Archive for the ‘Design’ Category
This week marked the launch of our new office and showroom space for 3sixteen: Chapter & Verse Agency. We took ownership of the space on January 1st and finished renovations in time for NY Market week a mere two weeks later. It’s where we’ve been meeting with retailers this week to show them what’s new with our brand and the ones our showroom now represents.
A few years ago, Johan and I wanted to be able to do sales and consulting work for other brands, but it didn’t seem to make sense to conduct that business under the 3sixteen name, as we are known for our clothing. Johan coined the name of the agency – Chapter & Verse – which is both a nice tie-in to our own brand’s name (3:16) as well as a phrase that refers to conducting business with great attention to detail. This year, though, marks the actual launch of the agency as a physical showroom and a business to help both established and newer brands gain market share through sales and PR work. It’s nice to see an idea finally come to (physical) fruition, and marks a new step for both Johan and me professionally.
Beyond its function as a showroom, we took this space because it’s a retail storefront and thus provides us with lots of flexibility. We envision it as being a daily hub where friends and colleagues can connect, exchange ideas, network, and enjoy really good coffee. It’ll also be the home to monthly gatherings, art/photography shows, and perhaps even a few special temporary retail events. Our first office space 5 years ago was also on Allen Street and, like this one, was a retail space. There was something special about being so accessible to friends who were in the neighborhood passing by – I’m looking forward to having this space function in a similar way.
Chapter & Verse Agency
162 Allen Street
Lower East Side, NYC
My friend Steve Opperman (formerly of Temple Bags) and his wife Rebecca have started a new furniture company called Stephen Kenn. Their steel frames are all locally welded in Los Angeles and the cushions are all made of repurposed WWII military fabric. Fans of his former bag collection will see many design similarities carried over into the furniture.
In addition to their furniture collection, Steve and Beks host a neighborhood coffee shop at their workshop/showroom space on weekday mornings from 8-11am. It’s called Backdoor Coffee Club and is open to the public, but if you plan on stopping by it’s best to follow them on Twitter (@backdoor_coffee) to see if they’re closed on any given day. I personally love the idea, as I find the idea of common spaces where like-minded creatives can meet up to build together and encourage one another to be extremely important for rejuvenating a sense of community (especially in larger cities). Apolis hosted a weeklong event last December called Common Table which sought to fulfill similar goals, and I’m guessing that it won’t be the last time they do it.
Stephen Kenn/Backdoor Coffee Club
1250 Long Beach Ave., Suite 120
Los Angeles, CA 90021
During my last trip to LA, Casey invited me to an Eames exhibition at Pacific Standard Time; I was unable to go because my flight back to NYC left that same evening. I am disappointed to have missed it because I would have gotten the chance to see these promotional posters in person. PST tapped the one and only Ice Cube to share his appreciation for Charles and Ray Eames and how their work has inspired and influenced him. I like what PST has done in partnering with an unexpected modern cultural icon to help expose art and design to new audiences. When else would you see Eames mentioned on a hip hop blog (or Ice Cube on a design site)? Initiatives like this break down barriers and make art and design more accessible, so I am all for it.
Plus – without a project like this, I never would have known that Ice cube studied architecture prior to joining NWA. If I ever had the chance to meet Ice Cube one day, I think it would be awesome to know that he would be just as stoked to chat about mid-century design as he would rap music.
The primary reason for my visit to Portland last weekend was to spend time with Tanner Goods. While sampling some of the best coffee in the country, visiting factories, and attending my first soccer game were all experiences I enjoyed, the highlight was definitely my last day that was spent in the Tanner Goods workshop. They moved a few months ago into this brand new space that functions as a centralized location for design, sampling, manufacturing and shipping.
Throughout the day, I got to see the entire process of manufacturing a belt. Sam receives and inspects every single hide that is purchased; anything that isn’t up to par is sent back to be exchanged. He then marks each piece of leather out to minimize waste.
I was shocked to learn how little usable space there is on a hide. Cow hides are organic shapes, whereas belts come in straight line shapes. Plus, only a select part of the hide is consistent enough to be utilized for belts. Some remnants can be cut into bracelets and keychains, but the rest of the pieces are tossed into a pile to be brought over to the Tanner Goods flagship store. They sell these scraps by the pound to aspiring designers who might want to try their hand at making something themselves.
In this new workshop, the team has every tool necessary to make anything in their product range. This setup didn’t come together overnight; over the years, they’ve been able to acquire both equipment and knowledge from older leather artisans who helped guide them along. I could tell how grateful they were to have everything in one place – it certainly helps with efficiency.
One thing I admired about the Tanner Goods team was their versatility. Everyone has his specialty but is able to work multiple stations as needs arise.
While there, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try my hand at making some of the items that Tanner Goods produces for us. Sam gave me a scrap piece of black chromexcel leather to strap out some bracelets.
I also got to use the hot stamping machine to create a few leather 3sixteen patches that go on our jeans. It’s a process that takes time to dial in, as there are heat, pressure and cycle time variables on the machine. I definitely developed a deeper appreciation for all the work that goes into the products they make for us and for their own range.
My good friends Wilson and Carol returned from their honeymoon recently with this generous gift for Logan. It’s a child-sized replica of the walnut Eames LCW that already resides in our living room… as soon as they saw it, they knew it’d be perfect for us.
There are a few design adjustments to make it more kid-friendly… most notably, the angle of the seat itself: the child-sized chair doesn’t angle down as much to promote better posture. It also doesn’t use rubber shock mounts on the seat or the backing, which results in the seat having less give. Otherwise, the construction and shape look to be just as nice as our existing one.
While it’ll still be at least a year or two before Logan is able to sit in this chair comfortably, it’s such a nice looking addition to our living room that I’m happy to leave it out until he’s ready for it.