In the world of creativity, if you're not starting a fire, then what's the point? So, we've created a portal to celebrate the most revolutionary and thought-provoking ideas we're seeing in the world today. Some are ideas we've recognized from others and we're tipping our hats to, and others are ones we thought of (go figure). Either way you cut it, you won't find a dull moment here, and hopefully we've inspired you to start your own fire.
Converse is redesigning its hugely popular Chuck Taylor All-Star shoe for the first time in almost 100 years. First introduced in 1917, the canvas shoe quickly became iconic symbol of polished-yet-casual streetwear, and Fast Company has dubbed it “the Coca-Cola of shoes,” with its sales making up a majority of the $1.7 billion annual revenue. However, with this title, a primary concern about its makeover was its potential to become the “New Coke” of shoes, a nod to the much-hated formula Coca-Cola tried to adopt in attempt at rebranding back in the ’80s.
However, Converse has shown its masterful knowledge of fashion revival by unveiling the “Chuck II,” a subtle remake of the shoe. Although at first glance it looks identical to the old design, the details are what distinguish the newer model from its predecessor.
The new Lunarlon insoles for added comfort
The canvas shell is made of a better quality material, the stitching is nicer, and the eyelets have been reimagined. While sales of the classic shoe have increased ten-fold since 2003, when it was saved from bankruptcy by its acquisition by Nike, a new design after almost a decade is a bold move.
What Sparks Our Fire:A beloved classic shoe gets a redesign, but stays true to its iconic brand
The world today lives in fear of technology taking over—parents complain of their kids being glued to their electronics, websites and advertisements can be tailored to your preferences and location in real-time, and sci-fi movies depict robots whose artificial intelligence is dangerously self-aware. The introduction of “wearable tech,” accessories with electronic capabilities, represents a shift toward compromise: items that both serve to be both functional and convenient, like the introduction of the hotly-marketed Apple Watch or Disney‘s $1 billion investment in the creation and integration of all-access “MagicBands” in their Disney World park in Orlando.
However, as wearable tech becomes more commonplace, functionality and convenience are simply not sufficient selling points by themselves anymore. Now more than ever, as exemplified by brands like Apple and Tesla, there is heavy emphasis on gorgeous product design, and companies are quickly learning to capitalize on it. While wearable tech has existed since the 1961 development of an accessory that helped gamblers cheat at casino games, the trend of marrying fashion and technology has only recently emerged. Designers have now begun releasing their own lines of accessories for the tech-savvy, like Rebecca Minkoff‘s line of wearable tech—mobile phone chargers and notification chips disguised as normal bracelets—at New York Fashion week this past spring, or French designer Pauline Deltour‘s “Fine” collection of tech accessories, which include a Bluetooth speaker, portable phone charger, and USB keyring that are designed to mimic the beautiful designs of early 20th century Parisian vanity objects.
French designer Pauline Deltour’s “Fine” collection
The key to the success of these items, it seems, is not necessarily the introduction of a new device, but instead seamless integration. Consumers have demonstrated an interest in devices that keep them connected, but are aesthetically appealing as well. A demand for consumer electronics with a degree of artistry has driven the creation of things like Ringly, a cocktail ring that alerts the wearer of push notifications on their phone, or Cuff, a bracelet that doubles as an emergency signal. These companies advertise their products as “wearable tech that you want to wear,” desirable for fans of technology that find devices like Google Glass lacking in style, and bringing new meaning to the words “by design.”
What Sparks Our Fire: Companies that are dedicated to both purpose and beauty, making “wearable tech” truly wearable
Now that the winter season has officially started, don’t let the cold weather slow down your productivity. This winter, stay connected on all of your favorite devices while keeping your hands nice and toasty with touchscreen gloves from Mujjo. Most gloves designed for this purpose, are restricted to one or two fingers, but Mujjo redefines the touchscreen gloves promise letting you use all 10 fingers, or even the palm of your hand, without having to expose your hands to the blistery elements! They’re available in many colors: black, natural gray, lavender, coral pink and made from the finest Ethiopian lambskin, known for offering the best isolation properties of any kind of leather. Beyond touch screen functionality, they keep you warm, are durable, with a comfortable fit and they look great. If this sounds like something you’ve always been looking for, the gloves are available from Mujjo’s site.
What Sparks Our Fire: high-tech meets fashion to come up with a useful item
Would you grab yourself a piece? Let us know below.
Fitness bands are increasing in popularity. More and more people are using them to track wellness routines and sleep patterns. What stops people from getting these devices to assist their healthy lifestyle? Simply, their clunky nature. FitBit has solved this problem by introducing a new collection of designer jewelry in partnership with Tory Burch.
Tory Burch released multiple bracelets and a pendant to make the Fitbit a true fashion accessory. With a versatile design, you can wear it to an import meeting or even a cocktail party. This is the breakthrough many women have been waiting for in order to wear fitness devices like the Fitbit.
Fitbit is the first to partner with a designer. But, we can be sure to see other competitors make the same shift in the near future. Apple has already signed a few watch designers and when their assumed iWatch is released, everyone knows it will be fashion forward.
What Sparks our Fire: Seeing a crossover between fitness and fashion that makes a product accessible to more people.
What features are you looking for in fitness bands?