Fashion News: LVMH Pays 10 Million Euro Settlement in Spy Case.

A Paris judge on December 17th approved a 10 Million Euro (11.27 million) settlement, offered by prosecutors to LVMH owned by Bernard Arnault, the world’s third-richest person according to Forbes magazine that shuts down a criminal probe in the luxury group’s role in a “spying” case which involves the ex-top boss of France’s security services.

“This ruling infuriated François Ruffin, a journalist, filmmaker and leftwing politician who made headlines in 2016 with “Merci Patron!” (Thanks Boss!), a film that skewered Arnault as a heartless tycoon impoverishing the French working class.”

Ruffin filed a lawsuit in 2019 claiming that LVMH contracted the former head of France’s DGSI domestic intelligence agency, Bernard Squarcini, to spy on him for almost three years while filming the movie, that won a Cesar (the French equivalent of the Oscars) as best documentary in 2017. Ruffin had requested the court to refuse the settlement, saying 10 million euros was just 0.02 percent of the nearly 45 billion euros in revenue last year for LVMH.

“Can justice be bought so cheaply? The answer is yes,” Ruffin told journalists after the hearing Friday. It’s a blank check for all future spying operations by multinationals. All LVMH had to do was pay to get out of the proceedings.”

Fashion: The Last Collection of Virgil Abloh.

The founder the luxury brand Off-White, Virgil Abloh and artistic director of Louis Vuitton men’s wear passed away due to cancer at 41 years old. After selling his luxury brand to Louis Vuitton and joining the same in 2018 had his first show in June of the same year began an exciting chapter in fashion history, by bringing streetwear into the luxury fashion industry!

Virgil Abloh

In a statement posted to his Instagram, Virgil’s family wrote: “We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend. He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues.”

Virgil Abloh

Virgil privately fought a rare and aggressive type of cancer (cardiac angiosarcoma) for two years, after being diagnosed in 2019, undergoing various treatments while running several companies. Louis Vuitton paid tribute to the creative genius by presenting his Spring/Summer 2022 Collection, on Nov 30th in Miami.

Virgil Abloh

“We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer and a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow and we are all thinking of his loved ones on the passing of their husband, father, brother, son and friend.” CEO Bernard Arnault of Louis Vuitton said in a statement.

Fashion: The Dominici Collective: Harlem Upscale Apparel.

On Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, near 125th Street in Harlem there is a very unique upscale clothing store called the Dominici Collective. This creative clothing store opened in 2019 and weathered the storm of the pandemic lockdown…..doing it in style!

The Dominici Collective

The Dominici Collective is run and curated by Dominique Banks, who has created a stylish and cozy brick and mortar shop with a highly eclectic bend (think from street wear to haute contour) that is absolutely amazing.

This apparel and lifestyle brand offers contemporary streetwear as well as eclectic fashion hard to find anywhere in Harlem.

In addition to the apparel the Dominici Collective also has barber services, and is also a mini art gallery with works and pieces to stylishly adorn your home.

The Dominici Collective

This clothing store has literally something for everyone (including a close shave) and is located at: 2090 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd New York, NY.

So stop by and join the Collective!

American Eagle Outfitters Purchases Quiet Logistics for $350 Million.

Quiet Logistics a third party supplier chain for over 50 customer direct brands which utilizes a hybrid of human and robotics capabilities. With eight fulfillment centers, and based in Devens, Massachusetts creating inventory efficiencies and providing affordable same-day and next-day delivery options to customers and stores.

Quiet Logistics was acquired this month by American Eagle Outfitters in a all cash deal for $350 million this month. This deal follows a May acquisition of Airterra a delivery start up.

The Haunted Harlem Paranormal Investigations 2: The Elegant Classy Gentleman Paranormal Division.

This year in October, the Elegant Classy Gentleman Paranormal Division went scouting for possible paranormal activity sites in mid to upper Manhattan. Here’s what we investigated.

The Amiable Child Memorial: Riverside Park

Amiable Child Memorial

This rare private 200 year old grave site belongs to a 5 year old child (St. Claire Pollock) who died (it is said) from a fall from the parkland cliffs to the rocks below on the Hudson River on July 15, 1797.

The Urn of St. Claire Pollock

Their are different accounts of his family origins. Some say that that a linin merchant which was either his father, or uncle lived in the mansion on Strawberry Hill (which was later renamed Claremont), and on January 18th 1800 he sold the property to a former neighbor, Mrs. Cornelia Verplanck in which he presented her with this request: “There is a small enclosure near your boundary fence within which lie the remains of a favorite child, covered by a marble monument. You will confer a peculiar and interesting favor upon me by allowing me to convey the enclosure to you so that you will consider it a part of your own estate, keeping it, however, always enclosed and sacred.”

Now is the spirit of five year old St. Claire Pollock still attached to the grounds of the monument?

We went to the site to see if we could pick up any evidence of a haunting of any type. while this site is a perfect candidate for a haunting (especially at night) we were not able to detect any paranormal activity at the time. We will definitely return another time with more powerful equipment to test the waters again.

Central Park /59th Street & 5th Ave/AKA: “Swan Lake”

Swan Lake/Central Park

The oldest “Ghost Story” at this site is that of Janet & Rosetta Van Der Voort, aka the ice skating ghost sisters.

The Van Der Voort sisters lived with their wealthy and overprotective father in southeastern central park. They were rarely allowed to go anywhere alone, with the exception of ice skating in the winter at (right you guessed it) the pond, which was near their mansion.

The Van Der Voort Sisters

The years went by and the sisters grew so close that they rejected all male suitors, and died spinsters only a few months apart in 1880. After the their deaths (and many years after into modern times) people have reported seeing the sisters (or rather their ghosts) skating on the pond during the summer and winter in ghostly figure eights.

The Pond/Central Park

We waited at night by the pond, hoping to get a glimpse of the sisters to no avail. We will try again this winter when the pond is frozen over, which seems to be the best time to capture the sisters on camera.

Vintage Ghost Stories

Everyone (mostly) loves a good fright and ghost story, so in the spirit of Halloween we present a few “vintage” ghost stories for you’re enjoyment.

This is why the basement is locked.

“My mother was having dinner at a friends house. It was a small old cottage that’s been around for 100 years. She tries to find the bathroom and pulls on a door that is locked. The friend sees and says “Sorry that goes to the basement, the bathroom is over there.” Thinking it is odd, my mother asks why the basement door is locked. “Its always locked, in fact I don’t even have a key for it, the real estate agent advised me not to go down there as its not been upgraded like the rest of the cottage. Its little more than a root cellar.”

Fast forward a few weeks, when my mother (who works for the police department’s community division) is working on a project about the history of the police department in the town. An old man comes in with news clippings about various community events, as well as a news clipping from the 50’s about a gruesome murder. My mom was a bit taken aback. “Sorry, I forgot those clippings were in here too.”

“No…I know this address, its my friends house! What happened there?” “Oh…” said the old man. “Well, that use to be my mother’s house. She had been dating this man who was cruel to her. Beat her horribly. She tried again and again to break it off with him, but he’d always come back. Finally my aunt moved in with us, and my mother finally broke up with him.” He starts getting emotional “Then one night he broke in, and tied my mother, aunt, sister, and brother up in the basement. He shot them all in front of my mother. Then he shot her, and killed himself, leaving a note that she would never leave him again. I was away at college….” He started to sob.

And that is how my mother’s friend learned she has a haunted quadruple murder-suicide scene in her basement. She moved out a year later.”

The two little girls were dancing in my bedroom.

My fiancé and I rent a house together, and we live alone.

About two years ago, my fiancé and I were lying in bed. It was actually pretty late in the morning– 10:30 or 11:00 AM., or so. I’d been awake for about ten or fifteen minutes, and my fiancé was just waking up.

We lied there, talking softly about whether or not we should get up yet, or try to go back to sleep for a bit, since he had the first half of the day off of work, and it might be nice to catch up on sleep since we’d had a busy couple of days. He was lying on his back, staring up at the ceiling, and I was on my right side, facing him, with my hand on his chest while we talked. In that position, I had my back to our bedroom door, which was maybe 8 or 9 ft. away from the bed behind me.

Suddenly, an odd feeling came over the room. Seriously, it felt like the air in the room was suddenly either sucked out, or made very, VERY heavy, and it almost felt like I was under water, or gravity changed… and the room seemed to almost feel like it was tilting to the side. It felt like the air in the room was pressing down on top of my body, while at the same time slowing down time and making me dizzy and loopy. My ears were popping.

Well, I thought it was just me feeling this, and for a moment, I wondered if I was having a blood pressure drop (I get those sometimes, though it still wasn’t quite what it felt like), but my fiancé said in a very frightened voice that sounded like he couldn’t breathe very well, and like he couldn’t get out the words without struggling, “Do you feel that, too? What’s happening?!…” And that was when I knew something odd and scary was going on, because he was feeling the exact same thing.
I tried to speak, but my speech actually came out kind of slurred and I had to force the words out of my mouth to say “I don’t know…I can’t move…”

He said “I can’t…either…” and I saw him trying to turn over onto his side, and trying to raise his arm up. He just kept saying “what’s happening? What’s happening?”

I tried to raise my arm up, too, and found that I couldn’t. Again, it was like being under water, and in an intensely pressurized room. I started trying to push myself up, to see if I could sit up… I couldn’t do it. It was just too heavy.
Then, we both heard the doorknob of our bedroom door turning.

It was turning over and over again… almost like someone was trying to come in, but they weren’t jiggling it, or trying to open the door… it was actually turning in a rhythm. It was turning back and forth, back and forth, in a rhythm at about the same tempo as a metronome. Like a beat to a song. It was very deliberate.

We were both terrified and we froze– the first thought in my mind was that someone had broken in, though I couldn’t figure out why they would turn the doorknob back and forth, back and forth in a deliberate rhythm, especially because our bedroom door has no lock on it. They could just open it and walk right in.

We couldn’t move, that weird heavy-gravity feeling that was holding us down still would not allow us to move, but I was trying to, and I could feel my fiancé trying to, as well. All I was able to do was turn my head very slowly and look over my shoulder at the doorknob, and watch it turning. I could see it.

Then, we both heard it… singing. Two children’s voices, what sounded like a pair of young girls, started singing a song that I could not make out most of the lyrics to, and the only clear lyrics that I could make out was the very last word at the end of the sentence: “dancing”.

So let me clarify what I’m trying to describe: These two young girl’s voices were singing an almost nursery rhyme type song outside our bedroom door, while turning our bedroom doorknob back and forth, to match the tempo of what they’re singing: the doorknob is going chhck-chhck, chhck-chhck, chhck-chhck, chhck-chhck, as these little girls’ voices are singing:

“Something, something, something something! Something, something, daaaaancing! Something, something, something, something, something, something, daaaaaancing!”

…and the doorknob would turn with each word they sang, keeping perfect rhythm.

I couldn’t make out nearly any of the other words of this song they were singing, except for the word “dancing” at the very end of each stanza.

And they were singing it in a way that was kind of playful and taunting… maybe, for instance, kind of like two little girls would do if they were teasing an older sibling, or their mom or dad, by coming up to a room they’re in, shaking the doorknob and singing at them, just to tease– the song almost sounded made up, the way kids sometimes sing little made-up songs to be silly or playful…. Just trying to give you a feel as to how this sounded. It also sounded like they were laughing, or trying not to giggle while doing it.

So, as this is all going on, and I’m watching the doorknob turn as these voices sing at us, and near the end of the song, I turn my head– in slow motion– back to my fiancé to see if he’s seeing and hearing the same thing I am, and I can now see has finally managed to be able to turn his head and he was watching the doorknob, too, and the look on his face… was just… I’ll never forget it. His eyes were as big as dinner plates, I’ve never see him that shocked or that scared…his face was just white.

And then the song ended. It was short, just two stanzas, then just as soon as it started, the doorknob just stopped turning on the very last word of the song, “daaaaanciiiing”, and all at once, that heavy, dizzy weight that had been holding us down and making it so hard to move and breathe just lifted. Just went away. Just like that. Suddenly we could move again, and the air and gravity felt normal.

It seriously was all over, from start to finish, in about 10 seconds.

My fiancé sat up and goes “What the hell just happened?”, and he jumped over me and out of bed, raced to the door and yanked it open. Nothing was there. We don’t have a hallway, it’s a small house and our bedroom door opens right up into the living room, and he just looked out into it and goes “Nobody’s out there!”

I got up and ran over to him, and looked for myself. No one there. House empty, and our two cats were both backed up against the far wall of the living room, hissing and growling. They’d either heard it, too, or even seen what did it… and from the spot right in front of our bedroom door, all the way through the living room, through the dining room, and out to the kitchen door, there was this trail of heat. I don’t know how else to describe it, it was just a trail of heat. The air just felt hot and oily, and you could almost see a haze, like fog, trailing from our bedroom door, through the house, to the kitchen door.

We checked both the front door and the kitchen door. Locked. Both locked.

We both sat back down on the bed, and we were just shaking. We kept asking each-other “Did that really just happen? We both heard the same thing right?” and yeah… we both felt the air pressure holding us down in bed and making us move in slow motion, and we both heard and saw the bedroom doorknob moving back and forth in rhythm, and then both heard the two little girls singing that song. So, I know it wasn’t a hallucination or anything.

The only difference was that my fiancé understood a couple more of the lyrics of what they were singing, though not many– he said it sounded something like “and we come in a’dancing!” or “and we go a’dancing!”

It was just so unsettling and spooky. And to be honest, the way the girls’ voices sounded, they didn’t sound mean or creepy– they seriously sounded like two, real little girls who were just having fun and teasing us. It didn’t feel or sound malevolent, or anything… it still creeped us out, just that it happened, though. We were both shaken up for the rest of the day, and I BEGGED him not to leave for work that afternoon (but he had to). The whole time he was at work, I kept every light in the house on, along with both the TVs in the living room and our bedroom. It’s never happened again, but it still creeps us both out just talking about it.”

Gucci Premier’s E-commerce Vault Vintage Site at Milan Fashion Week

During Milan Fashion Week 2021, Gucci launched it’s Vault Vintage e-commerce web site offering refurbished Gucci products, as well as capsule collections by new young designers. Gucci Vault, which is a continuation between the brand and independent young designers from 2020’s GucciFest. The festival in 2020 (which replaced it’s runway shows) resulted in a 25% increase in Gucci’s revenue’s in the first quarter of 2021.

“The Gucci Vault expands on the Gucci universe in an online space and gives the stage to restored vintage pieces and exclusive items from almost all of the 15 designers originally featured in the festival. The lineup consists of Ahluwalia, Shanel Campbell, Stefan Cooke, Cormio, Charles de Vilmorin, JordanLuca, Yueqi Qi, Rave Review, Gui Rosa, Bianca Saunders, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Collina Strada, Boramy Viguier and LVMH prize finalist Rui Zhou.” The Gucci Vault is “speaking to the belief that past, present and future can co-exist through the power of the imagination.” The brand said in a statement.

There next show will be in Los Angeles on Nov 2nd, which will run parallel with the 10th LACMA Art & Film Gala that Gucci is also sponsoring.

This continuing trend of “Big Brand” conglomerates is breathing new life (and revenue) to the large fashion brands after the post pandemic slump.

FarFetch Partners Pre-Orders Service Launch With Brands Khaite, Balenciaga and Others.

The Luxury fashion retailer FarFetch is taking on the huge sustainability issues the industry faces, by launching a pre orders service that allows customers to buy from designers before they are on the shelves. The pre order initiative will launch with brands like: Oscar del la Renta, Off-White, Balenciaga and Khaite, in an effort to reduce fashion waste.

The first pre order’s clothes are already made, however the idea is (for the long term) is to offer pre-production so that brands may make only enough clothes that is desired, and by effect reduce waste.

A total of ten brands have joined Faefetch in this sustainability push, and more brands will be on board monthly as for many brands this will be their first time jumping in the pre-order arena.

Arts & Entertainment: Qadir “Booder Lo” Lowrie, a young Rapper from Philadelphia Making Waves.

There’s something happening in the Rap and Hip Hop scene in Philly….you know Philadelphia, PA well Chester PA exactly. Now I’m not quite sure where to begin, but it seem to me that this 17 year old “rapper”/hip-hop artist (singer/songwriter) is breaking through to inner city youth (in Chester at least).

BOODER LO

The natives of his hometown (Chester, PA) take a distinct separation from other Philadelphians, with a sort of pride that suggests the upmost confidence along with a truck load of charisma, much in line with Chester itself, (which is the “inner city” squeezed into a 5 square mile radius). Hence the incubator that has spawned a certain type of charismatic youth within, that Booder Lo seems to be the archetype!

Qadir “Booder Lo” Lowrie

After listening to his single digital track “Scramble“, I can feel the deep inner city influences (frustration, deep rooted anger) from living 17 years in Chester PA. The “bad ass” lyrics and instrumental riffs are in line with those that preceeded him in inner-city rap ( LL Cool J, KRS-One), but none the less he is making waves!

Booder is unique in the respect that he grew up in a two parent household of entrepreneurs. His father Tahir Lowrie, is the owner and managing operator of Bicell Nation and Booder is also signed with that company. His mother is Nadiyah Lowrie, a wealth management banker for TD bank. A Highly intelligent youth that’s referred to as “Gansta Gentleman or “intellectual gorilla rap”, and yet can describe how it feels to lose a friend in the streets of Chester!.