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Image: Vevian

Baby shoes usually go the cute rather than stylish route, but these luxury, handmade baby and toddler shoes by Vevian are restrained and stylish at the same time.

The shoes are suitable for a range of special occasions: adding a finishing touch to a christening robe, a bridesmaid's or page boy's outfit.  Each pair comes in a wooden box lined with beautiful fabric, so once they have been worn they remain a unique and very personal keepsake - a reminder of a special moment in a child's life and something to be treasured forever.
The combination of contemporary design and long-established hand-crafting skills is what Slovenian company Gigodesign's work for Leis Wooden kitchen utensils is all about.   

Leis aims to revive the centuries’ old Slovenian woodcraft tradition called ‘suha roba’, with the manufacture of appealing, user-friendly and well-designed products made using locally sourced beech wood.  This, the first product, is a three-piece kitchenware set consisting of a fork, spoon and spatula.  The utensils feature an integrated magnet for easy storage, lifted ends to prevent smearing and a curved shape ensuring an easy and secure hold.  Future products will include environmentally-friendly Christmas tree ornaments and office accessories. 

Designed, developed, sourced and handcrafted within a 30 km radius, Leis promotes a sustainable, fair-trade business model.

Ex-designer squeeze Lorenzo Martone has taken a turn in a new direction and created Martone Cycling Co., a collection of super-glam bikes in striking colour combinations that are sure to stand out in the urban landscape.

Having recently fallen in love with a more traditional take on the old-school Dutch bike, we can appreciate the modern interpretation of Martone's bikes which include eye-catching cherry red, a stark-white, or a glamourous gold complete with front basket.  In addition to their good looks, each bike is powered by SRAM's top-of-the-line duomatic gear system that makes for a one-of-a-kind riding experience. 

Rather than merely owning a lamp with an energy-efficient LED-bulb as your sole salvo towards saving the environment, German designer Ingo Schuppler would like you to consider the  environmental impact to the entire unit, and so has created Schwarzes Gold, a lamp made from FSC-certified charcoal and copper which has been designed with an eye to being eco-friendly and energy-efficient from the materials used to every step in its manufacture, its packaging and disposal. 

The black material of the lampshade is made out of completely natural materials: flour and water as a binding agent and  FSC-certified charcoal.  Once combined, the mixture is poured into a form and baked for a few hours at low temperature, which keeps the ecological footprint small.  During the baking process, a copper form is applied to the black charcoal mix and this creates a solid bond between the two elements.  The copper interior of the lamp is intended to serve as a reflector for energy-efficient LED-bulbs.  When the lamp reaches the end of its life, the charcoal shade can be dissolved in water and is therefore completely biodegradable.  The other components can be recycled separately.
Image: Uncredited
The one we left behind.

It's been a few weeks, but our coverage of New York Fashion Week would not be complete without a look at Proenza Schouler's show.

Image: Emil Monty Freddie
Designer Marianne Kleis Jensen has created Frigg, a fully upholstered sofa for one or two people.  Frigg consists of a shell with cushions the shape of which embraces the user and creates a cave into which they can snuggle.  The cushions are quilted which provides a 3D effect in contrast to the smooth surface of the outer shell.
Image: island*atelier

Although Helen Hunt at this year's Academy Awards ceremony may not have been the best ambassador for the brand, H&M's new ecofriendly formalwear line, Conscious Exclusive really isn't half bad.  Eleven pieces (plus three men's suits not pictured here) will hit stores on April 12 .

Rumour has it that H&M will finally be bringing its other line COS to the US. The brand which offers its signature, minimalist designs at affordable prices is already widely available across Europe. 
We're just going to rename today H&M Friday and be done with it.  The company, under its higher-end offshoot & Other Stories which we wrote about here, has collaborated with The Lake & Stars to produce a line of seriously covetable lingerie and loungewear.

Image: Sami Kallio
In Between is a collaboration between the Danish brand &tradition and Finnish designer Sami Kallio. Made of soild wood and form-pressed veneer, the chair comes in white or smoked oiled oak as well as stained black ash and stained grey ash.  The name is a play on the combination of industrial production and handcraft that goes into its making.
Image: island*atelier

Avinash Shende has designed the CU! chair for Wilde+Spieth. Manufactured in one piece and without the use of screws the wire chair's construction ensures that it is extremely stable. The CU! chair is inspired by Asian culture and can be used indoors or out. 
Image: island*atelier
See also: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Theyskens' Theory
Image: Uniqlo
Australian designer Karen Walker has been tapped to bring her designs to the under-12 set with this collaboration with Uniqlo.  The 18-piece children’s collection called KW2 by Karen Walker will include dresses, tops, pants and skirts for girls aged 3 to 11 and will feature Walker’s signature alphabet prints mixed with new, hand-illustrated designs inspired by "child geniuses" including a graphic maths grid, biro doodles of flowers, a trumpet and of course, the Karen Walker Bunny.

Inspiration for the range was drawn from Walker's past collections and include her signature touches, such as sweatshirt dresses with frilly hems and boat pants all of which were then re-styled and re-sized for children.

Walker has also created a range of women’s T-shirts for Uniqlo that will feature her signature charming prints, as well. KW2 by Karen Walker and the Karen Walker x Uniqlo t-shirt range will be available from June 3.
Like Ikea for your feet, come these still-in-prototype-form flat-packed slippers by Gaspard Tiné-Berès and Ruben Valensi.  Made from a single piece of grey wool felt with a thick leather sole, Lasso slippers are shipped to you unassembled in a slim box with your choice of laces which you use to build the shoe by threading them through pre-cut holes.  Warm and incredibly comfortable, the slippers will form to the shape of your feet over time ensuring a comfortable and unique fit.

Image: island*atelier
Image: Blu Dot
We're not really sure what a coatrack has to do with water [ed: it's a place to hang up wet things isn't it], but we like the lines of  the Splash Coat Rack from Blu Dot.  Crafted from powder-coated steel and walnut, this stylish rack offers four prongs on which to hang your coats, hats, bags or scarves.

The Splash Coat Rack is available in bright blue, complete yellow, putty grey, humble red, and white. 
Images: Yann Deret

We love these stylish, anthropomorphic animals from Zoé de Las Cases.
Image: James Braund for Marz Designs
These striking lights are the Bright Beads pendant lights from Sydney-based Marz Designs.  Developed in conjunction with design showcasing business How We Create and launched at Saturday Indesign in 2012, the range includes six pendant configurations - Aztec, Abacus, Art, Aleenta, Africa and Alice - and are made of turned timber beads which can be hung individually or in a group to create a chandelier. With both renters and homeowners in mind,  the lights were designed to be installed either as a permanent feature or simply hung from a hook in the ceiling.
Image: Färg & Blanche

The Emma chair designed by duo Färg & Blanche for Gärsnäs is inspired by the easy chair which was popular in the 1800s.  With a modern twist on the traditional construction, thick layers of felt make the back sturdy yet flexible without the help of a solid frame.

You know we love our Method here, so have a look at this  great new packaging from the company.  Designed to raise awareness about the company's commitment to the fair treatment of animals and that fact that their formulas are biodegradable, naturally-derived and free from ingredients like parabens, phthalates, triclosan, EDTA or animal by-products.
Threatening to mount a direct challenge to our love of Zara and its market supremacy, yesterday H&M opened its latest Regent Street venture called & Other Stories which features more sophisticated fashions, accessories and beauty goods at pretty respectable prices.

Influenced by fashion bloggers, & Other Stories offers fashion packaged in vignettes.  The premium brand is premised on a modern female attitude to shopping which is strongly influenced by social media and blogging.  However unlike Zara and most other mid-priced retailers, & Other Stories is not inspired by catwalk trends.  Instead it intends to bypass the runway and look straight to the streets for inspiration. Citing the impact of social media and the way in which street style and bloggers have made women more fashion savvy, the aim of the nascent high street brand is, somewhat ironically, to promote a woman's personal sense of style.

Off the bat, many of the pieces are noteworthy and eye-catching and hopefully this level of excitement can be sustained season after season.  A second store is slated to open in Copenhagen next week, with others planned for Berlin, Paris, Barcelona and Milan.

This simple and elegant child’s desk is made in Germany by Sirch of raw, finely-polished birch plywood.  Intended for children between the ages of 2 to 8, the desk has a slot for pencils and a high-quality, durable felt inlay.  The seat and backrest of the chair are also covered with the same felt. The Afra desk and chair is available in: red, green and grey.
Image: Samir Sufi
What are the odds?  In addition to finding another example of cold-brewed coffee, both of today's posts share the same name.

Anyone who has wrapped and squeezed their teabag around their teaspoon to eke out the last drop, fished around for a submerged tag or wondered what to do with a soggy teabag, will appreciate this more elegant solution.  Samir Sufi's SlingsHOT teacup is a mug which is designed to stop your tea bag from slipping out of reach and allows you to squeeze it dry by drawing the string up through a pre-cut slot in the side.  This simple fix means no more fiddling with fingers or spoons and lets you get the most out of each and every teabag.
Image: Chris Boyette

We had never come across the concept of cold-brewed coffee (touted as another way to discover the complex flavours you can find in the coffee bean) until recently, and now here is another example of the drink complete with equally attractive packaging.  Slingshot Cold Brew is a bottled, cold brew coffee which is made and bottled in small batches using only two ingredients: top quality, in-season, organic coffee beans and filtered tap water.
Cynthia Rowley has done it and now it's Diane von Furstenberg's turn.  Combining Roxy’s surfer-girl cool with Diane von Furstenberg’s trademark graphic-prints, the range features bikinis, rash guards, beach bags, cover-ups and board shorts.

DVF Loves Roxy launched yesterday and is available for purchase today.

Derek Lam has joined the latest raft of hi-lo designers and created a capsule collection in collaboration with DesigNation for Kohl's. The collection is inspired by Rio de Janeiro and features a mix of swimwear, printed tailored pieces and easy-but-smart dresses in vibrant colours and cuts.

The mini collection will be available April 5.
We like this minimalist, wooden toy line.  Called Buchi, the toys are designed by Fumie Shibata with an emphasis on quality based on their experience as makers of educational toys, play equipment and artwork kits.  Made of wood, the products have brightly coloured edges and are intended to reflect the harmony of the different types of trees used in their design.

The toys have minimal features to encourage free-play and imagination: when connected by fixing the component parts together, the cars can be converted into a train.  The puzzle pieces with their smooth wooden surfaces can be simply stacked one by one like building blocks or piled up according to their colours and shapes, thereby allowing children to produce a beautiful three-dimensional sculpture.  Other toys include a handy box shaped as a car and a wooden domino game.

Tom Dixon recently launched a new lampshade in Stockholm which is based on the the Etch shades which debuted last September.

Using a similar technique to that which is used to create the Etch shades, the Etch Web lampshade is manufactured using digital photo-acid etching whereby an image is affixed to the metal surface and submerged in an acid bath. The resulting shade is made up of an irregular pentagon which is repeated 60 times across the body.  The resulting sphere is both geometric and delicate creating a weblike structure. When lit, the shade casts atmospheric, angular shadows across a room.  Unlit, the stainless steel material of the shade is highly polished and provides a bright, reflective surface which adds a hint of sparkle to any room.

The Etch Web lampshade measures 60cm wide.

Saturday, Kate Spade's diffusion line, will be launched this Spring and in the run-up they have been teasing us by releasing snapshots of the clothes and promotional products (featuring spot on branding) to whet our appetites.