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2012 Year In Review: Part 1

The best, worst and WTF moments from the past year. 

20. Holographic Tupac: Tupac Shakur was shot in 1996, when most of the Coachella-going population was, like, 10. But when he was resurrected in the form of a hologram on the final night of the three-day music festival, the crowd went INSANE. It was like we had seen the past and the future at the same damn time. Unfortunately, a couple of months later, the company who brought us HT went bankrupt. Wah-wah...

19. Boy bands are back: Maybe we can attribute it to more '90s nostalgia, but One Direction and The Wanted put boy bands back on top this year. And here at the UO Blog, we define 'on top' as 'when Lindsay Lohan gets in a fight over you.' (PS-OMG, Harry we love you!!!)

18. Seapunks vs. Azealia and Rihanna: Seapunks united to decry Azealia Banks and Rihanna for having teal and turquoise hair and loving dolphins, because apparently only TRUE seapunks are allowed to have teal and turquoise hair and love dolphins. Oh yeah, and 'seapunk' was a thing. 

17. This dude: Kreayshawn blew the door open in 2011, and so in 2012, atrocity rappers such as Riff Raff, Brooke Candy, and Lil Debbie had their best year ever. And...the rest of us suffered for it. 

16. Ikea Monkey: What do you get when you combine a monkey, a shearling coat, camera phones and a Canadian outpost of a Swedish furniture store? An internet sensation, that's what. 

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2012 The Year in Review: Part 2

The best, worst and WTF moments from the past year. 

15. Tumblr discovers a new icon: In The Hunger Games, 22-year-old Jennifer Lawrence was a total badass. In real life, she was an animated goofball (albeit a hot one) with serious GIF potential.

14. YOLO: Drake's "The Motto" actually came out in 2011, but YOLO became 2012's most oft- and most over-used expression. Especially when used by idiots to explain why they did something stupid. 

13. The Rookie Road Trip: We went on a road trip with Rookie Mag and The Ardorous that culminated in an awesome art show at Space 15 Twenty. We'd say that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, except that we really wanna do it again... 

12. Grimes: From her songs to her videos, her artwork and her style (not to mention the pussy rings), there are more than enough reasons to go ahead and crown her Miss 2012, Queen of the Electronic Universe. 

11. We met Lisa Frank: We went to visit Lisa Frank in Tucson, Arizona. On the outside, we were like 'Oh yeah, NBD. Just another day here at Urban Outfitters,' but on the inside we were all like 'OMFG!!!!!@#$%^%W$FHOLYCRAPITSLISAFRANK' and were so excited we thought we might puke rainbows. 

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2012 The Year in Review: Part 3

The best, worst and WTF moments from the past year. 

10. Lena Dunham and Girls: When it came to Lena Dunham's HBO show Girls, people either drank the Kool-Aid and dubbed in the best new show on TV; or gulped the haterade and denounced Dunham for everything from her weight to her famous parents and her all-white cast. Both camps are likely counting down the days until season two premieres in January. 

9. Lana Del Rey: Speaking of haters, remember Lana Del Rey? When she appeared on Saturday Night Live, her performance went over about as well as if she had "clubbed a baby seal while singing the Taliban national anthem." Even Brian Williams hated it, but LDR went on to release two albums and a couple of very epic videos—co-starring alternately some hot dudes, and then some very un-hot dudes

8. Instagram: It's doubtful that there was a single second of 2012 that WAS NOT documented on Instagram. And if there was anyone out there who got nail art but failed to 'gram it, well, then, we feel bad for you—just think of all the 'Likes' you missed out on.

7. Hostess shuts down: Talk about a bummer: Hostess goes out of business the very same month that marijuana was legalized (oh, the irony). For a while, there was talk that PBR was going to buy the cupcake manufacturer to revive it, but that was just a rumor made in hipster heaven. So, for now at least, if you want a Twinkie, you'd better start bidding

6. The US Gymnastics Team: At the 2012 Olympics, the US Gymnastics team took home the gold, and 16-year-old Gabby Douglas won the individual gold, becoming the first African-American woman to do so. McKayla was not impressed, and the Internet loved her for it. 

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2012: The Year in Review Part 4

The best, worst and WTF of 2012.

5. Honey Boo-Boo: We're not going to go as far as Barbara Walters here, but if you don't know who this six-year-old is, you clearly have not read magazines, been on the internet, or turned on the TV this year. And the rest of us envy you, because we can't seem to get away.

4. Cats: They're still popular! As for the Official Cat of 2012 award, it has to be a tie between Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat (who's real name is Tard, no less). We take this to mean that the Internet is finally starting to value inner beauty. At least when it comes to cats.

3. LA Hip-Hop: After Odd Future dominated 2011—more for their behavior than their music—L.A. represented in an unassailable way in 2012 with Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar. Ocean's Channel Orange and Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city dominated year-end lists, and we can only imagine that up in hip-hop heaven, Tupac is giving Biggie some serious shit about it. 

2. November 6: Let's just say it was awesome

1. Call Me Maybe: Duh.

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2012 Year in Review: The Best, Worst and WTF

2012 may have been bad, may have been good, but whatever it was, it was definitely NOT boring. Here, we compiled a list of our favorite moments from the past 12 months. Full disclaimer: This list does not represent all of Urban Outfitters, just the blog team. And admittedly, we're a bunch of dorks who spend too much time on the internet, and the rest of the company probably has way better taste than we do. XOXO—The UO Blog

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NYE At Home

If you're spending New Year's Eve at home, no need to be bummed about it. I mean, definitely don't start thinking about how you used to be a lot more fun while stroking pictures from past New Year's Eve parties and bemoaning the loss of your youth. Stay posi! Having a solo N.Y.E. can be fun. Big parties are usually such a letdown, anyway. Accept your life for what it is, and lean into your future status as stay-at-home cat-mom. I know I have.Katie

Cupcake Booty Buddy

Yo, I mean, even if you have an actual party to go to, you should probably wear this.

Disposable Camera

When none of your friends show up to your party, whip out this camera to take pictures of yourself. The super adorable cat graphics that show up on the pics will help hide your tears.

Rextarossa Crew Sweatshirt

If you're gonna phone it in this year, at least get yourself a totally rad sweatshirt to flop on the couch in. Because c'mon, look at that.

BDG Tapered High-Rise Lounge Pant

Sweatpants that almost pass as regular pants will make you feel like you could go somewhere if you really wanted to, even if deep down you know you're not moving from the couch until January 2, 2013.

Minnetonka Cally Slipper

As you wander sadly around your house looking for Peanut the cat, your only friend, at least your feet will be toasty warm.

BDG Floral Button-Up Long-Sleeved Romper
The floral pattern will help hide the Velveeta cheese stains you're gonna get all over this thing.

Wanted Cat Pint Glass
Fill this with your beverage of choice at midnight and like I said, lean into that cat-mom status, man.

Five Resolutions You Can Keep

New Year's Eve resolutions are hard. Does anyone manage to keep them anymore? I don't think I've even bothered making a N.Y.E. resolution since like, 2003 because it's such a hopeless cause. This year, I've figured out an easy way to stick to some common resolutions, and it happens to involve pizza and beer. You're welcome.—Katie

Collapsible Pizza-To-Go Box
1. Bring lunch to work.
No one said it had to be healthy.

A Cat's Life By Gemma Correll
2. Read more.
Reading cartoons about cats is just as prestigious as reading War & Peace, I promise. If you're looking for a way to be terrible all year long, the book A Year Of Living Sinfully would also be a fantastic way to start off the new year.

Moxi Lolly Roller Skates
3. Be more active.
Why run on a stupid old treadmill when you can rollerskate?

Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kit
4. Learn something new.
Most people want to learn a new language or something, but let's not kid ourselves with that. Learning to brew your own beer means you're one step closer to your REAL N.Y.E. resolution of never getting off the couch again. (If you're underage, mix together different sodas and imagine.)

Kozyndan For Society6 We Came Together Art Print
5. Become more cultured.
Cat art is art, too, people.

Otto Splotch's "Freedom From Want" T-Shirt

What happens if you take a classic Norman Rockwell painting and make everyone in it a pizza-eating, cigarette-smoking, brain-munching Satanist? This T-shirt illustrated by Otto Splotch, that's what!Hazel

Holidays with (PUR) Project Urban Renewal

(Photos by Felisha Tolentino)

Now that Christmas is over, your New Year's Eve outfit is what's up next on the agenda, I presume. If you find yourself in Los Angeles this week, stop by Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd) and visit (PUR) Project Urban Renewal to find an entirely unique look for NYE. (PUR) is one of my favorite spots to shop in L.A. because it is perfectly curated for each season, and they've always got the cutest things for the holidays. Perhaps you'll find something to create an entire look, or something to top one off with! The shop is located inside Space 15 Twenty, open Tuesday from 12-5 PM, and Wednesday-Sunday from 12-8 PM.Maddie

Dressed To Kill

New years celebrations are upon us and I haven't got a stitch to wear.. well, a tuxedo at least. I confess that the only time I had a new years event fancy enough to attend in a tux I had to borrow it from my father. To boost your confidence in sporting a tuxedo I offer generations of Bond men who seem to make it look oh so easy. At top we've got the Bond of today Daniel Craig in the new Skyfall, take note of the baller watch just peeking out of the cuff.

Let's take it back a little bit to the days of Sean Connery, my personal favorite Bond actor. Pictured here in 1964's Goldfinger Mr. Connery sports a classic off-white jacket with a red carnation. Also notice the pleated shirt in contrast to Craig's more minimal and modern shirt without any sort of embellishment.

In between those two we had Pierce Brosnan with his first Bond movie Goldeneye in '95 seen above with the lovely Natalya. Brosnan's tux style here is a bit more traditional with a big ole bow and a puffed up pocket square. Not nearly as streamlined as Daniel Craig's tuxedo but still, the man looks sharp and he even gets the girl. -Bob

Shallow Rewards' "Goth Is A Four Letter Word"

I love music critic Chris Ott's series of video essays on music, "Shallow Rewards," and this episode on the history of goth is awesome. You might be surprised to find out that modern bands like Iceage and Deerhunter are actually totally goth. - Hazel

Five Songs That Need To Stay In 2012

2012 was a year full of songs. Some of them were great, and some of them were not-so-great. Here are five of the not-so-great ones that need to stay in the black hole that will soon be 2012 and never come out.—Katie

Karmin "Brokenhearted"
"'People look at Amy and expect her to be a straight-up pop singer, but she busts out a rap and she just slays it,' Nick Noonan says." Does she, Nick? Does she? (Hint: The answer is no.)

Train "50 Ways To Say Goodbye"
Is Train a real band? Sometimes I can't tell. Sometimes they feel like a parody of a parody, what with their nonsensical lyrics and all. Am I missing something here? Are they in on the joke? Are they actually geniuses? Their songs do make them a gazillion dollars. What kind of witchcraft are you enchanting us with, Patrick Monahan?

Gotye "Somebody That I Used To Know"
This one almost goes without saying, like "Call Me Maybe" (I love you, though, Carly), and I'm sure Gotye is a lovely man, but seriously—this song needs to blow away in the sands of time like all the other pop songs of yore. "Now you're just some single that I used to know." (See what I did there?)

Alex Clare "Too Close"
I am so mad at this song because every time I hear it on that Internet Explorer commercial I find myself singing the one line "I FEEL SO CLOSE TO YOU RIGHT NOW" six hours after it airs, so damn you, Alex Clare.

Chris Brown "Don't Wake Me Up"
Bye, Chris Brown. Just bye.

Six Statement Pieces for New Year's Eve

A party is always better when you look your best, right? So why not bring in 2013 looking 100% awesome with my six statement pieces that can bring together your whole ensemble? For the ladies, I'm thinking sparkles, sweet kicks, and embellishments. For guys, go with classic silhouettes in cool fabrics that will make you stand out without going over the top, but still look like you're in for a rad time with your pals! - Maddie

Motel Sheer-Sleeve Sequin Dress
There's definitely no question that you'll see some sequins on New Year's Eve, but be the girl who shows up in iridescent ones!

Hawkings McGill Stanton Tweed Blazer
Bottom line, you can't go wrong with a simple blazer for a night out, and the salt and pepper look of this tweed makes things a little bit different.

Jeffrey Campbell Brazen Split-Wedge Heel
If you're going for a pair of shoes that stand out, Jeffrey Campbell has it down with a muted metallic and comfy wedge!

Your Neighbors Dress Polka Dot Shirt
A simple oxford shirt in my favorite print of the season: navy background with white polka dots. Need I say more?

BDG Cigarette High-Rise Jean - Pearls
Who needs diamond encrusted anything when you can have pearl encrusted jeans?!

Leopard Print Bowtie
Animal prints aren't just for the ladies, boys. I say add a finishing touch with this bowtie!

Shop party for girls and guys

What Did I Buy Today? Journal

Saving money is the hardest thing in the entire world, and budgeting is even harder because it's like, before you even know it, you're spending $35 on a mold of someone's teeth and how do you fit that expense into your monthly plan? Luckily this super adorable journal exists to help you organize your expenses. Usually I put on my grumpy feminist hat whenever things are dolled up to be more accessible for ladies, but I can't even argue about this one because one, it is cute and two, it beats using one of those dolphin-covered checkbook ledgers.—Katie

God Bless the USPS

Around this time of year, you really must take a moment and appreciate the fine people who make holiday wishes come together by delivering them. God Bless The USPS is a project that Washington-based artist Mary Rothlisberger took on to showcase the variety in which post offices exist with a particular emphasis on small towns. Without the hard work of flying reindeers and postal workers everywhere, your gifts would have a hard time finding their way! -Bob

MTV Movie Awards

Next year is going to be a glorious year for award shows. It was just announced that Rebel Wilson is going to be hosting the MTV Movie Awards on April 14, 2013, and that means I am going to actually watch the MTV Movie Awards for the first time in a million years.—Katie

Style Icon: A Disco Ball

Wow, remember when disco balls had that spread in Vogue last month? Yeah, me neither, but they totally should have. Disco balls have got it going on! They're sparkly, shiny and, uh, sparkly. We should all follow in their footsteps, especially with NYE coming up. So, suit up, but make sure that suit is covered in glitter and/or sequins.—Katie

Motel Sequin Stardust Romper
A sequin covered romper? Be still, my heart.

Pins and Needles Sequin Blazer
When you're twirling away on the dance floor, you might get a little chilly. This sequin covered blazer will (probably not) warm you right up.

Pretty Polly Embellished Sparkle Tight
Real disco balls don't have legs, but if they did, I bet they would wear these tights.

Druzy Stone Earring
While disco hits from 1973 blare from the speakers, let these earrings do the talking for you.

Le Specs Halfmoon Magic Sunglasses
This disco ball theme is sort of devolving into a rave theme, but these sunglasses are too fun to pass up.

UO Nail Polish - The Sparkle Collection
If you are trying to emulate a disco ball and you don't put on sparkly silver nail polish, then what are you doing?

Vans SK8 Sequin High-Top Flatform-Sneaker
These sequined flat-form sneakers will ensure that you tower (and sparkle) over the rest of the crowd so that your sparkling goodness is visible to people far and near.

Pinhole Camera

I literally do not understand how pinhole cameras work. I think it must be some kind of sorcery, but aren't they awesome? This pinhole camera was designed by Gangwoo Park, and uses REAL FILM. Think of all the gnarly NYE pics you could take with this thing.—Katie
(via Notcot)


Here we speak with Marcus Allen, the CEO at the Philadephia-based non-profit ACHIEVEability.

Introduce ACHIEVEability! What’s the official mission statement?
ACHIEVEability permanently breaks the generational cycle of poverty for low-income single parents and homeless families through higher education, affordable housing, supportive services, community and economic development, and accountability.

How did ACHIEVEability get started?
We originally started out trying to provide housing to stabilize a lot of the single women with kids in the early ‘80s that were in Philadelphia. At that time there was low access for those women to shelter. So, some of our founders decided that they wanted to do something about the problem and received donations for four houses from some business people and the Sisters of Mercy. So that’s kind of how it got started: people sitting down, talking about an issue, writing some thoughts on a napkin and before you know it, they came up with an organization, which later became ACHIEVEability. 

How has that changed today?
Today, we took that a step further to combine not just housing but support services (that includes helping the parents become better parents helping them to build skill, to obtain jobs that can earn wages to support the family) and then we took it a step further and said in order for these families to truly break the generational cycle of poverty, we believe that they need a certain amount of skills and education, so for every family in the program, every adult has to go to college or has to achieve some sort of post-secondary degree or certification that is approved by the organization. 

So what brought you to ACHIEVEability?
I’ve been here for over three years now. I came to ACHA because of a friend who thought this organization was awesome and thought it needed the type of leadership I could bring. I came over and visited with the board members and some of the staff and immediately fell in love with the mission and what was going on here.

(Marcus Allen)

What’s a normal day of work like for you?
It changes so often, there’s no one particular thing I do on a day-to-day. As a non-profit and a small organization like ours, there are just so many things that need to be done and not enough people or time to do it. So, I might find myself at one part of the day talking to stakeholders, sponsors and donors, and then later on I could be at one of the house that need repair work—it kind of runs the gamut for me.

What are ACHEIVEability’s biggest needs overall?
I think we have a couple of big needs. One is just for us to get information out about us to as many people who would be interested in what we do. Non-profit organizations suffer when there is the potential for people to get involved that you don’t tap into. There are a lot of good people with good intentions out there, and I think one of ACIEVEability’s biggest challenges is identifying those people, touching them, and getting them involved in our mission to help these families.

Another challenge is lack of resources. We don’t always have enough money to build the houses we need to build or to support the families we need to support. On a monthly basis, our waiting list continues to grow of families who are trying to and need to be in our program. Unfortunately, we can’t help every family that comes to our door and it’s difficult to even do other things we’d like to do with the families we already have in our program. That’s why it’s important for us to build strong relationships like we have with Urban Outfitters, who actually step in the gap for us on many occasions to help us with our mission.

What have you done for the holidays this year?
We did a really nice holiday party at the beginning of the month. We had over 250 people from our program to attend and we had it at a really nice church in the community where we had a moon bounce, Santa Claus, candle making, music, dance performances, we served food… The families, you should have seen their faces, they were just beaming with joy and the staff loved it. We know the holidays are a difficult time for many families, especially ones going through economic troubles. Our goal was to take some pressure off he families, provide presents for the kids and give parents a chance to see their kid have fun in a non-judgmental environment and just relax!

What other events or fundraisers you do over the year?
Our biggest fundraiser is the one we do at Urban Outfitters! We do that on March 23rd and it’s called “Food For Thought.” We come together and honor the people or person or entity that has done the most to promote education for those who are most in need. We get the top chefs in Philadelphia to come out and support ACHEIVEability by cooking for for the fundraiser and not only do they cook and donate the food, but their personalities just make the event a great event. Last year we raised about $350,000 and had over 600 attendees. This year we want to break that record and we’re in the process of putting together another phenomenal event. Tickets are available now to the general public!

What can readers, local or not, do to help ACHIEVEability?
There is so much that people can do to help by donating or volunteering. People come out in teams to help paint our over 150 houses that families reside in. We have volunteer opportunities for people to tutor the kids and parents who are in school. We need people who can help with basic office duties like answering phones and help with filing. Readers can donate money online, mail it in, or do a match with their employer, or donate their time, houses, and things like coats in the winter months.

Any heart-warming stories you can share?

We have a woman named Brenda who has been in our program for nine years. She came to us as a more mature adult, probably in her late 40s. She never thought she would ever go back to school or go to college, but had just a great heart. She ended up going to college while she was in our program and got her four-year degree. But they thing about Brenda’s story that is interesting is that she was told when she was younger that she would never be smart enough because they believe she was slow and had a low IQ. Her mom always told her she didn’t have what it took to go to school. So not only did she end up getting her degree, but also she got certified in special education and now she works with special ed. kids. An on top of that, she had two daughters when she came here and both of her daughters went on to college with honors. It’s a common story we hear at ACHIEVEability that after the parents go to college they break the cycle and their kids end up going too.

Buy tickets for 2013 Food For Thought

Ben Kopp

One fine day, I was going over some email previews at work and saw a really rad holiday drawing.  I decided to get to the bottom of it and find out who drew it, and at the bottom found a Mr. Ben Kopp! Ben works down the hall in UO's art department and makes some pretty awesome art.  Fun fonts, clever doodles, the occasional Spongebob—he does it all! Check out his Tumblr and get ready to treat yo self to some eye presents. -Ally