Craftsmanship Kokeshi dolls by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

For the East Japan Project

Yesterday during Tokyo Designers Week designer Ronan Bouroullec and Japanese architect Kengo Kuma presented their collaboration for the East Japan Project which the latter started after the Fukushina disaster in 2011. The inspirational project aims to get the artisans of the region back on their feet by creating lifestyle products that are manufactured by the local craftsmen. One of those traditional objects combining aesthetics with craftsmanship are kokeshi dolls, which we’ve been collection for quite some years now. Inspired by the extraordinary dolls Ronan and his brother Erwan Bouroullec designed a series of kokeshi dolls which are exclusively produced for the East Japan Project. The Bouroullec brother’s interpretation moved away for the super enlarged head and has a more human shape, with its torso separated in two elements, connected by a hinge which allows them to bend at the hip area, resulting in a more modern, moveable, but nevertheless familiar kokeshi doll. Such an elegant interpretation of one of our favorite Japanese traditional objects. read more…

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Creative Culture Nucleo for Gabrielle Ammann Gallery

The inspirational Torino-based art collective Nucleo, which is directed by Piergiorgio Robino, recently collaborated for the second time with Gabrielle Ammann Gallery for PAD 2014, the fair for 20th century art and design. With these last amazing creations by Nucleo, which were exclusively produced for the gallery, they explored the the symbiosis of wood and resin, while the new pieces also incorporate references to stone and metal fossils, resulting in the Nucleo’s representative blend of opposites; old and new, light and heavy, lost and strong and arousing the law of gravity and in their unique aesthetic which combines a highly futuristic sentiment with elementary organic forms. Stunning! read more…

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Craftsmanship Past Present

We really like the new Australia-based headwear brand named Past Present, which was launched this summer in July, and is inspired by the name itself, merging the old school dapper of the past with the present day modern man. Pair that with the relaxed culture of its city of origin, Perth and you are left with an effortless range of premium headwear. Past Present’s first collection was a selection of five and six panel caps, focusing on quality materials and details. The materials used are a mixture of tweeds and wool sourced from Ireland and produced in New Zealand. Finding a common interest in quality and old school style, Past Present also collaborated with the famous Ebbets Field to create a six panel ballcap to help debut their first collection which shows great promise for the years to come. read more…

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Fashion Iris van Herpen Spring/Summer 2015

We are blown away by this extraordinary ready-to-wear collection by the Dutch designer Iris van Herpen, which she presented in Paris on September 30th of this year. For the collection van Herpen found inspiration in a visit to CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, whose deadly magnetic field exceeds that of earth’s by 20.000 times, forming the essential spark and motif for the collection which she named Magnetic Motion. The designer, who often joins forces with like-minded artists from other fields then fashion collaborated with Canadian architect Philip Beesley and Dutch artist Jolan van de Wiel, which resulted in a dream team for the exploration of the boundaries between nature and technology and a simply stunning collection. read more…

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Printed Matter Flower Contemporary

The Renaissance of Flower Design by Olivier Dupon

Flowers are associated with all the major events in life, whether celebratory or commemorative, but they also color our everyday existence and enliven the spaces around us. The extraordinary ‘Floral Contemporary: The Renaissance of Flower Design’ by the very inspirational curator Olivier Dupon and published by Thames & Hudson, gives an amazing overview and wide array of options how to implement flowers within all those occasions. Through the work of 38 floral designers, flowers for every occasion are presented in an utmost elegant manner; whether public decorations for weddings, arrangements for banquets, installations for shops and hotels, accessories for fashion shows, exhibits for art shows or private, in the form of simple but special displays for the home: which resulted in one of the most beautifully curated and designed books on the beauty of flowers we have seen. read more…

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Interview Ashkan Honarvar

Collage artist

All of the incredibly talented Ashkan Honarvar’s art deals with the darker sides of the human mind through the undeniable and unavoidable beauty of the human body. The universal human body, used as tool for seeking identity, is the focal point of his work. By dissecting and rearranging images with careful aesthetic vision, Honarvar creates work with an intriguing macabre darkness. Since his graduation from the Art School in our hometown Utrecht in 2007 Ashkan has been making a name for himself with his utmost fascinating collages. Themes like colonialism, war, mass destruction, megalomania and other grotesque behavior are all observable in his progressively growing body of work. We can’t get enough of his enthralling collages and love how the artist combines the abject with the aesthetic, creating images one can’t stop looking at. Being very inspired by Ashkan’s vision we asked him a couple questions to find out what inspires a highly unique mind like his. read more…

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Photography All In — Buying Into the Drug Trade

By Graham MacIndoe at Little Big Man

Running for one more week in the Los Angeles-based Little Big Man Gallery: the extraordinary show named ‘All In – Buying Into the Drug Trade’ by British photographer Graham MacIndoe, his first solo exhibition in the USA. Each image from the show is a variation on a single object: a small glassine heroin bag stamped with an exotic or bleakly satirical brand name, all collected by MacIndoe when he was an addict. Enterprising dealers brand and market their product like entrepreneurs in any business, with references to popular culture: Twilight, Crooklyn, New Jack City, and nods to consumer aspirations: First Class, Rolex, Obsession. The logos stamped on the baggies range from the conceptually clever to the knowingly ominous, like Dead Medicine paired with a skull and crossbones. MacIndoe’s own obsessive nature – as a photographer and a recovering addict – underscores the repetition of the images, all perfectly lit and precisely composed. But the now empty baggies are devoid of the emotional chaos of addiction; the photos are clinical and detached, almost aestheticized, yet still carry the residue of a former life in their stains and ragged edges. read more…

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Craftsmanship Atelier Haussmann

Atelier Haussmann is a Berlin-based studio founded by brothers Rainer and Andreas Haussmann, who started their shared endeavor in 1990. Simultaneously with the foundation of the studio the brothers created the brand Mobile Metallic, and under the two flags they create both interior designs and exclusive interior products out of iron which are made to last a lifetime. The products of Atelier Haussmann evoke the sentiment of remembrance. The iron stool in a workshop, the steel tube bed, the bench in the locker room. Many pieces are based on designs from the past, reinterpreted for contemporary times. Through the combination of citation, the return to traditional production techniques and new ideas Atelier Haussmann developed its own aesthetic, keeping away from fast fashion phenomena, with a clear focus on products made with the highest quality possible, always remaining with a timeless presence. read more…

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Photography Colour from Black by Fleur Olby

The stunning ongoing series ‘Colour from Black’ by British photographer Fleur Olby draws on the essence of the traditional Victorian Auricula Theatres, which show collections of plants in their pots in an utmost romantic, dark and brooding fashion. Collecting, tending and seasonal showing of plants is something intrinsic in our human connection and relationship with Nature and this series stems from that sentiment. The build up of anticipation before Spring and it’s flower shows is echoed in the Theatre, itself a mixture of practicality and drama: A stepped stand, (originally portable) covered in black velvet creates a setting on which to stage the show; interwoven with this is the fragility and timing of the perfect bloom, resonating with the precision of the era through the treasured cultivars of florists and plant growers today. In the series by the incredibly talented Olby the images approximate a exciting and extraordinary garden, to resemble the key inspiration from which the photographic studies began: a beautiful garden. Simply amazing. read more…

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Cycling O Editorial x Velo Culture

After O Editorial released its first set of collaborations a year ago, when they celebrated their two years of existence, this summer the platform of our friend Álvaro Tavares Ramos presented a new project: a special edition bicycle in an exclusive collaboration with Portuguese bicycle builders and shop Velo Culture. In addition to being the dominant mode of daily transport in their hometown of Porto, O Editorial selected a bicycle as its next project, it being an elegant object of impeccable design, pairing shape and movement exemplary, with which we can only concur. As with everything, there are bicycles more appealing than others and for this special edition O Editorial collaborated with a like-minded company championing both craftsmanship and aesthetics. Founded by three friends: Miguel Barbot, Sérgio Moura and Hugo Cardoso, the Porto-based Velo Culture was a pioneer in Portugal when it comes to presenting the most elegant classic and urban bicycle brands, making them the perfect partner in creating this beautiful bicycle. read more…

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Creative Culture Théâtre de la Mémoire by Marc Giai-Miniet

At the Jonathan LeVine Gallery

We have written about the extraordinary work of the French artist Marc Giai-Miniet before and on the 11th of October his one of a kind sculptures have finally crossed the the Atlantic Ocean for his first solo exhibition in the United States. The work of Giai-Miniet is truly unique and balances the fine handcraft involved in the creation of his tiny dioramas with poignant explorations through memory, association, and dreamscape. His tiny homes, though dealing with images of mundane possessions, industrial equipment, and furniture, evoke a feeling which is surreal and even a touch sinister. His sculptures are heavily influenced by childhood visits to the garage his father worked in as a mechanic, hence the systematic arrangements of the spaces and industrial influences, but also the exposure of the images of the Holocaust at a young age are mentioned when one deconstructs where in his life the roots for his incredible art have grown from. read more…

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Interview Nick F. Cerutti

Founder of GERTRUD & GEORGE

Since the moment lifestyle brand GERTRUD & GEORGE came to our attention, we knew we wanted to find a way in seriously cooperating with such a like-minded brand. After a couple of months we found the right context and to our great pride GERTRUD & GEORGE became the main collaborator of Our Current Obsessions Nº 1 – NOIR. The inspirational brand is the brainchild of the very gifted Nick F. Cerutti. Founded in 2001 to serve bespoke and semi-bespoke purposes prominently in Japan to begin with, GERTRUD & GEORGE nurtures an intrinsic sense of equilibrium between aesthetics, function and execution in order to conceive pristine high-end goods. Since 2011 Nick and his partner Mathieu Annen have shifted their focus towards accessories and bags, which resulted in a perfect jet-black line named The Esquire Suite, consisting of 7 models which come in three different sizes and varying river buffalo grains and depths. Being highly inspired by Nick’s tremendous history, his current work with GERTRUD & GEORGE and his overall vision, we’ve asked him some questions on his inspirations in life. read more…

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Craftsmanship ro Bags

The beautiful leather brand ro was founded in New York City in 1999 by architect Gene Miao and apparel designer Yvonne Roe. With the brand they wanted to reflect the unique energy and character of the East Village in Manhattan, while actively adapting to the expectations of metropolitan life. Through its clean silhouettes and quality workmanship, ro soon became available at prestigious stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys in Tokyo, among others. Despite this success changes would occur in the company over the years, with both founders leaving separately. Gene left in 2005 and established 1:1, an architecture and interior design practice in Hong Kong. But in 2012, Gene was invited to rejoin ro as the Design Director. After witnessing the wasteful demolition of building and interior sites in his work for 1:1, Gene has developed a keen environmental awareness. The architect-designer now identifies both raw materials and former fixtures to reclaim and recycle into reborn furniture. Similarly, ro handbags that become visibly worn from use can be refurbished, retouched and restored into timeless fashion items. read more…

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Fashion Disney x Wood Wood

Although there are very little unlikely combinations of brands left in this postmodern collaboration-, and brand-crazy period we live in; this capsule collection featuring the most famous of all Walt Disney’s creatures, in forms one hardly sees it, created by Danish label Wood Wood, thoroughly fascinates us. Seeing the original black and white Mickey Mouse in these surrealistic forms, as if he’s depicted while visiting a house of mirrors, gives a whole new image to Disney’s price mouse, almost like it reveals the craziness that lays behind his everyday, ever-friendly persona we usually see him in. The capsule collection will be launched next Monday, the 20th of October, in Parisian Colette, after which a select group of retailers worldwide will bring you this sharp contemporary streetwear collection boasting the twisted Mickeys two week later. read more…

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Creative Culture Lee Bul

Since the 10th of September inspirational Birmingham-based Ikon Gallery is hosting the first solo show in the United Kingdom of the extraordinary works of one of the most influential modern Korean artists: Lee Bul. The show is a judicious survey of early drawings, studies, sculptural pieces and ambitious installations, including a new commission especially made for Ikon, showcasesing the visually compelling and intellectually sharp works which have established Lee Bul to her status of one of the most important artists of her generation. In conjunction with Ikon’s exhibition, Korean Cultural Centre UK in London presents a large-scale floor installation entitled Diluvium. Lee has created a new version of the work, which is specifically designed for the exhibition space of KCC. Overall the elements combined of the exhibited both in Birmingham and London simply blows our mind, with both explosion-like shows feeling like some sort of perfect contemporary Gesamtkunstwerke.  read more…

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Cycling Rapha’s Winter 2014

Rapha has just released its imagery for the upcoming winter and we really like it. The new seasonal winter collection caters to all weather conditions with a broad selection of garments, perfectly tailored for everything from early autumn which will bring the rain to the Netherlands to the upcoming winter, which is set to be cold, wet and frosty. The pieces we really like include returning items like the rainproof hard- and softshell jackets, jerseys which show new and advanced moisture-wicking and warmth-retention capabilities and a perfect line of base layers. Accessories include cycling caps with an all new Pro Team Winter hat, neck warmers, gloves and more. You will be ready for everything with this cycling collection.  read more…

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Creative Culture Stefan Zsaitsits

The Austrian-born and -based illustrator Stefan Zsaitsits creates highly fascinating dark pencil drawings of childlike figures in which he oftenly seems to hybridize particular thoughts and emotions directly on or with the body part which is involved, mostly the head. And even if he chooses to portray his subject in a more traditional fashion, one can always observe that sense of astonishment combined with a touch of fear. The results are surrealistic and sometimes even slightly repulsive raw images, which evoke a sense of unsettlement, clearly representing the unfiltered stream of thoughts one mostly finds within the disclosure of the world in all its beauty and hardships during childhood. And although most people lose that particular perspective on the world with the years, Zsaitsits rightfully seems to question if growing up inherently has to mean the end of sincere astonishment, despite the fact that most people choose it to be the case. read more…

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Interview Ricky Hendry

Co-founder of ISAORA

We are major New York City-based ISAORA fans since we found out about their extraordinary rainwear collection, which was released earlier this year. The brand was founded by the very talented Ricky Hendry (pictured left) and Marc Daniels who both were itching to start a new venture in spite of the rather downward economical circumstances when they began in 2009. Although it certainly wasn’t an easy road, in 2013 Ricky and Marc were the winners of the Council on Fashion Designers’ Incubator, “designed to support the next generation of fashion designers in New York City,” signifying both designers’ strong drive and will to succeed in finding strong intrinsic roots to let their brand grow, which was also noticed  by the CFDA. In its starting years the brand was sold at high-end boutiques like Barney’s New York and Opening Ceremony, but since two seasons they sell directly to its customer online, with this season as a significant marking point, with the different collections clearly arranged under the monikers Movebetter, Trainbetter, Feelbetter, Staywarmbetter and the extraordinary Staydrybetter collection. Being highly inspired by Ricky and Marc’s beautiful products and bold approach we’ve asked Ricky a couple of question in order to find out what inspires him, both in the past, his work, and in every-day life. read more…

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Photography Vedas by Cope/Arnold

The word ‘vedas’ means knowledge in Sanskrit and Nicolas Alan Cope and Dustin Edward Arnold who work under the moniker Cope/Arnold created this beautiful photographic series with the same name in 2011, wanting to challenge ideas of what is acceptable against what is possible. The Los Angeles-based design duo Cope/Arnold cited their influence to be ‘De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium’, Copernicus’ 16th century scientific document that denounced the Earth as the centre of the universe, which transcends through religious visual language and the sentiment of entrapment vs enlightenment. Chambers, hallways and corners resonate with sensuality; architectural elements take on a humanized significance within their space. Textures are explored in fine detail, but it is really light that has the most mass. Mesh cloaks and structured veils conjure ghostly apparitions. White buckram, a thick mesh cloth made from cotton, is pulled taut around stiff wire structures to create circular headdresses. Shapes like this cover and frame different areas of the face and head, then are left to drape down to the floor. The result is both haunting as aesthetic and plain stunning. read more…

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Travel Paper & Tea Berlin-Mitte

Pure tea from around the world, hand-processed using different, traditional production methods, suitable for multiple hot or cold infusions, since its foundation in 2012 the remarkable Berlin-based Paper & Tea and its whole-leaf teas have gained an ever growing following among gourmets and a discerning lifestyle segment with a focus on creativity and healthy living. Up until now, P & T, along with its founder, Jens de Gruyter, have been pursuing their endeavor of promoting and making authentic tea culture accessible to a broader audience from the first Paper & Tea concept store in Berlin-Charlottenburg. The day after tomorrow P & T will open its second store in Berlin-Mitte, the heart of the city, innovatively building on its existing brand philosophy: allowing modern consumers to discover tea through a unique retail experience. The systematic way of presenting products, developed for the original concept store, has been adapted to match the fast-paced environment of the Alte Schönhauser Strasse, resulting in another inspirational store. read more…

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Fashion Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Holiday 2014

Since last June Nike has been opening very inspirational new consumer destinations in 6 major cities all over the globe and online named named NikeLab. The new outlet is a place to showcase how Nike interacts and collaborates with other innovators as part of its larger journey of exploration. It will present a curated collection defined by product never before imagined paired with new variations of existing performance styles. Among the first line of new products presented within the new framework is an all new beautiful Nike Gyakusou line for the holiday season of 2014. Mirroring designer Jun Takahashi’s progressively more serious approach to running, this collection exponentially combines top Nike Running and Research Lab innovations with the designer’s athletic insights, which resulting in a collection combining its signature sharp aesthetic with the latest innovations in performance wear: we love it! read more…

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Printed Matter Post Natural History

By Vincent Fournier and Studio be-poles

We wrote about the stunning ‘Post Natural History’ project by French photographer Vincent Fournier last year when it was on display at the Amsterdam-based Ravenstein Gallery and we still find it one of the most interesting series we’ve seen in a long time. While the images themselves will leave you speechless regardless, Fournier in collaboration with Paris and New York-based creative Studio be-poles also created an amazing limited box set form which does ‘Post Natural History’ justice perfectly. We mentioned this collaboration in our last writing, but last month it returned on our rader as 20 of the 50 sets with signed and numbered color prints on fuji crystal archivemounted onto embossed board editions were (and are, at the time of writing only 1 edition was still available) for sale at the inspirational Los Angeles-based gallery/boutique Please Do Not Enter, which was kind enough to provide the imagery of this highly inspirational and elegant new form of the incredible series. read more…

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Creative Culture Art Cartography

By The Map House and Kristjana S Williams

On the 15th of September during the London Design Festival, The Map House, London’s oldest seller of antique maps, relaunched their Mews Gallery with a beautiful exhibition of new work by prizewinning artist Kristjana S Williams, in a contemporary exploration of the traditional art of cartography which they named ‘Art Cartography’. For this exhibition Williams brings incredible historical works of art back to life using her eye-catching signature style, by featuring new vibrant digital collages on historical maps of locations such as London and China as well as maps of the world. Alongside these intricate prints, the artist will also present her first ever three-dimensional hand cut paper collaged maps, and a series of her incredible designs superimposed on to globes of the world. Beautiful! read more…

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Printed Matter Dogme N°—2

Last week, on the 25th of September, the beautiful and inspirational second issue of Libraryman’s Dogme Magazine was released, which again is of the highest standard. The magazine created by the very talented Tony Cederteg finds its key inspiration in the fact that a lens transmits and refracts light, but at the same time also often is used to focus light, which he translated to the magazine’s ambition to take a closer look through the creative lens of film, fashion, and photography. Always presenting lucid portraits of their favorite creative subjects. The first issue featured impressive names like Anders Danielsen Lie and Harmony Korine, for the second issue Cederteg and his team focus on for instance the amazing actor Denis Lavant, filmmakers Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Isabel Coixet and composer Mark Mothersbaugh. The list of contributors also shows many new names among which are the incredible photographer Lena C. Emery and returning name Ola Rindal. read more…

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Another Feature — GERTRUD & GEORGE by Ramon Haindl

Due to busy schedules on both ends, the collaboration between Our Current Obsessions and the very talented Ramon Haindl was realized only two days before the opening on Friday the 5th of September. On that grey Wednesday we got in the car at the end the of morning in Utrecht and drove to Ramon’s hometown Frankfurt, with the GERTRUD & GEORGE Overnighter which just had arrived a day earlier in the trunk, filling in the only shared gap in our agendas to get together. Ramon had been working early and long hours in Stuttgart the days before, and arrived back in Frankfurt only a few moments before we got there, which didn’t temper his or our enthusiasm to make it happen, no matter what was needed. The piece created by Ramon exemplifies his unpolished collage/mixed media approach in his free work, which we particularly love and special features his young dog Vila. The key inspiration for the piece lays in Ramon’s observation of a sharp parallel between the dog’s fur and the grain of the Buffalo leather used by GERTRUD & GEORGE, which he caught beautifully in this collage of analogue and digital photography plus handwritten text. read more…

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Cycling Epo Bicycle

Cycling is a very significant part of the Dutch culture and it has been for many decades. However, an affordable, contemporary Dutch bicycle disappeared from our streets a while ago. The explanation is reasonably simple; a bicycle is a labour intensive product, and for this reason, almost all bicycle manufactures, and with them a lot of other fields of production, moved their production to low-cost labor countries, mostly in South-East Asia. This impressive graduation project by Design Academy Eindhoven alumni Bob Schiller, which he named Epo, aims to revive the local industry and bring production back to the Netherlands. We are very impressed by his design and attached ambition, which also gained him a nomination for the Keep an Eye grant which will be awarded to one graduated student on the 18th of October. read more…

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Craftsmanship Editor’s Index

Editor’s Index is an ever-expanding independent studio project with a focus on artisanal aprons, started in 2010 by the very talented Kimmy Eliot Fung, who at the very start only possessed primitive seamstress skills. Hobbled from a few school classes and her mother’s excellent but fluctuating influence. The first apron Kimmy created was as a nameless endeavor for a printmaker, which eventually was used and loved for four years, marking the quality of the products from the beginning. Later approaches for aprons were received in a similar fashion: working friends, and even Kimmy herself, looking for something useful, aesthetically appealing and industrious. Working in wonderful places with beautiful interiors and carefully crafted details asks for something paralleling this grace and actually keeping clean and functional: the clear focus of Editor’s Index, which Kimmy has slowly been expanding since. read more…

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Printed Matter Faculty Department

‘Faculty Department’ is a beautiful personal photography project and visual journey by the talented Justin Chung, focussing on the lives, spaces and stories of talented and noteworthy individuals worldwide. Chung’s interest in photographing creative people came alive when he moved to New York City to pursue a career in commercial fashion photography and portraiture in 2011. Chung found that while he was inspired by the work these creatives were producing, what he felt most connected to was their process: how the smallest intricacies in their daily lives contributed to making them the most effective, most happy, and most real. It is these intimate details Chung hopes to capture in the pages of ‘Faculty Department’. read more…

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Fashion Outerknown

Eleven-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater has just released the name and first imagery of his new, and highly promising looking, ready-to-wear brand named Outerknown. The name Outerknown references the furthest reaches of our knowledge today. It challenges the people behind the brand to build better, more sustainable products. It asks to lift the lid on the supply chain bringing the consumer along on our journey to transparency. Slater has put together a world-class team that includes co-founder John Moore as Creative Director overseeing product and marketing. Moore has collaborated with Slater in the past, and was recently named as one of GQ’s best new menswear designers of the year for 2014.  read more…

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Travel Chamber

Chamber is an exciting new boutique of limited edition design, objects and art, which opens today in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The space’s unique concept and retail experience is the vision of Argentinian-born Founder Juan Garcia Mosqueda. Critically acclaimed architectural practice MOS has designed the interior of the space. Taking the Renaissance-era Cabinet of Curiosities as its inspiration, Chamber will be a twenty-first century reliquary for unusual objects and a platform for design experimentation. Every two years, Garcia Mosqueda will choose a different designer or creative to curate the shop’s entire program, bringing their unique viewpoint to Chamber through specially commissioned works, and rare and vintage items. For the inaugural curatorial period, he has selected designers Studio Job, who are working closely with a dynamic group of established and emerging designers and artists to create Chamber Collection #1. read more…

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