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All the Royal Wedding Dress Predictions So Far
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

On Saturday, the Daily Mail published a front-page story claiming to know not only the designer and the price, but essentially the exact dress that Meghan Markle would wear during her wedding to Prince Harry on May 19. It’s a big claim for the most important bridal gown of the year and puts a big damper on the tabloid sport of guessing the specifics.

But how much can we trust it? And what makes this claim different from all the other rumors about who’s designing the (two!) dresses Markle will wear on May 19? After all, just before Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011, a Huffington Post contributor published an “exclusive” that Sophie Cranston would design the dress, but it turned out both of Middleton’s dresses were designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen.

Below, here are all the biggest rumors surrounding Meghan Markle’s dress, and the reasoning behind them:

1. It’s Ralph & Russo because anonymous sources say so

This was the Daily Mail’s big exclusive last week, claiming that multiple unnamed “royal and fashion industry sources” revealed that Markle’s dress would be by the British fashion house Ralph & Russo, which also designed the dress she wore in her engagement photos.

The article says that the dress is “hand-stitched, heavily beaded,” and that Harry’s family will foot the £100,000 bill. There’s also a rather misleading photo within the article of Meghan’s head edited onto a beaded three-quarter length sleeved Ralph & Russo dress. The next day, the Mail further supported its claim by publishing photos of Prince Harry leaving the Chelsea Ralph & Russo offices back in April. Fair!

2. It’s Ralph & Russo because that’s what British gamblers have decided

British bookmakers are so sure that Ralph & Russo is designing the royal wedding dress that they’ve stopped taking bets entirely. Racked spoke with popular betting brand Paddy Power last month, which said that they had received so many bets in such rapid succession that it set off the alarm for bookmakers that word was spreading and that certain people seemed to know the designer for a fact.

3. It’s Roland Mouret because of Meghan’s relationship with the designer

But there are plenty of Ralph & Russo doubters. Though he’s been tight-lipped about it, the Frenchman has long been suspected as the designer due to his longstanding friendship with Markle. The two met in an elevator in Istanbul, where Markle says he was dressed in a bathrobe and said, “I’d love to dress you.” He’s also “widely believed to have mentored” Victoria Beckham, another friend of Meghan’s and confirmed attendee of the wedding. (Beckham has stated pretty clearly that she isn’t the designer, so unfortunately we won’t be living in a world in which a Spice Girl designed the most important dress of the year.)

Read five more theories here >>
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Nordstrom Rack Is the Latest Store to Apologize for Profiling Black Customers
Nordstrom stores

Mekhi Lee, Eric Rogers II, and Dirone Taylor will never forget the day they went to Nordstrom Rack to shop for prom clothes. When the three black teens dropped by a store in Brentwood, Missouri, Thursday to find the perfect ensemble for the big event, staff reportedly followed them around and later told police they’d shoplifted. In fact, the teens had done no such thing, making this incident the latest installment of the infuriating saga known as “shopping while black.”

When Lee, a college freshman at Alabama A&M University, noticed that the salespeople were eyeing him and his friends, both high school seniors, he began to feel tense. Moving to a different part of the store did nothing to help matters, he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; the staff simply continued to trail them. Their behavior made him feel “like I couldn’t be there,” he said.

The situation only worsened when an elderly customer randomly called one of the youths a “punk,” according to Lee. He said everyone in the store began to stare at them, and he felt embarrassed and singled out.

Eventually, the teens bought some items and left.

“We made the purchase to show them that we’re equal and we didn’t have to steal anything,” Eric Rogers told CBS News.

But policemen approached them in the parking lot, telling the teens they were responding to a call about three black men shoplifting. They told the police what happened and showed them their receipts. The cops ultimately let them go, and now Nordstrom Rack president Geevy Thomas is asking to meet with them. His gesture likely stems from a desire to avoid Starbucks’s fate.

In April, the coffee chain faced protests after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks on trespassing charges for failing to immediately place an order. The incident sparked cries of racial discrimination because the men, who’d only been there for a few minutes, were waiting for a friend to arrive. Plus, it’s no secret that Starbucks patrons routinely hang out there without placing orders. The bad publicity Starbucks received over the incident has led the company to decide to close all of its stores on the afternoon of May 29 for anti-bias training. Nordstrom Rack said in a statement that it also plans to train its workers to prevent future such incidents from happening.

Read the rest of the story here >>
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