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July 28, 2014

Amy Malin, AnnaLynne McCord, Corey Feldman, Rani Hong commem­orate World Day Against TrafïŹcking 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



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Igor Spektor


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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 MĂ©tropolitain 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, fĂȘted 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 inïŹ‚uential has BeyoncĂ© 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 BeyoncĂ©.
   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, PelĂ© 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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April 2, 2014

Emma Watson, about to graduate, ponders the next stage of her life

Lucire staff/10.05

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Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Above Emma Watson at the Berlin premiĂšre of Noah last month.

Gracing the April issue of Elle Australia, Emma Watson gives readers the opportunity to realize that despite all her success, she just wants to be normal, and she doesn’t want to be criticized for calling an ‘eraser’ a ‘rubber’, a mistake, she tells Elle, she made during her first week at Brown University. In a few months, she will graduate with a degree in English, and she admits, she has no idea what the next chapter of her life is meant to look like, yet she’s optimistic about the whole ‘post-grad situation.’
   ‘Look,’ she tells Elle’s Mickey Rapkin, ‘I just want to know exactly what the next 10 years of my life is going to look like, OK? And to have it organized on a colour-coordinated calendar. Is that really too much to ask for?’ And as most of her graduating class would ask the same question, it becomes clear that, although Watson has graced the film and fashion worlds, she is just like any other “almost graduate” deciding where the next chapter of her life is heading, or at least, trying to figure it out.
   But Watson admits she is jealous of other actresses, whose rise to fame have been less embarrassing to hers, citing her role as Hermione Granger as her greatest, yet not her most stylish, role.
   â€˜There are these actresses who have emerged in the last year or two and they get to emerge as this complete human being,’ adding, ‘And I’m so jealous! Because everyone has seen me with my terrible haircuts and my awful teeth and all the terrible things I wore and said.’ But that’s the beauty of Watson, she’s so candid and honest about her own insecurities and afflictions that she seems unable to understand why people love her now as the style icon she is, but Watson worries that her best days are already behind her.
   â€˜I’ve got so much left to do and prove,’ she tells Rapkin, adding that her absence from the screen wasn’t due to the lack of offers, but, rather the lack of a challenging character. ‘I was being offered roles that I didn’t feel were very complicated. Women that were one-dimensional. Roles that required me to be one thing, but real women never are.’
   Watson admits that she doesn’t want her real life to happen on screen, remembering a quote she once read by Elizabeth Taylor, ‘She had her first kiss in character on a movie set. It really struck me. I had this sense that if I wasn’t really careful, that could be me. That my first kiss could in somebody else’s clothes. And my experience could all belong to someone else.’ The desire to form her own identity is something that Watson emphasizes, she wants to create her own memories, and not just play the role. As the interview progresses, you get the sense that Watson is just trying to find out who she is, without all the Hollywood hype, the movies, the fashion labels; none of that seems too important to her. Emma Watson is on a course to find a “normal” life, but, as she tells Rapkin, finding answers can be tiresome, but finding a safe place is the ultimate goal.
   â€˜If I’ve learned anything, it’s to stop trying to find the answers and certainties.’
   Her desire to feel safe and balanced we all share, even Watson admits her quest is a little mad, but she won’t give up on trying to build a “normal” life. ‘You might think I’m crazy,’ she says, ‘but I was like, “I need to find a way to always feel safe and at home within myself.” Because I can never rely on a physical place.’
   Whatever happens in her quest to build a “normal” life, we hope that Watson continues to dazzle us with her acting performances and that she finally discovers what all graduating students search for: the next chapter of her life.—Snjezana Bobič

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February 14, 2014

Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge, Chrissy Teigen share Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover, shot in the Cook Islands

Lucire staff/4.29

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Three models share the cover honours for the 50th anniversary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for 2014: Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge, and Chrissy Teigen.
   The 2014 edition was revealed Thursday night on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit blog and dĂ©buted on national TV Thursday night in the US on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
   It is the first cover for all three models. Teigen has modelled for the special issue since 2010, and Agdal had her dĂ©but in 2012. It is Aldridge’s first year.
   The last time three models appeared on the cover was in 2006.
   The cover was shot by James Macari in the Cook Islands. The magazine itself will hit newsstands next week, in print and digital formats.
   Teigen also appears in Air New Zealand’s latest safety video, co-branded with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, which was also shot in the Cook Islands.
   Kate Upton had appeared on the cover over the previous two years.

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January 30, 2014

Scarlett Johansson, Oxfam formally sever ties over Sodastream endorsement

Lucire staff/23.18

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Above Scarlett Johansson in an unaired commercial for Sodastream.

Oxfam, which has been under pressure to sever its ties with Scarlett Johansson after she became the spokeswoman for Sodastream, confirmed that it no longer has the actress as a goodwill ambassador.
   Johansson, who has worked with Oxfam since 2005, issued an earlier statement about her departure.
   â€˜She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam,’ her statement read.
   Sodastream, which is part-owned by Israeli interests, has a factory in a settlement in the West Bank. Oxfam opposes goods produced by Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.
   Oxfam stated, ‘Oxfam has accepted Scarlett Johansson’s decision to step down after eight years as a Global Ambassador and we are grateful for her many contributions.
   â€˜While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms Johansson’s role promoting the company Sodastream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.
   â€˜Oxfam believes that businesses, such as Sodastream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.
   â€˜Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law. Ms Johansson has worked with Oxfam since 2005 and in 2007 became a Global Ambassador, helping to highlight the impact of natural disasters and raise funds to save lives and fight poverty.’
   Activists had been quick to seize on the Sodastream campaign after it became public on January 13.
   Previously, Johansson had stated, ‘Sodastream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbours working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day. As part of my efforts as an ambassador for Oxfam, I have witnessed first-hand that progress is made when communities join together and work alongside one another and feel proud of the outcome of that work in the quality of their product and work environment, in the pay they bring home to their families and in the benefits they equally receive.’
   An advertisement for Sodastream will air during the Super Bowl in the US this Sunday, starring Johansson.
   Sodastream CEO Daniel Birnbaum told the Forward that he would not have located a plant in the settlement himself. He became CEO after the plant had been established in the 1990s, but said he would not close it due to his 500 Palestinian employees, who could not work at another plant on the other side of the Green Line. ‘We will not throw our employees under the bus to promote anyone’s political agenda,’ he said.
   Birnbaum also stressed that if a Palestinian state comes into being, his company would be happy to remain there and pay taxes to the new state.

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Filed under: celebrity, film, living, Lucire, media
January 14, 2014

Kenza Zouiten, Pandora, Dulceida and Negin Mirsalehi honoured at Berlin Fashion Week blog awards

Lucire staff/4.03

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Peter Michael Dills


Clemens Bilan


Ian Gavan

Above Chiara Ferragni, Negin Mirsalehi, Aida Domenech, Louise Ebel, Fadela Mercheri, Raul Richter and Benjamin GĂŒnther attend the Stylight Fashion Blogger Awards. Aleks Subosic and Kenza Zouiten—who notably updated her blog during the night. Kristina Bazan of Kayture.

Online store Stylight hosted its inaugural Fashion Blogger Awards at the Brandenburg Gate, at the start of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin last night.
   A panel, headed by Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad, recongized Negin Mirsalehi of the Netherlands for the most promising fashion blog; Aida Domenech of Spain for the best style fashion blog (Dulceida); Louise Ebel of France for most creative fashion blog (Pandora); and Kenza Zouiten of Sweden for most influential fashion blog.
   Zouiten’s influence has extended into webcasting, with a very successful YouTube channel complementing her blog.
   She recorded her win immediately online, with the one-line entry, ‘I can’t really believe it. We won! You did it again!!! Thank you soooo much!! I will get back to you tomorrow, now we’re gonna celebrate!’
   The event saw some 750 guests from the fashion industry and media, with an awards’ show, live catwalk from Mavi (which was a sponsor), and after-party.


Peter Michael Dills




Frazer Harrison





Peter Michael Dills




Clemens Bilan




Luca Teuchmann

Social photos, above Bonnie Strange. Mirja Dumont. Negin Mirsalehi. Barbara Meier. Raul Richter, Chiara Ferragni and Stylight CEO Benjamin GĂŒnther. Rebecca Mir. Louise Ebel. Fanny Lyckman, Aida Domenech and Irene Colzi. Enie van de Meiklokjes and Tobias StĂ€rbo.

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