Category Archives: Accessories

Digital Downtown

Digital Downtown

New York held its new annual Digital Downtown, a consumer technology showcase at the World Financial Center Winter Garden this past weekend.  It featured the latest innovative trends on consumer electronics, from high definition televisions, mobile devices, audio, to energy saving and gaming devices.

Flat screen HDTV’s dominated the majority of the atrium with the new ultra thin 1.5 inch Hitachi standing out. The images were so clear, consumers stood for minutes admiring the image quality.  But, Roland, the world’s leading manufacturer of electronic musical instruments had the most amazing demonstrations of what the future brings.  One demonstration that stood out is known as “the parent’s dream” the silent drum set made of rubber, is attached to headphones that allow each hit, tap, snare to be translated to the original instrumental sound.  Another demonstration that stood out was the double keyboard with a microphone attachment that allowed you to sing into the microphone out of tune as it translates your tone perfectly into pitch. The instrument allowed the demonstrator to sing orchestral back up to Mariah Carey’s a cappella. With this new product soon to be in consumer hands, can anyone be the next Mariah Carey?

Technology is redefining our future and the way we communicate. New York, now being apart of the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) can now spread the innovative developments through its global entertainment and media.  HANNA

Digital Downtown

Dior and Everybody

Dior and Everybody

Dior’s new line of luxury will be put to the test when they follow along with Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Prada, in fusing the ubiquitous cell phone with an exclusive luxury brand.

Does a newly diamond-studded alligator casing capture the idea of luxury? Cell phones are a mainstream item that everyone owns. Whether or not it is encased in diamonds or uses alligator skin, they all have the same functionality.

Dior will maintain exclusivity by selling the cell phones at a higher price than its competitors. The company expects the phones to sell best in brand hungry Russia and China. The starting price is $5,100, priced to rival Nokia’s Vertu phone.

Dior is expecting to sell between 30,000 to 60,000 units within the next year; however, competing designer luxury brands sold around 500,000 units. We found that many thought the Dior design resembles floor tiles.

There is a new market being created, one very similar to the high-end industry of sunglasses and handbags. Which ubiquitous item will be next in-line for a brand upgrade. HANNA

Design is King at The Gap

After years of trying to boost sales through celebrity endorsements and gimmicks, The Gap is returning to its roots; quality classic American design. Yes, Design will once again reign as king. Fashion Designer, Patrick Robinson, the former designer for Paco Rabanne and Giorgio Armani will join the company as executive vice president of design for Gap Adult and gapbody. Mr. Robinson, 40, will oversee all elements of design for Gap women’s and men’s apparel, accessories and intimates lines in North America. The Gap suffers from new competition. Specifically, the growing list of luxury brands selling at low price-points through diffusion fashion lines. The Gap has also been challenged by fast-fashion giants such as Zara and H&M. And after the launch of Old Navy, there was confusion among customers about The Gap brand. Most chose Old Navy for its lower prices. At Design Futurist, we believe the opportunity for great American classics is now. Affordable stylish basics are missing in today’s market. And retailers with large distribution, such as J Crew have capitalized on the opportunity. Most other mainstream retailers are competing in a fickle trend and celebrity driven space, where customers come and go flippantly. Statistics show, brand loyalty is low among customers that choose products based on endorsements. Customers that choose based on value, design and in-store experience stick around. Cheers to a bright future, may good design mean good business. NATALIA

GenArt Genisis

In Greek, Ninaki means something small or precious. It is fitting that Ninaki Priddy would be destined to design jewelry.

Jewelry design was not the original plan, she started out as a biology major (many great designers start off in science). This proved to be the main inspiration for her first collection.

An LA based jewelry designer of Mexican-American heritage, Ninaki is also a sculptor and architect. Her organic forms are captured from still frames of movements, put together to create fluidity in form. The bold collection morphs into continuous whimsical shapes with touches of natural elements.

Recently, she won the accessory design competition for the GenArt Styles International Design Competition. We think this is a first of many to come.

This year, Ninaki plans to expand her line to include necklaces, earrings, ear-cuffs and hair-pins. Yes, custom ear-cuffs, her unique take on modern ornament.

New jewelry design for a new generation of women. NATALIA

Lights on LD Tuttle

LD Tuttle
Tiffany Tuttle, a California native, founded LD Tuttle in 2005. A shoe and handbag designer, Tiffany Tuttle has managed to take classic favorites and bring about a sexy twist to create a contemporary rock ‘n’ roll flare. Her Spring/Summer line for 2008 takes on metallic and layers it with matted tonal colors, juxtaposed with colors like poppy red and yellow. Tiffany Tuttle’s collection of flats and heels uses elements of architecture with geometrical shapes. Her subtle details of lace, belted straps, and zippers closures at the heel add feminine detail and definition.

Her Fall/Winter line for 2008 takes on dark greys and blacks. Snow white, olive, fuchsia and metallic is added to the line to help break up the monochromatic color scheme. Her collection of boots has created a softer elegance of the male counterpoint. Her leather boots tightly wrap around the legs and when unbuckled or unzipped the boot gently drapes down.

Tiffany Tuttle places great emphasis on recognizable pieces that she brings about through her creative elements – cut outs, contrasting textures, and subtle detail. Her designs are being sold internationally and online. (http://www.ldtuttle.com/home.html). HANNA

Iconique Societas Awards

Launched in 2007 by Joost van Gorsel, publisher of Iconique.com and Melissa Sterry, CEO of Societás – the ‘Iconique Societás Excellence in Fashion Awards’ bring the global spotlight to the best emerging and most influential talent working in the genres of fashion photography and fashion illustration.

The awards jury for 2008 has just been announced and includes acclaimed Dutch photographer Ari Versluis, maverick fashion designer Arkadius, Brit milliner Louis Mariette – dubbed one of the 250 most influential creatives in the world by I-D Magazine, award-winning New York designer NATALIA ALLEN, owner of the UK’s much acclaimed ‘The Illustration Gallery’ – Oliver Jelf, McCann Group’s Head of Innovation Justin Champney, Vice President of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada – Rod Roodenburg, top stylist and regular contributer to Italian Vogue Michael Dye, as well as awards founders Joost and Melissa.

Last year’s awards gained global coverage and entries from fashion creatives in the UK, EU, US, Asia and beyond. Iconique and Societás plan to extend the award categories yet further in 2009 – to embrace the full spectrum of the fashion visual arts.

Entry details for the 2008 awards will be announced soon, so watch this space and Iconique.com and Societas.tv for more information.

Organic, Eco and Affordable

Organic, Eco and Affordable

Increasingly, mass-market fashion designers are creating eco-friendly products. The rising demand for GREEN has encouraged brands such as: Levi Strauss, Quiksilver and The Gap to provide organically grown and eco-friendly products at a competitive price point.

GREEN garments are being made from exotic materials such as: corn, wood pulp, recycled plastic, byproducts of soybean oil, seaweed, organically grown bamboo and cotton.

Sportswear brand, Patagonia produced the popular “Synchilla Marsupial”, a polyester fleece made from 85% recycled soda bottles and unusable second-quality fabrics.

Wellman Inc, a U.S. company, produces these fibers from recycled products (FRPG) and packaging products (PPG). Their efforts keep 3 billion plastic (PET – polyethylene terephthalate) bottles out of landfills each year (bottled water will become a trend of the past).

Kate O’Connor, a designer known for her fluid lines enjoys the soft hand of silk and other luxurious fabrics. She found a less expensive alternative to silk in bamboo.Bamboo fiber is completely biodegradable and is the fastest growing wood plant farmed. Bamboo fabrics absorb moisture well and help keep you cool. Bamboo is also anti-bacterial, making it useful for producing next-to-skin garments. With all its benefits bamboo is controversial because many bamboo fabrics do not last as long as cotton fabrics.

The fashion and textile industries are in the early stages of exploring and innovating GREEN materials, that said, the future is a go. NATALIA