29Apr

Chic Luggage

A basic black Swiss Army suitcase will do… but why? This chic luggage will make your travel experience more fashionable.

The Tumi Vapor is a great carry-on suitcase.

Tumi Vapor

Let’s start with Tumi – well made, not too expensive (as far as well-made luggage is concerned), and has stylish pieces for men and women.

The Tumi Vapor is my trendy pick. It features a hard shell, made of a lightweight, 3 layer alloy of ABS and polycarbonate. I love the colors this suitcase comes in – gold, gray, black, floral print, blue, and khaki.

The Tumi Vapor is a great carry-on suitcase.

Tumi Alpha Bravo

For a more utilitarian look, I like the Tumi Alpha Bravo McConnell International Carry-On. It’s made of soft and durable ballistic nylon and has wheels, top and side handles. It comes in black and khaki.

The Hideo Wakamatsu Tarapulin carry on is flexible, water resistant, and adjustable.

Hideo Wakamatsu Tarapulin Carry On

 

Hideo Wakamatsu makes fun carry-ons in bright colors. Half the collection features a hard shell, and the rest are made out of Tarapulin, a flexible, water and shred resistant material.

What I like about this piece is the adjustable straps that allow you to expand the deepness of the bag (great for people like me who have to stuff all their shoes into one carry-on). There are no heavy metal frames, which means it’s super lightweight.

J Crew collaborated with British luggage company, Globe-Trotters, to create this sunny yellow suitcase.

JCrew Globetrotters Yellow Suitcase

The collaborative collection from J.Crew and Globe-Trotter caught my eye. Specifically, the bright yellow trunk-style suitcase. Each of these bags are handcrafted in England by Globe-Trotter and are made of Vulcan Fibre, which they claim can withstand the weight of a 1 ton elephant! I probably won’t get to test that theory, but it sounds like it should travel just fine. This heirloom quality suitcase features leather trim and straps, wheels, and cotton lining.

The Louis Vuitton Pegase 65 is a classic piece of luggage.

Louis Vuitton Pegase 65

And last but not least, the classic, Louis Vuitton. The Pegase 65 is a great carry-on and will last for years. It’s made of the durable Damier canvas and includes several zipper pockets, a removable pouch, and garment bag. You can even monogram it!

3Sep

Travel Photography Tips

Consider these tips for taking photos on your next vacation!  Take photos that you can proudly display in wall galleries or individually spread throughout your home.

Travel Photography - Photography Tips

Travel Photography - Photography Tips

1. Research your destination’s best views and local attractions

2. Think about where in your home you would want to hang individual photos or where you would want to create a wall gallery.

3. Try an interesting or unusual angle. Go for higher ground and shoot from above, or crouch down to shoot from below to make the shot more interesting.

4. Get close up shots to reveal interesting details and composition.

5.  Shoot your subject off center. Try the “rule of thirds”  and place the main subject approximately one third away from the center of the photograph. This will capture interesting background objects as well as the person you are with.

6. Shoot a series of like shots (high to low, vertical, off center, off focus) for a wall gallery or hall display.

7. Frame your subject. Find scenery or objects that cast a frame around the person or subject you are trying to capture.

8. Take photographs immediately before or after sunset when the colors are most intense.

9. Show scale by placing something smaller in the foreground.

10. Consider background action and how it will affect your subject. Make sure any unwanted objects are not in the picture (cars, garbage cans, poles, people making weird faces or distracting from the main subject).

11. Look for opportunities to take funny photos.

12. Don’t do the same pose every time. We all take photos in front of locations to show we were there. Mix it up!

13. Don’t forget to take pictures with yourself in it.

14.  Look for scenes that represent the culture of your destination (people, vendors, streets, architecture, landmarks).

15. Look for lines that lead your eyes through the picture.

16. Play with camera modes. If you want to make a person stand out from the background, use “portrait” mode. This will reduce depth of field and make objects further away from the subject blurry. If you want to create depth of field, try using “landscape” mode.

17. “Stitch” your photos together. Sometimes a scene is too big to capture in one shot. Take several overlapping photos and then put them together on your computer at home.

18. Take advantage of the focus feature. When you press the shutter half way, the viewer will display boxes over people’s faces or over subjects it finds in the scene. Use this feature to ensure that your camera is focusing on what you want.

19. Use the flash in outdoor shots. If there is bright light behind your subject, the camera will think that the whole scene is bright. As a result, the camera will darken the picture to overcompensate. Using flash will balance the exposure.

20. Turn off the flash when you want to capture natural lighting. Dawn and dusk can produce brilliant colors, which the flash can ruin.

21. After taking a picture in color, try taking it in black and white. You will be surprised at some of the things that stand out in black and white and not in color.

22. The histogram is a horizontal bar graph that illustrates the dark and light tones in the picture. Vertical lines to the left demonstrate the dark tones, and vertical lines to the right demonstrate light tones. If the lines are running off the page, your photo may be under or over exposed.

23. Learn to choose proper settings for different lighting conditions. White balance is different in daylight than it is in indoor lighting. Choosing “Auto” is a missed opportunity in some cases. Play with settings like “daylight,” “cloudy,” “shade,” or “fluorescent.”

24. Look at pictures right after taking them and make sure you got the shot you wanted. You can always redo a picture on the spot, but you can’t always travel back and shoot again.

Travel Photography - Photography Tips

Travel Photography - Photography Tips

4May

World’s Most Valuable Luxury Brands

Millward Brown Optimor just released their annual list of the World’s Most Powerful Luxury Brands. They’ve noted that the luxury category overall is down 3%, and brands that focused on heritage rather than high fashion fared better.

1. Louis Vuitton: up 2% to $19.78 Billion
- Focused on their primary consumer, the Jetsetter.

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2010 Ad Campaign

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2010 Ad Campaign

2. Hermes: up 8% to $8.46 Billion
- Charge much more for their bags than their competitors, tight control over selected retailers.

Hermes 2010 Campaign

Hermes 2010 Campaign

3. Gucci: up 2% to $7.59 Billion
- Developed a partnership with Christie’s to appraise vintage Gucci luggage and handbags.

Gucci Summer 2010 Ad Campaign with Natasha Poly

Gucci Summer 2010 Ad Campaign with Natasha Poly

4. Chanel: down 11% to $5.55 Billion
- The decrease in sales is a sign of the times. Their classic quilted bag was still a good seller, as well as fragrances and cosmetics, but people were not willing to spend the extra money on ready-to-wear.

Chanel Spring 2010 Ad Campaign with Claudia Schiffer

Chanel Spring 2010 Ad Campaign with Claudia Schiffer

5. Hennessy: down 1% to $5.37 Billion
- This LVMH brand is super popular in China.

Hennessy

Hennessy

6. Rolex: down 14% to $4.74 Billion
- Suffered due to the recession, just like Cartier

Rolex 2010 Fall/Winter Ad Campaign

Rolex 2010 Fall/Winter Ad Campaign

7. Moet & Chandon: down 12% to $4.82 Billion
- Still the #1 champagne brand despite the decline.

Moet & Chandon Campaign 2010 with Scarlett Johansson

Moet & Chandon Campaign 2010 with Scarlett Johansson

8. Cartier: down 19% to $3.96 Billion
- Severe decline in sales to 3rd party retailers.

Cartier Summer 2010 Campaign

Cartier Summer 2010 Campaign

9. Fendi: down 8% to $3.2 Billion
- Known for “it” bags in the US, super popular in Asia; ready-to-wear designed by Karl Lagerfeld as an answer to Gucci’s ready-to-wear.

Fendi Spring/Summer 2010 Ad Campaign

Fendi Spring/Summer 2010 Ad Campaign

10. Tiffany & Co.: up 6% to $2.38 Billion
- Did not place last year; brand refused to discount in 2009, plans to expand to Asia and Western Europe.

Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co.