Blog & Inspiration

ONCE UPON A TIME...
The smell of lavender is beguiling. It mingles with the aromatic smell of pine and rosemary. On the horizon, the peaks of the Maritime Alps disappear in a blue haze and you know the sea is not far away. Provence is a unique region of France, an area that is proud of its breathtakingly beautiful countryside in which the best lavender in the world grows. Like a lilac-coloured sea, the lavender fields that seem to never want to end stretch over the gentle hills. A setting that was made for natural cosmetics.
MASTER OF MUSICAL PRODUCTION
Kent Nagano is a great defender of classical music, which in his opinion ought no longer be the exclusive domain of connoisseurs. After a string of positions in cities all over the world he has recently become particularly big in Hamburg, where he has taken up no fewer than two new appointments. The Californian is now Chief Conductor with the city’s Philharmonic State Orchestra and Music Director of its equally renowned State Opera. The 65 year-old’s language, manners and lifestyle mindfulness, and devotion resonate clearly with musicians and audiences alike, the latter of which he specifically says never to underestimate. We met up with the maestro in Munich, listening to both his work and encouraging words about classical music in a modern world.
CLASSIC WITH A TWIST
Sir Paul Smith today is probably the most famous of British fashion designers. His career started in 1970 from a windowless room of only nine square metres in Nottingham, the very place from where he would also sell his men’s wear. Back then, as his hair was still reaching up to his shoulders, he donned colourful velvet suits and floral pattern shirts. Since the nineties, the charming Englishman has also occupied himself with women’s clothing. Eccentricity, avant-gardism and bright hues have always been key to his style. In 2000 Mr. Smith was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. And if you think that was a special occasion; Sir Paul - as he from then on ought to be addressed - married his childhood sweetheart Pauline on the same day!
WINE CULTURE
Deep in the heart of Lombardy not too far from Milan lies one of the most interesting wine regions in Italy, known as Franciacorta. With its gentle green slopes of ancient hills, moraine in origin, the province of Brescia stretches across 20,000 hectares and 19 parishes. It is here that Franciacorta is made, an Italian wine that is exclusively produced with secondary fermentation in the bottle and labelled Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (a label that denotes controlled production methods and guaranteed quality). The Franciacorta denomination is representational of the area, production method and wine. This wonderful region is justifiably regarded as the Champagne of Italy, because as in France, high-quality sparkling wines are produced here using the same variety of grapes in a time-consuming bottle fermentation process.
FOOD LOVER
Our food lays the foundation stone for the energy in our bodies, for our health and our well-being. What we eat influences our lives, our careers, even our relationships and family and beyond that, how we feel. In short, our food influences every part of our lives – and our minds.
INTO THE WILD
In the majestic wilderness of Alaska you may find you come across a more unusual scene: where previously bears caught salmon in the river and elks grazed contentedly, a hiker appears, a hiker otherwise known as Barack Obama, the President of the United States, walking through the breath-taking landscape of the most northerly federal-state in the USA. At his side, the survival expert Bear Grylls, who’s testing Obama’s adaptability to nature and is showing him how to live in the wilderness.
DANCE ON THE ROPE
Precisely because everything about Peter Schmidt rests on a principle of disciplined passion the Bayreuth-born lithographer has always been enormously productive. Single-minded since 1937, he has made quite a name for himself, adorning what was once merely one of the more common entries in a German telephone book with the bells of international acclaim. He designed the stark logo for Jil Sander, aka the Queen of Less, then no less than sculpted her a perfume bottle. Schmidt continued to chisel sheer pieces of art for the scents of Davidoff, Estée Lauder and Hugo Boss. With the same devotion Schmidt, who has been working from Hamburg for longer than he cares to remember, designed several magazines, in-house titles for IBM and Siemens, which thus also became true works of art. A rather solitary-working yet playful éminence grise sheds some light from his halo on his constant search for aesthetics.
POWERFUL PERFORMANCE
A chef’s biggest challenge when cooking is to know the exact moment a dish is done. Many options exist to help determine it. American start-up June and its oven of the same name offer a solution that is elegant, easy to use, and one which promises to lighten up the life of any amateur chef.
THE FIGUREHEAD OF HAUT CUISINE
Nobody transformed the culinary world in the 20th century more than Paul Bocuse. His light and delicate cuisine has always caused a furore. As early as 1965, the Michelin Guide awarded him three stars – the youngest chef to achieve this distinction in France. He is the only chef who has been able to retain this top award uninterrupted for 51 years. Like no other master chef, he has perfected the art of attending to customers. He gave us an insight into his busy day.
HAPPY GIRL
Food is as hip as it ever was. Around the world on social media platforms people share what they are cooking or are being served in restaurants. Frisian food lover Rens Kroes – supermodel Doutzen’s sister – is not only pretty, she is also a wonderful cook. The cheerful blogger and author of several cookbooks talks about her lifestyle and reveals the healthiest food hotspots.
THE JOURNEYMAN
In a few weeks, Christian Watson will be driving – on some deserted road undulating through the foggy, rain-swept forests of Oregon – along the northern part of the American west coast in a 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. In September, he is planning to travel from Oregon to Alaska; without a phone, without sat-nav and without a road map. He will be publishing his experiences in his new book ‘Forth goes the road’ in January 2017.
WELCOME TO PARADISE
History teaches us that the first Franciscan monks arrived in Mexico with the first conquistadors. From the lush abundance of native flowers, plants, herbs and tropical forests they soon started to distill their very own perfumes. For over three centuries the Spanish Empire smelled of these expensive essences as entire generations fell in love with the exclusive perfumes from the Yucatán Peninsula. However, hundreds of years later the perfume legacy of the monks lay dormant and forgotten until under the name of Coqui Coqui it was kissed back to life by Argentinian landscape architect and model Nicolas Malleville.
EVERYTHING BUT THE DRESS
Whether vintage, unique or displayed with plenty of British coolness: London fashion is always truly eye-catching. Hardly surprising, considering the British capital is one of the most fashion-forward cities in the world, home to such labels as Burberry, Cartier, Escada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada. And the well-established Kurt Geiger, with its numerous designer brands, has been a fixture of the city for decades now.
OCEAN GIANT
They are the mesmerising focal points of every port and marina across the globe: super-yachts. They supposedly represent strength, power and wealth. But if we look around international yacht shows, it quickly becomes clear that it is no longer just about size – it is above all boat-building design that has become the success factor. To this end, there is ever-greater competition as a result of rising demand. Correspondingly, there is an increasing number of ships being placed on the market at ever-shorter intervals. Add to this the fact that the owners are fulfilling life dreams with their yachts, which makes the appearance of the ships and customised fixtures and fittings incredibly important. Currently, new niche products, new styles and new trends are being created. Modernity, innovation and unusual design are also on the rise.
DEATH-DEFYING FEATS
He is a visionary climber of the kind that comes along only once in a generation. A thirty-year-old climbing phenomenon, Alex Honnold pushes the limits of free soloing beyond anything previously attempted, as he climbs without a rope, without a partner and without any gear to attach himself to the wall. If he falls, he dies. At the moment, Honnold is one of the most famous adventurers in the world. His extraordinary life has much to teach us about risk, reward and the ability to maintain focus even in the face of extreme danger. In his book “Alone on the Wall”, he recounts the seven most astonishing achievements thus far in his meteoric career, including free-soloing Sendero Luminoso in Mexico and climbing the Fitz Traverse in Patagonia. Each chapter narrates the drama of one climb, along with reflective and introspective passages that get at what makes Honnold tick.
IN CONVERSATION WITH NORBERT WECKERLE
Ever since the beginning of mass production, product information has been a key component of marketing. With the onset of digitisation however, it became not only more prominent but above all more diverse. Managing this complex element has increasingly been executed by PIM systems which now have developed into the next phase. Norbert Weckerle tells Temel Kahyaoglu all he needs to know about PIM 2.0. 
CASA DEL SOL
Viele Branchen wurden durch die Digitalisierung in den vergangenen Jahren förmlich überrannt. Doch wie reagieren Zweige wie beispielsweise der Möbelhandel auf diese Tatsache? Erste stationäre Händler haben sich zwar frühzeitig mit dem Thema der Digitalen Transformation auseinandergesetzt, klar ist aber, es braucht Zeit, um sich an neue Prozesse zu gewöhnen und am Ende Akzeptanz seitens der Kunden zu erfahren. 
UNVERWECHSELBAR
Von Ersatzteilen für Lkw-Anhänger bis hin zu Beleuchtungsanlagen: Fahrzeugbedarf Kotz ist ein wichtiger Player der Automobilindustrie. Um das 124.000 Artikel starke Sortiment perfekt zu vermarkten, haben die Spezialisten von Stämpfli das PIM-System mediaSolution3 integriert, einen Webshop erstellt und eine automatisierte Katalogerstellung realisiert.
ATTRAKTIVER OMNICHANNEL
Die Erkenntnis, dass auch im B2B-Bereich Marketing- und Vertriebsaktivitäten über alle Kanäle in einem einheitlichen Omnichannel-Kundenerlebnis münden müssen, hat sich mittlerweile durchgesetzt. Der Weg dahin ist jedoch lang und steinig. Schon die konzeptionelle Vorbereitung und Planung erweisen sich oft als größere Hürde. Doch das muss nicht sein.
THE WISHING TABLE
Digitalisation is not a trend, it is a profound, far-reaching social evolution. Against this backdrop, the coffee machine manufacturer WMF presented its new ‘Future in a Box’ technology concept at this year’s spring trade fairs. It offers restaurant owners, hoteliers and coffee machine operators all the relevant instruments for the digital customer experiences of the future. The focus was, on the one hand, on turn-key concepts for contactless and cashless payment systems and on telemetrics, connectivity and apps. On the other hand, the premium product supplier provided deep insight into its development agenda regarding innovative touch payment systems using near field communication and biometrics.
COGNITIVE GENIUS
Cognitive systems can change the way companies will be thinking, acting and working in the future. With Watson, IBM is developing a semantic search engine that can collate and answer questions asked in natural language. In the future, this kind of software could support us in many areas, such as in making complex decisions that have to be made under extreme time pressure. Dirk Heitmann, Director of Cognitive Solutions for Germany, Austria and Switzerland at IBM, tells us just how this works and how Watson could otherwise be deployed in the future.