Chic Traveler: Mary Price-Nagel
Occupation: Design and Merchandising Director, Jigsaw-London
Hometown: Beverly Hills, CA
Mary was fortunate enough to combine her love of travel and love of design with her first job as a European Designer/Couture buyer for Neiman Marcus. Currently, as the Design and Merchandising Director for Jigsaw-London, she is based in Los Angeles and travels frequently to the head office in London. At Jigsaw, she launched Jigsaw Green Label, which is designed and manufactured exclusively in America from locally sourced fabrics. The line is sweatshop free, decreases the company’s carbon footprint and supports local businesses. She also works as a Tanzanian Development Officer for World Computer Exchange, a charity that provides computers to the developing world. “If I am not on a plane every six months, I get antsy! I have an insatiable desire to experience anything new and different.”
Anywhere. My travel motto is ‘have passport, will travel.’ I love being immersed in any foreign culture and foreign language, but am partial to warm water, warm sand, warm sun, and warm people.
What’s always inside your carry on?
Lip balm, iPad, iPhone, plane slippers, travel size Crème de La Mer, hand sanitizer, Jigsaw Kimono Cardigan that doubles as a cozy scarf for chilly flights.
What’s on your plane play list?
I have eclectic music taste – everything from Mozart to The Moth podcasts. One of my favorite pre-trip rituals is updating my playlist. My last ‘travel’ mix featured Friendly Fires, Poolside, Rae &Christian, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Bonobo and Disclosure.
Your guilty pleasure while traveling?
Any tips or must-pack items for making your hotel feel more like home?
Not very sexy, but I always travel with eyeshades and ear plugs. Noisy neighbors, elevators or annoying blinking electronics can ruin even a 5 star experience.
Is there a particular destination that inspires your creativity?
When I feel like being a culture vulture, it’s New York. With the world’s best museums, dance and music performances, art galleries, and unique shops, it is like culture camp.
What’s the most stylish city/locale you’ve visited? Anywhere in particular where the fashion/beauty/women’s personal style really blew you away?
With the ubiquitous nature of media today, style has become homogenized around the world. To me, the only cities that foster true creative personal expression in a sophisticated way are New York and Paris.
Any travel misadventures you’d like to share?
My very first trip to France was with my cousin, Matt, and dear friend, Bryan. We weren’t savvy travelers, we spoke little to no French, and, as it was the early 90’s, we had no smartphones or internet. We also had no reservations and no plan. We had rental car and a map. Period. At the end of each day, we would pull into a city and follow the signs to the Hotel de Ville in hopes of finding a place to stay. Each time we ascended the steps and knocked on the door of the grand Hotel de Ville, there was no answer. We couldn’t understand how or why largest and most central hotel in the city would be closed in every town we visited? We finally consulted our French/English dictionary to discover “Hotel de Ville” means City Hall. To this day, we joke about staying with the Mayor. Regardless of that mishap, or maybe because of it, we found ourselves in the most amazing little villas and inns. Note to self: don’t over plan. Always leave room for discovery and adventure. It is the magic of travel, or at least a good story.
Next on your Stephanie Johnson wish list?
What’s your favorite SJ piece to give as a gift?
I love the Tinseltown Rose Gold Medium Flat Pouch. Perfect for stashing special, small goodies and can double as an evening clutch.
Is there a favorite possession you’ve acquired during your travels? What is it?
A small agate stone given to me by a healer in Zanzibar.
Favorite travel ritual or souvenir: (Do you always visit a local book shop? Hunt down the best cappuccino? Pick up a tree ornament depicting your destination?)
I always try to find a local flea market or open air market. I also like to pick up a small stone, shell, or leaf – something small and indigenous to the place I visited.
Your personal travel style: (Do you like a luxury resort? A private hideaway? Do you prefer to lie on the beach? Explore the countryside?)
It depends on what I need in my life, peace and quiet or inspiration and adventure.
Your happy place / Favorite travel destination?
Do you have a favorite menu item you indulge in when you’re on the road? Perhaps a dish or a type of cuisine you can’t get back home?
If it is local, vegetarian, difficult to pronounce and you definitely can’t get at home, I’m in.
How do you pack for a trip? (Are you a list maker? Do you pack in outfits? Throw caution to the wind and shop when you arrive?)
I travel light so I work around several basics and wardrobe staples. I’d rather have items in heavy rotation than deal with heavy luggage.
Go-to luggage brand?
Tumi. I have had one piece of Tumi for 25 years. When it is on its last leg, Tumi refurbishes every time to perfection.
Checked bag or carry-on?
Favorite Airport? Why?
Long Beach. I love the old school, outdoor, board-from-the-tarmac experience. It feels like a resort airport, like a throwback to a different time. Malpensa in Milan and Madrid score points for great architecture and design.
On your reading list?
Zanzibar Chest by Aidan Hartley, The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane.
Plane food or bring your own?
I always bring snacks. Before a long-haul flight, I pre-order a vegetarian meal.
Do you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare, or are you the last-minute type always racing to catch your flight?
I like to walk on board as they are shutting the airplane door.
Window or aisle?
How often do you fly?
In fits and spurts. Every month to once every 6 months.
Go-to flying ‘uniform?’
Jigsaw leggings, Jigsaw silk trim jersey tunic, Jigsaw Kimono cardigan and Converse.
Any tips that make frequent travel more efficient?
When in doubt, pack black. If you think you ‘might’ wear it, you won’t. Leave it at home.
Do you work in-flight or use the time to unwind?
Unwind. With no phone and no internet (for now), it is the only place I get to unplug guilt free.
Interested in helping World Computer Exchange? Visit: https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?cid=12465