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.

Brill hedi

Man!!! Hedi Slimane is not messing around…

One of the best fashion stories of our time is the whole Hedi Slimane’s departure and return. Proper fashion drama. A year and change in we were foolish to expect a drastic evolution. Mies van der Rohe didn’t get bored one day and all of a sudden believe in a new aesthetic. The point is Hedi lives in his look and has refined that aesthetic to a best made level. Perfect example of perfection. Any creative director can see the long emails, firey conference calls and emergency finance meetings anytime you see something amazing go to market like what he’s putting in consumers hands. I love those that can pull off no compromise. No one does it better. Thanks God he’s back.

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NeverWet!! Waterproof everything!! Cover yourself in it and jump in a pool!

When we started THE BRILLIANCE!, Ben & I would write posts about things like edamame, Scrabble, and Carmex, for example, then email each other and be like “I don’t know dude…I don’t think people are going to want to read about that…” and then we came to our senses and were like, whatever…who cares. Just write about what you dig and people will dig it too. So when our friend Nicolai tipped us off to this spray you put on anything to completely waterproof it, I was like, I’m posting about that. That is very THE BRILLIANCE. “Very THE BRILLIANCE.” Good tshirt idea. Anyways. I’m like a paragraph in and I haven’t told you what this is about yet. Haha. Ok. OK!! Anyways…this stuff NeverWet is nuts - and honestly you’ve got to watch the video. You spray this (presumably super hazardous chemical??) on anything and it becomes completely resistant to liquids. Not only water though - check the video the dude squeezing chocolate syrup ALL OVER a pair of the whitest Vans ever and the stuff just like, slides right off of it. Mustard too. It’s cool to watch because it’s like one of those science videos you’ll find yourself killing time on YouTube with but it’s actually attainable now for 20 bucks a bottle, not like “Perhaps someday this will be available to consumers” type thing. What I want to know is, what if I put it all over myself and hop in the pool? Do I just get out and I don’t need to dry off?? Hmm. Is this going to kill the towel industry? Are napkin CEOs freaking out?? Honestly when I have kids eventually I’m putting this stuff all over them and their clothes before I go to any restaurant or to a park. You could go like a week without bathing them. That’s a weird thing to say. Anyways - the craziest thing of all this I think is when they show how to open up an iPhone, coat the whole thing inside and out, and it becomes completely waterproof. I wouldn’t do it personally, but it’s pretty amazing that something this powerful is available as a mass market thing. Imagine this for photographers though - lenses, gear, lighting..?? If you could go shoot without having to worry about screwing up all the electronics in your stuff…I don’t know, we geek out about this stuff over here plus its been a stressful week so this was fun to watch and write about. Alright, lemme go buy a can of this and spray it on my TV then throw my TV in a pool just because. Watch this video.


Bro, Google. Reader, bro. C’mon bro.

I don’t do a lot of “complaining posts” - at least I try not to. And this is kind of hilarious cause I was totally not into RSS a few years ago, this site itself didn’t have it. That said, once you get hooked on using RSS readers its really hard to switch back. So yeah, Google’s fantastically simple RSS Reader closes today. I imagine it did cost quite a lot to run it - and most users were using a 3rd party reader which doesn’t allow google to serve ads against it - so it doesn’t make a lot of money I would assume. But come on dude!!!! Ha. Now I’m using Feedly which has an ugly icon, has way over-designed UX stuff, uses “cool internet colors like purple and bright green” which is distracting from the whole point of RSS being just text and reading - no design, etc, etc. I can nerd out for a while on this. Thing that really bugs me is that I didn’t develop something - or that one of my favorite apps, “Reeder”, didn’t develop their own solution. I feel like that dude just shrugged his shoulders and went on vacation. I would love to take a stab at this…maybe I still should? Perfect practice in minimal & thoughtful design. I still think the whole RSS space is still too complicated - find a service, find a reader, etc. Should be simpler. That’s it, thats all I have to offer in this post. Mostly just complaining. #websites & #internet I’m going to start VRSS, very rare simple syndication.


Friday RANDOMZZZ ##### !!

I love doing these. Last one I did was like 3 years ago, ha. Internet No Rules!!1

Chuck sent me this Robert Longo interview piece on Nowness yesterday. I’m not an expert in artist interviews, but this is like the most insightful ones I’ve ever seen. I’m a huge, huge fan of his work and to hear him explain/talk about the balance of being an artist creating sellable work vs an artist creating work no one wants. Man, just really struck a cord with me. I’m not buying super expensive stuff, I hang around in the $500-1000 mark with a couple over that - but I go to a lot of shows/opening, etc, and what he’s saying has been a topic between artist friends for a while. Like, how to actually make a living as an artist.

Speaking of chuck? You following him on vine?! Sheesh.

I’m getting hip to marble in general, Carrara marble. Actually did some rough “honing” for a new project I’m working on.

I’ve never been to New Orleans. Been on my list, need to go. I love how the pool at this hotel looks. Seems like everything is so affordable.

Neo-Georgian architecture is my favorite right now.

I’m actually nervous this whole heavy black & white wave is going to crash and all sorts of pastels and wacky colors are going to be the next move. : /

Nike Flyknit thing has grabbed my attention, and money, like nothing. So fascinated with the technology.

That group Rhye? They’re the American Sebastian Tellier? #very good.

Do you lean or hang your artwork in your home? I’m a leaner. Like with big piece, 6x6, etc, it makes everything in your place feel taller. Speaking of that, I have been remodeling my condo for like 2 years, ha, finally coming together. Cork floors are amazing.

You guys heard the new Kanye album????????????!??!111


Darcel Disappoints!!! Still going strong…

“Seriously the most genius blog,” Virgil wrote in his post about Darcel back in January ‘09. So I just have to preface this post with that and say it again, not only because it’s true on a creative level but because, my goodness, the consistency and output from Craig Redman - the man behind Darcel Disappoints - is just amazing. Running a blog is a funny thing - we know this well - it’s so easy to post a bunch and then sort of just…forget about it. You know? One of the most disappointing things to me is visiting a favorite blog after I hadn’t checked it in a while only to realize the last post was like 8 months ago or something. Neglected blogs are just always a bad look…better to just put some graphic up while you figure out if you’re all in or not. Otherwise just looks lazy. So anyways - that’s really why I admire Darcel so much - keeping up with a project for so long so consistently is one thing, but Darcel transcends just being a blog. Every post illustrating a story, a gallery show, a party, a concert, a trip, a museum, or whatever…(funny thing, as I write this I go and refresh the site and there’s a new post up)... anyways - the evolution of the blog has made way for all the great collaborations & projects he’s done too - including the prints/merch you can get in the Shop and especially last years ‘150/15: Colette X Darcel Disappoints Exhibition’ featuring 150 portraits(!!) in the usual Darcel style. It’s just fun - it’s always fun. That’s what I love about it. One of my true ‘staples’ I make a point of checking on a regular basis…make it one of yours too…and check one of my favorite recent posts, ‘Bummer’ ... that 0 / 0 / 0 Instagram buzzkill… ha.


WHY ARE WHITE on WHITE AIR FORCE 1’s relevant again?

Basically every mini-style era has a perfect shoe to go along with it. Girls, flats, stilettos-in-the-club cues Crime Mob, Marants, platform heels, TOM FORD vibe heels, or strappy whatevers. For guys, there is that omni-present post American Apparel Vans Eras wave. I never did Stan Smiths but that was a moment, Air max 1, proper running shoe vibe, Jordans (whoa overload), and now white/white uptowns are having their moment but why? I always steered clear of them like the plague in the Rocafella-era when like Dame Dash swapped in for a new pair everyday. The sole was always giving giving me ‘candy-raver-platform’ shoe vibes and the toe is too abrupt. But in 2013 its fine. They are like summer timb boots. I am attributing it your the now new standard silhouette of jeans for kids. Isn’t it crazy that what you once thought were skinny jeans are now crazy baggy. There is something about white going on right now too. Summer crispy and summer crispy turned dirty. I am admittedly addicted by dirty white jeans. Was never into things feeling “brand-new”. Dirty white sneakers. Lets go. This post gonna get real random but thats what THE BRILLIANCE IS. If you ask me the dirt adds a layer of reality. Just a clue of where my heads at. Diamonds are a trends best friend. THE BRILLIANCE CNN of these #streets. Reporting live.


We’re like Sports Center for these Apple events!

Man, this is one of the first keynote I missed watching live - I suck at taking red-eyes from West to East, oh boy. Feels good to be back writing these. So yeah, blow-by-blow, too much to cover, nerd-out:

The opening animation: Most important part of the whole keynote. Perfect, perfect.

iOS 7: Its been a long time since there has been a standing ovation at a keynote. I want to know how long they worked on this. I can’t imagine overhauling something like this - so much changed. Hardware designer doing software design is the magical part of this - feel like only Apple can do it and make it work. I personally love it. Love the thought that there are “layers” to it - brilliant - my favorite part. I’m not, like, 100% on the icon designs - thats that feeling of new stuff, Apple hasn’t felt this new since…I guess iOS came out. Feels like paper, and I dig that. So yeah the grid design system, rethinking fonts used, the layer concept, the flatness that matches the physical device finally, motion sensing effect - wow, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. It’s all pretty amazing. So much stuff…too much to talk about. Actually makes me want to get the white iPhone for the first time.

New OS X Mavericks: Lots of little details. Important stuff is: tons of detail stuff on power consumption, computing power, memory use, etc. The “tagging” feature is cool - but I feel like its going to be cluttered unless you’re like super intense about using it religiously. All this stuff for OS X Mavricks is tilting towards developers/creators/pro users, etc. Steve Jobs: “Computers are trucks, tablets are cars.”

The new MacPro: Phil Schiller almost lost it, got super TURNT, lol - they should have played Waka Flocka. Can’t wait to see how much that thing is going to cost. It looks brilliant. I honestly feel like Steve must have had a lot to do with this, for real. Reminds me of the cube that never really worked out. Love that it looks like a jet-engine. Made in the USA!

iRadio: I’m the worst with this radio stuff. I always looked at the radio as so old school, its: sequential access vs. random access.

iWork for iCloud: You know they played rock-paper-scissor for who had to do that. Snoozed out.

That new Belgium store: Interesting they are keeping the theatre in there.

Dress-code: Yoooo, Eddy Cue especially, button that shirt up bro bro! Then again, dude is on the board of Ferarri. I can see him in meetings: “guys guys guys, why don’t we just make ALL the cars yellow with red interiors?!”

And a huge shout-out to Craig Federighi & Pixar character Phil Schiller for being actually “human” when presenting and going off-script a bit. I’m a Tim Cook fan - but he’s a bit robotic for me, and whether Apple wants it or not, these keynotes are a spectator sport, have been for a minute, and that humanness Steve had was a big part of it.

Post was too long, or whatever.


Dov Charney, Americas last business weirdo-eccentric?!

I mean, I honestly feel like this is the first HOUR long video/interview I’ve watched this intensely since the Walt Mossberg & Steve Jobs interviews. I don’t know, maybe a Karl Lagerfeld one in there somewhere too. Either way - this is kind of a must watch. Dov is this fascinating character - he’s every hipster in one. He’s every kid at the “cool guy” dive bar, every kid riding a fixed gear, every kid on tumblr, every kid in Echo Park/Brooklyn/Portland/Oakland/Austin/etc, every kid that’s trying to “do it different”, every cliche about any scene kid. But he has this slight shift in his DNA that has allowed him to be both extremely capitalist and socialist at the same time. Kind of…I think. He’s so unwavering in doing exactly what he wants, controlling everything, and making it financially sustainable - as a FOR PROFIT business. I suppose thats why I love listening to him. For as weird he is, all the bad press, etc, he’s kind of the last business weidro-eccentric we have here in the US. Maybe him and Elon Musk? I just love dudes like him - no MBA - just straight up passion and attention to detail and quite obviously from this interview, a deep care for humanity. So yeah, waste an hour on this for sure and watch him somehow braid being capitalist, socialist, left-wing, right-wing, all into one interesting and sometimes confusing ethos. ***Fun fact, Dov Charney was actually going to be one of our first interviews when we first launched the site. He replied to my email with his personal cell - crazy. Ended up not working out, but I always dug that he handled stuff like that - or at least saw our vision. Thanks to @adesholamakinde for forwarding this to me.

***Dudes pants from Vice are like, wowzers, wetsuit/scuba-diving Spring/Summer 2013.


Double Scribble!! Feelin like a kid again…

I paid like, 42% of my attention in class as a kid to what was being taught…OK, maybe more like 24.2%...ish…Whatever though, the important part here is that the rest of that time was spent drawing on pretty much anything and everything that was a draw-on-able surface. My favorite being book covers. Remember book covers made out of brown paper grocery bags?! Those were the best to draw on..then you’d take them off at the end of the year and see the ballpoint imprint of a year’s drawings on the scuffed dull plastic of the cover. Ahhh, fun to think about that again. Anyways, a lot of those drawings I did as a kid involved sports, namely basketball. I was, and I know Ben & Virgil were, and I know a lot of our readers were, big NBA fans as kids. If you grew up in the 90s in Chicago too, I mean, don’t even get me started. But this blog Double Scribble, man, really bringing me back to those days. Drawing Dennis Rodman in a Bulls jersey, drawing Michael Jordan of course with his tongue out, and of course just drawing the Bulls logo on absolutely EVERYTHING…(I can still draw it perfectly from memory to this day)...I collected basketball cards too of course, so the art on those was always inspiring to me. Shout out the super thick Flair cards…(Actually check this out - found all my old MJ cards at my parents house - pic) I’ve loved this blog for a while and while we were on hiatus w/ the site, it was one of those things I was like..yeah…I’ll be posting about that when we bring it back. Sports, art, internet…duh. According to the About page, Double Scribble is “a daily curated art blog run by Nicholas Kastner. It features dozens of artists from around the globe who all share a common passion for basketball. Our goal is the be the most comprehensive source of basketball art on the internet.” Well, sounds good to me. And it is…it’s really good. It’s got literally every kind of basketball art on there from paintings to quilts to professional illustrators to the worst (aka best) single line pen doodles of players on paper…just whatever. Check it out @


New interview “activation” with Jon Buscemi!

Its weird to interview someone that was first a reader of the site before I knew him personally, you know? He has a different context. Jon’s been a supporter since we first started, kind of dude who would just reach out and say whats up - and send me marinara sauce from Gourmet for Christmas every year, ha. When we started this site we would always be like super stoked/surprised when someone from the industry, on one of the coasts, would hit us up. So yeah, eventually we crossed paths “IRL” and have been homies since. Jon’s done so much stuff in this “lifestyle business” space, so much. Now he’s onto the “2.0”, next chapter as he’s said. We caught up with him to discuss past, present, future. Kind of a must read interview for people who are in this space actually trying to make a living out of it. For real. Beyond all that, if you ever get a chance to hang with him - the nicest dude with THE best snaps…the best. Ha. Thanks for the time Jon.