2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Official 2016 White House Ornament Commemorates Fire Trucks from 1929 White House Christmas Eve Fire

President Herbert Hoover honored with 36th Annual American-Made 2016 Christmas Ornament

The White House Historical Association, exclusive creator and manufacturer of the Official White House Christmas Ornament, continues the tradition of issuing the iconic collectible with the 36th ornament in the series. This year’s design was created by Kayla Whelan, a student designer at Montserrat College of Art, who won the Association’s national competition to create the 2016 design.

The White House Historical Association is a private nonpartisan, nonprofit that supports its mission to enhance the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the White House through sales of the annual, American-made ornament.

The Official 2016 White House Christmas Ornament

The Official 2016 White House Christmas Ornament from the White House Historical Association is American-made and honors President Herbert Hoover and the 1929 Christmas Eve fire. (PRNewsFoto/White House Historical Association)

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion‘s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $45 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission. (To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit: whitehousehistory.org.)

The festive design for the 2016 ornament is inspired by fire trucks that responded to the five alarm West Wing fire on Christmas Eve 1929, and the toy fire trucks presented to children by President and Mrs. Hoover the following year. Recognizing President Herbert Hoover as the 31st President of the United States and honoring the more than one hundred firefighters who responded to the blaze, the 2016 White House ornament is crafted from shiny brass plated with nickel and 24k gold, and the fire truck carries a Christmas tree for delivery to the White House.

The Official 2016 White House Ornament retails for $20.95 directly from the Association at its stores in Washington, D.C., online at whitehousehistory.org/2016, or by phone 1-800-555-2451. Select third-parties are authorized to resell the annual White House ornament, purchasing their inventory from the Association. (No alternative designs are authorized as the Official White House Christmas Ornament.)

Safilo Announces The New License Agreement For The rag & bone Eyewear Collections Until 2022

The Safilo Group, the fully integrated Italian eyewear creator, manufacturer and distributor of quality and trust, announces a new license agreement for the design, manufacturing and worldwide distribution of the rag & bone collections of sunglasses and optical frames. The agreement will run for five years starting from January 2018 until December 31, 2022.

Since its origins in New York in 2002, rag & bone instantaneously established itself as a critical and commercial success in the international fashion world. Combining English heritage with directional design, rag & bone has become synonymous with innately wearable clothing that has an edgy yet understated New York aesthetic.rag-and-bone-new-york-1024x508

rag & bone offers a full range of men’s and women’s ready to wear, /JEAN, accessories and footwear collections. rag & bone operates 35 stores worldwide and is also available in boutiques and department stores in over 53 countries.

With rag & bone we add a directional brand to our growing designer portfolio that benefits from an interesting market shift towards new, trendy and experimental brands. The brand speaks to a very precise target through its distinguishing combination of British understated heritage and modern edgy New York inspired design, and commitment to impeccable craftsmanship from the finest materials. Thanks to our recently established New York based design studio, we are able to capture with precision such new directional design, and cross fertilize it across our worldwide design studio network,” comments Luisa Delgado, CEO of Safilo. “This license thus opens different new business growth opportunities, especially in the US and the UK. It is consistent with our strategy to diversify across segments capturing growth spaces, innovate through trend setting brands, and leverage our leading product and distribution capabilities accordingly.

We’re incredibly proud to partner with Safilo to bring rag & bone eyewear to life. An emphasis on quality and an attention to detail have always been deeply ingrained in rag & bone’s DNA, and Safilo follows that same philosophy,” commented Marcus Wainwright, rag & bone’s CEO, Founder and Creative Director. “Both of us share a dedication to expert craftsmanship and a history of working with some of the most supremely skilled manufacturers.

rag & bone collections will cover both men’s and women’s ranges and will be distributed in all rag & bone directly operated stores, e-commerce site at www.rag-bone.com, boutiques, department stores and the best optical stores worldwide.

Design inspired and brand driven, Safilo translates extraordinary design into excellent products created thanks to a superior craftsmanship expertise dating back to 1878. With an extensive wholly owned global distribution network in 39 countries – in North and Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific and China – Safilo’s portfolio encompasses Carrera, Polaroid, Smith, Safilo, Oxydo, Dior, Dior Homme, Fendi, Gucci, Banana Republic, Bobbi Brown, BOSS, BOSS Orange, Céline, Elie Saab, Fossil, Givenchy, havaianas, Jack Spade, Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Liz Claiborne, Marc Jacobs, Max Mara, Max&Co., Pierre Cardin, Saks Fifth Avenue, Swatch, and Tommy Hilfiger.


Fairmont Scottsdale’s Christmas At The Princess: More Merry, More Ice, More Magical Lights

As one of the best and brightest places to celebrate the holiday season, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is set to be more spectacular than ever. This AAA Five Diamond resort transforms into a winter wonderland in the desert during its annual Christmas at the Princess Festival, November 22, 2016 – January 1, 2017, glistening with a four-story musical tree, Desert Ice Rink, Princess Express Trains, Lagoon Lights, plus new holiday characters, shows and attractions including Santa’s Secret Headquarters.


This four-story musical tree at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona is set with 70,000 LED lights that twinkle and dance to 17 songs, setting the stage for Princess Express Train rides through Lagoon Lights, a fantasy land with more than 3 million lights, along with the Desert Ice Skating Rink and holiday characters. The festival runs November 22, 2016 – January 1, 2017. (PRNewsFoto/Fairmont Scottsdale Princess)

New holiday friends checking-in are the lovely Princess Angelica, a huggable yeti named Shivers and the squishable Graham, a walking s’more. All will join the resort’s other Christmas characters: Peppermint Penguin, Selfie Elfie and Princess Noel, each bringing their own special charm from the North Pole.


The Desert Ice Skating Rink is just one of many attractions at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, where the Christmas at the Princess festival runs November 22, 2016 – January 1, 2017. The resort also has 3 million holiday Lagoon Lights, the Princess Express trains, 4-story musical tree, Santa’s Secret Headquarters, a new Polar Glide ice slide and a host of holiday characters. The festival is open to the public and overnight holiday packages include the Season of Giving package that benefits Cox Charities. (PRNewsFoto/Fairmont Scottsdale Princess)

At the Desert Ice Rink, made with real ice, skaters experience magical snowfalls, while luxury rink-side fire pit tables are the coziest spot to enjoy all the merriment under a starry Scottsdale sky. Another icy element is the new Polar Glide slide, surrounded by campfires in S’mores Land. Other rides include a carousel and new Ferris wheel. Continue reading

Emporio Armani Enters The World Of The Connected And Launches A Hybrid Smartwatch

Emporio Armani marks its entrance into the field of connected wearables with the Emporio Armani Connected collection of hybrid smartwatches.

Emporio Armani Connected Hybrid Smartwatch Collection

The Emporio Armani Connected Hybrid Smartwatch Collection (PRNewsFoto/Emporio Armani)

The Emporio Armani Connected line of hybrid smartwatches brings together the unmistakable design of Emporio Armani timepieces and the advantages of wearable technology. With the ability to sync to your smartphone via Bluetooth, these hybrid smartwatches offer the following features:

  • Time keeping perfection: ensure maximum precision, automatically changing time zones and date while you’re traveling
  • Second time zone: accurately convert the hour with ease
  • Discreet notifications: can be set to subtly notify you of calls, messages, or other important notifications
  • Activity tracking: automatically track and monitor your daily activities
  • No charging: the quartz batteries allow for prolonged use without the need to recharge
  • Control your music: allow for easy access to your phone’s music playlist to start, stop, skip, or go back
  • Sleep tracking: to automatically monitor sleep patterns
  • Alarm: for scheduled alerts from your timepiece
  • Camera: wirelessly take photos on your smartphone
  • Find your lost device: to quickly locate your misplaced smartphone

The Emporio Armani Connected line of hybrid smartwatches will be available on www.emporioarmaniconnected.com, in select boutiques and wholesale accounts worldwide, in a choice of rose gold-tone, black, gunmetal, and stainless steel, with a three-piece link or leather strap. The texturized face, with rose gold-tone or silver hands, carries the unmistakable Emporio Armani character.

The launch of this line of hybrid smartwatches is the first step of a wider project that will culminate in 2017 with the official presentation of the first Emporio Armani display smartwatch.

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Eat, Drink and Give Thanks at Capa and Ravello

To celebrate Thanksgiving in Orlando, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is offering turkey two ways: with an indulgent buffet at Ravello, and with a Thanksgiving special at Capa. Ravello’s buffet is perfect for those who like to celebrate in style and enjoy expansive options, while Capa’s menu provides a unique way to enjoy traditional Thanksgiving offerings with a twist.


To celebrate Thanksgiving in Orlando, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is offering turkey two ways: with an indulgent buffet at Ravello, and with a Thanksgiving special at Capa.

Thanksgiving at Ravello: Ravello is offering a Thanksgiving Day buffet for Thursday, November 24, 2016, with reservations available from 2:00 to 8:00 pm. The Thanksgiving buffet includes highlights such as antipasti and charcuterie display, shrimp, oysters, crab, charred tuna, sushi, lobster and shrimp ravioli, grilled mahi mahi, rotisserie chicken, Chef Fabrizio’s risotto with butternut squash, a selection of soups and salads including a special borlotti bean with spicy pomodoro and prosciutto soup. Of course, there will be delicious turkey with all of the fixings, including cranberry sauce, focaccia and sausage stuffing, giblet-sage gravy, charred sweet potato puree, roasted Brussels sprouts, and more. The menu is available for USD 105 per adult and USD 35 per child. For the full menu, click here.

The Four Seasons Orlando

With tall, arched windows and an outdoor terrace from which to enjoy views of the gardens and water features, Ravello serves delicious buffet and à la carte breakfast as well as dinner that creatively interprets Italian and Mediterranean cuisines.

Thanksgiving at Capa: For those looking for a unique way to celebrate the holiday, Capa will be offering a Thanksgiving special in addition to an a la carte dinner menu available from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. The special includes roasted turkey confit, served with a side of potato puree, stuffing, winter vegetables, and cranberry and port gravy sauce, USD 56 per person. To end the meal on a sweet note, Capa’s dessert special is a festive duo of pumpkin bourbon custard and cinnamon tres leches, USD 14. To view the special menu, click here.


Capa’s diverse offerings range from fresh Florida seafood to incredible small plates and expertly grilled cuts. An open kitchen and wood-burning grill allow you to get close to the action, while on the outdoor patio diners enjoy views of the nightly fireworks.

For those who wish to celebrate Thanksgiving but perhaps not necessarily with turkey, there are several additional options available at Four Seasons Resort Orlando. Guests can celebrate with Goofy & His Pals at the Character Breakfast in Ravello, offered on Thursday, November 24, 2016 from 7:30 to 11:00 am. PB&G will also offer its standard menu from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, as will Plancha at the Tranquilo Golf Clubhouse. To make Dining Reservations, please call 407-313-6161

The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts Makes Singapore Debut

Following an Extensive Renovation with Design Direction from Internationally Acclaimed Interior Designers Anouska Hempel and Jacques Garcia, The Duxton Club Is Expected to Open in the “Garden City’s” Historic Tanjong Pagar District in 2017

The Luxury Collection® Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, announced it will debut the brand’s first-ever hotel in Singapore in early 2017. In partnership with boutique developers Harpreet and Satinder Garcha, The Duxton Club, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Singapore will showcase the island’s rich history with stunning redesigns from Anouska Hempel and Jacques Garcia of traditional shophouses–a prevalent building in Singapore’s architectural heritage–in the Tanjong Pagar conservation district. Both preserving the past and offering guests a contemporary luxury experience, the multi-million-dollar renovation will bring to life Singapore’s roots in an authentic and indigenous way.


Rendering of the lobby at The Duxton House by Anouska Hempel Design

The Duxton Club will reside in two pre-war colonial shophouse buildings within walking distance of one another: The Duxton House on Duxton Road and The Duxton Terrace on Murray Street. Strategically situated in the Duxton area, the two buildings are adjacent to the emerging Central Business District of Tanjong Pagar and border the culturally rich Chinatown area. In recent years, the neighborhood has enjoyed a revival, emerging as the epicenter for today’s global traveler as one of the island’s most stylish leisure and dining neighborhoods. The Duxton House is expected to open in early 2017, while The Duxton Terrace is slated to open in July 2017.

We are thrilled to bring The Luxury Collection to Singapore,” said Rajit Sukumaran, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development, Marriott International Asia Pacific. We are confident that The Duxton Club will make its mark on the country’s highly competitive hospitality market, and we’re proud to work with Harpreet and Satinder Garcha, who are passionate about design and adaptive-reuse heritage projects.

Originally constructed in the early 19th century, The Duxton House features 50 guestrooms in eight adjoining three-story buildings reimagined by celebrated designer Anouska Hempel, whose comprehensive interior design background spans hotels, restaurants, retail spaces and luxury residential projects including the Hempel Hotel and Blakes Hotel in London, and high-end retail stores around the world such as Van Cleef and Arpels and Louis Vuitton.

Under the strong interior design identity of Hempel, The Duxton House will be restored to its former glory with rich oriental influences that honor the property’s unique heritage and timeless sense of luxury and glamour. Once completed, the hotel will include a destination restaurant, signature bar and private cigar room – all offering refined experiences for discerning guests seeking authentic, indigenous experience deeply rooted in the destination.

Just 600 feet away, with convenient access to the upscale establishments of Tras Street and Club Street, The Duxton Terrace comprises fourteen adjoining three and four-story colonial-era buildings with 138-guestrooms. Originally, completed in 1929, the structure likely served Chinese merchants before being converted to army barracks. Since then, the building has been adapted for different purposes, from housing a hawker food alley to restaurants and office space. The property’s most recent renovation project received the Architectural Heritage Award from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, further solidifying the building as a cherished and historic landmark.

The Duxton Terrace will be restored to its original grandeur by renowned architect and designer Jacques Garcia, whose extensive design portfolio includes the restoration of The Louvre and The Palace of Versailles. The hotel will house five captivating food and beverage venues including a signature bar and lobby bar, an all-day dining restaurant, a poolside bar and an exclusive member’s club. Additional facilities will include an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center and cigar room. Guests of The Duxton Club will enjoy full use of the facilities at both premises. Continue reading

The Diary of A Wimpy Kid’s Greg Heffley Returns to The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Greg Heffley, Star of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid® Book Series, is Set to Return to the Skies of New York City as a New Giant Character Balloon for the 90th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®

Diary of A Wimpy Kid’s star “journal” keeper returns to the Macy’s Parade in celebration of the November 1, worldwide release of Double Down, book 11 in the international publishing phenomenon, Diary of A Wimpy Kid series by award-winning author Jeff Kinney

This Thanksgiving, a pop culture phenomenon returns to take flight as a new character helium balloon in the 90th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®

Greg Heffley, the “journal” keeping star of the No. 1 bestselling Diary of A Wimpy Kid® book series that now has 180 million copies in print globally, as well as the 20th Century Fox film series, is set to delight legions of fans worldwide during the holiday procession. On Thursday, Nov. 24, more than 3.5 million spectators and more than 50 million television viewers will marvel as the newly colorful Greg Heffley takes a tumble down the route for his first chilly flight down the streets of New York City. Accompanying his famed protagonist will be award-winning author Jeff Kinney, who is expected to help guide the new balloon down the streets of Manhattan during a stop on his global tour in support of the new book.


Diary of A Wimpy Kid’s Greg Heffley returns to the skies of New York City this November as a colorful new giant character helium balloon in the 90th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Photo: Business Wire)

The new Diary of A Wimpy Kid balloon is an extraordinarily colorful and animated take on everyone’s favorite “journal” writer,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “In keeping with his trademark clumsy nature, Greg Heffley will clutch his most prized possession as he slips on the wintery ice down the entire Macy’s Parade route, and tumbles once again into the hearts of millions of spectators in New York and across the country.

Transformed to more closely resemble Greg’s colorful new look as illustrated in the latest Diary of A Wimpy Kid books, Greg is ready for the winter decked out in red snow boots, blue puffer coat, red ear muffs and a green/yellow striped scarf. While he may be bundled up for the Thanksgiving Day weather, the new balloon will see Greg clumsily taking a tumble down the route with his arm outstretched to break his fall, surely having slipped on an icy surface because he had his nose buried in his “Diary”…oops, journal! Commenting on the colorful and energetic new balloon design Jeff Kinney, author and illustrator said, “As a creator, this will be a huge day because I started with a pencil sketch and we tried lots of different ideas. For the new balloon, we wanted to do something really different and dramatic.

The vibrant new take on this classic Parade balloon star measures, 62-feet long, 32-feet wide and is 62-feet tall, a balloon behemoth sure to delight millions of fans. Kinney added, “It’s extremely exhilarating to see it come to life.” The original balloon, modeled after the black and white version of Greg, debuted in the Macy’s Parade in 2010 and flew until last year.

Celebrating the upcoming release of Double Down, the multiple-award winning Diary of A Wimpy Kid series continues to conquer the publishing world. In addition to the books, Greg stars in his own live action film series with the fourth 20th Century Fox movie “Diary of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” currently in production and set for a May 2017 theatrical release. Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Double Down, the eleventh book in the series, is set for domestic release by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS The Art of Books, as well as worldwide publication on Nov. 1, and will see author Jeff Kinney embark on a global tour to meet tens of thousands of fans at 20 stops in three continents.90th_parade-1

The 90th Anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationwide on NBC-TV, on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016 from 9 a.m. – noon in all time zones. For more information on the Macy’s Parade please visit www.macys.com/parade or call the Parade hotline at (212) 494-4495.