Puma Last night we attended the opening night party for PUMA City, the portable retail store/bar/event space made of 24 shipping containers on Boston's Fan Pier.

The portable "city" is part of a 3-week celebration while the Volvo Ocean Race is in town, and a huge publicity event for PUMA, one of the official sponsors, whose headquarters happens to be just down the street on Drydock Ave. By joining the race, PUMA has entered a new premium category and launched a full range of marine clothing and apparel.

After a bite at nearby LTK (FINALLY some warm weather here...and we got to eat outside!) we headed over to the event - just in time to beat the crowds who lined up shortly after 9. In fact, the city/containers reached capacity very early, forcing security to turn many party-goers away. But not us - we lucked out and got in early, able to enjoy the warm night on the waterfront in PUMA's open-air bar with a dj spinning hip hop & dance beats.

The space is very cool (see Inhabitat's coverage of it here): the containers are all adjoined like building blocks, but large panels have been removed to give it an open feel. The first and second floors contain retail space, while the 3rd is the bar & patio. The beautiful Volvo and Puma sailboats are docked alongside, and the area surrounding the City - normally an empty parking lot - is filled with other sponsor tents, bars, stages, and flat-screen TVs for viewing the race. Definitely a fun addition to the waterfront, if temporary. But be forewarned: the indoor bar area can get extremely hot (presumably from the 80-degree sun beating down on those shipping containers all day)Puma28
and the bathroom situation is terrible: deluxe port-a-potties (that's not the terrible part) that are not situated in the bar area (that is) - and if you have to leave the party to answer Mother Nature's call, you cannot gain readmittance without waiting in an unbearably long line (see previous note about being at capacity).

Thus, we departed on the early side, but not before the highlight of the night: photographers from The Achilles Project & New Brahmin showed up and snapped pix of my oh-so-stylish friends, Ryan and Shibani. See all the shots here:

More Genie Pants

Nearly two years ago, I blogged about the renewed interest in genie pants - those billowy threads that often have a drop-crotch a la MC Hammer. At the time, we were seeing them everywhere - from fashion runways to Victoria's Secret catalogs.

I continue to get a steady stream of traffic to that old post, from both search engines and a popular link on the the Working Artist blog back in September (although her post is devoted to the more-stylish, less Hammer, tango pant originally discussed on La Nuit Blanche).

Katie Holmes unveiled genie pants of her own design in October, and now I see that Matthew Bridge from Camper intends to wear them in '09 (the drop-crotch variety, mind you!).

What is it about these pants that makes them so enduring?

Vintage Blue

Liza Goncalves, a native Bostonian who now lives in Philly (check her out, Ryan!) recently introduced me to her new eco-friendly, vintage-inspired clothing line called Vintage Blue.
The line not only uses eco-friendly products but also chemical free printing and sustainable methods in all business practices including print material, hang tags and promotional products. What's more, they donate 5% of each online sale to kiva.org, an organization that supports entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Fashion and feel good in one!

Vintage Blue's first collection is based on an exclusive license to The All American Girls Professional Baseball League featured in the movie A League of Their Own
and consists of organic tees and totes printed with graphics inspired from the 40s and 50s.

To learn more, check out their blog, head on down to Bodega (that funky convenience-store-with-secret-retail-shop-in-back), or shop online. And hurry! 20% off all tees and totes if you shop before January 1st!


Amazon's Universal Wish List

One more reason to love Amazon.com: their Universal Wishlist let's you add any web page to your Amazon Wishlist. Simply drag a button to your bookmarks toolbar on your browser, and tag away.

Wishlist_2Now, you can store all your desirables - whether available through Amazon or not - in one place for easy reference and sharing...perfect for the upcoming holidays.

[Note to close friends and family: you can view my Wishlist here :) ]


Amazon gets 2.0

Max Factor

I was very excited to open my new Bzz kit recently and find a box full of Max Factor makeup!

Maxfactor (I'll admit it: the best Bzz campaigns are the ones that include product samples so you can try them out and share with friends.)

This one contained:

  • A full-sized Volume Couture mascara in Rich Black (went on great - see below - but is tough to get off, even with makeup remover)
  • Lipfinity lip gloss and moisture top coat (which, true to its promise, stayed on forever; but note to MF:  you should put the product name and shade on the tubes...my Mom raved about the lip color but since I'd already thrown out the packaging all I could tell her was "# 016" - the only identifier on the tube)
  • ColorGenius Mineral Blush in Rose, and a Blush Brush
  • An envelope of $2.00 off coupons to share with friends


Before I even opened and tried the products, I was already thinking about my BzzReport - namely, that I couldn't wait to use it to tell Max Factor that they must get rid of Carmen Electra as their spokesmodel. While I'm a long-time Lancome user, I do occasionally buy drug store brands, and I've always avoided Max Factor because I have images of trashy-looking Carmen in magazine spreads, and her face - always garishly made up - is plastered all over the packaging. I know Max Factor tries to play up its old Hollywood, makeup-artists-to-the-stars, glitz-and-glamour positioning (did you know that they invented the first lipgloss, back in 1930?!), but really - she doesn't embody that.

So I was thrilled for them when I learned yesterday from BzzAgent that starting this month, supermodel Gisele Bundchen will be the "fresh new face" of Max Factor. Now I just hope that they make her up tastefully, and don't repeat the rainbow-brights that Carmen's been sporting.

Overall, I liked the products, and will be happy to use and share the coupons. MF is running a limited-time, buy one and get one free deal for Lipfinity and Maxwear lip colors at Wal-Mart, while supplies last. And, if you've always wanted to break into the big time, MF is running a contest with Lifetime Television to find the hottest up-and-coming makeup artist to compete for $100,000 and a contract with Max Factor.

Barefoot in the Grass

Another clever marketing idea, this time from the UK:

WeHeartStuff reports

Trendy doughnut makers Krispy Kreme have come up with with an ideal solution to those ’stuck-in-the-office-blues’ by offering stressed out city workers the chance to have that feeling of a summer lawn beneath your bare feet all day long. The world’s first grass flip flops can be kept for over four months if looked after and will certainly give you a spring in your step.

Krispy_flops Too bad they're only available in London (and our local Krispy Kreme shut down).

As a further enticement to get said office workers into their shops for donuts and coffee, KK is running a sweepstakes at Share the Summer Magic. Participants can text in photos of themselves outside with their friends, enjoying a box of Krispy Kremes, for a chance to win tickets to London's V Festival (which is brought to you, of course, by yet another brand...).


Olivia Browning

I was so excited to see this the other day!
It's the signage for the new Olivia Browning shop that's slated to open on the corner of Warren and Chelsea Streets in Charlestown's City Square.

Scheduled to open next month, the shop joins Edibles by Evers and The Joy of Old in Charlestown's growing retail/gifts category (hooray!).

Olivia Browning will sell all sorts of housewares, clothing and gifts, including bath & body, babies & children, Charlestown goods, kitchenware, jewelry & handbags, and pet accessories. They also will do your event planning!

They also have special in-store events planned, from a Men's Shopping NIght (to help the guys with their holiday shopping), to Gourmet Nights (with local restaurateurs on hand to discuss food), and historical lectures on Charlestown.

Cheers to Charlestown resident Abby Gray who's actually living my pipedream: after 20 years in marketing, she decided to make a career change and open this gift shop in the neighborhood. I wish her and her husband/business partner Richard, much success.

Venetian Blind Tee

The Japanese designers at shikisai have created a new t-shirt inspired by the hot Summer months:
If you look closely (click image to enlarge), you'll note that the string on those Venetian blinds is real...a quick tug, and voila: the blinds lift and your mid-drift enjoys a cool breeze.Blind_detail

This is the latest in a t-shirt collection intended to explore "the interactivity, the mundanity, and the sense of fun, through the use of black print on white surface." (The Othello tee is clever as well.)

While I'm not a fan of "belly shirts" shikisai does get points for creativity. And for the humorous one-line descriptions that accompany each design on their site.

[via bookofjoe by way of iliketotallyloveit]