You don’t hear very much about New Zealand on the non-music front but that’s all about to change. I Love Ugly is this new Kiwi lifestyle brand that has rad hats (check), patterns (check), and watches (check). And their timely new “Frankie Watch Collection” is some serious design porn. Make way you guys, WE’RE COMING BACK FOR SECONDS.
UK graphic designer and illustrator, Luke Skinner, is onto something. With his Luxury Rap prints, he’s been hand-lettering an A-Z of high fashion references like some kind of hip-hop Encyclopedia Brown. Hat-tipping everyone from Jay and Ye to Kendrick and Frank O, Skinner has put together the ultimate end-all compendium. AND THAT’S A RAP.
We’ve been fans of J.Viewz ever since “Far Too Close” first graced our ears back in 2011 so we’re really digging this dancey new video treatment. From air parkour to hip pops, the hero busts a move a la Nathan Barnatt meets Patrick Swayze like it’s nothing. This video brings the song back to life with a distinctive ’80s sheen that MAKES US FEEL ALIVE AGAIN.
Death to Tennis is an ace new brand out of New York. It was love at first sight, from their strong logo game to their inexhaustive floral prints. Think less Fred Perry and Lacoste, more Woody Allen’s Match Point meets Paul Smith. It’s clean and crisp, perfect for summer in smash city USA, when all that matters is SWEATING GIRLS WITHOUT SWEATING.
Meet this new band from Portlandia called Dresses. Sure, they have 26 less dresses than Katherine Heigl, but they also sound like a holy tropical cross between Dan Croll and LA’s Kisses. Their debut single “Sun Shy” is a carefree houseparty anthem that frolics and frays like a sunshining wallflower. Your summer jam is here and IT SOUNDS LIKE THIS.
One of my favorite bands in the world, Miike Snow, just teamed up with my all-time favorite sock brand, Happy Socks, for a match made in Swedish heaven. Featuring their iconic jackalope logo, the eye-popping ankle-highs lend an air of stylish warmth to Miike Snow’s frosted tundra pop. Truly the future of band merch. LEGEND MEETS LEG-END.
Grouplove are back, and their video for brand new single, “Ways to Go” is nothing short of perfect. As Christian’s croon meshes with Hannah (aka Hooplove aka Donna Darko)’s vocal boom, the chorus grows the fuck up and bursts through the gates of pop heaven while a Max Fischer-esque young dictator does his rebel dance. DANCE DANCE REBELUTION.
Sean Kinney is a local NYC designer who operates under the brilliant name, Eddie Eddie by Billy Tommy. Not only is his Instagram a goldmine, but his collaboration with rad vintage label, Reformation, includes the above cashmere “RIP Aaliyah” jumper. If I could, I’d wear it everyday or at least own both colorways. DUST YOURSELF OFF AND BUY AGAIN.
Andy Bull is something of a genius. The Sydney city slicker has a new video out for “Keep On Running” that’s been keeping my heart pumping. The song itself is already a palpitating pop anthem but the Nelson Alves-directed video is like something out of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's dream journal, a fantastic voyage into an inventive mind. KEEP ON ROCKING, ANDY.
My current favorite “Tumblr” artist goes by the name of Philipp Igumnov, or as he calls himself, woodcum. He’s a twenty-something from Moscow with an eye for the surreal and beautifully bizarre, like a hipster Diane Arbus with a dab of Picasso. I’d like to think that he went to collage to learn the trade but THE INTERNET IS THE NEW ART SCHOOL.