Evntiv President shares his picks for the 14 coolest people, places and things in 2014 (in no particular order).
Earlier this year, my friend Cabanne told me about this amazing artist that she had been following on Twitter who was doing these irreverent portraits- kinda like a deranged Andrea Warhol. Of course, I fell in love immediately. Self taught New Orleans based Artist Sarah Ashley Long shore has a kooky style, which is specific to her, and, whilst simplistic, you cannot help but have a little smile on your face…especially when you read the titles. Her style and art work has won her a few admirers over the years, with an impressive collector list including Hollywood stars such as Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz, Blake Lively, Eli Manning, Director Paul Waits and Cinematographer Jimmy Muro. Although Ms. Longshore isn’t widely known outside of fashion and art circles, that is starting to change – quickly. www.ashleylongshore.com
Being an entrepreneur in St. Louis, it’s pretty hard to not know about T-Rex. For those who aren’t familiar, T‐REX is a world-class venue providing the startup entrepreneur with low cost & flexible enterprise space, while serving the region with quality programming and inspiring community. Two years after it’s inception, T-REX occupies 5 floors of Lammert on Washington and growing. It is now home to 100+ startups, iTEN, Capital Innovators, Cultivation Capital, SixThirty, Arch Grants and home to many other entrepreneurial activity including Startup Weekend and StartLouis. Interesting tidbit… I helped with the interior design of the 5th floor! There is a revolution happening in downtown St. Louis… the rise of the start up economy. Pay close attention as the next Google, PayPal or Netflix rises out of our city’s core. downtowntrex.com
Annie Clark who performs under the name St. Vincent has slowly grown to be one of the most interesting artists in the indie rock genre. Her 2007 début album, “Marry Me”, showed her to be a fantastic guitar player, a skilled vocalist, and a collector of unidentifiable sounds. Her work lives at a distance from most rock or pop, owing to the contrast between her understated temperament and her taste for dynamic language. It is odd but accessible, detailed but not over-produced, personal but stripped of the inside banter that some artist’s relish in. Did I mention that Annie is a killer guitar player? Her uncle is Tuck Andress, from the popular Jazz duo Tuck & Patti. St. Vincent is definitely worth a listen! ilovestvincent.com
This cocktail is a “James Bond” original, actually an Ian Fleming original, but who cares. For the most part it is a variation on a Martini, and all bartenders know what Mr. Bond did to the martini world. The Vesper can hold its own in the cocktail world and quickly became my go-to cocktail this summer.
The Vesper Martini
3 oz Gin
1 oz Vodka
0.5 oz Lillet Blanc
Shake with ice and strain into a wine glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
THE NEW PORSCHE 911 TARGA
Porsche is returning back to the 911’s roots with the new Targa edition offered in 2014. In a nicely done nostalgic approach that mimics the original 911 Targa of 1965, Porsche fitted the new 991-generation model with a roof bar, a movable front roof section, and a wraparound rear window. However, unlike the classic model, on the new 911 Targa, the roof segment can be opened and closed at the push of a button, with the top automatically stowed away behind the rear seats. Very sexy! Positioned between the traditional coupe and convertible editions of the 911 for those who want a bit of both, but are willing to make a few compromises, the Targa will be offered in two engine variants, both exclusively with AWD featuring the wider rear track and body, and the same Porsche Traction Management (PTM), found in all other 911 all-wheel-drive models. Did I mention it was sexy? www.porsche.com
I saw this place in Nolita and never went inside. Then, I read about the fantastic fragrances they were producing. Le Labor is a Niche perfume line established by Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi (both formerly of Giorgio Armani fragrances) in 2006. Le Labo started with 10 fragrances by well-known perfumers, and is known for blending the essential oils with alcohol and water at the time of purchase and providing customized labels for the bottles. My bottle actually says “blended for Sam Foxman”- looks awesome on the shelf! Ryan Reynolds wears Patchouli 24. Karl Lagerfeld prefers Neroli 36. I really like Santal 33 and Rose 31. In October, it was announced that Estee Lauder is acquiring them. Hope they don’t change a thing! lelabofragrances.com
After receiving a job offer they couldn’t refuse, our dear friends packed up their house and moved 6,000 miles away to Amsterdam. Ballsy, yes. Jealous, I am! It has been twenty years since I saw Amsterdam. err, at least what I could remember of it. Colorful, quirky and charming, Amsterdam is a fabulous old-world city lined with 17thcentury building, canals, and the constant sight of bicycles whizzing by. But it also bears all the hallmarks (and then some) of a thriving and downright lenient metropolis. While many globetrotting hipsters visit Amsterdam for the marijuana scene – and perhaps to peek at the legal prostitutes in the Red Light District – the city is teeming with high culture, from the world-class art in the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseumn to P.C. Hooftstraat, the shopping street where you can also find plenty of the contemporary, cutting-edge design that has become a source of pride in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Not to mention, our pals Dmitry Gelfand and Evelina Domnitch- the most out-of-this-world contemporary art duo in Europe!
SAINT LOUIS FASHION FUND
This past October, I was honored to work with Susan Sherman, Jan Goldstein, Atul and Anjali Kamra (and a host of others fashion supporters) on the launch of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund. Saint Louis Fashion Fund is a new organization, led by a 25-member Board of Directors, which includes leaders in culture, fashion, higher education, law and business. The Fund will play an integral role in the development and growth of the Saint Louis fashion community. The fund is an incubator to help emerging designers build their brands and advance their career. It was a historic moment when leaders in the global fashion community stood together and proclaimed, “We are bringing the business of fashion back to St. Louis!” The fund is raising seed money to create the St. Louis Fashion Incubator housed in the former Garment District, which will open in late 2016.
NICK CAVE AT SLAM
Big props to the Saint Louis Art Museum for its exhibition ‘Currents 109: Nick Cave’. Cave (not to be confused with the Australian rocker of the same name) was born 60 years ago in Fulton, Mo. He attributes his affinity for found objects to his upbringing: poor, in a large family headed by a single mother. Cave is best known for his “Soundsuits,” costume-shaped sculptures that show a clear connection to African art, as well as the New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition. The sculptures are whimsical, but their meaning is much deeper. Galleries 249 and 250 in the East Building are filled with the suits; some of them can be viewed from all sides. On the walls are tondos, circular hangings like slices of the sky, made of satin-finished formal dresses and marked out with sequins and brocades. If you have not seen this show yet, it is a “must see”! The installation is on view until March 8, 2015. www.slam.org
At Evntiv, I work with a lot of non-profit organizations. This year, I was inspired by a man who lives his mission. James Clark, and his organization Better Family Life, are going into the most dangerous communities in St. Louis (and in the country) offering drug dealers, gangsters, pimps and criminals new hope. He helps them find jobs, be responsible and deal with hard situations that most people would not understand – or would ever be exposed to. In just a few short years, Clark and his team have worked in high-risk neighborhoods to decrease crime at the rate of four times compared to the rest of the City of St. Louis. If you want to help fund change… support this man. www.betterfamilylife.org
The idea of joining a country club makes me gag. I don’t play golf, I don’t like pastel sweaters and I don’t like any place that is uptight. I do however like the idea of belonging to a members only club that is focused around my lifestyle. Enter Soho House. Soho House was founded in London in 1995 as a private members club targeted at globetrotting “creative types”—young fashion designers, filmmakers, writers, artists and entrepreneurs, as well as famous musicians and movie stars. Since opening the London property, Soho House has expanded to include Houses across Europe and North America, as well as restaurants, cinemas, spas and hotels. With Houses popping up in Chicago, New York, Toronto and other major cities, membership is becoming more and more attractive. Each applicant must be nominated by two existing members who can belong to any of the Houses. Upon receipt, the application will then be reviewed by the appropriate club’s Membership Committee, who meets approximately every three months. www.sohohouse.com
Last year, my wife and I visited the MacLeod Family Vineyard in Sonoma California. There we met the 91-year-old George MacLeod who personally took us on a tour of his fields. I learned more about the science of winemaking in one hour than I could have in years. We felt the soil, we tasted grapes and we heard directly from the family that has been producing, in my opinion, the best Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc in the region. This year, George MacLeod released his book entitled, “Journey to Harvest- How to Grow Grapes, Make Distinctive Wines & Live Forever”. While visiting the vineyard, we signed up for the wine club and receive a case of MacLeod wines every quarter. We have shared the wines with friends and fellow foodies. They all want more and can’t believe this wine is $26 a bottle! If you find yourself in California wine country, pay old George a visit! www.macleodfamilyvineyard.com
I am fascinated with any kind of “self serve” apparatus used at events and parties. Two years ago, I invented the Cocktail Wall for a dinner event at White Flag Gallery. 2014 was the year of the Doughnut. I saved the idea for a very special party for The Sharing Fund in St. Louis. Our friends at Coda Fundraising & Events were as enthusiastic as I was about this concept. Keeping with the holiday party theme, doughnuts were placed in a snowflake pattern on the wall. These weren’t just any old doughnuts… The Four Seasons in St. Louis hand made 300 doughnuts for this project – matching the icing colors to my design! The result was a fabulous new way to get a sugar high!
TOUCH OF MODERN (TOMO)
I am obsessed with the TOMO app. Touch of Modern is a curated e-commerce experience that offers daily discovery of the most fascinating and well-designed products in the world at the best possible price, for people who seek objects that tell a story. Basically, they curate the coolest tech, art, clothing, gadgets and objects that have one thing in common – amazing design. Through the app, you can browse and purchase these objects at fantastic prices. www.touchofmodern.com