest perfume whisks the wearer away on an olfactory voyage to the heart of India. Created by Bulgari and Alberto Morillas around the unique mandarin garnet, the perfume’s special components include tuberose, the flower of desire and sensuality, married to osmanthus, a plant from China. The scent is the latest jewel-perfume in the Omnia collection, a modern tribute to the beauty of a region that continues to inspire through its kaleidoscope of cultures, colors, textures and aromas. Available at the Bulgari boutique in The Dubai Mall. AED 342

Cartier’s Jeanne Toussaint Collection Named after Cartier muse Jeanne Toussaint, a woman whose refined taste made her one of the 20th century’s most celebrated tastemakers, these bags revisit a classic sense of style and a heritage in fine leather goods. The bags are made half in crocodile and half in smooth leather, blended together in beige tones. They boast two handles and a generous full-length strap, a hand-sewn bar tack, and a zipped compartment in the base. Leather bags appeared early in Cartier’s history. Their creation today with these fine materials reflects the brand’s sense of sophistication and craftsmanship.


Available at the Cartier boutique in Mall of the Emirates and The Dubai Mall. Prices available on request.

FOPE Jewelry Italian goldsmith Fope has become one of the world’s most sought-after jewelry brands. With its headquarters in Vicenza, Italy, the company was established in 1929 and has become known for its creative collaborations with skilled craftsmen as well as Italian artists. Its latest collection features 18-carat gold bangles, rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and pendants laden with diamonds, pearls and semiprecious stones. Available at Damas Les Exclusives boutiques throughout the United Arab Emirates. Prices available on request.

Louis Vuitton Dandy Derby

Tom Ford Noir Eau de Toilette

This classic brogue made in waxed calf leather combines pure English spirit with exclusive Louis Vuitton details. These include such elements as subtle perforations illustrating the brand’s know-how and craftsmanship. A staple shoe that can be worn for a variety of occasions, the Louis Vuitton Dandy Derby is a must-have for any elegant wardrobe. Available at Louis Vuitton in The Dubai Mall, AED 3,350

Tom Ford’s Noir Eau de Toilette conveys strength and confidence through smooth and oriental notes. The perfume offers an energized way to wear the Tom Ford Noir signature and is made of pure citrus oils and herbal notes. The fragrance captures the masculine duality with which Ford imbues his designs, to reflect a man who is sophisticated and elegant but also bold. Available at Paris Gallery in Dubai Marina Mall, AED 150


Summer, 2014


Lookout Emirates

L’Heure de Nuit

Time-telling creations have become decorative showcases for explorations into the imaginary realm of the night. Imbued with fantastical designs including references to the zodiac and to grandiose balls, these timepieces are suited for a nocturnal escapade or an elegant affair. Clockwise from top left: Midnight Planetarium by Van Cleef & Arpels, Lady Arpels Zodiac Aquarius by Van Cleef & Arpels, Hermès Arceau Temari, Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Night and Day, Chanel J12-365 in black high-tech ceramic with 18-carat gold, Louis Vuitton Tambour Bijou Secret Lapis Lazuli, Dior VIII Grand Bal ‘Plume et Nacre’ model timepiece, Panthère Ajourée de Cartier.


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Male Order Hermès’ made-to-measure program Sur Mesure for men has arrived in Dubai. T Emirates meets with Jocelyn Persod, the program’s director in Dubai, to learn about what goes into an Hermès Sur Mesure garment.



IMAGINE BESPOKE SUITS, silk ties and crocodile suede jackets – this is exactly what the range of Hermès’ made-to-measure program consists of. Initiated in 1994, Hermès’s made-to measure program, Sur Mesure, is offered at its flagship store in Paris, its Ginza store in Tokyo and its Madison Avenue men’s store in New York, and now in Dubai at its store in The Dubai Mall. A unique service for the man who desires a special garment that he can call entirely his own, Sur Mesure requires a series of three fittings. At the first visit measures are taken and the client tries on a canvas, after which the tailor creates a pattern. The entire suit is then put together by hand, incorporating the client’s preferences in line with the brand’s know-how, in Hermès’ Paris workshops, where it takes around nine weeks to create. “We never change the design, but if you want something in different material then we will make it for you,” says Persod. “It is always a study, making something bespoke for someone. We must research what they want and the materials available, and then create a beautiful product. We want the garment to be perfect, and that takes time.” This is menswear of the highest order. While there are currently no rules to dressing well, it is true that excellence of quality, construction of detail and craftsmanship as well as the beauty of the garment do speak for themselves. This is what Hermès’ Sur Mesure program promises. Persod guides us through a startling array of bespoke collars, shirts, leather jackets and blazers and trousers. The superb craftsmanship and personalization of these examples of what is possible are true objects of beauty. For the Middle Eastern market they offer great potential and artistic freedom. Here the gentleman is able to dream. As Véronique Nichanian, Artistic Director for Hermès Men’s Universe, puts it: “A bespoke garment is one that has always been waiting for the wearer to want it. It is one that will find its place in someone’s life, and go through it with them for a long time, or possibly forever.”

The making of Hermès Sur Mesure garments, one stitch at a time.

Hermès is located in The Dubai Mall. For more information, visit Summer, 2014


Imperial Creations The Golkar brothers are setting the pace for men’s fashion in the UAE with their Emperor 1688 label. Rebecca Anne Proctor meets with the trio in Dubai to speak about the historical and cultural influences in their work and their recent foray into womenswear. LAUGHTER EMANATES from the VIP room of Saks Fifth Avenue in Dubai’s BurJuman Shopping Center. I enter to find the three Golkar brothers happily chatting away – confident, poised and impeccably dressed. They wear the dapper outfits that have quickly made them one of the most popular home-grown fashion brands in town, and one that is also rising on the international fashion circuit. They are easygoing, fun and charming. Designing clothes, something that began simply as a passion, has in the span of a few years led them to become entrepreneurs with their fashion label Emperor 1688. Set apart by its mix of quintessential British references combined with Middle Eastern and, specifically, Iranian influences, Emperor 1688 has come to stand for that unmistakable cultural crossover that one finds so often in this part of the world: the marriage of East and West. “The label is about luxury in contemporary times, but stems from our Iranian heritage,” says Babak, the eldest of the brothers. The date ‘1688’ in the brand’s name harkens back to an era of great cultural reform and artistic exploration in Iran. It was the year that the emperor Nader Shah was born, an iconic figure in Iranian history and one that the brothers grew up studying.


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Evoking the ethos of Nader Shah’s reign, Emperor 1688 exudes strength, boldness, gentlemanly charm and artistry. But the brand also combines these elements with the edginess found in the contemporary culture of today, making it a unique confluence of past and present design. With a host of accolades now under their belts, in addition to the setting up of new stores in the US and a greater concentration on womenswear, the Golkar brothers appear to be at a creative peak. Riding the wave. Babak Golkar and his younger twin brothers Farhan and Haman have combined their wealth of artistic and creative expertise in the design of Emperor 1688. Babak graduated with honors from the London College of Fashion, while Haman studied product design and graphic design at Central Saint Martins and Farhan studied graphic design at Chelsea College of Art and Design. While they each have their own distinctive styles, they have come together to work on the business with a unified identity. “We each know what the others like and dislike,” says Babak. “We wanted to do something that brought all of our skills and passions together. Starting a fashion label seemed to be the thing to do.” The brothers decided that the mission of the brand would be

to bring luxury to men’s clothing. They started off with a particular emphasis on men’s shirts. While the Golkars’ parents are not in the arts (their father is an IT entrepreneur and their mother is a skin therapist), their creativity was encouraged from a young age. Babak tells how, when they were kids, their mother would give them paper and crayons so that they could learn to draw. “Something is always born out of something that already was, so our creativity was enhanced by what we were subjected to growing up,” says Babak. “It is also how we handle the creativity of our brand – we look at something in the past and try and reinvent it in the present.” They decided to move from London to Dubai because their family is based here, and in the beginning they received financial support from their father. They began by making tailor-made shirts for friends and family, until they decided to establish their own label in 2007. “Given our growing clientele of personal clients, we decided to turn it into a ready-to-wear retail brand,” says Babak. Emperor 1688 is now distributed in Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles, with more stores in the pipeline. It earned the brothers the Esquire Designer of the Year Award in 2011, and a further nomination in 2012. In order to reflect the influence of British and Iranian culture in Emperor 1688, they devised a logo that echoes the idea of crossing boundaries. “The bird in our logo reflects this idea,” says Babak. “The idea is that the modern man cannot be limited to one particular group; he should not be so readily defined. I think our brand appeals to people because they can relate to that. Yes, we incorporate very structured British tailoring, but at the same time we combine that with Iranian fabrics and specific global trends. Our British-Iranian heritage allows us to cross over between the two cultures within our designs. We make use of our cross-boundary cultural influence.” Man as a traveler. Emperor 1688 is grounded in the philosophy that man is a traveler. “He is constantly roaming from border to border, trying to understand other cultures and constantly having to adapt to his very specific mature cosmopolitan lifestyle,” says Babak. The brand also prides itself on using the finest fibers and fabrics from prestigious European mills. From the crisp contemporary pinstripes used in their garments to the traditional herringbone


Farhan, Babak and Haman Golkar.

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Emperor 1688's Fall/Winter 2014 collection highlights the use of fur, elegant capes and quintessential British references.

design, every fabric is chosen with the utmost care. Fine pure cotton is sourced from Italy, Switzerland and the UK, and raw silks are bought exclusively from France – all of them materials that make their creations timeless. Moreover, the brothers believe in the importance of giving life to the fabric itself. “We always design from fabrics first,” explains Babak. He cites a saying that refers to how a sculptor sees a sculpture in the stone before he even starts. “It is the same with fabric: you need to see how it moves and flows before you begin to play with it,” he adds. “Quality is crucial no matter what trend we are putting forth.” In terms of creative influences, the brothers are very much compelled by music, architecture and prominent historical figures. “We each have our own tastes, but we focus a lot on architecture and music – two disciplines that we all love, and that act as our starting point for our designs,” says Babak. “We design from a period in history or an architectural inspiration.” The incorporation of geometric forms and symmetry in their designs is the result of the brothers’ interest in traditional Middle Eastern architecture, and also the form of the modern high-rises of Dubai, buildings such as the Islamic Museum and the Dubai International Financial Center. “Dubai is a combination of Middle Eastern heritage and contemporary trends, and this is echoed throughout the city’s buildings,” says Babak. “We try and do the same in our designs – merge the past with the present.” The brand’s mission is to follow what the modern man wants as well as adapt to the changing times. “A few years ago we were experimenting with really different designs such as triple collars and wild patterns and colors,” says Babak. “We have now become much more subdued.” However, Emperor 1688’s most recent show during the third season of Fashion Forward in Dubai revealed more edgy attire, seen in trench coats and interesting use of fur, lots of frills and lace for the ladies, and intriguing leather belt work. These are signs of an increasing use of experimentation. New avenues. The 19th-century relationship of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in their retreat at Balmoral Castle in Scotland was the inspiration for Emperor 1688’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection. “We weren’t so much concerned with their aesthetic and dress code as we were by their relationship,” says Babak. “It was a very passionate love affair, and we tried to bring this out in the collection.

We are predominantly a menswear label, but for this season we decided to venture more into womenswear. So by concentrating on the relationship between Prince Albert and Queen Victoria we were able to better our own relationship between our womenswear and menswear.” The brothers explain that they also found it interesting that when Albert first moved to England from Germany he didn’t speak much English. He had a thick German accent. Being from Hanover in Germany herself, Queen Victoria spoke in the same way, and yet they gradually came to be considered a great ‘British couple.’ Once again, the brothers resort to the confluence of different cultures, similar to their own. “Like Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, we are not ethnically British; we are of Iranian origin, and yet we were raised in the UK and feel British,” says Babak. A regal and slightly moody tone is apparent in the men’s and women’s ready-to-wear pieces, with fur-lined coats, transparent dresses with equestrian leather buckles, leather bow ties for the ladies, and a variety of capes. For the materials, the brothers have used lots of tartan and wools woven in Scotland. As Babak explains with a laugh, “Prince Albert wanted to show that he was more Scottish than anyone else, so he adorned Balmoral with tartan. This was when Scottish tartan became really popular.” For colors, there are lots of forest greens and blues – all of which reflect the Scottish Highlands. Womenswear has become a new creative avenue for the brothers. “We previously only had a handful of womenswear items available, and now we’re doing around fifty percent menswear and fifty percent womenswear,” says Babak. “Our aspiration is to dress men, women, and eventually children. Our goal is to be a lifestyle brand.” Explore the Golkar brothers certainly will, and all the more so with some major overseas deals in the pipeline. “We’ve recently signed with associates in the US, which is big, as we are the first and only male brand from the Middle East to sign with them,” says Babak. “They have Matthew Williamson as well, so this is really big for us. We signed with them in April and will open our showroom in New York at the end of May.” Events such as Fashion Forward, the

brand’s distribution at Saks Fifth Avenue, and its three boutiques in Dubai have all helped Emperor 1688 to grow so quickly. “If you work hard at a good product, no matter where you’re based or where you are from, the consumer will always trust you,” says Babak. And this is what has happened. “Any business you start is destined to fail,” continues Babak. “It’s the process that you undertake, and the conviction you have in its quality that makes it last.” But it is also the brand’s communication of its vision that sets the pace. The Golkar brothers’ cross-cultural approach to aesthetics and intellectualism is certainly serving them well. Emperor 1688 is available at Saks Fifth Avenue in BurJuman Shopping Center in Dubai. For more information, visit

Summer, 2014


Time Collectors The UAE has become a prime market for high-end watch manufacturers. Top brands have been setting up boutiques within the country’s shopping malls to cater to a savvier clientele. Rebecca Anne Proctor reports on these developments and the region’s increasingly discerning watch collectors. THE MARKET FOR luxury goods in the Middle

A display of the Hermès Arceau Lift.


East has grown considerably over the past decade. From watches and jewelry to fine art, consumers now have a much wider range of premium products to choose from. This is particularly apparent when it comes to the luxury watch sector. The past year has witnessed considerable developments for highend watches in the UAE, including the inaugural visit of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) presented by watch retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the relaunch of Christie’s watch sale, and exhibitions such as Hermès’ ‘Of Mastery and Time’. Something has changed. The intense focus on watches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi signals not only that the Middle East market is growing, but also that it has an

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increasingly educated and sophisticated clientele. A number of leading local watch retailers have also been pushing the envelope for exclusive watches in the Middle East. Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons is the largest retailer of Swiss watches in the region, with such names in its portfolio as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Bomberg, Bovet, Roger Dubuis, Richard Mille, Baume & Mercier and Hublot. There is also the Rivoli Group, which sells brands such as Bulgari, Blancpain, Glashütte and Jaeger-LeCoultre. International labels such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Montblanc, Panerai and IWC have all opened boutiques in prestigious locations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, staking out a place in the region’s ever-expanding market. A 2013 market report by Bain & Company underlined the steady growth of the luxury industry in the Middle East, with Dubai continuing to be the center of gravity and the only city attracting foreign luxury consumers, namely from Russia, China, India and Africa. The report noted that Dubai alone commands 30 percent of the Middle Eastern luxury market, and approximately 60 percent of the UAE’s luxury market. “Geographically speaking, the largest region for Montblanc is the Middle East and India region,” said the watchmaker’s CEO Jerome Lambert during a recent interview in Dubai. “It is a very promising region and a strong platform on which to develop our market in the southern hemisphere. All of us (European luxury brands) did it in 2003-2008, and then the crisis came and people were skeptical. But the crisis has ended, and luxury brands are back and expanding their presence within the Middle East. There’s more knowledge and appreciation than there was before.” A Taste for Sophistication. This growth in the Middle East luxury market is reflected in an interest in sophisticated and collectible timepieces. As a keen watch amateur recently observed, “The market has one of the highest concentrations of high net worth individuals in the world.” In addition to this, the UAE market has positioned itself as a key and strategic market for the Swiss watch industry. It was already among the top ten countries on the World Distribution of Swiss Watch Exports list in 2013, and ranked fifth in the world in the first quarter of 2014, behind only Hong Kong, the United States, China and Japan, and ahead of countries like Germany, Singapore, Italy,


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Clockwise from top left: Wissam Almana and CEO of La Montre Hermès, Luc Perramond; Christie's Watch and Jewelry Specialist, Frederic Watrelot; CEO of Montblanc,Jerome Lambert in Dubai, Bottom: the interior of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons' new boutique in Mall of the Emirates.

France and the United Kingdom. “As a result, brands and retailers do not hesitate to invest heavily in marketing and communication to better target the growth potential that this market offers,” says Christophe Nicaise, the CEO of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. Nicaise attributes this trend to two factors: a UAE customer who is becoming more knowledgeable about the art of fine watchmaking, and investments by both brand principals and retailers in organizing exhibitions and events to nurture this knowledge. “These events highlight the craftsmanship behind the manufacturing process needed to produce fine timepieces,” he says. One example was the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. One of the biggest events in the watch industry calendar, the exhibition made its way to the Middle East as part of its international tour. On display were 70 watches shortlisted from among more than 200 nominees. “It is a great source of pride for the UAE that GPHG has come to Dubai,” said Abdul Hamied Seddiqi, Vice-Chairman of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. Seddiqi earlier served as a jury member at the 2011 GPHG. But the clientele is definitely changing, feels Frederic Watrelot, Christie’s Dubai Regional Specialist for Watches and Jewelry. “Clients don’t just go to the store and buy the latest model, like they used to,” he says. People are becoming more educated about their purchases, and as Watrelot points out, there is also a new generation of spenders – local Emiratis who have been educated in Europe and the United States who have different tastes from the traditional ones they grew up with. “People are increasingly being more discreet with the watches that they wear,” he adds. “You see a lot

less of the ‘bling bling’ watches people normally associate with Dubai. They still collect them – such as a Rolex Day Date, with a stone dial and diamonds, or what you call a Stellar with a lacquered dial; they are still very popular but are now more for a collector than for someone to wear.” In April, La Montre Hermès hosted ‘Of Mastery and Time’, a special horological exhibition in The Dubai Mall displaying some of the maison’s exceptional timepieces. On display were classy creations such as the Arceau Lift and Arceau Millefiori, exceptional watches in limited-edition quantities. “Customers are looking for high-quality watches from brands endowed with a heritage, genuine craftsmanship skills and unique creativity,” said Luc Perramond, the CEO of La Montre Hermès. “The value of Hermès linked to the heritage of the House has been an asset for the UAE. The Hermès watch business in the Middle East is growing very fast, with double-digit growth in the past two years. We shall continue growing a double-digit rate for the next few years.” As with all the products it creates, Hermès aims to present objects of the highest quality as a matter of long-term strategy. As Perramond says, the Middle East is a paramount region for the brand’s continued success. Vintage Interest. The spread of more sophisticated tastes has had an effect on the sale of vintage watches in the Middle East. “Residents and local Emiratis now understand that vintage is more fashionable than it used to be,” says Watrelot. The vintage watch market is now a multimillion-dollar market located primarily within the hubs of New York, London, Hong Kong and Geneva, largely through auction houses. “Vintage is not a mere subculture or trend any more;

it’s a lifestyle,” says Tarik Malik, the owner of Momentum Dubai, a concept store for vintage and classic watches in the Dubai International Financial Center. “We see people appreciating more and more things from the past, be it in design, in pop culture or in luxury,” he adds. “There is now an interest and demand for everything vintage in the Middle East.” A vintage luxury object is important because it emphasizes the value of the item’s heritage and history. Watch specialists agree that the UAE market is steadily expanding into the vintage realm, something that couldn’t be better emphasized than through Christie’s recent watch auction. Among the highlights of the sale was Patek Philippe’s iconic emeraldset Reference 5971. One of 10 known examples of the timepiece, which has a bezel decorated with 42 baguette-cut emeralds weighing approximately 3.33 carats, it fetched the highest price of the auction at $341,000 (AED 1,252,493). Another top-dollar timepiece sold was a magnificent and rare 18-carat gold, diamond and emerald-set lady’s bracelet watch by Piaget that went for $149,000 (AED 547,277). “Vintage is becoming more fashionable in the Middle East,” says Watrelot. “For instance, people don’t have a problem buying a vintage Ferrari or a Porsche 911. It’s the same thing with a Rolex; if you find a beautiful Rolex Mariner in superb condition, it is actually more fashionable now than buying the latest one that everyone can buy in the store. In terms of investment, there are more chances you’ll get lucky with the vintage watch than with a newer one.” As developments in the UAE watch market show, increasingly sophisticated tastes lead to more educated purchases, leading to sounder investments. But ultimately, as Watrelot says, “whatever you choose, you must buy what you find appealing.”

Summer, 2014


Lookout Emirates

Far left: Jeremy Hackett. This page and facing page: Hacket's Fall/ Winter 2014 collection.

The Quintessential Brit Jeremy Hackett’s eponymous menswear label has almost become part of his country’s heritage. Rebecca Anne Proctor meets the man himself during British Polo Day in Dubai and reports on the resonance of his quintessentially British look. JEREMY HACKETT IS RUNNING LATE. It is Dubai’s British Polo Day, an occasion when Dubai’s Anglophones gather to watch one of the year’s best polo matches at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club. Hackett, I am told, has just got off the plane from Doha where he has been for a Hackett store opening. Apparently he got a bit lost. Before long, though, amid the multitude of elegantlydressed ladies with their stunning hats and the sleekly-attired lads and polo players, Hackett is spotted on the field marveling at the camels that are also fitted out in accessories appropriate to a day of polo. Decked out in his resolutely British garb – complete with sunglasses – he looks almost like his own sort of rock star, the Hackett kind. I watch him as he makes his way over to where I am sitting; his energy is similar to that of a teenager rather than someone 59 years old. Hackett is full of life. He sits down next to me, smiles and apologizes for being late. This is the third Hackett British Polo day, and the Hackett British Army squad is taking on the Habtoor family team. With its long association with sportswear, the brand is the perfect collaborator for the event. But Hackett, long renowned as one of the staple designers of classic British menswear, has a repertoire that goes well beyond mere sports clothing. This is where you can


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buy a tailored two-piece suit, a dinner jacket, hunting boots and swanky leather items. And while the name ‘Hackett’ now has something of the cachet of a major car brand like Rolls-Royce or BMW, it is hard not to wonder how Hackett has made British menswear so popular all over the world in a mere 30 years. With the constant push always to make something new and avantgarde, here is a designer who has consistently stuck to his roots. “I didn’t set out to build a heritage brand – it just happened,” he says. He has certainly honed his label over the years, but there is a steadfast core there that has never gone astray. “The thing about menswear is that it is not drastic,” he says. “Hackett is a fairly classic label and a not a high fashion brand, so the changes that happen are evolutionary. Even so, we tweak things every season.” The designer explains that everything looked very different when he first started. “Then, we were doing lots of heavy flannel suits and tweeds, all of which were quite rigidly tailored,” he says. “Now, things are more softly tailored, using lighter-weight fabrics. One reason for this is that we are selling in so many countries, and the stiff British look is a bit difficult to sell outside England.” From Azerbaijan to the Dominican Republic and China, Hackett now has stores all over the world.


There is something about the Hackett brand that suggests that it has always been around. “People think that my grandfather started it, but that is not the case!” Hackett laughs. What the brand has modeled itself after, and in very much an evolutionary way, he says, is Britain’s sense of dressing up for events. “The thing we have in England that we don’t always have in other places is this sense of occasion,” says Hackett. “Here, people have come to the polo and they are dressing for it. Whether they wear a linen jacket or a cotton suit – they are all dressing for the polo. In England, you go to the horse races and you dress for it; you go to the countryside and you dress for it.” The brand caters for the type of gentleman who attends these occasions. He wants to look spiffy but classic, and not overly flamboyant. “It’s getting those details right, the fit right, cufflinks, and the tailoring – men like the details,” says Hackett. Unsure Start. Hackett got off to a far-from-glamorous start in life. The idiom “from rags to riches” comes to mind but doesn’t quite describe his journey, since there were never any rags involved. The designer was brought up in Bristol in the southwest of England, where he spent his first few years in a care home before being adopted at the age of six. Hackett doesn’t look back too fondly on those early years, and says he didn’t do very well at school. At the age of 17 he left secondary school behind him and entered the world of men’s fashion. He took a full-time job at a store where he had previously worked as a “Saturday boy.” After a year, he headed to London to the fashionable King’s Road. From there he got a job at a tailor’s shop in Savile Row. Dreams of establishing his own fashion business started to form during this time, and soon enough became a reality. It was while he was working in Savile Row that he founded the company with his friend Ashley Lloyd-Jennings. The two started by selling good classic British second-hand clothing. “We began by catering for men who were at the point in their career where they just wanted a good second-hand suit,” he says. The Parisian Gentleman started visiting Hackett once a month; the money came rolling in; and Hackett opened his first shop in 1983 on the still-chic King’s Road. “I would rummage through piles of clothes at markets to find the perfect hand-made Savile Row suit,” he remembers. “The type of clothes that I bought and the way that I retouched them made it seem as if clients were walking into a gentleman’s boutique rather than a second-hand store. Customers loved it and people would often queue for a long time on a Saturday just to get in.” Fashion Longevity. The next step was designing clothes himself. Hackett stuck to classic from the start. Despite being surrounded by trendy boutiques, he and Lloyd-Jennings angled the brand more towards classic menswear – much of which had been discarded in favor of “swinging sixties” gear. “When we couldn’t get enough second-hand clothes, we saw a gap in the market for bespoke, classic, Savile Row, and created a ready-towear version of that,” says Hackett. “We did this by using the same attention to detail and material that you get from Savile Row. It wasn’t hand-made, but it was still good quality and stylish.” He smiles as he states firmly: “We have always had a British accent.” This emphasis is reinforced through the brand’s sponsorship of sporting-cum-social events such as Ascot, the Derby, and a variety of other upscale and quintessentially British occasions. The formula for ensuring fashion longevity is respecting heritage, Hackett believes. “I am often asked,‘What is the most important item in a man’s wardrobe?’ and I will say ‘the navy blazer’, because it is the equivalent of the little black dress for a lady," he says. "It is a classic and versatile item that can be worn with anything.” But it is important to constantly surprise. There’s a fine balance to be maintained between preserving a brand’s heritage and ensuring that it keeps up with the times. “We are now addressing the challenge of making things appropriate for different countries while still ensuring that they

have the Hackett feel,” he says. “We are making softer items that are less structured but still tailored to maintain our look. I think men enjoy tailoring but don’t want something as stiff and starchy as they used to.” One region where Hackett has expanded considerably of late is the Middle East. The brand has a store in Bahrain, three in Kuwait, two in Saudi Arabia, three in the UAE and now one in Qatar. “All over the world there is a real appetite now for all things British,” he says. “If you had asked me 10 years ago about opening in the Middle East, I would have told you I was not sure they would like the brand, but it has gone down really well.” Ultimately, dressing well is about personality, Hackett confides, his eye scanning the scene. Women are elegantly groomed, in stunning hats and dresses, while the men are wearing jackets, white shirts and, every now and then, a colorful pair of trousers – an item that that seems to be quite the rage these days. “There is a difference between dressing and dressing up,” says Hackett. “Dressing up is showing off, really – it’s not just about putting on clothes. You can tell the people who wear their clothes naturally well. If you wear it well, you own it.” He recalls how he once put three men in the same suit and had them stand side by side. Only one of them looked good. “Dressing well is about personality and confidence,” he reiterates. Maintaining a sense of tradition may make it hard to keep abreast of the times – but then again, perhaps not if you are Jeremy Hackett. “I don’t think we are cutting-edge,” he says, “and I don’t think our customers demand we should be so. You have to understand how far you can stretch a brand and its credibility. There is something quite nice about being out of step and oldfashioned – it is almost cutting-edge.” Hackett pauses, smiles, and says with a laugh: “I am almost the only person wearing a tie today. This makes me avant-garde!” Hackett is located in The Dubai Mall. For more information, visit

Summer, 2014


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Italian Essentials in Dubai The past few years have seen a wealth of Italian brands establishing new bases in Dubai. One such example is Berluti, an Italian menswear brand specializing in fine leather shoes. Rebecca Anne Proctor meets the brand’s artistic director, Alessandro Sartori, in Dubai, and reports on the label’s inherited craftsmanship as well as its foray into ready-to-wear.

DUBAI IS TO THE MIDDLE EAST what Hong Kong is to China: a portal through which better to understand the culture, style and creativity of the region. Global information consultants Bain & Company recently reported that the Middle East market for luxury goods is growing at a steady pace, with Dubai continuing to be the center of gravity and a city attracting foreign luxury consumers, with a high preponderance of Russians, Indians and Africans. This has made it a lucrative market for the establishment of foreign luxury brands. “Brands must now manage an even broader diversity of consumer preferences, and more variations in their model of how to take products to market,” said Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain partner in Milan. Moreover, it is a market that demands entrepreneurship, creativity and also heritage. The Middle East honors tradition, and tradition is something that Italian luxury brands do well. Berluti is just one of a multitude of Italian brands that have established new bases in Dubai over the past several years, including such names as Prada, Ermanno Scervino, Cruciani, Brioni and Vhernier. Interestingly, these brands are not simply expanding into the region for the sake of increasing sales, but also because of the immense opportunities for creative growth. What the population in Dubai increasingly demands is craftsmanship, and this is why Italian brands, boasting centuries-old care for finely-made goods, have become so strongly revered in the developing Middle Eastern market. They are a force for education – a way to learn to appreciate a finely-made luxury product, one with historical, commercial and aesthetic value. Founded in 1895 by Alessandro Berluti, who established his store on rue Marbeuf in Paris, for decades the label has manufactured and retailed shoes and boots solely for men. It is known for its unique leather finishing and has also produced a line of leather goods including belts, wallets and bags made with a similar finish. The brand is now run by Olga Squeri, also known as Olga Berluti, and was acquired by LVMH in 1993. It has only a limited distribution; in the US Berluti can be found only in its New York and Miami stores, while in Europe there are just seven Berluti boutiques. The brand now has a further six stores in the Middle East and around 25 in Asia, which certainly seems to indicate the demographic on which Berluti seeks to concentrate. In 2011, after a four-hour lunch with Berluti’s CEO Antoine Arnault, Alessandro Sartori, the former artistic director of


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Ermenegildo Zegna and creator of the ‘Z Zegna’ range, was appointed Artistic Director of Berluti. According to Sartori, the two men spoke about “beautiful things” and the importance of instilling new life into the timeless style of the Berluti brand. His task begun, Sartori set about celebrating the workmanship of the maison while also revamping it with more fashion-forward appeal. This strategy included the launch of Berluti’s first prêt-à-porter collection in 2012, the year the brand also acquired Paris tailor Arnys. Like his predecessors, Sartori is driven by a desire to create the “beautiful things” he and Arnault had talked about over lunch. He remembers how as a child he would enjoy spending time with his mother in her dress-making shop. The various fine materials around her as well as the creative tools of scissors and offcuts – the aftermath of his mother’s tailoring – all nurtured his imagination. He also grew up in the Italian region of Biella, known for its fabric mills. Everyone he knew was working with fabrics and textiles – and here he is today, working for a brand that wants to maintain the same quality and creative genius that he grew up with. “Berluti was born as a bespoke brand,” says Sartori. “We do not compromise on any part of the process of craftsmanship. It is for this reason that we do not have a big distribution. The brand needs to be driven by its quality.” The world of Berluti changed when Sartori came on board. It opened a new flagship store in Paris on rue de Sèvres, designed by architect Gwenaël Nicolas. Berluti’s store offerings were greatly expanded while ensuring that Arnys’ skilled staff were kept in place. Sartori set forth on his mission to create the first bespoke wardrobe in the world. Arnys’ staff were soon making custommade chinos, trench coats and field jackets – clothes that had hardly ever been considered for the bespoke treatment before. Arnys had never made custom-made denim. “For the shoes we have what we call ‘special order’ because we want the prêt-àporter line also to be personalized in terms of skin, treatment, lining – everything,” Sartori says. He felt that the bespoke world had been focused for too long solely on the classic suit. Here it was amplified: everything could be custom-made and personalized, traits that are much loved in the Middle Eastern market. The brand’s prêt-à-porter line is a modern take on the classic gentleman’s wardrobe. When it launched, the world of menswear was greatly impressed. Berluti became a by-word for elegance and craftsmanship – what the modern man was looking for. Berluti


Far right: Alessandro Sartori seated amidst Berluti shoes; Berluti Essentials.

soon became more widely available around the world, with flagship stores, or ‘maisons’, as the brand calls them, opening in New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, London, Miami and Paris. Berluti opened its first Middle East store in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates in 2006. It now has a dedicated shoe and leather goods store in Level Shoe District in The Dubai Mall, and last year opened a boutique in The Galleria in Abu Dhabi. Sartori has also created Berluti Essentials, a selection of menswear pieces that the house considers indispensable. They cover the basic requirements of the modern gentleman’s lifestyle. “The idea behind the Essentials is to create the ‘ideal wardrobe’,” says Sartori. “This is the perfect three-piece suit, the most amazing tailored blazer, very nice jeans made in what we call ‘tailored denim’, nice shoes and a refined leather jacket. Such items serve as the ‘essentials’ or most important needs of your life.” As Sartori sees it, these are staple items that will not change much year on year. “We will have essential items for summer and for winter, but there will always be a core,” he explains. For Sartori, the necessary items in every man’s wardrobe include a tailor-made blue suit, a blazer, a crisp white fabric hand-made shirt and light loafers that can be worn with jeans or with a suit. The Essentials line thus offers the Berluti take on those classic pieces that have endured through time to become menswear staples, valued for their practicality as much as their elegance. “The Middle Eastern customer is unique,” says Sartori. “He is

braver. Here the male consumer likes something that is continually new and that pushes the boundaries. You find this often in new markets.” This is in contrast to the European man who prefers to follow fashion dogma – that is, to wear what is always on trend and acceptable, within certain social limits. So while Italian luxury brands are increasingly stationing themselves within the Middle Eastern retail space, they also need to be open to the adventure of the market. Notwithstanding the courageous fashion spirit of the region, the needs of the classic gentleman maintain a strong hold in Dubai, and classic but modern is where Sartori wants to position the brand. “I want to make Berluti a recognizable style,” he says. “This needs to be done without being flashy, without using too many logos. It needs to be personalized and bespoke but classic, understated and refined. Berluti needs to represent itself solely through its design.” Berluti is located in Level Shoe District in The Dubai Mall. For more information, visit Summer, 2014


Lookout Emirates

An Ode to Leather Tod’s has always celebrated the core, the material and its textures of its goods. For Tod’s President, Diego Della Valle, that is life at its finest. BY SINDHU NAIR

THERE IS SOMETHING in the Milanese air that inspires

The newly opened J.P.Tod's store in LA.


creativity. It could be the beautiful Duomo di Milano in the center of the city or the heritage-seeped alleys and fashion-inspired citizens, but there sure is something about the country, with its history of survival despite numerous conquerors, that has made the Milanese luxury industry resilient to market fluctuations. Basking in the creative spirit are many famous Italian brands, and placed discreetly among them in Corso Venezia is the Tod’s office building, quietly proclaiming the mastermind’s family name, Della Valle, in marble. Imposing stone-carved exteriors lead to a space that is open and surprisingly devoid of any distinction. This office in no way compares with the architectural brilliance of the Tod’s headquarters, a contemporary white marble building with large, windowed façades nestled in the Marche hills near Ancona, but then it was never meant to. The company’s headquarters is bedecked with large deconstructed images of Tod’s shoes by the Italian artist Giovanni Gastel, as well as two vast lunar landscapes compiled with photographs

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from the Apollo 11 moon landing. While the HQ is where creativity is harbored, the air of luxury business permeates the Milan office, and on a February evening everyone at Tod’s seems to be having an adrenaline rush. As one of Tod’s employees walks me down to the Tod’s showroom around the corner, she shares her excitement about the much-anticipated show the next day at Milan Fashion Week (MWF). The Tod’s womenswear at MFW was on the agenda of many journalists, and all were waiting to put their pens to writing the future of Tod’s in this new segment. I wondered how a brand that has been so successful in recent years could be so apprehensive about a new turn in its brand vision. But then the clout of the fashion weeks that bring the paramount luxury, available next season, to journalists and buyers from around the world is not to be discounted, with many a success story inked right afterwards. For Tod’s, the 2014 Autumn/Winter womenswear collection was one that reinstated its strength in leather and reestablished the brand’s supremacy in the material with which it is always


Clockwise from left: Diego Della Valle belongs to the "Made in Italy" club; personalization takes on a new meaning at the J.P. Tod's; the J.P. Club in Milan spells and smells of all things leather.

associated. Alessandra Facchinetti, the new Creative Director of Tod’s, seems to have debunked the properties of leather, worked on its inherent qualities and recreated it as a shiny, thin, breathing and immensely alluring material. It was a collection that celebrated womanhood, cloaking women in textures that while elaborating also liberated her. The collection was even compared to the spirit of Celine under Phoebe Philo. Basking in the glory of the show, an exhausted Facchinetti says the focus of the collection is “the fabric, or the leathers, the cut and the print.” Being someone who celebrates Tod’s DNA, like its creator, Facchinetti feels that the collection embodies “the made in Italy brand.” Della Valle, who does everything with a distinctive if luxurious abundance and had a childhood “inhaling leather” is sure about the game plan for the brand, and Tod’s is not moving

away from its focus with its womenswear success story. Diego Della Valle categories the women’s wear collections as “very Tod’s” with “looks that are limited and luxurious.” He is categorical when he says: “Tod’s accessories are our core business and our main goal. We are widening the ready-to-wear collection a bit but still keeping it limited and selected.” Being Italian is a large part of the success of Tod’s too, though Della Valle also insists that when it comes to Italy’s reputation, as he was quoted by The New York Times, “the best ambassadors around the world are the most successful Italian companies.” However you look at it, there is no denying the fact that Della Valle’s Italian roots are part of the success of the luxury group. He tells me that he will always be a strong supporter of the “Made in Italy” creed and insists that “Tod’s was, is and will always be a 100% Italian brand. That’s how I will keep on this tradition and our DNA.” It is also to maintain this exclusivity that he continues to insist that all Tod’s work be done close to home. What is it that makes Italian luxury so precious? Why do we religiously comb all leather products for the “Made in Italy” stamp? Stefania Saviolo, director of the master’s program in fashion at the Bocconi University Business School in Milan says that Italian exclusiveness has two strong components. The first is a lifestyle that is still very desirable and recalls timeless and authentic values of beauty, passion, style, elegance, good living. “The second component,” according to Saviolo, “which is much more rational, has to do with Italian excellence in making luxury items that are still recognized and valued internationally.” It could also be because no other country at the moment can sell “beauty as well done as Italy does,” says Saviolo. Diego Della Valle’s net worth is close to $1.85 billion, as of March 2014 (Forbes). And it is no strange twist of fate that luxury is a mainstay in Della Valle’s life — he keeps two Ferraris, among other cars; a helicopter; a private jet; and a personal bodyguard. In 2005, he bought President Kennedy’s mahogany cruiser, the Marlin, at a Christie’s auction. Today, it functions as his water taxi between the Amalfi coast and Capri. But even with his abundant riches and personal possessions he is a simple man at heart who has “traveled all over the world” and has “favorite places” but still loves “staying in my small village in the Region Le Marche where I was born and grown up, where my family is and where Tod’s is based.” His possessions are a necessity given his globe-trotting

Summer, 2014


Lookout Emirates

But this is much more than media hype for Della Valle, who wants to infuse the sagacity of “giving back” into all of his contemporaries, and in effect, give the tourism of the country a much-needed respite. “I did what I have done because I deeply love my country. I tried to remind my colleagues how much cultural heritage and cultural roots are important; I tried to sensitize them to follow me in the patronage and protection of the arts. I am still ready and open to every proposal to be evaluated,” he says. He hopes that the Colosseum initiative will encourage other companies and private patrons, “proud of our culture and our country, to follow.” “These could mark the beginning of a series of similar initiatives, strengthening our country’s image and creditability all over the world,” he says adding that the ancient city of Pompeii, the walls of which have collapsed due to flooding, “is an incredible

THE MEN All celebrities wearing Tod's collection. Clockwise from top left: Joseph Gordon Lewitt; Della Valle at the restoration site of the Colosseum site; Leonardo Di Caprio at the Critics Choice Awards; Will Forte at the Golden Globes 2014; Chris Pines at the Golden Globes 2014.

engagements, Della Valle argues. “Business is separate from private life. Acquisitions belong to my business engagements; my jet is crucial for me to save time as I do travel a lot,” he reveals. He keeps the best for his family and staff. His office building also houses a staff restaurant serving simple, fresh food, a free nursery, a gym and spa facilities, so if you are under the Tod’s umbrella you are assured of a life in understated elegance. “My home is the place where my family lives and they deserve the best,” he says. “Tod’s headquarters and offices are the place where my employees work and for me it is crucial they work in the perfect environment as their happiness is reflected in what they do and in the beauty of our products.” Della Valle’s altruistic nature is not restricted to his staff and family; it encompasses the country he lives in. In January 2011, Della Valle signed a Tod’s group sponsorship contract that gave 25 million euros toward a long-awaited, desperately-needed fullscale restoration of Rome’s Colosseum. The historic structure has been crumbling for centuries. New life is being breathed into the monument as you read this, and Della Valle says generously, “This is a monument that not only belongs to Italy’s patrimony but the entire world.”


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masterpiece which urgently needs our help.” Luxury takes a new personal turn for Tod’s. After the brisk walk to the Tod’s showroom, a prime piece of Milanese real estate, I was taken to the third floor, which houses the J.P. Tod’s Satorial Collection, an effort by Tod’s to go back to its roots (the first brand name it used) and also to give its premier customers that extra personalization that they recognize and value. The J.P Club is distinctive in its interiors; the smell of leather is strong and almost acts like a precursor to what is inside. Just like the material they perfect, the J.P. Club has rich dark tones of wood, and leather seems to be a staple on the armchairs and then on the footwear and accessories on display. The J.P. Tod’s Sartorial Collection is an idea that originated from Della Valle, who wanted to “focus on the leather used and the treatment given to it” and is translated by the philosophy “to take the hide back to its roots.” The aim of J.P. Tod’s Sartorial Collection is to select the best leathers available and to keep them looking as pure and natural as possible by using the skills of Tod’s craftsmen. “The processes used artfully employ techniques of brushing and polishing that allow the leather to display its true essence,” says Della Valle, and thus a new culture of personalization to luxury is born. “So far we have Milan and our newly-opened LA J.P. Tod’s Club. Hopefully we will be able soon to widen the project; for sure Middle East would be the perfect place to be, keeping in mind the refined clientele,” he says. Tod’s is about personalization, branding, it’s made-in-Italy exclusiveness, but it is more about the man behind the brand, his larger-than-life visions and his love for the fine things in life. Now in its new avatar, Tod’s is moving to embrace the womenswear segment and in the process rewrite the history of fashion by going back to an earlier era of celebrating womanhood. And for the man who has never lived without the brand, this is his life. “My father brought me up surrounded by distinctive leather perfumes. That’s my life. That’s a dream coming true, and I hope I will be able to do that for still many years,” he says.


‘I did what I have done because I deeply love my country‚’ says Della Valle. ‘I tried to remind my colleagues how much cultural heritage and cultural roots are important.’

In Fashion

The Reinvention of the Suit From cutoff sleeves to elongated jackets and shorts, traditional men’s wear is taking its cues from the street. PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDREA SPOTORNO STYLED BY JASON RIDER

SHRUNKEN PROPORTIONS Tallia Orange jacket, AED 1,194, and pants, AED 550; Rick Owens top, AED 1,646. Yohji Yamamoto sneakers, AED 2,902;

Summer, 2014



SUITS WITHOUT SLEEVES Salvatore Ferragamo vest, AED 4,518, and pants, AED 3,636. Krisvanassche shirt, AED 1,366; Jil Sander shoes, AED 3,287. Falke socks, AED 92;


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AN ELONGATED JACKET Jil Sander jacket, AED 6,391, pants, AED 2,975, and shoes, AED 3,287. Comme des Garรงons Shirt T-shirt, AED 514. Falke socks, AED 338.

Summer, 2014


A BRIGHTER BLUE Calvin Klein Collection jacket, AED 3,122, and pants, AED 1,561. Raf Simons T-shirt, AED 2,498;



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Quality In Fashion

Style Memo

Pump Up the Volume A punk rocker, a hip-hop producer, a dream-pop frontman and a psychedelic singer-songwriter. Four musicians with distinct voices — ­ and coifs — give new meaning to the term ‘hair bands.’



Honor Titus The 24-year-old Cerebral Ballzy frontman doesn’t hesitate when asked to describe his band’s sound: ‘‘It’s faded blue-jean, leather jacket, New York J train boys taking you to a party.’’ That attitude has carried the skate-punk outfit from humble beginnings in East New York, Brooklyn, to sold-out shows in Japan and Britain. And while they’ve left an impressive trail of debauchery along the way —

Titus describes the band’s first trip to London as ‘‘an X-rated version of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ ’’ — their influences have developed with age. ‘‘I enjoy a lot of the French writers like Genet and Rimbaud,’’ the singer says, sounding more like a lit scholar than a self-described lover of pizza and skateboarding. ‘‘They’re people who did things on their own terms, and I plan on doing that forever.’’

Summer, 2014



Style Memo

On Titus: Margaret Howell jacket, $1,025; margarethowell Burberry Prorsum shirt, $595; His own jewelry. Aesop Shine hydrating oil, $35; On Leary: Moncler Gamme Bleu jacket, $1,100. Oribe Rough Luxury Molding Wax, $35; On Smith: Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane jacket, $2,750, and shirt, $950. Bumble and Bumble Styling Lotion, $28; On Vile: Burberry Prorsum coat, $1,795. Dior Homme shirt, $550, and necklace, $680; His own ring. L’Oréal Paris Txt It Tousle Waves Spray, $4.99; ALL PRICES ARE INDICATIVE

Evian Christ The British D.J. and producer had just finished college when he got word that Kanye West wanted him to supply tracks for his ‘‘Yeezus’’ album. ‘‘At that point, I’d never even really been in a studio before,’’ says the 24-year-old, whose real name is Joshua Leary. Since then, a collaboration with the artist Matthew Barney and strong buzz for his EP, ‘‘Waterfall,’’ have only strengthened his profile. ‘‘I made my entire first mixtape with one speaker,’’ Leary says. ‘‘It’s nice having two now.’’

Zachary Cole Smith ‘‘It’s been a long two years,’’ the DIIV frontman says, sounding wearier than his age would allow. The 28-year-old singer released his first collection of shoe-gazing dream-pop songs, ‘‘Oshin,’’ in 2012, and was selected by the fashion designer Hedi Slimane for last fall’s Saint Laurent Paris campaign before being arrested for drug possession while driving through upstate New York with his live-in girlfriend, the singer Sky Ferreira. Now, Smith sounds contrite as he attempts to channel those experiences into another album. ‘‘Life informs art,’’ he says. ‘‘And then the circle continues.’’

Kurt Vile The 34-year-old singer-songwriter has a reputation as a stoner’s musician, a fact alluded to in the title of last year’s critically acclaimed album ‘‘Wakin on a Pretty Daze.” But Vile largely ditched the pot smoking before the births of his two daughters, and his sprawling, psychedelic folk tunes are as much the result of an impressive musical I.Q. — he cites Randy Newman and Neil Young as influences — as they are of an experimental past. Still, the Philadelphia native admits his spacey demeanor can come in handy when family life threatens to take him away from his band, the Violators, for too long. ‘‘I can always kind of tap in and out of consciousness,’’ he says. ‘‘So I use that to my advantage.’’


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Let’s Get Lost By chasing a gonzo new adventure every summer, the viral filmmaker Casey Neistat and his son, Owen, embrace the unfamiliar and forge a closer bond. BY JESSE ASHLOCK PHOTOGRAPHS BY CASEY NEISTAT

LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN Casey Neistat, jumping after a wildlife tour in Namibia, will likely end up in the Guinness Book of World Records in a category that doesn’t even exist yet. His son, Owen, is more reserved.

FAR IN THE DISTANCE, a tiny figure stands atop a sand dune rising higher

than many skyscrapers, waving his arms. ‘‘He looks like every lost-in-thedesert movie ever made,’’ says Casey Neistat, snapping away with an enormous Canon outfitted with a telephoto lens. Neistat, 32, directs and stars in online ad campaigns for clients like Nike and Mercedes, and in YouTube shorts that get millions of views. The subject in his viewfinder is his 15-yearold son, Owen, who in a few days will begin his sophomore year of high school in Connecticut. Each summer, they embark on a grand adventure together. That’s what has brought them to Sossusvlei, Namibia, an otherworldly place where giant dunes rise over a wide salt plain dotted with groups of springbok, oryx and ostriches. Having already climbed the dunes that tourists generally climb, Owen has gone on to the dune behind them, where there are no footprints. Like his dad, he enjoys going places he’s not supposed to be. ‘‘O.K., that is Owen,’’ Casey narrates, shooting video. ‘‘He just made it up to the apex of that dune.’’ Casey pans along the landscape. ‘‘And this is how far he walked.’’ Owen makes it back down, flushed and exuberant, his Nikes

full of sand. ‘‘Well done, boy!’’ Casey exclaims. ‘‘That is definitely a Facebook-profile-picture-worthy photo.’’ Silhouetted against the desert sky, the two cut different figures. Casey, a triathlete, is muscular and tightly coiled, with a showman’s face that’s all planes and angles; in another era, he might have been a Borscht Belt entertainer. Owen, a runner, is taller than his dad and still gangly, with a natural sweetness about him. But the resemblance is impossible to miss. Casey says, with obvious satisfaction, that they’re often mistaken for brothers, and sometimes it’s easy to forget just who is the parent and who is the kid. Casey is the one who has braces. (They’re gold.) He’s also the one in perpetual motion, while Owen will let you know when he’s tired. Casey becomes anxious when he goes too long without checking Instagram or Twitter or Facebook. Owen uses his phone mainly to prepare for the school year by listening to textbooks on tape. And Casey takes all the pictures. He looks for photogenic locations where he can put his camera on a tripod and set the timer for a father-son selfie. Still, in many ways, Owen — who lives with his mom during the week and at Casey’s apartment in Manhattan or at

Summer, 2014




his house in New London, Conn., on the weekends — is a typical teenager. He loves Starbucks, American Eagle and the mall. He gets bored easily. Casey, meanwhile, is fond of pronouncing paternal nuggets of wisdom (‘‘Let a boy cry — don’t coddle him’’) and tales of great deeds (‘‘I’ve charmed my way out of Middle Eastern prisons’’). The kidlike qualities in Casey are the same ones that have made him such a successful adult, despite having dropped out of high school, and then having a child at 17. ‘‘He was born with an extra battery,’’ says Max Joseph, the co-host of MTV’s ‘‘Catfish: The TV Show’’ and a frequent collaborator. ‘‘It’s what you need to have to be a professional athlete.’’ When Casey was growing up in New London, his mother taught him that possessions were more valuable than travel, because they lasted forever. After a trip to Paris at 18, his first outside the United States, he concluded that she was wrong, and decided to dedicate his life to having experiences — a favorite word of his. ‘‘He’s trying to find the ultimate adventure,’’ says the creative director Andy Spade, who hired Casey and his brother Van to make short films for the fashion lines he was overseeing, Kate Spade and Jack Spade, and later co-produced a feature film with Casey. ‘‘He’ll end up in the Guinness Book of World Records for a category that doesn’t even exist yet.’’ In Owen, Casey has found a willing confrere. ‘‘The only guy I’ve encountered who enjoys flying as much as I do?’’ he asks. ‘‘This guy.’’ When Owen was little, Casey sometimes scraped together extra money working as a dishwasher to buy lessons at a flight school. ‘‘Owen would have his lunchbox,’’ he says. ‘‘He’d be eating an apple in the back.’’ Their first real trip was a package deal to the Bahamas when Owen was 4. As Owen got older, the trips — to Paris, St. Barts, Central America — got more elaborate. Casey’s career was taking off. He went to work for the artist Tom Sachs, running his studio and making short films with Van for Sachs’s exhibitions. In 2003 the duo ventured out on their own as the Neistat Brothers. One of their first projects was ‘‘iPod’s Dirty Secret,’’ an Internet short that called out Apple for its user-unfriendly battery-replacement policy. It garnered national attention, earning the brothers a reputation as Internet provocateurs, as well as commercial clients. Spade remembers marveling at Casey’s precociousness. ‘‘His son would have the idea to make a monster movie on the beach, and he’d just make it. ’’ That monster movie appears in the first episode of ‘‘The Neistat Brothers,’’ a 2010 HBO series that showcased the brothers’ homemade, autobiographical style. It was not a success. The brothers split after it aired and now speak infrequently. Casey went solo, making more shorts in the Neistat Brothers vein and taking on increasingly remunerative commercial work. ‘‘Van was my best friend and partner in crime,’’ Casey says. ‘‘When he left, Owen became that.’’ Two years ago, the father and son trekked through the Andes for five days to Machu Picchu. Last year, they rode motorcycles through Vietnam. This year, Casey says, ‘‘I wanted to show the kid Africa Africa. That thing where you get to do something for the first time? I try to make all our trips that.’’

It’s easy to forget just who is the parent and who is the kid. Casey becomes anxious when he goes too long without checking Instagram or Twitter or Facebook. Owen uses his phone mainly to listen to textbooks on tape.

THE KULALA DESERT LODGE, a collection of thatched dwellings set in the

middle of a vast plain surrounded by mountains, makes an ideal vantage point. Sweeping vistas of grassland stretch in every direction, giving way to achingly blue skies. It’s possible to spend hours watching wildlife during the day and the Milky Way at night. But Owen isn’t impressed. It’s the second desert lodge of the trip, and he’s not enthused about going on another game tour and listening to the guide drone on about how to tell if an oryx is male or female. ‘‘I’d much rather be riding a motorcycle in the mud,’’ he grouses, while Casey checks his email on the lodge computer. The next day, the two fly in a Cessna to the coastal resort town of Swakopmund. The rest of their adventure is supposed to consist of activities like catamaraning and sand-surfing. But the following morning, in the lobby of the hotel, Casey says, ‘‘Owen had an idea that was kind of interesting, which was that we rent a car’’ to explore the country further, without the pilot or a driver. No cars are available, however, so Casey and


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NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN From top: Owen, left, and Casey taking a selfie in a chartered Cessna; Owen ascending one of the dunes of Sossusvlei, in the Namib Desert; the Neistats on a ridge over Namibia; another selfie of the pair having tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town.

GO THE DISTANCE Casey‘s Instagram photo of Nelson Mandela’s house in Johannesburg; a view of Victoria Falls from the Zambia side of the Zambezi River; Casey and Owen with Vinda, their tour guide, in the Devil’s Pool on the precipice of Victoria Falls; a father-and-son selfie on their flight from London to Cape Town, before visiting Namibia.

Owen huddle on a sofa with Casey’s laptop for a while, whispering conspiratorially. Finally, Casey looks up. ‘‘I think it’s about to get weird,’’ he says, ‘‘and possibly dangerous. I think we’re going to Zambia.’’ Owen’s face lights up in a grin. Casey had already visited Zambia in 2012 with Max Joseph, for Nike. According to Casey, they were supposed to make an Internet ad for the brand’s FuelBand fitness tracker that showed how regular people ‘‘make it count.’’ Instead, they traveled to 13 countries in 10 days — until their budget ran out — filming themselves making it count. They’d seen a picture on the Internet of the Devil’s Pool, a naturally occurring infinity pool at the top of Victoria Falls where you can swim safely without being swept over the edge. But when they arrived, they learned they couldn’t swim in the Devil’s Pool at that time of year. The moment Casey and Owen’s plane lands in Livingstone, Casey begins asking everyone he meets about the Devil’s Pool. On the way from the hotel to Victoria Falls National Park, the driver informs Casey that the pool can be reached this time of year, but discourages him from trying. ‘‘Every year, a few bodies go down on the Zambian side and wash up on the Zimbabwean side,’’ he explains. ‘‘Do they need visas for that?’’ Casey asks. If the driver gets the joke — or finds it unfunny — he doesn’t let on. In Victoria Falls National Park, Casey runs around consulting maps and asking uniformed personnel where the pool is. Even in the dry season, the falls stun the senses, forming a mile-wide, 355-foot-high liquid curtain that glides down into a long gorge, with a plume of spray rising at the western end to welcome the setting sun. One of the best views for Casey’s constant photos is from the Knife Edge Bridge, a mistenshrouded span suspended before the falls’ eastern side. There, Casey spots Kenneth, a local guide he had enlisted during his Nike trip. After a hug and an introduction to Owen, Kenneth assures Casey that he can arrange a visit to the elusive pool. The next morning, a tourism official tells Casey that the Devil’s Pool can only be visited by boat, and that trips are sold out. But Casey finds Kenneth near the gift shops inside the park entrance, and he makes good on his promise. Vinda, a guide with dreadlocks and bare feet, arrives to lead the way. He starts by striding past a sign that instructs visitors to go no farther, right into the shallows of the Zambezi. There is no path: The only way to get to the Devil’s Pool is to wade through the river and scramble over wet rocks. Vinda tells everyone to form an ‘‘African chain.’’ But Owen doesn’t want to hold hands, so everyone makes his own way. ‘‘See, Owen,’’ Casey says, so excited he’s almost vibrating. ‘‘Persistence and endurance will make you omnipotent.’’ He explains after a minute that he’s paraphrasing the ‘‘Tenacity Prayer,’’ popularized by the McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. Upriver, an elephant trumpets. The Devil’s Pool is in sight. But to get to it, everyone has to swim through open water against a swift current. Vinda leads the way on a kickboard. The guys clamber onto a rocky outcropping before jumping, one by one, into the pool. At its front is a slick basalt wall, with an inch or so of water passing over it to create the infinitypool effect. Once Casey and Owen reach it, Casey pulls out his iPhone in a LifeProof case and turns on the video recorder. ‘‘This is us,’’ he says. Then he raises it to show the abyss behind them. ‘‘Those are the falls.’’ An enterprising local balances on the precipice, shooting photos for tips. Casey poses on the very edge, as if he were going over, while Vinda and I hold his feet. When Owen’s turn comes, Casey insists that all three of us hold onto his son as he peers over Victoria Falls. ‘‘This is what I thought of when I heard we were going to Africa,’’ Owen exclaims afterward. For a rare moment, Casey is silent, basking in his son’s pleasure. And then it’s time to swim back through the river and climb over the rocks as quickly as possible, because the flight out of Livingstone is leaving soon. We arrive at the airport in our wet trunks. After the plane takes off, I turn around. Casey and Owen are seated a row behind me, both already passed out, their heads tilted slightly toward each other. Casey has on big studio headphones and sunglasses, his mouth open wide in sleep. Owen is wearing earbuds and a serene expression. You really could, right at this moment, mistake them for brothers.

The only way to the Devil’s Pool that day is to wade through the river and scramble over wet rocks. Vinda tells everyone to form an ‘African chain.’ But Owen doesn’t want to hold hands, so everyone makes his own way.

Summer, 2014


Arena Food Matters

Culture Klatch The Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has teamed up with a trio of Scandinavian coffee and design aficionados to open Bar Zingaro, the coolest new cafe in Tokyo. BY TOBY CECCHINI PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEIICHI NITTA

ON A SATURDAY NIGHT in early November, at the much-awaited

opening of Bar Zingaro in the Nakano Broadway mall in Tokyo, a group of earnest young movers in the city’s art and media worlds mixes with an equal mass of poly-accented gaijin, sipping bespoke cocktails and coffees pulled to order, waiting for the artist Takashi Murakami to arrive. At the bar, a woman from New Zealand gives an impromptu tasting of rare sakes. Nearby, an American surfer chats in Japanese with a curious figure in a wide-brimmed black hat and cape, who turns out to be a stringer for the magazine Monocle. Meanwhile, a blond guy behind the bar mutters orders in Nordictinged English as a group of Japanese baristas makes drinks. The crowd suddenly becomes a crush, with photographers pushing in front, as Murakami finally enters. The 52-year-old artist is, in fact, easily recognizable simply from his paintings, in which he frequently depicts himself in cartoon form, with his long hair in a topknot and wearing his ubiquitous oversize wire-rimmed specs. Making the rounds clutching a gin and tonic that seems to not get any smaller, Murakami is every bit the beatific master of ceremonies. This is his bar, and a longtime pet-dream, but it only came to be with the help of the most unlikely characters in the room: three hulking Norwegians, who seem to be quietly overseeing the show.

The bar/coffee shop is the latest addition to four minuscule satellite galleries on three different floors of the mall, which are collectively called Zingaro (‘‘gypsy’’ in Italian — Murakami has a similar space in Berlin). The artwork is a revolving curation of contemporary artists, ceramicists and illustrators. The locale is vintage Murakami, whose open affection for Japanese kitsch culture has always been a central theme of his work. His recruitment of Fuglen as consultants to design and furnish the spaces, then work their cocktail and coffee prestidigitation, was the canny stroke that gave the project its chemistry. Fuglen (‘‘the bird’’ in Norwegian) began as a revered coffee shop in Oslo dating back to the early 1960s. It was revived in 2008 by a couple of friends, the barista Einar Kleppe Holthe, 31, and the curator Peppe Trulsen, 43, who were joined two years later by the bartender Halvor Digernes, 33. Each contributed his forte to the collective. It quickly became a cult den for Scandinavian roast fans, cocktail mavens and amateur aficionados of Norwegian midcentury furnishings and crafts. Early on in their success, the three decided there were two places outside Norway where they would like to spend time: Tokyo and New York City. If this seems simplistic as a business plan, welcome to their world, where from a bystander’s perspective all things seemingly drop into place with silver linings attached. In 2007 Kleppe Holthe won the Norwegian Barista Championship and went on to compete at the World Barista Championship, held in Tokyo that year. ‘‘I was there for a month by myself mostly. I failed in the competition. So then I did a lot of checking out of Tokyo instead. I fell in love with the city and the

CAFE SOCIETY From left: Einar Kleppe Holthe, Peppe Trulsen and Halvor Digernes outside Fuglen, their original cafe in Tokyo, which first got Takashi Murakami’s attention; Bar Zingaro features vintage Norwegian furniture and objects, as well as works by Murakami.


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RAISING THE BAR Clockwise from far left: Murakami with his Norwegian pals at Bar Zingaro; at Fuglen, everything is for sale, including the Norwegian ceramics on the shelves; the brandy and gin punch served at Bar Zingaro on opening night.

Murakami says that for him, establishing a bar has less to do with intake than with output, giving a berth to a particular scene and set, and feathering the nest that bred him. culture.’’ He left, he says, vowing to return someday for a more substantial stay. A few years later, a Japanese-Norwegian friend living in Oslo who had tried to make a go of a Norwegian restaurant based in his grandfather’s house in Tokyo, offered to lease the space. The three worked maniacally across months and time zones to open Fuglen in May 2012, transforming a demure corner spot in an emerging neighborhood of Shibuya into a fetching midcentury Norwegian living room, where on any given day or night a blend of creative Tokyoites and savvy foreigners takes quiet roost. The easy symbiosis between the Fuglen partners and their Japanese staff points to a shared mindset; the veneer of effortlessness belying a rigorous attention to detail. The coffee, naturally, is roasted and brewed strictly to the Scandinavian palate, a rarity even in this coffee-riddled town. The bartenders carve their large block-ice using Kama Asa knives with ‘‘Fuglen’’ hammered into the blade, and tend assiduously to minutiae like the ‘‘corn syrup’’ for the bourbon cocktail, which is made with fresh kerneled corn. Digernes’s libations, however, openly flout the overweening preciousness of upper-echelon Japanese bartending. One night when he came in to open Fuglen, late from a visit to the Kiuchi Brewery, he dumped his backpack and hand-scrawled a brief menu offering fresh yuzu he had found in a tree near Kiuchi. As the bar began to fill with the night’s curious, he set about cobbling together a drink, laughing and squinting as he dumped numerous nearmisses, until finally — to a round of applause — he had something the whole bar was immediately ordering. Murakami, whose main operating mode seems to be jovial insouciance tinged with a sly mischievousness, tells of the day he first entered Fuglen to approach them about starting a bar with him. ‘‘I went in and saw the entire world coming into Fuglen. I said, ‘I love you, I want to do a business with you!’ ’’ His professional entourage, sizing up these three scruffy, ebullient Norsemen, wasn’t so sure. ‘‘My lawyer says, ‘Wait a minute, looks like children!’ ’’ But Murakami prevailed, seeing — and perhaps sharing — both their obsessiveness in their craft and their goofy fecklessness. ‘‘I thought, We have the same kind of way to think, all

creative people.’’ Kleppe Holthe concurs: ‘‘The Japanese, because of the culture of respect and organization, if you have your integrity in place, they vet you hard, then trust you totally. Takashi just vibed with us very naturally.’’ Murakami likened the difficulty of wrapping his head around the novelty of the lighter style of Scandinavian roast coffee to his initial confusion upon discovering the work of the American minimalist painter Robert Ryman: ‘‘First I say, this is not coffee? So sour and fruit!’’ But his palate and trust both grew as they hammered out a collaboration for Bar Zingaro that he described as 70 percent Fuglen and 30 percent his own ideas. Murakami says that for him, establishing a bar has less to do with intake than with output, giving a berth to a particular scene and set, and feathering the nest that bred him. ‘‘These galleries are for the young artists I see coming up in Japan, some who don’t have a place yet to show, some who are becoming known already.’’ Having secured Tokyo’s hearty embrace, Fuglen is now turning their sights, as promised, to New York. Trulsen has organized a show that highlights atavistic Norwegian designers and their work, which will come to the area in May. And Fuglen proper is being courted by various interests here (they’re loath to reveal more), specifically about establishing a beachhead in Brooklyn. At the close of the first night’s festivities, photographers are still hounding Murakami as he makes his way around the galleries. Ending up back at the bar, they ask him to pose with the Fuglen posse. He does his best to get his arms up and around the necks of the sprawling mountain of Vikings, eventually having to set his drink down, still nearly full, to get the photo snapped. ‘‘I don’t drink very much,’’ he says, grinning. ‘‘Occasionally a bit of umeshu, a taste of wine, a little gin and tonic. For health reasons, no more.’’ Then, raising an eyebrow, ‘‘But I like to taste!’’

Summer, 2014




If These Walls Could Talk

HISTORICAL ACCURACY The Salon Doré, in the process of being restored in San Francisco’s Legion of Honor museum, will look as it did to its original owner, the Duchess de La Trémoille.

The restoration of a storied French neo-Classical salon reveals as much about polite society as it does about high design. BY DAVID NETTO PHOTOGRAPHS BY NICHOLAS CALCOTT

AN EXTRAORDINARY SCENE has been playing out at San

Francisco’s Legion of Honor museum over the last year. Through a window installed into a temporary wall, conservators in lab coats can be viewed as they minister over the disassembled pieces of one of the finest examples of French neo-Classical interior architecture anywhere: the Salon Doré, originally constructed in 1781. The $2 million restoration of the roughly 25-square-foot room — four walls of gilded and light-gray-painted paneling — is now nearly complete; and when it is done, one of the most remarkable chapters in its rather eventful, nearly 250-year history will conclude as well. There are well-conceived examples of French period rooms in this country at the Getty in Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and, most notably, the Wrightsman Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. But the Salon Doré is different. The room will be presented by the curator Martin Chapman as a complete environment, furnished as it originally was when new, rather than simply as a backdrop for important objects. Used in the 18th century as a salon de compagnie — a receiving space for guests — it was specifically designed as what was essentially a stage for conversation conducted in a state of high alertness on small, leggy


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upright chairs arranged in a semicircle. There was no question of being offered a drink or told to make oneself comfortable, as in the basic rites of entertaining today. The idea of ‘‘comfort’’ did not enter the social life of the French aristocracy for almost another hundred years (when it did so in the form of the deeply tufted upholstery of Napoleon III). Like the plan of a church — with nave and side aisles laid out to support a liturgical program — a room of this sort was arranged to allow nobles higher in rank (and senior in age) to be received by the hostess and seated closest to the fire. New arrivals — who understood the protocols on sight — greeted the assemblage and took their position, or perhaps remained standing. In this room you were expected to know your place, sit up straight and converse like Molière. Neo-Classicism as a style made its real debut in the 1760s after several stillbirths. At first a chunky and awkward experiment in the resurrection of Greek and Roman forms, inspired by archeological discoveries like the temples of Paestum in southern Italy, it was equally a response to the relentless curves of the Baroque and Rococo that had been in style for decades. By the late 1770s, neoClassicism had evolved into the graceful iteration we see in the

While still in Paris, the Salon Doré was rescued from the demolition of the Hôtel d’Humières in 1905. This event attracted great attention at the time; after all the losses incurred by Haussmann’s urban reconstruction of the 1870s, one of the most important surviving 18th-century townhouses was being destroyed to construct an apartment building. (Many assume Paris has always appeared as it does today, but this was one of their Pennsylvania Station moments.) In looking at archives in the Rothschild country house Waddesdon Manor, where much of the other paneling from the Hôtel d’Humières now resides, architectural historian Bruno Pons discovered the Salon’s true origin in the long-vanished Hôtel de La Trémoille — which was demolished in 1877 to accommodate an extension of the Boulevard St.-Germain. So the Salon Doré escaped destruction in the Revolution of 1789, emerged unscathed from Haussmann’s boulevard-cutting swath of 1877 and was not damaged by the profiteering apartmenthouse developers of 1905 — twice faring better than the buildings that housed it. All before leaving for America, where it continued to move at least four more times. The room is not only a masterpiece, but a remarkable survivor. FAME AND FORTUNE Clockwise from top: the Salon Doré at the Hôtel d’Humières, circa 1905, used the room’s 18th-century paneling, but a more convivial style of decoration than the original design; the restored chandelier will be lit to create the illusion of dusk, the time of day when the room would have seen the most use; restorers in San Francisco labor over the Salon’s pieces.

Salon, and with its references to the classical world acquired a new and somewhat unanticipated meaning in the bargain: It gave form and image to democratic political ideals.


By the late 1770s, neo-Classicism had evolved into the graceful iteration we see in the Salon, and with its references to the classical world gave form and image to democratic political ideals. This was the architecture Jefferson so loved when he lived in Paris as the United States ambassador in the late 1780s. He was fascinated by the Hôtel de Salm, which, in a curious twist of fate, was both the residence of the brother of the original owner of the Salon Doré and the prototype for the museum that now houses it. The fact that this architectural vocabulary was given its most perfect expression by a society that toyed with it as stage design for Bourbon court life — yet was about to be swept away by the very principles to which it paid homage — was an irony not yet manifest. The Salon is easy to recognize as a beautiful interior of arthistorical significance, but to fully appreciate its poetry, you also have to understand the journey it has made to end up in Northern California. The paneling was given to the Legion of Honor by Richard Rheem, a Bay Area manufacturer of HVAC equipment, in 1959. Rheem had bought it from the art dealership Duveen Brothers under the impression that it came from the Hôtel de Crillon — an important but entirely spurious provenance. Duveen had purchased it from the widow of Otto H. Kahn after the financier’s death in 1934. Kahn’s residential portfolio is legendary — he was, after all, the prototype for the Monopoly Man — and the room had been a jewel at the center of his house in New York, which still exists today as the Convent of the Sacred Heart girls’ school. How and from whom Kahn acquired the Salon Doré is not known for certain, but he was its first owner in the New World.

Summer, 2014


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In just a few years, Emirati entrepreneur Yousuf Al Hashimi’s Ahdaaf Sports Club has become one of the region’s prime models of a successful small business. Also a master diver, Al Hashimi was recently chosen by Cartier to represent the brand’s new Calibre de Cartier Diver watch. Rebecca Anne Proctor meets with Al Hashimi and learns how he pairs his adventurous diving expeditions with an elegant lifestyle.


Yousuf Al-Hashimi diving with Blue Wales in Sri Lanka

ROM BORNEO to Sri Lanka and Iceland, Du-

bai-born Yousuf Al Hashimi has covered some of the world’s most exotic destinations on his diving escapades. Exploration and sports are two of his greatest passions, and the ones that have prompted him to travel continually around the world as well as within the Middle East. Traveling to learn about other cultures as well as for purposes of trade is something that also resonates with a brand such as Cartier. “My family has bought and collected Cartier watches and jewelry for a long time,” says Al Hashimi. “Emiratis love jewelry and precious items – a passion that it is evident in our history of pearl trading.” We meet on the 36th floor of Emirates Towers, where the Cartier offices are located. Below us sprawls the impressive span of high-rises that is now Dubai. Al Hashimi recounts how during the 1940s Jacques Cartier used to travel to the Gulf region to take advantage of the immense opportunities in pearl trading. This was still a time before pearls were cultured, before Dubai’s immense development, and yet there were already telling signs of the region’s love for brilliant creations and the allure of the region for foreigners like Cartier. Strategically situated between East and West, for centuries Dubai has attracted hungry explorers like Cartier. Discovery and adventure are thus part of the maison’s heritage. It was precisely for his daring spirit, enthusiasm and passion that Cartier recently selected Al Hashimi as one of its two ‘Doers and Shapers’ from the Middle East. Through his sportsmanship and bravery he balances what the maison tries to embody through its designs: purpose and sophistication. “I find the watch the perfect balance between everyday function and elegance,” he says. Cartier thus chose him, along with Qatari quad biker Mohamed Abu Issa, to represent the new Calibre de Cartier Diver watch. But more than just a sense of adventure and elegance – two qualities that are often idolized in today’s world of entertainment – it is Al Hashimi’s sense of community development for his native United Arab Emirates, seen in his establishment of the Ahdaaf Sports Club, that makes him a unique friend of the brand. “It was a new concept,” he says. “The meaning of ‘Ahdaaf’ in Arabic translates into ‘goals’ in English. We wanted to achieve something with this initiative. We wanted to give back to the community what had been given to us.” Community-Driven. Al Hashimi’s story is full of accolades. He graduated in 2007 from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada with a BA in Political Science. He subsequently worked on setting up his Ahdaaf Sports Club as its general manager. In early 2009 Al Hashimi joined the Executive Office of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, where he worked in the Department of International Affairs. From there he quickly


moved to the post of Senior Regional Analyst at the Minister of State’s Office. But in May 2012 he decided to return to his passion for entrepreneurship and sports, and resigned from his government post to focus on Ahdaaf full-time as a managing partner. “The company had grown to a certain point where it had reached a plateau,” he says. “I had to come to a decision: I needed to decide whether I should put my heart and soul into this company. If so, they needed to focus on it full-time, so I decided to take the entrepreneurial path full-time. I have been blessed to have been able to make this smooth transition from foreign policy back to entrepreneurship.” His drive and determination paid off. In just seven months he was made Entrepreneur of the Year at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Awards for Young Business Leaders, and Ahdaaf was named Best Small Business of the Year. Steadfast in his desire to bring positive sportsmanship and a sense of community to the UAE and the wider Middle East, Al Hashimi won further accolades in 2013, including Best Emirati Project from the Khalifa Fund and Best Small Business from the Council of GCC Labor Ministries. “For me it was passion, planning and perseverance – the three Ps,” he says. “You absolutely need to believe in what you are doing.” Ahdaaf was formed in 2008 through the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders, and aims to bridge the gap between different communities and cultures through sports. The center opened the doors of its Al Quoz facility in 2009, offering sports enthusiasts the first indoor facility in the UAE with top-grade artificial turf. It



Yousuf Al-Hashimi

has since expanded to include four indoor fields. “I love everything about sports,” says Al Hashimi, although he explains that the concept first focused on football. “Having studied in Canada and in the US we saw a gap in the market: there were hardly any places where people could play football indoors in Dubai,” he says. “But we weren’t limited just to football; we also had basketball, tennis and badminton – we embraced all sports.” Ahdaaf also boasts a youth coaching program that encourages young children to engage in sports and compete in tournaments in addition to their weekly training sessions. “We noticed that there were not a lot of places for children to play sports during the hot summer months,” Al Hashimi says. “In addition, there has been a marked increase in cholesterol problems and obesity. This was our chance to do something about it.” Ahdaaf has since set up an academy that trains youngsters from the age of 14 onwards. Currently in the process of expansion, Ahdaaf has partnered with Al Bateen Secondary School and Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club to manage four new outdoor fields in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Al Hashimi confirms that the concept now has centers in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, adding: “We have had a lot of inquiries to move into Saudi Arabia too, so we are looking into that as well.” Ahdaaf, it seems, like Al Hashimi, is constantly on the move. Elegant Sportsmanship. Around Al Hashimi’s wrist is the new Calibre de Cartier Diver watch. “I have always loved Cartier’s timepieces,” he says. “I find them perfect. When I saw the diver’s watch, I knew that the synergy was perfect. It is a watch I wear every day. It is elegant and sporty – exactly what I need.” Launched in 2010, the Calibre de Cartier watch eloquently marries elegance with sportsmanship. It features powerful lines and a rugged case, thus highlighting an essential masculinity. It is the kind of watch that can be worn anywhere, from the depths of the sea to an everyday function or a fancy evening event. The timepiece is emblazoned with the maison’s design codes, including Roman numerals and a flanged bezel – two traits that identify it as a Cartier model. It is not often that a brand is able seamlessly to create a timepiece that is so versatile, equally at home in the realms of luxury apparel and high-impact sports. Cartier has succeeded in bringing these two contrasting elements together this year with the launch of an all-new diving version – the one that so gracefully adorns Al Hashimi’s wrist. “I can


wear it for both everyday and extreme conditions,” he says. The watch is water-resistant to 300 meters and has a unidirectional bezel, with hands and dive-time indicator in Super-LumiNova. It effectively meets all the technical criteria to have engraved on its case back ‘Diver’s watch 300 m.’ The unidirectional turning bezel is a clever feature. In order to prevent any accidental rotation or alteration of the dive-time indication, the bezel turns in only one direction. In addition, it has been designed with 120 notches (40 teeth and three points) to enable adjustment to a half-minute, with a clear sound signal during rotation. The markers signalling each five-minute period are clearly highlighted for greater visibility. Another feature is that the watch can be read in the dark, thanks to the Super-LumiNova on its dive-time indicator, hour and minute hands, pre-selection device and seconds counter. In order to withstand high pressure and extreme conditions such as salt water and thermal shock, the watch is fitted with a thick crystal, a screw back, oversized seals and a screw-in crown that guarantees water resistance up to 300 meters. The watch has demonstrated its resistance to salt water after immersion in a 30g/l solution of sodium chloride at 18–25 degrees Celsius for 24 hours. The brilliance of the Calibre de Cartier Diver lies in its ability to provide a comfortable everyday wristwatch in a balanced case that is just 11 millimetres thick. This is one of the thinnest diving watches available, and yet still boasts striking Cartier touches such as the contrast of satin and polished finishes and the turning bezel coated with ADLC and bordered with fluting recalling the interior of the bezel of the original Calibre de Cartier watch. To top it off, the watch incorporates the 1904 MC, the first self-winding movement to be developed and assembled by Cartier’s watchmakers. The movement was introduced in 2010 and its name symbolically recalls Louis Cartier’s pioneering spirit as the creator, in 1904, of one of

the first wristwatches. More than a century later this 11.5-ligne calibre has been designed to support perfect chronometric stability because of a double barrel that guarantees constancy of the mainspring torque over a long period of time. The timepiece exudes the manufacture’s never-ending quest for beauty. Like Al Hashimi’s desire for adventure and new places to dive, Cartier’s hunger for a beautiful mechanism that also serves an everyday practical purpose is ongoing. It doesn’t stop. Al Hashimi cites the Galapagos and Papua New Guinea among the places he would like to visit in the future. At the same time, Ahdaaf is increasingly involved with community work such as with Al Noor School for Special Needs. “We manage their sports facility,” he says. “I think every school should have their own sports facility. We invited Maradona in for the launch. That made it special for the children.” When Al Hashimi speaks about his native Dubai, he says it makes him want to travel. It is a city that allows us all to dream about faraway places; all Dubai residents – expats and locals alike – have a desire for faraway lands and for the other. “Dubai is so international that by default you become curious about another person’s background – about other cultures,” he says, adding suddenly: “I want to go to Antarctica too. There is so much more of the world to see.” The Calibre de Cartier Diver is available at Cartier boutiques in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. For more information on Ahdaaf, visit

Al-Hashimi diving in Sri Lanka.


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logue, holding forth on the dangers of the surveillance society, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was meant to be promoting his latest movie, whatever that was (he has been in a lot of them lately). He talks superfast, so that when he paused, the effect was of a train driver slamming on the emergency brakes. ‘‘Why does anyone want to know my opinions?’’ he asked. ‘‘I’m not interested in reading my opinions.’’ He has no idea. There are people out there these days who so love to hear Cumberbatch

talk — who so love to watch Cumberbatch exist — that they do not care what he does, as long as they get to observe him doing it. Somehow, along a career consisting of highly interesting but generally non-megastar-making roles (most recently, the lead in the BBC series ‘‘Sherlock’’; Khan, the wrathful villain in the movie ‘‘Star Trek Into Darkness’’; the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, in ‘‘The Fifth Estate’’ and the voice of Smaug, the very bad-tempered dragon in the latest ‘‘Hobbit’’ movie), Cumberbatch has progressed from be-

ing everyone’s favorite secret crush to one of the most talked-about actors in Hollywood. His celebrity manifests itself in unexpected ways. When Cumberbatch, who is 37, appeared on ‘‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,’’ Fallon noted that more people were waiting in the standby line than for any other guest that year. He was reportedly tweeted about 700,000 times in 2013. Last fall, he appeared on the cover of Time’s international edition. Although he has not been a romantic lead in any big films, and although he says he looks like ‘‘Sid from


ing themselves fans, such as when Ted Danson saw him through a crowd of stars at a preawards party recently and began shouting ‘‘Sherlock!’’ A few days earlier, he had wrapped his most recent movie, a biopic of the British cryptographer Alan Turing. Cumberbatch talked for a long time about the tragedy of Turing’s life and about what has been a series of very intense roles, heavy on iconic fictional characters and real people. ‘‘I am so ready to play a really dumb character,’’ he said. He was born in London, to parents who were in the business — the actors Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton — and had his first substantial part in high school at Harrow, the famous boys’ boarding school that is the Yale to Eton’s Harvard. ‘‘I played the queen of the fairies,’’ he said. (That would be Titania in ‘‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’’) Later, when he performed in ‘‘As You Like It,’’ an old alumnus watching the play apparently pronounced him ‘‘the best Rosalind since Vanessa Redgrave.’’ He went to the University of Manchester and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and then slid pretty easily into work; so far he has appeared in more than 30 films and doz-

five minutes. (He came back a couple of weeks later, and the non-phlegmatic people were gaping in the halls.) In the street we had to move quickly, because crowds form if Cumberbatch stands still for too long. In the hotel, we positioned ourselves behind a pillar, but people spotted him anyway (when they asked for autographs, they invariably asked on behalf of their teenage children). As good a sport as Cumberbatch is, he sometimes finds it a bit too much. Filming ‘‘Sherlock’’ last year in Cardiff, Wales, he had an awkward interlude when he had to walk from his trailer to his car wearing a costume that, had anyone seen it, might have become a major plot spoiler. When he failed in his efforts to get a particularly persistent paparazzo not to photograph him, Cumberbatch shrouded himself in a hoodie (‘‘I looked like Kenny in ‘South Park’ ’’) and held up a sign he had hastily fashioned that said: ‘‘Go photograph Egypt and show the world something important.’’ The move was lampooned by the British newspapers, particularly when, to the delight of hundreds of fans massed on the street in London for another shoot, Cumberbatch did it again, this time with signs printed with provocative questions about democracy, government intrusion, journalism and the battle between liberty and security in the war on terror. ‘‘These are very complex questions and very difficult arguments to be very clear about, so to ask the questions is to stimulate the debate,’’ he explained. He has not done it since, though, he said, ‘‘I felt really strongly about it at the time.’’ In New York he was visiting his friend Zachary Quinto, who acted alongside him in ‘‘Star Trek,’’ seeing some movies, going to some museums and trying to keep a low profile. He is currently unattached, and is gearing up for his next batch of work. One question that has excited ‘‘Star Trek’’ fans is whether his character, who all but stole the last film, will appear in the next one. There is certainly that possibility: He ended the film frozen in a pod and stored away in space. (‘‘That was a stupid thing to do,’’ Cumberbatch said, referring to Starfleet Command. ‘‘They should have just blown me up.’’) He pulled a cap over his head and prepared again to withstand the public. He says he has a way of negotiating big-city crowds: ‘‘If you pick a point far behind them they perceive you as not seeing them, and you’re the obstacle they have to get around.’’ For a moment, he sounded positively Sherlockian. ‘‘There is a way of just shadowing through,’’ he continued. ‘‘The higher the walls, the more dark the windows, the bigger the sunglasses — the more people are going to look. The greatest disguise is learning how to be invisible in plain sight.’’

When he recently failed in his efforts to get a particularly persistent paparazzo not to photograph him, Cumberbatch shrouded himself in a hoodie and held up a sign he had hastily fashioned that said: ‘Go photograph Egypt and show the world something important.’


ens of television, radio and theater productions. But it was his title performance in ‘‘Sherlock,’’ which debuted in 2010, that propelled him to a new league. Part of it has to do with the witty, knowing script, with its clever allusions to the old stories; and part of it has to do with Cumberbatch’s sublime portrayal of the odd, brilliant, infuriating, charismatic detective. Sherlock-the-character has a fanatic following, with fans who debate every Cumberbatchian movement and every plot twist with the fervor of grassy-knoll conspiracy buffs. Cumberbatch takes care to remind them that though they might well love Sherlock, Sherlock would never love them back. ‘‘I always make it clear that people who become obsessed with him or the idea of him — he’d destroy you,’’ Cumberbatch said cheerfully. ‘‘He is an absolute bastard.’’ Over a follow-up breakfast at the Algonquin Hotel in New York a few weeks later, I started to see what his public life is like. We walked there after a quick trip to my office, in which we spoke to no one but which precipitated three breathless ‘‘Is that who I think it is?’’ emails from normally phlegmatic colleagues in under


‘Ice Age’ ’’ and although he once declared that ‘‘I always seem to be cast as slightly wan, ethereal, troubled intellectuals or physically ambivalent bad lovers,’’ there are numerous websites devoted to the subject of his romantic prowess, e.g., ‘‘Benedict Cumberbatch — Fantastic Lover,’’ a compendium of clips set to Marvin Gaye’s ‘‘Let’s Get It On,’’ that has been viewed more than 490,000 times on YouTube. (These are mostly posted by his army of female fans, who call themselves ‘‘Cumberbitches’’ and who use the hashtag ‘‘Cumberwatch’’ when they tweet about his activities.) His appeal is manifest, yet hard to pin down. His name is odd, Hogwartsian, suggesting both an Elizabethan actor and a baker whose products are made with rustic ingredients no one has heard of. Tall and lean, he has an other-century look about him, with his long, narrow face, his mop of crazy hair (he keeps it shorter off-duty) and bright, far-apart, almond-shaped blue eyes that on-screen can play intelligent, ardent, manic or insane, depending on the job. In ‘‘Sherlock,’’ he looks like the sort of person who has a stratospheric I.Q. and an abysmal E.Q. but is dead sexy with it; at the same time, if you were to remark on his resemblance to an otter, you would not be the only one. When he sat down with a cup of coffee in a Camden pub last November and began to discuss electronic surveillance, the government, his favorite movies, his career, the rabidity of ‘‘Sherlock’’ fans and how coffee affects him (it makes him talk even faster), Cumberbatch had just come off an extraordinary run of work. ‘‘The Fifth Estate,’’ in which he perfectly captures the slippery nature of Julian Assange — free-speech hero, treacherous colleague, possible megalomaniac — had just come out. Over the next two months, three more of his films would be released: ‘‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,’’ in which he gets to intone things like ‘‘I am death’’ in a creepy dragon voice; ‘‘12 Years a Slave,’’ in which he plays a sympathetic slave-owner; and ‘‘August: Osage County,’’ in which he has a small role in an ensemble of superstars like Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. The Time cover had just hit the newsstands, and Cumberbatch was slightly freaked out. ‘‘It’s one of the more bizarre levels of success,’’ he said. At first he thought it was fake. ‘‘Someone sent me a photograph of it and I thought, ‘Some fan has got hold of a photo and done one of those neat apps where they impose your head on something,’ ’’ he said. Also, he had had an exciting experience on a British talk show, when Harrison Ford, a fellow guest, emerged from his taciturnity to announce that he loved him as Holmes. This has been happening to Cumberbatch a lot lately, fellow actors declar-

Polo Ralph Lauren suit and shirt. Cumberbatch’s own Omega watch. Hair: Paul Hanlon at Julian Watson Agency. Grooming: Hannah Murray at Art and Commerce. 65

THE SHAPE SHIFTER The dissonant humor and beauty of the sculptor Erwin Wurm’s biomorphic riffs are also present in his home, where blue-chip art, grand architectural space and his own whimsical work create an odd harmony.



OR THE 2011 VENICE Biennale, the Austrian artist

Erwin Wurm reconstructed his suburban childhood home but put it on a diet, slimming it down to the width of roughly one meter. His parents’ bedroom featured a long bed, the kitchen came equipped with a tiny stove and sink, and the bathroom, with its tiny toilet, was covered in a 1960s-style psychedelic wallpaper. Most visitors could only navigate through parts of the house by turning sideways. The effect was a feeling of claustrophobia. Like much of Wurm’s work, ‘‘Narrow House’’ is about the personal, the physical and the political. For Wurm, the piece was a reaction to growing up during the ’50s and ’60s in a postwar, post-Nazi society. ‘‘It was so rigid,’’ says the 59-year-old artist, who was raised by a policeman father and a stay-at-home mother. ‘‘There


A PLACE IN THE COUNTRY The artist Erwin Wurm’s Austrian estate features a 12th-century castle, a flock of Zackel sheep as well as one of his own pieces, ‘‘Fat House,’’ 2003.

Summer, 2014


was only one program on the TV and you weren’t allowed to have long hair. I wanted to wear these orange socks so badly but my school wouldn’t allow me.’’ These days, Wurm lives on a rather impressive spread in a small village 40 minutes northwest of Vienna. Schloss Limberg’s centerpiece is a 12th-century manse surrounded by a cluster of barns and stables that Wurm has transformed into studios and offices for his work and his team of about a half-dozen assistants. ‘‘I added that hill over there,’’ Wurm says. He points to a green mound that rises behind his ‘‘Fat House,’’ a marshmallow-like structure where his flock of sheep takes refuge during the colder months. ‘‘The town was upset with me adding it on the property so I said it was an art piece. It’s called ‘The Sleeping Venus.’ ’’ Wurm’s humor is a subtle blend of quirk and deadpan. The estate, where he lives with his French graphic designer wife and their 3-year-old daughter (he has two older sons from his first marriage), had been occupied by various aristocratic families until the last count, who had no heirs, gifted it to the church. When Wurm bought it eight years ago, the building was in a fairly derelict state — the main rooms had been carved up into apartments and, as Wurm recalls, ‘‘there were lots of brown tile.’’ So he set about opening up rooms and stripping down layers, which in turn revealed an elegant, arched window; scenic mural paintings; even a lion sculpture. ‘‘This place was built like a fortress so there are all of these hidden stairwells and secret rooms,’’ Wurm explains as we walk through a labyrinth of halls to get to the main living room,

which features one of his installations, a wall sheathed in pink wool, with two odd sleeves dangling from it. Clothing and fabric have always been primary materials in Wurm’s work. When he applied to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, he wanted to study painting but wasn’t accepted into the program and was sent to study sculpture instead. ‘‘It became an investigation into what sculpture can mean,’’ Wurm says. ‘‘And when I was starting out, I didn’t have a lot of money so I had to rely on


OBJECT LESSONS Clockwise from left: an assistant in the studio; Wurm’s Obama chocolate figures from 2013; the living room, with his ‘‘Knitted Wall Pullover,’’ ‘‘Strick’’ chairs, both from 2011, as well as a sculpture, ‘‘Psycho 7,’’ 2010. Opposite: Wurm in the kitchen with his dog Ali Baba and pieces he’s collected, like a 1,000-year-old sandstone work from Kandahar, Afghanistan, (behind left) and a 7th-century Chinese head.

Summer, 2014



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everyday materials. Clothing was cheap and available.’’ (In the early ’90s, he famously created a series from another readily available material: dust.) Wurm would layer himself in clothes to ‘‘add volume’’ and then strip off layers to create a different shape. ‘‘It’s like those weight-loss commercials with the ‘before’ and ‘after’ images,’’ he says. But rather than some kind of artschool stunt, Wurm was attempting to explore how society judges people by their body shapes. ‘‘We view fat people as lazy, poor white trash and slim people as active, organized and successful.’’ For another project, he donned a variety of sweaters, pulled them over to obscure his face and then contorted himself into absurd positions. (They would later become the basis for a series of headless, Dr. Seuss-like sculptures.) Clothing shapes our bodies, but it also shapes our notion of how we see ourselves. It serves as the border between us and the world, a protective armor. ‘‘As a sculptor, I’m interested in this idea of skin as a boundary,’’ says Wurm, who made a series of faceless figures in hoodies, like the British ‘‘soccer hooligans.’’


CCORDING TO WURM, sculpture has always been

a fluid concept, so for his ‘‘One Minute Sculptures’’ series, he posed or instructed other people to pose with everyday items: A woman sits precariously on top of a pole, another lies down with a suitcase on top of her, a man squeezes himself under a chair. The 60-second juxtapositions are funny one-liners come to life, but they’re also discomfiting and surreal. ‘‘Erwin is a sculptor of thought,’’ the gallerist Thaddaeus Ropac says. ‘‘It’s humor, instinct and irritation brought into the physical form.’’ In 2003, Wurm’s ‘‘One Minute Sculptures’’ earned him international fame when the director Mark Romanek used the series as the basis for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘‘Can’t Stop’’ video. In it, the band members put buckets on their heads, stick markers in their nostrils and twirl trash cans in the air. ‘‘I agreed to let them use my idea with one condition — that at the end of the video, I was credited

LIVING ARRANGEMENTS In a study, the artist mixes his own pieces, like the figure ‘‘Telekinetischer Masturbator,’’ 2009 (above), with works like Andy Warhol’s ‘‘Jackie,’’ from the 1970s, a small Alighiero Boetti collage from the 1980s, and a Gerrit Rietveld Zig-Zag chair. Right: gherkins have figured prominently in Wurm’s art, including this ‘‘Gurke’’ piece from 2011.



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as being the source of the inspiration,’’ Wurm says. It’s a dynamic Pop Art video, an obstacle course of pratfalls and slapstick. ‘‘MTV was my biggest advertiser ever.’’ Over the last decade, as he has grown more successful, the scale of Wurm’s work has become more ambitious. In 2000, he created his first ‘‘Fat Car’’: an Alfa Romeo that he plumped up with Styrofoam and resin. The fattened, anthropomorphic automobile looks like something straight out of the Pixar studio. ‘‘It has a technological system and

A COLORFUL LIFE Clockwise from top left: a Renaissance-era sculpture and an original painted door from the same period in one of Wurm’s studies; sketches tacked up in his studio; his sculpture ‘‘Pumpkin (Philosopher),’’ 2008, stands in a downstairs hallway. Opposite: many works, like ‘‘Big Coat,’’ 2010, are scattered around the property.

a biological one,’’ he says. Though the piece may put a smile on your face, Wurm doesn’t think it’s so humorous. He’s poking fun at society’s value system, our need for big, shiny toys. But not every work is charged with some serious or sinister message, or at least not one that Wurm is always ready to offer. In one of the barns, an assistant is working on a sculpture made of sausagelike elements, while just outside stands one of Wurm’s large gherkin sculptures. Why a sausage? Why a pickle? I ask. ‘‘There’s not always a why. . . . ’’ he lightly chastises me. And perhaps the way he deals with his success in the art world — his work commands six-figure prices, he exhibits all over the world — is to not always look for a reason. At his home, mixed in with the Serge Mouille lamps and Prouvé chairs, there are works by Alex Katz, Joseph Beuys, Alighiero Boetti and Pablo Picasso. There are also older pieces like a Christ figure from the Renaissance period as well as a print of Albrecht Dürer’s ‘‘Melancholia,’’ depicting a woman with her head in her hands, plagued by her own thoughts. Wurm gazes wistfully at the image. There is a bit of sadness, a frustration, in Wurm’s work — the artist trying to get across that there’s something not right with the world. But as he casts a glance around his own surroundings, he seems cautiously optimistic. ‘‘It’s nice to be able to have all of this. To be able to give it to my children. What am I going to do? Leave it for the church?’’ Erwin Wurm’s ‘‘Synthesa’’ is on view through April 19 at Lehmann Maupin’s Chelsea location, New York. 73




Dior Homme shirt, AED 10,652; Prada pants, AED 2,369; Bottega Veneta belt (worn throughout, sold with pants), AED 3,746. Eytys shoes (worn throughout), AED 845;



Bottega Veneta shirt, AED 5,142. Opposite: Yohji Yamamoto jacket, AED 9,036; yohjiyamamoto Louis Vuitton shirt, AED 8,433; Prada pants, AED 12,683.



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When it comes to souvenirs, passport stamps can be as effective as photographs. Such is the case, at least, for Charles Veley, 48, who took an extended break from the tech world in 2000 to become king of the niche pastime known as ‘‘competitive travel.’’ Heligoland? The Johnston Atoll? The island of Diego Garcia? Veley, one of the world’s most


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extreme travelers, has been to these places, as well as 826 other ‘‘countries, territories, autonomous regions, enclaves, geographically separated island groups and major states and provinces.’’ Here, the voracious wanderer — and owner of nine passports — shares a few of the pages from his never-ending pilgrimage. — LAURENCE LOWE


The Long Way Round

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Men's Fashion Summer 2014