Virtuoso® Unveils The Coveted Best Of The Best Awards Honoring The World’s 10 Finest Properties And Hoteliers

Global luxury travel network Virtuoso® revealed the winners of the celebrated 2019 Best of the Best awards last night, before more than 1,800 industry leaders at the 31st annual Virtuoso Travel Week. The ceremony at the 13th annual Hotels & Resorts Dinner recognized the year’s top 10 hotels and hoteliers in categories ranging from best wellness program to best dining experience. Four Seasons Hotel George V triumphed with the most prestigious prize: Hotel of the Year.

Virtuoso® is the leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency partners with 20,000 elite travel advisors in 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.

Drawing upon its preferred relationships with over 1,800 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $26.4 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry.

With a wide-ranging portfolio of more than 1,400 hotels, resorts, villas, tented camps and private island retreats in over 100 countries, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts is the industry’s most renowned program. Started in 1992 with 20 hotels, today it includes more five-star properties than any other group.

Virtuoso’s 20,000 professional travel advisors from 50 countries served as Best of the Best award voters. Editors of Virtuoso Life, the network’s multi-award-winning magazine, lent insights to narrow the field of nominees for which the advisors voted. Winners will be showcased in the September/October issue of the magazine, reaching 200,000 affluent households.

The exceptional contributions of these Best of the Best winners are emblematic of the caliber of creativity, service and guest experiences that are the hallmark of the Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts program,” said Albert Herrera, senior vice president of Global Product Partnerships for Virtuoso. “Every year our winners raise the bar even higher for global luxury hospitality, and we are proud to honor their accomplishments while expressing gratitude for the inspiration they provide to us all.

The 2019 Virtuoso Best of the Best winners are:

Hotel of the Year: An iconic hotel that epitomizes excellence in luxury hospitality and encourages positive change in its community.
Winner: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, France
The property delights guests with impeccable service, fine art and antiques and stunning floral displays. A new spa features an indoor pool and dozens of treatments and fitness programs, including a staff-led jog past landmarks including the Louvre and Eiffel Tower. The hotel offers three restaurants: the three-Michelin-starred Le Cinq as well as Le George and L’Orangerie, which each boast a star of their own.

Best Achievement in Design: Outstanding architecture and design of a hotel or component (room or suite, restaurant, spa, public space, etc.), whether a new property, renovation, or restoration.
Winner: Rosewood Hong Kong, China
Soaring 65 stories above Victoria Dockside, a new art and design district on the Kowloon waterfront, Rosewood’s glass tower enhances Hong Kong’s skyline. Inside, Western and Asian aesthetics blend seamlessly, from the octagonal Chinese bagua symbol on carpets and walls to copper-mesh-lined French pendant lights, Damien Hirst artwork, and Indian artist Bharti Kher’s life-size elephant sculpture.

Best Dining Experience: Excellence in hotel dining encompassing outstanding food, wine list, service, ambiance, or even a stunning view.
Winner: La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa – Restaurant Le Gabriel, Paris, France
The gilded dining room of the two-Michelin-starred restaurant in a 19th-century mansion-turned-hotel makes an unforgettable impression. And that’s before chef Jérôme Banctel brings his notable pedigree, Breton upbringing, and influences from his travels to the table with modern takes on French classics such as coriander-spiced artichoke heart and pigeon with cacao and buckwheat.

Best Bar: A hotel bar that offers a social meeting spot where innovative drinks, lively mixologists and servers, and an enticing atmosphere create a “see and be seen” buzz.
Winner: Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club – Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar, Surfside, Florida, U.S.
Amalfi Coast bars perfected the art of aperitivo, and that spirit is exemplified in this stylish import from Positano’s Le Sirenuse hotel. The lounge in the historic hotel’s original ballroom serves the largest selection of Champagne in the Miami area, plus grappas, liqueurs, and bubbly-infused cocktails, in handblown Venetian glasses.

Sustainable Tourism Leadership: A property that exhibits a commitment to the pillars of sustainable tourism including environmentally friendly practices, protection of cultural and natural heritage, and social and economic benefits for local people.
Winner: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Wolgan Valley, Australia
This 7,000-acre success story shows how degraded ranchland can be restored to its natural grandeur. Kangaroos, wombats, and other wildlife roam the resort grounds, which was the world’s first to achieve internationally accredited carbon-neutral certification. Guest experiences focus on the outdoors, such as guided glowworm walks, stargazing, nocturnal animal viewing and tree planting.

Best Family Program: A property offering children’s programs, from creative activities to educational endeavors and active adventures.
Winner: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Families bond over horseback riding, boogie boarding, snorkeling and more, then relax at the pool or spa (with a kids’ treatment menu). The Kids’ Club offers 4- through 12-year-olds storytelling, movies, and games, while teens enjoy karaoke, pool tables, and dancing. Family accommodations lie near the pool and beach, and a “baby concierge” stocks everything from strollers to bottles – and arranges sitters too.

Best Wellness Program: A hotel focusing on mind/body balance through excellence in nutrition or diet programs, fitness and wellness classes, spa experiences, and inspiring location.
Winner: Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Miraval helped pioneer the modern spa resort, and its flagship property continues to lead the way. Guests choose from more than 100 workshops, classes, and activities that include cooking, private and group workouts, beekeeping, and even equine therapy. Healthy gourmet meals fuel guests’ paths to wellness, as do rituals including massages and acupuncture at the Life in Balance Spa.

Best Virtuoso Newcomer: The most noteworthy network addition from April 2018 onward.
Winner: Montage Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
This contemporary retreat offers an abundance of memorable experiences. Guests sip mezcal and dine at the two restaurants, play the 18-hole golf course, enjoy Baja-inspired spa treatments, and snorkel and paddleboard in Santa Maria Bay – a marine sanctuary and one of the area’s few swimmable beaches.

Best Virtuoso Hotel Ambassador: An executive (other than general manager or managing director) who embodies Virtuoso’s power of human connection and strives for the mutual benefit of network advisors and their brand, property, or properties.
Winner: Carlos Quereda, Querido Representation Co.
During his decade-long tenure at the Marbella Club on Spain’s Costa del Sol, Quereda was inspired by cofounder Count Rudolf von Schönburg’s ritual of greeting guests and staff, converting them into lifelong friends of the hotel. Quereda brings this hospitality to life to satisfy travelers’ quests for unique properties that embody local traditions and soul.

Hotelier of the Year:An experienced manager who demonstrates leadership and vision, a passion for the industry, a commitment to Virtuoso advisors, and an appreciation for detail.
Winner: Amanda Hyndman, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, U.K.
Hyndman’s career spans more than 30 years and some of the world’s most prestigious hotels, including Mandarin’s Bangkok flagship, where she was the first female general manager. She arrived at the Hyde Park property in June 2018, one week after a two-year renovation was completed – and two days before a fire shuttered the hotel. Hyndman transitioned staff to help with rebuilding, weathering the nine-month closure with no layoffs. The hotel reopened last spring with Hyndman and her kindness and commitment at the helm.

For more on Virtuoso and its properties in over 100 countries, including booking a stay online at the global portfolio of luxury hotels, visit www.virtuoso.com.

Publishing Giant Condé Nast Announces New Global Leadership Structure

U.S./New York-based Condé Nast and London-based Condé Nast International Are Integrated as One Global Team. New Consumer Marketing Function to Bring Focus on Direct-to-Consumer Efforts With Unified Commercial Team to Better Serve Global Clients’ Holistic Needs

New Leadership Structure is Expected to Help Further Turn the Financial Ship Around As Company Moves Beyond Closing and Selling Off Magazine Titles, Layoffs and Consolidation of Workforce Across All Titles

Long expected, Condé Nast yesterday appointed a new global leadership team designed to accelerate the company’s evolution into a 21st-century media company. The new organizational structure, which combines Condé Nast and Condé Nast International into a unified global team, was created with several guiding principles in mind, including the preservation of local editorial voice and authority, an enhanced focus on the consumer, unification of the company’s ad and commercial sales functions to reflect clients’ local and global needs and the development of new ways to share capabilities and best practices across the company.

Condé Nast is a global media company, home to iconic brands including Vogue, The New Yorker, GQ, Glamour, AD, Vanity Fair, and Wired, among many others. The company’s award-winning content reaches 84 million consumers in print, 367 million in digital and 379 million across social platforms, and generates more than 1 billion video views each month. The company is headquartered in London and New York and operates in 32 markets worldwide including China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico & Latin America, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, the U.K., and the U.S., with local license partners across the globe. Launched in 2011, Condé Nast Entertainment is an award-winning production and distribution studio that creates programming across film, television, social and digital video and virtual reality.

One of my top priorities has been to define our organizational structure so that we can take full advantage of our unique growth opportunities and exceptional content around the world,” said the recently-appointed CEO of Condé Nast, RogerLynchI’m confident that our new global structure will better enable us to collaborate across teams and markets and, ultimately, deliver unparalleled experiences for our consumers and clients.

The new structure is as follows:

Global Content Functions:: Anna Wintour, U.S. Artistic Director, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue U.S. and (newly-appointed) Global Content Advisor, will continue in her role as U.S. Artistic Director and Editor-in-Chief of Vogue U.S., and will add Global Content Advisor and oversight of Vogue International to her responsibilities. In her expanded role, Wintour will advise the executive leadership team on global content opportunities and act as a resource to editors-in-chief and editorial talent worldwide.

Oren Katzeff, President of Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE), will expand the company’s digital video, film and television operations to create best-in-class video content experiences for audiences worldwide. The company has been increasing its focus on video content and currently generates 1.1 billion video views per month. Under Oren’s leadership, CNE will now be the core of our global network of video teams, supporting the growth of our video businesses in all markets.

David Remnick, Editor-in-Chief of The New Yorker, will also continue to report directly to Lynch.

Global Operations Organization: Wolfgang Blau, President, International & Chief Operating Officer will oversee all non-U.S. markets, as well as selected global strategic functions, including Product & Technology, Data, Licensing, Global Editorial Operations, Business Development, and Delivery & Business Transformation. This organization will ensure day-to-day operational excellence and capability sharing across the business.

Global Commercial Organization: Pamela Drucker Mann, Global Chief Revenue Officer & President, U.S. Revenue, will lead a new global revenue organization that brings together the company’s U.S. and international ad sales, creative and agency, B2B marketing and client service capabilities. Jamie Jouning, promoted to Chief Client Officer, will report to Drucker Mann and oversee key global accounts, multi-market deals, and central digital ad operations. Drucker Mann will define ad sales and ad product strategies globally, and work closely with Jamie and the central team and commercial leads in the company’s worldwide markets to drive overall ad, agency, and B2B revenue and share best practices.

Consumer Marketing Organization: Condé Nast is creating a new consumer marketing organization that will be led by a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and will bring added focus to the company’s direct-to-consumer efforts. As the company expands its consumer offerings, this team will be charged with developing best-in-class capabilities and consistency across consumer experiences on every platform. The team will also be responsible for consumer revenue, with a core focus on subscriptions and memberships. In addition, the team will have responsibility for global brand management, consumer research, and insights and global audience development, ensuring a data-driven approach to the company’s efforts. The search for a CMO to lead this new organization will begin immediately.

Corporate Functions: The company is also globalizing its three corporate functions to leverage skills, expertise and standardize processes and best practices: People, Finance and Communications. The company will begin an immediate search and selection process for these and other open roles. Until new leaders are identified, teams will maintain their existing reporting lines and responsibilities.

We’re bringing added focus to our direct-to-consumer efforts and will build a new consumer marketing function that will be charged with developing best-in-class subscription and membership capabilities, and maintaining the authenticity of our iconic global brands,” Lynch continued. “And by transforming our sales organization into a unified global team, Condé Nast will be better positioned to serve the holistic needs of our clients around the world and make it easier for them to do business with us.

The new structure and appointments take effect immediately.

National Geographic Launches ‘Starstruck,’ A Yearlong Celebration Of Space Across Its Global Networks, Magazines, Books And More

Starstruck Kicks Off With Second Season of Critically Acclaimed Series MARS and Fifth Season of Emmy-Nominated Series STARTALK With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Event to Also Include Two New Specials: MARS: INSIDE SPACE X and MISSION TO THE SUN, Plus Fall Book Releases “Space Atlas” and “Apollo to the Moon

Starstruck Continues Into 2019 With a New Season of COSMOS and Weeklong Celebration of the 50-Year Anniversary of Apollo 11 Lunar Landing in July

Visit New Starstruck Portal for All Things Space, Including National Geographic Space Photography and In-Depth Reporting on the Latest Space News

For 130 years, National Geographic has been helping people explore the unknown, from the deepest oceans to the farthest reaches of the universe. Today, National Geographic announced that it will embark on a new storytelling odyssey, exploring the past, present and future of space across its vast media and entertainment platforms with Starstruck: National Geographic’s Yearlong Celebration of Space.

From the very dawn of the space age, National Geographic has covered the science, mystery and adventures of space exploration with unrivaled access, in-depth news reporting and cutting-edge science and technology.

National Geographic Society Logo

National Geographic logo. (PRNewsfoto/National Geographic Society)

In 1935, National Geographic and the U.S. Army Air Corps jointly launched aeronauts into the sky in the Explorer II Stratosphere Balloon, helping to pave the way for the space program and marking a manned altitude record that lasted for 21 years. Later, in recognition of National Geographic’s contributions to space research and photography, astronaut John Glenn carried the National Geographic flag on the first U.S. manned orbital space flight in 1962. And on July 16, 1969, a National Geographic flag was again vaulted into the sky on the 238,000-mile voyage to the moon, with Neil Armstrong observing to his team that it was a privilege that the flag that had “accompanied every major recent expedition,” should also accompany the first one ever to set foot on the lunar surface. In 1977, National Geographic was part of the curation of the Golden Record, and more recently, presented the first-ever Instagram Live from the International Space Station with Will Smith in April 2018.

National Geographic Starstruck Launch 2018

National Geographic Launches ‘Starstruck,’ A Celebration Of Space Across Its Global Networks, Magazines, Books And More

With Starstruck, National Geographic aims to once again inspire people to “look up” by bringing the awe and wonder of space to audiences around the world.

The yearlong commitment to presenting the best of space content kicked off this past week with the launch of the Starstruck Space Portal, as well as the recent release of National Geographic’s updated Space Atlas.” The celebration continues Nov. 4 with an all-day marathon of the critically acclaimed series One Strange Rock beginning at 10 a.m., and with new seasons of MARS and STARTALK with Neil deGrasse Tyson in an intergalactic block of programming that premieres Monday, Nov. 12.

Additionally, two new specials will air this fall: MARS: INSIDE SPACE X also on Nov. 12, and MISSION TO THE SUN on Nov. 19.

Culminating with the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing next July and a coinciding week of blockbuster Apollo programming on the National Geographic channel, Starstruck will rally National Geographic’s unrivaled portfolio of storytelling platforms around the spirit of space exploration and the nostalgia, curiosity, and feeling of limitless possibility that it brings.

With this announcement, Natgeo.com/Starstruck will be National Geographic’s one-stop digital hub for all things space.

Highlights of the content across all platforms include:

OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD TV PROGRAMMING:

  • Season 2 of Nat Geo’s groundbreaking, genre-busting, hit docudrama MARS premieres Nov. 12 at 9/8c.

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    A scene from the first episode of Season two of Mars.

  • A new season of the award-winning STARTALK with Neil deGrasse Tyson debuts Nov. 12 at 11/10c.
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    MARS: INSIDE SPACE X, premiering Monday, Nov. 12, at 8/7c, is an unprecedented glimpse into one of the world’s most revolutionary companies’ plan to make Mars home.
  • MARS: INSIDE SPACE X, premiering Monday, Nov. 12, at 8/7c, is an unprecedented glimpse into one of the world’s most revolutionary companies’ plan to make Mars home. Filmed over the course of three years, this journey will take viewers behind the scenes with Elon Musk and his engineers as they persevere amid both disheartening setbacks and huge triumphs to advance the space industry faster than thought possible.

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    Mission To The Sun: The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket is seen in this long exposure photograph as it launches NASA’s Parker Solar Probe to touch the Sun, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Parker Solar Probe is humanity’s first-ever mission into a part of the Sun’s atmosphere called the corona. Here it will directly explore solar processes that are key to understanding and forecasting space weather events that can impact life on Earth. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

  • MISSION TO THE SUN, debuting Nov. 19 at 8/7c, goes behind the scenes as NASA preps for the launch of the Parker Probe, a historic quest to explore the last great frontier of our solar system — the sun. The special will feature new NASA footage, interviews, and animations to further capture this groundbreaking mission, and a behind-the-scenes look at the exclusive team of NASA scientists who have made this skillfully planned endeavor a reality.
  • A brand-new season of EXPLORER programming will launch Nov. 12 at 10/9c, with a special Starstruck episode featuring space lemurs, flat-earthers and real space cowboys, premiering Dec. 10.
  • Following a wildly successful run in 2014 as the most-watched series ever on National Geographic Channels internationally — seen by more than 135 million people worldwide on National Geographic and FOX — the highly anticipated Emmy award-winning worldwide phenomenon COSMOS returns this spring with COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famed pop-culture icon, astrophysicist and host of the Emmy-nominated StarTalk, returns as host of COSMOS.
  • A special week of Apollo programming in July shines a light on the grit and glory of the Apollo missions and a look at the new era of space travel and exploration.

LATEST SPACE NEWS, SKY WATCH GUIDES, AND STUNNING PHOTOGRAPHY:

  • Up-to-the-date reporting from National Geographic’s prize-winning editorial team on the Starstruck news page, including live news coverage of the NASA InSight Mars landing (Nov. 26) and the NASA Kuiper Belt flyby (set for Jan. 1, 2019), the latest insights on the upcoming blood moon eclipse, and more
  • Exciting National Geographic magazine space content, debuting in various issues over the next year, including an essay from November guest contributor Bill Nye on space sailing, and future features celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing
  • Monthly sky-watching guides, best space pictures of the month and a spacecraft love letter series (featuring first-person essays written by journalists, scientists, educators and enthusiasts who have a personal connection with the space probe), starting this month on the Starstruck portal.

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‘Let’s Go Gifting’: Nordstrom Launches its 2018 Holiday Campaign Celebrating the Joy of Gifting

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(Courtesy: Nordstrom PR)

This holiday season, Nordstrom wants to make shopping fun with Gifts That Do Good, Gifts That Inspire, and innovative services that help make the holidays completely stress-free in-store and online. The marketing campaign was produced by Nordstrom and directed and photographed by Theo Wenner, who has worked on original campaigns for Chanel, Chloe, and Topshop/Topman, as well as editorials for Vogue and Rolling Stone. The cast includes Guinevere Van Seenus, who began her modeling career walking a Nordstrom fashion show as a teenager, as well as longtime Nordstrom customer and model Jan De Villeneuve, who has been gracing runways for over 50 years.

NORDSTROM LOGO

NORDSTROM LOGO (Courtesy: Nordstrom PR)

The campaign includes a colorful, cheerful video that will run on Nordstrom.com and on the retailer’s social and digital platforms, print and out of home. A national TV commercial will launch on November 5.

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Campaign visuals from the 2018 Nordstrom ‘Let’s Go Gifting!” Holiday campaign to run in O: The Oprah Winfrey magazine  (Courtesy: Nordstrom PR)

GIFTS THAT DO GOOD

Giving back feels good any time of year, but particularly during the holidays. From gift cards that give back, to gifts that do good, Nordstrom is making it easier than ever for customers to find the perfect gift.

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Campaign visuals from the 2018 Nordstrom ‘Let’s Go Gifting!” Holiday campaign to run in InStyle magazine (Courtesy: Nordstrom PR)

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Campaign visuals from the 2018 Nordstrom ‘Let’s Go Gifting!” Holiday campaign to run in US Harpers Bazaar magazine (Courtesy: Nordstrom PR)

  • Gift Card Give Back Nordstrom donates 1% of all gift card sales to nonprofits across the U.S. and Canada. This year alone, the company has donated over $7.5 million to more than 600 organizations.

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  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals™ In partnership with its customers, Nordstrom is supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals™ (CMNH) to make a difference in the lives of children. Now through December 24, Nordstrom invites customers to support CMNH through the purchase of $10 giving cards at any Nordstrom full-line store in the U.S. and Canada. All donations will stay local to the community in which they were given, including 55 network hospitals in regions with Nordstrom stores. The donations will fund critical treatments, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care for children and their families across the U.S. and Canada.

  • Nordstrom Signature Nordstrom is introducing a new cashmere collection featuring beautiful designs for women, men, and children. Select products within the collection are produced in factories where Nordstrom has partnered with BSR’s HERproject to implement workplace training programs on topics like health, finance, and gender equality. Since 2007, Nordstrom has partnered with BSR to launch worker empowerment programs in 27 factories around the world, reaching more than 18,000 workers.

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    Campaign visuals from the 2018 Nordstrom ‘Let’s Go Gifting!” Holiday campaign to run in US Elle magazine (Courtesy: Nordstrom PR)

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    Campaign visuals from the 2018 Nordstrom ‘Let’s Go Gifting!” Holiday campaign to run in US Marie Claire magazine (Courtesy: Nordstrom PR)

  • Treasure & Bond Nordstrom donates 2.5% of net sales from this exclusive, private-label brand to programs that empower young people to make a difference in their community. To date, the company has donated $2.5 million. This year, Treasure & Bond is supporting WE Charity, which provides educators and students with curriculum and educational resources that help them gain an understanding of the root causes of pressing social issues and provides the tools necessary to take action and make an impact. Treasure & Bond features laid-back wardrobe staples with an Americana aesthetic for women, men, children, as well as home, a new category that launched this year.

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GIFTS THAT INSPIRE

Nordstrom aims to be THE destination for unique holiday gifts at a range of price points, from a chic Topshop faux fur shoulder bag for $48 to showstopping Gucci boots for $1,790, including emerging brands and exclusive items.

November 27 - Treasure & Bond Patterned Pullover

November 27 – Treasure & Bond Patterned Pullover

  • Daily Drops Beginning November 27 through December 18, Nordstrom will release exclusive, limited products each day called ‘Daily Drops,’ to create a sense of discovery in-store and online throughout the shopping season. Products will be added to Nordstrom.com/holidaygifts at 6:00am PST, as well as on the @Nordstrom Instagram. ‘Daily Drops’ will feature exciting, new-to-market items and styles from brands like Something Navy, Christian Louboutin, Charlotte Tilbury, Rothy’s, Treasure & Bond, Le Labo, Sant & Abel, Hugo Boss x Jeremyville, and Rag & Bone x Mickey.

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  • Gift Guides Based on top-demanded categories and search terms by Nordstrom customers, the company is introducing a persona-based gift guide featuring curated and unique ideas for 11 customer personalities. Examples include The Tech Collector, The Luxe Lover, The Traveler, The Witty One, and the Do-Gooder, among others, and can be found on Nordstrom.com/holidaygifts.

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The Whitney To Present Eckhaus Latta: Possessed

This summer, The Whitney Museum of American Art will present the first museum solo exhibition of Eckhaus Latta, the New York-and Los Angeles-based fashion label, founded in 2011 by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta. Eckhaus Latta: Possessed highlights the work of this compelling young design team who belong to a new generation of designers operating at the intersection of fashion and contemporary art.

Untitled (Preparatory drawing for Possessed), 2018. Colored pencil on paper. Image courtesy the artists

Untitled (Preparatory drawing for Possessed), 2018. Colored pencil on paper. Image courtesy the artists

Eckhaus Latta’s fashion designs—for which they are currently finalists for the 2018 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers—explore, in part, identity and reflect the fluid nature of gender and sexuality. While they fully participate in the fashion system, Latta and Eckhaus remain self-aware of their roles in a consumer society. Their recognizable designs have featured experimental knitwear; a wide range of materials including lace, rust, and recycled fabrics; and a general approach that supersedes gender binaries. At times, models are sent down the runway wearing clothes that challenge traditional definitions of male and female. Vanessa Friedman, fashion director and chief fashion critic at the New York Times, wrote that their clothes “are a kind of petri dish of associative splicing,” and that they “grapple honestly with what is on the designers’ minds: questions of gender and difference and the details of fallible beauty…

This will be the first exhibition related to fashion at the Museum in twenty-one years, since The Warhol Look: Glamour, Style, Fashion (1997).

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed is organized by Christopher Y. Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator, and Lauri London Freedman, head of product development.

The exhibition, part of the Museum’s emerging artist series, will be on view in the first-floor John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery from August 3 through October 8, 2018. Access to the gallery is free of charge.

Mike Eckhaus (b. 1987, New York, NY) and Zoe Latta (b. 1987, Santa Cruz, CA) met as students at the Rhode Island School of Design while studying sculpture and textiles, respectively. They are known for using unexpected materials, emphasizing texture and tactility in their designs, and for incorporating writing, performance, and video into their practice. Through their emphasis on collaboration—with artists, musicians, and others—and an approach that plays with, and against, industry conventions, Eckhaus Latta addresses the crosscurrents of desire, consumption, and social relations. Their work has been featured in Greater New York 2015 at MoMA PS1 and Made in L.A. (2016) at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

As part of the Whitney’s emerging artist program, we sometimes showcase creative figures outside of the visual arts,” said Lew. “These figures from fields such as fashion, music, architecture, design, and food approach their disciplines in ways that are akin to visual artists, often questioning the systems and parameters that define what they do, speaking to the broader cultural moment, and blurring the boundaries between disciplines.”

Working with Mike and Zoe has challenged us to consider the roles that our Museum spaces play and the objects that are presented. They pushed us to ask broader questions such as ‘How can we reexamine the format of an exhibition?’ and ‘What is the best way to exhibit an artist’s work?’ said Freedman.

For their Whitney exhibition, Eckhaus Latta will create a new three-part installation that embraces and brings into conversation various aspects of the fashion industry, from advertising and the consumer experience to voyeurism. At the entrance to the gallery will be a sequence of photographs that play on the tropes of iconic photoshoots found in fashion advertisements and magazines. These photographs explore how Eckhaus Latta’s unique aesthetic functions in relation to the highly polished look of the industry’s media. The core of their installation will be an operational retail environment in which visitors are welcome to touch, try on, and purchase clothing and accessories designed specifically for the show. This space is made in collaboration with more than a dozen artists whom Eckhaus Latta has been in dialogue with over the years who have created functional elements such as clothing racks, display shelves, and a dressing room. The exhibition concludes with a darkened room, evocative of a security office, which features a bank of screens depicting surveillance footage. Visitors will have a voyeuristic view of not only the rest of the installation but a glimpse of the tracking and surveillance that so often accompanies the experience of shopping.

The featured collaborators are Susan Cianciolo (b. 1969, Providence, RI; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY), Lauren Davis Fisher (b. 1984, Cambridge, MA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Avena Venus Gallagher (b. 1973, Seattle, WA; lives and works in New York, NY), Jeffrey Joyal (b. 1988, Boston, MA; lives and works in New York, NY), Alexa Karolinski (b. 1984, Berlin, Germany; lives and works in Los Angeles), Valerie Keane (b. 1989, Passaic, NJ; lives and works in New York, NY), Jay Latta (b. 1951, Santa Cruz, CA; lives in works in Santa Cruz, CA), Matthew Lutz-Kinoy (b. 1984, New York, NY; lives and works between Los Angeles, CA and Paris, France), Annabeth Marks (b.1986, Rochester, NY; lives and works in New York, NY), Riley O’Neill (b. 1992, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Emma T. Price (b. 1987, Santa Cruz, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Jessi Reaves (b. 1986, Portland, OR; lives and works in New York, NY), Erica Sarlo (b. 1988, Briarcliff Manor, NY; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY), Nora Jane Slade (b. 1986, Washington, D.C.; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Sophie Stone (b. 1987, Boston, MA; lives and works in New York, NY), Martine Syms (b. 1988, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Torey Thornton (b. 1990, Macon, GA; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY), Charlotte Wales (b. 1986, Farnborough, UK; lives and works in London, UK), Eric Wrenn (b. 1985, Southfield, MI; lives and works in New York, NY), and Amy Yao (b. 1977, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Long Beach, CA and New York, NY).

Major support for Eckhaus Latta: Possessed is provided by the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation. Additional support is provided by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is located at 99 Gansevoort Street between Washington and West Streets, New York City. Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10:30 am to 6 pm; Friday and Saturday from 10:30 am to 10 pm. Closed Tuesday. Adults: $25. Full-time students and visitors 65 & over: $18. Visitors 18 years & under and Whitney members: FREE. Admission is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays, 7–10 pm. For general information, please call (212) 570-3600 or visit whitney.org.

From Cannes To Cape Town, Virtuoso® Names Nominees For The 2018 World’s Best Hotels Awards

Global luxury travel network Virtuoso® revealed the hotels and hoteliers nominated for its coveted Best of the Best awards this year. All nominees are part of the industry-defining Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts program, which boasts over 1,300 hand-selected properties worldwide and more five-star hotels than any other program. Guests who book their stay through a Virtuoso advisor enjoy exclusive benefits valued at more than $500 per stay at these properties, which span more than 100 countries. Travelers can now take advantage of booking their stay at more than 1,100 select properties online at www.Virtuoso.com and receive access to Virtuoso’s exclusive perks.Virtco_new_old

Virtuoso® is the leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency partners with 17,500 elite travel advisors in more than 45 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access.

This year’s contenders across nine categories were chosen by the network and the editors of Virtuoso Life magazine, and represent the height of achievement in their given category. The 10th category focuses on sustainable travel and recognizes the hotels that most embody the commitment to the three pillars of sustainable tourism: preserving the environment, supporting local economies and celebrating cultures.

Best Achievement in Design

  • Palácio Tangará, Oetker Collection, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
  • The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel, New York, New York, U.S.
  • The Fontenay Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • The Silo Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa

Best Dining Experience

  • Aman Tokyo – Arva, Tokyo, Japan
  • Capri Palace – Il Riccio, Capri, Italy
  • Hotel Belles Rives – La Passagere, Antibes, France
  • Meadowood Napa Valley – The Restaurant, St. Helena, California, U.S.
  • The London EDITION – Berners Tavern, London, U.K.

Best Bar

  • Brown’s Hotel, A Rocco Forte Hotel – The Donovan Bar, London, U.K.
  • Hotel Hassler – Hassler Bar, Rome, Italy
  • Mandarin Oriental, New York – The Office NYC, New York, New York, U.S.
  • Park Hyatt Vienna – The Bank Brassiere & Bar, Vienna, Austria
  • The Shelbourne – The Horseshoe Bar, Dublin, Ireland

Best Family Program

  • Hotel Barrière Le Majestic, Cannes, France
  • Kokomo Private Island Fiji, Yaukuve Levu Island, Fiji
  • Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Soneva Fushi, Baa Atoll, Maldives
  • The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

Best Wellness Program

  • Ananda in the Himalayas, Tehri-Garhwal, India
  • BodyHoliday Saint Lucia, Castries, St. Lucia
  • Chablè Resort & Spa, Chocholá, Mexico
  • The Ranch Malibu, Malibu, California, U.S.
  • Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence, Büergenstock, Switzerland

Sustainable Tourism Leadership

  • Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Wolgan Valley, Australia
  • Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Landaa Giraavaru, Maldives
  • Mashpi Lodge, Quito, Ecuador
  • Singita Grumeti – Sabora Tented Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania
  • Six Senses Douro Valley, Lamego, Portugal

Best Virtuoso Newcomer

  • Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, Vilamoura, Portugal
  • Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, Paris, France
  • Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Grand Cayman, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Islands
  • The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives
  • Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.

Best Virtuoso Hotel Ambassador

  • Andrea Filippi, Belmond
  • James Baker, The Set Hotels
  • JoAnn Kurtz-Ahlers, Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates, L.L.C.
  • Laurence Tafanel, Esprit Saint Germain
  • Ling Riley, The Palms and The Shore Club Turks and Caicos

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National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World adds it newest member, Australia’s Thala Beach Nature Reserve

As one of only five memberships granted to an Australian eco-retreat, Thala Beach Nature Reserve announced that it has been invited to join the exclusive ranks of membership to the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.

As a member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, Thala Beach Nature Reserve belongs to an exclusive collection of membership lodges that invite guests to discover some of the world’s most treasured environments, while helping to protect those places for generations to come.

Thala Beach Nature Reserve's Lobby

Thala Beach Nature Reserve’s Lobby: The open plan tropical design of Thala Beach Nature Reserve’s buildings allow it to blend with the local environment.

The membership granted to Thala Beach Nature Reserve by National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World is a timely and natural union. For more than 10 years, Thala has achieved Advanced Eco-certification and Green Travel Leader status (Ecotourism Australia) through responsible and sustainable practices and environmental sensitivity.

Thala was handpicked for membership after successfully undergoing a rigorous vetting process. The standards for inclusion to National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World are based on the four pillars of sustainable tourism: protection of natural heritage, protection of cultural heritage, support for local communities, and environmentally friendly practices.

83 Bungalows are spread throughout the forest across Thala Beach Nature Reserve allowing guests to be up close with nature.

83 Bungalows are spread throughout the forest across Thala Beach Nature Reserve allowing guests to be up close with nature.

National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World is more than a selection of world-class hotels, resorts, and retreats; it is a rich and varied collection of rare experiences in the world’s most beautiful environments. Arguably nature lovers’ most exclusive club, member lodges offer their guests encounters with uniquely stunning regions of the world – and the chance to intimately discover them.

According to Thala Beach Nature Reserve’s owner, Rob Prettejohn, the family-owned beachfront eco retreat has long offered a peaceful sanctuary for nature-loving travelers. “Our busy lifestyles drive us relentlessly. To take some time off to reconnect with nature is a magical and enriching experience.”

Thala's Private Headland

Thala’s Private Headland: Thala Beach Nature Reserve is a headland with an area of 145 acres with 2km’s of private access beach frontage between Port Douglas and Cairns, Australia.

At Thala Beach Nature Reserve, our guests enjoy comfort within a beautiful, natural environment that is home to many unique Australian plants and animals,” explains Prettejohn. “Add good local food and friendly Tropical Queensland hospitality and interactive experiences, including visits to The Great Barrier Reef and guided walks in our ancient Gondwanan rainforests, guests have a combination of experiences available nowhere else in the world.

Guests Stargazing

Guests Stargazing: Thala’s guests stargazing at the on-site observatory.

Perfectly positioned on a private headland, Thala Beach Nature Reserve is surrounded by the UNESCO World Heritage sites of The Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics, providing easy access for guests to immerse themselves in the surrounding natural grandeur and the abundance of nature-based activities on offer.

Thala’s unique accommodation is made up of 83 eco-designed, tree house-style bungalows that are set on 58 hectares of native rainforest, with 2 kilometers of private-access beach. Thala Beach Nature Reserve is located 45 minutes from Cairns and 15 minutes from Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland, Australia. 

Protection of the local environment, while welcoming travelers, is something Prettejohn holds close to his heart. “When visitors stay with us they contribute to preserving this wonderful and rare place. We are thrilled to now be a member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World and to be a part of a culture that embraces the very same values that we at Thala treasure.

Related Links

Thala Beach Nature Reserve /http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfQQ-TQXcdU / National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World / Thala Beach Nature Reserve – digital brochure.pdf