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IMG_0034Regardless you are Japanese or not, many NYC peeps were there to support to raise every dime to help Japan’s Tsunami relief. Union Square, NYC.

Last weekend, Emi was busy working with Beppe shooting Alegri’s Spring Campaign. So it meant a day date with Gael for me!

We were at the Union Square movie theater to see Johnny Depp’s Rango ( quite surreal for the 7 year old boy! ) then strolled through Union Square farmer’s market ( spring branches, tulips and all) and not to forget to donate for Japan’s Tsumani relief, then quick yummy Korean lunch at Manna! It was bit windy but beautiful as sun was shinning and quite lovely to have a small walk down to Soho. We also checked out great Prada store on Broadway as I wanted Gael to know ” What a great shop means” pointing out at amazing murals in the store, the fab transparent cylinder shaped elevator, fabulous Spring 11 line of acid Bananas and Monkeys that takes you back to the 70′s swanky sea side Castiglioncello or Porto Fino in Italy ( just imagine Sofia Lauren and Marcelo Mastroianni sipping on chilled campari preferably listening to her own song ” Soldi Soldi Soldi from Boccaccio 70″ despite their kicking Super modern Spring Campaign… And the fab custom jeweleries in bright colored resins of everything you can or cant imagine!! KidRobot is always a must stop as Gael just absolutely loves the place and he gets to pick a small something. Then stop at the corner of Prince street to watch a street band singing Motown songs as munching on pretzels then the last stop at Pearl river! When was the last time I was at the Pear River?!!  As much as I love nick nacks and all that chachkis, Pearl river can absolutely satisfy you on a dime!  Hopefully Pearl river will never close down as my beloved Canal Jean has long gone from Soho since when…? Ahhh I ssssso miss my Canal Jean filled with the best everything from vintage army pants to $10.00 wool coats! Hip. Cheap. And understated Massive Hit!  I just found out that Canal Jean had re opened up on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, so I must check it out and I hope it will not disappoint me…  Anyway, it’s always a big fun to walk around and do “me and Gael thing two of us together” in the city. Go shopping, movies on a shared kids’ package, street food, fancy shops, spoil him a little with sepecial purchase then stop and watch oh so amazing break dancers on the street of NYC. And what else… oh and just chatting and catching up hand in hand and it just feels so right to spend some descent time with my little cool son on the weekend… Love you Gael and love you NYC!!!

And… the pics!


IMG_0047Proud Gael after a small donation for Japan.

IMG_0042Beautiful colors of bundles of hanging wool yarns.

IMG_0049Is spring here yet…????





IMG_0062Gael inside the Prada store, Soho.

Screen shot 2010-11-21 at AM 09.37.19Prada Spring 11 !


prada-ad-campaign-2011 2

Watch this!

IMG_0074The absolute reason why you love NYC! Prince street.


IMG_0084At the shop, KidRobot, Soho.


IMG_0080And the NYC babes.

IMG_0075A street band, Soho.

IMG_0094MAC meets Wonder Woman, Spring street.



And… Mommy and Gael… Cheeeeese!


IMG_0113Typical and always beautiful Paris….  Stylish father and son in St. Germain on Sunday, Window shopping with Fresh Vintage Lacroix, Cynthia’ perfectly french navy stripe and our typical yet delicious lunch at Braserrie Lipp in St. Germain, inside of the shop Astier de Vilatte near Colette, Tea stand at La grande Episerie at Bon Marche, the outside of expensive Goyard boutique, Issey Miyake’s window at the exibition ( FAB!) of Fashion 1990-2000 at the Museum of Decorative Art. Palais Royal and… any street in Paris by night…











IMG_0033The Fiat 500 covered in printed patch work of Indigo patterns at shop’s front court yard,  the car is always an anecdote of what you will see the inside of the shop, Merci



















IMG_0089This man was shopping the entire shop on Skype via I phone.












I find the Merci as one of the most inspiring places as they always approach one thing that far, deep in such interesting ways from every different angle possible from what you put on your body to what you put down on the dinner table, sleep in, cuddle in, carry in, travel with or whatever that is.  The relevancy to your everyday life is powerful.  Merci’s at that point where they can take anything regardless what the world is into and make the most out of in the best yet approachable way to every individual in all different ages. It makes you desire it. You fancy it and dream of what it would be like if you brought that 2 glasses with blue bottom to your own little home from the shop and serve fresh lemonade to your best friend visits you. It makes your skin tingle to fancy to have that bright blue couch with your loved ones sitting in your living room while you are cooking something delicious possibly wearing that indigo linen apron on with bright orange lipstic on and how fun it would be that everything matches and your lips will just flirt the whole thing.

Merci beautifully stimulates your senses and thoughts that you may have not thinking of or feeling for a long time.

Healthy inspiration you have needed.

If you are in Paris, this is the One you must check out!

Friends… on a Sleepless night in Paris… or  on a Sleepless night missing Paris…


Zarahvoigt, Copenhagen

IMG_0118Eriko Makimura designed the coolest jewelries inspired by Klaus Nomi are sold at Zarahvoigt, Copenhagen.

It totally excites me to see these amazing jewelries inspired by Klaus Nomi who was a German countertenor who was known for his bizarrely visionary theatrical live performances, heavy make ups, unusual costumes and highly stylized hair do that crosses with his musical world and the style world of Electronics, Art Deco, Opera, New Wave, Baroque, Disco, Cynth pop and Experimental. I am sure many of you already know who Klaus Nomi was as he also sang with David Bowie on Saturday Night Live and done a few concerts. Anyway, either you love it or not, Klaus Nomi had his own strong color and voice in his style. And the designer and also a pianist Eriko Makimura had done a FAB job translating her muse Nomi to this super cool mini collection of Plexiglases jewelries. Take a look at a few pics from a killer cool custom  jewelry shop, Zarahvoigt!




IMG_0123The shop carries also their fantastic and huge range of amazing custom designed jewelries made right in their studio in the back of the shop. If you are ever in Copenhagen, this is a must check out! If John Galiano didn’t say what he had to say about all that and still was with Christian Dior, and stopped by at this shop, you will see these jewelries at his next couture runway! I mean the range they have are magnificent!



Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen

IMG_0192The main entrance to the wonderful Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

About half an hour car ride on a main highway from the Copenhagen downtown, Louisiana Museum of Art is located in Denmark on the North Zealand Coast, the spot maybe the one of the most sexiest points in the world looking out to the beautiful Baltic sea, where connects both Art and Architecture in such an open and natural way.

Louisiana Museum of Art pays a huge credit to MoMA in New York for it’s inspiration to broaden the concept of modern art to include architecture, design, photography and film. And Louisiana has hugely succeeded the total yet one solid concept to interact all of these in such a natural way. Beautiful sun light filled physical space again filled in highly intellectual art and designs including outdoor sculptures by such artists as Serra, Calder and Giacometti. My personal favorites!

Honestly visiting this museum was the highlight of the day for all of us and we definitely had a good kick out of visiting this beautiful artful space.  The museum was running a special exhibition on Picasso  as well , so it was an extra special visit for us.


IMG_0155Love how this pic turned out! It’s Picasso’s owl inside of a glass case in the exhibition juxtaposing the life size Picasso’s poster behind on the exhibition wall.  A picture of Picasso working on this owl right here . 

IMG_0157One of my favorite from the Picasso exhibition. Absolutely loving the colors here: black, grey, the perfect red, yellow and the cream mellows the yellow then crisp white that lifts the whole play on red and yellow. It’s titled as “Stills under the lamp”.


IMG_0172Near the museum’s cafe. Brick, wood, metal, glass and the nature. It becomes the one. Amazing views and natural light wrap you around wherever you are in the museum.

IMG_0175An open yet super cozy cafe with a million dollar view to the Baltic Ocean. The Fire place rocks.







IMG_0166Back inside at kid’s workshop room.


IMG_0136Now at the museum shop right by the entrance. Even though Louisiana started the concept based on MoMA, I must say the Louisiana shop product is much better in general and more integrated to everyday life. Functional. 

IMG_0139By the way neon orange, or some sort of fiery orange is everywhere in Copenhagen. More colors below.



IMG_0147One more last look at good old beautiful oil paintings by Danish painter, Harald Giersing.





Viva Louisiana! LOvE ArT! LOvE it aLL!




IMG_0079Copenhagen canal. Frozen and Beautiful!

Charming, quaint, friendly and small. Despite of 30 degrees F that feels more like 15 on your skin as crisp sea side breeze and dampness gets to you, we all were on foot the whole time for the last 2 days. The city is perfect to walk to everywhere and I just can’t imagine how wonderful Kobenhavn (Copenhagen in Danish) will turn into when the bright sunny spring finally arrives to this capital and the largest city of Denmark. I’m here with the Gap design office to do some quick research around the town, and I felt like we have well hit the core of what the city can offer in such a short amount of time. Design. There are many cutting edge design museums as well as plenty of design shops around furniture and life styles.  I mean we all are into Danish furniture or we were at least at once. Clean, modular and inviting. Great quality and design that cares about function. A one good designer Danish piece can do it for you. A quick face lift for your living room or the little corner of the kitchen. One perfect chair. One perfect whatever that is. Before we deep dive into the heart of all, first is first, we are on a stroll of this City of Design, Copenhagen!

Colorful buildings along the canal. Every one of ground floor is occupied by a pub or restaurant.

IMG_0076Plenty of restaurants around the town and especially the seafood places and Sushi restaurants.

IMG_0077Bicycles are everywhere in Copenhagen. This sort of design is very common around the town. All day long you will see many locals on the bikes, and the amount of morning and evening commuters on the bikes are impressive. All over the city, you will see the bike lanes with generous width.




IMG_0001The main train station near the Tivoli garden.

IMG_0063Approaching the downtown of Copenhagen. Brrrrrrrr, It’s really cold!


Court yards, court yards and more court yards. You will find many small hidden businesses in court yards. This one was actually a production company.  Notice bikes?

IMG_0097I thought it was a cute little hotel, so I walked in but it was actually a production company. Lovely lobby with a hip bar serves coffee and juice to employees and clients. Below, a cute cafe at one of other court yards in the city. The guy was inviting us in, but no time to stop here for the moment.We are strolling and finding cool shops, new colors and next designs!


IMG_0197A back of famous design porcelain store, Royal Copenhagen. Again, another lovely court yard with a Cafe that’s run by the Royal Copenhagen.

IMG_0131Awwwoooo! Among the billion bikes in the town, I come across this sweet hot sexy baby, Vintage Audi! How hot is she?!!  The smooth and happy liquid caramel hue, then gorgeous yet naive sleek lines. Ahhh, Love it!


IMG_0108A vintage remake boutique, Kvindehuset  where  filled with one of many kinds. I did get this acid  green and yellow vintage wool blanket turned into a over sized crop jacket thing here. ( super cool!) But most of all, meet this coolest lady, Ms Van Roe who used to be an Art director of fashion magazine, Cosmopolitan in New York in her highest time, 1970′s.   The Shop Kvindehuset on Gothersgade street is where she works now and works also with City Council of the tow By the way, Gothersagade is one of the more interesting streets with smaller boutiques carry more interesting products.

IMG_0109Ms. Van Roe in her cool and confident  herself.

IMG_0103Another common thing in Copenhagen: Half under ground level shops. Many bars, little design shops, vintage shops and restaurants. They all look great with grand scale windows. This little shop was closed so we window shopped.  General store hours in Copenhagen is 10:00 or 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Sharp. Yes. 6:00 pm Sharp!

IMG_0126Here’s a window of Nag store. Typical Scandinavian/European style clothing shop. Another half underground level shop. Bit all black with asymmetrical hem lines with over sized shapes and seams and all. It’s all out there. A bit Rick Owen and bit Margiela. www.nagpeople.com


IMG_0102I should have had a hat on. Brisk walking to fight the cold.

More to come on the City of Design, Copenhagen!

Emi and Gael, Miss you guys!

IMG_0043Entrance to F.I.T, NYC.  Going up to the Board room to judge the best talents in Design schools around the Nation.

I have met Joe Medved a while ago. A nice and much approachable man who had founded Joe’s Blackbook, a fine recruitment and consulting firm in the creative, retail, luxury  goods as well as fragrance and beauty industry. I always felt a bit different quality in Joe from any other headhunters in other recruitment companies. Definitely hip, more human and genuine yet also much much professional.

And I got a nice email from him not long ago inviting me to be the one of judges to vote the best talent in the US’ top design schools in Women’s and Men’s wear design to win the very first Joe’s Blackbook Scholoship, an impressive amount of $10,000 for each winner and two winners will be collaborating a line of product with NYC based Men’s wear designer, UNIS to be sold at hip and much happening ACE Hotel exclusively.   The participating schools are as follow: FIT, Parsons, Academy of Art, Otis, California College of the Arts, RISD, Philadelphia University, University of Cincinnati, Kent State University, SCAD and CCAD.

It has been so many years that I have come to visit my own school, FIT.  The buildings are the same as since I had graduated back in 1997! The dorm building are the same and the same trees… I guess the only change will be the new talents and new restless blood dreaming for the next best in Art and Design!  Ahhh, It’s an exiting and beautiful thing to throw yourself at what you do and what you love with your talent that God gave you. Especially during the school years. Somehow it’s more pure and fearless. You may lack a bit of fine tuning but you are all the way out there not thinking of any commercialism which is the biggest and hardest wall you will hit when you step into the real battles after the school! Anyway, walking in to the C building lobby of FIT, so many flash backs are going through my mind and bit excite about over 120 portfolio submissions that I will look through!


IMG_0045Faculty Board room at FIT. Judges are flowing in.  All the professional designers to Fashion forecasters of prominent US brands such as Gap (myself), TSE, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, DVF, J.Crew, Donna Karen and many more.  I believe there are about 15-20 judges in and out of this voting process. It took me about 3 1/2 hours to go through all the work to score, comment and also to rank the top 7 young student designers out of over 100.

IMG_0047Kids are just fine. Kids are superb. Kids are great!  Kids blew my mind in some cases. Certain schools definitely stood out. They are even quite professional in terms of presentation and even down to the building a mini collection. Strong separates and new shapes. Colors and all. I saw a new generation and new voices in couture’s world as well. Each project follows certain format in their own creative way. A typed up muse and concept. A mood board/ page to go with. Inspiration pics, fabric or whatever that is. The illustration of collection, Flats, Color stories, even a working sketchbook: by the way my favorite part of all! These kids were already selected by each school before they made to this point. So this compettion is actually really big if you think about.

There will be couple more rounds of judging by different professionals. So what I did was the first round with other designers. I believe most of them are at Director levels. Then second round with Recruiters of the employers and Joe was planning to present the work by the school level, which I thought was brilliant! Then there will be 6 finals to be boiled down to the 2 winners! The reception will happen at Ace hotel in March I believe and I will be surely there to celebrate and embrace the top 2 talents of this young generation!

IMG_0052Me and Joe!

Joe, I like to say how wonderful event you had put together. You are not competing at this point. You are leading the entire recruiting industry by doing this meaningful Scholarship project. You connected all the schools and had them got into a healthy competition and You had connected professionals in the industry. You are developing and finding the newest talents and supporting them. You went out on to the most right people and the right place to do this wonderful project. Thank you so much for the great opportunity  for me to give back and a Huge Congratulation to your Very first Scholarship Program event!

Joe, You are Rocking the Fashion Industry! Cheers!

IMG_0142Restaurant 1OR8, 66 south 2nd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Our friend Tobias recommended it, so we went, we ate and we loved it!  Spacious layout with cool high ceiling. White and lots of white. Modern yet cozy. Comfy. Great service at right price. It was a very pleasant experience.  Bit of Fusion. Japanese with a french twist. But not too tricked up. Just right amount of twist. Hearty and clean. Beautiful sushi with perfectly cooked rice. Fluffy and light. Not too hard or sticky. And most of all, just right amount of it. I hate when sushi has stupid amount of rice. Or rice overpowers the sushi in any form. It fails. Interesting small dishes with hefty amount of daily specials.

IMG_0130You walk by the front Bar area then it quickly leads you to the main dining room. Loving the white painted white and white branches.  The hostess will lead you to the table then a friendly waiter will come and totally take care of you from A to Z.

IMG_006999% Japanese Staff. Which I like to give a credit for. 3 sushi men, waiters, hostess, kitchen staffs.. Almost everyone of them at 1or8.

IMG_0066This is the view of Sushi bar from where we were seated. I am liking it. A lot!



IMG_0068A quick peek at the Menu. The first page.

IMG_00702 of each 3 kinds including the Kumamoto. Oyster sampler, one of the specials of the day. Served with Yuzu Soy sauce and lemon.

IMG_0072Tuna Tartar with Wasabi Guacamole on top, dried lemon, dried tomato and dried zucchini as a garnish and they are actually quite lovely themselves to taste.

IMG_0081Sukiyaki Terrine with a poached egg. It’s a lovely dish but it was bit too cold to our palette. But an interesting dish with layers of slices of rib eye, spinach, shitake mushroom, onions soaked in Sukiyaki broth sort of.  And Gael breaks it all.

IMG_0101The most delicious dumpling I ever had. Crystal thinnest and finest skin with plump and freshest shrimps with chives filling. Heartly made and heartly cooked. Deeelishous! And an interesting match with Gael’s top and the dumpling plate.


And… Sorry I Did not take pics of every dish we had for the night. But we loved all the dishes and especially the Sushi we tried except the ” Double Salmon: on the special Sushi role list… But we loved Eel and Shrimp tempura. Quietly warm yet simple and light. Mushroom Tuna was excellent with good bite of Enoki mushroom, red pepper and asparagus.  We chose sake by carafe. 2 of them at the end. “Chikurin”, Junmai Sake that carries round and earthy taste. We loved it! Gael’s miso soup was also excellent with home made soft tofu in it. Also we shared a starter of warm Mussles from the daily special and it was very lovely with pickled strings of lemons in it. For more different dishes, please check out their website, www.oneoreightbk.com

And… the Dessert was amazing and very different. Very Japanese in terms of the ingridients but not so traditonal the way they were executed. The contrast between sweet, warm, crunch, cold, salty, warm and even bit of bitterness. Great great dessert! We tried 2 and both were daily specials.

IMG_0111A Chestnut flan with Caramel ice cream, an almond biscotto and caramel sauce over the flan.  The focus on this dish is not the sweetness as most of other typical desserts are.  This dish was all about Aroma ( the true essence of Chestnut and slightly bitter caramel ice cream) and crunch but not hard and touch of chewiness of Almond biscotto. Nothing on this is really sweet but it was perfectly lovely as a dessert. Very beautiful.

IMG_0109An Ajuki red bean tart with Green Tea ice cream. The ice cream was the best kind ever! Gael loved it! The Tart is bit like bread and also cake like at the same time. Again not so sweet here even though the Ice cream was, but it was perfect amount of play on contrast of flavors here.

Totally Satisfied!!




IMG_0126The Bar area.

Great food and a Great place!