THE NWBLK // UPFRONT

On Thursday, August 25th from 6:30 – 9:30PM, The NWBLK will be hosting an exclusive preview party for event producers and agencies, which will showcase the space’s potential and present re-construction plans for 2017. It is an opportunity to be the first to reserve the space - before anyone else.

In conjunction with our preferred catering, rental and entertainment partners, we have put together an evening that will fully submerse your senses in the potential of our 12,500 sq. ft. indoor and outdoor venue.

 

COCKTAILS x

Stag Dining launched in 2010 in The San Francisco Bay Area beginning small and growing big… fast (and we know why). They are both ingredient and technique driven, creating faire that celebrates seasons, local artists, winemakers, brewmasters and talented bartenders. Perhaps you have had one of their southern influenced cocktails by Derby Cocktail Co. on Friday at Off The Grid – Fort Mason Center, read about their infamous ‘Snow Cone Cocktail’ on 7×7′s Best of the Bay drinks, or attended one of their Clandestine Dinner Series (guided by Chefs Jordan Grosser and Ted Fleury, who draw culinary inspiration from music, wilderness, travel and art). If you have not been introduced to Stag yet, you will now! This full-service event production and catering company duo has roots deep in whole sustainability and connecting people with great food in compelling settings.

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From the heart of Sonoma and Napa County’s Wine Country, we welcome Libations Unlimited – A seasonally inspired, made-from-scratch beverage catering service that specializes in artisan cocktails (and espresso!). Everything from the bartender, to the libations, to the traveling Teardrop and Bar Cart’s, is uniquely their own (and absolutely adorable to say the least).

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Mission Hill Saloon

BITES x

Stag Dining

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Rebecca Jean Catering works across every and all types of cuisine, locations, themes and events. They are the chameleon of catering, having the magic to deliver (and deliver with impeccable performance) top quality service to any occasion for crowds anywhere from 50 to 1,500 people. This power house is considered the master of coaxing signature smoky flavor out of the grill and prepping light, filling fare. They only use fresh, seasonal ingredients, and are increasingly inspired by classic Southern comforts and traditional al fresco dishes.

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Aside from the great music that plays on their website that makes you want to get up and groove with a fresh squeezed tequila spritzer in one hand and a delicious bite size ahi taco in the other (we may have re-loaded the page just to daydream in this mid-day fiesta), Fork and Spoon Productions is a full blown catering company — with 35 years experience in the books. They have worked in some of the most high acclaimed restaurants, including Spago, Jardiniere and Hawthorne Lane. Their professionalism surpasses  standards, creating memorable experiences across all  parties.

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Founded by Chef/ Owner Tommy Halvorson, Foxtail Catering is another powerhouse, covering bases from cocktail parties for 200, 5 course seated dinners for 500, 3 day conferences for 1000 and grand celebrations 2000. They pride themselves (and have all right to) on bringing only the absolute best of what’s available to their clients, combined with an unbeatable farm direct program. Their menus are created to reflect the contemporary food scene (with the addition of a little interesting twist), introducing foodies to something new and exciting every time. With a restaurant approach, they finish everything a la minute, guaranteeing total freshness and beautifully plated items down to the very last detail.

VISUALS x

In an increasingly evolving tech based city, Anderson Audio-Visual is the premier go-to for having the best (and most reliable) digital systems in place. Their specialty lies in audio visual, data and security design and integration that provides clients the paths for better engagement, collaboration and information deliverance. From initial concept meetings, through system design, integration and support, Anderson makes sure to keep the process easy for you by managing all aspects in order to deliver nothing less than amazing. With 20+ years experience, they have perfected the methods of designing and installing audio visual, data and security systems.

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Do you have a high-profile company with many moving parts where success is critically dependent on the technology in use? Straight Up Technologies has been providing customized computer networking solutions and services for industry leaders in the technology, sports and entertainment industries since 2004. Their focus is high on functionality and performance, designing secure (and fully reliable) computer networking infrastructures, as well as video collaboration solutions, for leading-edge Fortune 500 and entertainment companies. From live events, to Film and Television Productions, Straight Up has you straight up covered.

Adam Allegro is an up and coming Bay Area based photographer. Following graduation from the United States Naval Academy and honorably resigning from active duty at the rank of Lieutenant, Adam spent two years backpacking and photographing around Asia and Latin America. In 2016, he received a Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute where he developed a refined focus in documentary photography. His vision is guided by the philosophy that “the physical space we interact with on a daily basis is both dynamic and unpredictable”. As a result, Adam observes people and their interactions with the space surrounding them, in an attempt to better understand his urban experience. He applies this photographic approach by focusing on methods which “humanize subjects through their mundane actions and daily lives”, with the perspective of creating a unique view for his audience to help them perceive the world a little more empathetically.

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Classic Party Rentals

SOUND x

Ken Woodard is an eclectic, multi-talented artist, with the ability to wear many hats within the audio and visual world. In collaboration with Steven Miller, he is the sound and vision of The NWBLK. He has produced award winning work for Southwestern Bell and Bank of America, shot the Levi’s commercial voted one of the year’s ‘Ten Best’ by Time Magazine and more. His sound is reflective of his very diverse talents, ranging from wispy synth electronic to new age disco that you cannot help but to move to (Seriously. It’s contagious.). With playlist tags like “Kongas”, “Bed Shuttle”, “KRUNKNO” and “PurpleTurbo”, Woodard doesn’t ride the waves — He makes them.


Fall 2015: Coming Soon

One of the best times of the Fall, we at The NWBLK always look forward to hosting DIFFA Designs, an amazing evening that includes great food, drink, entertainment, and an auction. Last year DIFFA, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, contributed $40,000 to local AIDS research, an organizational record. As part of our continued support for the mission of DIFFA, we are donating our facilities, for their annual fundraiser, September 24th, 2015. Steven Miller, The NWBLK’s Founder and Creative Director, is Co-Chairing the event for a second year in a row. Please buy tickets and join us for this great event!

An integral component to the NWBLK collection from the get go, Melbourne, Australia designer Christopher Boots is visiting the gallery next week for a private breakfast. Christopher’s work has organically evolved in ever so beautiful ways since we introduced him to San Francisco in 2012, culminating with his collaboration with Hermes to create a luxurious installation in their windows and stores in the Madison Avenue locations in New York. Christopher Boots has a full roll-out of new product planned for 2016.

“Materiality is so paramount in a material world—we need an understanding of the things that surround us so we can have the ability to change them, to work them, to mold the world that we live in in ways that suit our dreams. I love the physical and metaphysical properties of quartz, so I’m surrounded in my studio by hundreds of kilograms of rocks all the time. My desk is covered in a variety of rocks: obsidian, fluorite, pyrite, smokey quartz, rose quartz. Having them in my space inspires and grounds me.”

DIFFA
Information: http://www.diffasf.org/
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/diffa-designs-presented-by-roche-bobois-tickets-18120187970
Christopher Boots: http://thenwblk.com/agenda/profiles/christopher-boots/


Creators Talk II: Where does beauty live?

The Creators Talk, Part II: Where does beauty live?
June 9th, 7:00-9:00PM, The Library at the Battery
Attendance by invite only.

The second installment of the Creators Talk explores “beauty”, it’s meaning and manifistation in food, design, art, architecture etc. What is beauty? Where does it live? Is it intrinsic, spiritual, eternal? We may never answer this question but we will have fun trying.

NWBLK Creative Director, Steven Miller is joined in conversation by James Beard award-winning chef, Craig Stoll, (Delfina,) and NY artist Fernando Mastrangelo and Tali Jaffe, Executive Editor of Cultured Magazine.

Craig Stoll was awarded a scholarship to attend the ICIF cooking school in Torino, Italy. There it was an externship at Tuscany’s one-Michelin-star restaurant Da Delfina that paved his vision. He returned to San Francisco and in 1998, and, along with his wife Annie Stoll, opened Delfina, a 70-seat neighborhood restaurant located in the still up-and-coming Mission District, serving rustic Italian food infused with San Francisco’s local and sustainable values. In 2005 Craig and Annie opened Pizzeria Delfina in the adjacent storefront on Eighteenth Street followed a few years later by Pizzeria Delfina on California Street in Pacific Heights (San Francisco).In 2011 the couple opened Osteria Locanda, a Roman-inspired restaurant on Valencia Street in the Mission District. In 2013 Pizzeria Delfina Burlingame debuted in Burlingame (CA) followed by Pizzeria Delfina Palo Alto in 2014.

Fernando Mastrangelo has exhibited extensively throughout the US and internationally in both group and solo shows. Prior to pursuing his career in the arts & design, he worked as an assistant to Matthew Barney. In 2008 the Brooklyn Museum acquired Mastrangelo’s work, then included it in the critically-accalaimed exhibition Connecting Cultures in 2012. He has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Whitewall Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, Cultured Magazine, where he is a contributing editor, and the Miami Herald, among many others. In his new collection MMATERIAL, he re-contextualizes form and function once again, bringing together indoor and outdoor materials that fuse his minimalist aesthetic with deft ingenuity and craft. MMATERIAL strives to fuse sculpture and design in ways that are not found anywhere else in the market.

The NWBLK (New Black) has quickly earned a reputation for discovering new talent in art and design, while also presenting an international roster of creative talent in their expansive gallery space in Mission Creek.

Cultured Magazine is a celebrated art, architecture and design magazine that pushes the boundaries of your typical shelter publication with unparalleled thought-provoking content.

To learn more about the powerhouse panel, visit thenwblk.com, culturedmag.com, www.thenwblk.com/agenda/profiles/mmaterial/, www.delfinasf.com


ELLE DECOR, “WHAT’S HOT”

In honor of Elle Decor’s inclusion of Overgaard & Dyrman’s Wire Sofa in this month’s What’s Hot, we have published the latest in our “13 Questions” interview series with Creative Director, Steven Miller.

Answers by Jasper Overgaard and Christian Dyrman (OD)

SM: What is your (or the firms partners) background(s)?

OD: Prior to founding O&D with Jasper, Christian worked in the product development department of a Danish textile and furniture company. Christian holds a Master of Fine Arts in Furniture and Spatial Design from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from Aalborg University, and an earlier education as a blacksmith. Jasper worked as a Senior Product Designer within the design and furniture industry at a strategic design consultancy in Copenhagen. Like Christian Jasper holds a Master of Fine Arts in Furniture and Spatial Design from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from Aalborg University.

SM: How did you come to found Overgaard & Dyrman?
OD: In 2004 we had both decided to become engineers. Accidentally we were put in the same study group on the first day we entered Aalborg University. We have been working together ever since. At the end we didn’t end up as engineers, but instead we both finished our studies in Copenhagen with a Master Degree in Furniture and Industrial Design. After that Christian moved back to the northern part of Denmark and Jasper stayed in Copenhagen. Even when separated in each part of the country, having two different jobs, our spare time was continually used at common projects. A quote by Tony Robbins was a pivotal point and gave the final push for our joint design dreams: “Success is doing what you want to do, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.” In Jan. 2013 we both felt that the time was right to quit our jobs (which were definitely great jobs) – and that became the beginning of Overgaard & Dyrman.

SM: What is it that most excites you about the work you do? what part of your process is most exhilarating?
OD: To be able to create new things from scratch on our own terms is very exciting. A very exhilarating thing is to work with both a detailing and a holistic approach at the same time – that is how we think truly great thing can be achieved.

SM: What do you do to “re-fuel” your creativity?
OD: It’s not like we have a certain procedure for re-filling creativity. Sometimes it’s just there. Often it has something to do with new inputs and for us they might as well appear on a walk in the neighborhood as on a travel to other parts of the world. But when it happens it often results in sleepless nights.

SM: We at the NWBLK believe that most people interested in architecture and design are also interested in other pursuits like food, fashion, music and technology. How do these things weigh in to the way that you think about your creative endeavors?
OD:
We often get inspired and motivated by people who are really dedicated to, passionate about and skilled at what they do whether if it’s a musician, chef, artists, writer etc. That also reflects how we want people to see us. We could write a lot to this topic. People that inspire us the most are the ones dedicated to what they do. That is people who do not compromise, who do not always strive after the easiest or cheapest solution but rather goes after the best solution.

SM: Who’s work most fascinates, inspires or repels you and motivates you to action?
OD: Old school craftsmen always make a great impression to us. We don’t idolizes one specific superstar, but are more picking extracts from different peoples approach and work to find inspiration for our own work.

SM: In what ways do you give back to your greater community? Do you teach or are you involved in sponsored events or fundraising? Do you have a charitable cause that you like to contribute to financially or otherwise?
OD: With our approach to design and manufacturing we hope that we can inspire others to strive after a passionate way of living based on thoughtful consumption habits. We hope to be able to also contribute in a more directly sense when our company has grown into a stronger position.

SM: Many people that we talk to have said the travel is very important to their inspiration. Are there places that you like to go for inspiration?
OD: Traveling is always a great way to broaden your perspective, and there are infinite places we would like to explore. We love to travel, and for us great inspiration often appears when discovering new places. But as mentioned we might as well find inspiration in our own backyard as at the Grand tour through Paris etc.

SM: Do you attend tradeshows or fares; fashion week etc. when you travel?
OD: We like to exhibit at places that stand out from the crowd. This means places with a little edge that gives us the opportunity to tell our stories in interesting surroundings. In some way we do not really fit in at the big tradeshows and fares. Therefore it’s also these kinds of often smaller and more unique places we search for when travelling.

SM: What are your favorite magazines? Digital or print?
OD: Monocle – A global magazine with great balance between good stories, fine graphics and beautiful pictures.
SM: What is your favorite color?
OD: For us there is not one favorite color that stands out from the rest. It’s all about the context it is used in.
SM: What’s the NWBLK?
OD: The new black is to approach the world with more consciousness and conscience, to value diligence and to be open-minded and transparent in what you do.

The Wire Collection by Overgaard & Dyrman is exclusively available in the United States through the NWBLK. Visit the nwblk.com for more information.


HERMES, NEW YORK AND CHRISTOPHER BOOTS

Hermès New York commissioned The NWBLK lighting designer, Christopher Boots to create magical holiday windows for the season themed ‘Metamorpheses’. The installation is up through January 15, 2015.

For information on standard and custom lighting by Christopher Boots, please contact The NWBLK at 415.621.2344, whats@thenwblk.com

The theme proposed by Hermes for the installation was “Metamorphosis.” “What a beautiful theme, a poetic concept, that has the possibility of being interpreted in many ways. How do we experience what metamorphosis looks like? A butterfly from a cocoon. A volcano spewing forth liquid rock. A continent shifting, crushing carbon and creating diamonds. My recourse was to look at the classical world. My genetic heritage is all Greek, so it felt natural to ‘talk’ through my history by referencing archetypes, tying this in with the history of Hermès telling the stories that are so human to us all, that make us, us. References to Icarus and Daedalus, Pegasus and Bellerophon were among the initial guiding agencies that defined the interpretation of this theme.”

“A few fixtures are products that are part of my current collection, and some are especially created for Hermès. Thousands of hours of work have gone into conceptualizing, negotiating, prototyping, testing, making and installing. Thank goodness for the teams that have assisted in getting this project off the ground and into the air. TwoSeven, Hermès and my wonderful studio, who to me are my family. Without collaboration we are nothing.”

“Materiality is so paramount in a material world—we need an understanding of the things that surround us so we can have the ability to change them, to work them, to mold the world that we live in in ways that suit our dreams. I love the physical and metaphysical properties of quartz, so I’m surrounded in my studio by hundreds of kilograms of rocks all the time. My desk is covered in a variety of rocks: obsidian, fluorite, pyrite, smokey quartz, rose quartz. Having them in my space inspires and grounds me, and my aesthetic is directly influenced by the crystalline structures that these elements represent. The transparency and opacity of these minerals leaves a lot of possibilities.”

Excerpted from Cool Hunting’s November 21, 2014 article by David Graver.


CULTURED MAGAZINE AT THE NWBLK

FOG FAIR AFTER PARTY hosted by Cultured + The NWBLK
Thursday, January 15th, 2015, 8-11PM

The party was a huge success with attendance by Cultured Magazine’s Founder Sarah Harrelson and Editor Tali Jaffe, artist’s David Wiseman, The Haas brothers, gallerists, Evan Snyderman, Todd Merril, Lauren Geremia, and more. Read the event wrap at Cultured Magazine.

NWBLK Creative Director, Steven Miller, partnered with Executive Editor, Tali Jaffe, to design Cultured Magazine’s Fog Fair booth, featuring, AMMA Studios, David Wiseman, and more.

‘Cultured’ is a Miami-based design and art quarterly founded by Sarah Harrelson and Carlos Suarez in 2010.

The NWBLK and Cultured are hosting Fog Fair dealers, designers, and many of San Francisco’s Art and Design scenes most important players at the official after-party Thursday, January 15th, 2015, 8-11PM.


DESIGN MIAMI 2014: TOM STRALA

NWBLK designer Tom Strala exhibited in Belgrade’s Design Week in October when introduced to Marc Viardot, Director of Marketing and Product for the legendary Swiss company Laufen.

Plans to open Laufen’s U.S. Headquarters and showroom in Miami accelerated towards a date during Design Miami. Marc, already having plans in place to create an installation around the SaphirKeramik project, (by iconic designers Konstantin Grcic and Toan Nguyen) recognized the opportunity to include and promote the iconic work by Strala.

An email from Tom arrived in early October saying, “I just met the Chief of Laufen and they want me to do something with them at Design Miami. It’s a good opportunity, we should do it.”

In three short weeks, Tom Strala and NWBLK devised a plan to join Laufen and Miami Ironside’s exciting Design Escape program.

Strala’s unusual approach to material, light, and form will be on full display during the exhibition. Strala is a master of understanding three-dimensions, employing geometrical games to compose stunning and precise lighting, furniture and objects d’art. We invite you to and see the intriguing and stunning results starting this Sunday.

Design Talk: Materialized Intelligence | 7:30 pm
Swiss designer Tom Strala, LAUFEN’s Director of Marketing and Products Marc Viardot, and Belgrade Design Week Founder and Curator, Jovan Jelovac.
RON ARAD MOROSO LOUNGE
Miami Ironside’s Campus Collective Party / 3 Dec, 7-11 pm.

You can purchase Tom’s work from the NWBLK by clicking these hyperlinked words.
READ Design Boom’s incredible article on Tom and his process.

Also…….
DESIGN TALK: THE FUTURE OF DESIGN | 11 AM
Ron Arad Moroso Lounge
Alastair Gordon, Wall Street Journal contributing editor of Design and Architecture, leads a thoughtful discourse on designing the future with Ron Arad, Patrizia Moroso, and Piero Lissoni.

Design Escape
30 November – December 7, 2014
11am-6pm; unless otherwise noted

Laufen Bathrooms North America
7610 NE 4th Court, Suite 104
Miami, FL 33138


MATERIALIZED INTELLIGENCE BY TOM STRALA

Design Talk: Materialized Intelligence | 3 Dec at 7:30 pm
Swiss designer Tom Strala, LAUFEN’s Director of Marketing and Products Marc Viardot, and Belgrade Design Week Founder and Curator, Jovan Jelovac.
RON ARAD MOROSO LOUNGE AT Miami Ironside
As part of the Campus Collective Party / 3 Dec, 7-11 pm
7610 NE 4th Court, Miami, FL 33138

In the following excerpt from an interview, Tom discusses the inspiration and process behind the TMS Light and Rattan Seefelder Series.

On TMS…..
An idea is not a question of luck it is a process. What is normally understood purely as intuition is rather a series of single steps which can be described, reflected upon, and reproduced. I’m chasing after the scent of a fascinating idea, not to hem it in, but to stimulate its unique essence. I try to endow their intrinsic ideas with language to material forms – and bringing them into contact with the intellectual life of humans.

My intension was to make a folded metal lamp made of one sheet. I had 4 years to develop it. The formal process needed a lot of time. Because you have so many possibilities, to find out what is right for me was like walking through a jungle. So I can only really describe the technical process.

As I started with this lamp I had first to learn how the metal works, and what properties it follows. WE must first take into consideration that a metal sheet always has more tension on the surface. That has something to do how they produce these sheets. The surface is cooling first while the inner part of the sheet is still warm and liquid. So my first experiment was to scratch the surface of the metal from both sides. I expected that the metal would bend itself into the right position because of the typical tension in the material, but it didn‘t work. So I had to rethink the approach to the metal.

Imagine a very thin metal sheet. Like a piece of aluminum foil, we can mold it from one form to the other with our hands. We can fold it, or make it a ball. Imagine a big beam. This beam doesn’t break even if a skyscraper is sitting on it. Same material – but the intensity of energy we have to put into the metal to make it malleable, is completely different. It can be soft in our hands like the aluminium foil example, or we need to raise the temperature to 1250 C° in the example of the beam. The point where this material starts to change, or becomes liquid, has something to do with the intensity of energy, the bigness of the material, and the manner of the pressure.
My problem was to connect these two properties: the folding and stability of the material. The solution was very simple. I have taken a metal sheet and made it stable enough that you can’t fold with your hands. I thinned out the metal where it needs to be folded. The metal sheet – even when it is very thin like this – still has 3 dimensions. So you have the choice in which dimension you want to thin out the metal. I decided to make it in the long direction.

On Seefelder:
The design of the “Seefelder” series was a creative process that took around three years.

The arious possibilities of the rattan and its technical and aesthetic materials were explored and
further developed with the goal being a relaxed modernity: defined forms, and a very accessible functionality.
With its unpretentious nature and the natural warmth of rattan, the “Seefelder” celebrates
the poetry of daily life while conveying the relaxed feeling of a holiday cottage. The
“Seefelder” series is a response to sterile and overwrought design, where vanity overwhelms
beauty and a lust for life.

In Europe you don’t see nature rattan anymore. Here you have a lot of Dedon (sythetic rattan) furniture. Furniture that fakes the look of a natural product, but have nothing to do with it. The under construction of the sythetic rattan product is just a shell of the real thing. A material which is not elastic, but with plastic bandages that try to mirror the feeling of nature. I wondered what led to this trend.

One of the problems, when you use natural rattan for outdoor furniture is the rain. To much moisture can make the rattan deteriorate and even smell foul. Another problem was aesthetic based. You have to over engineer and build under the seat which makes the chair look very bold. To address this issue I used metal as the material for the base. The fusion of metal and natural rattan provided the best of both worlds and leveraged the best properties of each material.


Thirteen Questions: Rob Zinn

You might think that this small design company in California’s central valley would make an odd addition to Gwyneth Paltrow’s living room, but that is the essence of their outsider ethos. The cream rises to the top.

In collaborating with the famed design team Mike and Maikke, blankblank created a striking bookshelf that came complete with required reading on subjects like “Religion” and “Power” by luminaries like Plato, Hobbes, Marx, and the bible. (“Religion ended up in Paltrow’s home.) So who is the genie in the bottle?

Questions by NWBLK Creative Director Steven Miller (SM)
Answers by Rob Zinn (RZ) of blankblank, September 29th, 2014

SM: What is your (or the firms partners) background(s)?
RZ: I grew up in near Clearwater, FL, migrated up the east coast and received a Bachelor of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. I spent 10 years in NYC working for some great designers including Ayse Birsel, Mark Goetz and Tim Richartz as well as teaching for three years in Pratt’s Industrial Design Department. Exhausted with life in NYC, I moved to a loft space in Sacramento and formed blankblank together with Jon Dennis.
SM: How did you come to found blankblank?
RZ: I designed some retail fixtures for Jon’s former company while I was still in Brooklyn. We both wanted to try something new and over the course of a few months, we had formed the genesis of blankblank. Jon moved back to England in 2009. I always thought Anna would be a great addition and in March of 2014 she left her job and joined me in the company.
SM: What is it that most excites you about the work you do? What part of your process is most exhilarating?
RZ: When I am sculpting ideas in real materials and recognizing the potential of mistakes and problems.
SM: What do you do to “re-fuel” your creativity?
RZ: Surf. I leave everything behind me while I’m in the water.
SM: We at the NWBLK believe that most people interested in architecture and design are also interested in other pursuits like food, fashion, music and technology. How do these things weigh in to the way that you think about your creative endeavors?
RZ: I’m surrounded by all that to some extent with what Anna’s always into so I’m exposed through osmosis but I don’t actively seek them out. I’m not a big fan of pop culture and tend to gravitate towards the simple things in life. I think exploring that simplicity and reducing “noise” is how I work best.
SM: Whose work most fascinates, inspires or repels you and motivates you to action?
RZ: I’m inspired by Paul Hawken and Yvon Chouinard. I’m motivated to action by abuse to animals and our natural environment. Honestly, I’m much more likely to help a pigeon than a person.
SM: In what ways do you give back to your greater community? Do you teach or are you involved in sponsored events or fundraising? Do you have a charitable cause that you like to contribute to financially or otherwise?
RZ: We are pretty involved in our rural town of Courtland. Anna holds a few leadership positions and I am the guy building, moving and cleaning stuff behind her. I also teach as a lecturer at UC Davis Design Department and with UC Davis Extension.
SM: Many people that we talk to have said that travel is very important to their inspiration. Are there places that you like to go for inspiration?
RZ: Anywhere near the ocean, preferably with good waves.
SM: Do you attend trade shows or fairs; fashion week etc. when you travel?
RZ: Yes, business and personal travel get very intertwined!
SM: What are your favorite magazines? Digital or print?
RZ: I don’t read a lot of magazines. I prefer digital formats if the screen is big enough to be immersive.
RZ: There is a well-known baptist pastor also named Rob Zinn.If he starts designing, I’ll be on Google’s page eight.
SM: What is your favorite color?
RZ: I’m naming two because they need each other – orange and light blue.
SM: What’s the NWBLK?
RZ: A cool design gallery. It seems to be becoming and evolving, so time will tell.


PREVIEWING NEWBLOOD: INJECTING OCTOBER 2ND

Elevating the dialogue around design and style in San Francisco, the New Black continues to find creative maverick’s across the globe. Here’s a little bit about the new team:

* Available for the first time in North America, the NWBLK is introducing the reverential, and often flawless, work of designers Overgaard & Dyrman of Copenhagen, Denmark. With bleeding hearts for traditional craftsmanship and refined details, Overgaard & Dyrman is a contemporary design brand located in Copenhagen, Denmark. By merging traditional craft techniques with modern technology, Overgaard & Dyrman’s approach to design, bridges the past with the present.

* A collaboration between artist Fernando Viastrangelo and Interior Designer Samuel Amoia, “New York’s Amma Studio is re-contextualizing form and function, only this time, with materials that are not in the traditional canon. Rock salt, sand, coffee, silica, and pink himalayan salt have never been thought of as materials for furniture, but with a unique casting process that also fuses more traditional materials such as cement or plaster, AMMA creates a body of work unlike anything before.” The Amma team is outfitting the new Stella McCartney stores with a number of their pieces.

* We are partnering with maverick design manufacturers Blank Blank from Courtland, CA. Hidden in a remote part of California’s central valley, NY designer Rob Zinn and his partner Anna Pavao Zinn have quietly been developing innovative furniture, lighting and objects with designers like Mike and Maaike, Tim Richartz and more.

* The NWBLK is also partnering with gallerist Heather Marx, HMxAA, for a show titled Shift. Opening during the #newblood event October 2, 2014 from 6-9PM, and running through December 15, 2014, the show features artists Michael Arcega, Mary Button Durell, Matt Gil, Amanda Hughen, Kimberly Rowe, Andrew Shoultz, William Swanson, Arngunnur Yr.


Thirteen Questions: Melissa Fleis

NWBLK designer Melissa Fleis is previewing her new Defiant Collection at a private reception Friday, September 19th from 6-9pm, followed by a Pop Up shop Saturday from 11-4pm, both sponsored by 7×7.

Questions by NWBLK Creative Director Steven Miller (SM)
Answers by Melissa Fleis (MF) September 18th, 2014

SM: What is your background?
MF: Beauty and fashion
SM: How did you come to found Melissa Fleis?
MF: I started my brand as soon as I returned from filming Project Runway Season 10. People kept requesting that I make them something to wear – so I started with custom leather jackets and built it from there.
SM: What is it that most excites you about the work you do? What part of your process is most exhilarating?
MF: I love seeing my original concepts and designs come to life. Finding new sources of inspiration ( although not easy ) is always exhilarating for me as well.
SM: What do you do to “re-fuel” your creativity?
MF: Sleep and travel
SM: We at the NWBLK believe that most people interested in architecture and design are also interested in other pursuits like food, fashion, music and technology. How do these things weigh in to the way that you think about your creative endeavors?
MF: All of these things impact me in one way or another. Music and architecture particularly play large roles in my creative process.
SM: Who’s work most fascinates, inspires or repels you and motivates you to action?
MF: Rei Kawakubo
SM: In what ways do you give back to your greater community? Do you teach or are you involved in sponsored events or fundraising? Do you have a charitable cause that you like to contribute to financially or otherwise?
MF: I’ve taught classes in trend forecasting at City College, visited elementary schools, and contributed to panel discussions at UC Berkeley. I show in local charity based fashion shows like the Junior League and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Cancer Program.
SM: Many people that we talk to have said the travel is very important to their inspiration. Are there places that you like to go for inspiration?
MF: I seek inspiration from the typical places of inspiration like art exhibitions and nature. However, my main source of inspiration comes from visiting Europe, whether it is Berlin, Antwerp, Amsterdam or Florence. London is next on my list. I still can’t believe I haven’t been there.
SM: Do you attend tradeshows or fares; fashion week etc. when you travel?
MF: I’m jumping on the pop-up shop bandwagon at the moment. However, I am currently showing my collections at Austin and Dallas Fashion Week, as well as through charitable organizations like Junior League and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Cancer Program.
SMWhat are your favorite magazines? Digital or print?
MF: i-D, Oyster, Tirade, AnOther, LOVE, ZOO, Numero, Style Zeigeist
SM: What is your favorite color?
MF: At the moment it’s Metallic Midnight Blue – but I do LOVE black.
SM: What’s the NWBLK?
MF: NWBLK is a place where modern artists can showcase their work, and collaborate with other like-minded individuals within a curated space.


From Project Runway to Defiant/ Melissa Fleis Preview September 19th.

NWBLK designer Melissa Fleis is previewing her new Defiant Collection at a private reception Friday, September 19th from 6-9pm, followed by a Pop Up shop Saturday from 11-4pm, both sponsored by 7×7, and at your friendly neighborhood emporium, The New Black. Guest list will be checked. To request an invite please email whats@thenwblk.com.

Come and join this exclusive shopping experience.

This is a big leap forward for the Project Runway Finalist, and resident of San Francisco’s Mission district. The following week, Melissa is contributing to the Taste of the Stars gala fundraiser for UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Cancer and Blood Disease Program

Stay tuned for The first our our 13 Questions series with Melissa and Creative Director, Steven Miller early next week.

Melissa Fleis is an American fashion designer currently based in San Francisco, California.


2014 Decorator Showcase Highlights

The New Black’s Creative Director Steven Miller was tapped to design House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the year, the adjoining living room, and outdoor space at The San Francisco Decorator Showcase at 3660 Jackson Street.

“Kitchens are the new American living rooms. They are the center of the home, and we’re so fortunate to have had designer Steven Miller create this year’s kitchen, which is really a space for living,” said Newell Turner, editor-in-chief of House Beautiful. “Steven, who is based in San Francisco, has a chic and sophisticated design sensibility that is imbued with whimsy and a certain ease; his work embodies the way people want to live right now.”

Steven Miller Design Studio took a modern art approach to the interiors, limiting the color palate to monochromatic blacks and whites to complement the abundant natural light, and technology driven appliances and controls. The kitchen features a custom light sculpture inspired by NWBLK designer Christopher Boots in the ceiling alcove (You can view Christopher’s lighting line on our website.)

Miller designed the living room for the NWBLK, highlighting selections from the NWBLK repertoire or the furniture in the room. Focusing on designer and manufacturers introduced to San Francisco by the NWBLK, the room features the Pangea sectional by Phase Design, a well-edited selection of pieces by artist in residence, David Taylor, and the Seefelder by Tom Strala.

The living room empties out to an outdoor seating area expertly landscaped by Frank Eddy and featuring Galanter and Jones Helios, heated concrete bench.

Many thanks to the New Black’s resident builder, Peter Englander, of the Englander Building Company, for executing a deft and timely kitchen buildout. Of course, many thanks are due to the other contributors including Mark Nelson Designs.

As many of you know, the Decorator Showcase is the oldest interior designer showcase house next to Kip’s Bay in NY, NY. For the last 37 years the showcase has donated all the proceeds from the event and raised millions for the University High School’s financial aid program which has fully funded the tuition of a number of young students, making equal access a reality.

Tickets and Schedule available: Click Here

Celebrate House Beautiful’s KOTY at the SF Decorator Showcase with Sagi Cohen, CEO and Lior Benvi, VP of Caesarstone U.S. Tuesday, May 20th, 6-8pm. Drinks and light snacks provided. RSVP by May 13th to hbpromo1@hearst.com

Read Newell Turner’s post on the Kitchen of the Year: CLICK HERE


13 QUESTIONS WITH ELKE WALTER

As part of the limited engagement with fashion designer Elke Walter at the NWBLK, April 30th-May 2nd, we are publishing the latest in our 13 Questions series. To read more about Elke visit her website, http://elkewalter.fr/ewmeets/. Sale hours Friday and Saturday, May 1st and 2nd, 12-6PM. 1999 Bryant Street at 18th.

Questions by NWBLK Creative Director Steven Miller, Answers by Elke Walter.

What is your (or the firms partners) background(s)?
I worked in advertising after I finished my studies. Alfred was in Antiques. We then wrote for magazines. I came to fashion like the virgin to a child. It just happened.
How did you come to found your fashion label?
People asked me where I bought the outfits I would wear. So I decided to make a business of it. That was in Hamburg in 2002.
What most excites you about the work you do?
My independence is very important to me and for my work. When I’m working on one-of-a-kind garments or sculptures, I just do what I like – or what I have to do. I follow my feelings. No boss, no limits.
What part of your process is most exhilarating?
Developing new forms, working with new fabrics. Giving the material a new meaning.
What do you do to “re-fuel” your creativity?
When I feel bad or empty or like I’m sitting in a deep hole, my creativity comes up and pushes me to new ideas – and then lifts me up. So it’s a circle of self-made re-fueling. If possible, I spend time outside in the garden. I love power-gardening. And a glass of Rosé or Champagne for the apéro.
We at the NWBLK believe that most people interested in architecture and design are also interested in other pursuits like food, fashion, music and technology. How do these things weigh in to the way that you think about your creative endeavors?
I’m interested in contemporary art, photography, design, and architecture. But what does all this mean? There are things I like and others I don’t like. I don’t feel very much influenced by all this. I don’t have a very cultural background. I’m Elke.
But – I need music. There is always some music in my head.
(we subsequently asked Elke what some of her favorite music and movies are….)
Answering this is not that easy, as I love so many songs and artists. And it all and always depends on my mood.
But – here’s a selection of artists. I can’t tell you special songs, that would take a lifetime: Benjamin Clementine, James Blake, London Grammar, alt-J, Disclosure, Bloc Party, Foals, The Hives, Clean Bandit, Chinese Man, Rudimental, Kat Vinter, Michael Jackson, Motown Classics from the 60s, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Nils Frahm, The Beatles, Jaques Brel, Françoise Hardy, Joe Dassin, Edith Piaf.
Spontaneously that’s all at the moment. I often listen to playlists on Spotify. Makes me discover new songs and artists.
Movies etc…Just saw WHIPLASH and INTERSTELLAR.   Amazing!!! I tried to make a list, but honestly – could you write down all the movies you saw and liked? I can’t. It’s toooo much. I’m a  big fan of The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and True Detective.
Who’s work most fascinates, inspires or repels you and motivates you to action?
Nobody special. Meeting interesting people motivates me. But this concerning my whole life, not only my work. Sometimes you get encouraged by someone who likes what you do. That’s motivating, and good characters are inspiring.
In what ways do you give back to your greater community? Do you teach or are you involved in sponsored events or fundraising? Do you have a charitable cause that you like to contribute to financially or otherwise?
I’m generous with those who love my work but can’t afford it. And I’m friendly and have a big heart for the rich. They always ask for discounts.
Many people that we talk to have said the travel is very important to their inspiration. Are there places that you like to go for inspiration?
I like traveling and meeting interesting people. But my favorite place is home since I live in Provence.
Do you attend trade-shows or fares; fashion week etc. when you travel?
Just once a year I go see Art Basel/Design Miami.
What are your favorite magazines? Digital or print?
Coté Sud, IDEAT, The Good Life – printed Edition. StyleZeitgeist Magazine online. I don’t spend much time reading magazines.
Where will we find you on the Internet? do you have a
website, blog? A favorite website or app?
My website www.elkewalter.fr is not regularly updated. But my facebook profile ELKE WALTER MODE, Instagram ELKE WALTER – and sometimes tumblr.
What is your favorite color?
NO favorite color! The world has too many beautiful colors to just chose one. But I only wear Black.
What’s the NWBLK?
A great concept invented and made by highly innovative and courageous people, the place to be in San Francisco – and the best one to show my work. Exciting.


ELKE WALTER MEETS NWBLK APRIL 30-MAY2

Elke’s exclusive San Francisco appearance for 2015.
Opening Reception:Thursday, April 30th, 6-9PM
Pop-up hours, 12-6pm, Friday and Saturday May 1-2.

A German designer, now based in Provence, France, who started her career accidentally: Instead of sewing curtains she changed her mind and decided to sew herself a dress. This was the moment she discovered her talent.

Elke Walter leaves her workshop only a few times a year to show her work in selected galleries.

Elke Walter is a self-taught designer. From the beginning she refused to copy others, and instead found her way into her own creativity. Back in Hamburg she had a store and an own workshop and sold her collections to private clients, as well as boutiques worldwide.

She realized that with the success, limitations to her creativity would be introduced, as she constantly had to work in series, and create one seasonal collection after the other. A hard cut was required.

She closed her Hamburg-based business and moved to the south of France, where she dedicated her work to the basics of good design. Fulfilling her dream of a permanent black collection that has all the advantages a garment can have from the first time it is being worn. Her –essentials- line was born, completed by the -unisex/essentials-. Around this basic collection she designed a universe of textile accessories and sumptuous one-of-a-kind creations, letting her creative urge lead her to textile sculptures.

Being embedded in the overwhelming nature of her beautiful Provence surrounding is what led her to a new creative path, photography. With this medium, she is able to show not only her creations, but also the inspiration she finds every day in the nature around her.