Monday, October 31, 2011

Going Green In Luxurious Style

By Amir Iliaifar
Provided by 
It would be a safe bet that many of us hear the term tree house and are immediately taken back to our childhoods. It's a time of wonderment and magic, where a little bit of wood nailed to the tree in the backyard can become an epic castle or an impenetrable fort. Wherever your thoughts may lead you, the good people at Blue Forest are not content with letting the tree houses remain a simple childhood memory.
Specializing in the design and construction of luxury tree houses, the UK-based company has designed a number of luxurious tree houses, but it was this one in particular that caught our eye.
Dubbed "Living the High Life" this high-end tree house features separate lofty retreats, one for parents and one for their children. There is an intricate canopy walkway, an assault course, and a spacious area for kids to play in.
The adult area of the tree house features all the amenities you could ask for in an upscale tree house — a conical thatched roof, a kitchen, toilet, and large living area, perfect for treetop dinner parties and entertaining. The children's tree house is comprised of three medieval towers that connect to the adult's tree house via rope bridges. There is even a trap door that leads to a secret game room with plasma TV and game console — and to top it all off, an eighty-yard zip line that connects to an adventurous assault course.
Who said tree houses are just for kids?

Neiman Marcus Group CEO: Luxury customers demand completely seamless presence By Rachel Lamb

NEW YORK – The consumer is the center of a company’s business and an “omni-channel presence” must be implemented to ensure that the customer experience is at its peak, the top Neiman Marcus Group executive said at the NYU Stern School of Business Luxury & Retail Conference 2011.
An omni-channel presence refers to a completely seamless transition between all channels, even more so than a multichannel strategy. Both Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman pride themselves on delivering customer service in all channels, including in-store, mobile and online.
“The customer is at the center of everything that we do,” said Karen Katz, CEO of Neiman Marcus Group, Dallas, TX. “The founding principles penetrate every decision we make day after day.
“Omni-channel presence is delivering a much more seamless experience all across the board in one clear message,” she said. “It will deliver that message to her anytime and anywhere she chooses to experience Neiman Marcus.”
Channeling the brand
Neiman Marcus Group realized that it needed to up its omni-channel presence after discovering that approximately 70 percent of customers research or shop online before they step foot into a Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf location.
Neiman Marcus was known for its stores with a luxurious shopping experience, but the way that the retailer handled its online sales and in-store sales were completely different, according to Ms. Katz.
Therefore, the group decided that it needed to fuse the two together to create a more seamless relationship.
After that, the retailer moved into other mediums such as mobile.
The company’s retail two brands has three applications between them: Bergdorf Goodman shoe of the day, Neiman Marcus editions and Neiman Marcus gifts.
Seamless Web
Neiman Marcus knew that it had to get into the new channels in a seamless way because it had built its reputation as an innovator in its space.
Furthermore, it was one of the first luxury retailers to start selling products online.
However, Neiman Marcus Group knew that it had to keep up with ever-changing trends and technology at risk of falling behind.
“Facebook was a total game-changer,” Ms. Katz said. “To be a good marketer, we still have to do events, do direct mail and have a loyalty program. But now we also have to be on Facebook, Tweet, have blogs and have online events.
“It really transformed the way we think about things,” she said.
Even now, Bergdorf and Neiman Marcus put much of their effort into online marketing because they found that is where a good chunk of their customer base is shopping.
It is just as important for the retail brands to maintain the same presence and voice on social media as they do in their other locations as part of the omni-channel presence.
However, the company is still trying to figure out the real gold in social networks and how to monetize its efforts.
“I’m not sure if we’ve monetized it yet, but we know that it’s very important to be a part of it,” Ms. Katz said.
Final TakeRachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York

Saturday, October 29, 2011


One of the reasons luxury brandsare, well, luxurious, has to do with the fact that they are exclusive. As a result, some worry that Facebook deomocratizes things to the point of sacrificing exclusivity. However, that doesn’t have to be the case if you do your marketing right.

1. Make It Elegant And Creative

Because you are a luxury brand, you need to maintain that image throughout your marketing campaign. Even the affluent are on Facebook, and you need to make sure that you engage them there.
However, you don’t want to have your image associated with second-rate digital marketing. Because you are exclusive, that means you have higher standards.
The design of your Facebook page, the videos you post on Facebook, and the Facebook ads you create must all be of highest quality. What you do digitally must be imbued with as much elegance and creativity as you would use for an ad in a high-end glossy.
Remember: You only maintain your luxurious and exclusive image if you can keep it online as well. Think of Facebook as the new high-end glossy.

2. Interact With Aspirational Consumers

One of the great ways to grow your brand, while maintaining your exclusivity, is to focus on the people who want to buy your products, but can’t.
You can create Facebook ads that appear on the accounts of those who are likely to be interested.
Even if they can’t purchase your products, there are a number of people who will like your ad or your product — just to be associated with the cachet afforded by your brand.
Encourage these types of interactions, and your brand will spread. However, you will still only available to a small group of consumers.

3. Control Your Image

Even as you encourage more people to associate with your brand, you need to maintain some measure of control. Ask consumers to submit their own stories, photos and videos — then selectwhich ones to display on the page.
Encourage high quality submissions by being choosy. You can further develop your reputation for exclusivity by making it known that you will only feature submissions of good quality.
This reinforces the fact that you are luxury brand, and allows you to vet interactions with aspirational consumers.
Digital marketing can be a great thing, but you don’t want it to get away from you to the point where you lose control of your brand image.

4. Keep it Fresh

One of the cardinal rules of any digital marketing is that you have to keep it fresh. As a luxury brand using Facebook, it’s especially important that you keep your content fresh. Update at least two or three times a week so that consumers have a reason to keep coming back.
Employ creativity to spark interest. You can interview the high-end models that appear in ads, or you can shoot a behind-the-scenes video to share with members of your community. Remember, too, that keeping it freshmeans creating content just for a digital audience. No slapping your latest TV spot up on the Facebook page and calling it exclusive content.
If you are going to generate interest in your luxury brand by using digital marketing, you will need to make sure that the content is truly fresh, and created just for your online community.
Create the feeling that they are a specific kind of exclusive, and they’ll keep coming back.

5. Evaluate Your Own Digital Marketing Needs

Finally, don’t just do what someone else does. What works for one luxury brand may not work for yours. Evaluate your own digital marketing needs, and think about how Facebook might work for you.
Before you build your Facebook page, have a vision for your digital community, and a plan for building your brand.

Guest writer Lior Levin is a marketing consultant.

Friday, October 28, 2011

BMW Flaunts Sustainability


   German automaker BMW is promoting its electric i3 and i8 models through a solo sponsorship of the AOL Editions application for the iPad, linking consumers to branded content such as videos, images
and the Web site

The Editions app is a daily magazine curated with reader-specific material. BMW is the first and only sponsor for the app, which is free in Apple’s App Store.

“Mobile is a natural channel for an auto brand like BMW,” said Mack McKelvey, senior vice president of Millennial Media, Baltimore, MD. “Mobile also presents opportunities for advertisers like BMW to engage consumers in a variety of ways.
“By tweaking their campaign goals, targeting and creative, BMW can not only reach prospective car buyers, but they can also run campaigns simply to increase brand affinity, or remind consumers to take their car in for maintenance,” she said.

Ms. McKelvey is not affiliated with BMW, but agreed to comment as an expert on mobile ads.

Neither BMW nor AOL was able to respond by press deadline.

The BMW i3 generates output of 170 horsepower and accelerates 0-60 miles per hour in under four seconds, and 0-100 miles per hour in under eight seconds.

The electric motor is designed for operation in an urban environment.

The BMW i8 is a sportscar meant to drive outside of an urban environment. Its high-performance three-cylinder combustion engine produces 220 horsepower and has an acceleration of 0-62 in under five seconds.

Both of the vehicles were designed for high-performance with greater efficiency than non-electric vehicles.

The lines’ engines use electric current rather than fossil fuel, so no climate-harming gases are generated and released into the air.

Ultimate sustainability machine
The same BMW ad is available in each section of the magazine, which is split into top news, local news, technology, business, entertainment and sports.

The top portion of the ad shows two BMW i3 and i8 concept vehicles against a city background.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Luxury Educates Itself

You know that three’s-a-trend rule? Well, note four recent events in four different countries:

1. In France, Van Cleef and Arpels announce “L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels,” a school for both “connoisseurs and professionals” that will offer a “non-technical curriculum” involving the appreciation of fine jewellery, its history, components, and creation.

2. In Italy, the Instituto Marangoni and Ermenegildo Zegna announce the renewal of their masters in menswear, a course designed to provide “a thorough analysis of the menswear industry, focusing on the various stages of production process until acquiring a clear overview of: the concept of suits, outerwear and shirts, the structure of the collection and the packaging of the product through to its distribution.”

3. In the United States, Parsons and the New York City Economic Development Corporation team up to create “fashion draft NYC,” an initiative that “will bring a select group of top business-minded students from around the world to New York City to network and interview with fashion executives,” and follows “fashion campus NYC, a career-building and networking event co-organized by NYCEDC and Parsons this past July to help talented students pursue fashion business careers in New York City.”

4. In the UK, Conde Nast establishes the Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design, a higher-education institution geared toward offering short courses in the publisher’s specialties, and modeled on the Sotheby’s auction house courses.
School, school, everywhere! This may even go beyond trend, to new paradigm: the luxury education. I’d like to think it began as a creative solution to two different problems, but may have important long-term repercussions.
After all, it addresses the fact that more students are finding it tougher to get jobs, and more experienced executives are finding themselves downsized, and both groups are searching for something to do to acquire new skills and distinguish themselves (and luxury is one of the few growth sectors) – not to mention the luxury industry’s oft-complained-about dearth of luxury specialists, whether it be craftsmen with specific know-how or executives.
It will be interesting to see how this develops, especially since the ad hoc solution to the latter issue is to hire managers from consumer goods brands. The schooling could well change all that. Get ‘em young, after all, and you’ve got ‘em for life.

Check Out this Awesome Journalist @  Material World 

About Vanessa Friedman

Vanessa has been the FT’s fashion editor since 2003, and is based in New York, though she lived in London for 12 years. Other colleagues also contribute posts here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The RIRTL Maharajas' Express is a dream train journey like no other, through a land like no other. Imagine living aboard the most luxurious train in the world, experiencing India as if being transported back in time, with modern amenities at your fingertips.
India and its Maharajas have been fascinated with steam engines and trains for centuries. The Maharajas' Express journeys take the legacy of royal travel to new heights. Attention to detail, design and comfort is evident throughout. Beyond decor, modern amenities include individual temperature controls in each cabin, LCD televisions, DVD players, direct dial telephone and internet, and next generation environmentally friendly washrooms.
Our royal lineage stretches back more than 250 years, enabling us to create signature experiences that reach deep into the heart of India. At every turn, this brand new train journey offers you the opportunity travel through India in a style and grace like never before. Celebrity chefs, guest lecturers and other India luminaries will accompany passengers on the Maharaja's Express.
Guest Speaker Departures
What could make a journey aboard the most luxurious train in the world even more memorable? Sharing your adventure with people that have vast experience and a life-long passion for India is certain to make these Maharajas' Express journeys unforgettable.
October 28, 2010, Dr. DS Chavda, internationally acclaimed naturalist and conservation expert, will give a series of talks aboard the Classical India Journey, Delhi to Kolkata.
November 14, 2010, Dr. Amin Jaffer, International Director of Asian Art at Christies, will be the guest lecturer aboard the Royal India journey, Delhi to Mumbai.
December 15, 2010, Michael Portillo, politician, writer and respected broadcast journalist, will give two talks on the Celestial India journey from Kolkata to Delhi.
December 29, 2010, award-winning BBC journalist, broadcaster and documentarian John Sergeant will accompany guests aboard the Princely India journey, from Kolkata to Delhi.
February 17, 2011, celebrated chef Vivek Singh will be a guest lecturer on the Classical India journey, from Delhi to Kolkata.
March 16, 2011, multi-award winning journalist and broadcaster Michael Buerk will be the special guest lecturer on the Royal India journey, Delhi to Mumbai.
April 6, 2011, renowned media personality, author and broadcaster Sir Mark Tully will be aboard the Royal India journey, Delhi to Mumbai.
Maharajas' Express 2011 departures
Maharajas' Express train images

Shy Town's Luxury UpGrade

Chicago—Fifield Companies and Wood Partners have broken ground on K2, a 34-story luxury apartment community located in the West Loop’s K Station master-planned community. It is the development’s fifth and final apartment building.

“We’re thrilled with the continued success of K Station, and look forward to K2 being the grand finale of this incredible development,” says Randy Fifield, vice chair and principal with Fifield Companies. “Anticipating market demand and being ahead of the curve on trends is what we do best. The construction of K Station coincided with the downturn in the for-sale residential market, and we were able to fill a need for upscale apartments with stellar on-site amenities.”

K2 will include 496 units and 348 parking spaces. The unit mix includes studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Completion is scheduled for 2013. The development represents the first ground-up project for Wood Partners in the Chicago area.

“With our recent expansion to the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast regions, Chicago is one of the last major metropolitan areas Wood Partners has yet to enter and it really rounds out our national presence,” says Patrick Trask, central regional director for Wood Partners. “Chicago has seen very little new supply of apartments over the last few years, and combined with recent positive announcements, it makes an attractive market for us.”

K2 will have an impressive roster of amenities, including a 70-foot outdoor pool, deck with cabanas, business center with separate boardroom, a theater with a 120-inch projection television and stadium-style seating, and a fitness center with a yoga room and basketball court. The building also has a bike storage room than can accommodate 200 bicycles.
Financing for the project was provided by a consortium of commercial banks including The PrivateBank Chicago (the leading lender), Comerica Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Cole Taylor Bank, and Bank of the West.
Fifield first broke ground at K Station seven years ago with Left Bank at K Station. The next two projects were Echelon at K Station and the two-tower Alta at K Station.
Praedium Group, Chartwell Holdings buys Florida asset for $32M
Sanford, Fla.—A joint venture between The Praedium Group and Chartwell Holdings has acquired Westlake Apartments, a 379-unit, ten-building community located in Sanford, Fla., for $32 million. The acquisition represents the first time the two companies have partnered up. Chartwell Management LLC will serve as the local managing agent.
“This acquisition fit well into our strategy of acquiring new, high-quality multifamily assets in growth corridors,” says Mark Lippmann, managing director of The Praedium Group.
Westlake Apartments is comprised of two- and three-story buildings with units that feature nine-foot ceilings, full-size washer/dryers and oversized walk-in closets. Community amenities include two swimming pools with cabanas, a fitness center, two lighted tennis courts, an indoor racquetball court, two playgrounds, two lakes, barbecue areas and a business center.

NorthMarq arranges $28.5M mortgage for Class A property West Des Moines, Iowa—John Bendon, senior vice president and managing director of NorthMarq Capital’s Omaha Regional office, arranged first mortgage financing in the amount of $28.5 million for Broadmoor at Jordan Creek, a 310-unit multifamily community located at 6565 Wistful Vista Drive in West Des Moines,
Financing was based on a 10-year term and a 30-year amortization schedule and was arranged for the borrower by NorthMarq through its Seller-Servicer relationship with Freddie Mac. Bendon states, “This is a brand new Class A property in the premier area of West Des Moines.”

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Why Are Luxury Homes So Popular?

Lіving in а luxurу hоmе iѕ all аbоut lіvіng а lifе wіth nоt оnly аll of thе amenitіes, but аlsо lіvіng a lifе wіth а varіеty оf luxurіouѕ featureѕ thаt dо not come wіth stаndard hоuseѕ. Luxury hоmеѕ аre designed to delіvеr bеаutу, ѕесurіty, comfоrt, and соnvеnіеncе. Baѕicаllу, a luxury rеsidеncе рrоvіdeѕ a ѕtreѕs-freе аnd cоmfortаble lіfestyle fоr the entire fаmіlу.

Mаny реорlе chооѕе thеsе housіng beсauѕe thеу arе built with thе hіgheѕt quаlity mаteriаls. Homеоwnеrѕ аrе ablе tо enjоy а lаrgе livіng ѕpace wіth ѕuсh luxurіous feаturеѕ aѕ: сustоm dеsіgnеd bedrоomѕ, hоmе offіcе, luxurіous bathrооms, kitсhеns, and lіvіng rооms, аѕ wеll аs mеdiа rооms, multiple рlауroоmѕ, mаgnifіcеnt ѕtaіrcаѕeѕ, wіndоw ѕеatѕ, аu-раir quаrterѕ, lаrgе ѕuіtеs and clоsеtѕ, аnd а bіg garаgе. Onе оf thе mоst aррeаlіng aѕpесts оf lіvіng in a luxurу rеsіdenсе іѕ privасy. Thosе whо live іn thеѕе beautiful hоusеs hаvе іmmеnsе prіvaсу as they havе lаrge рrivаte рrореrtіeѕ thаt аrе beаutifullу lаndsсaреd whісh еmphаѕizе nоt оnlу privасy, but аlѕо the freеdom tо hаve cоntrоl of the houѕe аnd the рroреrty.

Manу luxurу hоmеѕ cоmе with ѕuсh fеaturеs аѕ: saunas, whirlрoolѕ, stеаm bathѕ, аmрhіthеatre ѕpaсеs, nаutilus gymѕ, hіgh tесh devіceѕ ѕuсh as оffісe maсhinery, еntеrtainmеnt elеctronіcѕ ѕuсh aѕ big sсrееn plаѕma TVѕ, hіgh tech sесurity alаrmѕ, аll оf the lаtеѕt wiring fоr сomputеrѕ аnd оther еleсtrоniс dеviceѕ, аnd а large bасkуard for рoolѕ аnd kіds equіpment ѕuch аs јunglе gyms. Cuѕtоm deѕіgnеd luxurу hоuses еmphaѕіzе functiоnalіty аnd luxurіouѕ deѕіgn fеaturеѕ. Thеsе hоusеѕ havе a varіetу оf feаturеs and thе hоmе choѕеn iѕ onе that meets the homеоwnеr's pеrѕоnаl рrеfеrеnсeѕ аnd nеedѕ.

Thеre аrе а vаriеty оf dіfferеnt thеmеd luxurу housеs аvailаblе. For instanсe, therе are luxury houѕеs thаt fосus оn equеѕtriаn activіtіеѕ. Thеse tyреs оf rеѕіdencеѕ hаve big propertiеѕ fоr rаіsing horseѕ аs well аs bаrns and othеr fаcіlіties nеedеd tо kееp аnd trаin horses. Thіѕ іnсludes а bіg аrеа for riding hоrsеs. There аre alsо hоuѕіng s that еmрhаѕizе vineуard livіng. Thеѕе homеѕ ѕіt оn іmmensе lаnd whеrе реoрlе саn grow thеir own grаpes аnd рrоducе wіnе.

Thеrе аre waterfrоnt rеsіdеnсеs with іnspiring vіewѕ оf thе осеan. Pеорlе cаn аlsо livе іn а sресіfiс tуpе of homе such аs mоdern hоmeѕ, hоmes wіth Cаpе Cod-ѕtуle arсhіtесturе, аnd еvеn Victorіаn-ѕtуlе hоmеѕ. Thеrе аrе also mоuntаin hоuѕіngs whеrе hоmеоwnеrѕ enјоy such aсtіvіtiеѕ аs ѕkiіng аt reѕоrtѕ, fіѕhing, and wаtеr recrеatіonal actіvitіеѕ. Manу rеѕіdеncеs аrе luxurу lоg сabіns equipрed with large windоwѕ, hіgh cеilingѕ, аnd hаrdwoоd materіаls.

Whethеr the desіgn оf а hоme іs trаditіоnаl or modеrn, homeоwnеrѕ wіll hаvе all of thе аmеnіtieѕ аs well аѕ the сhаrm аnd grаndеur оf а luxurу hоmе. Thеу are pеrfeсt for а fаmilу who lоvеs tо rеlаx іn рrіvасу, еntеrtain, аnd еnјоy a wоnderful lіfе аt homе. Luxurу hоmеѕ are dеѕіgned tо ѕuit thе раrticulаr hоmeоwnеr'ѕ lifestyle, and todаy, thеѕe lаvіѕh hоmеѕ еmаnаtе beautу, luxurу, eleganсe, and thе еffеctivе uѕe оf sраcе. Thеѕe сustоm hоmеs intеrweаve соmfоrt аnd bеautу into thе dеsign. It iѕ nо wondеr whу luxury hоmеѕ hаve bесоmе ѕо poрular.

About the Author : Ron Murphу, а Frеelаnсе wrіter аnd а Intеrnеt Mаrkеtеr whо рrеѕеntlу wrіtеѕ аbout thе Upcoming Verizon Phones. It іncludеѕ аll the thе newѕ аnd updаtes аbout New Verizon Phones.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Hamptons Blog

I find it very satisfying to bring this type of blog to life.It's not everyday I get to talk about what my significant other would call boogee side of my personality.It is very true I love to fine dine and I enjoy some eccentric things like The BridgeHamptons Polo Club and antique works of all sorts but I really love just the experience and the scenery surrounding this type of culture that we call wealthy. From The Ralph Lauren Purple Collection to The Queen Of Sensory Style Chanel and The Golf Courses designed to capture the eye so much that you don't even care about golfing anymore. I end up just sitting on the greens in awe by the beauty and symmetry of the course and how interesting we are in trying to interpret it's parameters for our amusement. I used to think I was part snob but what I found out was that I liked careful attention to care and detail. When you feel good you have your clothes professionally pressed to make your outer match your inner. As I gain in wisdom I realise that it is very important to make  sure to remember that that which is natural does have a specific design and that it is still unmatched anywhere within our imaginations.Watching us try to imitate this type of perfection is quite interesting. The more we organize the more we segregate the more we segregate the more we exclude.I find it funny how we put these man made designs against mother nature as if to imply that we have equaled her mysterious creativity within our own limited perception and imitation of the grand scheme of things yet I still love what I love and enjoy what I enjoy as I think about the new adventures I would like to experience while in Dubai.