No, this isn't about the star-studded grand opening of the One&Only Cape Town, which by the way, is a fabulous hotel by any standard. With architecture by Ruben Reddy and Dennis Fabian Berman and interiors by Adam Tihany, it is sexy, modern and chic, and makes that grande dame of Cape Town, The Mount Nelson, look like its spinster aunt, creased but dignified, clinging defiantly to the glories of centuries past.
No, this isn't about the hotel at all, though in a roundabout way, it is.
I think the Department of Tourism should hire me. Though certainly not the DOT under the current administration. Yes, I'm being utterly political.
In the last 12 months, Philippine luxury retail has had quite a bit of coverage in WWD. There have been stories on Greenbelt and Ayala Land, Rafe, Melissa Dizon and Eairth, and players who have shaped the market like SSI and Anton Huang, Jappy Gonzalez, Ricco and Tina Ocampo, Juan Miguel Ongsiako, and Louis Vuitton. There was also a story on Adora I wish I'd written but my editor beat me to it!
Last Monday, my article on how the luxury market has come of age in the Philippines appeared in a special WWD Real Estate Review issue. It was in fact the lead-in article (yay!): A Family's Retail Legacy. Because, of course, where would luxury retail in the country be without the vision of the Tantoco family?
Funny how life - and genetics - work. In 1953, a chemist and inventor by the name of Graham Wulff concocted a formula that became one of the most successful beauty elixirs of all time. That elixir was Oil of Olay, and it promised youth through effective moisturizing and mass-market distribution.
Fast forward to some fifty years later and Wulff's own granddaughter, Tammy Frazer, continues the family tradition of invention, concocting her own elixirs made from the purest organic ingredients, each one promising to seduce, to captivate, to tantalize, to immortalize, all through the power of scent. And perhaps even more powerful than that is the appeal of the ultimate luxury - exclusivity.
It's always nice to open a magazine and see three of your stories published in one issue. The latest WWD Fast, a biannual publication of WWD which focuses on jeans, sportswear and youth culture, carries three pieces by me - one on Eairth, the organic line by Filipino designer Melissa Dizon, one on Metropolitain Cosmetics, just about the best beauty and fragrance shop in Johannesburg, and one on my favorite African city, Cape Town.
From today's Memo Pad in WWD, my short snippet on Martha Stewart's (and Summit Media's) ever-expanding empire:
MARTHA STEWART IN MANILA:
Martha Stewart may have been denied a visa to the U.K. because of her criminal record, but she's very much welcome in the Philippines. The first overseas edition of Martha Stewart Weddings will hit newsstands in the Philippines starting in September in a venture with Summit Media.
Yves Saint Laurent, indisputably one of the greatest fashion designers in history, died on Sunday at his home in Paris. He was 71.
He was born with a nervous breakdown, according to his closest friend and business partner, Pierre Bergé. He was also born with talent and creativity that were immense and staggering.
His influence on fashion is chronicled in an article in WWD today, complete with tributes from Oscar dela Renta, Marc Jacobs, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Vera Wang. Nothing as yet from Tom Ford though, who took over as designer for YSL Rive Gauche when Saint Laurent and Bergé sold their company to the Gucci Group in 1999. Saint Laurent continued to design the couture collections until 2002, when he took his final, tearful bow and retired from the world of fashion.
I've been waking up to some amazing views lately. This morning, in Cape Town, from the patio of my fabulous room at The Dock House - a sublimely chic six-room villa-type boutique hotel in what used to be the Residence of the Harbour Engineer in the mid-1800s - I woke up to this: