Rated Reads shares our pick of the best articles from around the web. This week: inside the world of influencer publishing and the rise of non-binary red carpets.


Inside the rise of influencer publishing

Ellen Peirson-Hagger delves into the world of influencer publishing, starting off with Gleam Titles – a publisher that specialises in “writers who are using social media and the online space to share their content in a creative and effective way”.

From having a pre-existing audience to their knack for marketing themselves, influencers becoming authors is increasingly becoming a major trend. Whether this is a good way to get more people reading is up for debate.

“For the Bookseller’s Caroline Sanderson, it’s exciting that books still hold value among people who have found their success in the digital age. ‘I always think it’s amazing when people have built a platform on Twitter or Instagram, or increasingly TikTok, and the thing that they most want to do is a book, that it’s still the ultimate medium,’ she said. She thinks the trend signifies ‘a real vote of confidence in what books are and what they can do and who they can reach’.”

Emmys 2021: the rise of the gender-neutral red carpet

In the wake of the Emmys on Sunday, Priya Elan dissects the gender-neutral looks sweeping the red carpet this year. Could this be the dawn of a “sartorial revolution”?

“Top fashion honours went to Carl Clemons-Hopkins from Hacks, who wore a Christian Siriano ensemble: a slashed shoulder-revealing top which recalled Princess Diana’s “Revenge Dress”, matched with a cummerbund and sash in the colours of the non-binary flag.”

“Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang, meanwhile, pushed the boat out for gender-neutral heels. Yang’s Rancho Silver shoes were inspired by “vintage disco and white trash” according to makers Syro. It marked an important moment of red-carpet exposure for this small, queer-owned-and-run fashion company.”

With non-binary fashion finally making it to the red carpet, we’re totally here for it.


Sensuality and Song: Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine In Conversation

Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine chat in AnOther Magazine, ahead of their joint album ‘A Beginner’s Mind’ being released. This was an album written from a cabin in the Catskills Mountains in upstate New York.

Their discussion spans both being “white male narcissists”, not taking themselves too seriously, religion, their creative process and much more.

American politicians are setting up their own production companies

The Economist looks at the increased trend of politicians heading for Hollywood and its history: “The link between storytelling and politics is particularly strong in America, where actors and reality-television stars have assumed the nation’s highest office. Ronald Reagan had starred in Westerns, war films and comedies before making the move from Los Angeles to Washington; he was known as the “Great Communicator” on account of his preference for plain language and ease of speaking in front of a crowd.”

“Cabinet members have been hired from Hollywood, too. Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary under Mr Trump, has worked in film financing and is credited as an executive producer on blockbusters including “The Lego Movie”, “Edge of Tomorrow” and “American Sniper”. Steve Bannon considered himself a mover and shaker in the film industry before he became Mr Trump’s campaign chief and foremost strategist. He has 21 film and video credits on IMDb, a database for the entertainment industry, as an executive producer, writer or director. In 2010 Mr Bannon said his aim was to “weaponise film” with provocative projects.”

Travel Review: Can Cruises Really Work for Millennials?

Ever fancied a cruise trip? Us neither – but Lauren O’Neill in Vice has maybe convinced us otherwise.

“The Scarlet Lady is one of four new ships with which the company is attempting the impossible: making millennials want to go on cruises. Could it work? Well, I took on the very difficult responsibility of heading out on the high seas – otherwise known as the English Channel – for a weekend of overconsumption, to find out.”

“Research by Condor Ferries recently found that compared with 9 percent of Gen X, and an enormous 41 percent of boomers, 19 percent of millennials had been on or would be likely to go on a cruise. As such, some cruise companies have been attempting to tailor their product more towards younger people – for example, by moving onboard bookings to apps and embracing influencer marketing.”

20 different restaurants, deluxe gymns and large outdoor bars may just have won O’Neill over.

Screwing with silhouettes: designers changing the literal shape of fashion

Zoë Kendall speaks to Jisoo Baik about her ‘Safe Space’ collection and how it is tussling with fashion’s historical silhouettes.

“It’s about creating a safe space where you can be yourself. It’s inspired by ideas of security and protection. Since moving abroad, I’ve been worried about trying to keep myself safe, especially while walking on the streets, and my concern intensified after a traumatic experience where my phone and wallet were stolen. That experience pushed me to research how individuals carry their possessions with them, each in their own way, on the street,” says Baik.


Pink Salt Isn’t Healthier, but Millennials Love It

Why do millennials love pink salt (and not cruises)? Amanda Mull dives into the fad.

“According to Mark Bitterman, the author of several books on fine salts, Himalayan pink’s aesthetic difference allows consumers to read other differences into it. ‘We’ve been told we’re not supposed to eat salt, but we need to, and we’re biologically compelled to, and flavor doesn’t work without it,” he says. “So we had to find some way to understand this tension between the existential terror of eating it and the physiological reality of needing it. What we did was we said, ‘Uh, natural salt, pink salt, whatever—that’s safe.’”

From increasing concern about industrialised food to its prettiness, Mull discovers why pink salt isn’t leaving our tables any time soon.


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