In these times of great technological and digital revolution, we find ourselves in a sort of cultural disorientation. Whilst we do our best to be more informed, every day we are overwhelmed by a quantity of information far greater than years before, and
This morning, Australia woke to controversial news; Instagram has hidden the number of likes from other users. While it came as a surprise to some, the rollout has been expected for some time now. In May, a trial commenced throughout Canada as Instagram updated its feed to hide the number of likes any given image or video had and now after success, the controversial updated has hit Australian shores.
Serving as a ‘test region’, tech and social media savvy users have had their number of likes wiped from other feeds. Instead, a post will now say the it was liked by ‘X User’ and ‘others’. For some, its a sigh of relief but for others – i.e. influencers and businesses – it could prove tricky. For many businesses, decisions to use specific influencers come from engagements.
Naturally, the hashtag #instagramlikes on Twitter – who still display posts stats – is trending.
According to Mia Garlick, the Director of Public Policy for Facebook and Instagram in Australia and New Zealand, it’s all about taking the “competition” out of posting. “We know that people come to Instagram to express themselves and to be creative and follow their passions. And we want to make sure it’s not a competition,” Mia Garlick told Hack.
Despite initial panic, while you’re unable to see a hard figure, you can still see a full list of who has liked each others image, meaning social media stalking still lives on.
The trial will be rolled out across New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Italy and Brazil. Any regions outside of this area are safe. Or not safe, we’ll let you decide.
WARDROBE.NYC, the luxury direct-to-consumer concept founded by Josh Goot and Christine Centenera has been our saving grace for essential style. Released seasonally and only sold in fixed 4 and 8 piece wardrobe sets, the staple kits have had a shake up as this month as it partners with MATCHESFASHION.COM. Now, thanks to the luxury shopping destination you can cop the pieces separately for the ultimate hack to staple style.
Joel Edgerton in Wardrobe NYC / Credit: Supplied
The curated offering will include its latest collaboration with Levi’s, 04 DENIM, as well as select pieces from collections 01 TAILORED, 02 SPORT and 03 STREET. Ushering in timeless style and quality threads, tailored goods such as the classic beige trench, long line coat and black blazers are highlighted while street worthy goods including jersey basics and denim staples round out the collection.
“The concept of WARDROBE.NYC, as a brand that was designed in capsules to build the perfect wardrobe, was something that we found incredibly innovative,” Natalie Kingham, Fashion and Buying Director of MATCHESFASHION.COM has said. “We have been great admirers of how the brand has used content, experiential retail and word of mouth to build a loyal base as a direct to consumer business and are excited to be partnering as their first retailer”.
A post shared by WARDROBE.NYC (@wardrobe.nyc) on Apr 28, 2019 at 12:53pm PDT
The New York-based concept store was founded in 2017 and represents practical urban minimalism and provides a welcomed alternative to the relentless production and consumption cycle endemic to the fashion industry. As styling pioneers overseas, the Australian born New York based duo count the likes of Kim Kardashian West, Virgil Abloh, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Alicia Vikander, Victoria & David Beckham, Hailey Bieber, Gigi Hadid, Luka Sabbat, Ashley Graham, Leandra Medine and Gaia Repossi as fans of the label.
Shop ICON’s picks below for checking out the full collection here.
I don’t know about you, but has anyone else noticed the copious slew of Area 51 memes that have surfaced on social media in recent days? With my brief knowledge of conspiracy theories, I’ve been aware of the restricted area for some time now but thanks to a simple joke on Facebook, the mysterious zone is about to come under fire as 1.4 million people plan to raid the facility, to “see them aliens”.
A million people aren’t going to storm Area 51. A million people responded on Facebook, which means seven people are going to storm Area 51. pic.twitter.com/33GMV9dVud
Situated in the desert of Nevada about 128 kilometres from Las Vegas sits part of a military base. Titled Area 51, the facility was only recognised in 2013 and while its primary use is hidden from the public – like many bases across the country – the US government calls it the Nevada Test and Training Range, which forms part of the wider Edwards Air Force Base. Armed guards reportedly sit around the premiere to prevent trespassers.
what are the conspiracy theories?
Conspiracy theories surrounding the restricted space first surfaced in 1989 when a man named Bob Lazar claimed in an interview on US TV that he was a physicist who had worked in Area 51. Dubbed as a UFO expert, Lazar has appeared on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast as well as a Netflix doccumentary and claims that he was hired to take apart a UFO. According to the 60-year-old ,he has also read government documents describing alien involvement in life on earth.
Since the exponential growth of the Facebook event, Lazar has broken his silence to Fox 2, warning: “This is a misguided idea,” he added. “Area 51 is a classified research base. There are no aliens or alien technology located there. The only place there was ever any alien technology was at Site S4, south of Area 51 property. That was 30 years ago. S4 may have moved decades ago or it’s possible it’s no longer being used for the project.”
Parking sign with spaceship, Rachel, Nevada, near Area 51, along Highway 385, also called the Extraterrestrial Highway.
WHere else have we seen area 51?
Since 1989, Area 51 has been a popular topic amongst pop culture. Several films including Paul and Independence Day explore whacky interpretations of the theory while the television series The X-Files featured the topic during the sixth season when FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully visited Area 51.
It was also reimagined into a first-person shooter video game developed by Midway Games in 2005.
why is the internet wanting to storm area 51?
In the latest internet trend to hit social media – the bottle cap challenge is still going strong – a humble Facebook event titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” has quickly grown to fruition with 1.4 million people RSVPing to the event. Scheduled for the early morning of September 20, the event planners have explained, “We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry. If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Let’s see them aliens.”
Area 51 is just Coachella for conspiracy theorists
Sparking an innumerable amount of memes, naturally it gained the attention of the US Air Force, however the organisation is far from amused. A spokeswoman told the New York Times, “any attempt to illegally access military installations or military training areas is dangerous”. While many people around the globe have joined in just for fun – including celebrities such as Lizzo, Trevor Noah, Pewdiepie, and Danny Trejo – hotels around the area have already seen a spike in reservations and suggests a select amount of people are in fact very serious.
What are you waiting for? “Let’s see them aliens”.
You may not recognise his face but you’d recognise a pair of his sneakers any day. As Nike Senior Sportswear Design Director, Dylan Raasch is the leading man behind the world’s biggest-selling sneakers. That is, the Nike Air Max.
Since the lauded release of the Nike Air Max 1 in 1987, popular culture has been shaped by the bold style and furthermore has proved to be the pinnacle of sneaker technology for over 30 years. Combined with the air cushioning technology from Marion Franklin “Frank” Rudy and the sneaker design of Tinker Hatfield, Nike have continued to reimagine the iconic shape for three decades.
In 2009, Raasch was appointed the opportunity to further drive the success of the sporting powerhouse and in a bid to reach new heights of technology and design, the newly launched Nike Air Max 270 React was born. It’s a mouthful to say but with the considered and meticulous combination of the Element React 87 and the Air Max 270, the fresh design literally puts a spring in your step.
Dubbed as Nike’s first lifestyle Air unit, we caught up with the prolific designer for insight into the design process, a changing industry and what we can expect from new sneaker trends.
ICON: How did you find your way to working with Nike?
Dylan Raasch: “I worked in the skate industry for about nine years before joining Nike and made the move as I really just felt like I was ready to try something new. In 2009 there was an opening in Nike Sportswear so I applied for a footwear design position there as it seemed like good transition where I could use my street wear experience and continue to explore new ideas from there. I knew the resources Nike had would allow to create some things that were impossible to make up to that point.”
ICON: With your experience in the industry, how has the sneaker landscape changed in the last decade?
DR: “The biggest change has definitely been the shift of high fashion into the street wear market, or vice versa depending on how you want to look at it, which has changed not only the fashion landscape, but really shifted the role sneakers play in fashion now. People today are looking for functionality and the comfort that allows them to wear it all day, but with that overt personality which traditionally came from more thoughtful design solutions. Sneakers have become the staple item for a lot of brands, including fashion houses which has brought streetwear to the forefront of fashion, as well as the designers from that street wear background. Sneakers continue to be the star of the show as they have longevity and good design can transcend the short lived trends.”
ICON: The Nike Air Max has been around for three decades. What sort of considerations are taken when designing a new silhouette?
“Almost every Air Max model that has become an icon, broke the rules at that time and did something that had never been done before.”
DR: “With every new Air Max model comes a lot of expectations behind it due to its deep history, but fortunately this history has created a playbook of sorts that set out some ground rules that we try to follow. The first rule is break the rules. Almost every Air Max model that has become an icon, broke the rules at that time and did something that had never been done before. Whether it was making air visible with the AM1, making the midsole black on the AM95 which was unheard of up to that point, making it full length with the AM97, or having only Air underfoot which was another break thorough with the Vapormax. The second consideration is the story. We love to tell stories in Air Max as it creates a connection with people and also becomes a snap shot of the current time period, so we work hard to bring in these cultural ties, innovation shifts, and new aesthetic changes which usually defines what makes a modern sneaker modern. The last thing is just the iconic nature of Air Max. This is the hardest consideration as a lot has been done with footwear, but this is what we enjoy the most as it forces us to constantly evolve our thinking and seeing if we can bring something new to the table that challenges conventional thinking.”
ICON: What do you think draws people to the Air Max style?
DR: “Air Max has an authentic personality. I could say it’s that Air Max only sensation combined with the iconic and bold Air Max only design language, but really each model has its own unique personality which allows people to play up, or play down their own personal style in a way that feels authentic. There are very few shoes you can put on that have functional comfort and a style element that are so timeless.”
A post shared by dylanraasch (@dylanraasch) on Jul 3, 2019 at 9:26am PDT
ICON: Where do you pull inspiration from?
“What better way to implement change than to create a story with a positive outcome that supports the change people want to see.”
DR: “We pull inspiration from everywhere but the best inspiration comes from the shifts that are taking place in society from a global perspective. There is a great deal of tension and concern that people are experiencing around the world right now and this creates opportunity for a conversation and more importantly change. What better way to implement change than to create a story with a positive outcome that supports the change people want to see. This gives us the opportunity to put ideas into action instead of just talking about it.”
ICON: Nowadays, fashion demands functionality. Is this a key concept when creating a new style or design iteration?
DR: “Yes. I have always been on the side of form follows function with the intention that we are creating a benefit for the user. In todays world, waste and planned obsolescence is a design flaw that needs to not only be addressed, but should be avoided. As we design into the future, we will need to address not only style and the improved functionality of every product but sustainability through improved manufacturing, pure material streams for circular processing, and eventually a fully bio based product stream. A big shift is taking place in the world but due to the complexity of the process the change happens at a pretty slow pace so we are focusing on progress over perfection in hopes that we can eventually reach our goal of a zero waste product stream that is 100 percent sustainable.”
ICON: How did the idea to fuse two of Nike’s most popular silhouettes come about?
DR: “Since the launch of both the Air Max 270 and the Element React 87, the reactions to both models have been overwhelmingly positive, so the team felt like a great way of evolving the Air Max family would be to combine the technologies and further improve the underfoot sensation. Once we established a new method of make and the addition of the React foam, it was matter of creating that unique Air Max only story that would help define the new aesthetic.”
ICON: What was the design process like? How long did it take to perfect the AM 270 React?
DR: “From start to finish the process took about 24 months, so there were quite a few iterations that the team went through to get the shoe in the perfect spot. One hurdle was combining the two technologies so they became seamless and activated at the right points in the foots stride. The next big hurdle was creating that iconic and story that is synonymous with Air Max. This took about six different upper and tooling iterations as we wanted that perfect on foot proportion combined with that iconic upper that would have authentic colour and materials story.”
Men’s Nike Air Max 270 React Bauhaus / $220 AUD SHOP NOW
Women’s Nike Air Max 270 React / $220 AUD SHOP NOW
ICON: Each colourway translates a specific artistic style or movement. Why was that important to showcase?
DR: “Personally I believe good storytelling brings products to life and gives them authenticity, otherwise it’s just a collection of materials. As I mentioned before this is what gives makes Air Max its uniqueness and sets it apart from regular footwear. This year the design direction was Vibrational Energy and the Air Max 720 was inspired by Nature so I thought a great counterpoint would be to explore the beauty that has come from humankind. Growing up with a passion for the arts, I looked back and thought about what art movements really inspired me and influenced me to become who I was as a designer. It was those eight art movements that ultimately became the colourways in the launch season for the AM 270 React. Now more than ever I think we need to embrace and celebrate the beauty of Nature and Art that surrounds us and use it to inspire instead of focusing on the negativity and division that grabs the headlines.”
A post shared by dylanraasch (@dylanraasch) on Jun 19, 2019 at 10:20am PDT
ICON: Lastly, where can you see sneaker trends heading next?
“The topic of trends has to come into the conversation because now that the chunky sneaker trend is slowing down, we have to question the sustainability of trends versus functionality and longevity of product.”
DR: “There’s an interesting shift happening right now because it’s not so much an aesthetic shift as it is a wholistic shift to move to a more sustainable way of thinking and creating. This is the number one topic that comes up when we speak with people and as a company we making huge changes to how we design and manufacture our products, but ultimately it’s the consumer who votes on what they want with their money. The topic of trends has to come into the conversation because now that the chunky sneaker trend is slowing down, we have to question the sustainability of trends versus functionality and longevity of product. That’s why Air Max, the timeless nature of the product is part of the design process. People are still wearing styles that were designed 30 years ago and they are still relevant cause they are authentic, and that never goes out of style.”
LOS ANGELES – MAY 15: Harry Styles performs during “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” Monday, May 15, 2017 (12:35 PM-1:37 AM ET/PT) On The CBS Television Network. (Photo by Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images)
We may never know what happened inside Heartbreak Hotel; the fictional room we’ve dreamt up in our own minds whereby Baz Luhrmann saw Harry Styles, Austin Butler, Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller audition to play Elvis Presley in his new film. While it was revealed yesterday 27-year-old Butler will play the King, surely some hearts were broken and hopes dashed.
“I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist,” said the Oscar-nominated film-maker. “Through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.”
Styles though is onto the next thing already. The One Direction alum is in talks to take the role of Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, it has been revealed today. According to reports, Styles is an early favourite to star opposite R&B singer Halle Bailey who will play Ariel and Melissa McCarthy who is rumoured to play Ursula.
And as The Lion King’s live action adaptation is getting more and more bad press as the days go on, Styles’ inclusion – or even the rumour – is an important one. His only acting accolade is in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid remake follows Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin reboot which is expected to take $961 million worldwide at the box office, Jon Favreau’s aforementioned The Lion King (still expected to rake in $450 million) and Tim Burton’s Dumbo which only brought in $353 million – a disappointing result for the film house. Later this year, Angelina Jolie will reprise her role in Maleficent’s sequel.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 26: R&B singer R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Courts Building following a hearing on June 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Prosecutors turned over to Kelly’s defense team a DVD that alleges to show Kelly having sex with an underage girl in the 1990s. Kelly has been charged with multiple sex crimes involving four women, three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged encounters. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
R. Kelly‘s reputation has been shattered. Appearing in and out of court for much of 2019, the RnB artist has been ‘cancelled’ by the majority of the music industry and the world as he continues to fight a slew of sexual allegations. In the latest movement of justice, the American rapper has been denied bond after pleading not guilty in court.
Overnight, Kelly appeared in front of Judge Harry D. Leinenweber in an orange jumpsuit at Dirksen U.S. courthouse in Chicago. Charged with seven charges related to child pornography, five counts of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, the 52-year-old has been held at Metropolitan Correction Center in Chicago since his arrest on Thursday.
After pleading not guilty to the growing list of indictments of which were made public on Thursday, his petition for bond was denied with prosecutors saying,“He is an extreme danger to the community, especially to minor girls.” It was also argued that, “The defendant can entice girls to his own doorstep.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, he was described as a flight risk though his criminal attorney was adamant this was not the case.
“Unlike his most famous song, ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly.” He also added that he did not have the funds to run. “The money’s in concerts and he doesn’t play concerts these days.”
Nevertheless, the rapper will remain in lock up as the fight for justice continues. According to reports, if R. Kelly is convicted he could face 5 to 20 years in prison for each charge meaning if he is found guilty of all charges against him he will face 195 years in jail.
R. Kelly continues to deny all allegations. Stay tuned for further developments.
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 22: Jimmy Fallon (R) and host Neil Patrick Harris speak onstage during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
It is the question that seems to be on everyone’s tongue: Who will host the 2019 Emmy Awards?
Following the controversy surrounding Kevin Hart at the 2019 Oscar Awards, the hotly-anticipated event went hostless for the first time in 30 years. The decision albeit controversial, proved to be favoured as the slipping ratings of the television event was said to have increased by 12 percent. Was it simply because the public were curious to see the execution or was the absence of lame jokes and incorrect announcements from years gone by made it worth watching?
Overnight, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominations for this years Primetime Emmy Awards. Amidst 32 nominations for Game of Thrones, 18 for NBC’s Saturday Night Live and 16 nominations for Netflix series When They See Us, the question remained over a host.
Credit: Game of Thrones / HBO
Speaking to Deadline, CEO Frank Scherma and 2019 Emmy show producers Don Mischer and Ian Stewart all confirmed that no decision on a host has been made as of yet. But according to Mischer, the awards ceremony has gone hostless in the past and went off without a hitch.
“On the host front, let me just say this: This is like the starting line today,” he told the publication. “We now have nine weeks to put this together… Now we can do that with a host, and we can do it without a host. We’ve done it both ways. … We’re not feeling pressure about a host…”
Could this be a new trend as we near the next awards season?
While the likes of HBO, Netflix and NBC are all frontrunners for the Emmy trophy, there were plenty of snubs – most of them, confusing. George Clooney missed out on a nomination for his entertainingly wild role in Catch-22, while the Golden Globe winner for Best Drama Actor Richard Madden was evidently and spectacularly snubbed for his lead role in The Bodyguard. Elsewhere, other A-listers including Julia Roberts and Emma Stone also missed out on a nomination.
So if these announcements are anything to go by, the 2019 Emmy Awards are going to be full of head spinning twists. For the full list of nominations, visit the website here.
Since September last year, the third addition to the Kingsman franchise has been rumoured. Featuring lead Rocketman actor Taron Egerton, the lauded film series will rewind the clock for a prequel chapter set to highlight the origins story of the current conglomerate of spies.
Based on the comic book “The Secret Service” by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, the upcoming film will be set in the 1900’s and depict the events that led to the establishment of the secret network. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, with Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance, the trailer is packed with era-style action and choreographed fight scenes.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn and co-produced with David Reid and Adam Bohling, the official synopsis reads:
“As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man must race against time to stop them.”
From 20th Century Fox, The King’s Man is slated to drop into cinemas on February 13, 2020. In the meantime, tune into the trailer below.
The King's Man | Official Teaser Trailer | In Cinemas February 13 - YouTube
An outdoors adventure has never looked so good and thanks to Loewe a new line of technical gear and utilitarian silhouettes have come to fruition for Autumn/Winter 2019. Forming the second instalment of Eye/LOEWE/Nature, the Spanish fashion house has commissioned former world champion swimmer Ning Zetao and stage actor Russell Tovey to front the collection.
Where treasure is concerned Loewe marks the spot as AW/19 expands upon its debut collection archetypes of innovative utilitarian standards, revived with fresh colourways, patterns and prints. The newly-launched line features waterproof parkas in blaze orange, blues and forest greens and warm fleeces and knits made from blends of recycled and organic cotton. Adding a signature touch to the collection, the line’s psychedelic ‘Eye’ signifier can be seen emblazoned on a series of basic kit essentials.
Rounding out the collection, AW/19 has ushered in a slew of bags, scarves and footwear to take you from the street to the great outdoors. Key pieces include a sky-blue sling sack and a range of canvas tote bags, hand sewn and trimmed with oro calfskin by Japanese artisans. Highlighting an innate knack for traditional and innovative craftsmanship, as with the bags, hiking boots feature soft yet durable calfskin leather made for the cliffs as well as the concrete city landscape.
While Loewe boasts a balanced fusion of luxury style and technical wearability, the house will continue to donate a portion of its proceeds too Ambiente Europeo, a Spanish NGO dedicated to ocean conservation and fighting plastic pollution.
The collection is now available. Shop ICON’s picks below before shopping the entire collection here.
Earlier this month, four young actors including the likes of Harry Styles and Ansel Elgort were penned as potential options to front Elvis Presley in a forthcoming biopic. Following weeks of auditions, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ star Austin Butler has been cast as The King.
Described as a project based upon the zenith of the 1960’s singer, the Warner Bros-produced film will largely focus on his relationship with manager Col. Tom Parker, set to be played by Tom Hanks. The film will be directed by Baz Luhrmann – behind projects such as The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge! – and his wife Catherine Martin. The script is co-written with Craig Pearce.
American rock n’ roll singer Elvis Presley plays a ukelele, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and lei, in a still from the film ‘Blue Hawaii,’ directed by Norman Taurog, 1961. (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Courtesy of Getty Images)
“I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist,” said Luhrmann in a statement. “Throughout the casting process, it was an honour for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his standout role opposite Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.”
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood as well as the forthcoming Elvis biopic will serve as a big break into the world of film for Austin Butler. In the past he has appeared in The Carrie Diaries, Dude and The Dead Don’t Die.