Party On: A History of SHARP Events
When they’re not celebrating the finest in global culture, fashion, and cuisine in print, SHARP and The Book For Men set themselves apart by bringing these things to life for readers at their special VIP events throughout the year. Whether taking over a landmark Toronto residence for a private shopping event or flying a handful of VIPs to a racetrack to test drive a new supercar, these exclusive events offer readers from coast to coast truly unique experiences ripped straight from the pages of SHARP and The Book For Men. These are some of the most memorable — so far.
BMW and Bjarke Ingels Unzipped
Originally displayed in London, Bjarke Ingels’s design for the Serpentine Pavilion — a surreal, zipper-like structure made up of 1,800 hollow fibreglass blocks — was also the centrepiece of the Fall 2018 The Book For Men launch event in Toronto. As the only brand permitted to host a large-scale invitation-only event at the venue, SHARP welcomed 600 VIP guests to wander through the structure, which seemed to shift and transform under one’s gaze. As the first stop on a multi-city tour, the launch event doubled as Unzipped’s North American debut before it carried on to its permanent home in downtown Vancouver. The launch event was co-sponsored by BMW, whose newly unveiled i8 Roadster, BMW 8 Series, and a selection of new BMW M cars were artfully positioned throughout the venue.
The Panerai Luminor Due’s Launch in Toronto
The first of a series of exclusive dinners hosted by SHARP and Panerai took place in 2018 at Canoe, the most famous fine dining institution in downtown Toronto. On the heels of the opening of Panerai’s Yorkdale Mall boutique, 20 carefully selected VIP watch aficionados were treated to an intimate dinner followed by the reveal of Panerai’s newest watch collection: the Luminor Due. After remarks from Giovanni Carestia, Panerai’s North American president, and SHARP co-founder Michael La Fave, guests were among the first Canadians to see and experience the new collection, a smaller and slimmer version of Panerai’s iconic Luminor dive watch. In addition to the new model, which features Panerai’s famous locking crown and ranges in size from 38 to 47mm, guests were also invited to experience and admire other new and limited-edition Panerai timepieces, including the Luminor 1950, Radiomir 1940, and Submersible 1950.
Private Shopping with Louis Vuitton at the Integral House
During the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, SHARP hosted a private and exclusive evening of shopping for a select group of Sharp Elite members at an unforgettable location. The wares were provided by Louis Vuitton, which displayed furniture from its Objets Nomades home collection, small luxury goods from its Petits Nomades collection, and a variety of ultra limited-edition trunks and accessories for purchase. Also on hand was Louis Vuitton’s in-house artisan hand-painter, who was available to personalize any hard-sided piece. The backdrop, meanwhile, was just as impressive as the luxury pieces on display: the Integral House in Rosedale, designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects. Tying into Louis Vuitton’s commitment to fine craftsmanship and savoir faire, the house is a standout example of modern residential design and the recipient of a host of awards, including a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture.
SHARP Celebrates Vacheron Constantin in Vancouver
As the oldest continually operating watch brand in the world and a member of Swiss watchmaking’s holy trinity of most elite brands, Vacheron Constantin required a suitably exclusive and exquisite evening to commemorate the opening of its Vancouver boutique in the summer of 2019. To celebrate the launch of its first Western Canadian location on prestigious Alberni Street in Vancouver’s Luxury Zone, SHARP and Vacheron Constantin collaborated on an ultra-exclusive in-store cocktail reception. Guests were invited to peruse and purchase the brand’s latest models, which resulted in more than one happy new Vacheron owner. Following the reception, guests were treated to an exclusive dinner at landmark fine dining establishment Hawksworth, where each of the bespoke menu’s courses was inspired by a different Vacheron Constantin watch. Combining high watchmaking with fine dining, it was a night befitting one of the world’s most prestigious watch brands.
The Acura NSX VIP Experience
When SHARP VIPs need to get from Vancouver to a track day in the Okanagan, there’s only one way to fly: private. Whisking guests from Vancouver to Kelowna in a private jet for the day is a quintessentially SHARP move, but it was just the warm-up to this memorable event in partnership with Acura. The occasion was the NSX VIP Experience, a day dedicated to putting the new 600 hp Acura NSX through its paces on a motorsport circuit, and it proved just as thrilling as expected. Following a day of pulse-pounding laps in the Acura NSX, guests were treated to dinner, wine pairings, and overnight accommodations at Spirit Ridge, the region’s top winery resort.
The BMW i8 at the Design Exchange
The BMW i8 was one of the buzziest new vehicles in the world in early 2014, and when SHARP partnered with the German luxury carmaker to launch its Spring/Summer 2014 edition of The Book For Men, having one centre stage at the party was a top priority. There was one small problem, however: getting the electric sports car into the event venue, the main hall of the Toronto Design Exchange. With its soaring 40-foot ceilings and elaborate Art Deco details, the trading floor of what was once the Toronto Stock Exchange made for a perfect contrast to the i8’s futuristic look. Manoeuvring the vehicle inside the building and up to the main hall was a daunting task, but the payoff was more than worth it. Still, following the SHARP event, no one has dared to attempt it since.
SHARP and Porsche Track Days
For two incredible days in the fall of 2020, nearly 100 Sharp Elite guests had the chance to drive Porsche’s first all-electric sedan, the Taycan, as well as other Porsche models on a racetrack and handling circuit. Arriving as it did in late 2020, when in-person events were in short supply, the event was a welcome excuse for Sharp Elite members to get together (with all safety precautions in effect, of course) and discover the many joys of driving Porsche’s exceptional vehicles. The historic Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly Mosport) was the setting for this exclusive event, where guests took turns behind the wheel of Porsche 911 GT3 RSs, 718 Spyders, and Cayman GT4s in addition to the new Taycan, receiving expert instruction from a professional racing driver along the way.