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Community organisation, The Bootstrap Company, has launched a series of pop-up food markets in Dalston, collectively called The Long Table, which places emphasis on conviviality and using local producers.
The project will use collaborators from London’s finest street food and restaurants, including Nuno Mendes from the Loft Project and Moro. This is a great example of Conviviality Culture.
Bootstrap itself was founded in 1977 as a development trust, social enterprise and charity. Since then Bootstrap has transformed the cultural and creative life of its corner of Dalston. It looks to build on the lessons learned over the last 32 years to improve the social, physical and economic environment of the people of Dalston and Hackney. Bootstrap Company exists to support and facilitate the growth of micro, creative and social enterprises and provides high quality managed workspace.
Chinese luxury used to be bold, brash and bling. But as the country’s wealthy matures and fragments, a new set of values have emerged – based on quality, experience and craft. Now brands are having to work harder and more creatively to surprise, involve and engage these new luxury connoisseurs, according to McKinsey, and has overtaken Japan to become the world’s second largest luxury market.
‘Generally, Western perceptions tend to be that Chinese people are still immature regarding luxury,’ says Jonathan Hasson, Co-Director of Luxury Concierge China. ‘They think of bling, excesses and brashness. But having been exposed to luxury for over a decade, Chinese tastes and needs have matured rapidly.’
Nick Marshall, a luxury consultant that specialises in emerging markets, agrees, and says how many people now embrace much deeper values. It’s not just about showing off wealth, but showing off good taste. ‘They’re looking to demonstrate outwardly that they also know what to do with their money, and show that they’re sophisticated and cultured.
So how are they doing this? Some brands are creating physical ‘energy’ spaces, which function as a tangible place in which to bring their values, story, and history to life. Whisky brand, Johnnie Walker, for instance, has done this with its Johnnie Walker House in Shanghai. It acts as a place for consumers to learn about the provenance and processes behind the drink.
To add to the complexity of the market, there’s also a disparity between the tastes of the old wealth and the young, according to Marshall. ‘The existing, more mature luxury audience are becoming more sophisticated and discerning,’ says Marshall. ‘Whereas the new, younger audience in more cosmopolitan cities such as Shanghai and Beijing often have a greater international outlook.’
Then there’s the issue of location. People in first-tier cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing, have had access to luxury retail for several years, and have therefore developed their tastes. ‘This segment is much more sophisticated with their spend,’ says Nick Marshall, ‘They want craft, provenance and quality.’ Meanwhile, in the tier two and tier three cities, luxury is still relatively new. ‘They don’t ask the same questions,’ says Marshall. ‘They’re at the stage where they want a lot more bling.’
What Katie ate is a resource of all things food, food photography, recipes and reviews. Set up and run in her spare time by Sydney-based commercial photographer Katie Quinn Davies.
I was particularly drawn to her rustic natural style and love it’s unfinished nature. We get so set on perfect styling for packaging when there is so much beauty and appetite appeal in shots that show the preparation and eating process in its real state.
- thanks to Kim for this one!
‘Maps get us around, but they also hold our memories,’ says artist and entrepreneur Nikki Gunn Rodenbeck. ‘Personalised maps become something of a visual story of your life, either in the present, past, or future.’
To explore the sentimentalities of our personal geographies, Rodenbeck recently launched Soft Cities, where you can order cuddly textile maps of just about anywhere on earth, with personalised markers denoting any special location that’s close to your heart.
‘The customer provides addresses of their favourite restaurant or bar, park, or school and I feed it back into the OSM map,’ Rodenbeck says. ‘It’s fun to tell them they’ve contributed to OSM by putting their town ‘on the map!’
In addition, Soft Cities donate 5% of each sale back to OpenStreetMap, which probably makes this the only blanket you can buy that can help improve the way we see and explore the world.
Mademoiselle Chi Chi is a new trend label in Hollywood (and a favourite with stars such as Mischa Barton and Ashlee Simpson) with a clothing line made from powdered milk. Developed by a Hanover microbiologist and fashion designer in partnership with the Bremen Fibre Institute, the cloth, called Qmilch, is said to have positive effects on the skin.
The milk powder is mixed together with other ingredients in a type of meat grinder to produce a fibre that’s made into yarn and then into a silky cloth to produce dresses with a luxury feel (and priced around €150-$200).
Bio-materials have an advantage over organic materials, which are limited in supply and could become scarce and expensive on the international market. The process alone could help create more breakthroughs in the fashion industry, which is searching for cheaper and more environmentally friendly fabrics.
Sister company Qmilch has ambitions to take the fabric into other lines, including bed linens, t-shirts and car seats. People are increasingly aware of the impact of the fashion industry on the environment and are keen to find alternatives to cheap throwaway goods. Luxury is often undervalued in green products: those that combine ethics and aesthetics will resonate with the affluent.