Aboard the motor coach, Anderson Cooper sank lower in his seat, grinning and pulling his hat over his eyes as a friendly rapper called him out by name. But this rapper wasn't on-board the coach. Instead, he was spitting his rhymes from the sidewalk outside, performing for an audience on one of The Ride's interactive New York City tours. Though unique, Mr. Cooper's experience has been shared by hundreds of other famous personalities, tourists, and locals. Floor-to-ceiling windows cover the entire right side and roof of each of The Ride's custom built-motor coaches, breaking the fourth wall as they ensure that not only can passengers view the city, but the city can look back in. Due to their popularity, The Ride's tours have been chronicled by media outlets such as New York Live, Good Morning America, and The Today Show.
As each motor coach embarks on its tour through 4.2 miles of Midtown, guides encourage group participation with song, dance, and question-and-answer sessions, much like any good meeting with a tax accountant. With the aid of 40 plasma monitors displaying images and historical information, they also divulge facts about landmarks such as Central Park, 42nd Street, and Grand Central Station. As the bus travels alongside famous buildings and city sidewalks, passengers encounter a range of characters. Some are regular New Yorkers, but others are company performers in disguise. Rappers, dancers, singers, and actors leap from the crowd to entertain their mobile audiences with impromptu live routines, and sometimes pull audience members into the show. Surround-sound stereo, wireless microphones, and external speakers allow audiences to hear the performances from their seats, unlike pedestrians outside, who have to hop on a neighbor's shoulders to get a better view.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
Kristin Hanson began her journey toward fine jewelry-making mastery by walking down a path less traveled. Raised in a home where expression was encouraged, she spread her roots to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Then she took a leap. She traveled to the wilds of Colorado to apprentice under master goldsmith Harold O'Connor, learning his nuanced, perfectionist techniques and method for training squirrels to be workshop assistants. Her studies then carried her to Florence and Tuscany before drawing her back to the East Coast.
Kristin's life-inspired works embody the contemporary with forms that highlight the innate beauty of her materials. Her trademark couture jewelry has caught the eye of such publications as Lucky and InStyle. In short courses and intensive programs, she hews to a teaching philosophy that fosters others' styles instead of encouraging copycats of her own. Except during special exhibits, Kristin handcrafts each piece in 60 Reade, her 6,000-square-foot Tribeca gallery, and specializes in conflict-free pink diamonds from an Australian mine.
DC Theatricks, which creates custom costumes for theatrical productions across the world, stocks their shelves with more than 10,000 adult costumes for ladies and gents in categories such as historical, fantasy, celebrity, and holiday. Prices for costume rentals range from $30 to $75. Wild tiger stripes streak the belted one-shoulder caveman smock ($30), and black-and-white penal bars across the convict's suit ($30) indicate the wearer pilfered all of the Halloween candy. The Marie Antoinette outfit ($65) and the blue gingham Dorothy dress ($35) flounce right past a foreboding haunted tree ($35), and modest, old-fashioned bathing costumes ($35) conceal thigh tattoos of bikinis.
Under the leadership of Valentin Skorsak, the tailoring team at Valentin's Clothiers & Custom Tailoring imbues each stitch and lapel of their custom wares with a combined 70 years of expertise. Using material supplied by high-end brands such as Sartoria Tosi and Gino Monti, Valentin and his colleagues tailor personalized men’s and women’s business suits, shirts, and ties in one-on-one sessions in the shop or at clients' homes and offices. Along with their tailoring services, the drapers at Valentin's Clothiers & Custom Tailoring alter any hem or length for clients who have outgrown their clothes or need room to smuggle extra watermelons into a business meeting.
AprilMarin has earned press coverage from the Today Show and the New York Daily News for its modern designs of clothing and accessories. Founders and best friends April Bukofser and Marin Milio imbue each of their garments with the combined beauty and functionality of a bald eagle that fetches the newspaper. Accessories such as the City Ruffle Shawl and Bow Scarf can accent outfits such as the Capri Dress, layering their occupiers with timeless femininity.: