CGAP Announces Winners of 2013 Photo Contest

Images provided by CGAP

Photographers from over 90 countries made this the most competitive year for the CGAP Photo Contest, which just finished its eighth consecutive competition. The winner of the 2013 CGAP Photo Contest is Truong Minh Dien of Vietnam. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor works toward a world in which everyone has CGAP LOGOaccess to the financial services they need to improve their lives. CGAP develops innovative solutions for financial inclusion through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders. Established in 1995 and housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to advance poor people’s access to finance. Their global network of members includes over 30 development agencies, private foundations, and national governments that share a common vision of improving the lives of poor people with better access to finance.

“Rainy Afternoon” by Truong Minh Dine, Vietnam. Grand Prize. A woman transports potatoes to a local market. Her earnings help feed two children and her husband.

“Rainy Afternoon” by Truong Minh Dine, Vietnam. Grand Prize. A woman transports potatoes to a local market. Her earnings help feed two children and her husband.

The annual CGAP Photo Contest aims to highlight stand-out professional and amateur photographers depicting financial inclusion around the world. Through strong photography, CGAP showcases the different ways in which poor households manage their financial lives and how financial inclusion can make the lives of people at the base of the economic pyramid better.

''Paperman'' by Md Farhad Rahman, Bangladesh. Second Prize. This man earns an income selling daily papers in a railway station. Selling papers is a common form of self-employment in Bangladesh

”Paperman” by Md Farhad Rahman, Bangladesh. Second Prize. This man earns an income selling daily papers in a railway station. Selling papers is a common form of self-employment in Bangladesh

A panel of four judges selected Dien’s photo, “Rainy Afternoon,” out of a record number of 3,890 entries from professional and amateur photographers in 91 countries. The 2013 panel of judges consisted of Suzanne Lemakis, Director of the Department of Fine Art at Citigroup, Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, the 2010 CGAP Photo Contest winner and professional photographer from Bangladesh, Stelios Varias of Reuters, and Indira Williams, the senior manager of visual resources at the Newseum.

''Brick Worker'' by Moksumul Haque, Bangladesh. Regional Winner, South Asia. A private enterprise worker is working at a brick field. Small businesses create new jobs for many poor people.

”Brick Worker” by Moksumul Haque, Bangladesh. Regional Winner, South Asia. A private enterprise worker is working at a brick field. Small businesses create new jobs for many poor people.

The winning photo depicts a woman transporting potatoes to a local market in Vietnam during a downpour. The woman’s earnings help feed her husband and two children. The 2013 Grand Prize is a $2,000 gift certificate for photography equipment.

The judging panel appreciated “Rainy Afternoon” for the way it thoughtfully depicted the resilience of low-income entrepreneurs in Vietnam. “The photo really captured a great moment,” said Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, the 2010 CGAP Photo Contest Winner and guest judge for 2013.

In addition to the compelling story behind the winning image, the judges felt that it was technically excellent. “It takes a disciplined photographer to step back and take a picture like this,” said Stelios Varias, a senior photographer and editor from Thomson Reuters and one of the four judges. “It’s incredibly hard to get a good shot in the rain.”

A Woman Painting

A Woman Painting

Camel Trader, India. Microfinance plays a big role in this camel trader’s life. He has recieved a loan to trade and buy camels at the Puskhar Fair. Photo by Rabin Chakrabarti

Camel Trader, India. Microfinance plays a big role in this camel trader’s life. He has recieved a loan to trade and buy camels at the Puskhar Fair. Photo by Rabin Chakrabarti

East Asia and Pacific Regional Winner: The Gold Life (Vietnam) This beautiful area used to be the Panduranga capital of the Ancient Champa Kingdom. These women cross the sand dunes to the beach for fishing every morning. Photo by Vo Chi Trung

East Asia and Pacific Regional Winner: The Gold Life (Vietnam) This beautiful area used to be the Panduranga capital of the Ancient Champa Kingdom. These women cross the sand dunes to the beach for fishing every morning. Photo by Vo Chi Trung

The Washerman, India. After washing, cloths are laid down for drying, ultimately to be sold to help this man earn an income. Photo by Rabin Chakrabarti

The Washerman, India. After washing, cloths are laid down for drying, ultimately to be sold to help this man earn an income. Photo by Rabin Chakrabarti

The judges also selected 28 other photos from around the world as regional winners, finalists, and special mentions, which were chosen for both technical excellence and depiction of the stories and faces behind financial inclusion.  Of particular note was the South Asia regional winner, “Brick Worker,” submitted by Moksumul Haque of Bangladesh. The photo captures bricks tossed in mid-air, leaving the viewer wondering what happened immediately after the picture was taken.

Double Curve

Double Curve

Latin America and Caribbean Regional Winner: Men and Oranges (Brazil) The São Joaquim Market is the largest flea market in the city of Salvador and more traditional for the low-income population. It is the main distributor of clay handicrafts, products to Candomblé rituals, plus fruits, vegetables, meat, clothes, and other products. Here, workers are supplying a truck with oranges that will be distributed to other regions. Photo by Luiz Grillo

Latin America and Caribbean Regional Winner: Men and Oranges (Brazil) The São Joaquim Market is the largest flea market in the city of Salvador and more traditional for the low-income population. It is the main distributor of clay handicrafts, products to Candomblé rituals, plus fruits, vegetables, meat, clothes, and other products. Here, workers are supplying a truck with oranges that will be distributed to other regions. Photo by Luiz Grillo

The Microsmile, Uganda. This woman is on the way to a weekly meeting with other members of a community-managed savings group. Photo by Oddvar Paulsen

The Microsmile, Uganda. This woman is on the way to a weekly meeting with other members of a community-managed savings group. Photo by Oddvar Paulsen

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Grace Hotels Opens Grace Cafayate, Argentina

Images provided the Grace Hotel Group

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Grace Hotels (www.gracehotels.com), the privately owned luxury boutique hotel group, announced the official opening of the latest addition to its portfolio, Grace Cafayate, a hotel, spa and residential villas development located in the Salta province of north west Argentina. Marking the group’s first hotel opening in Latin America, Grace Cafayate lies high in Argentina’s Calchaqui Valley, famed for its spectacular backdrop of The Andes and for some of the finest wines South America has to offer.

Situated on La Estancia de Cafayate, an exclusive golf, equestrian and residential estate, the hotel comprises 52 elegantly appointed rooms and suites within the hotel’s main building and its 20 residential villas. Each villa features two bedrooms with large en-suite bathrooms, dressing room, living room with an integrated kitchen, cellar and fireplace, plus outdoor hot tub, terrace and grill. Villas can be occupied as one-bedroom or two-bedroom suites. The architecture throughout the development draws inspiration from local traditions. Continue reading

Durex and MTV Launch Global Sex-Ed Project for World Aids Day

#SOMEONELIKEME: A GLOBAL CONVERSATION ABOUT SEX, SEXUAL HEALTH AND A WORLD FREE FROM HIV

FOR WORLD AIDS DAY 2013, DUREX AND THE MTV STAYING ALIVE FOUNDATION LAUNCH 3 YEAR GLOBAL INITIATIVE

Launch film preview http://youtu.be/yMcVsfEYoj8

Reckitt Benckiser’s power brand Durex has partnered with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to launch ‘Someone Like Me , a global campaign for young people to revolutionize their own sex education and, ultimately, to take action to help shape a world free from HIV.

The MTV STAYING ALIVE FOUNDATION is an international content-producing and grant-giving organization dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV among young people. The Foundation creates and distributes challenging and entertaining HIV prevention content across MTV channels and with third-party broadcasters, while finding and funding young leaders who are tackling the HIV epidemic in their own communities.

To date, MTV STAYING ALIVE FOUNDATION programming has reached 100% of the top 50 countries affected by HIV, and has awarded 429 grants in 63 countries around the world, distributing nearly $4.5 million to grassroots HIV prevention projects. The MTV Staying Alive Foundation is registered as a UK charity and as a 501c3 charitable organization in the US. For more information log onto http://stayingalivefoundation.org

Over the course of a 3-year campaign, ‘Someone Like Me’ aims to break down the myths and barriers that confine sex education by starting a global conversation about sex, sexual health, and sex education – a conversation that says, ‘you are not alone’, that ‘someone like me’ has the same questions, worries and concerns  about sex as you do. With young people talking about sex, their experiences, opinions and worries openly, the HIV-prevention message will be integrated into the conversation as the campaign progresses.

‘Someone Like Me’ will directly target the preconception that HIV is not relevant, with messaging highlighting that HIV could (and does) happen to ‘someone like me’. We will encourage young people to engage with the provocative statement, ‘someone like me’, to share it, and to use it to make their own positive change towards a world free from HIV.

The campaign will launch across global digital channels targeting young audiences wherever they socialize and connect. MTV SAF and Durex aim to build the http://www.someonelikeme.tv hub in to the world’s largest peer generated content hub on sex, sexual health, and sex education. Over the three year campaign period, MTV SAF and Durex will also populate the website with a global crew of young people from around the world who will submit video diaries with their views and stories.

Throughout November, the campaign will feature prominently on Durex and MTV Social Channels and paid media, with social hooks aimed at stimulating the conversation and creating awareness. From the 25th November, the Someone Like Me documentary, ‘My Sex Life and Everyone Else’s’, will air on MTV globally.

Then on Saturday the 30th November, WORLD AIDS DAY CELEBRATIONS will be held in 7 countries around the world to drive the campaign message and celebrate change. The celebrations will commence in Sydney, then Shanghai, Singapore, Moscow, Berlin, Mexico City and ending in Bogota, Colombia.

Georgia Arnold – Executive Director MTV Staying Alive Foundation noted, For the past 15 years, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation has worked tirelessly to influence positive sexual behavior among young people around the world in creative and innovative ways. At MTV SAF, we believe that this generation will change the course of the HIV epidemic, and are thrilled to be partnering with Durex on a campaign that will empower young people to do just that.”

Volker Sydow – Durex Global Category Director, Reckitt Benckiser added, Sexual health and sexual wellbeing are at the core of our organizations; MTV SAF and Durex have a shared vision to improve sexual health for young people around the world and the energy, commitment and passion to make that happen. With ‘#someonelikeme’ we are excited to provide to young people around the world a new and revolutionary platform to speak up, sharing their stories and fundamentally driving change for them to experience in their lifetime an HIV-free generation.”

McLAREN GT Reveals More Details About The Track-Bred 12C GT Sprint

Following its global debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren GT has now confirmed the 12C GT Sprint ,the latest model from the GT racing arm of the McLaren Group that has been developed and optimised exclusively for the race track, will be priced at GBP £195,000*.

McLaren 12C GT Sprint

McLaren 12C GT Sprint

The 12C GT Sprint has been designed and built by McLaren GT, in close consultation with the team at McLaren Automotive, and retains many of the unique systems from the 12C road car, on which it is based. Groundbreaking technologies and systems have been honed, including Brake Steer and the active McLaren Airbrake, while a recalibrated Proactive Chassis Control (PCC) system helps deliver a truly bespoke GT racing experience, which can be set to individual driver preference.

Power comes from the highly-efficient M838T 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 powerplant found in the 12C and 12C Spider, and generates 625PS, while the familiar seven speed twin clutch gearbox from the 12C is also retained. Optimised oil and cooling systems are unique to the track-focused racer.

The 12C GT Sprint is built around the 12C’s 75kg carbon fibre MonoCell chassis, but any unnecessary systems or creature comforts have been removed to keep weight to a minimum. The car features a number of components carried over from the successful 12C GT3 race car, including the FIA-approved safety roll cage, central cooling radiator and digital dash display.

Styling upgrades on the 12C GT Sprint follow the McLaren mantra of ‘form following function’, with each enhancement designed to optimize performance. Stability and dynamics are further enhanced through a drop in ride height of 40mm, while a more aggressive front bumper, GT3-inspired bonnet with radiator exit ducts and front wing louvres improve downforce and give a purposeful look. The highly effective track-focused braking system features GT race specification brake discs, which sit behind centre-locking 19-inch wheels, shod with Pirelli competition tires. As with the 12C GT3, an on-board air jacking system is fitted to aid tire changes.

Inside the cockpit, a fully adjustable HANS-approved, lightweight composite racing seat fitted with full six-point harness provides the optimum driving position, while an air-conditioning system is retained offering added comfort. An integrated fire extinguisher system is also installed.

Throughout the development programme, McLaren GT has worked with a strong pool of resource to develop and optimize the set up of the 12C GT Sprint. This has seen McLaren GT works drivers Rob Bell and Adam Carroll, McLaren Racing Young Driver Stoffel Vandoorne and McLaren Automotive chief test driver Chris Goodwin spending time in the cockpit, and covering in excess of 5,000 track kilometers at circuits across Europe and the Middle East, as well as extensive simulator work.

Commenting on the 12C GT Sprint programme, Chris Goodwin explained: ‘The 12C GT Sprint has been designed as a true track-focused racer, offering increased levels of downforce, grip and durable track performance. Retaining all of the innovative technology and characteristics of the 12C road car such as active aero, Brake Steer and the innovative PCC suspension system, dynamically, the 12C GT Sprint takes things to a new level with the addition of many race track specific features.

The 12C road car has universally acclaimed levels of drivability and cornering performance to compliment its phenomenal levels of power and torque. As a driver this potent combination just inspires confidence all the way round a lap and in the 12C GT Sprint, that lap is now considerably faster!’

Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director at McLaren GT added: ‘The 12C GT Sprint offers a true insight into GT car levels of performance, in terms of downforce and grip. The 12C is one of the most accomplished high performance sportscars ever built, and the enhancements featured on the 12C GT Sprint build on, and optimize, these abilities to create one of the most usable track cars available, with levels of performance that are truly and easily accessible.’

A range of options and packages are available through McLaren GT, each of which is designed to offer even greater levels of performance and individuality, with improved levels of downforce and further reduction in weight.  Upgrades include a bespoke carbon fibre rear wing and front splitter, and a lightweight polycarbonate windscreen. The 12C GT Sprint is presented as standard in historic McLaren Orange, but can be specified in any bespoke color, on request. The 12C GT Sprint is available from all official McLaren retailers worldwide or direct from McLaren GT.  Visit www.cars.mclaren.com to locate your nearest retailer.

Damien Hirst & Alexander McQueen Launches Scarf Collaboration, With Film By Sølve Sundsbø

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In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the skull scarf, Alexander McQueen presents an exclusive collaboration with Damien Hirst. The collection offers 30 unique designs exclusively available from Alexander McQueen boutiques and online at http://www.alexandermcqueen.com. The partnership seamlessly plays on the shared aesthetic vision of Hirst and McQueen, in which an interest in symmetrical design is combined with strong references to the natural world. Each artwork is adapted from Hirst’s Entomology series; butterflies, bugs, spiders and other insects have been worked into each scarf design to form kaleidoscopic geometric shapes, laid out to create the signature McQueen skull motif.

The collection offers 30 unique designs exclusively available from Alexander McQueen boutiques and online at alexandermcqueen.com became available starting  Friday 15th November

The Who – Miles Over Vegas New Viva Vision® Show Debuts at Fremont Street Experience

Features “My Generation,” “I Can See For Miles” and “Pinball Wizard”

Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience debuted its newest Viva Vision® show The Who – Miles Over Vegas on Thursday, Nov. 14. The new light and sound show is built around the music of legendary rock band The Who and includes three of the band’s most iconic songs – “I Can See for Miles,” “Pinball Wizard” and “My Generation” – custom synced to stunning graphics including live music footage, album art, performance footage and more. Viva Vision® shows air nightly and are free to the public.

Fremont Street Experience debuts its newest Viva Vision(R) show The Who - Miles Over Vegas in Downtown Las Vegas. The new light and sound show is built around the music of legendary rock band The Who and includes three of the band's most iconic songs - "I Can See for Miles," "Pinball Wizard" and "My Generation" - custom synced to stunning graphics including live music footage, album art, performance footage and more. The Who - Miles Over Vegas airs nightly at 10 p.m. as part of the ongoing Viva Vision(R) show schedule. Viva Vision(R) shows air nightly and are free to the public. www.vegasexperience.com.  (PRNewsFoto/Fremont Street Experience)

Fremont Street Experience debuts its newest Viva Vision(R) show The Who – Miles Over Vegas in Downtown Las Vegas. Viva Vision(R) shows air nightly and are free to the public. http://www.vegasexperience.com. (PRNewsFoto/Fremont Street Experience)

Fremont Street Experience, a five-block entertainment district located in historic downtown Las Vegas features Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen – 1,500 feet long, 90 feet wide and suspended 90 feet above the urban pedestrian mall. Viva Vision features nightly spectacular light and sounds shows with 12.5 million LED lights and a 550,000-watt sound system.

Viva Vision® features nightly free customized light shows synced to smash hits from legendary bands including: Bon Jovi – Wanted in Vegas, A Tribute to Queen, The Doors – Strange Days in Vegas and Heart – Crazy on Vegas. The LED display canopy rises 90 feet in height and stretches 1,500 feet along the Fremont Street Experience promenade from Main Street to Fourth Street. Within the canopy are 12.5 million LED lights and 208 speakers producing 550,000 watts of concert-quality sound.

Fremont Street Experience debuts its newest Viva Vision(R) show The Who - Miles Over Vegas in Downtown Las Vegas. The new light and sound show is built around the music of legendary rock band The Who and includes three of the band's most iconic songs - "I Can See for Miles," "Pinball Wizard" and "My Generation" - custom synced to stunning graphics including live music footage, album art, performance footage and more. The Who - Miles Over Vegas airs nightly at 10 p.m. as part of the ongoing Viva Vision(R) show schedule. Viva Vision(R) shows air nightly and are free to the public. www.vegasexperience.com.  (PRNewsFoto/Fremont Street Experience)

Fremont Street Experience debuts its newest Viva Vision(R) show The Who – Miles Over Vegas in Downtown Las Vegas. The new light and sound show is built around the music of legendary rock band The Who and includes three of the band’s most iconic songs – “I Can See for Miles,” “Pinball Wizard” and “My Generation” – custom synced to stunning graphics including live music footage, album art, performance footage and more. The Who – Miles Over Vegas airs nightly at 10 p.m. as part of the ongoing Viva Vision(R) show schedule. Viva Vision(R) shows air nightly and are free to the public. http://www.vegasexperience.com. (PRNewsFoto/Fremont Street Experience)

The new Viva Vision® show starts with “I Can See for Miles,” taking the viewer on a journey through the cosmos, eventually landing in Las Vegas. From there the screen, which is the world’s largest video screen and spans five football fields, is transformed into a giant pinball machine as balls roll up and down the street, reflecting the street scene below in “Pinball Wizard” and ends with a musical celebration set to pop-art graphics with “My Generation.”

Coinciding with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, the new show will be featured now through Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. with bonus shows at 1 a.m. on Nov. 15 and 16. Beginning Nov. 18, The Who – Miles Over Vegas will air nightly at 10 p.m. as part of the ongoing Viva Vision® show schedule.

We are excited at the opportunity to collaborate with one of rock’s most iconic bands for this new Viva Vision® show and the end result is sure to turn heads to the sky for an unparalleled visual experience,” said Jeff Victor, President at Fremont Street Experience.

The new show was announced earlier this year during a joint press conference with lead singer, Roger Daltrey and Fremont Street Experience President Jeff Victor. During the press conference Victor also presented Daltrey with a $5,000 donation to Teen Cancer America, a charity inspired by Daltrey and fellow band-mate Pete Townshend.

Fremont Street Experience is a one-of-a-kind venue that includes free nightly concerts and entertainment on three stages. With direct pedestrian access to 8 casinos, more than 60 restaurants and specialty retail kiosks, Fremont Street Experience attracts over 17 million annual visitors. Visit online at www.vegasexperience.com, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FSE89101 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/FSELV

McLaren Automotive Retains Award For ‘Best Super Car’ In The Middle East

The McLaren 12C Spider named ‘Best Super Car’ at Middle East Motor Awards 2013

The 12C Spider has upheld the honour for McLaren at this year’s Middle East Motor Awards, being named ‘Best Super Car’ and retaining the title for the brand. The award marks the second successive year McLaren has claimed the coveted title, following the success of the 12C last year. The 12C Spider was launched in the Middle East in 2012, and unlike many rivals, it offers the same levels of performance, handling and driver enjoyment as the fixed-roof 12C.

McLaren 12C Spider

McLaren 12C Spider

McLaren is celebrating 50 years of innovation and race-winning success in 2013.  Following the launch of the first McLaren Automotive retailer in the Middle East two years ago, the region has already established a loyal customer base and following of fans.  Since 2011, McLaren Automotive has opened eight retailers throughout the Middle East and Africa region, located in Manama, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Riyadh and Kuwait.

The Middle East Motor Awards are the region’s most prestigious automotive accolades, judged by a jury panel comprising 18 of the region’s most influential motoring journalists from nine countries. This is the second year a McLaren model has taken part in the awards and is the second year McLaren Automotive have received the ‘Best Super Car’ title after the victory by the 12C in 2012; this honour tops off a successful second year of sales across the world for the brand.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, organizer Saif Al Midfa, Director General of Expo Centre Sharjah: “The 12C Spider is a clear winner for ‘Best Super Car’. McLaren’s follow-up model is a stunning car and worthy of making the ultimate wish list for any automotive fan.”

Ian Gorsuch, Regional Director for Middle East and Africa said: “To win ‘Best Super Car’ award in the Middle East for the second year in a row is an amazing achievement, and is true testament to the groundbreaking models in our range, especially as McLaren Automotive only launched three years ago.”

It is a great reward for all the skilled and passionate designers and engineers back at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, and our retail partners who have worked incredibly hard to build the brand in the region. We’re looking forward to our next year, and are extremely excited about our imminent first deliveries to customers in the region of our next generation ultimate supercar, the McLaren P1™.”

McLaren Automotive is a British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports cars, located at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, Surrey. In the Middle East, the company’s regional head office is located in Bahrain, home to the company’s principal shareholder, Mumtalakat. The region has a network of highly qualified and experienced McLaren retailers, located in the Kingdom’s of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Following the company’s global launch in 2010, McLaren Automotive launched the groundbreaking 12C and 12C Spider and, in keeping with its plan to introduce a new model each year, recently unveiled the McLaren P1™.  The brand continues to expand, operating through a dedicated global network of retailers in every major automotive market.

Give Love with Gap This Holiday Season

Drawing Inspiration from Cultural Icons Dressed in Gap’s Holiday Collection, the Brand’s New Marketing Campaign Inspires People to Fill the World with Love

Gap’s global marketing campaign, “Make Love” focuses on giving and spreading love, hope and joy this holiday season. The campaign continues to build upon the idea of getting back to what matters most, which Gap introduced earlier this fall with its “Back to Blue” campaign.

Gap Holiday 2013 - TonyBennett

Gap Holiday 2013 – TonyBennett

For a few short weeks during the holidays, we become conscious of what matters most to us. It’s a time when moments turn into memories, experiences become traditions, and gifts become sentimental reminders that we’ll cherish for years to come,” said Seth Farbman, Gap’s Global Chief Marketing Officer. “Make Love is about giving love through action, whether it’s a service to others or a gift that’s a representation of love.”

The new campaign, which includes print, outdoor, direct mail, social and cinema plus new digital content daily, features an influential group of artists and activists who are using their creative talents to make a difference in the world.

Cultural Icons Sharing Love

Tony Bennett in a navy blazer and tapestry scarf, 87 years old and with so much joy to share, his music has inspired genres far and wide, while Cyndi Lauper, dressed in Gap’s classic leather moto jacket, and Billy Porter, wearing the men’s wool peacoat, remind us that acceptance is one of the best kinds of love through their work on the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots.

Alexandra and Philippe Cousteau, sharing the classic Rugby stripe scarf, carry on their long-standing family legacy by exploring the world and inspiring people everywhere to protect the environment, while actor and designer Waris Ahluwalia wearing Gap’s reversible puffer vest and illustrator filmmaker Quentin Jones in a cable turtleneck sweater, both make art together inspiring those around them.

Dressed in a red cable knit pull over sweater, actress Connie Britton and her son, Yoby, redefine what it means to be a family after a three-year international adoption process, while Ethan Bortnick, wearing a heather gray crewneck sweater, makes music history as the youngest pianist to ever headline a concert tour, raising $30 million to help people around the world.

Iconic singer Harry Belafonte and innovative musician Q-Tip, both wearing Gap men’s jackets, make peace together through a shared passion for the anti-violence movement, while model Kyleigh Kuhn, dressed in destructed jeans, makes possibilities for young women by putting her earnings toward schools she has founded for Afghan girls.

Giving Love Through Arts Education with Tony Bennett

As a brand for every generation, Gap brings together a few BRIGHT students with an icon who inspires them, 87 year-old legend Tony Bennett, in a series of short films that will be shared around the world starting today.

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A long-time supporter of arts education, the films feature Tony and five high school students, all of whom have benefited from Exploring the Arts, which Tony created with his wife Susan Benedetto. Exploring the Arts supports arts education in public high schools currently in New York and Los Angeles. Tony Bennett founded, in association with the NYC Department of Education, a state-of-the-art public high school, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, located in the singers hometown of Astoria, Queens, adjacent to the Kaufman Astoria Studios complex.

The films document the students’ once-in-a-lifetime experience as they were selected to perform the timeless hit, “The Best is Yet to Come,” with Tony.  Additionally, through a series of individual interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, the students share what the lyrics mean to them personally and how support from the Exploring the Arts program has changed their lives. The films help bring awareness and support for Exploring the Arts, and serve as a reminder of what’s important during the holidays.

Tony Bennett is a living American legend who exemplifies what it means to make love, not only through his timeless music and art, but also through a lifetime dedicated to giving young people a supportive environment to learn and express themselves,” added Farbman. “Gap is an American company that is also dedicated to supporting youth in the communities where we work and live. It’s an honor to be able to partner with Tony this holiday season to share his commitment to public schools, the arts and the next generation of artists.” Continue reading

Banana Republic Celebrates “8 Days of Giving” for Holiday Shoppers

Program features gifts, discounts and a chance to win a Hilton Worldwide weekend getaway

For Holiday 2013, Banana Republic is has announced a special program offering daily gifts, giveaways and discounts to surprise and delight Banana Republic customers this holiday season. Approximately 35 Banana Republic stores in the United States will be open on Thanksgiving Day and will remain open through Black Friday. Over 100 more stores will open at midnight for Black Friday, with most of the balance of the fleet of stores offering extended hours throughout the day.

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Entitled “8 Days of Giving,” customers will be treated to a unique holiday program designed to bring a joyful lift from the holiday hustle through daily gifts and discounts for U.S. shoppers. The “8 Days of Giving” program will run from November 23 through December 1 and will include timely offers, including travel and cosmetic offers from coveted brands such as Uber, OPI and Virgin America. The program will culminate with a sweepstakes that offers a chance to win a grand prize weekend getaway, courtesy of Hilton Worldwide. Partner offers will be available in store until 1:00 p.m. local time, and will be complemented by Banana Republic merchandise promotions throughout each day.

This holiday season, we want to put the fun back in holiday shopping by surprising our customers with more than a week of special gifts from some of our favorite brands,” said Catherine Sadler, global chief marketing officer, Banana Republic. “We are committed to bringing joy to our customers, making it easy for them to treat themselves and their loved ones with unique offers from Banana Republic and our partners that we know they will love.”

The Banana Republic “8 Days of Giving” program offers something for everyone:

November 23:  $15 coupon for Cameron Hughes wine1

November 24:  Discounted rides for new and existing users through Uber’s smartphone app 2

November 25:  Free bottle of OPI nail lacquer3

November 26:  Free GHIRARDELLI® chocolate and coupon3

November 27:  Voucher for 20 percent off a Virgin America flight4

November 28:  A chance for a shopper in each Banana Republic store open on Thanksgiving Day to win a Nexus 7 tablet from Google5

November 30 and December 1: A chance to win one of 10 weekend getaways to over 4,000 hotels and resorts within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio, 10,0000 Hilton HHonors™ Points, or a $100 Hilton HHonors™ gift card.6

We are thrilled to partner with Banana Republic to celebrate the spirit of giving this holiday season,” said Mark Weinstein, vice president, Hilton HHonors. “Our customers share a passion for style and travel, and we are excited to reward them on their journey.”

To see a list of the promotions as they become available, visit www.gapinc.com/holiday.

1 Coupon valid for $15 off wine purchased only at CHWine.com through 12/31/2013 (11:59 pm PT).  Must be 21 years or older.  Shipping to select states only; other restrictions apply. Contact store for details. Coupons available in-store, one per person, while supplies last.

2 $20 off a ride from Uber for new users or 10% off a ride up to $50 from Uber for existing users. Coupon is valid for new users until 1/31/2014 and for existing users until 12/25/2013 in all markets served by Uber.  Not valid on Uber taxi.  Uber app download required and Uber account must be set up.  Uber available only in select cities.  For details go to www.uber.com   Coupons available in-store, one per person while supplies last.  Questions should be directed to support.uber.com.

3 One per person. While supplies last.

4 This offer starts at 12:01am PT on December 3, 2013 and ends at 11:59pm PT on December 31, 2013. This offer is valid only for nonstop or connecting travel; offer is not valid for any multi-city itineraries. One time use promo code is valid for non-refundable Main Cabin tickets only. Travel must occur between January 11, 2014 and March 12, 2014. Discount is not valid for travel on Sundays. Additional blackout dates are 1/17/14-1/20/14 and 2/14/14-2/17/14. Promo code may be used only towards newly booked travel and may not be applied to prior bookings. Promo code discount will be deducted off of base fare. Base fares do not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9 each way, September 11th Security Fees of up to $5 each way and a Federal Segment Tax of $3.90 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. For service to/from Mexico, base fares do not include the U.S. Immigration User Fee of $7, the U.S. APHIS fee of $5, the U.S. Customs processing fee of $5.50, a U.S. International Arrival/Departure Tax of $17.20 each way and additional taxes/fees of up to $70, including: Mexico International Departure Tax and Mexico Tourism Tax. Promo code may not be redeemed for cash. Promo code may only be used for bookings made on virginamerica.com and is only valid on itineraries of 2 or less guests. Offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. If travel is changed or cancelled, promo code discount will become invalid. Changes or cancellations can be made for a $100 fee per guest through all channels, plus any increase in fare, if applicable. Tickets purchased through Virgin America’s reservation call center will cost an additional $20 per itinerary guest; this amount is non refundable if travel is changed or cancelled. Fares will not be honored retroactively or in exchange for any wholly or partially used ticket. Fares, routes, fees and schedules are subject to change without notice. For non-refundable Main Cabin, Virgin America will accept one (1) piece of checked baggage up to 50 pounds for $25 for each ticketed passenger. The fee per guest for each additional checked bag up to 50 pounds from the second (2) to the tenth (10) is $25. Additional fees apply to baggage exceeding these weight limitations, and other baggage restrictions may apply. Vouchers available in-store, one per person, while supplies last.

5 No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) and Canada 18 years and older. Void where prohibited. Nexus Tablet Instant Win Game ends 11/28/13 at 1 p.m. local time or once supplies of game pieces are depleted. See store for full Official Rules, prize description and odds disclosure. If winner is Canadian, a mathematical skill-testing question must be correctly answered to win.  100 Prizes (approximate retail value $229 USD each) available to be won across participating stores in the U.S. and Canada. Sponsor: Banana Republic, LLC, Two Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, U.S.A.

6 No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) and Canada 18 years and older. Void where prohibited. Instant Win Game ends 12/1/13 at 1 p.m. local time or once supplies are depleted. For Official Rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit https://bananarepublic.com/HiltonGiveaway. If winner is Canadian, a mathematical skill-testing question must be correctly answered to win.  10 Grand Prizes, 1,000 First Prizes, and 300 Second Prizes (approximate retail values from $100 USD to $1,500 USD) available to be won. Sponsor: Banana Republic, LLC, Two Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, U.S.A.

 

Haute Gifts For The Holidays

Join L’Occitane To Celebrate Its Favorite Days Of The Week In New York City

L’OCCITANE Thursday Friday Tote Bag

L’OCCITANE Thursday Friday Tote Bag

On December 12th and 13th, L’OCCITANE will celebrate your favorite days of the week. Guests shopping the L’OCCITANE flagship boutique in New York’s Flatiron District (170 5th Avenue @ 22nd Street) on Thursday, December 12th and Friday, December 13th–between 5:30PM-8:30PM— will be treated to custom cocktails (with any $25 purchase) and enjoy complimentary signature L’OCCITANE beauty rituals such as hand massages, mini-facials and fragrance layering. Also, with any $65 purchase, shoppers will receive a chic L’OCCITANE Thursday Friday Tote Bag while supplies last. Shop in style for everyone on your gift list at L’OCCITANE.

Over 400 Pieces by Renowned Jewelry Designer JAR on View at Metropolitan Museum Beginning November 20

November 20, 2013–March 9, 2014

Exhibition Location: Lila Acheson Wallace Wing,

The Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Gallery, Gallery 913

Images photographed by Lev Radin, with Others provided Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jewels by JAR at The Metropolitan Museum of Art will feature more than 400 works by renowned jewelry designer Joel A. Rosenthal, who works in Paris under the name JAR. The exhibition will be the first retrospective in the United States of his work and the first retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum devoted to a contemporary artist of gems.

JAR Poppy Brooch 1982 Diamond, tourmalines, and gold Private collection Photograph by Katharina Faerber. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

JAR, Poppy Brooch, 1982, Diamond, tourmalines, and gold
Private collection
Photograph by Katharina Faerber. Courtesy of JAR, Paris

The exhibition is made possible by Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, Phaidon Press Ltd, Nancy and Howard Marks, The Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation, Agnes Gund, Mr. and Mrs. George S. Livanos, and Hilary and Wilbur Ross.

Growing up in the Bronx, New York, Rosenthal spent much of his early life visiting the museums in the city, stirring in him a passion for art, history, and all things beautiful that has stayed with him throughout his life. Rosenthal left New York to attend Harvard University and moved to Paris shortly after his graduation in 1966. It was in Paris that Rosenthal met Pierre Jeannet—the other half of the JAR story.

Photo Credit: Lev Radin

Photo Credit: Lev Radin

Rosenthal and Jeannet spent much time at antique shops, museums, galleries, and auction houses learning about antique jewelry, diamonds, pearls, and colored stones. In 1973, they opened a needlepoint shop on the rue de l’Université. For Rosenthal needlepoint meant painting, mainly flowers, on a white canvas and playing with the palette of the colors of the wools. But the passion for jewelry was there and he wanted to “play with stones,” as he later explained. The needlepoint shop lasted only 11 months, but during this period Rosenthal was encouraged by others to re-design clients’ jewels and turned his attention once again, and more fully, to jewelry. In 1976, Rosenthal moved back to New York to work at Bulgari but returned to Paris and decided to open his own jewelry business under his initials, JAR.

JAR opened in 1978 on the Place Vendôme. At the start, it was run by a team of only two—Rosenthal and Jeannet. The clientele broadened from local Parisians to a range of international clients, and in 1987, Rosenthal and Jeannet relocated JAR to a larger space next door to their original shop—the same space from which they operate today. As they worked more and more with exceptional stones, they expanded the team to include the few exceptional craftsmen still specializing in this field. Continue reading

Holiday Gift Guide: Give the Gift of Beauty and Wonder, Introducing The Smashbox Cosmetics 2013 Holiday Collection

One Kaleidoscopic Collection. Infinite Multi-faceted Looks.

Shimmering and multidimensional, this year Smashbox has a holiday collection full of gleaming color. Find bursts of color at every turn with Wondervision, the holiday exclusive collection from Smashbox Cosmetics. Featuring everything from kaleidoscopic matte to metallic colors to a multi-shade mega palette, the collection is the ideal gift for a season of wonder. The collection includes everything you need for multi-faceted eyes, glossy lips, and a radiant holiday look.

Wondervision Mega Palette ($49)

Wondervision Mega Palette ($49)

This collection is perfect for the holidays, whether you’re creating your own look or giving the gift of beauty,” says Smashbox Cosmetics Global Pro Lead Artist, Lori Taylor. “These sets literally let you create hundreds of looks—this year I love a bold, shimmering eye paired with a party-ready, sheer glossy lip for the holiday season.”

Wondervision Lip Gloss Set

Wondervision Lip Gloss Set

The collection includes everything you need for multi-faceted eyes, glossy lips, and a radiant holiday look:

Wondervision Eye Set ($32): Inspire wonder wherever you go this holiday season with Smashbox’s ultimate eye set, including an eye shadow palette, Limitless Eye Liner in Onyx and Full Exposure Mascara. The exclusive palette features a kaleidoscope of six matte-to-metallic shades for endless eye effects. Amp up every eye look with precise definition or a smoky rim with Limitless Eye Liner. Complete the vision with a coat of Full Exposure Mascara for long, lush lashes. Available in three shades: Flash – pinks and pewters, Sparks – bronzes and rose golds, and smoky cosmic blues.

Wondervision Lip Gloss Set ($24): Infuse lips with radiant, glossy shine with five covetable shades of Smashbox Cosmetics’ iconic Lip Enhancing Gloss, includes five shades: Tease, Pout, , Radiant and two limited edition shades – Ruby and Luster

Wondervision Mega Palette ($49): This ultra-giftable palette is bursting with color – features 30 eye shadows, three blushes and one bronzer, all in a range of finishes from matte to metallic for limitless looks at your fingertips.

Wondervision Brush Set ($60): Give the gift of Smashbox Cosmetics’ pro brush collection, dressed up in chrome just for the holidays. Swipe, sweep and blend like an expert with the limited-edition set, housed in a luxe clutch.

The Smashbox Cosmentics 2013 WonderVision Holiday Collection is available at www.Smashbox.com, Nordstrom, ULTA, and Sephora.