WATCH OF THE WEEK
In the midst of what many are calling an attempt to erase the LGBT community by both YouTube and the White House, transgender artist Mila Jam released a heartening video for her song “Faces.” Debuting on OUT.com, the video features a compilation of people lip-syncing to the tune, some of whom audiences will undoubtedly recognize: Titus Burgess, Laverne Cox, and Candis Cayne, to name a few. Released on International Trans Visibility Day, the video opens with the simple yet powerful message “I Belong” repeated by members of the LGBTQ+ community and is already being labeled an anthem receiving praise for its inclusivity and celebration of LGBTQ+ voices.
April Fools’ Day has become a field day for brands, with many aiming to execute the cleverest prank or develop the most ridiculous fake product. While the internet seemed to love Snapchat’s not-so-subtle trolling of Instagram this year, our favorite prank came in the form of Hallmark-E, Hallmark’s spin on an Alexa-like virtual assistant that provides emotional support rather than answering questions or ordering things on command. The card company released a hilarious video showcasing Hallmark-E’s features, which include knowing exactly what users should write in their greeting cards (of course), scolding them for not calling their mothers enough, and ordering them chocolate and pizza after a bad date. In a sea of gimmicky products and gotcha pranks, Hallmark-E stood out this year for its social commentary on the burgeoning popularity of AI assistants and our growing reliance on technology to fill our emotional needs.
More often associated with devoted sports fans and corn fields, Lincoln, Nebraska is also home to the up-and-coming Do-It-Ourselves Festival (DIO Fest) and is further proof that Middle America is brimming with cultural revitalization. The free festival was founded in 2013 by a group of frustrated creatives who wanted an accessible and affordable artistic outlet and has quickly grown into a thriving celebration of music and art in the most unlikely of places, offering everything from a repair cafe for bikes to workshops on mixtape making. Although we don’t see DIO Fest replacing Coachella anytime soon, we’re excited to see the continued evolution of smaller cities across the country as Millennials transform them into cultural hubs in their own right.
IN OUR CARTS
It’s a confusing time in fashion. Not only are we seeing designers making fake versions of their own pieces, but also the rise of people faking designer fakes, a response to increasing speed in the industry and the breakdown of high and low fashion. The trend continues with Vetememes’ latest raincoat–but first, the backstory: Vetememes is a parody brand of indie-fashion favorite Vetements. The two have a history of knocking off each other’s knock offs and their new raincoat is no exception. Awhile back, Vetements released a black raincoat with “Vetements” printed on the back, to which Vetememes answered with a knockoff raincoat printed with “Vetememes.” In turn, Vetements released an “official fake” definition raincoat to troll Vetememes, which released its own coat—a fake of the official fake—in response. Confused? That’s the point. We explain the rise of official fakes in more detail our upcoming Spring Report (released in a few weeks!) In the meantime, we recommend pre-ordering your definition raincoat before it sells out.
The Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) is taking people back in time to the iconic Gilded Age (1870-1900), a period marked by decadent spending and lavish living. Their new app “A Walk Through Gilded New York,” guides users through an audio and visual walking tour of 15 historical sites, including before-and-after iconic buildings such as Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera as well as city shopping staples Tiffany & Co. and Lord & Taylor. Narrated by actress Grace Gummer, the app accompanies the museum’s Gilded New York exhibition and highlights both the histories of the city’s turn-of-the century architecture as well as its current uses. Showcasing the excess of the era in a fun, interactive way, the app is a great way to get patrons outside museum walls to experience some historic landmarks IRL.
In LA, it feels like summer is right around the corner and we’re ready to scream for ice cream. While Ben and Jerry’s always deserves an honorable mention for its annual Free Cone day, we’re giving Portland-based Salt & Straw a shout out for shining a light on the food waste epidemic. Known for their daring yet delicious concoctions, the high-concept creamery’s June menu is set to feature flavors made with ingredients that otherwise would have been thrown out, such as orange peels, salvaged spices, and bruised apples. Working with organizations like Urban Gleaners and the Portland Fruit Tree Project, the company estimates the initiative will save a ton of food–literally 2,000 pounds. You know what they say, one person’s trash is another’s… delicious dessert?