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.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye