NHS prevention plan aims to boost healthy life expectancy

Look after yourself better, says the health secretary, as he sets out his new vision for the NHS in England.
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Melania Trump Aims to Spread Goodwill in Kenya

I’M GOING ON A SAFARI: Thousands of miles away from the swarm of anticipation for a final vote and what some might describe as beastly debate over the Senate vote for Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, First Lady Melania Trump carried on with her weeklong goodwill mission in Kenya on Friday. The action-packed day included a visit to an elephant orphanage, an hourlong safari, tea with First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and a Sarakasi dance performance at Kenya’s National Theatre.
For a morning visit to Nairobi National Park, Trump dressed the part in a Ralph Lauren white button-down shirt, khaki colored pants and boots. Her white shirt remained “pristine,” during the 15-minute elephant feeding on red clay, the pool reporter noted.
After helping to feed orphaned elephants protected by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the First Lady added a white pith helmet to her ensemble before setting off to see giraffes, rhinos, hippos, zebras and other creatures on safari. Aside from the earth tones she has favored during her four-nation African trip, she also has varied her assortment of label choices beyond the European designer ones that many associate her with. This afternoon’s dance performance called for a quick wardrobe change —

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This Company Aims to Deliver DNA on Demand

Synthetic Genomics’ Digital to Biological Converter can turn digitized DNA code into synthetic biological material, a milestone in medicine that could one day allow doctors to personalize medicine at their patients’ bedsides or fight epidemics halfway around the world.
WSJ.com: US Business

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The House of Peroni Aims to Source Emerging Talent, Creates The Fashion Studio

TAPPING TALENT: In an effort to champion young fashion talent in London, Italian beer brand Peroni Nastro Azzurro, working under the House of Peroni brand, has created The Fashion Studio and enlisted a number of industry names to aid the search.
“The key thing is we want people to walk away with is that Peroni Nastro Azzurro is supporting emerging talent in the world of style,” said a spokeswoman for the brand. “We want to support the next generation of emerging talent to cultivate their own style.”
The House of Peroni has kicked off an incubator initiative that will offer eight designers across women’s wear and men’s wear a mentorship program and a fashion residency at a studio in London. The creative council, which is comprised of fashion industry names, will aid, counsel and mentor various designers selected. The council includes Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders; Dazed and Confused editor in chief Isabella Burley; fashion writer Pandora Sykes; journalist and editor of Another Magazine Alexander Fury, and British Fashion Council strategic consultant Anna Orsini.
Applications are open to designers in the U.K. and Ireland over the age of 18 until May 20. The studio will be a creative space where designers can collaborate, and

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‘Roseanne’ Cast Says Reboot is About More Than Politics, Aims for Blue Collar Representation

While the “Roseanne” reboot has made headlines for its political premise, with star Roseanne Barr as a vocal Donald Trump supporter both on and off screen, the cast says there’s much more to the new season than the president. “It’s about the circumstances that led to the current administration, not the current administration,” executive producer […]

Variety

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Burberry Aims to Champion LGBTQ Youth at February Show

RAINBOW CONNECTION: Burberry is opening its arms, and its wallet, in support of LGBTQ youths, with plans to unveil a rainbow check at the February show, and a diversity-focused philanthropic program.
Burberry called the LGBTQ — or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and other groups — rainbow “an emblem for optimism and inclusiveness,” and said it will feature prominently across the next collection, Christopher Bailey’s final one for the brand. The rainbow check pieces will be available for purchase immediately after the show in London on Feb. 17.

Burberry Rainbow check cap 
Courtesy Photo

Burberry has also made donations to three charities, the Albert Kennedy Trust, the Trevor Project and ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, all of which aim to broaden awareness, mentor and make resources available to LGBTQ communities worldwide.
“My final collection here at Burberry is dedicated to — and in support of — some of the best and brightest organizations supporting LGBTQ youth around the world. There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creativity,” said Bailey, president and chief creative officer of Burberry.
Tim Sigsworth, chief executive of the Albert Kennedy Trust, said Burberry’s donation will make a difference

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Box Office: Helen Mirren’s ‘Winchester’ Aims for Top of Moderate Super Bowl Weekend

Helen Mirren’s gothic horror-thriller “Winchester” has a decent shot at topping the moderate Super Bowl weekend with as much as $ 11 million at 2,480 North American sites, early estimates showed Friday. Updated projections showed that “Winchester,” released in a partnership of CBS Films and Lionsgate, was going to top the second weekend of “Maze Runner: […]

Variety

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Common Gender Aims to Tap Underpenetrated Men’s Market in China

SHANGHAI — It was a case of the venue determining the launch city of men’s wear label Common Gender rather than Shanghai’s burgeoning reputation as an international fashion hub.
When looking at locations for the label’s first fashion show, Lea Chan, vice president and marketing director of parent company EPO Fashion Group, searched for venues in Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, but settled on the former after discovering West Bund Art Center. Once an old aircraft factory, the industrial space has held onto much of its raw, urban interior, which was in keeping with the brand’s Nineties Berlin-inspired pop-up shop and edgy, angular fashion show on Tuesday.
The pop-up store and fashion show were attended by key Chinese influencers and business partners of the brand and featured a cast of international and local male models purposefully storming down the catwalk with a performance by American twin brother electro punk rock band The Garden.
EPO Fashion Group, parent company of women’s wear brands Mo & Co. and Edition 10; cosmetics brand REC, and children’s wear label Little Mo & Co. posted group sales of 3.5 billion yuan in 2017, or $ 555 million. Common Gender’s launch marks the Chinese company’s move into the domestic men’s wear market.

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Boeing Aims to Bulk Up With Embraer’s Small Jets

Boeing’s pursuit of Embraer fits one of the goals Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg has set for the aerospace giant: creating a level playing field in the commercial jetliner business.
WSJ.com: US Business

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Copdate Aims to Make Sneaker Releases More Democratic

Andrew Raisman, who used to own the Montreal-based Fidel Clothing, wanted to merge his love of sneakers with his app development experience, so he launched Copdate, an app that allows customers to reserve a digital spot in line for sneaker releases instead of camping out on the street.
“We wanted to address issues in the sneaker world from the consumer and retail side,” said Raisman. “Sneaker releases are presenting pain points for the entire industry.”
The Copdate app works like this: customers download the app, follow participating retailers on the app — Copdate partners with mostly specialty sneaker retailers including Extra Butter, Proper, Packer and Burn Rubber — and users will receive a notification when reservations for releases become available. The user can then cop the item and if they win, they will be notified with a reservation number, which they use to pick up the sneakers in the store. Raisman said using Copdate does not guarantee that the customer will obtain the shoes, but it can make the pool of interested buyers smaller by limiting the raffle to certain geographic locations.
“The cycle of a sneaker release is something like this: the shoe is leaked, then it’s seeded to celebrities,” said Raisman.

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How Extra Butter Aims to Reach a Broader Audience

Extra Butter is sharpening its focus to reach more customers.
The sneaker chain, which was cofounded by Jason Faustino, Ankur and Nick Amin in 2007, has homed in on Faustino’s love of film with its newly designed boutique on the Lower East Side.
The space, which is located at 125 Orchard Street, mimics a movie theater. Sneakers and clothes are displayed on the perimeter of the store and theater seats sit in the center. The outside of the flagship features a marquee and a ticket window. When the store is closed, a screen comes down over the storefront that streams movies throughout the night.
“After 10 years in business, we wanted to refocus what our brand DNA and message is,” said Bernie Gross, Extra Butter’s creative director. “We wanted to emphasize film and cinema and translate that into an elevated retail experience.”
This redesign comes after Extra Butter has made some internal staff changes and expanded the team. Since TSG Inc., Extra Butter’s parent company, acquired Jeff Staple’s Reed Space last year, Staple has come on to help with creative direction. The company has also hired Paul Lee, who was formerly the creative brand director and senior buyer at Ubiq in Philadelphia, as general

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Burberry Foundation Aims to Fight Poverty in Italy With Oxfam

THE ITALIAN CONNECTION: The Burberry Foundation, an independent charity, is handing a three million pounds grant to Oxfam to help struggling communities in the Italian region of Tuscany, once a thriving hub of luxury leather and clothing manufacturing.
The foundation grant has been earmarked to support “community cohesion” and help struggling families in the region which is facing increasing levels of poverty, youth unemployment and economic migration as traditional manufacturing dwindles.
Burberry said the project in Tuscany is also in line with its own responsibility agenda to support one million people in the communities that sustain the wider luxury industry.
The foundation and Oxfam will work toward improving integration between the Italian and migrant communities around Florence. The program will run until 2022 and will develop new and existing community centers that offer help, employment support, educational activities and Italian language classes.
Leanne Wood, a trustee of the Burberry Foundation and chief people and corporate affairs officer at Burberry, said: “Oxfam’s work in the region of Tuscany is vital in bringing local communities together to build a bright and prosperous future.”
The high school dropout rate in the Florence area, particularly among the Italian population, is high, with 11 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds not

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Women One’s Dayle Haddon Aims to Empower Girls With Help From Canadian PM Justin Trudeau

YOUNG AT HEART: Model-turned-activist Dayle Haddon took her empowerment message to Washington, D.C., with the help of Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau.
In honor of the “International Day of the Girl,” Haddon joined the leader, his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, and others who have “generous spirits, had a fierce intellect and deep passion for women’s issues” in a roundtable discussion. Other heavy hitting attendees included Jean Case of the Case Foundation, Maria Eitel of the Girl Effect and the Nike Foundation, Jennifer Frazier of Twitter, Carol Hamilton of L’Oréal Luxe USA, Amy Hepburn of Women One, Arianna Huffington, Gayle Smith of the Bono-supported One campaign, Kristin Lemkau of J.P. Morgan Chase, Jacqueline Novogratz of Acumen, Carole Wamuyu Wainaina of Africa 50, Pam Scott of the Curious Co., Regina Scully of Artemis Rising and Scott Rutherford of McKinsey & Co. A personal favorite of Haddon’s was Malika Saada Saar, senior counsel on civil and human rights for Google, who spoke of “all the new ways that Google is developing empathetic communication from a woman’s view.”
As Women One’s founder, Haddon connected with Trudeau through his chief of staff about linking her work with the Canadian efforts

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Follow live: Dallas Keuchel aims to give Astros 2-0 lead vs. Red Sox

Follow live: Dallas Keuchel aims to give Astros 2-0 lead vs. Red Sox
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Apple Aims to Take Augmented Reality Mainstream

Apple Inc. is gearing up for a push to popularize augmented reality, launching new hardware and software in the coming weeks that would make it easier to use the new technology.
WSJ.com: WSJD

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Westfield Aims to Differentiate With Boost to Service Offerings

SERVICE WITH A SMILE: Westfield Corp. has taken a page out of the hospitality handbook in a bid to remain competitive and move out ahead of the pack.
The program, called “Service With Style,” for its 33 U.S. shopping centers, provides customer service training that aims to up the ante on how it interacts with guests in a way the mall operator describes as being “informed by the world’s finest hotels and luxury resorts.”
The training program rollout is expected to be completed in the coming weeks, with several hundred employees having already gone through it.
Westfield has been developing the one-day course for the past year and a half, doing so in conjunction with LRA by Deloitte and SGE International. Each shopping center has a designated “style coach” that oversees the overall training activity for that property.
“One of the things that we’ve been talking about for some time is we definitely feel that hospitality and a luxury level of customer service is really something that we want to use to differentiate ourselves as an organization and create memorable experiences with our guest when they’re with us,” said Jeff Adams, Westfield vice president of guest services. “Really, the goal was to create a

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Jake Gyllenhaal aims for the Oscar (again)

Jake Gyllenhaal is again aiming for an Oscar, this time by playing a Boston bombing survivor in Stronger.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Kickstarter Aims To Give Book On Black Boy Joy To Public Schools

At some point in their lives, black men are forced to realize that no matter what they do, some people will never see their humanity.

To counter the negative perception of black men and boys, Chicago native Valerie Reynolds authored “The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy.” The book follows a blissfully innocent adolescent named Roy in Chi City as he gets to interact with historical black figures like Barack Obama, Frederick Douglass and Jackie Robinson.

“Roy takes readers on a journey of joy through a historic adventure reminding us that many remarkable black men were once joyful little black boys,” the book’s publisher, Hurston Media Group, said in a statement to HuffPost.

Reynolds told HuffPost why her book is so relevant to the present social climate. 

“It is very important to ensure little black boys are aware of the joy that they possess, much like the historical figures highlighted in the book,” Reynolds told HuffPost in an email Tuesday. “Now, more than ever, it is critical to counter the dominant narrative that mostly portrays black men and boys as dangerous, violent and criminal.”

In order to ensure her message reaches the masses, Reynolds began a Kickstarter campaign. She aims to raise $ 7,500 not only for the book’s printing costs but also to donate copies to public schools throughout the country. As of Tuesday, the campaign has reached 70 percent of its goal. 

On the book’s Kickstarter page, Reynolds points to the killing of Terence Crutcher by Officer Betty Shelby to illustrate the necessity of positive representations of black boys. In audio footage from a helicopter that hovered over the scene of the killing, a police officer is heard typecasting Crutcher by saying he looked like a “bad dude.”

“This ‘big bad dude’ scared her because her understanding of Black men has been shaped by distorted images, stories, and depictions of Black men that are conjured by the media … media misrepresentations have real and tragic consequences,” Reynolds wrote on the campaign page. 

“We want this book to remind little Black boys who they are and whom they come from,” she continued. “We also hope that this book illuminates the humanity of Black boys and reminds everyone that we are more alike than we are different.”

The pledge levels start at $ 5, and each donation of $ 27 or higher comes with one or more copies of the book, along with other small items. Some pledge levels are named after young black men and boys who have lost their lives to police shootings or other racially charged violence. 

Reynolds hopes that by August, the book will make its way to classrooms and be available in retail stores. 

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Contemporary Brand Platform Frilly Aims for Millennial Market

A downtown Los Angeles-based apparel firm thinks it has the right formula to succeed in the customization and made-to-order space, promising all the quality of an atelier backed by proprietary 3-D software.
Frilly, which launched in 2014, and has been refining its business model and building its technology, recently emerged out of beta with an online store offering customizable product to shoppers.
The opening price is about $ 60 and goes up to around $ 2,000 to be able to take the company’s stock of chic separates and tailor the necklines, sleeves, fabric and on down to the hardware used in the garment.
The company was founded by chief executive officer Shangwei Ding and chief marketing officer Jeni Ni and is entirely self-funded. It counts 24 employees in Los Angeles with a factory in China of about 80 and a software team of another 80. Tailors in China produce each garment, which goes through three rounds of quality control before being shipped to consumers within two to three weeks from the order date.
“We really want to bring the control back to the customer,” Ni said. “The age of personalization is upon us and we are bringing it to the customer in a way that hasn’t

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Books of The Times: ‘Shake It Up’ Aims to Put Rock Writing in the Pantheon

This collection of rock criticism includes thoughts on hazing, lyrics, death and so much more.
NYT > Books

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This Gay Singer’s Sexy Video Aims To Show Fantasies ‘Can Never Be Wrong’

Model-turned-songstress Keeana Kee got a head start on summer with the steamy video for her debut single, “Coconut Rum and Coke,” and HuffPost has an exclusive first look. 

In the clip, which can be viewed above, Latvian-born Kee canoodles up to a love interest on a sun-drenched beach and around a bonfire. The lyrics of the reggae-inspired tune include a number of tongue-and-cheek nods to the tropics, too. “If I could, I would drink you all night long, like coconut rum and coke,” Kee sings. “`I want to make your palm trees boom.”

The song also features a rap by Latin pop icon and producer Maffio, who has collaborated with the likes of Maroon 5, Elvis Crespo and Pitbull.

The Los Angeles-based singer, who is openly gay, told HuffPost that her video was inspired in part by homophobia she experienced during her years in the fashion industry. “I went through some discrimination in my life working as a fashion model, so I really hope to make a difference by encouraging people to be themselves no matter what, and to stand up for themselves, even if it seems impossible,” she said.

Citing Sia and Beyoncé as influences, Kee said she had no qualms about featuring a same-sex love interest in her debut video. “I’m very confident with my sexuality, so I was comfortable to be myself in the video,” she said. “I want to show the world that there is nothing wrong with being gay.”

Still, she hopes audiences will see her “Coconut Rum and Coke” as “romantic, sexy and slightly cheeky” rather than anything overtly political. “I hope that this video reminds people that they can go wild in their fantasies,” she said, “and it can never be wrong!”

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New Gaming App Aims To Make Kids Comfortable Around Hospitals

A new gaming app is helping kids feel less frightened by hospitals. On Thursday, Toca Boca released Toca Life: Hospital, an app that gives children the opportunity the experience what happens in hospitals, from checking patients’ vitals to using tools like gurneys and wheelchairs to making diagnoses. 

“Toca Life: Hospital gives kids unlimited space to discover the happenings of a busy medical center at their own pace, helping to increase their comfort level around hospitals,” Toca Boca play designer Petter Karlsson told The Huffington Post, adding that kids perceive hospitals in many ways ― from fun to thrilling to terrifying. 

Karlsson said the app is like a “virtual dollhouse” with characters and equipment based on real-life hospitals. The activities put kids in control of the experience and help them develop positive associations with hospitals. 

“Kids can experience welcoming newborn babies into the world and see how family members and medical staff love and care for tiny, swaddled babies,” he explained.

“They’ll also get to explore the operating room, discover the secret lab, stop by the waiting room, or grab a snack at the café,” he continued. “There is also a maternity unit with a fun ultrasound machine, garden to meditate and reflect, and a farewell room to say final goodbyes.”

The app developers visited hospitals and spoke with kids and medical professionals throughout the process of creating the app. In honor of the Toca Life: Hospital launch, some Toca Boca representatives visited Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn with photographer Marj Kleinman to observe and document how kids there have fun.

Kleinman is a photographer and children’s media consultant with a master’s degree in educational psychology. She brings that expertise to her vounteer work at Maimonides Medical Center and other hospitals. 

“The children I’ve encountered at Maimonides have generally been incredibly resilient and hard at work at the childhood business of play,” Kleinman told HuffPost. “There are naturally moments of struggle, pain and boredom, but these kids wait for the playroom to open, request Wii machines in their rooms and ride wagons and IV poles around the halls.”

The photographer said she hopes people who see these photos understand the healing and motivating power of play, for both children and grownups. 

“Although the hospital can be filled with unfamiliar and sometimes scary and upsetting situations, it’s a place where the business of childhood continues,” she explained. “Kids go to ‘hospital school’ with an on-site teacher and they engage in play and expressive arts, which leads to greater healing.”

Kleinman’s work appeared in a photo essay in Toca Magazine. Executive editor Ingrid Simone told HuffPost she believes the photos captured the value of playtime for kids and adults.  

“One thing that stood out to me was that Marj connected with hospitalized kids through play and creativity, and also worked with them to share their own stories — all of which is in alignment with what we do in apps like Toca Life: Hospital,” said Simone.  

Keep scrolling to see more photos of kids playing in the hospital and visit the Toca Boca website to check out the Toca Life: Hospital app. 

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New Musical Aims To Speak To Those Rattled By ‘Social Injustice’

Broadway playwright and novelist Marc Acito and Grammy-nominated songwriter Amy Engelhardt are teaming up for a new musical project with a socially-conscious slant.

The pair have written a new musical, “Bastard Jones,” that is aiming for a spring premiere at The Cell in New York. The comedy is based on The History of Tom Jones, Henry Fielding’s 18th century novel which follows “an outsider’s quest for acceptance.” The book’s titular character, played by Albert Finney in the 1963 film, “Tom Jones,” is repeatedly rejected for being illegitimate. Both Acito and Engelhardt feel that plot point will particularly resonate among contemporary audiences given the struggles the LGBTQ community and other minority groups are facing under President Donald Trump’s administration.  

“In 1749, being illegitimate made you a second-class citizen. We’re channeling our rage at social injustice into a door-slamming sex farce,” Engelhardt, who likened the music she’s written for the show to “Candide, Spring Awakening and Meat Loaf,” told The Huffington Post. Added Acito, “Substitute any oppressed minority with the word ‘bastard’ and it’s the same story, different characters.”

The writers have launched a GoFundMe campaign in an effort to cover production costs. They’re also planning to donate all royalties and proceeds from the show to Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, an advocacy group for homeless LGBTQ youth. 

Acito, who wrote the book for the 2015 Broadway musical, “Allegiance,” told HuffPost that his debut novel, How I Paid For College, was inspired by his own decision to leave home after coming out as gay in high school. Were it not for a friend’s mother who took me in, I easily could have ended up on the streets,” he explained. “I look at any displaced person—homeless, immigrant, refugee—and I don’t see ‘other.’ I see myself.”

Watch Acito and Engelhardt talk about the project in the video above, then head here to read more about the fundraiser. 

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Portland Store Aims To Prove That Dads Aren’t Babysitters, They’re Parents

Don Hudson, a dad of four, has been called a babysitter too many times to count. “It’s an insult,” he told The Huffington Post. “We’re not babysitting. We’re parenting. They’re our kids.”

That’s why he opened Seahorses, a father-focused store and community space that’s proving dads are parents, too.

Seahorses opened in Portland, Oregon, on June 17, 2015. Hudson, whose kids are 1, 3, 5 and 25, told HuffPost that through Seahorses, he wants to give dads a voice that “accurately reflects their parenting.” The store’s products include baby carriers, strollers, diaper bags and toys. Hudson described the merchandise he chooses as “practical and innovative products that make life easier.” 

Though the front part of Seahorses, aptly named for the seahorse father’s important role in parenting, is the retail area, Hudson prefers to call it a “place” rather than a store. Seahorses hosts events like dad workshops, preschool kid cooking lessons, baby sign language classes and parenting playdates. The back part of Seahorses is also a place for the Portland community.

“The back half of the place, that’s where I’ve got my enclosed kids’ area with the countertops where dads ― or moms ― can sit around and use the Wi-Fi and have a cup of coffee, let the kids play for a minute, take a break from parenting for five minutes and breathe,” Hudson told HuffPost. 

Store manager Cari Wolverton admitted that when Seahorses first opened, the community was hesitant.

“It was a new idea when we opened our doors,” she said. “We didn’t know who was going to come in or who was interested in the concept.” 

Now, the store has been named one of the best places in Portland to shop for kids. Hudson credits that to the store’s appeal to multiple communities, not just dads.

“Over time it’s been recognized in the community as a legitimate kids’ store where you can get these really cool products in a very comfortable environment that appeals to not just dads, but the LGBTQ community and moms as well,” he said. “It seems to appeal to everybody.”

Hudson hopes that one day Seahorses will become a resource for communities across the country. For now, he’s proud that his idea has defied stereotypes and inspired other fathers.

“We’ve successfully conveyed the message that dads are competent parents. We’re not a bunch of bumbling idiots like the media portrays,” he said. “If you leave the kid alone with dad, he’s not going to be home stuck to the wall. Not everyone puts sharpie marker on their kids’ eyebrows just to get a good picture out of it. We’re in the trenches, too.”

H/T Upworthy

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Coach Aims to Grow Men’s Accessories Business

It all began with the baseball glove.
Coach’s founders were impressed with the leather, stitching and handcraftsmanship used for the gloves that got softer and more supple with age. So with this as their inspiration, a group of leatherworkers created wallets and billfolds for men — and a brand was born.
Today, Coach is better known for its women’s leather goods, but men’s remains a sizable part of its business, accounting around $ 700 million, or 16 percent of its $ 4.2 billion in annual sales in fiscal-year 2015. That’s up from 14 percent of net sales in the 2014 fiscal year and 12 percent in 2013.
“We were originally a men’s brand,” said Diane Mahady, global head of merchandising for Coach, “and there’s no more masculine American reference than the baseball glove.”
Although she oversees all divisions, Mahady actually has a soft spot for the men’s business. She spent 12 years at Saks Fifth Avenue as a men’s divisional merchandise manager before moving on to Ermenegildo Zegna and Louis Vuitton. She joined Coach two-and-a-half years ago.
“Without question, it’s a growth area for us and we’re growing by double digits,” she said. This year, men’s will account for more than $ 700 million in sales, she said,

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SpaceX aims to launch internet from space

Private rocket firm SpaceX applies for US government approval for a large network of internet satellites.
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New Agency — State — Aims to Showcase Models’ Personalities

Rene Gonzalez, a seasoned model agent who spent years working between Wilhelmina and IMG, wanted to create a modeling agency that catered to a new generation of models in a changing industry, one in which a model’s personality — and social media following — has become more important than ever.
On Sept. 9, Gonzalez will launch State, a full-service New York-based agency that aims to not only rep models, but also to create role models. “We’re calling ourselves digital managers,” he said. “What we would like to do is let kids know that yes, you can be a model, and yes, it can be glamorous, but there are other things behind it.”
State will support its clients’ images but also their talents and interests with a focus on social and digital content. In terms of what he is looking for in new talent, Gonzalez cited diversity and depth. “We really want models that have something to say,” he said. “When we do interviews, we ask what they’re doing in school. We’re about building who you are. The criteria is open for us; it’s about what makes you interesting to a larger audience.”
The agency represents about 30 models. Among them is Arizona native

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Lolë White Tour Aims to Attract Thousands of Yogis to New York’s Central Park

After rolling out mats for nearly 800 yogis in MoMA’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden for last year’s installment, organizers of the Lolë White Tour are hoping up to 10,000 Namaste-ers will take part in its Sept. 2 event in Central Park.
An all-white dress code and online registration are the only requirements for the free class, which will be led by Elena Brower, Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee. Should they choose to, attendees can find plenty of white yoga pieces in the White by Lolë collection. There were 15 discounted options Friday afternoon on its e-commerce site, including the $ 60 Banita tank, the $ 72 Amoda Pants and the $ 120 Sohni Jacket.
Once they’re limbered up, yogis will catch a live performance by indie pop singer Ingrid Michaelson as well as special guest Donna De Lory (a former Madonna backup singer). Bernard Mariette, president and chief executive officer of the $ 100 million Montreal-based brand, will also be front-and-center. Yoga isn’t his only lung-expanding pursuit — he has also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and spoke at the TED x Youth @ Montreal event.
In 2009, Mariette took on the ceo role and invested in Lolë’s parent company Coalision Inc. and with his team updated the product offerings,

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Milanoo.com Ltd

Lolë White Tour Aims to Attract Thousands of Yogis to New York’s Central Park

After rolling out mats for nearly 800 yogis in MoMA’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden for last year’s installment, organizers of the Lolë White Tour are hoping up to 10,000 Namaste-ers will take part in its Sept. 2 event in Central Park.
An all-white dress code and online registration are the only requirements for the free class, which will be led by Elena Brower, Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee. Should they choose to, attendees can find plenty of white yoga pieces in the White by Lolë collection. There were 15 discounted options Friday afternoon on its e-commerce site, including the $ 60 Banita tank, the $ 72 Amoda Pants and the $ 120 Sohni Jacket.
Once they’re limbered up, yogis will catch a live performance by indie pop singer Ingrid Michaelson as well as special guest Donna De Lory (a former Madonna backup singer). Bernard Mariette, president and chief executive officer of the $ 100 million Montreal-based brand, will also be front-and-center. Yoga isn’t his only lung-expanding pursuit — he has also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and spoke at the TED x Youth @ Montreal event.
In 2009, Mariette took on the ceo role and invested in Lolë’s parent company Coalision Inc. and with his team updated the product offerings,

Follow WWD on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

Read More…
WWD
Milanoo.com Ltd

Despicable Fat-Shaming Campaign Aims To Reveal People’s ‘#ThinnerBeauty’

“No shaming please. No hate speech please.”

That’s what was written in the About section in a new “skinny acceptance” campaign called Project Harpoon before it was taken down from Facebook. The “campaign” photoshops images of plus-size women to make them look skinnier.

And yes, it’s wildly problematic. 

The creators of Project Harpoon describe the project on Instagram as a “movement” that asks people to support “being in shape and not feeding into obesity.” The images include plus-size celebrities, models and everyday people.

It’s fat-shaming at its ugliest. 

Under the misguided mission that the project is showing everyone’s “#ThinnerBeauty,” Project Harpoon’s now-defunct Facebook page described the campaign as being “dedicated to showing both sides of modern day beauty.”

“In current societal fashion, a recent trending surge of ‘pro-obesity’ and ‘fat acceptance’ have paved the way for many people to renounce exercise and personal healthcare in general,” the page’s description read. “The page aims to only show that being skinny is okay as well! Skinny shaming is not okay.”  

(Quick reminder: No one is shaming skinny people by highlighting fat or plus-size bodies. We highlight fat and plus-size bodies because they’re rarely represented in pop-culture and are stigmatized in real life.) 

Before the campaign’s account was removed from Instagram, the photoshopped posts included horrible captions beneath each image.

“From runaway freight train to fashion week NYC runway model, she’s got some potential,” one caption read beneath an image of a plus-size woman on a runway next to the same image photoshopped to make the woman look much slimmer. 

Another Instagram post featured a photoshopped image of a plus-size woman wearing a feminist t-shirt, with the caption: “If you’re a feminist, you should at least be in shape so you can attend the protests, not get stuck in the parking garage!”

The campaign was originally discovered on Facebook on Aug. 19, but it looks like both Facebook and Instagram have removed the project’s page. Before being removed from the two platforms, Project Harpoon had over 2,500 Instagram followers and had gained momentum on Facebook after Facebook Newswire posted it on their page.  

Instagram confirmed to The Huffington Post UK that Project Harpoon’s account was disabled for violating their bullying policy. 

After being kicked off the other two social media platforms, Project Harpoon moved to Twitter and Reddit to photoshop images of women (and a few men) without their permission

The images include celebrities such as Melissa McCarthy, Rebel Wilson, Meghan Trainor and plus-size models Tess Holliday and Ashley Graham.  

Many people have criticized the project as peak fat-shaming and blatantly offensive. Among those horrified by the project is plus-size model and outspoken body love activist Tess Holliday who’s own images were wrongfully photoshopped.  

“It’s abominable that this [Facebook page] is using my image without permission to promote themselves,” Holliday told E! News. “This kind of hit piece is exactly why I started #EffYourBeautyStandards. I am asking my followers to boycott this [page] and any others like it. Loving yourself is the most powerful message we all need to stand behind.”

We couldn’t agree more. 

Also on HuffPost: 

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Style – The Huffington Post
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This New Dress Collection Aims to Solve All Your Summer Outfit Problems

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Sarah Easley and Beth Buccini

Leave it to two of the coolest women in fashion to create the ultimate summer dress collection.

Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley, owners of Kirna Zabête (the New York City designer outpost famous for anointing emerging designers), have teamed up with Gilt to solve your summer wardrobe problems. Their aim: to create a collection of pretty printed dresses that will carry you through every summer occasion in one fell swoop. And we’ve got to say, they nailed it.

“This collection was born out of both of our complicated lives of travel and work,” Easley says. “You just want to put on one thing looks great and forget about it. The dress is the one thing that grounds you. You put it on and you’re done.”

One of the best parts of the collection are the quirky and spot-on names they gave the dresses, such as the Second Date or Gelato in the Square. “We thought of different scenarios for [the customer],” adds Buccini. “We wanted to give her solutions whether she’s going to have chips and guacamole and drink five beers on a hot summer night, or if she needs super-sexy dress to go out with her boyfriend.”

The collection retails from $ 295 to $ 595 at Gilt starting on Friday May 29.

Scope out the entire collection here:

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The Meetings on Monday dress.

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The Tuesday-Morning dress.

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The Bike to Lunch dress.

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The Gelato in the Square dress.

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The Montauk Bonfire dress.

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The Saturday After-Six dress.

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The Four O’ Clock Garden Wedding dress.

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The Wedding Brunch dress.

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The Dinner Out dress.

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The Second-Date dress.

For more on how to wear flirty summer dresses, check out our video:





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Hard Choices: Dance Theatre of San Francisco Aims High

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Dance Theatre of San Francisco is the new kid on the block – a precocious kid on a block crammed with nimble little dance companies that turn out adventurous new work on a shoestring. Like many precocious kids, it manifests admirable talent but also exhibits immaturity. This is its second season, for which it offered up a potluck of three short impressionistic works by three local up-and-coming choreographers, and a new incarnation of Daphnis and Chloé that looks like DTSF’s bid to be taken seriously as a ballet company – a risky proposition in a metropolis that boasts the San Francisco Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Diablo Ballet, and that regularly plays host to every major world class ballet company.

A dance company with limited resources has to make hard choices. When stuck with a venue with a poor sound system, like the Cowell Theatre, piping in taped classical music is amateurish, and yet three of the four pieces on display this weekend were performed to taped classical music. The exception was Dexandro “D” Montalvo’s terrific Ocean, whose throbbing electronic score shot through with industrial sounds did not require a sound system any finer than that at the Cowell.

Live music may be beyond the budget of most small companies, but the Bay Area is simply bursting at the seams with cutting-edge composers and musicians who might be cajoled into serving up a score, live or taped, geared specifically toward the acoustic environment at the Cowell. When push comes to shove, Ballet to the People believes that you should make do with fewer dancers and employ a handful of musicians.

Costuming was a resounding success – impeccable and stylish all evening, especially in the skin-toned, Grecian inspired swirling creations for Daphnis and Chloé. Hats off to Renaissance man Christopher Dunn who costumed everyone AND distinguished himself in lead roles all evening.

Hard choices extend to other elements of a production – in particular, lighting. Two of the four pieces, by Sandrine Cassini and Milissa Payne Bradley, were ill served by their bare-bones lighting design. Cassini’s Here By Our Sight (to a tinny, scratchy recording of the Adagio from Schubert’s Quintet in C Major) started out with the dancers poetically lit in silhouette against a glowing background, then flooded the stage with overly bright, clinical lighting that washed out the dancers in their severe steel-grey unitards and diminished the strangely tender moments in the choreography. Payne Bradley’s Your Sun Becomes My Moon set up two parallel universes in which intimate relationships between two pairs of dancers unfurled simultaneously onstage, a concept which begged to be supported by a bifurcated lighting scheme that simply didn’t materialize.

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One doesn’t expect a pick-up company to display a unified style or aesthetic, and the three short pieces did play to the dancers’ individuality. Daphnis and Chloé however is a different breed of dance, and the ensemble of thirteen powered heroically through Mark Foehringer’s ecstatic neoclassical choreography with a dizzying range of manners. Perhaps more rehearsal time would have hammered out a more consistent carriage of the head, arms and shoulders, and more uniform leg extensions… but the work is simply not innovative enough to make it the focal point of a brave new venture.

Though Foehringer’s pared-down interpretation of the classic tale verged on a storyline for the Desperate Housewives of Ancient Greece, the splendid, regal Jamielyn Duggan rose above cliché in the role of the scheming Lycaenion, ably supported by Ismael Acosta. Christopher Dunn and Kelsey McFalls shone sweetly in the title roles, and Marcos Vedovetto proved a commanding Pan.

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The dancers seemed most at home in the hybrid hip-hop and contemporary vocabulary of Ocean, the chilling vision of a sleeper cell of aliens activated by the superb Cooper Neely. The second movement, a serpentine trio set to Ólafur Arnalds’ gently hypnotic For Teda, features Neely, Christopher Dunn and Kelsey McFalls in a contemporary nod to Frederic Ashton’s extraterrestrial Monotones II. Arnalds’ dappled tones give way to the brutal techno of Henning Baer in a particularly bleak mood, and Montalvo fields an army of aliens programmed to destroy whatever is in their path. With arms that function like machine guns and movement delivered in controlled spasms that seem to spring directly from the score, the DTSF dancers appear nothing short of virtuosic. A music critic summed up the Baer EP in a manner that perfectly characterizes Montalvo’s work: “There is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is no light at the beginning either. There is only darkness here.”

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There is a bleak edge to Cassini’s work as well, the dancers frequently looking out over an abyss but always drawing each other back. They initially look very comfortable in Cassini’s movement style, which is cat-like and ethereal but also very grounded. There are tantalizing hints of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a mischievous Puck-like figure – danced with brio on Sunday by Angela Bevevino – who gambols among the sleeping figures of two unsuspecting maidens. However, midway through the piece, as the Schubert builds in intensity and anxiety, the choreography turns more nakedly athletic. The piece looks unfinished, as if the choreographer was testing out movement ideas in the second half but didn’t have time to polish it, and the dancers appeared to struggle.

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Payne Bradley’s piece is driven by Arvo Pärt’s austere and mystical Summa for Strings, whose waves wash to shore two couples: one entwined in a luscious contemporary duet, the other in a formal, purely classical pas de deux. Alexandra Fitzgibbon and Michael Galloway, in chic swimwear marked with fields of color suggestive of Mark Rothko, are never less than stunning as they explore unstable, shifting sands. Their movements suggest some kind of marine creature. They cede the stage to Ana Robles and Joshua Thake, she in a long diaphanous tutu and he in a princely tunic, and we are reminded that the language of classical ballet is objectively no less contrived or exotic than the movement of jellyfish or sea dragons. Robles and Thake seemed poorly matched or under-rehearsed, however, which, together with the lighting failure, diminished the impact of this otherwise glamorous and quirky work.

At the start of the evening, company Executive Director and Artistic Advisor Annie Henry (who also brought an elegant presence to the ensemble in Daphnis and Chloé) delivered a graceful pitch for donor support. Money is not the only thing the company needs right now. It is not enough to employ dancers and give free rein to talented choreographers – there must be a vision in the curating of a program, and a discipline to the myriad decisions around scoring, casting, time and resource allocation. There must be someone with the experience and authority to sit in on rehearsals and make a judgment as to what is ready to be presented and what is not. In young companies, understandably, artists often must wear more than one hat. At present, in this company, there are important hats that no one is wearing.

Photos:

1. Dance Theatre of San Francisco members Jessica Wagner & Ismael Acosta in the premiere of Sandrine Cassini’s Here By Our Sight, October 24-26 at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco. Photo: Matt Haber

2. & 3. Dance Theatre of San Francisco ensemble in the premiere of Mark Foehringer’s Daphnis and Chloé. Photo: Anandha Ray

4. Dance Theatre of San Francisco members Jamielyn Duggan & Christopher Dunn in the premiere of Mark Foehringer’s Daphnis and Chloe, October 24-26 at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco. Photo: Matt Haber

5. Dance Theatre of San Francisco member Vincent Chavez in the premiere of Dexandro Montalvo’s Ocean. Photo: Anandha Ray

6. Dance Theatre of San Francisco members Michael Galloway and Alexandra FitzGibbon in the premiere of Milissa Payne Bradley’s Your Sun Becomes My Moon. Photo: Anandha Ray
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Bold And Courageous Kickstarter Aims To Create Biggest D*ck Drawing Of All Time (NSFW)

We’re always happy to see Kickstarter using its powers to bring awareness and much needed funds to grassroots art projects and underexposed creative endeavors around the world. Or, to help make one big giant d*ck drawing. That works too.

Today we’re admiring the hopes and dreams of a young man named Alex Wong, who just really, really loves penis drawings. Having just graduated college without steady employment, Wong is using this precious time in a man’s life to explore the complex space where art and physicality intersect, sort of.

Wong explains on Kickstarter:

“With your help, I will be able to create a wonderful (and long) drawing of the male anatomy. This is both a personal project rooted in my childhood dreamds, as well as a collaborate project to spread awareness and understanding of our bodies. We didn’t grow up drawing d*cks out of nowhere. It was fun, it was funny. It’s still fun and it’s still funny. Whether it is a terrible sketch on a bar napkin or a beautiful painting on a canvas; a d*ck drawing is a d*ck drawing. Seeing an abstract d*ck by Picasso in a museum is just as funny as drawing one for yourself in the condensation of a car window. Let’s impress Guinness with the World’s Biggest D*ck Drawing. Project WBDD is officially on the rise!”

The plan is simple. Every dollar you donate will add an inch to the penis rendering. The sky is the limit, people.

It’s worth noting that Wong seems realistic about the possible outcomes of his artistic endeavor. He expresses his fears honestly on the world wide web: “Maybe nobody will pledge to get balls, a head, pubes or veins added to the d*ck drawing and it’ll end up looking deformed. Who cares! All d*ck drawings are different.”

May the force be with you, Wong.

On a darker note, Jezebel makes the very astute point that Wong is not that good at drawing d*cks. Of course, the art of penile rendering is subjective. For those not convinced, you may find a more worthy cause to donate to here.

h/t Jezebel
Arts – The Huffington Post
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