We’re always fascinated to see what our audience connects with most on Cool Hunting. While sometimes our predictions are on point, oftentimes we’re taken by surprise (yet thrilled) when certain articles resonate with readers. As always, this year’s most-read collection is diverse—proving that CH readers are, above all things, curious. From nighttime photography to interviews about design, technical travel innovations and NSFW fashion, here are our most popular articles of 2016.
Interview: Debbie Mielewski, Senior Technical Leader of Ford’s Materials Sustainability Lab
When walking through Ford Motor Company’s Materials Sustainability Lab in Dearborn, Michigan, one can’t help but feel like they’re in a fictional laboratory from a Roald Dahl book. Here, however, the innovation is real and the impact is tangible. Led by Senior Technical Leader Debbie Mielewski, this facility aims to produce car parts from the unimaginable.
Connect-the-Dots on T’aint by Ashish T-Shirts
A longtime member of the VFILES community, London-based designer Ashish Gupta has made a name for himself thanks to a frequent and extravagant use of sequins within the collections of his eponymous label. A new capsule, however, plays with a different type of circle. T’aint by Ashish, a series of seven T-shirts sporting risque and sexualized designs, features half-complete illustrations of couples copulating.
Tesla Finds its Design Language
As a new car company that’s known more for technology than design, Tesla has begun to solve the latter. This isn’t to say that Teslas have had poor design—they’re sleek and simple and have many thoughtful elements inside and out—but looking at their line-up it’s easy to see that they’ve only just begun to find a consistent design language. Further support to this is the recent nose-job the automaker quietly rolled out on their flagship sedan, the Model S.
The Otis Backpack by Cool Hunting + Tumi
Collaborating with Tumi is always an iterative process of refinement. For this, our second backpack, we began by looking back at the first one—a military-inspired black canvas rucksack—and chose a few key elements to carry over. But from there we reset the brief. We wanted to create a bag versatile enough to serve as the ultimate carry-on, yet with a sophistication that feels right in any environment. Debuting today, the Otis Backpack, delivers on that promise by bringing together thoughtful design, considered materials, high-quality fabrication and room for just about everything.
Tom Blachford’s Latest “Midnight Modern” Photographs
There is a long list of place around the world that have been so extensively photographed one wonders if it’s even possible to cast them in new light, present something new, or keep the mythos alive. Palm Springs falls upon that list with its decades of modernist architecture set amongst a stark desert backdrop. And yet Melbourne-based photographer Tom Blachford continues to capture its essence with a refreshing and mystical vibrance. Blachford’s series “Midnight Modern,” now in its third iteration, continues to defy time. Employing the light of the moon, the photographer captures serenity through structure and binds together that which has made the destination alluring to so many, for so long.
Away’s Carry-On Suitcase
Planning a trip is fun, but all hell breaks loose the night before departure when you try to jam a week’s worth of clothing into your decade-old suitcase, kicking yourself for spending hours online looking at new bars instead of realizing one of your zippers is stuck. And when fancier luggage costs the same amount as a plane ticket to the Caribbean, something’s got to be done—especially when the price seems to reflect brand name rather than the quality of materials. Vanquishing the stress of packing and traveling is a new kind of suitcase that tackles the modern traveler’s woes—regardless of how frequently they travel—at an attractive direct-to-consumer price and appearance. Away’s debut product is a carry-on suitcase that allows for multiple outfit changes a day, charges phones and tablets, and will weather a lot of worst-case scenarios.
Todd Snyder + Timex Watches
While visiting Japan, NY-based menswear designer Todd Snyder—who happens to be a vintage watch fan—spied a Japan-only release of a Timex watch collaboration utilizing Red Wing’s signature leather. Smitten with the piece, he gathered enough of them for his models to wear at his closing night New York Fashion Week: Men’s showcase. The watch—a 42mm Timex Waterbury with Red Wing Shoe Leather—is now available exclusively outside of Japan at Todd Snyder stores and online, and the piece excels twofold. There are clear, successful references to classic yet rugged chronographs, but there’s also the refreshing use of premium leather and stainless steel. Also, it’s reasonably priced.
Image credits in respective articles