1. Heron Preston’s NASA-Inspired Collection Goes to Space
In partnering with NASA, Heron Preston had to adhere to certain guidelines about color and copy—meticulously incorporating these requirements into his modern vision for apparel. Honoring the 1990 NASA logo, Preston dubbed his spacesuit-inspired FW18 collection the “Fall/Winter 1990” series, and sent some pieces into space to demonstrate his commitment to the inspiration. The footage is as captivating as the clothes and accessories. You can watch the space flight video—made by former COOL HUNTING head of video Greg Stefano, with his creative partners bGDD—on Preston’s site now.
2. Farewell to Musician Sam Mehran
Musician Sam Mehran—founding member of Test Icicles, and also known as Outer Limits Recordings—has sadly passed away at just 31 years old. Along with Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange) and Rory Attwell, Mehran started the dance-punk band when all three were teenagers. The band released just one record, but each member went on to have successful music careers—writing with other artists, as well as solo projects and more. Moving away from dance-punk, Mehran released dreampop-inflected music under monikers including Matrix Metals, the Sweethearts, and Outer Limitz. Read more at Dazed. (Photo courtesy of Ben Rayner.)
3. Vulnerability and Creativity: North Face Designer Ruth Beatty
As a part of The North Face’s #SheMovesMountains campaign, senior designer Ruth Beatty answered questions at Salt Lake City’s Ladies Literary Club—a historic women’s club. The campaign is the brand’s first global initiative focused on women—and, the conversation with Beatty dives deep into gender, creativity, empathy, and fear. Rather than a weakness, Beatty says, “Vulnerability is exciting.” Watch the full video on YouTube.
4. Artist Dominic Moschitti’s Comedically-Altered Teen Novels
Comedian/artist Dominic Moschitti’s Paperback Paradise series follows three simple joke rules: “Something relatable, something absurd, or something ridiculously crass and gross.” Editing teen novels from Goosebumps to Sweet Valley High, Hardy Boys and more, the altered versions range from PG to incredibly crass—and delightfully so. With titles like “I Love My Ugly Son” (one of our favorites), this series is sure to make you giggle, and Moschitti says that’s his only goal. “All I want is to just make people laugh at an absurd, stupid idea—to take their mind off whatever they’re going through, or what’s going on in world,” he tells Artsy. Read more there.
5. Through Video, Teens Are Turning Into Readers
Using their immense influence, several YouTube stars are filming and posting book reviews, book hauls, publicizing new releases, discussing book-to-film adaptations—and garnering hundreds of thousands of views in the process. Dubbed BookTubers, these individuals are having a wildly positive impact on their mostly younger followers: they’re getting them to read. Erica Barmash (marketing director for Bloomsbury’s children’s imprint) says this kind of marketing works because it’s organic—finding kids “where they already are.” This online viewership has translated to real-life readers and fans—with attendance up at NYC’s BookCon in June, thanks in part to a panel featuring BookTubers. Read more at the NY Times.
6. Building a Terrarium is a Testament to Slowing Down
The co-owners of Brooklyn-based Twig, a terrarium-building workshop and store, are trying to turn the hobby into meditative, therapy-like classes. To exert control over your own environment—if even for an hour—is a test of patience and a lesson in creative muscle-building. “For an hour on a weekend afternoon, I didn’t think of anything except the microcosmic forest in front of me and whether its climate would suit a tiny rubber giraffe,” Bonnie Wertheim writes on The New York Times, where you can read more.
7. New Orleans’ All-Women Motorcycle Club: Caramel Curves
Bucking the traditional (and oftentimes toxic) image of a motorcycle club, NOLA’s Caramel Curves is an all-women group with 13 members who can be seen riding through the city—bright pink smoke billowing behind them. Often decked out in bedazzled gear and stilettos, members playfully and irreverently toy with ideas surrounding femininity, but at its core, the club is about “passion for motorcycles and a desire to bike with other women like themselves.” Founded just a month before Hurricane Katrina, Caramel Curves has a strong community focus too—during prospective members’ trial period (which can last anywhere from a few months to a year), they “must commit to several community service events, like fund-raisers to buy bicycles for young girls.” Riding skills are essential, of course—no half-steppers allowed. Read interviews with several members at the NY Times.
8. France to Ban Smartphones at Schools
It began in 2017: French officials imposed a law that limited how frequently and in what manner employers may contact employees outside of office hours. Now, the French government is setting their sights on schools. Smartphone-less students, they believe, will improve classroom efficiency, effectiveness and, on a broader level, preserve the “sanctity” of the classroom and learning experience. This new law will, however, make “exceptions for educational use, extracurricular activities and for students with disabilities.” Read more at the Washington Post.