Demand for Birkin Handbags Is Skyrocketing, and Other News

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According to top fashion resellers, demand for Birkin bags increased during the pandemic.

It might seem counterintuitive that demand for ultra-luxury handbags would increase during a year marked by widespread stay-at-home orders, but top fashion resellers have noted that Birkin handbags are still fetching sky-high prices. Originally produced by French label Hermès in a limited quantity each year, the bags often retail from $9,000 to more than $500,000 and fetch 50 to 100 percent of their original retail value on the secondary market. Sasha Skoda, head of women’s fashion at The RealReal, notes that Birkin handbags were “one of the most coveted styles, especially among millennials” during the past year; resale value of Hermès handbags increased on the platform by 28 percent, with Birkins leading the way. “It’s an opportune time for sellers to earn back a significant portion (or even more) on their original investment.” 

Greece will open an “underwater museum” of shipwrecks and submerged heritage sites.

The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports announced it will open underwater archeological sites for recreational diving in an effort to boost tourism. Among the treasures that lie at the bottom of its seas: submerged ancient cities, rows of amphorae from the fifth century BC, Byzantine-era anchors, and WWII aircrafts. The 91 shipwrecks being made available include Peristera near Alonissos island, which sank around 425 BC to 415 BC and is considered one of the world’s most important. Pari Kalamara, the director of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, says Greek the sites stand out from others around the world for “their cultural merit; the fact that they are authentic ancient monuments, which remain where they were found in the seabed.”

Biden cancels former president Trump’s planned “National Garden of American Heroes.”

Last year, former President Trump announced the creation of the “National Garden for American Heroes.” The sculpture park would have featured numerous monuments of American historical figures, including presidents, athletes, and pop culture icons such as Harriet Tubman, Davy Crockett, and Whitney Houston. No site was ever selected, however, and the garden never received funding from Congress. And yesterday, President Joe Biden abolished the task force to create the new sculpture park, meaning it will likely never be realized.

OMA reveals initial visuals of The Terminal, a NASA-inspired music venue in Houston.

The 5,000-capacity Terminal will anchor Post Houston, a mixed-use hub for culture, food, shopping, and recreation housed inside the retrofitted historic Barbara Jordan Post Office. Developed in partnership with local firm Powers Brown Architecture and the entertainment company Live Nation, the space is outfitted with a flat general assembly area equipped for complex scenography and a fiberglass balcony of raked seating hovering above the main floor. Drawing on the city’s long-held association with NASA, the lobby bar is a sealed “airlock” environment lined in aluminized fabric heat shields. “A performance venue is a vessel for gathering and a machine for generating spectacle, but beyond the stage and the central crowd, the energy of the show can often be shrouded in darkness,” says Jason Long, the OMA partner leading the project. “We wanted The Terminal to be a place where you could be simultaneously connected to the stage and creatively disengaged, so we tried to bring the performance and its aura to every corner of the venue.”

California architecture students propose a viable solution to tackle chronic homelessness.

As California’s homeless crisis continues to get worse, more housing efforts are underway. These run the gamut from pre-approved ADUs to a clever solution proposed by fourth-year architecture students at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, who are working on bringing their proposal from the drawing board to the real world. “Every semester, the work of the previous semester is basically pushed further,” Dr. Behnam Samareh says of his students’ proposal, which uses the existing structures of shipping containers to create mobile dwellings. “We’re at a place right now that basically everything about that concept is fully developed.” The plans allow for occupants to easily assemble each unit, which are estimated to cost roughly $35,000 to produce.

Today’s attractive distractions:

The composer Hans Zimmer scores the noises of BMW’s new Electric M-Series.

Dracula’s castle in Romania has been converted into a tourist vaccination site.

According to a chores expert, holes in laundry baskets make them easier to carry.

A new PBS documentary dives into diversity and acquisitions issues at the Met.

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