Anna Wintour. Vera Wang. Tina Turner. The client list of interior designer Stephen Sills reads like a who’s who of the style world. Since the 1980’s, Sills—one of Elle Décor’s Top 25 Designers—has decorated everything from a penthouse on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to a modern mountain retreat in Aspen. (Back in the day, he also worked on hotels, including London’s Connaught Hotel and the St. Regis in New York.) As for his own Bedford, New York country house? Karl Lagerfeld has called it the “chicest house in America.” His latest book, Stephen Sills: Decoration (Rizzoli), which celebrates 16 design projects, hits shelves this month. Here, Sills shares some inspiration, advice on navigating antiques markets, and more.
If you had a limitless budget, where would be the one city you’d shop in and what would you buy? Whether you’re a top designer, devoted foodie, or just travel-obsessed, responses to this type of question are nothing short of daydream-worthy.
For our most recent #ShopLikeALocal Twitter chat, answers to this question ranged from Designers Yeardley Smith of Marchez Vous and Kara Ross of Kara Ross NY both choosing New York City; Designer Chris Benz voting for Paris to hunt down the many treasures he covets; Creative Director, Rafe, wanting to head off the map and buy a beachfront house in Palawan; or Designer Cynthia Vincent dreaming of a summer home in Istanbul so that she can decorate it with everything from local markets and bazaars—for us, we would choose all of the above.
In and around the Gulou district of China’s development-hungry capital, an enclave of hutongs—alleys formed by walls of traditional courtyard residences—has managed to dodge the wrecking ball. Determined to preserve the charm (and avoid the fate of hutongs in nearby Nanluoguxiang, now overrun with souvenir shops), entrepreneurs have moved deeper into these narrow streets. French-owned Wuhao showcases one-off furniture and accessories by emerging talents. At Good Design Institute, everyday objects get a twist, such as lampshades made of bed slats. Serk stocks carbon-fiber bikes—and doubles as a bar serving Belgian beer. For a more local tipple, head to Mai (40 Beiluoguxiang, Dongcheng), known for its craft cocktails.
Photo courtesy of Serk
Whether you’re navigating unknown streets, haggling in markets, or browsing a boutique, sometimes the best shopping is accomplished when locals point out the unknown spots that aren’t mentioned in your guidebook. Join our live Twitter chat on Shopping Like a Local this Wednesday, September 18th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Our panel of experts will share their favorite go-to stores in the world, tips on scoring a deal, and stories about the myriad of fashion triumphs (and mistakes) that they’ve made on their travels. Find out about global street style from the insiders.
Join the conversation on Wednesday, September 18th from 2pm to 3pm EDT.
Mimi Lombardo, Style Director, @MimiLombardo
Kathryn O’Shea-Evans, Associate Editor, @ThePluckyOne
Brooke Porter, Associate Editor, @BrookePorter
Sharleen Ernster Lazear, Chief Design Officer, @GUESS
Chris Benz, Designer, @cmbenz
Mark Wiesmayr, Design Director, @AGJeans
Tumi, American heritage travel brand, @TumiTravel
Rafe, Creative Director of Handbags for The Jones Group and Designer for RAFE New York, @RafeNewYork
Kara Ross, Designer, @KaraRossNY
Cynthia Vincent, Designer, @TwelfthStreet
Yeardley Smith, CEO and Designer, @MarchezVous
Fiona Kotur, Designer, @FionaKotur
Ryan Hartman, Creative Director, @FIELD_SCOUT_
Elizabeth Minchilli, T+L Contributor, @eminchilli
Shane Mitchell, T+L Special Correspondent, @shanegoesforth
Joe and Charlie Casely-Hayford, Menswear Designers, @CaselyHayfordUK
Suzy Kellems Dominik, Founder and Publisher, @OfWitandWill
How does it work?
1. Log in to Twitter before the chat starts at 2pm ET and be sure to follow @TravlandLeisure.
2. Head over to http://twubs.com/TL_Chat to follow the chat in real time. You can log-in using your Twitter account.
3. Remember to always add the hashtag #TL_Chat to your tweets—however, if you're in the twubs chatroom it will be added automatically (note for character spacing purposes).
4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own responses. Or ask questions of your own!
All tweets are subject to our social media terms and conditions and may be used in any and all media including editorial. See full social media terms and conditions.
Gabrielle Blitz is the Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo credit: Celine Clanet
Are the latest beauty and wellness products worthy of a spot in your teensy carry-on? T+L Associate Editor Kathryn O’Shea-Evans shares her take.
The product: The Republic of Tea Herb Tea for Immunity, $5
Pros: Yes, my body is my temple—but occasionally this temple gets sick (especially when roaming the globe). Thank god for the new, clove-tasting “Get Wellness” Herb Tea for Immunity, filled with organic rooibos, Echinacea, and elderberries. Best of all, it comes in a recyclable, travel-friendly tin ($5 for six).
Cons: These round tea bags don’t come with strings, so you’ll have to fish them out of your cup by spoon once they steep. That’s a small price to pay for their protective powers, though. The next time a flight attendant wants my drink order, I know exactly what it’ll be: “hot water with a side of lemon, please-and-thank-you-very-much.”
Kathryn O'Shea-Evans is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @ThePluckyOne.
Photo courtesy of The Republic of Tea
The new tech trend is… smartwatches? Yes, it’s true. Samsung announced their latest device—the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which goes on sale September 25—at an electronics trade show in Berlin yesterday. Part James Bond, part Nike Fuelband, the $299 gadget will come pre-loaded with 60 apps (Facebook; a pedometer; a Siri-like personal assistant) and snap photos and video. Don’t expect to make calls on it, or have it replace your phone, though: it’s intended to fulfill relatively simple functions and act as a “companion” that can sync to your Samsung phone for easy access to messages and texts. And it wouldn’t be a trend if Samsung was the lone smartwatch pioneer. Similar products include a new Sony device announced in June, and an Apple version that’s still spinning in the rumor mill. So what’s it all mean for travelers? Just one more way to navigate, snap, and share on the road.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Photo Courtesy of Samsung
Over-the-Rhine (OTR)—known for its Italianate architecture—has gone from historic to hip.
Inventive Japanese gastropub and sushi bar Kaze amps up its ramen with littleneck clams and red miso broth; turkey sliders are piled high with sugar bacon, shiitake mushrooms, and house-made pickles. 1400 Vine St. $$$
The founders of 21c Museum Hotel set their sights on a landmark building for their second art-filled property. Technically just outside of OTR, it displays works in unexpected places; take the lobby floor, where a panel of wormlike neon patterns changes as you walk on it. Make sure to grab a drink on the rooftop terrace. 609 Walnut St. $$
Think packing’s a pain? It’s hard for people—and even more of a drag for pets (paws weren’t made for closing zippers!). So I sought out three essential pieces to pack, whether you're headed for a walk in the park or a sprint through the airport.
1. The Ruffwear Bivy Cinch bowl closes and collapses for a quick bite and storing uneaten kibbles.
2. Even Fido can get sick, so be well prepared with this Deluxe Pet First Aid Kit.
3. Last but not least, make sure your small dog gets his share of shut-eye in this Sleepypod mobile bed—for a bark-free transition from the car to the hotel suite. And when your friend's done napping, it makes a great carrier for toys, treats, leashes, you name it.
Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.
The actress, singer, and godmother of Quantum of the Seas—the new ship from Royal Caribbean International—reveals her in-flight must-haves.
Tiger Balm ($12): “Really good for neck pain—it’s basically Icy Hot times ten.”
Dental floss ($3): “It’s always nice to have clean teeth.”
Purell hand sanitizer ($2): “For when I can’t wash my hands.”
Nivea A Kiss of Shimmer Radiant Lip Care ($4): “My lips get so dry when I fly.”
Vitamin E oil ($10): “Put this on wrinkles and creases. People ask for my secret—this is it.”
Vicks VapoRub ($12): “I believe that a little bit under your nose keeps the germs out.”
Kleenex ($2): “I don’t want to sneeze and not be prepared.”
Tylenol ($4): “Stops a migraine before it starts. Wow, I sound like a walking ad!”
Photo by John Lawton
I bought my Nikon FE in 1983, after months of careful shopping and comparing and saving of money. I was 14. I had never owned an object I loved as much as this one: it was all black, a beautifully utilitarian piece of machine-tooled aluminum and glass. That summer, my family went on vacation to the Loire Valley, and I took many hundreds of photographs of castles, and a few of my parents and brother, too. The strange thing is not that I still love this camera, though of course I do, but that I still use it. Today it’s technically an antique, but the FE is notoriously rugged, hailed by professionals back in the day for its ability to operate in extreme conditions. Needless to say, the photographs, too, seem more rugged than any JPEG. I pile them in a shoebox—tangible, permanent records, far from the iCloud ether.
Photo by Sam Kaplan