Freshness Week In Review: 2/27/2011 3/06/2011

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The focus this week depends a bit on perspective; there were a number of notable announcements, spanning a number of themes. For the Cult of Mac, the biggest event this week was obviously Tuesday's unveiling of the iPad 2, by Steve Jobs, who came off a leave of medical absence from Apple to emcee the event. For fans of Nike geekdom, the week's top story was the announcement that an old rusted waffle iron was found. Which happened to be the very same waffle iron that Bill Bowerman used decades ago to create the iconic Waffle Racer sole, which defined Nike running shoes for decades. On a more contemporary note, Nike also released the second installment in the collaboration with Roots drummer Ahmir Thompson, better known as ?uestlove; fanfare included an launch event at 21 Mercer with music by ?uestlove himself. Nigo, who has been front and center in the news for weeks after the much-publicized firesale of BAPE, was back in the news, with an interview conducted by BEAMS, focusing on Nigo's efforts to keep moving forward with the HUMAN MADE project. Fellow Japanese designer Hiroki Nakamura deserves a mention this week as well, with the release of the Spring/Summer women's collection from visvim, in which the native theme is very strong, but not cliche. There were a few notable art stories this week too: KAWS stealing the show at Armory Week 2011 in New York, and the 2011 Ted Prize being awarded to street artist JR. With the Geneva Motor Show in full swing, it's hard to not take notice of at least a few of the over-the-top cars; two of our favorites were the BRABUS Biturbo 700 and the new model from Lamborghini. Fans of Supreme who don't live in LA or NYC - and who don't want to pay the exorbitant eBay markup - got their chance at the Spring/Summer 2011 line when the webstore opened this week. Jeremy Scott, another name much in the news lately, got more Freshness coverage this week as the lookbook for his Spring/Summer 2011 collection for adidas Originals. And finally, Lady Gaga released a new video this week; it's as insane as anything the artist has released to date, which is to say, quite insane. For the complete recap of the week, check out all of these stories in detail after a jump.Nike Holy Grail Bowerman Family Unveils Long Lost Waffle Iron

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From Oregon this week comes a relic of massive importance to The Swoosh. Melissa Bowerman, daughter of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, stumbled across an decades-old hunk of rusted metal. Which would be absolutely worthless, if it wasn't the very waffle iron that Bill Bowerman used to create the very first "waffle sole" that became a fundamental building block of Nike running shoes for the next few decades. Bill Bowerman, who passed away in 1999, would have been 100 years old this past Wednesday, so the unveiling of the original waffle iron on Monday was a timely reminder of his contribution to Nike, but also to sports and sports culture. Nike, of course, has the waffle iron on display at the beautiful Beaverton, Oregon, campus. The full story is available at The Oregonian.

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?uestlove x Nike Dunk High Pack

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That ?uestlove is a multi-talented individual, no one would question. The Roots drummer is recognized as a master musician, in hip hop and far beyond. Less well known in the mainstream - but well known by sneakerheads - is the ?uestlove's appreciation for sneaker culture, and eye for sneaker design. 3 years ago, ?uestlove created a major hit with the Air Questo, a shoe which combined amazing materials, colors, and patterns into one of that year's greatest Nike sneakers. Now, three years later, ?uestlove has found the time to inspire another collection of Nikes. This time around, the musician chose the Dunk as his canvas, and while it's color scheme is more reserved than the Questo, it's undeniably a very unique shoe, well conceived and well executed. Drawing on the world class musical chops of the designer, the release party at 21 Mercer, which was held this past Friday, featured music by ?uestlove himself.

>>Questlove x Nike Dunk High Pack | Release Info>>Nike Sportswear 21 Mercer ?uestlove x Nike Dunk High Pack Launch Event

----Apple iPad 2 Announced

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The tablet wars are heating up, and Apple has a strong contender in the iPad 2. This Tuesday, Steve Jobs temporarily came off a leave of medical absence from Apple to oversee the even. Jobs cut a fairly familiar figure on stage; possibly a bit thinner, but clad in the trademark outfit. This week's iPad event was certainly a major event in technology, but the iPad 2 is no longer the only well-designed, powerful tablet computer that the original was. The focus quickly turned to comparisons between the iPad 2 and competitors, notably Motorola's Xoom, and the HP Touchpad. While the jury is still out, and each has it's pros and cons, Apple has an eye on corporate profits: it's already got a very well designed case for the iPad 2, clearly aimed at preempting the myriad 3rd party accessory manufacturers. With some predicting that the adoption rate of portable tablet computers will exceed that of cellphones and smartphones in coming years, by both business users and personal users alike, the real-world performance of the iPad 2 is destined to have major implications on corporate fortunes.

>>Apple iPad 2 Announced>>Apple iPad 2 Announcement Event | Video>>Apple iPad 2 How Does The iPad 2 Compare To The Tablet Competition?>>Apple iPad 2 Smart Covers

----BEAMS Interview with NIGO

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Just as Steve Jobs is the masthead of a design-driven movement, Nigo is arguably the face of another distinct culture. It's been a rough year for the Bape General so far - we've covered his tribulations in detail. At least in the short term, though, Tamoako Nigao is proving his resilience by staying busy with work. Nigo describes some of that work in an exclusive interview with BEAMS, in which he discusses the HUMAN MADE line, his inspirations, and his personal history with BEAMS. It's not hard to feel a bit of empathy for Nigo; while the full-zip Shark hoodie is groan-inducing, the man behind the movement has been a nearly constant presence in streetwear culture for nearly 15 years. For fans and observers, it's good to see this larger than life character not unraveling under the pressure - here's to hoping Nigo keeps it up.

>>BEAMS Interview with NIGO ----visvim Womens Spring/Summer 2011 Collection

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Hiroki Nakamura in known for, among other things, a savant-like knowledge and understanding of fabrics and textiles. In the Spring/Summer women's line from visvim, Hiroki gets a perfect opportunity to indulge his love of fabrics. Statement pieces include the collection of capes, in Navajo-inspired prints, and a striking version of the FTB with studded edges. The collection is rounded out by a number of casual canvas shoes, perfect for Spring. Hiroki is hosting a launch event on March 16th, at On Pedder in Hong Kong.

>>visvim Womens Spring/Summer 2011 Collection ----Armory Week 2011 KAWS @ Honor Fraser

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After Art Basel, Armory Week is the most significant contemporary art event on the blue chip art world's calendar. The show, which runs until March 6, features a number of street art darlings, including Ryan McGiness and Jose Parla; the focus, however, is pretty squarely on Brian Donnelly, aka KAWS. Donnelly is currently riding a wave of success: relatively highbrow art like his Aldrich shows and his collaboration with Robert Lazzarini, and lowbrow art like the BAPE x Dissected Companion, which is currently the hottest item in urban vinyl not to mention the well-received Spring/Summer 2011 collection from the KAWS-inspired Original Fake label, and the release of the KAWS book by Rizzoli. At the Armory 2011 show, KAWS (represented by Honor Fraser the gallerista who has been a longtime supporter) created an installation largely themed by a series of round canvases featuring snippets of both abstract and Sponge Bob-inspired painted forms. The painting follows the theme of more recent KAWS work, with one notable development being the juxtaposition of the more colorful cartoon-like characters against a black background. In addition to the work on canvas, the KAWS space featured the 11 foot Accomplice character first seen at his 2010 show at the Aldrich Museum.

>>Armory Week 2011 KAWS @ Honor Fraser

----INSIDE OUT Global Participatory Art Project By JR & TED Prize | Video

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This week, the French street artist known as JR was awarded the 2011 TED Prize. While street art is not unheard of at TED, it is quite remarkable that the organization - arguably the most vibrant and comprehensive intellectual project in existence - has bestowed the honor on an street artist. The body of work JR has most recently created is a series of large scale illegal exhibitions, created on location in some of the globe's most marginalized locations. His pieces have appeared in the poorest South African townships, and in the roughest Rio favelas. In conjunction with winning the 2011 TED Prize, JR announced a global participatory project in which partipants can upload their own photography, and receive a poster which they can paste up in public in their own city. You can join JR's mission at INSIDE OUT PROJECT.

>>INSIDE OUT Global Participatory Art Project By JR & TED Prize | Video

----Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Successor Of Lamborghini Murciélago

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This week brought a new installation from Lamborghini: the Aventador. The Murciélago replacement clearly follows the trajectory set by the Reventon, with its sinister angularity. But it also somehow seems to shatter even the bombastic precedents that Lamborghini is known to set. Unveiled at this year's Geneva Motor Show and in some ways a show-stealer the Aventador is at the zenith of super sports car evolution. In addition to unveiling the vehicle itself, Lamborghini also launched a microsite which allows fans to configure the car. If humanity has any sense of self preservation, fossil fuel-burning internal combustion engines will become anachronisms sooner rather than later. But for the time being, the Aventador represents by most metrics a remarkable achievement in automobile design.

>>Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Successor Of Lamborghini Murciélago>>Lamborghini Aventador Configurator ----BRABUS 700 Biturbo Based On Mercedes SLS AMG

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Supercar fans who find the Aventador too angular or gaudy might find the BRABUS 700 Biturbo more their speed. Also at this year's Geneva Motor Show, tuning specialist BRABUS showcased the 700 Biturbo, based on the Mercedes AMG SLS. To the already aggressive AMG SLS (which itself contains a 6.2-liter V8), BRABUS added 2 turbochargers; for optimal efficiency, BRABUS designed the left turbo to be left turning (instead of the standard right turning turbo). This increases air flow to both turbos, and boost the original output of 563 horsepower to a massive 700 and the original 479 pound-feet of torque to a gut wrenching 626 pound-feet. Brabus also overhauled the interior, trunk, and titanium exhaust with an eye on the scale; the reduce weight car now clocks the 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds, and boasts a top speed of 213 mph.

>>BRABUS 700 Biturbo Based On Mercedes SLS AMG

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Supreme Spring/Summer 2011 Collection | Available Online

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While the actual release of the Spring/Summer 2011 collection from Supreme was last week, the highly anticipated opening of the webstore happened this past Thursday. After fans in NYC and LA grabbed the must-haves in person, the rest of country got their chance. It's become something of an internet ritual at this point: the online store opens at roughly 11:00 AM EST (it was actually closer to 10:30 this year), and shoppers are definitely ready. The online stock can be seen diminishing in real time; the KAWS collaboration items were sold out within the hour. Other quick sellers were the the Football Jersey and the 5-panel camp hats, both perennial favorites. Supreme's website faced the challenge admirably, and despite what was surely overwhelming traffic, maintained 100% uptime. One minor hiccup was with shipping though: the server was apparently unable to calculate shipping costs for a majority of orders; customers were contacted by Supreme via email, and were required to visit the webstore again to enter credit card info to cover shipping costs.

>>Supreme Spring/Summer 2011 Collection | Available Online

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adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott Spring/Summer 2011 Women's Collection Lookbook

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While one designer turned heads (and got fired) for a racist rant this week, Jeremy Scott generated controversy strictly with his clothing design, with another collection of adidas Originals women's clothing released this week. In actuality, while Scott's signature designs are nowhere near boring, a certain level of playful insanity is at least expected. The Spring/Summer collection includes a few design cues familiar to fans of past collections: pieces covered in oversized buttons, sheer fabrics, leather, reworked tracksuit pants, and of course, bears. A solid body of work from Scott, some pieces in this latest collection are among the most wearable Scott has created to date on behalf of adidas Originals.

>>adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott Spring/Summer 2011 Women's Collection Lookbook

----Lady Gaga "Born This Way" | Music Video

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And to close things out, a bit of fluff: a new video from Lady Gaga this week. Gaga videos have a high bar to live up to - the artist has virtually set a new standard in the the genre. This latest work sticks to the standard Gaga theme of dystopian alternate reality, and incorporates a B-movie grade Sci Fi intro (which runs nearly half the length of the video). Whether you're a fan or not, it's certainly a notable video for the production work; the set was designed by stylish set was done by noted designer Nicola Formichetti, (who currently holds the title of Creative Director at Mugler), with choreography by Laurieann Gibson, a longtime member of the Gaga collective. All documented on the darkly lit studio of Nick Knight, the noted director at SHOWstudio.

>>Lady Gaga "Born This Way" | Music Video