Naphalai's Diary: October 28-November 3
I feel guilty. There were two big events I should have attended—and also wanted to—but had to back out as there was just too much to do. The first was the two-day ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN) CEO Summit which was held just before the start of the 35th ASEAN Summit 2019. Organised by AWEN president Khunying Natthika Angubolkul, it brought together leading women CEOs from around the region and closed with a dinner presided over by prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. The second was the one-day Dragonfly inaugural summit, a regional platform founded by Pranapda Phornprapha to promote equality and empower women.
Thailand has more than its fair share of strong and successful women. The latest Gender 3000 report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute says that Thailand ranks second globally in terms of women in senior management, with the highest percentage of female chief financial officers and the third-highest of female chief executives. Not surprising really as I meet such powerful ladies regularly, among them, of course, Khunying Natthika and Pranapda. Yet another Iron Lady is Chadatip Chutrakul, CEO of Siam Piwat. She is a very eloquent speaker and can speak for hours without notes. It was fascinating to listen to her at the press conference to celebrate the first anniversary of IconSiam. Joining her were Dr Kobsak Pootrakul, secretary of the government’s economic cabinet, and other tourism and trade personalities
Jacob & Co's New Boutique
Jewellery and watch companies were quite busy last week, including Jacob & Co, whose products are popular with the rich and famous worldwide. The company opened a boutique at Gaysorn Village operated by local partner Time Zone. Flying in for the event was Jacob Arabo, founder and chairman of Jacob & Co, together with his friend, Oscar-winning actor Adrian Brody. Guests enjoyed a fashion show of the glittering creations.
"Meet Our Artisans"
Another glamorous do was Chopard’s Meet Our Artisans exhibition at Siam Paragon. Together with local retailer ST Diamond Design, the jeweller best known for its partnership with the Cannes Film Festival, showcased five craft experts in movement decoration, gem setting, grand complications assembly plus a jewellery model artisan and artisanal draughtswoman. The star power came in the form of co-president Caroline Scheufele and brand ambassador Chompoo Araya Hargate.
Montblanc Introduces New 1858 Watches
Montblanc meanwhile introduced its new 1858 timepieces pairing green and bronze to capture the spirit of the great outdoors. In line with the theme, the boutique at Siam Paragon was decorated with lush greenery. The 1858 watches consist of the Automatic, Chronograph and Geosphere, with the latter dedicated to the world’s Seven Summit mountaineering challenge.
High Tea With Sretsis
From the fashion world was the presentation of Sretsis’ fall/winter Bourgeois Remix collection. Although the Mandarin Oriental was technically closed for renovations, the Sretsis three sisters, Klyduan, Pimdao and Matina Sukhahuta, were able to take over the Author’s Lounge area for an elegant tea fashion show. Key looks combine old-world finery with present-day charm producing rich draperies, delicate laces and ornate ruffles.
Dolce & Gabbana, meanwhile, launched its make-up at Siam Paragon. D&G Beauty was acquired by Shiseido in 2016 with the make-up lines now available in the market. The iconic crafted packaging of the products pronounces the fashion DNA of the brand, with collections that create looks that range from alluring to sophisticated to graceful and mature.
The Pillow Bag
Marc Jacobs also presented its new fall 2019 collection featuring collaborations with various designers. Held at its boutique at Central World, the highlight is the Pillow bag in six different shades.
The Ski Edition
And with the advent of the cool season—and actual dropping of temperature—minds turn towards winter sports. The Ski Edition opened a multi-brand pop-up store at Gaysorn featuring ski and snowboard apparel and equipment from famous brands. Pimpimon Pattanavimon and Dr Nantachai Sornkarn, both keen skiers and the people behind the store, explain that many Thais now enjoy skiing and there is a demand for quality winter sports products.
A Johnnie Walker Dinner
I also had two meals last week, each quite different from the other. The first was a dinner to introduce the limited-edition Johnnie Walker Blue Label Glenury Royal. This is the third in the Ghost and Rare series made from “ghost” whiskies from iconic distilleries that closed many years ago. The dinner was a four-course gourmet menu by the chef at Park Hyatt’s Penthouse Bar & Grill paired with Johnnie Walker whiskies. The climax was a tasting of the Glenury Royal at the end of the dinner, hosted by Diageo Moet Hennessy’s Alexander Carroll and Pipit Pongpipattnakul, managing director of Johnnie Walker.
Healthy Meals At The Movenpick BDMS
The other was lunch at Tamarind, the “natural dining” restaurant of Movenpick BDMS Wellness Resort. No alcohol was served and the food has been created together with global nutritional expert Gabi Kurz so it is health-focused but tasty. I had not returned to the hotel since it had been sold to Dr Prasert Prasartthong-osoth so it felt a bit strange to be coming back. General manager Bruno Huber says that although it is attached to the BDMS health centre, it accepts normal tourists and MICE guests as well.
Previously: Naphalai's Diary: October 21-27