Branding

Mannequins Get Real

Mannequins Get Real

article-2488259-193B871000000578-775_306x423Who knows if it started with those Dove soap campaigns using “real” women, or if it’s the popularity of reality shows like “The Biggest Loser” or “Girls,” but there’s a movement trending to better reflect today’s female body types. Realistic mannequins are becoming more reality-sized, too—some are even sporting body art (tattoos) and body hair.

Last month, the Associated Press reported that retailers have cut back on mannequin expenses for years, going with the white, headless, one-size models. But that’s been changing with some embracing “fully” realistic mannequins with thicker waists, saggy breasts and back fat (aka love handles). And it’s happening in stores from the trendy—and body conscious—American Apparel to a bit more staid Saks Fifth Avenue to special occasion David’s Bridal. Continue reading →

Appreciating Morris Lapidus

Appreciating Morris Lapidus

stairwayI’m finishing a fascinating new book that references Morris Lapidus (1902-2001), the remarkable architect who died 13 years ago this month. Lapidus became best known for his neo-baroque “Miami Modern” Fontainebleau (1954) and Eden Roc (1955-56) hotels in Miami Beach, featuring dramatic public spaces that provided visitors with a sense of adventure and escape. Oh, and don’t forget that infamous stairway to nowhere.

But, before Lapidus gave us those now-famous architectural details dubbed woogles, beanpoles and cheese holes, he embraced store design as a profession after earning his architectural degree from Columbia University in 1927. (He also dabbled in stage design, costuming and acting as an undergrad at NYU.) He would go on to work with Ross-Frankel, a firm specializing in retail storefronts, for 15 years. Continue reading →

Cake Crush: Easy-Bake Oven Celebrates A Golden Anniversary

Cake Crush: Easy-Bake Oven Celebrates A Golden Anniversary

03CDF83D50569047F54619E3DD0CE485In honor of a significant milestone, we extend hearty good wishes to the Easy-Bake Oven on the big 5-0! Since its November 1963 debut, Easy-Bake has been on many a girl’s Christmas wish list. And Easy-Bake has long been reflective of popular preferences from the original turquoise to avocado green, harvest gold, pink, purple and aqua, reflecting tastes of the day and has been redesigned at least a dozen times.

So, here’s a quick history: Easy-Bake bowed as an oven/range combo and soon was a hit for parent company Kenner Toys, now Hasbro Inc. Equipped with an incandescent light bulb as its heat source, the oven could turn out pies, biscuits, brownies and cakes. Continue reading →

Drink It In

Drink It In

sparklingbubbles01_3Coca-Cola is arguably one of the most artistically celebrated brands of our time. But typically, it’s the can, bottle or glass that gets all of the glory.

To celebrate the unveiling of the updated iconic “Heritage Glass” by designer Thomas Meyerhoffer in Tokyo (the first display of the new glass was in Paris’ Collette boutique), French architect and designer Emmanuelle Moureaux created an accompanying art installation.

“Sparkling Bubbles” features 800 acrylic spheres that are filled with tiny bubbles and suspended from the ceiling. They float out from the glass in a vortex, hovering for all to see. The bubbles allude to the experience of the fizz that bursts forth from a freshly poured Coke, only to tickle your nose and party on in your mouth. Continue reading →

Amazon Dreams It, Drones It

Amazon Dreams It, Drones It

AmazonPrimeYes Amazon is hitting prime time again. News outlets across the globe are getting a glimpse of Amazon “Prime Air.” From the mind of Amazon Founder/CEO and famous tight-lip Jeff Bezos, along with his Amazon’s next generation R&D lab, we have this: “The goal of this new delivery system is to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles. Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance the technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations.”

Amazon’s PR Footage from a recent test flight features “Octocopter” drones that will fly packages directly to the customers’ doorstep in 30 minutes, and looks to be the same as what aired on 60 Minutes, Dec. Continue reading →