Christian Louboutin creates limited-edition men’s capsule collection for SportyHenri.com

Christian Louboutin has created a men’s capsule collection in a collaboration with SportyHenri.com, the boutique created by French professional athlete Henri Tai.
   SportyHenri.com offers activewear, sportswear and lifestyle fashion for men, with Louboutin creating a limited-edition men’s trainer range for the e-tailer.
   The four trainers are inspired by SportyHenri.com’s motto, ‘Mettre le sport en valeur,’ bearing the distinctive signature Christian Louboutin red sole, coupled with SportyHenri.com’s white, cobalt blue and black colour palette from its logo.
   Christian Louboutin said in a release, ‘It’s a real pleasure for me to touch and create some exclusive designs which, I think, represent the values that are dear to Henri: sport mixed with style in a fun and colourful way. I am thrilled to be part of the new adventure of SportyHenri.com.’
   ‘For me, clothes are an extension of myself, they let me express something about who I am, about my personality, but also they let me explore it. It is this vision that I want to bring to life with SportyHenri.com, and here it takes form through this wonderful capsule, which I feel very privileged to offer our clients exclusively,’ said Tai.
   The SportyHenri.com site also has useful articles and advice from top sportspeople, including Tony Parker, imparting tips and personal experiences. The store’s items have been selected by Tai personally.

Maserati pop-up suite at Hôtel de Paris

Two great luxury brands come together: Hôtel de Paris offers Maserati suite package

Until September 30, the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco has the ideal suite for lovers of the Maserati marque: suite 321 to 322 has become a space which pays tribute to the fabled Italian brand.
   Maserati’s racing heritage and its status today as a maker of luxury cars are a perfect subject for some of the top interior designers, creating a pop-up suite in honour of the marque.
   On May 19, 1957, Juan Manuel Fangio won the Monaco Grand Prix in a Maserati, forging a link between the brand and the principality.
   The pop-up suite is the work of Ludovica and Roberto Palomba of L+R Palomba, featuring touches such as an Ermenegildo Zegna fabric headboard, and grain leather armchairs that recall the interior of Maserati’s latest saloons. The suite has a view of the Casino de Monte-Carlo.
   The Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer currently offers a package that includes the suite, and transfers to and from Nice airport, the use of a Maserati Gran Cabrio during their stay (conditions apply), breakfast, a cocktail buffet of Modena-style dishes with Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé champagne, and, for those staying three nights or more, a free cryotherapy session at the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo. Rates begin at €3,500 for two adults, based on a package rate for three nights. Reservations can be booked on 377 98-06-41-58; email resort@sbm.mc.


Aston Martin reveals 2017 Vanquish Zagato; production limited to 99

As expected, the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato concept that was shown at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como has become a production reality, with the company saying that it will produce 99 examples at Gaydon, Warwickshire, with deliveries commencing during the first quarter of 2017.
   Aston Martin says the car is an example of its collaboration with Zagato, though its press information does not say whether the model, based on its Vanquish flagship, was styled by the Italian coachbuilder or done in-house, as it had been for the V12 Vantage Zagato in 2011.
   The company notes that the new car has ‘Aston Martin’s acclaimed dynamic and material qualities with Zagato’s signature design language.’
   At the launch of the concept last month, Zagato CEO Andrea Zagato noted, ‘We pride ourselves on our strong partnership and the creation of the Vanquish Zagato Concept was a true shared experience. It represents the essence of an important design relationship that dates back over fifty years,’ but there was no elaboration on where the design took place.
   The first collaboration began with the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato of 1960, and it was revived under Victor Gauntlett’s leadership of the company in the 1980s with the V8 Vantage Zagato. Neither car was considered attractive on launch, though both were perceived to be future classics—which they became. The DB4 GT Zagato is now valued at over £10 million and has few critics today.
   Subsequent collaborations were the 2002 DB7 Vantage Zagato, which used a lightly modified version of the donor car’s front end so it did not have to be retested for safety; and the 2011 V12 Vantage Zagato.
   The Vanquish Zagato has an engine uprated to 600 PS, with a claimed 0–60 mph time of 3·5 s. The company says the suspension set-up will be unique to the model. It features a unique carbonfibre body that has new round rear taillights, LED technology shared with the Aston martin Vulcan supercar, a sculpted rear end that has a profile similar to that of the DB11, with a downward contour and pronounced spoiler splitting the taillights. There is a pronounced side strake, reinterpreted so it now runs more deeply down the height of the front wing aft of the wheels, and, as expected, there is the famed Zagato double-bubble roof. The Vanquish Zagato is a liftback.
   Inside, the Vanquish Zagato uses herringbone carbonfibre, and shadow and anodized bronze leather, with the option of aniline leather. The seats and doors have a Z-pattern stitch, and the Zagato Z is embossed on headrests and stitched into the centre console.

Bugatti, Luisa Via Roma celebrate partnership: Cecilia Capriotti, Grace Chatto among VIPs

Stefania d’Alessandro

Luisa Via Roma, styled LuisaViaRoma, is a familiar sight to the fashion scene: it’s one of the biggest international concept stores in Firenze and its history goes back to 1930.
   With Bugatti having extended its brand into lifestyle, using founder Ettore Bugatti’s name for its collection, Luisa Via Roma is an ideal partner for the company. The two announced their collaboration at the Bridge of Love installation on the Arno during Pitti Uomo 90 on Tuesday. The Ettore Bugatti Lifestyle Collection will be available from the Luisa Via Roma physical store in Firenze and its website. A classic Bugatti Type 51 racing car from the 1930s was there at the launch.
   Luisa Via Roma will be the first place in Italy which will retail the clothing and accessories’ ranges from the collection, beginning with the autumn–winter 2016–17 collection.
   The launch of the collaboration, entitled Underwater Love, saw VIPs including Bugatti brand manager Massimiliano Ferrari, Paolo Lao, Petite Meller, Grace Chatto of Clean Bandit, Diego Rizzi, Bugatti marketing and communications’ Elke Palmaers, Bugatti creative director Daniele Andretta, Mauro Bucco, Marlen Lissek, Marco Cartasegna, Filippo Cirulli, Federico Oggioni and Luisa Panconesi, Marco Tolentino, Leonida Ferrarese, and Cecilia Capriotti.

Stefania d’Alessandro


Zlatan Ibrahimović launches A–Z sportswear line; Aéropostale shows off summer ’16 trends

Aéropostale, Inc. has announced its summer 2016 trends. The international retailer, with 744 stores in the US and Puerto Rico, 41 in Canada and 310 licensees globally, says the season is about getting away, with a range showcasing a classic, simple, retro look. For women, the trends are ‘Topanga Canyon’, a boho-chic, ’60s look; ‘The Left Coast’, inspired by southern California surf culture with vibrant citrus colours; and ‘Castaway’, light and airy looks with floral prints and water-related motifs. For men, Aéropostale forecasts ‘Wet ’n’ Wild’, with bright, coral shades; ‘Nocturnal Surf’, with neon shades mixed with black and contrasted with grey and white; and ‘Tropic Thunder’, with tropical jungle colours.
   Professional footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović has launched his A–Z sportswear line, with a stark, début video about determination and proving the doubters wrong. ‘Play them, beat them, surprise them, never show weakness. Who will conquer? I will,’ says Ibrahimović in his video. ‘You will sweat, cry, scream, bleed … Only one thing will take you from A to Z: you.’ The video was created by Forsman & Bodenfors and directed by Philippe Templeman.
   Ibrahimović says he was driven by what he went through in his past. ‘All the hard work. Feeling different, from where I came. There wasn’t a lot of opportunities. But I took my opportunity. I trained harder than everybody else. I needed to be ten times better than the other ones, because of my background and because of where I came from. This is my way of giving back to all the people out there. This is the people’s brand. I am the people’s man. That is the way it is.’

Daniel Blom/Acne Photography

Lands’ End Sport launches three lines for men and women

Lands’ End has extended its brand into a Sport line, which the company says is in line with its founder Gary Comer’s ethos. Comer had invested in developing the Comer Center in Dodgeville, Wisc. in 1989 to promote employee health and wellness.
   Lands’ End Sport includes surf, performance and athletic collections for men and women. The company notes its surf collection is functional and fashionable: rash guards are UPF 50 when wet; neoprene jackets have flatlock seams to prevent chafing; and full suits are made with bonded neoprene to protect the body from irritants. The performance collection comprises three categories: speed (high-impact), studio (low-impact), and street (post-workout wear), again with functional features for moisture wicking in the cases of the first two. Finally, the athletic collection, dubbed Athleisure, comprises polos, T-shirts, sweatshirts, totes and accessories.


Finding the heart on Top Gear again

Above: Chris Evans and Rory Reid talk about the McLaren F1 in Extra Gear.

Now that the new new Top Gear has aired in New Zealand, I have to say that it isn’t really there yet. But unlike much of the UK, I’m not going to dis Chris Evans, who is a consummate gearhead. The reason: I have a memory that goes back beyond February 2016.
   When Jeremy Clarkson and Andy Wilman brought Top Gear back in its current form in 2002, it was actually disappointing. People seem to forget James May, who originally replaced Clarkson in the original Top Gear, wasn’t even on the show. My memory of the studio audience was that there were about four people hanging around Clarkson as he introduced … wait for it … the Citroën Berlingo. Which he took to France (insert Clarkson pause) to buy cheese.
   The idea of a show with a perfect complement of three hosts who got on well with each other, each playing a caricature of himself, did not exist for the first year, and even after May replaced Jason Dawe, it took a while for those personalities to emerge. It’s rare to get three hosts to play those roles as well from the get-go—Top Gear France (which is actually made by the BBC) is an exception, and every other foreign edition of Top Gear that I’ve seen doesn’t quite have it.
   But Clarkson was a ratings’ winner. When he first quit Top Gear (or ‘old Top Gear’), the series which started with Angela Rippon as its host in the 1970s, ratings fell from six million to three million. The TV environment was different a decade and a half ago. And the BBC persevered because at that time he hadn’t offended Mexicans or Argentinians, or assaulted an Irishman, or Piers Morgan.
   However, importantly, the public was quite happy letting things develop. They could have gone and watched Fifth Gear with its familiar line-up of ex-Top Gear presenters, but they stuck with Clarkson, Hammond, and whomever the third man was.
   Twenty sixteen. Enter Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc (somewhere between the ending of Friends and today, the space seems to have disappeared in his surname), both personalities who love cars. They are disadvantaged by not having been motoring journalists, but they are entertaining. The show doesn’t flow well with the studio segments, the stars introducing each other doesn’t work, and I’m nostalgic for the reasonably priced car—although at least the French have continued la tradition. However, because everyone expects the show to remain on a high, the internet jury has been nasty. No one demanded an overnight success before, but they’re out for blood now. It’s an unfair position to put Evans in.
   The absence of motoring journalism experience could have been filled quite easily. We were originally told of a huge line-up of Top Gear presenters, to which I thought: great, the BBC is going to give a big roster a go again, something that we hadn’t seen since the 1990s. In there we saw names such as Chris Harris. Yet Chris Harris and Rory Reid have been relegated to an internet-only show called Extra Gear, which is meant to serve Top Gear in the way Doctor Who Confidential served Doctor Who, with a bit of behind-the-scenes stuff, deleted footage, and some sensible road testing around the test track of models not covered in the main show.
   Here’s the thing, and this has been said in the British press: these two guys have great rapport, and come across better than Evans and Le Blanc. I vote for them to be on the main Top Gear. They are more personable, humorous, and relatable. I wouldn’t be surprised if they found a way to work them both in next season, and why not four hosts?
   One thing Harris and Reid have is that they know their stuff after serving in motoring journalism. They aren’t rich guys who happen to love cars, but guys who have worked that passion into careers. Harris, in particular, put integrity ahead of kissing up to Ferrari and Lamborghini. I have tremendous respect for these two guys, and there’s simply more heart in Extra Gear than Top Gear, which at present feels a bit empty and by-the-numbers.
   I don’t blame Evans at all—the man had a herculean task. The producers probably tried to reduce Top Gear into formulaic chunks and believed that by cooking with those ingredients, they’d have a winner. This is a reminder that you cannot create heart from a formula: you can’t predict where it surfaces. Now that we know it’s there with Reid and Harris, the BBC would be wise to capture it. Let Top Gear evolve—after all, it did between 2002 and 2015—but also let these personalities do their thing.—Jack Yan, Publisher, Lucire

This article first appeared on Jack Yan’s blog.

Sponsored video: Reach for The Sun and be in to win tickets to LEGOLAND Windsor Resort

Summertime’s always a great time for getting away, and it seems appropriate to think about reaching for The Sun.
   One of Britain’s best selling newspapers is doing a giveaway beginning this Saturday, May 28 with the latest edition of Sun Superdays 2016. This year, there are two free tickets to the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort up for grabs, and what readers need to do is collect 10 differently numbered tokens or codes from the 18 printed every day in the paper until Tuesday, June 14. Then they head to the website, at bit.ly/1WrQxkd to claim their tickets, which are worth over £100.
   This exciting resort is an immersive experience for lovers of LEGO—and who doesn’t love one of the greatest names in toys? The LEGO Movie scored big at the box office, and the Resort has an all-new, original The LEGO Movie in 4D: a New Adventure, which winners can experience. It’s a perfect family outing, and we think it’s an even better draw than the previous one at THORPE PARK Resort.
   When LEGO says four dimensions, they’re throwing in water, wind, smoke and special lighting effects to build on the three dimensions of the film.
   While it’s based on The LEGO Movie, Merlin Entertainments, behind the LEGOLAND Parks and Discovery Centres, promises a new experience.
   There’s an additional competition at The Sun’s website called Superday Selfie, where the best selfies from Superdays go into a draw for a year’s entry to over 30 Merlin Entertainments’ attractions.
   Reach for The Sun from Saturday onwards and get to one of Britain’s most enjoyable family adventures!

Post sponsored by The Sun