138 posts tagged "Opening Ceremony"
Google’s not the only company that can play the tech-meets-fashion game. Last night at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich announced the corporation’s new plan to produce functional tech accessories that are both wearable and aesthetically pleasing. Impossible? Not when you have Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim on your team. The duo will design a smart bracelet, which, currently under development, will be unveiled at a yet-to-be-revealed date.
But one bracelet does not a revolution make, so in addition to OC, Intel has tapped Barneys (who will sell the forthcoming wristband and future products) and the CFDA (who will help emerging designers get on Intel’s wearable gadget bandwagon) to assist with the project.
Earlier today, Ayse Ildeniz, Intel’s VP of Business Development and Strategy of New Devices, hosted a panel to discuss the push. She was joined by OC’s Bettina Chin (Director of Special Projects) and Su Barber (Art Director), the CFDA’s Adam Roth (Director of Strategic Partnerships), and Barneys’ Matthew Woolsey (SVP of Digital). The takeaway from their chat? While functionality is key, the products have got to look great (if you recall, one of the biggest complaints about Google Glass, pairs of which were worn on Diane von Furstenberg’s Spring ’13 runway, was that it wasn’t exactly the sleekest thing on the block). “If wearables are to take off, it has to be an industry effort, and fashion and aesthetics have to be involved,” Ildeniz told Style.com after the panel. Woolsey concurred. “The design element is paramount to the way in which our customer engages with [the product],” he said. It’s worth noting that, through this project, Barneys will become the first luxury retailer to carry wearables.
So can Leon and Lim do for wearable tech what they did for Kenzo—that is to say, make it the cool set’s new must-have? Unfortunately, some blizzard-induced flight delays prevented Lim from attending the conference and addressing that in person. However, with a little help from a smartphone, Style.com was able to catch up with Lim about why OC and Intel are a natural fit, how she plans to make wearable tech covetable, and how her collaborative device will not only allow people to plug in, but offer them the option to turn off.
Why did you and Humberto say yes to the Intel project?
Technology in all forms has been really important to us, not only in our store and our collections, but also in terms of online retail. We had been watching the wearable technology space for quite some time before Intel approached us. We’d been thinking about how to incorporate [wearables] into our collection, so when this project came along, we thought it was a great opportunity. Intel represents such a strong force in technology, so we were happy to lend our design sensibility, and it makes sense to partner with someone whom we consider to be the expert.
Do you feel confident that the end result will resonate with the Opening Ceremony customer?
Absolutely. If you look at how people operate today, they use so many devices and applications. I think [wearable technology] is the next step in terms of how people interact. Your phone’s generally by your side, but you don’t always get a chance to look at it, so I think this product is a natural progression.
As far as stereotypes go, “fashion” people and “tech” people are about as opposite as you can get. How do you hope to bridge this perceived gap? And considering you design for Kenzo as well as Opening Ceremony, do you see wearable tech translating into luxury fashion?
When Intel approached us, they basically said, “We’re experts in technology, and we would rely on you to be experts in the field of creating an item that can stand on its own—an item that is beautiful, and that people will want.” I think that marriage of two partners with different talents is going to be very interesting. And you’re right, the fashion industry has been slow to adopt wearable technology. But I think that’s because it’s usually coming only from a technology point of view, rather than a combination of tech and design aesthetic. Our focus will be to create a covetable item that someone would want to wear regardless of the tech aspect. So I think this collaboration with Intel will stand out from other devices. Continue Reading “Fashion and Function: Opening Ceremony’s Carol Lim Talks Teaming Up With Intel” »
Mark your calendars—on December 10, Mark Ronson will head to New York’s Highline Ballroom to host The Other Ball: a soiree and auction whose proceeds will go to Arms Around the Child. Founded by Leigh Blake, the charity aims to provide struggling children in developing countries with a loving home, medical treatment, protection, and education. Underwritten by Topshop, the event will feature performances from The Black Keys, A$AP Rocky, Lykke Li, and more. And if the party isn’t enough to get you in a giving mood, the one-of-a-kind teddy bears up for auction most certainly will. Christian Louboutin, Alexander Wang, Topshop’s Topman, Opening Ceremony, Thom Browne, Simon Doonan, and Chromat have each put their own spin on the stuffed toys, which, crafted from black leather, are surprisingly subversive. “I had so much fun reimagining my bear,” offered Doonan of his buckle-and-spike-embellished design. “I channeled Helmut Newton and added a dollop of Christopher Street circa the seventies. I wanted to show that bears can be kinky, too.” Wang’s version also has a dark side, what with its silver X-eyed executioner’s mask and black studded collar. Louboutin, meanwhile, whipped up a superhero-style bear, complete with a cape and paws in his signature hue of red, and Thom Browne’s iteration is dressed in one of the designer’s unmistakable cropped suits. “We need to bring more awareness to the importance of children’s happiness, well-being, and innocence,” said Browne of the project. Each bear will go under the hammer for a starting price of $1,000, and if you can’t make it to the Ball, online and telephone bids will be accepted until noon on Tuesday. For information on bidding and tickets, visit theotherball.org.
The present, paradoxically enough, is looking good for the cult sunglass brand Retrosuperfuture. The Milanese label, whose sunglasses have long been available at retailers like Barneys and Fred Segal, has a new home: Nearly 2,000 square feet of space on Howard Street, the New York retail power-block that’s recently been undergoing something of a renaissance—again. Still the site of retailers Opening Ceremony, Jil Sander, and Agnes B., and fashion canteen The Smile To Go, a new wave of imports has lately come to roost, including Retrosuperfuture and designer Ariane Goldman’s Hatch pop-up, which is next door.
The new store is the label’s first worldwide, and it bypassed its native city to head to New York. Why? “New York is the hub!” said founder Daniel Beckerman. “Everyone comes to New York.” It certainly seemed that way from the packed friends-and-family preview on Friday night. The store carries the entire collection, ranging from the blocky acetate frames Retrosuperfuture made its name with, to newer, aviator-style models, and a New York-exclusive style, the all-black Novanta.
Retrosuperfuture is open now at 21 Howard Street, NYC, retrosuperfuture.com.
“Not many retailers are willing to disrupt their business,” said Nordstrom’s director of creative projects, Olivia Kim. “But Nordstrom is, and to me, that’s what makes this job so fun and exciting.”
Kim, the former VP of creative at Opening Ceremony, has now graduated to her second full-fledged pop-in installation at the behemoth department store, where she injects equal parts cuteness, quirk, and novelty. Aptly titled 4U: Brite Lites_Gift City, the pop-in, as Kim put it, is “Santa’s Workshop for the twenty-second century.”
“I wanted the design to be cold, austere, and metallic, but referential to holiday,” she said. To help bring her vision to life, Kim solicited the help of her dear friend Rafael de Cárdenas of Rafael de Cárdenas Ltd. / Architecture at Large. “He and I have this incredibly in-tune sense of environment,” she proclaimed. It’s a creative partnership that goes back to her time in New York.
As for the concept behind the staggering high-low product selection, Kim considered, “What do you get someone who has everything?” She wanted to offer those hard-to-find discoveries—and she’s succeeded. The democratically priced range of gifts includes Keith Haring skis by Bomber Ski, charity RxArt’s collaborative gifts designed by notable artists like Ryan McGinley, Vanessa Arizaga jewelry, tomes from Abrams Books, Illesteva eyewear, black-out Bamford Rolexes, Chinti and Parker knits, and much more.
Brite Lites_Gift City is the next step in an overarching plan for Nordstrom, where Kim has worked since early 2013. She aims to educate, engage, and inspire Nordstrom’s large customer base by introducing plenty of buzz-worthy merchandise. “I want to be able to create something sexy, and I want people to get excited about shopping again,” she explained.
But are customers responding in kind? “Yes,” Kim confirmed with confidence. “It’s exciting for us as a brand to be able to say we’ve got a customer who is interested in niche products and young designers. I’m here to take risks. I’m here to push something new and adventurous in front of the company, and in front of our customers.”
4U: Brite Lites_Gift City will be open at twelve Nordstrom locations nationwide beginning November 15. Merchandise will also be available online at www.nordstrom.com.