for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

Timberland launches The Boroughs Project

The Timberland Company have launched a community-building initiative called the Boroughs Project, where they hope to inspire people to express their neighbourhood through design. To kick off the scheme five artists representing the five boroughs of New York City have been hired to each produce a Timberland boot that reflects their passion for their community.  Keeping it close to home, the limited edition boots will only be available at selected New York retailers where they retail for roughly $150. The Queens, Manhattan and Bronx designs were launched last week, whilst the Staten Island and Brooklyn styles will launch on February 26.

“The Boroughs Project was created to help inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to express themselves through design. By partnering with local artists and designers we expect to really tap in to people’s passions for each of the boroughs.”

The designers for the five boroughs boots include:
* Jeff Ng, artist and founder of Staple Design, representing Manhattan
* The RZA, rap artist, producer and founding member of Wu-Tang Clan,
representing Staten Island
* Chris Mendoza, painter and line artist, representing the Bronx
* Atsuko Tanaka, world-renowned photographer, representing Queens
* David “Skwerm” Ellis, artist and film maker, representing Brooklyn

The next step for the project is to take it further afield, extending to other cities and communities throughout the year, and building their online design contest where consumers can express their community pride through any form of uploadable creativity, and rank the work of others.

“The whole premise of The Boroughs Project is to celebrate community and the spirit of self-expression…we’re excited to see how consumers nationwide express their passion for community, and also to see how their peers react. This new forum for self-expression will then evolve and grow over time.”

Interestingly this does not seem to be another company simply getting the consumer to do the designing for them within a competition framework (although they do plan to produce a limited run of boots from the winning entry which will be auctioned off to benefit a qualified non- profit organization of the winner’s choice), instead Timberland are cleverly involving community and creativity to help strengthen both the perception of the brand and their own understanding of the customer. And from the website it looks like a lot of people have already been keen to submit their creative interpretations and opinions.


check out the new website to see the Boroughs Project
via HipHopPress

Filed under: clever promotion, collaborative working,

ICA Launches All Tomorrow’s Pictures

As part of it’s 60th anniversary celebrations, the ICA have joined forces with Sony Ericsson to create ‘a vision of the future highlighting the creative potential of fusing art and technology’. 59 high-profile creatives from across the cultural spectrum have been asked to produce an image or series of images inspired by the theme of ‘Tomorrow’ using a cybershot Sony Ericsson K800i phone. The 60th space will be filled by a member of the public through a competition to be launched in February.

The resulting images will be produced in a hardback book, with the original prints being auctioned off at a charity event later this year to raise money for the future of the Institute. Already confirmed photographers include the Chapman Brothers, Bloc Party, Helena Christensen, Peter Blake, Alison Goldfrapp and Nathalie Press, a list of names that many an aspiring creative would love to join.

Ekow Eshun, Artistic Director of the ICA, commented: “The ICA has been championing new art, ideas and creativity since 1947 and as part of our 60th anniversary celebrations we are delighted to be collaborating with Sony Ericsson on this exciting project which will present a vision of tomorrow from 59 of the world’s leading and upcoming creative talent
and one member of the public. Each image will be as unique as the individuals. Ultimately the resulting collection will not only reflect a prescient vision of tomorrow but in doing so will also reveal a fascinating view of today.”

John Harber, MD Sony Ericsson UK & Ireland said: “”We are
constantly searching for tomorrow’s innovations that will make a better today. A today where people can express themselves with the ease, convenience and creativity that they desire and so we’re thrilled to be working with the ICA on this revolutionary project. “The Sony Ericsson K800i is one of the world’s most innovative and feature-rich imaging
phones, so our creative talent will be well equipped to successfully capture their visions of ‘Tomorrow’.”

read more at the ICA website – and look out for info on the competition
via Artdaily

Filed under: clever promotion, collaborative working

Trussardi’s Moving Showcase


The coolhunter has some great photos from Trussardi’s display at the Milan menswear shows last week. The company cleverly showcased its extensive leather goods collection alongside its clothing range through the use of a conveyor belt.

Filed under: clever promotion, Luxury

Burqinis- Innovative Muslim Swimwear

BurqiniThe Sydney Morning Herald highlights the work of Muslim fashion designer Aheda Zanetti who sells a different kind of swimwear from her Islamic Sport & Swimwear shop in Sydney. Known as the “burqini”, Zanetti’s two-piece full-length lycra suit is made up of trousers and a long- sleeved A-line top with hijab head-covering attached, creating an outfit that is loose-fitting enough to abide by Islamic law whilst being tight enough to allow ease of movement in the water.

Burqini2Through this new idea of mixing burqa and bikini, the burqini is enabling young Muslim women to participate more fully in the daily Australian way of life with its strong focus on watersports. The SMH also reports on a new 10-week training course run by Surf Life Saving Australia aimed at widening the racial mix on beaches through the addition of female Muslim lifeguards, which has so far seen 24 young Arab-Australians sign up. The article talks to one new attendee who directly credits the burqini for this chance.

“I am Australian so I always have the Australian life style, but now with the burqini it just allowed me to participate in it more.We used to always go to the beach, but now that I have the burqini I can actually swim.”

Already gaining popularity in the Middle East, Zanetti has been swamped with thousands of inquiries about her product from Europe the United States and Asia- look out for similar offerings near you soon.

Read the full article here

more on the burqini

Filed under: creative ideas

Social Retailing: “Is This Dress For Me?”

116mall6_413x550_1IconNicolson has a “social retailing” vision which means mashing up social computing and near-field communication technologies with youth shopping habits – to target young adult shoppers. As a part of this project, they have come up with an interactive mirror that sends a live video feed to any cell phone or e-mail account selected by a shopper. CNet reports:

A New York-based designer has come up with a mirror equipped with infrared technology that sends a live video feed to any cell phone, e-mail account or personal digital assistant device selected by a shopper.

Christopher Enright, chief technology officer for digital design company IconNicholson, said putting these mirrors outside store fitting rooms meant women could go shopping with their friends — remotely.

“She could be in Paris, your mom, watching you try on your wedding dress (while you are in New York),” Enright told Reuters on Tuesday as he unveiled the interactive mirror at a retail trade show.

Using the interactive mirror, a shopper’s friends can then text message back with comments about the outfit.

Filed under: mobile lifestyles, visions of the future

Dissolvable Clothing- Just Add Water!

The Daily Telegraph reports on the world’s first dissolvable dress, which they describe as the ultimate in disposable fashion. Created by two professors at the University of Sheffield; the award-winning designer Prof Helen Storey and leading chemist Prof Tony Ryan, the dress promotes new materials that can make consumer products less environmentally harmful.

‘The fabric is knitted from a clear polymer – polyvinyl alcohol – of the kind used in sachets that release detergent in washing machines. The dresses will dissolve and turn into a form that can be recycled as a bottle. However, they break down so slowly that they can survive a sweaty party.

“The dresses Helen has created are a metaphor for the
beautiful things we create and use but never really think about and just throw away,” said Prof Ryan.

“In your lifetime you throw away around 20 tons of packaging material. We want people to think about that. But it has made us think more seriously about science, too.” ‘


An exhibition focussed around the current throwaway society will be staged in Sheffield this autumn, backed by the Government’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. During this, the dresses will be put to the test publicly- eight of them will be lowered into a giant goldfish bowl where they will disappear before your very eyes!

The dresses are decorated with cleverly designed flowers that slowly give off a dye when they dissolve, making them move around like sea anemones in the huge goldfish bowl.

“Each dress will behave differently,” said Professor Storey. “These flowers will chase each other around the bowl in a biological way.” The dyes set up massive differences in surface tension – the forces that make the water’s “skin”.

As a result, there will be “something extraordinary” to see in the giant bowls “as the dresses dissolve, chemically react and explode as they are lowered deeper into the bowls – and will no longer exist when the exhibition closes”.

An amazing idea- although with the current climate in the UK probably not the safest option for a night out. It’s almost worth travelling all the way to Sheffield for- I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for future updates.

Filed under: creative ideas, products with a purpose,

Japanese Love Hotels

love hotels

The Morning News has some great photographs of the Japanese phenomenon for wild and creatively decorated love hotels. From Hello Kitty S&M to Gullivers Travels, the 30,000 to 40,000 love hotels in Japan are full of creatively themed rooms that also offer hotel-style extras including video game consoles and big screen TV’s, karaoke machines, and DVD libraries. High-tech automated payment machines reduce the embarresment of human contact, and free gifts are offered as incentives to return. It’s amazing to see how the Japanese manage to incorporate good design and clever technology into every aspect of their lives.

Unlike the dank motels where Americans allegedly seek anonymous sex,
Japan’s love hotels are playful and unapologetically sexual.
Photographer Misty Keasler shows the humor, desire, and even the
loneliness of these empty rooms.
Her first monograph, Love Hotels, from Chronicle Books will be followed by a show of the same title at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Jenkins Johnson Gallery New York


via archinect

Filed under: creative ideas, entertainment,

104 Art Suites





104 Art Suites is Bogota’s first ‘hotel-boutique’, offering rooms uniquely decorated by a group of young Colombian artists. Under the direction of architect Alejandro Castaño Converse, each of the hotel’s suites has been designed by a different artist, encompassing the realms of painting, photography, and graffiti. The transformation is aimed at encouraging visitors to experience the enjoyment of living with art.

via lostateminor

Filed under: arts & culture,

ItaliaIndependent- the New Italian Luxury

The Herald Tribune reports on the new luxury vision from Lapo Elkann, heir to the Fiat empire.  Launched last week to coincide with the start of the menswear season and Pitti Uomo trade show, is a project aiming to reinstate the power of Italian luxury, by offering products that are 100% conceived, developed and produced in Italy.

Citing Italianity as one of the brand main values, the company is reinterpreting and updating the prestige already associated with the ‘Made in Italy’ label, to create what they call “personal belongings- not accessories”.

“Italia Independent’s claim is Made in Italy 2.0. Just like the new internet wave 2.0, I-I intends to upgrade the concept of Made in Italy replacing status symbols with “me unique symbols” and adding innovation to tradition.”

The first ‘personal belonging’ offered is Sever, a pair of handcrafted sunglasses made entirely of carbon fibre that can be personalised through choices online. Chosen not only for the high quality design, according to the website “The initials of Italia Independent (I-I) in English sound “eye-eye”. The sunglasses have been chosen to be the first personal belonging because they symbolically represent Italia Independent’s brand vision”.

All I-I products will be sold mainly online through, although the company also plans collaborative sales events with some of the top global fashion stores including Luisa Via Roma in Florence, Corso Como 10 in Milan, L’Eclaireur in Paris, Verso in Antwerp, and Podium in Moscow.

Filed under: Luxury

Elixir- The Answer to Ageing?

Announced today: the launch of the world’s first glossy magazine devoted to anti-ageing and rejuvenation! Elixir will go on sale on Februaury 16th, full of information on the hot new anti-ageing products and services available globally.

The magazine will cover an array of topics including nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, fitness, cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dentistry, spas and medical anti-ageing and rejuvenation therapies, as well as including a column on opportunities to invest in global stocks in the sector such as Allergen (Botox) and Pfizer (Viagra). With the anti-ageing market growing at an astounding pace and new products and services being launched weekly, Elixir targets its content towards a 30+ audience of affluent women and men who are keen to defy the laws of nature. It’s a worrying trend but it seems that growing old naturally is so last year.

via sourcewire

Filed under: Uncategorized