Now in its second printing, Melodie McDaniel’s Riding Through Compton is the result of several years of documentary and portrait photography, capturing striking and tender equestrian scenes in the LA County city. In 1988, Mayisha Akbar (who provides an essay in the book) founded the Compton Jr Posse—a program made for local kids to enjoy riding horses, but also to build self-esteem, confidence and a sense of responsibility. Several members from that program went on to create Compton Cowboys (also a non-profit benefitting youth in the area) and leader Randy Savvy also contributes an essay. Within are interviews by Amelia Fleetwood, a poem excerpt by Robin Coste Lewis and an afterword from Youth in Focus founder Walter Bodle. Riding Through Compton is a stunning book that will delight and move readers.
Seattle-based Eighth Generation is an art and lifestyle brand owned by Snoqualmie Tribal People and founded in 2008 by artist, activist and educator Louie Gong (Nooksack). Best known for their wool blankets designed by various artists from different tribes, the brand purveys lovely items for the home. One of our favorites, the “Coast Salish Pattern” baby blanket, is designed by Gong herself and crafted from 100% merino wool. The gray and white pattern, based on traditional Coast Salish weaving, is appealing on either side, and has been double-knit for extra warmth. It comes in a box with gold customizable labels for giving as a gift, and 5% of all blanket sales go to the Inspired Natives Award.
This season Chop Suey Club created several sets filled with various themed items. Our pick, the “Double Happiness” Holiday Bundle, comprises two pairs of Double Happiness socks, a Thank You rolling tray and a copy of Thomas Sauvin’s Until Death Do us Part photo book—which explores the surprising role of cigarettes in Chinese weddings. The 108-page book comes in an original cigarette box, and the entire set is gift-wrapped for the festive season. Available online or in-store at their LES location.
Crafted using sunflower, safflower and avocado oil, Jade & Fox Co’s luxuriant and fragrant Vixen Body Oil doubles as a moisturizer and perfumer. The food-grade ingredients within lend nutrients to skin—and even offer natural SPF. Though sold out, anyone interested can join the mailing list to learn when the product will return.
Artist and author Michelle Kwon’s pocket-sized paperback collection of comics, The Interior Life, (released in 2018 by independent California-based publisher Tiny Splendor) assembles personal moments of introspection and humor. It’s thoughtful, endearing and offers a fresh perspective from start to finish. With a cat factoring heavily into the narrative, feline fans should enjoy this, as well.
Somali chef Hawa Hassan’s In Bibi’s Kitchen shares recipes and tales from grandmothers living in the eight African nations that touch the Indian Ocean: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Eritrea. The 288-page book goes beyond instructions and dives into the histories behind each dish. From highlighting a region’s importance in the spice trade to Hassan’s personal tales about particular recipes, the book tells stories and teaches lessons on food, history, culture and tradition.
Moonlight Roller’s retro-inflected, green Emerald City roller skates feature a little moon-shaped cut-out at the ankle—the brand’s hallmark. With a 100% suede upper, tongue stabilizer and 58mm 82A urethane wheels, they’re made for indoor or outdoor skating. Each pair comes with 82-inch laces, a cushioned insole and padded lining for comfort. These classic skates are for all genders, but the sizing is in traditional men’s—so keep that in mind when selecting.
Since 2007, Jahmal Williams’ Hopps has made “skateboards for skateboarders.” Among their many offerings are playful and artistic decks, each of which come in varying sizes. Their KEEP IT MOVING Coffee Deck is crafted from 100% hard rock Canadian Maple and comes in several different wood veneers. Plus, every purchase comes with Hopps-branded grip tape for you to apply as needed.
Crafting stunning, sophisticated takes on traditional workout equipment, Rhode Island studio Work in Use was born from a desire to combine high design and movement training. With all kinds of products available, the brand eschews commonly used materials like plastic and vinyl, replacing it with soft leather, cordovan steel and wood. The Lachi Pull Up Bar is easy to install, and should fit most doorways. It’s made in two versions: one from oiled walnut, cordovan steel and leather; the other from oiled maple, copper-plated steel and leather.
Made by hand in New York from lightweight, water-repellant Italian fabric (a unique blend of recycled metals and nylon), the Lava Blazer from GOSS draws inspiration from the otherworldly lava-and-salt landscapes of Northern Chile. Founded by Derrick Goss, the exploratory fashion brand defies expectations with each item in the latest collection—which includes this loosely fitted jacket, shorts, shirts and briefs.
CanDid Art owner and designer Candice Cox’s original designs appear on the brand’s Sunset Under The Rainbow Quilt, which doubles as hangable wall art. Measuring 45 by 50 inches, the 100% cotton quilt has been crafted by local Oakland, California artisans. On one side, eight half-circle motifs appear and on the reverse side, an orange backdrop plays host to a pattern of lines and dots. This “Grandma-worthy” quilt will arrive two to three weeks after ordering, and has been pre-washed.
Made to order in Brooklyn, Octave Jewelry’s pieces explore contrasting shapes, colors, textures and styles. Ope Omojola—founder and lead designer—hand-cuts every stone to suit its individual shape and character, and above all wants her jewelry to be worn and enjoyed. Inspired by the corona around the sun, Octave’s AURA Hoops feature a geometric Mother of Pearl stud above a blue and white asymmetric borosilicate glass circle. Striking but understated, these lovely earrings are lightweight for everyday wear.
Luxury gift wrapping brand UNWRP—founded by multi-disciplinary designer Ashley L Fouyolle—often collaborates with artists on limited edition iterations, but their Waves pattern is Fouyolle’s own. Sold in a set of three oversized, premium-weight sheets, the Waves gift wrap combines earth tones and vibrant pinks and blues. Each sheet measures 20 by 28 inches.
San Diego-based shop Arts-Rec offers an array of skateboarding essentials—from apparel and accessories to decks, wheels and hardware. Further, they stock a bunch of their own branded merchandise. One such item is this Boxing Coach Jacket, which is made from 100% water-resistant nylon taffeta (with a polyester liner), making it useful for strolls, rides in inclement weather and everything in-between. Designed for a relaxed fit, the jacket features two exterior pockets, an interior stash spot and a drawstring hem.
NorBlack NorWhite’s Square Shirt Dress may be billowy and comfortable, but the two- or three-color ombre viscose-satin elevates it above the humble “house dress.” Available in various bold, sophisticated hues, each dress is individually hand-dyed and comes in just one size. The brand was founded by Mriga Kapadiya and Amrit Kumar (both raised in Toronto) who moved to Bombay over a decade ago in order to explore their Indian roots. NorBlack NorWhite is now based in Delhi, where their production occurs in-house.
Made by Iowa-based Candice Luter, this Fringe Mirror exudes playful sophistication. Crafted from brass, fringing and an arch-shaped mirror, it’s part practical piece and part room accent. With options for mirror tints (standard, smoke or bronze) and fringe options (ivory, black, block color or even custom hues), there are plenty of options with one certain to enhance your current decor.