Monday, January 3, 2011

20 Lifestyle Trends of 2010 (and our take on it)

1. Next Besting - Vintage fashion, convertible couture, sub-brands, and credit crunch jewelry.  Over the last year, people became more sensitive to excessive consumerism, and have begun tying their success not just to luxury brands, but to functional products and life experience.  Accordingly, Instead of purchasing the priciest product and biggest brand, people are trying new products in the pursuit of the “next best” alternative.

Ukay-Ukay’s a.k.a vintage fashion has long been in the Manila scene and the rich and the not-so-rich alike would want nothing more then to compare their latest finds.Here, we find something we like and if it doesn’t fit, it’s always cheaper to have it altered then to buy something brand new thus giving birth to convertible couture- used but fitting to our needs.

Sub-brands have also emerged and sub brands does not necessarily mean sub-par (just a little more affordable) it’s a way for designers to peddle their goods during hard times without necessarily having to hurt the brands image. Its good business sense in my opinion. Think about Marc by Marc Jacobs and how it uses less luxurious materials compared to his main brand, Marc Jacobs.


2. DIY Décor - DIY art, furniture and hobbies are the perfect fix for those who are credit-crunched.  Keep your ping pong balls, wine bottles, or plastic jugs because decorating your home has never been so affordable… and culturally acceptable. has slowly been gaining popularity and the site caters mostly to DIY if you are into that thing though I have yet to be a fan of DIY furnishings without thinking it looks like some sort of school project for Home Economics… However, I am not totally closed to the idea. If you have something fabulous that will prove me otherwise, let me know.

3. Life-Swapping - Today you can swap homes, art, services or even your entire closet wardrobe.  Credit-crunched citizens unwilling to compromise their lifestyles are swapping, bartering and trading their way to a better life.

Hmm. I’m okay with swapping goods but swapping lives doesn’t sound do-able for me.
Have you heard of Wife Swap the show? I think it’s a manifestation of the lack of ideas for a reality show…

4. Pop-Uptailing - Mobile retail displays, pop-up art studios and shipping container bars; banking on exclusivity and surprise, pop-uptailing is the latest way to generate buzz and quickly place your product in new markets.

It’s quite common for new restaurants, stores, bars and clubs to pop-up every so often but they pop-up in cemented ways either in full fledged locations where they have to pay for rent and taxes. The most pop-up we can think of are bazaars which can open on weekends and close on weekdays or the Jolly-jeeps which are no longer literal jeeps but food stalls. Boo.

I’m thinking Filipinos aren’t daring enough to “pop-up” unexpectedly for fear from Police and the MMDA’s… the hassle and the effort, not to mention the “gifts” involved simply isn’t worth all the trouble.
Here are a few pop-up stalls abroad for your viewing pleasure. Maybe one of us will have the courage to follow suit?

5. Nomadabodes - The recession in combination with creative architecture have caused an influx of unique temporary housing.  Portable apartments, futuristic houseboats, aquatecture and cube living are just a few examples of modern nomadic living.

“When it comes to living space, portability has so many perks. Bored with your current surroundings? Just pick up and go. Natural disaster? No problem. Plus, the transportable homes we see today are a far cry from the standard trailers or RVs of days gone by. Some are architectural masterpieces, others, eco-conscious sensations. Whether it’s a futuristic camper, portable log cabin, or post-disaster house-to-go, the number of innovative transportable homes is astounding. “ Catherine Yong from

Nomabodes is the most applicable in Japan where they definitely lack the space. See the pictures here for your reference and tell me if you can stand it.

 Pod Capsule

Container Homes 

6. Greenpliances - Soapless dishwashers, miniature laundry machines, and dishwashing cabinets not only help the environment, but over time, their increased efficiency will help your wallet too.

7. Ecopolitan - Whether it’s an underground abode, floating home or high-rise living, Ecopolitan Developments are quickly becoming a way of life. In addition to revitalizing urban centers with eco-friendly elements, nations are building niche cities specifically to meet ecological goals.

8. Simpletising - Fruit inspired packaging, milk boxes with utters and phonetic alcohol…  In a cluttered world, visual clarity actually stands out.  It also fits well with a desire to pursue lives of simplicity.

9. Emotionology - Humans aren’t the only once with feelings; emotion-sensitive jewelry, playlists and phones are manifesting y our mood physically. Scientists and techies alike are exploring the world of emotion and how it can be applied to technology.

VIBE- Emotion Sensing Necklace
The Philips VIBE - emotional sensing necklace combines conductive ink and textile sensors. The necklace can read multiple biometric signals of the wearer and communicates them to other devices and other wearers.

Philips Electronic Sensing Jewelry

Philips electronic Sensing Jewelry has been conceived alongside a European project, STELLA, developing stretchable, flexible electronic substrates that integrate energy supply, sensors, actuators, and display.

Skintile the Electronic Sensing Jewelry further explores emotional and physiological sensing. It is a new genre of product; a generation of wireless, stick-on body sensors that re-define traditional body adornment.

It explores a range of functionalities in new product forms that are playful, sensual, mood affected, bio activity stimulated, and "arousal enhancing" (wonder what that means... ). It is a semi disposable, bio compatible, non-allergenic, breathable, mass customizable, self contained body worn accessory.

Philips SKIN Dress

One of this year’s Probe project areas is SKIN, which examines the future integration of sensitive materials in the area of emotional sensing – the shift from ‘ intelligent’ to ‘sensitive’ products and technologies.

The dresses show emotive technology and how the body and the near environment can use pattern and color change to interact and predict the emotional state.

10. Exposed Vulnerabilty - Social media has redefined our access to the personal lives of icons, celebrities and friends.  Taking this to the next level of reality, we’re seeing everything from tweeting during child birth to stars exposing unphotoshopped pictures and embarrassing moments.

The only reason things are being exposed is because we actually make the effort to put ourselves out there. You make your own Twitter and Facebook account. If you wanted privacy, you’d also find ways to run for cover... goodbye embarrassing nights of wardrobe hang-ups and social mishaps. The power is in your hands!

11. Crowdsourced Campaigns -Years, ago, consumer-generated ads were all the rage.  This year, involving your customer means crowdsourcing.  Examples include crowdsourced billboards, window displays and even tv commercials.

We had an exchange student from France back in school and they were so shocked by our billboards along most of our major highways. I’m guessing its not something they do back in Europe but honestly, New York and Japan must be guilty of this- more so than the Philippines.

Shot of  New York Times Square with Ads abound

Shot of Shibuya said to be one of the busiest intersections in the world

12. Nostalgia Marketing - Storybook jewelry, monstrous designs, and alice in wonderland photoshoots,  Storybook sentiment has gotten hold of consumers looking to escape economic woes and seek refuge in the fantasies of their past, sparking an interest in everything from ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ to ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

Hello, Mr. Karl Lagerfeld!

 Alice in Wonderland Collection from Paul & Joe

13. DIY Healthcare - Be prepared to welcome in a new era of healthcare with palm-sized physicals, stress-sensing watches and fertility monitor pods. With public health care continuing to be a big issue, consumers are looking for ways to ensure their own physical wellness without the need for a medical professional.

Timex Heart Rate Monitor
14. Not-So-Tricky Picky - Years ago, we saw imported food like tofu go from being an exotic import to a mainstream commodity.  Now, we’re seing a proliferation of food products that cater to unique needs, like gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diets. It’s no longer tricky, to be picky.

15. Prodependancy - Next generation couples were already more likely to move in together than generations of the past… The credit crunch has accelerated this trend, driving demand in prodependent products like matching tattoos, co-ed fashion and shared home décor.

Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom's matching tattoos
 Other celebs who have matching tattoos are:
 Lindsay Lohan and ex- Samantha Ronson and Chris Brown and Rihanna
(we all know how those relationships turned out)

Do you have better ideas for matching tattoos?

16. Half Formal - Shorts with suit jackets, blazers with jeans and semi suits… Young professionals are classing up business casual by adding a formal twitst to casual style.

17. Rental Culture - Rentable luxury, clothing, baby toys, and fine art are just a few examples of the move towards rental culture.  Unique rentals were popping up back in 2008, but the recession fueled a move towards temporary ownership, fake status and a world of bartering.

Why buy when you can rent!
Wonder if it will work here in Manila?

18. Peacocking - Bright clothing, accessories and cosmetics are all staples of a bright neon movement that clashes in the dismal face of the recession.  Peacocking celebrates vibrant, bold in-your-face colors that prove you don’t need designer labels to scream, “Look at me!”

19. Unservice Forward - Thinking businesses are getting customers to service themselves.  From nightclubs and pubs where you serve your own beer to self-serve hotels, unservice not only saves you money, it lets customers get a sense of independence and creative control.

Here, here! And they better not bill us for service- charge!

20. Tangible Personalization - Last year, we saw personalization entering the physical realm with personalized bobbleheads, custom dresses and crafts.  This year, the credit crunch is accelerating this trend with a shift away from luxury products and a desire for personalized gifts.

Nothing new here. Filipinos have always been obsessed with putting their names everywhere.

We hope you learned a lot from this.

Erika and Marga


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