Tag Archives: retail

  1. 04.04.14
    At Home With
    Ashley Helvey, Editorial Creative Director at Totokaelo

    At this point, simplicity can seem like a tired mantra or an admonishment, an extra layer of guilt heaped over our misdirections. Isn’t it enough that our cluttered thoughts keep us up at night? Do we have to feel bad about it, too? So it’s especially heartening that for Seattle-based stylist Ashley Helvey, simplicity is something else entirely: a look so easy that it serves as encouragement. “A lot of the imagery I’m inspired by online is just a piece of fabric or a cinderblock,” says Helvey, who is editorial creative director for Totokaelo, overseeing everything from photo shoots to social media. “They are really simple things that you could actually execute. Having a simple aesthetic is actually pretty tangible.”

  2. 03.31.14
    At Home With
    Jill Wenger, Owner of Totokaelo

    For most of us, stores are merely the fleeting destinations wherein we acquire our possessions, while homes are the more permanent spaces where we keep and lovingly display them. But for Jill Wenger, it’s the other way around: Ever since she moved to Seattle in 2001 and founded the cult boutique Totokaelo at just 26 years old, her store has been her material and spiritual base, while her living situation has remained mercurial. “I love change and generally don’t stay in any apartment or home longer than a year,” says the Texas native. Even as we interviewed her for this piece — which contains the first-ever published photos of one of her domestic interiors — she already had one foot out the door. Despite initially falling in love last May with her current apartment for its location — in Capitol Hill, three minutes away from Totokaelo — as well as its original hardwood floors and leaded-glass doors, Wenger is in the midst of searching for something new.

  3. 03.28.14
    What They Bought
    Local Made at Space Ninety 8

    When The Future Perfect abandoned its original Brooklyn location last summer, we thought we might never feel the need to shop on that particular block of Williamsburg again. The Future Perfect’s gorgeous digs got turned into a Gant, and for years we’ve felt we were a little too old for American Apparel. But come next Thursday, we’ll be making that trek on the L train again: Urban Outfitters is opening a concept shop on North Sixth Street called Space Ninety 8, complete with rotating gallery spaces, a restaurant, a rooftop bar, and, of course, clothing. But the draw for us will be located smack in the front window. That’s where a showcase called Local Made will take place, curated by Urban’s director of brand relations and special projects Marissa Maximo, who scoured the borough, commissioning exclusives from some of our favorite designers.

  4. 03.25.14
    Sight Unseen Offsite
    Introducing Your Newest New York Design Week Destination

    Here at Sight Unseen HQ, we’ve been keeping some pretty major news under wraps for a few months now, but it’s time to finally let the cat out of the bag. If you’ve been reading our site, you know that we founded and ran the Noho Design District, a satellite show during ICFF, for four years. This year we made the tough decision to retire the NDD and launch in its place a new event that shares our namesake: Introducing Sight Unseen OFFSITE, a brand new design fair happening in New York from May 16-20, 2014, that will feature a curated selection of furniture and product launches by the best independent designers and forward-thinking brands, all under one gigantic roof.

  5. 03.22.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of March 17, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: The world’s most beautiful bike lock, an iPad cover inspired by New York and a table (above) inspired by Milan, and an epic terrazzo floor discovered in a local institution.

  6. 03.20.14
    Sighted
    Camille Walala x Third Drawer Down, on The Design Files

    File under “when awesome people collaborate”: We were pretty beside ourselves last week when the news floated our way that not only was the terrific Melbourne art and design shop Third Drawer Down opening a second location but that its exterior was going to be hand-painted by Camille Walala, the French-born, London–based graphic designer and illustrator whose work we’ve been obsessing over for the last year and a half. Walala first came to our attention when she collaborated on a print and textile line with the London concept shop Darkroom. More recently, we’ve been avidly Insta-stalking her; Walala’s eye for color and pattern is one of the best and most inspiring we know. As for Third Drawer Down, owner Abigail Crompton specializes in bringing the cool, cultish American designers and brands down under (think Kiosk, Ben Medansky, Fredericks & Mae, Confettisystem) but her commissioned artist editions with the likes of Nathalie du Pasquier, David Shrigley, Ai Weiwei, and Louise Bourgeois have us wishing she’d open up a New York outpost. Today we’re sharing with you some photos of the finished store, as well as excerpting part of a great interview with Walala that originally ran on The Design Files, one of our daily reads, after the jump.

  7. 03.18.14
    What They Bought
    Sam Baron on Fabrica’s Extra-Ordinary Gallery Collection

    When we found out that Fabrica, the Italian design studio and research center, had just launched its striking new Extra-Ordinary Gallery collection in its online shop earlier this month, the pieces were so intriguing and beautiful that we thought we’d struck editorial gold — turns out we weren’t the only ones! The collection has been all over the design blogs in the past two weeks, and deservedly so. Yet we couldn’t pass up the chance to share it with our readers anyway, so we got in touch with our old friend Sam Baron, creative director of Fabrica’s design department, and asked him for some special insight into the collection, which he curated. The result is a fun little personal diary, featuring five of the line’s standouts as they relate to Baron’s daily routine.

  8. 03.15.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of March 10, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week was, weirdly, all about fruit (perhaps it’s the influence of the unstoppable pineapple?). We also said a (temporary) goodbye to a beloved New York retailer and a hello to the best Ikea collection in years.

  9. 03.13.14
    Eye Candy
    Totokaelo’s Spring Campaigns

    The cult Seattle boutique Totokaelo already carries clothing and objects so beautiful that each new season wreaks havoc on the wallets of aesthetes around the country. The only way the store could possibly improve on that game? By shooting those new collections in scenarios designed to make said aesthetes even crazier. To promote its spring Art—Object catalog, the store’s creative director Ashley Helvey masterminded two such campaigns: a photo shoot shot by Robin Stein and styled by Margaret Macmillan Jones in the technicolor plaza of Seattle’s King County Correctional Center (designed in the ’80s by Martha Schwartz and Benson Shaw), and a video, also in collaboration with Stein, that features Cameron Mesirow of Glasser along with music from her latest album, Interiors. The photo shoot includes works by SU mainstays Phillip Low, Josh Herman, and Katy Krantz, while Glasser happens to be one of our very favorite bands, so much so that Mesirow is the first-ever musician we’ll be profiling on the site, happening in the next few weeks. For now, check out the video and the photos after the jump.

  10. 03.01.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of February 24, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: furniture worthy of a “French Fries Party,” super-minimalist $99 lamps, candy-colored stools by Jeff Martin (above), and incredibly styled images by the likes of Gemma Tickle and the Bouroullec brothers.

  11. 02.27.14
    Sighted
    Last, a New Swedish Design Trio

    No pun intended, but we had to share one last find from this month’s Stockholm Design Week: Last, a new arena for selling one-of-a-kind products by Swedish design trio Åsa Jungnelius, Gustaf Nordenskiöld, and Fredrik Paulsen. They are, respectively, a glass designer working with glass, a potter with clay and a furniture designer with wood. All share a common desire for not only producing sustainable products, but also to promote a kind of design that is slower, more considered, and intended to stand the test of time (i.e. the last spoon you might ever buy).

  12. 01.20.14
    Sighted
    Joanna Williams of Kneeland Mercado on Sous Style

    There are a lot of reasons we’ve been reading Sous Style since former Elle photo director Pippa Lord first launched it in 2011: the casual, contemporary feel of the food photography, the glimpses into the homes and private lives of some amazingly cool women, and of course, all those incredibly gorgeous men(!). But we also love when Lord surprises us with different types of approaches to mixing food with fashion, design, and culture, including a post she did recently on textile-sourcing maven Joanna Williams of Kneeland Co. Mercado — in it, Williams reveals both the stories behind some of the items she’s brought back from various cities to sell in her Los Angeles shop, as well as all of her favorite things to eat while visiting those places. Check out an excerpt from the story after the jump!

  13. 01.18.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of January 13, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: vintage Brooklyn hipster interiors, shelves inspired by Venetian bridges, a new website for Josef and Anni Albers, Sottsass Bacterio bookends (above), and more.

  14. 01.16.14
    Q+A
    Dario Buzzini and Barbara Busatta on Machine Series

    For all the excitement around the game-changing rise of rapid prototyping, it’s always felt a little abstract to us — mostly limited to actual prototyping, MakerBot-style tinkering, and a few crazy, high-end projects meant above all to flaunt the capabilities of the technology. Yet with the launch of Machine Series, a new brand of housewares made using fused deposition modeling (FDM), co-founders Dario Buzzini and Barbara Busatta are attempting to make a case for the potential of 3-D printing to create a commercially viable line of attractive and functional everyday objects. “The focus of this exploration has been to elevate 3-D printing, a technology that is very much talked about but is relegated to either cumbersome, amateurish results or over-expensive artistic applications,” write the Italian-born, New York–based pair in the brand’s press release. “We believe that by exploring the full potential of FDM, we are able to create items that are as simple as they are sophisticated and as elegant as they are innovative.” The designs are also fully open-source, so all the files used to produce them are available online. Buzzini and Busatta took some time to tell us more about the project, after the jump.

  15. 12.16.13
    Shop
    Now In Stock: The Shadow Vase by Jessica Hans

    You’ve made your list, you’ve checked it twice — but if you’re anything like us, there are still a few gifts that have you stumped. Luckily, we’re launching one last piece in the Sight Unseen Shop before the holidays, and it might just be perfect for that certain someone. It’s our first piece ever from Philly favorite Jessica Hans, and it’s a beauty — the black-and-white, Keith Haring-inspired, made-by-hand Shadow Vase ($120), whose textural surface marks come from a mix of matte black glaze and unglazed porcelain peeking through.

  16. 12.13.13
    The Essentials
    50 Gifts We’re Coveting

    Introducing the first annual Sight Unseen holiday gift guide! We’ve been scouring our favorite shops, both here and abroad, and starting yesterday we’ve been featuring 25 items per editor. Today’s picks come from Monica, whose taste runs more towards all things monochromatic, graphic, and geometric.

  17. 12.12.13
    The Essentials
    50 Gifts We’re Coveting

    Introducing the first annual Sight Unseen holiday gift guide! We’ve been scouring our favorite shops, both here and abroad, and over the next two days we’ll be featuring 25 items per editor. Today’s picks come from Jill, whose taste runs more towards all things pretty, colorful, and mid-century.

  18. 12.11.13
    Eye Candy
    72Editions.com

    2013 was a good year for buying affordable art online. The long-dormant 20×200 relaunched in beta, Exhibition A proved stronger than ever, sites like Artfully Walls debuted, and countless independent designers began selling prints via their own webshops. As of last week, you can add to that list 72 Editions, a new online destination for limited edition contemporary art and artifacts, curated by London’s YCN creative network, whose offerings start around $60. We’ve already spotted a few favorites among the mix — Saskia Pomeroy’s graphic illustrations, and really lovely photography by designer Cristian Zuzunaga (above) — but we were also excited to see a few artists lesser known to us (how great are Chris Jarrett’s hand-whittled slingshots, below?). Immediately bookmarkable.

  19. 12.07.13
    Saturday Selects
    Week of December 2, 2013

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, and events from the past seven or so days. This week: a slam-dunk stocking stuffer for your graphic designer friends, a furniture collection inspired by Palm Springs, a better way to crack a nut, and more

  20. 12.02.13
    Invitation
    Shop Sight Unseen on Print All Over Me

    In April, we introduced you to BYCO, a production platform and online shop for custom clothing designs submitted by up-and-coming fashion talents. But BYCO also had a small section for housewares, where designers could apply imagery to a standardized selection of pillows, duvets, and curtains — an idea that co-founders Jesse and Meredith Finkelstein have taken one step further with their new spinoff project, Print All Over Me. The site harnesses the same overseas manufacturing capabilities the pair utilize for BYCO, but instead of producing custom pieces, it offers designers a choice of eight blanks onto which they can apply any image file — think CafePress, but with shirts, sweatpants, hats, pillows, totes, and scarfs that are actually fashion-forward (Jesse’s also the designer behind the New York label JF&Son). Print All Over Me is technically still in beta, but we were so excited about its possibilities that we invited a few friends — Will Bryant, Mel Nguyen, New Friends, Clay Hickson, and Tim Colmant —to post a few items just for us. Read on to check out and shop their mini-collections, or create and sell your own designs.

  21. 11.21.13
    Where They've Been
    Kiosk in Athens, Greece

    There were several reasons Alisa Grifo wanted to take her Kiosk co-founder Marco Romeny to Greece for their newest themed collection of everyday objects, which launches today. But the most pressing was the fact that Greece’s ongoing economic woes have shuttered scores of small businesses, and continue to do so the longer they persist. “It felt like half of Athens was closed,” says Grifo, who traveled there with Romeny in early October. “We would find something and try to contact the manufacturer and their phone would be disconnected. We felt an urgency to go now before more and more disappeared.” The irony is that Greece is also the last collection for the couple before they’re forced to pull their own disappearing act of sorts, thanks to economics of an entirely different kind.

  22. 11.19.13
    Giveaway
    Win Two Custom Baggu Pouches (And a $50 Gift Card)!

    We can think of few more perfect gifts than Sight Unseen’s exclusive hand-painted leather pouches from Baggu. Not only are they adorable in their own right — the larger size adding a pop of color to a little black dress when worn as a clutch to holiday parties, the small serving handily as a wallet or lipstick holder — but they can also seriously up your game in the gift-wrap department. Why present your loved one with an iPad mini or a piece of jewelry covered in crappy drugstore paper when your wrapping could be a gift in its own right? That’s why we’ve teamed up with Baggu to give you the chance to win two pouches of your own from the Sight Unseen Shop (your choice of one large and one small), plus a $50 gift card redeemable at Baggu.com. Enter after the jump!

  23. 11.12.13
    Shop
    Four New Items for the Holidays!

    If homemade gifts are supposedly the best kind, we happen to think that beautiful objects hand-crafted in small batches by artists and designers are easily the next best thing, especially if you have less than full confidence in your crafting skills (or lack thereof). Of course, you could also simply go out and buy your girlfriend that Vitamix she’s been obsessing over, but where’s the fun in that if she could just as easily go out and buy it herself? A gift from the Sight Unseen Shop strikes the perfect balance, proving you’re thoughtful and resourceful, and that you understand what makes the person you’re giving it to so unique. Not that we wouldn’t also mind a Vitamix for the holidays — ahem — but you know what we’re getting at here! Check out the latest additions to our shop after the jump, which make for great gifts in any price range.

  24. 11.11.13
    What We Saw
    Hammer Museum’s Arts ReSTORE

    For all of the handwringing about art being inaccessible, there’s no city planning theory that has gained more traction in this century than the idea of creative people driving neighborhood revitalization. Which means that the descriptively titled “Arts ReSTORE: LA” project isn’t just loftily ambitious. The month-long residency program, which began last week, might actually work at creating a less sterile West Los Angeles, not least because it is supported by the powerhouse Hammer Museum, whose three-story compound anchors one end of the street. On a stretch of Westwood Ave., better known for chain sandwich shops and fluorescent interiors, the Hammer offered a half-dozen empty storefronts to local artists and makers, with the idea that even a temporary infusion would upend the retail mood of the area. If the packed opening night was any indication, this time the theory holds. Here’s what we saw.

  25. 11.07.13
    Where They've Been
    Shinola’s Daniel Caudill in Detroit

    It wasn’t too long ago that bringing up Detroit made people feel sad. For decades it was America’s most downtrodden city; the first and only time I visited, 15 years ago, at age 19, I gasped dramatically upon arrival that it looked like its downtown had literally been bombed out and abandoned. But two or three years ago, Detroit got a brand new narrative, unfortunately by way of an annoyingly over-baked media frenzy that branded it the next hipster haven, complete with coffee shops, urban farms, and its first Whole Foods. The arrival of Shinola — which opened a watch factory and bicycle workshop there last year — quickly became a part of that narrative, even moreso when it opened its second retail location in New York a few months ago and began introducing the East Coast to its $2,000 artisanal bicycles and handmade leather goods. And yet the company is playing an important part in what’s really going on in Detroit, beyond all the coffee shops and organic foods, which is that it’s in the process of replacing parts of its failed industrial economy with a creative one, and that its residents and legislators are counting on that renewal to get the city back on its feet.

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