Issue #056

Charlotte Hurd


Welcome to your weekly dose of TooXToo, this week featuring an AR Pop-up book from Simone Rocha, brands recognising the potential in OnlyFans, community cooking & Nike showcasing their toughest athletes  

Simone Rocha creates AR Pop-up book  

 The hugely anticipated and sell out collaboration between H&M and Simone Rocha saw the brands team up with British painter Faye Wei Wei for the release of the collection 

Sent to press and buyers, the limited-edition book features five of Wei Wei’s dreamlike paintings, chosen by herself and Rocha from her archive to echo the intensity of the designer’s garments. 

Scanning on-page QR codes with a mobile device reveals a cast of musicians, artists, models and dancers that spring out from the book’s pages (in AR, on-screen) as figures.  

A diverse cast apparently selected for their shared trait – kindness – includes LA-based singer Kelsey Lu, iconic English actress Helena Bonham Carter, American supermodel Kaia Gerber, and British-American plus-size model Paloma Elsesser. 

Brands find potential in Only Fans  

With the huge popularity of subscriber based micro-communities booming during lockdown – these spaces have become a huge opportunity for brands looking to use subscriber-based networks to build community.  

OnlyFans, for example hit 50 million users in August 2020, up from 12 million in January 2020, and by December, boasted 500,000 new users per day (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2021).  

In February 2021, American fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff streamed it’s A/W 21 show on the platform.  

Whilst, media conglomerate Vice launched OnlyFans for its food vertical Munchies in late 2020. It comprises subscriber-only recipes, behind-the-scenes videos and opportunities for fans to interact with their favourite chefs for a small amount each month. 


Community cooking  

The ‘community’ is a prototype from DEMI, a pandemic-era startup that cuts out the middleman (in this case, social media) and helps food professionals grow and connect with audiences directly. 

The app recognises the shift from larger social media sites to more niche online communities. Foodie fans pay $10 a month to gain access to a number of professional chefs and restaurateurs. 

The growing roster includes Sin, pastry chefNatasha Pickowicz, Italian food writer Katie Parla,APÉRITIF author Rebekah Peppler, and Peoples Wine managing partner Daryl Nuhn 

“I want to build a sustainable business within food,” says Moore. “We want to show that chefs deserve to get paid more for their hard work, passion, and knowledge.” 

“Like a lot of restaurant people, I’m cobbling together this freelance life by developing recipes, writing stories, and getting involved with campaigns that fit my perspective,” says Pickowicz, who lost her job as the pastry chef for New York's acclaimed Café Altro Paradiso and Flora Bar last June. She views DEMI as a way to break free from the “hegemony of social media” with a format that requires less bandwidth than setting up a Patreon. “I don't want to be in someone’s in-box,” she says. “I like the conversational aspect of the chat. I’m more interested in knowing who Sarah or Sally are, thinking about the people who read it and what their lives are like.” 

The hope with the app is to create a more democratic, open space to talk about food, offering people opportunity to reach out and improve at home chef skills.  

"Can you be an athlete? You, pregnant?" 

Nike has become synonymous with arresting advertising and their latest spot for their new maternity line is no different.   

Featuring a number of pregnant and breastfeeding athletes the advertising follows many other brands who have begun to depict mothers and motherhood in a more authentic and real way. The film depicts more than 20 mothers in various stages of pregnancy as well as postpartum.  

The spot was compiled from more than 22 hours of footage shot by the mothers, their friends and families during the pandemic. Each respective shoot was directed via Zoom. 

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