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Can Dover Street Market Catch Lightning in a Bottle Twice?
When Dover Street Market first launched in 2004 with a creative bazaar that deftly offered a mix of high-demand luxury fashion, niche independent labels, and in-store activations and art installations, multi-brand retail was changed forever. Innovative at the time, the concept is ubiquitous in today’s shopping landscape. As a division of Comme des Garçons, the Japanese group whose namesake is itself a cult name, Dover grew to account for nearly one third of revenue over the years that followed. Then Covid-19 hit, and sales plunged 25 percent. Business has returned to pre-pandemic levels, CEO Adrian Joffe says, but that doesn’t mean the trailblazing retailer is resting on its laurels.
As Dover Street Market Paris prepares to debut next year inside a sprawling 17th-century mansion in the Marais, the company recently announced the launch of a new events arm, 3537. In addition to being its last, the location in the City of Lights will serve as a proving ground for a new approach that flips the emphasis from a store with cultural programming to an experience-centric platform with retail integrated into concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, and more. That includes events outside of Dover’s physical locations in London, Tokyo, New York, Singapore, Beijing, Los Angeles, and soon Paris. This month, for instance, it organized artist Serkan Sarier’s exhibition opening in a Berlin church. It’s a bold move for a revered staple of the fashion world, but one that leaves Dover Street Market poised to reinvent retail yet again.
Berlin’s skateboarders petition against a newly imposed ban at the Neue Nationalgalerie.
Before the Neue Nationalgalerie—a steel-and-glass Modernist masterpiece by Mies van der Rohe—closed for a six-year renovation by David Chipperfield Architects, its surrounding paved terrace fostered a lively skating culture. Now that the institution and plaza have both reopened, the skaters have returned. Museum authorities quickly banned them from the site in late October, sparking backlash and provoking the community to launch a petition to reverse the decision that has since been signed by 2,500 people. It calls for “the preservation of the skate culture at the Neue Nationalgalerie” and an agreement that would allow skaters on the site after hours.
According to a study, one architect generates the same carbon emissions as 162 people.
At the Danish pavilion, the head of innovation at Copenhagen-based Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Enlai Hooi, spoke on “Adaptive Transformation” in which he noted that a traditional architect generates carbon emissions equivalent to the lives of 162 Americans with only three buildings. The way forward? Referencing the AJ’s RetroFirst campaign, Hooi proposed a band-aid solution that seeks to affix existing structures with eco-friendly systems that tackle the economic roadblocks of steel and concrete. “We have an obligation as architects to ask: what qualities exist in the [existing] building? The qualities of existing buildings can offer much more than what can be built from scratch from an economic framework but also from a historical, heritage framework as well,” he says. “What’s the least we can do for the greatest effect?”
In a push to become carbon-neutral, Thailand unveils the largest hydro-floating solar farm.
As part of the nation’s push to become carbon-neutral by 2050, Thailand has crafted a $34 million solar facility in the Sirindhorn reservoir that spans roughly 410 miles. With dual energy producing schemes, the $34 million solar farm employs 145,000 panels and three wind turbines to harness the power of the flowing tides at night. The initiative is a part of 16 installations in capital Thai water bodies that intend to shift the nation’s reliance on natural gases to renewable sources.
Vetements’ new label hopes to bring the luxury of fashion houses to the next generation.
The newly launched brand, called VTMNTS, intends to share “quality feeling that Hermès gives their sophisticated clientele” to its mostly Gen-Z client base through unisex staples that mirror the look and feel of Vetements. With the philosophy of “buy less,” VTMNTS is marketing its debut collection with focus on craftsmanship that trades logos for barcodes—perhaps the only difference from its holding company as the drop features its hoodies, graphic tees, and branded tops.
Kering appoints Matthieu Blazy to succeed Daniel Lee as Bottega Veneta’s creative director.
Shortly after Daniel Lee’s abrupt departure from Bottega Veneta this past week, Kering has already named a successor. Matthieu Blazy will take the lead—not a particularly surprising decision given how the Belgian 37-year-old served as Lee’s right hand. He first gained attention at Maison Marginal Artisanal, where he unveiled crystal-encrusted masks for the fall 2013 couture show that Kanye West used for his Yeezus tour. He then enjoyed a stint at Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, where his partner Pieter Mulier worked as creative director under Raf Simons. “I’m confident that Blazy’s wealth of experience and broad cultural background will allow him to bring his creative impetus to the task of carrying on the legacy of Bottega Veneta,” Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, said in a statement. Blazy’s first collection will be shown at Milan Fashion Week in February 2022.
The head of Mana Contemporary Arts is charged for an alleged $7.8 million tax evasion.
Placed on leave following his indictment, founder and executive director Eugene Lemay has been slapped with one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS alongside accountant Joel Lingat. The duo “ran a scheme that involved paying shell companies and misclassifying workers as independent contractors in order to dodge payroll taxes,” between 2010 and 2016 as recorded by attorney Damien Williams. Lemay was hit with additional evasion charges for avoiding personal income taxes in 2014 and 2015. If convicted, both parties face a five-year sentence in prison for each count.
Today’s attractive distractions:
Kengo Kuma’s latest public restroom mirrors the shape of Mount Fuji’s beloved peak.