The benefit of choosing minimal accessories lies in their flexibility to be integrated to many outfit combinations. Recently, Collection Of Style—Swedish fashion powerhouse—launched their minimal accessories collection called In Contrast. Although the series only hold a modest number of items, the curation has a uniformed aesthetic of monochromic black and white. In Contrast ranges from highly crafted leather sandals to a leather bag with raw hems. While they don’t act as fashion statements, these accessories subtly complement the wearers with a new edge. However, my favorite is a piece of rubber block necklace that has a smaller counterpart in the form of a wristband. With a thick strap, this particular adornment stands out due to its unique and chunky nature that is not often seen in minimal fashion accessories. The collection is now live at COS online store.
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Narita International Airport adds to its roster the exciting and very original Terminal 3. As a joint effort from NIKKEN SEKKEI + Ryohin Keikaku + PARTY, this project unapologetically uses the low budget to its advantage with smart choices regarding the structure, applied materials and even the layout. A great example of heavy-duty minimalism infused with playfulness. To break the mould and ignore the customary moving walkways was not only an aesthetic choice but also a monetary one, since the budget for Terminal 3 was half of the usual sum; in a bold move, rubber running tracks were installed all the way through guiding the travellers and the airport’s staff. The clear lines leave no room for doubt, the blue surface leads the way for the departing passengers, whilst the red/earth colour welcomes the arriving commuters. It’s worth pointing out the great pictograms replacing illuminated signs as well. The interior design made with much-celebrated MUJI furniture is a perfect fit for what Terminal 3 is about. The brand’s affordable and functional furnishings enriches the ambient with great visual patterns and additional colour. Since the structure is quite raw and exposed, it is a great contingency plan to add explicit soft...
This minimal wristwatch, aptly called Moreless, has been created by Denny Liao and Karen Han of Los Angeles based design studio, Mean. The watch face is clear of any visual clutter, the time increments are displayed on the inner side wall of the timepiece. As you tilt your hand, your reading of the time becomes more precise. You see less when you look straight at the watch, you see more at an angle. Here is how the designers describe their concept: The project explores a simple way for a watch to display time based on the user’s level of curiosity. There are many ways to communicate time on a watch, but how specific does the information need to be? The answer varies depending on the occasion. In most cases, you might just want to get a rough idea of the time of the day. Or rather, when an important meeting is coming up, you might want the information shown on the watch to be very specific. Thus, we asked ourselves: can some of the information on the watch be kept out of sight when not needed, and only appear as it becomes relevant to the user? The end result is an extremely minimal watch...
Founded in 2012 and based in New York City, Chiyome is a studio focused on creating exceptional products based on a key premise: what is essential? Their designs – shoulder bags, backpacks and pouches – are continually infused with a clean and minimalist perspective, manifested through sharp lines, subtle color relationships and smart proportions. HOVER, their Spring/Summer ’14 collection, is all about harmonizing dissonant materials, fusing high (leather, marble) and low (rubber, vinyl) into a sophisticated, luxurious blend. The brand is also committed to designing through social efforts and radical means, sourcing materials from minority-owned local businesses in order to strengthen the social fabric of NY and reduce their carbon footprint, intrinsecally bringing minimalism to all aspects of their practice.
Nendo have designed, for their own brand by | n, a new stationery collection. The collection consists of eleven minimalist items: the flip pen, contrast ruler, circle tags, link clips, rubber bands, outline tray, cross pen-stand, peel pen-case, hard cover memo-pad, edge note and the dot envelope. I would like to feature four items that caught my eye: Contrast ruler A minimalist ruler with marking fading from white to black, making the ruler easy to read on dark and light surfaces. Circle tag Normal sticky notes can be easily ripped off. The pie chart shaped notes however will stay in place for a long period of time thanks to an increased sticky surface and reduced number of corners. Link clip The link clips, made of high frictional paper, come connected and are detached one by one for use. Desktops keep tidy and they can be recycled along with the paper. Edge notes The edge notebooks have a colourful edge to help with filling. Filed with the spine outwards the books present a neat appearance, filed with the edges outwards the books are distinguishable by colour. Pages of the books are printed in a light cross pattern to provide enough guidance but less restrictive than lines....
San Francisco based audio accessories brand Native Union, strive to bring communication back to how it should be: simple and enjoyable. With this in mind, they have designed the award winning Switch – a compact, lightweight, and portable Bluetooth speaker. It pairs to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with wireless ease, letting you listen to all your audio with unmatched sound and quality. The name Switch derives from its ability to play audio effectively in both a vertical and horizontal position. Aside from its sound quality, it’s the beautifully minimalist box design that has me particularly impressed. The speaker’s rubber exterior encases all sides of the box except the metal speaker screen. The exterior also features the Native Union logo, which unfortunately is its only aesthetic flaw. I would have preferred a more subtle (same colour) engraving. However, an intuitive volume wheel inspired by hi-fi audio systems is convenient to use, regardless of the speaker’s position. Switch comes in a variety of colours and is available on both the Native Union and the Apple stores. Images courtesy of Apple.
London based brand Uniform Wares, designers of the beautiful 100 Series wristwatches previously featured on Minimalissimo back in 2010, have recently unveiled their all-new 104 Series. This immaculate and minimalistic collection includes the PVD Black with black rubber, the Satin Bead Blasted with blue rubber, and the Brushed Steel with orange rubber. Each of which is as beautiful as the other. The 104 Series boldly plays with colour blocking and texture, using subtly different colours and contrasting materials on the cases, bezels and other elements including the dials, batons and markers. This new design is a comprehensive update to Uniform Wares’ iconic 100 collection. Instead of the pointed tip being on the hour hand as previously, it now appears on the minute hand, but it begs the question; why have a pointed tip at all? On a whole though, the design of each piece in this series certainly impresses with my preference lying with the black.
Pure is a new shoe collection by the French architect, Jean Nouvel for the Italian brand, Ruco Line. The minimalist shoe was unveiled at this year’s Milan Design Week gaining great relevance, and strong opinion. This is Nouvel’s first footwear project as he looked for basic and essential lines to apply to the shoe design, which is a characteristic often seen in his architectural work. The result is an incredibly simplistic shoe with a strong identity. Pure is made up of high-quality calf leather with a rubber sole. The collection is available in a variety of colours, including; black, white, yellow and fuchsia. The shoe also features the abbreviated name of the design at the top along with its style, colour code, and date of production.
Building Block has delivered once again with their AW 2013 collection. Los Angeles sister duo, Kimberly and Nancy Wu, has launched yet another line to add to their seamless and beautifully crafted curation. Their latest offering is again a fusion of handsome leathers and considered disciplined design. Their signature wooden building blocks also make the cut, of course. There exists a particular drawcard in the collection, in the unique form and functionality of the Wooden Sphere Clutch. Its execution and innovation of use are to be commended. In a similar and rightfully considered vein as the rest of the collection, the integration of natural elements, namely wood and leather, are spot on. The clutch includes a seamless magnetic closer and rubber handle with smooth black leather exterior. Measuring 12.5cm in height by 25cm in width, it stands as a statement piece. With the intent of magnifying essentials and editing out excess, Building Block finds continual inspiration in returning to square one. And for this reason, I am happily along for the ride. Photography courtesy of Kimberly and Nancy Wu.
The WR.02 is a minimalist chair with a fun twist I recently discovered in Lisbon. The chair is created by the Portuguese industrial designer and art director, Marco Sousa Santos. What appeals to me are the fresh lines and the interesting combination of materials, beech wood and rubber, the WR.02 is made up of. The backseat, one piece with the rear legs composing a strong structure, is coated with Rubber Skin creating the illusion of a hard back, yet surprisingly soft and comfortable. I really like how Sousa Santos plays with this illusion. The chair, available in various colours, is part of the new collection of Branca, a new furniture label founded by Sousa Santos.
There have been many exercises in paring down the wallet to the ultimate minimalistic design, but I believe London-based Taiwanese designer Chieh Ting Huang has arrived at that ideal quite successfully. Nothing Fancy is a collection of non-stitched minimalist solutions for the wallet, re-imagined for the contemporary lifestyle. Using only a foldable leather hide template and rubber bands and eliminating everything else (stitches, snaps, zippers, etc.), Chieh delivers a wallet, a coin case, an iPhone holder and a passport holder within the same principles. The result is a well thought, beautifully executed and impeccably styled range of products that has left the design blogosphere wishing for one of their own. My personal favorite is the passport holder and I’m especially in love with the customized rubber bands!
The Feather chair has been created by Swedish designer Jens Fager for the office furniture manufacturer Edsbyn. Based on a traditional office chair design, Feather is more lightweight and comfortable than its predecessors. The designer explains: The name Feather evokes elegance combined with spring and resilience. We wanted it to attract all consumers, from young design offices to the dining room of a huge factory. A chair for everyone. One of the notable features of this piece is the detachable rubber-covered armrests. They instantly add comfort and allow chair to be hung off the edge of a table when mopping the floor. The frame is available in chrome, white lacquer or silver lacquer and the seat and backrest are available in white ash, natural oak, black stained oak and natural birch.