Posts filed under 'Features'

Designer Profile: Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung of Poketo

Poketo Suit Totes

Who says that art isn’t wearable? LA-based design studio Poketo is bringing art into the everyday with innovative, limited-edition accessories and lifestyle goods, like the recycled suit totes pictured above. Find out more about how Poketo was founded (including the story behind the brand’s name), what’s up next for Poketo, and how founders Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung kick back in their free time.

Describe Poketo, Twitter style.
Poketo is an LA-based design studio that creates limited edition artist-lifestyle goods based on the idea of "art for your everyday."

When was Poketo founded?  
Poketo was founded by us, Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, in 2003.

What’s the story behind the launch?
As a part of the San Francisco art community I (Ted) was a filmmaker and Angie, was a graphic designer.  We were always curating shows for artist friends. The shows were a lot of fun and brought tons of people together. But we noticed a problem. No one could afford to buy the art displayed. For this reason, we came up with an affordable solution to satisfy everyone’s art lust.  Poketo, pronounced "poh-keh-toe" got its name through Angie’s grandmother’s mispronunciation of the word, "pocket." And the name stuck. We created limited-edition artist wallets that were accessible and well designed so that no one would be without a piece of art of their own. Wallets were the perfect items to make. Not only were they extremely functional, but they were carried around and exposed to the public everyday. Having a Poketo wallet was like having a traveling art show with you at all times, and it still is today. The first run of wallets were very successful and sold out immediately. So Poketo made more and more. Each time discovering new artists and creating new products until Poketo evolved into what it is today, an innovator in artist-designed lifestyle wares.

Since our company was founded in 2003, Poketo has had the most amazing opportunities, collaborating with not only international artists, but also with companies like Nike, and major art institutions including the SF MoMA and De Young Museum.  We’ve also had the rewarding experience of working with musicians that we’ve been loyal fans of including Arcade Fire, The Shins, Weezer, The Postal Service, and the Coachella Music Festival, as well as as a benefit fundraiser for non-profit institutions as 826LA and 826 National, founded by the writer Dave Eggers. Everyone who appreciates beautiful art should have the right to incorporate it into their lives through affordable design.  With this conviction, Poketo is continuously invigorated to develop ways of making art accessible to all!

Complete the following sentences:

Spring 2010 fashion is about…
Having fun! Vibrant colors! Sunshine! Being green!

Fall 2010 fashion is about…
Being cozy and warm, experimental, being green!

Where can Omiru readers buy Poketo?
Visit our online store at

Fun Fact about Poketo?

We do a mean Karaoke set and are huge foodies!

Last words?

Around Earth Day in April, be on the look out for our newest line of 100% recycled line of bags made from street banners, used leather jackets, couches, and donated clothing!  As the need for ‘green’ becomes a long-lasting trend in everyday living, Poketo is doing its part with these one-of-a-kind artist-designed bags where proceeds go back into the community towards environmental protection, and aiding those in need both domestically and abroad.

We are super stoked to have repurposed something that is both high in quality and part of a larger social mission to make the world a greener, friendlier place to live.

3 comments March 19th, 2010

Designer Profile: Willie Fung and Patricia Poon of Loft604

Loft604 Lightweight Pure Cotton Double Collar Zip Up Shirt

We’ve always been a fan of high quality menswear here at Omiru, and we have a new menswear brand to watch: Willie Fung and Patricia Poon’s Loft604. The Toronto based brand combines butter-soft sustainable fabrics (their bamboo knit is simply divine) with classic-with-a-twist designs. We caught up with Willie and Patricia about how they founded Loft604, their design inspirations, and what’s on deck for Fall 2010.

Describe Loft604, Twitter style.
Toronto based, Loft604 is a menswear brand focusing on sustainable fabrics and sophisticated, urban designs.

When was Loft604 founded?
Loft 604 was founded in June 2009, by me (Willie Fung) and my wife Patricia Poon.

What’s the story behind the launch?

For the past 5 years, while I had worked for a sportswear/loungewear company, Patricia and I had a vision to create the next big thing in men’s fashion.  We’d felt that there is a need for a brand with luxurious fabrics and sophisticated details. But really, comfort is the key to our brand.  It’s important to touch and feel our collection by hand to experience the 100% cashmere that feels like butter. This is Canadian craftsmanship: quality over quantity!

Complete the following sentences:
Spring 2010 fashion is about…
Silk cotton shirts that are lightweight - super soft and cool for the summer.  Colours are also a strong theme this season.

Fall 2010 fashion is about…
Heavy cashmere knits are the thing to wear this Fall.

Where can Omiru readers buy Loft604?
Omiru readers can purchase Loft604 from many retail boutiques located in the cities of Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.

Fun Fact about Loft604?
We love to travel around the world for inspiration from arts and culture. We capture interesting artifacts, landmarks, and historic attractions with our cameras.  We also collect a lot of antique cameras and look for interesting items that can be reused.  

Last words?

We’ve used the Twin Lens Camera as our logo because it is a classic.  We love photography, and we collect a lot of interesting cameras, films, and accessories.  Oh, and the name Loft604 is actually where we live and work - all in one place!

Add comment March 9th, 2010

Designer Spotlight: Topman

The US has Gap, Japan has Uniqlo, Sweden has H&M, and Britain has Topman, the UK-based menswear-only designer that has been gaining more and more publicity in the UK.  Topman is appreciated for its budget-friendly prices, but the clothes aren’t half bad either.  But best of all, Topman is coming to the United States this Fall.  

In the meantime, you can purchase Topman clothes online and have them shipped to the US.  Here’s our six favorite pieces from Topman’s UK Fall 2008 collection:

Knitted Grey Toggle Cardigan
Knitted Grey Toggle Cardigan | $75 (approx) at Topman

Chunky cardigans are in this fall and this is your chance to get a great one.  I love the texture and the toggle detail.  Plus, it’s machine washable, unlike most sweaters.

Orange Check Scarf
Orange Check Scarf | $19 (approx) at Topman

Perfect for when the leaves change, this scarf adds an instant burst of color to any outfit.  Wear it when the rest of your outfit is muted to make it really stand out.  

Navy Blue Skinny Tie
Navy Blue Skinny Tie | $19 (approx) at Topman

Maybe I’ve been watching too many Mad Men reruns, but I am all about monochromatic outfits this year.  This tie is simple and stylish – although, at 3.5 cm, not “skinny,” as the site labels it. One of my favorite ways to wear a solid navy tie is with a medium gray suit and a simple windowpane shirt.

Style tip: For all things ties, be sure to check out Tie Crafters.  They specialize in cleaning ties and can narrow, widen, shorten, elongate, reline and even retip your ties.  They are based out of New York, so unless you live there, you will have to mail your tie to them.  But it’s worth it.  Neiman Marcus in Palo Alto, CA, charges $112 to narrow a tie, but Tie Crafters sets you back just $17.  Not bad.

Brown Hudson Leather Brogues
Brown Hudson Leather Brogues | $140 (approx) at Topman

Topman seems to favor selling “distressed” (or in their words, “creased”) shoes.  I prefer to buy a clean pair and distress them myself through wear.  I love loafers and lace ups that are really worn in.  

Grey Check 5 Button Waistcoat
Grey Check 5 Button Waistcoat | $56 (approx) at Topman

I think waistcoats should be worn more often.  Waistcoasts aren’t just for bankers wearing three piece power suits.  I think a great waistcoat can look fantastic with a tie and shirt over jeans.  It’s a great going-out-in-the-city look. If you want some visual inspiration, look no farther than Mr. Simon Spurr, the creator of his eponymous label.  

Grey Dogtooth Skinny Blazer
Grey Dogtooth Skinny Blazer | $104 (approx) at Topman

A one button blazer is about as rakish a blazer as you will find.  I like the grey “dogtooth” (I don’t know what that is either; I’m assuming they mean houndstooth) detail; it gives it character from afar and is a cool little detail up close.  Most of all, I love the look of a slim lapel, which this piece surely has.

5 comments August 27th, 2008

Fashion Emergency? Five Stylist Tricks of the Trade

Got a fashion emergency?  Never fear.  Be like a boy scout and Be Prepared with these five tricks of the trade:

Lint Roller
3M Lint Rollers
Lint Rollers (6pc) | $19.99 at Target

Have a furry pet?  A linty sweater?  Don’t be afraid.  Hug your pet, and wear your linty sweater.  Just brush yourself off with a lint roller afterwards.  There are both sticky sheet varieties and non-adhesive ones, but I find that the adhesives work more effectively.

Stain Remover Stick
Tide To Go Stain Remover Pen
Tide To Go Stain Remover Pen | $6.99 for 3 at

I don’t know about you, but I’m a spiller.  Sauces, drinks, errant food items.  To keep my clothes clean, I have to be vigilant about stain removal.  For tough stains, I use a stain stick (which fits conveniently in a small handbag).

Fabric Steamer
Conair Compact Fabric Steamer
Conair Compact Fabric Steamer | $29.99 at Target

Especially useful if you want to revive a sweater that’s been sitting in your oversized handbag–or a blouse that’s gotten crumpled.  A steamer is easier on your clothes than an iron is, and it’s even simpler to use.  If you’re sans-steamer (e.g. on vacation), try hanging your clothes in the bathroom and run the shower on the highest heat.  It’s not as effective as a real steamer, but it works in a pinch.

Safety Pins
Singer Safety Pins
Singer Safety Pins | $2.19 at Walgreens

Have a small rip?  A button that falls off?  You don’t need a mini sewing kit (though props to you if you have one).  Simply use a safety pin or two to pin your clothes back together.  I keep safety ins in different colors (black, matte silver, and white) so I can choose the pin that best blends with my clothes.

Double Stick Tape
Scotch Double Stick Tape
Scotch Double Stick Tape | $1.64 at Amazon

Did your hem fall down?  You don’t have to bother with pinning it.  Double stick tape will do in a bind.  Just remember to splurge on extra sticky tape–and to get your hem sewn back up afterwards.

What’s your best fashion emergency tip?
  Share it with us in the comments!

9 comments August 8th, 2008

Mens Figure Flattery Guide: Tall

Q:  I have been dressing my 6′10" husband for 11 years and am at a loss as to what he can wear!  Can you help me dress this tall man? I see NBA players wearing designer duds, but darned if I can find anything to fit my basketball player. 

Tom Brady

A: Fear not; tall men have plenty of wardrobe options. Like with the “plump” men question before, dressing a tall man is just a matter of proportion and emphasis.  Oh, and NBA players may wear designer clothing, but that doesn’t mean they are dressed well.  If you want to take your style cues from a pro, follow in the 6’4” Tom Brady’s footsteps. 


Avoid suits with more than three buttons.  I’ll go crazy if I see another 4 or 5 button suit on an athlete.  The answer to the extra long torso is not more buttons; it’s a higher cut lapel.  A two button suit on a tall man can look great if the lapel is cut higher to compensate.  Also, don’t get a suit with a lot of padding in the shoulders.  They aren’t shoulder pads, and you’re not an NFL linebacker. 
As for sleeves, keep the amount of cuff you show to a minimum, but still show a sliver.

Widen your thin torso with your shirts.  Look for lighter colors.  Dark colors narrow your silhouette; light colors widen it.  Wear diagonal or horizontal stripes (but don’t go crazy), wear a pocket square with a jacket or blazer and wear your belt (not wearing a belt is stylish and a good tip for shorter men, but tall men need the width) regardless of the kind of pants you have on.

Make sure your pants are well fitted, not too skinny, not too loose.  DO NOT wear baggy slacks—they’re unflatttering.  And have a generous break on your pants, allowing the pants to hit your shoes. For more casual wear, these tips also apply.  Like with the slacks, have a generous break on chinos and jeans.  And don’t get skinny fit jeans; get a pair of straight leg jeans.

Look for normal or slightly slim ties, under 3.5” at the widest point.  Don’t wear extra-slim ties; tall men usually have long, thin torsos and you want to widen your torso with a wider tie.  Also, you may find that the short end of your tie doesn’t quite reach the loop (the part on the back of the tie that holds the short end in place).  If that’s the case, simply ask your tailor to resew the loop higher. It’s fairly easy and should be cheap to do. 

Can’t find the perfect fit? Get a tailor.
Find a great tailor and let him work.  Fit may be a problem for tall guys.  An extra-large shirt fits nicely in the torso, but it’s too wide in the shoulder.  A large shirt fits better in the shoulder, but then you get screwed on the torso.  The answer?  Buy the shirt that fits in the shoulder (this is ALWAYS the correct way to find the right fit for a shirt) and have the tailor take in the sides.

Have a great tip about what to wear to flatter a tall physique?  Share it with us in the comments!

Pictured: Tom Brady, courtesy of  Tom Brady’s Official Website.

6 comments July 30th, 2008

Designer Spotlight: GAP Men

Our first designer spotlight highlighted an up-and-coming designer, Engineered Garments.  This time around, we explore a company that has been around for awhile but has been rejuvenated by new designer.  Patrick Robinson, who has worked at labels ranging from Armani to Target, is turning the GAP around.  The GAP used to be that default store for shirts, chinos, and sweaters.  But the GAP seems to have lost its swagger in recent memory.  Is it back? Time will tell, but if Mr. Robinson keeps producing pieces like these, it just may.  

The GAP Original Khaki
The GAP Original Khaki | $44.50 at Gap

The first thing I notice about these khakis is the great fit.  Mr. Robinson has created garments that fit so much better than they have in recent years.  Slim, but not Ramones-skinny, these khakis are what you want; they’re trim but comfortable.  I like them in “chino cedar.”  And, in fashion right now is a short, soft break, such that the pants lie at the top of your shoe.  It’s a casual look to be sure, so don’t wear it to the office on casual Friday unless your name is Thom Browne.

The Leather Bomber
The Leather Bomber | $298 at Gap

Again, fit, fit fit.  The slim fit is what makes this leather bomber jacket so stylish.  Wear it as they do in Milan: slightly snug with a thin layer underneath.  

Striped Pocket T
Striped Pocket T | $19.50 at Gap

Bold stripes and a pocket. I love it.

Herringbone Blazer
Herringbone Blazer | $88 at Gap

Unstructured blazers are the epitome of that dressy casual realm of style.  This two button navy piece is quite rakish, and I love the shirt it’s paired it with too (which, with its bold horizontal stripes, is very much in fashion right now).  Check out the jacket details too. The herringbone pattern gives it something extra.

Flat Front Shorts
Flat Front Shorts | $24.99 (sale) at Gap

It seems Mr. Robinson’s most noticeable effect so far is the slimmer fit of the clothes.  All the pieces suggested are closer to the body than you may be used to with GAP clothes.  These shorts are no exception.  Slim, cool, above the knee, and in a very summer shade of khaki—just how we like it.

Style Tip: GAP seems to be following in J. Crew and H&M’s footsteps by hiring a high-end designer to create a line for the label at a lower price point.  Unfortunately, none of the Pierre Hardy for GAP boots are available online yet, but be sure to check back for them.  The quality and design of Pierre Hardy at a lower price point is a great value.

3 comments July 23rd, 2008

Designer Spotlight: ToyWatch

Who says watches have to be all gold, diamonds, and leather?  Chicago-based ToyWatch challenges you to think differently; think nylon instead of calf or alligator skin bands, plastic instead of gold or sterling silver cases, and, as is the case with their newest collection, neon-bright colors instead of more subdued offerings.

These Italian-designed watches from designer Marco Mavilla are crafted after high-end watches, but sell at more affordable prices—most watches are in the $200 to $400 range—exactly the kind of steal we love here at Omiru.

The magic of these watches is that they resemble high-end luxury watches, but you never get the feeling that they are just cheap knock-offs.  Jazz is to music as ToyWatch is to watches.  Like jazz artists, who take already written pieces and employ tropes to make the music their own, ToyWatch takes classic timepieces and uses new and interesting materials and design elements to make them unique.

Mr. Mavilla designed his first ToyWatch in 2006, and just two years later, they have caught fire, especially among L.A. celebrities.  It could very well be that ToyWatch will be the next Swatch.

Brown Sports Watch
Brown Sports Watch | $255 at Barney’s New York

At first glance, this piece, the result of a collaboration between Men’s Vogue and ToyWatch, looks like an expensive luxury watch.  The band is a grosgrain ribbon, and the subtle rose gold finish on the casing is absolutely perfect.  Subtle and refined, you could wear this piece for almost any occasion and it would look great.  I love this watch.  Limited to 200 units; a steal at $255.

Toy Watch Crystal Watch Rolex Oyster
Crystal Watch | $175 at ToyWatch (left) and Rolex Perpetual Submariner from GQ (right).

This is the quintessential ToyWatch.  The case and bracelet are both made of a clear acrylic.  And at 38mm, the size is just right.  And, while it is not explicitly stated anywhere, this piece was modeled after the classic Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner; just look at the resemblance!

Ceramic Watch and Chanel J12
Ceramic Watch | $950 at ToyWatch (left) and Chanel J12 from TimeZone (right).

A piece from ToyWatch’s high-end line, this watch is just beautiful.  The entire thing is ceramic, which gives it a sleek, modern look.  Best of all is its durability: it’s virtually scratchproof. It reminds me of the Chanel J12.

Strong Watch and Panerai Watch for Ferrari
Strong Watch | $385 at ToyWatch (left) and Panerai Watch for Ferrari | $6400 at GQ (right). 

Featuring a black rubber band with stainless steel buckle and a silver dial and bezel, this bold piece is another stunner.  The shape of the case and face make me think of those beautiful Panerai watches.

Mother of Pearl Chrono and Breitling Navitimer
Mother of Pearl Chrono | $275 at ToyWatch (left) and Breitling Navitimer | $6,425 at Mens Watches Guide (right). 

Nothing says “man watch” like a chunky chronograph.  I like this piece here, with its mother of pearl dial.  It looks similar to a Breitling Navitimer, no?

Style Tip:
ToyWatch’s website has a nice little glossary of watch terms that appear frequently throughout the ToyWatch site.  Remember, the informed buyer always makes a better purchase.

1 comment July 16th, 2008

Figure Flattery Guide: What to Wear to Flatter a Large Bust

How do you best dress to flatter your bustline?  Elongate your upper body, both your torso and your neck, while subtly showing your curves.  You can help balance a large bustline by wearing wide trousers or skirts that flare at the hem.  To tastefully show off your curves while elongating your torso, look for open neck tops, soft styles that drape over your curves, and tops with subtle vertical lines.  Here’s what to look for to flatter your bustline:

Single Button BlazerJackets & Coats

Single breasted styles
Semifitted styles
Styles that button right under the bustline
Jackets without pocket detailing
Single breasted boxy jackets

The boxiness of this single breasted blazer adds to the tailored feel, while the low stance complements a large bust.
Pictured: Single Button Jacket | $42.99 (sale) at Gap

Slub Cotton Tunic TopTops
Styles that subtly reveal cleavage
Simple styles without much embellishment
Open-neck tops, such as v-necklines and scoop necklines, and sweetheart necklines.
Wrap styles
Long sleeves that flare below the elbow
Long, vertical, and narrow collars

This tunic features an open neckline, vertical detailing, and sleeves–all flattering for women with a large bust.
Pictured: Slub Cotton Tunic Top | $50 at J Crew.

Silk Wrap DressSkirts & Dresses
Semifitted styles with open necklines
Wrap dresses
Dropped waist dresses
Narrow skirts that flare at the hem

The open neckline subtly shows off your curves, while the silk drapes over your body.  The flared skirt helps to counterbalance your upper body.
Pictured: Silk Wrap Dress | $130 at Banana Republic.

27 comments July 3rd, 2008

Fashion 101: Meet the Plaids

You may have voted pro-Plaid last week, but do you know your plaids?  Plaids all have criss-crossed horizontal and vertical stripes, but not all plaids are created equal.

Houndstooth is a two-color pattern characterized by broken checks or abstract-looking four-pointed shapes. 
Style tip?  Try a fitted houndstooth blazer paired with a solid colored shirt for contrast.

Glen Plaid
Glen Plaid
Glen Plaid is a variant of houndstooth with contrast striping. 
Style tip?  Glen Plaid is a bold choice for suiting, especially if you don’t want to look like every other guy in the office.

Prince of Wales Check
Prince of Wales Check
Prince of Wales Check is version of glen check, usually with a light blue overplaid. 
Style tip?  Wear it with a light blue shirt for best results.

You’ll know herringbone by the zig-zag pattern made by the alternating diagonal rows. 
Style tip?  Herringbone is a heavy fabric, making it a prime cold-weather choice for suits.

7 comments March 25th, 2008

Designer Profile: Juliana Renz of Le Doux Swimwear

Mother-daughter team Marly and Juliana Renz are bringing sexy Brazilian style to the American market with Le Doux.  With daughter Juliana’s eye for design and mother Marly’s experience in the fashion industry, they created a high-end swimwear line featuring embellished styles fit for women of leisure.  Read on to learn more about the luxurious swimwear line, Juliana’s best swimsuit flattery tip, and what to expect next from Le Doux.

Flora Swimsuit Le Doux SwimwearOmiru:  How would you like people to describe Le Doux?

Juliana:  I hope people think of good quality, cute designs, and good fit.  

O:  Tell us about your design inspiration.

J: I get my inspiration mostly from materials.  I go shopping for stones, and I get ideas from colors, the stones, and fabrics.  Sure, time periods are interesting, but only as a reference.  I can’t design clothes that look like costume.

O:  You and your mother work together on Le Doux.  What’s it like working with family?

J: Difficult.  We tend to only talk about business.  Don’t get me wrong—we have and always had a good mother-daughter relationship.  But we end up talking about business instead personal stuff, and it’s easy to get frustrated with each other when talking about business.

O:  Le Doux swimsuits are actually made in Brazil.  Why?

J:  In Brazil, we have our own factory.  We did this for quality control. We want to make sure everything is as perfect as can be.  We’ve tried working with manufacturers before, but there was always something wrong.  Either the color was off, or the end product looked like it was low quality.  

O:  What’s your bestselling style?  

J:  Femme Fatale is a big hit.  Flora [pictured above left]  is also doing very well.

Rose Swimsuit Le Doux SwimwearO: How about your current favorite style?  

J:  I’m a fan of the Flora style.  Flora has volume and is embellished.  But it’s a bit hard to wear.  I also like the simpler styles.  Of those, I think Rose [pictured at right] is very good.  

O:  Your swimsuit designs tend to be fancy and embellished.  Who are you designing them for?  

J:  They’re for people who want to lounge around looking beautiful.  They’re for the style conscious who sit around by the pool or on the beach.  They’re not surfing suits, they’re not sports suits.  

O:  There aren’t a lot of people in that market.

J:  It’s a shame.  The materials we use are expensive, so we need to be at a higher price point.  Sadly, the market at the end of the day is all about price.  For 2008, we’re changing the line a little bit to create a sub-line.  We’ll have plainer suits at a lower price point.   

O: Le Doux combines Brazilian sexiness with California style.  What do you love about LA?

J:  I love the way people are just so stylish in LA.  People are ready for whatever they’re doing.  Brazil’s not that way at all.  I love the city—the weather, the way people socialize, the way that they’re constantly out.  There’s a certain energy there.  

O:  And what do you love about Brazil?

J:  I grew up in Brazil, where there’s a big big beach culture.  People love to have fun.  In Brazil, it’s all about having fun.  It’s different from United States.  There’s a freer spirit there.

O: Having grown up in Brazil, you’re a beach connoisseur.  What’s your favorite beach?

J:  The beach I grew up on.  I love Rio.  But I also love the South of France and Maui.

Shiva Cover-up Le Doux SwimwearO: Fashion Dos:

J:  Clothes that are sexy without revealing too much.  Clothes that are appropriate for one’s body type.  Clothes that aren’t just what everyone else is wearing.  Clothes that are appropriate for you.  

O: Fashion Don’ts:

J:  The 1980s.  The fashion was ugly then, and it’s uglier now.  People are so used to wearing whatever they’re told.

O:  Little known fact about you?

J:  I’m a surfer and a shopaholic.  But these aren’t little known facts.

O:  What can we expect next from Le Doux?

J:  We’ll be doing swimwear for girls in July.  We’re also launching a sleepwear/lingerie line in the next couple of months.

O:  Where can Omiru readers purchase Le Doux swimwear?

J:  We have stores in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, and overseas.  We’ll be selling online in a couple of months as well.  

O:  Last Words?

J:  The less fabric a suit has on the back, the smaller the butt looks.  Brazilians used to wearing small suits—now you know why.

Love Le Doux?  Check out Le Doux’s entire collection at: 

Add comment March 12th, 2007

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