Woman We Love: Julia Sherman of Salad For President

“A daily practice of making salad with creative people.” This is how Julia Sherman describes her blog turned cult following turned best seller, SALAD for President. That practice was where we first became obsessed with the recipes and dinner parties behind it all. Julia focuses on not just making salad cool and interesting again, but creating a community of artists and creatives that are just as passionate about that as she is. Suffice it to say, we’re huge fans. The recipes are not only beautiful and delicious, but a kind of storytelling in their own right. Plus, she’s just damn cool. (Follow her in Instagram, you’ll see what we mean.) So as she finishes up her book tour, we thought it was about time that you got to know her too.

SO TELL OUR READERS ALL ABOUT YOU. I am artist, cook and writer living in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with my husband Adam, and my dog, Lucy. I studied photography at RISD, and then moved to Los Angeles with my husband, where I worked as a photographer on film sets, and ran an artist run space in a storefront that was also my studio. In LA I learned to love gardening and growing my own food, and solidified my place as the unpaid caterer of our young art world on the East Side of LA. We moved to NY (where I am from) in 2009, so I could get an MFA from Columbia. After I started my blog, Chopt Creative Salad Company hired me as their Creative Director, so now I split my time between SALAD for President and my job there. My first cookbook, Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists, came out this Spring, and I am rounding out my book tour in San Fran/Bay Area this week (all the dates are on my blog).

WAS THERE A MOMENT OR EPIPHANY FOR YOU WHEN MAKING THE DECISION TO SWITCH OVER TO FOOD BLOGGING FULL TIME AND TAKE A BREAK FROM THE ART WORLD? I think the shift really began when I finished my MFA. This was a turning point for me, as it is a highly competitive program full of young artists climbing their way up the ladder in the New York commercial art world. I respect my peers and my professors who have been able to make that system work for them, but I soon realized that wasn’t it for me. I would have to work to find my place, and it wasn’t in selling objects in a gallery.
I was sick of the isolation of the art world. I realized my real talent is in the way I connect with strangers and that it was time for me to take a closer look at the things I truly loved doing everyday. I am really at peace when I am in the kitchen, much more than I ever was in the studio.
The name was meant to encourage my readers to take the work they love seriously, no matter how everyday or mundane. “Salad” as the conceptual basis for an entire project seems absurd at first, but if you pour your heart and soul into any simple act, it can be as important as anything. “Salad For President” borrows the language of a political campaign to elevate an everyday task.
WE LOVE HOW YOU SOURCE RECIPES FROM FRIENDS AND ARTISTS, IT HAS THIS COMMUNITY FEEL. WAS THAT AN INTENTIONAL PERSPECTIVE OR DID IT JUST HAPPEN ORGANICALLY? The blog started out as a catalogue of my own recipes, but as soon my friends started to offer up their ideas, I jumped. My art practice had always been intensely collaborative, so when I saw how the blog could be operate in that vein as well, I knew I was on to something.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR IDEAL KITCHEN SITUATION. A kitchen has to be well integrated into the social space of the house for me. I would hate to be isolated away from all the fun while cooking! I love having a gigantic kitchen island, so people can gather around while I cook. Of course, there has to be great light in the kitchen. I also like an eclectic mix of textures, colors and pattern. I am not a very streamlined, restrained person, so I prefer my space to be bright and a little chaotic, just like me. 😉

HOW OFTEN DO YOU COOK VS. EAT OUT ON A REGULAR WEEK? My schedule is so erratic, it is really hard to say. But when I am home in New York, I try not to eat in restaurants more than once or twice a week. That said, I end up going to lots of food events, and otherwise, I try to have people over and eat at home. It’s really important for me to feel healthy and grounded.
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT FOR DINNER PARTIES? I love a concept white shirt and wide legged pants. I am really into having a bunch of variations on the basic white button down. It always feels put together and sharp, and it’s just flattering.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE CONSIDERING A CAREER TRANSITION? Try and put your anxiety aside, and really spend some time doing what makes you happy. If you are going to be your own boss, you better be doing something that shoots you out of bed in the morning. Most of all, give yourself some time to just figure it out. You don’t have to have a plan right away, but you do have to stop giving a shit what other people think. That’s a lifelong goal, but a good one to keep in mind.
OKAY, NOW WE HAVE TO KNOW YOUR TOP RECIPES FOR SUMMER. I am obsessed with the watermelon, olive oil, salt and bronze fennel recipe from my book. I also love ceviche more than anything else in the world. This recipe (pictured below) I made recently with Raul de Nieves was so simple and so good!

Visit saladforpresident.com for more.

Photos of Julia by BriAnne Wills.

Garmentory x Arithmetic: Inside The Design Collab

Margherita Porra, the founder of Arithmetic, a Vancouver-based branding, packaging and design agency, was the first person we thought of when looking for a collaborator for Garmentory packaging. With over 15 years of experience in designing for retail-focused product producers, specifically in health, food and fashion, Margherita has an innate talent in cultural trend clairvoyance that simply cannot be ignored. And it hasn’t. She has received numerous design awards such as the Design Exchange Emerging Graphic Designer of the Year, the AACE Design Award, the American Package Design Award, the GDUSA American Health + Wellness Design Award, and the list goes on and on. We also love her team: Rob, Ellen and Liz. The bonus? She also happens to have some serious style of her own. Here, we chat with Margherita about the inspiration behind our packaging, how style and design aesthetic relate, and everything in between.

Psst… you can download a little Garmentory for your iPhone or tablet too! Click here for your very own wallpaper designed by Arithmetic.

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TELL OUR READERS ALL ABOUT YOU. Hi, I’m Margherita Porra. I live in Vancouver with my husband and our fur babe, Pasley. We’re just a few minutes from the ocean and Granville Island which also happens to be where our studio, arithmetic is located. Granville Island is a historic Canadian site that was converted to a cultural destination with a charming public market. It’s distinctly influenced by its’ industrial and marine past and decorated with one-of-a-kind shops and culinary delights. Working and living so close to the ocean is incredibly grounding for me as a creative and having so many makers and creators surround me is a constant source of inspiration and motivation.

I’m the Creative Director at arithmetic and we’re a multi-disciplinary design practice. At the core of what we do, we create soulful brand experiences. We listen deeply, live life fully and pair that with our creativity to help visualize our clients’ dreams. We are living in a time where there is a celebration of the maker and a reconnection to quality and craft. We are so lucky that we get to meet so many creative and passionate entrepreneurs that trust us to tell their stories through our creative ideas. We are most known for our branding and packaging design work, though once we build a brand, our talents extend to retail experience design, textile design, industrial design for products, photographic art direction, copywriting and online experience.

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WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR GRAPHIC DESIGN? From a young age, I was always creating art. I painted and drew a lot but I was most obsessed with collaging. If there was scrap fabric, glue, pastels and paper lying around it was sure to end up in some sort of abstract expression that would be promintately displayed on the fridge. Despite creative expression being a part of my every day life growing up, I really resisted the idea of a creative profession. It wasn’t until I was in high school and I simultaneously discovered photography, the darkroom, creative writing and creating editorial spreads that I things started to shift. Seems my early love for collaging translated into a love for mixing tools and mediums. Graphic design was the perfect path.

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HOW DID ARITHMETIC GET STARTED? Straight out of design school, I landed a job as a graphic designer for a fashion company. It wasn’t what I had planned to do but I felt compelled by it. I was the only graphic designer amongst six fashion designers. There were a lot of ideas and not enough people to act on them. I was hungry and full of energy and said yes to every opportunity and worked really long hours. I went from designing textile graphics and catalogues to art directing photo shoots and designing shoes within a very short span of time. I started to realize I was just as interested in “how” a business functioned as much as I was interested in designing objects that functioned. A combination of work exhaustion, a desire to inspire change greater than my hired role and young naive defiance was the catalyst to my quitting and starting a freelance business on zero savings. I let my heart and independence lead me to starting the business. There is something so great about young confidence. I look back in awe of my younger self.

When I started out (over a decade ago), I wanted a design practice that was multi-disciplinary. All of the other agencies in the city were solely print or web focused or specialized in industrial design and nobody was considering graphics for fashion. I didn’t care about boundaries within the design world so I started a t-shirt line and screen-printed graphics in my living room, created the woven labels and hangtags and sold them at local stores. I designed window displays for fashion boutiques and begged local food companies to let me redesign their packaging. I was scrappy, curious and motivated to constantly evolve as a creative. The company grew organically from there and the studio found it’s home on Granville Island. We’ve been there ever since!

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WHERE DOES THE NAME COME FROM? When I was transitioning from freelancer to an agency, I found myself considering systems and methods for the creative process. The questions that kept coming up for me, was, “what makes something ‘beautiful’ or ‘aesthetically pleasing’”? How can we evaluate beauty? Does a formula for aesthetic contentment exist? What makes some design compositions feel harmonious while others feel so wrong or incomplete? Over the centuries, philosophers have explored the link between art and mathematics. From The golden section, to the rule of thirds to grids, it’s clear there is an underlying equation that creates a foundation for aesthetic beauty.

The next part, was synchronistic. One rainy Saturday I was out on an inspiration day with some dear friends. We had been mulling over objects and books in an antique shop when I came across and old 1960’s text book: ‘Making Arithmetic Meaningful’. The book was full of black graphic shapes from squares and circles to triangles, each page making a different graphic pattern and equation. It was beautiful and it was the perfect metaphor for the formula in which I had build our processes on – creatively and analytically adding our clients’ personal stories to our industry knowledge and our imaginative ideas — all to create a visual rhythm.

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WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR THE OUR PACKAGING? When I was designing the new packaging, I was really excited by how Garmentory unifies art and industry, which is very much in line with one of the larger goals of the Bauhuas movement. The artists in the Bauhaus movement were exploring geometric forms and stripping away unnecessary decoration as they explored new technology, allowing the capabilities and restrictions to inspire their creative output. They also focused on typography having a highly important function. Considering the parallels between the Bauhaus and Garmentory being comprised of many creative designers, we developed a set of themes that would influence the aesthetics of the project; Type as Image, Geometric Pattern Play, a Return to the Grid and a Tone of Voice as shown through the cheeky copywriting.

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DOES YOUR DESIGN AESTHETIC TRANSLATE INTO YOUR CLOSET? In some ways, very much so — in other ways, not at all.

In my design work, I’m very attracted to materiality and tactility and a high quality of both of these aspects when in harmony. That same level of curiosity and adoration for materiality definitely extends to my wardrobe. I have a very large collection of silk pieces and especially raw silk— I love the way it hangs and how one fiber can be smooth or textural. I also love mixing textures like pairing a sweater with silk flowing pants and suede shoes.

One thing most people comment on my personal style is how void it is of graphics, I’ve had people comment that they expected me to dress more colorfully or more graphically, simply because I’m creative. That was definitely true when I was in my first few years of design. Though, the more I expressed my creative thoughts or questions through my tangible work, the more I craved a clean and pure palette in the other areas of my life from my personal style to the interior spaces I spend the most time in. I have found that having white walls and a simpler palette surrounding me provides me with a clear mind free of influence when I’m creating. In other words, I wear a lot of black and white and neutrals but my designs are can often be quite colorful.

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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Lately, I would describe it as monochromatic. I always get dressed from the shoes up. I’m obsessed with shoes. Obsessed. I also let my mood and schedule determine my daily style. If I’m feeling tired, I will wear black flats, black jeans, black silk t-shirt blouse and a black cardigan – comfy and practical. I’ll do that exact set up in different colours, Monday—all black, Tuesday—all grey, Wednesday—nudes. Ha! If I’m feeling excited and energetic, I will dress up to match my mood, which usually means a jumpsuit (my other obsession). If I have a heap of work to do on the computer, I will wear something non fussy like a button down with my sleeves rolled up past my elbows. Wearing a white button down always gives me a little boost of confidence to tackle what is ahead of me. Clothes, just like my environment, really play a part in my mind set so I am very aware of how my style choices influence my mood and productivity in a positive way.

My husband would describe me as dressing like a boy in a cult. Ha ha!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GO-TO OUTFIT? My Rachel Comey Mars Mule in natural or Martiniano glove flats, white denim culottes, off-white silk t-shirt blouse and my felted kimono jacket.

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BEST STYLE ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? My dad immigrated from Sardinia, Italy when he was only 20. He brought with him, three perfectly tailored wool suits and two pairs of the most beautiful leather dress shoes. Each piece was so impeccably tailored and incredibly made with the finest materials. He wasn’t wealthy by any means but he was taught to save and buy quality over quantity and to take care of those pieces. He really instilled in me the importance in investing in quality, well-made pieces that you can envision wearing this year, next year and five years from now, like a jacket, boots or purse. If your wardrobe is built on these pieces, you won’t feel the need to binge shop cheaper items every year, you simply have to add a few pieces each season for fun. Plus, it makes getting dressed so much easier.

My Nona on the other hand, spent all of her money on clothing, Chanel cosmetics and Vogue magazines so all she ate was burnt toast and black coffee (my dad often paid for her rent). Truthfully, I’ve been known to toggle between my Dad’s advice and my Nona’s eccentricities. While my dad was best dressed at the big events my Nona looked amazing every day. Moderation is key.

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For more with Margherita visit arithmeticcreative.com.

Don’t forget to snag Garmentory wallpaper for every device in your life!

Photos by Andrew Querner

The Palatines designer’s inspiration for our exclusive collaboration

Jessica Taft Langdon, the talented designer behind The Palatines, gives us some visual insight into her inspiration for the exclusive slide she designed for our collaboration.

“The thing about denim is that it’s everywhere. It’s totally ubiquitous. It’s become such a staple of every wardrobe, that it can go completely unnoticed. It’s reliable, it’s quiet, but it’s great. It can become anything you want it to be. It’s iconic and anonymous at once. That kind of subtlety is the aesthetic that informs my approach to designing for The Palatines. I want the shoes to be able to go in almost any direction, stylistically. They can be worn in a quiet, unobtrusive way, or they can become more of the statement. Maybe they even become ubiquitous.”

Exclusive: The Palatines x Garmentory x Sissy Sainte-Marie

Inspired by our mutual obsession with denim, and its designer roots in the Los Angeles Fashion District, we’re excited to introduce you to the perfect summer shoe. Seriously. Designer Jessica Taft Langdon created the Palatines’ Caelum Slide in Slate in a special limited edition quantity just for us… well, you. She and stylist extraordinaire Sissy Sainte-Marie became fast friends after some mutual admiration on social media, so she was the perfect person to style and model this special collaboration.

Shop The Palatines x Garmentory Caelum Slide >

“I love this Palatines slide so much,” says Sissy. “I have it in three colors and wouldn’t mind having three more. They look good with everything and have the ability to dress up what needs dressing-up and and dress down what needs dressing-down.”

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“As is very typical for me, the inspiration came from the material itself,” explains Jessica. “I saw a small stack of beautiful hides at a leather supplier here in LA. The color, natural finish and softness hooked me, and I bought all of the remaining stock. I’d put it aside in the studio, and knew I’d find a good use for it eventually.” Enter Garmentory and our need for all things denim and we found the perfect fit for the almost indigo hue. “It’s as easily wearable as a favorite pair of jeans. And since all of our shoes have a very soft leather lining, they’ll mold to your foot, in the same way that your Levi’s shrink to fit!”

Shop The Palatines x Garmentory Caelum Slide >

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Another detail about The Palatines x Garmentory Caelum Slide we’re so excited about is the impeccable comfort and fit. There’s a hidden thong that keeps the foot from sliding and your toes from cramping so you’ll be wearing these babies allllll summer long.

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Only a few of these slides are available, so don’t hesitate. Shop Now

Meet the Designer: Jessica Taft Langdon of The Palatines

We all know that shoes can make or break an outfit, but what if they give you blisters every single time you wear them for more than 45 minutes? Shoes for show are one thing (and we all have them obviously) but shoes for real life are what The Palatines does best. Jessica Taft Langdon is the designer behind the emerging Los Angeles footwear line. After developing an extensive and impressive resume working for heavyweights like Alexander Wang, Catherine Malandrino, Coach, Everlane, and Proenza Schouler, she fearlessly took the leap to launch her own label. Settling in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood after living in Philadelphia, New York City and Milan, Jessica began with the firm assertion that every style would tap into the American sportswear spirit and be produced locally. Meticulous construction in Los Angeles and ultimate comfort are paramount. The result is nothing less than effortless, elegant and cool. No Band-Aids required.

We’ve teamed up with Jessica for a special collaboration (watch this space), so we sat down to find out more about her shoes and her life in Los Angeles.

 

Osei-Duro shares their inspiration for the lululemon lab collaboration

Osei-Duro is renowned for their incredible prints hand-batiked in Ghana, so of course we were super stoked when they announced they were doing a capsule collection with lululemon lab. They designed two exclusive designs which are digitally printed on technical active wear for both guys and girls. With inspiration deeply rooted in the communities in which they work for their line, we had to get designers Molly Keogh and Maryanne Mathias to share what they were thinking about for the limited edition collaboration.

“When the lab approached us about a collab we were excited to explore where our aesthetics might overlap. At first glance they might seem quite different, but we found that our love of organic forms and attraction to meditative crafts processes marries well with the streamlined and experimental look of the lab’s work. We looked specifically at the contemplative art of women from the last century such as Ruth Asawa and Louise Bourgeois, as well as the abstract nature photography of our Vancouver friend Sean Lymworth. We love how quiet yet detailed all of these references are.”

Behind the scenes with lululemon lab

As a retail space and production studio in one, lululemon lab’s unique space is just as busy as the major city center just outside its doors in Vancouver, BC. Started as a design incubator for the global brand lululemon athletica, the lab operates outside the lines with their own collection that is designed, produced and sold exclusively in their West Broadway location. For anyone looking for something beyond the yoga pant for your next workout, it’s a mecca of fashion forward silhouettes and fabrics. Community is a huge reason why the lab exists, so local collaborations have been the name of the game ever since they began in 2009. Osei-Duro is their latest international hookup and we’re so excited to be the exclusive online retailer for the capsule collection starting this Friday, July 17th. Stay tuned!

We met up with the team at lululemon lab to learn more about their process (keep scrolling below for a look behind the scenes) and talked with Women’s Wear Designer Erika Rekis about how this new collaboration began.

HOW DID LULULEMON LAB COME TO BE? WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION TO CREATE AN INCUBATOR FOR INNOVATION IN DESIGN FOR LULULEMON? The lab was born out of a desire to create a space for emerging designers to play and experiment in a way that big companies often miss out on. The combination of retail and design is modeled after the first ever lululemon store on west 4th and allows our design team to work right alongside our production team as well as chat with the guests to get direct feedback on existing designs as well as what we’re missing.

Meet the couple behind Toronto style blog Fieldguided

Anabela and Geoff Piersol are a constant source of inspiration. Their Toronto-based style blog, Fieldguided, is so rad we can’t even begin to explain it. Follow them on Instagram, you’ll see what we mean. Anabela won us over first with her beautiful tote bags and we teamed up with her last year for a special download for Spring. Obviously, we had to do it again.

Click to download our exclusive Fieldguided x Garmentory wallpaper for your Apple device now: iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

We caught up with the talented couple to find out how they met, what they love about Toronto and what’s on their shopping wish lists.

 

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HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET? We actually met online! But quickly realized we had a friend in common, which made it feel a little more natural.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER? Geoff is the most supportive person I know, and has always encouraged me creatively, telling me there’s nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to do it. He’s a natural teacher and taught me everything I know about photography. He’s also not afraid to tell me if something I’ve worked on isn’t quite right.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE FAVORITE SPOTS IN TORONTO?
1. Allan Gardens Conservatory: I love this place because it’s open to everyone and it’s free, and it smells so good! Such a nice place to visit, especially in winter.
2. The University of Toronto campus: Many of the downtown buildings are from the nineteenth century and they’re beautifully ornate. You don’t get a lot of older buildings in Toronto so I take a lot of delight in the carved statues and stone details.
3. The Toronto Islands: Summer means hopping on the ferry and heading to the islands for a picnic.

WHAT’S ON YOUR SHOPPING LIST RIGHT NOW? I never thought I’d see THIS day, but I’ve been trying to hit the gym a lot lately so I’ve been really interested in nice workout gear! I’ve been coming across a lot of amazing local companies who make really beautiful printed leggings, such as Paprika and Fellow Citizens.