Things that made my day this week>
I first knew of Hiroshi Fujiwara though his work on old school Japanese hip-hop label Major Force. He was cited as an influence in Bomb The Bass’ first album Into The Dragon. His influence has been much bigger in terms of streetwear and Harajuku culture that fuelled fashion and culture of the past two decades. He is now collaborating Moncler and did some media interviews :
Thailand is famous for emotion-filled adverts and this Sunsilk film is no exception, dealing with family acceptance of Kathoei (กะเทย). Its a beautiful piece of work by JWT’s Bangkok office.
I’ve never worn Doctor Martens myself but they were often seen in the school yard and during my early working life. They are as British as Marks & Spencers chicken tikka masala. I thought product had been moved offshore as part of globalisation, but it seems that there is still a small production facility in the UK. The process of how the shoes are made is fascinating.
The application of machine learning in the criminal justice system is something of concern. The natural inclination of authority is to inflate itself with every tool that progress provides.
Great documentary on Chinese wealthy migration away from China. The move to Vancouver was pioneered in the early 1970s with wealthy Hong Kongers preparing for its handover in the decades to come. They’ve been followed families who got rich on the mainland following the opening up of the economy.
It reflects the reality of major cities around the world now as capital flight out of China continues. Non-domestic earnings (like that from Russia and Middle East) is a factor driving unaffordability of housing. The experience of Mau and the opening up founded a culture of ‘now’. This has manifested itself in different ways: capital flight, having a bolt hole abroad and a foreign passport in case things go suddenly bad. It also explains historic product quality issues as entrepreneurs think about the now and let the future take care of itself, preferably while you have gone abroad to live a comfortable life.
Upgrade to 5G Costs $200 Billion a Year, May Not Be Worth It | Advertising Age – this will be interesting. 3G mobile networks were in a similar position at launch. Three didn’t manage to build a business selling football clips…
Why Is There No Freighter Equivalent of the Airbus A380? – this is explains why Airbus made non-cargo optimised design decisions (like a cockpit on the lower flight deck so you can’t fit a cargo door in the nose)
Jaron Lanier interview on Silicon Valley culture, #MeToo backlash, AI, and the future – Business Insider
Hiroshi Fujiwara Explains Why Fragment Sneakers Are So Hard to Get | GQ – There’s many shoes out there. I want everyone to have it who wants to have it. But it’s hard because so many people buy them just to make money. And I don’t like that. And sometimes it’s good to work hard to get a sneaker, because otherwise you won’t buy it – Fujiwara-san on point as ever
China unveils satellite network plan for round-the-clock lock on South China Sea | South China Morning Post
WSJ City | Gig work may stifle some startups – a gig firm’s entry into a given area caused a decline in the number of unfunded and underfunded Kickstarter campaigns launched locally a year later
Ctrip launches global rebrand to Trip.com – interesting staking out global ambitions against Agoda, Booking.com and Expedia
Google Translate: Telefonini e patenti | L’Espresso – Umberto Eco making the valid point that communications by phone are often less circumspect because of the immediacy of the medium. Writing a letter allows more time for consideration and weight in the communications
Red Bull Content Pool – interesting that Red Bull has its own inhouse picture agency
Vote Leave donations: the dark ads, the mystery ‘letter’ – and Brexit’s online guru | Politics | The Guardian – The Guardian have the bit between their teeth on this and other media aren’t picking it up at all. How to Use Facebook Dark Posts | Duct Tape Marketing – nice simple explanation of dark ads for non marketers out there – far more elegant than when I have explained it. Despite the name it isn’t sinister
PR Research: The death of Twitter as a marketing tool? Recent research says half of marketers don’t see the point of Twitter any more | PRmoment – probably not the most scientific pieces of research, I think the answer is more nuanced
Understanding “New Power” | Harvard Business Review – interesting read, if you haven’t had the chance already
Is The Streetwear Market Headed For The Mainstream? : NPR – interesting piece on streetwear by NPR. It echoes some of the concerns I had about the streetwear market. If you want to know how it all got so big: Louis Vuitton, Supreme and the tangled relationship between streetwear and luxury brands
JR Tokai gives media a peek at maglev work underway at Shinagawa Station | The Japan Times – so cool
Chadlington: ban all ads and promotion for gambling | PR Week – (paywall)
Things that made my day this week:
KFC China launched a virgin mojito drink with a 1960s feel to the ad. Its a bit of an odd product for KFC, even in China particularly with its positioning against drinking. Quite how the product development process and consumer insight worked to produce it is beyond me. Beautifully produced advert
Great documentary on Sterns Music (of Sterns Edits fame)
High Snobriety have done their first documentary. It looks like the kind of thing I would expect from Vice. Given High Snobriety’s streetwear literate audience I was surprised at how ‘basic’ it approaches the topic. Korean’s historic fashion industry, its association with replicas since the days of Daper Dan and the retail infrastructure stifled by chaebols are issues. But streetwear couldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for the Korean textile industry – Daper Dan connection. The market in Korea reminded me very much of the ‘snide’ garments that were popular in the UK scene through the 1980s and 1990s.
On a secondary note the size of the YouTube video embed was restricted to 560 pixels wide. Not sure why
William Gibson: ‘I Never Expected to Be Living in an American Retro-Future’ – Motherboard – William Gibson critiquing Trump administration era America
Cities and Memory: global collaborative sound project – Cities & Memory | Field Recordings, Sound Map, Sound Art really nice project correlating field recordings by location
Things that made my day this week:
It’s quite rare for someone who has had as as long a career as Mick Jagger to still do relevant material. His double A side single featuring England’s Lost is an exceptionally political track featuring Skepta. The last track from similar artist would likely be Pink Floyd’s The Wall. It wouldn’t sound out of step with The Stone Roses or The Charlatans and the video with Luke Evans performance is amazing.
Omega seem to have spent most of the summer dwelling on the NASA Apollo programme heritage of the Omega Speedmaster with launches happening around the world including PR people in faux spacesuits for photo shoots and socialite cocktail parties. The excuse is the 60th anniversary of the Omega Speedmaster’s launch in 1957. They’ve supported it with a scripted film using brand spokesperson George Clooney talking with Buzz Aldrin. Aldrin as ever is awesome.
60 years of production makes the Speedmaster a design classic. At the time of the Speedmaster’s launch Omega would have been a more bankable name than Rolex. That seems surprising now given Omega’s move more towards the fashion end of the market. There is a great interview at The Peak Magazine; with Peter Chow the recently retired veteran salesman at The Hour Glass in Singapore. The Hour Glass is a famous watch retailer that has attracted the world’s richest customers.
“You could buy a manual mechanical watch with a fine Swiss movement for S$20 plus,” Mr Chong says. The well-known brands then were Titoni, Titus, Movado and Cyma. “Omega was the best, not Rolex.” Mr Chong quit his job in 1959 and with S$6000 from savings and loans, opened a shop in Bukit Panjang. But within three years, poor sales drove him out of business.
It was something I heard from my parents, though I had partly put this down to both of them having had Omegas – which they bought for each other when they got married.
Northampton’s most famous son, author Alan Moore Interviewed by Greg Wilson and Kermit – real name Paul Leveridge from the Ruthless Rap Assassins and Black Grape. Interesting dissection of modern counterculture and the general sense of ennui.
I am addicted to videos about mesmerising manufacturing processes and vinyl records. This video combines both of them. The hipster movement has done more than drive up the cost of avocados and gentrification. We’ve seen vinyl manufacturing plants revived and thrive. Over time the machinery has needed to be modernised, this has meant modern manufacturing techniques (like SCADA controllers) have been melted to post-war industrial technology. Anyway enough of my blathering check it out.
My week was soundtracked by this epic mix of Herbie Hancock tracks.