A version of this story originally appeared on the Strategist US.
If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the stain remover pen and the tongue cleaner. We asked Marie-Louise Scio, the CEO and creative director of Pellicano Hotels, about the diary, headphones, and multi-tool she can’t live without.
Growing up, my mother basically only wore her hair pulled back — she would do a chignon — and she always looked put together. I don’t think I look as put together as she did, but I always wear my hair up in a ponytail; I have since I was 6. And I go bananas if I don’t have an elastic band. The very, very thin ones are completely useless, and really thick ones aren’t good because they’re not elastic enough. Then there’s the medium-sized elastic ones, like these. When you put one on your wrist it won’t cut your circulation — another important point. I have long brown hair, so I wear black or brown hair ties to camouflage the band as much as possible.
Sound is very important to me. I am a big music fan — I like electronic, classical, ’60s experimental, like Terry Riley. And I love rock. So I like good-quality audio. Master & Dynamic I think makes some of the best headphones. These are “noise-isolating,” so you just hear literally what is playing. I discovered them at the Edition Hotel in London, where I found some in my room. I didn’t know of Master & Dynamic then; I used to use Sennheiser headphones, but now I stick to these. Mine are blue and silver. They feel great; they’re heavy, but a lot of over-ear headphones are heavy. You put them on and you’re kind of in your zone.
It’s unbelievable, but I write what I need to do in two places: on my phone, and in my diary. The latter especially for when I’m in my office and doing my to-do list, so I can cross it out. The Portobello diary has all the days of the month and the week, and lined paper at the back for writing notes or doing sketches. I like the paper: It’s really thin and it makes a noise kind of like that of Air Mail paper — it’s crunchy. There’s just something about writing on it. I only write with a ballpoint pen because it makes a specific sound on the paper; it crumples in a certain way. The sound and the paper quality is really something special. I keep these; I have a whole shelf. My father gives them to me for Christmas every year. He has my initials put in, it’s sweet.
I always have my Smythson, and I always have a book. There’s something about a physical book — I like taking notes in the book, underlining it. I tend to keep my books and I like to go back to them. I think a physical book creates that bubble, that space — like the headphones. If you’re reading on your phone, you’re getting emails and all that. It’s nice to feel paper and the thickness of a page; there’s something romantic about that. Signs I found via Chelsea Handler’s Instagram account. She posted about it, and I’m a firm believer that one doesn’t actually leave this world, but stays in a form of energy, so was really curious about the book. So far, it’s great. I’m still reading — I always have less time to read than I want.
These work with anything — they’re just super-classic sunglasses that you can wear with a tracksuit to the gym, or to a work meeting. I’ve been wearing Wayfarers forever. They’re stylish but not precious. In terms of style, I like things that last — I’m not particularly into something that is trendy. I like clean shapes and forms and design that is durable, not seasonal. And sunglasses are so seasonal. Every summer there is the big pair of sunglasses that you see everyone and their mother wearing. Then they vanish. I’m just not into that.
I’m not a big makeup wearer, but this classic matte red never comes off. If I’m tired or jet-lagged, it just lifts me up! I always have it in my bag, and if I ever need a pick-me-up, I put it on. Other red lipsticks tend to come off, but this one does its job. Not many brands make this sort of matte red that’s indelible. For a woman, this one is great because you don’t have to check if your lipstick is on your teeth every five minutes. It stays in the right place. And, like the Wayfarers, this color goes with everything. I always buy a couple at a time.
This is one of those things that you always wish you have when you don’t. Because when you need to open a box, or whatever it is, it’s the most practical thing in the world. Very unglamorous, but very practical. I open a lot of boxes, and always underestimate how annoying it is when I don’t have a knife. You rip it, pull it — it’s an unpleasant three minutes. But when I get a box and I have the Leatherman, my face lights up. I can open it easily. It also works as a bottle opener, so you can buy a beer and go to the beach. I use it mainly for boxes and then sometimes the screwdriver will come in handy. It’s just one of those things that’s just good to have.
I’ve been wearing two of these rings for 18, 20 years. My husband — the father of my son — gave them to me, and I wear them all the time. I feel completely naked if I don’t have them on. They’re super-simple, not fussy. And they’re heavy because they’re full, solid — I like chunky things, not dainty little things. They feel good on the hand. Historically, Pomellato’s jewelry was very big and chunky, and I love these rings for that reason. They don’t do thick and chunky as much as they used to, but the few things that are, I really like.
This was a project on a bucket list. I think of things I really want to do, sit on them, then do them. I really am a serious Birkenstock wearer; I only wear Arizonas, especially in the summer. Arizonas are really clean, simple, comfortable — the styles with the thong in the middle of your toes are less comfortable to me. But I could never wear them in a more formal, slightly more elegant context. So I had this fantasy of designing Arizonas that could go from day to night. Three years ago — at this point, four — someone I know put me in touch with someone they know at Birkenstock, who put me in touch with someone who does special projects. They initially told me the brand doesn’t do mini-collaborations, but the person said they knew my hotels, and seemed curious to know what the project was even though it seemed like it probably wouldn’t happen. Turns out, they loved it. The collaboration styles are totally not gender-specific — they can be worn by men or women. That’s obviously sizing dependent, but they’re absolutely unisex.
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