Category Archives: New York

Heartschallenger: Have Treats, Will Travel

heartschallenger ice cream pink

heartschallenger ice cream pink

Last month, I headed over to the Lower East Side for the last ever Ruff Club which was mobbed by the coolest kids in town. At around 2 am, the sea of kids (mostly swathed in layers of black avant garde clothing) parted when a mysterious pink truck complete with hearts and unicorns on its side pulled up.

What was this vision of pink and why was it there? I walked up and peeked inside to see an assortment of toys, candy from around the world and a mind blowing selection of gourmet ice creams. Heaven on wheels.

heartschallenger ice cream pink

heartschallenger ice cream pink

heartschallenger ice cream pink

heartschallenger ice cream pink

Now her dream is a successful business venture with Heartschallenger visiting events and parties worldwide. And, New Yorkers with a sweet tooth, you’re now in luck because Heartschallenger trucks can be found daily in Soho and Nolita! To keep up on the current locations and events, follow Heartschallenger on Twitter.

heartschallenger ice cream pink

heartschallenger ice cream pink

Inside Wolff Olins New York: An Interview with Jordan Crane

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

On September 14th, I caught a cab to the West Village for a meeting that I had been excitedly anticipating for months. Jordan Crane, a Creative Director at the legendary agency Wolff Olins had agreed to let me interview him for my blog. As I made my way into their New York headquarters on Varrick Street, I was immediately drawn to the simplicity of their workspace. Modern and white-walled, the office projects a feeling of accessibility and utilitarianism.

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

Wolff Olins was founded in London in 1965 by designer Michael Wolff and advertising executive Wally Olins and is responsible for many of the most recognizable branding efforts around the world. One of the company’s first assignments was developing the brand that became Apple Corps, the Beatles’ record label. You may also recognize the work that they recently did for up&up, Target’s new private label brand. They also created the NYC branding campaign and the London 2012 Olympics logo.

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

In preparation for our meeting, I had written up a set questions for Jordan to answer (many of which were based on your suggestions). What I immediately liked about Jordan is that even at his level, he is extremely approachable and candid. We began our meeting by talking about how he got his start in the design industry and amazingly enough, his initial answer was, “It just happened.”

Jordan has always been into art and screen printing and often, friends would ask him to design posters for shows. He carved out his path as a designer along the way without a master plan in mind. Instead, he crisscrossed the country, working at a multitude of agencies in big cities and making connections along the way.

I was really curious about Jordan’s opinion about going to school for design since many of us have wondered if it is really necessary. Though he knows many successful self-taught designers, Jordan relayed the sound advice that if you can afford college, you should go for it. A chance to be educated and to better ourselves should never be turned down if the opportunity arises.

As designers, isn’t the ultimate goal to change the world in some way with our designs? Jordan feels that the most rewarding part of working at an agency as well-known as Wolff Olins is knowing what you design matters. When you think about it, seeing the NYC logo zoom past you on the side of a cab or walking into Target and picking a product off the shelf that you designed the packaging for must feel pretty surreal.

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

Wolff Olins’ NYC Branding and Campaign

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

I asked Jordan what the biggest pitfall he sees new designers make and was surprised by his answer. He said that they’re too quick to turn on a computer to solve a problem and turning to technology isn’t always the immediate solution. There are so many other ways to do so and we need to learn to work with our hands, to take walks, to flip through books and magazines and to take a fresh approach to problem solving.

With the abundance of software and information that designers now encounter, I (along with many of you) often contemplate whether it’s valuable to be a jack of all trades versus specializing in a particular area. Jordan’s answer once again was very simple yet poignant: “There’s no point in going to work every day if you’re not happy.” When you think about it, if you loathe coding or branding or packaging design, why would you force yourself to go through the motions? Not only does this mindset make you unhappy but it affects everyone around you.

Working in an agency setting can be intense and stressful when you’re up against deadlines and the last thing you want to encounter is a grumpy, dissatisfied coworker. What you choose to learn should be completely dependent on you as a person. Passion shows. Don’t go through the process just to please those around you. Make yourself happy first and the positive mindset will trickle down.

Many of you wondered what qualities an agency looks for in new hires. Jordan looks for people with a sense of excitement, a passion for exploration and a great personality. There’s a balance between having the best portfolio and skill set versus being a likable person. In Jordan’s eyes, “Great designers that are great people” are ideal candidates.

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

Wolff Olins’ Branding of up&up, Target’s Private Label

wolff olins new york graphic design agency

Finally, I wanted to dig a little deeper into Jordan’s story. With the amount of talented designers in the world, it’s not easy to reach the level of a creative director at a top agency. I wanted to know what steps he took over the years to get to where he is. There was no simple answer but rather a unique combination of ingredients that brought him to his current position.

First and foremost, it was a process of making friends and networking within the agencies he worked at. Jordan worked all over the country and in 1999, he made a website for a deejay. A lady who saw it gave him a call and they became fast friends. She then ended up working alongside him at various agencies. Over the next few years, Jordan built a solid portfolio and began freelancing at Wolff Olins. After a few months, he was hired as a senior designer and began his ascent to the creative director position.

Having the chance to interview Jordan was amazing because there are so many questions that we have as designers; very rarely do we get to go straight to the top and get them answered.

When I was still in school, working at an agency felt so far out of reach. The established agencies in New York seemed like a lifetime away; I imagined them as being completely untouchable. Now that I’ve seen the inside of Wolff Olins and met some of their employees, everything feels much more accessible. When you think about it, nobody sets limits on what we can do but ourselves.

The biggest lesson I took away from our meeting is that is doesn’t matter where you start out as a designer. It’s up to you to carve your own path and to build a career that is satisfying. You are the only person that can make yourself happy. And, shouldn’t that be your goal at the end of the day?

wolff olins new york graphic design agency





What I Wore: 9.13.09

what i wore nubby new york style outfit

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures


Striped cardigan, Modcloth
Dress, Forever 21 (borrowed from Gala)
Atacoma wedges, Acne
Neckace, Thisisstar.com Jewelry
Watch, Nixon
Headband, Forever 21

week in pictures

week in pictures

Two weekends ago, Bianca took some photos of me in Battery Park. The super amazing crew at Modcloth sent me the Get Out of Jail Free Cardigan that is the thinnest, softest cotton. It can be worn in a number of ways and even has a hood. Sadly, it has since sold out. With their site, you have to check back often because they add new items every day!

week in pictures

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If You’re Hungry, Stop Reading This: Dean & DeLuca

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

Over the years, I’ve made ten separate trips to New York but I’m embarrassed to say that until this most recent stay, I had never set foot inside of a Dean & DeLuca store. I’d heard people constantly praising the New York locations as if they were a sacred place where one would make a religious pilgrimage in search of treats. Truth be told, I’m not a foodie so I kept on wondering what the big deal was. Why were these stores so different from typical supermarkets?

Two weeks ago, I was walking through Soho with Gala and we decided to stop into the flagship location that started it all back in 1977. Once we entered, I immediately understood what the hype was all about.

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

Upon entering, the first thing I noticed about Dean and DeLuca was the overwhelming variety and impeccable service. The employees all wore perfectly pressed white uniforms with little name tags. This couldn’t be America!

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

Dean and DeLuca reminded me of a quaint neighborhood shop but slightly bigger and much, much better. Just the bakery alone could give you heart palpitations. Cookies, cakes, tarts, and confections beyond description lined the perfect little glass cases. My senses were overloaded so I settled on some small heart-shaped cookies.

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

Even though the store is quite compact compared to the typical American supermarket, they somehow showcase more items than one could ever hope to encounter in one place, perfectly arranged like a museum for food.

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

The produce section was also a sight to behold. Perfectly stacked rows of fruits and vegetables glistened under the lights.

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

And, as if the arrangements of fruits and vegetables weren’t enough, a small selection of flowers were also available.

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

If I were a rich and famous chef, I’m pretty certain that I would do all of my shopping here.

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

Meats, cheeses and jugs of old fashioned milk also made an appearance. The mass chain grocery stores dotting the U.S. need to take note of the atmosphere, ambience and old school charm that this place evokes.

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

Exotic varieties of fresh baked bread were proudly showcased.

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

Gourmet chocolates including gold-flecked edible buddhas, colorful animals and small squares infused with otherworldly flavors all competed for attention. How could you choose just one?

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

Silver canisters of spices with minimal packaging were perfectly aligned on trays. Magical potions? Perhaps.

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

dean and deluca new york soho food gourmet store

It should be noted that Dean & DeLuca is pricey. This isn’t a place that you frequent if you’re purchasing a month’s worth or groceries (Trader Joe’s is much more appropriate).

Instead, Dean & DeLuca is about the visual experience. It is a place that is ripe with new discoveries and culinary delights that cannot be found anywhere else. Dean & DeLuca will make your tastebuds sing and your wallet hurt. But isn’t that how the best things in life usually are?





The Week in Pictures: 9.11.09

week in pictures

week in pictures

Fall is in the air (and so is mercury retrograde). Between birthday celebrations, rooftop gatherings, performances in the Thompkins Square Park, dinner at german pubs and Brooklyn diners, freelancing in midtown, midnight photo shoots (with an abundance of sparkles and sequins) and attending Fashion’s Night Out, it’s been an eclectic mix of events this week.

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

Follow the arrow. I love this sign! I just noticed it a few days ago on Ave. A near my friend’s apartment and supposedly the document proclaiming the sale of Manhattan was signed in the bar below.

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

Fall fashion. Last night I visited the Miu Miu boutique and fell in love with a white coat and black flats with gold toe caps. The cooler weather is here and strolling through Soho at night while peaking into boutique windows is a nice way to pass the time.

week in pictures

week in pictures

Midtown. I spent a few days working at a marketing agency this week and it was fun getting dressed up for a change and taking the train up to Grand Central Station. I love mixing things up routine-wise and get a thrill trying out new settings.

week in pictures

week in pictures

Speaking the truth. During a visit to Williamsburg, I noticed this poster. One of my favorite things about New York is the abundance of homemade street art.

week in pictures

week in pictures

Fashion’s Night Out. Bianca and I hit Fashion’s Night Out last night and my favorite experience by far was visiting the Phi boutique. The staff was super nice, the entire collection was impeccable and the ad campaign covering the walls was pretty flawless.

week in pictures

week in pictures

week in pictures

Turning 26. Bianca turned 26 a few nights ago and had a birthday bash complete with red velvet cake on Wall Street. We met back when she was 20 and its nice having a friend that you can grow up with and always depend on no matter what. It’s funny how the social circles in New York are actually really small; I’ve ran into Timothy and Jeffrey (on the right) on at least three occasions in the last two weeks! Adore them.

week in pictures

week in pictures

Strange posters. Can you believe that this is a Converse ad? It stopped me dead in my tracks because it was so weird. Those crafty marketers!

week in pictures

week in pictures

Head Shots. This week I finished my first legit magazine writing gig and realized that I didn’t have any basic head shots to accompany it. I called Bianca and by that night, the problem was solved! What can I say? Virgos are super punctual and organized. This is my trademark ‘scholarly look’….which is really quite far from reality!

week in pictures

My birthday is swiftly approaching; I’ll be 28 on September 14th! It’s been a roller coaster of a year but change is good, right?

Readers: How was your week?

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