One of the more innovative takes on retail I’ve seen in 2012, Head Porter has opened a ‘Snow Egg’ concept shop/ski cafe. Shaped like an Igloo but filled with clothing and accessories from the Head Porter line the shop will be open until Mar 31, 2013.
Hokkaido Niseko is known for it’s “powder snow” and being one of the best spots in the world to Ski or snowboard. Visitors can enjoy love music and visual experience of the panorama screen under the SNOW EGG dome.
Visit the offical website for more info.
Maison 24 Switchblade Mirror
The variety of living arrangements in New York never ceases to amaze me; entering each new home is always a novel experience. When I look out on the busy streets I always try to envision the spaces within and the people that reside there. In a city where space and amenities are at a premium; creativity and discipline are requisite traits in creating a comfortable living environment. Cain Semrad (Art Director at Paul Stuart) and Damen Seminero (Director of E-Commerce at Jonathan Adler) invited me to document their East Village apartment where they have lived for the better part of a decade.
I asked Cain for his philosophy on interior design.
Jules Kim is the brainchild and sole designer behind Bijules; a New York based jewelery line that has steadily made waves since its inception over eight years ago. Her creations have graced the fingers, hands and necks of stylish individuals the world over including Rihanna and Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. Jules’ fierce sense of individualism is reflected not just in her personal style but in every piece she creates.
Jules’ latest venture is the Bijulesterie which is her unmistakable approach to retail. Hidden on the Bowery underneath the multi-label shop EVA; I went down the candle-lit stairs to experience something vastly different than any jewelery shop I had been in before. The space was cozy and intimate but the focal point was definitely the aquarium displayed filled with an assortment of Bijules product. Jules explained to me that her store is by appointment only so that each perspective buyer can be given individual attention and a proper introduction to the Bijules universe.
I found myself learning much about the jewelry making process as Jules walked me through the different Bijules collections ; each of which had it’s own unique character and story. Jules has a deep respect for the heritage of jewelery making but she has never been afraid to put her own twist on the age-old craft. Below are some images of the products she showed to me.
Handlet and phalange cocktail rings 2
Le grimpeur and the handlet
Bijulesterie aquarium display
You can book an appointment at the Bijulesterie HERE.
To learn a hear more from Jules read this interview I did with her on the Six Scents Archives HERE.
Writing and Photography by Rocky Li
Recently I had been hearing from some friends about a new store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called GRAYMARKET. I got in touch with one of the store’s founders Alex Kasavin and he invited me to visit the space this past week. While Williamsburg has been making strides in terms of nightlife and restaurants the neighborhood has never been known for its designer-clothing options. Founders Alex Kasavin and Wei Du set-out to provide what they call ‘archival designer clothing’ for men and women and I am happy to report that they have succeeded in creating a very special shop that stands alone in New York.
On the shops neatly organized racks I found jackets, tops , bottoms and shoes from some of my personal favorite brands : Givenchy, Number (N)ine, Undercover, Rick Owens and Carol Christian Poell just to name a few. It was truly a joy browsing the shop’s strange and wonderful assortment of items that I have always been very particular about mixing and matching with pieces across brands and collections and I am sure anyone with a similar outlook will find something for them at Graymarket.
Alex and Wei were gracious enough to answer a few questions I had about Graymarket.
Please introduce the concept behind Graymarket and how it came to fruition
Graymarket is a retail project inspired by our interest in fashion, art, and alternative modes of commerce. Graymarket offers a curated selection of archival items from a range of artisanal and luxury designers and presents a unique narrative through the juxtaposition of bleak avant-garde and polished glam aesthetics.
Graymarket is the unexpected result of endless hours of discussion. We did not aim to create a retail concept. The idea developed organically and we pursued it.
What made you feel that Williamsburg was the right neighborhood to open your shop?
We have lived, worked, and partied here for many years. We derive constant inspiration from Williamsburg’s vibrant culture of music, art, design, and fashion. We can’t imagine being anywhere else.
Despite the diverse range of pieces across and seasons available for sale there is a certain cohesiveness in the stock you carry. How were you able to curate such an interesting assortment of pieces?
In general we seek out pieces that we see ourselves and our friends wearing. We are especially drawn to garments that bear their creator’s indelible mark and can’t be mistaken for the work of another designer. Beyond that we look for pieces that can be combined to form interesting silhouettes.
I was quite impressed by the womenswear pieces available, does your buying philosophy differ when it comes to women as opposed to men?
We take a similar approach to our women’s selection. Ultimately it’s about finding bold, wearable pieces that convey the vision of the designer.
Which labels or designers have been impressing you of late?
Givenchy! The recent Spring Summer 2013 presentation demonstrates the power and breadth of Riccardo Tisci’s vision. We are impressed with his ability to combine evocative prints with various leitmotifs that range from somber to whimsical with unique color palettes and innovative yet seemingly effortless silhouettes.
Where do you find inspiration for your personal style from outside the fashion world?
We are primarily inspired by our neighborhood, each other, and our friends. We are also influenced by street culture ranging from punk to hip hop, paramilitary attire favored by various revolutionary groups, and contemporary art.
How do you see Graymarket growing and evolving in the future?
This is a wonderful and chaotic time in fashion and we consider ourselves lucky to be a small part of it. We want to do the best that we can now and prefer to take things day by day rather than looking too far ahead.
You can visit Graymarket at 242 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn
Words and Photography by Rocky Li
“Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension. The state of ruin is temporary by nature, the volatile result of the end of an era and the fall of empires. This fragility, the time elapsed but even so running fast, lead us to watch them one very last time: being dismayed, or admiring, wondering about the permanence of things. Photography appeared to us as a modest way to keep a little bit of this ephemeral state.”
Highland Park Police Station
Classroom, St Margaret Mary School
United Artists Theater
Ballroom, American Hotel
The above images are from an exhibition entitled ‘The Ruins of Detroit’. The photographs are a collaborative effort between Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre shot over five years.
As described on the project’s website
Detroit, industrial capital of the XXth Century, played a fundamental role shaping the modern world. The logic that created the city also destroyed it. Nowadays, unlike anywhere else, the city’s ruins are not isolated details in the urban environment. They have become a natural component of the landscape. Detroit presents all archetypal buildings of an American city in a state of mummification. Its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great Empire.
Purchase the book here.
Undercover is a brand that fully commits to it’s retail buildouts throughout Asia. The shop in Tokyo in Aoyama is definetly a must-see when I finally visit Japan. Despite Jun Takahashi’s design sensibilities shifting throughout the years , what has not changed is his reverence of retail as more than a place of commerce. Jun injects this shop with his own design inspiration ; collecting an enviable number of original Braun devices. As Mr.Takahasi’s design ethos has shifted to really embrace the idea of ‘less but better’, so has the design of his shops.
5-3-18 minami aoyama, minato-ku
+81 3 3407 1232