China’s First Hello Kitty Theme Park Celebrates Inauguration

 

Yes, it’s true! The first international Hello Kitty Park (there’s one in Hello Kitty’s home country Japan) was just inaugurated November 28, 2014 and is set to officially open on January 1, 2015.

Construction began back in 2011 and thus far, the project has cost over $300 million US dollars to construct. The 150 acre theme park expects one million visitors each year. The park celebrated its completion last Friday with invited guests dancing, eating and signing the inauguration board with Hello Kitty characters. According to The Hettema Group website, the new Hello Kitty Park is meant to be the Sanrio characters’ very special home-away-from home.

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REUTERS — Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk/news

The theme park is located in Anji, Zhejiang province, which is approximately a three hour drive west of Shanghai. Known for its rich forests and greenery, Anji is definitely an appropriate location for Hello Kitty’s “nature” theme park. The name was a selling point as well.

“Hello Kitty Park is the first in China. But why did we choose to build it here in Anji? Because Anji is a good name,” explains Frank Liu of New Insight of MGMT. “In Chinese it means both peaceful and auspicious.”

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REUTERS — Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk/news

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Nature’s five elements (wood, fire, water, metal, and earth) parallel with the five garden zones of the park for interactive activities. An area is also reserved for a world festival to feature important holidays such as Chinese New Year.

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Photo courtesy of yahoo.com

The park also has an official website (not yet in English) which maps the six different zones of the park. Each zone is home to a different Sanrio character. This includes the classic Hello Kitty (Hello Kitty’s Home), her friend My Melody (Melody Village), the adorably green Keroppi (Happy Harbor), tough guy Badtz-Maru (Steam Kingdom) and banana-lover Monkichi (Spirit Forest). The sixth zone will be a comprehensive Friendship Plaza for characters to play together.

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Xinhua/Xu Yu — Photo courtesy of xinhuanet.com

The park will also have a luxury hotel, and yes — the rooms will be decorated in Hello Kitty theme. What do you think? Disney World or Hello Kitty Park for New Years?

 

San Francisco Petitions to Bring Ethnic Studies to High Schools

 

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) isn’t the only one making moves to institutionalize Ethnic Studies into their high schools. San Francisco is now in full gears to get Ethnic Studies implemented into all San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) schools. There is an online petition for anyone to sign, and they aim to reach 2,000 signatures by the December 8th, 2014.

Currently, the curriculum for education in the United States focuses on a history that takes on a Euro-centric lens and has often been criticized for preaching one-sided stories. What Ethnic Studies seeks to do is educate students about the multiple histories and truths that form American history.

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The creation of Ethnic Studies stemmed from the 1968 Student Strike that took place in universities all across California. A coalition of different student organizations was formed to create the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF).  TWLF joined forced with the Black Student Union, faculty members and community members to demand a curriculum that was inclusive of all histories, especially those of ethnic minorities. After a year long struggle, the strike was successful as it established the first College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University.

Photo Credit: ethnicstudies.sfsu.edu

Photo courtesy of ethnicstudies.sfsu.edu

According to the LAUSD’s petition, the courses are intended to “inspire and motivate [the students] in their education, so that they learn their own history, engage actively in their own learning, and connect in meaningful ways to the larger community.” Bringing Ethnic Studies to the high school level would be essential to students who are still in the process of forming their identity and self-awareness. Rather than the courses being divisive, it allows students to build bridges and form an understanding of each other in order to build a stronger community.

On December 9th, SFUSD will be casting their votes. There will be a rally held at 5:00 P.M. in front of the SFUSD building and those in support are asked to wear red.

 

 

Featured image courtesy of Tran Trung Hieu.

Image of the Day: Billboard in Korea Encourages You to “Step In” And Stop Child Abuse

 

It’s easy for many of us to say we’re against child abuse, but how willing are we to interfere, step in, and do what we can to stop child abuse? That’s exactly what this billboard in South Korea asks anyone who passes by.

It’s quite difficult to ignore this powerful, interactive ad which shows the silhouette of two people: An angry adult holding a glass bottle over his head and the scared child he is threatening to hurt.

 

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At the top of this upsetting image are the words “Child abuse, you can prevent it” along with an arrow pointing to the blank space in between the abusive adult and the child. This is where passersby are asked to “step in.”

The powerfully symbolic ad truly shows its brilliance when an onlooker steps in between the silhouettes. Suddenly, a superhero logo will pop up on the onlooker’s shadow with an emergency number and the words, “Report to become a hero for children.”

The message is instantly clear. Anyone can become a hero and help prevent child abuse. In fact, simply reporting child abuse can save lives.

 

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All photos courtesy of demilked.com.

 

Get To Know Brian Ree, CEO And Founder Of DailyLook

 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have just passed and after spending a couple of lunch breaks online haphazardly browsing through thousands of items on sale, we learned that e-retailer DailyLook’s simplified method of approaching quick trends with sleek curation was meant for us.  With nearly half a million followers on Facebook alone, DailyLook, caters to consumers by showing complete stylized looks, and is the only one of its kind growing at phenomenal speeds while backed by renowned investors like Brian Lee of the Honest Company and styling master and designer Rachel Zoe.  Founded in 2011 by CEO Brian Ree, the company initially built as a flash sale site is now a fully categorized ecommerce platform.  Though its evolution pushed towards a traditional online catalog model, the promotion of complete ensembles remains the main marketing approach that attracts new followers and members every day.

Quality with shopping made simple remain the backbone for Ree’s approach to online retail. Women can now experience their recently launched Elite personalized styling program.  With Elite you can experience having your own wardrobe stylist/personal shopper, but without the hassle of in-store appointments.  Ree shares with Audrey readers more in-depth details about his company along with how their newest monthly subscription venture functions and why it appeals to the young professional woman.

 

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A Curated Box Set From Elite – Image Courtesy Of DailyLook


Audrey Magazine: When did you first decide to dive into the world of online retail and how did DailyLook come about?

Brian Ree: It was just over three years ago we found this company Dailylook, and the idea actually came about from at the time wanting to create a website that made it really easy to shop entire looks from head-to-toe.  The concept was really simple and was really about showcasing one new look every day and having that look available to purchase with just a few clicks.

AM: I understand you started as more of flash sale model. Looking at DailyLook now, what were some of the challenges of transitioning from a “flash” sale e-commerce platform to a more standardized model?
BR: We found customers loved shopping by looks, but they also wanted the ability to shop in a more traditional fashion of by category, so when we launched we didn’t have the ability to shop by any clothing categories.  We asked our customers what features they would like, and they wanted a feature that looked like the traditional catalog model. In return, we decided to add more features that would allow this.  That was our prompt to evolving the website to cater to our customers’ needs, but we always stayed true to the core of making it easy to browse and shop by looks, and we wanted to remain focused on head-to-toe styling for outfit ideas.

AM: Given the ability to search by category for clothing and accessories and then by look and now by the new DailyLook Elite option, do you feel most consumers find it easier to shop by complete looks or is it half-and-half?  
BR: I would say it is half and half. Our most popular area is still the looks.  Most of our customers that come to us are generally starting out by viewing new looks, but at the same time if you know that you want a dress only, it’s just quicker and easier going to the direct category.  I guess it depends, but it is mostly 50/50 now in terms of consumer behavior and their preferences.

AM: How do you compete against consumer trends that call for more classic, investment style approaches to shopping versus the turnover of fast fashion?  
BR: If you look at the way we style our pieces and our pricing, we are introducing new looks every day, so there is an element of fast trends and fast fashion in the way we merchandise our product assortment.  We have items that range from $20 all the way to $300, we do have some a bit more expensive.  We try to style our outfits in a way that the modern, young professional and contemporary woman does today which is really mixing highs and lows to create whatever look they’re trying to get, and that may be pairing a lower price top and skirt with a more investment statement piece like a nicer jacket or sweater.  In terms of merchandising, generally we’re not super low nor on the low price end.  We go from a Zara price point to a Shopbop price point without losing quality.  We carry some brands that Shopbop and Revolve carry, so we have a bit of overlap there, but we have the in-house DailyLook brands and products that are all under $100.  The DailyLook products range between $40 to $100.

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AM: What future hopes do you have your current company and what sort of impact do you hope to make on the online retail world?
BR: Our mission was always to inspire women to dress their best and attain the look that they want to create for themselves. We have taken it one step further to make it easier by introducing our online personal styling experience which is what we’re most excited about and we’re seeing the most growth with.  Basically, a user signs up and fills out a style profile which is then submitted to the styling team and matched to the best stylist according to their answers.  That stylist every month will curate 6 to 8 items in a box set to be sent directly to your home on a date you chose and you get to try on items at home and only pay for what you keep.  There’s no risk, because if you don’t like anything you can return everything very easily.  It’s an experience that allows personal styling to be accessible.  It’s not to say people need styling, but you can think of it as a personal shopper.  You might be really busy, and you know what you like but you don’t have time to shop, so to have someone always able to look out for you and think of the best items and have it conveniently sent to you it has resonated really well.  In the first month we signed up 1000 elite prescription customers.  It’s the fasted growing business we made and it’s surpassed all our expectations.  No one else offers it, and hopefully it will continue to grow.

AM: It beats the stress and hassle of shopping at brick-and-mortar retail shops.
BR: Yes, and if you think about it there’s even at this point a hassle shopping at the all the online sites.  There’s work involved keeping up with all the products coming out, and with thousands of products already on sites already.  Even us, we have almost 3000 items available to purchase at any given point and we’re coming out with new ones every day.  Fashion sites come out with products weekly, for example, Zara comes out with 500 products a week and that’s just Zara, so that means you have to check 500 items a week being introduced and figure out what is great for yourself.  In our model a personal shopper and stylist is doing the work for you and editing out products while taking into account your feedback and what’s coming up in your life.  For example, if you’re going on vacation, but you live in New York City, your stylist can take into consideration your travels and curate resort looks to be sent the month of that vacation.

AM: Finally, if you could turn back time, would you still create a massively growing start-up with all the stress and time involved with building a large following and revenue?  
BR: I would, actually. I’ve always had the ambition to try to innovate businesses in a way that is meaningful and can add a lot of value to a lot of people and their lives.  Generally it would be technology– a way that you can create technology on a platform that allows you to impact a lot of lives in a positive way.  In this case technology and fashion: if you think about personal styling as whole and shopping, it’s something you would only think of being available to those with the financial capability to partake in it, but it’s a fairly cumbersome process even with money because not everyone has time to schedule an appointment and then go there at a specific time.  There’s only a handful of select clients that would have stylists come to their house, but it’s a very small subset.  We created this model of personal styling and personal shopping to anyone via the internet because we’re able to make the process really efficient and allow the stylist to effectively use their time to help everyone.         

P.S. Stay tuned as we at Audrey share with you our very first box set from DailyLook Elite! 

Here are two of DailyLook’s most popular Fall 2014 Looks from daytime to a night out, the French Horn Rebellion and Piece Of Me.

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Template Created Using DailyLook’s Style Set Tools, All Images Courtesy Of DailyLook.com

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Template Created Using DailyLook’s Style Set Tools, All Images Courtesy Of DailyLook.com

Feature Images Courtesy Of DailyLook.com And Sushiismyvice.com

How To Make Taiwan’s Famous Ice Cream Burrito

 

Yes, you read that correctly. An ice cream burrito.

Found around Taiwan’s famous night markets, the ice cream wrap features peanut candy shavings and a spring-roll crepe cover. There is a savory version of this with pork, cabbage and ground peanuts that is a long-standing, traditional dish. However, it’s the tart ice cream and crunchy peanut candy that makes the sweet version such a hit, starting from its origins in Yilan to trendy settings in Taipei.

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Photo courtesy of hungryintaipei.blogspot.com

The ice cream burrito, which can be found all over Taipei’s night markets, comes in various versions such as pineapple, taro and peanut ice cream.

And how exactly does one make this famous treat? First, the crepe is made and laid out. The peanut shavings are then placed on top of it and three scoops of ice cream are set onto that. Then there’s another layer of peanut candy shavings plus the optional coriander. The treat is then folded up like a burrito and put in a to-go bag for you to hold as you explore the rest of the night market.

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http://hungryintaipei.blogspot.com/2009/01/taiwanesedessert-i-strongly-recommend.html

Another popular option is to include cilantro, which is reminiscent of cilantro in other sweet treats such as mango salsa. All of these options do not disappoint! They serve as another example of the creative and delicious food adventures found in the nooks of Taiwan night markets.

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http://travelingvanillabean.com/1/post/2012/06/the-true-tastes-of-taiwan.html

 

 

Curious for a taste but not ready to buy a plane ticket right now?
Here’s an at-home recipe from The Guardian:

Homemade run bing with pineapple and peanut ice cream

INGREDIENTS:
Make one flavor of ice cream if you prefer, or use shop-bought. Serves 6.
For the pineapple ice cream: 400g tin pineapple or 300g fresh pineapple, chopped ½ tin condensed milk 400ml double cream
For the peanut ice cream: ½ tin condensed milk 500ml double cream 125g peanut butter
For the brittle: Butter, for greasing 100g roasted, salted peanuts 150g caster sugar

Assemble:
6 frozen spring roll wrappers, defrosted
Handful of coriander leaves, chopped

Method:
To make the pineapple ice cream, put the fruit (drained, if using tinned) in a food processor or whizz with a stick blender to a smooth puree.

1. In a separate bowl, whisk the condensed milk and cream to stiff peaks, then fold through the fruit puree, mixing fully or leaving slightly marbled, if you like.
Pour into a lidded, plastic, freezer-proof container, then freeze until firm, around 4 hours.

2. To make the peanut ice cream, put all the ingredients in a bowl then whisk to stiff peaks. Pour into a lidded, plastic, freezer-proof container, then freeze until firm, around 4 hours.

3. Next, make the brittle. Grease a small baking tin, then put the peanuts in a large, dry frying pan, then, over a medium heat, toast until golden. Add a pinch of salt, then add the sugar, swirling, but not stirring, the pan, until the sugar has melted and turned to a dark golden color. Pour into the baking tin and allow to harden.

4. To assemble, lay a spring roll wrapper on a work surface, then grate or crumble over a generous amount of peanut brittle. Top with three scoops of ice cream – just peanut, just pineapple, or a mixture, if you like – then add more brittle and a scattering of coriander.
Working quickly, fold in the top and bottom of the wrapper, then roll up. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers, and eat immediately.

Brian Tee Cast As Hamada “Jurassic World”

 

On Tuesday, Universal Pictures released the trailer for Jurassic World, the fourth installment of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park series, and if you blink, you may miss seeing Brian Tee in action.

Starring Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Chris Pratt, the sci-fi action-adventure film takes place 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park and is set in a “fully functional” dinosaur theme park that was originally envisioned by John Hammond. As tourist attendance rates begin to dip, the park’s researchers decide to create a new attraction, a genetically-modified hybrid dinosaur. However, things quickly backfire when the bloodthirsty hybrid escapes from the labs and runs amok in the packed park.

 

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A few months ago, pages from the Jurassic World script were leaked online and introduced Brian Tee’s character, a 52 year-old “greying Japanese badass” named Katashi Hamada. In the excerpt, Hamada warns the other characters about the danger of feeding the new hybrid dinosaur live animals–hinting that once the creature tastes living flesh, it will never seek alternative food sources.

“Trust me. You don’t want this animal to taste things that move and bleed,” Hamada says, ending his badass monologue.

Jurassic World is slated to be released on June 12, 2015.

 

–STORY BY REERA YOO
This story was originally published on iamkoream.com

Sneak Peek: Introducing Our Beautiful Winter Issue Cover Girl MICHELLE PHAN

 

We’re more than excited to introduce our Audrey Magazine Winter 2014-2015 cover girl Michelle Phan! Be on the look out for our exclusive cover story coming soon. Can’t wait to get your hands on the issue? Click here to purchase it or to subscribe to Audrey Magazine.

For now, check out what Audrey’s editor-in-chief Anna M. Park has to say about YouTube’s beauty bestie:

 

The last time we tried to get Michelle Phan on our cover was 2010. We had the clothes, the makeup, the venue, everything ready. And then she came down with the chicken pox. The day before the shoot. It was clearly not meant to be.

In 2010, Michelle was big. She had over a million YouTube subscribers then. Her Lady Gaga makeup tutorials had gone viral. And she had just become Lancôme’s official video makeup artist. She was hot. And we were so disappointed we couldn’t get her on the cover.

Well, we finally got her on the cover. And today, Michelle Phan is even hotter than four years ago. A million subscribers? Try over 7 million now. Lancôme? She’s still there. But she has her own makeup line as well, backed by beauty giant L’Oréal. YouTube? Sure, but with her own multichannel network, FAWN, where she curates and develops new talent and content as executive producer. Add to that a beauty sampling company, a new book, even her own music label. Michelle isn’t just big anymore. She’s empire big.

Here’s the funny thing about her story. Michelle dropped out of college to pursue her dreams, to work with Lancôme back in 2010. And this year, that same school, the Ringling College of Art + Design, bestowed on Michelle an honorary doctorate of arts in the business of art and design. She definitely proves that life isn’t necessarily a straight line or an even path. It is — as she says — a circle. Read more about her amazing journey in writer Michelle Woo’s story coming soon!

 

 

Story: Michelle Woo
Photos: Jack Blizzard
Stylist: Reichelle Palo
Makeup: Jayme Kavanaugh
Hair: Octavio Molina

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Watch This Adorable Marriage Proposal from Space

 

Jason Hakala, a Seattle native who works at Cut Video, decided to propose to his girlfriend Stella in 2012. We know what you’re thinking — what could be so impressive about a proposal. After all, it feels like we’ve seen it all. We’ve seen elaborate proposals, uncomfortable proposals and even Frozen-inspired proposals. But trust us when we say Hakala really wanted his proposal to be out-of-this-world.

Cut Video just released the proposal video on YouTube this month. Why did he wait until two years later to show the video? Watch to the end to find out.

 

Jason and Stella met in high school in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ten years later, they met again in Seattle and started going out. When he and his friends planned to honor John Glenn’s orbit around the earth 50 years ago, he realized it was the right opportunity to honor his love with Stella as well.

“Initially that is what it was — a tribute video to space exploration with the addition of my proposal video,” he told The Huffington Post via email. “But later it became more about the proposal. I think there is something romantic about it, in a very nerdy and unique way.”

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The launch materials, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/21/space-marriage-proposal-weed-grannies_n_6194322.html

The technicalities of it? Jason and his team used a PVC pipe, a weather balloon, an iPhone, a GoPro and a GPS unit. The built structure was launched from a field three hours east of Seattle. The GoPro was pointed towards the iPhone as it played a looped video of Jason’s marriage proposal, as well as the John Glenn tribute.

The balloon was found in a landing spot many hours later and 200 miles away from the original launch point. Stella was present to watch the launch and landing, but the hidden message in the middle was unknown to her the entire time.

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The couple after landing, courtesy of Jason Hakala (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/21/space-marriage-proposal-weed-grannies_n_6194322.html)

It wasn’t until the next day, when Jason, Stella and her family went on a hike, that he played the footage back to her. As she sat next to him in the snow, she saw him from space saying, “It took me a trip to space to finally get the balls to do this, but I love you so much and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

The answer was a jubilant “Yes!” Jason and Stella married in August 2012 in Hawaii and are now parents to 13-month-old daughter Suvi.

 

 

You’re Invited to Unforgettable 2014 AFTER PARTY

 

Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal 13th annual Unforgettable gala is just days away! Can’t make it to the gala? Don’t worry, you still have a chance to celebrate the special evening with our celebrity guests at the official Unforgettable After Party.

The Unforgettable 2014 After Party will be held at the Feria Night Club following the gala. For this private, guest-list only event, all gala attendees will be guaranteed entry. We encourage all other guests to RSVP above for free to ensure their entry, as capacity will be limited.

Admission: Free (Guest list)
Doors open at 10 p.m.
Parking: Valet available

Spots are extremely limited so click here to RSVP today.

 

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Unforgettable is a high profile, celebrity-studded event dedicated to honoring achievements within the past year and is an opportunity for talent to perform for distinguished and influential members of the community.

Sponsored by Royal Salute and presented by Duracoat, this year’s gala will honor and award four Asian Americans individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions in the field of arts and entertainment. The award recipients include: John Cho (ABC’s Selfie, FOX’s Sleepy Hollow) – Royal Salute’s Mark of Respect Award and The Actor of the Year Award; Ming-Na Wen (ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) – The Actress of the Year Award; Ki Hong Lee (20th Century Fox film The Maze Runner) – The Male Breakout Star of the Year; Arden Cho (MTV’s Teen Wolf) – The Female Breakout Star of the Year.

Yoon Mi Rae, Korean American hip-hop and R&B royalty, returns this year to perform her No. 1 hit song in Korea. Other featured artists include K-Pop artist G.NA, winner of The VoiceTessanne Chin, beatbox champion KRNFX, along with collaboration performances from singer/songwriters Arden Cho and David Choi, and exciting dance performances by Mike Song and KINJAZ.

 

Find out more information on the Unforgettable 2014 website

Unforgettable 2013 After Party

Unforgettable 2013 After Party

Viral Coca-Cola Ad Shows the Importance of Saying “Thank You”

 

With Thanksgiving just a few hours away, it’s a good time to remember all the people we are thankful for. You’ve probably expressed thanks for family and close friends, but what about the people who often go unnoticed and unappreciated? Do you give thanks for the hardworking UPS guy? What about the waitress at your favorite restaurant that always makes sure you get the best table? Or what about the barista who knows exactly the way you take your coffee every morning?

These people may serve us on a day to day basis and certainly make our lives easier, but how often do we actually recognize their work? In fact, do we even know their name?

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A new Coca-Cola ad, which was released in the Philippines, has already gained nearly 3 million views because it asks that very question. As it turns out, acknowledging someone by their name can mean so much– especially in a job where they are often unnoticed. Most importantly, the ad reminds us that a simple “thank you” can go a long way.

“Challenge yourself to take time every single day to thank those who serve you – just be sure to get their name,” Liftable reminds us. “Not only will you make their day, you will encourage them to continue their work with the knowledge they are positively impacting the lives of those around them.”