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Michaela Trimble

Based in Mexico City, Michaela is a writer and Latin America expert for publications including Condé Nast Traveler, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and Travel + Leisure. She's currently finalizing her debut fiction novel: a thriller exploring the intersection of art and shamanism in Mexico City.

Michaela Trimble's Articles

Courtesy Slow Factory

A Garment Recycling Program Confronts Global Textile Waste Head-On

In co-founding Slow Factory in 2012—a Brooklyn-based nonprofit dedicated to advocating for slow fashion and advancing climate justice and social equity—Lebanese-Canadian designer, writer, and researcher Céline Semaan—the latest guest on our Time Sensitive podcast—created a platform to further one of her life missions: to replace socially and environmentally harmful and outdated systems with replicable, zero-waste solutions.

Lidewij Edelkoort. (Photo: Thirza Schaap)

Lidewij Edelkoort Starts Up a New Master’s Program in Sustainable Textile Production

As one of the world’s foremost trend forecasters, Lidewij Edelkoort has advised companies ranging from Coca-Cola to Lacoste on everything from how to communicate with emerging youth archetypes to how to expand into new fields of interest outside of fashion. But perhaps her most well-known effort is her production of trend books—under her Paris-based company, Trend Union—that forecast market movements two or more years in advance. In the textile industry, her research has been used by fashion houses such as Armani and Prada.

Balance (2022), a marble and onyx cabinet designed by OMA for Solid Nature’s “Monumental Wonders” exhibition at Alcova. (Courtesy Solid Nature)

Alcova 2022 Presents Designs That Look Inward, Outward, and Beyond

One might describe Alcova, an independent design platform that activates forgotten sites in and around Milan during the city’s design week, as a just-taken snapshot of the design industry. The event’s creators, Joseph Grima and Valentina Ciuffi, aren’t interested in following a curatorial theme; rather, they seek out projects and ideas that speak to the moment, resulting in a wide range of work by emerging and established practitioners that invites viewers on a journey of discovery—a sense that’s underscored by Alcova’s distinctive locations, which are often disused, abandoned, or inaccessible to the public.

A solar-powered mezcal wheel at Casa Silencio. (Courtesy Casa Silencio)

These Eclectic Mezcal Experiences Are Gateways to Mexico’s History and Culture

In Mexico, you might hear the popular saying, “Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también,” which suggests that no matter what life brings your way, whether good or bad, mezcal is the remedy to reach for. Mezcal denotes any spirit distilled from the agave plant and has numerous varieties including espadín, made from a common agave species with sword-shaped leaves; tobalá, made from a sweet, wild agave that grows in high-altitude canyons; and madrecuixe, made from a rare, finely textured species of the plant. The potent drink is a nationwide Mexican staple and offers significant insight into the country’s roots, with some recipes dating back as early as the Mayan and Aztec civilizations. In short, no trip to Mexico is complete without a sip of the smoky spirit, whether in the countryside or at a downtown bar.

"Five Echoes" installation by Es Devlin

Es Devlin Is Planting a Forest in the Miami Design District

Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel spent her childhood at an orphanage in Aubazines, a commune in central France that was surrounded by forests. She developed a deep reverence for the woods, and used it to inform her inaugural fragrance, Chanel No. 5, made from 20 botanical essences and released in 1921 by her namesake fashion brand. Chanel, of course, went on to become one of the greatest couturiers of the 20th century, and her timeless perfume rose to prominence. To commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the scent, Chanel commissioned London-based artist and stage designer Es Devlin to translate the iconic aroma into an immersive installation that will open in tandem with Miami Art Week. The resulting project, called “Five Echoes” (on view Nov. 30 through Dec. 21)—located in the Miami Design District’s outdoor event space, Jungle Plaza—is a sprawling, multisensory experience that reminds visitors of the enduring connection between nature and ourselves. (Craig Robins, a real estate developer and art collector who co-founded the Design Miami collectible design fair, speaks about the culture and urban planning within the Miami Design District on Ep. 28 of our Time Sensitive podcast.)

Ormaie perfumes

This Natural Fragrance Brand Forgoes Synthetic Ingredients in Favor of Candor and Nostalgia

After working for luxury fashion houses including Givenchy and Louis Vuitton, Baptiste Bouygues joined forces with his mother, Marie-Lise Jonak, considered one of the top noses in France, to create a line of all-natural perfumes called Ormaie. Now, three years later, the brand is a veritable leader in environmentally conscious scents, which, unlike many other aromatic elixirs, are made without the use of synthetic ingredients. Its mainstay collection features seven unisex fragrances inspired by family memories, such as Papier Carbone, a richly layered bouquet of bergamot, coffee, and cardamom that serves as an ode to the school Baptiste attended as a child in the French countryside. The bottles echo Ormaie’s planet-friendly approach while doubling as objets d’art: Each sundial-shaped, recycled-glass flacon is topped with hand-carved sculptural keepsakes that are inspired by the work of artist Constantin Brâncuși and made of beechwood sourced from responsibly managed forests in France.

A glass bottle of perfume on a beach

How Louis Vuitton Bottles the Scent of California’s Shoreline

Drawing on the West Coast’s fresh atmosphere and spirit, Louis Vuitton’s ongoing Cologne Perfumes collection conjures up the cool vitality of California. The French fashion house’s Grasse-born master perfumer, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, created the unisex line and introduced its inaugural fragrances in 2019, including Sun Song, made with lemon to suggest the warmth of the morning rays, and Cactus Garden, a tropical bouquet created by maté and Calabrian bergamot; he unveiled California Dream, a clean, citrusy spritz informed by a sunset, in 2020. (Cavallier Belletrud is also the nose behind Pur Oud, a scent released in April that features an unusually high concentration of oud, a heady essence derived from agarwood trees.)

A bottle of Loewe perfume on a straw chair

This Perfume Bottles the Free-Spirited Scent of Spain’s Balearic Islands

When the French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH tapped creative director Jonathan Anderson to helm Loewe in 2013, it charged the Irish-born designer with giving a new energy to the esteemed but sleepy Spanish leather brand that resonated with the next generation. Lauded as one of the most forward-thinking designers of his time, Anderson not only reinvigorated its men’s and women’s fashion lines with couture pieces such as calfskin handbags and leather biker jackets, but also revived the house’s tradition of perfume-making, which blossomed when it unveiled its inaugural women’s fragrance in 1972. Loewe 001, the first fragrance under Anderson’s direction, launched in 2016 with notes of bergamot, sandalwood, and white musk. The brand has since incorporated it into an entire repertoire of fragrances known as Botanical Rainbow, released in March, that includes myriad botanically inspired perfumes, bottled in a kaleidoscope of colors.

A cake of dried pu-erh with a colorful tag.

Like a Fine Wine, China’s Traditional Pu-Erh Tea Gets Better Over Time

During China’s Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 C.E.), pu-erh tea was transported along the Ancient Tea-Horse Road, an age-old trading route that once extended 1,400 miles from China’s tea-growing region to the capital of Tibet. The traditional, still-popular drink is made from large leaves—grown by the plant Camellia sinensis var. assamica in mountains of the Chinese Yunnan Province—that are roasted, rolled, and dried in the sun. They’re then fermented in one of two ways, yielding distinct flavor profiles: The prized, raw and sweet sheng pu-erh ferments naturally and matures over many years like a fine wine, while the ripe and earthy shou pu-erh is incubated in a moisture-rich environment that accelerates the aging process, which concludes within a few months. Typically compressed into cakes or balls, the dark tea can be cut into chunks or pulled apart for brewing.