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Furniture brand USM was founded in the Bern village of Münsingen, Switzerland, in 1885. Initially a metalwork and locksmith business, the brand burst onto the scene as a mover and shaker in modular furniture [expand title="more"] when Paul Schaerer, grandson of USM founder Urlich Schaerer, took the helm in 1961. USM Haller, the company’s first iconic modular furniture system developed in 1965 together with Swiss functionalist architect Fritz Haller, is admired worldwide for its sustainability and timeless, modern aesthetic.[/expand]

Astier de Villatte, started by Ivan Pericoli and Benoît Astier de Villatte in Paris, produces an eclectic collection of candles, incense, stationery products, and other artisanal items in the brand’s signature style since 1996. [expand title="more"]Just as the Astier de Villatte white ceramics are valued as phenomenal art pieces handcrafted by skilled artisans, the scented products have also become emblematic of the brand, creating a unique sensory experience of travel through smell. Like using a historical Linotype machine to print materials, they are dedicated to creating beautiful objects and reviving the functionality of forgotten relics from the past.[/expand]

Find more of the B Brand. Balance series here. Ace Hotel got its start in 1999 when Alex Calderwood and HIS FRIENDs renovated an old halfway house in Seattle, transforming it into a small hotel. [expand title="more"]By absorbing the cultural heritage of surrounding communities and collaborating with various artists and brands, Ace Hotel creates its own collection of hotels, each possessing their own look and feel. Ace HOTEL has not only helped to revive neighborhoods, but it has also breathed new life into the entire hotel industry.[/expand]

Find more of the B Brand. Balance. series here. Started in 1906 as a fountain pen manufacturer, Montblanc has produced quality writing instruments using its great sense of balance and exquisite technology. [expand title="more"]As the era of fountain pens diminished with the rise of ballpoint pens, Montblanc transformed itself into a luxury brand with its premium fountain pens and later expanded to fine leather goods and watches. The brand’s unique ability to impart the elegant imagery of its flagship product to other product lines is still proving successful into the 2010s, despite changes in luxury goods distribution structures and different tastes of the ascending millennial consumer group.[/expand]

Find more of the B Brand. Balance. series here. Founded in London by cycling enthusiast Simon Mottram in 2004, Rapha became the first sportswear brand to design solid color cycling jerseys made of merino wool, [expand title="more"]revolutionizing cycling apparel into fashionable clothing. In line with the founder’s passion for cycling, Rapha’s many collections satisfy both professional and casual urban cyclists. The brand has also opened over 20 clubhouses throughout Europe, North America, and Asia to serve as community hubs for cyclists. Today, Rapha continues to contribute to cycling culture as a sponsor for events that promote the sport of cycling and foundations that inspire and empower the next generation.[/expand]

Find more of the B Brand. Balance. series here. In 1995, Soho House opened its first location in London as a progressive members-only club for film, music, and other creatives. [expand title="more"]Its membership pool clearly sets it apart from other traditional member clubs targeting men of certain titles or net worth. Founder Nick Jones sought to create a “home from home” where likeminded people could socialize all day over food and drinks—an idea that later became the core brand concept. Today, there are 27 houses in Europe, America, and Asia, alongside a comprehensive spa, home collection, and restaurant brand portfolio that collectively suggest a Soho House lifestyle.[/expand]Find more of the B Brand. Balance. series here. In 1995, Soho House opened its first location in London as a progressive members-only club for film, music, and other creatives. [expand title="more"]Its membership pool clearly sets it apart from other traditional member clubs targeting men of certain titles or net worth. Founder Nick Jones sought to create a “home from home” where likeminded people could socialize all day over food and drinks—an idea that later became the core brand concept. Today, there are 27 houses in Europe, America, and Asia, alongside a comprehensive spa, home collection, and restaurant brand portfolio that collectively suggest a Soho House lifestyle.[/expand]

Bali is the only island in the Indonesian archipelago that is predominately Hindu, in contrast to the rest of the islands, which comprise the world’s largest Muslim population. [expand title="more"]For the Balinese, Hinduism is not just a religion—it’s a fundamental social and spiritual value that forms the bedrock of Balinese culture, from dance and painting to architecture. In the 1970s, Ngurah Rai International Airport was expanded, and Australian surfers flocked to the small island. This first generation of foreigners were followed by others from all around the world, drawn to the pristine nature, nearly millennia-old traditional culture, and Balinese sages who bequeath secrets to a balanced life. Then came creatives with high hopes of learning about self-care and sustainable futures through yoga and meditation. More than just a tourist destination, Bali is now the ultimate mecca for alternative living.[/expand]

Find more of the B Brand. Balance. series here. In 2005, three employees at PayPal came together to cofound YouTube, an online platform where users could upload and share video content with a quickly growing audience. [expand title="more"]YouTube encouraged the average internet users to tap into their creativity and equipped them with the powerful tool of video streaming, resulting in an endless content library that caters to all tastes and a gargantuan online media presence for the website. Going the extra mile to share ad revenue with creators, YouTube has fostered a new creative class of “YouTubers” and effectively spawned a new ecosystem of successful one-person media companies. Magazine B is an ad-free publication offering an independent perspective on well-balanced brands from around the globe.[/expand]

Find more of the B Brand. Balance. series here. Rimowa is a travel luggage brand that was started in 1898 by founder Paul Morszeck. [expand title="more"]The brand has led innovation in the industry, and was the first luggage brand to use aluminum and polycarbonate. The brand’s insistence on handcrafting and artisanship have allowed the brand’s products to maintain their outstanding quality for more than a century.[/expand]

Find more of the B Brand. Balance. series here. G-Shock is the first wristwatch brand created by Casio in 1983. When the watch industry was divided into high-end Swiss watches and an ocean of indiscernible low-end brands, G-Shock introduced products with unprecedented strength that confidently vowed to withstand even the worst of falls. [expand title="more"]The chunky design aimed to protect the case during impact appealed to the youth of the 1990s, and G-Shock quickly exploded into a globally recognized brand. That generation wore a G-Shock in the end of the 20th century became adults, and G-Shock had also evolved beyond producing merely functional timepieces and began releasing stylish fashion items. Avid G-Shock wearers have enjoyed a plethora of attractive features over the years on different models of these indestructible watches, contributing to a magnificent G-Shock culture today.[/expand]