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How to Make Political Merch as Buzzy as a Fashion Drop 

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Joe Biden has been selling merch on his official website for months, of course. But Tuesday’s launch of Believe in Better was aimed at voters who might not yet have donated to the campaign or bought a “Malarkey” button—but would put down $60 for a Vera Wang–designed “Vote Joe” hoodie. 

“It is a way to attract different voters,” said Meaghan Burdick, senior advisor for the Biden campaign, which worked with 19 American designers to create a collection of shirts, hoodies, hats, totes, one very stylish face mask, and more. Fashion designers getting involved in a presidential campaign is nothing new—Burdick also worked on 2008’s Runway to Change campaign, which began when Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour had the idea that the American fashion industry could unite behind the Obama campaign. For the 2020 edition, the lineup of contributing designers is more diverse than ever, including Prabal Gurung, Victor Glemaud, Aurora James (of Brother Vellies), Carly Cushnie, and many more. 

The goal this time was “getting creative people together to elevate and talk about why they are supporting and contributing to helping the campaign,” Burdick said, noting that all the contributing designers were excited about being part of this collection, and even more ecstatic about the announcement that Kamala Harris was joining the ticket.

So what does it mean to create covetable political merchandise? Just like any other fashion drop, it creates buzz and gives people a chance to get their hands on something tangible. “You are acquiring a piece of the campaign,” Burdick said. “People get excited about their favorite pieces and hold onto them.” The most successful piece of Biden merchandise thus far is the classic blue T-shirt— but it’s not hard to imagine Joseph Altuzarra’s paisley scarf, or Carly Cushnie’s crop top, giving it a run for its money. 

The collection goes through a unique production process, with the designers volunteering to create designs and then handing them over to the Biden team. With quality and affordability extremely important to both sides, the Biden team works with the manufacturers and the union shops (all American) to create all the pieces. For a designer to hand their work over and stay out of the production process is rare, but it’s still a collaborative effort between the designers and the Biden team. Each designer chose messaging that resonated with them specifically, with slogans including “Unity Over Division” and “Future Stronger in Color.” 

Below, a few of the Vanity Fair fashion team’s favorite pieces—all under $60. And don’t forget to register to vote. 

Thakoon Panichgul Unity Over Division Pullover: 

“While the most important thing we all can do right now is to vote out an administration that creates chaos and division, we need to have a real talk about unity, now. We need to wipe away this idea of red team vs. blue as if politics is a sporting event like the Patriots vs. the Giants. This is democracy we’re talking about, and we need to come together; because unless that happens we will not be moving forward in any real way. So the phrase ‘Unity Over Division’ is a simple, powerful, forward-thinking message…literally wearing my heart on my sleeves.” —Thakoon Panichgul

Thakoon Panichgul Unity Over Division Pullover

Monique Péan Unity Face Mack: 

“As a Black, biracial and multicultural mother of two young children, it is an honor to support the Biden/Harris campaign! I am confident that Biden and Harris can provide the inclusive leadership and activism that we need to protect and uplift America, enabling us to ‘build back better.’ America at its best is built upon celebrating differences and coming together. Each stitch in the mask that I designed to support the Biden/Harris campaign represents the many facets that make up the diversity of America.” —Monique Péan

Monique Péan Unity Face Mack

Kathryn & Lizzie Fortunato Necklace: 

“I am thrilled to be supporting the Biden/Harris ticket. As a native of Wilmington, Delaware (Uncle Joe’s hometown!) and a small business owner who’s passionate about social justice, our environment, and the success of other independent businesses, I am eager to see leaders with integrity and compassion who will champion these issues enter the White House. Our charm necklace—made from a mix of glass beads, pearls, and enameled campaign charms—is greater than the sum of its individual parts. The spirit of the whole being greater than any individual is crucial as we join together to bring Biden and Harris to victory.” —Lizzie Fortunato 

Kathryn & Lizzie Fortunato Necklace

Aurora James We Make The Difference Crewneck Sweatshirt: 

“I am honored to have been included in the Believe in Better capsule collection and to stand by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to restore the soul of our nation. This is not just a collection of items, it’s an offering, a blend of our collective hope, passion, and belief in a world that can look a lot brighter than it is today. This sweatshirt is one small way I can energize people to get out there and vote for this ticket, especially Black women as I feel their impact on this election is going to be felt the most.” —Aurora James

Aurora James We Make the Difference Crewneck Sweatshirt

Gabriela Hearst Purple Tie-Dye Ladies Boyfriend Tee:

“As a Latin Woman that cares deeply about the environment that our children will inherit, it was an honor to create a product for the Believe in Better collection to support the Biden/Harris campaign and to express my professional, personal, and civic responsibility.” —Gabriela Hearst

Gabriela Hearst Purple Tie-Dye Ladies Boyfriend Tee

Joe Perez Tie-Dye Concert Tee: 

“I fully support the Biden/Harris ticket because we need respected leadership on the world stage that will restore the United States as a beacon of democracy, freedom, and hope. I was really excited by the fact that political merchandise is a creative platform that is wide open. My goal was to take the design DNA I’ve helped develop within the music industry for artists like Beyoncé and Kanye West and inject that into the ‘World Stage’ T-shirt which is a conceptual flip of world tour music merchandise. I’m extremely happy with the results, and I feel that we created a shirt that balances some of the heavier political talking points with an accessible playful design.” —Joe Perez

Joe Perez Tie-Dye Concert Tee

More Great Stories From Vanity Fair

— Jesmyn Ward Writes Through Grief Amid Protests and Pandemic
— Melania Trump’s Clothes Really Don’t Care, and Neither Should You
— How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Paid Off the Frogmore Cottage Renovations
— Poetry: COVID-19 and Racism Collide in Mississippi
— 11 of Fall’s Best Coffee-Table Books
— Is This the End of In-Person Awards Shows?
— From the Archive: The Precarious Future of Stately Aristocratic Homes

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Disney Plus Mulan Fails to Make an Impact

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Disney Plus’s most anticipated movie of the year was Live-Action Mulan, the infamous remake of the 1998 version of the Disney classic Mulan. With a budget of almost $200 million and alot of hard work involved, the film release’s expectations and excitement were at an all-time high. Disney’s marketing team left no stone unturned in promoting the film throughout the world as Mulan was one of the most influential female protagonists in a Disney movie. 

Mulan was known for her power and courage to take a step towards change and create a name for herself instead of becoming a burden for her family. She brought them honor but not through finding a compatible suitor, but through her bravery in fighting amongst the opposite gender when it was considered a taboo. 

But did the real Mulan walk in the footsteps of the animated one? Did it create an impact as strong as the classic version, which people love and adore even after 23 years? Sadly, no. The live-Action Mulan was nothing like the 1998 Mulan because it was not supposed to be that way. 

The old Chinese folklore inspired the Live-Action Mulan. The Balad of Mulan, which was different, more serious, and portrayed a much more feminist approach by eliminating any romantic or cartoonish elements or characters from the remake. 

The elimination of the character of Mushu came as a surprise for all the die-hard Mulan fans who were anticipating the voice-over of Eddie Murphy in a better-animated dragon who is by Mulan’s side, aiding in tough times. We did see a dragon, but it was a silent companion only coming in need. The remake also got rid of all the eventful songs which were hummed as we watched the animated version all the time.

Another setback was the mediocre release of Mulan during the Pandemic, which basically ruined the official March release. Mulan eventually made the screen on September 4 on Disney+ Premier Access, a pay-to-view for $30 across the US. In contrast, countries where Covid-19 was under control, saw a theater release like China. But that hardly made 50% of the total movie budget. Disney hoped to make some dollars in China by accurately depicting the Chinese culture and actors, but that didn’t happen either. 

Viewers with access to Disney+ also did not venture enough on the Premier Access service. What further disappointed the release was Mulan’s availability on multiple torrents and platforms for free in HD quality on its release. VPN users worldwide watched the movie for free without paying a whopping amount of $30 for a single film, while the whole service along with other streaming services cost ⅓ of the price. 

Live-Action Mulan was also under scrutiny for shooting in the Xinjiang, the region of China where Uighur Muslims were detained and imprisoned in concentration camps. This sparked outrage over the entire social media, where Muslims worldwide protested against the Chinese government’s actions. Disney+ did not state an official apology on their platform, nor did they acknowledge their wrongdoings, probably to stay clear of the Chinese government’s atrocity. 

Meanwhile, even within China, Mulan failed to impact the Chinese audience as they have a much better take and approach to recreating any Chinese epic or myths. Their cinema is far more advanced in portraying their culture with local actors and a local production house. As we all know, China has a strict censorship policy on international content, and they have an alternate of their own. It applies here as well. 

Lastly, the ill-natured tweet of the lead actress Liu Yifei, openly supporting the Hong Kong Police’s atrocities when China was implementing new security policies on Hong Kong, claiming it as a part of the Chinese government. The Hong Kong police came under fire for mistreating peaceful protestors and using harsh means to disperse the crowd. This tweet leads to #boycottmulan across the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand. 

Liu Yifei made no outright apology. 

Despite so much anticipation, live-action Mulan came under alot of controversy and failed to make a solid impression on the audience, despite holding a strong message for its feminist audience. Wrong timing and a few wrong decisions cost Disney millions of dollars and somewhat tarnished the reputation of their remake sagas. 

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5 Underrated Shows on Netflix USA You Must Watch Right Now!

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American Netflix is home to hundreds of TV shows across multiple genres. Still, it could be hard at times to find something binge-worthy on it. Now we all have that one friend that’s perfectly content with re-watching their favorite TV series, but the rest of us normies find it a tad boring. We’re on a never-ending hunt for the next big show hoping to inject some excitement into our otherwise mundane existence. However, with so much to choose from, it’s only natural that a few gems go unnoticed when scrolling through the recommendations. 

Don’t sweat it! After spending endless hours of research, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 underrated shows on Netflix USA that are definitely worth your time.

Can’t access US Netflix in your home country? There is an easy way around. Just download a Netflix VPN, connect to a US server, and start streaming. 

  1. 1994

Genre: Documentary

Season(s): 1 season; 5 episodes

Year of release: 2019

1994 is a modest 5-episode docu-series offering the perfect guilt-free, binge-watching experience. The show revolves around a promising presidential candidate in Mexico who stands to threaten the status quo. Seen as a threat by the powerful elite, he gets shot during one of his televised political rallies. If the events of the first episode seem unusual, then what follows is downright bizarre. 

Viewers are in store for surreal events backed by actual interviews and real-life footage that ups the ante with each passing episode. 1994 is a fascinating, informative, and rich account of one of the most turbulent times in Mexico. It not only gives viewers a glimpse of the past but also a story that follows a narrative very close to what we’re seeing in our present political climate.

  1. Rise of Empires: Ottoman

Genre: Drama

Season(s): 1 season; 6 episodes

Year of release: 2020

Following the wildly popular show Ertugrul—at least in the eastern part of the world—Rise of Empires: Ottoman features a historic mix of immaculate production value and dramatic re-enactment of the 1453 fall of Constantinople. A Turkish production, the show is entirely in English and revolves around the life of a young Ottoman Sultan named Mehmet. It shows how the 21-year old leader risks everything to conquer a city his father and so many others failed to take before him.

This point marked a crucial juncture in history: The fall of the Roman Empire and the transition of a local regional entity to that of a global superpower. While the show does have its set of drawbacks (such as the frequent History Channel-type flashbacks), the appeal of our protagonist is sure to have viewers in for a memorable ride. 

  1. Wild Wild Country

Genre: Documentary

Season(s): 1 season; 6 episodes

Year of release: 2018

The mere mention of Wild Wild Country in front of veteran Netflix viewers is sure to garner you some respect points. Based on a true story, Wild Wild Country tells the tale of an Indian cult that’s decided to relocate to Oregon. What ensues is a series of unusual events as the locals struggle to come to terms with the new inhabits and in particular, the eccentric leader of this cult: Bhagwan. This mini-series manages to capture and re-tell a significant—albeit unusual—event in American history and media and retell it in a way that’s sure to leave some viewers scratching their heads!

  1. Lenox Hill

Genre: Documentary

Season(s): 1 season; 9 episodes

Year of release: 2020

For those looking to embark on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, look no further than Lenox Hill. While we do recommend this docu-series especially if you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy or ER, Lenox Hill is not your average watch. It’s a far cry from what you’d call a feel-good series as it reveals the brutal reality associated with people diagnosed with really bad things.

Set in New York, the show follows the story of an ER physician, an OB-GYN, and two brain surgeons that are part of a small-time hospital competing with bigger establishments. It lifts the curtain from the otherwise romanticized emergency-ward that we’ve grown accustomed to and accurately depicts the struggles of both patients and doctors.

This highly emotional series might not sit well with everyone but if you want to watch a story about individuals that sacrifice everything to save others then this one’s for you.

  1. Borderline

Genre: Comedy

Season(s): 2 seasons; 12 episodes

Year of release: 2016

The Office is the most viewed show on Netflix according to Chicago Tribune which is a pity because its contract is set to expire on January 1, 2021. Enter Borderline, a British comedy series and ‘mockumentary’ of sorts that follows a similar pattern and humor as The Office. Set in the fictional Northend Airport instead of an office, viewers are quickly introduced to a slew of funny and ridiculous personalities.

The best part of the series is that it has its own version of Pam, Dwight, Jim, and a Michael type-boss. It also doesn’t try too hard to resemble its more popular counterpart and a few episodes are enough to make you wonder why more people aren’t watching it!

Agree with our list? Know of some underrated shows that need more love? Let us know in the comments section below!

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The Advantages of Online Casino Welcome Bonuses

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When it comes to online gambling, the industry is thriving in 2020. Although casinos are banned in many countries, people still find ways to enjoy their favorite games of chance. However, considering the level of competition on the market, it may be difficult for a beginner to find a good online platform and take advantage of all offers. In this article, you will learn the benefits of casinos’ welcome bonuses.

What Is a Sign-Up Bonus?

As we have already established, the industry is growing rapidly and companies are desperately looking for new ways to attract customers. A welcome bonus is often used by online casinos to get new leads and players in the future. However, the best casino bonuses can be easily used to the player’s advantage. Here are the main reasons you should not neglect this offer.

  1. It saves your money

Quite obvious, right? Well, this is the main reason why you should always use welcome bonuses in online gambling: it is always better to not risk your own money. It is especially true for beginners. Since they have no experience, it is fairly common for beginners to lose their initial investment and be done with gambling for good. However, if you use your welcome bonus as a way of getting the basics skills, the chances of success will rise significantly.

  1. It allows you to try several games

Another common issue beginners face is a lack of understanding of which types of games they want to try: slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, etc. If you use your sign-up bonus, you will be able to play several games and choose the ones you like better. Moreover, you can take advantage of a welcome bonus on several online gambling platforms. That way you will try out even more options.

  1. It will make future gambling more profitable

Besides beneficial sign-up bonuses, good online casinos usually have great loyalty programs. For instance, the company may double up to five first deposits on the platform. If you invest 100 USD, you will get 200 USD to your account. More money — more games — more chances of winning.

Although a welcome bonus is a great way of upping your gambling game, there are a few things you should pay attention to. Firstly, a good bonus does not equal a good platform. Before choosing a casino, make sure that the company is legal and trustworthy. Since there are many scams right now, it is essential if you want to save your money. Moreover, check the available deposit/withdrawal methods and their terms.

We hope that this article has shown the true power of online casinos’ welcome bonuses and how you can use them to your own advantage. Follow our tips while choosing a platform and enjoy the best gambling experience.

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