If you’re looking for the most powerful hair dryer or the handiest chef’s knife, those things can be easy enough to find. Other objects of desire are a little more taste-based. What’s the next status water bottle or hand wash, for instance? Chris Black (he’s a partner at brand consultancy Public Announcement) is here to help in the form of a regular column. If you have a burning question about the next fanny pack or Noah rugby shirt, drop us an email with the subject line “Ask Chris” at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you recommend for wall art? My girlfriend and I just moved into a new apartment and we haven’t hung anything yet — so total blank canvas. I was leaning toward a tastefully framed David Hockney print for the living room but was unsure if that would be in poor taste.
We love a print; I have a few in my living room. Go for it, use Framebridge (or read the Strategist’s guide to online framing) to float that bad boy, and show your guests that you have great taste in aging British pop artists.
This one would be perfect. And while it’s true that there has been a surplus of Hockney in the Zeitgeist lately, the classics never go out of style.
Tappan Collective is similar to Saatchi, with a cooler, millennial-friendly website. It has a good selection, especially if you wear a lot of earth tones, live in Silverlake, and love the farmers’ market. All roasting aside, you can get originals from people like Matt McCormick, whose photo-realistic paintings, like this one, are getting a lot of attention right now. Probably a good investment.
If you like photography, Sonic Editions is the best bet. Iconic images, multiple sizes, very affordable. I have a perfectly goth small photo of Robert Smith in my office. Dark, I know. (Full disclosure, I work with this brand.)
We all gotta start somewhere — in a few years, you might be calling Zwirner himself to put in an offer on that Anni Albers you have your eye on!
Eager to know what your choice of luggage is for travel. Have my eyes on something from Rimowa, but are there any (possibly cheaper) alternatives that you’d recommend?
First off, I am a vocal Rimowa supporter; it’s worth the investment. It’s well designed and eternally chic. If you need a reliable carry-on, the Essential Cabin 22-inch in matte black is perfect (it can fit in the overhead compartment and hold a lot more than you think thanks to the flex-divider system) and has an excellent warranty. Trust me.
But if you aren’t willing to plunk down, I can only suggest Muji. A lot of my friends use the Hard Carry Bag. It’s (obviously) much cheaper than Rimowa, but also doesn’t look like a knockoff like some other new brands out there.
What outwear are you feeling for fall/winter?
Temperatures are dropping; it’s time to really start dressing. We are going to start simple and then go full turbo. Please stick with me. We got options, baby!
I love a simple water-repellent mackintosh jacket. It looks chic and keeps you dry all the way down to your knees. Navy is a no-brainer, and it’s from Uniqlo, so the price is right.
These overshirts from Stone Island are perfect for chilly fall nights. The garment-dye treatment makes it look nice and worn in, not super-tech, bruv.
The final boss of the season is this beautiful houndstooth number from Celine. I can’t find a more perfect coat on the internet. It’s going to be hard to pull off unless your band is opening for the Rolling Stones and you are dating Alexa Chung, but give it a try.
And if you’re just looking for some basics, might we suggest this Chris Black Starter Pack — his favorite white T-shirt, jeans, sneakers, socks, gym shorts, etc.
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