With the debut of our NEW THINK section this month, DEPARTURES officially becomes part of The Conversation. The mission, of course, will always be access—the easiest, most stylish route to the best in people, places, and things—but modern techno time makes that process just a bit different, a tad more complicated, and that much more interesting. With wit and a wired-for-now intelligence, associate editor Julie Coe promises to bring together smart writers, cool thinkers, and big as well as little ideas that make a difference.
For the cover this month, our own design director, Adam Bookbinder, practiced a little NEW THINK by turning to furniture designer and artist Karim Rashid. Rather than speculate about what Rashid had in mind, we put a few questions straight to him….
What did you want to say with this cover?
I am a big believer in the borderless age, where location should not matter. We all started as one and we will all be one again someday soon. Sort of like the Tower of Babel. We all had one tongue and we are moving toward that phenomenon again.
Your favorite city?
I have no favorite anything. There is no singular best, but…I love New York because it’s so free yet so expensive, L.A. because it’s so beautiful but without substance, Tokyo because it is 14 hours in the future, Belgrade because it handled the bombing so well, Istanbul because it is a mythological mecca, Paris because it smells of urine and perfume at the same instant, Milan because it is so hyperemotional and bourgeois, Miami because it is so relaxed and pretentious, London because it is eclectic and eccentric, Berlin because it is the New York of the seventies, Cape Town because it is finally free, Cairo because it is my pyramidical birthplace.
Icons of style?
They used to be André Courrèges, Pierre Cardin, Ettore Sottsass, Gaetano Pesce, David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Luigi Colani, Grace Jones, Raymond Loewy, Salvador Dalí, Le Corbusier…they all inspired me. Today I am not so sure.
What will you call your autobiography?
Design or Die.
And on a final but very important note…talk about NEW THINK. Thanks to digital editor Brandon Perlman, we plan on making DEPARTURES.COM THE home of luxury online with expanded coverage beyond what you find in these pages now. For example, check out an exclusive behind-the-scenes video with actor Alan Cumming talking about the launch of his new website, itsasickness.com; the DIGITAL TRAVELER’s pick of new iPad cases from the likes of Tod’s, Gucci, and Vuitton; and if you want to see and understand even more about the best in jewelry and watches, log on for more dazzle from our DRESS CODE section. And that’s just the beginning. Enjoy.