collaboration

LV(ejas)MH Prize 2016

Photography Rachel Chandler, fashion Tom Guinness.  All clothing by Vejas  Kruszewski (far right).

Photography Rachel Chandler, fashion Tom Guinness.  All clothing by Vejas Kruszewski (far right).

It's astounding who we meet and what we can do --and how fast, too! --when we are passionate, deliberate, and open.  As we mentioned previously, we had that singular honor of providing our unique candles for Vejas' Paris Fashion Week excursions: they were showing at the LVMH Headquarters last week, and are wrapping up their own personal showroom alongside the end of AW16 Fashion (Week) Month.  Fresh from their feature in the Dazed 100, Vejas is at it again.

Behold: the cocktail reception of the LVMHPRIZE showroom 2016 (and see our new friends at 00:11 seconds in, and additionally at 00:47). 

We hardly have time to ponder the why and how of it all; but the state of things as they are is that we are now fast friends, and prouder than punch of their hustle.  Today the LVMHPrize announced the Top 8 Finalists and, naturally, Vejas made the cut.  To us, this comes as no surprise: though they are young, the Vejas team is passionate, driven, and incredibly talented.

 

 

Bravo, Vejas. here's to a meteoric rise!

Candles: A Love Story

Nobody would ever guess that our super-cute best-selling candles started out as a performative joke we dubbed ‘Chapstick Mountain.’ We started making candles as a break from drywalling and painting while renovating the store; --when looking for a use for some twenty pounds of unfiltered beeswax they sort of just happened. We dabbled in a few other shapes and wick layouts, but we realized that what we wanted to make was something small, affordable, unique, fun.  What we have created is a beautiful conduit for wax flow —since nobody doesn’t like playing with wax.

Our dear friends at The Understory caught us candle-making last month, and we've been beaming since we saw the results. Fabian, Maya, thank you.

 

We use beeswax because it’s simply the best, it’s natural [not a petroleum distillate or agriculture crushing mono-crop], burns the cleanest, and (allegedly) negatively ionized [we are skeptical]; we use linen wicks because they’re free of heavy metals, flat woven, unwaxed, and made of entirely organic fibers; we scent and color with natural herbs and oils because we believe in a holistically healthy and honest product. We strive to make a product that we ourselves want to use.

better <3 vejas

We never would have guessed that we would have spent last night rushing a special suite of candles to our new friends at Vejas for their Parisian showroom at LVMH headquarters (where they are shortlisted for the prestigious LVMH prize)... but then again, all things seem possible when you work diligently and do what is needed.  Here's to afterthoughts that become staples. Here's to making things (Better). 

vejas candles lvmh better for living

Candles are available in store, online, and now at The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, NY. 

Article No. Abroad

Hard work is… well, hard work is hard. It tires body and mind while constantly reminding one that the journey is hardly over –in fact it’s barely begun.  We hail the risk-taking entrepreneurs who spend every waking hour (and often dreaming ones, too) as our compatriots in frantic, though calculated, action.

Today we illuminate the hard work and accomplishments of our friends and collaborators at Article No. in their recent trip to Japan and China, where they work intimately with reputable production shops to create “elevated basics” that are sought after across the world, and worn by celebrities and sneaker-heads alike.

article number better for living

Hypebeast just featured Article No.’s clean, beautifully lit AW15 lookbook to overwhelming (but totally expected) excitement. Here on the Better Blog we are letting you in on the breakneck process going into building an effortlessly cool brand:

 

 

Article No. Abroad, as outlined by Ant de Padovane

article no. abroad

Day 1:  Arrived in Tokyo and went straight to our meetings, grabbed some drinks –this was our only real moment to chill, and it was more meeting and networking than relaxation.

Day 2:  Met with our distributor, who took us to all our top tier accounts to make intros. Was cool to see the shoes in store s and on mannequins, and the staff knew our faces. Big in Japan 😜

better for living article number

Day 3-8: China.  Every day for the next 5 days was get up at 6am, breakfast , then head to the factory for 14/15 hours to bang out work, finalize aw16 samples, visit the marketplace, concept and finalize materials and stories, trims and details, fix uppers patterns… Definitely all work and no play.

Back to Tokyo for a dinner with United Arrows / pre-Halloween party at Womb –then straight to the airport at 5am to LA.

Just another week in the world of one of the hottest new shoe labels: hard work done right.

All Work and No Play Makes You Better

When you work hard and do things with passion, long days go by quickly. 18 hour days are nothing to cringe at --they become the status quo. You start to wish you could be five of yourself at once, just to do all the things. Delegating isn’t an option when you are relentlessly meticulous –the only option is to work, and work well.

So we do. We work --with others who work as tirelessly and passionately as we do. From dedicated friends in the design field to creative collaborators in fashion, we surround ourselves with the inspired and industrious.

Doing it Ourselves, Together

Take the time necessary to do things right. Don’t rush. Never work anxiously, nor angrily –it shows in the final product. Resist the urge to compromise. Work well, whether alone or with others.  These are simple rules for creating, yet the hardest to follow.

Collaboration cannot be forced; it must be natural if it is to work well and convey quality.  Collective making, doing, and scheming are experiments in participation and reciprocity, this is why we are constantly seeking talented artisans to work with to make Better …well, better.  

We desire a balance –between artisan and artist, material and craft, whimsy and utility, being-there and becoming-something. Craftspeople, artists, artisans, and n’philes from all disciplines are invited and encouraged to approach us with either their ideas, aspirations, and plans for projects. We are excited by work.