Jeff Koons’ Louis Vuitton bag: a real piece of art

Louis Vuitton starts a new cooperation with very important representatives of contemporary art. The French luxury brand unveiled beginning of April, inside the Louvre Museum, the ‘Masters’ collection, carried out together with Jeff Koons. This is the first time that is possible to buy a piece of the American artist for a modest amount of money. In fact, in 2013, his Balloon dog was the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction, at $58.4 million and Koons is considered one of the “most expensive living artists”.

18817e94e581b53913dbaacea7b47525This aspect give more prestige and desirability to Louis Vuitton’s brand image that mixes its heritage and its French allure with such an untouchable artist. Moreover, thanks to this collaboration it’s possible to buy a Koons for the bargain price of $585: it’s a leather keychain and it’s shaped like a inflatable bunny. This bunny is the most affordable piece of “Masters” the artist designed for LV.

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Koons transposed the figurative characteristics of his paintings ‘Gazing Ball’, in a series of reproductions of the world’s top artistic masterpieces, on LV bags and accessories. The project was secretly in development for over one year.

jeff-koons-louis-vuitton-masters-collection-designboom-09Famous masterpieces of Da Vinci, Tiziano, Rubens, Fragonard and Van Gogh have been transferred on some of the maison templates, every single one marked with the name of the artist to which the masterpiece belongs.jeff-koons-louis-vuitton-design-fashion-bags-_dezeen_2364_col_1.1-852x852

The collaboration with Koons follows in the footsteops of those with Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Yayoi Kusama, Cindy Sherman, James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson, Daniel Buren and Frank Gehry which have been involved in the establishment of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, inaugurated in 2014.

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This collaboration is an important channel of communication for the artist too who said in an interview with The New York Times, “I can put my work on the street and this is a great platform of communication“.

Sara Russo

References:

Louis Vuitton

Pambianco

From Threat To Thread

Adidas, in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, has introduced the “Ocean Plastic Trainer” a style of sneakers made with a filament derived from the recycled plastics  that are polluting the oceans.

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These running shoes were created for Adidas by the British designer Alexander Taylor and they were introduced for the first time during an event of Parley for the Oceans, an initiative that aims to encourage the creative professions to recycle the old fish nets, bottles and other garbage dumped in the ocean to increase the awareness about an environmental problem in constant growth.

Taylor, in collaboration with Parley and Adidas, has decided to realize the shoes through the process of standard production used by the brand, replacing, however, the yarns with base fibers made from discarded fishing nets thrown in the seas.

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The shoes are constituted by two different types of recycled plastic: the PET, used more commonly for bottles of water and the NYLON of the fishing nets. PET is relatively soft, easier to loosen and easier to be transformed in fibers, while the fishing nets have been instead hard to be manipulated.

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The AdidasParley for the Oceans three new sneakers use a fresh blue color influenced by the shades of the ocean, and are set to be available in the classic ultraBOOST style, the ultraBOOST X, and the ultraBOOST uncaged.

The designs sport a primeknit outer shell woven from 95 per cent parley ocean plastic, turning threat into thread by spinning found debris into a workable yarn.

The commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop at the knitted body, with the laces, heel webbing, heel lining, and sock liner covers all made from recycled material.

Statistics are showing that one truck of plastic waste gets dumped into our Oceans every minute, and Adidas has set to use its global brand name to get behind sustainable manufacturing. Adidas’ CEO, Kasper Rorsted, explained that “At Adidas, our core belief is that through sport, we have the power to change lives. This becomes particularly relevant when we talk about the impact we have with our sustainability work.We are one of the very few companies that integrate sustainability into their business model, which becomes most visible in the fact that we take sustainability to the product level.”

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While the plan of Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley, consists of picking up the plastics from beaches and cceans and to recycle it in new materials and to sell it to creative brands. The objective is to find an effective way to communicate the urgency that the Oceans of the world to  consumers. Gutsch has decided, therefore, that its firm needed an ambassador: the plastics. The plastics is tangible, visual and it is easier to be quantified respect, for instance, the issues of carbon.

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Parley is the space where creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction. Parley for the Oceans addresses major threats towards our oceans, the most important ecosystem of our planet. They believe the power for change lies in the hands of the consumer and the power to shape this new consumer mindset lies in the hands of the creative industries.

Artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, fashion designers, journalists, architects, product inventors, and scientists have the tools to mold the reality they live in and to develop alternative business models and ecologically sensitive products that give the Earth’s inhabitants an alternative choice, an everyday option to change something. To succeed, they need to find ways to synchronize the economic system of humankind with the ecosystem of nature, and make environmental protection fiscally lucrative for pacesetting major companies.

Parley has been created to accelerate a process of change that is already in progress. No other big movement in the history of humankind has developed faster than the environmental cause.

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By weaving intercepted ocean plastic into their designs, adidas set out to implement the Parley A.I.R strategy, Avoiding virgin plastic, Intercepting plastic waste, and Redesigning new alternatives.

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Adidas X Parley’s plastic repurposing doesn’t stop at shoes; the sports giant are even weaving the plastic yarn into gym wear, and has even created recycled plastic jerseys for four major league soccer teams.

So, we just have to wait 15 days more to have the possibility to buy this fantastic product of the future and be more sustainable for our Earth.

 

Adidas Website: http://www.adidas.it

http: www.adidas.com/us/parley

Parley Website: http://www.parley.tv/#fortheoceans

Sneakers News: https://sneakernews.com

Material Connexion: http://it.materialconnexion.com

Every creation is a Journey

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Bernard Arnault commissioned the American architect Frank Gehry to design the Fondation Louis Vuitton as a new space, opened to the public in October 2014, in order to discover contemporary artistic creation. There is a wide array of cultural experience for everyone including the collection, commissions, temporary exhibitions and multidisciplinary events.

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I would like to thank each of our visitors for the personal spirit of discovery that has drawn them here. My most sincere hope is that we are able to share the enthusiasm that has motivated all those who helped make this extraordinary project reality.
Bernard Arnault, President of the Fondation

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Frank Gehry’s Architectural Journey

Geometric curves and lines match the shapes of the garden and the twelve glass sails play with light and reflections of water from the basin in which the building stands.
The building is a constant interplay of outside and inside and invites the visitor on a walk through a space of shifting perspectives to create a unique architectural experience. The landings present key elements essential to understanding the building: its position in Paris, the relationship with the context, Frank Gehry’s design, the coach of the materials and the construction process.

vasselThis sketch, one of the Genhry’s very first for the project, already shows the general outlines of the building. The glass sails give the “vessel“, as himself describes it, a sense of almost natural movement. Frank Gehry’s sketches are genuine creative tools that drive the design process forward in conjunction with the scale models.

“I dream, I dream of designing magnificent vessel for Paris that symbolizes France’s profound cultural vocation.”

The Observatory of Light of Daniel Buren

The work of Daniel Buren is articulated over the emblematic glass sails of the Fondation. There are twelve panels covered with coloured filters set out in a staggered pattern and themselves punctuated at equal distances, by alternating white and clear glass stripes. The colours used here are chosen from the manufacturer’s range and the blocks of color represent the various functions of the building: galleries, auditorium, bookshop, offices, circulation areas, storage areas..

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Inside or outside, from the terraces or in the spaces, projections and reflections appear and disappear and change and shift constantly, following the weather, the time of day and season. With a minimal gesture, the artist radically transforms the building, and to maximum effect, renewing our way of looking at its architecture and instigating a new approach. Without beginning or end, with no privileged viewpoint, this Observatory of Light is a work that is experienced freely, in keeping with each visitor’s desire.

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Barbara Fabris

A CENTURY OF ITALIAN CRAFTSMANSHIP AND TRADITION

Damiani, a leading company of Italian manufacturing and trade sector of jewellery and watches, celebrates Italian savoir-faire with a grand exhibition at Palazzo Reale, Milan, and the event is held  from 22 March to 18 April 2017.

The exhibition shows the main works of the company, starting from 1924, the year when the founder Enrico Damiani created the jewellery company. The project is meant to have a great cultural value, retracing the most significant stages in the evolution of Damiani by showing the most precious creations of the company all at once in a single exhibition.

 

The exhibition was developed between the cooperation of the Municipality of Milan and Damiani, and it is linked with the history of Palazzo Reale, that was sold by Savoia family right after the end of the First World War.

Visitors in Palazzo Reale can experience the discovery of Italian savoir-faire through the jewels of the company. The pieces represent a mixture of passion and skilled craftsmanship that the founder Damiani passed on his grandchildren Guido, Giorgio, and Silvia who have been able to maintain important values such as tradition, Italian craftsmanship, unique design, and creativity.

Damiani presents its own heritage in the exhibition with an evocative path through Sale degli Arazzi on the Piano Nobile of Palazzo Reale, which once house royal apartments. The history of Damiani tradition is unveiled through unique pieces of jewellery and masterpieces that receive international awards. The exhibition also shows some products created in honour to queen Margherita, the first queen of a united Italy and wife of Umberto I, who lived in Palazzo Reale during her reign.

In the first room, Damiani shows different types of products, each of them inspired by a decade in the history of the company and taken from the original drawings. The collection begins with Charleston collection that represents the 1920s, and goes through Cascade collection in 1930s, to move to the following decades that respectively are Legend, Tassel, Optical, Bloom, Tribute, Moonshine, D. Side, and to end with Damianissima, the symbol of the first decade of the new millennium. It is important to highlight that every piece by Damiani is still created entirely by hand in the laboratory of Valenza.

The trip continues in the second room of the show, where a setting of great visual impact exalts the splendour of the 18 unique works by the company (including Eden, Bloody Mary and Sahara) which received the Diamonds International Award, the jewellery Oscar, for their uniqueness of manufacturing skills, exceptional quality, innovation and stylistic interpretation. As a matter of fact, Damiani is the only jeweller in the world to have won this international award 18 times and continues to set the standards in terms of elegance, style, design and originality, turning each piece of jewel into an enlightened inspiration.

In the last room, visitors can see a different collection that is a combination between the goldsmith’s tradition of Valenza and the language of contemporary design, Italian history, and technological innovation. This is Margherita collection to whom Damiani dedicated a jewel in the early years of the 20th century, presented in a new interpretation. The Margherita collection has been created from original sketches and the origins of that craftsmanship which enabled Damiani to become the official supplier of the Royal House of Savoy family.

 

To conclude, the main goal of the exhibition is to present the relationship between the Italian craftsmanship and tradition that has existed for almost one century, and it makes Damiani one of the leading players in the jewellery sector.

 

http://www.damiani.com/en/news/damiani-exhibition-century-of-excellence-and-passion/

DAMIANI

 

Valeria Balsamà

 

The sustainable future of a roaring engine

Say goodbye to roaring engines, the smell of gasoline and gas station stops, because the future is green.

Sustainability is one of the fastest growing trends of recent years.

Even though luxury is a sector that is traditionally distant from values like environmental respect, it has become one of the most reactive to pollution-related issues.

That’s why many automotive brands are shifting from traditional Internal Combustion engines to hybrid and electric technologies.

Also, do not forget the new standards and laws concerning Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions.

This new green trend is led mainly by companies like Tesla that made sustainability their ensign. Studies and surveys confirm that new technologies are the key trends expected to boom in the next ten years.

Anyway, sustainability tests and new infrastracture requires big investments and a lot of time, that’s why the more traditional Internal Combustion powertrain technologies are still considered as the most feasable at the moment.

Alongside brands like Toyota, Lexus and BMW, other big players are moving in this new market.imageshandler

Have you ever thought of an hybrid Maserati or Porsche? What about an hybrid Ferrari?

Some of these are just rumors, some of them are real projects ready to come to life.

So prepare yourself and get ready to embrace the green power of sustainability. It will certainly become a thing.

Giulia Ferretti

Photo credits:

Ferrari

CarBuzz

Sources:

Harvard Business Review

The Gucci factory – A look behind the curtains

Just one regret about my visit to the Gucci factory, located in a small town near Florence: no picture allowed inside the building. You could have seen directly the highest level of craftsmanship and the creativity existing behind the scenes. Unfortunately for you, the only picture made was the group photo near the Gucci sign at the entrance with my fellow students at the Master. Cold comfort, but better than no comfort at all.

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Let’s start from the beginning. During our one week long study tour in Florence, we had the opportunity to visit either the production site of Gucci shoes or the one for the leather goods. Being a bag-addicted, the choice for me was quite easy.

Our visit started with the materials rooms where there are current and archive materials for the bags production. A table was fully covered by an incredible number samples, from all kinds of fabrics and leather. Just to mention some examples, we saw and touched skins of exotic animals such as crocodile, anaconda, ostrich but also the most common one. Some of them were particulary treated to experiment and make samples for the new collection. They select the best raw material, they take care and they focused on detail, far away from the production lines.

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The second room we entered was the cutting room. I had the feeling that everything was under control: the pelts were tagged, identificated and registered to meet the guidelines required. The cutting was done by experts able to make the most of the leather so that the wastage was the minimum and the beauty of each piece was the greater. They are so skilled and experienced that it is unlikely they make errors in their work. In fact, before cutting noble skins, they had to spent spent years and years training and practicing with standard leathers.

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Last but not least, the prototype room where the bags were assembled. We saw the iconic travelling trunk together with a special duffle bag made for a special client. All around you could see the imprint of Alessandro Michele, the creative director of the brand since 2015: snakes, bees, tigers, butterflies, roses and peonies. And of course, the GG logo everywhere as well!

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When we were told that the tour was over, I didn’t want to walk away. I couldn’t help but stare at the artisans working on details and ask them a thousand questions. I understerstood what made a Gucci bag a Gucci bag. The quality of the craftsmanship and the material is so high that it is not just a process of making bags, but it’s a real art of creation. And it’s absolutely inspiring.

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References

All the pictures are from Globalgrind

What’s after music? The Hip Hop case.

(Hi Francesco, another interesting blog about the relationship between rap music, branding and luxury! I removed a few grammar mistakes. I would suggest you change the top, and the headline, going with something more direct about rap singers, product lifecycles, and brand extensions, somehow tying it to luxury. Something like, “For a lesson on brand extensions, rap music leads the way” or something. … )

Have you ever thought of being a worldwide known rapper? Have you ever asked yourself what could be done after your music career?

Well, this is a one-million-dollar question.

The answer, of course, is not unique.

Many of them have just vanished into the dark and progressively lost their fan base, others have found a way to relaunch themselves in a way, if possible, is even more profitable.

The lifecycle of a singer, in this case a rapper, has just the same lifecycle of a product.

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In the very first part of their lifetime they have to struggle a lot trying to get famous. Someone make it. Some others not. The Introduction.

As soon as they get some positive feedback they start to be known in their cities and they can try to go to the next step. The Growth.

At a certain point of their career, if they are lucky enough, they reach the peak of it. The Maturity.

This point seems to be the best point ever and many of them think that this moment will last forever. Nothing worse.

The best moment of a career is the exact moment in which starts the last part of it. The Decline.

At this point they all have a chance but a decision has to be taken immediately.

They can either decide to keep doing what they are doing thinking that they have already a solid business launched or they can decide to diversify their portfolio. The Product Extension.

Which decision would you take?

The answer is not that obvious but, of course, the smartest one is the second one. Diversify the portfolio!

I don’t really know why rappers did more than what other singers did but probably it is linked to the path they have followed to reach success.

In fact, most of the rappers have a sort of innate capability of being able to do business. Either legal or not.

In the following part of this blog post I will present you few examples of rappers that have been able to reinvent themselves and to avoid the decline step of their career and to relaunch their bank account jumping into other businesses.

I would like to sort these examples using a growing pyramid starting from the one with the smallest estimated patrimony to the biggest.

Probably you don’t even know that few of them have started their careers rapping or are still rapping.

Let’s start!

Will Smith (estimated personal fortune $200 million)

William Carrol Smith Jr. was born in 1968 in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, US) and started his brilliant career as a rapper under the name of “The Fresh Prince” singing in the Hip Hop duo called “DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince” in 1985. His career was going pretty good and their songs “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Summertime” were played around the country. They reached the peak of their music career with the winning of the Grammy Award in the “Rap” category in 1988. Thanks to this award Will Smith gained a lot of notoriety and earned a lot of money. In 1988 and 1989 he spent a lot of money purchasing cars, houses and shiny products but underpaid his income taxes. For this reason US Internal Revenue Service assessed a $2.8 million tax debt against him, took many of his possessions and garnished his income.

He was nearly going on bankrupt when the turning point of his life appeared.

In 1990 the television network NBC signed him and built the sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” around him.

the fresh prince of bel air

This sitcom was so successful that is considered the starting point of his acting career.

After this, he started acting and became what he is today and so one of the most important actors on the movie scene.

He is more famous as an actor than as a rapper and in his filmography we can see a lot of cult movies such as “Bad Boys” (1995), “Men in Black” (1997), “Ali” (2001), “I, Robot” (2004), “The pursuit of Happiness” (2006), “I Am Legend” (2007).

Did you know he was a rapper?

will smith summertime

Jay Z (estimated personal fortune $610 million)

Shawn Corey Carter, mainly known by his stage name Jay Z, was born in Brooklyn (New York, US) in 1969. He is still a rapper and, even more, he has been able to sell more than 100 million records making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He has won during his career, which started in 1986, 21 Grammy Awards and has been ranked by MTV the “Greatest MC of all time” in 2006.

Even if his career is not over yet he has been smart enough to have started building his post-music career many years ago diversifying his portfolio in many and different activities.

One he stated:

“…my brands are an extension of me. They’re close to me. It’s not like running GM, where there’s no emotional attachment.”

The very first business activity launched by Mr. Carter was the foundation of his label “Roc-A-Fella Records” in 1995 for which he has released his first album “Reasonable Doubt” (1996).

In 1999, three years after the release of his first album, he decided to launch his clothing line called “Rocawear” in order to be present in the Hip Hop lifestyle scenario of those days. In 2007 the brand Rocawear has been sold for $204 millions.

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In 2002 Jay Z jumped into the beauty and cosmetics field investing $10 million into a brand called “Carol’s Daughter” which was a company in trouble but which now grosses $40-50 million a year and provides him a very good amount of money yearly.

In 2003 he decided to launch together with a partner a sports bar named “The 40/40 Club” in New York aiming to reach a wealthy part of the population and not the Average Joe. This club provides American food, live music, celebrity patrons, 5 VIP lounges and plenty of sports memorabilia.

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After being one of the biggest endorsers of the champagne “Armand de Brignac”, also known as “Ace Of Spades”, he decided to buy the brand in 2014.

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Among all these activities he has also launched several collaborations in different fields with brands such as Reebok, Nokia, Cohiba, GMC, NBA and many more.

For this reasons, probably, once he said:

“I am not a businessman,

I am a business, man!”

More than this I can clearly say that one of his best investments is for sure the marriage with the worldwide music icon Beyoncè in 2008.

Celebrities Attend The New Jersey Nets v New York Knicks Game - February 20, 2012

Dr. Dre (estimated personal fortune $710 million)

Andre Romelle Young, better known as Dr. Dre, was born in Compton (California, US) in 1965 and started his career as a rapper and producer back in 1984 and he is still performing very well.

Talking about his entrepreneurial mind-set we can say that he started as a co-founder of the famous “Death Row Records” being one of the artists of it and producing albums for many well-known artists such as 2Pac and Snoop Dogg.

He started as a member of the crew “N.W.A.” (Niggaz Wit Attitude) together with Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella. His debut solo album “The Chronic” (1992) is still today one of the Hip Hop biggest masterpieces and thanks to the single “Let Me Ride” he won a Grammy Award in 1993.

Being the co-founder of this label was not enough for him, and for this reason he decided to leave “Death Row Records” and to found his own new label, “Aftermath”, in 1996.

With his new label he signed artists such as Eminem and 50 Cent and produced their album and for that he has won 6 Grammy Award including “Producer of the Year”.

All these wonderful awards were not enough for him and decided to make the real money into a business very related to music but without having nothing to do with singing or producing.

In fact in 2008 he released his first brand of headphones, “Beats by Dr. Dre”. He said that being one of the best producers in his field would have helped the development of a pair of headphones in a way that everyone could have to chance of recording and producing in a professional way at a good price.

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The company, thanks to the quality of the product and to the marketing campaigns used by Dre, became so popular that Apple decided to buy the brand in 2014 for the incredible price of $3 billions.

beats apple dr dre

So far the best deal made by Mr. Dre.

Puff Daddy (estimated personal fortune $750 million)

Sean John Combs, better known as Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy or Diddy, was born in Harlem (New York, US) in 1969 and started his career in 1997. Before this moment he has worked as a talent director at “Uptown Records” and then founded his own label “Bad Boy Entertainment” in 1993. His debut album “No Way Out” (1997) has been certified 7 times platinum. He has won during his career 3 Grammy Awards and 2 MTV Video Music Awards.

He has reached his fortune with many non-music-related activities.

In 1998 he has launched his own clothing line called “Sean John” and for this reason he was nominated for the “Council of Fashion Designers of Marica” (CFDA) award for Menswear Designer of the Year in 2000 and won in 2004.

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More than this he owned 2 restaurants called “Justin’s”, named after his son. Now they are closed.

He is also the official designer of the Dallas Mavericks alternate jersey.

By the way, his biggest deal has been made in 2007 when Diddy entered the spirit’s business with the purchasing of half of the shares of “Cîroc” vodka which is a luxury brand of vodka that turned out to be very profitable.

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He has purchased the clothing line “Enyce” from Liz Claiborne for $20 million in 2008.

He possesses a majority equity stake in “Revolt Tv”, a television network that has also a film production branch. It began broadcasting in 2014.

In 2013 he decided to keep investing into the spirits business and has bought in partnership with Diageo, a British multinational alcoholic beverages company, the luxury tequila brand “DeLeón”.

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In 2015 Diddy teamed up with actor Mark Wahlberg and businessman Ronald Burkle to purchase a majority holding in “Aquahydrate”, a calorie-free beverage for athletes.

aquahydrate diddy

Due to all these activities, Mr. Puff Daddy is recognized as the richest rapper alive with an estimated personal fortune of $750 million.

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These are just some examples of rappers that were really able to avoid the decline of their careers jumping into businesses that probably they would have never thought of being involved into.

Have a dream, follow it, reach it, squeeze it.

Then take the smart decision of finding an alternative path for your life.

Avoid the decline.

Reinvent yourself. Everyday.

Francesco Filippi

Credits:

aftermath-music.com

apple.com

aquahydrate.com

armanddebrignac.com

beatsbydre.com

billboard.com/BeatsApple

brobible.files.wordpress.com/MakingItRainDiddy

carolsdaughter.com

ciroc.com

CirocAdvertisment

deleontequila.com

diageo.com

enyce.com

facebook.com/DeathRowRecords

forbes.com/RichestRappers

forbesimg.com/DeLeónDiddy

hiphoprec.com/JayZBeyonce

hotnewhiphop.com/JayZTimeline

huffpost.com/FreshPrinceofBelAir

imagefl.com/4040Club

images.forbes.com/AquahydrateDiddy

knowledgegrab.com/ProductLifeCycle

maxim.com/JayZArmandDeBrignac

media.giphy.com/WillSmithGif

pinimg.com/Beats

puffdaddyandthefamily.com

revolt.tv

rocawear.com

rocnation.com

seanjohn.com

slidesharecdn.com/IAmNotABussinessManJayZ

the4040club.com

urbancorner.com/SeanJohn

wikipedia.org/DeLeónTequila

wikipedia.org/Diageo

wikipedia.org/Diddy

wikipedia.org/DrDre

wikipedia.org/JayZ

wikipedia.org/WillSmith

The importance of being social

When Damiani met Instagram

Luxury is based on exclusivity. We have learnt this since we were children, professors have repeated it like a mantra several times in the last six months. But – there’s always a “but”. Luxury is also about desiderability, and nowadays one of its main purpose should be making people dream – no matter if they won’t ever buy anything. At the same time, social media have become extremely pervasive in consumer behaviour and the marketing industry, and through the last few years luxury brands have had to face this new and “atypical” scenario. There are only two possible alternatives for them: show their social attitude or (risk to) be set aside.

The fashion industry has been the first to accept the challenge and be literally rewarded for having been so daring. Just few examples. Thanks to its highly interactive website and the additional section “Burberry Acoustic” featuring undiscovered British musical talent and pushing them through Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest accounts, Burberry has hugely increased its revenues and sentiment from customers in only two years. Meanwhile in Italy, I would add a mention of  Dolce e Gabbana’s addiction to hashtags and viral campaigns, and Stefano Gabbana’s Instagram account followed by 938,000 in love users?

Now the Italian king of fine jewelry Damiani is following the trend through its social media campaign #PalazzoRealeDreamsDamiani to promote its heritage and the latest collection – an homage to the founder of the maison, Enrico Grassi Damiani, and the Queen Margherita of Savoy, in whom he found a strong brand ambassador. The amazing journey along the history of Made in Italy creativity and craftsmanship and the Italian cultural development had been anticipated by an event in Venice during the Carnival celebration and a gala dinner at Palazzo Reale, where the exhibition Un secolo di eccellenza e passione takes place … and obviously the posts of the influencers involved!

We students of the International Master in Luxury Management did our part as Millenials and social-addicted, acting like influencers during our private tour. Just a condition: share, share, share. Even if we had already visited the laboratory where the magic happens, we had the chance to discover more about iconic jewels we had only seen before in magazines and the goals they were born to reach – a promise of never-ending love told by the Romanoff collection’s tiara, a tribute to an era represented by Charleston and many other one of a kind pieces.

And that being Chiara Ferragni* could be very funny – yet maybe just for a day.

Are you curious and would you like to know more about Damiani? You’ll have time until 18th April to visit Palazzo Reale – the exhibition is for free and near the Manet one!

Alessandra Petagna

*Ed.: founder of The Blonde Salad, Chiara Ferragni is one of the most famous fashion and lifestyle blogger worldwide and also an entrepreneur.

Credits:

In a split second – Chronograph watches

Back for your monthly dose of watches! This time we will go through some history of the chronograph watches and some of the historical and iconic models.

The first modern chronograph was invented by Louis Moinet in 1816. According to the definition, a “Chronograph” is a watch with additional short-time measurement (stopwatch), shown by an additional hand (chrono hand) that can be started, stopped, and reset to zero by pushers in the housing wall.

SealsOfApprovalCOSC.jpgThe term chronograph is often confused with the term chronometer. While “Chronograph” refers to the function of a watch, “Chronometer” is a measure of how well a given timepiece performs. In order to be labeled as a chronometer the timepiece must be certified by the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres), the official Swiss Chronometer testing institute.

The term chronograph comes from the Greek word for time, “chronos”, combined with the Greek word for writing, “graph”. As a matter of fact, early versions of the chronograph are the only ones that actually used any “writing”, marking the dial with a small pen attached to the index so that the length of the pen mark would indicate how much time has elapsed.

Less simple chronographs use additional complications and can have multiple independent hands to measure seconds, minutes, hours and even tenths of a second.

In terms of usage, chronographs were very popular with aviators as they allowed them to make rapid calculations and conduct precise timing during their flights. The demand for chronographs grew along with the aviation industry in the early part of the 20th century.

Chronographs were much used in all those fields that involved very precise and/or repeated timing around increasingly more complicated high performance machinery; automobile racing and naval submarine navigation being two examples. As different uses for the chronograph were discovered, the industry responded with different models introducing some features that still differentiate chronographs up to now, for example:

Metered Bezels

Many chronographs have a bezel that is either fixed or can rotate, around the outside of the dial that is marked to specific scales to allow rapid calculations. The most popular meter is for Tachymeter readings: a simple scale that allows rapid calculations of speed. Other bezels feature Telemeter scale, for distance.

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Flyback chronographs

They have a timing hand that can be rapidly reset, or ‘flyback’, to zero. Ordinarily the sweep second hand is stopped to record the time and started again at that spot on the dial, or reset by spinning the second hand all the way to zero again, clockwise. The flyback allows a reading and a quick reset, a counterclockwise ‘flyback’, for the next measurement to start at zero.

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Rattrapante chronograph

Sometimes called a “double chronograph”, it has multiple second hands, at least one of which can be stopped and started independently. When not activated the second hands travel together, one under the other, to appear as just one second hand.

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Nowadays chronographs may have lost the importance of their original calculation functionality, but are still important in terms of design, time measurement and connection with the automotive sector, with many partnerships between luxury watchmaking houses and top-level car manufacturers such as Bugatti, Ferrari and Mercedes.

And now, let’s get down to business with a list of the historical pieces and some of my favorites.

Zenith El Primero

In the late 1960s there was a prestigious race to develop the world’s first mechanical chronograph with automatic winding: Heuer-Leonidas and Dubois Dépraz had initiated the secret “Project 99” to develop such a movement, bringing in Hamilton and Breitling. On March 3, 1969, this group presented their product under the name of “Chronomatic”. Realizing that this announcement was imminent, Zenith rushed to preempt them. Their Cal. 3019 El Primero movement (“The First”) was unveiled in a quiet press conference in Geneva on January 10 of the same year. From then on, the Zenith El Primero has been one of the most reliable movements and an iconic watch in the industry.

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Rolex Daytona

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is a mechanical, self-winding chronograph. It has been manufactured by Rolex since 1963. It was inspired by racecar drivers and enthusiasts, most notably, iconic actor Paul Newman, who reportedly wore his Daytona every day from 1972 until his death in 2008. There have been three series of the Cosmograph Daytona. The original series was produced in small quantities from circa 1963 to the later 1980s. This original series was in very short supply by the early 1990s, which led to a second series to meet demand, introduced in 1988 and using a Zenith “El Primero” modified automatic winding movement. The third series, introduced in 2000, has a movement made by Rolex, thus the label “in-house movement”.

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Patek Philippe 5170

One of my favorite watches of all time and a real “grail watch” (yes, also for its price range). It was introduced in 2013 but it deeply connects with Patek history of fine craftsmanship and rigorous engineering. It comes in white, yellow and rose gold. It is a manually wound chronograph with in-house movement, everything a high-end piece of horology should have.

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A. Lange & Shöne Datograph Up/Down

Another great display of engineering, this time from the German house of A. Lange & Shöne. Like the Patek Philippe, also this is a hand-wound chronograph, and one of the best watches money can buy. Slightly larger than the Patek, it comes in platinum and presents a very discreet power reserve indication, putting the datograph into the Up/Down (Auf/Ab) family of Lange watches.

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Overall, the chronographs, especially if hand-wound, are among the finest pieces of horology a manufacturing house can make. For that reason, I personally think that, in terms of history, craftsmanship and design, a nice chronograph is a must have in the collection of any watch enthusiast.

Stefano Re

References:

https://www.omegawatches.com/it/

http://www.iwc.com/it/

http://www.zenith-watches.com/

https://www.rolex.com/it

http://www.patek.com/it/home

https://www.alange-soehne.com/

Set sail for distant shores!

Where

Viareggio, Versilia, Tuscany: the heart of the italian shipyard production, with 100 out of the total national production of 400 made boats built in an year, will be the scene for the first Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous.

Held in an area known all over the world for its hospitality, arts, wine, food and high quality of services, it is going to be the new milestone in the boating sector.

When

From the 11th to the 14th of May this new innovative format event, blended with culture and creativity, will make Tuscany the place to be: the aim is the one to enhance the value of the potential of the yachting industry in a region where technology and high craftsmanship are mixed together.

 

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What

On the wet docks of the first nautical district of the world, the excellence of the shipyards will host sea-lovers, insiders and visitors bringing new life to a positive and original experience: more than 100 magnificent boats of medium and large dimensions will establish the core of the contest.

Together with yachts in the water, the exposition path will be developed into 4 main thematical areas, dedicated to the boating sector:

  1. Tender and Toys: producers of technological tenders and other leisure solutions for big yachts;
  2. Italian Coast Excellence: a big offer of boating and touristic services;
  3. Superyacht Marina: presentation of the main turistic marinas of large size;
  4. Superyacht Equipment and Components: a selection of accessories and component dedicated to super yachts.

Other details                                                                                                                                         

As mentioned earlier, the main part of this boat show will be the events held both inside and outside the marina, with the objective of involving the surrounding area. For each single day, a specific topic characterized by an international touch would be developed: design (Thursday 11 May), food (Friday 12 May), art and cars (Saturday 13 May) and fashion and lifestyle (Sunday 14  May).

In building the program the Fondazione Altagamma, Nautica Italiana partners were involved, which represents the high cultural and creative industry of our Country.

Why not?

Katia Balducci, president of Navigo, stressed that Viareggio and Tuscany have a central position in the big yachts sector. The Show of the Sea doesn’t aim to be in conflict with the Genoa Boat Show, because the hypothesis of an exposition in Viareggio would be dedicated to the high-end yacht sector and it would be scheduled in a different time of the year, so to guarantee a further and more focused opportunity for the products of our district. It is important, for this reason, to first carry out all verifications on the technical and economical feasibility of the project.

Boats, yachts, mega yachts, with the allure of luxury and exclusivity that surround them, turn the event into a Grand Baazar able to amuse everybody, from the simple visitor to the sea dogs.

The presence of a lot of companies, the incredible innovations, the segmentation of the market in a growing number of niches and typologies that are looking for the different single tastes of the owners, like high performances and speed, are the main characteristics of the event.

May the wind always be at your back!

Anna Bizzozero

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References:

Nautech News

Versilia Yachting Rendez-vous

Rewop: a new fashion essential.

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Eyewear is perhaps the most important piece of fashion accessory that one can own, It can change the look and the impression that you project to the world instantly and effectively.

I was at the “White” Fair during the Fashion Week in Milan and I discovered a very new special brand: REWOP.

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“The only thing we have changed is the way to see something”

This is the “motto” of Rewop, name that comes from the anagram of Power, to underline Strength, freshness and dynamicity, that characterize the brand. The energy indicated by the word evokes a young man with bold behaviour looking to conquer respect and admiration. Rewop is a return to that audacity that defines the target: men and women who are very self confident, lovers of freshness and that want a high quality “Made in Italy” product.

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Rewop is an emerging brand that offers, with it’s eyewear collection, a very modern and young product, personality underliner, style magnifier and indispensable accessory. One of Rewop main strengths is to highlight and enhance the value of the eyes without losing UV protection.

Rewop offers lenses that can adapt to any light without hiding the look and expression. The frame of Rewop glasses is made by Mazzucchelli, international plastic leader, using innovative materials, impalpably light and strong.

They have three main styles called: “Capri”, “Panarea” and “Ponza”.

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While I was there I took the opportunity to interview the sales and marketing director of the brand, Francesco Zeni, who gave me more information about these sunglasses.

How did “Rewop” start?

Rewop started with the idea of four young men from Milan, who wanted to develop something innovative and to prove to the world, and to theirselves, that also here in Italy you can create a new entrepreneurial activity.

How the idea of this collection was born?

We started to develop this idea after a long research; we attended several international eyewear fairs like the MIDO in Milan, where we found the right producers with the right styles, in line with the target we had in mind.

Can you talk about your new collection?

We have three main styles for this collection.

The first one is “Capri”, that takes its name from the beautiful island overlooking the bay of Naples, heaven on earth. For its elegant and sharp shapes it has inspired our last model, in 3 words: sleek, cool and fashion. For those who are not afraid to show their personality.

Then we have the “Panarea”, its innovative lenses protects your eyes without hiding them, with a stand-out look. Its bold style appeals to sporty profiles, and is perfectly combined with class and elegance, making it a versatile product which can also be adapted as optical frames.

Then, last but not least, we have the “Ponza”, it has a rounded style that garantee a more serious touch without taking away the originality. Elegant and fresh, it shows the willingness to be different even as reading glasses.

What inspired you?

We worked closely with our designers in order to adapt the existing styles to our concepts. In particular, in the “Capri” style we developed the design from scratch, we took inspiration from an old French brand, no longer in production, and we recreated a very famous style of the 60s.

Are you only in Italy? Are you planning to enlarge you market?

At the moment we are present in Italy, Spain and Japan and had already made deals with Australia, USA, South Korea and China.

Are you willing to enlarge your collection?

We decided to keep “Panarea”, “Capri” and “Ponza” as a permanent collection, but we are also planning to add another permanent one called “Vulcano”, then in the future we are thinking about creating some limited seasonal editions.

What are your plans for the future?

Our future objective is to expand ourselves in the international market because the Italian market is smaller than the potential of the international importing market like Usa, Australia and Japan so our future idea is to find some important distributing companies in these countries.

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I really suggest you to visit their website, because what they have done is to let their products speak for themselves!

Congratulations Guys!

Sofia Cozzi

http://www.rewopmilano.com

 

Fresh Dressed: Dapper Dan’s Boutique

Daniel Day AKA Dapper Dan was born in the 1950s in Harlem, New York. He grew up wearing rags with three older brothers and a group of cousins who were already well on their way to a life of crime. All around him, appearance was important, and when you live in the pits it is one of the only ways to still look like a million dollar man.

dapperdanfur-1.jpgDapper Dan (1984)

Dap opened a shop with his name in 1983, at 43 East 125th Street, where he made furs and always sold them cheaper than the market price.

His uptown clientele was a heady mix of hustlers, street cats, and hip-hop royalty, all of whom shared a mutual love of what Dan himself called a “macho type of ethnic ghetto clothing”.

His margins were small, but sales volumes made up the difference and business was booming. His customers were all competing to get the freshest coat, and Dan started thinking about how to sate their appetite for luxury.  In the 1980s luxury brands targets were the highest and sophisticated part of society, while Dap brought to light the concept of luxurious street-wear aimed to reach who was excluded before.

boutique-1-n47szhp7qj4kspm863zxwpz0h9erik7q9kaxwwqnpk.jpgDapper Dan’s boutique in Harlem (1984)

He started by buying up stocks of Gucci and Louis Vuitton bags, cutting them up to use the monogrammed leather in his own creations. It was fabulous and horribly expensive, but the Harlem hustlers had bottomless pockets when it came to showing off their success.

Dan’s creations were Harlem certified, blends of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, and MCM, with mixtures of mink, ostrich, crocodile and python. A true example of taking back fashion by pulling it closer to surrealist prêt-à-porter. Dapper Dan managed to rework luxury brands’ codes to bring them back to the street with disruptive creativity, even becoming as famous as the brands themselves in certain circles.

Before the likes of Kanye West and Rihanna were doing it, Dapper Dan was the first to bring designer fashion into the context of street culture. Dubbed “Hip Hop’s fashion godfather” who “planted the seed for fashion” in the music genre, his clients list included everyone: from Harlem hustlers to the likes of Run DMC, Mike Tyson, Salt and Pepa, LL Cool J and Bobby Brown, who would spend hours at his store which stayed open all night and day for 8 years.

dapper-dan-web-feature-llkoolj.jpgDapper Dan with LL Cool J wearing a custom Gucci jacket.

dappdanfatboys.jpgFat Boys in Dapper Dan’s Louis Vuitton jackets.

In 1988, two of Dapper Dan’s clients, boxers Mike Tyson and Mitch Green crossed paths upon entering and leaving the Harlem boutique at 5 in the morning. The encounter resulted in an almighty fight that hit headlines everywhere and landed Dan’s boutique with some unwanted publicity. As a result of the exposure, the brands that had refused to sell Dan their wares for his street boutique, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Fendi, all sued him.

16-MIKE-TYSOB.jpgMike Tyson with his custom made jacket “Don’t believe the hype”.

While it is no surprise that the designer brands objected to Dapper Dan’s use of their logos during the rise of Harlem’s crack era, it is still worth recognizing that what Dapper Dan did was a totally original re-imagination of style.

dapper-dan-web-feature-air-force-1.jpgVintage Dapper Dan X LV Nike Air Force 1.

dapperdanlvjackets.jpgPeople in Harlem in the 1990s.

o3thh5enjdodolf2jlbn.jpgJam Master Jay in 1986 in Dapper Dan from head-to-toe.

Dapper Dan was forced to close its doors in 1992. After the closing of the boutique, Dap continued work for private clients throughout the United States. The conscious hip-hop fans will surely have noticed his work. In 2001, at the Grammy Awards ceremony, Nelly showed up wearing a Louis Vuitton’ sport coat and leather pants with matching logos. In Let’s Get It” a music video that popularized the original dance “Harlem Shake”, Sean “Diddy” Combs and other rappers wear Fendi dresses that have the distinct look of 125th Street.

dapper-dan-web-feature-portrait.jpgDapper Dan in Harlem (2012).

Today, Dapper Dan, that is approaching 70 years old, even though he never confirmed his age exactly, is pretty trim to pull off what he would wear in his 20s,  and does not believe there is a way to dress up for ages. Everything depends on the encounter that you will have and the impression you want to make. Today Dap met artists and designers such as Pharrell Williams and Kanye West at the Fashion Weeks to discuss with them the value of the revolutionary style.

Credit blog.dapperdanofharlem.com

Michele Di Stefano

 

Why always Gucci?

You don’t need to be a fashion victim to notice that Gucci is the brand of the moment, I would say, again. With many pieces sold out and some must-have products, the Florentine firm is leading the fashion world and everyone is looking at it.

But success always comes after a period of bleeding. Back in 2006, under the creative direction of Frida Giannini, Gucci became known for its strong product focus and began to lose its creed and so this began to impact revenues. Quarterly sales growth began to slow in the second half of 2013 and, by December 2014, after years of profitable growth, Gucci had experienced three consecutive quarters of declining sales according to “Business of Fashion”.

The first most important change was the CEO. In December 2014, Marco Bizzarri was settling into a new role as head of the Luxury Couture & Leather Goods division of Kering, overseeing a group of prestigious brands including Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Brioni. Then, Kering Chairman and chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault asked him to take on the role as president and CEO of Gucci. The first action of the new CEO was to choose a new creative director, Alessandro Michele, Frida Giannini’s assistant.

Since that moment, a new story of Gucci started. Thanks to his experience in different companies, such as Fendi, the designer aims to develop a particular storytelling, partly detached from the one presented along the years by Frida Giannini. This is the reason why consumers and fashion insiders thought at the beginning they were looking at a new brand.

But nothing happens for chance. Many people say Alessandro Michele is creating his own brand inside Gucci and when he will leave the company, it will face another period of chaos. However, the truth is that Michele is going deep into the “forgotten” heritage of the brand giving a new life to many stylistic codes that brought the firm to be worldwide known and recognizable.

If you visit the Gucci Museum, you can live and experience Gucci’s story since the beginning in the 20th century. Alessandro Michele himself contributes to the development of this beauty, for instance, with the creation of Tom Ford’s room that represented the new Gucci’s code of the 21th century, the most important Michele’s resources.

So, Why always Gucci?

The last collection is the result of this beautiful process: “Yet the title of the Gucci show
“The Alchemist’s Garden” — was fitting for a designer who, along with chief executive Marco Bizzarri, has turned the once-troubled Italian superbrand into pure gold for parent company Kering. In the fourth quarter of 2016, Gucci revenue grew 21 percent, almost twice as fast as analysts expected, an astonishing figure for a company of its size in a stagnant luxury market”.

Alessandro Michele is building a new chapter of Gucci, creating a long term relationship with customers thanks to his products in which “More is More”.

Gucci, cruise 2016.jpgImage courtesy: http://herbeauty.co

Fashion for Women’s empowerment

(Excellent! Ready to publish!)

In this last period, more then ever, fashion is merging with politics. Worldwide designers, stilysts and bloggers are speaking through collections, social media and catwalks to give voice to their opinions. In particular nowdays, in response to the triumph of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections, fashion took a really hard position in favour of women’s rights. It is a matter of fact that Trump ran an election campaign based on low blows, chaos and marginalization and showed that even if we have taken great strides in terms of equal conditions between men and women, we still have a solid base of prejudices.
In this period fashion has had an important role because it is one of the most visibile industries on the market which is the reason why many designers are fighting to be the main promoters of this social issue trying to involve other people to be more engaged.

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To give an example, Prada was one of the most important labels that has always encouraged a vision of a powerfull and confident woman that has to be not only protected in terms of respected rights, but also celebrated in all its shapes.
Furthermore impossible to forget the first collection by Maria Grazia Chiuri made for Dior focused on feminist messages such as “We all should be feminists”. (Not only on March 8 I would add!)
Also the Vogue editors in chief Anna Wintour and Franca Sozzani always have argued for this critical topic through editorials and articles showing the importance of the female figures that day by day are making the history of our lifes. And like them, a lot of important personalities.
It seemed like a general trend common for all the brands, but someone made a slip-up…
I’m talking about Yves Saint Laurent, that recently has been accused of “degrading” models and “inciting rape” with the last ADV Campaign.

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One of the pictures showed a reclining woman opening her legs, while another one showed a model in a leotard and roller skate stilettos bending over a stool. The postures of the women presented as offered to someone behind the camera gave the idea of sexual submission and with the only purpose to shock public opinion.
These posters sparked outrage and they was banned by the “Autorite de Regulation Professionelle de la Publicite”. They asked to the brand to make changes to the visual content of the campaign in order to preserve the dignity of person that, in this case, was really understimated.

 If the goals of the French house Yve Saint Laurent was to swim against the tide, for sure that was not the right way.

Still no comments by the company… probably in this case it’s better to be silent.

References:
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/mar/08/saint-laurent-remove-degrading-posters-french-regulator-thin-models#img-2
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/mar/08/saint-laurent-remove-degrading-posters-french-regulator-thin-models#img-2
http://www.elleuk.com/life-and-culture/culture/news/a32731/womens-group-organises-anti-trump-strike-against-president-elect-trump/
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/features/domestic-violence-in-vogue-franca-sozzani-takes-a-stand-on-fashions-glossiest-pages-9233954.html

 

The Most Over-the-Top Music Festival around the Globe | Fyre Festival

With Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski as ambassador and Ja Rule as the brains behind the event, the first-ever Fyre Festival promises to be one for the books.

Fyre Festival | April 28-30 and May 5-7 in Exumas

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In December 2016, Ja Rule’s entertainment company Fyre has announced the upcoming Festival to take place on a private island in the Bahamas once owned by drug lord Pablo Escobar. The “immersive music festival” will be taking place April 28-30 and May 5-7 on Fyre Cay in the Exumas, a string of islands in the Bahamas.

The line-up has been confirmed and includes name like G.O.O.D Music, Major Lazer, Disclosure (Dj Set) and Blink 182.

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The Fyre Festival is unlike any other festival, thanks to its commitment to serving up a VIP experience for all guests. It is two weekend event combining concerts, food, art, and exploration on the private island of  Fyre Cay in the Bahamas and Music will be just a piece of the picture.

If you are lucky enough to attend the festival, you will the spend 48 hours enjoying concerts, visiting art installations, sitting in on talks hosted by cultural leaders, tasting the best cuisine, snorkeling near a plane wreck off Norman’s Cay, relaxing on yachts or at a yoga session or simply lying on the beach.

The cost of your ticket allows you access to everything the island has to offer, plus accommodations and a flight from and back to Miami (the island is just an hour away from Miami’s shores). As for prices, this festival does not come cheap. Packages start at $1,500 USD for solo travelers; those traveling in pairs will spend $3,195 USD; and those with their own personal yachts will be paying $3,394 USD per person. There’s even an option for groups looking to rent out an “artist’s palace,” where the talent will be staying, for $50,000 USD per person.

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Tickets are still available at fyrefestival.com. Have a look at the teaser below, choose the weekend and pack your favourite swimsuite. Off to Bahamas!

Giulia Sala

 

References: fyrefestival.com | highsnobiety.com

Images: http://edmsauce.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/fyre.png                          http://static.highsnobiety.com/wp-content /uploads/2017/01/05014113/good-music-fyre-                festival-001-1200×800.jpg                                                                                                                                http://www.fyrefestival.com/

Midspring day’s dream in Florence 

20170320_112936_HDR(Hi Davide, very nice. I think you need a better headline, one that is more specific and captures the reader’s eye)

What a great experience staying in Florence . An astonishing city perfect for a Genius Loci. Salvatore Ferragamo decided that this city fits perfectly with its style. Here the company has its Headquarters, museum and Flagship inside an historical  beautiful Palace called “ Palazzo Spini Feroni”. This palace is located in Florence downtown very close to via Tornabuoni which is the luxury street of the town.

Inside this palace Ferragamo decided to create its own museum.

This museum is quite scenographic because it seems like a crypt full of products and samples related to Ferragamo’s history. The company also decided to create an exhibition in order to match art and fashion. So this place is full of incredible works of art that inspire great fashion designer as we can see in these pictures.

In my opinion this museum is well organised and the idea of matching art and fashion is good cause gives a great importance to art underlining its ability to inspire creative minds. I was able to appreciate all the works and easily understand the mood behind a dress related to a works of art . Beautiful.

LVMH and Kering. Which one has the better positioning?

Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy (LVMH) led by Bernard Arnault and the Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, renamed Kering and led by François-Henri Pinault, are the two French Groups that dominate the luxury sector. Both own strong brands, but they have different histories and different business models.

But which one has the better positioning?2G10502RO

Concerning the financial situation, LVMH Group boasts in 2016 a growth of 5.43% (from 35.66bn to 37.60bn) and its net income improved of 11.42% (from 3.57bn to 3.98bn). On the opposite, Kering revenues grew of 6.91% (from 11.58bn to 12.38bn), while the net income improved of 16.88% (from 696.00m to 813.50m). It’s clear that LVMH has a stronger financial situation also thanks to its domination in two unrelated categories: leather goods and wines & spirits. The Group is also building up a dominant position in beauty retailing, primarily through Sephora and travel retailer DFS, exploiting rich synergies with its perfumes and cosmetics business. In addition, according to Forbes, Louis Vuitton is the 19th world’s most valuable brand with 27.3$ brand value and none of Kering’s brands are present in this ranking.

For the communication side, LVMH is most known with 235.100 likes on Facebook compared to 36.876 likes of Kering. This gap exists also between their main brands: Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Sephora have around 50 million followers; on the other hand Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent followers are around 20 million. To improve its image LVMH became one of the official partners of Cannes Film Festival in 2014. The Group also renovate some historical monuments e.g. the Versailles Palace and it supports forty-five worldwide art expositions.CharlizeTheron
These actions – mixed to the support of celebrities like Léa Seydoux (for Louis Vuitton), Charlize Theron, Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman (all of them for Dior) – glorify LVMH brand equity. This approach is less used by Kering that focuses on less known celebrities. The few exceptions are Charlotte Casiraghi and Gal Gadot for Gucci and Cara Delevingne for Saint Laurent.cara-delevingne-per-yves-saint-laurent

With reference to the diversification, LVMH owns seventy brands in different sectors – spirits & wine, fashion & leather goods, beauty & cosmetics, hotels, boating… – but its diversification go beyond the “usual” sectors. Indeed, it is also the owner of some magazines such as Les Echos, Connaissance des arts, Nowness and a radio channel as Radio Classique. On the other side, Kering decided to act in a different way, it wants to differentiate its brand portfolio enlarging its activity on sport & lifestyle, that’s why it acquired Puma, Volcom and Cobra: a quite strange decision for a luxury Group.

To conclude, LVMH is – at the moment – the most valuable and better diversified Group. The Kering strategy, above all in terms of diversification, appears ambiguous and quite incoherent for a luxury Group, but in the long term these decisions will possibly lead the French giant to a better positioning compared to LVMH Group. 

Sara Russo

References:

The Business of Fashion

Financial Times

Forbes

Kering

LVMH 

Meltyfan

The Beauty Smith

Harbour Rights

From the runway to the stage

(hi, very good, ready to publish!)

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, on the stages, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening”

-Coco Chanel-

In 1924, Coco Chanel was one of the first designers that understood the deep synergy between two art forms, Fashion and Dance. Focusing on performances through the years, we might say that these two creative universes are intrinsically linked. Movements are the medium used by dancers, but they are also the essential horizon which designers have in mind when create a new dress or a new accessory.

Designers and coreographers have often met each other establishing stunning collaborations that made the history of these two fields. As a matter of fact, It is not a coincidence if dress and adornment have played an important role for such a long time in the visual allure of dance, and fashion designers have often been inspired by way dancers look, too.

Everything started when Coco Chanel, dance lover and passionate in all kinds of art, designed the sportswear worn for the main gymnasts of the play “Le train bleu”. This collaboration probably gave the green light to an innovative route that many important members of the fashion system have followed after her. We all know that fashion is based on “flux and re-flux” so it is not strange to guess how Karl Lagerfeld, current creative director of the Maison Chanel, took ispiration from this collection to design the costumes for the English National Ballet in 2009.

For few years, the war cut out these works, but they  got re-started again after the conflict with a completly different style. In this period also Christian Dior, joined this phylon creating the famous dresses for the “Black Swan” for the show “Swan Lake” with the music of Tchaikovsky.

The 1940s saw the Birth of the most acknowledged  accessories nowdays: the ballet flat. They were designed by Rose Repetto, mother of Roland Petit, one of the most important dancers in history. In a very short time, ballet flats became famous also beyond the dance world, tried and tested by both genders and by many important people as Brigitte Bardot, Serge Gainsborg and Audrey Hepburn.

bb            Source: allthedaysordained.blogspot.it/2012/08/repetto.html

When Roland Petit grew up, he asked Yves Saint Laurent to design the costumes for the show “Cyrano de Bergerac” in 1959 and the more famous one “Notre-Dame de Paris” staged at Opèra de Paris in 1965 that probably consolidated more the link between fashion and coreography.

There were many of these collaborations and it is not possible to talk about each one, even if they were in their own way important and suggestive. Over the years this current was reversed and nowdays dance follows fashion instead of the other way around.

To remember the show “Bal de Couture” organized by the New York City Ballet”, totally dedicated to the couturier Valentino Garavani which designed the costumes personally, blaffed the spectators with a feast of colors and shades of high fashion.

senza-titoloSource: New York City Ballet Tiler Peck, center, and fellow company members in Valentino in “Bal de Couture” at the Koch Theater. Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

More recently also Alexander McQueen, Elsa Schiaparelli and many others were reasserting the connection between dance and fashion saving the heritage of the predecessors in this way.

There is no more magical scenario for designers than the theater, where they can travel with thoughts and with scissors among the scene costumes which remain in the history of the stages, cinema and styles. Fashion and dance: a timeless ode to beauty: in the past, now and in the future.

nycb-principal-dancer-tiler-peck-in-sarah-burton-for-alexander-mcqueen-1                         Source: NYCB Principal Dancer Tiler Peck, in Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

 

References:

“The Guardian” Website: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2014/nov/08/dance-fashion-exhibition-new-york-fit-museum

“NY Times” Website: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/fashion/new-york-city-ballets-partnership-with-fashion.html?_r=0

“Il fatto quotidiano” Website: http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2014/08/19/dance-fashion-lunione-fra-balletto-e-moda-in-mostra-a-new-york/1081928/

 

Brunello Cucinelli helps us …

The endless debate of aesthetics with ethics has it roots in the luxury sector, and Brunellofoto-articolo-2 Cucinelli is, nowadays, one of the most important players in  this field.

Of course he tries to keep his company fashionable but above all with responsible actions and with the social and moral values that characterize the social responsibility that our parents taught to us. The entrepreneur’s attention is focused on the rediscovery of Italian places and of Italian handicraft.

Brunello Cucinelli tries to explain an important concept: aesthetics and ethics find their point of contact in beauty. The beauty that is defined as moral value, the beauty that for Dostoevskij ”will save the word,” the beauty that is the basis of the concept of dignity.

We live in a capitalistic society that has changed, will change and is changing our perception, and in the luxury word this transformation is emphasized by the propensity for excesses. Brunello Cucinelli has understood this concept many years ago and he decided to use the luxury market, with all its awareness and excesses, in order to promote and rediscovery a new form of beauty, the moral beauty for which the emperor Adriano felt responsible, and for which Brunello Cuccinelli feels responsible too.

He is considered as a philosopher, a beauty lover, but at the same time a visionary entrepreneur. He has understood what Geoffrey Chaucer said many years ago, that ”there is never a new fashion but it’s old,” old for the real moral values that we are slowly and inexorably losing in a society driven by unbridled capitalism. This “old fashion” described by Chaucer and kept alive by Brunello Cucinelli is based on human values and respect for Life.schermata-02-2457812-alle-16-05-03

These values, often considered too abstract, are reflected on real decisions and actions. One clear example of that is the reconstruction after the earthquake of the Norcia’s church.

Beauty and respect, ethic and dignity, all this value must be respected, all this values must be followed and preserved.

Brunello Cucinelli helps us, our consciousness helps the word.

CRM: a new opportunity for restaurants

As we all know, the advent of the Internet changed the world in the last 20 years.
It is difficult for millennials like myself to imagine a world without this technology.
Yes, maybe we remember something from our childhood, but memories are unprecise and sometimes confused, hidden by the nostalgia of that time.

After Internet, another revolution was the creation of social networks. A phenomenon that involved a big part of the world.

In 2016, of 7.395 billion people of the world, 3.419 billion were Internet users and 2.307 were active on social media.[1]

The diffusion of smartphones greatly influenced this growth, because the access to internet became easier and more immediate.[2]

Screen-Shot-2016-01-28-at-14.35.30

So, in a context like this, also the relationships with customers have had to evolve and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) represents this evolution.

It is just an evolution and not a revolution, because it was born from the marketing area.
CRM is a database full of information about customers, used to improve interactions and businesses with them.[3]

Relationships created with the customers using this system should be constant and long lasting, also after the conclusion of a sale.[4]

So, in few words, CRM is the dark side of the loyalty programs: names, numbers, statistics. All that kind of stuff that usually scares customers, but not only.

If you think about the classic loyalty programs, with fidelity cards, points collections and discounts, for sure you couldn’t find a real connection with the luxury market. There the concept of discount is not so common.

But: the principles of belonging, personalization and reward which support CRM are very much connected to the true luxury experience.[5]

shopping_1-1100x733

Thanks to CRM it is possible create a stronger one to one communication and relationship with the luxury costumer.  Personal information about the consumer could also be inserted in the database along with the basic information.

For example, in fashion, the database can remember important client events like the anniversaries.

This is very important because what the client wants is a personalised luxury shopping experience, so the retailers, by rounding out the basic data of their customers with more information, allow their staffs to personalize the sale process.[6]

What about the new kind of luxury fields?

In the last few years interests of luxury consumers have  changed, moving on more experiential products.

Millennial customers are changing the rules, looking for something different from previous generations, and now is expected a growing of the experiential sector by the 6-7%[7] than the last year.

The food sector is part of the “experiential area” and in the luxury world is quite new, because of that the structure is still disorganized compared to the fashion sector.

Just look around you, how many monobrands food stores can you find? Really few examples. For this reason CRM is not common in this world: the necessity to build such a structure is not already born.

pexels-photo-262982

The situation is not different for restaurants. Even if they use to have some traditional clients it is difficult to find CRM developed inside their organization.

They usually have “the person”, the one that knows everything, remembers the story of the restaurant and has a special relationship with the historical clients. But, what is this if not a beginning of CRM? You collect information from your guests during their visits, create a special relationship with them and, maybe, you invite them for the special events at the restaurant.

How can you transfer all this knowledge? Using only words is possible that some information would be lost.

rPCw5QGz

Think about, for example, Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants: there are 25 all over the world. With a serious CRM program, they can be sure to treat their regulars in a perfect way wherever they are, in London, New York or where else.

So: CRM is a huge opportunity for restauration and, in general, for food luxury sector. What are we waiting for?

_________________________________________________________________

[1] WE ARE SOCIAL, Digital in 2016: in Italia e nel mondo, http://wearesocial.com/it/blog/2016/01/report-digital-social-mobile-in-2016

[2] MSN, The Smartphone Changed The World In A Decade, http://a.msn.com/01/en-gb/BBy5JPf?ocid=se

[3] MICROSOFT, What does a CRM solution do?, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/what-is-crm

[4] OPEN SYMBOL, Un po’ di storia del CRM, http://www.opensymbol.it/storia-del-crm/

[5] LUXURY DAILY, Luxury brands should not be afraid of CRM, https://www.luxurydaily.com/luxury-brands-should-not-be-afraid-of-crm/

[6] CEGID, Clienteling & Crm Nel Retail: Fattori Chiave Nel Luxury Retail, http://www.cegid.com/it/retail/clienteling-crm-nel-retail-fattori-chiave-nel-lusso/

[7] Il SOLE 24 ORE, Lusso: nel 2016 415 milioni di clienti hanno speso 860 miliardi, http://www.infodata.ilsole24ore.com/2017/02/17/lusso-nel-2016-415-milioni-clienti-speso-860-miliardi/

Images:

http://wearesocial.com/it/blog/2016/01/report-digital-social-mobile-in-2016

http://www.intelligentluxury.it/crm-nel-fashion-e-nel-lusso-come-sceglierlo/

gordonramsay.com

Changing Lanes

When a brand starts to show symptoms of under performing, that’s the time to take things into considerations and think about a new marketing strategy.

It may look dramatic but it is not. You have to change the language in which you communicate with your target audience.

When is the right time?

No clear strategy: if your target cannot identify your brand it means you are sending a mixed message to both your customers and prospects. The confusion will lead to the brand losing its position among valued customers.

Wrong positioning: what a brand means to your target is vital but if your brand position is not the one that you claimed, you need to think about brand repair. A smart move could be re-positioning the brand in this value position if it is not already claimed by the other competitors. In this case you can relaunch the brand without brand repair.

Market change: If after market research, a great change was noticed and the new position is of higher emotional intensity, you have to consider changes to align your position with the brand DNA.

Competitor change: if you note drastic changes in terms of opinion, position and marketing strategy, you have to take those signs in consideration. Sooner or later think about re-positioning and relaunching your brand — otherwise you would be excluded.

What to do?

Make sure that those who already have awareness of your brand get your message loud and clear. They must know the brand has changed.

Your new brand position has to come down strong with a unique and clear purpose so  that it makes it difficult for your new target to ignore it.

You have to create enough buzz around your brand that if prospects ignore it they fear being excluded from a new movement. Give them a part and they will get involved and eventually engage with your brand.

Make sure your new message agrees with your existing customers, but don’t give your whole focus to them. What this means is that your focus needs to be more on the beliefs, precepts, needs and wants of the prospect rather than the needs and wants of current customers.

You can grab your prospect attention by changing the appearance of the brand. Coming up with the new tag line is not enough, you should most certainly change the logo to trigger your prospects to explore your brands deeper.

So if you are sure that it’s time to relaunch your brand you should first start with great market research. But it is not all up to numbers and analysis. You should use the help of someone who knows how to do it.

SaintLaurent1

Source: fashiongonerogue.com

Ain’t Laurent without Yves

Hedi Slimane was heavily criticized when he decided to drop Yves and change the name of the brand to Saint Laurent.

By changing the brand image from classic Parisian to edgy rock and roll he claimed to bring a younger demographic and he delivered indeed. By the end of the 2013 the French fashion house revenue had a 51% growth.

c

Source: fashiongonerogue.com

All in all, a must-have! 

In 2008 Phoebe Philo the new creative director of Céline already had a vision of all the changes she wants to make.

“After my break, and with Celine in various different hands these last years, it felt better for me to work on an idea of a wardrobe than too much on trends. .. The collection is about interchangeable investment pieces. I worked hard to create things that will stand the test of time.”

In 2010 she launched the logo-free bags and soon after it became a must have item. They let the product to speak for itself and refused to do any advertising on social media. It became not only a trendsetting piece, but a cult item. In 2012, the company saw an increase in sales of 62.9%

If you want to make a mark you have to be consistent. You have to take risks and experiment. When you realize it could be a successful method you have to build your content around it. It is not an easy task and surely needs great investment, but by finding the problem soon enough, choosing a right strategy and having the proper plan you most likely can achieve your goal.

Shokoufeh Emadi

http://www.stealingshare.com

https://fashionbi.com

Urban cycling is stylish now

Urban cycling is becoming more and more popular.

For some it is an ethical choice,  while for others it is just stylish.

This trend started with eco-friendly people who were trying to fight the pollution problem and in few years the rules of the street changed dramatically.

Today there are cities like San Francisco, Copenhagen or Valencia which are considered cycling hubs.

But don’t forget Amsterdam which is the bicycle capital of the world; the city is equipped with an elaborate network of cycle-paths and uses bikes as the easiest mode of transport.
London’s most fashionable ladies and gents are getting on two wheels too and the big cyclist commuters community is increasing day by day.

 

testo pix

 

Britain’s modern-day bike boom is about normal people.

The trend started with the early cycle couriers in 80’s when no one had heard about digital devices jet.

In the annals of British subcultures they were seen as the proto-hipster.

Now, according to the 2014 census, the proportion of people in the UK making their journey to work on a bicycle held static at 2.8 per cent.

But in British cities, cycling has reached critical mass: Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield all recorded an increase of 80 per cent or more in the number of commuters on bikes during the noughties; in inner London, the increase was a staggering 144 per cent.

Among what urban theorist Richard Florida calls “the creative class”, the bicycle is a potent symbol of identity and status.

More bikes, it seems, means more well-paid knowledge economy jobs.

 

pix testo 2

Cycling to work is positively associated with the share of creative-class jobs” Florida wrote.

Well, commuting in style, in the middle of crowded platforms and jam-packed congestion zones, now is easy.

Even if in Italy the car remains king, we are moving to a sustainable mobility solution: Bike!

And we are doing it in the most chic way.

We are masters in looking fabulous while getting from point A to B cycling.

Here’s my picks of the most stylish bikes for urban cycling:
The Trussardi bike, 2007.

trussardi bike

After 30 years from the first Trussardi’s bike, Milan Vukmirovic, the Creative Director of the maison, designed a new urban bike.

The Trussardi 1911 camouflage city bike is inspired by the army as the previous model which was similar to the military BSA Paratrooper folding bike.

dettaglio trussardi

 

Camouflage leather covers the bicycle’s seat and comes with two matching bags hung on both the front and the back.

The chassis is painted in the tones of leather and includes golden detailing on the kickstand, from light and other parts of the body. It’s truly a sleek and vintage-like bike that embodies a city-chic style.
Gucci per Bianchi bicycle collection, 1012.

 

bianchi gucci bianca

Gucci has launched two exclusive Bianchi by Gucci bicycles design by the brand’s Creative Director, Frida Giannini who highlight that now cycling is luxury and it has a price tag to go along with too.

The two bicycles perfectly carry forward the brand’s codes of luxury while creating a new cosmopolitan aesthetic for those looking to turn heads while on the go.

The bike is available in two different models: a white single-speed version designed for the city cycling, and a black carbon-fiber model intended for both city and off-road cycling. Both biked include leather-bound handles and saddles with Gucci’s signature red and green stripe.

 

gucci nera

In addition, Gucci has created a range of complementary cycling accessories including helmets, gloves and a water bottle for the ultimate in cycling luxury.

The bicycles are present in selected Gucci stores worldwide, including boutiques in Rome. New York, London, Paris and Tokyo. The bikes are also available by Bianchi Cafè&cycles in Stockholm; a new concept store opened by Bianchi that combines its bicycles with an Italian delicatessen.

 

Diesel & Pinarello’s “Only the Brave”, 2012.

 

diesel per pinarello 1

 

Italian fashion design company Diesel has partnered with award-winning bicycle manufactured Pinarello to create “Only the Brave,” a very slick single speed city bicycle.
It’s a match of aesthetic aluminum simplicity, boldly contemporary graphic and sublime engineering.

Light and versatile to adapt safety to all kind of urban streets, it is reminiscent of the American messenger bike in its design and soul.

pinarello diesel 2

Moreover, as with all Pinarello’s models, it is the result of a careful study of balances, strenghts and efficiency.

The bike was created inside R&D Pinarello’s Lab, where the line of the bicycle was studied together with the Diesel Creative Team and further developed by Pinarello lab using SOE system and analysis.

“Only the Brave” is available in Diesel and Pinarello stores and the frame design features are either in “Diesel green” or “Matt black.”

 

References:

http://www.pinarello.com/it/bici2014/fixie/only-the-brave-by-diesel

http://www.bianchi.com/global/bianchi-world/bianchi-by-gucci-208325

http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/trussardi-1911-camouflage-city-bicycle

http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/outdoor-activity/cyclinghttp://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/outdoor-activity/cycling

http://www.vogue.fr/mode/news-mode/articles/la-nouvelle-bicyclette-signe-trussardi/18145