Live in LA: Celebrating Creativity, Diversity and Artistry in California

The Upgrade co-hosts Amira Hashish and Fleur Rollet-Manus are West Hollywood bound for a special dinner party and live panel recording with a glittering audience. In partnership with Visit California and joined by a panel of LA’s finest creatives, they’re celebrating the diverse, artistic landscape of the Golden State.

In partnership with

It’s about finding those untold stories of craft makers, of small businesses… everyone deserves a seat at the table

Danny Guerrero, Founder of The Culturist Group

in as @PHLEMUNS founder James Flemons unveils why Los
Angeles has the most liberating landscape in the US for launching a
relevant fashion brand whilst mother/daughter design duo Rebecca
Henry and Akua Shabaka of @houseofaama discuss the Black experience that is
conveyed in their timeless garments. @theculturistgroup founder Danny Guerrero explores his
pathway to inclusive, culture-forward communications in the travel
world and @shortstorieshotels owner Leo Grifka outlines his
vision for the hotel world.

In partnership with Visit California, this episode was recorded
live at a dinner party – produced by creative studio Rapport and
hosted at Short Stories Hotel – with some of the greatest
creative minds from the Golden State in attendance.

Under a canopy of lush trees, guests gathered around a
California-themed dining table scattered with reclaimed vintage
napkins to retro matchbooks and handmade candles. Every detail of
the tablescape nodded to the Golden State’s heritage. Florals were
by talented artisan Christina Pack of Wild at Heart

A delectable feast and cocktail program by Short Stories
Restaurant comprised of olive choclo flatbread, crispy seabass
ceviche, Peruvian arroz con pollo and the hotel’s signature Basque
cheesecake. Rosé was courtesy of Lorenza, founded
by the mother daughter team of Melinda Kearney, a wine industry
veteran from Napa Valley and Michèle Lorenza Ouellet, an
international fashion model. The chardonnay was in full flow with
“unstuffed” Knotty Vines bottles created by millennial female
winemaker Olivia Wright.

Meanwhile, Broc Cellars showcased its natural whites made in
Berkeley by Chris Brockway. Santa Barbara’s Final Girl Wines,
by Latina owner/winemaker Anna Clifford and her husband Peter,
added a spooky touch to proceedings with their horror movie
inspired labels. All bottles were passionately poured by wine
educator Lexi Stephens who recounted the story of each

A California party wouldn’t be complete without top-notch
tequila. Cocktails were crafted from LALO Ranch Water‘s
blanco bottle – which has no barrels or additives – made with the
finest agave from the Jalisco highlands. It is named after founder
Eduardo “Lalo” González, whose legendary grandfather Don Julio
(yes, the Don Julio) gave him the nickname Lalo.

Women-founded Sandy Beer was the go to palate cleanser. Born on the
beaches of Southern California in pursuit of the first clean,
thirst-quenching brew, it balances wellness with a healthy dose of

The super chic Ghia provided a spirit-free apéritif option. Cans of
Ghia’s Le Spritz were as delicious as they were pure with a biting
combination of botanical extracts. Meanwhile, the 100% recyclable
& refillable Boxed Water kept everyone hydrated in style.

Guests were gifted a sparkling goodie bag with sustainable
treats such as a Slowtide beach towel and Youthforia beauty
. Not forgetting the latest volume of SUITCASE, of course.

Catch up on the action and listen to the full episode now

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