Category: Lifestyle

Encounters: French Montana Shops for Tracksuits and Timberlands in the Bronx


Karim Kharbouch, better known by his stage name French Montana, was getting dressed at the Gansevoort Park Avenue hotel, where he was staying while touring with the Weeknd. Six necklaces, two chain bracelets, a watch and a ruby ring — each dripping in diamonds — were laid out on a towel before him.

“Justin Bieber gave me that for my birthday,” said Mr. Montana, pointing to the chain bracelet. “When he gave it to me, it wasn’t like that. I put the diamonds on it.”

Mr. Montana’s choice of jewelry for the day.CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Mr. Montana, whose song “Unforgettable” was one of last summer’s anthems, was getting ready for a homecoming of sorts.

Born in Morocco and raised in the Bronx, the 33-year-old rapper was heading up to Sammy’s Fashion, a beloved street wear emporium on Fordham Road where he and his friends used to spend all their money on Timberland boots and Vanson jackets when they were teenagers.

“Every time we wanted to see girls, we’d go to Fordham,” said Mr. Montana, who lived about 10 minutes away by foot in a one-bedroom apartment in East Tremont. “It was packed.”

It was around 4 p.m. on one of the first cold days in October, and his crew, which consisted of his assistant Maria Gialouris, Rana Reeves (the creative director of Sean Combs’s agency) and a bodyguard, Shadow, piled into a black S.U.V. Mr. Montana usually hangs out with a larger posse (check his Instagram feed), so he phoned others to join him.

“Look at me, I look like a Skittles commercial,” he said to his brother Zack Kharbouch on FaceTime, showing off the fuchsia-colored Ami sweater picked out by his stylist. “We are heading up to the Bronx, meet us there.”

After hanging up, Mr. Montana pulled up the music video on his iPhone for his latest song, “Famous.” It was filmed in Chefchaouen, a city in Morocco known for its azure-blue buildings, and which is a couple of hours from the village where he lived until he was 13. (His father and most of his extended family still live there. He is also setting up a music school there in partnership with Global Citizen and Mama Hope.)

The rapper showing his bodyguard, Shadow, a video of someone on Instagram dancing to his song “Unforgettable.”CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

“I’m still working like an intern,” Mr. Montana said, laughing, finally looking up from his phone. He rattled off a list of things he’d done in the past 24 hours: performed alongside Mariah Carey at a V Magazine party at the Top of the Standard honoring Karl Lagerfeld; visited the set of “The After Party,” a movie produced by Russell Simmons and others, in which he plays himself; and went to a club near Gramercy Park to “make sure his record was being played,” he said.

It was a particularly gray day, an abrupt contrast to the sunny weather Mr. Montana enjoys at his home in Calabasas, Calif. As the S.U.V. inched up the F.D.R. Drive, he started to get antsy. “Is everyone going to Fordham?” he said.

It took 45 minutes to reach Sammy’s Fashion. “It’s a celebrity!” said a woman who was waiting for a bus when he stepped out of the S.U.V.

“I hear you on the radio,” the woman at center yelled as Mr. Montana got out of the car.CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Mr. Montana entered the brightly lit store, where almost every inch of the 4,000 square feet was covered in street wear, including bedazzled hoodies, heavily whiskered denim and men’s leisure wear. Opened in 1997 by Sammy Igbara, a Bronx native and self-described denim enthusiast, the store offers aspirational fashion at affordable prices. And if a customer wants to splurge on a Rolex Sky Dweller covered in diamonds, Sammy’s has that, too.

“Long time no see,” said Eitan Aliav from behind a jewelry counter, where prices reach five figures. He pulled out 14-karat-gold chain valued at $20,000. “This is completely iced out.” Then he whipped out his phone and starting recording. “Guess who’s back, people,” he said to his 76,000 Instagram followers.

Eitan Aliav, also known at Ace da Jeweler, caters to Sammy’s Fashion customers who want to splurge on a Rolex dripping in diamonds.CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Mr. Montana pointed to a photo framed above the counter, showing him with Khloe Kardashian, his ex-girlfriend. “Khloe in Fordham,” he said, laughing. “Probably her first and last time.”

“Hey, you never know, man,” Mr. Aliav said.

Photos of Mr. Montana and Khloe Kardashian hang above Mr. Aliav’s jewelry counter.CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Mr. Montana made his way through the displays of Kanye West’s Pablo tour merchandise and racks of Billionaire Boys Club hoodies. He grabbed a pair of topaz yellow track pants with red, yellow and green Rasta stripes on the side. “I need these in a large,” he said.

He turned around and pointed at a motorcycle jacket covered in patches hanging on the wall. “Look, Vansons are coming back,” he said.

After about 30 minutes, a sizable entourage had materialized, including his brother Zach; Frank Barlett, a childhood friend he met on the basketball court at 17; and a couple of fans eagerly waiting for selfies.

“You made my day,” said one young man, phone in hand.

After a few laps around the store, Mr. Montana made his way to the cashier with a pile of track pants and Timberland boots. “I’m not paying for anything, right,” Mr. Montana said, jokingly.

“I’m going to make you pay double,’ said Mr. Igbara.

Mr. Montana slid on a pair of sunglasses that Mr. Igbara handed him to try on. “Are those Céline?” said Ms. Gialouris with a sarcastic tone.

“They are Selin-a, her sister,” he said.

The rapper tried on sunglasses at Sammy’s Fashion while Sammy Igbara, the owner, watched.CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

When they were done shopping, Mr. Montana’s crew got back into the car and headed toward Sushi Mambo, a festive Japanese and Caribbean fusion restaurant in nearby Inwood.

When they arrived, two bottles of Ciroc French Vanilla (Mr. Montana is a brand ambassador for the liquor brand) were chilling in a bucket of ice. Mr. Montana poured shots and handed them to his entourage.

“May God make you rich, not the people,” he said. “That’s what my dad always told me.”

A stop at Sushi Mambo in Inwood for sushi topped with plantains and fried calamari.CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times
Mr. Montana seemed ready to start his night.CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

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36 Questions That Lead to Love (Again)


“Tell your partner what you like about them, and be very honest.” We asked three couples who know everything about each other to try out Modern Love’s 36 questions, intended to bring strangers closer.

Modern Love: Senior Couples Try the 36 Questions That Lead to Love


stylist — and closest companion

— ever since.

If you could have either the body

or mind of a 30-year-old, which

would you choose?

LUCILLE The body. No question.

JOSEPH See how shaken up you

got? You would chose the body?

LUCILLE Yeah.

JOSEPH At this stage of my mind,

I would choose the mind.

LUCILLE My mind’s fine.

Tell your partner what you like

about them and be very honest.

LUCILLE When you walk into the

room, I get all passionate. Just

looking at you turns me on. Is

that enough?

JOSEPH It sure is. I feel the same

way. When I see you, I tingle.

LUCILLE You dingle?

JOSEPH I tingle. I’m not going to

tell you where, but I tingle.

Tell your partner something they

did in the past that they might

not realize impressed you.

JOSEPH You invited me into your

own family.

LUCILLE It was your birthday.

JOSEPH But you still didn’t have

to invite me, and Leah didn’t

have to bake me a birthday cake

and have a party.

LUCILLE No, that’s true.

JOSEPH I hardly knew her.

LUCILLE We hardly knew you

and we made you a big birthday

party.

JOSEPH There you go.

LUCILLE Well, you kept telling me

you wish you had a Jewish

family, so for your birthday I

gave you one.

JOSEPH If you will something

hard enough, with all your heart,

and you do it continuously all

your life, whether it takes a year,

two years, 10 years, 20 years, or

50 years, it’s going to happen. I

always wanted a Jewish family.

LUCILLE And you got one.

JOSEPH And it finally happened.

See? I told you.

JOSEFA RODRIGUEZ, 66, AND

DOMINGO RODRIGUEZ, 78

Married for 50 years.

How they met: Domingo was

introduced to Josefa as a friend

of the family. “I didn’t fall in love

that day, because I saw him as a

friend of my father’s that was

just coming over, you know?”

And yet.

When was the last time you cried

with someone else? Alone?

JOSEFA The last time I cried was

when my daughter thought that

she had a terrible illness, and

thank God that wasn’t the case.

Everything was O.K.

DOMINGO That was also my last

time.

Tell your partner what you like

about him or her. Be very honest.

DOMINGO What I like about you

is the great communication

you’ve had with me the whole

time we’ve been together, and

your patience.

JOSEFA Me too. I’ve had a lot of

surprising moments with you,

and also all of the patience that

you’ve had with me, when I’ve

been sick, that you’ve taken care

of me with your whole heart.

I’ve never felt alone, I’ve always

felt that you are with me, by my

side.

BARBARA PILGRIM, 88, AND

GERALDINE PILGRIM, 82

Together for 58 years.

How they met: They worked in

the same building and kept a

cordial relationship until Geraldine

sold Barbara a raincoat —

or better yet, lent one to her. “I

didn’t have the money at that

time, and she said, ‘All right. You

take it, and you can give me the

money when you get it.’” From

there on, they developed a friendship,

then something more.

What would constitute a perfect

day for you?

GERALDINE Laying with my

honey on a rainy day.

BARBARA You didn’t tell them

what I’d be doing.

GERALDINE I wouldn’t care as

long as I was with you.

BARBARA I would have to agree

with that because on rainy days

we’ve made it our business to

clear the house that’s kind of

half straight, and ironing to do.

And no checks to write out

because it means that we’ll be

close to one another. Don’t have

to be making out now. We’d just

be close.

For what in your life do you feel

most grateful?

BARBARA For my loving wife.

And I’m grateful now that I did

not have my breasts removed

because I’m still recovering

from breast cancer. And that you

will be with me for the rest of

my life.

GERALDINE I don’t know how to

put it into words really that I

will always love you. Always,

regardless what

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Wonder Woman’s Gold Tiara, for Your Watch


Photo
A Wonder Woman tiara charm from the Treasured Amulet collection by Mary Ching. It is meant to be worn on a watch band.

LONDON — Shoes were the focus when Alison Mary Ching Yeung established her business, called Mary Ching, in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 2007.

Then last fall the designer, now based here, started thinking about charms, the kind of whimsical items that adorn many cellphones and handbags. Why not watches?

She now has two collections of charms that clip or slide onto watch bands. They are made in 18-karat gold and precious stones, with prices from £750 to £11,600 ($985 to $15,230), that she sells online or through Frost of London, the British jewelry and watch retailer.

Photo
Mary Ching’s seraphim wings, in rose gold and pink diamonds.

The Treasured Amulet collection reflects Ms. Yeung’s tongue-in-cheek style: Marilyn, for example, has the lips of the screen siren in enamel, gold or pavé diamonds, each one topped with a mole, actually a tiny diamond, that only the wearer can see easily. The design of the gem-studded gold Wonder Woman tiara was conceived “purely by chance,” Ms. Yeung said, before the highly successful film with Gal Gadot came out this summer.

There also are Prince Charming frogs, seraphim wings and a customizable option that allows buyers to specify any text, including initials, horoscopes and names — from “Dina to ooh là là,” Ms. Yeung said. Delivery is within 30 days.

The band that is the basic design of the second line, Felicity, now comes in nearly 50 combinations of metals and gems. The style has proved to be popular, especially with men. “I wasn’t expecting that at all,” Ms. Yeung said.

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Putting a Bugatti on Your Wrist


Photo
The new Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390, inspired by the Bugatti Chiron.

A sports car on the wrist?

To hear the maker of the new Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 tell it, that was his goal in partnering with the car company to create a watch inspired by its latest vehicle, the Chiron. (At 1,500 horsepower and a top speed of about 250 miles per hour, the Chiron is marketed as the fastest automobile on the road.)

The watch is “primarily a motor block on the wrist,” said Michel Parmigiani, president of Parmigiani Fleurier. “This specific watch creation bears parallels with the mechanics of a car in every single aspect of the movement.”

Florin Niculescu, Parmigiani’s vice president of product development, said, “The watch movement is housed in a cylinder with 80 hours of power reserve, its fuel tank if you will.

Photo
At 1,500 horsepower, the Chiron has a top speed of about 250 miles per hour. Credit Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.

“The entire movement can be removed from the case of the watch, similar to how a car’s engine must be removed for modifications,” he said. “And just as a car has a transmission, the watch uses a transmission with three planetary gear trains,” a system of controlling power in a small space that the company says has never before been used in watchmaking.

The Bugatti Type 390 is not the first time the companies have collaborated. They first met for talks in 2001, then formalized their partnership in 2004. Wiebke Stahl, head of licensing and marketing for Bugatti Brand Lifestyle, said, “It has become a tradition in our 13-year partnership with Parmigiani that they create watches in honor of specific Bugatti super sports cars.”

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