March 31, 2010

Marc O’Polo—Modern Nordic Luxury

Last week I received a press release from a Swedish company that may sound a bit Italian at first but is all 100% Nordic Fashion! I would like to introduce you to Marc O’Polo:

“In 1967, Swedes Rolf Lind and Göte Huss and their American colleague Jerry O’Sheets had a brilliant idea: To use natural materials like cotton, wool, linen and silk, because only natural materials can give our clothes the look we want them to have! We use synthetics only when we have to.

This was the idea that launched Marc O’Polo’s success—and has maintained it for over 40 years. Today Marc O’Polo is well on the way to becoming the most desirable premium casual wear brand on the European market.

Within only a few years, the Stockholm-founded brand Marc O’Polo developed into an international company with a network of branches from Reykjavik to Novosibirsk. Its recipe for success is its authentic, up-to-the-minute fashion featuring high-quality, predominantly natural materials and clear-cut designs. A look that stands for urban style.

The brand’s keywords—Natural, Simplicity, Quality, Personality and Innovation—are central to the world of Marc O’Polo. Marc O’Polo’s modern casual style is in line with contemporary tastes and underlines its customers’ personalities.

The range of Marc O’Polo collections comprises Marc O’Polo Modern Casual Menswear, CAMPUS by Marc O’Polo, Junior, underwear, beachwear, leg wear, Shoes, accessories, eyewear, TIME and Fragrance.

In the new Spring/Summer 2010 season, Marc O’Polo is strengthening its position in the topmost sector of the premium casual lifestyle segment. The collections focus on the idea of “Modern Nordic Luxury.”

The images of this season reflect the high quality of the natural lifestyle found only in Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden – the country of Marc O’Polo’s roots. The new Spring/Summer 2010 season will feature a reappraisal of the roots and characteristics of the premium casual brand: classical style, tradition, and authentic values. The result: a modern look with casual, sporty Nordic flair.”

Photos, slideshow & text Copyright Marc O’Polo.

JUMA—Inspired by Friends Who Surround

After attending George Brown College, former model Alia Juma worked as an assistant designer at various design houses and, in 2003, founded JUMA with his sister Jamil, a graduate of McGill University.

Now based in Toronto, Canada, the brother and sister duo co-design each collection with Alia acting as design director and Jamil—creative director.

JUMA is committed to the support of numerous philanthropic foundations and activities, including the following charities: Children’s Aid Foundation, Fashioncares M.A.C Viva Glam, Through the Eyes of Women Foundation, the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Dress Your Best, and North York General Hospital Foundation (Heart of Fashion).

Concerning the autumn/winter 2010 collection, Alia writes:

“Every season is an evolution of the previous. We’re constantly inspired by our friends who are interesting in their own ways. A lot of our friends work in the creative industry as stylists, artists, graphic designers, writers and musicians. When you surround yourself with such talented people, you tend to feed off their energy. We also like to design clothes that we want to wear ourselves. Personally I’m not into clothing that’s super trendy; I like to dress in items that are fashion forward yet understated. I like to feel comfortable yet know that I look good in what I’m wearing. I don’t want to feel fussy or like the outfit is wearing me.”

Photo & slideshow autumn/winter 2010 collection JUMA.

March 30, 2010

2010 Autumn/Winter: “uncommon creatures”

Recently I came across a new line of menswear out of Denmark. I thought the best way to introduce you to the label, uncommon creatures, was for the designers to present themselves in their own words:

“uncommon creatures AW 10 is the debut fashion collection created by Copenhagen-based duo Christina Højris Ottosen and Jens Kold-Christensen.

‘The inspiration to the AW10 collection occurred on a very random Monday evening. I’m sitting in the subway heading for Brooklyn, when a young orthodox Jew enters the train and sits down right in front of me. I can’t help but stare at his snake curls and his huge black hat. He obviously noticed my starring and responds with a nod and a ”Yeah, I know.” I immediately start playing with the possibility of creating a fashion collection inspired by orthodox Jewish style. And here we are.’ (Jens Kold-Christensen)

The silhouette of uncommon creatures is avant-garde and raw while keeping a high degree of simplicity.

The AW10 collection sends the wearer on an anachronistic journey where essential aesthetic elements of various Judaistic societies are used as a central theme. This is visualised and expressed both through simple styles, the recognisable hats, and lengths but also through knitwear depicting orthodox Jews and east orthodox crosses. All styles are created in a dark and monochrome colour scheme.

In terms of CSR, uncommon creatures does not use organic fabrics, neither do we pay Indian child labourers an extra cent a week. Instead, uncommon creatures has chosen to use the already existing Danish textile industry by using Danish produce, importers and manufacturers, so as not to outsource the entire production of the collection.”

Photo, slideshow & text Copyright uncommon creatures.

Costo—Supporting the Planet

Originally located in an old coal cellar in central Helsinki, Costo was founded in 2006 out of a lack of attractive accessories at affordable prices.

Focusing on sustainable solutions, Costo has come to stand for quality materials and unique cuts. The Finnish brand draws inspiration from history as it uses recycled materials in the application of excellent craftsmanship.

Costo produces purses, wallets, and belts. The biggest success story has been the Costo hat, which not only has adopted names from Papuan tribes but is also worn by some aboriginal peoples of Papua New Guinea.

Costo employs natural fibers and high grade leather in the construction of each hat. Handcrafted in Tallinn, Estonia—just 80km from Helsinki—Costo hats fit all ages, groups, and lifestyles.

Costo—supporting the planet with the hat that can be as individual as the owner.

Photo & slideshow Copyright Costo.

March 29, 2010

Federation: the Skate/Streetwear Label from Auckland NZ

They’re cool. They’re fun. They’re Nick and Jenny Clegg.

Nick and Jenny met for the first time in 1995 while vacationing on a New Year’s surfing trip at the Great Barrier.

Now, the husband and wife team are in their 10th year of what they had both dreamed for years: their own company.

Nick was originally a professional skateboarder with a background in graphic design; whereas Jenny worked as a design assistant after having received her BA in Fashion Technology.

Concerning their skate/streewear label, Federation, Nick writes:

We have a good long-term plan that we are working to, and so far it’s really been a case of timing that plan. Obviously part of that has always been our international expansion and we have been working towards that over the last couple of years—so essentially the growth we are experiencing now is really just a culmination of all our hard work.

However, there have been a lot of unexpected surprises, especially at the start of 2010—and we received some great feedback in Europe with some of the best retailers in the world really loving what we’re doing. We have such a great team, and NZ Trade and Enterprise has been an integral part of enabling us to develop our international presence and facilitate the actioning of our vision.

Based in Auckland, New Zealand, Federation has been picking up accounts all across the globe.

Photo & slideshow Copyright Federation.

March 28, 2010

“Movement 5: Untitled” by Michael Gkinis at aptform

For autumn/winter 2010, Michael Gkini of aptform experiments with leather and knit techniques in a fusion of two motifs often thought to be diametrically opposed.

Inspired by the beauty of living flora, Michael expresses plant life’s artistic form through the medium of hand-painted techniques—all of which he sets on the backdrop of industrialism.
He names the collection “Movement 5: Untitled.”

Michael Gkinis was born 1973 in Thessaloniki, Greece, and graduated from the London College of Fashion in Fashion Design and Technology. He now resides in Tokyo, Japan.

For further reading on Michael Gkinis and aptform, please go to the following artice:
aptform—Where Greece Meets Japan

Photo & slideshow 2010 a/w collection “Movement 5: Untitled,” Copyright aptform.

March 27, 2010

ECCO—an Echo of Danish Excellence!

Headquartered in Tønder, Denmark, ECCO Sko A/S was founded in 1963 by Birte and Karl Toosbuy, who sold all their worldly possessions to start a shoe factory in Bredebro.

Through a combination of European design and traditional craftsmanship, the husband and wife team forged a name that has become known for innovative technology and the inner workings of the human foot.

Today with 3,000 shops around the world, the company is run by their daughter, Hanni Toosbuy Kasprzak, and her husband Dieter who continue the fine tradition, producing 12 million shoes a year.

With tanneries in China, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and Thailand ECCO seeks to reduce the impact of the tanning process on the surrounding environment. ECCO enforces a strict code of ethics from cow to shoe as it is committed to employee fairness, worker safety, and human rights, especially those of children.

ECCO has begun producing accessories, outdoor footwear, high fashion golf shoes, and running shoes. The newest model of fine footwear is ECCO Windsor, which gives the season’s glamour-and-luxury trend a distinctly masculine edge, ensuring maximum shock absorption and support.

Photos Copyright ECCO.

『SOPHNET.』for the Sophisticated, Multitasking Male

Japanese designer Hirofumi Kiyonaga foundedSOPH.』 in 1988 on the concepts of minimal design, casual functionality, and comfort for sophisticated daily wear by the urban dweller.

In 2002, the label was renamed 『SOPHNET.』as it received new impetus from Sori Yanagi; Charles and Ray Eames; the well-known contemporary Japanese artist, Tatsuo Miyajima; master of English art, Julian Opie; and American artist, Jack Pierson.

Now 『SOPHNET.』combines art, fashion, music, and industrial design into street, outdoor, traditional menswear for the modern urban male.

The theme of the 2010 spring/summer collection is “Polyvalent,” which, according to 『SOPHNET.』is the technical term for someone who plays various positions in football.

In today’s society, a man must occupy various roles and, thus,『SOPHNET.』has created a line of menswear that can adapt to various occasions in life.

Warm southern colors lead the season for daily life and restful vacations at your favorite resort.

Photo & slideshow Copyright SOPHNET.』

March 24, 2010

Bone Wear in Korea at Mr. World

Mr. World is an international pageant that was launched in 1996 as an annual event. Although held only six times to date, the competition is still considered one of the largest male beauty pageants on the globe.

Right now in Incheon, Korea, the 6th edition of Mr. World is coming to a climax. The competition began on March 11 with 74 delegates from their corresponding countries.

Today with bated breath, the world is now awaiting Juan García Postigo of Spain, last year's victor, to crown his Mr. World successor.

Leading up to the final victory, each contestant has been judged on strength, stamina, and mental abilities, as well as personal style.

This year the South African label, Bone Wear, has gone to Korea in support of its county's contestant at the 2010 Mr. World Pageant. Bone Wear is designed by Wilco Stemmett and produces comfortable gym wear, underwear, and swim wear from high quality, two-way stretch-cotton Lycra.

Representing the South African brand is runner-up of Mr. South Africa 2009, Jaco de Bruyn. Jaco is 26 years old and works as a property specialist and TV presenter. His motto is “All your dreams will come true, if you have the courage to peruse them.”

Good luck to you, Bone Wear, Jaco, and all the other contestants!

Photos Copyright Bonewear.

b Store: an Incubator for Fresh Talent

José Neves, Matthew Murphy, and Kirk Beattie launched b Store in 2010 solely as a shoe line. Based in Mayfair’s Conduit Street, London, the store was a launching pad for local young graduates of fashion, art, and design.

In 2006, the store moved to the famous Savile Row, evolving into a unisex clothing line, which gained the store the coveted title “Shop of the Year.”

Now b Store is more than a store: it is a boutique—a fashion destination that continues the tradition of promoting and nurturing fresh, new talent.

The b Store collection is designed by two of the co-owners, Matthew Murphy and Kirk Beattie, who first met in the early 90’s, quickly becoming friends.

The duo design team draw their inspiration from mutual interests in art, film, and music—particularly from icons like David Bowie, Joy Davison, and the Human League.

José Neves, who was keen on launching a London-based shoe line, joined Matthew and Kirk in 2001. Stay tuned for the b Store 2010 autumn/winter collection!

Photos & slideshow spring/summer 2010 collection Copyright b Store.

2010 Autumn/Winter Collection “Benjamin Braddock” by B Store

The following text is a recent press release that I received from b Store:

The disaffected young American as personified by Dustin Hoffman’s clean-cut, preppy character in The Graduate, tempered with the casual nihilism and twilight lifestyle of Brett Easton Ellis’s blank generation, drives an Ivy League sportswear-inspired collection from b Store for spring/summer 2010.

This reworked collegiate aesthetic is set against a backdrop of cold teenage indifference and disillusionment fuelled by materialism, sex, and drugs. The evidence of hedonistic excess from the night before, hidden under shades for a beach club brunch with the dysfunctional folks. All played out to an off-kilter soundtrack from the golden age of MTV, flitting from British new wave and hair metal to industrial rock and rap.

Classic American sportswear staples form the basis for a silhouette that updates signature b Store shapes with a new focus on athletic influences. The three-button single-breasted blazer, triple-pleated trouser and resort shorts are rethought using crisp cotton pique. Windcheaters and trench coats emerge in high-sheen technical fabrics. Delicate sheer knits inject sex appeal. Baseball jackets, chinos and slim shirting emphasize the importance of chambray, denim, and gingham check in reinventing the preppy uniform. High-summer shades of sky blue, navy, beige, white, and dove grey dominate a cool, functional color palette.

The debut accessories collaboration with Awai this season introduces a modular collection of document cases, belts, and wallets. Tan leather and raw denim components combine separate book bags and sunglasses cases to recreate the ‘it’ beach bag with a sophisticated b Store slant.

Signature footwear directions for spring/summer include a new classic two-tone paneled Oxford in either sky blue and tan or brown and indigo mixes. Alongside, the cutaway shoe/sandal lace-ups, sneakers, and high-tops.

Photos & slideshow spring/summer 2010 collection Copyright b Store.

Christian Westphal & the Italian Renaissance in Autumn/Winter 2010

Born in Copenhagen, Danish designer Christian Westphal launched his eponymous label in 2006, after having graduated from the Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in Paris.

Season after season, this talented young designer has not ceased to amaze his audience. Once again, I too was amazed when I recently received the 2010 autumn/winter lookbook with the following press release, which eloquently describes the collection:

The winter 2010 collection from Christian Westphal has a refined aesthetic with slashes of Renaissance heroes from the paintings of Titian and El Greco.

The cuts, colors, silhouettes, and attitude of the Italian Renaissance paintings are the inspiration for the autumn/winter 2010 collection.

The look is a glamorous, dirty but quiet, modern Euro-boho, with an ongoing nod to armored self-confident kings and noblemen dressed in shiny black metal waistcoats, oversized shirts, small and neat collars, accessorized with heavy trims and huge scarves. A style that contributes to dress with layer on layer, like the urban nomads we have become.

The AW10 collection is less ceremonial and more muted and monochromatic—though no less surreal—than the brightly colored summer 2009 collection but keeps the urban graphic look, in particular the architectural take on casual suiting. However the color palette is essentially black and white with dashes of bottle green optimism, turquoise crispiness, and navy blue classicism.

A tweak here and there can elevate even the simplest outfits. Notice the crispy cotton poplin shirt with a neatly folded starched-looking collar on collar, the check patterned shirt with the collar that develops into an oversized scarf, or the casual blazer in knitted merino wool. Small moves like these separate you from the pack.

The jeans sharpen up for winter 2010. Not that I am saying you should wear this hand-painted torn-and-frayed blue denim to the office, but it’s hard to go wrong wearing it when you’re off the clock. The denim collection also consists of raw black and washed blue jeans–all three are woven and stitched on the famed looms of Okayama, Japan.

It’s called attitude. Nothing finishes off an outfit better than a sharp dose of confidence. How else do grown men get away with wearing a plucked and beat-up mink jacket over a hooded jersey top? But we’re not talking hip-hop-bling-shake-the booty fur—we’re talking slim-cut, rock-guy getup biker jacket to be worn with dirty and oily boots with attitude.

The strategy is to modernize menswear, calibrating the millimeter of difference that separates a boring uniform from an innovative piece. Christian Westphal sees avant-garde as deconstruction, working to and from the human body and making pieces with a strong, modern look.

For additional information on Christian Westphal, please read the following articles:
The Shockheaded Peter Project by Christian Westphal
Jazzing it up with Transcendent Black by Christian Westphal

Photos & slideshow 2010 a/w collection Copyright Christian Westphal.

Seun Olubodun—the Duke of Dukes

Recently I have become acquainted with a talented young designer with an extremely diverse background. I really love his dog, Duke (photo above). So, it is my privilege to introduce you to Seun Olubodun, the Duke of Dukes!

Tell me, Seun, a little about yourself?
I was born in Nigeria and grew up in Newcastle, England, and Philadelphia, US. Growing up in three different continents gave me a unique perspective on different places/cultures and helped me interact with people from all types of different backgrounds. My parents are in the medical profession, so we’ve moved more than most.

Where do you live now?
Currently living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where I’ve lived for about 12 years now. Finished high school in the suburbs and went to University here also. I decided to stay because most of my friends are here; I am very familiar with the entire city and I have many local business contacts here.

How did your career in fashion design begin?
I actually took a strange route to this profession as I was working in IT only about 2 years ago with no clue about the fashion industry at all. I read about and started to follow a t-shirt designer based in Boston who was just a young kid that started printing t-shirts and had turned it into a multimillion-dollar business over time. I had the good fortune of meeting him and, after realizing that this was something I could really get into as opposed to sitting in front of a computer all day, I spent a few months doing the research, quit my job, and started the line (just over a year ago).

What exactly struck you in your research?
In my research I realized that most of the small independent lines that were being launched catered to very different demographics than the one I fit into. It was either loud Ed Hardy/Affliction-style graphics or really hipster Urban Outfitter type brands. But nothing was catering to young professional (a little preppy) guys that wanted something fresher or edgier than the mall brands that currently catered to them like Polo, Banana Republic, J-Crew.

So what sets you apart from them?
Inspiration for the company is drawn from my experiences growing up in the UK, Africa, and the United States; but the line is overwhelmingly influenced by time spent growing up in England and the stuff I learned in school. Designs for the first few lines of printed apparel focus heavily on imagery and references from world history—interesting historical figures/events, motivational imagery, social classes, royalty, and my English bulldog, who the company is named after (The Duke).

How would you sum up your “look”?
Casual wear for the thinking man.

What is your opinion of the menswear scene in Philadelphia?
There isn’t much of a scene here. But there are a lot of young professionals constantly moving into the city, and there really isn’t a hometown men’s brand that caters to them, so the market is really wide open.

What has your impact been on the menswear scene?
Being one of the only local men’s lines helps a lot in getting noticed and, because Philly can be a tough crowd, I have to make sure my garments, designs, branding, and everything else can hold up to the sometimes over-the-top standards people have in the city. Trying to live up to those standards from the beginning can be very helpful, though, because you have to push yourself to do better work every time. Just in the past year, I’ve been able to get on the national radar because the line has been embraced by people locally and they’ve helped me spread the word like no other. There are now other lines popping up locally and, soon enough, we will have a collection of good brands catering to guys in the city.

How does Philadelphia stand up against its northern neighbor, New York?
People try to compare Philadelphia to New York because we are so close, but the reality is that the two cities are very different. I feel as though people here are more real and have no time for the pretentiousness you sometimes find in the NYC fashion scene. People here have other things to occupy them, so dressing up and strutting around takes a back seat, whereas that is what the NYC fashion world is all about. I think the goal is to take a little bit of that over-done NYC style and pass it on to the people in Philly in a casual way and that’s all we need here.

Photos Copyright Seun Olubodun.

Prps—Challenging the Craftsmanship of Savile Row?

Africa-harvested cotton shipped to Japan. Denim cloth woven on vintage shuttle looms. Finished edges in purple selvage. Craftsmanship rivaling Savile Row....

Donwan Harrell created Prps in 2003 with the goal of authenticity in mind. His collections are conceived with a purpose as he designs each garment for a function. The details set him part.

Raised in North Carolina and Virgina of the US, Donwan grew up in a logging and hunting family that understood the word “utilitarian” when it came down to clothing.

His father introduced him to the drag car racing scene, which has become an endless source of inspiration for tattered garments, oil stains, and wrinkles which he incorporates into his creations.

Donwan eventually set out to explore the small towns and villages of Japan. After 2 years of meetings and formal tea ceremonies, the young American designer selected a few family-run denim manufacturers—expertise artisans of the trade—to create his garments.

Now, seven years later Prps continues to research a plethora of influences, ranging from military uniforms to work wear and hunting apparel, and examine phenomena like the stains on a painter’s overalls or the wrinkles about a mechanic’s knees.

Prps—challenging the craftsmanship of Savile Row! You decide!

Photos Copyright Prps.

March 23, 2010

Ravishing Mad Fashion Videos!

The word is out—Ravishing Mad is launching fashion videos! The Swedish fashion label has announced a new project called “Paraphrase.”

A Ravishing Mad paraphrase entails an interpretation of known photographs—10 in all—which will be accompanied by a video.

The first paraphrase presents the photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono by Annie Leibovitz, which starred as the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 1980.

Ravishing Mad collaborates with artists, photographers, musicians, and filmmakers to give the label’s audience an idea of the blurred world, of creativity in which the fashion designers work.

You can view the film here.

Photo Copyright Ravishing Mad.

Ravishing Mad is Ravishing Fun!

Ravishing Mad was founded by Swedish designer Anna Österlund, who lives and works in Malmö. In 2006, Anna graduated from the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås with a BA in Fashion Design.

The name Ravishing Mad encapsulates the label’s concept: “playful contrasts between the surreal world of fairy tales and harsh reality.”

Passionate about contrasts, Anna creates each garment as a tribute to individual style. “If you are going to be different, be so different that it matters!” is her motto.

Unisex in style, the collections make reference to the worlds of rock, punk, comics, and other contemporary cultural phenomena, while the pieces draw attention to specific parts of the body.

Ravishing is imperative; Mad declares the importance of fun.

Ravishing Mad—the collections for dreamers and antiheros.

Photos and slideshow Copyright Ravishing Mad.

March 21, 2010

Cheimaphobic Or Thermophobic Fashion: Which Trend Are You?

(March 12, 2010) Fears, fears, fears—there are many kinds of fears in this world. But one fear is known as cheimatophobia; that is, the fear of winter.

Cheimatophobiacs fear the lack of heat and, thus, tend to overdress for all occasions. Well what about the opposite situation: people who fear the heat and, hence, tend to under dress? I guess we could label this fear: thermophobia.

Now, I’m not a cheimatophobiac; but I do hate the cold! So living here near New York has been no joy ride for me throughout the brutal winter. Nevertheless, I have observed a fascinating trend—one that, well, even if I wanted to adopt, physically I could not.

When I moved to this area in September of last year, many guys were still wearing flip flops, t-shirts, and short pants. By November, I was already freezing my tush off and—to my amazement—there were still guys in flip flops, tees, and shorts!

Recently, the entire region was hit with one of the worst blizzards ever; and just this past weekend something short of a typhoon blew through the area, wreaking havoc and destruction.

Suddenly this week, the daytime temperatures have peaked at about 60° Fahrenheit (15° Celsius), and guess what? The guys are back in flip flops, short pants, and t-shirts, even in the brisk evenings!

Of course, this is not the case for all the guys, but I think you are starting to get my point, which is, first, there are no mid-seasons here. But not only—

If the guys are so intent on hanging onto to their beachwear until the last possible minute and ready to toss out their winter collection on the first less frigid day, engaging in any kind of business here requires some “thermophobic” thinking.

Hm, or maybe I should just buy some stock in flip flops! I think I may be just a bit cheimatophobic (chuckle)!

Photo Copyright Men’s Fashion by Francesco.

March 20, 2010

“Roomers” by Raphael Hauber

In 2003, Raphael Hauber founded his epynous label, which is currently based in Eppelheim, southwest Germany.

For autumn/winter 2010, Raphael Hauber has prepared for us a collection of “Roomers,” which drew inspiration from people who have a temporary and mobile habitation style.

The collection concentrates on the carpet as the means of marking out territorial space, highlighting furniture and giving structure to rooms.

Photos of colored rag rugs and abstract prints of black and white rag rugs in piles appear on garments. Shapes and printed details are marked out with blank spaces of square and oval carpets.

The collection offers a complete wardrobe for roomers, consisting of everyday pieces like colored jeans, t-shirts, and bombers, as well as the more elegant items of suit jackets, pleated slacks, and wide coats.

Please see the following for more articles on Raphael Hauber:
Raphael Hauber & the Reality of Ausbau
Too Much "Quatsch" by Raphael Hauber

Photo and slideshow copyright Raphael Hauber.

March 16, 2010

LAB & Stables: the Japanese Exclusive

Local Art Base (LAB) is celebrating its second season in Japan with a look book exclusively for the Japanese market.

The 2010 spring/summer collection remains the same, but the theme of the look book is “Stables” with a Japanese twist!

Here is a sneak peek:

For more reading on LAB, please refer to previous articles:
"Love is a Stranger" Lookboook from LAB
"Love is a Stranger" with LAB

LAB for Japan Exclusive
アートディレクション Art direction - Chris Cheng
スタイルアシスタント Styling Assistant - Aska Yokoyama
カメラマン Photographer - Thi Nguyen for BW Agency
カメラマンアシスタント Photographer - Ichiroo for BW Agency
ヘアメイク Hair & Makeup - Jo Candelaria
モデル Models - Jaymes. T @ Chadwicks & Ma’te. G

March 15, 2010

“I need someone really bad. Are you really bad?” by World

Fueled by energy and passion, in 1989 Denise L'Estrange-Corbet and Francis Hooper founded WORLD in Auckland, New Zealand.

From a cupboard in the back of Century Arcade on High Street, Denise and Francis have turned their label into one of the predominant fashion houses in the country.

For this 2010 autumn/winter season, World presents “I need someone really bad. Are you really bad?”

The collection takes us on a whirlwind tour through pop culture, visiting historical themes of icons past, as well as contemporary looks with a touch of avant-garde.

Vibrant colors and contrasting details accentuate the luxuriousness of the collection, which will have you ready for both daytime dress and evening attire.

Photo & slideshow 2010 autumn/winter collection, Copyright WORLD.

March 13, 2010

Inside the Locker Room with TIMOTEO's Sexy Model—Roy Fares

When I reviewed the photo shoot of TIMOTEO´s latest campaign, I requested an interview with either model, and Roy Fares immediately responded with eagerness.

In the course of the interview, I learned that Roy is not just a sexy model with a ripped body but also a humble young man who leads a creative life as a pastry chef.

Where are you from, Roy, and do you live there now?
I was born in Lebanon, in 1984 and moved to Stockholm, Sweden, when I was 6 years old; I have been leaving here now for 19 years.

Besides modeling, what else do you do?
I´m a pastry chef, so I went for years to a pastry school in Stockholm. I was the Swedish champion for young bakers in 2005. I [still] live in Stockholm where I´m running my own business making cakes for weddings and other big parties.

What led you to focus on your body?
As you understand already, I’m not the guy who people think is a pastry chef. I love to work out and keep up my body and take care of the way I look, which makes me feel good.

Do you emphasize one profession over the other?
Right now I’m trying to work hard on [both] my business and body and hope that I’ll get more fun work. Would love to make a shoot for Calvin Klein, D&G, Dsquared and Levi’s Jeans, but these are only designers I dream about.

So, are your dreams to become a supermodel?
No, modeling is just something I do because I enjoy it now and it´s something that keeps me challenging myself. As you know, one day you get old to and then you need to have something else to stand on. So I want to do wedding planning!

Tell me more about this challenge and how you got started...
When I was in LA I had a goal, and that was to challenge myself to get in my best shape, and the job made me work hard for it. It´s much easier when you have a goal.

When did you actually start modeling?
I began to model a little a few years ago, but it wasn’t until now that I began to a few big shoots, so I guess I started this year.

Did you realize on your own that you could be a model?
Well, I don´t know if I walk around and think I’m good looking myself, but I guess there must be something in my look. Everyone is beautiful in their own way.

What do you like most about modeling?
To meet people around the world.

And what do you like the least?
Always being judged after the way you look.

Is the life of a model all glamor?
That´s what many people think it is. But people, I can tell you, it´s not that glamorous all the time. You got to work hard to get good shoots, and you got to be on your game all the time. You can´t be lazy and just do it sometimes if you want to survive as a model.

What is the biggest difficulty for male models in your opinion?
To be a male model and a supermodel is really hard: the market isn´t as big for male models as for girls. You really have to have that special look or extra thing if you want to have modeling as a job or, like me, you can do it a little here and there as something fun.

What were your impressions of the Timoteo shoot?
Timoteo is a very nice guy, both feet on the earth. We had super fun on the shoot. He is a great designer and I’m sure he will be a very successful designer.

Thank you, Roy, and the best of success to you in both your modeling career and as a pastry chef!

Top left and right photos Copyright Timoteo.

Inside the Locker Room with TIMOTEO

Recently I received a sneak peak of a photo shoot by photographer Allen Zaki, which had been exhibited at the Magic Show in Las Vegas. The heading was New Locker Images by TIMOTEO.

TIMOTEO is the brainchild of 26-year-old Timoteo Ocampo, a native of Los Angeles who studied at California State University, receiving a BA in Art with an option in Fashion Design.

After graduation, Timoteo designed for XOXO, going on to assist Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons in the creation of Baby Phat.

While operating a retail store in West Hollywood, California, Timoteo launched his own menswear line TIMOTEO, consisting of denim, dress shirts, fashion tees, and accessories.

In 2006, TIMOTEO swimwear was added to the collection as Timoteo focused on style, fit, and comfort. The collection reflects Timoteo’s passion for surfing and beach volleyball.

Inspired by his English bulldog, Jackie, Timoteo knows how to add that right touch of fashion-forward edginess to each man’s masculinity.

Photos Copyright TIMOTEO.

Asger Juel Larsen & the Futuristic Man

As many of you may know, the insurance giant Lloyds of London, which is housed in the Lloyds Building of East London, was designed by Richard Rogers.

What’s fascinating about the building is that the stairs, elevators, water pipes, and electrical work are all placed on the outside the structure, leaving the inside totally unencumbered.

Danish-born designer, Asger Juel Larsen, reminisces of Rogers’ innovation with his 2010 autumn/winter collection, which he then associates with the armament designed for Julie Taymor’s film, Titus.

Continuing to add to our wintry protection, Asger draws from the outer defences of riding uniforms, fencing helmets, bicycle equipment of the 70’s and 80’s, and horseshoes.

Bolstering a hyper-imaginative sci-fi image, the collection’s materials consist of synthetic rubber, PVC, neoprene, and quilted leather.

The collection of exaggerations and contrasts finally culminates in the flip glasses of the early 90’s.

For further reading on Asger, proceed to the following article:
Knights in Armor by Asger Juel Larsen

Photo & slideshow Copyright Asger Juel Larsen.

The “Circus Collection” by Camo

Last year in an article entitled Camo—a Uncrypted Twist to the Hidden Meaning of Menswear, I introduced you to a novel line of menswear that is tucked away amongst the picturesque foothills of the Italian Alps.

The designer, Stefano Ughetti, named the label Camo after a shortened version of “camouflage.” His aim was not military but rather to draw from choice materials that carry specific messages and symbols which can display our deepest intents to the world around us.

For autumn/winter 2010, Camo invites us back in time to the spectacular days of big tents and clowns, jugglers and acrobats—to a world of fantasy and entertainment for all.

If you find that you have a little clown within you, or you thrive on the thrill of a tightrope, then the “Circus Collection” is for you.

“Circus Collection” autumn/winter 2010—a variety show of stupefying pieces from times passed.

Photos & slideshow Copyright Camo.

aussieBum Has Gone Bananas!

The new aussieBum banana range is 100% Australian made, giving you the assurance of an environmentally sustainable, top quality product—all in the aussieBum style!

Innovation and design have always been the aussieBum mantra, propelling the company from humble beginnings into a sexy future! Cutting-edge and passionate about customer loyalty, aussiebum is now going bananas!

“aussieBum has a responsibility to continually research and develop new fabric technologies. Banana fiber characteristically enjoys good luster, is lightweight, offers strong moisture absorption and is considered one of the most eco friendly fibers in the world today. We are truly proud of our contribution to the development of this fabric. It's exciting and once again, delivers Australia to the doorstep of the world!” says Sean Ashby, aussieBum founder.

Why Bananas?
• Complete natural fiber
• Made from bark
• Easy to spin
• Soft, smooth, comfortable
• Eco-friendly & sustainable

The aussieBum Banana Range—So Good, You’re Going to Wish You Could Eat Them!

Campaign Picture Gallery

For more reading on aussieBum, please go to the following articles:
If You’re Gonna Be a Bum, Be an aussieBum
Surf Crew by aussieBum

Photo, slideshow, and video Copyright aussieBum.

Messaggerie: the First Still Night in Rimini

Valerio Zurlini’s movie“The First Still Night” (1972) comes alive with the 2010 autumn/winter collection of Messagerie, designed by Patrizio Piscaglia, who revisits his roots back in the Seventies of wintry Rimini.

One of the most famous seaside resorts on the Adriatic Coast of Italy, Rimini is unpretentious and typical of mild winters with rainier days, grayer skis, and a more deserted seaside than in summer.

Home to a 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre, bridge, and arch, Rimini has been a hub of seaside life for millenia—and there is still plenty of life in the center!

From loneliness to restlessness, Patrizio bonds with his coastal land through the creation of an emblematic garment. The matted knitted coats in this collection, characterized by so-called “circus cuts,” display some wear but they are mended; they are rough yet refined.

The color palette spans all the shades of grey, brown, army green, black, mud, Siena brown, wine, ad blue. The materials abound in an assortment of wools, cottons, and leathers.

The first still night—la prima notte di quiete—all men will be free!

For additional reading on Messaggerie, please refer to my previous article:
San Marino: Still Paving the Way

Photo & slideshow 2010 autumn/winter collection Copyright by Messagerie.

Manzetti Wedding Suits

My first trip ever to Turkey dates back to the summer of 1995 when I attended a conference just outside the ancient city of Smyrna—now İzmir—on the Anatolian coast.

Boasting a population of 2.6 million inhabitants, İzmir is Turkey’s third largest city with a history of 3,500 years—one of the oldest settlements in the Mediterranean.

Throughout history, İzmir has been home to numerous peoples, such as the Hittites, the Greeks, the Lydians, the Persians, the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Crusaders. The Turks temporarily conquered the city in 1076 and, finally, in 1426.

Besides my brief visit to this magnificent city, I had the added opportunity of spending several days in the nearby resort town of Kuşadası, walking almost an entire day amongst the ruins of ancient Ephesus.

Now, İzmir has come to me in the way of Manzetti—a unique brand of men’s wedding wear.

In 1974, Mehmet Calık and Niyazi Sisci founded Miteksan Menswear in İzmir. Twenty years later Mehmet’s son Hüseyin Calık, along with Murat Sisci and Veli Efe, became the shareholders of the company.

Finally after 36 years, the third generation has entered the scene with Efe Calık, export manager, whom I recently met.

The designer of the Manzetti label is İlkay Ates, a Textile Engineering graduate of Afyon Kocatepe University.

Just last year, Manzetti released 80 models of formal men’s wedding wear with 300 customers in Turkey, as well as in 7 countries of Europe.

Photos & slideshow Copyright Manzetti.

Take a Wink at the Founder of 2wink

Cool Devils, Hot Angels, ripping up underwear, briefs loaded with a condom pouch… Recently I received a package in the mail containing a sample of men’s briefs from 2wink. Light blue with white borders, the fit is very sexy!

Intrigued by it all, I couldn’t resist asking at least a few questions! First of all, I wanted to know the correct pronunciation of 2wink, which, I found out, is ‘to wink’ and not ‘twink’!

Secondly, I was very curious about the founder of 2wink, Carl McNeill:

So, where do you come from?
I was born and bred in Perth, Western Australia, and, so, proud to have our garments manufactured here in Perth. This was a massive challenge as the infrastructure for doing this is primarily based in the larger cities of Melbourne or Sydney.

Tell me something about your background…
I was a high school dropout but always had an entrepreneurial background. My true love is in design and being creative but have no formal qualifications in this area or marketing experience, just a desire to get in there and have a go! Creating 2wink Australia has been a massive learning curve, but I feel just now it’s coming of age, found its niche and beginning to challenge other major brands.

Where do you get your ideas from?
Our Australia-made products are all themed based; i.e., Hot Angel, Cool Devil, Space Cadet, Loaded Gen2. (Mechanic, Predator, Apprentice, Outback—these 4 our coming soon.) The actual cuts are standard, briefs, boxers and bikinis. Let’s face it: it’s difficult to invent a new cut of underwear as it’s all been done. I select a theme and work from there; for example, Space Cadet is based upon the colors in Buzz Lightyear, the cartoon figure. Hot Angel and Cool Devil were based upon Evil versus Good, and the colors reflect this. Loaded Gen2 (represents generation two) as we currently have this design but improved it: the waistband was influenced by the Coke’a’Cola design and oversize in width. Loaded are the jocks with an inside secrete pocket which hides a condom.

Tell me about the 2wink kind of guy or the 2wink look…
This has been a real challenge, but I feel over the past four years I’ve completed my apprenticeship. Only now with our Australian-made themes are we truly beginning to really get our look and style. We aim for the younger fashion conscious market that looks for a point of difference. I also feel by bringing our manufacturing from China to Australia that the market has appreciated it as a point of difference, and it’s been popular with the US, UK and Asian markets.

Photo Cool Devil & slideshow Copyright 2wink.

Australian Underwear Brand 2wink Urges Americans to Rip Other Brands

2wink Australia Breaks New Ground in Men’s U.S. Consumer Market

NEW YORK [March 11, 2010] – 2wink Australia, one of Australia's leading men's underwear companies, plans to rip its U.S. competition to shreds—literally!

During its new two-week promotional campaign, “Cut up Your Old Underwear,” aimed at launching its brand in the United States by proving its quality and design to be superior to that of its competitors, 2wink Australia [pronounced ‘to wink’] will be giving away up to 1,000 new pairs of its underwear lines.

In order to participate, guys must submit videos or photos of themselves cutting up or destroying an old pair of brand name underwear that they own—and in exchange will receive a free pair of 2wink underwear. It’s that simple.

Founded in 2005 by Carl McNeill, 2wink is the only underwear company producing its apparel in Perth, Western Australia, after making the strategic decision to move it from China.

The brand, which is available to over 30 countries, has created four new designs within the last quarter, including two of its most popular styles, Cool Devil and Hot Angel. It is also known for its briefs and boxer designs of Loaded Gen2, which includes an inside secret pouch to hide a condom.

The brand was created out of McNeill’s frustration of “buying underwear that didn’t last long and was expensive.” The company has since gone on to manufacture 80,000 pairs of underwear per annum and plans to expand into swimwear soon.

The “Cut up Your Old Underwear” campaign will launch on March 15. Entries must be received no later than two weeks from the start of the campaign. All brand labels are eligible. Limit is 1,000 pairs of underwear.

Entries must be sent via video or jpeg format by e-mail to, and agree to 2wink Pty. Ltd. using for marketing purposes.

Entries must include preferred underwear size, mailing address and contact details for participant. For more information on the campaign, or to purchase 2wink underwear, visit 2wink.

Press Release by 2wink.
Photos Copyright by 2wink.