News from you 3/1/08

Wow, it’s been a month since I last published News From You! In my defense, February is just a tad busy around here with heavy posting from Magic and all. In spite of my lapses, I do appreciate your tips. Without further overblown, flowery, unnecessary preamble, here’s the latest edition of News From You; an eclection of news, the weird, the arcane and the downright useless of interest to F-I infovores. Send your submissions to News From You.

February 11th is National Inventor’s Day. {Via}

Congress has designated February 11th (the anniversary of the birth of the inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who had over 1,000 patents) as “National Inventor’s Day.” …One common “inventor” misconception is that Edison was the most prolific American inventor. He wasn’t. That title goes to Donald Weder of Highland, IL… What exactly does Mr. Weder have patents on? Basically everything you get from your florist that isn’t grown from a seed (for instance, the pleated foil wrapper the pot of flowers is placed in).

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Danielle sends word that Canadian designer Linda Lundström, will be closing her doors. How sad.

She also mentions that Peter Nygard has closed his remaining Winnipeg factory. A spokesman says the closure is due to a shortage of fabric; that the goods needed for their signature product (“Feathertouch” pants) is no longer manufactured in the North America. A secondary reason cites the increasing strength of the Canadian dollar which breached parity with the US dollar several months prior. Danielle says her grandmother worked there as a sample maker in the 1970s.
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There’s a new website guaranteed to inspire guffaws and offense: Stuff White People Like. NPR says:

What do expensive sandwiches, co-ed sports, public radio and recycling have in common? According to blogger Christian Lander, they all fall under the category of “Stuff White People Like.” Just over a month old, the controversial and provocative blog has almost 4 million hits. Lander says he started the blog as pure satire and was surprised to see it take off as quickly as it did. Critics charge that the list is racist, stereotypical, and conflates race with economic status. But Lander maintains that the blog is in the spirit of good, provocative fun: “Irony” is #50 on the list, “Having Black Friends” is #14, and Lander — who says almost everything he does is listed — plans to add “Self-Importance” soon.

NPR is # 44. Christian says he was surprised that out of all possible CA locations, the radio station didn’t have a bike rack.


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Now for some good news. It would seem that the reins of fashion incubating in Chicago is slowly being wrested from “entrenched interests”. Many have disparaged the state of the industry in Chicago for quite some time, describing it as a personal fiefdom of one unnamed party so this is exciting news. Now, Stephanie Niedospial is the Fashion Program Manager of the Stitches Fashion Program, in partnership with Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and the city of Chicago. The Stitches program also has a blog called Style Expose. If you’re in the area, get connected. Futher exciting developments are anticipated.
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The winners of the Levi’s 501 Runway Challenge have been announced. My first pick (“sharpietattoo”) took second place.
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A tenement lined bargain district in New York is becoming an American Savile Row.

In the last three years, the Lower East Side and the area just west of it, known as Nolita, or North of Little Italy, have become the unlikely epicenter of the city’s resurgent custom clothing market. Between Houston and Spring streets to the north and south and Mott and Chrystie streets to the west and east, there are at least five men’s shops whose centerpiece is their custom clothing programs. They are Seize sur Vingt, the first clothier to open in the neighborhood, Lord Willy’s, SEW, Freemans Sporting Club and Duncan Quinn.

But the owners of the new custom shops are not tailors. Many didn’t even have retail experience—Taavo Somer, co-owner of Freeman’s; Mantegna of Michael Andrews and Duncan Quinn included—before opening their shops, let alone sewing skills. But to them, craftsmanship, while key, is no more crucial than point of view, specifically, their vision for the customer. “Any idiot can run a tape measurer around you,” says Quinn, “but that doesn’t mean it’s going to look good.”

Subsequent blurbs are worse. American-style marketing to the rescue! >cough<

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