Appearances can be deceptive...but how deceptive. We question this in our latest project, The Fake ID. As brand strategists, we operate under the belief that logos do not make brands—but we wanted to explore how much power they have. So each day, we put a well-known logo on a seemingly incongruous product (think: Nike toothbrush) and asked ourselves, how believable is this? (...the same thing we asked ourselves right before we used our fake IDs for the first time.) We encourage you to take a look, ask yourself the same question, and follow us on Instagram for more...
It really IS the most wonderful time of the year, because the Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog is here!
Speaking of the holidays, if you need a last-minute present do stop by our Gift Guide for inspiration.
In #bossnews, check out 2018’s top female-founded startups.
Things we love: Monogram’s Bullshit Shop
You can finally live all your ’90s childhood dreams by getting the Home Alone 2 experience at the Plaza Hotel.
More soothing art, this time courtesy of Adam Hillman.
AIM is officially dead, and it took all our embarrassing screen names with it. So bye bye, damngina06, chliinii_87, and sebi207—it was fun while it lasted.
Two of Canada’s most well-known exports are teaming up to keep Millennial Pink alive.
Why yes, brand managers ARE superheros, and there’s a comic book to prove it.
Patagonia’s dropping truth bombs. Listen and take action.
ALPACA BEAUTY PAGEANT. That is all.
The best inventions for 2017 range from miraculous (glasses that give sight to the blind) to worrying (selfie drones??).
The future looks bright...quite literally...thanks to Pantone.
You guys, we made our first Gift Guide! Whether your recipient is a badass business woman, a sad bearded man, or Tyrion Lannister, we're here for you.
Speaking of beards and sadness, apparently you can festively decorate facial hair now.
"Bunker-style rooftop capsule" sounds vaguely terrifying/apocalyptic, but it's actually quite cool.
BLØW faves Odesza and Bonobo were nominated for 2018 Grammy Awards, so that's what we're listening to at work today (current jam: Kerala).
Does your neck need a nap? Try this.
You already know this, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention England’s most eligible ginger bachelor has been taken off the market by an awesome American lady. Once again, we turn to Elle’s R. Eric Thomas for (the best) coverage.
In gifting, as in branding, it’s important to do research, know your audience, make deliberate choices—but this can be difficult and frustrating, so we went ahead and did it for you. We strategically analyzed culture, Netflix bingeology, other internet stuff, etc., to come up with unique and relevant gifts hand-selected for specific recipients—thereby freeing up time for you to do other things. Like...watch Netflix, probably.
Who's it for: Morose nomads
A couple years ago we heard Cartoon Network’s Head of Design, Jacob Escobedo, speak at a conference and it was such a treat (topics of discussion: Broken Bells, general awesomeness, disembodied goat heads). But his real gift was clueing us into the Sad Topographies insta. And now there’s a book! If Eeyore had frequent flier miles to burn, this would be his guide.
Astier de Villatte Grand Chalet Incense
Who's it for: Anyone who’s swapped hemp-linen blends for organic cashmere
Good God do we love this packaging (and the sophisticated scents, natch). Very possibly the first time we can use the words “incense” and “chic” in the same sentence—and since the ’70s staple is enjoying a resurgence, it won’t be the last.
Magic 8 Ball
Who's it for: Tyrion Lannister
TyLa is our most favorite Game of Thrones character, but he’s been in a slump, strategy-wise. At this point, a good ole Magic 8 Ball might be better at making decisions than he is, so that’s what we’re putting in his stocking. Here’s hoping our gift to proves to be unnecessary when GoT returns.
Who's it for: Architecture enthusiasts you’ve sold your soul to; BLØW team members
New York's Petra Island boasts not one but TWO houses conceived by Frank Lloyd Wright—an especially relevant (if a teensy bit extravagant) gift as he would have been 150 this year. This is basically all of our dreams together at once, so if any of you are feeling extra generous, we’re here for it.
Friction: Passion Brands in the Age of Disruption
Who's it for: Startup founders
If Silicon Valley’s Pied Piper team was real and we were friends with them, this is what we’d give them. Since they’re not, and we’re not, we’re just going to end up gifting this to ourselves since Petra Island may not happen (your fault).
Conjoined Triangles of Success Poster
Who's it for: MBA grads who won’t stop talking about MBA things
Speaking of our favorite show, over the years Silicon Valley has given us so many glorious examples of how strategy exercises and tools can go awry: the NSFW "middle-out" brainstorm; the darkest, most hilarious SWOT analysis ever; and the definitely-bullshit-probably-taught-at-business-school Conjoined Triangles of Success model. Yeah, we’re probably going to gift this to ourselves as well (don’t judge—since it’s from Season 3 it’s on sale!).
Coast to Coast Coin
Who's it for: People who live in New York/LA and constantly complain about New York/LA
Give them this and tell them to get on with their lives.
The F.E. Castleberry x Greats Royale
Who's it for: Wes Anderson fans
Wes Anderson, that lanky human monument to deliberate, curated oddballity, is everywhere. He’s in our movie theaters, he’s in our Instagram feeds, he’s our dreams making sure Bill Murray shows up and everything looks super saturated. And now, he’s in our closets with these Royal Tenenbaums-inspired sneakers. (Just FYI, that film was released 16 years ago, and people are still making footwear about it.) Perfect for anyone who has strong feelings about tennis and Futura.
Who's it for: Friends who spend happy hour talking about feeling unfulfilled (so...most people?)
Much has been made of Sanrio’s Gudetama, the perennially depressed egg yolk—but we find him a bit one-dimensional. Our fave is Aggretsuko, a newer addition to the company’s pantheon of increasingly relatable cartoon friends. This red panda spends her days pushing paper and hating her boss, and her nights swilling beer and listening to loud music to soothe her growing sense of discontentment. She tries to remain calm, but occasionally she loses her damn mind. Sound familiar? Yes it does.
Dude No. 1 Beard Oil
Who's it for: Det. Jim Hopper; brooding beardos in general
We’re living in a post-Stranger Things 2 world, and things are different (...dare we say stranger?) now. For example, Hawkins’ scruffy, melancholic police chief has emerged from the internets as the unlikeliest of meme gods/smoldering mancakes. Seems like he could use some nice things, so we’d gift him this beard oil. His response would likely be, “What the f*&k is this?” But you know what Hop? You’re a sex symbol now, bro. Keep it luxurious.
Overose Indasmin Candle
Who's it for: Millennials who can’t let go of fleeting trends
Millennial pink is a lovely color. Except it’s probably on its way out, trend-wise, which means Millennials can’t love it anymore. Except we’re Millennials and we’re still holding onto it, whatever the interwebs may say...so if you know know anyone suffering from a similar affliction, buy them this jasmine candle. It’s pretty, plus it smells like vacation.
Alice + Olivia Bridget Striped Sequin Dress
Who's it for: Millennials who need to stay ahead of fleeting trends
Despite our attachments, we've done some research into what 2018’s answer to Millennial pink will be and...it’s all over the place, you guys. We’ve heard bright yellow, we’ve heard red, we’ve heard teal...and even something called Gen-Z Green. So for the Millennial in your life that must be 3.14 steps ahead of every current trend at all times, hedge your bets and pick something with ALL THE COLORS.
Moon Juice. Soul tattoos. Astro drinks. The (new) New Age is here in force, man—and whatever your feelings about it, it is well designed. Case in point: this beautiful, minimalist tarot deck from LA institution The Dreslyn. Will it accurately predict recipients their future? Ask again later. Will it look good on their coffee table at parties? 100%.
Thom Browne Appliqued Cardigan
Who's it for: Tonya Harding
Say what you will about Tonya—she’s given us so much: one of the weirdest, most out-of-leftfield sports scandals in history and enough stranger-than-fiction fodder for an excellent ESPN 30 for 30 documentary PLUS the biopic I, Tonya. (It’s coming out in a few weeks and we are more excited about it than the actual winter holiday.) Anyways, we wanted to give something back, so we present her this loud, unapologetically kitschy cardigan.
Home Alone: The Authorized Coloring Book
Who's it for: Human persons who live in society
Adult coloring books are still around—and this is clearly the best one. If the recipient can’t appreciate this, you may want to reconsider your relationship with them.
In the words of Liz Lemon, we want to go to there. (It’s hard to describe what “there” is so we’ll let the article do the talking: “It's like a massive conglomeration of melted gumdrops...that's somehow both exhilarating and oh-so-calming.”)
More news in calming color coordination: check out these soothing gradients made out of everyday objects.
The Met’s 2018 Costume Institute exhibition will be Catholic themed so...we’ll just be over here quietly dreading the emergence of the fashion cassock (fassock?).
Blake Shelton has been named Sexiest Man Alive and over at Elle, BLØW fave R. Eric Thomas has DOUBTS. As do we #voteforidris
Rutgers University has a puppy-raising club and we’re all going back to college now bye bye.
Move over, pickling and pumpkin spice everything—there are new food trends in town.
Agriculture x raves, happening now in Tokyo.
You should probably start rapping all your pitches, FYI.
We want to live in a Tishk Barzanji image.
Is your New Year’s resolution to be more quirky in 2018? Then get this calendar from BLØW fave Marc Johns.
This low-budget, live-action Thor beats out big-screen Thor and also every other movie ever made.
This store in Barcelona gives new meaning to the phrase “popping pills like candy."
T-shirts that make fun of hipsters? Here. For. It.
The most downloaded stock photo of a woman in 2017 is very different from most downloaded in 2007 (thank jeebus).