Exit Through the Sex Shop

At the Museum of Sex, sophisticated design in a curated collection of kink and curiosity.

attimg_storeatthemuseumofsex_30062016143712_large

In New York, a city renowned for its museums and home to reliquaries of the world’s great art, design, and history, one establishment stands apart from the rest. Nestled on a bustling midtown corner, the Museum of Sex, known colloquially as the MoSex, presents an elegant and informed look at human sexuality throughout history and in the present day. Installations from visiting artists compliment an eclectic rotation of in-house exhibitions, sourced from the 1500+ objects and works of art housed in the permanent collection.

Always on the hunt for good design, we were particularly struck by the sleek, modern aesthetic of the museum’s recently expanded gift shop.

mosexstoreedit1

Bright, airy, and open, the Shop at MoSex presents a playful and sophisticated showroom of exquisite erotica and upscale offerings to delight both the mind and the senses. The shop offers beauty and wellness products, books, apparel, gifts for the home, and of course, a sizable collection toys, props, and fetish sets that showcase the height of design and artistry in the adult industry.

mosbcandlesedit

No longer relegated to the realm of the low-brow and the kitschy, the erotic accessories on offer at the Shop are testament to the style and sophistication that’s been brought to the industry. The most impressive collection comes from Swedish brand LELO, founded by three Stockholm designers with the intention of applying sophisticated Scandinavian design to intimate objects. LELO purveys products that are demure, modern, and discreet with a sleek, minimal aesthetic.

c700x420

Walking through the store you’ll find top brands and one-of-a-kind items, spotlighting local artists as well as contemporary trends from around the globe.

Approaching the cash register, novelty gifts—from raunchy fortune cookies to political prophylactics—populate the grab bins of impulse-buys and last-minute souvenirs, a nod to the museum’s playful spirit.

Among the other offerings are polished, evocative photography books, candles embossed with the art of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and a set of strappy, cut-out lingerie that can only be described as elegant.

Should you decide to purchase something from the varied and tantalizing selection—be it gold-plated handcuffs or a redolent candle from Malin + Goetz—the swag will be handed back to you in a discreet black shopping bag, fit to be toted around town.

In this great city, good design abounds in the most unexpected places. Next time you find yourself in our illustrious art hub, consider a stop at the MoSex—and be sure to exit through the gift shop.

Package Design Matters 2017

boatviewcrop

We’re back from the Package Design Matters Conference in sunny Bonita Springs, Florida! It was a busy three days where we listened to insightful and inspiring speakers, exchanged ideas, and connected with fellow leaders in the industry. On Thursday, WC&Co led a roundtable discussion focused on megatrends in culture, technology, and retail that are shaping the future of design and innovation. Check out our Trend Report for our key takeaways on what to watch for in 2017 and beyond.

img_0349

For some fun in the sun, WC&Co. and our friends at Ciulla sponsored an afternoon of catamaran sailing through picturesque Naples Bay. With sand, surf, and even some dolphin sightings, it’s needless to say that a good time was had by all.

Thank you PDMC 2017, we’ll see you next year!

fullsizerender-2

Dolphins!

 

 

 

 

Can Good Design Save the World?

An Interview with Jim Muchmore, Founder of Muchmore Design and organizer of the Save El Chocó Silent Art Auction.

choco4-26

Photos courtesy of savethechoco.com

WC & Co. is thrilled to be hosting the Save El Chocó Silent Art Auction tomorrow night. Organized by one of our former employees, Jim Muchmore, the auction will benefit the Centro Jambatu of Fundación Otonga, an NGO that’s established a reserve in the endangered Ecuadorian region of El Chocó. We chatted with Muchmore about the project and how he’s using great design to do good.

choco4-12

WC: Tell us a little bit about your relationship with Ecuador and El Chocó. How did you come to be involved with this project and with the Fundación Otonga?

JM: I first traveled to Ecuador four years ago for my honeymoon. My wife suggested Ecuador because we wanted to have a different experience. We spent half of our honeymoon in the Amazon and the other half in the Andes. This was my first introduction to lowland rainforest and I was instantly hooked. A couple months later I tossed out the idea that I wanted to go back to Ecuador to travel with Tropical Herping (a group focused on amphibians and reptiles that funds science through tourism) to explore the western side. My wife was super supportive and agreed without hesitation. That was the spark that lit the fire. While traveling with Tropical Herping I started dabbling with the idea of exploring design’s role in conservation. This led me to meeting Dr. Coloma (One of Ecuador’s leading amphibian experts) and him introducing me to Otonga.

choco4-22

Why is this project important to you?

The Chocó is one of the Americas’ forgotten paradises. It is under great threat and I wanted to give it a voice. The area is greatly endangered with only 5% of the forest remaining in Ecuador. It is a part of the world that we cannot lose.

How did the idea for this auction come about?

A good friend Tim Strazza gave me the idea of hosting an art auction. It was a natural fit, working in design and being a painter. Most of my closest friends are talented artists so I figured I could tap them on the shoulder (sorry everyone). This is the first time I’ve held an event. I have a new found respect for anyone who does this on a regular basis.

choco4-18

A branding firm in NYC and an ecological project in Ecuador seems an unexpected combination. Yet your firm, Muchmore Design, combines branding and design with conservation. What does the relationship between art, design, and conservation mean to you? How and why did you set out to combine these interests? 

When people think of conservation they think of science but in reality conservation is made up of lawyers, accountants, fundraising, etc. I noticed a lack of good design, especially in the smaller organizations. That is the void I’m trying to fill. My passion for art and wildlife has been lifelong, but I always thought of them separately until I started to focus on sustainable packaging design while attending Pratt for my master’s.

Anything else to add?

I want to thank everyone for the support. I’ve been fortunate to have many amazing people help shape me and my career and I appreciate it. Fight for what you love.

We hope you’ll join us tomorrow night, January 12th from 6:30-9pm. Right here at WALLACE CHURCH & CO.

choco4-13

Join Us!

We’re hosting a Silent Auction, hosted by Jim Muchmore, to save El Choco, a rain forest in Ecuador. Jim “grew up” at Wallace Church, where he started as an intern, got hired, learned plenty and now he’s using his talents to promote ecological sustainability. We’re proud and happy for Jim as well as pleased to host this worthwhile endeavor. See you there!

WC’s Holiday Gift Guide

holidaymarketbiggercopy

Image from Google

It’s that time of year again. You’ve made your list and checked it twice–why brave the cold and crowds only to return with lackluster loot? WC&Co. hit the Union Square Holiday Market to scope out the hottest seasonal swag. Step up your gift game this year with our top holiday picks.

TREND WATCH
Gift trends this season are all about the artisanal and the unique, with a lean towards local and handmade products. Here in NYC, we’re coveting this bevy of offerings from the 5 boroughs and beyond.

EARTH-INSPIRED JEWELRY
The timeless tradition of gifting jewelry for the holidays gets a welcome and earthy update this year. Ditch the predictable glitz and glam and treat your loved ones to bling as gorgeous and authentic as they are. We love Brooklyn-based Jessica DeCarlo’s elegantly rustic pieces made with hand-tooled metals and natural stones. For the mystic in your life, give the gift of good juju with rawspirit of Bushwick’s stylish earrings and necklaces, all handmade with raw, healing gemstones.

PLANT-BASED PRODUCTS
Natural, small-batch bath and beauty products are another trend we’re digging this season. Keep that winter skin in check with Onurth’s line of luxury skincare, made in the Hudson Valley from only the purest, natural ingredients. We also loved Beekman’s Copa Soap, which is 100% vegetarian and scented with essential oils, and Nio’s ultra-exfoliating Dead Sea Salt Scrub.

LOCAL, ARTISANAL FOODS
Whether you’re in Louisville, Los Angeles, or right here in NYC, a selection of locally-made, artisanal foods makes an on-point pick for your favorite foodie. Our local standouts are Plenty of Good’s vegan macaroons and the decadent truffle oil, butter, and mustard from The Truffleist. New Jersey neighbors Izzy & Tallulah make delicate and delectable candies—try the chai spice caramels for a delicious update on a candy classic.

DIY KITS
For the die-hard locavore in your life, pick up a gourmet DIY kit like the sweet variety we found from Brooklyn Brew Shop. Everything you need to brew beer, hard cider, or sparkling wine right in your own kitchen comes in one cool, convenient box (check out their FarmSteady food kits, too!). These babies are ready to be unpacked, assembled, and thrown up on the ‘gram faster than you can say “micro-brew.” Let your friends thank you in a couple of weeks when the boozy fruits of their labor are ready for drinking—and sharing.

And these are just a few of our favorite things… No matter where you hail from, hone in on products unique to your area and your gifts will be prime, personal, and (bonus!) support local artisans. Now get out there and find what gems your city has to offer. Happy shopping!

Art Basel/Design Miami 2016

static1-squarespace

As the first cold days settled on New York, thousands flocked to warmer climes over the weekend, heading south for Art Basel/ Design Miami 2016. The annual extravaganza of art, fashion, design, and star-studded pool parties brings together the cream of the international art crop for what is essentially a high-end exposition-cum-bazaar for all things creative. It’s also a fantastic place to get a peek at the future of art and design, and what trends to watch for in the upcoming year. Here are some highlights.

artbaselcrowd2

Major themes this year were the crossover between art and design, exploring the relationship between the functional and the aesthetic in re-conceptualizing domestic spaces.

art basel, miami, wallace church, sobremesa

Emerging Mexico City design studio Pedro&Juana presented Sobremesa, an exploration of shared domestic spaces and homage to Mexican life, culture, and architecture. The designers, in collaboration with Airbnb, recreated the experience of an indoor-outdoor living space, a nod to the courtyards so unique to Mexican architecture. The idea was to encourage, via physical space, the cultural tradition of gathering family and friends around the table to slow down and luxuriate in good food, company, and conversation.

Print

The world of interior design was buzzing as Louis Vuitton unveiled two new pieces from Objets Nomades, their collection of travel-inspired furniture. The Blossom Stool is an elegant collaboration with Japanese Designer Tokujin Yoshioka. Made of leather and wood, the stool is a creative reimagining of the label’s signature four-petaled monogram. For the snazzier set, it also comes in a gilded brass finish.

The Fur Cocoon, designed by Fernando and Humberto Campana is an update of Louis Vuitton’s already iconic Cocoon Chair, which debuted last year at the Milano Furniture Fair. The legless, egg-shaped chair was updated this year with a black lambskin lining. The pieces will be available at the LV concept boutique in Miami’s Design District through January.

other-art

These are just a few of the many impressive, innovative designs on display this weekend. Designers hailing from London to Brazil to Brooklyn showcased their concepts reenvisioning the boundaries between form and function. If we look to this weekend as an indication of what’s to come in 2017, it seems that moving forward the creative lines between art and design will continue to merge and interact and in intriguing and elegant ways.

We’re looking forward to a new year of great design and innovation.

artbaselcrowd1

Top Trends From Expo East 2016

expo-east-2016trend-header-blog-01
Hello, we’re back from Expo East in Baltimore where we had access to 1,900+ exhibits in the organic and natural space. Retailers, manufacturers, health professionals and brokers gathered in Anaheim for Expo West in the spring and Baltimore for Expo East in the fall to review the latest trends in the natural and organic industry.

We are excited to bring you a recap of our take on the top trends and innovations coming out of the Expo East show and would like to hear your input as well.

Print
Cold Brew Coffee On Draft
Is it a Guinness? An English stout?
No, silly, it’s cold brew coffee and it’s delicious. Cold brew coffee is first air-roasted in small batches and then brewed in cold water for a coffee that is lower in acid, thus less bitter than warm-brewed coffee. Whether it’s in a can like the La Colombe lattes we sampled or on draft like the Chameleon draft, the WC&Co. team enjoyed this latest coffee trend.

Print
Fermenting—Yummy Bacteria!
Fermenting foods is one of the oldest artisanal food processes around. Now we know that the fermenting process has probiotic benefits that are great for your gut! WC&Co.’s favorite brands were Jacob’s Raw and Cleveland Kraut’s. Both brands have also been experimenting with different flavor combinations that will make you crave putting Kraut on everything you eat. Try the Curry Kraut or the Whiskey Dill Kraut by Cleveland Kraut. You can thank us later.

clevekraut-line

On-The-Go Nut Butters
Nut Butters, like Almond, Pecan and Cashew are the perfect protein snack and the packages are  beginning to accommodate a busy ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle. Check out Justin’s Banana Chips with a side of Maple Almond Butter or Pretzels to dip into Honey Peanut Butter next time you get hunger  pangs at 3 pm. Nut Butter has created new flavored nut butters such as Pecan Pie Almond Butter or Blueberry Cinnamon Bun Cashew Butter. Bye-bye ol’ Peanut Butter! There are new flavors in town.

nutbutter-01
Bone Broth – The New Superfood
Bone broth is the latest product that claims multiple benefits, such as healing your gut, protecting joints, looking younger, sleeping better and immune support. The bones contain gelatin and collagen and the broth is made from grass-fed, humanely raised animals. Our two favorites were Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein, which came in powder packets that you can enjoy in hot water. The other was Bonafide Bone Broth.
Just pour & heat!

bonebroth-01
Quirky Jerky
We are in the middle of a jerky renaissance. No longer is jerky only available at 7-Elevens and gas stations. Artisanal snack meat brands are being sold at health food stores across the nation. One of our favorite brands is Krave jerky. Krave has successfully married high quality ingredients and premium flavors. Lorissa’s Kitchen launched its Korean BBQ flavor and we are total fans. Lightlife is in on the game with a plant protein jerky.

jerky-01
And That’s Just A Nibble!

For a downloadable PDF version of this report, please click here to download and share!

For more information from Expo East, or to connect to hear our POV on how these insights could transform your brand, contact Wendy Church.

Wendy Church
Director, Creative Services

212-755-2903
wendy@wallacechurch.com
www.wallacechurch.com