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

IWC’s New Flagship on Madison Avenue

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Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen opened its first US Flagship Boutique in New York City this month – with 3,000-square-foot the largest of its kind worldwide.


“The opening of this Flagship Boutique in New York City marks a major milestone for IWC Schaffhausen,” says CEO Georges Kern. “It not only reflects the success of the brand, but also pays tribute to the home country of the company’s founder and to our American heritage. We are looking forward to welcoming our customers at this marvelous location at Madison Avenue and inviting them to experience IWC’s spirit and philosophy.”
In fact, IWC founder Florentine Ariosto Jones, an American entrepreneur who launched the brand in 1868, was born only a few miles away from the company’s new landmark.

Today, customers can explore the brand’s watch families – Aquatimer, Pilot’s Watches, Portofino, Ingenieur, Da Vinci, and Portuguese at this outstanding bi-level boutique.

I would like to invite you to check out IWC’s newly launched NYC Globetrotter Guide that offers lots of insider tips for the city that never sleeps. Just click on the highlighted text.

LoL, Sandra




23.04Photos: Courtesy of IWC

A Night in Portofino


P1000756IWC’s gala event “A Night in Portofino” brought together well known faces – including many Hollywood celebrities. Guests arrived on the red carpet and were able to browse through the beautiful exhibition that showed Peter Lindbergh’s Days in Portofino on their way to the main hall where they finally arrived in the carefree days of the 1950 and `60s.

The entire evening was outstanding showing a “making-of“ film of the shoot and an impressive performance of Zurich Opera House, with a 60-strong orchestra and tenor Neil Shicoff.

Another highlight of the night was also when Tim Jefferies and Georges Kern started to introduce the Friends of the Brand. When all celebrities were on stage, you felt like being at the Oscar’s.
Enjoy all those beautiful photos of a night to remember.

LoL, Sandra


Ronan Keating demonstrates what this night is about: The launch of the new IWC Portofino watch family.

Ronan Keating demonstrates what this night is about to celebrate the launch of the new IWC Portofino watch family.

Elle Macpherson looked amazing...

Elle Macpherson looked amazing...

...on the red carpet in her floor sweeping black gown.

...on the red carpet in her floor sweeping black gown.

Unbelievable that this beauty will turn 48 in March this year!

Unbelievable that this beauty will turn 48 in March this year!

Elle Macpherson with me.

Elle Macpherson with me.

IWC CEO Georges Kern with his wife Monika who definitely deserved a style award for her dotted stockings and the kitten heels!

IWC CEO Georges Kern with his wife Monika who combined her dotted stockings with kitten heels, well done!

Luis Figo and his beautiful wife Helen Svedin

Luis Figo and his beautiful wife Helen Svedin

Hollywood in Geneva: Kevin Spacey with Cate Blanchett

Hollywood in Geneva: Kevin Spacey with Cate Blanchett

I loved Cate's lipstick colour!

I loved Cate's lipstick colour!

Matthew Fox with his wife Margherita Ronchi who definitely would not have won a style award.

Matthew Fox with his wife Margherita Ronchi who was among the worst dressed. Those boots are a no-go for a red carpet gala event and the zebra look is pretty questionable, too. Her best accessory was definitely her hubby and their love for each other.

Me with LOST star Matthew Fox.

Me with LOST star Matthew Fox.

A wonderful opera performance was among the highlight of the nights...

A wonderful opera performance was among the highlight of the nights... well as Ronan Keating's performance on stage. well as Ronan Keating's singing some of his hits on stage.

Me framed by bestselling author Paulo Coehlo and Ronan Keating.

Me framed by bestselling author Paulo Coehlo and Ronan Keating.

Elle talking to Ronan

Elle talking to Ronan...



...and obviously very funny.

...and obviously very funny.

Malin, wife of Tim Jeffries, Elle Macpherson and Lilly Becker

Malin, wife of Tim Jeffries, Elle Macpherson and Lilly Becker

Malin and Tim Jeffries

Malin and Tim Jeffries

Elle Macpherson, Marc Forster and Cate Blanchett.

Elle Macpherson, Marc Forster and Cate Blanchett.

Cate Blanchett with me.

Cate Blanchett with me.

Zinédine Zidane with his wife Véronique at the table.

Zinédine Zidane with his wife Véronique in little D&G dots.


Georges Kern asked all celebrities on stage...


...among them Boris Becker, Elle Macpherson...

...and Jean Reno.

...and Jean Reno.

...Kevin Spacey imitated Bill Clinton and sang for us...

Kevin Spacey imitated Bill Clinton...

...and sang something for us...

...and sang something for us.

Cate Blanchett gave away some private details from the shoot in Portofino.

Cate Blanchett spoke about the shoot in Portofino.

A kiss on the hand could be answered like this...

A kiss on the hand... what a gentleman!

Peter Lindbergh...

Peter Lindbergh...

Peter Lindbergh took a photo of the Oscar-like crowd on stage.

...took a photo of the Oscar-like crowd on stage.

The amazing night ended to the sounds of Byblos.

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, © Getty Images for IWC

The Portofino Collection from Schaffhausen


This week I went to the 21st SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) in Geneva. This private trade fair is a landmark event for the fine watch sector, and at this year’s show, 19 watch brands presented their new products, including Baume & Mercier, Cartier and Montblanc among others. IWC Schaffhausen definitely topped everything, celebrating the launch of their latest generation of its Portofino family.

Portofino that stands for the dolce vita of the 1960s had inspired the name of the IWC watch collection that took the world by storm in 1984 when its first model hit the market. It was the result of a happy union between the pocket watch and wristwatch.

So let me introduce you to those new members of rare beauty and simple elegance.


12_PF_Automatic_RGBThe Portofino Automatic (Reference 3565), the unassuming star from Schaffhausen, will be available this year with a reworked design in a contemporary 40-millimetre case. Its classical shape is reminiscent of the IWC models from the 1960s without overdoing the retro vibe.

The watch can be customised with a strap or Milanese bracelet that is made of tightly woven wire mesh and that was highly popular during this era.
For further information, please click here.


09_PF_Chronograph_RGBThe Portofino Chronograph (Reference 3910) is the elegant way to stop time. Inspired by the classical, functional design that characterised the Italian sports cars of the 1960s, it is a very understated watch making no exhibition of its sporting ambitions. The displays and stopwatch controls are elegantly integrated.
Apart from the classical alligator leather straps, it is also available with a cool but snug-fitting Milanese mesh bracelet.
For further information, please click here.


04_PF_Dual_Time_RGBOne watch – two times: The Portofino Dual Time (Reference 3610) is the perfect companion for the sophisticated world traveller with its understated 24-hour display in the upper half of the dial that keeps him reliably informed about the time back home. The unique elegant alligator straps are handmade by Italian top-quality shoemaker Santoni. Each strap is one of its own.
For further information, please click here.


14_PF_Hand-Wound_Eight_Days_Back_RGBThe Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days (Reference 5101) is the family’s new flagship with its newly developed IWC-manufactured 59210-calibre movement and power reserve display that will run for full eight days. This watch comes also with a one-of-a-kind leather strap made by Santoni.
For further information, please click here.


Renowned photographer Peter Lindbergh captured the mood of the IWC Portofino 2011 watch family with amazing photos shot last summer in the picturesque Italian harbour town and featuring a crowd of A-list celebrities like Boris Becker, Cate Blanchett, Elle Macpherson, Hiroyuki Sanada, Jean Reno, Kevin Spacey, Marc Forster, Ronan Keating, Tim Jefferies, Zinédine Zidane, just to name a few.
Georges Kern, the brand’s CEO, brought Hollywood to Switzerland as most of them were party attendees and even visited the booth. Stay tuned for some gorgeous photos that I took. In the meantime enjoy this feast for the eyes: “Days in Portofino“ with famous Peter Lindbergh.

LoL, Sandra