Tuesday, January 27

The rise of moribond Uniqlo to fashion stardom

Photo by Sean Wood, courtesy of MEKAS

Photo by Sean Wood, courtesy of MEKAS


What makes a brand successful, well look at Uniqlo, in time of recession the brand has managed a 32.2% growth. Uniqlo is cheap but that is not the receipe to its success. The brand has managed to attract sophisticated customers beyond its middle-mass base.

With initiatives such as the award-winning UNIQLOCK that became the favorite screensaver of Japan’s young PC users thanks to minimalist graphic design, chronological functionality and music from producer Fantastic Plastic Machine. Or the bilingual free magazine UNIQLO PAPER that helped associate the brand with New York hipster culture (thanks to the Chloë Sevigny on the cover and photography by Terry Richardson). And the monthly advertorials in men’s magazines like Popeye in Japan, let fashion-forward readers see new products styled according to the latest fashion principles.

These appeals to cutting-edge consumers, however, did little to change the brand’s reputation of being mostly dedicated to casual menswear. In order to better target women, Uniqlo tied up last September with “real clothes” fashion festival Tokyo Girls Collection and model Yu Yamada to produce a series of sweater dresses for the Shibuya 109 set. The company further targeted young women with new products such as the “beautiful leg” stretch denim (using popular model Norika Fujiwara in the TV commercials) and a “bra-top” that puts brasserie-like pads inside of a tank top.

Despite such narrowly focused marketing efforts, Uniqlo never alienated its middle-market, middle-aged consumers, who mostly shop at the brand for the low prices, laid-back styles, and easy access. The incredibly functional, but not particularly stylish “Heattech” line of winter under items is currently selling-out nationwide despite a production run of an unprecedented 28 million pieces.

Uniqlo has also boosted some really interesting retail initiatives such as the Wakamaru robots in Soho or the 'Giant Human Vending machines' to promote the Heattech collection.


If the brand continues to hone its image as a fashion-forward company with high-quality products, Uniqlo will no doubt maintain its status as the top dog in the industry.


by

W. David Marx, Chief Editor of MEKAS, is a Tokyo-based writer and fashion market analyst.

via BOF

Saturday, January 24

By kids for kids


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We feel no sympathy at all for any kid in Berlin who complains about school if their school is Erika-Mann Grundschule II was designed by the kids themselves with a group of architecture students from Baupiloten studio.

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via Cool hunter

What's in the box: Augmented Reality

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German company Metaio, seems to be leading some of the innovative commercial uses of this technology, and their latest project is a very fun one for LEGO!


From the press release: “Munich, December 2008 - From November, the Danish toy manufacturer will test launch its “DIGITAL BOX” in selected toyshops and LEGO® stores worldwide. This interactive terminal will utilize innovative technology supplied by metaio in the form of a software program specially-developed for the LEGO Group by the Munich-based experts in
augmented reality solutions. Together with a camera and display screen, the software lets LEGO packaging reveal its contents fully-assembled within live 3D animated scenes.” How much more fun does that make going to the toy store? Of course even cooler would be watching it build up in your hands piece by piece in full rotatable 3D when you hold it up ~ but i know, baby steps… See more preview pics of these new Digital Boxes on the next page!


via NotCot

Thursday, January 22

Wednesday, January 21

All Gone: Street Culture Encyclopedia by La MJC









All Gone by La MJC

256 pages, 200 products and 96 brands

James Jarvis, So-Me, Carrie Mundane (Cassette Playa), Eddie Cruz (Undefeated), Jeff Staple, le crew Wood Wood, Leah McSweeney (Married To The Mob), Pedro Winter, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West.

Available at colette today and

Juice à Hong Kong, Acu à Shangai, Yes et Bonjour Records à Tokyo, Patta à Amsterdam, Wood Wood à Copenhague, Solebox à Berlin, SNS à Stockholm, Reed Space à New York, Undefeated à Los Angeles, Huf à San Francisco, Bodega à Boston, Commonwealth à Washington

via La MJC

Sunday, January 18

Limi feu

Limi Yamamoto opens her first store in Paris, au 13 Rue de Turbigo, the store opens 9 months out of 12.

LIMI feu

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Photography by Milo Keller & Julien Gallico via Dazed and GuideParisMode

Limi Feu


Heineken Lounge by UXUS

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Amsterdam designers UXUS have completed a bar for beer brand Heineken at Newark International Airport, New Jersey, USA.

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The bar opened last month.

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Amsterdam, 16 December 2008 – First Heineken Lounge opens at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport 17 December 2008.

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Heineken and Delaware North Companies has commissioned UXUS to design the Heineken Lounge. A bold new bar concept designed for International Airports bringing the Heineken brand to life, for travelers the world over. It is an inclusive experience, giving travelers a “third place” to escape the chaos and stress of international airports and offers the benefit of Heineken’s exclusive Extra Cold chilled beer system, a fully stocked cocktail bar, within the relaxing environment you would expect from a premium airline club.

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“The Heineken Lounge is an inclusive experience that showcases the brand’s premium-ness and authenticity in a unique environment,” says Shane Hoyne, Senior Brand Director, Heineken. “We’re excited about connecting with millions of travelers who can now experience the welcoming, global nature of the brand as they prepare to depart on their own adventure. Heineken strives to bring its consumers innovative and engaging experiences, and this Lounge delivers on that commitment.”

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The environment is cosmopolitan, designed with the international traveler in mind. It incorporates Dutch design icons with custom designed seating areas created to help relax and refresh travelers in their transit. Special Cabana seating offers a sense of privacy in a public space with the comfort of a luxurious leather sofa. Heineken green anodized aluminum tables, Wengé wood room dividers, and atmospheric lighting all contribute to the sophisticated Heineken Lounge experience.

“UXUS is thrilled to have been able to create this international and premium brand experience for Heineken and Delaware North Companies. This project was a great opportunity to fill the void in International airports for an innovative and cultivated lounge experience that is open to the public,” says UXUS Creative Director George Gottl.

Founded in Amsterdam in 2003, UXUS is an award winning international multi-disciplinary creative agency specializing in retail design, branding, hospitality and interiors. UXUS delivers innovative and exciting design solutions to its global client base, including Adidas, Levi’s, McDonalds and Nokia. Recent projects for UXUS include the McDonalds McVillage and the prestigious Merus Winery.


via Dezeen

Saturday, January 17

Nowhere at Dover Street Market

A Bathing Ape opened it’s new shop within shop at Dover Street Market in London. Today, Nigo was on hand to sign copies of the Bape book celebrating their 15 years in business. This is a special moment, the shop recreates the original store front of the shop in Harajuku owned by Nigo and Jun Takahashi(Undercover) named NOWHERE. Congrats to Nigo and our friends at Bape.

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via BBC

Friday, January 16

Universal World House

A model of the new paper house was set up in Kiel in December.

A model of the new paper house.
A new invention could soon change the face of shantytowns across the globe. Called "Universal World House," the structures are light, cheap -- and made of paper.

"From the very beginning, our goal was to create practical, environmentally sustainable, and, most importantly, cheap living quarters for the slums of the Earth," Gerd Niemöller, who developed the cellulose material the houses are made of, said in a recent statement. "Now, that is possible."

Niemöller is a co-founder of the Swiss company The Wall AG, which holds the patent for material used in the construction of the mini-homes.

The price for the 36 square meter (387.5 square foot) structures won't be more than $5,000 each.
via Spiegel

Social Networking and the birth of the trend spreader

Trendsetters vs. Trend-spreaders or how to use mobile to market to the young and trendy. via Y pulse

Thursday, January 15