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    Leather Band Collection by A.R.Z Steel

    Leather Band Collection by A.R.Z Steel

    Forgoing the traditional approach of creating simple, dirt cheap leather-based products, A.R.Z Steel's collection merges high-quality stainless steel with leather to create a marriage between two materials the way few designers have before.

    Compared to ball bead and skulls or high-end bracelets, A.R.Z. Steel's designers have managed to produce some of the most fashionable steel jewelry on the market, while creating a fresh approach to a market saturated with dull, simplistic leather bracelets.

     

    Bling-Bling: Its Birth And Its Decline

    Bling-Bling: Its Birth And Its Decline

    In the late '90s, Bling jewelry made its stake as the most widely recognized accessory, and everyone from popular recording artists to reality television stars wanted to showcase their “bling.” And as affluent jewelry producers started to craft diamonds, bracelets, chains and even teeth grills, the jewelry lost its appeal.  According to New York Times writer William Safire, “Bling-bling is dead.” While it may not not be dead, bling remains on life support as more consumers and artists favor gold and throw-back chains to iced out pieces.

    How It Started

    During the late ‘90s, “B.G.,” from the now defunct super group Cash Money Millionaires, released his music video titled “Bling Bling” that gave birth to the term and idea of rocking everything from iced-out necklaces to watches. After its release, the song shot up the Billboard Hot 100 charts before peaking at no.36. Soon after the song's release, “bling bling” became part of the mainstream lexicon, and everyone from rappers to the Oxford English Dictionary recognized and accepted the term.

    After B.G.’s video, rappers and hip hop artists were looking to wear the flashiest jewelry on the market. Waka Flocka dropped 120k on his "Fozzie Bear" chain.  Kanye upped the stakes with his 300K horus chain. Mike Jones, meanwhile, dropped an easy 1 million on his 'Big Ice" chain, but the biggest spender was Rick Ross, spending a reported 1.5 million on his piece.

    How Bling Declined

    In the late 2000s, The Recession started to affect rappers as well. Most started to move away from iced-out chains and pendants, and many explored cheaper, but still stylish options, with gold serving as the new staple. From throwback herringbone chains to traditional Franco necklaces, rappers opted to wear everything from gold-colored chains to even blackout jewelry.  Take 2 Chainz, for example, and his gold Medusa Rings, and while The Recession shifted trends, more and more artists sought to find new options to distinguish their style from their peers.

    Where Is Bling Now?

    While it may have receded its popularity, bling remains worn by some recording artist. Still, more and more recording artists seem to favor gold, and as of late, rose-gold pieces rather than traditional diamonds. Gold may not have replaced bling, but it has caused one of the many shifts in an industry that was once flourishing with jewelry that sparkled in any light.

    Jamie Foxx Versus "The National Anthem"

    Jamie Foxx Versus "The National Anthem"

    Boxing analysts called it the biggest fight of the year, and some found the biggest struggle that night wasn't between Mayweather and Pacquiao, but between Jamie Foxx and "The National Anthem." Foxx was a disaster. Some blame it on the organ player. Some blame it on liquor. But whoever or whatever is to blame, at least Foxx looked fly rocking his Herringbone Chain.

    Look at Jamie Fox Rocking his Herringbone Chain

    Twitter wasn't too kind to Jamie's rendition of "The National Anthem" either, and it seems like Foxx took a bigger beating on Twitter than Mayweather did in the ring. Here's what one fan had to say:

    And for a night that gave us Jimmy Kimmel trolling Justin Bieber as a hype man, the Burger King mascot making an appearance behind "Money May" and Foxx making "The National Anthem" sound like a re-mix suitable for church (Hallelujah, Jamie!), Twitter and bloggers alike had something memorable to talk about after the hug fest that took place in the ring.

    How Olio May Make Traditional Timepieces Obsolete

    How Olio May Make Traditional Timepieces Obsolete

    In 2012, Kodak, the 131-year-old company that dominated the photography industry for decades, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The giant became battered by the wave of film-less digital cameras, and now the devices responsible for the demise of the former giant, seem headed toward the same fate thanks to the popularity of better camera phones. This cyclical trend that took down Kodak seems to be gaining traction in the watch industry, and it appears like Olio, the newest competitor in this saturated market, could lead to the demise of giants like Swatch, Casio and Citizen.

    Olio, unlike the Apple Watch or Android Wear entries, promises something its competitors haven’t: out-of-the-box connectivity with smart-home devices. Sure, both Apple and Android have promised that connectivity with smart-home devices (and smartphone apps) will occur in the near future, Olio promises its devices will work with everything from thermostats, garage doors, lights and even stereo speakers. Tack on its ability to filter notifications and to integrate with traditional smartphone apps, Olio provides high hopes. If Olio delivers on its promise of out-of-the-box connectivity with smart-home devices and everyday apps, traditional timepieces, which function purely for style and timekeeping, will die a slow death. Even if Olio fails to live up to seamless connectivity with smart-home devices and apps, its missteps will surely influence Apple and Android on how not to integrate with smart-home devices and apps. 

    Olio aims to connect with popular thermostats like Nest.

    More importantly, if Olio manages to succeed alongside smart-home devices, it will continue to batter timepiece makers. Why? Because like all technology, smartwatches will only get cheaper, smarter and more necessary to wear and to use. And when watches can control more aspects of a home, when they become more essential to everyday smartphone apps, and even when apps and smartwatches can control more than just appliances, like the cars people drive, it will make owning revered timepieces like Citizen or Swatch unnecessary and even archaic. The only hope for giants like Citizen or Swatch is maintaining their importance, lest they're prepared to end up like Kodak.

    What Hip-Hop Chains Say About an Artist’s Sex Life

    What Hip-Hop Chains Say About an Artist’s Sex Life

    Artists sport their ice proudly. From Rick Ross’ Red Maybach chain to Run-D.M.C.'s iconic Dookie Chains, each have become a staple alongside their wardrobe. But what if their iconic chains said something about their sex lives? Let’s hyper analyze some of the most popular styles (all under speculation of course) to see what they say about some of our favorite artists' sex lives.

    Dookie Chains, LL Cool J and Run-D.M.C.: Run-D.M.C. and LL Cool J made these chains famous in the ‘80s, and while still popular, these chains say something about the person wearing them.

    What It Says About Their Sex Life: They like’em with a few curves (not a lot, but a few). You don’t rock a chain with that many twists and turns without enjoying a woman with a butt that can put Nicki Minaj to shame. You just don't.

    Pharaoh Necklace, Nas: From the '90 and well into the early 2000s, Nas released 8 consecutive platinum albums. 8! He too made splashes with his large King Tut's Pharaoh necklace. What it Says About His Sex Life: He’s loud. When things are going great, a little noise ensures your partner is enjoying the moment—and isn't asleep. But there’s a limit. You don’t want to be too loud were the neighbors call the cops because you’re too loud. Nas' neighbors may hate him now, but he won't stop now.

    Herringbone Chains, Tupac: Between shooting movies and feuding with the East Coast, Tupac was rocking his iconic Herringbone Chains. What it Says About His Sex Life: He's a smooth operator. There's two kinds of partners you tell stories about: the ones who remind you of a newborn horse and the ones who remind you of someone with experience. And when someone claims "That's why I he"F**ked yo b***h," you best believe him.