The Brilliance!


#INTERNET Ah, we're back! Like we said, we were just "chilling out" for like 3 years. Feels good to have the team back writing. Still us three: Chuck, Benjamin, and Virgil. Got new interviews coming up, and hopefully we'll be posting on a regular basis, who knows. We also interviewed each other, check: CHUCK, BENJAMIN, VIRGIL...

Dov Charney, Americas last business weirdo-eccentric?!

I mean, I honestly feel like this is the first HOUR long video/interview I’ve watched this intensely since the Walt Mossberg & Steve Jobs interviews.  I don’t know, maybe a Karl Lagerfeld one in there somewhere too.  Either way - this is kind of a must watch.  Dov is this fascinating character - he’s every hipster in one.  He’s every kid at the “cool guy” dive bar, every kid riding a fixed gear, every kid on tumblr, every kid in Echo Park/Brooklyn/Portland/Oakland/Austin/etc, every kid that’s trying to “do it different”, every cliche about any scene kid.  But he has this slight shift in his DNA that has allowed him to be both extremely capitalist and socialist at the same time.  Kind of…I think.  He’s so unwavering in doing exactly what he wants, controlling everything, and making it financially sustainable - as a FOR PROFIT business.  I suppose thats why I love listening to him.  For as weird he is, all the bad press, etc, he’s kind of the last business weidro-eccentric we have here in the US.  Maybe him and Elon Musk?  I just love dudes like him - no MBA - just straight up passion and attention to detail and quite obviously from this interview, a deep care for humanity.  So yeah, waste an hour on this for sure and watch him somehow braid being capitalist, socialist, left-wing, right-wing, all into one interesting and sometimes confusing ethos.  ***Fun fact, Dov Charney was actually going to be one of our first interviews when we first launched the site.  He replied to my email with his personal cell - crazy.  Ended up not working out, but I always dug that he handled stuff like that - or at least saw our vision.  Thanks to @adesholamakinde for forwarding this to me.

***Dudes pants from Vice are like, wowzers, wetsuit/scuba-diving Spring/Summer 2013.

Double Scribble!! Feelin like a kid again…

I paid like, 42% of my attention in class as a kid to what was being taught…OK, maybe more like 24.2%...ish…Whatever though, the important part here is that the rest of that time was spent drawing on pretty much anything and everything that was a draw-on-able surface. My favorite being book covers. Remember book covers made out of brown paper grocery bags?! Those were the best to draw on..then you’d take them off at the end of the year and see the ballpoint imprint of a year’s drawings on the scuffed dull plastic of the cover. Ahhh, fun to think about that again. Anyways, a *lot* of those drawings I did as a kid involved sports, namely basketball. I was, and I know Ben & Virgil were, and I know a lot of our readers were, big NBA fans as kids. If you grew up in the 90s in Chicago too, I mean, don’t even get me started. But this blog Double Scribble, man, really bringing me back to those days. Drawing Dennis Rodman in a Bulls jersey, drawing Michael Jordan of course with his tongue out, and of course just drawing the Bulls logo on absolutely EVERYTHING…(I can still draw it perfectly from memory to this day)...I collected basketball cards too of course, so the art on those was always inspiring to me. Shout out the super thick Flair cards…(Actually check this out - found all my old MJ cards at my parents house - pic) I’ve loved this blog for a while and while we were on hiatus w/ the site, it was one of those things I was like..yeah…I’ll be posting about that when we bring it back. Sports, art, internet…duh. According to the About page, Double Scribble is “a daily curated art blog run by Nicholas Kastner. It features dozens of artists from around the globe who all share a common passion for basketball. Our goal is the be the most comprehensive source of basketball art on the internet.” Well, sounds good to me. And it is…it’s really good. It’s got literally every kind of basketball art on there from paintings to quilts to professional illustrators to the worst (aka best) single line pen doodles of players on paper…just whatever. Check it out @ RAZZLE DAZZLE!

New interview “activation” with Jon Buscemi!

Its weird to interview someone that was first a reader of the site before I knew him personally, you know?  He has a different context.  Jon’s been a supporter since we first started, kind of dude who would just reach out and say whats up - and send me marinara sauce from Gourmet for Christmas every year, ha.  When we started this site we would always be like super stoked/surprised when someone from the industry, on one of the coasts, would hit us up.  So yeah, eventually we crossed paths “IRL” and have been homies since.  Jon’s done so much stuff in this “lifestyle business” space, so much.  Now he’s onto the “2.0”, next chapter as he’s said.  We caught up with him to discuss past, present, future.  Kind of a must read interview for people who are in this space actually trying to make a living out of it.  For real.  Beyond all that, if you ever get a chance to hang with him - the nicest dude with THE best snaps…the best.  Ha.  Thanks for the time Jon.

Uber. Semi-late. Don’t be ultra-late!!!

Catching a cab is a lot easier said than done. Especially when your “just-10-minutes-away” late for a meeting uptown. Increase the degree of difficulty if you rarely carry cash. I first heard of uber like a year ago. Always skeptical of a new app on the iPhone, Uber sounded too good to be true. You just take a photo your credit card and it automatically scans the numbers and your pretty much locked and loaded. Choice of a regular cab, town car, SUV or scooter in Europe. The map pops up and you can see if your guy is driving the wrong way to get you and everything. No cash exchanged cause it all linked to your credit card. The receipt gets emailed straight to you. Ultra-easy. In a world where there are still cabs that don’t take a credit card, this is a savior. Uber so modern. So many cities. I use it in LA, NYC and Paris. Come Basel time Miami better get their shit together. Getting a cab there is a mess. Thank God for Steve Jobs. Again.

Hotels & Chicago, Public Hotel!

It’s weird having taken a break from the site - cause I want to write about stuff that happened while we were on vacation - but I’m like, “Is it old news?!”  Whatever.  I’ve always been fascinated by hotels, remember being a little kids and running down the hall ways as fast as you could?  Vending machines?  Indoor pools that had like a fake palm tree vibe?  Straight Radisson status.  Fast forward to my early/mid 20’s and I started traveling more - experiencing more hotels, etc, kind of getting the vibe for what I dig, etc.  At its core, a hotel is about rest, you know?  Not always sleep - but rest.  And luxury is, by my definition, comfort - not always excess - but thoughtfulness.  I stayed at the Public Hotel in Chicago for the first time like a month or two after they opened - actually booked it cause RSVP Gallery was interviewing me and I liked to color tone from the pictures for place to shoot it at.  Stayed there like 15-20 times since maybe?  I actually stay there on Christmas day now as like a new “thing”, tradition.  Ian Schrager absolutely nailed it.  It’s actually a super old hotel that they’ve converted, read up on it, etc.  Its every little detail.  The cups in the bathroom, painting over the linen wallpaper heavily, the original brass hardware on the closets/bathroom, the double organza floor to ceiling curtains, the hallways!!!!, the neighborhood its in, that CVS you can walk to on the corner in the morning, even the way you enter the place…its gets my like every time I swear.  Though, I can say the Pump Room is good - its more just a better magnet for interesting people.  And I might change the carpet style in the room - would be insanely expensive but chevron, wide plank, wood flooring would be perfect.  Ahhhh, cool, I finally have this post off my chest, ha.  All these over-the-top themed-out hotels have such a short shelf-life - and when they’re times up they look like a joke.  I think Public hit that sweet spot, they’ll get cooler with age.  Stay in the “Loft” style room, and ask for a corner - its better than the 1 bedroom suite.

I actually, no joke, have worked with a developer a bit to better understand if a 10 room hotel can work out financially…hmmmmmmmm.  I already have the flooring and bathroom fixtures picked out, etc, etc.  Ha.  Hmmm.

Friday Randoms!!

•One of the best things was uploaded to the internet this past week by BRILLIANCE favorite Keelayjams and it’s this video
•It’s not new, but Bootleg Bart is a Friday time killing must-see if you aren’t already familliar
•I love the portfolio of Chris Golden
These photos of Rutile crystals found in quarries in Germany are amazing to look at. I’m obsessed with them.
I like this
•13thWitness killing it as usual
•I feel like Google is overtaking Apple in terms of memorable commercials. Every time I see a Google Chrome commercial on tv or online I don’t rush to skip it or open another tab and wait for it to play out so I can watch whatever YouTube video I’m really waiting on. They’ve done such a good job recently of making spots that connect with you, that are emotional, that are fun, but always super simple and easy. Actually it’s been a while since Apple really, really inspired us I feel like. Virgil’s post a few back about iTunes is true, especially the part about a downward spiral since Jobs passed. Feels like the Post-Jobs-era Apple is searching for identity and inspiration still. It’ll come…
•Unless you’re a web designer and your site is part of your portfolio, you don’t need anything fancy…I feel like a big chunk of artists & designers on the web are really starting to grasp this. Photographers on the other hand…*Seinfeld voice* what’s the deal with still using Flash for your sites!!?!?
•Have a good Friday. Read THE BRILLIANCE. Tell your friends. Enjoy this GIF.


Leif Podhajsky & the new psychadelic aesthetic…

Trends come and go in art & design. With the internet, it seems this is a day-to-day occurrence rather than something that takes months or even years to evolve, so when a new aesthetic, a new ‘look’ starts to stick and really hang around, it’s a pretty exciting thing to me. If you don’t already know Leif Podhajsky, you’ve probably at least seen his work somewhere already…seems like it pops up as the cover of one of the 5 daily Pitchfork-reviewed albums like once a week, I swear…Bonobo, The Horrors, Youth Lagoon, Foals, Tame Impala, Grimes, Shabazz Palaces…the list goes on. Anyways, there’s been a reemergence in recent years of I guess what I’d call a new psychadelic aesthetic. Trippy, choppy, hard to look at in a good way…it’s easy to see why Podhajsky has been tapped to work with so many of these bands. His work match up so well with the music. Probably the best compliment I can pay to his work is that you can easily get lost in looking at it much like you can get lost with a good song playing in your headphones. There’s a lot to discover. Totally unexpected color palettes, classic gothic, grungy, oily rainbows and golds and perfect symmetry and inverted imagery floating in desert landscapes with this beautiful sort of 70’s retro vibe but without the boring-ness that usually comes with ‘retro’ graphics these days…there are some other great artists doing work in this vein as well…Justin Blyth is always doing killer stuff, Sabrina Ratté, I’d even say Eric Wareheim (of Tim & Eric fame) has been one of the champions of this stuff with his videos for Major Lazer, MGMT, HEALTH…Anyways, check out Leif’s site and get inspired.


Kind of wild for our first new interview.  And, ha, its so perfectly our style.  Weird, irreverent, but kind of that perfect look at who Tom Sachs is in the way he responded - and maybe a perfect show of how we do stuff - just posting the actual picture.  We’ve always cut-and-pasted the exact response we get from people we interview - ha, took this one to another level.  Interviewing and artist and he gave us a piece of art as his answer to our questions.  Like Virg said, we’re trying to get those actual pieces of paper!  Crazy.  Anyway, yeah, Tom Sachs, chats with us about what he had for breakfast, his first art purchase, if he ever met Steve Jobs, etc, etc, etc.  Get hip to it, and honestly the best way to learn more about his is Google, ha.

Punk: “Chaos to Couture”!!! Cliff-notes for fashion!!!

As into Art and all that as I am it’s almost as hard to make time to see Art as it was to find time to read. I hate reading LOL. Rather rarely have time for it. But a few nights ago at the MET Ball I got a glimpse of what I have been missing with these A-level exhibitions. I love this particular exhibit first and foremost because I love the point of view of people behind it. Nick Knight and Riccardo Tisci entitled Punk: “Chaos to Couture”. What I love most is this is a perfect exhibition for those that ignore the medium because of the “Zoolander-ness” of fashion. Punk is the perfect platform because it came from kids that didn’t give a shit about fashion and looked at expressing themselves in a utilitarian sense which is perfect launch pad for the Art of fashion. This exhibition puts those places and things right next to the dream. Recreations of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s famous SEX shop that started it all to a cigarette-to-cigerette replica of CBGBs bathroom. All adjacent to couture gowns from Riccardo and rare Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane interpretations of that punk fashion spirit. We’ve seen it on the internet, but rarely seen it with our own eyes. This is an exhibition you can learn from. Cliff-notes for fashion. Walking thru it its one of those moments you realize learning off the internet has a ceiling. Just when I get tired of fashion its great to be reminded that fashion is Art. The medium is fabric. Sans canvas.

Inside Koenigsegg & just cars in general.

I’ve gotten like entirely too into cars.  Always been into the brands, etc, but now it’s more about the details - I’ve become obsessed with the melding of design and technology in newer cars - dual-clutch transmissions, carbon-ceramic brakes on road-going cars, “negative” torque-vectoring, turbos vs naturally aspirated, all the tech around quattro, etc, etc, etc.  I’m still quite new to it all.  Cars are these insanely complex pieces of design and art that we get to interact with every-day.  An insane amount of moving pieces need to come together perfectly to get from idea to the street, you know?  I actually dug around and researched the designer behind the last car I got, ha.  It’s like, I think getting a clothing line designed & manufactured is challenging, think about a car, just totally blows my mind.  So yeah, this whole post was supposed to be about this amazing car company, Koenigsegg, and this brilliant little web-series showing behind the scenes of their design, testing, and manufacturing process.  The attention to detail and innovation is too inspiring.  Sure, the cars are like $1M+ in cost and they’ve only made 100 - but its this guys kind of crazy ambition to be the best super car company in the world that makes it all so fascinating - and with a staff of just FORTY FIVE people?!?!1 The show can be a bit over-the-top technical - best one’s to start with are these two.  What if tumblr kids started car companies instead of clothing lines??

***All that said - I’m actually not a fan of the Koenigsegg’s design.  Too much engineering, not enough sex.  Love the company though.