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Paris Men’s Fashion Week

That the new collection by Pharrell Williams for Louis Vuitton, aside from enormous trunks, featured work jackets, ‘70s tailoring and covetable cowboy pants serves as confirmation of one of the major trends of men’s fashion week in Paris. The big luxury houses, beyond the lucrative accessories, beyond the red carpets, are back to being interested in dressing real men. Or something that approaches the man on the street, as compared to previous seasons, which seemed more oriented towards millionaire adolescents. Pharrell’s tale appropriates the legend of the first cowboys and revindicates America’s diverse heritage of race and class — from Native peoples to blue collar workers — in a festive and pop-driven collection. Its star performance was not delivered by a hip hop star, but by Mumford & Sons. It was a lesson in power. The catwalk, built in the spectacular Fondation Louis Vuitton in Bois de Boulogne, and conceived as a gigantic spherical cinema, became a stage for this escapist vision of luxury and the intimate concept of fashion that the producer has installed in the French luxury house.

All this might seem par for the course, but it is actually quite extraordinary. What many brands have taken on this season is what the Belgian Dries Van Noten has been advocating for years: that runways are spectacle, but one mustn’t forget about the clothes worn by the models. The patriarch of European fashion himself offered a careful selection of tailoring with elongated yet not restrictive proportions, large knitted scarves and his usual play on textures. These are clothes one looks to own, rather than photograph.

From there, the Givenchy collection revealed itself as one of the week’s most gratifying surprises. It was the first created after the departure of creative director Matthew Williams, and served as a perfect example of the mission of the historic couture house, which is set on making men’s ready-to-wear: real garments, but with the magic necessary to justify their price and honor the brand’s chic imagination. A trench in orange-red grosgrain and a simple, square-cut collarless blouse were reminiscent of the colors and silhouettes with which Hubert de Givenchy became the prince of Parisian fashion in the 1960s, showing that time has not passed in vain. The revolutions that have transformed the male closet in the last decade — the borrowing from the female closet, craftsmanship, but there too, the sporty, the subcultural, the hip hop identity — can be sublimated in relevant and completely contemporary garments.

Singer Pharrell Williams, men's creative director at Louis Vuitton, after the brand's show on January 16, 2024 at Paris men's fashion week.Singer Pharrell Williams, men’s creative director at Louis Vuitton, after the brand’s show on January 16, 2024 at Paris men’s fashion week. FOTO CEDIDA

Similarly realistic and exquisite was the collection offered by another patriarch, Yohji Yamamoto, who took advantage of his 80th birthday to send down the runway filmmaker Wim Wenders, who navigated the catwalk parsimoniously, wearing a deconstructed morning coat with shirt, vest and neck tie, with an air of self-absorption that only living legends are capable of summoning. He commanded a respect from the Parisian public similar to that shown for Junya Watanabe, one of the stars of the Comme des Garçons galaxy, who presented one of the week’s most applauded collections. His trompe l’oeil trenches and long coats — which appeared at first glance to be a short jacket and, from the waist down, torn-apart pants that metamorphize into the coat’s bottom half — demonstrated the extraordinary results of observing everyday life. His collection, rich in such hybrid garments, points to another rising trend: collaboration. Watanabe has created hybrid shoes with sneaker soles, thanks to New Balance; Louis Vuitton has put its logo on the most luxurious Timberlands of all time; and Sacai, Chistose Abe’s Japanese brand, has teamed up with the classic workwear brand Carhartt WIP. At Kenzo, creative director Nigo reinterpreted a traditional Japanese motif and several archival prints in sumptuous jacquard garments that evoke American imagery, samurai garb, and floral hedonism of the brand’s founder.

The collection by Junya Watanabe, star brand of the Comme des Garçons constellation, presented at Paris men's fashion week was one of the most applauded.The collection by Junya Watanabe, star brand of the Comme des Garçons constellation, presented at Paris men’s fashion week was one of the most applauded.Victor VIRGILE (Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Paris served many jeans, and a good number of them were flared. Acne regained its authority in worn denim with a collection of dirty and distressed garments, and Levi’s, which presented a collection for the first time in the French capital, unveiled several collaborations. There were also denim items at Dior Men, though they were in a different league, with pearls embroidered on their collars, forming part of a collection of haute couture pieces with which Kim Jones introduced the exclusive, artisanal and luxurious category into men’s ready-to-wear. His collection, inspired by Rudolf Nureyev and by the photographs of the designer’s uncle, Colin Jones, borrowed much from the renowned choreographer and dancer, and included exquisite examples of craftsmanship that made reference to both imagery of the decadent Russian — large patchwork kimonos, embroidered tunics — and the alluring Paris that he inhabited. The costumes evoked the collections that Yves Saint Laurent made for Dior in the late 1950s.

Part of the Loewe collection presented at Paris Men's Fashion Week on January 20, 2024.
Part of the Loewe collection presented at Paris Men’s Fashion Week on January 20, 2024.Courtesy of Loewe

High craftsmanship, as applied to men’s fashion, can translate into extraordinary fabrics, as shown on Milan catwalks, or into complex and dazzling technique. Such was the case in Paris. At Loewe, Jonathan Anderson paid tribute to the American artist Richard Hawkins, but all eyes were on his devilish hand-embroidered knitted tunics, and garments embroidered with small multicolored beads that rendered them showpieces.

Yohji Yamamoto took advantage of his 80th birthday to parade filmmaker Wim Wenders.Yohji Yamamoto took advantage of his 80th birthday to parade filmmaker Wim Wenders. MONIC

Office fetishism

Be unafraid of ties and business suits: their recent shortage has nearly turned them into a fetish. So demonstrated the collections of Auralee, Botter, Egonlab, Juun J and Sean Suen, who have succumbed to the magic of the beige jacket, the gray suit, the formal shirt, the baggy pants and the formal shoe. AMI Paris, Alexandre Mattiussi’s in-demand brand, consecrated its reign in well-made commercial design with a show that evoked a very elegant Paris of early risers, and also did justice to a generation of legendary models, including Andres Velencoso, Will Chalker and Laetitia Casta. At Hermès, Véroniqe Nichanian practiced chromatic restraint, but opted decisively for slim-fitting, almost skinny pants. Valentino’s Pier Paolo Piccioli is also a formal purist, faithful to the idea of reinterpreting the house’s elegant evening tailoring with touches of character in the form of diamond studs and bright colors.

British model Naomi Campbell (3rd L) and models akcnowledges the audience at the end of his ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024/2025 collectionNaomi Campbell (with a bouquet of flowers) closed the Balmain show at men’s fashion week in Paris, January 20, 2024.ALAIN JOCARD (AFP)

In Paris, there is extravagance that now constitutes tradition. For example, the iconoclastic transgression of Walter Van Beirendonck, the sole designer to choreograph an explicit plea for peace. Or Issey Miyake Homme Plus, which has revitalized the legacy of its founder with an assured, colored collaboration with industrial design star Ronan Bouroullec. It’s impossible to deny the talent and imagination of Olivier Rousteing, who after four years of skipping men’s fashion week with Balmain, presented a triumphant and excessive runway, with a self-referential leitmotif — the designer’s own lips — worth of the media personality he has become. His metallic garments, surreal twists and sense of spectacle — Naomi Campbell closed the show — are reminiscent of giants like Gaultier, Mugler and Schiaparelli, but with an extra dose of sass and glitter in shoes that shimmer to the point of implausibility, and sequined garments conceived to sparkle at the disco (or on stage). The magic of fashion lies in sublimating the everyday, but also in making tangible the wildest dreams of its creators (and spectators).


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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