What’s Cool Right Now, According to Stylish People With Great Taste

The trippy couches built by the artist Misha Kahn are made using a mix of high-tech tools (like VR software) and handmade designs.

PEPE Fotografia/Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Misha Kahn

1. Insane Statement Sofas

Tired of seeing the same low-slung Togo sofa in all of your fancy friends’ apartments? If you ask Nacho Alegre, the next It couch might well be these gloppy, free-form love seats from Misha Kahn, the psychedelic artist who individually handcrafts each piece in his Brooklyn studio. “They’re a little bit Day of the Tentacle, a little bit H.R. Giger, and pop at the same time,” Alegre says, noting that they’re also “somehow very American.”

2. Piaget Polo Watches

During this current Cartier Tank moment, Andy Warhol has been frequently cited as a Tank aficionado. But the artist also was known to wear the Piaget Polo watch, a timepiece also favored by style god Miles Davis. The designer Gauthier Borsarello predicts Piaget is the next venerable brand to blow up in the topsy-turvy vintage watch market. For the quality, he believes, the price is crazy low right now: “You can find an amazing Piaget piece for around $2,000, and it should cost $10,000. I collected them years ago, but I gave all of them to my friends for birthdays, and now they are impossible to find.”

3. Swaggy South African House Music

No matter the event, the next time you find yourself stressing over what music to play, here’s the fix: amapiano—the red-hot South African house music subgenre. “It’s just a fresh sound,” says Ade “Acyde” Odunlami, “and it’s taking over.” The fix to your playlist woes? Grab the first amapiano mix that pops up on Spotify, and let it rip.

4. Sailing on Your Lunch Break

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Every Tuesday, Alegre leaves his office in Barcelona around one, bikes to the sea, hops in his five-meter dinghy—which he bought secondhand for just a couple thousand euros—and races out on the glimmering Mediterranean. “And then I’m back in the office by 3:30,” he says. Alegre doesn’t quite understand why sailing isn’t more popular. “It’s pretty physical,” he says, and cheaper than you might think. Not too long ago, he notes, all of his friends started rock climbing, “like everywhere in the world.” There’s no reason, he says, why sailing couldn’t become the next big craze.

5. Chain Mail Jewelry

When the fever for pearls finally breaks, the next big idea in men’s jewelry is bound to be chain mail, says Lucy Weisner, one-half of the brain trust behind Café Forgot, the buzzy New York boutique at the center of a jewelry renaissance. Weisner is hot on Aslan, a brand that laces chain mail over ties, gloves, and more. “There’s something familiar but unexpected,” she says of the medieval material. If you’re not quite ready for chain mail, she recommends starting with a brolic silver necklace from Brooklyn-based Martine Ali.

6. Quiet Art in Loud Rooms

Most people hang art to bring a little color to their bare white walls. But the design move that Shannon Maldonado swears by right now flips the formula. While she was decorating Yowie, her buzzy new boutique hotel in Philadelphia, Maldonado opted for subdued art against boldly colored rooms. “When you’re mixing punchy furniture and rugs”—the way she did with a striking variety of blues, browns, lavenders, yellows, and greens—you always need “a neutral inside of that,” she says. “The artwork kind of grounds a lot of the spaces [because] it has a little less color.”

7. Tiny Houseplants

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While you’re agonizing over that Shaq-size fiddle-leaf fig in your living room, real-deal plant heads are suddenly preferring to tinker with plants of an infinitesimally smaller scale. On a window sill in his LA home, Carlos Morera—cofounder of the vibey bicoastal plant purveyor Cactus Store—has about a dozen microplants, none bigger than a single Airpod. “It’s about zooming in on this tiny little thing to learn about it—where it comes from, mimicking its growth patterns—rather than merely using it as decoration,” says Morera. Caring for minuscule plants requires a high degree of precision and restraint—but the results, enthusiasts argue, deliver unmatched satisfaction.

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