FUTURE NOTION’s Shopping Widget & an Affiliate Proposal.

If you take a look-see on the right of this blog, you’d notice a new addition to our side bar – behold the FUTURE NOTION Shopping Widget!

You can also take a look at it here on our site:

PARTNERS

FUTURE NOTION shopping widget

FUTURE NOTION shopping widget

We love this super viral sales channel because it’s like a mini mall that you can take everywhere with you AND multiplies like zits on a teenager’s forehead – there ain’t no stopping it…woot..

In conjunction with launching the shopping widget, we are also launching FUTURE NOTION’s affiliate program – and frankly, it’s a win win win $ituation – ju$t $aying – drop us an email at info@futurenotion.com if you’d like to explore this option on your blog / site.

What we are looking for  are Design / Fashion / Lifestyle / Interior Design Blogs with good taste and good traffic to work with, and we have fancy things installed to track payments to you…

So whatcha waitin’ for?

Limp to Bling – Upcycling gone UBER Luxe

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.” – Wikipedia

If you have ever flown on a plane, you would have seen the ubiquitous airline trolley. It has the uncommon notoriety of being one of the most standardized things across the plethora of airlines out there. IT. ALL. LOOKS. THE. SAME.

Sort of like this.

Naked Airplane Trolley
Naked Airplane Trolley – un-bling, un-designed, un-upcycled

Naked Airplane Trolley – un-bling, un-designed, un-upcycled

Enter a dose of German Design genius via Founder and Creative Director, Peter Jorge Fischer and it becomes this:

Swarovski Crystal Trolley - BLINGED and SUITED UP!
Swarovski Crystal Trolley – BLINGED and SUITED UP!

BEHOLD : Swarovski Crystal Trolley – BLINGED and SUITED UP!

See the shiny shiny sparkly sparkly swarovski crystals? It’s like it comes with its own halo and glorious soundtrack…like this…

THAT, folks, is a fine lesson on how to pimp things out. Skypak’s gots it right.

Skypak’s bling bling airline trolley is customizable and is exclusively available here.

When your Craft is Fashion Design, it is also your Voice.

Fashion Designer, Aries Sin.

 

Fashion Designer Aries Sin wears her own Double Breasted Onesie in Khaki.

We chat with one of FUTURE NOTION’s featured Fashion Designers, a wee 27 year old Hong Kong native, Aries Sin, to uncover how she uses her passion for Fashion Design to create social change in her home country. 

In the 1960’s – 90’s Hong Kong was the epicentre of garment production, and many had family members working in factories as production assistants and sewers. In 2005, the Multi Fibre Arrangement  – a short term measure introduced in 1974 to allow developed countries to gain a domestic advantage in garment production – was lifted and China asserted her dominance and multiplied its production for export many fold. Hong Kong saw a natural decline in garment manufacturing.

FN: So, tell us about your label, MODEMENT.

Aries: I started MODEMENT back in January 2010 after a year’s stint in a Leather Wear Company.

FN: Nature vs Nurture – did u have family in the design business or were you influenced by factors surrounding you growing up, for example mentors, creative energy of Hong Kong, creativity of friends etc

Aries: My family background is pretty average and my mother was the catalyst that sparked my interest in fashion. Ever since I was a child of 7, my mother who worked as an assistant in a garment factory always took me along and it was there that I watched and learnt garment construction, fabric and fabric textures. In my young eyes, fabric swatches were the basis of couture for my Barbie dolls! It was also during those years that my interest in deconstruction and pattern making were sparked.

So I would say it’s probably my childhood environment and my innate inclination towards design.

Additionally, Hong Kong is quite an interesting city. Although small, we are really cosmopolitan and media reach is so fast and deep, but at the same time, this metropolis also possesses a special character and cultural history that is established and entrenched. I never run out of inspiration and ideas here!

FN: Do you see (your label) MODEMENT as a voice or a statement of sorts – a response to the situational factors of hongkong, for example, the bustle of the city, constraints of living in a landlocked country – do you see your work as a response to that…is it only for one collection or is it a running theme in your career?

Yes, MODEMENT is the shadow of Hong Kong.

In our previous collections, we used our home as a reference for “The Place We Live” Collection & our food for “The Eggette We Eat” Collection as a running theme for each collection. We make use of different factors and ideas from our home-town and It is our secret wish that people would not only wear Hong Kong design, but feel our culture. This is our direction.

That’s also why we carry different messages from each collection as opposed to just designing what the market needs.

FN:Describe some ups and downs – what are some of the joys of being your own boss, creative director, one woman super power and what are some of the challenges? We can imagine rising costs would be one of it..

Aries: Being a one-woman show (& bank!) isn’t easy, especially since we don’t have any financial support. But being able to work in what I am passionate about is really such an amazing thing.

Yes,  rising costs are definitely a concern, and it’s a constant tight rope to strike a balanced relationship between technique, quality & costs.

Although the cost of labour is rising in Hong Kong, my team and I keep to our stance of using workers in Hong Kong as our manufacturers because of their professionalism and the respect they have for technique and fabric. You know, almost 90% of Hong Kong  factories had been moved to mainland China for production, and tons of skillful sewers are left behind.

There is a social enterprise that was set up to faciliate a collaboration between these sewers and up-and-coming designers, and we choose to work with them for our manufacturing to keep MODEMENT of a high quality and contribute to our society at the same time.

We are really proud of our concept and aim to keep it up!

We hope people from all around the world could experience Hong Kong’s fashion language and feel confident in wearing our designs.

You know, whenever we see people wearing MODEMENT, our hearts always feel such a rush of joy! It’s almost like the heart of a mother making clothes for her children, with love and care.

FN: So, if you weren’t a Fashion Designer, what would you rather be?

Aries: Probably a chef! I think cooking and fashion are both art forms and so creative. In fact, whenever I see a beautifully presented dish, I can feel the passion and creative energy from the chef!

FN: Thanks for your time, Aries and have a great day!

Aries: You too! 🙂

-end-

Click here to discover & shop Aries’ SS12 Collection at FUTURE NOTION!

*this article has been edited for grammer and length.

Typography Design: Dyslexie font to help Dyslexics read better.

In our continuing quest for unearthing how Design can and will contribute to social good, here is something that is of so much value.

dyslexie is a font designed by Nederlands-based company, STUDIOSTUDIO to to make it easier for Dyslexics to read things better and reduce the effort it takes to read a text. This means, more time to do other things like shop on FUTURE NOTION. (just kidding)

If you have Dyslexia or know of someone who does, do recommend this font to help make their lives  a little better! 🙂

Here are some illustrations you can take for a test drive:

 

What does Design mean to you – a frou frou consideration or an antidote to a problem?

Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen of Mifuko

Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen of Mifuko

Mifuku Colored Necklace

Mifuku Colored Necklace -$40. Made from recycled magazines & newspapers & varnished to a high shine.

Sorry for the long silence, but we were so busy with the launch of FUTURE NOTION that we simply didn’t have the time to post. Do check it out, mak a coupla comments on your favorite items and do share , tweet & tumble.

However, we have so much to share it will take several posts to spill everything..so, in typical all over the place fashion, we’d like to start with something dear to our hearts – how design can solve a problem, add value and enrich.

One of the designers that FUTURE NOTION is showcasing is Mifuko. Meaning “pocket” in Swahili, they have a really special story and are a shining beacon of the good Design can accomplish.

Based in Finland, the brand is helmed by Creative Directors and Co-founders Minna Impio & Mari Martikainen,  working on a Helsinki / Kenya axis. -To put it simply, accessories & lifestyle product is conceptualized and designed in Finland and manufactured under Fair Trade terms in Kenya.

The brand’s main aim is to preserve traditional Kenyan artisanal techniques & handicraft while injecting a Scandinavian sensibility into product design. Oftentimes, the artisans might be skilled, but they lack design sophistication which results in cannibalization of sales between very similar looking products. Thus, Mifuko saw the opportunity to use design as a differentiating (& winning!) factor so that goods produced can stand out from the run-of-the-mill souvenirs.

Check out one of our favorite products, the Mifuku Necklace. Bright & Colorful, it looks like its made of beads or ceramic, when in actual fact, it is crafted from  from recycled magazines and newspaper. The paper beads are rolled from recycled paper and each bead is different and unique & the colours and tones vary according to whichever magazine is used. Once the beads are varnished, they shine beautifully and the small glass pearls between them add extra sparkle.

How awesome is that – upcycling, Scandinavian Design sensibility, enriching lives and sustaining a business. This is what Design is supposed to be about!

FUTURE NOTION – launch imminent.

future notion launch page

So the FUTURE NOTION launch is set for 23rd January 2012. Let the record show that it is with great trepidation that this is being committed in WRITING because, murphy’s law being murphy’s law is murphy’s law.

Do sign up for priority access okay? (being first is always fun 🙂

Amidst all the crazy, busy knots to unravel, marketing strategies to plan, technological riddles to solve, we saw some wonderful wonderful creative, inspiring talent that had us bouncing up and down at the edge of our seats.

The FUTURE NOTION road is starting very very soon , and it will be an exciting, exhilarating one – won’t you join us in discovering and implementing the value of Design in our every day lives?

Social + Design + Creativity = Sustainable, passionate businesses = Win!

Aside

Today, one of the designers with whom FUTURE NOTION is liaising with alerted me to the fact that Helsinki is the World Design Capital 2012.

Alright then, to the uninitiated…World Design Capital is “a city promotion project that celebrates the accomplishments of cities that have used design as a tool to reinvent themselves and improve social, cultural and economic life.” (official source: http://www.worlddesigncapital.com/) (kinda like Olympic games for Design)

In this day and age, the value of design is becoming more and more tangible as companies, brands and designers differentiate themselves to compete with consumption dollars increasingly & easily gobbled up by daily deals, frantic time crunch discounts, desperate weekly sales, low ball coupons and bargain basement prices. (90% off ya’ll  – who cares if the poor producer is left bearing the cost of the sale.) AFTERMATH: poor (almost bankrupt) retailer, no returning customers, low customer attachment to product/brand/service purchased, and our pet peeve – the throwaway purchase. (Typical product cycle: Buy Shoe, wear Shoe twice, throw Shoe away because Shoe fell apart after a stroll in the park.)

There is little recognition based solely on the fact that a tangible good OR service is purchased purely due to its design integrity, intrinsic value, originality of thought, longevity & utility. This little screen capture of a quote – (COPIED AND PASTED – in the spirit of full disclosure)  neatly summarizes the current state of Design’s VALUE in this cheap, selfish economy. SOURCE: http://wdchelsinki2012.fi/en/blogs/2012-01-10/february-door

Image

The gravitas of the last sentence is captivating – small things that make life more pleasant – Let’s all make a conscious effort this year to design our lives around small things that make life more pleasant for OTHERS – those who do not have a voice and have to deal with the extreme aftermath of what we might, in our absorbed lives, leave behind.