I have early recollections of Damon Dash calling me and forcing me to put you on Def Poetry Jam. I knew your record, “Through The Wire”, but I didn’t know much more. When you took the stage on Def Poetry Jam that night, and spit those genuine, heartfelt words, I witnessed your specialness that Damon had emphatically told me about.
From that moment on, you became a poet who has inspired the poets. I have proudly watched your career since then, and in case someone has missed the obvious, you are making a historical impact on music. Your life story took a tough turn with the passing of your mother. Although we grieved with you, we never really knew how much pain you were in. We witnessed your moment at the MTV Music Awards and many of us dismissed it as, “oh that is just Kanye being Kanye.” The hard part of all of this, is that we have all had moments in our lives that have been challenging, painful and hard to overcome, however most of us just hide our emotions and never deal with that inner-struggle that we face on a daily basis. As an artist, Kanye, you have always looked inside for your inspiration…always exuding emotions that are in us, but that we never expose. That is what artistry is about…to look inside for what is unique. With your journey towards a higher level of consciousness, a journey that we all are on, you have shown through your art a commitment to greatness.
The thirty minute film you most recently made was beyond brilliant. Brilliance is not a word that can even begin to describe your ability to paint vibrant, vivacious, colorful yet muted paintings of poetry, music, costume, art, design and most important, passion. The passion you put into your new album is why I stayed up all those nights in the early 80′s trying to get DJs and radio stations to play our records. I knew this day would come. Actually, maybe I didn’t know, but I really, really hoped it would. I didn’t work this hard when I was your age to watch the culture go the wrong way. And you, my friend, just took us to another level. I am simply in awe.
With this power, as you know, comes great responsibility. I am saying nothing you haven’t heard before. When you spoke about President Bush during the Katrina telethon, it was not the particulars of your words that mattered, it was the essence of a feeling of the insensitivity towards our communities that many of us have felt for far too long. It was the image of the President, our President, the President of the United States Of America, peering out the window of an airplane, as the people on the ground were drowning, that hurt us the most. For centuries, our people have relentlessly tread water as hard as they could to stay afloat, and here we were, literally drowning, and it felt like the President was insensitive. There is no need to apologize, Kanye. You spoke from your heart and that is all we will ever ask from you. Don’t be afraid of the press, as your art is your blueprint, thanks to Jay-Z, your big brother, we will always carry our destiny in our own hands. You are are an artist whose art is masterful. You are a servant to this world who no matter how hard it gets, keeps on giving. Giving gifts that inspire us, challenge us and motivate us to be better family and friends.
Keep on, Kanye. Keep on. We love you. We cherish you. And we will always have your back.
This past summer I took a trip to visit the Horween tannery in Chicago. The purpose of the trip was to document the process of making shell cordovan for Wolverine. (Full disclosure, Wolverine is a client of my marketing firm Paul + Williams.) The cordovan would eventually be used in the making of the newly released Wolverine 1000 Mile 721LTD boots. To be able to go out there, see the Horween plant and document everything was really an amazing experience. To follow the process of making these special (and damn-good-looking in my totally-unbiased-opinion) boots was definitely the highlight of my summer and something I am really proud to have been a part of. While the cameras were rolling I tagged along shooting hundreds of photos of Horween, which up until now, have been sitting in a folder on my computer. With the boots just landing in stores I feel like it is time to show you all some of my favorites from Horween. (I also have a photo series from the factory where the boots were made. Standy by for that.) I can say for certain that the legend of Horween is 100% real and was something experienced first hand with them this summer in Chicago. You’d be hard pressed to find better people. They remind me of the folks back home in Ohio — salt of the earth.
Ralph Lauren doesn’t think small. Give the guy the keys to the city one day, and he shuts it down (or a high-traffic strip of Madison Avenue, at least) the next. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of RalphLauren.com, the company projected a cutting-edge stream of images, created in collaboration with the tech wizards behind Harry Potter, onto the facade of its new women’s flagship in New York. And because more is more, six hours beforehand, they shut down New Bond Street—usually the exclusive privilege of presidential corteges and visiting royals—and did it in London, too.
The English city wasn’t chosen by accident—the U.K. Ralph Lauren e-commerce site has just launched, and David Lauren, the company’s senior vice president for advertising, marketing, and corporate communication, was in town to celebrate and to speak at theIHT’s luxury conference, alongside Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Alber Elbaz, and more. In London, Lauren was seeing the actual 4-D presentation, which included liberal sprays of the new Big Pony fragrances, for the first time. “We have all been stuck away in our offices in front of our computers working hard on this, as well as arranging with the other shops on the street to let us put our projectors in and so on,” he said. “It’s the first time I actually saw it, and definitely, along with the rest of the team, we had pre-game jitters. But I think it worked out well.” Attendees like Suzy Menkes, British Vogue’s Alexandra Shulman, Stephen Webster, and Jefferson Hack seemed to agree. And in New York later that night, a thronging crowd of fashion types and passersby hit Madison to watch it unfold again. The results were certainly intriguing, especially when the four-story store appeared to fold in on itself. Now it will be interesting to see if and how other retailers adopt and adapt this technology. But Lauren got there first. (via Style)
King’s Place is a classic Midwestern bar and grill situated amongst the corn fields of Minnesota. While the burgers aren’t huge (in fact they are quite manageable) the variety is overwhelmingly awesome. King’s offers 53 different burger varietals including everything from bacon to mayo to avocado to peanut butter — everything you could ever want. Some of the more exotic menu options have a note next to them where the folks at King’s nudge you to “trust us” and go for it. After my visit, that is definitely the play at King’s. Get one safe burger and one adventurous option that you won’t have anywhere else. Wash em down with a Mr. Pibb (no Dr. Pepper) or a couple of cold ones and you are all set. Long live King’s Place and long live the great American burger. It is undoubtedly one of the best burger diner’s in America.
t’s been a banner year chez Kenzo. The Parisian label celebrated its 40th birthday in 2010, and while its legendary founder, Kenzo Takada, has retired from the helm (he now works on a home-goods collection), his successor, Antonio Marras, has kept the home fires burning. There was a gorgeous Spring show in Paris this October (”ludicrous[ly] beautiful,” Tim Blanks declared); a retrospective tribute takes place at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum today; and there’s a new coffee-table tome (Rizzoli, $75) dedicated to the history of the house. It’s lavishly illustrated with clippings from the archives, sketches from both Takada and Marras, ad campaigns, runway shots, and all the details you could want. Which, at Kenzo, would be a lot. The house’s signatures—wild prints, especially florals; folk-inspired layering; and billowing silhouettes—reward close inspection. And for just that reason, the book is full of foldouts, posters, and, smack-dab in the center, a large-scale pop-up like your kiddie books used to have (below). It’s a riot of flowers bursting into bloom, with the Eiffel Tower standing at the center, and the Japanese rising sun, in homage to Takada’s home country and the label’s spiritual home.
Kim Kardashian (left) and her sisters have brought the family business—the Dash boutique—to New York, but not everyone’s happy about it. A local paper canvassed the neighborhood for reactions and a few residents aren’t interested in keeping up. “The Kardashians are attempting to bring all that is wrong with Los Angeles to Soho, as well as to their fans—a generation of classless, tasteless, and clueless sheep.” Damn…
True to her travel roots, Mitsakos named every bag after places in Italy, where she spent weeks producing the debut Spring collection. And her lookbook shows each piece photographed in its namesake location. The Pasitea oversized clutch was shot on a wall overlooking the coast in Positano, and the Quisisana was snapped at the Hotel Quisisana in Capri while Mitsakos and her photographer were having a pre-dinner cocktail. And so it goes through Venice, Umbria, and Milan. These bags certainly come with an attendant air of La Dolce Vita, but their matte, powdery finishes give them a quiet luxury. Perhaps the best example of Mitsakos’ design ethos is an oversized python envelope called the Sirena (pictured), with nary an excess doo or dad, that she carries everywhere from business meetings to cocktails. And, aside from a rectangular satchel and a cutout-handle shopper tote, most fit into that grab-and-go category of clutches and wristlets.
Best of all, no need to hightail it to exotic locales to get them. For Spring, Dea Rosa will be available in about ten stores, including Debut in New York, and in Miami at the hotel boutiques at the Raleigh and the Gansevoort.
Finnish furniture makers Martela have released the KOOP Chair by Karim Rashid. Relatively subdued for the often flashy designer, the chair is meant to form a womb-like space. (via Contemporist).
Rian Hughes is a British graphic designer, illustrator and comics artist, noted for his work on 2000AD. He has recently taken a new cultural approach to his work by chronicling the illustrations and styles of the 50s in “Lifestyle Illustration of the 50s” novel. From the publisher: “The determinedly forward-looking optimism of postwar Europe and America was nowhere more evidenced than in the magazine art of the 1950s. In cheery scenes of domestic harmony, of strong-jawed men and winsome women, the illustration arts declared that the wartime years of austerity and uncertainty were at an end and a sunnier, more aspirational culture was taking shape. Featuring over 1,000 beautiful and stylistically diverse illustrations, Lifestyle Illustration of the 50s charts the decade’s progression as western economies started to recover and youth culture began to assert itself in the market place.”
charts the decade’s progression as western economies started to recover and youth culture began to assert itself in the market place.”
Available for pre-order from Lifestyle Illustration of the 50s
This Chivas Regal 18 year scotch bottle gets the re-work from England’s Vivienne Westwood just in time for Holiday 2010.
Taschen’s latest addition to the Architecture Now! series is all about talking shop. What he has to say about the book, “Shops are the one place where the stars of the world of architecture, from David Adjaye to Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid encounter the people who make the world of design turn, from Jurgen Bey to Tom Dixon, Ingo Maurer, or Philippe Starck. This book is full of the most recent retail spaces in the world, ranging from astonishing shopping centers by Daniel Libeskind or the young Swiss firm HHF to interactive store windows or a tiny jewel-like chocolate store in the heart of Paris. A pop-up store for Dr. Martens shoes, a unique newsstand designed for London by Thomas Heatherwick or flagship stores for the likes of Armani, Balenciaga, or Joseph are all part of what makes Retail Architecture one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of contemporary creativity. Apple computers, Uniqlo clothes, or Nike shoes can all be found here in a spirit of perfect harmony with the best that today’s architecture and design can offer.”
series is all about talking shop. What he has to say about the book, “Shops are the one place where the stars of the world of architecture, from David Adjaye to Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid encounter the people who make the world of design turn, from Jurgen Bey to Tom Dixon, Ingo Maurer, or Philippe Starck. This book is full of the most recent retail spaces in the world, ranging from astonishing shopping centers by Daniel Libeskind or the young Swiss firm HHF to interactive store windows or a tiny jewel-like chocolate store in the heart of Paris. A pop-up store for Dr. Martens shoes, a unique newsstand designed for London by Thomas Heatherwick or flagship stores for the likes of Armani, Balenciaga, or Joseph are all part of what makes Retail Architecture one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of contemporary creativity. Apple computers, Uniqlo clothes, or Nike shoes can all be found here in a spirit of perfect harmony with the best that today’s architecture and design can offer.”
Well, well… those special collaborative collection continue to pour in from retail. “Club Monaco will introduce a well-curated collection of its signature Women’s and Men’s apparel and accessories in Browns’ Shop 24, Browns Men as well as online atbrownfashion.com. The three points of distribution will launch simultaneously on February 11, 2011… The men’s collections builds on washed-down deconstructed blazers in twills, canvas and chambrays layered on top of ticking stripes, indigo work shirts and oversized sweaters. The men’s collection will take over the entire ground floor of Browns Mens store.”
“The classic preppy fall fabrics—corduroy, cashmere, flannel, oxford, tweed—are all-natural, and they get better with age. Ask yourself, is this something I’ll wear for years to come?” - Tommy Hilfiger
Lay It On Thick
“In the winter, the key to preppy style is layering. Start with a tee or a thermal. Then layer on an unbuttoned flannel and a sweater or jacket. Then tie it up with a scarf.”
Be Bad to the ‘bone
“Herringbone jackets used to be worn for shooting in England, and they still have that outdoorsy feel. But nowadays people in the city are dressing like it’s the country and looking great.”
Go Radical, Not Avuncular
“A cardigan can look Mister Rogers or very cool. It’s about length: You’ve got to wear it a little shorter so it hits right at the waist. And always leave the top button and the bottom button or two undone.”
Learn How to Inject Color
“Don’t wear color up top and on bottom. Use it selectively, as an accent.”
Don’t Shine Those Pennies!
“The more beat-up penny loafers are, the better they are”
In celebration of Kid Cudi’s upcoming sophomore album, Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager, BAPE had created a special limited edition Kid Cudi Rager T-Shirt to commemorate the occasion. The t-shirt features whiz Cudi in all his pent up rage, an awesome biker jacket layered over what seems like a BAPE hoodie, shades, and some Bape Sta kicks. “The Rager” adorns the sleeve in a drippy B-movie horror font. The t-shirt will be available only at BAPE Store NY starting November 9, and sadly, phone orders will not be accepted so for those who want one, get a move on.