Thursday, August 31, 2006
Nike's doing well these days. I think it was a few years ago they teamed up with Cole Haan (the shoe people) and decided to put some Nike Air technology in them mens shoes. But whoa check this shit out. For all the ladies, Cole Haan and Nike now have something for you.
Here's an example of a good collaboration. Clean, thorough, simple design, yet innovative in concept. Don't they slightly resemble them Marc Jacobs shoes? To view their collection, go here. If you notice there, they don't really emphasize their collaboration with Nike. It almost looks like they don't care and want you to feel the same right? Very subtle. Great marketing strategy. Click on one of the shoes on the site and you'll also read the words "concealed NIKE AIR cushioning" in most descriptions. Definitely being real low-key about their Nike collab and staying true to their roots. Good form, good function, great marketing.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
This is the Crown SZ-5100 (below) of the mid '80's. Rumor has it that Crown were the first Boombox manufacturers back in '71. This bad boy is decked out in graphics and LED's. What a beauty right?
Next up, the All-Old Lasonic TRC-931. This one cames from around '86 or so. Apparently they used to give these out as prizes on some game shows. That's whack right? These things are going for quite a bit now on Ebay. I managed to cop one for a good price in pretty decent condition. Let's just hope the speakers can hold up. You know I'll be breakin out and jammin to them dangdut (javanese pop) mixtapes. Goyang Ngebor (crude gyrating movement in clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. It's up to you!) is on!!!
A few years ago, Lasonic were smart enough to respond to market demand and decided to re-issue the TRC-931. Check out the consistency in design (below). Absolute fucken genius right. Same features and functions as the '86 original but slightly different shape. Bit more rounded. I prefer the one I have though.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Actually it started yesterday.
Today was the day I was supposed to go to Singapore to sign a lease to rent another store space. Unfortunately, I was not able to because I have an absolute spanner for a real estate agent. Not only does he talk funny, he also don't know how to keep his word. He needs a beating.
This is how the story goes:
The property we purchased in Singapore currently has a tenant until November of next year. Let's just say that she hasn't been the best tenant. My dad and I decided to buy this place initially (last year) to diversify into real estate with the goal of starting something cool (boutique, gallery, etc) in the near future or whenever the tenant's lease was done.
When I realized that the 9-5 at the factory wasn't working for me, I decided to sort out a game plan and work on it a little sooner. Since she neglected to pay rent on time 2 months in a row, I decided to put my badass landlord skills to the test. I spoke with a lawyer and he basically advised that it was enough to reclaim the property back and cut short her lease.
With back and forth banter going on between our lawyers, I was pretty psyched. I thought this was actually going somewhere and we were making progress. I was wrong. Two weeks later my lawyer informed me we had nothing on her and that the law in Singapore favors tenants. This is the bit where I start bitching. I have lived in several countries and nowhere have I heard of such fuckin bullshit. Firstly, when me and the boys lived in Perth at Gardner Street, our pleasant holiday was topped off with a short and concise eviction letter on our doorstep (along with some bills, lands-end catalogues, junk mail, etc) all nice and warm to greet us. We packed our shit up. We found somewhere new. We moved in. No wait....we laughed it off at first thinking it was some practical joke. The boys made bakmi cheese (disgusting looking concoction of curry noodles and kraft cheese that manages to make me squirm everytime I think about it) and then called Ray White. They confirmed it. We stopped laughing and then we packed up and moved out. Yeh, thats how it goes!
In Boston, I don't think I ever paid my rent late. In New York City, I had a jewish dude from Brooklyn as landlord. I never messed with him. He was paid on the 1st of every month. The one month I couldnt pay him on the 1st, he told me that I would receive a fine. Let's just say I found a way to pay him on the 1st. Don't ask how!
So anyway, I am pretty bitter about how I have been dicked as a landlord. Where the fuck is the protection for landlords in Singapore. Because of this mess that I'm in right now, I basically decided to call the agent and ask to rent another property on the same street to start the business earlier.
I was supposed to go to Singapore today and sign a lease on #61 but surprise surprise again, the agent told me that the landlord there wants to stick with his current tenant. Apparently that tenant ain't paying rent on time and has a shitload in arrears. This landlord doesn't seem to mind anymore as long as the tool pays a little bit sometime soon. Seems to me that people work against the norms of business there. I have no idea why, but I feel like everyone's out to take the piss out of me. I don't know if it's just a test or something, but I'm ready to choke (see pic below) someone out. Try me sometime. I will bring the pain.
Monday, August 28, 2006
I have decided to create a retail/concept store in a gallery type setting in a pretty cool neighbourhood in Singapore. I'm pretty much going to focus on the brands from the U.S that I responded well to while I was studying there. I don't think they are well represented in Singapore. I think they are real creative, and definitely deserve more attention from my target market. It's going to be difficult to educate people, but I'm willing to make a serious effort.
Most people think i'm real into "streetwear", but I'm not. As a graduate of Parsons school of design, I learnt more than just how to draw and how to make patterns, etc. I think I really learnt to appreciate all sorts of design and to also try and understand them from the perspectives of the designers. However, I would prefer people throw in some of their personality and try to be different. But don't try too hard, it shows!
In that, I have come to realize while in NYC that majority of the indie labels were doing this. Mad creativity with a better thought out concept. They weren't following trends and were not calling out for attention. They were not selling "cool" and the easy way out. Having said that, I still appreciate everything, from streetwear to couture to handknitting to whatever man....I like GAP, I like Old Navy, Target does it for me too! I take the time to soak it in and understand. However, I do really respond to what I choose to call "Street-inspired fashions". This is what I will be focusing on in store.
This is streetwear.....t-shirts, t-shirts and more t-shirts! I won't be covering this.
Street-inspired fashions....I will be covering this!
How bout that.....keep your eyes peeled!
Thursday, August 03, 2006
This post is somewhat a follow-up from the last one.
So anyway, I got back from Boston and New York City and realized that the U.S just doesn't do it for me anymore. I know I like Boston - because of my family there, but seriously, I have come to conclude that New York is all hype and no game. I mean, all we see in the media are a bunch of bright lights, tall buildings and pictures of fashion week and we're all ready to cum. What the fuck is up with those New Yorkers on TV saying that their city is the best place on earth. Gimme a fuckin break! Not that I hate NYC or anything, I don't think I fit in the mold all too well. A lot of people have asked me why.....
I'll tell you why. Firstly, I've noticed that life's experiences has made me more of a good bloke, more considerate, receptive, and an all round good guy. I don't mean to play myself up and all but in all honesty, I like to treat people the way they want to be treated. And mind you, I will make an effort, even if I dislike them. Call me a hypocrite or whatever you will, but I firmly believe that being nice to everyone goes a long way.
Anyway, NYC is completely the opposite of whatever I have just said. Too many people there, IMO, are caught up in their own worlds, throwing out the one word answers to questions and are just plain rude. Most are not receptive and have that 'leave me the fuck alone' attitude. I don't care where you are or what you want or if you are just asking for directions, people were rude and didn't care. It was hard for me to understand why and accept it at the same time. I guess those people who call it the best city in the world barely walk out on the 'real' streets.
Nonetheless, NYC has a shitload to offer in terms of fashion, culture, food, finance, nightlife, etc. As young as I may be though, interactions with people are far more important to me than all the other things I just mentioned. That is way higher on the priority list. I get more out of speaking with people and learning shit from them than I do from anything or anywhere else. I know it sounds cliche but something's 'surface' don't interest me as much as it's whole. I can't look at something pretty, take it in and accept. I prefer to look, take it in, try and understand it, question it, form an opinion, take the piss out of it, etc. I didn't just look at New York's "pretty" exterior and sit back like most people do. I saw something that most people don't really think twice about. Again, that's just me, I respond to stuff like this.
So coming back here and sitting down and thinking about it, I realized that place isn't for me. I will just save it for when I visit Michelle and Kevin and when I have to buy stuff for the store.
After that, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do. I came up with a decent plan.