Montblanc Celebrates Adventure in Florence

It is always a pleasure to be invited by Montblanc to one of their special events. This summer, it was Florence calling for the launch of the new 1926 Montblanc Heritage Collection which takes its inspiration from safari travel and exploration.

With this beautiful vegetable-tanned leather collection that is finished with vintage gold hardware for the modern adventurer, Montblanc continues their story of innovation.
So gentlemen, whether you plan an excursion to the sandy dunes of Sahara or a safari to the plains of East Africa, this line is for you.

If you are rather an urban nomad, you will love those 1926 Montblanc Heritage piece as well as they offer an extremely chic and stylish way to carry personal items or technology around the city.

Ladies adventurers: Divine Bonga, PR Montblanc, and my humble self, exploring the launch event.

I am absolutely convinced that many ladies will fall for its vintage feel and the earthy, easy to combine desert hues, too. At the latest, when they spot the bright red printed lining that is inspired by the vibrant fabrics worn by the regal Maasai tribe.

Dubbed the Heritage 1926 collection in recognition of the year Montblanc added leather goods to its business with a small collection of pen cases, the new range features backpacks of different sizes, portfolios, document holders and brief cases, as well as a mid-size weekender and some fine stationery.

Hugh Jackman with me

The launch party took place at Europe’s largest private garden. Italian hospitality at its best with great music, fine food, beautiful displays to create a whole world around the new collection and a special guest that is a true adventurer: Montblanc ambassador Hugh Jackman who had flown in for this special occasion.

An Italian worker explaining how the tanning process of the leather works.

Montblanc’s Creative Director, Zaim Kamal explained to me that for the first time, Montblanc has been using traditional Tuscan vegetable-tanned leather that will take on a patina with age. An early trend for next summer has been spotted at Pitti Uomo, the biannual menswear and accessories trade fair in Florence: Seventies-style bohemianism that plays exactly with that vintage feel that makes the products genuinely personal.

At Montblanc’s manufacture in Tuscany where the leather goods are produced.

The morning after the launch party, I visited the Montblanc manufacture in Tuscany and saw with my own eyes the leather craftsmanship that goes into each of those pieces. I was extremely impressed by the different steps that have to be applied in order to achieve the antique gold color finishing of the metal fittings or the bridge and clasp closing systems.

I am sure that the new 1926 Montblanc Heritage Collection will be a full success among all gentlemen and ladies adventurers. Below you can enjoy some more of my impressions of this fantastic event in Florence …

LoL, Sandra

At the launch event in Florence dressed in Gucci.

The evening started with a cocktail reception in the largest private garden in Europe.

Every little detail was perfect.

Mr Hugh Jackman had fun as we did!

On our way inside the tent where dinner was served, we felt like adventurers on a safari.

You could feel the mood behind the collection perfectly.

Seated dinner

Beautiful ambiance

Pieces from the 1926 Montblanc Heritage Collection on display.

Photos in Collage/Still: © Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Montblanc
All other photos from the event: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Florence

The last 48 hours I spent in beautiful and hot Florence for an event with Montblanc that I will tell you more about soon. At the moment the city is filled with fashionable people as it is Pitti Uomo: the most important international event for menswear and men accessories collections.

My look: Appliquéd distressed printed cotton-jersey T-shirticon, pleated metallic striped stretch-silk midi skirticon, and  Ace embroidered low-top leather trainers, all by Gucci, Kan I leather shoulder bag, flower fur key fobicon, ABClick letter key charm and embellished leather bag strap, all by Fendifloral sunglasses by Chanel.and 4810 hoop earrings in pink gold with diamonds by Montblanc.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Edgardo Osorio: Florence

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Born in Colombia and raised between Miami and London, EDGARDO OSORIO combines his eye for drop-dead glamour, his passion for modern design and his hand for luxury craftsmanship into desirable footwear. After attending the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins, he made his first strides in the footwear world within some of the most prestigious luxury brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Sigerson Morrison, René Caovilla, and Roberto Cavalli. In 2011, after working in the industry for 10 years, and at just 25 years old, Edgardo launched his luxury footwear brand AQUAZZURA. Striking the perfect balance between modern design and impeccable craftsmanship, Edgardo creates stylish yet wearable footwear for the modern woman. Today, he shares his insider scoop on the city he is living in with us!

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Your favourite city?
FLORENCE – My home. My headquarters are situated in the historical Palazzo Corsini along with the Florentine flagship store (see photo above). Along the Arno River, in the heart of Florence and near the best shoemakers and craftspeople in the world.
Aquazzura Store, Lungarno Corsini, 42, 50123 Florence, Phone: +39 055 291242

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Your favourite hotel?
J.K. PLACE FIRENZE – This small boutique hotel is the most stylish address to stay in Florence.
Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 7, 50123 Firenze, Phone: +39 055 2645181

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Your favourite restaurant?
BUCA MARIO – Traditional Florentine cuisine in the heart of the historic city centre, housed in a sixteenth-century buca. In Florence, buche were typical cellars situated beneath imposing historic palazzos often owned by aristocratic families. They were used to store salted meats, ham and salamis, and, above all, to house precious wine. Enormous oak vats lined the thick walls, which maintained an ideal temperature. As you make your way down the old entrance stairs of Buca Mario, it is impossible not to step into the past.
Piazza degli Ottaviani, 16r, 50123 Firenze, Phone: +39 055 214179

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Your favourite bar or nightclub?
LA TERRAZZO LOUNGE BAR on the rooftop of HOTEL CONTINENTALE – From the rooftop bar you get a magical view of the cathedral and other historic buildings located in Florence.
Vicolo dell’Oro, 6R, 50123 Firenze, Phone: +39 055 27262

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Your favourite sightseeing spot?
The VASARI CORRIDOR, a hidden corridor used by the Medici family to get between the Pitti Palace and the Palazzo Vecchio. It is one of the most unique places in Florence, with a one of a kind collection of self-portraits from the 16th century.
Uffizi Gallery, Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze

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Your favourite park?
BARDINI GARDENS – It has three sections: a great baroque flight of steps, fringed with irises. It ascends to a belvedere and with expansive views of Florence, an English garden with its Channel of the Dragon and a farming area with almost-medieval hillside terraces planted with olive trees.
Costa S. Giorgio, 2, 50125 Firenze, Phone: +39 055 2006 6206

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Your favourite shop?
OFFICINA PROFUMA FARMACEUTICA DI SANTA MARIA NOVELLA – It is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world.
Via della Scala, 16, 50123 Firenze, Phone: +39 055 216276

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Your must-have accessory?
BORSALINO PANAMA HAT – stylish and iconic.
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The best soundtrack for this destination?
Old italian songs
by RAFFAELLA CARRA to put you in a great mood!

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The best book to read while being on vacation there?
«SAVING ITALY» by Robert M. Edsel – An unforgettable story of epic thievery and political intrigue, a testament to heroism on behalf of art, culture, and history.

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Thank you, Edgardo, for sharing your insider scoop on Florence with us!

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TO SHOP AQUAZZURA, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the different locations, © Edgardo Osorio/Aquazurra and © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Watch the Dress

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Up the style stakes in this dazzling bottle green pocket watch dress from Dolce & Gabbana’s fairytale-inspired F/W 2016 collection that I wore to the launch event of Audemars Piguet‘s new Royal Oak Frosted Gold at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence last week. Couldn’t this be a better match? It definitely made me feel like Alice in Wonderland…

My look: Pocket watch-appliqué crepe midi dress and Dolce embellished printed leather shoulder bagicon, both by Dolce & Gabbana, black jacket, goat hair-trimmed leather pumps and drop flower earrings with green crystalsicon, all by Gucci, diamond ring and bracelet, both by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknechticon

With Audemars Piguet in Florence

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As the women’s Royal Oak celebrates its 40th anniversary, I was invited last week by Audemars Piguet to join them for the unveiling of the new Royal Oak Frosted Gold in Florence at Palazzo Vecchio, which is the town hall of the Italian city.

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The dinner was held inside the breathtaking Salone dei Cinquecento that has a length of 52 m (170 ft), is 23 m (75 ft) broad and dates back to 1494. On the walls are large and expansive frescoes that depict battles and military victories by Florence over Pisa and Siena by Giorgio Vasari. You immediately understand why it plays such a key role in Dan Brown’s «Inferno».

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Interesting to know is that before the entrustment of Vasari, the two greatest Florentine artists of the time, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, were commissioned for the construction of two large murals to decorate the walls of the room. Leonardo started working on the «Battle of Anghiari», while Michelangelo focused on another portion of the wall for the «Battle of Cascina», but none of their work was ever completed. Attempts made to find Da Vinci’s original work behind the Vasari fresco have so far been inconclusive.

ap_royal_oak_frosted_gold_launch_09_jacqueline_dimier_and_carolina_bucci_officergbTwo creative minds united: Jacqueline Dimier and Carolina Bucci

royal_oak_frosted_gold_audemars_piguetPersonally speaking: The new Royal Oak Frosted Gold was love at first sight for me.

Coming back to the shining reinvention of an iconic design, that fast first created in 1976 for women by Jacqueline Dimier, the new Royal Oak Frosted Gold has been reinvented in collaboration with Florentine jewellery designer, Carolina Bucci. Both attended the gala dinner along with Jasmine Audemars, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Audemars Piguet, François-Henry Bennahmias, Chief Executive Officer, model Arizona Muse, as well as actress and brand ambassador Freida Pinto.

sandra_bauknecht_francois_henry_bennahmiasWith Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias

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sandra_bauknecht_freida_pintoWith Freida Pinto

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Power Ladies: Sabina Hanselmann-Diethelm, Editor in Chief Style Magazine/Bolero, Jasmine Audemars, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Audemars Piguet and Dominique Lohm, PR Audemars Piguet/The Pool with my humble self

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table_setting_audemars_piguetBeautiful table setting

sabina_hanselmann_diethelm_david_pantillon_sandra_bauknechtHaving a great time with Sabina Hanselmann-Diethelm, Editor-in-Chief Style Magazine/Bolero and David Pantillon, Country General Manager Switzerland

ap_royal_oak_frosted_gold_launch_14_palazzo_vecchio_firenze_officergbChef Annie Féolde and her team framed by Freida Pinto and François-Henry Bennahmias

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After a sensational dinner imagined by local 3* Chef Annie Féolde, the evening ended with a showcase concert by Brocken Back, sending us off in the crisp Florentine night with lots of amazing memories.

ap_royal_oak_frosted_gold_launch_21_broken_back_officergbLive performance by Broken Back

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The next day my adventure continued. I flew with a private jet back to Switzerland to visit Audemars Piguet’s manufacture in Le Brassus.

Stay tuned for more for more details on the visit and the new Royal Oak Frosted Gold that has captured my heart in a second as well as an amazing interview with Carolina Bucci and Freida Pinto.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Audemars Piguet and © Sandra Bauknecht

Easter Eggs by Roberto Cavalli

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For all fashion lovers with a sweet tooth! Have a look at ROBERTO CAVALLI’s Easter Eggs, that are available at the Caffè Giacosa in Florence, Italy, and online at www.caffegiacosa.it. The Italian designer has created those special treats in his iconic animal designs. It is up to you if you prefer giraffe or zebra eggs. Each one, is made of high-quality cocoa beans and contains a surprise by Roberto Cavalli.

Caffè Giacosa, Via della Spada 10, Firenze, Italia. Tel. +39 055 2776328 

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If you have fallen in love with designer chocolates, there is more for you all year around. Roberto Cavalli adds another string to his bow with sumptuous chocolates rounding off the brand’s covetable lifestyle offering. Featuring six tiers of mouth-watering pralines in milk, white and dark chocolate, this 150-piece selection is housed in a striking zebra print box – an instant moniker of the house of Cavalli.

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TO SHOP ROBERTO CAVALLI CHOCOLATES ONLINE AT HARRODS, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra
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Photos: Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli

My Look: Ponte Vecchio

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Here you see me in Florence, Italy at the famous Ponte Vecchio (“Old Bridge“) overlooking the Arno River before leaving to the gala evening with Salvatore Ferragamo for the launch of their Signorina Misteriosa fragrance that I told you yesterday about.

My look: Dress with long sleeves and wide skirt and laser-cut leather waist belticon, both by Azzedine Alaïa, white mink shrug by Pradacloquet nappa leather bag Swarovski crystals and suede sandals with embellishmentsicon, both by Miu Miu, diamond rose ring by Piaget and diamond ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

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Miu Miu Suede Sandals with Rhinestones

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Alaia Belt

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht – A huge thank you to my fellow Marionnaud blogger and friend Katrin Roth for taking all the photos of me! 

My Life Is a Play

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In the magnificent setting of the famous Forte Belvedere in Florence with stunning views over the Tuscan city, Salvatore Ferragamo launched their newest fragrance. A creation dedicated to women who like to play with their different characters. “My life is a play” is their credo.

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When I arrived in my hotel, a game waited for me: a little bag filled with wooden letters. I was asked to come up with the possible name of the new fragrance that would be presented in the evening. As I love playing scrabble, I did a pretty good job and wrote the actual name «Misteriosa» which I didn’t know at that time yet. I took a photo on instagram as proof.

Misteriosa RevealLuciano Bertinelli, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo Parfums, unveils the new scent.

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Setting

My life is a play” was also the theme of the exclusive cocktail party and gala dinner. We were welcomed above the city of Florence with stunning installations by Patricia Urquiola. The perfect backdrop for the newest addition to the Signorina family, «Misteriosa». The new oriental fruity scent offers an innovative olfactive interpretation of black shades with a strong gourmand core.

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Top notes: Wild Blackberry and Neroli
Middle notes: Orange Blossom and Tuberose
Base notes: Black Vanilla Mousse and Patchouli

Zhanna Bianca, Massimiliano Giornetti, Grace Hartzel, Sandra BauknechtPhotographer Zhanna Bianca, Massimiliano Giornetti, Grace Hartzel and my humble self.

Dinner Misteriosa

A dance performance, a gourmet menu and many more surprises waited for me. I had the honor to be seated next to Massimiliano Giornetti, Creative Director of Salvatore Ferragamo, and the special guest star on scene: top model Grace Hartzel, the new face of Signorina, with whom I had a lovely conversation.

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What does it mean to you to be the face of this new fragrance?
It makes me feel so wonderful! It has always been my dream to be the testimonial of a luxury fragrance brand. Working with the Salvatore Ferramamo team was so amazing, they are all fantastic and we had so much fun.

What was your immediate thought/emotion when you smelled Signorina Misteriosa for the first time?
I could feel the unpredictable, daring and mysterious belladonna phantom and become her.

You like Mangas, you cut a bang yourself which gave you a lot of success, you seem to do everything your very own way. Today, you were the star on the dance floor. Are you a Signorina Misteriosa? And if you feel like it, please tell me why.
Yes I do feel like a big part of me is her, because I love to be independent and do things my own way.

What do you like most about Mangas?
I love how it’s such a different world. It’s so fantasy. The characters are very inspiring, and the artwork is beautiful.

What would be the best advice you would give to a young upcoming model friend?
To express your own style and personality. Have inner strength and be kind.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What would be your biggest dream to come true?
I want to pursue music and acting.

Graze in 3 words.
Joy , groovy, cosmic.

Grace_On_StageOn stage: Luciano Bertinelli, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo Parfums, with Grace Hartzel.

What a great night. Later, Grace and I went on the dance floor. That is the beauty of life. We can choose every day which one of our facets we are going to interpret. Let the play start, but always remain the same person!

Signorina Ferragamo Bottles

Signorina Misteriosa is available now as Eau de Parfum 30ml (CHF 69.00), 50ml (CHF 99.00) and 100ml (CHF 129.00), as Duschgel 200ml (CHF 40.00) and as Bodylotion 200ml (CHF 45.00).

LoL, Sandra

Signorina by Zhanna BiancaPhoto: © Zhanna Bianca
The perfect backdrop for Misteriosa: Florence

IMG_5384One of my favorite dishes in Florence: the traditional pappa al pomodoro – bread and tomato soup.

Misteriosa PerformanceBeautiful dance performance with spectacular views of the Duomo in Florence.

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The new ad campaign and below the video:

Photos: Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo, © Sandra Bauknecht, © Zhanna Bianca, @ Grammio
A huge thank you to my fellow Marionnaud blogger and friend Katrin Roth for taking all the photos of me! Love traveling with you!

Edgardo Osorio for Salvatore Ferragamo

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Edgardo Osorio for Salvatore Ferragamo sees Aquazzura’s creative director lend his talents to an iconic Italian brand. Let’s be honest, Edgardo is not only extremely handsome, he is probably one of the most talented shoe designers on this planet. I first met the Colombian-born genius a few years ago at his Paris showroom during fashion week and was immediately taken by his charm.

Last year, I was not only able to fly to Colombia but also to visit the House of Ferragamo during its 100th anniversary. This amazing collaboration between Aquazzuraicon’s mastermind and the Florentine fashion brand is very special as Edgardo kick-started his career working at Salvatore Ferragamo ten years ago. This capsule collection of crazy-covetable collectibles combines the best of both brands, bringing together the utmost elegance with wearability and enduring chic.

Edgardo Osorio for Ferragamo colourful sandalsAmber lace-up suede peep-toe ankle boots by Edgardo Osorio for Salvatore Ferragamo

I am obsessing over the brightly coloured printed sandals and feather-embellished beauties that strike the perfect balance of old-school Hollywood glamour and contemporary cool.

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So you can imagine my level of happiness holding this surprise in my hand: the feather-winged suede sandals by Edgardo Osorio for Salvatore Ferragamo.

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SHOP THE AMAZING COLLABORATION HERE ONLINE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, Stills: Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo

My Look: Garden of Wonders

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Here is the detailed outfit post of my look that I wore to the wonderful event with Ferragamo in Florence for their Signorina fragrances two weeks ago. The Orto Botanico Giardino Dei Semplici Firenze was the perfect backdrop for the presentation and of course the photos.

My look: White cady top, by Miu Miulayered tulle midi skirticon by D&G Dolce & Gabbana, Girl bag in multicolored tweed by Chanelstudded sandals by AlaïaiconBuckle sunglasses by Salvatore Ferragamo, diamond ring and bracelet, both by Vainard Fine Jewellery, Hapi leather bracelet by Hermès and Limelight Gala watch by Piaget.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht