Archive for the ON OUR RADAR Category

WE SALUTE: Saudi Lingerie Maverick Reem Assad

Posted in NEWS, ON OUR RADAR on May 28, 2009 by transracial

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Saudi Arabia’s Reem Assad is a one-woman force for change.

A lecturer in banking and finance at Jeddah’s Dar al-Hekma Women’s College, she is a leading campaign to make life easier for women in this notoriously male-dominated society.

Here target: Women’s lingerie stores.

It appears as if nearly every female underwear store in Saudi Arabia is staffed by men, making it impossible for female customers to look over or — gasp! — try on undergarments before purchase.

Although a three year-old law mandates such stores have female staffers, this has not been the case.

Via Facebook and email, Assad is leading a campaign to finally staff lingerie stores with female tellers to make life just a drop less cumbersome for Saudi Arabia’s long-suffering women.

Mabrook!

DESIGN WATCH: Dror Benshetrit

Posted in NEWS, ON OUR RADAR on May 16, 2009 by transracial

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We’ve been keeping an eye on Israeli-born/New York-based industrial designer Dror Benshetrit since we met him at a party for his from-the-future Nurai project last year.

Since then, Studio Dror has embarked on an ambitious partnership with Target this spring followed this week by the unveiling of his new “Peacock” chair for luxe Italian furniture manufacturer Cappellini.

The pic above is of Dror himself in his new cool chair taken at the recent Milan Furniture Fair.

The piece debuts tomorrow as part of this week’s NYC International Contemporary Furniture fair at the Yigal Azrouel boutique in the MeatPacking District.

TREND ALERT: Pakistani Writers

Posted in NEWS, ON OUR RADAR, WE SUPPORT on April 4, 2009 by transracial

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Despite fears of their nation’s imminent demise, Pakistani writers are emerging as this year’s it-authors. Indeed, according to a report in today’s Financial Times, authors from Pakistan are gaining unprecedented attention on the literary world stage.

Need proof?

How about the recent success of author Hamid Mohsin, whose book The Reluctant Fundamentalist (above) was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 2007.

Following in Mohsin’s wake is author Mohammed Hanif, whose new book A Case of Exploding Mangoes is being lauded as a must-read political thriller while Nadeem Aslam’s new The Wasted Vigil is set in contemporary Afghanistan.

Also in the mix is Kamila Shamsie, author of the grand historical novel Burned Shadows and — most buzzingly — Daniyal Mueenuddin, whose new collection of short stories Other Rooms, Other Wonders is being hailed as Pakistan’s first true work of literary genius.

DISCOVERED IN EL SALVADOR: Due Studio

Posted in NEWS, ON OUR RADAR on April 4, 2009 by transracial

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Folks on both sides of the Thames are keeping an eye on Due Studio — the first high-end furniture and interior design firm we know of to emerge from the once war-torn nation of El Salvador.

Covered in both the new Wallpaper and Monocle magazines, the firm was founded by San Salvador locals Claudia and Harry Washington in 2004.

Since that time, Due has produced a series of innovative stylish furniture pieces including the new leather and stainless steel “Olga” chair above.

Best of all, the firm — which works with only local craftsman — is now partially funded by a USAID grant aimed at supporting developing world talent. That support clearly paid off: Last year Due showed at NYC’s important International Contemporary Furniture Fair which has led to an early-stage partnership with US furniture giant Bernhardt Design.

Studio Due will now show in Milan at the upcoming Salon de Mobile this month — and hopefully the orders (and work for local artisans back home) will begin to flow.

Good luck.

MOVIE-MOMENT: Sugar

Posted in NEWS, ON OUR RADAR on April 4, 2009 by transracial

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Although sports movie don’t usually get us into the cinema, we’re keen to watch the credits roll at Sugar, a new film from Half Nelson directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

The film — which, like Half Nelson — is getting stellar reviews, tells the story of a Dominican baseball ace recruited to play in the Norteamericano minor leagues.

Actor Algenis PĂ©rez Soto shines as the lead — nicknamed Azucar (sugar in Spanish) — where he attempts to use Latin charm and physical prowess to win over the blancos in his new home in Iowa.

The film is shot both in the Caribbean and the U.S. and is a welcomingly winning look at the developed world through the eyes of those who come from the developing.

If you’ve seen it — do report back.

First Husbands Flake-Out at G20

Posted in NEWS, ON OUR RADAR on April 2, 2009 by transracial

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Something is missing from the photo above — men!

Taken at the First Spouses dinner in London as part of the G20 event this week, the pic shows all of the participating first wives — but no first husbands.

Seems as if hubbies like Nestor Kirchner of Argentina and Joachim Sauer of Germany had better things to do.

SHOWING IN SAN FRANCISCO: Brian Barneclo at Ritual Roasters

Posted in NEWS, ON OUR RADAR, WE SUPPORT on April 2, 2009 by transracial

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Transracial fave Brian Barneclo is now showing his groovy, graphic, geometric paintings at Ritual Roasters in our hometown of San Francisco.

Barneclo — who we discovered during a visit west a few years back — is best-known for his contemporary-cool graffiti canvasses (see above) which along with festooning massive Mission District buildings, have appeared in restaurants and hotels all over town.

His Ritual show includes 11 new pieces and will be up through May.

Hope we make it back to Cali in time!