biDaala_studio /

Beauty and the HypeBeast

In a tale as old as time, queues trail through the kingdom as hundreds upon hundreds wait in line for the latest box logo collab. Amass the crowds are the hardened veterans of the weekly drop, the plugs, the new faces on the block and even the casual fans out for the occasion. Because this time it’s big, bigger than normal, this time around the famous white on red is sprinkled with the unmissable 3 shape and 2 lettered pattern that is Louis Vuitton. This is the story of the once local skate brand who gained a cult following and ended up on the catwalk.

Created from humble beginnings by James Jebbia back in 1994 Manhattan, Supreme catered to the older skaters of New York who wanted to stray from the typical suburban brands of the ’90s skate scene. Producing short runs of each line so as to never be left with unwanted stock, Supreme gained traction as a highly sought-after brand and started to collaborate with more well-known names such as Vans, Nike and Stone Island. As time went on they grew themselves a considerable customer base from not just skaters but became regularly repped amongst rappers, celebrities and the rest of its fans. In this the cult following started as they created the perfect business model, items worn vividly by idols and a devotedly loyal fanbase combined with such small production runs that people began to queue for hours or even days just to get a single thing from one of their drops. This isn’t uncommon with the industry with other big names, like Bape (A Bathing Ape), Jumpman/Air Jordans and most recently Kanye’s own Yeezy Lines, being familiar with line waiters but none do it quite like them and while Supreme is a the household name for skaters, hip-hop fans and anyone who follows streetwear they really changed the game when their latest collab was announced back in January. Louis Vuitton has always been a high-class name, known primarily for its luxury bags and accessories which also carry a high-end price tag. So for them to choose to work with a brand like Supreme is kind of a big deal, I mean never did I ever imagine I would see the unmistakable LV pattern on a varsity jacket let alone a skateboard deck or baseball bat! There’s really only 2 ways to look at this, either LV are trying to stay on trend and work into the hungry, hungry market that is low volume production streetwear, or street garms have finally found a solid footing on the catwalk and in the fashion world.

I like to lean towards the latter as I see it as the beginning of a new era with so much potential. But it’s more than that, it’s the freedom for your outfit to be so unique and different yet still have taste and fit the mould, that is the beauty of it.

Style is such an incredible form of design because it is self-design. Styling yourself takes no formal training, no set location, no tools, just a keen eye and a sense of expression. Yes, you can learn from others and take advice and even bite something off someone else if you really want, but either way, it’s still you doing you. I’m not talking about walking around in bright yellow wellies, a mankini and a straw hat, it’s not about being extreme or weird but about pushing the boundaries just enough. There have been so many times that I’ve seen something pre-release and thought how awful it is then as time goes on the more I look at it and think how it could work with other things and look at in a new light I begin to see a whole new side to the design and it really reaches out to my creative side.

Now I’m well aware that this isn’t the first move of this sort, Adidas have just released a line in collaboration with Alexander Wang and while that too combines designer with street, to me it’s not the same. Don’t get me wrong some of the stuff to drop is gorgeous but really it’s just too similar to what’s been done before. Adidas has done a ton of really nice designs and collabs of which this is just another. But those bold red and white patterns that shouldn’t mix but sit so well, that really hammers it home. To me that is iconic. At no surprise, there will be some downsides to such a big collab from such different brands, each of which, to me, brings to the table one big issue. LV carries a designer price tag to the likes of which even hardcore ‘preme fans will wince at and Supreme will no doubt stick to short supply meaning that the drop will be small and only for those with no monetary concerns or the odd few willing to sleep in a tent for the next year just to cop the latest and greatest.

But this is the beginning of something beautiful, a Romeo and Juliet if you will, two names from very different backgrounds united to become something very special and pave the way forward. Okay, perhaps not quite so reminiscent of Shakespeare but a thing deserving of recognition of all the same.

Is Innovation Dead Or Are We Just Asleep?

It seems that not a day passes where I don’t hear someone commenting on how all our smartphones are just slightly shinier copies of one another or how company A is ripping off company B and so on.

It got me thinking recently, have we hit the peak of our generation’s innovation with an abrupt halt or are we just climbing the next hill with a future that could give back to the future a run for its money on the horizon? After all, we all wear Nike Air Max providing that you’re happy to live in a shoe, seeing as they are selling for nigh on a mortgage deposit.

In all seriousness though, we have in the last few years seen a significant decline in breathtaking new technology on the consumer front. All phones are coming in with minor and expectable upgrades year on year, consoles just catch up with 3 year old PC’s, VR is still too niche to be widely appreciated and the smartwatch boat sailed before it even properly docked.

With this being said, when we take a glance outside the comfort of our gadget filled bubbles and look at technology on a wider scale, then we noticed the bigger things happening around us. I read an article not long ago about a cranial device that was aimed at users with severe physical disabilities allowing them to move a camera/screen faced robot (reminiscent of Sheldon coopers device for avoiding getting a cold – holla big bang theory fans) that could be moved using the users brainwaves and gave them the ability to explore and interact on an incredible level, opening up a plethora of possibilities for them despite their holdbacks.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, every day I stumble across something new and incredible that someone somewhere is developing that can actually shape and change our future beyond ‘the thinnest laptop ever* (*for the next five minutes)’.

The trouble is, without being that preachy person, we are so caught up in the latest and greatest of our favorite brands and companies, that we don’t venture our research or conversations far enough to actually find out what is going on out there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sat here on my MacBook, typing and listening to Spotify on the latest iPhone. I’m the dictionary definition of a gadget reliant millennial that’s never off the grind, but that’s exactly why I take the time to expand my knowledge.

So next time Apple’s keynote comes up short in your estimations, be at peace knowing that there are people out there shaping us a better future. Chances are it’s not those same people lining their wallets by adding a new number onto the name of a 3 year old device.

Deadlines or Daydreams: When Do Designers Get the Most Done?

So I'm sure no matter how long you've been in the field you've been faced with both sides of this coin; the free reign concept with plenty of time and resources vs the project that the client wants yesterday while everyone else is nowhere to be seen.

Looking at it now I'm sure 95% of us would hands down say the first is by far the most preferable option, but when you're actually there just twiddling your thumbs scrolling through pages of stock (and probably cute cat) images wishing the time away, is it really? Take a second to look back at the last time you were on a really thin thread with a deadline, did you get it done? Exactly. Whilst it might not be true for everyone, a lot of people, myself included, work far better when we don't have time to spare.

Most of you are probably reading this thinking well obviously, because if we didn't handle pressure then we wouldn't get anywhere, am I wrong? Whilst you are right in thinking that, there is actually some science behind this. It's said that when a reward (in this case, a finished project) is further away we tend to lessen its value which is also known as hyperbolic discounting which makes perfect sense because if something isn't imminent then we focus less of our effort and attention on it. Another reason that we do this is due to us having a tendency to think of our past and future selves in the third person, for example have you ever been drunk and ordered "future you" a pizza for the next day to cure the hangover? (No me neither, but I'm sure some smart ass on the internet has). I digress but it's true, if you think that there's something you can put off for your future self to do, we both know you're going to do it.

Now as someone who coasted through college seeing how much partying (I mean gaming, c'mon I was no Steve Stiffler) I could squeeze in before actually grabbing my laptop and stash of redbull and cracking out 6 week projects in 24 hours. I can completely vouch for this. Unfortunately when it comes to work, things aren't that easy and we are faced with much higher pressure on a much more frequent level.

As I said, while its true that loads of us strive under pressure, we all know that the productivity spike during chaos is much more useful with some organisation and planning. So for those likeminded folks who could do with just a little more method to the madness, if you aren't already familiar with it then I highly recommend having a read of something known as the broken window theory. A mid 1900's criminology theory that in its essence translates that by going through all the small problems and hiccups with your workflow you will in turn eliminate more of the large ones before they even occur giving you a clearer view of how to proceed.