Archive for February, 2009

Dasha Pops!

Posted in MEDIA MOMENT, NEWS on February 28, 2009 by transracial

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Russian model, socialite, gallerista and billionaire babe Dasha Zukhova (above) can now add “editor-in-chief” to her growing list of achievements. The Russian-born girlfriend of mogul Roman Abramovich has been named editor of British fashion magazine Pop. Relaunching on September 1 — with former Wallpaper exec Tom Bailey heading up Pop’s publishing side — Zukhova comes to the job with zero previous editorial experience, though many hours hitting fashion show front-rows.

Useful!

Luckily, Zukhova will have some pretty heavy-hitters helping her out in her new position: According Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Pop has established an editorial board to provide guidance and inspiration — including design critic Alice Rawsthorn; artist and film director Sam Taylor-Wood; artist and art director Peter Saville; fashion icon Daphne Guinness; art director Julia Restoin Roitfield; Rebecca Wilson, head of development at the Saatchi Gallery; and David Davies, managing director of Pop, among others.

No word on whether grammar, punctuation and spelling tuition are included in the package.

As Transracial readers already know, Zukhova replaces Pop founding editor Katie Grand, who defected to Conde Nast to launch the newly debuted style competitor, Love.

Skiing in Cyprus…and Other Odd Locations

Posted in NEWS, ON OUR RADAR, WHO KNEW? on February 28, 2009 by transracial

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Like most Mediterranean-philes, we were way surprised learn that Cyprus has “snow country”. But it does –in the region surrounding the Troodos Mountains (above). Located roughly 90 minutes from the beach resorts of Paphos and Limassol, the area includes a full-service ski resort complete with four lifts and eight runs. While the facilities are admittedly meager by European standards, the region’s close proximity to the Sea means that in spring and fall, visitors can ski in the morning, and sun on the sand in the afternoon. Or perhaps reverse the order as we did a few years back.

Nice!

Troodos is just one of a series of unusual ski destinations featured in this weekend’s Financial Times — including such random snow spots as Dubai, the Ukraine and Montenegro.

WE’RE CONCERNED ABOUT: Guinea

Posted in DEEP THOUGHTS, NEWS, ON OUR RADAR on February 28, 2009 by transracial

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Fresh from West Africa’s latest coup, the small nation of Guinea is worryingly teetering towards failed state-status. News from the capital, Conakry, is bad — due mostly to Guinea and neighboring nations becoming transit points for powerful South American drug cartels looking to ship narcotics via Africa to Europe. While rumors of high-level collusion between government officials and the well-funded narcos had been spoken of for years, the son of Guinea’s former leader confessed on TV that drug trafficking had indeed reached the Presidential Palace. The recent revelations by Ousmane Conte confirm the precariousness of desperately poor nations such as Guinea — which watch-dog agencies such as InterPol suggest may soon be both funded and ruled by cartel-backed politicians.

Scary!

Le Cabanon in London

Posted in NEWS, ON OUR RADAR on February 28, 2009 by transracial

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Le Corbusier fans should make for London to see his seminal — yet minimal — masterpiece, Le Cabanon (above). The bijoux, 12-foot X 12-foot vacation cabin is on show in the British capital at the Royal Institute of British Architects from March 4 to April 28. The piece, which Le Corbusier boasts “wasted not even a centimeter”, displays the architectural icon’s flair for crafting both exteriors and interiors. Inside its light wooden walls is a suite of furnishings, including a pair of beds, a bookcase and wardrobe.

Le Cabanon is tiny, for sure, but a big look into Le Corbusier’s overall worldview.

RIBA: 66 Portland Place, London; ++ 44 20 7580 5533

The New Face of AIDS

Posted in NEWS, ON OUR RADAR, WE SUPPORT on February 28, 2009 by transracial

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President Obama is once again proving he takes America’s social crises seriously and with intelligence. This week he appointed Dr. Jeffrey Crowley (above) as the new head of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. Crowley comes to the position with blue-chip experience in the AIDS/HIV arena, having served as Deputy Executive Director of Programs at the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) as well as Senior Research Scholar at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute and a Senior Scholar at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.

All good stuff.

Equally key, Crowley is Gay, which means he will hopefully bring a sense of personal passion and compassion to his new position.

While we applaud Pres. Obama’s move, it must be embraced with some reservations. While Crowley has sterling qualifications for his post, he has almost zero experience working with HIV and the African American community, according to an alert we received yesterday from the Black Aids Institute. Black people are less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but make up almost 50 percent of new HIV cases, HIV deaths and people living with HIV/AIDS in America. While the Institute is committed to working hand-in-hand with Crowley, its release is a call to Washington not to forget the hardest hit.

Right on!

DAILY TRANSRACIAL: RuPaul

Posted in DAILY TRANSRACIAL, NEWS on February 28, 2009 by transracial

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Back in the early ’90s, drag super-star RuPaul helped usher in a whole new era of style, shade and sexuality with her club classic “Supermodel”. Now she’s back with a new reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race on the LOGO Network. Still in its early episodes, the series features Ru leading a troupe of dragette up-and-comers as they compete for top-tranny status. The show is getting surprisingly positive early buzz, with the new Entertainment Weekly even wondering if RuPaul might emerge as a far more fabu Tyra.

Perhaps — but she’ll have to work!

Can You Spare $80 Billion, Habibi

Posted in NEWS on February 28, 2009 by transracial

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Anyone who thought the whole Dubai “thing” was too good to be true can pat themselves on the back. This week, Dubai’s richer sibling Abu Dhabi poured $10 billion into the city-state’s economy to help keep it afloat. Turns out all of those fake islands and towering sky-scrapers are not only of dubious worth, but have resulted in $80 billion worth of debt. While this may seem minor compared to America’s trillion-dollar bailout, that $80 billion is almost the size of Dubai’s entire economy.

Major!

Lacking oil and other natural resources, Dubai had always promoted itself as a “sponge” economy — absorbing the excess capital floating around the Gulf and the world. Turns out that free-flowing cash — whether petrol, stock market, tourism or real estate-generated — is no longer in easy supply.

Dubai has a lot of work to do if it want to stay in business. Praise Allah that its deep-pocketed neighbor — and fellow UAE member — appears unwilling to let it go belly up.

At least for now.