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Friday Download: September 12, 2014


Happy Friday! Here are some of our favorite internet tidbits from the past week. They're all David Lynch themed in honor of his retrospective opening at PAFA this weekend, so enjoy!

1. This month, the first major retrospective of David Lynch's work opens at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In homage, Philly donut hub Federal Donuts has created an assortment of Lynchian-inspired pastries: varieties include Blue Velvet, Good Coffee, and others. They're $2 each and available at Federal Donuts starting September 13. Get there early because these will go fast!

2. The third issue of KENZINE is out, and the entire issue is inspired by — yep— DL. For those new to KENZINE, it's a sporadically-released magazine put out by zany fashion brand KENZO. This issue was edited by the amazing crew behind TOILETPAPER magazine, Maurizio Cattelan, Pierpaolo Ferrari, and Micol Talso. This preview on It's Nice That has some sneak peeks.

3. For some lighthearted David Lynch goodness, the Twin Peaks intro was redone in 8-bit a couple of weeks ago by Portland based artists Filthy Frackers. Their Casio keyboard take on the theme song is pretty soothing.

4. The Lady in the Radiator from Lynch's Eraserhead is an underrated pop star of the 20th century so we're just gonna let everyone know that with this deluxe CD reissue of the Eraserhead soundtrack, you'll be able to jam out to "In Heaven" in stunning clarity.

Happenings: Rock County Folk Symposium Recap


At the end of August each year, the Rock County Folk Symposium takes place in Janesville, Wisconsin - it's a way for locals to celebrate their heritage, experience nature and convene with talented artists and musicians. As each summer wanes the members of the Wisconsin Heritage Foundation gather on the banks of the Rock River to bring their vision of an all-inclusive festival to life. The festival celebrates much more than music - Wisconsin traditions such as butter sculpting, innovative brewing, agricultural prowess and water sports are also at the forefront. Located at the historic Camp Rotamer, artists travel from across the country to transform the camp into an immersive 24-hour experience. Read on to see some pics we snapped at the event to show off the artists, innovators and musicians that gathered there.
Photography by Spencer Wells





Adelyn Rose jamming out during their set.



Artist Gerri Witthuhn returned to Wisconsin from California to create the stage and two other central art pieces as part of Team Forest Freaq.



Tyler Hart of Softly, Dear having a moment with his girlfriend during a break between sets.



Festival organizer Jackie Kursel relaxing on the dock of Spaulding Pond.



Artist Kenny Monroe constructing his instagram diorama installation.



Jackie enjoying a beer in the Parker Lodge.



A big rain cloud came during Sayth’s set but his good vibes cleared up the sky.



Whilden Hughes VI of Double Ewes pounding in stakes to help Dan Ryan of Sperry Tents set up.



Grace, a Minnesota native but longtime Wisconsin resident, proudly displaying her level two antidote.



Captain James Frederick flees angry hornets after a failed extermination attempt.



Surveying the grounds of Camp Rotamer.



Wisconsin Heritage Foundation Board Member Kyle Pfister deep in thought while preparing the Antidote.



Sayth and Wealthy Relative bringing art rap to the stage.



Jerrie and fellow artist Matt Riley (AKA The Butter Devil) circled up in the Lavender Tent late at night.



Festival organizer Wyndham Manning IV helping Thax Douglas board a canoe.



Festival organizer Amanda Kievet basking in the glow of another successful year.

Rock County Folk Symposium

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Dreamers and Doers Come Together: Sight Unseen

One of our favorite sources for daily inspiration is Sight Unseen, a digital design magazine created by New York-based editors Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer. From unearthing under-the-radar ceramicists to sharing exclusive studio visits with some of our favorite artists, Monica and Jill are tuned in to just about everything that's interesting in the world of design. And it's not limited to web content — Sight Unseen also curates a number of events and their own online shop, which we're excited to be part of this month with their pop-up at Space Ninety 8. Running September 11-October 5, the pop-up will house a selection of exclusive items created by a wide range of international artists just for Sight Unseen. 

Looking forward to the opening, we spoke with the duo about design trends, digital storytelling, and what goes into starting your own publication. 


Above: A studio visit with Katy Krantz, photographed by Michael A. Muller


Sight Unseen started when the two of you were working as editors at the design magazine ID. How did the conversation start to launch your own project?

Jill: We were editors at ID for about four years, and the idea slowly came together. While we were there we were always talking about, 'What's next for us.' And in the context of ID, we were really interested in how big the web was becoming. And so the conversation turned into one about having a web project together, and it solidified in a project that was too good to resist.

There was room online for a digital publication that was more focused on ideas we had become interested in: storytelling, the inspiration behind finished objects, helping people see how and where things were made, and the personalities behind them. At the time, design publications were mostly just sharing the finished product, kind of just, 'this is it.' Press pictures of beautiful objects are great but there is another step in the process that wasn't being documented.

Above: At Home With Greg Buntain of Fort Standard, photographed by Mike Vorassi


Above: Hilda Hellstrom Sedimentation Coasters in the Sight Unseen shop, photographed by Cathy Carver

You were right at the forefront of a huge trend of blogs and design publications shifting to share more behind-the-scenes looks at what goes into the creation of objects and art. What have you historically seen readers responding to the most?

Jill: There was a shift right around when we launched [to feature more] studio visits and house tours. People who weren't doing those things at first sensed it was in the air. On a lot of the websites we visit often, the home and studio stories are the most popular. And it makes sense: Readers can see pictures of pretty objects anywhere, but with the idea of voyeurism and seeing behind-the-scenes and how people live is just a point of connection. Maybe people have always been into that and now there are just more opportunities. 

Another thing we think about is that people who read media online don't necessarily have time to read long stories. You can almost tell a whole story with images alone, which is a really interesting thing for the format of journalism.


Above: Ashley Helvey's Seattle studio, photographed by Michael A. Muller

What are some other sources of design inspiration for you? Where do you scout new talent? 

Monica: We scout talent primarily through four sources: blogs, Instagram, design shows, and through recommendations. We often get told about new studios or young designers from other designers we know, or we see them collaborating or showing together and investigate. Design shows include London Design Festival, graduate shows at schools like the RCA, the Satellite show at the Milan Furniture fair, offsite shows at the Milan fair, and even ICFF sometimes.


What are some design trends you see happening right now?

Monica: Design isn't as trend-driven as fashion is — it moves slowly and has more to do with individual interests than trends. But there has been a lot of geometry, copper, brass, and marble lately. And a general interest among designers in inventing their own processes, materials, and ways of working with materials.


Above: kelly behun | STUDIO at Sight Unseen OFFSITE, 2014, photographed by Mike Vorrasi

How do each of your own design styles differ?

Jill: The very simplified version of this that comes to the floor is that Monica loves monochrome, geometric. My style is more colorful and graphic. 

Monica: Really, both of us constantly overlap. And that's what gives the site cohesion. 


Above: mobile by Recreation Center


You both still do other things in addition to this. How do you balance making a side project work?

Monica: We are both people who like to have our hands in a lot of places at once, so it's exciting to wear a lot of hats. It widens the scope of your network and you meet more people and create more opportunities. It all comes back.


Above: Jill and Monica, photographed by Elizabeth Weinberg

How has the site evolved since it started?

Jill: In the beginning we were much more focused on long-form stories, coming from the magazine world. That has definitely changed. We've become more comfortable with presenting the site as a place where people come to it for our point of view. It's become more about talent-scouting than a source of biographical backgrounds.

Even from the beginning SU was not just a website: we were curating exhibitions and we had the shop and we were just throwing things at the wall and see what stuck. It's all been edited down into this thing that it is now. It's been really amazing.

Monica: It all fans out from just having a curatorial viewpoint.


Above: Assembly 00 Clock in the Sight Unseen shop, photographed by Mike Garten


What has been harder than you expected about running your own digital magazine? What has been easier?

Monica: Harder: Keeping up with the crazy pace of new content that the Internet demands these days, and getting our readership to rise. People love our site but it's hard to know if they actually come back every day and read it. 

Easier: Maintaining a never-ending flow of things and talents we're excited about. The amount of beautiful, intriguing work out there is absolutely staggering. It makes me wish I were a maker myself.


Above: Courtney Reagor Artifact Mug

Above: Syrette Lew of Moving Mountains designed the pop-up build-out for Space Ninety 8. She shared an in-process install shot with us from her Instagram

Tell us more about the Space Ninety 8 pop-up: what will be there and how did you choose the pieces you wanted? Any new designers or collaborations you're particularly excited about?

Jill: Going into the pop-up, we knew that we needed a shop refresh and wanted to bring in new things, so we basically blanketed everyone we knew asking for submissions. 

In the pop-up, we have an amazing range of housewares and jewelry both from designers we've worked with in the past like Ladies & Gentlemen Studio and Pat Kim and then some new ones as well like these cool marbled vessels from this company called Concrete Cat and we have these asymmetrical vessels from Ian Anderson [editor's note: see our studio visit with Ian — who is also a UO men's buyer — here!]. We also had Syrette Lew from Moving Mountains do the buildout. She is amazing and had such good ideas. 


Above: Studio Visit with Confetti System


Visit the Sight Unseen pop-up at Space Ninety 8 from Sept. 11 - Oct. 5, 2014


D + D DIY: Marbled Candles with Gracie Chai


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. Our D + D DIY series brings us a unique craft from one of these talented individuals.

First up in our D + D DIY series is Gracie Chai. Textile artist, illustrator and all-around excellent crafter Gracie is always at work. Whether she's painting scarves by hand for her Etsy store or working on custom embroidery for customers and friends alike, she's always got something to keep her busy. Because we're always so blown away by her projects, we asked Gracie to show us how to make grown up looking candles with minimal supplies.

Photography c/o Gracie Chai

***

"I have been fascinated with marbling for the longest time now, so you can imagine my glee with it being back on trend. First started in the 1100s, with it being mainly used for decorating paper and books, marbling was thought to be gaudy, old-fashioned and almost left for dead just a few centuries ago. Today, it has charmed its way back into our hearts. A simple way of incorporating a hint of marbling beauty at home is with these elegant candles."



Things you'll need:

- Packet of soy wax
- Crayons, colours of your preference
- Cotton string
- Disposable chopsticks
- A pot
- A bowl of any sort; you can even make one out of aluminum foil like I did lower down in the pictures
- Glass containers, such as recycled food jars and what not, for candles holders; if you can score some vintage ones, even better
- Some paper clips and disposable cups (not pictured)

Optional: essential oil(s) of your choice, if you're keen on making your candles scented



This is your wax melting set up. Fill your pot up with water, place the bowl of wax on it and leave it to boil. This is done so we don't burn our wax. Be careful not to fill your water up so high that it touches the bottom of your bowl. Wax can be hot so please exercise caution.

While your wax is melting, cut up your cotton string into lengths that is longer than your glass containers. These will be your candle wicks.



As your wax is melting, toss them into the melting pot. You want to prime your wicks by fully saturating them in hot wax for at least 10 minutes. Use the disposable chopsticks for stirring.



Once that is done, take them out to dry. Try to straighten them as much as you can.



Once your wax has completely melted into a liquid state, pour it into a disposable cup. To add color to your wax, chuck a piece of crayon into the melting pot 'til it fully dissolves.



Again, while your wax is melting, take the opportunity to prepare your candle container.



Make a slight kink at the bottom of your now dried wick so it sits somewhat flush against the bottom of your container. This is also where a disposable chopstick comes in handy. With no big fuss, slide your wick through its middle, and it will help you prop it up cleanly. ​​

You should by now have two disposable cups of liquified wax. One colored, and one plain. If you're adding scent to your candle, this is the perfect time to drop in some essential oil.



The trick to creating a marbled texture is to let your melted wax cool slightly, but not enough for it to harden. We're looking for a gel-like consistency here. If it's all goopy and stiff, you've let it cool for too long. If it's hardened too far, no biggie; just put them near a heat source and wait for them to liquify again.



Gently pour both cups of wax into your candle container simultaneously. You want the different colors to fold into each other softly, creating that organic marble pattern.

Now for the part that calls for the hardest thing: patience. Give it a few hours for your candle to fully harden before snipping off the excess wick at the top. After that, voila! You now have your very own marbled candle.



Follow Gracie on Instagram

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Obsessions: Most Loved Clothing

Emily Spivack is a UO alum, writer, and editor of a new collection of stories about individuals and their relationship with clothing. In Worn Stories, Spivack opens up the closets of people from Greta Gerwig to Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman to learn about their most-loved pieces of clothing and the story behind it. 

Inspired by her concept, we turned the lens on Spivack to learn more about the story behind her own favorite piece of clothing, as well as learn about some of the favorite vintage garments of our Urban Renewal buyers.   


Above: Photos by Michael A. Muller


Emily Spivack's Most-Loved Piece of Clothing:


What is this piece — when and where did you buy it?

This is a vinyl bustier that is completely disintegrated. I bought it in high school on South Street at Trash and Vaudeville in Philadelphia. 

Tell us more about why this piece is so special.

I would describe myself in high school going into college as "nerdy goth." I would wear this to school like it was no big deal! 

One time I got home from a college class and was wearing this. I had to write a paper that afternoon — and to give a little background, when I started college I felt pretty academically ill-prepared. The paper was actually for an existentialism class and for whatever reason that day I was able to just knock it out. And for some reason I was like, "Oh my god. It's got to be the bustier." So for the next few months, every time I had to write a paper I wore it. It didn't matter if it was wintertime — I would wear a sweater over it. My roommate was probably like, "Who is this person!?" It was a thing.

I think that at one point I must have forgotten to put it on and it was okay. I could still write. What was actually happening is that I was getting used to being in college but for a time this was the lucky bustier that was helping me get through my first semester. 

Magic powers aside, it's kind of amazing that you would just unabashedly wear a leather bustier.

Ha! I tend to be relatively covered up, and this is pretty daring. It's very flashy. A friend of mine has a photo of me from college when I'm wearing it at a party. I had really long straight hair, youthful cheeks, this super innocent face...and then I'm just wearing a bustier! But at the same time, I really love that. I was just like, 'This is me.' 

Click here to buy Emily's book, Worn Stories


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Most-Loved Clothing: Urban Renewal Buyers

Curious to hear more stories that connect memory and clothing, we asked some of our favorite Urban Renewal buyers to share the stories behind their best vintage discoveries.


Above: Photography by Farhad Samari


Jaime Wong, Raggedy Threads
Los Angeles, CA


Can you tell us about what you're wearing?

I'm wearing my favorite pair of French workwear overalls that have been hand-darned and patched all over. I've worn them so much and had to do a lot of repairs on them myself. 

The hat I'm wearing is a 40s Stetson, totally beat up with holes and stains everywhere. It was gifted to me from a vintage dealer friend up in Oregon who wore this hat almost everyday since he got it in 1946. He traveled all over the US hunting for antiques and treasures to sell and is one of the sweetest and most humble men I know. [It's my dream] that one day that will be me and I can pass down my hat to the next. 

You've amassed an amazing hat collection? 

Yes! Another prized hat in my collection is this hand-drawn and painted felt cowboy hat from the 1930s. I found this in a barn near the border of Montana  about eight years ago. It was surprisingly in good shape! On the bottom of the cowgirl drawing you can faintly make out the year and the name…"1934 Babe Moberly." I almost fainted when I read that!


Photography by Bethany Toews


Rhianna Tycholis, Mixed Business
Los Angeles, CA


Hi Rhianna! What are you wearing?

This is a dress from the 40s I purchased at the Brimfield Antique Show in Massachusetts in 2012.

When I found it the fabric was in great condition, but the garment was completely falling apart. I was in awe of the print: It's so modern and interesting. I was eight months pregnant at the time and made it a post-pregnancy project dress! I fixed it up (literally re-sewed every single seam) and couldn't wait to wear it. 


Why is it your favorite piece?

I think this piece is so special to me because it combines two things that are normally not part of my wardrobe: prints and fitted dresses. I love it and at some point will recreate this print!


Photography by Ben Masters

Ty Ziskis
Seattle, WA


Ty, tell us more about what you're wearing and why it's special to you.

Most these pieces are French work garments dating from the 1890s-1940s.

I never really truly get attached to any one piece...but my favorite right now is a very unusual, long, faded, cotton/linen trench with a tie around the waist and a rusty buckle. I wear it all the time: it's disintegrating in the most perfect way! I also can't take off these beautiful oatmeal color 1930s buckle back linen trousers.


Can you tell us more about what you love about vintage clothes in general?

What I love most about the old European workwear is that most of the time it was passed down through the generations and repaired over and over. You can really feel something when you slip into a jacket that has been disregarded for generations but for the generations prior had been treated with such respect. I wonder about the people who wore these garments to threads, then about the people who repaired them with such care. It's inspiring! 


Photography by Cecilia Alejandra Blair / Briana Purser. Special thanks to Rima Hyena for guest studio space.


Stephanie Villalobos, Laced with Romance
Austin, TX

Can you share more about the pieces you're wearing in these images? What's the story behind them?

The black skull T-shirt has been part of my collection for nearly 20 years. The shirt was given to me by a old friend who also gave me my first mix tape with bands like the Velvet Underground, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Patti Smith, Joy Division, and many others that changed the course of how I listened to music. 

The Harley Davidson boots were thrifted in my home town of Pasadena, Texas a few years back. 

The silver ram and vertebrae rings were gifted to my one of my favorite people ever, jewelry designer, Rima Hyena. The moss agate bracelet was bought two years back from, Adelina Mictlan at her pop up shop during Austin Psych Fest. The Dust&Drag acid brown duster is my design. 


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Featured Brand: Schott


This week, we're excited to debut a leather jacket UO made in collaboration with Schott, sold online exclusively at Urban Outfitters. Combining the classic Schott look with an updated UO flair, the result is a timeless jacket that'll look good for years to come. (And we mean years - these bad boys are built to last.) After falling in love with the Schott x UO jacket immediately after getting our hands on it, we wanted to dig more into the history of Schott to find out exactly where our favorite leather jackets got their start.


Joey Ramone, wearing Schott


Founder Irving Schott


Various styles of Schott jackets

SCHOTT HISTORY

After reading about Schott for no more than five minutes, we discovered that, chances are, even if you’re not too deeply versed on the brand's backstory, you’ve seen one of your favorite musicians wearing a Schott Perfecto jacket at one point or another (including on an album cover – hi, Bruce). They're the quintessential American leather jacket, made popular by movie stars and musicians. People overseas know the brand Schott the way Americans know Kleenex - it's become the standard for leather jackets. The company has been around for the last 100 years (since 1913, to be exact), so they've had a long time to build their brand. That's over a century of jackets! Their most popular design, the Perfecto, named for founder Irving Schott’s favorite cigar, was one of the company’s first designs and continues to be produced to this day. An innovative company from the beginning, Schott’s legacy doesn't lie solely with their leather designs - they were also the first company ever to put a zipper on a jacket. Talk about trailblazers.


MCA of The Beastie Boys, wearing Schott


The Schott factory

While the company and their jackets are something of a commodity (and cool-guy status) in 2014, that wasn't always the case. When Schott was just starting out, the coats were positively received but were mainly used by bikers and the military in a utilitarian way up through the '40s. In 1954, though, all of that changed. Marlon Brando donned the Perfecto for The Wild One and, unsurprisingly, having a handsome, young actor wear the coat in a (soon-to-be) cult classic movie made the general public want to get their hands on one, too - even if they weren't bikers. What was surprising, though, was that even after the jacket became the coat to have, the company found that sales decreased – schools were banning the coats for their “bad boy” connotation. (Which is so badass.) As time went on, this image ideally worked in the company’s favor; in the ‘70s and ‘80s, punk rockers embraced the jacket’s outsider status and Schott soon became an important component of the punk rock movement. Look up any picture of The Ramones and you’ll likely see them decked out in Schott.

To this day, Schott is still run by the same Schott family out of the US, and each leather jacket remains tailored by hand – something of a rarity for such a widely produced company in this day and age.


Dee Dee Ramone, wearing Schott

SCHOTT IN MUSIC AND POPULAR CULTURE

After Marlon Brando wore the Schott Perfecto in The Wild One, the jacket became significantly more prominent in popular culture. Around the same time, James Dean was also rarely seen without his Perfecto; when he died an untimely death in 1955 due to a car accident, the coat became even more of a symbol for rebelliousness.

Fast-forward to 1974 - at The Ramones first live show, the entire band showed up wearing Schott leather jackets. This was the brand's first foray into the punk music scene and The Ramones ensured that Schott would be well-respected within that community for years to come; Blondie, The Beastie Boys, Joan Jett, Johnny Rotten and Lou Reed have all been photographed wearing their Schott leather jackets. There's even a rumor that good ol' Fonzie wore a Perfecto in the first season of Happy Days, so it's pretty much guaranteed that you become the coolest person in the world as soon as you throw on a Schott.

Recently, Schott has partnered with artists like Jeremy Scott to produce custom jackets and they show no signs of slowing down any time soon. Schott and their coats are here to stay and we'll be here to wear 'em.


The Ramones, all wearing Schott


Marlon Brando, wearing Schott

Book images originally published with permission and © Schott NYC: 100 Years of an American Original by Rin Tanaka, 2013. Image of storefront, factory and Irving Schott all provided courtesy of Schott.

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About a Place: Brimfield Market

In search of vintage treasures, design inspiration, and a good adventure, last week we packed up our bags and headed to the Brimfield Show, the enormous antique market that takes over small-town Massachusetts twice a year.  

Vendors from all over the world flock to Brimfield for the show, which started in the 1950s and has grown into the largest outdoor antique market in the US. Read on to see what we discovered and took home on our trip.
Photography by Trevor Powers


A table of vintage cameras. We want them all!


These roll-up banners were former trolley signs listing out city stops.



Forever perplexed by the purpose of these (slightly-scary) porcelain hands.


Massive metal dome light fixtures in the perfect jade hue.



A View-Master! And a fanned-out selection of reels to choose from.


Rows of treasure awaiting discovery: the show runs along Route 20 for about a half-mile, with vendors stacked blocks deep the entire way on both sides of the road. For most of the year, Brimfield is a tiny, quaint town of 3,000; during the market, population is at 250,000!


Snowshoes! Are these functional?



Summer swimming postcards from the 1950s.


A row of old-school baseball bats.


Some tips for making the most of a trip:

1. Come prepared! Cash, water, and good shoes. Forget any of these and you'll regret it.
2. Our home buying department — longtime Brimfield veterans — told us this strategy for buying and schlepping treasures: if you're purchasing big items, most of the vendors will hold your purchases for you until you're ready to pick them up. Do a full sweep of the sale, and then pick up your buys on the way back when you have a car or can have made arrangements to have items shipped. 
3. To avoid being overwhelmed, come with an idea of what you're looking for. This will avoid getting too sidelined, by, say...a row of creepy porcelain hands. Do as we say, not as we do. 


Antique milk bottles; the best part is the custom wooden box.


Rusty signs: one man's trash...


Model teeth, anyone?


Amazing drafting tools in leather cases.


Jadeite salt and pepper shakers.


So many textiles and rugs to choose from!


Rows and rows of vintage records.


Read more about Brimfield here
The next sale is May 12-15, 2015

UO Live: Lykke Li

In the six years since Lykke Li emerged on the scene, the Swedish musician has built a huge following of fans drawn to both her critically-acclaimed music and reputation for being an equally mesmerizing and mysterious ingénue.  

Her newest album, I Never Learn, came out in May, and breaks away from the hand claps, broken rhythm, and intense drum beats of her earlier work and moves into very different territory. I Never Learn is stripped-back, refined, and sad — the songs are largely the byproduct of a major breakup that happened on the heels of her last tour. Nine songs long, it's both Li's shortest and most ambitious work to date.  

We partnered with Lykke to have her shoot some Polaroids exclusively for Urban Outfitters that share a behind-the-scenes look at life on the road. Afterward, we talked to her from LA about drinking wine, David Lynch, and never settling down. 

This month Lykke Li will do three exclusive UO Live performances + signings in UO stores in Portland, Or, Minneapolis, and Washington DC — read on for show details and to learn how you can win tickets to see Lykke Li live in your city! 


You're in LA right now — is this where you're living?

Yes, but only on this break between shows. I don't try to figure out where I should live anymore. 


Your childhood was spent traveling around a lot, right?

I went to 11 different schools! Born in Sweden, in the south, moved to Stockholm, lived in Portugal, winters in India, Nepal, Morocco. Then I moved to New York when I was 18 or 19. That's been my life.


But for now do you like being in LA?

I love it. The light, the ocean... 


What do you do on your time off? 

I love being outside. Also, I like to cook a big dinner with friends and drink a lot of wine. 


This album came out of a tumultuous break-up, which you've been really candid about. Did any of this play into moving or wanting to find a new place to live? It obviously affected what you wrote about but did it affect how you wrote?

Yeah, I ended my last tour and was really thinking about not having a place to return to. I have been traveling my whole life. It's fight or flight, you know? I thought that I needed to step back and heal for awhile, but I was writing all the time. I was completely obsessed with it. It always takes me a long time do a record but I love writing. 


Are there any places you go to write or be inspired in that way?

Just being solitary. I go into my own bubble and don't need the outside world. 


Were you surprised by anything that came out during the writing process?

It wasn't easy. I think I knew the emotions were there, I have always felt that way. But it was about finding the way to express them. I have to be honest...It's the only way I know how to do it. 

This album is the third in a trilogy of records that have seen you really change as a musician. In retrospect, what's it about?

This album is about me as a woman. But I think people can relate when you are 27 or 28 you can break free from your past. I guess it was that. I was trying to heal and let go of my past but also break into something new. I feel like we all have that. It's basically the return of Saturn. 

There's a lot of talk about it being "dark," but those ideas seem less about sadness and more about identifying points of transition.

I think so too. It's an interesting thing to think about…being lost. 


The cover of your album is an incredibly stark portrait of you…can you talk more about this as an aesthetic choice?

I think it reflects the music. With this [record] I felt like I could step out into the light. This is who I am and what I look like.


Does this play into what you wear on-stage?

Yeah, I like the idea of wearing the same thing for a tour. I wear all black. I have been taking the time between shows right now to figure out what I will wear on the next part of the tour. I work with a designer who helps me. 


Another collaborative project recently was with David Lynch last year on a song for his record, which is so amazing. Can you share more about working with him?

It was magical. He is very intuitive and was just an amazing person to work with…[he has a] really instinctual way of treating and making art. He also introduced me to TM [Transcendental Meditation, which both Lynch and Li are practicers of]. He is very easy to talk to and confide your worries — that's how he told me I needed to meditate. 


You also did a film project last year, the Swedish film Tommy, and you're set to be in a future feature from Terrence Malick. Are there things that come out in film — when acting, or just exposed to a different medium — that you can't express in music?

Acting is completely different. It is very difficult. I'd love to do more of it though, [and] have been humbled by being a beginner at it…You just make a fool out of yourself. 


You also do your own photography — can you talk about this?

I really want to make a book of my photographs sometime — I think that would be a project I want to do when I have the time. 


Right?! When are you going to find the time to do this?

I don't know! I still have a million shows left to play!

Lykke Li UO #FortheRecord Performances:

PORTLAND, OR

September 18th at 5:30pm

Urban Outfitters, 2320 N.W. Westover Rd. 


MINNEAPOLIS, MN

September 28th  at 1:30pm

Urban Outfitters 3006 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN


WASHINGTON, DC

October 6th at 2pm

Urban Outfitters, 3111 M St. N.W, Washington, DC


Want to see Lykke Li live in your city? 

UO is giving away tickets to shows on her upcoming tour — download the UO App to learn how to win!


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.

Friday Download: September 5, 2014


Happy Friday! Here are some of our favorite internet tidbits from the past week. Check 'em out and then go out and have a great weekend.

1. Some solid grammar jokes over in this McSweeney's list "Grammar Gossip," so you can be sure to start your weekend off very intellectually.

2. Vogue sent photographer Daniel Arnold to document the crowd at this year's U.S. Open. The result is, as Vogue put it, "chockablock." His images are unglamorized observations of candid behavior that are equal parts smart, funny, and kind of sad — Arnold is absolutely one to watch.

3. For all the UK-based people out there, musician King Krule is doing an art exhibit with his brother at Display Gallery in London. The show opens this Friday and is said to be a mix of poetry, music, painting, illustration, silk-screen, and linocut surrounding the themes of "memory, time, and role of the artist in an evolving cityscape."

4. Sam Smith covered Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge and it's exactly as sad and heart-wrenchingly emotional as you're imagining.

5. Cayetana, an awesome Philadelphia-based band that we've mentioned before, now has their album streaming a few days ahead of its release. They're performing a few shows around the release as well, so check them out if you can.

6. Last but not least, Tennis released a very aesthetically pleasing video for an acoustic version of their song "Bad Girls," which is on their upcoming album Ritual in Repeat (out Sept. 9).

I'm With the Band: Twin Peaks


From left: Cadien, Jack, Clay, and Connor of Twin Peaks.

Last weekend at FYF Festival I met up with another of my favorite bands, Twin Peaks, from Chicago, IL. Nobody in the band is over the age of 20, and already, they've released two albums, most recently being Wild Onion, which have both been received with very high praise. Cadien, Clay, Jack, and Connor have been on tour with The Orwells, Arctic Monkeys and Criminal Hygiene, and have been making their way up the ranks all summer. Read on to see what music the guys have been influenced by along the way and how they're feeling about it all. These guys are here to stay.
Interview and photography by Maddie Sensibile

You just released your new record, Wild Onion, a few weeks ago. How are you feeling about it?


Clay: We feel good about it, we feel great about it.

Cadien:
We made a mix tape with a lot of our favorite kinda songs.

Name a few bands for me that have influenced you when it comes to making music.

Clay:
I probably wanted to start making music from The Velvet Underground. Big influence for me.

Jack:
I like Black Lips. That was really one of the first concerts I went to that like, made me really want to play rock and roll seriously. I like R. Kelly a lot, and The Beatles.

Cadien:
Those are all great. I’m gonna throw out Jay Reatard too - he was pivotal for me.

Connor:
Watching Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin videos, ‘cause like, playing live what made me want to play music more than anything.

What were the first records you bought?

Clay:
The first time I bought music was when I bought Dark Side of the Moon. It started playing and I thought it wasn’t working or something. It was the first CD I ever had, so I turned it all the way up. It just starts with that woman screaming, and it keeps getting louder and louder, it really freaked me out. I didn’t listen to it again for another three years probably.

Cadien: I copped Beatles’ 1 when I was a little dude, from my mom, and I blasted that for a long time.

Connor:
A Blink 182 CD, and I don’t remember which one it was, but I remember buying it and being super stoked about it.

Jack:
To be honest, I was a big Britney Spears fan, and had mad love for N*SYNC as well, it was probably one of them. It’s pop perfection, who can blame me.



Clay, tell me about those dance moves you do with your guitar on stage.

Clay:
For most of us, I think we would just feel uncomfortable standing there. I don’t know, it just seems natural to me. I know it looks pretty weird.

I did see you guys perform last year in LA for the first time. How do you feel about playing larger festivals and moving up the bill at such a young age?

Clay:
We’re so about it.

Jack:
We’re starting to play more festivals like these, and the more it happens, kinda the more surreal it seems that we’re here now.

Clay:
In places like this, the artist area, you get to meet people, even just for a little bit, and everyone’s pretty nice most of the time so it’s cool.

Who are you listening to right now?

Clay:
I’m listening to a lot of Kinks. I just got Kinda Kinks, and it’s a really good record.

Jack:
I’ve been recently really getting into Blood Orange’s most recent album, and I got to meet him for a little bit, and he’s fucking cool.

Cadien:
Naomi Punk’s new album is super great, like their first album, and more people should check them out.

Connor:
We played with this band on our first tour called Teenage Moods, and a week ago I just kinda stumbled back on their stuff, and Mood Ring is so cool.

Twin Peaks music

Brands We Love: Made By Hand


We've been extremely into unique jewelry pieces and have had so many amazing artists featured on the site lately that we wanted to bring a few of those artists to the forefront to showcase their incredible, handmade jewelry. Below, learn more about the jewelry lines Filili, Metalepsis, Cast and Combed and DIGDOGDIG - who knows, maybe you'll be inspired to get out there and start creating your own!


Photography for Filili by Mónica Félix

FILILI

Tell us a little bit about your brand.

Fililí by Luiny (that's me!) started in Puerto Rico as one-of-a-kind designs inspired by the colors of the Caribbean and its lifestyle. I mixed different fabrics, metals and colors, for what turned out as unique artisan jewelry. In 2010 I moved to New York, excited to find new inspiration in the city's diverse cultural spiral. I learned and embraced new techniques that changed my designs as well as my way of living life as an artist.

What are you inspired by?

Fililí has been inspired by my adventures and by all the people I’ve met along the way. I'm proud to say that I make a living doing what I love the most. I love to research different cultures around the world, and learn about their ornamentation and jewelry techniques.



What advice would you give to younger artists?

Every artist needs to be persistent, disciplined and be their own teacher. Defining your artistry is a challenge but when you find what you are good at, stay with it and make it better every time.

Tell us a few things you are into currently.

1. These days my favorite album is Love Letter from Metronomy.
2. Until I stop eating meat (which I’m considering) burgers are my favorite food.
3. Shoes, shoes, shoes!
4. I can’t stop watching Boardwalk Empire, amazing production.
5. Currently reading Patti Smith Just Kids. Follow me on Instagram for more!

Shop Filili

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METALEPSIS

Tell us a little bit about yourself and the backstory of your brand.

Astrid and I [Victoria] met in 2009 while we were both working at the same architecture firm in NYC. We both didn’t feel totally fulfilled by our architecture careers so we came up with some ideas about making jewelry by waterjet-cutting sheets of steel, and that evolved into the first Metalepsis Projects edition.

What's something you love to hear?

The biggest compliment for us is when people see a Metalepsis Projects necklace and ask, “What is that?” because we both really want to introduce new shapes and inspirations to the field of jewelry. When someone asks us that question, I know we’ve done a good job!

Walk us through the creation of a piece.

Because we’re bi-coastal (Victoria in LA and Astrid in NY), we completely depend on the cloud - in our case, Dropbox. We communicate mostly by visuals, so the first step is gathering all images that we’re getting inspired by. Soon after, we discuss ideas about materials and how they can be manipulated and then we start developing our design ideas using a 3D-modeling software called Rhino. When we believe each piece is ready to be physically tested, we have them 3D-printed, which is used as our positive to make the silicone molds. Finally, each piece is cast in bronze in NYC.



What have you been inspired by lately?

Copenhagen. We love those classic mid-century danish designers, but their contemporary work is equally astonishing. They create the most beautiful versions of typically mundane objects. Lately Victoria has been obsessed with the work of Japanese designer team Nendo and the British textile designer Lucienne Day. Amazing stuff! Astrid has been so inspired by Finnish mid-century jeweler Kaunis Koru - his shapes are so geometric and elegant. For this upcoming collection, Astrid has been looking at rare instruments for inspiration. And trash cans. It sounds crazy but she saw some trash cans in Italy and Slovenia this summer that were so inspiring!

What advice would you give for someone interested in starting their own jewelry line?

We would tell them to start out with small collections of carefully designed products and grow from there. For us, coming from a background outside of the jewelry field has helped our collections stand out because they have a totally different perspective on jewelry. So think creatively and use your background and skills to your advantage, whatever they may be.



What are some things you guys have been into?

Victoria:
1.) I went through all seasons of Orange Is The New Black in a matter of two weeks, I think. I don’t recommend anyone to do that, but the characters in that show are so fascinating that I couldn’t stop.
2.) My fiancé is an amazing cook, and he got me really hooked on homemade soba (100% buckwheat). He makes the soba noodle himself from scratch. They are so delicious and healthy.
3.) I usually stick to neutrals and basics when it comes to my wardrobe but I get really excited when I see some amazing prints from Mary Katrantzou. Also, Delpozo is another one of my latest favorites.
4.) I’ve been thinking about taking some ceramic courses. really love the work of some of the local ceramicists.

Astrid:
1.) I’ve been watching Halt and Catch Fire on AMC, and projecting movies on my rooftop. We tape a sheet to the wall and drop the electrical cord over the edge of the roof and in through the window to reach a plug. We have a great view of the Manhattan skyline in the back.
2.) A few other things on my radar right now are checking out the Sight Unseen website for cool design products, enjoying the NY beach in my new Chromat Boloux bikini, and eating a lot of watermelon because it's HOT here in NYC.

We’d love to invite everyone to follow us on Instagram!

Shop Metalepsis

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CAST & COMBED

Tell us a little bit about your brand.

My name is Jessica Kelley. I left music and costuming behind in Vancouver, BC just over five years ago to kick back under some palms in LA and never left. Basking in the ubiquitous light and shadow play of California was the impetus for me to create Cast & Combed. I'm always hoping to capture those fleeting breezy moments.

Walk us through the creation of a piece.

After sketching out a blueprint of a shape that inspires me, I begin the mold making process. After some muscle, hustle, manhandling and patience I'll achieve a form and silhouette that excites me. Each piece is a tiny sculpture and after careful consideration I decide how and if to accent it with silver to finalize each piece.

What have you been inspired by lately?

The Light and Space movement from California in the '60s - ALWAYS! Without fail the creative process itself is what drives me most. The interplay between the pigments and material is definitely the most exciting part of building each collection.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My day starts with loving on my cat and ends with loving on my husband with some jewelry in between... I’ll have coffee in my studio while I design and rework samples in the morning and meet suppliers and fill orders in the afternoon. I’m big on comedy and so there's a lot of giggling and laughter coming from my studio while I work and I often hit up local comedy shows. My husband's a pilot so sometimes he will whisk me away in his 1962 Piper Cherokee and we'll watch the sunset during a night flight.

What advice would you give for someone interested in starting their own jewelry line?

Follow your heart and the path of least resistance. And enjoy it.

Shop Cast & Combed

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DIGDOGDIG

Tell us a little bit about yourself and the backstory of your brand.

Hey. Hello. Aloha. Sup. My name is Celeste Emiko Kamaha'o Rodero and I am the owner and artist of DIGDOGDIG. DIGDOGDIG was created in 2009 as a blog – the name came to me when I trying to find a new way of saying “keep going, searching, working, exploring, trying” at the end of e-mails/letters or whenever I made something for a friend, I would sign it “dig dog, dig." Around the same time I started the DIGDOGDIG blog, I began to explore jewelry making. Due to an allergy to most metals, I had a hard time finding jewelry/accessories not only that I liked, but could actually wear. Like my blog, jewelry making was definitely something I shared, but it was just for me. DIGDOGDIG began as more of an outlet, a platform for me to express myself and that was purely it. DIGDOGDIG never had the intentions of being a business or even my livelihood like it is today.

Walk us through the creation of a piece.

Creating a piece all comes from chaos, but with very strong and distinct intentions. Although COLLECTION 1.1's sample pieces only took one night to actually make, it was over time and trial and error that allowed them to birth. Most of what I do is measuring, cutting, wrapping, painting, and assembling. It's a very therapeutic process, actually. Because I have never had a studio space, and as someone who has moved a lot, I make do wherever I am. Whether that is on the beach or just in the living room watching my favorite reality show – I've made sure I can make my work just about anywhere.



What have you been inspired by lately?

Honestly, everything is inspiring to me, at least – that's the best way for me to cope with life sometimes. As my best friend's mom referred to me, “you are a meaning maker." I wouldn't say that it's the ideal way of thinking or living for everyone, but it works for me. Whether things are negative or positive, I am always trying to find the root of life in everything and find inspiration. I am inspired by all of the women in my family, the way Jay Adam's skateboarded (RIP legend!), the photography of Seychelle Stableford, the weather, John Steinbeck's words, Mary-Kate and Ashley, my best friend Rachel Ward, Hermonie Only's art, the movements of Fluct, the spirit and style of Michael Jackson, unconditional love, the sounds of FIN, Snoop Dogg's Youtube show, Chloe Sevigny, the way materials move in the wind, style not fashion, Drake's smile, and the list goes on...

DIGDOGDIG's new website is under construction, but my blog and Instragram are good sources of DIGDOGDIG visual stimulations.



What advice would you give for someone interested in starting their own jewelry line?

My advice for anyone who wants to start anything comes from my dad, Keith Nehls, who has told me to always “BE REAL." Be real about your mistakes, be real about your achievements, and do your best to define a value system for yourself. Everyone has a different story when it comes to actively starting something and my experience is nothing like yours or another, so the only thing I can say is to be real. Also, read books! That has helped me a lot, not necessarily about anything to do with jewelry or starting a business, but read perspectives and gain knowledge through others who like to share it. For example I think an easy good read for “starters” is the book, REWORK by Jason Fried and David Heinmeier Hansson; it aligns with many of my core values and understanding of what I think business is today and how you can manage things on your own.

Shop DIGDOGDIG

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Shop Jewelry

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.


About a Face: Ally and Taylor Frankel of Nudestix

This week we're welcoming NUDESTIX into the UO Beauty lineup, an easy-to-use collection of smudgeable makeup sticks in natural shades started by Toronto-based teenage sisters Ally and Taylor Frankel. 

After realizing that there was a place in the beauty market for products that appealed to their low-fuss lifestyle, Ally and Taylor took matters into their own hands (along with the help of their mom, beauty industry veteran Jenny Frankel). "We don't want to wear color every day," says Taylor. "When we'd walk into a beauty store and it would be all about green eyeliner or getting 'the perfect lip,' we just couldn't relate to it." 

This is the era of "I woke up this way", of perfectly-imperfect styling: Ally and Taylor recognized that they and their friends wanted products that both made them look fresh-faced, not caked-on. "People shouldn’t mask what they really look like," Ally explains. "We like for them to look like themselves. They don’t need to cover themselves up."

To learn more, we asked Ally and Taylor to break down their daily beauty routines for us — from moisturizer to lemon water, here's their lineup. 


What's your morning routine like?

Taylor: Well, in the morning we like to sleep in, so as far as our morning routines it’s totally based on our schedules. We’re not rushing to go anywhere (unless we have school…but we still prefer our sleep than spending over an hour on our makeup!).

My morning makeup routine starts with cleaning my face. I use Biophora to wash all the remaining makeup from the previous night. It’s great because it works as a cleanser and toner all in one! Afterwards I use Avene Sensitive Skin Moisturizer for my dry areas. Then I use my NudeStix concealer to cover the darkness around my eyes and the redness around my nose… a really simple step to looking natural but flawless. I draw lines or dots in the areas where I think I need some coverage and smudge with my clean fingers. Then I use the NudeStix mascara as close to the lash line as possible. This morning routine usually takes me five-ten minutes…and that's it! 

Ally: When I wake up in the morning I start by putting my hair up and cleansing my face using my Reversa Toner. After this I put on my prescribed acne and spot treatment cream called Diffren. I also moisturize in needed areas - which differ - with my Avene moisturizer. After this I brush my teeth and brush my hair. Then, I use my Nudestix concealer, mascara, and from time to time I'll use Stardust as a highlighter.

Above: Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color Pencil

What about at night?

Taylor: The process is quite similar, but I may use the lighter eye pencil colors as my base, and then use a darker eye pencil on my crease for more of a going out look. I can’t get enough of highlighting - on my cheekbones, bridge of my nose, chin, bow of my lip, and eyebrow. 

Ally: At night I use my Reversa Toner and Cleanser to remove all my makeup. I moisturize with my Avene cream in needed areas and cover my blemishes with my acne treatment Diffren. I will sometimes braid my hair before bed so it stays out of my face while I sleep. To finish off, I brush my teeth and go to bed.


What are some of the best beauty tips you've picked up?

Taylor: LESS IS MORE! I found that when I would try to cover up with more makeup it resulted in more problems like more dryness and just more work! 

Ally: I've learned not to over-cleanse my face so I don't strip my skin of its natural oils.

Top: Magnetic Eye Color Pencil in pewter / bottom: Nudestix mascara and concealer pencil

Who are your beauty icons?

Taylor:
 Our beauty icons are really natural-looking girls. Cara Delevingne, Miranda Kerr, and Shailene Woodley. 

Ally: I typically shop beauty in a lifestyle way. I look at the whole look.


How does health play into this? 

Taylor: Health is a huge part of this! Both my sister and I have very different skin types (Ally has eczema and dry patches, as well as acneic/oily skin; I have very dry skin and reactive eyes) and we would always use different products to cater to our skin’s needs. When creating NudeStix, we ensured that all of our products were as natural and well-tolerated as possible (such as shea butter for the lips) in order for both my sister and I to be able to use the same product. 

Ally: I love to drink hot water with lemon. I find that it soothes my body and helps cleanse it. Other then that I'll eat many different things while trying to stay as healthy as possible. 


Can you share some embarrassing past beauty phases?

Ally: My most embarrassing phase would have to be when I would wear tons of foundation and everyone could tell it was caked on. My sister Taylor had a thing for eyeliner and would wear thick blue or green liner everyday. 


SHOP NUDESTIX IN UO BEAUTY

UO Premiere: Karen O "Day Go By"


You probably know Karen O from being frontwoman of the indie rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs for nearly 15 years, but on September 9th, her debut solo album Crush Songs will be released. "Rapt," the first single off the album, premiered a little over a month ago - and has left us wanting to hear more ever since. Today, we're excited to premiere "Day Go By," the second track from the album.



Coming out on Cult records (the label run by Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas), Crush Songs promises more lo-fi tracks that ruminate on love and nostalgia. To hear the album in full, head to NPR this Friday, where the entire album will be streaming a few days ahead of its official release.

Read the lyrics for "Day Go By" below.



Shop Crush Songs
Follow Karen on Instagram

UO Interviews: Clement Pascal

We love working with photographer Clément Pascal, who shot two blog features on 35mm film for us this week: a studio visit with Assembly New York's Greg Armas and a morning with designer Mark McNairy and his daughter Daisy. We love the way Clément captures quiet details that often go unnoticed — his work has a real softness and personality behind it that is subtle and smart. We caught up with Clément about current projects (he's working on a book of personal images called Strange Things Happen For A Reason), Paris vs. NYC, and "inviting the unexpected" in his work. 




Tell us more about your background, please. 

I was born in Paris and grew up in the countryside an hour away from the city. When I was 19 I moved to West Africa to work as an intern at an advertising agency. I met my wife there, who is from New York. We lived in a bunch of different countries until finally settling in New York City at the end of 2010.

Lately, I've been doing a lot of editorial portraits, which I always kinda do, studio visits, some fashion stories... I have also been working on personal projects in my new studio in Williamsburg.


How do you describe own work and aesthetic?

I think one of the main things I try to communicate through my images is intimacy. I want people to feel like they're close to the subject. That they're seeing a real part of these people's lives, and not something set up. 


You intentionally don't offer a lot of direction when you are photographing people — can you talk about this choice? 

I think that if you tell the subject how to pose or how to act, you're transferring onto them your idea of what you think they are or should be. Not giving too much direction invites the unexpected and reveals something very personal and true.


Can you tell us a story about a shoot that ended up very differently than you expected it to? 

I always have an overall idea of what I want a shoot to look like but never any real expectations. I'm always open to anything that can happen. I've had a lot of fun shooting French Montana playing basketball in the middle of the afternoon in a park in the Lower East Side. 

Talk about Paris vs NYC. 

I love New York. There is no other place I'd like to be. There are so many amazing things about it. For one the light is insanely beautiful, all year long. If I had one thing to complain about, I'd say that the winters are a little rough.



Tell us more about your interest in shooting the studios of artists. What are some studios you want to shoot in the future? 

I'm intrigued by the side of things you don't see. I want to see who's behind the artwork, and where it's made. 

Richard Serra would be a dream studio visit. Jasper Johns too.  


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

Spooky Black, past issues of Toilet Paper magazines, Japanese whiskey, Paul McCobb furniture, and going to the botanical gardens.

What's your favorite low-brow indulgence?

Ordering in pizza + tiramisu and watching a lot of Seinfeld episodes one after the other.


See Clément's images in this week's UO blog features:
Dreamers + Doers: Mark and Daisy McNairy
Collaboration: Assembly New York
Clément's website


Products We Love: Foreo LUNA


The Foreo Luna is quickly becoming one of our staple beauty products, one that leaves us wondering what we ever did before it. (Washcloths are soooo passé.) Made out of a squishy silicone, the Luna gently pulsates to help scrub skin clean. One of the things that we absolutely love about it is how easy it is to clean afterward. Since it doesn't use soft bristles to clean, the silicone ensures that the Luna holds a lot less bacteria than other similar products. Plus, there are no parts that need replacing or updating every few weeks. What you see is what you get. While testing this out, we also discovered that the Luna holds a charge forever (months, honestly), so it's perfect for traveling, especially if you're on the road and unable to reach an outlet.

After using the Foreo Luna for a few weeks, we definitely noticed an improvement in our skintone and, maybe we're imagining things, but we feel like our moisturizer has been sinking in better at night after using the Luna. While our skin isn't super sensitive over here, we're pleased with how gentle the Luna is - if we get all skin paranoid and decide to use it in the morning and at night, our skin doesn't get irritated at all. Comparable products have felt a little more abrasive and have left our skin irritated after using multiple times, so the Luna is great if you're a skincare nut and like to wash your face multiple times a day.

The only limitations to the Luna is that Foreo recommends not using any clay-based or oil-based cleansers, as well as any cleansers with scrubbing beads in them. There are so many inexpensive and effective cream and foaming cleansers, though, that we hardly see it as a drawback. The Luna is great at exfoliating on its own, which means that we don't even miss our cleansers with scrubbing beads. (Plus, we've heard some of those can tear up your skin anyway.) Overall, the Luna gets a solid two thumbs up from us.

We'll be over here petting our baby soft skin if you need anything.



Best cleansers to use:

Mizon Egg White Bubble Cleanser

Farmaesthetics Fine Herbal Cleanser

NUXE Micellar Foam Cleanser With Rose Petals

Skinfood Green Tea Bubble Cleansing Foam

Mizon Acence Anti-Blemish Cleanser




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Shop Beauty

Dreamers and Doers Come Together: Mark and Daisy McNairy

Here are a few things to know about Mark McNairy:
-Even though his nickname is "McNasty" and he designs shoes with "Fuck off" stamped in gold on the soles...he's actually a pretty nice guy.
-He once owned 20,000 records but sold them all.
-He loves Popeye's fried chicken.

Here are a few things to know about Daisy McNairy:
-She simultaneously thinks she should get out of New York and that it is the greatest place on earth. And is aware of the irony.
-She is convinced something shady is going on underneath her Chinatown apartment ("There should not be a Range Rover parked outside...")
-She doesn't want to be asked what she wants to "do with her life," not because she doesn't know what she wants but because she wants to do everything.

When we met at the McNairy showroom in NYC, 20-year-old Daisy McNairy is freshly-enrolled at the New School after taking some time off college to figure out what she wants. Self-aware and articulate, Daisy grew up between New Orleans and New York City, a mash-up she's quick to identify as providing her with perspective and far-reaching interests from women's studies to writing. 

Mark McNairy is a designer who plays by his own rules. Eschewing traditional collections, McNairy's work is incepted by moments — random bursts of inspiration that originate from, say, race cars or a guy he sees on the street or, perhaps most importantly, his constant exploration of, "What would happen if…" It has resulted in a style that speaks to both hip hop artists and Southern dandies — lucky for us, this month McNairy is taking "everything [he does] and putting it in one space" with a pop-up at Brooklyn's Space Ninety 8.  

We spent a morning with Mark and Daisy to learn more about what makes them both tick. 
Photographs by Clement Pascal.



Daisy, you basically grew up in the fashion industry and must have a pretty deep understanding of what goes into it. Is it something you're drawn toward pursuing at all?

DM: Fashion has been a constant in my life. It's always just been there so I've never had to make a "decision" about it. I remember going through the "I want to be a designer" phase when I was younger, but now, I don't feel that same pull toward it. I've been thinking about, what is it that I gravitate toward? Thinking about, you know that saying: "you should do what you procrastinate with"? Or whatever you find yourself procrastinating with is probably what you love…?

MM: I've never heard that.

DM: What? You haven't?

So what do you procrastinate with?

DM: Oh, a lot of things!

MM: You like to shop.

DM: It's true.

MM: I was a shopper too. I loved clothes growing up and I spent all my money on records and clothes. I started with athletic clothes, when I was working at a sporting goods store and making T-shirts. I had access to all the tools we used back in the old day to make team uniforms with the numbers and the letters. Then, I started becoming interested in thrift stores in high school. 



Is that still something you do?

DM: We used to every weekend, any free day, any road trip! Lots of pulling over to every roadside thrift store. 

MM: Whenever I travel, that's my main goal. I rip out the thrift store page in the yellow pages. I don't have as much time to do that anymore, though. I do still go to flea markets pretty often — there's a good shitty one in Jersey on Saturday mornings. 

What are you looking for?

MM: I'm just treasure hunting. But I'm always looking for old clothes, military stuff, records.



Are you a record collector?

MM: I used to be. I got rid of them twice but I had between 10,000-20,000. I refused to get a CD player. But I finally gave in, and records became stupid. You just have to get up every 15 minutes to flip it!

You've collaborated on clothing pieces with hip hop artists, like Pharrell and Cam'ron. Do you listen to it?

MM: I never listened to hip hop until I started working with Pharrell. I hated it! It just wasn't for me. I didn't get it. Singing about me me me, and money and hoes and gold chains didn't appeal to me. But then my brother turned me on to Kanye and I started listening to that. There was just a lot of good stuff that I missed and didn't know about. 



It's cool that you've been able to collaborate with a wide range of people and kind of make your own rules in how you approach your brand. It seems like your collections are the same way — more inspired by moments. 

MM: I like that. I'm going to use that to explain myself…my "inspiration is moment-based."

Can you think of any of these specific moments?

MM: One recent thing is looking at pictures of vintage race cars, with the circles and numbers. I see that and it's striking to me in a way that can work with graphics. I do a collection with Kazuki Kuraishi from Heather Grey Wall and I remember in Paris we were scheduled to meet at the trade show. I had thought of absolutely nothing; I had no ideas whatsoever. I saw a guy walking by in a red nylon jacket and James Dean popped into my head. So my idea was, tape seam jacket in red nylon. I've also been infatuated with the Stetson Open Road hat, so that vision of James Dean with the cowboy hat down.

And then, I had to do this European presentation, and I asked my assistant to draw these trousers in gray with a navy blazer. And I got the sketch and it was reversed — he'd made the trousers navy and the blazer gray. At first I was like, "you idiot!" And then I was like, "Oh… wait a minute." And so then the idea came together about, let's just reverse everything. Let's do gray blazers with navy pants. Let's do a military shirt in blue oxford cloth. Let's do a button-down shirt in khaki poplin, let's do a jean and khaki twill. Let's do a military chino in denim. The whole thing is reversing. It's taking things I see and turning them into something else. 



Daisy, do you think in a similar way?

DM: I relate to it. I'm not producing anything. There's nothing tangible for people to see. But when I think about ideas they are sparked by random things that I have trouble explaining. 

You've taken some time off school to figure out what's next — do you think that's a product of a new generation's way of thinking about careers? That there's not as much pressure to just "make a choice" about what you want to do?

DM: The past two years for me have been about branching out and seeing what else exists — I know so many people my age who just don't really know, and I know that comes with being young. But it's confusing because when I talk to older people who have had success I feel like they say, "Well, I just kind of fell into it." 

Maybe some of that has to do with location? You talked about how you feel that opportunity more when you're in New York.

DM: Yeah, exactly, that's one of the best things about living here — you can just really let it happen that way. Traditionally, and still in a lot of places, there's a lot of pressure to make a choice. I feel like here there are so many opportunities to pull you in different ways. Whereas other places there's not as much temptation. 

MM: That's what happened to me. I didn't know what I was doing. I moved here and things just happened. 

DM: Here I feel like I can do anything. I have such a broad range of interests that I haven't been able to pin down. . . yet. 


Mark McNairy's pop-up is up 9/12-10/31 at Space Ninety 8

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

Dreamers and Doers Come Together: Baggu


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

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

Photography by Aaron Wojack






Can you tell us about the beginnings of Baggu?


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

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

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



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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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





What is a typical day like for you?

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








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


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

How To: Make a Bag



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



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



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



4. Sew your seams straight.



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



6. Pinning in handles.



7. Ta-da! A simple daypack.

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