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1 The Little Book of 2 3 This book of interviews spans nearly 18 months and covers a wide variety of people in the sectors I love property visual arts and jewellery. It is something I have wanted to do for many years being a fan of the Financial Times Saturday magazines Lunch with the FT series. The grounding was similar to that and Industry Insights a magazine I produced whilst I was chief executive of TTA which was enjoyed by many in the property industry. Inspired by both we now have the Luxury Topping Little Book of Interviews. TRICIA TOPPING LUXURY TOPPING CARLYLE CONSULTANTS It was a pleasure interviewing such a diverse range of people all of them passionate about their sector. Most importantly I learnt a lot. Pippa Malmgren alerted me to the issues in China six months before I started reading about China issues in the Financial Times. Jodie Wainwright explained the process of finding the finest gemstones which is certainly not an easy task. Jonathon Minoli explained about running a family business and maintaining his passion for customer service and how he will move mountains to keep his customers satisfied. I owe a debt of gratitude to the interviewees who gave up their time and were willing to share their experiences and secrets with me. Luxury Topping deals with the business of luxury and how companies create marvellous experiences for their customers to enjoy and benefit from. Luxury can be anything from a morning in bed with a good book to a trip on a private jet to Honolulu. Over the next year we will be interviewing a range of people who understand that luxury is not only how much you can spend but also how you can use your time which is a luxury we dont always have. I hope you enjoy the interviews whilst we get on with the next book. Tricia Welcome 4 Contributors Edited by Tricia Topping Lisa Stevenson Carlyle Consultants Natasha Rawling Carlyle Consultants Georgina Turpin Carlyle Consultants Design and artwork by Nicola Gee Choreography by Alexei Ghavami Special thanks to David Topping for supplying the Champagne 5 Sir when a man is tired of London he is tired of life for there is in London all that life can afford Samuel Johnson in 1791 London 6 Grace Belgravia KATE PERCIVAL FOUNDER OF GRACE BELGRAVIA Interview November 20th 2014 What made you decide to launch and invest in a private womens club I developed the idea during my masters degree in Luxury Brands and Services and the business plan I did for my thesis became the foundation for Grace. I only had to look around and see how women spend their lives putting family and work before their own health. I was experiencing the very same thing myself too so I knew it first-hand. It made me realise it was time for women to invest more in themselves and really get some of that much-needed me time. Understanding what todays woman wants and what she needs was how Grace was born. The concept was to create a sanctuary that supported womens health and wellbeing from the inside out. I see Grace as very much reflecting the values of Arianna Huffingtons Third Metric we must champion wellbeing wisdom wonder and giving in order to balance the quest for wealth and power. Were you faced with many difficulties when you made this decision Any new business has its birth pangs. Raising the finance was the first and most challenging hurdle. The next was getting 11500 sq ft of Grade II-listed space designed and fitted out in five months so that we didnt miss the autumn market. I find it hard to believe that was only two years ago with the amazing progress weve made since. At the time people questioned whether being women-only wasnt being discriminatory and sexist. But anyone who has seen and experienced the club realises that Grace is not remotely anti- men its just very pro-women. Grace has an excellent reputation amongst its members. What do you think it is that makes Grace so successful We called it Grace after three Graces of mythology Charm Beauty and Creativity and I see our club as embodying these qualities. We have a team of internationally recognised experts who offer a wide range of services from medical fitness and spa to wellbeing healthy cuisine and culture. We aim to create a special synergy by integrating these so that each complements and enhances the other. Its all focused on treasuring 7 the woman and I think its this that sets us apart. We have a 360-degree approach to wellness and this means we have created a haven with the best of the best under one roof to complete the mind-body-soul circle. Once touched by the gift of Grace can one be without it The answer is no. You often hold prestigious events and have facilities to enhance all aspects of life including healthcare keeping fit and relaxation. What can women expect to experience by becoming a member of Grace The kind words we receive from members about their experiences are at the heart of what Grace is all about. Ive had several women telling me that Grace has quite literally saved their lives. Most just say how empowered and rejuvenated they feel re-calibrated as one member recently put it just by an hour in the club. Essentially Grace is a retreat where our members can focus on themselves and escape from the external pressures they are constantly having to juggle and battle with in the world outside. We understand women and what each individual person wants and how they want it. All our services and programmes have been created with women in mind to suit their wellbeing need. Do you have any particularly special events coming up in the near future We have a range of eclectic events each week at Grace open to our members as well as guests. We have upcoming medical seminars as part of our How to remain Healthy in the 21st Century series conducted by our internationally recognised experts. Other events include a luxury Christmas shopping evening hosted by a selection of our favourite brands yoga workshops and meditation workshops as well as business breakfasts hosted by inspirational women such as Nadja Swarovski. Grace is fast becoming known as the most chic venue in London with high-profile figures such as Cressida Bonas Tamara Beckwith and Natalie Imbruglia attending the re-launch. How do you feel about these famous names being associated to your club We are pleased that so many high- profile high-achieving women choose to spend time on themselves at our club as we are with any woman who values herself and is looking to relax and restore herself in an atmosphere that will treasure her as her. What are you most excited about concerning the future of Grace We havent even hit our second anniversary and weve already reached our target in terms of membership numbers. With the club growing at such a fast rate we expect to be expanding further afield perhaps New York or LA destinations that are health hubs and would respond well to our approach. Our offering will be unique there just as here. There are women-only business clubs around the world but none that take an approach to health and wellbeing in order to empower and support women the way we do at Grace. You have numerous membership packages available tailored to complement women from those who only visit London on a weekend to those who want to attend the club everyday. Can you give us a little more detail about these We have over 38 nationalities at Grace not all of them live locally and each individual wishes to utilise the club for different reasons and therefore we have created a range of membership packages to suit them. Our Out Of TownOverseas Membership is catered for those who cant dedicate a lot of time to the club. Our Social Membership and Grace Caf Club Membership is specially tailored to those who enjoy our events and a healthy dining experience. Our Full Membership is for those who wish to immerse themselves fully in our integrated health offering. For more information or to enquire about membership please visit GRACE IS A RETREAT WHERE OUR MEMBERS CAN FOCUS ON THEMSELVES AND ESCAPE FROM THE EXTERNAL PRESSURES THEY ARE CONSTANTLY HAVING TO JUGGLE AND BATTLE WITH IN THE WORLD OUTSIDE. 8 Harrods Estates Gaby Khalastchy and Tricia Topping spend the morning in the window of Harrods with Shirley Humphrey from Harrods. 9 SHIRLEY HUMPHREY DIRECTOR OF HARRODS ESTATES Interview March 29th 2013 Tell us a bit about yourself. Around the beginning of my career I started working with the cosmetic section at Christian Dior gaining a real feel for what working for a luxury brand was all about. I was able to understand the expectations of clients in luxury brands. My Harrods career started around 15 years ago when I did a project with Harrods Village for two and a half years. Ive been working for Harrods ever since. Whos idea was it to have a pop-up shop in the window of Harrods Mine Ive wanted to do it forever as its such a wonderful showcase for Harrods Estates. We have called it the Luxury pop-up shop as that is exactly what it is. A number of people who visit Harrods live near the area which is our target market or simply like the neighbourhood. It also brings Harrods Estates right into the target market especially as a lot of people dont realise the strength of the Harrods property division. I had always dreamed of a window in Harrods and it is marvellous to see the idea come to life. Plus we are back in the store where we first started. Tell us a bit about the pop-up store itself. The pop-up luxury store will be in place for one month. Located in one of the main car showrooms on Brompton Road the space is surrounded by the best of British luxury goods including brands such as Burberry and Mulberry. Harrods has an unrivalled reputation for luxury and although to most of us an apartment valued at 3 million is out of reach there are pieces of jewellery in the store for 3 million and wine connoisseurs can pick up a bespoke wine collection for just over a cool 1 million. The interest in the current portfolio of property for sale demonstrates the stores ability to attract the high net worth purchaser. The attention to detail displayed by our interior design division The Studio who masterminded the interiors scheme is magnificent. Using items available in store as well as bespoke products and finishes the luxury pop-up space features a pair of Lalique chandeliers worth over 60000 each. Custom- made carpet and Harrods wallpaper have been developed especially and a bespoke coffee table with a map of London and built in screens showcases the homes for sale. All this completes the luxury look and feel which is synonymous with Harrods. What else are you offering When clients approach our area they have access to as much information as they need. We have brochures and magazines from both Harrods Estates and The Studio. We started a promotion three months ago actually. Where we offer 100000 Harrods points to clients who buy or sell through Harrods and for the duration of the pop-up we have doubled this promotion to 200000 points. The vendors love the promotion and we have already been instructed on three other property sales. What is the association between Harrods Estates and The Studio We work very closely with The Studio. The business now includes over 30 qualified interior designers architectural designers and a commercial team who have worked with some of the best names in the industry. 50 of the interior design is UK based with the remainder based abroad. Last year the team worked on projects in the Middle East and Europe to provide luxury residential interior design for a range of clients. A number of developers are enlisting the expertise of The Studio Harrods and we have created a special commercial division that works with developers wanting to incorporate the Harrods signature. Briefs can be sketchy a client from China with a luxury apartment in Vauxhall once presented a picture of a fashion ad campaign and emailed a photograph of a bathroom from a Four Seasons hotel and asked us to recreate the look in his apartment. Tell me a bit about your range of properties We have houses with prices ranging from 1.5 million through to 40 million. One of our most expensive houses on the market is a beautiful house in Bishops Avenue. Despite this our core markets are in Knightsbridge Mayfair Belgravia and Chelsea. Is it true you are opening in Chelsea Yes we have a new office right in the heart of Chelsea. Like our offices in Knightsbridge and Mayfair this new location sits in the very core of the London property market. We are thrilled to have a presence in many of Londons prime locations. For more information about the services available at The Studio visit For more information about Harrods Estates visit 10 PETER WETHERELL OWNER OF MAYFAIR ESTATE AGENTS WETHERELL Interview for Luxury Topping September 24th 2013 What made Wetherell decide to produce a residential report focusing on Londons West End Most residential reports focus on Prime Central London and dont go into detail on what is happening in the six districts that comprise the West End. However in terms of both values and the scale of development it is an extremely powerful 2 billion micro- market which attracts investors from around the world. Wetherell Mayfair Estate Agents Tricia Topping Editor of Luxury Topping speaks to Wetherells Managing Director Peter Wetherell about his recently published West End Residential Developments Report. 11 What are some of the key findings of the report Our report shows that where the West End was once dominated by shops and offices it is now being transformed into a residential quarter as booming house prices are driving office-to-resi conversions. Over the last 10 years 1579 new private-sale homes have been built within the West End with Marylebone and Mayfair being the top two locations for the most development. What types of developments have been undertaken West End residential developments divide into three clear types of multi- unit scheme 200 unit mixed-use developments 20-80 unit residential developments with hotel-style concierge and amenities and niche schemes of 2-12 units. What impact has this new development had on residential values across the West End In the six districts that comprise the West End residential values have risen by 30-60 since 2007. Residential values have risen so dramatically that the development of just one new home in the West End average price 1.18 million is the price equivalent of developing five or six new homes average price 161793 outside of the capital. Calculated on current pound per square foot values one million pounds will now buy a purchaser a small one bedroom flat in Mayfair. In contrast it will provide a two bedroom flat in Fitzrovia or Soho and a large two or three bedroom apartment in Tyburnia. So where are the opportunities for developers and investors to buy sites in the West End and unlock value It all depends on what type of development and product they wish to create. If they want to create a super-prime product then Mayfair and St Jamess in particular the border areas are where they should look. If they want to create a premium product aimed at a wider market then the long overlooked districts of Tyburnia Soho and Fitzrovia are where they should look for opportunities. In Soho values have risen by only 27 since 2007 and average 1147 per sq ft. Fitzrovia is similar and here values average 926735 for a two bedroom flat with potential price growth of 66 over the next four years. Tyburnia is the West Ends most undervalued district where values average just 894464 for a two bedroom flat just 976 per sq ft and provides developers and investors with an excellent opportunity to invest and realize capital value growth. It is striking that the Sultan of Brunei has just acquired a huge chunk of real estate directly adjacent to the Tyburnia estate. So do you think that residential development will continue in the West End This much depends on the political arena. Currently there is much political debate at a London and national level on whether this should be allowed to continue. I believe that a combination of residential and commercial property in the West End creates a vibrant and attractive destination. Commercial on its own lessens the vibrancy of a location whilst a location that is just residential doesnt attract enough outside visitors and inward investment. Its a balance that is needed. In Mayfair alone some 250 former offices have been converted back into homes and there are over 200 new private homes with permission for development with circa 50 currently under construction. The development pipeline in Marylebone is similar. Marylebone has some 300 new homes with planning permission and circa 50 under construction. Finally what do you feel the overall implications of this residential emergence in the West End are for the wider Prime Central London property market Over the last 30 years West End values have been beaten by Knightsbridge and Belgravia due to the lack of new stock providing less opportunity for super-prime pads and higher values. The tide is now turning and we are seeing the biggest step change in the West End since the 1920s nearly a century ago when mansions were torn down new offices built and homes converted into commercial premises. As our report shows the West End is becoming a residential brand address and looks set for another significant price uplift. For a copy of the new West End Residential Developments Report contact Wetherell on 020 7493 6935 or visit 12 The development of Walpole Mayfair in the heart of London opposite the Ritz Hotel has raised your profile. How has your business come to terms with this increase in interest When we achieved record prices per square foot for the Walpole penthouse our profile seemed to rocket. These prices hadnt been achieved in Mayfair or St Jamess before so suddenly everyone wanted to know who the company was behind the prestigious development. The growth for Oliver Burns has been exponential since we completed Walpole Mayfair but we have evolved and adapted to meet the needs of the business. For instance we have doubled the size of our design team to manage the increase in private client work. At the moment I am still very hands on as I enjoy the detail but the challenge will be to step back a bit as the business continues to grow. You are building a reputation for creating interiors which move away from the boring beige interiors that have predominated the London developer scene. How would you describe your style Our designs tend to be modern classic but ultimately they reflect the needs and aspirations of our clients. Requirements tend to be quite understated these days but this doesnt mean boring interiors. We look for thoughtful ways to deliver the wow factor to our designs. Having private client work means we are working day to day with ultra high net worth individuals so when it comes to developing property for the super- prime market we already have a good idea of what prospective buyer might want. Although you are known for your interiors behind the faade is a company that really understands architecture and space optimisation which makes your company so different from an interior designer. Can you explain your work All good design starts with space optimisation and careful planning. We have a team of architects designers and project managers whose combined technical and creative expertise is designed to solve the most demanding requirements on our projects and provide turnkey solutions. Our in-house architects work closely with the design team so that each project we undertake is carefully considered in its entirety. This often results in us taking on the architectural as well as the design work. Ultimately we dont see the two as separate Oliver Burns JOE BURNS OWNER OF OLIVER BURNS Interview February 6th 2014 13 architecture and interior design should work seamlessly together in order to deliver the best end result. We are currently managing the complete design and build for several projects including a townhouse in Mayfair and country mansion on the outskirts of London. Its complex and a lot of hard work but seeing the end result always makes it worth it. The team at Oliver Burns is truly international. Carol Seikaly Ward one of your interior architects has Arabic as her native language and is a specialist in the conservation of cultural heritage. Is this a growth area for Oliver Burns Our client base is international so we feel that having a mixed team really allows us to appreciate individual cultural preferences. We have designers who have worked in the Middle East Dubai Malaysia and Singapore. First and foremost we look for exceptional talent and expertise but this often comes from designers who have worked in different countries around the world before coming to the UK. We have worked on a number of period properties to date so for us its an added advantage that Carol has a wealth of expertise in heritage buildings. The art market is playing a bigger part in the prime property market as owners seek to present their properties in the best light. Are you seeing this trend in the work you are undertaking Yes I would say its a long term trend. Art and sculpture continue to play a key role in the homes we design. Sometimes we design around a key piece a client already owns and other times we hand-pick the artwork for them. Most of the artwork and sculpture we selected for Walpole Mayfair was sold with the home. The super-prime owner has moved away from gold and glitter and is looking for a bespoke products from cabinets to lighting. This is encouraging the resurgence of craftsmen. Are you supporting these innovative suppliers and young designers It is true that tastes are becoming more understated and elegant as the trend moves away from conspicuous consumption and overt displays of wealth. Without a doubt one of the main ways to realise a clients aspirations for their home is through incorporating bespoke pieces. Increasingly we are designing individual features ourselves from lighting through to cabinetry. We regularly use British craftsmanship to make these pieces because it contributes to making the interiors genuinely special. You have a bespoke approach to property. A client can ask you to find a home obtain the necessary planning consents and use your interior architects and interior designers. Are you seeing a growth in the turnkey solution We offer clients a full turnkey service from sourcing property designing and building it through to handing them the keys to their completed home. They can select any one of our services or all of them. We are definitely seeing an increase in clients wanting us to manage the whole project. Our clients are extremely busy individuals with international schedules so it makes sense that they have one company to oversee everything. It also means they only have one key point of contact for their project which is a huge advantage. How would you describe your own home and what has inspired you Modern classic with a twist. We are currently redesigning our own house and the end result will be very elegant and timeless whilst at the same time a very liveable home. However we try not to be too serious and are quite happy to add in some quirky pieces especially in the rooms my young son occupies such as his bedroom and playroom. Which is your favourite shopping destination and your favourite restaurant Sirocco in Bangkok which is an outdoor restaurant on the top of Thailands second tallest building. The food and views are amazing and they have live jazz music which really adds to the atmosphere. My favourite shopping place is Capri in Italy. It has fantastic shops lining cobbled streets from fashion to art and collectables. What do you do to relax You are pretty much on call 24 hours a day in this business so I try to spend all my spare time with my family. For more information on Oliver Burns please visit 14 If like me you consider London to be the leading light for design excellence and innovation then the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour must be its most prized possession. Whether you are an established name in search of a design solution for a project or simply an aspiring designer seeking inspiration you will be privy to an array of choice all under one domed roof. From classic to cutting-edge contemporary there are endless avenues showcasing the most fashionable fabrics alongside a host of furniture lighting and other accessories. CLAIRE GERMAN MANAGING DIRECTOR OF DESIGN CENTRE CHELSEA HARBOUR Interview September 4th 2014 How do you think the Design Centre has evolved and grown under your leadership When I joined four years ago I wanted to make sure that the Design Centre was seen as a design destination for all sectors of interior design residential super-yachts architects and the contract side. My ongoing mantra was to attract new tribes. An effective way of doing that was to increase the programme of events and drive home the fact that weve got an authoritative platform. There also had to be a big emphasis on the new collections launched at Focus and London Design Week. It has all helped to create the feeling that what you see in the magazines has stemmed from design directions here. Would you go as far as suggesting the Design Centre has the ability to dictate emerging trends I think were the ones creating an authoritative voice that journalists and the industry recognise and react to. When visiting the Design Centre they start to notice certain trends emerging whether metallic or geometric for instance. The nature of their work means they can help create a buzz drawing these design directions to the attention of the consumer. I notice when you have an event you try and coincide it with the release of new collections. Presumably this is a key focus for you and your team We do a press preview in May for the September show Focus and November for London Design Week in the spring. They are an essential tool for editors to get a feel for the coming season in terms of colours textures and shapes. They start to see whats in the design ether and most of the time its also reflected on the catwalks. I have to ask does this feel slightly like a secret source of knowledge I wouldnt go quite that far but it does continue to fascinate me how these two worlds are so closely connected and seem to almost sync naturally. What do you think has worked particularly well during Focus in recent years We normally concentrate on two particular areas interesting installation ideas and lining-up fantastic speakers. The Conversations in Design programme will continue. Visitors feel these sessions are informal but still informative which is fantastic as they are thirsty for knowledge. They are probably talked about the most and you wouldnt get the same opportunity anywhere else. The format gives Focus a bit more of a personal feel and separates it from other design shows. Any hint of what is in stall for this years Focus. How will it be different Every event we do has a different feel to it. My team is always eager to make a special effort to innovate. This year we have organised for famous Design Centre Chelsea Harbour Design Focus 15 floral artist Rebecca Louise Law to do a fabulous installation. Were very excited about her creating something completely different and visually beautiful that will complement the architecture of the Design Centre. Ive been trying to keep this a bit quiet. Plans are also going ahead for a pop-up Tatler Restaurant designed by Wendy Harrop. Of course well also continue our Access All Areas programme in the showrooms. With over 80 events including workshops and meet the designer sessions Im sure it will be a great success. I dont suppose you could give me the names of some headline speakers we can look forward to Well one person I can tell you whos confirmed is Sir Terence Conran which Im sure will be a huge hit. Weve also got Allegra Hicks coming in to do a talk about her life in fashion and interiors its part of a new initiative called Talking Design. Can we expect to see more retail people coming through the hallowed doors of the Design Centre in the future Retail customers are always welcome. Trade and retail can co-exist happily. There are parameters in which everyone operates in and I havent had any problems with that being abused. Plus weve got the Personal Shopping Service in place meaning we can help navigate retail visitors around 100 showrooms which otherwise can be quite daunting. Finally and most importantly what about the fundraiser for Battersea Dogs Cats Home The beauty of Dog Day is there were lots of prizes including a fantastic hamper from Harrods Estates and Trevor Picketts enthusiastic support. Its mad but fun. Interior designers always support with prizes and over 50 dogs entered. The Chelsea dog owners just love the event and so far over 10000 has been raised. Focus takes place during the third week of September. For information on this years event please visit 16 17 Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didnt do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover Mark Twain The World 18 ANDREW MILTON CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER AT CONSTANCE HOTELS AND SERVICES LTD Interview September 5th 2013 How long have you been with the Constance Group and what major developments have you been responsible for I re-joined Constance in 2012 having previously spent eight years in the group between 1999 and 2002. I am operationally responsible for the seven hotels which form part of Constance Hotels and Resorts. Over the last 18 months we have as a team embarked on numerous initiatives in the group with the aim of being a world-class player in the Indian Ocean. Constance started with one hotel and now has seven luxury hotels and resorts across the Indian Ocean. How did this evolve Our hotel development started back in the 1970s with Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius a small hotel with a few bungalows which has evolved over the years into the large resort it is today. In 1998 we opened the five star deluxe hotel Constance le Prince Maurice. In 1999 we started our regionalisation in the Indian Ocean and opened our first hotel on the Island of Praslin in the Seychelles Constance Lmuria Seychelles. Constance Ephlia on Mahe followed in 2009. Our private Island Constance Tsarabanjina off the coast of Madagascar opened in 2006. Constance Halaveli opened in the Maldives in 2010 and Constance Moofushi in 2011. We have grown rapidly in the last five years and are well-established operators in the Indian Ocean region within the luxury hotel segment. Where are you based and why Constance head office is based in Mauritius. As we are a Mauritian company operating hotels in the Indian Ocean we have concentrated our development in this region. Given that the resorts are on different islands do they have the same overall feel or are there local differences Each hotel has the Constance Hotels feel and signature. However each hotel also has a local sense of place depending on its location and the culture of the country. How important is the design of the architecture and the interior and exterior spaces Design and architecture of the interior and exterior spaces are very important to the Constance Hotels and Resorts brand. We work with leading architects and designers to ensure that we conceive aspirational hotels and resorts. Constance Hotels Resorts 19 Your website refers to the Culinary Spirit. How is this achieved Our Culinary Spirit is as central to our Indian Ocean properties as our wine philosophy. It lives and breathes on a daily basis. We host the Bernard Loiseau culinary food festival yearly attracting Michelin chefs from around the world and our Sommelier team in each resort offers the largest wine lists on the Indian Ocean. We pride ourselves on serving beautifully presented and delicious cuisine accompanied with the worlds great wines. Diving sports are popular in the area. How does the group cater for those wishing to explore the ocean whether as experienced divers or beginners All our hotels and resorts have professional dive centres accompanying divers of all levels to enjoy the Indian Ocean. Guests can explore the beautiful coral reefs and sponge gardens of Mauritius and the Maldives granite reefs in the Seychelles and volcanic islets around Tsarabanjina. We all like to feel pampered when staying at a luxury resort. How do you go about providing your guests with memorable experiences Apart from the design elements of our resorts the most distinctive feature of Constance Hotels and Resort is its people. Each individual guest becomes special the moment he steps into one of our hotels. We create experiences that live long after the guests have left. Guests today are continually looking for that something new and we keep ourselves abreast of the latest trends. We innovate to create that personal touch. Parents like to know that their children will be well catered for so that they themselves are free to use the other facilities offered. What family programmes do you provide We have recently launched Constance Kids Club inspired by fun upping the stakes in the luxury family holiday sector. Constance Kids Club is a vibrant and colourful facility that offers discovery and creates memorable experiences that will last a lifetime. Children will be aware of the culture and nature through interaction and engage with various nationalities they will feel the passion from a team who are dedicated to creating fun authentic and exciting programmes. The activities will educate through entertainment and give children the opportunity to understand and appreciate their surroundings while on holiday. There are some renowned golf courses in the resorts. Do you play yourself and if so where and why I enjoy playing immensely and every year we host the final of the PGA senior tour at the Legends course of Belle Mare Plage which attracts the worlds best golfers. The 15th tee off at the Lemuria golf course overlooking the second most beautiful beach in the world Anse Georgette is also something very special. The Indian Ocean is an idyllic spot for weddings and honeymoons. Do many of your guests take advantage of this Few regions on earth provide such wonderful honeymoon destinations as the Indian Ocean Mauritius the Maldives the Seychelles and Madagascar. We hold weddings on a regular basis and guests who discover our resorts on honeymoon come back year after year and become friends. The Group has won many awards over the years. Which was the most satisfying for you Each and every award is satisfying and we have won many awards. Whilst each one is important the most memorable for me was when we opened Lemuria in the Seychelles in 1999. We were awarded the best resort in the world after 12 months in operation by Bilanz Switzerland. For more information on Constance Hotels and Resorts please visit EACH HOTEL HAS A LOCAL SENSE OF PLACE DEPENDING ON ITS LOCATION AND THE CULTURE OF THE COUNTRY. 20 Dr Pippa Malmgren There have been several comments about the American economy being built on sand. To what extent do you think this is the case I am told by everyone that I speak to in all these different fields that I am the most optimistic economist at the moment. I am very upbeat about the US and the UK especially Im not so positive about emerging markets but even they will be ok. Is America importing too much Manufacturers are moving back to the US so fast and now so are other activities. Mining has shifted back to the US energy production is at the epicentre of the US agriculture too. I see huge signs of innovation. I dont mean technology. I mean people are reinventing themselves. Companies are reinventing their businesses. New industries are coming to life such as crowd source finance which is fast replacing the traditional bank lending system. By the way the US only depends on less than 10 of its GDP for exporting and importing. Its not like most countries which are a lot more dependent on importsexports. Lets look at what is happening in the emerging markets. What is going to be the impact of this on luxury spending We have to be very careful in assuming that China is going to be the biggest engine of growth because I actually dont think that it will be. This is a really controversial point so I want to spend a little time explaining what is happening in China and the emerging markets generally and why it is not proving to be the answer that the luxury goods industry had assumed. It has to do with the rise of inflation in the world economy. I think it is very clear that we have inflation in the emerging markets. Food and energy prices are up. In the last six months alone we have had a record all-time high for the price of beef pork and shrimp. These are the core proteins that emerging market workers depend upon. But not only that the staple foodstuffs are also rising. Some seemingly obscure but very relevant examples are the price of onions in India. Recently the Indian cabinet held an emergency meeting to discuss the price of onions. The price is up 163 in a single year but in certain parts of the country it has trebled in Dr Pippa Malmgren is a politics and policy expert. She used to be Special Assistant to the President of the United States for Economic Policy on the National Economic Council and was named Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 2000. Luxury Topping had the privilege of interviewing Pippa in the private members club Grace Belgravia. DR PIPPA MALMGREN ECONOMIC POLICY EXPERT FOUNDER OF DRPM Interview November 13th 2013 21 recent months. Onion prices have been known to bring governments down in India. In Brazil tomatoes are the driver of social protests. In China its pork and in Egypt its wheat. So we can see that different places have different vulnerabilities and we dont tend to give enough credit to the fact that individual food prices can make an enormous difference. An emerging market worker spends 40-70 of his income on food and energy alone. Because of these price hikes the workers are asking for wage increases. The wage demands in China are running at 70 per annum for skilled workers. This means that they have priced themselves out of competitiveness. This is why Apple is moving its production line back to the US and why Brooks Brothers has moved its clothing production back to the US. Tiffanys is also manufacturing in Kentucky again. This is a really significant shift and I would go further and say its no longer only manufacturing. Its mining agriculture and energy production that are all shifting back to North America as well. This means that the business model in China has broken. This is not just a temporary phenomenon this is a very profound question. How will they generate income going forward if they are no longer the cheapest producer The dockyards in Liverpool are unable to hire fast enough because they are winning so much ship repair business back from China and South Korea and there arent enough skilled workers. This is a big shift and I have argued that the luxury goods companies are going to find that their sales to the US are going to exceed their expectations while their sales to China are going to underwhelm as a result. The corporate results we are seeing are reflecting that already. The Chinese are building 10 new cities and people in China are moving West again. This is going to cause the figures in the luxury goods companies to go down. China needs to build all these urban areas in China because they are losing the export model. They hope to replace it with a domestic demand led business model. The question is can they build it fast enough to keep the population placated. The social protests in China are already pretty severe and the question is can the population wait for five six or seven years for domestic demand to come to life I think the answer is no and so they are going to have a hard time managing their population. If I am a Luxury brand where do I start getting my revenue from. It has dropped in China and its a little dodgy in the Middle East. Do I go to Russia What do I do Where do we go Your question is so interesting because I get the same question from people in the financial markets. I think we are no longer in this binary world where you pick a geographical location. You have to believe that there will always be a group of wealthy people that have an interest in spending their money on these kinds of things but they will no longer be just in one place. It will be a new generation of people who are profiting from the incredible innovation thats happening in the world economy. Young people all have this notion that they should go to China but if you look at the world economy today where do you see the most on fire booming economy in the world The answer is Texas. If I were 18 now I would go to Texas. Texas is booming Dont pick a geographical location pick innovation. What is the effect of the crisis in the emerging markets on London In London alone the price of properties that luxury brands sell from is exploding and it will continue because of inflation in emerging markets. Everybody in emerging markets understands this. If I see inflation then I need a safe haven. I need to get out of here because social unrest follows inflation. The two most reliable rule of law locations that they can choose from are the US and the UK. And its a lot easier in the UK. The UK has become the new tax haven Property is now attracting pension funds and big institutional investors. The UK benefits from the Queen and trusted courts both of which imply stability. This is why emerging market investors are flocking to the UK and buying assets here. This is going to lift the price of the properties they are operating from and the assets they are selling are on upward price pressure. Diamond prices are rocketing upwards as are the prices for leather fabrics and textiles. After all these are hard assets too. Investors can move large sums of value across borders in the form of diamonds without setting off a metal detector. So costs and prices are both rising for most luxury goods. Dr Pippa Malmgrens most recent book Signals the Breakdown of the Social Contract and the Rise of Geopolitics is out now and available from Amazon or Pippas website 22 GEOFFREY KENT FOUNDER CHAIRMAN CEO OF AK INTERNATIONAL ESTATES Interview August 7th 2014 AK International Estates is your latest venture launched in September 2012. What made you decide to expand to become an estate agency as well as a leading tailored and luxury holiday specialist There are very close synergies between luxury travel and high end second home ownership. Those interested in owning a second home or in many cases their third or fourth tend to be wealthy well- travelled and business savvy. Exactly the same profile as our existing clientele. Many of our guests have asked for help in finding the perfect holiday home. We work closely with most of the top resorts around the world and regularly send guests to their hotels. If they happen to be selling real estate we can actively assist our clients. Ultimately AK is all about service and we believe we can offer real estate services with a difference by assisting buyers with all their travel needs and destination experiences both in terms of viewing properties but also once they have taken ownership. What elements made you focus on the business of luxury Abercrombie Kent has been at the forefront of luxury travel for more than 50 years pioneering tailor- made holidays to established and emerging markets around the world in a uniquely stylish manner. Demand from our guests to own luxury property has been growing and AK International Estates reflects our commitment to provide completely personalised service. Having over 50 offices spread across 26 different countries must put you in excellent stead for giving the best advice to your clients. What do you think puts you above other specialist boutique real estate agencies What makes us truly unique is our core business travel and our network of over 52 offices around the world. This enables us to offer seamless end-to-end service to our clients from site visits during construction to travel arrangements whenever they want to use their home. In destinations where we have an office we can create bespoke travel itineraries that help the buyer fully appreciate the local lifestyle whether its owning a piece of a winery in Mendoza or a spa retreat in Thailand. Our strategy is very much about selling the destination first and the property second. Why did you decide to launch Abercrombie Kents Estate Agency at the tail end of the recession The best time to set up a business is just before the market recovers. We assessed that it wouldnt be too long before the market picked up and we wanted to be established which takes time sourcing the right properties and building a reputation so that when the good times return we were ready and not playing catch-up or missing opportunities. Its taken about six months longer than we had predicted but the recovery is clearly in full swing now. We think we have timed it pretty well. Which achievements are you most proud of since launching the estate agency We offer a highly tailored service in the top end of the property market. We have the ability to provide comprehensive services around property sales such as travel villa rental and concierge services. We only list a manageable number of properties and developments at any time enabling us to provide a personalised first class service. Buying and selling though us means special treatment. Im particularly pleased with how well we are able to work together between our various divisions and across borders. We have built a fantastic portfolio of properties from unique individual homes to resort retreats and even private vineyards in a relatively short space of time. We are also attracting wealthy buyers from around the world who come to us because they trust the brand and the service we offer. Which countryies do you feel most excited about the prospects and growth of the housing market in the foreseeable future In the USA properties have hit the bottom in many locations but prime properties in Manhattan and Florida are booming once again largely driven by foreign investors and a lack of stock. Such properties appeal to both investors and those seeking primary residences and they see them as safe Abercrombie Kent International Estates 23 locations to put their capital. We see France as a safe and stable market and Switzerland is now performing particularly well with the focus of high net worth individuals HNWIs set on Verbier. Ibiza too is proving popular and we see a return to the market for prime locations in mainland Spain. Later this year we will be marketing a development in Bali which will introduce AK clients in the Far East and Australia to AK International Estates. Do you find that people tend to look abroad for homes more in the summer months as opposed to any other time of the year People are looking throughout the year. The British have for many years been a key source of buyers in this market and it is taking them time to have confidence to return to the market. We are instead seeing higher numbers of international buyers from China Russia India Africa Brazil and Switzerland. This trend is likely to continue for some time with the very prime market appealing to wealthy buyers from emerging markets and Europe seeking attractive price deals on properties closer to home. July and August are typically quiet months with most people in holiday mode however we have never been busier and are currently closing major sales in Thailand France and Switzerland. This bodes well for the September to November period which is a popular buying season. Do your clients look more for luxury homes to use for holidays or to move to because of a change in lifestyle Most of our clients intend using their properties between four and eight weeks a year depending on the type of property and location. They are predominately driven by lifestyle considerations although most are also keen to see their property purchase perform either through annual rental returns or capital appreciation over the medium to long term. We do have some who are looking to relocate or eventually retire too and therefore looking for somewhere they can use for a large portion of the year either now or in five to 10 years time. Mauritius and Tenerife are good examples. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why I have always been interested in excitement and adventure and enjoy being on the move. I am based in Monaco but also have homes in London and Brazil where my wife is from. My parents and I founded Abercrombie Kent as a safari company in East Africa a part of the world that I still love and spend time exploring. Im as passionate about my job now as I was when I first started AK and one of the benefits is the ability to travel and discover new and exciting destinations. I dont think I could stay put in any one location for long. How often do you travel and what do you do in your spare time I travel for as much as 250 days per year. I particularly like visiting new places. I remember going to the Maldives and the Seychelles years ago and have watched their transformation. Im always on the lookout for somewhere new to bring AK clients and to share in their experiences. Now this includes buying a home For more information please visit 24 25 Eighty percent of success is showing up Woody Allen Best of the Rest 26 NICK HUGHES FORMER GLOBAL HEAD OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS AT KNIGHT FRANK LLP Interview May 8th 2013 You have one of the best roles in property marketing. How did you beat everyone else to win the prize I value it very highly. Ive known Knight Frank for years through a previous incarnation when I ran the design agency Kugel now Siren. I got to know many of the Knight Frank senior management team from then and stayed in touch. I took time off to do an MBA and during that time decided to go client side. There was only one place I wanted to go and luckily the timing was right for both parties. Did you have an early ambition to become a marketing guru in property No I can honestly say it wasnt planned. Im afraid I spent too much time at school playing sport and my A levels suffered as a result. Consequently my father quite rightly played hardball and told me to go out and earn my keep. Hence three months after leaving school I started as a tea boy in an ad agency in London. I was lousy at making tea but I did bombard the hell out of the creative director the media director and the client services director with endless questions and eventually talked myself into a role as a junior account exec. Three or four years later I found myself at a creative agency that had a number of property clients on its roster. From that point on I started to specialise. It wasnt strategically planned rather like the best things in life just serendipitous. Did you have a mentor Ive been very lucky to have fantastic guidance throughout my career. I have to first acknowledge my father who in his career as the CMO at Philips Electronics and Thorn EMI has seen it all. Hes a real people person so is brilliant at subtly drawing out the best in people. The boss of my first agency Simon Dodds was a major influence too. When he wasnt yelling at me for making appalling tea he was terrific in terms of getting me to reflect on what I needed to do to progress my career. When I resigned from his agency he was absolutely magnanimous and he continued to keep tabs on me up to the time of his death a couple of years ago. At Knight Frank I am incredibly lucky to work with some truly inspirational leaders. Nick Thomlinson who retired recently as senior partner was another people person par excellence. Everyone adored Nick and lifted their game accordingly. In Alistair Elliott who has succeeded Nick we have another incredible leader. He inspires with his work ethic his charm and his energy. Suffice to say we are in very good hands going forward. Give an overview of Knight Frank and the international marketing reach Knight Frank is a leading global real estate consultancy. We were established in the UK in 1896 and since then have grown to be a global organisation existing in over 40 countries across all six continents with about 7000 staff. Where do you see growth in the international property market Im not going to win any prizes for originality here but mid-term Asia Pac long-term South America. In the short term the picture is more opaque because of global capital flows there are so many variables at play that it is almost impossible to pick a winner with any certainty. Do you see a change in marketing habits between the East and the West My job as Global Head of Marketing and Communications marcoms is to reinforce the importance of consistency in three areas message quality and application. Beyond that we have to acknowledge and accept local flavours. I was in our Mumbai office last year and my colleagues there had organised presentations from both the creative agency and PR company. Broadly speaking their remits are in scope with what we do here but how they achieve their results differs. How big is your team In the UK I have a team of 35 covering marketing PR internal communications and creative services. Globally there are another 80 marcoms professionals. Your Wealth Reports are essential reading for everyone in property. How do they fit into the marketing mix The real estate world is largely commoditised so the challenge to the marketer is to leverage areas of competitive advantage that are of true benefit to the client. Our research teams produce market-leading insights that are of tremendous value to the global property market. So for us the Wealth Report is our leading publication with regard to showcasing our thought leadership and intellectual Knight Frank LLP 27 capital. Its a major part of our annual marcoms efforts but in the seven years since we conceived it we have developed the platform so that it extends to a longer marketing period. With newspapers losing readers how much emphasis do you put on general press coverage in the property pages At the risk of challenging the question I still strongly believe in the power of the nationals and also the quality periodicals like Country Life. For residential property much is made of research that suggests that some 80 of searches start online. Im sure thats right but the strength of advocacy garnered from print press coverage is still hugely influential. Ignore it at your peril. We dont but thats not to say its the only weapon in our PR armoury. How important for you is to get Knight Frank into the main body of a newspaper Very. Unlike all our main rivals Knight Frank is a private partnership not a PLC. Therefore we do not have quarterly results to publish and need to be more proactive in our approach to achieve high-quality national coverage. Consequently we work extremely hard on gaining coverage not just in the news sections of the national press but also in broadcast media. In the last year weve been in every major UK national paper and appeared on amongst others ITV news BBC national news BBC regional news BBC World the Jeff Randall show on Sky News Al-Jazeera France 2 CNBC NBC and Bloomberg. What is your view on social media In my opinion its the single most important development in marcoms in the last ten years. Being candid when I arrived at Knight Frank two and a half years ago we had no strategy nor programme for social media. We have made some enormous strides in that time our stats are favourable within our competitor set but perhaps more personally satisfying is the way that we have won over the hearts and minds of our colleagues in terms of what social media can deliver to the business. To expand on that Id say most people here could see fairly easily how social media would help with individual and collective reputations but what has been pleasantly surprising for my late adopter colleagues are the business wins we can prove as a direct result of our efforts in this area. As a judge of the International Property Awards I am shocked at the lack of interest and knowledge in the West in the use of social media platforms to reach potential purchasers. What is your view Id go even further those businesses that are not focussing on social media will either disappear or lose such significant market share over the next few years that their businesses will be hugely impaired. I sat on a panel for the Chartered Institute of Marketings research into social media for B2B companies. There was a person there from a leading professional service firm who said that he had persuaded his firm to not enter the social media arena in any way shape or form. When I challenged him on this he said that they could see nothing but reputational damage hence their decision. Not only is this flawed logic reputations get damaged with or without social media it also takes away the most powerful tool to repair reputational damage. Do you see property going the same way as fashion where the blogger is gaining in importance It already has but will continue to increase exponentially in the next few years as digital natives become more prevalent in the demographic of the workforce. How much time do you spend out of the country in the global market I was away for about three weeks last year but that included an Asia Pac trip. This year I would hope to get around several of our European offices so probably less time away from Baker Street but more countries visited. We are seeing UK developers tailoring their advertising to the international markets how much influence do you have ensuring the UK developers think global As a firm we are in the vanguard of advising on global markets. Almost all sizeable developments whether residential or commercial need to consider the big picture. In 2012 our UK Residential Division sold to purchasers from over 60 countries. I think that says it all. How do you analyse your web traffic for luxury property Very closely We have a brilliant in- house web team that is able to provide the business with some outstanding analytical data. It would be injudicious to say how we do it though. Without giving away any secrets which are the prominent countries at present If you mean in terms of where the moneys coming from then by the time this is published my thoughts will be out-of-date. As I said earlier the short-term market is in such a state of flux that predictions are liable to become obsolete very quickly. Nick Hughes is now Marketing and Communications Director at Segro. 28 Specialising in ceramic and porcelain tiles for 55 years Minoli has supplied beautiful floor wall and mosaic tiles to a diverse range of clients each with very specific needs. Still run as a family business by the Minoli family the companys client base includes leading house builders developers multinational corporations independent retailers and motor manufacturers. We sat down with Jonathon Minoli Managing Director to speak about the ongoing success of his business his recent trip to Cersaie 2014 in Bologna and tile trends for 2015. JONATHON MINOLI MANAGING DIRECTOR OF MINOLI Interview October 24th 2014 Congratulations on the recent first anniversary celebration of your London showroom The Surface Within. What impact has this had on the company Minoli has always worked predominantly within Central London and of course the Home Counties but having the West End showroom has opened a few doors that perhaps were not open to us in the past. Many of the designers and developers in London like to see a full collection and also full size tiles. They also prefer to not travel out of town so with a very large display and a huge selection of full size tile pieces the showroom is very much of interest to designers working within Central London but with projects nationwide and possibly worldwide. The company will shortly be celebrating 55 years of business. What were the main challenges you have had to overcome in this time particularly as a family business In 2015 Minoli will have been incorporated for 55 years but the family has operated long before 1960. However I feel that 1960 is a date that can be seen as the official start of the business as an incorporated company. The challenges we have faced are like those of most other businesses but with such a long time trading we have seen some fairly dramatic changes. I have seen three recessions in my 25 years with the company and there were several before those. Technology has improved our business immensely as I am old enough to recall when a fax machine was a pretty cool idea for younger readers of Luxury Topping I suggest you Google fax machine and try not to laugh. Being a family business has not made a significant difference to the wider world we operate within but internally we have created an excellent working environment and have a very loyal team that has been with the company for many years. You source your tiles directly from Italy and have just returned from Cersaie Bologna the international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings. What are the latest trends you saw there This years Cersaie exhibition was truly outstanding. It seems as though almost on alternate years the manufacturers and designers excel in their offerings. This years trends are an evolution of those of last year with a tremendous focus on porcelain that replicates marble and wood. With sizes becoming larger mostly through demand from professional clients such as developers and designers we will be launching new ranges in new sizes within the next few months. Minoli has a unique relationship with some of the finest producers of porcelain tiles in Italy and to say we are all excited about the forth-coming ranges is an understatement Minoli 29 What is your forecast for the UK luxury porcelain and ceramic tile market in the coming period We can only see the sector expanding as clients appreciate the qualities and sophistication of the new porcelain products we are launching. With ranges like Evolution Marvel and Evolution Axis wood and marble are replicated and enhanced to such a high level that they become beautiful and luxurious as well as immensely practical. You have a unique range of eco- friendly tiles. Have you seen a growth in the demand for this in recent years Virtually all if not all of our Italian Porcelain collections including The Surface Within Contemporary have the much sought after eco credential of Eco Label. This is more important to some clients than others but where there are two products of similar cost and style mostly clients select the one with good eco credentials. This is not surprising seeing as the size of peoples carbon footprint on this earth is so important. Minolis clients include leading house builders developers multinational corporations independent retailers and motor manufacturers. Why do you think you are the tile supplier of choice for these The truly unique offering from Minoli apart from our wonderful products is our service which is without doubt second to none. We have received the Award for Excellence in Distribution for four consecutive years at the annual Tile Association Awards for our ability to provide an outstanding service. We also have tremendous stock holding capacity and are financially sound. Things that are important to clients who operate in the corporate world and have to only work with serious suppliers and partners. How do you as managing director typically spend your day A typical day will involve me taking notes and participating in almost every aspect of the business with more focus on some areas than others depending on the involvement required. I tend to be a very early riser and will be in the Oxford head office for 7am and if working in London I will aim to be in George Street well before 8am. I am honoured to have the most excellent team around me and we all liaise on a near hourly basis to ensure the company is well run and moving ever forward. What is your definition of success The opposite of failure We as a company are driven by nothing more than a desire to keep our clients both inspired and satisfied. We have to inspire by having the right products. These are the tiles that will make you inspired but that are priced correctly and are available when needed. For us success is having a happy client who is satisfied with our service and proud of the finished product. I am the third generation of Minoli my father having passed away over 20 years ago and in such circumstances it is easy to be more focused on a fear of failure than a need to grow the business. My aim is to strike a good balance between a conservative approach and being dynamic in our presentation and product ranges. Finally what advice would you give to someone setting up a family business today I do not think you should set out to set up a family business but to set up a business that can be run or owned by a family. The business must work in spite of any family connections because if it does then the family will only improve on the model through sheer hard work or lose a fortune through bickering and arguing. But if you find yourself in a situation where the business is becoming family in structure it has to be set up as a proper business and a role for each participant defined to ensure that an overly emotional committee does not run the company. For more information on Minoli titles and to view their collections please visit 30 31 Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands And the rest of you if youll just rattle your jewellry John Lennon Jewellery 32 JOANNA HARDY INDEPENDENT FINE JEWELLERY CONSULTANT Interview October 25th 2013 The Cheapside Hoard For almost 300 years treasure lay buried below one of Londons busiest streets. No one knew of it until workmen started to demolish a timber building in Cheapside near St Pauls Cathedral in June 1912. The property had stood on the site since the 17th century and in a dark brick-lined cellar below the demolition great amounts of treasure were discovered. Luxury Topping spoke to Joanna Hardy former jewellery director of Sothebys and independent jewellery consultant to find out more. 33 Can you explain the significance of the amazing hoard of buried treasure This hoard is a time capsule it is allowing us to look through a window into a time gone by that will never be repeated again. To have this amount of jewels from this era is remarkable. Nearly all jewels from this period have not survived having met their fate by being melted down with stones unset re-cut and set into the latest jewellery trend. The story of the discovery adds to the mystery of why the jewels were there in the first place. Do you have anything to add Unfortunately it is still a mystery as to why these pieces were hidden. All the hoard has achieved is to bring up more questions. Do you see this as a recurrence in peoples desire to know more about Jacobean and Elizabethan jewellery This exhibition will expose people to a world that I believe many people would not have really thought about before as it takes a find like this to entice people to learn more about the subject. What people will be so amazed about is how contemporary the pieces look even by todays standards and what really impresses me is the level of superb craftsmanship that was used then which would challenge most goldsmiths and lapidaries today. The stones came from all over the world. Can you explain the significance of this Can you imagine in the 1550s and 1600s sailing for months on end from South America to Spain with your emerald haul or trekking across the Indian subcontinent with a diamond or three in your pockets bringing back sapphires from Ceylon or trading rubies with nomads or other stones which at the time would not necessarily have been deemed that important. Its the allure of something so small that has managed to capture mans imagination for centuries which is so interesting. This exhibition attempts to answer that question. In fact all you have to do is walk around the exhibition and if you just imagine what the world was like when these stones were found and traded you cannot fail to be overwhelmed with admiration for the traders back then. London is now the number one destination for luxury. Was this the case back in the seventeenth century before the Great Fire of London Absolutely London was the hub for trading luxury goods. To trade within the great walls of the City of London you had to be part of a Guild which was like a quality control for goods that were going to be traded. With your knowledge of gems do you think that the wonderful colours and superb workmanship will have an effect on jewellery designers and will we see coloured gemstones rising in prominence The demand for coloured gemstones is on the up big time. The auction rooms are selling stones that only a few years ago people would not have been familiar with. I sincerely hope the hoard will be a huge inspiration for jewellery designers. One lesson to learn from the hoard is that there was a freedom to design what you wished. It all looks so refreshing there were no brands telling you what you should buy or design. I think every contemporary designermaker should go and take note. What is your favourite piece from the collection That is a hard question to answer as there are a few pieces that I would be very happy to own. But I suppose if I had to choose it would be the Salamander Hat Brooch. It ticks quite a few boxes for me. Firstly it is a brooch and I love wearing brooches and secondly it is an ingenuous design it looks so contemporary. The Salamander was a talisman as a salamander is believed to be able to walk through fire unhurt because of the white secreted juices it produces which protects itself. And it has so much movement in it that it feels like its alive. I also love the gold and enamel pendant set with two step cut sapphires and a spinel bead. I love the colours and the thought of how far these gems would have had to travel to end up in the hoard is quite remarkable. Your master classes are loved by everyone lucky enough to attend. Will you be planning to hold a master class on the Cheapside hoard I am not doing a specific master class on the Cheapdside hoard but I shall be taking small groups around the exhibition. For more information please visit 34 An hour with Jody Wainwright of Boodles discussing diamonds and wearing jewellery. Boodles unique and very special pieces have been seen on the catwalk and at many celebrity events. Boodles have recognised that more successful women are buying their own jewellery. JODY WAINWRIGHT DIRECTOR OF BOODLES Interview February 21st 2014 At the moment Tiffany and Chopard are the names who are not part of a luxury brand conglomerate and neither are you. Plus youre British. Are you going to stay the same 100 We are independent but we are not on the scale of Tiffany and Chopard. We are a family business and my grandfather used to say You can only eat three meals a day. He was ambitious but he was always measured and that is one of our policies. We have a policy on not borrowing money. We like to do things gradually. We dont want to be growing too quickly we want authentic growth. Youre a northern jeweller with your base in Liverpool. How do you see the NorthSouth divide When we kicked off in 1798 Liverpool was the second largest port in the world. We were very lucky to have a shop there. We have a selection of big customers up north particularly in Chester but many more smaller purchasers. As London benefits from having many international visitors we have bigger customers there. In London things are more competitive. Up in the north things are very relationship based. There is a trend now to create the London Luxury Quarter in Mayfair where you have the art hotels and restaurants. Boodles 35 How do you think that this is going to impact on you My view is more based on gut feel and on judgements that I have made. In the past six years rents have gone up diamonds have gone up and we have been able to afford all of this growth. It makes me a bit concerned when anything goes up a bit too fast its a little bit superficial when you look at diamond prices. But over the past year this has levelled out and I feel that we are growing into the prices that were pushed up so quickly. In my opinion we have caught up with a little bit of too much growth too soon. Demand in China dramatically impacted on diamond prices pushing them towards an uncomfortable height. However the past year has seen a slowing down or a catching up of prices amongst categories of stones where China and to some extended India had been pushing them. A friend of mine runs a free zone in Dubai where they run the diamond and metal exchange and he has seen a growth in diamond trading because of the central location and excellent transport links. Do you see Dubai becoming a centre for diamonds I do. In recent years Dubai has been put on the map in no small way as an important world diamond trading centre. The only thing is that it is far more complex to assess is the value of a diamond real expertise is needed. The certificates may look exactly the same but when you look at the actual stones they are chalk and cheese. It is not like gold it is not a commodity. If we look at Christies they are doing more and more online auctions last year they had 46 online auctions. I believe that if you have a reputation like Boodles buying a valuable piece of jewellery from the website is not a problem. How much do you think reputation is worth It is critical to have your finger right on the pulse. Its not rocket science but we have expertise. For example the price of pear-shaped diamonds have rocketed because about a year ago there werent that many pear-shaped diamonds being cut. Everyone was cutting round stones. There are certain nuances if you are buying blind you dont necessarily know about these trends and why one stone is so much more expensive. For more information and to view Boodles collection please visit 36 The Goldsmiths Fair is recognised internationally as the UKs premier event for contemporary designer jewellery and silverware. It is a celebration of the best of British goldsmithing and silversmithing talent and a treasure trove of creativity and craftsmanship. In preparation for the opening of The Goldsmiths Fair 2014 we spoke to David Mills Head of Communications and Marketing for the Goldsmiths Company to find out what was in store this year. DAVID MILLS HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING AT THE GOLDSMITHS COMPANY Interview September 22nd 2014 Give us a brief outline of the Goldsmiths Fair. As the premier showcase for precious metal and jewellery design in the UK Goldsmiths Fair is literally a treasure chest of exquisite design. 170 designers over two weeks 85 in each week show their latest collections. The Fair is a truly unique luxury shopping experience. Its not just the bling which of course is well represented by some of the most fabulous jewels youll see outside of Bond Street its the innovative cutting edge contemporary gold and silver objet dart tableware accessories and decorative pieces. An amazing selection of future heirlooms from the UKs most exciting designer- craftsmen. Goldsmiths Fair is recognised internationally for contemporary designer jewellery and silver. What do you think it is that puts it in another league compared to other similar exhibitions This is our 32nd year and in that time some of the biggest names in British jewellery have shown at the Fair including Stephen Webster and Shaun Leane. Each year we get over 300 applications to show at the Fair. The selection criteria are rigorous. Even established makers sometimes dont get in. The focus is on new work. Established makers are encouraged to push their practice and to unveil their latest creative directions at the Fair. Our clientele know what theyre looking at and they come back year after year to see how the best precious metal artists- craftsmen in the UK continue to develop. Can you give us an idea of the variety of different pieces that will be on show Ive had the pleasure of getting an early preview of some of the work to be shown at Goldsmiths Fair and I can assure you its stunning. Alexandra Raphaels plique-a-jour The Goldsmiths Company 37 bowls intricate gold and silver pens by Jack Row statement gold brooches by Andrew Lamb and Jacqueline Mina and sensuous silver tableware by Adi Toch are some of what Im most looking forward to seeing. Goldsmiths Hall is a luxury itself before even considering the stunning pieces on display. What is your personal preference when it comes to styles My personal tastes run to the minimal sleek and modern. I love clean lines and dramatic geometry but appreciate subtle and surprising colour combinations. Ill be spoilt for choice. Are there any pieces or exhibitors that you remember as particularly striking to you over the years Some of my favourites include jewellers Sarah Herriot Hee Young Kim Kayo Saito Shivani Patel Sarah Warsop and silversmiths Ana Meneses Nan Nan Liu Esther Lord and Mary Ann Simmons. All of their work is incredibly striking original and accomplished. As the Goldsmiths company individually selects every exhibitor at the fair what would you say it is that they are looking for when they make their choices Superb craftsmanship united with originality of design innovative techniques and a signature style. The Fair strives to showcase consistently excellent work across a spectrum of creative visions regardless of your technical skill if the final piece looks too much like something that can easily be found elsewhere were unlikely to include it. This is what makes the event so exciting for collectors. How did it come about that architect Zaha Hadid was the first guest curator This year we set out to refresh the Fair not just with new exhibitors and a new look but also new initiatives to engage audiences like never before. Aside from a series of breakfast talks and afternoon conversations with exhibitors we came up with the idea of asking a prominent designer to add their point of view to the mix through a special curated showcase of their personal highlight pieces. A contact in the art-jewellery world introduced us to Zaha Hadid and she generously volunteered to be our first guest curator. She loves jewellery and her selection provides a window into the kinds of jewellery and silver shed wear and own. Its a fascinating range from a diverse group of designers but it actually works as a collection What do you think Zaha Hadids collection adds to the Fair this year It adds a signature point of view to the Fair. If anyone else were to choose their favourite pieces it would be a completely different collection. Zaha Hadid is one of the biggest names in design and architecture today. Her design aesthetic most definitely comes through in this selection of pieces designed by others. Hopefully Zaha Hadid will inspire other to express themselves through commissioning and collecting distinctive jewellery and silver. Can you explain and give details on the increasing popularity of your Bursary Scheme Goldsmiths Fair runs a Graduate Bursary each year benefiting five jewellers and five silversmiths all recent graduates. They each receive a free stand at the Fair a grant of 1500 and a loan of up to 3000 in silver bullion. For the first time this year graduates were provided with technical and business mentoring sessions with experts from the Goldsmiths Centre. Not surprisingly the Bursary scheme is very popular and we received more applications in 2014 than ever before. The selected graduates are truly the best of the best. Can you tell us about the changes made to make this years Fair even more innovative contemporary and accessible Weve made too many changes to list here however one of the most significant has been the launch of Weve had a great response to this website which features profiles on designers updates about the Fair early release of our stunning marketing images listings of all the talks and conversations and much much more. The Goldsmiths Fair runs from the end of September to the beginning of October at the Goldsmiths Hall. For more information please visit 38 39 One cannot think well love well sleep well if one has not dined well Virginia Woolf Food 40 ANTONIO CARLUCCIO COOKRESTAURATEURCOOKERY WRITER AND FOOD EXPERT Interview March 27th 2014 How do you feel when the media describe you as the godfather of Italian cuisine I always think the word godfather has something to do with the Mafia. I would not know however what else I could have been called. In a positive and appropriate sense I feel it is flattering. What were the rewards of touring Italy with Gennaro Contaldo another Italian chef exploring the countryside cities traditions and food I have known Gennaro for about 30 years. The similarity to observe Italian cooking although from two different points of view was rewarding. Knowing his investigative character I thought we equally gained from the confirmation of our combined heritage. This was also very beneficial for the spectator. What do you think is the secret of your success Passion a portion of greed and the taste buds in the right place as well as my love of sharing with other people. How important is the connection between the Italian family and food It is the most important connection because it offers the opportunity of sharing meals and being able to discuss all sorts of themes and experiences with family. What are the links between the different regions in Italy and cooking There are only some dishes which today are common to all the regions such as Spaghetti Pizza and Panetone. Otherwise there are 20 more regions which are all different with their own desire of being authentic and working with their local ingredients to create the best food. Why is food so important in Italy According to Pelegrino Artusi there are two things equally important in life eating and procreation. One without the other is impossible. So it is just as well to preserve the attention to food which lasts all your life. Why do you think people are fascinated by Italy its culture and food It is well known that Italy has been the cradle of culture music art architecture. Food is the complementary addition which nurtures this diverse culture. Some might describe you as the original celebrity chef. What do you think about the whole celebrity chef culture and do you think they have raised the profile of good food I see myself not as a celebrity chef but as a cook wanting to spread the gospel. To do this I had to be able to cook and to broadcast. There are some chefs who work on the sole effect of being a celebrity but I believe that is a limited way of seeing life. All in all during the 37 years I have been in London I have seen a raising of the bar in food production largely due to the more adventurous development of more than 80 ethnic world cuisines and their ingredients being available in London. What advice can you share with consumers wanting to cook traditional Italian food but worried about how it will turn out Be fearless Provide yourself with a big dustbin or a dog or two invite your friends and try until you succeed What are your favourite ingredientsrecipes Flour olive oil tomatoes and basil. With those simple ingredients you can make many different things. When I decide to eat something that I desire at that precise moment that is my favourite recipe. Commendatore Antonio Carluccio OBE OMRI PASSION A PORTION OF GREED AND THE TASTE BUDS IN THE RIGHT PLACE AS WELL AS MY LOVE OF SHARING WITH OTHER PEOPLE. 41 What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of becoming a chef Some people want to become a chef because they have no alternative and discover they can cook and enjoy it. Others may want to become a celebrity chef. Because the status of a chef in the last 3040 years has enormously increased and because it has become very respectable there are many who attempt it. That reminds me of when I put a question to an aspirant chef who came to ask for work and I asked him what he had done before. Oh yes I was a chef in a restaurant. what were you cooking there I was cooking Pizza What kind of Pizza Pizza No 1 2 Good day As to advice It is an illusion that you can become a chef very quickly. You can become a good chef or cook if you are humble patient forgetting the usual free hours of liberty at least for a while. Be honest and try to make other people happy. What are your plans for the future I am 76 years old and my plans dont diminish. There are infinite projects but I need to prioritise. In my mind there will be more books possible TV work and I shall work to maintain Carluccios at the same level of quality. I dont think I will ever be retired. Who has inspired you My mother Pelegrino Artusi and all those friends that after tasting my experiments gave me the thumbs up with a big smile. Why do you think Carluccios restaurants are such a success Because I wanted to create something where I would be pleased to go and eat. The restaurant is a welcoming place with a lovely ambience well trained people simple but extremely good quality food and low prices. Also observing the personnel as collaborators. How involved are you with the restaurants both in the UK and abroad For the last eight years I have been a consultant of the group and I keep doing what I believe I am good at which is being involved with the progressive quality of the food. What are your hobbies To be able to work with food in my profession I need however a little bit of distance from time to time and I have four to five hobbies which provide this. I carve walking sticks sculpture in clay paint pick mushrooms and deal with wild food which I forage and preserve. As you can see I am very busy. For more information on Carluccios please visit 42 Luxury Topping is a division of Carlyle Consultants a London-based independent communications and marketing agency specialising in luxury products property and food. We advise leading brands on strategic communication and help to position them at the heart of their target audience. 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