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Naersi closes China Fashion Week with Water Cube spectacular

Filed by Lucire staff/November 3, 2020/9.38

EEKA Fashion Holdings’ brand Naersi closed China Fashion Week with its spring–summer 2021 25°Lan show at Beijing’s Water Cube, the National Aquatics’ Centre. The show also marked the brand’s 25th anniversary, and was attended by celebrities, fashion editors, and the industry’s movers and shakers.
   In another sign of China’s post-COVID-19 rebound, the show featured 60 models on a 138 m long catwalk, with a 26 m by 6 m screen, plus an additional eight screens, showing the action to the audience.
   VIPs included actresses 韓雪 (Han Xue, or Cecilia Han) and 蔣夢婕 (Jiang Mengjie), singing duo Xiaohua Wu, artist Li Siyu, Chinese media boss and fashion week chair Su Mang, and media expert Zhang Xiaodong.
   Naersi’s collection was divided into four themes: futuristic commuters (with designs adopting blue film technology fabrics), ‘E’ cube (the use of digitalization and digital patterns), print–trace (inspired by Shenzhen’s architecture), and decoding the future (using a yellow theme, signifying healing in a post-pandemic world).





 


Cover design notes on our 23rd birthday

Filed by Jack Yan/October 20, 2020/10.25

We’ve happily been able to add a few more covers to the montage we published last year on the occasion of our 22nd anniversary. Now 23, we thought an update was in order, and we’ve included our latest issue, which you can order now.
   The story of Lucire’s founding has been covered elsewhere, during more appropriate anniversary numbers.
   Here we’ll just remark at how much has changed design-wise since we went into print seven years after our founding. Some of the early issues have dated; and even if we look at the turn of the decade, heading into the mid-2010s, our layout ideas have aged. This is despite a very earnest effort to make a magazine look “timeless”, an impossible task because one is always affected unconsciously by the trends and moods around us. The photography from this period, interestingly, has stood the test of time far better, which makes us wonder if there has really been that much progress out there.
   Right now, with bandwidth so readily available, we are getting more images than ever to accompany fairly innocent stories, making it tempting to use as much of them as possible. More cramped, less airy layouts are the result, and even though we observe a grid, we’ve definitely been trying to give more bang for the buck on every page. Technology so often drives changes in approach and in design.
   Maybe the new decade will force us to rethink this as people want calmer, more relaxed existences to counter the added stresses of work; whatever the case, we’ll continue to strive to present the best and most informative fashion magazine that we can. We thank our amazing team for creating so much beauty on every level, and we thank our readers for over two decades’ worth of support.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher


Jon Moe

Claudia Goetzelmann

Sixteen years separate these two. The commitment to quality and providing an intelligent read has not changed. Coincidentally, both were shot in California, and the older issue has that state’s current First Lady on the cover

 


Arborea, Stanley Moss’s new novel written during the pandemic in Italy, out now

Filed by Lucire staff/September 27, 2020/19.28

Lucire travel editor Stanley Moss has penned a new novel, this one written during the COVID-19 pandemic as he braved the dire situation in his base in northern Italy, at one point Europe’s “ground zero” for the virus. Arborea, out now, once again brings together a cast of international characters in an intriguing and entertaining tale, this time set at an exclusive luxury resort in northern California where the rich gather and, as it so happens, a group of eco-warriors. As with The Hacker, which we serialized in Lucire, and its sequel Hack Is Back, which is coming up, Stanley’s story engrosses the reader and could easily become a screenplay, such is the richness and diversity of the characters and the characterizations. Like these earlier works, Arborea is very much of our times.
   From the synopsis: ‘Imagine an ultra-modern luxury resort located among the old-growth redwoods on an isolated stretch of California coastline. Imagine what happens when a famous tech billionaire and his wife arrive for a romantic weekend at exactly the same moment as a dedicated army of eco-warriors descend on the site to conduct a stealth operation. But the storm of the century is on its way to dampen everyone’s plans. Find out what happens in this comedy of errors, when nature interferes with the best made plans of well intentioned humans.’
   Arborea is published by Second Guess Press and available from Amazon at US$16·99.

 


Karlie Kloss, Kaia Gerber, Lewis Hamilton invest in W magazine

Filed by Lucire staff/August 14, 2020/23.09


Tim Walker

Dua Lipa, photographed in March 2020 for W.

W magazine, formerly at Condé Nast, is now under the ownership of a group of investors led by Karlie Kloss.
   Variety reported that editor-in-chief Sara Moonves said she had assembled a group of investors under a joint venture called W Media.
   Other investors include Kaia Gerber and F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, as well as producer Jason Blum, Kirsten Green, Dara Treseder, Aryeh B. Bourkoff, and a talent advisory firm, Copper.
   One more issue is planned for 2020, with six issues slated for 2021.
   W began life in 1972 at Fairchild Publications, where it was a sister publication to Women’s Wear Daily. Condé Nast acquired Fairchild in 2000. It sold W in 2019 to Future Media, which suspended publication earlier this year, citing the COVID-19 outbreak.

 


German actress Tiana Pongs releases insider’s guide to modelling

Filed by Lucire staff/July 2, 2020/12.23

German model and actress Tiana Pongs, who had authored Der kleine Model Guide in her native country some years ago, has released an updated English-language equivalent, Keep Smiling: a Career Guide for Models, from the same publisher, Ebozon Verlag.
   According to the publisher, the guide ‘explains, step by step, how to start, what the everyday life looks like and how emerging models can successfully establish themselves on the international market.’
   Pongs runs through advice on securing an agency, photographers and clients, photo shoots, and general conditions. She also discusses fees, tax advisers, travel, and beauty and nutrition. The book also has a verified list of international agencies.
   She also covers the seedier side of the business, including ‘dirty offers’, as well as personal difficulties such as homesickness.


Tiana Pongs’ original German edition, from the same publisher

 


Facebook’s demise wouldn’t affect us much

Filed by Jack Yan/May 30, 2020/11.14

Like many other publications, Lucire sends updates to Facebook, Twitter and Mastodon. Occasionally we’ll Instagram an image to a story. However, we’ve had reservations about social media, especially Facebook, for over a decade. In November 2010, we wrote on our Facebook page, ‘We have stopped the automated importing of notes to this Facebook page. These stories receive around 200–400 views each, but that also means that our site loses 200–400 viewers per story.’ At that stage we probably had around 600 fans on the Lucire fan page, showing you just what cut-through pages were getting before Facebook intentionally broke its sharing algorithm to force people to pay to get the same reach. (Reach dropped 90 per cent overnight.) We didn’t feel any desire after that to build social media presences, because we spotted the con—as did this YouTuber:

   Back then, Facebook allowed the importing of articles via RSS, which meant everything from Lucire’s news pages automatically wound up on the social network. It was a crazy idea, when you look back: it wasn’t designed to drive traffic to our main site, it only made Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg rich as you spent more time in their walled garden.
   Even after we stopped, we still shared headlines to Facebook, thinking that these would entice fans sufficiently to click through. At one stage, we could see referrals from Facebook among our stats, but these days, there is no correlation between the Facebook reach numbers and the actual views of the story on our own site.
   In 2016, NPR posted a headline to its Facebook page, ‘Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore?’ but the contents of the article read, ‘We sometimes get the sense that some people are commenting on NPR stories that they haven’t actually read. If you are reading this, please like this post and do not comment on it. Then let’s see what people have to say about this “story.”’ You can predict what happened: the link got plenty of comments. Anyone who says that Americans don’t get irony is gravely mistaken.
   Even in the late 2000s I was saying we lived in a ‘headline culture’ where people might never read the article itself, and social media have exacerbated this phenomenon. Many social media today, including the largest sites, are little more than glorified Digg sites, places where links are shared, but not necessarily places which drive traffic.
   Of course there will be exceptions to the rule, but generally, social media do not mean engagement. A 2015 study by Parse.ly showed that social media-referred readers engage the least with a given article. Search engine-referred readers were slightly better. But the best came from those who were already loyal readers on the site.
   In an age of “fake news” I do not believe the statistics will have improved, particularly on websites whose businesses thrive on outrage. People are divided into tribes where they seem to derive some reward for posting more links that support that aims of those tribes: a situation rife for exploitation, if certain countries’ investigations are to be believed. Certainly as early as 2014 I was warning of a ‘bot epidemic’, something that only became mainstream news in 2018 with The Observer’s exposé about Cambridge Analytica.
   But none of that bad news broke the addictions many people have to these websites. On our ‘about’ page on Facebook, we note: ‘Fast forward to (nearly) the dawn of the 2020s. We won’t lie to you: we’re not fans of how Facebook says one thing and does another. In our pages, we’ve promoted based on merit, and Facebook wouldn’t actually pass muster if it was a fashion label.
   ‘We know Facebook is tracking you, often more than your settings have allowed. Therefore, we’re consciously trying to limit the time you spend on this website.
   ‘However, we also know that we should maintain a Facebook presence, as there are many of you who want that convenience.’
   Nonetheless, I regularly wonder if that convenience is even worth it if there is no correlation with readership.
   Twice this month I was locked out of Facebook, because, allegedly, there was unusual activity. If checking your Facebook on a far less regular basis—say a couple of times a week—is unusual, then I’ll expect to get locked out far more frequently. As the importing of our Tweets to Facebook is driven by another program (on IFTTT), and that is linked to my personal account (one that I haven’t updated since 2017), then each time Facebook blocks me, it breaks the process. It’s also a website that has bugs that were present when I was a regular user in the late 2000s through to the mid-2010s, including ones where we cannot even share Lucire links because the site automatically ruins the address, rendering the previews anywhere from inaccurate (claiming the page doesn’t exist) to useless (taking you to a 404). Only the text link will work.
   We get the occasional like and share from our Facebook, although these do not inform our editorial decisions.
   We won’t go so far as to proclaim the end of social media, regardless of how angry the US president gets with fact checks; but we’ve been sceptical about their worth for publishers for a long time, and there are increasing days where I wonder whether I’ll even bother reconnecting the sharing mechanism from Twitter to Facebook if Facebook breaks it again. The question I’m really asking is: does the presence of links to our articles matter much to you?
   Ultimately, I care about all our readers, including Facebook users, and that remains the overriding motive to reconnect things one more time after Facebook locks me out. And I suppose the lock-outs in 2020 are much better than the ones during most of the 2010s, where Facebook forced you to download a “malware scanner” on false pretences, planting hidden software with unclear purposes on to millions of computers around the world. Their record is truly appalling, and if Facebook vanished overnight, I wouldn’t shed a tear.—Jack Yan, Publisher

 


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