I’ve been writing songs my whole life, ever since I was a child. It has always been the only way to understand myself and to exorcise the pain. I was born as a songwriter and only later became a producer. I’ve always produced the songs I write, so this transition was quite natural. My approach always begins with the song, as I hardly ever work on things I don’t write myself.
That’s how it goes: we meet in the studio, have a coffee, talk about ourselves and just start writing. But only when I think a song is good do I move to the second step, which is the arrangement. I still have a sense of ancient respect for music. I never make fun of it, and I never do something just because it’s work.
Music has literally saved my life, and every time I walk into the studio it’s like entering a temple. I’ve got my work team there and it’s been the same for ages. Here is Paolo Antonacci, with whom I’ve written many radio hits in recent years, and Stefano Clessi, my lifelong friend. We started together in an independent reality, inventing ourselves every day. He was the one who introduced me to songwriting, I never thought that an artist would sing songs written by someone else until ten years ago. Now I find myself working with many different artists from different genres and music worlds.
All my work definitely shares a veil of melancholy and emotion that I’ve always carried deep within. I’ve never believed in packaged music, just to be clear, that’s made of “plastic”.
To vibrate my deepest strings, songs must have some sort of restlessness.
In the same way, every production preserves my taste and training from the golden age of hip hop in Berlin to 80s electronic music. I’m truly in love with pop and everything that makes you hum a song from the very first time you hear it.
The Italian music scene changes from month to month and I find it very inspiring right now: there are no clear distinctions anymore, all the rules have been broken. This keeps me awakeand inspires me so much. Take for example Mahmood and Blanco: only two years ago, these two artists would have been defined as “urban” and yet they won Sanremo with an exquisitely Italian pop song, a beautiful melody in the best Italian traditions. This is the triumph of pop. The metrics change a little, of course, but urban is now mixed up with pop, there are no rules anymore.
Our country celebrates melody, and a lovely melody always wins over everything else. It wins over repeated attempts to be cool at the expense of the song, and it also wins over useless attempts to make a production forcibly lavish, which only weakens the songwriting.
In the end, only the songs win.This is so simple that is only understood by a few.
Napapijri x Moreno Ferrari is the capsule collection created thanks to the collaboration between the outerwear brand Napapijri and the famous Italian designer and artist Moreno Ferrari. The inspiration for the concept came from the ‘NO Project’, an installation created by the artist in 2018 when he revisited one of Napapijri’s icons, the Skidoo jacket, transforming it into a work of art. Ferrari’s vision turned the Skidoo into an armour with traces of urban material in contrast with nature: a symbolic encounter between the artist and the brand to reflect on the boundary between commitment and civic responsibility towards the environment, especially for fashion. The desire to develop projects with this philosophy, where negative becomes positive, translates into a Circular Capsule Collection that combines design, sustainability and an innovative and ethical approach to the environment.
Each garment is 100% recyclable
The capsule features a range of sustainable and fully recyclable urban looks. The five styles draw on elements borrowed from the urban landscape – such as bubble wrap and plastic safety nets – and focus on the need to reuse and recycle as much as possible. Each garment is 100% recyclable, made of ECONYL® regenerated nylon: an innovative fibre created from plastic waste such as old fishing nets, rugs and industrial waste. It has the same quality as virgin nylon, but unlike the latter, is infinitely recyclable.
“Objects that have heart, an ethic” (Moreno Ferrari)
Moreno Ferrari comments: “My design approach and this work in particular always takes society into account, it is a declaration of courage. Starting from the concept of beyond, crossing that ideal threshold beyond which one cannot go. Using recycled materials creates endless products and the result are objects that have heart, an ethic. There is no aesthetics without ethics nowadays”.
Strengthening Napapijri’s commitment to designing a circular future for fashion, the brand’s online take-back program allows all capsule products to be returned two years after purchase so that they can be transformed into new yarn and new products. Martino Scabbia Guerrini, executive vice president & group president of Vf Emea said: “This work is a perfect synthesis of what the market is today, where consumers are aware of sustainability but attentive to design. On the company side, we must look at the meeting points between communities, culture and our vision of design and aesthetics, always maintaining the strong commitment to sustainability that has distinguished us for many years”.
Alan Cappelli Goetz was called on to interpret this capsule collection, as an actor who’s always attentive to green issues and responsible fashion. He is featured in an editorial set along the naviglio della Martesana, a crossroads between nature and urban culture, a place that has been redeveloped today and full of surprising stories.
In the opening image, Alan Cappelli Goetz wears Napapijri x Moreno Ferrari
Body, mind and spirit: it is not easy to trace common themes in the artistic production and modus pensandi of Arca, the Venezuelan DJ, singer, fashion icon and producer. One should perhaps speak of guiding principles rather than common themes.
The role of the body is undoubtedly central. Body is all that we have at our birth; however, it is not only flesh and blood, but also body in its extensions. In the Vincentian Vitruvian man, the material perimeter of the human body coincided in the shapes of the circle (the divine) and the square (the earthly). For Arca, the divine and earthly coexist, but the geometry is extended, complicated. Arca’s figures explicitly refer to the Vitruvian man: in the Prada/Rakata video (whose images were later used as the covers of her latest albums), we see Arca in an almost laboratory-like set, with doubled limbs and heads, in poses that trace squares and circles, but also progressively more complicated shapes. This is where the mind comes into play, capable of making itself the bearer of a continuous increase in the body: alterations, extensions, duplications, eliminations. Such manifestations of the body are just as real if on flesh and blood as if in a music video, a cover or an art performance.
Arca tends towards a (re)solution in a series of Vichian courses and recursions, in which person and machine become one, split, and recombine. It is no coincidence that over the course of her latest project the concepts of “first death” and “last birth” appear several times, in a continuous cycle of rebirth and reinvention. Arca is in this sense her own deus ex machina: and this is where the spirit comes into play. If in Greek tragedy the god brought resolution, while here faith is earthly, and is a faith in constant change, what Arca herself repeatedly calls a ‘mutant faith’. Mutant was the title of her 2015 album, while mutant faith appears explicitly for the first time as a concept in her creative output with the performance art residency Mutant;Faith, in New York for four nights in October 2019.
This belief is one of the red threads within Arca’s latest ambitious and maximalist project: a pentalogy of albums entitled Kick, from the prenatal kick, conceived as the first tangible sign of a human being’s life. KiCk i opened the kick cycle in mid-2020, followed closely at the end of 2021 by its iterations ii, iii, iiii and iiiii, released one per day over the course of a week between November and December 2021. 59 songs in total across five albums, initially conceived as a trilogy, later becoming a tetralogy, to which a surprise fifth element was added. These facts alone give an idea of how much of the artist’s production is in progress. The process is more important than the final goal, and it is the journey itself that gives meaning to exploration, to experimentation.
More is always more for Arca. Describing the project from a musical point of view is not easy, precisely because of its constant mutability, in which one can sense the longing for fixed points; these goals, however, are nothing more than new starting points for further extension and complication. The first kick is somewhat the most pop element (not coincidentally, also the one with the most guest artists, such as Björk, Rosalía, Sophie, Shygirl), but also the one that presents the vastness and eclecticism of styles present in the following four works. KICK ii starts with a series of reggaeton-like songs, which in the second part are dissected into a series of tracks with impalpable atmospheres, in which the rhythms and melodies tend to fade away. The third volume draws its inspiration from club music, especially techno.
The atmospheres from the first to the third volume tend towards an increasing agitation, which is then to some extent resolved in the last two chapters: in kick iiii Arca achieves a sort of synthesis of her meta-pop, in a collection of songs rich in melodies, full of poetic suggestions and manifestos of intent. Queer is a political song in which Arca exalts the strength and pain of her own queerness, in tears that are tears of fire, of a queer fire. Planningtorock, famous for another queer dancefloor anthem from 2013, Let’s Talk About Gender Baby, is the guest on the track. Shirley Manson of Garbage (who came to prominence in 1993 with a song called Queer; is this a coincidence?) recites the words of another manifesto, Alien Inside, a celebration of the otherness within each of us, as an opportunity for constant renewal. The fifth and last (?) kick, a surprise release without any announcement, is a coda, a sort of epilogue to the project. Of the five albums, it is the most stripped-down, in which Arca rediscovers the instruments and elements of classical music that marked her early works, such as Xen. Unlike her first efforts, however, the music here is less claustrophobic, airier, enriched by elements of ambient music, leaving the impression of an open ending.
Compared to the artistic beginnings of the Arca project, the new element seems to be that of greater openness, which is exuded in a pop (in the broadest sense of the term) afflatus at a musical level, the reflection of which is also perceptible at an aesthetic level. It is no coincidence that Arca has gone from being a niche phenomenon to extending her tentacles (metaphorical and mechanical) into the mainstream, recently also becoming a fashion star, featuring on covers for Vogue Mexico and advertising campaigns for Bottega Veneta, and attracting the attention of contemporary art icons such as Marina Abramović and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
With an increasingly deep and varied artistic output, it is difficult to predict what direction Arca’s career will take in the future. However, one thing can be said with almost total certainty: we are unlikely to see her fixed in one place for too long.
The awards ceremony of the World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 was held on the 7th of December in London. The 13th edition of the event, which it classifies and rewards the best cocktail bars in the world, voted by a jury made up of over 600 professionals including journalists, bartenders and leading figures in the food and beverage industry, was particularly significant, as it came at the end of a critical period for the world of catering and hospitality in general, including closures, limitations to international travels and a drastic decline in customers arrival. The Content Editor of The World’s 50 Best Bars, Mark Sansom, was therefore keen to underline the “resilience and sense of communion” shown by the locals, while Elisa Gregori, International Business Unit Director of Perrier – main sponsor of the event – placed the emphasis on the fact that the sector “has shown incredible resilience and has learned to adapt to local restrictions”.
Italy has excellently defended its illustrious tradition in the field of signature drinks and mixology, placing itself after Singapore, China (the Asian city-state and the former celestial empire both six addresses on the list), USA, Australia , Mexico (four each) and Spain (first nation in Europe with four venues, including the third classified, the Paradise of Barcelona) thanks to its three cocktail bars, the same number as the United Kingdom, the true triumph of this’ year with the London Connaught Bar repeating the first place of 2020, also winning the title of best bar in the old continent, and the Tayēr + Elementary, also in London, in second position.
Specifically, it is the Drink Kong of Rome (creature of the king of the Capitoline bartenders Patrick Pistolesi, with an atmosphere between 80s sci-fi and a refined nightclub, with lighting with neon tubes and the oriental appeal of the Japanese room), from the Milanese 1930 (speakeasy of the duo Flavio Angiolillo-Marco Russo, inspired in all respects by the clandestine haunts where, in the United States, people gathered to drink in the times of prohibitionism, the address is secret, hidden by an anonymous door, and to find it you have to rely only on the word of mouth of the “initiates”) and about Camparino, the historic sign of social and cultural gathering of Milan, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II; if the first one has dropped from 45th place in 2020 to the current 19th, the latter has gained five positions compared to the past year and is now 20th, while the 3rd one, new entry in the list, is on the 27th position.
Drink Kong, 1930, Camparino in Galleria
Actually, we also find a bit of Belpaese on the top of the podium, the Connaught team, the bar of the homonymous five-star luxury hotel in Mayfair, is led by Agostino Perrone, Giorgio Bargiani and Maura Milia, respectively Director of Mixology, Head Mixologist and Bar Manager, architects of a success that it has its flagship in the modern reinterpretation of the classic Martini cocktail, prepared by expert bartenders using a trolley that it moves from table to table. Ad hoc awards then it has assigned , among others, to the Attaboy of New York, winner of the Rémy Martin Legend of The List (a special prize that can be obtained only once, awarded to the venue that showed greater consistency in the “performances” in the ‘span of the 13 editions of the World’s 50 Best Bars), the President of Buenos Aires (Nikka Highest Climber), the Re di Sydney (Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award), the Cardiff Lab 22 (Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu) and the Hanky Panky of Mexico City, whose debut in the ranking at 12th position earned him the Disaronno Highest New Entry.
After the stop due to the pandemic in 2020 (an event rather rare in the history of the publication, interrupted only in 1967, with the exception of the hiatus in the period between 1975 and 1983), the Pirelli Calendar comes back in dazzling form and relaunches itself, we might say. All this with specially designed packaging and a song, both by Bryan Adams, singer-songwriter with a brilliant cursus honorum in music – over 100 million records sold, three Oscar nominations, five at the Golden Globes, 15 (with one win) at the Grammys – who, since the 1990s, has embraced an equally successful photographic career, shooting covers and editorials for magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Vanity Fair, L’Officiel and Zoo.
On the Road, the title of The Cal 2022, also shares its name with the Canadian artist’s song, a preview of his new album So Happy It Hurts, due out next March. The calendar, which comes in a square vinyl LP-like package, features an ad hoc logo, celebrating the company’s 150th anniversary, alongside the elongated initial of the tyre multinational.
The underlying thread of this year’s edition is therefore the journey, presented in a tribute through images to the era, in many ways distant and unrepeatable, of great music tours, microcosms in their own right, with their own rituals, places and times. In such things the celebrities of the day took shelter out of the concert, between relaxing breaks in majestic suites (such as those of the Chateau Marmont, buen retiro of the rich and famous of Hollywood, location of glossy shots along with the Palace Theatre, also in L.A., and the Hotel Scalinatella in Capri), hairstyling and make-up sessions, moments of focusing backstage, huge luggage sets, limousine transfers and futuristic recording studios.
To interpret such a complex theme, suspended between loneliness and vitality, intimate atmospheres and references to rock stars iconography, the author brought together ten A-list names, among the most representative of international music from the Sixties onwards: St. Vincent is featured on the cover (as well as in the February photo, where she poses in the nude, faintly illuminated by the rays filtered by Venetian blinds). St. Vincent, a chameleon-like performer reluctant to any classification, figures here with a platinum bob, and, while sticking out her tongue at the observer, shows a Pirelli-marked pick. Next up is Kali Uchis, wrapped up in a nude illusion garment, with fishnet stockings and femme fatale lingerie showing; Cher, absorbed in who knows what thoughts in front of the dressing room’s full-wall mirrors; Iggy Pop, bare-chested (how else?) and covered in silver dust, ready for one of his legendary punk histrionic performances; Rita Ora, seductively posing in a bathtub in a metallic knit dress; the theatricality of rapper Bohan Phoenix, standing on a piano in cargo trousers, combat boots and silver opera gloves. The all-star cast is completed by Grimes, Jennifer Hudson, Normani and Saweetie.
Adams himself closes the roundup conceptually and in practice, being photographed in the December pages in a classic American car, putting an end to the on-the-road itinerary between music topoi and old-school stardom. It is a visual tour that deserves to be explored in depth by visiting www.pirellicalendar.com, where you can discover behind-the-scenes footage, unpublished texts and interviews with the protagonists of the 48th edition of The Cal.
Giorgio Armani presents an exclusive preview of the Giorgio Armani – 10 Corso Como collection. A synthesis of unique style, in iconic black and white, the unprecedented collaboration with 10 Corso Como has created a timeless collection, embodying the consistent and constantly renewed lexicon of Armani’s storytelling.
Blazers with accurately defined shapes, single or double-breasted, long coats and cabans, flowing trousers, soft pullovers accessorized with low lace-ups or pumps, and two bags, one large and enveloping, and La Prima in its classic version. The opposition between masculine and feminine is resolved in a light and impactful sign, and the choice of black and white conveys a graphic vision, highlighted by patterns of jacquard stripes. The materials are natural and precious: wool, silk, velvet, cashmere, and a sweatshirt that ironically plays with the stylised face of Giorgio Armani.
The collection, with dedicated packaging, is available from 18 November at 10 Corso Como in Milan and online, and then also in Giorgio Armani shops in Milan, New York Madison Avenue, Tokyo Ginza Tower and Shanghai.
They call it <<heroic viticulture>> and Carlo Biasotto, founder of Foss Marai winery, tells it like this:
“We were children, and our parents used to order us to go and pick the grapes: that was the time to cry because we knew how hard and dangerous the work was.”
Land with a 45-degree slope, no terracing, the need to intervene by hand, limiting the use of machinery that would risk tipping over: this is why the work of winegrowers in Valdobbiadene is called <<heroic>>. The landscape is so suggestive, with hills that weave infinite shades of color, from clover green to fern green, as hard as it is for man to tame it.
It is in the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene area, today a Unesco World Heritage Site, that Foss Marai wines are born. Thanks to the respect of the “disciplinary regulations of the wines of controlled and guaranteed origin Conegliano Valdobbiadene – Prosecco” aimed at the full protection of prosecco, a wine symbol of Made in Italy quality, without forcing the plants and the cultivation system.
The Biasotto family is formed by Carlo, Adriana, and their children Andrea, Cristiana, and Umberto. They continue the tradition of respect for the territory: the company’s DNA, founded in 1986.
It is an agricultural model where the secret is know-how, craftsmanship, precision, and care with which complex selective and productive processes are managed. These processes are often long because they are based on manual labor and therefore expensive: any compromise would ruin the outcome’s quality.
In the use of autochthonous and indigenous yeastsof prosecco, especially the DOCG territory lies their strong point.
An accurate selection is done by the external state of grapes, called <<pruina>>. It is a wax that covers the berries. There is a multitude of types, and thanks to the collaboration with the University of Piacenza, a selection of yeasts suitable for alcoholic fermentation has been made: both for base wines, the result of the primary transformation from must to wine, and for fermentation in autoclaves. These yeasts guarantee the uniqueness, typicality, and varietyof the grape, and the original aroma is maintained, which would be lost if commercial yeasts were used, giving prevalence to fermentation aromas rather than varietal ones.
Mother yeasts are kept in small chemical vials. Every three/four months the brown part must be renewed, and a small portion of yeast (the white part) is taken, then re-inoculated in a new vial; at a temperature of 35/37 degrees Celsius, growth waited for a week until the yeast colony is in good health. Then the vial is placed in the refrigerator for storage and monitored.
The meticulousness of the process is necessary to make sure there are no bacteria because it is predominant to maintain freshness and vivacity. The pride of Foss Marai, in this step, are the innovative technological tools used: from machines with an infrared laser to “enzymatic” implements for the examination of alcohol and sugar.
While other producers use commercial yeasts, mostly selected by multinationals, often from the Netherlands, Foss Marai has been selecting and working with its yeasts for 20 years, producing 20,000 bottles per day, for a total of about 2 million per year. The result is a particular and unique timbre. In years that are not particularly favorable, it is possible, thanks to the 30 indigenous yeasts, to give the same results as in happier vintages, with the same aromas and scents, reducing to a minimum the gap between one harvest and the next.
Many reflections arise knowing the history of this family, which has put the love for its territory before everything else, which has made life itself become <<work>>. Jean Giono, a French writer, born into a family of Piedmontese origin, would sum up the thought in a sentence, taken from his essay <<Letter to the peasants on poverty and peace>>, written in 1938:
“One cannot know what the work of the peasant is: whether it is plowing, sowing, mowing, or whether it is at the same time eating and drinking fresh food, having children and breathing freely, for all these things are intimately united, and when he does one thing he completes the other. It is all work, and nothing is work in the social sense of the word. It is his life.”
Chef in Town- a food and beverage column curated by
NICCE Q4 men’s collection is easy to decipher: You just need to glance at the array of pared-back codes to understand why. With numbers ranging from hooded sweatshirts to chuck-on joggers, the looks are posed with militant confidence against the vibrant canvas splashed in pangs of orange, brown and yellow. Labelling the collection as solely practicality influenced, however, would be a false judgement. The latest influx of garments (from catwalks to streetstyle) has seen a soar in functional sportswear and with shirts and bottoms in light, with cotton bases, NICCE Q4 men’s collection makes up for the ideal sportswear aficionado inspired by a proclivity for wear-anywhere comfort.
The campaign for the brands final collection of the year was shot at Peckham Liberal Club by photographer Ollie Radford, capturing the collection in a retro nostalgic setting. From pints to playing pool, the campaign aims to stir a silliness and appreciation for the little things in life after this year’s disruptions, and as we head into the festive season its intent is to offer the cosy-yet-cool vibe to one’s look. Past the printed sweaters, cuffed joggers, long t-shirts and sporty bucket-hats topped with two-toned sneaks offerings and crispy chains, NICCE takes the sporty street aesthetic and reinvents it with dazzling colour and bold, statement stripes. Loose and light hoodies have also made their way into the collection, proving that fun but practically comfortable pieces suitable for everyday and any day wear is at the centre of the NICCE’s spirit.
On the occasion of December 1st, World AIDS Day, Asa Milano and Milano Check Point, collaborating with CIG – Arcigay Milano, create a special photo and video campaign to raise awareness on HIV, in this very special moment in which the Covid-19 emergency has focused all the media attention on the pandemic. Despite this, HIV continues to spread silently and, unfortunately, people talk less and less about this issue. For this reason, the goal of the campaign – created by Federico Poletti and Daniele Calzavara – is to explain to as many people as possible what HIV is and what is the current situation in order to communicate the message that if HIV is not detectable, it cannot be transmitted: a message that is summarized in the U = U (Undetectable = Untrasmittable) campaign. A manifesto that wants to break down the prejudices against people living with HIV. This is why ASA and Milano Check Point have chosen the slogan #STOPHIVSTIGMA COMBATTI IL PREGIUDIZIO CON L’INFORMAZIONE, which can be found in the photographic campaign spread through the social media accounts of all the people involved. Many well-known faces have joined the campaign on social media, from Sandra Milo to Ferzan Ozpetek up to M ¥ SS KETA, as well as many young actors and actresses and people who have decided to spread the meaning of this equation, scientifically proven for years: U = U Undetactable = Untrasmittable (a HIV – positive person in therapy and with an undetectable viral load cannot transmit the HIV virus).
Over 30 personalities from the world of cinema, music and entertainment participated in the video directed by Manuel Scrima and Giovanni Conte. A beautiful and important signal came from Rome, the symbolic city of cinema, which, thanks to the involvement of Sonia Rondini and Fabrizio Imas, has mobilized with various personalities from the Italian entertainment world. The video, which will be available on December 1st, was shot between Milan and Rome, thanks to the support of the Hotel Valadier, the Mediterranean Restaurant, Giardino del MAXXI and Angelo Cruciani.
“This year, since the pandemic prevents us from organizing events, we have created a video and photo campaign, which involves both well-known faces and ordinary people, that will be spread on social networks to underline that HIV is still spreading and that it’s always subjected to prejudices”– said Massimo Cernuschi, President of ASA and Milan Check Point.
“In a historical moment in which all our resources and energy are invested in the fight against Covid-19, HIV continues inexorably to run its course. There are about 130 thousand HIV-positive people In Italy and 39 million in the world. We always have to remember these data for ourselves and for others, not only on December 1st! – adds Sandra Milo on her Instagram account.
“A video about this topic is essential – comments Manuel Scrima, the director – because many people are still victims of prejudices or simply poorly informed. We wanted the characters to look their audience into the eyes and honestly explain that we shouldn’t be frighten by HIV because, through the correct therapies, HIV positive person cannot be contagious.”
Finally, BURRO STUDIO – a communication agency mainly focused on branding and graphic design, founded by Federica Caserio and Giovanni Manzini – has developed graphics about the U = U Undetectable = Untrasmittable topic, which will be used both for the web campaign and for a t – shirt limited edition, available from mid-December. For the “I Can Give You” campaign, developed by Burro Studio, ASA Milano decided to relaunch Randy Davis’ social project, which focuses on the H I V letters, associating them to some words with a positive connotation such as Hope, Inclusion and Vision. It is another way to underline that HIV-positive people in therapy can only transmit these values and not HIV.
Sporty & Rich is a unisex streetwear and lifestyle brand, founded by Emily Oberg in 2014. It began as a mood board for life: a collection of images from past and present that represent a life surrounded by beauty.
Grown up in Canada, Emily Oberg got connected with the Complex team before moving to New York in 2014. She began her career as an Editorial Producer and towards the end of 2016, she started to work alongside streetwear mogul Ronnie Fieg at KITH, taking on the role as the Creative Lead of KITH Women. Originally launched as an online magazine, Emily founded Sporty & Rich in 2014. After some initial success, Emily decided to leave KITH and to move to Los Angeles. Her move to the West Coast influenced her desire to promote positive lifestyle choices in herself and others and helped her to explore her passions through a variety of projects and collaborations.
Conscious of the effect that clothing brands have on the environment, Emily wanted to build a company where they could offset their impact on the planet as much as possible. That is why she decided to produce garments in small batches on a pre-order basis, achieving Climate Neutral Certified status, as well as partnering with environmentally focused organizations.
Today, the brand offers a collection of thoughtfully designed products that emphasize longevity by placing health, fitness and the wellbeing of ourselves and our planet in the forefront. The ethos is, ‘Be nice, drink water, be good to the planet, take care of yourself and live a life of pleasure.’ Her brand is still growing, with notable fans such as Elsa Hosk, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Chiara Ferragni and Dwight Howard as well as wholesale distribution through Moda Operandi, Selfridges, The Webster, Ssense and others.
The well-known London-based e-commerce platform Matchesfashion launches its new program The Innovators, which features 12 fashion designers that stood out from the crowd in the global fashion scenario. “What makes an innovator?” is the question that started this program aimed at actively support emerging, talented and, of course, innovative designers for one year.
The project idea became solid during COVID-19 pandemic, as Fashion & Buying Director Natalie Kingham stated, when the designers expressed their need of a more practical support, in order to let their emerging brands thrive during these difficult times. For this reason Matchesfashion decided to turn The Innovators into a programme not only able to showcase young talents, but also in the position to give them a tangible support through tutoring and marketing activities.
Now a question comes to mind: What’s the reason for being so into new talents? Matchesfashion answers, stressing the importance and the influence in fashion of the “small labels with strong narratives and beliefs”.
The chosen brands not only make us question our relationship with usual designs, they are above all social innovators, who advocate for a deep change that they expect to witness in the fashion industry: sustainability, gender fluidity, diversity and inclusion are just a few of the values these young designers want to carry out.
“An innovator is someone who pushes the boundaries – And is a rebel against the system”
With its peculiar aesthetics defined by the founders, Eden Loweth and Tom Barrat, “decadent minimalism” the brand Art School displays luxury clothes inspired by the Hollywood glamour which reinterpret the concepts of menswear and womenswear.
“An innovator is someone who creates their own lane and is confident in what their work has to say and also, someone that can create their own tribe”
The designer Bianca Saunders based her brand on 3 main points: gender fluidity, cultural heritage and music, that has always had a strong influence on her. Her style showcases an interesting dualism: from one side clear minimalism while on the other rich draped fabrics.
“What makes somebody an innovator is their ability to tap into an authentic energy within their work. Output is honest and relatable, whether you’re from any walk of life”
The brand LOVERBOY reflects its Creative Director Charles Jeffrey’s vision, embracing the typical London night-life spirit. His trademarks are painterly prints and structured highly-detailed silhouettes.
“Being an innovator I think means being able to think and act differently and kind of commit to one’s vision”
Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena’s brand makes ready-to-wear inspired by the contrast between traditional dresses and sportswear, blending Bulgarian tradition with the ‘80s rock.
The founder Grace Wales Bonner shows in her designs her love for beauty as well as her intention to mix two different worlds: Afro culture and European luxury. The peculiarity of her style is for sure her reinterpretation of “race” and “gender”.
“An innovator is someone who is not scared, who does not hold back. Someone who is ready to make a change in this world”
The brand Harris Reed is founded on beauty and a gender-fluid identity, with a strong aesthetics inspired by Victorian age and glam rock. According to the designer there is always a good reason to properly dress up and play with the silhouette, regardless of the occasion.
For the founder Kevin Germanier the main objective is to raise awareness in the fabric choice. Sustainability to Germanier is essential and he shows it in his collections, where clothes are made from upcycled materials.
Ludovic de Saint Sernin
“I think you’re an innovator when you find unique ways to present yourself”
The French designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin blends in his collections a minimalistic style and a gender-neutral look. It’s Saint Sernin who stated that “a garment is defined by the wearer”.
“What makes someone an innovator are authenticity and a clear point of view. If everyone likes what you’re doing, you’re probably doing something wrong”
The first thing to Michael Halpern is color: pastels and bright shades mixed together in a design that distinguishes itself for its well-defined silhouettes inspired by the ‘70s night-life.
“I think it’s important for diverse stories to be told by authentic storytellers”
Priya Ahluwalia presents collections whose distinctive trait is, above all, denim. Another essential element is sustainability: she only uses vintage scarves and deadstock textiles.
“An innovator is someone who makes you question your relationship with fashion”
Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt carry out their willingness to make “unfamiliar the familiar”, creating slightly unique pieces. They take inspiration from modern art and urban subculture.
The Johannesburg-based designer during the creative process focuses on history and storytelling, in particular not widely-known or forgotten stories expressed through his clothes. He advocates for a fashion system kinder towards both the environment and the single workers.
Louis Vuitton has opened a new men’s store in Las Vegas. Located in the famous Bellagio luxury resort and casino, the new shop features a contemporary design reflective of the Paris brand’s luxury roots and uncompromising craftsmanship. The outpost overlooks the popular Bellagio fountains and designed with an eye-catching façade studded with twisted stainless-steel blades. Moreover, the interior is as sleek and as pristine as they come with leather goods being the first selections customers see.
Moving along inside the shop are travel goods and accessories with ready-to-wear at the rear which opens to a relaxing outdoor terrace. Consumers will be pleased to know that the new LV men’s location carries the latest season collection as well as the new LV Volt unisex jewelry collection up for pre-launch. The release, which is the second collection by Francesca Amfitheatrof, Louis Vuitton’s Artistic Director of Watches and jewelry, is part of the store’s opening.
The Bellagio outpost is Louis Vuitton’s third store in Las Vegas. The other two are located at the Wynn Las Vegas and the Forum Shops Caesars.
Frieze London and Frieze Masters are the latest events to be cancelled in the art sphere in light of Coronavirus’ continuous disruptions.
The news comes after Frieze New York announced that it would be refunding nearly 200 planned exhibitors and would instead host online viewing rooms rather than a physical fair. Much like New York’s art fair, Frieze London and Frieze Masters will now be a digital-only showcase. Frieze’s customary exhibition of international gallerists specialising in contemporary artworks and pre-21st-century art had been scheduled to run from October 8 to October 11, 2020, in London’s Regent’s Park. The week would have usually brought thousands o the U.K.’s capital to attend the fairs, as well as the shows, museum exhibitions and auctions around the city.
The Frieze Viewing Room is set to commence online on the same dates as the fair would have taken place. Visit Frieze.com for more information.
Fast Retailing Co., owner of Japanese apparel retailer UNIQLO, has officially readjusted its financial forecasts for the rest of this year, lowering its profit outlook as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
More specifically, the company now expects an annual operating profit of ¥130 billion JPY, approximately comparable to $1.21 billion USD. This marks a 50 percent decrease, as compared to the smaller 44 percent drop previously predicted, which altered due to an operating loss of ¥4 billion JPY ($37,400 USD) in the period between March and May.
Despite these forecasts, Fast Retailing Co. remains positive as it reports a strong bounce in domestic sales for the month of June in Japan as well as a faster-than-expected recovery in the Chinese market. UNIQLO’s domestic sales — which comprise online purchases — rose by a notable 26 percent last month compared to a year earlier, an impressive achievement by the retailer following a 57 percent decrease in April followed by being 18 percent down in May.
In light of these two recovering markets, the company says it will continue to open more stores globally.
100 world-class photographers from around the world have teamed up to take part in a fundraiser for various anti-racism organisations. Names including Wolfgang Tillmans, Martin Parr and Renell Medrano have all donated work, along with emerging trailblazers including the likes of Joshua Woods, Kai-Isaiah Jamal and Benjamin Huseby, creative director of GMBH.
Each photographer involved has contributed images from their archives, with each print priced at £100 GBP (approximately $125 USD). The organisers behind the Anti-Racism Photography Fundraiser have also added that there will be a series of special announcements regarding artist editions in the near future.
In a statement launching the fundraiser, the project’s organisers said, “Racism is a deeply Racism is a deeply rooted British issue. As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to lead the fight for equality, the decision to operate under the banner of Anti-Racism is a call for the creative world, and the world at large, to fight racism everywhere it exists, while empowering the organisations and charities already doing this work.”
Take a look through some of the editions that will be available in the gallery above and visit the Anti-Racism Photography Fundraiser site for more information. All proceeds minus production and shipping costs will be donated to The Black Curriculum, Black Minds Matter and Exist Loudly.
Creative organisations are to get a £1.5bn lifeline to help stay in business while coronavirus forces dim all hopes.
The rescue package is expected to help world-known institutions such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Mary Rose Trust. Unveiling the plan, Boris Johnson said the money would help safeguard the arts for “future generations.” The British government has been under pressure to help the arts after warnings the industry would be brought to its knees without government intervention. Now organisations comprising palaces, museums, galleries, live music venues, cinemas and others will be able to access emergency grants and loans. Ministers said the money was the largest ever one-off investment in UK culture.
MANINTOWN prods to new ventures: in the heart of Milan’s metropolitan centre, the menswear and lifestyle platform powers the ‘Manintown + Progetto Nomade,’ a pioneering concept where fashion and design combine one another with the search for novelty and design excellence, along with storytelling. The project was born thanks to the union of two realities: on one hand MANINTOWN magazine, which explores menswear ever since 2014, founded by Federico Poletti; on the other, the PROGETTO NOMADE, a new travelling container inspired by the likes of art, design and the collection of 50s pieces by Christian Pizzinini and Antonio Lodovico Scolari. From this creative synergy, a new exhibition format has developed, burgeoning a narrative that’s curated in visual design by art director and brand strategist Cecilia Melli.
MANINTOWN + PROGETTO NOMADE GALLERY wants to be a prime meeting point, a small living area in the center of the city of Milan, where fashion, craftsmanship or design enthusiasts will meet, likewise industry insiders. The space will host Italian and international talents who will be able to exhibit their productions, but also have networking opportunities thanks to presentations, small happenings and targeted appointments.
August 2020 will see the launch of MANINTOWN’s e-commerce space, giving change to fashion brands (both emerging and non) and push digital access to retail horizons, encompassing both menswear and womenswear labels. “By combining the strength of the already renowned digital platform with the functionality of the e-commerce platforms and the exhibition space, we can better serve brands in an omni-channel approach,” remarked Francesca Riggio, Executive Brand Strategist Director at MANINTOWN.
The Progetto Nomade, however, has created the space and shared it with MANINTOWN, wants to consolidate the experience of the Palazzo dell’ Elefante della Torre in Salento, where exhibitions and events related to art and the design will enable a solid continuity to the projects and experiment with refreshing promotional approaches.
MANINTOWN’s Editor-In-Chief Federico Poletti concludes: “This space was born in the name of inclusion, giving a voice to new realities that will not only be put on display, but also told in a different way following a phygital vision. From month to month the Gallery’s program will be enriched by creative appointments, scheduling new pioneers and small events. A new phase has now taken place in Milan, city which has always been dynamic and fruitful in cultural initiatives.
Kanye West knows exactly how to drop the jaws. Yes, you heard it right. Singer and entrepreneur, he announced a head-scrabbling partnership with chain retailer GAP, kicking off a ten-year-long collaboration.
One of the street-facing side features the quirky asymmetric logo for YEEZY Gap (as the joint effort is known), while a larger one at the end of incline is emblazoned with text sourced directly from a note West wrote by hand. It says:
Thank God Hi Chicago it’s me This is [the] Gap store I used to shop at when I would drive my Nissan from the southside so blessed I thank god and I am so humbled at the opportunity to serve I put my heart into the color palette and every detail I love Tron the original Do you like stuff I don’t know what to do with my hands Love YEEZY
The text indicates that West himself redesigned the store down to the colour palette. No launch date for the collection or store opening have been confirmed, but specific timelines will surely emerge soon.
Last week, tech giant Microsoft announced a new approach to retail. This approach, taking place with immediate effect, will see the closure of all but four of Microsoft’s stores cross-globally.
Only a quarter of stores of stores will remain open in New York, London, Sydney and Redmond, but they will become Microsoft Experience Centres offering no product sale. The shift to digital service over brick and mortar is something that Microsoft wanted to implement in 2021. As reported by The Verge, Covid-19 made its impromptu catalysing a need for the company to enact immediately.
Microsoft also noted that none of its retail staff will be let go, as they instead transition to digital-driven positions. Moreover, the company’s site will update its support service with a one-to-one video chat, online tutorial videos and virtual workshops.
“Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter in a statement. “We deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere. The evolution of our workforce ensured we could continue to serve customers of all sizes when they needed us most, working remotely these last months.”
Social media giant Facebook has dominated the headlines for the past few months, and now the company has just announced that it will be rolling out a new feature which alerts users when sharing content older than three months. Now, when trying to share a post, an alert reading “this article is over three months old” will pop up, allowing you to continue or cancel your post.
Facebook has been criticized for not limiting radical political news, “fake news,” and other potentially harmful stories, and the introduction of the 90-day warning banner, the platform hopes to decrease the amount of untimely content shared by its users.
Vice-president of feed and stories at Facebook said in a statement, “news publishers, in particular, have expressed concerns about older stories being shared on social media as current news, which can misconstrue the state of current events. Some news publishers have already taken steps to address this on their own websites by prominently labeling older articles to prevent outdated news from being used in misleading ways.”
In addition to the new banner, Facebook is also in the process of developing other functions such as highlighting stories containing COVID-19-related content, and will feature a notification detailing the source of the link, and then transfer users to the Facebook COVID-19 Information Center for “authoritative health information.”The 90-day news notification is rolling out across Facebook globally, starting today.
Kanye West’s YEEZY has signed a reported 10 year partnership with Gap entailing a co-branded line of apparel set to release sometime in 2021.
The collaborative collection, designed by West and the YEEZY team (helmed by Design Director Mowalola Ogunlesi), will include womenswear, menswear and children’s clothes at accessible price points.
The controversial rapper has long expressed desire to work with Gap.
In a 2013 radio interview with 99.7 NOW!, West said he approached the brand but “couldn’t get past the politics.” Then in 2015, he told Style.com (now Vogue.com) that he would “like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap” and take “full Hedi Slimane creative control” of it.
“We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his YEEZY brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,” Gap Brand Global Head Mark Breitbard said in a statement.Kanye West’s YEEZY x Gap collection will release in 2021 at the Gap website and Gap stores.
After announcing the program over the past year, Adobe has finally released the Photoshop Camera app. The application allows one to apply a plethora of filters for free.
Photoshop Camera is available for iOS and Android users; it encompasses AI-powered features to improve photos. You can take advantage of quick fixes like auto-tone and portrait control with a single tap or finger-swipe. Filters and effects are just as easy, and you can choose from more than 80 custom filters, saving your favourites to use them regularly. After snapping a picture, Photoshop Camera will suggest effects to apply to ensure the most visually catching result. Then, you can export photos to your computer in the .PSD file format, allowing you to edit in the full version of Photoshop.
Update – June 2020 Back in March, Coachella Festival announced that it would postpone its festival until October of this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, after much deliberation, Coachella has formally been cancelled.
According to Billboard, the festival’s allied company, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), has been financially struggling amid the health crisis. It has had to lay off 15 percent of its employees and has furloughed an additional 100. In addition to that, it has had to issue pay cuts between 20 and 50 percent. “Every employee worldwide will be impacted in one form or another. It is an agonizing decision, but sadly, a necessary one,” AEG’s CEO Dan Beckerman stated in an internal employee memo.
Coachella hopes to return next April; however, AEG predicts the festival might have to be delayed until October 2021 if it aims to have a full-capacity event. For those who have purchased tickets for this year’s event, refunds are currently being placed on hold until AEG confirms the details of next year’s gathering.
Sportswear giant Adidas has recently issued a statement following last week’s protest due to the organisation’s complacency on racism. Along with the message, the sportswear brand has vowed to immediately implement three steps of action, including a $20 million investment in Black communities, university scholarship for black employees, and focusing on a “more inclusive” hiring.
Adidas’ investment in BAME communities includes a $20 million pledge in the United States over four years. The money will go to in the adidas School for Experiential Education in Design; and Honouring Black Excellence, a program honouring and supporting the Black community through sport initiatives such as Adidas Legacy, a basketball platform for underserved communities; the adidas School for Experiential Education in Design; and Honouring Black Excellence, a program honouring and supporting the Black community through sport.
Over a five-year, Adidas will finance 50 scholarships each year for Black students at partner schools. The company has also pledged to increase the number of Black employees. According to the memo, 30 percent of new positions at Adidas and Reebok in the US will be filled with Black and Latinx individuals.
“The events of the past two weeks have caused all of us to reflect on what we can do to confront the cultural and systemic forces that sustain racism. We have had to look inward to ourselves as individuals and our organization and reflect on systems that disadvantage and silence Black individuals and communities”, said adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted. “While we have talked about the importance of inclusion, we must do more to create an environment in which all of our employees feel safe, heard and have equal opportunity to advance their careers. As adidas, we will create a lasting change and we will do it now.”
“We recognize the immense contribution of the Black community to our success and that of others. We promise to improve our company culture to ensure equity, diversity and opportunity. We understand that the fight against racism is one that must be fought continually and actively. We must and will do better” the company concluded.
After Apple’s Chief Executive Officer announcement in April, the Apple Card is now set to add interest-free instalment payments for more of its products. Ever since last year, holders for the credit card created by Apple and issued by Goldman Sachs have been able to purchase iPhone models with 24 months of no interest.
Apple is now allowing customers to buy Macs, iPads and more through monthly instalments via the Apple Card. The tech company has allegedly announced it will offer 12-month interest-free payment for Macs, iPads, iPad keyboards and display monitors, alongside with similar six-month plans for AirPods, Apple TV and HomePods.
Payments can be made via the Apple Card section in the iPhone wallet app with payments added to monthly Apple Card bills. It is also important to note payment plans are compatible with Apple’s education discounts. Aside from boosting sales of Apple products, the plan will also help promote the enrolment for the Apple Card.
Back in April, London Fashion Week announced it would become a virtual event in light of the global pandemic. The British Fashion Council has released more details about what to expect when it launches this weekend.
From Friday, the London Fashion Week website will relaunch as a ‘digital platform’, aimed at both industry figures and consumers. The BFC have invited designers, brands, media companies, retailers, and other creatives to submit content for inclusion on the platform, which will be free for members of the public to access.
Over the last three months, designers have had their ability to produce collections severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, which has forced most factories into temporary closure and abruptly halted the fashion industry’s supply chain. As a result, in lieu of traditional shows to unveil new seasonal collections, brands will showcase a variety of digital content formats.
Designers including Marques’Almeida and Robyn Lynch are showcasing smaller capsule collections, while others are opting out of showing clothes entirely: Bianca Saunders will be hosting a panel discussion with SHOWSTUDIO, while designers including RAEBURN and Daniel W. Fletcher are contributing ‘conversations’ instead of presenting collections. The platform will also host podcasts and playlists created by a host of creatives and brands: ART SCHOOL, Ahluwalia, and the retailer Browns are among those who have contributed.
While the line-up is dominated by emerging brands, notably absent from the schedule are most of London’s internationally recognisable names. Burberry, which typically shows its collections in London during February and September, has not participated. Other absentees include Britain’s most successful independent designers: Martine Rose, Wales Bonner, and A-COLD-WALL* are currently opting out, as is Craig Green, who moved his runway shows to Paris in January this year.
The virtual event runs from June 12-14 at London Fashion Week’s website, where the full schedule will be available soon.
To all who have expressed outrage, disgust, anxiety, empathy, or bewilderment at how this crisis in social justice can be our reality in 2020, I ask you to take some time and call a friend, colleague, a mixed race relative—someone who is black or looks black—and have a real conversation with them.
During this conversation, ask them what it is like for them day to day as a citizen in American society, what their experiences have been as it pertains to racism.
This is not likely to be a five-minute conversation. But if you really care to understand, if you really want to fix this problem, if you really want the protests to bring sweeping change, if you really want to make a change in society for the better, you need to start with an understanding of what it is like to be black in America.
Racism in America permeates all aspects of life: from the first time your teacher embarrasses you in front of your entire school class, the shop owner that follows you in a magazine store and tells you that you need to leave the store when, momentarily, you have been separated from your parents, to the joyous experience of receiving your first driver’s license that is quickly being intruded on by “the conversation”.
This is when your parents sit you down to discuss what you must and must not do if you are ever pulled over by the police. This is our reality as young people, as adults and as parents.
The risks and disadvantage continue throughout life, regardless of education or economic status: in corporate America, in the jobs you were overlooked for or never promoted to, despite being overqualified and performing at a level that is multiples above your counterparts’ performance. That’s another conversation black parents have with their children, in order to compete, you have to be at least twice as good.
That is the requirement when you are black in America.
Many of you reading this will ask why black professionals in any field have a difficult time showcasing these racism issues, and the reason is not because we have not pointed them out, it is because white people are looking for a plausible answer such as “there must have been something wrong with the business model.”
The problem is exacerbated when agencies and corporations look to remove individuals who have been uncovered as racially biased and have become an embarrassment and liability to the company, but the lack the courage or will to fire them for fear of being brought into a wrongful termination suit. Instead, racist elements are “failed up” the corporate/municipal ladder because it is easier to promote someone up and out of the way than to terminate them. So, the racists win by garnering additional power to stop progress on other transactions, and potentially becoming a hindrance in the same transaction again at some point in the future.
What is needed at this time is white American to stop running from this issue, and stop running from your privilege because it what we need from our allies and counterparts that will help us deal with racism. White America’s incredulous, and historic knee-jerk response has become cliché among African Americans: “How do you know it is racism?” “Come on, there has to be a reason besides that.” “There has to be a fundamental underwriting issue.” Actually, there are no problems with our projects, our deals pencil out with great returns so your credit committee needs to be questioned, we solve problems when other falter, we must not fail because we are not given a second chance, so how do we know it is racism. It is racism because our white counterparts that have the same issues are able to finance their transactions, are held in the highest esteem, and revered as hero’s while we are not treated the same. Racism hides inherently in the shadows of this very line of questioning and is exactly what those in deep denial would want you to embark on, a line of questioning because there is no definitive answer that will satisfy them, and this is how the racists win their position: They make it incumbent upon logical people to question the experience, and to look for logical responses within illogical patterns of facts that do not constitute an answer as it pertains to a particular situation. Again, the reason for this is right in front of you. It always has been. It’s racism.
If we are serious about our intentions and truly want social change for the better, know that it will only come when our white counterparts resolve to stand beside us, fighting to root out racism across the spectrum. The change will not be complete or permanent or totally secure if we only address this cancer in isolated sectors while allowing it to incubate and spread from others. The net positive effect of real change will be the overturning of hundreds of year of the norm in our society and supplanted by a new, inclusive societal norm that works toward the betterment of all.
It is frustrating to hear intelligent people say to me, “You didn’t experience racism,” or “You have been successful,” with judgment in the unstated but implied question, why haven’t others? Success and money do not thwart the experience driven by the racists. But it is not obvious to those on the outside that success for black Americans is achieved despite and in the face of racism; it comes by having successfully jumped every hurdle put in your path and the ability to still kept pace with your white counterparts who have no such hurdles because of a skin color. Our successes have come with unnecessary interference, additional tests and obstructions that limit, delay which diminish those successes. However the silver lining is these successes also come from assistance from the white allies that have been quiet fans of our work, our insight and tenacity that together we have pushed to make our projects work.
Racism is increasingly blatantly obvious and on public display in the killings George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, far too many to name more than a few; in the sodomizing and dehumanization of Abner Louima with a policeman’s nightstick; in the railroading and incarceration of The Central Park 5; in the tens if not hundreds of thousands killed before cell phones were available to tell a story. But it also resides in voter suppression redlining, housing discrimination, healthcare disparities, job-application codes, property tax-based education, food deserts, predatory lending, corporate diversity, access to capital, the judicial system, government hoops that only black people have to jump through—every aspect and facet of life in which black people’s existence is challenge, where the same existence for white people is not. The effect of financially killing black business leaves not just families impoverished, but whole communities exiled from opportunity, initiative, with hope diminished, examples of community success exterminated and dreams and prayers left as a vague reminder of what used to be generations ago. Ultimately leaving those individuals trapped in those communities with little chance to financially excel or ability to grow within the communities. The black people you now see marching, protesting, venting their collective frustration, crying out for a little room to breathe in nation that is suffocating us all with its unrelenting racism are not just asking you to stop killing us physically in the street, they are also looking for relief from the choking off of access and opportunity across all platforms within the corporate and finance markets.
Economic opportunity and access are as important and necessary to life as freedom from threat of physical harm. Stop it. Stop killing us quickly with bullets and chokeholds and stop choking us slowly with systemic biases baring us from full participation on an equal footing. This is the fix society must strive for. This is my answer to all those who out of ignorance ask why back Americas aren’t more successful, why aren’t we producing more? Get you knee off our necks—physically, financially and metaphorically in every way. Make the playing field level and you would see a thriving and exciting segment of society that looks nothing like the derivations of poverty in the images popularly circulated to illustrate a particular narrative.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my world, the world of 40 million black people in the United States and hundreds of millions more over the last 400 years now gone. Enough is enough. The time has come, is long overdue in fact, for a real conversation and an overhaul. Pick up the phone and ask us about our experience, what the world of tens of millions of us is like, what it is like to be in our shoes. This is a unique time in American history, affording an opportunity and maybe even a desire to finally fix what has been plaguing our society since its founding. The fix will require us to work together to create a protocol across industry, (Policing, Banking, Industrial, etc) that removes racism from our day to day lives.
To those young people in the streets, thank you for standing up. I am one with you in this pain. I am proud and inspired by your courage and your example. For the allies we have built and understand our call to you for a real partner in the repositioning and changing of the status quo of racism within society, thank you for your courage and disgust with the norms so that we can collectively make this a society we are all proud to be a part of. Let’s fix this together once and for all.
British Fashion Council (BFC) has announced the launch of ‘Great British Designer Face Coverings: Reusable, for People and Planet’, a joint campaign with Bags of Ethics, to manufacture and retail internationally, sustainable and reusable non-medical face coverings to use alongside existing social distancing measures. Designed in London by six British designers such as Halpern, Julien MacDonald, Liam Hodges =, Mulberry, RAEBURN and Rixo, the project aims to raise £1 million with 100% of sale profit going to charity and split between NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and Wings of Hope Children’s Charity.
The non-medical face coverings are manufactured at Bags of Ethics 100% owned partner factories and provide a reusable and sustainable option for the environment with no single-use plastic. The non-medical face coverings will not deplete healthcare system. The product will be retailed at £15 for three reusable, washable, fabric face coverings with two protective pouches. These non-medical face coverings will be available to buy online through britishfashioncouncil.com and through partner retailers soon including ASOS, Boots, John Lewis & Partners and Sainsbury’s (in Tu Clothing sections in selected superstores, convenience stores and online at Tu.co.uk and Argos.co.uk)
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive BFC commented: “Fashion is a unifying force and now, more than ever, it is essential that we collaborate and come together to support each other through difficult times. Our ambition is to contribute to the fight against COVID-19, while protecting vital PPE supplies reserved for the NHS. Through this project, we will not only celebrate British designers but also champion sustainability in a time of crisis.”
Dr R Sri Ram, Chairman, Bags of Ethics: “We have always been at the forefront of supporting the public through mass behavioural changes in positive and useful ways. Since the early 2000s we helped supermarkets, and retailers reduce their single-use plastic bag consumption by 5+ billion units through sustainable and reusable bags. A new challenge arises with the Coronavirus pandemic. Our aim is to manufacture high quality reusable non-medical face coverings for the public which reduces stigma through great British design, in line with advice from our scientific community, whilst having a positive effect on both people and planet.”
Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries said: “Wearing of non-medical face coverings when you can’t socially distance is important to help stop the spread of COVID-19. It is great to see such leadership from our fashion industry – this partnership will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and raise money for important causes.”
The project is part of BFC’s wider initiatives to support creative fashion businesses and individuals to survive the pandemic. It aims to instil public confidence and unite the country through creativity, prevent further depletion of medical mask supplies, champion British designers and maximize fundraising opportunities in a time of crisis.
Most recently, the Government issued guidance for the public to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible. The reason why a non-medical facial covering is important is not that it keeps you safe, but because it stops you from inadvertently giving someone else the virus if you are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic.
Now and forever, we stand against any sort of racial injustice. Sharing and promoting content left and right isn’t enough. The resonance of the present calamities should serve as a tool of empowerment to abolish systematic racism and a systematic dictatorship, demanding action and urging a change in collective reasoning. Unity as equality, if we must really define it.
Below, we’ve collated an exhaustive agenda for you to take part in this time of crisis, advocating for a better impact and change.
The petition currently stands as the largest U.S. petition of all time according to Change.org. It aims to raise awareness of police violence and killings of unarmed African Americans. The end goal is to reach the attention of Minnesota Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to prosecute all four of the officers involved.
Minnesota Freedom Fund
The Minnesota Freedom Fund is a local non-profit group that pays for criminal bails and immigration bonds. The organization has vowed to help free protesters incarcerated by police.
Campaign Zero takes a data-driven approach in the search to end police violence in America. The organization aims to limit police interventions through improving community interactions and ensuring accountability.
Know Your Rights Camp
Know Your Rights is a campaign founded by former NFL quarterback and current activist Colin Kaepernick. The goal is to raise awareness on higher education, give people of colour the tools for self-empowerment and teach valuable instructions on how to properly interact with law enforcement in any scenario.
This fund aims to raise awareness of the murder of the unarmed 46-year-old African American Minnesota resident, and to help cover the family’s funeral and legal expenses as they seek justice for George Floyd.
Fair Fight aims to end systemic voter suppression from illegal voting roll purges and gerrymandering efforts to the closing of poll centers that directly affects minority citizens.
Committee to Protect Journalists
The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, non-profit organization promoting press freedoms throughout the world. The organization defends journalistic rights to “report the news safely and without fear of reprisal.”
Amnesty International has been fighting global human abuses since 1961. The operation has over 8 million supporters worldwide and has brought torturers to justice, stood up for the oppressed and championed individual and collective freedoms including gun control, climate change and discrimination.
The Trevor Project
Founded in 1998, the Trevor Project has been providing suicide prevention and crisis intervention services to the LGBTQ community with a focus on those who are under 25 years old. The organization also hosts workshops, ally training, and TrevorSpace — a social networking community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth to connect with friends and allies.
National Center for Transgender Equality
The National Center for Transgender Equality helps to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. They advocate changes in policies to prevent discrimination, violence and injustice so that the transgender community can not only survive in the present but thrive through acceptance with recently implemented projects like their Racial and Economic Justice Initiative.
Pride Fund to End Gun Violence
The Pride Fund to End Gun Violence was created as a Political Action Committee after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history targeted the LGBTQ community at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. They support government candidates who approach firearm reform in a sensible way, mobilizing the community and raising awareness in an effort to stop senseless gun tragedies.
Many citizens are currently going hungry. The Food Bank of New York City does more than just aim to eliminate hunger throughout the five boroughs. It champions programs for children (currently one out of every six kids goes hungry in the city) and is undertaking elevated programs to expand its reach during the COVID-19 crisis.
Venture House is a New York City non-profit community-based mental health agency and a member of Clubhouse International. The organization helps empower adults who are living with mental illness achieve recovery through access to employment, education, affordable housing and an environment driven by meaningful and engaged relationships.
London, June 1st – In England, thousands of people gathered in Trafalgar Square and chanted “No Justice! No Peace!” prior to marching to the American embassy.
Society is on a jaunt with no end. The present atrocities depicted on a socio-political, socio-economic scale are diminishing and agonising, too. As people around the world are demarcating collective efforts and solidarity with the U.S., protests have risen in response to the death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old man whose breath was unfairly eradicated last week.
With a video that did the world-tour, (literally), and further social disruptions, justice has gained a serious reprisal from the people. Massive protests have rocketed the British Nation, lashing out against police violence and fueling a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. And supporters in neighbouring Canada, and across the globe such as The United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and New Zealand have stood-up for the U.S. (and its grievous atrocities) over the weekend. Media propaganda had it bold.
Demonstrators supporting Black Lives Matter marched through Toronto on Saturday, while thousands of protesters gathered in Vancouver on Sunday.
Thousands more people gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square on Sunday morning – disobeying Great Britain’s lockdown rules which prohibited large gatherings. Crowds chanted “No Justice! No Peace!” before marching to the American embassy. In Milan, a flash mob of kneeling protesters gathered before the U.S consulate.
Three rallies were reportedly planned for Australian cities including Sydney on Tuesday and Melbourne on Saturday. However, an organiser cancelled Tuesday’s protest after some people threatened to cause havoc and protest against the event.
The American protests have overwhelmed cities like Minneapolis and Atlanta over the past few days as the civil unrest has led to rioting and loathing places, as well as boosting violence with the police authorities. Curfews have been put in places in several cities, such as Minneapolis, San Francisco, Birmingham and Indianapolis, and the National Guard has been sent to cities including Philadelphia, Louisville and Milwaukee.
There is also a growing concern that protests will lead to a peak in coronavirus cases.
Reports comment that luxury label Balenciaga has authorized a deal to open a new flagship store on London’s Bond Street. The Kering-owned label came in accord with British footwear and handbag retailer Russell & Bromley to take over its lease on for its store on New Bond Street.
Kering liaised with the building’s landlord, the City of London Corp., to take over the first floor of offices above the store too, therefore giving Balenciaga a new two-story flagship shape. Sources commenting on the matter report that Balenciaga allegedly paid $6.2 million USD to take over the lease. However, the parties refused to comment on Bloomerang.
Sportswear giant Nike, as part of the brand’s ongoing response with Coronavirus, CEO and President John Donahoe will be giving one lucky fan the opportunity to win a private tour of Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. The winner will also get to design a pair of their own sneakers with help from the company’s design team.
The experience is part of Fanatics’ “All in Challenge,” a virtual fundraiser supporting a number of non-profit organizations working on Covid-19 relief efforts. Donahoe made the declaration in a video posted to the challenge organizer’s website.
Nike’s serving-up a once in a lifetime opportunity, which includes an all-expenses-paid trip, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Nike world headquarters, attending a design session with the brand’s top designers to create customised sneaker design, and a one-to-one mentorship session with Donahoe.
Donations for this experience are now open with bids starting at $10 for 10 entries and $100 for 200 entries. All of the proceeds will go directly to Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry, eliminating food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic. Bidding ends on June 3.
Reading and Leeds Festival have officially cancelled their 2020 editions, dealing with the current situation and the fact that both aren’t able to cope with live music shows.
Reading and Leeds Festival is annually scheduled over a three-day weekend in August, in chorus taking place in Leeds and in England. This year’s festivities were supposed to be led by Rage Again, Stormzy, Liam Gallagher and more.
Organizers of the premier UK festival announced the event’s cancellation in a lengthy statement: “Reading and Leeds will no longer be taking place this year. We’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation and we were hopeful we could deliver the ultimate festival to you in August, something to look forward to in these strange and confusing times. However, it has become clear that it’s just not possible for this year’s festival to go ahead.”
The festival continued to thank loyal patrons for their support and understanding, providing them with information for ticket refunds or retainment. Organizers also promised a much better installment next year, writing, “We’re already counting down the days to when we’re back in the fields we call home for the August Bank holiday weekend. We promise you that Reading and Leeds 2021 will be worth the wait.”
After issuing Facebook’s Community Standards Enforcement Report, Instagram has launched a new series of features designed to deter cyber-spamming and offensive comments, progressing its fight against online bullying and harassment.
The first and most imperative feature comes with the platform now introducing a “mass delete” of comments option. Unlike the old method of deleting comments one by one, users will be given the option to delete up to 25 comments on each post, alongside choosing the accounts they want to restrict or fully block.
The feature is designed to address the lack of effective e-traffic and to draw more traffic to accounts that have been affected by cyber-scams, as comments can inundate one’s post and have negative outputs overall. Along with this new feature, the platform has enabled people to pin their favourite posts at the top for people to read more easily. Lastly, Instagram will allow one to control which accounts can tag or mention you in either posts or stories. You’ll be provided with three categories to choose from: everyone, only people you follow, or everyone.
The past few months have seen sportswear household Nike to share a massive contribution towards the Coronavirus pandemic, not only by manufacturing full-face shields and air-purifying respirator lenses, but also pledging $2 million USD from employees.
Now, Beaverton is growing its efforts once more, working with non-profit Good360 in the U.S. as well as other local organisations in Europe to donate 140,000 pieces of footwear, apparel, and equipment to the frontline medical workers across the globe.
Part of the donation will consist of Nike’s Air Zoom Pulse, a sneaker designed with Healthcare workers in mind, in partnership with the Oregon Health & Science University and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon. 30,000 pairs will be handed out to various hospitals across LA, Memphis and NYC, as well as the Veterans Health Administration, while an additional 2,500 pairs will make their way to Europe, spanning Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris and Belgium.
The fund is available to companies and charities across the U.K., Germany, France and Italy, with the intention of supporting these organisations until they are able to operate again. Winners of the prize will be chosen by The North Face alongside national and local outdoor officials.
Applications for the Covid-19 Explore Fund are now open through The North Face website, and applications close on May 22.
Brazil has been reportedly affected by the current pandemic, totalling 66,000 confirmed cases and 4,500 deaths from the coronavirus attack, situation that led to major downfalls in economy, dropping sales to 50 percent.
The figure comes from a recent WWD report, where Chief Financial Officer of luxury beachwear brand Luis Lima remarked – “We are expecting 50 percent across the board.
Shares are the same sentiment as analysts’ predictions for retail in general. Lima also pointed out lockdowns in the country’s capital have led to store closures.
“All of Brazil is closed and the only stuff that’s selling is online,” says Andrea Milanez, who handles São Paulo Fashion Week’s public relations. “Everyone is doing sales but even then, no one is buying. People are worried about what is happening.” She also points out that after the pandemic, the consumer’s spending habits will change: “People won’t buy like they used to,” she added. “They will probably change their view of fashion and how they buy it. We will probably see a lot more online buying.”
As the world keeps rolling in the calamity of the pandemic, the creative sphere might face serious repercussions in showcasing work as serious social distancing measures have been put into place.
On that note, for artists hoping to exhibit their craft during lockdown, Boston’s Shelter In Place gallery has been mounting exhibitions of brand-new work over the past month. Built by artist Eben Haines, the miniature 20 by 30-inch gallery showcases scaled-down works in a model structure that encompasses foam, mat board, balsa wood and plexiglass.
The condensed space is extremely realistic, with high ceilings and skylights that allow light to enter the space and radiate the works.
Artists can submit works at a one-inch scale, which allows them to create and show seemingly[co1] impressive pieces while traditional exhibition spaces remain close. Each exhibition at Shelter In Place is based on submissions selected by Haines, his painter and gallery assistant, Delaney Dameron.
Haines and Dameron then capture the installation views and share them on the gallery’s Instagram. To avoid possible contamination during shipping, Shelter In Place has only been able to show works in the local Boston area. Haines hopes to eventually extend the opportunity to a larger group of artists.
Local artists who can easily transport their work can review submission guidelines on Shelter In Place’s Instagram.
“I’m hoping that artists are able to get more eyes on their work and even sell some work during the pandemic and beyond,” said Haines.
“One of my ambitions for this project, besides urging people to step outside of their crisis mode for a little bit, is for artists to be able to use their submission proposals and photographs of their installed work to send to galleries, residencies, or grant programs, and have some momentum when the country opens back up.”
Leading technology companies Facebook And Google have recently announced that the majority of employees who can carry out their jobs from home will be able to do so until the end of the year.
Google is extending its work from home measures for seven more months from June 1, while Facebook said it will reopen its offices – after considering factors like public health data and government guidance – on July 6, when COVID-19 lockdown measures are gradually lifted.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that employees who need to return to the office will be able to do so starting in July, with augmented measures put into place. Facebook is still determining which employees will be required to come in. “As you can imagine this is an evolving situation as employees and their families make important decisions re: return to work,” a Facebook spokesman remarked.
April saw Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg explaining that Facebook’s employees would be among the last to return back to office, nothing the return would have to be staggered and that “helping the rest of our community and local economy to get back up and running first” is the priority.” The company was the first tech firm to state employees will conduct their job from home.
With work from home policies continuing to broaden, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told Fortune that the coronavirus pandemic is creating a “double shift” for female employees, who are now fully responsible for home-schooling kids and caring for their relatives. She said Facebook has given employees a bonus of approximately $1000 dollars for their work and childcare costs, with an urge to relieve major hindrances in home scenarios.
Apple Music wants you to keep calm and enjoy the track you love. The streaming service has officially entered in 52 additional countries, making the service available in 167 countries and regions after 5 years since its prima launch.
Reports states Apple is now offering these countries free six-months music streaming services. The 52 countries include Algeria, Angola, the Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Chad, Croatia, Guyana, Iceland, Jamaica, Kuwait, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, North Macedonia, Qatar, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turks and Caicos, Uruguay and Yemen.
In addition to Apple Music’s extension, Apple has also made other services like the App Store, Apple Arcade, Apple Podcasts and iCloud available in 20 new countries. The App Store and iCloud — two of the tech giant’s basic online features — is now accessible to most of the world, landing in 175 countries and regions. The additional countries, with the exception of Afghanistan and Nauru, also received Apple Music and includes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Georgia, Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, Maldives, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Rwanda, Serbia, Tonga, Vanuatu and Zambia.
In the new analytical index of Fashion Revolution, showing the ranking of the world’s leading brands (and how they communicate) on social, political, environmental and economical terms, atop of the list is H&M (with a 73 percent grading against data points). The average score for the 250 brands was only 23%.
According to Fashion Revolution, any scores over 70 implies a good transparency of social and environmental practices. Sportswear giants Adidas and Reebok scored 69 percent, while Gucci, for instance, reached a score of 40 percent. Zero percent was scored by Bally, Max Mara and Tom Ford.
A head-turning statistic factor from the report reveals that only two percent of brands pay above minimum wage to workers amid the supply chain, with Patagonia being the street pillar to disclose data on their supply-chain workers earning above the living wage.
To be included in such ranking, brands must increment sales constantly, reaching a turnover of over $400m across sportswear, luxury or high street, meaning smaller labels who do not meet the criteria cannot be included. And to make things clear, transparency isn’t eponymous to sustainability.
In a recently released statement, Carey Somers (Fashion Revolution’s Operations Director) points the effect of the pandemic on global supply chains. “The crisis has brought to light the systemic problems within the industry and revealed just how fragile the system really is,” she says. “For decades, brands have chased ever-cheaper production and factories operating on impossibly tight margins, consequently, workers’ wages and rights have been squeezed.”
Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 12 was rumoured to grasp design cues from the latest iPad, and a newly-posted video shows how precise those speculations were. YouTube channel EverythingApplePro gave an up-close peek at a physical render using a 3D-printed model of the unreleased device. The 12-minute-long video breaks down the 12’s features, including a 6.7-inch display – the largest produced by an iPhone yet.
As predicted, the new models design borrows cues from the latest iPad Pro. In fact, it’s literally described as “the pro iPhone.” Further features include a three-way camera composition and LiDAR scanner, a new Smart Connector, and its surprisingly agreeable square frame.
It should be clarified that the leak is based on a CAD that is 70 percent complete.
For more information, take a peek at the video below.
As the world continues its crusade against social disruptions, Facebook has recently launched a website to make it easier for people to share their support and unity.
The app has added a new emoji to its wide collection: A “caring” symbol hugging a heart. Messenger users, similarly, can activate a pink-purple heart by pressing onto the existing heart icon. With lockdown measures actualised across the globe, Facebook is now an important communication platform to check on loved ones.
“We know this is an uncertain time, and we wanted people to be able to show their support in ways that let their friends and family know they are thinking of them,” tweeted Alexandru Voica, Facebook’s EMEA Communications Manager for Engineering. Weeks to come will see Facebook showing warning messages in News Feed to users who have liked, reacted to “harmful” covid-19 information, announced on April 16.
Canadian premium outerwear brand Nobis has announced a three-week global initiative, whereby 100% of online sales will be donated to help frontline health medical workers who continue the battle against the scattering of the pandemic.
From April 10 to 20, 2020, the pre-tax purchase price from all online sales of the brand will go directly to support hospitals and healthcare workers around the world responding to COVID-19 in urgent need of supplies and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). All global sales will be directed to the Red Cross COVID-19 to enable Red Cross and Red Crescents around the world to support Covid-19 preparedness, response and recovery activities.
In Canada, the list of recipients comprises the CanadaHelps Covid-19 Healthcare & Hospital Fund, which supports over 90 hospital foundations across the country, and five local Ontario hospital foundations – Headwaters Health Care Foundation, Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, Scarborough Health Network Foundation, Toronto General, & Western Hospital Foundation and William Osler Health System Foundation.
This program is being implemented in addition to the commitment made last week when brand donated $100,000 to local hospitals in Ontario. Customers making purchases on Nobis’ website between April 10 to 30, will be able to direct the donation funds to the organisation of their choice, by selecting the hospital or organisation name at the time of check out. For the full list of benefitting foundations and additional details on the initiative, please visit Nobis’ community resource page: Nobis.com/pages/community.
A recent statement saw the label’s Co-Founder and Vice President Robin Yates commenting: ““Nobis, Latin for ‘us’, has always understood the importance of community, and we are incredibly proud of and indebted to our frontline healthcare providers whose bravery and selflessness are a beacon of hope in uncertain times. There has never been a crucial time for us to further our community support. This is why Nobis is doing everything within our means to recognise and support the incredible sacrifice being made by these outstanding individuals in the ongoing battle against COVID-19.”
Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will delete over capacity and physical events with more than 50 people through June 2021, due to concerns that may arise in regard to coronavirus. This year’s F8 conference, scheduled to take place on May 5 and 6 was cancelled back in February. The latest update means that F8 will not occur next year either.
Other events such as Oculus Connect and GDC 2020, which Facebook said it will not host, have all been cancelled too.
“The summary is: we’re slowing our plans to return to the office in order to prioritize helping the rest of our community and local economy to get back up and running first,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. Zuckerberg noted that when large groups of employees do return back to Facebook offices, they will do so in staggered waves to keep people safe and minimize the risk of future outbreaks. Facebook is also requiring the “vast majority” of employees to work from home until at least the end of May and is extending its policy of no business travel through at least the end of June this year.
“Most Facebook employees are fortunate to be able to work productively from home, so we feel a responsibility to allow people who don’t have this flexibility to access shared public resources first,” he concludes. “I hope this helps contain the spread of Covid-19 so we can keep our communities safe and get back up and running again soon.”
Alongside Apple’s fiscal second-quarter earnings, CEO Tim Cook revealed the company plans to reopen some select retail stores this month.
Cook made the announcement to Bloomerang, saying that he believes “just a few, not a large number” of stores in the US will re-open in the first-half of May. Apple is reportedly “going to look at the data and make a decision city by city, county by county, depending on the circumstances in that particular place.”
Moreover, the company plans to reopen every retail store in Australia and Austria.
Apple released its quarterly financial results on April 30th, looking back at the financial repercussions of the global disruption. As stated in the report, the company has $192.8 billion cashon hand, that’s down 7.4%from its fiscal first quarter of 2020.
However, Apple’s revenue has reached an all-time high of $13.3 billion.
In times seeped by global disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the sphere of the arts acquires a whole new peep that tackles creativity through ground-breaking styles. From tik-tok’s dancing queens (and kings) to fawning avenues to nurture craftsmanship, there’s always something for everyone. Though social distancing might have well been a source of embracing quarantine in our respective homes, consider Banksy’s confinement idea your ultimate mood booster – that’s when you’re in the loo.
The graffiti mogul shared on Instagram a photograph of stencilled rats on the wall – becoming an exclusive insight for his fans, as he never shares images of his home. Humorously titled My wife hates I work from home; the work shows the gang of spray-painted rodents making a mess with one swaying from a light fixture and another clomping on a tube of toothpaste until it spurts.
Rats are pervasive attribute in Banksy’s art practice, serving-up political satire as a ballot of rebellion and heroism.
International leading public service broadcaster BBC has launched Culture in Quarantine, a digital festival of the arts that gives insightful access to exhibitions, presentations and museums that would be shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The broadcaster service remarks the program is “rooted in the experience of national lockdown,” giving the public access to the arts whilst supporting creative organizations and artists.
In a four-section series called Museums in Quarantine, BBC will dive into national collections. For the first series, visitors will be able to go inside the Tate Modern for a last look at Andy Warhol’s retrospective.
Ensuing programs will focus on the Ashmolean’s “Young Rembrandt” exhibition, looking at further collections in the British Museum.
Other programming for Culture in Quarantine include a puppet show by Margaret Atwood, a virtual book festival curated by Kit de Waal and productions chosen by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The BBC has also launched a Culture in Quarantine Fund liaising with Arts Council England that will support 25 established English-based artists to produce works that “adhere imaginatively and lawfully to the principles of self-isolation.”
“It’s important during this period that we maintain access not just to news and information, but to the arts and culture…” said Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC. “By working together, we can still have a vibrant period of culture to brighten our lives.”
Visit BBC’s website to stay in the know and to get the latest updates.
Prada has released four new propositions of its stanning bowling shirts for SS20, opting to explore retro-futurism through graphic patterns that take us back to the ‘90s.
Christened the “Double Match” bowling shirts, the various pieces see a 50/50 whole print split vertically at the center front, whereby the left side features the Prada logo, with the right side featuring collaged prints.
The shirts themselves were constructed utilising a Cuban collar and a cropped, wide-fitted structure, amplifying the level of breeziness and comfort ahead of the warmer season.
The various pieces feature a selection of 4D CGI graphics, cassette tapes and more, adorned on heavy-coloured and bold cotton poplin.
Two of the iterations feature the Prada Vertigo logo alongside maxi digital graphics, while the other two options feature hugely sized motifs: One with the Prada oval logo and the other clad with the Prada visage logo detail.
Take a look at Prada’s SS20 shirts capsule at Prada’s website.
Instagram has recently updated its App with some new features that aid restaurants and food services amid Coronavirus crisis. Business accounts can now add stickers and buttons that allow users to order food and buy gift cards.
One of the App’s latest updates lets users buy gift cards from a business. It’s an approach adopted to help organisations to boost their business, and customers will be able to shop with the funds once the shop doors reopen again.
Another feature is a sticker that allows users to order food directly to their door from the app itself. Stickers can be added to stories, and buttons to profiles. According to Instagram, the update was created with the intention of helping organisations facing hardship amid the pandemic: “Small businesses are an important part of our community, and many are facing immense challenges during the COVID‑19 crisis.
Today, we’re making it easier to discover gift cards, online food orders, and fundraisers on Instagram so you can support the businesses you love.”
Tik-Tokkers, rejoice! The app has officially exceeded 2 billion downloads, according to an analytical report Sensor Tower.
The ByteDance social video app accumulated a whopping 315 million downloads across the App Store and Google Play in Q1 2020 – the highest number of downloads for any app in a quarter. Of the 2 billion downloads, more than 1.5 billion come from Google Play while the App Store accounts for 495.2 million downloads.
Senior Tower credits Tik Tok’s surge to the coronavirus pandemic, as mobile phone have become the ultimate weapon to dwell against quarantine’s boredom.
India takes the lead with the highest number of lifetime installs with 611 million downloads, translating to 30.3 percent of the total. Following the South Asian country is China with 196.6 million downloads for its local version called Douyin. The figure translates to 9.7 percent of total downloads, however Sensor Tower notes that the number doesn’t include the country’s third-party Android store downloads. At number three is the United States with 165 million downloads, translating to 8.2 percent.
Leading streaming service Spotify has reached $2 billion in revenue for Q1 2020, tapping analysts’ forecasts. Consequently, the streaming company welcomed a decisive net-sum profit of $1 million, while other businesses remain at loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In light of global challenges lingering across the entire world, chances are we’re all in a better mood of listening to artists we love and cherish for. And on that note, Spotify’s monthly users have peaked to 286 million, while paid users are at 130 million and ad-supported monthly active users are at 163 million.
According to TechCrunch, the spike falls in line with the boost in media streaming services amid the pandemic. However, while numbers soar, other areas decrease.
Spotify reports that streaming shows low consumption in areas heavily affected by the pandemic, such as Italy and Spain. Furthermore, listening patterns vary with more frequency.
“Despite the global uncertainty around COVID-19 in Q1, our business met or exceeded our forecast for all major metrics,” Spotify revealed to shareholders. “For Q2 and the remainder of the year, our outlook for most of our key performance indicators has remained unchanged with the exception of revenue where a slowdown in advertising and significant changes in currency rates are having an impact.”
Louis Vuitton has subverted its Parisian RTW atelier unit to craft gowns for frontline hospital workers, with an aim to render help due to covid-19 pandemic.
The move paves alongside Louis Vuitton’s latest strategy that saw the maison producing tons of non-surgical face masks, in support to those in need during the battle against Covid-19. Louis Vuitton has subverted its Rue Du Pont Neuf headquarters into an industrial unit to produce gowns for six staff at six Parisian hospitals of the “Assistance Publique” – Hôpitaux de Paris” operation (AP-HP), which takes care of covid-19 patients.
Louis Vuitton has remarked that 20 volunteers have been recruited to undertake the task of producing gowns. The gowns are crafted with AP-HP fabrics and patterns, and will be gifted to the following hospitals: Hôpital Antoine-Béclère in Clamart; Hôpital Bicêtre in Kremlin-Bicêtre; Hôpital Paul-Brousse in Villejuif; Hôpital Ambroise-Paré in Boulogne-Billancourt; Hôpital Raymond-Poincaré in Garches, and Hôpital Sainte-Périne in Paris’ 16th arrondissement.
Touching on the topic, Louis Vuitton’s CEO and Chairman said: “We are proud to be able to help healthcare professionals at our level and put our know-how at the disposal of the Hôpitaux de Paris to create gowns for medical staff. I would like to thank the artisans of our atelier who voluntarily participate in this civic act and who have been bravely applying themselves since this morning to equip healthcare workers in hospitals who are in need of gowns.”
Apple is allegedly delaying production of the iPhone 12 by a month, according to the Wall Street Journal.
And while that doesn’t essentially imply a push-back in the release date, it’s likely that the new handset will be in much shorter supply down the track.
The current pandemic has inevitably caused grievous disruptions to the global supply chains, and according to “people familiar with changes”, disruptions will impact accessibility later in the year.
Thanks to mass manufacturing over the summer months, Apple is usually able to unveil its new iPhone in September and start distributing devices before the end of the month. Insiders have indicated that the brunt of the pandemic will be seen later in the year with a more restricted supply of the flagship model.
Setbacks aside, the new iPhone is still one of the most anticipated announcements of the year from the company.
eBay has joined forces with the Help a Life Foundation on a special auction featuring high-level artworks by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and more. Comprising a plethora of photographs and paintings, the sale will be directed to the benefit of the foundation that houses an education for adolescent orphaned girls in Debre Markos, Ethiopia.
One of the key highlights is Picasso’s Le Musicien de Rue, a lithographic print that was published in Paris back in 1956. The artwork is one of only 2,500 prints. Moreover, Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Can print is up for grab. The work was first published in 1988 by the Belgium-based Galerie Ronny van de Velde.
Comprising works By Basquiat, RAMMELLZEE, Futura and more.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has decided to postpone the physical launch of its greatly anticipated “Writing The Future: Jean-Michael Basquiat and The Hip-Hop Generation”. The exhibition was initially bound to take place from April 5 to August 2, 2020. Instead, MFA Boston will launch a virtual version in weeks to come.
A recent statement saw MFA Boston remarking: “Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation’ tells the story of artists who overcame great barriers to bring the world entirely new forms of cultural expression. Now more than ever, it is an exhibition that is urgently needed—one that promises to bring our museums and communities of all ages and backgrounds together at a moment in which new modes of access to art, culture, and ideas will pave the way to our shared future.”
The show will display exclusive, rare works by Jean-Michel Basquiat alongside Keith Haring, Futura, RAMMELLZEE among others. Overall, the exhibition will offer insights into Basquiat before he rose to fame, epitomising his socio-political issues that influenced his iconic works, and showcasing the relationship with fellow artists that helped define New York City’s downtown art and the hip-hop scene in the ‘80s. One of the highlighted, collaborative works to go on display is the United (Fun Fridge) that comprises a slew of hand tags by Basquiat, Haring, Futura, Eric Haze, Kenny Scharf and others.
As the current global circumstance continues being disrupted by the turmoil of the pandemic, Apple and Google have joined forces in developing a technology that tracks and reduces the spread of Covid-19.
A recent statement saw both companies remarking: “All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems. Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.”
Bluetooth will alert users if they have been in contact with someone who has been infected by the virus. The companies aren’t designing an app for this purpose, but rather they’re drawing a framework that could be later evolved into an app for ioS10 or Android.
The release of this feature is still yet to be revealed.
As retailers are lurching from global effects caused by the pandemic, H&M took precautionary measures by borrowing €980 million to strengthen its liquidity buffer over the course of the pandemic.
According to Reuters, H&M’s 12-month bank facility comes with a six-month extension option, topping the retailer’s €700 million facility from 2017, which matures in 2024.
“The H&M group’s liquidity remains good,” H&M said in a statement. “The group is continuing its work to set up a combination of different financing solutions.”
Being the world’s second largest retailer, H&M is slowly but surely gearing up for a loss marked for he first time in decades. The company plans to raise additional funds and launch other initiatives in aid of these times.
Facebook has reportedly added a new feature to its app, “Quiet Mode” to give a better equilibrium to the platform and its users.
According to The Verge, the new function will stop “most” of the app’s push notifications with the exemption of legally required information such as privacy updates. When users launch the app while on Quiet Mode, they will receive a reminder by Facebook stating the feature is still turned on. Quiet Mode is available to switch on/off both manually and on schedule, providing its users the freedom to abandon the app whenever they feel like it.
In a Covid-19 information report, Facebook stated that “As we all adjust to new routines and staying home, setting boundaries for how you spend your time online can be helpful. Whether it’s to help you focus on your family and friends, sleep without distraction or manage how you spend your time at home, we have tools that can help you find the right balance for how you use Facebook.”
The new feature is fully available for iOS users and will launch in May on Android.
In celebration of World Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, sportswear household Nike launched a new feature to help consumers to identify its sustainable designs. Aside from adding a new ta on its website under “Shop Sustainable Materials” that applies a direct filter, Nike will now also display its Sunburst badge on both its product walls in-store and on product display pages online, meaning that a product is made from at least 50 percent sustainable materials. From items meeting this threshold, here will be a new feature called “How This Was Made,” giving customers more insight into where things were sourced and how the product was produced.
“Earth Day, long credited with launching the modern environmental movement, is more than an annual observance for Nike,” the brand writes. “It is fuel to continue building on decades of advancing sustainability and setting bold goals for the future. From creating innovative ways to recycle shoes nearly 30 years ago to recent measures that address climate change, Nike has long been committed to helping protect the planet to create a better future for sport. After all, there is no finish line.”
Luxury conglomerate Kering S.A. (Gucci, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, and Saint Laurent) has revealed its financial report for Q1 of 2020. Similar to the Q1 report from rival LVMH, the Coronavirus outbreak has quivered revenues streams with a reported shortfall of 15.4 percent.
Gucci, among Kering’s most profitable brands, has witnessed a sale downfall by 22 percent worldwide compared to Q1 of 2019. This has been attributed to the closure of physical stores and suspension of travels, interrupting the essential profits obtained by the Chinese investors. This decline, however, was offset by an increase in online sales, which now counts for 9.5 percent of Gucci’s retail strategy.
Jean-Marc Duplaix, Kering’s chief financial officer remarked that exclusivity will be ever more paramount than before,” as Gucci plans to make further reductions from wholesale. In contrast, one of Kering’s less established brands Bottega Veneta actually saw a growth with a 10.3 percent increase for Q1, which was put down to a 55 percent year-over-year growth from wholesale. Bottega Veneta was recently taken over by Daniel Le, who has tactfully repositioned the brand as a key player in the new wave of Italian craftsmanship, harnessing eco-conscious materials and low-key branding.
While statistics are looking promising, Bottega Veneta’s Q1 track record was reasonably low.
Duplaix also commented further discounts and product mark-downs that are expected for Spring/Summer 2020, as collections begin to pile up in warehouses as a result of shut down stores. He continued, “we know we will face a very difficult second quarter and a challenging year overall, but I can assure you that we are not only adapting to these unexpected circumstances, we are also using these lessons to improve our efficiency, resilience, and agility to emerge better prepared for the future.”
The Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) has recently launched a series of free online courses. From boosting your competence in modern art to deepening your photography skills (to make you a pro), topics are predominantly art-focused and tailored to be gripped by a wider demographic. The courses are: “Fashion as design,” “Seeing through photography,” “In the studio: abstract post-war painting,” “Modern art and ideas,” and “What is contemporary art?”
“Seeing through photography” will aid amateur photographers to grasp a variety of approaches to photographic methods, the context and shifts of our perspective of an image, and the role of photography in today’s world. Furthermore, the “Modern art and ideas” courses will help interested learners to understand modern art through audio interviews with artists, designers, and curators alongside readings and interactive exercises.
View the full list of courses provided by MoMA on its website.
In times stressed by global socio-political disruptions, (free) food is yours for the taking. Good causes only, here’s why…
McDonald’s is the latest service to introduce “Free” meals in light of the current pandemic. From April 22 running through May 5, the franchise will offer free breakfast, lunch or dinner to medical workers that present their work badges. A gesture to give something back to the community affected by the current disruption.
“We have been inspired by the way our franchisees have been going above and beyond to support their local communities throughout this trying time,” continued Joe Erlinger, President or McDonald’s USA in the statement. “I couldn’t be prouder of how our company, franchisees and supplier partners have come together to give back to those who are working tirelessly for our country. That is truly our McDonald’s system at its best.”
For more information, visit McDonald’s website here.
London-Based retailer Browns has launched its new “Family Affair” Initiative. The project is intended to provide a platform to creatives, including a series of guest editors to curate and commission content alongside their own friends and regular collaborators.
The project will involve the likes of creatives deriving from a variety of backgrounds: models, artists, activists, producers, stylists and activists.
As well as launching “Family Affair” to support creatives during this difficult time, Browns has acclaimed its support for the BFC Foundation Covid Crisis Fund. A recent statement saw Browns CEO Holli Rogers remarking: “More than ever connectivity, collaboration and unity are key. For this reason, we are acutely aware of the economic pressures these smaller brands are under and in an attempt to help minimise the impact of these uncertain times, we will not cancel orders. The team and I at Browns are here to talk, listen and find solutions with all of our brands.”
Browns’ “Family Affair” project will take place on its website and on its multi-channels.
The British Fashion Council (BFC) has just announced that for the next twelve months, all London Fashion Week will merge womenswear and menswear designers into a one-gender platform, allowing greater flexibility.
From this June, London Fashion Week will take a new approach as a digital-only platform in light of these delicate times and will run from June 12 2020 through its normal time. The digital platform (available at www.londonfashionweek.co.uk) will relaunch and be for both trade and consumer audiences.
The new digital experience will be open to global audiences, offering interviews, webinars, digital showrooms and exclusive insights in London’s fashion, giving the opportunity to existing collections and retailers to make orders for next season’s merchandise.
With an aim of boosting a community, London Fashion Week will ensure storytelling is done to give a fresh voice to British fashion, putting together a platform that comprises content from designers, creatives, artists and brand partners, enabling collaboration and bringing together fashion, culture and technology.
Caroline Rush CBE, BFC Chief Executive commented: “It is essential to look at the future and the opportunity to change, collaborate and innovate. Many of our businesses have always embraced London Fashion Week as a platform for not just fashion but for its influence on society, identity and culture. The current pandemic is leading us all to reflect more poignantly on the society we live in and how we want to live our lives and build businesses when we get through this. The other side of this crisis, we hope will be about sustainability, creativity and product that you value, respect, cherish. By creating a cultural fashion week platform, we are adapting digital innovation to best fit our needs today and something to build on as a global showcase for the future. Designers will be able to share their stories, and for those that have them, their collections, with a wider global community; we hope that as well as personal perspectives on this difficult time, there will be inspiration in bucketloads. It is what British fashion is known for.”
The London Original Print Fair has pledged its plans of creating an online version of the event in May, due to the Covid-10 outbreak. Originally scheduled to take place at the Royal Academy of Arts, the event will launch a digital version which aims at comprising a “browse and buy” selection of works.
In addition, viewing rooms will enable visitors to view and purchase prints spanning five centuries, while number of exhibitors will host themed exhibitions. A multimedia map will give visitors the opportunity to dive into a number of stands.
Being London’s longest-running art fair, London Original Print Fair online will host 51 print dealers, galleries and publishers cross-globally, providing resources for collectors to showcase prints on the current art market.
The list of exhibitors includes numerous galleries across the countries, encompassing the works of artists that span from Rembrandt to David Hockney.
The event will launch on May 1, and it will be shown live at London Original Print Fair’s website for the whole month.
Two months after Kobe Bryant’s death, the NBA star is receiving his sport’s greatest honour. Bryan has been appointed to lead this year’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class. The announcement was made formally Saturday on ESPN.
Bryant was a five-time NBA star and the fourth all-time leading scorer in league history, winning two Olympic gold medals. The 2020 class may epitomise one of the most glorious ever in basketball history. The late Laker will be enshrined along with Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Women’s NBA star Tamika Catchings.
In a conversation with ESPN, Kobe’s widow Vanessa Bryant told ESPN: ““It’s an incredible accomplishment and honour. We’re extremely proud of him. Obviously, we wish he was here with us to celebrate.” She described the inauguration “the peak of his NBA career” and remarked that “there’s some solace knowing that he was probably going to be part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.”
The Class of 2020 will be hallowed on August 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
On the 2ND of April 2020, Nike sharply closed its largest distribution center in Frayser, Tennesse after an employee tested positive for Coronavirus. The 2.8 million-square-foot facility is where most of the brand’s sneakers are shipped out of and is now implemented with a scrupulous disinfection process.
In an official statement to MLK50, Nike remarked the following: “The health and safety of our team is always our first priority. We have temporarily closed one of our Memphis, TN, distribution facilities. During this period, we will be conducting a comprehensive disinfection process. We are targeting to reopen at 6 a.m. Sunday, April 5.”
According to the report, employees were informed that one of them had tested positive for the virus, leaving such case with a decision to shut down facilities after a Meeting of that same day. Workers were informed that they would continue to be paid during the temporary closure and were handed a hotline number to seek for further assistance.
The North American Logistic Campus in Frayser is Nike’s largest in the world and one of the most crucial locations of the brand’s online commerce operations. It remains to be seen how this temporary closure will affect Nike’s distribution worldwide.
Apple has officially announced the cheapest handset of its range, the iPhone SE. Starting at around £320, the device comes in black, white, and red, available for pre-orders from Friday, April 17.
The iPhone serves as the second generation of the iPhone SE. Its features a 4.7-inch Retina HD display and Touch ID while powered by Apple’s A13 Bionic, which is the fastest chip in a smartphone. According to Apple, the phone boasts the best single camera system to date in an iPhone.
The iPhone SE is constructed with aerospace-grade aluminium and durable glass. It’s water resistant up to one meter for 30 minutes and also dust resistant. The home button on the phone is designed with sapphire crystal, featuring a steel ring that is able to detect a user’s fingerprint for touch ID. The single-camera system includes a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture wide camera with Portrait mode, six Portrait Lighting effects, and Depth Control. Smart HDR relights objects in a frame to offer a more natural look to the image. The rear camera can capture a video at 4K up to 60fps, while QuickTake video on the front and rear cameras allows someone to record a video without leaving Photo mode.
The iPhone can be charged wirelessly with Qi-certified chargers. Fast-charging provides the phone with up to a 50 percent charge in just 30 minutes. Users can also adopt the dual sim modality to have two separate lines on the same number, but on the same device.
It comes in storage capacities of 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB.
Burberry dedicates its resources to support global efforts in combatting covid-19 outbreak. The brand has pledged to hep fund University of Oxford’s research into a single-dose vaccine and has planned on donating to various charities to help tackle crisis in food and poverty across the UK.
“The whole team at Burberry is very proud to be able to support those who are working tirelessly to combat COVID-19, whether by treating patients, working to find a vaccine solution or helping provide food supplies to those in need at this time,” stated Burberry’s CEO Marco Gobbetti.
However, the philanthropic move goes on. On top of distributing 100,000 surgical masks to the NHS, the company has also pledged to repurpose its iconic Yorkshire unit to manufacture non-surgical gowns and masks for medical workers and patients cross-globally.
As the seventh edition of the annual LVMH Prize for emerging designers is imminent, in light of the current pandemic status, all has been cancelled.
The six-figure sum (which amounts to €300,000 prize) has been split between the eight finalists, meaning that each will be able to enjoy the cash reward. The designers in question are: Casablanca, Ahluwalia, Peter Do, Chopova Lowena, Nicholas Daley, Sindiso Khumalo, Supriya Lele, and Tomo Koizumi will all get a share of the bounty.
Luxury Conglomerate LVMH has also set up a fund to support young fashion designers that will be available to all previous winners of the LVMH Prize from previous editions (Marine Serre, Jacquemus and others). The fund will be mostly complemented with the remaining Prize money from this year’s Karl Lagerfeld prize, which is the competition’s equivalent of second place.
Delphine Arnault said in a statement: “Since its launch, the LVMH Prize has promoted and nurtured young talent. Each year, it places the spotlight on young designers from all over the world and supports the development of their companies. In this challenging context, this Fund in aid of young fashion designers highlights the main mission of the LVMH Prize by supporting our former winners.”
New Balance has began producing face masks in response to the current covid-19 crisis. The footwear brand made it clear via an Instagram post, showing an image of a mask and the call out “Made shoes yesterday, Making masks today.”
The Boston-hailed label has teamed up to join brands such as Nike – which has commenced prototyping personal protective equipment (PPE) – in the coronavirus relief effort. It has also recently pledged $2 million to support efforts made on local, regional and global levels, mainly affected by the pandemic.
“We are producing prototypes for face masks in our Lawrence, MA manufacturing facility,” the footwear brand has said in a press release, adding, “and [we] hope to scale production using our other New England factories soon.”
Italian luxury menswear association Zegna has joined forces in the fight against Coronavirus. The Zegna group, together with the label’s senior management have pledged a 3 million euros donation to Italy’s Civil Protection (Protezione Civile), which is aimed at helping doctors, nurses, researchers and volunteers on the front-line.
The news came after The Zegna Group pledged to reshape part of its production facilities in Italy and Switzerland into manufacturing labs for masks. The group is set to make a direct donation to several hospitals, in order to purchase ventilators and masks.
“At Zegna, we believe our actions today will shape our tomorrow,” remarks Gildo Zegna, CEO of Ermenegildo Zegna, in a statement. “The pandemic we are all facing is a call for people around the world to take action. Each of us must do our part, in every way possible, to stop this global emergency.”
Further luxury brands converting production facilities to supply medical equipment and gear comprise Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Ferragamo – among others.
Prada has donated new intensive care and revitalization units to three main hospitals in Milan, as reported by Corriere.
In a brief statement, Prada announced that it donated “two full units to intensive care and resuscitation to each of the following hospitals in Milan, Italy: Vittore Buzzi, Sacco, and San Raffaele.” The donation was made by head Designer Miuccia Prada, CEO Patrzio Bertelli and Chairman of Prada SpA, Carlo Mazzi.
Prada’s philanthropic gesture comes as a consequence of a series of donations ushered by Italian labels. Armani has donated millions of euros to four Italian hospitals: Luigi Sacco, San Raffaele, and Istituto dei Tumori (in Milan), counting the likes of Rome’s institute Lazzaro Spallanzani. On the other hand, Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital also received a six-sum intake of $220,000 in donation from icon Donatella Versace.
Luxury conglomerate LVMH reported a recent downfall in revenue (of 10%) to (20%) in comparison to the same period of last year, allegedly revealed due to the office closures and shoppers desisting from purchasing during Covid-19 pandemic. The company is slated to disclose first-quarter results on April 16.
LVMH’s reduced revenue earning is a tail now shared with the rest of the luxury world. Kering SA, company which owns the likes of Gucci, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent, on Friday March 27 revealed its sales and revenue fell of nearly 15%, with Burberry Group Plc. Noting on March 19 that its retail sales dropped between 40% and 50%, in comparison to the previous six weeks.
“In a particularly uncertain environment, the Group will maintain a strategy focused on the preservation of the value of its brands, supported by the exceptional quality of its products and reactivity of its teams,” LVMH shared in a statement. The “[outbreak’s] impact cannot be accurately calculated at this time without knowing the timing of a return to normal in these countries.”
Chanel is the latest luxury household to pivot to face mask and protective gear manufacturing in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a recently released statement, Chanel observed: “[T]oday we are mobilizing our workforce and our partners […] to produce protective masks and blouses.” The storied fashion maison is currently developing prototypes, which will be sent out to relevant health organizations once approved by French authorities.
The brand also remarked that it would not be laying off any of its 4,500 employees as a result of the pandemic.
Chanel is an anomaly among fashion labels for not being held by luxury conglomerate such as LVMH or Kering S.A. However, Chanel steps along rivals Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, and Prada to ensure there are enough medical supplies to prevent lack cross-globally.
Vogue Italia’s April issue was recently released, landing a blank canvas as a response to the development of Covid-19 crisis. Emanuele Farneti, Vogue Italia’s Editor-in-Chief, confirmed on Instagram that though the April issue was already in the works, it was shelved quickly to make a more appropriate response to present circumstances.
Farneti also remarked: “to speak of anything else – while people are dying, doctors and nurses are risking their lives and the world is changing forever – is not the DNA of Vogue Italia.” Farneti says the white colour epitomises respect, rebirth, the uniforms of health of medical workers on the front line and a blank canvas for new beginnings.
As Vogue makes it clear, fashion upholds major risks and crisis with this pandemic, with independent households forced to pivot in production and protective gear, to step towards a final downfall of the virus.
Last week, The Weekend, Drake and J,Cole teamed up in video-chatting an 11-year-old fan, Elijah Patrick Williams, prior to his death caused by cancer, as reported by Billboard. The young boy’s cousin, Michael Watson II, confirmed the news via an Instagram post on Sunday March 29.
Williams can be seen taking calls from J.Cole and The Weekend in the first video below and scroll through the gallery in the second post to see a snap of him talking to Drake.
Ralph Lauren donates $10 Million to help in combating coronavirus crisis. The sum, extended via the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, will go towards the company’s employees in need, as well as global communities impacted by the pandemic.
The recently-turned knight, together with the Foundation’s president Patrice Louvet, declared the pledge to WWD. “We believe that no matter who you are or where you are from, we are all connected. That is why we are taking significant action to help our teams and communities through this crisis,” Lauren remarked.
“We recognize that this is an unprecedented multifaceted crisis that demands different responses for different needs in different places,” Louvet continued. “That is why we are funding multiple activities to support our teams, our partners and our communities around the world.”
$10 million has reportedly been planned to go towards various programs, from financial grants for Ralph Lauren employees to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Fund. In addition, Lauren has committed in supplying medical equipment such as 25,000 isolation gowns and 250,000 masks.
Elsewhere, the company pledged that it will be closing stores and hospitality locations in selected countries until further notice. The wellbeing of our teams, friends, and family around the world is what matters most right now.” The announcement has been shared via a few Instagram posts, featured below.
Brook Brothers (also known as the “Company”), America’s oldest retailer, announced its response to the urgent call from the White House and other state leaders for medical supplies.
The Company is in the process of converting its New York, North Carolina and Massachusetts factories from manufacturing ties, shirts and suits to now making masks and safety gowns. Brooks Brothers plans to utilise these facilities to produce up to 150,000 masks per day, on a continuous basis to help increase protective gear for medical workers and wider demographic battling the spread of Covid-19, both at the nation’s hospitals and other facilities. The company pledged to be soon producing gowns.
Over the past two weeks, the Company has been in direct contact with Federal and State officials, task forces, several hospital systems and other municipalities and organisations.
As part of this effort, Brook Brothers has built an extensive liaison with Stop the Spread, a coalition of volunteer CEOs working in Washing D.C. and around the U.S., to legitimise and support government actions in relation to Covid-19.
The company has also teamed with leading universities recognised as centres for excellence for both textiles and technology in order to develop prototypes. Brooks Brothers has been working hand-in-hand with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration service to expedite the approval process.
For over 200 years, Brooks Brothers has been at the forefront of tackling some of the nation’s most critical issues – from its support o he Red Cross society in 1898 – to crafting U.S. military uniforms from the Civil War through today. The Company currently supports numerous national and local charities with a focus on health and welfare.
“We consider this a duty, and part of our DNA at Brooks Brothers, remarked Claudio Del Vecchio, Chief Executive Officer. “These are challenging times that are impacting us all. We are deeply grateful to the medical personnel at the frontlines who are fighting the pandemic, and we are honoured to do our part and join our peers in retail to provide protective masks that our health care system critically needs.
I also want to thank our dedicated manufacturing employees who are returning to work as we reopen our factories to make this possible.”
Adding up to the 150,000 masks crafted per day, Brooks Brothers expects to begin producing protective gowns. And for marking the product start, Brooks Brother’s factory personnel are set to return to their job this week following a two-week precautionary self-quarantine.
The company is closely following public health guidance and will enforce federal guidelines for sanitation and social distancing across all facilities to protect the welfare of its staff members.
Sergio Rossi, the founding entrepreneur of the eponymous brand, died at the age of 84 and had contracted the coronavirus. A great entrepreneur and shoe maker from the Romagna district who gave his name to one of the best known brands of made in Italy.
Its history cannot be separated from that of San Mauro Pascoli, a small town in Emilia Romagna known for the birth of Giovanni Pascoli, poet and singer of nature and everyday life. The post-war years saw the transformation of the area with its footwear vocation.
The success of the cobblers, who roamed the villages and farms, led to the change and progressive abandonment of the more traditional agriculture and livestock activities. Thanks to him, the village was transformed into a large artisan shop specializing in the production of sandals, which were then sold in small shops on the Riviera.
From this first artisan activity a flourishing industry was born and developed, which specializes in women’s high fashion footwear. Together with the shoe factories, small companies specializing in the manufacture of semi-finished products – soles, heels and bottoms – and workshops for cutting uppers by hand and machine are born and thrive in the same district of San Mauro Pascoli.
A true industrial craftsmanship that has been able to establish itself on the global market, focusing on the quality of materials and manufacturing as well as on the originality of the design. So in 1958 in San Mauro Pascoli the Mir Mar was built, the first industrial-sized shoe factory, while the nearby seaside towns such as Rimini are in full swing, then celebrated by Federico Fellini in his Amarcord.
From this cultural closeness with the great director a curious legend was born: in the masterpiece “La Dolce Vita” (1960) the décolleté worn by Anita Ekberg seem to be those of Sergio Rossi, who in those years built his fortune by focusing on footwear female.
This is the context from which the adventure of Sergio Rossi begins, who follows in the footsteps of his father, a skilled shoemaker, from whom he resumed his activity in 1956, creating the first handmade sandals.
Riccardo Sciutto, CEO of the Sergio Rossi Group, was inspired by this story of authenticity, named by Andrea Bonomi, founder and president of Investindustrial, an independent financial group that acquires 100% of the company from the Kering Group.
Sergio Rossi is back in Italian hands and thanks to Sciutto’s vision, the path to relaunching the brand begins. 2016 with the sr1 collection, inspired by the square-tipped model of the early nineties represents the new beginning, in the sign of the brand’s most genuine aesthetics. A path in which the contemporary reinterpretation of one’s legacy is central.
Sergio Rossi had declared in 1988: Since the beginning of our industrial activity we have concentrated all efforts in the search for form, an element that is of primary importance in the shoe … After the shape, the focus is on the other two elements that complete the structure of a successful shoe: style and quality.
Once the three ingredients are perfectly calibrated, success simply becomes a logical consequence ”. Today, thanks to the “Living Heritage” company museum, it is possible to relive all the salient milestones of Sergio Rossi through a selection of over 300 of the most representative and innovative wooden shapes of the brand.
From the shape of the very first “Opanca” sandal from 1966 to the large plant and low heel shapes of the seventies, to the tapered shapes of the décolleté, to the timeless pump “Godiva”: a significant representation of the history of this extraordinary artist-craftsman of form.
Even before the important photographic campaigns, Sergio Rossi entrusts his image to artists and illustrators who have created recognizable and ironic illustrations and drawings for him. Among the first could not miss the eclectic illustrator and stylist Alberto Lattuada, who with his creations and jokes has animated the world of Italian fashion for over fifty years.
Then it was the turn of Miguel Cruz, who in addition to creating some illustrations to advertise Sergio Rossi in the early 70s, is also a stylist who makes use of Sergio Rossi’s collaboration for the creation of footwear to match the looks and clothes of his collections.
Always designs of great strength and incisiveness are those made by the Swedish Mats Gustafson, a name that has become famous for his important collaborations with Hermès, Dior and Yohji Yamamoto, as well as with magazines of the caliber of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. When the brand reaches success, the moment has come to create real advertising campaigns that define the imagination and the Sergio Rossi woman.
To immortalize his shoes to make them style icons are called Italian and international photographers who made the history of photography. We pass from still life images where the product is the protagonist, to those set and more seductive thanks also to the presence of the top model.
From the great Italian masters such as, to name just a few, Piero Gemelli, Oliviero Toscani, Fabrizio Ferri, Giampaolo Barbieri, Marco Glaviano, to the most celebrated foreign talents, such as Albert Watson, Miles Aldridge, Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel, Michel Comte and Peter Lindbergh.
The gotha of photography with Helmut Newton in the front row makes Sergio Rossi’s modernist style immortal. With him disappears a piece of history of Made in Italy and a charismatic figure of Italian footwear.
After the entire fashion world has placed major shifts towards supporting and backing Covid-19 turmoil, Gucci is the latest fashion house to pledge a lump-sum donation to battle against spreading coronavirus.
Based in Italy, where the epidemic has implemented huge havoc, the luxury label announced a 1 Million euros donation to the Italian Civil Protection Department (Protezione Civile) in partnership wit Intesa Sanpaolo and an additional million-euro sum to the United Nations Foundations Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Gucci solicits its consumers and followers to join to help in raising financial backing to combat the pandemic. Those interested can help donating to the Solidarity Response Fund for WHO through the “donate” feature on Gucci’s website.
Moreover, Gucci is offering its social media accounts, owning over 70 million followers, to the World Health Organization to tackle public health information that could protect the health of the community.
Gucci’s President and CEO Marco Bizzarri and Creative Director Alessandro Michele remarked: ““This pandemic calls us to an unexpected task, but it is a call to which we respond decisively, advocating the selfless work carried out by health workers, doctors and nurses on the front lines every day in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, in Italy and in the rest of the world.
Their generosity and courage light our way forward in these difficult days. By supporting each other and helping those who are most vulnerable among us, we will be able to overcome this crisis: united, even more than before.”