Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Moss Holiday Pig

A perfect last minute holiday gift! The limited edition blue chrome pigs, available at Moss.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tokyo 3

Good morning and good night. My last full day in Tokyo. In between meetings, I took in a great little show at the 21_21 Design Sight called Reality Lab. It features a new project by Issey Miyake.

21_21 is a design exhibition space designed by Tadao Ando. The building is sleek and located in a beautiful little park next to Tokyo Midtown, the newest mega-retail development in Roppongi. The show proved that Issey Miyake is not resting on his laurels. His latest exploration comes in the form of clothing and lighting made from folded recycled fabric. Inspirational work.

A little exploring in Tokyo Midtown turned up three pigs in the Idee shop:

And for evening fun I turned to my good old friend Teruo Kurosaki. One of the most famous design impresarios in Japan. He helped launch the careers of Stark, Lovegrove, Newson, and Rashid in his store, IdeƩ, and now has moved on to greener pastures - literally - he started a farmers market in Aoyama (with over a million visitors last year) and bought a farm out near Haneda airport. He took me to a party hosted by a dear old friend of his who owns a modeling agency. Here they are messing up my photograph with a flurry of hand gestures...

There were models and doctors,

and Yusuke, the director of the farmers market.

As usual, the last night of my trip proves to be the most interesting.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tokyo 2

Our meetings started at 1 today so we took in a bowl of noodles before. I feel like I am cheating on Momofuku, but it was a most perfect bowl of ramen.

After our meetings we stopped by the Mori Tower and Mori Museum to see a show on Odani Motohiko, a young Japanese artist. Amazing, meticulous work (unfortunately no pictures allowed inside the exhibition), but here is the building as seen through the Louise Bourgeois spider in the courtyard.

The view from the top was spectacular, but crowded.

We ended up the night with a group of young, talented designers - meeting up again after a show they had in Shanghai. Our host was a guy who goes by the name Nosigner (just right of Jason). His work is beautiful, check out his work at

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Arrived Saturday evening to a beautiful sunset, traffic, and Mt. Fuji on the Horizon.

Sunday Jason and I headed out with a team from World, Inc, our clients, to do some research.

We visited many stores in malls on the outskirts of Tokyo and logged a few miles on the Japan Rail line.

Friday, December 17, 2010


I'm still off-gassing from the Caipirinha-fueled festivities last night. At the airport on the my way to Japan, listening to some woman schedule a facial peel for January.

But Holiday time at Harry Allen Design is in full swing. The apartment is done, and we worked an ambitious Brazilian theme for the holiday party. So many great friends and work associates showed. More pics of the apartment later.

Mike Boylan, my head Industrial Designer, and his date.

A lineup of interns past and present in the new lounge area.

Michael Reynolds (in the middle), Eric Hoffman (far right), and guests from Bhutan. No holiday party would be complete without a variety of interesting party crashers. I feel a trip to Bhutan coming on.

DB Kim was in the house.

Not sure what John and Jeff are checking out, but May, despite being that hardest worker of the evening, is the zen cleaner.

Shirley Hong, HAD Studio Manager, and Jason Spangler, head Interior Designer.

Alfredo shook it up at the Caipirinha bar.

Ben was on dropped-ham patrol.

Without May and Casey there would be no holiday party. They have been at it, as a team, working the holiday party for five years.

Diego Costa played Brazilian tunes. Yes, it was a full on production with live music, ham, pernil, rice and beans, a lovely kale salad, tropical/Christmas floral arrangements, and John and I sweating it out in the kitchen.

Sending out lots of love to everyone this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

EcoSalon's Gift Guide

Our Pig featured in EcoSalon's Gift Guide for Her.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pig Spotting: Philadelphia

My brother took this on his phone in Philly - a store called Open House on S. 13th Street. A whole herd of piggies in the window for the Holidays. I love the color palette. We add colors one at a time so rarely do we consider them as a story like this, but they really work together, and with the bags too. I'll take them all!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Harry Allen's 10 Favorite Things

For their Fall/Winter 2010 catalog, Steuben asked me to create a list on things that I love . It was hard to list only 10, but I had no choice. It ended up being sort of a strange mix. What can I say, I have a broad range of taste.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Japan Soon

As I run around town I try as often as possible to take in a museum show. I am a quick study so I pop in, fill my head, and pop out pretty quickly.

I'm off to Japan on the 17th to work with World, Inc to update the Hushush clothing stores I first designed in 2000. With that in mind I stopped by the Japan Fashion Now exhibit at FIT. The FIT Museum always has nice concise exhibits, perfect for my attention span. I thought this would make a nice primer for the trip.

It is a great little show; it starts with some history about the rise of fashion in Japan in the 80s. All of the early work of Come des Garcon and Miyake is beautiful, if pretty tame. You can really see how it was a commercial success, and then the show moves on to more recent trends including all of the crazy babydoll and punk trends.

The show made me think how schizophrenic the world is these days. Everything goes, and out of the chaos some pretty interesting hybrids materialize. Some of the edgier fashion displayed seemed less designed than edited, or styled.

I wish I was more daring in my fashion sense, but ultimately I don't think I will ever don the jumpsuit printed head to toe with colorful graphics (unfortunately no pics). I was actually digging the layered man-skirts; they were pretty manly, but I am afraid I will get beaten up. To me, the best clothing were the real-life costumes at one end of the display - put in the show for context. To Western eyes even generic Japan looks pretty exotic, and this kimono and bike messenger outfit were inspiring.

I find it all interesting, and who knows, maybe it will inform my new design for Hushush. In addition, the exhibition design featured a fun hyperreal photo montage of the buildings of Tokyo that made me very excited for my trip.

Apartment Distress

Just a little clean up in the New York apartment. We needed it - hiding wires, moving the TV out into the living area, and a cabinet for all of the AV equipment. However, with less than a week till the Harry Allen Design Holiday Party, the apartment is in a bad way. I always underestimate the mess. Stay tuned for the finished product.

Rory hard at work painting

The new TV wall.

FYI, we went with the 20, painted the whole room, and the blue is really very purple. It is maybe "a bit too much of a commitment" (John's words), so I think we have to change the color! If you don't experiment a little you get nowhere, but I hate when this happens.

This AV cabinet really cleaned up a corner.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Modern Luxury - Miami

Our banana bowl was spotted in a gift guide for Miami magazine. They took inspiration from Hollywood's strongest loves. Our bowl listed under Mick & Bianca.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pratt Paper Pucci + Areaware Holiday

Yesterday, I overheard someone refer this to as "Event Season." I always just called it "The Holidays," but whatever the season, there is much going on. Last night I went to two parties.

First was the opening of "Pratt + Paper & Ralph Pucci" at the Ralph Pucci Showroom.

Sorry, I don't have all the details, but that just means you should stop by, see the show, and ask some questions. Pratt students, across a variety of design disciplines were asked to work with paper. It was a competition, and the work was displayed on and around a new Ralph Pucci mannequin. All of the white paper constructions, in the white gallery, on the white mannequins - stunning. I am sure Mr. Pucci had a strong influence on the outcome. He gathered an illustrious group of judges including Anna Sui and Jens Risom, provided the space, and inspired great work.

I LOVED the exhibit. Rarely do you see such professional student work - I have judged a lot of student competitions and there are usually quite a few half-baked entries. Likewise, when I am asked to critique classes, most students just don't understand the level of professionalism needed in the design world. Who doesn't have great ideas, it is how they are presented that makes all of the difference. None of that here. The entries are complete and very well executed. Paper was the perfect medium - easy to work with and very pretty. It made me want to do more work with paper - such a humble, substantial material. I like shows with a common denominator - when everyone is asked to work in the same medium you can really see the ideas more clearly.

No sleeping in the East Village tonight as the apartment is under construction. More on that later - what a mess. I stopped in Brooklyn on my way North. Areaware held its annual holiday party in their new space - much saner rent, and much more organized. Congrats to Noel and Laura for pulling it together.

My new matte black piggy is delicious!

The new Areaware space is in the same building as Stephen Burks' Readymade studio. And here he is with David Weeks, Noel Wiggins, owner of Areaware, and Jason Miller.

It seemed no one wanted to have their pictures taken, but I managed to snap this of two more of my favorite people in the design world, Alisa Grifo of Kiosk and Ross Menuez, of Salvor.

The party was still going when I crept out at 10:30. There was traffic on the Whitestone Bridge, but I was in bed by midnight.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Card Exhibition

Stefan Nilsson, the creative director of Designgalleriet in Stockholm asked me to create a seasonal greeting card for his year-end exhibition.

With an idea in mind I paid a visit to my friend Judy Ivry, a bookbinder. My first studio was in the back of Judy's space on East 4th street. I often call on her for help with projects like this.

Judy's studio is a step back in time. She makes everything by hand and has drawers full of type.

Here she is at work on our card. Lining up the type on the press.

Judy; Jane Hillam, Judy's long time assistant; and myself:

My thoughts on Christmas are pretty cynical at best. I love the time of year and spent my childhood gleefully wrapping and decorating, but as an adult I find the obligation and commercialism distressing. I felt a little money tree was a nice commentary on the reality of Christmas. The gist of the idea is that Judy and I created a little pad of money, that folds up into a Christmas tree.

And when Christmas is over the bills can be torn off, like pages on any pad, and it turns into a little $12 gift.

Happy Holidays!