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Dreamers and Doers Come Together: Baggu


Baggu, meaning "bag" in Japanese, came from humble beginnings and has grown into a successful bi-coastal company in just a handful of years. The brand–started by mother-daughter duo Joan and Emily Sugihara with the help of Emily’s childhood friend Ellen–produces the most beautiful and durable bags in the biz at a fraction of the cost – and a fraction of the waste.

We visited the San Francisco studio of Baggu to talk to founder Emily Sugihara about her entrepreneurial prowess, the importance of collaboration, and what it means to be green.

Photography by Aaron Wojack






Can you tell us about the beginnings of Baggu?


My mom and I started Baggu back in 2007 before most people really knew what reusable bags were. It was a craft project that went big.

How did you evolve what was originally a hobby into such a successful and well-respected company?

I have been really entrepreneurial since I was a kid, so I was focused on building Baggu in a way that could scale right from the start. Ellen also saw the potential early on and was a fanatic about making sure the branding looked really polished.



Tell us more about growing your team into what it is today.

Well, it took seven years, one person at a time. It’s also such an ongoing process. Hiring the right people both in terms of their skill set and finding a good culture fit is definitely a challenge – but also something we have gotten pretty good at. Today we are 21 people split across two offices: one in San Francisco and one in Brooklyn. Each office kind of has its own vibe, but they are also strangely similar.

How have collaborations and partnerships played into the growth and success of Baggu?

We LOVE collaborating with other brands, especially Urban Outfitters! It’s really fun to get to adapt our products to different aesthetics. The Urban customer is really fashion forward so we get to go wild with crazy colors and prints. We also get massive exposure from our collaborations – it’s a great way for people to discover our brand.





What were some of your biggest challenges along the way? What are some of the biggest risks you’ve taken?

Starting to work with leather seemed like a big risk at the time. We were known as a really eco-friendly brand and we wanted to find a way to do leather that fit within those values. We really didn’t want to alienate our core customers. We found a way to do it by designing shapes that were really low waste and using only naturally milled hides. It also gave us a chance to try making stuff in the USA.

Can you walk us through the process of making your iconic leather shopping bag? What are the advantages of a simple, durable design like this one?

You start with a skin. We use cow skins, because they are a waste product of the meat industry. Then you use a big metal die to click out the shape of the bag. The leather shopping bag just needs one die and you cut it twice, once for the front and once for the back. The U-shaped cut out from the neck of the bag gets made into a pouch. Then you skive the edges where the bag is going to be sewn together. Skiving means shaving down the leather so it gets a bit thinner so the seams are not too bulky. Then the bag gets stitched together, seven seams in all. Then the seams all get hammered flat. The hammering is the key to having the bag look good – it’s the leather equivalent of ironing. Then ta-da! You have a bag!



What does it mean to be a “low waste” company?

Lots of things! The biggest place you’ll see low waste is in our product design. We intentionally design things that don’t leave behind a lot of scrap and don’t use more material than necessary to get the job done. In the offices, it’s all little stuff that compounds. We are pretty much paper free. Everything is digital, we don’t use paper towels. We compost…

What part has social media and the immediacy of the internet played in the growth and evolution of your brand?

Oh – the Internet is amazing. It’s definitely what allowed us to get so much exposure early on and grow so quickly in the beginning, and it’s what allows us to keep growing. We pretty much only think of marketing in terms of the web, so when we plan photo-shoots we are thinking first about how stuff will look on screens, not printed. On the back end it allow us to do a ton with a relatively small team.

What advice would you give to your 20 year-old self?

Buy more Apple stock! Also – you can teach yourself pretty much anything, and get good at it if you practice.





What is a typical day like for you?

I wake up at 7 and then I eat some chia porridge with fruit and drink a cup of tea while reading on my Kindle - I’m a big reader. Maybe I shower. Head to the office, which is a 3-block walk from my house. I work at a stand up desk now, so picture the rest of my day standing up. When I get to my desk I start with Asana and organize my actionable items for the day. Then I do some email. Maybe I go to yoga. At 1, we all cook healthy lunch together in the office. We do this every day. It’s called lunch club! Afternoons I have meetings or do design work or computer work. After work I’ll go for a surf or go to ballet class depending on the day or the waves. I try to so dome kind of exercise every day. Back home my husband and I cook dinner, usually Japanese-ish food (he cooks, I clean). Maybe TV? Cleaning the house? Kindle, bed.








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


I’m interested in seven things: ballet, surfing, ceramics, Bonsai, van build-outs, technology, and I’m also really into my husband.

How To: Make a Bag



1. Cutting - measure twice cut once! If I am making prototypes I usually just go from measurements and draw them on the fabric with chalk.



2. Cut your lines extra straight - your whole pattern will go together better that way!



3. Pinning is important for straight lines, especially on slippery fabric like ripstop nylon.



4. Sew your seams straight.



5. Ironing is the most important part of sewing - it makes your project look polished. Press your seams!



6. Pinning in handles.



7. Ta-da! A simple daypack.

***

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Music Monday: September 1, 2014

If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!

Glish - Stu Hunkington

Man, this is a killer tune. "Nugaze" is a perfect subgenre for this sound. This is excellent - it's high energy but not intrusive. Perfect.

Tycho has been taken to the wonderful guitar finger picking, bird chirping place of Bibio. The whole effect is very pleasant and relaxing. "Spectre (Bibio Remix)" is a good fall transition track (if we're there yet), and the subtle drum track is mesmerizing. 

Psych indie rock might be leading the way as far as guitar music goes right now. This track has a feel good vibe and a lot of phasing; it's very enjoyable. Check out the other tracks from Swim Mountain here. 

A gem from Secret Songs, that's been curated by a certain someone (Hems). This track is ethereal and has an interesting movement to it. It's incredibly slow, but maintains a good sway. 

"Fantasia Arc" is calming, wonderful dream trap. Generally when you find an artist's Soundcloud and there are emojis in the track title, you know you're in for a treat. This appears to be a Sigur Ros track that has been spun into the abyss.

Brands We Love: Bohem

We're excited to debut Bohem, a new textile line from the husband and wife team of Adam and Chelsea James. 

Based in Salt Lake City, Bohem pulls from the couple's collective backgrounds — Chelsea is a successful artist and Adam worked in design and marketing before the pair decided to pack up their lives and travel in pursuit of establishing relationships with worldwide makers in developing their own line. 

Bohem is now produced alongside small groups of Indian artisans, where Adam and Chelsea drew from the country's traditional palette and artistic fearlessness to inspire their textiles. "The style there is so graphic and adventurous," Chelsea explains. "My paintings are about subtlety, so I wanted to really take another route with this." 

The couple dove in headfirst to production — prioritizing finding artists they could foster relationships and work with in a sustainable way. Adam explains, "We spent eight months on that trip getting everything ready, sourcing materials, and finding the right people." 

Now available, the manifestation of their new venture: Bohem's handmade bedding, blankets, pillows, and rugs, made from hand-dyed, washed, and sun-dried cotton and wool. 

Images courtesy of Adam and Chelsea James



Above: Anciente Patternia Rug


Above: drafts and design sketches — "I don't have formal training in producing textiles," says Chelsea. "My background is in painting, drawing, and color theory, so I let that be the guide for our designs."


Above: hanging textiles in production


Above: Chelsea shares photos illustrating color palette and shape inspiration found while traveling


Above: The Stella Shag Rug

Above: prototyping the block prints



DIY: Disheveled Hair with Roma Oeh


With her perfectly disheveled hair, Roma Oeh, art director and wardrobe stylist of creative duo Oak and Roma, channels Beyoncé and makes it look like she "woke up like this" instead of spending any time at all on styling her locks. With a thriving business to keep her busy, as well as two Australian Shepherd puppies, Roma's perfected the art of carefree, disheveled hair. Taking a cue from Roma, we've pulled some of our favorite products to help achieve the easiest, no-heat disheveled hair. Sure, it'll take a little work, but it won't look like you spent any time at all on it.



Get the look:

To get that perfectly disheveled hair, there's a number of things you can do. One of our favorites is to let your hair dry 90% of the way naturally. When it's mostly dry, spritz it with some volumizing spray and then twist it up into two low buns on either side of your head. (Think Scary Spice's buns, except twist up all of your hair.) Sleep with your hair like this and when you wake up you'll have naturally voluminous hair. If you have thick hair that holds a curl really well, it's better to let your hair dry all the way, otherwise letting it set a little damp might give you crazy frizzy, big hair in the morning.

Another way to get natural waves that turn out more defined than the bun method is to braid your hair before going to bed. Doing this and then using a salt-based sea spray after finger-combing your hair once you wake up will make it look more natural than using a curling iron.

If your hair is naturally wavy, spritzing in some leave-in conditioner along with the aforementioned sea spray while your hair dries will give you unbelievable waves. Twist your hair a little bit between your fingers while it's still drying to define things a bit better, and you'll be on your way!



More favorites to achieve Roma's look:

Fatboy Perfect Putty Hair Paste

Not Your Mother's Way To Grow Leave-In Conditioner

Cocooil

Brooklyn Beach Hair Spray

Klorane Leave-In Spray With Flax Fiber



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Brands We Love: Ardency Inn

Ardency Inn is creating cosmetics inspired by the different music scenes in New York City and the unique vibrancy that surrounds each one. 

James Vincent, Ardency Inn's creative director, talked with us about blue lipstick, his music muses, and "living for black eyeliner." 

We love that the line is based on different NYC music scenes. Right now the line is divided into Punker, Modster and Americana. Any plans to expand the themes?

I think Ardency Inn is always looking towards new ideas and introducing new concepts in makeup. The categories Modster, Punker, and Americana are very encompassing for me. I think every makeup wearer can relate to the bold color of modster sometimes or the baddest black of punker for depth and dimension or the easy, laid back look of Americana so I am not sure we would need to introduce a new category.


Can you talk more about how you see the connection between music and makeup?

For Ardency Inn Music and makeup are completely connected. The artisty, the passion the emotion and energy that music conveys is a great inspiration for makeup. I love the idea that musicians use makeup to express individuality and personality or emotion rather than cover and conceal and I think Ardency Inn embraces that idea as well. Makeup as a positive force to show the world who you are and "Here I am" and I think music does the same thing. I start every day with a soundtrack of the day to get me prepared for whatever comes my way. i think people do that with makeup too. 


Quick — recommend three Ardency Inn product to us (if we can only have three)

My must haves:

Modster Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner in black. I live for black eyeliner and for men or women it makes a statement as soon as you walk into a room and stays put all day and night. 

Americana Custom Coverage Concentrate for the endless possibility it provides in coverage. Complete empowerment because you mix it into your own own favorite moisturizer for east sheer, light, medium or full coverage and then just add more to make it your concealer. 

Punker Unrivaled Volume & Curl Lash Wax. The lift and curl it gives to even the skimpiest lash is almost obnoxious. The only think you need to make maximum impact. 

What was it like doing Joan Jett's makeup for her Nirvana tribute? Do you ever get nervous doing celeb makeup?

Joan Jett is such an influence on my aesthetic and an inspiration to me as a person. Being part of the Nirvana tribute, Hall of Fame induction, and private after party might be the most brilliant experience of my life. It was monumental. I am such a huge fan and seeing Joan join Dave, Kris, and Pat onstage while I stood a few feet away was an experience beyond words. 

I do not really get nervous doing celebrity makeup. I am always excited but never really nervous. It is my job and honestly most celebrities care very little about makeup and the application as they have that experience everyday. I am more nervous when I do makeup for consumers as most of the time women want makeup for the most important days of their lives and it is very intimate. 

Are there any musicians you'd like to collab with in the future for the line?

I love Banks right now and Jill Scott is like a dream for me to work with. I think there are so many young musicians out there. I see shows as much as I can and I am always on the look out. 


Above: Dee Dee Penny from the Dum Dum Girls, the face of Ardency Inn's newest lookbook

What is your favorite makeup trend at the moment?

The reverse cat eye is so flattering for so many people and I love the lift it provides. Punker World's Baddest Eyeliner makes it super simple for even the most inexperienced makeup wearer. 

I also love mined metals on the lid. Ardency Inn new Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments are perfect and long lasting and because they are the first eye shadow to use Manuca Honey to press the pigment into place they are soft and smooth and supercharged with color while providing their own priming effect.


What about your least favorite makeup trend?

Overdrawn eyebrows and instgram cut creases?! Makeup should be about the face. You never want someone to clock your makeup before they see your face. The current eyebrow and crease trend of dark, hard lines is less than exciting. 

A lot of the line focuses on experimental, bold color: how do I wear blue lipstick and not look like a fool?

I love blue lipstick as a bold statement. Pair it with a soft eye with a lot of mascara and a bright cheek for the perfect summer look. If you are afraid of the dark, stain it onto the lip for a look that is more wearable but still unexpected and eye catching. 

Shop Ardency Inn in UO Beauty

Dreamers & Doers: Forage Haberdashery


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.

Forage Haberdashery is the combined project of Stephen Loidolt and Shauna Alterio, who produce handmade bow ties and handkerchiefs inspired by vintage menswear and deadstock materials. Both Loidolt and Alterio got their start at URBN, working in-store and then at the Philadelphia home office for UO and Anthropologie respectively for almost a decade before leaving to fully focus on their own projects. 

Today, their story with Urban Outfitters has come full circle: with this month's pop-up at Brooklyn's Space Ninety 8, Stephen and Shauna's careers have evolved from working on the store floor to now selling their work at Urban Outfitters. We talked with the duo about Charles and Ray Eames, establishing roles in a homegrown business, and how the modern man ought to style a bow tie. 


How did this all happen?

Shauna and I first collaborated on making handmade goods under the name “Somethings Hiding in Here.” We made things like wood rings, music boxes, and marquee signs. We opened an Etsy shop, made things, and people kept buying them. We both had full-time jobs with URBN that we loved and had no plans of starting a business. 

We had a pop-up shop in San Francisco a few years ago and thought it would be fun to make something new, so we rented a cabin in the woods, bought a sewing machine and fabric, created our own patterns, and made 150 bow ties by hand. A year later, we realized that Forage had become its own brand and it was time to either take it seriously or move on. Shauna left her day job to run the business full time and I followed a year later. Since then, we’ve grown the assortment by introducing a new item each season. 


Can you share some specific sources of inspiration? 

We both went to grad school at Cranbrook and I think the 'form follows function' legacy left there by Charles and Ray Eames has been a big influence in how we approach making things. We’re inspired by design that has stood the test of time and feels as classic and as relevant today as it was decades ago. The same goes for music: I love Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, and Memphis Minnie. 


Offer two pieces of advice to your 20-year-old self. 

1. Take more photos. 
2. All this art school debt will be worth it.  

How do you suggest the modern man ought to style a bow tie? 

Keep it casual, pair it with denim, and embrace an imperfectly-tied bow. Make it your own: experiment with the knot and let it show your personality.  


Walk us through a typical day-in-the-life. 

We wake up around 6:30am. Shauna and I make a plan for the day over coffee and hit the ground running. We bounce between hanging with our son Sawyer and working throughout the day. As soon as Sawyer goes to sleep in the evening, we both go back to the studio and keep working till around 2am. 

Some days might be focused on sourcing fabrics for future collections, photographing new product, designing the next season’s catalog, sewing patterns, or shipping out orders. Each day is a little bit different.  


Can you share more about how you've approached establishing different roles in the company? What have been challenges and what has come easier than you anticipated? 

We don’t think about it too much. We’ve been together 15 years and have naturally figured out how get things done as a joint effort. Shauna’s background is in printmaking and curating. She’s the creative force with more ideas than we could ever execute. She’s focused, organized, incredible at design, loves multiples, and knows how to get a lot of work out of me. 

My background is in sculpture. I have a broad knowledge of materials and building processes. I love figuring out how to make things, so when Shauna has an idea, I usually can make it exist. All of that history makes us work pretty well in tandem. Ideas bounce back and forth, informed and reformed by our individual creative processes. Somehow we’ve each learned how to hold our ground when it counts and give in when needed. Together we end up making things that neither of us would make on our own. It’s a true collaboration.  




Above: Forage's Space Ninety 8 pop-up

Tell us something we do not know about bow ties. 

We love that they have a utilitarian history: early tradesmen wore them because they were functional. When leaning over your job, neckties dangle and get in the way so a bow tie is a great alternative for the working man.  


Complete the thought: 
I like it when… things fall into place 
Success is… a job you like, good friends, a place to call home, and someone to share it all with 
My biggest fear is… our to-do list. 
I’d like to be… working on my '66 Chevy pick-up truck 
I’m secretly obsessed with… fly fishing 
I am looking for... a vintage wooden canoe 
I dislike… emails. 
My style icon is… Satoshi, our Japanese showroom rep. 
I dread… deadlines
I am good at… building things
I am bad at… bookkeeping 


See the past videos in our Dreamers + Doers series here: 

Music Monday: August 25, 2014

If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!

Dntel - If I Stay a Minute

Love this one. For those of you that don't know, there's a new Dntel record out September 23 on Leaving Records. Dntel is comprised of one of the founding members of Postal Service, Jimmy Tamborello, and if you haven't heard the Dntel song that spawned the Postal Service, check it out; it's groundbreaking. 

Breathe Panel - On My Way
"On My Way" is a track from Breathe Panel, off of the Beech Coma Volume 2 Compilation. The compilation does a great job of keeping it uniform with this "beechy" indie-rock sound. This particular cut is one of the several gems on the comp. 

Real Slow - Sad Kids
This one is just as the genre tags say: #Chill #Trap #Bass #Future.

Gold Panda - Clarke's Dream
Gold Panda with a new one here. Good hip-hop production vibe with the loops. This sound mixed with the hip-hop/house fusion is very rarely a let down. This one verifies that and will have your head nodding in no time. 

LV & Josh Idehen - Shake
LV, the veteran Hyperdub duo, team up with Josh Idehen, the frontman of excellent afro-electro Benin City. This release, not unlike their collaboration with Okmalumkoolkat, features their classic Hyperdub dark club sound. The xylophone sound is killer.


Featured Brand: Reebok x Garbstore

We're excited to debut a cool new shoe collaboration from Reebok and Garbstore this week that (literally) turns old-school Reeboks inside-out. The shoes in the collab take the idea of using the materials that are traditionally on the inside of classic sneakers and instead putting them front and center. We're well-versed in Reebok but wanted to dig up a bit more on Garbstore, the awesome British line they partnered with on this. 


Above: The Notting Hill home base of Garbstore


Garbstore is the brainchild of London-based designer Ian Paley, who worked for brands like Levi's, Burberry, and Paul Smith before branching out to develop his own line. Lucky for us, last fall the Brit brand moved stateside with an LA store where they stock their whole collection along with a couple US exclusives. 



Garbstore is rooted in history, taking cues from pieces produced in the 1940s and 1950s and reinterpreting them with a modern edge (or what Paley refers to as becoming "unfamiliar vintage") — garments that could have existed in the past but have been altered to become something else. The brand is also noted for its quality — looking to Japanese craftmanship and superior materials in the production of each collection. 


Above: LA meets UK in the SS14 Garbstore collection


This is the third year Reebok and Garbstore have worked together to produce shoes that riff on each of the brand's ideals: classics with a twist. This collection takes classic shapes of Reebok sneakers and alters them with unexpected details: exterior stitching, muted colorways, and heavy contrast. It's a fresh update for fall; we're into it. 



Above: watch more on the collab via Hypebeast, courtesy of Garbstore




Featured Brand: Champion x UO


For nearly 100 years, Champion has been leading the pack when it comes to comfortable, sportswear basics. The brand's influences run deep, and they even invented certain styles that are now ubiquitous in American sportswear; for example, hoodies and mesh uniforms were both born at Champion, which is a pretty incredible feat when considering what staples they've become in the American wardrobe.





Recently, the brand has been finding a following with the younger, more fashionable crowd by blending its classic basics with the more innovative designs of current streetwear labels. In the past year alone, Champion has seen collaborations with Stussy, Supreme and Herschel, just to name a few. Continuing to build its portfolio and reach, Champion's most recent collaboration with Urban Outfitters draws inspiration from archival Champion silhouettes and filters them through a modern lens (think "updated '80s"). The collection highlights classics from the late '70s and early '80s, as seen in the pictured vintage ads, and consists of fleece joggers, a Champion logo hoodie, and a transitional weight letterman jacket in a fabric mix of fleece and wool blend. The Champion x UO collection will be available in stores and online.



Shop Champion x UO

About A Girl: Maddie Sensibile


For the past two years, our music blogger Maddie Sensibile has been our go-to gal out on the West Coast. With an eye for casually cool fashion and a knack for blending high-end and low-end pieces, Maddie's been a never-ending source of inspiration for us all. Since she's always on top of the latest music releases (she's like the Energizer Bunny when it comes to attending shows), we gave her her own column, "I'm With The Band," to give her the chance to chat to and photograph all the most talked about musicians. For this About A Girl, since we've been so inspired by Maddie for so long, it only made sense to feature her and let the whole world know a little bit more about our favorite girl.
Photography by Emmanuel Olunkwa. Styling by Rachel Ritter.



Hi Maddie! Can you talk to us a little bit about yourself and your background?


Hey! Yes. I’m 20 years old and grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, CA. I’m currently in my final year of college, studying Photojournalism and Anthropology. I’m a bonafide music lover and spend most of my time thinking about that!

Tell us a little bit about what you do for Urban Outfitters. How did you get involved with the Urban Outfitters blog?

I’ve been a freelance writer for the UO blog for about two years now. During the Rookie Road Trip in 2012, I met some incredible people that got me involved with the blog team, and it has been an incredible partnership ever since! I’m currently writing mostly music-related things for the UO blog and have my own column, “I’m With the Band.”



What other things are you working on in your spare time?

Right now in my spare time I am mostly working on my post-college plans which will probably include graduate school, and I also am hoping to start some sort of new lifestyle website or magazine in the next year or so. I really want to evolve my fashion blog, Obsessee into something new.

How do you spend a day off? Can you walk us through a daily routine?

Usually, when I’m not in school or busy doing something else, I like to go around LA to art museums or find new places to eat with my best friend Maggie. She always finds the best places! I’m a total foodie. I also have been really into comedy lately and enjoy going to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Franklin Village. The Cinefamily is also great, over on Fairfax. I just saw The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night there. The theatre itself is an old silent movie theatre, but now it draws interesting crowds for the quirky movies they show. As far as a daily routine goes when I’m not going out, I usually wake up, play with my dogs for a good while, and spend a lot of time on the web blogging or watching Kyle Mooney’s YouTube videos, then I’ll usually go to dinner with a friend or something later in the day. I’m guilty of enjoying being a couch potato from time to time.



You live in California. How has that shaped your tastes?


In the last two or three years I’ve become really close with people who like going to gigs and being surrounded by music. This has really helped me immerse myself in the scene here. There’s always something to do and see, whether it be in Silverlake at Lolipop Records or in Orange County with Burger Records. I think the huge wave of DIY record labels, like Burger and Lolipop, has helped people realize they can play music and be serious about it. These DIY record labels are run by extremely genuine people, which I think allows these young people new ways to produce music and put themselves out there. I think living in Los Angeles has given me a sense of freedom because there are so many creative people here. Someone is always up to something new, which is very exciting. There is a sense of purpose here, which has definitely driven me to be cultured and curious when it comes to music, fashion, art, etc.

Were there any bands your parents turned you onto that made you fall in love with music at an early age?

Funnily enough, I learned about music and everything I currently love through my own research. My parents always talk about Fleetwood Mac, though. I’d say they’re my parents’ favorite band, and one of mine too. My dad actually saw The Rolling Stones with me last year, and he’s been talking to me a lot more about rock and roll since then. We both really love Led Zeppelin, as well.



Who are some of your current/new favorites?

Lately I’ve been listening to a ton of Fleetwood Mac, specifically their Rumours record, and Stevie Nicks’ The Wild Heart. I’m also into the Talking Heads, Television, Led Zeppelin, and The Gun Club. Other, “newer” favorites for me are Arcade Fire. I’ve been listening to their new record Reflektor ever since it was released in October. That record was such a new direction for them and it is so great to dance to. I've also been listening to The White Stripes a lot, since I’m sad I never got to see them live! Seeing Jack White live, though, has filled the void. I can’t complain. The “newest” band I’ve been heavily listening to is SKATERS from New York City. I actually spoke to them last October for UO when they opened for Palma Violets in LA, and I just love their attitude and everything about them. My other go-to bands of the moment are The Babies, Twin Peaks, Mac Demarco, Real Estate, Drowners, Blood Orange, and Angel Olsen.

Your blog Obsessee focuses more on fashion than music. When did you first find yourself becoming interested in fashion?

I really became interested in fashion my freshman year of high school and then it really expanded from there. Initially I paid attention to the runways, and then it grew into a love of couture and all things ornate. I used to be into being really trendy and always wearing the newest thing, but now my love of fashion is more so a love of fashion as art. I don’t post on my fashion blog as much as I used to, but I still love to share my inspirations on the main blog, and I post more often on my Tumblr, which is more of a stream-of-consciousness for me.



How would you describe your personal style? Where do you draw your own fashion inspiration from?

My personal style mostly draws from musical icons and street style photos. British people specifically inspire me; they are so carefree with how they dress and have such a “whatever” attitude when it comes to their style. They’ll look so put together, but really they just threw on some cool leather piece that they’ve had in their closet for years. There is a book by author Sam Knee called A Scene In Between that has really become a style bible for me. The book is essentially a book made up of photos from the mid ‘80s to early ‘90s of the British music scene of the time. Knee shared photos of everyone from Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Orange Juice, and The Smiths, who all felt inspired by the ‘60s, but the look they created was grungier and all their own. A Scene In Between really explains how I see my style. It is always evolving, and always pulls from different eras, and you want to look like one person from, say, the ‘60s, but you’ll never nail it, so you just add your own touch. Music will always inspire my style because there is also a certain look that goes with a type of music. Bands like The Beatles and Nirvana really solidify that thought, in my opinion. I really love Bobby Gillespie’s style and Mick Jagger’s, from the earlier days of The Rolling Stones. My style is minimal, androgynous, and includes lots of stripes.

You’re also a talented photographer. When did you first become interested in photography? What cameras do you like to work with?

I started learning about photography in middle school when a few other friends of mine became interested in it. I took a liking to fashion photography early on, then moved onto art photography. I mostly like to work with film cameras, usually just little cameras I can take with me anywhere. I specifically like this one Canon AF35M camera I bought for $20 a few years ago. It has never let me down! It was Canon’s first point and shoot camera, which is super cool to me. When shooting film, it is really fun to play with older cameras, and toy cameras, as well. I do shoot digital more often when it comes to my work at school, and I admit, I may be a convert! But right now, shooting film and working in a darkroom is my “happy place”!



Are there artists, photographers, etc that you admire?

My favorite artists and photographers are Andy Warhol, Stephen Shore, Alia Penner, John Altoon, and Nan Goldin. I met Stephen Shore a few months ago and I was so starstruck. I think his work is my favorite because it incorporates aspects of both art and photojournalism and is very open-ended. Shore’s work really focuses on the open-road which I really love. His early color photography is so vibrant and always excites me when I see it.

Do you have any advice for other young girls who are looking to become journalists/photographers?

My best advice for girls who want to be successful in the future is to always let people know that you are willing to work and put out the best work that you can. That will always be noticed and that is what has helped me the most in the last few years. Making yourself and your career goals known will always help you achieve your goals.

What are your plans for the future? How would you like to be remembered?

I’m hoping after college and graduate school I can work as a journalist who focuses on mostly music and art. Right now I’m also very interested in museum studies and becoming a museum curator. I’d love to work somewhere like the EMP Museum in Seattle working specifically on music history exhibits. I’m hoping I can use my studies in anthropology to help me with that. I’d like to be remembered as someone genuine and as a creative professional!

Shop Maddie's vinyl picks

Music Monday: August 18, 2014

If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!

Spooky Black - Pull (prod. Kid Hnrk)

There's a new Lil Spook/Spooky Black EP and it's terrific. Nice guitar RnB wonderfulness. Sadboys might be taking over the interwebs. 

Kaytranada - Leave Me Alone (feat. Shay Lia)
Kay Kay is preparing his forthcoming EP for XL Recordings. This new single proves that he's still got the spark, with his classic acid/funk bass sounds and his choppy use of percussion. These always have such a nice "drop."

et aliae - never let u down
The online market has been saturated by cloud trap/chill step (or whatever you want to call it), but that doesn't change the fact that it's a nice style. We love all the new artists with their own take on the situation. Vibe out to this one and you'll make Hems proud. Solid, bouncy tune. 

Tomorrows Tulips - Glued To You
Burger Records, or "Gem City" as I'm starting to call it, keeps putting out fantastic singles from fantastic artists. We love how consistent and carefree the label is.

R.L. Kelly - Alright
R.L. Kelly is super rad, and always has cute, simple tracks with really downer lyrics. This one is a great one, along with "Life's A Bummer."


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

Brands We Love: Doll Face


After growing up around beauty products her entire life, the next logical step for Lisa Winarick was to co-found her own beauty line. Keeping only the most natural ingredients in mind, Lisa's brand Doll Face focuses on making beauty products that work well with all skin types, using as few synthetic ingredients as possible. We spoke to Lisa about her favorite products, the brand's secret cocktail of ingredients, and her own skincare routine.



Tell us a little bit about how Doll Face started. What's the story behind it?
Our family has been in the beauty business for three generations, and taking care of my skin was passed down from my grandmother and then reinforced by my mom and aunts who all have taken amazing care of their skin. I have so many memories of special beauty days spent around the kitchen table with my mom and sisters. My dad would come in and say, “Wow, look at my beautiful doll faces!”

There are so many clinical brands out there and I thought that taking care of your skin should be a positive, feel-good experience. I've always felt that skincare should be about beauty and glamour, not medicine and problems. Because of that, Doll Face was born! We want women to feel empowered and good about themselves starting from the moment they wash their face in the morning.



You emphasize thinking "outside of the obvious" in sourcing ingredients. Can you share some examples?
Each product contains its own “cocktail” of ingredients, a blend of both natural and scientific, that have been carefully chosen and blended to provide the best possible results. We created our own skin brightening and exfoliating fruit enzyme complex called FruitActiv that we've formulated into all of our cleansers. We discovered Buriti Fruit Oil on a trip to Brazil. It’s an amazing fruit extract that acts as a super anti-oxidant. In its native Amazon basin, it’s called the “Tree of Life” because of its healing properties. We feature it in Nourish, which is our everyday moisturizing lotion.

What three products are in the Doll Face "starter kit," i.e., three products you'd recommend to a new customer, and why?
That’s easy…our Invigorate gel cleanser, Nourish lotion and Soothe under-eye serum. It’s the perfect "little black dress” for your skin; you can’t go wrong. This combo works on all skin types, takes only minutes [to apply] and your skin will look and feel clean and fresh!



What is your own skincare routine like?
I do the 3-step “starter kit” myself, plus I alternate our Brilliance face polish with our gel cleanser 2-3 days a week for extra exfoliating power. I also use our masks once a week to make my skin feel super smooth and glowing! The Reveal peel is loaded with pumpkin and papaya enzymes to maximize its gentle, yet highly effective exfoliating power. It's yummy to put on.

What are your top three tips for skincare, either improvement or maintenance?
I’m a big believer in exfoliation…it really is the secret to keeping skin smooth and radiant. Also, every skin type benefits from a moisturizer; it’s what keeps skin soft and supple and helps fight lines and wrinkles. Lastly, once a week you deserve a little “break," so indulge in a great mask. Put it on and just relax and let the stress slip away…if only for a little while! Also, never go to sleep without taking off your makeup and cleansing your face. It’s absolutely the worst thing for your skin.

Shop Doll Face

Obsessions: Tomboy Style

Bottom line: easy, menswear-influenced style is always cool. Inspired by classic muses, we asked for expert advice from writer Lizzie Garrett Mettler, the founder of Tomboy Style whose eponymous blog and book chronicle women who blur gender lines by mixing rugged sensibility with understated elegance. 

We challenged Lizzie with a daunting task: to share her own top five tomboy style icons. As she explains, her picks pull from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, and all "relate to each other in some way [with] a style that is boyish, unfussy, and seamlessly balances masculinity with femininity. Most importantly, what I love about these tomboy icons is they never look like they’re in costume or trying to make a statement; they just always looks completely themselves." 


1. Tina Weymouth 

During her tenure as the bass player for The Talking Heads, Tina Weymouth was subtly androgynous. Her paired-down punk wardrobe of tight t-shirts tucked into high-waisted jeans, a New Wave hair cut, and that Fender Precision bass guitar over her shoulder just made her oozed cool.    

2. Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin embodies the French tomboy look, the je ne sais quoi that most tomboys’ style seems to envelop. Her hair was always tousled and her style always minimal, yet somehow with little adornment and effort, Birkin always looks the height of chic. The fact that one of the most coveted ‘it” bags (the Hermes Birkin bag) is named after her and she casually adorns hers with stickers and worry beads and wears them out until no longer usable, is another example of why she’s the ultimate tomboy.

 

3. Ali MacGraw 

Ali MacGraw has that girl next door look that makes her super relatable and so incredibly classic that her look will never be irrelevant. On screen she was known for playing tomboys like the sporty tennis racket-wielding Brenda Patimkin in Goodbye Columbus, the tough-as-nails Jennifer Cavallari in Love Story, and bank robbing Carol McCoy opposite of Steve McQueen in The Getaway; off screen her tomboy style and spirit are just as present.

4. Jean Seberg

What the late actress Jean Seberg did for the striped boatneck shirt and short hair may never be fully credited. Seberg was originally from Iowa, but embraced French style in a way that charmed everyone, even the hard-to-impress Parisians. Her gaze may have won the hearts of her lovers, but those outfits won over tomboys the world over.

 

5. Patti Smith

Patti Smith’s style is both authentic and incredibly purposeful. Everything she wears is always just so, from the bandana tied around her wrist to the pins on her lapel. She has noted that she even made early choices as a child about what cloth she preferred (flannel and not polyester). Even though Patti Smith looks like the type that couldn’t care less about fashion, she read French Vogue and would shop on Fifth Avenue. Once she bought a green silk coat from Henri Bendel and then immediately threw it in the washing machine to complete the look. She knows how to make things her own.


Book images originally published with permission and © Tomboy Style: Beyond the Boundaries of Fashion by Lizzie Garrett Mettler, 2012. Top image of Patti Smith performing at Cornell University, 1978. Licensed under Creative Commons.

 

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

Music Monday: August 11, 2014

If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!

Cloud Castle Lake - Sync

Awesome vibe here from the Dublin three-piece. With great percussion and great falsetto, this track is a refreshing take on that Sigur Ros sound. Cloud Castle Lake is gearing up to release their Dandelion EP out September 22 on Happy Valley Records. 

SOPHIE - Hard
This is all over the place, but it's excellent. SOPHIE gives an interesting take on the UK bass sound with this B side. Make sure to check out Lemonade as well, the A side to this Numbers release. 

LOUDS - Ways
Beach pop all summer long. This track is right in between a folk-pop track and a regular electro-pop track, which gives it a nice, personal sentiment, all topped off with video game 8-bit sounds. Giving me the Lust for Youth vibe, big time. 

Mr. Twin Sister - Blush
Gorgeous RnB downtempo tune. Sade all over the place; anyone who knows and loves Rhye will be happy about this song. This has a Soulection touch to it, and a very nice production. 

Black Honey - Teenager (Demo)
Do we all agree that this sounds a lot like Oasis? The singing is obviously different, but it has killer brit-pop all over it. Long live 1996! Lana Del Rey fans and brit-pop fans alike will enjoy this one.

Brands We Love: JAKIMAC


One of our favorite, underrated trends lately has been the leather harness. While the harness seemed a little daunting to rock at first, we came to realize that they're as easy to work into an outfit as throwing on a necklace. JAKIMAC's harnesses and accessories have been dominating the leather game since 2010, so we reached out to Jaki Capozzoli, the brand's founder, to find out the best way to wear a harness, as well as her design process.
Photography by Owl You Are and Brittany Sheets





Hi Jaki! How did you get started as a business? What were you doing before JAKIMAC?

Before JAKIMAC, I was a mural painter and also worked as a graphic design professional. Leather has always been a part of my life. My family owns an independent shoe store in the suburbs of Chicago, and I spent a lot of time as a kid messing around in the leather shoe repair shop. I began recycling their leather scraps, molding them into the very first designs.

What made you interested in harnesses?
I was interested in creating jewelry that can be worn in an alternative way, and also finding new ways to work with leather on a larger scale that wasn’t quite in the clothing realm. My first harness was a version of the JAKIMAC x UO Draped Harness, a simple but versatile design.







Okay, what if we love this trend but feel totally lost? How do you recommend wearing a harness in daily life?
Even the word “harness” itself can be scary. Though it’s been on the runways for years, it’s a totally new concept in daily fashion. I recommend starting out with a draped harness design, one that just rests on the shoulders with a design at the back. It’s something that you can throw on over a t-shirt and jeans that pulls an outfit together and adds a rebellious touch. I also find that wearing a harness makes me more aware of my posture and body language. Try it out, you may grow an inch or two!

What’s your favorite piece from your current collection?
I’m currently obsessed with the Single Chain Harness. I love it worn with a maxi-dress, it’s the perfect combination of feminine and edgy.





Can you tell us a little bit about your design process?
I work much like a sculptor, but with leather. Sometimes I sketch out a design, but most of the time I begin laying leather strips on a dress form, pinning, riveting, and building a design from scratch. Each design is uniquely handcrafted, so some harnesses that have an intricate woven design can take up to three to four hours.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
I look in a variety of places. Many times I think of my favorite couture designers including Iris Van Herpen and Ann Demeulemeester, and dream up a piece to pair with their work. I also look at the stage costumes of rock 'n roll legends like Prince and Mick Jagger, plus I drool over wardrobe design on fantasy shows like Game of Thrones. More often inspiration flows naturally, as I’m very much inspired by the material itself.





Where do you source your materials from?
The leather comes from tanneries all over the world, yet nearly every material I use is purchased within Los Angeles, which is a wonderful feeling. I’m able to support local businesses as I grow my own.

You also design jewelry. Which is more difficult to work with: leather or metal?
Metal is much more difficult! I prefer softer materials. When I work with metal, I cast, which means I sculpt the original piece out of soft wax, and then I’m able to make a mold to cast multiples of that piece. You’ll never find me soldering or hammering metals. Leather is my material of choice. There’s just something about the smell, the feel, the different textures… it’s hard not to love.







Who would you love to see wearing your pieces?
Anyone from pop and rock stars like Lorde, Taylor Momson and Sky Ferreira to my favorite fashion icons, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

What do you have planned for the future of JAKIMAC?
I see the brand becoming a full leather accessory brand. In addition to expanding the line of jewelry, harnesses, and belts, I’ll be debuting the first backpacks & handbags this Fall. It’s also a dream to break into footwear, since it’s such a huge part of my history starting the brand. I already have ideas for JAKIMAC leather combat-style boots!

Shop JAKIMAC

UO DIY: Neutral Nails


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 copper and leather home DIY; and below, a minimalist nail art project.

***

Nail piercings take me right back to 1998, when I would save up my allowance to buy those tiny rings to put through my nails. Though this nineties-inspired nail tutorial involves some more unexpected tools, it's still simple to complete. You'll also need to take a trip to your local optician (or find a glasses repair kit) to find miniature screws which will serve as industrial looking, real hardware nail piercings. Though putting holes through your nail does weaken them, it's a cool thing to have for a few days if you were planning to cut your long nails anyway. Ivania



Need:
-mini screws
-small wire cutter
-superglue/nail glue
-pin



1.) Paint your nails. Any color you want!

2.) How to get a hole through your nail: Lay your hand on a flat surface with your palm facing up. From the back of your nail carefully "screw" the pin through with a bit of pressure. If you keep turning the pin between your index finger and thumb you'll get a little hole after a minute or two. Be careful to not just poke it through as it can cause little cracks in your nail.

3.) Shorten the screws by clipping off a millimeter with the wire cutter.

4.) Add a drop of glue and put it through the hole in your nail.



About A Girl: Ivania Carpio

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:
a minimalist nail art project; a copper and leather home DIY; and below, an exclusive interview that explores more about her thoughts on style, living with less, and finding inspiration in the everyday.



On paring down and personal style:

It seems that your style is less about wearing one color and more about taking the time to discover possibilities that can come from restrictions: texture, detail, and clothing taking on the personality of the wearer. Can you talk to us about the freedoms that come from this type of limitation?
Exactly, it is very liberating. I can almost pick an outfit in the morning with my eyes closed, in a monochromatic wardrobe everything works well together. One of the things I appreciate most about fashion and clothes is the craftsmanship and the way things are made. On a garment without a print or color all attention goes to these details; the fit and tailoring, the kind of seams, the texture of the fabric. Non-colors are always relevant, always fresh. You can get tired of a purple shirt after wearing it three times; a white shirt, however, never gets old. It is so neutral that it adapts to the occasion and the mood. It becomes more about the wearer.

Do you feel like having an outlet like Love Aesthetics — and especially maintaining it for so long — has helped shape your style and outlook?
Perhaps it has. When you blog you are really documenting and writing about daily things like "why am I wearing this outfit" which you would otherwise not think about so much.

You've mentioned how you consider the simple white t-shirt to be the most classic clothing piece. What are some other pieces you consider timeless?
The white tee is the only true timeless piece I can think of. If you take jeans for example, you could still tell from the fit (highwaisted, low waisted, flared legs, skinny legs) or wash from which era they are. Other clothing items have much more details and room for variations. But from a plain white T-shirt you could really not tell if it is from the 1950s or 2014. It has proved it never looks dated.



Can you share any embarrassing fashion phases from your past?
I love to go thrifting, shop at vintage markets and secondhand boutiques, spending my free Saturday nights on Ebay. I have a lot of love for the late eighties and early nineties. I would go to college in head to toe 1980s vintage and deliberately wear all the "wrong" things from that decade; including hair and make up. Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead is one of my favorites movies, so "'80s career woman" like Christina Applegate in that movie was often a theme. Every morning felt like getting ready for a dress-up party.

On sources of inspiration:
We are intrigued by an old blog post of yours where you describe a recent "mood board," which consists of marbled paper, three mints, clear clothes hangers, and a small glass container. What objects, shapes, or details have been interesting to you lately?
Broken objects, fragments of mirrors and glass. But I’m also still obsessed about disposables, which I’ve been collecting for years. Clear soda cans from a Chinese supermarket, old CDs, strange plastic disposable forks, "patatbakjes"; white plastic boxes in which they serve fries here in The Netherlands.

Who are some of your favorite artists and photographers?
I admire Dieter Rams and Yohji Yamamoto for their philosophy and approach to designing. But then I also have to mention my boyfriend Romeo Pokomasse; it’s been fantastic to see his photography skills develop and grow from up close.

Will you share some recent sources of inspiration or interest?
What are you reading: recently re-subscribed to the newspaper
Watching: don’t own a TV
Thinking About: traveling
Listening To: Akkord and Gazelle Twin
Cooking: vegan spring rolls

On your life and routine:
Can you share a bit about your background—where you are from and what your upbringing was like?
My mom was a diplomat, so until I was 10 we lived in different parts of Latin America. She was also a hippie, so we weren’t allowed any Nintendos or anything with an army/camouflage print. We were brought up in a very free and open-minded way. When we moved back to The Netherlands in 1998 it was like finally coming home, there was a lot more freedom here. It also meant I didn’t have to wear a uniform to school anymore, so at that time I started to pick my own clothes for the first time in my life too. The only kind of "getting dressed" I knew from before was on non-school days; which involved a mix of my own clothes, my mom’s vintage and kids costumes. So when starting school in The Netherlands, I wore just that and because there were no uniform requirements anymore I also started cutting and painting my own hair. Mom didn’t interfere, sometimes it looked ridiculous, sometimes it looked fantastic.



Can you walk us through a day-in-the life? What is your daily routine?
I try to get up before everyone else does to squeeze in a run. Then I wake up my kid and bike her to school. After that my workday begins. I love the workspace that I share with my boyfriend Romeo; it’s light, empty and has a concrete floor with lots of (white) paint splatters. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work together, it’s like a family business. Lois likes to come and hang out with us too. It can be a day behind the computer, the sewing machine, at the hardware store, behind the camera, in front of the camera, at meetings or attending events or just behind a big piece of paper with a pencil. Besides collaborations I’m currently working on building a label from Love Aesthetics, which is very scary but exciting. It’s hard to describe to people what I do, because it varies so much; besides Love Aesthetics -which is my main gig- I also work on art direction, design, and consulting assignments and am also a weekly contributor to Dutch Vogue online. But I like being busy.

What would you wear, right now if you were going:
For a walk around your neighborhood… White tee + white shorts + some kind of outerwear tied around my waist
For an early evening cocktail at a new spot... Long black dress with slits on the side and open back + nike air max trainers
For an afternoon of mind-numbing errands... silky white turtleneck tank top + vintage Adidas running shorts + nike air max + white leather backpack
For a lunch with an old friend… slipdress + floorlength coat + trainers
For a trip to the museum... Asymmetric white leather top that I made + culottes + pool slides

Shop our Greyscale Lookbook for more of Ivania's aesthetic

Music Monday: August 4, 2014

If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!

Gap Dream - Strong Love

Burger Records strikes again with this killer beach tune. Washy and warm, this will help you forget that we're hitting August at rapid speed.

Twin Peaks - I Found A New Way
Great full-length out on Grand Jury. Super upbeat and punk-y but still glued together. This song is pretty awesome. 

The Curse - Gatto Fritto
This International Feel compilation is full of Balearic goodies. What a wonderful compilation. We thank Mark Barrott and co. for this '80s Ibiza sunset music right here. Soak it up!

Knxwledge - Rownmywai[TWRK]_
So, we went from the original, great track Teedra Moses "Be Your Girl", to the reincarnated floor-filling masterpiece Kaytranada remix, to this chilled out number from the excellent and consistent Knxwledge. Head to his bandcamp or this pretty entertaining Boiler Room Breakfeast set. 

HOMESHAKE - Cash Is Money
"Cash Is Money" has an interesting sound. The vocals are really pleasant, as is the groove. This is a winner, and we look forward to hearing more.