Dubai – The sportswear giant has unveiled a special-edition sneaker that honours popular Dubai restaurant Ravi Restaurant. Available exclusively in the UAE, the sneaker arrives as part of a collaborative effort with Chaudary Abdul Hameed, founder of the Pakistani eatery, along with his three sons. Features include Ravi’s iconic shade of green, along with the restaurant’s menu printed on the tongue of the shoe.
Through this project, the restaurant is set to achieve international recognition, while Adidas will gain popularity in the UAE region. ‘Recently I’ve started to encourage them to take on a more hands-on role in the business. I’m trying to inspire them to take the brand forward internationally,’ explains Chaudary in relation to his sons. ‘I tell them that we’ve secured such a good partnership, and they should leverage this to help us grow to new heights.’
Here, the two companies demonstrate the ongoing evolution of Food’s Fashion Strategy, this time applying it at a hyper-local level.
Canada – The government of Canada is one step closer to phasing out single-use plastics entirely. Last week, it announced that disposable products containing hard-to-recycle plastics like checkout bags, cutlery, ring carriers and other food-service ware will be prohibited.
The new legislation comes in response to a 2020 statement that indicated the government’s intention to significantly reduce the nation’s dependence on single-use plastics. To provide businesses with enough time to make the transition from disposable products to sustainable alternatives, the regulation will come into effect in December 2022. The government is also ending the export of plastics belonging to six categories, making it the first country to implement policy on an international scale.
While single-use plastics remain essential in certain cases, such as in the storage of medical equipment and similar perishable items, such materials can and should be removed where alternatives are available. Until there is a way to phase out single-use plastics entirely, Canada is leading the way for a more Sustainable Future.
Beijing – Architecture studio MAD is breathing new life into conventional social housing, with a development in Beijing that connects 12 residential buildings by raised walkways and a floating park. The development in east Beijing, Baiziwan, is divided by roads into six areas that contain multiple apartment blocks. Unlike other housing solutions in the area, Baiziwan focuses on prioritising access to nature and communal areas.
The complex’s floating park features a looping red walking and running track, gyms, a badminton court, children's playgrounds, an eco-farm and a service centre. Each of these amenities are only accessible to residents, with the aim to bolster the livelihoods of people living in the complex. ‘[It is] very different from commercial housing, the apartment size is much smaller in social housing and you also have to control the cost,’ said Ma Yansong, founding partner at MAD. ‘By opening up the complex, increasing green space and vertical layout, it helps to improve people's sense of space.’
By embedding a focus on community and wellbeing, this project points to a future when urban areas will be increasingly designed to balance the needs of people and the planet.
US – The travel accessories retailer is expanding into the outdoor gear sector, launching a For All Routes (FAR) line. Featuring products including duffel bags, convertible backpacks and messenger bags made of water-resistant materials, each item is designed to be used for hikes, road trips and other outdoor activities. While its signature, hard-shell suitcases are sleek and minimal, Away’s FAR range comes in vibrant colours, including neon yellow, atomic orange and cobalt blue.
Through this line, Away recognises the changing behaviours of travellers post-pandemic, with more people embracing opportunities to spend time in nature and outdoor environments. ‘Our new line, FAR, highlights the balance of function, style and durability, combining the same intuitive design and thoughtful features our existing customers have come to know and love while new customers, who may not have considered us in this category, will also appreciate the seamless functionality, inspiring colours and versatility present across all Away products,’ explains Cuan Hanly, chief design officer of Away.
Here, Away tunes into the ongoing evolution of The Elevated Outdoors, with more affluent consumers switching from prioritising urban trips to embracing outdoor activities.
New York – Continuing its success as a key mediator in the streetwear scene, Hypebeast has embarked on its biggest venture yet: opening a new headquarters with public-facing elements. The destination, in New York’s Chinatown, will house a flagship HBX store and a company-run Hypebeans coffee shop. With the aim of creating a sense of community, the seven-storey bricks-and-mortar HQ will also feature event and office spaces.
While other direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have made similar moves into the physical trading space in recent years, this destination reflects the growing trend of digital-first brands cementing their status beyond social media outlets. ‘Evolving with the dynamic perspective of HBX, the two-storey space is meant to be fluid and ever-changing,’ says the brand in a press release. ‘On the ground floor, the space can seamlessly transform from a neighbourhood courtyard into an event space, an exhibition or a pop-up.’
In this way, the HQ tunes in to the tenets of Hyperphysical Stores, where bricks-and-mortar spaces are evolving to be more engaging, sensorial and memorable.
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