Wendy Yu: China’s Formidable Force In Fashion Investments

Wendy YuPhoto Credit: Chang Qing

Wendy Yu is the founder and chief executive of Yu Holdings, a cutting edge, globally positioned company that makes strategic investments in areas associated with innovation, creativity and philanthropy through its subsidiaries Yu Capital, Yu Fashion and Yu Culture. Yu’s investments include fashion brands Mary Katrsntzou (who has an upcoming collaboration with the 2019 Victoria’s Secret fashion show), Cefinn (founded by Samantha Cameron), technology giants DiDi (the Uber of China) and Tjia (the AirBnb Of China). Yu grew up learning first hand lessons about drive and vision from her father, the founder of Mengtian Group, the largest wooden door manufacturer in China. At the age of 15, Yu moved to London to study Fashion Management at the London College of Fashion where she began to build her own vision of a career that was more than a profession, but was a way to make a social, artistic, business and cultural impact—a vision she has both realized and continued to expand on. Part of that involves partnering with the Business of Fashion (BoF) to launch the first Business of Fashion China Prize: a global fashion award dedicated to emerging Chinese design talent that carries a cash prize of $100,000, a slot on the official fashion calendars of Shanghai Fashion Week and London Fashion Week and mentorship from industry leaders.

Carrie Hammer: What was behind your desire to create Yu Holdings?

Wendy Yu: Ever since I was a kid, I was pretty sure I’m going to be an entrepreneur, but not the type of entrepreneur like my dad who’s quite traditional. As a kid, he would encourage me to keep asking myself where I wanted to go and how I would get there. At a young age, I had the mindset of not just finding the right position for myself, but also finding the right pathways to get me there. I see myself as being a creative entrepreneur, but on the global stage. I see myself being this bridge to connect investments with creativity. I wanted to do something that was quite new, quite refreshing, something that a millennial entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist would do and something that probably nobody had done before.

Hammer: What was something that you learned about yourself as you developed the investment firm?

Yu: I learned so much about myself. I started to become more and more aware of my strengths and weakness. To be a leader you have to really know who you are and you have to find a team that compliments your strengths and weakness. I have learned how important it is to have the right people and a good team around you. Ultimately it shouldn’t be just for your vision. You have to find that perfect balance between what you love and what you are good at and also asking, “does the market really need this?”

Hammer: As a highly accomplished, successful young business woman, you must find yourself in situations where people underestimate you. How do you use that to your advantage?

Yu: I think it is an advantage that people underestimate you. With every ugly obstacle there is an opportunity. When people underestimate you, it doesn’t matter because then you know why you want to achieve that particular goal and what you want to do in the long run. I’m a rebel at heart. I feel like when there are more obstacles, it makes me more excited.


Ariana Grande Is The New ‘Mean Girl’ In Teaser For ‘thank u, next’ Video

Ariana Grande performs at Wango Tango at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)Invision

To say that the entertainment industry has gotten reboot- and sequel-crazy in the last few years is a comical understatement. SabrinaThe Teenage Witch is haunting our screens again, and Tyra Banks is coming out of her box in less than a week in the premiere of Life-Size 2. Mean Girls received a much-maligned sequel treatment eight years ago (and a polarizing Broadway musical just this year), so fans of the original movie have every right to feel protective against any new adaptations. Following the hype surrounding the franchise that the Broadway production aroused earlier this year, fans are once again returning to North Shore High School—and learning more about Regina George’s brunette foil: a cheerleader named Ariana Grande.

In a trailer released for her upcoming “thank u, next” video, Grande actually never once makes an appearance. Instead, the trailer is a reimagining of Mean Girls‘s beloved “How do I begin to explain Regina George?” sequence, featuring characters old and new making Grande’s mysterious character that much more interesting.

Fans of the movie will instantly recognize Jonathan Bennett reprising his role as Aaron Samuels (still with his hair sexily pushed back), as well as Stephanie Drummond—this time as someone breaks off her engagement after Ariana did the same thing, and not someone who overjoyed in being punched by Regina George. A few other North Shore students—played by welcome guest stars like singer Troye Sivan and YouTube personality Colleen Ballinger—recount their own rumors they’ve heard about the regal Grande: that her snoring played backwards sounds like Fantasia, that people punch themselves because she said so, and that she’s dating a girl named “Aubrey” (a nod to the song’s often-misheard lyric “Her name is Ari”). It’s an endearing tribute to a treasured movie, and is reportedly only one of the cherished female-led comedies that the video will pay homage to.

Grande has yet to announce when the visual will be released, but could arrive before the week is out. One thing’s for sure: when the inevitable Legally Blonde reboot eventually comes around, the casting director should consider her their first choice for Jennifer Coolidge’s iconic role.


Aditya Birla Real Estate Fund’s fund blues

g_111057_real_estate_fund_280x210.jpgThe year was 2009. Indian real estate was in a shambles, as were real estate private equity funds, especially foreign ones, which provided an opportunity for homegrown firms to launch their funds. One of them was the Aditya Birla Group-backed Aditya Birla Real Estate Fund (ABREF).

In 2010, ABREF raised ₹1,056 crore; but in August 2018, when the fund’s lifecycle came to a close, it was yet to exit most of its investments or return even the principal amount.

ABREF was raised by Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Ltd, previously known as Birla Sun Life Asset Management Co Ltd. The fund’s documents show that it was primarily raised on the assumption that demand for residential realty would reach 7.5 million units by 2013, led by Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

By 2015, the fund had invested 44 percent of its capital in Mumbai and 28 percent each in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Chennai. It had a mandate to invest in equity, equity-related and debt instruments of companies engaged in construction and development of real estate assets, including residential, commercial, retail and other projects. It, however, invested only in residential projects.

Ironically, though, even as the fund’s private placement document says “residential realty—the juicy bit”, there is no juice for the investors of this fund.

According to documents accessed by Forbes India, ABREF’s life tenure was six years, with two one-year extensions, which ended this August. It was a close-ended fund, meaning the capital had to be returned by the end of its life. In August, ABREF notified its investors that due to the global financial crisis and subdued real estate markets, coupled with a liquidity crunch, the fund had been unable to liquidate its position and return capital to investors. And that they were seeking an extension.


10 Things You Can Buy If You Skip Having A Wedding

Photo by Annie Gray on UnsplashPhoto by Annie Gray on Unsplash

It may not sit well with mom or dad, but you don’t need to have a wedding to get married. There are a lot of reasons why couples prefer to elope or opt for a court ceremony — and money is definitely a factor.

The average wedding costs more than $33,000. So if the big party with your friends and family isn’t a priority, you may want to spend those funds elsewhere.

By skipping the traditional wedding, you could even drastically improve the life you live with your partner. From knocking out debt to checking adventures off your bucket list, here is a sample of some of the things you could do instead of the expensive I do’s.

1) Travel the world

For most travelers, spending a year traveling the world costs between $20,000 and $30,000. That means you could start your life as a married couple by exploring new destinations for a few months. While weddings are memorable, so are adventures in foreign lands. If you have a case of wanderlust, this may be the better choice for you.

2) Pay down debt

The average household with credit card debt owes nearly $17,000 and pays more than $1,200 in interest each year. And the average college graduate has more than $37,000 in student loan debt. Using a lump sum of cash to knock out some of your debts will not only lower your total debt burden, but will also lower your monthly fixed costs. Once that particular loan is paid in full, that’s one less monthly payment you have to worry about.


85C bakery cafe: Political roast

Image result for 85C bakery cafe: Political roast

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s summer stop at an 85C bakery cafe in Los Angeles left a bitter aftertaste on both sides of the Straits.

When word of Tsai’s visit reached China, accompanied by photos of the president with drink in hand, netizens on the mainland began calling for a boycott of the chain in their country because they saw the event as an endorsement of Taiwan’s independence. The chain’s parent company, Gourmet Master, saw its Taipei-listed shares slump by nearly 14 percent in the weeks following, wiping out $224 million of its market value.

Gourmet Master appeared on the 2012 iteration of Forbes Asia’s Best Under A Billion companies list.

The day after the presidential visit, the bakery-cafe chain announced its support for the “1992 Consensus”, an agreement between China and Taiwan to acknowledge that there is only “one China”, with each side having its own interpretation of what that means. China considers self-ruled Taiwan a part of its territory that will eventually be reunified with the mainland. Tsai has not publicly endorsed the consensus since taking office in 2016, which has resulted in mainland diplomats cutting off communication with their Taiwanese counterparts.

“It is a kind of reality that Taiwan companies have to face so far,” says Wu Chung-li, a political science research fellow at Academia Sinica. “On one hand, they have to face the domestic issue, but on the other, they have to also consider the great market of China, so that is why it’s no wonder the 85C coffee shop the next day declared their support for the 92 Consensus.”

But 85C’s attempt to appease its customers in China with the statement of support for the 1992 Consensus generated resentment in Taiwan, with one legislator suggesting that the cafe rebrand itself as 92C.

A spokeswoman for 85C declined to elaborate further on the controversy or discuss any decline in sales at the chain’s China stores.

The World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities Under 30 In 2018

Kylie Jenner is the world’s highest-paid celebrity under 30.Getty

As the youngest member of the entrepreneurial Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kylie Jenner had big shoes to fill. “I struggled for a minute with finding something to do on my own,” Jenner told Forbes.

It didn’t take her long. The 21-year-old launched Kylie Cosmetics a mere two years ago, and her lip-kit empire has made Jenner the highest-paid and wealthiest celebrity under 30 years old. She earned $166.5 million in our scoring period, June 1, 2017, to June 1, 2018, padding her $900 million fortune.

Ed Sheeran takes second place with a haul of $110 million. The British singer-songwriter, 27, made most of his millions from a worldwide arena tour but collected a hefty sum from billions of song streams.

Ed Sheeran is the highest-paid musician under 30.Getty

Brazilian superstar Neymar rounds out the top three with earnings of $90 million. The 26-year-old signed a five-year contract with Paris-Saint Germain that will net him $350 million in salary through his contract, which expires in June 2022. Off the pitch, Neymar has lucrative deals with Nike, Red Bull and other brands. It’s been widely reported that Neymar has reached an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain to leave the team for a fee of €200 million.


Most of the highest-paid celebrities under 30 are athletes. The top ten comprise one reality star (Jenner), four musicians and five athletes. The young cohort earned a combined $723 million in 12 months, before taxes and fees.

Jenner is one of only two women on the list. Though this is partly due to the number of professional athletes, the overall list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities is highly imbalanced as well with 85% male list members. This reflects a gender pay gap that is hardly limited to entertainment. In 2017, American women earned 82 cents to every dollar a man made.

The only other female entertainer under 30 to make the top ten is superstar Taylor Swift. The 28-year-old made $80 million in our scoring period thanks to the success of her bestselling Reputation album and the sold-out tour of the same name. Swift recently signed a new record deal with Universal Music Group that could be worth as much as $200 million in guarantees. She could presumably top that if she outearns her advances.

Swift isn’t the only celebrity on track whose earnings grew. Canelo Alvarez, now boxing’s biggest pay-per-view star after the retirement of Floyd Mayweather, earned $44.5 million due to his high-profile fight with Gennady Golovkin, which generated 1.3 million pay-per-view buys. But the 28-year-old Alvarez could become the world’s highest-paid athlete next year after signing a five-year deal with sports streaming service DAZN for 11 fights. The deal is worth a minimum of $365 million, an average of $33 million per fight. With two DAZN fights, his payout for the Golovkin match and several million dollars from endorsements, Alvarez will bank at least $120 million over 12 months.

Out of the 100 highest-paid celebrities in the world, only 19 were under 30 years old. But these Millennials are giving their more experienced peers a run for their money.


All earnings estimates are from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018. Figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted. Earnings estimates are based on data from Pollstar Pro, as well as interviews with industry insiders.