Zayn Malik Reduces Price on Bel Air Home – Variety

Former boy bander Zayn Malik, who would like to be known mononymously as just Zayn, has re-listed his secluded hideaway in L.A.’s posh Bel Air community with a reduced price of just under $3.2 million. The heavily tatted 26-yearold One Direction star, who released his 27-track sophomore solo album, “Icarus Falls” in December 2018, acquired the almost one-acre spread not quite four years ago for $3.1 million and set it out for sale last year at nearly $3.5 million.

Listed with Tina Cameron at Compass and completely invisible behind gates at the end of a long, hedge-lined drive amid a wooded glade, the unassuming, single-story 1960s ranch-style residence is stripped of all fussy architectural detailing with bright-white, art-friendly walls and unevenly colored polished concrete floors throughout its 2300-ish square feet. There are two bedrooms — a third bedroom was merged with the master bedroom — and two simple, up-to-date and all-white minimalist bathrooms. Both the living and dining rooms open to the backyard, while the kitchen, with white lacquered cabinets and top-end appliances, includes a small breakfast area. Outside, a flat expanse of deeply watered lawn provides plenty of room to add a swimming pool and a serpentine series of retaining walls form several elevated terraces with a built-in fire pit, an oak-shaded spa and over-the-rooftop canyon views.

Malik, whose ultra-contemporary villa in North London is also for sale at roughly $4.6 million, has lately trained his Stateside property sights on the East Coast: He confessed in a 2018 GQ profile he’d bought a farm in rural Pennsylvania that’s near another farm owned by his now ex-girlfriend Gigi Hadid’s mother, Yolanda Hadid, and, in early 2018 he dropped nearly $10.7 million on a four-bedroom penthouse in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood with a massive roof terrace atop a cast-iron warehouse building that dates to the 1870s.

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  • Former boy bander Zayn Malik, who would like to be known mononymously as just Zayn, has re-listed his secluded hideaway in L.A.’s posh Bel Air community with a reduced price of just under $3.2 million. The heavily tatted 26-yearold One Direction star, who released his 27-track sophomore solo album, “Icarus Falls” in December 2018, acquired […]

  • Harry Styles was so ready to get rid of his sleekly appointed pied-à-terre above Los Angeles’s perennially chic Sunset Strip, he’s taken a huge loss on the property, selling the multi-level contemporary after more than two years on the market for $6 million. That’s a pearl-clutching $870,000 less than the English pop star paid three […]

  • Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have dramatically slashed the price of a photogenic vintage farmlette near Santa Barbara, Calif., to $7.95 million. The new price is a whopping $1 million dollars under the original $8.95 million ask, but still substantially more than $1 million above the $6.7 million the prolific high-end house flippers paid, […]

  • When Brad Falchuk — the “American Horror Story” executive producer, “Glee” co-creator, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s new husband — put his celebrity-pedigreed Brentwood Park home on the market for exactly $10 million, property gossips went bananas and qualified buyers flocked to the relatively modest residence. The farmhouse-inspired house subsequently sold in just one month for a whopping […]

  • French filmmaker Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, an accomplished visual effects artist-turned-film director who made his directorial debut with the 2016 sequel “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” — a box office disappointment in an otherwise blockbuster franchise — has his mid-century-era home in the affluent foothills above L.A.’s Sherman Oaks up for sale at close to $1.75 million. Slated […]

  • Multiplatinum-selling country music mandarin Randy Travis, who rarely performs publicly after a 2013 illness and stroke, has sold a house-sized condominium in the upscale Belle Meade area of ​​Nashville for $545,000, just shy of its $550,000 asking price. The seven-time Grammy winner and 2016 inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame acquired the top-floor […]

  • Way back in November 2012, as the global economy gingerly emerged from a long recession, an enormous Hollywood Hills estate sold for $39 million. That unprecedented sale price shocked all real estate observers and sparked an avalanche of gold-digging developers to build and market their own “trophy” modern mansions in the hills. Very soon, the […]

Lululemon Chicago: What E-Commerce Pros Can Learn From their First Experiential Store – G2

While everyone is moving their businesses online, Lululemon Athletica Inc. is busy opening their largest store to date.

And when I say large, I mean 20,000 square feet large. This state-of-the-art experiential store located in Chicago has two levels that house a restaurant called Fuel, two fitness studios, a meditation room, as well as their merchandise.

Source: Lululemon Athletica Inc. 

Their merchandise selection is vaster than their other retail stores, with the widest selection of men’s apparel compared to any of Lululemon’s brick-and-mortar stores. Not only that, but they have products that are exclusive to their Chicago location.

Lululemon’s new store concept may be a result of their 45% increase in e-commerce sales in 2018, generating 26% of total sales through the web. It’s no surprise that the athletic apparel retailer shifted focus to their physical stores. With the majority of Lululemon’s customer-base valuing health and wellness, there’s no better way to get people in the store than by giving shoppers that premium experience.

Here are five things that e-commerce pros can learn from Lululemon’s experiential Chicago store.

It’s important to keep up-to-date in the retail world and learn from others’ success. Shoppers have ever-evolving needs that retailers need to meet. In order to keep up, you have to take note of the trailblazers in the industry.

Lululemon brought their ethos to life and people are loving it. Explore these five lessons from this unique shopping experience.

Experiences are everything

Immersive retail is the next big thing. People crave experiences. Why? Because most Americans are behind screens day in and day out.

Well-rounded experiences surprise and delight shoppers, making their shopping journey a sensory experience. Lululemon stayed true to what they do by showcasing the familiar—yoga pants and sports bras, while also having spaces to explore beyond the expected.

Take the meditation studio for example. How awesome it is to be able to grab a new pair of leggings and then zen out for a few minutes, further connecting the mind and body. Lululemon truly considered what their shoppers value. With every aspect of the store, it’s clear that the shopper’s experience was kept top of mind. 

Source: Lululemon Athletica Inc. 

All retail professionals need to be reminded that buyers come first and Lululemon lead by example in doing just that.

Retail concepts need to be tested

What I think is the smartest decision by Lululemon is that this is the only store right now that is experiential. When doing something out-of-the-ordinary it’s crucial to test it. Sure, they tested the markets before and know that it’s likely it’ll be a success, but there are processes that should be worked through.

Testing any concept you have on a smaller scale is important. If you don’t have the budget to make a permanent brick-and-mortar store, consider opening a pop-up shop. Always push the envelope in retail, you never know how successful you can be until you try.

TIP: One of the most helpful ways to improve the shopping experience is through analyzing day-to-day retail operations and finding ways to improve overall store function. Check out the best retail operations software to help you do just that.

Brick-and-mortar lives on

You hear about the retail apocalypse and think, why is Lululemon opening a brick-and-mortar store?

It’s because people are still going to physical stores. In fact, in 2018 only 14.3% of total sales were represented by e-commerce. Meaning that more than three-fourths of all retail sales are in brick-and-mortar stores.

Building an e-commerce website is still important as the industry continues to grow, but there’s value in the physical stores which is something to think about when looking to get into new markets and drive sales.

One-stop-shops = convenience

Wellness meets convenience in this experiential store. Lululemon shoppers are athletic individuals who highly value health and wellness.

Source: Lululemon Athletica Inc. 

Let’s take a look at a possible day of a woman in the Lululemon target market. She wakes up and has a to-do list the length of a CVS receipt. She makes her green juice, gets the kids’ lunches ready and whisks them off to school just in time to make it to her 9 am work meeting. She gets off of work at 2 pm and has a couple of hours before her kids will be home. What does she do? Grab food? Meditate? Squeeze in a workout class? Go shopping? Usually, she’d only be able to choose one thing to do for herself in the day.

Source: Lululemon Athletica Inc. 

This one-stop-shop for wellness is exactly what Lululemon shoppers need. Now she can do it all in one space with food, smoothies, fitness classes, locker rooms, and clothes all available at the tips of her fingers.

Design matters

There’s nothing better than an aesthetically pleasing space. The Lululemon store has a minimalist design with clean earth tones throughout the space. Walking in, a feeling of calm washes over you. This same feeling can be achieved with a user-friendly, beautifully designed website as well.

Design is really important to such spaces. One reason being, it keeps shoppers coming back for more. The second reason is for social.

Source: Lululemon Athletica Inc. 

The power of sharing is remarkable and when you design a space that’s photogenic, people will be snapping pictures and sharing their experience. Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing and if you can get your shoppers to do this naturally, then you’re in a good spot for future success.

Nice flex

Lululemon is flexing their thought-leader muscles with this brand new experiential space. Other e-commerce professionals can learn a lot from this launch and can improve their own strategies by focusing on experience, trial, convenience, and design.

Is your business too small to launch a 20,000 square feet store as Lululemon did? Think about starting small by learning how to sell on Amazon.

Religiosity of Japanese aesthetics – INQUIRER.net

You rarely hear religion and beauty together in a conversation. Yet, when it comes to Japanese architecture, one cannot seem to exist without the other.

The Japanese way of building takes into consideration the people’s beliefs. Shintoism and Buddhism, Japan’s major religions, are both reflected in their built forms. The first one sees soul in things, while the second seeks a state of enlightenment. The principles of both religions manifest themselves in the works of the Japanese. These expressions are what makes the country’s architecture unique and awe-inspiring.

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Nature

Shintoism finds its roots in indigenous traditions. Literally translating to the way of the gods, Shinto believes that natural elements such as the wind, rocks and river have spirits within them. It promotes a positive view of the world and aims to keep away bad spirits.

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Toyo Ito, the 2013 recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, is one such Japanese architect who exhibits a sense of spirit in most of his works. His Meiso No Mori Municipal Funeral Hall is a thin-shelled concrete canopy that exquisitely blends with the undulating hills behind it. Rather than compete for attention, the built structure complements nature.

In the words of architectural educator Georg Windeck, “This timeless character forces the inhabitant to search for an understanding of the architecture as a found landscape, rather than a built creation.”

Asymmetry

In line with natural design, Japanese architecture does not force symmetry onto built forms. As irregularity remains abundant in the environment, the Japanese celebrate it rather than correct it. The concept is based on their world view called the wabi-sabi, which accepts the imperfection of life. Wabi means “rustic simplicity” while sabi translates to “taking pleasure in the imperfect.”

The Portland Japanese Garden celebrates the irregularity of nature.

This concept is best expressed in Japanese gardens. Rocks are isolated and placed around a sand-filled pit. The garden may look bare at first glance, but the emptiness actually creates a breathing space that becomes conducive to contemplation. Trees are planted without formal arrangement, allowing them to grow organically. The built and the natural remain seamless, allowing both to thrive under any circumstance. In this sense, the asymmetry of built forms demonstrates Zen Buddhism.

Simplicity

Marie Kondo, organizer extraordinaire and bringer of good cheer, hails from Japan. Her method recently found popularity across the world due to its spiritual take on decluttering. She practices one of the things the people of Japan are known for: minimalism.

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The minimalist style puts emphasis on things. Instead of accumulating furniture and ornaments inside a home, this style encourages us to only retain what is essential to our daily needs. Other items are considered distractions and should be eliminated from the home. Most Japanese thrive in circumstances which are simple yet functional. The goal is to direct our focus on only the things that we need in order to achieve a sense of clarity.

Emptiness

For the Japanese, a bare room does not express poverty. Rather, the void space is used to emphasize the importance of things to allow an artwork or a focal piece to shine in a room. Emptiness also serves as a breathing space. It allows people to relax in a garden or to carry out their activity without obstruction. The Japanese people celebrate emptiness and use it to reveal what is truly valuable.

The traditional Japanese residence is one of the best examples that demonstrate this concept. In a traditional home, the rooms are often bare of furniture and are divided by partitions made out of Japanese paper. Each room features tatami mat flooring—woven reeds with a straw core.

At first glance, the Japanese house appears humble, but its simplicity belies an efficient grid system. The rooms are measured base on the number of tatami mats it can accommodate, ensuring proportionality throughout the house.

Unconventional

Though Japanese architecture is often stereotyped as minimalist and simple, you’ll be surprised to know that there are several designers who defy all these characteristics. Modern firms such as Atelier Tekuto and Terunobu Fujimori seek to challenge convention.

The first group explores complex shapes and angles to create spaces which are literally out-of-the-box. One such work that exhibits love for unique design is the Polygonal House in Tokyo.

Terunobo Fujimoro, meanwhile, is a Japanese architect considered eccentric by traditionalists. His designs, however, remain connected with nature like many of his Japanese colleagues. The difference is that he takes nature and drives it to the extreme. His works are eye-catching yet remain blended with the landscape.

One example is the Charred Cedar house which utilizes burnt wood to protect the residents from rot and rain. His own house is reflective of his ideals: the Tanpopo House features volcanic rock walls and a grass roof. He is definitely one interesting architect.

The Charred Cedar House by Terunobu Fujimori challenges the norm in terms of balance and structure.

Overall, Japanese aesthetics is admired for its simplicity, functionality and spirit. Whether traditional or unconventional, the works of the Japanese are usually created with much thought and consideration. These creations reflect a kind of harmony that is not always found in other cultures.

From their architecture to their art, the Japanese showcase their values and beliefs. Their creations become expressions of their religiosity and sets them apart from the rest of the world.

Sources: “Construction Matters” (powerhouse Books, 2016) by Georg Windeck; toyo-ito.co.jp; architizer.com;  Stephane D’Alu, Daderot via Wikimedia Commons; Ryushi Kojima; goodfreephotos.com; Forgemind Archimedia via Flickr.com

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TAGS: Atelier Tekuto, Buddhism, Marie Kondo, Shintoism, Terunobo Fujimoro, Toyo Ito, wabi-sabi

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These High-Quality (And On-Sale) Duffel Bags Are Perfect Travel Companions – HuffPost

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

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Whether you have wanderlust in your veins or frequently find yourself on a plane, train or bus for work, quality luggage is a necessity. Not only can premium luggage make an impressive statement while you make your way through the airport, but it’ll likely last the rest of life.

If you’re in the market for new travel gear, today’s your lucky day because we’ve found a bunch of duffel bags on the cheap. These bags are handmade with care and are intended to be passed down from one generation of adventurers to another.

Take a look at three duffel bags on sale below. And, sign up to HuffPost’s sales and deals newsletter for more of our editor-sourced products and reviews.

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This sleek and classic weekender duffel bag will have you booking a ticket to get out of town ASAP. It’s perfect for a short getaway, with multiple dedicated pockets, built-in handles and a shoulder strap. Plus, it’s crafted from veg-tanned top-grain leather, so you can trust it to keep up no matter where your adventure takes you.

The Weekender comes in two sizes: 30 liters and 60 liters. The smaller size features a zip pocket, multiple card and pen holders, a phone pocket and two exterior pockets. The larger size has all of that, plus two magnet-latch pockets, one zipper pocket and a separate shoe compartment.

You can get the 30-liter Kodiak Leather Weekender Duffel on sale for $269 — down from $340 — in either Antique Brown or Dark Walnut. Or you can pick up the 60-liter variety on sale for $399 — 20% off the usual price of $499 — in either Antique Brown or Dark Walnut.

Kodiak Leather Weekender Duffel Bag in Antique Brown (Size: 30L) – $269

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The Denali bag, which is made from high-quality leather and waxed canvas and has 25 liters of interior space, is exceptionally roomy and rugged. It features a shoulder strap for easy carrying, as well as a magnetic exterior pocket and side zipper pocket to store your goods. Whether you’re taking a day trip to the city or spending an entire weekend at a B&B, this duffel makes the perfect companion

Available in two colors — tan or gray — you can get the Denali Duffel on sale today for $149, down from $175.

Kodiak Denali Duffel in Gray (Size: 25L) – $149

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Similar to the Denali, the Augustine Duffel is perfect for a quick weekend road trip or a mini camping trip in the Rockies. Made from durable 16-ounce waxed canvas and genuine leather and featuring a minimalist design, this bag is simple and sturdy enough for whatever adventure you throw it’s way.

Also available in both gray and tan, you can get the Augustine Duffel on sale for $149 — 14% off the retail value.

Kodiak Augustine Duffel in Tan (Size: 25L) – $149

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Like what you see? Check out more great deals, like 65% off this 3-in-1 charging dock that’s a must-have for Apple users. Prices are subject to change.

This article was written by Christina Buff on behalf of HuffPost Finds.

Rough leaked footage shows Avengers gameplay – Windows Central

  • Square Enix recently revealed an Avengers game for Xbox One and other platforms.
  • The title is a single-player and multiplayer experience which should keep on growing over time.
  • The behind-closed-doors footage from Comic-Con just leaked online.
  • You can preorder Avengers for $50 on .

A few weeks ago, Square Enix revealed an Avengers game for Xbox One and other platforms. The title should launch on May 15, 2020 and features a number of heroes. Unfortunately, only those attending E3 2019 and Comic-Con 2019 were able to see the footage. Luckily, that changed today because someone uploaded it to YouTube.

The footage gives us a taste of the combat during the prologue. The action is visceral and each hero has signature moves. Oddly enough, Thor seems like the most well-rounded character at the moment. After a horrific event leaves San Francisco in ruins, the Avengers have been disbanded. However, an even bigger evil threatens the planet five years later, and it’s up to you to assemble the crew and save the world once again.

What do you think of the gameplay? According to publisher Square Enix, a high-quality version of the footage should be released after Gamescom in August.

The publisher reiterated that the Avengers wouldn’t feature loot boxes or pay-to-win microtransactions. Additionally, all future regions and heroes will be free to all players in order to avoid fragmentation.

Save the world

An ever-expanding online game

After a horrific event leaves San Francisco in ruins, the Avengers have been disbanded. However, an even bigger evil threatens the planet five years later, and it’s up to you to assemble the crew and save the world once again.

Excellent and affordable Xbox accessories

Up your Xbox experience with one (or all) of these budget accessories, all of which are approved by the gamers of Windows Central.

($15 at Amazon)

This charging kit keeps your Xbox One wireless controllers juiced up, and it offers batteries for two controllers. At just $15, this is hands-down our favorite budget charging companion.

($19 at Amazon)

This brilliant little USB splitter hub attaches perfectly to the side of your Xbox One S console. It’s ideal for use with chargers, controllers, headsets, and more.

($13 at Amazon)

Proudly display your Xbox gamepads with this stylish and functional stand. The licensed design is minimalist and black, and it has a hidden storage compartment, making the price of $13 a real steal.

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