Wow-ing the Customer


Every month at A.I.Labs we invite a prominent Tastemaker for an intimate conversation with Pauline Brown, our course participants and the rest of the A.I.Labs team. In last month´s Tastemaker Conversation we caught up with lifestyle guru and celebrity party planner Colin Cowie.

Colin Cowie portrait

Colin Cowie built his highly successful catering and event production company from the ground up to become event planner to the biggest personalities in the world – including Oprah Winfrey, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, and Ryan Seacrest. He is also a best-selling author, a lifestyle designer, and has appeared on national network TV showing people how to entertain with style and elegance. Colin has racked up 15 million miles traveling the globe in search of the finest examples of experiences, services, and products for his clients.

In this inspiring chat about aesthetic delight, Colin shared his own formula for delivering world-class customer service. He reflected on the balance between creative and commercial demands and emphasized that taste is not about money, but about being intelligent and using resources wisely.

“To have a great style, you need to love and respect yourself. Living well is about an attitude and a mindset, not about money or things. And luxury is not experienced through fancy products; but through our five senses.  When our senses live in harmony with one another, we long for nothing more.” 

To find out what aesthetic memories, influences and experiences resonate with Colin, see his responses to Pauline’s queries on his Taste Hacks. As a reminder, Hacks offer shortcuts to understanding a person’s likes and dislikes, and they provide a tool for us to explore our own emotional responses to objects and experiences.

Check out some of Colin´s Taste Hacks:

James Bond
Pauline Brown (PB): Who is your Style Icon? 

Colin Cowie (CC): James Bond. The Sean Connery version of James Bond. I love everything about him! His Martini, the way he dressed, his swagger, the cars he drove… he is the quintessential gentleman.

last supper
PB: What would your Last Supper be like?  

CC: I organized the last supper of the 20th century. I invited 21 guests to welcome the 21st century for the most insane dinner. I spent a year planning that dinner. I collected wines and made the menu for a year. I emptied my living room to put a beautiful table, chose each piece of china, crystal, and silver… my last supper would be exactly like that supper was.

south africa landscape
PB: If you had to spend the rest of your life living and working in one space, what would it be like? Describe your Room with a View

CC: I am working on a project in South Africa. It is a series of luxury game lodges tied to a hospitality and educational program aimed at uplifting the local community. The focus is natural conservation, it is surrounded by nature. My Room with a View is there. A house within nature in South Africa, in the same place where this project takes place.

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