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Opinions: what we need from media beyond ‘fake news’; looking to the stars


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 15, 2017/21.47

We need independent media


Paul Clarke/CC BY-SA 4.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37435469

Above: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

Earlier this month, Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote an open letter expressing his concerns about the evolution of his invention, the World Wide Web. (Interestingly, he writes the term all in lowercase.)
   It wasn’t just about ‘fake news’, which is how the media have reported it. His first concern was, in fact, about our losing control over our personal data, and determining when and with whom we share them. It’s something I’ve touched on regularly since 2011, when Google breached its own stated policies over user-preference collection for advertising purposes, something that Facebook appears to be following suit with mid-decade. This was long before Edward Snowden blew the lid on his government’s monitoring, something that’s happening to citizens of other occidental nations, too.
   Sir Tim writes, ‘Through collaboration with—or coercion of—companies, governments are also increasingly watching our every move online, and passing extreme laws that trample on our rights to privacy. In repressive regimes, it’s easy to see the harm that can be caused—bloggers can be arrested or killed, and political opponents can be monitored. But even in countries where we believe governments have citizens’ best interests at heart, watching everyone, all the time is simply going too far. It creates a chilling effect on free speech and stops the web from being used as a space to explore important topics, like sensitive health issues, sexuality or religion.’
   But the one that struck me as very pertinent to publishing is Sir Tim’s second point. It’s the one that most news outlets seized on, linking it back to ‘fake news’, a term now corrupted by the executive branch of the US Government when attacking coverage that it doesn’t like. However, Sir Tim’s points were far broader than that. And it’s evident how his first point links to his second.
   It’s not hard to see that there is biased coverage on both the right and right wings of US politics (interestingly, they call it left and right), although Sir Tim points to how ‘a handful of social media sites or search engines’ show us the things that appeal to our own biases through their algorithms. ‘Fake news’ then spreads through these algorithms because they play to our prejudices. He writes, ‘those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.’ These sites are able to determine what we see based on the data we’ve given them, willingly or unwillingly.
   It’s so far from the ideals of the World Wide Web that it’s sad that the medium, which was once so expansive and inspirational as we surfed from one site to the next to read and absorb information, has come to this: a tool for becoming more insular, the first path to the idiocracy.
   Google, as I wrote last year, biases itself toward larger sites, no longer rewarding the media outlet that breaks a news item. The incentive to be that maverick medium is, therefore, lessened greatly online, because the web isn’t being ranked on merit by the largest player in the search-engine business. It’s why Duck Duck Go, which doesn’t collect user data, gives search results that are generally fairer. We think it’s important to learn alternative viewpoints, especially in politics, otherwise the division that we already see in some countries will only deepen—and at worst this can lead to war. In peacetime countries, a compatriot with opposing political thoughts is not our enemy.
   Facebook’s continued data collection of user preferences is also dangerous. Even after users opt out, Facebook’s ad preferences’ page demonstrates that it will keep collecting. Whether or not Facebook then uses these preferences is unknown—certainly Facebook itself clams up—but since the site reports journalists who alert them to kiddie porn, kicks off drag queens after saying they wouldn’t, and forces people to download software in the guise of malware detection, who knows if any of Facebook’s positions are real or merely ‘fake news’? Knowing the misdeeds of sites like Facebook—and Google which itself has been found guilty of hacking—do they actually deserve our ongoing support?
   Of course I have an interest in getting people to look beyond the same-again players, because I run one media outlet that isn’t among them. But we have an interest to seek information from the independents, and to support a fair and neutral internet. We may learn an angle we hadn’t explored before, or we may find news and features others aren’t covering. Better yet, we may learn alternative viewpoints that break us out of our prejudices. Surely we can’t be that scared of learning about alternatives (maybe one that is better than what we believe), or having a reasoned debate based on fact rather than emotion or hatred? And if you are sharing on social media, do you want to be one of the sheep who uses the same click-bait as everyone else, or show that you’re someone who’s capable of independent thought?
   It shouldn’t be that difficult to distinguish fake-news sites from legitimate media (even though the line gets blurred) by looking at how well something is subedited and how many spelling mistakes there are. Perhaps the headlines are less emotive. There is a tier of independent media that deserves your support, whether it is this site or many competing ones that we’ve linked ourselves. Going beyond the same-again sources can only benefit us all.—Jack Yan, Publisher

Stars in their eyes


Chanel

Above: Chanel continues its long-running Comète collection.

Coco Chanel is known for embracing astrology. Her inspiration is reflected in many of her jewellery creations and designs years later. The star motif is highlighted within the Comète collection and while the lion, representative of the brand, is reminiscent of the city of Venezia and symbolic of her astrological sign. The designer’s influential vision comes to life within many of the intricately detailed pieces.
   To this day, astrology serves as a tool that could provide one with knowledge and even supposed explanatory perceptions. Fashion-focused entities and individuals have contemplated to what extent one’s rising sign or ascendant, representing the door to one’s identity, is correlated to one’s wardrobe and personal style. Some inquisitive individuals ponder about personalities, style and even probable futuristic outcomes in the financial field. The AstroTwins, Tali and Ophira Edut, who have been featured in a number of outlets, have given advice to a slew of celebrities. While they focus mainly on various predictions according to the stars, some have used astrology to tap in to the financial market. The Merriman Market Analyst is one of the many prominent sites that discuss and explain transformations and changes in planets that could serve in financial as well as everyday astrology. Other than the website, they have published books for international audiences, divulging and examining the planets and geocosmic aspects. According to the website’s disclaimer, ‘The hope is … it will help the reader understand the psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events …’ For decades, the founder continues to ponder on certain circumstances, whether on a weekly or yearly basis, leading a team of apprentices that follow in his footsteps.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor

Margot Robbie shows you can in a Nissan, with BladeGlider electric sports car


NEWS  by Nathalia Archila/February 20, 2017/23.19



Patrick Gosling

Margot Robbie (Focus, The Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad) has become a spokeswoman for Nissan, showing off the Japanese brand’s electric car credentials with its BladeGlider sports car around the streets of Monaco, and into Casino Square.
   The Australian actress tested one of the two BladeGliders on closed roads in the principality, racing against its twin. She drifts around Fairmont Hairpin, and slid sideways around the Massenet corner.
   The petite sports car has a very Japanese appearance with its origami-like folds and detail-rich surfaces, and seats three, with the driver in the central position. It’s not for sale—it’s a prototype that will be unveiled at the Salon de Genève later this year.
   It’s in direct contrast to the bulky Nissan Leaf, the world’s best selling electric vehicle.
   The Renault–Nissan Alliance has invested heavily in electric cars, staking its future on the growth of the sector.
   In a release, Robbie said, ‘It’s a really exciting time for electric vehicles. More people are choosing to go electric, leading the way to a more sustainable future and the Nissan BladeGlider hints at the future of smarter performance cars,’ said Margot Robbie.
   Nissan chose Monaco as it has a sustainability programme that aims to reduce carbon emissions by up to 50 per cent by 2030. ‘We want to inspire people to take small steps towards cleaner, safer cities, and working with Margot is the perfect way to do just that,’ said Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe.
   The advertisement forms part of a campaign, hashtagged #ElectrifytheWorld, to get people talking about sustainability and zero emissions living.—Nathalia Archila and Lucire staff

Kate Upton on three covers for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2017, photographed by Yu Tsai


NEWS  by Lucire staff/February 15, 2017/10.49




Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Above: Each of Yu Tsai’s covers for the 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, on sale now in the US.

As with 2016, Sports Illustrated has gone with three covers for its annual Swimsuit Issue—except this time, all three covers are of one model, Kate Upton. All three were shot in Fiji by Taiwanese-born photographer Yu Tsai (蔡宇).
   Upton landed the cover in 2012 and 2013. Previous models to have managed covering the Issue in three different years were Christie Brinkley (who, at 63, returns to model in 2017’s number), Kathy Ireland, Daniela Peštová, and Cheryl Tiegs. Elle Macpherson has five covers to her name.
   Other models in the 2017 edition are Nina Agdal, Ashley Graham, Hannah Jeter, Chrissy Teigen, Brinkley’s daughters Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook; Barbara Palvin, Bianca Balti, Bo Krsmanović, Danielle Herrington, Hailey Clauson, Hannah Ferguson, Kate Bock, Kelly Gale, Lais Ribiero, Mia Kang, Myla Dalbesio, Robyn Lawley, Rose Bertram, Samantha Hoopes, and Vita Sidorkina; and athletes Simone Biles, Genie Bouchard, Aly Raisman, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki,
   Swimsuit editor M. J. Day said in a release, ‘The women of SI Swimsuit 2017 are a collection of change agents, pioneers, power brokers and breakout stars-in-waiting who have in their own way redefined the cultural conversation around beauty. These ladies embody character and beauty—and they prove that when it comes to beauty, there is not one singular definition. This is the very essence of SI Swimsuit, and it’s our guiding principle as we move forward.’
   Publisher Time, Inc. has tied in Facebook Live shows, a Snapchat global live story, Giphy GIFs, 360-degree videos, YouTube videos, Instagram videos, app-exclusive content, and more. Others are encouraged to share their ideas of female beauty and confidence with the hashtags #WhatIModel and #LoveYourSwimsuit. A TV behind-the-scenes special débuts on DirecTV Now today (February 15); a live red carpet show will stream from New York on February 16; and a Vibes music, food and culture festival in Houston follows on February 17–18.
   The Issue’s shoots were done in Turks & Caicos, Fiji, Tulum, México, Anguilla, Sumba Island, Indonesia, Kakslauttanen, Finland, Curaçao, and Houston, Texas. Sponsors include DirecTV Now, Edge, Lexus and Smirnoff.

Gigi Hadid headlines Reebok #PerfectNever event with Aly Raisman, Lena Dunham, Ruby Rose, Zoë Kravitz, Jessica Mendoza


NEWS  by Lucire staff/December 8, 2016/22.19


Fresh from her recognition as model of the year at the British Fashion Awards, Gigi Hadid appeared as the high-profile headliner #PerfectNever Revolution event for Reebok, for whom she is a spokeswoman. Hadid, along with Olympic medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman, actresses Lena Dunham, Ruby Rose and Zoë Kravitz, joined broadcaster Jessica Mendoza as host in a panel discussion on the notion of perfection, tying in with Reebok’s Be More Human campaign.
   The panel discussed the pressures of perfection and how they combat impossible standards. Originally streamed live, it can be viewed on Reebok’s website, at reebok.com/perfectneverpanel. For those who get redirected because of Reebok’s national websites, it is embedded below instead.
   Hadid said, ‘A lot of people expect us to be perfect, and it’s often the times when we haven’t been perfect that have made us more human and more relatable.
   ‘My Mom always talked about growing in different areas, and I think that’s really important. I think that’s where sports became a really big part of my life, and I learned many ways that you learn from your mistakes that I use in every aspect of my life now.’
   Dunham said, ‘The reason that I started doing my job was to connect with other women, with other people, and to let them know that their flaws, their complexities and their darkness were an important part of who they are. So any time I can engage with something that busts open narratives, traditional narratives, about who women are supposed to be, I’m there.’
   Ruby Rose said, ‘The #PerfectNever campaign resonated with me because I think that it embodies female empowerment and it’s about being authentic to yourself, being true to yourself and being the best that you can be. We are all so unique and if you can’t be true to that and be authentic to who you were born to be, then you are not living the life you deserve.’
   Kravitz said, ‘The #PerfectNever campaign is important to me because I think it’s something we don’t see enough in the world. I think it’s important for women to embrace the fact that we’re not perfect and celebrate that.’
   Mendoza called the event ‘one of the most powerful panels I’ve been on.’
   Inga Stenta, senior director at Reebok, noted, ‘Reebok’s mission is to empower people to be the best versions of themselves not just physically, but mentally and socially.’
   Hannah Jeter, Olivia Culpo and Shanina Shaik also joined the audience at the #PerfectNever Revolution, representing Six: 02.
   Hadid then joined guests in a mass boxing workout with trainer and Gotham Gym owner Rob Piela. To conclude, guests saw an installation where balloons featuring negative ideas turned into positive ones, while social media commentary hashtagged #PerfectNever also featured.

Smooth operator: hair removal with Veet’s Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler


NEWS  by Cecilia Xu/November 25, 2016/22.49

Women are often concerned about hair removal on sensitive areas of their body such as their face, which needs more gentle treatment, thus subtracting the option to treat these areas the same way as they would with other parts of their body. Research has shown that ‘Many women feel a stigma about shaving their face, and believed that shaving hair makes it grow back faster and thicker,’ Veet’s senior consumer marketing manager Emma Smith says.
   Veet’s Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler provides the solution to this, as it is super-gentle on the skin, making hair removal on any sensitive areas easy and safe. Gone are the days of needing multiple tools to stay hair and fuzz-free. Veet’s Beauty Styler is an all-in-one portable, handbag-friendly tool developed to provide women with a quick, effective and pain-free hair removal option, handy and easy to use for touch-ups, and effortlessly trimming and shaping facial, underarm and bikini hair.
   To facilitate precise shaping and styling, the Beauty Styler comes with multiple interchangeable heads: these include a two-headed trimmer for optimum eyebrow shaping and miscellaneous facial hair trimming, and a 20 mm trimmer head for underarms and bikini line.
   Veet takes smooth skin to a whole new level with the introduction of the Precision Beauty Styler and is now available from leading supermarkets and pharmacies, RRP NZ$49·99. Veet also invites users to share their successful use of the Precision Beauty Styler on social media, hashtagging #smoothoperator.—Cecilia Xu

#Castmemarc: Marc Jacobs launches global casting call to find the next beauty sensation


NEWS  by Cecilia Xu/November 22, 2016/19.42

Could you be the next Marc Jacobs Beauty social media sensation? Marc Jacobs utilizes its famous hashtag #castmemarc once again open to the world, and this time it’s all about beauty.
   Marc Jacobs is a fun, vibrant and youthful brand, encouraging young people to push the boundaries in fashion and beauty. This is what the campaign is all about: to see how their global participants create their own style and become inspired, by anything.
   Applicants over the age of 18 simply need to post a video on Instagram telling Marc what inspires them in beauty and fashion, and why Marc himself should pick them. Don’t forget to add #castmemarc on your videos to be considered. Entries are open until Friday, December 16, 2016 (11.59 p.m. PST).
   In January 2017, 10 finalists will be flown to NYC to record a make-up application video for Marc and his judging panel, where Marc himself will then select three final artists to be apart of the spring 2017 #beautymarc video series. In addition to this, the chosen winners will each receive a year’s supply of Marc Jacobs Beauty products, invitations to all Marc Jacobs influencer events throughout 2017, and a MJ wardrobe and accessories’ allowance.
   Get hash-tagging #castmemarc!—Cecilia Xu

Gigi Hadid dons boxing gloves for second campaign this month: Stuart Weitzman launches Gigi boot


NEWS  by Lucire staff/October 25, 2016/23.41


Anna Kooris


Above: Gigi Hadid appears in a new film for Stuart Weitzman, promoting a boot named in her honour.

Gigi Hadid’s been donning boxing gloves a lot this month—first in a promotion for Reebok, where she says she found solace in fitness—and now in a film for Stuart Weitzman, directed by James Franco, shot at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, NY.
   The film, entitled (and presumably hashtagged) #Doitright, promotes the Gigi boot, a new design with a stacked heel, metallic eyelets, duo-toned laces and a detailed collar. The bootie is available in soft croco-calf leather and in two metallics (in iron and copper), retailing exclusively at Stuart Weitzman retailers and websites from US$565. The film is accompanied by a soundtrack by Martin Solveig and Tkay Maidza.
   Unlike the Reebok promos, Hadid wears the Gigi boot in the boxing ring.
   The well known model boxes as part of her fitness regimen. The campaign is being released globally.
   Stuart Weitzman has also committed to build three schools, one each in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos, during the autumn 2016 season.



Cathrine Wessel

Above: Gigi Hadid promotes Reebok.

Victoria Beckham for Target brings designer’s style within easy reach


NEWS  by Lucire staff/October 20, 2016/5.14

Target and Victoria Beckham will release a limited-edition spring collaboration, with a line of apparel and accessories for women, girls, toddlers and babies, on sale April 9. Victoria Beckham for Target will be the designer’s first entry into childrenswear.
   At a much lower price than her main line, it brings Beckham’s style within reach of more consumers—not unlike the designer collaborations that took place at Hennes & Mauritz from 2004.
   The range comprises over 200 items in soft pastels, bright colours, and spring prints, in sizes from XS to 3X for women and NB to XL for girls, toddlers and babies.
   Prices will begin as low as US$6 with most items under US$40, says Target, with US$70 at the top end.
   Some items will be available internationally via victoriabeckham.com. The hashtag for social media is #VBxTarget.

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