New York – American fashion brand Ralph Lauren is updating its signature preppy style through a collaboration with Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, two historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Broadening the scope of its American collegiate style, the fashion house is launching a limited-edition capsule collection inspired by the two schools’ heritage and traditions. Spearheaded by Morehouse and Spelman alumni who work for Ralph Lauren, the project also marks the first time the company has created a campaign starring an all-Black ensemble, including the photographer, creative director, cinematographer and models. As well as being available in select stores, the collection will be on sale at Morehouse College and Spelman College campus bookstores.
For a company whose historically white image has long pushed a vision of the American Dream, the collaboration marks Ralph Lauren's desire to diversify its scope, in the vein of Heritage Refashioned. ‘It’s so much more than a portrayal of a collegiate design sensibility. It’s about sharing a more complete and authentic portrait of American style and of the American dream,’ explains Lauren.
Italy – Measuring just 1.80mm, the Octo Finissimo Ultura is luxury brand Bulgari’s thinnest watch yet. It's the timepiece's digital capabilities, however, that truly set it apart from the competition.
In addition to its record-breaking slimness, the watch has a QR code that provides owners with unprecedented access into its full manufacturing process. By scanning the QR code, customers can enter a ‘dedicated digital universe’ which includes interviews, making-of segments, and a virtual 3D tour of the movement, cogs, and composition. Owners of the watch, which is available in a limited edition of ten, will receive their own NFT artwork inspired by the timepiece, which will also functions as a blockchain-based proof of authenticity.
By including a QR code on its latest model, Bulgari is providing customers with a storytelling opportunity to learn more about the brand’s craftsmanship and heritage, but also a way to publicly flaunt Crypto-affluence.
Russia – Amid a rapid increase of media censorship, particularly relating to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, international non-profit Reporters Without Borders is launching an initiative to cut through misinformation. The Truth Wins gives people access to censored articles and independent information by prominent journalists from Russia and Turkey by prompting people to type national lottery numbers into Twitter, in turn unlocking access to difficult-to-reach content.
By utilising these ever-changing numbers, the system moves faster than state censors, while also ensuring blockchain networks protect the archived content. Created with digital studio Hyperinteractive and ad agency DDB Germany, the project aims to raise awareness of the ongoing impact of government-mandated media. ‘More than ever, we need to fight for the right to seek and share information online,’ says Christian Mihr, executive director of Reporters Without Borders. ‘Civil society, governments and tech platforms all share responsibility for guaranteeing this right.’
While we’ve been tracking the rise of Veritas Media since 2017, the initiative shows the ongoing need for public-facing organisations to take greater responsibility for how global conflict is reported.
London – Natural fragrance company Altra is striving to build ‘pro-future’ perfume, a term the company has trademarked to reflect its sustainability goals and regenerative ambitions.
The company’s debut collection is comprised of five genderless scents made entirely from natural materials that are vegan and cruelty free. To meet the company’s sustainability goals, all perfumes come in glass bottles that are infinitely recyclable, and fragrance refills are packaged in recyclable aluminium that comes in a compostable bio-plastic pouch. Furthermore, the company entirely avoids single-use plastic and source all its natural ingredients from ethical and responsible suppliers, many of whom practice regenerative agriculture.
By tapping into bio-design and placing a premium on transparency and sustainability, Altra is joining companies like Geltor that are paving new paths for luxury fragrance rooted in nature, healing, and science.
The idea for the perfume was hatched at Gyngell’s London restaurant, Spring, where she and Ffern’s nose Elodie Durande began discussions around the link between food and fragrance. At both companies, the importance of fresh, natural ingredients is paramount. With this in mind, they have created a scent that evokes the smell of spring – both the season and the restaurant. By adding notes of basil and peppercorn to the scent, the perfume has a culinary twist.
To purchase the new scent, customers must join Ffern’s ledger, as all the company’s fragrances are made-to-order in small batches to reduce waste. Combining sustainability and food, this scent is a fresh new direction for Bio-Positive Beauty.
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