Archive for September, 2009

Best of British – Under The Spotlight: Clive Christian

Clive ChristianOver the past few decades the Clive Christian name has built a reputation that is synonymous with the ultimate in luxurious interiors and the world’s most opulent perfumes.

As one of the most respected brands in the world of luxury, the name instantly invokes a sense of timeless creative aesthetics that are quintessentially British, making it a natural choice for this new section on celebrating some of the most iconic British brands.

It was over thirty years ago that Clive Christian started his eponymous design business. Widely acknowledged as a revolutionary in kitchen design, he influenced a major shift in the perception of the home environment. Christian made the kitchen the heart of the home, which he further enhanced by daring to incorporate the chandelier in his layouts, something unheard of at the time. Some chose to label him eccentric, but it soon became his statement of individuality and non-conformity to the conventional wisdom in interior design, and one which has since become a signature for every kitchen he creates.

No1Going from strength to strength, 2008 saw the opening of Clive Christian showrooms at the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre in London and, this year, in the Architect & Design Building in Manhattan, New York. Both of these showrooms hold the entire furniture collections and make it possible for any customer with an eye, and a pocket, for ultra luxury furnishings to dress their home from attic to basement in nothing but Clive Christian.

2009 also sees Clive Christian celebrating 10 years since acquiring The Crown Perfumery, one of the oldest and grandest perfumeries in Britain. It’s commitment to excellence and luxury was recognised with the ‘Crown’ in its title by Queen Victoria in 1872 and, given this, it was perhaps inevitable that the Crown Perfumery and Clive Christian would cross paths some 127 years later.

Click here to read the full article online.

Share via emailShare on Facebook+1Share on LinkedInPin it on PinterestShare on Twitter

Best of British Icons Series – Ben Ainslie: The Perfect Storm

Ben AinslieBehind the film star looks and the jovial personality lies a hard as nails world champion the likes of which Britain, nor the world, has rarely ever seen, yet Tim Henman is still more famous than he is.

Exactly what does it take for someone to be classed as one of the greatest sportsmen of all time? Skill? Talent? Determination? All useful attributes, to be sure, but even a combination of all three might not bestow historical status upon you – no matter how much of each you might have at your disposal. No, there is a fourth dimension without which you surely will never achieve greatness. Muhammad Ali had it, as do Michael Jordan, Pete Sampras and Lance Armstrong. Without meaning to cast aspersions, the fourth dimension is a near demented quality in your approach to what you do: a mindset so instinctively singular that if it were applied to any other sphere of life some might truly wonder about your sanity. It’s the philosophy that says, as Tiger Woods puts it, ‘when your opponent is on the floor keep your foot on his neck until it’s over.’

Britain has some great sporting stars and with the advent of lottery funding in the UK we now see the benefits of talent that has been given the opportunity to grow and develop without the debilitating financial considerations of the past. But to have a career straddle almost two decades and still stay at the pinnacle your field, winning everything there is to win in that time? Well, that takes something that lottery funding will never find. That ‘something’ is being Ben Ainslie. As a competitive sailor there literally is no comparison.

Ben AinslieSat in the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge it becomes obvious on first meeting him that he is too personable a character to forcibly articulate the real secret of his success. However, anybody prepared to delve into his competitive history will be able to point to it with little if any trouble. On the field of play – and only on the field of play – this man is cutthroat. It’s as simple as that. The skill and dedication he has to his sport has been underwritten with a ruthlessness that only those who go down in history possess. Put it to him directly and Ainslie will only smile sheepishly and tell you, “when I’m racing, I’m racing to try and win.”

Read the full article online here.

Share via emailShare on Facebook+1Share on LinkedInPin it on PinterestShare on Twitter