milan: fuct

© slamjam

fuct is the lifestyle concoction of artist erik brunetti. infused by counter culture in general and the world of skate boarding in particular, his apparel brand firmly occupies cult status in the apparel industry since its inception in the 1990s. a keen observer of urban culture, brunetti is a wizzard when it comes to creating iconic and often controversial imagery that stands out. as a result fuct has collaborated with a diverse list of companies, artists, and designers on visuals and advertising, which has kept their creative output relevant, straddling the line between controversial yet appealing. in celebration of fuct's 20th anniversary an eponymous book has been released by renowned publishing house rizzoli, offering a definitive look at the brand's history and eclectic creative output. recently launched at directional streetwear store slamjam in milan, it's also the venue where a related exhibition is currently held. the show presents a curated selection of brunetti's most important art work [on through oct 2]. obviously, the aforementioned publication is available at the store. location: via paoli 3-5 [navigli].

© slamjam

london: room with a view

© andaz - the pearly room by chris price

the concept of andaz hotels has an innate connection with the creative industry, and this is very much evident in each of the properties across the planet. not surprisingly, the hospitality chain nurtures this relationship, and it's at london's andaz liverpool street where this summer the room with a view art program has been launched. for this cool program the five-star luxury boutique hotel has teamed up with four distinctly diverse british artists: chris price, patrick vale, ilovedust and patrick morgan, who will each hand paint in four of the hotel’s luxurious large king rooms, to depict their interpretation of east london’s past, present or future.

illustrator + author chris price kicked off the program, creating the pearly room in collab with his wife delisia howard. on mon - oct 6 the second room by patrick vale will be revealed, while those of the remaining artists will be inaugurated next january and april respectively. mind you, each of the painted guest rooms will be completely different in style and feel in reflection of the artist’s own individuality and will be available for guests to experience contemporary street art. the room with a view program runs through july of next year with rooms available for booking until that time. location: andaz liverpool street, 40 liverpool street [city].

© andaz - details of chris price's pearly room and some of the grand public spaces at andaz liverpool street

oslo: yme concept store opening

© yme / photography: einar aslaksen

although hailed as scenic, well-planned and prosperous, oslo has so far failed to impress those in search of a happening lifestyle infrastructure. the city has long been overshadowed by the more dynamic scenes of other nordic capitals where a design legacy and more established creative industries have garnered global attention. but the norwegian capital has quietly been on the move, and a new generation of savvy entrepreneurs has emerged that has shed old inhibitions and launch plans with unprecedented audacity. a striking example of this new mindset is the newly opened yme [pron.: oo-may] concept store in downtown oslo.

founded by nicolai schaanning larsen, a multi-tasking central st. martins graduate who has now also taken on retail, the store concept is inspired by directional emporiums such as london's dover street market, colette in paris and milan's 10 corso como, and not only sets new retail standards nationwide, but also for the entire nordic region. schaanning larsen has a trained eye for aesthetics, design and style - or dare we say beauty as a whole? - and enlisted acclaimed architecture practice snøhetta to collaborate on his bold retail vision. the name yme is symbolically based on a character - a jotun or giant - in norse mythology, and very much reflects the can-do attitude that now prevails in oslo's creative circles.

occupying a whopping 1,600 sqm. [17,222 sq.ft.] spread over three floors of a mid-19th century building, yme is also an integral part of paleet, a drastically revamped shopping complex we talked about in a previous post. but then again, the store is conceptualized so differently, it's visually almost an entity of its own. schaanning larsen clearly aims for the stars, and he has all the attributes to pull it off. yme entices shoppers with beautifully designed settings for its offerings, each one brimming with tightly curated goods, ranging from men's + women's apparel, shoes and accessories, to bags, fragrances and select furniture pieces.

situated on the third floor is a café annex bookshop, stocked with relevant books and magazines from across the planet, while the rooftop terrace offers a lush green getaway. needless to say, this is a place where to splurge, and the shelves are laden with relevant fashion brands to make that happen. yme's current brand list features a cool mix of high-end and premium labels, including maison martin margiela, nike, dior homme, opening ceremony and lanvin, and the majority are exclusive to the store. adding up to the extraordinary shopping experience are exhibitions, product launches, book signings and other events. location: karl johans gate 39 [sentrum].

© yme / photography: einar aslaksen

superchat amsterdam: johan lindeberg

© blk dnm

a veteran in denim, johan lindeberg initially helped diesel raise the bar to new heights in the 1990s, before honing his creative skills with a string of other fashion brands. outspoken, sincere and with a keen interest in current affairs, lindeberg is the kind of character who chooses to live in a constant flow yet navigates with a set of cherished values instilled long ago. he's currently based in new york city where he heads blk dnm, an apparel brand which encapsulates such a great deal of his personality, it could easily be seen as his sartorial alter ego. well, sort of. lindeberg recently visited amsterdam on the occasion of the arrival of his brand at edgy multibrand emporium sprmrkt. obviously superfuture seized the opportunity to sit down with the designer to get better acquainted with him and his creative vision.

your name is inextricably linked to denim. where do you think denim stands these days from a both a fashion and cultural point of view? i think culturally, denim is totally wiped out. it has become solely a fashion item, unfortunately. it used to have roots in culture, but no more. when i grew up it was a symbol of freedom. denim has become too proper, too groomed, it has lost its cultural significance.

do you think denim is still an icon of youth culture? not really. there are other things and brands that have gained such status. like supreme in new york city, the whole skate culture. denim lost that essential anarchist element, it has become too ordinary these days.

your design vocabulary contains a lot of references to the rebellious 1960s, but you're a child of the 1970s yourself. what did your adolescence in provincial sweden look like? i'm older than you think. i grew up in a southern swedish university town and i remember the turmoil of the 1960s very well. my father was a very politically engaged journalist, as well as my oldest sister and those years were very influential. my hometown of lund was very progressive with a student movement that was as powerful as the one in paris at the time. the air was filled with idealism and passion, people in the streets discussed ideas. i remember the book cafés and obviously the local music scene which pulled all the big bands at the time played gigs in lund. it was a fascinating time and i'm very influenced by that era, you know. when i started blk dnm it was right after i got separated, a devastating moment in my life.

i decided to create the brand, not as a way of therapy, but as a manifest or some kind of summary of my life so far. i wanted to do something meaningful for myself. you know, as a swede coming from the land of ingmar bergman and dark winters, we go deep, feel things and then finally express them. the launch of blk dnm was in a way cathartic, something i just had to do. and while doing so, i decided to add an element of 1968. but strangely, the launch of blk dnm in 2011 more or less coincided with the arab spring. all of a sudden millions of people in tunisia, egypt and beyond took to the streets to make themselves heard. sure, i miss those tumultuous 1960s, but at the same time revolution is very much back.

the world is in turmoil once again and i aim to create a brand with a voice. i want to inspire people and create culture. you should know that blk dnm hasn't been founded for just commercial reasons only. i recall creating diesel's successful living campaign in the early 1990s. it was powerful concept because it was political. with the campaign we addressed a lot of relevant subjects in society. i've always acknowledged the global reach of advertising, and brands are sometimes more effective in inspiring people than say newspapers. i'd say i'm extremely idealistic. maybe too much sometimes. but that's just the way i am, i'm driven by passion, and at this moment in my life i'm more inspired than i've ever been.

you founded blk dnm after a painful break-up. has that painful event in your personal life influenced your creative output? yes, i think so. i've had different eras as a designer. during my days at j.lindeberg days i listened too much to others, i was easily impressed by a lot of brands, by what was happening in milan and so on, and so on. i wasn't being myself. now i work really hard on using my intuition. i used to carry a lot of pain around and now it's gone. i dug really deep and finally found who i am and what i like. i'd say my taste and my intuition is more pure today. if there's one word that would summarize me it would definitely be passion. my biggest challenge in my life have been women. i've had quite a few, you know. i'm very passionate and intense, also with work. my passion is something that's difficult to balance.

blk dnm's main source of inspiration is strong and independent women. the codes of your men's designs seem exactly the opposite, coming across as a tad macho. what's the creative departure point of the men's designs? ha, me. and on the contrary, i actually believe in good values. what i'm most proud of is the fact that i'm a very engaged father, i have an amazing relationship with my 13-year-old daughter. also, if you ask the women in my life, you'll hear that i'm a giving person. the people i work with will acknowledge that too. my beard and my glasses may perhaps look macho, but i have a very soft side. macho men to me are manipulative and ego-driven, and i think you'll come accross the phenomenon a lot in the corporate world.

when i worked at j.lindeberg in the late 1990s i drastically modernized the look of golf apparel, and just because i wanted to change a side of the conservative establishment. i put american men in tightly fitted garb, even in pink golf pants! but going back to strong women, i think it's something that was instilled in me at an early age. i remember in the 1960s my father was major advocate for women who wanted to become priests, there were a lot of female political players in lund, and a big icon for me at the time was politcal activist angela davis. when i started blk dnm i really had the feeling it's an amazing moment for women right now, there are a lot of great political leaders who are women, and there are now also many in the corporate world.

you're based in new york, a place you say nurtures you creatively. how different is living there from living in sweden, and have you retained any values from the homeland? yeah, being an engaged father is very swedish i think. also, my belief in gender equality. i love new york because the city somehow makes me live in the presence. it's very engaging because i don't have time to think of the future, which for me is very healthy. i can be who i am in new york, i don't need to play a role. 

visual communication seems vital to your brand. how do you differentiate blk dnm from other brands? i don't know. it's been only three years since i first took up a camera. i just started to portray who we are as blk dnm. it's too complicated to look over someone else's shoulder, so i had to look through the lens myself. if you look at my pictures they're very different from hedi slimane's. he's an incredible photographer but his images are meticulously controlled. i'm more bohemian...er...more fucked up, maybe? 

blk dnm has stores in new york and stockholm. how important is it for you to have your own stores? i think they're very important because you can present who you are, my voice is strongest in my own retail space. my philosophy regarding stores is that i design them as i like to live, they're like my own home. i have only one goal: if i can sleep there, i'm happy. and in both stores i can lay down my head. i'm thinking of opening in los angeles and paris next, but i've learned things the hard way, so i do one thing at a time and take it easy.

any plans for the future that you can reveal? well, i'm currently working on a portrait series with franca sozzani for vogue italia, shooting 50 women from 50 different countries. it'll be about women who have a strong and progressive voice, all artists, politicians, actors, no models. i do a lot photography these days, i'm also going to shoot a series of moroccan women. but we're going to launch a new eyewear collab with moscot and we're also developing scented candles. we're working on a number of small projects. a bigger project is scheduled for early next year but i can't tell you what it is just yet.

© dennis veldman

paris: printemps homme store renewal

© printemps / photography: manuel bougot

with a history that dates back to 1865, printemps has always been an illustrious fixture in paris' retail landscape. although now operating department stores in major cities across france, the company's beating heart remains its landmark flagship store on the french capital's bustling boulevard haussmann. it's here that printemps has gradually expanded to a cluster of buildings over the years, all stocked to the guilds with fashion collections. in the 1970s a separate building opened, entirely dedicated to menswear, and which quickly became a one-stop shop for discerning male shoppers. the printemps homme building, as it is called, has now been entirely restyled by milan-based architecture practice antonio citterio and features 7,000 sqm. [75,347 sq.ft.] of sleek interior settings spread over seven floors.

highlights of the recent store renewal are the ground floor, which is now entirely dedicated to men's accessories such as leather goods, eyewear and watches. the second floor presents high-end streetwear and other leisure styles, while a wide choice of luxury men's labels have found a matching new home on the third. on the fifth la chemise is situated, an exclusive new section dedicated to men's shirts. simultaneously with the relaunch of printemps homme, a number of directional brands have been added to the store's vast brand list, including pierre hardy, serapian, de bonne facture, nicolas andreas taralis and jonathan saunders. some of these new labels are presented in specially conceptualized pop-up settings. location: 61 rue de caumartin [opéra].

© printemps / photography: manuel bougot

global: freitag f201 pete

© freitag / photography: oliver nanzig

freitag has released the f201 pete, the newest addition of its wide range of bag options. highly versatile, it's a backpack and tote rolled into one, and obviously comes with the handy perks of both. it's made from recycled truck tarp - a pretty durable material - and features handles, and not one but two adjustable shoulder straps with tarp flags, three inside compartments and a zippered quick-access outside pocket. this is in fact the very first freitag bag to have this dual carrier identity, and the video below clearly sums up all advantages. the f201 pete is available at all freitag stores and depositories across the planet, but can also be purchased online.

tokyo: alexander wang pop-up store

© isetan

designer alexander wang has set up camp - and we mean that quite literally - at isetan, tokyo's leading department store. opening on thu - sep 24, this is the second time that the new york-based designer opens a pop-up store here. officially titled gallery of urban survival, the temporary retail space takes cues from wang's eponynous a/w 2014 collection and doubles as an installation space. triangular-shaped it's set on a platform and shielded off by black canvas as to resemble a tent, albeit one with all the alexander wang characteristics. the pop-up store is stocked with selected apparel items from the current men's and women's collection, in addition to a range of apparel and accessories exclusive to isetan. but that's not all, folks. it's packed with a collection of special survival kit items, including branded condoms, and items from his object collection. as a special bonus shoppers at the pop-up store are able to view an exhibition of the designer's most essential personal belongings, and which is accompanied by a video and music soundtrack [open through sep 29]. location: isetan, 3-14-1 shinjuku, the stage [shinjuku].

© isetan

global: needles s/s 2015 collection

© needles

in japan, scruffy never went out of style. only there the two can be effortlessly fused and further evolve, and to such an extent it continues to be the envy of sorts of style gurus across the planet, and thus sought after as a distinct look along the way. keizo shimizu is a true style master, known globally in niche circles as the founder of nepenthes, a cult name in retail with just two branches: in tokyo and in new york. shimizu also manages needles, a menswear label with a distinctly japanese take on western workwear, sportswear and military garments, and made in the homeland from beautiful fabrics.

the needles s/s 2015 collection is another great exercise of the man's styling skills, featuring a new range of quirky interpretations. for the new collection linen has been mixed with cotton to ensure cool comfort in hot climes, while traditional japanese dye techniques have been applied to add an ethnic nuance and depth to the various pieces. shown here are seven looks from the needles s/s 2015 collection that we particularly like. the collection is available at select stores across the planet, including haven [vancouver], and of course, nepenthes [new york] and nepenthes [tokyo].

© needles

mumbai: colaba social café opening

© social offline

change is evident all over mumbai as more and more of its inhabitants partake in the digital age and all the perks that come with it. the city's hospitality scene is booming and boasts an increasing number of new concepts that cater to this progressive consumer demographic. a recent arrival in town is colaba social, a hybrid meeting spot - mind you, it has previously opened popular sister establishments in the country's hi-tech capital bengaluru and government seat delhi - which combines a café and a workspace for the fast-growing contingent of freelancing creatives of this boomtown. work and play are at the core of colaba social's innovative concept, but without the usual designated areas.

when the creative juices flow, they just flow, and that's why versatility rules here. but then again, it has all the facilities of well-equipped office, including a boardroom, conference facilities, printer, scanner, high-speed wi-fi and built-in social interaction. mind you, there's even a nifty app in the making that lets you order and review food, check out the restaurant playlist and suggest your fav tunes. obviously, it also aims to boost interaction between patrons. the setting of colaba social is intentionally off-beat, featuring an eclectic, fun-infused design with a raw edge. designer sanya desai's mission was to retain as much of the building's original architectural elements and create an interior design that - totally in line with the forward lifestyles of its patrons - would be environmentally responsible.

the project became a fully upcycled one, seeing a new lease on life for the property's original mosaic floors, windows and doors. these were playfully paired with vintage furniture pieces and a backdrop of exposed brick walls. the only intervention is the so-called cocktail kitchen, all tiled up and stocked with dangling bottles. the various cosy seating areas are furnished with leather sofas, colourful folding chairs and sturdy wooden tables. the light fixtures are just as basic, including naked bulbs that hang from the ceiling and skeletal table lamps. being a place where you should love spending time, colaba social's menu is one of meticulously picked offerings.

very compatible with the venue's concept, it lists street food that's unpretentious and fun, but to tickle your senses, it's presented in a quirky way. an abundance of ingredients, cultures and presentation styles from around the planet are masterfully mixed up to create a culinary adventure of sorts. and speaking of adventure, the very same can be said of the drinks menu. bearing witty names, there's a wide range of classic cocktails with wonderfully tweaked formulas that allow you to elaborately mark the end of a hard day's work. plans are already well underway to set up a second café in mumbai. location: glen rose building, 24 b.k. boman-behram marg, ground floor [colaba].

© social offline

online: dior homme a/w 2014 by willy vanderperre

© dior / photography: willy vanderperre

dior homme has collaborated with belgian photographer + filmmaker willy vanderperre on an exclusive video showcasing the fashion house's a/w 2014 collection. creative director kris van assche drew inspiration from the concept of an individual who blossoms within a group, and very similar to art or design students like himself when he was still in college. inspired shot on the day of the fashion show in paris, the video's successive images of individuals and groups aim to put the plurality of the dior homme men in perspective. the brand's legacy is reflected in the sartorial interplay of suits and charms, the modernity of denim and the overall richness of the dior homme collection.