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Renaissance Man


Considering he first became a household name while modelling for one of the largest style houses in the world, David Gandy is no ‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion’...


It may have brushed broad strokes of classical Greek humanism in its wake, but The Renaissance was not just about resuscitating glories of the past: it was all about new and lasting innovation, grounded in the past. Which is why this, the inaugural issue of ESSENCE Lifestyle – a bi-monthly feast of fine-living editorial which will sate the palates of even the most abundantly informed, discerning modern sophisticates – is dedicated to the great intellectual and artistic revival which swept across Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries, edifying and enriching all in its path. Read more...

It was with our mission to deliver timeless content in mind that we chose our inaugural issue’s cover star, David Gandy: a bona fide contemporary Renaissance polymath. Also profiled in this issue are the man who can claim to have invented the boutique hotel concept, Ian Schrager, plus Jermyn Street shirt-maker Emma Willis. Elsewhere, Samuel Muston visits the Renaissance’s country of birth, and finds Lo Stivale’s culinary scene to be in a state of perpetual rebirth, and also takes in Rome’s Villa Spalletti Trivelli. Given its theme, the issue would not be complete without a foray into the arts world, so we sent Lucie Muir to quiz chief executive of Masterpiece London, Nazy Vassegh.

All in all, it’s a line-up of subjects born – or, if you like, reborn – of our ongoing dedication to delivering meticulously curated content aimed squarely at people with a penchant for perennial luxury and quality. We hope you enjoy devouring the issue as much as we’ve enjoyed preparing it.

Written by
Nick Scott
ISSUE I | Style
Karl-Edwin Guerre

Guerre’s rise to prominence in menswear circles has been meteoric, thanks not only to the discerning stylistic palate evident throughout his street-style blog Guerreisms, but also to his own personal sartorial yen: whether matching Fedoras with blazers or braces with boaters, this is a man who embodies nonchalance par excellence.

Cinematography by Olan Collardy

ISSUE I | Arts & Culture
A fair of the heart

For eight days in summer, the small legion of British war veterans who reside in the Royal Hospital Chelsea brush up their scarlet coats and welcome Masterpiece London into the grounds of what has to be the capital’s most prestigious retirement home.

Words by Lucy Muir

ISSUE I | Arts & Culture
Simon de Pury

In his capacity as chairman and co-founder of art auction house Phillips de Pury & Company, the Basel-born auctioneer and collector has himself curated some of the most dazzling exhibitions the world has seen, as well as providing advisory services to individuals, museums and other institutions over a career spanning almost 50 years.

Cinematography by Olan Collardy

If I see something I like, I get it – I don’t care if it’s been there three seasons: good, that means it works.
~ David Gandy. Supermodel & Entrepreneur
ISSUE I | Style
Style, substance and sympathy

Tailor, style pioneer, philanthropist, entrepreneur: when seeking out a genuine Renaissance woman for this issue of ESSENCE Lifestyle, there was really no looking beyond Jermyn Street shirt-maker Emma Willis.

Film by Paul Akinrinlola

ISSUE I | Food & Wine
A period of plenty

An explosion in classical scholarship, a rethink of astronomical principles, cultural movement flung a wave of artistry and invention from Italy all over Europe… The Renaissance means very different things to different people. For Samuel Muston, it’s something that’s still happening today, having found its modern niche with Lo Stivale’s extraordinary culinary scene.

Words by Samuel Muston

I think that an artist's role is to paint a picture of elements from within; from their own personal connection...
~ Karl-Edwin Guerre. Photographer & Style Influencer
ISSUE I | Travel
Ian Schrager, rockstar hotelier

It’s quarter to midnight on a warm night in May. The marble-lined lobby of the 41-floor, 273-room New York Edition hotel is heaving. It’s the night of the opening party. And you immediately know this is a special party - an Ian Schrager party.

Words By Max Wallis

ISSUE I | Travel
Il nuovo lusso

In the first instalment of our ESSENCE Endeavours, we visit the Villa Spalletti Trivelli: a stunning Roman establishment whose understated yet impeccable service puts it at the forefront of the new luxury zeitgeist.

Words By Samuel Muston

The end

Nick Scott,
Contributing Editor
Ade Udoma,
Creative Director
Olan Collardy,
Lucas Bitencourt,
Philippe Bitencourt,
Art Director
Curator’s Club
Beholder’s Eye
David Gandy