Melissa Silva

Content and Communications Specialist

Take a Seat

Dubbed the “best seat in the skies today” and “both a passenger experience revolution and an admirable technical feat” by Travel + Leisure magazine, the Delta One suite has been making waves in the aircraft interiors industry since it was introduced last year. A quick online search brings up an array of commentary, including a few articles about the new cabin concept that also references the “disappearing act” of First Class, in light of the rise of comparable — and in some instances more affordable — Business Class concepts, such as Delta’s new suite.

Listen Up

If you ask some passengers, the one thing they cannot be without when traveling is a good pair of headphones. For some that means ergonomically-fit in-ear earbuds, while for others it is a noise-cancelling overear headset or for the tech-savvy passenger, perhaps Apple’s wireless AirPods. Despite the many variations available, passengers tend to care the most about two features: noise-cancellation and comfort — few want to travel with heavy, cumbersome headphones. Size — coupled with the ability to fold or collapse — tends to be another deal breaker, as there is only so much room in a carry-on.

If the Brand Fits...

Collaborations between brands and airlines for the development of amenity kits are not by any means, a new practice. Over the years countless brands have teamed up with airlines, from high-end luxury brands, to lesser-known indie counterparts. But not all passengers are that thrilled to receive yet another branded bag, especially those traveling in First and Business Class, where the income bracket means high-end brands are already easily obtained. What has become more common however, is airlines looking for brands that they better align with; a brand that offers less of a label, name recognition and status, and more of a tailored experience or moment in the form of quality materials and carefully selected personal goods.

Art takes Flight

With only so many colors, materials and designs to source when developing amenity kits, it is often challenging for airlines to develop a new concept and suppliers to deliver a fresh and unique design. One such method for adding some creativity and personality to the look and feel of a kit, is for airlines and suppliers to team up with artists — ideally regional, local artists hailing from the airline’s country of origin — to have their artwork displayed on the kit and select contents. This practice has become somewhat of a trend as of late, with several airlines in various regions launching kits featuring work from a range of artists, which have inadvertently become collectable items and simultaneously increased the artists’ visibility on an international scale.

One Step Ahead

For skincare trailblazer La Prairie, 2013 has been a year of revitalization in terms of products. From successfully launching three additions to its White Caviar Illuminating Système in January to launching Cellular Power Serum in April — the product is still performing very well — La Prairie continues to focus on delivering innovative skincare driven by consumer expectations. For the remainder of the year, La Prairie aims to stay true to this strategy by launching several new products and posting additions to existing collections.

Ahead of the Curve

Founded in Italy in 1987 by Marco Palmieri, an engineering student, Piquadro originally produced leather goods for small third parties like Prada and Dolce & Gabbana before launching its own brand 10 years later. Today, Piquadro operates according to three core values: design, functionality and technology. “The good thing about Piquadro is that we’re not just a luggage company,” says Florence Nguyen, Travel Retail & Wholesale Director Asia Pacific. “We do have luggage, but if you look at our total sales, we have a good balance — briefcases, day bags and accessories represent approximately 30%, while luggage is about 7%, which is good because we have a diverse product offering.”

A Mid-Century Modern Muse: Palm Springs

From the 1920s onward, reaching a peak in the 1950s and 1960s, Palm Springs has served as a haven for visionary modernist architects, namely — but not limited to — Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, John Lautner, and famed developers and builders George and Robert Alexander of the George Alexander Construction Company. More willing to take risks with design — largely possible due to the city’s pleasant climate — these architects used the enticing desert landscape as an inspiration and canvas upon which they designed sleek and informally elegant modern structures. Today, such structures still stand in all their modernist glory, preyed upon by hungry-eyed, mid-century modern architecture aficionados around the world.

First Class Hiking: Palm Springs' Indian Canyons

Gazing up at the San Jacinto Mountains before I depart on an early morning hike in Palm Springs, I feel almost paralyzed with awe. How could something this grand and this spectacular, have no human involvement? In a world where man-made creations are mass-produced by the second, it’s hard to remember that there are existing structures that human hands can take no credit for creating. “Palm trees came here before all the people,”says Raven, my ranger and guide for my hike through the Indian Canyons — located on the mountain range’s eastern slope — which include Palm, Murray and Andreas Canyons, the last of which we are about to ascend. “They did, didn’t they?” I think to myself. How easy it is to forget.

People Who Live in Glass Houses: Philip Johnson's Glass House

“I finally bought the land by walking down a hill in the middle of the snow,” said Johnson, “But when I got there I realized there was no place in the world like this, so I decided to build a house there […] So I said Mies was right, let’s build a glass house. And I pushed the solid element of necessities further and further and further away until it almost disappeared into the hill.” [...] Located in New Canaan, Ct., the Glass House sits on a promontory, providing a view of a pond and woods, thus largely obscured from public view. Made primarily of glass and black steel pillars, each of the four quarter-inch thick exterior glass walls include a central door that opens directly onto the property, seamlessly eliminating the divide between indoor and outdoor space.

Vine Routes: Niagara's Wine Country

A drive along the Niagara Peninsula in late August is capable of creating a desolate yet calming aura. Aside from the residual echo of bird bangers and the rustling of various feathered flyers, there is not much that disturbs a visitor in Ontario’s Niagara region. With nothing but vineyards and winding roads for miles, solitude is, ironically, your only companion. But to tour even a handful of the region’s more than 80 vineyards will uncover the very opposite; a togetherness of families from lengthy lineages following traditions of collective dedication to the earth and vine will greet you at every stop.