The Met Gala look that everyone is talking about first debuted when Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962. Sixty years later, Kim Kardashian has added to the garment’s pop culture significance.
Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday” dress — now also Kim Kardashian’s 2022 Met Gala look — will be on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Hollywood for a limited time beginning Memorial Day weekend. Visitors will be able to get an up-close look at this stunning garment, along with a behind-the-scenes peek at Kim’s Met Gala look and other memorabilia from Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy.
Sixty years after Marilyn Monroe famously sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy, Kim Kardashian has added to the pop culture significance of Monroe’s iconic dress — becoming the only other person to ever wear the gown.
Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday” dress — now also Kim Kardashian’s 2022 Met Gala look — will be on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Hollywood for a limited time beginning Memorial Day weekend. Visitors will be able to get an up-close look at this stunning garment, along with a behind-the-scenes peek at Kim’s Met Gala look and other memorabilia from Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! acquired the dress at a Julien’s Auctions event in 2016 for $4.8 million. With taxes and fees, the dress’ value surpasses $5 million, making it the world’s most expensive dress ever sold at auction. Believe It or Not!, the gown is now valued at over $10 million.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! strongly feels that this dress, with both political and pop culture significance, is the most famous item of clothing from twentieth century culture.
“We are truly proud to be the stewards of such an iconic artifact and are excited to be able to add to its cultural significance with Kim Kardashian, who is sharing the story of Marylin Monroe and her iconic career with an entirely new generation,” said Ripley’s VP of Publishing and Licensing Amanda Joiner.
The multi-million-dollar dress has rarely been separated from its dress form, let alone worn by anyone other than Monroe. Great care was taken to preserve this piece of history. With input from garment conservationists, appraisers, archivists, and insurance, the garment’s condition was top priority. No alterations were made to the dress, and Kim Kardashian even changed into a replica before entering the Gala.
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE hosted its inaugural holiday window display to honor and rejuvenate imagination and creativity in New York City. The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE holiday windows gain inspiration from the traditional 5th Avenue holiday window displays while serving a greater purpose. The intention of the displays is to revive the creativity that has been deprived of downtown Manhattan since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Brooklyn-based Shavanté Royster is a graphic designer and illustrator, working in the creative industry since 2009. Growing up in a military family, often having to travel during her life motivated Shavanté’s innovation. Through her art, Shavanté often takes inspiration from travel, expressing this through shapes and rich colors. Shavanté’s work is comprised of digital illustration, painting and mixed media.
Romeo Hunte New York is a lifestyle apparel brand designed in NYC for consumers who appreciate sophisticated details. The edgy aesthetic that the collection radiates mixes both feminine and masculine characteristics. Romeo Hunte pieces blend lavish outerwear with contemporary apparel. The Romeo Hunte woman and man can be described as a “dynamic duo” that appreciates the arts and pop culture with a modern flare.
Nicole von Arx
Nicole von Arx (NVA) studied Ballet, Contemporary and Hip Hop in Geneva, Switzerland at Dance Area, shortly after traveling to New York in 2008 to attend school at the Alvin Ailey School, graduating in 2011. Currently based among NYC and Geneva, NVA is a dancer and choreographer in both dance scenes. NVA has collaborated with the most notable choreographers in New York as a creator, dancer and teacher. Continuing her career, NVA has also worked independently as a choreographer with musicians, film directors and photographers.
The visionaries that were created through the course of the display aimed to fill the empty storefronts with avant-garde ‘windows of art.’ The pandemic has transformed the lives of creatives, small businesses and retail in New York and all over the world. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE worked to ensure that the artistic society would be celebrated and uplifted this holiday season with their holiday displays.
Each window highlighted a winter dreamscape created by artist Shavanté Royster. Both Shavanté and Romeo Hunte’s creative point-of-views joined forces to emulate the holiday magic of 5th avenue. Live models were seen wearing Romeo’s winter apparel upon Shavanté’s backdrops, with performances by NYC dancers.
Romeo’s devoted window showcased people draped in his designs that were created personally for the display. Romeo set the scene of a holiday celebration before a show over cocktails. The garments were designed with inspiration from Shavanté, with the backdrop and fashion coinciding throughout the display.
Romeo spoke on the experience of designing for the holiday displays, stating, “It’s been a joy to work on BOMBAY SAPPHIRE’s Holiday Storefront Series which pays homage to exciting young creative talents everywhere and the tenacity of New York City coming back after the pandemic. It was refreshing to collaborate with artist Shavanté Royster and the dancers as mixed media has always been an important part of my work, so it was cool to build and see the narrative of the holiday windows come to life with them through different facets, such as the dancers wearing some of my designs. I hope everyone can leave the windows feeling a burst of creativity and inspiration for the holidays, and hope for the year ahead!”
Born in Berlin, Esther Perbandt studies fashion design at the Berlin University of the Arts and polished a master’s degree in Fashion and Textile Design in Paris. In 2020, she made it to the finals of international designer show “Making The Cut” with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, supported by Naomi Campbell.
Not only is she a contemporary fashion designer, but also a visionary, performer, and mistress of ceremonies. Esther Perbandt describes her fashion as an act of (post)feminism irrespective of gender: personality, autonomy and individuality are at the center of her avant-garde style. The non-binary silhouette is deconstructed and reframed with classical menswear details, however, maintaining timeless aspects of elegance and style.
360 MAGAZINE had the pleasure of corresponding with Esther to learn about her inspiration, goals, and much more. Read on to find out her answers!
What/who are your biggest inspirations?
The joy of life is my greatest inspiration. This motor is so big that I can’t imagine running out of ideas at some point. I like doing two things for a living: sleeping and dancing. Many ideas come to me when I fall asleep or wake up and when I can dance without restraint.
How did Making The Cut (MTC)change your view of the fashion industry?
When I studied fashion design in Berlin and Paris in the nineties and early noughties, the term “digitalization” was not really an issue in the fashion industry. I founded my own label over 17 years ago, which has grown very slowly on its own. Until I took part in MTC, I didn’t have an online shop, or only one that didn’t work. But I knew that if my brand was to survive the next 30 years, I had to change and become more digital. Who should I learn from, if not the biggest?
From a show like MTC of course you don’t only learn, you see what’s possible with a lot of money. But if you manage to transfer what you have experienced and seen at the highest level and translate it to your very own DNA, you can take the next steps. I don’t think there is a right or a wrong way in the fashion industry. There are an incredible number of individual paths. Depending on what the goal is.
After coming back from the MTC shoot, I didn’t do anything creative for 8 months, I just prepared business-wise for the airing of MTC: New website, new online store, new strategy. Today, I work with my pattern maker with avatars and digital fittings. This saves us a lot of time and resources.
How has the newly found attention changed/shaped you?
The new attention was a boon for my brand to finally grow. Many things have become a little easier professionally. But the pandemic probably slowed down the speed of this growth a bit and still does. Personally, I only got a limited amount of that attention. When the first season of MTC came out, which I was part of the cast of, the world went into its first hard lockdown. For months, I just worked a lot with my small team and sent packages all over the world every day, but especially to the US, without having the opportunity to meet many people. Germany is a grateful or ungrateful country, depending on how you take it, when it comes to addressing public figures. In the meantime, I had the feeling that hardly anyone in Germany had seen the show.
You were unsure about whether or not to take part in Making The Cut. How do you feel about it now?
Yes, I was indeed very unsure when I received the first request to participate in MTC 1. For 16 years, I had been flying the flag for a freer, more unconventional and uncommercial way in the fashion industry, which also had a stronger connection to art. I felt it wasn’t for me or would betray my brand. But quite the opposite. It was the best decision I made for my business, but also for my life in general. In the last three years, since shooting MTC 1, I have learnt an incredible amount and finally started to build a sustainable foundation for my brand. Every path in the fashion industry is very individual and mine is probably also an atypical one. But it’s fun to see myself making strategic and business decisions in a very different way now and to see that the word “commercial” is not a dirty word for me.
Do you have any moments in your career you look back to often?
Oh yes, of course. I often think today where I got the strength to hold out for so long and to go through all the deep valleys. For many years I called my studio the “Palace of Tears”. Every few days there were tears because I felt like I was standing on the spot or because it was financially on the brink. But somewhere deep inside me, I always believed that it would work out and become easier one day.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
The signature of my brand has developed from the three cities in which I have lived in and which have been very important and inspiring for me: Berlin, Moscow and Paris.
Berlin, as the city where I was born, the city divided over the years with a great historical history, with its roughness, toughness, punk, subculture, snootiness. Moscow, with its avant-garde of the 1920s, the constructivists, high-necked, the uniforms and the austerity. And then of course Paris, as the city that gave me the finishing touch, the elegance, the femininity, and the glamor.
This special mix and the reduction to the color “black,” is meant to give my wearers a strength and make them grow. The focus on details should make the viewer curious to take a closer look at clothing.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced as a designer?
It has always been both a curse and a blessing that I have had to fight my own way through, especially financially. This has extremely slowed down the growth of my brand, but at the same time it has given me the chance and the time to carefully develop my signature and the DNA and to look closely at what I really want.
Do you think your surroundings and environment play a part in how you choose your designs?
Yes, definitely. As a creative, you unconsciously absorb everything you come across. I love observing people and thinking about why they wear the clothes they do. What identity do they have, and which one do they want to slip into? Dealing directly with my customers in the shop every day has of course influenced my choice of designs. Since MTC, I do a lot of styles in larger sizes and now a lot of women come and have my collection pieces made to measure. That’s a big market.
What are the next goals for your brand?
The USA has become my main sales market in the last two years. The next goal would be to open my own shop in New York for a while and then also produce locally so that customers who buy online don’t have to pay customs and the high shipping costs.
In fashion Esther Perbandt will continue to explore various paths, especially in creating haute couture looks for numerous events, as well as digging into costume design areas whenever projects allow for it.
It’s said that the future is unknown but at least with Esther Perbandt it will always continue to surprise and excite. We look forward to seeing more from her.
2021 has brought us back the most talked about events.
By: Carly Cohen
On Monday, September 13th, the annual Met Gala was held at the one and the only Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The annual fundraising gala featured by Vogue consists of magnificent celebrity styling.
This year the theme was “American independence” let us dive into some of the looks.
Introducing Le Rouge Lounge, Wynwood’s avant-garde nightlife destination. Opened its doors on June 11, the 7,000 sq. ft. venue has taken a new spin on live performance entertainment.
Open Thursday through Saturday from 9PM through 3AM, this French-inspired enclave will serve as a destination for national music acts and world-renowned DJs, bringing a next-generation live music venue experience to the city.
Le Rouge Lounge is a meeting place where service is paramount and privacy guaranteed, where beauty in every form is nurtured and the unexpected is to be expected. It provides a luxurious and visually stimulating ambiance, highlighted by its vintage decor, state-of-the-art sound, video, and 3D mapping projection systems.
The lounge will be the first venue in Miami to be centered around a 360-degree DJ “in the round” booth, showcasing a diverse array of performers, DJs, bands, and solo artists in an intimate and upscale setting. It boasts a live stage draped in red velvet, spacious enough to accommodate a 10-piece band.
At Le Rouge Lounge mixology is an art form, with veteran mixologist Samer Abdallah crafting prohibition-era cocktails with an unexpected, modern twist. This intimate and upscale space allows publishers, influencers, decision-makers, movers & shakers to connect; it’s a space where synergies percolate, stars are born, and masterpieces are conceived.
With their dance card already booked with album release parties and city events including Swim Week Miami and Art Basel, Le Rouge Lounge promises to be the Magic City’s hottest destination for live entertainment and private events.
Tonight, and all weekend long, all house music lovers and entertainment-focused media are invited to experience the glitz and glam that is Le Rouge Lounge. Blending the best elements from the past and future with disco, electronic beats, prohibition-inspired mixology, and highly engaging video technology, Le Rouge guarantees all guests will be movin’ and groovin’.
Le Rouge Lounge is located at 318 NW 23rd St. in Miami, FL 33127, and offers valet parking, as well as the largest self-parking lot in Wynwood.
Every Thursday night, ladies can enjoy complimentary cocktails until 11 PM while enjoying Miami’s top DJs playing disco rewind beats with a modern twist!
Friday, August 6 — DURANTE Takes Over Le Rouge
As a producer and DJ, Durante has drawn to the edge and intersections of house and techno. Raw rhythm and bass under tonal melodies resonate with his version of musical honesty. His style isn’t built on contrived pop formulas or lyrics about eternal youth. Instead, he starts with time-honored four on the floor, elaborates with thumping bass, builds mood with melodic chords, and garnishes with tribal percussive textures. Equally inspired by the compositions of Duke Ellington, classic Italo-disco, and early Cocoon records, Durante strives to create a body of work as versatile as his experiences.
Saturday, August 7 — Phantoms “The Dive Tour”
Phantoms are a live electronic act that do exactly that. Often tough to box in…. their style is best described as blurring the lines of house music & indie-dance. Incorporating distinctive synth and drum patterns, the duo has become synonymous with their ‘genre’ of alternative electronica.
Vince and Kenny Beats have easy chemistry in and out of the booth because both are consistently proving how adaptable they are to any facet of rap. They’re two unstoppable forces, here’s fire to be found even in the duo’s quietest moments. – Pitchfork
The self-titled record once again sees the North Long Beach rapper at the top of his game. – Complex
A spectacular slow-burn – NME
Idiosyncratic and really impressive, the sound of someone walking their own path – The Guardian
Another superb outlier from a rapper who excels in them – The Independent
Esteemed hip-hop artist Vince Staples debuted his self-titled album today via Blacksmith Recordings / Motown Records. His first full-length release since 2018’s critically acclaimed FM!, the 10-track LP delves not only into Staples’ upbringing in Long Beach, but his psyche as he learns to cope with his yesterdays and strides toward new tomorrows, picking others up along the way. Stream or download Vince StaplesHERE. Staples also unveiled official lyric videos for every track on the LP, which are available to watch via his YouTube channel HERE.
Ahead of the album’s release, Staples gave fans an early preview of the project sharing the first two singles off the LP — LAW OF AVERAGES, and ARE YOU WITH THAT?, LAW OF AVERAGES was released alongside a companion music video (available to watch HERE) featuring a montage of voyeuristic moments in Long Beach, CA, and imagery that embodies Black joy and highlights the beauty within the fringes.
Of the new Kenny Beats-produced LP, Staples says, This project really gives much more information about me that wasn’t out there before. That’s why I went with that title. I feel like I’ve been trying to tell the same story. As you go on in life, your point of view changes. This is another take on myself that I might not have had before.
Throughout the LP, Staples ropes in recordings of intimate chats with loved ones for poignant interludes that provide insight into who he is. THE APPLE & THE TREE features his mother recalling moments she let anger push her into a situation, hindsight now tells her succumbing to anger did nothing to serve her. LAKEWOOD MALL stars one of Vince’s best friends Pac Slim remembering a night where Vince decided not to go to a party that ended in gunshots. Other standout tracks include ARE YOU WITH THAT? and TAKE ME HOME, which showcase his dynamic musicality and knack for layering hard-hitting bars over infectious beats that push the creative envelope.
Elsewhere on the album, we discover that Staples deals with the anxiety of not being able to decipher friend from foe at times as who cruises through streets he grew up on. Moreover, the tug of war between the music star life and staying planted in the soil he bloomed from doesn’t seem to gnaw at him as it does with others as fortunate as he.
The celebrated rapper’s latest body of work is also just the beginning of his busy 2021. He is currently working on a number of creative projects with additional details to be announced throughout the year.
I’m a mind more than I am an entertainer to a lot of people, Staples says, adding, I appreciate that my fanbase is willing to go on this ride with me. I’m ready to diversify what we’re doing and see how we affect the world.
‘Superb. Reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Remember The Time!’ – Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine
By Mina Tocalini
Beyoncé’s new film “Black is King,” a celebration of the “breadth and beauty of Black ancestry”, released on Disney+ today. Similar to Beyoncé’s 2016 film, “Lemonade,” “Black is King” acts as a visual album to her soundtrack, “The Lion King: The Gift.” Black Is King” explores the “timeless lessons” from Lion King in a visually rich modern journey of Black empowerment and resilience.
Beyoncé announced her excitement for the film’s release via Instagram, while further acknowledging the impact of its release and message: “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey… I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history.”
Beyoncé’s prideful film explores the Black experience and history through a young king’s story of “betrayal, love and self-identity.” Additionally, given the timing of its release, the film presents the necessity of honoring and telling stories from the Black perspective and that of any underrepresented community.
Simply put, the film is a celebratory visual journey of the Black experience. Initially the flow of the story seems interrupted and fast paced, but further on, it becomes clear that instead of following a linear narrative, it challenges the audience to find the connections within the short moments that frame each message.
Reiterating the same story we know and love is unnecessary, so rather, “Black is King” reinvents the Lion King through thematic experimentation intended to ignite pride in the Black identity. In a stunning collage of Afro-Soul music, narrative driven reflections and strikingly beautiful imagery, the film successfully expresses inspirational messages of hope, growth, love and community.
Some have critiqued the lavish presentation of Blackness via art, dance and fashion to be excessive and fast paced. Yet, this film’s message is focused on individuality and self love derived from the appreciation of Black culture. A culture of an entire continent and of Black communities around the world, it is anything but simple.
The immense detail in this film celebrates the complexity of Black beauty and the fast paced editing can not only be considered a reference to music video styles. It may originate from there, but can we not interpret it as being part of the overwhelming journey of defining your identity while struggling with the racial tensions in society.
Beyoncé did not create this to simply further enhance her image in a display of wealth, popular culture already associates her persona this way, we expect it and should not disregard the artistry for embracing it. She is simply using her power as a superstar to lead the unifying celebration, as should be done by those who can.
With one of their first-ever gifted e-bikes, Vaughn Lowery envisioned an intuitive tribe of sustainability, fabricating an internal micromobility system. Instead of throwing away the previous unit, we partnered with Good Vibe Gliders to design a bespoke version which has travelled all over North America as a symbol of ecology. It reminds us all to maintain carbon neutrality.
What is your main source of passion that led to creating custom-designed artistic scooters?
I’ve always had a creative spirit that most likely stems from my mom, who was an event and party decorator. In my late teens, I worked for the costume shop at the Gaslight Theatre in Tucson, AZ. Around that same time, my dad gifted me with his 1977 El Camino Classic. I loved TV shows like Overhaulin’ and Pimp My Ride. Naturally, I started spending time customizing my El Camino with my Dad, creating custom upholstery at the costume shop. I rocked blue-tinted glasses all the time and wore my hair all funky. It was cool that I had parents who let me figure myself out in that way. I never felt impeded. But then I went to college and life changed from muscle cars to academia. While in college, my design eye flourished. My frat room was a pretty ridiculous sight to see. The room and loft resembled all the colors featured on a Buzz Lightyear. My room was Star Command, complete with black and white checkered tile, cosmic blue walls, bright orange curtains, red trimming, clouds on the roof, and of course, glow-in-the-dark stars. It was just cool.
I was always out there with the things I wanted to do, and it was cool that I found a way to do them.
What motivated you to focus on scooter products rather than another form of transportation?
The reason for the electric scooter is a direct result of my experience at camping festivals. At the first-ever Good Vibe Getdown (the company name is a forever homage to this festival), I set up my camp way too far from everybody else. Although it was the most beautiful spot onsite (right on the banks of Apache Lake) it took FOREVER to walk back and forth. A bicycle wouldn’t work because you still have to exert energy and I was not about that life. So, I thought of the most effective form of transportation at a camping festival: an electric scooter. I bought an e-scooter and decorated it entirely in jewels. When we got to Good Vibe 2 that next year, I didn’t even get to ride it. It was a smashing success. I remember seeing grown men fight over the chance to ride it next. That’s when I realized, “Wow, people are loving this. No one has ever really seen anything like this before.” My Gliders are fun, exaggerated, over-the-top, extra in every way, shape, & form, and instantaneously make you the center of attention. That’s crazy. You honestly can’t help but be the center of attention when a scooter looks like that. Put a Good Vibe Glider next to a regular scooter, and the answer is simple.
Lastly, there’s an element of luck to which I give credit. It turned out to be perfect timing to start decorating scooters because no more than a year later, rideshare scooters started popping up all over my city. I didn’t start GVG because of the scooter trend. I started GVG because it helped direct my creative energy in a positive way, and soon I had a fleet and started helping my friends run their festivals more efficiently.
What was the first festival where you chose to implement the gliders and why did you choose that specific one?
Good Vibe 2 is where I had my ah-ha moment, but Good Vibe 3 was full-on intentional. I designed and created one Glider for the festival coordinator and made two more Gliders for the festival attendees to glide around on. I even built a charging station in the middle of the desert so that when the batteries got low, riders would pull up and plug in their scooters. It was very cool to see my vision come to life: homies helping homies hold it down, faster, stronger, and more efficiently.
How did your past design experience help you succeed in producing these Good Vibe Gliders?
As you know, I’ve always had it in me. My early work at the Gaslight Costume Shop, helping produce costumes and props was pivotal. I had great direction and instruction from two of the best designers in the business, MaryAnne and Renee. Most of my designer confidence came out of working with them.
How have Festival Event staff and Coordinators reacted to their use of gliders?
Simple: they lose their freakin‘ minds. They can’t get enough of it. If they didn’t understand it before they definitely understood it after. It’s cool being the guy with the electric scooters because there are so many instances at a festival where you need to get somewhere quickly. So many situations – medical assistance, needing to find somebody or lost equipment. Other times, equipment needs to be transported long distances without access to a truck. I’ve been able to directly help those folks just by having a scooter present. There was this one stagehand at Juniper Jam who said, “Seriously, I don’t ever want to do another festival without one of these things. Can you go talk with my boss please?”
Do you have any plans to expand your market for these scooters? And if so, how will you do so?
If you’d asked me this about five months ago, my answer would have been much more different. Because of the virus, the hospitality industry took a huge hit and people are definitely not riding electric scooters like they used to. These days GVG has naturally expanded into accessories. Not long after I made my first Glider did people start asking me to bedazzle and theme other stuff, as well. By no means are we leaving the bedazzled PEV market, that’s our bread and butter. However, I also consider us lucky to have an alternative direction to pivot. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well-received my Good Vibe Shine Goggles have been. Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winner George Clinton even rocks a pair.
Do you work with or have any plans to work with any non-profit, community service, or charity organizations?
More than ever, we are willing to work with community and charity organizations to help make an impact on the lives of others. Last month, we sponsored a 24-hour Virtual Festival fundraiser featuring 24 DJs, 8 live artists, and 4 workshops. Our fundraiser achieved over $1,500.00.
Earlier this year, Sprinkles (the 360 Glider made by Good Vibe Gliders) lent a helping hand at the AIDS Walk Arizona 2020. My neighbor Nancy is one of the event coordinators and was amazed by Sprinkles! Right before the event, Nancy sprained her knee and was scheduled to undergo surgery the following week. She was depressed about the situation and bummed to think she wouldn’t be of much use at the event. However, once we offered her the Glider, her frown turned upside down and she killed it. She still thanks me to this day.
What would you say is the greater purpose of selling these glider products?
Generating pure happiness. What’s most amazing to me is that we have a product that genuinely creates happiness in the minds of the rider. It’s something I see every time, whether the scooter belongs to you or not. The first time you sit on a Glider, the next 15 seconds of your life is bliss. You forget about absolutely everything. The rider smiles uncontrollably, scootin’ and zippin’ around, like, “oh my gosh, I totally forgot how awesome scooters are!” They are childlike once again, if only for a few moments, and that’s unbelievable to me. In every project, our goal is to produce something the customer won’t just like, but something they will love.
How did you assemble your team of glider creators together?
Most of my co-creators stem from the amazing group of artists I met during the Good Vibe Getdown years. These guys & gals are creative juggernauts, powerhouses at their trade, and a driving force that can’t be stopped. I quickly realized the more I worked with other artists, the better my final product would be. Soon, other artists started taking interest. I would bring a Glider with me almost everywhere I went. Artists saw what I was doing and often would say, “Oh – you’re weird and unique; Here’s what I do, I bet we can collaborate together.” And just like that, I create friends. My products are generating work for local artists with tangible, green-in-their-pocket work. So as sales began to pick up and people started trusting the GVG brand, I could keep my artists happy based on the rate I charge my clients. Collaboration is now baked right into our business model. More so, I really like showcasing other artists. I want to show people what they can do – and if you like their work, you can work with them specifically to design yourself a custom Glider.
Are these scooters just meant for festivals or are any other parties interested in buying them?
Our Gliders are made for any reason at all. We cater to large events because of our festival roots, but your Glider can be absolutely anything you want it to be. We love getting wild, so go wild! Scooters are no longer fringe transportation; people use them all the time so it’s much easier to pitch a decorated scooter to just about any industry and event. Gliders are perfect for expos, conventions, street fairs, tailgates, food trucks, personal use, business marketing, festivals & production, sports & teams, schools & clubs, weddings & gifts, restaurant & service industry, festivals & production, fairgrounds, business retreats, birthdays, schools & church, parties, etc.
On a personal note, back in November, I was married to my best friend, Addie. Our wedding was three days long, hosted at the base of the Bulldog Buttes at Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch. That place is gorgeous, and sprawling. Hands down, the most incredible weekend of my life! But I can tell you this: without a doubt, if we didn’t have the Gliders there, many things would not have worked out. The unexpected need to get from one side of the property to the other was anticipated, but little did I know these Gliders would play such a major role in getting us out of some tight situations.
Gabe Majalca caught on our custom ebike during his wedding reception in Arizona.
JOSE ANDRES WINS AMERICAN EXPRESS ICON AWARD 2019 AS PART OF THE WORLD’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS PROGRAM
US-based Spanish chef and humanitarian José Andrés has been awarded the American Express Icon Award 2019. This prestigious honor is part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and celebrates an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry worthy of international recognition and who has used the platform that his profile as a chef provides to raise awareness and drive change.
Chef Andrés will officially receive his award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 ceremony, heldat Sands Theatre within the iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on the evening of Tuesday 25th June. The award reflects his overall career as a pioneering chef and restaurateur as well as his more recent humanitarian work, both of which have brought him to the status of a global culinary icon.
“José Andrés is more than just a superb chef and restaurateur,” says William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. “Not only has he brought fantastic, authentic, forward-thinking Spanish food to the US, but through his World Central Kitchen project he has helped feed millions of people denied access to nutritious food as a result of natural disasters. Chef Andrés embodies a character that has used his talent in the kitchen and subsequent position of power and access for a wider good, which makes him the perfect winner of the first global American Express Icon Award.”
Jose Andrés says: “I’m very humbled to receive this award, to make sure that I will give voice tothose who are voiceless. I will try to make sure that we bring hope, one plate of food at a time.”
Born in Asturias, northern Spain, Chef Andrés is the man credited with bringing both authentic tapas and innovative contemporary Spanish cuisine to the US. After spending two years with Ferran Adrià at legendary modernist restaurant El Bulli, in 1991 he packed his bags for the States with just $50 in his pocket.
Today, his ThinkFoodGroup includes more than 30 restaurants, including the two Michelin-starred minibar by José Andrés in Washington, DC, which serves some of the most avant-garde cuisine in the world. His array of restaurants ranges from experimental tasting-menu-only counter dining experiences to authentic regional cuisines and fast-casual concepts, which are focused on impeccably sourced ingredients served simply, often in a small-plate or tapas style.
“We are thrilled to recognize the incredible culinary and humanitarian work of our American ExpressGlobal Dining Collection partner and overall visionary, José Andrés, with the American Express IconAward,” said Chris Cracchiolo, Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty and Benefits, American Express.“Chef Andrés truly embodies what this award stands for, as his work both in the kitchen and outsidehave shown the power and impact that food can have in bringing individuals and communities together and helping them thrive and grow together.”
Twice awarded Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influencial People in the World, Andrés’ humanitarian workhas received widespread recognition. In 2016 he was awarded a National Humanities Medal at the White House by President Obama, and in 2018 he was named Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation for the role of his non-profit organization, World Central Kitchen, in providing nearly 4 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. His book recounting his experience in Puerto Rico, We Fed An Island, is a New York Times bestseller.
He has recently broadened his restaurant reach with a new location of Jaleo, his first restaurant, at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, as well as the 35,000-square foot MercadoLittle Spain in New York’s Hudson Yards development, which combines a variety of Spanishrestaurants, bars and food and retail kiosks under one roof. Described as “a veritable love letter to Spain”, the project, inspired by the mercados central to social life in Spain, was developed withcreative collaboration from brothers Ferran and Albert Adrià, with whom he worked at El Bulli at the start of his career.
A photographic tale of the aspirations of four women and their determination to achieve their goals, each one pursuing her own dreams and passions. This is “Dreaming”, the 2019 Pirelli Calendar, now in its forty-sixth edition, shot by Albert Watson in April in Miami and New York and unveiled today at Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan.
A sequence of forty shots tells the stories of characters portrayed by Gigi Hadid with Alexander Wang, Julia Garner, Misty Copeland with Calvin Royal III and Laetitia Casta with Sergei Polunin. The photographs, in colour and black and white, are in the cinematic 16:9 format, inspired by Albert Watson’s passion for the art of film.
“When I approached this project,” says Watson, “I wanted to do it in a way that was different from other photographers, and I wondered what the best way would be. In the end, I looked for pictures that were of beautiful quality, with depth to them, and that had some kind of narrative. I wanted to create something that was more than just a portrait of somebody – I wanted it to look like a film still. I wanted people looking at the Calendar to see that my aim was photography in its purest form, exploring the women I was photographing and creating a situation that would convey a positive vision of women today.”
Telling the story of how he came to make the Calendar (see the interview below), the photographer talks of his own dreams, and of the efforts and sacrifices that they entailed.
“To make a dream come true, you have to work hard. I’ve always taken it step by step, reaching one goal at a time, without wanting to get immediately to the top of the ladder. Even though I sometimes think this ladder could go on up forever, with the top rung ever-further away, I think it’s always worth giving yourself increasingly ambitious goals and dreams.”
He said that each of the four women focuses on the future and “has her own individuality, her own particular purpose in life, and her own way of doing things. So the underlying theme is that of ‘dreams’, but the basic idea behind the whole project is that of telling a story in four ‘little movies’. What I wanted to convey were the protagonists’ hopes and their way of thinking about the future, in a way that would bring with it the aspect of dreaming.”
An example of this is the character played by Gigi Hadid, he explained. She has recently separated from her partner, lives alone in a glass tower and has Alexander Wang as her only friend and confidant: “I think there’s a degree of angst in these images. With Hadid’s character, I wanted to convey the sense of a woman thinking about her future, but also showing her in a situation of loneliness. We see her thinking about where she is going to go in life, what she will be doing tomorrow. I wanted it to be much more minimalistic than the other women and settings I photographed.”
Julia Garner plays the part of a young photographer who loves nature and solitude. Of her, Watson says; “Julia’s a very, very accomplished actress and she got straight into the character. She played a botanical photographer who dreams of putting on successful exhibitions. We were in a beautiful tropical garden in Miami, which turned out to be the perfect place for us to work.
Misty Copeland, whose partner in the Calendar is Calvin Royal III, also looks to the future, fantasising about making a name for herself in the world of dance. “Trying to be successful is her driving force,” said Watson. “Copeland’s character earns her living by dancing in a club, but at the same time she has also put up a little stage in her garden, where she practices dancing in order to become a star, sometimes with her boyfriend, played by Calvin Royal III.”
Lastly, Laetitia Casta is a painter who lives in a studio apartment with her partner, played by Sergei Polunin. They both dream of success: she as an artist, he as a dancer. “What’s interesting”, says Watson, “is that, in real life, Laetitia really does do a lot of sculpting and creates artwork in her spare time. This worked out very well and helped her get into character. We decided to shoot outside, to give the scenes some added natural brightness. The tropical atmosphere of Miami is a key component in this picture.”
See the stories and stars of the 2019 Pirelli Calendar, and the history of over 50 years of The Cal™, at www.pirellicalendar.com .
PHOTOGRAPHER: ALBERT WATSON
ARTISTIC DIRECTION: BARON & BARON
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: STEVE KIMMEL
CALVIN ROYAL III
Q&A WITH ALBERT WATSON
How did you approach the Pirelli Calendar project?
The Pirelli Calendar is a unique project for any photographer. When I first took it on, I wanted to do it in a way that would be different from that of other photographers, and I wondered what the best way would be. In the end, I looked for pictures that were of beautiful quality, with depth to them, and that had some kind of narrative. I wanted to create something that was more than just a portrait of somebody – I wanted it to look just like a film still. I wanted people looking at the Calendar to see that my aim was photography in its purest form, exploring the women I was photographing and creating a situation that would convey a positive vision of women today.
How did you formulate the project?
I wanted to ensure there would be a strong narrative, so I thought: “Let’s try and make the shots look like film stills.” Quite a lot of it was shot in widescreen format. And that was quite challenging. Each of the four women has her own individuality, her own particular purpose in life, and her own way of doing things. And they are all focused on their future. So the underlying theme is that of “dreams”, but the basic idea behind the whole project is that of telling a story in four ‘little movies’.
Could you tell us about the stories that bring your Calendar to life?
Each character has a part to play in the 2019 Pirelli Calendar. In some cases, the role was close to what the actress does for a living, but here they were certainly all acting a part. Not themselves. And that’s what I wanted.
The woman played by Gigi Hadid has just split up with her companion. She has a confidant, not a boyfriend, played by the designer Alexander Wang. He is helping her get over this difficult time. I think there’s a degree of angst in these images. With Gigi Hadid’s character, I wanted to convey the sense of a woman thinking about her future, but also showing her in a situation of loneliness. We see her thinking about where she’s going to go in life, what she’ll be doing tomorrow. I wanted her to be much more minimalistic than the other women I photographed, and I wanted her to be reflected in the settings I portrayed her in. The settings of the other protagonists are pretty crowded, and there’s action in almost all of them.”
Julia Garner’s character is a botanical photographer who dreams of putting on successful exhibitions. Julia’s a very, very accomplished actress and she got straight into the character. We were in a beautiful tropical garden in Miami, which turned out to be the perfect place for us to work.
Misty Copeland and Calvin Royal III, on the other hand, play the part of two dancers who want to become famous and live in an Art Deco house. She’s dreaming of dancing in Paris. She is looking to the future and has ambitions. Trying to be successful is her driving force. Copeland’s character earns her living by dancing in a club, but at the same time she has also put up a little stage in her garden, where she practices dancing in order to become a star, sometimes with her boyfriend, played by Calvin Royal III.
The artist played by Laetitia Casta lives in a studio apartment, which she shares with her partner, played by Sergei Polunin. They are both dreaming of success: she as an artist, he as a dancer. We decided to shoot outside, to give the scenes some added natural brightness. The tropical atmosphere of Miami is a key component in this picture. What’s interesting is that Laetitia told me that, in her spare time, she really does do a lot of sculpting and creates artwork. This worked out very well and helped her get into character.
What was the role played by light in this project?
When I was young, the first famous person I photographed was Alfred Hitchcock. He said: “My dear boy, once you’ve finished the storyboard, the movie is finished – all I have to do is shoot it.” There’s a certain amount of his message that has stayed with me. The 2019 Calendar is like a cinematic storyboard. I was very lucky because I trained as a graphic designer for four years and then I went to The Royal College of Art Film School for three years and I came out as a director. I never trained as a photographer and, from that point on, I had to learn to be a photographer and know about lighting. As a photographer, the technical things for me were very difficult, it wasn’t natural. Intuitively, a cinematic aesthetic was quite natural for me to follow. A lot of my work is based on graphics and film or sometimes on a combination of the two. It was quite easy for me to drop into this for the Calendar and produce images like film stills. It was a matter of making all these different elements come together and make a strong narrative. The common denominator is that these people are all active: they’re thinking of their future and they’re dreaming of where they might be in five, ten, twenty years…
Did you like working on the set?
I know some people work well with a lot of tension on set, and part of their creativity comes from this, but I’m actually the opposite of that. If I’m having fun with people, if I’m enjoying being with them and playing around, I get a lot more out of them. I sometimes say to young photographers that it’s ‘location, location, location’. But in a case like this, it’s more ‘preparation, preparation, preparation’. The more you prep for the job, the more creative it will be. It’s thinking and planning, planning, planning. That’s what’s really important.
I had a tremendous amount of support when creating the vision for the Calendar. Steve Kimmel was the art director, along with Arnold Barros and Belinda Scott, and they did a brilliant job. Thanks to their dedication, it all went perfectly. James Kaliardos did our make-up. He did a fantastic job, beautiful, invisible, but yet there. The hair, by Kerry Warne, was always natural for each of the women. He’s had a lot of experience in film work, so he was perfect for this project.
Julia Von Boehm did the styling and fashion editing. On top of that, I had my own team of assistants and digital editors, Taro Hashimura and Emi Robinson, as well as Adrian Potter. All these people contributed in a great way, so this was definitely much more like a film project than a photography one.
Have you fulfilled your dreams?
To make a dream come true, you need to work hard. I’ve always taken it step by step, reaching one goal at a time, without wanting to get immediately to the top of the ladder. Even though I sometimes think this ladder could go on up forever, with the top rung ever-further away, I think it’s always worth giving yourself increasingly ambitious goals and dreams.
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