There’s no getting around it: this week was defined by electronics (and thankfully not by another snowstorm that brought NYC to a standstill). We covered a number of items from the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (internet refrigerator, anyone?), but that wasn’t the only source of interesting technology this week – take the Jordan III Inspired OLYMPUS Camera, for example. In case you missed it, Freshness took readers through some of the must-see spots of Tokyo this week, led by Marvin Chow of Google. This week also brought another city tour, with some rarely-seen sights: the Underground Tour of New York’s subterranean spaces, captured by some intrepid urban explorers. Lada Gaga, who amazingly has been out of the news cycle for a few days, jumped back in this week to announce Polaroid’s digital camera-meets-sunglasses project. In streetwear fashion, one big story was the unveiling of the BLK Collection from Yosuke Aizawa’s White Mountaineering label, which showed quite a departure from the label’s more colorful textile artistry. Not one to lay low, Kanye released the cover for his upcoming single H.A.M. this week; the song will release January 11th, but the cover is a visual treat designed by Riccardo Tisci, creative director at Givenchy. We also unveiled a new feature this week at Freshness: RE-Fresh, which aims to explore the roots of the sneaker culture around us. In business, the big story this week was clearly the Goldman-Facebook deal, but in late breaking news, it also seems that the iPhone is finally coming to Verizon’s network. Finally, the week’s news was rounded out by a mastermind Japan themed ramen shop, which left many non-Japanese scratching their heads.
RE-Fresh: Nike Blazer (1972)
Just as a breather before the technology heavy news, a note on our new RE:Fresh feature. Reviving old classics and retro designs is a staple of the sneaker culture. Most of the time we don’t take the time to really explore the context though, so we’re kicking off a bi-weekly feature dedicated to the classics that define the present.
Kanye West x Jay-Z “H.A.M.” Single Cover Art | By Riccardo Tisci
For Kanye, 2010 was largely about My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, an album often mentioned in best-of-the-year lists. West takes every opportunity to emphasize his arriviste-seeming appreciation of haute couture personalities and contemporary art, and his album covers are starting to serve this purpose as well. For …Fantasy he recruited well know contemporary artist George Condo, and for the upcoming single H.A.M. (off the highly anticipated with Jay-Z, Watch The Throne). For H.A.M., West recruited Riccardo Tisci, who brought some of the same goth baroque that he’s brought to Givenchy, where he serves as creative director. Ticci also worked in snapping pitbulls – a rap staple that evokes the Snoop Dogg heyday.
Lady Gaga x Polaroid Grey Label
If you thought Lady Gaga news would somehow stop in 2011, or that 2011 wouldn’t bring any Polaroid news, you would be wrong – as proved Polaroid’s Grey Label products, announced at CES by Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (Lady Gaga). Aside from the Gaga leverage, the collection aims to bring the tactile experience of Polaroids to digital photography (no shaking necessary) with new printing technology. It also includes a digital camera that allows users to “develop” their photos – kind of a small step towards cameras having built-in Photoshop. The collection is highlighted by a pair of Blade Runner-esque glasses with a built-in digital camera, which can wirelessly transmit the viewers perspective.
UNDERCITY Urban Exploration Of New York City’s Underground | Video
While New Yorkers were struggling to navigate post-storm streets above ground, a duo of explorers was making their way through the secret underground spaces beneath the city, and they recorded it in a 27 minute video. The story was picked up by a number of major news outlets, and had many people waiting on subway platforms peeking down the tunnel with a bit more curiosity than usual. The video mixes spelunking, good old fashioned trespassing, and informal sociology on the people who live beneath the streets.