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The outfits, the outings and off-duty styles of actors, models and celebrities are interesting to note, but there’s no other sure-fire way to steal our attentions (and that of the paparazzi) than by stepping out with a furry friend.

Dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes have long held our fascination (and with good reason). Believed to reflect their owners’ looks, mannerisms and personalities, dogs offer insight into their human companions, which, if they belong to Ariana Grande (whose dog Tolouse just starred alongside the singer on her first American Vogue cover) or Ryan Gosling, makes them important insider sources on upcoming albums or unreleased movies. Just think about what they know.

Effectively stars in their own right, the dogs of celebrity owners are immediately flung to digital fame. Take Colombo, model-cum-actress Emily Ratajkowski’s dog regularly seen stomping the streets of New York City or Nash, Troye Sivan’s most important tour pal that has travelled the world with the Australian singer.

Sensitive, loyal and full of love—not to mention extremely Instagrammable—Vogue has rounded up the most famous four-legged pets to follow, courtesy of their celebrity owners.

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Sydney-based interior designer Greg Natale is known for his opulent style, bright colours and rich textures. He’s no stranger to a high-end project (like this jaw-dropping four-level waterfront home) and his ability to merge classic and modern interiors has seen him succeed in a wide range of residential and commercial projects.

His latest is the Le Plonc wine bar in Melbourne’s Armadale. Located in a 107-year-old building that started its life as a theatre (but has also done stints as a toy factory and indoor ski slope), Natale is up to his old tricks, seamlessly integrating old and new.

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He has created a sumptuous space with rich navy upholstery, black-stained timber floors and fluted wall treatments that add fabulous texture. There are a range of seating options, from casual lounge areas in the bar to a private dining room for special events.

The first Le Plonc wine bar opened in California’s Silicon Valley just over a year ago – one of the original owners is Australian and he is behind the brand coming to Melbourne.

Every light fitting and piece of furniture used in Le Plonc is from James Said luxury furniture – and is available for purchase. In fact, the entire bar and restaurant are actually housed within the James Said showroom, which Natale also designed. Not that you’d ever guess that this warm, intimate bar was a place of commerce – it feels much more like a dusky date venue than a sterile shop.

The bar features custom ombré walls, which start deep blue at floor level and gradually fade into white ceilings. The inspiration behind this bold design choice was the conflicting briefs given to Natale; Le Plonc wanted white ceilings, while James Said made it clear that using navy blue was crucial. “The challenge was giving everyone everything,” says Natale.

“The idea was to deliver something that met both briefs but remained cool, dreamy and minimal,” says Natale. “The idea of this soft ombré gradient presented itself as an impactful, evocative solution.”

“We wanted to tie Le Plonc’s wines and James Said’s furniture together in a chic, instantly Instagrammable way,” says Natale. The result is Insta-glam.


When it comes to the best of Europe’s sunny weather street style, it’s ironically a rain cloud-shaped clutch bag that’s leading the charge. The Pouch—one of the first releases by Bottega Veneta’s new-ish creative director Daniel Lee—was a style fixture at couture fashion week and Pitti Uomo. If you thought the era of the It bag was over, think again. The Pouch is the buy-now, wear-forever piece that’s re-inspiring how we shop now. Here’s what you need to know about the fiercely coveted It accessory that’s proving so hard to pin down in summer 2019.

What’s all the fuss about?

Well, Lee is ex-Céline, which means that anyone who’s been pining for a fresh Phoebe Philo-honed piece are taking note. It also helps that Lee enlisted British photographer Tyrone Lebon to shoot his sensuous debut campaign, an ode to sun-drenched holiday style, which cleverly landed in the bleak Northern Hemisphere midwinter (January 2019) and got fashion editors dreaming of their August vacations. Lee is also a master of the tight, in-store product edit, which is currently stoking the appeal of faithfully investing in a handful of uncompromisingly sumptuous building blocks by just one designer among fashion insiders. The beauty of the Pouch is that it goes with pretty much everything you already own and works for any occasion.

OK, who’s wearing it?

Every fashion editor you follow on Instagram, plus international buyers including MyTheresa’s Tiffany Hsu, entrepreneur Pernille Teisbaek and influential style star Linda Tol.

How do they style it?

With head-to-toe leather, crisp oversized shirting or those equally hard-to-source Bottega Veneta Bermuda shorts.

I’m sold. Is it hard to get hold of?

Pretty much. Our advice: ‘add to shopping bag’ ASAP. Good luck.


11th Jul 2019

Charlotte Smith probably owns the wardrobe of every girl’s dreams. Referred to as a “fashion anthropologist”, Smith, holds more than 8000 pieces of vintage, which span over 250 years of fashion. After inheriting over 3000 pieces of exquisite vintage fashion from her godmother, Smith took on the challenge to preserve not only the fabrics, but the stories they tell about the women who wore them. 

Smith’s collection, aptly titled The Charlotte Smith Fashion Collection, is now one of the largest and most comprehensive international private fashion collections in the world. The unique focus on the cultural relevance and storytelling make the collection an obvious and exceptional choice for museum exhibitions. And on July 18, Smith in collaboration with the Australian Fashion Council and the Billy Blue School of Design, will present a selection of the collection, and for the first time, offer a number of the garments for sale.

“A significant fashion collection is a priceless archive of fashion and social history, as well as an invaluable source of inspiration and education,” Smith told by email.

Read on for more fashion wisdom from Smith, as she talks her collection, what a fashion anthropologist is, and the importance of fashion.

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“As an anthropologist, my role is to discover the history behind the culture of fashion, the inspiration, the catalysts, the innovations, social history as well as fashion history, and the stories of the people who wore (and wear) the clothes. I like the idea that my role as a fashion anthropologist takes me away from the immediateness of fashion, although understanding and being aware of the physical act of making a garment, illustration, pattern making, textiles, and so on are important. Personally, I am more interested in the source, the origins of fashion.
To be honest, I find my role of looking after a collection of 8000 pieces representing 250 years of fashion history — many pieces are so fragile and valuable they are stored in museum textile boxes — more stressful than my work as an anthropologist.” 

“I realise how much respect I have for fashion because of my collection. I respect fashion for being a barometer of our time, it reflects society, values, women’s roles in society, world events, showcases technology and so on. It’s historical, which means it’s played an important part in shaping who we are as a society today. Looking at fashion from a social history point of view gives fashion integrity and relevance. I am inspired to share this respect for fashion with others, so that they respect fashion too.
I love my 1970s hostess gowns, designed by Danica of Double Bay and worn by Margreta Elkins, a famous mezzo soprano opera singer from Brisbane, when she sang at some of the most famous concert halls in the world including the Sydney Opera House. I love knowing the history behind the women who are the clothes. That brings them to life.”

“What you wear is your identity. If you feel great wearing something you exude confidence. What you wear also has the power to transform you as a person, your situation, your career, even your future. I think it’s incredibly exciting to think that what you wear has the power to change your life.” 

“I have decided to reduce the collection by hundreds of items. This means more people can enjoy owning something special from a major collection. I am also choosing items for sale that are perfect for restoration and conservation, inspiration, education and wearing. There will be 18 garments on display. I chose them to fit the theme: .
Quite a few of the garments in the exhibition have never been seen before and include a sequinned Martin Margiela sheath dress, a Rodarte embroidered gown and an incredible cream silk satin wedding dress from the 1930s.” 

You can view pieces from The Charlotte Smith Collection at the Billy Blue College of Design in both Melbourne and in Sydney. In Sydney the exhibition will be held July 18-20 at Billy Blue College of Design, Ultimo. In Melbourne, the exhibition will be held July 26-27 at the Billy Blue College of Design, Melbourne. 


12th Jul 2019

It’s no secret that beloved Australian brands are making waves across the globe. Zimmerman, Dion Lee, Steven Khalil—all are homegrown labels that have amassed loyal cult followings and celebrity attention, worn by stars like Katie Holmes, Kylie Jenner and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Our proximity to the beach and our love of the sun means we’ve mastered relaxed, breezy, casual-yet-cool dressing, making Australian style an obvious kind to covet and emulate. It’s only logical then that 23-year-old supermodel Kendall Jenner—who is currently taking a break from work in Europe—elected to wear a $79 dress by Australian brand Meshki while holidaying in Mykonos.


The television starlet cum Victoria’s Secret model—who is an avid fan of native labels Bec & Bridge and Camilla and Marc—stepped out for the night in a glittery bodycon mini dress, which featured lace up back details and which she paired with a silver top-handle handbag and sneakers. Unlike Jenner’s usual sartorial choices (which generally come with a hefty price tag or are not yet available for purchase) the dress, which comes in a shade described as shimmer orange, retails for an affordable $79 and is currently available in its entire size range, from XS-XL.

Together with model Joan Smalls, singer Justine Skye and DJs Simi and Haze (who make up only part of the holiday crew), Jenner has been soaking up the sun on the Greek island and documenting it all on her Instagram, before landing in London this week.

For another outing on the popular Greek holiday destination, Jenner sported a coordinating top and skirt set from Bec & Bridge for a day on the water, clearly showing her allegiance to Australian brands.

Her long-time stylist, Marni Senofonte (who is also the woman behind Beyonce’s enviable wardrobe) is surely responsible for Jenner’s latest ensemble. The stylist, who works with Jenner on all of her appearances and off-duty style, has finessed the young model’s sense of fashion over the years. Together, the pair has crafted Jenner’s singular style both on and off the red carpet—easily identified by the vintage T-shirts, straight leg jeans, bodycon dresses and mini handbags Jenner regularly wears.

As with the rest of her famous sisters, the wardrobes of the Kardashian-Jenners always gain viral status, helping to put fledgling designers on the map and, more often than not, causing their sites to crash or styles to run out of stock.

And, considering the price of this particular dress, it’s only a matter of time before it sells out.

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On Sunday, September 10, 1978, Jim Bouton took the mound for the Atlanta Braves against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bouton was thirty-nine years old and hadn’t pitched in the majors in eight seasons. He was, by that point, more famous as the author of the best-selling memoir “Ball Four,” which tracks Bouton’s season knuckleballing for the expansion Seattle Pilots and the Houston Astros, than he was as a player; his start for the Braves was mostly seen as a publicity stunt arranged by the team’s young owner, Ted Turner. Bouton retired the first three batters in order and ran to the dugout in jubilation. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported it the next day, he “raised his arms over his head and waved them in victory as Richard Nixon did.” When he went back to the mound, he returned to Earth, allowing six runs over the next four innings—his knuckleball, which he’d developed a decade earlier, in a previous attempt to revive his career, and which he’d nicknamed “superknuck,” amused more Dodgers than it baffled. His teammates, meanwhile, were less amused. “I don’t think he should be too pleased with today,” one of them said afterward.

It was a typical response to Bouton, who died on Wednesday, at the age of eighty. In the nineteen-sixties, during the heydey of Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Whitey Ford, he had success as a hard-throwing righty with the New York Yankees. But after the publication of the brutally honest and uproariously funny “Ball Four,” in 1970, he came to be seen, by many establishment types, as a kind of traitor to his profession. (For years afterward, he was not invited by the Yankees to their old-timers’ games—though the organization did bring him back to the Bronx, in 1998, following the death of his daughter.) The newspaper columnist Dick Young called him a “social leper.” Bowie Kuhn, the commissioner of baseball, said that he’d “done the game a grave disservice.” Bouton later wrote that Kuhn, whom he nicknamed Ayatollah, tried to get him to sign a document recanting the stories about corousing, adultery, drug use, and contract disputes from the book. Bouton preferred the term “deviant” to describe himself, and he argued that, in this capacity, he’d done baseball a great service—making the sport relatable to fans by telling truths that other, better players couldn’t risk telling, and shouldering whatever blame followed.

Of course, not everyone was bothered by “Ball Four.” It sold well, and not only because of the gossip it shared about stars like Mantle. Many reviewers hailed it as groundbreaking. Time has bolstered its reputation, and, indeed, “Ball Four,” is great in all the ways that people now say it is: unadorned, ironic, bitterly funny, and yet also notably tender toward the men who play baseball, and the various doubts and insecurities and futilities that chase them. It has been picked up by successive generations who grew up amid a certain tone about baseball that “Ball Four” helped create—one that takes the piss out of the myths and grandeurs of the game without ever quite forsaking them. You don’t get “Bull Durham” or “Major League” or “Moneyball” without it.

Bouton did a lot of other things, besides. He helped invent Big League Chew bubble gum. He was a TV sports reporter, a preservationist, a 1972 Democratic Convention delegate for George McGovern, and an actor. (He is great-looking, tan, and mean in Robert Altman’s “The Long Goodbye,” from 1973, in which he takes a bullet like a pro.) He seemed to get along best with people who saw baseball the way he did, as a spectacle and a performance, the whole notion of a professional enterprise of balls and bats a grand and wonderful lark. When player salaries began to reach impressive heights, Bouton wrote, “My position is that while the players don’t deserve all that money, the owners don’t deserve it even more.” He was drawn to guys like Bill Veeck, a franchise owner with the mind of a showman, who gave Bouton a minor-league contract during his later, wandering years. And he was a natural fit for Ted Turner, who, in the late seventies, as an enterprising owner of a team with terrible attendance, thought it perfectly fine to bring Bouton back to the majors for a news-making last hurrah.

But it would be a mistake to dismiss Bouton’s brief resurrection with the Braves as a gimmick. Although “Ball Four” seemed to show Bouton breaking faith with baseball, the truth was that, despite his diminishing skills, he was reluctant to leave the game behind. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always liked him. My favorite ballplayers are the guys who refuse to leave peaceably. Think of Rickey Henderson, who, at the age of forty-six, already a Hall of Famer, played with the gusto of a prospect for the San Diego Surf Dogs of the Golden Baseball League. Or Satchel Paige, who had to wait until his forties for the major leagues to integrate and give him his rightful chance—and then refused to walk away, pitching his final three innings, for the Kansas City A’s, at the age of fifty-eight. Like them, Bouton kept going, throwing junk balls through the nineteen-seventies in the minor-league anonymity of Teaneck, Knoxville, Portland, and Durango. His shot with the Braves in ’78 only came after a hot summer of toiling for Double-A Savannah, riding the bus and staying in lousy motels, for a thousand bucks a month.

Later, Bouton lamented that his return to the majors had been met with derision or silence. Leave it to Major League Baseball to miss a good story when it sees one. Kuhn told the players that the best way for them to promote baseball was to keep quiet and never say anything to “knock the game,” as Bouton put it. He broke that rule, and though his status as a pariah involved a little bit of mythmaking on his part, it would be years until he was fully brought back into the fold. Baseball has had few evangelists as committed as Bouton, however unorthodox he was. The current M.L.B. commissioner, Rob Manfred, has criticized top players for not drawing more attention to themselves. What he seems to be looking for—as if such a thing were regularly at hand rather than singular—is some of that exuberant Bouton spirit.

Bouton started four more games for the Braves in the fall of 1978, winning one and generally making a fair show of himself. As it had in his old Yankees days, his cap would pop off his head as he bent over during his exaggerated follow-through—a little picture of youth superimposed onto an aging ballplayer. “A two-year odyssey through the minor leagues by a 39-year-old man who finally makes it, may be one of the best testimonials baseball has ever had,” he wrote, in a postscript to a later edition of “Ball Four.” As ever with Bouton, what some people mistook for a goof had been another expression of true love.

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The fashion calendar flipped to July and brought forth the rarefied presentations, in Paris, of clothing by the members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture—a lot of sumptuous gowns to wear on autumn evenings among superstars, plutocrats, and oligarchs. The artistic director at Christian Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, opened her couture show with a simple white dress resembling the peplos of classical Greece: a rectangle of cloth draped to make a flowing column. Chiuri puts a lot of muscle into textual messaging; in 2017, she famously created a T-shirt printed with the phrase “We Should All Be Feminists,” in homage to the writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This year, Chiuri printed the peplos with the title of a crucial work of social criticism—Bernard Rudofsky’s “Are Clothes Modern?”—in a typeface inspired by the cloth cover of its first edition, from 1947.

Rudofsky, who died in 1988, was an architect by training, a polymath by appetite, and an iconoclast by temperament. He is best known as the author of “Architecture Without Architects,” about ancient monuments, nomadic tents, and other amazing instances of primeval design, and second-best known as a reform-minded interdisciplinarian whose work ranged from urban planning to interior design. (His contribution to fashion studies, and, thereby, social theory, includes a lecture titled “How Can People Expect to Have Good Architecture When They Wear Such Clothes?”) Chiuri described “Are Clothes Modern?” as a major influence on her collection, telling the Guardian that everyone who makes clothing should read Rudofsky: “He writes about how fashion is not just about creativity but about all of human life.” I would go further and recommend this book-length essay to everyone who even thinks about wearing clothes. Its analysis offers an exceptional structure for considering such topics as the passing of fads, the ideology of luxury goods, the evolution of tattoo art, the changeability of body taboos, the persistence of pointless pockets, the psychic satisfaction of a chic self-portrait, and the splendor of Cardi B’s manicure.

“Are Clothes Modern?” is out of print, though available on the Web site of the Museum of Modern Art. (It is the catalogue essay for a 1944 exhibition curated by Rudofsky, the influence of which extended to the 2017 MOMA exhibition “Items: Is Fashion Modern?”) Rudofsky’s writing style is conjectural, aphoristic, coolly passionate, generally fantastic. Deploying broad historical knowledge and a keen comparative eye, he does an enormous amount of discoursing around the premise that “the clothes we wear today are anachronistic, irrational and harmful.” The accompanying illustrations, uniformly delightful, include a juxtaposition of the patterns of traditional Marquesan tattoos with those of late-Victorian hosiery. Pages 120 and 121 boast a jazzy graphic mapping the twenty-four pockets and seventy buttons of a mid-century man fully dressed in a suit and overcoat. “What glass beads are to the savage, buttons and pockets are to the civilized,” Rudofsky writes, intending no disrespect to primitive culture. On the contrary, his analysis flows from the belief that the physical constrictions of Western clothing, like the capitalist contortions required by the system of producing and consuming them, often represents the corruption of ancient desires for bodily decoration.

He gives a rich account of what has been thought attractive and appropriate on various continents in various centuries, braided through with a progressive manifesto in favor of renouncing such shackles as throttling collars. (The personal wardrobe of the author was that of a mellow and worldly academic—traditional suits in flannel and tweed, a jacket with a gently futuristic vibe in its mandarin collar, a pastoral straw hat matched with a checked cravat and dotted shirt.) He admires such reformers as Amelia Bloomer, whose fight for the right to vote was entwined with her advocacy of trousers, and he smiles on promising signs of the advent of the equalization of men’s and women’s clothing. Rudofsky wrote thrillingly tart prose, as when condensing a historical overview of an undergarment into a one-sentence story of transfiguration: “This corset which first was used as a remedy for supposed shapelessness, later became a focus of erotic attraction, wound up by being an indispensable requisite of decency.”

The book is calling clear across a gulf of time. Rudofsky was writing only a generation after the corset went out of style. The zipper was new enough that he calls it a “slide fastener.” His distance only enhances his relevance and encourages the contemporary reader’s sense of perspective. Rudofsky seems, now, prophetic for anticipating “play-clothes”—athletic gear and beach wear—as “the starting-point for the creation of a genuine contemporary apparel.” But he did not foresee the changes in social formality and technology functionality that have led to a world of men in fine-wool trousers with elasticized waistbands, and women in maternity overalls made with elaborately pre-ripped denim, and people carrying themselves with yoga-trained discipline as they go about their business in swishing mesh gym shorts or cropped lycra tank tops. He would receive the news of our world with a jolt of pleasure at the dropping of some pretense of false modesty and a shock of recognition at the evolution of athleisure.

Rudofsky’s agitation in favor of sensible design included the creation, with his wife, Berta, of a shoemaking enterprise, named Bernardo Sandals. The sandals, with their healthfully flat leather soles that follow the outlines of the foot and their straps like festive riffs on rustic tradition, were a favorite of Jane Birkin and Jacqueline Bouvier. Bernardo Sandals still thrives, and a pair can be yours, on Zappos or at Bloomingdale’s, at a fair price. These utopian artifacts are souvenirs of a mind that begins “Are Clothes Modern?” with an unexpurgated retelling of the Grimms’ version of “Cinderella,” where a maiden amputates a toe to force her foot to fit the precious shoe, and that returns to that theme about two hundred pages later. “The modern shoe is among the articles of dress whose improvement is retarded by the fact that it is an erotic implement,” Rudofsky writes. “The generation that will see the end of the barbarical initiation custom of putting females on high heels, and the young man whose emotions will still function without the stimulus of Cinderella’s slipper, will fare better.” Many of the shoes that Chiuri presented, in Paris, hewed to the Bernardo Sandals ideal. They exist for a future in which the Dior client comes to feel that the house’s current collection of pumps and sandals, distinguished by crooked high heels that look like artful exaltations of deformity, have gone out of style.

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The Quest for the Next Great Hip-Hop Festival

July 11, 2019 | News | No Comments

At the moment, the Rolling Loud Festival reigns as the king of hip-hop festivals. The inaugural edition took place in 2015, at a warehouse in Miami’s Wynwood Art District, with performances by more than a hundred rappers, including Awful Records, Travis Scott, Curren$y, and the headliners Juicy J, A$AP Ferg, and ScHoolboy Q. At the time, it was an undeniable draw for fans interested in the prominent, ever-growing world of rap outside of the Billboard charts. It drew around six thousand people. By the following year, attendance more than doubled, to fifteen thousand. This year’s Miami edition, in May, topped out around two hundred thousand attendees, and was headlined by Migos, Travis Scott, and Kid Cudi.

From the beginning, Rolling Loud was a perfect storm of good timing, serendipitous geography, and unfulfilled demand. By 2015, SoundCloud, the platform for independent artists, had become a major player in music listening and creation, spawning its own subgenre, “SoundCloud rap,” which had found a fertile hub in South Florida. Rolling Loud gave these rappers a stage—including Denzel Curry, Ski Mask the Slump God, Lil Pump, Smokepurpp, and the style’s most popular proponent, the late XXXTentacion—and its promoters then watched as the local scene, and, coincidentally, hip-hop’s reach, exploded on parallel time lines. Of the major hip-hop festivals that had come before, few felt as tailored to the moment as Rolling Loud.

Before Rolling Loud, there was A3C, in Atlanta. Founded in 2005, it is sprawling and comprehensive, with five days of programming, more in the mold of South by Southwest, complete with panels and classes. It meets the need for a place where hip-hop scholarship exists alongside the concert experience, but, in the past, its lack of a centralized location meant that the venues were far too spread out, making it feel less like it was capturing the moment. The now defunct festival Rock the Bells was, for most of its existence, decidedly traditionalist in its selection. Starting in 2004, it was a venue to honor hip-hop’s heroes; such legends as Wu-Tang Clan, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Slum Village, DJ Premier, Nas, and A Tribe Called Quest all held court on its stages, offering rare opportunities to hear classic albums in their entirety. Rock the Bells was still evolving to include a younger generation of artists when, in 2013, for its tenth-anniversary show, it skidded to an unexpected end owing to low ticket sales. After this, Rolling Loud filled the void, becoming the preëminent hip-hop event, swelling from a nondescript, smoke-filled warehouse to a small Technicolor city complete with art exhibitions, a skateboard ramp, and a Ferris wheel.

Recently, a new contender has entered the ring. Goldenvoice, the company that produces Coachella, Hangout Music Fest, and several other festivals, announced the inaugural lineup of Day N Vegas, a weekend-long event in November that casts a spotlight predominantly on rappers. The curation seems to mirror the Rolling Loud lineups of years past: Travis Scott, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar are slated to headline, alongside Lil Uzi Vert, Juice WRLD, Migos, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, and ScHoolboy Q, all of whom have performed at Rolling Loud, most more than once. Day N Vegas’s inclusion of R. & B. artists—an in-vogue selection of rising and established stars—could tap into a different sort of market: somewhere between the grown-and-sexy demographic of Essence Festival, the country’s biggest black music event, in New Orleans; the contemporary vibes of Smokin Grooves, in Long Beach, California; and the crossover appeal of ONE Musicfest, in Atlanta. But the new Goldenvoice project is decidedly a hip-hop event. This new addition to an already bloated festival landscape could signal the initial—and inevitable—wave of big brands with deep pockets creating hip-hop and R. & B.-specific events. It was just two years ago that Nielsen’s end-of-year report for 2017 declared that hip-hop and R. & B. had bested rock music’s popularity in the streaming era.

Historically, hip-hop has fought a difficult battle for space in America’s musical lexicon and on its biggest stages. Censorship, surveillance, and outright racist contempt for the genre, the community, and the people who contribute to it have led to hip-hop’s suppression during the genre’s forty-year history, but hip-hop is a cultural phenomenon that can’t be contained. Even as its popularity rocketed through the early two-thousands, finding a place on pop-music bills at such festivals as Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo, diverse representations of hip-hop were largely absent, which made wide-ranging gatherings like A3C and Rock the Bells essential.

Artist-driven hip-hop-oriented festivals have also sprouted en masse. With the creation of Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, in 2012—then known as the OFWGKTA Carnival—Tyler, the Creator, offered an alternative to festivals that were embarrassingly skimpy on mainstream rap acts and essentially non-starters for unconventional artists. Nowadays, Camp Flog Gnaw tends to offer some of the most dynamic and compelling lineups, which feel at once timely and forward-looking and, occasionally, reverential. (It’s also now produced by Goldenvoice, though Tyler remains its driving creative force.) A few years later, in 2015, Lil Wayne built his own Lil WeezyAna festival in his home town of New Orleans. Initially, it looked like a crash course in New Orleans rap history, with such legends as Master P, the Hot Boys, Mia X, and the bounce music artists DJ Jubilee and 5th Ward Weebie, but it has since grown to include the rapper’s famous friends as well as up-and-comers from near and far. And, earlier this year, both Pharrell and J. Cole débuted events with Something in the Water, in Virginia Beach, and Dreamville Fest, in Raleigh, respectively. The former was as expansive as its creator, with a lineup that included a mix of genres and artists, right down to a pop-up church service that featured some of gospel’s biggest names; the latter had a more intimate but equally alluring bill, built around acts signed to the Dreamville label. In most instances, these artist-backed events tend to be far less mainstream and predictable than their splashier peers, making them destinations for fans tired of the usual suspects.

In a musical and cultural landscape that is ruled by rap (and, quietly, by R. & B., too), there is no one right way to do a hip-hop festival in 2019. Surely, the ideal festival would be cross-generational, taking in those who came before and juxtaposing them with those who carry on their artistic D.N.A. It would include women—lots of women—as well as trans and nonbinary rappers, who are still largely unrepresented on any stage that isn’t specifically and intentionally dedicated to such groups. It would be equally as diverse in the styles it showcases, honoring the multitudes of rap (and rap fans) that exist. It wouldn’t include abusers, because, to put it bluntly, at some point, we just have to do better. And, perhaps most importantly, the festival would see and give back to the community that feeds it.

It remains to be seen how Day N Vegas will fare (early enthusiasm across social media seems promising); whether its presence in Las Vegas, just weeks after Rolling Loud’s Oakland event, in late September, will make it a viable counterpoint; and, depending on its level of success, whether it will summon still more competitors. (Another, Real Street Festival, is also set to début in Anaheim, in August, with A$AP Rocky, Cardi B, Migos, and Future as its headliners.) It’s almost certain that hip-hop’s increasing dominance will continue to attract brands thirsty to capitalize on the genre’s growing market power. One can only hope that the result is as culturally sustainable as it is profitable.

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