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February 27, 2007

Reality Bites Atlanta

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On Thrusday February 1st, Universal Gear Atlanta teamed up with cast members from the Real World Denver and The Apprentice for an amazing fashion show called REALITY BITES at the infamous
WETbar in Atlanta. The house was packed, standing room only.

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The show started off with local celebrity, Genre, doing an appropriate rendention of ‘Fashionista’. Then came the models! They started on a rotating dance floor where they were all still-modeling until it was time to hit the catwalk. (The last one was a little dizzy from spinning around so many times before it was his time to strut his stuff!)

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Alex and Davis from Real World Denver started off the show in Diesel and Ben Sherman. Next was Carey from The Apprentice working it in his hot Diesel outfit. Then the local hotlanta boys tore up the runway not letting their famous counterparts up-stage them. We saw outfits from Energie, G-Star, Triple 5 Soul, True Religion, and Diesel. We even saw dollars flying from the audience trying to get the boys to take off those hot clothes they had on.

As the show went on, the clothes started coming off and getting smaller and smaller, ending up in swimsuits and even hot new underwear.

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The show ended with the final call back and a huge round of applause and screams. The models then mingled through the bar and chatted with the crowd.

--Shawn

Shawn is our Atlanta Store Manager.
Photos by Gary Salles

February 21, 2007

Carey Hess

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Carey describes himself as “Just your average everyday photographer with a bit of an overactive imagination!”. He is right and wrong. He definitely has an overactive imagination but there is nothing average about his photography.

I discovered our newest photographer on a modeling and photography networking site. I was looking for something that jumped out at me - something that showed passion. His photos, although mostly of women, were great. The composition, lighting and best of all product focus. His photography reminds me of David LaCapelle but more refined.

We had our first meeting, just to see if he would be right for us, and I could tell this was the person we wanted shooting our next couple promotions. You can see his work in our current denim campaign and you can read more about our rockin’ winter shoot here.

If you don’t currently get our mailings you can sign up here.

Get to know more about Carey and his photography below.

Meet the Photographer: Carey Hess

1 - Where are you from originally? Washington, DC

2 - What made you get into photography? Well I was always into arts. But I got into photography because growing up it was my way of capturing life and keeping memories I didn’t want to forget. I remember always having a camera on me and realized that this is something I could and wanted to do.

3 - How long have you been doing photography? I’ve been doing photography for about ten years but only professionally for about a year now. I took one class in college and everything else is self-taught.

4 - What do you do when not photographing? Lately I’ve been working about 90 hours a week doing this so I’m starting to forget what a life is!! :) Seriously, when I do have time off, I’m either relaxing on my couch with my puppy catching up on good movies and good music or out with my friends doing whatever fun there is to do.

5 - What do you look for in a model? Honestly, personality. I think that it is the most important quality that I need for the style of photography that I do. I’ve learned that you can see the models having fun in my pictures and they are full of life. I’ve noticed the more quiet or serious models that walk in the door and can’t relax or open up; their pictures are never quite as good. As for looks, there is no specific look that I go for. It depends on what I want to shoot and who can fit that part. You don’t have to be beautiful supermodel to work with me and I’ve shown that in my work.

6 - If you could describe your style in three words what would those words be? I’d like to say colorful, creative, and fashionable but honestly I’m growing and learning everyday so I don’t know if three words could describe my style.

7 - Where is your favorite place to shoot? Being mostly a location photographer, I don’t have a favorite place to shoot. I’ve learned that the world is my location and I’ve shot in the most random places and made it work. From my closet, to bathrooms, large fields in the middle of nowhere, in the studio...they are all fun and push my creativity.

8 - When photographing, what body part gives you the most trouble? Haha, still don’t like shooting the backsides of models. I shoot at different angles and the butt is always a difficult part to shoot because at those angles you have to make sure it doesn’t look way too big or way too small!!

9 - What is the ultimate location you want to shoot in? I’ve yet to shoot at the beach and I can’t wait. When the weather gets warmer my plan is to do a lot of shooting at beaches up and down the east coast.

10 - What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you during a shoot? Wow, I’ve had way too many funny things happen to even begin to recall!!

11 - How about the most embarrassing thing that has happened? I would have to say when I split my pants out on a shoot. I was in a very awkward position trying to get this shot and then my pants just ripped right up the back. We had a few more hours of shooting and I had to walk around with my behind hanging out! Only me.

12 - If you were to move, where would you go? I would love to be in New York or LA.

13 - Other than photography, what are you passionate about? I would have to say my arts and music. Those are the things that I live for and can’t live without. Creativity feeds me and pushes me and it keeps the fire alive in me.

14 - What advice would you give to aspiring models? Don’t ever sell yourself short. Work with the best photographers you can and don’t settle for less. It will show in your portfolio and people will notice. Also be diverse, you want to be able to show many different sides of yourself. Push yourself to be creative because people want to see you can step out of the box and do different things and it will help you get attention.

15 - What about aspiring photographers? The best advice I tell all aspiring photographers is two very important things. The first is to learn to take criticism and learn it quick. Not everyone is going to like your work and there is nothing you can do about it. There will always be people who don’t see what you see or don’t like your style or this or that and you need to realize that it’s ok. It should only make you work harder and sometimes not make the same mistakes twice. The second, and most important advice I can give, is do what you love and stay true to you. When you’re doing what you love you’ll always be happy and everything will just fall into place.

See more of Carey’s work at CareyHess.com. And be on the lookout for his work in our upcoming underwear promotion.

--Jim

February 16, 2007

Warm up at Universal Gear Chicago

ATTENTION CHICAGO READERS

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Want to be the first to hear about events like this? Click here to sign up for our mailing list!

--Jim

February 12, 2007

Rockin' Winter Photoshoot

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Compared to last year’s winter photo shoot, this year’s was just as cold and just as hot - we were in Washington DC rather than Miami. Covering our denim and our underwear promotions, the shoot took place at bebar, a great new space in DC. Once again we worked with R&L Model Management in NY to guarantee us the best models for the job. As you can tell, Anthony and Shawn fit the bill and did an amazing job.

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Our photographer is somewhat of a find. His name is Carey Hess and we were very lucky to get him early in his career. He has an amazing eye and he did a phenomenal job the day of the shoot. He was great with the models and worked tirelessly for us. The images speak for themselves, click below the out takes to see the new denim campaign images.

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Our 2 amazing stylist, Jason Santiago [left] and Jesse Harbaugh [right].

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Getting to show the models how great some of the shots look. [l to r] Me, Anthony, Carey and Shawn.

Now take a look at the finished product. rock your denim |1|2|3|4|5|6|

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog entries on Shawn, Carey Hess and our underwear photo shoot.

--Jim

February 05, 2007

Anthony

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Little did we know when we booked Anthony for our rockin’ winter photo shoot that his journey into modeling started all the way back in Texas. As it turns out, one of our favorite photographers - Bruno Rand - shot Anthony a while back and brought him to New York to see the agencies. Anthony was snapped up and continues to keep working and winning clients.

You would never guess he is so young when you talk to him - he’s 20. He is personable and a hard worker, always willing to add to the creative outcome of the shoot. [The personable part probably comes from being Texan] Although Anthony is not featured on our home page he is featured on the cover of our current mailing and in our store windows. If you don’t currently get our mailings you can sign up here.

Take a minute to get to know Anthony.


Meet the Model: Anthony

1 - Where are you from originally?
Magnolia, TX

[“Magnolia, Texas is a wonderful town just north of Houston. It’s a serene area with great people, complemented by a country atmosphere. The landscape is filled with beautiful forests, peaceful pastures, rolling hills and much more.” --magnoliatx.com]

2 - What initially drew you to modeling? I use to be Abercrombie shirtless greeter.

[“Today at the Abercrombie & Fitch store at The Grove they were using the easiest trick in the book to lure in teenage girls and gay men: young male flesh.” --towleroad.com]

3 - What do you do to stay in shape? I seriously workout and obey a strict diet.

4 - What’s your least favorite body part? My feet.

5 - Besides modeling, what do you enjoy in life? I play the guitar and I’m into acting.

[Anthony, you may be a “bit young” to know this man but if you enjoy playing the guitar you need to hear him. --www.jimcroce.com]

6 - Who are your favorite photographers? Bruce Weber

[“Visionaire (by Bruce Weber) is a multi-format fashion and art publication released thrice yearly as collectible limited editions.” Click the image to learn more.]

7 - Who is the most famous person you have ever met? P. Diddy

[“You know how you feel when one of my records come on.” --diddy.com]

8 - Who is the most interesting person in your cell phone? My grandpa

[Is this the most endearing thing you have ever heard?]

9 - If we would give you $100,000, what would you do with it? Invest it and move into a better apartment.

[Oh wow, completely took away any southern hospitality idea we had about you. I think New York has taken over. ;)]

10 - Tell us a secret about yourself your mother doesn’t know. I tell my mother everything

[Good boy]

11 - Boxers or Briefs? Boxers

12 - What brand would we find most in your closet? Dickies

[Hmmm, we don't know how to respond to this.]

13 - What’s playing in your iPod right now? underoath

[“Underoath have single-handedly given hope to a genre ripe with rip-offs, carbon copies, and flavor of the week musical acts. ” Click the image to learn more.]

Some more shots of Anthony from our great “rockin’ winter shoot”. |1|2|3|4| Stay tuned for more updates about our winter shoot.

--Jim

Scotch & Soda

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When Chord and I attend the trade shows, we invariably leave excited about a new brand. In past years, those brands have included Ben Sherman, Penguin, Replay and John Varvatos/Converse. This past year, however, there was one brand that had the entire show buzzing with excitement: Scotch & Soda.

One of the fastest growing men's sportwear lines in Europe, the Amsterdam-based brand made a big splash last year at Project Las Vegas and will hit US stores for the first time in Spring 2007.

So what's so great about it? DNR magazine said, "it's that price-value combination and an appealing Abercrombie-meets-Trovata aesthetic that have helped Scotch & Soda grow from sales of less than $12 million in 2001 to $68 million in 2005." The product is innovative (including lots of unexpected layered looks) yet price points are more reasonable than fellow European brands like Diesel and Energie.

New management changes have recently helped put the brand on the map on this side of the Atlantic. To inspire its design team, the company moved to new headquarters in a former 18th century church in downtown Amsterdam. And, like Diesel, they send their design team all over the world to help inject more international flair and classic vintage styling into the designs.

Stay tuned...Scotch & Soda should be arriving at Universal Gear in February 2007.

-- Ricardo