We love a sale, and some of our favorites take place at the handful of Taschen bookstores scattered about the globe. And Taschen “SuperSale” time is again upon us. The stateside sales (at the Taschen emporiums in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Miami, and New York) begin tomorrow and run through Sunday, offering beautiful books of “art, anthropology, and aphrodesia” at 50% to 75% off their retail prices. Come early and wear your game face, because we may look sweet, but we will totally jump you for the last discounted display copy of that smashing Neo Rauch monograph. Can’t get to a Taschen store? Check out the just-posted sale offerings online.
The UnBeige summer cottage lacks a proximal beach, pool, swimming hole, pond, or water feature of any sort, and yet we’ve long craved this inner tube in the form of a donut (complete with sprinkles and a notched “bite”) for its resemblance to a work by Kenny Scharf. And so imagine our delight upon learning that the Whitney Museum was cooking up some summer treats with the artist himself. With this pair of exclusive-to-the-Whitney-Shop products, art lovers can float their cares away on a whimsical yet possibly demonic inflatable pool toy–inspired by a Scharfian scheme for an unrealized public art project–and then dry off with the beach towel, nearly six feet of colorful cotton printed with Scharf’s 2008 painting “Introducing…. The Hot Dog.”
Hole reinforcers and pencils from Costa Rica, and Hen Chung in Istanbul.
Around the world in 80 writing utensils? That’s one way to describe Rad and Hungry, which aims to take lovers of interesting office supplies on a “world tour of limited-edition goods with lo-fi style, pushing design through travel and travel through design.” Founded by former graphic designer Hen Chung in collaboration with fellow globetrotters Sam Alston and Laura Dedon Oxford, the online shop assembles an ever-changing selection of country-themed kits stocked with imported pens, pencils, stationery, and other exotic desk goodies, all beautifully packaged. A Rad and Hungry subscription is the perfect gift for the design lover who has everything—except thumbtacks from Lisbon.
“We really try to make each kit speak to our travels in that country–the people we met, food we ate, design we saw,” Chung tells us. “As each layer is unwrapped, people share in our low-down travel. The whole experience transforms the lo-fi, often overlooked daily-diet goods into something sacred. Our ultimate goal is to connect far-flung groups of people who love style, design, and travel as much as we do.” She made time between scouting trips to answer our questions about creating the company, her favorite finds, and what’s currently on her desk.
What led you to create Rad and Hungry?
I was a graphic designer for ten years and it became time for me to move on. I knew I wanted to combine the things I love most—travel and design. One day I was sitting in my library room thinking about what my next move would be. I was staring at a section of shelves that store journals that I collected from my travels. They were all untouched–they were inexpensive journals I picked up in places such as corner shops and pharmacies. Didn’t matter that none of the pages contained any words or images, they were all so sacred to me because they reminded me of each country. And then it hit me—create a company that allows me to travel and share daily-diet design through office supplies.
You travel the globe hunting for new stuff to include in Rad and Hungry kits. What are some of your favorite finds of all time?
Probably my favorite item to date is the Soviet-era notebooks in the Latvia Kit. I love the yellowing pages, the faded mint covers, and the simple rubber-stamped logo. Close seconds are the copper-colored paper clips from our first Germany Kit and the flower-scented pencils from the Portugal Kit. I love the paper clips because they’re so opposite of what people expect of German goods—they’re delicate and not uniform in shape. And the pencils from Portugal are amazing. Their smell is unreal. Super fragrant but not in the cheap perfume sort of way. They’re made by an old pencil factory that’s still in business after all these years. I’m always stoked to discover a company with a lot of history ‘cause I’m a firm believer that old school is best!
You’re packing for a desert island and can only bring one writing utensil. What is it?
Hands down a goldenrod pencil. I figure I’ll be able to create a tool to sharpen it and find something to write on. But I don’t know what I’d do if I need a fire, hurting for wood and have to make the ultimate decision between fighting off the cold or having a trusty number 2 pencil.
(Photo: Zoe Hitchen for SHOWstudio)
Journalist Suzy Menkes, she of the distinctively quiffed coiff and ability to draw assured seasonal trendlines through the scatter plot of contemporary fashion, hasn’t thrown anything out of her wardrobe since 1964. Rather than await the crew from a ultrachic version of Hoarders, she’s decided to sell off some of her sartorial stash at Christie’s. “If I had a large open space in my home, I would dedicate it, like an art gallery, to my collection,” said Menkes in a statement announcing the sale. “But there is something sad about clothes laid in a tomb of trunks. They need to live again and this auction provides the opportunity for them to walk out in the sunshine, to dance the night away, and to give someone else the joy they gave me.”
The online sale, which opens for bids on July 11, will consist of approximately 80 lots worth of dresses, coats, skirts, tops, jackets, and accessories. Estimates start at £200 (around $300 at current exchange), with most lots expected to fetch under £1,000 ($1,500). Highlights include Pucci ensembles from the 1960s, when Menkes was at Cambridge and chummy with the designer’s niece, and vibrantly printed Ossie Clark pieces from the ’70s. Menkes’ fondness for extravagant plumage takes a turn for the literal in a Bill Gibb suede coat–trimmed in fur and embroidered with large peacocks.
Whether you’re bound for the beach or just your own backyard, make it a summer to remember with this bathing beauty, captured in 1997 by photographer Martin Parr while prowling the beaches of Benidorm on the coast of Spain. Our friends at Aperture are celebrating this month’s release of the beach-bag-sized edition of Parr’s Life’s a Beach with not only an exhibition of highlights from his beach photography but also a limited-edition terrycloth tribute (read: towel). Grab yours for $75 here before the supply of 150 sells out, and then toss it lovingly into your Roy Lichtenstein beach bag with some SPF 50 (and a tube of red lipstick?).
In the town of Secaucus, New Jersey (which we like because it suggests a high-level meeting about oceans), there is a place where dreams are made—dreams of fully licensed, if slightly scuffed, design classics. We imagine this place to be at all times filled with directionally bespectacled people, many of whom as infants were soothed not by kitschy musical mobiles but by the comforting presence of a George Nelson ball clock. This place is the Design Within Reach Outlet, which on Friday begins a four-day megasale. Grab a friend–preferably one with a vehicle and/or a pack mule–and get there early (doors open at 10 a.m.), because DWR’s 12,000-square-foot discount design wonderland teems with “non-pristine” furnishings discounted up to 75% off retail price. As for carting that dinged Saarinen table home, you can arrange for delivery. Bring a tape measure and an open mind.
The Pantone licensing machine is chugging along nicely, even if Emerald and Tangerine Tango make for rather tough sells when it comes to cosmetics (Sephora remains undaunted). The latest focus for the company’s rainbow tour is the home. JCPenney is rolling out a Pantone Universe line of bed and bath items, from Peach Parfait sheet sets and Purple Magic pillows to Blue Aster shower curtains and Macaw Green toothbrush holders, that arrives in stores next month. That gives you a few weeks to colormatch your walls with Pantone paint. The new collection, a partnership with Valspar, offers color lovers a selection of 100 “on-trend hues” that runs the gamut from classic neutrals to eye-searing brights. The colors are available exclusively at Lowe’s for approximately $30 per gallon.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Blue Bottle Rooftop Cafe has become famous for its art-inspired treats, including a fudge pop based on an Ellsworth Kelly sculpture and confections frosted to resemble those painted by Wayne Thiebaud. It’s the slices of colorblocked Mondrian cake (pictured) that are the sweet treat to be seen with at Frieze New York, where Blue Bottle is one of the many providers of edibles and drinkables. Can’t make it to Randall’s Island? Pastry chef Caitlin Freeman reveals her recipes (and step-by-step assembly instructions) in Modern Art Desserts, new from Ten Speed Press.
Blik isn’t sticking to walls. This week the self-adhesive wall graphics company launches Surface Skins, a new line of durable decals that promise to “bring some graphic goodness to humdrum furnishings everywhere.” Designed to cover desks, tables, cabinets, bookshelves, and other smooth surfaces in need of a boost, the removable stickers (which start at $42) debut in a dozen bold designs that are based on the artfully crafted gift wrap of Wrapped, Blik’s design-minded neighbor in Venice, California. Pattern options include a rainbow of Hirstian spots, AbEx-style flourishes, pseudocowhide, or good ol’ plywood. “We had the idea a few years ago and finally found a new material that made Surface Skins a possibility,” said Blik co-founder Scott Flora in a statement issued Monday. “Wrapped’s designs are so graphic, that you can take an ordinary object and make it really dynamic.”
Having passed the century mark and then some, New York luxury emporium Bergdorf Goodman is ready for its close-up in Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, a documentary that arrives in select theaters on Friday. Filmmaker Matthew Miele explores the inner workings of the famed department store through the eyes of a designer-heavy cast that ranges from Iris Apfel to Rachel Zoe. Enjoy the trailer: