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Editor-in-Chief/ Creative Director

Jacqueline Carlisle

Design Production

Lindsay McWilliam

Fashion Editor

Jacqueline Carlisle Karyn Linnell

Conntributing Fashion Editor

Alexandra Vairo

Design Editor

Alexander Horne Madelaine Lutterworth

Contributing Design Editor

Vanessa Voltolina

Wearable Technology Editor

Erich Zainzinger

Circulation Director

Peter Walsh

Web Design

James Daniel

ON THE COVER Image Tom Arban

ISSN 1929-6517


Lately I`ve been drawn to ask the question what is modern? I asked designers, creatives, and art directors to lend their opinion, and they all had one common answer, “Modern is now.” Letting go of the past is near impossible, history does repeat itself but it also renews itself. Everything is the same yet different and that is what we strive to show you at THINK. A coat is still a coat, but a designer can choose to interpret that coat in a modern way by using age old cutting techniques and quality fabrics with little to no impact on the planet. There is nothing in this magazine that hasn’t been seen before, we feature clothing, furniture, architecture, and the fascinating world of wearable technology. But what is different is all these designers are consciously creating their collections using renewable materials, working with local artisans, or reusing waste. Can any product be 100% sustainable? Probably not, but it can be made to a higher quality making it last longer; the end result less waste. I have always thought that the general public aren’t really interested in giving up their creature comforts just because it’s sustainable. But what if you could have the best of both? Luxury and sustainability are at the opposite ends of spectrum but larger brand names are trying to bridge the gap, and smaller designers are showing them how. Sustainability is about things that last and consumers now want brands to lead the way in reducing waste, giving back, and creating quality products.I hope you’ll enjoy reading and looking at this issue.


Th s ssue Suzanne Rae - Redefining Luxury Liz Law Sonja Den Elzen Electrifying Fashion Hugo Franca - Finds Luxury in Nature Lasting Design Mad Skills



“Think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the desire for things that give us a sense of selfesteem and self-actualization, I love luxuries as much as the next person.”

TEXT : Alexandra Vairo contributing fashion editor

Sometimes, fusing luxury and sustainable design can be like forcing a square peg into a round hole. Ethically sound materials don’t always fit into the typical definition of luxurious fashion, where animal furs, silks and satins reign supreme. But it’s not impossible. “Luxury [laughs], that’s a tough one,” says women’s ready-to-wear designer Suzanne Rae Pelaez. “I think that the concept of luxury today has totally gotten out of hand. Automatically we picture exotic skins, fine luggage, yachts, planes, and so on. But I think luxury is anything that is not absolutely necessary, anything beyond the bare essentials. We, each of us, have so much already; it’s so easy to forget and take what we have for granted.” With a mind not to take anything for granted, Pelaez admits there’s no denying luxuries makes us feel great. While she may love it, it doesn’t mean she totally adheres to a strict definition of it. In her A/W 2012 collection -- which she calls “a While she may love it, it doesn’t mean she totally adheres to a strict definition of it. In her A/W 2012 collection -- which she calls “a bit poetic and rock and roll” – she explores “the inner revolution


as per Jim Morrison, as per Aldous Huxley, as per William Blake” and pokes some fun at the concept of luxury. “Especially with the faux fox stole,” she says. “I like fur. I don’t want to like fur, but I can’t help it. It makes me think of my mom who has a closet full of fur coats; it makes me think of the glamorous women in the ‘20s and ‘30s who wore fox stoles while hunting. And it’s so soft. I mean, talk about luxurious. But I feel sad for the animals … so with my illustrator friend Sam Dakota, I made those faux fox stoles with all of this in mind and with the hope that it is, at the least, thought provoking.” This designer, with her playfully feminist clothing designs, graduated from Bryn Mawr College and moved to New York to work at Holly Solomon Gallery. She juggled a number of ideas for what her next move would be -- a master’s degree in art history, a law degree, and medical school. Ultimately, she chose to study fashion design at Parson School of Design. “I realized it was a way for me to combine and explore my interests: art, women’s studies, culture, identity, [and] socio-economics.” Several internships brought her

TEXT : Alexandra Vairo contributing fashion editor

to Milan to work with Costume National, then to work with Morgane Le Fay in New York. The Brooklyn-based designer eventually launched her own women’s readyto-wear line because she “didn’t want to paint by numbers. I wanted to express my own vision and philosophy.” She started in 2008 as an artistic endeavor, holding jobs on the side to test herself and see if she could create full collections on her own. In 2010, she decided to do her first show for the S/S 2011 collection. When working with fabrics and sustainable materials, she says, “sometimes you see more of it in the knits, sometimes in the wovens. It really depends on what is available for my vision that season. I started working with hemps and organic cottons, but new stuff comes out every season, and it’s fun to look at them at the fabric shows and explore the possibilities.” She hopes all designers will eventually incorporate sustainable practices into their designs. “I don’t put myself out there as a strictly sustainable designer per se, [but] I do think that having a sense of awareness and responsibility and making a conscious effort is at least


a start,” she says. For her part, Pelaez prides herself on collaborating with local artists to create unique prints for each collection, supporting local industries by making all samples inhouse and with 100% of production done in New York City’s Garment District. “As for Suzanne Rae, I intend to incorporate sustainable fabrics and practices more and more,” she says. “I think it is possible, as we are seeing more and more companies offering more and improved sustainable fabrics and products.” In the future, Suzanne Rae she’d “like to do a shoe collaboration with an American shoe company. I think that would be a fun challenge for me.” While her fashion inspiration varies from season to season, one constant is that it’s always inspired by her current feeling of the moment. “In my upcoming Spring/Summer 2013 collection, we are exploring minimalism because that’s how I’m feeling and I know, from talking with others, that they’re feeling it too,” she says. “It’s about shedding the unnecessary.”

Li La




Karyn Linnell fashion editor

In our swiftly moving modern world we often think that newer is better and old is, well, old. How can anything old be innovative or exciting? Liz Law upsets our expectations and understanding of new and old by seamlessly combining the two. Liz Law jewelry is the expression of its namesake, an exciting young designer who allows her raw creativity to repurpose vintage elements into beautiful pieces of modern jewelry. Although well-established and acclaimed by the media, Law seats herself on the floor of her Los Angeles studio in a rather child-like manner, selecting


pieces from her trove of treasures and playfully experimenting with design ideas. Life is busy for Law. She is married and has a baby to care for in addition to her successful and continually growing jewelry business, but this design process is precious to her. It is her favorite part of what she does as an designer: discovering something new. Born into a creative family, Law found ways to rework the outdated costume jewelry passed down from grandmothers into modern and extremely stylish new pieces. While some might hesitate to take Time Marches On, a necklace


Karyn Linnell fashion editor

repurposed from 100% vintage pieces is an example of Law’s incorporation of family history into her jewelry. Subtly reminiscent of the steampunk movement, delicate brass chains connect to feminine topaz crystals and dangle from a weighty goldtoned chain surrounding the face of one of her great grandmother’s costume watches. Dark cameos and a gold toggle complete this piece. It is the purest example of an item that is one of a kind. Eclectic Memories, another significant piece, is almost paradoxical in nature. Containing elements from past and present and combining varying shapes and metals in a pattern fraught with asymmetry, it is nonetheless exquisitely soothing to the eye. Perhaps particularly charming is a pewter sand dollar that Law had since childhood. Venturing away from the romance of heirloom pieces rediscovered, Law’s Cold War earrings are strikingly modern. Tiny brass bullets adorn larger Swarovski crystals in an arresting juxtaposition of glamour and ammunition. Equally aggressive yet elegant is Lionhearted, a necklace composed of black and brass. Vintage black lace, onyx-toned


crystals and vintage brass chain frame a venerable-looking lion’s face emerging from a Maltese cross. One of Law’s more simplistic pieces, the Golden Girl necklace, features long draping chains that seem to move and breathe effortlessly. Diminutive Swarovski crystals and smoky quartz glimmer shyly from amongst the multitude of sophisticated strands of varyinglysized brass links. One needs only glance through the online store or visit a boutique to see that Liz Law jewelry is something special. It is eye-catching and eclectic. It is beautiful and wearable. It does more than just sparkle. Because there is such a luxurious amount of variety in Law’s work, there is almost certainly something for everyone, and one almost feels a bond with the creations that speak most strongly to them. Perhaps the mission statement of Liz Law best conveys the nature of the business: To create beautiful and unique vehicles of expression. With the gorgeous combination of repurposed vintage pieces and her seemingly endless creative ability, Liz Law is well established in her efforts to complete her mission.

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TEXT : Jacqueline Carlisle fashion editor

Who are the women that buy Thieves? The women who buy Thieves are women who enjoy considered design, they notice subtle details, they have a sense of style that indicates they are comfortable with themselves. They tend to have a developed sense of self.

Tell us about some of the materials used in your Collection? In my collection I use organic cottons, wheter its in a jersey knit or woven or in the fibre used to crochet the dresses or sweaters, I also use hemp and hemp blends, modals, tencels, organic wools, linens, beeswaxed organic cottons, I am constantly on the hunt for interesting, fabrics that are in consideration of the earth in how they are processed.


What is a transitional wardrobe and why is a benefit? A transitional wardrobe to me, would be one that you are able to ease through seasons, as well as the variety of your day to day activities. Often we have days that we are away from home for much of moving through the city, engaging in so many different activites, that it is ideal for us to move through this with ease, and style.

What are some of the materials you source locally? To be honest, there are no materials made locally in Toronto that I am aware of, so much of my materials are sourced from either local middle men or I have them shipped in from other places.

TEXT : Jacqueline Carlisle fashion editor

Is there a social mission we should be made aware of? I don’t have any particular “missions” but the way I move through my business is that I like to be in direct contact and have good relationships with the contractors I work with.  So I have my sewing done here in Toronto, I work with a local woman for my crochet goods.  I think its important to know that the people involved with the construction of your goods are enjoying a fair benefit from your interaction with them.

Is there a particular era that inspires you? I think I am more so inspired by tribal people, nomadic peoples, as well as the wabi sabi aesthetic of Japan, which is about





Will you expand into accessories? Perhaps, once I am settled again, I have played around with satchels, bags, as well as knit hats and scarves.

What does luxury mean to you? Luxury means comfort, beauty in an imperfect and worn sense, luxury means a garment you want to touch and wear and layer, that you can move about in worry free, that gives the sense of the person wearing it, something that is made with consideration and is subtle in its expression.   Luxury does not need to yell out that its luxurious, it exists in a natural subtle state, comfortable with who it is.




Eric Zainzinger wearable technology editor

Technology has taken over our lives like never before in history. Think about how much we depend on technology: our well being, health and hospital care, business, pathfinder, and entertainment - just to name a few. Without technology even the simplest business transactions are impossible to carry out except when one lives a selfsustaining life in a remote area. For our pleasure time, technology has become indispensable; we cannot live our lives without the smart devices in our pockets to get a quick fix of gaming, news reading, and status update or checking out where our friends are around town. An increasing part of our identity, our social life and interaction is depending on technology connecting us with our digital identity in Cyberspace. Without technology we feel vulnerable and naked in the digital world as much as in the real physical world. We cover up our nudity and create a protective shell around us in the real world by wearing clothing since the early days of civilization. The use of woven fabric for clothing can be traced back to about 5000 BC, a time where hardly any technologies


besides simple cutting tools existed. It is surprising to realize the invention of weaving, the basic principles and process of fabricated clothing has seen little change since then. Sure there has been the invention of man-made, synthetic fibers, textile treatment techniques to make fabric softer, repellent, breathable, and so forth but the basic method of forming a piece of fabric to fabricate clothing is still the standard other than being able to weave thousands of yards per hour on high speed weaving looms. In a world where the hottest technology in TV’s, cars, or phones is outdated stuff within a few months, we clinch to prehistoric techniques when fabricating one of our status symbol (besides the gadgets) - our clothing. We are happy to give every season a different color and cut that is repeated every few years and sold as the hottest outfit ever, but fundamentally there is really no technological change. Integrating technology into clothing has generated high expectations about the future of clothing, selfcleaning, color changing with a push of a button, or shape shifting in an instant. This early and intense


Eric Zainzinger wearable technology editor

interest for wearable electronic created high expectations which technology could not satisfy so far. tThere are many reasons for this: technology has not yet adopted fully to blend into the clothing structure. Another factor is related to the way we see and use clothing, as a very private, personality-expressing item. We allow without questioning the disruption of our private sphere via smart phones by taking calls or texting while sitting on the loo, but when it comes to technology inside our shirts or skirts we have a build-in barrier, inherited from our ancestors a couple of thousand


years ago. Our general perception of technology might be another barrier for a faster adoption of wearable technology. We see technology as a function, a means to fulfill a task that can be measured in performance parameters such as time saved, output speed or the amount of units of light, sound, or power. We do have barriers accepting technology as aesthetically, pleasant looking decorative items without hard performance values. To overcome the inherited, some might say outdated views on clothing, innovator and visionaries challenge our views on clothing, exploring the


Eric Zainzinger wearable technology editor

playful side of high-tech to upgrade our clothing and match it with the technological lifestyle of today. Smart Clothing brands like Cute Circuit, MOON Berlin, and UTOPE lead the path by blending aesthetic technology into clothing. Brands that have the courage and vision to use technology for pure aesthetic purpose are changing the landscape of fashion. Wearable technology will not take over the world by electrifying everything we wear in the future. Each type of clothing has its function, the base layer, the outer layer, hot or cold weather clothing, fitness and work-wear, just to name a few. Each segment will have areas in which technology can add value, be it in form of functional improvement or be it for a decorative purpose. Fashion designers will have additional options when designing clothing for the different segments. Just like buttons, zippers, beads, cords, or ribbon, wearable technology components will find a place on the sewing table of a designer. The technology adoption in the past few years has been amazing, invading almost every product we touch during our daily journey through life. Only clothing


has resisted so far. Maybe because clothing is the single one product we use for ages, clothing seems to be part of our DNA, burned into our life like a basic instinct. We are more open to challenge, to modify and upgrade more recent inventions, be it a car or light bulb or computer and phones.We gladly replace printed books with tablet computers but we are very sensitive to allow technology too close to our skin - that is our second skin, we call for millennia clothing.

Beta Testing






Discarded wood and other materials get a second life through Francas creative furniture and casulos. When many of us think of indulging in beautiful, luxurious pieces of furniture, opulent pieces and highend fabrics, like a chaise draped in satin, may come to mind first. But Brazil native Hugo França proves that it’s possible to create spectacular furniture from hardwoods that are simultaneously environmentally friendly and luxurious. França started creating in the early 1990s with the motivation of “mak[ing] furniture for my own use and to sell in Trancoso,” he says. “I was living there for almost 10 years and I worked with lots of things during this period. Seeing all the discarded wood after deforestation, I realized that it was a great material to be transformed and have another use.”

The ultimate in ethical design – giving natural materials a second life – França’s distaste for throwing away his materials led him to start transforming them into intriguing, useful pieces. “We have to think about our future and respect the natural resources,” he says, “finding a way to live in balance with nature.” Hugo França’s process aligns itself with the central concept behind his work: he doesn’t waste wood, and believes that there are infinite possibilities in reclaiming this material. He scouts the Trancoso, Bahia coastal area of Brazil for wood left behind by deforestation, going by foot, donkey or canoe, and relying upon the Pataxo Indians and local loggers for help in finding these materials.

TEXT : Vanessa Voltolina contributing design editor

Assuming that the wood has not suffered irreversible damage, the designer utilizes all parts of the tree, including unearthed roots, trunks and branches. As one would imagine, transporting these heavy raw materials can be tricky, meaning that the first part of his creative process begins at the site. Then, the design is defined and the finish executed, with the forms and natural textures highlighted so that the furniture always refers back to where it came from: the tree. França’s missions is, ultimately, to give people the opportunity of having the sensorial experience of getting into the core of the tree, and the core of nature, via casulos. Casulos is the Portuguese term meaning cocoon; in França’s designs, these cocoons are massive, and carved from felled pequi trees. Any of these casulos, he contends, embody luxury based on their uniqueness. “They provide to people the sensorial experience of getting into the tree,” he says. “You have there a smell, a texture and temperature that are singular. You are in another world that is, at the same time, our natural world from which we are almost completely separated living in the cities.”


TEXT : Vanessa Voltolina contributing design editor

With unique pieces like these luxury-laden cocoons, where does the designer find his daily inspiration for his art? “I can point to one designer and one visual artist [who most inspire and influence my brand]: Zanine Caldas and Franz Krajcberg.” Because his work sits somewhere between art and design, it’s important for França to have inspiration from both areas. n years to come, he wishes to see his pieces around the globe as part of “great projects,” and hopes to go beyond furniture pieces to “work with architects using raw wood in building structures.” Another goal is to increase awareness and spread his project Public Furniture | Urban Trees. “The idea [behind the project] is to reuse condemned trees from the streets, parks and squares of the cities, transforming them into furniture to be located in public spots for the use of the citizens.” He’s already produced pieces that are showcased around the country (Parque Burle Marx and Parque do Ibirapuera, São Paulo, and Museu do A çude in Rio de Janeiro). At the end of August, França attended Design Weekend in Parque do Ibirapuera, where he


had the opportunity to showcase the Public Furniture | Urban Trees process to a group including designers, architects, and students.






Alexander Horne design editor

‘Eighty percent of the environmental impact of today’s products, services and infrastructures is determined at the design stage. Design therefore has an enormous impact on resource efficiency in our economy, and can make a critical contribution in the transition to sustainability.’ John Thackara, Director of Doors of Perception Sustainable decisions may no longer be seen as a burden for companies to mull over or avoid. Under pressure from new legislation (within individual countries and collectively) and with the


guidance of the many ‘greenminded’ initiatives sprouting up around the globe, companies are enforced to no longer sweep the sustainable option to one side. In fact, the act of embracing a more sustainable attitude to business should not be seen as a marketing buff, but an investment for increased earnings. Initiatives such as Giraffe Innovation in the United Kingdom, a leading EcoDesign consultancy, are testament to the progress sustainable action can bring.Up to now Giraffe Innovation have identified over £23 million of potential savings for British

companies through a simple reevaluation of their production process. Giraffe are not only guiding other companies on a consultancy basis but, they are also leading the way with their development of the first commercially available electrical goods, a Ferrari and Meridian branded hi-fi, manufactured using recycled material, HIPS (high impact polystyrene). Another example of a company using innovation in sustainable choices, and achieving financial results, can be found with the DuPont company. A larger

organization than Giraffe innovation, worth $25 billion in 2008, DuPont have saved nearly $3 billion over a period of around 20 years as the result of reducing carbon emissions. Since 1990 they have reduced their global greenhouse gas emissions measured as C02 equivalents by 72%. Whether companies choose to invest their own time in embracing and initiating change or involve the guidance and expertise offered by Eco-Initiatives or consultancies, will be a decision to take and not ponder.

The people at MAD Architecture aren’t thinking outside the box,

the Marilyn Monroe towers,the Chinese firm MAD gave the city

that would be too cliche. They aren’t revolutionizing architecture either. What they are doing is designing ideas, challenging them, and improving upon them. The new generation of architects are looking towards nature as their inspiration, and this architectural firm is staying true to form. Winning a design competition to build the Absolute Towers or as they are aptly called

of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada a highly identifiable landmark. The two towers serve as a gateway into Mississauga giving you a glimpse of what this new city is aiming to become - a futuristic, innovative, city with a growing population. As glamourous and striking as these two buildings are, sustainability has been taken into consideration by using the forces of nature.

TEXT : Madelaine Lutterworth design editor

At first the buildings were designed with too much steel, but a few revisions saw the reduction of steel to support this curvaceous residence reducing its cost and it’s weight. The giant twists and turns force you to really look at it and question how did they do that? With balconies wrapping around the entire building coupled with a gentle unassuming turning, the buildings high efficient cooling and heating system won’t be working over time


as the position of this building keeps it far cooler in the summer time by taking advantage of the natural occurring breeze on the corner where they reside. The opposite can be said in the winter as the building will self heat by harnessing the natural sunlight when it occurs.The twin towers are an expression of Chinese influence where nature meets city living.

Think magazine 015  

The quintessential destination to sustainable living

Think magazine 015  

The quintessential destination to sustainable living