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AirBnb Launches Fund to Support Fantastical Listings
Yellow submarines, flying saucers, massive potatoes—in the age of Instagram, the whimsical abodes-to-book on Airbnb have become a fascination among scrollers and travelers in search of singular experiences. The booking platform has certainly taken notice of the enthusiasm for these types of esoteric spaces, today announcing a $10M OMG! Fund to help fuel the next wave of imaginative projects. (A recent redesign of Airbnb’s website introduced searchable categories, including one called OMG!)
Everyone from trained designers and architects to DIYers and amateur makers can submit for a chance to win $100,000 to help bring the “craziest” ideas to life. The 100 winners will be chosen by a panel of experts, including style icon Iris Apfel, architect Koichi Takada, and superhost Kristie Wolfe, the creator behind the aforementioned Potato Hotel and other fantastical Airbnb listings. Submissions are due by July 22 and will be judged on originality, feasibility, sustainability, and guest experience. —Nate Storey
Balenciaga, Prada, and Thom Browne will be available on Meta’s virtual fashion store.
“Meta is launching an online store to sell fashion for its virtual avatars, and Balenciaga, Prada and Thom Browne will be the first brands to join. In a live announcement on Instagram Friday, Mark Zuckerberg joined Eva Chen, Meta’s VP of fashion and shopping partnerships, to share the news and offer a glimpse of what Meta’s new avatar fashion will look like. Chen held up images to the camera showing Zuckerberg’s cartoonish Meta avatar in different looks, including a Balenciaga motorcycle suit, a white anorak and shorts from Prada’s Linea Rossa line and one of Thom Browne’s signature grey suits. The virtual designs will be available for use on Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. Meta plans to expand them to its virtual-reality platform and to introduce additional brands soon.” [H/T Business of Fashion]
Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala dress spurs the launch of a new preservation committee.
“The fallout over Kim Kardashian’s decision to wear a historic Marilyn Monroe dress to this year’s Costume Institute Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has been so intense that the International Council of Museums (ICOM) is launching a new clothing preservation committee in response to the controversy. The organization is now forming a working group that will help update its code of conduct for museum members, as well as the ICOM Costume guidelines. When Kardashian recently wore it for the red carpet moment, she and the dress’s current owner, museum franchise Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, attracted widespread criticism from fashion historians and conservators—including ICOM—for potentially endangering the fragile garment.” [H/T Artnet News]
Marina Abramović narrates interludes in dream pop duo Sound of Ceres’s new album.
“Much like the universe, Marina Abramović’s artistic practice is ever-expanding. Rooted in durational performance, it has over the years grown to incorporate photography, video, theater, opera, pedagogy, virtual reality and, most recently, NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Abramović’s latest lateral move is into the realm of pop music: she can now be heard giving voice to the universe on Emerald Sea, a new concept album by New York-based dream pop duo Sound of Ceres, which was released on 17 June.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]
José Andrés will open a restaurant in the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C.
“It has been a big month for the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C. The historic landmark has reopened as a luxe Waldorf Astoria hotel, and its clock tower—complete with an incredible 360-degree view of the city—is welcoming visitors for the first time since we all added phrases like “social distancing” and “contact tracing” to our vocabularies. But that’s not all: celebrity chef and all-around incredible human José Andrés has announced that he’s about to open his long-awaited restaurant in the building as well. In a statement, Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup announced that the restaurant will be the newest outpost of his Bazaar concept, which has existing and upcoming locations in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York.” [H/T Food & Wine]
Ikea donates furniture and housewares to set up refugee support centers in Europe.
“Ikea has donated its products and design services to create a series of refugee support centers in Eastern Europe, set up by the UN to offer aid and sanctuary to vulnerable groups displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Swedish furniture brand created interiors with a homely, comforting atmosphere inside several recently established Blue Dot centers, which are run by the United Nations Children’s Fund and the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR to offer specialist support to children, families and other at-risk refugees.” [H/T Dezeen]
Workers find a noose on the construction site of a uranium plant in Tennessee.
“An employee found a hangman’s noose at the $6.5 billion Uranium Processing Facility construction site at the Y‑12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, company officials confirmed. The federal project’s contractor, Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC, a consortium that’s majority-owned by Reston, Virginia-based Bechtel, said the noose was immediately removed and it is investigating. In a statement, the firm pledged “severe action” against the perpetrator.” [H/T Construction Dive]
Noah Davis, Christie’s executive who facilitated the Beeple sale, heads to CryptoPunks.
“Noah Davis, the head of digital sales at Christie’s who helped initiate the NFT boom in the art world, will leave the auction house to work on CryptoPunks, a hugely popular NFT collection. CryptoPunks was recently bought by YugaLabs, the parent company of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, and is valued at more than $2 billion. As head of digital sales, Davis helped orchestrate the historic $69.3 million sale of Beeple’s Everydays, the First 5,000 Days that nearly single-handedly helped create the rabid NFT market of 2021. [H/T ARTnews]