BMW i8 Roadster / Coupe Review (differences of the two)

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What a dream this job can be some times. At the risk of having all of my old school chums unfriend me out of justifiable jealousy, I was invited to Nice to test drive both the BMW i8 Coupe and the BMW i8 Roadster. Both cars were sublime and a pure joy to drive.

In this article I'll talking about my experience driving both cars and the subtle nuances between the two.

BOTH CARS 

If you're looking to invest in either the BMW i8 Coupe and the BMW i8 Roadster, you might be thinking, which one really suits your style.

Both cars have the feel of an electric powered drive. Their driving dynamics and overall sportiness make these cars a lot of fun to drive.

IN A NUTSHELL

The BMW i8 Coupe stands out as an extremely sporty 2+2 seater. Color Coupé: Donnington Grey | Max

The BMW i8 Roadster oozes all the freedom of open-top motoring for two.  Driving feeling with the roof open, silent roof opening, storage compartment behind the driver. Color Roadster: E-Copper | Carl

Both models comprise a high-voltage battery with significantly expanded cell capacity and energy content, the result being a remarkable increase in dynamic performance, operating range and the amount of driving possible using purely the electric drive system.

Both cars are characterised by a silent and locally emission-free open-top motoring to the full.

Underpinning this new level of electric driving experience is an updated version of the lithium-ion battery developed for the BMW i8. The high-voltage unit is located centrally in the car’s underbody.

In the standard driving mode, the new BMW i8 Coupe and new BMW i8 Roadster can be driven exclusively on the electric motor alone – from step-off to a speed of 105 km/h , which is up from 70 km/h in the original i8.

The combustion engine is only brought into play at higher speeds or when the driver stamps down hard on the accelerator, and is switched off again far more frequently when a measured driving style is maintained. Pressing the eDrive button allows both models to travel at up to 120 km/h on electric power alone.

How far can I drive on the Electric Battery in both cars?

The electric range of the new BMW i8 Coupe in the NEDC test cycle has increased to 55 kilometres (34 miles)* and the new BMW i8 Roadster posts a figure of 53 kilometres (33 miles)*.

The new BMW i8 Coupe accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds , while the new BMW i8 Roadster accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds. Both models have an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h .

Hybrid-specific all-wheel drive, precision-tuned chassis. The electric motor’s power is transmitted to the front wheels and the engine’s drive to the rear wheels, resulting in a hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive system that is controlled by the car’s intelligent energy management.

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In hybrid mode, the electric motor provides a power boost to assist the engine when the driver is accelerating with particular vigour. It is also able to recuperate energy and feed it to the high-voltage battery on the overrun and under braking.

The petrol engine’s high-voltage starter-generator can likewise generate additional reserves of electricity, thereby ensuring sufficient energy is on tap at all times for the electric drive system in the new BMW i8 Coupe and new BMW i8 Roadster.

When the navigation system’s route guidance function is activated , the intelligent energy management ensures the electric motor is employed as extensively as possible and as judiciously as possible from an efficiency point of view.

The system analyses the route in full and sets up the powertrain management to run on purely electric power, particularly over low-speed sections of the journey.

Both models are based on the LifeDrive vehicle architecture with aluminium chassis and carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell.

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Ok Carl but how does it look on the inside?

The new BMW i8 Coupe and new BMW i8 Roadster come with Carpo (leather elements) interior trim as standard, comprising full-leather upholstery in Ivory White for the Coupe and Ivory White/Black for the Roadster.

Standard specification also includes features such as a leather sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons and shift paddles, electrically adjustable and heated seats (much needed in the UK right now), the multifunctional instrument display, the Driving Assistant including Surround View, the BMW Display Key and the Navigation system Professional.

The main menu in the Control Display is now presented in the form of horizontally arranged tiles with a live mode.

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The Roadster 

There are some features exclusive to the Roadster that might prove to be the icing on the cake.

The soft-top roof has a visual lightness to go with its low physical weight and serves as a defining element of the silhouette in reinforcing the road-hugging impression made by the car’s low centre of gravity.

The body’s dynamic wedge shape can also be best appreciated when viewing the two-seater in profile.

The familiar lightweight design measures used for previous BMW i models have been meticulously adapted to the specific requirements of the i8 Roadster.

The open-top two-seater comes with newly designed frameless gullwing doors made from CFRP with an aluminium outer shell, while the windscreen frame is made entirely from CFRP.

This ultra-strong high-tech material is ideally equipped to provide exceptional rigidity, maximising the car’s occupant protection even if it rolls over. CFRP is also used to manufacture the side skirts with their extra-large cross-section.

Additional struts and panels in the front and rear axles also help to maximise the body’s rigidity.

When opened, the BMW i8 Roadster’s broad roof retracts fully into the rear end. A unique mechanism allows the soft-top to be folded into a compact package and stowed away in a perpendicular position, creating around 100 litres of additional storage space behind the seats.

The all-electric roof opens and closes very quietly in 15 seconds, a process which can be initiated while travelling at up to 50 km/h. Dropping down the roof raises the rear window by around 30 millimetres into a comfort position, where it can serve as a draught stop.

Charging Roadster & Coupé

Numerous products and services offered as part of the 360° ELECTRIC portfolio are designed to help make electric mobility in the new BMW i8 Coupe and new BMW i8 Roadster a convenient and practical experience in everyday life.

Both models are supplied with a mode 2 charging cable as standard that enables the high-voltage battery to be recharged from a standard domestic socket in under four-and-a-half hours.

Hooking the vehicle up to a BMW i Wallbox allows charging to be performed at a rate of up to 3.6 kW and completed in under three hours.

The BMW i Wallbox Connect makes it possible to utilise the globally unique BMW Digital Charging Service – the key to intelligent charging which either optimises cost efficiency or ensures preferential use of self-generated solar power.

 

The Six Senses Uluwatu Hotel Review – The Most romantic Hotel in Bali?

The Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali is the sort of cliff face resort that you'd expect to see in an Iron Man film. Tony Stark would probably have this as a holiday home.

This review of the Six Senses Uluwata will possibly be the easiest one yet. As many of you might already find on Trip Advisor, it's hard to find a fault with this luxury hotel.

It's located in Pecatu, in the southernmost tip of Bali. It's a popular hotel for wedding and honeymoon destinations as it's incredibly romantic and quiet.

My Brother and I checked in at the top of the hill. The rest of the resort is peppered throughout the cliff face, populated further with villas, private and communal swimming pools the further you venture down.

The room was designed with luxury and convenience in mind. UK plug sockets and USB sockets dotted everywhere. There was an outdoor shower and the pressure was sensational.

Inside you have a lot of advanced luxury technology. For example the toilet seat lifts up before you even get a chance to think on whether it's a number 1 or number 2.

But the main USP of the room is the infinity pool that's on the terrace. It overlooks the resort and ocean and the vistas of the ocean are staggering. The colours of the sky changes every other minute.

I did notice there was no milk in the room for coffee. But that's me being quite pedantic. Plus, Six Senses Uluwatu is heavily themed around wellness and planet protectionism.

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The breakfast bread had no gluten, they bottle their own water and we had the option of hand picking our vegetables from the resorts organic garden for our morning juice.

There are two restaurants in the property. We gorged on Japanese food one night, grilled prawn lobster and squid. The second night we had the BBQ. The prices are often something that gets flagged for luxury stays like this.

However, I thought for the money (£50 per BBQ) we got great value. We had some amazing food from the restaurant that was sourced locally and tasted phenomenal.

You're also paying for the views. You're paying for the exceptional service. You need to think of this as more than just food. It's a package deal that quite frankly, I won't find anywhere back home.

TIP for the Six Senses Uluwatu

Don't forget to experience their Kundalini massage at Six Senses spa. I had an hour massage and took full advantage of the gym whilst there. Again, some of the equipment and technology they have in this gym I've not even seen back home.

Treat yourself to an amazing experience, you'll not regret it. If you're planning an Asia trip that involves Singapore, be sure to check out my review on the Six Senses Maxwell on my blog.

The Legian Seminyak Bali Hotel Review – Paradise, I’m Home!

Today I'm going to rhapsodise about the incredible Legian Seminyak Bali Hotel. I read some rave reviews about this place before heading out there and I'm here to tell you, they're all true. 

The Legian Bali is a beachfront property facing the Indian Ocean, if you're booking ahead I can recommend asking for my room 132 for some of the most amazing views from the balcony. 

The luxurious accommodation set in landscaped tropical gardens can be found along Seminyak Beach. 

The hotel is heavily centred around wellness which is a growing trend in exotic resorts. My brother has joined me on this tour and we both enjoyed some morning Yoga sessions on the green outside, followed a spin in the cycling studio. 

Top TIP for The Legian Bali

I signed up for the Hommage Package which entitles you to a free facial. The facial was incredibly soothing and my skin was treated to a treatment that used a combination of plant extracts and essential oils. My face was cleansed, exfoliated and massaged leaving it looking bright and feeling rejuvenated. 

After a workout we enjoyed a relaxing couple of hours in the spa, sauna, steam room and the plunge pool which got us down to minus 20. That was followed by a quick swim in the  three-tiered outdoor pool. I know it sounds like I've stole some poor kids ticket from the Make a Wish Foundation. 

The dinner was michelin star-esq! Tuna tartar slices, scallops, marinated chicken finished with wasabi ice cream. 

Location 

As I mentioned you couldn't be any closer to the beach. The Legian Bali is under ten miles away from Ngurah Rai International Airport and airport transfer is available at an additional charge.

You're within walking distance to the local clubs Ku De Ta and Potatohead which keep their lights on until 2am. It's close to Seminyak village and lots of cafes and shopping.

The Seminyak Square Shopping Mall is 450 yards from the accommodation, while Petitenget Temple is 450 yards from the property.

The rooms 

I got my own desk to write this blog, currently listening to the sounds of waves crashing on the beach. I could listen to that all day. The rooms are spaces, the suites are beautifully decorated with natural fibre furniture and flooring against white walls minimally accented by original artwork. 

The open air lobby is gorgeously decorated in rich dark wood and an array of local art. Check-in was efficient and comfortable. You will never encounter a face that isn't smiling.

Conclusion 

I can't fault any part of this hotel. Every member of staff had a smile on their face. Every pillow was fluffed, every single facet in this hotel was a joy to experience. Many thanks to all the staff at The Legian Seminyak Bali Hotel for making this a stay to remember. 

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The Colours of Summer: Hawkins & Shepherd Spring Summer Pastels Collection

I'm taking a quick time out from the travel log and want to bring to your attention some new Spring/Summer Pastels available on the Hawkins & Shepherd site. 

We're emerging into that time of year when you start looking at your shirts and thinking they look a bit tired. They call it a Spring clean for a reason right? There's no better time to rejuvenate your wardrobe with a shirt subscription service through Hawkins & Shepherd

Current Shirt Trends 

For me I'm really trend-led. I do believe in producing quality timeless shirts that have a proven track record of not just fawning to flavour of the month clubs. 

I've intergraded some strong bold stripes and into the H&S Spring/Summer shirt range this year. Pink pastes and fresh colour palettes are also available. 

There is something for everyone not only in the varying types of colours, but the collars also come in curve tab, cutaway, pin collars etc. 

I'm very excited about this collection of ready to wear shirts. The fresh pastel colours for this Spring/Summer season is a reflection of where my head is at right now. Clean lines, positive radiant colours. 

I want these shirts to be worn with confidence. I want you to be bamboozled by the quality of these shirts. I want you to question why some shirt makers get to charge double the price for only half the end result. How some brands get to exist purely on their name. 

The pastel hues of pink, lilac, blue, mint etc, these are all neutral Spring/Summer colours that are interchangeable with staple garments you probably already own. Dark blue jeans, Navy blazer, the tan shoes etc. 

Spring/Summer sees the return of drinks by the river, smart-casual garden parties, the Henley Regatta, Race meetings, first dates in the beer garden and so on. We don't just want you to own one Spring/Summer shirt but have a modest collection on a revolving carousel. Take a look at the shirt subscription package to see how you can save money on upgrading your wardrobe.

You'll keep your friends and your work colleagues on their toes with how new and refreshed you look every time they see you. 

I've worked hard on the designs and it's taken time to bring the concept to market. I'd very much appreciate you leaving a comment on what your favourite Spring/Summer shirt is in the comment box below. 

https://www.hawkinsandshepherd.com/collections/spring-summer-collection

 

Two Nights in Singapore: What You Can Do

I've had an amazing time in Singapore. Weather was perfect and the city is just so clean. OK so it's expensive, there's no getting around that. However, if you've got the budget for it then I've put together a two day itinerary of things to do in Singapore. 

YOGA

As you may have seen in a previous post I stayed in the Maxwell Six Senses Hotel. There you can treat yourself to some one-on-one Yoga sessions in the morning in the shade under the trees. And talking of trees..

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GARDENS BY THE BAY

A beautiful and quite other-worldly place to visit. The Gardens by the Bay is 101 acres of reclaimed land. Comprised of distinctive waterfront gardens – Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central. It's tranquil, serene and offers a 3km waterfront promenade boasting stunning views of the city.

SENTOSA ISLAND

This was transformed from a cultural heritage site to a key tourist destination in Singapore that now receives 20 million visitors a year. It's also entrenched in history, once a British military base and a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. 

Nowadays you can find Universal Studios here, casinos, golf courses and the infamous Tanjong Beach Club.

EAT CHILLI CRAB

If you don't eat Chilli Crab when in Singapore it's like going to Florida Keys and not trying Conch Fritters. The good news is that you won't have to go to far to look for it. Plenty of restaurants and bars will serve Chilli Crab.

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SINGAPORE SLING AT RAFFLES

Was temporarily closed for refurbishment. They had a pop-up Raffles Bar around the corner to ensure the Singapore dollar was not getting left on the table. This building is historic, but expect to pay up to $30 for the privilege. Even a Virgin Singapore Sling (non-alcoholic) will cost you the same. 

CLARKE & BOAT QUAYS

Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay in Singapore situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River and Boat Quay. During the colonial era, Boat Quay was the commercial centre where barge lighters would transport goods upstream to warehouses at Clarke Quay.

You can hire a boat that will take you around the Quay, very relaxing and educational. Just north from the collection point you'll find some nice places to grab a beer and overlook the river. 

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MARINA BAY SANDS 

You can miss these. 3 gigantic structures that overlook the harbour, visible from almost every hotel balcony. You have to pay around $20 to get to the top. The views are mind blowing and just seeing the fleet of ships and cruise liners that encircle the coastline is mind blowing. 

Inside you have casinos, shopping, cafes, bars etc. 

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FOOD STREET IN CHINA TOWN 

As part of the process to clean up Singapore and make it an exotic travel destination a certain number of things had to happen. All the street market vendors (hawkers) were brought inside. The street food markets can be quite eye opening. Generations of families have ran these stalls and some will be the last generation. 

You can also find the world’s only Michelin Starred street market food stall inside here. 

CLUB STREET

Pretty much does what it says on the tin. Plenty of clubs, some of them close to 100 years old. The street is lined with conserved shophouses that are occupied by restaurants, bars and several galleries. 

ART & SCIENCE MUSEUM

Housed in a building shaped like a Lotus Flower, warmly referred to as the "The Welcoming Hand of Singapore". It's one of the most distinguishable buildings you'll find in the Marina Bay Sands. 

The exhibitions include robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other new technological developments. You'll want to take a 1000 pictures inside this place. It demonstrates clearly how both artists and scientists are helping us see how technologies are transforming the world around us.  

ORCHARD ROAD

Spanning almost 2.2 km, Orchard Road is a swanky, tree-lined one-way boulevard flanked by distinctive shopping malls and hotels.

A lot of shopping, at prices that are not very special, not so cheap anymore for Europeans at least. But it's a great way to kill a couple of hours. You can stroll along and watch people, go inside a department store or galleria to cool off for a while. 

 

 

Six Senses Maxwell: Singapore's Latest Gem

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If you're thinking of traveling to Singapore this year I can certainly recommend the Six Senses Maxwell where I stayed. 

From Singapore Changi Airport, Six Senses Maxwell is a 20-minute taxi ride in the heart of the city and provides the perfect base from which to become acquainted with Singapore’s inspiring sites.

Each of the hotel’s 138 guestrooms and suites are carefully decorated with custom furnishings and original artwork. 

Together with Six Senses Duxton, (just around the corner) the two hotels become Six Senses Singapore and showcase the brand’s ongoing commitment to responsible restoration and conservation. 

The Duxton has more of an Oriental flavour, whilst the Maxwell is steeped in more colonial decor and tradition. 

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The Six Senses Maxwell is exactly the retreat I've been looking for. You can't escape it's underlying themes of wellness; the slim lap pool on the rooftop, the one on one yoga sessions. What better way to start the day?

They run the yoga sessions twice a week and after it left me feeling invigorated and centred for the rest of the day. The pool is also perfect just to jump in and cool down when it gets too hot, which is all the time out here. 

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I've been trying to keep on top of my fitness so having a gym here is paramount to me. So many times people use holiday's as an excuse not to work out. Then when they return from a week of sunning and drinking, they find it that much harder to get back into the routine. 

It's an eco-conscious hotel, they promote sustainability and do not use anything plastic in their hotel. Their turn down service has a very personable feel. Little vessels of Tiger Balm were left and messages of peace encouragement on my pillow. Very Zen, I like it. (I'm assuming they do that for all the guests). 

The Six Senses Maxwell only opened in December 2018 yet it feels like they've hit the ground running. Friendly staff, very well organised as you'd expect. The barman can also knock out a very tasty Sloe Gin Fizz and tonic. 

The bar area is quite resplendent, presented as a cosmopolitan library with thousands of books curated across every genre. I would have loved to have spent a couple of hours reading some, but I didn't. Singapore was on my doorstep, it was time to venture out. 

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Top London Architecture Accounts to Follow on Instagram

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I don't care what you say, this is the best City in the world. We have the bars, the cuisine, the architecture, the history, Savile Row, Carnaby, Soho, need I go on?

If you're not living in London you might follow these generic 'Top London Accounts' and get some beautiful airbrushed pictures that turn London into Disneyland.

Today we're going to zero in on the Top London Architecture accounts to follow on Instagram. It will be a very real authentic look at London, I recommend you follow these Instagram accounts from the people that truly love this city as much as I.

Hazem Aljarallah

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Top of the tree. (See photos above). Every picture looks like it could be its own movie. There's not much to go in Hazem's bio, but his pictures tell many stories. 

Adam Sheath

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Adam has a distilled beauty to his work. Taking little less known pictures that others would miss. (See above). Such as the puddle reflections in the Soho lights as opposed to the lights themselves.

Adam is a London based graphic designer & photographer. Hit me up Adam, be great to do a shoot with you someday.

Brutal Architecture

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Okay so not exclusive to London, but there are many London posts on this account. For those that have to take pictures of London landmarks like Centre Point and the Welbeck carpark, this is the account for you.

New London Architects

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No one paints a better picture of London than these guys. They're bio reads 'Bringing people together to shape a better city'. Which is bunch of empty calories to be honest, but you can't argue that the pictures show you many sides of beautiful London.

David Bleeker

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Oooh check out this fella. I once heard the art to taking a great picture is all in the framing. Well David certainly knows how to frame London in a stunning way. Geometrically my favourite of the bunch so far.

Derelict London

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I don't know about you but there is something dirty/beautiful about forgotten parts of London. It has a serene sadness to it. Many parts of London have suffered due to several boom-bust social economic vicissitudes over the years.

Paul Tallin, author of Derelict London & London's Lost Rivers also does walking tours.

Why I'm Traveling: Mental Postcards From Beside the Pool

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In case you hadn't been following my Instagram page of late, I thought I'd let you know I'm just popping off to Asia for the next 3 months. 

It's something of an open ticket. However, I've landed in Singapore, the place where chewing gum is illegal. That's right, wise up London. Apparently when they installed the new metro system out here, a member of state sat on some chewing gum and that was it. Not even a day old and some numpty had already left their taint. 

So that's that. No more chewing gum in Singapore. 

I'm doing some sunning by the pool here and wanted to get some thoughts down on why I've gone traveling. So strap yourselves in I'm going to spill my heart and guts a little. 

I've lost my MOJO

As Austin Powers would say. I've been enmeshed in something of a mental funk for a while now. Partly down to a break-up, unrequited love and all that. 

I've also become very dispassionate of late with my work. Compounded by this recent slew of negativity and backlash within the Instagram community. When I first started posting on Instagram promoting my own Hawkins & Shepherd shirts I used to walk down the street with my head held high. 

Now I'm looking down the street, looking over my shoulder, on edge man. Not secure. I want to get the shot and get the hell out of there before anyone sees me and sniggers, 'there goes the instagrammers'. 

I've never been 100% comfortable doing the street style stuff if I'm honest. But I certainly had more hutzpah back in those early days. 

Line Drawn

So this is a line in the sand people. I'm hoping this trip will heal some wounds, give me time to reflect on the future rather than ruminate on the past.

Already I've done my first one-on-one yoga session, seen some beautiful architecture, I've had a dip in the pool and the good people here at the Six Senses Maxwell have pointed the toilet paper for me. 

Why you should go traveling also

As James Bond would say, 'you really should get out more, it lends perspective'. I'm hoping to meet new people out here, experience new things and shake up the mental etch a sketch. 

Whilst saying goodbye to my friends and family a strange thought came over me. Why am I saying goodbye to the people that I love. They'll still be there when I get back.

I should be saying goodbye to the trolls. Goodbye to the demons in my life. Goodbye to the heartbreak, the insecurities, all the things that have cloaked me in piss-pungent robes of dourness. 

You know it's true, you never know you're on top of a mountain until you're sliding down, and never know you're in a troth until you're climbing out. 

This will be the first of many of mental splurges. I want everyone to start thinking carefully about the ones they love. Make sure you be extra nice to at least one person a day. Have patience with those that grind your gears. Only love can conquer hate. 

Right, enough for now. Happy hour calls. 

 

 

The Marc Darcy Look: Level up without breaking the bank

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Today I'm going to wax lyrical about the brand Marc Darcy. I've actually had an interesting relationship with Marc Darcy. We shared some floorspace at Moda Gent a few years back. (A trade show in Birmingham). 

The show was a great experience for me, showcasing my Hawkins & Shepherd shirts. I no longer do the show but I was invited back as a guest speaker to talk with the head of design at Marc Darcy. 

Cut/smash to a few years later and I'm still enjoying a great working relationship with Marc Darcy, modelling one of their ready-to-wear pin stripe suits as you'll see in these photos. 

This is the LEWIS Navy Blue Pinstripe Suit features a double button fastening to the front, single vent on the seat with two flap pockets on each hip with additional mini welt pocket to the right.

I'm wearing two different waistcoats. One is noticeably double breasted with two flap pockets to each hip. The other my personal favourite, a brown five button waistcoat. Yes I've done up all the buttons, they don't call me the Carl 'five button' Thompson for nothing you know. 

Marc Darcy is a fantastic, accessible brand for those that are interested in levelling up their wardrobe, but are a few financial steps away from Savile Row. 

For off the peg suits, I find the cut very flattering. I'm not your standard block size when it comes to trousers. Normally ready to wear trousers always need hemming no matter what. For some reason these come up perfect on me. I'm 31-32" waist, 5'9 and a bit. 

With every suit order you get a complimentary handkerchief coordinating to the inside lining and lapel pin badge to complete the look.

I'd say if you're getting married, or going to a wedding but can't afford Tom Ford prices. This is a perfect place to look for a wedding suit.

There's also an abundance of styles and patterns to choose from. Windowpane, over check, POW etc. Whether you're the guest or groom you'll have a lot of fun getting lost around the website. 

If you've shopped with Marc Darcy I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts in the box below.

Introducing Super Facialist: The Rise of Cactus Water

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Today I'm going to introduce you to a new-to-market men's grooming range called Super Facialist. 

Not only have I been road testing these products this past week, but I've also been humming Super Facialist-califragilisticexpialidocious to myself like Mary Poppins all week. 

They are an Award-winning high street skincare brand Super Facialist that expertly blends Vitamin B3 and Hyaluronic Acid alongside natural extracts of Cactus Water and Volcanic Sand.

Furthermore they don't come in at lofty Gwyneth Paltrow prices. The Performance driven formulations combining science and nature deliver real results at affordable prices on the high street. 

What does the range consist of? 

There are three grooming products in the cleanse and prepare that all contain the crucial ingredient of Vitamin B3 and cactus water; face wash, face scrub, cleanse face mask. 

Once you've prepared and cleansed the skin you will need to moisturise and protect. Super Facialist offers three products to aid this process; the Hyaluronic Acid SPF10 moisturiser, the Hyaluronic Acid anti-ageing moisturiser and the Hyaluronic Acid firming eye cream. 

What are the benefits of the ingredients used in the products? 

 Vitamin B3 is a great rejuvenator for the skin. I wish my skin could live in a permanent translucent mold lined with Vitamin B3 so I could defy age like Keanu Reeves. It helps to reduce the appearance of imperfections and improves skin tone for healthier looking skin. 

Hyalronic Acid on the other hand has the unique ability to lock in the moisture and acts as a chemical hard nut-bodyguard creating a barrier between skin cells. This facilitates hydration for the skin. 

Then there is the cactus water. Cactus water is rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants to help prevent UV damage. I guess that's why you get so many young looking Cacti in the desert right? I'll show myself out. The whole range uses Cactus water for its anti-oxidant and deeply hydrating properties.

Pasha Édition Noire Review | Best Casual Fragrance out there?

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With Pasha Édition noire, Cartier galvanises the original “fougère” accord of its Pasha de Cartier fragrance with a breath of citrus freshness.

And wow, this is one of the best Citrus notes I've smelt in a long time. You'll find many people review this fragrance as 'fresh', which is the generic equivalent of people saying they get vanilla notes from whisky samples. Or lifestyle bloggers referring to a car as having a 'breadth of ability'. 

Yet, to it is an unavoidable cliché to call this fresh. It's also not complex. I've not tried to decipher many layers of different notes. It's fairly straight laced, but not at all perfunctory.  

Cartier expresses the radiance of the fragrance’s powerfully seductive scent through the limited- edition black bottle, gadroons, and three bands. The golden gleam of the three bands which encircle the cap.

Cartier are known innovators anyone that caught their exhibition Cartier in Motion last year at the Design Museum in London will attest. 

It's perfect for a Spring/Summer scent. It's very first date material. In fact this is a perfect first date smell because you want it to last the entirety of the date. It projects well but is not over powering. It's also not too stiff. It doesn't demand your attention. 

I like this because a lot of 'fresh' fragrances out there, even the Cartier Sport and the recently reviewed Spicebomb Night Vision by Viktor & Rolf can feel a little too young. 

It's a versatile scent. I'd say it's an alluring scent. A sexy blend that has gotten me quite a few compliments so far. It's more everyday than black tie. However, with the fantastic silage, (i got 6-7 hours) then you could easily carry this off from late afternoon 'til evening if it's a casual event. 

Pasha Edition noire Limited edition 100 ml spray

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Hackett London Celebrate the Launch of Aston Martin Racing Pro Collection

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Hackett Founder and Chairman, Jeremy Hackett and Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman celebrated the launch of the Aston Martin Racing Pro collection by Hackett for Spring Summer 2019, at The Vinyl Factory, Soho.  

I love it when a plan comes together. Equally when great minds think alike. Hackett London is a true British success story and together with Aston Martin they've given both car nuts and fashionistas something to salivate over. 

At the event Quiet Man, jazz and funk artist performed as guests arrived. VIP attendance included Hugo Taylor, Henry Conway, Ali Gordon and Alistair Guy. My invite literary did get lost in the post and arrived after the event. 

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New for Spring Summer '19, Hackett London and Aston Martin announce the launch of Aston Martin Racing Pro by Hackett; a bold new range of premium clothing designed and crafted for the man who desires forward thinking and engineered sportswear.

Aston Martin Racing Pro by Hackett is a sportswear collection created in response to Aston Martin’s ‘Track to Tarmac’ road cars and showcases a brand new aesthetic for the two brands intended to complement an era of modern power and race technology.

Aston Martin Racing Pro by Hackett takes modern, slim silhouettes, inspired by the lines of the Aston Martin Vantage and its distinct design features. Functional and performance fabrics have been incorporated into the range with an emphasis on accessible  athleisure wear.

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Where can I buy the pro racing range? 

You can shop the range online at Hackett. I haven't managed to get down to a Hackett Store to view the range myself but looking at the imagery I certainly have my eye on a few pieces. 

Stand out pick for me would be the Cotton-blend bonded jersey zip front sweater. It has a very light construction and a concealed placket. Very chic, the moto inspired styling is very congruent with the look of Aston Martin. 

Why You Need a Cashmere Coat in Your Lives

Today I want to talk about the emergence of Spring and the Hawkins and Shepherd Cashmere coats. It's one of the perks of owning a pirate ship, I get to call the shots. I get to promote my own brand if I want, so sue me! 

Wait don't. I looked into suing that nimrod(s) that wrote that Medium article the other month. It's a costly business. 

That aside let me give you 3 reasons why you need a Hawkins & Shepherd cashmere coat in your life.

1.     100% Cashmere. Quality guaranteed and the fabric is supplied by the renowned Harrisons of Edinburgh. You'll find an abundance of overcoats on the market currently. However, very few will be made from a fabric with this much quality.

If you're looking for a cheaper price point then expect to cut corners on quality like most things. It will more than likely be a synthetic blend, won't drape as well and won't be as soft to the touch. 

2.     100% customer service. I'm right here guys, very accessible if you have any problems with your product or delivery.

I won't be dropping names here but one of my best customers is an actor in Hollywood who reached out to me after ordering a quote. He was so happy with reaching out to a human being and having that one-on-one service that he has since ordered regularly through the site. 

As much as I'd love for Hawkins & Shepherd to become a monolith of an e-commerce site and make me rich beyond my wildest dreams, knowing my customers have access to me if they have any questions is very rewarding. 

3.     It's not quite summer yet! I know we have all enjoyed an awesome February so far, but don't be fooled. It's not quite bikini weather yet in London. The beauty of a cashmere coat is that it is light and can be worn throughout the Spring months. 

 They are also currently reduced to £800 and we have immediate stock. No time like the present and why not inject a new lease of life into your Spring wardrobe.


SHOP THE CASHMERE COLLECTION

 

Ready for the Riverbanks: Jo Malone London Wild Flowers & Weeds Limited Edition Collection

Is it that time to talk about Jo Malone London already? You bet it is! My regular monthly Jo Malone London news drop focuses on the new Wild Flowers & Weeds Limited Edition Collection set for launch on 1st March. 

It's getting lighter in the mornings. Walks on the common are becoming more enjoyable again. March brings hope with the advent of warmer afternoons. Although as Red would say in Shawshank Redemption 'hope is a dangerous thing my friend'. We all remember the beast from the east that savaged our London high streets this time last year.

Still, smoke 'em while you got 'em. Meaning, let's make hey while the sun is shining!

As a Jo Malone London ambassador I'm fortunate enough to get samples of the new releases and this month I want to talk to you about the limited edition collection of Jo Malone London Wild Flowers & Weeds

Immediately my mind turns to my childhood, entire afternoons spent plucking weeds from my folks lawn. Manicuring the crevices of the crazy paving on the first dawn of Spring. My Dad giving me 50p at the end and a rewarding sip of his Bacardi. Blew my head off.

Nowadays Wildflowers and Weeds invoke a different sensibility. I think of the charmed walks along the riverbanks of Hackney Marsh. First date: river walks. Second date: river walks plus pub lunch, on the 3rd date the dogs meet. No 4th date, was it something Charlie said? Ah nostalgia. 

What better way to serenade those new riverbank walks, carve out some new memories, than with the new Jo Malone London Wild Flowers & Weeds Collection.

Five limited edition scents, inspired by the unruly weeds and wildly-wonderful plants and flowers that line its banks.

If you caught my last Jo Malone article on how to layer your scents, you'll appreciate that these Jo Malone London fragrances are designed for experimentation. They smell fantastic on their own, but the real fun comes in the dalliance of combining the colognes.

I won't be able to describe the fragrances any better than the press release so below you have the full information on all the Jo Malone London Wild Flowers & Weeds Collection.

Nettle & Wild Achillea: The tangy sting of nettle, peeking through pavement cracks and entwined with wild, white achillea flower. Sparkling with bright bergamot, the greenness softened by a soft base of white musk.

Willow & Amber: The expressive weeping willow, gently draping across the fresh morning water. Captured in the woody pairing of cashmere wood and smoky vetiver, enhanced by softly sensual amber.

Cade & Cedarwood: The smouldering embers of a wood-burning stove at nightfall. Basking in the warm and comforting glow of cade – its smoky scent mingled with cedarwood and complemented by a mouth-watering hint of sensual vanilla.

Hemlock & Bergamot:  Hemlock’s powdery petals, brightened with bergamot. A deadly, yet unexpectedly delicate flower. Illuminated with golden mimosa and a floral flourish of heliotrope. Crisp and modern with a bite of cucumber.

Lupin & Patchouli: Reminiscent of canal banks, awash with colour. A rainbow of lupin flowers, enriched by luxurious rose and deepened with rebellious patchouli. A surprising contrast with the fresh vibrancy of mandarin.

Launching nationwide 1st March 2019  

RRP – £49 for each decorative 30ml Cologne

Get in Shape Like James Bond: Nutrition & Diet

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If you've caught my Instagram stories of late you would have seen I've been investing in some new cook books. Nutrition is going to be a massive thing for me in the year 2019 and today I want to talk about one man’s diet in particular, James Bond.

You may have seen stories circling the press recently about Daniel Craig giving up drink in preparation for the role of James Bond. (Although he was seen drinking Stella at the golden Globes right?) Truth is he would have been getting into shape for Bond 25 months ago.

Today I want to talk a little bit about nutrition and what you can be implementing in your diet.

PROTEIN

We all know that protein is a must when it comes to developing and packing on more muscle. Simon Waterson (Daniel Craig's trainer) will attest that you should marry the amount of protein you eat with the weight you aspire to be.

Your protein diet should consist of skinless chicken, eggs (the literary Bond loved his eggs) kale and of course, protein supplements.

I also have a lot of red meat from the grill, this is an excellent source of protein but of course, not everyone will prescribe to eating red meat in today's society.

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SNACK FOOD

It's nuts, its low sugar fruit. Almonds have a great sweet taste, that will nullify your sugar craving and provide your body with some Omega 3's.

I wish I knew back then what I know now about fruit. Juices, even freshly squeezed juices are packed high in sugar. It peaks your blood sugar levels and your body is thrown off course. I tend to keep it simple. Eat apples, get the fibre and the natural sugar.

They're also good for your teeth. Bond has amazing teeth in all his films. In the novels Bond had a 160- a day smoking habit, Moorlands being his favourite. I bet he had teeth like one of those case studies they put on a pack of cigarettes.

REBEL BOND

In the movie Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery gets ordered to Shrublands to undertake a detox. However, he does manage to sneak in a whole suitcase filled with naughty treats. One of which being Foie gras. This is a misstep as Roger Moore actively campaigned against the use of Foie gras claiming it cruel and inhumane.

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GLUTEN 

Bond loved to lather up his huge chunks of bread with marmalade. The word is out on bread, it bloats you, it doesn't move around your body well. To substitute this I've moved over to sun-seed bread. It's a bit tough, it's like Ryvita’s but it's wholesome and plugs that bread gap. Available in all supermarkets apart from mini Co-Ops it appears.

BOOZE

'How much do you drink?' - Madeline Swan

'Too much'. - Bond.

Love that line from Spectre. But how true. The calories and the sugar content in alcohol can be off the chart. And please don't think you're dodging that bullet by ordering a slim line tonic for your Vodka.

Just remember Bond only gets drunk in the movies once. Considering how much he drinks, that's quite a feat.

That's it for now. Remember working out is important, especially if you're going heavy on the protein. But nutrition is about 2\3rds of the battle. Let me know your thoughts and how you're getting on with your 2019 body goals.

 

Cyber Bullying: Are You Doing it Without Knowing?

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It's been a weird couple of weeks for me. As many of you know I was on the receiving of a very personal and embittered cyber campaign that attempted to expose me and many others as Instagram frauds.

I've written a complete rebuttal addressing the accusations of the article, which has since been removed. You can read that article in-depth here

It's a very strange place to carve a living; the internet. I've had some people tell me you haven't arrived unless you're upsetting someone. If you’re pleasing everyone you're pleasing no one. Can you imagine what it's like to fear picking up your phone each time you feel it vibrate. 

Those little notifications that often feel like a mini pat on the back, suddenly feels like someone threading live rats through your letterbox. 

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Carl aren't you a little old to be cyber-bullied? 

Firstly, age is but a number when you're getting your name dragged through the mud online. Secondly, this is a brave new world we're living in. Instagram wasn't around when I was at school. Those were the halcyon days of old school bullying. 

This is a new wave. 

What are the effects of Cyber-bullying? 

I'm fairly thick-skinned. I don't like to get into it on social media and many times in the last couple of weeks I had to sheath my tongue. It can be a race to the bottom and for what? For some elusive moral victory? I'd rather not and to immortalise the words of Ron Burgundy I'd much rather 'stay classy'. 

I implore you to do the same. 

The basic effects of cyber-bullying and its manifestations are increased depressive symptoms, lower self-worth, panic and in my case anxiety. 

Is this just snowflake mentality? 

I get that a lot. The man-up, go hard or go home attitude. Sure, that's all fine with me. But I can tell you this last week I've had some bloggers and influencers whose names were also enmeshed in that article, in my living room, in tears. 

This is a real thing, with real repercussions. Some of the research I've done on this matter tells me although the bullying stops quite quickly, the harm can permeate for a long time. 

The only thing I can say is why cyber-bullying gets wrongly dismissed as snowflake mentality is because it's something our reptilian brains have come accustomed to. 

We don't have any physical battle scars. We're needing to deal with this modern day scourge on an intellectual and emotional level. Some of us are predisposed to handle cyber bullying better. Maybe older, mature and maladaptive. Others climb to the top of a water tower and jump to their deaths. 

Did that make you uncomfortable? Sorry, this isn't a comfortable subject

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What can we do to prevent cyber bullying? 

I'm sure you've all heard of the software ReThink? Devised for a Google Science fair by a 14 year old. ReThink is a product that gives adolescents trying to post offensive messages on social media a second chance to reconsider their decisions.

Basically it's like a vetting notification that says, 'hey, this comment sounds like you didn't take your asshole pills today, you sure you want to make someone else feel as bad as you?' 

It won a spot as a Global Finalist at Google Science Fair 2014 and winner of PowerPitch 1871, Chicago’s technology and entrepreneurial hub. 

Another way? 

Tweet others how you'd wish to be tweeted yourself. You might think the person is so popular or too big of a deal to read your glib remarks on social media. But they do. They get through like farts between the sheets. 

My suggestion is try and offer someone a bit of encouragement instead. Try and be nice to one single human being a day and see how that makes you feel. 

 

 

Best Dressed Men at the Oscars in 2019: Was it the Tom Ford show?

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No host at the Oscars this year? Did you notice? Probably not because all eyes were on a man you've never heard of in a Dressedo. (I'll take credit for that one). 

Rifling through all the stories, gossip and red carpet rumours in the morning papers today I wanted to throw out my thoughts on what I've seen.

Firstly we have this hell-mary. The actor is the ostentatious Billy Porter and the dressedo is by Christian Siriano. Billy also rocked up to the Baftas wearing custom couture by Randi Rahm Studio.

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James Bond 

Daniel Craig looked match-ready as he presented the best supporting actor alongside Charlize Theron . Presumably in Tom Ford although no announcement or accreditations on the Tom Ford Twitter account. 

Midnight blue peak lapel tuxedo. Single button, jetted pockets, notice the gauntlet cuff with the black grosgrain trim. Other standouts are the large boutineaair and rather large butterfly bow tie. 

The shirt has black studs and his shoes are noticeably high-shine black leather patina with a deep heel. 

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Also representing Tom Ford 

Joe Alwyn and Bradley Cooper also wore Tom Ford. Bradley rocked the O'Connor suit, styled by celebrity stylist Natalia Bruschi. Joe's lapels were massive (with a tiny bit of puckering suggesting it needed to be worn in a tad). 

Still he looked fabulous, with a ready shaped large bow tie and cummerbund. 

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Michael B. Jordan looked in prime form in his velvet TOM FORD Shelton cocktail jacket, cocktail pants, evening shirt and bow tie. His shirt similar if not identical to Daniel Craig's. 

Lastly look how beautiful Jennifer Lopez looked in a mirror mosaic Tom Ford dress, partnering Alex Rodriguez in his white Tom Ford dinner jacket. 

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Chris Evans 

As you know I have a thing for Velvet currently, my Chester Barrie velvet jacket is often my go-to for award ceremonies. It seems so long ago that I wrote about Chester Barrie overtaking the red carpet at the Oliver Awards

Chris Evans rocked up in a made-to-measure blue velvet collar tuxedo paired with a bow tie and classic patent lace-up shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo. 

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OUR BEST FIT | Marks & Spencer release their new denim campaign

Today I'm going to showcase the new denim campaign from Marks and Spencer which celebrates their 'best ever fit' across menswear and womenswear. 

The big news is that Marks and Spencer have streamlined their denim collection to four fits. Skinny, Slim, Straight and Regular. It feels like Gordon Ramsey has done a Hell's Kitchen make-over and stripped everything superfluous off the menu, leaving just the signature dishes. 

Outfit 1 - Indigo Skinny Denim Jeans:

So here we go, starting with outfit one. I'm wearing a pair of the Skinny-fit stretch jeans for a remarkable £22.50. It has a little bit of elastane in the cotton so doesn't feel constricting like some skinny fit jeans can. 

The jacket is pure cotton and sits well with earthy tones, like the indigo jeans and brown boots. The notches are high on the lapel which gives it a work-wear vibe. I love the tortoiseshell buttons, a nice accoutrement. Only £65. 

The Oxford Shirt is 100% cotton and is cut narrow through the shoulder and slightly suppressed through the waist. It has a button down collar and is priced at £19.50. 

The Chelsea Boots are probably my favourite piece of the ensemble. Available in brown or chestnut, (I've gone for brown) it really completes the look and smartens everything up. Available for £79. 

TOTAL price: £186 

SHOP THE LOOK

Outfit 2 - Light Blue Skinny Denim Jeans:

This second look is an even more casual affair. You won't often see me in light denim but I wanted to shake things up a bit and experiment. 

This is the Light Denim in the same cut. A skinny fit stretch jean in a 32" that will get more mileage in the summer I'm sure. 

They pair really well with these super-sleek white lace up trainers. It's a fresh look, it's upbeat and the price is remarkable at £35. 

You noticed how I paired the white sneakers with the white shirt? That wasn't accident folks. This is a Grandad collar shirt, the fabric is lightweight and the sleeves are long. However, it's more suited for the Spring and I often rolled my sleeves so it works perfect for me. 

I've finished the look with another cotton tailored fitted jacket (although not in this picture). The blue-on-blue, partitioned with the white shirt and white trainers is a very fresh look and brightens up the Instagram feed. Available for £65. 

TOTAL price: £140.25 

SHOP THE LOOK

Overall thoughts 

Very accessible price points. A good touch stone for people looking to get into smartening up their wardrobe. Arguably a little safe, but this is M&S not Gucci. For the price and the quality I think Marks & Spencer still offer great value. 

The items are all fairly neutral in tone so can be interchangeable. 

*Includes paid partnership in collaboration with Marks & Spencer.

 

New Viktor & Rolf Fragrance: Spicebomb Night Vision

Viktor & Rolf have released a flanker to their Spicebomb fragrance entitled: Spicebomb Night Vision, a new Eau de Toilette for Men. 

The concept behind this fragrance is centred around the provocative voyeur. The marketing campaign is very targeted towards evoking a mysterious sensibility. Are we being watched? Do we enjoy being watched? The powers of seduction under the city-green lights. 

Sounds awesome to me. But ultimately it's something of a misfire. Imagine going to see the movie Sliver at the cinema, only it's Sharon Stone watching one of the Baldwins getting naked. (Forget which one, not Alec). 

Let's put the video to one side and focus first on the bottle. 

The grenade bottle is back, slightly larger and with a green glass-tint to accentuate the Night Vision theme. It's iconic, it stands out, I'm onboard. 

The Spicebomb scent

I've read some sniffy and excoriating reviews on this scent, but it's really not as bad as they say. It's true that this scent isn't a very natural scent. It does give off a synthetic musk, but I've got to like it. I've been walking around for the past week, got a dozen or so compliments. 

People are struggling to place it, because it's unlike anything out there. It has a hybrid, cross-breed smell like an Alien or Azzaro, but it's not playing in anyone else's sandbox. And that's not gay slang! 

You will get some green notes, it is fresh, spicy. I got cardamom straight away and that does settle down. I couldn't locate the tonka bean nor the roasted almonds, but I did get register the black pepper on the dry-down which was pleasant. 

Overall opinion on Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb 

It's a hit for me, but it feels like a deflected goal. That it looks great in real-time but when you play it back in slow-motion, you'll release it's a complete fluke. Make sense? Ok let me explain.

So I didn't like the commercial. The concept is cool, like the Nigh Vision idea. But not a fan of the seedy undertones and the lack of any kind of subtlety. That could be an age thing. I gather this is for a younger market. 

The fragrance has gotten me a lot of compliments, although it's not a powerhouse scent. Not a trailblazer like a Tom Ford or a Dior Savage. I'm getting curious compliments, one girl even asked what shower gel I'm using. 

I'm personally a fan of the scent. The silage was around 5 hours and I've been wearing this to the gym, to the coffee meetings and I'll probably take it on holiday next month. 

I don't think it's going to pull out any trees. But it will raise an eyebrow or two. 

Available at Debenhams RRP 50ml - £55 90ml - £72

 

 

Why Do People Hate Influencers?

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In today's article I wanted to speak about the current negativity towards the current modus operandi of Influencers. For transparency I was asked to write this for a friend Marcus on his Blog Chic Geek but sadly missed the deadline so will publish my thoughts here. 

Is the Influencer Bubble about to pop? 

I remember a few years back when the word 'influencer' was getting tossed around. Actual non self-proclaimed 'influencers' were starting to distance themselves from the term.

Some far too modest, others a little embarrassed to be referred to as someone that can hold sway over peoples buying predilections. Perhaps they didn't see any benefit in being given a moniker that gave them an unelected responsibility.

Influencers not wanting to be referred to as influencers then repackaged themselves as content creators. More ambiguous and less offensive.

The package is suddenly more appealing. Influencers, Bloggers, Igers, Vloggers, Podcasters no longer had to pigeon-hole themselves.

They could market themselves as all-rounders. Jack of all trades. Truth is, they're all glammed-up expressions. When you distil us all down we're only digital marketers. Some take ownership of that, others are blissfully unaware.

So that's a little thumbnail sketch of how the sands shifted in recent years. At least in my eyes.

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Why do people hate Influencers? 

Firstly I don't believe people hate influencers. If everyone hated them you'd never here of them. You might not like Justin Bieber but 104 million people do (on Instagram at least).

I think there is certainly a jealously factor at play, both inside and outside the influencer circle. I like to use the DB5 analogy.

Imagine you've just bought your dream car, an Aston Martin DB5. You've worked tirelessly for it. Then your neighbour buys an Aston Martin DB5. Only this one has been driven by Sean Connery. All of a sudden you start to resent your own Aston Martin DB5. Those seats have not had been blessed by the arse cheeks of James Bond, it's value has depreciated and your neighbour is the root cause.

It's human nature, it's exactly why we hate influencers. They make their lives look so fantastic don't they? Those beautiful sunset photographs in the Florida Keys. That breakfast in bed in the hotel with the idyllic view overlooking Gaudi Square. Fair enough, we say. They've earned it.

But have they? Have they worked harder than I have in life? Do they deserve that sunset more than I do? What’s more, they're not even paying for it. In fact they're being paid to attend press trips, often in exotic locations, being treated like royalty, living a life of utter decadence. How?

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Are my friends jealous? 

No wonder influencers are hated. I've had many friends that have known me from my I.T days. Whilst on a recent stag-do, a friend curious to know about my career asked 'you've landed on your feet with that Instagram gig haven't you?'

It's funny in a way, I could take so much from that simple statement. Landed on my feet, like I won the lottery or something. That Instagram job, like Instagram hired me to fly to Bali.

At the consequent wedding I was also confronted by the same gentleman we shook hands and in an unguarded moment confessed 'Every time I see you on Instagram I think, that lucky ****'.

In a way it's a backward compliment. That the quality of images on my Instagram page are good enough to make people wish they were there, or at least in my shoes.

However, I know it comes from a place of jealousy. People think my ship has come in and I'm off gallivanting around the world having everything paid for. So that's why influencers are viewed negatively. We look like lottery winners. That's why so many people want to be one.

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Why Instagram is a big deal? 

You can communicate instantly more information in a picture than you can in a blog post.

A picture of a product or a location, can tell you many things, whether visually its something that aligns with your identity. 'Can I see myself wearing this jumper?' for example, or 'I'm booking holidays right now, where can I go that's warm and not too far.'

I follow a lot of travel bloggers for this reason. Getting great tips on places to see and things to do, from people that have been there can be like having your own travel guide sometimes.

With regards to negativity on Instagram, you can point to a few things. People being jealous of others. Perhaps they feel like they haven't earned the quality of life they are either living or portraying. Ultimately, you have the choice not to follow people.

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Real life and virtual representation

You can like a person in real life and be indifferent to their 'virtual self'. How many times do we look at social media, see a post from someone we thought we knew and say 'why is he/she posting that?'

Maybe we think we know a person well but they're always going to have beliefs, interests, or a different interpretation on things. For example I follow people that never talk to me about football in real life, but all they talk about online is football.

Same with politics. I never post about politics, it's not my area. I don't think my audience would be interested in those subjects either. So guess what, in real life people might not bring those subjects up because they know it's not on my radar if they follow me online.

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What is the future for Influencers? 

The future for influencers is going to be an interesting one. Already we're seeing the CMA clamp down on what many still think is the wild west of the internet.

There will be more transparency. There will be more regulations. As there should. But who will enforce those and what punitive measures will be introduced is another question. Take Facebook right now, has anything really changed since Cambridge Analytica?

Was anyone brought to justice for the mis-sharing of data that was used to profile US voters? Did Facebook shares go down? Nope they went up.

With influencers it's a very saturated market. It will all come down to hard data eventually. ROI's will be more closely monitored and evaluated.

The big players that have been there since the beginning, will still be able to name their fee. Others will have to continue to fight for campaigns, adapt and augment their platforms so it can always offer something new and look to reach out to new audiences.

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What lies ahead for this 'influencer'? 

For example I'll be focusing a lot on wellness this year. I'll be posting more articles and YouTube content on positivity, mental health etc. I've been on the receiving end on what I class as cyber-bullying quite a bit in recent months.

I've had to dig deep sometimes, go to the emotional well as they say. As you say there is a lot of negativity around Influencers, we're not immune to it, we see it. It might not be happening on Instagram, it's probably happening on Twitter more as people can vent and live more voyeuristically that way.

I hope you've enjoyed this ramble, I've got a lot more to say on this matter and you can also catch my thoughts on the Instagram Fraud article that was doing the rounds last week.