Creative Northern energy
The true potential of collaboration We can see a brilliant example of collaboration near the Olandų roundabout in Vilnius – the Embassy of Denmark shares its residence with the Embassy of the Netherlands. The two countries have an almost identical style of foreign politics, yet different geography (one is Scandinavian, the other is from Benelux) makes sure they avoid being competitors in terms of markets, interests or investments. This is not unheard of – Lithuanian embassies also share offices with other members of the European Union. The two flags of Denmark and the Netherlands may be seen as kind of an advertising stand, reminding us not only of the benefits of economic collaboration, but also of the ability to do so. The essence of an open world lies in the exchange and realisation of ideas. Our capability to collaborate is certainly a cornerstone of civilisation. The vision of keeping others from stealing your unique ideas is wrong partly because the ideas themselves die down without new impulses for development – funding, knowledge, implementation. They get old as any other products, and they can either be dead or alive – nothing abstract about it. Ideas need energy to prosper, so generously sharing and collaborating can only make them stronger, that is, if they’re real ideas, not just dust in the wind. Turning an idea into a tangible element requires a lot of time. Collaboration can actually make time go faster – if the areas are different enough and the ideas are innovative enough – the world can change throughout the process. Just imagine if LEGO worked together with N 8 (The Baltics and Scandinavia): the company could learn how to create projects of gigantic volume by using intuition, whilst the idea of toy blocks would connect the whole Northern region. But could it also be a company like SAAB, a plane manufacturer, helping us eliminate aerodynamic barriers between societies? Concepts that sound utopian today are casual and routine tomorrow. Northern countries should collaborate on a much, much larger scale. The co-operations at present can only give us hints about the huge potential we might stumble upon if we worked together more often. People have made it easy to collaborate – individuals are not limited by political powers, programmes or regulations. It’s the PEOPLE who come up with ideas and create solid bonds, not countries. Scandinavia can only get as strong as it possibly can with the strength of the Baltic States. It’s time to actively participate, not passively observe. And it’s going to be much easier if we stand on the shoulders of giants – the shoulders of our own potentials. Openly yours, N WIND
N WIND ENCOURAGES TO CHANGE INSIDE AND EXCHANGE BETWEEN
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Monthly magazine about culture and creative business in Northern Europe ISSN 2351-647X 2015, Nr. 6 Published by UAB BLACK SWAN BRANDS Address Šiaulių g. 10 / Žemaitijos g. 13, Vilnius www.nwindmag.eu email@example.com www.facebook.com/nwindmag Cover FROM WIND project. Photo by Linas Masiokas Authors Tautė Bernotaitė, Daina Dubauskaitė, Dovydas Kiauleikis, Ivo M. Matser, Kęstas Rapolas Nevera, Giedrė Stabingytė, Agnė Tuskevičiūtė, Karolis Vyšniauskas Advertising, distribution, projects Dovydas Kiauleikis, firstname.lastname@example.org Design Laura Tulaitė, Tomas Mozūra, email@example.com Printed by UAB „Lietuvos ryto“ spaustuvė
Dovydas Kiauleikis The saying goes that symphony orchestras exist for only one reason – to play music best. The harmony between instruments is the real power here. We think about our own region in similar ways – we can only be stronger if we work together.
nduction musical nds Photo by Jouni Harala
This is exactly why our protagonist this month is Anu Tali, one of few women in this male-dominated craft, but that’s the least interesting fact about the Estonian conductor. She caught N WIND’s eye by being a marvellous example of successful collaborations, not just in classical music, but between Northern countries as well.
Together with her twin sister, Anu is one of the founders of Nordic Symphony Orchestra (NSO), she’s also a vibrant ambassador of Estonia in the world and a talented musician. A moderate, composed and structured thinker becomes a whirlwind of energy on stage. It doesn’t matter what critic you might run into – everyone says that Anu gives the orchestra
wings, and the music that it then plays let’s the audience fly too. I would certainly say that she’s equally energetic in her managerial work, the best proof of it being, of course, NSO. Back in 1997 our protagonist and her sister Kadri were offered to organise a concert involving young performers from Estonia and
On stage, Anu Tali becomes a whirlwind of energy
written works for this orchestra, there are plenty of albums out there, awards, and the worldwide media is increasingly curious. Finland, commemorating of the 80th anniversary of Finland’s independence. The sisters were only 25 years of age at the time; Anu was already conducting after studying piano before. The concert was a smash hit. Musicians from different countries loved playing together, so the project started evolving. Over the next several years the orchestra perfected and performed their programme of popular classical music “Capitals of the World”. Many more foreign musicians joined the orchestra, so the name was changed from Estonian-Finnish Symphony Orchestra to NSO.
“A phenomenon like this can only exist in the age of airplanes: more than 90 musicians from 15 European countries and the USA gather in Estonia five times in a year. It’s a brilliant master class for us – we learn from each other, musicians even form temporary chamber orchestras”, Anu tells us. After playing in the NSO once, people tend to come back every year. Most of them highlight the creative atmosphere that allows each person to express himself. All thanks to the sisters (Kadri is the manager), NSO is not only able to get the players, but get the results as well. A cult composer Arvo Pärt has
Anu certainly gets a lot of attention from the press: you can stumble upon her name in almost any list of conductors, whilst her blond hair and Nordic features are like pure gold for various magazine covers. She doesn’t really enjoy it all and doesn’t even feel that the particular role of a FEMALE conductor is significant: “The sex of a person is irrelevant in both my life and music. Yes, we all are women and men, but it’s the individual talent and ability that counts – only the best climb the highest”. It feels as if the questions about being a female conductor are mandatory in every interview and bring huge boredom to Anu. She’s much more excited to talk about Estonian music. “My sister and I were born on the same day as Eduard Tubin (Tubin to Estonians is kind of what Čiurlionis is to Lithuanians), and even if it was several decades later, it’s still a very pleasant coincidence”, Anu starts the tale of Estonia’s national music. The conductor likes to have Estonian music in her programmes – that way Japanese, Australian and other audiences can familiarize themselves with E. Tubin, A. Pärt and others. When Googling her name, I found that almost every music critic mentions this habit of hers. Anu often collaborates with A. Pärt. “It’s magnificent to have an opportunity to work with a living
composer and get feedback from him. “Let this harmony hug the audience” or “here’s a pause for silence that’s now more important than any sound” – Arvo gives me advice that you can’t write down on any score”, she speaks of the particularities of working with probably the most famous Estonian in the world. “I like to listen to other conductors interpreting Estonian music, because they simply do it differently. I can play and conduct myself, but I always give scores of our pieces as a present for my musician friends first – they accept and play the works throughout the world”, Anu told a journalist Snieguolė Dovidavičiūtė last year in an interview. Isn’t this a brilliant way to spread the culture of Estonia? Other great Estonian conductors – Tõnu Kaljuste, Paavo Järvi – often use the same method. Personally I think that a whole separate study could be written on how can a little country like Estonia produce so many impressive conductors for the world. “A smaller orchestra could never do what the Berlin one does. However, sometimes the small one can play miraculously well without even knowing what happened”. Does the same occur in life? Not really. And the example of Anu herself is a great illustration of that – it’s all about us and our ability to interact with others. Once again the conductor stresses that Estonia is a tiny country, but Anu speaks five foreign languages (English, Russian, Swedish, Finnish and German), has studied in Tallinn, Stockholm and Saint Petersburg,
and Finland is just 80 km away from her home. Despite being in the NSO and conducting as a guest in concert halls all over of the world, she is also the Music Director of the Sarasota Orchestra in Florida since 2013. Therefore Anu deserves to be called a star of Estonia and the whole Northern region. But what is her relationship with Lithuania? “It’s a pity that Lithuanian and Estonians communicate not that actively. Maybe we’re just too far away from one another? Anyway, this definitely has to change”, she spoke in another interview, depicting the collaboration that both countries seem to just declare. Being a conductor means collaborating on a regular basis, especially while working as a guest in some of the best orchestras of our planet. How does Anu handle all these challenges? “One must focus on the fact that a conductor’s goal is to help the orchestra play better, not to change the musicians or the way they’re playing. We need to adapt – the phrase “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” is very applicable here”, Anu says. A good example of an adaptation like that is the work Anu did with a Japanese orchestra. “I believe that the importance of symbols and ideograms in the Japanese language influences musicians to pay very close attention to the gestures and moves of the conductor. If the latter has perfected his technique, he can communicate through his hands and baton without ever speaking, and Japanese musicians will read every mi-
Anu likes to include Estonian music in her programmes – that way Japanese, Australian and other audiences get to know composers from Estonia cro detail”, Anu remembers. Whereas Italians, on the other hand, may have some advice. “Imagine how much work can be done at rehearsals when each and every one of 90 people has something important to say to you, usually all at once”, Anu laughs. I was listening to recordings of Anu conducting. The music keeps you aware of her energy and aim to string the orchestra together for the best possible performance. If we can somehow string the three Baltic States together, we might not be playing as well as the orchestra of Berlin, but we will surely create an atmosphere of a community and we will get surprising results out of it, much like the Nordic Symphony Orchestra did. www.nordicsymphony.com
From Wind Giedrė Stabingytė FROM WIND – the first creative collaboration between N WIND magazine, Anchovy fashion brand and the winds in the North. The idea behind it is to use the wind, a moving energy, to create design objects. Windy – perfect for us. Go against the format and create something completely new – as well. “Anchovy creates wearable objects, the design process of which is based on interaction with the environment,” – tells us Giedrė Kosė, the founder of Anchovy, about the unique creative process. One of the first project by Anchovy was the app, which transforms anguage structure into the piece of colour art (www.fromanchovy.com). In collaboration with N WIND, Anchovy has launched a website that translates wind direction and speed real time data from meteorological stations in cities into colours. The website allows you to select multiple cities and see unexpected colour combinations of moving energy. N WIND is about creative Northern energy, so with this collaboration we tried to emphasize the fellow feeling between the countries in the North region. The first creations FROM WIND – creative energy between the Northern capitals, reflected on large format silk scarves and prints. Vilnius– Reykjavik. Oslo–Copenhagen–Vilnius–Helsinki. Vilnius–Riga–Tallinn – maybe colourful winds will blow towards stronger cooperation between our countries? SILK SCARVES AND PRINTS ARE AVAILABLE AT V2 CONCEPT STORES IN VILNIUS AND KAUNAS.
FROM WIND – a collaboration between Anchovy and N WIND. In the picture – Giedrė Kosė (Anchovy) and Giedrė Stabingytė (N WIND). Photo by Linas Masiokas
It comes from wind. Persistence, strength, tight knots. Restlessness, journeys, our vast ideas. How we, northerners, tend to build and sustain. Creative energy. It comes from wind.
Julija Goyd (www.julijagoyd.com), an artist living in Berlin, one of the creators of Anchovy, captured moving colours â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the bright and expressive energy of winds.
Vilnius 17kph · 40º Reykjavík 24kph · 105º
Colourful winds at real time: www.fromwind.com
More innovations, please Dovydas Kiauleikis There are two ways of collaborating in science and innovations – either between different sectors or between countries. Arūnas Karlonas, head of MITA – Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology in Lithuania, shares his insights on where we are at the moment and how we look in the context of the world and our neighbouring states.
Is Lithuania collaborating well internationally? If we’re talking about the international collaboration in the industries of science and innovations, Lithuanians still need to improve. We’re not so active neither in big international programmes like the European Union’s HORIZON, nor in successful regional ones. There are a lot of possibilities and programmes out there, but a small number of Lithuanian applicants. Are there any collaborations between Lithuania and other Baltic countries in the sector of innovations? MITA started working with partners from Latvia and Estonia on a progamme called “Baltic bonus” last year, it’s based on scientists getting addi-
Arūnas Karlonas, head of MITA, says we should collaborate with foreign partners more actively. Photo by MITA
tional funding for tripartite projects and the programme fosters collaboration between all three countries. However, innovators that seek international partners in Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia, tend to continue their search on the other side of the sea (or the bay). Naturally, people look to implement their ideas in places that are known for easier funding, larger markets and a faster tempo of these processes. But the programme we started last year lets us feel positive about it – future partners are looking for one another.
What should be done in order for science to have a closer connection with the world of business, creative sectors, the society? A strong trend in the world and in Lithuania now focuses on interdisciplinary projects. Various sectors of science co-operate to find new innovations. I recently read about a 30 year old biochemist in Silicon Valley – she used IT to create a method of testing blood comprehensively, quickly and at any location. People don’t have to go to a clinic – the examination can be done right here, right now. Similar achievements are on their way in Lithuania as well – we are strong in the fields of medicine, bioinformatics, biotechnology, bioengineering. Lithuanians are also capable to propose innovations in the areas of food and farming. A great example is Food Sniffer – an electronic nose, which determines the level of freshness of the food and sends the data to a smartphone or a computer.
The windy story of The Baltic Scene The Baltic Scene is not just a digital magazine; it’s a platform for music events, and it comes back to Vilnius on April 30th. Photo by Rytis Šeškaitis
Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians speak different languages, they’ve introduced the Euro on different occasions and listen to different music. The truth is, we have moved away from each other in the 25 years of freedom further than we’ve ever had before. I’ll be frank – when I first heard of a project that aimed to unite the three Baltic sisters for a common music mission, it all seemed
very naive to me. Each country has its own peculiarities in terms of musical taste, hence I was quite skeptical about Latvians being interested in what’s happening over in Lithuania, and Estonians feeling curious about Riga’s music scene. Two years after the start – actually, on the second birthday of The Baltic Scene – I was talking to the ambassadors while their project was levitating somewhere over the anxious waves of the Baltic Sea. It’s not a company, not a movement of some sort and not a business venture. Have in
mind that the woman who came up with the idea now lives in New York, and a Belgian guy is responsible for Latvian affairs and development... Due to different interests, so far (so far?) Lithuanians contribute the least. So why bother writing about a project that just appears to float in the air and was never reinforced by definite terms or by a five-year strategy? I believe it’s time to revive the discussions of the recent Tallinn Music Week conference that
Vocabulary is not important – music is unique in this way
azine then and was sniffing about for information on music in the Baltics. Fortunately, Natalie had leads in all three states and was assembling a new team. The blog turned into a magazine a few minutes before April 1st of 2013. Soon a few radio shows sprung up (one of them is now broadcasted in Estonia), The Baltic Scene parties emerged. Two concert tours were organised, in which each capital of the Baltics listened to three bands from all three countries perform. I asked why did Estonians – not Lithuanians or Latvians – come up with this? Silence. “Well, I think this has nothing to do with nationality – it’s all about personalities. Natalie and Henrik had so much enthusiasm that there’s even some left for me nowadays”, Frans shatters the boundaries of countries. He, by the way, came to Latvia after an Erasmus trip to... Vilnius. He likes this region and can say a lot of phrases in both languages. “We just saw the future benefits that this international and at the same time regional project could provide”, Henrik adds from Tallinn. “It’s easier to start moving into vast international waters once you’ve strenghtened your bonds in all three Baltic States. Agents, organisers and promoters get to know each other better, and that can only have positive outcomes”. In fact, it’s much simpler to work with foreign performers after these events, because you can offer them concerts in three countries at once.
were inspired by a significant event of The Baltic Scene. Some tangible results are already here, even though all that the project has to show for is several articles and events. Let’s start before the beginning, and who could tell it better than the two waving men I see on my screen – Frans Robert, a Belgian editor of the magazine, and Henrik Ehte, an Estonian who gave up the editor’s position and coordinates events. The latter stood by the cradle of the project with
the main initiator Natalie Mets. Actually, it’s more fair to say that the idea was adopted... Four years ago Natalie joined the Erasmus exchange programme to study in Riga, where she met two guys who created a small blog via Tumblr called The Baltic Scene. She absolutely loved the idea, which was a bit abandoned and lacked a clear vision at the time. Naturally, the Estonian girl took over the blog after the blessing of its creators. Henrik was working in another mag-
Frans agrees that the Baltic region is a magnificent platform to test young talents out before entering the global market. He remembers Carnival Youth, a Latvian band who he accidentally met at an event and they thanked The Baltic Scene for the opportunity they would have never thought about getting. Likewise, the concert in Latvia was the first performace abroad for the Lithuanians BA – recently Benas Aleksandravičius conquered Tallinn Music Week and received the main audience award. Moving forward surely be much easier now, financially at least. Frans and Henrik recall a similar project from Scandinavia called Ja Ja Ja. Local at first, today the Northerners organise events in places like Berlin and London. A few children of the Baltic Sea have already travelled with the help of The Baltic Scene. In 2014 the project, together with a Latvian radio station Pieci.lv, sent Estonians Sander Mölder and Fire-
josé and a Latvian NiklāvZ to Primavera Sound, one of the biggest festivals in Spain. And by ‘sent’ I mean that they made sure the performers get into the official programme and covered the costs of the trip. A Lithuanian producer Vidis went together and participated in the festival’s conference. Baltic Trail is another example – inspired by a famous uniting event of the same name 25 years ago, it’s a camp of electronic music, organised by The Baltic Scene and a Latvian label/agency Dirty Deal Audio. Week long sessions at the end of summer took place two times thus far, in Jūrmala and Riga. The format is similar to the one of Red Bull Music Academy, but there are no lectures here. The group of organisers selected participants from all three countries to work in studios, improvise, exchange ideas and perform in clubs. The results of these sessions resulted in a vinyl the first year (this was the first release of The Baltic Scene as a record company) and a digital compilation the next one. Rumour has it that 2015 will see Baltic Trail participants performing in Neringa, Lithuania. Electronic music really does travel much easier throug various walls. For instance, I never miss a chance to recommend the music of the aforementioned Latvian company Dirty Deal Audio, but as soon as I remember other genres (which, by the way, are irrelevant in the context of The Baltic Scene), my skepticism comes back. A lot of Lithuanian bands sing... in Lithuanian, but in a sense that it’s FOR Lithuanians. “Well, for example, the band Kamanių Šilelis sing in such a manner that knowing the language becomes unimportant; there are examples like this in Estonia and Latvia too. No dictionary needed – music is unique in this way, allowing us to communicate through it”, both respondents agree with one another. To make the context more interesting – here’s some statistics from Tallinn. An agency of social research in Estonia, TNS Emor, have found out
that Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians think they’re much more different than they actually are. Unfortunately, the analysis didn’t tell us what our similarities are. Anyway, the conclusion was that this may be the source of the unwillingness of Estonians to start businesses in Lithuania or Latvia and vice versa. Stereotypes are influenced by cultural differences, emotional barriers and, of course, prejudice. Estonians are believed to be (warning! they’re only believed to be) individualists, but research based on the six universal archetypes of Jung suggests they’re not – only a few percent of them are. Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians said they’d rather act as a part of something, therefore unity is not that far away. 506 Baltic households were visited for this research, with the age of respondents ranging from 15 to 76 years. As I’ve said before, the project kind of went into hibernation mode, and no one expects to make money anytime soon. However, plenty of ideas keep hopes high, so The Baltic Scene Vol. 2 is on the way. I’m waiting and hoping to be a part of it. P. S. The project will visit Vilnius on April 30th. InSearch, The Pink Elephant Band and I Wear* Experiment will perform in Liverpool bar. www.thebalticscene.eu
Recommendations from The Baltic Scene enthusiasts At the end of our online Baltic Trail, I asked Frans and Henrik to name their favourite musicians from the Baltics. To make things right, I forbade them to pick performers they work with. A large number of Lithuanian mentions led to my happy heart, whilst Latvian and Estonian picks may lead to fruitful discoveries or even mutual projects, who knows.
Few Nolder, Downtown Party Network, Vidis, Ten Walls, Gardens of God, Markas Palubenka, mmpsuf, Kurak, BA, Keymono, Umiko, Boikafé, Manfredas, Proper Heat, Monsoon Season, Garbanotas bosistas, Saulės kliošas, Without Letters, 96wrld, Fingalick, Sheep Got Waxed, InSearch, Ministry of Echology, Kamanių šilelis, Šarūnas Petrutis, The Bus, Rok&Dom, Kala Soundsystem, Baltasis kiras, Münpauzn, MC Mesijus.
LATVIA The captains of the project – Frans Robert, a Belgian in charge of Latvian affairs and development, and Henrik Ehte, an Estonian music manager and journalist, one of the founders of The Baltic Scene. Photos by Peteris Viksna and Mathilde Schmetz
Kashuks, NiklāvZ, Mr. Myster, Gene Garrett, Very Cool People, Ģirts Reiniks, The Pink Elephant Band, Stillhead, Oriola 701, Carnival Youth.
Wrupk Urei, Vaiko Eplik, Leikki, Tronden, Kene, Ingrid Lukas, Lexsoul Dancemachine, Estrada Orchestra, Vul Vulpes, I Wear* Experiment.
The things you own end up owning you. Tyler Durden, Fight Club
Adventure – such a thing, which can only be personal. It is the only tangible evidence that we are alive. Everything else will go to the rubish bin after you leave the stage that is life. As the adventure can only be personal, the adventure happening in films as you watch it isn’t yours. Don’t get used to adventures and things belonging to others – it’s too temporary. Sincerely, Your enemy www.Doberman-inside.eu
SEB x N WIND: TAUTĖ BERNOTAITĖ
A life that’s personal “You shouldn’t disunite things in life. Just make sure you choose your career path carefully – it has to be a sincere choice rather than a calculated one”, says a duet that’s working together for six years – Dalia Mauricaitė and Nauris Kalinauskas. Money, according to them, has to be an outcome, not a goal. These design professionals met through their activities, and common values nudged them towards working side by side. The married couple founded and are now leading two related initiatives: Dalia is the head of a design platform Lithuanian Design Block, and Nauris manages a design studio Contraforma. Being partners in business and in life is nothing bizzare for them, it’s a completely natural state. The duo is sure that working alongside each other doesn’t affect their personal life in a bad manner – actually, they question the personal aspect of life itself: “We work for 8 hours, sleep for 8 hours, spend 4 hours preparing for work and sleep, and rest for 2 hours. Is there much person-
al life left? You can’t love a person if you don’t like what he or she does – a profession is a big part of your personality”. The designers have created a space in their home for working and they’re planning to introduce new alternative workspaces that would bring your career closer to your family or holidays. So how does the couple relax when their professional activities have urgent deadlines or when particular projects encounter problems? “We don’t relax in situations like these at all, and that’s typical for us”, Dalia smiles calmly. “We try to solve any problems without worrying too much about them”. She is certain that if one has to make an important decision to nurse an ill partner during an intense period at work, that is already an issue of humanity, not professionalism. A privilege to be able to act Human is a skill Dalia believes to be most important. Alright, what about money then? Even couples that don’t partake in mutual business practice have financial decision-making troubles. “We al-
Julita Varanauskienė, a representative of SEB, comments on the model of this duo’s work and personal life from a financial angle.
Julita Varanauskienė, a representative of SEB, with a chair Kuridka created by Dalia and Nauris. Photo by Reda Mickevičiūtė
Where, in your opinion, lie the possible financial risks for this seemingly prepared couple? In terms of personal financial management, making clear plans helps to achieve various goals due to increased possibilities to manage resources purposefully and effectively. On the other hand, a plan is hardly a guarantee of the results. Thinking of unfortunate events that may occur independently is not a sign of worrying about notional particularities, it’s a mean of being ready. Those problems may not ever come to life, but if they do, solving them would be much easier. A theoretical financial risk could also be the fact that the family has only one source of income – their mutual creative activities, one area of their work. But as long as we’re talking about two creators, I would consider them to be different sources.
What could lessen the danger of financial risks? A reserve of some sort of savings definitely helps – it could be used if the income suddenly decreases or expenses increase. Of course, owned property lessens the risks. In this case the home of this family could be mortgaged in order to borrow money. It also ensures safety by providing a roof over the couple’s head and a workplace if there’s ever a need for such. Financial products that reduce the risks are an option too. For instance, life insurance is relevant if one person is financially dependable on the other and his possibilities to be independent are quite limited; also if a couple has mutual financial obligations (loans) and one person would have a hard time repaying them. Dalia and Nauris have invested time and money into the process of buying a loft. Was it possible to amortize this financial operation? As far as I understand, this couple sees risk as the lack of spare funds. However, they did everything for this situation to change, and they have
S Buying a loft during the recession was the most risky venture of the duo that’s operating for six years – Dalia Mauricaitė and Nauris Kalinauskas. Photo by Reda Mickevičiūtė
succeeded. It’s unclear whether Dalia and Nauris have bought the loft using their own money or they had to borrow some. If it was their own funds and they had more savings, the risk would have been smaller, but that would require more time of saving and preparing. But the couple chose to save money and work hard after the purchase – the uncertain state acted like a stimulus to reduce the level of financial insecurity. If we have property and a loan “attached” to it, with additional funds to pursue current projects, is this an example of positive amortization? Well, it depends on many factors, some of which are future income and its stability (to make regular payments easier), and the future changes of the market value of the mortgaged property (so that it could be sold to cover the loan). Emotional and psychological factors are also very important – how good or bad does an individual feel about having a “loan cloud” hanging above? Is it smart for a couple to have one budget? A mutual budget is a wise choice, rationally
speaking. When both partners are able to openly discuss their goals, means of achieving them and calculate expenses of the whole process, it’s possible that they will both put in sincere efforts to make money and use it effectively, that is, to get the biggest financial and non-financial benefits from the available funds. Unfortunately, the scientific theory and practice of managing household finances shows us that not all families can pull it off. It’s complicated to sincerely agree on how much every member has to work and how much to earn, whose efforts are more valuable (especially if its household work at home) and so forth. We don’t all have the same views on money, and that may result in various disagreements. Personal goals may emerge next to mutual ones, and the attitude towards the importance of personal ones can differ a lot between partners. These situations require specific settlements. The financial role of an individual in a couple may depend on personal income, the experience he or she has in handling expenses,
ways decide how to distribute the money together. If we settle on an investment or a bigger purchase, we eliminate optional expenses and simply boost our scope of work”, Dalia explains. “Our family has a mutual budget, there are no money that’s ‘mine’ or ‘his’: our income is common, and all expenses are classified either as necessary or unnecessary”. The couple have bought a loft during a time of economic recession. They feel as if this was the most risky business venture they have ever engaged in. There were no additional resources after the purchase, so they created a plan and started working hard without any real prospects. Dalia is glad that the risk they took later payed off. The price of the loft at the time was relevantly small – we probably won’t see prices like that anymore, and the couple has enjoyed their home for three years since, even though nobody really believed in this project at first. Nauris and Dalia plan professional tasks rationally: they discuss the whole course of a project clearly and in detail, then they tweak it and – what’s key here – settle on a deadline. “That date is invariable – we’re never late. That’s just our policy”. Daily duties play a smaller role – they’re taken care of by the person that’s just more into doing it at a particular time – no matter if it’s lunch or other chores. After talking to the couple, all doubts about starting a business with a loved one seem to vanish. “The worst thing in regular business, obviously, is to fail and lose everything you’ve invested. However, if you’re working with your partner in life, there is less risk, because this kind of duo knows that losing a personal relationship is way worse than losing money”, Nauris and Dalia suggests. “Mutual work can only put a spotlight on the existing problems of a relationship, it can’t create new ones”. And the big benefit of living and working together, according to the designers, is a longer life: “When you’ve picked an activity you love and you spend most of your time with an individual you love, you pretty much don’t have to work at all – the process becomes very enjoyable”.
and the family examples the individual saw when growing up. However, if both partners feel that the mutual agreement of managing funds is honest, having a joint budget is a truly rational decision. What principle should a couple follow to be able talk about finances without any tension, like this duo does? This needs a lot of honesty, frankness and mutual respect. And like this couple says, “mutual work can only put a spotlight on the existing problems of a relationship, it can’t create new ones”.
Do you create together? Have some plans? Register for a personal consultation about financial aspects at www.seb.lt or via phone – 1528.
N WIND SHOWC
Latvian design pop up sto
Can you hear the Northern wind, can you feel it, smell it? It brings Latvian stories. Set in to touch, read, and experience them. This is a live showcase, an exchange platform; we are all here because of the same creative energy, but our stories have different beginnings and endings.
Inspired by nature and ancient symbols, our designs fuse clean and ergonomic forms, basic geometry and a strong message.
Streams. The streams of rivers speak through our hands – they’re from the entwined beds, from the unknown and from the well-known. Streams of a thought, sensation and movement. Streams of rhythm and music, joyful and blue. BLANKBLANK was nourished by graphic artist Linda Blanka and designer Martins Blank, captivating Northern colours and the magic of patterns. The brand’s creative style is based on imaginary patterns turning into art affairs and materializing as clothes of a functional cut. Not Just A Label listed BLANKBLANK among top 100 young designers who participated in the 2014 design event Origin Passion and Beliefs in Italy. www.blankblank.me
Founded in 2007, RIPA is one of the finest jewelry labels in Latvia, a brainchild of designer Peter Ripa and jeweller Karl Bergs. The label is loyal to traditions of luxury jewelry, using exquisite and pure materials including sterling silver, 18k gold and natural minerals, as well as unusual elements like nylon, thus marrying the old with the new. www.peter-ripa.com
YAYOI Bright vibrations. I’m a woman who gathers the brigthest colours and the spree of forms from nature. YAYOI is a bold and extravagant jewelry brand, launched by Jevgenija Dorosenko in 2013, inspired by the art of a Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Nature, in all its forms and glory, serves as one of the main sources of ideas for impressive necklaces and bracelets, individually handcrafted using high quality materials, sea corals and semiprecious stones. 2014 saw YAYOI in the collection of Luis Antonio during New York’s fashion week. www.yayoi.eu
09-18 April, V2 CONCEPT STORE in VILNIUS (Dominikonų st. 5)
TUNDRA HATA A trip inwards yourself. Our hats can magically change people. ‘Tundra’ – real, unpredictable, primordial. ‘Hata’ – hat, a symbol of a house. No surprise that there’s a cane of a traveller in their logo. One of the founders of TUNDRA HATA workshop, Beatrise Gore, comments on their hat therapy: “Each and every one of them is unique and is able to change the individual by providing motivation to look for new ways of expression”. www.tundra.lv
Word became flesh. We are a collaboration between time and space. MIESAI (‘for body’ in Latvian) brand was brought up by Mikelis Baštiks and Krisjanis Jukumsons-Jukumnieks, the founders of one of the most sound graphic desing studios in the Baltics. The first project of MIESAI included various photographs of people wearing a T-shirt that had RĪGA written on it. It became a social phenomenon and over 15,000 T-shirts were sold. Now the team is into collaborations between time and space – their project CIRULIS includes Latvian designers that interpret works of the famous graphic designer Ansis Cīrulis (1883-1942). A unique new font, plates and artistic prints were already presented. www.miesai.lv
KETA GUTMANE Power of thought. My power comes from deep within. It is the pure black essence, capturing all colours, thoughts and inner forces. There is a woman at the core of Keta Gutmane’s collection “Levitation”, wearing clothes that resemble a warrior’s costume, letting the spectator feel her inner power. The designer used to work with capsule collections, installations and fashion films up until 2013 when she introduced her own brand. By the way, her collaboration in a short movie Lust Lust, where Keta provided her take on the obsession over interior elements in post-Soviet Latvia, received a Grand Prix in the fashion film competition A Shaded View On Fashion Film, organised by Diane Pernet in the Pompidou centre of Paris. www.ketagutmane.com
PIEN DAIRY SPA Discoveries. Our story is a story of Latvia – one of the greenest countries – and its people, who are on a quest to find new opportunities. A habilitated doctor of biology Dmitrijs Babarikins has devoted more than 35 years of his life to study the effects milk leaves on the human organism. Thus, he has founded an idea of natural and unique formula – the use of milk whey concentrate in cosmetic products. www.pienspa.com
21-30 April, V2 CONCEPT STORE in KAUNAS (Šv. Gertrūdos st. 37)
E: RIGA ONE WOLF Survival. One must look for extraordinary stories alone. This season ONE WOLF offers a survival kit in search of memorable stories – a cold-coloured, functionally cut and processed-with-precision collection named “Uniform”. The intelectual brand of street clothing, founded by Agnese Narnicka in 2010, grew popular due to courageous lines, interesting silhouettes and rough denim. Today ONE WOLF is widely known in Lithuania too, and customers are able to buy the brand’s production in the Baltics, Benelux, France, USA and Japan. www.onewolf.lv
PAVILJONS Threads. We’re knitting a new identity for Latvia by connecting the city with nature. PAVILJONS is a concept design store in Riga, opened five years ago. It creates links between the prominent and starting out Latvian designers by putting them under one roof. After developing their own identity and gaining experience in the fashion business, PAVILJONS teamed up with designer Lyga Garda to create a clothing line. Knitted pieces dominate the collection, with colours and patters intermixing with motives of city and nature. www.paviljons.lv
ZILBERS DESIGN Transforming the usual. ZILBERS DESIGN is all about the design of products, presentations and interior. All of their projects aim to completely transform typical objects and notions. Their glowing brooms MOODBROOM may sweep you off your feet at N WIND SHOWCASE: RIGA. www.zilbersdesign.com
N WIND SHOWCASE: RIGA is supported by
N WIND SHOWCASE: RIGA is the first in the series of events exhibiting Northern creativity, organised by N WIND magazine. www.nwindmag.eu
Collaboration is the start of something new, something stronger; it’s an opportunity for brands to perfect their concept and create history by entering new spaces. Stories have overcome my internal considerations about the subject, so stories is what I present – here are 3 essays for collaboration.
A portrait done by Katerina Jebb for Acne Paper.
NEW PERSPECTIVES OF BEAUTY The two worlds of fashion and art witness a lot of collaborations: artists or art brands need aesthetically sensitive customers of the fashion industry, much like as fashion brands require a peculiar perspective of beauty from the creator and the chance to extend the brand’s image into dimensions of artistic space. Companies that tend to focus only on creation of products and similar fashion processes are much less likely to develop concepts that go beyond the merchandising – that’s why they usually collaborate with solid
artists. I was urged to take a glance at the collaborative works of Katerina Jebb, an artist, and a fashion brand called Acne Studios. Frederick Nietzsche once stated that “if you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you” – this characterizes the art of K. Jebb pretty well: captivating, cold, intimate, melancholic, grotesque at times. Born in the UK and now Parisbased artist is a recognized figure in both the art and fashion industries, mostly due to her unique style of creating imagery. Katerina was in a traffic accident and thus one of her arms is paralyzed, preventing the photographer from using the camera freely. So she made a high quality scanner her main tool of work and developed an unconventional, original and signature technique by experimenting: various parts of a body or an object are being scanned and then digitally connected into an integral painting of actual size. Acne Studios and K. Jebb started working together on a film in 2010, which led to a quite sculptural project of scanned accessories – ACNE 13 OBJECTS DOCUMENTED BY KATERINA JEBB. Later Katerina revived historic 18th century clothes from the archives of Palais Galliera, museum of fashion history in Paris: she scanned the internal structure and fragments of the authentic clothing, compilating unique collages for the 2013 autumn-winter collection. The artist also created some glamour-lacking portraits for the Acne Paper magazine, which seemed totally alien for the fashion world: famous actors and supermodels became reflections of Katerina’s inner life, all because of her distinctive creative process. The models joined her story as soon as the fast click of a camera was replaced by the long and wearisome procedure of scanning, which completely transports the subject into the creator’s world. www.katerinajebb.com
Essays for collaboratio
Giedrė Stabingytė, branding bureau BLACK SWAN BRANDS
Collages by Katerina Jebb for the Acne Studios project. Source: mfilomeno.com
FERMENTATION OF INTENSE STORY We have a brilliant example of a brand that’s developed by collaborational projects – the production of “Raudonų plytų” beer. The initiator Andrius Bagdzevičius had an idea of “creating a beer together” from the very start and he calls collaboration “an experiment that panned out”. And it did pan out, according to the parameters of brand progress – half of the beer produced by the company was made by co-operating with others, and Andrius says he feels as if they’re “on the right path”. So what do different brands or creators seek when collaborating? “They seek the opportunity to create an exclusive story for a product”, Andrius singles out the main factor. He talks about the deficit of interesting stories in his sector: “Beer doesn’t speak of the majestic fields of grapes that are nuzzled by hogs, or longevous barrels that smell like they’re filled with salty spatter of Scottish waves”. The story is a significant part of a drink, but the same could be said about other products that have indocrinated their naratives into our consciousness and unconsciousness. Today “Raudonų plytų” beer takes up only a small part of the market – it’s being made in small batches and only a particular group of shops and bars sell it. However, Andrius Andrius Bagdzevičius with Emanuelis Ryklis from Crooked Nose & Coffee stories.
RYKLIO KAVINUKAS, the sweet stout. Photo by Darius Petrulaitis
is sure that the reviews and opinions of the customers are most important in this stage of the development of his brand. The chance to reach other audiences by collaborating is also very beneficial: “Creating a sweet stout named RYKLIO KAVINUKAS (sharks’s coffee pot) with Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories introduced their coffee to our clientele, and coffee drinkers became aware of our beer and ideas”. What’s crucial in co-operating successfully? “When working with partners, one must appreciate their efforts and mastery, focusing on what everyone can achieve together”, Andrius lays out the general principles that glue creative elements together. “A mutual mission could be, let’s say, getting rid of zombies in Lithuania”. This was a project that gained a lot of attention – ZOMBIS TUNDROJE (a zombie in tundra), a limited edition beer, created in collaboration with a very wellknown Lithuanian band Antis, who have a hit song about the undead. Still, RYKLIO KAVINUKAS remains more popular and is brewed regularly, likely because of the purposeful and skillful work of both brands. www.raudonuplytu.lt
COLLABORATING IN TIME AND SPACE “I like this title – “collaborating in time and space”,” comments Mikelis Baštiks, one of the founders of a Latvian design brand MIESAI. It started out as just another mutual project between the owners of a graphic design studio Asketic, who wanted to create “something for the body” (miesai literally means ‘for body’ in Latvian). So, collaboration in time and space was the basis of the most profound project that MIESAI did so far – CIRULIS. It gathered prominent Latvian designers to provide their take on the works of a graphic designer Ansis Cīrulis (1883-1942). Therefore, one of the participants is from the beginning of 20th century. Why?
Type designer Aleksandra Samulenkova and “Millions of Cīrulis”. Photos by MIESAI
design. Whereas Edgars Zvirgzdiņš, the head of a design studio Associates, Partners et Sons, made a fiery poster with “No victory without a fight” written on it.
“A. Cīrulis was a highly influential graphic artist and one of the first designers in Latvia. His works played an important role in the formation of our national identity. When you look back at those days, a potent emotion takes over – Latvians surely had a unique style of expression, but the natural evolution was disturbed by Soviet occupation. Currently we’re in a position to tackle the space of time by thinking about why the works of A. Cīrulis resonated so well, or what’s at the core of Latvian design today”, Mikelis stresses the exploratory aspect of project CIRULIS. Can
The 113th birthday of A. Cīrulis marked the start of this project, and MIESAI was able to present 4 collaborative works within a year. The brand is not about to stop – two new artworks are coming very soon. “If you cross the line that separates the world of ideas from the one of materials, the flow of interesting design will attract more and more members”, MIESAI comments on their idea being tested by time and experiments. www.miesai.lv
Latvian identity be interesting for global markets? This is the quesion that MIESAI uses to widen the physical spectrum of their ideas. “It’s way too arrogant to answer that question ourselves”, MIESAI believes, incorporating stars of Latvian design into the project and setting a goal of having 12 collaborative works of A. Cīrulis and modern artists in a year’s time. A powerful idea is the foundation of a long lasting co-operation. Asketic have also worked together with A. Cīrulis – they’ve created the CIRULIS font. Madara Kievinia, a designer, used that font to decorate porcelain plates, honouring the early works of ceramics by the project’s inspirer. A type designer Aleksandra Samulenkova created a silkscreen print “Millions of Cīrulis”, wishing “significant growth” for Latvian
Mikelis Baštiks, one of the founders of MIESAI, and the CIRULIS font, created by Asketic and turned into decorative signboards.
Designer Madara Krievinia looks at the plates for the CIRULIS project.
Talks that end with an
I would like to hug every person I meet, but not everyone surrenders to it
Agnė needs to learn to spin on her head until the premiere of “The Rite of Spring”. Photo by Laura Vansevičiūtė
RUn VĖT GĖ April 25-26
WHAT? A weekend of open architecture Open House Vilnius WHERE? In 25 interesting buildings of Vilnius WHY? What if there was a chance to visit the prosecution service office, marriage department building or the electric power station? The last weekend of April will see various buildings of Vilnius opening doors that are usually closed to most people. Architects or landlords will be guiding the exciting tours. www.archfondas.lt
WHAT? A design fair – Uptown Market WHERE? Sport hall “IndEx Hall”, inside the yard of LOFTAS, Vilnius WHY? Did you ever see a hip city person sell stuff at a bazaar? Check Uptown Market, a one-daylong fair of design. Talented craftmakers, experts of style and architects of aesthetics will showcase what they have in store for you for the upcoming summer season of 2015. www.menufabrikas.lt
WHAT? “Contemporary?” WHERE? Menų spaustuvė (Arts Printing House), Vilnius WHY? It’s still an undefeated phenomenon of the Lithuanian dance scene – the jury at the ceremony of Golden Crosses 2015 couldn’t find a decent competitor for this spectacle. Professional, packed with self irony, sincere – this performance talks about the daily struggles of a modern artist and, what’s extraordinary, doesn’t even scare people that were not that into contemporary “art” before. www.menuspaustuve.lt
ellipsis ly spinning on her head until the premiere of “The Rite of Spring”. Most of her sentences on stage end with a full stop, however life sees her ending most of them in an ellipsis. Unfinished sentences have enough hope and optismism to keep Agnė Ramanauskaitė glowing... Would you turn the clocks forward or backwards in spring? I wouldn’t turn them at all – time passes by on its own, so why bother? But if I had to, I’d probably let myself sleep more in the morning. Backwards.
Agnė Tuskevičiūtė She’s always on the road between the theatres of Kaunas and Vilnius, even though she had to Google the distance the first time. An actress... that tries not to act on stage or in life. Every new role is like a gift for her – she opens the doors of each theatre and meets every director with genuine joy. A dancer... that was told she doesn’t have the physique for it since she was a kid. And still, she managed to dance in performances of the greatest choreographers in Lithuania and charmed the most fierce jury which is in charge of handing out awards. A teacher... which is learning on her own at the time – she needs to be literal-
Where do you hide from your fears? Under a warm blanket, usually. If I don’t have it, I face my fears and overcome them. The best spectator is the one who... ...is there.
rush and I don’t know the shortest route. Do most of your sentences end in an ellipsis, a full stop or an exclamation mark? An ellipsis, definitely, that’s just my style... What shape is perfect? I would vote for eliminating perfection. Do you hug people you meet or just shake their hand? I would like to hug people I meet, but not everyone surrenders to it, so I shake his or her hand, hoping I get a hug next time. What is the language of love? It’s constructed from sentences that end in a series of dots. What can one do about insomnia? Just don’t sleep – why constrain yourself?..
What’s the most uncomfortable dance position? The one that you’re doing for the first time. The last one I’ve tried was standing on my head withouth the support of hands. Today it looks uncomfortable, even impossible, but I have to work it out until May.
High heels or ballet slippers? In this case – high heels, because I can last two hours longer on them, then I must change to sneakers. I like to feel solid ground under my feet and walk fast.
Where do you end up if you take a detour each time you have to go straight? Everywhere. I tend to walk that way a lot, especially when the weather is nice or when I’m in a
How high do you jump? I evaluate the situation. Then I just jump. I’m always hoping for a soft landing... But things happen...
WHAT? The premiere of “Paper Piece”, a dance spectacle WHERE? Center for New Dance “Zodiak”, Helsinki WHY? The audience of last year’s New Baltic Dance festival in Vilnius simply adored the monoversion “Work”, a performance by dancer and chorepgrapher Andrius Katinas. Much more of rustling and coming-back-to-life paper in an authentic and ritualistic synthesis of movement and installation art can be experienced in the full version called “Paper Piece”, together with dancer Vera Nevanlinna and visual artist Salla Salin.
April 14-19 WHAT? Stockholm art week WHERE? Various locations of the city WHY? A huge number of events is not really at the core of Scandinavian minimalism. However, an important festival of performance art and the fair of contemporary photography merge into a one of the most exciting exhibitions of arts and books in the whole Northern region. www.stockholmartweek.com
www.zodiak.fi/en/calendar/paper-piece WHAT? Art festival Oslo Open WHERE? Various art galleries and studios of Oslo WHY? Art curators are already packing their things for a trip to get to know a lot of Oslo-based independent artists. The organisers have created a platform to openly communicate with art professionals, individuals looking for pieces for their galleries, people in search for interesting interior details or just plain admirers of art. osloopen.no
Embody starts the marathon
Photo by Nerijus Paluckas
Thousands try to succeed in the enormous music scene of London, yet only a few get close to it. A Lithuanian producer Karolis Labanauskas – Embody is one of those few, all thanks not only to his talent for writing pieces that urge people to dance, but also to his capacity to collaborate with other musicians, even if Karolis doesn’t meet most of them. “Most of my classmates fantasized about becoming astronauts, meanwhile I wanted to be Michael Jackson”, Karolis recalls. Well, he’s on the right path to fulfill a childhood dream: songs of the Lithuanian producer are already being played on the main British radio – BBC Radio 1, and his remix of the German duo’s “Milky Chance” track “Stolen Dance” has over two million views on YouTube. Karolis has been into music since his early days and he is well-known among visitors of respectable clubs of Lithuania – he was a member of an electronic duo called The Sneekers. However, moving to London resulted in him getting out of the local market and joining the international one. The producer was using one of the biggest merits of electronic music – the ability to create it all from your own room. One does not necessarily need a bunch of musicians or a studio, only swarming ideas inside one’s head, and Karolis certainly has plenty of them. He started by remixing songs of performers he found pleasing, as well as offering his bright and summery take to other musicians. His portfolio now includes collective records with A*M*E, a Grammy-nominated British singer, also Barnaby – a starting out Southhampton-based R&B composer. The Embody remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Once Upon a Dream” was listened to over 200,000 times on SoundCloud. The producer is praised for the technical as well as creative side of his works. He simply knows
Sometimes I don’t get the chance to meet people I’ve spent several months working on a project with how to write a piece that would make people want to move – “Give Me Your Love” and “Bad News” are best examples of that. If these were written by widely celebrated producers, we would hear these tracks on the radio every single day. “We definitely sense some big moves coming for the talented producer, so stay tuned”, a popular American music website “The Music Ninja” wrote back in autumn. We will stay tuned, but it’s much better to get in tune with the creator himself, so we contacted Karolis for his first interview as Embody for the Baltics. How did the start of your music career in London go? I was always interested in the music scene and culture of London. I moved here three years ago, and since I’m extremely impatient, the fast pace of life and work completely satisfied my hopes and expectations. Just as in Lithuania, everything kind of unfolded in an unplanned and natural way – I received an offer to produce one performer, then another, then a few more. One day I got a Facebook message from my current manager, saying he wants to meet and talk about my future plans. This was the start of it all. What have you been up to here? Well, I saw Big Ben, visited The National Portrait Gallery, The Science Museum... And if we’re talking seriously, my main achievement here is prob-
ably the chance to work with many interesting people. I have a team that believes in me and dedicates their time and efforts for my project. Everything else is just a long marathon without a finish line. Don’t get me wrong, but as strange as it may sound – the marathon IS the prize. I believe I’m only starting my run. In Lithuania, you were a part of an electronic duo The Sneekers. Have you worked on other Lithuanian projects? What do you remember from that period? Aside from being in The Sneekers, I produced various performers, composed music for TV and radio commercials, created soundtracks for visualisations. It didn’t seem that way at the time, but I’m glad that I had the opportunity to work in advertising. This was like a university for me – I learned that versatility is key and egoism is only useful if it comes out in the right place. Of course, I saw the importance of patience – there may be no results without it. What are the main differences between creating music in the UK and Lithuania? The creative process is the same, however the attitude towards the business itself is totally different. London sees music more like an enterprise rather than a hobby, and this place obviously has a much bigger market with more opportunities. The theme of this N WIND issue is collaborations. You seem to find them essential – you work on other people’s songs and create music with various performers. Correct, collaboration is of crucial importance in my career. Steve Jobs said that “great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people”. I believe that the same is true in the music industry. Every link of the chain is closely connected with one another – from management to public relations to music composition. It’s mandatory to keep those links working together in order to get major results. I’m trying to interact with people that are much more talented than me – this helps to improve a lot. People who are passionate about their craft can be insanely inspirational. Still, most of the work is done online - sometimes I don’t even get the chance to meet people I’ve spent several months working on a project with. Live communication is always better, but the modern world makes time your first priority. This magazine targets the culture of the Baltics and other Northern countries. In music or as a personality, how much of a Northerner are you? I’m probably more Nordic as a personality than I am in my music. On the other hand, I might not even feel the influence of Northern culture in my works. Today it’s more difficult than ever to draw a clear line between one culture and another. What are your near-future plans? I’m working on a great deal of new music. The plan is to release a few singles at the beginning of summer, also to perform in several festivals in Germany and, of course, in Lithuania. Listen to Embody at soundcloud.com/iamembody
Showcase: sneakers Spring without sneakers – it’s like summer without sea. This season NIKE is all about classic Air Max and minimal Roshe Run.
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Smart. Casual. Sn Kęstas Rapolas Nevera What used to be a hobby, had turned into work and later – into a mission. A year ago I bought a pair of sneakers. Then another pair. One more. A few more. This year I bought special stacks for the sneakers, constantly looking for new pairs that fit my style. Let’s be honest here – despite them being sports shoes, they’re not for sport. The culture of sneakers connects both regular users and collectors like me, which are still pretty rare in our region. Ignas Falkauskas takes care of Springs, the first sneaker shop in Lithuania, for almost two years now. He can talk about sneakers longer than a car salesman can blabber on about the advantages of a new sedan. He didn’t find this job – the position of shop manager has found him, much like the passion for sneakers did.
ing for one particular model that I had before, so my interest in sneakers grew and it became my hobby. In some time I could already tell which shoes were more valueable and which were simply better than others. This summer will mark a two year anniversary of the shop. Has the view on sneakers changed in Lithuania during that time? Yes, at present we can witness a kind of boom – more people are interested in them, buying them, designers started using sneakers in their fashion shows. Many people now combine these shoes with their ‘smart casual’ look. So the attitude towards sneakers has mainly changed because there are more of them in the streets, in offices and in other places. What kind of people look for sneakers in Lithuania? The audience is very diverse, from fourteen year old teenagers to fif-
You and sneakers – how did it all start? In my teenage years I was look-
Less than 300 kilometres North of Vilnius, in Riga, a clothing, sneaker and coffee shop Bang Bang has a charming dark-haired manager Agnese Rutkovska buzzing about – she’s a girl that grew up wearing sneakers and a perfect person when you need to find Holy Grails (‘Holy Grails’ in sneaker slang are “shoes that have both sentimental and monetary value to the owner and supersede the rest of the shoes in one’s collection”). A girl and her sneakers – was it love at first sight? Probably, yes. Even though I played basketball in my teens, I was constantly dreaming of Adidas Superstars, not basketball shoes. My first leisure shoes that my parents bought me were Nike Cortez – I wouldn’t say I adored them...
Agnese Rutkovska is the pioneer of sneaker culture in Riga. Photo from personal archives
ty year old CEOs that want to wear something more graceful and stylish in their free time. The latter kind appreciate quality and are willing to spend more money on exceptional pieces. It’s much harder to satisfy teenagers – they look for the right model online. Recently, a 60 year old woman bought a pair of bright coloured sneakers, so it’s pretty hard to define a client profile. People are more and more relaxed, but there still is a group of middle-aged skeptics that believe sneakers are ugly and dowdy. What do Lithuanians look for in sneakers? There are clients that are more fond of fashion and are interested in tendencies, or their own taste simply matches the trends. But I still hear comments like “there are so many shoes with the N letter on them in
Ignas Falkauskas has been taking care of the first sneaker shop in Lithuania for almost two years now. Photo by Paulius Zaborskis
...and you became a saleswoman of sneakers. It got pretty boring at the clothing store – I felt as if I did everything I could there. Then, and this was around 10 years ago, I started working in Bang Bang. At first, this was a small shop in a mall, selling shoes for skateboarding. Gradually we became a sneaker store that has shoes you can’t get anywhere else. What are the tendencies of wearing sneakers in Latvia? A lot of Russians live here, and they like fashionable, exotic sneakers much more than Latvians do. They buy colourful and extraordinary designer models, whilst most Latvians are happy with their Nike Air Max 90. New Balance 574 are also very popular, but I was truly surprised when, in spring, we sold out all of our Nike Huarache summer models. Can you tell us about the people that visit Bang Bang? Mostly those into street culture,
also various bloggers. Regular people who just like this kind of culture stop by from time to time, but those who read blogs usually enter the shop knowing what they’re going to buy. If we don’t have a certain model, they’re curious about when are we going to get it – apparently they dress thoughtfully and follow trends. Of course, there are those that seek “the sneakers with that N letter on them”. It was quite funny originally, now I’m used to it. What stage is the Latvian sneaker culture at? I don’t think the culture is mature enough, but facts try to speak for themselves – this March we sold ten times the number of sneakers that we sold on March 2014. It is a trend now, even though three years ago I wouldn’t have believed that it would be. I hope the next three years will bring even more popularity and relevance for the sneaker culture.
neakers. the city”. So the natural growth of the sneaker industry also acts like a tool of direct marketing – we tend to look at other people’s clothes. Individuals over 30 years of age dedicate less time to look for sneakers. However, they can see a lot more shoes like that in the media, especially in photos from events. Do sneaker buyers know much about the product? Sometimes people just enter the shop and state that they have no idea what kind of sneakers they’d like to get, but that’s not very often. Most customers try to match their shoes to their clothes: some pick black and white sneakers to be compatible with more outfits, some like to choose bright and colourful ones to make the shoes a memorable detail of the whole look.
Can we already talk about a sneaker culture in Lithuania? It’s hard to define what sneaker culture really is. There are those individuals that try them on and come back to buy shoes like that four or five times. We also have clients working in conservative places that only wear sneakers out of work. Is this a culture of sneakers? Probably not, it’s probably just a hype, but we’ll have a clearer view on things in a few years. This movement is at its first steps, and breaking into formal spaces is an evident sign of development. I think there soon will come a time when people won’t question wearing sneakers as a part of their casual look. What kind of sneakers will be popular this year and in the near future? Retro designs are getting morally old, and the new Nike Roshe Run model is almost as popular as the famous Nike Air Max. I’m waiting for new pieces that would surprise me, and it’s only a matter of time when they get here. I hope modern design is the future.
The most popular
One of the prominent sneaker models in the Baltics is Nike Air Max, first created in 1987 when designer Tinker Hatfield introduced an air pillow into the shoe’s heel. Every year saw a new model and the majority of them became insanely saleable, like the Nike Air Max 95 or Nike Air Max 97. Regardless of these sneakers being in the market for a long time, Lithuanians and Latvians only came to love them 3-4 years ago. The top 10 of last year’s best-selling models in the USA includes three versions of Nike Air Jordan, the iconic Nike Air Force 1, a brand new Nike Air Max 2014 model and also Nike Roshe Run shoes, which were in great request last year in Lithuania too.
Collaboration, Sharing and Me Dr. Ivo M. Matser EMP, CEO of ISM University of Management and Economics Many people think and talk about collaboration. People like to collaborate, because it is important for themselves. Important, because it is a way to achieve your aims. The same is the case for companies, sectors or countries. It is simple: together you can create more than you can alone. It is the synergy within organizations and it could be between organizations. It is the definition of an organization: more people creating something together. In the public sector, private sector, local and international. In the same time, we complain about collaboration, very often. Many people complain about other people or organization about not working together properly. Mostly, it is caused by the fact, people are too selfish in collaboration. They think about their own interest and less about their common interest. And for many people it is not very easy to trust others. But, imagine how to collaborate without trust? I do not know. It is proven that collaboration with shared common value is more effective (exploration perspective) than collaboration with a more own interest approach (exploitation of transaction perspective). The construction industry (utility, houses, infrastructure) has many bad and good examples. In a value based collaboration construction projects have better results (quality, customer satisfaction, lower costs). There are many examples in Finland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In this value based collaboration there is one important rule: Customer (end user) first. Creating customer value, based on trust and collaboration of companies, working together is much better than a chain of many clients and suppliers. Normally, you see even price competitions within the value chain and in the end it will a cost focused chain. From the sharing perspective collaboration is focused on value and profit.
So we see good examples is production sectors, e.g. fashion, automotive and construction as mentioned before. The result is always: time saving, less stock, small warehouses, more flexibility, more value, less price competition and satisfied customers and employees.
Collaboration with shared common value is more effective than collaboration with a more own interest approach
The most important difference in production and service is people. In services, the employee is producing himself by his/her own actions. For example: a doctor, nurse, consultant, teachers etc. So, collaboration is not only managing it, it is dependent on human behavior in the primary process itself. So, here, psychology and biology are even more important compared with production companies. In many service organizations we see big walls between departments. You can compare this with a very long chain of clients and suppliers in production chains. From the traditional point of view of economic theory, we have to deal with limited resources. In a free market we see pricing based on the demand of these limited resources (supply). Of course this is the case if resources are really limited and if we exploit these resources. In the case of knowledge it is different. Knowledge has limited value if you do not share it. So, sharing knowledge will create value. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the reason why it is better to talk about knowledge productivity (value creation) than knowledge management (control). This is the reason, why I think management knowledge is a commodity and it should be available for free. In this field intellectual property blocks value creation. So, for me, only applied knowledge and shared knowledge has value and its value is determined by the rate of relevance.
ach for the customer/student/client and the economic approach (knowledge productivity). In my opinion, school, universities, education institutes in general should collaborate much better, local and international. By the way, you see the poor collaboration in the education sector all over the world. Many people know it could and should be better. Why does it not happen? The reason is very simple and very difficult to change: we reward people because of their individual performance and we reward people to many times because of their short term results. Many traditional management systems are based on distrust. What to do for better collaboration? Be your own example and create role models in your organization. Start yourself and never wait until other people will start to change and never wait for changed systems. You are your own critical success factor. Of course, you have to be brave and have to learn how to deal with another approach. And of course you will be disappointed sometimes. It is all in the game: better a few disappointments than full time suspicious. But, you will inspire people by trusting them and you will create followers. It is always the same kind of solution. Before leading an organization or others, it is all about leading yourself. As human beings we like to collaborate, we like to trust people and we like to be trusted by others. And, we all like to be happy at work. So, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the problem and why wait for another day.
The conclusions for my own sector (higher education institutes) are very clear: We have even more reasons for collaboration. The value appro-
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