We ask our special guests who they're sleeping with..
We chat to the author of The Dangers of Truffle Hunting to see how her travels inspire her writings. [read more]
She's the expert on planes, trains and ships. We ask Cynthia what her favourite airline experiences are. [read more]
NICOLa EASTERBY - POLKADOT PASSPORT
Nicola has a unique eye and voice in the travel industry. We chatted to this Brisbane based travel blogger and photographer to get her scoop on living a life on the road. [read more]
AXEL & ASH
The Bondi based girls behind aspirational travel diaries Axel & Ash are Hanna Axelsson Sahlen and Ashleigh Powell. With divine journals, hand drawn world maps and a new range launching soon, we chatted to these creative entrepreneurs to get their take on wanderlust. [read more]
Very few realise their dream of becoming a pilot. Michael Lesser actually is one! We chatted to the New Zealand based Qantas pilot for his "birds eye view" on travel. [read more]
We chatted to Seattle based writer, editor and stylist Amanda Zurita for this month's guest spotlight. From her most romantic city to her must have carry-on essentials, Amanda gives us some insight in to the current trends of travel. [read more]
She's the accessories designer for one of Australia's top luxury fashion brands with her designs gracing the arms of fashion's elite. Travelling the world to source and research, Jacki O'Neil gives us her expert opinion on luggage.
You work directly with the factory that produces for Chanel and Louis Vuitton in Europe and you get to source and research in some incredible parts of the world. Where, culturally, has inspired you lately for your work?
Milan and Tokyo. Tokyo would have to be one of the most creative and innovative cities I have been to for inspiration. It is a city with high energy and visual overload. The use of raw materials in their interiors and architecture is modern, combining concrete, leather, wood and steal.
The street style in Milan is brilliant. They are confident in the way they dress but there’s always a slight edginess that appeals to me. The furniture and interior design stores in Milan are always a wealth of inspiration, especially for hardware.
Have you had a great hotel stay recently?
I recently stayed at a great boutique hotel in Milan called Senato Hotel. The location is perfect and the muted tones and minimalist interiors are very cool.
My favorite hotel in Hong Kong is ‘The Upper House’. It’s a very Zen hotel with a contemporary design and the views back over the mountains and to the city landscape are amazing….It’s to die for!
Where is next on your travel wish list?
Tel Aviv and Marrakesh are on my wish list. I want to explore the historical neighborhoods, food and architecture. I’m already planning my trip for 2016!
Your pieces seem have an effortless mix of functionality and design. How do you do it?
Its starts with beautiful raw materials and craftsmanship. Having that solid foundation makes it easier to creating functional design that still has a strong modern aesthetic.
I struggle to find a great “carry-on” bag that also translates well off the plane, strolling the streets. What’s your pick at the moment?
The Scanlan Theodore Soft Long tote in black is ideal for traveling and everyday use. It’s a soft, durable calf leather with a zip closer and a hidden pouch which is detachable so it can be worn as a clutch. Perfect for travel!
When you travel, what luggage or bags do you take? Do you over-pack or do keep it simple?
I travel with three suitcases. Two are filled with leather samples and mock-ups and then one suitcase for my clothes. I have learned to pack very light and I try and keep it simple. I only bring key pieces that I can mix and match and don't need ironing as many hotels in Europe do not have ironing boards in their rooms.
Leather or fabric luggage??
I would say definitely use leather for luggage. Leather is more durable and lasts longer. A good vegetable tanned leather will also age beautifully. The more you wear the leather in, the more unique it becomes.
If you follow anyone on Instagram, chances are you've seen The Writing. Words, punctuated with graphic artistry and tongue, have most likely popped up in your feed at some point. Splashed here and there on the pages of Vogue and Harpers, you rarely see the face behind the hand that is Tania Debono. This Australian artist turned New York entrepreneur chats to us about her rapidly changing world.
Your work has been able to take you a long way from home. What’s your favourite hotel you’ve stayed in and why?
I still can’t believe I can travel the world and work at the same time, I pinch myself daily. Ah… that’s a hard one but I think it would have to be The Line in L.A – the architecture is brilliant, the collaborations are so on point and I really just love swanning around in their Margiela-esque robes to a view of the Hollywood hills. It’s all very staged but I love it. Also, a close second goes to Le Lapin Blanc in Paris, it’s the kookiest little place in the Latin Quarter.
When you’re flat out or on the road, is there something you do to take a moment for yourself?
I really want to be one of those people who say they mediate, but I’m not. Honestly, every time I’m away I take it for what it is and try to remind myself that it could all disappear as quickly as it became. That being said I do like to take a moment to explore at least one place I’ve recently read about regardless of how busy I am – it’s important to take some time out or you do go crazy.
Your packing essential?
My Bowers & Wilkins headphones double as a way to escape the noise sometimes. My Olympus camera to remember the memories and recently updated Spotify playlists (this is really important, every place must have a soundtrack in my opinion). Moleskine notebooks and my diary. Also, Ginger Flight Therapy from Aesop is my saving grace.
New York or Sydney??
New York has my heart, Sydney is home but we are drifting apart.
A favourite haunt in NY is Sant Ambroeus in Soho. It’s my second home and has the best espresso, people and vibe. I also love ACME for fun nights out, Booker and Dax by Momofuku for lethal cocktails. Café Minerva is my unofficial West Village office.
In Sydney you’ll find me roaming around Potts Point jumping from Room 10 for breakfast (the avo and smashed eggs or the rice bowls), Fratelli Paradiso for all my meetings/people watching and The Passage for steak and frites any day.
What’s next for you creatively and business-wise? And where will you be?
Business-wise I’ll be packing up and officially basing myself in NY for the rest of the year. Creatively? I have big plans/dreams and collaborations in mind and hopefully they intertwine and all become reality for 2015.
What do you do when you're a group of intelligent and fashion savvy girls exec'ing at Lorna Jane and Sephora? Create an activewear label that ticks all the boxes. Compression fabrics, functionality and designs that take you from day to gym, //OUT is quickly becoming our sportswear of choice. We chat to Libby, Lauren and Leah from //OUT to get their Californian expertise on travel.
Your label is the cool girl’s choice for sportswear and great for someone on-the-fly because you can easily incorporate them in to your everyday wardrobe. You've got bloggers like Gritty Pretty and Chronicles of Her sporting your stuff. What are your must-haves from your collection?
Our TEASE sportee is our best selling top. It has beautiful gathering and an asymmetrical raw hemline, which makes it completely different from other sportswear silhouettes. It is made from our amazing moisture-wicking microfiber, which is transparent giving it unashamed sex appeal. We also love our SISTER sport tights. They feature quilted detailing at the knee and gold hardware for an unexpected activewear look. Our must have bra is without a doubt, the AGENT. It is a strappy, convertible sports bra that can be worn 4 different ways. Crossing it over in the front is a key part of our //OUT look. Our favorite colors for this season are our REBORN nude and HIDDEN kaki. Great neutrals which offer a perfect alternative to black.
Out of all your travels, what's your favourite hotel?
We love the SLS in Los Angeles. As we are living in Newport Beach, sometimes its nice to avoid the freeway traffic and stay in heart of the action post our LA meetings. The rooms are beautifully appointed, but with a cool vibe. The hotel restaurants are also fantastic. SLS have also just opened a hotel in Las Vegas, which offers a chic alternative to the glitz of the strip.
Worst travel experience? Lost luggage? Bed bugs?
Lauren and Leah just returned from showing in New York for FW15, where both a passport and a wallet went missing. If you have experienced American airports and dealing with the TSA, you can appreciate it is no fun trying to board a flight without those items.
Your packing essential?
A cool pair of Nike runners. Even if you never get around to exercising during a trip, a great pair of kicks are the best way to liberate you when exploring a new city. Even if you just want to do some walking around (or in our case shopping!) you can feel street-chic and comfortable in the right pair of trainers.
If you were our LA tour guide, where would you take us??
The Observatory is great place to view the landscape of LA and see the Hollywood sign on your way up. Having a poke around the downtown area is another must. Downtown gets easily forgotten for most tourists, but is undergoing a huge transformation and now has some very cool shopping spots as well as amazing restaurants. The buildings have a lot of ‘old world’ charm, which is hard to come by in a constantly transforming metropolis.
When he's not flying long haul, managing Australian superstars Peking Duk or rubbing shoulders with the biggest EDM dj's in the world, Sony Director Jon Hanlon has a penchant for brunch and the sleekest tech-gadgets. We find out how this frequent flyer likes to travel.
You get to work with some of the coolest music artists in the world. What’s on your playlist at the moment?
I listen to lots of different stuff all the time. I love and work in electronic music but I'm a rocker at heart. My favourite band of all time is Nine Inch Nails. Bet you wouldn't have guessed that one! My current playlist consists of Kygo, Peking Duk, Benson, Carmada, Cosmos Midnight… Definitely the more chilled stuff to get me through my hectic work and travel schedule.
Travel is one of the best work perks. What’s your favourite hotel you’ve stayed in?
One of my favourites has to be The Standard in the Meatpacking District of New York. Although the rooms are small, the views are great and the area is the best. You've got the high line, the Chelsea market, great restaurants, bars and shops all within walking distance. The Marina Sands in Singapore was also pretty cool. The rooftop is unbelievable… That infinity pool is something else. Locally I love the Establishment in Sydney and the Art Series Hotels in Melbourne such as the Cullen or Olsen.
Surely with all the travel you do, you've had some bad luck?
One of my travel lowlights has definitely been losing my luggage in Europe last year. I was jumping from city to city in a matter of days and my luggage just couldn't catch up with me. It was a nightmare. When I returned to Melbourne about two weeks later my case was waiting for me and it had traveled as much as I did. Not ideal but I got by.
You must have carry-on packing down pat. What's the thing you must have with you at all times?
My iPad and my Bose noise-cancelling headphones. I can't live without them. I use the iPad for work, reading magazines as well as catching up on my favourite TV shows and movies. It goes with me wherever I go! The Bose headphones are a dream. Great for music and movies without any outside noise interfering but also great for when I'm working or reading. Absolute silence; pure bliss. I even use them for sleeping some times!
If we were visiting you in Melbourne, where would you take us??
When I first moved here from Ireland over 5 years ago I fell in love with the culture, food, coffee, the arts, sports, the architecture and the music! I would definitely start off with breakfast accompanied by a great coffee. I love walking around the Tan (Botanical Gardens) and down by the Yarra and into the city. You get an amazing view of Melbourne. No doubt we could find a great spot for lunch along the banks of the Yarra or somewhere around Degraves Street. Come nightfall I think I would take you to listen to some live music – perhaps at the Corner in Richmond. There is always something happening there. That would allow me to bring you to one of my favourite eateries beforehand – Meatmother which is on Swan Street. Simple but amazing.