Suitcases. Travel. Magazines. Fashion. What could be better then to combine it all in one package?! Sure enough Serena Guen did just that. And in celebration of the one-year anniversary of Suitcase Magazine’s launch in the USA, she brought out the fashionistas of NYC to party LA style in SoHo. Fun. Travel date: April 30, 2013.
The first Suitcase Magazine USA issue of Winter 2012 was the main design element of the evening, gracing bookshelves and candle lit tables with its emblem “The Right to Bare Arms” and the simple yet elegant word “SUITCASE” embossed over a fashion model in muted colors - except for her red lips and nails - and a tattoo in cursive “suitcase” across her bare collar. Inside there is a full spread of models with tattoos of “suitcase” across their chests, arms, etc. Statement made. Love. Suitcase Magazine has arrived.
The brainchild behind this beauty is Serena Guen who is the Managing Director and Features Editor on the printed masthead, while her adorable biz card in the shape of an old-fashioned travel tag states Editor in Chief. She has it all. And deserves it too. Friendly and sweet with a slight English accent revealing her regal origin in England, Serena started Suitcase Magazine in London two-years ago. Extending it to the USA one year ago while studying at NYU, Serena travels deep into her bliss. She is accomplished. She has arrived. And guess what? She is only 23-years-old! And looks like a fashion model. Of course! Upon meeting Serena, you cannot help but want SUITCASE to continue on its successful journey.
SUITCASE is printed in Great Britain and sold in pounds so seemingly it is geared towards the English traveler to America. Glancing through the first issue, it is evident this mag is hip. As a worldwide traveler myself, I agreed with the recommendations. It is recommended to stay in Santa Monica in LA – agree. It is recommended to visit Nantucket – one of my favorite places ever – agree. There is even a feature on Cig Harvey. Yes she is a Brit “livin the American dream” who now vies to exhibit her photo work in London like every loyal ex-pat - as well as every American artist! And the feature on Texas puts Marfa front and center - agree! The physical feel of the pages is smooth and soft. The shape squarish. Glamorous. Like you innately know are holding something profound.
Suitcase online features Eco-scapes and Green NYC. Eco-chic is the new jetsetter. Agree. The choices and photos are pristine and inviting. From the White Pod Hotel in Switzerland to the DROP echo-hotel designed by IN-TENTA, this feature is intriguing and inspiring. My suitcase is packed!
Back to the party. The perfect combo of fashion, fun, travel and suitcases at the illustrious new(ish) Mondrian SoHo on Crosby Street. Nestled behind illuminated trees, through a nature-oriented restaurant and past a chic high-fashion blue cushioned lounge, the bar where the party was held glowed. A gorgeous chandelier hung from the center of the high ceiling above candelabras, cherry blossoms, and….you guessed it….retro suitcases!
Moving into the back room, DJ Alex Merrell was spinning travel tunes and of course looking like…you got it…a fashion model! And yes – her business card front is a queen of clubs. Love it. Check out her jet-setting schedule – coming from Mexico City and heading to Zurich – and not a sign of jetlag!
Two other DJs were also ready to rock so all could enjoy the party. Big silver balloons floated on the periphery a la Warhol style. In the shape of an S. The happy vibe flowed over to the “food” table graced with bite-size Melissa cupcakes. Yum. The centerpiece was a mailbox where guests could put postcards inside to be mailed out anywhere in the world.
Speaking of….the guests in attendance all looked like superstars. High fashion models. Well groomed and well dressed. And amidst this crowd, two very lovely bloggers drew attention in their stunning attire – photos flashing everywhere they went. Jean and Valerie were welcomed with open arms by Serena and her friends – after all they are The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas – “wearing clothes and having opinions for a lot longer.” Clearly also part of this world!
The DJ was jamming and the auction was getting ready to start – yes mirrors with favorite numbers were used to bid on suitcases with designer outfits inside. And swag bags with a letter addressed “Dear Guest and Fellow Traveller” were given out including - “Apparently the traditional gift for a one-year anniversary is paper, so we’ve given you the most important paper we own: the magazine.”
Coming home late into the night, I felt like I went on a trip. Sometimes you don’t even have to pack a suitcase. But have one ready at all times! Especially after reading SUITCASE. A must.
For more information on Suitcase Magazine, visit www.Suitcasemag.com
You can buy and download the first USA issue on iTunes.
Visit the Queen of Clubs (DJ Alex Merrell) at www.djalexmerrell.com
Check out Jean and Valerie’s world at http://idiosyncraticfashionistas.blogspot.com
Photos and Feature by Jodi Kaplan copyright 2013