The Local Foreigner’s nascent beginnings took shape in the mountains of Chilean Patagonia, where Alexandra Youdeem and Barkley Hickox met while hiking. After reeling in partners Brooke Lavery and Alexandra Erdman, the four women set out to establish the industry’s leading luxury agency, to provide a one-stop-shop for inspiration, insider insight, and comprehensive travel planning. Five years later, their dream is a living reality, with an office in Soho, six full-time employees, and hundreds of happy, well-traveled clients.
Inspired by their collective travels, the Local Foreigner ladies have handpicked a collection of global souvenirs from Maison Numen, just in time for the holidays.
ITALY – Italy possesses a spellbinding magic few other countries can claim. Storied cities, pastoral landscapes, and a beloved culinary tradition are wrapped up in the aura of La Dolce Vita, imbuing every inchof the nation with beguiling charm. Whenever I visit, I try to scope out local artisan workshops for pieces that capture this romantic spirit. Eschewing designer ateliers and global retailers. I like discovering places where I can connect with real, working people who create pieces unique to their surroundings. Ideally, I´d love to find a whole set of hand painted dishes, but I´ll probably settle for one or two statement pieces.
- Brooke Lavery
PERU – Color is the first word that comes to mind when I think about Peru. From the cobalt shores of Lake Titica to the fiery terracotta rooftops of Cusco, the country is saturated with vibrant hues. Fittingly, Peru´s artisans are inspired by their kaleidoscopic surroundings. Alpaca wools are dyed pink, patterns are stitched in impossible shades of gold, and adornments are added with rainbows of ribbon. Coming from New York, where everything exists in shades of black and gray, I´m always enthralled by Peru´s magnificient color spectrum.
- Alexandra Youdeem
MOROCCO – The Moroccan Souk is one of the world’s most fabled entities. It’s a place of lore, where ancient myths seem to permeate the walls and actual snake charmers sit cross legged on the cobbled streets. Shopping in the souk can be a sensory overload – vendors shout from the depths of their stalls, customers haggle with exuberance, and the streets wind in labyrinthine patterns. Embracing the chaos is the only way to enjoy the experience and sticking to a budget is key. If you come to the souk prepared with an item you’d like to buy and a firm stance on what you’re willing to pay for it, you’ll be much more successful than if you arrive at whim.
- Alexandra Erdman
INDIA – India’s sense of spirituality is unlike anywhere else in the world. The population is divided by language, ethnicity, and religion, but there’s this divine undercurrent that pulses through the country, tinging it with ethereal beauty. It’s such a layered destination – the sights, sounds, smells – there’s so much to unpack. When shopping for souvenirs in India, I tend to spring for pieces that encapsulate the country’s dynamism. A woven basket evokes the sound of sunrise on the Kerala backwaters. Hand painted tiles call Jaipur’s Mughal architecture to mind. Tea trays induce cravings for the sugary sweetness of jalebi. For me, anything that indulges a sensory response captures the destination perfectly.
- Barkley Hickox
I often find that decorative plates and bowls are well-received hostess gifts. They're immediately useful and look great on any tablescape. - Brooke Lavery
Tea is such a trendy gift these days, but I find that most people no longer own proper tea sets (unless they're older than 85... or British). Pair this gorgeous hammered teapot with loose Moroccan mint tea for a creative holiday gift. - Alexandra Erdman