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October 31, 2006

Bruno Rand

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Do you like our recent cashmere campaign? If you answer yes (and you'd better) then allow me to introduce you to the man responsible, Bruno Rand! Bruno is a fashion photographer based out of both Washington DC and New York City (although he often shoots in locations like Miami and LA). He approached us a little over a year ago about doing some work on our upcoming photoshoots. Since that time he has been responsible for several of our campaigns including the ultra-sexy shoot for our Spring 2006 Underwear Sale (image below). After this most recent shoot, we thought it would be fun to introduce you to the man behind the camera.

Meet The Photographer: Bruno Rand

Where are you from originally? Arkansas

What made you get into photography? I was living in Los Angeles, working as a playwright and writing screenplays, and all my friends, who were actors and models, started asking me to shoot their headshots and portfolios after seeing some of my snapshots... I enjoyed the more serious photography so much that I started pursuing it as part-time profession.

How long have you been doing photography? As a hobby, all my life... more seriously, six years.

What do you do when not photographing? Writing.

What do you look for in a model? Personality, personality, personality! I think the best models are the ones with the best personalities, not the best looks. As for the look of the model, it depends on what I'm shooting... if I'm shooting fashion, I look for the more traditional fashion model, thin, exotic looks... if I'm shooting physique studies or artistic nudes, I look for more muscular, more all american looks. But not even the best looks can overcome a boring personality. The camera knows!!

If you could describe your style in three words what would those words be? Definitely still learning.

Where is your favorite place to shoot? An unusual looking location, i.e. an old warehouse, an old house, or someone's house that is decorated with very modern, trendy furniture with lots of color.

When photographing, what body part gives you the most trouble? Hands when shooting... hair when styling, I can't do hair.

What is your ultimate location you want to shoot in? My own studio in Soho, New York with the most expensive lights money can buy!

What's the funniest thing that has happened to you during a shoot? Trying to explain to male models during an underwear shoot why they need to "fluff it up".

How about the most embarrassing thing that has happened? Trying to explain to male models during an underwear shoot why they need to "fluff it up", haha.

If you were to move, where would you go? I'm actually moving back to New York City.

Other than photography, what are you passionate about? Writing, politics, movies, television, pop culture.

What advice would you give to aspiring models? Do your homework. No lawyer would go into a courtroom without studying law, no doctor would take a patient without studying medicine, yet models think they can just show up and model, without studying the profession, the business or the skills needed. It's a definite formula for failure. Don't be lazy, do your homework.

What about aspiring photographers? Shoot what you love. The worst stuff I've ever shot was produced when I was trying to shoot things that someone else wanted. Shoot what you love, and if you're work is good, someone will find it and like it.

View some of Bruno's past campaign images! [1] [2] [3] [4]

Photography Bruno Rand.

-- Jon

October 30, 2006

Spotted Being The Best: Washington Blade

The votes have been tallied and the results are in:

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Universal Gear called Washington DC's best men's clothing store by the Washington Blade!

Every year the Blade holds a vote by its readers on everything from the best bars and clubs, to the best restaurants and gyms. Citing both our great location (1601 17th St, NW) and an amazing selection of jeans, Universal Gear is (once again in case you missed it...) Washington DC's best men's clothing store!

-- Jon

October 25, 2006

Premium Blend

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This year’s batch of Universal Gear sweaters features an artisan blend of ultra soft cashmere and silk. The result is a refined fabric that exudes comfort, luxury and elegance. Opulence; of course, doesn’t come without work and the journey from fiber to fabric is actually a fascinating one.

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Both of these fibers have intriguing histories. Cashmere on the one hand is obtained from the Kashmir goat, which is indigenous to high plateaus of Asia. The ultra soft hair grows on the underbelly of the goat and keeps it warm during the chilly winter season. Cashmere is then trimmed and separated from the rest of the goat’s hair. This process is very costly and time consuming and usually less than half of all the fiber harvested can actually be called pure cashmere. Silk on the other hand comes to us from the humble silkworm. The protein fiber is spun by the worm to create its cocoon. The cocoon is then harvested and slowly unraveled to collect the fiber, a process the Chinese have used since 3000 B.C.

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Today you can find the best of both these fabrics combined into one beautiful garment. Whether you are looking for v-neck, crew neck or a scarf - you can rest assured this fascinating fabric will leave you looking flawless.

--Chord

October 17, 2006

Matt

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Matt, our third model from our summer shoot, definitely didn’t come accross as a first timer. He was easy to work with and had a great sense of humor (albeit, a little bit on the raunchy side).

One thing that did shock us about him was discovering he had nipple rings. They weren’t there in any of the pictures we saw of him when we booked him. At first we weren’t sure whether to have him leave them in or take them out. So we tried both ways. In the denim part of the shoot you can see Matt’s piercings. In the other parts of the shoot we had him take them out. Unfortunately for Matt, by the end of the day the piercing holes had closed and he had to have them redone. Ouch!

Take a chance to get to know Matt below.

Meet the Model: Matt

1 - Where are you from originally? Rome, Pa . . . One of those small towns you see in a movie with one traffic light.

2 - What do you do when not modeling? Hang out with friends, play football, lacrosse, street hockey, basketball or any other sport that I can be involved in. I love to ride four-wheeler and hang out at the beach.

3 - How old are you? 20

4 - What's your work out routine like? I usually do legs once or twice a week, I’ll hit my abs everyday and sometimes twice, I’ll do my chest real hard twice a week and then I will work my arms and back in on the other days.

5 - What's your favorite body part? My favorite body part would have to be the lower abs around where the “V” is formed.

6 - 5 years from now where do you see yourself? In five years from now I still would love to be modeling. I would also like to see DCM, a clothing line for lacrosse t-shirts that I designed, to really be hitting the market.

7 - Do you have pets? I do not have any pets, but I do like them.

8 - What's your favorite vacation spot?I would have to pick the mountains over anywhere else, I love to go there and be in that environment and get nice and muddy riding four-wheelers.

9 - What's your favorite piece of clothing on universalgear.com I love jeans, so I would say any of the jeans.

10 - Boxers or Briefs? This is always a popular question . . . as long as they match the shirt I am wearing I don’t care if they are boxers or briefs.

11 - How long have you been modeling? UG was my first modeling job, but I have been in the business trying to establish myself for about a year.

12 - Funniest thing that has happened to you: Having some random person come up to me and asking me if I was related to Elvis.

13 - Most embarrassing thing that has happened to you:It takes a lot to embarrass me so, if there is anything, I am not admitting to it!!!

14 - If you moved where would you go?If I could move back to my hometown of Rome and still model I would do it in a heartbeat.

15 - What are you passionate about?I am passionate about being successful in life, about seeing DCM become a successful sports clothing line and modeling.

More pictures of Matt from our HOT SUMMER SHOOT! |1|2|3|4|5|6|7|

Photography Scott Henrichsen • Model Matt R&L Model Management

--Jim

October 12, 2006

Spotted Being Sadistic?

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Well apparently we've now been branded sadists by Kenneth over at kennethinthe212. I feel like that's a somewhat inaccurate portrait of us over here at Universal Gear (well except for Ricardo that is).

-- Jon

October 09, 2006

Boot - Delicious

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boots_02.jpgGo ahead, take a moment. Don’t worry... I won’t look. Take a deep breath and say that final goodbye to your flip flops. That’s right -- pack them way, close the box and put it under your bed - summer is officially over. It is time for you to trade in your sandals for something bit more substantial. Dry your tears, stand up straight and get ready for your introduction to boot camp.

That’s right; the boot is back this season with a fresh new military twist. It follows two of the seasons other hot trends, which include slimmer fitting jeans and the military inspired invasion. Kenneth Coles’ Army Gear is the perfect example of military meets Milan. The tough black boot has a rounded toe, rugged sole, worn in details and laces up to right above the ankle. The boot should be worn with slimmer fitting jeans like the Levi’s Matchstick. Tuck the bottom of the jean into the boot and only lace it up two thirds. Leave the top untied and let the tongue droop down bit. Top the look off with Affliction T over a white thermal. For those who are really looking to leave their mark complete the outfit with a pair of fingerless Andrew Christian gloves.

Now, forget about those flimsy flip flops. Get your chin up, straighten your back and get ready to march into fall the right way. Hooah!

-- Chord

October 05, 2006

Spotting Details

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We were recently mentioned in one of our favorite magazines, Details! The September issue highlighted aussieBum underwear available in our New York Store - 140 8th Ave.

-- Jon