Jetsetter Series: Traveling to Puerto Rico with Travel + Leisure Style Director Mimi Lombardo


At Victorinox Travel Gear  we live and breathe travel. To get a better look at what goes into the production of a travel magazine cover shoot, we went straight to the source – Travel + Leisure Style Director Mimi Lombardo. We recently sat down with Mimi to talk about what it was like shooting the cover of the June issue that hits stands this May.  Here’s what she had to say:

VTG: Mimi, so glad you could join us for our Victorinox Blogger Series.  What have you been up to?

ML: Things are great! I just got back from a Travel + Leisure cover shoot in Puerto Rico. It was a real treat to stay at the newly renovated Dorado Beach Resort (a Ritz Carlton property) and airfare was cheap too – under $300 – so all signs pointed to a great trip even though I would be working.

Victorinox Travel Tip: The only thing better than snagging airfare under $300 is snagging luggage under $300 to go with it. Try the sleek Spectra Prism Extra-Capacity Carry-On in Black for a durable option that won’t break the bank.

VTG: What does a typical day of shooting look like?

ML: We actually shot for three days – our shoot started in the spa which boasts of mineral baths, massages in tree houses, warm bucket showers and 5 acres of tranquil lush gardens. Our model, Shannon was a dream. Beautiful, patient and with an inviting smile – I wish she was on our staff to do every story! Crystal blue skies started the next day and we took advantage by shooting the private house called Su Casa. They call it the Crown Jewel of the property in the style of a Spanish Hacienda – just a little old beach bungalow with a private beach and your own concierge. The third day we shot Chi-Chi Rodriquez, a famous professional golfer from the 70’s, who lives on the resort. He is quite the Dapper Dan and our model Shannon wore pink Gucci that evoked that era. The resort itself is so beautiful too. My room was amazing – there was an outdoor shower, a bathroom bigger then my Brooklyn bedroom and a wonderful view of the ocean.  Super! Then it was off to Positivo Sand Bar for a pomegranate “mocktail’ and some spinach empanadillas.

Victorinox Travel Tip: Get a trendy pink travel look inspired by model Shannon’s ensemble with the Werks Traveler  4.0 WT 27 Dual-Caster in Pink.

VTG: Sounds like quite the production! How many people work with you to pull off such a big shoot?

Surprisingly, the crew is actually pretty small.  It was me, our model Shannon, Design Director Sandra Garcia, Hair and Makeup Artist Elsa Canedo and Photographer Christopher Sturman. Christopher arrived a day early to get shots without the model and so when we arrived to glorious clear skies, 80 degree temperatures and a smiling photographer, I knew we were on the right track.

Victorinox Travel Tip: Choose a backpack with padded compartments such as the Altmont 3.0 Flapover Drawstring Laptop Backpack to ensure tech accessories like cameras, laptops and tablets are properly protected.

VTG:  Did you have any downtime to explore?

ML: The first night of shooting we ventured out of the resort for dinner and ended up at a local dive with a brilliant blue parakeet perched for all to enjoy. We ordered a classic Puerto Rican dish – rice and beans and red snapper with Romesco sauce – delicious!

Victorinox Travel Tip: For off-the-resort day trips, bring along the Altmont 3.0 Dual-Compartment Monosling  for easy access to all your go-to essentials.

VTG: Sounds like it was a really incredible trip – it must be hard to leave it all behind.

ML: Photo crews are like a circus coming to town. We set up our tents, do our job, enter each others’ lives briefly, share secrets and then move on. Over dinner on our last evening in Puerto Rico, we toasted to great photos and then said our goodbyes. The next day we departed for our flights back to the zero degree temps in New York, but we’ll always have Dorado!


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