It’s not often we get the license to scour the farthest reaches of the globe (and, indeed, the internet) for the luxury design pieces and high-end tech wares that, once discovered, we can’t stop thinking about.
For this extra-special 2019 edition of WIRED’s illustrious annual Gear of the Year list we decided to go off, in all senses of the phrase, with this money-no-object designer edit. Featuring: hoodie hideaways, stylish suitcases, eco bags, trick-shot tables and a golden (14-karat) grill set.
Deep Sleep Cocoon by Vollebak
Designed to help people sleep in the most inhospitable places known to man – namely, any long-haul fight – the Deep Sleep Cocoon enables you to control your own environment, instead of having your senses project-managed every few hours by the cabin crew. A duvet-soft jacket, its full hood shuts out the world by folding over on itself, creating an almost pitch-black chamber with just the perfect amount of space for your noise-cancelling headphones. You can still see out – but nobody can look in, which should put an end to those unwanted “Ice cream, sir?” interruptions. The Deep Sleep came about after Vollebak released its Relaxation Hoodie in 2015, and customers got in touch asking for a more luxurious version fit for a first-class flight.
Price: £695 | Vollebak
It looks like a shark, at 1.8m long it’s the size of a shark, and most importantly, it moves like a shark, which enables it to get closer to underwater creatures, giving researchers a better chance to observe aquatic life in a more natural state. The ROBO-SHARK, shown at CES earlier this year, weighs around 54kg, has an automatic obstacle avoidance system, multi-joint caudal fin that reduces water noise, and can hit speeds of ten knots (18kph) and can be used at distances up to 2,000m and at depths approaching 300m over its two-hour battery life. What’s more, it is customisable, meaning it can carry virtually any camera or sensor you can find.
Price: £TBC | Robosea
Hasselblad CFV II 907X 50C
Hasselblad has updated its legendary V system back with the CVF II, a 50-megapixel CMOS medium format sensor offering outstanding colour depth, vast 14-stop dynamic range and the ability to capture full-size in-camera JPEG images. The brand has kept the low slung shooting style of the original, but added a large touch-and-tilt rear display, built-in battery and USB-C for fast charging and image transfer. When paired with the 907X, their smallest ever body, that weighs just 206g, you’ve got yourself a go anywhere, shoot anything camera delivering untouchable design and unparalleled photographic potential.
Price: £TBC | Hasselblad
Louis Vuitton Horizon Soft Luggage from Marc Newson
Industrial designer Marc Newson has reinterpreted the classic Louis Vuitton hard cases for the more mobile modern traveller. The soft case collection consists of two pieces: the rolling Horizon Soft Duffle 55, and the four-wheeled Horizon Soft 55, both available in a fresh palette of colours including orange, yellow, grey, black and brown, and printed with a variation of Louis Vuitton’s interlocking “L” and “V” monogram pattern. Aesthetics aside, the light and tough outer shell is made using thermo-formed 3D knit with water-repellent treatment, while zips are fitted using ultrasonic cutting and fused tape, instead of the typical stitched zipper.
Price: £1,770; £1,960 | Louis Vuitton
Miansai 14K Gold Grill Set
Forget for a second that these barbecue tools are made from solid, polished 14-karat gold, and will therefore dent quicker than the bumper on a Renault Twingo – the design of the 45cm spatula, fork, knife and tongs is exceptional, combining sharp blades, tight angles and elegant proportions. They’re ideal heirloom for the chef who has everything – but until Miami-based Miansai launches a more affordable stainless steel set, to own them you’ll need to to be like the perfect roast leg of lamb: minted.
Price: $65,000 | Miansai
Little Jedi Hanging Lamp
Filipino designer Kenneth Cobonpue has succumbed to the powers of the Star Wars franchise and designed a complete set of Sith-inspired living room furniture that includes a Sidious Easy Armchair and Chewie Rocking Stool – but our pick is the understated Little Jedi lamp (floor or ceiling designs available) which combines dozens of white Jedi knight figurines, each holding a mini LED lightsaber, and one feisty little red Sith lord.
Price: £POA | Kenneth Cobonpue
Rolls-Royce Champagne Chest
Luxury in its most uncompromising form, Rolls-Royce’s Champagne chest has four V12 engine-inspired hand-blown crystal flutes, two thermal caviar caissons, two blini holders, two mother-of-pearl caviar spoons and a canapé capsule. Made from aluminium and carbon fibre, coated with black leather and Tudor oak, which naturally reflects the materials used in the production of the cars, the chest opens at the touch of a button to reveal a wooden serving tray with a laser-cut stainless steel inlay. To finish, there’s four embroidered napkins, two red leather “hammocks” for holding glasses or bowls, and the Champagne coolers are made from black anodised aluminium and carbon fibre. Quite the carriage for your cheese and pickle sandwiches.
Price: £37,000 | Rolls-Royce
Prada Re-Nylon Backpack
The ideal accessory for the impending climate apocalypse, Prada’s classic nylon backpack has been redesigned using ECONYL from Aquafil, a textile yarn made out of plastic waste collected from oceans, fishing nets and textile fibre waste. Hardwearing and impressively versatile, the material can be recycled countless times without degrading the quality – and for every 10,000 tonnes of ECONYL created, 70,000 barrels of petroleum are saved. Prada hope to convert all its virgin nylon into Re-Nylon by the end of 2021.
Price: £1,220 | Prada
Eames Plastic Armchair LAR
Instantly recognisable as the work of Charles and Ray Eames, but subtly different from the ubiquitous DSW designs cluttering up virtually every open-plan kitchen in north London, the iconic duo designed this low-slung armchair-style seat back in 1950, but it’s finally being reissued by Vitra. The Lounge Height Armchair Rod Base (LAR) chair, shown here in Sea Blue, has a cat’s cradle style stainless-steel base that provides maximum support with minimal materials, while the dyed-through polypropylene ensures it’s light enough to move seamlessly from inside to out.
Price: £435 | Vitra
Cubista Linear Pool Table
Designed by Basaglia + Rota Nodari for FAS Pendezza, this low-profile, full-size free-play pool table is made from metal, with design lines borrowed from the early 20th-century avant-garde Cubism movement. Featuring a 19mm slate coupled with professional grade cloth, the wonderfully angular legs have adjustable feet hidden in the base for easy levelling (so no beer mats required), and a perfectly fitted top panel turns it into a stylish dining table or work desk when play isn’t in session.
Price: €4,750 | Onze Shops
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