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January 19, 2008

Kochi in India to host Volvo Ocean Race for first time

Volvo Race

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Photo: The fleet line up on the start line of the Volvo Ocean Race In Port race in Portsmouth. (© Oskar Kihlborg/ Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006)

Portsmouth (England) - 18 January, 2008 - Kochi, in the Indian state of Kerala, is confirmed as the host of the second stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in December 2008. The Indian stopover will come at the end of the second leg of the race from Cape Town, South Africa. Kochi will be the first of three new ports in Asia.

The booming shipping port on the Malabar Coast is now one of India's foremost tourist destinations and the race stopover is sure to bring thousands of additional visitors to both Kochi and the State of Kerala. The Kerala State Tourism Department envisages the event will bring significant visibility as well as economic benefit to the region.

Volvo Race

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Photo: Race 2005-2006 In Port race Melbourne.Port Phillip Bay. Volvo Open 70 movistar and Ericsson round a mark during the In Port race. (© Oskar Kihlborg/ Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006)


Glenn Bourke, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race commented: "It has always been part of our vision to take the race to different and wider audiences and we are delighted that Kochi has become part of that vision. India not only presents huge opportunities for the development of the event, but this coupled with the daunting challenges the competitors will face when racing their grand prix yachts in unfamiliar waters, will make the visit to India even more exciting for everyone involved. India has hundreds of millions of enthusiastic sports fans and we know they will enjoy this challenging race, with its passion, teamwork, adventure and excitement."

The 2008-09 event will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain on 4 October 2008, it will for the first time, take in ports in Asia. Spanning some 39,000 nautical miles, stopping at around 11 ports and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier yacht race for professional racing crews. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 1:06 PM

January 16, 2008

Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications to Form New Joint Venture: 'OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network'

OWN DISCOVERY

Photo: Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav and Oprah Winfrey announce the launch of "OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network" today, January 15, 2008, in Chicago.

OWN

CHICAGO, Jan. 15 -- Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications announced plans today to create "OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network." The new multi-platform media venture will be designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN will debut in 2009 in more than 70 million homes, on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.

OWN's mission is to create multiple platforms for women, men and their families with a purpose and a passion: to celebrate life, to inspire and entertain, empowering viewers around the world to live their best lives, and by doing so, lift the lives of those around them in ever-widening circles.

In addition to providing her talent, and personal commitment, Winfrey will have full editorial control over the joint venture and will be responsible for OWN's programming, branding and creative vision.

Winfrey will serve as Chairman of The Oprah Winfrey Network, LLC and the venture will be 50/50 owned by Discovery and Harpo. This is a cashless transaction and The Oprah Winfrey Network, LLC will be an independent company. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:34 AM

January 15, 2008

Emerson Hart's 'Flyin' to be Featured in Premiere Episode of ABC-TV's New Drama, 'Eli Stone'

EMERSON HART MANHATTAN RECORDS

NEW YORK -- "Flyin" from former Tonic frontman/singer/songwriter EMERSON HART's solo debut, Cigarettes and Gasoline, will be featured in the premiere episode of the new ABC-TV drama, "Eli Stone." The new series stars Jonny Lee Miller and debuts on Thursday, January 31.

Emerson Hart's music has become a favorite with TV shows. Last year, "When She Loves You" and "Run To" were licensed by the new hit TV show "Cane," and "Friend To A Stranger" was featured on "One Tree Hill." All three songs are on Cigarettes and Gasoline. Hart also wrote the award-winning theme song, "Generations," for the TV show "American Dreams."

Source: Manhattan Records


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Posted by Editors at 5:18 AM

January 13, 2008

ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine Announces 2008 International Car of the Year Awards Winners

Honda Accord Sedan

Photo: Honda Accord Sedan


DETROIT -- ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine (RTM) announced its 12th Annual International Car of the Year Awards (ICOTY) winners at a black tie ceremony January 12. Held at the MGM Grand Detroit, RTM hosted more than 600 industry leaders and media on the eve of press week of the North American International Auto Show.


Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

Photo: 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid


A jury of nationally-renowned automotive journalists selected the award- winning vehicles with ballots tabulated by J.D. Power and Associates. And the winners are:

• International Car of the Year: Honda Accord Sedan
• International Truck of the Year: Chrysler Town & Country
• Pick Up Truck of the Year: "Most Athletic" GMC Sierra Denali
• Sports Car of the Year: "Most Sex Appeal" Audi R8
• Sedan of the Year: "Most Dependable" Honda Accord Sedan
• Luxury Car of the Year: "Most Respected" Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG
• Minivan of the Year: "Most Compatible" Chrysler Town & Country
• Entry Level Car of the Year: "Most Spirited" Volvo C30
• Crossover of the Year: "Most Versatile" Buick Enclave
• SUV of the Year: "Most Resourceful" Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid


Volvo C30

Photo: VOLVO C30


Mercedes Benz S63 AMG

Photo: Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG


Opening remarks at the ICOTY event were made by Congressman John D. Dingell, the "Dean of the House of Representatives," and Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. In addition, U.S. Senator Carl Levin, RTM Editor-in-Chief Courtney Caldwell and Edmunds.com Editorial Director Kevin Smith co-presented the inaugural EARTH ANGEL Award, to General Motors Corporation as the most environmentally-friendly automaker. The award, sponsored by Bridgestone, was created to shine a spotlight on the positive strides automakers are making with global warming issues on a worldwide level.

RTM recognized veteran automotive journalist Thos L. Bryant, editor-in- chief of Road & Track, with its 5th annual Lifetime Achievement Award. RTM also presented its annual HEART STRING Award for best car commercial in 2007 for Dodge Caravan's "Rooms." |GlobalGiants.com|

Source: ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine


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Posted by Editors at 11:29 AM

January 12, 2008

Consumer Reports' 2008 Car Brand Perception Survey: Drivers See Toyota, Honda as Best Overall

But Perception is Not Always Reality


Lexus

Photo: LEXUS 2008 IS F High-Performance Sport Sedan


Buick Riviera Concept

Photo: Buick Riviera Concept


NEW YORK -- Consumers perceived Toyota and Honda brands to be best by a wide margin, followed by Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC, according to Consumer Reports' 2008 Car Brand Perception Survey. The survey also revealed that car buyers consider safety and quality as the most important considerations, followed by value, performance, environmental friendliness, design, and technical innovation.

The latest Auto Pulse survey conducted by Consumer Reports' National Research Center, the Car Brand Perception Survey, focused on how consumers perceive and rank car brands in the seven key areas mentioned above.


VOLVO

Photo: VOLVO XC90 R-DESIGN


Mercedes Benz Vision GLK

Photo: Mercedes-Benz Vision GLK FREESIDE


Toyota and Honda topped overall rankings with scores of 189 and 146 points, respectively, and took a place in the top five in six of the seven categories. Ford finished third with 112 points, followed by Chevrolet with 110, and GMC with 102. Chevrolet and Ford are the only U.S. brands that rank in the top five in more than one category; each makes the cut in three areas. Among brands that fared worst, Acura finished with eight points, followed by Audi (14 pts.). Mitsubishi (21 pts.), Mercury (22 pts.), and Buick (25 pts.).

Dig deeper, though, and in many cases, consumers' views do not accurately reflect the automaker's recent track record. For example, Mercedes-Benz finished in the top five for quality. But the brand placed 33rd out of 36th in Consumer Reports' latest rankings for predicted reliability, a measure of quality over time. Toyota earned a top spot in this category. And while its vehicles have typically rated well in areas associated with quality, the brand slipped from first place to fifth in the same predicted reliability ratings.

"It is well worth doing your research before making a purchase," said Jeff Bartlett, deputy autos editor, ConsumerReports.org. "Depreciation, reliability, safety and other factors may be different from what you associate with a particular brand." ...

With a score of 77 percent in the Safety category, Volvo is clearly first in consumers' minds. No other category is so unilaterally dominated by one brand. But in another example of perception over reality, Subaru scored well in the Safety category, yet many lower-trim models don't include electronic stability control, a highly recommended safety feature. Other automakers consistently on the cutting edge of safety technology -- such as BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz --- don't make it into the top five. Among new-car shoppers, 63 percent felt safety is the most important consideration.

When it comes to Value, Korean brand Kia finished well with 23 percent of consumers saying they think the brand is a good buy. While this could be a reflection of the make's low-cost models and long warranty, the predicted depreciation for some Kia models is poor -- not a good-value characteristic.

While some perceptions don't match reality, others do. BMW and Porsche led the Performance category with 28 and 25 percentage points, respectively. The vehicles from both brands have consistently earned high ratings in performance in testing at Consumer Reports' 327-acre Auto Test Center.

Coming in at 49 percent, Toyota dominated the Environmentally Friendly/Green category, likely due to the company's role as a pioneer in hybrid technology and its strong-selling Prius hybrid. The Prius is also one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles Consumer Reports has tested. Consumers consider environmental friendliness substantially more significant (35%) than styling (23%), and more than twice as significant as technology and innovation (15%).

In the Design/Style category, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus virtually tied (24%), with both holding a slim margin over Cadillac (23%). In general, car buyers in this survey rated styling low among purchase considerations, but it's easy to underestimate the sales potential of head-turning styling. This is the only category in which Toyota and Honda did not rank in the top five.

As for Technology/Innovation, Toyota (30%), Lexus (29%), Honda (20%), Cadillac (18%), and BMW (17%) rounded out the top five brands.

[Source: Consumer Reports] |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 7:11 AM

GM Style Event: Fashion Models Compare Outfits During A Fitting Session

General Motors

Photo: Fashion models compare outfits during a fitting session at the General Motors Design Center Friday, January 11, 2008 in Warren, Michigan. The models are preparing for the GM Style event that will kick-off the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (Photo by Tom Pidgeon for General Motors)


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Posted by Editors at 5:59 AM

January 11, 2008

Actress and New Mother Hayek Named Ambassador of Pampers' 'One Pack = One Vaccine' Program Providing Life-Saving Tetanus Vaccines in Developing Countries

PAMPERS SALMA HAYEK

PAMPERS

CINCINNATI, Jan. 10 -- After the birth of her daughter last year, award-winning actress and "Ugly Betty" producer Salma Hayek is grateful for her daughter's health and, like most mothers, wants other moms around the world to be able to share in the basic medical advances.

To help mothers across the globe, she is teaming up with Pampers and UNICEF to help stop the spread of life-threatening maternal and neonatal tetanus in developing nations worldwide. Pampers, a leader in baby care, has announced that Hayek will serve as the North American ambassador for its "One Pack = One Vaccine" global initiative with UNICEF. The immensely successful program, which launched in 2006 in the UK and expanded in 2007 to other countries in Western Europe, and debuts in the U.S. and Canada in spring 2008, has already helped provide UNICEF with funding for more than 25 million life-saving tetanus vaccines distributed throughout Africa and Asia. The goal for the North American campaign is to provide at least 27 million more vaccines, which would bring the total global donations to more than 50 million vaccines.

Pampers is a trademark of Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and the company's largest global brand and is also the world's top-selling diaper brand. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 5:32 AM

January 9, 2008

Reader's Digest Association and The Shanghai Press and Publishing Development Company Announce the Launch of 'Puzhi' Magazine in China

READERS DIGEST


SHANGHAI, China, Jan. 8 -- The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (RDA), global publisher and marketer of books, magazines, music and video, and The Shanghai Press and Publishing Development Company (SPPD), today announced the launch of a new publication -- Puzhi magazine in China. Puzhi will be published by Puzhi Magazine Incorporated, a wholly owned enterprise of SPPD under a Trademark and Copyright License Agreement with RDA.

Puzhi, which means "universal knowledge" in Mandarin, debuted today in The People's Republic of China. It will be available at about 43,000 retail outlets (including convenience stores, book stores and subways), newsstands and kiosks across 43 cities and 25 provinces with a target circulation of 420,000 copies.

As a window on the world, Puzhi will feature a rich and stimulating variety of compelling, insightful, relevant articles on everything from everything from science, health and medicine to arts, money management and more. It will have the high editorial standards of international publications in terms of credible, trusted and easy-to-read information that will appeal to urbanites and families in China. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 11:55 AM

January 6, 2008

Jean Rah Fya Records: Chantel Christie to Release 'Here We Are Again' Debut Single

Chani

LOS ANGELES -- Chantel "Chani" Christie, daughter of NBA power couple, Doug and Jackie Christie, is set to release her new single for the independent label, Jean Rah Fya Records with electrifying producer Ralph Stacy. Ralph Stacy has worked with Luther Vandross, Pink, Paula Abdul, Dru Hill, Aaron Hall, Kci & JoJo, B5, Houston, Color Me Badd, Jagger Edge, Xscape, Bobby Brown, to current superstar Mario. Chani's single titled "Here We Are Again" will be released on January 25, 2008.

Chani, a native of Washington State, began her musical journey singing and studying music at an early age. She has worked with some of the most respected and sought after people in the music industry including vocal coach Nick Cooper who trained Beyonce, Jordan Taylor and many others. She has a sweet, fresh and soulful sound even at the age of 14. "I believe in God and I think he has given me a gift. My Family has always stood behind me and encouraged me in my singing, and I'm very grateful," says Chani. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 4:36 AM

January 1, 2008

Australian Rules Maddo Breaks World Record on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas

RED BULL

Photo: Robbie Maddison, from Kiama, Australia, broke the Guinness World Record for longest motorcycle jump at 322 feet 7.5 inches during the Red Bull Experiment at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 1 -- Australian motocross superstar Robbie Maddison literally leapt into the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records by jumping his motorcycle 322 feet 7-1/2 inches over the length of a regulation football field to shatter the previous record of 277 feet at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The jump was the first-ever Red Bull Experiment, which involves world-class athletes attempting world-first athletic achievements.


RED BULL

Photo: Robbie Maddison in an action sequence breaking the Guinness World Record for longest motorcycle jump (322 feet 7.5 inches) during the Red Bull Experiment at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Telecast live on ESPN's New Year, No Limits program shortly after the ball dropped in Times Square signifying 2008, Maddison hit the take-off ramp at 94 miles per hour on his Honda CR 500, reaching a height of more than 60 feet, and soared into history. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 7:28 AM

PEPSI CHINA WESTERN NEW YEAR

PEPSI CHINA


Photo: Celebrating Western holidays is relatively new in China, but didn't stop thousands of revelers from dancing in the streets of Shanghai to ring in 2008, the Year of Gold. The large-scale celebration, featuring sponsorship from Pepsi, included live music, fireworks, Olympic athletes, and the whole crowd dancing in the street at stroke of twelve. The evening's theme was, "I-China!" capturing the country's growing sense of passion and patriotism for a successful 2008!. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 7:20 AM

December 28, 2007

Legendary American Soprano Kathleen Battle and Superstar Chinese Pianist Lang Lang to Perform at International Opening of China's National Centre for the Performing Arts

China's National Centre for the Performing Arts

Two of classical music's most beloved and acclaimed superstars, American soprano Kathleen Battle and Chinese pianist Lang Lang, will perform at the international opening of The National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing's brand-new state-of-the-art performing arts center. Both artists will appear in special gala performances on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day with the China National Symphony Orchestra led by the highly sought-after Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa, who is currently the music director of the Vienna State Opera, and featuring an appearance by Russia's leading violinist Vadim Repin.

Taking place December 31st, 2007, at 8 pm and January 1st, 2008, at 7:30 pm, the gala performances celebrate the eagerly anticipated international opening of the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Located in central Beijing, adjacent to the Great Hall of the People and Tiananmen Square, the Centre is the new Chinese focus for the performing arts and an important foundation for the creative cultural scene in China. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 6:17 AM

December 24, 2007

Longines Ambassador Andre Agassi visits the Beaver Creek FIS Ski World Cup, Colorado (USA)

Longines Beaver Creek

Ambassador of Elegance for the Swiss watch brand Longines, legendary tennis icon Andre Agassi visited the Beaver Creek FIS Ski World Cup race where Longines is the official Timing Partner. Agassi awarded winners of the Super Combined offering each a newly launched Longines Sport Collection watch. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 8:00 AM

December 17, 2007

mywaves Delivers Free Mobile Video via Nokia's Download! Content Catalog

MYWAVES NOKIA.jpg

mywaves, a mobile video destination for consumers, today announced that mywaves will be available in Download!, the Nokia content catalog available on a variety of Nokia handsets shipping this year and next. With the mywaves application, Nokia phone owners will be able to easily find and watch their favorite videos from around the globe, set up their own channels and be entertained on the go with the latest videos on the web. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:58 AM

Virgin America Teams Up With The Lakers

VIRGIN AMERICA

Photo: Actress Jessica Alba sits with Cash Warren as they watch the Golden State Warriors play the Los Angeles Lakers in their NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill).

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 17 -- Virgin America is now a "Sponsor of the Los Angeles Lakers" for all of the superstar team's 41 2007-08 home games. Fans seated in Virgin America's courtside seats will get the "celeb treatment" with Virgin America gift bags and VIP service during selected games from Virgin America's courtside "flight attendants."

Launched in August 2007, Virgin America flies to San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Las Vegas, San Diego (starting Feb. 12, 2008) and Seattle (starting March 18, 2008). |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:27 AM

mywaves Socializes Mobile Video, Enabling Global Community to Connect and Discover New Entertainment on the Go

MYWAVES

mywaves, a mobile video destination, today launched a major release of its free mobile video service that enables users to connect with their friends and the mywaves community, showcase their entertainment interests and share their favorites -- all from their mobile handsets. mywaves rolls out a completely new version of the popular mobile video service that's packed with an array of features to help its users discover content by connecting them to an international mobile community of people with a shared passion for entertainment. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:22 AM

December 12, 2007

Longines Conquest: the elegance of performance

LonginesConquest.jpg


The Longines Conquest appears as the expression of the sporting elegance of the brand. It is the result of detailed study into the aesthetic potential of the fixed bezel and cabochon, and is made of ceramic - an exceptional material associating "timeless elegance, a scratch-proof surface and uncommon hardness" - or of polished steel. A subtle blend of elegance and performance, the Longines Conquest also includes a series of technical features meeting the requirements of the most demanding sportsmen and women. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:31 AM

December 10, 2007

Maybelline New York Signs New Supermodel Jessica White

MAYBELLINE


NEW YORK, Dec. 10 -- Maybelline New York announces that Jessica White, the stunning and elegant supermodel, has become Maybelline New York's newest spokesperson. She joins Maybelline New York's prestigious roster including Christy Turlington, Erin Wasson, Adriana Lima, Tomiko Fraser, Julia Stegner, and Zhang Ziyi.

At 16, Jessica was discovered in her hometown of Buffalo, NY and made the brave move to Paris. Within six months, she landed campaigns for Chloe and the Gap. Soon, Jessica was walking the runways for New York's top designers including Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, and Tommy Hilfiger. She also landed in the pages of Harper's Bazaar and Teen Vogue.

Jessica's big break to supermodel status came in 2003 when she was chosen for Sports Illustrated's famed Swimsuit issue. Jessica went on to model in the next four successive issues. This was a first in history for an African American woman. Jessica quickly made headlines and was deemed the new Iman by the international press.

In 2006, her supermodel title was solidified when she appeared on the catwalk of the famed Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

Jessica has worked with the world's top photographers such as Steven Meisel, Mario Sorrenti, Craig McDean, Patrick Demarchelier, Peter Lindbergh, Mario Testino, Inez and Vinoohd, Steven Klein, Mert and Marcus and David Sims.

Jessica will make her television and print debut for Maybelline New York in February 2008. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:57 AM

Suzuki Debuts Custom L-R-G Hayabusa

SUZUKI MOTORCYCLE


American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC), in partnership with Lifted Research Group, better known as L-R-G, and 2Wheel Tuner magazine has unveiled a fully customized 2008 Hayabusa sportbike at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show (IMS) at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif. Designed by L-R-G and built by Nick Anglada of Custom Sportbike Concepts (CSC) of Winter Garden, Fla., the L-R-G Hayabusa blends the panache of one of the hottest urban brands in fashion with the iconic personality of Suzuki's fastest production motorcycle. The L-R-G Hayabusa is on display at the Suzuki booth through Sunday, Dec. 9 and would be featured on the January 2008 cover of 2Wheel Tuner. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:13 AM

December 1, 2007

Longines introduces its wedding collection

Longines

Photo: Longines Ambassador and 'Bride of the Year' Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

As the wedding season approaches and the to-be-brides prepare their trousseau, Longines, the prestigious Swiss watch company, introduces its wedding collection with Longines Brand Ambassador and 'Bride of the Year', Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The collection includes the Longines DolceVita in gold with diamonds and the Longines BelleArti diamond watch to match the traditional ensemble.

DolceVita Longines

Photo: Longines DolceVita in black and white - opposites meet and match in style

The gold watch with diamonds of the Longines DolceVita collection blends the neat, trim lines of the 1930s with the glamorous 1950s in a stylish timepiece expressing enjoyment of life in the finest Italian spirit, with its inspired refinement and unique way with style. Longines designers and watchmakers have consequently given their inspiration free rein, trading the strict rules of geometry for a superior aesthetic freedom--resulting in a delightfully inventive, unfailingly stylish collection called Longines DolceVita.

Longines BelleArti

Photo: Longines BelleArti, eternal feminism by Longines

The model of the Longines BelleArti collection with diamonds is a tribute in grace and elegance to eternal feminism. It pays homage to the extraordinarily productive period of the 1920s. This collection reinterprets the Art Deco movement through aesthetically pleasing and contemporary watches.

To showcase the collection to its patrons, Longines organized an exclusive photo-shoot with its Ambassador of Elegance, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan by fashion photographer Farrokh Chothia. Traditional red and golden wedding attires were specially designed by renowned designer Tarun Tahiliani. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 5:02 AM

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