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Rashid Parties with UnBeige, Bids Good Riddance to Jewel Cases

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Unfortunately we couldn’t smell the sweat firsthand, but our new favorite contributor Stephanie Murg filed this report from last night’s UnBeige party at the Karim Rashid Shop.

Karim Rashid‘s Garbo trash can is now standard issue in Westin hotels [cut to shot of grinning Starwood execs seated in artfully staggered row of Panton chairs] and last year, the designer got his first solo U.S. museum exhibition, at Oklahoma’s Price Tower Arts Center, where he left for the permanent collection a massive metallic blobject that probably keeps the ghost of Frank Lloyd Wright up at night. But Rashid’s not one to rest on his laurels, even if those laurels do include an awfully comfy chair–and another with a built-in bucket for your Veuve Clicquot. The next frontier? The CD case.

Rashid announced the in-progress project at last night’s UnBeige Design Party, which was held at the three-year-old Karim Rashid Shop on W. 19th St. in NYC. As designers, design writers, creative directors, and other design types sipped Rosemount Estate wine and munched upon shell-shaped Guylian chocolates amidst Rashid-designed objets, the man himself took the floor for some design affirmations. “Design is about shaping the contemporary world,” he said. “It’s not about fashion or style.”

In discussing his collaboration with ObliqSound on the second volume of ObliqSound Remixes, he praised the New York- and Hamburg-based label as one of the “small, rigorous companies that are receptive to ways that the world is changing,” a group that also prompted a shout-out to Method, which, Rashid reminded the crowd “a few years ago was just a couple of guys from San Francisco.”

The limited edition version of ObliqSounds Remixes Vol 2 comes tucked inside a circular rubber carrying case designed by Rashid and produced by Melissa Shoes, the Brazilian company that injects tutti-frutti scents into its PVC footwear. “With the packaging I tried to make the intangible tangible. The undulating line pattern on the CD, case, and bag are all inspired by the vibe of the jazz musicians. I sketched digitally as I listened,” said Rashid, who paid his way through college by DJing and once owned 12,000 records.

He announced last night that he is now focused on “revisiting the CD case” and developing a new way to package CDs that will “create a moment in time with a little more pleasure.”

Among those enjoying the pleasures of last night was Russell Flinchum, who wrote the book on industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss and reminds UnBeige readers that today is the last day to register for his MoMA course on car design, “The Automobile Aesthetically Considered.” Also on hand was Lydia Mann, who will soon join AIGA in New York as web director. Mann was new to the world of Rashid but is impressed by his creations–”and that’s saying something, because I consider myself a design snob.”

Stephanie Murg is a New York-based writer and art consultant whose work has appeared in such publications as ARTnews and Smithsonian. In her art consulting practice, she advises clients on collecting modern and contemporary art and design and the dynamics of the international art market. Her interests lie at the nexus of art, design, fashion, and capital markets.

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