Made in America

As we celebrate our independence this Fourth of July, bde is reminded of the creativity, innovation, and truly great companies based right here in America that we have the honor of representing every day.

Here is our shout out to design in the USA:

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Chilewich
Recognized internationally for creating textiles which are both beautiful and hardworking, Chilewich is based in the USA, which allows the brand to continuously exceed its high standards for innovation, quality, and timely delivery. This mission led to the opening of their Georgia factory which, combined with their New York City studio, employs over 100 talented people. With a commitment to “Made in the USA,” Chilewich designs and utilizes custom machines and hand work to produce its millions of placemats, coasters, table runners, flooring and more each year.

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Designtex
Designtex is a leading company in the design and manufacturing of applied materials for the built environment with over 8,000 materials offered in its evolving catalog. A recognized innovator, Designtex is known for its rigorous and dedicated approach to research and development of textiles and wallcoverings with reduced environmental impact. Their ongoing efforts toward greater sustainability inform every product in they produce and is the reason why they try to source as much as possible from American mills.

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Flavor Paper
Brooklyn-based Flavor Paper recently launched a diverse array of designs created with their cutting edge digital printing and hand-screening techniques, including striking new collaborations with artists and designers like Jon Burgerman, Judith Supine, and additions to the Andy Warhol collection. Flavor Paper’s latest innovation, Conduct, just won the NYCxDesign award in the technology category. Conduct is a conductive wallpaper, in collaboration with UM Project, where conductive ink is used to create an interactive experience. It encourages visitors to become active participants in the world of wallpaper, coming alive with sound, light and motion when individuals touch key points on the screen printed conductive ink tiles.

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Landscape Forms
For more than 48 years, Landscape Forms has produced site furnishings that help designers achieve beautiful, functional environments that enhance the experience of outdoor space. The portfolio includes a wide range of elements from seating, shelters and signage, to bike racks and bollards, litters and LED lights. Landscape Forms’ headquarters and primary manufacturing facility are located in Kalamazoo, Michigan with two satellite facilities nearby.

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Lukas Lighting + FLOS
The iconic Italian lighting manufacturer FLOS, recently acquired New York-based Lukas Lighting to lead its US custom, architectural projects. Lukas Lighting specializes in American-made and custom designed lighting solutions and works closely with FLOS USA to incorporate all three divisions – FLOS Decorative, FLOS Architectural, and FLOS Custom – along with great, local service into projects across North America.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of July! For a full list of bde’s clients, click here.

bde Social Byte: Social Platforms Make Waves

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It’s summertime, but the living isn’t easy for the social media giants. Platforms are going full steam ahead, launching several capabilities.

Trends we’ve spotted throughout the first half of 2017 continue to gain momentum. A few standouts: transparency (between brands and consumers as well as from social networks to advertisers); social and digital video (beyond the brand side, platforms are now dappling with unique programming); and location-based marketing (social media’s impact IRL is a major discussion for the key players).

Read on as we dive in to the latest social and digital news.

FACEBOOK RIDES THE VIDEO TIDE INTO ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING

 Facebook is trying to steal a slice of the scripted original progamming-pie. But so is everyone else – Apple has hired two Sony execs, Snapchat made a $100 million deal with Time Warner for original shows and the popular teen app Musical.ly is launching a short form video series thanks to partnerships with Viacom, NBCU and Hearst. YouTube is ramping up its scripted programming offerings as well, with ad-free original content on YouTube Red reaching nearly 250 million views.

Will Facebook come out on top? Some publishers doubt Facebook’s commitment, but only time will tell. Facebook’s major advantage is its community – the social network’s 2 billion monthly users are a gold mine of actionable insights and interests.

The fast-rising popularity of livestreaming and social and digital video is certainly worth consideration for brands’ marketing budgets. Moreover, a new study indicates that 64% of consumers have made a purchase after watching a marketing video on Facebook. We recommend brands use video as an awareness and storytelling tool, but also examine how video can facilitate purchases using Facebook’s new resources.

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INSTAGRAM ROCKS THE BOAT WITH STORIES

The tide started turning against Snapchat with the launch of Instagram Stories earlier this year, and Instagram is showing no signs of slowing down. The app is testing a tag for identifying branded content and sponsored Stories – if brands confirm the sponsorship, a small tag will appear labeling the post. Advertisers using the tags will be able to track how these sponsored posts and Stories perform, and the label should increase transparency for consumers.

There is a new option to replay Instagram live streams and add them to the Story, along with new direct response options within Stories (Shop Now, Sign Up etc). These various call-to-actions could have huge implications for social commerce, making it easier for people to purchase on the spot.

Beyond Story features, users can now archive posts rather than deleting permanently, and ads on the platform can now click directly to Messenger (great for brands using chatbots). Instagram is also experimenting with a way to share posts and stories with a select group of “favorites.”

Luxury brands, take note – Stories are an excellent way to show behind the scenes content, drive website traffic and now, promote sales. New research shows that posting on weekends is valuable to lift engagement, so aligning weekend posts with engaging Stories is a winning combination.

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SNAP INC NEEDS ALL HANDS ON DECK

The once-ethereal newcomer with an exceptional IPO is struggling. Is Snap Inc. a whimsical messaging app, a camera company or a full-fledged media brand?  Downloads dropped in Q2, with daily user growth slowing as well. The partnership with Time Warner is Snap’s flotation device, and the company’s commitment to original programming may in fact be its lifesaver: a new report indicates that Snap’s original shows are seeing a boost in viewership.

Snap is also opening up the advertising floodgates in an effort to stay current, with updates like Snap Publisher set to roll out in July, a self-serve Ad Manager and a new partner program.

Location-based marketing efforts may be another solution. Snap acquired social mapping start up Zenly and location-analytics platform Placed, and launched Snap Maps to mark Stories by location. Competition is fierce, but Snapchat isn’t going anywhere just yet – McDonalds plans to hire employees this summer via the app (watch out, LinkedIn) and Snap made a splash at Cannes with a branded Ferris wheel.

To remain a standout success, Snap has to keep innovating and outperforming its competitors. Even Skype has joined the ranks, launching disappearing photos as well as emojis and gifs via chat. Our recommendation: luxury brands should focus on Instagram Stories for the strong user base and commerce capabilities, but keep Snapchat on the radar – especially with its ramped-up location marketing.

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PINTEREST SETS SAIL FOR VISUAL SEARCH, WHILE TWITTER JUST KEEPS SWIMMING

Pinterest has been distancing itself from the other social media platforms this year, focusing on being a search and discovery platform. An updated camera search lens helps Pinterest bridge the gap to the real world, along with offline attribution efforts and the launch of its first ad campaign.

Why is this important? Pinterest is banking on its Lens technology as a primary differentiator, a tool in beta that surfaces related visual search results when users take photos of items around them. The company raised an additional $150 million in capital.

Meanwhile, Twitter launched a major redesign of the app. Their ad outlook has improved, and the company is rolling out buttons for brands to add to direct messages that can post pre-written tweets or direct people to the website. A Happening Now tool that showcases popular events at the time they’re occurring is also in test phase.

A question we’ve asked in the past remains: are these updates enough? Twitter is still the most important social platform for world leaders, but it’s just not generating as much buzz as the other social heavyweights.

What are your thoughts on if all of these social updates will sink or swim? Let us know at @bdebytes!

bde’s Guide to Summer in NYC

 

Summer has arrived in NYC! We’re looking forward to dining al fresco and exploring the outdoors all summer long. As we celebrate 21 years in business based in New York, we’ve put together our top 21 recommendations for enjoying summer in the city.

 

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1. Catch a movie under the stars.

We recommend Dirty Dancing at Bryant Park, Casablanca at Brooklyn Bridge Park and American Beauty at Yotel through Rooftop Cinema ClubRooftop Films has several venues around the city, and there are also screenings at Hotel Hugo, Dobbin St in Williamsburg and Oculus Plaza. Check out Gothamist for a comprehensive list.

 

2. Beat the heat in museums and art galleries.

The Met hosts two must-see exhibitions this summer: Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons and Irving Penn: Centennial. Go on a sunny day to enjoy cocktails and city views at the Met Roof Garden alongside Adrián Villar Rojas’ unique plater-cast Theater of Disappearance.

 

Make a day exploring the Upper East Side by checking out the Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s at the Cooper Hewitt, Diane Arbus: in the Park at the Lévy Gorvy Gallery and Charlemagne Palestine’s Bear Mitzvah in Meshugahland at the Jewish Museum. One last stop: Park Avenue Armory to see Hansel and Gretel, an installation exploring the meaning of public space by award-winning architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, and artist/activist Ai Weiwei.

 

Our midtown picks: Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in an American Counterculture at the Museum of Arts & Design, Louise Lawler: WHY PICTURES NOW and Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive at the MOMA.

 

Downtown & outside Manhattan: Calder Hypermobility at the Whitney Museum (while you’re there, stop by Untitled for dinner and the Studio Cafe for a drink and sweeping views), Felix Gonzalez Torres at the David Zwirner Gallery, Georgia O’ Keeffe: Living Modern at the Brooklyn Museum and Marinella Senatore at the Queens Museum.

 

3. Enjoy a summer festival.

The essentials: the NYC Pride Parade on June 25th, Bastille Day festivities on July 9th and Summer Streets on 3 Saturdays in August, when the city closes traffic on nearly 7 miles of NYC streets to make way for summer fun.

 

The 27th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Queens is a unique option on August 12th & 13th, featuring boat races, parades and cultural programming. For those seeking a culinary experience: sample diverse cuisines at Taste the World at Grand Bazaar on June 25th. For a boozy event: check out the NYC Craft Beer Festival on June 24th, the New York Wine and Sweets Festival on July 22nd & 23rd and the Margarita March on August 19th & 20th.

 

4. Escape the city with a weekend getaway or a quick day trip.

A weekend in Fire Island (go to Maguire’s Restaurant on Ocean Beach) or the Berkshires (visit Mass Moca, the contemporary art museum doubling in size this summer) is the perfect warm-weather respite. For a shorter excursion, visit the Storm King Art Center in upstate New York or head to the beach at Coney Island. The famous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is an entertaining sight for those in town on the 4th of July.

 

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The patio at Uva

 

5. Sip & dine al fresco.

While the outdoor dining options are endless, here’s a select few that we’ll be frequenting: Brooklyn Crab, Island Oyster (from the team behind Grand Banks) to open on Governor’s Island, Uva on the Upper East Side (charming & intimate garden patio in the back) and Revel in the Meatpacking District (expansive patio & bar).

 

Summer food fairs: Pop Up New York hosts fairs in Brooklyn, Midtown, the Upper East Side and Tribeca throughout the summer. Broadway Bites runs through July 14th (try Ice & Vice ice cream & Melt Kraft grilled cheese). Smorgasburg is a quintessential favorite, but try the Queens International Night Market to change things up.

 

A picnic in the park is always a good idea – reserve a customized picnic package with Pappardella. While the Dekalb Market food hall is not outdoors, it’s new and noteworthy this summer. Dekalb Market is slated to be one of the largest food halls in the country, and it has the first expansion of the famous Katz’s Deli.

 

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View from the Pier A Harbor House

 

6. Spend an afternoon or evening on the water.

The Frying Pan and Boat Basin are popular spots, but we recommend Grand Banks for a classier feel and Brooklyn Barge for a fresh scene. Sail the waters with a Circle Line Boat Cruise or a night on the Honorable William Wall. Pier A Harbor House is another great option for waterfront views.

 

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 Gallow Green Rooftop

 

7. Make the most of rooftop season.

Take advantage of the extended sunshine hours at Rooftop Reds at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (an incredible rooftop vineyard – go for a tour or a tasting), or the rooftop at the new 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. The Arlo Nomad features a glass-bottomed floor, while the Arlo Soho brings the beach to the roof with its Surf Shack pop up. Ian Schrager’s new Public Hotel in the Lower East Side also has a rooftop worth a visit, and the oasis-like Gallow Green at the McKittrick Hotel is a seasonal favorite (the views are better elsewhere, but the garden ambiance makes it memorable).

 

8. Go to a concert or performance outdoors.

Parks across the city host the New York Philharmonic and the Met Opera Summer Recital Series. Shakespeare in the Park (next up: A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Summerstage concerts occur throughout the summer (we recommend Regina Spektor on July 27th). For even more culture as the summer winds down: Lincoln Center Out of Doors begins July 26th.

 

9. Be a kid again & visit the city carousels.

Visit the Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park, Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Central Park Carousel. Walk along the west side and stop at Pier 25 for Miniature Golf as you check out the Hudson River Park Carousel as well. Find a full list of city carousels here.

 

10. Head to a performance on a rainy day.

The American Ballet Theatre presents Whipped Cream through July 1st at Lincoln Center. Or check out Present Laughter starring Kevin Kline, a classic comedy closing July 2nd.

 

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 Ice cream at the Magnum Pop Up

 

11. Celebrate National Ice Cream Day on July 16th.

Get creative with your toppings at the Magnum Pop Up in the Meatpacking District, take an ice cream making class at Ample Hills Creamery (and test their June pride month flavor: Baby I Was Churned This Way), or taste the classic Van Leeuwen flavors.

 

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 Yoga in Bryant Park

 

12. Embrace athletics.

Cheer on the Mets at Citi Field and the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, or swing by the US Open. Rooftop yoga at the James Hotel offers a serene morning experience, while Bryant Park has free yoga on Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings.

 

13. Relax with a poolside retreat.

The William Vale pool opens to the public this summer, or buy a day pass for the McCarren Hotel pool for a refreshing dip.

 

14. Cultivate creativity with a class.

The Sycamore Bar & Flower Shop in Brooklyn offers Art in the Bar classes, with workshops including watercolors and printmaking. Or take a candle making workshop with Keap Candles (shop their sustainable candle collection now at Canal Street Market!).

 

15. Attend a talk or panel discussion.

The Strand presents Why Picasso, Calder, and Other Contemporary Artists Found a Home in the Theater on July 7th, and hosts writer and wine connoisseur Marissa Ross for a talk and tasting on June 28th – she’ll be speaking about her new book on wine culture. The Guggenheim features An Evening with Anicka Yi, a collaborative discussion that elaborates on Yi’s current exhibition: The Hugo Boss Prize 2016: Anicka Yi, Life Is Cheap. Retail concept store STORY in Chelsea also has regular programming – check their website for a new theme and events coming in August.

 

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 CHIHULY at NYBG

 

16. Discover the gems inside NYC gardens.

CHIHULY at the New York Botanical Garden is an absolute must. Go for CHIHULY Nights to enjoy the artwork along with entertainment, shopping and themed cocktails. There are also several quiet retreats hidden among busy streets: Jefferson Market Garden, Elizabeth Street Garden, the garden at St. Luke in the Fields and Abingdon Square Park.

 

17. Check out all that the city parks have to offer.

Stargaze on the High Line on Tuesday nights, and see the symbolic goats at Socrates Sculpture Park and Anish Kapoor’s mesmerizing Descension installation at Brooklyn Bridge Park. SWALE is also located at Brooklyn Bridge Park until June 30th – a “public floating food forest” atop a barge where visitors can harvest herbs, fruits and vegetables free of charge. Prospect Park and Battery Park have events nearly every day – we recommend the Prospect Park Soiree.

 

18. Shop for unique gifts.

Visit Monica Castiglioni Jewelry in Brooklyn for internationally acclaimed designs, and head to the New York Design Center for “The Gallery After Dark” for extended shopping hours and special events. New WantedDesign stores in the Seaport District are worth checking out, as is Brooklyn Flea in Dumbo.

 

19. Play tourist.

Our favorites: Wine making at City Winery, a building or food tour of the Lower East Side through the Tenement Museum, the Bushwick Collective tour with Free Tours By Foot and a tour of New York Art Deco architecture with Untapped Cities.

 

20. Stroll the streets.

Walk along Bank Street and Perry Street in Greenwich Village for a picturesque city feel, and capture Manhattanhenge July 12th and 13th on 14th Street. The New York Times has a full guide for taking the best Manhattanhenge sunset shot.

 

21. Find a hidden speakeasy.

La Esquina (reservations recommended) in SoHo and The Mulberry Project (tiny, art-filled patio with summery cocktails) in Little Italy are two of our top recommendations. Try a weekday cocktail crawl to beat the traditional weekend crowds.

 

What are your favorite summer activities in NYC? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @bdebytes!