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July 25, 2006

What's hot for fall

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1 STRAIGHT LEGS
Perhaps the biggest trend for Fall is the comeback of the slimmer straight leg jean. Our top brands have featured everything from a basic straight leg (meaning the circumference at the knee stays the same all the way down to the ankle) to tapered legs (remember the 80’s?). From Diesel, look for the Viker jean (a sexy low rise jean similar to the ever-popular Zathan down to the knee, but with a straight leg finish instead of the boot cut opening) or the Yarik (which usually features zippers and amazing embroidery on the back pockets). For die-hard Levi’s aficionados, the Hesher jean will be back this Fall (a slightly relaxed straight leg jean perfect for those of you with muscular thighs). Or, for the more fashion-forward guy, it’s time for Matchstick-a leaner, sexier jean that tapers ever so slightly at the opening (perfect to help you recreate that sexy rocker look with a vintage tee and some boots).

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--Ricardo

cashmere.jpg2 CASHMERE
More, More, More

You asked for it and like the postman - we always deliver. This year’s line up of cashmere sweaters is all about more. After last year’s success we went back to drawing board to deliver more options, more colors and more of what you love most - cashmere. For this year’s collection, we dove into the archives to bring you a fleet of new colors matched with an updated super-soft cashmere silk blend. The color story this year was inspired by deep gem hues of plum, scarlet and navy all highlighted with softer shades of cream and tan. The feel is one of late 80’s decadence and splendor. The sweaters have a unique contour fit, which excentuates the body you worked out hard for (while still leaving room for you to wear a nice woven shirt underneath). Our favorite? Look for the plum purple v-neck sweater that should hit our stores in late September.

--Chord

CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK FOR
MORE
HOT ITEMS FOR FALL

“It all started with an old parachute...”

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Last month, Diesel once again graciously invited us to attend the unveiling of their Spring 2007 collection in Greece. And once again, we were sworn to secrecy about the details of the collection (but don’t worry, we’ll throw some hints out there to whet your appetite).

One of the highlights for us was learning more about the design process. For inspiration, Diesel sends the design team to new locations each season. At their destination, the designers find specific locations, objects, people, local customs or even phrases that become the muses for the collection. Each season if you look closely enough, you can uncover the small details the designers sprinkled throughout the collection that go along with the theme. Sometimes, these details are obvious and boldly written across a t-shirt. Other times, they’re subtle--an embroidered symbol inside the collar or the old “For successful living” slogan written in a foreign language.

For Spring 2007, one of the items that inspired the collection was an old parachute they found in an LA vintage store (at least that’s what the slim designer from Denmark told me when we were sipping pina coladas by the pool). While watching the fashion show, I was amazed by how frequently the parachute features he described (the discoloration of the canopy, the hanging adjustable straps and toggles and the military feel) made their way into specific items in the collection.

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What else can you expect? Super-soft fabrics (including luxurious cashmere tees), slimmer straight-leg jeans (look for the Safado Jean in a great bleached wash in February/March 2007) and shorter everything (including slightly shorter casual shorts). Photography during the fashion show was strictly prohibited, but we managed to snag one picture for you. Stay tuned here for more updates on Spring trends.

Like last year, the camaraderie of the Diesel family was another highlight. Every year, several hundred Diesel employees from all over the world meet for this event. Their energy and passion for the brand are absolutely contagious. Our meals together were outrageous 3-hour long events full of laughter, Greek wine and a ridiculous amount of eggplant and feta cheese (I’m not kidding, we ate more feta cheese those 3 days than I think I’ve eaten in the past 3 decades).

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"Chord and Ricardo bond with their Diesel sales manager Carmela"

--Ricardo

July 18, 2006

Spotted Being The Best: Time Out Chicago

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We don't like to toot our own horns (oh who am I kidding, we LOVE to brag), but in this month's Time Out Chicago, we were voted best men's clothing store in a head to head contest!

In an article comparing two major parts of Chicago, Boystown and Andersonville, Time Out Chicago judged the worthiness of the area on several factors including men's clothing stores. While the challenger put up a good fight (we won), TOC cited our diverse casual wear selection (we won) with the brands like Diesel, Calvin Klein and Penguin as a great reason to shop with us (we won). The lynchpin however, was our expansive underwear selection (we won, we won, we won)!

Want to see what they're talking about? Click here to check out universalgear.com or if you are in the Chicago area, head down to the store at 3153 N. Broadway!

-- Jon

July 17, 2006

Introducing the Levi’s Matchstick Jean

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(click image to see full size)

Incendiary!

This just in! Check out the first ad from the brand new Levi's campaign for Fall. The ad features the hot new Matchstick Jean in a dark wash with light whiskering. It's low-rise with a slim (slightly-tapered) leg for an ultra sexy fit.

Get them here!

-- Jon

July 14, 2006

Meet the Authors

jon.jpgThe Sarcastic E-Marketer

As our Marketing Assistant, Jon is responsible for our website visuals and our online marketing programs (including the nice emails you receive every week). Jon recently won the company's coveted "Most Improved Dresser" award for 2005. As an overachiever, he's hoping for a repeat in 2006 and is even considering really stepping out this month and buying a western shirt.

Jon is one of the more kind-hearted people around (though his sisters would probably argue with that). He is unusually intuitive, insanely sarcastic and is obsessed with science-fiction movies, sweet and sour chicken and dark chocolate.

chord.jpgThe Style Maven

Chord's philanthropic mission in life is to help former clubwear junkies (think tight YMLA shirts from the late 90's) make a full and complete recovery into Diesel, Energie and G-Star. As our Buyer, he's responsible for a good chunk of the clothing you see in our stores. He spends a lot of time on his appearance and has earned the distinction of the Charlotte of the group (with a little bit of Carrie’s passion for fabulous shoes thrown in for good measure).

Chord is a bright ray of sunshine and secretly wonders why he’s not famous yet. He enjoys running, making fashion statements and is fully immersing himself in his new hobby: finding the world's best sushi.

jim.jpgThe Crazy Creative Type

As our Creative Director, Jim oversees our promotional calendar planning window campaigns, postcards and photo shoots. He is a media junkie and subscribes to magazines and blogs most of us have never heard of (many of which might be illegal in some countries).

He is complex, somewhat mysterious, thoughtful and never content to skate on the surface. He enjoys Friday nights more than most people and has a killer collection of plaid pants and shorts. You can find Jim every Summer in a number of compromising positions at the annual Burning Man Festival.

ricardo.jpgThe Devil Who Wears Diesel

As our Vice-President, Ricardo oversees marketing, buying, operations, ecommerce and finance for UG. He is also responsible for UG's international imports and insists his annual buying trip to Rio is all work and no play (we don't believe him either).

Optimistic to a fault, Ricardo is friendly, charming and great with people. His obsessions range from Wimbledon to the Academy Awards. He lives for the beach and few things make him happier than a good meal with lots of carbohydrates. Though he owns several dozen pairs of jeans, he often complains about having nothing to wear.