For anybody interested in analog technologies and music, Gideon Schwartz’s Hi-Fi: The History of High-End Audio Design offers a deep dive into the history and renaissance of lo-fi audio. From Bang & Olufsen’s glorious wire recorder from 1947, the Beocord 84U, to the stunning Clearaudio Statement V2 turntable from 2008, and so many more, the products highlighted within this 272-page book are some of the most beautifully designed devices in the world. Audio fans will be delighted by the countless turntables, reel-to-reels, vacuum tubes, amplifiers, speakers and more.
Recommended for architecture nerds (over eight years old), model kit maker ARCKIT’s 105-piece set comes with instructions for assembling the basics, but plenty of opportunities for customization, too. Whether an aspiring architect or someone looking for something structural to tinker with, there’s plenty to conceptualize and bring to fruition—from a standalone building to a corridor within a larger complex.
Part game, part puzzle and part educational toy, Moon Picnic’s Make a Face allows children to experiment with creativity and even express emotion. Crafted from solid beech wood, it includes a round base and several facial components that let users cobble together hundreds of different expressions. Beyond the playful experiences, it can also be a jumping off point to discuss feelings.
A recent trip to Japan during Typhoon Hagibis put this Blunt Metro to the test and it remains in one piece. For the cold, gloomy winter months, this umbrella comes in several bold hues to add a pop of color to a drizzly or stormy day. The sturdy design features double-reinforced struts that survive high winds and harsh weather. Its architectural structure is built to hold up over time providing a long lasting and sustainable choice.
With The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion, author Antwaun Sargent addresses breakthroughs for representation of the black image in artistic industries, communities and their respective marketplaces. Turning his attention to pioneering black photographers, Sargent opens a dialogue on institutional barriers, exclusion and the tidal shift underway on an international level. The book, published by Aperture, incorporates 250 four-color images from talent including Awol Erizku, Quil Lemons, Namsa Leuba, Dana Scruggs, Tyler Mitchell and more—as well as conversations with Shaniqwa Jarvis, Deborah Willis and CH favorite Mickalene Thomas.
Written by former jazz and pop critic at The New York Times, Nate Chinen, Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century is a definitive guide to the genre from the past to the present. While today’s jazz may be different, it’s rooted in the same ideals and ethos, and Chinen argues for its continued relevance while highlighting some contemporary talent. He does this while educating readers on the genre’s illustrious and influential past.
For ice-skaters and hockey players, the Re-Edger from A&R Sports offers assistance with several on-the-fly fixes. At one end, a dual-tip ceramic steel sharpener can whet a blade; in the middle, a replaceable honing stone can be used for de-burring. It’s a handy item that’ll even benefit ice sport hobbyists.
This all-black cap hides its positive message in plain sight: “ART” is embroidered on the front, while on the back, the words “every day.” Made from 100% cotton, the Poketo six-panel cap is available in black on black, white on white, or white on royal blue and serves as a reminder to see beauty in even the ordinary.
Authored by multi-media artist Walt Cassidy (aka Waltpaper), New York: Club Kids proves to be a most comprehensive survey of the legendary antics of ’90s nightlife in NYC. Cassidy, a central figure in the subculture, saw firsthand the “artistic, fashion-conscious youth movement that crossed over into the public consciousness.” Though it includes rare photographs, this book is far more than an attempt at archiving an era that bubbled up from the underground; it also works to contextualize modern-day concepts that originated with the Club Kids: “reality television, self-branding, ‘influencers’ and the gender revolution.”
Intended to carry pooches weighing up to 16 pounds, Wild One’s new Air Travel Carrier is plane- and pet-friendly. Small enough to be placed under regular seats, the carrier features a comfy quilted base mat and mesh panels with retractable screens, should your dog want a view or privacy. Made from neoprene, the outer is washable by hand, while the mat inside can be machine-washed and tumble-dried. The carrier also boasts a handy shoulder strap that doubles as a leash and a panel for sliding it all onto your suitcase.
Made from a blend of virgin wool and polyester, House of Holland’s fluorescent orange blazer is classic, save for its asymmetric hem and belted waist. Made to order, these jackets take three weeks to create, and are a stylish take on a classic. The British designer also donates 25% of proceeds to the AKT Charity, a fund that assists LGBTQ+ people who are facing homelessness.
Available in two sizes (either five or 12 inches tall), sculptor and toy designer Jason Freeny’s Brick Man Anatomical Puzzle is fun for kids aged eight and over—and adults, too. Easy to assemble, with just 16 pieces, the 3D puzzle can then be displayed as a playful objet d’art.
Made by Alex Mill for TWA, this super-soft sweater boasts the now-defunct airline’s iconic logo and is available in six colorways—our pick being the original’s red and white. Celebrating the legendary Eero Saarinen and his JFK terminal for the airline (which has since been converted into a hotel), the design is sleek and minimal, but striking. Made from 100% cashmere, this sweater is available from XS to XL, and its classic boxy shape is ideal for all genders.
Respected biographer Meryle Secrest seeks to uncover a Cold War era conspiracy in her new book The Mysterious Affair at Olivetti: IBM, the CIA, and the Cold War Conspiracy to Shut Down Production of the World’s First Desktop Computer. The story revolves around the Olivetti company and family, best known for their typewriters, but also the brand behind the first personal computer—some 10 years before competitors like Apple and IBM. The book begins with Adriano (the son of founder Camillo Olivetti) dying on a train to Switzerland in 1960—suspicious considering he had previously worked to remove prime minister Benito Mussolini during WWII and had ties to spy networks. In her book, Secrest seeks to understand why Olivetti, being such a pioneering company in the world of tech, fell into obscurity and what really happened to Adriano and lead engineer Mario Tchou, who also died mysteriously a year later.
Full of dishes that look and taste impressive but are actually simple to prepare, Alison Roman’s Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over provides recipes and also encouragement for home cooks. From labne with scallions to a salad of crushed peas with burrata, the dishes are delicious and diverse. Roman also offers plenty of practical advice for those throwing a dinner party: whether it be never apologizing (for mismatched cookware, a late serve time, anything) to accepting help from guests, to selecting a good olive oil. While encouraging readers to embrace imperfections in the kitchen, Roman fills them with confidence.
Spotlighting 30 artists, entrepreneurs and creatives, Made in Cuba conveys the unique spirit of the nation. The individuals profiled within have all faced their homeland’s limited ability to trade internationally, culminating in some very creative and innovative thinking and a strong DIY culture—the results from which are complex and clever. Written by Molly Mandell and photographed by James Burke, Made in Cuba proves educational and thoughtful.