Posts tagged with "luxury"

Conison, Blake Holmes and Connor Morton article inside 360 MAGAZINE

CONISON: OUR CHAT WITH HIGH-END STREETWEAR LABEL FOUNDER, CONNOR MORTON 

By Blake Holmes

A celebration of the LA dream, Conison is an up-and-coming, high-end streetwear brand from Melbourne, Australia. 
Recently, we caught up with Founder and Creative Director, Connor Morton, to chat vision, inspiration and what’s in store for the year ahead. 

TELL US ABOUT CONISON..

Conison is a high-end streetwear and design brand. 

At the heart of Conison is a message of inspiration. I want to encourage people to express themselves, providing an avenue for them to explore their own sense of style and creative potential through fashion and design. 

WHAT’S YOUR WHY? 

I’ve always endeavoured to express my creativity through outlets available to me, from DJing and music, to clothing customisation and art. I think everyone deserves this opportunity and my dream is that Conison will provide that for others; an inspiration source that spreads positivity and reinforces the idea that everyone has the power to shape their reality. 

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOUR UPCOMING COLLECTION? 

Collection 2 Rise & Fall is a two-part capsule. This collection celebrates an ascension to your highest self and the fall of negative energy. These ideas are expressed in my messaging and I’ve catered to both the NZ/Aus and US/Euro markets, with different materials and designs. 

WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU? 

There are countless brands and creators that fuel my fire. Designers like Reese Cooper and Heron Preston, brands like Riot Hill and photographers like Kyle Caulfield to name just a few. 

HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED? 

I believe motivation is something you have to seek constantly. This can be challenging at times and the interruptions of this year have been a prime example. 

Regularly contacting my mentors, listening to podcasts, and painting have kept me in the zone this year. There’s always motivation to be found if you look hard enough. 

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? 

Every day is different but I start and end them in the same way. I usually wake up with a warm/cold soak to get focused, then have breakfast while watching motivational content on YouTube. From then I work ‘til i’ve felt i’ve done enough, which means late nights a lot of the time. I also work other jobs and fit in time at the gym or some form of exercise each day. I end the day with business content on YouTube to get inspired for the day ahead.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL STRAIN WHEN RUNNING YOUR OWN BRAND? 

Being a one-man band with no backing at 22 has been a struggle. There are definitely financial challenges and they’ve taken a lot of practice, help from mentors and learning to overcome. In saying that, I’m feeling confident in the belief that now is the time to be bold, take risks and bet on myself. When you believe in your brand and the message you’re trying to share, anything is possible. 

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? 

My mentor sent me a message a few weeks back. I think it’s spot on and something I struggle with at times. “Your art is not about how many people like your work, your art is about if your heart likes your work, if your soul likes your work, it’s how honest you are with yourself”. I try to follow this ethos daily and remind myself of this at times I’m questioning my vision and creative direction. I’ve implemented this into my work daily and it’s become more authentic as a result. 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR CONISON? 

The sky’s the limit. I want to push creative boundaries, not just with Conison but in the global fashion and lifestyle brand space. This means everything from painting collections and exclusive pieces to furniture. 
Most importantly, I want to continue telling the Conison story in an authentic way. Giving people a story to truly connect with is what drives me and the best way to keep people engaged and on-board for the journey. 

I’m learning and growing every day and Conison will continue to evolve with me. I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

LEAVE US WITH A FAVOURITE QUOTE..

I’ve got a few. ‘Ignore the boos, they usually come from the cheap seats’. This one has been really important to me. As a young person, you often face a lot of negativity and doubt from others about your ability to step outside the norm and succeed. I’ve learnt not to take this to heart and stay true to myself, which is something I think we should all strive to do. 

Another favourite is, ‘an arrow can only be shot forward by pulling it backward’. This one’s all about resilience to me, and the idea that on the other side of struggle and hardship is success, fortune and prosperity. I try to remember this with every minor setback and keep a positive mindset no matter the circumstances. When you do, nothing can discourage you from achieving your dreams. This is what Conison is all about. 

Rise & Fall Part 1 drops 7th December, 7:00pm EST
at www.conisondesigns.com 

Rolex from Christine's New York

Christie’s New York Rare Watches New York: Online

Christie’s New York announces Rare Watches New York: Online. From November 24 to December 10, Christie’s New York will feature a selection of important vintage and modern timepieces celebrating the most renowned manufactures such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, Cartier, F.P. Journe, Audemars Piguet and many more.

Curated with passion, the sale comprises incredible rarities, including a magnificent Patek Philippe reference 1463 in pink gold retailed by Serpico Y Laino ($400,000-600,000), an extremely rare Patek Philippe Nautilus reference 3800 in pink gold ($250,000-450,000), and a magnificently preserved Rolex reference 6236 now known as “Jean Claude Killy” ($240,000-440,000), after the celebrated Olympic skier and Rolex ambassador.

The auction will present a great selection of Rolex Daytona chronographs, led by a reference 6263 with Paul Newman “Panda” dial showing attractive signs of tropicalization ($300,000-500,000). An iconic variant, Rolex wristwatches with Paul Newman “Panda” dials are widely sought-after and considered part of the most elegant designs ever created by the Rolex manufacture.

With a Patek Philippe selection of great depth, the sale will include an example of the iconic reference 2499 in yellow gold ($350,000-450,000) and a selection of important pocket watches; two highly attractive minute repeating pocket watches with American calendar, reference 843 ($120,000-180,000) and 699/2 ($100,000-300,000), and the possibly unique reference 947/1 pocket chronometer ($100,000-200,000) with spring detent escapement and minute repeating mechanism.

 “Going into this season, we made the deliberate decision to combine our live and online auction into one comprehensive online sale, which will represent the highest valued online watches sale ever offered at Christie’s. The sale will also be the first Christie’s auction to offer a timepiece valued with an estimate of $400,000-600,000,” said Remi Guillemin, a Specialist at Christie’s Watches.

Throughout this year, we have witnessed an increased comfort level of digital transactions, and with the recent record success of our recent Dubai and Geneva online sales, we felt that this model is best suited to meet our clients’ evolving needs. We have seen incredible engagement from current collectors and new buyers alike. This sale offers timepieces that will appeal to clients looking to begin their collection as well as collectors looking for watches of the utmost rarity; there is truly something for everyone,” continued Guillemin.

Kaelen Felix illustrates truck article for 360 Magazine

How to Buy a Truck You’ll Cherish for Years

If you’re ready to finally pull the trigger and buy a new truck, it can be difficult to know where to start. On the one hand, buying a new vehicle is always exciting. However, you also need to be conscious of your budget and long-term satisfaction with the vehicle. 

Buying a new car is a big investment. Don’t rush your decision and end up making a mistake you’ll regret for years to come. We want to help.

Keep reading for our top tips on how to buy a truck you’ll love now and in the future. 

Figure Out Your Finances

One of the most important things to do before making a big investment is to take an objective look at your finances. How much can you afford to make on monthly truck payments?

Your budget needs to include other costs associated with buying a new truck. For example:

  • Sales tax
  • Auto insurance
  • Registration fees
  • Fuel costs
  • Regular maintenance and repairs

We also recommend getting pre-approved for an auto loan to make sure you’re eligible for the price range you’re shopping under. If your pre-approval comes up short, you may want to spend a few months improving your credit score.

Save for a Down Payment

One of the best ways to get approved for a larger loan with lower interest rates is by putting money down on your new truck. This is one of the most important steps of learning how to buy a truck the right way. The difference of a single percentile on your interest can account for thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Determine the Type of Truck You Want

When buying a new truck, you also need to take a little time to figure out what types of trucks are best for your lifestyle. For example, if you’re planning on using the truck as your primary means of transportation to and from work in the city, you’ll want something with excellent fuel efficiency. 

Alternatively, if you’re planning on using the truck for outdoor recreation activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping, you’ll want something a little more rugged. You will undoubtedly need a four-wheel-drive vehicle. 

Finally, consider hauling and towing capacities. Will the truck be towing a camper, boat, or trailer?

Decide What Features Are Important to You

Learning how to buy a truck that’s perfect for you means prioritizing your wants and needs. For example, do you want all the bells and whistles of high-end luxury models? These include things like smart entertainment systems, top-notch speakers, heated and cooled seats, advanced driver features, and more.

These models are more expensive but provide much more comfort, luxury, and convenience. 

Do Your Homework

Before buying a new truck, it’s vital to do a little digging. Lookup vehicle ratings and reviews.

Look at professional safety ratings from certified organizations. However, you should also see what other drivers have to say about the vehicle. Find customer reviews and testimonials from people who have the same truck you’re considering buying. 

For reference, check out this review on the Chevy Silverado.

Decide if You Want to Buy New or Used

Another important step in the truck buying guide is deciding if you want to buy a new or used pickup. There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument. 

New

Buying a brand new pickup means you’re getting a vehicle with no previous owners. It also comes with manufacturer warranties that will last up to 60,000 miles or five years. However, brand new trucks are much more expensive and can lose as much as 30% of their value in the first year.

Used

Alternatively, buying a used truck most likely means forgoing any warranties. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure you’re buying from a credible seller to avoid buying a truck with pre-existing issues. However, buying used may save you thousands of dollars and grant you access to high-end models you may not have been able to afford new.

Certified Pre-Owned

Finally, there’s a happy medium between the two options. CPOs are slightly used vehicles that have been refurbished to like-new condition. They’re more expensive than traditional used vehicles but are given new warranties. 

Get the Vehicle History Report

Learning how to buy a truck used means getting your hands on the vehicle history report. This is especially important when buying from a private seller. The vehicle history report records vital information about the truck’s past, such as:

  • Number of previous owners
  • Locations of registration
  • Accident/repair history
  • Maintenance history
  • Factory recalls
  • Commercial history (used in a commercial fleet for rent or lease)

Technology has made tracking a vehicle’s history easier than ever. As such, it’s now virtually risk-free to buy a vehicle with s solid history report.

Take the Truck on a Test Drive

Last but not least, when buying a new truck, make sure you test drive it before you make any final decisions. For all you know, you may not even enjoy driving the model you’ve picked out. Make sure the truck feels intuitive, responsive, and easy to handle. 

Depending on the type of truck and what you’ll be using it for, you may want one that produces minimal engine noise and road noise. If the vehicle is used, make sure all the instrument panels, driver features, entertainment equipment, and other electronics work properly. 

Regardless of the temperature outside, ensure both the heating and the air conditioning work, as well. Have someone stand outside and check the brake lights, headlights, brights, turn signals, etc.

If you feel it necessary, consider taking the truck to a trusted mechanic for a full inspection. 

Looking for More Tips on How to Buy a Truck?

We hope our list helps you find the best pickup truck you’ll cherish for years to come. And remember, if you can’t afford the truck you want now, save up for a few months to make your dream a reality. Patience pays off. 

And if you’re looking for more tips on how to buy a truck and other auto-related news, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go. We have an entire section dedicated to the auto industry for people just like you.

Rolls-Royce Holiday Gift Guide 2020

As we wind down 2020, a year that most would rather forget, Rolls-Royce would like to celebrate with a few little (& big!) luxuries that you can gift to even the most discerning Rolls-Royce enthusiast. We have curated a selection of some of the favorite accessories that you can give to compliment your favorite Dawn, Wraith or Phantom!

Gifts are available through your local Rolls-Royce dealership and additional details are available online.

Rolls-Royce Boutique >>

CHAMPAGNE CHEST

Enhance any occasion with the Rolls-Royce Champagne Chest, crafted by artisans to the highest standard of elegance and luxury. The chest effortlessly opens at the push of a button to reveal a perfectly appointed champagne set, worthy of the world’s finest automotive marque. The hand-polished aluminum chassis is swathed in Natural Grain leather and flanked by exquisite wood – materials most found in Rolls-Royce motor cars.

From thermal coolers cradled in leather hammocks to the four hand-blown crystal champagne flutes arranged to evoke memories of a V12 engine, this is Rolls-Royce down to the finest detail. Each item has been carefully selected to enhance your enjoyment – from the highly effective thermal flask to keep your champagne chilled, to the delicate mother of pearl caviar spoons. The Champagne Chest can also be personalized to match the interior of your Rolls-Royce motor car.

This Bespoke creation includes removable serving tray, champagne bottle thermal flask, two thermal caviar bowls and four hand-blown champagne flutes all with a leather carrying sleeve.

PICNIC HAMPER

Making entertaining as pleasurable as driving, the Rolls-Royce Picnic Hamper embodies the golden age of picnicking, when the picnic was an occasion to be savored. The Picnic Hamper welcomes and entices social delight.

Including lead crystal wine glasses, Wedgwood crockery and handmade stainless-steel cutlery, the Picnic Hamper is handcrafted from oiled teak, saddle leather and polished aluminum and features everything essential for the finest picnic for four people.

CULLINAN VIEWING SUITE

Desert sands. Mountain slopes. Rugged river valleys. No frontier is out of bounds to Cullinan. Dare to discover. To embody the essence of the past’s great adventurers. Then open out your Viewing Suite at the touch of a button, and survey just how far you have come. Sociably angled beside a cocktail table and finished in exquisite leather, the bespoke Cullinan Viewing Suite gives you the finest vantage point, anywhere and everywhere.

REPLICA MODEL CAR – PHANTOM

Just as your Rolls-Royce Phantom has a unique and iconic presence,
so too do our elegant 1:8 scale models of the range invoke an unmistakable aura. Assembled with thousands of minute components, this Rolls-Royce Phantom is the pinnacle of model reproduction.

The result of years of development – with the designers and engineers
of our motor cars assisting in its creation – it captures the perfectionism of the marque in miniature form.

Hand-finished with the same paint that adorns your own Rolls-Royce Phantom, each model undergoes a scrupulous inspection to ensure
superior standards. Only then may it qualify for the iconic Rolls-Royce badge.

Choose a replica of your bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom – or opt for an alternative specification. Either way, the range of 1:8 scale models offers a symbolic enhancement of your Rolls-Royce collection.

REPLICA MODEL CAR – CULLINAN

An authentic 1:8 scale replica of a full-sized Cullinan, in which every detail is reproduced with absolute perfection, can now be enjoyed by clients around the world, in the comfort of their own home.

Far more than a mere model, each miniature Cullinan is individually and painstakingly crafted by hand, to the client’s specification, from over 1,000 individual components. This process can take up to 450 hours – over half of the time required to build a full-sized Cullinan at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex.

The replica is hand-painted using Rolls-Royce color-matched paint, then hand-polished to the marque’s exacting specification; the coachline is even applied using a fine brush, just as it is on the original. The fully functioning exterior lights are operated by a Cullinan-branded remote control; under the bonnet is a perfect likeness of the ‎iconic 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine. From the headrest embroidery and wood finishes to seat piping and stitching, these Bespoke creations allow clients to recreate their full-size vehicle with astonishing accuracy, or even envision a future Cullinan to add to their collection.

KINETIC LUGGAGE COLLECTION

An expression of powerful purpose. Alluring in its architecture, the collection suits those who hold an undeniable energy. Determined, yet dynamic. Travelling should be an exciting endeavor, right down to your choice of luggage. From observing the techniques of the Head Butler at a prestigious London hotel, the Goodwood Design Team have created a luggage concept for those who seek to travel in style. Innovative engineering meets exquisite craftsmanship and an elegant aesthetic.

The six-piece collection, including two Grand Tourers, three Long weekenders and a Garment Carrier, has been designed to fit perfectly into the luggage compartment of your Rolls-Royce Wraith. The striking two-tone styling of the leather and stitching can be personalized, giving you opportunity to choose from a selection of available colors, or your favorite colors if you prefer. The Spirit of Ecstasy adorns each piece as a token reminder of the Rolls-Royce tradition: taking the best that exists and making it better.

A carbon fiber and high-grade aluminum frame makes the Grand Tourer effortless to maneuver, while also providing your belongings with superior protection. The uniquely designed wheel holds true to the smooth handling of your motor car and feature a self-levelling central monogram.

Practical and lightweight, the Long Weekender is an ideal accessory for any journey. The piece features a unique magnetic zip that keeps your belongings safe and secure, as well as distinctively crafted handles to ensure maximum comfort when carried. Lastly, the Garment Carrier keeps your formal attire in pristine condition throughout your journey.

ESCAPISM LUGGAGE COLLECTION

Capturing the essence of the wandering spirit, Rolls-Royce presents the Escapism Luggage Collection. The essential luggage range for those who travel for enriching experiences and spontaneous moments of discovery.

Crafted from exquisite leather and durable canvas. This essential range of pieces is beautiful in form, yet relaxed and contemporary. Choose from several curated color ways or for the ultimate bespoke interpretation of your personality choose from ten leather colors and eleven fabric hues.

The luggage can be purchased as a full four piece set or as individual bags. Capturing the essence of the wandering spirit, Rolls-Royce presents the Escapism Luggage Collection. The essential luggage range for those who travel for enriching experiences and spontaneous moments of discovery.

Crafted from exquisite leather and durable canvas. This essential range of pieces is beautiful in form, yet relaxed and contemporary. Choose from several curated color ways or for the ultimate bespoke interpretation of your personality choose from ten leather colors and eleven fabric hues.

The luggage can be purchased as a full four piece set or as individual bags.

DAWN AERO COWLING, THE TONNEAU COVER

Dawn Aero Cowling, the Tonneau Cover, blends form with function and exquisite materials to expose another side to the character of Dawn. The elegant sweeping line of the twin leather trimmed cowls flows from the front seats into the rear deck adding dynamism and motion to the cars profile. Fitment of the unit visibly transforms this most elegant of four seat convertibles, evoking the indulgent spirit of the classic two-seater roadster.

The beauty of the Aero Cowling Tonneau Cover is not only aesthetic. Milled aluminum webbing underpins the flawless carbon fiber structure. This is then trimmed in the finest natural grain leather matching the main interior color.

The aerodynamically sculpted cowls are designed to manage airflow and ensure a calm and unruffled environment for front seat occupants at speed. The twin cowls also feature separately lockable storage compartments for quick accessibility.

The function of the soft-top is unaffected by fitment of the unit and the roof can be raised and lowered as normal with it in place. Easily removed if desired, when off the car the unit can be stored in the supplied storage bag to protect it from dirt and dust.

ROLLS-ROYCE UMBRELLAS

The iconic Rolls-Royce umbrella has been reimagined with striking colors. Finished with a polished color-tone handle and detailed with our famous Rolls-Royce monogram, it makes for the ultimate everyday accessory

PARASOLS

Comprising an ivory cotton twill canopy with contrasting taupe edging, these beautifully hand-crafted parasols protect you from the sun while offering a touch of elegance to any occasion.

ROLLS-ROYCE PURE WOOL LAP BLANKET

Whether you are sharing a cool evening sunset from your Rolls-Royce Event Seats or just out for an evening open top drive in your Roll-Royce Dawn, our pure wool lap blanket is crafted to make your experience effortless and comfortable.  Offered in a variety of designs and crafted of 100% pure wool, the blanket is a perfect accessory for any occasion

ROLLS-ROYCE LIMITED EDITION TITANIUM LICENSE PLATE FRAME

Few things are exclusive as a Rolls-Royce. This exclusivity demands accessories equally unique and well crafted. Limited to just 40 pieces, a North American exclusive, Solid Titanium Billet License Plate Frame is crafted for only our most discerning owners who demand only the best in everything. Each Limited Edition Titanium License Plate Frame is laser etched with “Rolls-Royce Motor Cars” on the bottom of the slim line frame. Its exclusive nature is further enhanced with “One of Forty” laser etched on the reverse.

DAWN WIND DEFLECTOR

Designed to perfectly complement the Dawn’s elegant silhouette, the Wind Deflector is manufactured using ultra-modern magnesium casting technology for the best possible blend of light weight and strength.

When fitted, it significantly reduces turbulence within the front passenger compartment while driving with the convertible roof open. This creates a more relaxed, unruffled experience and makes conversation easier when travelling at speed.

The wind deflector can be left in place while the convertible roof is closed, or, when not fitted the innovative smart folding mechanism allows the super lightweight unit to be packed into its rotective bag for effortless storage in the luggage compartment.

PICNIC HAMPER

CULLINAN VIEWING SUITE

CULLINAN RECREATION MODULE

Sir Richard Branson’s luxury lodge to re-open in December

The Lodge, part of the luxury collection of properties from Virgin Limited Edition will once again be re-opening its doors this December, welcoming guests back for the winter season.

Its timely re-opening coincides with the relaxation of Switzerland’s quarantine conditions from almost all countries, meaning travellers no longer need to quarantine on arrival leaving plenty of opportunity to enjoy the slopes and some much-needed mountain air.

Perched high in the Swiss Alps, and complete with nine stunning bedrooms and suites, an indoor pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and a friendly team of experienced staff including Michelin-star trained chefs, The Lodge is a true alpine paradise, ideal for the ultimate luxury ski holiday.

With the option to book The Lodge exclusively, it offers the perfect winter escape in the current climate. Exclusive use rates, of nine rooms accommodating up to eighteen guests, start from CHF 150,000 (£126,675) for a 7-night stay and are valid for arrivals from 13th December 2020 – 11th April 2021, subject to availability.

For the first time The Lodge will also be introducing new rates for smaller groups, offering the option to book up to six rooms from only CHF 110,000 (£92,895), or, up to four rooms at CHF 90,000 (£76,005) for a seven night stay, whilst still having exclusivity of The Lodge. Stays of three or four nights will also be possible for select dates in the season.

All rates are inclusive of luxury accommodation, all meals including a light lunch for those guests not eating on the mountain, all drinks including a top-quality wine list and house champagne, a dedicated team, inclusive of a driver service within Verbier, plus all local taxes.

“We are so excited to be re-opening our doors and welcoming our guests back for the winter season,” said Ashley Walker, General Manager at The Lodge. “While The Lodge has been temporarily closed, there has been an enormous amount of work behind the scenes from our team to ensure we are in the very best position to welcome back our guests with meticulous safety and hygiene measures, ensuring complete peace of mind and trust in everything we do.

“We are working closely with local authorities to ensure we are meeting all local safety regulations, but Verbier will still very much be open and our beautiful lodge set at the foothills of the mountain offers the ultimate privacy with all of the extra little touches and luxuries you have come to expect from any of our Virgin Limited Edition properties.”

For bookings please call T: 0800 716 919 (UK toll free). Alternatively e-mail enquiries@virginlimitededition.com

Jet Boys photographed by Deen Harrison

Jet Boys

This shoot brings forth a new age of men’s wear with high fashion athletic men’s garments. With silk fabrics, these clothes are perfect for comfortable travel in style.

Photographer: Deen Harrison
Stylist: Winnie Stackz
Photographer: Deen Harrison 
Stylist: Winnie Stackz
Photographer: Deen Harrison 
Stylist: Winnie Stackz
Photographer: Deen Harrison 
Stylist: Winnie Stackz
Photographer: Deen Harrison @deensvision Stylist: @winniestackz
Photographer: Deen Harrison 
Stylist: Winnie Stackz
Travel story illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 MAGAZINE

Setouchi in Japan

The region of Setouchi in Japan is curious, cool, creative and boasts an impressive level of experiences. It’s the authentic side of Japan that awaits with a restorative element that is unparalleled, offering countless experiences to choose from. Seven prefectures spanning the idyllic Seto Inland Sea, making it the iyllic blend of explorations across land and sea…close your eyes and begin to dream after considering inspirational ideas…

  • Eat your way through Setouchi…Kagawa is known as the Udon Prefecture. Home to these slurp-worthy thick white noodles and boasting the highest number of udon restauuranst in Japan. Sanuki udon has a square shape and flat edges and is native to Kagawa, comprised of wheat, salt, soy sauce and dry sardine- try your hand at creating them with a master chef or hop around to sample it at multiple eateries. And, naturally, no journey to Setouchi is complete without tasting the famed Wagyu Beef in Shimani, known the world over. Juicy, tender and stellar. Consider pairing it with a glass of Japanese wine at the Chateau Misen winery
  • Luxe it up overnight…Aman + Adrian Zecha have teamed up on a stellar collaboration to launch a new ryokan-inspired hotel brand in Japan called Azumi- the first will open on an island in Setouchi along the Seto Inland Sea- a fusion of culture, harmony, wellness and exceptional design
  • Hit all the power spots where mystical energy flows on a northern drive route, stopping at temples, shrines and cultural sites in Tottori, Shimani and Yamaguchi, or take the eastern route for the most ridiculously gorgeous views through Okayama, Hyogo and Tokushima (NB- a power spot for romance as it’s shaped like a heart)
  • Pick fruit in Yamaguchi! Apple, Mandarin orange; Blueberry; Pear; Strawberry; Grape and wrap it up at a stay at Nagato Yumoto Onsen and the Otozure ryokan, welcoming guests for 600 _ years and truly the setting of a brilliant love story from hundreds of years ago. A gorgeously designed property with a true sense of place, focused on toji, hot spring recouperation.
  • Chill in a hot spring and completelty surrender to a natural therapeutic experience at Kaike Onsen in Tottori, the highest hot spring source in the prefecture, and take a stroll on the beach afterward before digging into a huge pot of fresh rich meaty snow crabs, a specialty of the region (best season Nov- Mar). Misasa Onsen is a great hot spring alternative, with water rumored to be extremely healing.
  • Cycle the famed Shimanami Kaido….do all 70 KM or book a support car or boat bike ride back if you just want a taste. This exceptional route is a cyclist’s paradise, treating riders to impossibly gorgeous views between the islands of Shikoku and Honshu.
  • Get your Sake on with a hop around 7 of Hiroshima’s best breweries along Saijo Sakagura Dori and the Fujii Shuzo Brewery Exchange Hall in Takehara city. Sample to your delight and compare with the contenders for the winner of the day.
  • Get greeted by a white rabbit at Hakuto Beach in Tottori…just one of the ubiquitous sculptures and art installations found across multiple islands in Setouchi. The legend has it the rabbit of Inaba was crying because it suffered from threats from alligators but today, it’s a welcoming symbol to travelers who arrive to dig into watersports or trek through caves, across cliffs, discovering unusual rock formations

Connect with Setouchi Tourism in Japan for more info.

Rita Azar illustrates fashion article for 360 MAGAZINE

Tips For Supporting Ethical Fashion 

There is no time like right now to make the switch to ethical fashion, with the report Future of Consumer Demand showing that the vast majority of Americans place a high importance on buying goods that are ethically produced. When it comes to fashion, the exact definition of ‘ethics’ is difficult to provide, since it extends to a wide array of issues – including fair working conditions, sustainability, support for upcoming creators, animal welfare, and fair trade. A recent Futerra survey showed that around 90% of consumers in the U.S. and the U.K. want to make a positive difference with each purchase they make. They feel that their actions can be part of a big wave that reduces pressing problems such as global warming. If you are ready to start supporting companies that are ‘giving back’, what qualities should you look for in your chosen brands?

Ethical Working Conditions

If you are drafting a list of fashion and accessory companies you would like to start supporting, spend time getting to know their policy on working conditions. For instance, if you are buying luxury gems such as diamonds, ensuring they are conflict-free and ethically sourced is key. More than 99% of accessible diamonds meet Kimberley certificate standards. However, this certificate is a logistic document that states a rough diamond was exported from a specific country under the stipulations of the Kimberley process. It does not tell you if the mine a specific diamond was obtained from provides local jobs or funds opportunities for diverse groups such as women. Therefore, inquiring about these matters can help you make a decision when considering various brands or jewelry houses.

A Passion For Sustainability
It is very easy to see which brands are 100% committed to lowering their carbon footprint. Truly green brands such as Stella McCartney have been raising the bar in terms of the use of organic, recycled and upcycled materials practically since their launch. Brands should do more than release the odd sustainable collection. They should have published policies regarding energy use, water saving, ethical sourcing of materials (i.e. materials should not hail from endangered forests), and the establishment of strict quality and sustainability standards. They should also commit to reducing oil-based synthetics during the manufacturing process.

Supporting Innovation

Check out the efforts made by each brand to support the Planet. Some have come up with innovative ways to put an end to problems such as plastics. Pangaia, famed for its über-chic tracksuits, use material obtained from recycled bottles. The fabric obtained is then colored with natural botanical dyes, and ‘freshened up’ with natural peppermint, which battles bacteria. Reformation (which manufactures swimwear) also creates items made with recycled plastic, while Isbjörn of Sweden uses fish trap to create resilient items that are also 100% PFC-free and bluesign certified.

Design For Life

Ethical fashion should also aim to be used by several owners so as to prolong the life cycle of every item and reduce the amount of waste that is overburdening landfills. Essén is one such label; it produces all collections in small batches, moving away from the idea of short-term trends and seasonality. The aim is for every single item to be used throughout the year, with minimalist looks holding sway in the summer and layering being embraced to stay warm and cosy during the winter. Another interesting minimalist brand is Working Title. In order to reduce its carbon footprint, this company only sells made-to-order items, meaning that every single outfit they make is fully desired and cherished. When purchasing items for a new season, go with items you think will stand the test of time. Ensure you have wardrobe essentials such as a ‘little black dress’, a white tailored top, black trousers, and a good coat you can dress up or down. You can still stay in trend, buying a couple of ‘in’ clothing items and accessories but mainly sticking to items you know will look good just as good next year as they do this year.

Choosing Durable Items

Genuinely sustainable items should be able to withstand plenty of wear and tear if it is to stand the test of time and be worn a lifetime or passed down to various users before being thrown away. Isbjörn, mentioned above owing to its innovative spirit, also has a big focus on durability. All items are made with materials built to last, and have sewn-in labels with space for three kids’ names (the aim being that every piece should be used by at least three people). The company goes a step further, offering to replace any items that are broken. Why buy a new coat when your favorite comfy coat can be repaired and look as good as new? Companies should ideally offer customers tips to increase the lifespan of clothing. These can include information on how to repair and wash items. They can also include suggestions on where to donate clothes once customers are done with them. The brand Vaude, for instance, has a free online platform called iFixit, which provides instructions on how to fix various products.

Embracing Diversity

Sustainable companies that truly desire to make a difference should take other ethical considerations into account, one of which involves embracing diversity. The 21st century is arguably the first to embrace different races, body types, and ages in advertising and fashion. Brands should do more than simply market themselves as ethical; they should also put their money where their mouth is, releasing collections in sizes that reflect the diversity of their customer base. Just a few brands that have already done so include Adidas, Apiece Apart, and Diane von Furstenberg. The latter’s iconic wrap dresses are now available in sizes 14 to 24, thanks to its recent partnership with Honoré.

If you are ready to make more eco-conscious fashion choices, a good place to start is by checking out the sustainability policies of your favorite brands. Those that do value ethical working conditions, the environment, and other issues such as animal welfare, will usually share their values with you via their website and social media channels. Be vigilant about shopping for jewelry as well, since truly ethically sourced diamonds have more to them than simply complying with the Kimberley certificate standards. When choosing a brand to support, also think about the extent to which they are truly making an effort to effect change. Efforts can range from choosing innovative materials right through to improving durability and educating customers on how to increase a product’s lifespan. Finally, this millennium is one that is firmly focused on diversity. Ethical companies should support the idea that all human beings have a right to look and feel like their best selves through the clothes they wear. Companies can show their commitment to diversity by employing models with varying ages, races, and body types. They can also make collections in various sizes so that their garments can be worn by a truly representative group of people. One of the best ways to find out more about fashion brands is to check out their websites. If they are truly serious about sustainability and ethics, they will most likely have a sustainability section in which they list the many steps they are taking to change the superficial reputation that fashion can sometimes have.

Thornley Kelham’s Restoration of Mercedes Icon

‘NOT ANOTHER SILVER GULLWING’ – RESTORING A MERCEDES ICON WITH THORNLEY KELHAM
 

  • Classic and vintage restoration specialist Thornley Kelham has revealed the story behind its restoration of a Mercedes icon, the rare 300SL Gullwing
  • The Gullwing was delivered to Thornley Kelham by a renowned collector and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance judge for a full restoration
  • The tired-looking silver Coupé came fitted with unusual Roadster lights front and rear, and was totally transformed into period-correct Horizon Blue by Thornley Kelham

Award-winning classic and vintage car specialist, Thornley Kelham, has revealed the full transformation of a rare Mercedes 300SL with a highly knowledgeable and critical owner. The owner’s direction to the Thornley Kelham team was simple: it should be perfect, period-correct and finished in anything but silver…

The 300SL was the result of Mercedes-Benz’s decision to develop a sports-racing car in 1952. Using the engine, transmission, suspension and steering from the existing 300 luxury saloon, it was built around an innovative new chassis frame and clothed in one of the most beautiful bodies ever created. The result was the new 300 Sport Leicht or SL, informally known as ‘Gullwing’ because of its upwards opening doors. 

This particular 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing arrived at Thornley Kelham’s HQ in the Cotswolds, following a spell in France during its early days and having resided in the UK since 1981. Its early history isn’t all that well documented, but an inspection carried out on the car in 1971 as it transferred owners revealed it to be ‘in perfect condition’. 

Immediately obvious on arrival to the Thornley Kelham team were the Roadster headlights and taillights fitted to this Coupé. By 1957, Mercedes was focusing mostly on building Roadsters and there was a suspicion that this car could have been a special hybrid commission. However, a thorough inspection of the car revealed a more ordinary truth; accident damage at the front and rear had led to the car being rebuilt with Roadster parts.  

Thankfully, the tubular chassis was in good condition, but years of wear and tear meant that many of the Gullwing’s mechanicals, including its 3.0-litre straight-six engine were in need of rebuilding. Thornley Kelham’s in-house engine-building team set to work cleaning, crafting from scratch or replacing parts of the Gullwing’s drivetrain to ensure it runs reliably and to its optimum performance for years to come.   

Outside of restoring all the mechanicals, the team were also in a position to begin painting and trimming the car to the client’s specifications. Adamant to not have ‘another silver Gullwing’, the owner opted for a striking shade of period-correct Horizon Blue, with an interior finished with a blue plaid non-leather option. But perfecting the finish meant challenges at every corner; the complex doors take hours of careful adjustment and the ‘eyebrows’ above the wheelarch were a particularly delicate operation. Later Gullwings had an almost-invisibly different eyebrow design to earlier cars, and it was crucial to get it correct.  

As the car began to come together, the Thornley Kelham team were tasked with sourcing a large number of original parts, including things as difficult to find as the interior lights. In total, buying parts alone was more than six-figures-worth of expense. Two pieces they didn’t require, however, were the bumpers – the client wished to do without, preferring the visual of a de-bumpered Gullwing.

Simon Thornley, co-founder of Thornley Kelham, said: “Restoring a Gullwing is a huge responsibility, and restoring a Gullwing for a Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance judge like our client also comes with a fair bit of pressure. When you’re working with a car as rare and iconic as this, originality and accuracy is absolutely crucial. We spent hundreds of hours getting the details of this car exactly right, while making sure it adheres to the same standard that every car we work on does – it has to look good, drive well and is made to last. This car has been enjoyed for over 60 years now, and we’re delighted to have extended its lifetime for many more years of pleasure for its owners.”

About Thornley Kelham:

Founded in 2009, Thornley Kelham Ltd is a specialist in concours restoration, maintenance, servicing, rally preparation and support of iconic vintage and classic cars. From its Cotswold headquarters, the team of 36 manage, restore and prepare examples of collector cars for global concours and motorsport events from a state-of-the-art 32,000 sq/ft facility.

With in-house bodywork, paint, engine and fabrication shops, Thornley Kelham is widely regarded for the quality of its restorations of historically significant, often unique vehicles across a variety of marques including Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lancia, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce and Porsche as well as Amilcar, Bizzarrini and others. 

Its prize-winning restorations are frequently shown at top-tier concours such as Pebble Beach, the ‘Royal Concours’ at Hampton Court Palace, Chantilly and Salon Privé, while a dedicated motorsport team supports clients at rally events worldwide including the Mille Miglia, Tour Auto, Targa Florio and Peking to Paris. 

Thornley Kelham strives to create an enjoyable, informative and collaborative restoration process for the customer, with customer service as important as the restoration itself.

Thornley Kelham is also well known for the creation of the limited-edition, bespoke ‘Outlaw’ Lancia Aurelia B20GT project, details of which can be found at www.fuorilegge.co.uk.

Dark_Tones: An Upcoming, Black-owned Luxury Fashion Brand

About the Brand: an androgynous, technical, luxury line centered around fabric juxtaposition & overt expression
Dark_Tones™ was founded in 2018 by Jonathan Vaughn in Los Angeles, CA. Our purpose is multi-faceted. The fashion industry has slowly drifted away from the roots in which it was created. Fast fashion, low-quality manufacturing, and fads have bombarded this space, watering down the true integrity of fashion. Our choice behind creating garments that are handcrafted and made to order is to reinstate that lost aspect of the industry.
The androgynous aspect is quite the opposite of the reinstatement of craftsmanship. While simultaneously going back to the roots of handmade textiles, we want to break into the future by eliminating gender barriers and preconceived roles. Clothing has been a large part of establishing these gender roles, and therefore needs to be a part of breaking them down. The ultimate journey of this purpose is where the name derives. This path of purpose, as with any path, has ups and downs and can be shrouded with darkness. Rather than avoiding the darkness, embrace it. It is the embracing of this darkness that results in the strength necessary to continue. The juxtaposition of these aspects – the conflicting journey of historical significance and future progression – defines Dark_Tones™.
Our mission is striving to deliver high quality, handcrafted garments for all genders. Our vision is to be a pioneer in the revival of true hand-craftsmanship while integrating the premise of fashion with no limits, no guidelines, and no separation.

About the Designer

Told in the words of the designer, Jonathan Vaughn:

“Originally the dream was to be an architect … then a lawyer … then in finance.

It wasn’t until reuniting with my grandfather after a 10-year spell did I fall in love with design. That’s when it started happening: an influx of creative expression. I started sketching suits, uniforms and outfits. I did all of my prom outfits and suits I wanted. I even helped with designing once he decided to create a brand.”

“This was throughout high school. Fast forward a few years to business school.”

“I felt a void. I loved business and figuring things out in a logical manner, but I felt as though my creativity was being suffocated. Business school, financially and creatively, was not working out. For a while I was distraught; the idea of being unsure of what the future held for me was crushing. Then, another push in the right direction from my grandfather. He asked, ‘What about RISD?’ I had never thought about going to an art school. But I went, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.”

With a degree earned and graduation over, what was next?

“Half-way through July I became antsy. I didn’t want to be in Rhode Island anymore. After reading an article that mentioned how a lot of NY based designers are moving to California because production is cheaper, I ran the idea by grandpa. He’s all for it. So, I go. By mid-August I’m driving across the country, alone, to a place I’ve never been, not knowing what to expect. The first year involved a lot of self-searching, drugs, and alcohol. It wasn’t until halfway through the second year living in LA did I find what I initially came out here to do. I found a meaning behind my soon to be brand. Thus, Dark_Tones™ was born. A salute to surviving through everything life throws at you, not by burying it deep within yourself, but by embracing it in its fullest and embracing who it makes you become. The main thing I can wish for in the future is progression.”

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