Tag Archives: Italy

The Floating Piers Installation to Open in Italy

Bulgarian artist Jeanne-Claude may have passed on nearly a decade ago, but her legacy lives on thanks to her husband Christo, who worked alongside her to create unique art installations. On June 18, Christo is set to unveil The Floating Pier Installation, a walkway that will span 3 km (1.86 miles) and connect Monte Isola and San Paolo to Lake Iseo in Sulzano, Italy.


The walkway will be constructed out of 220,000 floating polyethylene cubes merged together to create a modular floating dock system. Once in place, the cubes will be draped in a shimmering fabric that will transform the walkway into a dazzling display that changes from red to gold in the light. Even after the walkway touches dry land, the fabric-covered path will continue a further 1.5 km into the streets of San Paolo and Sulzano – merging water and land seamlessly. The mountains serve as the best vantage point to catch a glimpse of red and gold stream as it stretches across the lake.


The Bulgarian-born artist, known simply as Christo, first conceived the idea of “The Floating Piers” with his wife and partner Jeanne-Claude in 1970. Despite her death in 2009, Christo has continued with their joint projects, including “Over The River” (Colorado) and “The Mastaba” (UAE).

“The Floating Piers” installation is scheduled to open on June 18 and will be accessible until July 3. For more information in the installation, click here.

Lamborghini Reopens Museum, Kicks Off Miura Tour

With its renovated layout and displays, the new Lamborghini Museum was reopened on June 9 by Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Lamborghini. The opening coincided with the first stage of the Miura Tour that celebrates the well-loved model’s 50th anniversary this year.

Located at Sant’Agata in Italy, the exhibition space is pure supercar heaven with its display of the car manufacturer’s most prestigious and iconic models of past and present. This includes historic models such as the 1963 350 GT (the location’s first car) and LM 002, as well as concept cars such as a SUV set to debut in 2018.

Super Trefeo racing versions of the Diablo GTR, Gallardo and Huracán will also be on display at a race track-style garage, together with Lamborghini Formula One cars from 1990 and 1991.

The 20 surviving Miuras – all constructed between 1966 and 1972 – from all over the world will go on a journey from the regions of Emilia, and Liguria to Tuscany before completing the journey in Florence on June 12.

Moschino Milan Flagship is Pop Art Dream

Knowing designer Jeremy Scott’s track record with designs both irreverent and ironic, is it any surprise that Moschino’s new Milan flagship would look like something out of a contemporary art exhibition? This new flagship store is a 700 square meter space spread over two stories, and will bring together Moschino and Boutique Moschino collections. One floor will be dedicated to their Couture line – but also featured is the brand’s ready-to-wear, accessories, textiles, beach wear, jewelry and fragrances, as well as menswear and a ‘Baby Kid & Teen’ selection.

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As per the art gallery-esque style, the dominant hue of the Moschino flagship is white. Oversized installations of Moschino products are strewn throughout – shoes, suits, and their iconic teddy bear. Shopping bags are transformed into oversized shelving units that contain signature accessories while the fitting room itself is a giant white Moschino biker bag with a zipper opening for an entrance. The look draws similar cues from their New York store, which has the same oversized objects.



This opening marks Scott’s third sales point in the Italian fashion capital, joining the Moschino store which opened last year in Porta Nuova and the Love Moschino store on Corso Venezia. It is wild, stylish, and eccentric – and it is everything we’ve come to love and expect from them.



Custom Job: Ferrari 458 MM Speciale

The Ferrari 458 Speciale was distinctive when it was first released in 2013, which is only fitting for what is a souped-up version of the 2009 Ferrari 458 Italia. All versions of the 458 were phased out in 2015 so if you get one brand new today, you can count yourself extremely fortunate. For one mysterious British customer though, a rare car just wouldn’t cut it. Thus, the 458 MM Speciale was born. The bespoke Ferrari made its debut on Tuesday during a shakedown testing on the Fiorano circuit. Ferrari-458_MM_Speciale_article

The one-of-a-kind creation has a few similarities other 458s, with a few unique features in the mix. Like the collectible 458 Speciale, the bespoke Ferrari boasts a 4.5 litre 600 hp V8 engine and can go from 0 to 100km/h in three seconds on its way to hitting a top speed that exceeds 200mph. The differences begin with the exterior that is re-sculpted in aluminum and carbon fibre composites while also featuring side air scoops as well as a re-worked nose and tail. Ferrari-458_MM_Speciale_article-1

The custom Ferrari that was designed in-house by the Ferrari Styling Centre showcases sporty lines —a request of the client— as well as a glasshouse that resembles the 1984 Ferrari GTO. This wraparound solution sees the windscreen and side windows become one seamless glass surface while also lowering the roofline. The roofline joins the side scoops in adding to the aerodynamic revision of the new car. Ferrari-458_MM_Speciale_article-2

Thanks to the unique additions, Ferrari could afford to modify the car further by having the cooling radiators mounted closer together. With the help of the side scoops, the car is able to provide direct additional cooling to the engine. The downforce is evenly balanced thanks to a spoiler on the tail — something that you would not find on current production Ferraris. The customization of the car doesn’t stop there: the owner also requested specific wheels that are exclusive to the car along with an upgraded audio system as well as Ciccolato leather upholstery with white stitching and satin white rings around the tunnel controls.

Ettore Sottsass at Venice Architecture Biennale

The vibrant and exciting work of Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass matched his life, where he brushed past names like Bob Dylan, Picasso, Jack Kerouac and Hemingway. Running alongside the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, Sottsass’ work will be the subject of an exhibition titled “Sottsass Olivetti Synthesis” – held in the Olivetti showroom from May 28 to August 21. The exhibition will focus specifically on the designs that Sottsass did for the Italian manufacturer.


Color and eschewing old forms was Sottsass’ forte, and that all came together with his creation of the Memphis group – an Italian design and architecture collective that aimed to use postmodern techniques and pop-art influences to bring about innovative new conceptions. Beyond that, he was also a photographer, and was constantly taking pictures of the world around him.


Around 60 pieces that Sottsass made for Olivetti will be on show, especially those from the groundbreaking Synthesis 45 office system presented in 1973. These will include furniture items and original documents, as well as previously unseen and little-known designs. The designer’s desks, chairs and modular partitions are all featured, as well as bookshelves, filing cabinets and accessories like coat stands, umbrella stands, ashtrays, pen holders, pencils and telephone stands. All these are arty, but combine functional rigor with modular design – a revolution for the office spaces of the time.


This exhibition comes as a precursor to the 100th anniversary of Sotsass’ birth, and is the first in a trilogy of showcases dedicated to the designer due to be held at the showroom in Venice between 2016 and 2018. In April 2017, it’ll head for the Museu da Casa Brasileira, in Sao Paulo, Brazil – where it’ll continue to put his artistic eccentricity on wide display.

Tuscany Wine Villa For Sale By Christie’s

Located in the lush and serene countryside of Tuscany, Italy, this traditional wine estate offered by Christie’s International Real Estate boasts more than 37 hectares of land, with two large residences hosting a variety of features and rooms. Should you have a desire for privacy and gentle comfort, you could certainly do far worse than this.


The villa is located just 5km away from the beautiful town of Lucca, and, slightly further afield, you can even reach coastal retreats such as Forte dei Marmi and Viareggio. This, at least, ensures you’re still within the capacity to enjoy company and the latest buzz should you desire it. In a contemporary twist, the villa is also fitted with modern technology. There are three bedrooms in the renovated stone villa, and six in the restored farmhouse. One of the notable amenities is a whole mosaic tile infinity edge pool with a spa underneath – featuring a hammam, two dressing rooms, and a whirlpool bath.

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On the agricultural front, there are five hectares of functioning vineyards for you to make use of, as well as three hectares hosting almost 4,000 olive trees. With wine cellar, wine making area, and oil mill, you’ll definitely be able to produce your own high quality crop either for personal use or to place on the market.

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And, finally, there’s the helipad. This is only one of four properties in the whole of Italy to boast such a thing. It’s a private LIQE helipad, and there’s also a hangar and a night landing certificate to go with it.

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So, if you want the perfect property infused with an idyllic Italian air, and a terrific view, you can check out the villa over at the Christie’s website.

Concours d’Elegance Dedicated To Pininfarina

Between June 2 and June 5, a special Concours d’Elegance will come to the town of Alassio, Italy celebrating the models and designs of the legendary car studio Pininfarina. This show, in conjunction with the late Senator Sergio Pininfarina’s 90th birthday, is a tribute to the globally recognized brand that he built up from a small automotive design studio. This event will also see some of the rarest and most exotic cars that the brand has offered on show together.

Pininfarina Sergio Concept

Pininfarina Sergio Concept

Two of the unique cars on show include the 1963 Lancia Flaminia Coupé Speciale and the 1947 Bristol 400 (just three survive) – plus a whole host of models stretching from names such as Maserati, Ford, Cadillac, Nash, Fiat, Rolls-Royce, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Volvo and even Hyundai, all of whom have turned to the firm at one point for inspiration. These production cars join hands with some of Pininfarina’s greatest concepts, all on show together. This includes the Ferrari Sergio (built in Sergio Pininfarina’s honor), the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe of 2013 and the H2 Speed hydrogen fuel cell sports car that debuted at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. In short, it is a display of the best out there.

“In the year that my father would have turned 90 years, I thought the most beautiful homage could be a gathering of the cars he has loved most in the city that, together with Torino, has always occupied a special place in his heart, Alassio,” said Paolo Pininfarina. With a jury of Pininfarina family members and international automotive experts – four prize winners will be selected out of the cars competing. These awards include best in show and the Robert M. Lee award for the show’s most elegant car.

Pininfarina H2 Speed

Pininfarina H2 Speed

And while the entrance to the event will be exclusive, the cars competing will be taking to the streets in two separate processions around Alassio through June 3 and 4, allowing all to witness the spectacle on show. The city of Alassio itself has a special “Città di Alassio Award” for the best convertible on display, which it will vote on itself.

Giorgio Armani on his Pantelleria Holiday Home

The first time I set foot on the Italian island of Pantelleria (located in the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea) was 30 years ago, when I made a trip there to visit a friend. Believe it or not, I didn’t like it. I expected it to be more exotic, not so “hard”.  There were no nice hotels, no restaurants, no life. We needed a generator to cook. The greatest excitement of the day was when a car went by on the road. But after a few days, I acclimatised to the inactivity. One day, I looked up to that clear sky and everything was just so quiet and calm – a pure silence.Giorgio-armani-Pantelleria-3

In 1981, I returned to visit another friend and decided to purchase a house there. A few years later I bought another piece of land that was closer to the water and, ever since, this island home has been my summer refuge every August. Of course, these days, Pantelleria is quite different: it has electricity, there are a few hotels, and cars passing by on the road are no longer the big attraction. But it still retains that untouched wildness and beauty, which remind me of that moment when I first bought the house.Giorgio-armani-Pantelleria-2

The original structures were two abandoned dammusi on this isolated spot where people often picked Indian figs from the giant cacti. (The dammuso is a traditional architectural structure made of natural materials such as rock, red tufo and plaster, and was introduced to Pantelleria in the 10th century.) The two-feet-thick stone walls are constructed from volcanic rock and the white domed roofs are natural forms of insulation and protection from the extremely high temperatures, so the rooms in the house are cool and the air is fresh constantly – it’s even better than air-conditioning!Giorgio-armani-Pantelleria-4

Strangely enough, the sea was not a priority for me. It was the whole island, the light, and the coarse, wild terrain. It was humbling being surrounded by huge, black volcanic rock – it gave the locale strength. And I needed a natural force that strong to help me relax.Giorgio-armani-Pantelleria-5

Over the years, I have worked tirelessly on the Oasis garden that surrounds my house. It includes spectacular Tiaré trees, magnificent rose bushes, jasmine hedges, rare cypress trees, and 300-year-old palm trees imported from Sicily, not to mention the local prickly Echninocactus grusonii (cactus) plants and Cycads. Every year, the property is given a maintenance makeover. In fact, last year, work was done to the swimming pool, and I also completely renovated the interiors using pieces from my Armani Casa line. Giorgio-armani-Pantelleria-6

I chose to work with architect Gabriella Giuntoli on this house for a number of reasons. She is a native of Pantelleria and understands the natural surroundings perfectly. On top of that, she has an innate ability to comprehend someone’s taste and needs, transforming these ideas into a reality that is simple, natural, and, ultimately, luxurious. What do I love most about this house? The outdoor living room terrace that looks out towards the sea; the swimming pool that appears like a natural pool among the wild landscape; the sense of calm and relaxation; and the fact that it is so close to Milan yet feels like I am miles away from civilization.Giorgio-armani-Pantelleria-7

This holiday home in Pantelleria mirrors my vision and personal style aesthetic perfectly. As with clothing, one’s home reflects one’s personality. That is why it is so important to select items that help to bring out your personality in a natural way. You have to feel comfortable, relaxed and pampered in your own home. I love anything that has its foundation in nature, whether we are talking about material, colour, or form. I have several homes now all over the world. Each one is very different, but the common denominator among them is that they all reflect my personality and the surrounding natural landscapes. Giorgio-armani-Pantelleria-1

People often ask me to compare my home in Milan with my home in Pantelleria. They are two completely different realities and perform different functions. My home in Milan is where I spend my working life, and stick to the Monday-through-Friday work schedule. It is modern, functional, and linear. I can relax and have people over, and yet be in the office in two seconds. Plus, I’m right in the center of Milan!Giorgio-armani-Pantelleria-8

Pantelleria is my summer refuge. I live outdoors when I’m there. It’s the only place where I truly feel I can “switch off” and escape from the stress and wear and tear of working life. I used to visit only in the summer, but recently, I’ve headed there for long weekends in the autumn and spring. It’s so close to Tunisia that the weather is always warm and inviting. My sister says it’s the only place that makes my face change. It’s because I’m genuinely relaxed; the stress disappearsGiorgio-armani-Pantelleria-9

A day on Pantelleria

A day in my life on Pantelleria is the epitome of island life, lived to the fullest outdoors. My day starts off with a power hike around the island at 7:30am (I have always been an early riser) and, contrary to what people tease me about, I do not “make” my guests come with me – unless they want to, of course. I have breakfast with my family and friends after the hike because I am so energized, but they are always half asleep! After breakfast we usually take the boat out to sea and go for a swim. Then, we return to shore for lunch at around 3pm. Meals are always had outside. After lunch, I take a short nap until the late afternoon. Then, we might go out to the local market or watch a film. Dinner is always outside and always by candlelight.

Story Credits

Text by Giorgio Armani

Translated by Justin Cheong

This story was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.

Jonathan Akeroyd Is New CEO of Versace

Following his stint at Alexander McQueen from 2004 until May 2016, Jonathan Akeroyd joined the Gianni Versace S.p.A family as Chief Executive Officer earlier this week and is expected to take office on June6,  2016.

“We are delighted to welcome Jonathan Akeroyd as our new CEO. Jonathan brings a proven track record in building global brands, steering growth and driving strategic development. Jonathan Akeroyd’s industry expertise and vision will be key to advancing the next phase of Versace’s development,” said Donatella Versace, Vice President and Artistic Director.

The new appointment brings Gian Giacomo Ferraris’ successful tenure to an end. He joined Versace in 2009 and led the Italian couture house to grow despite trying financial times and an earlier brush with bankruptcy.

Akeroyd brings his expertise as CEO from Alexander McQueen, where he successfully expanded the brand internationally, working hand-in-hand with creative and leadership teams during one of the company’s most robust periods.

“It is an honor to be joining such a dynamic and innovative organization. Versace is an iconic lifestyle brand recognized globally as a premier name in luxury,” said Akeroyd. I look forward to implementing a long-term business strategy that supports the visionary and creative direction of Donatella Versace and her team. This is an exciting opportunity to take Versace to even greater success.”


Scent of Italy: Bottega Veneta Parco Palladiano

Although we may not all be able to experience the vast cultural heritage and lush landscapes of Italy, except probably as a vacation now and then, Italian fashion label Bottega Veneta says it has bottled the experience into the Parco Palladiano fragrance collection. Bottega Veneta aims to convey the pure sense and spirit of the Veneto region in Italy, and especially the scents from the garden of its famed Palladian villas, with its new unisex fragrance collection.

“Palladio is a source of endless inspiration for me in many ways,” says Tomas Maier, who conceived and oversaw the collection. “My father was an architect who studied the work of Palladio, so his teachings have always been part of my life even before I started as creative director at Bottega Veneta. Palladio was an artisan as well as an architect who sought balance and harmony in everything. The Palladian gardens that inspire this ‘Parco Palladiano’ collection represent a perfection on earth and an agricultural utopia.”

Priced at $296 for a 100ml bottle, the whole collection will come in the form of six scents, each with different ingredient or aroma for the region. These include magnolia, cypress leaves, sun-ripened pear, azalea flowers, aromatic herbs (laurel, rosemary, sage), and, the queen of flowers, rose. These scents were developed from two years of testing and concocting various experiences and moments from the gardens. Maier called on three perfumers for this: Michel Almairac and Daniela Andrier, who have already worked with Bottega Veneta, and Alexis Dadier, who works with the brand for the first time.

With the release of these scents, Bottega Veneta has done well to honor the region that they’ve been a part of since the brand was founded in 1966. The six bottles in the collection will be sold exclusively in Bottega Veneta boutiques.

Twisted Elegance: Mobile Murano by Kolarz

Combining superb contemporary flair with a simple and sleek design, the Mobile Murano proves that you don’t need much to be able to do a whole lot – especially when it comes to quality beautiful lighting. Well, we saw these lights and were convinced they were pretty enough to cover but we are partial to bright and shiny things so that is to be expected. These lights were designed in Italy by Austrian lighting company Kolarz, and is a part of a new collection of contemporary pieces by them.

The cylindrical shape is enhanced by the sensuous ripple in its shape, and the tip that’s done up with 24ct gold leaf. The whole thing is hung on a twisted golden flex, with the ceiling rose is done up in a complementary metal and the lights in clear glass and golden yellow. The design allows for plenty of mixing and matching, whether you want them to do up the place in a stark atmosphere by hanging them singly, or create a beautiful range of clustered colors by putting together a lot of them at once.

Kolarz guarantees that all their products are made with only the finest quality materials available, including Swarovski SPECTRA® crystals, hand blown Murano glass, and gold, chrome or silver plating. This makes them the nonpareil craftsmen of light in international design out there.

You can see more on Kolarz over at their website here.

Summer in Italy with Dolce & Gabbana

The new makeup collection by Dolce and Gabbana is here and it brings with it a slice of Italy. The recurring motif in the brand’s new “Summer In Italy” collection is the concept of ‘carretto siciliano’, an iconic Italian folklore of medieval knights, dames and traditions along with the love of beauty.

None other than the ambience and citrus fruits of the Mediterranean inspire the bright, cheerful and sunny shades. For that sun kissed Mediterranean glow, try the Sicilian bronzer named Sunshine in a compact case with patterns of the colorful Sicilian carretto or The Blush in Orange, a soft powder formula. To highlight the cheekbones and temples is The Shimmer Powder in Star Shine, a compact powder illuminator.

Of course, the tranquil Mediterranean Sea is the source of inspiration for The Perfect Mono Eye shadow in Turquoise while the citrus fruits are behind the cool Lemon shade. The Glam Liner in Cyclamen, a bold floral pink, contrasts vibrantly with both colors. The lips are not forgotten with the Classic Cream Lipstick in shades of Orange and Cylamen, that are also perfumed with the house’s rose petal scent. Nail Lacquers in the complementary shades of Turquoise, Lemon, Orange and Cyclamen complete the youthful and flirtatious collection.

Zaha Hadid Salerno Marine Terminal Opens

There’s just no stopping Zaha Hadid. The world might have bid a tearful farewell to one of architecture’s most prized rebels last March but her work continues to awe and inspire.

Slightly more than 2,000 kilometers away from Zaha Hadid Architects in London, in the quiet Italian city of Salerno, an oyster-like structure quietly looms over the Amalfi Coast. Today marks the opening of the new maritime terminal – Hadid’s first major project to come to completion since her untimely death from a heart attack at the age of 65.

As part of a broader redevelopment of Salerno’s port area, the terminal was constructed to smooth the movement of ferries and cruise ship passengers that pass through it. Like many of her buildings, the Salerno Marine Terminal’s polished lines and sleek silhouette are sensual and intriguing. The building resembles an oyster, featuring a hard shell above a soft, fluid interior, complete with wavy lines that were Hadid’s trademark. “This extraordinary work adds to everything Salerno is doing to transform itself and I think it is marvellous,” said Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi after his visit yesterday.

“We should have been able to celebrate this moment together but it was not to be,” he added.

Hadid’s practice is now being run by her co-worker of 28 years, German architect Patrik Schumacher, with some 36 projects at the design stage or currently under construction. This includes a Port House in Antwerp, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh and Mathematic Gallery at the Science Museum in London.

Said Hadid of her unorthodox designs: “When people see something fantastic they think that it’s not possible to achieve it in real life. But that’s not true. You can achieve amazing things.”


This story was written in-house, with an AFP report as the source and an image from the AFP


Italian Wines on the Rise

As he swirls a glass of yellowy green wine made from the trendy pecorino grape, Fabio Centini purrs with enthusiasm.

“I hadn’t even heard of this grape 15 years ago,” the Italian-born chef-restaurateur from Calgary, Canada tells AFP between slurps at a tasting of top pecorinos from the Offida area of the Marche region.

“But it is exactly what my customers want. People are looking for new varietals, new experiences.”

Centini is one of 55,000 industry professionals from 141 countries gathered in Verona this week for VinItaly, a giant showcase for the best the country has to offer the world’s wine lovers.

The 50th edition is the biggest yet and crammed aisles speak volumes about the buoyant state of a sector that employs 1.25 million people and produces more wine than any other country.

Led by a boom in sales of prosecco, which has surpassed champagne to become the world’s favorite bubbly, exports of all forms of Italian wine hit a record 5.4 billion euros ($6.2 billion) last year, up more than five percent on 2014.

The trend looks like continuing. A Mediobanca survey found 92 percent of producers anticipating higher sales in 2016, underpinned by investment which grew 18 percent overall last year and by 37 percent in the surging sparkling sector.

Strength in Diversity

It is all a far cry from the days when Italian wine was synonymous internationally with straw-wrapped bottles of chianti of variable quality and sometimes questionable provenance.

“They have taken out a bit of the monkey business,” says Centini, a VinItaly regular since 1990. “There was a time when you didn’t always know what was in the bottle.”

Although recent growth has been led by sparkling wine and strong sales of easy-drinking pinot grigio and other competitively priced varietals, there has also been an awakening of interest in Italy’s indigenous red grapes.

These include aglianico, negroamaro, nero d’avola and primitivo (which shares its DNA with zinfandel) from the south and Sicily, and montepulciano from the central region of Abruzzo, where producers have been quietly picking up international awards in recent years.

The sheer variety can be baffling for consumers and a shortage of strong producer brands is seen as a weakness on global markets.

But Italian wine expert Andrea Grignaffini says diversity is becoming a strength.

“Often the same grape gets made in a different style in different parts of the country, even in the same zone. It is complicated even for us Italians to understand.

“But that’s Italy. And the industry is moving so fast now, fashions change. When the moment of one wine passes, it is good to have others to take their place.”

Change is also afoot at the top end of Italian wines with producers in Tuscany and Piedmont battling to catch up with the Asia-driven gains of France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy.

International critics have recognised a major leap forward in terms of the quality and consistency of the best brunellos, chianti classicos, barolos and barbarescos since the 1980s.

“Better than France”

But Stephanie Cuadra, of leading Tuscan estate Querciabella, said Italy’s fine wine champions also had to be able to transmit “a sense of origin, a sense of place,” in the way that Burgundy, where tiny parcels of land are classified on the basis of minute variations of soil and micro-climates, has done very successfully.

“In terms of fine wine, we are an obvious alternative to France and as palates mature in emerging markets they become more curious, it is a natural evolution,” Cuadra said.

Moves towards officially recognising sub-zones in Italy’s leading wine areas have got bogged down by local battles over re-classifying areas in a way that will inevitably produce winners and losers.

While insisting that Italy’s wines are better than their French rivals, even Prime Minister Matteo Renzi acknowledges that the French have done a better job of selling their wines on global markets.

French wine retails at prices that are 120 percent higher on average than Italy’s output and total Gallic export earnings are some 60 percent higher.

“In the last 20 years, Italy has let too many opportunities slip by in this sector,” Renzi said during a visit to VinItaly on Monday.

The flipside is that there is still plenty of room for growth, particularly in Asia, which accounted for only 3.4 percent of Italian exports last year. Italian producers are noticeably underperforming in China, which increased imports by 60 percent overall in 2015 but by only 15 percent from Italy.

That was one reason why Renzi’s guest at VinItaly was Jack Ma. The Alibaba boss told his audience that the Internet could provide a digital bridge linking Italy’s 300,000 producers with what is potentially the biggest wine market in the world.

“China will be home to half a billion upper-to-middle-class consumers in the next 10 years,” Ma said. “You must reach out to them where they are.”

Download the Epicurio app on iTunes or Google Play now, to learn more about wines and purchase your very own bottle, today.

Raf Simons at Pitti Uomo Immagine 90

Since ending his stint at Dior, Raf Simons has concentrated on his own eponymous label. To unveil his Spring/ Summer 2017 collection, the designer will head to Florence, Italy.

At the city’s Pitti Immagine Uomo 90, Simons will be part of a special collaboration for a show titled “Florence Calling: Raf Simmons”. This is not the first time that the designer has collaborated with Pitti Immagine Uomo. Back in 2003, Simons helped to curate the event’s 2003 exhibition “Il Quarto Sesso. Il territorio estremo dell’adolescenza.” Last year, he used the event as a platform for a fashion show, video installation and book to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his brand.

Running from June 14 to 17, Simons presence at the event is a coup for Pitti Immagine. “I believe that Raf Simons, like no other person in fashion, is able to grasp the restless spirit of youth, its lights and sounds, along with a nostalgia for youth, which is a vital and positive acceptance of maturity,” says Lapo Cianchi, Pitti Immagine Director of Communications and Events.

This story was written in-house, with an AFP image to illustrate and report as the source.


Fendi Turns 90 with Fourrure Show

Back in 1926, Fendi opened its doors in the Italian city of Via del Plebiscito. 90 years later, under the watchful eye of Karl Lagerfeld, the fashion house is now a powerful name in the fashion industry with an illustrious history. To celebrate the milestone birthday, the Italian label will be hosting a “haute fourrure” fashion show in Rome on July 7.

“An haute fourrure show in Rome is the best way to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Fendi to express our roots and our DNA while transmitting bold creativity and the unique expertise of fur,” said the brand’s CEO Pietro Beccari.

The decision to host a fashion show with a focus on fur is a controversial one to say the least. In recent months, several other key fashion brands such as those owned by Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss have announced plans to go fur-free. Other fur-free fashion labels include Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Stella McCartney. Animal rights activists have been pushing for the fashion industry to readjust their policies and a move such as this probably will not sit well with those supporting the fur-free moves. However, this is Fendi and fur is a central part of the brand’s offerings so the anti-fur lobby was never going to get onboard anyway.

Lamborghini Miura Alfonso Borghi Exhibition

The Lamborghini Museum in Sant’ Agata Bolognese will be hosting a special exhibition by artist, Alfonso Borghi, made up of works inspired by the Lamborghini Miura. Titled “Velocità e Colore” or “Speed and Color”, the exhibition will be open to the public from April 28.

Standing at only 105cm tall, and with a top speed of 280km/h the Miura is not only considered the fastest car in the world but also an artistic masterpiece in the supercar world. Featuring ten works on 200cm by 150cm and 180cm by 18 cm canvases, the exhibition will take a look at the design language of the car manufacturer over the ages. The pieces explore topics such as Lamborghini’s unconscious revision of dynamic shapes and strong interplays of colour and three-dimensional effects.

The exhibition will run until June 30 and is one of many special high-profile events to mark half a century since the Miura was first created. Just last month, the company unveiled the original, restored SV specification Miura at the annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Other events to commemorate the anniversary, include celebrations in June which will see current Miura owners drive their cars from Bologna to Florence via Parma, as a huge travelling party.

Dusting Off Michelangelo’s Statue of David

With the help of an American non-profit group, the famous statue of David received an expensive clean up. Like an all-expenses-paid spa trip, the work of Michelangelo at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, Italy, received its bi-monthly dust down on February 29.

A team of experts spent 24 hours dusting off the Renaissance masterpiece in a bid to help preserve it. This is after moving the statue to the museum from its original location in central Florence Square, to protect it against pollution and the elements. Crafted between 1501 and 1504, the marble statue cost Friends of Florence, non-profit, a whopping €500,000 ($544,000).

Focus: Yacht Builder Sanlorenzo

The origins of Sanlorenzo date back to 1958, when Italian yacht builder Giovanni Jannetti founded the Cantiere Navali San Lorenzo shipyard in Viareggio, Italy. The company’s history spans across 50 years and during that time the brand has gained a strong reputation for quality, reliability and timeless elegance. Having produced over 600 yachts, the company today ranks second in the 2015 Global Order Book, which lists the world’s top 10 superyacht builders.

Now owned by Italian businessman Massimo Perotti, who became a majority shareholder in the shipyard in 2005, the company operates two shipyards in Ameglia and Viareggio. The Ameglia yard offers bespoke fiberglass planing and semi-displacement motor yachts from 76ft to 118ft, and fiberglass superyachts from 92ft to 126ft in composite material. The Viareggio yard produces alloy and steel planing, semi-displacement and displacement superyachts from 40m to 60m plus. Each yacht comes with its own unique layout and décor, and is ‘Made to Measure’ for clients who demand nothing but the best. Sanlorenzo has recently expanded its footprint in China and Asia by entering into two new partnerships; one with Sundiro Holdings in China, the other with Simpson Marine Ltd.


Key Milestones

From 1958 all yachts produced by the Sanlorenzo shipyard were constructed in wood, it was only in 1995 that the first fibreglass yacht was launched. The SL75 set the scene for a new breed of Sanlorenzo luxury motor yachts, but it was not until the SL100 was launched in 1998 that Sanlorenzo established itself as a premier superyacht builder. The company expanded its operating facilities in 1999 by opening a new facility in Ameglia, La Spezia, located in a nature park and the company’s commitment to the environment was acknowledged when they received the ISO 14001 certification for Environmental Management. The next major milestone for Sanlorenzo was in 2005 when the ownership of the company changed hands and Massimo Perotti acquired a majority shareholding.

The Sanlonrezo Steel64

The Sanlonrezo Steel64

Sanlorenzo Fleet

Timeless classical beauty has always been the key feature of the yachts produced by the Sanlorenzo shipyard and the company’s philosophy remains focused towards an undivided concentration on customers’ requirements. Over the last 10 years Sanlorenzo has launched no fewer than 11 important and significant new models, full of innovation and cutting-edge solutions, but always defined by the Sanlorenzo style.

Exterior of the SD112

Exterior of the SD112

These included three units of the SD92 (27m) and one SD112 (33.6m), all semi-displacement hulls in composite construction. The traditional flying bridge range of planing hull motor yachts includes the SL76 (23m), SL86 (26m), SL96 (28m) and the SL106 (32m) which was the winner of the Italian Innovation ADI Award in 2011.

In 2007, the 40Alloy was launched. This extraordinary yacht, with a lightweight aluminum hull and superstructure, is capable of reaching speeds of 27kts. Sanlorenzo was the first builder to incorporate ‘terraces’ into the superstructure – now a common feature on superyachts. Sporting such a thoroughly avant garde solution (at the time), a total of nine 40Alloys were commissioned and launched.

The Interior of the SD112

The Interior of the SD112

Sanlorenzo Flagship

The 46Steel is the largest yacht ever built by Sanlorenzo. Constructed in steel and aluminum, and launched in February 2010, she was 44Steel, but was then changed to 46Steel (46 being the length of the waterline), to better balance the exterior outline. With a semi-wide body, the yacht is a three-deck bulbous bow superyacht of 499GT, to remain under the 500GT SOLAS limit. Her elegance is complemented by unique characteristics such as the wide beach club with folding beach door to water level and gym behind, and the Under Lower Deck, which is in reality a fifth deck, fully walkable from engine room to bow which permits easy access to all the systems and equipment of the yacht. The 46Steel boasts a garage with a starboard side door that can host a 7m tender, and then there is the vast flying bridge, a properly multi-functional sun deck shaded by a Sanlorenzo hard top with opening roof.

World Wide Premieres

After two decades of uninterrupted success for the SL72 and SL82, Sanlorenzo has decided to refresh these two models, working with one of Italy’s most reputable design companies, Officina Italiana Design, managed by Mauro Micheli and Sergio Beretta. The new SL86 motor yacht, unveiled at the Cannes Yachting Festival this year, is sure to be a hit with its innovative features, including a living area in the bow with sofas, table, chairs and adjustable sunshades. In the main salon, large windows allow guests to enjoy a sea view while seated, without compromising the classic Sanlorenzo exterior lines, and a floating glass staircase to the flying bridge has been incorporated into the main lounge area in a manner reminiscent of a piece of contemporary art. Below decks, and sound-insulated to no more than a whisper, the SL86 is powered by two MTU 12V2000 M94 (1,947 hp) engines and can reach a maximum speed of 32kts.

Interior of the SL86

Interior of the SL86

Another world premiere during 2015 will be the first steel explorer superyacht, the 460Exp at the Monaco Yacht Show. This will be the flagship model of the Sanlorenzo Explorer range, and is designed by Francesco Paszkowski. At only 460 gross tonnes and 42m overall length, the 460Exp offers stability, security, autonomy, limited draft and a considerable agility for its category. It is able to reach distant or rarely visited destinations and can navigate close to the shoreline. The Sanlorenzo Explorer offers substantial self-sufficiency and contains a large space on board to house different toys and equipment. The lower deck features a beach club with bar, sauna, fitness area, spa and an “endless swimming pool” in which guests can swim against an artificial current. The 460Exp is equipped with two CAT C32 Acert engines (1319 HP) capable of covering over 4000 non-stop nautical miles at an economical speed of 11kts.

Exterior of the SL86

Exterior of the SL86

New Designer

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Massimo Perotti’s acquisition of Sanlorenzo, there is a new collaboration with American designer Chris Bangle and the CBA team who will be involved with the next generation yacht exteriors. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in the design for Sanlorenzo yachts, bringing a fresh ‘voice’ into the all-important creative process of these luxury products. While Chris Bangle is well known in the circles of car design – having lead the team of designers at BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce while Group Design Director of BMW for 17 years – this will be his first foray into the world of superyachts. Bangle’s creative vision, design leadership and track record of successful innovation dovetails perfectly into the strategic goals of Sanlorenzo and the passionate expertise of their engineers, architects, and craftsmen.

Elite Days

Over 350 guests from all over the world were given the chance in 2015 to interact with the whole Sanlorenzo range. Fourteen Sanlorenzo yachts were moored alongside main quay of Carlo Riva Port, which was specially leased for the occasion, allowing guests a unique chance to experience the Sanlorenzo fleet through on board visits and sea trials in beautiful Portofino Bay. The underlying theme of the ‘Elite Days’ was an effort to demonstrate Sanlorenzo’s unique and bespoke philosophy, whilst offering the guests a variety of made to measure experiences. These included an opportunity to disassemble and reassemble a watch mechanism in a démontage show by IWC Schaffhausen’s master watchmakers; the chance to create a personal fragrance under the guidance of Sileno Cheloni, the Master Perfumer and ‘nose’ of Florence’s Aquaflor boutique; getting carried away by the elegance of the Rolls-Royce Ghost made available to guests as a courtesy car; driving wonderful classic cars along Portofino Bay in a rally; enjoying the thrill of flying a drone over Carlo Riva Port – or driving BMW’s innovative C Evolution electric scooters. Guests were also invited to experience an art installation by Giovanni Frangi on board Sanlorenzo’s 40m superyacht, the 40Alloy, whilst enjoying the delicate pairing of upstream salmon with Laurent-Perrier Champagne and the option to sample Diadema’s finest Cuban cigars. A beautiful gala dinner was held for the guests in the historic Villa Cervara overlooking views of the Portofino coastline.

The Exterior of the Sanlorenzo 40Alloy

The Exterior of the Sanlorenzo 40Alloy

New Directions

In 2013 Sanlorenzo S.p.A. entered into a joint venture with Sundiro Holdings to build a new range of yachts branded Sundiro Yacht for the China market. Sundiro Holdings are Simpson Marine’s strategic partner to help develop the China market, Simpson Marine being the sole distributor of Sanlorenzo across Asia including mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Zhao Xu Hong, Chairman of Sundiro Holdings Co. Ltd, was delighted to present the worldwide launch of the SY70 at the recent Gold Coast Boat Show in Hong Kong. The joint venture will allow Sundiro Holdings to produce yachts from 10m to 20m in China, as well as sell motor yachts from 22m to 62m built in Italy into the China market.

The new joint venture has given Sanlorenzo a capital increase of EU30million that still allows the Italian majority shareholding of the company to remain in the hands of Perotti. Another strategic partnership is with Simpson Marine Ltd, who represent countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China, and is now the exclusive Asian distributor for Sanlorenzo.

“Sanlorenzo has had a presence in the Asian market in the past, but this new partnership with Simpson Marine makes perfect sense as the companies share common values and vision,” said Perotti. “Sanlorenzo represents a history and a future in which passion for quality, elegance and exclusivity becomes a common heritage, and we are pleased to see that our made to measure approach is proving very attractive to our customers across the Asia Pacific region.”

Exterior of the SL106

Exterior of the SL106

Made To Measure

Massimo Perotti became the Chairman and CEO of Sanlorenzo just over 10 years ago, but this was not his first involvement in the boating industry.  “It all started with a chance meeting with Paolo Vitelli,” says Perotti. “I met the creator and driving force behind the Azimut brand when I was doing some part time tennis coaching… I was studying for an MBA at Bocconi University, and when I graduated Vitelli invited me to work with him – and I did so for the next 25 years.”

Perotti arrived at Azimut with little knowledge or experience of the boating world, but the 1980s were heady times for the industry and he learned all he needed to on the job. “I started working in the shipyard, and learning sales and production first hand. When I started at Azimut there were 25 staff – by the time I left in 2004, the company had grown to a workforce of 3,000 with an equity rating that had climbed from EU200 million to EU650 million.”

By now, in his mid-40s, Perotti felt he had reached the point when he wanted ‘more’, so decided to branch out on his own. “Sanlorenzo S.p.A is one of the last expressions of exclusivity, and that was exactly the dimension I was looking for. It was the ‘Made to Measure’ approach to exquisite craftsmanship that attracted me. I wanted a company that I could develop in my own way. My father was an artisan who ran a small business, and although he worked hard and produced quality goods, he never really achieved the financial rewards that he deserved. But he believed in quality and that was a good life lesson for me.”

Perotti approached Giovanni Jannetti, founder of Sanlorenzo, in 2004 to buy the company but the owner wouldn’t sell unless Perotti worked with him for one year. “Jannetti felt that I still needed to learn a lesson or two, before I could buy his baby. The first thing he said to me was that I needed to learn to slow down! I arrived all fired up from my experiences from Azimut and the acquisition and relaunch of the Benetti shipyard, but Jannetti felt that this was not the right way to approach the Sanlorenzo brand. He taught me how to run the company in a different way, the Italian ‘slow cooking’ way… you go to a supermarket to buy fast food, but if you really want to enjoy the dining experience then you need to be involved in cooking the pasta, making the sauce and then finally eating the special dish that has been prepared. It becomes a beautiful experience rather than a product to satisfy a need.” Perotti goes on to give another example, “If you go out for dinner with a beautiful woman do you eat fast, or do you savour the experience and try to make it last as long as possible?”

Perotti took over Sanlorenzo in 2005, and the first four years saw the company grow quickly. But then came the 2008 financial crisis, and hard times for almost everyone. “I worked 16 hours a day, and we managed to maintain the company’s position as one of the top superyacht builders in the world. Difficult times can create opportunities,” he quips.

Massimo Perrotti and Chris Bangle

Massimo Perrotti and Chris Bangle

The luxury yacht business is not an easy business to manage. “Boating is about passion, and you just need to look at the iconic brands such as Riva, or Ferretti, to see that they were all started by passionate people – Carlo Riva, and Norberto Ferretti. Superyachts are a very specialised product, and when your customer is spending EU10million, they want to be looked after in the right way.” Perotti doesn’t want Sanlorenzo to be the biggest superyacht yard in the world, but he is committed to producing the best quality yachts, and meet the needs of the most demanding of owners. “For me it is not just about the money; it is about the quality of life, and that is one of the reasons why the Sanlorenzo brand is important to me.”

Perotti believes it is this desire for quality that connects the Sanlorenzo brand to the Chinese boating market. “The Chinese are now enjoying the finer things in life. We have never been the first to enter an emerging market; instead, we wait until we feel there is a real understanding of quality. If you have time for good cigars and single malt whisky then maybe you have time to enjoy the luxury of boating.”

Sanlorenzo’s commitment to the East is very much in evidence these days with the new partnership with Sundiro Holdings, who are producing motor yachts in the 10m to 20m range for the Chinese market.  The new SY70 had its worldwide launch at this year’s Hong Kong Gold Coast Boat Show, and the yacht’s interior designed by Chris Bangle has brought a fresh approach successfully combining the taste of the Orient with ‘classic Italian heritage’. Perotti believes Hong Kong is going to be their best market, but – with the rest of Asia opening up quickly – there is opportunity to expand to Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia all of whom are developing their own boating culture.

Perotti, who had been looking for a Chinese partner for some time, says “I was looking for someone who really understands what luxury and quality are all about. Our partner Zhou Xuhong, based in Shanghai, produces top quality motorcycles. He understands why you need to pay more for luxury products, and with that understanding I believe our companies can grow in the right way.”

Sanlorenzo has also entered into another new partnership – with Simpson Marine Ltd, Asia’s leading yacht sales and brokerage company. Mike Simpson and Massimo Perotti have known each other for many years, and “our partnership makes perfect sense,” says Perotti. “We share common values and vision, and this partnership will provide the strategic services in Asia and back up that luxury yacht customers require.” Perotti sees the Asian yachting industry evolving rapidly. With such an east-west partnership in place this 54-year old veteran of the boating industry is ready to share his passion for quality, elegance and exclusivity with Asia.

Story Credits

Text by Suzy Rayment, Editor-at-Large, Yacht Style

In Asia, Sanlorenzo is available exclusively via Simpson Marine.

This article first appeared in Yacht Style Magazine.

5 Must-See Design Exhibitions 2016

The Maison & Objet interior design fair has packed its bags in Paris to prepare for its next two showings, in Singapore and Miami. We’ll certainly be there for the Singapore show and fret not because there are plenty of other top design exhibitions around the world to choose from.

We first set our sights on the “Faire le mur. Quatre siècles de papiers peints” at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Currently running till June 2016, it features nearly 300 pieces on display covering more than four centuries of wall paper design. A contemporary piece that joins several traditional designs is the “Lendemain de fête” or “morning after”. Made by the Santix wallpaper company, the design is printed on empty oyster shells and fruit peelings. A part of the exhibition, named “Tissus inspires, Pierre Frey”, focuses on one of France’s biggest wallpaper manufacturers. The exhibition will look back on more than 80 years of designs by Pierre Frey.

Hopping over to Italy, is the “Kitchens & Invaders” at the Triennale di Milano. Inspired by the Jack Finney novel, The Body Snatchers, it compares kitchen appliances to invading aliens. Running till April 21, it is said to be like visiting aliens slipping surreptitiously into the human world and revolutionizing societies; kitchen utensils working their way into our lives and changing things for good. The exhibition also explores the transformation of utensils into machines and robots. It is a great look back over the stars of the modern kitchen, from the earliest contraptions to today’s must-have gizmos.

Over in Denmark, is the “Learning from Japan” till September 24th at the Designmuseum Danmark. The Copenhagen Designmuseum celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2015. As part of ongoing celebrations, the museum is focusing on how Japanese design inspired Danish art and industrial design. The exhibition features a selection of pieces from the museum’s collection of Japanese and Danish works.Must-see-design-exhibitions-learning-from-Japan

Also within Europe is the “The Bauhaus #itsalldesign” at Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein in Germany till February 28. This is the Vitra Design Museum’s first exhibition on the Bauhaus, a cultural movement that revolutionized the worlds of design and architecture through the school of the same name. The exhibition features rare pieces associated with the movement from the worlds of design, architecture, art, cinema and photography.

The only exhibition outside of Europe is the “Jaime Hayon| Funtastico” at the Design Museum Holon in Israel. Running till the end of April, it features the work of Spanish designer Jaime Hayon. Considered one of the 100 most relevant designers of our time, his work is characterized by its fantastical, amusing and wondrous nature. As one of the most acclaimed designers of his generation, this exhibition at Design Museum Holon showcases his work from the last 10 years, including intriguing ceramic cacti and a rocking chicken.Must-see-design-exhibitions-Isreal