wellness

Everything Japan: J-Wellness, Terahaku, Yasuko Takahashi and more



David Bowie and stylist Yasuko Takahashi

With the Tokyo Olympics happening this summer, the spotlight is firmly on Japan.

For starters, I’m looking forward to the V&A’s Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition, which opens on 29th February. With its vast archives, this is the kind of exhibition the V&A does really well, time travelling from rare 17th and 18th century kimono to contemporary streetwear via Kawakubo and Galliano – that’s got be good!

Meanwhile, Sunspel is also feeling the Japan love this spring, collaborating with three contemporary Japanese brands – 45R, N.Hoolywood and Beams – on a capsule collection of men’s and womenswear. I like this 45R interpretation of the Sunspel Sun and Cloud logo, using an indigo dye cloud placement on a white cotton tee (below). All products will be available in Sunspel* shops and online from 7th March. (more…)



All is calm



Niyya prayer mat and meditation blanket

How early is too early for the cliché ‘New Year, New You’ post?

In 2019 I surprised myself by getting with the meditation programme, but doing it totally at my own pace. And in truth, it’s meditation-lite; I use my Muse headband and app (yep, still using them) and fit it in 5-10 minute slots around whatever else I’m doing.

I supplement this with a relaxation download by Albert Smith that I love. This isn’t meditation, it’s more akin to having a fifteen minute nap, but it serves the purpose of clearing my head if I’ve had a hectic day, or prepping me for stress-inducing situations. For interviews, meetings, public speaking and the like, Albert’s my secret weapon. (Years ago, when I had the cassette version, this was also a life-saving pain management tool.)

In 2020, I want to try and meditate more and make it part of a regular routine. I know it shouldn’t be about ‘stuff’, but I’m flawed and can’t resist a prop or two. I love the look of these Niyya multi-functional prayer mats by Brooklyn designer Myhra Mizra (more…)



At Asystem, ‘betterment’ is wellness for the macho guy



Asystem wellness and betterment brand for men

Dear men, the wellness industry is coming for you. And it has a macho-er (read: competitive) name – ‘betterment’. For this you can thank Oli Walsh the founder of the influential Wednesday creative agency, and Josh LeVine of Frame denim, who together have just launched Asystem.

Asystem aims to make it ‘as easy as possible for men to feel, look and perform at their best’, with an initial capsule subscription skincare and ingestibles line. The skincare consists of a Clinique-esque cleanser, moisturiser and “rebuilding” cream (for $45 a month), and the energy, stamina and focus-boosting ingestibles cost $75 a month. Or you can get the combined ‘Total Body System’ for $99 a month.

Asystem wellness and betterment brand for men

With its accompanying nutrition, mind and body blog, and a coffee table book celebrating aspirational tastemakers, it certainly seems to tick all the zeitgeist boxes for the 21st century self-improvement guy. Oh and for the full goopification-for-guys monty, there’s the BeachHouse event ‘space’ for meet-ups and mind-body lectures.

Asystem wellness and betterment brand for men

It all sounds a bit colour-by-numbers, but the founders have form – and major industry clout. If their combined network of friends and influencers in high places helps spread the word, they have a ready-made head start in the game. It just remains for the products to, well, perform…

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Asystem
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Beauty bits: John Bell & Croyden



John Bell and Croyden beauty ION sei toothbrush

I’ve spent the last month in a wellness bubble, reading up on the apparently $8 billion industry. Like most people, I had zero interest in mindfulness, self-care and sheet masking rituals five years ago, yet here I am, as obsessed with meditation apps and rose quartz rollers as the next person. I wonder what came first – our anxiety-ridden culture or the industry that told us we need CBD facials and sound baths to stay sane?

I don’t have the answer, but my weakness is anything ritualistic that promises to counter the pressures of digital overstimulation and my not-done to-do list. (more…)