Engaged couples are making several big changes to their wedding celebrations amid pandemic: survey

Some couples whose wedding celebrations had been upended by the coronavirus pandemic are now proceeding with plans that reflect the current health crisis.

Out of a survey of 10,000 “to-be-weds” conducted by The Knot Worldwide, around 50% of the participating engaged couples from around the globe had said they decided to postpone their wedding day. Meanwhile, in the U.S., that number drops slightly, with only 42% of couples indicating they postponed plans due to COVID-19.

Furthermore, 56% of U.S. couples who said they would postpone the big day have already married legally, but intend to celebrate with a reception at a later date to keep their attendees safe.


When it comes down to planning a wedding in late 2020 or early 2021, The Knot found that 56% of engaged couples from around the world have decided on cutting their guest list by at least one-quarter, on average.

Additionally, the wedding resource determined 41% of couples have been maintaining coronavirus-related FAQ sections on either their wedding invitations or website, or, they’ve sent emails to keep guests informed about health and safety protocols.

Couples around the globe are adjusting their wedding plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Knot Worldwide. (iStock)

Couples around the globe are adjusting their wedding plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Knot Worldwide. (iStock)


Of those who intend to get married in the U.S., 94% told The Knot they would implement measures such as complimentary hand sanitizer and face masks for guests, or that they would be modifying food service, seating arrangements and entertainment options to comply with social distancing guidelines.

As an alternative, some couples are reportedly “hosting several small events in one day instead of one large gathering.”


Technology is also being considered for guests who cannot make it to the in-person celebrations, but would still like to be included in festivities.

In the U.S., 43% of U.S. couples are planning to incorporate streaming video, so guests can watch them get married virtually. That number is slightly higher in Canada, with 49% of engaged Canadian couples indicating the same.

Streaming a wedding was found to be substantially less popular in western Europe with 6% of engaged couples from Italy showing openness to it, while 9% from Spain, 10% from Portugal and 18% in France showed openness to virtual weddings.


On a global scale, more than 44.2 million people have been infected with the novel coronavirus, according to data from the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard. The U.S. in particular has the highest number of cases at this time, with more than 8.8 million confirmed infections.

Due to the severity of the pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a thorough list of risk factors guests may want to consider before attending an event or gathering. The agency notes that chances of contracting coronavirus go up

A Philly sports clothing firm picks its first female CEO and tasks her with ‘making people aware that we exist.’

One of the city’s lesser-known enterprises is a factory at the edge of Feltonville and Juniata Park in North Philadelphia, where the whir and clatter of 350 sewing machines and the snap and billow of fabric have helped dress 500,000 U.S. sports teams in the last three decades.


Load Error

“It’s just a very interesting, authentic heritage,” said Cindy DiPietrantonio, who was hired during the coronavirus pandemic to take the wraps off Boathouse Sports and raise its public profile.

Formerly the chief operating officer of Sidney Kimmel’s clothing company, Jones Group — now Nine West Holdings — and then president of the jewelry company Alex and Ani, DiPietrantonio was recently named the company’s second chief executive.

The Mount Laurel resident is also the first female chief executive since Boathouse Sports was founded in 1985 by John Strotbeck, an American rower in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. The company quickly became known for its hardy outerwear that stood up to rigorous use from competitive crew teams.

Boathouse today is a throwback to the city’s all-but-vanished past as a major clothing center. “We do all the sewing and cutting,” DiPietrantonio said. “It’s handcrafted right here in Philadelphia.”

Over the next three to five years, Strotbeck said, the company has a goal to grow business by 500%, despite fierce competition from such firms as Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, Athleta and Lululemon.

“We really strive to be that elite, functional apparel that really improves the journey of the athlete,” Strotbeck said. Its biggest customers include Ivy League schools, universities in the Big Ten, and prep schools, in addition to some professional sports leagues.

Boathouse, which hires many of its garment makers from Philadelphia and neighboring communities, is among a growing number of companies such as ABLE and Patagonia, which pride themselves on environmental sustainability, equitable wages, domestic production, and transparency in their manufacturing processes.

“It’s throwing me back all the way back to the ’80s, when [her former employer] Jones domestically made products,” DiPietrantonio said, but Boathouse’s manufacturing in the U.S. has meant that their apparel is more expensive compared with clothes produced overseas.

Boathouse, which relies on the craftsmanship of its products to attract customers, has long been a stranger to promoting itself, she said, even as sales in the multi-billion dollar international sportswear industry have surged for years and are expected to hit $208 billion in 2025, according to the German market and consumer data-collecting firm Statista.

Over time, as sportswear giants continued to provide apparel for college and other elite sports teams, Strotbeck said, Boathouse needed to change course.

The company, which has a 100,000-square-foot factory, had since decided to cater to individual customers who wanted to buy just one — or a few — products instead of buying in bulk for a team.

That goal became more important during the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted droves of sports teams to cancel or downsize games and practices.

“We had planned on really moving the company to a broader audience and branding,” said

Pandemic may be making it harder for pregnant women who use opioids to get effective treatment

Opioid use in pregnancy has prompted new guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics aimed at improving care for women and for newborns affected by their mothers’ drug use.

The number of affected women and infants has increased in recent years but they often don’t get effective treatment, and the coronavirus pandemic may be worsening that problem, said Dr. Stephen Patrick, lead author of the academy report released Monday.

“While we have been talking about the opioid crisis for years, pregnant women and their newborns seldom make it to the top of the heap. Infants are receiving variable care and not getting connected to services,” said Patrick, a Vanderbilt University pediatrician.

The academy’s report says pregnant women should have access to opioid medication to treat opioid misuse. Two opioids, buprenorphine and methadone, are effective treatments but pregnant women often face stigma in using them and doctors who prescribe them are scarce.

The academy says hospitals should have written protocols for assessing and treating opioid-affected newborns. Many don’t and practices vary widely.

Breastfeeding and other practices that promote bonding should be encouraged, and parent education and referral to services for affected newborns should be provided, the academy says. Its recommendations echo guidance from other medical groups and the U.S. government.

“This is a substantial public health problem that is still lacking solutions,” Patrick said.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7% of U.S. women reported in 2019 that they had used prescription opioids during pregnancy. One-in-five of those women reported misusing the drugs while pregnant.

Some infants born to these women develop symptoms of opioid withdrawal, including tremors, fussiness and diarrhea.

By some U.S. estimates, nearly 80 affected infants are diagnosed every day and the numbers have tripled in recent years.

Patrick has done research suggesting that these infants may be at risk for developmental delays but says it’s possible those findings reflect use of alcohol or other drugs during pregnancy, poor prenatal care or stress.

“Getting into treatment may be getting even harder” because of the pandemic, he said. “There’s so much going on in the world that that issues involving opioid use are flying under the radar.”

Source Article

Elite Model Shani Hollywood is an International Star in the Making

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / October 23, 2020 / If you are involved in the modeling industry in any way, shape, or form, then the odds are you’ve heard of Shani Hollywood. Shani is an internationally published model who has grazed covers and features in some of the most prestigious magazines in the world.

Aside from her talent as a model, Shani is also very knowledgeable in the world of business, especially in the fashion industry. In fact, Shani explained to us that she unexpectedly became a model after graduating from college with a degree in fashion business. After working internationally in the fashion industry, she decided to switch career paths and join her family’s real estate business. Shani had grown up working for her family and quickly transitioned her business knowledge to actively managing several commercial real estate properties across the Greater Toronto Area. Through these jobs, Shani mastered the art of marketing, something she has utilized on social media which has helped her become the social media star she is today with a following of over 800,000 fans.

Although Shani had always dreamt of becoming a model, she never truly considered it to be a realistic possibility. They say the best things in life come when you least expect them, and for Shani, that was exactly the case. In 2012, Shani was asked to participate in a friend’s photography project as for a various school assignment. At the time, Shani had no idea that what she was about to partake in would ultimately change the course of her life. As the staring model, Shani depicted the potential rise and fall of a pop star. Shani reposted the photos from the project to her Facebook, and she soon found herself flooded with positive feedback. The photos quickly began to gain attention from people around the world, and many photographers began to contact Shani. After many individuals shared their words of encouragement, Shani made the decision to give modeling her full effort and time. The opportunities continued to pour in, and Shani’s Facebook had exponentially multiplied in fans and engagement. She realized that she needed to expand her online presence, so she created an Instagram account. The creation of her Instagram led to some of the biggest achievements of her life thus far, most recently a publication in Playboy Israel. Shani’s publication in Playboy Israel was a very special moment for her family, as her parents are from Israel and many of her relatives currently live there. Shani went on to be featured in Maxim South Africa, Esquire Latin-American, Playboy Italy, and Playboy Slovakia.

Shani’s brand evolved when her Instagram began to take off, but one thing that has always been important to Shani is remaining her true self with her followers. This meant having open communication about topics that hit close to home for Shani- including addiction and mental health issues. As Shani’s social media presence grew, many people began reaching out to her and sharing

Researchers develop machine learning model that will support safe and accurate decision making for the Halifax Harbour

Researchers develop machine learning model that will support safe and accurate decision making for the Halifax Harbour
A Smart Buoy floating on the ocean. Credit: Dalhousie University

Researchers at Dalhousie and ocean data analytics innovation environment DeepSense have developed a machine learning method for predicting wind speed and wave height measurements. Such measurements support safe and more accurate decision making by the Halifax Port Authority and the Halifax Marine Pilots.

Results published in the Journal for Ocean Technology demonstrate how the team used data from smart buoys to provide predictions for use during periods of scheduled buoy maintenance and/or spontaneous sensor failures. These predictions will be valuable to the Port community in providing continuity of critical information used in the safe navigation of vessels within the Port of Halifax and the safe transfer of Halifax Marine Pilots between pilot boats and commercial vessels.

The DeepSense/SmartAtlantic project is a collaboration between the Center for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), DeepSense, the Halifax Port Authority (HPA) and the Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association (CMPA).

Based out of the Faculty of Computer Science with funding and support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Province of Nova Scotia, the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) and IBM, DeepSense drives growth in the ocean economy through artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data applied research.

Making predictions

Initiated by COVE with partners at the HPA and the CMPA, the project aimed to provide a highly accurate additional level of redundancy for the SmartAtlantic Herring Cove Buoy.

“The Smart Buoy platform hosts several ocean sensors and generates refined forecasts that have become a crucial resource for marine users that enter the Halifax Harbor,” says Melanie Nadeau, CEO of COVE. “With the addition of DeepSense and their ability to use data collected over the last 7 years, we have a path forward to providing seamless information to the marine industry.”

Chris Whidden, assistant professor in the Faculty of Computer Science, led the research team associated with the project with support from Master of Applied Computer Science student Jesuseyi Fasuyi.

“The issue is that if live sensor data isn’t available from smart buoys, we are left guessing if it’s safe to transfer pilots to large shipping vessels and cruise ships to guide them into the Halifax Harbor,” says Dr. Whidden.

“We took the main predictive variables of wind speed and wave height, and data related to these variables collected by other smart buoys and land stations, to think about how we can use machine learning to make predictions around this activity for the buoy at Herring Cove. It’s novel as no one else seems to be making predictions like this from only one or two replacement sensors.”

Machine learning is used commonly to identify patterns in data and use this to make automatic predictions or decisions.

“There are many, many different machine learning models and we had to decide which one to concentrate on,” explains Dr. Whidden. “We ended up looking at three: random forests, support vector machines and a neural network model. They’re kind of exemplars for this task. So random forests and support vector

I’m a chief human resources officer at an over 70,000-person company where 72% of staff are women. Here’s how we’re making sure they’re supported in their careers.

a group of people sitting at a table looking at a laptop: Getty Images

© Getty Images
Getty Images

  • Maxine Carrington is deputy chief human resources officer at Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare system and private employer.
  • She says that while the pandemic is hopefully short-lived, the impact that it’s had on working mothers in the workplace will not be.
  • Employers need to step up and support women where they are, from focusing on their well-being to offering backup care options.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s not easy for women to juggle work and family under the best of circumstances. As the pandemic enters its ninth month of devastation, it threatens to reverse a generation of gains for women in the workforce. A September report from McKinsey found that one in four women are considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce entirely.

The research is clear: While COVID-19 itself is hopefully short-lived, its impact on women’s careers may last for years — if not decades. 

As deputy chief human resource officer at Northwell Health, I’m aware of the tough decisions our employees are facing right now. About 72% of our workforce is female, and I’ve seen firsthand how women are now grappling with caregiving responsibilities. This was an issue before COVID-19. Women’s careers have traditionally taken a back seat to their partners’ once they have kids.

a person posing for the camera: Maxine Carrington. Courtesy of Maxine Carrington

© Courtesy of Maxine Carrington
Maxine Carrington. Courtesy of Maxine Carrington

But the pandemic has worsened this trend, as women are spending more and more hours navigating their kids’ Zoom calls instead of their own. A survey conducted this spring found that, on average, women were spending 65 hours a week on domestic responsibilities, compared with 35 hours pre-COVID. That’s the equivalent of a second job.

Gallery: 22 Tips for Landing a Job During the Health Crisis (GOBankingRates)

Companies have historically viewed caregiving responsibilities — whether it’s for children or aging parents — as something employees needed to navigate on their own. But we have a responsibility to help them shoulder the burden and not just because it’s the right thing to do. If we don’t, we may lose talented employees. Here’s what companies can do to better support women:

  • Have backup care available. Most of our employees need to be here in person, attending to patients. This was especially true when the worst of the pandemic hit in March and April. We had existing programs for emergency situations, like inclement weather, that we expanded when schools and daycares were closed. We set up subsidized childcare centers, where employees could drop children off for care — including remote learning — at a substantial discount. All companies should find ways to support parents. This could include letting people work from home and/or allowing parents to have a more flexible schedule so they can take time during the day to focus on their children.   
  • Focus on female employees’ well-being. Northwell prides itself on having holistic offerings that focus on self-care and well-being, like an emotional support hotline and virtual cooking and fitness classes. We

EDITORIAL: Making Halloween work, COVID-style

Article content continued

“It just isn’t safe,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said of trick or treating.

We beg to differ. And we’re not the only ones.

While Quebec has faced a somewhat tougher COVID-19 battle than Ontario – and has currently engulfed its harder hit regions in strict “red zones” – they are giving the nod to trick or treating, but urging added health protocols be put in place.

Likewise with Alberta, which has released a series of recommendations on how kids, parents and homeowners can take extra precautions this year.

The wise approach is to go trick or treating if you want, but to do it safely.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

We think it’s mostly safe as is, given the outdoor nature of it and the fact kids are the least hard hit by COVID-19.

That said, the now-classic recommendations about keeping your distancing, washing your hands and staying home if sick still apply.

Consider going door-to-door with only siblings or one friend, as opposed to a cluster of kids. Those giving out candy may want to do it with BBQ tongs, or some other process that reduces direct contact.

There’s been too much already lot taken away from kids this year. Let’s not take away Halloween.

Source Article

Kyle Ng of Brain Dead Isn’t Making Fashion, He’s Making Culture.

“When you think about the Air Max it has such an amazing concept — you’re thinking about what constitutes the future of running, what constitutes the future of flight, what constitutes walking on air.”

Kyle Ng, founder and designer of Los Angeles-based creative house/fashion label Brain Dead doesn’t think about clothing in normal terms. His designs, which grow organically out of his own interests, have a sort of practicality about them that makes them effortlessly cool while featuring a unique spin or interpretation that elevates them above the competition. He’s not so much a sneakerhead or fashion-obsessed — despite owning hundreds of pairs of shoes — as he is someone who locks onto designs and concepts, led and inspired by a constant desire to operate against the grain.

“For me, Air Max represents so many different things, so many walks of life that really inspire me in my own designs and my own work to really look at the world differently, to really see how you can interact with life.”

In this episode of Uproxx’s Studio Visit – created in partnership with Foot Locker — Kyle took us into his home studio in Los Angeles where he broke down how the Air Max and his early experiences at Foot Locker helped to inspire his design ethos. For Kyle, his childhood trips to Foot Locker helped develop his appreciation for design as the shelves were always stocked with the newest, most futuristic shoes, which for Kyle were the Air Max Tuned.

But Foot Locker was more than just a visual candy store for Kyle, it helped inspire his own outlook when it came to creating.

“A place like Foot Locker is a laboratory to build DNA for culture. What people think of streetwear has really changed, back in the day it was really about culture and what people were wearing.”

Before there were ultra-hip sneaker boutiques in every city, with around-the-block lines of people clamoring to cop a specific pair of sneakers, there was Foot Locker, with breadth and depth of product easily accessible to everyone, and that same commitment to democratization and accessibility is at the heart of Kyle’s designs.

“There are so many different avenues and lanes for that shoe to resonate with people of all spectrums, and that’s what I try to do with what I make, not just resonate with signifying a culture, I want to represent everyone.”

To put it simply, Kyle Ng isn’t in the business of making fashion, he’s in the business of making culture, and that’s why his work with Brain Dead continues to resonate. To find out more about Kyle Ng and his design ethos, check out the new episode of Discover Your Air above.

Source Article

New Clothing Start-Up, Frankly, Is Making the Pandemic’s Braless Trend Permanent

CHICAGO, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — With new work-from-home policies and fewer excuses to go out, many women have been opting out of bras and into a more comfortable lifestyle during the pandemic. Frankly, a clothing start-up, aims to make this shift permanent with their new collection of braless clothing – launching today on Kickstarter.

While some may argue athleisure is here to stay, co-founders Jane Dong and Heather Eaton are confident the joy of dressing up won’t disappear any time soon. Especially if it just became easier. With Frankly, women can have the best of both worlds: the ease of loungewear and the chic look of designer clothing.

“Women shouldn’t have to choose between style and comfort,” COO Jane Dong says. “That’s why we’re designing fashionable clothing that has the same support bras offer, but without the discomfort or inconvenience.”

Frankly’s debut line features an array of open-back dresses and bodysuits with numerous color options including bold red, elegant black, and a rich moss green. Each item is designed to be adjustable, allowing women to find the perfect fit for their body and individual preferences. For example, the Rachel dress has a tie in the back that can be made tighter or looser depending on the level of lift a woman wants for her breasts.

“We’re not another bad built-in shelf bra,” Heather Eaton, CEO, adds. “We build lift, shape, support, and nipple coverage directly into the clothing itself, without a separate layer underneath.”

Frankly’s sizing is different, too. Aware that the proportions of a woman’s chest don’t always match those of her lower body, the brand allows women to choose bust size and waist size independently.

Frankly’s clothing is not only committed to making women look and feel good, but all of the items are made responsibly and sustainably in the United States at a women-owned and run production facility.

Shop Frankly and support the mission to build a better braless world by visiting their Kickstarter.

About Frankly:

Frankly Apparel is a braless clothing company founded in 2019 by two Stanford Business School alumnae, Jane Dong and Heather Eaton. The two bonded over their dislike for bras and their desire to get rid of them, despite being on opposite ends of the bra size spectrum. Frankly’s clothing is designed to do everything a bra can – minus the pinching, poking, and annoying straps.


View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-clothing-start-up-frankly-is-making-the-pandemics-braless-trend-permanent-301150399.html

SOURCE Frankly Apparel

Source Article

The Rise of the Micro-Wedding: How Planners and Vendors Are Making Small-Scale Events Stylish, and Safe

Recently, Bronson Van Wyck, the renowned wedding planner and author of Born to Party, has been planning smaller events than he’s used to. The reason, of course, is COVID-19 and the rightful corresponding restrictions on crowd sizes. Many of his clients scaled their once-blowout bashes down to intimate affairs, with the idea that in a year or two they will once again host the party of their dreams. Van Wyck is hopeful that can happen eventually–he cites the rebound that happened after 2008, when the economic recession caused a dramatic drop in large-scale events. But in the meantime, he’s hard at work perfecting the art of the small, safe, and still fabulous soirée.

There was an outdoor 30th birthday where he arranged custom cakes—so no one had to share—with individual candles for each guest. Another party, for 18 people, included a COVID-test voucher in the artfully designed invitation. (Though most guests’ tests were covered by insurance, the voucher served as a clear reminder that testing would be expected before the event.) Then there was a tiny wedding, where the grandparents had a socially distanced sweetheart table, and wore masks.

“When you’re doing a wedding for 30 people, you can focus so much more on every detail and make every single aspect of it perfect and personal,” Van Wyck says.

As the pandemic rages on, these pared-back celebrations will likely be the new normal in the near future. It’s a trend not seen since the Depression-era parties of the 1930s, or the wartime nuptials of the 1940s, when grooms were often about to be sent overseas, or granted a brief furlough. During each of these eras, life, and its milestones, were subject to uncertain and unforeseen societal demands.

Especially weddings: Etsy found that, from June to July this year, searches involving small-scale ceremonies spiked on the site. There was a 67 percent increase in searches for courthouse and city hall wedding items, a 29 percent increase in searches for mini-monies and elopement weddings, and a 10 percent increase in searches for elopement announcements. Wedding website The Knot found in May that 27 percent of couples were planning ceremonies with just themselves or with a small handful of family. (Months later, that number has surely increased.) Meanwhile, on social media, large gatherings inspire ire, especially after an affair in Maine became a super-spreader event.

Source Article