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Photography, Technology

Fresh off his flight from Los Angeles to Singapore, celebrity photographer Emanuele D’Angelo (a.k.a. LIVINCOOL) came over to our sunny shores to celebrate the pop-up of his clothing line at Surrender, a luxury streetwear boutique that carries the hottest drops from Adidas to Palm Angels.

Known for photographing Emily Ratajkowski in her itty bitty Inamorata bikinis to The Weeknd riding in an ATV, the Rome-born D’Angelo makes you feel like you want to be his travel buddy. In spite of 218K Instagram followers and a super awesome moniker, he is more than just the man who’s livin’ cool.

Behind the camera, he is a smart and savvy businessman who knows how to build a brand out of his Instagram feed. Bearing the LIVINCOOL logo on oversized tees to bikinis, every single garment exudes a carefree IDGAF vibe that translates well in photographs and IRL.

We catch up with D’Angelo about the origins of his photography career, why he doesn’t see his brand as a streetwear label, hanging out with The Weeknd and Bella Hadid at Universal Studios and the one K-pop girl group he’d love to shoot with.

What is Livin Cool about and how does it fit into the current landscape of street style?

Well, Livin Cool started as a blog I started with two friends of mine in Rome in back in 2009 because I graduated in communication[s] and I wanted to work in a communication agency. I did the interview with the guy that was interviewing me asked if me I had something online to show to him.

A few months later, I moved to London and I started to take photos of people at Fashion Week [and] parties. I’ll give away my business card and people would go in to see the website. I have a lot of friends that have fashion brands, so I started to start design. I knew all these celebrities, [and] models and [so, I] worked with them. I started the idea to have a merch clothing line in December 2017 and everyone started to wear it.

What is streetwear to you?

Honestly, I want to put my brand. I mean, t-shirts, hoodies and hats can be seen as streetwear brand, but my brand is mostly like a lifestyle brand. The strategy behind it is not really getting the attention or hype like the Hypebeast. They kind of get the concept of Livin Cool.


You’ve shot so many celebrities from Travis Scott to Bella Hadid. Which star did you love working with most and why?

Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Hadid and The Weeknd, those are my main three that I prefer to work with. But, I also enjoyed working with Dwyane Wade. I’m really close to him and he’s a great guy – we’ve always clicked since the beginning.

You have mentioned Emily Ratajkowski as your muse before. Has it changed? Why?

Well, I mean, she was my muse because she’s the person I work with most in the past year and a half [to] two years. I love taking photos of her and she loves my photos. I always look for new faces as well. Another girl I really enjoying working with is Adwoa Aboah. I loved working with Imaan Hammam – she’s nice and beautiful. We shot a bunch of things. Laura Harrier, too. She’s really great as well.

Have you ever shot a K-pop artist? If no, who would you like to shoot most?

No, but I would love to. I have my friend Soon Ho in Korea and he’s part of the management of Blackpink. We were in LA recently for Coachella, but I don’t think I have time.

I don’t know too many K-pop artists. Even with them, I don’t know most of them so well. It’s not something I know about, but [BLACKPINK] will be the one.

I understand that this isn’t your first time in Singapore. What was your fondest memories?

Yeah, I was here on tour with the Weeknd and one day, we spent one day in Universal Studios and it was super hot. We were with the team and Bella was here, too. We had some people showing us around.

Would Livin Cool be exploring celebrity collaborations in the future? Which celebrity would you like to most collaborate with?

I would explore this kind of aspect and work with one of those people I work with. But, I would love to work more with the artist as well – either graphic designers, illustrators or other photographers, too.


Photography, Products

Modsy, a San Francisco-based startup developing a platform that lets property owners create virtual renderings of rooms and restyle them in real time, today announced that it’s raised $37 million in funding led by TCV, with participation from Norwest Venture Partners, Advance Venture Partners, and Comcast Ventures. CEO and founder Shanna Tellerman said the capital infusion, which follows a $23 million series B round in December 2017 and brings the company’s total raised to $71 million, will enable Modsy to scale while investing in 3D automation, expanding its marketplace, and “upleveling” its services.

“Modsy is the future of furniture shopping, and we are thrilled to partner with such a forward-thinking and customer-centric firm like TCV to help us fulfill our vision,” she said. “I founded Modsy on the premise that in the future we would all be shopping from a personalized catalog-like experience within a virtual version of our real homes … We are excited about partnering with TCV to build Modsy into a household name and furthering our mission of enabling our customers to create the home of their dreams.”

Modsy’s technology digitally replicates rooms in 360 degrees with furniture from dozens of well-known brands, including West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie, Joybird, Wayfair, Pottery Barn, Interior Define, Design Within Reach, Minted, Serena & Lily, Pier 1 Imports, and CB2. Users can purchase any fixture — whether a couch, rug, armoire, or coffee table — on the spot, either through Modsy directly or through partner tools like Crate & Barrel’s 3D Room Designer and CB2’s CB2 Interiors.

Here’s how it works: First, Modsy customers snap photos and take measurements of their spaces and complete a style quiz, indicating their preferences, budget, and constraints. The answers feed into a proprietary algorithm that attempts to suss out their taste and style, which Modsy collates (along with the pics and dimensions) and forwards onto its team of designers. Customers get two virtual design plans of their room, and from that point forward, they’re able to consult with Modsy’s team or fine-tune with a self-service 3D Style Editor suite, and shop retailers from which they receive exclusive discounts and promotions.

Modsy says it’s created over two million shoppable room renders since its 2015 launch.


Above: Modsy rendering.

Augmented reality (AR) interior design tools aren’t exactly novel. One of Swedish retail giant Ikea’s smartphone apps — Ikea Place — lets users preview home goods by dragging and dropping them in-scene, and Sotheby’s last year partnered with Roomy to launch a virtual staging app called Curate that enables prospective buyers to fill homes with their choice of decor and view the results in real-time 3D. Meanwhile, Wayfair’s Android app recently gained an AR feature that lets customers visualize furniture by holding up their smartphones.

But unlike its competitors, Modsy has built bespoke services like Live Swap atop its platform, which allows customers to quickly swap furniture from within its 3D Style Editor. Moreover, it’s launched a Modsy-exclusive ancillary furniture business — Minna Home — that offers eight styles of sofas and chairs designed in-house from thousands of customer data points and feedback.

It’s a safe bet that this diversification strategy is partly responsible for Modsy’s growing customer base (up 450%) and headcount (151%).

“The U.S. home furnishing market is a massive multi-billion dollar industry and we are seeing a very clear secular shift online,” said TCV executive vice president Tina Hoang-To, who will join Modsy’s board of directors. “Modsy is redefining the way consumers can buy furniture by leveraging technology and machine learning to introduce efficiency, transparency, and affordability to an antiquated home design industry. We are excited to partner with Modsy and believe the company is well-positioned to transform this industry in a significant way.”

Modsy charges $69 for a 3D room model and unlimited revisions with a Modsy designer, with a design turnaround time of six to eight days. The next pricing tier up — Premium — adds in a concierge shopping service; one-on-one video, email, or phone consultations with a project manager; and $150 off the first purchase of $1,500 or over and a reduced turnaround of four to seven days. The $349 plan is identical to Premium, but expands the number of rooms from one to three.

Modsy has over 100 full-time employees and recently filled out its C-Suite with key hires hailing from HotelTonight, StitchFix, and DoorDash. Previous investors include, NBCUniversal, GV, Birchmere Ventures, BBG, and individual angel investors.