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.

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Toyota’s FT-HS…keep this stuff coming!

We’ve got some momentum with these cars – let’s keep it going…honestly! This one is quite nice, while its not totally electric like the Tesla – it’s a great step forward. A hybrid sports car that doesn’t looks ridiculous – actually that’s a matter of opinion on this one, but I love the hard lines on this one. Not a huge amount to say on this without reading the article, which I just briefly read at the grocery store, but the main idea is that you have an amazingly fast (400bhp) hybrid, great design, some crazy interior treatments, and an interesting launch proposal. What makes the launch of this car interesting is that it would replace Toyota’s Supra (their relatively non-green flag-ship sports car) with a hybrid. They would be the first car company to do such a thing…good for them. I would prefer a totally electric sports car, but until the prices of batteries come down its going to be hard to convince someone with an entry-level Aston budget to get an exhaustless ride.

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This UNIQLO magazine thing!!!

Gap, J. Crew, Banana Republic…welcome to a game of catch up. WOW. I knew Uniqlo was on point but this look book/magazine is just fantastic. This stuff couldn’t be any less expensive. They make the most basics of basics POP with their presentation and have a swagger that is very fashionable. The prices are almost too reasonable. I didn’t see anything I wanted that was over $80. As cool as H&M is I don’t think they can do the un-stylistic, timeless thing nearly as clean. I guess a company that has Masamichi Katayama buildout the flagship store is smarter than the average. I really hope this brand has a larger impact. The standard of American everyday fashion is moving in the right direction but Uniqlo’s investment in the US raises the bar of ‘boring fashion’.

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Safari anyone?

This is concept retailing at its finest. F. M. Allen is a one-stop shop for all things safari related on Madison Ave in New York. As you can see by their website they are not playing around. They can cater to the interior designer, safari fanatic and extreme vacationer all at once. You can actually book a trip to Botswana and get outfitted for the trip all in one afternoon. All of the resorts they book look spectacular. You gotta wonder what the price tag is on one of these trips to the bush? I think just convinced myself I need to go on a safari one day…so nostalgic. I can see it now, Purdey elephant gun (just for looks…shooting animals is barbaric to me), linen safari shirt, pocket watch, brass telescope, and one of those hats….day dream….I fell asleep amongst the flowers…

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Diller Scofidio, on the move with ICA!!

How ironic is it that I found out about this super modern building while watching This Old House, my Saturday morning non-cable routine. Laugh it up. But they did a construction walk-through of the ICA which are always as cool and sometimes better than the finished product. What make this building stand out is the HUGE cantilever balancing over the riverwalk. You could tell from the renderings that that is gonna be an awesome space. The interior is super impressive with natural light in the galleries and crazy tech’ed out features. The whole discussion among the architecture vs. the artwork in them is that architects need to back off and not outshine the art, but I think both sides need to really push their limits and give the people a memorable experience, not what they expect. Whether or not that architecture is good needs to be hashed out within architecture. I am feeling this project tho. The Diller Scofidio US portfolio is definitely on the move.

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Magazine love!!!

Sorry for the huge lack of posts from me for the last few weeks! I have no excuse except that work has kept me overwhelmed, busy, and completely occupied the entire month of December. Sometimes I forget that posting here on THE BRILLIANCE is supposed to be a break for me from that stuff and should alllow me to think about and share things that aren’t work-related…Plus, my man Shawn over at Sony/BMG threatened my life if he didn’t start seeing some new posts from me on here. I owe him anyways… annnnnywaaayyys…. Magazines. What can I say? I spend a considerable amount of time in bookstores…kind of a bookstore junky…most of the time I end up with a literal pile of magazines and I thought I’d touch on a few of my favorites, specifically three I subscribe to…Dwell, National Geographic Traveler, and Islands. Dwell really needs no introduction. Probably the most wonderfully designed, substantial magazine on shelves in recent years. Truly an inspiring magazine…seeing beautiful, clean, modern design blending seamlessly with efforts to inspire and create more sustainable, affordable, and environment-friendly things… Next, National Geographic Traveler. My fiancee got me a subscription to this magazine last year and I must say, my eyes have since been opened to a world (literally) of new places I want to visit. Amalfi Coast in Italy, Namibia, Palawan in the Philippines… Always great narratives, reviews of places, and amazing photography…which transitions nicely into the last magazine. My “sweet tooth cure” magazine so-to-speak, and I know Ben would agree…Islands. There is nothing like looking through Islands magazine on a cold, icy, December day in Chicago. Seriously. Nothing like it…your mind just wanders uncontrollably. Another magazine that has led me to want to travel more and more. Places like Rarotonga, Christmas Island, Bohol(!!!), the Yucatan Peninsula, and of course Bora Bora (which I do believe I’ll be visiting in August!). Anyways, let your mind wander with any of these magazines…so much inspiration and excitement to be found… ***Agreed, Islands magazine never gets old, my favorite issue is the one with Palau on the cover - benjamin

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Dov Charney sells American Apparel!

An interesting move…no? I mean, yes – almost every business owner has a number they will sell their business for, in this case it was around $260M. And acquisitions can be great for a brand. But I just didn’t really see Mr. Dov selling his company…he seems so ingrained in it, part of his whole personality. He’ll stay CEO, but from what I understand he is quite the entrepreneur – so what’s next? I heard there is mad money in the internet these days – if you can make a site where people can share photos or talk to each other you’ll be rich!!! Ha. Either way, congrats to Dov…fun fact for our readers, he was one of the first people we were going to interview. Had a phone call with him and everything…didn’t pan out. It’s okay, I still love their nylon track jackets and new striped tees.

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Rhodia Notepads!

Talk about the beauty of utility. There’s that select few number of products that straddle that line of totally functional and by default are great to look at. Scientists and designers alike are down with Rhodia notepads. Why? Probably because they designed their format and stuck with it. Kinda like “if you build it they will come.” That patented shade of orange, stiff cardboard back and clean binding they do is all you need. So all of you out there stressing about stocking stuffers for your rocket scientist/designer friend splurge on one of these incredibly inexpensive and timeless notepads. I can’t even find their website, website so this not really an advertisement like it reads…ha ha

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Abelardo Morell & Camera Obscura!

Man, this is nuts. Just got the new issue of Dwell in the mail…was flipping through and saw what appeared to be a room with a big photo projected onto its walls upside down. I love this…it’s actually this guy who completely blacks out the windows and any source of light to a room and then puts a tiny pin-hole in the material covering the windows to in essence turn the room into a camera. The results are simply beautiful. I’m assuming from there he simply places a camera in the room somewhere to photograph the results…looks like maybe it’s a long exposure? Either way, the results are amazing – and the process is, relatively, simple. I just love anything innovative like this.

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Stephen Wiltshire, Riverside Gallery!

We usually don’t just post up emails and all that we get from people about this-and-that gallery show. But I just can’t get over Stephan Wiltshire. We posted on him a while back when he was doing the whole ‘Not A Camera’ series…honestly just some amazing work. Search ‘Stephen’ here on our site for more info. He’s honestly just an amazing artist…yes, he is a ‘savant’ but I honestly I look at him as a miracle or maybe even a ‘gift’ to all people who appreciate art. He loves what he does, and we love what he does. Seriously amazing. Wish I could hit this opening as originals will be for sale…bummer. Either way, here is the info: 20 January - 11 March 2007, Riverside Gallery, Richmond. Check the link below for more info. Thanks to Mark for the email.

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SEI Water gets it!!

I am a sucker for good packaging. The best example since the Philippe Starck consulted Vitamin Water is this SEI water product. A-MA-ZING design. Water flasks. I dig their whole approach. The coolest thing for me about this packaging is that they dodged the marketing to masses formula (mountain-esque paper wraps) and are catering only to people that are into “subtle” design furthermore “get it”. We all understand all water is really the same, so you gotta differentiate with the look and attitude. Their website is nice too and dictates what their brand is about. They are on point with the product placement but what’s up with their distribution?