Wallpaper* & Victorinox: Urban Outsiders
To mark its 130th anniversary, Victorinox and Wallpaper* introduce the Urban Outsiders: highly mobile, free-spirited, outdoor-working professionals. City-dwelling, but transplanted to the countryside whenever possible, they require essential kit to keep their multidisciplinary, all-terrain, all-weathers day moving forward. The Victorinox Urban Outsider doesn’t just live in the city. He lives the city
Miles Leonard lives and breathes music. He is credited with reviving Kylie Minogue’s career (back in 1999) and signing Coldplay. Having started out as at Virgin Records in 1991 as an A&R scout, Leonard is currently chairman of Parlophone and Warner Music UK. He has a hectic working schedule but relishes getting away to his rural retreat. ‘I have a place in Somerset, which is a beautiful part of the world. This time is vital for me to recharge,’ he says. Close by is the the Ring O’ Bells, a traditional country pub (listed in the Domesday Book) in Compton Martin, which Leonard owns with his wife and business partner Luca. The pub’s food is created using seasonal, locally sourced produce wherever possible, while its kitchen offers an ’allotment amnesty’ where local growers can bring in surplus fruit and vegetables from their patches and trade them in for drinks.
Wallpaper*: How much time do you get to be outdoors?
Miles Leonard: I am very fortunate to head out to the country each weekend, where I clear the decks and change the pace from my working week. Over the summer, there are numerous festivals too, where my artists perform, and many weekends are spent in a field somewhere.
W*: What essentials do you carry when you travel?
ML: My tablet and my headphones. My life is spent looking for charger points so I now also have a huge battery pack as back-up. Everything goes in a Victorinox Black 26in Spectra travel case - it’s roomy and robust, so great if I’m travelling for a long period of time. If I am in the kitchen cooking dinner for friends I’ll use my set of Victorinox rosewood-handled kitchen knives.
W*: Why do you live in London and what inspires you about the city?
ML: I’m always inspired by the energy and openness of the people. It’s such a creative city and has such a great cultural awareness. Great pubs, restaurants and bars.
W*: As an Urban Outsider, how would you cope if stranded on a desert island?
ML: A desert island for just five days would be great. If I am on a desert island it probably means I have been on the radio show Desert Island Discs, which is my greatest ambition, so with that in mind I’ll cope.
W*: What is your most useful practical skill?
ML: Plumbing, DJ-ing – they both can come in handy, although rarely at the same time.
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