Category Archives: Apparel

The New Black. And the Other New Black.

If you happen to have read our original post on the revolutionary Mutewatch, you’d know that this design-conscious timepiece is not only a sleekly styled, conversation-worthy accessory, but also a practical everyday wristwatch, complete with alarm, timer and USB-charging port. Plus a touchscreen interface and glowing, on-off LED display. And while we might trumpet about the perfect synchronicity of form and functionality, it can’t. Because it’s mute. Silent. Noise free. Even in alarm mode.

For the last six months it’s been available at Swipe – the only Mutewatch retailer in Canada – in Poppy Red and Charcoal Grey. Both bold, both beautiful.

So what’s next? (Drum roll.) Enter Svart. This special-edition black (svart) Mutewatch comes with geometric gold detailing and a kaleidoscopically inspired gift box. Created in collaboration with Swedish artist Jesper Nyrén, it draws on the connections between shape and content, nature and architecture: “I have started with thoughts about time and repetition,” explains Nyrén, producing a design “based on crystalline shapes that are repeated, mirrored and shift in different colours.” Just released, it’s gorgeous and ultimately giftable.

And if you’re pining for basic black, but ornamentation is not your thing, no need to worry. Another new addition, Pure Black, has also joined its red and grey siblings in the classic Mutewatch.

All four styles can be purchased at Swipe. Quantities are limited, so call or email to secure yours.

Mutewatch (Poppy Red, Charcoal Grey or Pure Black): $299.95
Mutewatch Svart by Jesper Nyrén: $329.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at info@swipe.com.

Christian Louboutin: Designer, Artist, Magician.

The extraordinary Christian Louboutin exhibition at the Design Exchange continues for another two and a half weeks, winding up on September 15.

This career-spanning celebration showcases twenty years of the French shoe designer’s theatrical, fantasy-forging creations, from Cinderella-worthy filigree stilettos, to heeled and tasselled leather boots, to a wealth of footwear for men (no less coloured, textured or studded, but with fewer 9-inch heels in evidence…).

“Fetish”, a darkly sensual side gallery of limited-edition, almost unwearable (and certainly unwalkable) shoes featured alongside their erotic photographic counterparts, was created in collaboration with filmmaker David Lynch.

For a less sadomasochistic experience, you can watch Dita Von Teese perform a cheeky burlesque every 30 minutes in the exhibition’s main gallery – a nod to the influence of showgirls and music halls on Louboutin’s work. Okay, so she’s just a hologram – courtesy of technological illusion makers Musion – but if you blur your eyes just a touch, it’s really quite convincing.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Christian Louboutin has designed a range of exclusive memorabilia, available for purchase at Swipe DX for the duration of the show. Items include a luxuriously soft, cashmere-and-modal scarf, a gold-brass keyring and necklace featuring iconic shoe and purse charms, a selection of glam notebooks and note cards, Louboutin tattoos, and his Little Red Guide to Toronto (complete with fold-out map).

Also available for purchase is the impressive monograph Christian Louboutin. Published by Rizzoli, this 304-page volume boasts gold-edged pages, elaborate fold-out binding and a stiletto-wearing pop-up. With interviews, behind-the-scenes photographs and a full catalogue of Louboutin’s work, it offers a comprehensive overview of the designer’s life, artistic and personal journey, and the intriguing history of his signature red-soled shoes.

Christian Louboutin by Christian Louboutin (with photographs by Philippe Garcia and David Lynch): $160
Christian Louboutin Tattoo Sheet: $9.95
Christian Louboutin’s Little Red Guide to Toronto: $22.50
Christian Louboutin Kaleidoscope Notebook: $44.95
Christian Louboutin Loubi Print Notebook (with sticky notes): $44.95
Christian Louboutin Kraft Notebook: $54.95
Christian Louboutin Note Cards (set of 8): $59.95
Christian Louboutin 20th Anniversary Keychain (with shoe charms): $174.95
Christian Louboutin Sweet Charity Necklace (with purse charm): $284.95
Christian Louboutin Scarf: $274.95

What Was That Sound? Not This Watch.

It’s sleek, it’s chic, and best of all, it won’t make embarrassing noises in public. In fact, it won’t make any sound at all. Mutewatch is just that: gorgeously silent.

The love child of Mutewatch company partner Johan Thelander and industrial design consultancy Norra Norr, this Swedish-designed timepiece artfully conceals function behind form. The LED display is invisible unless motion activated; the flat screen is also a touch screen, allowing you to tap and swipe through the functions for clock, alarm and timer with ease; and the alarm noiselessly (but effectively) vibrates, so you can wake yourself up or stay time-savvy without annoying those around you.

Want more cleverness? There are no fiddly batteries to insert or replace. Just plug in the included USB connector, charge for a couple of hours, and Mutewatch runs happily for around a week.

Made from a strong, flexible TPU, it features an adjustable “one size” wristband (it fits wrists from 14 cm to 18.5 cm), and the company even offers firmware upgrades to keep you and your Mutewatch up to the minute.

Swipe is thrilled to be the very first Canadian retailer to stock this work of art, which now graces wrists from New York, to Copenhagen, to Dubai. We have limited stock available in Charcoal Grey and Poppy Red, priced at $299.95.

Come by when you’re next in downtown Toronto and have a look. We’ll even let you touch it.

Mutewatch: $299.95

After 20 years I discovered that design is just language and the real issue is what you use that language to say. – TK

Tastes change. Movements and ideas that once seemed sublime, when seen through the lens of time, often appear ridiculous … or not. Happily, the design and the professional practice of Tibor Kalman continue to offer inspiration to any young designer well enough informed to be familiar with his work. In the early 1980s Kalman, and his New York City design practice M&Co, pioneered the ‘no compromise, no apology’ approach to design that so many small studios now aspire to. More than a decade before the fashionable design manifestos of the late ’90s, M&Co consistently created iconoclastic, progressive and culturally relevant work driven foremost by the designer’s personal values (we will consider the formidable cultural contributions of his partner Maira Kalman in a separate post). As Editor-in-Chief of the Benetton™ magazine Colors, Kalman created a body of work that is among the most powerful in American graphic design history, before he was forced to leave by his (ultimately-fatal) non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1995. Kalman was also the prototypical design entrepreneur and produced a series of subtle product designs under the M&Co brand, a few of which are still in production from the Museum of Modern Art and Projects™ of Bedford, Mass.

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M&Co Wristwatches

? 1984: Tibor Kalman, Maira Kalman & Alexander Isley

Originally conceived as a line for ’80 design retailer Sointu, the M&Co watch line was quickly brought in-house and became the most identifiable product bearing the M&Co brand. Watches were designed on a collaborative basis during studio downtime (thus the engraved motto “Waste Not a Moment”). The present versions are faithful reissues produced under license by Projects and feature a black electroplated aluminum case, Swiss quartz movement by ETA, a scratch-resistant mineral glass crystal, and a top-stitched, glove leather lined band with matching black buckle.

M&Co Askew Wristwatch: $147.95

Askew is typical of M&Co’s playful approach to the logic of analog time representation: as long as the familiar twelve is at the top of the dial, the location of the remainder of the numbers is irrelevant.

M&Co Ten-One-Four Wristwatch: $147.95

The first and most acclaimed of M&Co’s watch designs, Ten-One-Four again plays on the conventions of the watch face. From Maira’s sketchpad, the three random hours provide the minimum markings necessary to accurately pick out the time of day.

M&Co Bodoni Wristwatch: $147.95

The most traditional design to come out of the M&Co watch program, Bodoni celebrates the first great modern serif typeface design by Giambattista Bodoni in Parma, Italy in the late 18th century.

M&Co 5 O’Clock Wristwatch: $147.95

5 o’clock is the best time. Time to go for a drink. Time to go home. Time to see friends and family.

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M&Co Sky Umbrella

? 1992: Tibor Kalman

Introduced in 1992 and one of MoMA’s perpetual bestsellers, this witty umbrella sports an eternally cheerful sky designed by Tibor Kalman.

M&Co Sky Umbrella: $74.95

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M&Co Paperweights

? 1984: Tibor Kalman

A paperweight that empathizes with the fate of most of the paper it holds down. Made from rigid vinyl, silk screened and hand-crumpled so that no two are identical.

M&Co Paperweight, Legal Pad or Blueprint: $39.95

Unfortunately the excellent monograph Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist edited by Michael Bierut and Peter Hall for Princeton Architectural Press is, for the time being, unavailable. We have, for several months, hoped in vain for a swift reprint.

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.