“The Queen’s Corgi,” the 3D animated adventure tale directed by Ben Stassen and Vincent Kesteloot, had a banner opening in France on Wednesday, scoring the country’s best first-day haul for an independent European animated film. Written by Rob Sprackling and Johnny Smith, the pair behind “Gnomeo and Juliet,” “The Queen’s Corgi” grossed approximately €304,000 euros […]
Paul Stuart is fighting back against the proliferation of low-cost made-to-measure men’s wear.
The upscale New York-based specialty retailer has quietly launched CustomLab, an initiative that taps into its 80-plus years of expertise creating and selling men’s apparel as well as the large fleet of on-site tailors at its Madison Avenue flagship.
“We’d been talking a lot about what we could do to compete with all the other retailers who have launched made-to-order at an opening price point,” said chief executive officer Paulette Garafalo. That includes companies such as Suitsupply, Indochino, Knot Standard, My.Suit and others. Even more long-standing competitors such as Men’s Wearhouse have embraced this popular category, with many offering customized suits for as low as $ 400.
“We felt we were losing momentum and wanted to continue to be relevant and give the consumer what he wants,” Garafalo said.
So the Paul Stuart team put their heads together and came up with the concept that brings the opening price suit in the store down to $ 995 with a three- to four-week turnaround. Also available are sport coats starting at $ 695 and shirts at $ 195.
An off-the-rack suit at Paul Stuart starts at $ 1,595 and most retail for $ 1,895 to $ 1,995. Bespoke garments sell for
Size-inclusive e-commerce site 11 Honoré is connecting the runway to retail during New York Fashion Week.
At the site’s runway show at Spring Studios tonight, attendees will be able to scan Shopify-enabled QR codes on their smartphones to access and buy spring and pre-fall looks in sizes 12 to 18 by designers Adam Lippes, Altuzarra, Brandon Maxwell, Camilla, Christian Siriano, Chromat, Cushnie, Christopher Kane, Haney, Huishan Zhang, Jason Wu, JC Obando, Jonathan Simkhai, Lela Rose, Marchesa, Prabal Garung, Roland Mouret and more. Then, 11 Honoré will follow that up with a physical pop-up shop open Feb. 7 to 14 at 157 Hudson Street with inventory of styles shown on the runway and more from the site.
“We’re a mission-driven company, and we are using this as a platform to drive awareness around inclusivity and diversity in fashion, so what better way than producing our own runway show with the top designers we work with, and opening fashion week to create meaningful dialogue around the issue?,” said 11 Honoré chief executive officer and founder Patrick Herning. “We wanted to extend the runway into a physical presence so customers can experience the brand and we can do sales,” he said of the store, made
“America’s Next Top Model” creator and former Victoria’s Secret catwalker Tyra Banks is launching a new venture she’s calling Modelland, the same name as the young adult novel she published in 2010 based on her life.
Opening at Santa Monica Place shopping mall in 2019, Modelland will be a 21,000-square-foot, ticketed attraction creating a fantasy version of the modeling world to let visitors “be the dream version of themselves” through interactive entertainment, curated retail and user-generated content that can be shared, Banks told WWD.
“It’s my calling to bring modeling to the masses,” explained the Los Angeles native, who has been working on the project for 10 years, with funding from Santa Monica Place shopping center owner/operator Macerich and other investors. “I created ‘Top Model’ to expand the definition of beauty based on my own pain of being told ‘no’ that I couldn’t do something because I’m curvy or I’m black. My empathy for women in general increased through the experience. And now with Modelland, I’m taking it 10 steps forward, giving people the opportunity to engage with the elusive world by opening it up to everyone. Men, women, families, all generations can come and enter this model world for a day,
PARIS — “Streetwear on the runways of Paris has always been that vision that I’ve shared with my friends, the ultimate opportunity to present some new fresh ideas in a city and platform that we have always looked up to,” said Heron Preston, who today at the Palais de Tokyo will present the first runway show of his namesake label, as part of the official calendar of Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
Call him a quick learner. Preston, who was “raised” by the skate culture in San Francisco where he grew up, and who first started making noise in 2012 with his art-project bootleg spins on the Givenchy Rottweiler T-shirt, said that it was only around four years ago, when he started working with Kanye West, that he was introduced to the world of Paris fashion.
A former art director for West, Preston — who’s considered a post-Internet Renaissance man — worked at Nike and was also a part of the Been Trill art and DJ collective with Virgil Abloh, Justin Saunders and Matthew Williams.
“I really put myself in that environment with Virgil, Matthew and Kanye [West]. And going to Paris with those guys, I was always that kid who felt like a bit
LONDON — Japanese fine jewelry house Tasaki has opened its first European boutique – on London’s New Bond Street.
The store is located next to other big fine jewelry names including Bulgari, Chanel and Cartier, which has just completed an ambitious renovation of its Bond Street flagship.
The Tasaki boutique spans 5,015 square feet over seven floors, and is filled with intimate areas displaying the house’s jewelry collections, which mainly focus on diamonds and pearls. The latter are sourced from the brand’s own pearl farms in Japan and Myanmar.
The idea was to create a “harmonious environment” in the space and reflect the brand’s Ginza flagship, through a focus on geometric interiors.
An exclusive Atelier Tasaki piece, created by Prabal Burung for the house’s London store opening
To celebrate the opening, the house’s creative director Prabal Gurung has created eight exclusive pieces featuring pearls, diamonds and shapes inspired by the underwater world.
“I find the juxtaposition between the traditional heritage of London against the city’s modern artists and provoking experimental culture to be so inspiring,” said Gurung who was appointed creative director in 2017 and was tasked with adding a new, more modern dimension to the house with the introduction of a new line, dubbed
Kiton is expanding its retail presence in the U.S. market.
The Italian luxury brand on Friday will open a 1,937-square-foot boutique at the Wynn resort in Las Vegas.
The store will feature a new design that is centered around the brand’s exclusive fabric collection. For example, the chairs and sofas, furniture and curtains are all created from the fabrics also used for clothing. Walnut wood, similar to that used at the Kiton headquarters in Arzano, Italy, and its Palazzo Kiton in Milan, is used as an accent, and special pieces of artwork commissioned for the store will serve to decorate the space.
The store will sell the men’s and women’s apparel collections as well as accessories. It will also offer Kiton’s bespoke service with a special selection of products that are exclusive to the Las Vegas store.
Kiton, which has been in the U.S. market since 1980, has 20 retail stores or in-store shops in this country.
ALL ARE WELCOME: Les Girls Les Boys founder Serena Rees liked that her company’s label can be read in either direction since inclusivity is the bedrock of her business.
The one-year-old label has teamed with Opening Ceremony for cobranded underwear, cotton ribbed tanks and three-pair packs that are geared for fret-free holiday shopping. In tune with the unisex trend, many pieces are designed to be worn by women or men. “Anything goes — we just want people to have that freedom like themselves and to not feel limited, constrained or put in boxes in any way.”
Available in recycled packaging, the cobranded offerings will hit Opening Ceremony stores next week, as well as both companies’ e-commerce sites. Retailing from $ 35 to $ 55, the items will be the only underwear sold in Opening Ceremony’s stores. Having been making bras, underwear and tanks “for a very good part” of her career, Rees said she aims to provide great quality, great fabric, great design at an accessible prince point. From her standpoint, the super-high-end luxury sector is going to change, as is throwaway culture “that is way too cheap and will just be landfill.” Rees said more people are realizing that “no one really benefits
As LeBron James prepares to complete nearly a decade of work through his foundation, the new Lakers star admitted to feeling some nerves before the opening of the I Promise School on Monday in Akron, Ohio. www.espn.com – NBA
ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Well, it’s going to be pretty hard to top Disney after Opening Ceremony’s Carol Lim and Humberto Leon set precedent for what it means to entertain, immerse and, oh yes, present a new collection with Wednesday night’s fashion show at Disneyland.
The label took over Mickey’s Toontown — a themed land within the main park transporting guests directly into a cartoon world where they could cruise the homes of Mickey and Minnie or ride on Gadget’s Go Coaster, among other attractions — for the brand’s spring 2018 presentation and unveiling of a Disney capsule collection timed with Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday.
“The idea is we’re going to be kicking off his birthday as a worldwide celebration with this event,” Leon said.
The event also marked the first time in four decades a fashion show has taken place at the park.
Guests, most of whom were coming from Los Angeles, were urged to arrive a few hours early to allow for traffic, which during rush hour clocked in at nearly two hours. Of course, they were given full run of the park starting at 6 p.m. up until the show’s planned start time of 9 p.m.
Curious onlookers began to take note of
A new Porsche Design concept store — the company’s first in the U.S. — will open at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Nov. 15. The unit replaces a store that first opened in the Southern California mall in 1988.
The new store is nearly 1,600 square feet and located in the Carousel Court in the center of the plaza. It is a collaboration with Porsche Cars North America and will feature a rotating collection of Porsche cars that will serve as the centerpiece of the floor. There will also be a 16-x-9-foot video wall.
In addition, the store will offer men’s apparel, timepieces, electronics, luggage, writing tools, fragrances, smoking accessories, leather goods, eyewear and home accessories.
The only other store featuring this concept is in Milan and it opened in February.
“F.A. Porsche founded Porsche Design in 1972, with the design of a racing-inspired chronograph made for Porsche race car drivers,” said Dr. Jan Becker, chief executive officer of The Porsche Design Group. “Now, nearly 30 years after opening the original store, shifting gears and taking our retail concept to the next level with Porsche cars is a logical progression for us.”
Becker added that since it has operated a store three for
Gwyneth Paltrow and Christian Louboutin feted the opening of Goop’s first permanent brick-and-mortar store, Goop Lab, at the Brentwood Country Mart on Thursday night. The event also marked the debut of an exclusive Goop x Christian Louboutin four-piece capsule collection including Louboutin’s first baby shoe, available on goop.com beginning today. (EDS: Sept. 15)
Goop Lab and the goop x Christian Louboutin capsule.
Guests including Demi Moore, Molly Sims, Edgar Ramirez, Rachel Zoe, Jennifer Meyer, Sara Foster, Erin Foster, Kelly Sawyer, Brigette Romanek, Amanda de Cadenet, Monique Lhuillier, Shiva Rose, Ashley Streicher, Kristie Streicher, Marlien and Coliena Rentmeester, Eric Buterbaugh and Bryan Lourd sipped Champagne and ate hors d’oeuvres by chefs Ludo Lefebvre Jon Shook, and Vinny Dotolo of Trois Mec.
Designed by Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer of Roman and Williams, the 1,300-square-foot space, which officially opens later this month, is fashioned as Goop’s Brentwood bungalow, with a living room, kitchen, apothecary, mudroom, greenhouse and porch. Customers enter through the plant-filled greenhouse and mudroom, which leads to a working kitchen, the heart of the store. Off that is the apothecary where the beauty and wellness products are displayed, and apparel is housed in the back living room.
“What’s love got to do with it?” Tina Turner opined.
Everything. Our relationships with clothes are personal, passionate and often complicated, just as our relationships of the human orientation. Experimental in their approach to fashion shows, Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim opted this season for an original dance piece that traces the trajectory of a couple’s romantic relationship. The work was written and directed by Leon’s close friend Spike Jonze, whom Leon credits with coming up with the idea, and choreographed by Ryan Heffington.
“Spike and I are really close,” Leon noted. “He said, ‘You’ve got to do a piece about relationships, where the clothing tells you about the character.’” A related project: an intriguing 16-page broadsheet focused on romantic relationships. It features interviews and a photo essay with quotes of couples, from the designers’ parents to John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
The dance piece will run through Friday at the La Mama Theater, with ticket sales going to Hurricane Harvey relief, a back story of particular potency since the industry performance occurred on Sunday as Hurricane Irma devastated Florida.
“Changers: A Dance Story,” stars Mia Wasikowska and Lakeith Stanfield. It tells the story of a couple, the designers wrote in the
Opening Ceremony won’t forget the victims of Hurricane Harvey even during New York Fashion Week.
The designers and retailers will showcase their fall/winter 2017 collection in a dance performance on Sunday, Sept. 10 called “Changers.” The show was written and directed by Spike Jonze, choreographed by Ryan Heffington and will feature Mia Wasikowska and Lakeith Stanfield.
Now Opening Ceremony said the performance at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, 66 E 4th St in the East Village, will also be open to the public for four nights, Sept. 11, 12, 14 and 15. All proceeds from the ticket sales — which are $ 15 — will be donated to the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
The performance explores the evolution of relationships and will be told through movement and dance. Following the show on Sept. 10, the Opening Ceremony fall collection will be available for pre-order.
In the past, Opening Ceremony’s founders Humberto Leon Carol Lim have teamed with Jonze on other projects including “100% Lost Cotton,” a play at the Metropolitan Opera, and a collaboration for Jonze’s movies “Her” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”
IVANKA READY FOR FALL: The Ivanka Trump brand will be opening a boutique in Trump Tower this fall, according to sources.
As for whether the label’s full selection — dresses, sportswear, shoes, handbags, jewelry and accessories — will be available remains to be seen. A spokeswoman for the company declined comment Friday about any specifics regarding square footage, the actual launch date and whether company president Abigail Klem is concerned that the store may appear to some to be a conflict of interest even though Ivanka has stepped away from the company.
Prior to her father’s inauguaration in January, Trump announced that she would give up her role running her fashion brand as well as her post as executive vice president of acquisitions and development at the Trump Organization. Her stepping back followed the appointment of her husband Jared Kushner in as a senior adviser to the Trump administration. At that time, her husband’s attorney Jamie S. Gorelick said in a statement issued to Vanity Fair that Trump would also “sell all of her common stock and restructure her participation in Trump Organization transactions so that she no longer benefits from the profits.”
The new Ivanka Trump Collection store will not be the only
Luke Smith, the director on Bungie’s upcoming Destiny sequel, will deliver the opening keynote at PAX West 2017.
Before working on Destiny 2, Smith served as the creative director on Destiny: The Taken King, and was the lead designer for Destiny’s raids. He also worked as a systems designer on both Halo: Reach and Destiny. Don’t miss all of our exclusive Destiny 2 coverage for an in-depth look at Bungie’s shared-world shooter.
The panel lineup for PAX 2017 has also been revealed, and features a number of studios, including Gearbox Software, Monolith Soft and CD Projekt RED. You can check out the full lineup here.
Supreme is said to be opening its second New York location in Brooklyn.
According to the @supreme__hustle Instagram account, which is dedicated to all things Supreme, the streetwear brand will open a store in Williamsburg and a real estate source said Supreme had been eyeing a 3,000-square-foot space on Grand Street.
Resellers say rumors of a Brooklyn store have been percolating for a couple years because of the crowds Supreme draws at its SoHo store on Thursdays when new product drops. In 2014 the New York Police Department temporarily shut down the location due to safety concerns surrounding the release of the Supreme Nike Air Foamposite sneakers. The NYPD recently closed Palace, a streetwear brand based in London, due to unruly customers during its store opening.
Andre Arias, who resells Supreme, said talks of a Brooklyn store started to dissipate once the company created a new drop system that alleviated crowds on Lafayette Street. Arias said customers now meet in a park the Monday before Thursday drops and put their names on a list. They then receive a number that dictates when they can enter the flagship, thus eliminating the need for a line.
Despite its overzealous fans, Supreme has maintained a relatively small retail
Blockbusters, once associated only with the dog days of summer, are now year-round events. But as long as studios keep packing the hottest months with one big-budget spectacle after the next, we’ll offer some recommendations on which ones look the most promising. (Sorry, “Transformers.”)
In between all that computer-generated action, you’ll also find indie charmers, thoughtful documentaries and a few intimate genre pieces likely to generate buzz. (Enough with you, “Transformers.”)
Here are 23 options fulfilling all sides of the moviegoing spectrum. (Bye, “Transformers.”)
All release dates are subject to change.
The above video was edited by Gabe Piscione.
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“The Fate of the Furious” is motoring to an impressive $ 103.8 million opening weekend at 4,310 North American locations, Saturday estimates showed. Universal’s tentpole sped to an opening day of $ 45.6 million on Friday — including $ 10.4 million during Thursday night preview screenings. The studio’s Easter weekend domestic launch of “The Fate of the Furious” was the… Read more »
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon aren’t ones to shy away from expressing their political and social beliefs. In recent memory, their shows and performances have focused on migration, grounded futurism and political pageants. Given what’s happening in the world today — in particular America’s current immigration ban — their latest collection, which was inspired by immigrant travel and the romantic ideology of beauty in diversity, was even more poignant. They created a melting pot, if you will, of fashion drawn from different cultures, representative of the America they believe in, with an aesthetic thread that balanced easy feminine flair and traditional menswear.
Beginning with their show in September 2016 — at a moment when the industry was experimenting with ideas of see-now-buy-now and questioned the need for an overhaul to the current fashion week model — Kim and Leon positioned Opening Ceremony in-season with an approach unlike their contemporaries; this “summer” collection, for example, generally an interchangeable term for “pre-fall,” will begin hitting stores as soon as March 15, whereas pre-fall delivers in May. It’s a methodical approach to truly satisfying what customers want and desire immediately.
For summer, the designers studied images of people who have entered America, from all different cultures, who wore clothes ranging from evocations of celebration to protection,
“Get Out,” a trenchant horror film about race relations, rode critical raves to a smashing box office debut. The low-budget film was the weekend’s top-grossing domestic release, earning $ 30.5 million, and propelling its director and writer Jordan Peele onto the Hollywood A-list. The film, which centers on a black man who discovers that his girlfriend’s… Read more »
Opening Ceremony’s cofounders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are treading into new territory with Justin Peck, Opening Ceremony X NYCB, which bowed at 8 p.m. Saturday night during a New York City Ballet world premiere at Lincoln Center’s David Koch Theater.
Lim and Leon collaborated with the ballet’s resident choreography Justin Peck to create costumes for his new work, “The Times are Racing,” with music by Dan Deacon. The performance served as Opening Ceremony’s spring ready-to-wear presentation with guests that included buyers, press and family.
“The ballet was the perfect opportunity to invite people to experience the collection in a different platform and different venue,” Lim said. “It’s for this season that we’re doing that. We’ll have some sort of celebration during women’s fashion week.”
“Times” interprets encounters between strangers on city streets, conveying serendipity and connections. Lim and Leon drew on 19th-century images of Ellis Island, where immigrants from diverse backgrounds crossed paths. The spring collection is a meditation on the American melting pot and a not-so-subtle rebuke of President Trump’s immigration policies, which include building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico to prevent illegal crossings.
“The election has been really top-of-mind for Humberto and me and the rest of the world. Justin was influenced by what was happening in the world. The piece is pretty exciting and hopeful
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: Following the launch of its new house on Fifth Avenue last week, Coach let the good times roll with a party to mark the opening of a Regent Street flagship on Thursday night.
Located on 206 Regent Street, next door to Stuart Weitzman (which is owned by Coach) the new 27,500 square feet space showcases the brand’s new retail concept.
Designed by creative director Stuart Vevers in collaboration with William Sofield, the shop aims to embody the concept of modern luxury and focuses on customization, with stations offering monogramming and made-to-order services.
It also highlights the brand’s playful spirit, with a metallic sculpture of Rexy the dinosaur, who stomps his way across the brand’s rtw and accessories collections, at the entrance of the store. Rexy also appears in street-facing windows, in the form of a neon pink light installation.
Dancers dressed in dinosaur costumes were the main attraction for party guests, including Kate Moss, Henry Holland, Poppy Delevingne, Erin O’ Connor and Daisy Lowe.
“It feels like a home-away-from-home because my house is filled with dinosaurs. I had a sweet chat with Stuart about it and he said that the message is embracing the child within, which is great. He
NEW YORK – Nike has been forced to delay the opening of its 55,000-square-foot store in SoHo here, planned for today, due to permits. This is after a week of promoting the store with press walkthroughs and a party Nov. 9. The company issued this statement:
“We look forward to bringing New Yorkers the best of Nike at our new Soho store. Due to permitting issues, the store will not open to the general public as planned on Friday, November 11th. We will communicate the new opening date as soon as possible. Scheduled product launches and consumer events are postponed until opening.”
You may have already heard about the robot hotel inside the theme park, where animatronic women and T. rex dinosaurs help guests check in for their stays and even carry luggage, along with human backup.
NEW YORK — Brendon Babenzien might come from the school of Supreme — he was formerly the creative director at the popular streetwear brand — but he’s taking a different approach to building his new men’s wear brand Noah.
That’s made clear at his new store, which sits on the corner of Mulberry and Kenmare Streets in NoLIta and opens Thursday.
Unlike Supreme’s retail locations, which are typically stark vessels for product, Babenzien’s shop has a residential feel. The 800-square-foot space features a proper seating area along with warm wooden fixtures. Clothes are displayed on racks held up by leather straps attached to the ceiling. Old music magazines, which Babenzien wants customers to actually read, are sprinkled throughout the store. There’s no cash register in sight and associates will check out customers on an iPad.
“We wanted it to feel welcoming and like you could spend time here,” said Babenzien, who will also use the store as an office. “I grew up working in a surf shop and it was a real place for activity. We wanted people to feel comfortable in the space.”
Although the assortment includes graphic T-shirts and beanies — streetwear staples — the collection is much more grown up than
HOT STUFF: Humberto Leon and Carol Lim stirred together some of the fashion pack’s favorite ingredients – a hot young chef and a smartphone with razor-sharp picture quality – for a dinner in Paris celebrating the new partnership between their Opening Ceremony label and Samsung on a special accessory collection.
The duo flew in Angela Dimayuga, executive chef of cult New York eaterie Mission Chinese Food, to cook up a meal for friends and editors in town for Paris Fashion Week. “Carol and I love food, and we’re not shy about it,” said Leon. “It’s super exciting to have everyone be able to experience this.”
Dimayuga whipped up a feast including braised peanut and woodear mushroom, drunken fish en papillote, mapo tofu and tea fragrance rice for guests including Leigh Lezark and Geordon Nicol, Susanna Lau, Leaf Greener and Kenzo chief executive officer Eric Marechalle.
The Chongqing chicken wings, packed with “explosive chili,” lived up to their billing. Lim confessed she knows the menu by heart.
“You know how some places you go and you’re like, ‘That was an amazing experience, maybe I could go once a year’? But this restaurant has this quality about it where all the dishes are so unique, and
Look for Backpacks & Bookbags? Buy this 9 in 1 Multifunction Repair Opening Pry Tools Kit Set for iPhone/Cellphone Blue tmart.com store provides cool gadgets, cell phones, consumer electronics, LED flashlight, car accessories, phones accessories, computer accessories, games accessories, holiday gifts and security camera.
Then, there’s all the issue of anti-Semitism, which is addressed quite pointedly with the number If You Could See Her in which the Emcee serenades and dances with his “partner” – an actress dressed in a gorilla suit and wedding dress.
This performance of Cabaret is, however, far from as dire as the stage appears prior to the show starting. In the beginning, the Kit Kat Klub is shown as it would be after the Nazis took over, but it magically transforms into the glittery, extravagant setting where almost anything is available and possible when the Emcee enters and begins introducing “the beautiful girls and boys.”
The Emcee is brilliantly played by Jason Collins, who morphs from one lavish costume to another while weaving a plot filled with both meaning and entertainment. Collins is beyond flashy, and he maintains the mantle of master showman while keeping the show both inviting and intriguing.
The other principle player who can’t be missed is Billie Wildrick as Sally Bowles. Wildrick dances and sings with a vibrancy that leaves the songs stuck in your head days later. And these two key cast members are brilliantly supported by the other actors, the highly innovative staging and a “house band” that becomes a character in and of itself as it rolls out to center stage on a moving platform from time to time. All of this makes Village Theatre’s performance of Cabaret a show that should not be missed. It’s well worth a drive from Seattle to Issaquah (or next month to Everett).
Cabaret plays at the Village Theatre in Issaquah through July 3 before moving to the Everett Performing Arts Center where it will run from July 10 to August 2.
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Courtney Cole’s first time singing in front of an audience was almost her last. The wide-eyed eleven-year-old spent weeks preparing to sing in front of her Louisiana church for the first time. She was so confident in her preparation and eager to make her debut that right before she went onstage, she asked her piano accompanist to forego the song’s introduction.
“It was a disaster,” Cole recalls. “I started singing in the wrong key. I knew it right away, but I couldn’t figure out how to switch when the piano came in. I barely finished, and then I immediately went to the bathroom and cried my eyes out. I told my mom I would never, ever sing again.”
Despite the traumatic experience, Cole’s fifth-grade resilience kicked in and she was singing in church again a couple of weeks later. Church performances soon turned into musical theater, which led Cole to attend the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts near her hometown of Mandeville, Louisiana, as a high schooler.
“I’ve always loved to perform and feel so at home on stage,” Cole says. “I know this sounds so generic, but I love Wicked. My family names all of our animals after Wicked; my mom had a fish named Glinda, and her dog’s name is Elphaba. There’s a spell that Elphaba says in the play, ‘Eleka nahmen nahmen ah tum ah tum eleka nahmen,’ and that’s my dog’s name. I call her Ellie for short. Now I just need a boy dog to name Fiyero!”
Musical theater came so naturally for Cole that she almost pursued the passion after high school until a conversation with her church’s worship pastor helped change her course. “I had a scholarship to go to school in Alabama for musical theater,” she says. “My worship pastor said, ‘You don’t need to go do that that. You need to do your ultimate dream, which is touring and being onstage and singing music that you’ve written.'”
Inspired by the conversation, Cole applied to Belmont University in Nashville. “I got in at the last audition they had for the year and moved to Nashville, and I’ve been here ever since.”
“I majored in commercial voice,” Cole says. “Thank God that’s a major! What else would I have majored in? Accounting? I couldn’t!” she adds with a laugh. “Music is the only thing I’m good at. There’s nothing else I would want to do. I respect and appreciate the people who do the business side of [music] so much because it’s just so hard. I did it for a while, and I couldn’t even think. It just wasn’t me.”
Cole calls her journey “your typical Nashville story.” She explains, “I worked my way up. After I graduated, I got an internship at a publishing company…from a guy I met on MySpace, actually,” the singer adds. “I worked there doing a bunch of odd jobs. I would work from 9 – 5, then sing and write from 6 – 10, because that’s what I ultimately wanted to do. The company executives saw what I was doing and decided to give me a publishing deal! That’s where my journey as a professional songwriter and artist really began. I’ve been refining my writing and crafting my sound over the last couple of years, and here I am now. “
Here is a place Cole describes as “exactly where I’ve always dreamed I would be.” She has a new music video, “Drunk,” which is making waves on CMT and GAC. Her Spotify-exclusive acoustic EP, #NoFilter, has been received well by fans and critics alike, and she’ll join one of her country idols, Miranda Lambert, on an all-female country tour this fall.
“Making the video for ‘Drunk’ was one of the best experiences of my life,” Cole gushes. “When we were finished, I looked at my manager and said, ‘Can we do that again?’ It was just a really fun day. It brought in the music side and my theater side.”
The video was shot in Nashville, but Cole infused elements of New Orleans as a tribute to a town that she says has been a constant inspiration. “Personality-wise, music-wise, color-wise, it’s just so inspiring,” she says. “That’s all the stuff I want to bring out in my music. We couldn’t film in New Orleans because Mardi Gras was going on, so we decided to bring Mardi Gras to Nashville! If you look closely, you can see fleurs-de-lis in a few places in the video.”
The song “Drunk” was the product of a writer’s retreat between Cole and co-writers Catt Gravitt, Gerald O’Brien, and Shirazi.”We wrote five songs that trip, but we knew right away there was something really special about ‘Drunk,'” Cole says. “What you hear on Spotify is actually the acoustic work tape that we did in the cabin that day. I knew it would make the perfect first single and be a great stepping stone for the album.” (Fans can find the fully-produced version of “Drunk” on iTunes.)
Cole’s Spotify-exclusive debut also includes the beautiful ballad “Fall Like Rain,” which provides a great balance to the fun, upbeat “Drunk” and “Can’t Buy Love.” The inspirational “Cool Girl” finishes out the four-song collection, making it a very strong showing for the Louisiana native, who is road-tested, to say the least.
She has played hundreds of shows supporting acts including Chris Young, Thompson Square, and Kip Moore. But she shows she’s most excited about are yet to come. This fall, she will join one of her country-music heroes, Miranda Lambert, on a resurrection of Lambert’s Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour at venues across the country. The all-female lineup includes Lambert, Cole, “God Made Girls” singer RaeLynn, Lambert’s Pistol Annies partner-in-crime Ashley Monroe, and up-and-coming country artist Clare Dunn.
“I’m so excited for the tour. It feels so surreal,” Cole says. “Miranda’s music changed songwriting for me. She changed the way that I view music in general, and writing from a personal standpoint. Her writing helped me get down to the truth of who I am as a writer and find what I want to say to the world, and it just made me want to be better.”
Although landing the tour with Miranda is a dream come true for the young artist, she’s quick to note that there are many dreams left to achieve. And the best way to make those dreams come true? Believe in them, she says.
“If I could sum up my story in one sentence, it would be that dreams really do come true, and with a little hard work and staying positive, you can make anything happen,” she says with conviction. “Your thoughts really do become your life. When I was a little girl, I would sit in my room and pretend like I was on tour. I would see the arena in my head. And the fact that I’m here now, and get to go out and play my music live on the road, it’s amazing! But I knew that was going to happen from the time I was a little girl, because I believed it.”
Country fans had better believe they’ll be hearing a LOT from Courtney Cole in the future. Between now and the kickoff of the Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour in September, country fans can enjoy her acoustic EP, #NoFilter, exclusively on Spotify. For more information, visit CourtneyColeMusic.com.
Live photo courtesy of Courtney Cole. Professional photos by Ivan Clow.
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UNIQLO FINDS A HOME IN QUEENS: Uniqlo has lined up an 8,000-square-foot space at The Shops at SkyView Center in Flushing, Queens. Scheduled to open later this spring, it will be joining a 700,000-square-foot shopping complex that includes such stores as Nordstrom Rack, Forever 21, Nike Clearance Store, The Children’s Place, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and Marshall’s.
With 39 stores across the U.S., the retailer has three more in the works. Slated to open in the fall is a 13,000-square-foot unit at The Bellevue Collection in Seattle and a 10,000-square-foot store at Tysons Corner Center in Tysons Corner, Va., while a 22,000-square-foot unit at the Denver Pavilions in Denver will bow in spring 2016.
The sketch included long, uncut “Birdman”-style shots, a shout out to J.K. Simmons’ “rushing or dragging” speech in “Whiplash” and just the right amount of slapping to confirm that this is definitely not the Oscars. Watch below.
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Steps to Opening a Successful Web Store starts by taking a look at the importance of e-commerce and the different types that exist.It points out the advantages of operating out of your own home. It suggests ways to find products to sell and ascertain whether there is a market for them.The next part of this book is devoted to setting up your business and selecting a computer and software. It then shows you how to create your own Web site and whats involved in conducting e-commerce together with reviews of software to help you.Online advertising is covered in detail as well as off-line advertising to support it.A chapter is devoted to selling at eBay auctions and on opening an eBay Store.This book takes a look at how much it costs to set up a Web store.The final chapter strongly recommends that you start by preparing a business plan and then using it to monitor your progress.