How Yves Saint Laurent’s Moroccan Hideaway Became a Boutique Hotel – Your Smartphone Can Have Two Lines. Here’s Why You’d Want That.

“How Yves Saint Laurent’s Moroccan Hideaway Became a Boutique Hotel” – “Your Smartphone Can Have Two Lines. Here’s Why You’d Want That.”


Dear Reader,

The Editorial Team of TextileFuture is suggesting for your personal reading only two items. These were published firstly in the Magazine of the Wall Street Journal Magazine.

The first feature allows you an insight on “How Yves Saint Laurent’s Moroccan Hideaway Became a Boutique Hotel”

The second and last item of today is entitled “Your Smartphone Can Have Two Lines. Here’s Why You’d Want That.”

We hope that you are satisfied with our choices for your personal reading and that you read both items with pleasure. Thank you!

Where ever you are and what your undertakings might be, our very best wishes and greetings are accompany you during the week ahead.

Please make sure to return next Tuesday for the new issue of TextileFuture’s Newsletter. Thank you!


Sincerely yours,

The Editorial Team of TextileFuture.


This is the beginning of the first feature today:

British designer Jasper Conran discusses his transformation of Tangier’s Villa Mabrouka.


By guest author Donna Paul | Photography by Andrew Montgomery

July 9, 2023

In Tangier, Morocco, near the arched entry gate of the 10th-century Kasbah wall, small shops and houses line narrow streets. The rhythm of daily life includes the call to prayer five times a day, the buzz of motorbikes whizzing by and sea breezes offering relief from the sun. It is also here, high above the Strait of Gibraltar, that a vine-covered house with a storied past sits on a lush 2.5-acre site, its verdant gardens sweeping down to the sea. Now the house has been given its next life. Its name is Villa Mabrouka, which means “house of luck” in Arabic.

Jasper Conran designed this pool, which is lined with handmade tiles from Fez, Morocco. The pavilion behind is original to the property.
In the Marrakech suite, once the villa’s primary bedroom, Conran used some of Yves Saint Laurent’s favorite colors: cornflower blue, sage green and Tuscan yellow. The authentic beamed ceiling, floors and fireplace all remain.


For many years, Villa Mabrouka was the summer retreat of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. The new owner, British designer Jasper Conran, 63, spent four years carefully renovating the 1940s house and opened it last month as a 12-suite hotel, with staff-to-guest ratio of 5 to 1. (Rooms start at USD 490 a night.) “This was a huge conservation, restoration, preservation project on all sorts of levels,” Conran says. “I have a transformer that costs more than a Maserati and a generator that costs more than a Lamborghini.”

Conran’s first encounter with the property was in 2018. He was in Tangier on a hunt for tenting fabric to use at L’Hôtel Marrakech, a five-suite riad he opened in 2016—his first venture into hospitality. “I wanted to make a red-and-white-striped tent based on an Indian miniature I had seen,” he says.

At one of his favorite antique shops, which he’d last visited 25 years earlier, he was, nonetheless, recognized by the proprietor as the long-ago purchaser of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton’s djellaba. The dealer told Conran that Saint Laurent’s Villa Mabrouka was for sale and asked if he’d like to have a look. The very next day, Conran toured the villa. Was he swooning? “I wasn’t swooning; I was thinking,” Conran recalls.

In the main hallway of the villa, the doors are done in a blue-and-green colour scheme originally selected by Yves Saint Laurent.


“The wheels started going in motion immediately,” says Conran, walking along a new stone pathway in Villa Mabrouka’s garden. Digressing for a moment, he points to what he describes as oceans of pink hydrangea. The shrub’s pink blooms billow across large swaths of the garden. “I was fully ready to do a second hotel project; I didn’t know where at that point. I knew that turning a house into a hotel is a very different kettle of fish.”

Working with local artisans and an engineer, Conran kept the original details intact as he converted the property. He also designed and built nine new buildings and restored the vast garden designed for Saint Laurent and Bergé by garden designer Madison Cox, a close friend of the pair’s for many decades. (Saint Laurent died in 2008, and Bergé and Cox married several months before Bergé’s death in 2017.)

n the reception room, where guests are greeted, velvet chairs in a hue Conran calls “paprika” sit on a Mauritanian rug of reed and leather, custom designed for the space.


Conran was immersed in design from birth: His father was the late Sir Terence Conran, the founder of design stores Habitat and the Conran Shop. At age 6, Jasper told his mother, the novelist Shirley Conran, who was a fashion editor at the time, that he wanted to be a fashion designer. (His godmother was Mod icon Mary Quant.) He enrolled at Parsons School of Design at 15 but left before graduating. By age 19 he’d launched a wedding collection at Henri Bendel in New York, which was followed by his debut collection at London Fashion Week.

Over the years, he’s created fabric and wallpaper collections for Designers Guild and tableware for Wedgwood. In 2021, Conran launched a new fashion and home-goods brand, Jasper Conran London, and he has recently partnered with Next, one of the U.K.’s largest retailers, to develop a furniture collection, releasing this month. He’s also currently working on costumes for the Royal Ballet’s production of Les Rendezvous, debuting next year.

How Yves Saint Laurent’s Moroccan Hideaway Became a Boutique Hotel – How Yves Saint Laurent’s Moroccan Hideaway Became a Boutique Hotel British designer Jasper Conran discusses his transformation of Tangier’s Villa Mabrouka.


Conran says that Villa Mabrouka, a hybrid of European and Moroccan modernist styles, spoke many languages to him, and he listened. He hung 16th-century Andalusian bowls and decorative tiles on the walls. “I never envisioned paintings in here,” he says. Comfortable white English-style sofas are paired with Syrian tables. Mauritanian rugs, velvet slipper chairs and antique embroideries adorn guest rooms and public spaces. In the hotel’s living room is a 1920s mother-of-pearl screen designed by Syrie Maugham, a gift from Conran’s mother.

The house is mostly white; color comes from tile, mosaics and fabrics added as part of the decorative plan. Original doors that Saint Laurent had painted in distinctive shades of blue and green remain. “I couldn’t have done it better,” Conran says, “so I repainted them the same color.” Each of the new garden cottages has its own design scheme and color palette. The Tiznit cottage, for example, has a saffron-colored cashmere bedcover, woven in Tibet. Seventeenth-century tiles from Damascus hang above the fireplace, which is flanked by a pair of round windows.

Homemade ice creams and sorbets, with flatware designed by Conran in the style of the 1930s.


When Saint Laurent and Bergé bought the house in 1997, the owner was a Kuwaiti princess who had commissioned Stuart Church, an American architect living in Tangier, to create a serpentine pool carved out of existing rock; Church also designed an adjacent pavilion with frescoes on its interior walls. Conran found the pool in excellent condition, but the pavilion was in dire need of restoration. Then, in the process of rebuilding, electricians mistakenly drilled trenches into the lime-plaster walls. Conran had to hire an artist to restore both the walls and the frescoes. Today the interior is furnished with low Moroccan-style banquette-like sofas, creating a poolside retreat.

Madison Cox says his original garden design included many varieties of hydrangea. However, the house had sat vacant since Bergé’s death, and though gardeners had kept up some maintenance, the plantings Conran found were, in places, different from the original. So, for Conran it’s thousands of pink hydrangea. “We have been pruning the original garden by Madison Cox for one year and have filled in with 8,500 new plants and trees,” says Conran. “It’s the nature of the beast,” says Cox. “A garden cannot be constant; it has evolved.”

Conran knew Bergé, but never met Saint Laurent, though he had long revered the late designer. “Some children worshipped footballers,” Conran says. “I have always admired Saint Laurent.” With the hotel, he says, he’s taking care of something his childhood hero loved.

Here is the start of today’s Last feature:

Your Smartphone Can Have Two Lines. Here’s Why You’d Want That.

The Wall Street Journal Logo

July 8, 2023

By guest author Shara Tibken from the Wall Street Journal Magazine.

Add a second plan for work, international travel—or just better cell reception


Want to save money on your smartphone bill? It might be time to add a second line.

Dual-SIM smartphones, which enable two separate cell services on one device, have been popular overseas for years. They’re now gaining traction in the U.S. because of phones such as the iPhone 14. Instead of putting another physical carrier-issued SIM card in your device, you activate a virtual “embedded” SIM—an eSIM—using software.

For now, the main reason Americans seek out additional eSIMs is for cheap internet access when traveling internationally. With these plans, you get prepaid data that helps you avoid your U.S. carrier’s roaming fees. You usually don’t get a local number.

There are other reasons to add a secondary plan via an eSIM. Having two lines means you can carry just one phone for both personal and work calls. If your own plan hits its data cap, you can shop around for inexpensive data to carry you to the end of the month. And if you regularly visit areas with poor cell coverage, you can add another carrier that might have more towers.

During past trips to places like Australia and Japan, I’ve inserted SIMs from local carriers—and taken out my tiny U.S. SIM card, praying I wouldn’t lose it. When I visited the U.K. in May, I paid USD 15 for a temporary, 10-GB eSIM. I downloaded it before I left, and my phone connected to the new network when I landed in London.

That’s right: I used my regular phone overseas without paying roaming fees to my U.S. carrier.

Here are some tips if you’re debating getting another line. We focus on iPhone steps, but most advice also works for Android.

The basics


The rise of eSIMs has enabled new data providers—and more inexpensive plans. You pay in advance for data and add more if you run out. Plans generally last a day to a year, and service can cover one country, a region or the entire world.

You can have two SIMs active on an iPhone at once, and getting an additional eSIM can be as simple as downloading an app. “These take the friction away,” Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi said. Make sure your device is unlocked. If a device is locked to a specific carrier, it might not be able to access another wireless service.

Research your provider. Look at who owns or backs the eSIM company, and read reviews and privacy details in the App Store. Apple AAPL -0.59%decrease; red down pointing triangle lists some providers here.

Some prepaid-data apps I’ve used include Airalo, which has investments from Rakuten’s and LG’s venture-capital arms; Nomad, which is owned by LotusFlare, a Silicon Valley startup founded by former Facebook and Microsoft executives; and Ubigi, which is a brand under Japanese carrier NTT Group’s France-based Transatel business. All worked as promised.

Comparison shop. Prepaid-data companies frequently change their plans, with Ubigi adjusting pricing twice monthly during peak travel season, said Transatel Chief Executive Jacques Bonifay. U.S. carriers also offer promotions.


You can use your U.S. service overseas, but it can get expensive. Verizon and AT&T charge USD 10 a day for their international travel passes. Certain T-Mobile plans offer free international roaming, but high-speed data is capped.

The eSIM apps often offer monthlong data-only plans for less than U.S. carriers’ day rate. This week, 3-GB, 30-day plans in the U.K. cost USD 10 from Airalo, USD 9 from Nomad and USD 8 from Ubigi.

If you need to make calls locally, you can use Skype for a fee, or make free calls over data using WhatsApp.

Ubigi—and the other eSIM apps—tell you how much data you’ve used on your prepaid plans.

Some companies, such as Nomad, offer unlimited data but slow speeds when you’ve used a certain amount. Most people don’t need much—Americans tend to use about 5 GB of data a month, Bonifay said.

Follow the download instructions. The apps walk you through the activation process, which involves downloading the new eSIM to your phone and fiddling with cellular settings. Many companies, such as Airalo and Nomad, require you to download a new eSIM for every country or region you visit. Ubigi requires you to download its eSIM only once.

Set up your eSIM at home. You need internet access to download an eSIM. The service typically starts when your phone first connects to that new network.

Change cellular settings before you go. Turn off data roaming for your U.S. line before you leave to avoid charges. In Cellular settings, click on Cellular Data and choose your new eSIM instead of Primary. Next, toggle on Data Roaming under your travel eSIM. Click on Primary, and turn off your home line’s Data Roaming.

Your iPhone and prepaid-data app walk you through the eSIM activation process.


WSJ Personal Tech columnist Nicole Nguyen offers other great international travel tips here.


People who need a second line for work are more likely to need another number, not just a data package. In that case, it might make sense to go with a U.S. carrier. Check with your IT department first.

Look into prepaid plans with phone numbers. Nomad has plans with virtual U.S. or Canadian numbers, but they’re only for texting through its app. It aims to offer calls in the future, said Eric Morhenn, LotusFlare’s chief commercial officer.

You can designate in your settings or in Contacts which eSIM should be used to call and message people.

Airalo’s service in a handful of countries, such as Thailand and Chile, includes texts and calls, and it plans to add more locations later this month. “You won’t actually have to turn on your primary line for a phone number because we will be providing you with a local number,” Operating Chief Abraham Burak said.

Get a virtual phone number. Google Voice gives you a U.S. phone number, and you can choose the area code. It’s free for personal use or starts at USD 10 a month per business user.

Separate your work and personal life. Designate which line is used to communicate with people by setting the default for each person in Contacts. You also can change the Default Voice Line in cellular settings.

Toggle off “Turn On This Line” when you want to completely disconnect from work.





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