Boston Fashion Week was initially founded in 1995, and was originally intended to increase the vitality of the local fashion industry. More than 20 years later, this annual fashion celebration is still going strong, and has been a significant part … Continue reading
With sprawling iconic department stores and extravagant high-end flagship shops, it is no surprise that New York is known for being a shopper’s paradise. From the old-school decadence of Fifth Avenue to the big-name designers on Madison Avenue, this luxury shopping guide highlights the very best retail therapy that New York City has to offer.
Considered by many to be the most lavish shopping area in all of New York, Madison Avenue is lined with flagship stores from the biggest designers, with names ranging from Vera Wang’s Bridal House to Ralph Lauren to Prada to Jimmy Choo. In addition to being filled with the most tempting of goods, each boutique here also boasts extraordinary architecture, such as the Ralph Lauren store that is located in a stunning renovated mansion.
The Meatpacking District
The Meatpacking District earned itself the status of being quite the edgy neighborhood a few years ago, and it did not take long for a number of big-name designers to open their doors in the area’s renovated butcher shops. From Stella McCartney to Alexander McQueen to Christian Louboutin, there are some luxury boutiques here that are definitely worth exploring.
The quieter counterpart of SoHo, Nolita boasts a range of up and coming designers that produce the most exquisite products. These one-of-a-kind boutiques make for quite a thrilling shopping experience, as each store focuses on high fashion garments, but with an emphasis on individuality. Designer names that you will find here include Jil Sander and Derek Lam, while some boutiques worth stopping off at include Saja, Vince, Poppy and Sigerson Morrison. You will also find several boutiques here that stock some exquisite homeware pieces, from ceramics to luxury textiles.
Running north to south all the way through Manhattan, the most luxurious section of Fifth Avenue, which is considered to be the very heart of Manhattan retail, can be found from 14th Street to 59th Street. There are a number of iconic mainstays to be found here, from the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store, which is considered to be somewhat of a New York institution, to the world-famous Tiffany & Co, to the massive Louis Vuitton flagship store to Versace, Chanel and Dior. In addition to Saks Fifth Avenue, there are a couple of other high-end department stores here, including Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel.
Lafayette Street – SoHo to NoHo
Lafayette Street is quite distinct from the rest of SoHo, and this section of it is known for being the best place in the city to find the finest of antiques, especially when it comes to furniture. Gallery 440 is where you will find furniture from high end European designers, while Alan Moss Studios, as well as Elan Antiques, boasts one-of-a-kind antique pieces, both domestic as well as international.
When it comes to luxury shopping, there is no better city to turn to than New York. From the opulent flagship stores that line Madison Avenue to the one-of-a-kind antique finds at Lafayette Street, New York is a retail haven that offers the ultimate shopping experience.
The concept of dress-down Fridays has been adopted by companies all over the world, with even the largest of international corporations adhering to this new dress code on the last day of the working week throughout the year. While many believe that this is more of a recent Western tradition, casual Fridays can actually be traced back to the Hawaiian Aloha Shirt.
The Aloha Shirt
Hawaiian shirts were first created by a Chinese merchant based in Waikiki, who reused leftover kimono fabric to create brightly colored shirts for tourists. It was in 1962 that the Hawaiian Fashion Guild began pushing for the Aloha shirt to become an accepted part of business attire in the state. The main reason for this was due to Hawaii’s climate, with the heat making conventional business attire extremely uncomfortable. It was also pointed out that encouraging workers to wear Hawaiian shirts more frequently would help to boost the Hawaiian garment industry. While the Hawaiian government eventually gave in, allowing the workforce to wear Aloha attire during the summer months, the Fashion Guild continued to lobby for increased use of the Aloha shirt, and it was not long before the workforce were allowed to wear them every Friday throughout the year.
One of the main problems when it comes to dress-down Fridays was that, once the workforce shed their conventional attire, the men were unsure of what to wear, turning up to work in shorts and sandals to go along with their Aloha shirts. There were concerns that dress-down Fridays were becoming slightly too casual, which is why Levi’s decided to send out brochures to 25,000 businesses across the country, depicting the clothing that was deemed appropriate casual wear for the workplace. Of course, the brochure was not altruistic and was actually a subtle advertisement for Levi’s Dockers – khaki pants that were usually only worn on the golf course. The Dockers were featured throughout the brochure, and it was not long before the majority of men in the workforce owned their own pair.
While Aloha shirts were already popular on the US mainland, it was only in the 1990’s that Aloha Friday, known on the mainland as Casual or Dress Down Friday, was introduced. This was largely due to the recession at the time, with companies seeking ways to boost company morale without having to spend any extra money. It did not take long for the concept of dress-down Fridays to spread across the country, before quickly making its way into workplaces all around the world.
Dress-down Friday is now common at many workplaces all over the world, and the concept also gave birth to the dress code Business Casual, which is often seen as appropriate attire for every day of the week. The next time you are choosing a casual outfit to wear to work on a Friday, do spend a few seconds thinking about the Chinese merchant in Waikiki that this whole concept can be traced back to.
The wine business is more competitive than ever, and for those who enjoy being adventurous when it comes to the different wines that they try, joining a wine club is a great decision. Wine clubs give you the opportunity to experiment with different varieties of wine, without having to spend hours trawling through wine stores in order to pick them out. However, due to wine clubs becoming increasingly popular, there are now so many to choose from, many of which have their own unique edge, making the decision even harder. From clubs that focus on family-owned wineries, to others that utilize an extensive vetting process, these are some of the best wine clubs that the U.S has to offer.
Gold Medal Wine Club
The Gold Medal Wine Club places a strong emphasis on sourcing wines from small-batch, family-owned wineries, choosing varieties that often cannot be purchased from retail stores. The company employs a small team of experts to taste and select the wines and offers a choice of six different membership tiers, ranging from the International Wine Club to the Pinot Noir Wine Club to the Platinum Wine Club.
International Wine of the Month Club
This club considers wine to be a global product, seeking out varieties from all over the world and bringing its members new and exciting wines to taste. Each delivery is accompanied by detailed cellar notes, which includes a history and additional information on each specific varietal, as well as notes on the best foods to pair with that particular wine. This wine club also makes use of a two-tiered tasting panel, so by the time each bottle of wine reaches you, the variety will have already been tasted by around thirty experts, guaranteeing that it will be of the highest quality.
Lot 18/Tasting Room
Wine clubs can often be off-putting for those that are not serious wine connoisseurs, and this is where the Tasting Room Wine Club comes in. Rather than sending out full-sized bottles, this club sends out shipments of six sample-sized wine bottles, intending to help you to identify your preferences when it comes to different wines. Once you have tasted the mini samples, you can then arrange for larger sized bottles to be shipped out instead, enabling you to receive varieties that you already know you will truly enjoy.
West Coast wines are always popular, and for those that are serious fans, Uncorked Ventures is the wine club to join. The club focuses on wines that come from California, Washington and Oregon, with the founders of the club having established strong relationships with small-scale growers in these regions. While some of the wines offered can be purchased at retail stores, the selections are always high quality, and there are still a number of unique wines to be found.
Joining a wine club is a great way to learn all about new varieties of wine, whether you are a serious wine connoisseur or are just beginning to learn about the intricacies of the drink. Each wine club will usually offer a range of different membership tiers, and these can often be tailored to suit your personal preferences, ensuring that you always receive a selection of wines that you will appreciate.
There are so many different exciting things to do in Vegas, and with such an abundance of activities, sights and landmarks available, it can be difficult pin-pointing the very best ones to visit, which is why we have put together a list of the Las Vegas tourist sites that you simply cannot miss.
Ride the High Roller Ferris Wheel
This is the tallest observation wheel in the world, and offers fantastic views of the city’s skyline and the glittering Strip below, especially at night. An added bonus is that each of the pods are large enough to accommodate big groups of people, and even your own private bar, enabling you to make a whole night of it if you desired.
Visit 18B for First Friday
The 18b Arts District of Las Vegas hosts an arts festival on the first Friday of every month, filling Downtown Las Vegas with exhibits, displays and performances. Even if your Vegas visit does not coincide with the first Friday of the month, 18b is still well worth the visit, as it is home to a fabulous array of independent art galleries, one-of-a-kind bars and restaurants, and a thriving arts community.
Watch a Show
It goes without saying that when you visit the Entertainment Capital of the World, you simply must make time to catch a show. There are so many different ones on at one time, from world famous Cirque du Soleil shows to magic shows put on by David Copperfield to energetic pop music from Britney Spears.
The Mob Museum
Las Vegas owes much of what it has become today to the involvement of organized crime, who would use the casinos in Vegas to launder money. The Mob Museum explores the criminal history of Las Vegas, displaying crime scene photos, allowing visitors to hold a tommy gun, and even showcasing the bloody walls that came about after gruesome massacres.
MGM Grand Lion Habitat
The MGM Grand Lion Habitat is a favorite with both adults and kids, as it is home to a number of these beautiful wild cats. The surroundings have been designed to replicate their natural environment as closely as possible, from the cascading waterfalls to the lush greenery.
Eat at a Celebrity Chef Restaurant
Las Vegas is packed with celebrity chef restaurants, and for those who enjoy watching these shows on television, visiting a restaurant run by one of these stars is always a huge thrill. Whether you are a fan of Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck or anyone else, Vegas is where you are most likely to find one of their restaurants.
Gondola Ride at The Venetian
The Venetian is modelled after Venice, complete with canals that run through the ground floors of the mall and the casino. Fifteen-minute gondola rides are available down these canals, and, for those who want their ride to be extra-romantic, your gondolier will even serenade you.
The beauty of Las Vegas is that it has something for everyone, whether you enjoy visiting museums or dining at gourmet restaurants. While there are plenty of sights and activities that are popular amongst the majority of tourists, Las Vegas is home to some truly unique and quirky sites too, so it is well worth doing some in-depth research before your trip to find the sites that best match your personal tastes.
Arizona is not only a state of magnificent natural beauty, but it is also filled with significant historical landmarks and a unique collection of cultures. OROGOLD has put together an Arizona bucket list to ensure that you don’t miss out on any must-see sights while you’re in Arizona.
Grand Canyon Skywalk
The Grand Canyon makes it way onto thousands of bucket lists each year, but the Grand Canyon Skywalk is a way to appreciate this natural wonder in a completely new way. The Skywalk is a horseshoe-shaped, glass-bottomed walkway that extends seventy feet past the edge of the Grand Canyon, leaving you standing 4000 feet above the gushing Colorado River. With glass panels on the walls and floor, this gives you unobstructed and unbeatable views of this majestic World Wonder.
Lunch at Pizzeria Bianco
With the best pizza in the US found in Arizona, a visit to this world-renowned pizzeria is definitely worth a place on OROGOLD’s Arizona bucket list. Ingredients are sourced directly from local farms, giving each pizza a freshness that you would never have expected. OROGOLD advises that you visit during off-peak hours, as otherwise you are likely to be faced with a wait up to three hours.
Hike Havasu Falls
Located in the isolated village of Supai, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the Havasu Falls plunge 100 feet down into a beautiful aquamarine pool. Surrounded by a sandy beach and cottonwood trees, this is one of the most picturesque spots in the country. A hike is the best way to reach the falls, and while ten miles may not seem like too much of a trek, OROGOLD warns that it is considered to be quite a difficult trail, so make sure that you’re prepared.
Face your Fears in the Bat Cave
The Bat Cave is located on the north bank of the Arizona Canal, and there is a special deck that you can wait on just before dusk. As night falls, as many as 20,000 bats venture out of the cave for their night time meal, swarming all around you and making for quite the spectacle.
Climb Humphrey’s Peak
Located just north of Flagstaff, Humphrey’s Peak is at 12,633 feet, making it the highest point in Arizona. All of the peaks in the region are considered to be sacred by local Native American Indian tribes, as they believe it to be the place where the earth meets the heavens. While the peak is open all year round, OROGOLD would advise that you only carry out the journey in the warmer months, as snow cover can be quite heavy in the winter, requiring a hiking permit for all winter excursions.
OROGOLD’s Arizona bucket list features activities that are truly unique to the state. From standing at Arizona’s highest point to an exhilarating walk over the depths of the Grand Canyon to a taste of the best pizza in the country, these are all must-do activities the next time you are in Arizona.
Home to some truly incredible spectacles of nature, Arizona is a state that you should most definitely visit if you want to see some of the most beautiful natural formations in the country. From world-famous natural wonders to lesser known hidden gems, OROGOLD takes a look at Arizona’s natural wonders.
The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – a huge slash in the earth’s surface that allows us to see almost two billion years of the planet’s geological history right in front of our eyes. It is almost possible to imagine the turbulent journey that this planet has gone through when you’re standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, and it is definitely a humbling experience. There are many different ways that you can explore the Grand Canyon, from a guided tour to an adrenaline-filled hike to a rafting trip, so take the time to explore the different options available.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified wood is a tree, or a tree-like plant, that has been completely turned to stone, fossilizing its remains. Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park is known for its large deposits of petrified wood, with the park covering a total area of around 170 square miles. There are roads that can take you to all areas of the park, but OROGOLD would recommend choosing from one of the hundreds of footpaths, so that you can enjoy finding these pieces of petrified wood, fossils and other ancient clues that point back to the beginnings of our planet.
The Kartchner Caverns were discovered in 1974, and is a ‘live’ cave that boasts a number of unique features, including the longest stalactite formation in the world. OROGOLD suggests taking a guided tour, as this is the best way to fully explore this amazing underground world, learning about the delicate ecosystem of these limestone caves. The Discovery Center is also worth a visit, with many interactive displays teaching you more about the Kartchner Caverns and how they were discovered, and, of course, don’t forget about a visit to the gift shop so that you can take a small souvenir home with you.
Horseshoe Bend is one of the most photographed parts of the Colorado River, and for good reason. This horseshoe-shaped meander is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, meaning that there is a road leading up to it. It is also accessible via a hiking trail, but OROGOLD advises that you only take this route if you are well-prepared, as the heat and the steep incline can be too much for many people. To really take in the beauty of Horseshoe Bend, you could also join a rafting expedition, with a wide variety to cater to different time scales, or even take a helicopter ride, to enjoy the spectacular views from above.
Almost everywhere that you go in Arizona, you will be faced with incredible natural beauty. From magnificent rock formations to unique native plants to cascading waterfalls to colorful slot canyons, you could easily spend a lifetime exploring and appreciating all of Arizona’s many natural wonders.
While Arizona may not be known as a hotbed for fashion, this has slowly been changing in recent years. The vibe in Arizona is more laid-back and casual than many other states, but the people of Arizona are beginning to embrace unconventional styles, not being afraid to stand out from the crowd. The winter months can make it slightly more difficult to dress stylishly in Arizona, which is why OROGOLD has put together some Arizona Style Files, so that you can continue to embrace your inner fashionista throughout these colder months.
Sunglasses are Essential
Arizona receives a massive amount of sunshine each year, meaning that sunglasses are essential almost each and every day. OROGOLD suggests having a couple of go-to pairs that will work with most of your outfits. When it comes to choosing sunglasses, it is important to understand the shape of your face, so that you can choose a style that will complement you the best. Those with rounder faces look best with oversized, angular frames, while those with an oval shaped face should opt for round or square frames, paying close attention to proportions.
Denim will Always be Fashionable
In a laid-back state like Arizona, you can never go wrong with denim. Denim jeans are the most obvious choice, but you are likely to already have a few pairs in your wardrobe. A denim jacket is another fantastic option, and these are available in a wide range of colors, meaning that you don’t have to only be wearing blue. However, OROGOLD reminds you that if you do wear jeans and a denim jacket together, make sure that they are of different colors.
Simplicity is Key
While you may be more than happy to stand out from the crowd with an unconventional outfit, OROGOLD advises that you should still try to keep things relatively simple. A clean and crisp look is always going to look great, especially in a dry, desert environment. If you need to dress up for a daytime event, OROGOLD would recommend opting for a fitted white dress of an appropriate length, maybe with some lace detailing to give you even more of a feminine edge.
The Classic Long-Sleeved Shirt
A collared, button-down, long-sleeved shirt will always look classy, and is a great option to wear when you aren’t sure what the weather is going to be like. To keep things casual, pair the shirt with a pair of jeans, or shorts on a warmer day, tucking half of the shirt in while leaving the other half to hang out. The fabric that the shirt is made from also makes a huge difference to the overall look, with thin stripes or a light print making it more fun rather than formal. To top it all off, you also have the option of rolling up your sleeves on a warmer day, or keeping them down if the weather is chilly.
If you have never visited Arizona before, it can often be difficult to know what to pack and what to wear. OROGOLD’s Arizona Style Files should help you out with this, ensuring that you always look fashionable while being able to stay comfortable.