The Brilliance!


We’re really internet and we’re really back. A website about things Benjamin , Chuck , Virgil , and various friends & guests think are interesting. Little-to-no specific focus, a bit odd, speling errors, and incredibly culturally relevant.

1012 small

House of Holland, PANTONEs for Days!!

Runway shows are a blast is a close runner up. True you miss the excitement of it all but to really soak in each piece is kinda difficult when there are like 3 whizzing by. Any who. If you see alot of shows it hard to remember a specfic one unless they really go all out. I just flipped thru the first 3 looks of the House of Holland latest collection and was blown away…driven to post about it. In design school they always tell you just to focus in on one idea/point of inspiration. Once you keep adding other points of reference the strength gets lost. This collection is a perfect example of one REALLY good idea. The thing designers stare at the most…the PANTONE book. Mine is like an AMEX card, I never leave home with out it. Last week I decided to take it outta the bottom of my backpack and an hour later I get an email asking for PANTONE call outs. Back to House of Holland. Not only did they execute the PANTONE idea perfectly, white separating lines and all, they put them on super serious fashion silhouettes. That one men’s look is spot on. Check it out. Even if your not into fashion this collection is just great to look at. Get inspired.

1011 small

Important read: Interview magazine, James Jebbia!!

The Chanel or Vuitton of street/skate wear. I don’t own much Supreme, mostly cause I’m a slim guy and they don’t make my size…but I am a HUGE fan of their brand. I love classics, basics, true cultural referencers, etc. That is what Supreme is to me…its this like ultra simple brand that does just the most classic stuff. Ha, I guess everyone feels this way though right? So, James Jebbia, the man behind Supreme was just interviewed in the famed Interview magazine. Too cool, super insightful. I’ve always wanted to hear more of his thoughts. I love his matter-of-fact approach to starting Supreme. Letting things happen naturally, not trying to ‘be’ something, etc. Here are some choice quotes:

“It cost me, like, $12,000 to open the store.”

“With Supreme, there were no grand plans—with the name, with the store, with anything. It all just evolved.”

$12k, how nuts is that?? I love it. Check the interview though, great read on a brand that paved the way, if not created the market, for every other new ‘niche culture’ brand in the past 10-15 years.

1010 small

Booooooom goes the dynamite.

We love Ffffound. That should come as no surprise to anybody. The best ‘junk drawer’ site on the internet if you ask me. (Also, it’s got to be because of the invite system that that site has yet to be really flooded with dumb stuff…) Anyways, Jeff Hamada is the man behind the site Booooooom, that’s 7 “o’s”, and this site has been the source of a massive amount of awesome stuff that has popped up on Ffffound’s infamous front page and beyond. Jeff’s tastes for Booooooom have really come to define it as a truly unique art and design blog - the artists featured are of a consistently high quailty. You can hardly go through a full page without finding at least a handful of great new artists (or revisit a few old favorites). Jeff even uses an exclamation point (!) after all the subsection links and a lot of the post titles - and you know! how much! we here at The Bril!liance love that! I’m not sure how to describe the general style of artists selected for the site, but I love it, whatever it is. It always seems to be of an organic nature - something either handcrafted (rarely artists who use mostly the computer are posted), illustration, lo-fi photograpy, drawing, painting…all that. It’s like the best of New American Paintings, Juxtapoz, classic Tokion (which I really, really miss by the way. Here’s to you Deanne Cheuk…), and Anthem Mag all on one site. And those are four really great things to be compared to. Well done Jeff, the internet neeeeeeeds more sites like Booooooom.

1009 small

I kind of can’t believe I’m using twitter.

Maybe its just the name… ‘Twitter.’ If it was called like ‘Update’ or ‘Quick’ it’d feel a lot cooler…ha, I don’t know. Anyway, I started using it cause I opened an account and a few people started following, then like 20 or so, and I just figured why waste the outlet, you know? So instead of using it like the face book ‘is’ thing, I’m just using it to post thoughts, links, even song lyrics from Rick Ross…I mean, why not. I try and update it like once a day, keep it fresh. It’s a fun little outlet. I’d kind of ignored twitter so I was totally missing out on following people like Diplo and Lance Armstrong. Super entertaining. Diplo specifically. Virgil put me on to his. So yeah, totally get like, you know like, super web 2.0ed out and follow me on twitter dude! We can like totally tweet each other! Ha, jeez, maybe I shouldn’t have started using twitter, ha. ** get at me too! username: VAALLC ** 3/3rds of THE BRILLIANCE!!! is up and running.

1008 small

Welcome back aNYthing!!

I was pretty happy to see this news today. The aNYthing brand, with Aron at the controls, was always…so well done. I don’t really have any interest in moving to NYC, but I love to visit and I love, just love, to watch the creativity and CULTURE that is generated by its residents. We were lucky enough to interview Aron a while back through our relationship with Alex Calderwood - he connected us - and its still my favorite interview I think. I remember chatting with Aron via text message a bit and having him send a package our way super early on - I still have those shirts! So yeah…there was a bunch of ‘drama’ and aNYthing was controlled by someone else for a bit - but that’s no longer, Aron is back running the show, and I can’t wait to see what they cook up. Check the interview on Hypebeast, link below. A great quote from the interview: “Yeah kids today can jump online and study the culture as opposed to being involved in the culture. There’s some good too it but a lot of bad.” - SS Congrats and welcome back.

1007 small

The *New* Standard - Hotel!!!

So I am broadcasting from The Standard Hotel aka the crazy building that spans the High Line in NYC’s Meatpacking District. The Standard is seriously my favorite brand of hotels to stay in, in the world. Ritzy-fancy-old-hotel have too much of a generational gap for me and most boutique hotels over do it on the wrong details. The Standard does it right on all the details. Their logo is written upside down on everything. I love it every time. First off the design of this building is one of the best in NYC, period. It looks like it should even stand up properly. The entry/lobby is a smash…mirrors, marble and interesting lights. The experience of the stay is where The Standard keeps winning. The reality priced liquor bar makes it actually make sense to partake. I really dig the layout of the room, my glass boxed in shower is dead center in the room and separates the bedroom & bathroom. Free wifi (note to all hotels, get with the times). Free breakfast room service! Awesome views no matter what room you got. And icing on the cake is the iHome iPod stereo thing that actually charges my forever dead iPhone while blasting Sebastian Tellier all day long…and yeah…tons of ‘real’ magazines, like Fantastic Man, V, Art in America, TAR, etc. All in all I think you get the gist, I am raving about this place. It’s that good.

1006 small

Jonathan Borofsky’s work!

I’m actually just about to leave, in like 26 minutes, to go meet with Chuck to go check out Borofsky’s installation and other works at the Frederick Meijer Gardens…again. I checked it out for the first time yesterday, and really kind of fell in love with his stuff. I really love larger installations - the classic white room as the canvas - just really love it. His work has a very obvious ‘human’ theme to it…but its also very, innocent I suppose, or maybe hopeful. That’s the feeling I walked away with afterwards. I love the engineering that has gone into his stuff as well, the translucent polycarbonate/plastic is really pretty amazing, and the way the different colors (or people?) interact with each other at his installation here in town is quite beautiful, just visually…take whatever meaning from it you might, you know? Alright, I gotta go meet Chuck at Buffalo Wild Wings.

1005 small

Bringing back Polaroid instant film - project ‘Impossible’!

Alright hipsters, listen-up! Until the iPhone has a flash and an app that makes all your pictures look like perfectly-terrible on purpose, you need to be informed on this project. Ha..kidding, kidding. In case you hadn’t heard, about 2 years ago (right?) Polaroid decided to stop producing their ever-so-famous instant film. I haven’t done a ton of research on why, so whatever - but after hearing that I always thought ‘huh, why wouldn’t someone either purchase their old mfg equipment, or come-up with an aftermarket solution?’ Right?? There is so much social cache in the Polaroid instant camera and its iconically bad quality. Well, I wasn’t the only one with that question…in fact a group of employees of the old factory itself in Holland have banded together to form a business they’ve titled ‘Impossible’ to make it happen. they’ve leased the factory themselves for another 10 years, are getting all the equipment back up and running and they plan to relaunch in 2010. They say it’ll be better quality but still compatible with the older cameras. Hmm, is ‘better quality’ really better in this instance? I can just see ‘purists’ being like ‘Dude man, the new film just isn’t as…you know, like…like, like…real.’ Ha. All stuff aside its a pretty cool story, can’t wait to see how they spin the re-launch. Check out more below from Curated Mag, cool site.

1004 small

I’m listening to baile funk!

My music taste goes is such waves. One month I can’t get enough of Babyshambles, month before that it was random screwed and chopped tracks, then The Beach Boys, then back to The Specials, then electronic music, and an ever present amount of Jay-Z, etc, etc. I just love switching it up I guess…maybe cause I used to listen to one style of music like super intense for months at a time. Anyway, my new addition as of the past few months has been this baile funk stuff. It truly felt like a new style of music when I first heard it a while back. Quick rundown: it’s music created for and in the slums, falevas, of Rio De Janeiro with its original inspiration coming from Miami bass I guess. Lots more to the story. It’s got all sorts of culture around it…super interesting. I don’t speak the language, and even if I did I imagine the slang used would be super far over my head - but I still dig it. Blender did a good write up, linked below, and Mad Decent posted three super classic tracks a while back…check them out here. Some intense new music for sure if you’ve never listened to it.

1003 small

The problem with web services being free.

Something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately… The problem with web services being free. Seems every service on the internet is free, right? Blogging services, facebook, google, email services, even the blogs themselves, etc, etc, etc, etc. I started thinking about it more after just recently switching my personal email to be hosted using Google Apps, and hosting my personal site using Tumblr…both services free. So for $8.95 a year, GoDaddy fee, I have the pretty much the best email solution possible and a fantastic blogging platform - both with rock solid performance and uptime. Minus the GoDaddy fee…I have everything for free. In fact, I left a previous host and I’m actually saving money and getting better service. I’m starting to feel like this isn’t a good thing. In fact, apparently neither is Google, they have been lowering the number of free accounts you can have on your Google Apps service - its down to 50 form 200. And after that its $50 a year I believe. The web has long been about ‘getting eye-balls’ and then figuring out how to monetizing them. This has all been funded by massive venture cap that have made their money selling their hit products to some other, often established, company who thinks they’ll be able to monetize those zillions of ‘eye-balls’...see News Corp + MySpace. But at the end of the day, it always seems to come down advertising real physical things, that can be monetized the old fashioned way…by selling them. It’s like the internet has been subsidized by venture cap for so long that the idea of creating something for the web that makes money because it offers a valuable service…doesn’t even occur to ‘entrepreneurs’ anymore. Kind of scary, you know? There is that classic saying that if you give something to someone for free they’ll never value it. And from that, people won’t really evangelize the product because they don’t really value it. Right? What if Google Apps wasn’t free? What if facebook was $1 a month? What if twitter was $5 a year? What if really great blogs weren’t free? I just wonder how much different things would be if there were 1,000s and 1,000s of great little internet business humming along that made money…without advertising. You know, like the real world. I guess this post was just me thinking out loud. There are companies, new and old on the web that charge…just not as many as it seems there should be, and not enough small ones in particular. ***Did this post suck? Was it too boring/long? Stating the obvious too much? Should I not think out loud on here anymore? Ha.