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The Conductor: Balenciaga

In an era of political unrest, Cristóbal Balenciaga’s avant-garde designs sparked the adoration of royals, aristocrats, style icons, and luxury designers such as Christian Dior, who famously said, “Haute couture is like an orchestra, whose conductor is Balenciaga.”

Since 1918, designers alike looked towards Balenciaga as a means to continually revolutionize modern fashion. From waistless chemise dresses to austere evening gowns, it seemed impossible to replace the innovator once he retired in 1968.

For nearly 30-years the brand remained almost dormant. When Nicolas Ghesquière became Creative Director in 1997, he revamped the brand by focusing on the brand’s original goal: to design for strong, trendsetting woman. In November 2012, the trailblazing Alexander Wang was named Creative Director, and to date, continues to transform the fashion world.

Shop Portero’s Balenciaga collection here.

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Discrete Luxury: Bottega Veneta

Never one to follow the leader, Bottega Veneta was founded in 1966 under the motto, “when your own initials are enough.”  With an emphasis on discrete luxury, Bottega Veneta began with a simple yet complex mission: to develop a design that consisted of the highest quality materials, while also being durable and soft.  This pursuit resulted in the renowned intrecciato leather design that quickly became Bottega Veneta’s signature.

Bottega Veneta continues to devote its energy towards innovation and education.  Since the brand was acquired by KERING Luxury Group (formerly Gucci Group) in 2001 and led by Creative Director Tomas Maier, Bottega Veneta has expanded its market to include fine jewelry, furniture, fragrance, ready-to-wear, handbags, eyewear, luggage, and small leather accessories.  They have also focused on developing a school dedicated to training future esteemed artisans.

Shop Portero’s Bottega Veneta collection here.

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Spotlight on Vintage Omega

When Neil Armstrong took his first step onto the moon proclaiming, “This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” he leapt with the first and only timepiece to land on the moon, Omega.

In La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland 1848, Louis Brandt founded Omega with the foundation of providing innovative and well-crafted timepieces. Now, Omega stands as the official timekeeper of 21 Olympic Games and the official chronometer for NASA.

Omega has been adored by many leading public figures including President John F. Kennedy and Prince William. The Omega brand has also been sponsored by celebrities and athletes such as George Clooney, Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, and Michael Phelps.

Shop Portero’s Omega collection here.

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In Love With LOVE: Spotlight on the Cartier LOVE Series

Audrey Hepburn famously said, “the best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” For thousands of years, cultures around the world have expressed their affections through jewelry. With Valentine’s Day at the forefront of our minds, we celebrate the ones we hold dear with the iconic symbol of love and commitment… the Cartier LOVE series.

Originally only sold to couples, the Cartier LOVE series was inspired by the medieval chastity belt with its lock and tiny screwdriver acting as a key. Today, the Cartier LOVE series is gifted to all in celebration of life’s many milestones, including: birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and of course, Valentine’s Day.

Shop Portero’s Cartier collection here.

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Never too Early to Collect…

A collector to the core, our Manager of Merchandising, Nick Marmol, is fascinated with all things antique and vintage. Since joining the Portero team, his keen eye has transfixed on the art of horology.

Over the years he has collected and traded numerous timepieces from Antique Pocket watches to Retro Led watches though always desiring a classic, vintage Rolex…

The year was 1966, a year all English football fans, including our very own Englishman, recall as the last time England won the World Cup. Was it fate, destiny, or just pure coincidence? Whichever you believe; when this classic 1966 Rolex entered the Portero premises, temptation took hold.

“I personally like to buy vintage watches which hold some historical significance – like a birth year or another important year in your life,” says Nick.

With its original papers, strap, matching registration marks, its sole owner, and of course, its symbolic year, Nick finally found his Rolex match.

Whether England wins the 2014 World Cup, it seems as though this Rolex will remain in Nick’s collection for years to come!

Enjoy a small collection of Nick’s favorite vintage timepieces from Portero.com:

 

VACHERON CONSTANTIN

 

 

 

VACHERON CONSTANTIN Rare Case Signed Vacheron Constantin LeCoultre Men’s Vintage Mystery 14k Galaxy Watch

 

 

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ROLEX Vintage Oyster Perpetual 18k Yellow Gold Midsize Automatic Watch 6548

 

 

Patek Philippe

 

 

 

PATEK PHILIPPE  Rare Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Pocket Watch for Tiffany & Co. – Manual Winding

 

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ROLEX Vintage Collectible Men’s Steel & Gold 2-Tone Datejust 1600

 

 

PRADA MAIN

Sophisticated and Revolutionary: Prada

Miuccia Prada, fashion designer and youngest grand-daughter of Prada’s founder Mario Prada, notably said, “What people sometimes interpret as quirky is my attempt to subvert the concept of luxury by introducing elements that are considered ordinary or commonplace…”

Over the last century, Prada has represented all that is sophisticated and revolutionary about Italian design.  Founded in 1913, Prada quickly obtained prestige amongst European aristocrats, and in 1919, the brand became the luxury supplier to the Italian Royal Family.

Prada’s history is filled with beautiful designs, family, and intelligent business decisions such as a long-lasting partnership with Patrizio Bertelli, and affiliation with several successful lines including: Fendi, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Church & Company, and Miu Miu.

Shop Portero’s Prada collection here.

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Pure Artistry: Rolex

Since its beginning in 1905 as a London watch distributor, Rolex has embodied all that is reliable, functional, and beautiful in a timepiece.  Whether swimming across the English Channel, fighting alongside James Bond, or accessorizing the world’s leading dignitaries, Rolex’s precision and unique manufacturing tactics have long been admired and rewarded.

Rolex’s use of the finest materials and craftsmanship has transfixed the world; creating an iconic symbol of great success.

Shop Portero’s Rolex collection here.

 

Photo credit: Graeme Montgomery

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Spotlight on David Yurman

A born artisan, David Yurman has long been inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge’s spiraled cables, and ancient Greek and Minoan jewelry.  With his wife Sybil, an esteemed painter, he mastered the art of jewelry and watch-making while exhibiting their paintings and sculptures under the name, Putnam Art Works, during the mid-late 1970s.

Since 1979, their brand, David Yurman, has innovatively fused the worlds of art and fashion. Composed with the finest metals, gemstones, and full creative direction of Yurman, the David Yurman collections continue to be adored and worn by millions.

Shop Portero’s David Yurman collection here.

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Parisian Charm: Céline

Minimalist Parisian charm for the everyday woman reigns the chic brand, Céline.  Since its beginning in 1945 as a Paris-based children’s custom shoe shop, the Céline brand has transformed into one of the world’s most desired labels.

Design headed by Madame Céline until 1997, the brand has since been revived by multiple renowned designers including: Michael Kors, Roberto Menichetti, Ivana Omazic, and now, Phoebe Philo, whose designs continue to captivate on the runway, red carpet, and the streets.

Shop Portero’s Céline collection here.

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Spotlight on Louis Vuitton

Before the Wright Brothers were the first in flight and Karl Friedrich Benz engineered the first petrol automobile, travelers in horse-drawn carriages, boats, and trains longed to find durable yet stylish trunks to accompany them on their travels.  When 16-year-old Louis Vuitton began working with admired custom box-maker, Monsieur Maréchal, in 1837, his craft quickly obtained high-regards amongst Parisian travelers.

After 17-years of customizing boxes and trunks at Monsieur Maréchal’s Parisian atelier, Vuitton opened his own shop near the Place Vendome.  Today, the monogrammed “LV” and Damier collections continue to be some of the most coveted luxury handbags and luggage around the world.

Shop Portero’s Louis Vuitton collection: http://bit.ly/1koMgeS 

Featured Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM Brown Monogram Canvas Tote Bag:  http://bit.ly/1dP7EEG

 

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