Friday, April 16, 2010

Two Designers Cross-over Into New Territory

American fashion designers have a long history of taking their brands into the home furnishings arena; Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren are prime examples of success stories. However it is not often we see a home furnishings designer dare to shift gears into the fast and fickle business of ready-to-wear.

Jonathan Adler has done just that. He put his playful stamp on his first fashion collaboration with the premium denim company 7 For All Mankind. The collection will be launched in May. It combines the great 7FAM fit with Adler's signature patterns and motifs and themes inspired by getaway spots such as Long Island and California’s central coast.

Click through photographs to zoom in for details and pricing

Fashion photographs care of In Style magazine


Dima Loginoff who is showing at the Milan furniture fair’s Salone Satellite was recently named Young Designer of the Year at the Elle Décor International Design Awards 2010. His new Dounyasha chair design is a bold leap into the furniture business.

What makes Dima’s story unusual is that his career path included more than a decade of working as a hair stylist and then he trained at the Moscow Int’l Design School. His portfolio consists of more than two dozen designs. The Satellite hall is a place where prototypes are displayed and manufacturers shop the designs in hopes of committing to production contracts.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Morning coffee with Eustace Tilley

Waechtersbach the exclusive distributor of Konitz porcelain mugs has signed a licensing agreement with Condé Nast Publications to market an exclusive line of ceramic and porcelain mugs, dinnerware and gift ware featuring The New Yorker cartoons and magazine covers.

Available at Sur la Table stores this fall and at

The New Yorker magazine known to have a very literate highbrow audience reaches about one million readers and has been in circulation since 1925. Their cartoon library includes over 20,000 original works reflecting an intellectual insider style of humor based on current events.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Modern Japanese Tea Shop at the Mall

- Los Angeles,CA

On a recent visit to Bloomingdale’s at Century City in Los Angeles I spotted LUPICIA near the store’s entrance. This small tea shop was an odd but welcomed sight among all the national clothing chains. The interior is finished in pale colored wood and samples of the tea are all accessible at the counter. A friendly salesperson was very well versed on all the different teas and suggested a new spring selection of Sencha from Ureshinko. Any of the hundreds of tea varieties can be made to order for tasting. To keep the tea as fresh as possible it is packed in nitrogen sealed 50 gram foil pouches the same day that it arrives at the plants. This allows the one year shelf life. The more popular varieties are also available in tea bags.

Since there are over 100 LUPICIA shops in Japan I can understand why they are comfortable opening in busy mall locations. The US has just four retail shops and an extensive website that includes a GWP of its Fresh Tea Monthly magazine. In addition to Southern California shop there is one in Honolulu and two in Northern California;San Francisco & San Jose.

LUPICIA is a Tokyo based company with a U.S. distribution out of Northern California. They offer more than 400 kinds of fresh teas throughout the year, ranging from seasonal teas to blends of flavored tea.

For wholesale inquiries;
Telephone; 866-574-4832 ext. 101
or in Japanese

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Toast to René Lalique

Just in time for the 150th birthday celebration of the renown Art Deco glass designer: A new showroom specializing in the company’s architectural elements in crystal.

How does crystal fit into today’s modern lifestyle? Well, first imagine a toast at a special occasion- a wedding without the chime of two crystal glasses touching which produces that beautiful unique sound. For this feature alone I recently picked up a set of crystal martini glasses and they really do add a cheerful element to any celebration.

The attractive optical properties of crystal are another appealing characteristic. This is often highlighted with a patterned design in the mold or cut into the exterior by hand. Crystal cutting creates a more brilliant, sparkling effect as each cut facet reflects and transmits light through the object.

Lalique’s showroom just opened inside the Chicago Merchandise Mart. The space includes Haviland and Daum brands, the first joint presentation of the three French names under one roof. Unlike the Lalique-Haviland New York boutique, which opened in October to the public, the Chicago showroom is to-the-trade only.

The focus here is on the interior design capabilities and architectural elements such as panels, tables, mirrors and lighting. Installations can be seen within the cars of the famous Oriental Express.

Lalique product highlights in the showroom include a custom-made fountain composed of the iconic ‘Masque de Femme’ (detail shown above) and Coutard Panels, as well as a customized, large-scale rectangular version of the popular Cactus Table and pieces from the new Cristalight lighting collection.

One destination not on wheels that celebrates Lalique interiors is the legendary Mr. Chow’s restaurant in mid-town Manhattan. A visit begins by opening the doors fitted with Lalique crystal handles and other interesting details throughout the space including illuminated crystal reliefs identifying the different washrooms.

Merchandise Mart, Suite 1867
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone 312-867-1787