Archive for the ‘Design, Art, Architecture’ Category

MakethMan’s New Web Portal

July 22, 2010

MakethMan is now at

Click the above link to join us.


The Launch of Aficionado

July 6, 2010

One of my early mentors was guy by the name of Craig Ralph.

Not sure what Craig is up to these days, but my time spent with him as a recent graduate trying to figure my way through the corporate structures of retail banking (don’t ask – that’s another world, far, far away from the present), proved to be invaluable. One of the many insights into the human psyche that Craig taught me, was a very simple truth about the way we, as individuals, like to surround ourselves with like-minded people.

People like people who are like themselves“, is what he used say.

The key is figuring out what they want, and giving it to them.”

Sounds like lyrics to a Jimmy Buffett song, but a lesson I have applied in my limited business career, to great effect.

The notion of ‘group think‘ has been around us for years. Chat to my dad and he will tell you about his time as a ‘DuckTail’ in the 60’s: the perfectly tapered trouser legs creating the characteristic ‘stove-pipe’ jeans, immaculately greased-back hair, and one inch rolled sleeves. None of his mates would be seen dead without the tribal dress code or not on the seat of a Norton Commando or Triumph ‘Bonne’.

These types of tribes surround us today. Maybe not to the extent of previous generations. Not as aesthetically prescriptive, or blatantly obvious. It’s more of a ‘mental tribe’ these days. You can be a goth, I can be all EMO, she can be all crafty and into her knitting, and them over there, they can be tragic hipsters. But we can all unite over a common interest, a love, an obsession.

I can say with conviction that I do indeed like people that are like me. You must too – or else you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Further, I have found the badge of a new mental tribe to pin to my parka. And I would like to introduce this tribe to you.

Welcome to Aficionado.

MakethMan has had the pleasure of being invited to join a group of very like-minded individuals, all experts (and passionately so) in their fields of Fashion, Food and Travel. My list of new friends reads like “Roll Call Of Cool”, and includes bloggers Justine Stafford from I for 1, and food writer Andy Fenner, better known as JamieWho? And the best part about it all, is that this tribe is proudly South African – global content, filtered through local eyes. A huge honour for me, and one I accept with great respect and humble admiration.

So from now on be sure to connect with MakethMan, I for 1 , JamieWho? and the world of Aficionado at

Thanks for the support, and enjoy the read.


Moses Mabhida Stadium : Brazil v Portugal

June 30, 2010

The first thing my Durban mates asked me after the game was:

“Isn’t it better than Cape Town Stadium?

Expecting me to defend my chosen home city’s facilities, they were surprised at my answer.

But it is.

It is a perfectly contextualised stadium: on the KwaZulu Natal coastline, beautifully opened up to the sunshine, and channeling the warm Indian Ocean wind.

This is how Durban does ‘STADIUM’.

Don’t get me wrong. I love CT Stadium. It’s like a ‘team huddle’. A ‘cosy-up’. A ‘take refuge from the storms’.

But Moses is a special place. The first truly ‘tropical’ stadium I have experienced. And one of epic proportion. It’s our Colosseum.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pity none of the Brazilian players deemed it worthy of equal flare on the groomed pitch.

Shigenobu Twilight Wooded Fragrance by Anicka Yi & Maggie Peng

June 29, 2010

The first thing I thought about when I saw this bold packaging was a rather twisted form of JENGA.
Remember the crafty game of balance, made from untreated pegs of wood?
I loved that game. But not as much as I love this Shigenobu Twilight Fragrance.
The story behind the fragrance is almost as alluring as the chiseled chucks of wood themselves:
Start with one New York artist, Anicka Yi.
Add the sculptural eye of architect Maggie Peng.
Take inspiration from former Japanese Red Army Leader Fusako Shigenobu, and the land of his exile, Lebanon (hence the cedar wood).
Hand-distill a fragrance using three different types of cedar wood as your base notes, violet leaf & nutty tones for your heart notes, and top off with yuzu, shiso leaf and black pepper.
Packaged in glass bottles encased in hand-crafted raw cedar-wood casks.
And the result is an objet d’arte that would look as comfortable on the mantlepiece, as the toiletries shelf.
Thanks to CurbCrawler for sniffing this one out.
Available at $160  from Oogabooga via Swipelife

CurbCrawler Contribution #6 : United Flags

June 23, 2010
The CurbCrawler has been getting into the World Cup spirit and finding some bold colour combinations on the streets.

Forca Portugal! Forca Cape Town Stadium!

June 23, 2010

22 players.

65,000 fans (mainly Pora’s or wannabe Pora’s).

7 Goals (again all Pora).

And 1 awe-inspiring, ‘pantheonic’ stadium.

… And the crowd went wild!

Great game. Forca Portugal!

Camping – by Jesper K Thomsen

June 21, 2010

Scandinavians are cool. They just are. All of them. The Danes. The Swedes. The Norwegians. The Finns.

Well, maybe not the Finns. But definately the other three.

They are just effortlessly cool. Could be the climate. Or lack of extended periods of sunshine. Or the pickled fish. Or just the fact that they understand the beauty of simplicity. And the strength in designing less… for more effect.

I found Normann Copenhagen after a good mate “Stav, The Designing Greek“, sent me a link for a ‘fixie’ they had commissioned (but that is for another post). Their Danish Modern Series, sees a few archetypal objects get the “Scandi-Treatment”, and sold almost exclusively through the network.

Jesper K. Thomsen was charged with re-looking at the notion of ‘camping’ and the result is a solid and robust collection of outdoor essentials: chair, table, stool and daybed.

Made from monotone moulded Beechwood and leather strapping, the collection is a collaboration between Thomsen and traditional cabinet makers Kvist.

Check out the YOUTUBE ‘making of’. Real craftsmanship.

3000 Football Nike Installation

June 17, 2010

This is one of my favourite World Cup installations yet.

Over 3000 footballs were used to construct this homage to The Beautiful Game. It is in the atrium of the Carlton Shopping Center in downtown Joburg, and I still get a kick out of the fact that this is all happening in our country.

source: PSFK

Game On #5: Umbro

June 9, 2010

Umbro used to be a great (little) English football brand. Then they got bought out by Nike.

When that happened, I thought that would be it for Umbro. Cheers to Kim Jones. Cheers to ‘english-ness’. Cheers to the simplicity that made Umbro a very, very ‘football’ brand. Hello to being absorbed into a huge global mega-brand. Hello to disappearing into the woodwork.

I was wrong. Umbro has a new lease on life. It seems that the impact of being part of a globally-minded brand has been like a boot to the ass. Umbro have started echoing that Brit heritage and tradition, that set them apart from the start – the stuff that few other sports brands can claim: Their ‘footballness‘.

In my humble opinion, the UmbroTailored By England ‘ kit, is the best looking strip at this year’s World Cup. But then I am a sucker for simple styling.

Game On #5 is all about their World Cup Champions Campaign. 7 past champions all received a re-vamp from 7 illustrators (for which Umbro drew from a pool of  “graffiti artists, cartoonists, tattoo designers, record label owners, illustrators and club night innovators”). Throw in veteran fashion photographer Rankin, to do the shoot, and a few, well, ‘choice’ supporters, and you have a winner.

The shoot was inspired by a vintage Umbro ad from  the company vaults:

And once Rankin was finished with it, it looked like this:

Check out the re-worked badges from artists Ben Eine, ZZK Records, Fernando Chamarelli, Andre, Marok, Martin Albornoz, and Tanino Liberatore.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As far as availability goes, don’t hold your breathe. Umbro distribution in South Africa is, at best, poor. I have heard that the England Home & Away strip is available at TotalSports.

To console you, a behind the scenes look at the Rankin shoot:

Meet Andy Spade

June 7, 2010

Meet Andy Spade. I’d never heard of him either, but the world wanted me to see his handiwork, so I thought I might share his genius with you.

Andy is the founder of Partners & Spade, and made it to #22 on the FastCompany list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business (although he strikes me as someone who couldn’t really give a hoot). My most recent contact with his work was the J Crew Concept Store on NYC’s West Broadway. It is a converted liquor shop, beautifully appointed, stocked with the sort of ‘hand-picked’ selection of goods more akin to a  once-off boutique, and staffed by artists and creatives that are more about telling you the product’s stories, than merely pushing you for sales.

J Crew have partnered the makers of several items of ‘hertitage’: from Levis 501’s, to RayBan Caravan Sunglasses and the original Timex Military watch. Its a list of quintessential items across every category a man may need. The Liquor Store is a showcase. On the whole, a great retail experience, and a vintage, flannel Yankees cap proved a great souvenir, and a first tick off that list.

The whole concept was developed by Partners & Spade, and Andy has been responsible for brand development of other great, typically New York brands, such as Jack Spade and Kate Spade.

I was sniffing through the Partners & Spade online portfolio and came across two P&S books that really appealed to my sense of humour, The Benefits of Looking Up, and I Think I Can I Think I Can. Shot entirely on iPhone. Clever stuff.

Check them out. You will see what I mean. They sell for $10 – great gifts.