Posts tagged with "Mina Tocalini"

Easing Back into Exercise

A message from our Fitness Editor, Kupah James.

Let’s be honest, the COVID 15lb weight gain is a real thing. Lately, there has been a huge increase in people seeking out the next best fitness trend to try and shed their stay-at-home fluff and get back into shape. Diving into the fitness lifestyle can be a little overwhelming if you do not know exactly where to start. Luckily, we’re here to pave the way and help you find the best routine for YOU.

If you think you have to run a marathon or join a CrossFit gym to get back into your healthy routine, think again. Sometimes setting an unrealistic goal or diving into a workout style you don’t love can be the most detrimental decision of the process. It can be easy to follow social trends and check out the latest HIIT class near you, but what if it’s not exactly your style? I teamed up with fit-pro Chelle Mahoney and laid out the most important steps to ensure longevity and effective workout habits!

Play to Your Strengths

If you absolutely hate to box, don’t pick up boxing. Same goes for yoga, CrossFit, running etc. The biggest feedback we hear in the fitness industry when people stop their chosen workout is, “I didn’t like it” and that’s OK! Pilates is not everyone’s jam but find what is. If you grew up on a bike, pick up spinning. If you absolutely love to be in the water, start swimming laps. Find what you’re good at and go be great at it. Then step by step you will start implementing other forms of fitness into your routine to compliment your workout.

Quality and Consistency

Make a plan and stick to it. It truly is that simple. Whether you work a 9-5 or travel for a living, creating a workout schedule ahead of time sets you up for success. Our best advice is plan a month ahead. Break out the calendar, set aside times for yourself to sweat and stick to it. Write it down, sweat it out, reap the benefits, repeat.

Steady State Cardio

Have you ever been to a class where the instructor is screaming at you to run faster, spin harder or max out your heart rate. Yeah, we’ve all been there. HIIT training is a hot commodity these days and is more popular than ever. However, HIIT is only sustainable for so long. How about revisiting your steady state cardio days? This is the true sneak attack for fat loss. So how do we do it? Most simply put, create lower intensity forms of cardio for longer amounts of time. This can be anything from a brisk walk to a longer endurance style jog. The trick is to not max out your heart rate so you have to stop the exercise. Combining lower intensity with longer holds creates a cardio lifestyle built around lasting longevity.

Importance of Community

Yes, we get it, sometimes it sucks waking up at 6 am to fit your workout in before heading to the office. The best life hack we have for this problem; find your workout partner. This can be anyone including, but not limited to, a best friend, co-worker, sibling, neighbor etc. Having an accountability partner creates healthy habits for you to get after together! Knowing you have someone to sweat with makes it much less likely to hit snooze and skip your workout. Adhere to your schedule together and #MakeMoves.

Before you tune out and stop reading, allow us to wrap this up now that we’ve listed some easy steps for you to create and start implementing workouts into your new routine. With this new stay at home lifestyle, long term wellness is the goal. Make a schedule and stay consistent. Not every workout has to be all-out max effort, steady state is the fat loss key. Find your workout buddy and stay accountable. Lastly, find your groove and what makes you smile as you sweat. These are the simple steps to make your sweat schedule a consistent habit. If you are dreading your training it will have an expiration, and we’re in this for the long haul baby.

Will Smith illustration for 360 Magazine by Mina Tocalini

30th Anniversary Fresh Prince Collection

By Hannah DiPilato

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the beloved classic, is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary with a fresh new line of streetwear. The collection includes clothing that showcases the nostalgic era of the nineties with bold and colorful designs. Inspired by the show, this collection will transport you back in time. 

This unisex collection offers a variety of shirts, pants, jackets, and accessories all with different fun and unique patterns. You can even get your hands on a Fresh Prince facemask to stay safe in style – which is one of 360 MAGAZINE’s favorites in the line. The clothing and accessories range from $15 to $200 so everyone can find something fresh to rock. 

Some highlights of the line include a bright, blue varsity jacket that says “Fresh” across the front, perfect for channeling the energy of the Bel-Air Academy halls. There is also a color block t-shirt and sweatpant set that combines the fashion of the ‘90s with a common 2020 streetwear style. 

There is even a limited edition crate series for $55 that comes with a ‘90s graphic tee, a pair of logo socks, a graffiti print beach towel, an exclusive air freshener, and a license plate enamel pin. You can choose the three crate option to get two more crates of similar goods to be shipped in October and December. If you buy the three crate plan you receive a free ornament to keep the swag going into the holiday season. 

This “Who God Da Jazz?” collection was inspired by the prince, Will Smith, and DJ Jazzy Jeff, his music partner. This is the second collection featured on the website, the first being “Frressh Essentials.”

DJ Jazzy Jeff commented on the excitement of the collection in a press release by Chantel Muentes at Berk Communications. “Very rarely do television programs have such a significant cultural impact 30 years after its release, but to generate this type of excitement in 2020 is really a testament to the fans,” Jeff said. “This is really a celebration of a legacy and it’s incredible watching the series evolve into a fashion brand and influence an entirely new generation.” 

Along with the clothing collection, Will Smith announced on his Instagram that a “real Banks family reunion is comin’ soon” and will be available on the new streaming service HBO Max.

This reunion isn’t the only premiere fans are anticipating. According to a youtube video posted by Smith he “closed the deal with Peacock with an unprecedented two-season order” that will reboot “Fresh Prince.” A fan of the show, Morgan Cooper, created a viral video in 2019 that showed the potential of a reboot. He will write and direct the reboot and Smith will be present as an executive producer along with a few others.

This line is perfect to get a fresh style just in time for fall. With the release of both the reunion and reboot coming soon, this is the perfect time to splurge on merchandise and channel your inner fresh prince. Although the style of the ‘90s has never truly faded from fashion, it’s making a full-force comeback with these unique streetwear styles. 

Kamala Harris illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Win With Black Women

Back in 2016, while campaigning for the office of President of the United States, Donald Trump asked black voters, “What do you have to lose?”

He asked in reference to generations of oppression, violence and inequality, saying, “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. 58% of your youth is unemployed.”

The obvious implication is that things couldn’t possibly get worse for black voters, and Trump thought he had a chance to be the solution to the problem.

Well, in Sept. 2020, it seems that President Trump has his answer, and it comes in the form of a letter penned by Win With Black Women and co-signed by over 1,000 black female leaders.

The letter opens with a direct response to the question posed by Trump.

“Our answer, evidenced by increasingly poor economic outcomes, high racial tensions and hate incidents, the coronavirus, and an overall lack of dignity and respect in the White House, is a lot. And for Black women in particular, it’s too much,” the letter said.

It went on to discuss “sycophantic rhetoric” at the RNC that would lead watchers to believe that black life in America is in a healthier place now than it was prior to Trump’s election. Furthermore, the letter said that rhetoric insisted that anyone challenging that notion was brainwashed.

To refute the points set forth at the RNC, the letter cited the State of Black America, saying black households bring in 41% less than white households, and 60% of the black population lives below the poverty line. The letter also said that black unemployment is double the percentage of white unemployment.

The letter covered the cause of the recent protests throughout the country, saying, “Our lives are in constant threat under your Administration. If you are Black in America, you are three times more likely to be shot by the police,” going on to name Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake as evidence that justice has gone unserved.

It also mentioned that black people are dying disproportionally from COVID-19 while black women, specifically, “lag behind in life expectancy, and maternal and infant mortality.”

Win With Black Women finished by saying that they will fight against attacks on Kamala Harris and proposed a call to action.

“We call on voters, no matter their background, to join us in setting the record straight and to reject your distracting antics, lies and attacks. We call on you and the GOP to focus on the crises afflicting the American people and not to insult every American with petty diversions, outright lies, and by sweeping problems under the rug.  We call on voters to stand in solidarity with Black women and reject your derogatory sexist, racist rhetoric aimed at undermining our credibility, our character, and our achievements,” the letter said.

Before closing the letter, Win With Black Women said they “vow to continue to uplift the issues most important to our families and our communities, keep our eyes and ears open, and to work to restore what is true, just, and decent to this election and to this monumental time in history.”

Win With Black Women has published the letter on Change.org, asking signees of the petition to stand with them in unity. To sign the letter and to see a complete list of co-signing leaders, you can click right here.

Community illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Alt-Right Billboard Petition

The internet has given everyone a voice, and Change.org has become one of the most popular platforms for using that voice.

One of the site’s petitions that seems to be picking up steam, almost reaching 100,000 signatures, is a petition to remove a billboard advertising WhitePrideRadio.com and AltRightTV.com.

According to the post on Change.org, Harrison Sign Co., a sign company based out of Harrison, Arkansas, has posted several racist billboards over the past few years.

“The billboards have done tremendous damage to our community by giving the impression that our citizens support their messages and don’t object to their presence,” the post said.

The post also said that the community has worked to remove previous billboards found to be equally offensive, but this one still stands.

Commenters and residents have also taken to Change.org to express their discontent with the billboard.

One commenter by the name of Amber Harris said, “This sign is an embarrassment to our community and a stain on our town. Our community deserves better. Our minorities deserve better.”

Another commenter, John Henderson, said, “This does not represent the view of the people of Harrison. It is bad for the reputation and economy of the town.”

The petition has a goal of 150,000 signatures. If you’d like to help by adding your signature, you can click right here.

Cash and wallet illustration for 360 Magazine

The Business Comeback After COVID-19

Business Turnaround Expert Cites Keys to a COVID-19 Comeback

By Merilee Kern, MBA ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor

The September 11th attacks. The Great Recession. The COVID-19 pandemic.

All three of these seismic and tragic events have resulted in heartbreak to humanity, including loss of life and our emotional well-being – both individually and collectively. Of course, accompanying these global crises were monetary meltdowns reminiscent of the Great Depression that commenced in 1929 and lingered until the late 1930s.

After a “relatively” calm 70 years, the United States economy has suffered three devastating developments inside the last two decades, alone. There have been wars fought throughout the world and inflation escalations along the way, to be sure, but the start to the 21st century has suffered escalating and unusually concentrated economic calamities – some that have profoundly altered the very fabric of our lives, both personally and professionally.

Indeed, on the business front, such periods have been among the most – perhaps the unequivocal most – trying of times. Amid current circumstances as the coronavirus rages on around the globe, I recently connected with internationally-renowned business restructuring executive James “Jim” Martin, founder of ACM Capital Partners with offices in Charlotte, Denver and Miami. Having spent the last three decades leading international middle-market companies through periods of distress and transition to actualize stability and growth, Martin is uniquely well-positioned to share insights on how business can rally to best assure a “COVID comeback.” Here’s what he had to say.

MK: First, before addressing the current coronavirus situation, what can you tell us about how you’ve helped companies navigate previous “rough waters?”

JM: Relative to the September 11th attacks back in 2001, I’ll share a representative example of a strategic pivot that didn’t just help a company survive, but actually drove profit. After that horrendous event, I stepped in to assist a large aviation maintenance repair-and-overhaul facility whose revenue had been cut fully in half immediately following the attacks – the result of many carriers permanently parking older aircraft (including the 727 fleet). The sizable challenge presented was to maintain a 1000-person labor force while allowing the industry the necessary time to recover. To do so, we created a captive subcontracting company to which we transferred one-third of our labor force. During our troughs, we contracted this labor to our competitors and, during peak periods, we utilized this labor for ourselves. Thus, not only were we able to retain our skilled, well-oriented labor force during the recovery, but that very staff actually provided additional, supplemental profit. The end result was that we sold the business for $138 million, which provided our new investors with a 33 percent internal rate of return (IRR).

Less than a decade after 9/11, amid The Great Recession in 2008, I entered another industry that proved to be among the most brutalized by a global economic downturn: automotive supply. My client was a key supplier to the “Big 3” U.S. auto manufacturers.

At the start of 2008, the industry forecast was the production of 18 million vehicles in North America. Come summer, however, it was clear the automakers would not come near reaching that forecast due to the financial crisis. This did not come as a complete surprise to us, though, because – amid our firm’s protocols – we had had already fully immersed ourselves in our client’s industry and employed forecasting tools alerting us of trends … this one in the wrong direction. So, we were privy to the situation well before management and others within the industry. By late June 2008, we instituted cost-cutting maneuvers and furloughs that enabled the company to withstand the industry’s brutal second half of ’08 that would result in two of the “Big 3” automakers filing for Chapter 11. Despite the industry producing less than half – as much as eight million – of its original vehicle-production forecast, our client not only survived, but ultimately grew and prospered.

MK: Turning attentions to COVID-19, what do you feel is integral for businesses to survive and recover?

JM: For businesses to recover from the coronavirus shutdown, it’s going to take a two-pronged approach: both financial and human capital. Starting with the financial, it will be a “loan-ly” world for those not well-versed in the intricacies of SBA, PPP and other “economic disaster” lending. Consider how expeditiously those programs were rolled out. Then consider how even more quickly they were scooped up. Did anyone really read those loan documents in full, or even halfway through, initially – or even to this day?

My guess is at least half of the companies receiving COVID-related loans took a very “CliffsNotes” approach to these agreements. The result is there’s a solid chance funds were used incorrectly, which is going to make a lot of the loans, shall we say, less “forgivable.” For example, if your company’s payroll roster is shorter today than it was pre-virus, the portion of the loans forgiven is likely to be less.

And while your mind may rush to claiming ignorance and throwing yourself upon the mercy of the government to which you already pay taxes, realize that third-party capital is likely to participate in this market through securitization. This means that thousands of SBA loans could be bought, then packaged to be sold to the secondary market, at a discounted rate, no less. If this happens, understand that the purchasers will have the full intention of holding their borrowers (i.e. small business owners) to paying back 100 cents on the dollar.

So, those companies who received loans and are required, but unable, to pay them back in full may be exposed to either foreclosure or, worse, a “loan to own” scenario. In other words, much like the agreement that comes with your big-tech user agreements, like those prompting users to “click agree,” the fine print matters.

What this means to recovery is that, once again, cash is king: gather it, preserve it, cease lines of credit, liquidate what you can, negotiate costs down with suppliers. If you’re struggling to pay you suppliers, you can look into purchase order financing options in order to improve your cash flow. And if your company had a healthy bottom line pre-COVID, than a professional familiar with these trenches can help you look to refinance or bring in equity.

With all of that said, the key to a COVID-19 recovery is going to be adhering to the rules of a lender’s road, as well as the ability to navigate the red tape when you veer off that road. If you have read all the fine print and properly managed your loan, congratulations! You’ve acquired some really cheap capital. For those who didn’t do their research, however, this road to recovery likely will need some paving.

MK: What about the human capital you mentioned?

JM: Yes, and then we arrive at the human capital. Lots of companies today are excessively top-heavy. Remember the part about removing emotions from this process? Companies that quickly recognize cuts need to be made will be better positioned to recover than those who dawdle. Again, compiling and preserving cash is going to best position a business for recovery.

This is an instance where it’s especially beneficial to know when to pull triggers (best if earlier than others) and to make decisions that are not based on emotions—a tall order for many CEOs, which is why many turn to turnaround experts. However it’s undertaken, what’s certain is that reducing human capital is painful, but it is also often necessary and almost always beneficial.

The upside is that, when the virus no longer exits, businesses can already be well-positioned for a fairly quick recovery. Maybe not v-shaped sans a vaccine, but quick relatively speaking due to the downturn having been so specific to one singular causing factor.

MK: Tell us a bit about your role as – and general value of – a turnaround expert when turmoil strikes a business.

JM: During times of difficulty, owners and executives can greatly benefit from specialized knowledge that’ll help them best navigate those unchartered waters that are often entangled in a lot of red tape. So, turnaround experts bring to the table a litany of tried-and-true “been there, weathered that” experience and expertise. There’s simply no substitute for engaging with a partner whose entire mandate is ensuring your company’s survival and success during some of the most grim and challenging times it might experience – those professionals who are willing to spend sleepless nights figuring out how to ensure the company meets payroll; who’ll work around the clock to keep the company’s doors open; and who can tackle challenges without being hindered by emotions that understandably weigh on a business owner or manager. It takes this kind of specialized expertise, experience and grit to lead companies through periods of distress and transition, to stability and growth.

No stranger to corporate chaos, during Martin’s own three decades as a globally-regarded turnaround expert, he has reportedly created and restored nearly $1.5 billion in value to lower middle-market companies; raised an additional $1 billion in capital; and managed mergers and acquisitions in excess of $500 million – all collectively representing his company restructuring portfolio valuation in excess of $3 billion.

Today, as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on business operations far and wide, take heed that there are various key strategic and creative tactics that can help businesses not only weather the storm, but even emerge stronger and more financially secure on the other side.

About Merilee Kern:

Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Merilee is Founder, Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List” as well as Host of the nationally-syndicated “Savvy Living” TV show. As a prolific consumer and business trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, she keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. Her work reaches multi-millions worldwide via broadcast TV (her own shows and copious others on which she appears) as well as a myriad of print and online publications. You can connect with Merilee at www.TheLuxeList.com and www.SavvyLiving.tv

Follow Merilee Kern:  Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIN

One Love illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Oakley – One Love

Today, Oakley® unveils a powerful remake of Bob Marley’s iconic anthem – One Love – as part of the brand’s 2020 For the Love of Sport Campaign. The official release aims to inspire hope and positivity during a time of uncertainty by celebrating sport, and how it can enlighten and uplift. The reworked verses were co-written by Oakley Athletes including Diamond DeShields, Ryan Sheckler, Oksana Masters, Caroline Buchanan and Ítalo Ferreira. This reinterpretation evolves the classic song into a modern-day love story, amplified by an official music video that showcases a dynamic display of passion and determination as viewers follow athletes’ individual journeys and the way sport has impacted their lives and the people around them.

American-born, British-Jamaican singer-songwriter, Celeste, was selected to perform the song because of her ability to convey a message through her soulful-tones and her mantra to create meaningful music that can make a difference. Most recently, Celeste, won the 2020 Brit Rising Star Award and was named the number one breakthrough act on the BBC Music Sound of 2020 List. 

Oakley’s For The Love of Sport campaign honors one of the most universal passions – that of sport. During the writing process, Oakley interviewed those with an intimate connection to sport – its global network of athletes. In conversation, they explored the unifying qualities of sport through their personal journeys, including recent stretches of solitude and peaks of frustration. Their reflections revealed a commonality between them – sport’s ability to push-through boundaries, and overcome adversity, even during the toughest times.

“Sport has the power to evoke emotion, whether participating or spectating”, said Ben Goss, Oakley Global Marketing Director. “And the world is in a fragile place right now. By sharing what drives us and our athletes, this love of sport, our hope is that it can have a positive impact on uplifting the community during these uncertain times.”

The globally recognized One Love track by Bob Marley was a call for unity in 1965 when it was first released, and its message still rings true, 55 years later. The Oakley remake is part of a yearlong celebration of what would be Marley’s 75th birthday in 2020 and it preserves the song’s uplifting chorus and chords that inspired a generation, and refreshes the verses to captivate a contemporary audience.

“Sport, specifically soccer, was my Dad’s second love after music, and it brought him a great deal of joy throughout his life,” said Ziggy Marley. “The world really needs love right now, and we’re thrilled to work with Oakley on this amazing reinterpretation of One Love, so it can be meaningful to a new generation during a time when it’s needed most.”

Oakley’s One Love will debut exclusively on SiriusXM’s Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Radio channel during a live broadcast with a special introduction from Skip Marley at 8AM PST on August 11, 2020. The official music video will go live simultaneously on Oakley’s YouTube channel and Instagram TV and the song will be available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow Oakley: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Banana illustration by Mina Tocalini

3 Quarantine Nutrition Hacks

Are your clothes fitting more tightly on you than what you are comfortable with these days? If you indulged in “The Quarantine Diet” of added sugar, refined carbohydrates and more sugar, you are not alone. There isn’t a person on the planet who hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. There are memes about Zoom meetings in pajamas. We’ve seen the jokes about annoyed pets who are ready for their owners to get back into the office. The most popular subject…drum roll, please… has been COVID weight gain, or “The Quarantine 15.” With some of us gaining upwards of 10 to 15 pounds at this point, these particular memes aren’t quite so funny anymore.

While some things are more difficult to control, like job loss, financial dips or getting sick, take advantage of the variables you do have control over. One of the easiest things you can master right now is your nutritional health. Making healthier food choices is more important than ever as we are collectively less active these days. Many places in the U.S. still have closed gyms and workout facilities, and home workouts aren’t for everyone. That leaves a lot of us with a perfect storm of weight gain, too little movement and too much snacking at home.

Life has disrupted us in a major way, and yet, there are still things we can do to reverse some of the damage. At 360 Magazine, we have rounded up 3 strategies from Los Angeles Nutrition Coach Natasha Maxwell to help get you back on track if the quarantine weight gain has claimed you as a victim. Nobody knows when COVID-19 lockdowns will end. If this is going to be the “new normal,” you will have to reincorporate the healthy habits from your old life into this new one. If you are totally new to nutritional habit building (the food choices practiced consistently in your daily life), these tips are still a great help. Stick with us through the end for a bonus summer recipe!

How to Reclaim Your Body during Quarantine:

  1. Drink More Water!: This one is often overlooked as a weight management tool although it is as equally as important as the food choices we make. According to Natasha, “As a nutrition coach, I cannot express the number of times I encounter new clients who scoff at the amount of water I suggest. That number should be at least half of your body weight; in the summer I recommend upwards of 100 ounces. Yes, that’s right, 100 ounces minimum. The lack of sufficient water is harmful to your body and can affect it in a number of ways including salty food cravings, waste buildup and digestion problems. That waste buildup can mimic true weight gain, also known as “water weight”. Bloating from dehydration is no fun either and is likely the reason that it’s sometimes hard to button your pants.” As Natasha stated: Drink your water, please!
  2. Be mindful of your sugar intake this summer!: What comes to mind when you envision summertime treats? Maybe it’s popsicles, banana pudding or key lime pie. These are all fine in moderation, but too much sugar can lead to weight gain and excess puffiness. For those looking to lose weight from our extended stay indoors, we will have to keep track of our sugar intake, even when lounging happily by the pool. Some ways around overindulging in sweets include substituting fruits for other sweets, avoiding sodas and packaged fruit juice and being more mindful of limiting foods with labels listing corn syrup, glucose, sucrose, etc.
  3.  Seek out new and healthier recipes!: The likelihood of entertaining guests during summer or being invited to someone else’s party or backyard BBQ is relatively high. Either way, food will be high on the list of priorities. Think produce, lean meats and fewer refined snacks when debating over a menu. Natasha especially urges the consumption of produce. Fresh vegetables and fruit are higher in water content, and an ample water supply can come in handy when you’re feeling a little dehydrated from the heat! Sliced cucumbers and carrots with a homemade dip are a win. Seafood and lean poultry options on the grill with veggies are also a great combo. For plant-based options, think stuffed pepper recipes, veggie hummus wraps and rainbow-colored salads with incredible ingredients and flavor. Who said healthy recipes can’t be tasty, too?

This pandemic is stressful and has affected us in a multitude of ways. Emotional eating is understandable, given our current circumstances. We don’t have to be rigid around everything we eat, but being more aware of what we are indulging in and how often is the key to weight maintenance and weight loss. Make a plan for your nutritional habits and find the balance that works best for you. We wish you luck!

As promised, here’s that bonus recipe you’ve been waiting on. It’s Summer Ceviche!

Let us know what you think with a comment down below!

Cruise illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Aqua Expeditions

Aqua Expeditions, the global leader in luxury small ship expeditions, will begin welcoming back travelers aboard its ocean explorer yacht Aqua Blu. Local Indonesian residents will be able to set sail beginning August 2020, while international travelers can expect to depart from September 12, 2020 with enhanced health and safety protocols. These strict measures will be implemented across the company’s vessels in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

At the onset of the recent global pandemic, Aqua Expeditions took early, swift and decisive action to maintain strict antiviral hygiene standards on all three vessels in operation. As a result, the company experienced no cases of COVID-19 onboard any of its vessels.

“Today, more than ever, our employees, customers and partners need reassurance of our ability to offer them the safest experience possible,” says Francesco Galli Zugaro, CEO and founder of Aqua Expeditions. “It is our duty to anticipate needs and respond to health and safety requirements by adhering to the highest standards.”

Aqua Expeditions river vessels and ocean explorer yacht accommodate a maximum of 30 to 40 guests, allowing for the tailor-made experience it is known for. Its small ship capacity provides ample personal space and constant safe physical distancing among passengers and crew.

All vessels comply with the health and safety standards of the International Safety Management (ISM), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Out of an abundance of caution and as part of its uncompromising commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of the crew, staff and guests, Aqua Expeditions has adopted additional measures to address guests’ concerns about travel, including:

  • Conducting health screenings and pre-boarding medical evaluations for all crew and staff.
  • Introducing a pre-embarkation Health and Safety assessment to be completed by all guests before embarkation.
  • Eliminating crew changes during the entire duration of each itinerary, reducing the risk of potential outside exposure.
  • Conducting daily crew health checks to ensure all health concerns are actively addressed and monitored.
  • Intensifying disinfection standards by developing a combination of manual and contactless disinfection procedures.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing cabins three times a day, ensuring the highest level of hygiene standards.
  • Providing face masks, latex gloves and hand sanitizer to all crew and guests as required in accordance with each destination’s regulations and guest preference.
  • Introducing a Health and Safety Officer aboard each ship whose responsibility is the wellbeing of each crew and guest, as well as the proper compliance and implementation of safety standards.

The dining rooms aboard each vessel already take into account physical distancing but have been reconfigured to further create a dining environment where guests can enjoy their experience without worrying about health risks. This includes greater flexibility and options for table seating and spacing, as well as two sittings for each meal in the dining room.

Aqua Expeditions has implemented a global food safety policy via an internal auditing system, following HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles for cold chain supply protocols, supervised by a qualified food safety officer. Production kitchens around the world are staffed by highly trained personnel who utilize international best practices in sanitation and quality control, as well as usage of products to secure food safety such as antimicrobial fruit and vegetable treatments.

Aqua Expeditions’ small group shore excursions are an integral part of the brand’s ethos. With no more than 10 guests per group, the excursions offer personalized, engaging experiences. The Aqua Expeditions team cleans and disinfects all excursion equipment, prior to and after use. On the Aqua Blu, which sails around East Indonesia, scuba and snorkel gear is distributed to guests to keep for their exclusive use throughout their voyage.

Lastly, each Aqua Expeditions ship is flagged in the country in which it operates, reassuring guests that they are always allowed to disembark in any port or anchorage location on an itinerary.

A recognized global leader in luxury small-ship expeditions, Aqua Expeditions explores the worldߣs most wildlife- and culture-rich destinations aboard best-in-class vessels of stylish contemporary design. Venturing into unspoiled sanctuaries to witness the beauty of nature and wildlife, Aqua Expeditions sails to remote destinations with minimized human interaction, secluded from crowds. Expect tailored five-star itineraries, a highly exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio with personalized service, a cuisine experience crafted by acclaimed chefs, and flexible, expert-guided adventure activities and excursions for all ages, with a maximum of 30-40 guests per ship. Aqua Expeditions currently operate river explorations on the Amazon (Peru), the Mekong (Cambodia and Vietnam), and coastal yacht voyages to Komodo National Park, Ambon and the Spice Islands, as well as Raja Ampat (East Indonesia). Its fourth vessel, the Aqua Nera, makes its maiden voyage this fall in the Peruvian Amazon.

Follow Aqua Expeditions: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

J. Cole illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

J. Cole × PUMA

After the highly anticipated launch of J. Cole’s signature basketball sneaker for PUMA – the RS-Dreamer – the two will be releasing additional, limited-edition colorways of the signature shoe in August.

The first release – ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ – is inspired by the grit, determination and hard work needed to accomplish one’s dreams, despite the obstacles faced or time passed. With countless hours putting pen to paper and throwing shots up behind closed gym doors, J. Cole knows the grind like no other. So, Cole and PUMA Hoops are paying respects to putting in that work with this next Dreamer drop – The RS-Dreamer Blood, Sweat and Tears.

The newest drop features an audacious red colorway, the Dreamer logo and PUMA Hoops tech; these kicks are ready to grind, as long as you are too. Nothing worth having comes easy. Available in limited quantities, the new launch comes after the initial debut of the RS-Dreamer in July, which sold out online and in-stores within minutes.

Retailing for $125, the limited-edition RS-Dreamer ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ will be available starting this Monday, August 17th at 10:00 AM EST exclusively on PUMA.com and FootLocker.com

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A photo of the PUMA R-S Dreamer shoes.

BLACKPINK illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

BLACKPINK × Selena Gomez 

Global pop sensations BLACKPINK have announced that multi-platinum singer/songwriter Selena Gomez will appear on their forthcoming single. Due out on August 28th, the new single will serve as the second single from BLACKPINK’s highly anticipated debut album, set for release via YG Entertainment/Interscope Records on October 2nd. Merch bundles for the album are available now at BLACKPINK’s website.

The new single will arrive as the follow-up to “How You Like That” — a trap-pop anthem that surpassed a staggering 100 million streams on Spotify in under a month. The lead single from BLACKPINK’s first full-length studio effort, “How You Like That” debuted at #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early July, making BLACKPINK the K-pop act with the second-highest number of Hot 100 entries in chart history. Meanwhile, the mind-blowing visual for “How You Like That” became the fastest video in YouTube history to cross 10 million likes and shattered the YouTube record for most views within the first 24 hours. Check out the video for “How You Like That” HERE

Since bursting onto the scene in 2016, BLACKPINK have redefined the possibilities of K-pop, transcending all categorization and ascending to global stardom. With their unstoppably catchy single “DDU-DU DDU-DU,” the South Korean quartet broke the record for highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 debut by an all-female K-pop act, while its head-turning video surpassed 10 million views in just six hours and racked up 36.2 million views in one day.

Discovered by YG Entertainment, BLACKPINK is comprised of JISOO, JENNIE, ROSÉ and LISA: four immensely charismatic vocalists, dancers, and burgeoning fashion icons. Released in 2016, their debut “SQUARE ONE” quickly proved their crossover power; in 2018, “SQUARE UP” climbed to #40 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Billboard World Albums chart. Several months after “SQUARE UP” hit the charts, YG Entertainment and Interscope Records announced a global partnership for BLACKPINK, paving the way for the group’s international breakthrough. With their EP Kill This Love arriving in April 2019, BLACKPINK further boosted their popularity by successfully completing a world tour and becoming the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella, the largest music festival in the U.S.

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