Porsche Design x Huawei breathe a new life into smartphone Aesthetics


I’ve been rather verbose in my appreciation of Huawei’s experimentation with smartphone aesthetics. First came the stunning metallic gradients, then came the Mate 20, with its unique square shaped 3-lens-plus-flash arrangement, and a metallic gradient that was even richer than before. Porsche Design put a spin on this particular model in Huawei’s line-up, and the Mate 20 RS was born.

The Mate 20 RS is worth talking about because it’s no secret that smartphones are looking almost eerily similar nowadays. An industry that once prided itself in some wildly designed phones that went on to become icons of their times (the Moto Razr and Nokia N.Gage come to mind) is now filled with an eerily similar suspect line-up of phones, where the user literally spends hours trying to tell apart phones and sort the good from the bad. In getting Porsche Design on board, Huawei doesn’t just push the envelope, it also shows that smartphone companies should, once in a while, look outside their hardware design teams to work on aesthetics and detailing (take Philippe Starck’s Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 for instance). Porsche Design’s reinterpretation of the Huawei Mate 20 RS involves a leather and glass construction. With leather on two sides, you’ve got a phone that is great to grip and doesn’t slip easily off your palms. The glass strip running across the center forms a canvas for reflections and highlights to give the phone its mirror-finish appeal. It also looks like a racing stripe, giving the phone a sportscar vibe. Lastly, the presence of the glass strip allows the phone to charge wirelessly (at breakneck speeds of 70% in half an hour) too.

The Mate 20 RS makes a great case for getting product and industrial design studios and professionals (with interdisciplinary experience) on board to design smartphones, possibly making them stand out again, and ushering in the second golden era of mobile phone design!

Designers: Huawei & Porsche Design.

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Panasonic’s Human Blinkers basically contradict themselves

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This extreme dystopia alert comes courtesy Panasonic. The blinkers you see above and below were designed by the company, allegedly to combat the distractions involved with open workspaces. Preferring a more compartmentalized office space, Panasonic’s design studio (titled Future Life Factory) partnered with Japanese designer Kunihiko Morinaga to create the Wear Space, a literal pair of blinkers to help cut out external buzz and distractions and get you to focus on your work in front of you by reducing your peripheral vision by 60%.

The idea, Panasonic says, is to allow employees to find their place of zen in an open workspace. However, the blinkers are designed to zero your vision on a screen, the very item most companies are trying to get you to look away from. The screen, be it the one in your workspace, or the one on your phone, can be an absolute attention grabber in its own right, and the open workspace was created to combat this very problem of being too absorbed by the wall of pixels in front of you. Open workspaces promote social interaction, often relieving your eyes and mind from the adverse effect of ‘too much screen time’. Panasonic believes that the users of the Wear Space will wear these blinkers of their own accord, in an attempt to focus. However, the blinkers seem like a step backward in forcing compartmentalization in the workspace (probably even defeating the purpose of allowing you to focus on your work by making you and your headgear the subject of everyone’s attention). Call me a skeptic, but I think screens are addictive enough… and if you still find yourself unable to focus, a good pair of noise-canceling headphones should definitely do the trick.

Designers: Panasonic Future Life Factory & Kunihiko Morinaga.

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Best Travel Partner for your Sole and Soul

The ‘best multi-purpose travel shoe’ is, if nothing, a very bold claim. In an industry that pumps billions into material research as well as human research, being able to step out and claim to have built arguably the best leisure shoe, period, takes a lot. Ten Thousand Islands claims that the Freestate is the best of all worlds. It’s comfortable, flexible, stylish, low-cost, high-endurance, and fits seamlessly into both work and casual scenarios.

The hybrid shoe (I give it that title for its multipurpose nature) looks and feels comfortable. The elastic construction in the heel expands and contracts to hug your sole, allowing the Freestate to be worn comfortably with or without socks, while the shoe itself fits like one, wrapping around your food much like a second skin. Built with breathable neoprene and flexible TPU, the Freestate can quite literally be worn anywhere in any time of the year. Designed to be waterproof, the Freestate comes with an inner lining built from a proprietary material called Freeflow, that helps your shoe dry fast. The TPU, Neoprene and Rubber construction remain unaffected by water, allowing you to practically go swimming in the Freestate shoes. With a sole crafted from Phylon, the shoe feels like an extension of your foot, allowing you to bend and flex your foot naturally with abandon, while giving you great grip, thanks to Phylon’s non-slip ability.

Ultimately, the superiorly functional Freestate is also lighter than conventional shoes/sneakers, given that it’s built using the state-of-the-art Strobel sewing technique. The resulting shoes are durable, flexible, and much lighter than other shoes. The Freestate shoes are also washing-machine friendly, and its Freeflow inner lining will dry the shoes out almost instantly.

Built with both vivid and conventional color schemes, the Freestate serves well as a holiday shoe, or for leisure wearing at home, or even for a casual day at work. Whether worn for extensive travel, outdoor use, or just simply lazing around, the Freestate can perform under all conditions… and given that they serve well both indoors and outdoors, on land and in water, and at both work and play, one might just be able to say, with a good amount of conviction, that the guys at Ten Thousand Islands built the best multi-purpose travel shoe.

Designer: Nicola Marshall-Jones of Ten Thousand Islands

Click here to Buy Now: $79 $134 (41% off). Hurry, less than 48 hours left!

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Ultra-lightweight (8oz/227g), water friendly and quick drying, Freestate by Ten Thousand Islands is the very first resort shoe. A shoe created for hot summer days and cool summer nights.

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Its classic design, rooted firmly in the sneaker culture combined with their unique heel design in a range of traditional and summer colors that take you from Pool to beach to bar in comfort and style.

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Freestate is made using a shoe construction method called Strobel, which gives the shoe its amazing flexibility and helps to reduce its overall weight.

Combined with the lightweight mesh and their signature Freeflow lining it gives you one very light and very flexible shoe that allows the foot to remain cool at any temperature. It also dries much faster than a regular sneaker.

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Feel comfortable on and off the plane, and have a spontaneous dive into a pool. It’s also Vegan friendly – no animal products have been used in the manufacturing process.

With Freestate you can put away the band-aid when you decide to go sockless – they removed the regular shoe heel and replaced it with a soft feel elastic that holds and cushions the heel of your foot and it won’t distort or lose grip no matter how many times you wear them.

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In Jet Black.

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Steel Grey.

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Pristine White.

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Vacation Blue.

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Split Sun Yellow.

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Holiday Pink.

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Midnight Navy.

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Military Green.

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Click here to Buy Now: $79 $134 (41% off).

Deconstructed Footwear of the Future

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The latest from Monterrey-based SHIFT design studio, the “F1” marks the designers’ first signature sneaker silhouette. Not to compare immediately, but it’s aesthetically akin to familiar styles like the Adidas Prophere or Nike Air Trainer 3. Unlike the aforementioned, however, it features four modular construction that allows the future wearer to get it on the action as they can pick and choose custom elements in the shoe’s construction. Signature elements of the deconstructed design include a futuristic layering of straps, robust midfoot paneling, a monocoque vamp, and custom buckle system that completes the locked-down look.

Designer: Shift Studio

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L.O.L. Surprise! Has a Big Week: Fashion Show with North West, Bigger Surprise and Advent Calendar Release


It's a big week for the L.O.L. Surprise! fans. On Sunday, MGA Entertainment hosted a fashion show in LA. Among the child models was North West, celebrity daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye...

L.O.L. Surprise! Has a Big Week: Fashion Show with North West, Bigger Surprise and Advent Calendar Release


It's a big week for the L.O.L. Surprise! fans. On Sunday, MGA Entertainment hosted a fashion show in LA. Among the child models was North West, celebrity daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye...

From fashion accessory to a tech-human lifeline – The Apple Watch evolved

It’s 2014 and Apple is looking to enter the wearables market. News is that Apple isn’t really a tech brand anymore, but rather a luxury tech brand. They hire the then CEO Yves Saint Laurent and design stalwart Marc Newson to join their team and allegedly work on the rumored Apple wearable everyone thought would be called the iWatch.

It’s 2015 and the Apple Watch is launched. It’s a wrist-based notification device that lets you see messages, photos, and the time, obviously, with a handful of fitness features, but it’s by far the most expensive wearable ever, further entrenching the idea of Apple being a fashion brand. Even the advertisements pushed the watch as a breakthrough miniature smartphone that would sit on your wrist.

Jump to 2018. The Apple Watch is no longer an extension of your phone, but a much more personal device that doesn’t just connect you to your outside world, but rather connects you to a better idea of yourself. The Apple watch isn’t a watch anymore, it’s a tech-driven lifeline that’s designed around the idea of keeping you informed, connected, motivated, and healthy… something only a device perpetually strapped to you could do.

The Apple Watch has found its relevance as a device with a strong processor and a wide variety of sensors and bio-sensors that offer you a peek into your own body. The redesigned face isn’t a stylish watch-dial anymore, but rather, lays out critical information out. It also helps that the screen’s much bigger too, as bezels have completely shrunk to a negligible sliver.

One of Apple Watch’s most well-received features is its electrical heart sensor that sits right on the crown. Aside from the optical heart sensor at the base of the watch, this electrical sensor literally allows you to take an ECG/EKG directly on your wrist by simply resting your fingertip on the crown. This incredibly accurate data can then be used medically, allowing doctors to know more about your heart health at any given point of time. The Watch also uses this data to allow you to be your fittest self, seamlessly merging in other apps that let you live a more healthy and active life. Its waterproof design ensures that no matter what the activity, you can keep your Watch on your person as you sweat through the day… and the 18-hour long battery life is more than enough to last an entire day.

All these features tie in well with existing features like the gyroscope, altimeter, and accelerometer that allow you to track any sort of activity, while last year’s e-sim technology not only lets your watch be your phone when your phone isn’t on you, but it even serves as a life-saving device by allowing you to contact emergency services, need be.

With a larger screen, thinner body, and a haptic feedback crown, the Apple Watch surely looks the best it’s ever been… and with a design that allows you to use existing and past straps with the new Series 4 Watch, Apple focuses on letting you choose your style while leaving the big-picture stuff to Apple, like building the tech to keep you fit, active, and connected. And oh, did I mention Nike launched a low-light reflective band for the Apple Watch that makes it even cooler and even safer??

Designer: Apple

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YouTube will stream Rihanna’s fashion show on September 12th

Paul McCartney isn't the only superstar to have lined up a live YouTube stream these days. Rihanna is broadcasting her Savage x Fenty brand's fashion show on Google's service at 7:30PM Eastern on September 12th. She's promising an "immersive experien...