Your Passport To The QUEEN, A Slow Luxury co*lab Project Begins Filming

CONVERSATION, PEOPLE, perfume

TEASE: Your Passport To The QUEEN.

QUEEN, A Slow Luxury co*lab Project Begins Filming

A Queen ascends to her throne.
As my friends and clients luckily traveled all over the world this summer,

Yoga retreats in the Dolomites in Italy!
Film premieres in Greece by the sea!
Simple and fresh morning air bicycling in the Hamptons!

I staycationed in NYC, thrilled to their Instagrams and yet,
wishing I too could go traveling afar.

Sometimes though, you gotta stay the course and stay put.
Travel in other dimensions.

For me…

…this summer that meant anchoring down in the Big Apple and creating the stories for our latest Slow Luxury co*lab project, QUEEN.  QUEEN is a multi-touch platform where all kinds of Girls Explore Legends of Real Life Queens + 12 Mythical Goddesses around the globe. If you know my coloring book, Immortal Beloved: The World’s First Goddess Coloring Book … a trip around the world through the lens of global goddesses…this is the QUEEN guidebook we are making LIVE.

A Queen ascends to her throne.

WHY QUEEN?
Today, roots of the earth are torn. Weather, war and “wealth” means species are dying, becoming extinct at an unprecedented pace.  The respectful interconnected cyclical ways of life must be returned to. Goddesses and female energy are the emissaries between cultures, their attributes from compassionate healer to fierce warrior are shared, they build community and peace.

As I extensively researched world goddesses for my book, I found the most endearing queens in all 12 global hotspots. Way beyond the typical Greco-Roman archetypes! I realized more folks needed to meet and feel these gals and understand their shared qualities.

Oh God/Goddess I hear ya knockin’ up above!

Guess I need to get gussied up, share my dimension-shifting discoveries and hit the video circuit.

How do we Navigate Goddess QUEEN energy? A crystal template tickles:

The QUEEN show and platform is based on my energetic-navigation system called The 9 Star Passport. It is your ticket to the 9 dimensions of life, a crystal template for syncing the energies of body, space and planet. It feels so good! (Goddesses are all about the feel-good!)

Based upon an intriguing Feng Shui ritual called Tracing The Nine Stars, the ritual is a sequence to navigate, bless, and analyze the energy of any physical space. It’s origins are a mystery going back thousands of years.

The more I worked with the ritual, I saw how it traces a path like a star, it expands like a fractal, and acts as a flowery passport to creating and experiencing life in expanded dimensions. One day in meditation I suddenly saw how the sequence matched the energy chakras or gates of the body and the spaces we live and work in, but they also matched geographical regions of the earth.

For over 20 years I have been practicing this body, home, planet sync myself and with clients. This has brought healing to me and others. My greatest wish is that it brings awareness and healing to our planet and a peaceful, lucky sync with the exquisite, miraculous forces of nature for all.

So the QUEEN show will be like a ritual journey itself?

Yes!
So What’s Next?
This summer we began filming and are in deep interiors producing our first juicy bits now. Following this fall will be interviews for the first videos in the series, and a crowdfunding campaign for related films, the shop expansion,
and art + performance experience installations on the earth.

Where does the journey start?

We begin at the beginning. The first, root chakra of the world is located in North, Central America and West Indian islands.
We visit QUEENS in NYC, Taos, New Orleans and Jamaica for starters.

Who is the Queen of these Lands?
Pocahontas of Native America. Don’t Groan! The legends, misunderstandings and controversies are many. (Hmm, just like your inner child’s past, right?)

Yes, this girl was a friendly, playful Daddy’s Girl. A strong female peacemaker between her people and the colonists.

However, get further into her story and discover the romantic patina and twist on a brutal past. Was the Disney film a whitewashed fairy tale or a forward-thinking and feminist-message to appeal to young girls?

The real facts are brutal: Pocahontas was Kidnapped.
Forced into Marriage with a colonist.
Paraded as a “noble savage.”
She died at 21.

First goddess?

We specifically chose Pocohontas as inspiration. As one of the original people of North Americas and the West Indies. Earth guardians with traditions at the root of peaceful, ethical interdependence of all beings. Many see these lands as the earth’s first, energetic center and while Pocahontas is controversial, as many goddesses are…perhaps we can add clarity and compassion to this story to heal this collective pain. Perhaps by learning how to honor her and her descendants, both native and immigrant, can bring us to together in dialogue and healing.

Her original name means “Flower between two streams” which is an intriguing invite to uncover how and why her story lives on, and how this story echoes and relates to the queens of this land. Queens from Queens, NY to Tribal Activist Queens who stood at Standing Rock out West.

Ancestor Stories. Now Stories. New Future Stories.
We will explore her legend as it contains all the elements of ROOTS:
Ancestors. Family. Pioneers. Survival.
The Green Earth. Foundation. Home. Safety. Community.
The energy rooting us all to this planet.

The family roots of many Americans are from “somewhere else” and the healing of America’s history requires a gathering, a re-look at how we all got here and how we might all see each other and get along better in the future! Although I may know in my bones that I was a queen in Egypt and helped Michelangelo paint the Sistine chapel, in this life, not so fancy. Some of my ancestors put the first running water in Brooklyn apartments. It’s part of what compelled me to live in NYC, where I can create and be between millions of streams of the world. With all my travels over the years, truthfully, the melting pot of miraculous NYC is where I really discovered joy.

JUST what is this intriguing link between the philosophy of the original inhabitants of this land to today’s QUEENS taking on compelling issues requiring
honoring, interdependence, justice, peace and soul-healing?

The ties that bind.

Who will be guests on the first episode of QUEEN?
Queens getting earthy with flowers, plants, scents, food, potions and tonics. Queens who drum, strut, mask, DJ and dance in the world of festivals to Carnevales everywhere. Queens who create award-winning documentaries to
queens standing up in the current political climate.
Plus, plus + plus.

Who are the first QUEEN collaborators?

MY BIG Thank you’s to all for our first shoot! Thank you to filmmaker Alexis Karl and her teams, @alexiskarlfilms; for co-producing Maria McElroy @aroma_m_perfume; sound by Josh Salant @joshsalant; makeup by Oscar Caballero @oscarmakeup1 …Thank you to special friends, Florist/Designer/Forager, Betty-Baines Saum @flwrprn and Jonathan Pillot @JonathanPillot  for the crown. Thank you for your brilliant advice, Dale Dobson @iconiclinx.

Thank you to the trees, birds and my one true love, #NYC.

Scroll below for the one true QUEEN.

PS, click here on Amazon to get your copy of the coloring book here:

Click here to read the whole chapter on Pocahontas from the book.

FEMME FUN FACT: Pocahontas’ real name, Matoaka or Flower Between Two Streams, reflects her “connecting” essence, seen in the illustration as a Mountain Camellia flower at her heart between two woodland streams.
A flower between two streams is also a metaphor for…

Perfume. Yes, Virginia, there is a Pocahontas perfume/body cocktail to place where you see fit. Click here for more.

And as a finale,

here she is, Miss America, a queen bee on a Camellia flower.

May that simple sweetness be a prayer that what has “stung” us in the past
may be a source of honey in our shared future.

Festa 2017. A Slow Luxury Holiday Pop Up Shop

CONVERSATION, EVENTS

 

Here’s your invite…

SAVE THE DATE!
Wednesday, NOVEMBER 15TH!

Slow Luxury

A New Standard for Sustainable Luxury

invites

Creatives, Designers, Shoppers and Lovers of Sustainable Luxury

To Join Ornare, Slow Luxury and SohoMuse
for

Slow Luxury FESTA 2017

The New Creatives 

Global Slow Luxury Shops, Evening Round Table Talk,
Networking Festa! Cocktail Party

RSVP’s a must: myrcia@ornareusa.com

10% of pop-up shop proceeds benefit
The Vivo à Beiro trans-Atlantic sailing adventure
for BrazilFoundation favela youth projects
(more below on this adventure!)

  • SHOP: A real-time holiday pop up shop with sustainable Slow Luxury for sale in the beautiful Ornare Manhattan showroom.
  • NETWORK, FESTA, PARTY with: SohoMuse, the high-end full-service networking and content platform for Creatives
  • LEARN: A round table evening talk hosted by interior design’s favorite blogger, Rio Hamilton and designers, Marie Aiello; Jade Dressler; Pitter Schattan of Ornare and Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin of SohoMuse.

Our festa! shops feature:

  • AromaM  place and thematic-based indie-perfumes of Japan, Italy, made here in NYC by Master Perfumer, Maria McElroy
  • The new Immortal Beloved Goddess Perfume + Coloring Book from House of Cherry Bomb, (perfume) Jade Dressler (coloring book) and Immortal Beloved Goddesses
  • Home linens, pillows and textiles from India’s traditional weavers that revive techniques and fabrics for modern lives from The White Weave
  • Linen and cotton handwoven textiles with a fresh, relaxed aesthetic made in US on traditional looms from Stephanie Seal Brown
  • Luxury black candles scented by Scotland’s natural worlds from Goldhart
  • Lorae Russos collections and custom fine jewelry, a synergy of art’s unconventional spirit, the beauty of nature and magic of transformational stones
  • Shop Zuri makes very chic dresses in one modern bold style with Kenya’s brilliant prints

Beauty, jewelry, perfume, clothing, candles, pillows, linens and holiday gifts  for women  and men to inspire all within the luxe-custom home design fantasies of Ornare.

Please see the SlowLuxury Instagram account where we’ll be posting visuals of all the rare treasures and lucky charms in the shop.

Save The Date!
November 15, 2017   4pm to 9pm

HOSTS: Ornare, SohoMuse, and Slow Luxury

Ornare, A+D Building, 150 E 58th St. New York

RSVP a must: myrcia@ornareusa.com

We are honored to support the Vivo à Beira, Life on The Edge, race to support art and culture for Brazil’s favela youth.

WHO    Pierre Lacaze, CEO of LCM Commodities, JR, the artist, Yoann Richomme, skipper, BrazilFoundation, favela youth in Brazil

WHAT   ART AND CULTURE VS. DRUGS FOR FAVELA YOUTH. In the chaotic favelas of Brazil, youth have little opportunities, beyond being caught up in the cross hairs of drug culture. Futures become brighter when a financier and a sailor sail on the high seas in a legendary race, with a sail by famous artist, JR, all to raise funds for cultural programming as an alternative to drugs and crime.
A Dream: Financier Pierre Lacaze chases a dream across 4800 miles at sea on a two-handed regatta to dramatically raise funds for projects and initiatives he has supported for over 6 years
The Arts: Teamed up with fellow philanthropist, internationally-known artist JR, the artist’s photography of a giant woman’s eye adorns the sail of the yacht called Vivo à Beira, Life on The Edge
The Legendary Race: Transat Jacques Vabre, 13th edition, an unforgiving two-week long Trans-Atlantic sailboat race via 4800 miles between Le Havre, France and Brazil’s northeast coast, along the historical coffee trade route. The team will compete against the planet’s most accomplished skippers, navigating some of the fastest sailboats ever designed.
Fund-Raising for Cultural Initiatives for Brazilian youths: Vivo à Beira plans to raise $500,000 for social initiatives based in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, Brazil. As of October 2017, the trip has raised nearly $60,000.
WHY For kids growing up in Brazil’s poverty-stricken favelas drug dealing and a life of crime can seem like the only viable life and career choice. With Brazil now in a recession with unemployment rates having soared to unforeseen levels, support for social projects for favela youth have come to a halt. When financier/philanthropist, Pierre Lacaze experienced first hand the favela life, he “saw guns and anger but I also saw resolve and intent.” This intent has became his philanthropic passion for six years supporting creative arts initiatives for youth in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas with BrazilFoundation with the Fundo Carioca, a special fund whose investments are directed exclusively for these projects.
WHERE   The 4800-mile Trans-Atlantic Journey, Transat Jacques Vabre
WHEN    Events in Brazil, France and US:
             
November 5, Le Harve, France, Official start of the race, Departure of Vivo à Beira
November 21- 25, Salvador, Brazil, Arrival of Vivo à Beira finishing the race

HOW To Contribute: The public can find out more about Vivo à Beira and contribute by visiting:
http://vivoabeira.org/ (English) +1 212 244 3663
org/campaign/vivo-a-beira (Portuguese and English)
Instagram   https://www.instagram.com/vivoabeira_fundocarioca/

“Racing across the Atlantic on some of the fastest sailboats ever built is a dream I have had since I was ten years old,” Lacaze, CEO of LCM Commodities based in Manhattan admits. “My main goal, is to get kids to dream big, make them proud, and raise money for their education. We called this sailboat adventure Vivo à Beira that translates to ‘Life on the edge.’ Favela youth and I have shared this feeling through tears, smiles and laughs. They are hard working and pure. They deeply care about chasing dreams. They are the best of us.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Slow Luxury + Cornelia Spa at The Surrey present perfumer, Maria McElroy

CONVERSATION, MANUFACTURE, SCENT

AromaM-Slow-Luxury-geisha-photo

Please Join Us

 

 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, from 6 to 8pm

for a special evening with

Master Perfumer,
Maria McElroy

Maria’s perfumes are world-renowned for sensory transport to
Kyoto, Marrakech, and Roma.
 
Meet Maria, experience her newest scent, the Roma-inspired, Voluptuous Nostalgia,
 and learn how she creates her AromaM collection and custom perfumes for magical clients,
perhaps you?
 
All the Scents of Desire, Prosecco Superiore,
and Treats in New York City’s Best Spa.
 

RSVP by clicking here. Space is Limited.

 Cornelia Spa at The Surrey 
20 E 76 in New York City
A portion of event proceeds to support American Heart Association
Please mention “Slow Luxury” for a $500. trip discount with Epic Road Travel

Slow-Luxury-Cornelia-Spa-Epic-Road-Maria-McElroy-Jade-Dressler-1

Slow Luxury + Cornelia Spa at The Surrey present Perfumer, Maria McElroy, Oct. 29

more soon!

To RSVP, click here.

For more information please contact 
jonathan.rosa@thesurrey.com or 646.358.3600

‘Patient and Particular in Provenance’

CONVERSATION

According to the Australian Financial Review, our Slow Luxury ‘phenomenon’ is part of a move towards transparency, meaning and ethics in today’s consumer behaviour.

The article ‘Patient and Particular in Provenance’ (by Hannah Tattersall) explains all…

“In a scene from hipster comedy Portlandia, two characters order chicken from a local restaurant, but not before questioning where the chicken came from, what sort of life it led and what it ate before it was killed. They learn that “Colin” was woodland-raised and fed a diet of sheep’s milk, soy and hazelnuts.

The scene pokes fun at the slow food movement – a development that in recent years has become more a norm than a trend. Today, restaurants on every street corner spruik farm-to-table ideals; at the very least they offer artisanal sourdough with organically whipped butter.

Slow fashion, in particular slow luxury, is based on much the same principles. It follows the idea that consumers aren’t interested in simply buying a leather bag any more: they want to know which cow was killed to make it, how that cow was treated when alive and whether it ate organic grass. They’re also willing to wait months and sometimes years for a better-quality, more exclusive item, giving rise to the belief that the longer you wait for something the more you appreciate it once it’s yours. It’s not a new idea. Savile Row tailors and companies with British royal warrants built businesses on the values of supplying the best-quality products through the most sustainable means.

Savile Row master tailor Steven Hitchcock says he often makes garments for customers willing to wait years for their creation. “A client fell in love with a cloth, then when I went to order it from the mill it was out of stock and they had to reproduce it. The procedure of weaving the cloth was about five months. So by the time I managed to cut it and fit it to the customer in New York, it amassed to nearly two years.” He says the customer was enamoured. “If someone is looking for something unique and has a certain image they want, then the wait is worth it.”

Britt Allanson Bivens, a trend forecaster and lecturer at The New School in New York agrees. “What the customer is getting is complete and utter exclusivity, and they’re part of the design process – that’s desirable,” she says . “We have had the whole, ‘fast fashion is evil’ pushed down our throats now and there’s definitely a much higher awareness than there ever was about the price to pay for fast fashion. Second, luxury companies – because they wanted to justify the price of their products – started putting all those marketing videos out there detailing things such as the 51 steps involved in making a Chanel 2.5 bag.”

360-degree consideration in a product

American Jade Dressler and Scottish-born Fiona Fraser co-founded Slow Luxury two years ago, to teach brands and consumers about ethical manufacturing and alert them to where their products are originating. “It’s really about all the things that Slow Food is similarly about – taking care of community, making sure people’s families are taken care of, so that it’s a ­360-degree consideration in making a product,” Dressler says.

Prior to forming Slow Luxury, Fraser had developed her own bag label, Fraser Balgowan. Deer were often killed for their prized venison but their hide went to waste – so she found a way to put it to use. Customers interested in the bags could visit the estate in Inverness-shire, where the deer were raised and killed by a single deer hunter. Buyers from Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, the Middle East and Russia travelled to Scotland to enjoy a highland experience with tailored local food and whisky – and place an order for a £400 to £1700 ($700 to $3000) bag. Fraser says it was important to draw attention not only to the provenance of the bag but the history and traditions of the families of the Scottish highlands. (For personal reasons she is no longer able to produce the bags but is working on a new project.)

Luxury brands are also doing their part. Louis Vuitton allows customers to order custom-made pieces including handbags and shoes in exotic leathers such as alligator, ostrich or python that can take 12 to 18 months to produce. The main reason for the wait is that these skins are hard to come by. To ensure a steady flow of sustainably produced, untarnished leather, LVMH last year bought an Australian crocodile farm for $US2.5 million ($2.7 million). Competitor Kering followed suit, acquiring a majority stake in French tannery France Coco, which specialises in sourcing and processing crocodile skins. Last year one brand in its stable, Gucci, released new eco and ethical versions of its famous Jackie, Hobo and Tote bags. The bag now comes with a “passport” detailing “the precise history” of the cow it was made from, from birth to the final product.

Others have the long wait without guarantee of best-practice. A Hermès International Birkin bag, a staple of the wealthy, sells for about $10,000 in leather; a crocodile version could set you back $50,000 – with a five-year wait. Dressler says they are not as transparent as they should be about the materials used. “We talk so much about sustainable cloth and no one wants to wear fur, but there is conversation around that. There’s no conversation around leather,” she says.

“An amazing Hermès bag is made of factory-farmed leather. We’re having this consciousness around our food, but it’s not necessarily extending full-fledged into what we put on our bodies – what we wear, and the impact on the environment, whether it’s factory-farmed animals or whatnot. Of course Hermès is going to pick a really high-end leather, but that animal suffered just the same.”

She believes luxury consumers are far more educated than they used to be and that will drive a change. “It’s not a niche discussion any more. I know couture designers may not be all open to considering it, but I think within the next five years, it’s going to happen.”

Certainly, as with the slow food movement, the idea of slow fashion is starting to enter the mainstream. Even fast fashion retailer H&M has a Conscious Collection of clothing made from organic cotton, Tencel and recycled polyester – God forbid that the consumer feel shame at buying a $5 factory-made maxi dress.

Dressler says “there’s a growing number of people who want that connection with their purchase and it’s absolutely about some kind of emotional connection with a product that means something to them”.

 Read the original article: ‘Patient and Particular in Provenance’ (by Hannah Tattersall)

 

13 windows into the Iona Crawford Slow Luxury Story…

CONVERSATION

Heads up! Basically this is not your typical press release.
INSTEAD…

We invite you to live Slow Luxury style, take time, click on each image and immerse yourself in this co*lab story of Beauty and The Beasts.


You know it, there’s no fighting it…
the best things things in life do take time.

Here are your clickable images:

Beauty and the Beasts      The Designer      The Collection

The Film      The Launch      The Lace

The Actress      The Gossip Girl and the Footballer     

The Atelier       The Co*Lab       The Slow Luxury

THE STORY: Once Upon a Fine Spring Day, in NYC’s Bryant Park, two 20-foot high maquettes of THE KELPIES, the large steely BEASTS, 100-ft high sculptures arising from the land in Scotland, met 13 silky, ethereal NYC damsel BEAUTIES dressed in timeless silks in Slow Luxury’s IONA CRAWFORD BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS CAPSULE COLLECTION LAUNCH

Collection Look Book is Here.

For Immediate Release: 

This Spring, for the U.S. portion of the global introduction of fashion designer Iona Crawford, a multi-faceted international collaboration of artists in art, film, music, live performance and even bespoke lace-making, touched down in New York City’s Bryant Park.  The launch of Crawford’s Beauty and The Beasts Capsule Collection, was first inspired by Andy Scott’s Kelpies, the 100-ft silver metal horse sculptures newly arising from the land at The Helix at the Forth & Clyde canal at Falkirk, Scotland.  Beginning with a visit to her friend Andy’s studio as the massive sculptures were just emerging, the chain of inspiration became an art collaboration spanning continents.

Slow Luxury, a lifestyle marketing agency based in NYC and the UK, working with clients that define sustainable luxury, envisioned the full scope of Iona Crawford’s Collection introduction. The collaborative project made its appearance in New York, with a public performance and notable tastemakers wearing the Collection for red carpets, event appearances and magazine feature story editorials. The week culminated in the Bryant Park performance, where models ceremoniously gifted the lunchtime crowd with small ribbon-tied bundles of silk containing poetry, chocolate and a #KelpiesBeauty hashtag. Set to live music, the performance ran alongside the smaller 20-foot maquettes of The Kelpies, on view during Scotland Week in New York.

The Collection also won favor for notable red carpet appearances and media features during April from VH1’s The Gossip Table‘s host, Delaina Dixon, who wore a black cashmere and leather dress to a film premiere with Mario “Cashmere” Maningham of the NY Giants; singer-songwriter Jess Domain, who began her career as an Aretha Franklin back-up singer, wore the collection for her upcoming feature story in Hour Detroit magazine, and actress Gemma Forbes wore the Collection’s signature long tunic in Madras lace for a gala dinner at The Metropolitan Club.

Based in Glasgow, home of the first retail Iona Crawford Atelier, opening 2014, Iona Crawford designs custom, limited-edition series women’s clothing and home accessories in rich and tonal fabrics of Scottish origin including cashmere, merino wool and leather, as well as silks printed with her paintings. The Beauty and The Beasts Capsule Collection is designed to be worn in all seasons.

The Collection contains references to saddlery through cut and structure dictating silhouette, while bespoke damask lace, featuring a figurative representation of the Kelpies in large scale, pays reference to the metallic geometry of the sculptures themselves.

Intended as a seasonless collection of artful pieces in numbered and signed editions of 1000 pieces each, curated, exclusive pieces of the Collection are sold on the Slow Luxury site, www.slow-luxury.com. and Iona Crawford’s site offers the full Collection.  www.ionacrawford.com

“The industrial, steely strength of the Kelpies horses came alive within their towering, angular NYC surrounds. I love the city’s intense juxtapositions, contrasting layers and rich architectural diversity. The city’s creativity, like beautiful silk contrasted against a backdrop of hard-core metal, dynamically enhances the inspiration behind the collection,” says Crawford.

Crawford’s launch collaboration with Slow Luxury built upon Slow Luxury’s work creating brand experiences which seek to establish ” A New Standard for Sustainable Luxury.”  Iona Crawford’s sustainable luxury practices, fabrics, and designs align with Slow Luxury’s “The Ten Commitments”  and mission to “design goods and experiences, where the highest design and quality meet excellent social, economic and environmental attainments.” www.slow-luxury.com

 

“Beauty and The Beasts is designed to be a rich unfolding and sharing of the artists’ experience,” notes Jade Dressler, co-founder of Slow Luxury.

“The collaborative story offers multiple entry points – sculptures on the land, art, films, music, performances, e-commerce, in-depth stories on custom fabrics and even T-shirts!,” adds co-founder Fiona Fraser.

 

Additional artist collaborations on the Beauty and The Beasts project include a film “Climb” by the BAFTA-winning MP Productions, featuring the song “Kids” as sung by Hannah Read; exclusive commissioned Kelpies madras lace by MYB Textiles; Bryant Park performance production by re:artiste and Shavonce Armstrong; photography by Alvaro Montagna of Small Earth Group; shoes from Capezio; chocolates from The Highland Chocolatier; fragrance from AromaM; hair by Smith-Grieve and makeup from Don Rokicki.

For this collaboration, ten percent of the sale price of the Iona Crawford ‘Brodie’ pillow, available in the Slow Luxury Co*Lab shop will be donated to the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Donations of fabric and ribbons from the Bryant Park performance will be made to Materials for the Arts, ‘New York’s premier reuse center, providing a way for companies and individuals to donated un-used intact supplies to thousands of non-profit organizations with arts programming and public schools.’

@ionacrawfordart       #KelpiesBeauty        @slowluxury

For appointments, information and images please contact:

Jade Dressler, 917.991.8140, jade@jadedressler.com

bbpost-launch

Slow Luxury presents: Iona Crawford ‘Beauty and the Beasts’ Capsule Collection

ART, CONVERSATION, FASHION

Once upon a time….urban workhorses in Scotland inspired sculptor Andy Scott to tap into the Kelpie’s story of transformation, which in turn …inspired artist and designer Iona Crawford’s silk sequences for her exquisite, bespoke and ready to order womenswear, and diffusion scarves, pillows, and T-shirts…which inspired a connection with Hannah Read’s music…leading to the performance in Bryant Park and the exclusive Capsule Collection on Slow Luxury.

Launching Tuesday, April 8, 2014, a selection of exclusive items from the Collection were available for a limited time on the new Slow Luxury online pop up shop, with the main Collection available from the Iona Crawford online store.

Go to ‘Happening Now’ to read exclusive interviews, images, films, poetry, the T-shirt…and the silk pocket squares and other steely, silky surprises!

SLOW LUXURY presents

IONA CRAWFORD ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS’ CAPSULE COLLECTION

INTERACTIVE PERFORMANCE in BRYANT PARK, NEW YORK on
Tuesday, April 8th 2014 at 12.55pm

This Spring, THE KELPIES, 20 ft. massive silver steely horse heads, sit powerfully in the middle of New York City, in Bryant Park. Maquettes of the famed 100 ft. high sculptures in Scotland, sculpted by Andy Scott, these beasts meet silky, ethereal Scottish damsels, bearing gifts of Spring in the IONA CRAWFORD BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS CAPSULE COLLECTION LAUNCH…all during lunchtime on April 8th at 12.55pm.

An interactive performance will include live music from Scottish singer songwriter, HANNAH READ.

Launching Friday, April 8th, a selection of exclusive items from the Collection will be available on the new Slow Luxury online pop up shop, with the main Collection available from the Iona Crawford online store.

Follow us for updates:

 @slowluxury @ionacrawfordart #kelpiesbeauty

This event is produced by Slow Luxury with support from:

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SEG Logo

Donations of fabric and ribbons from the performance will be made to Materials for the Arts, ‘New York’s premier reuse center, providing a way for companies and individuals to donated un-needed supplies to thousands of non-profit organizations with arts programming and public schools.’

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The Big Interview: Fiona Fraser, Slow Luxury Co-Founder

CONVERSATION, DESIGN, FASHION, MANUFACTURE, PEOPLE

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Anthony Akilade of the Herald Scotland meets Slow Luxury Co-founder, Fiona Fraser, as part of the Scottish Enterprise ‘Knowledge for Growth’ series…

Bling. A flash in the eye. You wanted it. You bought it. It was fast, often noisy. There may have been quality but it wasn’t essential. What mattered was that it stood out, that it shouted.

“That was then,” says brand development specialist Fiona Fraser, the world of high-end luxury is turning and buyers are now looking for a bit more substance in their purchases.

The trend is showing up in many different sectors. We have slow food where consumers take a deeper interest in where food comes from, how it is cooked and indeed how it is eaten. We also have slow travel, where the journey is as much a focus as the destination. In architecture, we have slow health with places such as Maggie’s Centres. Now we have slow luxury.

“The slow aspect recognises that the face of luxury has changed. Luxury consumers are far more educated today. They are really looking for meaning, value and connection in what they purchase. Their interest is in sustainability, they are interested in quality, heritage and in provenance. They are looking for products with a soul,” says Fraser who, along with co-founder Jade Dressler, has now established Slow Luxury.

Fraser and her New York-based business partner have both individually designed and developed luxury brands of their own. These have sold internationally to the top luxury retailers and it is this experience that informs Slow Luxury’s brand development work.

Luxury leaders such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel and Joyce in Hong Kong sold accessories Jade Dressler designed and she developed runway and stage pieces for Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass and celebrities such as Cher.

“We’re not just saying let’s look at your marketing. We’re actually able to use our experience throughout the whole process to develop brands,” Fraser says.

“It all started when we worked with Scottish Enterprise’s textiles team to bring together a showcase roundtable conversation on the idea of slow luxury.

“We invited a number of non-competing Scottish brands, such Johnstons of Elgin and Hamilton & Inches, to come and take part so they had an opportunity to connect with American destination and events planners and tastemakers. These people included a planner who does the decorations for the White House in America, and writers for the New York Times, Forbes, About.com, Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. These were people with a lot of influence in the market either directly with the consumer or with buyers for high-end retailers,” says Fraser.

Fiona Fraser’s previous business, Fraser Balgowan, designed and developed bags and accessories that were made with sustainably-sourced red deer hides and sporting tweeds for the top end of the market.

“Within the first year of business we were selling to Saks 5th Avenue in New York and we were in The Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine. It was the depth of storytelling that really connected with the people we were marketing to. Every bag had a story. That story connected people to those who worked on the land, worked on the estates, it related to shepherding, weaving, deerstalking and to the history of the communities in the Highlands.”

Fraser took this thirst for detail a step further and invited tastemakers from the US to Scotland. These high-end fashionistas were treated to a full tweed and heather deerstalking adventure so they could understand the way of life. So successful was this Slow Luxury immersive sourcing event that they are now offered by the company as a key brand development service.

“It’s about touching on something very personal, dipping into the richness of the craftspeople and the components of the products. In Scotland we are well positioned to highlight our history of manufacturing, our years of excellence and to tell a really great story,” she says.

But for Fraser too many of Scotland’s manufacturers are failing to truly connect with potential markets and customers.

“Technology obviously gives us much more of an even playing field than we had before. We don’t need to spend £10 million on a marketing campaign in the way we would have had to five or ten years ago,” Fraser says.

“If we are really going to work across the digital opportunities which provide us with other routes to market, we really have to improve on the way we tell our stories. It’s absolutely not good enough to say here’s our lovely scarf and it’s made with the best materials and it’s Made in Scotland. There needs to be more depth to the storytelling.”

Fraser does praise Scottish producers for being able to sell into the wholesale market however she sees a downside to this success.

“When all we do is sell to wholesalers we don’t have direct contact with the end customer so we don’t know what they are connecting with. We are not getting the intelligence back that helps us innovate and create new products,” Fraser says.

“The ‘cash rich and time poor’ luxury consumer is increasingly looking for curated product, it’s that idea of connection and personal engagement. That means the consumer is often interested in the lifestyle. They want to know what is the Scottish lifestyle.”

Learning these lessons from their own forays into high-end retailing has enabled Slow Luxury to reach out to other sectors of the luxury market and the company now is in discussions to consult and develop product with top-end Scottish retailers in apparel, interiors, accessories, food and drink, and experiential travel.

The company’s online brand development strategy focuses on using technology to strengthen social engagement by providing rich personalised content to create a virtual cycle.

“You build your audience and you build your conversation, that then drives traffic, which in turn drives sales and influences the media and buyers,” Fraser says.

In all this Fraser has high praise for the assistance she gained from Scottish Enterprise and the Global Scot Network.

“Stewart Roxburgh and the textiles team really connected with what we were doing. He’s been a fantastic mentor and helped with the initial introduction to Saks. The Global Scot Network too, both in the UK and the US, were a tremendous help. The advice I got from them was advice I couldn’t get from the agencies,” Fraser says.

“The irony of the Slow Luxury story is just how fast the journey has been,” Fraser adds.

Read the full interview in the Herald Scotland here