The Louis Vuitton Silver Lockit necklace
In 2016, Louis Vuitton partnered with UNICEF to help vulnerable children around the world. This year, as a promise to children affected by disease, natural disasters and conflict, Louis Vuitton designed the Silver Lockit pendant ($600) and bracelet ($500), available at Louis Vuitton stores worldwide and online. For each sale of the Silver Lockit, $200 will be donated to UNICEF. A single donation can provide six First Aid kits, 45 mosquito nets or 25 fleece blankets.
Louis Vuitton also kicked off the #MAKEAPROMISE campaign. Inspired by childhood "pinkie promises," the brand is encouraging others to snap a promise of their own on social media. On January 12, Louis Vuitton will host the first #MAKEAPROMISE Day at stores around the world (including Toronto's Bloor Street location) to raise funds and awareness for the campaign. To date, Louis Vuitton has raised $2.5 million for UNICEF initiatives.
Kate Middleton wasn't holding back on the real talk on her first public appearance of 2017.
Visiting a treatment centre for parents with personality disorders, the Duchess of Cambridge was overheard telling one of the women receiving help:
"Parenting is tough," she said. "And with the experiences you've all witnessed, to do that on top of your own anxieties, and the lack of support you also received as mothers... I find it extraordinary how you've managed actually."
She also mentioned elsewhere that before arriving at the centre she'd just left "a room of six under threes" which we're taking to mean Princess Charlotte had the crew over for brunch and a marathon of Paw Patrol.
PS. That's a brand new Eponine coat K. Middy's wearing, FYI, which can be yours for around $2500 CAD.
Carli Whitwell and her husband attempt to find some common holiday ground.
I came to the realization that my husband and I are vacation incompatible when we were on our honeymoon. We were in the crumbling, romantic seaside city of Syracuse in Sicily. I was jonesing for a little loungey beach time, preferably with my new BFFs: cassata (a ricotta sponge cake) and espresso. But Tim had hunted down an archaeology museum, so instead I found myself wandering after him through its dusty corridors for hours.
So we divorced. Kidding! But to avoid future tantrums – mine, not his – we devised a plan. Going forward, we’d divide all vacations: 50 percent sightseeing, 50 percent slothing.
We tested out the approach on a recent getaway in Napa Valley and San Francisco. A road trip, I reasoned, would ensure that I could hop in the car and hightail it to the nearest beach if Tim pulled the museum sneak attack. It might not come as a surprise that Napa (wine, sunshine, spas, swimming) is my thing. There are 501 wineries in the county, and according to our tour guide, David, “There isn’t a bad glass of Cab Sauv.” Challenge accepted, sir.
The author and her husband. Image by: Ford Canada
First up: sightseeing. Our Napa time began with a visit to Elizabeth Spencer Winery. This mom-and-pop operation doesn’t grow its own grapes; rather, it sources them from local vineyards. Spencer’s was my kind of tasting: We were served in a tree-lined courtyard. For those who prefer the romance of a wine tour, I’d recommend Davis Estates. It’s the passion project of Mike Davis, a gregarious-cowboy type who made it big in the tech boom and then went into the wine biz – for fun. The tour is worth it to see his palatial manor alone; apparently some state senators had stopped by the week before. A blissful Tim took so many photos his iPhone died. Meanwhile, I powered through until I found a comfy hanging chair on the terrace overlooking the valley.
Round two: sloth mode. You won’t find any impersonal 500-room hotels in Napa; it is mostly B&Bs or small resorts. We stayed at the ultra-luxe Calistoga Ranch – think summer camp for millionaires – which has just 50 rooms. They call the rooms “lodges,” which is apt because they’re bigger than my condo and feature outdoor fireplaces, outdoor showers and hot tubs. It’s also worth noting that the resort is in a forest, so it smells like you’re inside a cedar-scented candle. We wrapped up our stay with a deep-tissue couples massage in the ranch’s Auberge Spa, after which I nearly cried because I didn’t want to leave.
The Golden Gate Bridge. Image by: Getty
Next up: city sightseeing. Knowing we were headed into his territory, Tim appeased me by letting me drive. I dawdled as much as I could, taking a leisurely, winding route into the city before hitting all the classic tourist stops – Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, AT&T Park (the stadium where Kanye proposed to Kim, so obvs a must-stop) and the OG hippie haunt, Haight-Ashbury. (FYI, Deadheads: 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, and the city is hosting exhibitions and festivals all year long.)
Today’s San Fran is not the Full House iteration you grew up with. It’s now a home base for booming neighbour Silicon Valley, and apartments here cost more than their Manhattan equivalents. The people-watching is just as good as the Big Apple’s: Over truffle fries and a glass of Cab Sauv in the St. Regis hotel, I’m pretty sure we saw at least five app-development deals go down.
San Francisco's "Painted Ladies" on "Postcard Row" Image by: Istock
As the city has evolved, so, too, has the food scene. The region now boasts 49 Michelin-starred restos. We ended our getaway with a meal at the buzzy Twenty Five Lusk, which recently got a thumbs-up from Barack Obama. “Nobody comes here once,” our guide had told us about the city. Turns out not even sedentary vacationers like me can resist it. We’re already planning our next trip.
JOY RIDE Your road trip is only as good as your wheels. Here are my three must-haves.
The 2017 Lincoln Continental Image by: Ford Canada
1. Comfy seats. We test drove the 2017 Lincoln Continental, and I can report that the leather seats were as soft as the marshmallow-like bed in my Napa lodge. They also boast back massagers.
2. A good sound system. The Lincoln’s 10 speakers ensure you can always play Rihanna at full blast, as she should be.
3. A jacked-up dashboard. Among its many tricks, it shows the speed limit of the road you’re on. This is helpful when you’re pulling a Jack Kerouac and have no idea where you are or how fast you should be going.
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of ELLE Canada.
Want a career in fashion? These jobs prove that sometimes it's worth taking the path less travelled.
The night Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo hit the Internet, while you were memorizing the lyrics to “Fade” and refreshing your Twitter to see the latest on the T.Swift debacle over that line in “Famous,” Sarah Lewitinn was busy too – editing out all the profanity from the album. “I was up until 4 a.m. so I could add it to the stores ASAP,” says the New Yorker, who curates the eclectic (think everything from Chvrches to Drake) play-list for all of the North American Aritzia and Wilfred stores. Lewitinn started out as a teenage music critic and later ran a record label. She has been DJing for over a decade and compares building the ultimate song list for the Canadian retailer to programming the best radio station ever. “I’m not making a playlist for the most popular girl in school but rather for the cool girl the popular girl secretly wants to be like.” That’s music to our ears.
THREE SONGS LEWITINN HAS ON ROTATION RN 1. “Secrets” by The Weeknd. 2. “Cranes in the Sky” by Solange. 3. “I Followed You Home” by Eliot Sumner.
As far as corporate mantras go, Lululemon’s is pretty chill: “When life works, work works.” It’s not surprising, then, that the Canadian label, which was at the forefront of the athleisure revolution, created the role of mindfulness manager in 2015 to help its employees focus their minds and supercharge their careers. Now director of mindful performance, Danielle Mika Nagel and her team of meditation teachers lead sessions for everyone from store staff to the executive team (including twice-daily classes at the company’s Vancouver head office). Mika Nagel also creates customized programs and yoga podcasts for internal use and for the world-class athletes with whom the brand works. But her guidance as a certified teacher goes beyond sun salutations. “The outcome of practising yoga and meditation is present-moment awareness,” she explains. “When we’re present, we embrace life and begin to look at challenges as opportunities for growth.”
LIVE IN THE NOW “Start mono-tasking rather than multi-tasking,” she says. “Whether you are having a conversation, driving your car or helping your kids with homework, stay fully present with that one activity.”
Tracey Panek is not your typical archivist. This history buff traded in books for blue jeans in 2014, when she took a job as Levi’s on-staff historian, responsible for the cataloguing of the company’s archives in San Fran. She also travels the globe looking for vintage pieces to add to the collection. Recently – and thanks to the auction-house gods – she acquired Albert Einstein’s denim jacket, which dates back to the 1930s. “Making discoveries [like that] is definitely the most exciting part of my job,” she says. When she’s not snapping up rare garments, she’s collaborating with designers to research historical designs and details that often inform the direction of new collections or the re-releases of throwback styles – and she gets to do it all in jeans. “Let’s just say that my work uniform consists of the denim tuxedo,” she says.
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN Levi’s has just updated its iconic 501s.
You probably haven’t even decided what you’ll have for lunch today, but New York-based trend forecaster Romney Jacob knows what you’re going to want to buy in 10 years. Despite her “straight out of The Hunger Games” title, she uses her powers only for good: to help fashion brands learn what will sell for them in the years to come. “We help companies connect the dots and navigate the future of what their consumers are going to be interested in and when it’s going to hit for their business,” says Jacob, who started her career in fashion journalism. “Only after spending years in editorial roles did I discover that my strongest drive came from tracking the emergence of trends – not just talking about what is the new black but analyzing why it’s the new black.” How does she do this? Instead of relying purely on statistical data (though that still plays a role), she organizes “trend treks”: bespoke itineraries that allow execs to tour specific regions and markets where they’re interested in doing business. Recently, she says, she took a team to four cities across Europe to live life like Millennials. Taking 10 selfies a day was optional, of course.
WHAT SHE HAS LEARNED “Be open to finding your niche in this industry. When I started my career in fashion, I only knew about two paths: being a designer or working for a magazine. Learn about all of the different avenues you can take in fashion, and be honest about which ones truly excite you each day.”
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of ELLE Canada.