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Under Armour signs a lease in Soho

Those trendy lower Manhattanites are about to get a dose of Baltimore-style athletic wear.

Under Armour, which has been expanding its retail presence, has signed a lease in Soho, the New York Post reports. The 7,000-square-foot store, to open next year, is its first in New York. The company opened its first non-outlet retail store in Baltimore's Harbor East. It also recently opened a store in Shanghai and is opening a retail outlet in Tysons Corner, Va.

The company also recently opened a visitor center in Tide Point

USA Today highlights the next big idea competition at Under Armour

USA Today went behind the scenes of Under Armour's "Future Show" competition, in which the athletic apparel company seeks out the next great product idea from top innovators.  

The winner came up with a lighted shirt for joggers who run at night. Chris Forgey came up with Light Bohrd after worrying about his son longboarding (a longer type of skateboard) after sunset.

"The contest lures inventors from across the nation — all hoping to catch the eye of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, who started his $2 billion company 17 years ago by innovating a shirt for athletes that pulls moisture away from the body to keep them dry," USA Today writes.

Two years ago, a contestant devised a magnetic zipper, which will show up in jackets in the fall, USA Today writes. Read the entire story here

New York Times profiles growing Baltimore beauty company

A New York Times article puts the spotlight on Towson-based Mally Beauty, which is one of QVC's top five beauty vendors.

Founder and makeup artist Mally Roncal recently appeared on the shop-from-home network to tell the story behind her line of beauty of products, including a mascara made from an Italian formula, Japanese pigments and a French lash comb, the Times writes.
According to the New York Times, Roncal surged ahead in the beauty business after creating Beyonce's look for her performance at President Barack Obama's inauguration. Mally Beauty has sold seven million units in the U.S.  since premiering on QVC eight years ago, the Times writes. 
Read the full story here.

Under Armour's new running shoes are produced in a bra factory

Baltimore sportswear maker Under Armour has unveiled a new approach to making running shoes – shoes that fit like bras.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the shoes will be called Speedform and will hit the market at $120. The look is inspired by spacesuit design and their production will take place in a bra factory. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the Speedform shoes are a part of Under Armour’s campaign to triple its revenue in its footwear division in the next two years. Last year, footwear sales accounted for 13 percent of the company’s revenue.

Under Armour Senior Creative Director Dave Dombrow told investors that no shoe has ever fit so well, Bloomberg Businessweek writes.

Read the full story here.

Under Armour makes new sportswear line for Superman fans

Baltimore sportswear maker Under Armour has inked a licensing deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to produce a line of their famed athletic gear that features DC Superheroes such as Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, Variety writes.

The sportswear is available now on UA.com and sporting goods retailers and will be sold through the fall, says Variety.

This isn’t the first time the two companies have collaborated, as Under Armour provided the uniforms for the Gotham Rogues in the final film of the “Dark Knight” trilogy. After a well-received spring debut for an early version of a “Man of Steel” shirt, the companies decided to unveil a more expansive line, Variety writes. 

Read the entire story here

National Geographic Traveler spends 48 hours in Baltimore

National Geographic Traveler recently highlighted Baltimore’s best destinations in its June/July issue in a piece called “48 Hours: Baltimore, Maryland.”
NatGeo explored Mount Vernon, Hampden, Highlandtown, Locust Point, Little Italy and the Inner Harbor in its two-day itinerary.
It begins in Mount Vernon, noting the contributions of the “Gilded Age Industrialists" behind free institutions like the Walters Art Museum and the Peabody Library.

The article also explores the diversity of Highlandtown, “old-world bakeries” such as Vaccaro’s and crab cakes in Fells Point.

Read the entire story here.

Obrycki's crabs at BWI among top-selling airport items

Next time you're in Austin, Texas, pick up a "Keep Austin Weird" T-shirt. It's among the Austin Bergstrom International Airport's best-selling items, USA Today writes.

And in Baltimore, airport travelers like to sink their teeth into Obrycki's crabs. "During the month of February 2013 alone, travelers bought more than 4,000 crab cakes and an equal number of deviled crab balls," USA Today writes. "Sleepless in Seattle" T-shirts are a hot item in Seattle, even though it's been 20 years since the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movie came out. 

Obrycki's closed its Fells Point restaurant in 2011 and has airport locations in Cleveland and at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Study: Baltimore one of the best cities for budgeters

Baltimore apparently isn't one of those cities where you'll see cash-strapped 20-somethings splurge on a pair of Manolo Blahniks. 

Baltimore ranks No. 8 on Card Hub's list of cities with the best budgeters. Boston, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Minneapolis were the top five on the list.

The credit card comparison site says Baltimore residents have, on average, a credit score of 738. Card Hub also took into account total debt-to-income ratios; the bankruptcy and foreclosure rates, mortgage debt and non-housing expenses.

Cincinnati, Tampa, Fla., and Orlando, Fla., were in the bottom three. 

Forbes highlights Under Armour's new products

Before Under Armour debuted its Brand House Feb. 16, CEO Kevin Plank and other executives gave New York media a preview of the 8,000-square-foot shop and what's in store for the Baltimore sportswear company. 

"The first item Plank introduced wasn’t a product after all, but a place where Under Armour will display its goods," Forbes writes about the Harbor East store.

Execs also talked about "Infrared, part of Under Armour’s innovative ColdGear line," new running shoes the company will unveil this summer, and a digital training monitor, Forbes says.

"There must be, among rival companies like Columbia and even Nike, to a degree, a bit of jealousy regarding Under Armour and its founder," writes Forbes of the company that pulled in $1.2 billion in sales last year. 

Festival of Trees Puts a Spin on the Christmas Spirit

Timonium's Festival of Trees is one of the top 10 great places to "put a spin" on the Christmas spirit, according to USA Today and Jinglebelljunction.com's creator Monica Mays.

"It includes a fairyland forest with more than 600 decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses, all for sale," USA Today writes. "There also is a Harry Potter house, a toy train garden, holiday craft shopping and entertainment."

Tickets cost $13 and sales benefit the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Other contenders on the list include a Santa pub crawl in Reno and Santa Claus, Ind., a town that celebrates Christmas all year long. 

You can see the entire list here

Baltimore Worst Dressed? Not According to AirTran Magazine.

You might recall that Travel + Leisure recently named Baltimore the 3rd worst dressed city. 

Another travel magazine says not so, and features a rather dapper Baltimore dandy dressed in duds from area retailers. GO: AirTran Inflight Magazine enlisted "fashion-savvy stylist" Ella Pritsker, director of the Maryland Center of Fashion Design; "talented designer" Christopher Schafer and "hip photographer" Sean Scheidt to create the fashionable look for its September issue. 

"We'll be one of America's best dressed cities in no time," Pritsker tells the magazine. 

BloombergBusinessweek Features Baltimore's Solution to Food Deserts

BloombergBusinessweek recognizes the expansion of Baltimarket, a virtual grocery shopping solution for the one out of five Baltimore residents who live in food deserts.
Baltimarket originally took food orders in public libraries when it opened in March 2010 but now targets the 16 public housing developments located in food deserts, especially senior centers, BloombergBusinessweek says.

The project allows residents with low incomes and no vehicles, to order groceries, including healthy meal options, without paying a hefty taxi fee to travel to grocery stores across the city.
Read more here.

USA Today: Four Seasons Bets Big on Charm City

The Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore continues to get plenty of ink in USA Today. 

In a recent article, the newspaper wrote about Baltimore developer Michael Beatty's decade-long effort to bring the hotel to Charm City. 

"Over the last decade, Beatty's firm has been steadily developing the upscale Harbor East neighborhood along the harbor near trendy Fells Point where the glass-wrapped Four Seasons tower stands," USA Today writes in its story titled "Four Seasons Bets Big on Baltimore."

"The pedestrian-friendly neighborhood contains several towers with pricey corporate offices, apartments and four other hotels including a Hilton Garden Inn and the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. Harbor East's shopping options include national and local clothing shops (Anthropologie and J. Crew will open locations later this summer), as well as a Whole Foods supermarket."

You can read the rest of the story here.

Four Seasons Makes for "Sexy" Baltimore

Baltimore may have shed its image as the gritty, crime-infested city depicted in the The Wire. That's according to USA Today, which credits the Four Seasons Baltimore as the watershed development that has helped Baltimore's image. It features a 44-image slideshow of the property. 

"The Four Seasons Baltimore hotel tower is the newest tower on Baltimore's skyline in the upscale Harbor East neighborhood, which contains retail shops, restaurants, galleries, apartments and office space," USA Today writes. "The hip retail shop Anthropologie will open a location in the hotel complex in late summer."

Check out the slideshow here

John Lennon's Son Shops in Hampden

Sean Lennon, the son of late music legend John Legend, recently paid a visit to a Hampden store Charlotte Elliott. 

Lennon was accompanied by his model/actress/musician girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl, writes Baltimore Fishbowl.

"The pair showed interest in an antique rug, on which [Owner Charlotte] Hays Murray’s father Fred Hays, her co-owner, offered the young man a great deal," Fishbowl writes. "His girlfriend picked up a cookbook penned by Vincent Price."

You can read the rest of the story here
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