Dateline Greece: Why Homer Is Always Relevant

water_sailing-greece

“Because you’re waiting for the water taxi…”

Sailing Greece, I discovered that reading Homer is always relevant. Shrouded in mystery, he is so contemporary. Imagine breaking crust with this gent. I found wine dark seas pursuing dolphins and the children of Odysseus such as the Colossus of Maroussi. George Seferis was heartbroken every time he thought about Hellas. Once the blinding blue is etched on your mind, you will too.

Sailing Greece is more to me than my love of boats. Perhaps, the Retsina went to my head more than 20 years ago. Playing backgammon and idle chatter with fishermen can do this to a chap. The people are charming and natural story tellers. I’d love to state that I met him in Piraeus. Perhaps we all have. From the first moment sailing Greece, I encountered a light that pierces the soul and gives birth to love.

sailing_sailing-greece

“Look dolphins…”

As a creature of rational habits, Greece stimulates my blood. There is nothing to comprehend except the appreciation of bouzouki.

On my maiden journey, I was swept away with Syrtaki and Zebekkiko. I cavorted through the tavernas of Athens until I was shanghaied to the shores of Sifnos. There I encountered authenticity, worthy of verse. At first, I thought it was the heat and ouzo. The ancient rivers run deep. Circumstance brought them out. Before I knew it, I was off with Pan to God knows where. Clearly, sailing Greece is not for the foolhardy.

I am reminded of that haunting quotation in the Revelations of St. John The Divine (1.Rev 1.8):

“… I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.”

Saint John always did have a way with words. I’d like to think he was inspired by the pleasure of sharing a table with friends eating grilled octopus marinated in wild oregano.

Tavernas are a showcase for theatre. It’s the place your inner being demands to be refreshed. You see, sailing Greece is an odyssey to the core of your own being. It’s where the soul arouses the senses of charmed moments, laughter, and contemplation. Who knows, you might even learn to dance! Conversations are whispered and on other occasions animated. You’ll simply love tavernas for the camaraderie not to mention the food.

Sailing Greece, head for Crete and tales of the labyrinth. The freshness of the bread is perfect to rub olive oil or to nibble a crumbly piece of feta. Take port and rejoice. When it comes to the table, seasonality still carries weight. What could be better than a dozen mezes spread across a checkerboard cloth.

Take the two sisters who run the Dome Hotel in Chania. They make the most amazing rose petal jam you will ever taste. Eaten with Greek yogurt and you will start re-evaluating your career options. This is a good town to begin. When possible, leave your car and walk in the hills. Let the landscape act as your guide. Let your feet start you off on your first journey. Who knows Gnosis may not be far behind.

In the winter, stews hark back to antiquity. The meats, vegetables, and herbs simmer for hours giving slow food its original content. Stuffed peppers can be found in many cultures, but few are flavored with sultanas, nutmeg and mint.

dress_sailing-greece

“Because no man or woman is an island…”

Curiously, each dish has a story culled from someone’s grandmother. I love the fact that Greek cuisine is based on the humblest of ingredients such as chic peas, wild greens, garden vegetables, yogurt, and fish.

What I also find uncanny is that consumption is based on products sourced locally. Perhaps this is why dishes with similar descriptions are often quite different from one part of Greece to another. Take the spicy shrimp served on the island of Symi. The shrimps are tiny, briny, and laced with spices reminiscent of Asia.

Even the ubiquitous country salad, can vary tremendously. When it comes to Greek wines, imbibe. Most think of Retsina and turn up their noses. Although I love this simple country wine properly chilled on a hot summer’s day, the country produces some outstanding vintages grown across Macedonia and the Peloponnese. The Mecouri family do a red wine to die for. I once made a blind taste test with a close friend in the wine trade from Bordeaux. He was blown away when I told him the wine was Greek.

With thousands of islands to visit, you are spoiled for choice. Eschew the places mass tourism destroyed. The mysteries of Eleusis await anyone with an open heart. Mingle with the people and feel their pulse. And don’t forget to keep a copy of Fagel’s Homer in your pocket.

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Article Title: Dateline Greece: Why Homer Is Always Relevant
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | travel |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for content marketing, marketing communications or social media management, RedHerring can evangelize your brand. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

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How To Craft The French Touch

audrey_style-french-touch

“Some claim the French Touch is in the tap water…”

Crafting the French Touch is more than soliciting a caress from a beautiful woman. Invited to a charming restaurant, I jumped at the chance to pin down the undefinable. We foregathered at a rather discrete gem at the far end of the rue Saint Honore. At the table were a distinguished cast of cognoscenti. With cocktails in hand, we set about our business.

Table talk centered on a host of topics. One pundit wondered whether you had to be born here. Another stipulated that it was not an issue of ethnicity. She said, “It is a question of expressing a style vernacular suitable to our distinctive culture and heritage”.

A blue suited fellow exclaimed, “There’s more hear than meets the eye. Are we focusing on style or mere fashion?”

I could feel his lament for I knew how much he treasured artisans and craftsmanship. His view was that craftsmanship has suffered in recent years. However, one great thing I have always loved about this country is its capability to renew its traditions. Style must be contemporary to be valid.

The hotter the debate got, the more I mused that we were arguing over terminology. I wondered what Molière, the French dramatist would have brought to this round table. Hey, Paris has a latin soul, but it was nothing several Mojitos couldn’t cure. As the starters arrived, the general consensus was that identifying The French Touch is similar to spotting a sea dragon riding the wind.

Our guests, I might add, were not hide bound bores. Quite the contrary. They relished innovative design, new players as well as more established houses. Off the record, one Lagerfeld disciple added: “Luxury brands like any other retailer deal in bottom lines. Fashion is a world driven by constant change. However, we must set the mood and the tone. Stagecraft fuels the imagination and gives special meaning to the fashion shows in Paris.”

It is true that Creatives directing major brands try to cajole and persuade an ever-fickle public. Magazines such as Vogue focus on shaping taste and generating desire. However, despite the glossies, predicting the next big thing is akin to watching the weather forecast.

Some of our set claimed that fashion is designed in a showroom. Others stipulated that it was crafted in the street by savvy souls who know how to put it all together. In reality, the French Touch draws its inspiration from multiple sources. Where the concept of timelessness was once a by-word for quality, today French luxury is the effervescence of shooting stars. Take a journey over to Louis Vuitton on the Champs-Elysees showcase. Engage with the current zeitgeist.

pivoine_style-french-touch

“It’s hard to beat the French Touch when it comes to style…”

Real style is intangible and is intrinsic to a person’s persona. The concept of The French Touch is not any different. It is easy to identify, but quite difficult to replicate. It is as one lovely figure among us noted, “a state of mind”. The French actress, Marion Cotillard encapsulates the French Touch to perfection in Woody Allen’s film, “Midnight In Paris”.

Lea Seydoux is another beauty who radiates the French Touch.

Just imagine you are dining with her. She is sheepishly looking at you with those hypnotic eyes, and then says in that most Parisienne of voices: “Mon chou would you care to share a bottle of Foufoune. If this happens to you, you are done for. Cuite. Take it from me, you’ll fall in love and most likely live here for the rest of your life.

For those who aspire to capture this French look, study Audrey Hepburn for guidelines. Although she was not French, she was not born in the States either. There is something quite mystical about her persona. She captivates. In her film with Fred Astaire, she causally remarked, “I am not beautiful; I have a funny face.” Ever the gentleman, Fred Astaire responded, “What you call funny, I call interesting.”

Audrey knew she had allure. Her clothes personified her character not the other way around. She was an ambassador for Hubert de Givenchy, and wore his clothes with panache. However, because her beauty was so natural, she was just as much at home in a pair of jeans. This is not just style but real class.

Perhaps the best personification of the French Touch is Ines de la Fressange. Several years ago, she published La Parisienne, which was an international best seller. The book oozes with French style cues. Today, Ines is 50-something, and just as captivating as when she modeled for Chanel. She is living proof that the French Touch is not about age. It’s about being classy.

Visitors and designers alike claim that in this city men and women dress better. They certainly carry themselves differently. Body language also impacts on how someone can make clothes and accessories stand out. This is where that certain je ne sais quoi comes into play.

ex_style-french-touch

“Because you want a touch of class in Paris…”

That something special is well articulated in Ines book. It is also lovingly captured by fashion photographer, Scott Schuman. He has the uncanny knack of demonstrating how personal and organic the French Touch, really is. Anyone can look great; it is a question of attitude, not money. Visit his website, The Satorialist. There are reams of pictures taken in Paris, which encapsulate the French vibe.

I have another dear friend who claims that The French Touch is in the tap water. Drink the water at will he laughs and “voila”. Here, I am not so sure. The “Chateau Robinet 2015″ is barely drinkable. Perhaps, the water he was referring to, came from Reims in bottles, labelled, Bollinger. Baudelaire claimed that all French women had beautiful legs because they spent half their lives walking up and down countless flights of stairs.

Someone remarked to me just the other day that everyone should have an uncle called “Christian”. It is true that Dior had certainly added to the modern vocabulary of contemporary woman. His feel for shape and color were unique. He knew how to drape fabric across a woman’s body. His genius was to let a woman’s body speak with its own voice without calling attention to the clothes. Elegance is always a point of subtlety.

Away from the world of haut couture, Paris has a vibrant street style culture. It draws from native and foreign influences. Some of the current trends are drawn from workwear and vintage military apparel. For example, a trend gathering steam is the craze for French vintage military jackets. Those sailor shirts made popular by Coco Chanel are back big time. Times at Saint James couldn’t be better. Designers have been borrowing workwear concepts for ages. Jean-Paul Gautier is just one of the best.

Want to laugh?

One of our readers was asking what color do dapper French gents prefer for shirts. At first, I thought this was an existentialist question. I was about to consult my annotated copy of the Being & Nothingness by Jean-Paul Satre, and caught myself saying, “Wait a second. Color is personal”.

The French like the Italians are fond of blue and white stripes of assorted persuasions. This classic can be worn with or without a tie. Speaking of ties, the bow tie has made a smashing comeback. This would have pleased my father no end. I find that bow ties are not only great in summer, but pass muster all year round. In case you would like to start fostering a collection, why not head over to Charvet near Place Vendome. Talk about the French Touch!

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Article Title: How To Craft The French Touch
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for content marketing, marketing communications or social media management, RedHerring can evangelize your brand. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring: Life In The Fast Lane redddherring.tumblr.com

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Leadership Beyond Fortune Cookie Wisdom

roy_leadership

“Who ever heard the sound of one hand clapping…”

The best leaders are free from compulsive instincts. They see their career as a mountain stream. Man or woman, they have transformed their need for applause. They roam in the world as lions of self control. They take pleasure in thunder and rain because according to fortune cookie wisdom, the true sound of leadership is silence.

I know this master chef working at Wo Fat’s Cantonese kitchen by the name of Mencius. He could speak volumes on this subject. However, he’d probably be more at home selecting the finest ingredients from the market. Wok hay drives him crazy. That’s what you would expect from a Taoist leader, who favors the meditative breath of fire.

On the other side of the world, Socrates pursued another path with the similar objective of self-mastery. He understood that diligence and astute planning took place in silence. To settle his mind, he would stroll the streets of Plaka. Although the tavernas and cafes are filled with rhetoricians, he would go for insight elsewhere.

guernsey_mba-coaching

“Captain, I’ve spotted Tortuga…”

Simply put, Socrates preferred to watch the fisherman. He’d contemplate their banter and salty songs. He loved to watch them tenderize the evening’s octopus on the rocks. Performing humble tasks emptied his mind. In this emptiness, he found the meaning of all things. Perhaps, we should do likewise.

Emptiness is often confused with ignorance. Ignorance however, is more than a lack of knowledge. A lack can be sensibly remedied. It is a question of training. Real ignorance is the misapprehension of all things. Take the case of the Buddha. Although not a sailor, he desired more than a career sea change. He desired smooth sailing.

hok_leadership

“When your reflection is just a fleeting fantasy…”

Determined to achieve this state of being, he sat under a fig tree, legs crossed in a full lotus position. He was resolved not to budge until he was filled with clarity. By learning this lesson, he saw leadership was a question of equilibrium. The mind is a close friend of ignorance and this is the trap. Give the mind conundrums, and it will smile and spin in a vortex of relentless aggravation.

On the other hand, you could give the mind something nobler to consider such as the following Taoist proverb: “The sound of water is silence.”

Mojito?

Article Title: Why Leaders Love Fortune Cookie Wisdom
Photographs: (1)manofthemmnt (2)curated by ES (3)stayfr-sh

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | Talent Development | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | MBA Admissions | Life & Career Coaching |

Let CAREO start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

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Why The Fundamentals Are Keys To Social Media Management

hen_social-media

“Because your strategy demands some fast action…”

Managing social media demands perseverance. Analyzing trends and tactics can feel like reading tea leaves. To get relevant traction, read the experts. LinkedIn features many. One thing however, is certain. Your social media team must be passionate about being wired.

Key 1: Social Listening
This will not come as a surprise to astute marketing experts. Listen to your customers. Analyze your sector. Pay attention to firms, which shape trends. Then, examine the online behavior of your target audience.

According to intelligence reports, +60% engaged in marketing use social listening strategies. What is surprising is that many marketing experts secretly feel that their social media tactics are ineffective. So what is the secret to actionable social marketing? The term is engagement.

Twitter
Engagement is more than posting tweets at red lights. Dont’ flood Twitter with dross. Make the messages tight. Add visual content. Tell a story. Give people a reason to follow you. Use Tweet Deck to time the delivery. Times should be calibrated to market where you operate. Respond to follows, retweets, and favorites. The more you dialogue, the more compelling this channel becomes in your social strategy.

sphere_social-media

“Because you love simplicity…”

Blog Content
Content marketing on your blog demands compelling story telling. Every major brand that works has a story to tell. The best have a heritage to draw upon. Keep the voice dynamic and youthful in spirit. Use videos and image rich content. When you understand need, you recognize people don’t buy products. They buy value propositions, which change their lives. Therefore, make your messages meaningful.

In our experience, viewers love what is termed, a value exchange. People are after all, people. They crave entertainment and excitement. Give them the old pizazz.

wave_social-media

“When it’s hard to say goodbye…”

Key 2: Adverts v. Sponsored Posts
The lure to advertise on social media is overwhelming. Everyone believes, if I only had a banner… Google Ads and others can make a difference. It will depend on which keywords you feel are worthy of investment. Other social media platforms offer sponsored posts. Which ones to choose depends on where you think your clients live online. Facebook clearly tops everyone’s list. Be aware that certain audiences find adverts an annoyance, not a call to action.

Depending on your market, advertise in a magazine or newspaper online. In fashion, the adverts constitute part of the reader’s pleasure. Everything online should be a call to action. If you have the budget, go for it.

Use advertising to enhance your brand, but do so with discrimination. Case studies indicate that content driven posts are more effective. They generate dialogue and speak to actual desires. Begin with classic channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Studies indicate using a mix. Keep the channels linked, but do not repeat the same content.

Budgeting
Since financials matter, where is your money best positioned? To sponsor a post can gain attention in search engines. This does not imply that people will read the post or act on the story you are selling. A content driven story is different. Readers appreciate when nobody is actively selling them something. They are attracted to the message. Your call to action is implied. In other words, your content adds meaning to their lives. This is the ideal value proposition. Authority and credibility convert calls to action into sales.

Here’s a few pointers to get started:

a) Establish measurable marketing goals
b) Set your budget
c) Know your audience’s needs
d) Pick the channels
e) Research appropriate advert types
f) Examine similar concepts used by your competitors
e) Optimize your landing pages

Key 3: The relationship between email and social media
Email marketing is commonplace. It takes the form of newsletters. That is why firms encourage potential clients to sign up. The recipients will not always read your updates or promotions. It is still a great way to reach out.

Subscribers also enhance your database. This enables you to calibrate future offers and share your content across relevant social media channels.

south_social-media

“Because some part of us never grows up…”

Key 4: The Social Media Team
Typical social media teams tend to be small. They can even be just one person. Budget plays a role. Examine firms whose social media strategies you admire. Learn how they play their audiences. Adapt your social media positioning accordingly to your business model.

Then ask yourself, what do you really hope to accomplish? There shouldn’t be any mystery. Focus on basics, quality, and strategy. Make your website, blog, and other social media channels engaging.

Key 5: Measurement
Goals should be calibrated. Focus your brand awareness on lead generation. Feature social icon bars. The more people follow and share indicates that you are doing the right thing. If possible, become an influencer to get recognized what you do best.

Conclusion
Social media is no longer an option. It is a highly charged atmosphere where persistent engagement is essential. If you get the mix right, your target audience will react and join the conversion. Ultimately, you will have reinforced your brand awareness and drive sales.

Article Title: Why The Fundamentals Are Keys To Social Media Engagement
Photographs: (1)maninpink (2)lookstoinspire (3)archival, curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for content marketing, marketing communications or social media management, RedHerring can evangelize your brand. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring: Life In The Fast Lane redddherring.tumblr.com

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Why Dungarees Are The Real Deal

have_dungarees

“Who doesn’t love vintage jeans…”

You know dungarees are the real deal as Levis celebrates another vintage classic. We are witnessing the greatest denim revival of our times. Workwear fans are leading the way with their love for dungarees. They want the original heavy weights, detailing, and selvage. Connoisseurs treasure their dungarees raw. Perhaps, this coincides with a corollary fetish for sashimi.

Great dungarees are dyed with real indigo. The color is unmistakable. The more it is worn the more nuances appear in the fabric. Pundits declare that real denim appreciation is like drinking the finest single malt whisky. We would say, a single batch single barrel Bourbon, but why quibble over trifles.

We’ve been doing a bit of research on the nature of denim and dungarees. Among vintage fans, there is quite a debate about when dungarees became jeans. The original fabric for dungarees was thick and robust. The fabrics are woven in Japan on the original machines once used by Levis or by Cone Denim in North Carolina. This year Cone Denim is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Crafted dungarees really do make a difference. If you own real vintage dungarees, you know the difference. Sugarcane is one of the brands whispered in small circles as the crème de la crème denim available on the market. They are manufactured from double ring-spun Zimbabwe cotton. The result is a heavy cloth, not the thin facsimiles bandied about as fashion jeans.

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“Faded indigo glory…”

In the first half of the twentieth century, America wove the best. Brands such as Levis, Lees, Wranglers and a clutch of smaller manufacturers provided the market with some excellent styles and weights to choose from. Remember, these were work clothes. They needed to be robust and last.

By the late 1960s the will to manufacture honest solid denim disappeared in the States. Levi’s iconic 501 XX and Lee’s 101B became the dungarees of folklore. Everyone wore these trousers from John Wayne, Gary Cooper to Marlon Brando and James Dean. Even Marilyn Monroe was captured wearing a pair.

Fashion is almost as fickle as the changing tastes of people. The 1970s gave birth to fashion jeans with perhaps Calvin Klein leading the pack. Brooke Shields was the first to model jeans literally painted on her body. Remember the advert? “Nothing comes between me and my Calvin’s.”

For lovers of real work wear the rest was downhill. Fortunately, the Japanese saved these iconic American styles. Sticklers for details and high quality, they trolled the States for every real vintage piece they could find. Trendy start-ups began to reproduce copies according to the original specs and designs.

The good news is that vintage styles are B-I-G. There is a hunger for authenticity and the selvage-denim. Dungarees,traditionally featured a higher waist, loose seat, and had a straight-leg design. The term skinny whether for jeans or latte would have been an anathema to our forbearers. They had more common sense when it came to clothes and strong coffee with real milk.

When I was last in London, I stumbled into the Double RL store on Mount Street, and had some rather interesting talks with the work wear fanatics at Ralph’s shop. It was quite a treat to discuss dungarees with passionate denim heads. I’m pleased to state that the Double RL brand has painstakingly recaptured the authenticity and quality of original workwear.

crabs_dungarees

“Perfect for crabbing…”

Double RL is absolutely obsessive when it comes to details. I should also add, the dungarees are manufactured in either Japan or the USA. Of the pairs I examined, I loved a circa 1920s pair used for hauling stones. The most sought after model is based on Levis 1955 501s with a zipper fly and slimmer tapered leg. The color and the nubs of the cloth made my heart palpitate. The style was relaxed and comfortable.

Another brand of which I am much enamored is Sugar Cane. Niche brands although hard to find, will give real lovers of dungarees all that they are seeking. Sugar Cane comes in raw and once-washed denim. They represent the best of two worlds: Solid American construction and Japanese denim. Self Edge on Orchard Street in New York should be your next port of call if you are interested. They can also be ordered online. They ship worldwide.

Article Title: Why Dungarees Are The Real Deal
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for content marketing, marketing communications or social media management, RedHerring can evangelize your brand. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring: Life In The Fast Lane redddherring.tumblr.com

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Parisian Kit Essentials For RedHerring In Search Of Lost Time

jem2_Parisian-Kit

“Because Paris offers real style…”

Parisian Kit essentials are for RedHerring in search of lost time. It is a game of fox & hounds. With the disappearance of Parisian stalwarts such as Old England and Arnys, we corralled a group of Parisian dandies to ferret out where you should shop. Our panel dropped names of bespoke tailors, shoemakers, and hidden gems. In certain circles, each member is known for his exquisite taste on all matters Parisian.

One chalk-stripped fellow rattled off ubiquitous luxury brands. To which another hipster almost choked on his espresso. Wiggling his nose, he retorted: “Too plebeian”. Needless to say, no panel member frequented department stores. As you can see, our panel is spoiled on craftsmanship.

Ironically, Paris is better known for women’s haute couture. Despite the city’s well-heeled reputation, there are Parisian treasures to entice chaps of good standing. So why is the Parisian gents scene so different from other cities?

mg_Parisian-Kit

“When you’re cruising like there’s no mañana…”

For starters, our panel agreed that there is no one neighborhood to investigate. Pedigree menswear is scattered about. If you are looking for great street wear, then I would direct you to the Haut Marais. You should know that tailors worth a detour are not at street level. You must have the address.

In my experience, Parisian gents are quite discrete. In general, the French do not discuss their tailors. Nor for that matter, will they babble about where their shirts are made. Cognescenti know. They spy out the notched lapel and the width of the trouser leg. Shirt buffs examine collars. I know one fellow who has a keen eye for pearl buttons. He is so extreme that he works up a sweat by examining their size, and the manner they were sewn to the shirt front. Experts among experts, you might say. As you can appreciate, Parisian aesthetics are a question of style.

Fashion hounds can cite for you the latest trendy brands. Fanatics focus on artisans, who are not household names. For example, if I was in London, I could identify a gents tailor by the cut. Stylish men can easily spot the difference between a suit cut at Edward Sexton or Anderson & Sheppard. Similarly in Paris, aficionados can identify the cut of Camps de Luca from somebody else. So what’s all the fuss? It comes down to details and personal taste.

Some chaps absolutely adore their jackets waisted. It is a hallmark of fine London tailoring. Others prefer the Neapolitan sense of aesthetics. The Italians have come to specialize in soft shoulders. They give a sense of weightlessness to their garments. Parisian tailors however, have borrowed ideas from both traditions. By doing so, they have articulated their own voice. Therefore, it is harder for a layman to quantify as uniquely Parisian. Suits with that certain je ne sais quoi are for the purists at heart.

Next, there is the issue of cost. Start to think of clothes as an investment. Not that English or Italian tailors are inexpensive. They are not. However, Parisian tailors are pricey. I do however, have recommendations to share. They clearly deliver value for money depending on your budget.

My first counsel is to visit Husbands on the rue Manuel. Nicolas, who owns and runs this place, is fashion savvy. He is also quite the gentleman. With spring on the way, he can update your wardrobe with style. His attitude is preppy modern.

jem_Parisian-Kit

“When something amber is called for…”

My second great discovery is Jean-Emmanuel Moreau. This Parisian gem is just off the rue Marboeuf. You will undoubtedly find his establishment suave. In Jean-Emmanuel’s hands, you will leave with a keen sense of sprezzatura and a pashmina scarf worthy of a prince.

If you fancy bright colors, check out Cifonelli. Hugo Jacomet of the Parisian Gentleman is a big fan. Craft and attention to detail really do matter here. Hugo recently stated: “In the last five years, the scene has changed. Houses such as Cifonelli have had an influx of young customers. They are highly educated about bespoke. I put his down to more mainstream media coverage. A dusty trade has become aspirational again.”

His comments indicate an attitudinal shift among Parisian men. The younger set have started to care again about their appearance. They are unafraid to shop online, follow style blogs, and love Parisian tailors.

Cifonelli is run by Lorenzo and with his cousin Massimo. They have a stylish boutique at street level. Their pret-a-porter is to die for. The apparel is vibrant and contemporary. Their workshop is one floor up and is a tribute to the tailor’s art. Clients have a tendency to prefer lightweight cloths with little structure. The roped shoulder tilted slightly forward is a Cifonelli trademark.

Each coat is cut clean, fitting the chest and waist. Eager to experiment with a more youthful approach to clothing, Lorenzo has come up with designs featuring different pockets, trims and fastenings. These details fascinate the young professional. They clearly make Cifonelli easily recognizable at 100 paces. Whether you like all these bells & whistles is a question of personal taste.

One thing is certain. Here is a straight shooter, no chaser. Perfect for the essential Parisian kit.

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Article Title: Parisian Kit Essentials For RedHerring In Search For Lost Time
Photographs: (1)(3)jeanemmanuelmoreau (2)curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | fashion | art | food | travel |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for content marketing, marketing communications or social media management, RedHerring can evangelize your brand. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

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10 Keys To Successful New Ventures

kerala_new-ventures

“Because running new ventures requires careful planning…”

Insight is key to running new ventures. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are caught off guard. The thrill of new ventures becomes a heady tonic. In his book “The E-Myth Revisited”, Michael Gerber makes a strong pitch for solid business planning. Nobody gets rich quick. It is hard and laborious work. New ventures must be proactive and run a tight ship. There are no short-cuts.

Remaining Diligent
Entrepreneurs are usually well-versed with their products or services. Operational management however, is equally as important to new Ventures. This means paying close attention to administrative tasks such as sales, marketing, finance, and accounting.

Honest consideration should be given to bringing in a partner. No man is an island. New ventures need a solid and trained team. There is no shame in asking for guidance. Start with a sounding board before you get into the mechanics of building a road map.

Drafting a business plan should clearly be the next step. Knowledge of PMP, SWOT matrix and “What If” scenarios will prepare you to avoid pitfalls and tackle unforeseen challenges. Give serious consideration to plotting a business model as a prelude to any business planning. Make sure you incorporate a short-term and mid-term business plan.

Although new ventures are not for everyone, they can be terribly exciting. You will need foresight. Building a coherent strategy implies understanding the rules of execution. Don’t forget to have alternative plans with an exit strategy. Things do not always go according to plan.

Remember, calculated risks are still risks. Be consistent. Exploiting opportunities in a fast moving market requires you to be quick on your toes.

carmen_new-ventures

“Now the time has come for action…”

Negligence
To overcome growing pains, hire a formidable administrative team. Maintain a positive cash flow. Telltale signs of weak organizations can be traced to inept leadership. Listed below are potential hazards for new ventures:

1) Poor Customer Service
There is no excuse for poor customer service. Every client demands the best.

2) No Unique Value Proposition
Companies need to define and articulate their value proposition. Create a platform for sustainable and competitive advantage.

3) Operational Deficiencies
Poor internal communications is a dead end policy formula. Staff must be well coordinated and work together. That’s why its called teamwork. Inculcate a culture of transparency and openness.

4) Unethical practices
Eschew all short-term selfish objectives. Top executives should promote social norms and principles as moral agents. Productivity incentives should be implemented to boost results and employee morale. People must be given a reason to work hard. Otherwise, they will not be committed.

5) Creativity
An absence of innovation and employee empowerment will hurt progress and stifle new ideas. Kill creativity and you might as well close up shop. They should buttress your strategic vision.

If you have a weak sales force, perhaps your compensation plan is unattractive. Nobody needs a high employee turnover rate. This is like managing a sinking ship. Only hire competent people. Forget bias or nepotism. Keep your organizational structure as flat as possible. By doing so, decisions can be taken quickly and plans made actionable.

6) Channel Strategy
Some new ventures just stress their products. This is insufficient. Even if your product is great, you need strong channel partners. Forget corporate politics. Playing games with people is always detrimental, and leads to dissatisfaction internally and externally.

7) Misrepresentation of brand
Do what you say you will do. Products & services must deliver on what you claim.

8) Financial Control
Make sure you calculate a percentage of profit for reinvestment. You can not grow without future capital.

9) Sound Marketing
All new ventures need a solid marketing plan. Brand strategy should incorporate the social media, engage the client, and stand for something. Never be complacent. Control your new ventures by making them human. Empowerment and respect cost nothing. Disrespect and low moral are game changers, but not the way you think. They back fire and blow up in your face.

10) Operational Intelligence
The purpose of risk management is to identify potential problems before they occur. To do so entails early and in-depth risk analysis through the collaboration and involvement of all parties involved in running the your new ventures.

Brainstorming is crucial. Participatory leadership understands the value of new ideas and welcomes them no matter their source. Risk management should comprise: Identifying, outlining and analyzing potential risks; A course of action to handle identified risks, as well as the implementation of risk control when and where necessary.

Business leadership should be unafraid of flexibility. Adjust your strategy when necessary. Keep in place a set of checks and balances – especially with regards to internal financial controls. Trust but verification ought to be the organization’s mantra.

When All Is Said And Done
New ventures with inept leadership usually fail in the first or second year, but even established companies can stumble badly when they outgrow the capabilities of the founding team. According to The Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, five years after new establishments were founded (1995, 2000 and 2005 respectively), 50%, 49% and 47% were still in operation.

To be a successful and sustaining entrepreneur requires vision, strategy, execution and constant diligence. Sacrifice is part of the game. You must have the courage to live your business. A new generation of young entrepreneurs think the road is smooth and a fast track to easy wealth. Easy is an illusion. Success hinges on hard work, diligence, and the ability to harness opportunity when it is identified. Great managers are as important as a great team.

The good news is that well-run new ventures thrive no matter what, but learn from their mistakes – making certain they don’t repeat them.

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Article Title: 10 Keys To Successful New Ventures
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
James D. Roumeliotis is an entrepreneur and expert on luxury brand management based in Montreal, Canada.

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Fast Track Your MBA Admissions To Success

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“With our MBA Admissions Consulting services, you can be on easy street…”

Your fast track to MBA Admissions success starts with CAREO. We can help remove the guesswork with step-by-step guidance so you avoid classic MBA application pitfalls. With our holistic approach, you are guaranteed success. Why leave your MBA admissions to chance, when CAREO can get you where you want to be.

carmen_mba-admissions

“Why leave your future to chance…”

What you get by working with CAREO MBA Admissions Consultants

1. Personalized Service
We start by helping you harmonize your professional aspirations with your personal goals. Our holistic approach to MBA admissions begins by getting to know you. We help you target the most appropriate MBA programs. With a workable timeline and actionable plan, you are ready to take on the world.

2. Establishing An Action Plan
With our comprehensive approach to business school admissions, why not take advantage of services we pioneered. Once you sign-up, we plan your strategy, create a PowerCV, give you feedback, and offer suggestions on what to include in your essays.

Once your target MBA programs are selected, we examine the details and attack the requirements. With guidance each step of the way, how can you not succeed.

3. MBA Essay Analysis
Don’t kid yourself. MBA Admissions hinges on the power of your essays. You can have a brilliant track record and a great GMAT and still be rejected. A word of caution: Do not worry about the competition. It is pointless. What you can do however, is to manage the assets you have on your side. Having a strong personal brand will mark out your profile for serious consideration. Let our keen marketing strategists show you how. The sweat equity is on us.

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“Because you want an MBA application strategy that works…”

4. MBA Application Procedures
Application creation also demands a well-crafted CV, selecting and preparing the ideal recommenders corresponding to your MBA targets. Rely on us to empower your CV, navigate your essay drafts, whilst polishing them like the diamonds you can see at Cartier. Getting a ‘yes’ on your MBA Admissions is so much easier.

5. The Final Touches
Just when you think the process is over, there is always one last thing to do. Count on our feedback sessions and interview training. When you are called to interview, you will have the confidence to shine like a star.

6. CAREO MBA Admissions Consultants
We understand what it is to dream and change careers. We also understand the power of professionalism when it comes to building an MBA file. Our team consists of marketing pros and former admissions officers. Whitefield Consulting Worldwide has been highly recommended by professionals since 1997. We can work with you in person or online. Take advantage of our insiders’ perspective and accelerate your desirable outcome.

Geting Started
Hourly consultation fees: Our hourly rate €325 offers you the ultimate in flexibility. Choose the services you need, when you need them. This includes admissions assistance on any part of your MBA application. We can help you select your top MBAs, plan your strategy, create a powerful CV, give you feedback throughout the process, make suggestions as to what you should include in your essays, and train you to interview.

Average clients spend a minimum of 10 hours with us. Time estimates for the following services are:

School Selection: 1-2 hours
Brainstorming Strategy: 1-2 hours
Essay Review: 30 minutes per draft
Building A Power CV: 1-2 hours
Interview Training: 2 hours
Waitlist Assistance: 2 hours

Package Rates
When you sign up for a comprehensive package, the benefits are clear. Our sole goal is to get you accepted. No one counts the hours. Once payment is made, you and your consultant get started. This offer has been particularly popular with our overseas clients.

Fees are based on the number of schools to which you apply:
1 school: €3.500
2 schools: €5,800
3 schools: €6,500
4 schools: €7,800
*You may add additional schools at €1,500 each.

FOR A FREE PROFILE EVALUATION
CONTACT US NOW & GET STARTED:
enquiries@whitefieldconsulting.com

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How 2 Beat The Interview

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“Because you’re waiting for the sun…”

Standing up to an MBA interview can feel like the Spanish Inquisition. So how do you proceed? By understanding human psychology. Learn how to drive the interview. In any interview scenario, focus your strategy on selling the product. Scupper the idea of getting up close and personal.

Most people get stressed out of their heads by the interview. Simply put, nobody wants to feel that they are standing up to a police grilling. Some of the questions are classics and others are positioned to psyche you out such as Tell me about your favorite lost weekend and why?

Start by by analyzing the interview process. When the interview is broken down into components, it will no longer feel like torture. It will feel like high stakes poker. Swallowing a cocktail of Rescue and Grey Goose on ice won’t give you courage. Solid coaching and practice will.

Let’s start by deconstructing the interview inquisition. First, there are no thumbscrews. It is a battle of wits and chemistry. You might be a rhetorician like Seneca, but if there is no sale, you loose. Keep your objective in mind. Examine your motives. Play the interview as a game. Your success lies in the details. However, do not drown the interviewer with unnecessary minutia. Lay out clear points. Imagine you work at Cartier showcasing prospective clients precious stones.

To hit your target, know the parameters, i.e. the added value you can deliver. Vary your message delivery. This sends a clear signal to the interviewer that you understand the game and its arcane rules of selection. There are volumes written on strategic interviewing. Familiarize yourself with some techniques. Research the position you are seeking. Know the title and the job function. Match your experience to the firm’s wish list.

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“Remember, first impressions count…”

Last week, we had a client who was interviewing with a major player in cosmetics. He already anticipated one of the key questions: Why would a guy want to work in cosmetics? The position in merchandising was to promote a woman’s beauty products.

This question is challenging and makes several assumptions. First, can a man really know about beauty creams? In fairness to his quick study prior to the interview, he understood his handicap. He also had to prove why he was the best person the firm could select for this posting. The interviewer’s intention would be to get him flustered.

Providing he was tops, he stood a chance. However, what happens when the interviewer has made up his or her mind before the interview. No one can “win” in a scenario where the result is predetermined. This is why we always counsel clients: address your worst fear, then go forward with confidence.

job_how-to-interview

“Sure, I’ll take the job…”

Interviewing well demands intense prep. It means practice. It implies finding your stride under pressure. Another “faux pas” is first impressions. Presentation is not superficial. Body piercings may be all the rage in the hood but not at an interview. Life is a game. Do not focus on the consequences. Relax. Master your brief and leave the outcome to the Big Boss. If you do so, you will get the results you seek.

May the force be with you.

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Article Title: How 2 Beat The Interview
Photographs: (1)szshap (2)gentlemenofthestreet (3)uh-la-la-land

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | MBA Admissions | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Talent Development | Life & Career Coaching |

Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

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The Art Of Personal Brand Management

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“Because you’re worth it…”

If you are headed over the cliff driving a vintage Vet, then clearly you are not thinking about personal brand management. Howling Wolf is belting out a tune and the wind is in your hair. Is this what we need to do to get career clarity? You know that if nothing is done, there will be fanfare but not fluttering banners and trumpets. Taking five is the logical thing to do under these conditions of personal brand management.

You want to stop or at least slow your emotions down. Somehow your nerves freeze and you cannot find the control panel. This is the exact predicament professionals find themselves in when it comes to career change. They are afraid to call out. Further education is probably indicated according to some reports in the press. We just need a nudge in the right direction.

Perhaps the sort of personal brand management we need is to add an MBA to our quiver. To kick the process off, why not start self evaluation. Call it a SWOT analysis of your career evolution to date. It also indicates that an overdue change in attitude is in order.

Start by giving thanks for what you have and who you are. Self love is not narcissistic. It demonstrates self appreciation. The first step to personal brand management is as simple as that. You do not need to wear a necklace of garlic to ward off demons of your own making.

Visualization techniques are quite persuasive. Ask anyone who practices yoga. If you know where you would like to be, then you can navigate your Ferrari to any destination with safety.

road_personal-brand-management

“When life is more than a road movie…”

One of our clients said recently that she wanted to move into management consulting. She was afraid however,that her background in operational marketing was inappropriate. From the start her problem was clear. She had not convinced herself that her goal was attainable. She was even unsure whether an MBA was the best way forward. If you don’t convince yourself, how do you expect to convince somebody else? The fine art of persuasion as they say in personal brand management, begins at home.

At our first meeting, we talked through her goals. By cutting away the emotional dross, she saw the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Not only was there a solution; there were several. Afterward, we trained and she regained her composure. Did she loose her self confidence? Not really; It was misplaced. By clearing her mind, her vision became tangible.

Now, she could taste success. It was just a question of enacting an action plan. Her bridge to nowhere had no real foundation. Since it had been self-imposed, it was easily destroyed. It was nothing more than a shadow. If you find yourself at a similar crossroad in personal brand management then answer the following question: Where does the source of your vision come from?

The answer lies inside your heart, but we often need a catalyst to make our vision concrete. Don’t make the cardinal mistake that Nasruddin did. He went out of his house looking for light in the pitch of night while he held a torch in his hands. The right catalyst enables you to build a strategic road map. An actionable plan delineates developmental needs. Personal brand management also highlights your strengths for future success.

Any one can point out what you might have done, but this is a fruitless exercise, which creates a state of dependence. By expressing your career goals in a concise fashion, you gain the root of leadership, which lies at the core of all professional endeavors. You will feel a sense of freedom and lightness of being. After that applying for a top MBA becomes a snap if this is what you choose to do

Article Title: The Art Of Personal Brand Management
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on | Life & Career Coaching | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Talent Development | MBA Admissions |

Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

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Paris Dateline: Where Brunch Meets Givenchy

bar_brunch-paris

“Because you love Paris Fashion Week…”

Where brunch meets Givenchy sounds like the sort of gossip you’d hear reading Grazia, don’t you know. However, I just can’t resist. Let me share with you one of my must go-to places next time you’re in the mood to brunch in Paris. This place has coffee to wake the dead and even crunchy muesli. With its open ambiance, it reminds me of some of my favs in the hip parts of Brooklyn. They even have blueberry muffins.

Talk about style. My gosh, if that isn’t Heidi and Christian. Maybe, I’ll have another jolt of espresso. It seems I just missed Karl, but no matter, I was running short of that crunchy muesli.

I discovered Claus quite by accident after investigating the latest collection at Carhartt. The Detroit based brand in American workwear has teamed up with Work In Progress and their fab Japanese sense of vintage. I was making my way to the Passage Vero-Dodat to investigate a ukelele dealer. OK, so I’m a bit eccentric. Along with the Cafe Nemour at Palais Royal, it is perfect to people watch and share intimacy.

Clearly this place is a smash success with the Fashionista brunch crowd. No wonder, when you recognize that this place is run by Claus Estermann, the former press agent at Givenchy. Claus Epicerie is located on the rue Jean Jacques Rousseau, which is off the funky end of the rue Saint Honore. This neighborhood is chock-a-block with the Bobo vibe. Just think, this neighborhood features Christian Louboutin’s shoes to die for, Bisonte, and a woman trafficing in Peruvian alpaca.

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“Brunch fit for a princess…”

Victoire, an independent French clothing emporium is just up the street and are happy to outfit you with their certain je ne sais quoi. Clothes are bright and playful. They are easy to wear and clearly exude the French Touch. So if you are inclined, you can just strut across the street like a lama in search of guava. The In crowd come for espresso, fabulous cakes, and plenty of hot fashionista gossip.

Claus is quite an eclectic establishment, which would account for the store’s clean aesthetics and interior design. When you enter, you see a rectangular station set up like a kitchen workshop. Lining the walls are pleasantly displayed product lines which include lime blossom honey, coffee, Orezza mineral water from Corsica and porridge fit for Scottish royalty. There is even an agreeable tea room on the first floor.

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“OMG! I left the rice cooker on…”

Who knows, you might well decide that this brunch place will serve as your local cantina.

Claus, 14 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau 75001

Article Title: Where Brunch Meets Givenchy
Photographs curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on art | food | fashion | music | travel |

Red Herring |
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