What women want from a luxury car

For many, an exquisitely crafted vehicle is as desirable as a wardrobe of haute couture fashion. Others are equally in tune with engine capacities and torque outputs.

By Melissa Hoyer 15/01/2018

Right now, as we put the key in the ignition, let’s acknowledge that there’s often a difference between the luxury cars that some women drive – purchased by a husband, partner or very, very dear friend – and the luxury cars that some women choose to buy for themselves.

Either way, what is it that makes women indulge in high-end, super-luxurious cars? For many, an exquisitely crafted set of wheels is every bit as desirable as a work of art or a wardrobe of haute couture fashion. Many are equally in tune with engine capacities and torque outputs.

A popular misconception is that women exclusively choose hatchbacks or compact SUVs, but according to the purveyors of luxury marques, an increasing number are buying upper-luxury sedans, larger SUVs and high-performance ‘supercars’ from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche.

Ferrari

Ferrari acknowledged the female buying trend back in 2008 when it introduced the comfortable, four-seat convertible California – since superseded by the Portofino – but several female buyers have accelerated straight past even those to the more (dare we say it?) ‘blokey’ high-performance models.

According to Herbert Appleroth, CEO of Ferrari Australasia, Australia leads the western world per capita in its number of female Ferrari owners. He says the brand’s female customers – in common with its other clients – are people who enjoy the best of the best.

“They have an appreciation for fine art and design, the finest materials, and impeccable craftsmanship,” Appleroth says. “Of course, once they are behind the wheel, it is all about the passion and emotion of driving a Ferrari.”

In terms of the models they’re choosing, Appleroth says it’s quite an even split between the more aggressive, fun-focused V8 models and the top-line, grand touring V12s.

Ferrari hosts a worldwide calendar of events for owners and prospective clients. In recent years, these have included female-only track days. Guests are able to drive their Ferraris on various racing circuits under the guidance of Ferrari-qualified instructors.

Not everyone wants to enjoy life at full-tilt, Appleroth adds. “Our more lifestyle- focused ‘Italian Tour’ events include a week’s worth of luxury accommodation in some of the best hotels in Italy, the best fine dining and Michelin-star restaurants, luxury shopping in Milan … The Ferrari lifestyle is driven by experiencing true passion and excellence, it’s never about just owning a car.”

This is also reflected in the degree of personalisation that owners invest in their cars.

“With our ‘Tailor Made’ program, clients can create their own paint colour, or replicate their favourite cashmere on the interior. The possibilities are endless.”

Porsche

According to Porsche, female customers buy its cars for two reasons: they’re making a statement of individuality and personal success, and/or they appreciate a Porsche as an example of design and engineering.

“At the higher end of the band, there are the women who love the driving and the performance of the car – and often, you will find them taking their car to the limit on a race track,” says Stephanie Weiser from Porsche Cars Australia.

“But a large proportion of female customers are owners of our sports SUVs, the Cayenne and Macan.”

Porsche launched the Cayenne in 2003 after research in the USA showed that the company’s sports cars were often the second car in a garage – alongside a luxury SUV. “We were missing out,” says Weiser. “A large number of our male clients have a 911, and now a Cayenne or Macan for the woman of the house. We estimate around 50 per cent of Porsche SUVs are driven by women.”

That’s not to say they’re overlooking the focused sports models: of the iconic 911, about eight per cent are bought by women, and an apparently higher number for the 718 Cayman and Boxster.

Porsche conducts exclusive Ladies Drive days for women who know about their cars. “At lunchtime, it’s not just chit-chat and networking, it’s comparing model variants and driving experiences among peers, minus the male egos at the table,” Weiser says.

Dedicated Porsche owner Marie Miyashiro owns a Cayman GT4 for the track and a Boxster S for everyday use.

“I first saw a Boxster driving on the road and I was drawn to it,’’ she says. “Once I bought one, my husband suggested I enrol in the Porsche Sport Driving School. Now I take my Cayman GT4 on track monthly.”

Aston Martin

For all its masculine associations with motor racing and James Bond, the appeal of the Aston Martin brand is not gender-specific, according to Patrik Nilsson, president of Aston Martin Asia Pacific.

“We regularly conduct research and seek feedback from our customers, and they tell us that they like the beauty and craftsmanship of our products, the understated personality and the exclusivity,” he says.

“Female owners cover a broad spectrum of models including the V8 Vantage S, Vantage GT8, Rapide S and Vanquish. Our current female clientele enjoy their cars in a mix of CBD driving, touring weekends away and on race tracks.”

Aston Martin owners tend to enjoy many of the brand’s experiences as couples.

“Earlier this year we ran the New Zealand On Ice program for the second year as part of our Art of Living program. Of the 25 drivers, five were women and we also had a female driving instructor as part of our team.

“Having said this, our dealers in Australia do hold events with female-focused luxury brand partners.”

Nilsson says they find that female advocacy is particularly important for the brand; that is, females will advocate a partner’s purchase decision. “We are developing our new luxury crossover, the DBX SUV, with a female-proxy customer. It will appeal equally Aston Martin V8 Vantage Sto both males and females, but the female proxy ensures that features like the packaging, seating position and visibility will meet all needs.”

But a fair number of women are taking the plunge for themselves. “In Australia, we are already selling about twice as many cars to females compared to our global average,” Nilsson says. “And although it’s not an everyday occurrence, we did recently have a female customer in Sydney who bought her husband a DB11 for his birthday.”

Mercedes-Benz

In recent years, a styling package and big wheels on an entry-model car was all that you needed to look sporty. But buying habits have changed, especially for women.

The Mercedes-AMG performance sub-brand accounts for a staggering 20 per cent of Mercedes-Benz’s total passenger car sales worldwide. The AMG machines have enhancements not only to styling, but to engines, suspensions and brakes.

“Women are now more interested than ever before in bragging rights such as zero-to-100km/h acceleration times and top speeds,” says Jerry Stamoulis, of Mercedes-Benz Australia. “Though a customer may never hit the top speed limiter of 317km/h in an AMG GTS – certainly not on Australian public roads – there’s something special in being able to say that you can.”

Stamoulis says that in the past three years, female customers of AMG have increased by five per cent. The vehicles they buy range from the $75,000 AMG A 45, which can sprint to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, through to the $500,000 AMG S 65 Coupé, which has a twin-turbo V12 engine producing 1000Nm torque, making it one of the most powerful engines on the market.

Mercedes-Benz Australia offers a large variety of brand experience events, including a Ladies Day at the National Gallery of Victoria. “But at our AMG Driving Events, we’re seeing more women attending, wanting to drive our most powerful cars around a race track,” Stamoulis says.

Audi

As far as Audi is concerned, the big buzz of the moment is its technology-laden, large Q7 SUV and the just-launched SQ7 performance variant. (Although it pays not to overlook the equally new and achingly stylish A5 Cabriolet sports model).

Taking care of customers at the wheel with the latest technology is only a part of the Audi experience. Then there’s, well, Audi Experience.

“We have the Audi Experience loyalty program as part of our ‘myAudi’ customer interface,” says Anna Burgdorf, of Audi Australia. “We invite our high-value customers to events and activities as part of our ownership experience. This might be a lunch with Collette Dinnigan at her new home in the Southern Highlands; a lunch, dinner or foraging course or masterclass with our chefs, Matt Moran, Andrew McConnell, Kylie Kwong, Shannon Bennett or Guillaume Brahimi; or a dinner on stage at Melbourne Theatre Company with Richard Roxburgh, for example. Our owners really love these lifestyle opportunities.”

Burgdorf says that women play a large role in the car purchasing decision in a household. Around 90 per cent of such decisions are influenced by women, and just under 50 per cent of Audi purchases are directly to women.

“Women also do care about the engine they are choosing – they may not want to know the minutiae, but they do want to love their car and feel good when they’re driving it.

“Generally, women will research their car choice well, will know what they want to buy and why. And we are seeing more female salespeople entering the industry – and more salesmen realising that it’s no longer okay to start speaking to the male half of a couple that walks into the showroom.”

Technology is making life easier for all drivers. “Our traffic jam assist technology sees the car driving itself for short periods of time in slow traffic, meaning you can relax a little and let the car do the work,” says Burgdorf. “It’s an Audi goal to actually ‘give time back’ to people, with innovative technology that works so you can be efficient while driving, and stay safe.”

Rolls-Royce

One of the major attractions of the grande dame of motor cars is that its models can be ordered effectively bespoke, which in turn allows so many female buyers to add their individual touches.

“One of our owners specified the colour of a nail polish to be used for the exterior of her car and another specified an accessory cushion for her dog,” says Paul Harris, regional director of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Asia Pacific.

“We had another female customer send a pot of her best hand cream to our bespoke designer to create the colour for the interior of her car. Rolls-Royce owners can specify from 44,000 colours, with some owners reserving a colour for their own personal use only.”

Rolls-Royce is seeing increasing numbers of women buying its Dawn (convertible), Wraith (coupé) and Ghost (sedan), as these are more driver-oriented and less formal than the flagship, just-launched new Phantom. The Black Badge styling suite can endow any of these models with a more hard-core sporting edge. Indeed, the first owner of a Black Badge-specified model in New Zealand is a woman.

“We are seeing more and more women becoming Rolls-Royce owners – in Asia-Pacific, already around 15 per cent of Wraith owners are female,” says Harris. “Our female owners are fascinated by the materials, craftsmanship and almost limitless personalisation possibilities. There’s a heavier emphasis these days with fashion and materials.”

BMW

BMW finds that its customers, including women, choose to purchase its cars for many reasons – design, performance, functionality, comfort and safety high among them. Women play a significant role in influencing around 80 per cent of all BMW sales.

“BMW speaks directly to women with a key focus on empowerment,” says Stuart Jaffray, marketing manager of BMW Group Australia. “Empowered women are intellectual, progressive, rational, highly digital and aware of opportunities to reward themselves.”

Aside from the pure appeal of the products, BMW recognises the value in engaging women customers through events and experiences, including technology seminars.

BMW Australia’s targeted ambassadorships include recent appointment Julie Stevanja, entrepreneur and founder of the innovative online retailer Stylerunner. The dynamic Monika Tu, founder and director of Black Diamondz Property Concierge, also represents the BMW brand in Australia.

Jaffray says that women have a major say in all significant family purchases, of which a luxury car is one. More importantly, though, he adds that “the number of single, independent, successful females continues to grow and they also purchase luxury goods for themselves”.

According to sales data, the most popular upscale BMW vehicles purchased by women are currently the BMW 7 Series (starting from $224,900), BMW X5, BMW X6 and the sporty, two-seat BMW Z4.

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Everybody Loves Naomi 

Fashion fans adore her. And so do we. Lucky, then, that a new exhibition is paying homage to four decades of snake-hipped catwalking.

By Joseph Tenni 22/06/2024

Naomi Campbell contains multitudes. Since emerging on the scene in 1986, modelling for British designer Jasper Conran, the statuesque stunner has used the runway for takeoff. She has ventured into all aspects of the culture, from Vogue to Playboy and reality TV. In the business arena, she has dabbled in publishing and the two F&Bs (fragrance and beauty, and food and beverage). Her philanthropic efforts are legion.

Naomi is better known than any of her peers and, aged 54, remains more relevant than ever. As a testament to her pervading influence, a new exhibition, Naomi: In Fashion, is opening at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Celebrating her 40 years in the spotlight, the show includes clothes from the model’s closet and some of the designer fashion she has helped to immortalise.

We all know her snake-hipped walk, her glowing skin, her famous paramours, and—yes—her many tantrums and tiaras. But how much do we love her exactly? Let’s count some of the ways. 

1. She Was Born to Be Famous

Many people know Naomi for her appearances in music videos for Michael Jackson’s In the Closet and George Michael’s Freedom! ’90—the latter also featuring fellow supermodels Linda, Cindy and Christy. But Naomi has been in front of the camera since she was a child, and her prolific music-video career predates her modelling. At 8, she appeared in the official video for Bob Marley’s 1978 hit Is This Love. At 13, Culture Club cast her as a tap-dancing teen in I’ll Tumble 4 Ya. It would be another two years before she was discovered by model scout Beth Boldt, while shopping in London’s Covent Garden.

Courtesy Off-White. Photo Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

2. She Hits All the Right Notes

As anyone who has ever seen Unzipped, the 1995 cult fashion documentary by Douglas Keeve, Naomi always has a song in her heart. She put her mouth where her money was in 1994 and recorded an album, Babywoman. The cover art featured Naomi, photographed by Ellen Von Unwerth, shaving her legs while sitting on the toilet. Fittingly, the album was canned—despite assistance from contributors like Donna Summer and PM Dawn. 

3. She’s Always Ready for Her Close-Up
Hollywood’s history is full of models who went on to become successful actors. Naomi is not one of them. But not for want of trying. Her turn as a nightclub singer in Vanilla Ice’s 1991 movie Cool as Ice flies under the radar but doesn’t deserve to. Nor does her scene-stealing cameo as a French cheese shopper in The Night We Never Met, alongside Matthew Broderick and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Or her playing a sexy telephone operator in Spike Lee’s Girl 6. Who else has that kind of range? 

4. She Tells It Like It Is

We’d be remiss not to mention her 1994 novel Swan. A roman a clef about a young girl breaking into the modelling industry, flanked by her four besties who are also divas in training heels, it certainly played with genres. A murder-mystery-cum-sexy-romance-cum-vocational-advice page-turner, or something like that, this guilty pleasure was cruelly overlooked and relegated to the annals of bargain bins everywhere. 

5. She’s Got a Mind for Business

Naomi has been vocal over the years about making less money than her white peers and was not going to wait for the industry to catch up. Instead, she has ventured into businesses ranging from her former stake in the Fashion Cafe in New York to her signature fragrances, first released in 1999. What does Naomi smell like? Subtle yet complicated, consisting of top notes of peach, coconut and bergamot with a deep, woody base of cedar and sandalwood—apparently.

6. She Gives Until It Hurts

For a so-called narcissist, Naomi has often put her fame to philanthropic use. She has galvanised black models in fashion with the Black Girls Coalition and has raised money for Africa, Haiti and disaster relief worldwide, including after the Mumbai terrorist attacks. When she was dating the Russian billionaire and Aman Resorts owner Vladislav Doronin, she became committed to saving the tiger. Is there anything this overachiever can’t do?

7. She Can Make Hay From Anything

When she was sentenced to community service following allegations by a former employer that Naomi had attacked her with a mobile phone, the model emerged from her punishment dressed in couture and trailed by a photo crew who were shooting a fashion layout of her for W magazine. And when she was summoned in 2010 to appear in a war crimes trial against former Liberian president Charles Taylor—in relation to an uncut blood diamond he’d allegedly given her—our girl showed up in an Azzedine Alaïa twin-set and wearing a silver “evil eye” necklace, turning the courtroom into a photo opportunity.

8. She’ll Be on Your Side for Evermore
The fashion industry is hardly known for its loyalty or congeniality, but Naomi has maintained decades-long friendships with not only her supermodel sisters like Christy Turlington but also some of the most powerful and difficult players, including John Galliano and Marc Jacobs. That she has remained tight with so many of her friends is not lost on her adoring public. She must be a loyal person and in return, fans everywhere remain loyal to her.

Naomi: In Fashion runs from June 22, 2024, until April 16, 2025, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; vam.ac.uk

Courtesy Vivienne Westwood. Photo Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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The Sapphire Dinner 2024 Raises Support for Ocean Conservation

This year’s boldfaced bash raised funds for our critically under-supported national treasures. 

By Horacio Silva 22/06/2024

The big fish of Sydney society came out Thursday night for the third annual Sapphire Dinner to raise much-needed money for ocean conservation. Held in conjunction with the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the boldfaced bash was the first sit-down dinner held at the Tank, a repurposed World War II fuel container that sits beneath the Art Gallery’s new wing. 

Set against a backdrop of immersive ocean-inspired video projections by South Korean digital creators d’strict, and with a dress code that inspired guests to recycle their most fabulous fashions, the zero-waste dinner supports The Sapphire Project’s mission to galvanise the community to take action to protect our oceans and the Great Barrier Reef.

Deep-pocketed VIPs who walked the evening’s blue carpet included  Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull, real estate maven Monika Tu, Penelope Seidler, Anna Marsden (Managing Director of Great Barrier Reef Foundation), Michael and Tina Brand, Andrew Cameron, MCA Chair Lorraine Tarabay, Myer boss Olivia Wirth, benefactors Paris Neilsen and Beau Neilson, and Paul Howes and Olivia Wirth, the power couple known as ‘Paulivia’. 

Retired swimmer Giaan Rooney MC’d the event, hosted by Sapphire Committee co-chairs Hayley Baillie and Ryan Gollan and committee members Ian Thorpe AM, Luke Hepworth, Clare Herschell, Susan Wynne, Brioney Prier, Bianca Rinehart, Doris Ma, Kate Champion, Ellie Aitken, and Chong Chua. 

A troupe of former Australian Ballet dancers and a musical performance by the Fijian-Australian singer and actress Paulini entertained the revellers.   

Among the auctioned items was an original work by Del Kathryn Barton, which raised more than $200,000 in a high-spirited bidding war led by Four Pillars Gin founder Stu Gregor, whose expletive-laden entreaties were suitably salty. 

Nobody minded, given that more than a million dollars were raised to support the criminally underfunded ocean conservation (it’s estimated that only about 2 percent of philanthropy in Australia goes towards the preservation of our precious national treasures), with funds going to support important initiatives such as The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the University of Sydney’s One Tree Island Research Station, the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station, the Australian Sea Lion Recovery Foundation and Biopixel Oceans Foundation’s Project Hammerhead

The Sapphire Project Dinner 2024
Clare Herschell, Kate Champion, Bianca Rinehart & Hayley Baillie
The tablescapes at the Sapphire Project Dinner
Ian Thorpe
Adrian and Beck Buchan
Monika Tu
The Sapphire Project Dinnner 2024
Lucy & Malcolm Turnbull
Sapphire Committee co-chairs Hayley Baillie & Ryan Gollan

For further information, visit SapphireProject.com.au

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The 10 Best Omakase in Sydney

Sydney’s best Japanese chef’s-table dining experiences.

By Belinda Aucott-christie 06/06/2024

In Japan, where food is a cultural art form, omakase stands for traditional Japanese foods made with seasonal ingredients. A good omakase meal, prepared with purity and mindfulness, can make an unforgettable imprint on the culinary memory. Yet in a land defined by seasonal traditions, omakase is a relatively new concept.

Omakase originated in Japan in the 1970s as affluent Japanese began to dine more regularly at first-rate sushi counters. Bowing to the expertise of the sushi master, omakase loosely translates to “I’ll leave it to you.” In a setting where money is no object, letting the chef decide was designed as a chic way to take the awkwardness out of ordering.

In Australia where there’s an abundance of fresh seafood, omakase menus have experienced a recent rise in popularity. Today omakase is any series of small dishes served directly by the chef to the diner. Each part of the meal is presented on beautiful ceramics and lacquer wear, with a great —and somewhat— intimidating reverence for elegant details. It’s a chance to see a chef’s knife skills up close and get a feel for their cooking style.

Omakase menus are based on whatever is freshest at the market and can be influenced by the chef’s mood, expertise, and response to the guest. They can be slowly paced like a ceremony—hushed and reverential—but they can also be rowdy, humorous, and personal.
Here we give you 10 of the best to try in Sydney.

Yoshi’s Omakase at Nobu Crown Sydney

Crown Sydney, Level 2/1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo. Open: 12–3 pm, 5:30–9:30 pm Phone: 02 8871 7188 Reservations: F&B-SYD-Nobu@crownresorts.com.au; $380 per head (including matched wine and sake). Crownsydney.com.au

Sushi Oe

16/450 Miller St, Cammeray; Tue – Sat. SMS only 0451 9709 84 E: jizakana16@gmail.com Phone: 0426 233 984 $230 per head. jizakana.com.au

Kisuke with Yusuke Morita

50 Llankelly Place, Potts Point; Tuesday – Saturday: 17:30 – 10.45 (closed Sunday/ Monday) $185-200 per head Kisukepottspoint.com

Haco 

102/21 Alberta St, Sydney. Lunch, Friday to Saturday 12 -2:00 pm Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday 5:45 pm – 8:1 5pm (closed Sunday & Mondays) P: 0408 866 285                                     E: haco@hacosydney.com.au; $150 – $210 Hacosydney.com.au

Kuon

Shop 04 2/58 Little Hay St, Sydney, Lunch: Fri-Sun 12:30 pm. Dinner  Tue-Sun 5:15 pm or 7:45 pm sittings.  Reservation via SMS at 0488 688 252; $220 per head @kuon.omakase

Sokyo 

The Darling, Level G, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont. Open dinner Monday to Thursday from 5:45 pm P: 1800 700 700 $300 per head Sokyo.com.au

Kuro

368 Kent St, Sydney; Open Tue – Wed – Thur: 6 pm Fri & Sat: 5:30 pm P: 02 9262 1580, reservations@kurosydney.com $220 per head. Kurosydney.com;

Choji Omakase

Level 2, 228 Victoria Ave, Chatswood —upstairs from Choji Yakiniku. Every Monday to Wednesday at 6.30 pm. One seating per day only. $295 per head. Chojiomakase.com.au

Gold Class Daruma

The Grace Hotel, Level 1/77 York St, Sydney; 12–2:30 pm, 5:30–9.00 pm Phone: (02) 9262 1190 M: 0424 553 611 booking@goldclassdaruma.com.au·$120 – $150 per head Goldclassdaruma.com.au

Besuto

Besuto Omakase, Sydney Place precinct, 3 Underwood Street, Circular Quay. Omakase is available to book for dinner – Tuesday to Saturday. 5:30 pm & 8pm sittings. From $250. Besuto.com.au

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is no soy and wasabi offered during my omakase meal?
Even though sushi and sashimi are being served, the chef is serving each piece of sushi so quickly and directly that the chef is applying the wasabi and soy to the sushi themselves. Watch as they brush the top of the fish with soy and dab a tiny amount of wasabi on the rice, under the fish. You should not need to add extra, and in fact, it can be insulting to the chef to add more. Bathing the bottom of the rice of your sushi in soy sauce is considered bad manners, as it is seen as detracting from the flavour of the fish.

Nobu, Sydney

Can an omakase experience accommodate my dietary needs?
Although there is often little variation once the chef has set the daily menu, some customisation is possible. Advise the restaurant when you book and remind them of allergies or aversions again as you sit down. They will let you know when you book if your allergy is possible for the chef. Japanese menus feature a lot of seafood and dashi so accommodating a no seafood request can be genuinely tricky.

What are the golden rules for chopstick etiquette?
Use your chopstick holder in between eating, rather than putting chopsticks on your plate. Don’t use your chopsticks to gesticulate or point; if offering food to someone to try, never pass food directly from your chopsticks to theirs. Rather place the food onto a small plate and let them pick it up.
Never touch communal or shared food with your chopsticks. The longer, slightly larger chopsticks are like sharing cutlery, never put these in your mouth.

Without a menu, how can I know what I am eating during omakase?
Omakase is often a no-menu situation, and you are expected to try new things. Attending an omakase experience with an open, trusting mind yields the best results.
There are Wagyu and tempura omakase that reflect the chef’s personal predilections and training, but in a standard luxury omakase, the format will include a lot of freshly caught seafood and will usually kick off with a delicate appetiser. This will be followed by a sashimi and sushi course, a savoury egg custard (chawanmushi) with meat and seafood, a cooked or blow-torched market fish, a soup course, and dessert.

Can I talk to the chef during omakase? What is the protocol?
Guests at an omakase experience are welcome to ask questions of the chef; in fact, interacting with the chef is part of the experience. It is considered polite to ask questions or inquire about the food so they can explain.

What is best to pair with omakase  in terms of drinks?
In general, wine and sake are a perfect match for omakase. Aged fish and vinegar have strong umami flavours so depending on which course you enjoy, different wine and sake will pair well. Dry chilled sake is a great choice. Amazing sakes are imported into Australia, so trust the restaurant to advise you and take you on a sake journey at the same time.  If you don’t like sake, drinking chardonnay, a crisp young riesling, or even a dry complex Riesling is also totally acceptable. All three styles help bring out the flavour of the fish. Champagne can also be good. Try a blanc de blancs— 100% chardonnay —for a great way to start the meal. As you progress, remember that sake is good for dishes with a strong taste, such as uni and eel.

Nobu, Sydney

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The Tod’s SS25 Men’s Collection in Milan Was a Showcase of “Artisanal Intelligence”

It was also the debut men’s collection by creative director Matteo Tamburini.

By Josh Bozin 20/06/2024

Earlier this week, Tod’s presented its SS25 men’s collection at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea (PAC) for Milan Fashion Week, where all eyes were fixed on Matteo Tamburini and his debut menswear collection as Tod’s newest creative director.

Striking “a balance between tradition and modernity”, was the former Bottega Veneta designer’s intention, and indeed his showcase offerered a spotlight on the quality, materials, and detailing that are central to the Tod’s wardrobe.

“The collection is more about subtraction rather than addition, highlighting the very elevated, timeless and relaxed materials,” says Tamburini via a statement.

Tod’s

In line with Tod’s restrained design codes, the garments presented were characterised by timelessness, unmistakable Italian flair, yet a casualness appropriate for everyday wear. Only the best leathers were used in the collection—thanks to the Pashmy project, which Tod’s unveiled in January to champion high-end Italian materials—used in creating garments like the Tod’s Bomber, the Gio Jacket, the Shirt Jacket, the Di Bag sack, as well as footwear staples, like the Tod’s T-Riviera.

Of course, the iconic Gommino driving shoe wasn’t without an update, too: you’ll find a new sabot interpretation, as well as the Bubble Gommino introduced in a new boat model with the T-bar accessory.

“Craftsmanship” was at the forefront of messaging, with chairman and chief executive officer of the Tod’s Group, Diego Della Valle, reiterating the message of honouring artisanal arts in an increasingly digital-first world.”[It’s] important to uphold artisanal intelligence, keeping under control artificial intelligence as it is now developing rapidly and powerfully,” he said via a statement.

“Individuals and artisanal intelligence at the centre, with its traditions and values, will contribute to keep artificial intelligence in check. Our Italian craftsmanship and supply chain can be an example of the combination of tradition and the new speed of artificial intelligence.”

tods.com

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Pitti Uomo’s Best-Dressed Men Cut Through the Noise With Personal Style

From vintage gems to tasteful tailoring, attendees of Florence’s biannual tradeshow brought their best sartorial selves.

By Naomi Rougeau, Lorenzo Sodi 20/06/2024

Whether or not you’re well versed in the ins and outs of Pitti Uomo, the biannual menswear tradeshow in Florence that brings together buyers, press—and, naturally, a vast ostentation of peacocks—the chances are that photos from the gathering are still making their way into your newsfeed. You might even smirk at the mention of it. To be sure, you’ll encounter plenty of “overdressing” strolling through the main venues but by and large, great personal style manages to cut through the noise.

Part of what makes the Pitti scene so exciting is that menswear moves relatively slowly. It’s less about seeing something earth shatteringly new but rather gradual shifts and discovering fresh ways to put things together. Menswear regulars such as Alessandro Squarzi, owner of a considerable vintage archive that influences his Milanese boutique Fortela, can be relied upon to provide inspiration on how to make tried and true staples and silhouettes feel modern.

Speaking of new old things, vintage fashions made their way into the chat in a big way this June, whether in terms of rare finds or sustainable efforts via upcycling, fabric development and natural dyes (Paris-based De Bonne Facture achieved an ideal medium brown using coffee, for instance). At the heart of the conversation was another bona fide vintage guru Maurizio Donadi who made a case for the timelessness and democratic nature of indigo with his centuries-spanning exhibit of antique garments from around the globe.

Below you’ll find a dozen of our favorite looks from Pitti Uomo 106, lensed by our eagle-eyed street-style photographer Lorenzo Sodi. We hope they inspire.

Lorenzo Sodi

A lesson in simplicity and the power of a classic palette—good quality vintage accents such as a turquoise embellished belt buckle add interest to timeless workwear. Ray-Ban’s universally-flattering Wayfarer sunglasses are the perfect finishing touch.

Lorenzo Sodi

Sans suit and shirt, the neckerchief (of which there were many at Pitti), adds a welcome dose of colour to a white tee and relaxed jacket and proves that sometimes one choice detail is all it takes. A well-loved, slightly-too-long belt and canvas Vans contribute to the casual harmony.

Lorenzo Sodi

Whatever the weather, you’ll find Douglas Cordeaux, from Fox Brothers, looking immaculate in shirt and tie… and a suit made of one of Fox’s many fabrics. British elegance, embodied.

Lorenzo Sodi

Relaxed elegance is the foundation of the Brunello Cuccinelli brand. Here, the maestro himself shows us how it’s done in a double-breasted linen ensemble featuring a few personal flourishes.

Lorenzo Sodi

Designer Alessandro Pirounis of Pirounis offers a masterclass on the rule of three with a contemporary twist, subbing the usual jacket with an overshirt of his own design.

Lorenzo Sodi

A renaissance man takes Florence. True to his roots, US Marine veteran, Savile Row-trained tailor and photographer Robert Spangle blazes a sartorial trail that’s all his own.

Lorenzo Sodi

Cream trousers are an essential element of elegant Italian summer style. Designer Nicola Radano of Spacca Neapolis channels one of the greats (Marcello Mastroianni) in a dark polo of his own design, collar spread wide across his jacket’s lapel for a welcome retro lean.

Lorenzo Sodi

Proof of the power of tonal dressing, that can create an impactful outfit just by sticking to the same colour family. A chic ensemble and in some ways an elevated version of the double-denim look, every element is working hard in service to the whole.

Lorenzo Sodi

UK-based stylist Tom Stubbs has long been a proponent of blousy pleats, lengthy db jackets, and statement-making neck scarves and here, in vintage Armani, he embodies the louche, oversize look that many designers are just now catching up on.

Lorenzo Sodi

A tailor splitting his time between Berlin and Cologne, Maximilian Mogg is known for his strong-shouldered, architectural suiting. Yet in Mogg’s hands, particularly with this non-traditional colour scheme, the effect is always modern and youthful.

Lorenzo Sodi

If Max Poglia’s relaxed Hawaiian shirt and suit combo is any indication, summer has truly arrived. But it’s an excellent example of how to wearing tailoring in more casual fashion. This cream db would look perfect with shirt and tie at a wedding in August and just as chic here with slippers and a laid-back shirt.

Lorenzo Sodi

Another example of how tailoring can be laid-back and breezy for summer, from a dude who looks no stranger to enjoying the best of the warmer months. Jaunty pocket square, sandals, untucked linen shirt…go forth and emulate.

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