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August 11, 2014

Rihanna on the cover of W September 2014, with unmissable Meadowlark Jewellery

Lucire staff/2.03

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Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Rihanna is on the September 2014 cover of W, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Edward Enniful, the magazine’s fashion and style director.
   There’s a New Zealand connection, with the pop star wearing Meadowlark Jewellery’s large Thorn Septum ring, from its upcoming spring–summer 2014–15 collection, Dynasty, on the cover. The singer wears the ring on her nose on the cover.
   Two versions of the ring, one with diamonds and one without, feature in the editorial inside.
   Meadowlark says it gifted Rihanna the diamond-set septum ring on the day of the shoot, and she had been spotted wearing it.
   She also wears a Donna Karan New York dress, an Ashley Lloyd headdress, Amrapali ruby and diamond ear cuffs, and a Stephen Dweck sterling silver necklace. The shoot took place in July.
   Rihanna is currently on her Monster’s Ball tour with rapper Eminem.

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August 5, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists fulfil their diplomatic mission

Lucire staff/5.51

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Alan Raga

Other than the early 5.30 a.m. call to get ready for a live TV appearance on Channel 5 to 10 million viewers in Thailand, Monday saw the Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists fulfil part of their diplomatic role, visiting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an official function hosted by Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs. The Thai Ambassador to New Zealand, HE Noppadon Theppitak, was also in attendance, amidst substantial local media interest.
   It was also a day for the New Zealand national anthem, broadcast both on television in the morning and sung at the Ministry in the evening.
   They met the top place holders from Miss Universe Thailand, including Pimbongkod Chankaew, who will represent Thailand at the international competition later this year.
   At the ministerial event, Miss Universe New Zealand executive director Nigel Godfrey presented his opposite number at Miss Universe Thailand, Surang Prempree, a framed invitation for her titleholder to come to New Zealand later in 2014.
   In addition, four contestants had a very early morning shoot with Alan Raga, again wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co. swimwear, completed before 8 a.m.
   Channel 5 has since uploaded its clip to YouTube, embedded below.
   Godfrey notes in his interview with Channel 5, as the Thai people are justifiably concerned about their perception in international media, ‘We have seen nothing but safety … For us we could not feel safer, and that certainly is something we will be telling people in New Zealand when we go back.’
   In the afternoon, the top 25 went to Central Embassy, a shopping centre in Bangkok, to try their hand at cooking traditional Thai cuisine at the Issaya Cooking Studio. Their experience has already hit the Thai press, appearing in Thairath, one of the biggest newspapers in the country.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.










Alan Raga

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August 4, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists experience Thai culture first-hand

Lucire staff/9.11

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Alan Raga

The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists had a 5.30 a.m. call on Monday, preparing to head to the Channel 5 studios in Bangkok for a 7 a.m. appearance with both the Thai ambassador to New Zealand Noppadon Theppitak and Miss Universe New Zealand executive director Nigel Godfrey.
   The show they appeared on, where they talked about their experiences in Thailand, reaches 10 million viewers domestically, and another 170 countries worldwide via satellite.
   Sunday’s schedule was somewhat more relaxed, with a morning visit to the Suan Sam Pran Riverside Thai Village to experience making traditional craft and food, as well as learning a few dance steps, while six contestants stayed behind for their swimwear shoots wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co., with photographer Alan Raga.
   It was not until the evening that Thailand Travel & Tourism hosted the finalists at the Sofitel, before they returned to their accommodation at the Hilton Bangkok.
   Monday’s programme, meanwhile, saw the top 25 finalists at the Issaya Cooking Studio, where they tried their hand at cooking, at Bangkok’s Central Embassy shopping centre.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.











Alan Raga


Friendship to Friend Trip

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August 3, 2014

A full day in Bangkok for Miss Universe New Zealand 2014’s top 25 finalists

Lucire staff/5.33

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Alan Raga

The second day of the finalists’ retreat for Miss Universe New Zealand 2014, and the first full day in Thailand, was packed with activities for the top 25 around Bangkok.
   Most went for a morning visit to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, the temple of the Emerald Buddha, while photographer Alan Raga began the swimwear shoots for three remaining contestants, with swimwear from Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co.
   Lunch was served at Bangkok’s Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, while a further three had their shoots done in the afternoon.
   The contestants were subject to immense media coverage, continuing to highlight what the Thai ambassador to New Zealand, HE Noppadon Theppitak, sees as contributing positively to the diplomacy between the two countries.
   A packed evening was lined up for all 25 at Asiatique, the Riverfront, an open-air mall featuring a night bazaar and, currently, Muay Thai Live—the Legend Lives, a show performed at the state-of-the-art theatre at the venue nightly except Sunday. It chronicles the history of Thai kickboxing over the last three centuries.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.




Alan Raga


Muay Thai Live

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July 28, 2014

Amy Malin, AnnaLynne McCord, Corey Feldman, Rani Hong commem­orate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Lucire staff/13.58

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Igor Spektor

Above Amy Malin gives her powerful speech on being a survivor of rape, assault and torture; actor Corey Feldman looks on.

Amy Malin, AnnaLynne McCord, Corey Feldman, all of whom have suffered serious sexual assaults, joined Rani Hong, a survivor of slavery and child trafficking, at an event on Friday in Los Angeles, hosted by Malin and the Tronie Foundation, to celebrate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
   Pianist Chloe Flower, Hill Harper, Nestor Serrano and Ryan Devlin were among the celebrities who attended the event, where Malin, McCord, Feldman and Hong recounted their horrific events from their past to highlight the world’s ongoing problems with human trafficking and domestic violence.
   Malin’s story of rape, imprisonment, and physical and mental torture at the hands of one sociopathic tormenter, and violent physical relationships for 11 years of her life, was incredibly compelling, and brought a powerful, real human face to the issues. ‘In my humble opinion, domestic violence is the worst plague on humanity and is the root cause of so many of our other social problems. Everyone in this room knows someone who is a survivor or a victim of domestic violence, only you just might not know it yet, and that’s because the shame-and-blame culture of our society makes most survivors of abuse too afraid or ashamed to come forward with their stories and get the help that they need. It takes most survivors many years before they can even process the atrocities that they have experienced, and then even longer before they are comfortable in a safe, physical and emotional space to share what they gave endured with somebody else.’
   She reminded the audience that she was not alone, and that events like this continue every day around the world, in our own communities behind closed doors. (Her passionate address from the event can be found at her website.)
   Hong, who co-founded the Tronie Foundation and is a special adviser to UN.GIFT (United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking), was taken from her family at age seven and sold to a slave master. Her mental and physical condition was so poor by the time she was eight, she was sold into illegal adoption. She also shared her story at the event: like Malin, she gave a voice to the millions who were unable to.
   McCord and Feldman also shared stories of sexual assault. McCord, who noted that she was always careful, recounts that she was sexually assaulted at home by someone she trusted. She has recently written and directed a short film, I Choose, about ‘a woman who chooses and a woman who doesn’t, because I’ve been both.’ (The film is embedded below, as our fourth video.) It was important for McCord to tell real-life stories, again to bring a human face to the massive problems of sexual assault. Feldman, meanwhile, notes that rape is Hollywood’s darkest secret, and that that had driven him to years of substance abuse, and that fellow actor Corey Haim was similarly a victim, having been raped at age 11.
   They believe that people in the entertainment industry can help to eradicate human trafficking and domestic violence. Malin suggests that producers should, when filming abroad, do due diligence to ensure that they do not do business with those using slaves or people being paid a pittance. She also adds that audiences should see strong, female characters who have overcome great odds, including stories reflecting hers and Hong’s. Hollywood, she believes, has a unique opportunity to make real change.
   The cycle of violence would never be broken, says Malin, if the film industry continues to reward Roman Polanski with Oscars after his admission of sexual assault, or if it continues to work with men such as Woody Allen, who has been accused by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow of sexual assault.
   She and her husband Scott, who have a son, plan to adopt a daughter from the Los Angeles foster system who has been a victim of abuse, to show that ‘she will have the beautiful and amazing life she deserves, and that she will never go through the hell that I did.’—Jack Yan, Publisher

AnnaLynne McCord’s film, I Choose


Igor Spektor



Splash News





Igor Spektor


Splash News

Above, from top AnnaLynne McCord. Special adviser to the United Nations, Rani Hong, speaks at Amy Malin and the Tronie Foundation’s salon to celebrate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Rani Hong and Amy Malin. Isabelle Katz, AnnaLynne McCord, Yelena Zava, Amber Bobin and Chloe Flower. AnnaLynne McCord, Corey Feldman, Amy Malin and Amber Bobin. Attorney Paul Hirose, actor Corey Feldman and DAMA Tequila CEO Philip Delacruz. Actor Nestor Serrano and his wife Debbie.

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May 29, 2014

A tribute to Massimo Vignelli, a design legend

Jack Yan/10.14

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RIT

Massimo Vignelli, who passed away on May 27, was a hero of mine. When receiving the news shortly before it hit the media in a big way, from our mutual friend Stanley Moss, this title’s travel editor and CEO of the Medinge Group, I posted immediately on Facebook: ‘It is a sad duty to note the passing of Massimo Vignelli, one of my heroes in graphic design. When I was starting out in the business, Massimo was one of the greats: a proponent of modernism and simple, sharp typography. His influence is apparent in a lot of the work done by our brand consultancy and in our magazines, even in my 2013 mayoral campaign graphics. A lot of his work from half a century ago has stood the test of time. There was only one degree of separation between us, and I regret that we never connected during his lifetime. The passing of a legend.’
   This Facebook status only scratches the surface of my admiration for Vignelli. There have been more comprehensive obits already (Fast Company Design rightly called him ‘one of the greatest 20th century designers’), detailing his work notably for the New York subway map, and—curiously to me—glossing over the effect he had on corporate design, especially in the US.
   Vignelli, and his wife Lella, a designer in her own right and a qualified architect, set up the Vignelli Office of Design and Architecture in Milano in 1960, which had clients including Pirelli and Olivetti. In 1965, they moved to New York and Vignelli co-founded Unimark International (with Ralph Eckerstrom, James Fogelman, Wally Gutches, Larry Klein, and Bob Noorda), where he was design director. It was the world’s largest design and marketing firm till its closure in 1977.
   The 1960s were a great time for Vignelli and his corporate identities. He worked on American Airlines, Ford, Knoll, and J. C. Penney, and the work was strictly modernist, often employing Helvetica as the typeface family. Vignelli was known to have stuck with six families for most his work—Bodoni was another, a type family based around geometry that, on the surface, tied in to his modernist, logical approach. However, there were underlying reasons, including his belief that Helvetica had an ideal ratio between upper- and lowercase letters, with short ascenders and descenders, lending itself to what he considered classic proportions. The 1989 WTC Our Bodoni, created under Vignelli’s direction by Tom Carnase and commissioned by Bert di Pamphilis, adheres to the same proportions.
   Although my own typeface design background means that I could not adhere to six, there is something to be said for employing a logical approach to design. American corporate design went through a “cleaning up” in the 1960s, with a brighter, bolder sensibility. Detractors might accuse it of being stark, the Helveticization of American design making things too standard. Yet through the 1970s the influence remained, and to my young eyes that decade, this was how professional design should look, contrary to the low-budget work plaguing newspapers and books that I saw as I arrived in the occident.
   When the Vignellis left Unimark to set up Vignelli Associates in 1971 (and later Vignelli Designs in 1978), their stamp remained. The MTA launched Vignelli’s subway map the following year, and like the London Underground map by Harry Beck in 1931, it ignored what was above ground in favour of a logical diagram with the stops. Beck was a technical draftsman and the approach must have found favour with Vignelli, just as it did with those creating maps for the Paris Métropolitain and the Berlin U-bahn.
   New Yorkers didn’t take to the Vignelli map as well as Londoners and Parisians, and it was replaced in 1979 with one that was more geographically accurate to what was above ground.
   In 1973, Vignelli worked on the identity for Bloomingdale’s, and his work endures: the Big Brown Bag is his work, and it continues to be used by the chain today. Cinzano, Lancia and others continue with Vignelli’s designs.
   Ironically, despite a rejection of fashion in favour of timelessness, some of the work is identified with the 1960s and 1970s, notably thanks to the original cut of Helvetica, which has only recently been revived (a more modern cut is commonplace), and which is slightly less popular today. Others, benefiting from more modern layout programs and photography, look current to 2010s eyes, such as Vignelli Associates’ work for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
   The approach taken by Lucire in its print editions has a sense of modernism that has a direct Vignelli influence, including the use of related typeface families since we went to retail print editions in 2004. Our logotype itself, dating from 1997, has the sort of simplicity that I believe Vignelli would have approved of.
   Vignelli was, fortunately, fêted during his lifetime. He received the Compasso d’Oro from ADI twice (1964 and 1998), the AIGA Gold Medal (1983), the Presidential Design Award (1985), the Honorary Royal Designer for Industry Award from the Royal Society of Arts (1996), the National Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper–Hewitt National Museum of Design (2003), among many. He holds honorary doctorates from seven institutions, including the Rochester Institute of Technology (2002). Rochester has a Vignelli Center for Design Studies, whose website adheres to his design principles and where educational programmes espouse his modernist approach. It also houses the Vignellis’ professional archive.
   He is survived by his wife, Lella, who continues to work as CEO of Vignelli Associates and president of Vignelli Designs; their son, Luca, their daughter, Valentina Vignelli Zimmer, and three grandchildren.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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May 1, 2014

Sponsored video: don’t follow the rules—Microsoft Surface launches business promotion

Lucire staff/12.16

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A Lucire special promotion


Microsoft is keen to get businesses into its Surface tablet series, and over the last few years has even redesigned its flagship Windows operating system around touch-screen technology.
   But what is surprising is how Microsoft is almost an underdog brand among a mid-2010s world where Apple’s I technology and Google Android have become mainstream terms. Some might even choose Microsoft because it has cachet—after all, its founder, Bill Gates, is now perceived as a humanitarian hero, a 180-degree change from the image he faced two decades ago.
   So it makes sense for Microsoft to team up with another company that has an established record, yet sees itself as somewhat antiestablishment: The Guardian.
   Its latest promotion, Uncompromise, a.k.a. The Rise of the Renegade Professionals, looks at businesses that have opted to use Microsoft Surface. They’re also businesses that refuse to follow the rules.
   Honest Burgers of Brixton was started by two best friends, Tom Barton and Phil Eeles (above), who believed there was a market for gourmet burgers—at a time when they couldn’t even get deliveries of premium meats into the area.
   Kerry Roy, founder of Camp Katur, saw a market for glamping—luxury camping holidays—again at a time when no one saw a niche for the business in Yorkshire.
   In each case, Microsoft Surface’s portability, and compatibility with the well known Office software, aided the business.
   Along with The Guardian, Microsoft will produce a short film about a business that also refuses to follow the rules—there’s an entry form for entrepreneurs who are interested in being showcased.
   We’re loving this idea because Lucire itself would not have existed if our founders followed the rules. In 1997, there were people who thought a web fashion magazine was a lousy idea and could not understand it.
   And when we wanted to branch into print, there were just as many doubters.
   By checking out this link, you can read more about Honest Burgers, Camp Katur and others—inspiring, original businesses who decided not to compromise.


Video sponsored by Microsoft

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April 26, 2014

Time’s 100 most influential has Beyoncé covering; Benedict Cumberbatch, Phoebe Philo, Lydia Ko make the cut

Lucire staff/10.04

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The cover for this year’s Time 100, listing the news magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, goes to Beyoncé.
   On sale today, the 11th annual edition also features Robert Redford, Mary Barra and Jason Collins on covers within the publication.
   It also has a number of guest contributors, writing about those who feature: James Franco on Marina Abramović, Barack Obama on Pope Francis, Pelé on Cristiano Ronaldo, Stella McCartney on Phoebe Philo, Colin Firth on Benedict Cumberbatch, John Cassidy on Andrew Haldane, Elif Shafak on Abdullah Gul, Madeleine Albright on Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton on John Kerry, Lupita Nyong’o on Steve McQueen, and Christine Lagarde on Janet Yellen.
   Forty-one women are honoured, including Amy Adams, Mary Barra, Lydia Ko, Megyn Kelly, Miley Cyrus, Angela Merkel, Serena Williams, Robin Wright, Kerry Washington, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Jenji Kohan.
   President Obama appears for the ninth time, and other repeat honorees include Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin, and Jeff Bezos.
   As with this magazine’s ‘newsmakers’ list, Edward Snowden makes the cut in Time. Jack Ma of Alibaba, which was honoured by the Medinge Group in its seventh Brands with a Conscience awards in 2010, has also come to the attention of Time.
   Obama writes of the Pope: ‘Rare is the leader who makes us want to be better people. Pope Francis is such a leader … Pope Francis reminds us in ways that words alone cannot that no matter our station in life, we are bound by moral obligations to one another.’
   Franco says of Abramović: ‘I trust Marina to carve the artist out of her celebrity and use her celebrity to bring what she stands for into the here and now, looking straight into the eyes of all of us, strangers still, but courageous, curious, inspired, creative participants afterward.’
   McCartney says of Philo: ‘One of the few female designers, she celebrates the simple and champions the quality and reality of a woman’ wardrobe. When people invest in her work, they have it for life. One of the things we share is the reality that the clothes we design are actually worn.’
   And Firth writes of Cumberbatch: ‘It’s rare to the point of outlandish to find so many variables in one actor, including features which ought to be incompatible: vulnerability, a sense of danger, a clear intellect, honesty, courage—and a rather alarming energy. I take no pleasure in feeling humbled, but there’s no getting around it. He must be stopped.’
   Time editor Nancy Gibbs says, ‘The Time 100 is a list of the world’s most influential men and women, not its most powerful … The vast majority of this year’s roster reveals that while power is certain, influence is subtle. Power is a tool, influence is a skill … If there is a common theme in many of the tributes, it’s the eagerness to see what some engineer, actor, leader or athlete will do next. As much as this exercise chronicles the achievements of the past year, we also focus on figures whose influence is likely to grow, so we can look around the corner to see what is coming.’
   A full list, including tributes, videos and photos, can be seen here. Time also has an interactive grid of the 100 honorees at this link, and a Facebook influence map here.

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