1. Nick Wooster: Sartorial Badass

    “…it’s not about spending a fortune. All you need is attention to detail and a great tailored fit and you can go into any situation with confidence.” - Nick Wooster

    GQ named him “the alpha male of American street style.” Fashion blogs spread his sartorial inspiration across the length and breadth of the internet. A self-proclaimed “kid from Kansas,” Nickelson ‘Nick’ Wooster, known for his sharply tailored blazers, handlebar moustache and sleeve tattoos, has become a true fashion icon.

    Wooster is an authority on menswear having spent over 25 years working with luxury brands such as Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as fashion labels like Thom Browne. His love affair with department stores began at a young age in the small town of Salina, Kansas. His first exposure to fashion was a department store in Wichita, Kansas, which he would visit with his grandfather. As Wooster reached his teens, he realized that if the choice was between mowing yards or dressing up and working at the clothing store, he would pick the clothing store.

    Wooster studied journalism and advertising at the University of Kansas and upon graduation, moved to New York to work for the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. However, it proved to be a poor fit. Not suited to the constant number crunching of being an Assistant Account Executive, he realized that his true love was fashion, particularly in the retail environment, and he soon managed to secure a position as an Assistant Department Manager at the elite Saks Fifth Avenue. Always searching for new experiences, in 1987 Wooster landed a position as Assistant Buyer at Barneys New York.

    He would later leave buying, becoming Director of Retail Merchandising at Calvin Klein, which led him to becoming the Design Director at Polo Ralph Lauren, then President of John Bartlett. In 2010 Wooster made his biggest move yet, when he was named Men’s Fashion Director at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, two of the highest-luxury department stores in the United States.

    As of April of 2011 Wooster took a surprising – and to some risky – move, taking a position as Senior Vice President of Brand, Trend and Design at the then-ailing retail giant JCPenney. While there, Wooster travelled frequently between the company’s headquarters in Plano and New York City.

    Most of his time at JCPenney was spent rethinking the men’s department as a place where people want to spend time, “A place for education… A place where families want to be, where people want to sit, where there’s technology or toys to keep them occupied.”

    Named as an Instagram idol by the New York Times, these days Wooster is a freelance fashion consultant, exploring online technologies such as InstagramTumblr, Pinterest and Fancy for inspiration, and the ways in which publishing and fashion will intertwine in the future.

    No matter what Nick Wooster does, he’ll do it with style.

     
  2. Are you ready to be famous? Get in touch! http://bit.ly/1tN1ApQ http://ift.tt/1qJgwmw

     

  3. One More Thing: Apple Changes The Rules Again

    On September 9, 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage at the Flint Centre in Cuppertino, California for the long awaited announcement of new products. The anticipation - not to mention the pressure - was high, as this event featured the first truly new products since the death of Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs. Despite technical issues with the live feed in the first half, Cook showed an infectious, bubbling enthusiasm that felt quite genuine as he delivered the newest product offerings to an anxious and hungry press.

    The event itself was filled with a lot of technical information, so we’ll try to filter down to the important points:

    iPhone 6 / 6 Plus

    The newest member of the iPhone family comes in two flavours, the 6 and the 6 Plus. The phones are larger than the iPhone 5, coming in at 4.7” and 5.5” respectively. Interestingly, both phones are in fact thinner than their predecessor. The larger screen size allows for better graphics, with the 6 boasting better than 720p resolution and the 6 Plus offering full 1080p display capability. The 6 Plus also behaves like an iPad, offering support for apps - and even the home screen - in landscape mode. This gives you a larger keyboard, making typing emails and text messages easier for those of us with large fingers. Also of note is the reported battery life. According to Apple, despite the more powerful processor and advanced graphics, battery life is “as good or better than the iPhone 5S” in the words of Phil Schiller, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing.

    This last point is quite exciting for those of us who live and die by our smartphones (read: nearly everybody). Battery life is the proverbial albatross around the neck of every mobile device user, so any improvement in that area - that doesn’t require a sacrifice of functionality - is always a blessing.

    The phones themselves will be available for pre-order on Friday September 12, appearing in stores September 19th. Both models will come in ’space grey’, white and, of course, gold. The iPhone 6 starts at $199 for 16GB and goes to $399 for 128GB. The 6 Plus starts at $299 for 16GB and goes up to $499 for 128GB.

    Apple Pay

    The idea of using a phone as a mobile wallet has been the dream of nearly every smartphone manufacturer. Apple may have made the best attempt to do so yet with Apple Pay. There are of course a lot of questions surrounding this feature, but the basic idea is this: Using technology called Near Field Communication (NFC), already in use by companies like Google, a user will be able to use their iPhone 6 or 6 Plus to make purchases online or in participating stores. Security is provided by several means, including the TouchID fingerprint reader on the phone. The service allows you to take a picture of your credit card to use it or use a card that’s already on file with your iTunes account.

    Unsurprisingly, Eddie Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services gave assurances to the audience that using this system meant that cashiers and merchants won’t be able to see your card number, Apple won’t know what you buy, and that you can suspend service on a lost phone using Find My iPhone.

    A system such as this is only as good as the merchant and financial institutions with which it’s partnered. According to Eddie Cue, Apple has struck partnerships with American Express, Visa, MasterCard, six major US banks including Chase and Bank of America, and 22,000 retailers, such as Macy’s Bloomingdale’s, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Disney, Staples, and even McDonalds. The company says that Apple Pay’s partnerships cover 80 percent of the US credit card base.

    Apple Watch

    The moment Tim Cook uttered the now iconic words “One more thing,” the audience erupted in spontaneous applause, both for the subtle tribute to Apple’s founder Steve Jobs and also for what they knew was coming. “Apple Watch is the most personal device we’ve ever created,” Cook beamed, and it was difficult to miss the genuine enthusiasm and excitement he displayed. The Apple Watch (note the absence of the ‘i’ prefix from Pay and Watch) is the first totally new major product since 2010, and deserves a post of it’s own, so we’ll keep this fairly high level.

    It’s a fashion accessory, a communication tool, a fitness tracker and a method of payment. The Apple Watch has to be paired with an iPhone of the 5 or 6 variety to use, but of particular interest is the level of customizability of the device itself. There are three distinct models: the stainless steel Apple Watch, the anodized aluminum Watch Sport, and the 18K gold Watch Edition. These models come in two sizes, and each has six interchangeable straps, such as a sports band, a leather loop that uses magnets for fastening, and a second leather model that uses a metal clasp, among others. It has a touchscreen that can tell the difference between a tap and a long press, which access contextual menus, something that even the iPhone lacks.

    Another feature of the Apple Watch is health monitoring. Using advanced sensors in the back of the device, it can measure your daily activity, including steps taken and heart rate. You can set fitness and health goals, and earn achievements for those goals.

    As for availability, the Apple Watch is slated for ‘Early 2015’, with a starting price of $349.

    The word that jumps to mind, even after the initial excitement has worn off, is ‘potential’. There are still a lot of questions to be answered, but these products have the potential to revolutionize the way we buy, they way we communicate, and even the way we live. Again.

    We think Steve would approve.

     

  4. Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer: Maverick and Trendsetter

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    Here at Famous Folks, we admire trailblazers, those with the courage and hustle to do great things. This time out, we’re looking at a true trailblazer, Yahoo! President and CEO Marissa Mayer. It’s not often that hiring someone, even a Chief Executive, makes for big news. However on July 16, 2012, the internet exploded with the announcement that Marissa Mayer, a former Google VP, had been named as the new President and CEO of Yahoo! effective the following day.

    Born in Wausau, Wisconsin, Mayer graduated with honours from Stanford University with a B.S. in symbolic systems and an M.S. in computer science. For both degrees, her specialization was in artificial intelligence, training that would turn out to be very useful in the future.

    Mayer joined Google in 1999 as employee number 20 and was the company’s first female engineer. During her thirteen years at Google, Mayer had a hand in many of the internet giant’s initiatives, such as Google Search (including the famously spartan homepage), Images, News, Maps, Books, Product Search, Toolbar, iGoogle, and Gmail.

    When the news broke of her departure from Google and ascension to the top office at Yahoo!, many hailed it as a triumph for female executives in the still quite male-heavy technology sector. On the same day as her installation as President and CEO, she announced that she was pregnant.

    Mayer joined Yahoo! at a time when it’s overall vision and direction had become fragmented in the midst of management instability and aggressive competition (interestingly, from companies like Google). She immediately began consolidating and streamlining processes and services throughout the company. It appears to have worked, as according to comScore, in July 2013 Yahoo! surpassed Google on the number of US visitors to its websites for the first time since May 2011, set at 196 million, having increased by 21 percent in a year. Mayer also led Yahoo! to acquire Tumblr in a 1.1 billion dollar acquisition in 2013.

    Mayer ranked 32 in the Forbes Magazine’s List of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2013, and became the first woman listed as number one on Fortune magazine’s annual list of the top 40 business stars under 40 years old. In 2014, she was listed again as one of the 100 most influential women in the world. She was ranked at #18, behind Beyoncé Knowles.

    Like all trailblazers however, there have been controversies along the way. In February 2013, Mayer made a major policy change at Yahoo! that required all remote-working employees to convert to in-office roles. Having worked from home toward the end of her pregnancy, Mayer returned to work after giving birth to a boy, and had a nursery built next to her office suite — as a result she was criticized for the telecommuting ban.

    In a world where women still only make up 14 percent of company executives, and in an industry that struggles with diversity issues, it’s both refreshing and exciting to see talented mavericks like Marissa Mayer joining other female CEOs such as Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard, Mary Barra of General Motors and Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin. This is definitely a trend we can get behind.

     

  5. Make the decision to act today. Be bold. Be audacious. 

     

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    Venturing into the unknown can be frightening, but ultimately rewarding. How far are you willing to explore?

     

  7. Sometimes opportunities are difficult to see, other times, they kick you in the ass. The important thing is to grab them when they appear!

     

  8. The Innovation Age Part 2: Influential Technologies of the Next Decade

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    Flying cars. Food in pill form. Colonies on the moon. We’ve been promised many amazing things ‘in the future’. In part two of our look at influential technologies, we’re polishing off our crystal ball and examining three emerging technologies that we believe fundamentally change the way we interact with the world and with each other.

    3D Printing

    In the science fiction television show Star Trek, the crew of the Enterprise could ‘create’ a meal, drink or even simple objects to a device called a ‘replicator’ with a voice command. The object would be constructed at the molecular level in seconds. While we may not have access to 24th century technology, 3D printing will allow us to instantly manufacture any physical item, from food to bicycles, using printer technology. Already, things ranging from toys to cars to living structures are being printed, and because the process is done by adding layers of materials on top of one another, they are printed fully assembled and decorated, too. The impact this will have on the manufacturing industry alone is staggering. There is even work being done on 3D ‘bio-printers’, allowing the construction of custom organs for transplant recipients. In fact, a 12 year old Chinese boy with bone cancer has recently been given the world’s first 3D-printed vertebrae in a groundbreaking procedure.

    Wearable Technology

    We’ve had some form of wearable technology for sometime, such as the calculator watch, and more recently, fitness tracking wristbands like Nike’s Fuel Band. In the next decade however, wearable technology will become far more pervasive and far more invisible. The capability of Google glass will be incorporated into contact lenses. Clothing will contain all manner of information processing capabilities, from analyzing the environment and adjusting itself for the wearer’s comfort to health and fitness tracking, such as the sensor-laden ‘Move’ Pilates shirt designed by Jennifer Darmour.

    The Internet of Things

    We have long passed the threshold where more things are connected to the Internet than people. Cisco IBSG predicts the number of Internet-connected things will reach 50 billion by 2020, which equates to more than six devices for every person on Earth. Many of us in the developed world already have three or more full-time devices connected to the Internet when factoring in PCs, smartphones, tablets and television devices, just to name a few. Next to come are home automation systems, wearable technology such as sneakers, and even medical exploratory surgical devices. There’s even a tree in Sweden (yes, I said a tree) wired with sensors that tweets its mood and thoughts, with a bit of translation help from software developed by Ericsson (@connectedtree or #ectree).

    We may not have all the technologies that have been dreamt up over the years, nor are we likely to be commuting to work in gravity-defying vehicles, but the emerging technologies mentioned here are extremely exciting and continue to push the envelope via innovation. Are these the only significant technology trends for the next decade? Not even close! Here’s a few examples:

    - Biotechnology, such as non-surgical bionics.

    Dynamic architecture, which will be used by the incredible rotating tower in Dubai.

    - Space Tourism, such as that provided by Virgin Galactic.

    It’s safe to say that with the emerging technologies and innovations coming in the next decade, futurists from 1950 wouldn’t even recognize our world, much less be able to predict our advances. What new technologies are you most excited about in the coming years?

     

  9. It’s time once again for our #FamousFriday artist profile! This week we’re featuring the Halifax-born and Toronto-based indie folk group Tasseomancy! Their ambient, haunting vocals and melodies are better heard than described, so here they are with their track ‘Night’. http://bit.ly/1plhghd

     

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    'Impossible' really depends on your perspective. How do you define impossible?