Cole’s Quest

Cole Rise, a photographer and a programmer behind was one of the first people I interviewed for, my interview series. And during our conversation, he shared his dream of building an exact replica of the Hasselblad camera, that went to the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission. My conversation with Cole … Continue reading Cole’s Quest

In conversation w Outlier co-founder Abe Burmeister

And we are back on, with my latest conversation with Abe Burmeister, co-founder, and CEO of New York-based technical/daily clothing brand, Outlier. During our hour-long conversation we touched on a variety of topics, from technical clothing, changing reality of fashion, impact of climate change on fashion and materials, bootstrapping his business and more importantly, why he does what he does. If you are a keen follower of technical clothing and interested in small businesses that eschew venture capital and figure out trends before others, then this is a conversation worth your time.

If you would like to skip reading, then here is the podcast version. 

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Cole gets a Cannes Lion

A photo by Cole Rise, who is one of my favorite people and simply a great photographer has been picked as  Cannes Lion award  (Gold campaign) winner in the Billboard/Street Posters category. His photo of a friend standing in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado was part of Apple’s Shot on iPhone 6 campaign. Congratulations amigo — and thanks for all your great picture. By the way, Cole’s app, finds a nice home on the home screen of my iPhone 6.

It was only last week I pinged Cole and asked him about how they were printing such gigantic posters on the side of the buildings and on billboards considering that my iPhone 6+ photos show their imperfection on the iMac 5K. He pointed out that the trick has to do with DPI (dots or pixels per inch if you’re talking screens). A photo straight from the phone is about 8 megapixels at 72DPI. However, since billboards are so large and so far away, they can use a really low DPI, like 12-15 dots per inch, which is common when printing at that scale. “The photo looks great huge,” he explained to me in an email.

On an average sized 4K screen, however, will operate at around 130-140DPI, nearly double an iPhone photo. The pixels will be stretched and the photo looks like crap, in the same way a low-res photo or icon looks when it’s scaled up on a retina display. “Interestingly though, if your 4K screen is around 60” or larger, the DPI drops below 72 DPI, so the phone photos will start to look amazing,” he added.

If you have not read my interview with Cole over on, our yourself a glass of wine (or a cuppa tea) and sit down savor the man’s nuanced take on photography and life.


My conversation with the King of Cashmere

Brunello Cucinelli wants you to learn the art of doing nothing. He’ll tell you this idea goes back to the Latin word otium and the Romans, who used to lay around and stare, and then he’ll probably quote a few ancient philosophers.

Why? “If individuals rest properly,” he says, they’ll be more productive. Beyond that, they’ll be more soulful. Cucinelli, who is known for his luxury cashmere sweaters, is part businessman, part philosopher and part monk. Though his eponymously named fashion house had more than 355 million euros in revenues in 2014, he focuses on the individual and Italian craftsman traditions. The King of Cashmere rushes for no one, and he doesn’t check his text messages before 6 PM. He would rather be known as “citizen cashmere.”

At his company, “You start at 8 AM, and at 5:30 PM you are forbidden to work any further. No emails can be sent to more than two addressees.” He wants to communicate face to face, to make eye contact. “If you have 1,000 people, you have 1,000 geniuses,” he told me. “They’re just different kinds of genius and a different degree of intensity.”

It goes back to Cucinelli’s belief in the importance of craft. “Say you are a tailor,” he said. “If you earn $1,200 a month, you are sort of ashamed to say that that’s your trade, because that’s the culture. We have to do the opposite.”

That’s why the Italian businessman dropped out of engineering school to design cashmere sweaters. “The idea of manufacturing something that you never scrap — I liked it.”

Just as he treats his raw materials as indispensible, Cucinelli respects his employees. For example, he pays them 20 percent more than the industry standard. “I want a profit with dignity,” he explained. “We need a contemporary form of capitalism. I would like to add ‘humanistic’ to that equation.”

Beyond that, Cucinelli wants us to take care of our souls while working. How? By resting, preferably with a book of philosophy in hand.

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