On interesting presskit/packaging/art pieces that just came through - here’s the Nike Flyknit Puzzle Box by Ryan Gander in collaboration with The THING Quarterly! This is something little kid me would have totally geeked out about: wooden puzzles + puzzle boxes + the fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5,…)? I loved (and still love!) all of those things. Mix in geometric patterns as inspired by the Nike Flyknit -even better! A mix of walnut, cherry, elm, and birch wood show the “mathematically precise, non-geometric marquetry.” There are only 144 of these boxes in existence - and they chose an edition of 144 “based on the Fibonacci Sequence, representing the first perfect square,” that occurs in the sequence. I love the concept - though to be completely honest, i wish it was harder and the puzzle/sequence reference had a bit more depth! That being said, it’s a truly unique shoebox surrounded by lovely packaging and holding black and white flyknits I’m adoring the design of. It’s a fun way of getting people to think about the patterns that exist everywhere! Check out the details on the next page!
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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!
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…
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On fun and unexpected surprises, a Reebok FitList Box just arrived in the mail! For the launch of the Reebok FitList App on Spotify, the folks at DeepLocal created limited edition sneaker cases containing portable stereo speakers and sound reactive LED lights that glow in reaction to music, ambient sound, and even touch. (It’s oddly mesmerizing to tap the case and watch it light up and fade!) Most impressive is the fun video they created with athletes working out alongside a wall of these LED shoe boxes, and as they jump and run and work out. They’ve created 100 limited edition Reebok FitList boxes holding a pair of RealFlex Transition 2.0 shoes featuring an exclusive colorway (black with red soles!) just for the occasion. See the video, making of, and a peek inside the actual Reebok FitList Box and what powers it on the next page!
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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…
Firstly, let me just put it out there that i’m no runner. I’ve tried a few times, still trying to get in to it… and i’ve been loving the Nike Frees for a while now. When Skora’s designer, Richard Kuchinsky, reached out to me, i wasn’t sure i was the right person to try out their new shoes… then he told me they had amazing packaging, and i was hooked. What’s the story behind this new Portland based minimal running shoe line? “At SKORA, we look at things differently. We believe that running shoes should be built to encourage running performance that is as biomechanically correct as possible, with minimal interference. Our footwear lets people run naturally. Run Real is our philosophy and we stand by it.” Beyond the way these new running shoes help your running performance, there are a lot of beautiful patterns in the packaging and on the shoes, as well as nice clean branding! Check out the unboxing and a peek at all the details of the women’s Skora Base and Form running shoes on the next page.
The Adidas Samba is classic… and it has been since 1950!!! On the other hand, golf shoes have tended to lean towards the comfortable over aesthetically pleasing to a fault… so what happens when you mash the two together? Adidas GOLF Sambas! So fun in the classic white stripes on black (so NOTCOT!)
They have also been doing special limited editions to honor the US Open, Open Championship, and PGA Championship ~ each color way in a limited 1950 numbered pairs to commemorate the Samba’s birth year! The folks at Adidas Golf were kind enough to send some over, take a peek at the unboxing and details on the next page!
I’ve been mesmerized by the pics of these new Nike Free Running Shoes since i saw them on Acquire… there’s something so… naturally inspired about them… and/or the way they are photographed… also glowing… i think they remind me of nudibranchs when they swim, it’s that shape and the colorful nature of them. (Can you imagine Nike Frees actually inspired them?) Anyhow ~ back to the DESIGN! I’ve been loving my grey/red Nike Free, so light, comfy, and packable (it’s fun watching shoe design evolve as everyone goes superlight lately!)… and the details of this latest edition of the Nike Free designs keep those, and take it even further. Take a look at the pictures on the next page as well as videos with their designer, Mike Miner, discussing the creative inspirations and process behind the latest!
You know you want it when you walk past and it catches your eye. You walk past again and pop in and slip it on. You say you’ll wait. Then you stalk it online. Then the next day they put it on hold and you wander back out to try them AGAIN. And it’s done. You’re a goner. And i gave in to BOTH colors. Brick Red and Pale Peacock - you got stuck in my head and i had to have you. There’s also something so clean and classic about a nice simple round toe pump ~ just gave in to these J.Crew Mona Leather Pumps and the colors mesmerize me too much not to share. While i have a few patent louboutins that are my usual travel/go-to pumps that go with just about anything ~ the colors on these are far too playful not to love! And they are comfy! (Well as comfy as a pump will get! and lower than my usuals too!) Take a peek at more pics on the next page…
The color of the day has inadvertently become: RED! This morning Mercedes dropped off a Mars Red 2011 Mercedes-Benz C63 for me to play with ~ and i happened to need to take a little drive down to South Coast Plaza to go see some Louboutins… (which, as you can see, i clearly gave in to). And as i excitedly unboxed them in the car, i realized the signature Louboutin red sole matches Mercedes Mars Red far too well. And… i could not resist, but had to shoot the unboxing IN and ON the car! (I’m liking this unboxing on cars thing… remember the Bentley/Toy shoot?) So if you’re ready for some red… take a peek at the unboxing of the Louboutin Elisa 100 Metal Patent in Rouge and the Mars Red C63 on the next page!
Ok, in addition to my so called “packaging fetish” ~ i have a fascination with marker renderings. Yes, digital is fun and all ~ but there’s something so gorgeous and amazing about marker rendering too… and then when you mix the analog and digital for even cooler outcomes (more on that later!) Well another fun discovery while down at Oakley HQ ~ i got to check out the sketches behind the box and new shoe design they just launched with Chip Foose! Foose is known for his amazing hot rod designs (Youngest to be inducted into the Hot Rod Hall of Fame). In fact this weekend, Oakley has just released the Oakley Three Palms shoe at the National Hot Rod Association’s US Nationals where Foose is the grand marshal. So take a peek at the design behind the packaging and shoes on the next page!
Swinging us back towards man made design (vs the little nature sidetrack of posts!) ~ here’s a sneak peek at something i wish i had on this trip!!! While at Oakley HQ ~ i got a quick lesson on military gear ~ and really amazing to hear some of the design/user experience stories. I also had no idea quite how much military gear Oakley made (they’ve been in partnership with the US Armed Forces since the 80s)… also this is where many of their most innovative patents arise! (If you’re curious, apparently Shot Show is the place to go keep up on it all in person ~ and to browse online check out - US Standard Issue - Oakley’s Military & Gov’t Sales site.) Incredibly ergonomic, thoughtful design ~ and some smart fun details/research that luckily creep over into their retail lines as well!
My favorite discovery was the MultiCam pattern LSA (Land Sea Air) Boot ~ ridiculously lightweight, dries nearly instantly (drainage mesh in the soles), super grip soles, and even fits into fins… drop in from the air into the sea, swim up to shore, and you’re already dry and good to go. Well, your feet anyhow. Now adapt that to civilian design, and it becomes a stunning black/grey super water shoe with a design that is oh so oakley, and far more fun than other water shoes on the market! Bring the height up a bit, and i’d give up my dive booties for it! I’m wishing i had these right now for running around in the low tide over all the coral shrapnel! The LSA Boot wont be available for military until later 2010… and this civilian super water shoe is merely a prototype… but let’s keep our fingers crossed that it makes it in to production! See more shots of it all on the next page!
Good morning 3am London ~ it’s been quite the evening with Nike Football/Soccer, running around and ending up on buses with ~400 international press folks ~ ending up at Battersea Power Station in the rain with its huge purple projections, only to delve deeper into what some felt was like a bat cave or villainous lair of lights and steps and shiny new products to tempt us with. But the main attraction announced tonight (with the help of Cristiano Ronaldo) ~ was what all this purple was about! And my favorite part of course is not only the new shoe, the Nike Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II… but the magical glowingly purple glass/cement box that looked like an apple store in a shipping container. The purple dots on the glass became smaller and smaller until you could see the wall of shoes hung upon them… On the next page see pictures of the installation, the new Nike Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II, the new Nike Football+ iphone app (with twitter/facebook integrations), design sketches… and the full press release!
On new shoe technology i gave in and had to try… Kenneth Cole’s 925 Technology was too fascinating not to pass up when i knew i’d be running around in inclimate weather through NY and London the next week… And i DID need some basic black pumps… and they feel crazy comfy/bouncy and are filled with things like Memory Foam, Cork, Flaxseed, and Sheepskin even! (See the dissected diagram on the next page!) The rubbery sole means really being able to bend in ways my pumps have never bent before… which after the last few days i’m a little mixed on the overly bendiness, it’s as if you have to hold yourself up even MORE in a way… though when i slipped back into my favorite louboutins they felt like i was in a thin padding free shell… if only i could get that memory foam in all my shoes?
So in the post where we showed you all the new Swims City Slippers for heels ~ there was much talk about why they didn't have some that covered the shoe fully, protecting your feet from splashing instead of just giving you more traction... well when reading our friends at Frizzi Frizzi, i noticed a post from a milan fair showing just that! So poking and prodding their PR for more information i've found out that those are actually only prototypes ~ and unfortunately they are not manufactured or available! I must say these remind me of dive booties in heel form ~ Perhaps with enough positive feedback we can help convince Swims to actually produce these!
Swims gives us a first look at their latest innovation in the galoshes space to protect you (and your gorgeous shoes) from the rain and other messy, muddy places you wander through. Here's a peek at the new Swims City Slippers ~ the best detail is definitely the maps of NY, Paris, and Tokyo on the soles ~ although i do wonder if it means with every step in dirt, you can leave maps for the lost? It's flexible design is ready for heels of any thickness (but your wedges will have to wait for now), and its low cut so no bows or buckles get caught. The price is $95, they will be available on the site any day now and in stores within two weeks. They will be available in burgundy, black, pearl, red, purple and olive. I must say, i feel silly writing about rain products while i'm sitting in this LA heatwave, a nice cool rain and breeze would be quite nice right about now!
We're big fans of the classic mens and women's swims - as well as their push button open/close umbrellas after they saved both dan and i when running around NY for ICFF and into the woods of VT when only armed with dress shoes... so i can't wait to try these out! See our past reviews/posts about swims here - and see more images of the new Swims City Slippers on the next page!
UPDATE: check out Frizzi Frizzi's post with a hands on look at a few other new Swims designs!
NOTCOT Note: This is the final post in my series of Ultimate Accessories posts which have been sponsored by the new Infiniti G Sedan! As with any sponsored content ~ these posts are done - my way - my product choices, my content, and they help me keep doing what i love!
Swims. I've shown you the Swims line before ~ and even a hands on review in the rain... but i never had a chance to share how amazing the umbrella and men's models are. So a few quick notes - when we spontaneously took off into the woods in vermont from our NY trip, we only had our nicer shoes... and both men's and women's shoes saved us! Even when we ran across the stream behind the log cabin. And the umbrellas - so nice that they both open and close with the push of a button! It certainly spoils you quickly when running in and out of so many down pours! Read more about Swims!
NOTCOT Note: Love these awesome necklaces that Anna from Sub-Studio found!
Bernadette Deddens is a London-based accessories designer who views accessories as props that can add small-scale drama to daily life. Her work is playful and often has multiple narratives, requiring interaction by the user. For instance, a necklace that begins by mimicking a checkered linoleum floor but that can be transformed by the wearer into hundreds of configurations, or a bracelet that is both sculpture and bracelet. Check out her shoe accessories after the jump - it's a great collection of add-ons that dress up the shoes that you already have.
Ran into blogfamous Sorapot designer, Joey Roth, a few times this weekend (yes, the first NOTCOT reader i ever met)... and after posting about his Garden Geta project over 3 years ago, i FINALLY got to see them in person!!!
At the Rubin Chapelle and IDSA New York Opening reception for Equilateral 08:01, they had Joey's Sorapot, Garden Geta, and Shika literally on pedastals, spotlighted for all to see, and being slightly early, but spotted walking past the window while they were setting up, Joey snuck me in early and i got some nice clean shots of the woodiest flip flops i've been dying to try on since '05. I am still in love with the fact that the pair are cut from the same slice of tree stump... and there must be some correlation to be drawn if he made kids pairs that were from younger trees... something about rings in the tree measuring your geta/shoe size? So check out more pics on the next page...
I recently told you that i was hunting for rain so that i could do a proper review of the Swims show covers... and previously i showed you the beautiful photographs from their catalog... well yesterday when i went up to Sausalito for a meeting, it was RAINING! Well drizzling, and then got incredibly rainy as i came out of the tunnel... so here is an impromptu photoshoot and walk through of my Swims experience.
HAPPY EARTH DAY! Sadly the weather got a bit drearier here where i'm hiding in norcal... BUT the good news is, i'm actually hoping it rains - since i just got a pair of black swims in my size to try out, and i was hoping to get them a bit wet and shoot some silly pics in the rain to try them out and share with you! So *fingers crossed*. (I did consider dancing around in sprinklers, but that just seemed silly.)
Anyhow, not to get all literal on you, but i was thinking about earth day, and reading all over about the footprint we're leaving... and i was realizing how i loved the trees on the soles of the Ms. Swims... and then i spotted these hilarious bespoke parisian wolf soled shoes, Berluti's Empeinte du Loup... and i couldn't resist a post about these awesome footprints you could be leaving everywhere you walk.
Also, you may remember swims with their gorgeous photography from this old post... and previously swims sent over a pair of pink, L sized swims... but i looked a bit ronald mcdonald in them, so pics below of the awesome packaging and shoe bag and the flexibility of the material... but coming soon (when it rains!) will be pics of how it works putting them on, taking them off, etc.
I have that tendency to post things when i get really excited... really really late at night (like 4:30am?)... thing like the Nike 2008 Olympic Footwear collection, which has a new unique shoe for EVERY sport to be represented at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. And then as usual, i wake up, and start reading and clicking and browsing even FURTHER only to find another aspect of the story i just get so giddy about i can't help posting it. Well today, it was reading the design stories behind each and every shoe, and viewing the extremely high resolution images, have you LOOKED at some of these soles up close?
Shoe and sport aside, there is some fascinating materials design going on here. After the jump are some of the most interesting shoe soles and their Material Design Stories as found in the many press releases.
Nike has designed a whole line of Olympic Footwear... one for every sport in the Beijing 2008 Olympics. And besides the usuals like track and field, basketball, etc... what fascinates me are their designs for things like Gymnastics, Wushu, Kayaking, Wind Surfing, Taekwondo, Equestrian, and Fencing. These were launched at the incredible 2 day press event: The Nike Beijing Innovation Summit (more images here).
View the most interesting designs after the jump ~ with a special feature on the fencing 'Ballestra' shoe (for Justine) ~ and just in case you have yet to see Kobe jump over an Aston Martin in the new Hyperdunks, i've embedded that as well!