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Featured Brand: ourCaste


Determined to make every design count, ourCaste is setting out to change the way everyone sees menswear. Creating a brand identity that perfectly blends the laid-back California lifestyle with the more rugged design aspects of a sportswear brand, ourCaste creates clothing that makes the wearer's "life easier," no matter how that may be. We spoke to Michael Quinones, one of the co-founders of the company, to learn a little bit more about their California lifestyle.





Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how ourCaste was formed.

ourCaste is a constantly developing idea to create a brand identity and menswear collection around the lifestyle we grew up with. The core group have all been close friends for just about a decade now. At its purest form, ourCaste is a brand built of the sub-cultures and lifestyles that we grew up with. Whether it be pushing down the sidewalks and asphalt, strapping the car with more boards than it can hold to go surf some crap waves, or hopping on the bike and smashing up PCH just to get our knees in the breeze, all these things are pinnacle in developing what we’d represent at ourCaste. As we’ve gotten older, there have been new passions introduced to our lives. An obsession for design and typography, the drive to push ourselves athletically any way we can, and the desire to go farther down the trail than those before us have become extensions of those pillars we grew up with. The lifestyle portrayed is our daily interaction with the world around us, and the product developed is the uniform used to be prepared for whatever it is that we are doing.

How would you describe the brand’s aesthetic?
We’ve always had a desire for clean and timeless silhouettes with wearable patterns and functional details in product. We follow “function over form” wherever we can, and we like meshing functional fabrications and details with more contemporary styling. The dichotomy of something that looks great and performs in harsh conditions is epic. Typography, notably the French and Swiss in the '60s, is the cornerstone for everything we do graphically. The spacial relations between letters and numbers are always interesting and helps to perfect the ability to see clean lines in everything else. We spend a lot of time prepping and developing our print assets to really represent the brand aesthetic correctly every day. Photographically, we lean on a slew of friends to provide great imagery. Guys like Brooks Sterling, Drew Martin, and Mark Underwood are constantly pushing themselves in whatever conditions present themselves to provide epic content.





What makes you guys different from other surf/skate brands out there?
I think we are at a time, both age and experience-wise, where we have a life lived in the late '80s and early '90s with the strong presence of surf and skate, but we were young enough through the 2000s to really have a refined take on product and aesthetics that the era brought. It’s the harmonious balance of these two that separates us mentally. Product and ability-wise, we’ve made the decision to design with a purpose. It’s easy to develop a bunch of wovens just for the sake of needing to sell them, but we try to develop those pieces to make whoever decides to buy them’s life easier. Whether it’s by using moisture-wicking Storm Cotton or adding armpit vents and eyelets, we try to keep a purpose to the product. I think that makes a big difference.

What are some fashion/culture trends happening in the surf world that you love?
I love that surf is going small again. What I mean is that there is a massive influx of young brands that are shaking the trees. For the past decade, it’s been the big guys that control the world. We will always have a massive respect for the giants that paved the way and created an industry for us, but it’s nice to see fresh blood, fresh product, and fresh ideas on the floor. I also really like that product is getting smarter. Like we’ve been developing for over a year, and we're starting to see a lot of new brands (and old brands) adapting to this idea that we’ve been doing of hybridizing the “tech / athletic” categories with surf / skate / contemporary. 

We see that your office HQ is right across from the ocean. Is everyone always running out to surf?
If there is swell or warm weather you can guarantee it! A large reason we choose the space is for its location (obviously). We weren’t going to be able to afford a really big or new space up the hill with the rest of the industry, so we said why not be the first one to open shop down the hill in Newport? It’s been great. We get a lot of friends stopping in and it’s just a ripping environment to be in day after day…plus, the surf is consistent!





What are you guys currently really into (movies/music/clothes/etc.)?
 Our office seems quite confused musically. We’ve been full bore on Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, El Michels Affair, and the older Horrors albums this week. Every now and then you’ll hear Maya Jane Cole or Odessa find its way in. Wu Tang is always in weekly rotation. ASAP, Trap Lord, Flatbush…lastly, our friends at Youth Machine have been pushing Cashmere Cat hard and it’s growing on us. Clothes-wise…a little looser everything. I think that just comes with wanting a little function out of life. A tech shell with some chinos or black denim is always a good look. Some of us in the office run all that with some Nike Frees, while others still prefer to wear our friend's boot brand, Broken Homme. Just all depends! We mix and match a lot. It’s a genre blurring environment, which we dig.  





What are some of your favorite spots to hit up in Newport?
Ooooooo, I’m gonna get crucified for bringing the underground above on this first one, but I couldn’t care less. The morning banger is AL CAP! Almost every morning someone in the office is at Al Cap for an Almond Power, bagel special, or Acai bowl and some coffee. Lunch is spread amongst a ton of spots. Trader Joe’s is a good call, so is Mother’s. There was a pretty bangin’ BBQ spot on 17th but it went out of business. Malarky’s has a good burger, too. Bear Flag is pricey, but always worth it. For nighttime stuff, I guess the Goose is back on the deck of fun stuff, and so is Mesa. Pitfire has a “speak-easy” if you can imagine that, but they actually make super good drinks there.

What’s next for ourCaste?
Head down and keep plowing. We got a ton of work to do…ain’t no time for slowing down anywhere in the near future.

Shop ourCaste

Dreamers and Doers: All Roads Design

Dreamers + Doers highlights emerging artists, entrepreneurs, and up-and-coming ones to watch. Whether it’s starting a new business, creating something beautiful, or just daring to do things differently, we stand behind those taking steps toward something new. 

This week we are visiting the LA workshop and textile studio of All Roads Design owned by Janelle Pietrzak and Robert Dougherty, who combine their interdisciplinary skills to create one-of-a-kind weavings, large-scale installations, objects, and furniture. 

With Janelle's background in the fashion industry background and Robert's in carpentry, building, and welding, the couple has used their combined expertise to turn what was once a homegrown hobby into a full-time business. Read on for our conversation with Janelle about her process, background, and finding inspiration in her surroundings.


How did this all start? 

Janelle: For 10 years I worked in the fashion industry — in apparel and accessories design or in fabric sourcing. Essentially, I have been working with textiles for over 15 years: sewing, sourcing, or weaving by hand. I loved my job in the industry most when I was sourcing inspiring vintage textiles and developing them into modern wearable fabrics. I got to visit mills, and I learned how fabrics are constructed…this foundation made it an easy transition to weaving my own fabrics and tapestries. 


Can you share some specific sources of inspiration? 

Janelle: My biggest inspiration is the landscape around me. I live very north in LA in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains. The weather is hot and dry, and the mountains are covered in grasses that are dead and yellow. I love this golden color, especially when it contrasts with the deep green cyprus trees. 

I am inspired so much by friends around me that are creating beautiful things. I love going to my friend Joanna William’s textile studio Kneeland Co. for overwhelming color and texture inspiration. She has an incredible reference library of books, textiles, and objects anyone can go sift through for design inspiration. 




How would a good friend describe your aesthetic? 

Janelle: Heavily influenced by the 70s, with a focus on natural fibers. Bohemian Americana. 


Offer some advice to your 20-year-old self. 

Janelle: Keep doing all those weird, obsessive art projects; they will be good experience for later. 


Your brand's mantra is “All roads that you travel in life lead you to where you are now.” Can you share a story about a weird past job? 

Janelle: Yes! After I left New York, I got a terrible job at a uniform company in the suburbs of Philadelphia as a 'designer.' It was a huge culture shock after living and working in New York. They didn’t really need a designer, they just hired me to be a quality control manager in the warehouse. I kept trying to make the Catholic School uniform blazers shorter and cropped, like a cute little boy blazer. The office had that gross office carpet, and it smelled like old coffee stains. The owner had a huge office, like a cliche 1990s executive style and drove some kind of fancy sports car. He walked in every morning and asked one of us ‘girls to make coffee.’ I always refused! I got fired after three months. 


Walk us through a typical day-in-the-life for you now. 

Janelle: On work days I wake up around 7 or 8, have iced coffee, and then answer emails and work on quotes for new projects. My studio assistant comes in at 10, then we get to working. I make lunch and we take a break, then work more and usually afternoon the studio starts to get really hot in the afternoon sun and we sweat! We stop work at 5 so I can make it to swim practice by 6. After being hot and cramped over a loom all day, swimming is a great respite. After swim practice I come home and Robert and I have dinner. I am usually in bed around 10. 



Tell us something we do not know about making a weaving

Janelle: I usually weave my pieces upside down on the loom. Also, good posture helps a bit, but it does hurt your back! 


What are five other things you are interested in right now? 

1. Cold brew coffee! My studio assistant roasts coffee beans at home with her dad — Robert calls her our official coffee broker. 
2. Swim practice every day helps my anxiety. 
3. Blue…everything 
4. Weaving on my new Saori loom: I don’t get much time to use it..but is is really relaxing and fun to use. 
5. Camping and California trips with Robert. 


Complete the thought: 
I like it when…The weather is cool and it rains (rare here in LA)
I never want to be asked…to copy someone else’s work 
Success is…having your own hot tub! We hope to have one some day.
My biggest fear is…going back to work in an office 
I’d like to be…doing my work full-time for a long time!
I’m secretly obsessed with…none of my obsessions are a secret
The most fun I ever had…driving across the country when we moved to LA a couple years ago was both fun and boring! But a really great experience.
I am looking for…the perfect coffee table, and also some cool hanging Brutalist lamps for the living room 
I dislike…bees. I am so scared of them 
My style icon is…Japanese-denim-linen-indigo style 
I dread…crowded social situations 
I am good at…connecting with people 
I am bad at…math skills and small talk 
I recommend…making your own cold brew every night 
I couldn’t live without…caffeine: green tea or coffee


Click here to watch our first Dreamers + Doers video with woodworker Shaun Wallace


Lena Corwin x UO

Author, DIY extraordinaire, designer, illustrator, publisher, blogger...is there anything Lena Corwin can't do? Whether she's compiling step-by-step creative project lessons, publishing small-run art books, or illustrating maps of Europe, we're huge fans of everything Corwin does. In particular, we're drawn to how big a role collaboration plays in her process — and were thrilled to collaborate with her on Lena Corwin x UO, a new textile line she developed exclusively for Urban Outfitters. We talked with Lena about the collaboration, the wonderfully "consistent inconsistencies" of hand-printing, and finding inspiration in her new homestate. 


Tell us more about the block prints you created for these textiles.

I used rubber artist’s blocks and a carving tool (both can be easily found at art supply stores) to carve the designs. Then I rolled ink over the carved pieces and printed them onto paper. The patterns were recreated by hand again in India for printing the fabric yardage. 



Can you share more about what went into the second step — the traditional block printing that you developed in India?

All textiles in this collection use traditionally simple yet beautiful Indian cotton sourced from smaller local mills. 

These textiles have been printed with a block-printing technique that dates back over 400 years in this remote area of India. We carefully created hand-carved wooden blocks...which were then hand-printed on narrow, seven meter tables; the printing process, techniques and materials are what is traditionally used to print Indian saris. The look and feel of this hand-printing process is wonderful and consistently inconsistent, providing a warm human element. 



What inspired the colors or palette you used? 

I recently moved to California, and I was inspired to use a washed out and faded summer palette. 


What has been inspiring you lately in textile development? 

Weaving! I’ve been seeing a lot of really amazing weaving lately. One of my favorite weavers is Travis Meinolf. 



You attribute your love for crafts and handmade, usable art to your upbringing. Can you talk more about this? 

I grew up in a really artistic home – my mom is an artist and so are a lot of her friends. I did all kinds of projects from a young age, like painting, ceramics, and knitting.


What are five other things you have been interested in recently? 

1. Cardamom ice cream 
2. Donald Judd furniture 
3. Non-toxic nail polish 
5. Thai fried rice


Shop Lena Corwin x UO

UO DIY: Copper Indoor Swing


We have long been enamored with Love Aesthetics' Ivania Carpio, the Dutch blogger whose signature whited-out color palette and minimalist sensibility have made her an internationally-recognized and respected voice in fashion blogging. Amid her smart observations and posts on style, home DIY, and beauty, it seems there is nothing Ivania can't put her own uniquely clean, simple, and clever spin on; her cooly minimalist aesthetic is a palette cleanser amid the noise of fashion.

We teamed up with Ivania for a three-part blog collaboration that touches on different areas of her expertise:
an exclusive interview that explores more about her thoughts on style, living with less, and finding inspiration in the everyday; a minimalist nail art project; and below, a copper and leather home DIY.

***

My copper and leather swing has become the most popular seat in the living room since it's been up. It's also such an aesthetically pleasing addition to the space; made from my favorite materials white leather and shiny pink copper, it works perfectly with the rest of my living room. This piece is actually incredibly easy to make and the epitome of my new summer credo "don't forget to play." Ivania



Need:
- leather
- sewing machine
- leather needle (for sewing machine)
- strong polyester thread
- two copper tubes, apx. 27cm
- rope (see pictures for examples)
- two clips and two ceiling screws (for hanging)





1.) Take measurements. Cut out a rectangle out of the leather that measures approximately 23cm x 50cm. This can obviously be changed depending on personal size preference.

2.) Depending on how thick your tubes are, create a hem on both ends of your leather for the tubes to go through. Don't leave any extra space but make them exactly the same width, this way the tubes will stay in place tightly. I added a double hem to mine while sewing with the polyester thread to reinforce the swing.

3.) Put the tubes through both the hems, and put the rope through the tubes.

4.) Hanging is probably the trickiest part. Depending on what your ceiling is like, you might have to do a little internet searching to find out which method is best for you, but we found this Apartment Therapy post to be useful when it came time to hanging. Make sure that wherever you choose to hang your swing has a sturdy, preferably wood, foundation (a doorway is a good bet, but make sure you're not screwing into drywall - that will end terribly).



Shop Copper Line

Dreamers and Doers: Shaun Wallace


Dreamers + Doers highlights emerging artists, entrepreneurs, and up-and-coming ones to watch. Whether it’s starting a new business, creating something beautiful, or just daring to do things differently, we stand behind those taking steps toward something new. 

To kick off the Dreamers + Doers series, we are highlighting the work of Shaun Wallace, the Santa Barbara-based woodworker and builder behind Gopherwood Design/Build. Shaun got his start as a UO Display Artist in 2009, and has since gone on to develop his own brand, where he conceives and constructs projects ranging from intricately hand-turned wooden bowls to large-scale installations. Talented, humble, and hard-working, we keep collaborating with Shaun as much as we can — most recently, he was part of a team that constructed an complex three-part display build-out inside the new location of our Westwood store, relocating down the street into an expanded space later this month. 

We asked Shaun to let us follow him around for the day and learn more about how he works, what influences him, and how taking on challenges produces the biggest rewards. 

Above: Shaun at Westwood — all in a day's work

How did this all start? 
I grew up in Huntington Beach in the '80s. It was a time of expansion for most the communities in Southern California and my father worked as a framer all over the Southland. As early as age 15 I was working summers on jobs in LA, Orange County, and the Inland Empire. I was a laborer at first, but as I got older and more skilled I was introduced to all the general tools of woodworking. I fell away from construction during college and worked as a butcher for a number of years. 

During this time I began painting ply panels as gifts for friends, a creative outlet that eventually landed me a job as a visual merchandiser for Nordstrom. [Then in 2009] I found a great fit for my passion at Urban Outfitters as a Display Artist in Santa Barbara, an area where I still live and work. While working with UO I was fortunate enough to travel all over the US and Canada and meet dozens of other craftsmen and artists. This period is where I really got serious about what I do: I rented a small shop and started working nights and weekends for friends and clients who found me by way of UO. I was also making small goods in the shop when work was light. I made a set of wooden brass knuckles for some friends at the UO home office and a live edge ray gun for a charity auction…[and also] started making them for sale at [UO stores]. I left Urban Outfitters two months ago to go full-time with my company, Gopherwood Design/Build


Above: The register build-out and details within Shaun's recent project at the new UO Westwood location.

Can you share details about the recent Westwood store project you worked on?
This Westwood project consisted of three separate areas of the men's store sharing a consistent build: a 16x18 foot wall, a 12x12 foot stand display, and a cash-wrap station. From the get-go I saw an opportunity to hone my router skills by incorporating a quarter-inch dado [a groove cut into one piece of wood so that another piece of wood will fit tightly] in all of our horizontal boards and joints. We agreed it would elevate the detail and strength of the build, as well as speed up installation.

We milled and ripped for a couple days, installed framework and built interior frames for about three more, and finally installed everything pictured in about a day and a half with the aid of a couple scissor lifts.  



Can you share some sources of inspiration? 
I like drives on the 101 to the north: the ranch lands of the central coast are awe-striking. 
Talking shop with my dad for hours. 
Walking my friend Don’s sawmill up in San Luis Obisbo. 
The work that other dudes put on Instagram (check out @Etrine, that guy’s next level). 

How would a good friend describe your aesthetic? 
Heavy! Everything I make weighs too much. Or maybe something like: raw, contradictory, and fun. 

Above: Various projects at different stages of progress, via Instagram

Offer two pieces of advice to your 20-year-old self. 
1. When given the choice between the easy thing and the hard thing, do the hard thing. It’s never a waste of time or talent. When you have the strength and patience to strive through adversity the rest of life is easy. 

2. Give of yourself. Whether you donate talent, money, or time. Giving is a key source of happiness. It’ll keep you humble. 



What one thing you’ve made are you most proud of? Alternatively, tell us a story about something you made that was a huge flop. 
Most proud of: A month ago I built a mid-century dry bar for a client here in town. It was my first attempt at fine cabinetry. It had inset lighting, custom glass doors and mirrors, push touch drawer sliders, and drop-leaf bar surface. The whole thing was very clean and worked beautifully. 

Flop: I made a simple bench a couple years ago. It was made using some pine that we salvaged from a sawmill's trash pile. It was big, beautiful, and looked bulletproof. And it was, until the summer sun hit 90 degrees. The thing started oozing pitch like a stuck pig. Now every summer I have to go back to the restaurant where the bench is and refinish it. It’s still barely usable on one end. Now I pay for the kilning no matter what. 



Walk us through a typical day-in-the-life. 
7am. Instagram. Coffee. Emails. Design time if needed. Shopping if needed, this involves the very important BS session with the local vendors. Back to the shop and turn on the dust collector, get dirty for a few hours. Lunch in my courtyard. Emails again. Back to the machines. Make dinner plans with the lady. Glue and clamp for tomorrow or sand and lay down a primer coat. Sweep the shop and game plan for tomorrow. Wednesday and Thursday evenings my apprentice comes and we’ll work until 8pm. I also keep the grounds for my church so there’s a lot of small tasks that I'll throw in to the mix to keep it interesting. 


Above: More Urban Outfitters build-out projects

Can you share some items on a recent to-do list? 
For my last project I did 44 side tables for the Alamo Motel. That project looked something like this:

Glue up 6x6 fur beam to 18x18x24 block for sample table. 
Chain saw to geometric footprint, add leather and tack. 
Sample approval and materials deposit. 
Send sample to mill for duplication. (Request kiln dry!!!) 
Shop for leather (4 full sides, one double shoulder).
Order tacks and fabric guard online.
Home Depot for polyurethane, sandpaper, tack hammer, etc. 
Receive delivery of table blanks, pay mill. 
Sand and polyurethane 44 of these 65-pound chunks of pine. 
Rough and finish cut leather tops. 
Adhere leather to wood, bevel finish, and saddle soap. 
Wipe down and fabric guard. 
Hand-nail 100 antique finish brass round top tacks to each table. 
Stack in the corner and order the U-Haul. 
Load Drive up to Los Alamo and unload. 
Try and talk Chris into making the beds too. 
Cross fingers and make bed sample. 

Above: A table for the Ojai Rancho Motel in Ojai, CA.


Complete the sentence: 

I like it when…it rains 
I never want to be asked...for a refund 
Success is…just being happy 
My biggest fear is...going blind 
I’d like to be…in Thailand
I’m secretly obsessed with…awful romantic comedies
I am looking for…a foot massage 
I dislike…forgetting my sunglasses 
My style icon is…Chris Woodhead 
I dread…lock 
I am good at…making pancakes 
I am bad at…keeping a diet 
I recommend…Tom Waits 
I couldn’t live without…salsa


All images courtesy of Shaun Wallace

Near and Far: Victory Press x UO


Victory Press is designer Jessica Humphrey and artist Jonathan Cammisa, collaborating to create a collection of men’s clothing inspired by post modern art, prints and silhouettes of ‘80s skate and surf culture, and the functionality, integrity and ideology of ‘90s outdoors wear.

En route to launch a Victory Press pop-up event at our Los Angeles-based concept store Space 15 Twenty, Jess and Jonathan drove across the country, visiting American factories and getting up close and personal with the country’s great outdoors. Here, the design duo lets us in on every adventure of their nationwide trek.







How did you two come together and launch Victory Press?
Jess: Jonathan grew up in South Philadelphia skating. He was heavy into grafitti and hip hop, and he spent his summers at the Jersey Shore. I grew up in Virginia Beach surrounded by surfing and skateboarding, and as a teenager photographed every punk and hardcore band that came through my town. We met about five years ago in Vinegar Hill, a small neighborhood in Brooklyn. We both were obsessed with 1980s and ‘90s vintage clothing and we had the same taste in art and music, so we became best friends. We decided to start a clothing line out of a shared realization that outdoors wear just wasn't cool. We wanted to make outdoors wear that like-minded people want to wear.

Tell us about the Victory Press pop-up that brought you across the country!
Our friend Kyle came to our studio one day and proposed we set up shop at Space 15 Twenty for the summer of 2014. As a new brand, we were stoked on the opportunity to build out a space with our creative vision and spread our ideas to the West Coast. So, we though it was only appropriate to see the country on our way here so we can tell our story to you.







What was your favorite city or pit-stop along the way?
Mystic Hot Springs, Utah was by far the most interesting destination. We spent a few hours soaking in old claw foot tubs filed in with mineral rich hot springs with epic views of the Utah Mountains. Mystic Mike, who hosts the property, has an extensive collection of posters and stickers he's illustrated for touring bands, including the Grateful Dead. He also has a YouTube channel where he hosts live music and does an awesome job recording. There is also a collection of buses previously owned by Deadheads, for which you can rent and sleep over, if you want. It was truly a mystical moment. And then there was Yellowstone National Park—there are no words for how beautiful it is there.

Any travel mishaps?
Not really. We had good vibes on our side!

What was your day-to-day life like on the road?
We woke up. I'd heat us up some Grady's Coffee we cold brewed the night before. I might have some time to make breakfast while the boys break down the camp. If not, it was Early Bird Granola and yogurt and then we were on the road. Some days were long drives—almost 14 hours. We literally drove until it was time to sleep. Our meals that day would be "Jon's Back Seat Turkey Sandwiches" and the good old gas station special. The other days we'd drive for six hours or so and set up camp. We'd cook chili or hamburgers, relax, shoot our BB gun, then go to sleep extra early, wake up, maybe do a hike and then hit the road again. We were lucky enough to spend a good stint in Yellowstone and Utah where we could meander a little more and soak up the environment. We drove through 15 states in seven days, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to stay idle.







What were some of the best and worst meals you had while traveling?
The best meal was the chili we cooked over campfire the first night in Yellowstone. We brought our cast iron dutch oven and made a slow cooked chili and cornbread. We set up camp with the Grand Teton mountains as our backdrop, with no other human in site. It was magical. We actually ruled on the food tip. Even the sixth time we had turkey sandwiches, they were delicious!

What are your top five travel essentials?
Our trusty Birkenstocks, Oberto Beef Jerky, Snowpeak Titanium Stove, our dog, Jasper, and Santa Maria Novella Potpourri (for the stinky truck).

What advice would you give to someone about to embark on a cross-country trip?
Give yourself a good month because there is too much awesomeness to see.





The Victory Press x Ours Gallery summer pop-up shop at Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahunega Blvd) is open now and runs through July 27, 2014.


UPDATE: Now you can watch the video Victory Press made with the help of Nathan Caswell about their cross country trip!

UO DIY: Scrapbooking


After visiting Tulum recently to shoot our newest lookbook, we had so many new Instax photos that we didn't know what to do with all of them. Rather than hang them up, we decided to start a scrapbook/journal hybrid for them, so we could keep all our pics in one spot and also write down some of our favorite memories. Instagram is good but when it comes to keeping track of a bunch of photos, sometimes it's best to go back to a good ol' fashioned notebook. Read on to see what we did!





Organize
If you, like us, take a boatload of photos, you'll want to sit down before scrapbooking to decide which pics you want to include and which pics you're going to shove in a box somewhere. It's also nice to be able to look at everything in front of you before you start working, just so you can make sure you have everything you need. Above were our basic supplies for this project. The notebook we're using to start out is this super fun (and bright!) unruled Leuchtturm journal.

Keep It Simple
It's easy to want to throw five pictures on each page with 30 different artistic touches, but it usually (not all the time!) looks better when the clutter is kept to a minimum. (But if you've figured out how to make clutter look amazing, give us a call, because we love glitter and stickers.)





Washi Tape
We love washi tape for scrapbooking because 1) it's adorable and 2) it's the easiest way to adhere pictures. You don't even have to worry about doing the roll of tape on the back because it looks perfect taped right on the front. We're also pretty lazy when it comes to crafting, so it's nice to have something that's so versatile and easy to use.

Stamps
Obviously stamps are a great way to add some excitement onto your scrapbook pages. You can get literally anything on a stamp these days, which is perfect for those of us less artistically inclined. Can't draw a cat? Stamp it! Boom. Done.





Mixed Media
We liked the idea of mixing in some souvenirs and cards we found, just to round out the whole scrapbook a little bit better. For some of our backgrounds, we bought printed paper in Mexico that we then cut out and taped into the book to give our pages a more colorful background. A pack of beachy playing cards also looked nice mixed in with everything, so we stuck them in there, too.

Stickers
Stickers are THE BEST. You can put them on pictures, use them to stick pictures to the page, and decorate the page with them. It's super easy to go overboard with them. (We maybe went a little overboard. It's fine.) But hey, if you love stickers, there are some giant books of them out there that will let you sticker to your heart's content.





Shop Travel Journal Essentials

Meet The Designer: Marisa Haskell


California-based jewelry designer Marisa Haskell has been creating handmade jewelery ever since she was young, and after being fans of her line for ages, we're happy to announce our exclusive Marisa Haskell x UO collaboration is now available online. We chatted with Marisa about how she chose the pieces for her UO collaboration, how California influenced her growing up and the challenges she's faced as an artist.
Photographs by Emily Dulla





Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. How did growing up in California influence the rest of your life?

I grew up in the Santa Barbara mountains in a house my parents built over the course of about 10 years. My parents were antique dealers and great designers and our house was always full of eclectic art, jewelry and textiles. We lived far enough out from town that you would hike to your friend's houses, or find creative ways to entertain yourself. Being outside, surfing, making things was a big part of my youth. It helps breathe a bit of independence into you that can be hard to shake. Everyday I try to get outside and create a little bit of this kind of environment in my life.

When & how did you first become interested in working with leather and jewelry making?
When I was about 15 I was helping my grandma and we came across some beautiful deer hides that she had tanned years back. She gave me the hides as well as some tools and taught me a bit about basic leather work. I began to realize the satisfaction of using thing that you had handmade. Working with leather was great because it provides many limitations- it was about taking the time, observing the material and keeping it simple, which is important in all design. I started making jewelry with scraps left behind and overtime my interest evolved and I found myself incorporating other materials and refining my aesthetic.



You spent some time living and working in Mexico; How did that shape your life and your career path?
Living in Mexico happened somewhat unintentionally. I had just finished college and as much as I wanted to, I didn't have a set plan yet, so I took a trip down there. I got a job and then a month long trip turned into 3 months, then 6, then a little over a year. I worked, surfed and made things. There was a lot of space for creativity and I didn't many of the distractions and anxieties I would have had back home. I learned how to be happy through simplifying my life. These days I work a ton and tend to take on as much as I can handle and so it is great to try to remember the value of just cutting back sometimes, simplifying, and make space for what you love most.

Who is the customer you design for? Do you have a dream customer?
Having my store in Oakland, CA has been an amazing experience because I get to meet so many awesome people and see them wearing the pieces. Oakland is a really diverse place, so you get the full spectrum of people shopping the line which has been rewarding to see. Dream customer? I had Linda Evangelista (who has been on the cover of Vogue more times then one can count) purchase some pieces from me the first month I started out. I figured that if someone who has been in the industry for so long liked it, then maybe this could work.







Can you tell us about your design process? How does a single piece go from an idea in your head to a finished product?
When I go to design a new collection I begin with drawings and then I start putting materials together and experimenting. Properly using materials is crucial to me - Find what is unique about leather and show that. Bring out what is different about brass. I make tons of samples and start pulling things together and seeing how the scale is working, the weight, the balance. Making all of my samples is critical to my process; working, adapting, and changing them as needed. Some styles come together in a few hours and other times I will spend days and get nothing. I know a piece is done when I want to take off whatever I have on and wear that one instead.

What have been your proudest moments and your biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge was getting over the intimidation of going into this industry. I thought there was some magic formula for making it happen. Turns out its mostly about being willing to work really hard, do things you don't think you can pull off, and having your eyes peeled for lucky breaks. As far as running my business goes- creating a system where we can make everything for my line by hand in our studio in Oakland has also been a huge challenge. It feels good though- building your team, making it by hand and feeling proud of the camaraderie you create.

Can you tell us about your UO collab?
Working with UO, we wanted to design great statement pieces for a wide audience. I feel like the type of person that shops at Urban Outfitters is so diverse that I really wanted the styles to be bold but wearable by someone of a variety of fashion leanings. We kept the pieces very true to my line and we made them easy to wear for a wide audience.

Studio Visit: Alia Penner


Alia Penner is a modern-day pop artist based in Los Angeles. Penner lives in a quiet, colorful home atop a hill in the Mount Washington area of Los Angeles that overlooks Downtown. Inside her home you'll also find her studio, where she works her magic. Penner's home is a place of absolute wonder; the rooms are filled with her own work, found objects, and of course, her furry grey cat, Edie. Aside from traditional mediums, Alia also works with fashion and film. Currently she works largely with Cinespia, and recently worked with Anna Sui. I had a quick chat with Alia to learn a bit more about her work, and how much she loves balloons and Miss Piggy.
Interview by Maddie Sensibile

Alia Penner wearing Romance Was Born's 'Dream On' collection.



Hi Alia! Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be an artist.
I grew up in Topanga Canyon, which is a really special place to grow up in. I’m actually third generation; my grandfather lived there and then my dad grew up there too, right next door to where I grew up. Now I live in Mount Washington which is kind of like Topanga-ish, close to Downtown L.A. I always wanted to be an artist. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a cartoonist, I wanted to be a fashion designer, and I wanted to be anything that had to do with art. I just drew all the time, since before I can remember. I went to art school at Otis, and I’ve just been a freelance artist since I graduated.

Your work is definitely reminiscent of the 1960s and '70s. What about that time period stands out to you?
I guess just the color and freedom. I feel like the '60s and '70s were also pretty inspired by other time periods as well. So it’s kind of like when people say that my art is inspired by '60s and '70s, I feel like there’s so many different places that I’m taking inspiration from, like art nouveau, or deco. There’s just so many points are jumping off points. I love psychedelic artwork.



Other than those decades, what primarily inspires your work?
I’m a big collector of books. I think books are really important, and I think you should have as many as you can fit in your house. I love having things in my hands. I love searching for things, I love treasure hunting, I love going to flea markets and finding crazy things. I just found this insane wheel of fortune from this old carnival. I’m super into movies and I watch them all the time. My boyfriend started the movies at the Hollywood Forever cemetery, so I help program movies there, which is so inspiring. It's fun to curate and create a whole experience. I’m really excited about Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on June 21. But just being able to pick something like that…Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!  The photobooth is going to be amazing!


"DVF Pop Wrap Animation for the Warhol Foundation made by me"

You do a lot of collaborative work as well. What do you enjoy most about pairing fashion with art?
I love working in fashion. I think you should dress as silly and crazy as you want every day. I love dressing up and playing a role which goes back to movies, and being inspired by fashion and movies. Making clothes on my own was really exciting and hopefully I get to do more of that in the future, selling my dresses at Colette. I only made like ten of them or something. I really love working with Anna Sui, and I think we will be working together again soon. I did her backdrop for her fashion show a couple seasons ago, and she’s such a hero and so cool. I got to visit her in her studio and she had books everywhere stacked high as the ceiling.

What are your go to films that have impeccable fashion and art direction?
My favorite, favorite ones…I love Smile with Bruce Dern. That movie is one of my favorites. I love pageants and over the top fashions for that, the ‘70s rad teenage girls in that are really funny. I love musicals, all kinds of musicals. I could watch Esther Williams and all those amazing Ziegfeld Follies all day long. I just watched Witches of Eastwick again, and there’s this one scene in it that blew my mind. I’m obsessed with balloons and re-watching the scene where they’re holding thousands of pink balloons in the ballroom and then they dance through them... I mean, what beats that?


Alia Penner's Balloon Girl Performance starring Labanna Babalon.



Who would you call your style icon?
Miss Piggy, definitely, is a style icon for me. I love Miss Piggy, I love the Muppets. I have a book called Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life and there are some really important lessons.
Zandra Rhodes, another designer that I’ve met and interviewed before, she is just insanely cool. Pink hair. Like, I love how rad you can be when you’re old. You don’t have to be an insane plastic surgery lady. You can be a badass with pink hair and tons of black eyeliner and wear whatever you want. I almost can’t wait to be that.

What has been your favorite project to date?
I directed my first music video for Jena Malone this year, which was a really special experience to work with her. We covered her in flowers and glitter and nothing else. Another favorite project I did last year was painting Katy Perry’s piano. That’s probably the best. It's so special because it’s this object that you know is gonna be around forever. It's covered in red roses and ice cream colors. It was great to work on it over the course of a couple months. I feel like everything has to happen so fast nowadays, so to be able to even spend time painting something is just a pleasure. I wouldn’t mind doing that all the time.


"Katy Perry's piano in my studio"



Who is your dream artistic collaboration?
My dream artistic collaboration would be to create a DREAM Theme Park with Niki de Saint Phalle & Yayoi Kusama.

Alia Penner is represented by Weiss Artists. Check out Alia Penner's website and Instagram.

UO x Converse: Herald Square


Every Wednesday through Sunday in June from 11am-8pm come to the Herald Square UO location (1333 Broadway) and get your Chucks customized with our special Converse printer. There are hundreds of designs to pick from, so there's sure to be something for everyone. To get your kicks customized, all you have to do is purchase a pair of Converse from the Herald Square store. The customization itself is completely free, so once you pick out your favorite pair of sneaks, you're good to go.

For more info on Herald Square, click here.


Meet the Designer: Helena Young-Meyer


This month, UK-born designer Helena Young-Meyer, the woman behind HYM Salvage, is showing off her one-of-a-kind home goods at Urban Outfitters' Space Ninety 8 concept store in Williamsburg, and also worked with Urban Renewal on a unique denim collaboration. We visited her Fishtown studio where she gave us a peek into her working life (hint: it's filled with vintage fabrics and pug puppies) and told us all her must-see vintage shops in the area.
Interview by Katie Gregory. Photos by Rachel Albright.





Hey Helena! How long have you been working on furniture specifically for Space Ninety 8?
About a month, I’d say? It’s hard to say, exactly. I’ve done an online range, and then another collection for Space 15 Twenty in L.A. on top of this collection for Space Ninety 8. And now I’m researching and looking for furniture for the Harold Square store. Right now I have no furniture because I’ve got rid of it all! I get the concept books so I get an idea of what they want it to look like and then I go from there sourcing the fabric and furniture.

Any awesome spots that you get your furniture from?
At this point it’s been varied. I’ll go to Adamstown or…well, I haven’t bought anything from Jinxed yet, but that’s a great place to look in Philadelphia. I also like to go to the Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse where I just got a bunch of stuff from. Whenever I’m out and about I’m always looking into vintage places. Some of the stuff I already have, like stuff I’ve collected over the years. I'm pretty cleaned out at the moment, though. I need to start collecting again.





And what about fabrics?
Sometimes it’s harder to find at the vintage spots. The best places we’ve found were in L.A. I went to the Rose Bowl and made contacts with a bunch of people and now I know where to get what from. I get a lot shipped over or I just pick up things whenever I’m there.

You've previously worked as a clothing designer for UO. How did you get into working on furniture full-time?
Well, I’m from England obviously [laughs], and in the U.K. I worked in fashion for like, ten years. In between that I did a diploma in traditional upholstery in Wales. I learned everything I needed to know about. After that, I started a side business alongside my fashion in the U.K. When the opportunity came for Urban, I just went head-first into the denim stuff because I didn’t have time for side projects. I did that for three years and it went really well, and then doing this just felt like the right thing at the right time. When I got my space here, everything all just seemed to fit. Urban has been a great company to work for because of how creative it is.







What music do you like to listen to while working?
I always like to listen to BBC Radio 6, which is a U.K. station. I always listen to that because it's familiar, and then that leads me on to other music. Generally it's just indie/folk type music. I used to be massively into music and now I like listening to it but I'm not as full-on with it [laughs].

What are your future plans with Hym Salvage?
Well, I just bought this house at the end of last year so I plan on staying here. I feel like there's a lot of opportunity here. Building the connections here for growing a business has been quite easy, and I think there's a lot of opportunity in Philadelphia as opposed to going somewhere like New York. We have a garden in the back and we plan on building a garage back there so we have a back delivery place as well and a place for bigger pieces. That's the short-term plan for now [laughs]!





Shop the HYM Salvage x Urban Renewal collection

Meet the Designer: Jason Woodside

Spend a day with artist Jason Woodside and you'll leave grinning from ear to ear. From hanging out in his color-saturated studio, to getting a caffeine fix at his new coffee shop Happy Bones, to having a cheeky glass of wine with lunch at Buvette on a Monday afternoon, the Florida-born, New York-based painter oozes good vibes. This month, Woodside collaborates with adidas on a hyper-color pop-up shop at Urban Outfitters' new Space Ninety 8 concept store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

In addition to his collaboration with Space Ninety 8, Woodside also recently lent his talent to charity, designing and hand painting a new pair of adidas Stan Smith shoes (pictured below) that are now up for auction on eBay. The proceeds from the auction will go directly to Free Arts NYC, an organization that provides underserved children and families with "a unique combination of educational arts and mentoring programs that help them to foster the self-confidence and resiliency needed to realize their fullest potential." To read our full feature on Woodside, click here.


Space Ninety 8 Market Space: Local Made


As part of Space Ninety 8 Market Space, the Local Made pop-up showcases 44 artists and designers from the Brooklyn area. Independently minded, handcrafted, and one of a kind pieces are available from the very hands that made them, with unrivaled attention to detail and craftsmanship. Below, we spotlight some of Brooklyn's independent brands and makers you'll find at Local Made. Visit Williamsburg's Space Ninety 8 to see all 44 artists under one roof or click here to read our artist feature in full.



MCMC Fragrances
Created by Anne McClain, a graduate of the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in southern France, MCMC Fragrances is a boutique fragrance brand and studio based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.



Species by the Thousands
Founded in 2005 by Erica Bradbury, Species by the Thousands is a Brooklyn-based jewelry and lifestyle line influenced by outsider worlds.


(Photo credit: Jody Rogac)

New Friends
Established in 2012 by Alexandra Segreti and Kelly Rakowski in NYC, New Friends design and produce weavings, textiles and housewares.



Mighty Real Skin
Created out of a love for aromatherapy and skincare that's 100% natural, partners Salvador and Enrique make each of their essential oil blends in NYC in small batches.



Emily Miranda
Making her first piece in metal in 2010, Brooklyn-based Emily Miranda continues to make jewelry inspired by nature and fantastical creatures.



Datter
Created by illustrator Kaye Blegvad in 2010, Datter Industries creates subtle, narrative jewelery in an endeavor to turn drawings into wearable art.


(Photo credit: Julia Newman)

Brooklyn Herborium
Founded in South Brooklyn in 2013 by moms Molly and Emma, Brooklyn Herborium is a complete line of healthy skin care and home care products.

Studio Visit: New Friends

Using a handmade frame loom and wooden comb, Kelly Rakowski and Alex Segreti of New Friends design studio craft weavings, textiles and housewares that combine historical tradition with contemporary visual culture. We visited them at their space in downtown Brooklyn to see where they weave their magic. Read the full feature here.

Interview: Joe Segal of Pretty Snake

You've seen them on Tumblr, you've seen them on Project Runway and now you can see them all over the Urban Outfitters website! Of course we're talking about the Pretty Snake Crazy Kitty Sweaters! Here we talk to Joe Segal, the designer and man who makes those magical cat prints come to life with fuzzy sweaters and 50,000 (yes I said 50,000) googly eyes a year.

Interview by Ally Mullen

Hi Joe! Introduce yourself with a quick bio!
My name is Joseph Aaron Segal, but you can call me Joe. I'm the creator of the fashion lines Pretty Snake and World of JAS. I grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts and eventually landed in Providence, Rhode Island where my career in textile and fashion design materialized. I work full time designing and making my fashion lines here in Providence as well as teach a computerized knitting design course at Rhode Island School of Design. 



When and how did your first "Crazy Kitty Sweater" happen?
The very first Crazy Kitty Sweater was born while I was working on my MFA in textile design at RISD. I was working on a textile collection inspired by a historical Indian tunic that was part of the RISD Museums Costume and Textiles Collection. I learned that the tunic I looking at was created to ward off the evil eye, and eventually I came to the black cat as a source of inspiration for my project. The Crazy Kitty graphic was originally a tiny painting I made inspired by an old collectible tin full of kitties and then I first knitted it as a wool dress in 2009. When I realized that knitting graphic sweaters affordably was super hard as an emerging designer, I decided to print the cats on pre-existing sweaters and that's when the phenomenon began!



Why cats? Do you have any of your own?
I love cats because they can be cute and loving while also being really weird and mysterious. Somehow, I actually don't have any cats, but my good friend — and only full-time employee — Hannah Abelow, brings her cat Pablo to visit sometimes! I like to think though, if I wasn't surrounded by kitty things all the time, I'd have some real ones.

Do you buy the decorative eyes in bulk at this point? Or are you well known at the craft store for picking them up?
I couldn't believe it, but I completely bought out my first source of cat eyes. Now I import about 50,000 cat eyes a year! 

How many goggly eyes have you ever use on one sweater?
Well, the average sweater has 16-24 eyes, but for one of my looks in my Northern Quilts collection I used about 300 eyes. The I've also made wedge shoes completely covered in kitty eyes!



Since you're known for such a unique item, how do you feel you will branch out in the future to create new, cat-free creations?
I actually have an all new cat-free collection out right now! I used cake icing to create a colorful photo realistic print collection that is available in all sorts of dresses, skirts and leggings. You can find the collection in my web stores (links below!). I'm super excited about my next collection coming out in December: it's inspired by curiosity cabinets.

Sorry we can't help ourselves: give us the dish on Project Runway!
Project Runway was just as crazy as it looks on TV! You have to think fast and be good at working with all sorts of personalities.
1. Your favorite judge: I wasn't expecting to think this, but I thought Heidi Klum was a great judge! She was always surprising me because she really appreciated the more artistic and conceptual approach to fashion design.
2. Most embarrassing moment: I feel like I'm always doing embarrassing things, we even call it "JAS-ing it up" while working at the studio, but somehow I managed to not have a stand-out embarrassing moment. I'm sure if I were to ever go on the show again I'd do some embarrassing things now that I'm comfortable with being on camera.
3. Something we might not know about the show? One of the coolest things about the show that you don't see is that a lot of us are still really close friends! Even a year later, I talk to a bunch of my fellow Season 11 cast mates regularly.

Where else can we find you on the Internet?
WORLD of JAS, Pretty Snake, and on Instagram @prettysnake!

Shop the Pretty Snake One-Of-A-Kind Crazy Kitty Sweaters

Interview: Moffat Nyangau

19-years-old Moffat Nyangau is an illustration student at Rhode Island School of Design. Moffat moved to the US as a young boy and, inspired by American cartoons, he started to draw. Last year, Moffat visited our Urban Outfitters SoHo store and ended up submitting drawings for a sketch contest at UO's Night Outinspired by our Women's Silence + Noise design Fall 2013 concept

The sweater featured in these photos come from his winning design, which (along with a cash prize) was chosen by Dossier Journal’s Polina Aronova, stylist Doria Santlofer, designer Katie Gallagher and Urban Outfitters’ very own Marissa Maximo to be turned from rough draft into reality.


Hi Moffat! Give us a description of your background.
I moved from Kenya, Africa around the year 2001 and continued to grow with the American culture, which at an early age influenced my love for art—all these new things widen my vision of what could be. Now I attend Rhode Island School of Design.

How did you get involved with the competition?
My friends and I were at UO's Night Out to see Icona Pop. While they were setting up, we went upstairs and found the competition was still going on, so I entered.

Silence + Noise X Moffat Nyangau Intarsia Knit Pullover Sweater

Describe your winning design!
It's a combination of a cat, fish scales and water. The cat would be centered, and it was also my intention to give it huge Buddha beads and added gold to make it look very ancient and majestic.

What was your initial reaction when you heard you won?
It was a lot more than I could handle! It was just another regular day of me checking my mail. It took a couple of minutes to register that I had won, which isn’t something I thought would happen. I walked around the room cheering, but no actual words coming out, rolling my arm in the air.



What's your personal style like?
I’ve grown in style of what I’ve worn over the years after having seen what other is out there, from what was only limited to me. I'm an Urban dresser. I wear anything from my granddad's sweaters to Obey and Stussy. The kinds of shirts I like to wear are simple and less graphic. I’m still trying to find new styles that are better than the last, while still maturing with my age — I can’t dress the same way forever.

What's your dream label to design for?
Obey. I love the color choices, which influence me in a lot of ways as an artist.

What do you want to do in the future?
Illustration for a published comic book company, which is something I really want to accomplish—specifically drawing for a continuing Superman story and some of it's covers. I love to create from my mind and create stories. Animation would be next in line — being able to bring ideas to life. My goal is to spread the magic of art to another child, like it was to me. Thanks to constantly watching Dragonball Z, my love for art grew into every form. 

Be honest. Are you going to buy the sweater?
Without question. Seeing something I have made displayed in Urban Outfitters is an achievement worthy of doing so. 

Moffat's Original Design  
Why would you want to collaborate with Urban Outfitters?
"I would like to introduce people to my unique sense of style, so that I'm not the only one dressing like this."

Found Objects by Randall Cleaver


(Photo by Maddie Flanigan)

On display now at The Gallery at 543 (5000 S. Broad St.) in Philadelphia is the exhibit Found Objects by Randall Cleaver.

As a sculpture student who graduated from Penn State in 1981, Randall became accustomed to using found and salvaged pieces in his art, and that tradition has carried into his current work. On display at 543 are some of Randall's amazing clock sculptures, made completely from found or salvaged materials. Most of the clocks also have a component that moves; the slinky on the clock above is shifted from hand to hand, and the grim reaper clock (below) has a pendulum and moving arm piece.

They're so, so much fun to look at, so if you find yourself in Philadelphia, make sure you check out the exhibition! It will be up for the remainder of the month. —Katie













MacPaint 2013

WAH, remember MacPaint? From like, the Jurassic era of computers? It's here! On the 2013 internet! Look at that shadow font! SO MANY NOSTALGIA EMOTIONS COURSING THROUGH MY BODY OVER THIS!

This is great. I'm either going to get really good at computer drawing in black and white, or I'm just going to write "POOP" and "BUTT" in shadow font all day long, because it looks so neat. —Katie
(via The Hairpin)


Friday the 13th Tattoos

Ben Kopp

It's Friday the 13th so you know what that means... it's time to dig through your couch and old purses for some change to take to TD Bank, so you can scrounge up enough money to get a $13 tattoo of something FT13th-inspired!  


We know tattoos last like, a really long time or whatever, so to make it easier for you to choose on this super-duper-stitious day, our lovely team in the art department have provided us with awesome designs to share with you! 

It's simple: Just print one of these bad boys out, take it to your local parlor, and get it tattooed on you! We suggest your face as the best possible spot.

P.S. If you DO happen to get one done, please send us an email of it at blog@urbanout.com! —Ally

This tattoo will remain timeless as your body withers away and dies.

And it's only 13 calories!

What a tough pussy.

BOOOOoOOOoOOoooooOOo!


I feel like I just lost 10 years of my life by just POSTING this last one.

Ben Sifel
2 cute 2 resist. Seriously, try to tell me with a straight face you don't want this right now.

NYFW: Backstage with Katie Gallagher


(Photos via Katie McCurdy)

Walking down the stairs to the basement lounge at The Raven (55 Gansevoort St.), I could just FEEL that I was in Katie Gallagher's presence. Or, at least, I felt like I was walking around in a place that lived in a far corner of her mind. The lights were dim, the walls were covered in soft velvet, and everywhere you turned you were blinded by a bright stage light or the gaze of an ethereal being (hint: model) lounging on black leather couches, picking away at bowls of candy corn. It was official: photographer Katie McCurdy and I had landed smack-dab in the middle of the backstage preparations for Katie Gallagher's New York Fashion Week presentation.






I met Katie the last week in August. She invited me over to her apartment in Chinatown for a photo shoot and interview with her for a UO At Home feature (coming this October and shot by Bobby Whigham!). I had come baring T-shirt samples—they were soft, dainty and delightfully covered in Halloween-themed drawings done by the host herself.  We were photographing the Katie Gallagher X UO Collection for the first time since their creation.




Fast-forward two weeks as we were happily photographing the collection on a group of models, hand-picked to display the T-shirts as a tribute to their unique looks. After shooting a few of our favorite girls, we walked upstairs to the presentation. As we waited behind thick curtains, we anxiously awaited to see what laid ahead of us. Although we watched as each model was individually scurried up the stairs after finishing hair and makeup, we were still blown away when the curtains opened.




As we took a step forward, the air was filled with the scent of fresh flowers. The room was light and pleasant, and you were immediately greeted by a row of models, lined up one by one, each in beautifully fitting ivory, pink and black fabric ranging from sheer bodysuits to full-length dresses; leather bra tops to lacy skirts. Katie Gallagher's SS14 Collection Bloom was certainly as beautiful as it's name would suggest. 




From my first meeting with Katie, I feel I had watched her bloom myself—from a quiet girl answering the door, smiling warmly while answering questions about her family, and eventually laughing into the night as we ate tacos and drank margaritas; to a woman, standing strong and proud in the back of the room, watching the camera bulbs flashing upon her hard work as the crowd packed the room in awe, once again, of what she had created. Our acquaintanceship, though brief and business-based, gave me a sense of what Katie Gallagher is really like, and the greatness she is capable of.





A special thanks to our hosts Katie Gallagher and Chesley with One PR for letting us get in the way of things and be a part of such a special day. —Ally

Want more? Shop the Katie Gallagher X UO Collection and keep a look out for our UO At Home feature with Katie during the month of October!