So, what is an EV SUV anyway and why does Mercedes have one? This new video (below) from Mercedes Benz skips these questions and instead asks drivers if they’re “ready to change.” Ok, it does offer a tiny glimpse of what to expect when its long-gestating plug-in electric (that is the EV part) SUV concept car arrives at the Paris Motor Show on September 29.
Expected to be called the EQG (this alphabet soup bit is par for the course for Mercedes) and to mark the launch of a new EQ Mercedes-Benz sub-brand, the concept car is high on futuristic styling and fluorescent mood lighting. Although the video gives very little substance to the company’s claims that the car is truly revolutionary, it does confirm that the show car will have a minimalistic yet luxurious cabin that follows current interior design language and the same proportions externally as the company’s current flagship GLS SUV.
Although Mercedes has toyed with electrification in the past (it sells an electric B-Class MPV and this month rolled out the latest generation of its electric SMART cars), the company is making a statement of intent with this show car: it takes plug-in electric vehicles seriously and it aims to be more Tesla than Tesla before the end of this decade.
According to the latest Jato Dynamics figures, published Tuesday, electric and hybird vehicle popularity is growing rapidly. Over the first half of 2016, 231,300 plug-in electric or plug-in hybrid cars were sold across Europe – that’s a 27% increase year on year – and means that together they now represent 3% of the current European car market. If growth continues at this rate, then they will represent 12-14% of new car sales by the end of the decade, and that is the moment when Mercedes will be planning to really launch its electric vehicle offensive.
And to generate as much interest and excitement as possible it should come as no surprise that Mercedes went for an SUV.
One in three Mercedes sold globally is now of the SUV or crossover variety. Over the first six months of 2016 there was a 22% spike in C-segment SUV sales in Europe – i.e., models such as the Audi Q3, meaning they now represent 10% of the market. Full-size SUVs have also experienced a 16% surge in popularity in the first six months of 2016. Cars like the Jeep Cherokee, Toyota Land Cruiser and Mercedes GLC represent 1% of the market or 106,000 sales.
However, Mercedes won’t have it all its own way at this year’s show. VW will also be using the event to unveil its next-generation EV concept and like Mercedes, Volkswagen is claiming its car will usher in a revolution and that it will be able to cover 400 miles on a single charge.
Exploring the relationship — or lack thereof— between social media and real life, Kenzo introduces its new fall/winter 2016 collection with a short film. Starring Laura Harrier, Natasha Lyonne and directed by Carrie Brownstein, the short film is filled with humor and sarcasm as the characters reveal how the two worlds can collide with hilarious consequences.
To find out more about the short film and to watch the full video, visit Men’s Folio.
Live from New York Fashion Week, we present you Michael Kors Spring 2017 runway show. Fans of the brand will also be able to shop the collection as it hits the catwalk via the Michael Kors website. Catch the livestream below.
Buckle up because Dior is about to take you on an epic journey through a dazzling universe comprised entirely of Rose des Vent’s timeless medallions.
Designed by Creative Director of Dior Joaillerie Victoire de Castellane, the high jewellery collection is the Maison’s take on some of Monsieur Dior’s most cherished motifs, such as the eight-pronged star and rose. In the video, two space cadets bravely venture into the depth of space and leave their mark on the brightest planet of them all.
Watch the animation below and find out more about the meaningful collection at L’Officiel.com.
We are just days away from SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS. This means that the team at Heart Media and LuxInc Media are hard at work putting together a specially curated selection of brands that are set to entertain you. From the Royal Albatrossand Perrier Jouet, to other luxury lifestyle brands, the event running from October 20 to 23 is one that is not to be missed. Can’t wait? Then check out our latest trailer on below.
She’s active, progressive and always on the move. The Dior lady this FW16 is one who revels in her charismatic energy, with her charm captured masterfully by photographer Steven Meisel. Incarnated by Julia Nobis, the campaign oozes with athletic dynamism, a reflection of Dior this season.
Notice the sensual glimpse of leg exposed through the skirt’s slit as she’s caught mid-stride, or the revelation of animal and plant motifs hidden under the coat when it flips up. This season, oversized coats, strappy heels, body-tight silhouettes and vibrant bags reign. It’s all about feminine confidence underlined by an air of casual luxe.
Versace is renowned for its penchant for loudness but this FW16 presents a sleeker image of the Italian brand. A campaign film shot by Bruce Weber, “Chicago Is My Beat” depicts It Girls Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss as young parents, but in an empowering light. Models are decked out in smart leather jackets, suits – and of course – skin-tight bodycons and cropped tops bearing prints closely associated with the Versace name. It is a celebration of diversity and strength, with the abundant display of love a reflection of Chicago’s vibrant heartbeat.
Gather round for we bring you the latest louis Vuitton menswear collection via livestream, as it makes its way onto the runway in Paris. Kicking off at 4.30pm (SGT), the show will showcase the brand’s menswear designs during Paris Fashion Week.
Last week we drove headlong into an exhibition at the Turin Motor Show that investigated the possible futures of cars. This week, Rolls-Royce made like Neil Armstrong and took a giant leap into that future with the Vision 100. The luxury car firm debuted the Vision 100 at a special event in London, echoing something its parent company BMW did back in March. We’re talking about the BMW Vision Next 100 of course and indeed we’ll be seeing this from all BMW brands but perhaps Rolls-Royce is even bolder in its vision than BMW itself.
The Vision 100 ditches a good deal of the familiar ‘car-like’ trappings in favor of an exterior that feels more like an otherworldly rectangular pod. When we saw ‘car-like’ trappings, what we mean is that the Vision 100 is a fully autonomous zero-emissions vehicle. Seriously, there’s no steering wheel or instrument panel here (there is instead a cabin-wide OLED display)… Yet there’s still that iconic Spirit of Ecstasy gleaming at the front, marking it as, unmistakably, a Rolls-Royce. Also, at close to 6 meters in length and more than a meter tall, the two-door Vision 100 comes from a future where bigger is clearly better.
Speaking of the Spirit of Ecstasy, there will be one inside the vehicle too. This happens to be Eleanor – the virtual personal assistant that can be viewed on the visual display in the interior. She’ll track your personal tastes, make recommendations, and run your appointments. All this falls in with one of the basic tenets of luxury, which is to do nothing that you don’t want to do. Even the design for the interior is set up like a comfortable cocoon with fine wool, leather, woods and a sofa. Yes, this vision of the future comes with a couch because someone at Rolls-Royce was paying to all those jokes car writers make about the Goodwood firm’s penchant for creating luxury living rooms on wheels.
“The grand arrival of the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 boldly points to a bright future for our marque where our patrons’ individual demands for complete and authentic personalization will be met through an exquisite fusion of technology, design and hallmark Rolls-Royce craftsmanship,” said CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös at the concept’s launch. In coming up with the Vision 100, the design team led by Giles Taylor tried to imagine what cars would look like a century into the future. They decided that four key ingredients were important – personal vision; an effortless journey; a grand sanctuary; and the grand arrival.
Well, this is only the beginning. As things develop we can easily expect more automation, more convenience, and more exclusivity. In keeping up with their vision of the future, Rolls-Royce even released a 3D video to showcase exactly what the model can accomplish. You can view it down below.
For hardcore Porsche purists, there are a number of faults to levy at the existing Porsche Panamera, despite the overwhelming success of the model – the main gripe being the optics. Even CEO Matthias Mueller admitted to that back in 2014, in an interview with Motoring. With this peek at the new-generation luxury sports GT, though, those worries seem to have been put to rest. It is both a car that’s great on paper and one that keeps its crisp personality on the exterior.
Beyond just a cleaner form overall, with sharper lines, the Porsche Panamera also has much more entertaining V8 and V6 powertrains. Judging from the sketches, the wheelbase is also bigger, leaving more cabin space for front and rear passengers. Though, being only a sneak peek, there are still many more questions to be answered before we know whether it is a definitive model to get your hands on.
At the very least, Porsche has also confirmed that the performance will definitely upgraded, when compared with its predecessor because of the lighter and stronger materials used. There is also the five years of engineering innovations that the brand has made, since the first Panamera went into production. It is also worth remembering that a four-door sedan Porsche has come a long way from its days as a concept in the 1980s. While there are no details yet on this upgrade, we think it is safe to say that the luxury trappings of the Panamera are here to stay, as is the engine position (although that one is a lot less certain).
Beyond the sketches, you can also look at the video below that Porsche released, teasing the new model. (Spoilers: unfortunately, the car isn’t revealed)
Finally, after four years of renovations and a major fire that necessitated restoration, the landmark Paris Ritz hotel will be reopening its doors to guests. The new Ritz, situated on the Place Vendome, will only have 142 rooms and suites, compared to 159 previously, and not all of them will be immediately available as the final touches are still being applied. The hotel boasts a legendary history – with names such as Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway having visited since its founding by Cesar Ritz in 1898.
Hemingway, especially, was enamored with the place, once making the statement that: “When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz”. The writer famously rallied a group of Resistance fighters to go and liberate his beloved hotel which had been requisitioned in June 1940 by the Nazis and occupied by German brass. However he was too late as the Nazis had already left, so he took to the bar where he is said to have run up a tab for 51 dry martinis. The hotel was also the place where Princess Diana spent her last hours before her tragic car accident while being chased by paparazzi.
The refurbishment started in 2012, with an estimated $150 million brought together to spruce up the whole establishment. Although it was slated to re-open in March this year, a fire ravaged a section of the building and caused delays. All that is over now though and the new Ritz is ready for business, boasting a summer restaurant under a movable glass canopy, a larger ballroom and the latest technology in its rooms.
If you’re interested in finally being able to experience the atmosphere of the Paris Ritz, you can check out their website over here. Bear in mind that rooms are severely limited and demand is projected to be unreasonably high…
Now you can have that morning cuppa – sans guilt – because Nespresso’s latest initiative, “One Pod at a Time”, is making the world a greener place. Recycling has long been an issue with regards to the Nespresso capsules, which were great at delivering easily made coffee but left the matter of what happens to the capsules hanging. In Singapore, Nespresso has found a local solution in-line with its global efforts to be a responsible corporate citizen.
“Embedding sustainable business practices is a commitment and an ongoing journey. When it comes to recycling capsules, every country has different legislations and level of infrastructure available so it took us awhile to find the right partners and efficient setup to collect back the used Nespresso capsules.” said Matthieu Pougin, Country Manager of Nespresso Singapore.
To reduce environmental footprint, the coffee company has made its capsules fully recyclable right here on the island. This means that all of the one gram of aluminum used to manufacture the pod can be processed to create other aluminium products such as bicycles and window frames, and they’ve enlisted the help of a local recycler for this.
The process goes like this: once collected, the capsules are sun-dried before the used coffee grounds are separated. The aluminum capsules are then melted down and turned into new aluminum products; the coffee grounds are sent to a local farm and leading organic product distributor, Quan Fa Organic Farm, for use as compost in vegetable farming.
Besides being the only material which ensures high standards of freshness, taste and quality, aluminum is also infinitely recyclable without the need for additional wrapping and protection against oxidation. Recycling aluminum also only uses 5% of the energy it takes to extract it from the ground, so carbon footprint is significantly reduced. The used coffee grounds in compost drastically improves produce at farms – drainage, water retention and aeration in the soil are improved, while pests like slugs and snails are repelled from crops. In the video below, Fly Entertainment artiste Henry Golding takes us through the process of this unique recycling initiative.
“The value proposition of Nespresso is to offer a mindful and unique moment of indulgence to our customers. One that not only delivers an exceptional coffee experience for every moment but makes sustainability a part of everyday life. With the launch of One Pod at a Time campaign, we hope to invite and inspire more people in Singapore to join us on our sustainable journey,” Pougin added.
And if you always thought recycling was a pain, Nespresso has made it as simple a process as possible. Members of the Nespresso Club can either drop their used capsules at Nespresso’s capsule recycling collection points at the ION Orchard and Takashimaya boutiques, while the [email protected] initiative enables couriers to pick up capsules directly whilst delivering a new order. Besides, Nespresso will issue a voucher for 10% off purchases at Quan Fa Organic Farm, so that’s another incentive to participate.
“Nespresso understands that consumer participation is key in recycling efforts and changing consumer behaviour is not an easy task. To increase consumer participation, we continue to improve our processes to make it more convenient for customers and increase our efforts to communicate better, and more, with consumers, making sure they know where and how, as well as why, to recycle,” said Pougin.
Nespresso’s “One Pod at a Time” campaign is extremely timely. Across the coffee pod industry, hundreds of millions of pounds of unrecyclable materials are being trashed, and that’s only in the US. Locally, accurate estimates of consumer recycling rates are unavailable due to the number of factors that influence their recycling behavior, according to Nespresso, though it revealed significant progress over the years.
“Where Nespresso has decided to focus on is to heavily invest in making it as easy as possible for our Club Members to return their used Grand Cru capsules. For example, establishing the [email protected] initiative and working with corporate clients, including Marina Bay Sands, Fairmont Singapore and Royal Plaza on Scotts, to collect used Nespresso capsules for recycling. We also extended recycling bins in some offices using Nespresso’s capsules for employees to drop their used capsules more conveniently,” Pougin revealed.
Sustainability doesn’t just begin and end in the capsules alone. In 2003, the coffee company also launched the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program. In partnership with NGO Rainforest Alliance, this approach ensures the steady supply of high quality coffee while increasing its production. Working with farmers in 12 countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Ethiopia, this scheme will ensure they will always enjoy a sustainable equitable income. By 2015, Nespresso saw up to 70,000 coffee farmers under the AAA Program. By expanding the program in Ethiopia and Kenya, the company aims to achieve an increase the amount of coffee it sources for its permanent Grand Cru range significantly.
The video starring Henry Golding is just one of the few that Nespresso unveiled on World Environment Day on 5 June 2016. Starring more of Singapore’s most prominent people – think Chef Tetsuya of Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands, international TV host Anita Kapoor and Tracy Phillips, director of ppurpose. Watch Chef Tetsuya work his magic and share his passion for his favourite cuppa in the video below.
Last month, Swarovski invited me to the Barre Studio try out its new Swarovski Activity Tracking Collection and I have to say, it was pretty impressive. To find out just how good the activity tracker was, I joined the brand for some fun at a Barre workout. I limped around for the rest of the week, much to the delight of my colleagues who have figured out just how often I work out (read: never), but at least I finally know what Barre is and just how useful an activity tracker can be.
Already released in the United States, China and Hong Kong, the tracker is equipped with some of the most up-to-date activity-tracking technology from Misfit and an Activity Crystal. My favorite aspect of the tracker is that it serves more than one purpose. With versatility being the key, the user is able to switch between a sports band for workouts and a Swarovski Slake bracelet to create a fashionable accessory.
To set goals and keep track of your progress, you simply have to download the Misfit app on your phone. Your progress is updated on the app through the crystal, as it synchronizes wirelessly with your smartphone. Apart from your activity, one can also create a food diary that even tracks your meals. The crystal is not only water resistant for up to 50 meters but also able to tell the time.
With various styles and colours available, users are also able to mix and match the Slake and Slake Deluxe bracelets for any outfit and occasion.
Even in the usually low-key Turin motorshow (running from June 8-12), there is still something that’s worth a look. The Mazzanti Evantra Millecavalli promises to be the most powerful street-legal car ever built in Italy, with a total output of 1000hp all channeled from a turbocharged V8 powerplant. The boutique supercar builder will limit the release to just 25 hand-built examples with an expected price tag of over €1 million, making it a direct competitor to Pagani and Koenigsegg.
“In order to create this extreme Hypercar, we applied technologies coming from motorsport that no one else has ever used on a street-legal car before,” said Luca Mazzanti, company founder. These probably includes the twin-turbo chargers, which will ramp up the ride to a top-speed of 400km/h, as well as boosting up a 0-100km/h acceleration to 2.7 seconds. Also involved in ensuring its capabilities are the active aerodynamics to direct air over the rear wing plus larger inlets for cooling and even a roof-mounted airscoop.
Mazzanti has already quite the street cred in the world of boutique automakers, despite starting out just 15 years ago. The Evantra model that the Millecavalli is based on is hand-built to order and production is limited to five examples a year. The standard car has 715hp on tap and is capable of going from 0-100km/h in 3 seconds. Who knows what level of work was needed to push it to the next level? “When the performance is so important, nothing is left to chance, but each element is the result of the meticulous work of people with great expertise and a true passion” noted Mazzanti.
In other words, lovers of the loud and fast will have another model to salivate over – at least until the next speed-demon comes into view.
Infusing sensuality into a sense of play seems to be the main vibe that a new campaign by Kate Moss and luxury brand Equipment is going for. The supermodel recently designed a capsule collection for Equipment’s Spring 2016 release, keeping to the cult label’s style of modern, androgynous silhouettes. The campaign features an intimate video of Moss’ country estate in the Costwolds – where she shares the screen with model Susie Cave for a series of red-lit and monochrome epileptic escapades. The video and campaign pictures were shot by photographer/model Daria Werbowy.
This collection will have casual pieces such as the brand’s classic button downs and archived prints, but clashing alongside bolder designs such as star-printed silk tie-neck shirts and cropped sweaters with a rock and roll edge. The outstanding color palette is done up in red, black, white and grey – livened up by David Bowie-inspired lightning bolt prints and the star’s signature leopard print motif. The collection also includes wardrobe staples such as skinny black 5-pocket trousers, wide leg trousers, grungy slip dresses and a military jacket. Moss’ handwritten “KM” monogram will feature in each piece.
The whole capsule collection will be available on June 2 over at Equipment’s website, in Equipment stores, and also on Net-A-Porter. From June 15 it will also become available from various retail partners worldwide, and the collection will also be sold from June 2 through June 9 at a pop-up shop on London’s Blandford Street. A special pop-up store will also be held at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche in Paris throughout July.
All eyes are on Rio this week as Louis Vuitton unveils its new Cruise collection for 2017. We join L’Officiel Singapore as they bring you a live stream of the show. Be sure to tune in on May 29 at 3.30am.
Always pushing the boundaries of exclusivity and luxurious design, cognac house Remy Martin, in collaboration with some of the biggest names in artisanal design, has come up with a full luxury set featuring its Louis XIII cognac at the heart. The aptly titled L’Odyssee d’un Roi (A King’s Odyssey because, of course) features a bespoke trunk by Hermes, pieces by silversmith Puiforcat, and glasswork by royal crystallerie Saint-Louis. It will be auctioned off in New York at Sotheby’s in September. The proceeds from the auction will benefit the Film Foundation, a non-profit that works to preserve and restore classic films. You might recall that Louis XIII enjoys grand theater, as evidenced by its efforts with theJohn Malkovich film.
The bespoke trunk by Hermes is entirely hand-stitched with fine leathers and bears the same design as a classic steamer trunk (fitting in with the Odyssey theme). Puiforcat has its hand in making the elegant white-gold pipette bearing the name and the logo. The beautiful decanter with its ridges on the side, as well as four serving glasses, were blown by a craftsperson, cut, and engraved with impeccable skill at Saint-Louis. The whole package comes with a book chronicling the global journey of the cognac that boasts a history stretching back to the 1870s. All of it added up together as 1,000 hours of labor split between 50 artisans.
Of course we have to take note of the cognac itself. The liquid gold in each decanter is the work of both the current cellar master Baptiste Loiseau and his predecessor Pierrette Trichet. The blend invokes tints and notes of myrrh, honey, immortelle, plum, honeysuckle, wood bark, leather and passion fruits. What we know from oficial sources is that this blend is not the standard Louis XIII offering, although it is still all Grand Champagne. Before the auction, the three sets created will be exhibited in New York, Hong Kong and London.
You can watch how the process of craftsmanship comes together below, and if you want to know more, you can check out Remy Martin’s website.
Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre has been talking up its Christian Louboutin collaboration in the press since the SIHH earlier this year. For the most part, we have concentrated on the high complications from the Le Sentier-based watchmaker but, thanks to our news alerts, we’ve learned that there is a new short film starring Elisa Sednaoui showcasing what is at the heart of this Reverso by Christian Louboutin affair. This really changed our minds about writing this up because addressing this quirky collection by breaking down its technical specifications is an exercise in futility…
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, for those who don’t know, is a watch with two faces that strongly reflects its Art Deco origins (the first one was made in the 1930s), the manufacture’s commitment to traditional mechanical watchmaking and, perhaps paradoxically, a passion for innovation. Those who know the brand will of course understand perfectly how this is all embodied in a Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatch but for most people, this is the sort of brand messaging that elicits puzzlement. Happily, this short film conveys the idea and nature of time and the relationship between time and inspirational objects in just 45 seconds. We invite you to watch it and make your own judgment.
To our eyes, this video is a triumph, which makes the next part, a practical summary of the watch’s technical characteristics irrelevant. Seriously though, this watch is at its heart a Reverso Classic Duetto, so it shares all the specifications of that model. What Louboutin brings to the special collection is ephemeral. It plays with reflections and transparency – as amply evident in the short film – and is available in two sizes and that is about all one can usefully say. To some extent, there are many variants of this watch, with all manner of different details, including the model seen top with the iridescent shades.
“I understood that the Reverso’s iconic Art Deco lines and very specific format could be customized and changed, but never improved. The exciting part is not about enhancing the Reverso, but instead offering a different perception of it,” said Christian Louboutin.
And that will have to suffice by way of explanation. Reverso models designed in collaboration with Christian Louboutin will be available for one year as part of the Atelier Reverso concept in Jaeger-LeCoultre boutiques. If you really yearn to know the details about the Reverso by Christian Louboutin, seek out the nearest boutique.
The Ritz Paris has an important place in history, playing host to such names as Princess Diana and Coco Chanel, and also appearing in the books of Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Yet, a harsh blow to the establishment occurred with a blaze breaking out on January 19, ravaging the roof and upper floor. This occurred in the midst of its renovation that was started in August 2012, and initial plans to reopen March 14 went up in smoke. Now the new date for a reopening has been set at June 5.
The establishment is owned by billionaire Mohammed Al-Fayed, and the renovations were aimed at securing the “Palace” status given to the cream-of-the-crop hotels in France, like Le Bristol or the Four Seasons Hotel George V. Of course, these hotels have some of their claims to fame in their top quality thousands-a-night prestigious suites, like Le Bristol’s Penthouse Suite and the George V’s Presidential Suite.
The Ritz Paris’s own most prestigious suite, the 220 square meter Imperial Suite, starts at $20,457 a night. It looks out into the Place Vendôme with two bedrooms and a lounge. More accessible options are $1,250 a night for a 35 square meter room with a view of rue Cambon (home to Chanel), or $3,182 a night for a 90 square meter Deluxe Suite with a lounge area and a garden view. There are 71 rooms and 71 suites total. Besides the suites, there will be a new health club and spa, along with fitness facilities. The restaurant will be run by Michelin chef Nicolas Sale, along with pastry chef François Perret, and head sommelier Estelle Touzet.
China’s online gaming operator NetDragon has its headquarters modeled after the Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise, new reports have confirmed.
The Y600m ($97m USD), six-floor building near Changle, southeast China, was made with the agreement of US rights holder CBS, reports the Wall Street Journal; NetDragon founder Liu Dejian is a big fan of the series.
Construction started in 2010, with the building opening in May 2014; also contained within its halls is a full-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex.
The company runs a number of MMOs, including “Disney Fantasy Online,” as well as mobile apps that cover enterprise productivity, 3D home remodeling and weather reports.