I’m too impatient to wait until I’m completely finished with a book to write a review here…sorry. My friend Rick gave me this book last Christmas, and I just got around to starting it like a month ago. Basic gist: a full, very thorough, report on the inner-workings of the luxury goods market and the brands that comprise it. All the history of them up until about 2006 I think…so pretty current stuff. It’s all the heavy hitters: LV, Gucci, Hermes, Prada, Dior, Lanvin, Chanel, etc, etc. Since I’m not finished with the book I can’t give a complete review - but I can say its been amazingly eye-opening. And more than anything else - I’ve learned to watch Bernard Arnault like you watch Steve Jobs…if not far more so. Man, he makes Gordon Gecko look like a Boy Scout troop leader…no joke. He’s an incredibly shrewd man who has shaped almost everyone’s view and conception of ‘luxury’ in the past 20+ years…either directly or indirectly. It’s not that I hadn’t heard of him, or knew about him before - but this book really gives you a blow-by-blow of his rise to power - and more importantly his influence over literally what the market would define luxury as…super crazy. Anyway, the book. It’s really just amazing to see the often, if not always, humble beginnings of the now massive luxury fashion houses. And as you can imagine - its never as pretty as you’d think under the hood. From my reading so far, only LV and to a much greater extent Hermes are the ‘real’ luxury brands per the original definition of luxury which had a lot less to do with expense and more to do with purpose and the artisans behind the products. Again, to disclaim, I’m a huge fan of LV - but I’m not ignorant to the fact that there is a lot of marketing at work attempting to influence my opinion on a brand…but with that being said, its even still eye-opening to look behind the scenes of these brands, what makes them tick, their margins (!!!!) and how they seem to break traditional business rules. Really interesting stuff. This post was longer than I was shooting for…my bad.
Chuck’s new book! I think Chuck filled me in about, hmm, maybe like 2 months ago? No? ...That he was working on a new book, and that it was going to be pretty intense, quite a follow-up from his last book release. And that it is. First of all, I love the name: Wandering Off Into Space. I haven’t actually asked Chuck where he got the name for that…even though he lives like not even two blocks from me now, ha. I should probably go over and ask. We still email each other a zillion times a day. Anyway…I love the name of the book - for me, its the perfect way to describe the creative process - just let your mind wander off into space. And Chuck’s made an art (pun intended) of wandering off into space well - constant creativity…this book is the documentation of that. Quite a bit of his work is represented. Some of my favorites. For a lot of people, its the first chance to see his stuff in (high quality) print - which I can tell you is quite a bit different than just checking it on the web. I’ve been around Chuck and his work for quite a while, since he started pretty much - but it’s always super fun to look at his stuff printed - the posters/pages almost look backlit sometimes. So yeah, it’s certainly worth grabbing a copy - perfect coffee table book to have out. Also, if you’re in the West Michigan area - you should swing thru to the launch party this Friday. Check it out here. Chuck and I will be there…in person drinking Coors Light…well, Chuck will probably be drinking Evian or a Capri Sun or something. But whatever, it’ll be awesome. Congrats Chuck…the book is great man.
From: Chuck W. Anderson
Date: December 16, 2008
To: Benjamin Gott
On Dec 16, 2008 at 10:17 AM Benjamin Gott wrote:
so awesome… saving this..
actually… post this!
On Dec 16, 2008, at 12:33 PM, Chuck Anderson wrote:
not sure what to say about them. haha. theyre just awesome.
On Dec 16, 2008, at 1:45 PM, Benjamin Gott wrote:
Make a post about how you told me you don’t think you have anything to post about…ha. Something funny.
We’ve chatted about Hedi’s photography here on the site a couple times before I think. Once at least. He’s back with this one…his amazing ability to find people that embody that ‘Hedi’ image, what was once the ‘Dior Homme’ image - I’d say it’s important not to confuse the two. The idea behind the project was to, in just 4 days, “create a definitive record of London youth right now.” Quite a task in just 4 days. Nicola Formichetti, the stylist for the shoot, and Hedi would hit the streets, cafes, late night shows, etc to find the faces they felt embodied the “genre now” look of London’s youth as A-ron might call it. I dig the end results. Without sounding like a fanboy - its a bit hard to wrap your head around someone like Hedi who seems to be so talented at some many things yet all of them are so congruent. All his projects fit together like puzzle pieces. Look for the photos in the next Dazed & Confused issue - and below for what I imagine is just a sneak peek at them. Or…maybe all of its just lighting. Ha.
I, like Ben, Virgil, and probably many of you, find massive amounts of inspiration and talented artists on Ffffound on a daily basis. Such a cool site. I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites from the last couple days on here because there are a handful that are especially great and worth mentioning.
•Tank Design - When I saw the packaging for Bumble & Bumble I was hooked. That project of theirs would be my favorite, but their portfolio is full it beautiful, sharp, and clean work. Check out the work for Redstar Enterainment they did - love the ‘Supersaturated’ stuff.
•I should mention that Bumble & Bumble packaging was posted on the Lovely Package blog which is worth checking out as well - great collection of stuff there.
•Definitely this. Ha.
•The work of Sam Green. So cool. Found via a link to http://www.booooooom.com/ - I’m loving these domain names with tons of letters. Kind of just sidestepping the whole domain name drought problem.
•Your Friends - Fresh Oslo based design studio. Originally found after seeing this.
•One of my all time favorite images discovered on Ffffound - this - led me to the creator - Lori Hersberger. Ridiculously cool.
•The occasional goofy stuff for a laugh, like this, this, and especially this.
•Ffffound is good for reminding yourself that Josh Keyes is a total badass - case in point.
•Same goes for Tiffany Bozic of course.
•And last but not least, the discovery of these ‘Your personal moon’ images. I’m not sure whose they are so if anyone knows, please email us.
I haven’t done a hotel review in a while…I used to do a decent amount - guess I need to travel more. So yeah, just stayed at the The James hotel in Chicago last week for a couple nights for a business trip of sorts - and I liked it quite a bit. It’s one of the first ‘boutique’ hotels I’ve stayed at that didn’t have some weird kitschy ‘theme’ they were trying to push on you. Instead, they seem to focus on good service, decent art and compliments in the common areas, nice sized rooms with cool furniture that had a West Elm kind of feel to it, large bathrooms (even though ours had one of those super basic pre-fab tubs in it), half bottles of all your favorite spirits instead of a mini-bar - which presents much better, and Kiehls toiletries which was super nice…in fact, I’m quite proud that I’ve grown up enough now to stop myself from just snatching a bunch from the house-keeping cart in the hall, ha. I dig the location too…about 2 blocks off Michigan Ave west from The Gap store on Ontario, so pretty centrally located to the whole ‘Magnificent Mile’ thing. And a Trader Joe’s across the street…kind of can’t beat that. But yeah, I liked it…I liked how simple it was and how they didn’t have anything that felt like they were tricking you into thinking they’re some ‘amazing’ hotel…you know, like blue neon lights under the bed. Ha, I stayed at a hotel that had those. It’s just a nice, classic but modern, well executed hotel. Love the popcorn they had at the bar with the weird hot spicy stuff on it.
This is a weird one. So CEO Elon Musk of Tesla Motors has requested $400M in low-interest Federal Loans - part of this infamous $25B bail out thing. My first reaction was to dismiss Tesla as now just another auto company…in fact, I was pretty upset since I’m fans of what they’re up to. But this bailout thing…...we don’t talk politics on THE BRILLIANCE, but the bailout is scary stuff to me man, thats all I’ll say. I guess I just get disenchanted with companies that don’t have the American ‘hustle’. Where did that go anyway? And why should tax payer money go to a startup that produces something pretty much no one in America can afford?? But, after thinking about and reading some more…I had a slight change of heart with Telsa. Or maybe more so with ‘The Fed’. Option 1: bailout existing car companies who can hardly even attempt to make something that might lessen out dependence on foreign oil/fuel - and haven’t made something future-focused since…the 60s. OR… Option 2: bailout a company that is creating truly new, innovative, products that will ultimately benefit America long term should they be able to produce something more affordable - which they are working. Thing is…I guess its a phrasing thing. Is it ‘bailing out’ or government funding for a private science project almost circa the Space Race back in the 60’s when private companies (Tang!) got gov’t contracts, etc, that ultimately created products/technologies that were exportable, provided jobs, etc? You know?? Thinking about it that way puts Tesla in a better light…maybe. I honestly don’t know what to think about it…my jury is still out. And to quite honest, I’m probably not as educated on this as I should be. Any thoughts? ***And after reading my own post…I’m just like, ‘survival of the fittest man’, Keep business private and let the cream rise to the top. I’ll make my next post more light hearted, maybe about my favorite flavor Doritos or something.
Ultra-real, not-really-politically-correct press conference of the thought process behind 808s and Heartbreak. Super funny. Just like that the album has been out for one week. It’s all I have been listening to for the last month or 2, really. For me it sonically fits my lifestyle and current taste level. Sounds good loud and quite, out at night or on the ipod. Going back to how I consider THE BRILLIANCE a timeline for important stuff, I wasn’t gonna let this slide without bookmarking this album. For the simple fact that its an album that hit a void on so many levels it deserves a spot on this blog. Part of the fun of a new Kanye album is the press conferences that come out surrounding it. I just got sent this video of a press conference in New Zeland thats got a ton of fresh classic Kanye lines in it. Just put it on while your at work or something, its entertaining.
“I wouldn’t be completely opposed to wearing Hammer slacks at some point.” - Kanye
So ever in search of the perfect jacket I came across this fine piece of work by New York Designer, Partik Ervell. Sure its not for the faint of heart but my attitude is your only live once so act like you are somebody. I am a fan of Patrik’s overall design aesthetic. Easy to wear clothes with a touch of fashion. Like if Banana Republic wasn’t gear toward the middle of the road and more like the alley that Freeman’s is in. Opening Ceremony stocks his stuff. It’s where I schemed Look 22 from Fall/Winter 2008. Too bad for me my arms are too long and it dosen’t fit. I might keep it in the archives tho, its kinda too perfect.
Shine deserved! Virgil is too modest to post it himself…understandable…but we have to give shine where shine is due, right? A while back Virgil hit me up saying that he was working with Sarah of Colette on a collaboration piece for fun - soon to hit the sales floor. Just in case you’re not plugged into Colette - its pretty much the coolest current-culture shop perhaps in the world, located in Paris, France. Having your work (which I believe Chuck has as well) in their shop is quite the honor. So yeah, when Virgil let me know it was going down I was pretty excited for him. End result - Virgil’s tee, titled “Medallions en bleu”, went for sale on the 21st of October and sold out in about a week. Pretty impressive. But not really surprising, the design is nothing short of iconic…and I’ll be honest, I don’t care much for t-shirts. I love that he had it done on an actual champion ‘gym tee’ style shirt. The neck tag is too cool as well - check the back of it! And that’s that…its already sold out, but congrats to Virgil and a bonjour to Sarah at Colette from THE BRILLIANCE!, we love what you do. More coming soon? ***Check the link below for more picture at Hypebeast.