Designed by you. Made by Nike. This past week I was invited to be one of the first to experience NIKEiD in Canada with an exclusive sneak peak and one-on-one design session with an NIKEiD specialist at their new NIKEiD studio at “The Loft”. Once inside you are taken to the loft space where you are encouraged to unleash your creativity and discover Nike's most personal service as it launches in Canada. Wonderfully merchandised illuminated displays highlight the history and heritage of the brand and offer notes of inspiration. Textile swatches and paint chips provide context to the myriad of tactile options you can pursue as a Nike product expert logs you in with an NIKE+ account to begin the customization process. The appointments are booked by 30-minute time slots so for those moments you are alone with your thoughts. However, with limitless possibilities in front of you, the challenge is to focus in on one distinct theme and narrative for your design. I look forward to sharing the final product with you when it arrives in 4-6 weeks. Here's part 003 of 003 detailing my personal NIKEiD Experience. Thank you to the good people @Nike for the incredible experience. Log on now to Nike.com/Toronto for a list all of their services, and where Torontonians can register for their own NIKEiD session starting on November 9th, 2015.
This past week I was invited to be one of the first to experience NIKEiD in Canada with an exclusive sneak peak and one-on-one design session with an NIKEiD specialist at their new NIKEiD studio at “The Loft”. The space located at 548 Richmond Street and plays host and hub to the brands successful Nike Training Club and Nike Running Club. The aesthetic is a beautiful blend of industrial finishes, minimal modernist decor, alongside cinder block walls that are juxtaposed with warm blonde wood floors. Hits of twinkle dot the space with chrome and high-gloss white lacquer product displays, as well as a well-curated collection of branded mementos, coffee table books and site-specific art installations that carry the DNA of the brand with them as well as evoke the spirit of the city. Check bellow for clip 002 and stay tuned for clip 003 of my personal NIKEiD Experience.
Timberland started over four decades ago with a boot that became an icon. In 1973, the brand introduced their first Timberland waterproof leather boot, setting new standards for craftsmanship, durability and protection for the outdoors. Just ahead of the fall season, wet weather, and true to their roots, Timberland returns with a reimagined offering of the subtle yet slick 6” Premium Waterproof Black Denim Boot.
Setting this special make-up apart from the pack is the usage of denim across the entire upper. This material story sets the stage for the deep contrast of the black suede cuff juxtaposed against the full black denim upper, which is wonderfully complemented with tonal matte finishings on the eyelets. A smartly executed element, is that the hang-tag itself along with it's attached chain fully tells the full product story, with one side of it being denim, the other suede, and the chain then executed in a matte finish. A great addition to your rotation, this blacked out model launches August 29th exclusively at FootLocker Canada and Footlocker.ca.
Brand loyalty is something that means a great deal to me, both as a brand owner and as a consumer. I recall at a young age my parents would take us shopping and over dinner we would talk about quality, value & style - three silos that would define our purchases. Coming from Scottish immigrant parents, every dollar spent is carefully considered. Conversations would range from the value of an in-store experience, a brand's marketing collateral and questions as to whether a brand was authentic. One such brand that made it through the filter and has since had a place in the Stirling home is Oliver Peoples. With myself being the last of the Stirling family to don eyewear after too many hours of looking at the computer screen, Oliver Peoples has become the brand of choice. While doing my homework on a new set of frames I stumbled upon a fantastic collab. Oliver Peoples has partnered with CFDA award winners Public School on an original collaboration sunglass. Created in 2008 by Dao-Yi Chow (who remembers him from his modelling days?) and Maxwell Osborne, Public School is highly regarded for an innovative eye in fashion and use of high-quality materials. Similar brand core values and design philosophies led to a natural partnership to collaborate on sunglasses that will accompany their Fall 2015 collection.
Inspired by their hometown of New York, Public School merges the modern and urban culture of the city, with its art, fashion, and music woven into their designs. Southern California based Oliver Peoples, shares an identical inspiration source using the unique Los Angeles lifestyle as a foundation for their eyewear. With both brand’s design influences stemming from personal surroundings and experiences, Oliver Peoples and Public school have aligned in true collaborative spirit – fusing New York and Los Angeles’ distinct cultures with a juxtaposition of classical tailoring and modern edginess– to create a capsule sunglass collection.
Taking inspiration from the classic Wyler frame, worn personally by Osborne, the Public School designer’s worked together with Oliver Peoples to create a frame that would naturally complement the aesthetic of Public School. The bold acetate frame takes on a slightly sporty aesthetic while maintaining a high fashion edge. A long, linear metal detail runs from the temples and through the bridge, creating an illusion of one connected piece. The collaborative sunglass was created to accompany the evolved looks of the 2015 runway show where debuted, and is suitable for every day wear, much like the Public School collections.
The Oliver Peoples x Public School sunglasses are available in three color ways. Coinciding with Public School’s predominantly black palette, two different black versions – matte black with midnight express lenses and shiny black with obsidian mirror lenses – are offered in addition to a neutral Grey with opal flash electric lenses.
Yesterday Pharrell was here in Toronto to share the stage with hometown hero Drake, but before he did he took to Instagram and created a serious buzz with an image of himself holding the latest Bee Line x Timberland offering. This new collaboration from Billionaire Boys Club and Timberland examines complementary and contrasting tones using the iconic 6-inch silhouette as its canvas. The durability, craftsmanship and performance remains tried and true. However, from the soles and leather to eyelets and laces, this silhouette has been reimagined. Comprised of Premium made in the USA full-grain Horween leather, the boot is waterproof, with seam-sealed construction to keep feet dry. As a nod to Pharrell’s focus on renewable resources, the BBC crew has tied off the classic boot with laces made of 100% recycled nylon. A contrasting Leather Bee Line Tag is the finishing touch to this offering. The inspiration for the Blue Boot takes me back to my University foundation studies of art color theory. The palette is pulled from the color wheel as the deep violets and blues used to create this unique collection for men, women and kids sits directly opposite the golden wheat hue of the original Timberland boot. These extremely limited boots will be available August 15th at the Billionaire Boys Club NYC Flagship and Webstore, as well as select Timberland stores.
Richmond Optometry is owned and operated by Dr. Jason Yu, BSc, OD, an optometrist with a laundry list of certifications and degrees who graduated with Dean’s Honours. During his studies, he worked hard to promote collaboration between optometrists and other health professionals in order to improve the efficiency and accessibility of eye care in the community. Upon licensure, Dr. Yu joined optometry and ophthalmology practices in the Greater Toronto Area and has a special interest in ocular diseases, pre- and post-operative care, contact lenses, and pediatric eye care.
But what impressed me the most was his vision, his vision of his brand experience. Topping off an incredible resume and an abundantly obvious passion for his craft, Dr. Yu has created a unique brand experience that spans print, web and film. I lucked out on discovering Richmond Optometry as it’s situated only a few blocks away from my home. The strong branding caught my eye as I drove past and I headed into to Dr. Yu’s shortly thereafter. Followers of my Twitter feed and Instagram most likely remember when I was weighing out my decision between two Oliver Peoples frames; Dr. Yu was helpful enough to take those snaps on my iPhone. Coincidentally, his shop is outfitted with a solid collection of Apple computers as well- I must admit those little touches make the experience. I often wonder why anyone would trust sub-par technology in your health care experience?
A must see (pun intended), are the adverts in the ’Extras’ section of the Richmond Optometry site. Dr. Yu commissioned a handful of clever 30-second spots that are will have you rubbing your eyes and laughing out loud. The thoughtful execution of all of the visual elements, the brand's tone of voice and the superb customer service and retail experience has set the bar for key expectations of what health care can and should be.
Men who guide the destinies of the world wear Rolex Watches. That is the tagline for a vintage Rolex adverts, and one that, although a bit over-the-top, rings true in many ways. A company built upon craftsmanship and timeless style (pun intended), I was first introduced to the Rolex Submariner by my father when I was 19. He imparted the distinction of the brand and what separates it from the rest of the field.
Launched in 1953, the Rolex Submariner was the first watch that was guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet). Today’s Submariner can withstand the pressure at a depth of 300 metres (1,000 feet) and is designed to resist extreme conditions. To protect the movement from water and dust, Rolex invented the Oyster case in 1926. And then, in 1954 created and patented the Triplock winding crown to ensure even greater protection. The Triplock consists of 10 different elements crafted from the most reliable materials. Once assembled, it screws down onto the Oyster case as tightly and securely as a submarine hatch. The Submariner’s rotatable bezel is a key functionality of the watch. The graduations provide the diver with an accurate indication of diving time. For safety reasons, it rotates only counterclockwise, so there is no chance of overestimating dive time or the amount of breathing mix remaining in the tanks. The luminescent capsule ensures legibility, no matter how light-deprived the environment.
The Submariner is a must have, and the cornerstone for any young man looking to start an appropriate collection of timepieces. Start saving...this is time worth spending.
As a child, I spent many days running around dealerships and car lots, as my family was part of the automotive industry for over 35 years. I witnessed that industry buckle and crumble before my eyes as the old guard stood still and refused to embrace change. The other day, a friend of mine put me onto a new initiative fueled by Timberland that adds innovation to the monolithic automotive industry.
Timberland Tires will be the first line of tires purposely created to be recycled into footwear outsoles after their journey on the road is complete. After the tread wears out, the tire lives on, and then recycled into Timberland footwear. Timberland Tires will encompass three distinct product lines: the Timberland CROSS tire engineered for small SUVs and crossover vehicles, the Timberland A/T tire for trucks and large SUV’s as well as the Timberland TOUR tire for cars.
Housed under the Timberland and Radar Tires brands, this partnership was birthed when sustainability leaders from both brands came together to address a longstanding shared concern for sustainability. Timberland Tires represent a new model in tire innovation: a sustainable, tire-to-shoe lifecycle designed and created for superior performance and safety on the road. The tires will be made in the U.S., and brings the tire-to-shoe continuum to life, establishing an industry-first tire return/chain of custody process. This ensures that the tires go directly to dedicated North American recycling facilities to begin their path toward a second life as part of a Timberland product. Timberland Tires will be sold initially in the United States at leading national and regional tire retailers, as well online at TimberlandTires.com and as an added bonus, when you register your tires you’ll receive a 10% discount on all Timberland.com purchases for an entire year.
While shooting for an upcoming project I found myself on location at Billy Bishop Airport, a quaint downtown outpost nestled into the Toronto lakeshore that houses Porter Airlines, and found it hard not to note the fantastic design work that has come to define the Porter experience. As a devoted admirer of the work of Tyler Brule, I recalled the name Ken Leung, the founding Art Director of Monocle magazine and former creative at Winkreative whom worked on the launch of the Porter identity. His work has been a topic of discussion many times amongst my peers but I noticed that none of them had much back ground knowledge on the talent behind may of the brands we love. With that I thought I would share my perspective of the talented Mr. Ken Leung.
Leung’s sensibilities speak to me; with evident influence from all the great modernist graphic designer and typographers. He says his approach to his work is “to make things as usable, simple and beautiful as possible”. Looking at his portfolio some of my favourite work is that where he has created as a complete brand. Creating a seamless connection between brand identity, print, online presence, store front retail experiences and merchandise. Most impressive is when he has defined a visual language and then appropriately exploited the opportunity to birth a retail environment that serves as the living, breathing counterpart to the print and web pieces. Well considered and deftly executed, his vision is something that I admire.
Working with discerning international clients, Leung’s skill sets span across art direction, corporate identity, editorial, naming and packaging. His philosophy is to create beauty and functionality in all of our projects by applying a considered, well-crafted and lasting approach. Please take a moment a cruise through the elegant work of Mr. Leung.
With the introduction of the original BE TRUE campaign in 1985, some of the most storied programs in collegiate hoops finally had the footwear that allowed athletes and fans to show their school colours. In 1969, during the final weekend in June, the Stonewall riots marked the beginning of the gay liberation movement that has transformed oppression into pride. In 2012, Nike began to celebrate the achievements of the New York City, San Francisco and Portland communities as progressive leaders of LGBT life with city-specific footwear releases and an accompanying hat and tee.
The 2015 #BETRUE collection of uniquely designed footwear, apparel and equipment, inspired by the LGBT community and celebrating the passion and pursuit of sport by all athletes, is centered by the #BETRUE gradient rainbow. Reflecting both the diversity found within sports and Nike’s support for the LGBT community, the collection spans performance to lifestyle and includes the Nike Free Run 5.0, Nike Hyper Rev and the Nike Run Roshe. The #BETRUE 2015 campaign highlights the energy of #BETRUE in eight cities: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Portland, Ore., and Washington, DC. Nike acknowledges these communities as progressive leaders of LGBT rights and equality with city-specific footwear releases and accompanying hat and tee.
This initiative speaks to me deeply and a lyric from Frank Ocean runs through my head as I write this - “I believe that marriage isn’t between a man & woman, but between love and love.” The convergence of art, culture and sport are in my DNA and I applaud Nike for being a catalyst of change and providing the bridges between these elements of life and showing that love is love.