Pizzaria Gabbiano
 
Roman-style pizza. Cut to order. Sold by the kilo.
 
Located in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood, Pizzeria Gabbiano is well worth a visit for completely customizable portions at lunch.
 
Expect a fluffy focaccia-like crust, made from 150-year-old-starter, with layered seasonal toppings like Sweet Potato with Pancetta, Italian Sausage with Kale and Pecorino, or Squash with Walnuts and Mama Lil’s peppers (shown). Order as much, or as little, as you want of the ready-made rectangular slabs before your personalized collection's places within the oven to take the chill off.  
 
This definitely reminds us of Pizzarium in Rome. 
 
 
SmartCommerce
 
Smart Commerce has a new companion: The Inspiration Corridor.
 
France-based Klépierre and DigitasLBi Paris have created large touchscreens using facial and body recognition, as well as purchase history, to suggest personalized items within a store or mall. Watch the video to see a demonstration.
 
Using infrared Kinect cameras and video analysis, the system identifies age and gender, while evaluating the colors of clothes the shopper is wearing, to display recommendations.  The corridor also accepts barcodes from already purchased clothing for immediate tailored suggestions for styling and accessories.
 
If an item is selected on the touchscreen, Apple iBeacon and indoor GPS will give them directions to the item location based on real-time inventory by synchronizing with the Klépierre mobile app.  
 
While a walk-in wardrobe might not be for those who love to window shop, it certainly helps expedite the purchase process for customers on-the-go, while assisting retailers in cross-merchandising relevant products. We’d love to see Klépierre take the concept one step further by displaying multiple brands of one style so that customers can sort by price. 
 
 
Drink Addition
Drink Addition
 
Spicy and savory flavors are coming soon to Seattle with the launch of Addition – a range of outstanding cocktail infusions developed by two local beverage enthusiasts. Bartenders: please take note.
 
The proprietary seasonings, in flavors such as Pink Pepper, Tarragon, and Szechuan Pepper, transform your favorite well drink into something wonderful and astonishing. We’ve seen Whiskey Ginger in a new fresh and vibrant light with Tarragon and Thai Green Chili. And Scotch and Soda gain smoky and sultry depth with the Curry flavor Addition. 
 
The approach to customization is a genius one – as the raw materials are currently unavailable in the marketplace. And there are no issues with dilution rates or consistency because the products are all liquid based. Simply add as much or as little as you like because, you’re in control.
 
There’s more to come from Addition. Just wait to see what’s in store for your beer.
 
To be flavorfully continued…
 
Mattioli Rome
Mattioli Shirts
 
Don't let this pint size seamstress fool you.
 
At Mattioli in Rome, a husband/wife team prepare made-to-measure shirts and suits out of an unassuming storefront out of an array of custom fabrics.
 
 
The pair went out of their way to schedule fittings around our schedule. Not only does the end product fit superbly but each clients measurements are kept on-file for future purchases.
 
Looking for a strategy that fits as well as a custom shirt? We've got you covered.
 
 
{photo: Skoah.com}
 
Loyalty programs are nothing new, unless you’re promoting the concept of customized personal training for your skin.
 
Skoah has taken the concept of a gym membership and exquisitely blended it with a beauty workout regimen. The program includes a series of workouts with a skin trainer – 12 fitskin facials or 8 facialiscious facials – plus special member benefits like 10% off product purchases throughout the year.
 
 
While we’d never turn our nose up at a gift card, we certainly love this fun approach to treatments with structured regularity. 
 
 
--
UPDATE 11/7/13:  Skoah is opening three locations in Seattle, according to co-founder Andrea Scott. (via Twitter)
 
bespoke menswear San Francisco
Al's Attire SF
 
As we walked up Vallejo Street in North Beach toward Caffe Trieste, our coffee hunt took a turn when we set sights on Al's Attire, kitty-corner from our destination.  Street appeal is more than good windows, clear signage, or a familiar logo — it's about a feeling and tone that draws us into a space, because there's something undeniably unique and/or compelling.  
 
Situated on the corner with floor to ceiling windows, the nearly 4000 square foot San Francisco store has a fish bowl quality. Part retail space and workshop, vintage-inspired off-the-rack apparel and accessories serve as inspiration for custom hand-crafted men's and women's hats, shirts, ties, dresses, coats, and shoes. 
 
Al's Attire
 
It would be easy to mistake the merchandise as vintage until you start to read the hundreds of personalized shoe and garment labels of previous and current clients on display above a sewing machine. 
 
As fans of all things bespoke, custom, and personalized, it's hard to find fault in the stores merchandising and easy to understand why retailers such as All Saints use similar props to portray a heritage theme. But Al's Attire is the real deal. Shoe lasts, fabric bolts, and leather swatches are all displayed among hat blocks and cutting tables as part of the working atelier. The assortment strikes a balance between need and want — merchandise and display.  
 
Al's Attire
 
All of the handsome clothing and genuine merchandising would just be art without the stellar customer service, craftsmanship, and attention to detail. During our visit, Al Ribaya and his team worked together to inform clients on materials, findings, and trim that would best fit the desired look, while still meeting their strict construction standards. At the shoe fitting pictured above, Rene took a combination of measurements and photos, along with drawings to ensure that every detail and input was accounted for during a nearly 60 minute shoe consultation. To say that Al is meticulous is an understatement.  
 
A quick search of the internet (the Al's Attire website is coming soon) proves that we're not the only customers enamored with the attention to detail. The list of clients and collaborations range from international musicians to thespians  — event planners to a San Francisco based American jeans manufacturer. In chatting with Al, it's obvious that each customer and order, regardless of the magnitude, receives the same care. 
 
As mass market retailers continue to offer a less than authentic representation of craftsmanship, it seems to us that businesses like Al's Attire appear more differentiated by simply staying the course and being true to their brand vision. We think that the growth opportunities in menswear, combined with the uptick consumers desire for an genuine narrative, make true craftsmanship like that at Al's Attire shine. 
build a beer
{photo: Machine Project}
 
Here's a new spin on personalization from Machine Project in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. 
 
The art gallery is hosting an educational, deconstruction, and consumption class/event tomorrow to explore the distinctive flavor of various beers by playing around with different extracts, oils, and other flavors to create new styles on the spot. Home brewers Andrew Hong and Nick Clute-Reinig will discuss the different ingredients to create "beer magic" or turn a boring old pale ale into an IPA in a matter of seconds.
 
This hands-on approach to food events can work in many industries with minor modifications. Machine Project has already hosted a series of classes and workshops on a variety of skills from bookbinding to welding.
 
We love this new take on informal education – which combines DIY with storefront retail as a 501c3 non-profit corporation.
 
 
social mobile gifting
May the fourth be with you...
 
CULTURE
 
 
  • Wrapp brings social mobile gifting service to the U.S. via Tech Crunch.
  • The iPad revolutionizes iconic Hotel Bel-Air's room service via USA Today.
  • Hue-tastic: Big Apple's new taxis are 'apple green' via New York Post.
 
FASHION
 
FOOD
  • Feast your eyes on the Pretzelnator, the first crowdsourced burger at McDonald's via Ad Week.
  • What's hot on food trucks: Portable, customizable, and innovative dishes via Nation's Restaurant News.
  • Email rules social media, even for fans via Restaurant Hospitality.
 
 
zero-packaging grocery
 
Following in the steps of the bulk food-only Unpackaged in London, a group of entrepreneurs are founding a new "package-free, zero waste grocery store" in Whole Foods land: Austin, Texas.
 
At the center of In.gredients brand promise is the concept of Precycling - encouraging customers to bring their bottles or bags to fill and refill. If a shopper doesn't have his own containers, the store will provide compostable ones to hold an assortment of traditional specialty bulk foods as well as local, all-natural and organic ingredients from local and seasonal suppliers. Best of all, customers will be able to purchase non-traditional bulk items like Dairy (milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese), beer and wine (bring your clean and empty growlers and wine bottles), and household items (cleaners, toiletries, etc) in the quantities that fit their specific needs.
 
 

We love that this new model makes food more affordable, because customers aren't paying for name brands and "in-house" private label packaging. It also trends nicely with shoppers increasing desire to connect locally at farmers markets while minimizing precious time.

All we want now is a visual merchandising supplier to revamp the standard bulk displays to meet customers savvy and stylish shopping habits.

{source: Good.is}

 
What's old is new again.
 
We like the new spin on "choose your own movie ending" presented by Range Rover. Being Henry takes the virtual experience to the next level with an interactive action-love-fantasy-comedy-adventure about choices. The product placement is subtle and there are nine different story lines with 32 possible ending scenes.
 
Take the movie for a spin HERE.
(note: beware of possible profanity if you are in a work setting)
 
{source: Funky Business}