Karamell

Recently a new kids concept store opened its doors in Zurich, KARAMELL. A true playground for the little ones (0-12 years) as well as for their moms. The brainchild behind it is no other than Sara Allerstorfer, who worked for 18 years at Switzerland’s renowned fashion magazine BOLERO as fashion editor and director. Through work, Sara and I have become friends and we always had a lot of fun when we travelled together, sharing a passion for Givenchy and being both working mums.

Sara and I working together during a shoot for BOLERO magazine in April 2011.

Sara has an expert eye when to comes to finding treasure from all over the world. Her store is filled with pieces that are produced in limited editions and in a sustainable way. The labels she carries come from all over the world, from Goteborg to Brooklyn to Tokyo and can only be found at KARAMELL in Zurich.

For us, she opened up about the challenges she encountered leaving her old job and how she feels today living her new dream.

You worked for 18 years as a fashion editor at BOLERO magazine. Why did you take the decision to leave such a «desirable» job and start something completely new?

The idea of my own store was a dream that I had already been dreaming for years. After my son’s birth, it was obvious for me that it would be a kids concept store because I could not find cool clothes for him in Zurich. And when he grew older, it even became worth. There were either clothes with allover prints in hideous colors, with tasteless motives or items in poor quality. Chains like H&M and Zara were no option at all, regarding their manufacturing process and quality.

And after 18 years in the print media world I needed a new challenge. Personally speaking, don’t be impressed by the «glamorous» fashion world. It is tough and not at all as glamorous as it sells itself via magazines and social media. All that glitters is not gold!

How long did it take you to get started?

To get KARAMELL on track took me one year. I had to find the right location, which is a challenge in Zurich; write a business plan; sort out financial matters; do research in kids fashion to find brands I liked and which are not distributed in Zurich yet; develop an interior concept, which then I realized with Virginia Maissen Interior Studio; go to fairs and showrooms for buying; etc.

What was your biggest challenge that you have encountered so far?

To have a good work-life-balance. To be a good mother and a good businesswoman.

What was the best moment you have experienced in your new environment?

When a customer came to the store and said: This is Instagram came true.

Once a little girl left her doll in the store. Several weeks later she came with her grandmother to pick it up. You should have seen her face. I have never seen such a happy little girl. You could almost touch the emotion she had in that moment, when I gave her back her beloved doll.

Do you think that your previous job as a fashion editor has helped you for your new task in terms of trends, contacts in the industry etc.?

Yes, absolutely. In the beginning it was not easy to convince brands to sell to me, as I did not have a physical store yet. I could not show any images, only talk about my concept and show moodboards. But I had my (good) name and credibility as a Fashion Director.

My expert eye helps me a lot in terms of trends. Sometimes I am a little bit too fashion forward for the kids world but luckily in the children’s universe fashion trends are not changing as quick as in the adult fashion business. It is also a lot more functionally and practically driven.

What is your favorite item in your store? Do you already have a bestseller?

I have three favorite items: The Jess Brown Rag Dolls, which are handmade from used clothes and old fabrics and therefore each one is unique. The sweaters and hoodies from ABC123me. The colors are amazing! And the jeans from East End Highlanders, a Japanese brand. Japanese are famous for the best denim in the world. I can only agree.

My bestseller so far is the tutu from Atsuyo&Akiko.

Would you do it again? 

This question is maybe too early to answer, as I have opened my store only 6 months ago. But I am very enthusiastic and excited about the project.

Thank you, Sara, for giving us this insight in your world!
I am so proud of you that you have dared to live your new dream and I am wishing you only the best!

KARAMELL is located at Seefeldstrasse 44, 8008 Zurich / Switzerland.
Phone: +41 44 558 25 19, E-mail:
Instagram: @karamellzurich

Opening hours
Monday to Wednesday 09.30 am – 5.30 pm
Thursday and Friday 10.00 am – 7.00 pm
Saturday 10.00 am – 5 pm

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Sara Allerstorfer / Karamell

Sephora Opening in Zurich

Yesterday evening, I attended the long awaited opening of SEPHORA in Zurich as a shop-in-shop concept at Manor located at Bahnofstrasse 75.

Craziness a few seconds after the doors opened at Sephora Zurich.

Here are some facts:
Selling Space65 m² (small, but filled with great stuff)

Staff: 10 sales associates and one shop manager

Question: which Becca highlighter should I get…

Exclusive brandsMade In Sephora, Too Faced, Make Up For Ever, Marc Jacobs,
Becca, Dr.Jart+, Tony Moly, Caolion, Skinfood, Too Cool for School

Other brands availableNars, Benefit Make Up and Benefit Skincare

ServicesSephora Make Up Bar and Benefit Brow Bar
Thanks to Click & Collect at manor.ch/sephora customers can order all their favorite products online and get them delivered to their preferred  Manor department store in Switzerland.

A goody bag filled with so many amazing products… thank you, Sephora!

Founded in 1969, Sephora is today part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and present in 32 countries worldwide.

LoL, Sandra

With lovely Myriam Françoise at the opening yesterday.

Photos: © David Biedert Photography, © Andrea Monica Hug and © Sandra Bauknecht

Eden Rock St Barths – Eden Being

My avid readers know how much I am in love with St. Barths. It is truly my favorite place for beach holidays as it combines both, the beauty of the Caribbean with the allure of the South of France – but without being so pretentious as St. Tropez can be from time to time.

My view of the EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS when landing on the island last month.

When I am going, I like to rent a house with my friends. But undoubtably besides that, there is not a better place to stay on the island than the EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS, which is ‘beyond perfect’.

Impeccable attention to detail, the hallmark of Oetker Collection hotels, creativity and sheer art de vivre, make it one of the most desirable resorts in the world for the travelling elite. And the location is stunning, perched on a rocky promontory that sheers the white sands of St Jean Bay in two; there is nowhere to match EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS for luxurious relaxation and play.

Impressions of the beach-side VILLA ROCKSTAR – a huge, ultraluxe, multi-faceted house which is being described as resembling ‘a hundred million dollar yacht on land.’

Rooms, suites and villas are steps away from the ocean and all are individually decorated in the unique style of owners David and Jane Matthews.
Live the island dream: relax in the sun or participate in water sports on the fully serviced beach; make music in VILLA ROCKSTAR’s recording studio or be a fashion icon in the ROCKSHOP boutique… and if you are staying somewhere else, please at least enjoy a drink at the Rock Bar or a delicious dinner at the On the Rocks restaurant with its exceptional setting on the top of the Eden Rock, with unforgettable views over St Jean Bay.

Dining at the On the Rocks restaurant with a spectacular view.

Both spots are places of choice to meet and mingle with adventurous and discerning connoisseurs and of course to run into many celebrities.

David Matthews with me

At star of its own is the owner David Matthews, whom I met for drinks at the famous Rock Bar to discuss a very special collaboration which I proudly announce today in this post further down. But before that, I would like to tell you a little bit more about this adventurer and true visionary who arrived on the island of St. Barths with his wife Jane and their four children in September 1995.

Hotel on the rocks

The family had purchased Eden Rock from legendary island aviator and local adventurer Rémy de Haenen, moving the family from London to the Caribbean to start a new more adventurous life. Wishes were granted two days after moving into the rundown buildings of Eden Rock when the powerful category four Hurricane Luis struck the island. While the storm raged the family was occasionally driven to seek shelter under the concrete sinks in the old kitchen, whilst reinforcing the old doors and windows using anything from bed frames to their recently arrived suitcases.

EDEN ROC – ST BARTHS beach facilities

Twenty years later, and transformed over that time by the Matthews family, EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS continues to flourish and is regularly voted amongst the Top 100 hotels worldwide. The family puts this down to passion, hard work by a dedicated, loyal team and a good dose of luck too.

Family values remain at the heart of EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS and this spirit is further strengthened by the recent partnership made with Oetker Collection who offers the greatest guest experiences at iconic masterpiece hotels around the world. David Matthews says: «It was pure luck that I met Frank Marrenbach, CEO Oetker Collection, three years ago. Now we are partners and work with the same passion to keep the very essence of this beautiful space.»

The ROCKSHOP boutique

David Matthews is very charismatic man and could have listened to him for hours but I wanted to quickly pass by the hotel’s ROCKSHOP boutique which is part of EDEN BEING, the new lifestyle and luxury retail brand from the Oetker Collection with physical boutiques in most of the resorts as well as now an online store. The idea behind this new venture is about capturing memories of your travels with a range of bespoke items and exquisite products, all carefully curated and inspired by the famous hotels.

Match made in heaven: a curated selection of CHLOÉ is also available at EDEN BEING.

Hand-painted backgammon board exclusively made for EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS by Alexandra Llewellyn.

A commited custodian of the artisan, EDEN BEING supports craftsmen local to the Oetker Collection hotels. From watchmakers to sculptors the talented artisans produce pieces of singular beauty to capture memories gathered on your travels. And I am very proud to be a new ambassador for this beautiful lifestyle brand.

My beautiful new cuff by ADELINE GERMAIN for EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS.

Before David took off with his Harley like a rock star himself, he gifted me with this special edition seven seas cuff by ADELINE GERMAIN that also can be found at Rockshop boutique. It is crafted with 7 rows of silver plated brass with eel and salmon leather representing the 7 world’s oceans. Lucky me to be taking a piece of paradise home!

The legendary Matthews family

His next venture? His son’s wedding in May. And guess who is going to be his daughter-in-law? No other than beautiful Pippa Middleton. A legend hotel and a legendary family!

And I am very proud to be now an EDEN girl as well…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of EDEN ROC – ST BARTHS 
© Sandra Bauknecht

The Modist

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More news from the Middle East, a region that is developing extremely fast at the moment in terms of fashion business. With the launch of VOGUE ARABIA, the new online shop OUNASS that only serves the Gulf markets, operating in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and a growing loyal customer base in the Middle East for global online shopping destinations such as NET-A-PORTERiconMATCHESFASHIONicon and MODAOPERANDIicon, the economy is booming. Many of those online houses are working on localised sites in the region, mostly planned for 2018/2019.

2-dolce-hijabDolce & Gabbana launched a collection of hijabs & abayas in 2016 with a lot of success.

According to a 2016 Digital Middle East report by McKinsey & Company, the Middle East is on the edge of a massive digital evolution with significant unused e-commerce potential.

The_Modist_Ghizlan_GuenezGhizlan Guenez, CEO and Founder of The Modist

Yesterday, the first global online destination for luxury modest fashion, THE MODIST, has been launched. Conceived by Ghizlan Guenez, CEO and Founder, it provides a destination for like-minded women who want in-season, luxury fashion choices while respecting the context of their personal style, spanning all ages, faiths, cultures and ethnicities. 38-year-old Guenez, who is originally from Algeria, has been living in the UAE for the last 20 years which has helped her to profoundly understand her target market. With this launch, she is definitely trying to own the region before anybody else.

Our mission is to build a strong sense of purpose to empower a woman’s freedom of choice and to acknowledge how similar women across the world are, despite our diverse backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles – a relevant conversation at this time,” notes Guenez. “We aim to break down pre-conceived notions while building a community and dialogue that invigorates, informs and celebrates the fashionable, modern, modest woman“.

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THE MODIST is shipping to over 100 countries, it is dedicated to women who dress to express their style in a contemporary, fashionable yet modest manner. The selection includes pieces of over 75 of the world’s leading ready-to-wear and accessories brands including Marni, Alberta Ferretti, Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou amongst others.

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If you are wondering how pieces from such designers can be modest, you come to the expertise that THE MODIST wants to curate by styling such brands in a more modest way and by proposing many ideas of styling, including clever layering, longer hemlines and sleeves. Being inspired by regional insights to still attract a global audience that is the motto.The ModCombining curated content and commerce, THE MODIST‘s accompanying magazine, «THE MOD» will provide shoppable content, seasonal features, styling guidance, moving image segments, behind the scenes excerpts as well as profiles and interviews. The platform will also include personal styling and shopping tips, an in-house studio and a 24/7 personal concierge all built on an enterprise level e-commerce platform with global logistics partnerships.

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Lisa Bridgett, Chief Operating Officer, whom I know from her position as Director of Global Sales and Marketing at Net-à-Porter, adds “The market potential within the modest fashion segment is vast and projected to reach a value of $484 billion by 2019. Our goal is to provide a one-stop, immersive content and shopping destination for the global luxury modest consumer whom we know and herald“.

The_Modist_Ghizlan_Guenez_Lisa_Bridgett_1The team behind The Modist: Sasha Sarokin, Sally Matthews, Ghizlan Guenez, Lisa Bridgett, Dima Ayad.

With offices in London and Dubai, THE MODIST team comprises, in addition to Guenez and Bridgett, international business and fashion industry specialists including Sasha Sarokin, Buying and Fashion Director (former Head Buyer at Net-à-Porter); Sally Matthews, Creative Director (former Fashion and Beauty Director of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia) and Dima Ayad, PR and Marketing Director (former Fashion Designer and Marketing VP).

Mary_KatrantzouAnother and interesting way of styling the Duritz pussy-bow printed crepe de chine maxi dressicon by Mary Katrantzou.

Great news is that you get 15% off your first purchase at THEMODIST with promo code MODGIFT.
Happy Shopping!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © The Modist, @ Harper’s Bazaar Arabia

Dolce & Gabbana Loves St. Barth

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We wanted the Saint Barth store to have a relaxing atmosphere, that it be a meeting place to enjoy a moment of tranquillity at the water’s edge”.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

There is a new treasure chest in the Caribbean as Dolce & Gabbana inaugurates its first boutique on Saint Barthélemy, adding a precious tile with a distinctly paradise flavour to the mosaic of new shops around the world. As I am on the island at the moment, I couldn’t wait to discover the exclusive colorful special collection designed for St. Barth that is only available here.

sandra_bauknecht_st_barthMe in front of the new Dolce & Gabbana store in Gustavia.

My favourites? The beautifully embellished sun hats and beach bags. To make the gentlemen happy while you are shopping there is in the tropical garden surrounded by palm trees on the ground floor, the Dolce & Gabbana Martini Bar.

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Below you can enjoy the photos shot by the Morelli Brothers and styled by Anna Dello Russo that highlight the special capsule collection with prints from the island.

Kiss kiss from St. Barth!
#DGLovesStBarth

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana, © MorelliBrothers, © Massimo Listri and © Sandra Bauknecht

Chanel Takes Up Residence in Le Marais

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Beaumarchais lived here, fabulous parties took place here, and great names have stayed here. Yet for more than half a century, the Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil, also known as Hôtel des Ambassadeurs de Hollande, has been left slumbering in the heart of Le Marais. This winter a part of this unique building, recognised as one of the most beautiful in Paris, will come to life again and open its doors to the public once more. It is here that CHANEL has chosen to install a double ephemeral boutique.

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The Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil is classified as a National Heritage Site, and its high doors carved with two gargoyle heads and the coat of arms belonging to the family that acquired the townhouse in the 17th century, give one a hint of its impressive stature that lies within. These doors open onto the Cour d’Honneur, surrounded by two buildings, where one immediately senses a breath of magic and of mystery in the air. At the entrance four sundials have kept their polychrome in spite of the years gone by.

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The two ephemeral boutiques break from the traditional codes of CHANEL. Each space has been left in its untouched state: exposed stone walls are bare having been simply adorned with facades of transparent glass, giving pride of place to the history of this hôtel particulier which over the centuries has been witness to so many lives. The floor, with it’s worn appearance, is made from resin to resemble Corten steel. This desire for purity also offers a glimpse of the immense renovation in progress of these buildings and those hidden in the rear courtyard.

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Within this minimalist environment only the black linear clothes rails and the wooden console tables mounted on glass supports, emerge here and there. In the first building, on the left, the ready-to-wear collections and the accessories are presented over a single floor of 127m².

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A second space, consisting of just 37m², and made to look like the studio of a great artist, is housed in the building on the right. In complete respect for the mineral and almost archaeological atmosphere of this setting, once again, nothing has been changed, adorned, reconstituted or hidden. Here, only authenticity, miraculously preserved over the ages, prevails. Pierced with a window, this boutique brings together the CHANEL shoes.

Like a stroll through time and history it reminds us that a piece by CHANEL is anchored in modernity and the air du temps, yet is also transmitted from one generation to the next. The Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil is one of its most beautiful showcases yet.

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CHANEL Ephemeral Boutique
47 rue Vieille du Temple
75004 Paris
+33 1 40 09 59 60
Open from now to the end of May 2017
From Monday to Sunday 11am to 7pm

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Olivier Saillant © Chanel

Prada’s New Shop in Zurich – VIP Opening

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PRADA has finally established a commanding presence in Zurich again with a new boutique on the legendary Bahnhofstrasse; one of the most exclusive shopping enclaves in Switzerland.

The new space covers a total area of approximately 1,100 square meters over three floors and offers collections for both men and women. In design, Prada sought to combine the strength of its own heritage with a dynamic evolution of style and technology.

Borsani chairs evoke classic Italian design while a sleek black marble façade and rhythmic composition of windows harmonize with the architectural elements of the existing building. The iconic checkerboard motif is reinterpreted through the use of accentuated color schemes. Expansive video walls, green ceiling beams, floors laid with yellow and white geometric patterns and green Alpine marble accents enhance furnishings and spaces.

The ground floor is dedicated to leathergoods, accessories and women’s footwear. The first floor is exclusive to women’s collections and offers very intimate spaces for Made to Order services. The second floor, dedicated to the men’s collections and Made to Measure, is characterized by more masculine colors, furnishings and geometric elements.

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Last week, PRADA hosted a private VIP opening event where guests got to explore the gorgeous store before its official party this Thursday.

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Checking out the beautiful Galleria Saffiano small leather shoulder bag collection.

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You can shop PRADA also online now at mytheresa.com and net-à-porter.com.

Enjoy some more photos below of the amazing new shop in Zurich and stay tuned for more…

LoL, Sandraicon

Photos: Courtesy of Prada, © David Biedert Photography

Pasticceria Marchesi: Prada’s Sweet Tooth

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A year after the opening of Pasticceria Marchesi 1824 on Via Montenapoleone, the historical pastry shop controlled by the Prada Group opened the doors to its new stylish location in Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II on Monday.

Housed in the same building as the Prada menswear store, the inauguration of another iconic Marchesi pastry shop is the second phase of a major project in which the prestigious Galleria location of the Prada Group will become a genuine hub of its many facets, where fashion, food, art and a wide range of cultural activities will harmoniously coexist.

stefano-cantinoStefano Cantino

Towards WWD, Stefano Cantino, Group Strategic Marketing Director, said that Prada, which became a majority shareholder with an 80 percent stake in March 2014, will expand Pasticceria Marchesi outside of Italy. “We’ve had requests from international malls, but we are defining the timing. In the medium-term, we will open in Shanghai and Dubai. We are not doing franchised banners and we want to guarantee high standards,” explained Cantino, adding that “maybe” some Prada stores could also house the pastry shop. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

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I love the green interior design that is elegant and so reminiscent of the Prada stores around the world.  Part of the space in the new store is used as an elegant tea room which serves a variety of dishes throughout the day: breakfast, lunch, tea, and an evening aperitif.

Open one in Zurich, please!

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Prada

A New Home for Maison Gassmann

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After 134 years at the same location in Zurich, Maison Gassmann moved and celebrated its new home located at Weinplatz 3 (the former Pastorini toy store) last week. The house has a rich history, its oldest part dates back to the early 13th century. Throughout the building you can find historic structures that are now integrated in the sophisticated contemporary interior design.

The brand portfolio includes a large variety of different established designers as well as newcomers, such as Etro, Missoni, Vilshenko and more, for women and children.

IMG_1586With Katja Hahnloser at the opening party last week.

2016, marks also the change of leadership for the renowned fashion store. With siblings, Michael and Katja Hahnloser, taking over the business from their father, the fifth generation is now in charge of the company. If you like to hear more about the heritage, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Courtesy of Maison Gassmann and © Sandra Bauknecht

Dolce & Gabbana Opening Party in Zurich

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Last week, when I got back from New York, I attended in the evening the opening celebration of Dolce & Gabbana‘s new boutique in Zurich, the first one directly operated by the brand in Switzerland. Located at Bahnhofstrasse 10, the new 830 m2 three-story flagship offers women’s, men’s and children swear collections as well as a large selection of accessories. Male customers can also benefit from a special made to measure service.

Guests were browsing the store and everybody loved the new sunglasses. The natural beauty of the flora of Italy is interpreted in this luxurious and fashion forward limited edition eyewear collection.

My look: Printed silk jumpsuitmatching satin sandals, transparent beltgreen ‘Miss Sicily’ bag and crystal-embellished key earrings, all by Dolce & Gabbana.

LoL, Sandra


Photos: © Alexandra Pauli @ Call List Agency