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With the official team presentations, which will take place this evening, the Tour de France fever in our hometown Utrecht is slowly reaching a highpoint (with the tropical Summer temperatures of recent days also playing a significant role in this development). Although the little brother of Amsterdam has gained significantly growing international attention in recent years, because of its beautiful canals and historical city center with a more laidback and less touristic atmosphere – for many people the host of the Grand Départ is still unknown territory. As we have been happily living in Utrecht for quite some years now, we teamed up with Rapha to introduce our city properly and created a little map with all of our favorite destinations when it comes to Food & Drinks, Art & Culture, Antiques & Obsessions, Fashion & Design, Markets & Flowers and Hideouts & Escapes, which we named Utrecht’s Finest. For those first getting to know Utrecht, or those who are curious what it is what makes the city special for us. read more…

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We are fans of the work of Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka / Schemata Architects and recently the Tokyo-based company completed another project which we really like: the new retail space for Japanese brand Cabane de Zucca. Located in the Daikanyama area, the interior of the new store shows a continuing theme from the other recently opened Cabane de Zucca store, which was also designed by Schemata, located within the renown Sibura Parco department store. The inspirational interior shows a strongly executed industrial aesthetic with its sharp geometry, hard lines and familiar materials. Yet we are most drawn to the subtle (concrete-like) texture on the store’s walls, floors and ceiling, which were created out of different materials. Next to actual concrete, textured wood and tremendous chromate treated steel plates and frames were used showing a similar aesthetic. It’s seldom that one sees such an elegant key element of a space integrated throughout the different materials and furniture as superbly done by Schemata.  read more…

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Over the last few year the cycling population of Paris (and the rest of the world) has boomed, with many of these Parisian riders – not surprisingly – style-conscious. With all kinds of cycle clubs having opened their doors over the globe, catering to the ever-growing group of cycling lover worldwide, now France’s capital also has a spot for enthousiasts to gather and get their gear. With its pale wood and a granite counter, one finds the newly opened Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop at 58 rue de la Fontaine au Roi having stocked a tremendous curation of products, next to the possibility of getting a La Brûlerie Belleville coffee – the best coffee roasters in Paris according to Mr Porter. Whenever you are up for a espresso, flicking through the latest Steel Magazine or meeting other riders for a possible ride: Steel Cyclewear & Coffeeshop is the new place to be. read more…

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Designed by Saint Laurent’s visionary creative director Hedi Slimane, the newly renovated Paris space of the fashion label at 8 rue de Faubourg in Paris is another step in the signature-like rebranding and renovation plans started by Slimane in 2012 for the iconic brand. With a tremendous surface of 390 m² the space is dedicated to showcasing the women’s ready-to-wear collections and accessories, and expresses a contemporary version of French-style art deco with white veined matt finish marble, geometrical lines in mirrors, glass and metal and black Noire Soie polished finish marble. Giving the space an air of long-lost splendor and the raw edged aesthetic of the gritty side of pop culture, making it the perfect environment for Slimane’s rock and roll-inspired fashion. The space is decorated with vintage furniture designed by names like Jacques Adnet, Jean Besnard, André Sornay and Théo Ruth next to African ethnic art from Saint Laurent’s private collection. All handpicked by Hedi Slimane and placed within the space with suspended hang-bars, mirror shelves, clear glass display counters and nickel-plated brass benches with quilted leather seats. Make sure to visit this gem whenever in Paris! read more…

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Nicole Hogerzeil, the owner of the beautiful Berlin-based stores Schwarzhogerzeil I and II recently succeeded in her quest to find a larger space to combine both her stores, which she found in a beautiful premises on the Torstrasse 173 in the North of the city. The layout of the incredible 150 m² space, which opened officially last week, was once again conceived by the interior designer Sylvester Koziolek. Koziolek has continued the interior concept of the first two stores and combined 1940s Parisian charm – inspired by the work of Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand – with modern elements such as neon lighting and unique objects. The aim was to create an inspiring environment for customers in which Nicole Hogerzeil can present her labels, accessories and the other things she loves in all their splendour. Whenever in Berlin, make sure to visit the inspirational retail space of Hogerzeil.  read more…

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Last month a very interesting new Amsterdam-based platform for craftsmanship and design from all around the world was officially launched by its founder Tico Oudhuis – who’s also one of the founders behind VANOUDS, known for their beautiful handmade walnut tables. The new project named KOHEZI searches for beauty in the ordinary, finding inspiration in – as they state it themselves – clean design, dirty streets, nature life, city hectics, fresh flowers and old bricks. The first products available through KOHEZI are the fine Vørding gin, which is distilled in Amsterdam, jewelry by Berlin-based Simon&Me and finally the extraordinary pens by Y studio from Taiwan – which are incredible. The Taiwanese studio creates fine artifacts which can be used for a lifetime, and passed down from generation to generation. Their beautiful stationary collection is made from pure copper and brass, with a simple, minimalist design combined with elegant, pristine materials. The line includes two rollerball pens, a ballpoint pen, a mechanical pencil, a sketching pen, a pen container and a pen case.  read more…

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While putting the last hand on the design of the Mobile Cycle Club Europe we are doing for Rapha, they opened a new chapter of their famous Cycle Clubs, this time in our hometown Amsterdam. In the beautiful historical center of Amsterdam, on the 9 streets and around the corner of our new gallery/studio space of Our Current Obsessions (soon more on that…), Tenue de Nîmes and the Red Wing Shoes Store the Rapha Cycle Club Amsterdam welcomes road cyclists from every continent. Tales of glory, pain or suffering transcends their memory in this historical neighborhood.  Although a little challenging when tourist are flocking around, this will be the perfect place to start a ride, escaping the city for the windy northern water lands, making your round on the ‘Ronde Hoep’, or a longer ride towards Utrecht and the Amerongse Berg (Mountain of Amerongen with its 69,2 meter high, yes we have that). read more…

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At the end of last year’s Summer, the super inspirational multidisciplinary Japanese creative studio nendo created this beautiful retailconcept for ‚BACKYARD by | n’ — an original brand exclusive to the Japanese designer’s own products — located in the Seibu Sogo department stores in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro and Shibuya, and in the Yokohama Sogo space. BACKYARD refers both to a shop’s storage space or loading dock and a tiny paradise for children, an outdoor space for free play. The clean minimal white fixtures bring out the beautiful variety of the different products, but what we love most about the inspirational design are the plinths and in stands’ plywood, on which texture appears gradually towards the base, creating a very elegant aesthetic touch within the clean spaces. read more…

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On the 24th of January inspirational force Maison Kitsuné will take up residence at number 68 rue Condorcet (9th arrondissement) in hometown Paris. Listed on the Inventory of Historical Monuments, the building in which the boutique will house was built in 1862 by the French architect Viollet-le-Duc. Conceived by Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran, of DIMORESTUDIO, the 70 m² venue welcomes both the men’s and women’s collections as well as a Café Kitsuné. Inspired by the universe of Maison Kitsuné and by a shared passion for detail and the mixing up of genres, DIMORESTUDIO unveils a warm and functional space where complimentary colours and textures, simple lighting and materials, symmetrical lines and volumes are core concepts. Shades of lapis blue and carmine red are given pride of place; the walls, floor and doorways are swathed in a satiny aluminium. Tables are rendered from stratified wood, blue and ivory, while the chairs in the Café Kitsuné are finished with amaranth fur. The all-dominating wood, in a variety of species and dimensions, has been recuperated and re-modelled to measure, creating an elegant environment in perfect Kitsuné style. We can’t wait to visit! read more…

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Last September the design studio of Jeroom Jansen and Bertel Grote; Grand & Johnson, celebrated the opening of their beautiful studio and a brand new accompanying store in the Amsterdam West-based new creative area named De Hallen. The area, a former tram depot, has been transformed into what is in the process of becoming the creative centre of that area of Amsterdam, housing a mix of cultural, culinary and creative initiatives like Filmhallen, Hallenstudio, House Of Denim and Foodcourt. Next to a great selection of Mendo books, the store offers Grand & Johnson’s own designs, next to custom-made baths, cupboards and dressers. A beautiful selection of special and unique items which were hardly available in The Netherlands before, selected from around the world from places like Japan, Canada and Denmark. read more…

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On the 20th of December, just before Christmas, Amsterdam-based The Playing Circle celebrated its second edition of their fascinating concept named The Loft. Where the first edition, last summer, was to be found on the the fifth floor of the Cristofori building located on the Prinsengracht, for their Winter edition they found a lovely location in the Vaudeville theater on the Singel in the heart of the Dutch capital. New within the whole concept is an online webstore where all of the products on display in the fully furnished apartment, which has the feel of somebody actually living there, are also for sale. It is The Playing Circle’s ambition to create a whole new home-retail experience in which one walks into an apartment which thoroughly will feel like someones home, but instead of just being able to marvel at it, now everything the eye meets is actually for sale. And we have to say; this second edition shows even more promise than last summer’s debut, so make sure to see it in the coming days before it closes on the 4th of January, or when not in the position see the beautiful curation of products online. read more…

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In 2009 Paul Smith opened this incredible store in Seoul, South-Korea, which still is one of the most interesting designs we’ve seen in a long time. Considering the fact that the store is located in Seoul’s densely built Gangnam-gu district, Paul Smith has succeeded gracefully in making a lasting imprint within the urban environment. The extraordinary shape of the building is open to all interpretations, depending on the unique perspective of each customer or even by-passer. The suggested figure, intended to create different stories depending on people`s perspectives and interpretations, was actually the result of a design that was constrained by legal regulations and the ever-demanding Paul Smith, who at times must have driven the architects, Chanjoong Kim of the Kyung Hee University and Taek Hong of The__System Lab, insane by being just as demanding as the state’s strict rules. The result is nonetheless or because of these extremely difficult preconditions an incredible building, reminding of the work of the master Antoni Gaudí or even the Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout. Unfortunately the store is now closed, but its beauty and story remain. read more…

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Recently we were introduced to an extraordinary new premium members-only webstore named Dymant. The initiative brings together beauty and utility, tradition and innovation, know-how and design, heritage and future. Each creation is made following the idea of ‘temps juste': the time needed to achieve perfection. As a result, every object offered requires many hours of patient and precise work, which can’t be rushed. Everything one finds in the elegant Dymant environment is the product of passion and the expertise of gesture mastered by talented craftsmen such as a cabinetmaker, a jeweler, engraver, lace-maker, glass blower. All limited-edition creations, combining traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design. On top of that, the fine products are reserved for Dymant’s private club members only, which are introduced by invitation only. When you become a member, you can welcome five persons to the club, making it potentially the perfect destination for incredible products, just for you and your personal circle. read more…

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Since the beginning of this year we have been working on some new, very exciting projects, among which is a little trip into the world of optics. A discipline far too complex to enter without proper experience, therefore we’ve combined forces with our good friend Bijan Azami, who has 33 years of experience in optics. The last 12 years of this period he has been running Azami Optiek in the Dutch city of The Hague. In this period Bijan and his team at Azami have been passionate about finding those glasses that perfectly reflect the personality of the person wearing it. Every frame sold at Azami Optiek is custom made or selected to accentuate the contours of one’s face to perfection with designs that powerfully express inner and outer beauty, through the immaculate combination of craftsmanship and fashion. read more…

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We are very grateful for everyone who had a share within the very first Our Current Obsession as without them we couldn’t have realized it. Having introduced the main collaborator GERTRUD & GEORGE, some of the artists involved (with more to come), and ,The World of Black’ in our space has been extended long and wide onto the online Our Current Obsessions environment, now it is time to give a proper insight into the other partners with which we’ve created the core of the extraordinary black selection of products for sale in our space on the Schippersgracht in Amsterdam. As these stores offer only the finest in their particular specialty we’ve named them Holland’s Finest, to which we owe a sincere debt of gratitude and feel honored to have collaborated with. read more…

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We have written about the incredible Athens-based webstore named Daphnis and Chloe when we found out about it in July of this year. The elegant and exquisite project was founded by Evangelia Koutsovoulou who divides her time between between Athens, Milan and Barcelona. The webstore which was funded through Kickstarter focusses on culinary herbs and spices for chefs and home cooks who are looking for Mediterranean ingredients of the finest quality. Last week Evangelia and her team released an all new offering in the form of their caffeine-free alternative to normal tea which they named ‚The Office Blend’. Next to the new premium tea, which comes in a colorful all new container, the store has released this new packaging for all its herbs ensuring the best possible use for their fine herbs in the area where it matters most: the kitchen. read more…

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On Thursday the 23rd of October a new bicycle racing specialist named Meesterknecht, opened its doors in the centre of Amsterdam. Meesterknecht is a bike shop with a cycling café focused on contemporary cycling. The shop caters to everything cycling enthousiasts dream of and on top of that one can enjoy the shop’s exclusive espresso blend ‘Gangmaker’ (Pacer or Derny), while admiring Amsterdam’s rich cycling history on the shop’s walls. The shop is proof that cycling is driven more and more by aesthetics and pleasure, instead of purely focused on performance. Due to the pervasive cycling culture in the Netherlands, cycling is not quickly perceived as being cool, even though cycling was the number one sport in the Netherlands until the late ’60s. Every neighborhood in Amsterdam used to have its own criterium race and the cycling legends of the time raced its velodromes. Meesterknecht says it wants to bring back part of this lost culture and take the very best from the cycling community to Amsterdam. read more…

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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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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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Last Friday was a very special day. After a lot of hard work over the course of the last couple of months we were finally able to open a next chapter in the AS&Co universe: a tactile space that will be open for the public named Our Current Obsessions. The new space, which also houses the studio, can in many ways be seen as a direct result of what has been created online since the eruption of Another Something in 2009, but with more focus in its purpose. Our Current Obsessions will hybridize the traditional concept of an art gallery with a retail-space, always based around one particular theme in which we will take a deep-dive both off- and online. Located right at the mouth of one of Amsterdam’s main canals, it is a little dream come true that finally our love for the ‘beauty of cultures’ can be touched and shared in the analogue world. read more…

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Recently we came across the inspiring Athens-based Kickstarter funded webstore named Daphnis and Chloe, founded by Evangelia Koutsovoulou, which focusses on culinary herbs and spices for chefs and home cooks who are looking for Mediterranean ingredients of the finest quality. Local varieties of Mediterranean herbs are sourced from the areas of Greece where they naturally perform better, making their products of the highest quality. In the seasonings and infusions one finds at Daphnis and Chloe, city cooks can smell and taste the genuine bounty that can only be encountered in the natural state of things, without having to visit the remote islands and valleys where each herb has chosen to grow. Around these exquisite products a distinct aesthetic was created online and in the packaging, making Daphnis and Chloe by far the most elegant choice when looking for the finest herbs and spices. read more…

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Today the Amsterdam-based The Playing Circle will celebrate the official opening, or housewarming like they address it themselves, of its latest interesting project called The Loft. On the fifth floor of the beautiful Cristofori building located on the Prinsengracht a fully furnished apartment has elegantly been created in which everything one finds in it is for sale. From design furniture, the vintage accessories, the books on the shelves, to the plants one finds in The Loft: if you like it you’ll take it home. The Playing Circle’s ambition is to create a whole new home-retail experience in which one walks into an apartment which thoroughly will feel like someones home, but instead of just being able to marvel at it now for one whole month everything the eye meets is actually for sale. read more…