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Alton Mason: The best-paid man in the only industry where women make more | People

It was the moment Alton Mason knew his life was going to change: Karl Lagerfeld shook his hand and confirmed that Mason would be one of the models in the 2018 Métier d’Art collection. The news catapulted to stardom the semi-unknown Nebraskan of Guinean and Jamaican descent. It was also a historic moment in Chanel’s century-long history: Mason would be the first Black male model to walk for the house. Lagerfeld would die a few months later, but his blessing on the model would continue. At 25 years old, Alton Mason has achieved what no other man has done in decades: reaching top-model status.

Alton Mason on the red carpet at the Victoria's Secret World Tour 2023 event at The Manhattan Center on September 6, 2023 in New York, New York.
Alton Mason on the red carpet at the Victoria’s Secret World Tour 2023 event at The Manhattan Center on September 6, 2023 in New York, New York. Gilbert Flores (WWD via Getty Images)

The fashion industry is the only professional context where the gender salary gap works backwards: women earn up to 75% more than men, according to a 2016 BBC study. Mason has become the only man with real possibilities of reverting those differences. With a net worth of some $5 million, according to data from Stark Times, the young man’s earnings are reaching those of the British model David Gandy, who a decade ago managed to join the list of the best-paid models alongside Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne. Current runway stars like Gigi and Bella Hadid make around $20 million a year, the margins are still significant. But Mason has set his sight on transcending the catwalk to other realms of the entertainment industry, like music, film and design, which could put him at the level of global stars like Kendall Jenner or Kaia Gerber.

Named “Model of the Year” for five consecutive years by Models.com, Mason is the undisputed king of the runway. He has starred in more than 90 campaigns and walked in 150 shows. From high fashion brands like Versace, Gucci, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and Balenciaga to transatlantic fashion chains like Zara and H&M and even car companies like BMW, it seems there’s no brand in the world that doesn’t aspire to have Mason’s angular face alongside their products. A friend and mentee of Naomi Campbell, the young man, who has a million and a half Instagram followers, was inspired by the ebony goddess herself.

The model defines his style as theatrical and timeless.
The model defines his style as theatrical and timeless.

Mason met her during his first major modeling gig, right after turning 18, during the presentation of the Yeezy Season 3 collection at Madison Square Garden. The opportunity allowed him to quit his job at McDonald’s and stop attending 20 casting calls a day. From there, things only went up. “She is the blueprint. Being able to be mentored by her — to chill, eat and travel with her — it’s almost as if Michael Jordan asked my dad to play one-on-one with him,” he has said.

The reference to the Chicago Bulls myth isn’t an accident. Mason’s father was a passionate basketball player without enough talent to make a name for himself in the NBA, so the model spent much of his childhood and adolescence following his father’s career around Europe — eleven countries in thirteen years, to be exact. A fan of Prince, Michael and Janet Jackson, the young Alton performed choreographed dances during the breaks of his father’s games. He studied dance and acting, and he used his talents to stand out at modeling castings. It’s said, for example, that he won over Alessandro Michele, ex-creative director of Gucci, by imitating James Brown’s hip movements in a music-less room.

Alton Mason during the amfAR Cannes Gala 2021 at Villa Eilenroc on July 16, 2021 in Cap d'Antibes, France.
Alton Mason during the amfAR Cannes Gala 2021 at Villa Eilenroc on July 16, 2021 in Cap d’Antibes, France. Andreas Rentz/amfAR (Getty Images for amfAR)

When asked about the key behind his meteoric success, he emphasizes the importance of developing an individual personality. Before triumphing in fashion, he was a dancer for artists like P. Diddy, and he has worked with Lady Gaga and Nick Minaj. He has the air of a seventies star, and he defines his style as heterogeneous, timeless and theatrical. “Since I have a theater background, I was always around costumes, so I’ve added that to my everyday style. Like, who am I going to be today?” He considers the late designer Virgil Abloh an “older brother” for believing in him while Mason was still one more of thousands.

Despite his privileged status in the industry, the Alton Masn project is still far from reaching its peak, thanks the multidisciplinary facets that have made him a rare bird. He doesn’t hide his ambition of working as a fashion designer and creative director — ”I want to be a house,” he told GQ — and he is about to debut his first collaboration with the belt brand B.B. Simon. Beyond the runways, he is working on his first album as a solo singer, and last year he made his acting debut in a Hollywood super production.

Mason played singer Little Richard in ‘Elvis.’
Mason played singer Little Richard in ‘Elvis.’

Mason made a cameo as the rock’n’roll pioneer Little Richard in Elvis, the film starred by Austin Butler and Tom Hanks. “One of my first college memories was watching the Oscars with my dorm mates in Hollywood; now here we are, on the same block; attending the Oscars with an Oscar nominated film,” he wrote on Instagram. And it may not be the last time. Mason will soon premiere Deram Scenario, a film starring Nicolas Cage that has won enthusiastic reviews in its premiere in Toronto.

Mason leads the generational change that aspires to end traditional beauty standards in fashion, making inclusion and diversity a reality and not just passing marketing schemes. At 25 years old, he has decided to lead by example and lead projects to help needy families in Nigeria. He hopes to use his philanthropy to redirect media attention to the African continent. In an interview with I-d, he recognized that “there was so much fear instilled in us by the school and media about the continent.” “I am destined to extend myself and create more life there, through fashion, music, film and technology,” he said.

Alton Mason attends the "The Idol" red carpet during the 76th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 22, 2023 in Cannes, France.
Alton Mason attends the “The Idol” red carpet during the 76th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 22, 2023 in Cannes, France. Mike Marsland (Mike Marsland/WireImage)

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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.


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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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