New bag designs for men prove women aren't the only ones who are accessories-savvy Around this time every year, as the heat index rises and the men here at BBC shed their sport coats for lighter garb, they face the inevitable dilemma of where to stash their shades and other sundries without those handy pockets. We are delighted this summer to see that the murse, or man-bag if you prefer, has evolved from a once-dubious mancsessory to a comprehensive assortment of products to suit every man's needs. Brands have finally wizened to the fact that oft-ignored male accessories consumer is an untapped market for moving luxury products. A sampling of offerings, from left to right:
- For The Investment Manager: John Lobb Bootmaker Briefcase, $3430.
- For The New Dad: Diaper Dude Camo Dad Survival Kit, $110
- For The Equipment Buff: Crumpler Barney Rustle Blanket, $95
- For The Man About Town: Mulberry Antony Classic Satchel, $400
- And finally, for the one-and-only, original murse toter, The Hipster: Mark Nason Dragon Messenger Bag, $495
Is society in need of superheroes? Or are the new couture costumes a superhero trend in disguise? With all the buzz surrounding the most anticipated movie of the year, The Dark Night, which opens next week and could earn the Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar nod, we wonder if it’s the movie itself, the Met’s Superhero Gala, or a society in need of a pick-me-up that sparked a major superhero trend on the Autumn/Winter couture runways in Paris last week.
Particularly on the Jean Paul Gaultier and Chanel runways, where sleeves were big, sweeping silhouettes were big and major headgear was big, couture as costume has taken on a super-heroic life of its own. Ways to Get Your Superhero Fix: * Don't Miss The Dark Night, beginning July 17, 2008 * Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibit on until September 1, 2008 * Shop Ricky’s NYC for the best in over the top products for makeup and hair * Accessorize at the MoMA store with whimsical, geometric scarves and glass bubble jewelry
How celebs keep the spotlight on their personal charity projects With so many celebrity-driven charity projects on the decks, it’s hard to keep up with the major issues, who’s doing what, and where change is actually being effected. We decided to check in on a few of our favorite charities to see how it’s going. charity: water – After digesting the fact that 1 in 6 people lack access to clean water, NYC entertainment promoter Scott Harrison founded the organization in 2006 to bring water solutions to developing nations through wells, rainwater harvesting, and biosand filters. STATUS: To date, charity: water has succeeded in building 629 water projects around the world. Check out their huge September project here and their thought-provoking PSA starring Jennifer Connelly.
The Make it Right (MIR) Project – Founded in 2006 by Brad Pitt to build homes for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, The MIR Project is committed to construct 150 homes in the devastated Lower 9th Ward. The affordable, sustainable homes were designed via an architecture competition with Global Green. STATUS: In less than 2 years, 83 of the 150 homes have been sponsored. Take a home tour here. FEED Foundation – Inspired by the United Nations World Feeding Program (WPF), which supplies school meals to children in developing nations, Lauren Bush designed FEED bags, which translate to supplying food for 1 child for 1 year, with every bag sold. The FEED Foundation’s ultimate goal is to use nutrition and education to break the poverty cycle. STATUS: In 2008, FEED Projects will distribute $4 million for the UN WFP. Buy a FEED bag here.
Beverage makers lighten up on the caloric toll of our favorite summer drinks. We haven’t thought about Bridget Jones for awhile, but the new crop of calorie-conscious, nutrient-rich smoothies this summer reminded us of her amusing discovery that too much of a "smooth thing" can cause a diet infraction of the highest order:
“Monday 23 October 128 lbs, alcohol units 0 (v.g. Have discovered delicious new alcohol substitute drink called smoothies-v. nice, fruity), Cigarettes 0 (smoothies removes need for cigarettes), smoothies 32, calories 4265 (4135 of them smoothies)
Perhaps taking a cue from Bridget’s unfortunate findings, beverage makers have noted consumers' preoccupation with overall well-being in addition to diet and are marketing leaner smoothie alternatives with nourishing properties that wont put a damper on the best healthy intentions this summer. The "smart snacking" trend is becoming more prevalent across the snack food category as companies vie for market share with products that give consumers more bang for their buck.
From Left to Right:
- Starbucks new Vivanno Nourishing Blends has protein, fiber, two flavors and only 270 calories
- Naked Juice new Bare Breeze Smoothies have 100 percent juice, no added sugar or preservatives and weigh in at only 260 calories.
- Pinkberry Smoothies have fresh fruit and their signature, lo-cal frozen yogurt at only 70 calories per ½ cup.
- Jamba Juice’s new 3G Engergizer (part of their Jamba Functionals line) has natural caffeine and tons of vitamins with only 310 calories.