MADISON DURRETT, COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR

Groupe Dynamite and its employees are proud to give back to the community by supporting non-profit organizations such as Centraide, the CURE Foundation, the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and many more.

Some employees even find the time to go above and beyond by initiating their own in-house campaigns and making the most of their time off by giving back to their community.

It’s the case for Madison Durrett from our Tacoma Mall Garage store.

In addition to her store Manager role, Madison is involved in various levels of her community. This past year alone, she has:

1)     Participated in organizations affiliated to a local church called Next Gen Youth as a leader and mentor for high school girls.
2)     Taken part in The Tim Tebow Foundation and their famous “Night to Shine”, an unforgettable prom night experience for people with special needs.
3)     Participated in the Ronald McDonald House Charities for which she organized a Christmas toy drive with 4 of our stores and collected donations so the house guests could be cooked for and served when their kids received their treatment. 
4)    Initiated and organized activities, which included the opening of a thrift shop to collect clothing and charitable donations to help students pay for school fees.

Due to her commitment and hard work making a difference, Madison was awarded the “Community Ambassador of the Year” award at our GDA Gala last week.

Our GDA gala is a VIP annual event during which our Executive team recognizes our best talents from the stores.

We couldn’t be prouder of Madison’s astounding achievements and are grateful to count her as part of our Groupe Dynamite extended family!

Congratulations Madison!

Talking Trends with Chanel

Outgoing and passionate, Chanel just loves to make people laugh! She’s a woman with incredible taste and a sense for fashion. Communicator of trends, Chanel is responsible for building monthly fashion content based on upcoming Dynamite collections. She’s the link and connector between the Design and Marketing teams. Her mission: build strong campaign messages and communicate product ideas and trends to our customers.

This fall, be on top of your game with Chanel’s latest fashion tips.

Where do you find your inspiration or feel most inspired?
I’m inspired by old and new, those who do and think differently. When I lack inspiration, I’ll change up my routine: take a walk, a trip, go talk to people about something totally off-topic, watch a documentary. Inspiration can come at the most random times from off-beaten paths.

Describe your killer look.

I love the simplicity behind a really good look made up of great pieces. You can’t go wrong with a good-fitting pair of denim, a basic black or white t-shirt, a leather jacket and amazing heels.

Who’s your fashion icon and why?
I always seem to have a different answer whenever I get asked this question. A constant icon is my mom. In her twenties, she had the best outfits, and was always fully accessorized from head to toe and with crimson red nails. But if there’s someone you want to Google for past and present inspiration, I’d say Jackie Kennedy because of her classic American style, Princess Diana, Victoria Beckham, and as of late, Gilda Ambrosio for her Italiana tomboy-meets-glam looks.

This fall…

  • What trends should we look for?
    For fall, you’ll notice a lot of pieces taking cues from the ‘80s. There’s also an English tartan and collegial trend where you’ll see lots of plaid, herringbone and colourful checks. Animal accents, such as leopard or python, will be impossible to miss. (If you need a crash course or inspiration, rewatch “The Nanny” or “Clueless”.)
  • What’s the “in” colour?
    Fall is eclectic and nearly limitless, so there isn’t just one colour we should all jump on. Lilac and lavender sweaters are light and romantic, mustard yellow is rich, and a bold red will make a statement.
  • What are the top prints?
    Checks in reds, browns and caramels. Leopard is back with a vengeance for fall.
  • What is the Dynamite item we should all line up for and why?
    Without a doubt, a check blazer will take you places. Wear it with jeans, pants or a skirt, or over a cami, turtleneck or basic t-shirt. It’s the most versatile item to own, not only for fall, but throughout the year.
  • What is the must-have jacket?
    A bouclé coat or a long check wool coat.
  • Closet cleaning: what items must go?
    This year, just before summer hit, I purged my closet and got rid of anything that I have not worn in 3-6 months and pieces that just didn’t excite me anymore. Skinny jeans are great, but for fall, try a wide leg or a crop flare. Summer crop tops can be swapped for turtlenecks.
  • Accessories: less or more?
    Think fine and dainty on your neck and hands. But a statement earring every once in a while never really hurt anyone either…
  • What is the biggest fashion faux pas?
    I try not to cancel anything out and say “you shouldn’t wear this or that” because in a few months, you’ll most likely be wearing what said you’d never wear. But what I know for sure is that you should always over dress and don’t wear overtly sexy pieces to the office. Oh, and let me tell you, I was not a fan of the micro, Matrix-looking sunglasses this summer. I think a lot of people are going to look back on that and have some regrets.
  • Tailored and tight or loungey and loose?
    Anyone who knows me knows I’m all about tailored looks. The only time you’ll catch me in loose pants that aren’t palazzos or wide-leg is probably at the airport. Maybe a hoodie at the gym. 
  • Shoes/boots to fall in love with?
    If you want to have fun with footwear this season—and give your skinny pants an update—opt for a ruched boot that you can wear over pants and pair it with a chunky sweater. A short bootie in a python print is great with a mini skirt or even jeans.

 

Summer Vibes: How Garage’s Marketing Teams Created Their Latest Campaign

Have you ever wanted to go on a road trip with your friends to explore new places while listening to your fave playlists at full blast, or to just stop and take in the view and snap a few pics for Insta, or to feel the wind in your hair? This summer, the Garage Marketing Team stopped calling it a dream and made it a plan. “Let’s go somewhere!” is the theme behind our Garage’s summer 2018 campaign.

A crew of 25 people flew to California to bring this vision to life. Photographers, stylists, models, the Production Manager and Art Director, they were all there to set up their gear at some of the most iconic roadside attractions.

A lot of miles were traveled in order to get the final result.

At GD, ideas and concepts are generated in-house. Our Garage Marketing Team had several meetings and coffees before they came up with this story. Once the concept was locked in, the fun began! Our team wears many hats, from scouting for locations, storytelling, script writing and art direction, to styling, editing, and music selection, and they make sure that every little detail is brand-aligned.

FUN FACTS

  • The video was shot in two locations:
    • Club Ed Movie Set in Lancaster, California (where the pool was filled just for us!), is a famous movie set built in the high desert and used for many Hollywood movies and television shows. The television show “The O.C.” shot there. It was also most recently used as a set for “Truth or Dare” starring Lucy Hale!
    • Cabazon Dinosaurs, Cabazon, California – You’ve probably seen pics of this place all over Instagram. It’s one of the most iconic roadside attractions. The exhibit features over 50 life-size dinosaurs. Lots of tourists make a stop there before heading to Coachella!
  • The car rented for the road trip portion of the campaign is an old 1986 Mercury station wagon!
  • This 47-second spot took 2 days to film.
  • We brought 2 fully loaded suitcases for the 32 outfits that were showcased.
  • We burned through 8 packs of fireworks before getting the right shot.
  • 53,629 pics were taken, 79 pics were featured in our campaign, and 13 packs of Polaroids were used.
  • 19,142 pics were shot for social media, International, and the March lookbook, and 119 pics were used in 10 mini clips and 16 boomerangs.
  • We spent 196 hours retouching photos in Photoshop.

Shop the summer 2018 collection now!

SHOP AROUND THE GLOBE WITH PATRICIA

A few lucky people here at Groupe Dynamite are tasked with travelling to the world’s fashion capitals (Paris, London, New York, oh my!) and reporting back with new and fresh ideas to delight our customers.

Patricia, Divisional Design Director for Garage, is one of these lucky people! She travels around the world to understand how the Garage brand would fit in the international market as well as to gain inspiration for future collections.

Patricia’s job is so cool that we decided to ask her a few questions about her travels…

Briefly describe your last shopping trip abroad.
Which cities did you visit and what was your mandate for the trip?

My last trip was an eye-opening one for me. I went to the Middle East and Europe. When I was in the Middle East, I learnt about the culture, the market, and understanding our client in that part of the world. The result of the trip was amazing because I now feel like I know our Middle Eastern customer.

We then went to Europe to shop for the brand. It was cool to do these two completely different markets in one trip because we were able to compare how big players, such as H&M, do things differently in Dubai versus London.

What’s your go-to airplane outfit?

A pair of high-waist leggings and a long-sleeve cropped tee. I definitely represent the Garage look while travelling.

When you travel, what are the key fashion items in your suitcase that you can’t leave without?

I always like to travel light and only take a carry-on because I hate losing my luggage. Therefore, I plan all key outfits in advance. If I am travelling to a hot country, I like to pack summer dresses because they are super easy to wear. You don’t need to think of an outfit because you can just throw it on. The same dress can look completely different by simply switching up the accessories.

What are your favourite stores to shop at while you are travelling?

There aren’t any specific stores I can think of, but I love to shop in Asian countries, such as Japan or South Korea. In Seoul, in the area around the university, there are many shops with very busy street fashion pieces. From one of these pieces I could get the inspiration to create a whole collection.

When abroad, what is your favourite…

  • Coffee shop?
    There are two spots that I love.
    1- Any coffee shop in Italy. I love the classic feeling.
    2- Kubrick Cafe in Hong Kong. I love this shop because it’s a book store and a coffee shop, and then there is a cinema with local movies right next to it.
  • Restaurant? 

I don’t have any. Usually, when I am travelling, I will wait until I’m hungry and explore the surrounding spots. That’s how I find the best hidden gems. I love to explore and never go back to the same place twice.

  • Place to get inspired?

Any new city. I am travel-crazy and LOVE to travel. Therefore, to really get inspired, I would go somewhere that I’ve never been before.

What is the number one trend you noticed on the runway during the latest Fashion Weeks?

The trend I have noticed is the mix of sport and feminine together. I find that the runways are coming back to the early 2000s.

What are three main trends you noticed locals wearing during your most recent trip?

In London, it is all about the tracksuit-inspired trend. Track is back in London.
They are also big on oversized matching ‘80s patterned suits; masculine chic.
I’ve also been seeing a lot of Paris Hilton type styles from the ‘00s.

If you could only travel to one of two destinations, which one would you choose?

  • Paris or London? London
  • New York or L.A.? L.A. Love the super chill vibe and I have tons of friends there.
  • Toronto or Montreal? Montreal

Spotlight on Scott Fennell

Meet Scott, a rising young leader who was nominated to be part of the Apparel Magazine Top Under 30 Elite. Having demonstrated exceptional abilities in shaping the apparel field, Scott plays a constant role in the development of Groupe Dynamite’s tools and processes and is a key player to the company’s success.

  • What’s your moto?

Embrace all opportunities. Be open-minded with everything that comes your way and never say never.

  • What is your strongest asset?

Problem solving! I love being able help my colleagues in improving different processes. It’s all about leveraging what already works and building on it to make things better. 

  • What is your biggest challenge in your role?

Well first off, the environment at Groupe Dynamite is challenging and demanding. But because of that, I feel more involved and able to make a difference and, as a result, I have fun and enjoy my work a lot more. If I had to pick one challenge, I would say that it is to constantly prone to innovate especially in our industry.  Because our business changes frequently, we have to adapt to new ways of doing things and set goals on a regular basis. My job encourages me to think outside the box and to seek my own solutions and I love that!

  • What is your proudest career moment?

My proudest moment would be when we launched the ERP project, a huge initiative that was going to propel the business to new heights. Being the youngest person on the team at that time and being able to learn so much from my colleagues and leaders was very rewarding. The fact that I saw that initiative come to life was very cool!

What have you learned the most from working at Groupe Dynamite?

Wow – I have learned so much!

First of all, how big the retail fashion industry is! After university, I wanted to work in Marketing. I had just moved to Montreal from the UK and was seeking a job that would help me pay my rent. I had no idea that my 4-week contract at Groupe Dynamite was going to land me my dream job 7 years later! I am passionate about what I do. I am constantly learning and evolving. It is stimulating and rewarding to be given the freedom to think differently and see new possibilities opening up. It all started with a contractual position that was not even related to Marketing!

Mini Survey

  1. Your mentor/person who inspires you: I’ve always been inspired by Richard Branson, I really enjoy how diverse his business interests have been, and how he proactively finds opportunities in the positions he found himself in. Most importantly, my inspiration comes from his ability to draw a positive lesson from the varied outcomes of his endeavours.
  2. Your favourite clothing item/accessory: A good oxford shirt, you can’t really go wrong with it. 
  3. One place in Montreal where we would run into you: At a restaurant or bar in Monkland Village
  4. Your style icon: I can’t really say I have enough style to have a style icon! The person with the most influence on my wardrobe is whoever decides what is available when Abercrombie or Hollister has a sale.
  5. Your favourite trend right now: Wearable technology
  6. Your dream destination: I really want to go to Japan for the Rugby World Cup in 2019
  7. The word you use most often: Yes. At least I hope it’s one of the words I use most often.
  8. In high school, you dreamt of becoming: A Pilot
  9. To take your mind off of things, you… Play rugby
  10. Your guilty pleasure: Country music, I listen to it a lot! 

Meet our Atrium’s new chef, Jérôme Rouault

Meet the Atrium’s new chef, Jérôme Rouault. He’s been delighting our taste buds ever since he arrived at Groupe Dynamite!

Originally from Normandy, France, Jérôme came to Montreal in 2012 to work as a sous chef at restaurant Maison Boulud located in the Ritz Carlton. He also worked as a chef at restaurant Chambre à Part. Having more than 10 years of professional experience in the kitchen, Jérôme also won the 4th season of the popular show “Les Chefs!”. We wanted to learn more about Jérôme and his passion!

  • Where does your passion for cooking come from?

I grew up in a family of 5 children and my mom always cooked delicious meals that were made with love.  Our home always smelled like food and I’ve always enjoyed eating. My father signed me up for an internship with a caterer and another at a bakery. Afterwards, I decided to attend a school in this industry.

  • What do you find most captivating about your work?

I love cooking meat and I especially love charcuteries. This was actually the specialty that I began cooking with during my internship with a caterer.  I also like the fact that there’s always room for improvement; it isn’t true that a recipe can’t be upgraded!

  • Why choose to work at Groupe Dynamite?

I was charmed by the atmosphere of the Atrium, the company’s values and the work conditions. It’s a nice atmosphere and I felt like I could belong here. Groupe Dynamite recognizes their employees’ work and ensures that they are happy. 

  • As the chef of the Atrium, what are some of your objectives?

To ensure good team cohesion and stability, to provide food that is of a consistent quality, as well as a pleasant service. Additionally, I have a couple of projects in mind, such as getting the Atrium to go green and cooking with as many local products as possible.

 

 

  • What’s the inspiration behind your dishes?

I’m inspired by produce that is available to me during the current season. What is interesting about the Atrium is that the menu changes on a daily basis to showcase themed meals that represent different countries. This allows me to diversify the meals and to use different spices. 

  • Which country would you like to visit to discover its traditional dishes?

Argentina. It’s a country that is known for the quality of its meat and its different cooking methods. Having travelled quite a bit, I especially loved the food in Japan. They execute their plates meticulously, without exception. 

WHAT IS YOUR…

    • Favourite cuisine? French cuisine! I can’t deny my roots! Otherwise, I really like Vietnamese, Chinese and North African cuisine.  
    • Favourite meal? As a starter, it would be a plate of homemade charcuteries. For the main dish, lobster or a good cut of beef with gravy and some roasted potatoes. And for dessert, an apple tart.
    • Guilty pleasure? A peanut butter Kit Kat Chunky bar! I always have some spare ones at home since you can’t find them everywhere! If not, I’d say a beer after work. It’s pretty simple. Otherwise, during the holidays, I always have foie gras and homemade charcuteries that I serve to guests.
    • Favourite restaurant in Montreal?  Definitely Maison Boulud. Having worked there, I know that the food is of the best quality and that it is well executed. My wife and I also like to get a good Tonkinese soup at this Vietnamese restaurant on St-Denis!

     Lastly, Jérôme would like to share a recipe that’s perfect for the holiday season; a beet-cured gravlax !

    A Day in Valérie Bédard’s Shoes

    Meet Valérie Bédard, the woman behind the new footwear collection now available at Dynamite.  Ambitious, determined, and passionate, she’s full of inspiration which allows our customers to get their hands on some of the most gorgeous shoes. In between two pairs of shoes, we caught up with Valérie to ask her a few questions.  

    How would you describe your love of shoes?

    I always had a lot of shoes and I loved fashion, so my love and passion for shoes were present since the very beginning. I always spent my paychecks on shoes because, in my opinion, it’s the shoes that change everything! You can wear jeans and a t-shirt, and it’ll be the shoes that make all the difference! Plus, I have to say that I spend a huge part of my life looking at the ground… as I like to say, “I make shoe contact before eye contact!”

     A day in your shoes, what’s that like?

    You don’t ever have a typical day at Groupe Dynamite. My days are always different and they’re always full of surprises! That’s what makes my job fun and challenging. There are a lot of communications to create concerning prices, adjustments, quality, etc. I always have to ensure that everything goes as planned for an impeccable final result. There’s also a lot of research to be done on trends to make sure that we’re heading in the right direction!

     So far, what are you most proud of?

    The fact that I was able to remain authentic throughout the entire creation process. This is such a strong passion for me and you can see that in the way I speak about the new footwear collection. 

    What did you enjoy most while creating this collection?

    What was fun about all this was that the collection was a new project. I got the chance to touch a bunch of different areas and work together with all departments, which allowed our team to become truly cross-functional. 

     And where do you get your inspiration for shoe styles?

    Almost everywhere and at all times. On the street, in the metro, while travelling, on Instagram, anywhere! 

    • Designers that inspire me: Balenciaga, Miu Miu, Isabel Marant and Christian Louboutin.
    • Bloggers/Instagram accounts that inspire me: @whowhatwear, @weworewat, @lara_stone, @women_with_style and @footwearnews.

    When it comes to your personal shoe collection...

    • How many pairs of shoes do you own? Oh my god, I have so many! I must have at least a hundred, but I wear maybe just ten pairs. I don’t want to throw them out because they might come back into style, or because they’re really just too nice!
    • Are you more sneakers or high heels? At work, I’m definitely more of a high-heels girl, but if you see me on weekends, I’m always in sneakers!
    • In your opinion, what are some closet staples? I think every girl should have a pair of sneakers. Otherwise, a sure-fire staple would be basic shoes, like black pumps. Booties and over-the-knee boots are also very useful pieces to have in your closet!

    From Concept to Shelves: The Sample Sewer

    Siu-Hon Nung is one of our resident Sample Sewers. Her career at Groupe Dynamite started 12 years ago when her friend, a Pattern Maker at GD, told her about an open position. A Sample Sewer’s job is to produce samples of our collection’s garments following a pattern provided by one of our Pattern Makers. A Fit Model will then try on the sample. The Pattern Maker will note any adjustments and apply them to the pattern after which Siu-Hon will modify the sample accordingly. This process is repeated until the garment fits perfectly and is ready to be produced.

    Siu-Hon has loved fashion and clothing since she was just a little girl living in China. When she turned 17, she really honed her sewing skills by practicing at home where she would sometimes make her own clothes.  Her passion was best expressed when she created her own evening gowns. Now at GD, she’s an expert at sewing pretty much anything.

    Quick-fire questions

    1 . What’s your favourite part of your job?

    When I finish a sample and it turns out the way I wanted it to, I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment!

    2. What is your biggest challenge in our role?

    Sometimes it can be difficult to create a garment the way we had imagined it; some fabrics are simply harder to work with than others.

    3. What’s your favorite garment to create?

    I like all of them! But I particularly like those that have a great fabric.

    4. How many garments can you create in one day?

    It depends on what I’m making that day. I can make 6 to 8 knit tops in one day! But if I’m making jackets, I can only put together 2 or 3 since it is more complex. . Not to mention all the zippers and buttons!

    “HOW WE WEAR IT”

    The girls around our office are in love with this Dynamite mini skirt! We asked them why and how they wear it!

    It’s that one skirt you want to wear all the time.

    “Why not bring your evening mini into your workday? I love combining mine with a fitted sweater. For a night out with my girls, I throw on my favourite pair of pumps and a few accessories into the mix.” 

    Sarah-Ève – Technical Designer


    Working at Groupe Dynamite definitely has its perks. One of them is being able to wear a faux leather skirt and remain work appropriate. For a touch of glam, I style mine with an off-the-shoulder top.

     Audrey – Merchandise Assistant


    I LOVE this black mini skirt, it is so versatile and chic, but simple! On a hot summer day like today, I wear it with a bustier top, strappy heels and bright lipstick.

     Laura – Analyst, Allocation


    I will never get tired of the classic black and white combo. This summer, it’s a cross-body white top tucked into my mini black skirt for a crisp, streamlined look that feels sophisticated enough for work.

    Mala – Sr. Graphic Designer

    Shop around the globe with Raphaël

    A few lucky people here at Groupe Dynamite are tasked with travelling to the world’s fashion capitals (Paris, London, New York, oh my!) and reporting back with new and fresh ideas to delight our customers.

    Raphaël, the Director of Concept Design for Dynamite (and one of our most frequent travellers), is one of these lucky people! Every season, he gathers all the inspiration he finds on his trips and, with his team, puts together an assortment of colours, patterns, fabrics and key outfits to present to our Merchandising team.

    His job is so cool, we decided to ask Raph a few questions about his travels…

    Briefly describe your last shopping trip abroad. Which cities did you visit and what was your mandate for the trip?

    The last journey I went on was a major seasonal kick-off trip! In February, I travelled with my team to four cities in 10 days: New York, London, Paris and Barcelona. We shopped and looked for current and emerging trends in stores and on the streets. We also spent two days on a creative work session with our fashion consultant in Barcelona; we brainstormed on the direction we want to take for our Spring 2018 Dynamite collection. It was a very fast yet productive trip!

    What’s your go-to airplane outfit?

    I like to keep it casual, yet dressy. Comfort is key as we walk through so many airports and carry a lot of luggage. These days, it’s a dressy jogger pant, minimal sweatshirt, a light mid-length overcoat and a great pair of sneakers!

    When you travel, what are the key fashion items in your suitcase that you can’t leave without?

    The dressy jogger in three colours is the most versatile piece as it can easily be dressed up or down. High-top Converse (these days, I’m loving the metallic material) are my best friends for the entire trip. Lastly, regardless of the time of year, I never leave without a light parka coat. London can be chilly in May.

    What are your favourite stores to shop while you’re travelling?

    I can’t leave Paris before stopping at Merci, a store in the Marais district. It is pure inspiration; they decorate the store to match the theme of the collection.When I last went, in February, the store was covered in blooming flowers! In London, a walk through Shoreditch will leave you fully inspired. The streets are lined with extremely well curated boutiques, urban vibes and a youthful pub scene.

    Where do you find the best coffee?

    Italy. Any old school coffee shop…

    What is your favourite restaurant abroad?

    I prefer casual dining, so we always look for a cool, local place to eat. For example, in London, they have amazing Indian restaurants. In Barcelona, we eat tapas all day long! Last October, in Tokyo, grilled Kobe beef was a treat. There are always so many places to check out!

    What is your favourite location to relax or get inspired?

    We don’t have much time to relax on business trips. I’m usually sent to cities for business, so I always try to get away to a place that’s more laid back when I travel on my own. Presently, I am packing for Costa Rica for two weeks, where I can recharge, take in all the greenery, and come back ready and inspired for the spring and summer seasons.

    What is the number one trend you noticed on the runway during the latest Fashion Weeks?

    Good question! If I had to highlight the trend that struck me the most, it would be colour! Get used to wearing red, fuchsia, purple… it’s back!

    Which destination would you like to add to your itinerary?

    I would like to travel more to Asian destinations. This market is exploding with newness and there is so much to be inspired by. We travel to Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong, but I haven’t been to Singapore yet.

    Who is your favourite fashion designer at the moment?

    Yves Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello. YSL always manages to strike the perfect balance between “sexy” and “street”. Also, Alessandro Michele from Gucci. This brand has a very exuberant and over-the-top approach to fashion; it’s definitely shaking up the fashion world!

    What is a fashion find you brought back from your travels that all your friends envy?

    On my last trip to Tokyo, I bought an indigo Japanese denim kimono. I had an experienced salesperson put it on me and demonstrate how to fold it the traditional way. That was quite a special buy!

    What are three main trends you noticed locals wearing during your most recent trip?

    Each city has its own identity and style! The London girl loves makeup and an unexpected clothing mix. The Parisians pull off the “I just woke up, yet I look fabulous” look by wearing oversized pieces. The New York girl has a more on-the-go style. All of them wore a trench coat in their own way this spring!

    If you could only travel to one of two destinations, which one would you choose?

    • Paris or London?

      London for being vibrant and one step ahead… but Paris for inspiration and to get a more romantic point of view on fashion.

    • New York or L.A.?

      New York! For the culture, the people, the street fashion and the most amazing shopping!

    • Toronto or Montreal?

      Toronto has better shopping, but I would stay in Montreal to hang out with friends and have a good time in restaurants and bars!