Leading a life of dining, fashion and travel
Louisa Birkhahn is founder of Tartine, an all-day dining concept company inspired by the healthy food cultures of Australia and California, the United States. She grew up in the artistic hotbed of Berlin and lived in Milan and London before moving to Shanghai in 2017 to set up the business. In her free time she enjoys trying new workouts from boot camps to hot yoga and she is an ex-German national golfer.
My personal style depends on my mood that usually makes me feel comfortable and confident.
The best outfit I’ve ever worn for a special occasion was a bright fuchsia gown with Swarovski embroidery that I wore at a fuchsia-themed wedding in Italy. It was so romantic and even all the men were given fuchsia bow ties. The gown was found at a local gown shop on my first family trip to China when I was just about to finish high school. For years I never had the opportunity to wear it, or even thought I would ever wear it until this memorable wedding party.
I follow the fashion trends by using social media. I do however incorporate local trends when I travel. For example I would wear a nice locally produced straw hat and a woven bikini on the beach in Brazil or a colorful tracksuit on the streets of Shibuya.
I usually shop for clothes and accessories online and often find smaller unknown brands via Instagram. For accessories I tend to go into shops to check the quality as I like timeless pieces that I can keep forever.
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighborhood in Shanghai, I would pick Jing’an District and the small local shops toward Xuhui. My favorite fashion brands are Anthony Vacarello, Isabel Marant and Are You Am I.
The designer I most admire is Virgil Abloh. His brand Off-White and new creative direction at Louis Vuitton is so inspiring. The style icons I look up to are Grace Kelly for her elegance and Jane Birkin for her effortlessness.
The last item I added to my wardrobe was a mint silk slip dress from a local designer.
The fashion item I’m eying next is Jean Atelier mini dress.
My grooming staples include cleansing, toning and moisturizing every morning and evening, and switching up the brands I’m using regularly. Currently I love Caudalie’s facial foam and toner, Skin Ceuticals Hydrating B5 and Mineral Radiance UV Defence. Once a week I use Shani Darden’s retinol reform. For my hair I like Moroccan oil and Olaplex No. 3 and for my body I like organic coconut oil.
My signature perfume is Maison Lancome Oud Bouquet, however my boyfriend and me share a number of unisex Tom Ford fragrances.
The best souvenir I brought home was a woven artwork from Jordan that we bought while riding a bicycle 60km through the magical Wadi Rum desert.
The most memorable place I’ve traveled to was India, specifically Rajasthan.
The last book I’ve read was “Pour Your Heart Into It — How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time” by Howard Schultz.
Except Shanghai, I would love to live in Los Angeles.
Luke Nolan is the founder and CEO of Student.com, a world-leading marketplace for student housing. An entrepreneur at heart, he first had the idea when friends in China kept asking him for help in finding somewhere to live when they studied abroad. Born in London to Irish-Portuguese parents, Nolan grew up in Belgium and has also lived in Spain and Italy. He considers himself at home anywhere. He is also an extreme endurance sports enthusiast and is training for the World Marathon Challenge.
My personal style is to look unique, simple but my style. Sometimes that style will amuse people, like wearing a Swarovski jeweled belt or a slightly outrageous shirt, but at the same time it is worn with a smile.
The best outfit I’ve ever worn for a special occasion was being dressed as the Mad Hatter once at a Halloween party. It was unbelievably real because our friends run a business called Angels in London that collects all the original theater costumes. The best part of this outfit was the makeup. I literally didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror when I woke up the next morning and looked at myself in the mirror.
I follow fashion trends by watching movies — sometimes classics, sometimes new releases.
I usually shop for clothes and accessories in new countries so I can find something local. I think every country has its own style that can be incorporated in your own look.
If I have to limit my shopping to one neighborhood in Shanghai, I would go to the Shanghai Tang store on Maoming Road.
My favorite fashion brands are Rag and Bone or Theory for everyday relaxed fashion and definitely Lanvin or Dolce for an event look.
The style icons I look up to are Michael Jackson, Steve McQueen and Elvis Presley.
The last item I added to my wardrobe was Rag and Bone chinos from this summer seasons. The sea blue are my favorite.
The fashion item I’m eying next is a cool overnight bag. I think it’s going to be a light green leather with a worn look and beige handles. Just need to find it now.
I collect good memories.
My grooming staple is hairspray. Tres semme No. 4 and No. 5 are the ones that work best with my hair. Then Kiehl’s face cream, the Ultra Face Moisturizer for countries where the weather is very dry, and the Kiehl’s Ultra Face Oil Free Gel for when we are in Shanghai summer for example.
My signature perfumes are Tom Ford Neroli Portofino for the summer and Tobacco Vanille for the winter.
The best souvenir I brought home is the “Bagh-Chal” from Nepal (known as the tiger-moving game).
The most memorable place I have traveled to was Jordan.
The best thing about living in Shanghai is its energy.
The last book I’ve read was “Why We Sleep” by Mathew Walker. It’s a total game changer. I realize now that I have been sleep-deprived for the last 20 years and since I started committing to an eight-hour sleep I feel so much better and have so much more energy.