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Suitcase Series

Suitcase Series: Sylvie Millstein

French-Japanese designer Sylvie Millstein launched her eponymous brand Hellessy in her New York apartment in 2012.

Born and raised in Paris, Sylvie’s extensive career working as a senior merchant for major fashion houses, including Chanel and Givenchy, provided her with the luxury knowledge she needed to create her own line. Her multicultural background provides a unique approach to womenswear, focusing on timeless pieces that can be worn day-to-night with laid-back glamour at the heart of her designs.

We speak to Sylvie about her love for Japan, her dream luxury holiday, and her ultimate packing essentials.

What is the first trip you remember taking?

I remember my first trip to St Tropez in the South of France, when I was 5. It was the first of many summers spent there with my family.

What’s been your most memorable trip and why?

My first trip to Tokyo was a post-graduation gift in 1995. I had been to Japan before, to the southern countryside to see my grandparents, but seeing Tokyo for the first time was a life-changing experience. I promised myself that I would live and work there one day, which I did a few years later.

Where or what is your escape?

Turks and Caicos – the beaches are just so beautiful.


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A post shared by Turks & Caicos Islands (@turksandcaicos_official)

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your travels?

After numerous experiences losing luggage, it’s to always carry essentials in your cabin bag (even more true nowadays!)

If I could go anywhere tomorrow I’d go to: 

Japan, Tokyo to have shabu-shabu.

How would you spend an ideal afternoon in your home city?

I live in Miami, and my perfect day here would be a beach lunch followed by an afternoon at The Setai.

What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

An all senses discovery: aesthetics, culinary, and cultural.

If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – who would it be? 

Karl Lagerfeld.

How do you recover from jet lag?

I like to take a walk outside to get fresh air.

Your flight’s delayed an hour and your phone’s out of battery. How do you pass the time? 

I would just buy and read any magazines I could get my hands on, I never have the time to read hard copies.

Favourite Hotel?

Gora Kadan, the best onsen in Hakone, Japan.


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A post shared by 強羅花壇 | GORA KADAN (@gorakadan)

Favourite airline?

All Nippon Airways.

What’s on your travel playlist?

Post Malone.

Where next?

I’m planning a family trip to Iceland next summer.


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A post shared by Iceland (@iceland)

What are your must-have travel picks? 

CC cream, an iPad loaded with reality TV series, my Hellessy Yang Jeans with Pearl Embroidery (they are perfect for any vacation, I wear them with heels or pool slides), my Hellessy Amalie top, it’s season-less and effortless for any restaurant, a cap for sun protection, and Shu Uemera hair cream as it protects and hydrates in any weather.


Hand-luggage essential?

Phone charger.

Packing: roll or fold?

Mix of both.

Inflight book or inflight film?


Music or podcasts?


Time killer on a long-haul flight? 

Scrolling through old photos of my children on my phone.

Holiday tipple of choice?

Mezcal Margarita.

Bucket list top destination?

A Botswana safari.

Best shopping gem found abroad?

The village of Saint Paul de Vence in France is a trove of shopping gems for lavender packets, soaps, treats, and ceramics.

Beach or City?  


Ultimate holiday treat?

A massage.

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Any Questions or Tips to add?