Naphalai’s Diary: February 11-17
Life for publishing companies has been tough during the last few years.
Publishers have had to deal with a world disrupted by technology and new demands. Traditional strategies no longer work and for those unable or unwilling to adapt to the new market requirements, it is becoming almost impossible to survive. Clients today are looking for one thing: content in the most effective medium. In the past, this used to be in print but today it is usually a combination of print, digital and below-the-line activities including events.
Blue Mango, the company that publishes Thailand Tatler, has gone through this transition and we would like to think that we have emerged quite well from the turbulence of the last few years. We now have a strong presence online through our website and social media, our magazine continues to maintain a high quality and we provide our clients with complete solutions to their promotional and advertising requirements.
Okay that was a bit of a roundabout way of introducing my first event for last week. British real estate developer Berkeley Group enlisted our help to promote One Blackfriars London, a 50-storey architectural masterpiece with 274 apartments in the heart of the city looking down on the River Thames. We organised an exclusive dinner with a London Calling theme boasting an English menu created by chef David Newstead from Essex, on loan to us from Soneva Kiri. Held at the Royal Pavilion of the equally exclusive Royal Bangkok Sports Club, three dozen high-net-worth individuals joined in an evening of good food and wine, plus good company, which included Berkeley’s James Nicolson, who flew from the UK, and Tim Skevington and Alexandra Chan.
Opening of Alexander & James
Another event with a decidedly English accent was the opening of the first flagship store for Alexander & James, a British furniture company under the management of Thai-owned TCM Corporation. Located at Sukhumvit 39 in a charming cottage-style building, the showroom provides clients with custom-made sofas and chairs. Flying in for the opening was a team headed by Alexander & James founder and creative director Mark Alexander Smith, who was joined by Pimol Srivikorn of TCM.
V-Day & The Opening of Christian Dior
Valentine's Day was last week, and the opening of Maison Christian Dior at IconSiam was very timely. The standalone is the first offering 22 fragrances by Dior perfumer-creator Francois Demachy, as well as candles and soaps. The boutique designed in an elegant Parisian ambience also provides silk scarves for perfuming to be worn around the neck or wrist.
Also at IconSiam was a press conference to announce the Pink Park Eternal Love concert on May 13 to raise funds for the breast cancer hospice and rehabilitation centre Pink Park Village in Minburi. Initiated by Dr Kris Chatamra of the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer, the project provides support for breast cancer patients in need. The concert features eight leading singers including Kong Saharat Sangkapricha, Pu Anchalee Jongkhadikij, Kob Songsith Roongnopkunsri and Pod Moderndog and will be held at Royal Paragon Hall.
Amazing Thailand At IconSiam
Again at IconSiam (looks like I may need to find accommodation on that side of the river if this keeps up) was the launch of the Amazing Thailand Brands campaign spearheaded by the Federation of Thai Industries' Design and Lifestyle Cluster to promote Thai products from its nine industries. Co-organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand the exhibition runs until March 23 at IconSiam with a fashion show comprising 300 models on a 8.9 km catwalk that runs all the way to Siam Paragon on June 12. One of the people behind this project is none other than Beauty Gems' Suriyon Sriorathaikul, who is also chairman of the Fashion and Lifestyle Cluster.
A Sisley Lunch & Launch
Singapore-based Nicolas Chesnier, regional managing director Asia Pacific of French skincare brand Sisley Paris was in town to introduce a new product in its premium Sisleya L'Integral Anti-Age line. The Anti-Wrinkle Concentrated Serum is the latest in a range that consists of eye and face cream, and firming serum. Following the presentation guests enjoyed a lunch at Tables Grill of the Grand Hyatt Erawan hosted by local Sisley executive Rujitr Suthanaseriporn.
And finally, a lunch at the InterContinental Bangkok's Theo Mio to welcome back its Australian celebrity chef, Theo Randall. He visits several times a year to check on the Italian restaurant that bears his name. I also enjoyed the opportunity to say hello to the hotel's new general manager Thane J Kuhlman.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: February 4-10)