Brizo In Memphis and a Powerful Partnership for Children

This summer I had the opportunity to gather with an extraordinary group of people, all “alumnis” of the Brizo Blogger19. As you may remember from my January and February blog posts, I had the fantastic opportunity to attend a workshop organized by Brizo-creators of stylish plumbing fixtures- in New York during Fashion Week, where we also discovered Jason Wu’s glorious designs. Since 2010, Brizo has been inviting an elite group of designers, architects and influencers, which has since grown to include nearly 130 leaders in their fields, and from all over the globe. While diverse in their aesthetic, the Blogger 19 are all united by a shared experience at New York Fashion Week, hosted by the premium faucet brand Brizo.

A primary sponsor of fashion designer Jason Wu, Brizo believes high-style applies not just to the clothes we wear but is a lifestyle that extends to our aesthetic at home. Hence their innovative creations in stylish plumbing!!!

It was quite moving to be reunited all together at once, and we met many peers we had only spoken to long distance, via social media. I cannot stress enough the importance of a community in the Design Industry. We help each other grow, learn, think, exchange, and everyone benefits.

Memphis, as seen from Peabody hotel | Chez Elza                

View of Memphis from my Peabody Hotel bedroom. Photo credit: Barbara Hirsch | Chez Elza

This trip was particularly meaningful to me.

We learned about Brizo’s ongoing partnership with Memphis’ St Jude’s Children Research Hospital : Since 2010, Brizo has been a national sponsor for the St Jude Dream Home Giveaway, donating more than 1 million dollars to date in furnishings and fundraising efforts.

We were invited by the Brizo management to visit the hospital on site.

A few notes about the hospital:
-St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® opened in 1962 and was
founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas.
Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza
A small exhibit on Danny Thomas is hosted inside the Arabic inspired cupola. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch
Photo Credit Barbara Hirsch | Chez Elza
Thomas was of Lebanese origin and Lebanon was extremely supportive of his project. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch
PhotPhoto credit: Barbara Hirsch | Chez Elza
Beautiful detail of the cupola where we listened to speakers and had breakfast before the tour. Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch 
-St Jude’s mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other deadly diseases through pioneering research and exceptional care.
-No family ever pays St. Jude for anything.
-In 1962, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer, was 4 percent. Today, the survival rate for this once deadly disease is94 percent, thanks to research and treatment.
-The daily operating cost for St. Jude is $1.7 million, which is primarily covered by public contributions
-St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world
-St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted to children.
-St. Jude researchers are published and cited more often in high impact publications than any other private pediatric oncology institution in America.

We spent a day visiting the hospital with Brizo managers and employees, touring the facilities, even meeting with patients and families.

It was hard. It was moving.

http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=4f7df38c84209310VgnVCM100000290115acRCRD

The hospital’s multidenominational chapel.

All of us have been touched by cancer directly or indirectly: to witness the spirit of St Jude’s daily battle and incredible tenacity and optimism is truly a gift. Nobody wants to hear about illness or dying, but the reality is, it’s part of life.

As a designer reporting about the hospital, I tried to also approach this visit from a design perspective. Color and architecture, space planning and art were central elements all around the hospital.

Some say design is superfluous. It’s not. It is a central element in our surroundings. Appealing and inviting spaces make us feel loved and comfortable.

I commend St. Jude hospital for designing facilities that make being sick a little less grey and scary:

Photo credit: Barbara Hirsch | Chez Elza

A colorful playgroundPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch

rbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Art tables await much anticipated artistic expressions.

Photo credit: Barbara Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo credit: Barbara Hirsch | Chez Elza2013-07-17 11.29.53

Photo credit: Barbara Hirsch | Chez Elza                  

Above : Hallway exhibits, murals and messages abound at St Jude’s Children Research Hospital. Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch.

Below, common rooms and family apartments at Target House, where some of the families are lodged:

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo credit : Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Hirsch | Chez Elza

Above: The Brad Paisley common room. The artist donated the room and its decor. Like many artists, celebrities and sponsors, everyone becomes part of St Jude’s  community. For example, artists will come regularly and spend time with the children, or play music outdoors for the families.

Photo credit: Barbara Hirsch | Chez Elza

An outdoor common area at St Jude’s. Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch.

Photo credit : Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

The Shawn White Family Room. Photo credit : Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza.

Photo credit: Barbara Hirsch | Chez Elza

Messages of hope abound at the Target  House. Photo credit : Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Later, we were allowed to interact with some of the children patients and their families to work on an art project. Understandably, photos were not allowed to respect the families’ privacy.

This was truly a very awe inspiring visit and experience and I felt privileged to  have toured such a unique research hospital.

Thank you, Brizo, and thank you, St Jude.

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Wu’s Glorious Creations and a Brizo Fiesta to Remember

The last day always come. And so it came.

Day 3 we had one last breakfast meeting with Brizo. We worked hard and all sat still as white envelopes were distributed throughout the room. THE Jason Wu invitations. Braided in sexy black leather straps, they whispered the promise of something extraordinary:

Brizo FW-2013 301We were whisked away in black SUVs as slushy and frigid raindrops (Nemo had arrived) riddled the cityscape with streaks ans spots:

Brizo FW-2013 309Photo: Elza B. Design.

The bleak weather forecast did not dampen our spirits as this shot of  Yvonne Blacker and Jordan Bahler of Brizo can attest:

Brizo FW-2013 306Photo: Elza B. Design.

Thankfully VIP treatment was highly welcome as kind umbrella men opened our doors and helped us out upon arrival:

Brizo FW-2013 311Photo: Elza B. Design.

Excitement is in the air as we wait in line:

Brizo FW-2013 315Designers and bloggers Laura Bielecki, Katrina Stumbos with Kristen Baum and Laura Brooks of Brizo.

Meanwhile, behind the scene preparation of models for the Jayson Wu Fashion Show:

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Photo by Jayme Thornton for Brizo.

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Photo by Jayme Thornton for Brizo.

The show’s venue is dressed up with one glimmering, extravagant and astronomical chandelier which reflects on the glistening black and white cutout of the floor…that will later be touched up by hand a few moments before the show actually starts:

Brizo FW-2013 325Photo Elza B. Design

And the show begins as models belted in snakeskin, lace, fur, leather, silk and wool crepe ensembles sashay across the room at lightning speed :

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 A rapid succession of black and white silhouettes punctuated by a shot of red here and there and one glorious violet gown brings the crowd to applause as we all stand up stunned by the rapidity of the show.

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All Fashion Show Photos by Jayme Thornton for Brizo.

While a Fashion design student in Paris in the late eighties, I had the privilege of attending quite a number of fashion shows, such as Jean-Paul Gauthier and Thierry Mugler. The Jason Wu show is just as professional and clearly the work of a highly gifted fashion architect, capable of teasing fabric and materials into elaborate and perfectly wearable confections.

Brizo FW-2013 346A photo of part of our fabulous group gathered after the show under the spectacular chandelier.

The rest of the evening is spent rushing back to the hotel and donning an evening outfit in preparation of the Jason Wu private cocktail party. We brave the enormous, silent and hurried white snowflakes and gather up in the New York Penthouse for the event.

Brizo FW-2013 362Previous Jason Wu creations keep us company as we enjoy drinks and each other’s company. Elza B. Design photo.

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 Our group posing with the talented celebrity stylist Brandon Cannon, who was the first to introduce Jason Wu to Brizo and is a good friend of the designer. Photo Jayme Thornton.

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Marilyn Russell and I pose for the camera. Jayme Thornton photo.

Jason Wu braves the snow storm and traffic, and arrives quite tired after his show and the numerous interviews he gave immediately after. He is gentle, charming, humble and very very smart. He graciously answers a few questions from Cannon which my old computer refuses to transfer into a video that can be saved without crashing the whole unit…and  I’ve just given up. You’ll have to settle with Jayme Thornton‘s great snapshot:

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Thank you, Brizo, it was a trip to remember! Below, the Brizo group with Jason Wu photgraphed by Jayme Thornton:_H1U8427.JPG

“Ce n’est qu’un au-revoir”, as we say in my mother tongue. Until next time, dear friends. Thank you for the memories!

Bare Toes to Gourmet Cooking | A Brizo Adventure

I almost missed going to the Brizo Event. I received an email on a Sunday, which I cast aside for later and did not open. Thankfully, I was called early in the week by the Brizo team, and had to have them repeat what I was hearing:

Me: “Um, excuse me, did you just say I was invited to learn about your products and to see the Jason Wu Fashion Show, all fees included? Hotel and trip?”

The rest is history. I breathlessly figured out logistics to escape my clients and family life, and then shopped desperately for New York worthy outfits.

D Day started with bare toes in the sunshine, driving back home with sticky nails, and imploring my husband to drive me to the airport:

Brizo FW-2013 129He said yes, Whew! And, no, for the record, I’ve never bared my toes in 35 degree temperature before. This was an “EMERGENCY”! Photo Elza B. Design.

I landed to New York and was pleasantly picked up by a chauffeur and zoomed to the Eventi Hotel (read more about the hotel here)

This is what my room looked like when I first came in:

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A glamorous little nest for sure. Photo Elza B. Design.

Drinks followed with the Brizo team that evening and we all got to mingle:

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Brian Nobbe, Brizo Marketing Director with fellow bloggers Todd Vendituoli and Marilyn Russell. Photo Elza B. Design.

Brizo FW-2013 158.editedFrom left to right: Fellow designers and bloggers Marilyn Russell, Yvonne Blacker, Adele Young and the one and only, Judd Lord, director of Industrial Design for Brizo. Photo Elza B. Design.

Bright and early the next day we attended a presentation of the Brizo lines:

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The lovely Laura Brooks, Senior Brand Manager for Brizo. Photo courtesy Jayme Thornton.

 

Designers and bloggers hard at work. Obviously good students, seeing from the level of participation! Photo courtesy Jayme Thornton.

Later that day we went on a tour of the Hearst Tower and attended a presentation by  ELLE DECOR‘s editor Amy Preiser:

Brizo FW-2013 226Sorry for the fuzzy photo, Amy. You were extremely charming and bubbly. Note to self: take photos with a regular camera once in a while. I-Phone not always optimum.

Beautiful Hearst Tower view:

Brizo FW-2013 218Photo Elza B. Design.

Did you know the Hearst tower is not not only the heart of numerous famous magazines, it also hosts the Good Housekeeping Institute Office!

Brizo FW-2013 239Famous Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval is delivered here, in the heart of New York city! Photo Elza B. Design.

The tower offers an ideally sound proofed auditorium, its own Cafe, an art gallery space, a sculpted water fountain, and a 70 feet high fresco hand painted by artist Richard Long with mud and water.

Brizo FW-2013 229Fabulous architecture inside the building. Photo Elza B. Design.

But what I found most fascinating about the tower’s recent addition is its exemplary environmentally conscious and breathtaking diagonal grid construction. Designed by British architect Norman Foster, it features among many things: the fastest elevators of New York, high efficient glass construction, rain water collection and recycling, and it is made of 90% recycled steel. Click here to view a video and learn more.

The day was topped off with a fast speed and mouth watering cooking class at Sur La Table with the Brizo team and guests. We cooked three main courses and then sat down to eat

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My fabulous teammates, Brian Nobbe and Judd Lord of Brizo and designer and cooking buddy Susan Jamieson. Photo credit Jayme Thornton for Brizo.

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The art of folding pasta…Photo courtesy Jayme Thornton.

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My teammates and I made this pasta!!! I love this photo. It makes me happy! Photo Elza B. Design.

The whole Brizo group before dinner:

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Above and directly below, photos courtesy Jayme Thornton for Brizo._H1U7233.JPGBrizo FW-2013 288.copyOne of our delicious creations, fresh tomato pappardelle with ground beef and scallions. Photo Elza B. Design.

I will share the Jason Wu Fashion Show later this week. In the meantime, I leave you with this telling photo of how everything came to an end:

Brizo FW-2013 125Landing at Boston Logan Airport with Yvonne Blacker, we had to come back to reality! Hello, Nemo! Goodbye fairytale!

Brizo: Smart, Hot and Technologically Trendy

Dear Friends,

I am back from New York and Brizo Fashion Week was simply fabulous. I learned so much and met so many wonderful people!

 Brizo Team members, includes Industrial Designers, Product Marketing Managers and Communications and Events members. Such a friendly and genuine group! Photo courtesy Brizo Facebook Page.

The Brizo Faucet Line is part of the DELTA Faucet company and is aimed at a more fashion savvy clientele. “Glamorous”, “Elegant” and “Minimalistic” were buzz words used by Brizo members to describe the product lines. During the seminar we learned that Brizo is a “lifestyle”, and its mission is to inspire others to dream.

Brizo gave detailed presentations on current product lines. From traditional to contemporary, and everything in between, the company offers a plethora of bathroom or kitchen faucet designs. Imagine they shipped these cumbersome displays from their Indianapolis offices:

Display of some Brizo Faucets Presented at the Meeting

An example of a more traditional kitchen faucet:tresa kitchen Faucet

 Tresa Faucet system by Brizo for the Kitchen. Photo courtesy Brizo.

An example of a more contemporary faucet line:

siderna bath Faucet

Siderna Bath Line by Brizo is a personal favorite. Photo courtesy Brizo.

Brizo has been working on some pretty impressive  technologies. From SmartTouch Technology where you

SmartTouch  

Photo courtesy Brizo.

can operate the faucet by simply tapping it, to H2OKinetic Technology:

 

Typical
Shower
H2Okinetic Shower
Typical Droplet Size H2Okinetic Droplet Size Droplet Size:
Larger water droplets offer a more massaging shower experience.
Typical spray coverage H2Okinetic spray coverage Spray Coverage:
A dense shower spray offers a more drenching blanket of water coverage.
typical thermal dynamics H2Okinetic thermal dynamics Thermal Dynamics:
Larger water drops and a dense spray pattern results in a warmer, more consistent showering experience.

Comparative drawing from Brizo showing difference between a regular shower and the H2OKinetic Shower Technology.

Another technology of interest is Temp IQ, or Temperature Sensing Technology , which is water temperature information given to the user via a strategically located faucet light.  It turns blue for cold, pink for medium and red for hot. There is also an internal sensor which stops the hot temperature from going too high.

Brizo-Wu -faucet

 

 

The Jason Wu Faucet at left is lit in the red (hot) position at base of faucet neck. The little medallion on back is there for demonstrating purposes of the display.

 

 

 

 

 

The little handle on right of this model shows no screws at all. It is smooth as a snake and incredibly nimble to operate:

http://imageserve.deltafaucet.com/is/image/DeltaDynamicWeb/BeautyShots/65675LF-PC_002.tif?fmt=jpeg,rgb&wid=476&hei=350

Shown here in the Odin chrome and in mid swerve of the handle. Note the little light at base of faucet. Photo courtesy Brizo.

The handle is ingeniously activated by a series of magnets and internal attachments and rotations unveiled here in this clear handle used to demonstrate the complexity of the design (graciously held by Jon Dartt, VP of Sales for Delta, who gave me his permission to take a photograph):

Mechanics of Odin_edited-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the beauties of the Brizo lines is how invisible screws are on the faucets and handles: this creates smooth, elegant product lines.

Brizo truly taught us so much and I am so grateful for the lovely invitation to join them!

I will blog more in the next few days to share more from my trip.

A bientôt!

 

 

Brizo, Water, Bloggers and Jason Wu

You may be wondering why I would bunch these words in my title together. Where am I getting at??

Definitions:

Brizo: Brizo is “a premium faucet brand that promises distinctive design, inventive faucets and accessories that make a fashion statement in the home”.

Water: We all know what water is. Water is graceful, clean, soothing, in perpetual movement.

Bloggers: A contraction of two words, “web” and “log” is at the origin of the word “blog”. Blogging is a form of online public journal keeping or journalism where the blogger has freedom of press and puts a lot of him/herself in the writing. Hyperlinks allow the readers to be redirected to related articles or.websites.

Jason Wu: Jason Wu  is a talented Taiwanese-Canadian Fashion Designer who lives in New York City. Among other things, he designed Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Ball dresses, two flowy, very long dresses, Ruby red velvet and chiffon for this year’s Presidential Inauguration Ball, white chiffon in January 2009.

About Shot

Jason Wu, photo via JasonWuStudio.com.

Brizo deals with Water and design and Wu deals with movement and design. Water moves. Bloggers move ideas and Design bloggers are designers or writers interested in the design process.

Jason Wu and Brizo have been collaborating on a special fashion forward line of faucets and shower systems for a few years now and Brizo is Wu‘s main sponsor.

I think you’re starting to see the correlations…

jason-wu shower Shower

Jason Wu for Brizo Medium Flow Custom Shower

Today’s post is about how Brizo, Water, Wu, and Bloggers will be reunited for a very special event.

Drum Roll Please:

Brizo has invited me and 18 other bloggers to New York to see its newest products and attend an exclusive expenses-paid, design-focused event during Fashion Week.

The New York City event will include an introduction to the Brizo brand and interactive sessions with the product and design teams as well as the chance to build or strengthen the camaraderie between other elite design professionals through meals, team projects and unique shared experiences.

We’ll take a trip to see esteemed fashion designer Jason Wu show off his Fall 2013 collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and cap off the entire event with a private cocktail party with Jason Wu himself.

It is a formidable opportunity and I am truly truly honored to be part of it. To meet other designers and share ideas about creation and design is very exciting. Traveling to these types of VIP events on occasion is not about glitz for me. I’m just a nerdy gal in love with beauty and design.  I cannot wait to learn about fabrication and technology and exchange with my colleagues.
I applaud brands like Brizo or Kravet (Read my blog about last year’s Blogfest 2012) who understand how we are all in this together. If designers learn about products, then they can collaborate better and sell something they truly know and understand. And simultaneously,  brands benefit from exchanging with designers, who deal with clients’ needs and tastes on a daily basis.
We all gain from interacting with each other and I have learned this firsthand with Interior Designer Chat, a weekly Twitter platform chat (twitter handle: @IntDesignerChat) founded by Barbara Segal, where dedicated designers, vendors, and other professionals share and discuss diverse topics related to design. Frankly, it’s like going off to a weekly fantastic seminar!

And boy, am I looking forward to this Brizo “seminar”!!!