The Art of Travel is a conversation space dedicated to where we've gone and where we're going. In this series, writer and host Olivia Lopez explores the transformative impact of travel, and how a world-view builds creative development, entrepreneurship, and community.
S2E10 - Setting the Scene with Ian Schrager: From Studio 54 to the Lifestyle Hotel Movement
Ian Schrager is a serial entrepreneur and innovator whose career has spanned over five decades. Since the creation and closure of Studio 54, Ian has launched several hospitality concepts that have sought to revolutionize the hotel industry. He’s pioneered the idea of the “boutique hotel" with Morgans Hotel Group, which eventually paved the path of the lifestyle hotel category with Edition and Public. Ian set the standard in how culture plays a large role in shaping hospitality, an idea he continues to explore in creating memorable and transportive spaces.
In this conversation, Ian shares how diversity played an important role in building the environment at Studio 54, why democratizing “luxury” is necessary, and finally, shares the principles he’s guided by in life and work.
S2E9 - Continuing a Family Hotel and Legacy with Antonio Sersale of Le Sirenuse
Le Sirenuse started out as a holiday home for the Sersale family, and over the last few decades has gradually been converted into a hotel, which is now run and operated by Antonio Sersale, who took over for his father Franco in 1992. His aim is to sustain and renew the proud traditions and attention to detail that, since the conversion of the Sersales’ family home into a hotel in 1951, have made Le Sirenuse one of the world’s most characterful luxury properties in the world. In this conversation, we chat with Antonio on Amalfi traditions, the history of Positano, and the balancing act of continuing a family hotel and its legacy.
S2E8 Creating Space for Community and Cultural Dialogue with Lena Evstafieva
What is the purpose of an artist residency? This is the topic of today’s conversation with Lena Evstafieva of Villa Lena, founder of the art foundation and agriturismo site located in the Tuscan countryside.
Lena shares the evolution of Villa Lena, from developing the residency to expanding into an agriturismo hotel, where artists and guests are invited to engage with the community within the remote surroundings. We dive into the themes of slowness: from the creative benefits of working remote, and why community and artistic production is more essential than ever in post-pandemic times.
S2E7 - From Culinary Pop-Ups to Building Utopia with Ari Taymor
Ari Taymor initially started out his career as a chef, earning accolades for Alma, an experimental pop-up turned restaurant that propelled his career that earned him Food & Wine’s Best Chef of the Year award and a James Beard nomination. But his journey into the hospitality industry wasn’t a linear one. In this conversation, Ari shares the obstacles he confronted along the way, the lessons he learned, and his pivot from cooking in the grace of good timing. In 2020, Ari stepped down as a chef to pursue a new passion project: a land development project in Zihuatanejo, Mexico that is rethinking tourism and its ecosystems.
S2E6 - A Journey into Filmmaking and Womanhood with Isabel Sandoval
Isabel Sandoval is a director and actress best known for her critically acclaimed film ‘Lingua Franca’ now streaming on Netflix. ‘Lingua Franca’ is a semi-autobiographical story of a transgender migrant in New York named Olivia. In the film, Olivia is a caretaker seeing to obtain a green card through a pre-arranged marriage. Desperate to obtain legal residency, the film deals with Olivia’s anxiety around deportation, ICE raids, and gender identity. The film also captures some more nuanced moments: with scenes that highlight the sacrifice and struggles migrants face to support their families back home.
In this conversation, Isabel shares with us her many journeys: How her move from Manila to New York prompted not only her path to cinema but to trans-womanhood as well.
S2E5 - Building The Webster, A Destination Retail Space for the Digital Age with Laure Hériard Dubreuil
Laure Heriard Dubreuil is the Founder and Creative Director of The Webster, a multi-brand shop known for its high concept design and inventory of the best designers in the world — from Chanel to Balenciaga, to Bottega Veneta and The Row. Laure grew up in Cognac, France and moved to Paris to work in fashion merchandising — working under Nicholas Gesquiere at Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent under Stefano Pilati.
In this conversation, Laure shares how travel has played a fundamental role in both her professional and personal life — from the weekend trip to Miami that prompted the creation of The Webster, and to trips around the world which inspire the design of the store and the collections of her clothing line, LHD. Laure speaks about how art and design have played a fundamental role in the artistic direction of The Webster, and how she's navigating retail in a post-pandemic world.
Top Travel Podcast
A wonderful addition to my podcast queue! Olivia is an excellent interviewer & brings a fresh perspective to every conversation. The guest curation, editing & sound design are all top notch.
Such a soothing voice. An eloquent perspective on travel in a time of covid. Love her curiosity and ability to coat her narrations with emotional warmth. Highly recommend 💓
Respite from Quarantine Life
These episodes are such a peaceful break from daily life right now. The guests are so interesting, and Olivia has such a unique perspective on travel and hospitality!