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Gray & Farrar Appoints New MD

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Mayfair-based matchmaking consultancy Gray & Farrar has announced the appointment of Kalina Boyadjiew as its first managing director.

 

The consultancy leads with a policy of “No apps, algorithms or data matches” instead opting for a more personal bespoke service to its wealthy clients.

In a bid to boost global expansion of the family-owned British brand Kalina Boyadjiew brings a background of real estate and lifestyle industry experience to the role from luxury operators including the Four Seasons Hotel, Residences and Private Members Club and renowned developer Candy & Candy where she oversaw the sales programme and service delivery of One Hyde Park.

She also makes a debut as the first non-family member to join the business at managerial level from its discreet headquarters in a Mayfair townhouse in London.

Gray & Farrar was established by Virginia Sweetingham in 2005 and boasts over 40 years of collective expertise under the Sweetinghams.

Kalina Boyadjiew said: “Matchmaking is undergoing a seismic evolution as society falls out of love with the impersonal, random and casual nature of dating websites and apps, and further embraces the concierge culture which dictates that one must appoint an expert to ensure that every facet of life runs seamlessly. Gray & Farrar is leading that charge, combining a global outlook with bespoke client service, tailored to fulfil the needs and demands of the most discerning HNWIs.

“My experience in international luxury offers the ultimate background to guide Gray & Farrar through its next period of expansion, both domestically and across the globe, identifying strategically selected opportunities and partnerships along the way.”

Virginia Sweetingham added: “It is fantastic to have Kalina on board at Gray & Farrar. Her global experience is just what the business needs to build on its incredibly strong foundations, and to realise its global potential. We are looking forward to applying the knowledge and experience Kalina brings with her which, together with our unrivalled knowledge of matchmaking, will ensure that Gray & Farrar continues to offer the best possible service to its clients whilst becoming recognised as the world leader in its field.”

Neptunus Production Win

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Temporary structure supplier Neptunus has been named the UK’s Best Temporary Structure Supplier at the Event Production Awards 2018.

Neptunus scooped the award in one of the most fiercely contested categories for their role at live events including The National Eisteddfod of Wales and Belgium’s electronic music dance festival Tomorrowland.

Judges said: “This was an excellent presentation, well thought out and creative and showed such diversity in the work they undertake.”

Neptunus reached its 80th anniversary last year and marked the occasion by launching an innovative new structure, Salacia. The circular Salacia was designed especially for Tomorrowland after the festival’s organisers challenged Neptunus to come up with a new and dynamic creation for their event.

The innovastructure was a key element of Neptunus’ Event Production Award entry which saw the company beat off opposition from eight other industry rivals to take the prestigious title in London.

April Trasler, MD of Northamptonshire-based Neptunus received the award on behalf of the company and said afterwards: “We are really thrilled to be named Best Temporary Structure Supplier in recognition of our performance at live events last year at a time when we were celebrating our 80th anniversary.

“Awards such as this recognise the efforts of everyone at Neptunus while our new Salacia structure also demonstrates just how creative our design team are. They are constantly coming up with really innovative bespoke solutions for our customers, pushing the boundaries to ensure that our customers’ visions can be turned into reality – and this is so important to enable us to keep ahead in such a competitive industry.”

 

April Trasler (pictured 3rd right) accepts the award on behalf of Neptunus with project manager Richard Treml (2nd right) and project director Ben Keast (far left).

Annabel's Cultural Committee

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Annabel’s has enlisted a formidable creative coterie to bring cultural magic to the Mayfair institution ahead of its opening later this year. Abigail Parkin.

 

The Cultural Committee will comprise photographer Mario Testino, fashion and style commentator Derek Blasberg, make-up artist CharlotteTilbury and contemporary art influencer Hikari Yokoyama.

Opened by Mark Birley in 1963, Annabel’s has been host to names such as Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor and ushered in a new generation of musicians and models to carouse under its vaulted ceilings. Later this year Annabel’s will move two doors down from 44 to 46 Berkeley Square in a spectacular relaunch.  

Creative counsel, Testino will work with Martin Brudnizki and the Annabel’s team on aspects of the atmosphere and setting the tone for the ‘now’ generation. The renowned photographer will collaborate with Hikari Yokoyama on a modern-day version of the Annabel’s Triptych; a piece originally painted by John Ward to celebrate the venue’s 20th anniversary featuring the Club’s founding members. The 2017 version will feature some of  Annabel’s most influential members – quite a potential roll-call when figures such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Moss, Tom Cruise, Lady Gaga, Madonna and Anna Wintour have all frequented. Who exactly will feature is yet to be decided.

 

Mario Testino (pictured) said: “It is amazing to be involved in the creative process of reimagining such an iconically British institution. I have many fantastic memories of the nights I’ve spent at Annabel’s, and I’m excited to be part of her next chapter.”

Best-selling author Derek Blasberg will be the club’s discerning sartorial eye. “Over the decades Annabel’s has hosted a veritable who’s who of the fashion elite,” he said. “It’s a place that is synonymous with great taste, indulgence and fabulous style. In a place like Annabel’s it’s impossible to feel – and look – anything but spectacular and I’m thrilled to be offering my creative input.”

Annabel’s also gets a beauty director in the shape of make-up artist, Charlotte Tilbury who is charged with seeing that the club looks and feels sensational. And she should know, with A-list clients and friends including Cara Delevingne and Penelope Cruz.  

Owner of the iconic Mayfair venue Richard Caring said: “London, as the greatest city in the world, deserves the world’s greatest club. Annabel’s, as the world’s greatest club, is assembling a collective of people unparalleled in their fields. Mario Testino has - and continues to be - an absolute force, using his genius in the worlds of photography and creativity. We welcome him to our family.”

The member’s club will be opened in an 18th Century, Grade One listed Georgian Townhouse. At 26,000 square feet, the new Club will offer much more space than the original. For the first time, Annabel’s will offer an all-day and all-night experience, with new and additional floors for Members to work, dine and entertain their guests.

 

Membership enquiries - email membership@annabels.co.uk

Savills - Euro Travel Megatrends Report

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Global property expert Savills has launched a report which identifies the key trends expected to drive the travel sector by 2030. Abigail Parkin

Its European Hotels Megatrends report predicts that Europe will continue to be the preferred destination for a rising number of ‘silver’ travellers from the EU, Asia and Middle East. These travellers will belie age to opt for more active and sporty getaways by 2030 - in common with younger travellers seeking the same pursuits.

The report sees single holidaymakers across all generations forming a larger share of travellers who will want to meet like-minded people. This is expected to put the onus on hotels to be more accommodating of solo  travellers. It’s partially driven by future traveller confidence in digital connectivity, giving rise to more obscure alternatives in location choice.

Social media will further fuel holidays that allow travellers to “access the inaccessible”. The report goes on to claim that with no new destinations by 2030, travellers will find creative spots that impress their social media followers. It appears that the reward will lie in the risk of uncharted destinations.

Hotel trends are forecast as including facial recognition software across venues to target business travellers, speeding up check-in. Lobbies will offer large, elaborate work/social spaces, with extended food and drink options, as hotels compete with serviced office providers. Also 3D motion technology will allow travellers real-time interaction with colleagues in “immersive” environments. Technology will personalise hotel stays with guests being greeted by their favourite film on TV and their chosen lighting levels as the hotel industry competes with home-sharing platforms.

Ecotourism is expected to rule life by 2030 but without compromising traveller comfort so hotels will need to demonstrate how they minimise their carbon footprint and use fair trade products and support local communities.

George Nicholas, global head of hotels at Savills, said: “Young travellers prioritise ‘experience’ and creating bespoke trips to maximise their leisure time, making them dubious of impersonal hotels and of following well-trodden tourist trails. Alongside this you have the already well-travelled baby boomers who are not willing to compromise on comfort or experience as they grow older. Hotels therefore will need to focus on what they can provide that is truly unique and how they can tailor and personalise their offer, be that for a 22 year old single traveller or a 65 year old couple, to continue to capture their custom in 2030.”

 

 

 

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