All posts by Associate Contributor

“The clothes do make the man.” How you’re dressed is the first thing someone notices and you only get one first impression, so why not make it great always? My interests are men’s fashion and lifestyle.

Colors and Cultures – What Has Psychology and Marketing Done to Us?

via www.whydontyoutrythis.com
via www.whydontyoutrythis.com

In a follow up to a previous article “The vibe that we give off with the colors we wear” there came a realization that culture plays a very important role in how we perceive the world. Within that culture are the marketing geniuses that want to make us associate their own colors with certain feelings. Coca-Cola for example wants us to associate their red and white colors and their trademarked logo with happiness. Hence their brand image and slogan “open happiness.” Each color in each culture means something completely different, so how does culture affect what we wear? How about also thinking about where we were brought up in terms of communities and affiliations. Certain colors are group colors and have symbolic meanings themselves which are ever so noticeable by specific accessories.

via flexdreams.deviantart.com
via flexdreams.deviantart.com

Let’s take the color red as an example. In the U.S. or Western culture it is a sign for love, passion and danger. While in some Eastern cultures that same red color symbolized happiness, prosperity and is used as the color of a bride’s main dress. White has a very different effect in cultures throughout the world. Here in Western culture it symbolizes purity and cleanliness. However, on the opposite side of the globe it is a symbol of death, mourning and sadness. While in most countries and cultures it’s still a symbol for purity, that isn’t the case everywhere so by you wearing it, can have a negative effect on a complete stranger.

Marketing does play an extremely significant role in how we associate colors in society. Multi-national corporations specifically study this science when choosing their logo colors, and their slogans to ensure that they always have an advantage and effect on the consumer. McDonald’s is a prime example. They specifically use red and yellow in their logo designs. Among other multi-national fast food chains like Burger-King who use red and yellow as well. The reason for that is for the majority and also where they were first founded before going global red and yellow represent two specific attributes. Red stimulates the appetite while yellow stimulates cheerfulness and enthusiasm. They go hand in hand, one makes you hungry while the other makes you happy, all in one place. That’s our society, marketing at its finest.

Culture does play a huge part in how we perceive colors and life in general, however apparently the multi-billion dollar marketing industry paired with psychological tactics can train us in ways we don’t even realize until it’s too late. Did you ever use a Kleenex after sneezing, or how about grabbing a Bounty to clean up the mess? Yeah, we substitute company names for the proper grammatical terms, a psychologically conditioned marketing and branding strategy. The only way out is to disassociate yourself from the current culture – move to a tropical or deserted island. What colors come to mind then? Well those are also mental associations that you developed over time.

 

Photo via Linghao

Antonio Marras at Milan Men’s Fashion Week

via uomo-moderno.com
via uomo-moderno.com

An ode to fine tailoring, master sewing techniques and a tribute to his father was how this show started for Antonio Marras. The collection was filled with mixing fabrics and subtle colors into singular pieces with touches on modern design and flare.

The collection started with a white polka dot pattern on a deep navy suit combination and followed by a white shirt with a print of his father in a pinstripe suit. That was the start of the tribute from the son, which was shortly after followed by a double breasted coat that featured two different color block and fabric combinations with the chest and sleeves.

The tailoring was so detailed that on that piece it was possible to see the stitch line as one fabric changing to the other. Further showing fine design techniques was a jersey cardigan which transitioned from a gray color to a charcoal blue plaid pattern.

Turtle neck sweaters had various designs and patterns including rugby stripes both in regular and cropped versions of the same design while Fair Isle patterns in sweaters brought some history back into the collection with a traditional feel.

The tribute didn’t stop there because almost every design had some sort of pattern, fabric combination, print or modernization of a classic design from the past. That included having suit pants conceptualized from a sporty fabric held up by drawstrings instead of belts. An original makeover for a design that has been the norm since it can be remembered.

Two pieces stood out because of the fabric combinations with one of them being a cropped leather motorcycle jacket that had pinstripe suit sleeves. However, the most intriguing item from this collection was a double breasted jacket that included three different materials. With a felt fabric going to a glen plaid wool and ending with a white shearling.

The ultimate homage didn’t come from the clothing though in this show, it came when all the tailors sitting behind their sewing machines stood up and put on their still torn and unfinished blazers and walked out down the runway. A fitting end to a tribute collection from son to father.

via uomo-moderno.com
via uomo-moderno.com

 

 

 

Color Coded: What Vibe We Give Off with the Colors We Wear!

When we get dressed in the morning we put on the clothes we either picked out yesterday or just go into our closets, pull something out and throw it on. Then we proceeded to think about how it would look with everything else that we have on and in some cases how we are portraying ourselves to the people around us. That’s what the colors of our wardrobes do, they evoke a feeling from other people. It can be a simple subconscious emotion that one may get or a completely visible reaction that they wear on their face or sleeve. But one thing is for sure, it definitely gives of a vibe. Each color gives off its own meaning and message to someone else, so the important thing to do is dress for the occasion, but more importantly is dressing for the impression and the reputation.

The basic and the most pure color is white. In fact, it is actually the absence of color that makes white what it is. It symbolizes purity and innocence. For this reason a bride is almost always in a white dress or gown. It is also the ultimate neutral color, it reflects light and highlights everything around it because around it is only color. You really can’t go wrong with white, unless it’s all white and after Labor Day.

via inewsfashion.com
via inewsfashion.com

Black is the complete opposite of white, it is the combination of all the colors into one. Like a black hole, the color sucks everything in. Which as it turns out works for clothing and appearance. Putting on something black will automatically make you appear slimmer, and even though it’s a dark color it can bring happiness with that little illusion. More known for being a formal color and one that shows authority, strength, intelligence but also represents evil. That is why most villains are portrayed in dark colors, shadows and is why when people have negative emotions about someone they are usually in black attire.

via fashiondesignscope.com
via fashiondesignscope.com

The most used color of all and the reason it is also the most popular color is blue. A sign of trustworthiness, calmness and relaxation. For this reason one of the top choices for interviews or any meeting is a blue suit. It gives off a trusting and calming vibe to the other person which is exactly what is hoped for in that situation. The color also stimulates thought better and that’s why people in blue rooms are more productive and why some of the world’s top companies have blue logos.

via marriage-stuff.com
via marriage-stuff.com

Yellow is a color that really hits and affects the eye in many ways. On one side it’s a ray of sunshine where it brings happiness and optimism to the room. However, too much of it can get irritating fairly quickly and bring out anger effects and anxiety. Being on both sides of the spectrum, pun intended, is a very risky road to take. But style and fashion is about takings risks, so risk the sunshine and maybe cause a style flare while you’re at it.

via pinterest.com
via pinterest.com

Everyone gets green with envy when they shouldn’t. Green symbolizes nature and balance. Two things that actually go hand in hand. There is a balance in nature and the color has a relaxing effect. Green is all around us in the grass, the trees, leaves and we all dream of having all the green in the world. Yes, referring to money and if we had all that green, wouldn’t we be relaxed? You bet. So next time you want to portray a feeling of balance and relaxing, wear green. It’s easy on the eyes, and so should you be to look sharp.

via gentlemint.com
via gentlemint.com

The most talked about and emotion evoking color is red. It is the ultimate eye catcher. Red catches attention whether you like it or not. It portrays strength, power and energy. Red makes us act more spontaneous and aggressive. For this reason red is the romance color and not subtle at all. It is actually the opposite and often causes a jump in heart rate which makes decision making less rational. A University of Rochester study showed that red actually enhances men’s attraction to women. That’s why women wear it, to draw attention and make the guy act primitive. Negotiating in red might actually work against you, so if looking for a mate, it will definitely attract them but the personality is what has to keep them.

via pinterest.com
via pinterest.com

Pink, the subtle version of red and with a mix of white is a tranquil and soothing color. A feminine color per say and it takes a truly confident FashionMR to wear pink. Because of its soothing feeling it brings warmth to the person opposite of you and portrays kindness. Too much pink can actually end up draining you of energy. So if are brave enough to wear pink, don’t overdo it and appear as if you are wearing a unitard. You might not have enough energy to actually go anywhere, which might be a blessing after all.

via pinterest.com
via pinterest.com

The color of kings and royalty has historically been purple. The color embodies quality, power and elegance. It also gives off a lavish feeling. If your goal is to portray quality and the finer things in life, then purple should be your go-to color. It does evoke contemplation and meditation so you and the company you are with can get stuck in a thinking mood. Then after the drinks come they might expect you to pay. Wear it proud, but be careful and not give off the subconscious “I got the check” vibe.

via lyst.com
via lyst.com

Orange is the new red, but a more fun subdued version. It portrays energy and stimulates enthusiasm. It’s still a bright and friendly color but not as sharp and aggressive as red. It is the new red alternative to stand out and to say to the world, “Yeah, I know you notice me, and I don’t take myself too seriously, so let’s have a great time.” Orange brings out the fun in everyone, so if you are usually the center of attention and you are wearing an orange shirt? Then it’s just game over for all the wall flowers out there. It will seem like they didn’t even show up.

via gbofashion.com
via gbofashion.com

While every color can and will evoke a different feeling in each individual based on their past experiences, there are generalities about which colors lead to what feelings and impressions. Dressing based on these general guidelines is a safe way to make the style statement you want and be cautiously optimistic that you won’t offend anyone or accidentally trigger their long lost memory.

 

Photo via Linghao

Aston Martin stays Handmade!

Aston Martin (Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.) which is one of the only cars still assembled by hand and also features the name of the final technician who worked on it for every car, so you know exactly who the tightened the final screw and Ok’ed the car for the customer. It is also one of the only ultra-luxury cars that isn’t owned by a larger manufacturer as compared to Volkswagen’s Porsche and Bentley lines. Each car requires about 200 hours of labor. Because of this non-usage of machines, Aston Martin can price their cars at around a 40% discount as compared to their counterparts said Hanno Kirner the company CFO stated.

According to Bloomberg and Daimler Mercedes-Benz representatives who Aston Martin teamed up with to provide engines for their upcoming editions. “The brand is very fascinating” and cooperation with Aston Martin is “developing well,” Daimler’s Weber said. The car maker plans to stick to its heritage of building refined sports cars like the DB9 and doesn’t plan to rush after up-market competitors, including Maserati or Volkswagen’s Bentley, in developing an SUV. “We are quite happy with our core portfolio” including the four-door Rapide, said Kirner. “One messes with icons at one’s peril.”

This strategy can limit the demand for unique super cars that are a little different generation to generation, unlike Aston Martin who pretty much keep the same look year on end. “There’s plenty of growth available,” said Kirner. And if there’s interest in an SUV down the road, then “the Daimler cooperation gives us options, but there’s no decision” on building a crossover.

So this means that eventually, like all other ultra-luxury car makers are currently trending towards, there will be an Aston Martin SUV in production and on the roads. It’s the same old phrase whenever someone completely denies something but says that they are leaving their options open. It’s another way of saying, “It’s not happening right now per say, but it will soon.” Eventually you have to either set the new trend, follow the trend or get left behind by the trend, and getting left behind is never a good option.

Segway inventor gets FDA approval for Prosthetic Arm!

The first prosthetic to get FDA approval is just the start of being able to fully function even if you are an amputee and have prosthetic limbs. To no surprise, the company that designed this invention was founded by Dean Kamen. If you do not recognize his name, maybe the term “Segway” will ring your bell. He is the inventor of the Segway, that two wheeled self-balancing scooter type machine that tourists often use for sightseeing tours.

According to their website, DARPA launched the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program with a radical goal: gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for an advanced electromechanical prosthetic upper limb with near-natural control that enhances independence and improves quality of life for amputees. Today, less than eight years after the effort was launched, that dream is a reality; the FDA approved the DEKA Arm System.

This new prosthetic arm nicknamed “Luke”, based on the Luke Skywalker character from “Star Wars” who got his arm cut off in a light saber duel with Darth Vader. The DEKA Arm system allows for simultaneous control of multiple joints using a variety of input devices including wireless signals generated by innovative sensors on the user’s feet. The battery-powered arm system is of similar size and weight to a natural limb and has six user-selectable grips.

Technology has sure moved a long way since basic hooks and peg legs. We can now walk, run, jump without even the slightest hesitation of not having natural movement. This new arm will not only allow wearers to do the everyday things they used to before like picking up food, and grabbing items, but it will feel like nothing was ever lost.

View the DEKA Arm in action below.

Divorce can freeze Clippers Sale!

In another twist of the Clippers saga, which is seeming more and more like a reality TV drama, than an actual horrific event now might feature a season of divorce court. That is because according to Shelly Sterling the wife of Donald Sterling, the man caught on a tape recorded using racial slurs and comments and was banned from the NBA for life even though he owns the LA Clippers who have just been eliminated from playoff contention by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

When the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling for life, and publicly stated that he wants the team sold, even though he personally has no actual authority to sell the team the outcry started. How fast will it sell, and who will buy the team? But now a new wrench is being thrown into this plan.

Because both Donald Sterling and wife Shelly Sterling own the team, Shelly is arguing that she wants to and should be allowed to keep her 50% portion of the franchise, and will not be selling. The major problem that may result is this: if Shelly Sterling officially files for a divorce which she stated to Barbara Walters that she eventually will, and that she already signed the papers, just didn’t file them yet it could end up tying up the LA Clippers in a divorce settlement which can freeze any transaction for potentially years to come. So not so fast NBA. This move is considered by many to be the nuclear threat of the entire situation. One that can railroad any planned outcome and definitely has an effect on the potential suitors that want to buy the team.

Who wants to buy a 50% stake in a franchise that is frozen in a divorce settlement? So the ball is in Shelly Sterling’s court. She has the detonation codes to this whole scenario and all she has to do is walk into court and file the divorce papers. The sale of the team will then be frozen until a settlement is reached. But since she hasn’t actually filed the papers yet, there might be some hope of a quick resolution after all. Is it an empty threat to the NBA or a play to help her ownership stake? Either way, she just might be the one holding all the cards. The only potential saving grace is that “under the NBA Constitution, if a controlling owner’s interest is terminated by a 3/4 vote, all other team owners’ interests are automatically terminated as well,” according to a statement from NBA spokesman Mike Bass. Let’s hope this rule applies in our court system as well.

Imagine a car that needs no fueling? The car of THOR!

Imagine an element that can power a car for a hundred years without refueling. Or can power an entire town without having to use electricity. That’s exactly what Thorium, named for THOR the Scandinavian God of War can potentially do and become. Back in 2009 Cadillac came up with their new version of a non-fuel vehicle, the World Thorium Concept and most people didn’t think anything of it, just kind of brushed it off, with some like Top Gear even poking fun at it calling it the Cadillac WTF.

One company however paid really close attention to this new idea and is leading the charge to have Thorium technology be used in everyday society. That was the Connecticut based Laser Power Systems (LPS). According to their website, “Imagine a NEW power generation systems with UNLIMITED POWER that is emissions free, and totally green. System sizes from 5 Kw to Megawatts that are cheap to build, safe to operate and can be used to power homes, business, transportation, cars, trucks, ships, military equipment, even planes and spacecraft. Thorium is the best alternative to oil, gas, coal and conventional Nuclear power plants and is the replacement technology internal combustion engines. The amount of free energy contained in thorium fuel is 20 million times the amount of free energy contained in a similar mass of chemical fuel such as coal, making thorium an ideal source of energy.”

Dr. Charles Stevens, the CEO of Laser Power Systems, told Mashable that thorium engines won’t be in cars anytime soon. “Cars are not our primary interest,” Stevens said. “The automakers don’t want to buy them.” He said too much of the automobile industry is focused on making money off of gas engines, and it will take at least a couple decades for thorium technology to be used enough in other industries that vehicle manufacturers will begin to consider revamping the way they think about engines. “We’re building this to power the rest of the world,” Stevens said. He believes a thorium turbine about the size of an air conditioning unit could more provide cheap power for whole restaurants, hotels, office buildings, even small towns in areas of the world without electricity. At some point, thorium could power individual homes.

A Nobel Peace prize winning physicist Carlo Rubbia expressed his view and positive opinion on Thorium Energy saving that thorium has “absolute pre-eminence” over all fuels including uranium as well as fossil fuels. He said it must become a staple of nuclear because it leaves less long-lived waste than uranium, is far more plentiful, is resistant to weapons proliferation and has a much higher energy content so that reactors will require less of it.

So in all, it’s safer, less wasteful, and can ultimately become cheaper over time as with all technologies. Imagine powering your home with not only solar energy, but nuclear energy and not having a bomb like eerie feeling while watching TV. That’s what Thorium can potentially be, not soon, not during our generations. But if needed it will happen, and when needed will be in demand.

Skechers in the running to buy NBA LA Clippers

It is rumored that Skechers, an LA based shoe company wants to buy a stake in the LA Clippers as well. Joining the many hopefuls that include Oprah, David Geffen, Larry Ellison and Magic Johnson. “As one of the five-largest athletic footwear companies in the United States and with roots deep in Southern California, we believe acquiring an interest in the Los Angeles Clippers is a natural fit for Skechers,” CEO Robert Greenberg said in a statement. “Like Skechers, the Clippers are a great Los Angeles brand with a loyal following and recognition that extends way beyond Southern California.”

However, according to Silver said last week that no decisions have been made regarding members of the Sterling family other than Donald. “This ruling applies specifically to Donald Sterling and Donald Sterling’s conduct only,” the commissioner said. So Shelly Sterling hopes to keep ownership of the team.

Skechers is another name in the hat of potential new owners that include Oprah, David Geffen, Larry Ellison, Magic Johnson, and Floyd Mayweather. Who ultimately will be the new owner on the Clippers no one knows and we might not for some time. It can get even more complicated if Shelly Sterling the wife of Donald Sterling is allowed to keep her 50% share of the team.

Diddy ventures into making Tequila the new luxury spirit of choice?

When we think of Diddy, what comes to mind? Rapper, personality, entrepreneur, mogul, Ciroc vodka? Well now there is a new phrase associated with Diddy, its DeLeon Tequila. That’s right, he and the world’s top distilled drinks company, Diageo have joined forces and powers to buy the DeLeon brand. This is the second time that the two will work together. They both merged with Ciroc Ultra-Premium vodka and it paid off exponentially the first time around. Because according to Diageo, the sales of Ciroc grew from 50,000 cases a year to nearly two million cases per year since partnering with Sean “Diddy” Combs and his Combs Wine & Spirits brand.

This is the first time that the two are going into the business on a 50/50 global partnership as stated in the Diageo press release. According to Sean Combs the Ciroc experiment was a date. In his interview with Reuters, Combs said “With Ciroc, we dated. Now with DeLeon, we’re married,” “this deal is way better. This makes me a true owner.”

Diageo was also inspired by the idea of owning another tequila brand. According to the Wall Street Journal, Diageo already owned one tequila brand, Don Julio, but has long thirsted for another high-end label that it could use as it attempts to move the Mexican spirit upscale, especially in the U.S. This will be a business venture based on the luxury tequila product line, because each bottle has a cost ranging from around $80 a bottle to over $250 dollars for their Extra Anejo version. What make this tequila so unique is that the DeLeon founder and CEO Brent Hocking refuses to use any of the allowed artificial ingredients, making DeLeon the purest tequila on record, as documented by the Consejo Regulador Del Tequila (Tequila Regulatory Council). While most tequilas are distilled three to five times, DeLeon is only distilled twice to preserve the natural character of the agave. The bottle itself is a heavy square glass bottle created by one of the world’s finest glassmakers, with the stopper being designed by Bill Wall and is hand carved from a one pound silver ball giving the brand its iconic design. The brands highest class of tequila, the DeLeon Tequila Anejo has been aged in 150 – 200 year old Haute Futaie French Oak for seventeen months, then finished in French Sauternes barrels from the most revered winemakers of our time.

Based on research done by Neilsen, “unlike with Scotch whisky or vodka, the market for luxury tequila is tiny, although it is growing fast. Tequila priced at more than $60 a bottle makes up only 0.6% of the U.S. tequila market” and according to Mr. Schwartz of Diageo “The market is there, one day this could transcend tequila and become a pure luxury product.”

Diddy being the marketing genius behind not only his own brand but also products that he endorses, posted this on his twitter page, “BREAKING NEWS!!The WORLD’S BEST tequila has arrived ppl! The @DeleonTequila wave starts NOW! #DeleonTequila READ THIS http://reut.rs/KDo2xU.”

If anyone can take a brand known only to a few individuals and transform it into a global must-have, it will be Diddy. If you need more proof, other than the 80 proof and higher tequilas, look at his other projects, Sean John which is a staple in menswear fashion, and of course as mentioned previously, Ciroc, which went from obscurity to a leading name in vodka. He doesn’t just transform a brand, he builds it into a lifestyle necessity. Tequila like any spirit is an acquired taste and will be an acquired lifestyle very soon. If the trend persists the luxury spirit of choice won’t be cognac or champagne it will be tequila and Diddy might have everything to do with that renaissance.

FatFace plans to raise $186M with London IPO!

FatFace, an English clothing company, ”began in 1988 with two guys enjoying life on the slopes in the French Alps and desperately trying to avoid working for a living. With money running out, Tim and Jules had a plan; print some sweatshirts and t-shirts, sell them at night, and ski during the day. With that simple formula, the FatFace brand was born with the name even being inspired by their favorite black mountain run in Val d’Isère, La Face.” According to their website, and their vision and values are that “absolutely everything we do is designed to be loved by all our customers for life outside the 9 to 5”.

Now has finally come a time that a company can no longer just sell t-shirts from their van in the Alps. Especially that they had opened up their 200th store back in 2012. The current owners of Fat Face include Bridgepoint, a private equity group, who owns a 78% stake since 2007 with the original founders of FatFace Tim Slade and Jules Leaver owning a 0.2% share. The IPO plan is expecting to raise $186M US Dollars. This would let the company to pay off debts and bank related fees that it has acquired through the course of operations. It will also allow the company to have an easier expansion into the US market which is its current and prime focus.

This Initial Public Offering would circulate about 25% of the company, while at the same time giving Bridgepoint an exit strategy. Because this is private equity groups ultimately want, to make money. The IPO will be advised by Citigroup Inc., Jefferies International, and Lazard Ltd.

Koenigsegg Agera R – The Need for Speed, Style, and Comfort!

In 1994, Christian von Koenigsegg captivated the automotive world when he penned the original Koenigsegg Competition Coupe (CC). Four car generations later, the Agera was born. As we all saw in the Need for Speed movie, the newest hottest car from Koenigsegg is their Agera R. The R edition features even more toys and upgrades for the driver to experience. According to the press release “The name Agera means “to take action” in Swedish and is short for the ancient Greek word ageratos (ageless).” Koenigsegg doesn’t use the term “Supercar” to describe what they produce they call their cars “Hypercars.”

Starting of course with the engine, which gives off 1140hp from a bi-turbo powered 5.0L V8. Gets you going from 0-60 in under 3 seconds and tops out at 273 mph. The car comes with Dihedral Synchrohelix doors (Lamborghini style) and is a two-seater, so you won’t be taking it on family vacations any time soon. Unless you are just taking a drive, then it’s the perfect vehicle. Another first is its Dynamic Rear Wing System. Unlike heavy pre-programmed hydraulic systems, the lightweight Dynamic Rear Wing adjusts its angle of attack with actual wind pressure to always maintain the perfect balance and control at any speed.

The interior cockpit features Koenigsegg’s iconic “circle of buttons”, also having innovative technology such as the multifunctional infotainment system and configurable instruments to provide unsurpassed functionality. The instrument cluster features digital gauges to give the feeling of being strapped in to a fighter jet. This car might be just as fast as one at takeoff. When you are in the mood for some fresh air, you can take the carbon fiber removable roof off and store it inside the hood. Because the engine is in the trunk as is with most high end supercars.

Driving this car would not only be a dream joyride but also a remarkable privilege and a dream worth having.

2014 Time 100 Gala: #1 was a no show!

This year Time magazine again had its annual Time 100 Gala. Where 100 of the world’s most influential people are invited to attend and just talk and joke and laugh amongst themselves for a brief time. Beyoncé was named Time’s most influential person on the year, but was a no show at the ceremony.

Among the people that did show up for the star studded event were Seth Myers, Amy Adams, Jenji Kohan who is the creator and writer of “Orange is the new Black” on Netflix. Barbara Walters, Martha Stewart and Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is an astrophysicist and currently hosts “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.”

Performing was Pharrell Williams and Seth Myers who jokingly said that after looking at the list of the Top 100 “he is at best mid to high 90’s on the list.” Seth Myers also joked that “Dr. John Kovac is here tonight, that’s right, you and I are on the same list buddy. The guy who discovered gravitational waves in space and proved the Big Bang Theory to be true and the guy who makes Rob Ford jokes in the middle of the night.” While pointing to himself.

You can check out a quick two minute recap of the event below.

Apple announces 7-for-1 Stock Split

Apple announced another stock split that will occur on June 2nd 2014, and begin trading at the lower split adjusted price on June 9th. This one is a little different than before. Not in any financial way, just that this time it will be a 7-for-1 split. This will not have any direct impact on the company’s financials, it will simply dilute the shares and ownership percentages while making it easier monetarily for the average investor to purchase a share of the stock. At the closing price of $594.09 as of 4/28/14 it would be a little more difficult for the average investor to purchase that one share of Apple Inc. However, after the stock split, one share would then only cost $84.87. The number of authorized Apple common shares will increase from 1.8 billion to 12.6 billion as a result of the split. The major difference is that one share gets one voting right, but now that same share would still get the same one voting right, just there would be seven times the shares out in the market, so your percentage of company ownership which each share of stock entitles you to have is minimized proportionally.

On the Apple Investor Relations page website when asked “Why have you decided to split Apple’s stock?” The reply was “We want Apple stock to be more accessible to a larger number of investors.” This will be Apple’s fourth stock split since going public. Apple’s common stock split on a 2-for-1 basis on May 15, 1987, on June 21, 2000 and also on February 18, 2005.

How this affects the investor. If you ever wanted to buy a share of Apple stock, but had the mindset that it was too expensive for you to afford, now that will change. You will be able to buy a share at 1/7th of the current price, so getting a share at under $100 will be very possible and likely as of June 9th 2014. You should consult with your financial adviser before jumping into any stock, but if you always wanted shares in Apple, but the price was always too high, this will be your chance to jump in.

Magnises! The new exclusive members-only perks card you’ve been waiting for!

Magnises, the next best thing for exclusive members-only perks! It’s another new black card that is supposedly being used to gain great and exclusive rewards that Magnises itself offers to its clients. It’s a metallic card so it feels more expensive and exclusive than the basic plastic card you probably currently carry.

The way the card works is that you fill out an online membership application, and if accepted into the club, you will get your own personalized metal Magnises card. Then your next step is to stop by their townhouse located at Abington Square to activate the card by connecting/linking it with your current card. The way that happens is by extending the magnetic signature of your personal card to your new Magnises card. Once that happens, you are ready to use their new metal card, the same way you use your regular everyday card. By linking the cards together you do not lose or change anything that currently exists on your accounts. The bill stays the same, your current rewards stay the same, but now you will receive the added exclusive perks that you otherwise wouldn’t have.

According to the Magnises website, these ultra-exclusive perks include “securing reservations and receiving top-tier treatment at restaurants throughout the city. Shop and experience special unveilings and service at some of NYC’s best luxury boutiques. Get automatic upgrades and premium service at top hotels around town. Ride in style with our hand-picked drivers. Receive access and recommendations to many of the most fun venues across the city, and attend cocktail parties, dinners, concerts, art openings, and other unique events hosted by Magnises.”

All these perks do not come free, there is a $250 annual fee if given membership. Much like great rewards and exclusivity cards that include AMEX, and the Visa Black Card, in the end, much like everything else in life “you get what you pay for.” The important question and decision is whether the perks justify the price?

Netflix talks price increase

Netflix just announced that it will be soon raising the price of its online streaming service an extra $1-$2 per month from the current $7.99 monthly rate. The exact rate increase is still being discussed and decided on by the Netflix corporate executives. This is only for their DVD-less streaming Netflix service. Netflix states that the way the program works is that “For only $7.99 a month, you get unlimited movies & TV episodes instantly over the Internet to your TV or computer. There are no commercials, and you can pause, rewind, fast forward or rewatch as often as you like. It’s really that easy!” We have thousands of movies & TV episodes available to watch instantly right on your TV via a PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 or any other device that streams from Netflix, or to watch instantly on your computer.”

This price increase was previously tested in Ireland when Netflix earlier this year raised prices in Ireland by one Euro, current members though were locked into the €6.99 rate for two years. Netflix has learned a lesson or two about how to communicate pricing changes to customers. In 2011, when the company last announced a price hike, subscribers fled, the stock price sank and Reed Hastings, the company’s CEO, had to apologize to members. So now they are approaching this extremely sensitive topic in another way. According to their statement to shareholders “Our current view is to do a one or two dollar increase, depending on the country, later this quarter for new members only. Existing members would stay at current pricing (e.g. $7.99 in the U.S.) for a generous time period. These changes will enable us to acquire more content and deliver an even better streaming experience.” “We are approaching 50 million global members, but that is far short of HBO’s 130 million. We are eager to close the gap.”

This new rate hike would still keep the price of Netflix under the magic $10 mark, which is sort of the cutoff point for monthly subscriptions. I guess we will just have to see the exact increase when it happens soon. But for now, if you’ve been on the subscription fence about Netflix, maybe it’s time to sign up quickly to see if you can lock in the lower $7.99 monthly rate before the price hike happens.

Samsung Galaxy S5 – The new even better thing is here!

Samsung’s newest smartphone the Galaxy S5 has hit the store shelves at a price of around $650 with no contract, or on most major carriers for $199 with a 2 year service agreement. The new phone is an upgrade from the previous versions of the Galaxy S3, and the S4 models. It is on par and a direct competitor to Apple’s iPhone 5s, and the HTC One M8.

The new S5 features a multitude of new additions and improved hardware and software options. It now boasts a whopping 5.1” FHD Super AMOLED display, also with an upgraded camera which now has 16MP and a new HDR Rich Tone feature that lets you brighten and clear shaded pictures as you take them, while the selective focus feature allows you to focus on an object and blur the rest of the picture, giving a clear and crisp view of the exact item you are snapping.

The new phone runs on Androids new 4.4.2 Kitkat OS, with either a 16GB or 32GB memory option. What is truly unique about this new phone are the extras, first time features. It has an Ultra Power Saving Mode where according to Samsung “this innovative feature changes your screen to black and white and shuts down all unnecessary features to dramatically minimize battery consumption.” Also that it is dust and water resistant and has an IP67 certification. “With an IP67 certification, Galaxy S5 is resistant to sweat, rain, liquids, sand and dust, so your phone is protected for any activity and situation.” But you shouldn’t be going swimming with it any time soon just to be safe. The new Fingerprint scanner can help you unlock your phone instead of the old pattern and pin options, so it’s another cool gadget feature that you might use. However the coolest thing about the phone and an industry first is the Heart Rate Sensor. “Galaxy S5 is the first smart phone with a built-in Heart Rate Sensor which enables you to measure your heart rate directly on your phone.” You just place your finger on the back of the Galaxy S5 and measure your heart rate.

The Galaxy S5 not only uses the newest technology available at its disposal, but also created a new category and trend of smartphones, or in this case ultra-phones. This could be your new one piece of mobile gear that has everything you’d want and need. Not only in a phone but with any piece of technology. Sooner or later the phone will most likely be able to operate and replace most of our readily used items. Most likely sooner though.

Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Banned from NBA for Life!

Adam Silver, the new and recently named Commissioner of the NBA had a tough decision on one of his first days on the job. After a recording of Donald Sterling the owner of the NBA Los Angeles Clippers making extremely racist remarks like this one “”You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games” to his girlfriend V. Stiviano recently surfaced on TMZ and backlash immediately ensued.

Everyone from media outlets to activists to the individual NBA players had a response to the audio tape and the remarks. Now that a decision has been made by Adam Silver and a monumental one it was. Donald Sterling received a lifetime ban from the NBA and was fined $2.5M dollars, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA’s constitution. Adam silver in his press conference stated that “Mr. Sterling may not attend any games or practices, hey may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. He will also be barred from attending NBA Board of Governors meetings or participating in any other league activity.” “I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team”

Support for the decision of a lifetime ban for Donald Sterling was immediately supported by everyone around the NBA. The LA Clippers posted “WE ARE ONE” on their webpage, and Chris Paul who is the Clippers All-Star point guard and president of the players’ union stated “In response to today’s ruling by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver, my teammates and I are in agreement with his decision. We appreciate the strong leadership from Commissioner Silver and he has our full support.”

Other people involved in the NBA like Earvin Magic Johnson and the Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have taken to Twitter to voice their opinions, and it seems like everyone is in full support of the decision. So the question now is not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when Donald Sterling will be giving up ownership and selling the team.

 

 

GM Bailout results in $11.2B loss!

When the government decided to bailout the US Auto industry it had a vision to save it, not to make a profit. As a result the US government lost $11.2 billion dollars in the bailout of General Motors. The US treasury originally invested $49.5 billion in GM. According to the SIGTARP quarterly report to Congress, $6.7 billion in debt in GM (which was subsequently repaid), in addition to $2.1 billion in preferred stock and a 61% common equity stake. “Treasury sold its last shares in General Motors Company (“GM”) on December 9, 2013.” Separately, on March 20, 2014, Treasury wrote off an $826 million administrative claim in the company’s 2009 bankruptcy, ending all taxpayer involvement with GM.”

We are focusing on the financial losses like it was a business decision by the government to bailout GM when it was the exact opposite. Treasury Department spokesman Adam Hodge said the agency was not looking to make money. “The goal of Treasury’s investment in GM was never to make a profit, but to help save the American auto industry, and by any measure that effort was successful,” he said.

But now the government is again involved with GM, and it’s not in a saving/bailout mood. GM is currently under investigation from the Justice Department and by the SEC for a faulty ignition switch. Which has finally been recalled after it reportedly led to 13 deaths over the years. GM could be on the hook for billions of dollars in damages and the government won’t be jumping in to save them this time. The bailout was to save an industry and its economy, not to reward moral irresponsibility and greed.

Lexus RC-F Sport – the next chapter in luxury coupes!

Lexus just unveiled its new sport coupe. The new RC 350 F Sport. It features a 5 liter V8 engine boasting a whopping 450 horsepower under the hood. Kind of a not so hidden secret. Mostly it just looks mean and aggressive. Right up front is its unique mesh grill looking like an angry and pissed off automobile that just wants to tear the roads apart. It can surely do that with its 19 inch mesh alloy wheels. The interior instrument panel is the Lexus modern centerpiece. Featuring a moving center ring to give a race car feel to the drive, and with 450HP, racing is what you will be tempted to do.

The interior of the car is inspired by their LF-A  supercar, which in it’s own right has a 4.8L V10 engine giving off 562 horsepower and a futuristic racecar feel and design. This is their ultra-exclusive street legal super coupe that is a direct competitor to the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche.

The RCF model will be competing for market share with other high end sports coupes, only this ride should be much more fun and comfortable. Lexus is known for having smooth rides, and why not? Having 450hp beneath your feet should be not only exhilarating and enjoyable, it should be comfortable enough to drive cross country and not regret the trip.

Macy’s Trending for Spring/Summer 2014

The newest fashion trends for the spring and summer are bright colors, and relaxing styles. Colored loafers are back in season, so are casual oxfords and boat shoes. These new styles show an image of cool and casual because now the code of “dressed to impress” consists of shorts and a seersucker blazer. Also new light materials are being shown off to give breathability to your everyday clothing by featuring very light and airy fabrics with colors and patterns you would see on a holiday trip to the Hamptons, Miami, or Italy. There is absolutely nothing missing from these styles to back up your globe-trotting and high end lifestyle, except for maybe a beautiful female by your side. But that might be an option that will come later, after the clothes are worn and observed.

Trending now are the brighter pastel colored shorts, polo’s and blazers with a weekend casual vibe. The top designers who are already showing off their casual spring and summer collections are Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Tallia, and Nautica. Each has its own style, however the most uniquely designed piece is the Hugo Boss blazer with zipper shoulder sleeves which can be taken off and made into a vest. So with Hugo Boss, whether it’s chilly or hot the same blazer can be used and worn in a multitude of ways. Casual formal with the full blazer, rocker-hip with the sleeves unzipped to form a vest, or just with a t-shirt in both scenarios. Spring is in the air and summer is coming. Bright cool colors and fabrics are going to be all over the streets soon, so why not get your jump on the seasons fashion now? Don’t be a follower, be the trendsetter this season!

A change at Rolex, but not with the watch!

Well it’s time for a change at Rolex. Not with the aesthetic of the actual watches, but with the top of the executive committee. Newly appointed CEO Jean-Frederic Dufour will become head of Rolex, and replace Gian Riccardo Marini. The date is still to be determined, but the fact is that it’s happening. Stealing Dufour away from LVMH – Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy watch brand Zenith in an attempt to capture more global market share.

The company currently faces increased pressure from the Swatch group and Cie. Financière Richemont, who together with Rolex make up about 46 percent of the world timepiece’s sold by value. However it does lack behind Swatch in various markets that include China, so there might be the reason for this new executive.

What makes this so interesting is that Rolex is already one of the top luxury watch sellers in the world, generating estimated sales of about $5 billion dollars. Since the company is privately held they do not disclose their financial information. Chances are that their classic and world renowned Rolex designs won’t change, they just might update their younger more affordable “Tudor” brand. Tudor is now only gaining more market share compared to other median priced competitors’ products like Longines, which is made by Swatch.

In the end, Rolex itself doesn’t need to change much, they just have to adapt a little to the new trends and markets. That should do the trick, and a new CEO can give them that fresh perspective on the minute details which can be so complex (like with a Rolex).

Pepsi – from soda to fashion and beyond!

When we think of Pepsi, what comes to mind? Probably cola, soda, maybe the Superbowl, even sporting events and sponsorship’s. But is fashion and clothing anywhere in that ballpark? Well it should be, because Pepsi on its website does sell its own vintage clothing for both men, women, and also novelty items such as cups and shot glasses. Also home décor items such as lamp shades, tin and wooden signs. So you can decorate your space with the soda you love. As long as they aren’t selling or auctioning off tattoo’s or child naming rights it’s all fine.

But now Pepsi ventured forth into the fashion industry with their Pepsi capsule collection. The capsule collection will feature 60 pieces, such as men’s T-shirts, zip-up jackets, swim trunks, headphones, baseball caps, sweatshirts, leather sneakers, slippers and skateboards.

Collaborating with fashion and technology brands that include: Bang & Olufsen, Original Penguin, Shut, Gents, Goodlife and Del Toro to launch a “Live for Now” capsule collection on May 21 at 15 select Bloomingdale’s stores and e-commerce sites. The only guideline Pepsi really had for the designers, according to WWD, was that all pieces of the collection had to display Pepsi’s red, white and blue color palette.

So it will be interesting to see how each company interprets the Pepsi brand and image when the only direction they have to go by is using the red, white and blue colors in their designs. This is surely the epitome of originality. “You have free range, just use our brand’s colors.” Sure sounds like a great and creative project to have waiting for you on your desk Monday morning.

Barneys Launches New iPad App – for all you shopaholics!

Barneys just launched their new online shopping platform for the iPad, a new shopping app. Its online shopping, but on the go, part of the progressive mobile technology. You don’t have to sit by a computer anymore to search the items you like. Barneys now comes with you wherever you may be heading.

You can do almost anything you would do at the brick and mortar luxury retailer. You want to search for shoes, you can get shoes, dresses, you can get dresses, and you could also search the most bought items to see what fashions are trending. It can also show you related items, things which would fit with what you already want to buy (placed in your cart). So no more asking the salesperson “what top do you think would go good with these shoes? The app can show you that with one click.

But for shoppers that prefer the personalized treatment that a Barneys Personal Shopper offers, the recommendations and the one-on-one individualized attention to your own sense of style. The Barneys iPad App lets you book an appointment with a personal shopper, tell them what you are looking for and when you are coming in. It takes the hassle out of looking for a salesperson at the store, or trying to reach someone to get that desperately needed appointment. Just choose the person, the date and the time and it’s all set. No labor intensive work needed. It’s shopping and retail for the modern age. Online, and on the go, but with a personal touch too.

Maserati strikes U.S. luxury car market!

Jumping into the mass luxury automobile market is Maserati. Considered one of the fine Italian supercars and imports, it has begun to take a chunk out of the high end sedan and sports coupe markets in the U.S. Still predominantly controlled by Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Maserati with its Quattroporte, a full sized sedan and the Ghibli, a midsized sedan now gives an extra ultra-luxury option to whomever feels the need to own an Italian automobile that has its own status symbol.

Its new marketing campaign is named “Absolute Opposite of Ordinary” and celebrates the launch of the new Ghibli model with a special Quattroporte Zegna Limited Edition, it’s the perfect way to unveil the luxury effect of its product line.

Their 2014 SuperBowl XLVIII commercial started the TV campaign titling it “Now we Strike.” Their current model line features four models that include The Quattroporte, the Ghibli, The Gran Tourismo – their sports coupe model and the Gran Tourismo Convertible. The MSRP prices are in the ranges of $67,000 – $147,500 depending on the model chosen.

This is comparable to the majority of the high end luxury car brands, with the only difference being that this one is Italian and is more of an exclusive brand that will surely grab everyone’s attention. Tons of people already own the Mercedes-Benz S Class sedan, the SL sports coupe or the BMW 7-Series sedan or the 6-series coupe which now also features a sedan version. But saying and driving a Maserati is a little different. It’s the difference between playing on a sports team, and being the captain of one.

Michael Kors and Luxottica ink 10 year licensing deal!

Michael Kors, a world-renowned, award-winning designer of luxury accessories and ready-to-wear. Luxottica, a global leader in premium, luxury and sports eyewear, have just announced a 10 year licensing agreement. This partnership will enable Luxottica to produce the fashion eyewear for the Michael Kors collection, and MICHAEL, the Michael Kors line of eyewear. Beginning with the Spring 2015 collections to be produced January 2015, the new licensed eyewear will be carried around the globe in Michael Kors stores, department stores and major retailers and boutiques.

Luxottica already produces their own sunglasses lines that include Ray-Ban, Oakley, and Oliver Peoples. While their licensed brands are the cream of the crop with names like  Giorgio Armani, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, and Versace.

Each side is looking forward to the arrangement and being fortunate to be able to expand their own brand presence. According to the news release on the Michael Kors website, “We have achieved great success in the eyewear business and believe that our new partnership will further enhance our luxury image in the optical and sunglass marketplace,” said John D. Idol, CEO of Michael Kors. “Luxottica is the industry leader in eyewear through their commitment to design and quality which makes them the perfect partner for our luxury brand.” Luxottica stated that “We are very excited and proud to be entering this new partnership with Michael Kors, one of the most powerful American luxury lifestyle brands in the world,” said Andrea Guerra, Chief Executive Officer of Luxottica Group. “Michael Kors has a major influence in fashion, with products that are exciting to luxury audiences globally. We are confident that this partnership will have great success.”

It’s a ten year agreement, so it’s not a short term test or a single date between two industries, it’s a long term relationship that can and should have substantial financial and brand benefits to both. We will just have to see how this relationship turns out.

The the Louis Vuitton passport case

Now that we are officially in the spring season the weather is starting to get warmer, the sun is shining brighter and staying out longer so we are bound to travel a lot more. Where to go is a decision left for another day. While there are thousands of places to visit, it just has to be imagined and planned and realized. But when we travel, how do we travel? Light, heavy, stylish? Do we dress for the environment when we leave or do we just put on our most comfortable pair of pants, shorts and a t-shirt? That usually depends on why we travel and where we are heading. The one item that almost always goes with us is our passport. Sometimes packed inside some thrifty convenient carry case or bag if that even happens. Usually it’s stuffed in our pants or shorts pockets being mauled every time a step is taken or we decide to sit. It might as well be put through a grinder by the time we leave the airport.

Well for the start of travel season we found a perfect and stylish solution to your ID carrying needs. It’s the Louis Vuitton Passport Cover. It’s the go-to piece for anything you need to travel with. Having dimensions of roughly five and a half inches by four inches it has the size you want to carry what you need. With enough space for your passport and three credit card slots you virtually do not need anything else. Available with around ten different options including their Damier Infini leather with a cowhide leather interior to grained calf leather linings and various color combinations that include their cream and gray checkered design as well as their brown and gold checkered patterns and their infamous LV logo. They are able to be customized with Initials and patterns to give that personal touch of comfort and enjoyment of knowing it is yours. When you are paying anywhere between $320 and $550 to carry your passport, credit cards and plane tickets that cover can end up costing more than the actual plane ticket itself. A truly unique item for the modern and trendy on the move, it will show a sense of style when you gladly show it to the flight attendant as you board and take your first class seat. The main difference is your airline ticket will only get you there and back once while your passport case will always take you around the world in style.

The most accurate wrist watch ever assembled!

Cesium133-prototyp
Cesium133-prototype

 

If you thought that Swiss watchmakers featured the most precise watch movements, think again. It’s Hawaii! Hawaii’s own Bathys Hawaii Watch Company is in the process of designing, prototyping, and launching a very unique set of “Cesium 133” Atomic wrist watches. The project is currently being funded with a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter. The project which was asking for $42,000 in funding already has received over $72,000 from 79 backers and there are still about two weeks to go. According to their Kickstarter campaign “The Cesium 133 – the world’s first wristwatch powered by a cesium-based oscillator. This revolutionary technology uses a chip-scale atomic clock (CSAC) to precisely divide a second into exactly 9,192,631,770 vibrations of the cesium 133 atom – in fact this is the scientific definition of a second by the International System of Units (SI).” This would technically be the most precise wristwatch ever, using actual atomic vibrations as a means of time keeping.

The watch’s dial has a pretty simplistic analog design and is a bit over sized as well at around 55mm. However the true technology of the movement is on the inside. Which in watch circles is the most important aspect. The watch aesthetic is only for show. Having a carbon fiber bezel is a little more pleasing to the eye, but saying that you have the most accurate wristwatch ever made is a whole different story.

Of course you can spend thousands, and maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars on the perfect wristwatch made by famed Swiss watchmakers that include in them a tourbillon, currently considered the most accurate and most expensive movement addition to wristwatches. After Cesium 133, it won’t be the most accurate anymore.

Ask yourself, would you rather have the shiniest watch out there or the most accurate watch ever made? But hurry because the plan for now is to only produce 6-10 of these timepieces as a way of bringing this new technology to market.

Bathys Hawaii - Cesium 133 Atomic Wrist watch (courtesy of John Patterson PhD)
Bathys Hawaii – Cesium 133 Atomic Wrist watch
(courtesy of John Patterson PhD)

 

2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show going to LONDON!

Victoria’s Secret, the most popular and most entertaining fashion show heads to London, England for the first time. The show which features “Angels” and A-List celebrity performers is a spectacle of fashion, imagination, and most of all entertainment. The show always includes the who’s who of Hollywood, and understandable considering the beauty that is witnessed.

Victoria’s Secret and the Angels themselves are both extremely excited to be going to London to present their annual the show. This time it is being produced by done and dusted inc. Victoria’s Secret tweeted the news along with CBS who will air the show. While one of the Angels, Adriana Lima wrote “The #VSFashionShow 2014 is coming to London! Get ready!!!”

We are getting ready, in fact we can’t wait for the most popular and entertaining fashion show on the planet. The only million dollar question is how expensive will this year’s bra be and who will wear it?

 

 

High Intensity Interval Training – The craze and the science!

High intensity interval training also known as HIIT is the latest and most popular workout craze to emerge into the spotlight. Every gym has their variety and every personal trainer made their own exercise videos based on its science. The main variations are the workout themes and names of the exercises.

The method – The high intensity workout consists of doing routines at a scale that will ultimately leave your breathless, with a small break in between that is just enough for you to get your wind back. Then doing it all over again. The process is usually a 3 minute routine with a 30 second to a minute break. Just enough time to get that quick rest and jump right back into the workout. The top HIIT workouts are from BeachBody and include staples like P90X, Insanity, and Turbo Fire. The exercises make use of your own body weight as resistance and include moves like squats, pushups, planks, and burpees with jogging recovery in between.

The science – A Hiit workout is different than a regular workout because instead of a steady pace of work, it is now a super-quick interval led pace, followed by a resting time. Then it’s all done again about 5 – 10 times. This workout brings your heart rate up, and keeps it up, making you burn more fat in less time. “A high-intensity workout increases the body’s need for oxygen during the effort and creates an oxygen shortage, causing your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery,” says Eric Salvador, NASM, NSCA, head instructor at The Fhitting Room in New York City. “This after burn effect is referred to as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) and is the reason why intense exercise will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady-state workouts.”

Getting in shape for the summer is every man’s goal every year and is one of the top New Year’s resolutions. The workout do require a commitment like none other. It takes strength, agility, and most of all heart to push yourself to your exercise limits, catch your breath and do it all over again and again and again. But it is all worth it in the end. Nothing great ever comes easy and this is not easy at all so it must be great.    

2014 NYC Auto Show – The New and Hot Cars!

At the 2014 NY INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW we get to experience the thrills of the road and the cars that will occupy them. All models are on display, for every budget. And future cars that will roam the roads soon to come. While every company showed off their top of the line models that most people could not afford, all the major brands had their entire model lines on display. Infiniti showed off their new Q70L, a new upgraded model of their flagship Q line of cars that competes with the other luxury high end auto makers. BMW features its new X5 e-Drive concept SUV. Now giving the ability to plug it in to charge instead of paying for gas. Also showing off their brand new X4 crossover, which is a smaller version of their X6 model. Mercedes-Benz of course blows away the competition with the premier of their S63 AMG Coupe. Because why limit luxury to always having four doors, when you can have everything with just two? Another first is Mercedes-Benz’s Apple “CarPlay” debuting with their upcoming 2015 C-Class models. According to the press release by Mercedes, “Now the company has announced the official completion and release of the iPhone-based solution under the name “CarPlay” which gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Fret not, not only Mercedes Benz has advance to this level of technology and collaboration with Apple, Volvo Cars among few others too are advancing their future concept series with this must experience smart technology.

You can walk around, sit inside and get to experience first-hand what it would feel like to own, even if it is for a couple of moments. Just don’t take them for a test drive, or you will get a one way ride to a NYC jail cell. While seeing the latest models is always interesting to say the least, the most unique experience is seeing the exotic cars and the future concept that will be available soon. There are plenty of those from companies like Dodge with their new SRT Viper to the Bentley’s , Bugatti’s, koenigsegg’s, and the Rolls Royce’s.  It’s like being around automotive royalty. You can be so close with proximity and yet be so far financially at the same time. But the best part about the 2014 NY Auto Show is that there is always something for everyone. For the new car shopper that is looking to see next years and future models for when their current lease is up. For the mogul who is looking for the new hottest and best car on the market, and for the kid who just wants to see awesome cars that they see on TV and at the movies. It’s an experience for all, the buyer, the child and your chance to bond with both family and machine.  While we were privileged to have previewed  as VIPs, you too can catch a glimpse of the New York International Auto Show showing from April 18th-27th, 2014.  Certainly, you will be inspired and perhaps be perplexed and anxious [ all at the same time] as to which would be your next ride.

2014 Summer Must Haves!

Now that summer is just around the corner, we have come up with the 5 summer must haves that every guy should have this year. The list is not only about clothes, it’s about the main things that will make this summer season one to remember. Of course clothing is a big part of summer but so are the experiences.

So here are your summer must haves in order to make the best of what the season has to offer.

The Clothes – You have to get some new summer shorts and also a few t-shirts to brighten up during the day. Along with of course a pair of swim trunks. How can summer be enjoyed and not at the beach?

The Accessories – Every season new sunglasses come out and so should yours. It’s the perfect season for shades. The sun is shining in your eyes, and you don’t want to wear a hat. Also you can people watch without them knowing and it adds that cool trendy factor.

The Protection – Oh this is a need for all people. You probably will get burned if you go outside. So have some sunscreen with you. Not that historic cream, but a spray on sunscreen that no one knows you’re wearing. You don’t have to sacrifice skin care for style.

The Body – Getting into shape should be a priority. Everyone wants to have that beach body. Having nice biceps, a chiseled chest and what everyone dreams of, washboard abs. It will make you look better, be more attractive and build confidence. Mainly it will be a major advantage with the last must have on our list.

The Fling – The best thing about summer are the females. All slim and tanned, wearing low cut skirts, see through shirts and looking for fun just like you. So this summer a must have is the relationship. Even if it will undoubtedly end in a few months you should still enjoy them. And no better way to enjoy summer than with beautiful lady by your side.

Instead of people watching in the summer to see what is out there, be the guy that other want to see. Make everyone else people watch you! Let someone come up to you and ask if you believe in love at first sight? The reply by asking if you should walk by again.

 

Are we ready for Y4K? The TV trend!

Are we ready for Y4K? Not on the calendar, the TV revolution. Just when you were so excited about your new LCD and Plasma HD screen, brought it home, set it up, turned on your favorite channel and saw a commercial for an LED TV. Slimmer with a better motion refresh rate. So now things were faster, less blurry and clearer. “Damn” were probably the nice words that came out of your mouth followed by a look at the return policy to see if you can get your money back and buy the newest TV out right now. Well that’s how fast technology moves these days, you buy the hottest item in the store, bring it home and something newer just came out or is being tested.

With TV’s it’s no different, Samsung, along with Sony, Sharp and LG, some of the leading TV brands are constantly innovating the modern HD TV’s, making them better, faster and more fun. What started with Plasma screens, became slimmer LCD screens, then evolved into lighter, slimmer, with better quality LED screens. Going from the high tech 720P resolution, to a 1080i, then to 1080P what we now know as full HD. How fast a picture changes on the device also became faster and clearer. Started with a 60hz rate, then doubled to 120hz on most LCD TV’s and now the norm is a 240hz rate which shows almost no blurs or distortions with fast moving scenes. The latest craze now are the 3D TV’s. Every major company has them even though most broadcasts aren’t in 3D yet. Movies are, but not the basic channels that we watch. So what is the hype? It’s the fact that it’s the newest model, something everyone wants, to be at the forefront of any new trend.

Are we ready for 4K TV’s yet? Netflix is getting there with House of Cards Season 2 set to stream in 4K, and YouTube is making it possible for 4K videos to be streamed as well. What about everyone else? The TV’s are still highly priced being at $2,999.99 for the Sony 55 inch XBR model and go as high as $39,999.99 for the Samsung 85 inch frameless behemoth. Being ready is one thing, are we prepared for what can eventually come next? An 8K TV that Japan is developing and is pushing to broadcast during the 2020 Olympics is the next step TV evolution and it seems to be hatching as we speak.

The seasons hair styles and trends

Every season, different haircuts become the new it cut. This year it’s the Pompadour style that is back with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ryan Gosling all showing off the sleek backed style. Now that spring is here and summer is right around the corner, new haircuts will be plentiful for the next couple of months. Everyone will want to look as groomed as possible and be as hot as the upcoming season. So here is a rundown of the most common haircut trends these seasons.

Modern Pompadour – This is the new trend this year. Sleeked back haircut with volume making the person look more professional, serious and mature. A lot of stars are currently styling their hair this way and all thanks to JT (Justin Timberlake) for not only bringing sexy back but bringing the modern pompadour back as well.

Crew Cut – A short hairstyle with just a little length on top so you can style it in any direction. You won’t be spiking the hair up because it is short after all. But with the little length on top and some product in the hair, it can be a clean professional look for the office and the summer heat.

The Right Haircut – This is a pretty simple and classic look, you simply apply product to your hair and comb it up and back from the hair line over to one side. It’s not a comb over because you aren’t trying to hide any baldness, it’s a very simple classic look that works for almost anyone if the hair is not a buzz cut and has some length.

Spiked – This style had been around for decades, long before Hollywood got a taste of it. Rockers styles their hair this way before and now it evolved into basically hundreds of versions. There is the short spiked, long, spiked, bed head spiked, even so kids and dogs are being named spike. This is still a favorite style of teens and younger generation because it gives them some attitude. A shorter spiked hair is more versatile than a longer style because it can fir both work and play. Different variations of the spiked haircut do include faux-hawks which were made popular by David Beckham. Had extremely short hair on the sides and some length on top. While the modern renditions feature extra hair on the sides and a little less attitude with styling.

Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience hairstyle
Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience hairstyle

 

The Waterproof Loafer!

Time to take out our loafers and finally relax and enjoy the warm seasons. Getting ready for the walks on the beach, the boardwalks or anywhere else with a breeze and water surrounding us. Being comfortable is at the top of the list for any fashionmister. So the loafer is the go to show for the season. But not just any loafer. There are the high end leather, suede’s, and driving shoes that will give anyone a run for their money. But here is a loafer that you can go anywhere with, and literally anywhere. It’s stylish, breathable, and waterproof. Yes, we said waterproof. Now you don’t have to sidestep any sprinklers, waves or puddles for that matter. Or be worried that your fancy shoes will get ruined during an unexpected sun shower.

These loafers from SWIMS are the perfect mix of substance and style. Coming in various colors and designs, while also featuring both versions of slip-ons and laces, there is a design and color combination for everyone.

What makes them so different and practical is that the shoes are made from a durable and flexible TPU outer shell, basically a flexible plastic with rubber-like qualities and feel. These loafers also have ventilation gills to ensure breathability and are made from rubber and nylon. So that if and when water hits or gets in the shoe, it will spill out without causing any damage. For your boat, the beach or a hotel pool is the perfect option. You can stroll freely without having to worry about damaging and throwing away these unique shoes.

Travel with your suit in hand: With the carry-on garment bag!

Travelling is a big part of our lives. For business, for pleasure, or just for the thrill of it we go places. Wherever we go, we almost always have to bring at least one suit. If it’s a day business trip, then one suit will most likely do the job. It’s the suit you have on in the morning. Board your plane, go to the meeting and come back. No major hurdles there. If it’s a multi-day business trip then one suit just won’t cut it. It will be noticed how you have on the same clothes for three days straight. Vacations are also a tricky situation. Sometimes you don’t really need a suit at all. Just some basic slacks and shirts, however if you are going to a formal event, a weekend or a weeklong trip, then suits are a must.

So how do you pack the suit and shirts without losing them with your luggage and be comfortable both in looking and carrying them? It’s pretty simple, you have your everyday luggage which you can fold your clothes into, and have your small carry on travel accessories bag on the side. But your clothes can easily be wrinkled or stained by all the other things stuffed and hidden away in that same suitcase. So for that there is the Tumi Alpha tri-old carry-on garment bag. It’s the perfect combination of a foldable luggage accessory which can be carried by handles or over the shoulder. The clothes can be neatly packet then folded over one another so that they don’t wrinkle and can be carried on board. No need to check that item at the gate. With separate inside pockets and sections for the different clothes, you might even fit your laptop/tablet inside too, then just close and fold it. Place it over your shoulder like any other messenger or tote bag and stroll right along past the security checkpoints. All in comfort, convenience and style.

The guide to buying your perfect suit!

One of the hardest things to buy for a man is his suit. There are so many options, and yet you really don’t know where to begin. You just know you need a suit. So here are some guidelines to go by when looking for your perfect suit.

The Occasion – What is it for, and when are you going to wear it? Is it an everyday item for work, or is it a special occasion suit, and if so what season will it be worn during? That all matters because based on how you answer, you then choose the appropriate fabric.

The Style – Again this depends on what you like, a single breasted, double breasted? How many buttons do you want? Two or three, and what kinds of vents if any do you prefer? Do you want any special styles like herringbone, pinstripe, chalk stripe or will you just go for the basic black or navy suit that never goes out of style.

The Fit – This is a simple question to answer in a way. You can go loose and have a relaxed fit, or go slim for the tailored look. How long do you want it to be as well? There is a general rule that the jacket should be equal length from the neckline to the bottom of the jacket, as the bottom of the jacket is to the floor. However, newer styles and trends are becoming shorter and shorter. More shirt cuff is being shown and the jackets are sitting shorter and tighter. That choice is up to you, your taste.

The Price – This is the important question to ask yourself. Suits range in price anywhere from $100 for a discounted bargain brand to $10,000 dollars for the designer styles. It all depends on the material, the design, the quality and most importantly the brand name. You might fall in love with the perfect suit, try it on, love the look, the feel, and everything about it. Then you ask the store rep how much it costs, and get sticker shock when you hear the word thousand in their reply.

The Emotion – This is only answered after some heart to heart thoughts with yourself. What is it worth to you? How much are you willing to spend to feel good about what you have? It is based on a price, but sometimes emotions get the best of us and we decide based on feelings. A $600 budget can get you a very nice suit, but falling in love with something worth $750 might be worth the extra change to not regret the decision. All great choices are made logically and rationally, however the choices that make us happiest come from the heart. In the end, trust the store tailor if they are knowledgeable and aren’t just pushing their product of the week, and listen to your heart. You’re the one that will have to wear that decision for the foreseeable future.

 

Upgrade your wardrobe for Spring and Summer

Spring has sprung and we are ready to put away our ultra-warm winter coats, our thermals, and anything else that resembles an Eskimo. Ready to upgrade our spring and summer wardrobes. Shopping sales are happening everywhere, new collections are hitting the stores and we are getting ready to buy. So how do you  go about upgrading your style for the spring and summer? Think simple. Getting dressed is not rocket science, it’s more of a creative art. Just like every single one of your junior, and high school teachers once said, “K.I.S.S.”

Think of winter as a supreme pizza. All the toppings for a nice hearty meal, and spring should be a fresh gourmet salad. Enough to satisfy, but not enough to last throughout winter. Summer should then be a cup of frozen yogurt. Not a complete meal, but it’s the perfect refreshment.

Start by deciding what and how you want to wear it. For example take a pair of pants, a sweater and Chelsea boots that you wore all winter. The easiest way to upgrade what you have is to downsize what you wear. No more heavy dark colors, but start to brighten up your look just a little. Take off a top layer or two.

Spring – Now for the spring, replace the pants with Chino’s, the sweater with a thin cardigan and the boots with some oxfords or loafers. Have a few brighter looking shirts to wear on a daily basis because spring is in the air, relax a little, loosen up and for the summer think of just a slice or two.

Summer –Here is where if you’re not heading to work you can wear almost anything. With the sun blazing down on your face and neck, comfort is the number one priority. Tight fitting clothes will be the end of you, and using that term loosely. You must have some loose and airy linen clothing with light shoes. Slippers, boat shoes, whatever fits and feels comfortable. If you choose to wear a long sleeve shirt, roll up the sleeves. But have shorts, lot’s of shorts and even more t-shirts for the hot days ahead.

 

 

The three things you need to do to not go broke tonight!

Just like anything in life like retirement and vacations, we need to save money to enjoy the things we love. And as we get our usual two weeks paid vacation every year which we use to go away somewhere, anywhere, just getting out of here is what matters. We have our usual weekend routines too, go out on Friday/Saturday nights and sleeping in Sundays or watching football when it’s on. But like any great experience we should be setting a budget for our weekend exploits. “Going VIP” should not happen always and making it rain should be normally reserved for the TV weatherman.

That’s how we can go easily bankrupt  too. Not filing for Chapter 11 and ruining our credit for around seven years type of bankrupt, but spending more than we should and not realizing until it’s too late. When you realize that you spent way too much tonight, it’s too late. So here are a few simple rules to have the most fun and not have to mortgage the house to do so.

Pre-game: Drink and eat before getting to your eventual destination. So that when you are there, you will be already in a good party mood and won’t be hungry either. You’ll save a ton on bar food and drinks, and when you find that girl to impress, you can still order a dessert to share. Women love desserts, and it’s a romantic gesture.

Designated Driver: If you don’t live in an area with round the clock public transportation then have a sober friend drive. It will save  your life and save you tons of money, oh, and you won’t have to worry about mistakenly tipping the cab a Benjamin on a $25 dollar ride, should you be inebriated past that point.

Have a pre-set spending limit: Just like anything, know what you can and can’t spend tonight. Having emergency cash is great and needed, but don’t spend your emergency cash on a non-emergency. Use it to get home in a worst case scenario, don’t use it on that sip of Louis XIII. The only time that emergency cash should be spent is during an emergency. Hence the name emergency cash!

Going out and having fun on the weekends is a tradition, and it should stay that way, but like with everything else in life especially in bars and lounges, you have to know your limits. Don’t limit your enjoyment just enjoy yourself more efficiently.

The razor progression: Your guide to the right shave!

What has many blades, one face and is always irritated? It’s our post shave look and feel. Back in the days of our grandfathers there were no electric razors or a Gillette Fusion five blade system with an aloe strip. For some there wasn’t even electricity. People used a singular straight razor blade and some shaving cream. That was it. Nowadays shaving technology is at war with our faces and the razors are winning. There are so many razors to choose from that there is a better chance of finding the proverbial needle in a haystack than choosing a razor in a store. You have to practically do more research trying to find the best shaver than you ever did for your college marketing class. To make it easy we listed some of the common razors and shavers so you don’t have to jump into haystacks and potential get poked by needles. You just have to pick the shaver that is best for you and try not to cut your face into modern art designs.

What our grandfathers and barbershops still use today for the classic shave is the single straight razor. They are comprised of a single piece of ultra-sharp steel blades. When shaving with these blades you get that classic feel of a pure man’s shave and your face feeling like a newborn butt after you’re done. It’s the closest you can get to naturally hairless skin. It is also the riskiest of shaves. You have to know what you’re doing when using a straight razor. One wrong move and you get the theme of the Saw movie series, “there will be blood.” Once you decide to use this blade, it will grow some hair on your chest, but that would require a different type of razor and more like a trimmer or an appointment at a hair salon for a wax.

Typical manual shavers now consist of hundreds of variations and products. This is like upgrading software for the face. Every so often a new updated version comes out that is supposed to be better, and quicker, and softer and less irritable. Some have even become battery powered like other products that are unmentionable. These razors have disposable blade cartridges that you throw out after a specified usage period. In the case of a Gillette Fusion it’s when the cartridges top green aloe strip wears out. That’s your sign to throw that blade away and replace it. The manual disposable razors started out with a single disposable razor blade. With evolving science and grooming preferences the double blade razor came to be and soon after popularity struck with the triple razor design promising an even closer shave with less irritation than before because of the close proximity of the three separate razors on the blade of the Mach3 Turbo by Gillette and the Schick Hydro3. Apparently three blades to the face was not enough so the marketing and technology guru’s at Gillette’s parent company Proctor & Gamble eventually came up with the Fusion Proglide Power, a battery powered manual razor. Now having five even closer placed blades with a rubberized comb for the stubble and an aloe strip along with a vibrating feature it now gives the most closeness, the least irritation and the feel of an electric razor in one. According to the Gillette website “The Gillette® Fusion® ProGlide™ Power Razor is Gillette’s most advanced blade ever. Thinner, finer blades* with a low-resistance coating glide effortlessly through hair for less tug and pull**, providing incredible comfort, even if you shave every day.” The amount of blades have gotten so extreme that Mad TV back in 2010 made a sketch comedy skit about the increasing blade amounts with their version, the Mach20.
Is there an end to how many blades we should be shaving with if we use manual razors or will the 20 blade shaver become a reality? Let’s hope that it ends with five. That feels like a perfect number both in the mind and on the face.

The newest in shaving technology are the electric razors. These are options for the man who wants to shave quicker and on the go. Having the ability to not cut yourself because of the safety features of the actual blades and cutters being hidden underneath guards to protect the face. There are two main types of electric shavers, rotary and foil versions. Rotary electric shavers typically have three rotating circular cutters that work to conform to the shape of your face. Because of the design, they are best used with slow, circular motions over the face and neck to ensure that the rotary cutter beneath the guard slices the hair as close to the face as possible. Rotary shavers generally suit people with regular to tough skin types. Foil shavers unlike rotary shavers, are best when moved in a straight, long motion over the face and neck as they have blades underneath a rectangular metallic foil. The foil remains still while the cutter block moves from side to side and cuts the hair as it enters the holes in the foil. This type of electric shaver will generally be preferred by those with more sensitive skin.

Shaving at the end of the day is an art form. While the corporate world’s policies are to be clean shaven all the time there are no limitations and exceptions on how it should be done. A more causal work environment allows a clean trimmed look of a beard or a goatee and if you are the CEO you make up your own rules about facial hair and can come to work any way you like because you’re the boss. But why not always have a clean look nonetheless? You are presenting yourself to the world and the world does judge based on appearance because that is usually the first impression they get. The face is what is seen first and being clean shaven and groomed should be a top priority. How you decide to do that is up to you, we just want to give you the choices to make it happen.

The Ultimate Thrill – Experience life to the fullest!

We always hear the words “you have to live life to the fullest,” and the key is that you have to have life experiences and stories to tell your friends, your co-workers and ultimately your kids. But what if you didn’t do anything thrilling yet? Well there is still time, as long as you won’t chicken out of the experience.

Roller Coasters: The easiest thrills of the four to experience is the roller coaster. Now, it’s not any old wooden or child coaster that just barely goes up and down, which you can run faster than. It’s the type that will leave you screaming, and your hair all out of sorts because of the speed or because of being scared to death. Something like Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure or even better is Insanity at the Stratosphere hotel in Las Vegas.

Driving: If you ever looked at the supercars on the street and thought to yourself, “I wish I can one day drive one,” this experience is for you. Imagine Lifestyles luxury rentals has the cars you want, and they rent them by the day, week and includes daily mileages. These are available throughout the country and over ten different makes and models that include Bentleys, Ferrari’s Lambo’s, and Phantoms.

Animals: If your adventure is with animals and live experiences you can go running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. But if you don’t want to travel across the Atlantic for a chance to get stampeded you can go diving with sharks. Shark diving is a thrill because we all seen the movie Jaws and we know what that shark did. These trips are available in the Florida, San Diego and Long Island Aquariums. Plus you can choose your own private adventure when you are on vacation. Just make sure you don’t have any cuts or anything like that, sharks do sense blood from over a mile away.

Flight: The most exclusive and the best thrill experience is that of flight. We have all flown to different cities, but we are not talking about that kind of flight. We mean Mach 2-3, zero gravity type flying where you don’t know if you are upside down or right side up. Russia has this with a company called Space Affairs and their edge of space experience. Where for a little over a mere $26,000 you can travel to Russian, board a MIG-29 fighter jet, and travel to the edge of space and back. Or you can stay in the U.S. and for only $4,950 take a Zero-G thrill ride and feel weightless like an astronaut about twelve to fifteen times.

The experience is up to you, but in order to live life you have to experience what life has to offer. So whatever your personal thrill is? Go ahead and take the plunge, dive, or step on the gas. But no matter what you do, experience it firsthand. Don’t listen to somebody else’s stories, tell your own!

 

Making technology smarter through wireless & Bluetooth

Why are wires and basic necessary items so hated? Everything from telephones to headphones are now wireless and employ the latest in Bluetooth and Smart technology. Yes, Beats by Dre are wireless too now. Even though those bright red cables are the attraction sometimes it’s easier without them. Most of your home is wireless, and if it isn’t it soon will be. Watching TV from your computer required an HDMI cable connected to both. Now for only $35 Chromecast by Google lets you watch what you have on your phone, tablet, or laptop wirelessly on your TV. No need to find the right wires and ports anymore. Just plug once and play always.

Everything is now connected through Bluetooth or a mobile app to make life a lot simpler and easier. Connect it once and set it up. Then it will automatically connect when in range. That goes for your house, car, and personal technology. People nowadays can operate most of their house with a smartphone and a perfect example of that is the Kevo by Kwikset. A deadbolt door lock that works with your smartphone without having to use an actual key when entering and leaving the house. We also now have smart appliances like the ones LG produces for the home that include washers, dryers, ovens, and a fridge. Our lives are built around the phrase “Smart”. Smart phones, smart keys, smart gear, smart cars. But is relying on all this technology in the end so smart? It is the trend that is leading the world and its industries. Who knows how smart this technology and trend can actually get, or will it one day make up our daily routines for us?

 

 

New Samsung Galaxy NotePro – 12.2 inches!

First there were laptops that were portable, then came the Kindle and e-readers. Soon after the IPad emerged, and to compete, Samsung developed the Galaxy tablet. The battle raged on for years between the tablets market always one upping each other. Becoming bigger, brighter, and faster than before. Now Samsung has pulled ahead again with its new Galaxy Note Pro. The newest version in Samsung’s arsenal will feature a 12.2 inch screen with a 4 million pixel display and an enhanced multi-window viewing ability. Now you can view four screens at once without having to toggle between apps. So you can watch your favorite show while live tweeting about it. You can book your vacation while looking at the reviews and watching videos while planning your trip itinerary all at once. And you though multi-tasking wouldn’t be fun.

Just because bigger and brighter isn’t the only thing we like, the NotePro also comes with Samsung’s S Pen, the tablets own stylus. Powered by the new Android 4.4 KitKat OS is what makes the NotePro go, for work and play. It’s built for speed, for business, for fun and for anything in between so whether you or your kids are using it, everyone will have a heck of a time.

The 12.2 inch screen is the size of some ultra-books, all while being lighter and more portable. With its on screen keyboard and S Pen, there is no need for anything else. Type, write, scribble, or just draw, it can all be done on your lap.

How big, bright and powerful can these tablets get, before they aren’t tablets anymore? How much more can they evolve to make the user experience more productive and enjoyable at the same time? We will just have to see what comes out next.

Hat’s off to you: The 3 essential spring styles

Since spring officially started it’s time to put away those winter hats and take out our spring caps. Now is the perfect time to start dressing down your suit on the weekends and weeknights, all at the drop of a hat. Celebrities and stars have been wearing their hats throughout the year with the winter beanie to keep warm, and the fedora’s to add a little flash and a dress down look for their suits. Pharrell brought the hat trend back with his Mountain hat and it seems like it will live on this spring. As popular as a fedora is both in everyday life and accessory heaven, there are plenty of styles that will look and feel just as stylish.

The fedora is the main hat trend that everyone seems to enjoy. Usually made from soft felt with a lengthwise crease at the crown with “pinches” at the fronts and also includes a band. The width of the brim usually varies by the style of the hat itself. The trilby is a style that closely resembles the fedora but usually has a narrower brim. It does the same job and looks almost the same as the previous it just depends on the brim size you are comfortable with. These hats do come in various materials that include wool, felt, straw and with bands that are made from satin, leather with some including bow ties, and feather accessories. A fedora or a trilby hat can be worn both with a suit to dress it down, or with a t-shirt and jeans combo to give a little flare to the basic look. Choose the color and material to either downplay the formal look or add some spark and color to your everyday style.

Another fashion staple that’s been brought back recently and is a more casual spring hat style is the flat cap. Often associated with a newsboy cap and driving cap. This is an artistic style hat that is usually made from tweed, wool and various other cotton materials often with subtle colors and patterns. A lot of celebrities like Ne-Yo are major hat wearers and the hat like any accessory adds a touch of street wear style and a dress down vibe. These hats are used more with the casual looks than with anything else, to accessorize a trouser and shirt pairing or jeans with cardigans.

Nothing says relaxed more than a baseball cap though. The ultimate in the relaxed look and feel department. It will immediately downplay any look you have and automatically gives the impression of a chilled dude just hanging out enjoying the game or the day. It is the most versatile hat because it can be worn with anything but a suit. Unless an ultimate statement is what you want to make then try and wear it with a suit and see what happens. But don’t say you weren’t warned ahead of time.

A hat is that extra item that will always make you stand apart from the crowd. It’s your personal style accessory that can be worn anytime and with anything. There are no rules for when you should wear it, just rules for when you shouldn’t. Think of the hat as head’s identity. It’s who you are and want to be, so why not uncover your style by covering your head?

CoSTUME NATIONAL – Milan Men’s Fall/Winter 2014-15

Relaxed professional is the theme that came to mind while looking at this collection. Consisting of loose fitting and elongated suits, trousers and coats all in different colors, fabrics and patterns. The relaxed professional look usually involves wearing a blazer and trousers with a dress shirt or a turtleneck sweater with dress shoes or boots. This is exactly how the models were dressed. Long relaxed trousers with blazers and either button up shirts with no ties or turtleneck sweaters.

The sweater patterns and designs is what truly gave the relaxed look. Having a short mohair/angora crew neck sweater in an ombre style pattern that starts with a purple cable knit chest and neck then blends into a navy blue waist and finally becomes indigo at the bottom. A sweater made for any occasion that can fit with most color combinations. Various other relaxed business suits were shown like a black double breasted two piece suit with blue and eggplant colored wide stripes which was worn under an oversized blazer of the same style giving the impression of it being a coat. On one hand there is no way to go wrong with mixing white and black and there is definitely a way to go right. The two most different and contrasting colors possible. White is an absence of color, and black is formed when all the colors are mixed together. Showing a white shearling motorcycle jacket with a left button flap patch pocket, a right zippered pocket and vertical epaulets at the hem of the jacket. Giving a relaxed look to an otherwise professional style. When not taking life too seriously we opt for non-traditional fabrics, patterns and colors. This was showcased by three items that stole the show for me. The first was a black two piece shawl collar suit with flap pockets and wrist accents all made from leather. The second was a red blazer paired with red pants, a sateen orange shirt with black shoes, and the final item that spoke to me and said non-conforming to the everyday suit was a black loose fit blazer and pants combination with a white pattern that resembles the feeling when you look into the crystal ocean from above and see the sun reflecting the water in a honeycomb type pattern. Relaxed professional is a style that should be worn more often. We have to live life, being bland and ordinary just makes us fit into the crowd when we should be standing out from it with our personal style.

 

 

 

Williams-Martini Racing join for 2014 F1 circuit

Williams and Martini joined forced in the worldly popular Formula 1 racing circuit. The Williams team is one of the top racing teams in the top echelon of F1 competitions. By joining with Martini on a sponsorship deal brings the Martini name back into the racing circles. “We are thrilled to welcome MARTINI to the Williams family and officially launch WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING,” said Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal, Williams. “Williams and MARTINI share a rich history in the world of motorsport, and the values of our two brands and our shared passion for racing make this partnership a natural fit. It will be great to see the distinctive stripes of MARTINI Racing return to Formula One once again in unison with Williams.” Their new car will also be a first and it will be the Mercedes Benz FW36, with the iconic Martini racing stripes on both the car and the driver’s suits.

The Williams Mercedes FW36 is one of the most technologically advanced Formula One cars produced by Williams. It is the culmination of years of research and development by the team’s technical departments and it incorporates the power unit from the team’s new partner, Mercedes-Benz. The new engine is a brand new fully integrated hybrid engine as opposed to partial hybrid of previous versions and will be the first eight speed gearbox in Williams’ history.
The drivers for the newly formed Williams Martini Racing team will be headed by Felipe Massa a Brazilian born driver with over ten years of experience who most recently driven for the Ferrari racing team and has race wins at the French, European and Brazilian Grand Prix events. He will be joined by Valtteri Bottas a Finnish born driver who started his Formula racing career in 2007 and is with the Williams racing team since 2012.

The WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING-branded FW36 car made its race debut on March 16, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia, kicking off the 2014 F1 season and the next race upcoming race for this newly formed Williams Martini Team is March 28, 2014 in Malaysia for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

 

Williams Martini Racing Team Launch
Williams Martini Racing Team Launch

Pharrell and Adidas unite for a “Happy” collection!

Pharrell, the Grammy winning singer and producer is now Adidas’ newest collaborator on their adidas Originals product line. Pharrell who is behind the worldly phenomenon and currently one of the most popular songs “Happy” will join Adidas with his own textile company Bionic Yarn which manufactures sewing yarn from recycled plastic bottles. Bionic Yarn is also partnering with “The Vortex Project” which is a global initiative to remove the plastic debris from various vortexes formed in the oceans around the world. According to the Vortex Project’s website, their goal is to “clean up shorelines and oceans, boost new technologies and turn ocean plastic into smart consumer products to create funding and awareness.” Including Pharrell’s quote “wear the responsibility for the oceans.”

Both sides feel great about the partnership, Dirk Schoenberger, the global creative director for Adidas’ sport style division stated “Williams is a pop-culture icon that never fails to inspire, not just through his musical talent and craft, but through his many other interests. He is the perfect fit for the multifaceted company that is Adidas.” According to Pharrell “Working with an iconic brand like adidas is such an incredible opportunity. From the classic track suit, to growing up in Virginia wearing Stan Smiths, adidas has been a staple in my life. Their pieces are timeless. This is an exciting partnership for both me and for Bionic Yarn.”

This will be the first time that Adidas has collaborated with a designer who had their own textile company as Pharrell does. Their previous collaborations include the likes of Yohji Yamamoto, and TopShop and others who currently produce Originals collections for Adidas like Opening Ceremony and Porsche Design. Adidas announced their partnership on March 27, 2014 via Twitter stating that “Pharrell gear drops in summer” and a teaser of the collection is visible on the adidas Originals YouTube channel.

In an interview with WWD Williams stated that “Adidas is giving me a great opportunity to develop products which I love and will also be using Bionic Yarn and is more of a partnership than a collaboration as we look to work together for the next few years,”. Pharrell also stated that “It’s my line so it comes from my heart and mind,” he said. “I’m taking this very seriously. [It’s for] basically everyone. [I’m] not doing this for any specific demographic; I hate being put in a category anyway.”

This is a new move for both Adidas and Pharrell in the sense that their collaboration or partnership as Pharrell calls it, is indirectly partnering with a global initiative to try and clean up the world’s ocean debris. Pharell is also working with G-Star denim and creating a denim that is made up of his Bionic Yarn material, and according to the Bionic Yarn website “G-Star and Bionic Yarn have joined forces to create a denim collection made in part with recycled plastic materials retrieved from the world’s oceans and shores. Available at G-Star Raw stores worldwide and online beginning Aug. 15.”

The Bionic Yarn webpage has two key phrases. One being “Stronger Thread. Greater Good” when explaining his yarn material and the other being “Let’s reap more from what we sew.” It’s not enough to just talk and preach about being environmentally and earth conscious, something has to be done about it. Pharrell is doing just that while building his own conglomerate empire. Doing good doesn’t have to come at an expense and now you can see how it can actually be profitable.

2014 Tribeca Film Festival is almost here !

Robert De Niro’s post 9/11 community combining film festival, the “Tribeca Film Festival” which is presented by AT&T will take place from April 16 – 27, 2014. It will be the 13th Annual event and the festival is not like any other major movie screening either. It’s a combination of Comic Con, a movie premiere, and panel discussions rolled into one. Anyone and everyone who has a love for film and the industry comes here to support. Including fans and regular movie goers, with Hollywood actors and actresses being involved as well.

This year the festival will again feature the Heineken “Green Room Sessions.” According to the TFF website “after each show, audiences will have the unique opportunity to mingle and talk with the creative people (directors, actors, producers and assorted crew members) behind the film in a venue near the theater.” You just have to bring your ticket stub from the corresponding screening and a valid ID. After all, it is sponsored by Heineken, so there will be beer there and you have to be 21 to be there too.

If you want to meet the major A-list celebrities then you will have to check out the “Tribeca Talks” series which is sponsored by HBO, Barnes & Noble and will feature discussions with director Ron Howard, Lee Daniels, Alec Baldwin, and Michael Douglas among many others. The program includes in-depth discussions with those various panelists so you will hear how they achieved their films, and what made everything happened among other behind the scenes type events.

April 21-26, 2014 will be part of the “Tribeca Innovation Week.” It will be a place for gamers, coders, hackers, screenwriters, futurists, directors, financiers and anyone who has a story to tell. One of the included events will be the “Disruptive Innovation Awards”. “Tribeca Film Festival and the Disruptor Foundation in association with Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen, father of disruptive innovation theory, presents its Fifth Annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards to recognize disruptors and disruption of major consequence across a broad section of traditional and non-traditional domains.” This event will take place on Friday April 25th at 11:00am, in the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

One of the more unique concepts is the “Tribeca Hacks” event where according to the TFF website “for two days during the Tribeca Film Festival, established filmmakers will unite with innovative technologists and designers to imagine and invent new possibilities for storytelling in an increasingly mobile world. Join the participants and other Festival VIPs at an exclusive finale party to glimpse the future imagined via these groundbreaking creative collaborations.”

The best part of the event which of course is saved for last and towards the end of the festival. It’s called “Film For All Friday” and according to the festival’s press center “The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) announces that AT&T, the new presenting sponsor, has created FILM FOR ALL FRIDAY – where individual tickets to all film screenings on Friday, April 25 will be FREE.” So go ahead and catch a movie, or take in the whole eleven day event. No matter how you do it, come out and support the local film community.

The future S-Class: The 2015 S-Class Coupe

Mercedes-Benz just pushed another envelope over the edge of excitement and exhilaration by introducing their 2015 S-Class Coupe, a two-door sporty model of their flagship S-Class sedan. Why take a perfect car and “Coupe” it up? Because that’s what the people want. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class continues to be the world’s best-selling luxury sedans. According to Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, in February, 6,985 units of the sedan were sold around the world, more than twice as much as in the same month of the previous year. The same occurred for their E-Class model. What started as a four-door sedan eventually transitioned into also being a coupe, a convertible, as well as a wagon version. As any great company does, you meet the market’s demand and as any breakthrough company does also, if there isn’t any demand, then you go ahead and create the demand and the market yourself.

The S-Class Coupe which premiered at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show is being called by Mercedes-Benz “an aesthetic, exclusive high-end coupe” and “the dream car that was just a dream, until now.” The car will come powered by a 4MATIC 4.7L V8 Bi-turbo engine producing 449 horsepower. It will also include driving features like the world’s first active curve tilting which enables the car to lean into bends and curves like a motorcyclist or skier, thus reducing the lateral acceleration on the passengers and driver so they sit more firmly and comfortably throughout the ride, which is part of the MAGIC BODY CONTROL, the first “suspension with eyes.” It works by scanning the road and if the scan detects unevenness, it slightly adjusts the active suspension to deal with the road condition. “You almost glide over the road, as if you are on a flying carpet” explains Stefan Cytrynski the project manager who is responsible for the feature.

According to their press release, “sensual purity as an expression of modern luxury – this was the focus for the designers, and the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The aim is to create clear contours and smooth surfaces that showcase high tech while radiating emotional appeal. Mercedes-Benz creates a bridge between modernity and avant-garde, between tradition and progressivism.” The cars exterior will feature the long hood with a dropping line and the iconic three-pointed star and one louvre on the grill. The headlights will be full-LED headlamps and include a unique optional addition of having 47 Swarovski crystals. The taillights will come with two horizontal rows of LED lights and look similar to their most expensive model the SLR and the SLS coupe.

The interior will feature an array of state or the art luxury and technological options while at the same time embody the ultimate in luxury by utilizing some of the best leather and craftsmanship known in the car industry. Having options that include Nappa designo leather with diamond backstitching patterns gives both a sporty look and a luxury feel to the car and the design. The high-tech dashboard will also have a two-part wide-screen display placed in what they call a “hovering” position in front of the trim surface. As an option a heads up display is available and will bring all the important information to the driver’s direct field by projection the vehicle speed, navigation instructions, and any important driver assistance system messages onto the windshield on an 8 inch by 3 inch virtual display appearing to float around 6 feet away above the hood. To add to the technology factor, the interior includes a touchpad that operates the head-unit and as on a smartphone the touchpad allows it to be operated using finger gestures while also being able to handwrite letters, number and special characters using one of the head-units languages. Combining both luxury and technology one of the more unique features of both the interior and the exterior is the “MAGIC SKY CONTROL” panorama roof. This new roof allows the user to switch the transparency from light to dark, so when light the roof is almost completely transparent giving an open-air experience and when dark less than one percent of light comes through. Adding a touch of elegance to the interior there are is also an ambient lighting feature that includes seven different colors of LED ambient lights that you can choose from. Not at the dealership when you purchase the car, but when you finally drive it home, you can have it light up in any of the colors, and switch it whenever you feel and are in the mood for something different. It’s not your basic beige and dimmed cream, you have the options of red, violet, teal and others to decide between wherever you decide to go. Pair that with their Burmester 3D surround sound system and you will have the ride of your life every time you decide to drive.

The new 2015 S-Class Coupe will be a welcoming addition to the flagship S-Class sedan line that is already considered one of the most luxurious vehicles in the world. It will be another option for consumers to choose when deciding on their next dream car. This car is a dream car, taking the luxury from the class leading S-Class, and adding a sporty feel by making it a coupe. You have to wonder if this is just the beginning of a Coupe revolution for the masses. Coupes are becoming sedans, but more so than not sedans are transforming into coupes. An S-550 sedan features options like a reclining passenger seat, so you can be driven around in comfort and style, but with this new coupe version set to hit the market, you will want to jump into the driver’s seat yourself and never get out.

It’s All In The Bag – A Guide to Men’s Bags and Functions

The bag has been usually synonymous with a purse, an over the shoulder object that women wear. But guys had to sometimes carry it if the woman had too much other more important items to hold on to like her shopping, which the guys would then swap in an exchange for the bag leaving them with hands full of shopping bags that outweighed their workout dumbbells. During all that carrying, how much of the man’s stuff was in any of those bags? Probably a miniscule amount if any. Then a revolution came and man saw the light realizing that an over the shoulder bag is much easier and more convenient to carry and pack than the standard one or two handle old fashioned briefcase and thus man’s bag varieties were born.

The most professional and business appropriate bag, isn’t really a bag at all. It is still a modern briefcase and attaché. A new variation that still features clasp closures, the new style is to have them on the outside usually with a flap or buckle. The new styles also feature zipper closures with a shoulder strap for an easy carry experience and a top handle for a traditional carrying style. Instead of having a large open rectangular section with an inside pocket, the new styles come divided into sections for your documents, laptops, and also come with both inside and outer slip pockets for your everyday non-essential documents and extras. Business is always changing and we have to adapt to the new ways business get done. Changing our briefcase should be part of the job requirements to stay up to date in all the phases of our lives.

A slightly more casual appearing bag to the eye, yet many times is just as functional as a briefcase and usually less expensive is the messenger bag. A more street wear designed bag and fits in more with the youth and college crowd because of its practicality. Still with a large interior laptop/documents section, interior pockets for the pens and work accessories, these bags usually feature an outside pocket that is either zippered or hidden below a flap for those times you need to reach for something quickly and not have to take the entire bag off your shoulder.

 

The all-purpose bag to use every day whether you are carrying your gym clothes or going away for a couple of days or the weekend is the duffle bag. Which is also called a weekender bag. This is the biggest and most versatile bag of the bunch because it has the most uses and can accommodate as little or as much as needed. It usually consists of one main center compartment with small side pockets for the small but necessary items. The bulk of the items is meshed together in the center. Enough to fit your work items and a change of clothing if necessary and are layered properly. Though these are more for the non-executive files because they could bend or wrinkle and nobody wants to sign non-polished looking paperwork, it would just be a disgrace. For all your other needs this style of bag will work wonders. It is easy to carry because it has handles, an over the shoulder strap, a zipper closure and you won’t have to worry about over stuffing it because there in ample room for whatever you might need. Unless you’re going away for a week or a month, then you are better off with a piece of luggage.

The tote bag is the median between all the bag styles. It has modern look and feel to it and has enough room and function to carry the casual items that are needed for the day. It isn’t something that can really carry business documents, even though they can fit, it was not designed for that type of work. It is for the everyday stuff like magazines, a tablet, a folded newspaper and other daily accessories and items that a guy would carry with him. A bag that belongs more on the beach than in a boardroom, but has the functionality for both. Usually consisting of just carrying handles or straps, tote’s have an interior center all-inclusive pocket with smaller interior pockets. The bag has a casual style because of its easy open design and layout where most of the items can be thrown in, with the case of packing for the beach, then most of the items will be taken out regardless. A great bag to have nonetheless, it has a modern and fashionable style with a lot of casual usefulness.

A small ultra-sleek and trendy version of a messenger bag is the hobo bag. Primarily used to carry only the little things like a tablet or the essentials, it’s perfect for the person on the go and will be able to hold the necessities, keeping the handles clean and free. Not much else could fit into the bag, but to carry the important tech and gear this will surely do the job. Plus it also creates a modern fashion statement and exudes confidence without taking away any of your masculinity. It only adds to the modern FashionMR look and style.

Whether moving around the city or traveling out of state, being prepared is of the utmost importance both in business and style. Knowing how to carry yourself and your belongings is just as important. With these bag styles a FashionMR will always have the upper hand in dealing with anything that comes his way with work, play, or anything in between because he will always be ready to take on everything and have the right style to do so. You wouldn’t travel to Antarctica without the right equipment and belongings? Then why not carry your stuff in the right modern trendsetting bag of your choosing?

Cash and Credit – How the fashionmister can carry them in Style

Not long ago or maybe it was long ago, every man was carrying a tri-fold wallet containing all of their personal belongings. It was all your files packed into a couple of tiny compartments. The ID’s had their own clear section, the credit and debit cards had their own section, the cash had its own section, and the receipts combined other useless papers that we managed to scrap up during the week were falling out of their own section. The times changed, receipts started to be emailed, cards were being accepted in more and more places, and now sometimes we don’t even have to take out our wallet to pay. We can use our smartphones and a variety of payment apps.
Just like payment processing and fashion trends have been evolving, the wallet you carry and what’s inside should evolve as well. There are however lots of choices regarding the what, and how to carry your necessary cards, cash, and ID’s.

One of the main options is the Bi-fold wallet. It has become a go-to for those of us who decided to slim down a bit from the pocket bulging tri-fold style of yesteryear. The more modern bi-fold design usually features six card slots which can accommodate your bank, credit, store cards, ID’s and has either a single or a double billfold compartment for your necessary cash. Some versions are also equipped with an attached money clip in the middle and center so the cash is waving side to side like pages in a new book. If only you could open up your favorite book and find money in it. The bi-fold wallets do have vertical versions which are just as practical, but have a different orientation of the same design to give the owner another level of comfort when choosing what suits them best.

The cardholder is another even slimmer option to carry what you need. It is an ultra slim design with no folds or extra compartments. Usually consisting of three to six card slots for your everyday necessity cards and ID’s with an open center where if needed you can keep a couple of emergency bills. This cardholder does not take up a large amount of space in any of your pockets and it’s a sleek version wallet style for the ultra-trendy.

Going truly modern, the money clip is the sleekest carrying accessory of them all. It is also the least formal. It does do the job it’s designed for, you can put your cash, cards and ID’s into the clip, and it will take up less pocket space than any other item, it’s when it comes out, that it can be a mess and make the wrong statement. On the other hand it can also make the exact statement you want by being the contemporary and style accessory that this generation uses. If our cards are on our phones already, the only thing we really need is a money clip. At the end of the day, we really only need to carry one ID, one or two cards, and some cash. The money clip has more than enough space for those couple of items. It will even leave extra pocket space for the car keys, if they aren’t already the smart keys which could stay in your pocket the entire time you open, drive and lock the vehicle itself.

Ultimately, the choice is yours with these carrying necessities to take you into the modern times of life and style. Most of the options come in a variety of different leathers that include soft, calfskin, and reptilian skins with each brands unique logo’s and designs and have different stitching and color combinations. You just have to choose what suits you best, carry it proud and take it out to show it off when necessary.

Ferragamo cardholder front
Ferragamo cardholder front
Ferragamo cardholder
Ferragamo cardholder
MontBlanc money clip
MontBlanc money clip

 

Magnetic Money Clip
Magnetic Money Clip

 

 

Giorgio Armani Pebbled Leather Card Holder
Giorgio Armani
Pebbled Leather Card Holder

 

Bosca 'Hugo Bosca - Old Leather' Trifold Wallet
Bosca
‘Hugo Bosca – Old Leather’ Trifold Wallet