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January 15, 2014

Go luxe or go home

Elyse Glickman/10.56


Just Jared/Colgate


Elyse Glickman

Top Cassie Scerbo enjoys her Colgate Optic White treatment. Above Wholesome food thanks to the discerning judgement of Nathalie Dubois and DPA.

Nathalie Dubois and DPA continue their annual tradition of showcasing some of the most interesting luxury products and services coming to the fore. While her evergreen support for Tahiti Tourisme and and its lavish properties brought a lovely tropical flair to her nest at the Luxe Hotel, as did unseasonably warm temperatures, the way she organized the event provided a nice respite from the usual experience a journalist covers when meeting vendors at a pre-awards suite. A courteous guide takes journalists through the well-organized maze of vendors, allowing to have quality one-on-one time to speak with the artisans and representatives of the products.
   Galina Sobolev showcased very simple designs from her Single dress line that provided lovely canvases for the fine and fashion jewellery inside the penthouse used for the event. Alice’s Chic Boutique by Alice Nemeti made such an impact, in fact, that a staff member at the nearby Crescent Hotel where Nemeti stayed literally bought the necklace off of her (with the help of her online store). Lots of people are doing natural stone stackable bracelets, but those from Sisco Berluti are so beautifully made that it is no wonder they made Oprah’s ‘Favorite Things’ list.

continued below




Elyse Glickman

   One of my favourite things was the denim scarf at Hzurdadi Jeans. These thick, resilient scarves are made with premium denim and a lining of fleece, animal print fabric or flannel, and while they may be a bit heavy for southern California’s climate, they are a great invention for stylish celebrities flying back to New York, Chicago or Boston, given the tundra-like conditions in the eastern US. The vibrating ZaaZ Studios machine, meanwhile, offered celebrities a try of an invention that is essentially a self-contained spa, as it massages, tightens and tones depending on who uses it and how it is used.
   In addition to the regularly featured properties from Tahiti, select celebrities received stays in spots that could be “paradise” in different ways. Cape Breton Island, off the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, is a golfer’s paradise, as well as a haven for seafood during the summer and winter months. Jill’s Chocolates, made in Nova Scotia, reflects the fact that the Canadian Maritimes have arrived as a gastronomic destination that can compete with MontrĂ©al, Vancouver and Toronto. The newly opened eco-luxury resort Copa de Arbol in Costa Rica is an environmentally conscious labour of love that features such natural geological attributes.
   The foods and beverages served were also heavenly, running the gamut from Foxy’s Premium Frozen Yoghurt (from Australia, down to the slang and irreverence of the packaging) to vegan snacks, vitamin supplements, healing skin care and supplements from South Africa, the Yes Bar (tailored for those adopting the Paleo diet in the new year). Herzog Wine Cellars, based in Oxnard, Calif., uncorked Bartenura, a positively delightful moscato from Provincia di Pavia, Italy and a 2010 cabernet sauvignon from Sonoma County produced for its own label.
   Balancing the event out as well as the state of mind of the guests was psychic Lisa Greenfield, who made some very uncanny observations and dispensed sound advice and easy meditations.
   In West Hollywood, a few miles away from the hustle and bustle of Golden Globes weekend Beverly Hills, the PrivĂ© Salon and Ona Spa provided a lovely safe haven for Colgate’s Optic White Beauty Bar, where celebrities and press could primp in a serene setting away from maddening crowds and throngs of paparazzi. This little gem not only offered guests a nice selection of Optic White products, but also some fantastic new products from Sexy Hair and Joico (demonstrated through blow-dries by Privé’s expert staff), a braid bar, Lifeway frozen kefir, manicures and makeup touch-ups.
   Celebrities on site getting prepped and primped included Jessica Szohr, Chloe Bridges, Crystal Reed, Cassie Scerbo, and Keke Palmer.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor




Just Jared/Privé Salon


Elyse Glickman

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January 24, 2013

Next Top Model Sverige winner to model for Panos Emporio; H&M and WWF partner on water; Peninsula’s new campaign

Lucire staff/9.36

Panos Emporio has announced that one of the contestants in next week’s Top Model Sverige will become its new model for 2013.
   In next week’s episode on Sweden’s TV3, the 10 models will be photographed by Nigel Barker, with one winner being adopted by the swimwear label for a future campaign.
   Filmed at the end of last year, Panos Emporio boss Panos Papadopoulos flew to Los Angeles for the show. It is the sixth season of the Swedish licensed version of the programme.
   Staying with Swedish companies: in another nod to corporate social responsibility, Hennes & Mauritz has announced it has developed a water strategy in association with WWF.
   As part of a three-year global partnership, H&M says it will build water into its corporate planning, including ‘being a good neighbour and good steward of shared resources,’ says WWF International’s director-general, Jim Leape.
   WWF had evaluated H&M’s water usage and challenges through 2012 to form the basis of the strategy. In 2013, the company plans to implement it globally, working with public policy-makers, NGOs, water institutions and other companies, to support better management of river basins in China and Bangladesh, it says. It will also support WWF conservation projects in the Yangtze River basin.
   Internally, staff will receive training on the water impact on raw material production and its value chain. It will also improve its water efficiency and minimize its suppliers’ impact on water. The company is targeting all 48 national markets and reaching all 750 direct suppliers, with all its 94,000 employees receiving education on water issues.
   Finally, the Peninsula Hotels has announced a new campaign for all its properties, called Peninsula Moments. The campaign shows what is distinctive about each one of its properties, from stunning architecture, authenticity, design, to insight. Unsurprisingly, the clip from Hong Kong—arguably the most famous Peninsula property—features its fleet of green Rolls-Royces, while Bangkok shows off its nearby temple and Shanghai its aviation lounge.



Above The Peninsula Hong Kong Rolls-Royce fleet and its pool.




Above The Peninsula Shanghai Aviation Lounge. The Peninsula Manila’s lobby. A temple in Bangkok, near the property.

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December 3, 2012

Summer Rayne Oakes’s Extinction, on environmental challenges, goes live on Vimeo, YouTube

Jack Yan/8.22

Summer Rayne Oakes’s environmental short art film, Extinction (or eXtinction to give the official title), has just gone live at Vimeo and YouTube.
   Summer Rayne, who appears in the 2013 Pirelli calendar shot by Steve McCurry, made Extinction in 2011, when it did the circuit at various film festivals across the world.
   The film, directed by Clayton Haskell, is particularly beautiful and powerful, telling a story about our greatest environmental challenges. It briefly featured at Lucire last year as a teaser.
   â€˜It reveals that the most pressing environmental issues are not happening thousands of years from now, but are in fact happening within our lifetime—and specifically, on the timeline of one young woman’s life, from birth to death,’ according to its description.
   The main link, at Vimeo, is https://vimeo.com/26854560; the YouTube version can be viewed at http://youtu.be/4IxFQGrzL4w.
   Extinction has also been released with Spanish and Portuguese subtitles, with German, Italian and French in the coming month.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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November 27, 2012

Pirelli calendar for 2013 features Summer Rayne Oakes, Adriana Lima, Petra Nemcova, Liya Kebede

Lucire staff/22.41



Steve McCurry for Pirelli

Above Summer Rayne Oakes and Adriana Lima appear in the 2013 Pirelli calendar.

This year’s Pirelli calendar, launching presently in Rio de Janeiro, has a Lucire connection: our Summer Rayne Oakes appears in it.
   We’ve been following its launch today as Summer Rayne—best known for her work in the environment, which is how we first began working on Lucire together many years ago—rubs shoulders with her fellow models Petra Nemcova, Liya Kebede, Kyleigh Kuhn, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem and Elisa Sednaoui, women all known for their charity and social responsibility work.
   The surprise that the media had today at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, that we had a heads-up on, is that this isn’t your father’s Pirelli calendar. There’s no nudity, as it was understood that that could compromise the women’s charity efforts and dilute the message.
   In addition, Summer Rayne has posted a video (below) on the rise of youth activism and social awareness, which had been part of the Rio launch today. She speaks with Kyleigh Kuhn, noting how the event had been shared with social media.
   Shooting the 2013 calendar was photographer Steve McCurry, better known for his famous 1985 National Geographic image, Afghan Girl (left), who joined Summer Rayne and others in Rio today.
   Says McCurry, ‘These models are clothed, and each of them has her own charity. They are purposeful and idealistic people. So I wanted to photograph them in a special place, and Rio was perfect for this.’
   Pirelli had greater flexibility in the casting this year thanks to McCurry, although the calendar still includes Isabeli Fontana and Adriana Lima (photographed pregnant), and SĂŽnia Braga, Marisa Monte, Karlie Kloss, and local Brazilian people.


Steve McCurry for Pirelli

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October 25, 2012

Margaret Hema arrives “home” at a new location in Courtenay Place

Jack Yan/11.57

I’m really impressed with Margaret Hema’s new rooms at Courtenay Place, Wellington, New Zealand, which one visits strictly by appointment. Hema, whom I first interviewed for Lucire in the mid-2000s, is the renowned ĂŠstheticienne and facialist, known not only for her unequalled treatment skills but for a small range of premium organic skin care products that have found favour internationally. Her clientĂšle remains exclusive and she has the enviable position of indulging her passion for beauty and skin care over a long career.
   She has developed her classic range very slowly, increasing her offerings from seven to eight in the last year. The development time for her latest organic day crĂšme was 12 years, as Hema found the right formulation and suppliers—her approach is to find real solutions, rather than be swayed by beauty fads. She was creating organic products decades before they became trendy. Like an Oscar-winning composer, she can walk the street without being recognized except by her fans.
   Hema is critical of products which are largely water, since the skin fails to absorb them: a glance down the ingredients’ list of the SPF 12 crĂšme reveals organic avocado oil, borage, olive and flaxseed oils, and organic totarol, among others. The 30 ml in each airtight container contains active ingredients, and the crĂšme itself feels and smells nice.
   Hema moved into a salon in 1988 in Brandon Street, but with the building now needed for other purposes, she moved earlier this year into a heritage building on the first floor at 49 Courtenay Place. There are no signs downstairs: discretion remains part of the Hema brand, ensuring its exclusivity. It ties in perfectly with the quality of the products: you truly have to be an initiĂ© to know them well.
   I had visited her old rooms before and felt that they were part of her identity, too—her clients had become used to taking the lift to the old premises. But the new salon retains the Hema feeling: it is brighter, thanks to more natural sunlight; soothing violin music occasionally comes through from a neighbouring business; and one feels instantly relaxed and at ease inside. The new location feels fresher, more affirming, and lighter, while Hema’s certificates as you enter the salon and the sight of the eight-product range bring instant familiarity and a feeling of an ongoing tradition, that this is a positive step on the Hema journey. It feels like “home” to the Margaret Hema experience; it’s as though she was always meant to be here.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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March 29, 2012

Miranda Brown has winter sorted as she launches her latest in Wellington

Tania Naidu/11.03


Tania Naidu

My first thought as I entered the Starfish store for the launch of Miranda Brown’s autumn–winter 2012 collection was, ‘Thank God the winter colours have been changed.’ We had witnessed so many designers employ blacks and greys for the season that Brown’s approach was a godsend.
   The collection seemed to have a new touch on winter, including the use of prints. To the left, the food and beverages were placed on a table—welcome after a busy day at work—and to the right, sustainable designer Miranda Brown herself, greeting people around the store with a smile.
   A little into the night, I was shown some of her favourite pieces in her collection and pieces that were the best fit for my style. The collection’s colours ranged from green, turquoise and browns to brighter and more eye-catching colours like orange, blue and red. I was most drawn to the oversized pieces that won me over, especially a grey cape with the native and extinct huia bird the printed on the front. The use of merino wool was a plus, as it added a rich, textured look to the clothing, and kept you warm in winter.
   The huia and the native and also extinct laughing owl (whekau) were seen printed on numerous garments from this designer.
   â€˜Merino wool gives value to an excellent primary resource here in New Zealand. Merino wool is a strong natural material that is both recyclable and biodegradable,’ says Brown. You have to admire a designer who not only creates lovely garments but also cares about the earth.
   One guest was so attached to a garment that she got to a stage where she had forgotten she was even wearing it. It was a good night: it looks like Miranda Brown has winter sorted.—Tania Naidu








Tania Naidu

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March 22, 2012

Levi’s commemorates World Water Day with Go WaterLess initiative

Lucire staff/23.51

Levi's World Water Day
Levi's World Water Day
Levi’s, which has been behind some sustainable projects in years past, has collaborated with Water.org to commemorate World Water Day, March 22.
   The new campaign, starting today, encourages people to ‘Go Wateran educational campaign featured at Levi’s website. Visitors can learn how everyone can use less water, and what the global demand for water is like.
   One thousand million people on this planet do not have access to clean water.
   It’s not just an awareness campaign, either: Levi’s itself has built water-saving processes into its production. Its own WaterLess products have a process which reduces the use of water by up to 96 per cent for some styles, and the company claims it has saved over 172 million litres of water.
   In the promotional video below, WaterLess founders Matt Damon and Gary White promote the new initiative.

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December 19, 2011

Source4Style launches today, seeking to revolutionize the business of fashion

Jack Yan/10.10

Summer Rayne Oakes and Benita Singh’s Cartier award-winning venture, Source4Style, which helps designers source sustainable fabric through a well designed, transparent website, launches its second version today. Lucire has the low-down in the main part of the site, and this story forms part of some of our next 2012 print and other non-web editions.
   We believe this will revolutionize the way the business of fashion is conducted. Think about it: consumers demand sustainability and the trend has no signs of stopping. Yet, according to Singh, suppliers are spending up to 43 per cent of their marketing budgets just on trade shows. ‘It’s a huge up-front time and ïŹnancial commitment with no guarantee of a return,’ she says. On the other end of the scale, Cornell University research shows that designers are spending up to 85 per cent of their time visiting those same shows, going through online directories, or wading through sample folders.
   Source4Style uses the internet to bridge the divide, and has obvious positive implications for smaller suppliers, who are on a level playing field with the big names. Some of these suppliers are in third-world countries, so it’s not hard to see the financial benefit that Source4Style can have for them and their communities.
   It’s in line with the ideas in Simon Anholt’s Brand New Justice, where Anholt posited that good brands helped third-world communities find greater profits and margins. Source4Style doesn’t quite give these companies brands per se, but through the site, it allows them to be the equal of businesses that are operating in the first world, and levels the playing field.
   It is the solidity behind this venture that sees us devote two web pages and the cover to it. We encourage readers to take a look, as this may well be the moment when fashion changes for good—in more than one sense of the word.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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