Category Archives: Lifestyle

Valentina’s Met Gala NFT Is Leading the Call to End Anti-Trans Violence

When challenged to meet the theme of “American Independence” for this year’s MET Gala, supermodel Valentina Sampaio began thinking earnestly about what it means to be an American in 2021.

For Sampaio, who has already made history several times throughout her career, the question couldn’t be answered without considering her own viewpoint as a trans woman born and raised in Brazil, a country with one of the world’s highest transgender murder rates. The stats are similarly harrowing across the US, where, according to Human Rights Campaign, at least 35 trans and gender non-conforming people – the vast majority of whom were Black trans women – have been murdered in 2021 so far.

If this homicide rate continues, the death toll will surpass last year’s to make 2021 the deadliest on record for trans people in the US.

Determined to make a visual statement highlighting the urgency of anti-trans violence, Sampaio began brainstorming with her agency, The Lions. The result is an arresting, ambitious multimedia project entitled “Lambada Dyed Red, White and Blue,” written and directed by Jesse Ball and Branislav Jankić, and created in collaboration with blockchain network LUKSO.

The beating heart of the project is a breathtaking CGI dress, currently being auctioned as an NFT (the crypto equivalent of a rare work of art) to fundraise for LGBTQ+ charities, whose print takes shape over the course of a two-minute video. As Sampaio recites a passionate monologue and names the victims of anti-trans murder, the dress starts to bleed with their symbolic blood. It’s a devastatingly poignant tribute, and one rooted in Sampaio’s hope that “art can restore humanity.”

A team of close collaborators worked tirelessly to bring the project to life, gathering an all-trans cast to shoot the video on a secluded beach. “I remember one moment where everyone just danced on set, the energy was electrifying,” recalled filmmaker Branislav Jankić. “It was so real and magnificent, so innocent. They laughed as if there was no tomorrow, and every one of us behind the camera was drawn in by this magic moment.” Writer Jesse Ball – also behind the camera – concurred, describing the happiness on-set as “contagious. I’ve never been on a set where so many people were smiling shyly in real joy,” he added.

Depicting the euphoria that comes with gathering trans communities in safe, welcoming environments is a key step forward in humanizing a community so often treated as an abstract issue, or a collective scapegoat. “There is a true chance, I think, to show America that the trans community need not be controversial,” continued Ball. “These loving people are our neighbors and friends.”

Spotlighting the beauty of trans communities has long been a focus for Sampaio, known for smashing through barriers in the fashion industry – from Vogue and Sports Illustrated covers to her historic signing as a Victoria’s Secret ambassador, her career has given hope to trans talent so often excluded from the fantasy worlds of high fashion. “I hope that young trans women can see women like us at the MET Gala and other cultural epicenters and come to know that trans women do belong,” she stated.

Crucially, Sampaio has also spent her career drilling down on specific issues rather than relying on broad political messages. In Brazil, she explains that legal rights such as name changes and the “principle of human dignity” often don’t translate into genuine protections for trans people. “There is very little tolerance and compassion, and the list of steps and documents required to change your legal name based on your gender identity is a real obstacle,” said Sampaio. Earlier this year, she teamed with Starbucks for award-winning campaign “I Am,” which transformed local stores into pop-up legal offices where trans people were able to have their names legally changed on official documents, free of charge.

These barriers become even more insurmountable when factors like precarious migrant status and other forms of discrimination, like racism and ableism, are factored in. “Many trans people are rejected by their families,” she continued, highlighting the reasons so many trans communities are disproportionately vulnerable. “This rejection leads to homelessness, lack of access to education and measures like sex work as a means for survival.”

In the US, emphasis on trans visibility has led to “a broader understanding of the experiences of people who are transgender,” said Sampaio. Yet this doesn’t necessarily mean the material realities of being trans have improved. “Violence against our communities has continued to rise, and I know that more than 100 anti-trans bills have been proposed this year – that’s the most in US history by conservative lawmakers. Thirteen of those bills have passed.”

In other words, projects like “Lambada Dyed Red, White and Blue” are just as urgent, if not more so, than ever. “I’m honored to have had this experience,” concluded Sampaio. “I’m speaking my truth and I reflect what’s dear to my heart. I try to lead by example and plant seeds of acceptance, but ultimately, I stand for any and everyone who, like me, suffers prejudice for not fitting into society’s standards.”

To find out more about the project (and bid on the ongoing auction) head here.

Phillips Will Unearth a Rare Rolex “Deep Sea Special” at Auction

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Phillips is bringing the Formula One of timepieces to the Geneva Watch Auction in November.

For the first time in 12 years, a Rolex “Deep Sea Special,” an exceedingly rare model developed for divers, will hit the market. Only five of the water-resistant, pressure-proof watches have ever been sold in the public sphere — most are on display at museums, including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and the Piccard Museum Nyon in Switzerland.

Phillips values the watch — a model from 1965 — at CHF 1.2 to 2.4 million (approximately $1.31 to $2.6 million).

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Responding to newfound demand for waterproof watches, Rolex began developing the Deep Sea Special in 1950. Taking its famed Oyster case to an entirely new level, the Swiss watchmaker worked with oceanographer Jacques Piccard to engineer a model outfitted with a domed crystal, able to withstand extreme pressure.

From 1953 to 1960, Piccard completed a series of dives with the watch, eventually submerging it over 10,000 meters (32,800 feet) underwater.

Rolex is no stranger to high-value sales. In 2017, Paul Newman’s Daytona fetched $17.8 million, setting the world record for a wristwatch at auction. One year later, an 18-karat white gold, Oyster-cased Daytona sold for $6.5 million, thanks to its one-of-a-kind nature (it’s the only white gold vintage Daytona in existence) and notable provenance (famed collector John Goldberger owned the watch).

Though the Deep Sea Special may only fetch up to $2.6 million (chump change, compared to the Paul Newman) the watch represents a significant moment in Rolex history. As for the timepiece’s eventual owner, we have one question: do you dare take it for a dive?

On’s Race to the NY Stock Exchange Is Only the Beginning

Following reports last month, On has now officially been listed on the New York Stock Exchange. A group of 100 runners, including all five co-founders of the Swiss sportswear brand, made their way through Manhattan and over to Wall Street to ring the stock exchange’s famous bell.

Sources previously reported that On was hoping to reach a valuation of $5 billion. On is one of the fastest-growing sportswear brands in the world, having taken the running world by storm over the past 10 years and slowly but steadily establishing itself in the lifestyle market as well. On’s half-year sales numbers in 2021 grew 85 percent when compared to the same period in 2020.


In addition to impressive numbers, the brand also passes the eye test. More and more people are wearing On sneakers in big cities and, while the big brands still dominate, you’d be surprised by how many On sneakers you’ll see on the street.

On hopes that its listing on the NYSE will help the brand keep its independence and continue its phase of hyper-growth into the future. The IPO, paired with On’s impressive momentum, and the fact that fellow Swiss legend Roger Federer is on board as a co-entrepreneur, lay solid foundations for future success.

Stay tuned for more information on On’s public offering. In the meantime, check out our favorite On sneakers here.

To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, check out the best sneakers to add to your rotation this week, follow @highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, and sign up to our newsletter for early access to the best drops sent straight to your inbox.

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Aesop’s Othertopias Fragrance Collection is a Sensory Adventure

An adventure across landscapes, triggered by the senses – Aesop continues its expansion into fragrance with the three-piece Othertopias collection.

Naturally, when you take the name of a Greek fabulist and storyteller, there is an expectation for your products to offer a sense of enrichment – an escape into fantasy, if you will. With its distinctly modern approach to prestigious branding, famed interior design, and tempting of the senses, Aesop has succeeded in living up to its name.

Internationally recognized first as a skincare brand, Aesop’s growth over the last 34 years has expanded its product categories to cater to all corners of the bathroom through hair, soap, and fragrance.




Upon stepping into one of Aesop’s international storefronts, the brand’s attention to captivating sight and smell is presented with complete clarity. Each retail space developed in collaboration with various architects, interior designers, and artists is a staging area for the bewitchment of the nose.

If we’re to be frank, the scents of Aesop can be an enchanting experience, and where its new Othertopias fragrance collection is concerned, enchantment is precisely what it’s aiming for.

Aesop’s fragrance partner, Barnabé Fillion explains: “A smell, whether in the air, on our skin, or on our clothes, creates a world within our world that is both physical and imagined—a phenomenon that blurs the boundaries of past and present, real and unreal, here and there. A window into nature, so to speak, one that invites a dialogue with surroundings that we inhabit but often overlook. As always, collaborations with Aesop are steered by science and wonder, manifesting in this instance as a journey through spaces that make us engage our senses, ask us to look differently, and encourage us to imagine.”







The three-piece offering of Eau de Parfum boasts a genderless, unorthodox, premium approach to scent. Inspired by the natural and physical world – namely the boat, the shore, and the wasteland – each borrows characteristics of these environments, such as spice, minerals, and florals.

Aesop’s Othertopias collection is available online and in stores now, bringing “Miraceti,” “Karst,” and “Erémia” into the brand’s growing fragrance lineup.

Craving More Certified Lover Boy? New Drake x Nike NOCTA Is on the Way

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Whether you’ve got Certified Lover Boy fatigue or have been left with cravings, more Drake is on the way, thanks to the new Nike NOCTA golf collection.

It’s been a while since the Drake x Nike NOCTA subdivision has been on our radars. After a very on-brand, in-your-face global billboard campaign at the tail-end of 2020, NOCTA has given hungry fans a slow drip feed or product drops. While the debut collection was massively well-received thanks to the oversized Swoosh logo puffer jacket, subsequent drops of hoodies and tees haven’t quite lived up to the hype.

The upcoming drop has the potential to bring NOCTA back into the spotlight, as the focus is shifted from Nike’s more traditional streetwear staples and onto Drake’s supposed love of golf.

With this newfound focus on the green, the division’s distinctly London-to-Toronto aesthetic takes a slight backseat. Gone are blacked-out technical jackets, puffer jackets, and piped tracksuits, and in their place, a selection of elevated golfing silhouettes from the Nike archive.

Once again, the latest drop is a concise arrangement, defined by ten core functional pieces. You’ll find adaptive styles like anoraks, turtlenecks, crew neck sweats, tees, polos, and eyewear in an ultra-wearable palette of black, grey, white, and green.

You can expect the Drake x Nike NOCTA golf collection to touch down online at Nike SNKRS and NOCTA on September 23.

Tom of Finland Isn’t Even the Most NSFW Part of Carne Bollente’s New Collection

Carne Bollente is filling a niche we knew existed but didn’t know we needed — sex-positive streetwear. The brand, founded in 2014 by friends Hijiri Endo, Théodore Famery and Agoston Palinko, makes a range of apparel, with each piece outfitted with the brand’s signature: embroidered sexual acts. Talk about breaking necks on the streets.

“Through our creations, we want to positively change cultural attitudes and sexual norms,” co-founder Hiji Endo explains to me. “There are loads of definitions of sex positivity, but the main idea is that we want everybody to feel confident, safe and free in their sexual identity. Including their sexual expression, orientation, relationship to their bodies, and reproductive rights.”



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The brand doesn’t just translate our carnal desires onto clothing, it also works with foundations and charities dedicated to improving our sexual lives, including AIDS associations and those promoting transgender rights.

For its latest collection, Carne Bollente teamed up with an icon of homoerotic art, Tom of Finland. Even if you don’t know the name, it’s likely you know Tom of Finland’s images. Last year, Highsnobiety published a 100 years retrospective of the artist, exploring how his “distinct style of man-on-man action has penetrated pop culture.” After posting the article on Instagram, a deluge of homophobic comments followed and 32,308 users abruptly unfollowed our account. The event exposed how deeply embedded homophobia is in streetwear — and how powerful Tom of Finland’s work is.



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With 10 percent of proceeds going towards the Tom of Finland Foundation’s mission of “protecting, preserving, and promoting the erotic arts”, you can wear your fresh pieces knowing you’re continuing his legacy — and pissing off homophobes in the process.

Below, we spoke to Carne Bollente about its latest collection. From an imaginary porn studio to ancient Greek sex toys, get an insider look at each piece below.

“For this illustration, we took inspiration from a book named Bound by Lust, romantic stories of submission and sensuality. It’s important to note that we believe in freedom of different kinks and plays, but with consent only, that’s why we included this important message too!”

“Usually we really love playing with the ’60s and ’70s because that’s when people started talking about feminism, freedom of sex etc. But this season, we decided to focus on ’70s and ’80s. We had been watching a lot of movies from that era, and we decided to create this idea of the Carne Bollente Porn Studio, which is the title of our AW21 collection. The Sindrella T-shirt is a scene from one of our imaginary porn movies.”

“Tom of Finland was a great activist during the ’80s and ’90s when HIV really began to hit the community. He was opening working on gay art and he was one of the first people to work on that subject as an artist. We’ve always had such respect for his work and we are very lucky to be able to work with the foundation. For these pieces, we mixed our signature embroidery with his illustrations.”

“We’ve been using this slogan for a while and it’s really fun to make something so explicit. There’s not much meaning behind it, just that orgasms are fantastic and everyone loves them.”

“This is one of my favorite pieces. The idea comes from a traditional Hungarian hand embroidery work, our co-founder Agoston is from Hungary, and we thought it would be cool to focus and take inspiration from our roots. He found these beautiful references of handmade embroideries from Hungary, and we applied the technique into the design.”

“We went to a museum to do research into the past because sexual objects have always existed in the world and many of them actually originate from the Roman or Ancient Greek period. We decided to curate beautiful objects from different places and eras.”

“We call this one Dick face — it’s a sun with a face, but there’s also a guy with a dick.”

“For the last few years, we’ve tried to incorporate more inclusivity into our designs. This one is simple, it’s a lesbian couple — two beautiful women having fun and making love under the moon.”

“This one is really fun, we thought it would be really nice to try to think of different benefits of having sex. There is no scientific reference or proof to our points, just our opinions!”

“With this image, we are trying to represent the power of women. For example, we never draw illustrations that show women in a vulnerable position, we always show them stronger than men.”

“This is another piece from the Carne Bollente Porn Studio, the idea was that it was a really successful studio in the ’70s and ’80s and then suddenly it stopped making films and people started gathering archives of the studio. This one is a sexy Sci-Fi film.”

Every season we like to draw different illustrations of people hanging out, maybe having sex or hugging and kissing. It’s a representation of being united and being together with everyone.

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Take a First Look at the Nike Air Jordan 6 “UNC”

Brand: Nike

Model: Air Jordan 6 “UNC”

Release Date: March 5 2022

Price: $200

Buy: TBC

Editor’s Notes:  It’s safe to say Nike certainly has an affinity for “Carolina Blue,” the official Pantone donned by the University of North Carolina. The “UNC” color scheme of blue and white has found itself donning some of the Swoosh’s most popular silhouettes, from the Air Jordan 1 High to the Dunk Low.

Given its classic blocking scheme and easy wearability, any sneaker donning a “UNC” makeup is an easy winner, and releases under the name have typically found fetching a pretty penny on the secondary market.

Next in the line for a college-inspired makeup is the classic Air Jordan 6. Unlike the silhouettes of choice before it, the AJ6 switches out a full leather construction for a mix of “University Blue” nubuck with white leather overlays. The pairing bears a striking resemblance to the popular AJ6 “Carmine” which featured red paneling in place of blue.

Secondary hits of navy blue adorn the midsole, lace toggle, heel tab, and Air Jordan branding at the midfoot. Icy blue outsole portions then provide the finishing touches you’d expect from any Air Jordan 6.

​​To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, check out the best sneakers to add to your rotation this week, follow @highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, and sign up to our newsletter for early access to the best drops sent straight to your inbox.

Out-And-About Pet Tote

Suitable for dogs up to 30 pounds, Roverlund’s Out-and-About Pet Tote is the ideal carrier for city pets. The roomy interior bedding allows a pooch to move around, sit, stand or lie down as they please, while the removable padded base blends comfort and easy cleaning. Stylish and portable, this carrier sports slip-resistant shoulder straps, comes in a variety of camouflage and black color options, …

Casio G-SHOCK’S Indestructible DW-5600 Just Got the Daily Paper Treatment

Originally released in 1983, the G-SHOCK DW-5600 crushed all opponents in its wake and became one of the watches to own during the ’90s. It takes the digital and minimal basis of the classic CASIO F-91w and gives it the shock-resistant, hammer-resistant, and cement-roller resistant treatment G-SHOCK designer Kikuo Ibe is famous for. The epitome of tough, the DW-5600 is finally meeting its match by collaborating with Daily Paper who has stamped its own presence on the watch and accompanying campaign.



No Frills, No Gimmicks should be the tagline for this product. It just goes hard. The Daily Paper logo looks suitably at home alongside G-SHOCK’s own and the all-black face, strap, and chunky look is retro, classic, futuristic, sleek, and impactful all at the same time.

The DW-5600 is full of all the shock, water, scratch-resistant features you need, and the watch strap and face features a Daily Paper monogram print shield logo watermark etched into the back of the case. On the release, G-Shock says, “We from G-SHOCK are excited to announce our very first partnership with Daily Paper.
The collaboration celebrates our shared love for music, art, fashion, and street culture, with strong roots going back to the ’90s. Our united passion for creativity has led us to design an outstanding collective piece that shares inspiration from the heritage and brand DNA of both G-SHOCK and Daily Paper.”




To accompany the release Daily Paper has given the associated marketing visuals a full ’90s makeover, with the campaign reinterpreting classic Casio ads in true Daily Paper fashion. You can buy the G-SHOCK x Daily Paper DW-5600 here.

Goodbye Puddle Boots, Hello Stride Boots

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Bottega Veneta‘s footwear has been a huge success since Daniel Lee‘s appointment at the label, with multiple silhouettes becoming favorites among fashion’s elite. Now, Bottega’s Salon 02 collection is hitting shelves, and the collection includes a new head-turning silhouette dubbed the Stride boot.

Much like its predecessor, the Puddle Boot, the Stride is crafted from 100% rubber. The menswear silhouette arrives in four colors, including “Blaster,” “Bottle Green,” “Travertine,” “Sea Salt,” and “Black,” and features a glossy finish.

The silhouette also arrives in a womenswear version, featuring a tall 9 cm heel, and is dubbed the Shine. The women’s shoe arrives in three colors, “Blaster,” “Sea Salt,” and “Black,” and is finished off with a lugged outsole for good grip.

Perhaps, the new silhouettes will become even more popular than the Puddle boot, which has been called the ultimate “Fashion Victim” shoe by many, and also has a big fan base which led to the shoe arriving in new colorways for the Fall/Winter 2021 season.

Both the Stride and the Shine boots are currently available to order online at Bottega Veneta’s website, alongside the rest of the highly anticipated Salon 02 collection which also includes new iterations of the popular Lug Boot, and great apparel for the Fall/Winter season.