Volv Concierge Issue #36

❌ The digital guillotine comes for Hollywood

Shannon here, back with my top picks for this week. That includes the latest on the US college protests, the 'digital guillotine' targeting celebs, and how world-building is changing the game in fashion.

📰 Here’s what you need to know

  • US college protests: To nobody's surprise, students at multiple universities walked out of their commencement ceremonies. Viral videos showed Columbia students ripping up degrees seconds after receiving them. Harvard is the latest to strike a deal with protesters, joining the likes of Brown and John Hopkins — they're at least willing to discuss what their students want.

  • Who else is getting a slice of the protest culture taking over the world? You guessed it, celebrities. After the decadence of the Met Gala, TikTokers have fashioned a 'digital guillotine,' unfollowing/blocking celebs and influencers en masse for not speaking up for Gaza, and destroying their reach on socials. Kim K, Taylor Swift, and Zendaya are facing the wrath of the people.

  • If you've been living under a rock, the Kendrick v. Drake war is making YouTubers 'life-changing' money. Kendrick did not copyright his diss tracks, allowing creators to monetize them. Speaking of YouTube, it is quickly becoming the most powerful media platform in history. In a world where large media brands are merely reemerging as 'zombie versions' of themselves, people are waking up to how much YouTube really dominates their TVs, desktops, and phones.

🎭 The profitability of world-building

I've predominantly read books and watched movies that focus on world-building — works that create entirely new universes to offer an escape into the unattainable. The allure of these worlds is profitable worldwide. The top 2 highest-grossing films ever? 'Avatar' ($2.9B) and 'Avengers: Endgame' ($2.7B). One of the most-watched TV shows is 'Game of Thrones,' and 'Harry Potter' remains one of the bestselling books of all time. 

Now, the phenomenon of world-building is expanding its reach into the world of fashion — through 'theme dressing.' The Met Gala actually ushered in theme-dressing, where celebrities take on daring risks following an annual theme. 

Fashion brands are leveraging red carpets as platforms for storytelling, with celebrities strategically wearing film-inspired outfits to captivate audiences. They transcend the world of their movies onto the red carpet and build a sense of fantasy, generating excitement for these films. The exclusivity of these looks, often custom-made or sourced from vintage archives, amplifies their allure, generating significant online buzz. 

A recent example: Zendaya's 'Challengers' press tour yielded an impressive $8.8 million in media impact value for Loewe within just four weeks. This shows the influence and profitability of world-building beyond traditional entertainment media, and in diverse industries like fashion.

 Vibes for the week:

  • Speaking of Challengers - the film’s soundtrack made me walk away feeling rattled - but in the best way possible. Give it a listen

  • My sleep mask - My friends gifted this to me and it was left untouched for months until I traveled recently. 30 seconds with this bad boy on and I was out. Highly recommend.

I'd love to hear from you! Leave your feedback here.

This newsletter was edited by Ishita Sen.