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Drive: The 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Rolls Hard!

After nearly an 8 year hiatus, the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish returns to reclaim the top stop as the king of the Sports GT world. Evolving from the recently departed, and wildly fantastic, DBS, the second generation Vanquish leaps forward borrowing on many of the technologies and styling cues, both internally and externally, from the $1.5 million dollar Aston Martin One-77 Supercar.

The design of the new Vanquish finds the perfect balance between modern and forward thinking elements while maintaining heritage styling cues that make it unmistakably an Aston Martin. Take for example the addition of the Vanquish’s new Aero Duct on the deck lid, an unique passive engineering feature designed to counteract lift of the cars rear while travelling at speed, takes one person nearly 2 days to complete a single unit.

Every body panel on the Vanquish is constructed entirely of high-grade carbon fiber, a first for an Aston Martin production vehicle. The use of carbon fiber throughout the body is due to it’s incredibly high strength-to-weight ratio and its flexibility of form, allowing for an increase of torsional rigidity by more than 25% over that of the DBS, allowing for a great responsiveness and predictability in the Vanquish’s handling.





Powered by an all new, hand-assembled, 6.0 liter V12 matted to a performance honed six-speed transmission, the Vanquish produces 565hp and 457 lb/ft of torque, which will accelerate the car from 0-62 mph in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 183 mph. Utilizing a proprietary torque converter borrowed from the One-77, the transmission seamlessly shifts through gears without hesitation or pause.

Keeping the Vanquish glued to the road are 20” light weight alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero rubber that were specially developed for the car, with 255/35ZR20 in the front and 305/30ZR20 in the rear. Utilizing the latest iteration of Aston Martin’s Adaptive Damping System, the driver is able to change the suspension, body rigidity, throttle response, brake position, and steering response by simply switching through three distinctive modes: Normal, Sport, and Track, taking the car from a comfortable cruiser to a track-day dominating monster. Helping instill confidence in braking are Carbon Ceramic brakes at all four corners, with the same calipers used on the One-77.

Inside, you’ll find exactly what you would expect from Aston Martin. An interior where nearly every panel is covered in the finest leather, requiring over 70 hours of expert craftsmanship, and seven leather hides, to complete the sport cars luxurious interior. The engineers at Aston Martin have managed to create 140% more storage space over the DBS.

One of the most defining interior improvements for the Vanquish is the introduction of the new center stack and infotainment system, another direct descendent of the One-77, which proves to be significantly more user friendly than it’s predecessor found in the DBS. Completing the package is a 1000w Bang & Olufsen 13 speaker audio system that can compete with the best home theater systems available. However, we much preferred the natural aural notes produced by the Vanquish’s incredible engine and exhaust.

So while it took nearly 8 years for us to receive the new Vanquish, the wait was certainly well worth it. Embracing it’s multiple personalities allows the driver to feel equally comfortable with the Vanquish on crowded city streets or on long haul drives. And then, when the situation calls for it, provide immediate confidence swallowing up miles of twisted pavement at speed. These are claims for which most of it’s Italian counterparts aren’t as able to easily make.

And that is, of course, the defining difference with Aston Martin. While the Italian rivals show up to the dinner party in their purple velour dinner jackets emblazed with Swarovski crystals begging for attention, the Aston is more than content simply knowing that he's the one hosting it. While other super cars pride themselves on being aggressive, the Aston Martin Vanquish prides itself on being assertive.

Finally, when you consider the immense amount of technologies taken directly from the $1.5mm One-77, and the fact that this is one the most well rounded supercars ever built, at a starting price of $279,995, the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish is a bargain that will make any one who is fortunate enough to get their hands on one more than pleased with their purchase.

The Aston Martin Vanquish is currently available for pre-orders now with first expected deliveries to take place in early 2013.

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Gucci And Dapper Dan Announce $5M Programming Aimed At Diversity And Inclusion

February was a difficult month for luxury brand Gucci. The legendary fashion house pulled a balaclava sweater from physical and online stores that many deemed disrespectful. The black sweater with a red print around the mouth area was deemed by many as reminiscent of blackface.

With the help of Dapper Dan and other notable celebrities, Gucci is trying to make things right. They recently announced their new Changemakers Council, which according to reports will feature a board that will work together to select inclusive elements of programming. Besides the Harlem designer and Gucci collaborator, DeRay McKesson, will.i.am, writer/activist Brittany Packnett and many more will be part of the Council.

Through this new Gucci Changemakers initiative, the fashion brand and the designer will also introduce the Changemakers Scholarship, which awards a $20,000 grant to selected students over the course of four years. They will also implement the Changemakers Fund, which "is a $5 million fund that will invest in community-based programs, particularly those helping communities of color, in cities across the U.S."

“As a partner, I am proud to work with Gucci and other community leaders to help guide programs that will create meaningful impact for the Black community and fashion as a whole,” Dapper Dan said in a statement regarding the new project. “It is imperative that we have a seat at the table to say how we should be represented and reimagined. Through our work together, Gucci is in a position to lead the overall industry toward becoming a better more inclusive one.”

 

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A post shared by Dapper Dan (@dapperdanharlem) on Mar 17, 2019 at 1:50pm PDT

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Virgil Abloh And Louis Vuitton Condemn Sex Abuse Amid 'Leaving Neverland'

Virgil Abloh and Louis Vuitton are speaking up against child sex abuse. Abloh debuted a Michael Jackson-inspired collection in Paris Fashion Week in Jan. 2019, but in the wake of the allegations revisited by HBO's Leaving Neverland, the artistic director announced the luxury brand is pulling pieces of the FW19 line from production.

Abloh released a statement to WWD on Thursday (Mar. 14), condemning child abuse and explaining the motive behind the fall menswear collection. "I  am aware that, in light of this documentary, the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights," he said. “My intention for this show was to refer to Michael Jackson as a pop culture artist. It referred only to his public life that we all know and to his legacy that has influenced a whole generation of artists and designers."

Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s chairman and chief executive officer, also elaborated on the controversy surrounding the collection, noting that they were "unaware" of the documentary prior to presenting the collection in Paris. "We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling and disturbing," Burke told The New Yorker. "Child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton. We are fully committed to advocating this cause."

A spokesperson for the French label also confirmed that "no item that directly features Michael Jackson elements" will be available to the public. "The Fall-Winter 2019 Men’s collection has multiple inspirations and will be launched in stores in July," the statement reads.

As previously reported, Leaving Neverland spoke with two men who alleged they were sexually abused by Jackson when they were young. The shocking footage has triggered a worldwide response, both positive and negative. While some networks and organizations have started to remove Jackson-related content from circulation, some supporters have launched protests in their local areas to defend Jackson's innocence.

The singer's family has also denied the allegations and is seeking legal action against HBO and the alleged victims.

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Ryan Destiny attends the Def Jam Pre-Grammy 2019 party at Catch LA sponsored by Courvoisier, Puma, Klasse 14 and Tik Tok on February 08, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Def Jam Recordings)

Ryan Destiny Nabs Fashion Honor At International Women of Power Event

While donning the "lucky" color of green, in a shamrock green suit Ryan Destiny was named a fashion honoree at the International Women of Power Event. The event which took place in Los Angeles awarded Destiny with the "Fashion Queen NSAA Award" presented by Fashion Nova Cares.

The actress who plays the bold and fearless singer Alex on the Fox show Star expressed her delight through her Instagram page. "A bomb way to celebrate #internationalwomensday," the 24-year-old actress started. "Feeling so blessed. The only few words I can come up with to describe the weekend is thank you! Being an honoree is one thing but being in a room with women who are this incredible is beyond inspiring."

 

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A bomb way to start celebrate #internationalwomensday. Feeling so blessed. The only few words I can come up with to describe the weekend is thank you! Being an honoree is one thing but being in a room with women who are this incredible is beyond inspiring. Those are the moments I cherish. All LOVE to @koshiemills @diasporadialogues 🙏🏾 (had to show the failing process of getting pics on a roof) lmao. S/o to my Patna in style @scotlouie. I share this award w you friend<3

A post shared by RD (@ryandestiny) on Mar 11, 2019 at 11:52am PDT

Destiny was not the only celebrity in attendance who received accolades last week, other honorees included comedienne Tiffany Haddish, actress and activist Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, as well as First Lady of Sierra Leone H.E. Fatima Maada Bio, to name a few. The event is meant to celebrate powerful women who have positively influenced Africans worldwide.

Koshie Mills, whom Destiny thanked in her post is the brain behind the International Woman of Power Event. Mills a mother to hotshots Kwame Boateng, from Everybody Hates Chris and model-actor Kofi Siriboe, had this to say about her brainchild.

"This is an opportunity for everyone looking at Africa and its Diaspora to see how African women are not only beautiful, regal, intelligent, powerful and resilient, we are owning our own narrative and reclaiming our Queendom for the world to see," the mother of three said. "When we come together to exhibit pride in our heritage and celebrate one another, we are unmatched and unstoppable."

Learn more about the International Women of Power Event here.

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