An amazing surprise arrived today from Highland Park Whisky. Remember this Cynthia Rowley Flask Bangle that i posted on NOTCOT.org a while back? Well the awesome folks at Highland Park made a special version and sent one over! I can’t even begin to describe how curious i was when i started to open the box and saw the silver flask bangle with a subtle little H logo on it… and it’s a perfect fit. It even holds around 3 fluid ounces! Perhaps we WILL need to do a ladies’ Hero’s Chest Dinner yet… see all the details on the next page!
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Oakley’s performance eyeware turned 30! And to celebrate and launch the beginning of even more fun in the next era of their company they threw a #DisruptiveByDesign party last night. In the goodie bags? These special edition Disruptive By Design Oakley Eyeshades. These are part of their Heritage Collection which “salutes the evolution of a revolution by bringing back vintage rarities for a limited time.” In the collection are Eyeshades, Razor Blades, and Frog Skins. And while these resemble the classic Eyeshades, they have been updated with an improved nose pad, and come with both curved and straight ear stems… and details like the 2014 inside the frame, and ‘Disruptive by Design’ etched into the bottom of the lens! The special Microclear bag for storage/cleaning has a special sketch of the original design on them, and the packaging and bag have fun retro Oakley logos. They also look pretty amazing on NOTpuppy, Bucky! Check out all the details on the next page…
A fun package arrived from the nice LA based guys at Ignoble. We’ve been quite a fan of their Cora Classic Rucksack for a few years now ~ the elegant simplicity with such nice modern details in all black gets me every time. Now, i think i’ve fallen for their new “wallets” even more! It doesn’t even seem fair to call them wallets, they are more like smart, simple little zippered pouches made of fully lined 400D nylon and closed with heavy YKK zippers, with their lovely signature leather zipper pulls. The larger Rutledge Travel Wallet happens to be perfectly passport/iphone sized, and the smaller Sternwood Card Wallet perfectly fits american bills/cards/etc. However nothing about the pouches dictates what you use them for, and as soon as i unboxed them, i easily found endless uses for them to ease the mess in my current monstrous wallet, purses, travel set ups and more! Also, it’s hard to resist how lovely their greytoned colorways look together, offered in white, silver, charcoal, and black. If i were to pick just one, the white with black zips are definitely the most striking solo, but if going for more than one, they all look fantastic together! Take a peek at the details of them on the next page… i kid you not that they are surprising in how useful they can be!
Loving these images that Erin Loechner (and her husband, Ken) of Design for Mankind created for Rivet & Sway. What a fun idea! There’s something so elegantly simple yet evocative with the personalities they’ve created for each glasses frame through hinting at the life that goes with them through the carefully curated objects… see all of the images on the next page!
p.s. How cute is the Rivet & Sway logo?
SPY Optic and the Happy Lens! Thanks to the magical box of goodies that arrived from SPY today, get close up with Happy Lenses in the Helm in matte blue (designed with drift/rally driver, Ken Block), the Crosstown Haight in dessert tort, and the new Fold in matte black (created for professional surfer, John John Florence)! While i’ve been super curious to try out the magic of the Happy Lens, first things first, the packaging and awesome design details worked into their products are delightful!
If you’re ever unsure of whether your lens is happy… just look for the teeny tiny happy face in the top corner of your lens. Want to run out without a wallet, no worries, because the carrying case for the Fold glasses once folded up, also has a slot in the back ready for credit cards/id. The Crosstown case is quite a unique button sleeve that protects only the lens section of the glasses. Even the bright blue Happy Lens sleeves have a smiley face on the drawstring. And as for why the Happy Lens is so happy, “The SPY Happy Lens lets in the good rays that promote balance in the body, increase alertness, and have an uplifting effect on mood, while simultaneously blocking the bad rays. As an added bonus, it’s also a polarized and color contrast-enhacing lens, giving you the best visual experience possible.” Intriguing, right? I’m excited to try them out properly, but first, take a peek at all the awesome tiny design details on the next page, as well as the playfully animated SPY Happy Lens video!
Another Outdoor Retailer find ~ did a double take when we walked by the STR/KE MVMNT (Strike Movement) booth with brightly LED lit wooden boxes that opened up to showcase their sneakers and workout clothes. The most striking thing about their designs and display were the simplicity and thoughtfulness of their details, color palette, and photography. And it’s easy to see the influences - as the founder, Marc Morisset, says, “I always felt there was a need for an athletics brand that was relevant to where our demographic was coming from. We grew up in cities; skateboarding and going to punk rock and hip hop shows. It’s hard for us to relate to shoes that look like fishing lures.” Also, the detail of their “pleasure pocket” where you tuck your tied laces so they don’t come undone. They are also incredibly light… and the colors and designs are hard to ignore. Take a peek at the details and booth on the next page!
p.s. See more of our Outdoor Retailer Show adventures here!
Launching in September 2013, Butler Overboots are adorable, amazingly soft, pliable booties for kids that go right over their current shoes. In fact, grown up versions would probably be pretty fun even… Adorable branding and packaging (love that penguin logo!), made in the USA (in a military boot factory in TN!), and when i walked past their booth at OR, i had to touch them. While there currently isn’t much info on their website, you can get peeks into the progress at Facebook and Instagram. Whether puddle jumping, sloshing around in the snow, or just making a mess in the garden… these overboots look/feel incredible, and as soon as i started poking at them, i thought of my mom. These definitely fall under her “lucky you guys aren’t kids anymore” category of products that she would have surely bought us if they were around when my sister and i were little! Take a peek at the details, brochure, and more pics on the next page!
p.s. See more of our Outdoor Retailer Show adventures here!
Explorations in 3D printing + growing wearable = Xuedi Chen’s Invasive Growth! We’ve been curiously following along on instagram for some time now… and the project is now live! I love that it’s “…inspired by my fascination with cordyceps, a fungal parasite that attacks arthropods. Once infected, the fungus slowly takes control of the insect both mentally and physically. Before the insect dies, the fungus makes it climb high onto a branch and grip on, giving it an advantageous place to spread spores. Once the insect is dead, the cordyceps protrudes out, breaking through the exoskeleton.” And the final pieces play with moss growing on wearable neck/head pieces… imagine a day when you need to water your jewelry regularly? Take a peek at the process and details on the next page!
Today i found myself in sunny Venice Beach, tucked away in house twenty six and a half on a walk street… playing with snow ready winter sportswear and exploring the studios of the freshly launched Coldsmoke Apparel - as they say, “Coldsmoke collaborates with some of the most advanced performance fabric mills along with highly regarded finishing companies to create collections that offer the best of both worlds. Our fashion is functional, performing at the highest level whether you’re on or off the mountain.”
It was great to get to explore the collection in person, and hear about the inspiration behind their inaugural collection by CCO, Imani Lanier (who is quite the seasoned designer). What struck me most was definitely the inuit symbols, design details (love the zippers and the subtle mountains stitched into pocket flaps, etc!), and the quality of the materials… also that all of the products were surrounded by quite the curation of vintage goods! The hats are displayed on stacked vintage cots… there are old skis, fishing poles, gas masks, shovels, and more strewn about the studio and they will all be for sale someday in the Coldsmoke Vintage Collection. Take a peek inside their studio and at some of the fun details of the upcoming collection, inspiration sketches, and their playful lookbook on the next page!
Chrome Bags last just about forever. My oldest Chrome messenger is from around 2005, and it has been round and round the world with me, and i’m still using it… and it gets better every day as it keeps softening up. So, while i’ve loved following their evolution over the years, it has been hard to get ready to swap it for a new one! (Also they have a “365 to Life” warranty, where their footwear and apparel is covered 365 days, and the bags for life to be free of defects in materials and workmanship.) My favorite details have always been the seat belt buckles and straps, truck tarp liners, and of course, the secret pocket!
Well Chrome Bags have come a long way since their start in 1995… and it was a fun surprise when they sent over some of their latest goodies: Lieutenant Rolltop Messenger Bag, Niko Camera Pack, and Women’s Storm Pasha Jacket. The details are awesome, and the pictures on their website don’t do them justice, you have to feel them in real life! Lots of pics of details of each of them on the next page to hopefully give you a closer feel… the rolltop messenger is nice and sleek and simple, with an irresistible matte black seat belt buckle… the camera pack is - wow! quite the hardcore pack with waterproof zippers and velcro ready to hold skateboard/tripods/etc… and i love how minimalist and light their storm jacket is while still being “Bombproof. Waterproof. Built to work on the bike and in the bar”. See it all on the next page!
Let’s start this off with an important lesson i just learned - puppies can not be trusted… they really will sneak off with things even if you turn your back for just a moment… and then they will curl up somewhere and hide and destroy it… like these pretty awesome HD Spy Camera Glasses from Photojojo! Random upside? While i don’t have many videos to share, luckily i tried quite a few and got pics of it all for you before Bucky got to it… and now we have a “puppy teardown” to show you the guts of what is inside and how it works!
The officially named, HD You Vision Video Glasses from Photojojo, come whiteboxed with a very oakley-esque camera case, usb charger, and 4GB micro SD. As for the fit, they are a bit wide and super light plastic (no real lenses and all), and i had a bit of trouble not looking pretty silly in them, but that being said, the video and audio quality was better than i expected! Full HD, pretty fun, good camera angle (third eye spot)… not great in the dark, and not high quality audio, but it will do for fun adventures that need documenting. And when i tried them out on a walk with Bucky, he didn’t seem to pleased to see them on my face (perhaps that’s why they got sneakily targeted later?) They are surprisingly easy to use - plug in to charge, click the button on the side to start recording, hit it again to stop! Take a peek at the unboxing (and unfortunate puppy tear down) on the next page!
It has been such an adventure watching our friends at Baggu grow and evolve from their colorful, reusable shopping bag roots to luxurious leathers, and now to more and more SURF inspired goodness! From their Surf Board Slings - now to the most adorable polka dotted Rack Pads… and a lustworthy, Wetsuit Bag, a black vinyl tote with welded seams and a water resistant zipper keep water contained! I suppose this evolution to surfing is no surprise with their San Diego roots (and their current NY surfing adventures!)… take a peek at the Surf goods on the next page, i can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
I had no idea that elastic laces were a thing - particularly in the running/triathlon world… We had lunch across from a triathlon store today and couldn’t help wandering through after… the variety of elastic laces intrigued me and i gave in to some reflective Yankz! (the packaging is a bit better than the website.) They all seem to boast varieties of benefits from never having to tie laces to being able to have a bit more give adding comfort and “personalization”. Some have plastic springy stopper locks (imagine the plastic stoppers on rain jackets, etc)… and the Yankz! have double plastic bits that allow you to adjust from both sides and easily. These particular ones are also reflective, which never hurts. Take a peek at the details on the next page…
Breath Logos! Why have we not seen more of these? For those that are confused - yes, you breathe on the lens and the logo appears! Remember the clawfooted purse i fell in love with from Parabellum? Well, I went by today to see their amazing workshop in Hollywood and experience the goods in person (the internet does not do it justice), and first thing i have to share with you is the mysterious Breath Logo in their sunglasses! Truly a detail you wouldn’t know to look for without being told… and i dare you to try to get your sunglasses back once your friends discover the hidden feature to play with. Much like leaving messages in the bathroom to appear when things get steamy… playing with these sunglasses will have you breathing on glass everywhere in hopes of a secret message. And of course, you can see through them perfectly when wearing them normally. It’s this type of secretive, thought out detail that you always get from Parabellum - everything they do is so intentional and precise… functional and beautiful. Throughout their pieces are hints at Masonic motifs, from symbolic imagery and numbers to latin phrases and acronyms hidden all around.
The sunglasses are a collaboration with Oliver Peoples. It is a version of the Linford Sunglasses frame in two limited edition colors: matte black with midnight express polarized glass lenses and custom matte black acetate details, and gold with java polarized lenses and custom sahara tortoise acetate detailing. Each is packaged in their signature soft bison leather, lined with lambskin and included with a custom cleaning cloth in a wooden box.
Take a peek at all the details and a video of Shawn breathing on the lenses on the next page!
Wow. BALL & CLAW FEET ON A PURSE! Ok, sorry, been a bit excited in a “how did i not know about this before?” way…
We’ve been hearing about the amazing world of Parabellum from Bernard at Acquire for some time now… and i must say their details and free range Bison leather feel incredible. And they are all hand crafted right here in Los Angeles! Well, catching up on things, they just took my breath away with their Handbags. Sure they are made of free range Bison, with hand turned edges, suede lining, removable handles and all the works… but what REALLY sets them apart are the Military Spec Ceramic Ball & Claw Feet in copper or black. Yes, like table legs, lamp posts, etc of days past… also, who hasn’t been terribly annoyed by the lack of protection most purses have to fight off and survive what real life throws at them… these hardcore feet sound like they can handle any floor you are forced to put it down on…
p.s. If possible, i’d totally put feet on my other bags as well…
Ready for the NOTCOT Holiday Giveaway #2? Today we have some goodies from the amazing, Nervous System, masters of generative design ~ finding inspiration in nature and helping it grow and evolve into stunning designs. Beyond their 3D printed organic designs that have turned into jewelry, cups, lamps and more… they have now branched into beautiful wooden laser cut puzzles! It’s especially fun to see the shapes they’ve worked into it, and the mind bending pieces that will challenge you to piece it all together.
TO WIN: Leave a comment here telling us about patterns that inspire you before 11/29 midnight PST for a chance to win. Winner will be contacted via email.
Take a peek at more details - and a holiday coupon - on the next page!
UPDATE: Congrats to Kimberly of New York!
Oakley does lots of customs - from sunglasses and googles, cases, watches, and even backpacks! One of the latest customizations are their classic frogskin sunglasses - I love how subtly you can customize them with a tiny etching on the lens (like where you normally see polarized or a brand name). Oakley offered me a pair to try out their customizer so here’s a peek at the NOTCOT Oakley Custom Frogskins - I went with a polished clear frame, black iridium polarized lens, and NOTCOT etched in the lens… so easy and pretty fast, take a peek at the details on the next page!
Perhaps perfect for halloween workouts - “The new Nike Women’s Exclusive Print tight is a performance based pant for the athlete unafraid to make a statement. On the outside, she might be the girl next door, but on the inside, her body has survived grueling workouts, often pushing through pain, broken bones, pulled muscles and harsh tears. With images of X-Ray bones digitally printed on the outside, the exclusive print tight gives a glimpse of her inner toughness.” says the press release. Even crazier is that it says, “The print on the front looks like a normal X-ray, but the one on the back reveals broken bones, screws and hip replacements, providing a glimpse of the athlete’s inner toughness in the face of grueling workouts and pain,” on the Nike Pro Printed Skeleton Tights product page. Sounds a bit more horrifying for those who see you going rather than coming at them…
Unbelievably soft. We just wandered in to Marine Layer in Hayes Valley in SF today and like the sign says “Get Grabby. Stop! And feel the fabric.” - we did. And it is SO SOFT. And coming from from a hot, sunny LA and landing in a super foggy/misty SF, the name couldn’t be more appropriate! And again - seriously - they are ridiculously soft! Also amazing about them - “every step of our production process occurs in California. This minimizes our environmental footprint and supports 3 American factories that have been in business for over 25 years.” and “Our custom fabric is a blend of two yarns, Pima Cotton and MicroModal, produced by Lenzig AG. Modal is a bio-based fabric that comes from recycled Beech Wood.” Everything is made locally - and you can read about the whole process. They also have such an adorable store (the vintage shufflepuck table in the center, chalk board logo, fun rope lamps) and really cute bags! As well as a vintage VW VAN! Take a peek inside Marine Layer (cell phone pics since i didn’t expect to be shooting it!) on the next page…
On surprise packages that arrived while i was out of town… this amazing box came from Mark Hoppus ~ the play on his last name has created/enhanced his affinity for octopi, naturally having one as his personal logo. There’s not much to say here ~ the goodies pretty much speak for themselves… letterpressed. octopus. in a top hat! thats the coaster… and also some basic octopus logo stickers and a baseball cap. Check out the details on the next page! (Thanks, Mark!)
Going through pictures from London Design Week, concrete was definitely a stand out trend. There were the hungarian Ivanka Flaster Concrete Tiles, street art, Gray Concrete Duckies… and here are 22 Design Studio concrete goods ~ from rings and earrings to pens and clocks and even watches! Take a peek on the next page!
This article is brought to you by Volvo. Volvo designs luxury cars around its Swedish heritage. Volvo designs around safety. And most of all, Volvo designs around you. Visit Volvocars.com/us to learn more and check out @VolvoCarsUS on Twitter. Thanks, Volvo, for supporting and sharing our passion for design!
At NOTCOT, we often approach fashion no differently from anything else we write about ~ it’s all about great design and/or art/technology angles… we love beautifully intentional minimalism with incredible materials and added functionality that takes it over the top… So for this post, i had fun digging into our archives and beyond to round up some fun fashion that has a little extra something going on that you probably don’t expect at first glance! From the sleek jacket that will turn into a pouch (and pop up wrinkle-free in moments) to the tarp/blanket/jacket to the men’s dress jacket with secret reflective bits for biking in, to a sports bra that can monitor your heart rate and more! See it all on the next page…