Mondays, Maggie Muses: Ispira Visual Book

Since I am in Italy at the moment, I thought it would be fun to post about a book that I will try and hunt down while I’m in Milan. Seriously.

Ispira Visual Book by Fedrigoni

Ispira Visual Book by Fedrigoni

I love books, especially art and design books. I also love paper! Ooh, and graphic design. I am a certified graphic design geek. I studied it for a couple of years, but felt it wasn’t the right field for me at the time. So I went into retail instead. Crazy, I know.

But I digress.  I came across this via Behance, and was immediately drawn to the intense colors. This tactile inspirational book made by Fedrigoni called Ispira Visual Book is a feast for the eyes! Fedrigoni is an Italian company that specializes in the production of fine papers for printing, publishing, labels, bookbinding and paper products. They wanted to create a book that would showcase their papers and various techniques in printing, but with no words. It looks like a bunch of folders, but as you flip the pages it looks as though each page would be a little invitation to inspect closer or touch. Take a look at these pictures below and be sure to check out the “Feel the Inspiration”video here too for the process in making this book. Go ahead, it’s okay, I’ll wait.

Isn’t it fantastic? I want to buy this book and run my fingers all over it. All images courtesy of happycentro.it

Have an inspiring week! ~ Maggie

Designing a re-souL Collection: What if?

Well, here we are well into 2014 and we have some exciting news. Starting this spring, we will be selling our very own re-souL shoes for women! It is something that we have been working on for quite some time and now that the shoes are almost here, we are hopeful, a little bit nervous but very excited to share our story with you.

As I am typing this, our shoes are in the process of being manufactured in Italy. But long before this point,  it all started with a question. “What if we designed and sold our own shoe collection?” What if?

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inside our re-souL shop

Eleven years ago, when we first started our re-souL business, it had come at a time when I was ready for a change. I had worked in the product development division for a major department store. Basically, I got to design and sell shoes to our buyers. I really loved my job. I was in charge of forecasting major shoe trends for the American market, I designed and developed new shoe collections for the private labels. I shopped major cities, travelled to Europe, Brazil and China and worked with shoe factories. It was my dream job!  But after 7 years, all that travel had taken its toll and I really wanted to slow down. Legh and I had just been engaged and I didn’t want to be away from home 150 days out of the year anymore.  That was when I had my first “what if” moment. What if I quit my job and we opened our own shoe store?

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color inspiration board and sketch book

I had seen many great shoes and shops from my travels. I wanted to be able to bring some of those things I saw to Seattle. I wanted to carry shoes that you could only find from travelling abroad.  Opening our own shop was fun, exciting, scary and it was the best decision we ever made. We were a different kind of shoe store, special and we loved it.

Fast forward a decade plus. Our little shop has grown a little over the years. We have a website, we have developed strong relationships with our  brands. We have amazing and loyal customers. We have an awesome staff. But we want to keep growing. How do we compete in a constant changing global market? How do we help our team grow with us?  How do we keep challenging ourselves and grow creatively? It’s only natural to ask these questions, don’t you think?

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first round sketches

The answer popped into my mind like the proverbial light bulb going off. Out of my mouth came the question, “What if we designed our own collection of shoes?”

I knew we could do it,  so I immediately started to sketch. I started envisioning colors and materials. Visions of my re-souL gal started popping into my head too. What was she like? What does she like to wear? What’s her style? What is missing from her shoe collection?

As we began to discuss more and more about this, the idea became a goal and the goal became the plan.  So this spring we will be selling our re-souL collection for women and we really hope you’ll like it. We are so excited to show you!

Next time, Part 2: Creating the re-souL Collection: Design Process >>

Pairs

Today I am starting a new post called “Pairs”.  You see, I look at shoes as a form of art  and therefore I can’t help but compare shoes to other art forms.  Do you see the similarities?

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Wearable art by designer Morana Kranjec, “Mirar” ankle boot by H by Hudson

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Chairs designed by Olivier Lapidus for Hotel Felicien, color block flat “Gita” by Yin

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The facade of 5 Franklin Place in New York via Julio Himede, black ankle wrap boot by P.Monjo

Happy Friday! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. ~ Maggie

Mondays, Maggie Muses: The Watercolor Effect

Hi, I’m Maggie. My husband (Legh) and I own re-souL. I like to “muse” about things that inspire me. Especially on Mondays.

Abstract images continue to inspire me. As in my recent posts here and here. But what I am really inspired by is what I like to call the “watercolor effect”. Where it looks like the dye or paints are watered down and allowed to bleed onto the surface. It gives the garments and objects an intentional “accidental” sort of look, yet a subtle beauty too.  Fluid, romantic and of course very artistic.




If you like what I post here, follow me on pinterest to see more of my inspirations and muses. Thanks for visiting!

Mondays, Maggie Muses: Retro Travel Posters

Hi, I’m Maggie. My husband (Legh) and I own re-souL. I like to “muse” about things that inspire me. Especially on Mondays.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Augustine of Hippo

In my opinion, Traveling is one of the best things in life. It’s a time to go explore new places, rediscover some favorites or maybe revisit the old places of our youth.  It is good for the soul,  a time to connect with others and experience new things.

Travel used to be quite romantic, especially in the 1950’s and 1960’s when it was an exotic and an elegant adventure.  I can even remember in the 70’s, my parents would plan out our entire wardrobe for our trips. My mother would dress us in our “plane” clothes which were not necessarily comfortable, but we were a fine looking bunch!  We even had matching purple Samsonite luggage. There were no problems finding our suitcases in baggage claim.

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Vintage Braniff Airlines poster via flickr.

Today, the glamour has fallen out of travel.  Witness the masses in their sweatpants and (practically) pajamas, waiting to board their plane.  Comfort is king at the airports!  Crowded flights, uncomfortable seats and practically no amenities, really who can blame them? The marketing is also radically different today, it seems that today’s advertisements  flaunt unattainable luxury or are splattered with gaudy banners of spectacular travel deals.

So you can see why today, I muse about the vintage travel posters.  I particularly like the style of these posters because they are clean and simple.  They focus more on the art and are less about the advertisement.  They are stylish and remind me how much I love to travel, fire my imagination, make me want to go visit and experience these alluring locations.

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David Klein via Vintage Poster Blog

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India from Swiss Air and Mid-century travel poster to Japan by Toshio Fukai via Pinterest

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Jet service to Africa, Union Aeromaritime de Transport by Jean Colin via flickr.

Although we don’t typically see posters like this anymore, Heads of State, a design and illustration studio, has some really nice designs in their travel series.  I really like this one, wonder why?

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The Emerald City by Heads of State.

I also love this one by Turnstyle Studio. Makes me want to buy new luggage,  dress up, take travel back!  Yeah,  I want my glamour back!

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Teague Take Travel Back, design by Turnstyle.

All these posters are giving me some serious wanderlust.  Better go plan a weekend getaway to suffice my craving.  Ooh, maybe I should by a new carry-on. What do you think?

Mondays, Maggie Muses: Art and Chairs

Hi, I’m Maggie. My husband (Legh) and I own re-souL. I like to “muse” about things that inspire me. Especially on Mondays.

If you follow me on Mondays, you already know that I am fond of art.  But, did you know I have a secret obsession with chairs? We live in a small home, so I do not have space for a collection of dream chairs.  But, if you were to ask me what is in my living room right now, I would answer “a couple of chairs”.  I really like those chairs but I can’t seem to furnish the rest of my living room and that is an entirely different subject.

Chairs call to me at flea markets, garage sales, at the Goodwill.  They say, “Hey you! Take me home, fix me up, make me new.” I once had a pair of chairs sit in the garage for years.  I had every intention of fixing them up and making them new but they sat for 6 or 7 years.  Legh asked several times about selling them in a garage sale and I wouldn’t let him. “NO, I am going to fix them up”.  Of course in the end, it was Legh who finally refinished them for me.

So, today I thought it would be fun to match up some beautiful art with some beautiful seating. Who knows? Maybe I will get around to finishing my living room.

Don’t hold your breath.

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Without a Doubt Part 2 – oil on canvas dipped in enamel by Oliver Jeffers, Modernatique chair by Hyung Suk Cho

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Mayor Sofa by Arne Jacobsen, abstract painting by Ashley Goldberg

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Painting by John Hoyland, Alvar Aalto 31 Armchair

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Prospect Park lounge chair, paper sculpture by Helle Jorgensen

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illustration by Inca Pan, Eames shell rocker