Laura Burdese: Milan & Liguria

While being in Milan for ACQUA DI PARMA‘s launch event for the new home collection, I had the pleasure to meet with Laura Burdese, the Italian brand’s President and CEO, who gave me her tips for her home town Milan and Liguria, where she loves to spend her free time.

After graduating in International Economics and obtaining a Master in Marketing at the University of Trieste, Laura began her career in beauty industry with brand management tenures at Beiersdorf and L’Oreal. In 1999 she joined Swatch Group, where over the course of almost 18 years she held different positions of increasing responsibility. In 2006 she was appointed Country Manager / Managing Director of Swatch Group Italy. In 2012, in addition to this role, she was also appointed President and CEO of Calvin Klein watches and jewelry Co ltd. On October 2016 she joined Acqua di Parma as President and CEO. The charming blonde is married and has two teenage kids.

Your favourite city?
MILAN – it is my home and the most international city in Italy.

Your favourite hotel?
The BELMOND SPLENDIDO MARE in Portofino. It is all about timeless glamour and exceptional indulgence, it is my favorite place on earth. Originally a monastery, the building was transformed into a noble villa and then, early in the previous century, became a legendary hotel, with breathtaking views of the bay. I like it so much that I decided to shoot our Acqua di Parma campaign for the new home collection there.
Via Roma, 2, 16034 Portofino GE, Phone: +39 0185 267801

Your favourite restaurant?
Definitely GIACOMO MILANO. Conceived and designed by architects Renzo Mongiardino and Roberto Peregalli in an evocative setting that recalls the old Milanese trattorias of the early Nineteen hundreds, it is one of the most comfortable places for me.
Via Pasquale Sottocorno, 6, 20129 Milano MI, Phone: +39 02 7602 3313

 Your favorite dish?
One of the most famous risottos: RISOTTO ALLA MILANESE, creamy with butter and spiked with parmesan, this saffron-gilded dish is a culinary classic. I love risottos in general and therefore we served it as a main course at the Acqua di Parma Home Collection launch event in Milan. As my kids say it is also the only thing I can cook very well (laughs).

Your favourite bar or nightclub?
I travel 70% of my time and when I am back in Italy, I don’t go to clubs and prefer spending the time with my family. I rather prefer inviting people to my place than going out. This is very Italian.

Your favourite sightseeing spot?
VARIGOTTI – a picturesque seaside town in Liguria, Northern Italy. You have to see this fishermen’s place once in your life. It is a magical place that not many people know. My family has a house there only 50 meters from the sea, I spend my childhood there, I got married there – it is the place of my heart.

Your favourite beach?
VARIGOTTI BEACH – Varigotti is famous for its sea and beaches, particularly the Saracen’s Beach, which is one of the largest public beaches in Liguria.
17024 Varigotti, Savona

Your favourite park?
I love the PARCO SEMPIONE in Milan. Its is a large green-space close to the Castello Sforzesco. It was built between 1890 and 1893 imitating a typical English garden.
Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Size: 39 ha

Your favourite shop?
Of course our ACQUA DI PARMA store in Milan that allows you to dive into our universe. We will close it in the end of April after the Salone di Mobile for two months and completely renovate it.
Via Gesù, 1, 20121 Milano MI, Phone: +39 02 7602 3307

Your must-have accessory?
A watch as I worked for 18 years in the watch industry and a fragrance. My favorite is COLONIA PURA. A great fresh contemporary unisex scent – my first launch at Acqua di Parma, my first baby so to say. I have an emotional connection to this beautiful scent.

The best soundtrack for this destination?
At the moment I cannot stop listening to the album of A STAR IS BORN. SHALLOW is my favorite song. I am not so fond of Italian music.

The best book to read while being on vacation there?
I read a lot and love contemporary literature, especially by American authors. THE TENDER BAR by J.R. Moehringer is my favorite book – a classic American story of self-invention and escape, of the fierce love between a single mother and an only son, it’s also a moving portrait of one boy’s struggle to become a man.

Laura in three words…
Passionate, authentic and warm-hearted.

Thank you, Laura, for sharing your insider scoop on Milan and Liguria with us!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Acqua di Parma, © Sandra Bauknecht and Courtesy of the different locations

My Look: Find Me in Milan

Last week, you could find me in Milan for the launch of ACQUA DI PARMA‘s new home collection. The beautiful event location was next to Arco della Pace, a triumphal arch in the Sempione Park. I will tell you more about the Italian brand’s new scented candles and diffusers, that bring a touch of Italy to your home, next week in detail due to the embargo date. In the meantime, I invite you to enjoy some impressions of the night.

My look: Vintage embellished cropped wool jacket by Prada, Unbridled Tempest asymmetric cutout floral-print silk-blend dress iconby Zimmermann, Nina leather tote in cognac by Gabriela Hearstleather platform pumps by Gucci, and earrings by Miu Miu.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Milan Style

On the streets of Milan on my way to a business meeting…

My look: Perfecto leather biker jacketBetty chain red leather shoulder bag, and iconstar-appliquéd leather ankle boots, all by Saint Laurent, floral print lace dress by Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafiniicon, rose diamond necklace, ring and Limelight Gala watch, all by Piaget.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Moncler Ends Its Gamme Collections

This took me by surprise. Moncler announced that the house will discontinue its GAMME BLEU and GAMME ROUGE runway collections after the S/S 2018 season, announcing a new strategy in the coming weeks. Because of this development, they also part ways with Thom Browne and Giambattista Valli, who designed the fashionable sub-labels of the outerwear brand that has more than a $1 billion revenue per year. Browne was in charge for GAMME BLEUicon, the line for men, since 2009. Valli partnered first with Moncler in 2008 for GAMME ROUGE, the womenswear collection.

TO SHOP MONCLER GAMME BLEU FOR MEN, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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TO SHOP MONCLER GAMME ROUGE FOR WOMEN, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

Moncler is highly successful at the moment with high growth rates. This, of course, brings competitors in the game, trying to get on the gravy train as well. So, Moncler might prepare itself for a new consumer behavior, faster and more volatile.

While I was in Milan a few weeks ago, the Italian outerwear brand opened its new 800-square-metre flagship on Via Montenapoleone with a fantastic party. They even transformed the famous shopping mile into a winter wonderland and fake snow was falling from above the windows. Inside, products from their different lines, still including the Gamme collections, are presented next to each other and not divided into different departments.

I am curious to hear more about the brand’s new strategy. The wheels in fashion are turning, and obviously faster and faster…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Moncler, © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Teatro alla Scala

Last month, when I visited Milan with my daughter, I took her to the Teatro alla Scala, the famous opera house in Milan, which is regarded as one of the leading theatres in the world. Most of Italy’s greatest operatic artists, and many of the finest singers from around the world, have appeared at La Scala. We enjoyed the German opera «Der Freischütz» by Carl Maria von Weber. Being considered the first important German Romantic opera, especially in its national identity and stark emotionality, it was a true pleasure to see it in our mother tongue surrounded by the stunning ambiance of La Scala.

My look: Ruffle-trimmed single-breasted wool coaticon, ruffle bow dressicon, embellished leather pumpsicon, and Sylvie mini buckle leather shoulder bag, all by GucciChoker with evil eye symbol by Chanel, diamond rose ring and Limelight Gala watch, both by Piaget.

My scent: Gucci Bloom Eau de Parfum, which is the first fragrance developed wholly under Alessandro Michele’s creative vision and blended by master perfumer Alberto Morillas. The beautiful powdery floral scent features tuberose and jasmine combined with rangoon creeper, also called Chinese honeysuckle, which is a unique flower discovered in South India that is being used for the first time in perfumery to create a rich fragrance that transports its wearer to an imaginary garden.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
A big thank you to my daughter for taking them!

My Look: An Ice Bear in Milan

Hello from beautiful sunny Milan. Here you see me in front of the iconic Duomo (Cathedral of Milan) which is is the largest and most complex Gothic building in Italy. But who would have thought that this embroidered skirt with the cute ice bear would also be the perfect look last night? Surprisingly it was as Moncler had transformed the Via Montenapoleone in a snowy landscape for the opening celebration of their newly renovated store. Most of the street was cordoned off and covered in white, as a multitude of snowflakes fell continuously from the building, landing on the heads and coats of the invited guests (see photo at the end).

My look: Ruffle-trimmed cotton-blend cady jacketicon, ruffled-hem silk and wool-blend skirt, ruffled-neck chiffon blouseQueercore embellished leather ankle boots, GG Marmont matelassé shoulder bagicon and oversized round-frame actate sunglasses, all by Gucci.
iconHorsebit blue topaz diamond white gold ringicon by Gucci Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

The Seven Bag Wonders of the World

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Say hello to the seven bag wonders of the world. I am so in love. Last spring, VERSACE launched the competition «7 Bags 7 Cities» and invited everyone to participate in the customization of seven limited edition of the Palazzo Empire bag featuring seven capitals.

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Participants were asked to photograph a unique and inspiring place in the city of their choice. The Italian fashion house then selected their favorite images and used them to create the new Palazzo Empire bag with each city’s skyline being injected into the design. Great news for the winners: they will be invited to attend the Versace S/S 2017 show to be held in Milan in September.

Discover the seven limited edition Palazzo Empire handbags closer here…

283_2BEIJING
Shop D4027, 4/F, SKP, 87 Jianguo Road, Chaoyang District

260_4HONG KONG
Shop G122, Ground Floor, Gateway Arcade

262_1MILAN
Via Montenapoleone, 11

231_7NEW YORK CITY
647 Fifth Avenue

243_6PARIS
45, avenue Montaigne

254_5SAO PAULO
Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2232

277_3TOKYO
6-7-12, Ginza

Only ten copies of each design will be produced and sold in the Versace boutiques in the seven selected capitals. So hurry up to catch one of those pieces of art!

TO SHOP THE CLASSIC PALAZZO EMPIRE TOTE BAG IN DIFFERENT COLOURS, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Versaceicon

With George Clooney in Shanghai

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I am writing you today from Milan where I am guest of OMEGA for a very special experience with Nicole Kidman whom I met already two years ago in Vienna at the Swiss watchmaker’s “La Nuit Enchantée“. When OMEGA invites you, you are always spoilt to something very special.

Shanghai

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Last year, I flew to Shanghai for just one night to meet OMEGA’s long-time brand ambassador George Clooney (since 2007) for an evening of celebration. The award-winning actor and producer was part of a star-studded event where OMEGA showcased its new Seamaster Aqua Terra timepieces.

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Le Jardin Secret” – or the secret garden – was set up in Shanghai specifically for the event, providing the perfect atmosphere for the exclusive celebration. And the stars were not only the dazzling OMEGA timepieces on display and the celebrities on the guest list. An innovative, transparent roof on the venue allowed us a clear view of the celestial stars in the night sky.

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George Clooney Speech Omega Shanghai Event

During the night, George Clooney spoke about how his relationship with OMEGA began: “My father wore an OMEGA watch for many years. When I began working with the brand, I called my father to tell him the great news. He told me his OMEGA was in the attic and after finding it, he wound it up and it still worked. I gave it to OMEGA and they were nice enough to fix it up for me and I was able to give it to him for his birthday. I have a long, long history with the brand.

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Shortly after a welcome speech by Stephen Urquhart, President OMEGA, the lights dimmed and a short but powerful film was screened, focusing on the remarkable work done around the world by Orbis International, an organization supported by OMEGA and which is committed, with its Flying Eye Hospital, to delivering high-quality eye care to some of the world’s remotest regions.

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Later in the evening, Dr. Hairong Cai, an ophthalmologist who works for ORBIS, talked about some of the medical treatments the organization had provided to two Chinese children. To the delight of the audience, the youngsters were escorted to the stage by George Clooney.

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After granting her wish and dancing with the younger of the two girls, George Clooney removed the OMEGA De Ville Hour Vision Annual Calendar he had been wearing and autographed its strap and its presentation box. The watch was auctioned off later in the year and all of the money raised went to Orbis to support the remarkable work it does.

Show Omega Shanghai Event

The evening concluded with a performance by popular French singer France Owlle.

Enjoy some more of my favorite moments of the night:

Sandra Bauknecht with renard Aeschlimann at Omega Event in Shanghai

A warm welcome by lovely Raynald AeschlimannVice President and International Director of Sales, Retail and Distribution at Omega.

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Sandra Bauknecht in Alessandra Rich at Omega Shanghai Event 2

Show Omega Event Shanghai

Omega Shanghai Event Photographer

A funny anecdote. OMEGA’s photographer looked like a copy of George Clooney…!

Stay tuned for more coming up! I am truly looking forward to tomorrow’s celebration with Nicole Kidman.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Omega and © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Working Girl in Milan

Working Girl in Milan

What I probably like most about my job as the editor in chief of L’Officiel Switzerland and as a blogger is that I get to travel a lot and to meet extremely interesting people around the world. Here you see me in Milan recently where I had a lot of inspiring meetings.

My look: iconSnap front leather trimmed varsity jacket, studded cotton-jersey sweatshirticon, studded leather skirt and ‘Babies’ mid-calf boots in silver, all by Saint Laurent, makeup face-printed saffiano tote illustrated by Jeanne Deallante by Prada, diamond stud earrings by Cartier and diamond ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

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Prada Bag in Milan

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Saint Laurent Boots and Prada Bag

Sandra Bauknecht in Saint Laurnt in Milan 4

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Sandra Bauknecht at Prada Headquarter

Milan Architecture

Great architecture in Milan (from left to right clockwise): entrance of the Gucci office in Via Broletto, slide installation by German artist Carsten Höller at Prada‘s headquarter in Milan, Zegna headquarter designed by Antonio Citterio and a beautiful starcaise at the L’Officiel Italia office.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Milan

Sandra Bauknecht in Saint Laurent In Milan-Galleria

Last week, I was in Milan for work. Here you see me inside the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. Housed within a four-story double arcade in the center of the city, it is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It is also the home of the first Prada store founded in 1913 by Miuccia’s grandfather Mario. Whenever I am inside, I am impressed by its beauty.

My look: Tweed blazerruffled leopard-print silk-georgette mini dress and ‘Babies’ mid-calf boots in silver, all by Saint Laurent, makeup face-printed saffiano tote illustrated by Jeanne Deallante by Prada, diamond stud earrings by Cartier and diamond ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Sandra Bauknecht in Milano with Police Men

Prada Bag in Milano

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Galleria in Milano in Italy

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Saint Laurent Boots silver

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht