June 2021


A beauty pageant contestant from Myanmar has renewed her appeal for international support to put an end to military oppression in her country.

Han Lay is a university student who competed at the Miss Grand International held in Thailand in March. She drew attention with a tearful speech she gave during the pageant on the deadly violence in her country.

The 22-year-old spoke to NHK on Monday in the Thai capital, Bangkok, where she has been staying. She said some of her friends have been detained by the military and are now in jail.

Han Lay said peoples’ “lives are in danger” and that they are left with no choice but to “fight back the military.”

She said she wants people from around the world to support the National Unity Government formed by ousted pro-democracy lawmakers, because it is “the only one hope we have in Myanmar right now.”

A human rights organization says the death toll from the military crackdown on protesters since the February coup had reached 873 as of Monday.

Han Lay pledged that she will continue to speak up until the people of Myanmar regain democracy.

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Katherine Schwarzenegger praised Chris Pratt as “the most wonderful husband” to commemorate his 42nd birthday.

The “Guardians of the Galaxy” star celebrated his birthday on Monday (21.06.21), and to commemorate the occasion, his wife Catherine used social media to praise her spouse. ..

Catherine writes, along with a series of photographs of the couple: You are the greatest husband, the loving father, the supportive partner, the most hard-working worker (working on your birthday!), The best chef and more. I am very grateful to be able to live with you. I love you more than you think! happiness! (Sic) “

Catherine’s mother, Maria Shriver, also left some sweet words to her son-in-law in the comments posted by the author.

Maria writes: “Happy Chris, I love you having a great day and having a very good New Year”

Meanwhile, Chris recently welcomed Catherine with her 10-month-old daughter Laila as a postnatal “hero” because she had to endure pregnancy and childbirth in a COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “[Katherine] I became pregnant just before the pandemic occurred. Let me tell you, it’s not easy. It’s difficult for a new mom who experienced it and had to do it.

“No one can be taken to these doctors’ appointments [and when] You go to give birth to a baby, they are like “Do you have your mask?”

“It’s hard. It made everything very hard, but in particular, childbirth and pregnancy obviously cause you to be worried about your own health, but now you’re small around When you have an infant. It only adds a whole new degree of stress.

“But she handled it very well, she never missed the beat. She’s my hero … she’s a great woman. I’m a lucky guy.”

And earlier this month, Chris, with his eight-year-old son Jack and his ex-wife Anna Faris, once again praised his wife for her second wedding anniversary.

When a fan asked Chris what he liked about Catherine, he replied: “Her smile, her patience, her indomitable spirit, her dedication as a mother, Her faith as a wife. “

Source link Katherine Schwarzenegger praises Chris Pratt’s birthday.Entertainment news

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Imogen Bailey explores what the consortium of private investors is doing with the Australian Fashion Labels assets. 

When Australian Fashion Labels entered administration, a group of passionate South Australians were determined to not let the brand fade away.

The consortium of Australian private investors called themselves International Fashion Labels and purchased the assets of the former business in March.

“It was a clean asset purchase and we started from effectively ground zero,” CEO Sean Ebert explains.

“Zero revenue and zero people in the set up, so we had to really focus on bringing the existing talent back that was loyal to the company, and who really understood the customer, customer base and the brands,” he says.

As new owners of the BNKR platform and brands Finders Keepers, Cameo Collective, Keepsake and The Fifth Labels’ stock, International Fashion Labels (IFL) got to work clearing the inventory for business moving forward.

To do this, IFL launched the largest online wholesale sale in the history of the previous company, listing 30,000 units for sale on the site.

“That was really our method of giving back to the loyal customers that had supported the business before it went into administration,” Ebert explains.

“So that really was the main focus, to get the business back into a sustainable operation,” he says.

Moving forward, IFL has its sights set on cultivating local talent, expanding its brands across more eCommerce platforms and investing more heavily in sustainable fashion.

Ebert explains that the support of local talent will go beyond just individuals.

“The most important thing is to continue to support and nurture that local design talent, in particular through a lot of the education providers such as TAFE and some of the design schools.

“Then as we grow, we are looking at how we can also support other fashion labels – particularly Australian fashion designers and labels that need access to the market.

“So, in the medium term we’ll be looking at how we can use our infrastructure to best support them as well as through our BNKR online platform,” he says.


When it comes to eCommerce growth, Ebert adds that the rapid adoption of eCommerce during COVID has positioned the business well to execute its eCommerce-focused strategy.

“We see huge potential in all global markets for the adoption and the growth of eCommerce and fashion is really well positioned following COVID.

“This is probably an amazing opportunity and timing for us to capitalise on that and take a leadership role in building the business into that new way of working, in particular online.

“So, it’s about looking at all the labels that we have in the database and really expanding into larger eCommerce platforms,” he says.

Ebert adds that the Chinese market will remain a key focus for IFL moving forward.

“It’s actually one of our strengths – that part of the business traded all the way through the administration.

“The Cameo brand is really well recognised in China and we’ve got two flagship Tmall sites in China.

“So the eCommerce combined with strategic wholesale in China will be a really important part of our future growth,” he says.

One element that is not so integral in the short term is bricks and mortar retail.

“We actually don’t have any retail stores open,” Ebert says.

“In the short term, we’re unlikely to look at that, the emphasis is really on eCommerce and key wholesale relationships.

“We will look at all those options, but primarily, it’s going to be eCommerce,” he says.

On the sustainability front, Ebert explains that the business will look to improve not only its products, but its entire operations.

“The one thing that the investors, the management and the team in the company are really quite passionate about is sustainability.

“We see a huge opportunity to really take the business all the way through from, how the business operates to the fabrics we use, and the entire life cycle of sustainability.

“That’s not only just for the products we design, but how the business is actually run and operated through every aspect of what we do.

“One of the designers that has come back into the team has a really, really strong background in sustainability, which is giving us that internal sort of advantage as well.

“We really do believe it needs to run through the whole business, from top to bottom right through to the products we design and how we engage customers as well,” he says.

Ebert adds that a fresh look at the business’ suppliers will also help the business determine if it is sourcing sustainably. 

“Sustainability goes all the way down to our suppliers; are our suppliers sustainable?

“Do they have the practices in place that align with our vision of sustainability?

“We call it the life cycle because it goes all the way through from, the start of the decision-making process, and the sourcing all the way to the end customer, that continuous loop,” he says.

This feautre first appeared in the May-June edition of Ragtrader. Subscribe to the magazine here. 

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Founded by Benoît Verdier, Sylvie Loday, and Olivier Royère, experts in finance, consulting, and marketing, the brand opened its first store 352 Rue Saint-Honoré, in Paris, in late 2013. Since then, Ex Nihilo has stood out in the most beautiful niche perfume places: Harrods in London, Tsum in Moscow, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks in NYC. In Paris, it is available at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann and Champs-Élysées, and will soon be at La Samaritaine, as soon as it reopens.

A unique immersive experience

Ex Nihilo’s strength lies in its choice of addictive creations combining beautiful natural materials and innovative synthetic captive molecules, but above all, in the unique shopping experience the company offers – an integral part of its DNA.

Thanks to Osmologue, an exclusive technology aimed to personalize two collections (Initiale and Babylone) with beautiful ingredients, the brand makes almost tailor-made perfumes on request, while adapting them to customers’ tastes.

The Osmologue technology was installed at the Paris store as soon as the brand was created, and then it was replicated at Harrods, in London, and in the two NYC corners. It is also available at the current points of sale in Toronto, at Saks, and in Dubai, at Bloomingdale’s, creating a unique immersive experience.

This original and attractive concept was designed in partnership with the Givaudan teams to offer sophisticated, semi-tailor-made fragrances twisted with beautiful materials selected upstream by perfumers to ensure a harmonious olfactory result. The bottle cap can also be personalized for a real high-end experience.

All in all, Ex Nihilo boasts 42 creations signed by various junior and senior perfumers, including Quentin Bisch, Guillaume Flavigny, Nathalie Gracia-Cetto, Olivier Pécheux… This large choice of perfumes makes up five collections, where the Parisian style mixes with more oriental scents. What’s more, the brand has multiplied artistic collaborations to offer exclusive perfumes or limited editions. The whole range is well-adapted to layering, thanks to perfumed bases and light body and hair mists that intensify fragrance trails.

References like Fleur Narcotique, Venenum Kiss, Vétiver Moloko, and Gold Immortals are the brand’s bestsellers. For example, Fleur Narcotique is highly successful in Russia and Eastern European countries, one of Ex Nihilo’s main markets, alongside the Middle East. Europe and the USA do not lag far behind though: there are about 20 points of sale in North America, mostly on the East coast, from Miami to Toronto, at Saks, but also in NYC – and of course, there is the Lucky Scent digital network.

A global development

After a year 2020 marked by the closure of many physical stores, the brand is about to speed up its development on the international stage, in particular in California. In addition to a corner at Saks, in Beverly Hills, they are planning to open a flagship store in West Hollywood next October.

All in all, the company has scheduled to double the number of points of sale in the year to come. Other than in LA, California, they will unveil a new flagship store in Dubai next September: these two new places will offer the innovative Osmologue technology and will be adorned with Ex Nihilo’s aesthetic codes, with a “local” colour touch. Also with a view to strengthen its presence on the international stage, the brand is planning to settle in Asia. After opening a first point of sale in Korea this year, the founders are now much interested in China, a new playground for niche perfume brands.

Global expansion is not the only challenge for Ex Nihilo. Over the next few months, it will be crucial to adapt sustainability requirements to luxury codes. And of course, there is digitalism: the in-store experience should be put forward on the social media – it just cannot be ignored, to Benoît Verdier – in particular to reach young people and Millennials.

Ex Nihilo will have many other projects to work on over the next few months, including the launch of a new fragrance after summer, with a captive molecule extracted from patchouli: akilagawood. While the synthetic molecules highlighted help preserve the environment, the company has not overlooked the beautiful natural materials that guarantee their perfumes’ quality. And they are ready to make them more widely known abroad.

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Such is Giorgio Armani’s eagerness for getting back to holding physical fashion shows that not even a nasty fall resulting in a fractured shoulder and 17 stitches 20 days ago could stop him from holding his first show in 16 months on Monday evening in Milan.

Addressing the rumours that he had recently been in hospital, the 86-year-old designer explained to waiting press after taking his bow at his spring/summer 2022 menswear show that he fell down the stairs while leaving the cinema but wanted to reassure everyone that he was fine and still raring to go.

It is no surprise that Armani willed himself better. The city is, he said, “the epicentre of my world”.

Like the rest of the fashion industry, due to the pandemic the veteran designer pivoted to showing his collections in a digital format as opposed to in front of the 200+ strong crowd he is used to, but has “realised that fashion cannot survive for long in an exclusively virtual form”.

“I appreciate the importance of virtual presentations; they are useful and global,” he said. “[But] fashion needs to be seen in real life [and] I have always worked hard to make fashion for real life.”

Armani’s show brought to an end a weekend of menswear fashion week events that saw the Italian fashion industry taking its first tentative steps towards a return to fashion week as we know it since restrictions started to lift in Italy on 1 June.

Still nowhere near the usual 40-plus schedule of live shows, the schedule saw Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Etro holding a physical show in the Italian fashion capital.

“The digital fashion show is fake,” said Domenico Dolce alongside his co-designer Stefano Gabbana, whose 94-model show on Saturday was their first since September. “It’s not a fashion show to do it digitally, between post-production and everything you lose the show. For us, the show is the moment the clothes connect with people and we [also] get a feeling of what people think about the clothes.”

Kean Etro, creative director of Etro menswear, who staged his spring/summer 2022 show at an outside location on Sunday, concurred. “You can record what you want and you can stream it, but to [really] represent yourself, we need to see each other.”

Models on the catwalk Etro show
Etro show, runway, spring Summer 2022, Milan Fashion Week Men’s, Italy. Photograph: SGP/REX/Shutterstock

As Italy’s second largest industry with pre-Covid turnover hitting the €100bn mark, Armani said fashion week would “be fundamental” in helping the Italian economy recover following the pandemic.

“Fashion is a fundamental engine of our economy. We export everywhere, to great success … I think that a valuable fashion proposal can make the internal market flourish again, too.” Fashion week is, after all, “a part of the collective imagination as a paradigmatic story of success. Let’s not forget that designers’ ready-to-wear is entirely an Italian invention.”

Carlos Capasa, president of the Italian fashion industry’s governing body Camera Nazionale della Moda, said he was hopeful the industry was already back on the right track, predicting that 70% of the womenswear schedule in Milan this September will be physical shows.

“We lost 24% of our turnover in 2020, so from €100bn we went to €76bn. So it was severe – together with the tourism industry – we were beaten, but already in 2021 we are 17% up from 2020, so it’s possible,” he said, adding that he was less interested in “back to normal” rather back to the future.

“I’m not afraid of the numbers, I think we will go back to 2019’s numbers in 2022, but I think we should do it in a different way,” he said, citing a more responsible, respectful approach. “It needs to be slower and conscious. The new world for the next couple of years will be consciousness. Sustainability is an interesting word that says a lot but also says nothing. Consciousness is up to all of us.”

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While gay men make up the majority of well-known names in fashion, queer women and non-binary leaders remain underrepresented. And though there has been a rise in the diversity of beauty influencers and media, LGBTQ+ women continue to remain less visible.

In honor of Pride Month and at a time when consumers want more queer representation from beauty and fashion brands, here are four founders creating new spaces and brands, which emphasize fluidity, inclusion and representation for all:

Corianna and Brianna Dotson, founders, Coco and Breezy Eyewear

Founders, Coco and Breezy Eyewear.Paul Zimmerman / WireImage file

Growing up Black in Minnesota, twins Coco and Breezy were often bullied and used their sunglasses as shields. In 2009, they leaned into their resilient and creative side and launched their own sunglasses brand — with less than $1,000.

Their unique, eclectic styles eventually caught the attention of Lady Gaga’s team, and in short order, their glasses were worn by Nicki Minaj, Kelly Osbourne, Serena Williams and the legendary artist Prince for whom they created his now-famous “third-eye” sunglasses.

Passionate about eye health and determined to create more inclusion in the eyewear space, Breezy noted, “What we’re doing is bigger than eyewear. We’re creating a community where everyone is invited.”

Emma Mcilroy, co-Founder & CEO, Wildfang

Co-Founder & CEO, Wildfang.Wildfang

A native of Ireland, Mcilroy came to the U.S. to work for Nike as an associate brand manager. Increasingly frustrated by gender norms she eventually launched her own brand, Wildfang, with the “belief that a womxn has the right to wear whatever the hell she likes and be whoever the hell she likes.”

Wildfang started as a Portland, Oregon boutique and evolved into its own label after Mcilroy realized none of the other retail brands they carried reflected the inclusivity and body positivity she wanted. Early brand supporters included Megan Rapinoe and musician Hannah Blilie.

The company made national headlines when it created the now-iconic “I Really Care, Don’t U?” military jackets—in direct response to former First Lady Melania Trump’s.One hundred percent of the profits from the jacket’s sales went directly to the Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services.

RELATED: A tale of two jackets: From Melania Trump to Jill Biden

Wildfang continues to build a global following, with fans including Janelle Monae, Lizzo, Evan Rachel Wood and Debbie Harry.

Inclusion and intersectionality are built into Wildfang’s DNA with Mcilroy stating, “I want to know that whatever impact I make is creating a more positive life for people around me and particularly for minorities and people who are underrepresented.”

Tanaïs, founder, Hi Wildflower


Tanaïs is the author of “Bright Lines,” a critically-acclaimed novel which was a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, Edmund White Debut Fiction Award and the inaugural selection of the First Lady of NYC’s Gracie Book Club.

Tanaïs’ approach is multi-disciplinary and intersectional, and reflects their wide-ranging career including work as a community organizer, a domestic violence court advocate, and a youth arts educator. In figuring out a pivot to writing after getting an MFA at Brooklyn College, to make money Tanaïs created Hi Wildflower, an independent beauty & fragrance house.

While researching for their second novel, “In Sensorium,” which explores South Asian and Muslim perfume cultures, colonization and its aftermath, Tanaïs expanded her enterprise with new fragrances, beauty products, and jewelry to create TANAÏS, a new brand inspired by the history explored in her writing.

Tanaïs aims to make products for all, with Tanaïs saying, “Liberation from beauty standards that have hurt so many people is at the forefront of how I create every product.”

Jenna Lyons, designer and founder, LoveSeen beauty

Designer, Founder LoveSeen beauty, Exec Producer Stylish with Jenna Lyons on HBO Max, former president & CD, J Crew.Craig Barritt / Getty Images for Self-Portrait file

Growing up, Lyons suffered from a genetic disorder. As a result, her hair fell out, her skin scarred and her teeth were malformed, all of which spurred her interest in fashion, which she has described as magical in its ability to change how a person feels.

Lyons started at J.Crew right out of Parsons and worked her way up to creative director and president. She created a signature J.Crew style, loved by Michelle Obama and described as “geek-chic quirkiness, “ which also made Lyons famous.

In 2011, while still head of J.Crew, a media storm erupted around her painting her son’s toenails pink in a catalog spread as well as her leaving her husband for a woman. Of being suddenly and unexpectedly outed, she said, “It made me realize how important it is to just be who you are and be unapologetic about [who you are].”

Lyons departed J. Crew in 2017 and forged a new entrepreneurial path forward. She now has a reality docuseries on HBO Max, “Stylish with Jenna Lyons.” She also launched a luxury lash business called LoveSeen and formed Sort of Creative, a studio for beauty, fashion, and design projects

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By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have dipped below 300 a day for the first time since the early days of the disaster in March 2020, while the drive to put shots in arms approached another encouraging milestone Monday: 150 million Americans fully vaccinated.

The coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, behind heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But now, as the outbreak loosens its grip, it has fallen down the list of the biggest killers.

CDC data suggests that more Americans are dying every day from accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, strokes or Alzheimer’s disease than from COVID-19.

The U.S. death toll stands at more than 600,000, while the worldwide count is close to 3.9 million, though the real figures in both cases are believed to markedly higher.

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About 45% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. Over 53% of Americans have received at least one dose of vaccine.

New cases are running at about 11,400 a day on average, down from over a quarter-million per day in early January. Average deaths per day are down to about 293, according to Johns Hopkins University, after topping out at over 3,400 in mid-January.

In New York, which suffered mightily in the spring of 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted on Monday that the state had 10 new deaths. At the height of the outbreak in the state, nearly 800 people a day were dying from the coronavirus.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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A California company has acquired the Social CBD brand from Sentia Wellness, a high-profile Portland business beset by a series of problems after its troubled launch in 2019.

Kadenwood, a privately held company in Southern California, announced last week that it had bought the Social CBD brand to add to its existing line of CBD-based sports creams, pet foods and teas. The companies didn’t announce terms of the deal.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is derived from hemp and doesn’t have the psychoactive ingredient of recreational marijuana. CBD has attracted a following of enthusiasts who believe its properties improve health and well being.

Sentia didn’t say whether it will continue to operate after the deal, and neither the Portland company nor Kadenwood immediately responded to inquiries Monday about the transaction.

Sentia emerged from the 2019 sale of controversial Portland marijuana company Cura Cannabis two years ago. Cura sold its recreational marijuana business to a Massachusetts company, Curaleaf, which is now one of the nation’s largest cannabis businesses.

Cura’s original funding came from a notorious Lake Oswego real estate firm, Iris Capital, whose 2015 collapse cost dozens of Oregon retirees approximately $1 million. And Cura’s former CEO, Nitin Khanna, left that job amid fallout from a past rape allegation against him, but he remained involved in the company and later ran Sentia.

Curaleaf had its own CBD line and didn’t buy Cura’s CBD brand. So Cura insiders launched a new company, Sentia Wellness, built on the new Social CBD product line. Regulatory filings indicate Sentia had raised $91 million, but it ran into setbacks from the very start.

Sentia laid off 30 of its 150 staff members less than five months after its launch, blaming uncertainty over how federal health regulators would treat CBD. The Portland company was later sued by its landlord when Sentia sought to cancel its lease for its Pearl District headquarters, and by an Italian chocolate company that accused Sentia of backing out of a deal to buy manufacturing equipment.

Court records indicate Sentia settled the dispute with its landlord, but the $2.2 million suit over its manufacturing equipment remains active.

Kadenwood said buying Social CBD will expand the California company’s retail network to 18,000 stores.

“As the CBD industry continues to grow, we are excited to see the Social CBD products and brand transitioned to the expertise of the Kadenwood team,” said Khanna, described in last week’s announcement as Sentia’s CEO. Khanna had previously been Cura’s CEO.

Sentia hadn’t publicly identified a CEO before last week, though Khanna was a regular presence in the company’s office and was active in raising money for the Portland business.

Once a prominent figure in Portland’s tech community, Khanna moved into the marijuana business after his wife’s hairdresser accused him of raping her early on the morning of his own wedding in 2012. Khanna denied the sexual assault allegations but wouldn’t say whether he had sex with the hairdresser that morning.

Prosecutors didn’t charge Khanna, saying that while DNA evidence showed he had sexual contact with the woman they couldn’t prove it was nonconsensual. Khanna settled a lawsuit the woman brought against him in 2014 without disclosing terms of their agreement.

Khanna stepped down as CEO of Cura, the Portland marijuana company, in 2018 after women active in the marijuana community highlighted the past allegations against him. He remained the company’s executive chairman, though, and engineered its sale to Curaleaf.

— Mike Rogoway | | twitter: @rogoway | 503-294-7699

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