Cars, Boats & Planes 29 Aug 2017

aston martin revenues almost double

Revenues almost double year-on-year to £410.4m Wholesale deliveries rise 67% in first half 2017 versus prior year periodFirst Half 2017 Highlights:• Revenues jump 94% to £410.4m (H1 2016: £211.8m) on rising demand for DB11• LTM revenue exceeds $1bn (and £750m) for the first time in the company’s history• Pre-tax profits of £21.1m, reversing £82.3m pre-tax loss in first half of 2016• Underlying EBITDA increases almost fourfold to £93m• Strong cash generation of £94.6m from operating activities• Wholesale units jump 67% to 2,439 vehicles• Continued momentum in second quarter with pre-tax profit of £15.2m• Net debt/LTM EBITDA ratio falls further to 2.4 from 2.9 in prior quarter• Increasing full-year baseline revenue guidance to £830m and EBITDA guidance to £175m 25 August 2017, Gaydon, UK: Aston Martin Holdings (UK) Ltd today reported sharply improved first-half and second quarter financial results amid rising global demand for its luxury handcrafted sports cars.For the six months to June 30, the company reported pre-tax profits of £21.1m – reversing a loss of £82.3m in the same period of 2016 – on revenues that increased to £410.4m from £211.8m in the first half of 2016.In the second quarter, pre-tax profits reached £15.2m on revenues of £222.0m, compared with a pre-tax loss of £52.6m on revenues of £119.2m in the prior-year quarter.Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Aston Martin is accelerating financially with our third successive quarter of pre-tax profit. Our improving performance reflects rising demand for our new DB11 model, as well as for special edition vehicles and the ongoing benefits from our Second Century transformation plan.”For the first half, global wholesale volumes rose by 67% to 2,439 vehicles as orders continued to rise in the UK, mainland Europe, the Americas and China. The average selling price per model, excluding special editions, rose 25% to £149,000 – principally driven by DB11 – and a higher option take rate across the range.During the period, Aston Martin completed a £550m refinancing to enhance liquidity, reduce borrowing costs and increase financial reserves. The offering of senior secured notes due in 2022 carry interest of 6.50% on the dollar tranche and 5.75% on the sterling bonds, compared with maturing 10.25% US dollar PIK notes and 9.25% bonds.The company generated cash from operating activities of £94.6m through the first six months of 2017 and ended the first half with £123.1m in cash. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to £93.0m in the first half, up from £19.4m in the first half of 2016. For the second quarter EBITDA increased almost threefold to £50.4m, representing an EBITDA margin of 22.7%. During the second quarter, Aston Martin continued its product offensive with the launch of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 variant of the DB11, which combines a top speed of 187 mph with the most fuel efficient powertrain on offer by the company. It also announced plans for its first all-electric, zero-emission model: the limited-edition RapidE set to begin production in 2019. Demand for the DB11 and continued strong sales of the V12-powered Vanquish S and Vantage S models coincided with sell-out success for special-edition vehicles such as the Vanquish Zagato Coupe and continued development work on the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar in conjunction with Red Bull Advanced Technologies. As the company expands, conversion work is well underway on the new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in St Athan, where assembly of the upcoming DBX SUV model is due to start in 2019, supporting up to 750 new jobs in South Wales.Mark Wilson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, said: “The strength of our first-half results prove that our strategy is on track. We exceeded our budget for the tenth consecutive quarter, giving us confidence that we will deliver a step-change in full-year performance. We are increasing our baseline guidance for underlying earnings of £175m on revenues of £830m in 2017.”

Travel & Events 29 Aug 2017

gg/what a waooo summer season!

GG/GALVANO GROUP→BIGGER BETTER STRONGER!Your Global Butler In Your Pocket GALVANO GROUP gets u access to→an international leading member’s club that focuses on Concierge & Lifestyle Management across different nations working towards ONE purpose; create unforgettable and unique experiences, the exceptional anywhere in the world, to enrich business & leisure time.Members receive worldwide outstanding quality tailored first-class  service anywhere, anytime. Serving Your Desires & Preferences Contact, Details & Reservations:office@galvanogroup.comwww.galvanogroup.comFollow us on : An Ace Up Your Sleeve!Unique experiences around Planet Earth; a world of services for unforgettable moments of joy & forever memories.Out of tracks top destinations, hot secret wild locations, signature sightseeings, most sought after cities, a wealth of choices for private individuals, corporate groups, loved ones, friends etc. for all occasions, incentives, celebrations worldwide & worthwhile. A true luxury delivered concept without compromise.

Sports & Leisure 28 Aug 2017

may weather joins the billionaire athletes club

Floyd Mayweather won "the money fight" on Saturday and is now poised to enter a new arena: the billionaire athletes club.Mayweather is expected to bring in over $300 million for his fight against Conor McGregor, the MMA fighter he beat in 10 rounds. The boxing superstar -- he now boasts a 50-0 record -- has already grossed a reported $700 million in his career from fight purses, which include money from pay-per-view sales, ticket sales and fight endorsements.After this fight, Mayweather should join Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods as the first three athletes to make more than $1 billion, said Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions. "I don't think he's done too bad in his career," Ellerbe added. Jordan made more than $93 million over his career, according to salary tracker Spotrac. However, he had several lucrative endorsement deals, including a lifetime deal with Nike. Those endorsement deals helped him break into the billionaire's club, as well as his ownership of the Charlotte Hornets. In 2015, he made Forbes' list of billionaires for the first time.Tiger Woods was also on the exclusive list, at least for a time. In 2009, Forbes estimated that his winnings and endorsement deals made Woods a billionaire. But his stock has fallen in recent years. Woods hasn't won a major tournament since 2008. And a high-profile sex scandal caused some sponsors to walk away from him. Forbes estimated his net worth at $740 million in 2016.One athlete who's made it very clear he wants into the club: LeBron James. The NBA player seems to be well on his way. He's made millions over his playing career and has signed lucrative endorsements, including a lifetime deal with Nike in 2015. And he's also befriended billionaire investor Warren Buffett. James' high school friend and business partner, Maverick Carter, told CNNMoney in 2007 that James' billion-dollar goal hinged on his investments more than his playing income or endorsement deals

Travel & Events 22 Aug 2017

wellness and casual luxury, 2 hours from milan!

Allegroitalia Alagna Palace is a paradise for those seeking wellness and mountain lovers looking for a laid back luxury get-a-way.Located less than 2 hours from Malpensa airport, your stress immediately starts to melt away as you drive through the charming villages and make your way to Alpine Village of Alagna, Italy.  This new condotel at the bottom of the ski lifts of “Monte Rosa Ski” recalls the authentic Walser spirt of mountain chalets.  Thanks to the surrounding beautiful landscapes, National Geographic includes the Monterosa Ski Area as one of the top 7 ski resorts in Europe.This is the first and so far only resort ?dedicated to the innovative concept of alkalinity, developed to restore the right proportion between an alkaline ph and an acid ph, facilitating the health of its guests.Upon arrival you are greeted by a friendly staff wearing big smiles and stylish white ponchos.  These snow fairies escort you to one of the 50 luxury appointed suite apartments.The Purity Spa is based on the Purity Allegroitalia method: bio-functional medicine, anti-aging, aesthetics and regenerative medicine, and clinical nutrition. A team of professionals will advise you on healing treatments, guaranteed by the presence of both a physician and a physiotherapist.My afternoon in the spa was quite an experience.  The spa guru lead us with breathing exercise into a large heated pool of alkaline water, which was rich in iodine, potassium, and magnesium but low in chlorine.  We then moved onto the sauna, Turkish bath, hydro massage tubs for feet and waterfall of ice. You can enjoy delicious traditional and local dishes at “Primo Alagna”.    You can also choose from “alkalizing” menu with tasty and healthy recipes tailored diet that meets the different bio-functional requirements with dishes with different properties as: detox, rejuvenation, weight loss and stress reliever.Alagna Palace is perfect for mountain sports enthusiasts and those seeking wellness in an enchanted atmosphere.To experience first hand, contact Nancy Barkley at Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways

Travel & Events 22 Aug 2017

tranquility wrapped in blue!

EXCEPTIONAL, EXCLUSIVE, AND TRANQUILITY WRAPPED IN BLUE. - ANQUILLA, BWI.Something Borrowed, Something Blue?  Your luxury destination wedding can be wrapped in blue, gorgeous Caribbean blue. I absolutely adore Anguilla, a secret gem in the Caribbean. This British Caribbean Island is only 35 square miles in size but offers 33 of the most beautiful beaches in the world. All of these picture perfect beaches are public, unspoiled and uncrowded.  The white sand is like walking on powder and the tranquil waters vary in their different shades of vibrant blue.  It is no wonder why Travel Channel ranks Anguilla’s beaches among the best around the world.  These beaches are wonderful options for a destination wedding as Anguilla’s dramatic sunsets will provide the most impeccable backdrop and flawless photographs.This eastern Caribbean island is ideal for couples looking for a high style, low- key  wedding, desiring privacy and exclusivity.  While Anguilla is a chic luxury destination that is frequented by celebrities, pretentious it is not.  Luxury villas and resorts, culinary paradise, live music scene, are a few of the reasons A-listers visit here and hide in plain sight.I arrived in Anguilla via a 20 minute Ferry ride from Margot, St. Martin, where Ferries operate daily.  Ferries are also available directly from the St. Martin airport.  Flying is an option into Anguilla, however there are no direct flights as this charming Caribbean Island airport runway is not long enough to accommodate larger aircrafts.  Most connections are via San Juan, St. Martin, St. Thomas, helicopter, or private jet.  Of course you can charter your own yacht or (byob) bring your own boat. Your wedding in Anguilla will be captivating and one that guests will be talking about for years to come.   The Zemi Beach House and Spa Resort, which opened its doors last year, has already garnered accolades galore, including “New Hotel of the Year” and “World’s best new resort spa”.  Oh, and did I mention that it is located on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches?  Shoal Bay.  The Zemi Thai House Spa is exceptional, boasting the only Hamman on the island housed in a 300 year old Thai House.  This luxurious retreat offers private spa suites, yoga, and a meditation garden along with ancient rituals to heal you.  Spa day here is a must for your guests.After a day of pampering and relaxation, return to your exquisite Caribbean Style ocean view room with soft woods and premium European linens.  If 24 hour room service is not your desire, you can dine casually at 20 Knots, or formally at Stone enjoying seasonal cuisine and freshly caught seafood.There are many activities your guests can partake in before the big day.  Rum tasting at the luxurious rum bar, stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling, tennis, or kayaking is worth the experience.The Zemi Beach Resort is for the couple wanting to marry on one of the most beautiful, intimate beaches in the world.  You can choose from an elegant poolside reception or formal dining, overlooking the ocean, in 20Knots before dancing the night away.If modern ultra-luxury villa is more your style, I present The Beach House to you.  The Beach House sits on 1.5 acres of unspoiled beach, Meads Bay.Serviced with a full complement of staff, including private chefs, butler services, personal concierge, housekeeping and more, The Beach House offers the best of the good life. With its combination of world-class accommodation, breathtaking location, and impeccable bespoke service, all who stay at The Beach House agree that it has earned its reputation for being the Caribbean’s finest private luxury beach villa. For the beach lover, this is paradise found.The Beach House offers luxurious Caribbean living and every imaginable amenity. Indoor and outdoor rain showers, 12-seat cinema room, tennis courts, and extra master suite apartment, fully equipped gym, bar, lounge, library, and   infinity pool and office.The Beach Houses stunning architecture was designed for indoor/outdoor living offering spectacular views of the ocean and sunsets.  This is the perfect venue for the distinctive wedding where a bride can make a splendid entrance arriving by boat.   Anguilla exudes delightful old charm. The unspoiled beaches and pristine waters of this dream island make it a hot-spot for celebrities and those seeking an ultra-chic, wedding.To plan your luxury event please contact Nancy Barkley at Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways

Restaurants & Clubs 19 Aug 2017


Alidor gin! 25 ingrediënts! Perfect pure Or with Thomas Henry Tonic from Berlin.The perfect summerdrink! enjoy & contact me if you want more info about Gin, Whisky, Cognac Or Wine.....Regards, Robert

News, Media & Society 19 Aug 2017

mayweather vs. mcgregor & the 'a' list celebrities

What is actually more of an event with the who's who of the world than just a fight, next week in Las Vegas will be one to remember. Who knows what will happen in the actual fight but before and after La Vegas will be packed with 'A' List Celebrities. When everyone arrives this week in Las Vegas for the Mega Fight do you know who gets the Premium Suites & Villas? The answer is you, if you play US$20,000 per hand and more. The ‘more’ part determines who’s sitting Ringside, who gets the better Villa and if you can’t get a limo but you see multiple Rolls Royce pull up to the entrance of the casino that’s a ‘more’ player. Yes, this is the one week ‘A’ List Celebrities will be B level of importance compared to you when it comes to Dinner Reservations, Bottle Service and of course the best seats in the house for everything! Who do you need to know to still get great seats to the fight? Contact me (Greg Hubley) directly on Miljonet or by phone at 702.727.8102. Any DM please use Whatsapp instead of texts, thank you. The following is from A ton of notable actors, actresses, musicians and even notable business people are expected in attendance at the event being held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Among the actors and actresses planning on sitting ring side for the fight, Oscar winners Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, and Jamie Foxx as well as fellow nominee and UFC minority owner Mark Wahlberg. Famed action director Michael Bay is also expected at the fight. Several notable musicians will also be in attendance including Drake, Diddy, LL Cool J, Rick Ross, Adam Levine and Avicii. It’s hard to imagine pop brat Justin Bieber won’t also make an appearance considering he’s walked to the ring with Mayweather in the past and is a self-professed fan of McGregor as well. From the sports world, multi-time NBA champion LeBron James will be in attendance for the fight as well as New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft. Famed entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk is also expected to show up at the fight between Mayweather and McGregor. Now this is only a partial list with more celebrities expected to be in attendance when the fight takes place next Saturday night. When Mayweather faced Manny Pacquiao in 2015, the who’s who list of celebrities from across the globe showed up to attend the fight so it’s likely the same thing will happen for this event as well. The fight goes down on Aug. 26 from Las Vegas as Mayweather puts his perfect 49-0 record on the line against the UFC lightweight champion in McGregor, who will be making his professional boxing debut.

Travel & Events 18 Aug 2017

gg/a tribute to barcelona, spain

GG/ A LOVE AFFAIR - BARCELONA, SPAIN GALVANO GROUP gets u access to→ A city we love to ongoingly present to our members…Things to do, Accommodations, Tours, Shopping , Events….& Much More!BARCELONA’S got it all! Contact, Details & Reservations:office@galvanogroup.comwww.galvanogroup.comFollow us on : Barcelona Es Mucho Más!(Wikipedia)Barcelona, capital and largest city of Catalonia is an autonomous economy in the Kingdom of Spain,  the country's second most populous with a population of 1.6 million within city limits.[Its urban feel extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.7 million people.It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea.Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the  county of Barcelona,  after merging with the Kingdom of Aragon Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic & administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia. Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major  destination.A major cultural & economic centre in southwestern Europe, Barcelona is also a transport hub with its port being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port

News, Media & Society 17 Aug 2017

le grand musee du parfum

Our sense of smell is one of the most important ways in which we connect with the world around us, it is the sense most closely linked with memory and is also highly emotive with fragrances being able to convey a vast array of emotions and feelings. It is not surprising then that a museum dedicated solely to perfume has opened its doors in France. Le Grand Musee du Parfum, the world’s first scent-centric attraction is located in Paris, the capital of perfume. The museum is set in the heart of Paris’s Golden Triangle inside the 19th century mansion that was formerly Christian Lacroix’s haute couture house. The content takes visitors through a multi-sensory journey throughout the history and science of perfume making using high-tech graphic, sound and scent installations. The olfactory journey begins in ancient Egypt with the first fragrance ever created by man, Kyphi, a pungent woody compound used to invoke the gods. Visitors are then guided through the scents of different eras throughout history to the 20th century where Paris is consolidated as the centre of scent and perfumery. Interactive installations have been designed to allow tourists to smell the 25 iconic base ingredients used by perfumers, such as rose absolute, orange blossom or patchouli.The Garden of Scents hosts an artistic installation of trumpet-like diffusers which emit various evocative smells such as fire smoke, cinnamon and even Coca-Cola for visitors to identify. It is here where visitors will learn the extraordinary emotional power of scent. Behind the mansion, a garden will be planted with aromatic plants and flowers which are specially cultivated for their scent such as jasmine and rose.The museum boasts state-of-the-art technology which allows visitors to record the fragrance accents they like on an electronic card as they make their way around the exhibits. At the end of the experience, interactive stations will allow patrons to purchase perfumes containing the ingredients and fragrance accents they have enjoyed. The innovate museum hopes to attract the increasing number of tourists that visit Paris for luxury shopping and lead visitors deep into the secrets of perfume making. To learn more or visit the museum, go to the Le Grand Musee du Parfum website

Travel & Events 16 Aug 2017

8 incredible points of interest you can visit in t

One of the most visited countries in southeast Asia by international tourists, Thailand attracts travelers from across the planet with its frenetic, temple-filled cities and remote beaches. Best of all, you probably don’t need a visa to check them out. Add these points of interest in Thailand to the top of your must-do list.With more than 8 million people, Bangkok doubles as Thailand’s largest city and capital. Visitors should head straight to the famous street food stalls and gleaming temples like Wat Pho and Wat Arun.PhuketThailand’s largest island, sometimes called the Pearl of the Andaman, attracts everyone from serious scuba divers to casual sun worshippers. There’s a lot to be had for the luxury traveler too, from designer stores to white tablecloth restaurants helmed by chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants.Koh SamuiLocated in the Gulf of Thailand on the country’s eastern coast, tourists have been visiting this Thai island since the 1980s. Today, it’s a cosmopolitan destination for local and international tourists, bringing together a surprising mix of Buddhist temples and Irish pubs.Chiang MaiFull of temples and ancient teak hauled by elephants from the surrounding forests, Chiang Mai has been celebrated as one of the best — and friendliest — cities on Earth. Once the capital of the kingdom of Lan Na, it’s now famous for its night bazaar, which sells local art and crafts.Ayutthaya Historical ParkA 14th-century Thai city captured by the Burmese in the 16th century, Ayutthaya was the capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. The park is home to at least a dozen temples, but more iconic is perhaps a lone head of the Buddha emerging from the roots of a banyan tree.Sukhothai Historical ParkEncompassing the ruins of Sukhothai, the capital of the eponymous 13th and 14th century kingdom, the park boasts a 49-foot-high seated Buddha (among many others), entire palaces, and temples.Ban ChiangA previously unknown Bronze Age culture was formally recorded here in 1967, with artifacts that date the archeological site back to as early as 2100 BCE. A museum houses examples of the handsome and distinctive red-painted pottery uncovered there.Phi Phi IslandsOnce the home of fishermen and then, later, a coconut plantation, this group of islands only filled with travelers after the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach was released in 2000. Whether or not you’ve seen the movie, the stunning backdrop of these limestone islands makes clear why it was chosen as a filming location. Head straight to Maya Bay for an afternoon of incredible snorkeling and postcard-worthy beaches. 

Travel & Events 16 Aug 2017

8 incredible points of interest you can visit in t

One of the most visited countries in southeast Asia by international tourists, Thailand attracts travelers from across the planet with its frenetic, temple-filled cities and remote beaches. Best of all, you probably don’t need a visa to check them out. Add these points of interest in Thailand to the top of your must-do list.With more than 8 million people, Bangkok doubles as Thailand’s largest city and capital. Visitors should head straight to the famous street food stalls and gleaming temples like Wat Pho and Wat Arun.PhuketThailand’s largest island, sometimes called the Pearl of the Andaman, attracts everyone from serious scuba divers to casual sun worshippers. There’s a lot to be had for the luxury traveler too, from designer stores to white tablecloth restaurants helmed by chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants.Koh SamuiLocated in the Gulf of Thailand on the country’s eastern coast, tourists have been visiting this Thai island since the 1980s. Today, it’s a cosmopolitan destination for local and international tourists, bringing together a surprising mix of Buddhist temples and Irish pubs.Chiang MaiFull of temples and ancient teak hauled by elephants from the surrounding forests, Chiang Mai has been celebrated as one of the best — and friendliest — cities on Earth. Once the capital of the kingdom of Lan Na, it’s now famous for its night bazaar, which sells local art and crafts.Ayutthaya Historical ParkA 14th-century Thai city captured by the Burmese in the 16th century, Ayutthaya was the capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. The park is home to at least a dozen temples, but more iconic is perhaps a lone head of the Buddha emerging from the roots of a banyan tree.Sukhothai Historical ParkEncompassing the ruins of Sukhothai, the capital of the eponymous 13th and 14th century kingdom, the park boasts a 49-foot-high seated Buddha (among many others), entire palaces, and temples.Ban ChiangA previously unknown Bronze Age culture was formally recorded here in 1967, with artifacts that date the archeological site back to as early as 2100 BCE. A museum houses examples of the handsome and distinctive red-painted pottery uncovered there.Phi Phi IslandsOnce the home of fishermen and then, later, a coconut plantation, this group of islands only filled with travelers after the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach was released in 2000. Whether or not you’ve seen the movie, the stunning backdrop of these limestone islands makes clear why it was chosen as a filming location. Head straight to Maya Bay for an afternoon of incredible snorkeling and postcard-worthy beaches. 

Cars, Boats & Planes 16 Aug 2017

will bugatti be next to join the exotic suv craze?

If you had told us a decade or two ago that exotic automakers would be breaking into the SUV market with six-figure luxury crossovers, we might very well have laughed in your face. But now we’re looking at a reality where the likes of Aston Martin, Maserati, and Lamborghini are launching ever-pricier and more exotic crossovers – as are Bentley and Rolls-Royce. So who’s next?Probably not Bugatti, if we’re to be honest about it. Though the Alsatian automaker has toyed with the idea of a four-door sedan with concepts as recent as the Galibier, the only vehicles it has actually produced in the past few quarter-century since its revival have been two-door, two-seat, mid-engined supercars – each with four turbochargers, double-digit cylinder-counts, stratospheric output levels, and even higher price tags.If Bugatti were to get in on this particular territory, though, the result might very well look something along these lines. Brought to us by Peisert Design, this rendering envisions a sport-ute called the Bugatti Megalon – a name that sounds about right, but borrows from a fictional, fighting giant insect monster (not a pre-war grand prix driver). It’s based on the Bentley Bentayga, but with design cues obviously inspired by the Chiron. And though the borrowed proportions might suggest otherwise, Jan Peisert tells us that he envisions the engine sitting in the back.As unlikely as it might seem, it wouldn’t be the first time that Bugatti would stick its neck out beyond the realm of two-door sports cars. Back in Ettore’s day, the original company delved into everything from trains to aircraft. The founder left “the world’s fastest lorries,” as he famously called them, to his rivals at Bentley. But now that the two are so closely linked (even presided over by the same CEO), it would only be fittingly ironic for Bugatti to follow suit with a million-dollar, thousand-horsepower sport-ute – and upstage its British counterpart in the process.

Fashion & Design 16 Aug 2017

world’s second-largest diamond ‘too big’ to sell

The world’s second-largest diamond ever found, unearthed by Canada’s Lucara Diamond (TSX:LUC) in Botswana two years ago, will have to be cut after it failed to sell at a Sotheby’s auction last summer.Bidding for the now historic 1,109-carat “Lesedi La Rona,” which means “our light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana, stalled at around $61 million — short of the expected $70 million.And while Lucara is not in a rush to sell the unique rock, it may never get what it wants for it, as potential buyers now know what the market is willing to pay, Reuters reports.Lucara’s chief executive William Lamb said another challenge to fetch what the tennis ball-size diamond is worth, is the fact that the polishing itself is risky.The unsold diamond, he noted, still “weighs heavily” on the company’s shares, which are down more than 30% from late 2016.Some experts, such as Rare Diamond House managing director Oded Mansori, believe it would be a mistake for Lucara to hold onto the massive rough diamond, as several players including Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD), Lucapa (ASX:LOM) and Petra  (LON:PDL) have recently found large precious rocks.Others believe it’s just too massive to sale. “When is a diamond too big? I think we have found that when you go above 1,000 carats, it is too big — certainly from the aspect of analyzing the stones with the technology available,” Panmure Gordon mining analyst Kieron Hodgson told Reuters.Lucara’s sales remain healthy. To date it has disposed of 145 diamonds at more than $1 million each, including a 373.7-carat rock that broke off from Lesedi la Rona, which sold for $17.5 million in May.

Cars, Boats & Planes 16 Aug 2017

world’s most expensive yacht made of solid gold

A Malaysian Businessman Just Spent $4.8 Billion On A Yacht Made Of Solid GoldHistory Supreme ~ Price: $4.84 billion, size 30 meters.Talk about extravagance.History Supreme is the world’s most expensive yacht ever built with a price tag of 4.84 billion $ (yes, that’s billion with a “b”), it is designed by world’s most famous and renowned designer Stuart Hughes (the man behind the $15 million iPhone), it took 3 years to complete this yacht.The 30 meters long yacht is so expensive because it is coated with world’s most precious metal gold along with platinum.History supreme is coated with 100,000 kg of gold and platinum, the deck, the anchor, dining area, even the railings are of gold, the sleeping areas however are of platinum.Owned by billionaire Malaysian entrepreneur Robert Kuok, the businessman just spent $4.8 billion on a superyacht covered in platinum and gold, making it the most expensive yacht ever sold, according to Luxury Launches.The boat is the work of Stuart Hughes, a British purveyor of luxury gadgets.It took three years to complete and is covered in 100,000 kilograms of precious metals, according to The Daily Mail.The master bedroom is particularly lavish; it’s adorned in platinum and has wall art made of meteoric stone and the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.For those who prefer a nightcap before turning in, there is a very special treat: a luxury liquor boasting the rarest of the rare18.5-carat diamond.  

Cars, Boats & Planes 13 Aug 2017

the story of the mercedes clk gtr supersport

Many things about the way people use language peeves the hell out of me – but if there's one thing I abhor more than anything else, it's the way in which folk overuse the word "literally". I'm sure I'm not alone in this boat. Not only is the word said too frequently, it's said in situations where it causes massive and implausible exaggerations. People will refer to trivial things such as the sound of nails scraping down a chalkboard as "literally, the worst thing in the world". Not Nuclear War, as I'd foolishly thought like the numskull that I am.Of course, as someone who often says things in jest, I appreciate that we all have a duty – that more people need to exercise – to take things with a pinch of proverbial salt. But the frequent and incorrect use of the word literally is LITERALLY doing my brain in! And that's why I know that every comment I received for this blog will try to incorporate the word "literally" in some way or another. The biggest problem however with disliking the use of a particular word comes when you are required to use that very word in circumstances where it's warranted – like now... The GT1 Class of the FIA GT Championship was literally one of the greatest racing classes ever to grace the Earth. Not just because of the racing – but because of one particularly epic road car it spawned: the Mercedes CLK GTR. One of the most race-focused homologation-hypercars ever to touch the public highways, culminating in the astonishing SuperSport variant. This is the story of that very car, and how Mercedes arrived at producing what is still to this day the most maniacal car they've ever made. If like me you're a child of the 90's, then unless you have memories from inside the womb, you won't be able to cast your mind back to a time when endurance racing never existed. Not back so far to a time when such a thing had never happened before – but to a time when the world was entirely bereft of any international endurance racing series'. That time was a dark period of loneliness; the great depression of motorsport. Fortunately, it only lasted for the year of 1993. The World Sportscar Championship – which had been an endurance racing series since 1953 – folded after the 1992 season due to a lack of entrants for 1993. This was a meteoric blow for international motorsport, because it meant the death of endurance racing. This unacceptable scenario resulted in 3 men putting their heads together – Jurgen Barth (who won Le Mans in 1977), Patrick Peter, and Stephane Ratel. Together, they would form the BPR Global GT Series – the name of which is an acronym of the first letter in each of the creators' surnames. The BPR Series started in 1994, but it wasn't really until 1995 that it really got exciting thanks to the entry of the McLaren F1 GTR. For the sake of fairness, the series was split into 4 different speed categories – GT1, GT2, GT3, and GT4 – with GT1 being the fastest, and so on. The McLaren F1 GTR sat in the GT1 class, along with other supercar icons as the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 911. But thanks to the supremely fast McLaren, the GT1 class wasn't so much a race as a selection of Ferraris and Porsches watching McLarens disappear. The McLaren F1 GTR won the championship in 1995 and 1996 – and it even won Le Mans outright in 1995. As exceptional as the F1 GTR was however, it did have a fundamental flaw as a racing car, for it was originally a road car that had been converted to race, and not a car that from birth was destined to conquer every circuit on Earth. In fact, if it wasn't for the influential input of 3 particularly important McLaren F1 owners, McLaren would never have even considered turning their masterpiece into a racer. The F1 GTR's dominance was predominantly thanks to its magic combination of a featherweight carbon chassis with a monstrously powerful BMW V12 engine. Absolutely nothing could get near it. The series garnered a great deal of success, which in turn caught the attention of Porsche and Mercedes. Porsche already had a car competing in the GT1 class in the form of their 993 GT2 Evo, but just like the McLaren, it was a road car that had been modified to go racing. Porsche therefore decided to create a purpose built racing car that could put an end to the McLaren's reign, and towards the end of the 1996 season, it was ready: the Porsche 911 GT1.The Porsche being a late entrant in the 1996 competition, it wasn't eligible to collect any championship points – but that tiny omission didn't change the fact that the 911 GT1 was the machine that showed the McLaren F1 GTR what the back of a car looked like, because Porsche had created a faster racing car. All of a sudden, it was the car to beat, and was expected to walk the 1997 season. But unfortunately for Porsche, Mercedes had other ideas. Towards the end of 1996, Mercedes and AMG had collaborated in order to build their own purpose built racing car. Back in 1996, Mercedes and AMG weren't part of the same company; it wasn't until 1998 that Mercedes purchased a significant portion of AMG, and it took until 2005 for Merc to finally buy the AMG brand completely. But in 1996, they got together with the objective of crafting a racing car, which began by purchasing a McLaren F1 GTR. This may sound like a peculiar way to begin building a racing car – but it was actually a fantastic move. Not only did it help them find out just how fast their competition was – but it also gave them a means to test their own engine while they were still developing their own custom chassis. It seems blasphemous to consider engine swapping a McLaren F1 GTR – but this was no ordinary heart transplant. For in place of the BMW 6.1L V12, they placed an AMG 6L V12 – code named M120. They then bolted to the McLaren's chassis their own custom prototype bodywork, which looked suspiciously like a McLaren F1 GTR Long Tail's body. Without the use of a Crystal Ball however, the Mercedes couldn't have been influenced by the Long Tail due to how the LT never raced until the following year. By fitting the AMG engine, the car ran around the Jarama circuit in Spain 2 seconds a lap faster than the McLaren F1 GTR did in the 1996 BPR series. That might not sound like a lot – but in racing, that's enough time to grow a reasonably sized beard. By using a McLaren F1 GTR as a test mule, it not only served as a means of testing their engine, it also helped speed up the Mercedes-AMG development program for what would become the CLK GTR Racing Car. All in all, the CLK GTR took just 128 days to design – which in car-design terms, isn't enough time to blink. In 1997, the BPR Global GT Series was taken over by the FIA, and subsequently changed to the FIA GT Championship. The performance classifications were now limited to just 2 – GT1 and GT2 – but it was in the top GT1 class that the world witnessed the coming of Mercedes's new racing car: the CLK GTR. Despite the fact that Mercedes and AMG had used a McLaren F1 GTR for testing, nothing on the CLK GTR came from the McLaren. With the threat from Porsche, McLaren had also been busy at work creating a faster racing car – the McLaren F1 GTR Long Tail, which turned out to be the CLK's biggest rival. Early teething problems with the CLK left the door wide open for the McLaren, which won the first 3 races of the 1997 season. But for there on out, the 622bhp CLK GTR dominated and went on to win both the FIA GT Drivers' and Manufacturers' Championships in 1997. Mercedes won both of these titles again in 1998; however, due to entering into the Le Mans race of that year – something which they hadn't done in 1997 – the way they won the championship took an unexpected turn. They'd already won the first 2 races of the 1998 season in their CLK GTR, but between the 2nd and 3rd race, Le Mans beckoned (for those who don't know, Le Mans wasn't part of the GT Championship racing calendar). In preparing the car for the 24 hour race, Mercedes didn't think the 6L V12 would be suited to running at maximum output for so long. They therefore removed the V12 engine and enrolled the talents of a V8 engine – code named M119 – that'd famously seen use in the Sauber Mercedes C9. In the Sauber however, the V8 was boosted by Twin-Turbos; in the CLK, it was normally aspirated, and had its displacement increased slightly from 4973cc to 4986, resulting in 600bhp. Mercedes also decided to alter the aerodynamics of the CLK in order to make the car better suited to the extremely high speeds of Le Mans. For a start, they lowered the nose, replaced the two brake-cooling ducts with a single larger one, lowered and adjusted the rake of the roof, and redesigned the roof-mounted air intake. Along with a variety of other mechanical changes, they'd turned the CLK GTR into the CLK LM. The visual differences between the GTR and the LM can be seen in the above photograph. Come the big race, Mercedes's decision to replace the V12 with the V8 seemed to be a wise one, as they'd managed to qualify on pole. However, their belief in the engine ultimately turned out to be ill-calculated, because both of the LMs that Mercedes had entered suffered engine failure.For the continuing 8 races of the 1998 GT Championship however, Mercedes persisted with the V8 engined CLK LM. It turned out to be a wise move, as they won every single race of the contest. This however was a problem for the GT1 class as a whole. The unmatchable omnipotence of the CLK GTR and LM proved to be the catalyst that killed off the GT1 class in the FIA GT Championship; it resulted in no other manufacturer putting themselves forward to enter into the 1999 season, as they'd only be there to look at the arse of a CLK as it gradually vanished out of sight. While that may seem negative and cowardly, you can't really blame them. I mean, if Superman entered an Arm Wrestling contest, would you bother challenging him knowing you'd be put through the table? Given that the FIA had no entrants, they were forced to pull the plug on the GT1 class, meaning the GT Championship was contested only by the GT2 division. But even though the CLK's racing days were now officially over - and it could walk away as a champion so phenomenally supreme, that all other contenders backed down – there was still one rather major problem plaguing Mercedes, and that was the glaring discrepancy of unfulfilled homologation promises.The FIA stipulated that in order to race in the GT1 class, manufacturers needed to make so many road going versions of their racing cars too. Other makers had honoured their homologation promises – but Mercedes on the other hand hadn't. They'd promised to make 25 road going versions of the CLK GTR – of which they'd only made one, which was retained by Mercedes and not put up for sale.The fact that Mercedes didn't have a homologated production road car throughout their racing days riled the other manufacturers. But their promise of 25 production cars was one they had no choice but to keep, so between the winter of 1998 and the summer of 1999, a further 25 road cars were built. The CLK GTR was made between AMG and another company called HWA, which was founded in 1998 as a spin-off to AMG when Mercedes snapped up a majority of their performance counterparts. The racing cars were given the slightest dusting of civility to turn them into road cars. A little bit of leather was added, a stereo, and air conditioning – which sounds nice, but it was rather like adding a couple of scatter cushions to a cave. For that real racing car feeling, the CLR GTR Road car came equipped with a 6-speed paddle shift gearbox. But unlike the smooth DSGs of today which can swap gears without allowing so much as your eyelashes to flinch, the CLK's was rather more rudimentary. It required the use of a clutch pedal to pull away and to change gear. You could slot it into gear without the clutch if you were a Jedi-Master at rev-matching – but really and truly, it just wasn't worth the risk. The biggest difference however came in the form of what that gearbox was connected to. In the GTR racing car, it was a 6L V12; in the GTR road car, it was a 6.9L V12, capable of producing 604bhp. Put through the real wheels alone of the 3175lb (1440kg) GTR road car, it could get you from 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds, 0-100mph in 6.5 seconds, and onwards to a top speed of 214mph. That made it one of the fastest cars on Earth at the time – but the area in which it lead the world was price, because back in 1999 the CLK GTR cost $1,550,000, nearly $2.3MILLION in today's money. As a result of this, only 20 of the cars sold. Rather than leave the remaining 6 cars (including the first car that was made back in 1997) sitting around, HWA had a rather ingenious brainwave: they modified them by turning them into Roadsters. Now you could have a racing car-like experience with the wind rushing through your hair. If the normal CLK GTR didn't present a striking enough pose for you, then the Roadster version sure as hell should. By combining the entities of a homologation-hypercar and a roadster they made something with might have been a bit pointless, but was truly spectacular in every way. Not only that, but the addition of a different aerodynamics package – as can be identified from the rear wing – made the car even more menacing. From a driver's perspective however, there was one rather pressing problem: the modifications the car had received to turn it into a roadster had incurred a 231lb (105kg) weight penalty, bringing the weight of the car up to 3406lbs (1545kg). Dynamically at least, the coupe was still the best. The ultimate expression of what the CLK GTR road car could be however was secretly lurking within those 20 original coupes, because 2 of them were harbouring a rather special something: a 7.3L AMG V12 – the same one that would go on to power the Pagani Zonda – producing 655bhp!! These 2 monsters were known as the Mercedes CLK GTR SuperSport. The SuperSport was, once again, a product of the AMG spin-off HWA. For it was their lunacy that elected to put that blissful beating heart into the CLK GTR, and in doing so, they also made some changes to the front splitter to improve the car's stability at high speeds – which was very wise indeed. Considering there was only 2 SuperSports made, the exact performance figures have never officially been specified – but through all the conjecture, some claim that the top speed was as high as 232mph!!  One of the 2 SuperSports – Chassis No17 – was originally painted red with a tan interior, making it standout from the ubiquitous silver exterior and black interior that virtually all other CLK GTRs had. When the car swapped hands however, it was then painted silver – but so it didn't blend completely in with the rest of the CLK GTR crowd, the interior was re-trimmed in red. The Mercedes CLK GTR came from a truly astonishing era of motorsport. Basing the road car on the racing car, instead of the other way around, resulted in a hypercar unlike almost anything else you'd see on the roads. It will never matter how much time flies on by, the sight of the CLK GTR is enough to hypnotise anyone into staring at it in pure awe. But just remember: if when peering inside you see red leather, the car is even more special - literally!

Travel & Events 08 Aug 2017

gg/ harry potter christmas diner at howarts

GG/ HARRY POTTER CHRISTMAS DINER AT HOWARTS GREAT HALL Wednesday December 6th 2017 GALVANO GROUP gets you access→ To a magical & unique dining experience at the Great Hall at Hogwarts, the actual set where the Harry Potter films were created. Red Carpet, Cocktail, Dinner, After Party Dance Extravanganza, Gift Bag, &…Much More!An ultra-exclusive event, with a limited space for 200 guests only.  A limited number of tables  are available→Inquire as soon as possible!….. Contact, Details & Reservations:office@galvanogroup.comwww.galvanogroup.comFollow us on : 

Fashion & Design 06 Aug 2017

unique cultural experience & luxury shopping

Combination of a unique cultural experience & luxury shopping in the downtown of Budapest, HungaryDorottya Diamond Palace opened in a UNESCO world heritage site in the city center, just a few minutes from the docks of River Danube, is the newest highlight of life style and a luxury site of Budapest.It combines:      The exhibition hall that was created under the supervision of the  Hungarian National Museum featuring the historical treasures of the Hungarian jewelry culture and artisanship of the Hungarian goldsmiths through the past 1000 years.       The showroom which is the largest jewelry & diamond center in Central Europe where our guests can enjoy luxurious collections e.g. the the ’Sissi’ collection inspired by Elisabeth, Queen of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Exhibition Hall of the PalaceCultural experience: ·      Admire the impressive interior of a neoclassical palace of Budapest built in the 19th century –  enjoy the story of the building, which was named after Duchess Maria Dorothea, wife of Habsburg Archduke Joseph.·      Be welcomed by our multilingual guide at our exhibition presenting 1000 years of the treasures of Hungary featuring Golden Age of Hungary, Hungarian gold and silver mines, Maria Theresa.·      Enjoy multimedia presentations on Queen Sisi, the Hungarian gem: the Opal, the Holy Crown and the diamonds.·      Touch the Hungarian Holy Crown!  - Holographic version of the Hungarian Crown – with the help of the Holomachine -Hungarian invention.·      Corner of Maria Theresa: She founded the first Mining Academy in the world in Hungary as the mining industry played a very significant role in the economy of Hungary.                                                                                                                               Our palace was named after the wife (Dorothea) of her grandson (Archduke of Joseph, Palatine of Hungary).·      Medieval architectural remains: search for the piece of the medieval wall of Pest in the palace! (Built in the 15. century). Education ·      In the VIP diamond trade room equipped with special education tools on diamonds: Explore / discover the mysterious world of white and black diamonds and the rare beauty of fancy yellow diamonds with our gemologist of exceptional expertise. In the main hall of the neoclassical palaceShopping opportunity in the Showrooms: ·      A fabulous selection of white and yellow gold jewelry and watches set with diamonds and precious stones.·      Unique Masterpiece Collection on display especially for golf and car racing funs·      Sisi Collection - our designer was inspired by the beauty and style of Queen Elisabeth (Sisi) and her unique diamond stars to create our elegant collection, giving our clients individualized look, assuring and expressing the modernity of today’s self-confidant woman.VIP private diamond salon·      Loose diamonds directly from the International Diamond Exchange with international certificates at favorable prices.·      All diamonds are 100% conflict-free diamonds.·      Tailor made portfolios for investors available.In the „Lavender Garden Hall”One of a kind HUNGARICUMS – 100% Hungarian contemporary artistic creations:·      First time, introducing the combination of Herend porcelain and Caprice diamond blended in a unique jewelry – 100% Hungarian luxurious handmade collection.·      The Gödöll? HEREND: traditional collection of Queen Sisi.·      ZEMA porcelain (Hollóházi) jewelry painted by hand – trendy Hungarian brand - collections in different art styles & items decorated with traditional Hungarian motifs reinvented in a contemporary way.·      Historic pieces of Opal jewelry – created to honor the Hungarian Opal Mining History while expressing a modern sensibility with smooth contours.    - fresh stylish collections of vibrant jewelry are waiting for our guests -Our beautifully crafted and carefully designed jewelry collections celebrate rebirth and progress and were inspired by the atmosphere of our New Diamond Palace. They can be worn from casual to special occasions to the utmost satisfaction of our clients from all over the world.PM to make appointment. 

Business 05 Aug 2017

wine chateaus in the bordeaux?

Wine chateau's in the Bordeaux?France's most famous fine wine region has long drawn foreign investors, which in the last few years have included a steady stream of individual and corporate Chinese buyers. More than 100 chateau's are now Asian-owned, a mere grape in a pickers bucket when you consider some 7,000 wine-producing estates are spread across Bordeaux's many appellations. Nowadays, wineries are of particular interest as an alternative lifestyle investment in business, land & property with a return on invest.  But you are not just buying a country house. You are also buying a business. It may be the fanciest farming on the planet, The chateau and winery will not run themselves. You need the right people, and the wine has to be good enough to be salable. Owners have to work hard just to break even. It is tough for international buyers to get a loan from a French bank, so be prepared to pay cash. It is very important getting professional advice at each phase: before you buy, while finalizing the deal, and post-sale in managing your estate. A plan of the vineyards might reveal discrepancies and a mistake of half a hectare could make a big difference in the price. It is also important to do an audit winery equipment and debts. Also you will need to analyze the soil in the vineyard, check vines for disease, and make sure that plantings conform to French regulations.The most important question to ask before you buy is how you are going to sell your wine? Some chateaux's come with ongoing relationships with Bordeaux negociants, or importers, who buy the wines every year and distribute them internationally. But some do not. With 10 hectares of vines, you will produce about 60.000 bottles per year, and your friends and local restaurants can not buy them all. Owning a vineyard is a lifestyle. Yes you can make a profit and a ROI will come mainly from the property on an exit. In the mean time you have had a lot of fun. But the key is, get good trusted advice and good management. Entertain your friends and/or use it as a business platform. All in 1 hour flying from Paris (90 minutes from Amsterdam) and 2 hours by fast train (TGV). I have the experience running a vineyard for a foreign owner (8 years) and also selling to foreign buyers. Still interested? By the way, I also work with partners in The Provence and in Italy, so I can also help you with vineyards in those regions. Contact me.

Travel & Events 05 Aug 2017

saudi arabia plans luxury beach resorts on red sea

Saudi Arabia plans luxury beach resorts on Red Sea Saudi Arabia has launched a massive tourism development project that will turn 50 islands and other sites on the Red Sea into luxury resorts. It hopes to attract both foreign tourists and domestic visitors as part of efforts to diversify the Saudi economy, as oil prices have fallen. Visa restrictions on foreigners are to be eased in the tourist zone.However, it is not clear whether dress codes and other restrictions in the conservative kingdom will be relaxed. Alcohol, cinemas and theatres are prohibited in Saudi Arabia. Women must wear loose-fitting, full-length robes known as "abayas" in public, as well as a headscarf if they are Muslim. They are not allowed to drive and often require a male guardian's permission to study or travel abroad.Construction of the new resorts is due to start in 2019. The first phase will include developing a new airport as well as luxury hotels and housing, and is expected to be complete in 2022. The tourism project is part of a plan, known as Vision 2030, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was elevated to become the first in line to the Saudi throne in June. The Red Sea development will be built along 125 miles (200km) of Saudi's western coastline, according to the Vision 2030 fund.Among the attractions will be protected coral reefs, dormant volcanoes, and a nature reserve inhabited by rare wildlife like Arabian leopards and falcons. Visitors will also be able to take trips to the ancient ruins of Madain Saleh, classified as a Unesco World Heritage site, and take part in activities such as parachuting, trekking and rock climbing. 

Fashion & Design 05 Aug 2017

gen z is becoming an important demographic

Consignment is attractive to Gen Zs, who prefer secondhand Chanel, Hermès, Louis VuittonOnline marketplace The RealReal’s fastest-growing market segment for the first half of 2017 is not millennials, but the coming-of-age Gen Z demographic who are outpacing their elder counterparts' sales by 35 percent. Marketers have been laser-focused on speaking to millennials, but Gen Z is quickly becoming an important demographic for high-end brands to cultivate a relationship with. the Gen Z consumer is an early adopter of consignment and the “lifecycle of luxury,” preferring secondhand Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton goods, making the resale market an opportunity for brand discovery.Secondhand news The RealReal’s “State of Luxury Resale” mid-year 2017 report charts marketplace trends, bestselling brands and emerging designers popular on its consignment platform.Among the best-selling brands on The RealReal, the marketplace found that interest in French fashion house Chloé continues to rise as its handbags are extremely popular.The trending popularities of luxury’s top brands on the secondhand market are tied to a label’s current successes as well.For example, Gucci has held The RealReal’s number four spot two years in a row and Saint Laurent moved up from 23 to 14, but Burberry and Lanvin, two houses with internal struggles, saw a dip in their popularity scores.Burberry is listed at number 15, and Lanvin dropped out of the top 20, going from 18 to 26 since The RealReal’s year-ago report.The RealReal’s mid-year report also found that women’s designer brands saw triple digit sales growth for the first half of 2017. For example, Vetements’ resale figures increased 548 percent and Aquazzura and J.W. Anderson’s sales grew by 188 and 143 percent, respectively. The unavoidable influence of streetwear is also making an impression of high-end consignment. Supreme, for example, saw a spike in consumer interest and demand. The streetwear label, fresh off the heels of its Louis Vuitton collaboration (see story), saw its year-over-year search rate on The RealReal increase 1,500 percent. The RealReal has also forecast a number of fashion trends based on what consignment consumers are buying from its marketplace.For instance, whimsical Gucci’s sell-through on The RealReal is 10 percent stronger than minimalistic Céline, as searches for graphic and print apparel grew by 37 percent year-over-year.Also, colorful knitwear brand Missoni saw searches jump 30 percent and its sales increase by double digits on The RealReal. Additional trends include backpacks, which saw searches increase by 70 percent, and investment footwear. The RealReal found that pairs priced more than $500 are selling 11 percent faster than handbags listed at the same price. Vintage is also an attractive category with one-off pieces having increased by 60 percent. Outside apparel and accessories, The RealReal reports home items on consignment increasing by 207 percent and engagement rings sales rose 150 percent year-over-year. As for the behavior of its consumers, The Real Real found that 85 percent of consignors use the commission of sale to shop on the full-price, primary market. Also, 70 percent of consumers research the resale value of a brand or product on The RealReal prior to making a full-priced purchase. Mobile is also a strong point for The RealReal even for “forever purchases” such as engagement rings. For the mid-year, The RealReal saw 33 percent of engagement rings being purchased via mobile devices, a rate 50 percent higher than average purchases. Delights in consignment The fashion market category that relies on consigning high-end apparel and accessories is witnessing a period of enormous growth, outpacing the full-price segment of its industry by 20 percent, according to a new report from Fung Global Retail & Technology. The entire resale industry is expected to grow from $18 billion in 2016 to $33 billion by 2021. This data comes from retail think tank Fung Global Retail & Technology, which released the "Fashion Re-Commerce Update" report to dig into exactly how and why this sector has been taking off. Interest in consignment has also heated up the competition for resale marketplaces. For example, online resale platform thredUP just recently entered the world of high-end consignment with the introduction of a luxury-specific marketplace  and also in Luxury community it's marketplace becomes one of their most important features.  Also, resale platform TrueFacet recorded an 18 percent monthly increase for pieces priced at $25,000 or more. The jewelry resale site also saw 34 percent growth in the value of average orders.By Luxury Daily 

Business 04 Aug 2017

chateau business = synergy and sharing

In this time and age we privately share our rooms and houses, our cars, our music and our holiday experiences.But how about in business?We tend to see other's businesses as competitors. But what if we join forces, inspire each other, create powerful connections and collaborate in to making this world better?The sum of parts is greater than the whole. Each part can still operate in it's own market, but by sharing idea's, network and knowledge we can all become stronger.On the backdrop of a beautiful surrounding vineyard landscape, in the most important wine region of the world, we have created an "office" which you can use for your business and facilitates interaction with other businesses if you want. For a day, for a few days per year, permanently. Good facilities for work, stay, eat, drink and besides hard work enjoy all Bordeaux has to offer. And all this at 90 minutes flying from Amsterdam (or Rotterdam) up to 6 times per day! Or high-speed train (TGV) only 2 hours from Paris!Also we offer you a range of services in which wine plays an important role. But you can also participate in our CSR programs giving something back to society or nature. The "office" is very quiet, in the countryside, off-grid, small scale and compact. Be inspired, develop new idea's, meet others. But also experience wine, food and all good that nature has to offer. If you to want visit the nearby village of St. Emilion (in the wine heartland of Bordeaux) or even Bordeaux city itself (elected by many as nr 1. tourist destination, but also start-up capital of France). Both are within easy reach. We are in the final stage of finding the last 10% funding. Interested? Please contact me and we can have a talk. Chateau Business = meet ---> share and inspire --->  accelerate your business and give back to the world 

Travel & Events 03 Aug 2017

floating houses in dubai

ARE SPECIALLY CALLED SIGNATURE EDITION FLOATING SEAHORSEIn early 2015 underwater houses were introduced, looking like floating boats (but without motor). Today, they revealed a new concept: Signature Floating Seahorse placed in Dubai’s waters. SIGNATURE EDITION CONCEPT Signature Floating Seahorse are built to mix European countries’ culture with United Arab Emirates in luxurious houses inspired by Emiratis lifestyle. Imagined for big families, group of friends and other groups of people, Signature Floating Seahorse offers a unique European experience, melt with Emirates culture: contemporary style, luxury and versatility. Signature Floating Seahorse represents a total of 371sq.m of bespoke spaces, split on three levels above and underwater that has all necessary innovations and smart home automation. 3-LEVEL FLOATING HOUSE Signature Floating Seahorse have rooms called Sky Majlis and Sky Bedroom at the upper level, where you can see the stars as their name indicates. At sea level you will find Sea Family Room, a friendly space for all the family and the Sea bedroom. Then at the lower level totally immersed under water you can find Underwater Ladies Room, Master Suite and also Coral entertainment room and Coral guest bedroom. At day or night, each room can be useful, once used to serve various purposes or to accommodate more sleeping facilities. Naturally, what seduce the most in Signature Floating Seahorse, are the fully immersed room, like en-suite bathroom that offers a stunning view of artificial and protected coral bay. There you can find a total of 80sq.m underwater and 56sq.m of coral garden.Then Signature Floating Seahorse is fully customisable depending on owners wishes, from floors to kitchen without forgetting bathrooms. Each style, furnishes or design element can be arranged depending on your tastes in each of 40 Signature Floating Seahorse. Each Signature Floating Seahorse costs 2.925.038 euros (12 millions AED).

Travel & Events 03 Aug 2017

gg/ a mediterranean affair-the amalfi coast, italy

GALVANO GROUP, A MEDITERRANEAN AFFAIR-THE AMALFI COAST, ITALY GALVANO GROUP gets you access→ to the Amalfi Coast, one of Italy's most piercing destinations!…..Sea, Boats, Tours, F&B, Campania, Experiences, Wine, Olive & Cheese Tours…..& Much More! Contact, Details & Reservations:office@galvanogroup.comwww.galvanogroup.comFollow us on : Lonely Planet-2017Deemed an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape by Unesco, the Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s Gem.Here, mountains plunge into the sea in a nail-biting vertical scene of precipitous crags, cliff-clinging abodes and verdant woodland.Its string of fabled towns read like a Hollywood cast list. There's jet-set favourite Positano, a pastel-coloured cascade of chic boutiques, spritz-sipping pin-ups and sun-kissed sunbathers. Further east, ancient Amalfi lures with its Arabic-Norman cathedral, while mountaintop Ravello stirs hearts with its cultured villas and Wagnerian connection. To the west lies Amalfi Coast gateway Sorrento, a handsome cliff-top resort that has miraculously survived the onslaught of package tourism.Turquoise seas and postcard-perfect piazzas aside, the region is home to some of Italy's finest hotels and restaurants. It's also one of the country's top spots for hiking, with well-marked trails providing the chance to escape the star-struck coastal crowd. 

Travel & Events 03 Aug 2017

bespoke events

Steven Duggan Events™ is an exclusive service, specialising in exceptional, one of a kind Events & Weddings. Catering for all budgets, we provide a very personal bespoke service for our clients, ensuring every aspect of the event is created down to the finest detail. We model our parties on film, culture and most of all your vision.For more information, please send me a message,Many thanks,Timi