Posts tagged with "Harry Styles"

Contest: Meditation app Calm seeks TikTok story narrator with the ‘smoothest voice’

May 10, 2022

Calm, a meditation and wellness app, is looking for a voice that puts people to sleep, reports CNBC.

And it’s hoping to find that voice on TikTok. The company recently posted a video on the social media platform announcing its Next Voice of Calm Contest, which will select the entrant with the most soothing voice to record one of Calm’s upcoming 60-second Sleep Stories. The winner also will receive $5,000.

“We’re looking for TikTok’s smoothest voice,” Erik Braa, one of Calm’s current Sleep Story narrators, intones in the video.

To enter, interested participants need to post a 60-second or less TikTok stitched to Calm’s contest announcement video. In your minute-long entry, you can read aloud basically anything: “A grocery list, your last text or a made-up story,” Braa says. “As long as it’s original and oh-so-soothing.”

More than 350 million people have listened to Calm’s Sleep Stories, according to the company, making this a potentially huge opportunity for the winner. Other Sleep Stories on Calm’s platform have been narrated by celebrities like Harry Styles, Pink. and LeBron James.

Like many mental health apps, Calm experienced an influx of new users during the pandemic: It was the world’s most downloaded app in April 2020, with nearly 4 million downloads globally that month, according to intelligence firm Sensory Tower. Calm attained a $2 billion valuation in December 2020, following a $75 million fundraising round.

More recently, the global mental health app industry as a whole—which was valued at $4.2 billion last year, according to a Grand View Research report—has come under fire for not actually improving the mental wellbeing of most users. A January study published in PLOS Digital Health, a healthcare research platform, found there was no “convincing evidence in support of any mobile phone-based intervention.”

But according to Calm, its Sleep Stories might actually work. In an October 2021 study conducted by Jennifer Huberty, the company’s director of science, a majority of participants reported that “using Calm helped them fall asleep, stay asleep and get restful sleep.” Most of those participants struggled with sleep disturbances, and nearly half had a mental health diagnosis, according to the study.

Other mental health app critics have raised ethical concerns around how mental health and meditation apps share user information: One study, published in the journal Internet Interventions in 2019, found those less than 50% of apps targeting depression had any privacy policy.

The privacy policy on Calm’s website states that it collects personal user information from inside its app and third-party platforms. Calm did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It’s request for comment.

The Next Voice of Calm Contest closes on May 13, and the winner will be announced on June 7, with their Sleep Story anticipated to publish on Calm’s app this fall. Entrants are only allowed one submission each and must be at least 18 years old. They also must be legal residents and living in the United States or the United Kingdom.

Research contact: @CNBC

Everything we know about Harry Styles’ beauty brand

November 16, 2021

When rumors swirled that Harry Styles was going to launch a beauty line earlier this year, fans waited with bated breath for its drop. Now everyone can take a collective sigh of relief because Styles’ Pleasing brand is officially here, reports Bustle.

The first drop in the collection includes a mix of skin and nail care essentials: four nail polishes (in the chicest bottles, BTW); The Pearlescent Illuminating Serum, a nourishing antioxidant-rich serum delivered via pearl-encapsulated beads; and The Pleasing Pen, a dual-ended stick that has a cooling eye serum on one end and a matte lip oil on the other. Products range from $20 to $65 and are all available to pre-order on —shipping begins November 29.


To celebrate, Styles posted an Instagram slideshow that featured a picture of himself on a motorcycle followed by a #nailfie with his fingertips decked out in his brand’s polishes, which he captioned “Find your Pleasing.” The singer tagged his brand’s new Instagram page, where fans can now preview the goodies included in the first launch.

Pleasing’s mantra is “We’re Pleasing, never perfect,” and, in its mission statement, the line hopes to dispel “the myth of a binary existence” and “celebrate the kindness and optimism in our community and the future we are all creating together.”

Research contact: @bustle

Everything old is new again: Why young men are dressing old school

June 25, 2020

First it was Peaky Blinders; then, Harry Styles. Now ,flat caps, tailoring, and tank tops are back in fashion for a new generation, The Guardian reports. In fact, in the world of fashion, it is grandfathers who are having their day.

The grandpa look extends to all the usual items you might associate with the older man: jeans, collar shirts and cardigans, tank tops, and loafers. But this time they have been styled for a new generation.

Leaning heavily on the flat capped-influence of the TV show, Peaky Blinders, the look is something that’s been taken up by the spawn of celebrities (Brooklyn Beckham and Rocco Ritchie); as well as actors like Chris Evans (he made a cable knit sweater go viral in the filmKnives Out) and Armie Hammer.

Singer Harry Styles has carved out a niche in bespoke Gucci outfits. Indeed, as Esquire puts it: “Harry Styles is dressed like the man your grandma secretly obsessed over.”

During the menswear shows early in the year, the streets resembled a ballroom dance class for the over 65s: They were full of chic male fashionistas wearing more mules than trainers; more houndstooth coats than Puffas; and double breasted blazers instead of parkas, the Guardian notes.

A buttoned up, grandad-style of tailoring continued at the shows of Prada, Dior Men’s and Louis Vuitton, while the show from Bode  had a definite vaudeville septuagenarian air about it.

Indeed, according to The Guardian, the “set” was a community garden project (read: “cool allotment”), the collection featured a suit which looked like a pair of pyjamas, there were neckerchiefs, crocheted jackets, scarves with marbles attached, gardening gloves, and lots of animal-associated items (a bag shaped like a fish, sheep patterns, cow print). The brand promote an idea of nostalgia, repurposing quilts from the Victorian era.

Lovers Rock, a collection from Grace Wales Bonner, featured flat caps, roll necks and fleece jackets that were influenced by the older generation. “It’s a reflection of my family on my father’s side,” she said. “My grandad came from Jamaica in the 1950s.”

“It’s about retreating into a wardrobe that won’t be recognizable to anyone under 25,” says Esquire’s Digital Style Editor Murray Clark. “Wide pleated trousers of the thirties, … sweater vests, and so on. It’s not new per se, but to Gen Z, this is new, and a stitch beyond their cultural reference points.”

Research contact: @guardian


‘Strand’-ed: The latest must-have accessory for men is … a pearl necklace

March 16, 2020

Harry Styles—the British vocalist, former One Direction member, part-time actor, and occasional escort of Kendall Jenner—has added a new unofficial gig to his résumé, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The fashion-forward Styles now is styling himself in a piece of jewelry heretofore only coveted by ladies who lunch. In recent months, he’s rarely been seen in public without a single strand of delicate white pearls dangling from his neck.

Indeed, the Journal chronicles, he has worn them on “The Graham Norton Show,” “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “BBC Radio 1” and at the Brit Awards, among other outlets.

And the shaggy-haired star is not the only notable who appears to have raided Nana’s jewelry box. Milky pearl necklaces have swayed around the necks of rapper A$AP Rocky, designer-cum-Instagram-influencer Marc Jacobs, pop star Shawn Mendes, and songster  Pharrell Williams.

For attention-seeking men, explained Mark-Evan Blackman, assistant professor of Fashion Design-Menswear specialist at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, pearls serve as a strategic substitute for the now-ubiquitous gold chain: “If you were to put a gold chain around your neck, no one would be talking about you, because it’s been done a thousand times,” Blackman told the Journal, adding, “A gold chain says ‘mundane,’ but a rope of prim pearls on a man? That’s beguiling.”

As phenomena go, the masc-pearl mystique is relatively new. While the coveted orbs have signified wealth and taste on women for centuries, they’ve only rarely distinguished men—mostly Asian or European royals with particularly glittery tastes, the news outlet notes.

ghteenth-century Indian Maharajas draped themselves in mounds of frosty pearls, and that tradition has trickled down: When Blackman attended a wedding in India around 15 years ago, men in the bridal party were drenched in multiple strands.

Meanwhile, in the West, the “man-pearl” has appeared only infrequently—and very discreetly—in the past few decades. On a 2005 cover of Italian Vanity Fair, Pierce Brosnan smoldered with a solitary brownish pearl slung on a cord around his neck.

As for the men’s white pearl necklace, Williams was an early adopter, arriving so adorned at the Time 100 Gala in 2014. This past year the look popped: Male models on runways for brands like Ryan Roche and Palomo Spain donned strands, while an ad for a current collaboration between Comme des Garçons and Japanese pearl specialists Mikimoto shows a man in a traditional suit with a string of delicate pearls perched on his tie. In the March issue of WSJ. Magazine, A$AP Rocky posed with a rope of pearls from that collaboration atop a white T-shirt.

Pearls for men are part of a larger trend, catalyzed by fashion labels like Gucci and Givenchy, that injects classically feminine ideas into the male wardrobe. “The pearl is the quintessential feminine accessory,” said Chris Green, the general merchandise manager at retailers Totokaelo and Need Supply Co. in New York City, who, the Journal says, has worn pearls for several years now. When used to accessorize a modest, masculine outfit—say, the T-shirt and plaid coat that Harry Styles sported in London in December—pearls add a potent, even disorienting, daintiness that’s macho in its audaciousness.

The relative affordability of pearls bolsters their relative popularity.  Etsy, the online marketplace, lists over 61,000 results for “vintage pearl necklace” with some selling for under $100, and costume pieces going for even less. But, if that still seems too steep for a risky trend, you can always borrow a set from grandma.

Research contact: @WSJ