Entertaining with Emil Wilbekin
by Savas Abadsidis on 2012-04-26
Here at Preferred Escapes we are a select group of world travelers with a flair for fashion and entertaining. In that vein we offer the second in a series of conversations with some members of our exclusive salon. Enjoy!
Emil Wilbekin has been a trailblazer in publishing his entire career. As one of the founding editors of VIBE Magazine, Wilbekin was responsible for some of their most iconic covers.
Under Wilbekin’s leadership, Vibe won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. He also served as the VP of Brand Development for Vibe Ventures, where he oversaw Vibe.com, mobile, books, and Vibe TV, and executive produced the Vibe Awards. Wilbekin has been the Editor-in-Chief of Vibe and GIANT Magazines.
Wilbekin also served as a consultant on Microsoft’s official Lebron James website. In addition, Wilbekin was previously a reporter for AOL Black Voices, and the VP of Brand Development for Marc Ecko. He is currently Editor-at-Large at ESSENCE Magazine. In this role, he is responsible for executing covers for ESSENCE and overseeing the brand’s social media strategy. In addition, he manages talent relations and develops 360º activations across the brand—connecting print, digital and live events. Herein he shares his favorite travel tips with Escape Republic!
What's your favorite getaway destination?
I love Paris -- it's like being in a fabulous black and white film. To me, Paris is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It's classic, romantic and modern all in one. When you walk down any the street in the Marias it's familiar and incredibly inspiring. I love the smells -- fresh flowers, fresh baked bread and the sweet smell of vetivier. And it's multicultural which makes it sexy and 21st Century.
What's your favorite way to entertain when you're away?
Entertaining is all about food and drink in Paris. You can have an amazing omlette with fresh herbs, a baguette with cheese, crepes anywhere in Paris or even have amazing Chinese food at Dave -- traditional, fresh and global. It's the perfect way to spend quality time with friends and to share. Nothing is better than great wine and thoughtful conversation. I find that people who live in Europe appreciate the art of lifestyle and conversation. Dining, drinking and discussion are the best way to live in the moment and enjoy life.
What are your favorite activities when you are away?
In Paris, I love to walk and get lost along the river Seine, the Marais or the Montremont districts. You can have a voyeuristic experience and see how people live in a different culture. It's a lesson in discovery. You find a new shop, museum or flower market. I love shopping for objects, books, clothing and vintage finds, taking photographs and daydreaming while wandering lost in streets of Paris. It's all about wanderlust.
What is it about the local culture that you love?
In Paris, I love the mix of cultures. There is a very formal, Old World feeling mixed with a very cool, global perspective. I also love the feeling of being at a cultural cross roads -- French, African, Mediterranean, West Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian. It's this collective culture that is refreshing and completely inspiring.
When traveling Emil has a few essentials he always brings with him:
Emil's travel tome of choice is The Alchemist Paulo Coelho's best-selling novel about finding your destiny.
His iPad is indispensable. He uses it for everything from taking pictures, listening to mucic and keeping all his social media platforms in one place; that and he can work from anywhere with it by his side.
Emil almost always carries his Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas Keepall 55 duffle bag; the perfect, classic carry-on and overnight bag. Plus it looks right at home when strolling the Champs-Élysées!