Our blog will now travel across the Atlantic to the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, through César Herrera, CEO of the property company Provaltur International who specialise in the country’s luxury real estate sector as exclusive affiliates of Christie’s International Real Estate. César’s comments will not only provide us with more insight on the different aspects of private and professional life associated with the real estate sector, but will also reveal some of the most enchanting spots of the country, which forms part of the spectacular island of Hispaniola
On 13th May, Christie’s auction house will collaborate with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, dedicated to the protection of wildlife and the environment, for a charity auction whose proceeds will go towards the activities carried out by the Foundation. More than thirty internationally renowned artists will participate in the auction, which will take place in Christie’s New York headquarters under the name of ”The 11th Hour Charity Auction”. Works themed around wildlife will be featured, including some that have been created especially for this occasion. DiCaprio has expressed gratitude for the London gallery’s collaboration as well as for the participation of the artists involved in the auction.
More highly decorated in Italy than former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, Eduard Mira is perhaps best known in academic circles for his contribution to the study of the social, historical, political, economic and architectural forces that have shaped the European city. Indeed, he sees many virtues in the close-packed cohesion of the medieval city, in which densities are amassed in the centre to relieve pressure on the town’s surroundings. Professor Mira believes modern town planners would do well to pay attention to the lessons of the past, rather than following the doctrines of expansive modern planning too blindly.
It is this love of the musicality contained within every single style and region of the world that also makes Brian Cole an ideal candidate for his post at Berklee Valencia, for though it started as a jazz school this is a college renowned for its diversity of styles and its openness to cultural inputs and talent from around the globe. “In Puerto Rico we developed exchange programmes of musicians to and from other parts of the Americas, which produced a wonderful interplay of musical backgrounds that often spurned a whole new wave of creativity, and it is this kind of interaction that we want to encourage here at Berklee Valencia as well.”
We scour the city and surroundings of Valencia looking for exciting things to report on, research topics, interview people and immerse ourselves in the local life and rhythm, but when we chanced upon two young English girls who live and work in Valencia, we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask them about their impressions…
Vicente Gracia is a jeweller like few others. Not content to produce luxury pieces for wealthy clients, he is more of an artist that has chosen the sculpting of precious metals and stones as his medium. The result is a style that draws on ancient inspiration to redefine jewellery as we know it today.
Perhaps the single greatest source of inspiration for Vicente is the fabled Alhambra palace in Granada. The very first time I saw it, it set something loose in me, and I have visited it many times since. How could a fairytale palace not appeal to a man with such a romantic streak? Walking into Vicente’s atelier is like stepping into his ‘secret garden’ – a highly personal realm where he feels at ease among an eclectic collection of fascinating art, costumes and artefacts. It is in this setting that his imagination is set free, fed by the classical poetry, literature and folk tales of Medieval Spain, Europe and exotic Caliphates.
A product of the famous Danish design tradition, Morten Georgsen worked for the likes of Bang & Olufsen before establishing his own bureau, Futhark Design. Along with inspired ideas that produce stunning pieces of furniture for homes, gardens, offices, shops and hotels, he is also passionate about making good design available to more than just a select few. In this he cites fellow Scandinavian icons such as Abba and Ikea A, who may not always get the critical acclaim but have been embraced by the public at large.
Georgsen’s approach to life mirrors his egalitarian philosophy. “The world of design has always been wrapped up in a layer of snobbery and elitism, as if good taste is the intellectual preserve of a few and the aesthetic monopoly of artists. In some ways, this aura that surrounds designers and architects is good, as a certain mystique can inspire and challenge new generations to emulate the great masters that went before, but at the end of the day furnishing is a practical need that we all have – and in that sense we all deserve quality.”
Like a velvet revolution, a seamless new movement is making its presence felt in the upper echelons of men’s couture. Savile Row, the bastion of tailored quality, is being challenged by a new generation of couturiers that revive old-fashioned skills whilst creating exciting new designs. Oscar Udeshi is one of the leading lights of this new direction in men’s fashion. The former banker had a career that involved travel, money and great perks, yet he gave it all up to commit himself to an entirely new calling. Rather than simply join the legions of designer wannabes, this economics and philosophy graduate really had something to say, and it’s a message that is helping to revitalise London’s luxury men’s fashion sector.
Starting from humble beginnings, Jorge Martínez – or Aspar, as his fans came to know him – was to become a true motorcycling sensation. His prowess on the bike made him a national sporting icon and a much-loved figure in the sport internationally, but his success story did not end there, for he was to prove as influential off the track as on it, leading his racing teams to multiple successes and playing a pivotal role in the development of a world-class circuit in his home region of Valencia. Born in the little village of Alzira, in an area surrounded by orange orchards, few would have foreseen the rise of Jorge Martínez to international motorcycling star.
As a designer and project leader of interior reformation jobs, Rafael Hernani’s passion lies not only in creating leading designs and stunning décors, but also in improving the whole of the property in the process. It is a surprisingly broad focus for someone who works with interior design, but Rafael himself is quick to point out that though he trained as an interior designer his focus on project management has given him the ability to stand back and view the process as part of a greater whole.
Begoña Buqué is a woman who understands the very human impulses that drive fashion. From an early age her mother’s boutique in Valencia was her favourite place to be, surrounded by a wonderful world of fabrics, colours, textures and motifs. “It was a world of endless possibilities, where form follows imagination and the senses are fed by the tactile and visual qualities of different materials.” Given this interest, one might have assumed that she would have followed in her mother’s footsteps or joined the ranks of hopefuls at a design school, but Begoña’s adventurous nature won out as she found herself travelling through the Guatemalan jungle and hit upon the idea of setting up a specialised textile factory there. While still in her mid-twenties, she and her then husband succeeded in creating a Guatemalan-based brand that would find a welcome market in Europe through the likes of Natura and Pepe Jeans.
Still under thirty, he was commissioned with his then partners José Antonio Vidal and José Vives to design the Torre de Ripalda, a luxury new apartment building in one of the most sought after parts of Valencia. This iconic Valencia building has since become known as ‘La Pagoda’. He also spent 18 years as lecturer at the University of Valencia. Don Antonio Escario was in fact the man who taught the young Santiago Calatrava who was to become such an international sensation.
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