Earlier this year Rop van Mierlo and Remco van der Velden launched their collaborative project Wild Animals with the first edition called Tiger Merch. A beautiful collection of products consisting of mugs, sweaters, art prints, t-shirts, socks, a pyjama, a rug and even wrapping paper, all with the characteristically painted Tiger by Rop van Mierlo. [ Continue reading ]
Make it simple.
There are few places left in Amsterdam’s most central areas that have enough character to weather the ever-growing storm of tourists and people that particularly cater to them. At times, especially in the summer, the city feels like an urban amusement park. With no end of this development in sight, the once authentic center is slowly turning into an empty shell of its former self. Fortunately, there are still some spots that offer some kind of cultural experience (let’s hope it stays that way!), with the Zeedijk being one of our favorites. Located in the small but dense Chinese quarter of the Dutch capital, the street is famous for its restaurants and supermarkets, but also for being the original gateway of heroine into the country in the late sixties — during the last few years it has also been embraced by a growing number of brands, in search of a real environment for their stores.
Among them are streetwear household names like Amsterdam’s own giant Patta, the Comme des Garçons BLACK store, and most recently Stüssy also opened its doors in the street. Next to, for instance, newcomers like Bonne Suits, who shares a space with SMIB and The New Originals. Although we appreciate these streetwear brands, for us the appeal of the street was taken to the next level by another recent addition, as in April our friend Koen Tossijn also found his way to the infamous Zeedijk and opened his first brick and mortar store ever for his brand TOSSIJN — introducing a well needed touch of understated luxury and a toned down color palette, next to all the logos and graphics at his neighbors. [ Continue reading ]
Last month, minimalistic Swedish fashion brand Axel Arigato opened their first gallery store in the heart of Stockholm, which in our eyes is among the most inspirational retail spaces out there. For the design of the space, the brand collaborated once more with acclaimed architect Christian Halleröd, who also designed the brand’s London SoHo flagship, that opened its doors last year. In the concept for the Axel Arigato Gallery the signature feel of Christian Halleröd industrial clean-cut designs is combined with the understated aesthetics of the brand through the creative direction of Max Svärdh. The space is left intentionally clean with few elements completely blown out of proportion, like for instance the 100-kg abstract oval display in plexiglass in the centre of the store, the yellow fur seats and the yellow illusion windows — resulting in the perfect platform for the products. The store carries the full range of men’s and women’s shoes, accessories and clothing as well as a selection of rare Japanese books, magazines and objects. In the future the store will also serve as a curated space with carefully selected brands, items and events.
Through the combination of the industrial framework of the building, the implementation of materials like plexiglass and the striking use of the color yellow, a beautiful contemporary hybrid space has risen that, without a doubt, will serve as Axel Arigato's perfect segway into greater things in the near future. [ Continue reading ]
We have encountered their inspirational work repeatedly throughout the last few years, but only recently became aware of the extraordinary Copenhagen-based headquarter and Studio Store of Danish multidisciplinary design firm Frama. A little under four years ago, the firm traded their industrial space for the former home of the St. Pauls Apotek (pharmacy) which was established in 1878, respecting all of the building's original woodwork and architectural elements, using it as a canvas to create something radically new. The synergy between the past and present elements of the space is a direct manifestation of how Frama defines their main interest within the creative field as a dialogue between two opposite poles; classical and contemporary approach – between digital and analogue production. In addition to their earliest interest of producing beautiful understated products — designed in-house, next to commissions to other Nordic creatives — in recent years a new focus on interior design was added to their activities, showing that remarkable signature of blending old and new materials, contexts, and influences within every project. The inspirational level of multidisciplinarity in the complete output of the firm today, makes the Studio Store more than just a 'showroom' for their product, but forms an incredible Gesamtvision for Frama's aesthetic design discourse and ideology. And it is exactly this, beyond that we really appreciate their design vision, what makes Frama one of the firms we feel is spearheading creation with a contemporary mindset. When in Copenhagen, make sure to directly step into their universe located at Fredericiagade 57. [ Continue reading ]
There was a time in which Egyptian cotton stood for the highest possible quality one could get. In particular Helmut Lang's t-shirts made from that particular fiber, for us at least, being the epitomy of understated luxury. Unfortunately, soon after the term and use became established within the globalizing luxury industry, it started to go down hill with the thriving industry. More and more farmers started mixing Indian and American seeds with their original sources for cotton, which caused both a quality drop and resulted in government involvement in the market that eventually toppled the whole industry drastically: with smaller amounts of true premium Egyptian cotton being exported every year. In spite of these developments, in our minds, cotton from Egypt never lost that connotation of the remarkable. Therefore, when at the beginning of 2016 we encountered a small Toronto-based fashion brand named Kotn —honoring the great heritage of true premium Egyptian cotton and understated basic clothing— that came as a wonderful surprise.
A year earlier, Kotn was founded by friends Mackenzie Yeates, Rami Helali and Benjamin Sehl. Based in Toronto, the company partners directly with cotton farmers and textile factories in Egypt's Nile Delta to produce their high-quality basics, including T-shirts, sweats, boxers and dress shirts. By scrapping the middleman, Kotn ensures a fair wage for their manufacturers and an honest price for the consumer. What started with a quest for the perfect white t-shirt has expanded into a full line of men’s standards – hoodies, henleys, sweatshirts, sweatpants, polos, oxfords, pajamas and underwear. Kotn launched with a direct-to-consumer online model, which has garnered a cult-following for the successful Toronto-based start-up. Last week, the company brought their vision to the next level by opening their first brick-and-mortar shop on Toronto’s Queen Street West. Whenever in Ontario's capital, make sure to drop by and get familiar with their inspirational vision! [ Continue reading ]
We've been appreciating the work and creative vision of Berlin-based duo Jacob Klein and Nathan Cowen, better known as Haw-Lin Services, for many years and last month they returned —after last Summer's exhibition 'Shows You' at the HVW8 Gallery— with another inspirational project. Created in collaboration with a second duo we hold in high regard; Geckeler Michels and Schroeder Rauch, the Haw-Lin guys were responsible for the complete redesign of Berlin's reopened No74 store, which became adidas’ first select store worldwide when it opened its doors in 2008, followed by Parisian No48 in 2013. The new vision for the Berlin store brings a fresh elan, combining clean displays in sharp lines in a toned down color palette, complemented with floating linear lighting that both represents Haw-Lin and adidas perfectly — resulting in a rich minimalist space with beautiful silent details, which above all puts focus on what's on display: the broad variety of different lines being designed under the adidas umbrella. [ Continue reading ]
Last week, leading Canadian outerwear brand Arc’teryx started an ambitious new chapter for their inspirational Veilance collection. Through a new partnership with renowned creative architecture firm Snarkitecture, headed by Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham who aim to marry architecture and art with their joint endeavor, for the first time ever the brand opened a unique concept store experience in New York City — open for the public until January 8th, after it closes its doors for good again. Accompanying the new project in New York, Veilance introduces a new strategy in the grouping of its minimalist pieces of clothing: having created the new categories Wind, Rain and Cold protection systems.
From this new direction of thinking, Snarkitecture created a space that highlights Veilance’s multiple apparel solutions built from the highest performing materials and proprietary construction techniques. Conceptual, structural and innovative, the collaboration of Veilance and Snarkitecture delivers a progressive shopping experience, in our eyes giving another peek of where physical retail as a whole is unavoidably moving towards in the (near?) future. No surprise that this progressive creation comes from Arc'teryx Veilance, having led the way in hybridizing cutting edge technical features with future-proof aesthetics in their designs since its inception, now beautifully translated into a fitting retail experience. [ Continue reading ]
We have been following Bergen-based elegant rainwear brand Norwegian Rain from the very inception of the label in 2009. Over the years it has found a close following worldwide, both through their ever-evolving cutting-edge collection of supreme quality outerwear and because of their now famous founders, designer Michael Tetteh Nartey also known as T-Michael and Alexander Helle, being the perfect ambassadors of what the brand stands for, having become street style blogs favorites since they arrived in the menswear world. Two weeks ago, an incredible new chapter started for Alexander and Michael, when they opened their first stand alone store outside of Norway —where they house in hometown Bergen and Oslo— crossing the water of the Northsea landing at an iconic London location, taking a big step forward in their endeavors. Opened on the 11th of June, the 1450 ft2 space houses the entire collection of Norwegian Rain’s iconic rainwear for both men and women including their signature pieces like the Raincho, the incredible Moscow coat and the Warrior. The store will also stock suits, shoes and leather goods from T-Michael's namesake label, as well as a carefully curated selection of Scandinavian mid-century furniture by Modern Tribute. When in London make sure to step into the elegant universe of Norwegian Rain, and what better place to do so in another city (next to Bergen — the rainiest city of the world) renown for its rain. [ Continue reading ]
Oki Sato's Japanese studio Nendo is among those institutions that never cease to surprise and inspire us through their ever-evolving design vision and truly perfected holistic approach in their practice. The day before yesterday, to our great excitement, the studio succeeded to outstrip itself once again, presenting its biggest-ever project: the exterior and interior renovation of a department store in Bangkok that Sato believes represents a new way of shopping. Going by the name of Siam Discovery, the department store is operated by Thai retail and development company Siam Piwat, which invited Nendo to oversee the refurbishment of the interior and exterior of the 40.000 m² shopping mall on Bangkok's Rama 1 thoroughfare. The studio was tasked with implementing a radical vision for a new retail experience built around curated environments rather than the familiar branded concessions. Instead of categorizing products by brand, as is typical in traditional department stores, the different retail points present customers with a range of lifestyle experiences, including a digital lab, street lab, creative lab and play lab. The result is very likely the first real peek into the future of (department / multibrand) retail in which a physical location will need to have this level of experience to not totally loose its relevance as has become the trend in the last decade. We would literally fly to Bangkok just to see this with our own eyes. [ Continue reading ]
Next Friday, one of Belgium's most exciting contemporary designers, part of this year's Wallpaper* Magazine Power List, Michaël Verheyden, will find his way from Genk to Antwerpen, where he will open a temporary store in the beautiful concept boutique Graanmarkt 13. One of our favorite stores in Antwerp also houses an excellent restaurant, an apartment for rent and a gallery which for the occasion will also become part of Verheyden's presence. After Ferry Voorneveld had the honor as a representative of Another Something during the Limblogdesigntour, a month ago, visiting the visionary designer's studio (soon more on that visit), the temporary Antwerp-based store will underline Verheyden's unique vision on design once more, perfectly framed within the excellent environment of Graanmarkt 13. The store will house a beautiful selection of interior objects and design furniture, next to newer work of Verheyden - never shown in Belgium before - which will be for sale in the gallery on the first floor. [ Continue reading ]
We discovered Offenbach am Main-based TSATSAS when they collaborated with our friend Ramon Haindl for Aesthetic Habitat in 2014. This month, the label for fine leather bags and accessories which was founded in 2012 will be opening its very first own store in Frankfurt. Boasting 100 m² of floor space the German brand will bring together its sales area, showroom, model workshop and office facilities in a single location, which was concepted and designed by TSATSAS founders and owners Esther Schulze-Tsatsas and Dimitrios Tsatsas. For their new outlet they completely gutted the building’s ground floor (the frontage is on Frankenallee) and designed interventions that carefully visually structure the space in different functional zones. When in Frankfurt make sure to visit this gem. [ Continue reading ]
After last year's impressive debut of the New York-based inspirational boutique of limited edition design, objects and art named Chamber, this month the second annual collection, given the moniker 'Human | Nature', opened its doors. Curated by celebrated photographer and filmmaker Andrew Zuckerman who, just as his predecessors Studio Job, has worked closely with Chamber’s founder, Juan Garcia Mosqueda, in shaping the year-long project. With his curation for Chamber Collection #2, Andrew Zuckerman explores the theme of how the natural world interacts with man’s living environment as expressed through objects of design, art, and various types of ephemera. Zuckerman’s collaboration with Chamber draws on a broad array of sources, including Japanese aesthetics, ethnographic art, and biomimetics, in the service of creating a collection of objects that reintroduce organic forms or concepts into designed spaces. When in New York city this is a must see! [ Continue reading ]
Last week the oldest Parisian department store; Le Bon Marché, inaugurated an inspirational reflective room, created by New York designer Thom Browne whose Autumn/Winter 2015-2016 installation ‘Office Man 2′ dominates the complete second floor of the retail institution. Formulated as a conceptual variation on the designer’s presentation at New York Men’s Fashion Week last July, the dedicated floating space replicates a kaleidoscopic infinity effect of wall-to-wall mirrors illuminated by fluorescent tubes. The main twist of the Paris edition is not it’s lack of suited male models, but rather the surreal, still life install of more than fifty pairs of Browne’s iconic black leather wingtip shoes – each produced in genuine silver – which seem to reference the designer’s Spring 2013 men’s show. [ Continue reading ]
Today a new online store - created by Concern and based on the SUPERMODELS exhibition which took place in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam last year - will officially launch for the public under the moniker Dutch Design SUPERMODELS. For the interesting endeavor, clearly inspired by the fascinating exhibition, an exclusive collection of 3D printed miniatures was created to be sold, based on more than 100 iconic Dutch designer chairs. In the collection one will finds designs like the 'Knotted Chair' by Marcel Wanders, the 'Relax Chair' by Ineke Hans, the 'Aluminium Chair' desktop by Piet Hein Eek and some of our favorite chairs every created; the 'Berlin' and 'Crate' chair by Gerrit Rietveld. If you always wanted to own some of Dutch Design's greatest heritage pieces, from now on the chance is here to own one of these icons, as a 1:6 miniature that is. [ Continue reading ]
Following the success of its Maison Kitsuné Gallery, Parisian Maison Kitsuné's first ever pop-up shop in Hong Kong which inaugurated last March 2015, the brand settles down in the city for good with the opening of its beautiful first Maison Kitsuné Hong Kong pied-à-terre. Nestled in the famous shopping district of Causeway Bay, this new address of 80 m² reveals a post-modern chic space fusing the brand's parisian heritage with some subtle touches of traditional Asian decors. To celebrate this opening, Maison Kitsuné has re-edited its successful "Hongkongais" capsule collection, consisting of two t-shirts in new summer colorways as well as a bowling-inspired chambray dress and short sleeves shirt. exclusively available in the store. We love this great new chapter in the inspirational Kitsuné universe. [ Continue reading ]
We have been following the very talented Japanese designer Yusuke Seki for a while now and his latest project really took it to the next level. In April of this year Seki finished the new flagship store of Maruhiro - the leading producer of Hasami ceramics - in Nagasaki from an extraordinary vision. The designer’s work marries an architectural knowledge with the artisanal know-how of the region, and in so doing, creating an entirely location- and situation-specific experience with an extraordinary autonomous feel rather than that of a store. Seki's methods seek to amplify Hasami’s rich heritage. His minimal, yet immersive design interference; the modification in the level of the floor, not only utilizes the pre-existing space to alter the perspective and experiences held by the users until the present, but also gives birth to an entirely new sense of flow within ceramics. So inspirational! [ Continue reading ]
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 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. [ Continue reading ]
We are fans of the work of Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka / Schemata Architects and recently the Tokyo-based firm completed another gem: the new 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 Schemata-designed Cabane de Zucca in the renown Sibura Parco. The Daikanyama store shows a strongly executed industrial aesthetic with sharp geometry and familiar materials. Yet, what we are most drawn to in this particular store is the unique subtle (concrete-like) texture on the walls, floors and ceiling, 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 extraordinary key element of a space integrated throughout different materials and furniture as superbly done by Schemata. [ Continue reading ]
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. [ Continue reading ]
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! [ Continue reading ]
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. [ Continue reading ]
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. [ Continue reading ]
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). [ Continue reading ]
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. [ Continue reading ]