1 Princess Ira Von Furtsenberg
Photo: Courtesy of prestige-singapore.com.sg

Known as one of the great European beauties, Princess Ira Von Furstenberg, the daughter of Prince Tassio zu Furstenberg and Clara Agnelli – heiress of the Fiat family – is a socialite, actor, speaks 7 different languages and currently resides in Rome. Notorious as a rebel, the princess penned her autobiography “Princess and Rebel” in 1995, describing her experienced and turbulent life.  After two marriages and living a life crossing the world many times over, she has an insatiable interest for people and distant cultures.

At 73, the self-professed gypsy is an accomplished designer. Using her favorite materials, which include quartz, rock crystal, porphyry, malachite, jade, coral, gold, silver and gold-plated bronze, she creates more than 120 pieces within the year. Her collection “Objets Uniques,” is a poetic anthology of one-of-a-kind pieces, of rock crystals crucifixes, vases and bowls, to gold gilt and precious-stone inlaid into delicately carved animals and skulls – a merging of antique finds and inspiration from traveling to far-flung places such as Madagascar and Nepal.

Her creative ambitions were revealed through a Christmas invitation from the princess of Hyderabad – Esra Jah. Not wanting to buy the usual gifts at Tiffany or Cartier, she struggled to find unique objects. Ultimately she decided to create her own pieces, fuelling her artistic goals. After debuting the collection in Monaco and through the urging of good friend Prince Rainier, the Princess has since created over 2000 pieces in 20 years. Her work is currently exhibited at the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi in Milan and the Musée Jacquemart – André in Paris.

With a showroom based in Marbella, Spain; her future goal is an additional workshop in India where the craftsmen are experienced in multi-materials.   Since 1993, her work has been shown internationally in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens, Monaco, Milan, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, and New York, and recently included Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila and Jakarta to her growing list.

There is no slowing this princess down. Last I heard, Ira Von Furstenberg was heading to the Ivory Coast to host an exhibition in Abidjan where she is a patron of the Children of Africa Foundation. She was armed and with a set of crystal rock elephants and palm trees with gold details to auction.

-by Ona Chan

Former Battery Park City resident, Ona Chan is an internationally renowned artist and designer and fashion influencer. She writes about lifestyle, fashion and culture from her new home in Hong Kong. www.onachan.com

 

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Grace Capobianco, CEO/Publisher of Downtown Media & Production was born to be a visionary. She has spent the majority of her life working, developing and marketing innovative media products that not only engage and inform but also bring entire communities together. Utilizing her personal vision as a professional guide, Grace started her first company, Tropical Publishing, when she was just 27 years old and from this moment on, she knew that entrepreneurship was her passion. On a perpetual quest to bring innovative and relevant news to communities, she also created, developed and published the first ever Chamber of Commerce magazine for the Palm Beaches, The South Florida Office Guide. Evolving within the realm of publishing, she moved on to launch Up The Coast magazine in the 1980’s, a guide to Jupiter, in north Florida, where the population aggrandized from 9,000 to more than 70,000 today, and then continued to hone in on niche markets with the launch of publications like Alternative Medicine and NewBeauty. Simultaneously, she launched ATSI, a telecommunications company, which sold Mitel and Siemens products to her publishing clients. The idea of Downtown Magazine NYC was born for Grace in the wake of the devastation of 9/11. A Lower Manhattan resident at this time, Grace saw firsthand the incredible sense of community the neighborhood had demonstrated during these trying times, as well as its immense strength and perseverance. She explored every angle of launching a magazine that would speak to this community but initially felt the timing was just too soon. It wasn’t until 2010 that Grace felt the community was ready to hear its voice and launched Downtown Magazine NYC.