Category Archives: Cyber Space

The Wonder Block

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After being homesick for New York’s small-scale boutiques among San Francisco’s downtown skyscrapers, Scott Lee conceptualized Wunderbloc.com, a website that allows viewers to discover, browse, and review the myriad of New York boutiques by neighborhood. With this website, Lee gives boutiques a uniform platform to represent themselves—to announce store news, display products, and receive consumer feedback. Furthermore, Wunderbloc offers an opportunity for the privately owned boutiques to collectivize and organize community events with one another and others within their area, creating a personal feel and space. Lee gives the boutiques an opportunity to counter the Internet marketing campaigns of chain stores. Because the website organizes by neighborhood, the boutiques have a community feel, resonating with the indie ideals of localism. More than just a list of individual stores, each boutique is a personality, an attribute to the distinct areas of New York. With pictures of storefronts and neighborhood landmarks, the website catalogues the different areas of the city through fashion. Moreover, the snapshots of random streetwalkers (examples featured above) of each neighborhood, labeled fashionistas, give a distinctly human picture of NoLita, SoHo, UWS, etc. The website showcases fashion in a unique way, as an exhibition of authentic lifestyles and communities defined by creatively dressed pedestrians, famed neighborhood blocks, and most importantly small-scale, local boutiques. All in all, Wunderbloc is a counter to the pre-packaged, singular and generic fashion chains across the country. YAO

Innovative Sight, Visionary Design

The Next-Generation Sunglasses, DigInfo

Imagine watching television or your desktop in the lens of your glasses while walking around. Citizen Technology Center recently introduced a prototype of their new LCD sunglasses. The design of the sunglasses uses plastic film to interpose liquid crystals on the lens portion where glass is normally used. This drastically reduces the weight of the glasses along with the width of the lens to under 400um. Touch sensors on the side of the glasses allow the wearer to change the tint of the lens. Although there are some kinks in need of review, these new glasses will definitely released with high expectations. NATALIA

Closed Circle, Open Square

Kingly Club

The future of television is online. Increasingly, audiences are viewing programs from their computer and mobile phones. SQUAR.RE TV (www.squa.re) has plans to launch an Internet platform starring life in luxury. SQUA.RE is the luxury-oriented TV & social networking site for people “showcasing their glamorous lifestyles” all around the world. SQUA.RE will mix user-generated and professionally produced content, to showcase unique and new lifestyle trends and allow you to program your very own TV channel. Not the first to make this venture, SQUA.RE will join LX TV (formerly Code TV) and Conde Nast to capture online viewers interested in exclusive lifestyles and brands. NATALIA

Couture Super-Site

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Rest assured, the fashion super-site of the future has arrived. Couture Lab (www.couturelab.com) founder Venezuelan-born Carmen Busquets has curated an e-commerce website of luxurious fashion and accessories for men and woman with taste. Each item was selected for its unique craftsmanship, beauty and design. Balancing the fine line of accessibility and exclusivity, Couture Lab sells products in limited quality. Furthermore, some items are available by invitation only. Invited members have the privilege of shopping the entire innovative collection. Not dependent on celebrity endorsement or fleeting trends, Couture lab is a refreshing experience here to stay. NATALIA


Designer Wellness by Donna Karan

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Fashion designer and founder of Donna Karan-LVMH; Donna Karan, has launched a new platform for wellness. Inspired by the passing of her husband and lack of balance in healthcare options while he was sick, Urban Zen (www.urbanzen.org) fuses rigorous Western science and Eastern traditional medicine to design a new approach to healing. The platform hosted an event in May that brought together businessmen, designers, healers and doctors to explore the new cultural intersection. Plans for a global event are in the works. Donna Karan continues to be a champion of techno-craft, the Dali Lama and innovative design. In full disclosure, I was a design advisor to the team at Donna Karan on the development of fashions future. NATALIA


The Business of Beautiful Bags

While keeping pace with the hectic schedule of London Fashion Week and The London Design Festival, I hurried into a myriad of shops. Compelled by the sharp window displays, warm atmosphere and level of taste, one shop left a keen impression. As a creative and professional, it is very difficult to find laptop bags that marry grace and functionality. For me, a level of protection, sophistication and cool factor is required. While Tumi is producing interesting technical bags, they are a bit bulky and lack a sex appeal. Alternatively, most women’s designer handbags do not have sufficient protection or the appropriate sizing. As the workingwomen whisks from site-to-site, what can she use to carry her documents, computer and necessities? I vote Bill Amberg. NATALIA

Luxury Retailer, Ebay?

EBay, currently the world’s largest online retailer according to Nielsen/Net Ratings, sells and auctions everything from German lawn tools to signature Hermes bags. The online auctioneer has become a household name with few signs of slowing. Along the way high-end designers believed EBay was no competition for their lavish brick-and-mortars. Billions of dollars later, there is reason for concern. In one month, EBay generated 3 million in sales that included designer handbags from Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, also new high-end shoes, jewelry, apparel and footwear at a deep discount. Increasingly, customers are looking to EBay for designer deals. Luxury brands thrive on a balance of exclusivity and sales. In addition to counterfeit and knock-offs, luxury brands now need to navigate the tempting lure of addictive online auctions. NATALIA