As we continue to optimistically embrace this 2022 calendar + lunar new year (anyone else feeling those tiger vibes?), we are thrilled to share with you our latest drop: HMR Lifestyle.
This quarterly jaunt will cover our personal insights considering all manners of cultural seduction, including Art, Fashion, Food, Entertainment, Travel — AND our latest and greatest sentiments of a favorite pastime: The Dinner Party!
As far as the world of Art is concerned, we would be remiss if we didn’t give NFT’s (non-fungible tokens) the notoriety they deserve. An NFT is a unique digital representation of a good — for our purposes, a work of art. It’s akin to a certificate of authenticity or a deed and it’s recorded on a blockchain, purchased exclusively by cryptocurrencies. The undertones of the entire industry are markedly anti-establishment and also empowering to the historically underserved faces in art. The content is vast and varied but there is plenty of female empowerment, sampled here by the likes of Alpha Girl Club & WomenRise, along with the quirky and fun, like MoodRollers by Lucas.
Local Chicago creator, Brandon Breaux, an artist of many varied medias and an extreme talent, recently closed out his very first NFT, The Creator (below, right), with a portion of proceeds benefiting a number local charities. In his words, “The piece is designed to awaken when I drop my next NFT project called “In the Beginning”, opening its eyes and breathing, continuing to do so until the end of my life. At that time the piece will go back in a meditative rest state forever.”
Mike “Beeple” Winklemann’s collage of daily images dating back to 2007 is the most expensive NFT ever sold (it sold for the USD equivalent of $69.3 million). It is credited with starting off the craze for NFTs. Everydays: The First 5,000 Days (below, left) was sold on March 11, 2021, at auction house Christie’s; purchased by a Singapore-based cryptocurrency investor who paid for the artwork in Ether (ETH). This is the third most expensive piece of art ever purchased by a living artist.
We are in the midst of a big shift when it comes to fashion.
Gen Z and young millennials are a huge proponent of this repositioning in purchasing power. In fact, the resale industry is expected to grow 11x faster than the broader retail clothing sector in the period to 2025, according to GlobalData, driven also by a growing awareness of fast fashion‘s negative and relatively unregulated environmental toll.
Today, instead of celebrating the classic fashion designer, we dive in on upcycling and reuse fashion trends and how you can redefine your own style outside the 52-trend calendar year of fast fashion (yes, that’s one per week).
Thrifting and reuse is now (and, projected permanently to be) absolutely en vogue. Upcycling is an entirely fashionable and fun art form, creating quirky or one of a kind pieces out of existing garments, ala Chicago upcycler + artist, @alliekushnir. Even Gucci is getting into circularity with Gucci Off The Grid and always eco-friendly Patagonia has an entire separate brand dedicated to buy back and resale initiatives in its “Worn Wear.”
With a contingent of people now committed to not buying new – things like resale Carhartt and patchwork everything have blown up from artisan makers like b_o_r_b_a_l_a & @softpawvintage, as upcycling and a broader environmental awareness prevails. These shifts in consumer mindset are changing the face of fashion as we know it – and the ability for the biggest operations to innovate to this notion could be the defining factor of success in retail in the years to come.
In the food scene, we are very much rooting for restaurants, who have been incredibly resilient throughout these past few years of extreme challenges. We anticipate seeing shorter menus with fewer ingredients, due to continued supply chain and availability challenges – but this will not equal shortcomings in creativity, in fact, quite the opposite – and could help to boost more robust bottom lines.
Specifically, it’s expected that Singaporean dish, Laksa (which can also be attributed to Malaysia), will be the heavy hitter of the year, getting the early label “Hottest Dish” out of the gate. The dish features slurpable noodles, aromatics, creamy coconut curry, funky spices and tasty garnishes from hard boiled eggs, fresh prawns and fried tofu.
Also, hibiscus is a flavor predicted to take front and center.
Plant based everything is not slowing down and there are many new technologies for creating meat alternatives which are likely to make their debut in 2022. Lab based meat + fish are on their way to winning federal approvals, and chicken is likely to be one of the first products to become available. Plant-based chicken + beef from companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have already fully arrived, and the battle is on for the true fast farm alternative to dominate the market.
“The year’s food trends could largely be shaped by the needs of those working from home and by the culinarily-astute and specific Gen Z, who desire food with sustainable ingredients and a strong cultural back story, prepared without exploitation and delivered in a carbon-neutral way — within 30 minutes,” says Anna Fabrega, CEO of food delivery service Freshly.
Alternatively, we nearly fell out of our chairs when we realized that every single sugar heavy drink from the 80’s is expected to make a resurgence – we’re talking Long Island Iced Teas, Tequila Sunrise and even Blue Lagoons, but re-engineered with fresh juices, less sugar and better spirits. There will also be a rise in eco-spirits, made with ingredients from local farms or food waste, and packaged and shipped using climate-friendly methods.
Along those lines, the rise of environmentally smart edible cups of all shapes and sizes is expected to dominate the conference industry. These crunchy mugs stay crisp long enough to enjoy your morning coffee and then promptly serve as a post coffee snack (and are fully compostable). Sip, sip, crunch, ya’ll.
In entertainment, our team leans pretty hard into the medium of Podcasting.
Whether you are looking for an easy and free way to meditate, business, design or sustainability insights, there is interesting content for everyone. Podcasts are mostly seeing traction among younger consumers—this year, more than 60% of US adults ages 18 to 34 will listen to podcasts monthly. Out of consumers between the ages 35 to 44, about half listen to podcasts monthly, and less than one-fifth of consumers over 65 will listen.
While the popularity of Podcasts is undeniable – the genres and options for content are vast and varied. There are the historical, critical reviews such as this year’s #1, Dan Taberski’s 9/12 – which focuses not on 9/11 itself, but how the events of that day changed American culture. You then have your classic interview shows, such as Sway by Kara Swisher; who goes head to head with the juggernaut’s of today’s America, tech CEOs. Her interview style, candor and knowledge are so entwined that they are immediately magnetic and definitely insightful. Another highly interesting, neurologically inspired ‘cast is NPR’s Hidden Brain with Shankar Vedantam, which aims to shed light on the way the human brain works with the intention of helping us empathize with our differences. Other than these you can find anything from True Crime to Reality TV to Comedy to Spirituality. The possibilities and the learnings are virtually endless.
Mindful, reconnection-focused travel is anticipated to dominate the industry in 2022. With the increased focus on community and support of locally-owned businesses fostered during the pandemic, it makes sense that this mindset will carry over into international travel plans. For the majority of American travelers, the travel experiences they will highly prioritize are: spending time with loved ones, enjoying nature, supporting local and going to places they have not been before.
There is also an uprise in personal development retreats – as the Great Resignation has indicated, millions of people all over the world have been quitting jobs; seeking new career paths, in many cases launching businesses and becoming more entrepreneurial. With this in mind it makes sense that all manner of personal development retreats are popping up around the globe.
Extreme expeditions are also top of mind for those who’ve been itching for big activity. Taking on physical challenges will be top of the agenda for people who’ve felt confined to their homes, and travel companies are responding by launching a wide array of extreme expeditions overseas. Things such as quad biking safaris around Africa, abseiling adventures in Venezuela and deep-sea diving in the Cocos Islands, which has some of the highest aggregations of sharks to be found anywhere on the planet.
All-inclusive luxury is also emerging as a top offering. With travel complications due to covid tests and paperwork – booking an all-inclusive resort is a tempting way to alleviate associated stress. It’s been recognized that wealthy travelers also enjoy hassle-free consumption as there has been a rising number of high-end properties embracing all-inclusive stays.
Finally, since the dawn of the Dinner Party, there have seemingly been mysterious, daunting and often intimidating unwritten rules which may have kept many a would be planner deterred. If a pandemic can teach us anything it’s that living in the abundance of human connection should no longer be waylaid. The isolation has made many want to spend what time we have better, to share in experiences and abundance – of not only food, but also more intentional relationships, soul affirming conversations + deep friendship.
When we invite people we love into our homes, it’s natural to want to display our best—our best cooking, our best wine, our best selves—but we do so because we want our guests to feel valued, taken care of and appreciated. This is a fresh spin on that ancient act of throwing a feast. Today’s dinner parties are about designing for togetherness, not necessarily trying to showcase a flawless facade. Instead of a perfect home or fine china, we are now showcasing the abundance we have within for each other.
No matter your style, a dinner party look is an expression of oneself – and since judgment is so very early 2000’s, we think that whatever makes you happy makes for a fabulous dinner party aesthetic. Whether this means the utmost in palette + detailing or thrifted, eclectic goods, we are here for it.
This month’s tabletop design is brought to you by HMR’s own, talented Designer Nick Watts, who loves to host friends for pretty much any reason. In fact, when he set this lovely dinner, they ordered a few course delivery from his husband Marco’s favorite local Italian spot. As we said, there are no rules in this new, beautiful age of togetherness.
All the gorgeous china, flatware, glassware and all other fabulous dinner party accoutrements featured are courtesy of our lovely friends at the NYC/D.C. based Maison de Carine.