Diet Prada Sued by Dolce & Gabbana, and Other News

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Diet Prada founders Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler

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Dolce & Gabbana sues Diet Prada founders Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler for defamation. 

It looks like the fallout from Dolce & Gabbana’s controversial #DGLovesChina campaign and fashion show is far from over. The Italian fashion house filed an action for defamation against industry watchdog Diet Prada over their reporting of the incident, claiming the bad press cost them celebrity partnerships with Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, and Cardi B. The suit demands damages of roughly $3.5 million for Dolce Gabbana and $1.2 million for Stefano Gabbana. Diet Prada founders Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, who are being represented pro bono by The Fashion Law Institute, argue that their “deliberately provocative” tone is frequently used by Gabbana himself. The heavy financial damages recall the tactics leveled against Gawker by Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, who ultimately succeeded in shuttering the website. Liu and Schuyler don’t intend to close Diet Prada anytime soon, noting that “we all continue to see the power of solidarity and speaking truth to power” and the account “will continue to be a platform to elevate crucial issues.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci donates his handy 3-D model of the coronavirus to the Smithsonian. 

The coronavirus pandemic is heading to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, but not actually. Dr. Anthony Fauci is donating the 3-D printed model of the SARS-CoV-2 virion—a blue ball affixed with distinctive orange spikes—that he used to explain the disease to Congress, journalists, and the public during his briefings. “I wanted to pick something that was really meaningful to me and important because I used it so often,” he tells the New York Times. “It’s a really phenomenally graphic way to get people to understand.” The acquisition points to the Smithsonian’s ongoing efforts to collect artifacts related to the pandemic; in April, the museum formed a Rapid Response Collecting Task Force for this very purpose.

Urban Sun by Studio Roosegaarde

Studio Roosegaarde creates an ultraviolet streetlight that cleans public spaces of Covid-19.

Studio Roosegaarde has proposed an innovative new streetlight that uses ultraviolet radiation to sanitize outdoor spaces of Covid-19. Called Urban Sun, the light makes deft use of far-UVC—a type of ultraviolet light with a lower wavelength that’s thought to kill viruses. The light is claimed to make places up to 99.9 percent virus-free in a matter of minutes dependent on factors including height, though a recent scientific study suggests that it may take up to 11.5 minutes for far-UVC light to destroy airborne coronavirus particles. The aim, according to founder Daan Roosegaarde, who revealed the first light earlier this week in Rotterdam, is to help make public locations like train stations, schools, and plazas safer for social gatherings. “We need to design our new normal because if we’re not the architects of our future,” Roosegaarde says, “we’re its victims.”

Volvo plans to transition its fleet to electric vehicles and pivot to online sales by 2030.

Volvo has announced that it plans to transition its entire fleet to electric vehicles by 2030, a move that comes a few months after the company launched its first EV. Other auto brands have made similar pledges in recent months but in a first, the Swedish carmaker says it will also pivot to online sales exclusively by the same date, an ambitious goal to say the least. 

Petaluma, California, becomes first U.S. city to ban the construction of new gas stations.

In a move designed to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles, Petaluma, California, has voted to outlaw new gas stations. Climate activists are hopeful the development will spur other cities and counties to pass similar measures. Existing stations will be allowed to stay open, though they won’t be able to add new pumps—though the city is encouraging them to build electric charging bays.  

Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn designed by Abel Bainnson Butz. Photography by Pavel Bendov

Brooklyn’s Betsy Head Park receives a $30 million revamp that includes a parkour course.

When the wealthy British transplant Betsy Head died, in 1907, she left much of her fortune to expand New York City’s public parks. Her name now graces a 106-year-old park in Brownsville, Brooklyn, which recently unveiled a sweeping renovation by landscape architects Abel Bainnson Butz. The park now features a parkour fitness course for teens, an inclusionary self-competitive basketball circuit, a destination skate park designed in collaboration with Spohn Ranch, and granite chess tables. Betsy Head Park’s multiphase overhaul—its first since 1936—forms part of the city’s Anchor Parks initiative, which aims to reinvigorate four aging parks across the five boroughs. 

Nearly 40 percent of New York City restaurants are currently in deferred rent agreements.

Despite suffering some of the worst hospitality carnage in the country due to COVID-19, New York may still see another wave of closures. According to a recent report by the New York City Hospitality Alliance, 37 percent of restaurants are currently in deferred rent agreements with their landlords, while 92 percent of all restaurants could not pay part or all of their rent as recently as December. The food industry already operates on small margins, making it difficult to imagine culinary establishments being able to make up the debt. 

Tattooed marble sculpture by Fabio Viale

Today’s attractive distractions:

Using AI, MyHeritage creates uncanny animations of dated photographs.

Kill some time with Ikea’s new AR-based decluttering game on Snapchat.

Art Basel launches a digital program of free online short film screenings.

Fabio Viale hand-paints classical marble sculptures with vivid tattoos

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