Sunday, June 29, 2008

nooka loves sweden

i am writing this in stockholm, which as most of you know is the capital of sweden, a country in scandinavia. stockholm is very picturesque, a series of islands full of parks, hills, old buildings [you don't want to come here for modern architecture, as there's not much of any] and beautiful people! [they do have a lot of modern engineering like an extensive tunnel system that keeps traffic off the streets, something NYC LA and Tokyo should really look into for their congestion problems]

i came here to meet with my scandinavian distributor and research/assess the market a bit as i think nooka can do a better here. i was a bit shocked to see how poorly merchandised accessories are in general here, so it's no fault of our distributor. i'm actually curious as to how other similar designers/companies do here now that i've seen the shoppes. it seems that sweden is better at exporting it's high-design image than it is applying it internally:) also, i think our strategy in the US of placing nooka in fashion boutiques [as opposed to larger stores] needs to be translated better overseas. anyway, it's a learning process and i'm just very pleased that this little project called nooka is taking me all over the word!

i was taken out one night by swedish rapper, adam tensta, and had a great time at SPY, stockholm's most exclusive nightclub [we went to ambassa deur first, but it was full of the most pretentious lot of young people i've seen in a long time]. spy bar had 2 rooms, one with a house dj an the other pop/rock. adam is an amazing guy who will release his CD internationally in november. look up his name on youtube as there are many vids available. he's very popular here in sweden so i'm interested to see how well he does, first in europe and then in the US. also, as you can see, he's a fan of nooka, and the purple zub looks great on him.

i won't bore you with all the details of what i've done, but the sun doesn't set in the summer here, so it's easy to stay out longer than i'm used to! i need to plan a trip here where i can take in more of the music scene, as many of my fave bands are swedish [the knife, the caesars, the shout out louds, etc.]. it's also funny timing that 2 of my fave local NYC acts were/are playing live while here [not that i was invited or anything!], MGMT and the magnetic fields.

fotos: adam tensta with magnus [our distributor out of malmo] in the subway, me with magnus's baby, downtown club area at 3:00am – so however you slice it, stockholm ROCKS!

for those of you still reading this: i also had a nice day catching up with my friend ake who is a sake sommalier/importer here, had a lovely dinner with the brothers of our current intern, and had smoked rheindeer ham with breakfast. the only food i wasn't able to eat before leaving is isterband, a type of sausage eaten with lingonberries. if you need a cool hotel, the clarion skanstull where i stayed is very nice [shocking considering what the same chain gets you in other countries] with modern art everywhere and a trendy bar that was packed at 3:00 am on saturday night.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

5th door matrix collab promo

i blogged about this at an earlier date but the official launch for this promotion was pushed back until mid-july by the ad agency that is handling the project. we designed a special in-store display for the collection made of an acrylic base that is milled to suggest a tire tread and provide support for the foam 'towers' that display an individual watch. the case is acrylic, and the although a bit large, the foam elements keep the overall weight down.

i'm not sure when these will hit stores, but should be in time for the back-to-school rush. the collab designs include brooklyn circus [BkC], afro punk, bulldog bikes, konsole kingz and what's really cooking. you can buy them now on our own online store though here! special features: lightweight aluminium cases, silk-screened polyurethane straps, mineral crystal lens, waterproof up to 5ATMs, and kool factor +++ with the limited edition nature of the release – only 200 of each design available for purchase worldwide.

learn more about the project here, and on upcoming 5th door promotions.

also, here is a great commentary by a fellow marketing professional about these kind of cross-promotional projects.

Monday, June 23, 2008

noo look for nooka [preview]

we have been working on a new look for all our marketing materials as i always felt the photoshoot i did last year [images on nooka website as of this writing] do not successfully convey the future-fashion-focus of the brand (i can't get angry as i have only myself to be upset with). so i decided to concentrate and apply the same brand exercises i use for berrymatch clients to myself [a very difficult task to be both the therapist AND patient] and came up with a more focused approach for creative direction. i also decided to let-go and hire a young and eager photographer to work with my fabulous art director, yumi.

we were very lucky to have our intern lesley suggest that her boyfriend be considered as a photographer, and we did indeed use his services [along with his creative partner paul]. the quality of their conceptualizations and visualizations were really spot-on – it's great working with eager young creatives! i should also mention that they did this all why in the midst of finals for their design education at carnegie mellon in pittsburgh. paul and don operate under their studio, the supervisory [their website here] and i am proud that nooka is their first commercial client.

one of my main motivations has always been to create objects that look like they belong in the 21st century. therefore, it is no surprise that the concept and art direction for this photoshoot is sci-fi inspired [which is weird for me to write as we are actually in the 21st century now, though still no anti-gravity drives for cars, airplanes, and hovercrafts]. i wanted a slightly android look for the models which is hard to do as in the future, you can't tell the androids from the biological humans...

anyway, we will hopefully have new lookbooks completed by august of this year and will update the website to coincide with their printing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

nooka sightings – best model yet: erykah badu

the coolest things seem to come out of philly! omoi, a shop on pine street in philly sold a bunch of nookas to erykah badu and she was definitely wearing hers in her live sets. it is truly validating when other artists find my work on their own and not through some complicated PR scheme. and i must say, erykah looks AMAZING wearing it.
check out more fotos by todd owyoung here. he takes some of the best concert footage i've ever seen [and i'm not just writing that because of the nooka sighting].

Monday, June 16, 2008

glow-in-the-dark for kanye west

this news broke on hypebeast a few days ago, so i apologize for the late post, but i’ll add my personal details. we gifted 15 glow-in-the-dark nookas for kanye west after he concluded his glow-in-the-dark-tour. i was lucky enough to have vip seating for the show in philly last month and would’ve given him one in person, but no one schooled me on how the back page pass works. i assumed that i could go back AFTER the concert, but we were stopped and told that backstage was closed. i was supposed to have gone backstage while the opening acts were performing, but i wanted to see rhianna etc....oh well. next time right? [by the time i got don on the fone, we were already stuck in the exit traffic from the parking lot]. i’m just happy that kanye was happy to receive the the most limited of our limited editions yet. note to rihanna: i love you but...please hire a new choreographer. i felt like i was watching a floor show in a suburban gay disco or a sprockets skit from snl.

some other blogs post the glow news here and here.

also: the blogs are reporting that they will not be available to the public. we will release a limited edition of the glow nooka for purchase in august. keep looking here or on [or your fave design related blog].

Sunday, June 15, 2008

the nookanooka has arrived

the nookanooka™ has arrived, and hopefully will start populating the design blogs with it's cheer. here's the first i found, designotes. check out our site where you can learn more and buy one of these cuties!

the adorable animations are by swedish game designer, daniel kaplan.

post on hypebeast here!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

nooka loves los angeles

june 12, 2008: after a a close to 15 year absence, i’m in LA...for a few days...

ddc lab on melrose in los angeles was kind enough to provide the venue for our first party in los angeles! thomas and all of his staff were on hand, and javier laval and jerry lorenzo provided the PR support, DJ Gomez, and photographers. i made sure to buy a new outfit from ddc lab before the party and i spent most of the night explaining how i bought the t-shirt i was wearing right here in LA [even though i’m a native new yorker, i really do love LA]! DJ Gomez played a great mix of dance music from the 80s and up, red bull and vodka was flowing. i was happy to see missy from ghostly records! i was told we would’ve had a more star-studded party if it wasn’t for the lakers game going on the same night, but it was a great turnout and a fun event. when the party started, the lakers were ahead by 20 points, by the end, they had lost.

the party went on til after 11pm and then i was off to goa with jerry [please see photo. i think jerry looks like the black colin farrell, they could be twins]. now jerry has to be one of the most well connected party people in LA, but he made the mistake of being a joker by wearing a celtics bomber jacket – we got so much hell at the door of goa you can not imagine. he had to take off his jacket and leave it with the door girl he knows and we were in, and i have never been felt up by so many beautiful women in my life [i wish the boys felt the same way about me, but that is the cruel irony of being a homo in his 40s i guess]. it is a beautiful club inside and we had a great time. i enjoyed watching jerry work the joint. we then went to bossa nova for a bite to eat and again, his jacket set off the whole restaurant. the only people laughing were the lakers who were eating in the back.

restaurant note: not fancy at all, but don toños on santa monica has amazingly cheap and delicious mexican food. urth cafe on melrose has great coffee and a nice brioche bread pudding [i had mine with soy milk and baked bananas].

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

if you're in atlanta

wish, a very nice shop in atlanta georgia is launching there own brand of clothes, and nooka will be there to give support [i won't be there because i'm off to los angeles tomorrow and then back in NYC before i go to europe on the 25th...not enough hours in the day!]. if you're in atlanta, check it out, june 13th, 7-11pm. performances by just blaze, dj don cannon and j-lie. free food and drinks! their website here.

LDT magazine and NOOKA

check out the latest issue of LDT magazine [and the previous issue as well!]. nooka is poppin!:)

(LTD is the hippest underground street-wear magazine there is)

i always knew i was cool as sheet/hella-cool, but now that people are noticing, i'm too old to enjoy it! oh well....that's just life innit?

LTD site is here.

Friday, June 6, 2008

nooka france promotion for "skate or die"

nooka was worn by the principle actors in the film "skate or die" which opens in france on june 11th and there is a contest to win a nooka, skateboards, and film tickets for peoples in francia. check it here.

thank you claude in paris!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

nooka sightings: big sean

he's wearing the ultra rare garbege collabo nooka zub! check out his music on his myspace here! i'll write more when i know more. peace and love, peace and love ya'll.