Wednesday, June 3, 2009

the nature of collabs [collaborations]

yesterday, robert and i spend part of the day with the kdu collective in williamsburg – learning about what they do and talking about what it is we do here at the nooka lab [kdu = The Keystone Design Union – a privately held, global creative collective with members working in all disciplines of design and beyond]. of course, the goal is to explore any potential synergies, which are many i can sense.

their studio and showroom is very cool, housing the apparel lines they create themselves and others they rep. they have a 17 year old snapping turtle the size of a small dog in the garden in the back and a laser cutter i'm jealous of having!

we were discussing the nature of collabs and whether or not they are played out when i explained my theory on why it's important [or perhaps my argument is an argument against them?]. i posited that engaging in brand+artist / brand+brand collaboration is a form of social network brokering similar to alliances via marriage amoungst royal families in previous centuries – basically "i can't give you the money for your ad campaign, but you can marry my son/daughter". it's a good discussion to have as collabs, when done correctly, generate a good deal of online buzz, but for some reason, not as much buzz in traditional media, and moreover, they don't often directly translate into sales. for nooka though, it's a great way to learn about new markets and connect with new consumers and fans.

had a great lunch as well: lobster on a bun with lettuce, avocado and BACON – thanks guys!

the kdu blog here. check it out, it's a truly impressive network of talent and really amazing people in the NYC hub.

nooka is available at fine stores and here. join nooka and love nooka on facebook and nookaNOW on twitter.

Nooka is an official sponsor of The Juan Maclean US Tour happening now!

nookanooka show preview: house of liu

we are planning an exhibition to launch the mini nookanooka for sometime in the fall in both NYC and tokyo. here is a preview of a piece you will see in that show by veggie something aka james liu.

from the artist: The general concept for my customs is sort of like House of Liu meets NookaNooka meets Game of Death meets a little sci-fi. But if you look closely enough, you'll also see a convergence and juxtaposition of opposites.

NookaNooka always seemed futuristic to me. This impression was futher ingrained when I removed the head from the body. I noticed that NookaNooka's body by itself seemed really tough and strong and reminded me of an organic robot that could really battle - sort of like Robocop and the likes. Visually, the form also seemed to fit the head of Di Di and Mei Mei from my House of Liu character line rather nicely.

With the help of some clay, wooden parts, and felt, I was able to attach the House of Liu heads to the NookaNooka bodies. I decided not to glue the heads to the bodies as I thought the customs would have more personality if the heads were articulated like the arms.

For the paint job, I decided to take away some of the cute factor by giving the bodies a slightly weathered look. This was a little tricky as I had to find a happy medium between making them look battle worn enough and still being able to compliment the cleaner paint job of the heads. I picked the colors of yellow and black for the bodies in order to give reverence to Bruce Lee and the Game of Death. I chose black and blue for the heads and blue spatters for the body to even things out.

Oh, some of the juxtapositions include... future vs. past (NookaNooka reminds me of the future and House of Liu took place in ancient times), worn vs. clean (the weathered body and the clean head paint jobs), and the usage of yellow (a happy color) and blue (a calm color) instead of red (an action color).

nooka is available at fine stores and here. join nooka and love nooka on facebook and nookaNOW on twitter.

Nooka is an official sponsor of The Juan Maclean US Tour happening now!