ONE TO WATCH
Gucci made waves at Sundance this week with the premier of its short film, The Future is Fluidcreated in partnership with CHIME FOR CHANGE, a global campaign the fashion house co-created in 2013 with Beyoncé and Salma Hayek to promote gender equality. Directed by 24-year-old Jade Jackman, the powerful film dissects how Gen Z is changing the conversation around gender and sexuality by going straight to the source, interviewing 13 individuals ranging from 15 to 25 years old from all over the globe. Discussing how they, their friends, and their generation view gender and fluidity in today’s world, their mature and thoughtful commentary accurately paints the picture of Gen Z as both open-minded and wise beyond their years.
Hotel Bellora in Gothenburg, Sweden has partnered with Swedish insurance brand Lansforsakringar to encourage travelers to spend quality time with one another instead of on their devices. The hotel debuted The Checkout Suite, a room that rewards guests who stay off their phones with a cheaper rate using the Skärmfri™ (screenfree) lamp. The lamp tracks wifi usage and gradually turns from white to red after two hours of usage. For guests who can stay off their phones altogether, the room is free, while those who reach the 2-hour mark pay full price. As consumers look to be more conscientious about their digital habits, The Checkout Suite is a great way to incentivize spending a little less time on social and a little more socializing IRL.
Talk about niche content. Former BuzzFeed employee turned sketch comedy writer Jason Sweeten had a very clever response to last week’s layoffs, which saw BuzzFeed letting go of 15% of its staff. Sweeten utilized the BuzzFeed Community feature to create a satirical quiz titled “Do You Still Have A Job At BuzzFeed?” a nod to the highly specific quiz format synonymous with the platform. Mixed into “yes” and “no” responses are critiques about the business, such as “For the last two years I’ve done nothing but write personality quizzes. My boss assured me that I could try other things within the department, but she was just laid off.” Whether you’ve worked at BuzzFeed or just spend way too much time reading their listicles, the tongue-in-cheek quiz is worth taking.
IN OUR CARTS
Already coined the Marie Kondo method for technology, computer scientist Cal Newport’s new book Digital Minimalism offers solutions to build a healthy relationship with tech. Newport argues that limiting notifications and taking digital sabbaths are not the answer, and one must consciously decide what digital tools inform them without overwhelming them. Newport believes that adopting a digital minimalist lifestyle will empower people to use technology for themselves rather than allowing tech to use them. Offering a sustainable future where those who limit tech are happy, calm, and can easily connect with others without constantly seeking validation from their phones, we foresee a rise in the digital minimalist mindset.
Wellness startup Plankk, known for building custom fitness apps for top influencers, is now launching an app of its own called Plankk Studio. The app offers hundreds of pre-recorded fitness lessons ranging from HIIT to yoga led by influencers and fitness gurus. The app also offers live videos so fans can spend quality time in real time with their favorite Instagram stars. Featured on iOS, Android, and soon to be available on both Roku and Apple TV, the $14.99 monthly subscription fee is cheaper and more convenient than a gym and does a great job connecting fans to their favorite online personalities.
A noteworthy addition to Sundance’s 2019 line-up, Traveling While Black is a virtual reality documentary that walks viewers through the history of restricted movement for Black Americans. Directed by Roger Ross Williams, the film takes place during 1958 at Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington D.C.; a restaurant owned by Ben and Virginia Ali that was marked a safe space in The Green Book survival guide. The 20-minute video allows viewers or “visitors” to sit in a booth and hear the experiences of Black travelers as they unwind in a place that was able to meet their basic needs. Also available on Oculus for free, the 360-degree film is a powerful tool to learn about and create discussion around the past.