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LIFESTYLE

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Mable Yiu

For some reason, men can sometimes be more difficult to shop for... But luckily we have compiled a fool-proof list of items that the guys in your life—your dad, brother, boyfriend, friend—will be sure to love, whether they are interested in art, fitness, food or fashion. 

Entertaining:

Madewell x Food52 Modular Marble Trivet & Cheese Board ($36)

Food52 and Madewell have teamed up for a collection of gorgeous entertaining essentials, from wooden spoons and bowls to handmade indigo tea towels and lavender rosemary bar soap. Our favorite pick of the bunch is this beautiful natural marble trivet made in Vermont due to its crazy versatility. You can either keep the trivets separate as small plates/coasters, or place them together to create a classy cheese plate. Gift this affordable set to the guy that loves to host (or your friend that wishes he cooked more). 

Hottie Tottie Holiday Gift Box ($25)

There’s something very festive about gifting/receiving a pretty red box with a white satin bow. This set of organic juices and teas also shares a lot of versatility by giving someone an option to drink them chilled, warmed up, or mixed into cocktails. Whiskey-lovers will love sipping the green tea lemon honey flavor mixed with some whiskey and a squeeze of lemon, while others can combine the prosecco they already have on hand with the raspberry pineapple cranberry flavor for some gorgeous bubbly.

Simon Pearce Bristol Glass Decanter ($185)

Like all products from the Bristol Collection, this simple yet sophisticated decanter is handmade in the US and crafted using centuries-old techniques. Inspired to resemble the intersection of the water and sky, this gift would look wonderful perched on someone's bar cart or counter—a beautiful way to incorporate art into every day life and entertaining. Plus, it can hold up to 36 ounces and comes with a well-fitting stopper to keep that whiskey, brandy or cognac fresh. 

Fashion

lululemon Surge Jacket ($128)

This lightweight jacket combines comfort with utility—ideal for that guy who just loves running. Its features include a place to store your small items and phone, and chic reflective lights for that early morning or “late night” run (now that the sun sets before 5 pm). If you didn’t know lululemon had an excellent men's line worth browsing through, well, now you know. 

Ghurka Weston Backpack in Charcoal Leather ($1,695)

For the urban commuter or frequent traveller, this modern leather backpack will stand through the test of time. It features a padded laptop sleeve, plenty of interior compartments, and is ridiculously soft. True to Ghurka's mission to preserve its legacy and craft, this luxurious leather good is handcrafted in Italy and made to last a lifetime. 

Skincare & Fragrance

Aesop The Intrepid Gent ($92)

Aesop is one of our top choices for skincare products due to its attention to high quality ingredients and sleek design. With their variety of gift sets, we recommend this "trio of essentials for the well-groomed man," because that's exactly what it is. Inside the set includes the fabulous face cleanser, Moroccan neroli post-shave lotion and coriander seed body cleanser. They are suited for all skin types, and we love that the post-shave lotion doubles as an everyday moisturizer. 

Harry’s Winter Winston Set ($30)

A good shave is essential to any guy on your list. This particular set includes a limited edition midnight blue razor handle, foaming shave gel, German-engineered blades, and a blade cover. Harry’s was right; you no longer have to choose between “over-priced razors that disrespect your intelligence and cheap razors that disrespect your face.”

ODIN New York No. 11 Semma ($165)

For a fragrance that's truly unique, warm and perfect for the holidays, we would recommend gifting "Semma." From ODIN's Black Line and inspired by the Far East, this gorgeous scent includes notes of fresh chili, cinnamon bark, sandalwood and sweet tobacco. As with all twelve fragrances in their Black Line series, Semma has a deep amber color and comes in sleek, minimalistic packaging. 

Art

New Sun by Tyler Scheidt ($2800)

If you have a larger shopping budget this year, bring some light into a special someone’s home this holiday season by gifting this oil on Belgian linen piece by San Francisco-based artist, Tyler Scheidt. Browse through other original art options, from smaller works, sculptures, photographs and more at Uprise Art. One of the perks of this art site in particular is that you can choose to pay over time using their monthly installment plan.

Roy Lichtenstein Travel Pouch ($28)

For an inexpensive option that will be sure to delight any contemporary art-lover, this travel pouch is a fun way to incorporate art into everyday objects. Featuring Roy Lichenstein's Little Big Painting print, it’s big enough to carry travel essentials—from an iPad to toiletries, passports and extra cash. If you are already a member at the Whitney Museum, you can get 10% off.

By Mable Yiu

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

Mable Yiu

Buying gifts... You either love it or you hate it. To make the shopping process a whole lot easier, we've come up with a condensed gift guide for all the amazing women you love. And of course, the online shopping aspect of these gifts will make sure you're not stressed out and running around Macy's the day before your holiday party, because shouldn't we all be able to relax this time of year? 

Entertaining

diptyque 3 Candle Holiday Coffret ($100)

You can never go wrong with gifting any type of diptyque candle, but for this holiday season you can go above and beyond with this festive trio of limited edition candles inspired by a three-act winter’s tale. The scents include Sparkling Incense, Delicious Spices and The Festive Fir Tree—ideal for someone who can utilize them for both dinner parties and post-entertaining bath rituals.

Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Holiday Gift Box with Custom Flutes ($196)

Oh, champagne. There's nothing that captures the act of celebrating quite like you (especially when you taste like magnolia and honeysuckle enhanced with peach and pear notes). This holiday set is a foolproof hostess gift, because not only do they get some celebratory bubbly in Perrier-Jouët's iconic floral bottle (hooray!), they will also have two beautiful hand-painted flutes to admire forever.

Fashion

Marimekko Katjuska Coat ($650)

Statement coats and jackets are the way to go this season (and maybe every season). For your friend that loves prints and colors but usually sticks to her daily all-black uniform, this coat adds a pop of personality without the effort. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to take a good look at their playful home section bound to brighten up any living space. 

MCM Medium Milla Tote in Whisper Grey (now $644)

For a modern yet timeless piece, this medium-sized tote is a fantastic choice for a girl on the go. This bag features soft pebbled leather in whisper grey, sky blue accents, 5 interior compartments and 2 pockets. With options to wear as a shoulder bag or a tote, dressed up or down, this bag was designed for serious everyday use. The Milla tote also comes in a variety of colors and sizes for you to pick the best option for that #girlboss.

Melissa Joy Manning x Nest Holiday Bracelet ($275)

For the gift that keeps on giving, Melissa Joy Manning and Nest have partnered up to create a delicate bracelet, made with recycled 14 karat yellow gold and a sky blue topaz charm. The best part? Melissa Joy Manning will be donating 20% of the retail price to Nest, a NYC-based nonprofit that works to empower women by supporting the global artisan community and preserving craftsmanship.

Beauty

Caudalie Glow & Go Set ($79)

A beautiful, dewy complexion is said to start with your skincare routine and shouldn’t be reserved exclusively for the warmer months. This set will help recreate a summer-inspired beauty look with two simple products: their radiance serum and their popular beauty elixir. Add your favorite tinted moisturizer, mascara and some bold lipstick, and your friends will be asking you where you just vacationed! With a set this good, you better buy one for yourself and one for your friend, so you can both continue to look glowy and gorgeous throughout the winter.

Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick in Merlot ($32)

I think it's fair to say that lipstick serves as an essential accessory to any holiday party look. Lancôme recently came out with a new lipstick infused with a moisture-boosting formula to leave lips satiny, soft, and comfortable for 8 hours. With 44 shades to choose from, our favorite is the deep red Merlot. Feel free to pair with your favorite red wine (perhaps merlot!) for a true wine-stained lip.

Art & Books

Little Thatch by Britt Bass Turner ($1000) 

This 30” x 30” painting by Atlanta-based artist, Britt Bass Turner, is the prettiest pink piece made of acrylic, gouache and pastel on canvas. Gift this special work to a new homeowner, new mother, newly-wed, or just someone in need of new inspiration. As with all original art purchased through Uprise Art, you can pay through the piece gradually over time in monthly installments.

The Art of Flying ($175)

For the jetsetters in your life, whether they travel frequently for work or for pleasure, this Assouline book by Josh Condon celebrates both the history and current era of luxury air travel. We love this option because yes, it serves as a stunning coffee table book, but it also shares so much fascinating information about the evolution and technological components of flying, that you may find guests glued to the book during your get-togethers time after time. 

Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love ($55)

Last summer, photos of Yayoi Kusama's piece, The Obliteration Room, at David Zwirner Gallery dominated Instagram feeds and Snapchat stories alike. Viewers were given sheets of colorful stickers as they entered the enclosed white room (filled with white furniture) and instructed to place the dots everywhere and anywhere. The interactive element, as well as the drastic before, middle and after photos, was something truly unique and very Kusama. This book documents this particular exhibition "Give Me Love" in a fantastically visual way, with text by art critic Akira Tatehata and a poem by Kusama herself. 

By Mable Yiu

Best New Foam Roller Rolls onto the Market

Mable Yiu

20160657618b19b08f0.jpg

Athletes everywhere rejoice—the best new product in luxury athletics has arrived. Rove, a foam roller unlike any other, is the latest cure to sore muscles and deep tissue rescue. What sets this foam roller apart is its portable nature. The roller lays flat to travel with the busy schedules of athletes of all kinds, and easily rolls up into a traditional foam roller in the blink of an eye.

Rove was born out of a truly inspiring situation. Its co-founder Sam Jorgenson battled cancer in his twenties and found, thanks to his physical therapist Daniel Giordano’s suggestion, that foam rolling helped immensely in his post-surgery and remission recovery. As helpful as foam rolling was, the bulky nature of the foam rollers themselves were not. Having to leave expensive foam rollers behind across the country in order to condense his travel necessities, the idea of a traveling roller occurred to him. As any young New Yorker on-the-go knows, “portable” is one of the most enticing adjectives a product can possess. Between daily commutes and travel for work or play, portable athletic equipment is a necessity. 

Because Rove is designed to aid a wide range of athletes, from runners to dancers to beginner-level yogis, everyone can enjoy its benefits. Additionally, beginning this month Rove fans can take weekly foam rolling classes from physical therapist and co-founder Daniel Giordano himself at the HUB community space in Lululemon’s Flatiron location. Happy rolling!

By Emily Allen

Photo courtesy of Rove

Translating Art into Iconic, Original Designs: Q&A with Petri Juslin of Marimekko

Mable Yiu

It's hard not to smile when walking around a Marimekko store... The clothing boasts bright colors and florals—even darker-colored options incorporate polka dots, stripes, or pops of color. For the New Yorker that must wear all-black, everything, their home collection (think dinnerware, stationery, bedding and pillows) features the same iconic, original prints you see around the store. Not only will they bring playfulness into your living space, but they will also up your at-home entertaining game. 

This September was the first ever New York Textiles Month, and the Finnish design and lifestyle brand celebrated by installing a large textile piece by MAD Museum Artist Studios Program resident, Sarah Zapata. For the occasion, Marimekko's Artwork Studio Manager, Petri Juslin, flew from Helsinki to New York to give talks at both Parsons and Marimekko's flagship store in Flatiron. Having been with the brand for thirty years, Petri plays a crucial role at Marimekko, collaborating with countless designers, artists and the printing team. 

At the event this past Tuesday, loyal customers and fans crowded around the store to hear Petri discuss the history of Marimekko and explain the design process, from translating the original sketches—which are typically hand-made pieces of 3D art that go way beyond a layman's definition of a "sketch"—into the prints now recognized around the world. Lucky for us, I got the chance to speak with Petri before the event to learn more about his work with the brand.

On Marimekko’s influence on people around the world…

“It’s fun to realize how many fans we have around the world and how our prints have influenced so many people and touched their hearts. In my presentations here, I try to explain what is it in the prints that makes them so powerful. We want to make people happy—to bring joy into their lives with the patterns and colors. That’s why we make so many different products from the patterns so you can find your own way of placing them in your home. Not everyone wants big printed fabric, but you can have an accent mug, if you like the pattern. 

On the brand's history...

"Marimekko is truly a heritage brand because the history is very real. It began 65 years ago in the printing factory. It’s one of the oldest lifestyle concept brands—fashion and home established around print design.”

On finding new designers…

"We have arranged competitions [in the past], but we haven’t done so in many years. They became so huge. The last one we did had almost 10,000 applicants. But we did find many young designers through that that are still with us. Other times, we see someone’s work in an exhibition, and then we reach out to them. We get so many applications every day, but it’s very rare that we find someone that way, because they have to be very special."

On how long it takes to create a new collection...

"Right now, for instance, I’m working on things that you will see in the store in about a year. So it’s about one year, but there’s a lot of things included into the process like production itself, shipments and marketing." 

On knowing which print will be a "hit"...

"It’s a bit of a mystery to us, what is going to fly off the shelves. If we knew exactly, it would be a very easy business. It’s been very interesting work for us."

On working with the company…

"I like all the designers—everyone has their own flavor and influence on the company. All in all, Marimekko is a very special place to work. It’s like a family—lots of laughing and sometimes we hate each other. It’s a very different office environment."

On challenges related to Europe's current economic state...

"Sometimes the market is very challenging. For instance, right now with the economy in Europe, people are a little nervous about spending money. But since there is such a strong heritage with the brand, it doesn’t make us so nervous about [dealing with] the pressures of the business. We try to create timeless designs, so it’s also sustainable. For example, a design that we made in 1957 still looks modern and is used in our collections today."

On the size of the Helsinki printing factory…

"People usually think it’s bigger and expect it to be very noisy, but are quite surprised to find that it’s pretty peaceful and small."

On giving lectures at universities…

“I usually teach once a year in print design to first years. The university reached out to me 13 years ago, and I’ve done a class every year. It’s been really fun. I’ve found some talented people from there as well, who then started as interims and then full-time. It’s always fun to work with young people because they are so passionate and they are still unspoiled. It gives me energy. And when you teach something, you have to think, am I right? Even if I had done something for so many years the same way, if I teach someone else, I have to question myself. But I wouldn't want to only teach, because then I wouldn’t get to develop professionally.”

On his thoughts of being an “expert” and general advice…

“Doing something for thirty years doesn’t make you an expert. You have to keep developing new techniques. It’s not mileage that makes you a master of something; it’s the attitude that you have to keep curious.”

By Mable Yiu

Photos courtesy of Marimekko.

A Condensed Guide to Feeling Great and Staying on Track

Mable Yiu

Maybe work suddenly became unreasonably tough, or you’re experiencing drama with friends, or you just aren’t getting the sleep you need. It happens to the best of us: sometimes, life just gets you down. As with anything, however, there are many little things you can do to lift yourself up in a big way. This article will discuss a few small tasks you can do for yourself to stay on track, feel great about yourself, and wake up with a smile each day.

Make lists. If you’re finding it hard to get mundane tasks accomplished, you are definitely not alone. At some point or another, we all find ourselves glued to the couch watching Netflix, even though we know there are errands to do and emails to write. Writing a daily list of the things you want to accomplish before bedtime is an easy, efficient way to make sure that you don’t end up sleeping in until 2pm. Keep in mind, lists don’t have to be heavy or detailed. Beforegoing to sleep, try compiling a manageable assortment of tasks to accomplish the following day (picking up groceries, calling a relative, going to the gym, etc.) This should encourage you to wake up at a reasonable time and get started on a productive day.

Keep a calendar. Especially in the summer, it can be difficult to remember what you have on your schedule. Between work and seeing friends and family, keeping track of what your plans are for the day can seem impossible. We recommend giving yourself a break and keeping a calendar to help you plan ahead. Luckily, iPhones and Androids are equipped with calendar apps, so you can manage your schedule and have it at your fingertips. If you’re a pen-and-paper person, a desk calendar is a seamless way to stay on top of your plans.

Keep a coin jar. Let’s be honest: coins can be somewhat of a pain to carry around. They’re heavy, take up lots of wallet space, and are usually worth very little. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for us to lose them in bags and pockets, or forget about them altogether. One effective method to make use of your change is to keep a coin jar. At the end of each day, empty your coin wallet into a glass jar. Many banks offer machines which count your coins and give you the amount back in cash. Taking your change to these machines once a month can be a surprising treat after a long day -- after all, we often forget how much change we really hold onto!

Maintain a healthy diet. Everyone loves to indulge in rich ice cream or macarons now and then, but ultimately, the best way to feel great about yourself is to stay on top of a healthy diet. This doesn’t mean you have to place uncomfortable restrictions on your food intake, but rather, balancing your diet with fruits, vegetables, proteins, and yes -- some occasional sweets. Drinking lots of water each day is a must, and fortunately, there are many ways to do so. Perrier, organic juices, and fruit infused water are just a few ways to stay hydrated and happy.

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, so the most important thing to do when managing your daily life is understanding where your focus should be. Best of luck!

By Matt Bernstein

Fairweather Favorites: Summer Classics

Mable Yiu

We still have plenty of summer left! Whether you’re heading out to the Hamptons for a weekend by the beach, or trying to stay cool in the city, relax and enjoy the season with a classic summer novel. This week, we’re setting the spotlight on our favorite fiction books from some of the world’s most beloved authors. Each story offers a vivid account of European life in the early 20th century.

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Step into the glamorous world of the 1920’s and follow the tragically romantic lives of Dick and Nicole Diver as they gallivant around the French Riviera and other chic European locales.

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: This story takes readers on a journey from Paris through the Spanish countryside to Pamplona for the infamous running of the bulls. The novel focuses on the “Lost Generation” of post-war Europe with characters based on Hemingway’s friends.

To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf: Set on the breathtaking Scottish Isle of Skye, this modernist novel is largely introspective and centers on the relationships of the Ramsay family during their seaside holidays. 

By Kim Chmura

Fairweather's Summer Soiree

Emily Allen

Fairweather’s Summer Soiree this past week was a fun summer oasis in the hot city, full of great minds and great times. The party celebrated the Summer Edition of Fairweather Magazine and introduced friends of Fairweather to the organic beverage line Hottie Tottie. 

The event was held at Coco-Mat in Soho, allowing guests to feel at home in the large, open space full of nature-born bedding. Some guests enjoyed the comfortable furniture and lounged at ease, while others took advantage of the fun props provided by Fairweather for perfect photo-ops. Photos, as well as the latest social media craze Boomerang, abounded, making for a delightfully lively evening.

Though guests were busy socializing and capturing memories, everyone made sure to set aside moments for the luscious array of food and drink. At the bar, Hottie Tottie was served both on it’s own and mixed with Prosecco. The drinks were light and refreshing, as were the Hottie Tottie popsicles served in Prosecco, which were the hit of the night. A few steps away, the vast spread of hors d’oeuvres and desserts sprawled the large table in the center of the room. Food included vegan kimchi “tuna” bites and carrot cake bliss balls provided by Yommme creator Christine Wong, a cheese and fruit spread, cookies provided by Eleni’s Bakery, pie provided by This Pie is Nuts Bakery, and a beautiful cake provided by Stephanie Nass. Dead Sea Bath Salts were provided by Dirty Mermaid Beauty. 

The host committee for the party included Zarah Burstein, David, Sean, and Lauren Carpenter, Stephanie Nass, Shriya Paliwal and Gaurav Mahindra, Christina and Nick Pacelli, Arielle Patrick, Drielle Valeretto and Dr. Greuner, Jeeyun Lee, Mimi Prober, Satya Tweeny and Jeffrey Zurofsky, and Christine Wong. Selected Guests Amane Zerradi, Matt Bruck, Michelle Park, Kaitlin Orr, Christina Lau, Leigh Shirvan, Sarah Phillips, Andrew Gelwicks, Yasmin Naghash, Sylvie Bitter-Larkin, K$ace, and Gil.

Instagram and Facebook posts from the evening can be found using our hashtag - #alwaysfairweather. 

By Emily Allen

Photos courtesy of TIffany Sage for BFA

Q & A with Conor Knighton

Emily Allen

Conor Knighton, a CBS correspondent, has set out on a mission to tour America's state parks from coast to coast. We caught up with him and asked him about his experience. 

How much time do you typically spend in each national park getting to know the landscape, those who are local to the area, and the history of the park?

I could spend a month at each one of these. Unfortunately, my schedule allows only two, three, four days at the most. Some of the smaller parks, like Dry Tortugas, you can really see in four hours-- I mean it’s an island. But a larger park, like Big Bend in Texas, even four days is still a disservice. At a lot of these parks, I’m making a mental list of places I’d like to go back to at some point. I’m experiencing them through the lens of a television producer-- I’m trying to tell interesting stories of these places. Sometimes I’ve had a really interesting experience, but it wouldn’t be your overall quintessential park experience; I’ll focus on a certain aspect of a park to tell a specific story, but not the entire story of the park.

I notice that the history of each park plays a significant role in your segments. As a viewer, I found this to be both interesting, and quite helpful, as it allowed me to gain a more comprehensive understanding of each park. Was it a conscious decision on your part to feature history so frequently in your segments, or did you find that it naturally fit into the way that you were telling each of their stories?

It’s a little bit of both. It was a choice to look at the history because with these parks, they’re all beautiful, so that’s not even a story. For the parks, I need to focus on not just that they are beautiful, but also that they are interesting, and a lot of the most interesting stories are historical stories. Part of the reason why we’re doing this series this year is that it’s the 100th anniversary of of the park service, and so we started off on a historical note. When I’m looking for interesting stories, that is one of the first places I look-- you know, what happened in this region to make it a park. In Hot Springs Arkansas, people used to think that the waters had these magical healing properties, and that’s how we protected that place-- it was beautiful, but it was medicinal. I’d never heard that story before, and so if it peaks my interest my hope is that it’s interesting to the audience as well.

In addition to the history of each park, you also include content that draws upon biology, art and design, and human experiences connected with each park. Is there one specific topic that you particularly enjoy exploring or including in your videos? 

I’ve had a blast at all of these places. I mean, at Biscayne National Park in Florida, I got scuba certified; I had never done that before, and now it’s part of my job. I also think that that was an interesting story, but it was also just a really fun experience for me personally. Meeting these people, both people who work in the park and the people who visit the parks, I mean it has been those human stories that have been really interesting for me. That’s not something you always get to do as a visitor. The hiking trails are easy for everyone to access, but the privilege I have is that I get to spend more time with people and really dive in deep on their stories, or stories in and around the park.

Upon watching your segments, it seems that even the smaller parks are rich in culture and play significant roles in the economies and histories of their respective surrounding towns or cities. Did you find this to be the case when you were visiting?

Absolutely. Bar Harbor, Maine, I think is a really good example of that. Bar Harbor is the closest town to Acadia National Park-- that’s a park where 75% of the visitors come during four months of the year, and so Bar Harbor is a really seasonal town. I had never seen a place shut down like that before. I was there on January 1st, as I came to hike Cadillac Mountain on the first day of the year to experience the first sunrise in the United States. But good luck finding a place to eat or sleep during those winter months because the park creates a lot of the commerce there. A lot of these small towns around parks do benefit quite a bit from the park being there.

I know that you’re currently still on the road, exploring different national parks. Is there one location that you feel that you’ve particularly connected with so far?

This is a tough question. I haven’t had a bad time at any of them-- they’ve all been super interesting, and they’re all very different from each other. I don’t know if there is one in particular that feels like it has spoken to me more than others. There are ones that I’m very excited to visit that I haven’t been to yet. The parks in Alaska I’m very excited to see. By the end of the year, I’ll have gone to American Samoa, which is a place I don’t think many Americans know exist. In terms of where I have been, I look at them as more of a total experience versus an individual one that was really special to me.

In your segment, the rangers and other people who work in and for the parks are featured quite frequently, and seem share a passion for their occupation. Can you tell me a little more about your experience working with them?

I have yet to meet a boring ranger. Park ranger is not a job that anyone does for the money, so people are there because they want to be there, because they feel a connection to that place. I found that a lot of them move from place to place. It’s almost like being in the park army, where you’ll do a tour of duty for two years up at Denali in Alaska, and then you’ll go to Joshua Tree, and then you’ll head out to Glacier in Montana. Many of them tend to move from place to place, and because of that a lot of them tend know each other. It’s a smaller world than you would guess. There’s also a wide range of park jobs. So yes, there’s the ranger, but there are also law enforcement officers, there’s a park service planning division in Denver, where they do social finances trying to manage and track park visitation. There’s custodial, there’s woodshop, there’s human resources-- ultimately it’s a giant company. I guess the goal of the park service is that you’re not necessarily thinking about how much work goes into maintaining and operating these parks, the goal is for you to have this experience in the wilderness. But to make that happen, there’s a lot of people behind the scenes. 

I know you’ve traveled and produced pieces in many different countries. Has your production of “On the Trail” changed your perspective of America, and if so, how? 

It absolutely has. As I’ve been traveling from park to park, I’ve been surprised by how many international visitors I’ve seen at these places. It’s really something unique and special that America did and continues to do to protect these places. That’s not something that’s true in a lot of the rest of the world. When America protected places like Yellowstone and Yosemite, they could have just as easily been commercialized. The fact that we didn’t do that is pretty uniquely American. That has given me a sense of pride that I wasn’t necessarily expecting as I’ve been going from place to place. These places belong to all of us, and that’s pretty cool.

By Sydney Hartzell

Photos courtesy of Efrain Robles

The Art of Living

Emily Allen

Interior designer Sasha Bikoff has a distinct, colorful style that sets her apart. Fairweather publisher Alexandra Fairweather caught up with Bikoff recently for an inspiring Q&A.

When did you first become interested in interior design?

Sasha Bikoff: When I moved to Paris my junior year of college. I lived in the apartment of designer Lisa Fine, and her home was like a little Parisian jewel box with Indian and eastern influences. The walls were fabric, with a matching fabric headboard, lampshades, and rug; it looked amazing. It was also in the premiere antiquing area in Paris, Saint Germain; I would wander around the city and the marchés aux puces [flea markets], teaching myself everything I could about the furniture and the time period it came from. 

We love how your interior designs have incredible color and personality. What inspires you?

Mostly paintings from different artists and time periods. I studied painting in school and love to paint as a creative outlet. My use of colors comes from nature. If you picture a field of multicolored wildflowers under a blue sky, they all look great together.

What’s your favorite design project to date?

The Dakota. It was my mother’s apartment and my first project, and it allowed me to fully realize my creative vision and the direction I wanted to take my firm in.

How do you define your style?

It’s a combination of 18th-century French Rococo, 1960s Space Age Modern, 1970s Studio 54, and 1980s Memphis Milano. It’s definitely a mix of various decades and aesthetics, but we make them work together.

We love your shop. What are some of your favorite items?

The Pierre Paulin blue-and-pink groovy chairs with matching ottomans and my croissant hot-pink silk velvet settee.

What are your favorite colors?

Blush and canary yellow.

Do you have a favorite texture that you like to work with? 

I love to work with silk and silk velvet. Both are such luxurious fabrics.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Believe in yourself.”

What’s your favorite place in NYC?

Central Park. 

What do you do for fun?

I like to party and travel with my friends.

By Alexandra Fairweather

Photos courtesy of Patrick Cline

Suite Dreams

Emily Allen

Talk about a fairytale wedding! Shriya Paliwal and Gaurav Mahindra not only live in New York’s fabled Plaza Hotel, but they even got married there.

What is it like living—and getting married—at the Plaza Hotel?

Shriya Paliwal: Pretty amazing! The location is absolutely unbeatable–having Central Park as our backyard is just priceless, especially since we have a dog. Being residents at such an iconic NYC landmark is truly amazing as well, and we are grateful every day.

Gaurav Mahindra: Having been born, raised, and educated in New York, living at the Plaza is completely surreal. It is something I could never have imagined. Shriya, our families, and I weighed the options of a destination wedding or something in NYC. Long story short, who could say no to a spring wedding at the Plaza? Once that was decided, Shriya and her mom took the lead and put together the most memorable time of our lives. 

How did the two of you meet?

SP: We met out Cinco De Mayo in 2009, at a bar in midtown while we were both finishing up our respective degrees at NYU. We locked eyes from opposite sides of the bar throughout the night but neither of us went up to the other person.

GM: I saw Shriya pretty early on in the night, had a few drinks, and finally gained the courage (or lack of) to tell the bouncer not to let her leave as she was walking out. I fnally approached her.

Where did you go for your first date?

SP: We are both huge sushi fans, so we went to a now-closed restaurant called Japonais in Gramercy Park. It was a beautiful space with amazing tapas-style Japanese cuisine and fun drinks.

Where do you work?

SP: I’m an M&A advisor at Ernst & Young.

GM: I’m a dentist with a private practice in Hell’s Kitchen.

How did Gaurav propose?

SP: Gaurav had been planning the proposal for months. On a Friday afternoon last May, I got into a car thinking I was on my way to have dinner with my family at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. I realized we were driving in a different direction from the restaurant. Finally, we ended up pulling up to a gravel entrance to what looked like a large park and I noticed a photographer standing there waiting. At that point I started to feel a rush of emotion, a mixture of confusion, excitement, numbness, and disbelief. 

GM: I proposed at Rockwood Hall, a public space overlooking the Hudson in Tarrytown. I arrived early with the photographer and eagerly set up and awaited Shriya. I proposed at sunset, just the two of us. She said yes! Then we had a meal to remember with both our families at the nearby Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

Tell us about the wedding at the Plaza.

SP: I have to give 99 percent of the planning credit to my mom, who worked tirelessly for 11 months to plan the most beautiful and fun set of events we have ever witnessed. We had 400 guests, but one thing everyone kept saying was how intimate and “at home” the wedding felt, which is a testament to all of the love that both of our families showered us with that weekend. Gaurav and I both made it a priority to be in the moment at all times during that weekend and to truly soak in every feeling and emotion we had.

GM: Indian weddings are a marathon. We started the celebrations Thursday, so come Sunday, the day of the actual ceremony and reception, we had a few days of partying and amazing celebrations beforehand. On Sunday, I woke up in the bridal suite at the Mandarin Hotel with the sun shining and an incredible view of Central Park. The day just felt right. I went to the gym, was well rested, calm, and really excited. I got ready, had an amazing photo session with the groomsmen in the famed Oak Room at the Plaza. It really set the mood. Next up was a moment I will never forget—the “first look.” I waited for Shriya in the lobby of the Plaza for about 25 minutes. I was really overwhelmed with emotion knowing my bride would be coming down any minute, knowing I was the luckiest man alive!

How much input did you have in terms of the location, style, invite list, etc.?

SP: We had a lot of input into each area in the beginning when making some of the larger decisions such as venue, date, style, and invite list. The details were taken care of by my mom, who continued to seek out our opinions and thoughts. There is not one thing I would change about it. We also had a dream team of vendors, all of which I would work with again in a heartbeat. They all made us both feel so comfortable, relaxed, loved, and admired throughout the weekend.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

GM: Shriya and I did what people are calling a “mini-moon.” We chose to do a shorter trip right after the wedding to Turks and Caicos to have a real relaxing week to recharge.

Any advice for newlyweds?

SP: There is definitely something that changes in terms of the meaning behind this next step in a couple’s relationship. Honor the fact that you are married by approaching arguments or fights or disagreements differently. It means showing up to conversations as adults, as opposed to kids that are just dating. 

GM: Be big-picture people and remember how fortunate you are to have found someone who is able to bring out the best in you.

By Mable Yiu

Photos courtesy of Salwa Photography

 

 

I Do! (Want It All)

Emily Allen

When a couple chooses a place in which to set up a home, they may draw up a “wish list” of amenities, such as a beautiful location, elegant design, and maybe some fabulous art on the walls. The Park Lane Ala Moana delivers all that and more.

Dreaming of making a home with perfect views, all the conveniences of staying at a resort, and all the privacy and comfort of a single-family dwelling? We were excited to hear the news that Ruhm Luxury Marketing is introducing a unique living space, Park Lane Ala Moana, in Honolulu.

Have It All

Browsing the offerings at Park Lane is a timely reminder that there really are places where you can “have it all,” including more than 200 private-ownership residences starting at around $2.7 million and ranging from 1,600 to more than 6,000 square feet, two penthouses, and private lanais (Hawaiian-style verandas). Views of the Pacific Ocean and close proximity to Honolulu’s vibrant, diverse food and cultural scene only add to the allure. The residences are connected to the Ala Moana Center, and offer courtyards, residence club, and spa. 

Ian MacNaughton, managing partner of the Honolulu development firm The MacNaughton Group, notes that “Park Lane is the culmination of all we’ve learned, and all we’ve experienced here. Each one of us can imagine entertaining family and friends on one of the homes’ generous lanais or watching our children play on the great lawn.” Indeed, the Park Lane’s big-picture design is further complemented by world-class interior design, landscaping, and amenities.

Artful Offerings

But, to be honest, what really gives us that “pinch me” feeling that these new residences are something out of a dream is the spectacular on-site art collection, one of the largest in the state of Hawaii. As part of Park Lane’s unique approach to customizing every aspect of its living spaces, Hawaiian artist Kelly Sueda is curating a collection that features more than 300 works of contemporary and modern art, including works by Andy Warhol, Deborah Butterfeld, and Ellsworth Kelly and by such luminaries of the Hawaii art scene as Lionel Walden and John Kelly.

If “waking up to a Warhol” is on your list of dream amenities, you’ll appreciate the Park Lane Ala Moana’s commitment to interior and outdoor design that incorporate this unique art collection into its hallways, lobbies, and outdoor spaces. Tasked with curating this massive endeavor, Kelly Sueda has enthusiastically shared that “We really wanted the residents to be at home with the art. We want it to be eclectic, exciting, and maybe even inspire our viewers to stretch their boundaries a bit. Each corridor may look different, depending on which artist is represented in that space. Yet, the entire collection will retain a unified feel.

Live the Hawaiian Life

The integration of peerless art, a gorgeous natural setting, and fabulous design (by the Kobayashi Group) is very much in keeping with the Hawaiian lifestyle: floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the ocean, Honolulu skyline, and the mountains beyond; the private lanais come with built-in barbecues; and the “low-rise” aesthetic ensures that each resident gets up-close-and-personal with swaying palms, landscaped lawns, and those Pacific breezes. The community’s namesake Park Lane, a serene path that locals have compared to NYC’s High Line, runs along the entire property. The thrill of living here is rounded out by 24-hour concierge-style service with everything from errands to event planning.

By Esther Santiago

Photos courtesy of Park Lane

Flower Power

Emily Allen

Stunning floral arrangements and bouquets have a way of transforming a wedding — or any big event! — with their vibrant colors and fragrances. Here, some of our favorite wedding floral themes, plus insider tips from Blush Designs founder Jeeyun Lee.

What are some of the flower themes and inspirations for weddings you’ve worked on recently?

Jeeyun Lee: For a Wave Hill wedding last June, the theme was contemporary with a touch of garden. The floral designs were kept loosely round with texture and movement. We used graphic florals, such as scabiosa pods and succulents to create texture. Jasmine vines created movement. We limited the number of flowers for each arrangement for a clean and simple look. The main color palette was white and peach with contrasting elements of dark purple from the dendrobium and vanda orchids. For an intimate brunch wedding for 60 guests at Gramercy Park Hotel wedding last June, the floral design was classic and simple, with a floral palette of hydrangea, phalaenopsis orchids, peonies, astilbe, and roses. The bride loved a cheerful monochromatic color palette, so we used bright pinks and corals.

What was the process like coming up with the different arrangements? Are you typically given certain flowers to work with or is it pretty flexible?

We discuss their overall desired vision and floral components during each part of their wedding. We love looking at photos that our clients have compiled. Once we get a sense of their vision and aesthetic, we pull elements from the imagery to create a custom design. We typically recommend brides use seasonally available blooms as they will be the most beautiful and show our clients our suggested floral palette. We do our best to try to incorporate certain blooms if the bride or groom has a strong floral preference.

What roles do flowers play in the event?

Flowers are an essential decor element that can transform a space. We want the florals to complement the venue, so the floral decisions are often determined by the space. For example, Wave Hill is a spectacular space, and our couple was meant to be married outdoors; however, the rain changed plans, and we brought the ceremony underneath a clear tent. But the two arrangements of blueberry branches and phalaenopsis orchids were just enough against the gorgeous views at Wave Hill. We also use the bridal bouquet as an accessory to complement the bride’s wedding dress.

Were there any particular challenges to these themes?

For Gramercy Park, our bride loved peonies and cherry blossom. It’s touch-and-go with peonies toward the end of June, as their season is coming to an end; and we were unsure about the availability of cherry blossom as well. We had an alternative plan in case the florals were not looking their best, but we were thankfully able to source really beautiful product. 

What are some top flower tips to share with soon-to-be-brides?

After you book your venue, start compiling imagery; it’s unlikely that a single image will capture your perfect floral look, but collect images that show your desired color ratio and palette, scale of arrangements, and general ambiance. Flowers are super seasonal, so be flexible. Find a floral designer you trust. I spend time to understand what my clients love and hate so that when I’m shopping for them, I am selecting material through their lens.

By Mable Yiu

Photos courtesy of Cody Raising Photography

 

Living the Pie Life

Emily Allen

Bestselling author and Harvard MBA SAMANTHA ETTUS’s upcoming book, The Pie Life, contains valuable lessons for couples on how to happily divvy up the “pie” that is their lives, so that each partner is supporting the other to the fullest.

What if I told you that you are the reason your husband is not doing his fair share with the kids and your home? Would you believe me? Well, I bet you have a lot to do with it.

After working with thousands of women on how to get more out of their professional and personal lives, I can tell you that the ones who reach their potential are those that are either single or they have spouses who support their dreams. It is impossible to reach your own goals if you don’t have a partner who is willing to do what it takes to help you get there. But how can this happen?

When people see my husband taking our kids to school or talking about the lunchboxes he makes each morning, women will say “What a great dad. You are so lucky.” And while my husband is a great dad and deserves accolades, luck had zero to do with it. I knew what to look for in a partner and it wasn’t tall, dark and handsome. It was a loving, open-minded, ambitious, and kind-hearted man. (It certainly helped that he was cute too!)

If there was any luck involved at all, it was being born into a family with parents who shared childrearing and a business together. My mom and dad ran their home and their business as partners. It was always my expectation that I would marry someone who helped out at home just like my own dad did. My dad was the button sewer and chief chef in our home growing up. He would return home from running his business and cook us a delicious meal each night. So it is no surprise that I chose a husband who would be a full partner. 

Of course, 50:50 doesn’t mean split down the middle. Some days are going to be 90:10 or even 40:60 at times. Sometimes you will be doing more than half the load at home, other times he will. If he has a big presentation or a surgery to perform the next day, you will step up. If you’re on a business trip, it will be his turn.

An uneven balance of labor at home and with the kids will not just make you tired; it also impacts your children. Girls who are raised in homes with an egalitarian split earn more money as adults and boys end up being bigger contributors to their home lives. So how can you create a PartnerShift? Over a glass of Chardonnay or a cup of tea, sit down with your partner with two pens and two notepads. Each of you writes down what you do for your household in a given week. No detail is too small. Now compare sheets of paper and what you will likely fnd is that the “unhelpful” partner is a whole lot more helpful than you realized. Your partner will likely be surprised too – at just how long your list is in comparison. Now it is time to see what items from the long list can be added to your partner’s short list. You have now created a PartnerShift.

The most motivated-to-help partners and the teams that work best are the ones that nurture their marriages too. Add those weekly date nights, go to sleep at the same time together, and tend to your sex life. Happier partners are more helpful partners and with a happy union, you’ll reach your full potential.

By Samantha Ettus

Photos courtesy of Samantha Ettus

A Toast To Tradition

Emily Allen

Swipe once, try again. Swipe twice, thrice, and still no luck. Let’s start over before it gets dark. If this situation feels reminiscent of your recent stop by the grocery store check-out counter, then consider yourself fortunate to be blissfully unaware of the daily disasters of dating in the digital world.

App-Happy

Tinder, OkCupid, Facebook, Match.com, e-Harmony, J-date, J-swipe, J-shmipe…the cocktail medley of online dating and engagement apps continues to grow at an ever faster clip, all in an attempt to engage and foster digital affection among the millennial generation of 80+ million, which have now wrested title of most populace from the baby-boomers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

 A Change in Style

I find the use and reliance on digital platforms to source social engagement to be somewhat foreign. Now, please don’t confuse me for a prehistoric technophobe, as my credentials would surely suggest quite the contrary. Rather, a millennial and both staunch supporter and user of digital and social media myself, I do believe there is an apt place and time for their specifc use. Unquestionably, digital and social media have revolutionized growth and development in the international community in innumerable ways. But when it comes to personal engagement and bridging new relationships, I do fancy a more Renaissance-style, one-on-one personal approach. The stories of online dating gone horribly wrong among my millennial friends suggest that, rather than simplifying the centuries-old game of courtship, these online digital platforms seem to be the cause of deep relationship-related stress and a light-hearted “hook-up” culture.

Doing Harm?

It would be too self-serving and statistically outlandish to conclude that the rise of dating apps has catapulted divorce rates above 50 percent nationally. However, news outlets, and we millennials ourselves, have taken aim at the consequences of our digital dating ecosystem. Dating apps have efectively made dating too easy, to the point where we give less and ask more of our prospective counterpart. At the frst sign of distress, we resign the relationship to failure and go on seeking our white knight via the swipe of a button. For a generation at the cutting edge of innovation, how did we as millennials, succumb to the digital app Trojan horse?

A Modest Proposal

The solution: personal interaction. While it can be occasionally heart-wrenching and nerve-wracking to be in the presence of an attractive counterpart, there remains no substitute for the warmth of a genuine human voice. To that end, my fiancée and I often throw dinner parties and ask that each guest bring one friend. We only require that everyone turn of their cell phones and be present in the moment, an approach that always builds new, genuine relationships.

By Eric Goodman 

Photo courtesy of Fairweather Magazine

Power Couples: Satya Twena and Jeffrey Zurofsky

Emily Allen

Satya is CEO and creative director of Satya Twena Fine Millinery; Jefrey is CEO and co-founder of ‘wichcraft and Riverpark.

How did you two meet?

Satya Twena: I met Jeffrey in the summer of 2005. I had just graduated college and took an internship in Bryant Park, where Jeffrey had just opened ‘wichcraft kiosks. He came up to the office one day, and I just needed to meet him. I canceled my lunch with a guy I was seeing and waited for Jeffrey to get out of his meeting, then I introduced myself and, even though we only said a few words, my heart was stolen. I then called my mom and told her I’d just met the man I was going to marry. I got an email from Jeffrey later that day asking if it would be presumptuous to ask me out on a date.

What was your first date?

ST: Our first date lasted till 2 in the morning and he walked me around Gramercy Park, telling me the history, then walked me home. After that, we took turns planning dates all over town. It was super-magical, and even 11 years later it still is.

What are the keys to your success as a couple?

ST: Freedom. We see each other’s independence as a benefit, not a detriment, to our relationship. We provide the love and space for each other to be authentic, whatever that looks like, in all forms and shapes. 

Jeffrey Zurofsky: Our firm belief that like an accordion we are sometimes stretched apart and sometimes quite close together but that no matter what, we are always part of the same instrument making music together.

How do you balance your careers with your home life?

ST: We aren’t always in balance and I think that’s important to remember; sometimes we are out of balance (like Jeffrey’s accordion analogy) but we are moving towards the same things and when we are out of balance one of us puts their foot on the brakes (slowly) and we find ways to re-connect. 

JZ: We know and recognize when we have drifted too far apart from each other and we reconnect. We also are committed to ensuring that no one thing is more important or a bigger priority than each other. 

Tell us about upcoming projects that you’re excited about.

ST: I love how passionate Jeffrey is about food and doing good. Making the world a better place is at the core of his being. And I’m growing my business hat by hat, which I love. We’ve been together 11 years, married 9, and we are ready to start a family, which is a new role for us and we are actively talking about what kind of parents we want to be, what are the things we find important as parents, and what type of children we want to raise in this world. I think that’s one thing we are starting to get good at, talking about the things that are important.

JZ: Yes, we are actively planning a family as we speak. And, every year, I take on a physical challenge that includes an intellectual component: This year, I am planning on climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. I’m also in the process of writing my first book.

By Alexandra Fairweather 

Photos courtesy of John Midgley

Q & A with Cora Neumann, Founder of RESET

Emily Allen

They say it’s impossible to physically detect the world moving beneath your feet. However, upon being in the presence Dr. Cora Neumann on an especially hot Thursday morning in July, I could tangibly sense a shift in the course of our planet-- or at least in global thought. Dr. Neumann holds a doctorate in international development from the University of Oxford, UK and an MPH in global public health from Columbia University. For nearly 15 years, she has collaborated with local and national leaders in over thirty countries to help them develop strategies and programs that improve the lives of women and families. I had the honor and privilege of meeting her to discuss RESET, her global series of initiatives that support a deeper connection to self, humanity, and the planet in order to inspire change. 

Over the past 15 years, your work has focused on improving the lives of women and families. Can you tell me what inspired you to focus on female empowerment?

I actually never planned on working with women. I originally started my work in public health working with all refugees. I actively avoided working with women because I didn’t want to be focused only on a specific subsector. As I was working in the field in India, Africa, and Southeast Asia, I saw the state of women there. In a lot of these rural communities women do all of the farming, all of the cooking, all of the care, don’t get education, and don’t get financial support. It was something I just couldn’t look away from. The other thing that motivated me towards that was the opportunity to work with first ladies. An acquaintance of mine had been approached by a group of first ladies in Africa-- they had organized themselves-- and were looking for partnerships in the US. I had this "aha! moment" when I realized there was this group of influential women, women who could do so much for their people, that no one was really thinking about. I just wanted to help them so they could become stronger leaders.

In 2009, you co-founded the RAND African First Ladies Initiative (now the Global First Ladies Alliance). Through on-going mentoring and annual leadership education, you facilitated collaborations between first ladies (including Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama) and multiple global institutions. How did your experience connecting women around the world and aligning mindsets to generate positive impacts inspire RESET?

I started my work with first ladies in 2008, and realized there were a lot of misconceptions about them. We had first ladies like Hillary Clinton who people felt did too much and was thought of as overstepping her boundaries, and then we had other first ladies who were seen as not doing enough. It sort of felt like, “no matter what, you can’t do it right.” Our program was developed by asking them what they wanted and what they needed - and in many cases, no one had even ever asked them this before. That’s actually the reason why it became a really successful program because I didn’t set the agenda for them, I asked them what they needed and they created it. We came up with a form of leadership training for first ladies that they designed themselves. Through that work I was invited to come to the State Department to work as a senior advisor under Hillary Clinton. I was working on women’s economic empowerment and leadership, and I witnessed how women weren't taking care of themselves. They continually put themselves last. At the same time, they have to work three times, sometimes up to five times, as hard as their male colleagues to get to the same place. I watched how they felt overwhelmed, depleted and ended up not doing the things they really wanted to do. RESET was something I started thinking about back in 2013, as a set of Women’s Retreats to help women reconnect to self and purpose so that they can find the energy and the connection to what they really care about and find ways to say “no” more. I saw the need for women to learn to set boundaries across the spectrum and started to think about “RESET”...reset your system so that you can go back to your life, both personal and professional, with more energy, more clarity, more focus, and more connection to purpose. 

The next thing that happened was that my brother died of an aneurysm suddenly last year. He was 42 - really young, had two kids, and we were extremely close. So I spent the last year just processing that and trying to allow that to transform me, and whatever I’m going to do in the world going forward. When you go through loss like that it’s hard to imagine going on at all, and so I took this idea - he and I had actually already been talking about doing a documentary series about amazing change-makers around the world and how they were resetting the course of human history - and decided to finally go for it. The lessons that I’ve learned through the process of loss and that I continue to learn, is a need for humanity in general to think about resetting our course, and think about how we find connection and meaning in the midst of the chaos we see around us in the world right now. 

Throughout your career, you’ve influenced female empowerment globally. While you served as senior advisor (as a Franklin Fellow under Secretary Clinton in the U.S. Department of State) on women’s economic empowerment, your work affected women internationally. I notice that RESET incorporates a global aspect into its IMPACT series, as events are hosted worldwide. Why do you think it’s significant that RESET has an international outreach?

I was in the Himalayas in March working with a group of women farmer collectives that are producing oils and products to be bought on the international market, and I had been thinking a lot about what I wanted to RESET to be beyond retreats. I was sitting there meditating and staring out at the Himalayas, and just trying to wait for some answers to come to me, and I had this moment where I thought “if we want people to change their behavior and reset our course towards a more resilient future-- because the way we are heading right now is very destructive and depleting-- they should be doing what I’m doing right now...sitting in a glorious place in nature like the Himalayas and meditating.” We live on an absolutely gorgeous planet - the majestic mountains, the crystal clear oceans-- there’s so much on this earth that’s so beautiful that we’re losing because of our behavior. How do you get people to care about something that overwhelming? I believe you have to take them there. They have to connect with that place; they have to connect with the people there. Everything that we do here is impacting people all over the world-- everything that we do as humans to sustain ourselves has a global impact. If we want to save the planet and ourselves, it requires adventure into and connection to into the far reaches of the planet. 

Last week, I met with a group that is working with astronauts because they want to be a part of this idea. They talked about this thing called the “overview effect”. When astronauts go into outer space, they turn around and look at the earth, and they have this “aha” moment where they recognize that “That’s it. That little ball floating in the atmosphere is all that we have and that’s our home.” It’s not about extracting and taking all that you can, it’s actually about loving it, honoring it, and sustaining it. I also think it requires taking people out of their everyday life and on a journey that helps them to gain perspective which is harder to do when you’re in your everyday routine.

RESET emphasizes the “Theory of Change” in all of its programs. What kind of change are you hoping to catalyze, and how?

The mission statement is “connecting to self, humanity, and the planet, so that we can reset our course towards a more resilient future.” I did try to capture in there the different levels of change that we hope to see. In the retreat series, it’s more focused on introspection and connecting to self and purpose for women, so that they can become the future. I think we need more women leaders. The type of leadership we’re going to need will be more related to complex emotional dynamics and new ways of identifying and addressing people’s needs. (I’m generalizing about women). I always say that nurturing is a superpower but we don’t recognize it as such. Nurturing and care-taking is as powerful as any other global force, and I think that harnessing that is very powerful and is going to be needed more and more. We’ve had great success so far. 

The Impact Series will be focused on specific issues like climate change, gender issues, agriculture, and health. There will be journeys to places and each will have a relevant topic. For example, in the Himalayas, it could be about climate change because there is drought in these farming areas or about agriculture and urbanization. It’ll be a group of twenty to thirty people who have some impact or are somehow influenced by the issue and the area. You could have a World Bank official, a musician, a filmmaker-- it’ll be a very diverse crowd but they’ll all either have a role in impacting that place or a desire to do so. The goal is to create a group of more connected and enlightened leaders.

By Sydney Hartzell

Photos courtesy of Cora Neumann

Power couples: Jim Burba & Bob Hayes

Emily Allen

Jim and Bob are entrepreneurs who produce films and Broadway shows (including Disaster) and produce global conferences for the hotel investment community. 

How did you meet?

Bob Hayes: We met in 1990 at a black tie gala dinner being held for the Orange County (California) LGBT Center at the Disneyland Hotel. Jim was with a group of his friends, as was I, and our paths crossed at an after-party in one of the hotel suites. The room was jammed with people. I noticed Jim up at the bar getting drinks, and he was attractive, so I walked up to him and said, “Have we met before?” Jim looked at me, said “no,” and walked away with drinks in hand. It was a complete rejection.

Jim Burba: I thought it was a silly line he used, and I wasn’t really paying attention to who was saying it. When I got back to my friends I was joking with them about the line Bob used, but they said “Yeah but he’s cute, so you should go talk to him.” And I did.

What was your first date?

BH: Jim actually wanted me to send my friends home in a cab at the end of that night at the gala, but I said “no.” I have integrity, you know. We exchanged phone numbers, and Jim called the next day. We went to a little Italian restaurant in San Clemente a couple nights later.

JB: Bob is great at asking questions. While we were talking at the Disneyland Hotel, he managed to get my whole life story out of me. I didn’t know anything about him. That first date was catch up time for me. When I dropped Bob of at his place at the end of the date I wanted to stay, but Bob sent me home. I think he was playing hard to get.

What are the keys to your success as a couple?

BH: Respect and trust are key to a successful relationship. We wouldn’t be where we are today if we didn’t respect each other’s ideas and ways of thinking and have the trust that we are working together toward common goals that will help us both, as a couple.

JB: Total respect for each other. While we commonly finish each other’s sentences and know intuitively what each other is thinking, we are different people, and it’s important that we also live our own lives. We work and live together, and that makes it very important to not lose our individuality along the way. I love it when something is important to Bob (and not me) and he just goes and does it. I love everything about the man, how he thinks, how he lives his life, and how he views the world. I think he feels the same about me.

How do you balance your careers with your home life?

BH: Our 7/7 rule works well. We don’t talk work before 7am or after 7pm. That’s the rule. It helps us turn our business heads off. Of course Jim tries to break the rule now and then.

JB: Guilty. I get up earlier than Bob most days, so I’m waiting for him with work talk, and sometimes it’s hard to wait until 7am. Also, we try to get away for long weekends when we can. We have a place in Palm Springs where we go to unwind and have a martini or two.

Tell us about upcoming projects that you’re excited about.

BH: We have a film coming out early next year that we’re really excited about. We’re executive producers of Walking Out, starring Matt Bomer, Josh Wiggins, Alex Neustaedter, and Bill Pullman. It’s a father/son story of estrangement and survival that is going to grab you and not let go. We filmed in Montana, and the setting was stunning. The story is profound, the setting fantastically beautiful, and the acting is amazing.

JB: Our book, Smart Partners, comes out in September of this year. We’re really proud of it. We worked on the manuscript for several years, and it explains the various partnership principles we developed over the 26+ years we have been together as a couple and the 16 years together as business partners. It’s a handbook for creating and maintaining successful partnerships in life and business. And we’re particularly proud of our association with the Youth Career Initiative (YCI). It’s an organization that helps disadvantaged kids around the world receive training in the hospitality industry so they can break the cycle of poverty that they find themselves trapped in. Education changes lives for the better, and we’re helping kids make better lives for themselves and their families.

By Evan Hughes

Photos courtesy of Jim Burba and Bob Hayes

 

 

Power Couples: Dr. David Greuner and Drielle Valeretto

Emily Allen

Drielle is a fashion model; David is a cardiovascular surgeon and chief medical officer at Centers for Special Surgery.

How did you meet?

Drielle Valeretto: We met almost two years ago, at a friend’s birthday, and it was love at first sight.

Dr. David Greuner: A friend basically pushed us together and said, “You guys are Brazilian, you will get along.” and left! A little awkward but we ended up sticking together the whole night.

What was your first date?

DV: Well, that’s pretty funny; he asked me to go to a movie theater with him and I was asked to pick the restaurant. He didn’t like the place I chose and he ended up sleeping at the movie. 

DG: She picked Vapiano, an Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village, but it’s buffet style, like a cafeteria. It wasn’t exactly romantic, but I kept looking at her, and she was so nervous, she barely spoke or looked me in the eye. I thought it was adorable. 

What are the keys to your success as a couple?

DV: We have each other’s backs, are able to come home and talk about problems in general and day-to-day life, work, personal, etc. Another is to always be honest to each other, and third: loving.

DG: To really have someone accept you, you have to reveal the true you. I think a lot of people put on an act initially, which is probably the worst time to do so, as we tend to be more tolerant of each other in that initial “new” stage of a relationship. When we met, we had a lot of conversations about our bad qualities prior to becoming more serious. Because of that, there have been very few negative surprises in our relationship, and I think that has helped tremendously. 

How do you balance your careers with your home life?

DV: The truth is, it’s not easy; we have tight schedules and sometimes the first time we have to sit down and spend together is right when we are ready to sleep. But I personally believe that is healthy, so you don’t get tired of each other. On the weekends mostly we are together 24/7. 

DG: Not easily, that’s for sure! One of the things we love to do together is work out early in the morning prior to us starting our day. That accomplishes some quality time together, as well as having health benefts. It pays of, especially in the winter when it’s hard to drag yourself out of bed alone. We also try something new every couple of weeks that involves extended physical contact, such as dance lessons, or take a ride somewhere new on my motorcycle.

Tell us about upcoming projects you’re excited about.

DV: I live life one day at a time, but I defnitely have plans for the future. I want to have some munchkins running around one day. But right now I’m studying and my next step is getting into nursing school. I’m excited and happy to have David to support me through that.

DG: I am involved with a lot of charity and philanthropic work on a regular basis, and one of my favorite events for one of the charities I am intimately involved with is coming up soon at the Cannes Film Festival. We are partners with the Paris based organization The Heart Fund, where we raise money and perform heart surgery on children in underdeveloped countries with congenital heart defects. It’s typically a celeb-studded event, and draws a lot of media attention.

Also, our company, NYC Surgical Associates, is expanding once again to build larger and more modern operating rooms in our Manhattan location to increase the capability and complexity of surgery we can to perform on site. We are now offering treatment of complex congenital arteriovenous malformations, which are tumors of blood vessels, which often occur in children. We plan to offer this highly specialized treatment to children in underdeveloped countries as well.

By Emily Allen

Photos courtesy of Coraline Lauren

Power Couples: Christina & Nick Pacelli

Emily Allen

Christina is an acclaimed celebrity stylist; Nick is SVP Head of Global Strategic Marketing of Republic Records, whose artists include Drake, The Weeknd, Florence + the Machine, Ariana Grande, and many more.

How did you meet?

Christina Pacelli: We met at our alma mater UCLA in 2003 at the end of my freshman year and Nick’s senior year. A mutual friend played with Nick on the water polo team, realized we were both heavily into music and photography, and thought we should meet. We met as those kids and were married within three years for no reason other than falling madly, deeply in love with one another. 

Nick Pacelli: We met at a wild party and it was a “love at first sight” thing. Chris and I have a very strong connection that ignited when we met.

What was your first date?

CP: It was super romantic…we sat and ate dinner on the floor of his unfurnished living room in the grody apartment he shared with four teammates. I was 18 at the time so this was cool and fine with me. The early days of our relationship were ones of two broke college kids. We fell in love as kids and we are still very much the same two kids when we are together. 

What are the keys to your success as a couple?

CP: We keep our lives really simple in terms of what’s important amidst the chaos of work: family, health, God, our future. We find happiness in the simple things, most of which are free. We are super-tight best friends.

NP: We’re on the same page fundamentally in terms of our personal spirituality, religion, politics, and ethical beliefs. Our worldview is the same. We get our kicks from a handful of obsessions enjoyed together: music, fashion, travel, the ocean and outdoors.

How do you balance your careers with your home life?

CP: We work a lot, often seven days a week, and we are always on the road. Our careers can be all-consuming and we take breaks to travel together which is a mental reset for me.

NP: Our professional lives trickle into our personal lives, which works out okay because we like what we do for a living. Our industries are related – music and fashion – so when one of us talks about projects, clients and work issues, the other gets it and can advise from a place of knowledge and experience. 

Tell us about upcoming projects that you’re excited about.

CP: We are heading to Iceland for our 10-year wedding anniversary in late summer, then to New Zealand before award season. And it’s no secret I have major baby-on-the-brain so we are preparing to get this show on the road.

NP: Christina has the exciting stuff going on with her new and existing celebrity clients, this year especially with projects in the television, music, and editorial space. Some of the biggest artists on our label are releasing albums with major campaigns surrounding them, and I’m excited to share what we have up our sleeve with the world.

By Alexandra Fairweather

Photos courtesy of Christina and Nick Pacelli

Royal Weddings

Emily Allen

If you’re looking for a unique wedding venue that combines natural beauty with world-class art, Storm King Art Center, about an hour north of NYC in New Windsor, NY, may be the perfect spot. Set on 500 acres that are home to carefully maintained native plant species and featuring more than 100 sculptures by acclaimed artists, Storm King can accomodate up to 250 guests at its stunning Museum Hill venue.

By Paige Wright

Photo courtesy of Storm King