Paris and Nicky Hilton; Socialite Sisters

As long as there has been Reality TV, night club promoters and parties, fashion designers, influencers, Paris’ pink and sparkle, Nicky’s French Sole shoe collaboration, a start up Hilton boutique and celebutantes, the Hilton sisters have become a household name. Paris Hilton’s expression; that’s hot and sliving-slay/living and chihuahua, Tinkerbell, have become pop culture. Born to Richard and Kathy Hilton, they were born in LA and moved to NYC. Kim and Kylie, are their maternal aunts and have been on The Housewives of Beverly Hills, the family fame game is de rigeur. They’re the great granddaughter’s of Conrad Sr. and the grandaugther’s of Barron Sr., founders of Hilton Hotels. Their world has revolved around in living in NYC and Beverly Hills, traveling to places such as: Las Vegas, Paris, London, Ibiza and around the world, we have watched the pair of sisters grow up. The Hilton Hotel Corporation and Hilton Foundation, started by Conrad and Baron Srs., a worldwide hotel chain and business and an established philanthropic foundation, lends to the family name.

Paris and Nicky Hilton seem closer than ever and have q and a sessions and are in the spotlight again. Paris has created the campaign #breakingcodesilence in order to end the troubled teen industry, where schools such as the one she attended, Provo County in Provo, Utah, have made the news. Her documentary; “This is Paris” shows her life in music, merchandise, fashion and personal interests, but focuses on teens at a school which is marketed as therapeutic, but ended up being a nightmare for her and many of her peers. She speaks of the school staff screaming and keeping her in isolation, which resulted in a diagnosis of PTSD and night terrors There are other similar programs across the U.S.. Provo Canyon, was sold to another company, they deny these allegations. She is well remembered for her reality show; The Simple Life, with Nicole Richie. A parody with the two milking cows while residing on a rural farm and making blunders at a fast food place, while missing their cosmopolitan lifestyles. She speaks of this as a comedy and her perception of acting ditzy, being well that, an act. Paris Hilton has a taste for bling which can be seen in her passion for sparkles, her favorite color pink and clothing collection. For her 21 birthday, she wore a short silver Swarovski Crystal beaded dress, designed by Julian MacDonald which was paired with a tiara. Kendall Jenner copied the dress and Nicky, have worn the actual ensemble for a party. Her days of self promotion with other celbutante influencers such as; Kim Kardashian are not quite at the same level. She has her music career where she sings pop songs and DJ’s. Paris has created a multi million dollar business with products ranging from perfumes to clothing. Paris and Nicky’s favorite travel destination; Tokyo. They worked with Japanese handbag designer, House of Samantha Thavasa. Paris was a model and Nicky worked on creative, Paris has matured, almost 40, she is in love with bf, Carter Reum. According to People Magazine and other media outlets, the couple is trying to conceive using IVF. Paris Hilton influences a fantasy world which is glamorous, but some of it is business and not all is perfect and golden.

Nicky Hilton married banking heir, James Rothschild in London’s Kensington Palace, She had a lavish wedding and wore a custom made Valentino wedding dress which required many atelier fittings. The couple have two daughters, Lily Grace who is 4 and Theodora or Teddy, 3 yrs old. Nicky Hilton collaborates on a shoe line with French Soles. The shoes are flats, some with tie bows and come in a rainbow of colors. Some have designs with leopard patterns, velvet and a set of batting eyes with eyelashes, The sisters were offered a role on Sex and The City, but this did not work out,. Nicky works with a foundation which helps to prevent child sex trafficking. Nicky collaborated on an eye makeup line with SmashBox Cosmetics. The eye palette features a smoky color palette, eyeliner and mascara, packaged in a black case with a cat eye symbol. She designed jewelry for a company and has come out with a book: Style 365.

sThe Hilton sisters have two younger brothers, Barron who recently married and the couple has a newborn daughter, Milou. As well as the youngest sibling, Conrad. Keep on the lookout for a new generation of Hiltons.

Streets of Dreams: The Diamond District

The Diamond District, located in Midtown Manhattan, has been the center of the diamond trade for over a hundred years. Marcus Lemonis, the star of CNBC’s: The Profit, has a five part series covering five interesting city districts around the U.S.. He decided to to cover the business and trade aspects of NYC’s diamond district. Diamonds are a valuable commodity and have been used as one of the most precious gemstones in jewelry throughout history to the present day. The traditional diamond engagement ring and a wedding proposal conjure up images of love, romance and fidelity. Marilyn Monroe sang; Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend and Madonna’s Material Girl hit video illustrates the allure of sparkly white diamonds. Elizabeth Taylor and her jewelry collection as well as her signature, White Diamond perfume is another pop culture reference to the gemstone’s desirability. The show portrays West 47th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, as rows of store fronts with jewelry displayed in windows and the booths. Men use a magnifying tool to inspect the diamond and business people scurry around the diamond shaped building which is the center of the district. Lemonis’s goal, breaking some of the mystery on the streets which sell diamonds, the hawkers in front of stores, negotiations, backrooms and the trade which rocks the area. Movies such as; Uncut Gems and A Stranger Among Us are films illustrating the lives of characters who walk paths of diamonds, money, intrigue, generational mystique and gambling. Marcus Lemonis questions if the millennial generation will buy the same jewelry as past generations. The answer is yes. Even if the stores, nature of business, branding, people and styles change, the diamond district will carry on.

The diamond market has international business centers in New York, Antwerp, Belgium, Amsterdam and diamond mining in several African countries. India is a major force in the diamond trade. The blood diamond conflict is brought up, but the presentation centers on the standards which the diamond district adheres: a code of trust and the production line of: mining, stone cutting, polishers, distributers, traders to the retail-merchandise floor. The industry uses the Rapaport book to describe the value of a diamond’s clarity, cut, color and carat. Lemonis talks with several companies which showcase the diversity of styles. Shiffon Company is a line which features a pinky ring, named the duet ring. The start up venture began as the brainchild of Shilpa Yarlagadda who is creating “a new generation of jewelry.” She is a business student and entrepreneur is on a hiatus from her studies at Harvard. Yarlagadda taught herself jewelry design online. The pinky ring is a symbol of a pinky promise which pledges that females can achieve entrepreneurial status and spiral upwards to their dreams. The ring’s spiral design comes in silver, yellow gold and rose gold with a diamond positioned towards the top. Shiffon is comprised of an all female team who work together on the jewelry and 50 % of sale’s profits support capital venture funding to female owned businesses. Their website features prominent female CEO’s in technology, cosmetics, fashion and education. Shilpa Yarlagadda developed The Startup Girl’s Foundation to support other females. Shiffon focuses on this ring which is worn by Emma Watson, Nicole Kidman, Shalaine Woodsy and Michelle Obama. Instagram influencer, Richie Rich, runs a third generation company, selling higher end bling to a men’s market. Big rings with large stone settings and thick layered gold chains, which can run up to millions of dollars. Richie Rich creates “high end art” and the jewelry has a hip hop vibe. Many of the clients are athletes, celebrities and influencers. Richie started a new phase of the business, posting images of the jewelry on sites such as; Instagram. Jacob and Co., owned by Jacob Arabo, is a known for a hip hop style collection, intricate colorful stones and trendy high end watch merchandise. Jacob was born in Uzbekistan, a Mizrahi Jew who immigrated to the US. He worked in the diamond district before opening a store off of Madsion Avenue and is nicknamed; “The King of Bling”. His jewelry is styled with big and plentiful diamonds and unique watches with design images of a roulette wheel, collaborations with Paramount Pictures for The Godfather watch, a Bugatti brand watch and the Astronomia collection. A fairly new jewelry niche are synthetic or lab grown diamonds which are expected to reach peak sales by 2025. They are now classified as diamonds, similar to the natural ones, but the diamonds do not take billions of years to develop underground and cost less. Lemonis takes us to see an office where the owner sells synthetic diamond jewelry, The owner’s marketing message; they look just like the natural ones to the human eye, educate the consumer. Another store has estate jewelry from Cartier and Bulgari. A model shows a ruby and diamond necklace as well as elaborate blue sapphire and diamond drop earrings. Many years of trade and trust have been built on these Midtown Manhattan streets, mostly occupied by a majority of the Orthodox Jewish community. It has been “easy” for the community to trade in diamonds, as they are small and easy to carry. As Orthodox Jews often fled persecution, the diamond business became a stable occupation. The tradition has passed through many generations. Trust is earned and anyone who violates the trust in the trade, can be blocked from ever doing business again. The majority of diamonds pass through the diamond district and are sold to other household name brand boutiques, even if the new price is slightly higher. The motto; diamonds are a girl’s best friend can ring true.

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Holographic Avatar and Marketing with Lil Miquela

Brud is an entertainment, robotic, augmented reality and artificial intelligence company in LA. The company is a pioneer with the conception and technology of AI characters such as; Lil Miquela and commercial avatars. Chief Creative Officer, Nicole de Ayora, and Trevor McFedries, technical wizard and DJ, and Sara DeCou helped create a robotic hero product for the fashion and entertainment industry. A 19 year old digital apparition named Lil Miquela, is a an augmented reality femme fatale, developed in 2016. De Ayora says; “Lil Miquela acts alone.” She is the nouvelle avatar and a style visionary influencer. Originally, she was used as a fake CGI character with fictional personas; the couple: Bermuda and Blawko. Miquela appears in music videos; “Money” and “Hard Feelings” which were shown at Lollapalooza and Coachella. Consumers, at first, were perplexed by the pictures of an image with rubbery-smooth skin, dark hair, freckles and digitally rendered hair. Her persona is grafted onto the body of a teen Instagram model. Some wondered if she was real or the brainchild of the Brud Company. The new trend in marketing fashion and style seems to be a holographic pop star by augmented reality. Analog replaces digital for Millennials and Generation Z. Miquela has been in Prada, Burberry, Chanel, Fendi, Calvin Klein, Samsung Galaxy, Lauv and streetwear campaigns. How do people respond to this type of marketing, in many ways and we will grow used to the concept which will replace some traditional promotions. In a picture, Lil Miquela, can be seen wearing Louis Vuitton and NYX Créme Color Face and Body Paint in bold red. Makeup artists and stylists have worked to perfect the image and show products for a targeted demographic market. As of this year, she has 2.4 million Instagram followers and is popular on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Engineers, graphic designers, music producers, ex Spotify, AOL and Microsoft employees and new style “movie studios” have created fictional characters that are similar to a relatable friend. Japanese pop artists tend to also use avatar and anime themes. It is similar to a modern day Superman cartoon. The concept was modeled after the 1939 show: “The War of Worlds”, it is going trans-media. TechCrunch, CNBC, CNN Money, VOX, The Cut, WIRED, High Snobiety and Elle Magazine are covering the new sensation; Lil Miquela. The character has helped with causes such as; Black Girl Code, fundraising for the wildfires in California and LGBTQ issues. Miquela kisses model Bella Hadid in a Calvin Klein ad and a storyline depicts her as a sexual assault victim. All to help with today’s rapid pop culture changes. Her inspiration is influenced by the TV show; Will and Grace. Investors have put $125 million dollars into virtual reality star, Lil Miquela, and her success. Miquela Sousa or better known as; Lil Miquela, can earn up to $10,000 dollars an Instagram post, she is the coolest girl we know.

In Living Color

Restaurants in major cities add to the culture, design, architecture, ambience and cuisine of a metropolis. Not only do the locals like to go out to restaurants and rooftops, but tourists eagerly seek the culinary world. It is an experience which utilizes all the of the senses; taste, smell, vision and touch. The mural pictured, is painted by a Brooklyn graffiti artist, NCarlos J.. who is trying to convey an industrial design with pop culture images. The decor on the wall of Midtown East restaurant, Ivy Lane, draws one into the space and coveys messages. One sees the bright colors, stripes, flowers and a black and white bikini clad female, making a striking impression upon entrance. The designs exude an energy symbolic of fashion and NYC synergy. Other murals such as; a bright orange moon with dark sky and a collage, showing a female pictured with tape covering her mouth as well as slogans echoing female imagery representing liberation. One absorbs the stylish atmosphere, before they have arrived at their table. A staircase takes you up to a semi causal dining area where one can order a cocktail, hamburger with many toppings or choose the catch of the day. A bar display, an animal skin rug, ivy on the wall and candles, bring a ski lodge image, to mind. Ivy Lane is a new place to dine and observe the culture at play. Formerly, it was Asian an fusion place, Jade 60 and then Maison Vivienne. Ivy Lane is a welcome change for this neighborhood. Due to the corona virus, most restaurants are only open for take out and delivery, but some restaurants have gift card donations for employees, cards for future diners and support is needed to ensure the future of great dining.