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Blog

  • Ghost Writer: Darius Fong - Not So Ordinary

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    Darius Fong is, first of all, a friend.  But he is also a music entrepreneur, and Grammy-Award-winning audio engineer who produces as thePREFCT.  His production credits span from rock bands like Weezer and Cold War Kids to jazz legends like Herb Alpert, Sergio Mendes and Natalie Cole.  In 2013, Darius founded weeSPIN, a social music app that let's people listen to music together, like a digital jukebox.  We always like what he has to say and we hope you do too.

    I fell in love with coffee in LA. Or maybe I should say, I fell in love with LA through coffee.

    When I first arrived in Los Angeles I was intimidated.  I was not intimidated by its massive sprawl or by its traffic flow.  I was intimidated by its creative energy that spreads miles and miles.  I felt like a painter staring at a blank canvas.  It was nerve racking, thrilling and inspiring all at the same time.

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    As a young producer trying to make waves, there aren’t too many cities like LA.  I guess you could say that I was a skeptic at first, but coffee changed my mind.  When Handsome Coffee Roasters opened in downtown LA, I witnessed an entire community coming together, and I finally got it.  I began to understand coffee.  And through coffee I began to explore cities and meet other like-minded individuals.  It is no coincidence that both areas like SOMA in San Francisco and Culver City in Los Angeles are becoming hubs of some of the most disruptive businesses, and at the same time have the best coffee to offer.

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    I recently took a trip back to Hong Kong where I was born.  Most people know Hong Kong as the high rise jungle.  But they rarely get a deeper look into what makes this city special. The spaces in between.  The life that happens all around.  Whenever I return, I become hyper aware of all the nuances that I didn’t notice before.  I begin to explore everything, and this time through coffee.

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    The many characters of coffee are often simplified by being strong or weak.  When I finally started to explore the tastes of coffee, I began to notice unique notes that characterized different regions of the world.  I began to develop a repertoire of notes that I can pull from and compare.  Diving deeper into a cup granted me a heightened sense of everything else around me.  And my daily adventures are always a cup away.

    In a way, coffee has granted me a fresh perspective of home.  Home is not where you live but where you belong. What was ordinary is not so ordinary.  Everything is amplified. Every alley becomes beautiful in its own way.

    - Darius Fong

  • Product Spotlight: Convoy Convertible Backpack

    At HEX we are always looking for ways to introduce new designs to fill our changing needs. Introducing the Convertible Backpack, making its debut in our Convoy Collection. The padded straps on this backpack easily conceal to allow a quick conversion from a backpack to a tote.

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    Exterior
    The bag is constructed in premium, water resistant, waxed canvas, which provides a durable and over-all sturdy feel. This waxed canvas exterior never looked so good as it does here in our black and white pinstripe fabrication. Our padded front iPad pocket will keep your tablet (iPad Air iPad Mini, etc) easily accessible. The quick access phone pocket will hold your iPhone (6 or 6 Plus) or your Android device with a snap enclosure. there is also a generous side pocket with snap enclosure to hold your tech cables and accessories. Lastly, the top carry handles (used when carrying as a tote) have a velcro closure to keep the handles together and secured.

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    Interior
    Inside the main storage area is the padded and fleece-lined laptop pocket. It will features our largest laptop pocket that will secure up to a 17" MacBook Pro. If you have a smaller 13" - 15" Macbook (or similar sized laptops), don't worry, the secure pocket will still keep your laptop snug and secure. There is a velcro enclosure to ensure the laptop doesn't slide out.  The entire interior of the bag is outfitted in blue lining in our HEX heritage print.

    Versatility
    The real reason this bag sets itself apart from the pack is that the bag can be quickly converted from a regular backpack to a tote by un-hooking the backpack straps and tucking them into the descrete pocket on the back of the bag. This allows you to carry the bag as a tote in truly versatile fashion.

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    Finish it all off with genuine leather zipper pulls bar-tacked critical seams for durability, and surplus grade web straps.

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    The Convertible Backpack featured in this months Product Spotlight, is a part of the Convoy Collection. Convoy is a vast 23-piece selection of bags, cases, wallets, and carry-alls.

  • The Faces Of Grajaú

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    I had a rare opportunity to visit Grajaú which is one of the Favelas (slums) of São Paulo.
    I'd been to one other favela in Salvador years ago, and it was definitely a life changing experience.

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    We woke up pretty early so we could spend most of the day there. As we arrived, I had an unsettling feeling for two reasons; 1. Because of what I saw in Salvador, and 2. This time I would be carrying my RED Camera around with me.
    Leo assured me that everything would be ok - he was our "guide" in Grajaú.

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    The first place we went to was a local skatepark, so that made me feel a little better. We hung out with the local kids there, who at first were a little suspicious of me and my camera. Once Leo told them who I was and what I did, they instantly warmed up to me. It's amazing what being a skateboarder can do.

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    We then left with a few of the kids from the park and went into the neighborhoods. Walking around the favela's with a camera and tripod can create a lot of attention, but Leo assured me that everything would be fine. Knowing that, I put my guard down and began shooting everything I saw.

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    Grajaú was truly an amazing experience that I'll never forget.  These are some of its faces.

    Mais Amor Grajaú

    PEACE FOR ICE CREAM

    By Ricki Bedenbaugh, Contributor
    Check out more about Ricki here.

  • Introducing The Convoy Collection

    The Convoy Collection, a 23-piece range of bags, sleeves, wallets, and iPhone, iPad, and tablet cases.

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    "The Convoy Collection blends menswear and modernism for a clean look,” says Dan Maravilla, Co-Founder. “A black and white palette in geometric pinstripes works as both classic and progressive at the same time."

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    The collection features a water-resistant, woven stripe with black, coated canvas accents.  HEX combines this with their signature surplus grade cotton web strapping and interior micro fleece lined pockets for ultimate device protection.  Bright blue custom logo lining and leather zipper pulls finish off the dapper package.   The Convoy Collection is a perfect addition to any style-conscious wardrobe and is priced from $39.95 to $139.95.

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    One bag to highlight is the brand-new Convertible Backpack.  It features a roomy main compartment plus padded laptop storage for up to a 17” laptop.  But the real innovation is that it has both a top handle to function as a tote as well as hideaway padded shoulder straps that can be attached at a moment’s notice to transform the bag into a sharp backpack.  There is also a great front accessory pocket that is padded for phone or other valuables.  The Convertible Backpack definitely continues HEX’s reputation for ultimate functionality blended with premium style.

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    Another notable point is the introduction of wallets.  The Convoy Collection includes 3 new wallet styles: A Bi-fold, a Card Wallet, and a Vertical Card Wallet.  These wallets follow HEX’s signature modern aesthetic, while also incorporating integrated shielding technology for protection from illegal contactless scanning of your credit and debit cards that have an RFID or NFC chip. The new HEX wallets are priced from $34.95 - $49.95

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    The Convoy Collection is available now for purchase at www.shophex.com and other select high-end retailers near you.

  • Field Report: Grand Re-Opening Of FLW's Hollyhock House

    On Friday, February 13th, The Hollyhock House, designed by iconic architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, was opened for a unique 24 hour event titled #WrightAtNight. The LA Mayor, Press, and general public were all invited to enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the unveiling of the newly restored Hollyhock House. We were stoked to be able to cover this event as this specific house along with the other works from FLW stand out as timeless designs and are still respected today as true modern works of art.

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    History

    If you follow the life and works of Frank Lloyd Wright then you are familiar with the Hollyhock House in East Hollywood. It is a unique masterpiece designed using the Mayan Revival style found in a portion of FLW's works. Built in 1919-1921 as the personal residence of oil heiress Aline Barnsdall. Due to budget reasons, the full project was never fully completed. In 1946 Wright's son performed restorations to the house that were never appreciated as they did not keep to the original design planned by his father. Then again the house underwent a restoration after damage received from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, opening in June 2005.

    In 2008 the property was submitted to the US National Park Service and designated as a World Heritage Site and soon underwent its most recent restoration proving to be the most meticulous in respect to taking the house back to its originally design and purpose.

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    The event was set to open at 4pm on Friday so as we arrived a few minutes early, we were greeted by a manageable line. Within minutes, the line began to grow as thousands of Angelino's began to arrive after their work day ended.

    We quickly learned that Mayor Eric Garcetti was running a bit late and that the tours would not begin until after the press event had wrapped up (and it hadn't even started yet)!

    Mayor Eric Garcetti along with members of the LA City Council

    As we waited for our tour to begin, we we took some moments to soak in the architecture as the sun lowered over the Westside.

    Frank Lloyd Wright's personal Bentley was on display near the front door of the house - not too shabby!

     

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    It was finally time for the tour to begin, we had waited in line for a few hours but as you will see in the following photos, it was worth the wait. Photography is normally disallowed in the house but for the grand opening, press and photographers were welcomed in.

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    There were a few guides to provide information on the restoration and history of the house as we toured the property. The dining room set seen above is the only original furniture to remain in the house. Off to the right you can see the kitchen where some of the cabinets are missing their doors.

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    A rare glimpse of a glass corner seen here on the left side. This technique was also famously used by Wright on Fallingwater.

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    The house was designed with a tunnel that would allow water to flow from the courtyard pool under the house, to the moat in front of the fireplace. Water would then continue to fountain on the northwest side of the property.

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    The library

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    Even the attention to detail on the door handles was impressive.

    It was a great night for the city of Los Angeles and for the preservation of modern design. We want to send a big thanks to the Mayor and the city for undertaking the restoration and allowing us to be apart of this grand opening....And to CoolHaus for the ice cream.

    View more photos from the evening by searching the hashtag #wrightatnight.

    The Hollyhock House can be toured daily. For more information, visit the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation website.

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  • Field Report: KITH Pops Up For "West Coast Project"

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    Ronnie Fieg and his style juggernaut, KITH were at it again last Friday opening a pop-up on Abbot Kinney in Venice.  The event marked the release of Ronnie's collaboration with Asics, dubbed the West Coast Project.

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    The space, imagined by Bang 3 Design, looked incredible in shades of blue, white and silver.

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    As you would expect from a KITH release, the line formed the night before and stretched around the block.  It still dragged way down the street when we arrived for our personal tour of the shop.

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    I must say that the shoes, themselves, are definitely worth the wait.  Ronnie's vision for the rebirth of the Gel-Sights comes in two colorways, dubbed Atlantic and Pacific.  I copped a pair of the Pacific's, myself. So get your hands on a pair of these!  The buzz was big and Ronnie delivered once again on the expectation.

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    HEX Co-Founder, Dan Maravilla checking out the new kicks

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    Dan Maravilla and Thomas Cykana, KITH

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