This holiday season we had fun catching up with Gianluca Vacchi, business magnate, producer, global DJ and Instagram star. Like many, we have been fans of his after seeing his infamous yacht dancing and stylish travel clips dubbed #GVLifestyle. In our chat, we learn about his business background and how he is enjoying his second life to the fullest each day. He dishes about how he started his music career, working with music labels, and his practice of healthy eating and daily workouts. Quickly in, we recognized this is also a man to learn from, and we're fortunate to share his message to be diligent to earn success, feed curiosity and enjoy.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How do you define the #GVLifestyle?
GIANLUCA VACCHI: The world is my playground, enjoy life, every minute of it.
AM: You caught the world’s eye about a year and a half ago dancing on your yacht – you attribute your passion to dancing due to your abuela who was in Argentina – where do you attribute your ability to produce and DJ?
GV: Music runs in my family, that definitely helps. I followed piano lessons when I grew up in Bologna. My close cousin grew up to be a contemporary composer, so this also influenced me when I was younger.
J Balvin reached out to me via Instagram, that’s how we became friends and he, together with my other close friend Luis Fonsi, began to offer me advice to start a new career in music. And that’s what I did!
AM: Prior to being an entertainer, DJ and social media star – you enjoyed a successful career in business. How did you transition from the corporate world to one that allows you to showcase your fun style?
GV: When I was 45, I was still a financial guy, an entrepreneur. I still am. By that time, I had joined twelve different sectors with many different companies – travel, video games, machinery production, plastic watches, among others. But after a certain point, that kind of life just didn’t move my curiosity any more. I am not driven by an accumulation of money. It was important to me when I was 20, because most young men want to accomplish something. Though it may not be a sole target, it can be a reflection of and a result of things done well.
AM: Via your Instagram, we know that you are all about enjoying life which is also the title of your book - #ENJOY how important is it to have this concept within your life?
GV: I’m now enjoying my second life and it’s an amazing experience. When I was 45 I realized I had achieved everything I wanted, it was time to find other ways to spend the rest of my life. The world is my playground and I live life to the fullest, I enjoy life every day.
AM: We love that you never refuse impromptu advice to people and that definitely makes you a role model in our book. About your view that life is a loan and people need to dream more – what are some tips that you have about achieving goals, staying curious and not just surviving?
GV: To answer this, I need to start by speaking about my philosophy on life. It’s very important, because it’s the foundation upon which I base how to live. I consider myself a guest of my own life. It’s like it was borrowed, or it’s a loan. I'm going to give it back; I just don’t know when. Every time I feel myself starting to get tired or bored, I try to change something. Life is a huge privilege. I believe in respecting others, but first I need to respect my desire, my dreams, and myself.
GV: It’s very important to work with a label that supports you, especially when you’re a beginning artist like me. Universal is a major label who can help me develop myself as a producer. I’m very happy to be working with them.
AM: What is it about latin music and reggaeton that inspires your work?
GV: Latin music is amongst one of my favorite music genres. The rhythm of the songs are really catchy, music you can really dance to. And you know I really love to dance.
AM: You travel frequently, what are 3 must have items that are always in your bag regardless of the city that you are in?
GV: I travel so much, I actually only get to spend about 60 days a year now in Italy. The constant change is keeping me alive. When I travel, I never leave without my headphones, glasses and phone!
AM: With 2019 around the corner, what festivals and/or residencies are on your calendar that we should keep an eye out for?
GV: There are so many good things coming in 2019, I can’t wait to share with all of you. We will kick-off in January with gigs in NY and Miami and of course I can’t wait for the summer season to start again. For the future I really plan on further perfecting my skills as a DJ and producer. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but there are definitely some great things coming up.
AM: You have collaborated with Luis Fonsi and have had producers such as Andres Torres and Mauricio Rengifo who have worked on your music. Who else will you be working with that we should keep an eye out for?
GV: In one of my videos you see me dancing with MC Fioti, that’s all I can say for now...
AM: With the year coming to a close, what are the good things that took place this year that you enjoyed, what are items that you felt would be taken care of this year but will be tackled next year due to time and what items will be released next year that you can share with us that we should keep an eye out for?
GV: I look back at 2018 with a big smile on my face. So many good things, like my own party Vibra! At Amnesia in Ibiza and releasing Sigamos Bailando and Love with Sebastian Yatra. Every year I try to improve myself and work on further perfecting my skills as a DJ and producer to DJ and produce even better in 2019. So many good things to come in 2019, stay tuned!
AM: We know that you spend a lot of your time in Miami – where would we find you grabbing a drink/meal, shopping and working out?
GV: I love Miami and I love being here during the winter in Europe. It is very hard for me to pick a favorite place to eat, drink and shop, since there are a lot of good places in Miami! But a new hotspot I really love is restaurant Swan! Great restaurant with a modern cuisine. There are so many good gyms in Miami and sometimes I go for a run at the beach.
AM: What is a typical day like for you when you know that you will be playing a set?
GV: Every day I work out, so also on the days I have a performance. Afterwards I prepare my set and go through all my music. I still practice a lot, since my goal is to get better and better. Before the show I like to have dinner with my crew, so I have enough energy for my performance.
AM: What workouts and eating choices do you to maintain such a great body?
GV: I maintain a very healthy lifestyle, I love to work-out and try to do this daily. From time to time I share some work-out video’s on my Instagram account to share the type of work-outs I like to do with my followers. Being fit gives you a great feeling of power and strength.
AM: How many tattoos do you have and how do you decide what will be the next work of art that will appear on your body?
GV: I have more than a 100 tattoos and they are all connected to my personal life. I got my first tattoo when I was 33, now you see people getting tattoos at the age of 15, but you first need to experience life and translate that experience in a tattoo.
AM: Your pajama and swim trunk game is pretty strong, describe some of your favorites in your collection.
GV: Fashion is important in my life. I’m Italian so we do take our time when it comes to fashion. I own like 40 different tuxedos and I have 100 different hats. I guess you can say that these items belong to my favorites.
AM: We hear that you are becoming an actor, can’t wait to see that happen – do you have any upcoming projects that you can share with us and who are you looking forward to working with?
GV: I am always open to new things and challenges. Keep an eye open for 2019, new and big things are coming!
As an athlete her entire life, Kait Hurley ran cross country and track competitively in high school as well as running at the Division 1 level in college. While her coach in highschool pushed her to be the best, there was a balance of staying focused while keeping it fun. But when she was in college, she realized that she was chasing perfection.
This drive to train harder, be faster and to lose weight to do better continued well after she stopped competing and thus created anxieties. As she began working in the health and wellness industry she tried foods, changed her exercises and reduced her anxiousness.
A breaking point after a series of anxiety attacks led her to consider meditation, although she was concerned that it would make her lose her edge and drive. She realized that by embracing this method she felt more steady and was better at responding to stress.
Even with the benefits of this practice, she still dreaded doing it and felt that after working long hours that she didn't want to choose between working out and meditating.
When she combined movement with meditation, she was able to start exercising and moving her body before she even meditated which let her lose the feelings of dread that she had. By harnessing the energy and endorphins created during her sweat sessions, she found that she was more patient and open to the experience of sitting, thus enjoying the practice. It was understanding this element that led her to launch Move & Meditate Method.
Kait and her husband Peter launched the KAIT app in November. It's the first app to fuse a variety of exercise styles with meditation. KAIT offers a wide ray of audio and video classes on the go to boost your energy, uncover your inner strength, and develop a more resilient body and mind. All classes focus on helping you be more present in your body and in the moment. Movement sessions are set to pumping music and include everything from high intensity sweat fests to audio-only-running workouts to grounded yoga flows to restorative, chill options if your body needs a break. Every class ends with a short, guided meditation to help you train your attention and refine your ability to work more skillfully with the energies of the heart and mind.
With KAIT, you can get your workout and meditation done in as little as 20 minutes. Most classes do not require any other props than a yoga mat or an optional set of 2-pound weights. Classes are available for download for offline functionality when you’re looking to fully disconnect and can be streamed to your TV via for the best visual experience.
KAIT offers a variety of guided programs to stay consistent and deepen your practice. With the app’s scheduling capability, you can pencil workouts into your calendar for up to two weeks, so you know exactly when you can make time for yourself. To optimize follow through, KAIT sends friendly follow up reminders and tips to get the best results. New classes are added on a monthly basis. Feedback from subscribers is appreciated as they received requests for a prenatal Move + Meditate class, so Kait teamed up with her friend Arianna Maag to make it available and it’s become one of the most popular classes!
Last summer, Move & Meditate Method partnered with Andrea Mason from Abhinaya to co-lead the brand's first retreat last summer in Bali. They will do it again in April 5th - 10th in 2019 (there are a few spots left so DM them to snag a spot).
In addition to the app and retreat, the method has partnered with nonprofits and organizations who are fighting racial and social justice. Due to their work to dismantle white supremacy and to make a safer world, those who do this work can feel burned out due to the emotional labor they extend. By providing this service to them, they can take better care of themselves and can continue making an impact.
MOVE & MEDITATE METHOD
A lifelong struggle with obesity, being a 20-year Silicon Valley veteran, engineer and serial entrepreneur led Aly Orady to become the CEO and founder of Tonal. Turning to weight training he was able to lose 70lbs, but this schedule wasn’t sustainable as a sizable chunk of his day was eaten up just getting to the gym. Once he got to the gym he had to wait around for machines and equipment to become available. Refusing to believe that he needed to sacrifice his time for a better body, and unable to find a better solution, he invented one. Using electromagnetics to create electronic resistance he created a way to replace the gym with a single digital weight machine.
Tonal launched in August 2018 and is available to demo in-person at their showroom in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow (1824 Union Street). Tonal is available throughout California and will be available nationally in early Q1 2019. For those in NYC, there is a showroom at Soho House as well to see this for members of this space.
It is billed as the world’s most intelligent fitness system and the first truly personalized approach to strength training.Tonal enables people to lead healthier lives by providing them with the technology, guidance, and community support to effectively reach their fitness goals.
Based on each individual's strength baseline assessment and fitness goals, Tonal recommends the ideal programs and workouts for you. Hundreds of hours of expert coaching, with a variety of personalities and styles, guide you through multi-week programs based on your goals, with different exercises each day to maximize results. Try stand-alone workouts with a variety of coaches, or choose a multi-week program that’s right for you, and switch as often as you like.
Their coaches represent a broad range of training philosophies and motivational techniques with programs designed for muscle building, mobility, injury prevention, weight loss, and sports performance.
Since Tonal can push over the air software updates and new content, expect several new training formats in the coming year, they are continually shooting new content, as well as new software-enabled features and social experiences that connect Tonal users to each other.
1824 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
There are a number of events surrounding the holiday from those that you plan to those that just happen! We took some time to get tips from Chef Tom Douglas, an Executive Chef, Restaurateur of Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen Restaurant Group, author and radio show talk host. He is known for his innovative role in defining Pacific Northwest cuisine. He won a James Beard Award in 1994 for Best Northwest Chef and in 2012 he won another for Best Restaurateur. He is the author of Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen which was named the Best American Cookbook by the James Beard Foundation and KitchenAid in 2001. Later he would appear on an episode of Food Network's Iron Chef America where he defeated Chef Masaharu Morimoto.
With a number of restaurants under his belt, Prosser Farm which provides all his restaurants with organically grown produce, a catering business, an event space, a product line of sauces and spices, a cooking school and NY Times Best Selling Author, he seemed like the perfect person to get us ready for our culinary challenges as well as how to be the hostest with the mostest.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When did you realize that you wanted to be a chef?
CHEF TOM DOUGLAS: Well you know, back in Highschool, I took Home Ec and it turns out there were a lot of girls in Home Ec and it seemed like I was in the right spot! I’ve been enamored with it ever since and it has become my life’s challenge, work and passion.
AM: How do you define your style of cooking?
CTD: I would call it Northwest in a way because for us the real key is to keep it simple. For us, I’d say that we spend about 50% of our time on trying to buy the best product and then really, it’s all about getting out of the way whether that comes down to wine or fish or meat. You just try to buy the most delicious things, put them together, walk away and let people enjoy them. That’s a real Northwest style.
AM: What is the most important part of creating a successful holiday party.
CTD: The plan! You have to have a plan. I plan everything – the dishware and the wines. I buy the wine about a week in advance so I can taste them and see what kinds of foods I want to serve with them. For me, at a party, I always want to have a little sparkling wine for people when they walk through the front door so I bought the Domaine Ste Michelle Brut and I made a homemade cranberry syrup, I got some cranberry bitters at the store and I made what I like to call, a Cranberry Fizz. It’s a welcoming pink fizz cocktail that goes great with Goat Cheese Fondue which is goat cheese, cream and chives that are mixed together – super simple with grilled bread and apple slices which gives you a welcoming feeling that says, “I’m happy to have you at my house.”
AM: That sounds pretty easy for a lot of people to do!
CTD: Well, it’s super easy and I serve them in individual goat cheese fondue pots so that you don’t have the big crush! A lot of people have the one big fondue pot and it gets a little funky in there after a few minutes. With these, I can just put them around the house because they have little tealight candles under them and you can refresh them at any point and just a couple of people are eating out of them. It’s a nice way and trick to have a successful fondue party.
AM: You mentioned that you want to test the wine about a week in advance – why is this something that we should do?
CTD: Because I want to think about things and get things prepped in advance. So let’s take this Eroica Riesling for example, I tried it and it has this lemony kind of citrusy flavor. It’s a bit sweet and has nice acidity. It seemed to me that it would go with all sorts of foods and I know that in my menu planning, I want some vegetarian and some not and some gluten free and some not for dishes. So it’s all part of that process and I thought about the wine and decided on a leek and potato empanada. It’s got cheese tarragon in it which is fragrant and I just baked them off and the treat is that I can get them all made up and then freeze them raw so an hour or two before your party, you can pull them out and bake them and it feels like you made them that afternoon. Those are little tricks of the trade that help you to be a more successful party planner.
AM: How easy is it for someone to take a dish and change it for those that are vegetarian, gluten free or other kinds of dietary needs?
CTD: Well it’s super easy because just 10 years ago, it was hard to find a good gluten-free flour, now they’re all over the place and they’re really good! Gluten-free flour, pasta, you name it – the key has been into the lock on gluten- free so we have delicious foods that way. Simplicity is key and vegetarian is key too so this little fennel tart that I made – a little caramel, a little fresh fennel slices and a little gluten free fennel on top, you cook them upside down so when you pop them out you get this golden mahogany nugget of deliciousness and you can serve it just like that or you can take a nice piece of Wagyu beautiful steak like what I have here and sear it and slice it thin and put it right on top and now you have a meat eaters delight. So with the same dish, you have made a classic dish that no one has had vegetarian wise and something for the meat eater that is coming to the party.
You know that you’re going to have red wine and we have the Chateau St Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon from Indian Wells Vineyards so you need a rich dish to go with a wine like that. You’ve got a party with all of these different kinds of wines and it really helps to try them in advance and then to plan the apps to go with them!
AM: What are ingredients that we should always have at home just in case someone comes by that we don’t expect and then it becomes a bit of a party?
CTD: That happens all the time at my house – that’s so funny! There are some really good premade dough out there. I try to always keep in my freezer, a pie dough and puff pastry dough. It’s the beginning of everything good and I always keep a chunk of smoked salmon in my fridge. We have beautiful wild salmon here and it would go along with all of these wines (probably not the red one that we talked about). I always keep that around and have good crackers, a little fresh chevre (goat cheese) – those are some of my ideas on quick apps to get things rolling.
AM: What are your suggestions for dishes to make for office parties for busy people that want to look like they have spent so much time on them?
CTD: Well they have to look good right? I mean, if you’re bringing it to work, it’s going to be hours later. One of the dishes I love to make which everybody loves them is a Roasted Vegetable Salad. It goes great with a Northwest Chardonnay. Take all the different veggies – fennel, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, pepper rings – all those different vegetables, douse them with a little olive oil and pop them into a 500 degree oven and roast them off until you have all kinds of caramelized edges, and dress them with lemon juice and vinegar. Bring a bottle of the Eroica and bring it to the office as you’re going to be a hero because you have solved every problem right? You’ve solved gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan!
This time of year, there are a number of activities that are pushing for our attention. There are notifications on our phones, making various appointments, checking that we're not missing studio time at yoga as well as getting our nails done. There are times where you forget to eat or even to breathe! Breathing is one of our most vital tasks and as much as we do it, many of us are not doing it right! We took a moment to chat with Poppy Jamie, Breathing Instructor and enthusiast, TV presenter, Co-Founder/Designer of Pop and Suki and Founder of Happy Not Perfect, a new app and lifestyle brand that recently launched to find out what a breathing workshop is, how we do it and what led her to this career!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Where did the year go? How is it almost Christmas.
POPPY JAMIE: I know right, I mean I was just telling myself, where did the year go and how can it be the end of the year already? At least we have the holidays to look forward to!
AM: You cover a number of areas so in looking at your background, how did you get into doing TV, have a successful line – Pop & Suki (accessory line created by best friends Poppy and actress and model Suki Waterhouse), your app/lifestyle brand, Happy Not Perfect as well as being a breath enthusiast?
PJ: Well really, I was inspired I suppose by my upbringing. My mum is a hypnotherapist and my dad is an entrepreneur. When we were growing up, we spoke about the mind at the age of 8 and it was so normal to talk about emotions, how you process them, how you manage your mind, meditation, breathing. These were all things that were just as normal as brushing your teeth, washing your face and going out for a walk. Mental health has been such a part of the way that I was brought up and in my DNA.
I always knew that I wanted to be a TV presenter. Ever since I knew I could talk, I wanted to be able to communicate with people because I just found it so incredible how you could share a conversation and storytelling and that really led me to my first career as a TV presenter and host. While I was a TV host, that was the thing that really gave me insight into this social setting and made me analyze what people were looking at and how they were reacting to things. When I launched my show on SnapChat, PillowTalk (the first show to air on SnapChat), I would see hundreds of thousands of messages of people just reacting about what they were thinking, feeling and going through. At that moment, it was my upbringing and where I was in my career that came together. I would start to call up my mum and I would ask her advice on how I should respond to these questions that included people that were struggling at work/school or feeling stressed about their relationship. In that moment I realized how little we know about the mind and how fortunate I was to have a mum that would teach me about the mind and these sort of things. I began to wonder how I could go about sharing my mum and putting her into an app and to give her to everyone. It wouldn’t matter where you were or what time of day it was – it’s about the thought process. It’s really what a great therapist does – they help you process your thoughts and find a new perspective by using different tools such as breathing and journaling. It’s funny that my career has gone in so many different directions, but it all happened to go into the creation of Happy Not Perfect.
At the time, I was living in LA with my best friend and that’s how the handbags started. My best friend and I are two of the most disorganized girls that you could ever meet as we’re always losing things and we thought that if we could design handbags, we’d be less disorganized. It’s been a really crazy 3 years and I couldn’t be happier working on these things that I now are really helping people. We have so many messages a day where people are like, “Oh my God this is really helping me.” People thanking us on teaching them how to breathe and those who were feeling low before Happy Not Perfect and n ow after using it they feel less anxious. I love how I am doing my part into what I should be doing.
AM: I love how connected it is and how the app also has an extension as a lifestyle brand with products that are attached to it as well – correct?
PJ: Exactly! We found that in our focus groups that people really struggled with dealing with things and that Millennials are some of the most stressed out people that ever lived. It showed through our qualitative research in America, Europe and Australia that we did. I wondered what we should do and how could we assist in managing their stress levels and people were silent about it. That’s when I learned that people weren’t so sure on what they could do to manage their mental well being. People wanted to know what they could use! This holds true for why there is product in Happy Not Perfect as well as why I was intrigued to work with Breathe Right Strips. Even a simple thing like putting the strip on your nose, you can sleep better because you are getting more air and it’s an upward spiral. Suddenly you have a clearer mind in the morning and it’s a simple thing that can help you feel better. We found that with the site and lifestyle components that everyone can benefit from these items.
AM: We were unable to attend the breath workshop which was unfortunate, but how did this partnership between yourself and Breathe Right Strips come about as we understand the natural synergy here.
PJ: I’ve been using Breathe Right for years and it has been a bit of my secret hack! When I trained as a breathing instructor and when I would do my classes in London, NY and LA afterwards I would say, if you guys are struggling with breathing at night when you’re trying to sleep, you should use these strips. Someone then said, “I know them – you should connect with them.” I was being their biggest advocate even before they knew me because I loved them. Then we were connected and I was so happy about that because I love the natural way that you can just be help yourself and be a little more relaxed and have a clearer mind. It’s about sometimes having the simplest thing like a breathing strip and learning how to breathe into your belly that will have a formative effect on your mental and your physical health.
AM: I heard that you have a 24kt gold Breathe Right Strip – is this true?
PJ: I do and I’m very excited about my it and honestly, it’s one of my favorite beautiful mantle pieces! I mean I never ever thought that I would have a 24kt gold basically nose statue! Now I do! I was traveling back from NY to London because my parents were so excited to see this and it is the coolest thing. I carried it in my hand luggage and when I went through security, nobody could believe my gold karat nose and it has now traveled halfway across the country and it is now very close to my heart.
AM: What’s it like going through a breathing workshop and how do you guide people through their proper breathe?
PJ: A breathing workshop begins with teaching people how to breathe. When I first started out as a breathing instructor under Dr. Belisa Vranich, who is one of the leading experts in the world, she is the author of Breathe and she is one of the most crucial women that I have ever met. I couldn’t believe it when she said that 9 out of 10 people breathe incorrectly! It’s unbelievable. We all breathe, but when you realize that we pick up bad breathing habits from the age of 5 because we go to school and begin to hunch over tables and we start breathing too much air and we start to do shallow mouth breathing. This is a forced habit from the central nervous system it pumps up our stress level and makes us feel like we’re in danger and we have that fight or flight feeling. But when you start engaging in belly breathing and slowly inhale through your nose and slowly exhale with lower body breath, it emulates your vega nerve and takes you out of that fight or flight state.
This is a calming breath that allows you to have a pretty instantaneous moment of clarity. You make better decisions and it reduces your nerves. So the breathing teaching and the breathing workshop teaches you the power of learning how to relax your nervous system when you need to and the best way to do that is through nose/belly breathing, and then once you kind of learn that, we can practice by putting weight on our bellies to practice bringing that weight up and bringing it back down, as that is helpful. A great trick to do this is to do so when you’re in bed and you can’t get yourself to sleep, you can put a heavy book on your belly to breathe the book up and to breathe it back down (editor’s note: this is an exercise to calm you down to be able to sleep as the book is only for the breathing practice). It’s a great trick and if you have friends who are a bit anxious or stressed out, teach them to lie down, put a book on their belly to breathe it up and down as it is really calming and relaxing. I really like to teach people tools that they can share with their friends and family. And then, we go into a kind of breath work meditation which uses the breath to sink into a meditative state and during the breath workshop that we did a few weeks back at the event, we did a Love and Kindness Meditation, which is one of the scientifically backed meditations that really help to nurture kindness and compassion not only for ourselves, but for those around us and after experiencing that, we come out of meditation which lasts at about half an hour or 45 minutes in terms of the education, the practicing and the meditation. Hopefully everyone leaves feeling a little bit happier and calmer and a lot less stressed.
AM: That sounds fantastic. With a new year coming up, there is a lot of stress and anxiety that people will have in wanting to do resolutions and things that are different, but also coming down from a busy holiday season – how can breath work help with this so that they can calm down and do what they need to during the day?
PJ: This is why I love breathing! It doesn’t mean that you have to meditate for 20 minutes if you don’t have time. The holidays are so busy and you have loads of family around. So the belly breath which I actually do this while I am talking with someone or perhaps in a stressful meeting, I lightly put my hands on my belly and I start breathing slowly into my nose and out through my nose into my belly. I consciously have this hack knowing that I have it whenever I need it is powerful.
Even if you want to just take a couple of moments in the morning to just lie down on your back and to just focus on your breathing through your nose and down for a couple of minutes as it really just sets your nervous system. During the holiday season, it’s so hectic because people are buying their presents and you need these short effective tricks for your nervous system and belly breathing is definitely one of them and anyone can do it which is fantastic!
AM: You’re based in NYC where would we find you grabbing a drink/meal and working out?
PJ: Oh my gosh my new favorite place is abcV the new vegan place that I am newly obsessed with that! I have to say that no one can't beat The Bowery Hotel! It's really magical and fun and I always have a lot of friends there. I like to think that wellness is a little bit of everything. It’s not only about looking after your mind, but it doesn’t mean depriving yourself of other things. It’s a bit of everything. My favorite yoga studio is Yoga Vida and I love this yoga instructor named Will Schneider who is my favorite. I also love dancing as it’s incredible for your mental health and great for a mood boost that makes you feel good. If I am in a really dedicated mood, I love SLT which is incredible, but dancing and yoga are really my thing as I find yoga is really great for the mind and to stretch the body, you need to relax the mind. This exercise incorporated meditation and I’m a big yoga fan.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Poppy Jamie + Happy Not Perfect
Read more from the Dec Issue of Athleisure Mag and see It Begins and Ends with the Breath with Poppy Jamie in mag.
Season 1; Debuts 12.21.18
This classic novel created by William Thackeray comes to Prime Original as a 7-part miniseries that focuses on an orphan girl that climbs the social ladder of English society in the Georgian era.
Her mobility takes place in a post Napoleonic defeat. Becky Sharp is focused on rising above her station regardless of the consequences and social implications that may take place in doing so.
Every movement that drives her forward creates an entrance into King George IV's court as she breaks the hearts and fortunes of those that happen to fall between her and her ultimate ascension.
REMASTERED WHO KILLED JAM MASTER JAY
Netflix; Debuts 12.07.18
Musically speaking, there are a number of mysteries involving the deaths of great artists, musicians and performers. In 2002 at the age of 37, Jason Mizell (Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC) was added to this list. Friends and family of this artist have toiled over the DJ's unsolved murder. In Netflix's docu-series, ReMastered, each episode analyzes these deaths and in the latest installment (the first episode looks at Bob Marley's attempted assassination and the second looks at the political evolution of Johnny Cash) they investigate, "Who Killed Jam Master Jay?"
This show looks at his rise in the music industry in the 80s with Run-DMC along with interviews of those who were impressed and inspired by his work. But it all comes to a head when the series focuses on his murder when his individuals were buzzed into his Queens recording studio and moments later, they opened fire killing the hip-hop legend.
Theories of how this happened includes, looking at witnesses that were intimidated, security cameras that were tampered and more. As someone that was known as a peaceful force in the industry, the idea of having so many unanswered questions that have resulted in a lack of justice for his friends and family and no convictions is perplexing.
The Boston Globe's Spotlight Team sits down and investigates football's Aaron Hernandez as he climbed the ladder from high school sports in Bristol to playing with the New England Patriots and hitting the stage of the Super Bowl. But as quickly as he moved closer to his epic dream, he found himself a convicted murderer years later.
The investigative team looks at the story of Anthony Hernandez's life through the crimes he committed and how football via brain damage may have contributed to his violent behavior. Were his sexual interests in a masculine football culture also an element to how he approached his life? Did elite coach interests trump his needs when he wasn't ready to participate as a mature adult despite his skills? The podcast shares new documents as well as audio about his life, death and what has taken place since.
When it comes to getting glamorous hair many of the world's celebs turn to Sarah Potempa, a bicoastal hairstylist whose clientele includes: Lea Michele, Emily Blunt, Ana de Armas, Busy Philipps and Millie Bobby Brown. Editorially, her work has graced shoots for Vogue, Paper, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and W. In addition, she has been the hair partner for a number of Fashion Week shows as well as Victoria's Secret shows. She is the Creator and CEO of the best-selling Beachwaver Co. curling iron and styling tools.
We took some time to chat with this hair visionary to find out about how she came up with this successful line, upcoming launches and her participation as a partner in the World Surf League as the title sponsor of the first ever Beachwaver Maui Pro.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about the a-ha moment that took place for you to create The Beachwaver Co.
SARAH POTEMPA: My “aha” moment came when I was on the phone with a beauty editor describing how to get gorgeous, red carpet worthy waves at home. I explained to the editor, as I had done many times on tv segments, how-to videos, and beauty articles, how you had to hold the curling iron upside down and wrap the hair backwards. She said it was too confusing to write "upside down and backwards" and sounded difficult to do on your own hair. So when we hung up, I sat down and drew out the idea to have an iron that could be held upright, allowing you to curl both sides of your hair seamlessly with the push of a button. I saw a need for a curling iron that all women could use on themselves; one that would give incredible results without a hairdresser.
The Beachwaver is a rotating curling iron that you hold upright. It rotates in both directions and you control it with the touch of a button! All you have to do is clamp the hair, tap the arrow away from the face, hold the barrel for 3-4 seconds and release straight down for a perfect wave. It also has 350 custom parts and 3 computer boards, which control features like the digital temperature setting, dual rotation, and heat up and rotation speed allowing for more customized use.
AM: With the holidays coming up, what are items from your line that we should make sure we’re gifting to others or snagging for ourselves?
SP: We recently launched our Beachwaver S Series in a Dual Voltage model; this is a perfect holiday gift as it has the same user-friendly functions but is compatible internationally so it can travel with you anywhere! Its ceramic, rotating barrel provides easy, quality waves in minutes! The new launches from our new Beachwaver Co. Collection are must-haves as well – Great Barrier Heat Protectant Hairspray to create a protective barrier while heatstyling and Second Chance Dry Shampoo to revive your hair and restore fullness. The holidays are a busy time so all these products combined will make sure your hair can withstand 2nd or even 3rd day hair, and make touch-ups super easy and quick.
AM: Tell us about your sponsorship of the World Surf’s League Maui Women’s Pro Championship – how did it come about, what will you be doing in this partnership and how synergistic is this with your brand?
SP: The Beachwaver Co. is thrilled to be partnered with the WSL as title sponsor of the first-ever Beachwaver Maui Pro. This partnership extends beyond a shared love of beautiful beaches and perfect waves. We are proud to partner with such strong athletes and role models and I am so excited to work with these incredible women, with equally incredible stories, who are inspirations to people around the world, and who inspire us, too. Our brand shares so many of the same philosophies as the WSL, between innovation, women’s empowerment, inspiration, and especially the fact that they just announced equal pay for all athletes – so amazing! We are the brand known for creating gorgeous beachy waves so it just made sense to partner up with the WSL and these phenomenal athletes and bring our fans and audience along to Maui as we chase the perfect wave together!
AM: With the holidays coming up, we all love doing something fun with our hair. What would you suggest as an easy quick do and let us know the tools of the trade that we need to get to do it.
SP: I love this Double Half-Up with Braids and Beachwaves using the Beachwaver and these super cute accessories we just launched. This is a really fun and festive look to try for the holidays!
Step 1. Prep the hair using The Beachwaver Co. Great Barrier Heat Protectant Hairspray. Section off the top half of your hair and divide into two equal parts. Pull each section into a high ponytail and secure with an elastic.
Step 2. Using The Beachwaver Co. Half Up, create two topknots by pulling each ponytail through the Half Up and slide it towards the ends. Roll the Half-Up down towards the base and bend each side under. Create two 3-strand braids under each topknot and secure the ends with an elastic. Take two of The Beachwaver Co. Velvet Bows and clip directly underneath each topknot.
Step 3. Curl using The Beachwaver S1.25, rotating the hair away from the face and finish with The Great Barrier Heat Protectant Hairspray for additional lightweight hold.
AM: Are there new products that you are releasing next year that we should keep an eye out for?
SP: Yes! Creating innovation in product development is a huge passion for us as a brand. With the success of the patented Beachwaver® Tools, our fans were constantly asking for products to pair with their Beachwaver or Coast Pro styling iron! As a women owned company, we wanted to create a vegan, cruelty-free line that was free of negative energy and we have spent over 2 years creating innovative formulas with strengthening benefits, as well as styling. The Beachwaver Co. Collection products are free of parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, mineral oil, benzophenone, and phthalates, and that’s something my sisters and I are so proud of. We worked closely together on this for years and felt that we had a responsibility to future generations to create products that are not only good for humans, but also for the environment. Great Barrier Heat Protectant Hairspray and Second Chance Dry Shampoo are available now on Beachwaver.com and more will be launching in early 2019 so keep your eyes peeled on Instagram @sarahpotempa and @thebeachwaver!
AM: How are you spending the holiday this year?
SP: With my family!
AM: How do you take time for yourself to ensure that you have appropriate downtime?
SP: One of my favorite ways to unwind in my downtime is with Green tea, a piece of dark chocolate, listening to the Avett Brothers on our record player and sitting by the fire! I also have two kids and a huge 125 lb. Alaskan Malamute puppy!! On our days off, we love to go to the dog park, cook brunch, and go on a bike ride through the forest preserve by our house! To really unwind and relax, I go to hot yoga with my sister and get a good iced coffee cold brew after!
ATHLEISURE MAG: We had the chance to talk to Australian 6X world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore briefly about her win. Since her entry into women's professional surfing in 2007, she has dominated the scene by winning her first world title as a rookie, then 3 consecutive world titles (no other surfer in men's or women's) can claim this accolade! In addition to her 6 ASP World Titles, she has 24 Elite World Tour victories as well!
What does it mean to take this title at the Beachwaver Maui Pro and what is the state of women's surfing now?
STEPHANIE GILMORE: This season has been incredible and to win my 7th WSL Title in Honolua Bay at the Beachwaver Maui Pro was so special. Women's surfing has never been in a better place - the level on the tour just keeps going up and up, the recent prize money equality announcement was groundbreaking and the amazing support of brands like Beachwaver is so important. I can't wait for 2019!
PHOTOS COURTESY | BEACHWAVER + WSL
When it comes to someone who has a number of credits across verticals to her name in entertainment, La La Anthony is on that list. This powerhouse started in radio, went on to VJ on MTV's TRL, is a best selling author, a beauty mogul with her brand La La Anthony Motives, had a successful reality series and directs/produces. As an actress in a number of movies and shows, fans know her as LaKeisha in STARZ's Power. Currently she is taping the upcoming season of Power and with the year coming to a close, we wanted to to know about the importance of leaning into all of your talents - no matter how many there are, how she is able to multi-task and be present and to continue her success.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When you say La La Anthony, you are a legacy. Starting from radio and many of us first heard you as a VJ on MTV, to being someone who owns a beauty line and is an actress and best selling author. How important is it to establish yourself as a powerhouse not only for yourself, but for women and women of color?
LA LA ANTHONY: I think it’s important! You want to stand for something and be about something. For me, it’s always been about show people that you can do more than just one thing and be great at it. You can start in radio, be a VJ, have a reality show, be an actress, be an author, be a producer and be great at all of them! So many times people try to put us in these boxes and say, “if you’re a VJ, that’s all you’re going to be and if you’re a radio host, that’s all you’re going to be.” I’m just trying to continually break those misconceptions and those barriers down.
AM: We know that we’re busy and many of us are in a number of projects, but you are constantly on the move – how do you keep it together with your schedule, your family, a number of red carpets….
LA: I always say that I don't sleep! But no, you have to prioritize and I always say that my son comes before anything else. Being a mom is my most important job and I put him before anything. I have a great support system and am so fortunate to have a family that helps me out with Kiyan when I need it, friends that can help me out so if I’m at work at 4am in the morning or like a day like today that the alarm went off at 5:30am in the morning and I was like, ugh – I know that my mom is there to help and Melo is an amazing dad and has always stepped in and been a great father and partner for me when it comes to raising Kiyan. We just make it work!
AM: School is a large part of your focus with Kiyan and we’re in the midst of cold season, how do you go against that to make sure that your son is fine and you coming off of set with all the germs that are found in these areas?
LA: The first thing is to wash your hands and I’m constantly doing that! I’m shaking people’s hands all day, Kiyan’s hands and I’m always disinfecting and using Lysol disinfecting spray to take care of my kitchen, bathroom, video game console, and it brings me to the partnership that I have with them known as the One Less Sick Day Program. It’s all about reducing the number of sick days in school which starts at home. You have to make sure that you’re doing your part at home so that these kids aren’t coming into the school sick. When kids have sick days, not only are they not feeling well, but when you’re at work, it also throws your schedule off. They’re missing school or Kiyan’s missing school and basketball practice and it throws everything into disarray. We want to prevent that and one of the things that Lysol is doing is providing 10,000 schools with Kinsa thermometers which helps with early detection of cold and flu symptoms and viruses which is great because a lot of these schools don’t have the proper tools to help with this properly and it’s why I wanted to be a part of this program.
AM: How do you stay fit because you always look amazing.
LA: I do workout and I realize that you can’t cheat the gym no matter what you do! You always have to go back to the gym. I do traditional weights with my trainer, a FlyWheel Bike in my house that they gifted me which I am so grateful for that. So I do FlyWheel at home and boxing I love. You have to find things that you do that you love or you will never be able to stick to it. I’d be lying if I said that I loved working out, but I know that it is something that I have to do to stay in shape and be healthy. But I am not one of those people that are like, “hey I’m going to the gym today and I can’t wait to work out – it’s just not me!”
AM: We’re all about moments here so who are 3 people that inspired you in your career, where those were your key moments that you needed that little push to take it to the next level.
LA: I think that watching some of my mentors from Oprah to Mrs. Obama, just they embody everything I want to be as a woman as a successful career woman. Mrs. Obama as a successful career woman, wife and mom. Oprah Winfrey, building this entire legacy and everything that she stands for – so I just watch people that I love and watch what they navigate and if I can even get a piece of what they are doing correctly, then I would be very happy! For me in my day-to-day life, it has always been my mom. She hasn’t had this amazing career, but she has given me so much life common sense that has taken me further than a lot of the business advice that I have ever gotten. Because my mom always says that, “when it is all said and done – some of these answers are just common sense and you guys just make it so complicated.” That has really helped me throughout my journey as well.
When the holiday season hits we tend to think about the umpteen events we are invited to and of course, closing out the year which means something a little different depending on what you do! We caught up with Parveen Kaur as she is in the midst of tapings for her hit show, Manifest which debuted this fall and will be back from its midseason break on Jan 7th! We have been fans of a number of her shows including Saving Hope, FX’s The Strain and Freeform's Beyond. We sat down with her to find out about what it’s like during Pilot Season, playing Saanvi on NBC’s hit show, what’s coming up for the remainder of the season and how she takes time for herself in the midst of such a crazy schedule!
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was the moment when you realized that you wanted to be an actor?
PARVEEN KAUR: Oh oh that’s a really good question! I don’t know if there was ever a particular moment, but I had always known that ever since I was really young that I was going to be in show business and I kind of went all over the place I remember at one point I was like, I am going to be a WWE wrestler and then I thought I wanted to be a stunt driver. Then I was like, I want to be a singer but it all kind of fell under this umbrella of wanting to be able to perform.
When I moved to Toronto when I was 18, I just had a friend that encouraged me to take some classes and it was something that felt natural and I had a lot of fun doing it. I think that was around the time when I felt like, yeah let’s do it – I was working at the mall and I wanted to figure out what I actually wanted to do with my life. The stars just kind of aligned in that way and then I was able to get an agent pretty quickly and then I just kind of kept at it. I mean I just really loved it and I still really just love it!
AM: That is a great story. What is Pilot Season and what is its duration as we always hear people refer to it, but it seems like there is so much that takes place within this.
PK: Yeah – so Pilot Season is typically from January to March. It’s a couple of months where studios are just trying to throw their scripts at the wall and seeing what sticks, making new projects and seeing what will be the next big thing in a condensed period of four months. All the studios are putting out their scripts and seeing what can be made and what will hopefully be their next big hit. Now Pilot Season isn’t just about being between January and March – I think that timeline has grown a little bit, but that is definitely the most. You’re going on like 4-5 auditions a day, you’re getting the script the night before and then you’re auditioning the next morning and it’s very fast.
If you are lucky to be booked for something, the Pilot gets made and then you also keep hoping that it gets turned into a series – because there are no guarantees that this will happen. Pilot Season is VERY stressful.
AM: That’s intense! So if you’re getting all of these scripts with different characters/personalities and going to the auditions, how do you prepare for all of them with so little time? What is the preparation for Pilot Season versus when you are working on a show like Manifest that you know has already been greenlit?
PK: Well you don’t prepare for it in Pilot Season. It’s like a marathon and your stamina has to be there, you go in and you just hope that whatever little time that you do get that people will see you potential! You’re right that it’s such a short period of time and you’re hoping that you go into the room and that the casting director is mindful of the fact that there is such little time and that they are looking strictly for whether I could be this person and not so much that this person is the one. It’s just not a lot of time to prepare. Now when I am on Manifest, or when you are on a show, it’s such a luxury!
AM: Knowing this, looking at you being on Manifest, how did you prepare for this role, what was the process like to be on this show and what was the audition like?
PK: So ok, I have the quintessential sad actor story for how I got into Manifest. So I was in Pilot Season and I was really close to getting on another show as I had not read the one for Manifest yet. This script fell into my lap and I fell in love with it and it doesn’t happen so often – like in every Pilot Season you may get 2 or 3 that you really love or connect with. It’s just that it’s such a high volume season that you’re reading so many of them – it may be only 1 that you really love. When I found out that I didn’t get the other project, I was really devastated and that one hit me really hard! It was my third year doing pilot season and it is really draining and you start thinking, “Oh my God it’s never going to happen.”
I was in this rut for a couple of days and then Manifest fell into my lap and then I read for Saanvi. I just took all that tension and weight that I was carrying from that rejection and I put it into my audition. It couldn’t have been more – I mean it’s that cliché of sometimes things are meant to be and happen in a certain way. Things were supposed to happen that way and I took that energy and put it into my Manifest audition and then the next day they were like, we’re going to have to fly you to NY to audition for David Frankel and I was still in kind of a funk because the same thing had happened to me for other shows. I’m based in Toronto, so you get that call and you’re being flown to LA or to NYC – where you are one step closer but it doesn’t turn into anything. So, I was still in that mind frame and when I went in to audition for David Frankel, I took the pressure off of myself and it ended up being the best audition that I have ever had in my life and it has forever changed the way that I now audition which is great!
AM: How do you describe Saanvi and what do you see as similarities or differences between you and her?
PK: Well Saanvi is a lot smarter than I am ha ha! When I had spoken to Jeff Rake showrunner and the creator of our show, he really described her to me as someone that is tough as nails, a fighter and someone that is really resilient. To me, that was very exciting to play someone like that. I feel that that part of her description is a common characteristic of her and I. Like, I have had an interesting upbringing and I have gone through a few things that made me resilient and maybe I have put up some walls and Saanvi has definitely done that as well – we haven’t seen her have any kind of breakdown like some of the other characters have had on the show. They are really struggling and Saanvi is really just pushing forward and just putting her head down and really just focusing on the work and looking at what happened. She just has this wall up and is guarded as well and I can understand that side of it. That will change as you will see when we get back to air as she has a huge turning point and I think fans will be excited to see this!
AM: We were wondering if there would be more about her backstory – does she have a love life? Her head down approach has been great, but it felt like there should be more about her and we know that you can’t give it away!
PK: No spoilers! I think that since the rest of the cast is so traumatized, not to say that she is not, but I think that she is a good balance and counterpart to the Stone family. I mean, they are really struggling as they have so much going on in their personal lives and she has been a good balance for them and the show. She is being shown as someone who has yet to absorb what has happened and she will! I’m so glad that the writers have waited to show this and I think that when people see what she is about to go through, I think that that will be really rewarding for the fans, everyone that watches and even for me as an actor. I have been patiently waiting for something to happen so when it does, I am really grateful.
AM: What’s great about the show is that you have two major pillars, obviously what has happened in terms of what took place on that flight and then it’s the Stone family. But the way that the other characters are integrated, you don’t feel that they are side people – they are just as important as the family. It’s like looking at a diamond with a number of facets and I think that’s what draws people in. You end up finishing the episode and talking with others about it and going online to read theories and it makes it a fun show to watch and to talk about.
PK: Do you have any theories?
AM: The show is maddening, in a good way as you guys are dropping these pieces where you see a connection and then something else happens and you realize that we’re still not figuring out what happened. Obviously the government is involved, but who and is there a secret arm and even the government agencies aren’t working together and are definitely not on the same page.
PK: Well, wait until Season 2 (knock on wood) because Jeff just came in to talk to me the other day and gave me kind of a vague idea of where the show would go as well as Saanvi’s character and it gave me goosebumps! It’s going to be really great and I am really excited. I think our show is still a baby too! In Season 1, we are figuring out our footing, what we are, who we are and that's really common. I mean the people that love this show will be rewarded and pleasantly surprised as they stick around for the back half of this season and as we continue into the next. We just started to get closer and closer and closer. We know the characters and we’re attached to them so we can really start finding out what’s happening. I’m excited for us to come back in the New Year.
AM: In addition to what we like about you as a person is the importance of representation for women as well as being a woman of color. How do you bring this into your roles and making sure that you’re amplifying this as much as possible in a situation where representation is still an issue?
PK: That’s definitely a complicated topic and issue because it doesn’t start with me – it starts in the writer’s room and it’s their responsibility to have representation in their room so that when they are writing the nuances of people from different walks of life, that those nuances are truthful and accurate. Also, as an actor, I can try to pick projects that reflect me as an actor as well as my community in an accurate way, but truth be told – it’s not like I get those opportunities all of the time to begin with. I’m still playing in the medical field which is very complicated and as grateful as I am to be working and on such a big show, I am still a South Asian woman playing a doctor. I would like to move away from that, but the difference with Manifest is that they have written her in a way that as we get to know her, she will be humanized and she’s not just an Indian doctor, she is someone with purpose and who you will get to know in a personal way. I think that that is why I was happy to be on the show and play someone in the medical field again. And I said that after this show I wouldn’t do it again and I hope that this show will lead to opportunities to play different characters. I think that that would be a blessing and all that I can do is to bring as much humanity to Saanvi as I can and as much nuance as I can and hope that people love her and appreciate her. There are a lot of people that watch and there are young people that are looking at who we are, who watch and are inspired by Saanvi, as well as my journey as an actor.
It’s a complicated question as far as how I deal with it and I think it really boils down to the writer’s room and asking them! I always find it to be counterproductive when people ask people of color what they think about diversity as I’m like, “you don’t have to ask me – I already know it.” I can talk about it for days – I understand it. It’s the people in power – those who are making the decisions they are the ones that need to be asked about diversity as they are the ones that need to start answering that question for themselves.
AM: You recently were in a film, are there additional areas in TV/Film that you would like to tackle – perhaps directing or producing?
PK: I would like to try to break into fashion!
PK: Yeah, it’s my first love. I would like to start breaking into that world in some way. I’m not sure into what capacity I could, but that is my heart. I like fashion, styling, creative directing. It gives me a lot of joy. I have been sewing since I was a kid and I was one of the people that would lock myself in my room coming home after school and by high school I was making the clothes that I made – it was therapeutic. It was a great expression for me and it took a lot of my frustrations and feelings that I felt as a child and it was put into clothing. So that’s a big passion of mine that I hope that I get the opportunity to work in, even if it’s just wearing the clothing.
I don’t know if I can get away with just making something at this point, but I am so inspired by fashion and the work that we do. Our costumes and wardrobing are a big part of our characters and it’s no small feat for our costuming departments to come up with something beautiful and accurate and that is a creativity that I know is acknowledged, but we can always do more! When we watch characters, what they are wearing is very important and I am one of those actors that you will find me in the Costume Department all of the time – just hanging out!
AM: How do you take time for yourself in the midst of your busy schedule – do you meditate or take inspiration walks?
PK: That’s a great question! I decompress in the shower and I need a hot shower before work and after work – that’s how I decompress. I like to just hang out with my dog. My mom gave me her Curry Chicken recipe for my 30th birthday and I am not a cooker and I don’t cook! She gave it to me and all of a sudden, I am enjoying cooking and trying to understand it. I like working with my hands as I find it very therapeutic and I’m sewing which is really nice so that’s how I wind down. I love spending time with my family and that’s great for me. I’m a pretty chill person. I love going to the movies – I go a couple of times a week. If there were enough movies, I’d go even more. I love escapism and the whole thing of going to the theater, grabbing snacks, the lights come down and I can escape and go somewhere new – it’s one of my favorite things to do! It’s so funny because I live in this particular area in Brooklyn where there are three different movie theaters and it’s really awesome!
AM: In Brooklyn, where can we find you grabbing a meal, drinks and working out?
PK: One of my favorite restaurants is Lucali's in Brooklyn - it has the best pizza in the world. People need to make their way there! I am a coffee snob and whenever I move to a new city, I need to find my coffee. If I don’t have my coffee place, I end up feeling very lost and don’t enjoy my time there. It’s such a big part of my routine because I get up and go get my coffee. So there are a few shops that I like to go and work from. In terms of working out, I love to do yoga and actually I haven’t been that good at doing it because my schedule has been so hectic! I do work with a personal trainer when I am in Toronto and I love doing hot yoga! I’m small and I like to stay toned. Being small and tiny, I want to have curves and there is this myth that if you workout, you will lose weight which I don’t want to do because if I lost weight, I’d look sick! Yoga and hot yoga was the perfect balance for me to practice mindfulness, working my body and exercising – that’s a good one for me as well.
PHOTOS COURTESY | NBC Manifest + Parveen Kaur
NIKE SB THE DUNK BOOK
When it comes to looking at the iconic nature of Nike's Dunk SB (created in 2002) which is considered a basketball court staple, it also has street cred when it comes to skate and streetwear as well. Known as the early catalyst of sneaker culture, this shoe has has a number of iterations and collaborations!
This book serves as a living archive which has been enjoyed by celebrities, included in competitions around the world and heralded for their signature designs that is also high in performance.
Throughout this coffee table book, fans will see iconic styles, colorways deemed signatures and of course, its craftsmanship of the brand.
Joel Gamoran, star of the A&E series Scraps and the National Chef of Sur La Table, releases Cooking Scrappy: 100 Recipes to Help You Stop Wasting Food, Save Money, and Love What You Eat. You'll look at the ingredients in your kitchen in a different way in a cookbook that has 150 colorful photographs and 100 recipes.
In this book, you'll see that disconnected leftovers in your fridge can actually be components of ingredients to make your next best thing that you are about to make for friends and family. In addition, he showcases how tools in your kitchen can pull double duty.
Ultimately, readers understand that being resourceful allows them to reduce waste and to optimize their resources. This style of cooking is not only environmentally sound but economical and is one that is sustainable in a way that many are looking to tackle.
ADULT COLORING BOOK
Sarah Jane Carter
Creative Designs and Artwork
When it comes to take a mental break, there is something about having a coloring book for adults that is always nearby, whether on your nightstand or in your tote bag.
In this coloring book, you can enjoy creating colorful embellishments of an array of pictures from animals, mandalas, flowers, paisley patterns, and so much more. The act of coloring allows the creator to focus on something besides their day to day work, reduce their stress, focus on their artistic pleasures and add complexities to their work in the manner that they choose whether using crayons, oil paints, color pencils or water colors.
We suggest taking this on your next flight and collecting an array of her color books any time you need an element of escapism to reconnect yourself with what you are working on.
Each year a photographic vision is released from Pirelli, known as THE CAL which has iconic photographers from Karl Lagerfeld, Annie Leibovitz and more that have created imagery all over the world with notable models and celebrities to transmit their vision. This year, German photographer, Albert Watson had the task to interpret his vision through the just released THE CAL for 2019. We took some time to find out about his approach to working on this project, being on set as well as how this integrates into his body of work!
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you approach the Pirelli Calendar project?
ALBERT WATSON: The Pirelli Calendar is a unique project for any photographer. When I first took it on, I wanted to do it in a way that would be different from that of other photographers, and I wondered what the best way would be. In the end, I looked for pictures that were of beautiful quality, with depth to them, and that had some kind of narrative. I wanted to create something that was more than just a portrait of somebody – I wanted it to look just like a film still. I wanted people looking at the Calendar to see that my aim was photography in its purest form, exploring the women I was photographing and creating a situation that would convey a positive vision of women today.
AM: How did you formulate the project?
AW: I wanted to ensure there would be a strong narrative, so I thought: “Let’s try and make the shots look like film stills.” Quite a lot of it was shot in widescreen format. And that was quite challenging. Each of the four women has her own individuality, her own particular purpose in life, and her own way of doing things. And they are all focused on their future. So the underlying theme is that of “dreams”, but the basic idea behind the whole project is that of telling a story in four ‘little movies’.
AM: Could you tell us about the stories that bring your Calendar to life?
AW: Each character has a part to play in the 2019 Pirelli Calendar. In some cases, the role was close to what the actress does for a living, but here they were certainly all acting a part. Not themselves. And that’s what I wanted.
The woman played by Gigi Hadid has just split up with her companion. She has a confidant, not a boyfriend, played by the designer Alexander Wang. He is helping her get over this difficult time. I think there’s a degree of angst in these images. With Gigi Hadid’s character, I wanted to convey the sense of a woman thinking about her future, but also showing her in a situation of loneliness. We see her thinking about where she’s going to go in life, what she’ll be doing tomorrow. I wanted her to be much more minimalistic than the other women I photographed, and I wanted her to be reflected in the settings I portrayed her in. The settings of the other protagonists are pretty crowded, and there’s action in almost all of them.”
Julia Garner’s character is a botanical photographer who dreams of putting on successful exhibitions. Julia’s a very, very accomplished actress and she got straight into the character. We were in a beautiful tropical garden in Miami, which turned out to be the perfect place for us to work.
Misty Copeland and Calvin Royal III, on the other hand, play the part of two dancers who want to become famous and live in an Art Deco house. She’s dreaming of dancing in Paris. She is looking to the future and has ambitions. Trying to be successful is her driving force. Copeland’s character earns her living by dancing in a club, but at the same time she has also put up a little stage in her garden, where she practices dancing in order to become a star, sometimes with her boyfriend, played by Calvin Royal III.
The artist played by Laetitia Casta lives in a studio apartment, which she shares with her partner, played by Sergei Polunin. They are both dreaming of success: she as an artist, he as a dancer. We decided to shoot outside, to give the scenes some added natural brightness. The tropical atmosphere of Miami is a key component in this picture. What’s interesting is that Laetitia told me that, in her spare time, she really does do a lot of sculpting and creates artwork. This worked out very well and helped her get into character.
AM: What was the role played by light in this project?
AW: When I was young, the first famous person I photographed was Alfred Hitchcock. He said: “My dear boy, once you’ve finished the storyboard, the movie is finished – all I have to do is shoot it.” There’s a certain amount of his message that has stayed with me. The 2019 Calendar is like a cinematic storyboard. I was very lucky because I trained as a graphic designer for four years and then I went to The Royal College of Art Film School for three years and I came out as a director. I never trained as a photographer and, from that point on, I had to learn to be a photographer and know about lighting. As a photographer, the technical things for me were very difficult, it wasn’t natural. Intuitively, a cinematic aesthetic was quite natural for me to follow. A lot of my work is based on graphics and film or sometimes on a combination of the two. It was quite easy for me to drop into this for the Calendar and produce images like film stills. It was a matter of making all these different elements come together and make a strong narrative. The common denominator is that these people are all active: they’re thinking of their future and they’re dreaming of where they might be in five, ten, twenty years...
AM: Did you like working on the set?
AW: I know some people work well with a lot of tension on set, and part of their creativity comes from this, but I’m actually the opposite of that. If I’m having fun with people, if I’m enjoying being with them and playing around, I get a lot more out of them. I sometimes say to young photographers that it’s ‘location, location, location’. But in a case like this, it’s more ‘preparation, preparation, preparation’. The more you prep for the job, the more creative it will be. It’s thinking and planning, planning, planning. That’s what’s really important.
I had a tremendous amount of support when creating the vision for the Calendar. Steve Kimmel was the art director, along with Arnold Barros and Belinda Scott, and they did a brilliant job. Thanks to their dedication, it all went perfectly. James Kaliardos did our make-up. He did a fantastic job, beautiful, invisible, but yet there. The hair, by Kerry Warne, was always natural for each of the women. He’s had a lot of experience in film work, so he was perfect for this project.
Julia Von Boehm did the styling and fashion editing. On top of that, I had my own team of assistants and digital editors, Taro Hashimura and Emi Robinson, as well as Adrian Potter. All these people contributed in a great way, so this was definitely much more like a film project than a photography one.
AM: Have you fulfilled your dreams?
AW: To make a dream come true, you need to work hard. I’ve always taken it step by step, reaching one goal at a time, without wanting to get immediately to the top of the ladder. Even though I sometimes think this ladder could go on forever, with the top rung ever-further away, I think it's always worth giving yourself increasingly ambitious goals and dreams.
PHOTOGRAPHY Albert Watson | ARTISTIC DIRECTION Baron & Baron | PRODUCTION DESIGNER Steve Kimmel |
| PG 26, 30 + 34 Gigi Hadid + Alexander Wang | PG 28 Latetitia Casta *+ Sergei Polunin | PG 32 Misty Copeland |