AHAlife.com has a new investor in William Morris Endeavor. In addition, Ari Emanuel, co-chief executive officer of WME, has been named to AHAlife’s board of advisers.
Emanuel was founding partner of the Endeavor Agency and was instrumental in shaping its June 2009 merger with the William Morris Agency.
AHAlife launched in 2010 as a digital destination for product discoveries and content. Shauna Mei, founder and ceo of AHAlife, said she was pleased to bring Emanuel on as an adviser, adding, “Ari is one of the most creative, forward-thinking individuals in the entertainment and media space; he is always on the pulse of industry trends.” Mei noted that she met Emanuel through one of her board members. “He’s always been fascinated with content and commerce. Commerce is really a new and important channel for media companies to monetize,” said Mei. AHAlife’s lineup of curators runs the gamut from Kelly Rutherford, Deepak Chopra and Rachel Roy to Amy Sacco, Donna Karan, Bobbi Brown and Daniel Boulud. RELATED STORY: AHALife Acquires Photo-Sharing Service Kaptur >>
Mei noted that WME represents many different personalities and AHAlife works with a variety of curators. “There are a lot of synergies there,” said Mei, who would be interested in tapping into some of that talent for her Web site. “Ari will help us expand our curatorial voices through some of his clients,” said Mei. She declined to disclose how big an investment WME was making.
AHAlife’s aim is to connect consumers with undiscovered brands through digital experiences that integrate media and commerce via a storytelling platform. “We believe in educating consumers to know what they buy and why they buy it, in an effort to shift their mind-set from being deal-centric to valuing creativity, innovation and quality,” said Mei. “Curators and tastemakers, many of whom are represented by Ari and his firm, have always been an integral part of AHAlife’s storytelling.”
To date, AHAlife.com has raised more than $20 million in funding from Rakuten, DCM, FirstMark Capital and angel investors, including former French Minister of Commerce, Renaud Dutreil; philanthropist and filmmaker Abigail Disney, and Pulitzer Prize winner Sheryl WuDunn. Other advisory board members include Chopra and Fern Mallis.
AHAlife recently acquired the photo-sharing service Kaptur. Kaptur’s seven staffers are now based in AHAlife’s offices on Bond Street in Manhattan, boosting the employee count there to 45. AHAlife now has a total of 1.5 million registered users due to the Kaptur deal. The aim is to have 2 million by the end of the year, by driving traffic through images, she said. AHAlife, a full-price site, currently sells 1,800 labels and expects to increase that figure to 2,000 before January.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty