Bal Harbour

Fall 2016

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58 BAL HARBOUR In Depth Landscape designer and former model Lily Kwong discusses her latest labor of love—a new podcast that dares to ask women more. In every interview, Lily Kwong—urban planner, landscape designer and artistic director—inevitably gets the same questions. "We talk about what I look like. What my fitness routine is. What I'm wearing," she says, relaying a point of contention. "That seems to be a problem that a lot of women in my life are having." In the wake of what she calls a "last straw interview," the former-model- turned-environmentalist decided to do something better. She launched, a website and podcast where smart, creative women wouldn't be bombarded with such inconsequential questions. Guests, whom Kwong describes as "women who have taken non-traditional paths and live creatively," come to her SoHo recording studio and talk for an hour. Since launching this summer, Kwong has interviewed poet Cleo Wade on the experience of growing up biracial in the South, and entrepreneur Kristy Caylor on how to know it's time to change careers. With her very first guest, DJ Chelsea Leyland, they skipped the small talk about fashion choices and playlists to discuss Leyland's little-known struggle with epilepsy. "Music is really important to who she is, but the struggle she has experienced fundamentally transformed her life," says Kwong. "I wanted to give her a space to talk about it." Ask Them More came out of Kwong's desire to not only provide an alternative to the shallow interview, but also glean inspiration and share that with others. High on her list of dream guests is one of her greatest inspirations, Oprah. "I used to rush home as a little girl for Oprah," she says. "Watching her ask questions really made an impact." —Janelle Zara 1 2 5 PHOTO BY PHIL OH / TRUNK ARCHIVE (KWONG); COURTESY OF RIZZOLI (TOPOLOGIES); © TYBA (BURLE MARX) "When it comes to impressive gardens, Yves Saint Laurent's Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech is the first thing that comes to mind." "Roberto Burle Marx was the godfather of modern landscape architecture. He was 100 percent an inspiration to me." "I'm halfway through two books: 'Topologies' by Maya Lin and Sarah Stein's 'Noah's Garden.'" 3 "I love visiting the botanical gardens in my favorite cities: San Francisco, Miami and New York." 4 5 "I never tire of cycads, wisteria, redwood trees from my native San Francisco, and night-blooming jasmine." 6 "Sustainability is the future of fashion. My must-haves for Fall are a Maiyet backpack— the one with the hand- polished horn is so beautiful— and Stella McCartney's Hadley boots."

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