Shop UO UO Blog

About a Space: Beachside Bungalow

"I always knew I'd end up living at the shore…but figured that I would know when the time was right." 

In the spirit of the lazy, beach-filled days of summer, we took a quick trip to the tiny, nautical-inspired beach bungalow of Steve Olszewski. Steve is a stylist at Urban Outfitters, and commutes 80 miles each way from his home in Villas, New Jersey to UO's Philadelphia home office—a schlep, but one he considers well worth it to live in the history-filled, 550-square-foot beach house he's completely restored in the last two years. We talked with Steve about beach life, DIY renovations and tips for making the most of a small space. 
Photography by Michael A. Muller.

More than just an escape from the city, Steve's beach house is the realization of a childhood dream: the house originally belonged to his grandparents, and Steve grew up spending every childhood summer in the house he now lives in. "I always wanted to live at the shore," he explains. "I remember fantasizing about living in my grandparents' beach house as early as when I was nine or ten years old."

Two years ago, he started making steps toward leaving the city and retreating back to his roots. He sold the house he owned in Philadelphia and bought the beach house from his cousin. "It was really a surreal moment of all the right things happening at just the right time," he says.

He started renovating last January. Within two months, he and a friend had completely redone the interior. "I had originally intended to just spruce things up," Olszewski explains: "Embrace the 1970s wood paneling…[but]these things do tend to snowball. And just because you get nostalgic over a memory of playing Chinese checkers on the front porch addition of your grandparents' house—complete with shag carpeting, dropped ceilings and dark wood panelling—doesn't mean that it's something that warrants preserving." Above, coats hang on a wall made from reclaimed cedar fencing.  

Throughout the renovation, he also kept in mind that he was converting a summer home into a full-time home, and made steps to have it be "comfortable for summer visitors but also functional as my home when they were not." 

Above, a nautical mirror in the living room that Steve can trace back to a provenance inside his grandmother's shed. ("I always loved it!") When his mom tried to sell it in a yard sale, "I made sure it didn't get sold," Steve explains. "It sat in [storage] for years as one of my 'I'll have a house at the shore one day' belongings and just recently saw the light of day for the first time in over 20 years when I hung it on my wall." To continue the nautical influence, the mirror hangs over a displayed U.S. Navy blanket from WW2.

To make the most of the small space's limitations, Olszewski installed these paneled doors so the heat can get through. 

On living with less, he says, "I accumulated so much stuff while I was living in Philly and had to let go of a lot of in a small space forces you to have less. The bedrooms in my spot are pretty tiny—this place was built for someone to drop his things and go fishing and then stumble home to sleep…space and comfort were the least of the worries of the people building these houses." 

Steve makes up for quantity with the quality of objects he keeps around: The house is packed with relics from the home's history that Steve has preserved and re-realized to fit into his own aesthetic. Above, vintage fabric used for bedroom pillowcases. 

Steve gutted and rebuilt the entirety of the tiny bathroom after discovering a leak buried beneath three layers of tile and concrete. "There were days this winter where there literally was no floor," he explains. "All you saw was the dirt in the crawlspace underneath the house; I referred to it as my litter box."

Details on a cedar wood shelf, constructed from the same reclaimed cedar as the wall in the front room.  

"This is my Great Aunt Mary passed out in a hammock." On his collection of vintage photos, Olszewski says he eventually wants to create "an installation of photos of people relaxing and having summer fun."

Steve's future plans for the beach house extend outside: painting, building an outdoor shower and planting a garden. 

"It always drove me crazy when I saw people ditching their beach chair in the trash because their butt ripped through the seat," Olszewski says. "I always thought, 'It's a perfectly good chair! It just needs new fabric!' Over the past few years, I've been grabbing beach chairs with good solid salvageable frames and refurbishing them with new fabric."

Steve's tips for small-space living:

1. Figure out what you will need space for, and plan accordingly
"You really need to consider how you are going to use a particular space, how often you plan on using it and form your plan around that. For example, I knew that I would only eat at my table when I had friends over, and also that when I have friends over, we pretty much spend most of our time out on the closed-in porch. So, moving the table out there in order to have a more open space in the kitchen was a no-brainer. Same goes for the second bedroom…I'll not have guests way more than I will have guests…so it only made sense to utilize the room as an extension of my bedroom (but leave enough space for a really comfy air mattress)."

2. Be inventive with storage
"You have to utilize every nook and cranny for storing things. Don't just have a coffee table…have a coffee table that’s actually a giant old trunk with all of your extra sheets blankets and pillow cases in it."

3. Keep things clean and bright
"As for keeping a space seem open and larger, I always stick with light, bright colors and avoid too much clutter—put your stuff away! I also painted the entire house one color so that things didn't feel separated at all. I wanted it to feel like every room was an extension of the next."

A nearby escape — Steve's two-block walk to a quiet stretch of beach. 

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.

First Look: Space Ninety 8

Space Ninety 8, the Williamsburg, Brooklyn concept store from Urban Outfitters, opens its doors on Friday with an adidias pop-up shop in collaboration with the painter Jason Woodside, a Market Space featuring a curated selection of goods from Local Made artisans and designers, one-of-a-kind Urban Renewal vintage and a dedicated shoe shop (among many other things). We took a sneak peek at the space before the grand opening, where a team of young merchandisers from across the country was busy custom-building fixtures, hanging lights, handwriting signs and decorating the multi-story space with crystals, ceramics and plants.

Danielle, Store Merchandiser

Hi Danielle! Where are you from? I'm from the Roosevelt Fields store in Garden City, New York. 

What's been the best part about setting-up Space Ninety 8? Working with some of the most talented people in the company from all around the country and collaborating and pulling inspiration from each other. And working with the product—there's a lot of special one-of-a-kind pieces here. 

Do you have your eye on anything you want to buy? A Himo Art macrame wall hanging and the beautiful marbled ceramics by Bailey Doesn't Bark

Chris, Display Artist

Hi Chris! Where are you from? I work at the Studio City store in Los Angeles. 

What do you love about Space Ninety 8? I really like the space itself—it's unique. I feel like we translated the concept well. It has a really different feel [to other stores]. 

Anything you have your eye on that you want to buy when the store opens? The vintage metal shirts. 

Hard at work setting-up the rooftop bar, Top Deck

The view from the top

Erin, Store Merchandiser

Hi Erin! What store are you from? East Village, NYC.

What's your favorite thing about Space Ninety 8? The Urban Renewal shop.

Have you seen anything you want to buy while setting-up? A pair of Modern Vice boots. 

Ricky, Market Space Team Lead at Space Ninety 8

Hi Ricky! Where are you from? I'm a Brooklyn local.

What's the best thing about Space Ninety 8? The exposure for local artists. I'm an artist myself, so it's really nice to see.

Do you have your eye on anything to buy when the store opens? All the Salt Surf stuff!

Trevor, Store Merchandiser

Hi Trevor! Where are you from? The DTLA store.

What's the best thing about Space Ninety 8? It's an exciting concept—it's a lifestyle center! It's a cool place to hang out. I love the localization with the Market Space and the artist collaborations. I feel like you could spend hours here and not just shop. 

Anything you've got your eye on to purchase? There's some really special vintage mens pieces and the jewelry by young local designers. 

Urban Renewal Vintage

Nabil from Salt Surf setting up shop

Skateboards by Salt Surf, part of Local Made at the Market Space

Better Together: Olivia & Ben

UO couple Ben and Olivia share the same laid-back attitude, reflected in their cozy home surroundings and unfussy personal style. With a meet-cute story worthy of a Nicholas Sparks novel, we hope this creative pair will continue to make appearances at our holiday parties for years to come. Photographed by Colin Leaman


Hi Olivia! You work in beauty here at UO. What are some of your favorite products?
Too many too count, so I’ll try and keep this short. For my hair I always go to Batiste Dry Shampoo and Klorane’s Magnolia Brilliance Spray. For my body, I’ve been using 417’s Multi Mineral Dry Oil and for a serious night regime I bathe myself in Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse. Of course exfoliation is key beforehand, so I always make sure to scrub down with a really abrasive Korean washcloth. I normally order them off some obscure website or have my mom ship them to me from a market she goes to in downtown L.A. As for make up, I have three key items: The Chromographic Eye Gloss by Eddie Funkhouser, Anastasia Brow Gel and Lipstick Queen’s Medieval shade. It’s the perfect everyday glossy red.

What’s your current “holy grail” product?
This winter it’s been Mario Badescu’s Vitamin C serum. It has totally changed my complexion. It recommends a nightly application two times a week, but I’ve completely disregarded this and have been using every day morning and night. Probably something I shouldn’t be advertising, but this thing is a magic potion!

Describe your style in one sentence.
Rugged backwoods grandma meets California girl pretending to be Parisian. Lots of denim. Sorry, that was two.

How has your style changed over the years?
It hasn’t. I’m still wearing jeans I bought when I was 15.

Where do you shop?
I love shopping vintage outside of the Philadelphia area. My good friend is from Reading, PA, and she takes me to the best Salvation Army stores. Here in the city I love Vagabond. And Urban Outfitters of course. I’ve been obsessing over the Reformation collab pieces--I want them all.

How did you and Ben meet?
We used to see each other on the subway ride to work and just smile at one and other like idiots. We were both too shy to actually say hello. I would say it was six months of this before I finally bumped into him at the company holiday party last year. At that point he wasn’t messing around anymore: He asked me for my phone number before he knew my name.

What makes you and Ben better together?
Ben and I are pretty different; in turn I think we balance each other out nicely. We help push each other creatively and intellectually while still being supportive and lighthearted about it all. At the end of the day, it just feels easy and fun.

Do you guys share any items of clothing?
We share a lot of sweat pants, at home pajamas and sorts. He’s stolen a pair of my Baron van Fancy socks, and once I tried to steal this awesome thermal cardigan of his. It was the perfect boyfriend fit (LITERALLY) for layering under my leather moto jacket. I still have my eye on that. Don’t tell Ben.


Hi Ben! You work in graphic design here at UO. How did you get your start?
I was in my last couple weeks of school and the art director at the time found my Instagram. Next thing you know, I’m here.

What are your favorite mediums to work in?
My favorite lately is pen & ink, and watercolor. Gouache is great too. Tracing paper is the most important, though.

What’s your drawing process like at work?
I'll start doodling to get some composition ideas down, and then translate that to the computer. It really all depends what I'm working on.

What about at home?
At home, I'm always drawing. Always drawing and writing. It's my favorite. I bring a sketchbook with me everywhere, a pen, and I always have a Krink on me. Eventually, my drawings go from the book to another surface; canvas, watercolor paper, computer, whatever. If they turn out bad, they sit and collect dust. If they are cool, they go on the internet.

Describe your style.
Pretty graphic. Lots of printed tees, vans, jeans, and plaid shirts. Never anything too fancy.

What are you favorite pieces of clothing?
My current favorites are my Stussy x Club75 long sleeve. Super dope. I also have the WeDidIt tee, which is pretty great.

Tell us about how you and Olivia first got together.
She purposefully bumped into me at our holiday party a year ago and the rest is history.

What makes you two better together?
I tend to be pretty quiet; she’s got a big personality. Yin and Yang.

What’s one of your favorite things about Olivia?
She’s always a lot of fun to be around and never tries too hard. She’s gorgeous, funny, and pretty spontaneous… I’m sounding cliché.

Do you guys own any of the same items of clothing?
No, but I’ve stolen some socks from her before.

Editorial: Future Folk

The California desert was the perfect backdrop for our Koto shoot with L.A. musicians Chance from Jesus Sons and Joey from The Pesos. Check out the entire feature here.

Shop the collection

Happenings: Urban Outfitters Heads to DTLA

Once home to a booming theater district, Downtown Los Angeles is reemerging as a bright light in the big city. The iconic streetcar is being brought back to Broadway, where Urban Outfitters debuted a new location on December 18 inside one of L.A.'s architectural gems, the Rialto Theatre building, which originally opened its doors in 1917. 

Located between the famous blue Eastern Building and Chinatown, the Rialto had fallen into disrepair, closing in 1987, but through the Bringing Back Broadway initiative, the new UO location is a pioneer in breathing new life into Downtown, where you can now grab a slice at NYC pizza legends Two Boots next door and soon stay at the Ace Hotel, set to open in the former United Artists studio building down the street.

With the Rialto Theatre marquee shining bright outside (lovingly restored along with the theater's original doors), inside you'll find a colossal selection of alphabetized vinyl records and a specially curated crop of Urban Renewal's latest vintage and re-worked finds. Suede fringe jackets mix with neon New Balance sneakers and vintage Fender and Gibson guitars line the walls, reflecting the eclectic style of the neighborhood's young denizens. The huge projection screen at the the rear of the store is a nice nod to the building's history, and will host a rotating selection of visual stimuli for your viewing pleasure. —Maddie Sensible

Get Gifted: Maddie's Wish List

Get Gifted: Maddie's Wish List!

For my holiday wish list this year, the things I chose are all over the place, which is how my brain feels most of the time. Everything I chose would be excellent for multiple people, like the creative person in your life, someone who enjoys bright colors, record albums, or having a great winter complexion. See, I told you my choices were all over the place! Maddie

1. Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City

Frankly, it took me about six months to fully appreciate this record for what it's worth. Vampire Weekend's third LP is a total masterpiece, and a little bit different from their earlier material, but just as catchy. I want to pop this into my record player and pretend I'm sitting in the sun on Cape Cod with Ezra Koenig.

2. UO Sticker Collage iPhone 5/5s Case
I always tend to put stickers on the back of whatever boring iPhone case I have at the moment, so I love this case because it does all the work for me. It includes unicorns, stars, kittens, ice cream... basically everything cute, ever.

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery
I'll admit it, I'm not the world's biggest reader, but if it's music related, I'll probably pick it up. Anyone who is into that stuff should check this book out. Definitely a great way to continue to build that vinyl collection, right?

Andrea Garland Rose & Hazelnut Daily Moisturizer
It's wintertime, which means we all need a good moisturizer. This one by Andrea Garland sounds lovely and can be applied daily. Smelling like roses and hazelnuts is an added bonus.

Magical Thinking Enamel Confetti Box
I have so many random little things in my room, especially various pins that say silly phrases or have band's logos on them. This adorable and sparkly box will be great to hold all of the things I never know what to do with.

Fujifilm INSTAX Mini Rainbow Film
I love taking my INSTAX camera with me as many places as possible during winter break, because there's always so many fun things to take a snap of. (And by snap, I do not mean Snapchat.) This rainbow film will nicely spruce up the photographs I take this holiday season.

Vans Sk8-Hi Leather Women's High-Top Sneaker
I don't think any girl can deny that shoes are the way to her heart, so for the holidays, I would very much like this pair of leather sneakers by Vans. They're an updated version of the classic Sk8-Hi, made of slick leather. A little boyish and way classy at the same time.

Behind-the-Scenes: Cory Robinson

Urban Outfitters' Display Artist Mentor Cory Robinson found some time between setting-up our Miami store and making his own art to talk about what's on his holiday wish list, and what he'll gift you if you're lucky enough. 
Interview by Ally Mullen

Introduce yourself!

I am originally from Connecticut, but moved to Philly in 2003. This is where I was lucky enough to get involved with the Urban Outfitters display world and I haven't looked back. I now reside in sunny and relaxing Tampa, Florida. When I'm not working, I sell art work.  In the last few months, my wife and I have also been selling art and vintage clothes at local markets. 

What are the best and most challenging aspects of working on store display?
The best part is traveling to places that I may not usually choose to go, working with all the homies that I don't get to see all the time, creating new stuff, seeing new stuff, and skating new stuff. The hardest thing would be the work and short timeline to accomplish so much. People sometimes think that we are just on some type of vacation sippin' fancy drinks, but we're far from it. We go in early and work late. You have to be focused and ready for a lot to come your way. It's not easy to set a entire store to be visually stimulating in a week's time. It's also hard to remember that you are not on vacation with your friends, so you have to keep your after-work activities pretty mellow. 

Tell us about the Miami tote bags that you designed...
I submitted around 16 drawings—some maybe not so appropriate (cats doing beer bongs)—but awesome nonetheless. The team picked the one they liked sent it to the art department who added color. It was a collaboration really, and I am super stoked to be a part of it!

Let's talk holiday! What do the windows look like right now at your Urban Outfitters store in Tampa?
My holiday windows came out really pretty and cool. There are a lot of mirrors, gold and silver foiling, and lights. I actually got "proud of's" from the company. 

What's on your UO holiday wishlist?
1. Urban Renewal Vintage Jansport backpack
2. Converse Chuck Taylor High-Tops in cream or maybe Low-Top white
3. American Fleece Lounge Pants
4. Dickies Skinny Straight Work Pant
5. Grateful Dead Flowers Tee

When you're getting a gift for someone else, do you tend to buy something or create it yourself?
I try to be creative and make people gifts. Sometimes the time slips away from me and I go into panic mode and just buy something. But mostly I try to create something special. Recently, I've been making these cats cut out of old skateboards, which are fun gifts. If you have a kid, I might gift you one of the onesies or puzzles that I make. If you get really lucky, you might score one of the T-shirts that I designed for Skatepark of Tampa with 'Lil Ripper' on them. Beyond that, you might get a Chili's gift card or a funny watercolor I've made.

Be honest: What's the worst gift you've ever gotten?
I don't remember how I got it or who gave it to me, but I got a $50 gift card to a grocery store. At first, I was hyped, like, "free groceries!" But once I hit the Googler and saw that it was a hour away from my house in Philly, I was super bummed. I'll never drive there and if I did, my chicken nuggets would be defrosted by the time I got home. I still have it, by the way, if any wants a Genuardis gift card. I've kept it like some sort of gift card hoarder.

Where can we find you online?
My website If you wanna see art, pics of my cat or my homie standing in front of weird cars (#gleepglopbycars), then follow my instagram @mrcoryrobinson

Model Moment: Anais Pouliot

While in town for the 2013 Holiday Surprise Party shoot, angel-faced model Anaïs Pouliot chatted to us in-between takes about her career and what she gets up to on her days off. Ally

Name: Anaïs Pouliot
Current location: NYC
Hometown: Terrebonne, a suburb of Montreal in Quebec, Canada
Height: 5'10"
Agency: The Society
Astrological sign: Cancer
What you were doing before you started modeling? I was a high school student.
How did you get discovered? I went with my parents to an agency in Montreal. They immediately took me.
What was your first big break? Working for Prada, I believe.
When you're not working, what will we find you doing? Cooking, reading, pilates, yoga, hiking…
Favorite food? Any good homemade food.
What's the first thing you do when you wake up? Make tea or coffee.
What's your off-duty beauty routine? In the morning: Cleaning my face, applying a little bit of concealer under the eyes and some mascara. At night: Making sure all makeup is removed and applying a nice hydrating cream.
What's your number one beauty tip? Curling my eyelashes! It makes my eyes look more open and awake.
Do you have any special skills? I can run in high heels!
What's your life motto? Try and try until you succeed.

Now, strike a pose!

Follow the lovely Anaïs on Instagram and Twitter @Anais_Pouliot!

Homebody: Bianca Green

DENY Designs is a constantly changing collective of talented artists, one of whom is Bianca Green. Bianca's cozy DENY textiles are currently being sold online at Urban Outfitters, so we decided to find out a little more about her and what she does to keep cozy during the winter months in her home city, Berlin. —Katie

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an artist, dreamer and color addict. Born in Rio de Janeiro, I lived in San Francisco, Montevideo and now back in Berlin. My passion for travel allows me to get inspiration from all over the world. But I do not only travel to countries. In my mind, I travel to places that don’t have names. I enjoy combining reality with fantasy, creating images that will color your life and hopefully make you happy.

Which design from your DENY x UO collab is your favorite?
I love them all but as a travel addict, I would say the “LOUIS ARMSTRONG TOLD US SO” Duvet Cover. You fall asleep and dream about all the wonderful places you want to travel to, or remember the lovely ones you’ve already visited. That way you will definitely wake up with a smile on your face.

Who are three of your favorite artists?
Olaf Hajek, Alfons Mucha, Frida Kahlo.

What are some things you do to make your own home cozier in the colder months?
I have a lot of pillows and blankets on my sofa and bed. So cuddling up is a must. I also love tea all year round, but when it gets cold outside, I tend to drink even more. I bought this beautiful old “grandma” teapot from the flea market, so my tea tastes a little better now.

Any amazing thrift shops or flea markets near you?
Yes, yes, yes! I have been to all flea markets in my area. The most famous one is basically my backyard: the “Mauerpark Flohmarkt” is a must-visit here in Berlin. But my favorite is at Akronaplatz; it’s tiny but it has the most amazing treasures. I bought my kitchen table, a stool, a side table for my printer and many, many vintage picture frames there.

Where are some of your favorite cold/colder-weather spots in your city?
Home. When it’s super cold and rainy outside, I like to stay in, drink lots of tea and eat good food. If it’s just cold and not raining, I like going out for dinner with friends, movies or to book stores. They tend to heat up the stores so you feel comfy, sit down to read and sometimes get lost.

When you’re curled up at home for the night, what do you like to do?
Draw, sew, read, watch movies and drink more tea.

What’s your favorite comfort food?
Chocolate cookies, hot chocolate, chocolate soufflé, chocolate ice cream, chocolate muffins, chocolate brownies, chocolate cake, AND pure chocolate.

First Look: Get Cozy

With our First Look feature, we will be previewing the latest UO photo shoots. This month we're getting warm and snuggly at a cabin upstate, where every day is Sunday and every day is sweater weather. 

With the temperature dropping to numbers that we can only count on our fingers and toes, we're preparing ourselves for winter's arrival by getting nice and cozy. But, when you think about it, what is cozy? By definition, it is an adjective originating from early 18th century Scotland, used to describe "a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation." When used as a verb (cozies, cozying, cozied), its description starts to get rather...intimate: "Give [someone] a feeling of comfort or complacency. Example: She cozied him, pretending to find him irresistibly attractive." Who knew the Scots were quite the lovers? (Coco Chanel, apparently).  

So, as I begin my quest to find a Scottish man in South Philadelphia, I am consumed with getting cozy in its truest sense. It's more than just a word, it's what love affairs are made of, and it's what inspired Chanel's iconic tweed knitwear and Scotland's timeless Argyle and Fair Isle sweaters

Cozy is...

… warm pumpkin pie with an extra scoop of vanilla ice cream.
… waking up to the sunrise and letting its warm rays lull you back to sleep.
… wearing your boyfriend's cologne when he's not around.
… putting a hot water bottle under the blankets right before you get in.
… making an emergency trip to the corner bodega in your pajamas (no judgement!).
… putting your bra and underwear in the dryer for ten minutes before wearing them.
… sleeping in front of a fireplace (even if it's electric).
… wearing every layer in your weekend bag, laying outside wrapped up in a blanket, and looking at the stars.
… drinking red wine and watching Garden State for the second time in one day, just because.
… letting your best friend leave her legs over your legs on the couch.
… going to a diner in the early hours of the morning and keeping on your animal ear-shaped hat, despite the odd looks you get from your server. Oh and two more hot ciders, please!
… candles around your bubble bath, your favorite album, and a very long story from once upon a time.
… two packets of marshmallows to every packet of powdered chocolate mix.
… keeping your socks on—even when everything else is off.
… the moment you lay your head to rest, every day of the week. 

Thanks, Scots! —Ally

UO Behind the Scenes: Mr. Kiji

Recently, Mr. Kiji, a Japan born and New York raised artist, installed an epic mural in one of our busy Manhattan stores. We spoke to him about how it all came together.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a creative person who focuses primarily on illustration, graphic art and animation. I’ve lived all over the place. I currently split my time on both coasts as well as a fair amount of time abroad.

How did you decide what you wanted to do with this particular mural?
I find working at a large scale very appealing. A large scale piece can take over and define the viewers' environment. A smaller piece tends to require the viewer to make a choice to come close and engage the art. I like that bigger pieces interact with the viewer, a passerby and the environment.

I have several styles ranging from illustrative and literal to more formal and abstract. In the past 5 years I’ve come to really enjoy doing much more formal and abstract graphic large scale works. They tend to rely on the play between color and form and speak with some universal form and color language. I’ve been doing quite a bit of traveling internationally this year. I find myself drawn to the simplified personification of a nation, culture or people in their flag.

How long did it take you to install this mural?
It took eight days to paint the twelve panels in my studio, and about three hours to hang it onsite. It was a bit of a nail biter when it came to the install because it was the first time I’d gotten to see the entire piece.

Any complications, or was it smooth sailing the whole time?
With every project there are always bumps and setbacks but that’s part of the process. I come from an industrial design background and find that each project has problems to solve and therein lies the fun of figuring out how to execute a design. It can be a bit frustrating but ultimately a huge measure of why I personally like a piece.

What’s your favorite thing about New York City?
It’s the quintessential metropolis. We have seasons unlike LA. We have an amazing subway system, beautiful parks, and bars are open until 4 am. We have every type of food from around the world. Some of the people come just to dine at the finest restaurant but ultimately stay for the pizza.

Where can we find you online?
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and my website.

Obsessions: Jessica DeCarlo

Jessica DeCarlo first started selling her handmade jewelry at the age of 16, participating in local fairs in New Jersey. Since her youth, Jessica has built her craft both locally and internationally. She has gone from studying with goldsmiths in Florence, Italy, to working with talented designers in Philadelphia and Vermont, learning the ins and out of creating and making a business out of jewelry along the way. 

Today Jessica rests her head in Brooklyn, New York and works out of her studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn. She finds inspiration in mother nature and old objects, making her a big fan of everything antique and vintage. Jessica DeCarlo's collection is available online now and offers a variety of geometric jewelry — including crescent moon-shaped necklaces and a mix of crystals (both real and metallic) — that even Stevie Nicks would find herself charmed by.

Our obsession with Jessica is at a level ten, with her gems and metalwork making us wonder what is more important in the long run: An amazing new piece of jewelry or this month's rent?  Since we're fortunate enough to be carrying her latest collection, we decided to reach out to Jessica and find out what she is obsessed with. Below are her big top five (that we can't wait to check out!). —Ally

"S'more Bakery has the most amazing treats. They are handmade, handcrafted s'mores! My favorites are The S’morgasm and The Choco."

"Have you ever seen Antiques Roadshow? I'm obsessed. People's reactions when they find out what they thought was junk in their garage is worth $100k is nothing less than amazing."

"I use Acqua Di Rose from Santa Maria Novella every single day. It's an ancient recipe made in the Florentine Hills. I found it while I was studying in Florence over 10 years ago, it's magic and has been part of my life ever since!"

"Blithe and Bonny hand-crafted beeswax candles are the best; they are subtle and smell delicious. I burn them every day at home, in the studio, and in our shop. All natural, all handmade."

"All of the vintage and estate jewelry from my pals over at Estate Jewels by George and Raf. They are the most amazing duo, with the best taste and curation of special antique jewels."

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

Model Moment: Stella Maxwell

We've been seeing super cool model Stella Maxwell around the office all week, so today we had a quick chat with her to find out where she's from, her secret talents, and her plans for Halloween.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Hey, Stella! Where are you from?
I'm from the U.K. originally. Both of my parents are from Belfast, but I ended up coming here [to the U.S.] to work.

And where do you live now?
I live in New York! I live in Chinatown. I just moved there last week, because before that I was staying near Union Square.

What are some of your favorite places to hang out in NYC?
I have some favorite spots to eat. It depends on what you're looking for. Like, for cafes, Cafe Select is a really cool place to go get a drink. I don't really go to clubs, unless I really want to dance.

Do you have any secret talents or weird hobbies you're into?
Secret talents? I don't know! I guess I'm pretty into fashion and pretty into dressing up and wigs and having fun with fashion. It's so easy to have fun with. I'm really looking forward to Halloween.

Do you know what you're going to be for Halloween yet?
It's a secret! It's gonna be awesome. Last year I was an Avatar. That was really good. Not sure where I'll end up, but I'm sure it will be somewhere cool.

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!