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Balenciaga X BFRND

Balenciaga’s relationship with BFRND goes way back. The French composer and musician, who embraces classical music and dark electronic with equal fervor, has produced original soundtracks for the Spanish luxury fashion line since 2017. Now a capsule collection of limited-edition apparel (including T-shirts and zip-up hoodies) takes their partnership to stylish new heights. In the interest of making this an even splashier affair, Balenciaga has also launched an eight-bit video game, called BFRND: The Game, in which players go through Balenciaga show sets and collect the brand’s merchandise. The top three players worldwide will earn some sort of intriguing—and no doubt hotly coveted—award. ( —Ashley Baker


Michael Kors

To fashion designer Michael Kors, opening a storefront on Rodeo Drive feels like a homecoming. “My family moved to Beverly Hills back in the Seventies,” he says, “and the street has always been an epicenter of luxury and glamour.” Nestled between Jimmy Choo and Versace at 242 N. Rodeo Drive, the new two-story Michael Kors boutique makes the shopping strip’s allure even more irresistible. Customers will be thrilled to find items from Kors’s 2024 Spring Collection in-shop, including our favorite Floral Cotton Eyelet Halter Dress. ( —Carolina de Armas


15 Lies Women Are Told at Work

At the height of her 40-year-long career as a network and studio executive, Bonnie Hammer was called the “Queen of Cable.” She was also named the 2019 Executive of the Year by The Hollywood Reporter. From her start as a production assistant to her current role as vice chair of NBCUniversal, Hammer draws from her working experiences to guide women in all stages of their careers in her new book, 15 Lies Women Are Told at Work. Her first lesson: Don’t just follow your dreams. Instead, “follow the opportunities.” ($28.99, —Carolina de Armas



Most of the time, fashion requires compromise—style for comfort, quality for price, and one’s dedication to the environment for that new pair of patent-leather slingbacks. The Italian footwear brand Aera, however, provides a Goldilocks alternative. Made in Veneto, Italy, the shoes are crafted from vegan leather (50 percent biomaterial and 50 percent synthetic mix, with the aim of one day being 100 percent biodegradable), although they look and feel just like the original thing. Aera is also carbon-neutral and the only shoe line to be B Corp certified. I started with the Silvana pump, which is the perfect slingback shape, and, thanks to its signature unstitched, exposed quilted insole, also the most comfortable heel I’ve ever worn. ($630, —Clara Molot


Afghan Star

We don’t usually think of reality shows as a civilizing force. But when Afghan Star, a television singing competition, premiered in 2005, it provided a joyous, liberating oasis in Afghanistan—a country that remained religious and conservative even after the Taliban were chased out in 2001. This new and eponymous podcast, hosted by the singer John Legend, captures how daring and improbable the project was when Saad Mohseni returned to Kabul to create the country’s first modern television network, Tolo TV. Along with so many other pleasures, the Taliban had outlawed music, but Mohseni wanted to program a reality show like American Idol and insisted from the start that women be included, and be allowed to perform without burkas. Each episode is illustrated by a different artist.It’s a funny and exhilarating tale, but one that ends in heartbreak after the Taliban’s return to power in 2021. ( —Alessandra Stanley


A Walk in the Park

Ever had the itch to hike the trail spanning the length of the Grand Canyon? No? Good, because for starters there is no single trail. And good, too, because author Kevin Fedarko saves you the trouble by doing the 750-mile walk himself, along with his good friend Pete McBride, a National Geographic photographer. Up and down crumbling cliffs, through blistering heat waves, sudden snowstorms, sleeping bags inadvertently placed on anthills, and frozen shoes being warmed up on camp stoves that accidentally catch fire: read all about it in Fedarko’s A Walk in the Park. The book is its own wonder, one of nature and adventure and humanism that earns its place on the same rarefied shelf that is home to Edward Abbey and John McPhee. ($32.50, —Jim Kelly

Issue No. 254
May 25, 2024
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Issue No. 254
May 25, 2024