Athena Calderone’s Debut Furniture Line Combines Ease and Elegance, and Other News

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Athena Calderone’s debut furniture line for Crate & Barrel in a Chicago residence designed by Kara Mann. Photography by Adrian Gaut; styled by Colin King

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Athena Calderone’s Debut Furniture Line Combines Ease and Elegance

Athena Calderone’s secret to success has always lied in the wisdom of her popular blog EyeSwoon’s nearly one million avid followers. So when Crate & Barrel approached her to collaborate on a home collection, the tastemaker immediately knew what boxes her inaugural foray into furniture would need to tick, namely making aspirational design feel approachable and accessible to all. Crate & Barrel, the artisan-driven furniture retailer whose design-centric core values are living with purpose and intention, turned out to be an ideal collaborator. 

Calderone honed her artful eye to devise a well-rounded assortment of furniture, kitchen, and decor staples that draws from the informed collection that took her years to curate for her own home. A sense of ease and elegance pervades: The Scandi-inspired shearling Le Tuco Chair and Angolare sofa in soft mohair fabric impart warmth, while decor items like the Crucible Planters and Facette and Enorme Cannelee Vases lend a modern touch to ancient forms. While realizing the collection is a bucket list moment for Calderone, she’s most excited to see how her followers style the pieces: “What an honor it is to think about how the collection will live on in people’s intimate homes and spaces for years to come.” —Ryan Waddoups

Alo in Toronto. Image courtesy of Alo

In a first for Canada, more than a dozen restaurants in Toronto receive Michelin stars.

“The city is well-known as a culinary juggernaut, but until recently, Canada’s restaurant scene has been largely ignored by Michelin. Toronto is the first city to get its own guide, with Vancouver set to follow before the end of 2022. Over a dozen restaurants in the GTA were recognised with stars for the inaugural guide—and Sushi Masaki Saito even scooped two. Among them are Aburi Hana, Alo, Alobar Yorkville, Don Alfonso 1890, Edulis, Enigma Yorkville, Frilu, Kaiseki Yu-zen Hashimoto, Osteria Giulia, Quetzal, Shoushin, Sushi Masaki Saito, and Yukashi.” [H/T The Spaces]

Uber launches Uber Restore, an app in Ukraine to help protect endangered artifacts.  

“The Russian invasion still poses a major threat to museums, historic sites, and other cultural heritage in Ukraine. Now, an unlikely ally has stepped into the fray. Believe it or not, it’s Uber. The ride-sharing service is partnering with the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture’s National Research and Restoration Center to help protect and preserve endangered artifacts and locations through a special version of the Uber app called Uber Restore. The company is offering Ukrainian conservationists free, on-demand rides as they work to identify, restore, and protect damaged or threatened cultural heritage. Since May, Uber has provided transport to over 100 sites across the nation, helping secure important national treasures, and evacuating them to safety when necessary.” [H/T Artnet News]

The Getty commits $3.1 million to conserve modern architecture by Black designers.

“Last week, the Getty Foundation announced the allocation of $3.1 million to preserve and protect often-overlooked historic contributions by Black designers and architects to 20th-century architecture. Joining with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, the Getty’s Conserving Black Modernism program will identify sites designated as Black modern architecture in the built environment and beyond, from museums to landscapes.” [H/T Architectural Record]

The penthouse at Central Park Tower. Photography by Evan Joseph

The world’s tallest apartment is going up for sale for an eye-popping $250 million.

“The world’s tallest apartment is going up for sale. Hitting the market for $250,000,000, the property sits at the top of the tallest residential building in the world, Central Park Tower. And according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, developers are confident they can sell the penthouse triplex at that rate. The home includes seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, three powder rooms, two kitchens, a private terrace, and multiple living and entertainment spaces. A grand staircase connects the three levels, and floor-to-ceiling windows across the residence provide panoramic views of New York’s skyline below.” [H/T Architectural Digest]

Experts fear for the safety of an ornate mosaic uncovered in a Gaza refugee camp.

“The recent discovery of an important Byzantine mosaic in the Gaza Strip has raised concern from experts who fear for its preservation amid conflict in the area. The ornate relic features 17 iconographies of beasts and birds. It was found in the refugee camp of Bureij, just half a mile from the Israeli border, by the Palestinian farmer Salman al-Nabahin and his son as they were planting an olive tree on their land last spring. Parts of the mosaic had been damaged by the roots of old olive trees; they covered the unearthed pieces with tin sheets and reported it to local authorities. But in the wake of recent Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) bombings in the area and an ongoing blockade, scarce resources are left for archaeological matters and the news has not been given proper attention.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

An Everlane store. Image courtesy of Everyone

Everlane secures $90 million in a funding round to expand and develop new products.

“The basics brand just bagged a fresh round of funding to shore up its expansion plans. The direct-to-consumer company, one of the earliest digital native startups in apparel, has secured $65 million in revolving credit and an additional $25 million loan, its financial partners announced Thursday. Modern Retail first reported the news. The company will use this cash infusion to open more stores and develop new products, according to Michael Presyman, Everlane’s founder and executive chairman. It currently operates 10 brick-and-mortar locations in cities including New York and Los Angeles. Everlane recently hired Mathilde Mader, a former designer at Marni and Sonia Rykiel, as its new global creative director to help turn the company into a more traditional fashion brand by releasing seasonal collections instead of product drops.” [H/T Business of Fashion]

AI-savvy entrepreneurs are selling text descriptions to get the best results on DALL-E.

“In the past few years, art made by programs like Midjourney and OpenAI’s DALL-E has gotten surprisingly compelling. These programs can translate a text prompt into literally (and controversially) award-winning art. As the tools get more sophisticated, those prompts have become a craft in their own right. And as with any other craft, some creators have started putting them up for sale. PromptBase is at the center of the new trade in prompts for generating specific imagery from image generators, a kind of meta-art market. Launched earlier this summer to both intrigue and criticism, the platform lets “prompt engineers” sell text descriptions that reliably produce a certain art style or subject on a specific AI platform. When you buy the prompt, you get a string of words that you paste into Midjourney, DALL-E, or another system that you’ve got access to. The result (if it’s a good prompt) is a variation on a visual theme like nail art designs, anime pinups, or ‘futuristic succulents.’” [H/T The Verge]

Still from “Spirited Away” by Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli

Today’s attractive distractions:

Two decades later and Spirited Away continues to inspire new animators.

New research suggests that using emojis is beneficial for mental health. 

Moms have started microdosing mushrooms to ease the stress of parenting.

Kanye West will no longer talk money with people who are “broker” than him.

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