YV&C News Desk
A look at Superyacht Candyscape
Apr. 27, 2007 09:15 AM
Knowing who to trust when planning a yachting vacation is vital. Dynamic brands driven by dedicated leaders tend to surpass their promises. When Candy & Candy teamed up with Edmiston to produce and market the 45m / 147ft Candyscape the results for charter guests quickly proved sweet.
Change is in the air in the world of large yacht vacations. A couple of decades ago you accepted that you were chartering somebody’s private boat and would put up with a few unappealing nautical idiosynchrasies, feeling privileged to be aboard at all. In the last decade, the business of connecting the bank of wealthy charter clients with the owners of the
wide range of yachts available has grown so fast that some agents are almost blasé in their dealings racing to get a signature on a contract even if not the perfect match. Not so at Edmiston Company, where Chairman Nick Edmiston is passionate about providing the best brokerage service to the company’s eclectic mix of clients worldwide, while simultaneously bringing together likeminded people to drive the industry ahead in innovative ways, with an emphasis on design and lifestyle.
There are parallels in the property world and, in London in particular, there was a time where ‘developers’ could make a living buying up run-down places and simply painting them magnolia and white, and laying beige carpets or stripping the floorboards bare, before selling on for a quick profit. It didn’t last and suddenly buyers were in control and calling the shots. Those who were ahead of the game and genuinely passionate about what they were doing, understanding their clients’ ways of living and boldly imagining improving it, included the Candy brothers Nick and Christian. Candy & Candy has won best property awards for several consecutive years and, though its core team comprises some 50-60 interior designers, architects and project managers, the firm markets itself as luxury interior design & lifestyle consultants, offering a complete bespoke lifestyle.
Some yacht owners have commissioned boats with a design brief for ‘wide charter appeal’ that has wrongly been interpreted as meaning beige carpets. Whilst they might not frighten off charterers they don’t exactly set their pulse racing with anticipation as they step aboard – a bit like checking into a bland hotel chain room. Those who have dared to invest in true leading edge contemporary design, letting their hearts lead them, are finding the more demanding and exciting clients hunt them out. Entering into a cool boutique hotel, or a Candy & Candy property development, you feel your body and mind relax at the thought of the comfort that will cocoon you and at the same time perk up as you anticipate the sensory pleasures of the textures, aromas, fittings, works of art and even library to appreciate a carefully selected mix of culture. “Our look is art deco meets contemporary – a fusion”, sums up Nick Candy, who knows as much as anybody what clients in London, New York and Moscow look for.
Candyscape has it all. Laser-etched and water-cut pony skin (knowing the skill or process that has gone into producing things adds a certain energy to them, rather like sun-dried tomatoes or Cuban cigars rolled on virgins’ thighs), black crocodile-embossed leather atrium, platinum & moon gold leaf, hand-painted wallpaper & silks, a Richard Hudson sculpture, a Dali painting... In the media room marvel at the design details of the antique camera housed in a glass display case or, for those who are not into cigar provenance, savour the bouquet of the leather of the knife belt worn by actress Halle Berry in the Bond movie Die Another Day.
It has taken some time for details such as cotton thread counts on the sheets to feature on the expensively stitched pages of luxury yachting brochures (typically 300 grammes per square metre, preferably recyclable paper). Edmiston leads the way and touts the bed linen aboard Candyscape as being no less than 600-thread count sheets – monogrammed with the Candy & Candy logo should you wake up after dreaming of Die Another Day and need to be reminded just who is making your day start so gloriously. Another break from yachting accepted practices is that crew, sporting uniforms designed by Stella McCartney’s husband, are referred to as ‘staff’. Personal trainers, bodyguards, butlers and even restaurant bookings are offered to Candy & Candy clients.
Concentrating on their expertise at refurbishing and creating a lifestyle, the Candy brothers purchased a 45 metre / 147 foot Benetti (a relatively ‘safe’ option and well-known brand) – built a decade earlier – to put their ideas into practice shortening the ‘concept to launch’ timeline by over a year. Brigitta Spinocchia was given an open brief to break the boundaries of yacht design and steer away from convention to create something pioneering in the field of boat and interior design. Inspiration for Candyscape came from “the style and spirit of the home port of Monaco, playground for the super rich – also from the splendour of travel from a bygone age”. Expensive cars, the casino (Candyscape’s dining table top flips to reveal a roulette wheel) luxury boutiques, history, style, glamour all played a part in the end result.
Louis Vuitton antique luggage epitomizes the splendour of travel from a bygone age, having been custom made to carry wealthy clientele’s outfits since 1854 (three years after the schooner America won the America’s Cup). Questioning Louis Vuitton on whether they felt their brand was being compromised, being used to line the walls of one of the day bathrooms of Candyscape, raised a smile from one of their beautiful Paris-based media relations team. As they didn’t copy the luggage – they cut up some well-preserved original suitcases – there was no copyright infringement. And I suspect the world’s leading luxury brand has a sneaking admiration for Candy & Candy, even if the brothers do “aim to be best brand in super-luxury lifestyle”.
In the year since Candyscape’s launch, a number of new Candy & Candy designed boats have been commissioned in Germany and Italy. Already some niche hotel ‘design collection’ brochures are including one or two superyachts. As the number of new boats entering the market continues to add to the almost confusing choice available, charterers are likely to demand independent reviews and guarantees of service. Expect to see Candy & Candy boats rank high in the Edmiston Collection.