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UO Exclusive: Get Free

Planning a summer adventure? We have the perfect books to inspire and the cameras to document. To kick it all off, photographer Jordan Sullivan sent us some favorite shots from his new book The Young Earth, a fictional hardcover photo series shot in Iceland on 35mm and Polaroid film. As one of our favorite current photographers, we also had Sullivan take our new self-snapping Autographer Camera for a spin. To spend a day in his life, read the full feature here.

UO At Home: Our Open Road

In October 2012, Adam, Emily and Colette Harteau—a family of three, soon to be four—set out on a journey from California through the Americas in their VW Westfalia Camper. What started as a one-year adventure has turned into a freewheeling life, without an end point in sight. Adam takes pictures and makes art; Emily cooks nutritious meals for the family using local produce and is developing a cookbook of her road-tested recipes. Colette takes it all in with the pure wonderment of a child exposed to the great wide world. This month, the Harteau's team-up with Urban Outfitters on a curated assortment of home goods. To celebrate the collaboration, we asked the traveling family to fill in our questionnaire about their life on the open road. Read the full feature here.

Shop Our Open Road x UO

UO Video Series: Liars

For the first music video in our UO Video Series for 2014, experimental noise-pop band Liars team up with wunderkind director Luis Cerveró on the song "Mess on a Mission" off Liars' new album Mess. Here, Cerveró and Liars’ lead singer Angus Andrew share their behind-the-scenes stories from the UO video shoot, as we celebrate three years of the UO Video Series. Read the full feature here.

On The Road: Book Companions

On The Road: Book Companions

Road-tripping is, of course, a great time to bond with your friends in the very close quarters of someone’s borrowed car, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to find those lulls and moments of silence in the backseat to do a little reading. Even in an age where e-readers are at their prime, books are the best road trip buddies, and if you’re a nerd/bibliophile/love the sound of your own voice like me, you can read passages aloud to your friends. Here are some choices to throw in your bag to read between point A and point B. Maitri

Astronomy 101 By Carolyn Collins Petersen
This lovely little book is packed with clean illustrations and gorgeous technicolor photos of the heavens above. If you’re driving on the open road, you can try and find those corresponding constellations.

Colorstrology: What Your Birthday Color Says About You By Michele Bernhardt
Can you paint with all the colors of the zodiac? Colorstrology will tell you what colors will brighten (or darken) your life, and who on the spectrum is your color match. I’d like to think I’m a Pantone Radiant Orchid.

Love Is a Mix Tape: Life And Loss, One Song At A Time By Rob Sheffield
Similar to when you’re on an airplane, emotions run high on road trips — confined space, the vast country of America, running out of Pringles, etc. Sometimes it’s good to go with those emotions, so you should read Love is a Mix Tape, Rob Sheffield’s powerful and SUPER sad story of the love of his life’s death, and all the music that held them together. Then go dig up the first mix CD your high school boyfriend gave you and re-listen to all those old Arcade Fire songs from Funeral.

How Music Works By David Byrne
If you’re road-tripping this spring or summer, there’s a good chance you’re on your merry way to a music festival. Why not read a music and life-affirming manifesto from the Talking Heads weirdman/genius, David Byrne, to remind you how music can (and is about to) change your life?

Stargirl By Jerry Spinelli
Throw some fiction in the mix. Stargirl is one of the best “young adult” books out there, so forget about The Hunger Games. This one's about a girl who is loved and admired for her strangeness until one day, for reasons seemingly unknown, she’s turned on by her friends. It’s gonna stir up some bad tween memories, for sure, but it will also make you proud of being yourself.

UO Music: Ryan Hemsworth

Between touring Australia and heading out on the road in the USA (first stop, SXSW!) we caught up with DJ and producer Ryan Hemsworth in his home town of Toronto, where he gave us the lowdown on his transition from music blogger to music maker. Read the full feature here.

Editorial: Devil's Harvest

Riding high with a truckload of new gear from our newest Men's label, Devil's Harvest, these friends spent the day cruising the sun-soaked roads of Southern California, stopping only for gas, girls and a chance to cool off at the local lake in the valley town of Ojai.

Wish List: The Great Outdoors

Wish List: Festival Essentials

Festival season is upon us and if you're about to head to SXSW (like us!), then you're probably starting to plan what essentials you're going to be taking with you. If you aren't hitting the fest-circuit this year, then these home items will at least make you feel like you're there. (Which is especially nice if you want the feeling of the great outdoors without the dirt and the 3,000 drunk adults.) Katie

Globe Graphic Bantam Skateboard
When there are no taxis within a 50 mile radius after a long day of band-stalking, you'll be glad you packed this cute little skateboard to scoot home on. It may not be super fast, but it'll sure beat walking.

Around the World in 80 Raves
If you aren't exactly sure what festival you want to hit up this year, Around the World in 80 Raves will open your eyes to fests you didn't even know existed. (And if you're not planning on going anywhere except your couch, this is almost as good as being there.)

Quilt Held In Splendor LP
One of our favorite records for getting into the road-trippin' spirit.

Fashion Flap Journal
Perfect for when your phone dies and you just absolutely need to jot down the name of that band with the cute lead singer who played at 1:30 AM.

Magical Thinking Flower-Tile Handmade Rug
Thin rugs like this are great for ploppin' down on the grass at festivals. Plus, they'll totally look great in pictures.

Shop The Great Outdoors

Friday Download: February 21, 2014

Friday again, y'all! And a foggy, sort of warm one at that. How exciting. It almost feels like the rest of our lives won't be spent in the soulless crush of winter. A true miracle. Here are some of my favorite internet tidbits from the past week to keep everyone feelin' as posi as the weather. Katie

Photos via FILTER

FILTER Magazine Issue 55
We love FILTER Magazine here, and the newest issue features the long-awaited return of Beck, which is pretty cool. FILTER is available on newsstands everywhere 2/28, and Beck's new album Morning Phase is out 2/25. For a stream of Beck's album, click here, and to get a peek at what else is in this month's issue, click here (SPOILER ALERT: TONY HALE FEATURE!).

The 1975 "Rather Be"
Okay, so The 1975 can literally do no wrong in my eyes, but this cover of Clean Bandit's "Rather Be" is especially great. The song segues into a cover of The Weeknd about halfway through and let me tell you, the whole thing is sensual. Like, so sensual I'm surprised they're not playing this in red silk pajamas with red roses in their mouths. Or at least multicolored silk pajamas blowing gently in the breeze, a la TLC.

Photo via CityPages

"I Chaperoned a Middle-School Valentine's Day Dance"
I just love Shea Serrano so much, and this week he wrote up a little piece about what happened when he chaperoned a middle school dance. Go read it, it's funny. Kids are a delight. (You should also go read his Grantland column about coaching middle school basketball. It's hilarious, even if you aren't a Sports Enthusiast.)

Apparently this face-morphing thing by Three doesn't even work in the U.S. (which I should have guessed, because I didn't even know that Three was a cell phone company until 40 seconds ago), but I don't even mind because this commercial for it is enough. SMILIN' ALL THE WAY UNTIL 5PM.

Will Ferrell Figure Skating
And here's a little Will Ferrell "skating" as a Downton Abbey butler on The Tonight Show with Fallon to keep the good times going. Thank you for this treasure, Jimmy.

Editorial: Great Escape

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all: Find a hideaway to hang with friends, get out on the road, cruise the ocean, explore new streets and hit the beach. We grabbed our crew, headed to the west coast, and didn’t stop adventuring from beach house to boat, through neon nights, up until dawn. Read the full feature here.

Happenings: Bookmobile Project

Our friends who started The Bookmobile Project are currently hosting a Kickstarter campaign to produce a book that chronicles their time spent on the Bookmobile from 2001-2005. The Bookmobile Project was an annual touring exhibition of artist books, zines, and independent publications hoping to spread their love of print to various corners of the globe. Traveling by way of a vintage Airstream, the Bookmobile visited a variety of venues in Canada and the US, and a group of coordinators traveling with the exhibition facilitated a series of workshops, artist talks, and educational forums. The project exposed thousands of visitors to a unique collection of independently produced book works and collaborations, and the book hopes to do the same. As a project that was partially based in Philadelphia, this one is close to our hearts!

If you'd like to see The Bookmobile Project reach their goal, you can pledge a monetary donation over on their Kickstarter page. Any amount past their goal will just ensure that the book will be even bigger and better than they could have hoped for. We have no doubt that the book is going to be amazing, and are so excited to see this project find its way to a larger group of people.

Best Albums of 2013: CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES put out one of the catchiest pop albums of the year, so obviously they made it into the top ten of our year-end countdown. In between shows, we were able to ask the band a little bit about their favorite moments of the year, and what albums they think everyone should listen to.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Tell us a little bit about your band.

CHVRCHES are an electronic three-piece from Scotland.

How would you describe your band’s sound?
Electronic and synthesizer-based alternative pop music.

What's one of the craziest things that you got to experience as a band this year?
Supporting Depeche Mode was incredible because we are all big fans of the band, and their live show is still amazing.

What does it feel like to know you made an album that resonated so well with fans?
This year has been amazing, and none of that would be possible without the people who have been supporting the band, coming to the show and, eventually, buying the record, so it’s great to know that the album lived up to their expectations.

What song of yours is usually the fan favorite?
"The Mother We Share."

What’s next for you guys?
We’re taking a bit of time off over Christmas but will be touring again more next year, and then hopefully finding some time to write new material.

What’s your favorite album?
Choosing one favorite is too hard! From this year, Factory Floor by Factory Floor, Cerulean Salt by Waxahatchee and Old by Danny Brown. Of all time, Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, Disintegration by The Cure and Violator by Depeche Mode.

Best Albums of 2013: Rhye

Rhye, the mysterious band best known for their make out-worthy tunes, is number three on our Best Albums of 2013 countdown. We spoke to singer Mike Milosh about the band's highlights of 2013, and what he and Robin Hannibal, the band's second member, have in store for next year.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Tell us a little bit about your band.
Rhye is an interesting thing as it’s a potentially oscillating, undefinable thing that we have been creating, and that given the opportunity can be bigger or smaller depending on the performance. We didn't want to give Rhye a face as we wanted it to just be an experience, wanted to let people have their own unbiased opinion of the band as much as possible and have their opinion of it be solely based on whether or not they liked the music. That being said, Rhye was Robin Hannibal and myself, Mike Milosh, writing songs together about things going on in our lives. It was recorded for the most part in a bedroom and not a studio.

Is there one moment from this year that sticks in your mind as your favorite or most surreal?
We played a show at a festival in Ireland (a place I dearly love), got about an hour of sleep and then had to get our sprinter to the ferry in the early morning. We disembarked in Wales and drove at ridiculously high speeds through the English countryside in order to get to the show on time. It was a lot of land to traverse in a short amount of time. But once we got there it was so calm. We put our gear into this tiny boat and were taken over in this barely afloat creaky, wooden creation. We could barely hear the festival, too. There was just the silence of the bow cutting through the perfectly still water. It was the most gentle little moment in the midst of an otherwise incredibly busy couple of weeks that just sat perfectly for me. I wouldn’t have been even the slightest bit surprised if a little elf was at the dock waiting to receive us.

Woman has been on multiple "Best Of" lists this year. How does it feel knowing that you were able to make an album that resonated so well with fans?
It feels really amazing. It’s a very beautiful thing, putting tons of time and energy into making a record and to have it received so well. We feel truly thankful that it’s resonating with people, because it’s a very nice place to be. It's very encouraging in an otherwise very tough business.

When you set out to make the album, did you know that you’d be making the perfect make out album?
Definitely wasn’t in our intention as I don’t think we really thought about what people would be doing to our songs; we were just focused on the writing of them. It’s a very nice thing, though...

What’s your favorite album of the year?
My favorite album is Jon Hopkins Immunity.

What’s next for you guys?
We have a lot of projects that both Robin and I are doing at the moment. I just released another record called Jetlag [under the name Milosh] so I'm busy shooting videos for that and putting together the live set. We will continue to play Rhye live, as long as people want to hear it in a live environment. Robin is currently working with Usher, Jessie Ware, Niia, Francesco, Little Dragon, Say Lou Lou, Purple Ferdinand, Laura Welsh, Jamie Woon, FKA Twigs, Yuna, Selah Sue, Sineah Harnett and Seal.

Friday Download: November 8, 2013

It's Friday, so here are some end-of-the-week internet clippings for you! You know, to get you through that last hour of work. —Katie

Nathan Rabin: R.I.P. Blockbuster
Blockbuster is closing its doors tomorrow... forever. It's weirdly sad? Nathan Rabin also thought it was weirdly sad and wrote this great piece for The Dissolve about all his fond Blockbuster memories.

Cut Copy – Free Your Mind
Cut Copy released their new album this week and if this (GODFORSAKEN) time change is already starting to kill your spirit, then this upbeat album will perk you right back up. And Consequence of Sound wrote a great review about the album that tells you everything you need to know. (But if you're not into reading about music, the link above takes you to the album's Spotify page.)

Malls Across America by Steidl
This is a photography book about mall fashion in the '80s. Pretty delightful, right? The perfect coffee table book, TBH. Check out some of the preview shots in this post; I am obsessed with the Tape World store pictured above.

The National "Lean"
The National put out a new song for the Catching Fire soundtrack, and it's pretty National-y. If this wasn't already made for a movie, I wouldn't be surprised to see it turn up in several Zac Efron movie trailers. (And none of that is a bad thing. The National, and Zac Efron, rule.) This soundtrack is shaping up to be prett-taaay, prett-taaay good.

Arcade Fire "Afterlife" video (Live at the YouTube Music Awards)
I still have no idea what the YouTube Music Awards were. Does anyone? Like, where were they? Why were they? This Spike Jonze-directed Arcade Fire video from the event is pretty cute, though. Greta Gerwig is a national treasure.

Delorean - "Spirit" at UO AfterFest Presents Making Time

We wish Delorean was still going to be in town to play at Fun Fun Fun and our AfterFest this weekend.  In honor of the lovely Spaniards, here's a video of their live performance from AfterFest FYF of their song "Spirit." Be sure to check the guys out when they return to the states in the new year! —Ally

Night Things "Sleeping Beauty"

Hey, if you feel like having your HEART RIPPED OUT AND STEPPED ON, then may I suggest watching this video? Our music director here at UO sent me this video to check out, so I did, and then I yelled at him through a waterfall of tears because OH MY GOD. FEELINGS. Had to pause this a minute in to silently weep. And then our other blog team member Ally also got about a minute in before she started weeping. So get your tissues, buddies, because you sure are gonna need them. —Katie

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

Read Your Heart Out: Kim Krans

For this series, we've been reaching out to some of our favorite people to ask for themed book suggestions. We then make those books available for you to purchase online. Easy! What better way to get to know some authors you might have overlooked?

For this installment,
we spoke to Kim Krans, the incredibly talented artist behind The Wild Unknown. In the spirit of the season, we found out what books Kim recommends to keep the mind mystical.
(Photo above by Daniel Arnold)

Kim's choices:

The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges
"The perfect bedtime book for anyone with a mystical mind. Borges tells the tales of over a hundred magical creatures, the likes of which you’ve never imagined before. My very favorites are the Animals That Live Inside The Mirror. And then there’s the classic tales of the Phoenix, Fairies, Gnomes, and Dragons. Oh but wait… you’ve never heard their stories told like this before."

The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda
"If you want to fall asleep at night and feel like you’re steering the dream wheel (at least a little bit), this is the book for you. Don Juan drops super knowledge on how to be a true 'sorcerer' and walk consciously through the sleeping hours. Believe it or not, your dream life is there for the taking – it’s just a matter of practice."

Shakti Woman by Vicki Noble
"Ladies, its time to get down with the Dark Goddess. Here’s why: Vicki Noble (author of the Motherpeace Tarot) gives us like a million reasons why not acknowledging this force within keeps us from finding inner peace, true creativity, and power. And then she gives us lots of ways to unearth this shakti, allowing it to unfold and brighten our lives. Ladies night book club, here we come."

Dune by Frank Herbert
"For years I made the mistake of thinking this was a sci-fi book for dudes only. Totally wrong. This is the most beautiful, spiritual, and intensely yogic story ever told. I am obsessed. If stranded on a desert island and I had to pick one book, this would be it. It’s wild and otherworldly and will have you sweating and crying at the same time. HBO, will you make a series out of this please?"

Shop The Wild Unknown Tarot

Playlist: Remembering Lou Reed

Yesterday the world lost an extremely influential and groundbreaking musician, Lou Reed. Although he was a founding member of The Velvet Underground, he also had an extensive solo career, and was responsible for influencing the psychedelic and punk scenes. Beginning his career with the Underground, Reed later collaborated with other influential artists like Andy Warhol, and worked on his own solo career, even releasing the controversial album Metal Machine Music. Through it all, Reed made a gigantic impact on the world, for musicians and non-musicians alike. His work and attitude influenced and continue to influence nearly every band, old and new. Music surely would not be what it is today without his contributions. Here's a little playlist for your mind and ears to remember some of his best. We'll miss you, Lou. —Maddie

Playlist: Goth Party

Here's a Halloween playlist for y'all, but it's like, a fun one. What does it sound like, you ask? Well, imagine you are a goth in the '80s. And imagine you are going to a goth party. And someone puts on a mixtape.

This is that mixtape.

Goth Party Playlist

It's Ghost Dating Season:

Are you so over dating human beings? Well, have we found an alternative choice for you!

If you're feeling lonely this mystical month, definitely spend some time on to find the ghoulish partner that is out there for you! Maybe you will bond over your love for Twizzlers or your similar taste in records.

October 2013 is all about finding a steamy ghost lover on the internet who you can really bond with. Who cares about finding a new, real human who will look cute on Instagram in a Halloween costume selfie? As all your friends comment "OMFG! Who is that?", you can just post a picture with your way hotter ghost date.

The best part about dating a ghost is that you can hang out with them whenever, wherever!

Sure, people may think you are talking to yourself in public, but if anyone asks, just casually tell them that your current partner is a ghost and you guys are on a date right now. They'll be sure to understand!