NEWS

June 24, 2014

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JOURNAL ›


Thank you Nike

I'm turning 31 in a couple of weeks. Health wise, the only thing that gets easier as you get older is getting out of shape.

I marveled at how effortless it was to lose 60lbs in my early 20s. Now it's a slow grind to lose more than 1lb a week without sacrificing strength. 

I've been training consistently for the past 10 weeks now. A regimen that is mostly olympic weightlifting with cardio thrown in the mix.

Now that it's no longer painfully cold in New York, I can get my cardio in outside. I admit I'm going to miss out on the only time I can actually watch Food Network, but nothing is more depressing than running in one place like a damn hamster. 

I used an online guide to help you find the best running shoes for your foot/running type. Having been tested before, so I knew I how my feet land. 

Of course, they would recommend the ugliest shoes known to man. (Note to Brooks and Asics, why so much silver/gray? Get your shit together.)

I decide to just hop over to the Nike Running store in NYC to alleviate my design pangs. I picked up the new Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31, and suckered myself into getting the Nike x TomTom GPS watch to track my outdoor runs.

Thank you Nike for not sucking. 

If you're a Nike+ user, feel free to add me by searching peter@leonnyc.com

June 23, 2014

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ART ›


Missed Masterpiece

Harkonnen's Castle design by H.R. Giger for Jodorowsky's Dune. 1975

Let me tell you about a movie from 1975. The lead is David Carradine (from Kung Fu, but more recently Bill from Kill Bill), it co-stars Salvador Dalí, Mick Jagger and Orson Wells.

The sets and character design by H.R. Giger (of Alien fame) and Jean “Mœbius” Giraud (of Alien, Willow, Tron, The Abyss and Fifth Element), Special Effects by Dan O’Bannon (who worked on Star Wars and wrote the original Alien).

All to the music of Pink Floyd.

You are probably asking yourself how is this even real.

Well, almost.

The above film is what could have been Chilean-French director Alejandro Jodorowsky's version of Dune, which was famously canned by all film studios for how outrageously epic it was.

I had heard whispers of a fantastical pitch to Dune for a while, but never really looked into it. While deciding to re-watch David Lynch’s famously terrible adaptation of Dune, I came across the documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune”.

It is a classic battle of visionary artist and the "industry". Even if you are not a creative, you will get a contact high from the enthusiasm Jodorowsky emits as he tells you his vision for Dune. It's a heartbreaking tale, but one that isn't unique to artist. The pain of unrealized dreams. 

Even though I just told you what the whole documentary is about, nothing will really prepare you for how mind blowing the story is as told by the people that lived it.

You need to watch it 
June 19, 2014

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JOURNAL › SKETCHBOOK ›


New Sketchbook

Mr. Marco Pierre White in his younger, much more serious days. 

June 12, 2014

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JOURNAL ›


New York is Not For Dreamers


Patch by BrryBnds

 

I'm nearing my 10th year in New York.

And every year it seems I come across a new article, a new think piece, a new farewell letter to New York.

It's too expensive. It's too saturated. It's not what it used to be.

It's all true. It's all untrue.

Singer, Artist, Poet Patti Smith was asked in an interview once if a young artist could move to New York now and find the path to stardom like she did. Her response:

"New York has closed itself off to the young and the struggling. But there are other cities. Detroit. Poughkeepsie. New York City has been taken away from you. So my advice is: Find a new city."  

Patti Smith is right. Artist can’t move to New York now to make it like she did. Even if you were a young artist in the time of Patti Smith, following her exact steps, you STILL wouldn’t have a career like hers.

The artists of today have far more tools at their disposal. We are connected in ways that even the biggest dreamers of New York’s past could have never imagined. Last month, I sold to customers in Denmark, Zurich, Australia, Korea, Dublin, Canada and of course, all over the United States. I walked across the street to my local office supply shop for boxes, weighed, packaged and shipped orders from my apartment.

Last week, I took myself through an Adobe illustrator and Photography course on lynda.com, using my Adobe Creative Cloud version of Illustrator that I share with my girlfriend. At a total of $60.00, it's almost half the cost of a single textbook I bought while at design school. (And about 100 times more effective)

I’m surrounded by amazingly talented artists who took their careers and lives into their own hands. They make beautiful map quilts and kites. They design tables and shower curtains. They’re photographers. Writers. Bloggers. They create the most beautiful graphic imagery I've ever seen.

They chose themselves. They’ve sacrificed.

We all have unsafe neighborhood stories, coupled with sharing apartments with what seems like a highly illegal amount of roommates. We moonlit as bartenders and survived on an unhealthy amount of halal cart meat. 

I’ve done my fair share of paycheck work. (Sorry for designing those beloved leather sweatpants that were so hot a few years ago) I’ve Ebayed 75% of my possessions to fund my business. I wore the same outfit for months, my pants ripped so bad that my girlfriend came home one day with a bag of new clothes from Uniqlo out of pity.

New York IS a place for artist.

Not the ones that expects a certain type of career because of the romantic stories they’ve read, cloaked in nostalgia of a New York that didn’t even exist then. But the ones who decide to work and sacrifice for it.

New York is not for dreamers. New York is for workers.

May 30, 2014

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JOURNAL ›


What You're Not > What You Are

 

On my way home today, I passed by a beautiful Japanese restaurant that opened in my neighborhood of Park Slope last fall.

They had a sign out front, highlighting specials. On display, a fusion lunch box, where you can choose from generic Chinese, Thai and Japanese entrees to slop together.

Remember when I described it as a Japanese restaurant?

Just last week my girlfriend and I were discussing trying this place out. And now I'm backpedaling this idea.

"All the graduates speak of the internet as equal parts friend and foe. “It’s such a great tool, but it can be crippling,” Henry says. “Knowing every collection on style.com can turn you off an idea, and the volume at which you can find things makes me feel as though I absorb less.” Inspiration has become ubiquitous, according to Power: “Research has become relatively easy. You can just type in what you’re looking for and find it in an instant. The hardest thing now is the edit.” - Drew Henry, Designer

As I begin to work on the next collection of designs, I find myself fighting the input stream. Tumblr. Pinterest. Fashion News Blogs. I've banned myself from them.

Not in an attempt to be original, (which I don't think truly exists. Read Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist if you haven't yet), but to prevent myself from being pushed into the wrong direction by the never-ending orgy of beautiful images.

Remember when every rapper had an autotune song? Seeing brands putting jersey numbers on everything, churning out leather sweatpants and gothic art t-shirts? I would put good money on many of these artists were hopping on these paths out of panic. Panic that they aren't sure who they are and where they should go. Panic of being left behind.

You become a beautiful looking Japanese restaurant trying to compete with the Chinese and Thai restaurants that surround you by cooking their food. (Despite the fact that being a Japanese restaurant was how you were standing out.)

Defining yourself is often a matter of defining what you're not.

The edit.

April 07, 2014

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St. Vincent covers Nirvana's Lithium

Thanks to Laurel for sharing this.
April 04, 2014

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NEW PRODUCTS ›


TBO City Leather Jacket

The TBO City Jacket is the jacket I always wanted to make for myself. 

Constructed of lightweight, buttery soft italian lambskin leather, the jacket features 5 pockets total. Two hidden side seam pockets reinforced with leather facing, along with two chest pockets and one inner lining pocket.

Heavy duty 2-way RiRi zippers front closure with a snap front zipper placket. Matching front cuff RiRi zippers. Combination lining of cotton twill and a silk charmeuse sleeves lets your arm slip into the jacket with ease.



Japanese grosgrain straps allow you to carry the jacket like a backpack. The precise cut of the inside of the jacket and straps allow them to remain invisible in silhouette and feel when not in use.

It seems like I was a bit overindulgent when it came to the creation of this jacket, but this is what LÉON has been about since I began focusing on leather apparel in 2013. To make what I want, without compromise. 

The TBO City Jacket is available now on in a full range of size, made to order on the shop.

All LÉON jackets come with a lifetime discounted reconditioning, repair and relining servicing through a 70-year old New York leather repair service.

March 12, 2014

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JOURNAL ›


My Everyday Carry

My friend Bernard runs a great site called Everyday Carry, where people share the things they carry everyday (as the name implies).

I've been wanting share mine for a while but only recently got a chance to take a photo during a studio break. When you get the time check out his site, I just warn you it you can easily find yourself losing an hour or two scrolling through people's posts.

Here's a breakdown of my goods.

- Unreleased LÉON Linen Bag with Ann Demeulemeester Beetle Brooch
- Cottonwood Arts D1 Sketchbook (for larger design sketches)
- Black Moleskine Sketchbook 5 x 8.25" (for leather designs)
- Red Moleskine Ruled Notebook 5 x 8.25" (daily planner)
- Midori Brass Pencil Case
- Bic Brite Liner Highlighter (for notes)
- Pilot G-2 07 Black Pen (writing and sketching over Col-Erase sketches)
- Muji 07 Red Gel Pen
- Prismacolor Col-Erase Light Blue Pencil (to rough out designs)
- Dahle Canister Pencil Sharpener
- C-Thru 6" Grid Ruler
- Pickett No. 12001 Circle Inking Template
- Lens Cloth
- Corter Black Bottlehook keychain, keys, Hotel San Jose hotel tag
- Silent Whisper Co. Card Wallet, Simple Bank Card
- Self Edge Silver Feather Bracelet
- Seiko SNF672 Dress "Tank" watch
- Square credit card payment reader
- Hair ties
- Iphone 4
- Sony MDR-ZX100 Headphones
- Panasonic Lumix GF1 with DSPTCH Strap

March 05, 2014

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ART ›


The Art of Sign Painting with Nicolai Sclater aka Ornamental Conifer


This is one of those videos that makes me want to change professions. At the very least, run out, get some paint and try my hand at some glass lettering. I love seeing other makers who still create with their hands in a focused, slow pace. 
February 26, 2014

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STUDIO ›


Blueprints

photo by Shilo Byrd

 

After almost a year from the initial scribble in my sketchbook, to 1st version to tweaking adjustments, our first men's jacket is complete and off to the factory to be sampled.