For those travelling within and between South American nations, a common grievance is that it’s too expensive. While Brazil’s Gol Airlines set the ball rolling for lower-cost carriers when it was founded in 2000, a welcome addition to the scene is Argentina’s Flyest. Born from the ashes of former airline Sol, the new carrier – financed by Spanish capital – will begin flying to the Argentine cities of Santa Fe, Mar del Plata and Rosario with its fleet of Bombardier CRJ200s this month. And Flyest isn’t the only company looking to Argentina. In an interview last month on Monocle 24 with editor Andrew Tuck, Norwegian’s CEO Bjørn Kjos said he was eyeing the Southern Cone nation as a potential market. Watch this space.
Köln-based Rimowa has been making quality luggage since 1898 – a good investment for the French LVMH Group, which bought an 80 per cent stake of the company for €640m last year, instating Alexandre Arnault as Rimowa’s co-CEO. This week Arnault opened the brand’s first flagship store in Paris. Situated on the luxury shopping street Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, opposite the historic Hotel Bristol, the new shop is the largest to date and showcases Rimowa’s entire range of luggage, while giving visitors a glimpse into its manufacturing process. Swiss architecture firm Atelier Oï – whose previous clients include Geneva Airport and Globus department stores – was commissioned to design the space. With its own repair shop, projection room and customer service centre, the store points the way to where retail is going in the future.
Rem Koolhaas and his firm Office For Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) sketched some whacky designs for the UAE in the mid-2000s. It was a bonanza of renderings: monolithic office cuboids, Death Star-ish convention centres and an entire Waterfront City on Dubai’s periphery. When the financial crisis set in none of this came to fruition but two years ago OMA opened an office in the UAE and Koolhaas has finally completed a project in the country. New arts centre Concrete officially opens today in Dubai’s industrial Al Quoz district, part of the Alserkal Avenue cluster of galleries and design studios. It comprises four warehouses with a glittering black façade and a large hall for public exhibitions. Compared to what came off the drawing board a decade ago, Concrete is human-sized, simple and frank – and a reminder that, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival is in full swing in Greece’s port city. Now in its 19th instalment, the sister-festival of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival is screening a range of documentaries from around the world, from Spain’s Transitioning: Transgender Children to Shingal, Where Are You?, which focuses on Isis kidnappings in the Iraqi town. But the theme that features most prominently this year is the refugee crisis – understandably so in a country that’s feeling the brunt of it. Today the festival is going a step further with its inaugural “food uniting people” event, where refugees will cook traditional dishes from their home countries of Syria and Iraq at the harbourside Cinema Museum. Festivalgoers will get a taste of vegetable tawa, quzi with tikka, falafel and kubeh to name just a few local delicacies.