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Archives: August 2013

NYC Pilot Program Aims to Boost Local Design Businesses

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at a press conference held yesterday at The Future Perfect in Manhattan. (Photo: William Alatriste / New York City Council)

New York City is for designers. (Quick, someone screen that on a tri-blend tee!) Hot on the 3D-printed heels of NYCxDESIGN, the 12-day designfest that debuted in May between Frieze and ICFF, comes a pilot program that aims to stimulate the local design economy. Built/NYC, unveiled yesterday by New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn and Department of Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney, will commission site-specific furnishings for City construction projects—think parks and municipal offices—from local product designers.

“Instead of automatically purchasing a desk, a lighting fixture, or other furnishings made in another country, we can allow the City to purchase products that have been designed and manufactured right here in the five boroughs,” said Quinn at a press conference held yesterday at The Future Perfect in Mahattan. “Built/NYC is a way for the City to support our growing design community by investing in the businesses that drive New York City’s creative economy while simultaneously enhancing the interiors of public buildings and spaces.”
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Seven Question for Poketo’s Angie Myung

It’s been ten years since Poketo burst on the scene with a line of cheap, cheerful, and highly collectible vinyl wallets emblazoned with art by the likes of Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, and Jillian Tamaki. “Having a Poketo wallet is like having a traveling art show with you at all times,” say founders Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung (pictured), whose thriving e-store and Los Angeles shop now offers an ever-changing assortment of must-have goods, from colorful pens and perfect planners to apparel (we suggest the socks) and homegoods (check out the Japanese enamel saucepan). As they packed their Tyvek totes with the latest and greatest Poketo wares to show at NYNOW, the home and lifestyle tradeshow that opens Sunday at the Javits Center, we asked Myung to tell us more about the origins of the company, memorable moments, and what’s been flying off the virtual and physical shelves this summer.

1. How did Poketo come to be?
We really didn’t mean to start a business when we started Poketo in 2003. It was a total accident. We didn’t come from a business background. Ted was a filmmaker and I was going to school for graphic design. We were throwing a lot of art shows with friends who were artists in San Francisco. They were always a lot of fun but none of the art sold as we just couldn’t afford them. So, one day, we decided to make something that was affordable, and that’s when the Poketo Artist Wallets were born.

We had another art show and along with the original art on the wall, we sold wallets with the same artwork. The wallets were an instant hit and we totally sold out that night! We walked home that night with butterflies in our stomach and couldn’t wait to release another series. Gradually, Poketo took up more time. In the beginning, we worked different jobs and it wasn’t until two years later that we were working on Poketo full time.

2. How did you come up with the name “Poketo”?
Poketo (pronounced poh-KEH-toe) got its name through my Korean grandmother’s mispronunciation of the word “pocket.”

3. If you had to describe the Poketo aesthetic/philosophy in just three words, what would they be?
Fun, colorful, and modern
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Spotted: Elusive White Moleskine Notebook

We’re known for our aversion to beige, but white? We can’t get enough of the sum of all colors (and recently spent far too many hours scouring the marketplace for a white computer monitor, eventually having to settle for a silver one from a mysterious Korean company). So we’re pleased to report that Moleskine has finally seen the light. The brand built on ‘lil black jotters is introducing white notebooks, something they toyed with a few years ago in a limited-edition created for Yoox. The new range, complete with white elastic band, bookmark, and expandable inner pocket, is available now on the Moleskine e-store. Ready to shift into full-on back-to-school-mode? Check out Moleskine’s first U.S. Store, which opened earlier this year at New York’s Time Warner Center.

Rich Gorman Reveals Green Branding Secrets

According to Rich Gorman, more and more companies are getting serious about green activism and social responsibility—and that is very much a positive thing. While reports about planetary peril are increasingly common—and increasingly worrisome—there are efforts that corporations can take to make a difference, and many of them are seizing the opportunity. From the use of recycled products to “paperless” office settings, companies can do much to help the environment.

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Bonjour, Mademoiselle C: Sneak Peek at Carine Roitfeld Documentary

The third issue of the chunky dreamtome that is CR Fashion Book is hot off the presses (literally) just in time to relive its gestation and triumphant launch in a new documentary directed by Fabien Constant. Opening in select cities on September 11, Mademoiselle C follows Carine Roitfeld as she bids adieu to her decade-long post as editor of French Vogue. Will New York media embrace La Roitfeld? Will the designers and advertisers follow once she has, in her words, surrendered “the crown” of French Vogue? How will she adapt to life as a grandmother?

“Fabien brought up the idea of the project when I was launching my new magazine. I had just left Vogue was starting everything over. I found that period interesting,” says Roitfeld. “I said ‘yes’ instinctively, without really thinking about what it meant.” Having worked with Constant before (“I like his sense of humor and the fact that he doesn’t look at people who work in fashion with a critical eye. He doesn’t judge us”), she was comfortable with his presence (“he just blended into the scenery”), but old editorial and styling habits die hard. “Pictures can be Photoshopped. It’s harder to do with movies,” explains Roitfeld. “I’m so used to controlling everything, the hardest part was being shot from a less-than-flattering angle.” And her favorite moment captured on film? “When I’m singing in Russian,” she says. “I’m quite proud of that. I think that I’m singing pretty well and it’s one of the lighter moments in the movie.” Voici le trailer:

Design Jobs: Cooke&Co, Pratt Institute, Publishers Clearing House

This week, Cooke&Co is hiring a designer, while Pratt Institute needs a graphic designer. Publishers Clearing House is seeking a creative director, and Moffly Media is on the hunt for an art director for its creative services and marketing department. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

Find more great design jobs on the UnBeige job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented UnBeige pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

The Getty Launches ‘Open Content’ Program, Lifting Restrictions on Use of Digital Images

Among the most well-known images in the history of photography is “The Open Door” (pictured), in which William Henry Fox Talbot used his pioneering calotype process to preserve forever the scene of a broom leaning at a jaunty angle on the threshold of Lacock Abbey. Talbot’s 1844 tableau is among the approximately 4,600 high-resolution digital images from the J. Paul Getty Museum that are now free use, modify, and publish for any purpose thanks to an open door policy announced today by The Getty.

“As of today, the Getty makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds all the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose,” said Getty president and CEO Jim Cuno in a statement announcing the Open Content program, which aligns the institution with similar programs at the Walters Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, Yale University, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Harvard University. Images were previously available upon request, for a fee, and permissions were granted for specific uses only.
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Quote of Note | Carine Roitfeld

“More than fashion, I love images, which are not the same thing. In my fashion series, I’m not interested in showcasing the latest bag or collection number twenty-five, but showing what you can do with them and what it can bring to a woman. There is a superficial side to it, but it is a tool to arm oneself to provide self-confidence. I don’t tell people to go out and buy this coat, but I do suggest how they can wear it. I send little messages and use images to make suggestions. I am a link between the fashion shows that everyone can see online and real life. I am the one who makes it wearable by using characters I dream and fantasize about. I’m not a designer, so it’s fascinating to associate with artists.”

-Carine Roitfeld, founding editor of the sublime CR Fashion Book

Wallpaper* Rolls out Redesign with New Tagline, Custom Typefaces

The September issues are beginning to roll in, and Wallpaper* is celebrating the month that Candy Pratts Price describes as “the January in fashion” with a top-to-bottom redesign across its print and digital platforms. The layouts have “a new, fresh, sophisticated, modern elegance” according to editor-in-chief Tony Chambers, and the pages, now printed on higher-quality stock, are sprinkled with custom typefaces (type families “Portrait” and “Darby,” pictured above and designed by Berton Hasebe and Dan Milne, respectively) from Paul Barnes and Christian Schwartz of Commercial Type. The magazine also has a new tagline–”The stuff that refines you”–and an overhauled iPad edition, reimagined by Nicolas Roope of Poke London and Marc Kremers, which ensures that the September features, on topics such as “the fashion world’s top ten go-to architects” (we’re looking at you, Pedro), the bags-to-riches story of Loewe, and Paul Smith, look just as vibrant on the screen as on the page.

L.A.’s Petersen Automotive Museum Reveals ‘Early Sketch’ for Exterior Redesign

(Courtesy Petersen Automotive Museum)

The Pedersen Art Museum made headlines recently for what the Los Angeles Times characterized as a plan to sell off “a third of its 400 classic cars” to finance a major renovation and “put more emphasis on motorcycles and French vehicles…passions that match the tastes of the museum’s new leadership.” That leadership was not amused and has fired back with a statement intended to set the record straight.

“The collection has now reached over 400 pieces. Not only are we unable to showcase all of the vehicles, but maintaining and keeping that many cars in running order is virtually impossible,” wrote museum board chairman Peter Mullin and co-vice-chairman Bruce Meyer in an open letter posted to the museum’s website. “We are culling the collection for the first time in nearly 20 years, selling cars that can easily be procured on loan or vehicles that were never intended for exhibition.” The only vehicles that are being sold, according to Mullin and Meyer, are those “that we have in multiples or are not in show-worthy condition.”
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