February 13 2009

Lovely shoes and bags will literally be on pins and needles this Saturday, when the Kymyka shoes and bags boutique opens in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The beautiful store, established by Chantal Hermans and Jurgo Mouthaan, begins its life with an impressive line-up of brands, including Dolce & Cabbana, Etro, Stella McCartney, Dsquared, YSL, Giuseppe Zanotti, Luciano Padovan and Theory. Jimmy Choo will join the list soon, as will other brands.

Hermans and Muthaan chose well when they picked the industrious Maurice Mentjens to design their store. His work has been rewarded at many design competitions, including the Dutch Design Awards in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

His design for the Stash bag shop won not just the Dutch Design Award in the Retail Category but also the German Design Award. Maurice Mentjens Design is engaged in a vast variety of project ranging from interior, exhibit, retail and hospitality design to product and furniture design. - Tuija Seipell

Related article - Shoo Biz - The World's Best

Photography - Arjen Schmitz


February 12 2009

Peter Masters of Burned Toast Design is known for his elegant bent-wood and curved-acrylic tables and chairs, but the Manchester, UK-based furniture designer can be big, bold and public, if required. A recent re-vamp of the funky Reuben Wood Hair Salon in Manchester’s city centre shows that Masters has the talent to create an entire environment that is eclectic, electric and elegant.

Using simple curved mirrors, he created the storage units necessary to hide the day-to-day paraphernalia of a busy hair salon. The creation of the large mirrored surfaces dictated that everything else needed to be streamlined and toned-down so that the space would not appear too busy or scattered when clients and staff would populate it.

The long blue table in the middle of the salon is an industrialized version of Masters’ Horse design. The mirrors in this station are removable which makes it easy to change the look of the space without destroying the overall feel. Dashes of pink, green and blue play off the larger surfaces of black and white, and create focal points in the mirrored environment.

When making and designing furniture, Masters plays with a large variety of materials, methods and technologies. Laminating plywood, casting resins and metals, fabricating plastics and upholstery are all familiar to Masters, as are using a machine created for violin manufacture or hand-crafting custom pieces from sustainable materials. - Tuija Seipell

Related articles - Pimps & Pinups - London & Fur Hairdressing - Melbourne


February 11 2009

Atelier Exquise is a showroom, design studio, kitchen and a small apartment for Exquise Design in Paris. Exquise is a team of three female designers focusing on designing contemporary lovetoys.

The new space is a meeting place for creatives where they can cook both ideas and food. Designed by Stockholm-based Electric Dreams, the space starts with white walls, ceiling and floor. To this simple backdrop, spurts of electric and luminous pinks, blues, purples, greens and yellow, add a feel of lightness and delight.

Electric Dreams is an architecture and design studio established in 2006 by product designer Joel Degermark and architect Catharina Franklander. Their design work ranges from cool and sleek retail interiors to lush and crazy installations. Degermark’s Cluster lamp for Moooi and the team’s fantastic, multiple concepts for the Swedish brand Monki — purchased in 2006 by H&M — are examples of the duo’s many talents. - Tuija Seipell


February 5 2009

Truth: prostate cancer kills thousands of Australian men each year — equal to the number of women who die from breast cancer. We know, definitely not cool. But the Cancer Council of Australia is far from giving up hope. This year they are asking Aussie blokes to participate and help raise funds for Daredallion Week from March 2nd-6th.

Dare: register to take on the Daredallion challenge — dare someone to do something they normally would not do — or else challenge yourself to something completely outrageous and raise money that will be used to promote awareness for men’s cancers.  Eugene Tan, our friend over at Aquabumps, photographed one of the first dares this year — a guy unsuccessfully attempted to float away from Bondi beach strapped to a bunch of helium balloons.  Check out the Daredallion site and either register a dare of your own, or use their Dare Generator and take on one of the challenges already developed — we dare you! - Andrew J Wiener

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February 3 2009

It's not often that you yearn for weather cold enough to turn your fingers frosty but one look at Mary Beyer's divine gloves will do the trick. Actually we'll take any excuse to slip into Beyer's beautifully tailored pieces, which are reminiscent of an era when gloves were an essential component of a lady's everyday wardrobe.

The French designer works with brilliantly colored and textured leathers and her designs feature interesting details such as ties and cuffs.

She works out of her lovely Paris boutique located in the upmarket shopping mecca, Palais Royal, where she also makes couture (made-to-measure) gloves for the city's chicest women. Could gloves be the new black? We can feel a trend coming on. - Laura Demasi

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February 2 2009

The art of the sports car takes centre stage at the new Porsche museum in Stuttgart.

Engines, interactive displays, Porsche memorabilia and 80 cars – including prototypes and icons like the 911, all polished to a mirror-sheen – are parked on two floors of pristine, white galleries.

The collection includes a 550 Spyder – the model James Dean was driving when he died in a collision with a Studebaker in 1955.

Other models, like the 917 type Hollywood star Steve McQueen made famous in "Le Mans" and the 928 version Tom Cruise's character in "Risky Business" used to elude trouble, are parked bumper-to-bumper under dazzling spotlights.

Three dramatic concrete pillars support the museum building, designed by the Viennese architecture firm Delugan Meissl, which seems to float above its industrial surroundings.

A handcrafted aluminum recreation of the very first Porsche, a Type 64 'VW Aerocoupe,' shines in the center of the first floor.

Prototypes on display include a 928 model almost long enough for four doors, a 1989 "Panamericana" with odd, frog-like curves and the darling of the museum staff: the 1992 Boxster prototype that won Best in Show at the 1993 Detroit Auto Show.

Porsche hopes to lure 200,000 visitors a year to the museum – competition for the rival Mercedes museum, located a half-hour away in Untertuerkheim, a Stuttgart suburb. (more visuals over at Autoblog )


February 2 2009

For years now we've been hitting the pub with our mates - ordering pint upon pint of beer - and although many of us have a preference for a local brew or a dark malt or an amber, plenty of us have been quite happy ordering the old fallback, a green-necked Heine - and almost everywhere we go, from the smallest desert roadside watering holes to the cosmopolitan lounges and clubs, we can almost be certain Heineken will be available.  

So how does a brand, which is recognised worldwide, reengage its consumers and reinvent its story? The US-based BRC Imagination Arts, one of the world's leaders in experiential marketing, has developed the New Heineken Experience - an interactive journey through the history of the brand and the brewing process. The experience is housed in the former Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam.

Visitors to the restored brewery push their senses to the extreme as they see, smell, touch and taste everything that goes into the production - brewing and bottling Heineken beer. A special effects ride allows visitors to immerse themselves into the entire process from conception to completion with interactive exhibits as well as interpretive graphics. With the New Heineken Experience, the company hopes to develop renewed, enduring and personal connections with those of us who have always loved Heineken. - Andrew J Wiener


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January 29 2009

Economic doom and gloom does have an upside. It has laid the foundations for a fertile new landscape of creativity and innovation. When the market gets tough brands have to work harder to keep their customers, they have to find more creative ways to engage them. Innovation becomes a must in the design process. It's a case of innovate or risk a likely death. Which is why we predict a rebirth of creativity across product design, marketing and retail design. This new era isn't about big dollars, it's about big ideas and originality. Expect the unexpected.

The Cool Hunter Platinum is working on a number of retail projects. We are looking for like-minded partners. Are you a designer or architect with innovative retail work? Have you seen a new store that you just can't forget? We want to hear from you too. Contact us .....[email protected] or [email protected]

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January 28 2009

This one’s for all you bike enthusiasts — or those of you who maybe don’t know much about the ins and outs of motorcycles, but share a passion for fascinating imagery and maybe even dream every once in awhile about speeding relentlessly down the highway on two wheels.

Australia-based designer, Chris Hunter compiles a daily dose of cool bike images on
From BMW airheads to Goldwing bobbers, Hunter pulls together the most interesting biker photographs from around the world. Bike EFIX is the place to see all the best bespoke, custom and even vintage motorcycles for all you design-obsessed bike fan out there. 

And Hunter, who has a particular liking for the Italian dream — the Moto Guzzi — is on the right track for attracting those who appreciate new and classic design on two wheels. - Andrew J Wiener

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