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Archive for February, 2012


Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

In the summer of 2011, fake Apple stores began cropping up in cities all over China, selling knock-off MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads that appeared so genuine even some employees were fooled. In all, 25 fake Apple stores were shut down in a single province, Yunnan. The Apple brand is so pervasive and highly regarded that manufacturers have successfully flooded the market new ‘Apple’ products like USB ports, websites, and even sneakers sporting the once-bitten apple logo. But the winner of Most Absurd Look-alike is undoubtedly the iStove, single burner gas stoves with the Apple logo and ‘iPhone’ inscribed across the top.

According to the website LAist, the stoves, complete with appliance certification labels saying ‘Apple China Limited,’ were sold throughout China until they recently, when nearly 700 were confiscated from a warehouse. Apple has struggled to establish their copyright in China, even going to court over allegations that it does not own the rights to the iPad in the country ‘ preventing the firm from truly profiting off the enormous and fast-growing market. The reason for iStoves’ confiscation, for example, was not for ripping off the iPhone brand, but for being unsafe. (Apparently, the stoves were not equipped with protection to prevent flameout.)

Seriously? An iStove? As if Siri doesn’t do enough for us handling our personal and professional communications, managing daily schedules, providing reliable GPS, waking us up each morning, now she has to cook for us, too? It’s unclear what exactly iStove had to offer, but we’ve let our imaginations run wild with the possibilities: collecting and maintaining a database of favorite recipes, automatically sensing when heat should be turned from simmer to boil, providing nutritional or allergenic information ‘

What would you have an iStove cook for you?

Lake effect.

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Twenty five degrees on Chicago’s Lakefront can feel like twenty five below with the wind chill from Lake Michigan.’But the marine life at Shedd Aquarium have no concern, in their warm water tanks.
Shot on an iPhone by Troy Hayes in the early morning of a Chicago winter day.

Hello, goodbye.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Since 1974, the fictional character Hello Kitty has become a cult icon of cute, adorning everything from vinyl coin purses and pencil cases, to commercial jet planes and Fender guitars. The white bobtail cat with large black dots for eyes, red bow and total absence of a mouth is universally, and perhaps inexplicably, recognized as adorable to women of all ages.

In the early seventies a brand new Japanese company, Sanrio, commissioned artist Yuko Shimizu to design a mascot for merchandise for preteen girls. Its popularity quickly skyrocketed, adorning cars, purses, jewelry, and other high-end products. By the late nineties, celebrity divas like Mariah Carey were sporting Hello Kitty as a fashion statement. Not long after, Hello Kitty high-end jewelry made of diamonds, semiprecious stones and 18 karat gold began selling in Neiman Marcus stores for up to $3,000. Hello Kitty clearly was no longer for preteen Japanese girls, but upper class and high-powered women all over the globe, too.

Sure, little girls and tweens running around with Hello Kitty backpacks and key chains don’t draw much scrutiny, but we’ve noticed that many professional women (erm, ourselves included) love Hello Kitty. What is the simple feline’s appeal to older women?

Hello Kitty was originally designed to cater specifically to the Kawaii segment of Japanese culture. Kawaii is literally ‘cuteness,’ ‘lovableness,’ ‘adorableness.’ Is it possible that, for the women over 40 set, the constant requirement to maintain and project a professional, powerful, and (dare we say it) masculine demeanor has resulted in a quiet form of rebellion ‘ via cute Kitty?

What do you think? Does Hello Kitty tap into our inner desires for childhood cuteness?

View. Point.

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Self awareness is a perennial practice. ‘Some are better at it than others.’When we are more aware of our outward appearance (from all vantage points) and actions, we can continually adjust and change to feel better about ourselves, and potentially affect’the way others see us.

Shot on an iPhone with Instagram filter.
Ashley Youkilis,

Could Digital Platforms Change The Way Fashion Players See Fashion?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Fashionistas around the globe are celebrating their very own high holy holiday as New York Fashion Week is in full swing. Throughout the week, the biggest names in fashion will gather in New York to showcase their Fall and Winter 2013 collections. After months of painstaking work ‘ finalizing their collections, investing ungodly amounts of money into renting space, hiring show producers, casting models ‘ there comes the final wave of anxiety: Will the right people show up?

The stress of reaching key players in fashion is especially prominent among smaller designers, who have not built their reputation enough to attract the buyers, editors and agents with the power to launch their designs from the runway to the forefront of fashion design. For those who can’t afford to snag the best locations, models and staging, this year marks the first merger of fashion and technology that could potentially revolutionize the way careers are launched.’ New digital platforms like KCD Worldwide’s Digital Fashion Week and’s Video Fash’ion Week are not aimed at reaching a mass consumer base, like the live video feeds and real-time posts on Facebook and Twitter. Instead, these digital methods are seeking to reach the key drivers within the fashion industry who are physically unable to make it to every show throughout the week.

But some remain skeptical. According to New York model booker Kristen Bolt, a digital show will never replace the runway show. ‘Fashion Week really allows the audience to absorb the detailing and quality of the clothing that will never translate through a digital platform. But, more importantly, it’s a rare opportunity to actually interact with people within the industry. Fashion Week is not just about fashion ‘ it’s about making connections, face-to-face.’

What will digital platforms mean for fashion? Stay tuned’