Sheerly Genius is applying technology to an age-old problem for women: Hosiery that won’t tear easily

Sheerly genius "indestructible tights" made of ballistic grade fiber

Sheerly genius “indestructible tights” made of ballistic grade fiber

For any woman who’s ever confronted the age old problem of pantyhose that tears easily, one start-up is using technology to come to the rescue.

Sheerly Genius, a company based out of San Francisco, has created what it calls the world’s first “indestructible” pair of sheer tights. Hundreds of people are buying into the concept, with The Y-Combinator-backed venture has a Kickstarter campaign that’s already more than $100,000 over its fundraising goal.

The start-up created its own material by partnering directly with a fiber manufacturer. A caveat: The tights aren’t actually bulletproof, but they use a ballistic grade fiber that claims to be up to ten times stronger than steel, while still making the hosiery sheer. A pair can hold up for decades, Sheerly claims.

“The strongest material I could think of was kevlar,” Katherine Homuth, CEO of Sheerly Genius, told CNBC recently. “Ultimately I found a fabric that was 100 denier, but was ridiculously strong.”

Pantyhose fibers are measured in denier, a unit that determines fiber thickness. To qualify as pantyhose, the fabric needs to be 100 denier or less; to be sheer instead of tights or jeans, they need to be 30 denier or less.

After years of seeing entrepreneurs tackle products like connected pens and water bottles, she wanted to focus on a problem that really frustrates people, but is often overlooked by the retail and technology industries.

“When we got our first prototype I gave them to my husband and some of his friends and said okay, can you guys try to tear through these? Ultimately we were able to get through them with a fire poker” said Homuth. She added the tights can’t be cut with scissors, and certainly hold up against everyday sourges like rings and velcro.

The process of making the tights came with their fair share of drawbacks, she explained. “It had some problems, it was white and not dyeable, it wasn’t stretchy, and if you mixed it with something stretchy it would tear right through that fiber.”

Though the tights promise to be indestructible, it became apparent that the company’s hosiery machines were not. As the team started manufacturing their first tights, the fiber was so strong it actually broke their machines.

For Homuth one of the hosiery’s biggest attractions was its environmental sustainability. She mentioned that every year, more than $2 billion worth of U.S. pantyhose sales eventually end up in landfills. Each pair takes more than 50 years to decompose, she said.

“We’re using real chemical engineering and material science to take what is seen as just as this commodity where there is no room for innovation and really fundamentally disrupt it.” said Homuth, “There’s so much opportunity for innovation in more traditional industries like apparel.”

This isn’t Homuth’s first venture. Prior to Sheerly Genius, she co-founder ShopLocket, an e-commerce platform which she sold to PCH International in 2014, as well as Female Funders, an online education platform which was acquired by Highline Beta last year.

The company is focusing on just pantyhose for now, but Homuth told CNBC that the fabric could be applied to something like athletic wear, or other forms of apparel that need lightweight fiber fabric but with durability.

The pantyhose will cost $79 for early-bird Kickstarter buyers, then retail for $145 after that. The tights also come with a 30-day money back guarantee…just in case.

Footwear company Nine West files for bankruptcy and will sell some brands

A woman enters a Nine West store in New York.

U.S. footwear and apparel company Nine West filed for bankruptcy on Friday and said it would sell its Nine West and Bandolino footwear and handbag business to Authentic Brands Group.

Nine West, which owns brands such as Anne Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt, said it had received $300 million in debtor-in-possession financing and had entered a restructuring agreement.

The company, which had missed a debt interest payment in March, now plans to focus on its apparel, jewelry and jeanswear businesses.

Reuters had reported of Nine West’s plans on Thursday and sources had said the company had about $1.5 billion in debt.

U.S. retailers are going through a period of upheaval, with more than 15 filing for bankruptcy last year unable to stand up to competition from online shopping.

Nine West listed assets in the range of $500 million to $1 billion, according to a court filing. The filing also stated Nine West’s liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner reach settlement with Tupac’s photographer over ‘vintage’ T-shirts

Fox Lifestyle: Kendall and Kylie Jenner have removed a vintage T-shirt line from their website after angering some high profile people

Kendall and Kylie Jenner have reportedly reached a settlement with Tupac’s photographer over the unauthorized use of his work on their “vintage” T-shirt collection.

The famous duo found themselves facing intense social media backlash last year after their new clothing collection debuted. The Kendall + Kylie One of One tops, which retailed for $125, featured images of rappers including Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., and album artwork from Pink Floyd, Metallica and more. On top of the artists’ images, the shirts were superimposed with pictures of the Jenners’ faces, their Instagram posts and the brand’s “KK” logo.

The shirts were almost immediately removed from their website after people began criticizing the Jenners for using musicians’ artwork. Even Biggie’s mom, Voletta Wallace, spoke out, slamming the sisters for their “disrespectful, disgusting” designs, saying she had “no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of 2pac and my Son Christopher to sell a t-shirt.”

Kendall and Kylie were later sued by photographer Michael Miller, whose image of Tupac appeared on one of their T-shirts without his permission. Miller and the Jenners reached a settlement and Miller has dropped the lawsuit as of Wednesday, according to TMZ. While each party covered their own legal fees, it’s unclear whether money was exchanged for damages.

The reality stars were given a cease and desist letter from Notorious B.I.G.’s estate after the collection first launched, threatening them with a lawsuit if they didn’t stop selling the shirts. The estate lawyer, Julian K. Petty, told TMZ last year “this is misappropriation at its finest.

The sisters released a statement shortly after the initial backlash regarding the shirts: “These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologize to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists. We are huge fans of their music and it was not our intention to disrespect these cultural icons in any way. The tee shirts have been pulled from retail and all images have been removed. We will use this as an opportunity to learn from these mistakes and again, we are very sorry,” the Jenners wrote in a statement on Twitter.

PETA feuding with FDNY over Canada Goose coats, animal abuse concerns

PETA and the FDNY Foundation are sparring over the coats.

Fur is flying between animal-rights group PETA and the FDNY Foundation over outerwear-maker Canada Goose.

The Foundation partnered with Canada Goose to produce and sell a limited-edition fundraiser jacket, which is available Friday.

But the day before coats hit shelves, PETA caused a flap by claiming it convinced Foundation chairman Steve Ruzow that Canada Goose abuses animals and got him to pull support for the coats.

“Although the FDNY Foundation’s contract with Canada Goose prohibits it from stopping the jackets’ release, the FDNY will not be promoting the coats or the partnership,” the group said in a press release, claiming “the chair of the FDNY Foundation reviewed damning video footage and other information and confirmed to PETA that the FDNY will never work with Canada Goose again.”

But Ruzow says PETA is just blowing smoke.

“I spoke with them yesterday, and they misquoted me,” he told The Post. “We are absolutely on board” with the jackets.

“The statement released by PETA earlier today is a false narrative, filled with misinformation that we feel compelled to publicly correct. To be clear, we are incredibly proud of our partnership with Canada Goose and our limited-edition collaboration jacket, The Bravest Coat,” a statement from the Foundation reads.

But PETA dug in.

“Our statement is accurate,” said Ashley Byrne of PETA when confronted with Ruzow’s denial. “I don’t know what sort of pressure might have come from Canada Goose regarding their contract, but I know what was discussed in our call.”

The $695 coat resembles the department’s turnout coat — the gear Bravest wear when battling blazes — and proceeds from the 400-coat run will benefit the Foundation, according to Ruzow, who added it has no fur or feathers.

The dough raised will go to fire-safety education and help pay for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in fire-prone neighborhoods, he said.

The jacket will be available in stores in New York City, Toronto, London and Tokyo — as well as online — on Friday.

Sophie Hulme Launches A New Collection Using Pre-Consumer Waste

This spring, the Sophie Hulme studio – one of UK’s most beloved bag brands – launches ‘The Project’, an initiative founded on the principles of responsible design. For its first phase, the studio explores the issue of pre-consumer waste. With the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse – a factory in Bangladesh which collapsed in 2013 killing over 1000 garment workers – looming on April 23rd, a more sustainable approach to fashion and the industry’s responsibility to urgently address the repercussions of overconsumption on both the environment and human life, is at the fore of many minds.

The Sophie Hulme leather library houses all surplus skins from previous collections and so the studio decided to make use of these dormant leathers and design a creative collection that would rework them into a new capsule. Recovering leathers in this way uses only a fraction of the energy used to work directly from raw materials. “We have bags of leather scraps in different colours and I am always in the studio rearranging them, creating mini designs and patterns. I started thinking about how we could use them in our collections, and then we looked at what we had in our leather library, and exploring how we could work with our archive,” founder Sophie Hulme explained exclusively to Vogue.

“Our whole design ethos is built on longevity, crafting pieces for life, rather than for a season, but we wanted to work out how we could push this philosophy further as a brand. We called it ‘The Project’ to give this sense that it is ongoing, that it can evolve, a way for us to teach ourselves.”

Sustainability is certainly not just a fleeting trend that Hulme and her team are insincerely tapping into. While some brands may boast sustainable capsule collections, their overall practices don’t wholeheartedly reflect what they preach. Hulme, however, is committed to ensuring her company is constantly working to improve and learn. “I don’t think any design company operating today can be immune to the importance of responsible practices. It is something that as a studio we are always looking at – from recycling in the office, to looking at the processes which go into our bags and the impact that they have.”

“Pre-consumer waste felt like a good place to start for us, as we archive our leathers each season, so we have this bank of amazing dormant pieces, all in our palette, to work with. It uses much less energy than starting from scratch with materials, and there was something really nice about working within the parameters of our archive. A design limitation forces you to think in a very creative way. It’s been a great learning curve.”

“It’s taken time for people to realise we all have a responsibility to make changes, to pay attention to the impact we are having. And, it’s not something that can be changed overnight. You have to make a conscious effort to raise awareness, to change the way you think, the way you work. A few seasons ago we committed to using only veg-tanned leather, then we launched ‘The Project’, awareness is the first step, then you make changes.”

The collection, ranging from £125 to £995, features eight signature shapes including The Albion, The Milner and The Albany. ‘The Project’ capsule launches exclusively at Sophie Hulme and at its Burlington Arcade Boutique. So, after this inaugural chapter of ‘The Project’, what’s next for Sophie Hulme? “For AW18 we’ve partnered with Darkroom, this brilliant London-based concept store and design studio that I love. We’ve used their signature prints – simple graphic repeat designs – and worked again with archive leathers to create all-over surface designs in intarsia leather. I’m really keen to do something with ocean plastic at some point – it is unbelievable the materials that you can rework plastic in to, and it feels like such an important issue, bringing more awareness can only be a good thing.” If you’re in the market for a new bag this spring and also trying to be more socially conscious with your shopping habits, Sophie Hulme has the bag for you.

Tiffany Trump’s White House portrait draws mixed reviews

Tiffany Trump may be buckling down on her studies at Georgetown Law, but she still takes her duties as a presidential daughter seriously.

On April 5, the 24-year-old posted on Instagram a photo of herself in the famed Blue Room of the executive mansion, sporting a white, double-breasted blazer-style dress with asymmetrical neckline by favored designer Taoray Wang

“Official WH Photo by Shealah Craighead” she captioned the picture, with bunny, heart and camera emojis. As noted by the Daily Mail, the portrait was likely taken on April 2, as Trump’s look appears to be the same outfit she wore to the White House Easter Egg Roll that day.

trump reuters egg roll

POTUS’ youngest daughter wore a pink and white ensemble to the April 2 Easter Egg Roll.  (Reuters)

Her 963,000 Instagram followers reacted with mixed reviews. While admirers praised her “#presidentialstyle” in the portrait as “stunning,” “beautiful” and “elegant,” others felt the look wasn’t fitting for the time and place.

“Pretty although I don’t think the off-the-shoulder thing is quite the picture for the White House,” one detractor chimed in. “Absolutely gorgeous you look fab, but the off one shoulder is awkward & looks tortured. It’s a no, especially for the WH,” another mused.

All opinion aside, sartorial commentators evidently can’t shake Trump’s appreciation for Wang’s designs. She wore the label for her father’s presidential inauguration and sat in the front row during their NYFW runway show, the Daily Mail reports.

“I think Tao’s aethestic is just unparalleled. She puts so much effort into the slightest detail,” Trump’s youngest daughter told the Hollywood Reporter last January.

“We talked a lot, and I think now she really knows my style, so we work closely together,” she added.

Erotic model and sexologist claims nude jogging and skinny-dipping in cold water is key to looking young

Inna Vladimirskaya, 32, says the trick to looking young is nude jogging and dips in freezing cold water.

While most of us avoid the cold by huddling indoors under a blanket, one Instagram model and self-proclaimed sexologist claims the key to looking good is embracing winter weather… in the nude.

Inna Vladimirskaya, 32, of Ukraine told the Daily Mail she goes for regular jogs in the nude and takes weekly dips in the freezing river as a way to stay looking young and healthy.

She’s been carrying out this unusual anti-aging ritual for nine years, she said. Every Sunday, Vladimirskaya, often joined by her husband, removes all clothes and goes for a run along the banks of the Dnieper River, one of the coldest in Europe.

She follows up her exercise routine with a plunge into the icy water, which reaches temperatures around 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Immersion in cold water makes the blood rush to the internal organs, activating their circulation, which helps break down fat and improve muscle tone,” she told the Daily Mail. “It also helps beat muscle and joint pain and rejuvenates my skin, because of the increase in oxygen supply to it.”

Vladimirskaya believes the proof of the cold water’s benefits can be seen in the animals who regularly live in icy temperatures. “The walrus looks much younger than its actual age because it spends so much time in cold water. Humans can reap the same benefits if they are prepared to put the hard work in,” she told the Daily Mail.

She does note that she isn’t in the freezing water for an extended period of time.

“I just make sure I don’t stay in the water too long, and as soon as I am out I dry myself and go straight to my warm car,” she said.

Pope Francis says it’s ‘abuse’ to accessorize with the crucifix

Pope Francis said that the crucifix is a religious sign to be 'contemplated and understood', rather than merchandised.

The Pope hit out at the ‘abuse’ of the crucifix by people who wear them as fashion accessories.

In a speech at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican, Pope Francis said that the crucifix is a religious sign to be ‘contemplated and understood’, rather than merchandised. He said that the crucifix is a sacred sign not to be “abused” by being treated as an ornament or clothing accessory.

madonna reuters

“I have a long relationship with the Pope, with the Vatican, with the Catholic Church, with my excommunication,” singer Madonna has said of her tumultuous relationship with the faith.  (Reuters)

Pope Francis said: “The crucifix is not an ornamental object or a clothing accessory which is sometimes abused, but a religious sign to be contemplated and understood. The image of Jesus crucified reveals the mystery of the death of the Son as the supreme act of love, the source of life and salvation for humanity of all times.”

Delivering his speech after a Sunday Angelus service, the Pope stressed the meaning religious meaning of the cross.

cross reuters

A Greek Orthodox priest holds a dove before a ceremony at the baptismal site known as Qasr el-Yahud on the banks of the Jordan River near the West Bank city of Jericho January 18, 2011  (Reuters)

He said: “How do I look at the crucifix? Like a work of art, to see if it’s beautiful or not beautiful? Or do I look inside, within the wounds of Jesus up to his heart? I look at the mystery of God annihilated to death, like a slave, like a criminal.

“Jesus wants to make it clear that his extreme affair – that is, the cross, death and resurrection – is an act of fruitfulness. His wounds have healed us – a fruitfulness that will bear fruit for many.”

Ivanka Trump’s visit to Iowa salon sparks social media backlash

Salon Spa W received major social media backlash after the salon posted a photo of Ivanka Trump's visit to the business.

An Iowa salon received major social media backlash this week after posting a photo of Ivanka Trump when she visited the store to get her hair styled before an event.

Salon Spa W, in Des Moines’ East Village, posted a picture Monday on its Facebook page of the first daughter, who was in town to tour Waukee school district’s Aspiring Professional Experience program with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Des Moines Register reported. Reynolds stood next to Trump in the photograph.

“Our Monday kicked off with styling Ivanka Trump for her visit to Iowa! We [love] supporting women in politics,” the salon wrote in a caption on Facebook.

Despite the salon’s excitement, hundreds of followers lambasted the business for serving the White House adviser and threatened to never return. Some people said the photo was “f—ing gross” and vowed to unfollow the page.

“I agree with previous posters…this is NOTHING to be proud of,” one women wrote.

Another user commented, “Will never book an appointment at this salon again. Total bum out. This salon employs hetereo/non-hetero individuals and this just truly sucks. The fact that Salon Spa W was inclusive was always a big A + to me. You put your money where your mouth is as your vote. I loved this salon. I’m so, so disappointed and I can’t imagine how your non-cisgender employees/clients feel. Fail. Won’t ever be back.”

“You will never get my business based on this one post,” a woman wrote, which also received dozens of “thumbs up” and “heart” reactions from users.

First daughter Ivanka Trump scolded NBC and MSNBC reporter Peter Alexander during an interview when he asked her if she believed her father's sexual misconduct accusers.

Some clients said the salon “should know better” about serving Trump, while others said they lost all respect for the employees. Several people did come to the salon’s defense and said they were “proud” of the business’ achievement.

POPE FRANCIS SAYS IT’S ‘ABUSE’ TO ACCESSORIZE WITH THE CRUCIFIX

China Wong, the president of Salon Spa W, released a separate statement on Tuesday defending her choice to style Trump. Wong said the salon employees were “taken aback” by the negative response.

“We believe everyone matters and deserves our indiscriminate care and kindness,” Wong wrote in the statement. “We were taken aback by the response to the image below of our Governor with Ivanka Trump who received services from our salon. We also recognize impact matters more than intent. While we are not a partisan organization we do see it as part of our mission to welcome people to Des Moines and serve everyone. We share images of our clients, some that are recognizable public figures, to showcase our work.”

Wong said her business has served prominent musicians, actors, Broadway stars and politicians, including former President Barack Obama, over the years. The salon is near the State Capitol and Civic Center.

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“We also serve you –– our beautiful, diverse and passionate community. We proudly share our work and celebrate all of you because our purpose is making people look and feel beautiful,” she concluded. “Again, we believe everyone matters and deserves our indiscriminate care and kindness.”

These are the biggest first-date fashion deal-breakers, say singles

Choosing an outfit for a first date can be as nerve-wracking as the date itself.

Romantics know that choosing an outfit for a date can often be as nerve-wracking as the occasion itself, making findings from a recent study on fashion and attraction all the more intriguing.

In a March study of over 6,600 singletons and over 34,500 user profiles by online dating site and app Zoosk, 86 percent of the men and women polled said it’s critical to dress nicely for a date. More specifically, 94 percent of single ladies say this is non-negotiable.

More specifically, the study found that a few sartorial items are particularly offensive fashion faux pas. The biggest turn-off for a first date is apparently showing up in something wrinkled, which 66 percent of people agreed was a no-no.

Close behind, socks with sandals (55 percent), Crocs (53 percent), baggy clothes (50 percent), Granny panties (45 percent), and dressing too youthfully (44 percent) were all seen as deal-breakers. Finally, 38 percent of participants admitted they would judge low-rise pants, and 34 percent don’t want their date arriving in a super-tight shirt.

On the other hand, the study reported that playing up your sense of personal style in your online dating profile can boost matches. People who described themselves as “stylish” or said they enjoyed “dressing up” receive up to 35 percent more incoming messages.

As Moneyish points out, while going to great lengths to impress a stranger may seem superficial, science has long proven that first impressions matter. According to research from Princeton, it takes only one-tenth of a second to get impression of a stranger from their face.

Though it’s what on the inside that truly matters, when it comes to love and dating, a little extra effort goes along way — whether it’s a first date with a new interest or the 100th with an old flame.