December 17, 2009

And just like in a movie
her hands became her feet

Carl Fischer, Andy Warhol on TV, 1976

* Fast Company on The Rise and Fall of DWR. excerpt:

Design Within Reach focused mostly on popular European-made pieces created by designers well known within industry circles but less so among the general public. Board member Peter Lynch, a charmingly effusive retail executive with little design experience -- "DWR has converted me and educated me," he says -- gushes that "we're getting a lot smarter about how we source product."

Midway through an interview in DWR's Upper East Side studio in Manhattan, he pulled me over to a sectional sofa called the Albert ($5,700) and told me to sit. "Isn't it terrific? This used to be called the Albero, but it's basically the same sofa. My brother has one," he says proudly. "It used to be made in Italy. Now it's made in America, from American leather. Bison!" ("It's not bison," says a DWR spokeswoman. "It's just called that. It's really cow.")

At least a dozen of the company's current offerings are essentially unauthorized reproductions of a foreign design. "Rather than saying, 'Let's come up with something better to replace it,' they said, 'Let's come up with something similar to what people liked,' " says a former DWR employee. French designer Christophe Pillet, who didn't know that DWR was copying his Tripod lamp until FAST COMPANY directed him to the company's online catalog, says: "They are pirates and thieves, like the Chinese -- except even the Chinese are calling me now to ask me to make something original for them."

Brunner saw DWR's strategy as "completely legal. We're not doing anything wrong." In every case, he said, DWR's product-development team improved on the original design. In most instances, the tweaks were small and not obviously better. Take Pillet's Tripod lamp. "We were inspired by it," says VP of marketing Chris Hope. DWR's version (also called the Tripod) "diffuses light differently. We changed some of the mechanics."

* Ten "best" hockey fights of the decade.

* The Caribbean talked favs and recorded a Christmas song as part of label Hometapes' 12 Days of Christmas. Check it out.

* "Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the industry of others, by calling that impossible which is only difficult." -- Samuel Johnson


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy Warhol explaining what he thinks about Jasper Johns:


9:33 AM  

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