The Louis Vuitton Design District store opens with much fanfare.
Illustrious graffiti? Check. Well-heeled revelers and free-flowing bubbly? Check, check. Live beats?
The talk-of-the-town grand opening soiree of the Louis Vuitton Design District store on the eve of Thursday, Oct. 18, proved to be quite the over-the-top affair with a guest list boasting the President and CEO of Louis Vuitton North America Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet and Miami’s socialites and influencers.
In celebration of the opening, the French Maison commissioned famed Los Angeles-based graffiti writer Marquis Lewis, known as RETNA, to paint a mural on the store’s façade. In fact, this is the first time Louis Vuitton has ever commissioned an artist to create an original work on one of its storefronts. “It is an honor to work with Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton has a deep appreciation for art and the creative process,” RETNA says. “Using their store’s exterior as a canvas for street art is exceptional and truly inspiring for me as an artist,” he adds.
The new Design District door offers a unique experience for shoppers. The main entrance possesses a specialized Travel Room teeming with classic trunks, luggage and travel-specific accessories — ideal for bon vivants. Replete with antique Parisian furniture, the ground floor houses a curated selection of men’s and women’s leathergoods, ready-to-wear, shoes, fashion jewelry, eyewear and textiles. A private salon on the second floor — voilà — exudes a more intimate experience for clients, also featuring RETNA. Très magnifique!
Louis Vuitton Design District is located at 170 NE 40th Street, Design District
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Several years ago, I happened to pair up with someone I hadn’t previously met at the Santa Fe Country Club, where I usually play. After a few holes, we discovered common professional interests: He was about to buy a local magazine and—after editing a travel magazine for several years—I was looking for a new opportunity. We had a lively discussion, with both of us thinking: ‘Mmm, kismet?’ Then a curious thing happened. He preferred to drive his cart at top speed between shots and holes, whereas I liked to walk the course and take my time lining up each shot. At the end of 18, we exchanged numbers, but we both knew we’d never collaborate.
Why? Because the way we played golf spoke volumes about the way we approached our professions.
This weekend, golf is once again on our minds as the Master’s—perhaps the premiere golf tournament in the country—enters its second round of play. The other day, in an interview with a national newspaper, 2011 US Open champ Rory McIllroy was briefly embarrassed when his phone rang, an awkward moment on a course where handheld devices are strictly forbidden. However, it’s a good reminder, for all of us weekend duffers who are taking our clubs out of the closet for the first time this year, how important etiquette and good manners are to the game.
It may be a canard that more deals are struck on the golf course than in any other venue. But if you want to be a walking cliché, I humbly offer a few pieces of advice.
1. Take Lessons
Face it: You stink. Luckily, it’s not necessarily a life sentence. Living in the Rockies, where golf is a seasonal pursuit, I need all the help I can get when the snow melts. Starting the season by hitting two thousand balls on the range will not improve a flawed swing. So take a couple of lessons, but avoid the Pro who gives you 87 things to remember on your backswing. Don’t combine golf and business until you’re playing competently. Otherwise, your clients will rightly assume you’re an idiot.
2. Follow the Rules
A couple of years ago, I read about pro golfer Camilio Villegas being accessed a penalty for removing some debris from around his ball before taking his shot. He seemed genuinely surprised at having broken the rules. What’s shocking is that he didn’t know the rules. You don’t have to be the rule-book Nazi in your foursome, but take some time to read it before the season starts. You’ll be amazed at what you’ve forgotten—or never knew.
3. Observe Dress Codes
One of the best things about business golf is getting invited to play at a client’s or colleague’s club for the first time. Don’t show up in cargo shorts and your vintage Beck tee shirt. Call ahead to the pro shop and ask about the dress code. Dustin Johnson or Bubba Watson are good golf fashion icons: conservative but with a little individual flair. Forget the lime green or cranberry red ensembles. It works for Rickie Fowler. It doesn’t work for you.
4. Play Fair
Golf is self-policing. There are no refs, umpires, or line judges. Just you and your conscience. If your client sees you kicking your ball out of the rough for a better lie, do you think he’ll consider you a go-getter who doesn’t let anything stand in his way—or a lying, self-deceiving sleaze? Mmm. I was playing with a retired chief operating officer a few years ago and I remember him saying, ‘It’s too bad the ethics of golf don’t apply to business.’ That’s just the kind of guy who is perplexed by the public’s attitude toward Wall Street.
5. Observe the Etiquette of the Game
Golf etiquette requires a couple of volumes to detail, from determining driving order to conceding a putt. It boils down to erring on the side of good manners. You don’t throw your briefcase across the boardroom when a deal goes sour (if you still have a briefcase, troglodyte), so throwing your clubs and cursing when you overshoot the green is going to tell your business golf partner that you’re a bad-tempered, tantrum-throwing moron—just the kind of business connection to avoid. Accept failures with grace and victories with humility.
6. Don’t Bet on It
My father imparted two pearls of wisdom when he introduced me to the game. First, never play against anyone, just yourself. Second, if you get frustrated, just enjoy the view. Tournaments are one thing, but putting too competitive an edge on a business golf game can get ugly. You really want to have to watch someone you’re hoping to do business with resentfully write out a check to you in the clubhouse? Conversely, are you willing to trash all sense of honor by five-putting the last hole so your client can walk away $105 richer? If your answers are yes, I suggest you take up trout fishing with dynamite.
7. Don’t Drink and Drive, Let Alone Putt
Until the final putt on the 18th, don’t even think about a cold one. My regular foursome includes a communications executive, an electrical contractor, and a chef. We don’t talk business; we talk smack. So a couple of tall boys in the cart is appropriate. But when you’re doing business on the course, the last thing you want is for things to get sloppy. The clubhouse after play is the appropriate venue—and if you’ve done your prep correctly for the last 18 holes, it’s the right place to close the deal.
8. Know When to Talk Business
One of the oldest maxims of the game is to never talk business the first time you play with a new colleague or client. Pushing your business agenda when you’re supposed to be enjoying leisure time is unseemly. When business does enter into things, observe these four nevers: First, never discuss business before the third hole; second, never after the 15th; third, never when someone is preparing to shoot; and fourth, never on the green. Personally, I like to walk a course—not just for the exercise, but for the stroll between shots that actually gives you and your partner time for a leisurely chat.
9. Play Charitable Tournaments
Yes, local tournaments for charity are possibly the best venue for networking ever devised. If run well, they’re also usually a hell of a lot of fun. Also, at the end of the weekend, you’ve helped raise money to help someone’s life other than your own.
10. Take Advantage of Reciprocals
No doubt you’ve gone to your club’s general manager or pro and asked for help with a reciprocal—the gentlemen’s agreement by which you’re allowed to play as a guest at another club. The problem with this is that if your club pro is not well respected—or your club is not at a certain tier—your request to play at Pine Valley, N.J., will probably be turned down. About eight years ago, a number of online ‘reciprocal clubs’ sprang up that offered a matchmaking service for private club members. You still might get turned down because your own club isn’t up to snuff, but the advantage is they come up with lots of clubs you’d never think of playing and they can reach out internationally to clubs at which your own would never have connections. If you travel abroad frequently, membership is a bargain, but they’d still never let you into Pine Valley.
The Ten Commandments of Business Golf By Kent Black Businessweek.com
How to keep quiet politeness from killing your sales, marketing and probably your business.
I’ll admit it. I’m not a particularly nice person. In fact some consider me brutal with my honesty. (Some just call me a New Yorker.) Either way they’re right. I don’t coddle. I don’t insult, but I call it like I see it and often I offend. I don’t do it to be mean. I do it out of integrity. I believe (often foolishly) that when people engage me in conversation that they are truly interested in my opinions and experiences. So I share, willingly.
A colleague of mine claims one can offer blatant truth, and still be nice. She says: “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” I don’t buy it. I have often witnessed, when someone has invested their heart, soul and ego into a project, and you tell them has invested their heart, soul and ego into a project, and you tell them truthfully and nicely why it will never work, they still think you are cruel and non-supportive. Don’t take my word for it. Just watch Shark Tank, or American Idol. Except maybe Kevin O’Leary, most of the investors or judges aren’t actually rude or impolite. (Not since Simon left anyway.) They simply point out the errors in the unfounded beliefs of the contestants…dashing their dreams and crushing their spirits…thereby appearing to be cruel and non-supportive.
The alternative to us truth-sayers is people with discretion. They grew up under the rule: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all.” They either lie and say something “supportive” when you bring them your hideous, doomed-to-fail idea, or worse they exhibit what I call Quiet-Politeness and simply say nothing. Most likely they’re not vested enough in your success to engage in conflict with you over your passion.
These nice people are not doing you any favors. In fact they are sabotaging you in three ways.
1. Nice People Waste Your Time.
This happens in sales all the time. You meet people at networking events. They’re polite. They never actually tell you they won’t do business with your company. So you optimistically think they’re worth keeping in your tickler file. You follow up every couple of months. You email them a birthday card. You tell yourself that someday they will come around. They won’t. They politely return your email or take your call, again omitting the fact that they’ll never buy and are generally annoyed with your persistence. In fact they would better serve you both, by stating that they already buy from their brother-in-law or that they hate your CEO, and just cut you loose. In sales, nice people suck up the majority of your time and resources. Just look at your conversion numbers.
2. Nice People Encourage Low Standards.
Most people ask for opinions in hopes they are on the right path with a project. A marketer who has passionately invested months in a new campaign runs it by a nice colleague for her feedback. The nice colleague thinks it’s a six on a scale of 10. The nice colleague supportively says: “ Looks good. Keep it up.” Why create unnecessary conflict in the cubicle next door? She thinks. The marketer feeling reassured, continues on his path of mediocrity. The campaign has lackluster results.
3. Nice People Enable Failure.
When an achiever is passionately driving down a fatal path, nice people tend to clear out of the way. Some are simply avoiding conflict. Others don’t want to appear non-supportive as the achiever reaches the point of no return. The nice people demonstrate their own brand of silent cruelty by not sharing their knowledge that can avert the disaster.
I’m not suggesting we round up all the nice people and ship them to parts unknown. Neither should we abandon all rules of polite society. But if you are an achiever in the business world, nice people will create unnecessary obstacles without some precautionary steps.
State clearly you do not want to be treated by nice people the way they want to be treated. Tell them instead to openly share their honest opinions and experiences or don’t engage. Tell them you intend to do the same.
2. Reward Bluntness
It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur, manager or employee. When you seek feedback, show that you appreciate truth and constructive criticism no matter how harsh and painful. Show you can apply input so people are encouraged to provide more of it.
3. Give Nice People a Safe Path to Disengage
Most nice people can’t help themselves. Help them form nice people cliques and let them sabotage each other en masse. Perhaps you can identify them with an embroidered N on their lapels so they can find each other easily. This way you can avoid them and come hang out with those of us who will be brutally honest and give you the necessary feedback for success and achievement. We’ll be supportive by helping you overcome your real obstacles and we’ll encourage you to do the same for us. Come on over anytime. (You can find many of us at the Bull and Bear.)
It may not be a nice time, but it will certainly be refreshing.
I look forward to reading all your comments both good and bad. Of course I don’t expect the nice people will say anything.