Tag Archives: Philippe Starck


Philippe Starck Launches “Parfums Starck Paris”

If you’ve always wanted to take in more of Philippe Starck’s ingenuity, your wishes have been granted. The French designer and architect has moved into the world of perfumery with his artisanal fragrance range “Parfums Starck Paris”. Don’t expect to see the exclusive series at your neighborhood departmental store though. The set of three eau de toilette scents will only be carried exclusively at Neiman Marcus and its online store.

And because the fragrances bear the Starck name, they’re housed in one of the coolest bottles we’ve come across. The scents are equally mystifying; named ‘Peau de Soie’, ‘Peau de A’llieurs’ and ‘Peau de Pierre,’ they were personally concocted by Starck for three years to achieve unusual olfactory concepts, such as the scent of “elsewhere” in ‘Peau de A’illieurs’.

A risky move for the renowned designer to enter the already-saturated market for perfume but the abstract bottles and scent of “elsewhere” might just be what you’ve been looking for your whole life.

Aqua Boracay

Guide: Waterfront Living, Boracay

While it is only seven kilometers long and in some parts a slender 500 meters wide, petite Boracay has become one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. The island is located in Aklan province, 200 miles south of Manila off the northwest tip of Panay island in the western Visayas region, and it is one of more than 7,000 islands in the Philippine archipelago, but its sparkling azure waters, powdery sand beaches and laid back ambience have raised the islet to international prominence. Multiple reefs surrounding the island also provide natural barriers making the seas perfect for a wide range of water sports, including snorkeling, diving, windsurfing and kiteboarding.

Today development on Boracay has spread beyond White Beach. New luxury hotels are being built on Bunyugan Beach and up into the hillsides where land is more readily available. An ambitious mixed-use project from Megaworld Properties, Boracay New Coast, is also under construction near the Fairways and Bluewater Golf Course, and will encompass 140-hectares — 14% of the island’s landmass — with hotel, residential and retail components that seek to approximate the quaint charm of a Mediterranean village.


Aqua Boracay by YOO Beachfront.

But the project that has put Boracay on the map for international property investors is its first branded residence, Aqua Boracay by YOO. Co-founded by designer Philippe Starck and developer John Hitchcox, the YOO brand has successfully exported its sleek modern residences to various international locations and Boracay was an appealing market.

“There were no internationally branded resort residences in Boracay, yet there was a demand from international buyers for design apartments,” says Mark Rudnicki, Head of Marketing at Aqua Boracay by YOO.

Rudnicki says the island’s tourist base has increased 88% in the last five years, but while additional hotels are being constructed to cater to growing demand, there has been a scarce supply of luxury real estate for those looking to reside either occasionally or permanently on the island. “Aqua Boracay fills the gap, offering investors the opportunity to own their own piece of paradise for personal use or to earn an income stream or a combination of both,” he says.

The project is located on Bulabog Beach, nearby the commercial area of D’Mall and not far from the nightlife of White Beach. It has 168 residences with amenities that include three swimming pools, a day spa, a health club and concierge services. Sales have been strong. The project sold its first phase of 48 apartments in less than a year, and the most recently released units are already 50% sold, Rudnicki says.

Aqua Boracay by Yoo bedroom.

Aqua Boracay by Yoo bedroom.

Remaining available units include: one and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 538 to 2,841 sq. ft. Interiors feature a natural white and earth tone palette, optional furniture package by Filipino designer Vito Selma and full height sliding glass doors to wrap-around terraces. The residences are priced from $220,000 to $1,999,999 and a minimum return of 12% is guaranteed over the first two years.

According to Rudnicki, investors are turning their attention to the Philippines from countries such as Thailand and Indonesia where Capital Gains have peaked. “The Philippines is an emerging country at the beginning of a growth cycle and investors are looking at Boracay with one of the world’s finest beaches and a new International airport to open in 2017,”
he says.

Previously accommodating only small turbo-prop planes, the new Caticlan Borocay Airport, scheduled for completion later this year, will feature an expanded runway able to land airbus jets and offer 50-minute flights from Manila, two-hour flights from Hong Kong and four-hours direct flights from Singapore. This prospect, of course, buoys the expectations of developers for Boracay’s growth potential.

While Aqua Boracay by YOO has firmly established itself as a high-end beachfront hideaway, private residence on Boracay’s waterfront are increasingly difficult to find. “There is not much left for sale on the beachfront,” says Peter Brugger, General Manager at SPR Boracay Real Estate Inc. “Most of the private houses or villas are on the hillside overlooking the beach.”

Mayumi Beachhouse.

Mayumi Beachhouse.

Brugger sells luxury villas primarily to expats from around Asia, many who are looking for a second home or to settle down for retirement. He is currently listing just one beachfront villa at the northern end of White Beach, near the golf course. Known as Mayumi Beach House, the five-bedroom property spans three floors and 5,564 sq. ft. with several sea-facing terraces and a hot tub on the top floor. The home is listed for $2 million.

Some projects, like Aqua by YOO, are designed to be foreigner friendly, allowing foreigners to buy with no restrictions and in their own name and even offer ‘non-status’ financing. But by law, foreigners cannot own land in the Philippines. They can purchase units in condominium buildings so long as foreign ownership in a single project does not exceed 40%, and if married to a Filipino, a foreigner can buy land provided the title/tax declaration is in his or her spouse’s name.

As Boracay’s international reputation grows and tourist arrivals increase, some worry that in addition to dwindling land up for grabs, the island’s charm may also be fading. The frenzied rate of development, alongside reports of noise and overcrowding, not to mention damaged coral reefs and heaps of garbage during high season, have led some critics to warn that Boracay has reaching a tipping point. Last June, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources found that the level of chloroform bacteria in the sea at Bulabog beach was almost 50 times above the level deemed safe for swimming, although the DENR has since improved the island’s sewerage system and more recent tests show the sea is safe. Like any emerging destination, Boracay is likely to face growing pains, but with any luck, developers will seek to strike a sustainable balance where the rush to capitalize on growth does not threaten the island’s eco-system and its natural beauty.

This article was first published on Palace Magazine.

Going Small: 6 Designs for Kids

If sophisticated design of furniture or objects for adults is hard, then expanding that design to take into accounts kids is even harder. Not only must the same sense of form be there but there must also be an appeal to an innocence and playfulness that works for younger minds. Yet, some of the biggest names in the international design scene are taking up the challenge, creating objects that aim small, but stand large on their own as well. These are some of those designs:

Marcel Wanders

Marcel Wanders - High Chair

Marcel Wanders – High Chair

Invoking the ever malleable imagination of a child, designer Marcel Wanders has teamed up with baby and child equipment maker Cybex for a line known as the “Parents” collection. This furniture come in different guises, sporting various faces designed to titillate a young mind’s fancy.


Marcel Wanders – Baby Bouncer

Included in the collection is a mountable storage ‘pig’ with a large openable snout, a highchair with a friendly face, a baby bouncer finished in leather, and monster hand puppets to play with.

Marcel Wanders - Storage Pig

Marcel Wanders – Storage Pig


In the spirit of minimalism, Japanese design studio Nendo has designed a series of rocking horses made out of the simplest possible lines and form for Kartell. This was done with a twist on the shape of construction “H beams”, through raising the top into a bend to form the ‘head’ of the horse.

Nendo - H Horse

Nendo – H Horse

Also designed by them is the “Smile” collection, which are smiley-face stools with transparent polycarbonate legs and a top made from a thermoplastic technopolymer.

Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck - Lou Lou Ghost

Philippe Starck – Lou Lou Ghost

Also designed for Kartell is the “Airway” swing by Philippe Starck, also made out of transparent polycarbonate, giving it a feel as if swinging on air itself. In addition, one of Starck’s previous creations for children, the “Lou Lou Ghost” chair, can now be customized with a name and a personalized message.

Ferruccio Laviani

With the success of the Lego Movie and Minecraft from a while back having stirred up the joy of putting together toy blocks once again, Ferruccio Laviani’s new design seems to be reflective of that. The “ClipClap” table is a low table whose legs can be made from stacked blocks of transparent plastic. The tabletop is available with clear or “chalkboard” finishes.

Cassina’s Baby Utrecht

Cassina - Utrecht Chair

Cassina – Utrecht Chair

An iconic chair comes back minimized, literally. The Utrecht armchair was designed in 1935 by Dutch designer Gerrit Rietveld – known for its minimalist lines and white stitching. The children’s version captures the original’s elegant style, and also has an eco-leather finish in yellow, red, or blue colors.The Utrecht has been manufactured by Cassina since 1988 and is one of the 20th century’s design classics.

Gaetano Pesce’s Up

Gaetano Pesce - Up

Gaetano Pesce – Up

Another iconic chair is returning in a smaller version. The 1969 Up armchair (no relation to the Pixar film), designed by Gaetano Pesce, was originally an anti-sexism statement, juxtaposing generous curves mirroring chest and hips, with a footstool evoking a prisoner’s ball and chain. Ironically, its comfortable form has surpassed the original political message and it’s been sat on by both genders for all these years. Now it’s available for children aged three and over.

This story was written in-house, based on materials from an AFP compilation, including images.

Yoo Montreal terrace

Montreal debut for YOO inspired by Starck

Yoo Montreal terrace

 has unveiled images detailing his luxurious ‘Yoo inspired by Starck’ Quebec design debut.

Yoo Montreal‘ is a 20-storey residential complex comprising 96 apartments decked out with hot tubs and fireplace-adorned terraces.

Offering unrivaled views over downtown Montreal, Starck’s interior design concept echoes the rawness of the building’s architecture, with heavy use of concrete, timber and leather representing the mineral, vegetable and animal elements of the natural world.

Reflective surfaces add a playful element to the utilitarian space, which features polished chromes and sparkling chandeliers contrasted against concrete flooring.

Yoo Montreal room

Horse imagery is a common reference throughout the design, incorporated as an homage to the area’s locally famous Griffintown Stables.

Buyers will be able to choose from three design palettes for the apartments: Minimal, Nature and Culture.

“Montreal is an extremely unique city,” says French designer Starck. “I don’t believe there is anything like it anywhere else in the world.

“The colorful mosaic, cultural richness, and vibrancy of Montreal and its Griffintown district provide the ideal soil for the creation of the kind of fertile surprises that Yoo specializes in — spaces and objects designed to open people’s eyes, engage conversation and spark interaction.”

Yoo Montreal

Construction of Yoo Montreal will start this summer and the project is set to be completed in 2016.

my world sofa

MyWorld Sofa by Philippe Starck for Cassina

my world sofa

Designer Philippe Starck has created the ‘My World’ sofa to enable people to incorporate use of their mobile devices into the time they spend relaxing.

myworld sofa

Created in partnership with the Italian furniture company Cassina, the sofa is equipped with privacy dividers, a side table with hidden power outlets, and a Powermat to charge gadgets discreetly.

MyWorld Sofa by Philippe Starck

My World is available to buy as a whole piece or in sections to fit in with people’s individual needs. It comes in a variety of colors and two-seater or three-seater versions. Via psfk.com.

MyWorld Sofa by Philippe Starck

Mama Shelter hotel bedroom

Hotel brand Mama Shelter to expand internationally

Mama Shelter hotel bedroom

French hotel brand Mama Shelter, voted among Europe’s trendiest properties, has announced it will expand internationally.

The company confirmed earlier this month that it plans to open a property in Los Angeles, California next year and Istanbul, Turkey this year, with further French expansion also planned in Lyon and Bordeaux over the coming months.
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V+ Volteis by STARCK

Volteis electric car by Philippe Starck

V+ Volteis by STARCK

Legendary designer Philippe Starck has created an electric vehicle, which is on display this week at the Geneva Auto Show and will retail for about $40,000.

The pared-down design of the V+ Volteis by Starck—it resembles a golf cart more than a car that could withstand urban use—seems to prioritize form over function.

Weighing around 1600 pounds, the front-wheel-drive vehicle is propelled by a 4-kW motor for a top speed of 40 mph and a quoted maximum range of 37 miles.
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lenny kravitz

Lenny Kravitz to design new Miami hotel

lenny kravitz

Grammy-award winning musician Lenny Kravitz is to once again turn his hand to hotel design, according to reports from the US.

The singer-songwriter is said to be working on rooms for the SLS Hotel at South Beach, set to open next year in Miami, Florida as a sister property to the luxury SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, California.

Kravitz, who runs a design studio called Kravitz Design Inc., has been given responsibility for putting together the decor of a bungalow and penthouse suite.
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France boasts Europe’s best hotel bathrooms

The bathrooms in Paris’s swanky Le Meurice hotel have been voted by best in Europe, beating a list of other contenders that prove the French know best when it comes to the salle de bain.

The honor was awarded last week at the industry Villegiature Awards, which recognizes the best aspects of Europe’s hotels — from terraces to websites.

The Philippe Starck-designed bathrooms of Le Meurice were judged to be the best, managing to top competition from Hotel Raphael in Paris, Le Palais Stephanie in Cannes, La Mas Candille in Mougins, and Muse in Ramatuelle (all in France) as well as Luna Baglioni in Venice, Italy.
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Faena Hotel + Universe designed by Philippe Starck

Designed by Philippe Starck, the Faena Hotel + Universe offers over-the-top elegance in Puerto Madero (a district of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires), a planned waterfront district. The spacious hotel, which occupies an old grain silo, has everything from a cabaret stage to a hammam, with 110 rooms starting at $425.

The hotel also has a residential section, with properties for sale. These vary in size and price, and 20 of them are available for rent on a nonscheduled basis. Several dining, bar, and entertainment areas are in the lobby and elsewhere. The “Universe” in the hotel’s name refers to these shared elements, open to guests, residents, and the general public, with a philosophy of mingling and sharing ideas and experiences.

The most formal restaurant (above) is all white on white, with unicorn heads mounted on the wall.

I wish I could go there to experience the experience :)

One $400 million super-yacht with three Monet paintings onboard

This $400 million super-yacht was built for a Russian oligarch, Andrey Melnichenko, 37, who is worth $9.2 billion and was ranked 172 on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people.

There is a large master suite as well as six luxury cabins for up to 14 guests and enough room for 42 crew members.

Designed by Philippe Stark, the 400ft long superyacht is said to have its own discotheque featuring a glass roof which is situated directly under the swimming pool.
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Philippe Starck’s RobinWood Collection

The collection ($1,650 to $2,350), launched in collaboration with Dallas showroom owner David Sutherland, is called RobinWood, and the designs are evocative of 13th-century England.

Humble, recognizable shapes that could’ve once been made of oak are given the Starck touch with sustainable teak and touches of polished aluminum.

Lil’ John Chair from the RobinWood Deluxe collection from Sutherland by Starck

This is the first outdoor line Mr. Starck has produced and, he says, he wanted to “work the icons of our common shared memory.” Read the full story on The Dallas Morning News