HOW TO DISCOVER

10. October 2020

Remember when jumping on an overnight flight, changing into a pair of cotton pyjamas into a bed already waiting for you and then magically waking up in a place 6000 miles away was just as common as riding a San Francisco street car? Well, we do. In fact, in the past few months, even though we promised each other and the world that we wouldn't travel, we just couldn't resist. Not because of some twisted addiction to travel but because Forbidden City is a family spread across the world, from Geneva to Hong Kong, Sydney to New York - and everything else in between, we have had to spread our wings far and wide in order to stay connected to our network of friends, family and partners.

Our partners fortunately have a lot to do with moving people around the world; traveling has not been so hard. It has been actually been a great pleasure to reconnect with our clients and our ateliers. We couldn't fly everywhere so as the summer drew to an end, the lines we traced across the European political map now appear like a kindergartener's sketchbook. We luckily stayed in private cars, of course sanitised by ourselves, or private planes - also triple sanitised by the crew and ourselves. Even if the cleaning process we performed was less than scientific, the mere theatre of the new travel experience's first act was enough to make us believe that taking care of ourselves would get us through the unexpected.

Flying commercially was and still is more stressful. People of different backgrounds and belief systems are put together in a randomly selected group, seated in a metal tube and then expected to follow instructions - all while many of them think that this flight could be putting their life at risk. It seemed like everyone was on hyperdrive and one wrong look behind the mask could indeed spark civil unrest on board. Wiping everything down to many people's amazement with hospital grade cleansers, wearing gloves and changing them often and of course using a special masque are just now part of how it has to be done. Oh, and of course praying that you're not seated near an infected human round out the inflight experience of today.

One thing is certain though; we are changing how we interact with our clients and they want to change how they interact with us. Long gone are the days of jumping on a plane bound for Almaty and taking measurements for customized leather luggage. We will soon introduce our Forbidden City E-boutique, which is still in the works. We have lived without it for nearly 15 years and a few more weeks of getting it just right won't break the bank! Indeed, we have heard from many of you from St Louis to Singapore that your MacBook has become your new best friend.

With a mandatory 10 day quarantine for most all visitors to Switzerland from abroad, we are shifting our attention to welcoming clients in Malta, where there are virtually no entry restriction for European guests and those hailing from many other Maltese safe-corridor countries too. As off the wall as it sounds, visiting the digitised nation of Estonia, our centre for furniture design and manufacturing just might as well be your cup of tea. With a 7 day "limited" isolation period after your first COVID-19 Negative Test at the airport, you can discover a new place without having to shelter in place for 14 days. Discovering new places and new ways to travel are the new normal for those of you who have wings that just can't be clipped. Its time to start understanding how to mitigate risks so that we can travel responsibly and with a new view of discovery in mind.

REINVENTION

01. April 2020

What a year 2020 has been.  First we think we are taking off then we think we are landing and then...we are locked in cages.  For those of our readers who love to travel , for the time being our wings have been clipped.  

Right now, nothing is a better equaliser than our current situation, besides baggage claim at La Guardia Airport.  We are all having to wait while that belt goes around delivering our luggage.  Long gone are the days of just summoning jeeves.  They are taking stock too with finally the time to perfect how to care for themselves too.  

Having time on our hands is a great way to really understand what makes us happy in the current moment.  Is it simplicity? Redefining the word luxury, I tend to think leads us to the conclusion that yes, simplicity will be the new luxury.  How that weaves into everyone's life is going to be different.  However, the silence of solitude is a blessing that we must learn to love.  So what direction will you take?  Have you even thought about it between having to wash all your vegetables with white vinegar for two hours straight?  (Yes, we are a little paranoid around these parts.)  But why not when your wings have been clipped. There are other ways to fly.

Forbidden City as a company will change with you.  We are happy to help you feel more comfortable; honestly, its what Kevin and I have been doing for nearly 20 years in one way or another.  Whether it was making you laugh on Television or seeing you marvel at the touch of our special cashmere - we always understood that comfort was key.  In this day and age, comfort will be at home and the hotels and hideaways where we personally know we are being looked after.  Comfort will be in knowing that where we are headed and how we are getting there is safe.  

As definitions change, so must our behaviour and so must we.  Acceptance of this change will be our new safety.  Whether it's helping you fall asleep in some fabulous Belgian sheets, or conjuring memories when we present a new perfume, we will continue to create with change in mind.  Nevertheless, still pragmatically and elegantly.  After all, who you are will fundamentally never change.

As you reinvent the way you do things, we invite you to join us on instagram, yet a new turn for us, and mark your photos #reinventsuisse.  Sending inspirational shots from all over the world will help us take stock of how we look at things are changing.

We are wishing you all the best for now and beyond.  Keep in touch with us - you know how to find us.

-John

Forbidden City (SUISSE) SA

Experiences in the Sky

16. November 2019

Sometimes thinking about the miracle of modern flight is taken for granted.   There is nothing more special than closing the door to an airplane and then opening it again 12 hours later only to discover a different smell, a different time of day and a completely different world.  As we traverse the globe daily, we experience, feel and learn about so many different aspects of life.  How this transcends taste and style are the magic formula that make Forbidden City® the brand it is today.

Our unparalleled connection with real life people who live above and beyond trend - those who understand that fundamental simplicity are the drivers behind the luxury we know as happiness - are the reason we design pragmatically and luxuriously.  When the miracle of modern flight becomes and every day occurrence, especially private flight, we were asked by several high profile clients to recreate the private inflight experience.

We based our entire study on the senses of travel, after all, these are the senses that are constantly bombarded from the moment our minds shift to journey-mode.  How could we make the experience in a private jet more bearable was not the call to action, nor was how to make it more luxurious, we tasked ourselves with honoring our core clients' understanding of their lifestyles - nuanced, simple luxuries that create once in a lifetime experiences every time they take to the skies.

A holistic experience begins on the ground and ends on the ground. The magic in the middle is what happens on the airplane.  Bringing back the childish excitement of listening to the jet engine, the personalized greeting by the crew and the smallest minute details that we gloss over fuels the journey to perfection that we help to create inflight.

What does this have to do with perfume, leather, cashmere and skincare?  Plenty.  The connection is not prima facie, rather its the counterintuitive and secondary excitement that comes with feeling the elements we add to the journey.  Finally, the personal element, one that of course can be delivered by a flight attendant, but also can be enhanced by our specially strained inflight SPA therapists, is the decisive factor that separates good from best.

Whether its creating a corporate scent for Luxaviation Group or offering our SkyLab Inflight Spa on board a host of different world-leading private jet operators' aircraft, that unique touch and offering a helping had to create the perfect flight are secrets we'd rather keep to our private world of Forbidden City.  Welcome aboard!

Experience our discreet and personalised service.  Whether it's refurbishing your jet's interior or catering rare Swiss wines on a flight from Los Angeles to Zürich - our private aviation team listens well and responds.