The Spades

WSJ Loves Andy Spade Too

I will pretty much take any opportunity to post something about or by a Spade, any Spade, but particularly* Andy Spade.  Apparently, WSJ thinks he’s pretty cool too and published a little interview.  Intro below, interview here.

After co-creating the mega accessories brands Kate Spade and Jack Spade, selling them and then fleeing corporate life, Andy Spade has just launched an unusual hybrid advertising agency-gallery-boutique called Partners & Spade. In his Manhattan storefront, he sells whimsical collectibles including Ghanaian flags, vintage hotel soaps and antique microphones and hosts art exhibits. In his back room, he produces films and photography books, and advises companies like J. Crew. 
*A brief anecdote on the phrase “in particular”:  Last week, my sister asked my niece (age 5), “Augusta, is there anything in particular you’d like in your lunch box today?”  Augusta replied, in a huff, “uhhh WHAT is a PATICKLE?”

The Spades

I Love a Monogram on Almost Anything >> Why Not Lamps?

No seriously.  Ok yes, a monogram on a lamp could be way too Martha Stewart if it were on a pastel cloth shade with a painted wood base, but on this sophisticated brass number, the monogram comes off as irreverent and cool in my opinion…

Designed by the aforementioned Partners & Spade in collaboration with lighting company Roll & Hill.

The Spades

Partners & Spade


…And so my fascination with the Spades continues.

Just stumbled across Partners & Spade, apparently another company of Andy and Kate Spade, though it’s difficult to figure out exactly what it is/does or the exact structure.  There’s a storefront, which as far as I can gather is a collection of things Andy Spade thinks is cool, with a sort of cheeky twist.  Given the credibility the Spades’ taste has achieved, I’d say that’s probably a viable business model.  And, given the profitability that has resulted from this credibility, I’d say he’s got room to risk the cheeky twist.

Best Made Co.’s handmade-in-New York axes.  Apparently, nice axes are becoming a thing.  The point is lost on me, but I will say I like the paint job on this number.

Maybe the most humorous item in the range, a burglary kit– everything one needs to burgle, all in a cool rucksack.

I approve, Andy, I think cartography is cool too.

Here’s what I really like… Apparently they host events and “exhibits” at the store, like this one:

And this one…

And this one…

Cheeky is the perfect word, right?  Love the idea of having events like this at the store.  Seems like Andy has a lot of fun with this project…

What I didn’t realize, was that Partners & Spade’s “studio,” which seems to be an outlet for co-branding on outside projects, collaborated on the design J. Crew’s Men’s Store.  By which I mean, I didn’t realize the Spades were in any way involved with J. Crew, or more specifically the Men’s Store, until I discovered the existence of Partners & Spade.  The coming together of two major tastemakers…

And so the Spades continue to conquer the world…

The Spades

Still Loving >> Vintage Suitcases as Decor

I’m not sure if this qualifies as an actual trend or just a personal fave, but either way, I’m definitely still loving it.

Above, from the home of Obedient Sons and Daughters couple Swaim and Christina Hutson, photographed by Todd Selby, posted on his blog The Selby.


Sometimes the line between trend and personal obsession is totally unclear for me, as I will have an obsession that I justify by making a mental note of every time I ever see it done, so to me, it starts to seem like it’s everywhere, when in reality, it might just be because it’s on my personal radar, ya know?

Then, this gets even more peculiar when I feel like I’ve seen something too many times and I hit my personal saturation point, and I feel like I’m over that obsession because then it seems like an overdone trend.  And all the while it might not have even been a real trend, I was just primed to seek out examples of it.

The two above are from the current issue Cottage Living magazine. Interestingly, I’d already written this post and saved it as a draft about three weeks before when I came across these images (thanks Ali!)– so maybe it is a trend…

Finally, the apartment of Deborah Lloyd, the createive director of Kate Spade (is it possible to have a crush on a company?? Also, did you know Kate left the company in ’07 and Lloyd has never even met her?).

I love not only the old suitcasees, but also pretty much everything else.  The art propped everywhere, the globes, the zebra touches, the hate box, even the pink.  And it’s pretty brilliant that the pink is only on pillows, so if you got sick of the pink and switched out the pillows, the place would have a totally different feel.

The Spades

LustList >> Calling Cards

We’ve taken an epic amount of time designing our company’s business cards, and I’ve been thinking in the mean time I really would like a personal calling card.  I l-o-v-e and want one of the ones from Kate Spade through Crane, above, but I’ve come across lots of other cool styles as well…
For the Modernist, from Mandate Press
In fact, part of our problem is that we don’t want our business card to too strongly reflect one particular style, since we design in many styles, so maybe we just shouldn’t have company cards, and instead all just have personal cards that have our company email addresses?
Above and below, from Brooklyn Social Cards, here.  The ones above would also be good for a Modernist, and I think the one below might rival the Kate Spades for my personal fave.
There’s something wonderfully old-fashioned about the idea of having a calling card.  As if it is essential that you keep them handy because so many people you meet simply must see you again.  Way classier to hand over a calling card that have them enter your cell number in their phone, no?
Anna, from Rifle Paper Co., will create a cute little custom likeness of you for your calling card. 
Another modern option, from Etsy seller ReadyGo, here

A crafty one, for a crafty person (?), sewn (!) on to thick craft paper.  Also from ReadyGo
Don’t love the font on this one, but do love the pattern!  And you can change the font.  And I bet you can get the chevron in the green she used on a notecard below, which I would prefer.  In fact I’d do font and color like the card below.  From Etsy seller Pixel Impress.

The Spades

Mix(ed) Tape

Rebecca Ward’s installations made of tape and vinyl adhesive

I guess this is the type of work you can’t really fly by the seat of your pants on, but I hadn’t really imagined how much preparation and calculations would go into it until I saw some of her process drawings…

Finally, her current installation at the Kate Spade Tokyo store…
And lastly, a lot is reminding me of Sol LeWitt these days (sometimes you don’t realize how brilliant someone or something is until later, when you realize how many things remind of them, like The Great Gatsby… it just keeps coming up forever in life, but you don’t know that in 10th grade when you read it for the first time), but doesn’t Ward’s work remind you of some of this stuff? …
Untitled Lithograph, 1992

Wavy Brushstroked Superimposed #4, 1995
Corner Piece No. 2, 2001

Rebecca Ward website here

The Spades

"There is no blue without yellow and without orange"

-van Gogh

My attraction to this image required self-analysis. I’m a blue fanatic, especially navy. And I normally don’t like yellow. It just doesn’t do it for me, it always seems either too country or faux “Provence” or whatever. Especially with a floral print. Risky.

But how MASTERFUL is this use of yellow?? The glam gold lamp (brilliant, that’s what really does it for me) and big gold watch save it from being too plain-Jane preppy, the navy border makes it crisp and sophisticated, and the coral colors mixed in brings it to life.

Doesn’t that van Gogh quote apply to this color story??

PS, Kate Spade is a genius. I’m sure of it. And, I like her kitchen. The black and white striped cushion reminds me of Jenna Lyons (here), and I’m pretty sure they are like style-soulmates, or at least cousins.

See all of the Spades’ apartment, which is now a blog-world classic, on Mrs. Blandings.

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