Posts tagged with "Elliot Stares"

Black Ice via Elliot Stares PR for use by 360 Magazine

Black Ice

On February 29th, 2020, Akwasi Frimpong became the first Skeleton athlete from Africa to win an elite Skeleton race sanctioned by the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation in Park City, Utah. From a one room hut in Ghana to the Netherlands at age eight, where he became a professional track athlete before suffering a career-ending Achilles’ injury, the remarkable story of his lifelong dream is now being told in a short film depicting unwavering persistence and desire that holds up a torch of hope and inspiration for an entire continent, as Akwasi campaigns to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing this February.

In association with Hungry Man productions, the Swiss sportswear company, On, presents “Black Ice”, an original short film written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Richard Bullock. The film uniquely combines live-action footage, graphic design, and animation. Depicting Akwasi’s humble origins, growth, and arduous journey which forges his resilient spirit and ultimately transforms him into a symbol of modern Africa, Black Ice can now be seen HERE.

Developed over six months and with filmed excerpts on-location across Europe and Africa, Black Ice brings the pages of a graphic comic book to life through the eyes of the children it aims to inspire. An athletes’ strength and determination in the face of lifelong adversity is unraveled within a portrayal of Akwasi’s journey, presented as a chronology of his life up until the present day that presents a symbol of bravery and courage for the entire African population.

The film centers around a graphic novel that is initially pulled from the bag of a schoolboy with Black Ice as the title, showing an iron clad superhero on the cover depicted as Akwasi. His inquisitive sister reads along with him, and their voices become the narration for the story. They read from the graphic novel aloud and together they follow Akwas’ real-life journey as viewers are taken on a visual expedition.

“Black Ice comprises of a highly original storytelling technique that is the sum of its live action and drawn elements that is rarely seen in a filmed production of this nature,” says Feliciano Robayna, Executive Producer and Head of Sports Marketing at On. “For a long time Akwasi’s dream was simply to make it to the Olympics. Despite all the setbacks, he soon saw the power of his achievements and what they could mean for Africa. He was no longer competing only for himself or a country, but for an entire continent. At the forthcoming Winter Olympics, a billion people can see in him the proof that with self-belief, strength and dedication you can pursue and fulfil your lifelong dreams.”

After speaking with Akwasi, director Richard Bullock decided to approach the story in a completely different way. “Instead of a script or storyboard I wrote out his story in the form of a graphic novel. I handed that to my illustrator who was tasked to bring it to life as a printed graphic novel,” said Bullock. “The book itself has become a character in the film and it forced the filmmakers to think differently about all aspects of the production. “It’s uncomfortable and new for all of us,” was the response. Probably what Akwasi felt like the first time he slid headfirst down an ice run at 90 miles an hour.”

While Akwasi’s life feels like the original story of a fictional superhero, it is all fact. As a child, his grandmother whispered into his ear at bedtime: “What you need for success is already in you. It is a matter of believing in yourself, having the will to work hard and never giving up.”

After moving to Holland to join his mother at 8 years-old, the former Olympian, Sammy Monsels, watches over Akwasi and ignites the Olympic flame of desire within him. Akwasi reacts by making the Olympics his one true ambition as a rapidly growing track athlete. At age 16, Akwasi becomes the Dutch National 200m champion, despite being unable to travel to European competitions due to his citizenship status. Akwasi is accepted into the Johan Cruyff School and works tirelessly to become International Student of the Year. While training for the 2012 London Olympics, Akwasi ruptures his Achilles tendon, putting his Olympic ambitions in danger. While recovering, Akwasi considers his options, applies to American colleges and is accepted into Utah Valley University, where he would graduate with honors in Business Studies.

With Utah being such a cold mountainous climate that was ideal for Winter sports, and after meeting the Dutch national team, Akwasi was invited to try his hand as a brakeman on the Bobsleigh team. Akwasi surprisingly came within one place of making it to the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, which re-ignited his desire to become an Olympian. Akwasi decided to turn to a different sport and took part in a Skeleton trial which he exceled at. In pursuit of his Olympic goal, he focused on his new skill and defied all expectations by qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Akwasi became the first black male Skeleton athlete in Olympic history. He decided to become the hunter instead of the hunted and this self-determination allowed him to be the first African athlete to win an elite Skeleton race sanctioned by the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. Akwasi realized a new Olympic dream and would soon become an even stronger, more dangerous competitor with his sights set on the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. He also wanted to dream for the people of his continent.

In 2008, Akwasi chose a helmet with a lion holding a rabbit in its mouth. The image, he said, represented the story of his life: the rabbit running from the lion that threatened his survival and success. It became a design inspired from his past. However, in stark contrast, his new suit and helmet put him in the role of the hunter and no longer the prey. And rather than wrapped in his African heritage, it was a helmet designed with eyes firmly fixed on the future. His new suit is now inspired by Afrofuturist themes of modernity, technology and innovation. Spray painted on the front of his helmet, laser focused eyes look ahead, while on the back of his helmet is his own personal mission, “Hope of a Billion.” Through his actions, Akwasi Frimpong wants to inspire all Africans.

Akwasi became the first male African skeleton racer to compete at the Olympics in 2018 thanks to the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation‘s (IBSF) continental quota system. The system was dropped by the IOC for next month’s Beijing Olympics, dampening the hopes of any African athletes competing. Frimpong tested positive for Covid-19 on December 29, while preparing for his last three Olympic qualification races in Altenberg, Germany. This gave his qualification for the Olympic Games a crushing blow, despite being ranked only three places below the top 60 needed for qualification. Since then, Akwasi and his team have been campaigning with the IOC to allow Akwasi his chance to compete in Beijing, representing his nation of Ghana as the only African nation represented in the Skeleton. This request to the IOC was recently denied, sparking an outcry of public support for his plight.

To help him perform his best at upcoming competitions, Akwasi will be wearing On’s exclusive shoe designed specifically for professional bobsleigh and skeleton athletes.

MARATHON for use by 360 Magazine

Lux launches Born This Way Campaign

Unilever beauty brand, Lux, has voiced its support for renowned South African Olympic gold medalist, Caster Semenya. This comes off the back of her fight against the World Athletics board to be allowed to compete in the 800m race in the upcoming 2021 Olympics. Semenya has a genetic condition known as hyperandrogenism which means she produces a higher-than-normal level of testosterone. Even though she was born this way, new legislation by World Athletics in 2018 has led to her being disallowed from defending her gold medal at this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

The new Lux campaign titled “Born This Way” and created by WPP’s Wunderman Thompson, is part of a broader global initiative in which the brand has pledged to inspire 50 million women by 2025 using content, partnerships and activations to help them rise above everyday sexist judgements and express their beauty and femininity unapologetically. 

An emotive video by Wunderman Thompson, featuring an animated Semenya, is being widely shared on social media, with a message from Lux on how it believes no woman should be judged for how they look, ending with the words, Lux stands for Caster. Lux stands for all women.

Speaking on behalf of Lux, Severine Vauleon, Global Vice President said, “I am passionate about brands’ ability to make a positive impact in people’s lives by leveraging their scale to drive positive change in the world. Working for a beauty brand like Lux, it pains me that in this day and age, women still constantly get judged for how they look and choose to express their femininity. So I am proud to say that Lux stands with Caster. She is an example and an inspiration for women everywhere, to rise above the judgements of others and express their beauty fully and authentically. At Lux, we believe that beauty should be a source of strength rather than a source of judgement.”

On March 9, 2021, Unilever launched a new Positive Beauty vision and strategy globally which aims to champion a new era of beauty which is equitable and inclusive. This mission echoes Lux’s support for Semenya. Lux seeks to inspire women to confidently embrace their beauty and appearance as their own, as opposed to it being dependent on the opinion of others thus making their interpretation of their beauty their strength.

It was with this in mind that Lux decided to donate its brand voice through paid advertising on social channels and other media in support of Caster. Alongside that, the South African Parliament has joined the African Human Rights Commission and other institutions to help Semenya in her fight for justice and equality. The South Africa Parliament passed a Motion Without Notice, condemning the actions of World Athletics against Ms. Semenya as an “injustice and violation of human rights.” Parliament also resolved to do everything in its power to assist Ms Semenya in her fight.

“It makes me very happy to see brands like Lux who fearlessly stand on the side of what is right,” says Semenya. “My case is but one amongst many experiences that can be heard and felt by women all over the world. My team will continue to fight the good fight. Like I have always said this fight is not about me. It’s about the future. Those talented up-and-coming athletes who are going to face the same discrimination. I have to make sure that I can honestly say, I did my bit. We all need to continue doing what’s right in fighting for justice. And with the campaign my team has been working on, I am certain we will bring light to such issues beyond my case. I encourage everyone to unapologetically claim who they are and never waiver, no matter what society says. Thank you to my fellow South African’s who have stood by me through this journey. I will not cower.”

Julian Lennon Paperback Writer New Master via Aston Martin Residences Virtual Gallery for use by 360 Magazine

New Art Gallery at the Aston Martin Residences

The Aston Martin Residences Miami is creating a permanent art gallery on the 52nd floor of the luxury tower, which is due for completion at the end of next year. The Art Gallery celebrates a love of beauty and an appreciation of art in all forms, values shared by developer G&G Business Developments and its partner Aston Martin.

Ahead of its completion, the Aston Martin Residences’ Art Gallery is launching virtually and will showcase a renowned artist online every two months. To launch the virtual gallery, a 3D immersive experience, the Aston Martin Residences has partnered with British artist and acclaimed photographer Julian Lennon to present an exclusive exhibition of hand-picked images from his personal collections. The virtual Art Gallery and inaugural exhibit, titled “Vision,” can now be seen by visiting this website.

Germán Coto, CEO of G&G Business Developments, said: “Art and design are woven into the soul of the Aston Martin Residences. Every decision we make is born from an intrinsic love of beauty and meticulous attention to detail. We imagine residents will fill their homes with beautiful artworks, and we’re creating the Art Gallery to offer a secluded and exclusive space for our owners to immerse themselves in an ever-changing canvas of contemporary art. We’ll present works from established artists and emerging talents that make our hearts beat faster, and we hope the Art Gallery will inspire residents in their daily lives.”

He also said: “We’re 70% sold, and we know that our residents appreciate art. It’s this love of art together with a desire for the highest quality finishes, light-filled spaces, and of course, the stunning waterside location that has attracted clients to the Aston Martin Residences Miami.”

For Lennon, capturing moments through photography is an intimate experience. “I aim, through my photography, to grant the viewer intimate access to the lives and locations of my subjects, as well as insight into my own personal journey,” he said. “In a city as vibrant and diverse as Miami, I invite the residents to draw a relationship to their own lives in these images, and to take part in my mission to unite us through empathy in the lives of others.”

 Julian Lennon’s fine art photography exhibition, “Vision,” the first to be presented by the Aston Martin Residences’ Art Gallery, can now be seen virtually, ahead of the physical opening in 2022.

INTRODUCING ASTON MARTIN RESIDENCES MIAMI SIGNATURE COLLECTION

Signature Collection penthouses and residences revealed at prestigious Miami waterfront development

The Signature Collection is the next level of luxury at the Aston Martin Residences Miami

Aston Martin Residences Miami on target to complete construction at the end of 2022

Aston Martin Residences Miami, located on the exclusive Miami waterfront, has revealed its Signature Collection of seven penthouses and Line 01 ocean facing residences. Signature Collection is a personal invitation to the ultimate members-only community with unparalleled access and exclusivity at its core.

Contemporary architecture blends with art, and art blends seamlessly with design throughout the magnificent sail-shaped luxury development. The elegant homes are harmonious inside, while floor to ceiling windows afford uninterrupted views of the ocean and Biscayne Bay.

All seven one-level penthouses in the Signature Collection, starting on the 56th floor, are a minimum of 8,800 sq. ft.  Prices range from $16.7 million to $25 million. The 38 Line 01 Signature Residences, starting on the 15th floor, offer a minimum of 3,600 sq. ft. of interior space facing the ocean and start at $5,525,000.

Signature Collection owners will enjoy an array of privileges, including a dedicated butler service and priority access to the Aston Martin Residences private superyacht marina. While the Art Gallery located on the 52 floor will create a secluded space for residents to appreciate an ever-changing canvas of contemporary art. 

Germán Coto, CEO of G&G Business Developments, said: ‘I’m delighted to announce the Signature Collection and share the very first images of the penthouses. They’re the pinnacle of luxury and elegance, style and beauty, and the result of an inspirational collaboration between our architects and the Aston Martin Design Team. The Signature Collection is complemented by a specially-commissioned bespoke Aston Martin DB11 Coupe or DBX Riverwalk Editions, which will enhance the Aston Martin lifestyle for our owners.’

‘From the start, this project has been a labor of love, and I’m extremely proud of the passion and drive of everyone involved. We adapted to continue working safely throughout the pandemic and have reached floor 56 of 66 on schedule. The whole team is fully focused on completing the construction of our waterside jewel by the end of next year.’

Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, said: ‘The Signature Collection is the next level of luxury; the best of elegant living. When we designed the interior, we focused on the beauty of perfect proportions, affording the same attention to detail that goes into every Aston Martin. Fine craftsmanship, with an emphasis on comfort for the living spaces and bold, pioneering design for the amenity areas, has created an astonishingly beautiful development. Aston Martin Residences Miami is our first global real estate venture, Reichman continued. I think we have shown that good design is good design, whatever the medium. This is something that really excites us as a brand.’

Located at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way and now 75% sold, the Aston Martin Residences Miami is well on its way to completion at the end of next year. 

For further information, visit Aston Martin Residences’ website.

About Aston Martin Residences Miami: 

Aston Martin Residences Miami is a luxury residential tower developed by global property developer G&G Business Developments. It is located at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way on the Downtown Miami waterfront where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay. The project marks Aston Martin’s first real estate venture and the iconic brand’s expansion into luxury residential design. Designed by Revuelta Architecture and Bodas Miani Anger, the striking 66-story sail-shaped tower features 391 luxury residences and penthouses priced from the $750,000s to upwards of $50 million. Construction is due for completion at the end of next year. To learn more, please visit HERE.

About G&G Business Developments: 

Headquartered in Miami, G&G Business Developments was founded and is managed by key members of the Coto family. The company has quickly established success in global real estate as a developer, owner and investor, bringing its visionary business strategy to this competitive market. Known for financial strength and stability, G&G is committed to developing innovative, luxury projects that mix the latest technology with uncompromising design, delivering exceptional results by creating unique residential and business properties with long-term value.

Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way Miami BU Building/Penthouse Rendering from G&G Business Developments via Elliott Staes at ESPR for use by 360 Magazine

Hands of Time 2010 via Aston Martin Residences Virtual Gallery for use by 360 Magazine