This is The ciTy

65mag.com

This is The ciTy

This is the city


Photo by Frederic Larson ~ fredericlarson.com


Slip into Silks

MO Bar

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Sunday Brunch

Asian-inspired California cuisine

Exquisite service | Beautiful setting

222 Sansome Street

415 276 9888

www.mandarinoriental.com/sanfrancisco

MO Coffee Bar | Made to order sushi | Bar bites | Afternoon tea

Innovative cocktails and fine, sustainable wines

Live music on Monday-Saturday evenings

222 Sansome Street

415 276 9888

www.mandarinoriental.com/sanfrancisco


Rombauer Vineyards

800.622.2206 l 3522 SILVERADO TRAIL, ST. HELENA, CALIFORNIA l WWW.ROMBAUER.COM


57° DEPARTMENTS

PERSONA

The Wine Life, Aussie Style

BY andrea stuart

A New York Saloon in Fog City

BY kristin smith

A Pioneer Soul

BY Lisa Gunther

Everything is Going to be

Just Fine

BY kristin smith

STAY

Visions of the Bay: Hotel Vitale

BY Charleen earley

SCENE

Tre Bicchieri 2011 World Tour

Fans of Jimmy Century

Teaser Concert – San Francisco

COMMUNITY

Pets Unlimited: A Home for All

BY andrea stuart

COVER

Photographer: Kevin Thomas

This is the city


5:49 p.m.

Chefs Richard, Pépin, Passot,

and Keller preservice at the

Jacques Pépin Tribute Dinner,

Beach & Tennis Club,

Pebble Beach, CA

TICKETS, CALL 866.907.FOOD (3663) OR

WWW.PEBBLEBEACHFOODANDWINE.COM

April 28 - May 1, 2011

Pebble Beach®, Pebble Beach Resorts®, Pebble Beach SM Food and Wine, The Lone Cypress, and their respective underlying distinctive images are trademarks, service marks and trade dress of Pebble Beach Company. All rights reserved.


Nicole

PERSONA


hand, a glass of sparkling Shiraz in the other, and calamari on the barbie, Mr. Kosta

is the quintessential Aussie father—hosting barbeques, from quaint gatherings, to

grand affairs that include nearby cousins and neighbors. “We grill for pretty much any

occasion, year-round,” admits Kosta. “Dad would even grill under the veranda if it

rained.” Kosta’s parents, though not connoisseurs, have always had an appreciation

for wine. Where Kosta’s dad enjoys Shiraz-cabernet blends, her mother enjoys dry

Riesling or chardonnay, and has “an affinity for bubbles” (sparkling wine). Kosta,

herself revels in Semillon from Hunter Valley or Adelaide Hills.

STAY

Having developed an infatuation with America while travelling for dance competitions,

Kosta utilized her career as an avenue to come back after college, accepting a job

as a research scientist. However, Kosta found the sterility of the lab environment

countered her earlier, more fruitful experiences so much that she made an about

face in her career, becoming a restaurant manager for a restaurant in Nebraska. She

later moved to Cleveland, Ohio to become the manager at P.F. Chang’s—known for

their extensive wine program, offering more than 50 wines by the glass—and from

there, began developing her wine palate. She went on to work in Detroit, Michigan

under Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon, and never looked back.

The Wine Life, Aussie-Style

by Andrea Stuart / photography by Michelle Magdalena Maddox

Having grown up in Adelaide, Australia, a region where vineyards tendril through the

land, Nicole Kosta, Sommelier and Director of Food and Beverage at the Mandarin

Oriental in San Francisco, has become metaphorically intoxicated by the tannic

elixirs derived from the spherical little fruit known as the grape. Surrounded by fertile

knolls, sporting venues, and the opportunity for coastal and oceanic adventures,

Adelaide begets a lifestyle abundant in outdoor activity. Kosta, a former worldchampion

dancer and scientist, took fair advantage of her stomping grounds.

Daylong fishing trips were a prominent part of Kosta’s life. She and her father would

often come home with a variety of finned dinner options. “Between my two sisters,

myself, my mother, and even the parakeet and the dog (I think), my poor father was

surrounded by females,” the spry South Australian snickers. “I think I was inclined

to be a bit of a tomboy because of that.” During one summer outing, Kosta and a

friend embarked on a fishing trip that resulted in catching 60 fish. “We ate every one!

Mom cleaned them and Dad grilled them. It was the best summer,” recalls Kosta.

In Adelaide, the festivities often never leave the backyard. With a spatula in one

Kosta is now excited about Mandarin Oriental’s wine program. From their offering of

biodynamic (holistically organic) wines that complement the Mandarin’s eco-centric

attitude, to their international selection of 700 wines, pairing options for the Asianinfluenced

fare at Silks are endless. Due to Kosta’s penchant for libations from our

northern Sonoma coast, it’s no surprise that when Mandarin Oriental began making

its own wine label, they employed Hirsch Vineyards for the task. “They made our ’09

Pinot Noir, Ngima’s Cuvee,” says Kosta, liberating a higher octave from her throat.

“It was inspired after meeting a Sherpa from Tibet named Ngmia. He had an affinity

for Mt. Everest and a passion for wine.” This year, they are working with multiple

Mandarin sommeliers and the wine will be in their hotels countrywide.

“What makes it so fun is that every Mandarin hotel is independently operated. We

have fun with our programs and express our local bounties!” Kosta’s accent yields

to the sharp edges of California colloquialism as she weaves a few Australian curves

through her inflections. “For St. Patrick’s Day, the Mandarin hosted a ‘green’ tasting

where we served organic, sustainable wines. In April, we are hosting an organic

wine dinner.”

Appropriated by friends as “Principle Wine Provider,” Kosta’s personal wine

collection is vast—her abode is overrun by a libational anthology: bottles perched

atop kitchen counters and cabinets, and having made Tetris-like homes in the

overflowing wine fridges.

“Life is about learning and mentoring,” says Kosta. “It’s also to be celebrated.” It’s

no wonder she is doing all of the above as a leading wine expert at the Mandarin

Oriental in San Francisco. We’ll drink to that!


With 200 appointed guest rooms and suites to choose from

on eight floors, some of them with patios ranging from 825

to 1,150 square feet, Hotel Vitale is the only luxury hotel

located on the revitalized Embarcadero’s waterfront. Each

room features modern décor and comforts, designed with

the very busy traveler in mind. Down to the complimentary

white slippers with the words “slow” on one and “down”

on the other, Hotel Vitale (French for vitality) beckons their

busy, techno-driven guests, who are mostly in their 30s to

early 40s, the opportunity to stop for a moment and just

breathe.

The view alone is enough to calm the senses, since many

guests, depending on room selection, have a 180-degree

view of the Bay Bridge, the Ferry Building, and Treasure

Island. Watching the sunrise from one of their circular

suites is priceless. Besides the view and locale, guest room

amenities include beds with pillow-top mattresses, white

440-thread count sheets, gorgeous custom-designed

Belgium duvets, limestone-covered bathrooms, beyond

comfortable bathrobes, 32” LCD flat screen televisions,

iPod/MP3 player docking stations and CD players, and

honor bars with healthy and decadent options.

Visions of the Bay: Hotel Vitale by Charleen Earley

If he were only given five words to describe the hotel he helped open six years called the Embarcadero Freeway. However, after the Loma Prieta earthquake in

ago, Dan Burgess would say “urban, fresh, revitalizing, modern, and nurturing.” 1989, nature and citizens alike told San Francisco how much it didn’t need that

So would the countless guests who have made their stays at Hotel Vitale in San massive, unsightly structure. “Back then, this whole area was not utilized by San

Francisco across from the historic Ferry Building.

Franciscans because there was nothing to do here,” says Burgess.

“For the traveler who is seeking a revitalizing, relaxing, and modern hotel Owned by a private entity and managed by Joie de Vivre (French for joy of life),

experience that is uniquely San Franciscan, Hotel Vitale is right for you,” says Hotel Vitale was built in 2005 and was part of a lengthy 10-year process; the

Burgess, Director of Rooms. “I love the vibe of the hotel; it’s very serene and redevelopment of the Embarcadero area. Burgess feels the end result was well

beautiful. People come here because of the neighborhood and to relax.”

worth it, since just outside hotel doors, along the Embarcadero, people are

active and full of life. “It’s a healthy environment here,” says Burgess. “People are

The neighborhood Burgess is referring to wasn’t always quite the place to be. running, walking, biking, and there’s the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building

Twenty years prior, it had the look and feel of cold, hard concrete and was Plaza. People don’t have this in their neighborhoods at home.”

With a booking window two to three weeks out, upgraded

rooms in this four-star, four diamond hotel feature soothing

sound machines, rainforest showerheads, and luxurious

bath amenities. Each of the seven panoramic corner suites

has a 180-degree circular design with dramatic views

from a king-sized bed, and also features a beautiful white

soaking tub for two. One almost feels as though they’re

sleeping at the Hearst Castle in one of the bell towers,

only designed by Frank Lloyd Wright instead. “Our guests

love the simply done rooms. It’s elegant and clean,” says

Burgess. “We have large hallways with soothing colors and

pictures that are organic and simple.”

For the traveler who can’t leave work at the office, the hotel

features a 24-hour business center, complimentary highspeed

internet access throughout the hotel, personalized


ADVERTORIAL

concierge services, complimentary daily newspaper delivery, shoeshine, and

close proximity to public transportation, including cable cars, subway, BART,

Golden Gate Ferry, and Amtrak Station.

Upon first greetings at the customer service desk, guests are immediately given a

warm, lilac-scented towel for washing their hands, a soothing gesture you won’t

find at other hotels. “This allows you to breathe and start to relax,” says Burgess.

“Our guests’ expressions change the minute they see the hand towels and they

change their whole manner.”

Hotel Vitale’s staff and service is known for friendliness over pretentiousness. “Our

service is professional and friendly, but we don’t come across as stuffy or formal.

We want to pamper you. It’s why we hire people with great personalities; because

that’s something you can’t teach.”

Something else you can’t teach is a talent for being a great chef, which is

exactly what they found in Chef Kory Stewart for their in-house restaurant,

Americano. Chef Stewart and Americano Restaurant embrace the slow food

movement by serving modern Italian cuisine made with fresh ingredients from

the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market. Chef Stewart began his culinary career at age

12 as a dishwasher in a small Italian restaurant in the town where he grew up.

Burgess says Chef Stewart continued to work in kitchens throughout his teen

years, where he developed a passion for cooking. He moved to San Francisco

in 2002 to attend California Culinary Academy, while simultaneously working in

the acclaimed Postrio Restaurant. Later, Chef Stewart traveled for nine months

throughout Southeast Asia to garner first-hand experience in Asian cooking. He

returned to San Francisco and worked at Michael Mina and Scott Howard before

finding his new home at Americano as executive sous chef.

“Kory’s hard work, dedication and perseverance paid off, and he was promoted

to Chef at Americano,” says Burgess. Some of the tasteful entrées Chef Stewart

creates are ricotta ravioli with roasted delicata squash, almonds and amaretti,

chesnut rigatoncini with braised lamb, Cara Cara oranges and mustard greens,

and roasted monkfish with fregola, Dungeness crab, salsa verde and orange crab

brodetto. Chef Stewart’s interview with Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association

may be viewed on YouTube by typing “Chef Kory Stewart” into the search bar.

Mark your calendars for some fun and money-saving April events in the Americano

Restaurant, including a Wild Foods Dinner and a Tax-Relief package running

through April 15, where guests will receive half-off bottles and no corkage fee for

dinner, Monday through Saturday in the dining room only. Look for their special

Easter Brunch in April and Mother’s Day Brunch in May.

For Jill Plemons, Director of Sales & Marketing, working at Hotel Vitale for the last

year and a half, has been an experience like none other. “The location, staff, and

product are a salesperson’s dream!” she says. “Guests will enjoy luxury touches

balanced with soothing natural elements, service from a staff that truly cares, and

stunning water or city vistas at our urban retreat.”

For more information or to book a room, please visit:

hotelvitale.com

(415) 278-3700

8 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA 94105


Perry


A New York Saloon in Fog City

by Kristin Smith / photography by Hemali Acharya

But when Butler arrived, he found that the Golden Gate’s advertising world lacked

the excitement of the Big Apple’s. “New York was the pulse of the business,”

he says. “I wanted to live in San Francisco, but I felt uninspired by my job here.”

Butler considered other options, and decided to pursue another dream: opening a

restaurant.

SCENE

To imagine Perry Butler’s early career, look no further than Mad Men, the Showtime

series about New York City’s advertising world in the 1960s. Butler, a recent

graduate from Dartmouth College, worked for one of those high-powered firms; as

did his father. And while he loved the fast pace and creativity of the job, in the back

of his head was a looming dream: to move to San Francisco.

Butler had fallen in love with the City on a trip during college. Like so many

East Coasters, he was entranced with San Francisco’s landscape, its gorgeous

coastline, and the gentle climate. “I knew right away that San Francisco was a very

special place,” he says. “California just captured my imagination.” So Butler left the

familiarity of New York, his home for most of his life, and ventured west.

Butler’s fascination with food began early. He can remember watching his father

grill steaks in their backyard in Westchester County, just outside of New York City.

But it was in Manhattan, at warm, wood-paneled Upper East Side saloons like

Martell’s, where his dream of owning a restaurant came into being. Butler loved the

home-like feel of those places—the good American food, the comfortable bars,

the thoughtfully chosen memorabilia lining the walls. “That style of restaurant was

successful in New York, but nothing like it existed here,” says Butler.

To most people, the idea of starting a restaurant in a new city when you’re only

26 years old might seem like a crazy idea. Maybe the New York saloons wouldn’t

translate here, people told him. After all, even tried and true San Francisco-style

restaurants were failing. But Butler says he had the “courage of his convictions,”

adding that “sometimes being too naïve to be terrified is a great thing.” With some

borrowed money, his youthful enthusiasm, and one giant dream, Butler and his wife

at the time, opened Perry’s. “We just went for it. We took a shot,” he says.

Perry’s opened in 1969 to huge success, thanks in part to a rave review by the

San Francisco Chronicle. “The bar was crazy. It was really a scene,” says Butler

of the restaurant’s early years. The New York saloon style had translated to San

Francisco. Just as Butler and his co-workers had flooded Martell’s for happy hour,

San Francisco workers poured into the wood-paneled joint on Union Street. And

they continue to. Last year, Perry’s celebrated its 40th anniversary. Today, Perry

Butler is the owner of four different Perry’s restaurants, scattered across the city and

including one at San Francisco Airport.

While his industry success is certainly something to be proud of, what the 65-yearold

restaurateur says he’s most excited about now is that his kids are working

with him. Today, four of his five kids work in the Perry’s business, managing the

restaurants and overseeing the operations, and following their father’s business

model of “If you have good people, you can do anything.”

Just as a young Perry stood by his father as he grilled steaks in the backyard,

Perry’s own kids are standing beside him at the restaurants, and reinforcing his

dream of creating restaurants with the feel of home. Butler says, “I have the most

wonderful kids. We’re a really close family. If I sound like a proud Dad, it’s because

I am.”

Tre Bicchieri 2011 World Tour - San Francisco

Brandy Falconer, Marchese Piero Antinori, Kari Menconi Moore and Glenn Salva


COMMUNITY

Pets Unlimited: A Home for All by Andrea Stuart

As the saying goes, it’s a small world. But for many of the four-legged animals The 24-hour veterinary hospital, no-kill shelter, and adoption center is now a

roaming our streets, it’s a giant world with little refuge for their weary paws. Alice bustling community of 200-plus volunteers and nearly 100 employees. Since its

L. Coldwell and Carter H. Downing, co-Founders of the non-profit animal rescue inception, Pets Unlimited has saved the lives of over 250,000 animals, presently

and veterinary center Pets Unlimited in San Francisco, knew this well and set out re-homing approximately 350 rescued shelter animals per year.

to rectify the situation.

“Pets Unlimited has a unique business model that evolved organically,” says Kate

In 1947, armed with nothing more than good consciences and humility, Ms. Shilvock, Director of Development and Administration of Pets Unlimited. “What

Coldwell and Ms. Downing brought strays to Animal Care and Control (ACC) in started as a rescue became a comprehensive facility complete with a veterinary

an attempt to rescue them only to learn that the animals would be euthanized.

hospital and several specialty quarters.”

The overwhelming number of animals made it impossible for the shelter to house

every animal that came through its doors. Dismayed by the realities of shelter The three-story facility that sits on Fillmore Street today consists of a holistic

life, the ladies took the animals back home—along with more than a dozen other center, a veterinary hospital, and a shelter. The holistic center offers a variety

dogs—and Pets Unlimited was born.

of alternative medicines for pets such as acupuncture and herbal treatments.

The main level consists of a veterinary hospital with 13 full-time veterinarians and

two holistic veterinarians. The top level is the shelter, complete with cat and dog

condos, and a community room.

The birth of the veterinary hospital developed from the shelter’s growing need

for medical care; many of the rescued animals suffered ailments and injuries that

required expensive treatments (the average cost to save each animal is $3,500).

A coalition was formed with veterinarians and other groups in order to expand

available services while generating funds for the programs.

“In addition to offering 24-hour emergency care and helping fund our own

programs, the Veterinary Center provides support to people who have trouble

caring for their own pets,” says Shilvock.

Pets Unlimited has a positive relationship with many community groups including

Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS), a volunteer-based organization that provides

for the comprehensive needs of companion animals for low-income persons with

disabling HIV/AIDS, and other debilitating illnesses, as well as senior citizens.

Relationships like this help bolster the shelter’s programs, including The Saffron

House, Pets Unlimited’s adoption house for FIV-positive felines.

The Saffron House was born to demonstrate to the public that FIV-positive cats

are one hundred percent adoptable and can live long and healthy lives,” continues

Shilvock.

Although there is still much work to do (animal welfare and environmental groups

receive less than two percent of total funds raised by charitable endeavors,

globally), Pets Unlimited and similar organizations are making a dent in today’s

homeless animal population (the euthanasia rate in San Francisco has been

reduced to five percent). Perhaps if we pay it forward a little each day, our unlimited

supply of homeless animals can become an unlimited supply of solutions.

For more information about Pets Unlimited or to make a donation, visit

petsunlimited.org


Ingrid

PERSONA


A Pioneer Soul

by Lisa Gunther / photography by Hemali Acharya

With a thoughtful look in her eyes and her fingers wrapped around a steaming hot

cup of coffee, hospitality maven Ingrid Summerfield tells the story of her life. It’s

the quintessential American story; the struggle for independence, the search for

opportunity, a lot of hard work, and dreams that come true.

Ingrid was born in Stuttgart, one of Germany’s largest cities, well-known for being

the home of Porsche and Mercedes. The oldest of four children, Ingrid would

describe her childhood as traditional, albeit nomadic. After finishing the second

grade, her family began an epic trek to new and exciting foreign lands, starting

with the south of France, where she finished the third and fourth grade, and then

Northern California, where her father—an agriculturist—bought a small farm near

Red Bluff. Between sixth and eighth grade, she continued to move back and forth

between California, France, and Germany before finally enrolling in the Lausanne

Hospitality School in Switzerland.

Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the frequent changes in her life, Ingrid found

them exhilarating, and subsequently developed a life-long love of travel that would

lead to a career in the field of hospitality. “You just learn to be independent, how to

adapt, how to make new friends quickly and how to enjoy different environments.

I went to 18 schools in my entire career. And I learned three languages.”

It was this sense of independence that led Ingrid back to San Francisco after

finishing school in Switzerland. For Ingrid, the City by the Bay offered the freedom

to spread her wings, while in Europe she had struggled against societal dictations

about what she, as a woman, could do with her life. She didn’t want to settle for

a job in middle management or housekeeping. She longed for a more dynamic

career.

“Coming here, there was something that, for me, equated freedom and opportunity.

That was definitely a vision I had. And I think the vision stemmed back from a

childhood memory of standing on the Marin Headlands, when I was 12 or 13 years

old, and just looking at the bridge, and thinking, this is the land of opportunity. Just

seeing that spectacular beauty, of the bridge, the bay, and the city, there was

always this dream or this image in my mind’s eye of where there was a future.”

Arriving in San Francisco with only two suitcases and $900, Ingrid was ready to

face that future. She found employment at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, working in the

accounting office, before deciding to go back to school. After receiving a degree

in photojournalism at San Francisco State, she initially began looking for work as a

journalist in the city, though the need for more money would soon lead her to work

as a sales coordinator for a group of hotels in the South of Market area. After a few

years working in sales, she joined Joie de Vivre as a General Manager.

“Reconnecting with the hotel industry in the sales and public relations arena, and

more in the people aspect, the creative side of things—that really was more my

calling than the finance and accounting side. And one thing led to another, and I

am still in the hotel industry.”

Today, as president of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Ingrid oversees multiple aspects of

the company, including the hotel, restaurant and spa operations, human resources,

the technology and revenue departments, and finally, sales and marketing. In her

personal life, she enjoys street photography, visiting museums, and of course,

traveling. She lives in what she describes as the cultural center of the city, Hayes

Valley, with her husband, Ron, and their two cats—Casper and Cinder. Fortunately,

Ron’s career as a realtor offers him plenty of time to travel with her, and the two

take delight in visiting the great cities of the world together.

Her favorite city? San Francisco, of course.


SCENE

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Victor James

Alicia Perrone

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Billy

PERSONA


Everything is Going

to be Just Fine

by Kristin Smith / photography by Hemali Acharya

Billy Clift grew up with celebrities. As a student at Hollywood High, everyone he

knew came from star stock. His own family tree hangs heavy with famous kin—

Frederick Clift, of the eponymous Clift hotel in San Francisco, is a great uncle, and

the actor Montgomery Clift, a distant cousin. But no star captured his infatuation like

Elizabeth Montgomery. As a child, Clift would watch Bewitched, his face pressed

up to the screen, dreaming about having Samantha as his mother.

that nurturing being I’d looked at her as a kid.” Call it kismet, call it manifestation,

call it the universe giving him what he asked for so many years ago, but don’t call it

chance; Clift doesn’t. “It’s like I manifested her. But it can’t just be me. The universe

is bigger than that. It had to be something she needed too.”

The two met when Clift was a hairdresser and stylist in Los Angeles. Elizabeth

Montgomery was his first celebrity client. She had seen some of his work and asked

to have a session with him. Clift says that when they met, it was like they knew each

other already. “We were just friends [snaps his fingers] like that.”

For Clift, Montgomery’s death was a major turning point in his life. He says that

when she died, he had a vision of her death—and it was exactly as Montgomery’s

husband said it was. The psychic moment led Clift to start writing, and he eventually

penned the book, Everything is Going to be Just Fine about Montgomery’s death.

“When I was a little kid, I thought she was the most important person in the world.

And I learned later on that I’m not the only gay man who thought of Elizabeth

Montgomery as a maternal figure,” jokes Clift.

But he is likely the only one who grew up to be Montgomery’s best friend. And by

Clift’s own account, Montgomery became a mother figure to him. “She became

Writing the book moved Clift into other creative endeavors. He tried to turn the book

into a film, and had secured independent stars like Christina Applegate, but it fell

short of funding at the last minute. The investors weren’t sure a first-time filmmaker

could pull off such a big endeavor, so Clift decided to show them what he could do

with less money. He came up with the idea of Baby Jane?, a drag queen version of

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? “I laugh because I was getting ready to make

this very poignant movie about someone’s death and how it affected me and finding

my own being, and I end up doing this instead,” Clift says of the full-length feature.

But that’s just how Clift operates. His motto is to go with the flow (“If you’re banging

your head against the wall, don’t do it”), and so he moved fluidly into Baby Jane?

The film was a huge hit at Frameline last summer and it’s making its way through

the gay film festival circuit.

Clift has the next five years meticulously mapped out. While Baby Jane? is touring

the country, he’s busy wrapping up his next film — I Want to Get Married, a

romantic comedy about a man who is looking to find a husband in six days. Next, a

John Waters-esque version of Betty Davis’ Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (he’s even

secured Mink Stole), and then a drag queen-free story about Montgomery Clift’s

struggle with his sexuality and his relationship with Elizabeth Taylor. After that, says

Clift, “probably something with zombies.”

And it’s in these seemingly unending artistic endeavors that Billy Clift is carving his

own initials on the famous family tree. “If I wasn’t destined to do this, why would I

have been given such a passion for it?” asks the stylist-cum-writer-cum-director. “I

have an amazing amount of energy moving to want to create. I feel like I’m being

pushed down this hallway and I can’t stop.”

WAITING FOR ASSETS TO UPDATE AD


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