We’re fans of Saturdays, the cafe-surf shop and clothing brand inspired by the surfing lifestyle. Its original flagship store is on Crosby Street in SoHo, where we recently paid a visit to pick up a gift during the recent holidays. We found some awesome new hoodie and hat designs (pictured below) and scooped up a floral-print flat cap and “Ditch Plains” hoodie with “SATURDAYS” serif-font logotype design.
In June, Tokyo Bike opened one of it’s minimalist bicycle shops on the Bowery, in New York City’s Lower East Side. The location is prime and puts the shop square in the heart of downtown’s art, culture and style scene: The New Museum is across the street, fashion photographer Terry Richardson’s studio is down the block, Helmut Lang is a few doors down the street, and dozens of art galleries and hip boite dot the surrounding border area where the LES meets Nolita.
It’s the first stateside store of the independent Japanese bike brand, and currently it’s only planned as a summer pop-up store. But depending on public reception and sales this summer, the company may be opening a permanent home in the city in the near future.
Tokyo Bike’s bicycles are designed in Japan, built (like most of the world’s bikes) in Taiwan, and designed with the concept of “slow” urban cycling, where the experience of an easy-going bike ride in the city trumps concerns for speed and high-performance. That said, TB’s bikes are remarkably light (perfect for carrying up and down the stairs of an NYC tenement apartment building) and styled with an understated, elegant minimalism.
This short video titled “This is a Generic Brand Video” was created entirely from stock video to go with the words of Kendra Eash’s clever and funny McSweeney’s Internet Tendency piece of the same title. It’s an amusing, masterful break down of advertising semiotics and visual style.
The clothing store Tenue de Nimes is among Amsterdam’s most influential purveyors of denim, clothing and style, if not its foremost. The shop reliably stocks an impeccably curated selection of well-made clothing, jeans, shoes and accessories, including a lot of limited edition items. The shop also publishes a popular tabloid-format magazine on newsprint called Journal de Nimes and recently delivered edition No. 9 of the magazine in English marking their 5th anniversary. Beautifully designed and illustrated, this issue of Journal de Nimes provides a Best Of list of the owners’ favorite places in Amsterdam to eat, drink, find culture and even get tattoos. Other highlights are an interview with Yuki Matsuda (of brands Yukaten and Monitaly) and a visit to a Japanese textile-making workshop.
One of our colleagues recently returned to New York after another quick trip to Japan and brought us these yummy Japanese Kit Kat chocolate cookie bars. These Kit Kats are exclusive to the Japanese market, as far as we know. One, as the English on the label states, is a “strawberry cheese cake” version. But the one that really caught our eye and taste buds is the wasabi-flavored Kit Kat bar and its packaging replete with green wasabi icons.
The French clothing label A.P.C. is one of our all-time favorite style brands, and we’ve been buying shirts, sweaters and jeans at their shops in Paris, New York, Osaka and Tokyo for many years while on our travels and living abroad. While A.P.C.’s retail presence in the U.S. and even is native France is relatively small, the company has many boutiques big and small throughout Japan’s major cities. This one pictured here is in the chic Tokyo neighborhood of Daikanyama, tucked between Shibuya and Naka-Meguro. It’s a tiny storefront and shop space, but it has this beautiful, minimalist style than manages to fit right into the neighborhood’s quiet ambiance and human-sized architectural scale. It’s also incorporated some leafy greenery into the space. And it’s totally “on brand.”
It lives … The Gucci-branded Fiat 500. We spotted this one in New York City’s East Village on the weekend. The Italian automaker has been doing some interesting things with its re-design and marketing of its classic 500 model (or Cinquecento, as it’s also known). With the launch of the new 500, Fiat embarked on an ambitious ad campaign and push into the U.S. market, which included a series of ads with Jennifer Lopez a couple of years ago. Gucci and Fiat are two massive, distinct Italian brands, but aside from their Italian roots, they’re vastly different: Luxury fashion-lifestyle vs. economy sub-compact cars that historically (before the current, re-designed 500) had a reputation for breaking down often.
Downtown Ho Chi Minh City (or more popularly Saigon), in Vietnam is increasingly witnessing the establishment of retail presences by global luxury brands, including Chanel. Below is the mannequin-filled display window at the high-end French clothing brand’s Saigon store. The downtown cityscape can be seen in the window reflection.
The spacious Saturdays Surf store (pix below) in the fashionable border strip between Tokyo’s uber-hip Daikanyama and Naka-Meguro neighborhoods is a carbon copy of its New York City original in terms of winning retail branding concept: Espresso bar and a collection of over-priced surfboards at the front of the shop and an inviting wood-decked outdoor patio behind the store. Between the two sections is the merch, that wonderful collection of aspirational surfer-inspired fashion and accessories that punters must walk through when they take their freshly brewed Americanos out back. It’s a kind of exit-through-the-gift-shop tactic but even better ’cause the customer has to walk through the store twice even if they’ve just come to enjoy a cup of espresso on the back patio. The clothes are well made, there’s cool selection of Van’s and tees, and even a curated collection of surfer photography books and videos. And there’s actual surfing gear like board shorts, fins and wax for sale, too.
In terms of style, the interior of SS Tokyo is a stand-alone building with fresh, clean lines and a Malibu contemporary feel, whereas the NYC flagship on SoHo’s Crosby Street is cozy and crammed into a long, narrow, old-school brick-and-mortar tenement (espresso bar at front, outdoor patio in the back, dubbed “The Backyard”), albeit with that SS arty-urban-surfer-dreams-of-Bondi Beach aesthetic indelibly stamped on the interior. Props to Tokyo for getting Kurtis Kulig, the “Love Me” dude, to write that ubiquitous graffiti meme on the wall behind the espresso bar. In any case, if you’ve got the time, the Tokyo SS is worth a visit, if even for a coffee and the relaxing patio deck and its view of laidback Naka-Meguro. The clothes are super dope, too. For more check out SS’s regularly updated blog.
[Traduction française ci-dessous. | Traducción al español está por debajo de | 以下の日本語訳。]
. . . . .
Voici quelques photos du magasin de surf samedi dans le quartier entre Daikanyama et Naka-Meguro à Tokyo. L’intérieur de la boutique est belle, bien-design. Le concept de magasin est basé sur le concept original qui a débuté dans la ville magasin de surf samedi à New York. Il ya un bar à espresso à l’avant du magasin, et une terrasse extérieure à l’arrière du magasin.
. . . . .
Aquí están algunas fotos de la tienda Surf sábados en el barrio entre Daikanyama y Naka-Meguro, en Tokio. El interior de la tienda es muy bonito diseño. El concepto de tienda se basa en el concepto original que se inició en la ciudad de sábados tienda Surf Nueva York. Hay una cafetería en la parte delantera de la tienda, y un patio al aire libre en la parte trasera de la tienda.
. . . . .
. . . . .
Hier sind einige Bilder des Samstags Surf Shop in der Nachbarschaft zwischen Daikanyama und Naka-Meguro, in Tokio. Das Innere des Ladens ist schön, gut-design. Das Store-Konzept basiert auf dem ursprünglichen Konzept, das an der New York City samstags Surf Shop gestartet beruhte. Es ist eine Espresso-Bar an der Front des Ladens, und eine Terrasse auf der Rückseite des Ladens.
Over drinks with friends on a recent hot, humid evening in New York’s Lower East Side, the conversation turned to the subject of design, specifically Ikea and some of the Swedish company’s flatware products. Our friend S. drew this literal napkin sketch of what the Ikea fork and knife looks like. The original article, we think, looks something this set on the Ikea website. 🙂
A sparkly fresh new wheat-paste street art piece by the artist Raemann on Lafayette Street in NoHo, downtown New City. “Smart Air” is another in series of artworks that depict “bottled air” as a consumer product branded with the logos of popular bottled-water brands, such as Dasani, Perrier, Poland Spring, and, as pictured here, Smart Water.
We recently met the super-talented New York-based Japanese artist-illustrator Akane Ogura, who showed us one of the awesome reclaimed vintage denim tote bags she has designed. We hear these have been selling out. Ogura also has designed lots of other cool totes, too, all hand-made by the artist. We really like the detail in the print and logo-tag designs. Great stuff.