We get it. We can barely keep up with the onslaught of information ourselves. That being said, it’s our mission to keep readers in the know, which is why we’ve combed through it all, distilled it to its essence, and dispensed it into easily digestible tidbits. Want to be the most knowledgeable culture savant in your group of friends? Then check back every Sunday for what you’ve missed in the world of culture, celebrities, and fashion.
The US and UK Among the First to Roll Out COVID-19 Vaccinations Outside of Clinical Trials
On December 14th, the UK will begin administering the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for its population of 67 million. The shot will initially be available at hospitals before being moved to individual clinics and inoculation centers, and priority will be given to those over 80, as well as frontline healthcare workers and nursing home care staff and residents. The UK gave the green light this past week and purchased 40 million doses of the much-anticipated vaccine in an attempt to staunch the spread of the novel coronavirus that has decimated our global economy and taken the lives of over 1.5 million people.
The US Food and Drug Administration is also pushing through an emergency approval for the same Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination and will likely begin vaccinating residents as early as this Friday. The US and UK are among some of the first countries to roll out a national vaccination program for the novel coronavirus with a vaccine that has passed all clinical trials. Russia began distributing its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccination yesterday, however, it has not completed all clinical trials. Either way, the news brings with it a sense of hope just in time for the new year.
Yas Mall Now Has Three World Records in the Guinness Book
2020 has been a big year for Yas Mall. It has now added a third world record to its list of accomplishments recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. The new record for ‘The World’s Largest Sand Bottle Art Structure’ was created by a group of expat artists and featured colored sand depicting important UAE scenes and images in celebration of UAE National Day. Previously, Yas Mall had been recognized by the famous record-breaking book for being the home of ‘The World’s Largest Indoor Skydiving Tunnel’ as well as ‘The World’s Tallest Artificial Climbing Wall.’
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BTS Snags Top Slot as the Most-Streamed Artist on Spotify in the UAE and KSA
Spotify has released its 2020 ‘Wrapped List’ announcing the top artists, albums, tracks, and playlists on the music streaming platform globally and regionally in the UAE and KSA. Coming in strong, BTS took the top spot for being the most-streamed artist in both countries, followed closely behind by Travis Scott. Taylor Swift was the most-streamed female artist of the year in the UAE, while Billie Eilish nabbed the coveted spot in KSA, while Aseel Hameem was the second most-streamed female artist in the KSA.
The most-streamed song was ‘The Box’ by Roddy Ricch in the UAE, but it seems the Saudi audience preferred ‘Dance Monkey’ by Tones and I. ‘After Hours’ by The Weeknd was the most-streamed album of 2020 in the UAE, while the album ‘?’ by XXXTENTACION took the top spot in the KSA. And surprisingly, the day before Valentine’s Day, February 13th, was the most musical day of this year in the UAE, recording the highest number of streams, but residents in KSA preferred to stream their music on May 25th.
Zendaya is the New Face of Valentino
Pierpaolo Piccioli continues to forge new paths and connections between past, present, and our imaginary future for Maison Valentino, and with the recent announcement that Zendaya will be the new face of the line, things continue to move into place for the forward-thinking brand.
Zendaya is the perfect representation of the ‘contemporary romanticism’ creative direction which Piccioli has been steering the house in. “The reason why we chose Zendaya as the new face for Valentino is because she perfectly embodies and represents what Valentino is and stands for, today,” says Piccioli of the talented actress. “She is a powerful and fierce young woman that uses her talent and her work to express herself, her values, and her generation as well.” Zendaya also had great words of praise for Valentino, and expressed her excitement for the new partnership.
Chanel Showcases New Metiers d'Art Collection at Le Château de Chenonceau
On December 3rd, Chanel unveiled its new 2020/21 Metiers d’art collection, ‘Le Château des Dames’, which took place in Le Château de Chenonceau to an audience of one (Kristen Stewart). German photographer, Juergen Teller, was there to capture moments in the architectural masterpiece of the Renaissance, with a series of photographs and a teaser shot in the gardens and inside the chateau. “Showing at the Château de Chenonceau, at the ‘Château des Dames’, was an obvious choice,” confides Virginie Viard, who holds the vision of the collection. “It was designed and lived in by women, including Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici. It is a castle on a human scale. And Catherine de’ Medici’s emblem was a monogram composed of two intertwined Cs, just like that of Chanel.”
Natacha Ramsay-Levi Leaves Chloé After a Four-Year Run
For four years, Natacha Ramsay-Levi has been the creative director of Chloé, infusing the brand with her own personal marks of feminism, philosophy, and cinema — like the collaboration for the Spring 2021 collection with the estate of Corita Kent, the pop art nun who married Bible verses and ad slogans to condemn the toxic inequality and injustices she was seeing in America.
Ramsay-Levi expressed her decision to step down in a statement: “Over the last months of health, social, and economic turmoil, I have thought about the changes I want to see in our industry and how to better align them with my own creative, intellectual, and emotional values. It is this reflection that makes me consider my future differently and desire to pursue new opportunities.”
Yoox Net-a-Porter is Shaping a More Sustainable Future
To borrow a phrase from Buzz Lightyear, Yoox Net-a-Porter Group’s new outlook on the future of fashion is, “to infinity, and beyond”. With a newly published sustainability strategy dubbed “Infinity”, YNAP is focusing on a positive outcome with an ambitious 10-year plan for creating a more sustainable and inclusive circular fashion system. In line with 12 measurable commitments that connect to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, YNAP will lead rather than follow, when it comes to the design, manufacturing, and distribution of its luxury goods. By harnessing its legacy in sustainability, its roots and expertise in data, technology and innovation, and its scale and reach across 180 countries, YNAP will look to solve, innovate, and create new sustainable initiatives that will ensure it reaches its goal of becoming a zero-waste business by 2023. Watch the inspiring video below to learn more about YNAP’s “Infinity” plans.