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Think Big! Our First LA Pop-up, at Space 15 Twenty

If you've been following our Instagram, you know that we've been spending an awful lot of time in Los Angeles lately. Last Thursday, we finally revealed why (aside from an obvious need to escape New York's subzero temps and un-meltable snowdrifts). Our latest pop-up — and our first-ever venture in LA — opened last Thursday at Space 15 Twenty, the Los Angeles Urban Outfitters concept shop and sister store to Brooklyn's Space Ninety 8, where we hosted a similar event last fall. Called Think Big!, the pop-up is inspired by a 1980s-era Soho store of the same name, which featured scaled-up versions of everyday objects.
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Visit Us This Weekend at Capsule!

Looking for some visual inspiration this weekend? If you're a buyer, a distributor, or a member of the press, head on over to Capsule New York's new home at Pier 94, where Sight Unseen is happy to be participating this year! After years of simply attending the fashion trade show to peep new collections from friends like Ilana Kohn or Ellen van Dusen — and to scout talents from the extremely well-curated mix — we've finally partnered with the newly combined ready-to-wear and accessories show, where we'll be curating a small section of home and accessories brands. There will be ceramic French presses and copper lights from Yield Design, block-printed throws and pretty things by Caroline Z. Hurley, a new line of lower-priced mugs from Ian Anderson of Aandersson Design, geometric jewelry and tabletop goods by Sarah Loertscher, colorful candlesticks and mirrors by Good Thing, and so much more (which we're giving you a sneak peek of below). It’s all happening at Pier 94, 711 12th Ave, from Sunday, February 22–Tuesday, February 24 14, starting at 9:30AM each day. Hope to see you there!
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The Best of 2014

It's been a big year for Sight Unseen, from the launch of our OFFSITE show to the expansion of our staff to celebrating our 5th anniversary, not to mention having recently started the process of redesigning our website for the very first time. But the more exciting and action-packed things get, the faster time seems to speed by — it's nice to take a moment to pause and reflect. With the holidays upon us, we decided to put together a simple best-of list that highlights some of our most popular content from 2014, including the five stories that got the most traffic on Sight Unseen, the five (er six, counting the one above) images that got the most likes on Instagram, and our five most-repinned photos on Pinterest.
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Visit Us This Weekend at Tinseltown, With Refinery29

Last week we shared with you our official Sight Unseen holiday gift guides, which were full of links to our most-coveted design and fashion items this year. But for those of you who prefer to browse in person — and will be in New York this weekend — we're taking our wish lists IRL at Tinseltown, Refinery 29's annual holiday shopping event, which we're co-hosting this year. Sight Unseen has invited seven amazing vendors to offer their wares for sale: Alex Proba, Best Made Company, Bower, CHIAOZZA, Dusen Dusen, Fredericks & Mae, and MAKE Cosmetics. Refinery29 are hosting RillRill and Print All Over Me, plus a cat-themed boutique and a hairstyling bar. Best of all, CHIAOZZA's Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza will be on hand all weekend offering personalized papier-mâché plants, so you can choose custom colors and patterns and get them painted for you on the spot! It's all happening at OpenHouse in Nolita, 201 Mulberry Street, on December 13 and 14, from 12PM to 8PM each day.
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SU x PAOM for The Standard Shop

Last week in Miami, you could go home with art in just about any form — not just on a canvas (Art Basel) but in the form of a vase or a table (Design Miami), a pool toy (Grey Area x FriendsWithYou), a champagne bottle (Ruinart x Georgia Russel), or, if you happened by the shop at The Standard Spa, beach gear courtesy of yours truly. For this year's Miami fair, Sight Unseen teamed up with Print All Over Me to curate a line of warm-weather clothing and accessories sold exclusively at the Standard, featuring prints by Paul Wackers, Ellen Van Dusen of Dusen Dusen, Peter Judson, Rachel Domm, Caitlin Foster, Marta Veludo, Eunice Luk, Branden Collins, and Rafael de Cardenas (who designed the shop's interior a few years back).
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BROOKLYN, NY - NOVEMBER 20:  General view of atmosphere during Sight Unseen's 5th Anniversary Dance Party Sponsored By BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin at The McCarren Hotel on November 20, 2014 in Brooklyn, New York.  (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin)

Our 5th Anniversary Party

Two weeks ago, Sight Unseen celebrated our 5th anniversary with a post full of birthday cards made for us by our favorite designers and readers. But we couldn't possibly mark such a momentous occasion with a web post alone — we had to throw a party, of course! Last Thursday night, we gathered 200 of our closest friends and clients together at the stunning roof bar of the McCarren Hotel & Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where we sipped Bombay Sapphire cocktails, danced to music spun by DJs Kyle Garner and Jon Santos under a piñata by Confettisystem, tossed around pool-toy dance props crafted by Misha Kahn, and ate adorable hand-shaped cookies and a golden birthday cake baked by Fredericks & Mae. There were even custom zig-zaggy funhouse mirrors by Chiaozza on hand to freak us out once we got tipsy. It was a memorable night for all involved, and we're grateful to our partners at Bombay Sapphire and Chelsea Hotels for helping to make it happen. It's definitely going to be hard to top come 2019!
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Our Fall Pop-Up at Space Ninety 8

Having branched into retail three years ago with the Sight Unseen Shop — plus a few pop-ups along the way — we can definitively say that the only thing better than buying beautiful objects for ourselves is putting them out into the world for the enjoyment of others. When Marissa Maximo, curator of Space Ninety 8 in Williamsburg, offered us 500 square feet in which to host an event for the month of September, we figured it was the perfect opportunity to bring the work of some of our favorite makers — most of it destined for our fall shop collection — to a much wider audience. Designed by Syrette Lew of Moving Mountains and on view now through October 5, the pop-up consists both of items we admire (Pat Kim's Soap on a Rope, Heddle & Needle's wall weavings) and items we've commissioned exclusively for the Sight Unseen Shop (Ian Anderson's Oden pitchers, Sandwich Shop's Shapes Vase and Two-Tone Artifact Mug). See photos of the space — and our packed opening-night party — after the jump.
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It’s Seattle Week!

People always ask us about the American design scene, and for the longest time, inquiring after American design was just shorthand for trying to figure out what was happening in New York. It’s not that design wasn’t happening in other places; it just wasn’t happening at a scale and with a voice that would make it cohere into something bigger than itself. But oh, how that’s changed in the last five years. Ask us about American design, and we’ll talk your ear off about the amazing ceramics coming out of Los Angeles, or the interesting material experiments happening in Chicago, or Jonah Takagi, who’s singlehandedly making “D.C. design” happen. But the city we’re really, really excited about right now? Seattle.
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The Sight Unseen x Snarkitecture Pumpkin-Carving Contest

When we decided a few weeks ago to host a good old-fashioned pumpkin-carving contest with our friends at Snarkitecture — and to invite more than a dozen of our favorite architects and designers to compete — we figured there would be lots of intricate, hand-drawn patterns (there were, courtesy of Daniel Horowitz’s pumpkin in the form of a brain). We knew at least one group would employ meticulous typography (ditto, thanks to Benjamin Critton Art Dept.) What we didn’t guess — perhaps naively, in hindsight — was that the designers would come armed with such an array of power tools, Japanese machetes, kitchen electrics, Arduino-coded LEDs, drywall screws, and the like. As a result, what unfolded last night at Snarkitecture’s Greenpoint studios was nothing short of amazing. Here’s what went down.
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ETIENNE AIGNER Flagship Launch Party & Designer Game-Nite

The Etienne Aigner Flagship Opening

In many ways, the story of Etienne Aigner is a personal one for us. As a kid growing up in the Midwest, I remember coveting my mother’s gold horseshoe–embossed heels, and then, as a teen, scouring the shoe racks at Marshall’s for a pair of my own. And Monica? I’m pretty sure when we first met she had a dozen pairs of the brand’s vintage loafers and Priscilla heels, and she happily passed that obsession — complete with eBay alerts and frantic Etsy searches — on to me. So we were more than thrilled earlier this year when Sight Unseen was approached by the 63-year-old heritage brand, now led by creative director Daniela Anastasio Bardazzi, to help conceive and curate the opening of their first-ever flagship in New York’s Soho.
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The BYCO Design Contest Results!

A few months ago, we launched a contest with BYCO, the new micro-financing site for fashion and housewares designers, founded by Jesse Finkelstein of JF & Son and his sister Meredith. The Kickstarter-like site invites designers to submit products, which then must be funded by supporters in order to cover the costs of making a prototype. Our contest allowed readers to submit designs that, if chosen by Sight Unseen’s editors, would bypass the funding stage and move straight to production. At the time, we had no idea what would happen. Would anyone enter? If they did, would those brave souls be plucked from the world of designers we were already familiar with? Happily, the pool was wider than we ever could have imagined. The five chosen designers, who were picked relatively blindly, range from an ITP design student to a contractor-turned-artist in San Diego to — just one! — former Sight Unseen subject, the lovely Jennifer Parry Dodge of Ermie (whose Kid Gunta duvet is shown above). Which just goes to show that BYCO isn’t merely for amateurs looking to get a foot in the door: Even for a pro like Dodge, BYCO offers opportunities that would never be possible with a small-scale production set-up. “This was an amazing opportunity, and it's a fantastic service that BYCO is providing to independent designers such as myself,” Dodge says. We couldn’t agree more! Read on to get to know the winners of the Sight Unseen/BYCO contest and click here to purchase their incredibly cool designs.
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