Passion Points: Spa/Wellness
Since BECCA makeup launched in 2001, a new counter has opened every two weeks in countries around the globe. The company’s CEO Steven Schapera, has personally vetted every single store location. “Handing your brand over to a retailer is a little bit like handing your child over to the babysitter”, he claims. I can’t think of selling BECCA in any city I can’t connect with.” Below, Steven shares some of his favorite travel discoveries with Indagare.
You’ve lived in South Africa, California, Australia and now London. Clearly, you like to move around. What have been some of your favorite places to live? I love water and can spend hours just wandering along the Thames in London. Having been a winemaker for 14 years, I also find the food/wine/water combination of San Francisco very appealing. I think, though, that Sydney, Australia is where I will end up living. It has everything–food, wine, climate, water and that irresistible, laid-back Aussie lifestyle.
Read about a member’s trip to Mii Amo in Sedona
What are some of your favorite places to visit? Despite my love of the water, I am passionate about fertile agricultural land and am happy when surrounded by green. I love the hills of Liguria (specifically the hills above the town of Pietrasanta)–the food/ wine component, again, just completes the package. I’ve also recently discovered the Philippines where there’s magnificent greenery, and the sea is thrown in for good measure! The seafood is also amazingly fresh and the Filipinos have a beautiful culture—overall I think I’ve found a new place to enjoy myself in the European winter.
What are your favorite stores that carry BECCA? Despite both Rebecca Williams and I living in Australia, we launched the brand in London. My favorite spot is probably our flagship store in South Kensington, but I am blown away by a new store called ADORA (www.adora.ph) in Manila. It’s easily the most impressive store I have seen anywhere in the world in the last 3 years – and Manila is a city that is tremendously exciting if you know the right people. Harvey Nichols in Istanbul is another favorite: it’s such a beautiful store, set in an incredible city (where you just can’t stop eating the food!). Asia is my retail pet and, in particular, I love our business with Lane Crawford (www.lanecrawford.com) in Hong Kong, an amazing city, especially if you have locals to show you the secrets. Podium (www.podium.ru), in Moscow, is absolutely stunning too.
What are your favorite shops abroad? For fashion, ADORA (www.adora.ph) in Manila is a phenomenal store. I marvel at it.…all the more because it’s the creation of a 28-yer-old guy. Tea Rose in Milan (Piazza Dumo 4; 39 (02) 2356-0203), and the original Villa Moda (www.villa-moda.com) in Kuwait, are two others that blow me away. But as for favorites generally….I can’t walk past a cheese shop without going in. Peck ’s Casa del Formaggio in Milan is at the top of my list. Nor can I walk past a wine shop, and funnily enough my favorite is in Perth, West Australia –it’s called La Vita (www.la-vita.com.au) and is run by an amazing guy called Michael Tamburri. Lots of wine shops have great wines; very few have someone like Micheal Tamburri to tell you about them. I won’t go into boat shops or motorbike shops, as that will take me a lot longer. And though I heard it just burnt down, Deyrolle in Paris was a place I could wander around for ages: it was like a museum except you could buy the pieces.
What is your favorite hotel? Until I moved to London I was spending about 270 nights a year in hotels. Without any doubt my favorite “business hotel” is a small boutique hotel right here (in London) called the Pelham Hotel (www.firmdale.com); it’s in South Kensington, and is one of those amazing hotels where everything comes together and you want for nothing. I learned a long time ago not to count the stars – for instance a 5-star hotel MUST have a swimming pool and 24-hour room service. That’s hardly important to me in London. The Pelham doesn’t have those but I can’t sing its praises highly enough. And if it’s full, its sister property the Knightsbridge Hotel (www.firmdale.com) is my other favorite.
For holidays my hotel needs are different. I love the Splendido Mare (www.hotelsplendido.com) on the water in Portofino. The Amanpuri (www.amanresorts.com) in Phuket is an experience, as is the Banyan Tree (www.amanresorts.com) on Bintan Island , just a short ferry ride from Singapore. And, of course, Cala di Volpe in Costa Smerelda. I also love those tiny, quaint, family run hotels that are often very reasonably priced and not yet “discovered”: The Hieracon Hotel in Carloforte, Sardinia is an example. I love Carloforte; it’s unique because of its Ligurian heritage, and the Hieracon sits right on the harbour. Beautiful.
Do you collect anything on your travels? I seem to collect clothes in Italy. Other than that, most of my collectables are eaten or drunk within 24 hours. It may be a cheese, a wine, bottarga or some other transportable obscurity, but it will almost certainly be edible.
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