The Design Block

If you're looking for the latest in advertising and marketing, design related technology and lifestyle tips, and art or design highlights then you're in the right place. Find all this and more with the Design Block blog.

Nike focuses on sustainable footwear for summer 2019

Today may be the first day of spring, but thoughts of summer are already on the horizon for Nike as they preview their sustainable footwear.

McDonald’s plans to retail its own version of Balenciaga’s fries shoes

First it was a New York souvenir company that went after Balenciaga for copying a touristy tote, now it is McDonald's turn.

Don’t like tying your laces? Check out Nike’s self-lacing basketball shoes

Nike's Adapt BB are an auto-lacing, app-controlled basketball shoe that's loaded technological advancements.

Pantone unveils 2019 Spring/Summer fashion trend report

Every year the team at the Pantone Color Institute comes out with its fashion trend report; an overview of the top colours showcased by fashion designers at New York Fashion Week that’ll be featuring in their collections for the upcoming season.

For the love of colour: Now you can put on Pantone socks

Aside from keeping you up-to-date on the latest colour trends and foods inspired by various hues, Pantone has started producing fashion.

Lingerie campaign celebrates models of all sizes and bans airbrushing

UK-based lingerie brand Figleaves has released its latest campaign that includes a cast models of different sizes, shapes and ethnicities. What also makes this campaign special is that Figleaves is the latest brand to ban airbrushing in their ads.

Nike issues comeback after French Open bans Serena Williams’ catsuit

Officials at the French Open have announced they will ban Serena Williams’ signature black catsuit from future tournaments.

People seem to love the new butt-baring pants that are basically assless chaps

Just when you thought you’d seen the quirkiest fashion trends, like Car Mat Skirts or crotch accentuating pants, people seem to be loving the latest must-have butt-baring item.

Tiny 3-inch Chanel ankle bag comes at a not-very-teeny price of US$900

A tiny Chanel bag that made its debut over a decade ago has recently caught social media users off balance. Model and reality star Kendall Jenner posted an Instagram Story showing off the Chanel ankle bag to her followers with the caption, “It only fits joy.”

Puma’s Japanese-style embroidered sneakers pay homage to the Kimono

If you’re a fan of Japanese arts and culture, PUMA‘s new embroidered sneakers are perfect for those who want to add a bit of edge to their look.

Japanese fashion brand creates crotch accentuating pants

Last year say an exorbitant number of strange fashion trends, but this one is probably the weirdest so far for 2018. Former Louis Vuitton designer Kim Jones just dropped a new collaboration with GU, a budget-minded branch of Uniqlo in Japan. And it has people baffled…

Colour outside the lines with Crayola Beauty makeup

If you thought Crayola crayons were just for kids, you wouldn’t be correct. Children’s crayons have long been an inspiration for makeup brands, and today Crayola is releasing it’s own line of makeup aimed at adults.

Handcrafted fairytale dresses designed by Sylvie Facon

Inspired by nature, fairytales and women’s figure, French designer Sylvie Facon aspires to design dresses that are very feminine, refined, and meticulous. She sews dresses with beautiful fabrics and such an incredible attention to detail that they would steal any catwalk.

A look back at 7 of the oddest fashion trends of 2017

If there’s one thing regarding fashion trends that we can always rely on, is their ability to surprise us. On the one hand, there are some styles that are pretty much timeless; pieces you can put on and know you’ll always look good. However, at times, it…

Nature-inspired embroidery that appears to be floating

Embroidery is delicate work. But when you’re skillfully hand-stitching, it’s taken to the next level. And that’s especially true when working on net-like tulle fabric. It’s more delicate than your traditional cotton—making it less forgiving than other fabrics. However, when done well, the effect is mesmerizing.

Nike’s Air Huarache Ultra inspired by the Colour Of The Year

After PANTONE reveals its Colour of the Year, comes designers’ take on the trend. This year’s colour was Ultra Violet, representing “originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.

Festive nail art inspired by the ugly sweater trend

There are plenty of ways to show off your holiday spirit, like Christmas beard baubles; but nothing says festive quite like ugly sweater inspired nail art. This viral DIY beauty trend will really get you into the holiday spirit.

Candy cane eyeliner: The newest Christmas makeup trend

The holidays are quickly approaching, so it’s time to start planning your festive-wear. If you’re looking to stand out at your Christmas party from all of the ugly sweaters, how about giving this festive candy cane eyeliner a go.

Retailer sells US$900 dress that looks like a dry cleaning bag

Lately, retailers have been trying to push their designer fashion, which looks like expensive versions of cheaper items, upon us; much like Prada’s US$185 money clip that looks like a paper clip or Balenciaga’s IKEA-inspired blue tote.

Tattoo Socks allow you to flaunt cool designs without getting inked

For most around the world, tattoos are a form of expression. For some it’s a rite of adulthood, tribal identity, artistic or beauty purposes, and so on. However, for those who are in it for style and beauty but aren’t looking for permanence, you may…

Design studio tries to reinvents the zipper

We use it in out everyday lives and probably don’t give it much thought. The zipper is used in clothing, luggage and other bags, sporting goods, camping gear, and other items. The design hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years, but one design company is looking to change that.

A unique watch made of lightweight and durable concrete

Concrete may seem an unlikely design material when talking about consumer goods, but the Masonic aims to change this perception. This debut watch from Aggregate Watches is the first to utilize a traditionally industrial material in a refined way.

Zodiac inspired tattoos to reflect your personality

When it comes to commitment, getting a tattoo is near the top. Therefore, if you get one, you’ll want to feel good about it and what it represents about you. For those who are guided by astrology, but aren’t sure which design to get, you may want to…

Best of the 2017 World Beard & Moustache Championship

Quite possibly the best thing to happen to facial hair is the World Beard and Moustache Championship. For more than 25 years, the semi-annual competition has turned growing and grooming into a high-class art form.

Makeup artist uses optical illusions to create amazing effects

Makeup can be transformational; if done right it can turn one thing into something completely different. For example, the mind-bending effects from Vancouver makeup artist Mimi Choi has proven she is the queen of optical illusion makeup.

Adidas beer and vomit-proof shoes for Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest, originally a Bavarian event, is now celebrated the world over; being loved for its endless flow of German beer, traditional food, and all-around good times. So, if you’re looking for the perfect shoes to match your lederhosen at Oktoberfest, Adidas has the pair for you. 

Prada retails a single paperclip for $185US

Prada is selling a $185US money clip that looks like a paperclip. Yes, it’s literally just a fancy version of a paperclip that’s probably on your desk. Barney’s New York has just retailed a sterling silver Prada clip, and it’s the latest item to join the list of things…

NakeFit stick-on soles let you go barefoot

A barefoot stroll on the beach is one of the life’s simple pleasures; unless the sand is scorching hot. To get people out of their flip flops, an Italian company believes they have the perfect solution: stick-on soles.

You can buy this bikini made from real pizza for $10,000

Whether it’s to celebrate a victory or a quick way to feed the family, pizza is an incredibly popular food; especially in Canada. But why eat your pizza when you can wear it? To celebrate National Bikini Day today, restaurant chain Villa Italian Kitchen has partnered New York-Based food stylist Jessie Bearden to create…

Danish fashion label RAINS sues Zara for copying its raincoat design

Zara has a reputation for taking runway designs and making affordable versions for everyday consumers. However, they’ve taken a lot of heat in the last few months, starting with their Love Your Curves ad, and now this: Danish outerwear label RAINS recently announced it is filing…

Metallic freckles are this summer’s hot new beauty trend

For many beauty enthusiasts, the sun’s arrival this summer will be accompanied by the appearance of a modicum of beautiful freckles. And while beauty trends involving freckles aren’t new, these tiny skin spots are set to take on new life as dramatic beauty marks.

Marble lips: The latest beauty trend to captivate social media

It’s been a dream of may to have gorgeous marble countertops in their homes. However, the most recent trend involving marble doesn’t have anything to do with home renovation. Because the latest trend goes on you; marble lip art is taking over Instagram, much like the previous crystallized lips and other…

Artist creates stunning watercolour temporary tattoos

Based in St. Petersburg, Sasha Unisex is an interesting temporary tattoo artist, whose technique and style is so unique and distinctive that it immediately grabs your attention. She is well-known for her distinct and contemporary approach to the art of tattooing; with her minimalist design, geometric shapes and…

McDonald’s dull new uniforms inspire online teasing

Last month, McDonald’s unveiled new uniforms for its U.S. locations in 2017. And with that release, the new uniforms are prompting some online teasing; with comments saying the grey-toned shirts and aprons make employees look like they’re part of totalitarian regimes.

Spring’s new hairstyle trend is the colourful Unicorn Hair

Now that spring is finally here, people are starting to get out of the winter blues and into colourful feel-good design styles. If the hidden rainbow hairstyle wasn’t your thing, perhaps this Unicorn Hair trend will be right up your alley.

Zara’s ‘Love Your Curves’ ad draws harsh criticism and humorous responses

You should always be weary of what you say or post online—especially on Twitter. Clothing brand Zara certainly learned that after posting an ad showing two models with the tagline, “Love your curves.”

Beautiful tattoos that look like watercolour art

Instagram and Pinterest are great sources of inspiration when it comes to ideas for tattoos. This is especially true now, given how contemporary tattoo artists are getting more creative than ever with the medium.

PANTONE unveils new magazine that explores seasonal colour trends

Last month the PANTONE Color Institiute debuted its new bi-annual magazine. VIEWPOINT COLOUR is an inspirational lifestyle magazine that explores seasonal colour trends and insights across all design disciplines. Colour plays a crucial part in branding, logo design, and how products are perceived by consumers. And because of…

Smart wallet automatically separates your bills and coins

Wallets have pretty much remained the same; a pocket for your bills and a small buttoned space for your coins. But if you’ve ever struggled to keep change neatly inside their wallet, you’ll understand why this design team from Singapore came up with KIN. 

Stencils give your hair a unique design

Hair can be cut, styled and coloured. But why colour all of it, when you can create floral, polka dots and other patterns in your hair. Stylist Janine Ker, from Salon Aguayo, has created her own stencil designs for hair.

Can you tell jewellery from a sex toy? Take the quiz

As jewellery becomes more elegant and sex toys get more creative, it can be hard to tell them apart. So to test your design knowledge, Cosmopolitan has created a quiz to see how well you know your sex toys and jewellery.

Move over beard baubles, it’s time to light things up

Forget about adding glitter to your beard or hanging Christmas baubles in there. A new trend has hit the beard scene and it’s about to literally light up this festive season in a big way. 

Exclusive $20,000 Cheetos cheetah-inspired jewellery

Trying to figure out that perfect, thoughtful gift for a loved one at Christmas is tough. But don’t worry, because Cheetos has come to the rescue. And I’m not talking about give your partner a big bag of cheesy crisps, but a new cheetah-inspired jewellery set.

A handy guide to keeping your beard well-groomed

As someone who has had facial hair for nearly twenty years, I can tell you it takes a lot of work to grow out a great beard. Good grooming habits are essential, no matter if it’s for a cause like Movember or just because you want…

These beautiful backpack will give you wings

The dream of flight started a very long time ago. Many people have wondered what it’s like to have wings, but people are not angels or birds. So do you simply strap on a pair of fake wings and go to work? You’d seem a little odd…

Instagram’s latest lip art trend brings us crystallized lips

Instagram has a tremendous influence over the beauty industry. If something starts catching on via the social media platform, it’s sure to make waves with fashionistas everywhere. The newest beauty rage amongst these make-up addicts is now crystallized lips. 

Hair crown looks like butterflies flying around your head

Butterflies happen to be a popular motif in the visual arts and design. Based in Ukraine, designer Iryna Osinchuk-Chajka of Eten-Iren Handmade Jewely has taken this motif and released a series of unique hair accessories.

Laceless running shoes designed by BMW and PUMA

Amidst the hype surrounding the recent re-release of the Nike Mag self-tying shoes, BMW and PUMA have partnered up to create a pair of laceless shoes. These running shoes incorporate technology from BMW’s GINA Light Visionary Model concept car.

Have you seen the dip dye wedding dress trend?

Here comes the bride, all dressed in white… and blue, pink and yellow. If you’re tired of the traditional white gown, then an airbrushed or dip dye wedding dress might be for you.

What web designers can learn from the fashion industry

Buying clothes online is a risky venture, since much of shopping is knowing how the apparel feels and fits your body. One of the best ways to persuade people to buy clothes online is by being very meticulous. That’s why fashion industry websites are on top of…