November 4, 2019

News ⚡ — 4 November Monday

Vetements to support young designers with new platform. A full-time musician shows his daily expenses in Spotify streams. The end of an era for retailer Barneys.

1. 👚 Vetements is Launching a Platform to Support Young Designers | Highsnobiety

Vetements co-founder Guram Gvasalia is planning on launching an accelerator-type platform to foster and nurture new fashion talent. The setup will look to provide shared offices, mentorship and scholarships for up and coming artists looking to grow.

Who knows, perhaps some talent will surprise the world with actually innovative designs for once. One can hope…

2. 🎹 A full-time musician works out how much his daily expenses cost in Spotify streams | Alex Leonard
Ever wonder how much it would cost to live as a full-time German musician subsisting on Spotify streams? Even if you haven’t, read this article by Alex Leonard, which breaks down (roughly) the number of streams needed to cover the daily cost-of-living. Spoiler Alert: it’s not an encouraging number.

3. ☠️ Barneys Is Sold for Scrap, Ending an Era | The New York Times
RIP Barneys NYC. The legendary department store which first opened in 1923 is being sold for next to nothing to Authentic Brands Group (which will own the Barneys name). As a local and global institution, Barneys lead the way in introducing some of the world’s premier brands including Armani, Louboutin and CDG.

As it shutters, fashion aficionados and fans alike lament this sad ending to this illustrious company. Ultimately, Barneys is yet another main-street victim in today’s e-commerce world, amongst other factors.

4. 🍄 This mushroom building cleans our air as it grows | Fast Company
Known as The Growing Pavilion, the building was created by Krown-design and debuted at the recent Dutch Design Week.

Constructed out of mycelium, which forms part of fungal colonies, the material offsets the carbon footprint of a building by capturing two times its weight in CO2 whereas the rigid foam plastic EPS panels common in most buildings emit three times as much. No word yet on when the living building will achieve sentience.

5. 📱 iPhones are getting thousands of new fonts from Adobe | The Verge
Apple users can rejoice as Adobe brings thousands of custom fonts to iOS that can be used with iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1 apps that support them.

What was once a painful multi-step process is now made simple by downloading Adobe Creative Cloud. iOS users can get access to up to 1,300 fonts for free while Adobe CC subscribers get access to 17,000 fonts. We’ll just stick with Founders Grotesk, thank you very much.

6. 🎛️ The Loupedeck Creative Tool is a physical control deck for creative apps | The Verge
An upgrade to Loupedeck’s original consoles known for their dedicated buttons and switches, the Creative Tool forgoes labels for mini screens for better personalizing the interface.

These include a giant wheel that doubles as both touchscreen display and customizable dial for manually scrubbing through media tracks or adjusting properties.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

November 1, 2019

News ⚡ — 31 October Thursday

  • Getty Images/Paweł Czerwiński via Unsplash (Image Credit)

Twitter to ban all political ads. The coming NBA sneaker revolution. President Obama calls out call-out culture.

1. 😯 Jack Dorsey says Twitter will ban all political ads | TechCrunch
Twitter CEO Jack recently tweeted that the social media platform will be banning all political advertising endorsing specific candidates or stances on particular issues.

The exception to this ban will be more neutral exceptions like advertising for voter registration. Dorsey added the company will share the platform’s final policy by November 15, and begin enforcing it on November 22.

2. 👟 The NBA’s Sneaker Revolution Is Just Getting Started | GQ
Where the league once held a strict on-court dress code, the 2018 relaxation of some of those rules means teams and players can get creative.

Players were originally allowed only predominantly black or white shoes with a bit of team color accent, but the reversal means we’ll be seeing a lot more rare and custom kicks make their way into the game — and in front of adoring sneakerhead audiences.

3. 💯 Watch President Barack Obama make an excellent point about call-out culture. | Rolling Stone
While speaking at an Obama Foundation event in Chicago, the former president criticized the desire among some young people to accentuate their wokeness solely by judging others harshly online.

In addition to decrying online call-out culture as self-congratulatory but shallow clicktivism, he reiterated the inherent complexity of the real world and the need to approach it with nuance.

4. ⚽ Juventus Officially Unveils Monumental Palace & adidas Soccer Kit | High Snobiety
Officially debuted at the Italian football giant’s match with Genoa, the kit confirms long-held rumors about the collaboration. The most noticeable addition to the kit is the neon green logos, names and numbers as well as green and tangerine bands on the cuff of each sleeve.

5. ♻️ Can regenerative agriculture reverse climate change? Big Food is banking on it. | NBC News
Regenerative agriculture relies on methods that optimize the natural efficiency of ecosystems to both raise livestock and grow crops in a sustainable manner.

Large companies like General Mills are seizing on the idea with the promise that this approach to farming will tap carbon in the soil and help reverse climate change. That said, it’s unsure how effective regenerative agriculture will be at doing this and how long the carbon can be stored for.

6. 🐄 We’re very close to disrupting the cow | Fast Company
The US stands to gain significantly if it can cash in on a growing market of tasty, cheap and nutritious foods developed through advanced food science and technology.

That industry is estimated to create 1 million jobs and grow to $1 trillion annually by 2035.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

October 31, 2019

News ⚡ — 30 October Wednesday

Media outlet Eldorado uses shoes to fund its documentary. A new anti-meme law is introduced in the US. The Apple Airpod Pros are great but are destined for landfills.

1. 🥑 Avocado Rise is a documentary by sustainable footwear company Tropicfeel and Eldorado | Kickstarter
In an interesting partnership, media outlet Eldorado has partnered with sustainable footwear company Tropicfeel to release a shoe that will subsequently fund a documentary. The documentary focuses on the destruction of Sierra De Bahoruco, listed as a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco, all in the name of farmers looking to expand their avocado farms.

2. 💸 Why a meme could soon cost you $30,000 | Dazed
American creators now have a new law on their side that would allow small claims to be made for works they had created and subsequently used without their permission. The law titled the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act has been dubbed the “anti-meme” law. The new law’s difference is that it now allows a more affordable approach for creators to protect their IP versus traditionally expensive avenues.

3. 📱 The initial AirPod Pro earn positive reviews but you still can’t fix them | 9to5 Mac
Apple’s latest and greatest Airpod Pros have arrived in the ends of the tech elite (aka influencer reviewers). For the most part, the reviews have been positive, except one big issue, they are once again ripe for the garbage can when things go astray. Like the previous generation, the Airpod Pros are nearly impossible to fix.

4. 📱 Netflix wants to let people watch things at twice the speed, but Hollywood is pushing back | The Verge
The company is experimenting with letting a select group of Android users adjust the playback speed of their videos — something Netflix claims is part of its ongoing experiments with improving the viewing experience.

But directors including Judd Apatow voiced their opposition, saying that it would mean the platform supports filmmakers and creators on one hand but utterly destroys the presentation of their work on the other.

5. 🥢 Sarula Bao’s Real Chinese Food is a zine about take-out, shame and diaspora identity | It’s Nice That
The zine is an exploration of the shame ethnic diaspora often feel towards their heritage food, a by-product of internalized racism and assimilation, through the eyes of a Chinese-American woman and her complicated relationship with take-out.

6. 🦿 Chinese University experts develop a device that can generate power from the motion of your knee joint as you walk | SCMP
The lightweight device, developed at Hong Kong’s Chinese University, attaches to the user’s thigh and shank to generate enough electricity to charge a smart band or Apple Watch through the some 10,000 steps a healthy person takes a day.

Professor Liao Wei-hsin, who led the team that developed the “prototype harvester”, says that the device would especially be useful for mountaineers and other wilderness travelers who get lost and said companies have already reached out hoping to incorporate it into clothing.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

October 29, 2019

News ⚡ — 29 October Tuesday

Adobe restores service in Venezuela, apologizes. Apple and Disney streaming services to break TV budget records. Kim Jones on designing luggage for Rimowa.

1. 🙇‍♂️ Adobe restores service in Venezuela, adds three months for free as an apology | The Verge
Following on an executive order from the US government to prohibited trade with Venezuela, Adobe restored use of Adobe CC accounts in that country among other services that were previously halted by said order.

After obtaining a license from the US government to continue operating in the South American country, Adobe has offered an extra free 90 days of service as an apology and is looking to contact users who had already cancelled their subscription.

2. 📺 Apple and Disney are creating an explosion of TV series budgets | Quartz
According to the Hollywood Reporter, budgets on some episodes from the Marvel series appearing on Disney’s upcoming Disney+ streaming service will break the $25 million mark. This tops the most expensive episodes of both of See on Apple TV+ (15-17 million) and Game of Thrones on HBO (15 million). In other news, independent feature filmmakers are weeping gently out of jealousy.

3. 🧳 What Kim Jones learned designing luggage for Rimowa | Vogue Business
The artistic director at Dior Men recently designed a five-piece capsule collection for German luggage maker Rimowa that includes suitcases as well as a made-to-order Champagne case that comes with a leather ice bucket, champagne flutes and no less than six bottles of Dom Pérignon.

If successful, Jones hopes the capsule will lead to the introduction of a luggage category at the iconic fashion house.

4. 🥩 Helping Alt-Meat Grow Some Muscle | The New York Times
Where traditional lab-grown meat looks like a mush of protein and fat, which is perfectly fine for burgers and meatloaf, scientists have found a new way of growing meat so that the texture more closely resembles the fibers we’d expect of cuts like steak.

5. 🛫 Apple In Discussions to Upgrade United SFO Terminal | Bloomberg
Apple is discussing potential airport renovations with United Airlines to upgrade its terminal in San Francisco. In case you are raising an eyebrow or two, this move might make a lot of sense for both parties. Apple brings years of expertise for consumer experiences and products, whereas United is often derided as a subpar airline (to put it nicely). Perhaps this potential collaboration will showcase how companies can think horizontally and use the tools that make them great to benefit other industries.

We’ll iCheer to that, American airports are a dreary experience and this could spark new innovations in the airport and travel space.

6. 🎧 Apple unveils new AirPods Pro with noise cancellation | 9to5Mac
Apple revealed the new AirPods Pro, an updated and more versatile version of the original hit product. The new headphones are both smaller and noise canceling, improving on the prior version which lacked any soundproofing. The case also features wireless charging, a neat addition if you are already an adept Qi charging master.

In case you had some money left over from shelling out your liver for the latest iPhone 11 Pro, these new toys will run you a cool $249 USD. With Christmas just around the corner, you can probably just add it to your list and pray someone picks them up for you.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

October 28, 2019

News ⚡ — 28 October Monday

  • Medium (Image Credit)

Sharp Type launches new type design scholarship for women of color. Artists hijack MoMA with AR Art Exhibition. Medium to reward authors on reader time.

1. 💯 Sharp Type launches new scholarship to support women of colour entering the type industry | It’s Nice That
The $6,000 Malee Scholarship from New York-based type foundry Sharp Type will support female designers of colour.

The annual scholarship is intended to recognize the contribution of women to type design and will award a woman of colour between the ages of 16 and 29 and based in the United States or abroad with both financial and mentorship aid.

2. 👩🏾‍🎨 Artists Hijack MoMA with AR Art Exhibition | Artnome
Damjanski and his MoMAR artist collective return for a guerilla AR art show at the world famous museum. The movement serves as a way of bringing light to new artists in a still rigid art world where few gain recognition for their work.

3. 📝 Medium moves to reward authors based on reader time | Medium
The big move within Medium’s Partner Program (a subscription program that compensates writers) changes how we value content. In the past, authors were compensated based on a “clap” or essentially a thumbs-up or like.

Now the new metric will be time spent on an article as Medium’s Emma Smith suggests that it’s “a closer measure of quality and resonance with readers.” Medium has paid out more than USD 6 million to 30,000 writers since it’s inception.

4. 📈 Culture Investment App Otis to Open Physical Location in East Village | WWD
Otis, a company enabling consumers to purchase shares in art pieces and rare goods, recently opened a store in NYC to showcase some of the items available to purchase fractionally. The move helps blend traditional gallery spaces with a new retail experience aimed at democratizing cultural asset acquisition.

As younger consumers move away from more traditional asset classes, platforms like Otis are providing a simple way to be a part of the previously very exclusive art and collectibles market.

5. 👟 More than 24 billion pairs of shoes were made in 2018, in many cases completely made of plastic, headed soon for a landfill. | National Geographic
National Geographic looks at the global environmental impact of our sneaker obsession by tracing one its key materials: plastic.

The article looks at how intersection of sports, sex and fashion fueled the demand for more sneakers in our lifestyles — most of which are not recyclable.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

October 24, 2019

News ⚡ — Wednesday October 23

Nicolas Ghesquière calls out Trump. Organic farming is net negative due to reduced crop yield. Mark Parker steps down as President, CEO, and Chairman of Nike.

1. 🤘 Nicolas Ghesquière calls out Trump despite new LVMH factory in Texas | NY Times
Louis Vuitton women’s wear artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière pulled no punches by calling out Donald Trump who attended the opening of a new LVMH factory in Texas. In an Instagram post, he said “Standing against any political action. I am a fashion designer refusing this association #trumpisajoke #homophobia” on Instagram, alongside the cover of the 1984 disco jam “High Energy,” which featured in the SoBe music compilation titled “Gay Classics, Volume 1: Ridin’ the Rainbow.” The move to denounce Trump teeters a fine line between his employer and the figure. However, within the LVMH camp, many have recognized the optics created by the President’s association.

2. 🌽 New studies suggest that organic farming and reduced crop yield is worse for climate change | Technology Review
New studies suggest that organic farming’s reduced crop yield is not necessarily better for climate change. Organic farming does allow for less greenhouse-emitting gasses to be released, however, to generate a similar yield requires significantly more landmass. Organic farming cuts emissions for livestock by 5% and 20% for growing crops but results in 40% less yield.

3. 👋 Mark Parker is stepping down as the CEO, President, and Chairman of Nike | Nike Inc.
Mark Parker of Nike is stepping down from his role at Nike. Since 2006 he has been the CEO, and since 2016, the Chairman, President, and CEO. His move will see him transition into an Executive Chairman position while John Donahoe will assume the role of President and CEO. Donahoe assumes the role after leaving ServiceNow, as well as serving as the President and CEO of eBay from 2008 to 2015.

4. 📱 Squarespace acquires Instagram story layout app Unfold | TechCrunch
Squarespace, the design-centric CMS and website builder platform has acquired Unfold, a layout app used by many for creating stories on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. No terms behind the deal were discussed but it’s expected that Unfold co-founders Alfonso Cobo and Andy McCune will link with the NYC-based company.

5. 📸 New security scanners including those seen at LAX can wipe out unprocessed film | PetaPixel
New tubular security scanners used by the TSA can wipe out unprocessed film due to increased radiation output. For anybody that comes across the scanners, they can request a hand check by a security officer.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

October 22, 2019

News ⚡ — 22 October Tuesday

  • kaipong/iStock (Photo Credit)

Bose using audio expertise to solve hearing and sleep issues. Climate Neutral by Peak Design and BioLite certify businesses with a net-zero carbon footprint. Nike Basketball and NBA 2K20 plan exclusive kicks unlocked through in-game achievements.

1. 💤 Bose is the latest consumer electronics brand to use its expertise to help those with sleep and hearing issues
Bose has been using its expertise with audio and combining it with several startups it has acquired to help make products geared towards those with hearing loss and sleeplessness.

In addition to focusing on consumer-grade hearing devices like its Hearphones, Bose received a special FDA approval in 2018 for its hearing aid in development. This “De Novo” status means it’s approved to market novel medical technologies that don’t fit into existing categories, which the hearing aid qualifies as because of its self-fitting attributes.

2. ♻️ Climate Neutral by Peak Design and BioLite founders is an initiative to reach a net-zero carbon footprint
Climate Neutral is a certification given to businesses that measure, reduce and off-set their carbon emissions throughout the manufacturing process for their products. The initiative is also funding the creation of a tool that lets large and small businesses measure their carbon footprint. Climate Neutral aims to have their tool ready for widespread use by New Year’s Day, 2020.

3. 🏀 Nike continues its foray into gaming with NBA 2K20-exclusive kicks
Nike has paired its SNKRS app with the NBA 2K20 video game to release “Gamer Exclusives” (GEs). In the game’s new MyPLAYER Nation game mode, co-created between Nike Basketball and NBA 2K20, players play games that mirror the NBA season and playoffs. Players can unlock chances to buy the GEs by reaching specified in-game milestones.

4. 💤 TikTok’s popularity means official school clubs are popping up
Students are using the apps to perform dances and skits in a way similar to drama club, with hopes of becoming stars beyond the confines of their school. The app is also swaying teachers, some of whom are embracing its community-building aspects that brings together friends from different groups and reducing the focus purely on the individual.

5. 😯 ExxonMobil is offering financial support to climate change deniers
Aside from continuing to pour large sums of money into groups that deny climate change and oppose carbon taxes, ExxonMobil is also investing into the campaigns of politicians that help to gridlock Capitol Hill from implementing these measures.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

October 21, 2019

News ⚡ — Monday, October 21

Brazilian football club Bahia introduces oil-stained kits. Donald Trump visits Louis Vuitton’s new Texas factory. The first-ever female-only spacewalk enters the record books.

1. ⚽ Brazilian Football Club Bahia will wear an “oil-stained” kit
The club, which plays in Brazil’s Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, is aiming to bring awareness to oil that is mysteriously washing up on the coastline in Northeast Brazil.

2. 👗 Donald Trump paid a visit to Louis Vuitton’s new Texas factory
The trip coincides with a new factory that aims to revitalize the American manufacturing industry. The event was attended by LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault. Unsurprisingly, Trump’s command (or lack therefore) of language resulted in a gross mispronunciation of Louis Vuitton lulz.

3. 🚀 The world’s first all-female spacewalk has gone down in history
NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir went on a 6.5 hour spacewalk. Since the start of human exploration into space, only 227 people have left their spacecraft, and of those, only 14 have been women. Incidentally, this female-only spacewalk was intended to happen back in March with Koch to be accompanied by Anne McClain. That was canceled prior to the event due to NASA’s inability to get a proper fitting suit for McClain.

5. 👕 Dutch knitwear company BYBORRE unveils their Fall/Winter 2019: The Layered Edition
The innovative company introduces a slew of intelligently designed pieces that focus on functionality and a particularly unique aesthetic provided by their modern knitting techniques.

6. 🧠 New studies show that overactive brains lead to a shorter life
Past studies have suggested that longevity comes with the usage of your brain. But extensive overuse of your brain (the opposite maintaining a “quieter” brain) and the subsequent neural activity does the opposite. The study focused on people who passed in their 60s and 70s versus those who lived extremely long lives. While usage is key, excessive unintended neural activity is seen as a potential precursor to an early death.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

October 18, 2019

News ⚡ — Thursday, October 17

The Analogue Pocket is retro-gaming at its finest. A brain-less self-healing organism debuts at a Paris zoo. China bans the export of black clothing to Hong Kong.

1. 🎮 The Analogue Pocket breathes life into the Game Boy era | Tech Crunch
The latest addition to the world of video game hardware eschews the usual latest specs for a bit of 80s and 90s familiarity. The Analogue Pocket is a USD 199 device that mimics a similar experience to Nintendo’s iconic Game Boy franchise. With other adapters, it adds the full gamut of retro fun including Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Color, and Atari Lynx.

2. 🐲 A new “organism” at Paris zoo has no brain but 720 sexes | The Straight Times
The newly debuted “blob” is “a yellowish unicellular small living being which looks like a fungus but acts like an animal.” The organism can self-heal within two minutes when cut in half. What makes it most interesting is that despite not having a brain, it can pass along learned knowledge if two blobs merged.

3. 🙅 China bans exports of black clothing to Hong Kong amid protests | South China Morning Post
The protesters who have taken to the streets of Hong Kong for the last four months, initially to oppose a now-withdrawn extradition bill, have adopted as their uniform black T-shirts, black jeans and black sneakers, often paired with a black face mask.

4. 💰 adidas wants you to trade in your old gear for vouchers | Business of Fashion
The German sportswear brand has teamed-up with Stuffsr to allow participants to trade in their old adidas gear for vouchers. The goal of the initiative, limited to the UK, is to help manage much of the waste generated by the fashion industry.

5. 🔎 Nike’s ZoomX Vaporfly recording-breaking performances is forcing the IAAF to take a closer look | The Times
The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%’s recording-breaking resume is pushing the IAAF to look more into the shoe’s performative abilities. Various elite athletes have brought up the issue to the International Association of Athletics Foundation. Even before Eliud Kopchoge’s sub-two-hour record-breaking marathon, the ZoomX Vaporfly Next% already laid claim to the five fastest men’s marathon times ever.

6. 💦 Prescription pills are ruining America’s water supply | Axios
Despite being one of the world’s most advanced countries, the United States is staring at an impending water crisis. Traditional water sources are meant primarily for transport and storage and cannot handle new foreign substances and filter them properly, namely prescription drugs.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

October 16, 2019

News ⚡ — Wednesday, October 16

TikTok is figuring out its content moderation policies. Hong Kong’s retail rents drop. What happens to modern Millennial companies when VC money runs out.

1. 🔎 TikTok is seeking corporate law advice on how to handle its US content moderation policies | TechCrunch
As the darling of the social media world, the platform is seeking out legal advice on how to handle its US content moderation. Recent controversies around censoring Hong Kong protests will need to be addressed if it aims to become China’s first globally-dominant platform. Corporate law firm K&L Gates has been brought in to find clarity as it seeks to “strengthen its own internal moderation teams, moderation and content policies, and overall transparency,” according to TechCrunch.

2. 📉 Hong Kong’s retail rents dropped significantly in the last few months | Business of Fashion
Hong Kong’s traditionally vibrant consumer landscape has had a tumultuous few months as protestors turn out with regularity. Recent stats show a 10.5% drop in rent with a further 5-10% decline throughout 2019. Hong Kong has been an essential part of many luxury businesses with no visible replacement in sight.

3. 💰 Could Millennial lifestyles subsidized by VCs is coming to a close? | The Atlantic
Uber, WeWork, Peleton, and Casper each play roles within the lifestyles of many affluent Millenials. But as many of these companies fail to turn into viable businesses and the VC funding dries up, something will need to change. Perhaps it’s higher pricing, but as some others have mentioned, it doesn’t necessarily mean pricing changes but rather more focused and efficient marketing strategies versus changes merely splashing the cash with little return.

4. 🗺 78% of Millennial spend on “desirable experiences” | What’s New in Publishing
Events are a worthwhile consideration for moderate to large-sized publishers at a time when media is continually seeking new revenue streams.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

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