At this year’s MacWorld convention, the new iPhone stole all the headlines, but I came across a unique iPod protection product that is truly deserving of mention. iBumps are small polymeric discs that adhere to your small hand held devices to reduce the occurrence of scratches and dents on them while creating an amazing non-slip surface for stabilization up to 85 degrees! They also protect cell phones, remote controls, GPSs, PDAs and literally any other small device. You can put an iPod on your dashboard and spin doughnuts all day and it just won’t move. iBumps can not only protect the outside of your devices, but the inside of your flip phones and because they are so thin, you can use them along with chargers, docks and cases (even though you won’t need one anymore). They can be removed without a trace so you can keep up with the latest styles and colors (available in black, white and clear). Check them out– there’s a promotion going where you can get a free set!
About three months ago, the legendary sneaker store Flight Club NYC opened a west coast branch in Los Angeles, Flight Club LA. If you are not familiar with the Flight Club concept, it’s a store that operates on a consignment basis and offers sellers a quick turnaround and fast payments without the hassle of online auctions and/or local classified ads. Up until recently, you could only purchase sneakers from FCLA in person, but they are now have a live website at FlightClubLA.com. So if you missed out on the Nike SB Dunk Mafia Pack or the Air Jordan 4 Retro Laser, then click on over to the website and treat yourself to an early Christmas gift of limited edition kicks.
We just received word that our friends at Trovata have just opened their online store for business. Their timing couldn’t have been any better with the holiday shopping season still upon us. On the new website, you can find many hard-to-find Trovata pieces that you could never seem to hunt down on your own due to Trovata’s tight network of select retailers. There are some great basics up for grabs like the Lighthouse jacket and Culprit trousers, a pair of which I own personally and am a huge fan of. Kudos to the team at Trovata for an excellent job on the store. Fans of Trovata finally have a great online source that connects them full-circle with the creative themes/stories Trovata has been telling each season.
Kind of like HotOrNot.com, but for design, DesignFlood.com is a relatively new site that allows you to vote on web pages using a 1-9 scale. For ease of use, you can sort through the sites by newest/oldest date and highest/lowest ranking. With currently over 170 top-notch websites and more added everyday for visual enjoyment, DesignFlood.com is a great resource for anyone trying to stay up on the latest and greatest in web design.
World-renowned for their high-end cutlery, German knife manufacturer Zwilling J.A. Henckels is also in the business of men’s personal care and grooming products with a line called Zwilling Pour Homme. Henckels applies their craftsmanship and quality to a very upscale line of items that include finger/toe nail clippers, mustache scissors, and multi-piece grooming kits. I think most guys would balk at $29 nail clippers, but if you’re into having the best in life (or ladies, if you’re into giving the best to the guy in your life), then the Zwilling Pour Homme line is definitely worth hunting down. Your local Nordstrom (or online) is a good place to look.
You often come across interesting juxtapositions of disparate genres and styles in the art world, but the art of Heiko Mueller really caught my eye. Heiko seamlessly blends religious icon art, renaissance paintings and comic culture into an unmistakable style. He was born in Hamburg, Germany, and has quickly made a name for himself globally with shows in places as obscure as Estonia and as big-league as New York and Paris. Yes, Heiko is a busy guy these days and is currently in two group exhibitions, one in Missouri and another in his hometown of Hamburg called “Don’t Wake Daddy.” Be sure to check out the drawings and paintings for sale on Heiko’s website.
We’re going to let you in on a secret here at JoshSpear.com. As far as blogs go, you know nothing beats us (but of course!) for content on what’s fresh and inspiring in the world. But what you might not know is that over in the Land of the Rising Sun there is an online magazine/blog collective that is really blazing trails with its depth and quality of content. Honeyee.com is an online magazine based out of Japan that is truly a multi-faceted web presence. On one hand you have quality features on leading design-centric companies like Burton, Porsche, and Nike. And on the other hand you have a blog roll section that includes heavyweights and legends such as Hiroshi Fujiwara, Jeff Staple (Staple Design), Paul Mittleman (Stussy), and even musicians John Mayer and Eric Clapton. Many of the Honeyee bloggers are Japanese and therefore blog in Japanese, but don’t let that stop you from perusing their entries. Check it out and see how sweet the Honeyee is!!
Here in San Francisco, there is a small yet growing independent design firm called Receiver Studio. They have worked with all kinds of clients ranging from tech giant eBay to indie hip-hop label Definitive Jux, and assisted them with everything from interface design to graphic design. But what really sets Receiver apart from the rest is the fact that their studio space doubles as an art gallery. Right now they have an exhibition in collaboration with art product company Poketo called “I Think We Better Split Up,” which ironically enough is bringing together over 20 artists from the US and Japan. And if you’re still hunting for original gifts for the holidays, check out the Receiver Gallery Store for a great selection of men’s and women’s tshirts, prints, and art books. All items feature the creative work of artists who have shown at Receiver at one time or another. I’m digging this digital print by Japanese artist Ogi, as well as this tshirt by Jafon Hakkinen who actually owns Receiver.
I’d like to shine the light on a new online project called Riottt!. The team at Riottt! is small, but very big on talent and includes creative heavyweights Kevin Craft formerly of Vapors Magazine, Sean Miyashiro, founder of Sole Division, Sky Gellatly from MTV’s Sneak Attack, and Rickey Kim of Evil Monito and The Social Trust. Through a theme encompassing intellectual engagement and a collaborative atmosphere, Riottt! actively seeks to subvert the “mass culture” that has been forced upon the majority of the population. Riottt! is already off to a blazing start and has features on creatives like graffiti legend Haze, Peanut Butter Wolf who founded Stones Throw Records, and photographer Peter Graham. Unfortunately, the interviews are the only area with unfettered access, as the full content of the rest appear to be blocked off to invitation-only members. Keep an eye on this site though, I have a feeling that Riottt! will indeed rise up to lead a new movement.
Some companies merely make products. Others strive to create not just a “product,” but instead something that becomes a natural extension of the consumer, almost like a second skin. This metaphor works extremely well when applied to the premium denim market. By essentially weaving their passion for denim into the jeans, Nudie Jeans Co. has succeeded in creating a product that forms an emotional connection with the owner. Nudie Jeans suggests that denim becomes more personal and more beautiful as they are worn in. In fact, Nudie instructs people to wear their jeans as much as possible for the first 6 months before washing them for the first time. This allows the denim and indigo to become customized and a reflection of the daily grind of the owner. The Nudie Jeans Co. website is really top-notch and has a gallery section with jeans on virtual display that illustrate the different ways in which the jeans can get worn in. There is also a really great video on the manufacturing process used by Nudie Jeans. It’s really fascinating to see all the work that goes into each pair.