The DRG Style Index: Gentle Monster X Huawei, Patagonia, The Face, Lululemon and more
Here’s the latest DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands and industry stories currently buzzing on my radar…
GENTLE MONSTER X HUAWEI WEARABLES
Just when you thought ‘wearables’ had died a death, up pops a new slew of tech-cessories. This time they hinge on audio-enabled eyewear, rather than screen-centric devices. Example: Bose’s Bluetooth-enabled audio sunglasses, which contain a microphone and speakers to cut down on screen time. And Gentle Monster’s collab with Huawei (above), which does the same thing. Integrated microphones and speakers use Bluetooth tech to let you activate your voice assistant or answer calls by touching the eyewear frames. And crucially, these smart glasses actually look good. Gentle Monster is a Korean brand, so expect sleek, fashion-forward eyewear that’s a million miles from Google Glass.
WHY A PATAGONIA FLEECE IS THE ULTIMATE STATUS SYMBOL
Could normcore staple Patagonia get any cooler? It just did. The OG eco-fashion warrior and favourite outfitter of Silicon Valley ‘tech bros’ has decided that it will be a bit fussier about who it provides its famous fleece gilets (aka ‘vests’) to in the future. Long story short, Patagonia is a staple for banks and tech companies who want their corporate logo on some easy merch. But Patagonia has shifted its co-branding strategy to entertain only those brands that support communities or causes that align with its own. Touché! The upshot is that brands that pass muster can bask in the do-good glow of Patagonia, as well as the knowledge that these fleeces aren’t that easy to come by. It’s a kind of accidentally exclusive status symbol for the anti-fashion brigade.
THE FACE MAGAZINE RETURNS
The Face magazine is back from the dead. First reported last year, the 80s-to-noughties style bible is coming back as an Instagram account, an online publication and later, a print quarterly. My old clubbing mate Dan Flower is at the helm as MD, along with an impressive masthead of boldface media names. Is there a sufficient gap in the market for more content in the fashion-culture space though? I hope so…
LULULEMON IS MOVING INTO YOUR BATHROOM CABINET
Lululemon is launching self-care and weirdly, I’m here for it. I’m anti hype-y things usually, so I never joined the yoga pant cult, but having seen the first teaser of products (landing late spring), I’m into its simplicity. The deodorant, moisturiser, dry shampoo and ‘basic balm’ come in red-and-white unisex branding that has a slightly militaristic, functional appeal. But still it makes me think, come on Nike Beauty, where you at?
IN OTHER NEWS…
Here’s a very real insight into what life is really like as an independent designer. I bet there are way more businesses and individuals operating like this than we could ever imagine because, as Thomas Tait (a designer I’ve always rated) says, the truth is ‘just not fun and sexy’…
The Guardian has a long read on the future of influencer marketing. It’s slightly unsatisfying as I don’t think it’s questioning enough (there are lots of contradictions), but it’s a good look under the hood in terms of where the industry is at the moment. (Spoiler: there’s lots of talk of ‘authenticity’ – yawn.)
Podcasts I’ve loved: Glossy + Uma Oils founder Shrankla Holecek; Lumi + Leanluxe founder Paul Munford; the Clash Spotify podcast episode 6 on Sandinista, my fave Clash album
I’m looking forward to this talk tomorrow, with publishing veteran Ian Birch (Melody Maker, Smash Hits, Hearst) and the guys from Hymag, the world’s biggest magazine archive
This is what it’s like inside the New York Times printing plant in College Point, Queens. Courtesy of ace photographer Christopher Payne
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Gentle Monster, Anthony Lee, The Face, Lululemon
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