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Chimpanzee Bars

Going beyond natural ingredients, the Czech company takes a user-centric approach to their products

by Hans Aschim in Food + Drink on 23 July 2014

All Natural, Energy Bars, Outdoors, Snacks, Health Food, Prague, Wellness

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In the world of energy bars, the use of all-natural ingredients has become commonplace. While it's a largely positive shift for a host of reasons, the use of those ingredients doesn't necessarily result in a healthy product and can umbrella some rather nefarious sweeteners. The team at Prague-based Chimpanzee Bars, however, takes every single one of their ingredients and the nutritional value behind each component in their bars and powders seriously. For example, instead of honey (or corn-derived sweeteners), the brand uses rice syrup, which is less sweet and contains a higher percentage of polysaccharides and maltose for a clean, even, slow-burning source of energy. "The very prime idea was to create a great tasting energy bar without any chemicals, preservatives and so on," says co-founder Ondrej Vesely. "Not just energy bars, but unfortunately most of the food we buy is full of things which do not have to be there," Vesely adds. Think of Chimpanzee's offerings as a highly considered, utilitarian view of food with the user's best interests at heart and a simple promise: no weird stuff.

The brand currently offers protein, slim and kids bars as well as a handy (and tasty) Quickmix shake, perfect for the breakfast-averse riser looking to get in some morning activities. Currently available across much of Northern and Central Europe, Chimpanzee's products can also be found using their handy store locator.

Images by Cool Hunting

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Interview: Ricky Hendry on Tech-Led Fashion

Smart textiles and the future of innovation within the current landscape of men's style, presented by Cole Haan ZeroGrand

by Graham Hiemstra in Tech on 23 July 2014

Sponsored, Apparel, Design, Footwear, Innovation, Menswear, Style, Technology, Cole Haan, ISAORA, ZeroGrand

Sponsored content:

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While one of the most evident ways in which technology has seeped into contemporary culture is no doubt wearables; fashion and tech have—and continue—to collide, from DVF collaborating with Google Glass to 3D-printed insoles. While some products seem to be conceived purely for aesthetics, many make the uncertainty of daily life in and outside the city a little bit easier to manage by way of textiles.

Innovative examples of tech-laden materials impacting our daily lives can be found in everything from the new high-tech Cole Haan ZeroGrand brogue to ISAORA's heat-retaining, water-repelling apparel.

As leaders in the menswear community for making fashion-forward performance apparel with the latest in technology, ISAORA is always a sure shot when looking for what's happening right now—and what is to come. The brand's designer, Ricky Hendry says of the current popularity of technology in fashion, "It seems it's becoming increasingly important. It's always been there, to some extent, but it's definitely become more prevalent across the board in recent seasons. My feeling is it's a reflection of the wider trend towards an active and healthy lifestyle."

The focus with some of the most successful products is on function, rather than tech for tech's sake—supporting Hendry's belief that it's a reflection of wellbeing and lifestyle. As he explains, "We're pretty close to a new generation of smart materials that monitor, regulate, respond and adapt to environmental changes, temperature variations, vital signs, heart-rate, etc. Most of that already exists in some form, but it's going to become a lot more sophisticated and widely used. Further out it's not so hard to imagine nano materials that have the ability to change their structure, and everyday fabrics becoming part of the internet of things."

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"What we're really excited about at the moment is a class of materials know as optically modified polymers. [They] incorporate finely ground minerals with a high thermo-reactive value that convert radiant body heat into infrared energy, which is reflected back to the body and proven to increase oxygenation of cells, improve circulation, aid regeneration and recovery, and optimize blood-flow. Sounds pretty crazy I know, but it's scientifically proven to give you super powers. Or so I'm told," continues Hendry with tongue firmly in cheek.

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Regardless of season, certain climates (ahem, New York) demand a serious level of attention when dressing for the day's activities, both in terms of aesthetic appeal and material function. From lightweight shoes (like those by Cole Haan) to bodyheat-controlling apparel, it seems everybody with an interest is genuinely excited to see what's currently available in tech-conscious fashion and what is soon to come in such spaces. Hendry says, "I think it's something that's constantly evolving and evolution is natural, necessary and inevitable. With all the current excitement about wearable tech it's an area that there's going to be a lot of focus on and this will lead to innovation."

Portrait courtesy of Phil Chang, all other images courtesy of ISAORA and Cole Haan

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A Selfie a Day Keeps the Doctor Away by Mike Mellia

The photographer's engaging new project that explores the current state of self-portraiture

by James Thorne in Culture on 23 July 2014

Art, Instagram, Mike Mellia, Photography, Self Portraits, Selfies, Social Media

The selfie can convey just about anything. Commonly now seen in the form of the "duck face," or the boastful vacation shot—it's not who we are, but how we'd like to be perceived. In that respect, the selfie apes the best of classical European portraiture. From King Henry VIII's exaggerated calves to Denise from Ohio's flattering Tinder angles, the self-portrait was and still is (at best) a white lie.

Photographer Mike Mellia's series "A Selfie a Day Keeps the Doctor Away" is an Instagram project aimed at the heart of selfie culture. Mellia shoots himself adorned in turbans and cradling swaths of silk, unapologetically pensive. Images are captioned by wry quips that explain, elaborate or perplex. (A distinctly Marxist pose reads: "That one time I asked the workers of the world to unite.")

Mellia succeeds because he embraces the form at its most unselfconscious—each scene is overly contrived, and each caption channels a braggart's dry assurance of his own importance. At once self-serving and disinterested, the images are like vanities created specially for the bonfire.

For more of Mellia's work, see our earlier piece on his series "The American Dream." Follow the photographer's ongoing selfie project on Instagram at @mikemellia.

Images courtesy of Mike Mellia

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