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Music Monday: September 15, 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!

Fool's Gold - I'm In Love (Poolside Remix)
Fool's Gold's new single "I'm In Love" is a joyous ode to Calypso rhythms, Reggae funk, Nigerian disco, and hints of classic American R&B. It gets the extended remix "Daytime Disco" treatment from fellow Angelinos, Poolside. Fool's Gold album coming in 2015!

Marquis Hawkes - Fat Man
This is a tune and a half. "Fat Man" will surely get you going if you're having a rough one this Monday. From the forthcoming Fifty Fathoms Deep EP via Houndstooth. 

MULEKID - Plattsburgh, NY
The 405 has been really wonderful with their Essential Download series - they've been giving away killer tracks like this one almost weekly. Great down-tempo track here.

TALA - Black Scorpio
Another electro-pop gem from TALA. We're still vibing on the three tracks TALA released earlier in the year. This is a pleasant surprise. 

French For Rabbits - Woke Up To A Storm
Really great sleeper form French For Rabbits. Wonderful vocals and just an overall good sound.

Music Monday: September 8, 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!

Tinashe - 2 On (Yung Gud Remix)

Oh man, this is a wonderful remix by Sad Boy Yung Gud. The trap-esque production has made this fully club ready. Great charge and great overall sound. Two thumbs up.

Julio Bashmore - Simple Love (feat. J'Danna)
Julio strikes again with another deep Detroit club tune here. We need more from Julio in the near future, so hopefully he'll deliver. This one is a good one, though, and should hold us all over until we have another EP (but fingers crossed for an LP).

Les Sins - Bother
Some of the best news in the past week or two has been learning there will be a forthcoming debut LP by Toro Y Moi's alter ego. This stuff is so chill but dance-ready, it screams new LA like nothing we've heard in a while. We're really gonna be monitoring the interwebs for this release. 

Macross 82-89 - Horsey (feat. Sarah Bonito)
There's something very interesting about this tune. It could be the nod to "future music" and this new 3D reader-style PC Music vibe. This one is great, and should sound great in the club, too. 

Class Actress - Let Me Take You Out
This is a good, classic feel-good tune. It can be played over and over, especially while driving. True gem here.

D+D DIY: The Perfect Pour Over with On/Off Coffee

The perfect cup of coffee: it's in the ratio. It's in the water temp. It's in the timing. Wait, actually we don't know. That's why we called on the expert advice of On/Off Coffee's Ben Schlief to guide us through the scientific process of making a perfect pour-over for this Dreamers + Doers DIY. 


Ben has been with Urban Outfitters for 12 years, working in Madison, WI and inside the Mall of America before moving east to NYC as an Urban Outfitters display artist. In 2010, he and a group of friends started their own mobile coffee stand called Kickstand Coffee, a collapsible coffee stall wheeled around on a pair of bikes that set up shop at outdoor events, markets, and parks. Today, Ben's job title is Manager of Coffee Concepts (!) at Urban Outfitters, heading up On/Off Coffee, the cafe-within-a-shop inside our NYC 5th Avenue store. From sourcing beans to stocking On/Off with a variety of coffee-making devices and accessories, Ben is an expert on all things caffeinated, and we jumped on the opportunity to have him walk us through how it's done. Photography by Michael A. Muller.



The Perfect Pour-over Coffee
Makes a single, ten-ounce serving 

What you need:


• 26-28g unground coffee + grinder

• 400g water (both for the coffee and for pre-submerging the filter)
• Digital scale 

1. Grind your coffee. 
"
The grind should be a bit finer than that for a drip coffee machine. I strongly recommend grinding the coffee as close to the brew time as possible."
 

2. Water temp + Filter Prep.
"
Water temperature should be between 200-208 F, just below a rolling boil. With your water to temperature and your coffee ground, place the filter in the craft, ensuring the layered portion of the filter is facing the spout side of the vessel. Use the prepared hot water to completely submerge the paper filter. Let the water drip through and discard. This process removes any papery particulate/flavors."

3. "Gently add your coffee grounds to the filter, then clear the scale to zero."

4. The bloom.
"Slowly pour approximately 50g water onto the grounds. Let the coffee rest for 20-ish seconds. This phase is referred to as the bloom: The coffee will begin to expand, bubble, and form a 'crust.'" 

5. Circular pour.
"
After the 20 second rest, pour in a slow circular motion, breaking the crust from the center of the filter out. Do not direct the stream of the pour directly onto the filter. This is a gentle procedure! Bring the water weight to 400g… then stop."

6. Wait! 
"When the liquid has passed through the filter and is no longer dripping steadily, lift the filter out of the vessel and dispose (a great addition to compost!) This process from start to cup should take about four minutes."

7. Pour and enjoy!

Here are two exclusive On/Off Coffee discounts for UO App users: 

1. Make a purchase at Urban Outfitters in either Tallahassee or NYC's 5th Avenue stores and get 25 percent off On/Off Coffee in those stores.

2. Buy ten drinks and get one free.


Collaboration: Assembly New York

It's 3:30pm, and Greg Armas is running out the door for a bagel. He begins to apologize before conceding: there just isn't enough time.

Scheduling a lunch break is bottom-tier priority for Armas, whose brand Assembly New York is in its seventh year of operation. Made in New York and still entirely conceived and designed by Armas, the line is founded around his tightly-developed collections that consistently explore the space where clothing can be both progressive and timeless, with an emphasis on fit, quality, and thinking ahead of — and largely outside of — trends. 

This fall, two big projects are unfolding for Assembly — first, an expansion of the brand's Lower East Side outpost to Los Angeles. Second, an exclusive collaboration with Urban Outfitters, a denim collection that's the first in a series of capsules he will be developing for UO. In the calm before the storm, we spent an afternoon in Armas' studio talking about having faith in your own work, Assembly's "quiet authority," and the art of wearing all black. 
Photography by Clément Pascal 



First things first: how did a small-town Oregon boy become a designer of modern mens and womenswear?

I'm from an agricultural logging town in Oregon. I was a skater kid, bored out of my mind until I was 17 when I graduated and moved to LA and started going to college. I was always into art and drawing, and right away teachers — who didn't know what to do with me otherwise — put a pen in my hand and were like, 'Oh, you're an artist.' So by the time I got to college I had technical skills I could stand behind and had even been showing a little bit. Then when I got to college I realized, 'Oh you don't have to be an artist' ; there are all these other conversations in the art world that I hadn't had exposure to growing up. I studied curatorial design and religion, and was also doing my own art installation pieces. Nothing that had to do with fashion. 

But then I had a realization: I really liked the people I was dealing with, sometimes more than the art itself. Wanting to stay working with people and within this same vernacular, I moved into fashion. I had a friend who had a vintage store, and I came to him with a little bit of money and a concept. I said, 'I will buy new collections and curate them alongside your vintage.' And that was the store that became Scout LA [a retail concept store Armas operated from 2003-2008]. It was totally great, a big learning curve for sure. And it worked. That led to me selling that business, moving to New York, and opening Assembly. And it's still just me, founder, designer, it's pretty hands on. Officially I guess I am now creative director for whatever the title is worth. We are opening in LA by the end of the year. 


Assembly is a very smart, conceptual line. Can you talk about designing a line with such a specific vision, and the role you see it fitting into in the larger scope of the industry? 

For me Assembly has always been an art-driven line, with a singular vision that's meant to be intuitive and follow its own rules. It's not for everyone. But I think that is changing, there's more of a taste for that conversation now. Our specific view is becoming more relevant for a mass audience, which is great. 

What's interesting now is that both sides of the scale, from low to high end, are equally accessible, at least digitally. Taste does not have to be dictated by your wallet.


Was that accessibility something that interested you in the UO collaboration? 

I think Urban Outfitters is constantly updating that relevancy; [it has] a history of getting people to pay attention to what's new and important. Putting our vision inside that was really interesting. We edited down our collection and purified it to produce a collection for UO that's just as forward as our main line. 

This season in particular we start off with a denim-based collection, with mixed denim combined with fleeces, sherpas, and outdoor fabrics done in modern shapes. A lot of the denims are used to take a traditional form and bring some personality, timeline, and wear into it; it wasn't about reinventing the wheel. The collection also has a future-vintage feel, which is very much us. 



'Future-vintage' is a great way to speak to whole concept of Assembly. 

That's part of the Assembly DNA. It's very uniform-based as well, the idea of something you can wear a lot and a long time. With all the things we do, we're not creating editorial pieces. You're not meant to stand out. It shouldn't be the thing everyone notices when you walk into the room. It should be a more subtle, quieter conversation. It's kind of a heady phrase, but we have always talked about there being 'quiet authority' in what we make. 

That's a very intentional distinction. 

As a person is putting together their outfit, it's fun if you want to draw attention to yourself, but if not . . . it's a horrible thing to not know how much attention you are drawing to yourself. Like, 'Hey, you are wearing pink and green at the same time. You look like a Maybelline mascara bottle. You look like a piñata.' [Laughs.] 

We edit more than we design. We want to offer those pieces where someone can wear a coat four or five times a week and get compliments on it but not because someone noticed right away. It was because, when someone was sitting next to them in the car, they really saw the details. Fit is also a big part for us. Some things are meant to be big, some are meant to be small. It's all part of the look. 




You revisited some pieces from past collections in creating this new collaboration. It seems like a natural reaction with ever-evolving creative projects is to hate looking back at things you made a few years ago. What do you think?

You just have to get over it. With Assembly, it's all me. It's always going to be that three years from now you look at what you made and it seems old. I don't mind it anymore…I try not to annoy myself. Instead, I just try to be conscious about it and be sure that whatever I'm contributing now is what I want. Then you'll look back and say, 'I understand why I was doing that.' 

I have been working for myself for a long time. For better or worse, all I have is a reference of my own work; everything I've done has been 'because I wanted it that way,' so I have to look back and really own it. 


Can you talk about your own personal style?

I wear all black every day. 

These really are great summer blacks. 

Exactly. I used to wear a ton of color, but now I'm too distracted by anything other than all black or navy. All white is also nice, but that seems more celebratory. It's less of a statement than it is a weakness. I don't even try anymore, when I'm shopping I just say, 'Show me the black.' But there's so much detail in every garment! I'm just wearing black pants and a black shirt, but I trip out on like, the fact that this tuxedo stripe [points to his pant stitching] is blind-stitched. It's amazing. And I made this shirt that I'm wearing; it's double layered. There's enough in the details.  

I also like to wear things over and over. That's what I like to make, what I mean by 'future vintage.' I love the things people keep, that they love…they get a special quality. A well-loved T-shirt, coat, pair of jeans . . . those things are worth the most value. 



It's a really sociological approach to fashion.

I didn't have any traditional fashion schooling. I have a huge interest in people. People and trends go through loops, and once you've gone through a couple loops — trends, colors, details, whatever; it's a song and you can figure out the next line and sing along with it. It's a cute way of explaining it but it works . . .  Now I'm going to finish my bagel. 

SHOP UO x ASSEMBLY

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.

Happenings: Afropunk Festival Recap

Afropunk was unlike anything we have experienced - the grounds were full of tons of energy and good vibes for the entirety of the performances. It was great to explore the grounds and check out everything that was available to the fest-goers. We spent more time in the crowd at times than in the designated section for the photographers because being in the crowd was so exciting - the excitement from everyone attending was so contagious. The musicians and artists that this festival attracts are unlike any other, and they truly came to perform and give their everything to the crowd. Watching these artists at a smaller festival was amazing, because we got to experience so many up-and-coming musicians. Overall, Afropunk was a fun-filled weekend of conversing with strangers, photographers, and regular concert-goers who seemed to be in their element in Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, NYC. It was an amazing experience!
Photographs and words by Emmanuel Olunkwa


Shot of the park


Oso Dope of Loaf Muzik


Kidaf of Loaf Muzik










Anaiah and Mikaiah of The Bots








Kandace Springs


Eaddy of HO99O9 (pronounced "Horror")





Afropunk Festival

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



Shop Hair Products

Behind the Scenes: Moving Day with Ali Michael and Marcel Castenmiller


We can't help but be charmed by Ali Michael and Marcel Castenmiller, modeling veterans and real-life couple who are way more than just blank slates for someone else's vision. Between Marcel's analog photography, Ali's catalogue of amazingly bizarre images and videos, and the hilarious, candid, and weird snippets of their lives they share on each of their huge social media followings, Ali and Marcel have created a new digital dialogue about themselves that makes us all want to hang out with them. And after spending the day with the pair on set of UO's new "Moving In" video, it's easy to see why. 

Behind the scenes, we talked with Ali and Marcel about digital self-awareness, how they met, and some things they will never take seriously. 
Photography by Bobby Whigham

Let's talk about the Internet: These are a bunch of obvious statements, but you both share a lot on Instagram and Twitter, and have big followings, but also share a very openly candid, transparent, and un-glamorized version of yourselves. Has this been a choice?

Ali: My relationship with the Internet and especially Instagram has been really interesting. I think typically as a model you are not seen as an individual. You are seen as a blank slate for someone else's vision. So even though you are visible in ads or magazines or whatever you are not portraying yourself so people don't get a sense of who you are.

And it's been cool because Instagram and social media has been a way for both of us to present a more accessible portrayal of ourselves as opposed to going through some third party. I don't like feeling like I can't be myself.

Do you ever think about people not responding to it?

Ali: I'm sure that some people aren't into it. That's fine though, because some people are into it and that's enough.

Marcel: I agree. I haven't changed the way I do it when I started and when no one was looking. At first I thought,'Do I want all these people to see my real life?' But then I realized, yeah of course I do. It's like when you think about actors and how you can relate them to certain roles because they are able to talk about them. Like when Bill Murray says, 'I'm playing this role and here's how it was like me and here's how it wasn't.' Whereas with modeling you want to be like, 'Hey actually I'm not that guy — I'm this guy' but that typically never happens. 

Ali: It's just nice to have control of your image. The Internet has provided a voice that we wouldn't otherwise have had.

And it comes down to you both having a self-awareness of the fact that people are forming opinions about the people they follow and especially ones they don't know.

Ali: Completely. And it's also cool because everything is so accessible. I know I've found people or things I wouldn't ever have found otherwise but you see them everyday. They are right in front of you.


Do any specific stories come to mind?

Marcel: Well, we met on Instagram. 


Ali: 
Ok, only kind of! I had an Instagram crush on him.


Whoa. This is modern romance.


Ali:
 Yes, well so I had a fake account, the name of which I cannot reveal. My friend and I had started this fake account so we could secretly follow people, or people where it would be creepy if they knew we were following them.


Marcel:
 I don’t understand that.


Ali:
 You should!


Marcel:
 I feel like everyone should know when you follow them.


Ali:
 What! I definitely don't. Anyway, I was just being a creepy stalker and following him and had a crush on him.


Marcel:
 And I asked my friend, who posted a picture of Ali, ‘Who's this girl, what's she all about?' 


Ali:
 This is such a dumb story.


Marcel
: No it's not! It was great because we didn't have any expectations.


Ali:
 So then there was this event at the Bowery and my friend invited me and I went because I heard his friend — and probably he — was going to be there. So of course I went.


Marcel:
 And I bought tickets because I thought she would be there.


YOU GUYS! This is real blog fodder right here. It’s great you’ve been able to work together so much.


Marcel:
 We didn't see that happening.


Ali:
 No, not at all! But it's been so cool. We've done some awesome stuff together and, with working together, it’s like: we want to hang out anyway.

Ali, you are from Texas and Marcel you are from Toronto. Now you are in New York. Do you think you will stay there?

Marcel: We talk about LA and we talk about Tokyo all the time. But maybe they are pipe dreams.

Ali: I lived in LA for a year and afterward was antsy to get back to New York. I have a love - hate relationship with New York, because I grew up in Texas riding horses every day in a field…I love that kind of environment so it feels exhausting to not have nature around. At the same time, the moment I leave I want to go back immediately. I don't know, sometimes I feel like I want to get out.

Here are some more quick-fire questions for you:

What do you take seriously?

Ali: Being responsible
Marcel: Airport Security

What will you never take seriously?

Ali: Karaoke 
Marcel: Gummy bears

Please share some items in a recent Notes App draft

Ali: One note of dreams I have starts out with:

"move

cross your arms

straight jacket

output moomvahton

massive

"Are you a human being?"

araki

nails outside glitter

tape cigarette"

Marcel: In my notes app: "I'm on a trip and Matt is singing a song for some of us on his road trip. He starts joking about the dead body downstairs. Somehow it appears in the room from where it was. He has to carry it back downstairs."

Offer three pieces of advice to your younger self. 

Ali: 
1. Not everyone is going to like you and that's fine.

2. Feeling uncomfortable is often a good thing that you'll appreciate later.

3. Mom is probably right.


Marcel: 
1. Manage your sweet tooth. 

2. Swim once a day. 

3. Get a cat.

Walk us through a typical day for you — what's your routine like at home? 

Ali: I typically don't stay out late because I like to work out in the morning- it makes me feel like it's out of the way early. After that my schedule is kind of up in the air. As a model you're always kind of on-call for castings so sometimes those come up. Other than that I don't have too many rituals and just go wherever I find something I want or need to do. 

Marcel: I usually will spend the night before at Ali's then bike home in the morning. I'll feed the cats and do some work on the computer. Otherwise, I will go out for a walk and take some photographs.

What is something you are good at?

Ali: Watching and listening
Marcel: I'd like to think I'm good at directions.

What is something you are bad at?

Ali: Being organized
Marcel: I get stage fright very easily so anything with a crowd makes me nervous.

Please recommend something...

To wear —

Ali: PVC 
Marcel: a long black coat


To read —

Ali: Anything you can hold in your hands 
Marcel: Ender's Game


To watch —

Ali: VICE on HBO, Bruce Jenner's ponytail on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians"  
Marcel: "Possession" by Andrzej Żuławski


To hear — 

Ali: The Spotify radio station for "Everything You Want" by Vertical Horizon
Marcel: Philip Glass


To drink — 

Ali: Matcha or black coffee 
Marcel: Sake masu


To eat — 

Ali: Yosenabe at Inaka in Los Angeles or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich 
Marcel: A tuna sandwich.

Ali, please tell us some things we don't know about Marcel. 

Ali: He is incredibly considerate and has a perspective unlike anyone else I've ever met and also has a pair of toe socks that he likes to wear sometimes and looks way better in my clothes than I do.

Marcel, please tell us something we do not know about Ali.

Marcel: Ali admires her own bruises.


Happenings: Afterfest LA Recap

This past Friday night in Los Angeles, Making Time brought Afterfest to Los Angeles with Kindness and Ramona Lisa headlining. Dave P of Making Time quickly transformed Los Globos in Silverlake into a club straight out of 1977, disco ball and all. Before we knew it, Ramona Lisa had taken the stage all in white, performing one of the most ethereal performances we’ve ever seen. Caroline Polachek and her singers who doubled as backup dancers performed a carefully choreographed set, with matching outfits and eyeball print nail art.

Kindness, aka Adam Bainbridge, took the stage next to close out the night, and wooed the crowd with his smooth disco-infused music - he even brought his close friend and collaborator Devonté Hynes of Blood Orange out for a few songs, and eventually brought Dev back on stage with the entire Blood Orange crew for a performance of “On the Line.” Kindness is definitely an artist to watch, especially with his swift dance moves that rival that of Mick Jagger and James Brown. Scroll below to see all of our photos from the event!

Photos by Maddie Sensibile

























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: 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

UO Live: White Lung

If there’s one name to know in punk music today, it's that of Mish Way, frontwoman of White Lung. White Lung originally got their start in Vancouver, and just released their third record, Deep Fantasy, on Domino Records. We recently had a chat with Mish, discussing the resurgence of punk music, her style icons, and everything that contributed to the recording of their new record. Make sure you’re sitting down for this one - it’s a heck of a good read.
Interview by Maddie Sensibile



Hey Mish! How have you been lately?

Fuckin' great. We just played this festival called Fuji Rock, which is held out in the mountains in Mount Fuji. Huge festival, it was great. I was only there for like 36 hours, so we went out, they took us into the festival, we played, we did some press, we went back to Tokyo, we partied with our friends, and then we went home. It was crazy. Japanese crowds are amazing. Everyone who worked at that festival was so polite and respectful and on point. Every piece of gear was perfect, everything you wanted was perfect; it was just very, very lovely. I'm all about the professionalism and they just blew me away.

You recently released Deep Fantasy on Domino Records. Tell me a little bit about the recording process for the record and where you drew inspiration from.

Well, we recorded the record in Vancouver with Jessie Gander, he's our guy. We started writing this record, and recorded half of it in December before I moved down to LA for a bit. Half of the record was written in isolation, which was really beneficial for us. We never heard any of the songs live until Heather and I went up and tracked it. Our guitar player Kenny played both bass and guitar on the record because we kicked out our old bass player. He did both, because he's a genius. The record was done a lot in the studio because we were playing more with tone and trying to piece together a rock record with a missing member. But it actually worked in our benefit because everyone was only bringing their best material forward. When we did work as a group, we couldn't just jam things out live, it had to be a little more calculated, a lot more thought out, and it worked for us. And the inspiration for the record, I just didn't want as much sugar on this record as the last one. I'm not sure if I achieved that, but I personally really wanted to write really strong, accessible vocal melodies that were aggressive and strong but still really catchy.

Deep Fantasy is full of slick and fast punk tunes that sound like they are totally timeless. How do you feel about punk music coming back and being more popular again? What was your goal when creating this record?

To me, punk music never went anywhere because that's the scene that I grew up in. Maybe it's having a resurgence in a more mainstream fashion now, but for us, those are my peers and that's who I toured with. We always put ourselves out into the atmosphere, and that's the great thing about punk - you can do things on your own and you don't need anyone else. That's the whole point of it, you know? I think it's great that loud music is coming back in a more popular way. I think people need it. Our world right now, we're doing everything in subtweets, you know? Punk music brings out true excitement and anger and expression. Even when you're watching a punk show, that energy is exhilarating and exciting and I think in a world where we're all so concerned with feeling and doing things on the sly, it's so complicated, and such a mindfuck, to have a form of straightforward, direct, and confident true expression. That directness is maybe what's so appealing. It makes me happy. The more the merrier. We've never been one of those bands that's been like, Keep us secret. There's nothing wrong with that. A lot of people in the punk scene don't feel that way.



White Lung's shows are extremely energetic and clearly elicit a physical response. For you personally, what do you feel is the key to putting on a meaningful live show and connecting with the people in the audience?

As we play venues or bigger stages, like festivals where there's this complete disconnect, I really had to learn how to convey what I'm doing in a bigger way. Put a little more musical theatre into it, you know what I mean? I've never been one that looks people straight in the eye while we're performing. I like to touch people and get involved there, but I don't necessarily look at people. I like to lose myself and forget what I'm doing. That's what makes a good performance for me. I'm aware that there's people watching me, but if I'm hyper-aware, and I see someone's eyes or something, it takes me away from what I'm doing. In the past I would always have my hair in my face. For me to put on a really good show I need to be completely lost in what I'm doing. It's this completely unaware trance that's happening, and that's when I perform the best. That's when I act the craziest, and that's when I don't care. People like to see you lose control and like to see power. That's how I feel when I'm on stage. I feel really powerful, I feel really excited, I feel really nuts. That's just what the music my bandmates are playing evokes for me, and I think we build from each other. Everyone has their role, but I like my front people to be front people. If you're paying money, I want to put on a show for you. It's exhausting but it's the best thing in the world.

Who have you been listening to on your own lately, while on tour or just in general?

I actually just deleted everything that was on my iPhone and I'm getting all this new stuff. I'm listening to a lot of, and this is probably because of my boyfriend, David Allan Coe's first record called Penitentiary Blues. Pink Mountaintop's new record I'm really into. I'm also listening to this compilation of all these Turkish garage bands from the '70s that I listened to years ago rediscovered again. Also a lot of weird old soul stuff, like Helane Smith and Joanne Garrett; all these old Miami soul artists I'm really enjoying right now. As for new bands' records, Mormon Crosses are coming on tour with us in September, and there's this band Love from the UK that I'm really into. I'm so eclectic with my tastes, I'm always searching for new old music. That's what I was doing yesterday for hours, just scouring old blogspots. People still have all this great shit up they uploaded from super old albums; it's so good.

I know White Lung was originally based out of Vancouver, but I've noticed you've been spending a lot of time in LA lately! How has this city played a part in your music and writing?

Well, now we're even further spread; our guitarist just moved to Montreal. When I was in Vancouver writing that first half of the record, I was very unhappy and I knew I was making this big change and was gonna try and move. I'm back and forth between the two still. I just really needed a step away from what I was doing in Vancouver. I was extremely unhappy and coming here gave me kind of a breath of fresh air. The second half of the record is a lot more positive than the first, and of course all of the songs are mixed up, but LA just put me in a better headspace. Everyone's gotta escape from the place they grew up in. I grew up in Vancouver, and I've been fortunate enough to travel so much that it was okay for a home base for a while, but it finally got to that point where I was sitting here bored out of my mind. I was done. I didn't have any work anymore and I was being paid in all U.S. dollars so what was the point? I really am a lot happier here, I just needed a change of scene. You can't not be happy in LA. It's a city where if you're already established, it's a really good place to come, I love it. I'm a West Coast person.



Now let's take a minute to talk about style. You do a lot of writing on the subject and how it relates to music. Some say there wouldn't be one without the other. How do you feel about the two and how they constantly work together or can they be separate?

They can be separate things, for sure but I feel like at least for me, the way that I use style in my performing helps me get into my character. Being on stage, you're exposing one very specific extension of yourself. Style and fashion is a great way to embody that and amp that up and really give yourself that extra boost to feel good. People are staring at you on stage, so you want to look and feel good to bring out even more confidence and put on a better performance. I used to have a really big issue with fashion, because I never had any money and I had to be creative with it. I would just feel so frustrated with it. When you follow the rules you feel frustrated but then you realize no one who's got great style follows rules. And, as I got older and got more comfortable with myself, I embraced fashion in a different way. I love it now. Being a female, too, gave me this total leg up with style. It can be frustrating when we're all having those days where you wake up and you hate everything in your closet and you hate your body, whatever, but those are the best days because you've gotta figure out a way to get around that. That's like a weird female thing, but it's an interesting part of it. Style is really important to me and has become more and more important as I've gotten older and I think it has a lot to do with confidence. All the people that I know who I think have the best style, they're just wearing whatever the hell they want, and it looks good because they feel so confident. I think the person with the best style in rock and roll, hands down forever, and will be Jennifer Herrema. She dresses insane. It's because she's made this self and this character and no one can pull off what she does. She looks incredible.

Who would you call your #1 musical style icon?

Probably Jennifer Herrema. And Judy Cole of Dead Moon. She picks one outfit that she wears for an entire tour. It's so cool, she'll just wear that every night and it's like her uniform. It's so badass. I've always loved Courtney Love and '90s style. The whole babydoll Kinderwhore thing, that was great. I think Jennifer Herrema is probably the most inspiring to me because she found this really great stride of hitting the mark between sexy and kind of butch. She's got this real fear in her style, I don't know. Little funny things, you know. If you can pull butch and sexy together, those are my two favorite things I'm always drawn to.

***

Join us for the filming of our UO Live video series with White Lung on 8/21 in LA at Space 15 Twenty! Want in? Pick up your wristband at Space 15 Twenty anytime. Doors open at 7pm. Get there early for music, dancing, and free beer!

Dreamers and Doers: Bryan Metzdorf


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

This week we're featuring Bryan Metzdorf, Display Artist at Space Ninety 8 in Williamsburg, who worked for UO in Chicago, Boston, and NYC's Soho store before moving to Brooklyn. From conceiving, constructing, and problem-solving his way through huge installation projects to simply discovering unexpected potential and inspiration in places we would have never thought to look, we're hard-pressed to find something Bryan can't do. We paid a visit to Metzdorf's studio to talk about his art background, creative insatiability, and how he finds beauty in simply looking at things differently. 


How did this all start? 

I have always wanted to be an artist of some type. Growing up I never thought about doing anything else. I went to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and focused on design. However it was a pretty conceptual and multi-disciplinary school, so I was exposed to many creative outlets. After graduating I worked for several artists, designers, and architects in Chicago, again gaining experience in different creative jobs, and methods and scales of production. 

At the same time I was also working with some friends from school to design objects, and put together events and exhibitions. Needing something a little more steady than the freelance I was doing at the time I applied for a Display Artist position at Urban Outfitters, as it seemed like a job where I could use many of the skills I had picked up, and — most importantly — be creative every day. 


Above: Bryan and crew putting together the stage at this year's Northside Music Festival in Brooklyn


Can you share some sources of everyday inspiration? 

I have always had a pretty insatiable visual appetite, and I’m really inspired by seeing new things, or old things in a new way. When it gets down to specifics, it is a little tricky: I am kind of all over the place, but also very particular. I know very quickly what I like and don’t like, but I’m a big believer that with the right context almost anything can be beautiful or interesting. 

I find inspiration in everything from vernacular buildings to The Memphis Group to fashion design to mineral samples to industrial parts to certain lighting conditions, and on and on. Probably easier to just share my tumblr... 


How would a good friend describe your aesthetic? 
(As described by actual friends:) Geometric, playful, cerebral, elevated, modern, geologic


Offer two pieces of advice to your 20-year-old self. 
Stretch more… 
Stick with it… 


above: Bryan's installation for the Space Ninety 8 A Poster A Day pop-up. 

Your job as a display artist involves a healthy amount of problem-solving—conceptualizing and executing ideas within a limited space. Can you share some stories about particularly challenging projects you figured out or perhaps ones you are most proud of? 

A recent pop-up involved showing 40 large prints in a 10 x 20 foot space (and we wanted to keep the largest wall empty). I came up with some simple “J” shaped fixtures that were placed on an angles, and utilized double sided plastic sleeves, which allowed enough viewing room all around to properly display this artists project. I think the project turned out really well, the artists aesthetic was translated to the overall space, so she was pleased, and even with 40 posters in such a small space it didn’t feel crowded or overwhelming. 


Above: Installations at the recent Gather Journal pop-up at Space Ninety 8


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

Read on the train, coffee, answer emails, source materials, order materials, drawing, prototype, more emails, lunch, research, computer modeling, emails, beer after work, read on the train, cook and eat with my girlfriend, look for something new to listen to, try to work on my own stuff, play with our cat, sleep…  


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

1. I’m still relatively new to NYC, so NYC, and other mega cities like Hong Kong, and Mexico City. 
2. Materials that play with light and reflectivity. 
3. Strange interiors from the 60s, 70s and 80s. 
4. People's interaction with nature / natural geometry and patterns. 
5. Making pickles. 



Complete the thought: 
I like it when… it all comes together 
I never want to be asked… where do your ideas come from? 
Success is… when it all comes together 
My biggest fear is… it not coming together 
I’d like to be… finished 
I’m secretly obsessed with… flowers 
The most fun I ever had… maybe riding (and crashing) a moped on an island in the South China Sea 
I am looking for… I’m just looking… 
My style icon is… creative people throughout history 
I dread… being bored 
I recommend… trying new things 
I couldn’t live without… traveling


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

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."


Space Ninety 8: Gather Journal

Gather Journal is a food magazine that's about way more than food. The beautifully art-directed and smartly-executed biannual journal uses food and the idea of coming together around a meal to center recipes and stories around a theme. Inspired by their latest issue, "Caravan," which takes cues from deserts near and far, we partnered with the journal to create a special pop-up store inside Space Ninety 8 this month. The pop up, in Brooklyn through August 25, includes Gather's curated selection of desert-inspired items; it's a wanderlust-inducing assortment packed with handmade dreamcatchers, found crystals, and perfectly gauzy tunics.


To learn more about the ladies behind Gather, we talked with founders Michele Outland and Fiorella Valdesolo about avocado haikus, mood boards, and what they're eating, drinking, and listening to this summer (and listen to the exclusive playlist they created for us here!)
The theme of your latest issue is the desert-inspired "Caravan" — can you tell us more specifically about what was influencing you while putting it together? 

F: We had both taken recent trips to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree and have a deep love for the desert environment. Also Michele grew up in the West and Southwest so she spent a lot of time in classic desert environments like New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Arizona. The desert feels like the ultimate retreat and its beauty is just breathtaking. Now that we've produced the Caravan issue and incorporated inspiration from a number of other desert destinations, we have a lot of future dream trips in mind; right now, Moab, White Sands, Marfa, and the Sahara are topping our personal wanderlust lists.


What are you each eating and drinking this summer?  

F: My boyfriend and I have the good fortune of having an outdoor space so we garden and I'm eating a lot of bitter, leafy greens and heirloom tomatoes that we've produced from there. And I always love classic summer pleasures like hot dogs (preferably with mustard and McClure's relish), watermelon (naked), and ice cream (the new Ample Hills creamery just opened around the corner from my apartment). And my drink of choice this summer thus far has been the new Del's Naragansett Beer shandys or my usual tequila or mezcal on the rocks with a lime. 

M: Cherries in all forms, corn in all forms, the grilled pizza with fennel, feta, and coppa from the current Caravan issue is in heavy rotation, palomas, and been enjoying all the light and summery dishes at NYC restaurant Navy.  


Can you share a bit about the process behind starting your own journal? What have been some challenges? What has been easier than you expected it to be? 

The idea for a print project had been percolating since both of us left Nylon a few years back to go freelance. We had considered a more style and culture-focused magazine but kept finding ourselves being drawn to food; frankly, it was what we talked about more than anything else. Honestly the biggest challenge is taking the leap from talking about an idea to actually following through and making it a reality. That's huge; if you're able to do that, it's half the battle. What's been easier than expected has been coming up with ideas for the issues. We are usually so jazzed about the topic that our cups runneth over with ideas. 


Can you walk me through the process of the creation of an issue? 
 
Besides us, we also have a pair of incredible contributing recipe editors (Maggie Ruggiero and Molly Shuster) and a prop stylist (Theo Vamvounakis) who we work with regularly. 

The first thing we do when approaching a new issue is sit down together (always with wine and food, naturally) and start brainstorming words or themes (each issue has a specific word or theme that drives the content) that pique our interest. Once we settle on a word, we start coming up with massive lists of food ideas inspired by it. Then, after much back and forth, it eventually gets whittled down and then Maggie and Molly start working on recipe development. 

In the meantime we start thinking about building the creative content of the issue: Fiorella thinks about the words, reaching out to her stable of regular writers, and Michele envisions which photographers she is going to call on to bring each recipe chapter to life. Then we get into photo shoots and production mode which is always incredibly hectic but also incredibly fun and gratifying.  


Gather pulls influence from a lot of places outside of just the food world. Can you share some of the specific things on your inspiration boards right now? 

We are constantly looking to music and movies and art for inspiration. Just so you get an idea of the wide cross-section of places we pluck from we attached the mood board that we showed at a recent Apartment Therapy talk here:  


What are some of your favorite recipes from any issue of Gather? 

It's hard to pick favorites—really, we love them all—but some of the recipes we continue to make over and over again in our own kitchens are: gazpacho water, and steak, caponata and burrata from Float; gravlax, mushrooms on toast, minestrone, and fallen Aperol chocolate cake from Traces; fried chicken, eton mess, slashed black and blueberry pie from Rough Cut, shakshuka, chocolate espresso cardamom mousse, and drunken upside-down cake from Cocoon; cactus and purple potato frittata, green gazpacho, and ombre crepe cake from Caravan. 



Can you share a bit about the Space Ninety 8 pop-up?  

In every issue of Gather we have a small Marketplace featuring products that tie into the issue's theme that we sell online. Space Ninety 8 offered us the opportunity to bring our Marketplace concept to life and blow it up by adding even more stuff to it! We approached designers and brands that we were fans of and that fit with the Caravan issue's desert vibes. There are two products we custom-created for this issue, a denim tote bag with a design by tattoo artist Minka Sicklinger and an original desert-inspired dream catcher by Spoke Woven. 

And here is the complete list of participating brands and designers: Colin Adrian, Dove Drury-Hornbuckle, Amelie Mancini, Upstate, Horses, JM Dry Goods, Ermie, Loup Charmant, Adina Mills, Unearthen, Nova, Earth tu Face, Lulu Organics, R+Co, Wild Unknown, Raven Crest Botanicals. 

Fiorella, you create a special haiku to go with each issue. Will you write one for us, please? 

Here's a haiku about what is, in my estimation, one of nature's most perfect creations. 

An Avocado Haiku 
Croc skin, flesh of jade 
Like butter, in fruit's clothing 
Creamy contentment



Click here to see images from Gather Journal's Space Ninety 8 opening party. 


Studio Visit: Fig + Yarrow

This week's installment of Local Beauty takes us to Denver, Colorado, where we're visiting the natural apothecary of Fig + Yarrow, a small-batch beauty line made from organic ingredients. We spoke with the brand's owner, Brandy Monique, about creating color from natural sources, minimalist branding, and her daily beauty routine.  

Photography by Jon Glassberg


Before you were creating your line you worked as a color consultant — which natural ingredients produce some of the best colors? 

For my products, I combine readily-colored materials or draw color from certain plants and minerals to tint a liquid medium like oil, spirits, or water which then conveys not only the color, but also infuses the medium with other beneficial constituents. 

The purplish-red alkanet root, for instance, along with pinky-orange tinted rosehip seed oil tints our lip blush that rosy hue; the Yarrow Buttercream gets its “butter” yellow color from Sea Buckthorn oil which is also highly nutritive for skin. 

The oils — particularly the raw organic oils I use — contribute natural hues of pinks, greens, ambers, and oranges. The colors of the various clays for our six masks are the result of reactions between metal oxides, organic matter, and geological circumstances. 

In essence, color is medicine and I apply it as such. 



You create a wide range of products —what is your own daily beauty and skincare routine like? 

Very first is oil-pull while dry brushing. 
Product-wise, I start and end the day with Cleansing Nectar followed (usually in the evening only) by Facial Scrub to further facilitate the process of dead cell removal started by the Nectar. 
Next, I gently pat skin dry and spritz face, hair and body generously with Rose/Sandalwood/Neroli Complexion Water in the morning or Yarrow/Immortelle/Rockrose in the evening, then do a short facial massage with the Facial Serum
In the winter, I’ll do the Yarrow Buttercream on my face at night, but only if my face is unusually dry. 
My nightly ritual before nodding off must include the YB on hands and Foot Butter on feet. 

On weekends I often do the whole Facial Care Protocol which includes Herbal Steam and a Clay Mask. The Black Clay Mask is very good mixed with Cleansing Nectar as a spot treatment and usually clears an average blemish within a day or two. 
I do a little Facial Scrub after Black clay to help remove dark traces from pores. 
I’ve used only the Tooth Powder and Oral Hygiene Rinse for years now and, I’m proud to say, have zero cavities and healthy strong teeth to show for it (well, that plus good diet). 



We love your minimalist graphic design and branding. Can you share more about it?

As a kid I was intrigued by the straightforwardness of generic packaging — you know, “CORN,” “RICE,” “BEER” — just plain black font on white that stated exactly what you were being offered with no embellishments, hooks, or ploys. Colors and characters on packaging were not nearly as interesting to me. So I brought that forthright sensibility to my labeling and replaced traditional visual embellishments with creative verbal descriptions that inform more than entice. I also wanted the packaging to speak to a broader audience over a select few because I created my products for the benefit of all people. 


Why Denver? 

I’ve lived in Denver most of my life. It’s a place I’ve come back to many times over many years from many travels. 

It’s where the Rocky Mountains meet the High Plains. You can go east and wind your way through old pioneer towns and farming communities with a strong sense of the land’s former native stewards. West are those majestic Rocky Mountains, usually blue, but sometimes green or white — always present, but feeling a world apart; a place to escape to, higher ground for transcending the mundane. I like the sense between the two. The mountains feel protective, alluring, mysterious, and magical. The eastern plains feel vast, open, and expansive. 



Can you share some of your favorite things that are happening in the city? 

Denver culture has definitely matured and refined over the years. Some of my favorite places to dine and overindulge are À Côté, Potager, Twelve Restaurant, Forest Room Five, and The Source.

The MCA is pretty amazing for their exhibits, tag team lectures and rooftop libations served up by exceptionally attractive and talented people. Favorite neighborhoods are RiNo, Highlands, Baker, Tennyson, and Five Points. 




Happenings: Afterfest LA

L.A., listen up! Next Friday, August 22, we'll be throwing another one of our fun-filled AFTERFEST parties! This time we'll be setting up shop at Los Globos (3040 Sunset Blvd.) from 9pm-3am, and we will be hosting performances by Ramona Lisa and Kindness. As always, Dave P. and Sammy Slice of Making Time will be there to DJ throughout the night to keep the masses dancing. Attending the event is free but you must RSVP beforehand as space is limited. Make sure to arrive early to guarantee admission and we'll see you out there, L.A.!



RSVP here

Dreamers and Doers: All Roads Design

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

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

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


How did this all start? 

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


Can you share some specific sources of inspiration? 

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

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




How would a good friend describe your aesthetic? 

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


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

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


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

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


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

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



Tell us something we do not know about making a weaving

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


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

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


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


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


Lena Corwin x UO

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


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

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



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

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

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



What inspired the colors or palette you used? 

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


What has been inspiring you lately in textile development? 

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



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

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


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

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


Shop Lena Corwin x UO