Locanda Verde
Locanda Verde
A lovely espresso bar within Locanda Verde in TriBeCa. It's refreshing to see restaurants allocate space to the thriving coffee craft while still maintaining the integrity of a concept (nothing says afterthought like a beautiful La Marzocco crammed
at the end of a liquor-filled bar). 
Plus, we love design details like the two oversized leather straps that secure the chalkboard menu.
Well done Ken Friedman and Meyer Davis Studio.
caffe umbria
Caffe Umbria
How do you improve on sophistication and heritage? For Caffè Umbria, the answer is all about design.
As fans of the Italian-style espresso and coffee roaster for some time now (we pour Bizzarri Blend using a French Press at the office), we were delighted to see the brand evolve with powerful new packaging that is differentiated with simple details that capture the true artistic essence of the companies rich history.
Caffe Umbria
{Image and packaging design by Tether}
We love the juxtaposition of the background pattern, changing color with each blend, and the bold type throughout the range. Most intriguing is the logo placement – which allows for vertical or horizontal merchandising at retail.
Starbucks SunValley Concept
When the Huffington Post shared photos of the new Starbucks 'Concept Shop' in Amsterdam, more than a couple elements in the design looked familiar.
We're not talking about the "U" shaped wine bar or food offerings at the three neighborhood named Seattle "concept shops" which popped up in 2009.
Oddly enough, the Amsterdam store looks much like the cafe in Ketchum, Idaho which opened in November 2011. Both locations feature sustainable design elements, like reclaimed wood, and are located within newly renovated historic buildings.
Sbux Ketchum
Starbucks Concept Store
Starbucks Store
Starbucks Ketchum
Perhaps the brand wanted to test the design back home before launching overseas.
Aldo Salon
{photos courtesy of butter London}
Aldo Salon, a pop-up concept from the shoe brand Aldo, has some pretty cool company on 15th Street for one week. The temporary space, right next to the main entrance at Milk, is poised to be the go-to spot for a beverage of your choice, indie magazine or a mani/pedi during New York Fashion Week. 

Inside, Butter LONDON has set up shop with waterless nail services and 3-Free lacquers in the seasons most coveted colours while Bleach London (clients include Florence Welch, Pixie and Peaches Geldoff, and Alice Dellal) rocks the epic “dip-dye” treatments.

If primping is not your thing, re-fuel at Blue Bottle Coffee or check out the Creatures of Comfort newsstand. There's a little bit of everything— from mags to VitaCoco; Proper Attire condoms to roll-up ballet flats; Luna bars to mini's of Kanon Organic Vodka. 

Open 10 am to 8 pm during NYFW.


Bits, bytes and bites we have selfishly devoured this week...


{image: Gilt.com}

  • Gilt Taste, a new division of Gilt Group, launched with artisanal hard-to-find foods and Ruth Reichl at the helm as the editorial adviser.
  • According to industry data, home canning product sales have risen nearly 35% over the past three years as the trend continues to gain momentum.
  • Pop-up originator Guerrilla Culinary Brigade sets down permanent roots with a modern American brasserie and sushi bar called Co-Op Food & Drink.



  • Prada secures approval for $2bn initial public offering in Hong Kong.
  • Royal Wedding provided only a temporary boost to UK retailers.
  • “The automobiles have always been an enriching element for me — when I think of the steel rivets, the curve of the engine or the finishings in tactile leather,” said Ralph Lauren in this article to the NYTimes. Do you agree with him?


{image: Starbucks Coffee Company}

As a trend illustrator, we love it when a big fish validates a past prediction. Thank you Starbucks for launching Starbucks Petites.

{image: Starbucks Coffee Company}

Starbucks foray into eight mini pastries (including cake pops, whoopie pies, mini cupcakes, and sweet squares) are the 2011 version of a trend we've been following since 2004. Initially, we saw traditional French petite pastries during a trendscaping trip to Fauchon as an authentic product extension and an artisan treat that was approachable as well as beautiful. Our second post from 2008 addressed the mini-momentum of smaller, less expensive indulgences. We continued in 2009 by embracing austerity chic with mini-portions in contrast to extravagant meals.

Starbucks versions are both approachable and economical but also target health and wellness with less than 200 calories each. We also like that Starbucks stays on-brand by talking to the pairing of coffee with sweets that include the ever-trendy cupcakes and more unique offerings (cake pops).

Jeff Koons Hot Chocolate
Jeff Koons Hot Chocolate
We encountered a delightful treat when we went to check out the SFMOMA cafe: The food is inspired by the famous artwork.

Tony Cragg Icecream

Crafted by local favorite Blue Bottle Coffee Company - we love how the artistic renditions of hot chocolate, ice cream, and chocolate cake appeal modernists and kids alike.

Mondrian Cake

Set amid modern and contemporary sculptures in SFMOMA's Rooftop Garden, these desserts are a fun and playful take on the standard cafe fare.
intriguing, interesting and entertaining news cultivated by In Your Head...

- Harvard Business Review report assesses economic importance of Michelle Obama’s fashion choices at $2.7bn.
- Projecting retail sales trends is a science, not an art. National Retail Federation projects US will increase holiday spending by 1% by spending more on quality & service as they turn away from discounters but a contrasting report by NPD Group proclaims that discount stores will be "top destination" for holiday spending.
- Neiman Marcus sold 100 special edition 2011 Chevrolet Camaro convertibles from the retailer's annual "Christmas Book" catalog in 3 minutes.
- Harvey Nichols launches the first ever pre-nup bridal package including recommendations on scents, bridesmaid dresses, shoes, skincare, make-up as well as financial reassurance.
- Loving these fashion themed Halloween costumes for the daring.

- Eco-friendly floating restaurant with sustainable seafood set to open in marinas worldwide.

photo: CNN via Shannon Ronalds

- Harnessing the power of social media by using the internet to identify and even predict new customers.
- What everyone's talking about -- Starbucks launches test of beer and wine in cafes.
- Good advice for small packaged food companies on how to get your product onto retail shelves (some of these tactics can also be used for sales people in the fashion industry).

- September Issue director will debut Rag & Bone documentary sponsored by Starbucks.


- Starbucks' Facebook page is worth $20.7 million due in part to its eight million "likes"... Putting value on brands' Facebook pages.