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Highland Park Hero’s Chest Dinner- 04.05.14

hpdinner0.jpg The Highland Park Hero’s Chest Dinner was on Thursday night, and it has possibly moved up to one of the most inspiring evenings… of my life… so far! At precisely 7pm, 10 designers/creatives were invited into the gate of Magnus Walker’s Urban Outlaw Garage in Downtown LA. As we mingled over cocktails, the group quickly found familiar faces, and those they didn’t know personally, they definitely knew of… and more often than not the admiration was mutual. From the men behind Baxter of California and Icon 4x4, to Oakley and BasecampX… from Triple Aught Design (and new secret project, Prometheus Design Werx) to Acquire and KILLSPENCER and Johnnyswim… and more! As giddy as I was to see each of these folks, it was inspiring to see how thrilled they were to see one another! It was beyond an honor to be able to sneak in as one of the few women amongst these inspiring men. Over Highland Park Mint Juleps, the mingling filled with anticipation and you could hear the awe and cameras clicking as soon as the garage door opened to unveil Magnus’ collection of vintage racing Porsche 911s… and then up to dinner… which includes tastes of a Highland Park Whiskey from 1968! Also Show & Tell was mandatory ~ “Please bring an item of yours that says a little about you - something that you can’t live without.” See it all on the next page…

hpdinner1.jpg Neil Ferrier, the man behind it all, gathers the group as he starts to hint at what this night will bring…

hpdinner2.jpg Of course Jonathan from Icon 4x4 manages to completely dwarf our matte black Mercedes AMG G63 of the moment with his stunning beast of an ICON Dodge lined with Parabellum buffalo leather…

hpdinner3.jpg Here is one of my laser etched spanish sherry cask oak signs for the night…

hpdinner4.jpg That jaw dropping moment when the garage door opens to unveil Magnus’ collection…

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hpdinner9.jpg Magnus Walker’s background is a fascinating one… before the Porsche’s took over the space, for years he was also running a vintage fashion brand… and pieces of that are scattered throughout the space.

And then we headed up to dinner… where Magnus and his wife once lived, upstairs of the garage in their warehouse space… a huge open floorplan loft that is often used for filming, events and more…

hpdinner10.jpg The decor is surprising, and we even found the perfect area for our Hero’s Chest Dinner, which included some stunning wooden chests!

hpdinner11.jpg When you spy those little plastic bottles of 1968 Highland Park amongst the 12, 15, and 18… you know you’re in for something special.

hpdinner12.jpg The table is set as everyone filters in and find’s their place.

hpdinner13.jpg At each place setting is a glass of scotch and a sharpie in a piece of cask wood. Combined with butcher paper beneath, no designer was unable to resist sketching and scribbling throughout the night…

hpdinner16.jpg Patrick captured this great moment of the dinner in action on his Instagram

hpdinner14.jpg So, sidestepping for a moment… what IS this Highland Park Hero’s Chest Dinner? Or what is the Hero’s Chest rather? Well, the dinner party was tasked with imagining who the Highland Park Man is… and the objects he would have. And everyone was required to bring something they have and love for a show & tell of sorts…

The stories and objects that each and everyone brought to share were often inspired, touching, personal, and you could see the whole table light up as each was presented and passed around. Here’s a peek at some of the items that made their way around… some made by their presenters, some inherited, some discovered, but all of them carried emotional value beyond their well crafted designs… and yes Abner of Johnnyswim brought his favorite guitar, and did play a song as well!

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In all honesty, I’m surprised any of us managed to eat anything with such incredible products to play with! Lubricated with Highland Park throughout - ideas ran rampant, opinions on the Highland Park Man were excitedly discussed and debated…

hpdinner17.jpg A peek from Shawn’s instagram of the fantastic 1968 Highland Park we were lucky to taste…

hpdinner19.jpg So THANK YOU, Highland Park for making such a magical night happen. I’m still buzzing with ideas, energized by the connections, camaraderie, respect, and energy you created bringing us all together… and in such a fantastic and surprising location no less! There is no question that ideas and connections sparked in those few small hours will grow quickly and excitedly to bring amazing new experience and products to life. While we may have spent a lot of time talking about the the importance of heritage, stories, and meaningful objects connecting you to your family and ancestry… I walked away refreshed and excited for the future that is to come that everyone at that table will help create for the next generations.

While I leave you to guess who brought what above… here’s a peek at what i went through while debating which (non art, book, toy) object i love and use to bring… hpdinner18.jpg

And if you have the opportunity (make one!) to gather some of those, whose designs inspire you, to a dinner together… do it! And definitely have them each bring an object to share! And leave a question scribbled under each plate… and pour everyone a dram or two. The results will be surprisingly awesome.

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