Shop UO UO Blog

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

Dreamers and Doers: College Marketplace


Calling all local artists! This fall, the newly created UO Marketplace will provide local college artists with a platform to sell and promote their work. UO will be selecting college students to curate their shop in their local Urban Outfitters store. That means that you'll be able to sell your goods in a storefront, free of charge!



To be a part of the marketplace, you will need to submit a photo of your work, along with a quick profile on yourself (including what school you go to) to uomarketplace@urbanoutfitters.com, which will then be reviewed and hand-selected by the team at Home Office. The deadline for these student submissions is 8/29, so hurry and get your ideas in before it's too late! All the artists chosen to participate in the marketplace will receive a $100 UO gift card, along with the chance to sell their goods online and in-store. We're constantly being impressed by what students can turn out, so show us what you've got!



Stores participating in UO Marketplace:

@UOPhiladelphia
@UOSanFrancisco
@UO_LosAngeles
@UOArizona
@UOColorado
@UOVermont
@UOKansas
@UONewEngland
@UOUpstate
@UOBoston
@UOStateCollege
@UOKnoxville
@UOTallahassee

Find out more about the UO Marketplace here!

Students receive 50% off their first year of Squarespace. To learn more about Squarespace for students, click here! Winners will also receive a year subsciption to Squarespace.

Dreamers and Doers: Erika Linder

"I think I forgot to tell anyone I dyed my hair blonde" are the first words out of Erika Linder's mouth when we meet. Standing on a street corner outside Blue Bottle coffee in New York, the 24-year-old Swedish model's recent travel schedule has been, in a word: insane. She's on the heels of a shoot in Paris followed by a week in New York followed by 24 hours at home in Los Angeles and back to New York on a night's notice; somewhere in the middle were three days in the Cinderella suite at Disney World. (Long story.) After this: Toronto. Then Big Sur. We'll forgive her lapse in hair updates.


It's well-warranted demand — in an industry that seems cut and dry, Linder is rewriting the rulebook. Working as both a male and female model, images in her book range from personifying a young Leonardo DiCaprio to rolling around a Malibu beach in a bikini. She's striking in both a suit and a fully made-up face; it's an extreme versatility Linder carries with a cool, unflappable confidence and an eagerness for challenge. 
 
We spent the day with Erika on set of UO's newest lookbook, shot at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Westchester County. In between takes, she talked with us about Nick Carter, crying-on-cue, and how the biggest advantage you can have is simply knowing what you want. Interview by Leigh Patterson. Photography by Bobby Whigham. 

Tell us more about growing up in Sweden.

[Points to the giant field we're shooting in:] This is my vibe. I grew up probably two hours away from Stockholm, on what was basically a farm. It was our house and a farmer's house. It was everything you imagine: When we got food, we would get it for like two weeks to stock up...we had cows, horses, chickens, all that. 

Do you think about going back there? 

I've never been a big city fan. I have a vision for how I want things to be: my goal in life is actually to just get a cottage in the middle of nowhere in Sweden. People always ask, 'What do you want to do with your modeling career?' and I'm just like, 'I really just want that house.' Sweden is so beautiful, especially the countryside. So, for sure I plan to move back. I don't know when, but later. 

You were scouted as a teenager but didn't have any interest in modeling at the time, right? 

I got scouted when I was 14 outside a concert in Stockholm. I was such a tomboy. I mean, I still am, but back then, when you're 14? I imagined that being a model was more about being a princess. I played soccer and could never have envisioned myself in this industry. So after high school I went to university but I didn't know what I wanted to do. 

What did you study in school?

Funny enough, I studied law. Then I studied language — Japanese. But don't ask me to say anything in Japanese.

What! Law and Japanese? What were you thinking you'd do?

Yeah...I know. I don't know why I did that. I thought it was cool! Anyway!

Then I finished school and graduated and then was at that age where — like everyone else — I was like, 'I want to travel.' So I returned to the thought of modeling and realized maybe I should just try it. I didn't have any expectations. My first photoshoot was dressed up as Leonardo DiCaprio for Candy magazine [in 2011]. And then it just kind of took off. 

So your first job was modeling as a male — was that a hard thing for agencies to get behind?

The first year was pretty hard because people didn't know what to do with me. I get it. I mean, I'm a girl! So when they started pushing for me they were like, 'You have to be this, this, and that. You have to walk in heels.' I get that they pushed me for that. But at the same time I had my own vibe and was like, 'Well I think I want to shoot as a guy because that's how I started off.' I always had a vision that I didn't want to change myself. I still wanted to be me. 

But then I went to LA for the first time like two years ago and was really embraced — that's how I kind of became more of a 'character model' I guess. That's how it started off: LA pushed for me and that's why I am there now. 

It sounds like you've really been able to maintain a lot of freedom over what you do.

Yeah, for sure. I feel like people are wanting me for me. It's funny, I can go do the most girly shoot in Malibu, running around in a bikini, and then the next day I go shoot a suit story. I like to keep a balance between them because it's so much fun to be able to do both. And to see the pictures afterward because it doesn't look like me at all! 

It messes with you, though. I did this shoot where I was a girl and a boy in the same one. And when I saw the pictures I was like, 'Oh my god.' I'm used to seeing myself as both a guy and girl but both in one frame…I don't get it. It was weird. Then they used part of it as a commercial where I'm making out with…myself? I actually saw it for the first time when I was at a theatre waiting for a movie to start. It's playing and I hear this dude behind me say, 'You can totally tell that's a guy.' And I was like, '…Well, I guess I'm doing something right!' 

Do you think about using that versatility you've developed in your career to do other things? What are your other creative outlets?

I play guitar, drums, and piano, and I have been writing music since I was six years old. When I was a kid, I literally thought I was Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. I still love Nick Carter.

Nick Carter! Such a rise and fall!

But Nick Carter in the 90s! He was the best! I am such a 90s kid—he's my man-crush Monday every day.

With his big middle hair part?

Oh my god, yes [moves her hair to be parted down the middle a la Nick Carter]. It's so funny, once I did this to my hair and said to my friend, 'Who am I?' and she said, 'Aaron Carter.' And I got so pissed off. 

That is incredible. 

It's terrible. Anyway, I grew up playing guitar. I'm scared of doing it professionally or whatever, because I don't think I'm ready for that. It's something I want to do. But right now I just do it as a meditation. I go home and play guitar. 

I also have a movie coming out that I will start shooting in November. Have you seen "Big Fish"? It's kind of like the weirdness level of that. I can't really tell the story, not because I'm not supposed to but because I don't really get it, honestly. But I'm excited about having that coming up. 

What's a typical day when you're not working?

I play guitar, I go to bookstores...this is so boring! I go to Skylight Books in LA, that's my favorite. Right now I'm really into biographies. It's nice because you don't have to be reading it 24/7 to stay in the story. I read mostly men's biographies, recently Marlon Brando and River Phoenix. I have actually read...a Nick Carter biography.

What? When was that even written?!

I don't know! I Googled it! 

Speaking of 90s babes, let's talk about the Leonardo DiCaprio thing. 

Oh man, yeah. Well, people ask me about it now—'You know you look like a young Leonardo DiCaprio?'— and I'm like, 'Yeah, yeah...I know! I've heard it before.' I mean, I love him. One of my favorites. I just think people have adapted Leonardo DiCaprio as my male persona or something. I do love getting into that role, though. 

How did you get into character for the Katy Perry video [Linder stars in Perry's "Unconditionally" video]?

Oh man, one of the weirdest things I've ever done. First off, I had to get really emotional for it, which I just could not do. So I went into the bathroom and Googled "Lion King Mufassa dying." And, like "My Dog Skip."And I put stuff under my eyes to where they were like, stinging and watering. Everyone knew I was full of shit. 

It's great you've been able to do a lot things other than just "model."

It's crazy because I don't do what models do. But I want to do it anyway, even if I'm not 'modeling.' I'm shooting as a real person, a figure. It's not just "a guy" or a "girl." I'm going with what is. Whatever comes at me I'm just going to try to do my best. 


First Look: Westwood Store

Exciting news: our store in Westwood Los Angeles just doubled! And here's a first look.






To celebrate ten years of UO Westwood, we relocated the original store on Westwood Boulevard just down the street into two new stores — it's a first for us, and we're excited to share what's in store! 

Now open for business is our first-ever UO Men’s and Music Store, featuring majorly-expanded denim and shoe shops and an 800+ title vinyl section. It's also our first location to have an in-store snack shop, and we're partnering with up-and-coming companies like Cool Haus (fancy ice cream sandwiches!) to keep an arsenal of treats in stock.  

Directly next door will be the women's shop, with women's clothes, beauty, housewares, and shoes. 



Stay tuned to be the first to know more about LA exclusives, our opening party, and all the in-store events we have in-the-works!


UO Westwood
1038 Westwood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

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.

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.

Happenings: UO x Jansport Event Recap

To celebrate the launch of our collection of exclusive Jansport backpacks available only at UO, we teamed up with Jansport to throw a little party in NYC last week with performances from Phosphorescent and Strand of Oaks. In the midst of all the craziness, we grabbed some pictures of everyone jammin' and a quick interview with Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent. Check it out below! Photos by Jonathon Bernstein // Interview by Jessica Louise Dye







Hi Matthew! Tell us a little bit about how you got started as a musician.
I wanted to pick up a guitar probably just like every other kid - by listening to Nevermind by Nirvana. That’s definitely what made me wanna try and learn some tunes.

How would you describe your sound?
Oh, yeah. I would generally have to try to dodge that question, about describing sound. Hopefully it does that job by itself!

What would you most like for people to take away from your music?
I would want people to take away... just some sense of something beautiful I think is what we’re aiming for, some sense of beauty.

A show is a success when we all make it out alive.







I know you just became a father, congratulations!
Thanks! She’s just a little baby still.

What do you hope her first record will be?
Well, it better be a Phosphorescent record.

The best part about touring is the shows, and playing music all over.

The worst thing about touring is the transit. The transitioning between places can be the thing that really weighs you down.

What does the future hold for you?
Yeah, I don’t know. I am going to be getting back into the studio after getting off the road and seeing what comes from that. We’ve been on the road for about a year and a half, so it will be good to get back into the studio and see what we can make of it.

Shop Music

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.


Brands We Love: CMRTYZ


Seattle-based duo CM Ruiz and Ty Ziskis, aka CMRTYZ, are an artistic team that creates original artwork for "anything from T-shirts to album covers." UO design teamed up with the duo to print their lo-fi creations on one-of-a-kind destroyed tees, and subsequently created some of our favorite tops of the summer. We caught up with the duo via email while they were on opposite sides of the globe to find out a little bit more about their design process and inspirations. (And they also had some incredibly inspiring words of wisdom for all aspiring artists out there! We're feeling like we can take on the world now.)





How did you guys get started as a company?

TYZ:
[Carlos] and I met through a mutual friend who was curating a NW poster art exhibition. I had just been laid off from my job and volunteered to help with the project. My contribution was the idea to create a group of products incorporating the work from the artist and the music from the bands that were featured on the posters in the the show. The whole thing ended up being kind of a bust, but through being a part of the show I met Carlos and we clicked immediately. I was blown away with his work. We decided to continue the concept of building products using his work as our graphic identity. We never visualized ourselves being a clothing brand really; we're just two guys that like to be productive. We like to daydream and then get a kick out of figuring out round about ways to make those dreams happen.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

CMR:
I'm inspired by things that have similar energy or humor as I do. I like comic books, '60s mod design, The Simpsons, and my other creative friends' work. I look at a lot of Reddit and Tumblr when I can't really think of anything, because an artist's block can be reduced just by laughing at some dumb thing and feeling relief.

What is your design process like?

CMR:
I go to a copy shop and just start making stuff. I'll come with some books in my bag I know I can pull from, things like pretty girls or interesting body movements, and start creating things around these people. Landscapes, text, shapes, bugs, brick walls, floating creepies, stuff that I like to draw and I think can balance a composition. Around 3/4 way in I will start to pull back the insanity and start to think of it mathematically. I'll listen to whatever music I think best fits the tone, mood, and voice of whatever particular project I'm working on.





Any advice for other young artists/entrepreneurs out there?

CMR:
I think if you're naturally talented you really have to hone it and try your hardest to make as much work and get as much practice as you can. If you're not going to go to school, then you have to learn from whatever scene you're in about what works and what doesn't. You can't be resigned to give up because it didn't happen in a year or two; it may take ten years but at the end of it you'll be "there" which is the mountain peak you wanted to get to all along. You have a story and you need to just go for it 100%, not halfheartedly.

TYZ: Don't listen to the people who tell you you can't because of "this or that." Think outside the box, then think outside that box, too. Think backwards and upside down. There is always a way as long as you believe there is. Be persistent even if it feels like you're being annoying. Always be productive, be prolific, don't stop working. If you are doing EVERYTHING (and I mean EVERYTHING) in your power to make "it" happen, the universe will more than likely take care of the rest.

What are your favorite spots to hang out/eat/etc. in Seattle?

CMR:
Lots of places! Ba Bar, Tacos Chukis, Ezells Fried Chicken, Ballard Pizza Co. For drinking there's The Streamline, The 5 Point, Rendezvous, Hazelwood. For shopping there's Totokaelo, Glasswing, Comics Dungeon, Zanadu Comics, Red Light Vintage, Pike Place Market. Literally any park is nice, or see a movie at any of the art house theatres (Harvard Exit, Guild 45, Central Cinemas). Just pick up a Stranger and see what's happening. A lot of the time they're not far off.

TYZ: BPC (Ballard pizza co.), Pho Cyclo, Pike Street Fish Fry, GGNZLA karaoke, T-docks for a good swimming spot, STARBUCKS for coffee, Fremont Vintage Mall/Market, my backyard and Magnusson beach dog park.

What are you currently listening to?

CMR:
Detective Agency, White Fang, Juan Wauters, So Pitted, The Trashies, Times New Viking, Vaguess, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, Outkast, M.I.A., Chiddy Bang, Ice-T.

TYZ:
Detective Agency, So Pitted, Johnny Thunders, Pet Shop Boys, Stickers, The Memories, Yves/Son/Ace, King Krule, Damaged Bug, and everything on Castleface Records.

Shop CMRTYZ

For The Record: Temples

Temples looks and sounds like they're straight out of the '60s, and even after seeing them live in person, we're not 100% convinced they're not time-traveling from the past to grace us with their musical prowess. How else could we explain their impeccable vintage style? Since we've been groovin' (first and last '60s pun we'll put in here) to their debut album Sun Structures since it was released earlier this year, we're happy to announce that the band will be joining us in Chicago, July 31, to sign records at one of our downtown locations (20 S. State Street). Ahead of the signing, we chatted to the band via email to find out a little bit more about them.



Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you formed?

We are Temples from Kettering in the middle of England. We recorded some songs as an experiment a few summers ago and put them on YouTube. We were asked to play some shows, so we thought we'd figure out how to play the songs live, and we haven't really stopped since.

What were you doing before Temples really took off?
Some of us were at University, or working, but we all were living in different cities at the time. We all just happened to be back home in Kettering at the time Temples was coming to form, so for that coincidence, we're very thankful.

What cities in the US have been your favorites to tour through?
Austin, Texas is always an experience. We loved the time we had on the West coast, too. So many of our favourite musicians are from there. We found tranquility in Santa Cruz.

We'll be seeing you at our vinyl signing in Chicago. Any particular things you like to do while there?
Thrift stores, getting our native foods card stamped and listening to some blues.



We saw you perform on a rooftop in Austin for SXSW. Have you performed in any other interesting locations?
We played in a swimming pool in Geneva, Switzerland. They'd emptied all the water out of one of the pools, built a stage and these huge lights; everyone was in swimwear and barefoot. The reverb was wonderful.

What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve done at a festival?
Stayed up all night to watch my favourite band play at 11am the next day, and fell asleep an hour before they were about to play. Sorry, Dark Bells.

What are some of the instruments you like to use to get your sound?
Anything we can find. The idea is to make the instrument you're playing sound like something completely different.

Do you guys have any hair tips and tricks? Yours is all pretty fantastic.
It's important to let things dry naturally.

Who have you all been listening to lately?
Nick Nicely.



What have you been watching lately?
Dario Argento films.

What do you all like to do when you’re not playing music?
Go find the nearest record shop and sightseeing 'til we can see no more.

What does the future look like for Temples?
Bright and progressive.

Shop Temples on vinyl



For The Record Upcoming Schedule

7/31 Temples: UO Chicago (20 S. State St.)
7/31 Jenny Lewis: UO Indianapolis (8702 Keystone Crossing)
8/4 Spoon: UO NYC (628 Broadway)
8/8 Zach Braff: UO NYC (1333 Broadway)
8/12 Jenny Lewis: UO Salt Lake City (12 South 400 West St.)
9/12 Banks: UO Brooklyn (98 N. 6th St.)

Come out and get vinyl signed by your favorite artists!

Near and Far: Victory Press x UO


Victory Press is designer Jessica Humphrey and artist Jonathan Cammisa, collaborating to create a collection of men’s clothing inspired by post modern art, prints and silhouettes of ‘80s skate and surf culture, and the functionality, integrity and ideology of ‘90s outdoors wear.

En route to launch a Victory Press pop-up event at our Los Angeles-based concept store Space 15 Twenty, Jess and Jonathan drove across the country, visiting American factories and getting up close and personal with the country’s great outdoors. Here, the design duo lets us in on every adventure of their nationwide trek.







How did you two come together and launch Victory Press?
Jess: Jonathan grew up in South Philadelphia skating. He was heavy into grafitti and hip hop, and he spent his summers at the Jersey Shore. I grew up in Virginia Beach surrounded by surfing and skateboarding, and as a teenager photographed every punk and hardcore band that came through my town. We met about five years ago in Vinegar Hill, a small neighborhood in Brooklyn. We both were obsessed with 1980s and ‘90s vintage clothing and we had the same taste in art and music, so we became best friends. We decided to start a clothing line out of a shared realization that outdoors wear just wasn't cool. We wanted to make outdoors wear that like-minded people want to wear.

Tell us about the Victory Press pop-up that brought you across the country!
Our friend Kyle came to our studio one day and proposed we set up shop at Space 15 Twenty for the summer of 2014. As a new brand, we were stoked on the opportunity to build out a space with our creative vision and spread our ideas to the West Coast. So, we though it was only appropriate to see the country on our way here so we can tell our story to you.







What was your favorite city or pit-stop along the way?
Mystic Hot Springs, Utah was by far the most interesting destination. We spent a few hours soaking in old claw foot tubs filed in with mineral rich hot springs with epic views of the Utah Mountains. Mystic Mike, who hosts the property, has an extensive collection of posters and stickers he's illustrated for touring bands, including the Grateful Dead. He also has a YouTube channel where he hosts live music and does an awesome job recording. There is also a collection of buses previously owned by Deadheads, for which you can rent and sleep over, if you want. It was truly a mystical moment. And then there was Yellowstone National Park—there are no words for how beautiful it is there.

Any travel mishaps?
Not really. We had good vibes on our side!

What was your day-to-day life like on the road?
We woke up. I'd heat us up some Grady's Coffee we cold brewed the night before. I might have some time to make breakfast while the boys break down the camp. If not, it was Early Bird Granola and yogurt and then we were on the road. Some days were long drives—almost 14 hours. We literally drove until it was time to sleep. Our meals that day would be "Jon's Back Seat Turkey Sandwiches" and the good old gas station special. The other days we'd drive for six hours or so and set up camp. We'd cook chili or hamburgers, relax, shoot our BB gun, then go to sleep extra early, wake up, maybe do a hike and then hit the road again. We were lucky enough to spend a good stint in Yellowstone and Utah where we could meander a little more and soak up the environment. We drove through 15 states in seven days, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to stay idle.







What were some of the best and worst meals you had while traveling?
The best meal was the chili we cooked over campfire the first night in Yellowstone. We brought our cast iron dutch oven and made a slow cooked chili and cornbread. We set up camp with the Grand Teton mountains as our backdrop, with no other human in site. It was magical. We actually ruled on the food tip. Even the sixth time we had turkey sandwiches, they were delicious!

What are your top five travel essentials?
Our trusty Birkenstocks, Oberto Beef Jerky, Snowpeak Titanium Stove, our dog, Jasper, and Santa Maria Novella Potpourri (for the stinky truck).

What advice would you give to someone about to embark on a cross-country trip?
Give yourself a good month because there is too much awesomeness to see.





The Victory Press x Ours Gallery summer pop-up shop at Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahunega Blvd) is open now and runs through July 27, 2014.


UPDATE: Now you can watch the video Victory Press made with the help of Nathan Caswell about their cross country trip!