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Target Finally Scored A Hot Celebrity Designer After Recruiting Him For 5 Years

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Phillip Lim for Target

Target just announced a collaboration with Phillip Lim, a hot designer it's been courting for five years. 

Lim will release a collection of men's and women's clothing, handbags, and accessories on September 15, Target said on its website

Lim is well-regarded in high fashion and has dressed celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Jessica Biel, and Kanye West. 

Target had been courting Lim for more than five years, reports Elizabeth Holmes at The Wall Street Journal. Lim deflected because his brand was "tiny" and he was afraid that he wouldn't be able to design a collection at such a large scale. 

But today, Lim's lines are selling in 400 stores, so he felt he was ready. 

"I wanted to go in and say, 'I don't need to do this, but I would like to,'" he said.

The collaboration with Lim comes on the heels of Target's highly successful Prabal Gurung line. 

Last year, several high-low collaborations flopped, leading to speculation that consumers didn't care about the brand names anymore. 

Target's Neiman Marcus collaboration was the most notable example of a line that totally bombed. 

But Target's Prabal Gurung line fixed many of the problems that plagued Neiman Marcus. 

Instead of featuring obscure products (dog bowls?) from dozens of designers, Target allowed Gurung to simply focus on the florals and dresses he does best.

That strategy paid off, and it looks like Target is staying the course for its collaboration with Lim.  

SEE ALSO: Meet The Model Who Could Take Miranda Kerr's Place At Victoria's Secret

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The Brolly Umbrella Leaves Your Fingers Free For Texting

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This is the Brolly Umbrella.

Why We Love It: The Brolly Umbrella let's you text and email on your phone in the rain by keeping your fingers free. It's an average umbrella, except that the handle has finger holes lined with rubber to maximize comfort.

It comes in blue, black or green, and will stand up to any type of rainy and windy conditions.

Brolly Umbrella

Where To Buy: Available through the Brolly website and Target.

Cost: $15.

Want to nominate a cool product for Stuff We Love? Send an email to Megan Willett at mwillett@businessinsider.com with "Stuff We Love" in the subject line.

SEE ALSO: This Handy Flask Looks Just Like An iPhone

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17 Things You Should Always Buy New

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hotel, bed, crash, pass out In the day and age of online swap meets and the ubiquity of reseller sites like Craigslist, eBay, and Etsy, there's hardly anything you can't get secondhand anymore.

But should you?

For some items, saving a few bucks by buying them secondhand isn't worth the potential safety or health risks involved.

We've put together a list of 17 products that you should always buy new.

Bike helmets

When it comes to your safety, you should never shop secondhand. Minor scratches or dings in helmets that you might be unable to spot right away can cause their safety rating to fall. 

Buying tip:According to Bicycling Magazine, some of the best bike helmets include the Giro Atmos, Louis Garneau Quartz and Bontrager Oracle.



Cribs

Cribs can stand a lot of abuse from cranky toddlers, but you want to make sure your children aren't put in danger by a potentially damaged bed. According to The New York Times, issues with unsafe cribs led to 150 deaths between 2007 and 2010.

Buying tip:Squidoo recently put together a list of the top ten baby cribs for 2013.



Laptops

Any small defect in a secondhand laptop will only get exacerbated over time. You also don't have the luxury of a warranty or customer service guarantee if you don't buy it new yourself.

Buying tip: If you are looking to buy something on the cheaper side, most retailers offer refurbished products that are still covered by warranties. And major electronics stores like Best Buy offer steep discounts on display models. Call around to ask beforehand. 



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Another McDonald's Menu Item Is On The Chopping Block

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burger mcdonalds angus

McDonald's is reportedly phasing out its Angus Third Pounder to put more resources toward promoting the Quarter Pounder. 

The Angus is being removed from McDonald's menus nationwide, reports Burger Business, citing internal sources.

McDonald's hasn't commented on the recent report, but did say it was "reviewing options" for the burger in February.

The fast food giant is expected to add bacon to the Quarter Pounder instead. 

The Angus Burger was released four years ago to compete with the "better burger" craze spurred by In-And-Out, Five Guys, and Smashburger. 

The burger retails for around $4.55, making it more expensive than most sandwich options, reports The Consumerist

But McDonald's sales have been hit because customers don't want to spend big on burgers. 

As a result, McDonald's has released a series of cheaper menu items to appeal to them. 

McDonald's also eliminated its Apple Walnut Salad and Chicken Selects this year. 

SEE ALSO: 14 Fast Food Items You Can't Get Anymore >

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Newfoundland Releases Amazing Video Of Tiny Goat Riding A Horse

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Newfoundland created what is quite possibly the best tourism ad of all time.

The concept: Have a tiny, baby goat ride around on a white horse to an upbeat soundtrack.

But really, that's what the ad strategy is. The YouTube page explains how this completely naturally event was captured on film:

While filming a commercial for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, the crew spotted these two unlikely friends near Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve on the southwestern part of the Avalon Peninsula. Which begs the question, what else would you expect in a place with its very own time zone?

The last line opens the video.

This is even better than Scotland's January tourism campaign that featured glamour shots of Shetland ponies wearing cardigan sweaters.shetland ponies visit scotland cardigan

SEE ALSO: Click here to learn more about the Scotland Shetland pony campaign >

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The New Trend For Office Workers Is A Lunchtime Trip To The Nightclub

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marquee nyc nightclubInstead of eating lunch at their desks, workers are going clubbing for an hour at daytime dance parties that are springing up in New York City and around the world.

The trend first started in Sweden with Lunch Beat, dreamed up by Molly Range, Forbes reported last year.

Range had envisioned an event reminiscent of "Fight Club" where white collar workers could go crazy in the middle of the day. “You don’t talk about your job at lunch beat,” she told Forbes. “If it’s your first dance at lunch beat, you have to dance.”

Unlike "Fight Club," though, everyone talks about Lunch Beat. The not-for-profit, $15 lunch dance parties have expanded to cities like Boston, Montreal, NYC, Seattle, and Vienna.

Culture website Flavorpill also throws a lunch party in New York City. Called "Lunch Break," and it has been growing in popularity since last summer, according to The New York Times.

The Flavorpill events take place on Fridays from 1-2 PM, and attendees get a drink ticket for a free cocktail of vodka and fruit punch, as well as a paper bag lunch with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an apple when they leave.

The NYT's Sheila Marikar attended a Lunch Break event in April, and wrote that the 9-to-5 workers danced to DJ-spun hip hop and electronic music as if it were 2 a.m. 

It might as well be. Most of the NYC mid-day parties take place at popular nightclubs, such as Marquee and The Standard's Le Bain. There's usually a live DJ, glow sticks, and wayfarers for guests to wear during the hour-long dance parities.

The only real differences are that no one's drunk, everyone's wearing their work clothes, and you will be back at your desk in an hour.

See Flavorpill's video from their party at Le Bain below.

DON'T MISS: The Design Firm Behind New York's Hottest Nightclubs

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Breaking Up Was The Best Thing I Ever Did For My Finances

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girl, grass, sleeping, lazy, tired, sun, park, happy

If you have an ex—which most of us do—you’ve probably received the “You’re better off without them” speech from a friend.

“You’re too smart/attractive/cool for that person,” said friend will tell you. You always hated their style/dog/way they chew anyway.

And now that you’ve broken up, they’ll say, you look better, feel better and have more time to exercise/score that promotion at work!

But what if the breakup left you better off in other ways?

Say, richer? Or without a significant other who was secretly dipping into your checking account?

That’s just what happened to the five people below. There are many financial red flags in a relationship, and their cautionary tales can help you avoid falling into a relationship you’re—at least fiscally speaking—better off without.

1. “My Ex Was Secretly Dipping Into My Bank Account”

Audrey, 38, New York, NY

“When my ex and I rented our first apartment together, it wound up being way too expensive. We were in our 20s, and our eyes were too big for our budget. At the time, our rent was $2,000 a month, and was in direct violation of the 50/20/30 rulebecause my portion of the rent represented about half of my take-home pay. For my ex, who was only sporadically employed, it was a lot more.

My ex grew up wealthy and didn’t worry about money, but rarely held a job and wouldn’t ask his parents for help. I wound up covering for us a lot of the time. Basically “our budget” became me paying for things, and him contributing when he could.

One day, I checked my bank balance and realized there was several hundred dollars missing. Weird, I thought. We didn’t have joint accounts, but I called my ex and said, “I can’t figure out where this money went.” He said he didn’t know anything, so I called the bank, and they told me that the money had been withdrawn that morning, from the ATM on our corner. I checked and my card was right where I’d left in my wallet. And I hadn’t gone anywhere that day.

When they told me the time of the withdrawal, a cold chill came over me. I realized my ex must have taken my card out of my wallet while I was in the shower and withdrawn the money thinking I wouldn’t notice. Meanwhile, I wasn’t aware that he even knew my pin.

I moved out shortly thereafter, and it made me wonder for months after if he had ever “skimmed” money out of my account before, and I just hadn’t noticed.

2. “My Long-Distance Relationship Killed My Budget”

Caleb, 26, Boston, MA

I was living in Boston while the girl I dated for over two years lived in California, and I can tell you: Long distance relationships are expensive!

I’m not saying I was the only person shelling out in the relationship, but my ex had a corporate card and money from her parents, which paid for airfare and cabs. She never had to worry about savings or debt. I, on the other hand, do.

In the time we were together, I spent nearly $4,000 a year on airfare, not to mention the money I spent when she came to visit. Because our time together seemed so precious, I’d spend up to 40% more money on cabs and dinners. It actually started to create anxiety for me whenever she booked a ticket. It also sapped $350-$500 a month from my budget.

Then there was the less obvious cost: Our phone bills. We spent probably 10-15 hours talking that first year. In retrospect, I could have been using that time to pursue side jobs or work on projects that interested me, and made a bigger dent in my student loan payments. As it stands, we broke up, and I still have about $8,000 left to pay.

In the time we were together, I spent nearly $4,000 a year on airfare, not to mention the money I spent when she came to visit.

3. “My Ex Spent $700 … on Blue Jeans!”

Kelly, 29, Ottawa, Ontario

My boyfriend and I were together three years—but I was living in Canada, and he was in New York City. I couldn’t get a visa or work permit, so I would visit him on and off.

At one point, I stayed with him about three months, during which I couldn’t work or earn any money. I had to rely on his income for everything, and even though he was making a decent salary as a graphic designer, it just didn’t go very far in a city like New York. Not to mention that he really wasn’t great with money.

I remember we went to the Diesel store to buy him $700 jeans “because he liked them” and “needed new jeans,” though meanwhile we were getting notices from Con Ed that they were going to turn off the power! At one point he used our last $40 to get his nose pierced instead of using the money for groceries.

I was raised to save money and “do without” so I’d have enough money to get an education and be able to support myself. Now, without the distraction and expense of a boyfriend in New York, I’ve graduated from a master’s program in landscape architecture and am on my way to becoming fully licensed.

4. “I Was Spending $300-$500 on a Night Out Together”

Chase, 27, Chicago

When I broke up with my girlfriend of two years, I did it because I’d been feeling like I put too much into the relationship without getting much in return. Then, about a week later, I realized what that feeling was really about:  Money.

When we were together, going out to dinner was a big thing, and a decent dinner in Chicago for two people is about $100-$150. Plus, my ex-girlfriend was a big drinker, so I was footing some serious bar tabs. For the whole night, between drinks, dinner, a gift and flowers, I would spend $300-$500. That added up over time, especially since we went out multiple times a week. She also wasn’t good at paying me back for things I spotted her for, like dry cleaning or shoe and clothing repair.

It’s not that being single has allowed me to save a ton of money—it’s just that not having a girlfriend lets me use my money in other ways I’d like to, such as throwing parties for friends, buying clothes and donating to charity. To be honest, dating several women at once like I am now might be more financially devastating than being with my ex … but since then, I’ve had a series of salary increases that make it more manageable.

5. “I Lent Her Over $2,000 That I Never Saw Again”

Aaron, 38, New York

My ex considered herself to be really responsible with her money, but had about $10,000 of credit card debt. She would complain about that debt all the time without ever really doing anything about it. I actually had more credit card debt than she did, but I made a point of paying it off over two and a half years.

She and I were planning to move in together, and she didn’t seem to prioritize saving money we would need to build a life together and start a family—even though it was incredibly important to me. It made me anxious about how we would combine our finances and what we would teach our children about money.

About six months into the relationship, I loaned her $1,200 to get her computer fixed, and through similar loans over the course of our relationship, she ended up owing me over $2,000. (This is aside from the pressure I felt to finance the fancy restaurants and weekend getaways she loved but couldn’t afford.) I never saw that money again—when we broke up, I told her not to bother paying me back.

I’m single now, and my finances are healthier not only because I’m able to make budget-conscious decisions on where to eat for dinner or what to do on the weekend without feeling the pressure to overspend for the sake of our relationship, but also because I no longer feel that anxiety about how I’ll finance my future with someone who isn’t on the same financial page.

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Meet The Women Who Are Changing The World

How 2 Brothers Brought Wagyu Beef To America And Started Selling The Most Expensive Steak In NYC

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Marc and Greg Sherry are the brothers behind Old Homestead, one of NYC's most beloved steakhouses.

The restaurant is known for being one of the city's oldest, having started out as The Tidewater Trading Post in 1868. It's also known for having the most expensive cut of meat in town, a $350 piece of Wagyu beef from Kobe, Japan.

"We wanted to find a steak that took it to the next level," said Marc. "We flew to Japan, tasted it, and absolutely flipped."

That was 1991. To get that amazing steak to the States, Marc and Greg had to work with the Japanese and American governments to ensure that the meat was up to U.S. health code.

After that, the Wagyu sold itself.

Check out their story in the video below.
 

 

Produced by Daniel Goodman

SEE ALSO: Step Inside The Place Where The Most Expensive Meat In NYC Is Served

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Martha Stewart Met 2 Of Her Match.com Suitors On The 'Today' Show

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Within hours of joining dating website Match.com, Martha Stewart already had more than 1,000 suitors hoping to meet her. Two of those lucky men got to meet the media mogul on the "Today" show this morning.

Stewart, who created a firestorm when she announced she would give online dating a shot in late April, told Matt Lauer that it was "difficult" to narrow down the field from thousands of men, and that she was "slightly apprehensive, but not nervous," about meeting the final two in person.

Both men are 68, divorced, and work out regularly. The first was Stan, a filmmaker who shoots independent features and commercials (including one of Martha for Kmart in the past) and lives in NYC. He brought her flowers on the show, and told Lauer that he has always liked Stewart.

The second bachelor, Larry, is an executive from New Jersey. He has similar interests to the lifestyle tycoon, like hiking, swimming, and philanthropy. He admitted he was worried contacting Stewart might make him seem like an opportunist, "and that's not me."

"None of these have been set up, none of this is fake," Stewart said to Lauer earlier in the segment. "And I just want everybody to know that, because I want other women in a similar situation to know that it can be done. I hope!"

It may not be "fake," but Stewart is certainly milking the publicity. Her website is asking people to vote on which of the two bachelors is right for her.

Watch the full "Today" show segment below. And scroll down to see "Saturday Night Live's" hilarious take on Stewart's online dating endeavors.

Here's the "Saturday Night Live" parody of Martha Stewart's Match.com profile.

DON'T MISS: Meet The Founder Of Style Me Pretty, A Wedding Blog That Brides Are Obsessed With

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The 19 Coolest Small Businesses In New Orleans

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New Orleans BioInnovation CenterNew Orleans is a hugely popular tourist destination for its food, music, history and Mardi Gras.

The city's economy took a big hit after Hurricane Katrina devastated the cityscape in 2005. But since then New Orleans has rebuilt and reinvented itself.

From startups to restaurants and bars, several very cool small businesses have sprouted up in the Big Easy.

adverCar

Web only

What it is: A transit advertising and media company

Why it's cool: adverCar matches brands with regular drivers who are looking to make some extra cash. The brand pays a driver to put a decal on their car. When that person drives through different neighborhoods and regions, the brand is then broadcast to the area in a subtle yet effective way.

It is part of New Orleans Startup Fund's portfolio.



American Sector And National World War II Museum

945 Magazine St.

What it is: A 1940s themed restaurant and museum

Why it's cool:Besides being America's first museum devoted to World War II, this venue features restaurants and bars that are all 1940s themed. Everything from the seating to the cocktails to the styles of the performers oozes 1940s glamour. There are even live musical performances by Big Band orchestras and tributes to 1940s icons like The Rat Pack.

The restaurant, called the American Sector, serves dishes that put a creative spin on traditional American food, like mini cheeseburgers with bacon-onion marmalade and wagyu short ribs.



Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel

739 Canal St. at Bourbon

What it is: A sustainable hotel

Why it's cool: This is a luxury hotel that has a ton of green initiatives. It recycles all cardboard, paper, plastic, and aluminum products. 

About 90% of the hotel's lighting is energy efficient and it has a grease recycle program.



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Hedge Fund Billionaire John Paulson Is Selling His Breathtaking Aspen Mansion For $29.9 Million

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Paulson's Aspen Lake Ranch

Closely-followed billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson has put his gorgeous Aspen ranch on the market for $29.9 million, Aspen Business Journal reported citing a listing. [via Curbed]

Paulson, who famously bet against the subprime housing market in 2007, purchased "Aspen Lakes Ranch" for $24.5 million back in 2010.

Last summer, he snapped up Hala Ranch in Aspen from Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan for $49 million.  It was listed for $135 million.

Paulson's Aspen Lake Ranch features a 13,068 square-foot home features 7 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms (3 half baths).  The home sits on two lakes stocked with trout and surrounded with pristine mountain views. 

The home was Aspen-based developer Bob Bowden, who has photos listed on his site.

It's a stunning estate and now we're going to take a photo tour... 







See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The Founder Of Italian Fashion House Missoni Is Dead At 92

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OTTAVIO_MISSONI 1

Ottavio Missoni, who has died aged 92, was the co-founder of the Italian fashion brand Missoni and the patriarch of a dynasty.

In 1953, with his wife, Rosita, he set up the company that became known around the world for its brightly coloured geometric knits and zigzag patterns.

Ottavio, known as Tai, and Rosita began with a few knitting machines, making designs for other brands.

The first Missoni collection appeared in 1958 and included two striped dresses that sold out in the Milan store La Rinascente. Adapting the Raschel knitting machine (which was usually used for shawls) in 1963, the Missonis created the distinctive zigzag lightweight knits which became their signature.

Their first fashion show was in 1966, and the brand began to grow in the 70s, with a colourful, bohemian aesthetic. Supporters included the influential fashion journalist Anna Piaggi and the American Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, who reportedly commented, on seeing the vibrant knits: "Who said that only colours exist? There are also tones."

Sixty years after its foundation, Missoni, based in Sumirago, in the countryside outside Milan, continues to be successful – it had a turnover of £59m last year, with 40 stores around the world and celebrity fans ranging from the Duchess of Cambridge to Jennifer Lopez. It has also expanded into homewear and hotels. This suited Ottavio perfectly. "I've never done what was fashionable," he said in 2011. "Going against the rules comes naturally to me."

The son of a sea captain, Vittorio, and his wife, Teresa De Vidovich, Countess of Capocesto and Ragosniza, Ottavio was born in Dubrovnik and grew up in Zadar – now part of Croatia but then Italian territory. He fought with the Italian army in the second world war at the Battle of El Alamein and was a prisoner of war in Egypt for four years.

He was also a talented athlete, who had competed in track events before the war. A member of the Italian national team at 16, he was a champion at the World Student Games in 1939. He continued exercising regularly into his 90s, and had a swimming pool and gym installed at his home. In an interview with Women's Wear Daily in 2011 he said: "Running was a natural gift. They called me 'son of Apollo'."

Sport turned out to be his unlikely entry into fashion. He represented Italy in the 400m hurdles at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, and made knitted tracksuits that were worn by members of the Italian team. Sixteen-year-old Rosita Jelmini was a student spectator at the event and the couple met at a lunch organised by the Italian team.

Married in 1953, they turned out to be a formidable fashion force. The Missoni brand combined Ottavio's burgeoning design skills with Rosita's background in textiles – her family had owned a shawl-making factory. They began with a small factory in Gallarate, Lombardy, where Rosita had grown up.

As with other Italian fashion houses, from Versace to Ferragamo, family has been central to the Missoni brand. Although Ottavio and Rosita continued to preside over its progress, in the 90s they handed over the day-to-day running of the business to their three children, Vittorio, Luca and Angela. Angela has designed the ready-to-wear collections since 1996. The couple continued to live near Sumirago and Ottavio devoted more time to painting and tapestry, also writing an autobiography, Una Vita sul Filo di Lana (A Life on the Woollen Thread, 2011).

Ottavio saw the evolution of the Missoni dynasty as a natural choice rather than something expected of the second generation. "I never pushed for them to pursue this career," he said, "but I'm happy because they chose the company themselves. And we all agree it's a family firm and it must remain as such."

Three generations are now involved in the business – Ottavio and Rosita's granddaughter, Margherita, designs accessories – and rather than using models, the photographer Juergen Teller has captured the family at home for ad campaigns since 2010.

Ottavio is survived by Rosita, their children and grandchildren. Their son Vittorio and his wife, Maurizia, have been missing since January, when their plane disappeared over the coast of Venezuela.

Ottavio Missoni, fashion designer, born 11 February 1921; died 9 May 2013

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

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What A Straight Man Learned From Working At Victoria's Secret

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christopher pilny

In 2010, college student Chris Pilny ditched his plan to go to dental school and got a job at Victoria's Secret

His life had hit rock bottom after his girlfriend dumped him.

"Desperate to regain my swagger, I decided I needed to study women, to go somewhere I could immerse myself in them," Pilny said. 

So Pilny filled out an application and became one of the very few men to work retail at the lingerie powerhouse (more than 90% of Victoria's Secret employees are women). He worked there for more than a year, learning the ins-and-outs of women's underwear. 

We asked Pilny, who now works as a writer and humorist, about what it's like for a straight man to work at Victoria's Secret. 

Business Insider: Why don't you think a lot of men work at VS?

Chris Pilny: Applying for a job at Victoria’s Secret is essentially like buying condoms. Except that, instead of being able to pretend like you’re looking at candy bars while you throw the box at the cashier, you’re looking at a (usually female) manager, telling them you’d like to sell women’s undergarments for a living. It’s nerve-racking, to say the least.

The thing that men need to remember is that Victoria’s Secret was a company founded by a man (Roy Raymond) as a place for men to go and comfortably shop for lingerie for their wives/girlfriends. Though their marketing has changed since that point, men need not to feel like perverts if they want to go in there, or work there. It’s a job just like any other. It has its benefits and it has its downsides.

BI: How did friends and family react when you told them your plans?

CP: Pretty well. My parents watched me change majors seven times in five years. By that point, they looked at me and said, “Well, we can’t say we saw this coming, but it kinda makes sense you’d end up selling bras when you look at the past couple years.”

BI:Did you ever meet any potential dates at work?

CP: I did. I was putting some beauty products away one afternoon when this girl and her friend walked up. I asked them a pretty standard retail question. “Is there anything I can do for you today?” One of them turned towards me and said, “Take me to a dinner and a movie.” We exchanged numbers and it was set.

Now, I never did take her on a date. She wasn’t my type. I just wanted to see if a woman would really give her number to a man working at Victoria’s Secret. The answer is, yes.

BI:What surprised you about working at Victoria's Secret?

CP: That women would still date me. A few days after I’d applied, a friend said to me, “You do realize you’re going to be single the entire time you work there, right? No woman is going to date a guy who sells thongs for a living!”

In my stunned, semi-depressed silence, I had to admit she was right. What woman in her right mind would date a guy who works at Victoria's Secret? Lack of income aside, it was the closest thing you could get to dating a gigolo. Only Tom Jones and Wilt Chamberlin had handled more panties than I had.

It turns out, however, that girls will date a guy who works at Victoria's Secret. I'm still not sure if it’s because they liked me or my panty discount, but I didn't really care. I could spend my days advising 40 different women which panties they should buy, then go home at night to a girl who thought nothing of it. What else could you ask for as man?

BI: What do you think is something smart VS does as a business?

CP: They make sure their employees are well-versed in the product. Yeah, it might have taken me six months to learn all of the bras in the store, but that's what happens as a man. You have no freaking clue what you’re looking at it. It could be a Very Sexy push-up; it could be a Nakeds demi; it could be a Cottons full coverage; or it could simply be a double-pouched water balloon launcher.

BI:What do you think VS could do to improve its business?

CP: I mean, what do you say about a man whose net worth is $4.5 billion? I think Les Wexner (chairman and CEO of Limited Brands, Victoria's Secret's parent company) is doing a great job.

The problem that Victoria’s Secret faces is the same problem that all retail companies face: customer satisfaction. 

Sometimes I found managers applied rules (in regards to customer returns, etc.), and others they didn’t. It was frustrating as an employee, and when I got in a scuff with my store manager about it, she said to me, “The only rule is this: the customer needs to be satisfied.”

You bet I gave away a lot of free stuff after that.

BI:How did your job at VS change your life?

Pilny: It changed my perception of women forever, specifically how they communicate with one another. As a man, you naively assume that every interaction you have with a woman is going to remain in a vacuum. 

I only assumed this because that’s how men communicate — in swaths; and I’m not sure why I even still believed this at the time. I’d had inside information for years that women, when left alone, get down to the nitty gritty. 

Working at Victoria’s Secret didn’t necessarily make me better with women, it simply brought my image of them into a more realistic and startling focus. 

SEE ALSO: Meet The Gorgeous Model Who Could Take Miranda Kerr's Place At Victoria's Secret >

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MARIA SHARAPOVA: How The World's Highest-Paid Female Athlete Spends Her Millions

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maria sharapova blowing kiss

Maria Sharapova has a new boyfriend.

The fact that this is news tells you that she's the rare athlete who has transcended sports and gained relevance independent of tennis.

At age 26, Sharapova has turned herself into a multi-million dollar business that traverses sports, fashion, and even candy.

Sharapova made $27.1 million last year

Source: Forbes



$5.1 million of that came from on-court winnings. She has made $25 million in winnings in her career

Source: Forbes, WTA



She makes the real money ($20+ million per year) in endorsements with a long list of companies

Source: Forbes



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The 25-Pound Cupcake With Mayor Bloomberg's Face On It Is Totally Lame

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Mayor Bloomberg had no reason to be annoyed about his likeness appearing on a giant cupcake at a sweet shop opening today: We just saw a photo of the cupcake, and it's seriously lame.

The cupcake, a publicity stunt for The House of Cupcakes, which opened in the West Village today, was hailed in a press release as a 25-pound, 35,800-calorie confection called The Mayor, "complete with his honor's face on it."

Naturally, we expected something remarkable.

Here's what we got:

mayor bloomberg cupcake

 We hope this giant cupcake tasted better than it looked.

SEE ALSO: The Rise And Fall Of The Gourmet Cupcake

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The Best Places To Travel After A Divorce

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Dunton Hot Springs

“I went through a bad divorce with a lot of heartache,” says Lucie Muns, who went surfing in Costa Rica following her split.

She found the ocean healing and the all-female Surf Diva camp filled with supportive surfers—many were also nursing breakup wounds.

Her advice: “Disconnect from the immediate place of heartache, whether you go five or 3,000 miles away.”

Travelers know that a change of environment helps clear your head and rejuvenate your spirit, and for the newly single, there’s the added benefit of putting some physical space between you and your ex. Instead of rehashing what went wrong or revisiting the same old haunts, why not start calculating your award miles and plot a getaway.

See The Best Places To Travel After A Divorce >

“Trips are often the ideal dose of momentum that people need to deal with life challenges and changes,” affirms Leigh Weinraub, M.A., a well-being specialist at Miraval Spa in Tucson, AZ, where you can pair adrenaline-pumping activities like rock climbing with healing treatments and personal counseling. It’s just one of the places we uncovered—most with single accommodation options—where you can rebound from a bad romance. The first step is identifying what’s right for you.

Need to get out some aggression? Try off-roading in Vermont’s Green Mountains, or to sweat it out, sign up for a communal yoga retreat in the Bahamas. If you’d rather tune out distractions and tune into yourself, head for a Canadian cabin with no cell-phone service, or soak in the restorative powers of natural hot springs just outside of Telluride, CO. When you’re ready to emerge, consider volunteering. Helping others is a sure way to gain perspective after a breakup; the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms network makes it affordable to do so in India and other far-flung destinations.

Even notoriously romantic destinations like Italy can be liberating if you’re coming out of a divorce, especially if you embrace a fresh way of traveling, such as joining a singles-only bike tour through Piedmont wine country. 

Still, there are some places you’d be wise to avoid—honeymoon hot spots or anywhere that you might have traveled with your former flame. After all, salt is for rubbing onto the margarita glasses, not into the wounds.

See The Best Places To Travel After A Divorce >

More from Travel + Leisure:

Dunton Hot Springs: Dunton, Colorado

De-stress, improve circulation, and increase your energy in the natural restorative hot springs (85–105 degrees) at Dunton Hot Springs, a former mining town in the picturesque Colorado Rockies.

Packed with calcium, iron, magnesium, and a “dash” of lithium, the waters are yours to enjoy alfresco or in a 19th-century bathhouse. There are 12 log cabins as well as safari-style tents available down the road at Cresto Ranch, a sister property opening in June 2013.



The Biltmore Hotel’s Culinary Academy: Coral Gables, FL

Whether refining your culinary talents or learning the basics, the Biltmore Hotel’s Culinary Academy is a cathartic way to gain skills, meet new people, and be part of lively group meals.

The three-day boot camp, taught by chef Lourdes Castro, starts with kitchen organization; by day three, you’ll be braising short ribs and serving stewed pork with a smoky chipotle sauce. All this with the retro glamour that comes with a stay at the Biltmore (est. 1926), where you can unwind after class by the opulent pool or in a Frette robe back in your room.



Piedmont, Italy

Cycle past scenic vineyards and hill towns on Backroads’ new six-day Singles-Solos tour of Piedmont, which delivers Italy’s charms without the risk of honeymooners in your tour group.

You’ll stop at a 10th-century castle that now serves as a wine cellar, the hot springs of Acqui Terme, and Monforte d’Alba, known for the nebbiolo grape used to produce Barolo wine.

Accommodations include a 16th-century monastery-turned-hotel, and you can swap tips with fellow bikers at facebook.com/backroads4singles before you depart.

backroads.com



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Mind-Bending 'Inception' Maps Show Manhattan Like You Haven't Seen It Before

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London-based design firm BERG created these two 3D maps of Manhattan, which look like a scene out of "Inception" (via Curbed NY).

Called "Here & There," the horizon-less maps make it appear as if the city is curling up and over you. One view looks uptown from 3rd and 7th, and the other downtown from 3rd and 35th.

It was made with "a combination of city manipulations in modeling software" and both maps are now a part of the MoMA's permanent collection.

"The ability to be in a city and to see through it is a superpower," BERG explains about the project. "It's how maps should work."

The images are both three feet tall and two feet wide, and are still available to purchase at BERG London for roughly $150.

BERG uptown downtown

SEE ALSO: The 25 Best Skylines In The World

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How Instagram Co-Founder Kevin Systrom Spent His Year After The $1 Billion Facebook Acquisition

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Kevin Systrom Instagram Photo

On April 9, 2012, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger sold their 13-person startup, Instagram, to Facebook.

Facebook purchased the photo filter app 18 months after its launch for $1 billion: $300 million in cash, the rest in Facebook stock.

What has the year been like for Systrom since selling his company?

Here's what he's been up to through (how else?) Instagram photos.

About one month after the Facebook sale, Systrom and Krieger took their team on an off-site spring trip to team to Napa.



Systrom stopped by his old high school, Middlesex boarding school, a few days later.



There, he paid a visit to his old photography professor.



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An Eerie Tour Of The Abandoned Chinese Amusement Park That's Finally Being Torn Down

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china wonderland

Much has been made of Chinese ghost towns. 

Amid these ghost towns, one of the more remarkable stories has been that of China's 'Wonderland'. This was a Disneyland styled amusement park that was being developed just outside of Beijing years ago. At time it was being touted as the largest amusement park in all of Asia.

Construction was abandoned in 1988 after a dispute over land prices. Workers have now however begun to demolish the abandoned buildings. 

Local media suggest that the space will eventually make way for a shopping center.

We drew on photos from Reuters' David Gray to give you a tour of the abandoned project that has seen farmers return to the land. We also drew on a video posted at io9 for the photo tour.

Note: Reporter Andrew Shen helped with this feature.

Laborers have begun demolishing China's 'Wonderland' amusement park that was abandoned some time ago.



'Wonderland' sits on a 100-acre plot of land outside of Beijing.



Construction stopped around 1998 when the project lost its funding.



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