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We went to Athleta and saw why the brand is one of Gap's secret weapons (GPS)

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Athleta 50

Athleta is about to expand across America in a big way.

Gap Inc. announced earlier this week that it will be opening around 270 Athleta and Old Navy stores in the next three years, while closing 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores in that same time period.

Athleta, Gap's athleisure brand, has thrived while many brands have struggled in the difficult retail climate of recent years. The company said that it expects the openings to bolster Athleta sales to over $1 billion in the next few years.

Athleisure — the trend of wearing activewear in everyday life — has become the apparel of choice for many Americans over the last several years. As of 2016, activewear had become a $45.9 billion market for retailers, according to data from the NPD Group

 

We took a trip to Athleta's Fifth Avenue store in New York City to see firsthand why Athleta has become one of Gap's most successful brands.

SEE ALSO: Gap will close about 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores over the next 3 years

DON'T MISS: We went to Old Navy and saw why the brand is Gap's secret weapon

The first thing we noticed when walking into Athleta was a sign outside advertising free workout classes taking place in the store's downstairs fitness studio.

Athleta offers classes taught by its own brand ambassadors or by instructors from other fitness studios around the city. The brand is also the apparel sponsor for Girls on the Run and hosts meetings for the group at its stores.



Upon entering the store, we were greeted by a table of neatly folded leggings and mannequins sporting a mix of workout clothes and loungewear.



The store is organized into five sections determined by the type of activity its apparel is best for: train, restore, travel, on-the-go, and explore.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Rich people are ripping the price tags off bread, clothes, and furniture so no one sees how much they spend

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wealthy woman sunglasses

Sociologist Rachel Sherman, author of "Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence," interviewed 50 New York City parents with incomes of at least $250,000 a year.

One thing Sherman found: Many of them tear the price tags off their purchases so people don't see how much they spend.

In an essay adapted from "Uneasy Street" and published in the New York Times, Sherman writes about a woman with a "household income of $250,000 and inherited wealth of several million dollars" who tears the price off her clothing and her $6 bread, so her nanny won't see.

She isn't alone.

"An interior designer I spoke with," writes Sherman, "told me his wealthy clients also hid prices, saying that expensive furniture and other items arrive at their houses 'with big price tags on them' that 'have to be removed, or Sharpied over, so the housekeepers and staff don't see them.'"

The habit is indicative of a larger pattern Sherman unearthed: Extremely wealthy people consider themselves normal, and feel self-conscious about spending that might indicate otherwise.

Sherman writes that her interviewees, who are nearly all in the top 1% or 2% "in terms of income or wealth or both":

"never talked about themselves as 'rich' or 'upper class,' often preferring terms like 'comfortable' or 'fortunate.' Some even identified as 'middle class' or 'in the middle,' typically comparing themselves with the super-wealthy, who are especially prominent in New York City, rather than to those with less."

This is in part because of the morality we tend to connect with wealth, she writes. No one wants to be a "rich person" vilified by the 99%, and there's an influx of new money from the "working rich" who earned their fortune instead of inheriting it, and who don't identify with the 1% stereotypes.

Sherman continued:

"The people I talked with never bragged about the price of something because it was high; instead, they enthusiastically recounted snagging bargains on baby strollers, buying clothes at Target and driving old cars. They critiqued other wealthy people's expenditures, especially ostentatious ones such as giant McMansions or pricey resort vacations where workers, in one man's sarcastic words, 'massage your toes.'"

Sherman's research is in line with that of Thomas C. Corley, author of "Rich Habits," who spent five years interviewing millionaires to learn about the habits that made them wealthy. Largely, he found, people others would consider rich lead lives others would consider normal, and they tend to live within their generous means.

As one of Sherman's interviewees, a man who inherited $50 million, bought a $4 million apartment he's worried is too showy, and whose household spent $600,000 last year told her: "We just can't understand how we spent that much money."

Read the full article at the New York Times »

SEE ALSO: Science says how rich you feel has hardly anything to do with how much money you have

SEE ALSO: After 10 years as a financial planner, I've realized almost everyone gets the same thing wrong about money

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Animated map shows the staggering salary differences between the highest-paid men and women

Incredible footage from space shows massive lightning storms in Hurricane Irma

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All these flashing yellow dots are lightning storms.

They're all part of Hurricane Irma.

The storms were tracked by NOAA over a period of 80 hours from September 4th to the 9th.

There's a lot of lightning around the eye.

This is unusual — hurricanes usually don't have a lot of lightning.

That's because the winds are usually horizontal.

Vertical winds are usually needed to make lightning happen.

Irma has been downgraded to a category 4.

But it's still "extremely dangerous."

It has sustained winds near 155 mph.

The hurricane has already devastated parts of the Carribean.

It's expected to hit Florida late Saturday.

Join the conversation about this story »

Here's what happens when two hurricanes collide

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What happens when two hurricanes collide?

The phenomenon is called the Fujiwhara effect.

Named for Japanese meteorologist Sakuhei Fujiwhara, who originally described it in 1921.

If two cyclones pass within 900 miles of each other, they can start to orbit.

What happens next depends on the size of each storm.

If one storm is much stronger than the other, the smaller storm usually rotates around the larger one.

But when bot storms are similar in strength, they tend to orbit a common center between the two.

If the two storms get to within 190 miles of each other, they'll collide or merge.

The result is transformative.

It can turn two smaller storms into one giant one.

The interaction can also throw a cyclone off course.

That's what happened in July 2017 with hurricanes Hilary and Irwin.

Hurricane Hilary changed Irwin's course from west to north.

This example is more the exception than the norm.

Hurricane collisions and interactions are rare.

Yet, growing evidence suggests a warming climate could affect hurricane season.

What the effects will be is unclear, but who knows?

Perhaps more hurricane mergers are in our future.

Join the conversation about this story »

Amazon has triggered a $5 billion bidding war — here are the cities that are in competition for its new HQ

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Jeff Bezos

Amazon has sparked a bidding war, and it's only just beginning.

The ecommerce giant said on Thursday that it was soliciting bids from cities across North America for a place to build its second headquarters — its first outside of the Seattle area. 

Amazon said it would be investing $5 billion in the construction of its new headquarters, and it hopes to eventually house 50,000 Amazon staff there, gradually building up its workforce over time.

"We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters," CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. "Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We're excited to find a second home."

Unsurprisingly, cities across the United States and Canada are jumping on the opportunity to lure Amazon to their neck of the woods. Many officials have already said they're planning to submit a formal proposal to the company.

Amazon has some requirements, however. Its new home would ideally be in a city with at least a million people, an international airport, and a "stable and business friendly environment."

Of course, that means cities will need to offer incentives to the company in order for it to move there.

"Incentives offered by the state/province and local communities to offset initial capital outlay and ongoing operational costs will be significant factors in the decision-making process," the company said.

We've found nearly 50 cities whose officials have said they are looking into or preparing to submit a proposal to Amazon. Bids are due October 19. 

SEE ALSO: Walmart says these will be the 25 toys every kid wants this holiday

Chicago, Illinois

According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has already spoken to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about the possibility of opening a headquarters in the city. Several other corporations — including McDonald's, Kraft Heinz, and Conagra Brands — have recently planned to move their base from the suburbs to this Midwestern hub.



Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said in a statement that city and regional nonprofits and development agencies are working on a proposal for an Amazon headquarters in the Twin Cities.



Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Major John Tory called the race for the Amazon headquarters "the Olympics of bidding." 

"We should be bidding for this and be very, very competitive and I'm in the midst of talking to the other governments to make sure that’s what we do," he said Thursday, according to The Toronto Star.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

7 New York City execs share the weekend routines that help them recharge

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  • Business Insider asked seven New York City-based CEOs how they spend their weekends.
  • Many combine exercise and socializing.
  • Some don't work at all; some spend time on big-picture work projects.

It stinks to show up to work Monday morning and feel like you squandered your precious two days off.

That's especially true if you're an executive and need to be 100% on your game during the workweek.

So how exactly should you make the most of the (freakin') weekend?

We asked seven New York City-based executives to tell us how they typically spend Saturdays and Sundays. Some work; some work out; some socialize; some do it all.

Read on for ideas you can implement in your own life, immediately.

SEE ALSO: 9 New York City CEOs share the morning routines that set them up for success

Scott Britton, the cofounder of Troops, has a coffee meeting with himself.

Troops creates Slackbots for sales teams.

If I'm in the city, I like to wake up early, get coffee, and get a few work projects done that I find hard to do during the week. On a weekday, I don't have a dedicated block of two to three hours that isn't interrupted by meetings or customer calls. So on the weekends it's more high-level, strategy, project-type work.

After that, I might go to the gym and try to make the remainder of my weekend focused on seeing friends and family.



Ilir Sela, the cofounder and CEO of Slice, talks pizza.

Slice is a mobile app that lets you order from local pizzerias.

On Saturdays I try to go to pizza restaurants and talk to owners. I have about 32 relatives who own pizzerias that are on Slice. Every single weekend, whenever I'm around, I'll try and visit their pizza restaurants.

I try to stay in touch with the challenges that they're facing and how Slice is solving their problems, but also learn what they don't like about Slice so that we can continue to improve.

I will also find some time to be a little more active, maybe by playing a pickup basketball game. It's that or catching up with family and friends.



Nadia Boujarwah, the cofounder and CEO of Dia&Co, goes on strategy walks.

Dia&Co is a clothing subscription service for women who wear size 14 and up.

My cofounder, Lydia, and I, from the very beginnings of our business, went on what we called "strategy walks." It started when she was based in San Francisco and we'd go up into Marin County and go on these beautiful hikes and think about the business we wanted to build together. That's really survived the chaos of the last couple years.

Almost every weekend we go on a long walk, most often down the West Side highway, and spend a couple hours outside, thinking about bigger-picture questions. Some of the more creative thinking happens then.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Photos show how different family meals look in busy homes across America

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Studies have repeatedly shown the benefits of having a set family meal time every day. Research has shown that the benefits are especially pronounced in children, who often show higher achievement scores and are generally more physically fit when they reguarly eat a daily meal with their families.

But what family meal time looks like in each individual household can vary greatly, which is something photographer Lois Bielefeld wanted to explore in her series "Weeknight Dinners."

Bielefeld, who's represented by Portrait Society Gallery, visited 78 households to see how families are sitting down for dinner every night. Focusing on weeknights, when people usually have less free time, she found that there were some major differences in how famillies spent the meal together.

SEE ALSO: 11 college dorms with awesome amenities

DON'T MISS: North Korea may finally be embracing a more consumer-friendly culture — here's what people are buying

As a child, Bielefeld was highly involved in her family meals. "I've always loved food," she told Business Insider. "One of my chores growing up was to make a weekend meal for the family. I could make whatever I wanted, but I needed to follow a recipe."



For "Weeknight Dinners," Bielefeld wanted to explore people's habits and nightly rituals.



"I love to see the similarities and differences in people with a topic that has commonality — we all eat," she said.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Airline workers share 17 things they wish passengers would stop doing

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The first step to becoming a better traveler is knowing what you're doing wrong.

But, since travel tends to bring out the worst in people, having that kind of self-awareness when you're trying to catch a flight can be a feat for even the most well-mannered, frequent fliers.

So Business Insider asked more than 80 airline workers including flight attendants, gate agents, ticket agents, and other airport customer service reps to weigh in on some of the things you may not have even known you were doing wrong as a passenger.

We've anonymously included some of the worse offenses here:

SEE ALSO: Airline workers share 26 things they'd love to tell passengers but can't

DON'T MISS: Airline workers share some of the most bizarre things they've seen in their line of duty

Asking flight attendants, 'What do you have?'

"There is literally an announcement telling you where to find the menu. We have 100 drinks if you count alcohol, and you want me to list it? While 200 other people wait for their drinks?" — A flight attendant



Lining up to board before it's time

"It's annoying when passengers line up for boarding when there's no plane at the gate, especially because they usually block the way for the arriving passengers looking to exit." — An airline customer service agent



Hogging the overhead bins

"Put the suitcases in the overhead and put your small bags underneath the seat in front so we don't have to run out of space and have to check bags." — A flight attendant

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See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Silicon Valley is obsessed with these ultra-comfy, machine-washable shoes that cost $95 — here's why

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Tech workers in Silicon Valley are singing the praises of Allbirds, a startup in San Francisco that makes the "world's most comfortable shoes," according to investors, founders, and the company itself.

Founded in 2014, Allbirds makes super-soft sneakers constructed from a proprietary Merino wool blend. They come in two styles: a version with laces, called the runner, and a slip-on, known as the lounger.

The sneaker in general has undergone a sort of fashion baptism in recent years. As dress codes go lax and designers turn their attention to the "athleisure" market, men and women have more stylish, workplace-appropriate options than ever. Allbirds is pioneering the trend with its slipper-like kicks.

Some expect Allbirds to become a quintessential part of the venture capitalist dress code, in the same way that a hoodie and a T-shirt have made up the startup uniform for yearsThe company raised $17.5 million in a Series B round of venture funding in September, and has plans to open additional stores and launch a kids' line later this year.

We took to social media to find Allbirds' biggest fans in Silicon Valley.

SEE ALSO: The new status shoe is machine washable, made from recycled water bottles, and costs $145 a pair

Larry Page, cofounder of Google, rocks a pair of Allbirds according to the shoemaker.

Source: The New York Times



Dick Costolo left Twitter last year to launch a group-fitness startup, Chorus. It's only fitting that the budding fitness-guru wears soft, supportive shoes like Allbirds on his feet.

Source: The New York Times



Ben Horowitz, a titan of tech and a cofounder of venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, has a pair.

Source: The New York Times



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This little-known San Francisco neighborhood is suddenly one of the hottest housing markets in America — take a look

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Excelsior is a small, often overlooked neighborhood in San Francisco. It's named for the Latin translation of "ever upward" — appropriate given Excelsior's sunny new outlook in the housing market.

In 2017, real-estate site Redfinnamed Excelsior the second hottest neighborhood in San Francisco, based the ranking on increases in internet traffic to listings there. Excelsior homes typically sell in 19 days at 111% of the listing price. The median sales price was $890,000.

I visited Excelsior to see why the under-the-radar neighborhood is making a splash.

SEE ALSO: Tour the obscure California city that's suddenly the hottest housing market in America

Located in the city's southern end, Excelsior has been called the "Siberia of San Francisco."

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

 



The mostly residential neighborhood isn't on the way to anything. You won't find startup offices or trendy restaurants in Excelsior. It's one of the last areas without a Starbucks.



But with the median home sales price topping $1.5 million in San Francisco, prospective homebuyers are giving Excelsior — an enclave for the working class — a second glance.

Source: San Francisco Business Times



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside the New York City offices of $45 billion hedge-fund firm Two Sigma

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Two Sigma offices

What do you picture when you imagine a hedge-fund office? A noisy trading floor full of hedge-fund guys in fleece vests?

Two Sigma, a $45 billion hedge-fund firm that uses advanced technologies to find investment opportunities, is a little different. The firm, which says it has seen head count grow by more than 400% in the past seven years, is as much a technology company as it is a finance company, analyzing over 10,000 data sources to find patterns in markets.

That approach seems to have paid off. Two Sigma ranked as the fifth-biggest hedge fund in the world in Institutional Investor's Alpha's 2017 Hedge Fund 100 list, while cofounders David Siegel and John Overdeck each made $750 million last year, according to the magazine's list of the top-earning hedge-fund managers. The firm also runs an insurance business, Two Sigma Insurance Quantified, a market-making arm called Two Sigma Securities, and a venture-capital arm.

In August, Business Insider took a tour of the firm's two New York offices, which are across the road from each other in the SoHo neighborhood. The offices are stashed with arcade games, computing memorabilia, gyms, a hacker space, and a music room.

SEE ALSO: These before-and-after photos show tech billionaires' dramatic transformations

There was a teach-in on Python for Research when we visited 101 Avenue of the Americas, one of three talks the firm hosts weekly.



The kitchen was well stocked.

You may be able to see a Juicero machine on the left side. Two Sigma Ventures, the venture arm of Two Sigma, is an investor in Juicero, which recently announced a price cut and layoffs.



Across the road at 100 Avenue of the Americas, there's another kitchen, with staff taking time out to play games.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

11 highly successful people who went to public universities

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Ivy League schools, with their extensive rosters of famous alums, are typically lauded as bastions of success.

As it turns out, public colleges and universities can boast a similar claim.

Business Insider compiled a list of the most successful people who received an undergraduate degree from a public school.

From one of the richest people in the world to a former vice president, some of the most successful people in the US chose to attend public universities for their college degree.

SEE ALSO: 13 of the most beautiful college campuses in America

Rex Tillerson — University of Texas at Austin

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson received a degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975.



Maxine Waters — California State University, Los Angeles

Rep. Maxine Waters of California graduated from California State University, Los Angeles in 1970 with a degree in sociology.



Jon Stewart — College of William & Mary

The comedian and television host attended the College of William & Mary located in Williamsburg, Virginia, and graduated in 1984 with a psychology degree.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Margot Robbie gives a career-defining performance playing Tonya Harding in her new movie

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In a year where a lot of the hyped titles playing at the Toronto International Film Festival have already premiered at Telluride or Venice, “I, Tonya” is one title TIFF can claim as its own.

The dark, twisted, and hilarious look at the rise and fall of US Olympic figure-skater Tonya Harding had its world premiere at the fest on Friday, and with no distribution in place, the movie has buyers scrambling to nab it.

Margot Robbie plays the disgraced skater in a performance that is the best of her career to this point.

Though Harding’s claim to fame should be as the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition, what she’s really known for is being the center of one of the biggest scandals in US sports history when her rival, US figure-skater Nancy Kerrigan, was attacked leading up to the 1994 Winter Olympics. Later on, it was discovered that Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, hired someone to assault Kerrigan.

Tonya Harding Jeff Gillooly APBut “I, Tonya,” directed by Craig Gillespie (“Lars and the Real Girl,” “The Finest Hours”), doesn’t only focus on the scandal that became a pop-culture obsession in the mid-1990s. To tell the story right, you have to delve deeper into Harding’s life and that’s just what Gillespie and screenwriter Steven Rogers did.

Pushed to be a figure-skater by her mother (played by Allison Janney) at 3, Harding knew two things growing up, skating on the ice and being abused.

There’s a lot to laugh about and get nostalgic over in “I, Tonya,” but at its core it’s a story about a woman who has been mentally and physically abused by everyone who has ever been in her life.

By 15, Harding moves from the slaps and shoves of her mother to go live with Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), and things don’t get better. He beats her constantly, which doesn’t stop Harding from marrying the guy.

Through all of this, Harding rises through the ranks of US figure-skating, and because of her ability to land the triple axel, becomes an elite skater. Which is even more remarkable in a sport like figure skating — where privilege and a wholesome image is a necessity — Harding did it all dirt poor and never making nice with anyone.

Margot Robbie Maarten de Boer GettyRobbie (who is also a producer on the movie) captures the rough Harding persona and delivers a performance which is at times heart-achingly real and at others masterfully comedic. From her hair to her loud outfits, Robbie is everything that made you love Harding if you lived through the time when she was one of the most recognizable people on the planet.

And then there’s the supporting cast that only makes Robbie and the movie better. Stan as the mustached Gillooly is the perfect villain. And Paul Walter Hauser, who plays Gillooly’s friend and Harding’s “bodyguard” Shawn Eckhardt, is a hilarious scene stealer. But it’s Janney as Harding’s unforgiving mother that's the most remarkable. She plays her ruthless and never gives the character the slightest hint of compassion towards Harding.

The movie has top notch make-up and costume design as it goes through the decades of Harding’s life and jumps forward to present day with the characters giving interviews looking back on the events. This style gives the movie one of its most memorable moments, when present day Harding looks into the camera and describes the pain she feels being the punching bag of the media and public. They being her latest abuser. And how this movie, and we the audience enjoying her messed up life, are now her current abuser.  

If there’s one knock on the movie, the poor CGI for the skating scenes makes it obvious Robbie isn't doing most of the skating. But, no one was expecting her to learn the triple axel for the role.

With “I, Tonya” having no distribution at the time of this writing, it’s hard to forecast what’s in store for it. But outside of box office, which should be solid seeing the amount of people still fascinated by Harding and the scandal, this movie certainly has the potential of being an awards season player this year.

I certainly hope that happens.

SEE ALSO: George Clooney's latest directing effort is embarrassingly awful

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on the season 7 finale of 'Game of Thrones'

An Alabama high school 'resegregated' after years of being a model of integration — here's what happened after

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In 2000, I graduated from Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Central opened in 1979 after a federal court order forced the mostly segregated high schools in the Tuscaloosa City Schools system to integrate. For the next two decades, Central was an academic and athletic powerhouse in Alabama, producing state championships and National Merit Scholars.

In 2000, the court order that created Central High School was lifted, and in August of that year — just months after I graduated — the Tuscaloosa City School Board voted to split Central into three high schools.

To many, the move appeared to be a step backward in a state that had just begun to make progress after the civil-rights movement. Some saw the split as an act of resegregation, dividing the diverse student population that had once walked the halls together at the integrated Central High.

Today, there are three high schools in the Tuscaloosa City Schools system. The most racially diverse is Northridge, which was built in the most affluent part of Tuscaloosa. Paul W. Bryant High School's student body is 86% African-American, according to the Alabama State Department of Education, and Central High School's is 98% African-American. Because of Central's low standardized-test scores, the department has designated it a "failing school" every year since 2013.

I went back to Tuscaloosa to talk to former Central students about their experience, as well as students who experienced the split firsthand. I also spoke with former school board members, the current Tuscaloosa City Schools superintendent, and the current mayor of Tuscaloosa, who graduated from Central in 1991.

This video was originally posted on June 30th, 2017.

SEE ALSO: America is not as divided as you might think — here's the proof

Join the conversation about this story »

Sneaker makers are emphasizing comfort over performance — and it's a brilliant move

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Shoemakers are learning that they can't forget comfort when designing and marketing their most casual footwear.

Allbirds, one of the industry's star players, has grown a fan base in Silicon Valley for what it's called "the world's most comfortable shoes."

Many Allbirds-wearers who spoke with Business Insider praised the shoes for their comfort.

"It's just like wearing a sock," Nootrobox cofounder Michael Brandt told Business Insider's Melia Robinson.

That approach seems to be paying off for the company — it announced Tuesday that it had raised $17.5 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its total venture capital raised to $27.5 million. Allbirds cofounder Tim Brown told Business Insider the company will use the cash to open new physical stores where it can sell its innovative, comfort-focused shoes.

Similarly, Adidas' Ultraboost lifestyle running shoe is one of the most popular sneakers in the brand's star-studded lineup. But it's especially popular with one group of people who are on their feet all day: nurses. The Boost tech is made out of tiny capsules of highly elastic polymer that return energy and look a bit like a midsole made out of Styrofoam.

On the r/sneakerheads subreddit, the Ultraboost was a clear favorite to the question of which shoe was most comfortable to wear during a shift at the hospital. Sneakerheads and medical professionals agreed unanimously: The Ultraboost is one of the most comfortable shoes out there.

Adidas

Shoes have been leaning toward comfort for a while now. As dress codes across America continue to loosen, sneakers have become the default footwear for workers in many professions. Americans have realized that the shoes that make sports like running easier also make walking around town easier. Those same principles and technologies have led to shoes that aren't designed for runners at all, but solely for comfort in everyday life. 

And yet, the shoes still have a clear sport-inspired look. It's all part of the trend of buyers looking for both durability and comfort, which has defined the athleisure trend of the past few years. Athleisure is now a $45.9 billion market.

"Athleisure plays to the American need for versatility and comfort in a way that neither sportswear nor business casual did," Deirdre Clemente, a professor of history at UNLV who specializes in apparel, told Business Insider earlier this year. "Look at comfort as a defining factor of this clothing."

Durability is more difficult for customers to gauge at the time of purchase, but comfort can be felt as soon as you lace your shoes and stand up. That feeling is swaying customers' purchasing decisions.

It's unlikely Americans will suddenly fall out of love with comfort, but it's important to take into account everything comfort means to a wearer, Allbirds cofounder Tim Brown said. Comfort can also apply to a feeling of ease with what a company stands for, like the sustainable materials Allbirds uses in its shoes.

"It hasn't been about running marathons and going to the Olympics," Brown said of the company. "It's been purely about comfort."

SEE ALSO: The company that boycotts logos and makes 'the world's most comfortable shoes' just raised $17.5 million to open stores

Join the conversation about this story »

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An inside look at the internship that pays you to travel the world and drink gin

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Gintern Jodhi

Johdi Dinsdale was scrolling through Facebook when she saw an ad that made her stop.

ILoveGin.com— a West London-based online gin and tonic club — was looking to hire a "gintern."

The part-time position would pay up to £20,000 and required the gintern to travel around the UK and Europe and visit one or two new gin companies every week.

Ginterns would work remotely, aside from a monthly visit to the office. Perks included free gin, naturally.

"After one or two gins, I applied," Dinsdale told Business Insider. "It looked like a perfect fit for me and my new hobby."

Dinsdale had previously trained to be a teacher and worked in education for seven years. During that time, she began blogging about gin with her sister. Dinsdale would review and photograph gin drinks and receive samples from distilleries. She even had begun hosting tasting parties for family and friends and gin nights in bars and other venues.

Meanwhile, more than 5,000 people ended up applying for the role of "gintern."

But, while the competition for the gig would prove to be stiffer than a shot of too-strong Bombay Sapphire, Dinsdale said she knew from the start that the opportunity would be a perfect fit.

Here's an inside look at Dinsdale's journey to getting her dream internship, and how she's faring in the role so far:

SEE ALSO: These sisters in their 30s used to be a lawyer and an economist — until they pivoted into fashion bloggers who reach millions

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ILoveGin.com whittled down the 5,000 applicants by asking candidates to write about a gin and publish the review on social media. The 500 best reviewers made it to the next round, including Dinsdale.

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Dinsdale's task for round two was to shoot a video telling the ILoveGin.com team why she'd be great for the role. "Being filmed was the worst thing for me," she said.

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"Luckily, I have a distillery on my doorstep and have links with them because of my blog, so they let me film there," Dinsdale said. "It was still a daunting experience though."

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My favorite place to eat in Manhattan is a Cambodian sandwich shop that's poised to expand — here's what it's like to eat there

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Num pang 12

Starting a business is tough — even more so in New York City. But Cambodian sandwich shop Num Pang has managed to thrive and expand beyond. 

The restaurant, started in 2009 by college friends Ratha Chaupoly and Ben Daitz, makes expertly crafted and outrageously delicious banh-mi sandwiches. It has consistently topped several "best of" lists, including Zagat's 2017 NYC Fast-Casual Survey.

And while this may not be the typical fast-casual joint — modifications are not allowed here — the chain has taken off with a loyal clientele. A new location that opened at the Prudential Center in Boston earlier this year could prove fertile testing grounds for further expansion.

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Num Pang, and the frequency of my lunches there would be embarrassing if it weren't so delicious. I decided to head over to one and show why this sandwich chain is drawing some major attention, and why it could become a force in fast-casual dining in cities nationwide.

SEE ALSO: I may have discovered the best hot dog in America — but it wasn't where I expected

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I headed to Num Pang's NoMad location at 1129 Broadway, which is dangerously close to our offices. Such proximity is a gift and a curse.



It's typically pretty busy, and I headed in in the prime lunchtime hours. The space is no-frills and small, but comfortable, with some wild graffiti art on some of the walls.



Despite the crowd, the line moved shockingly fast. It's a good thing I know the menu so well, or I would've been stumped when I got to the register. They offer a selection of regular sandwiches plus a bunch of seasonal specials, along with soups, salads, and both noodle and rice bowls.



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What happened on 9/11, 16 years ago

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9/11 September 11th Attacks

It's the 16th anniversary of September 11, 2001, the date of the deadliest attacks on US soil since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in World War II.

Nearly 3,000 people died in the 9/11 attacks, which The New York Times called the "worst and most audacious terror attack in American history."

The nation is still working to move past the tragedy.

These photos tell the story of what happened that morning, much of which was captured on live television.

SEE ALSO: Here are some of the poignant artifacts you'll see at the new 9/11 memorial museum

The morning of September 11, 2001, started off like any other. The Twin Towers stood tall in the Financial District, as they had for more than 30 years.



At 8:46 a.m., American Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. At first, newscasters weren't sure whether it was an accident or a deliberate attack.



At 9:03 a.m., United Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower, leaving no doubt that this was an attack. Some news channels captured the moment on live television.



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Morgan Spurlock on making a 'Super Size Me' sequel and why he's taking on 'Big Chicken'

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Super Size me 2 toronto international film festival

In 2004, then-unknown filmmaker Morgan Spurlock examined our obsession with fast food by going on a McDonald’s only diet for one month. The movie didn’t just make him an instant star, but also completely changed the fast food industry, as the chains suddenly provided healthier options on their menus.

Or did they?

13 years later Spurlock is making the sequel, “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” This time he’s not setting his sights on McDonald’s, but rather on one of the most popular items on the menu at any chain: the chicken sandwich.

“Super Size Me 2” shows Spurlock at his best: being a showman to bring focus to a cause. This time, it’s getting people to understand how the chicken industry, or “Big Chicken” (Tyson, Perdue, Pilgrim’s, Koch Foods), has suckered us into thinking we’re eating “natural,” and how the multibillion-dollar industry is destroying the lives of the farmers that raise its chickens.

In typical Spurlock fashion, there has to be a hook for the audience, and with “Super Size Me 2,” it’s the filmmaker getting into the chicken business. The movie follows Spurlock as he goes through the process of starting his own chicken franchise, called Holy Chicken! We see everything under the hood, from how he gets his chickens, to coming up with items on the menus and figuring out brand. This leads to Spurlock visiting all the chains to eat chicken sandwiches — yes, even McDonald’s, the first time he’s walked into one since filming the first “Super Size Me.”

“The first film is from a consumer perspective — the choices we make, why we make them — so we said what if we come from the corporate side,” Spurlock told Business Insider a day after the movie had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. “We show you how the corporations think, why they do the things they do, and how the food is raised and being sold to you.”

Super Size Me Roadside AttractionsSome of the process is shocking. From the “health halo” terms the chains use — you never see the word “fried” anymore, if a chicken sandwich is deep-fried it is now called “crispy” — to how some chains paint grill marks on their cooked chicken breasts to give the look that you’re eating a grilled chicken sandwich.

But the biggest part of the movie, and the most heartbreaking, is Spurlock’s look at the farmers.

Big Chicken has such a monopoly on the industry that it’s almost impossible for an independent to start up. Spurlock shows this as he’s constantly turned away by anyone in the industry he calls to get help to start his chain. And then the companies Spurlock called realized who he was, leading to an industry-wide letter to farmers to stay clear of him. Finally, Spurlock found Jonathan Buttram last summer, an Alabama chicken farmer who for the last decade has been trying to get the public to understand what Big Chicken has done to farmers.

Buttram admits he had no idea who Spurlock was when the director contacted him, but quickly realized they both wanted to accomplish the same thing.

“I set out ten years ago with a cause to help the consumer because all of them have been deceived,” Buttram told Business Insider at TIFF. “The chickens are being mistreated and the growers are definitely being mistreated.”

In the movie, we see that even though Big Chicken now uses words and phrases to make it seem like chickens are being treated humanely, that isn’t the case. For example, the term “free range chickens.” It's perceived to mean that on the farm chickens roam around open spaces all day. Not true. By definition of the FDA, "free range" only means that a space the size of a small closet is open to the chickens to go outside the barn. And the chickens get so big so fast, even if they wanted to walk outside they would have a heart attack and die.

The farmers are all competing in a “tournament system” for their pay, so if any of them complain about the conditions of their chickens, or anything related to the upkeep of the chicken barns they spent millions to build, it will hurt their standing. One month, a farmer working for a Big Chicken company (which provides the farmers the chickens to raise) may get a great selection of chickens  that will grow very big, which means more money. Big Chicken pays the farmers for not just the amount they have, but the sizes of chickens they produce. If a farmer hands over bigger birds versus another farmer, they get more money. Complain at all, the next month you’ll suddenly receive a poor group (sometimes the chickens are even sick), leading to smaller chickens and less money.

Many farmers are in debt millions of dollars because of the  tournament system, which led to a group of farmers in Kentucky filing a lawsuit against Tyson in 2015.

“You can’t live life scared,” Charles Morris, a farmer who's in the ongoing Kentucky lawsuit that's featured in “Super Size Me 2,” told Business Insider. “We need Morgan, we really do. What he’s done is instrumental in helping us.”

Holy Chicken TIFF.JPG“Super Size Me 2” ends with a pop-up opening of Holy Chicken! In four days, a closed-down Wendy’s restaurant was turned into a fully transparent chicken sandwich chain, displaying all the tricks Big Chicken uses on us. The reaction was so positive that on the final day of the pop-up, Spurlock was approached by a company that wanted to franchise it. Though the movie does not have distribution yet, Spurlock promises Holy Chicken food trucks will travel across the country to coincide with the movie’s opening. Happy news for Buttram, who will be providing the chickens.

But Spurlock hopes to have other tricks up his sleeve to get the word out about “Super Size Me 2,” maybe even enlisting the help of celebrity chefs he has in the movie to also stand up with him against Big Chicken. Exposure for a documentary has changed greatly since the first “Super Size Me,” as it seems a movie with a message now comes out weekly.

“When ‘Super Size Me’ came out that was at the tail end of the real independent film movement. That was the last hurrah movie, it got proper windowing — theatrical, subscription TV, regular TV — and all pre-Facebook, pre-YouTube, pre-Twitter,” Spurlock said. “So now the ability for people to support or trash talk a movie is in an instant. The time to give a film to find itself is gone. Luckily, we have the pedigree of the first film, we have a seal of approval that's coming along with it. Now we just have to win audiences over.”

SEE ALSO: Jennifer Lawrence's new movie us an ambitious look at today's world, but falls short of delivering

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American college students are giving their dorm rooms insane makeovers — check out the best ones we've seen

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Every year, incoming college students create magic by transforming bland cement rooms into glamorous pads. This year is no different. 

Extreme dorm designs became a trend when Ole Miss freshmen Abby Bozeman and Lindy Goodson transformed their first-year dorm into a charming home-away-from-home. 

"We wanted our room to be cozy and comforting while we were away from home," Goodson said of their dorm room. The two added their own personal touches with paintings and pictures and coordinated over the summer with fabric samples. The roommates also DIY-ed things they had from home to keep on budget. 

 

But the Ole Miss freshman aren't the only ones taking on re-designing their dorms. Take a look at a few submissions we've had in our 2017 #BIDormDesigners contest so far:

 

SEE ALSO: 13 of the most beautiful college campuses in America

University of Mississippi

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Texas State University

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Fairfield University

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