On-the-pulse fashionistas Kathia Gotsman and Allie Gordon are the founding brains behind Iconic Chic, an online magazine dedicated to the glamour-drenched world of luxury accessories, a topic very close to Mr & Mrs Smith’s heart. We chatted with them about the ideas behind the site, their favourite destinations, and their travel trend predictions…
Tell us about Iconic Chic – what are the ideas behind it and what inspired you to get it started?
Allie Iconic Chic provides immediate access to the best of what is available to buy in luxury accessories. We aim to become an indispensable guide for the accessories that every women desires, be it for herself, her home or as a beautiful gift. As consumers ourselves, we realised there was nowhere online that focused on exquisite accessories, with information and advice, in the areas we were interested in: fashion, jewellery, home décor and holidays, so we decided to create it ourselves!
And, if we may say so, you’ve done a stonking good job. Obviously, Mr & Mrs Smith are especially interested in the travel facet – what are you hoping to achieve with your holiday boutique?
Allie An online log, available to everyone, that allows them to customise where to go, what to see and what to wear for any location they like. In our Destination of the Month pages, you can see the best places to visit, the restaurants we rate and the must-have items to pack to ensure you’ve covered all eventualities.
The products you feature have been known to send us into a covetous flap like magpies over silver. Tell us about three or four items you’ve added to the collection recently that have got you excited.
Allie Luxurious cashmere throws, fold-up ballet pumps which are perfect to pack, and beautiful luggage by Mulberry.
And if you had to create the perfect travel capsule wardrobe, what would you put in it?
Allie DVF maxi dresses which work perfectly for both day and night, Heidi Klein cozzies in colours to match, cashmere scarves for when the sun goes down and beautiful gold flatties by Jimmy Choo that show off pretty summer toes and work with everything.
Mr & Mrs Smith have recently been pondering what 2009 holds in terms of travel trends, do you have any predictions?
Kathia Eco travel is a fast-growing trend in the luxury sector. More and more luxury travellers are becoming keen to be responsible travellers – to respect nature, to be sensitive to local cultures and traditions, to help the local economy to ensure that money spent in the local region stays in the country. Also, extreme adventure travel – to push the boundaries and get the adrenaline kick.
It’s true. We conducted a travel trend survey recently – and the vast majority of people who responded said that a hotel’s eco-credentials were a consideration when it came to booking. Perhaps not the main deciding factor, but I think people are more aware than ever about the impact of travel on the environment. What about your personal travel predictions? What’s next on your holiday wish-list?
Kathia A husky-led expedition to Lapland to see the Northern Lights or a safari in Zambia.
Hmm… we’ve no hotels in Lapland yet, so do report back if you find anywhere Smithy. Zambia safaris, we can do, though. What’s your current favourite destination?
Allie I must be one of the last to realise how special Capri is! Until I researched it for the site I had no idea how beautiful the small island is or about the array of wonderful hotels, spas and places to visit – and the enchanting Amalfi Coast is just a stone’s throw away.
Kathia My favourite destination at the moment is Paris. Parisian chic is extremely elegant and only requires a few key accessories to achieve. Whether you wear a great pair of jeans and a crisp white shirt, a sharp dress, or a skirt and a cashmere top – it all comes down to key accessories: stylish understated earrings, a Loewe scarf, a patent belt, an investment bag (Hermes Kelly or Louis Vuitton) and of course elegant heels. In winter wear gloves for extra warmth and elegance. I love to stroll along the quais of the Seine from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower. The Louvre never disappoints, however Musée National Picasso is a top favourite as well.
Mr & Mrs Smith is rather enamoured with the City of Lights too – we’re launching a new collection of boutique hotels in Paris next month, which we’re very excited about (you can get a taster of the new collection here). So, while you’re visiting these gorgeous places, who would you most like to have with you? In a perfect world, who would be your ideal travel companion?
Kathia My husband is the person I enjoy travelling with the most, but I do think that Bill Clinton would be a very interesting person to travel with as he is a very charismatic person with a good sense of humour and someone with fantastic knowledge and ‘insider’ info of most countries and regions.
As long as you don’t spot a box of cigars in his luggage, I imagine he’d be an excellent choice. And finally, you know that Mr & Mrs Smith is all about boutique hotels; we couldn’t let you go without asking: what’s your favourite and what makes it so great?
Kathia Hotel Cipriani in Venice because of the fantastic ambiance, the impeccable service and the great location. Also, L’Ousteau de Baumanière because it has one of the best restaurants in France. In summer you sit outside and take in the fantastic atmosphere. Another plus is the location in Les Baux de Provence, which is the most beautiful village in the South of France.