Category Archives: where

Brands to watch

While at MAGIC, we stopped in at workroom. It’s the latest add-on from the MAGIC family. Yes, it does look a lot like CAPSULE…but it’s not. Frankly, CAPSULE is a stronger show.

But, there are a few brands that made us do a double take:

18waits ::

Deus Ex Machina ::

Grown&Sewn ::

Orange ::

Zurlick ::

Kanvis ::


Story we love :: The Taqwacores


Back to our theme of ID (Individual Delineation) for 2011 trends-Taqwacores. This started as a fictional story about the islamic punk scene in 2003 written by Michael Muhammad Knight,. Then bands started to form creating real life inspired by art.

Not bound by stereotypes of what it is to be Muslim or to be Punk, these artists create their own identity and awesome music.

The book, which became reality is now again fiction as a movie that just showed at Sundance.

Bands to look out for:

Vote Hezbollah
The Sagg Taqwacore Syndicate

Detroit Techno :: back to the roots

I finally listened to Terra Nova: Sinfonia Anarctica, the latest from Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky-that subliminal kid. It’s awesome! But, I’m a longtime fan. A few years ago he and Prof Lawrence Lessig held talks on the rise of censorship in music and media; enlightening and a little scary. DJ Spooky is “out there”. If you love Laurie Anderson, the Velvet Underground or early Yoko Ono, you’ll love this. His film of ReBirth of a Nation is definitely a must-see.

Techno is often the preferred inspiration music for many designers and artists today. In our continued exploration of the trend we call I. D. (Individual Delineations), we saw an opportunity to highlight the roots of techno. The music is most often seen as a Northern European invention. Even some techno snobs will declare that they ONLY listen to techno from Europe, since the American techno is inferior. Interesting how something that came out of Detroit, with mostly African American artists can be completely re-invented and re-categorized.

The Belleville Three – Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, along with Eddie Fowlkes, are the best known and most influential artists from that period.  In 2003, The Detroit Historical Museum was home to the exhibit Techno: Detroit’s Gift to the World for a year.

Other artists such as DJ Minx, aka Jennifer Witcher, Jeff Mills, Carl Craig-the genius behind the label Planet-E, the group Octave One continue the tradition.

Anyone who’s attended DEMF already knows this but so  many fans who don’t get a chance to visit the Detroit Electronic Music Festival may need a little reminder.

The newest wave in cinema : Han

Everyone’s talking about Avatar and Alice. Even ComiCon had it’s moments with a potential stampede when rumors about Depp stopping by quickly spread. At least that’s how I describe it, since I had to duck and cover. But, there’s something more interesting in theaters today.

I went to a screening of Bong Joon-ho’s latest film, MOTHER. It is a funny, creepy, exciting murder mystery that also explores the mother-son relationship. And, yet another example of the latest cinematic talent out of Asia.

Hong Kong dominated for years, giving the west stars like Jackie Chan and directors like John Woo to fall in love with. Hollywood has had a long relationship with Asian cinema. The Pang Brothers minimalist horror film, Gin Gwai was remade as The Eye. Andy Lau’s Infernal Affairs 1,2 and 3 were merged to become The Departed. And, Japan’s Takashi Shimizu brought us his own remake of The Grudge.

Korean Cinema, sometimes referred to as Han Cinema, brings something new to the mix. The latest wave of movies out of Korea cannot be held in a narrow category. One thing they do have in common is the unexpected angle used. Stories that have been told since cinema began are updated and given new and broader perspectives. The subject matter ranges wildly from romance-starring septuagenarian lovers, to horror-where the monster is revealed immediately, to history-taking on brotherhood, loyalty and the effect of history on the present during the Korean War in the 1950’s, to mystery-a woman in ancient Korea use forensic science to solve a murder.

Last year, Na Hong-jin premiered his first film, The Chaser. It was picked up by an American studio before it even hit the film festival circuit. I’m curious but wary of how American film will deal with a story with a sympathetic serial killer and corrupt ex-cop/pimp as the hero. But, it’s due out in 2010, and rumored to star DiCaprio. That’s a story that could only come out of Korean Cinema today.

This is inspirational for design, marketing, branding, etc, because it shows how a creative mind can tell the same old story in a new way. The old quote, “There’s nothing new under the sun” is often used to discourage designers and artists. It may be true, but how you look at and how you show the same old, same old can create something new.

Store (window) we Adore :: Maison Hermès-Tokyo

This visual merchandising event has been created by Tokujin Yoshioka. It’s more of an art installation than visual merchandising. The combination of the iconic Hermès scarf with a larger than life photo of a beautiful, local actress-the face of Maison Hermès, would have been enough. What makes this true design is the next step. Tokujin goes beyond 2D, or even 3D, to offer a live experience for the viewer.

Take a look…

It’s a small world :: Tispy Gypsy Trio

I first heard Tispy Gypsy at a party in Paris a couple of years ago.  The music was fun, brilliant, and got everyone moving.  I searched every record store looking for a CD of that amazing European band to no avail.  I wrote down the name in my notebook and moved on.

This is a good example of a generational difference.  I love buying CD’s, downloading the music to my Mac and arranging it on my iPod.  I don’t have an iTunes account…no illegal downloads.  I told the story about discovering Tipsy Gypsy to a 20-something recently.  Her response, “I know them!  Check out their MySpace page.”  I had to laugh at myself for mot doing the obvious internet search.

Well, Tipsy Gypsy is not from Europe.  They’re from California!  In today’s international market, you never know where your customer will find you.  Any retailer, manufacturer or brand builder needs to know how to intelligently use social networking media to draw in consumers.  Just slapping up a MySpace or FaceBook page isn’t enough.  Random Tweets about nothing can actually cause damage to a company’s position in the market.

What to do?  That depends on the brand, the resources and manpower dedicated to social media.  Going half way isn’t worth it.  This is an all-or-nothing medium.  Be consistent and clear. The  branded look needs to flow through all aspects of your public presence.  Be easy. Not trampy, unless that’s  your message, but easy to find.  Make it special. More than ever, people want to belong to something, to get the inside deal, to be in-the-know.  Today, exclusive offers can go to millions.  Most important, know your customer.  For example, Tweens don’t tweet.  But, they do text.  And, they listen to what their on-line friends recommend.

All of the old rules of advertising still apply in this new medium…same story, just the scenery and the players are different.

Store we Adore: Glory Sales & Service (Los Angeles)

Well away from Melrose, Robertson and La Cienega, Glory Sales & Service is an impressive homage to Americana on Hollywood Blvd.

It sits in between to LA retail icons: MAYA and American Apparel. But, you’ll always be stopped in your tracks while rushing from one to the other.  I’ll admit that vintage bikes are my weakness but the window at Glory, with a beautiful vintage motorcycle, is attractive and unique.  It’s authentic!


With the big denim trend in motorcycle culture, this store is a MUST visit.  This store opened, in 2000, and has its own small, selective line of clothing that isn’t just a fad.

There’s no hard sell.  You can walk in and drool over all of the great vintage pieces (as I did).  Or, go straight for the jeans or jacket needed to ride or to look good in whatever you do. It’s not just about motorcycles, it’s about cool. Steve McQueen would shop here.

And, if you do ride, they recently opened a sister store-of sorts.  At Glory Motor Works, by appointment only, you can get your bike tuned up or completely restored.  Classic British and American bikes are dominant but all are welcome.