Tuesday, September 30, 2008

chris brown rocking a nooka

chris brown rocking a nooka watch on the set of t pains video featuring him as a guest. and it's a 5th door collab nooka to boot! the youngsters in the office tell me he's mega-famous. i love his perfect teeth [teeth are one of my many odd fixations, maybe not too odd now that i think about it]. thankyou kwasi for sending carrie the foto!

the watch he is wearing, the afro punk collab, can be purchased here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

nooka sightings: go! team at lollapalooza 2008

first, a huge hug out to todd owyoung, the i shoot shows photographer for always being so proactive sending me fotos of artists wearing nooka when he spots them. gice his site lots of hits, send him money and gifts, hire him to be your official photographer.

anyway, last week he sent great shots of lil wayne which i will post/add to the lil wayme postings, AND pics of GO!Team, a brighton uk [i like to refer to it as "hove"– makes it sound further away for me as we have a brighton here in nyc] based base that defies classification. i really like their music and their website which looks like i designed it my senior year in high school [their music sounds like what i listened to in high school as well, with a new twist of course]. that is not a dig, i was a good designer even back then.

check out todd's other lolla day 1 photos here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

mark landwehr of coarse toys

mark stopped by the studio yesterday, his first trip to NYC. i was sad to hear he wasn't enjoying the city, but i do know how difficult NYC can be on the first visit [overpriced crap hotels, restaurants can be quite bad if you don't know where to go...]. hong kong, where he lives, is definitely more manageable and has newer infrastructure. i made him promise to give me more notice his next trip so i can show him around proper.

Monday, September 22, 2008

miho hatori and phill van visit nooka

to say i'm a big fan of miho hatori is an understatement. i have followed her career since the first cibo matto release, went to live shows, purchased remix projects and love her as a cartoon in the gorillaz – so it was with great pleasure to entertain miho in my studio yesterday. film director, phill van was kind enough to bring her by after she was intrigued when he showed her my web sites [phil is also someone to watch out for – he's gonna be big. i met phill at the last ghostly records party, so thanks missy and sam!]. we chatted about living between 2 cultures, music, the death of futurism, language as well as her upcoming projects. i got a preview of her new solo album, and it sounds AMAZING.

i was a bit shocked to hear that she never saw the urban vinyl versions of her gorillaz character before coming to my office! they've been out a while...i will get kidrobot on the case today.

miho's site is here.

phill and miho both look great in their grey leather nookas don't you think?

shin tanaka vinyl toy debuts

mutual admiration society member shin tanaka was very kind to send me a BEAUTIFULLY signed vinyl figure produced by play imagination from singapore. in terms of design process, it's very interesting to see this come full circle. re-cap: shin tanaka makes PAPER figures inspired by the popular urban vinyl phenomenon. this concept bring the joy of color and form to the masses without having to spend much money or even to leave your house – just print, cut, glue and there it is! the nature of cut/paste/bend/ with shin's great design sense produced a unique vocabulary of form evocative of the urban vinyl genre. now there is an actual vinyl version of the paper figure that has made him famous!

also, look how nice he signed the piece in the back. thanks mr. tanaka!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

nooka sightings: lil wayne on SNL

lil wayne was on SNL last saturday, have a look at the clips here.
his nooka gold nooka is pretty sharp there [especially with a green electric guitar] and the orange aluminum nooka is hard not to notice – both look great on tv.
buy yours here and at other fine retailers worldwide! the gold model lil wayne is wearing here.

thank you mister lil wayne!

thank you magnus in sweden for sending me better links than i first posted.

reminder: new paintings and sculpture at halcyon

don't forget to swing by halcyon in dumbo brooklyn to see my new paintings and black fairy sculptures this thursday evening. dj's nick chacona and alex graham will be spinning. i will be super jetlagged as i'm posting this from narita airport in japan!

Monday, September 15, 2008

add "japanese journalist" to my resumé

i started writing a column for japanese fashion and lifestyle online magazine, openers. last month they ran an intro on me with an interview, and this month an article i wrote on the vanishing remnants of futurism in new york city [they want me to write articles with a designer's focus on new york city]. i have to say, it's a great way to force myself to keep up on japanese writing as i've gotten quite rusty over the years. no english version though you can read it here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

2 random japan photos

chewing gum for all you spunky heads!
the giant clam is a taira-gai, i've never seen one before but it's supposed to be delicious as sashimi and sushi.. it's HUGE – bigger than my hand.

found a cool sushi glossary online as well. check it out here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

yokohama triennale opening party

some fotos of the 2 venues and opening party. one foto of me with chiemi of pingmag!

it's really weird, when i arrive in tokyo from nyc, i feel how much cleaner tokyo is. when i go to yokohama [only 30 minutes by express train from tokyo] i think "was tokyo this dirty and run down when i left it a few hours ago?!". this should tell you how well maintained yokohmama is as you can probably see from these photos. the renovation of the red brick factory/warehouse is amazingly well-done. the new yokohama passenger terminal is beautiful [the opening party for the triennale was really dull though...artful yet unsatisfying catering, understaffed, no music, and a noticeable lack of enough interesting people in the crowd].

Friday, September 12, 2008

hidden alleys and bar piano

there are some impossibly tiny commercial spaces in tokyo, most famous are tiny bars tucked into narrow alleys that sometimes seat 4 people at most. i was taken to bar piano by mixologist Mr. Rua, who i met at rooms [he's a friend of the people behind kyara jewelry] and it one of those hidden secret places [appointment only]. first floor of the bar is the bar and a piano, 2nd floor seats maybe 8-10 people [our group was about 8]. strange thing is that it's on an alley i never noticed in all my years passing by and parking my bike not 15 feet from the bar when i'm in shibuya – truly an alice through the looking glass experience!

it's quite obvious that none of these types of establishments are up to fire code, and this alley [like many others before] is slated to be razed. current tenants have 2 years to leave.

photos are top: mr. rua outside bar piano. bottom: the ceiling of the upstairs room.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

kogane-cho redevelopment

yesterday was a BUSY day. i worked the booth at rooms all day, and then we were off to yokohama for an event related to the trienalle:

the opening of the kogane-cho redevelopment dedication. koganecho is an area long plagued with crime and prostitution and the city of yokohama has put up the money to make the area into artist studios, gallery spaces and fashion shops. the new buildings fit snugly under the train tracks of the keikyu line. nooka zub 38s are available in the GOLD shop [kogane = gold] next to one of the cute cafés scattered through the area.

i really enjoyed the paper fruits project by a thai artist wit pimkanchanapong. you buy the flat sheet and if you cut it out and make it into the 3-D fruit, he will exchange it for a real fruit and then resell the paper one as a souvenir at a higher price than the flat one. it's really a brilliant way to mix community, recycling and real commerce concepts into one experience. his site here.

also, the installation by naro tamiya in the issey miyake shop is wonderful! lots of information on everything is here.

i then met fellow designers and friends from osaka at an impossibly small bar in shibuya, but i'll make a separate entry for that.

also pictured in this entry is the nooka limited edition for the yokohama trienalle which will be available at the art fair itself as well as spiral yokohama and online store [also on the nooka.jp site and online store]. it has a beautiful dark gold face and green body. limited edition of 500 exclusive to japan!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

nooka pairings: zack yankush+BMX

usually when i post a pairings, it's from my own show collection. here is one sent to us from zack yankush! looks great huh?

about the photo: Zack Yankush aka Catfish Professional BMX rider Is known as "The voice of BMX". He announces every major BMX competition in the world including ESPN's X-Games, the AST Dew Tour on NBC, and the Empire of Dirt in England and is the Host of Fuel TV's BMX reality show "Props". Loves to match his nooka to his bike color.

who know...is their a bmx collab in the future?...

you can buy the watch zack is wearing here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

metallic zubs at rooms tokyo

the metallic zub zoo [gold, silver and bronze (pictured)] made their japan debut at the rooms show this week in tokyo. they'll be in shops by the holiday shopping season and you can reserve yours now here.

thank you elle-chan for the great design and construction of the displays!

the show itself is being held in an most amazing space, the yoyogi olympic stadium, designed by kenzo tange for the 1964 tokyo olympics. the pritzker prize citation for tange writes that is"among the most beautiful buildings of the 20th century". the suspended roof is still an impressive achievement of power and elegance.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

weekend in tokyo

i arrived in tokyo on thursday evening and used the weekend to avoid jetlag for the upcoming shows, do some shopping and catch up with friends [as well as fill up on food i can only find here, like mos burger, basahi etc.]. i really should write a travel guide to tokyo one day, but i'm not sure how accurate it could ever be with things changing so quickly here year to year. so, for now and for this entry, a few highlights and photo-diary.

muji opened a new store in shinjuku on yasukuni-dori, close to my hotel [which is great, as the yurakucho main store is a bit far to go by bicycle with packages]. i spent a half a day there looking at everything [they added the IDEE furniture collection to their larger stores in japan, though the selections is limited due to space], eating in their organic cafe [fiber!], shopping the yohji yamamoto directed muji labo line, and stocking up on bath salts!

i spent saturday at tokyo midtown, the SOM designed mixed-use space in roppongi with my friend and musician of far east music, soichi terada [upper left in collage foto]. we saw an exhibition in the suntory art museum as well as the typography exhibition at the ando designed and issey miyake curated 21_21 design site. the suntory museum always has a great show of japanese art/craft, this time the pre-history of the kimono. i was disappointed with the show at design site this trip though – it came off more like a graphic design exhibition at a university than something becoming of their great space.

soichi and i also had a really authentic mexican meal at la colina in midtown – expensive but delicious. the band was pretty good...can someone identify what the giant 5 string bass guitar is [i've never seen one like that]? i requested "piensa en mi" which they actually knew [i would lose my appetite is i had to listen to "la bamba" one more time].

of course i went to my fave t-shirt shop, graniph. i got stuff for myself, but mostly souvenirs for my staff in NYC. our tokyo office mate, BACH curated the manga collection at the art shop installation/shop at isetan in shinjuku where i went with my friend tomoyo and i bought an overpriced polo shirt [please note: only in japan can you have a "fuck forever" neon sign in a major department store].

i'd list the meals i had if i was writing a food blog. enjoy the pretty pictures.

i love dust, artful dodger, jay-z, beyonce, ashanti + nooka

last tuesday i went out for drinks with mark graham, the creative director of UK-based i love dust, and his creative team after being introduced by my dear friend anya who is an art buyer at the martin agency in richmond virginia. mark and team were in NYC to install a show at the chelsea art museum which happens to be an early and constant supporter of nooka – ah circuitous synergies abound! and over cocktails and beers at temple bar, they offered to do a collab. not next season, or next year, but the next day. and at a speed i've never seen, a few custom painted nookas were displayed next to the customized nikes at the opening invitation only party on friday. jay-z, beyonce, ashanti and their entourages were there, but alas, i was NOT. i was [and still] in tokyo. the nooka studio was there to represent and i have the pleasure of simply blogging about it:)

there was also art by nyc-based vault49 in the dj room [one of which is featured in the foto above]. great stuff jonothan!

we will do more collaborations in the future, until then, enjoy the i love dust website here. i love their work.

Friday, September 5, 2008

flashfim online interview

this was uploaded on august 11th on the international fashion website, flashfilm. sorry i'm posting late, but i just found it today:
in japanese.
in english.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

rooms in tokyo

i am writing this from jfk airport in nyc. i'm on my way to tokyo for a few things, one of which is "rooms", a fashion trade show [come by our booth if you're there], the yokohama trieniale [which we are the official watch. let's hope the factory delivers on time for people to actually see it!] and to meet with stores as well as catch up with friends and do other businessy stuff. the jet lag really takes its toll on me, but i'll compensate by filling up on ramen, gyoza, mos burgers, seasonal candy, delish sakes and shochu for 2 weeks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

nooka + complete technique

i bought a completetechnique ring at kidrobot in LA a few months ago, and my friend yuna said "oh! i know the designer of that ring. you should meet him, he's in nyc" when i wore it in berlin this july. unrelated, robert met the designer by chance at the trade shows in las vegas in august – multiple crossing synergies abound! well...today i finally met osamu koyama who is that man behind the brand. he has a great story and great products. we met to talk about a future collab which we're excited to do, so keep tuned for updates!

Monday, September 1, 2008

the perfect weekend

i love spending holiday weekends in nyc – there's no traffic on the street [making bike riding even more of a pleasure], and i can get tables at trendy restaurants without a wait. well, this labor day was no exception plus we had the most perfect summer weather everyday, not a cloud in the sky, warm and dry.

i started friday with my boyfriend at la esquina on the lower east side. i discovered last week that they have quesadilla de huitlecoche [corn smut in english]. huitlecoche is by far one of my favorite fungi and i've craved it since my first trip to mexico over 10 years ago. unfortunately, it is rarely on the menu in nyc, and when it is, usually from a can. it is fresh fresh at la equina and i've been there twice last week just to eat it!

saturday i had brunch in brooklyn with some designer/architect friends to discuss their product design ideas on their beautiful outdoor deck. i brought vietnamese sandwiches from atlantic avenue – DELISH. later, frank and i went to mr. blacks, a club that was once in the east village but is now in the flatiron district. it was a lot of fun, really reminded me of the days when nyc was fun to go out at night [then again, i was a go go boy when i was a club kid, but times have changed. a skinny hairy guy would never get work as a go go boy now]. the dj was good and the crowd diverse.

sunday i caught up with some friends and took my friend's kids swimming. sunday afternoon was the highlight of the weekend at the ghostly records party high atop THOR [the hotel on rivington]. as usual, missy and sam threw a fantastic party [see fotos]. it was a super duper friendly crowd matched only by the tremendous amount of young talent in one space. the boys were gorgeous as were the girls. the party could only have been better if everyone were naked. it was an early party and i had an amazing meal after in tribeca with my friend lisa [duck ravioli a souce of butter and olives + seared foi gras].

went for a bike ride monday in central park and had another amazing dinner, this time at bottega. ran into my friend marco and hiroki on the way home on 7th avenue, talking for 30 minutes on a busy street corner – totally new york and the perfect end to a perfect long weekend.

1. missy and sam of ghostly, 2. the beautiful danny of ghostly, photographer derrick gómez and film maker phil van, 3. the penthouse suite at THOR, 4. sunset, 5. the adorable english film maker matt tucker, über talented photographer timothy saccenti, and tim's girlfriend h.j [we chatted in japanese], 6. 2 of the 3 members of school of seven bells, a band i adore!, 7. me with the lovely jen of modular records [you know them, the presets and cut copy are on that label!], and 8. night view of manhattan....pretty huh?

i met other cool people but i can only blog about so much. i will add more in subsequent blogs. i love staycations.