I usually wake up early and by myself, but I set an alarm just in case. I sleep in white cotton-satin bedsheets from Frette. I rarely lie-in, mornings are my favourite time of the day. I open the windows to let the air and light in, if the sun is up. The first thing I do when I wake up is an Ayurvedic ritual, I drink warm water and lemon. I usually check my phone to make sure I haven’t missed anything urgent as we do work across so many time zones. I don’t listen to music, I love the silence at that time of day. I don’t have any technology in my bedroom. I actually have a switch that turns off all electrical circuits and WiFi. I always keep the first two hours of the day to myself. I live on my own in London. I generally gravitate towards apartments, and I usually connect with certain areas in each city. In London it’s Notting Hill, in New York, it’s Chelsea.
I jump in the shower and start getting ready for the day ahead. I use David Mallet shampoo and conditioner and I also use his hair oil after the shower. I use royal Fern Phytoactive Cleansing Balm as a face wash, and Phytoactive Serum before I moisturise, and anti-ageing eye cream. I also use Augustinus Bader Rich Cream which is truly an innovation – it activates your own stem cells. I generally do facials once a month. In Paris, I see Melanie Grant. I do oil pulling, too. It’s an Ayurvedic practice where oil is swished around in the mouth. It is a perfect detox, and a great way to start the day.
Royal Fern serum, Dhs1,040, Dr. Timm Golueke
I do Yoga if time permits and then have breakfast. My breakfast is also part of my Ayurvedic routine, I usually eat Quinoa or buckwheat porridge with berries and sprouted nuts and seeds. I’ve got used to getting ready without too much fuss. I generally wear dresses or trousers with a sweater or shirt. Simplicity is always my preference, but I do love colours and print as well. I’m sometimes inspired by the city I’m in. I always wear a vintage 1930s ring and a 25-carat gold bangle from Mene.
I order an Uber and I’m on my way to work. I use this time to catch up on my news, emails, and WhatsApps. I also check Instagram. I never leave home without my iPhone. I usually read the New York Times and Financial Times. My go-to sources for industry news are Business of Fashion and WWD.
Arrive at work. Our offices are all decorated in the same style – neutral and contemporary – there is a common look and feel, when you walk into a Karla Otto office, you know where you are. We have nine around the world. I love art and design, but I wouldn’t call myself a collector. I love beautiful things, so if there is something I fall in love with I usually find a way to place it at home or at one of our offices. Each city I work in definitely has a different energy and pace, but in general I am booked up for lots of client meetings, which is always a great way for me to catch up with them. My schedule during fashion week is usually very hectic as we have many shows and events to attend. Running between shows, I usually use the time in the car to catch up on emails, and I always make time for lunch to give me energy. I am very focused and driven, and I’m always on the move. My teams are all amazing, I know I can rely on them, and we all work together to achieve what we do for our clients. We are all team players – in our industry we have to be. I always try to lead by example. I spent the last month in L.A. with my son, but normally I travel to around five different cities every month and I probably sleep in at least five different hotels/ beds a month. In Paris, my favourite hotel is always Le Meurice. It’s sucha dynamic job and we work with so many different people across so many different fields which is extremely stimulating .
A luxury suite at Le Meurice in Paris
I always have lunch. Sometimes with team members, sometimes alone, sometimes with clients or work-related contacts. I have a favourite place in every city where I regularly travel to and usually always go there when in town. In Milan, I go to Latteria – it only has eight tables and you can’t make a booking but the food is amazing. In LA, it’s Matsuhisa, which I’ve been going to for over 30 years. In London, it’s lunches at Thomas’s at the Burberry store – it’s so delicious and next to the office. In Paris, L’Avenue is perfectly located and it’s so easy, and in New York, EN Japanese Brasserie is delicious, very quiet and super nice. For me eating is recharging, that’s why I never skip lunch.
In our industry we work at the office and we work on the move. But our work doesn’t end when the office closes, we have events which happen at night so some nights I’m out until quite late. I usually try to take a bath after work if possible with bath salt. I love to use either Epson salts or sea salts, which are amazing for the skin and work as a mini detox. Then I change into different clothes and go out.
I go out between 8pm and 9 pm, but it depends on the city, what time I finish work, and most importantly what I have the next day. I always wear dresses but the style depends on the nature of the event. I prefer small intimate gatherings, and if I’m not at a work event I see friends for dinner. I usually gravitate towards Japanese food, I used to live there and also Japanese food has a lot of gluten-free options. I also love Italian food very much. If I’m not out, I’ll watch a movie at home – the last film I watched was Bohemian Rhapsody, I loved it. I usually do Kundalini Yoga to unwind – either 30 minutes or an hour, depending on how much time I have. I do this at home, and I try to do yoga at least three times a week, or daily when I can.
I got to bed at midnight. The books currently on my bedside table are Rem Koolhaas and Irma Boom’s Elements Of Architecture – it’s such a brilliant book. Typically, I need six to seven hours sleep. I sleep instantly.