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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.

Music Monday: July 28, 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!

Francisco The Man - Progress

Super duper rad track. Summer, summer, summer. "Progress" is off the forthcoming debut LP Loose Ends coming in late September. Beach vibes, pre-game vibes... just all the vibes, really. The vocals are reminiscent of Beach House - amazing.

Hudson Mohawke - Chimes
Put on your trap hats, folks! It's gonna be a wild one.

Seekae - Test & Recognise (Flume Re-work)
Flume certainly has a way with re-works. This track is gorgeous. In usual Flume fashion, it's pretty and thumps at the same time. Australia, huh? 

St. Tropez - Let Go
Has anyone ever seen one of the "I'd rather be yachting in St. Tropez" t-shirts? Because this is exactly how this song makes me feel. Wonderful pysch-pop here. These guys have been on the radar for a minute and this track is stepping it up a notch, for sure. 

Benjamin Booker - Have You Seen My Son?
Straight up rock and roll right here. Solid tune, which looks to be the second from Benjamin, and we're looking forward to more. Rock and roll.


UO Beauty: Summer Hair Repair


Now that we're deep into the summer and have been spending most of our days at the beach and pool, our hair is juuust starting to look a little worse for the wear. This is the time we whip out some of our favorite hair repair products, so our locks can get back to model status in a hurry. Read on for our current favorites below.





1. Alterna Bamboo Beach Sun Recovery Spray
Alterna's Sun Recovery Spray is a leave-in conditioner that can be applied to dry hair, which means it's incredibly easy to use and you have no excuses not to use it on your poor, over-chlorinated hair. Just spray some on before running out the door and you're good to go. (This one also happens to smell really, really good.)

2. Cocooil
Cocooil is MAGIC in a bottle. First of all, it's fine to use on your hair or your body, so it's a good buy if you like a nice two-in-one product. Secondly, if you have sensitive skin, Cocooil is a smart choice because it's an all-natural coconut-oil blend. There are no artificial fragrance or colorings are in this one, so it should be totally soothing to even the most sensitive skin.





3. Carol's Daughter Monoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum
Carol's Daughter Monoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum is a lightweight, silicone-free, hair oil that "reverses and prevents damage caused by heat-styling, color-treating and chemical straightening." The secret ingredient is its monoi oil. We love this serum because it makes our hair incredibly soft after only a couple of pumps.

4. Murray's CocoSoft Coconut Oil
Best for thick, curly hair, Murray's coconut oil is formulated a little differently from regular coconut oils. It's thicker and works as a "light-hold pomade" on top of just moisturizing, which means you don't need a lot at all. If you're looking for a lighter spray or something that's more of a straight coconut oil, then this product isn't for you!

Shop Hair Repair

Behind the Scenes: White Sands

Our newest Shape Shifter photoshoot took us to New Mexico's incredible White Sands, the largest white gypsum desert in the world. 275 square miles of crisp bright dunes set against a pristine blue sky: it's a must-see. (And a favorite photoshoot destination for its surreal, perfect light!)

Behind the scenes with the lovely Joanna Halpin, we tromped around the mountains, asked about that whole radioactivity thing and even made a new (animal) friend. 
Photographs by Devyn Galindo.

Meet our new camel friend. The production team explains, "The park ranger sent us a text and said 'We have a camel.' At first we thought it was a typo, then we looked at the white dune across from us and there was the camel in all of his glory."

His owner, George, was nice enough to let us hang out with them for part of the afternoon (read more about the White Sands camel here). 

New friend #2: the park ranger.

Who's leading who? 

Three notes on the White Sands:

1. Sabertooth Tiger footprints have been found there! 

2. The White Sands are considered an active dunefield, moving from west to east as much as 30 feet every year (the wind also leaves amazing patterns in the sand). 

3. It's also the location of the Trinity Site, where the government detonated the world's first atomic bomb on July 16, 1945. We are told it is now only "mildly radioactive."

About a Face: Joanna Halpin

We’re always curious about the daily beauty, hair, and skincare routines of the effortlessly made-up women we know. From concealer to coconut oil, "About A Face" is our insider glimpse into the makeup bags and medicine cabinets of our everyday muses.


On set of our Shape Shifter lookbook in White Sands, NM, we couldn't help but ask our model the stunning Joanna Halpin about how she stays fresh-faced. Here, she dishes on her favorite products and her secret blemish remedy. 
Photographs by Devyn Galindo.


I cleanse my face every morning and night with a brand called Cactus Skincare that I found when I was in Australia at the beginning of the year. I do that first thing in the morning. I also use one of their moisturizers. If I'm not working, I try to not wear any makeup unless I have a really bad pimple or something in which case I'll cover up with Laura Mercier's cover-up foundation. I try to not wear any makeup because my skin gets so bogged up when i'm working.

I also do a Cactus Skincare face mask sometimes — it really helps make my skin very clear. 

I don't do much to my hair other than wash and condition it most days. I will typically blow dry it and finish with a bit of leave-in conditioner. I use supermarket shampoo! Is that my secret? [Laughs.] 

Occasionally I'll put coconut oil in my hair when my hair is wet and then wash it again in the morning.

One thing i always use to get rid of spots — in England there's this stuff called Sudocrem, it's a white cream or paste. I think people even use it for nappy rash. But I put it on my spots and it works! 


Above: Off-duty face mask, via Joanna's Instagram


I try to drink lots and lots of water for my skin to try and keep it as clear and hydrated as possible.
I have started trying to drink more hot water with lemon as well as apparently that is good for your body inside and out. I also try to eat healthily and remind myself to eat lots of fruit and vegetables. I recently fell in love with avocados which are apparently good for skin and hair so have been eating them whenever possible. I also drink lots of tea: lemon and ginger is my new favorite but I love green and mint too. 

As for my beauty muses, there are so many beautiful women I could pick as my beauty icons I don't even know where to start... Maybe Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin.


Shop Joanna's Picks in UO Beauty:

1. Holika Holika Hello Holika Breeze Kitten Blush

2. TONYMOLY Crystal Light Highlighter

3. nyl Skincare Gentle Sugar Body Polish

4. Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel

5. ModelCo Eyebrows Designer Brow Kit

6. Herbivore Botanicals Lip Butter

7. dpHUE Hydrate Masque

8. Herbivore Botanicals Sea Mist Hair & Body Spritzer

9. Cocooil

10. Stila MAJOR Major Lash Mascara

11. Stila Color Balm Lipstick

12. Stila CC Color Correcting Stick

13. dpHUE Cool Blonde Shampoo

Music Monday: July 21, 2014

No more Monday morning excuses! Stop staring at the clock and start your work week out right with five hand-picked songs from our music stylist, Corbin, who wants to fill your brainwaves with summer-ready sounds and auditory illusions.

Tom Misch - Now

"Now" is a chill hip-hop track from Tom Misch, who is keeping it super real. All his stuff has been really good. This one has a Sohn vibe, but the beat of Apollo Brown. Incredible tune here. 

Hotlane - Whenever (James Curd Remix)
"Whenever" is a poppy dance gem that brings you right back to that amazing 2006-2008 sound of pop vocals and glimmery '80s nu-disco. See: Russ Chimes, then and now. #tbt

Merle - Fannie Likes 2 Dance
This is one of those tracks where you almost can't tell whats going on, but you don't want it to stop. Very confused and very interested. Killer summer joint here. 

Sinead Harnett - No Other Way (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)
No point in explaining this Hemsworth remix... just listen.

Los Angeles Police Department - She Came Through (Again)
Insanely chill track from the forthcoming debut LP from LAPD out in September. Beach vibes all over this one.





Brands We Love: Cleobella


We're always keeping an eye out for the next best bag, and this summer the artfully designed handbags and totes from Cleobella have caught our eye. Printed in eye-catching colors and fabrics and inspired by the travel stories of founder Angela O'Brien, the bags are basically made for summer. (Does that fringed one not just scream "sunshine" to you?) Initially started by O'Brien after a particularly inspiring trip to Bali in 2008, each piece continues to be made by hand, making each bag unique in its own way. All of the materials used are sourced locally in Bali and include limited edition textiles, recycled metals and quality leather.



The brand was first inspired by Angela and her husband Jim's love of surfing and travel, and that free-spirited quality is still a big part of the bags you see today. (Which is a big part of why we think that these bags are perfect for weekend getaways or quick festival jaunts.) Now grab one of these bags and go have an adventure of your own.



Shop Cleobella

Brands We Love: One Teaspoon

Jamie Blakey, founder of denim and clothing line One Teaspoon, started the label when she was just 21 and with only $3,000 to her name. Now stocked in 32 countries worldwide, One Teaspoon shows no signs of slowing down. We spoke to Jamie about her favorite denim she's put out over the years, what she's currently wearing, and how we can get our own perfectly distressed denim.



Hi Jamie! What are your favorite One Teaspoon jeans, past or present?
My most favorite jeans of ALL TIME are the Ford King Pins and they're only just about to hit stores! When the sample finally arrived (this sounds lame…), my eyes welled up a little bit! Heavy, I know. Over a pair of jeans. But I couldn't believe them. Everything was perfect and just so me.

Do you have a favorite pair of jeans to wear?
Ford King Pins and the Black Wetlook Runaways.



How long have you had them?
They’re freshies. So only about 2 months.

What's the best thing that happened to you in those jeans?
Heaps of cool shit. Just everyday life is pretty damn great.

What's your favorite outfit currently?
You know what… It’s been the same since I was about 13. Mid-wash indigo baggy jeans with an oversize white tee. The cuts vary from season to season and the styling changes with what shoes and accessories I put with them. But it’s always that. Jeans and a white tee. That’s me.

How many pairs of jeans do you own? How many do you actually wear?
About 50 pairs. I get obsessed with one or two pairs for a month, wear them always and then I get over them and move on. Always have a drop crotch baggy on high rotation, though!



Any tips or tricks for distressing denim?
Just get some scissors and sand paper and rip in. The blunter the scissors the better. A big bottle of cheap bleach is always good to have on hand, too. The cheaper and more shit the better. I like to use the whole bottle with only water. Don’t be shy about it. After that, you just watch them until they reach the color that you’re after. Don’t do stretch denim, though, as you’ll lose all your elastane out of the denim. Once you’ve gone mad cutter and finished sanding and bleaching, put them in the washing machine with a decent scoop of powder and you’re away. Always dry them in the dryer after so they come out nice and soft.

Tips or tricks for making vintage denim wearable?
I only ever wear men's vintage denim. Low waist and baggy. Make a couple of nips and tucks and rips here and there and they’re good to go.



Favorite places to shop for denim?
I don’t have a favorite. For vintage I only ever go to thrift stores because getting them for a bargain is part of the fun. New denim I don’t buy so I wouldn’t know where to go that’s great... other than One Teaspoon and Urban Outfitters, of course!

What's been the best moment of your career so far?
It’s all pretty great. I feel like the best is still yet to come though for some reason?

Shop One Teaspoon