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July 30, 2009

Let’s keep it Private

In late June Universal Gear launched its Summer 09 Private Label athletics line, Universal Athletics. Since 2004 UG has designed and created its own brand of unique athletic wear, each line is inspired by our customers and the cities Universal Gear calls home. This is year is no exception, keeping with the times we have incorporated burn out fabrics and distressed prints to give a youthful edgy look while still maintaining the brands athletic core. These Tees, Tanks, and Muscles are sold exclusively at Universal Gear and Universal, and let me just say that this years batch is probably one of my favorites. Check out our full assortment at

Universal Athletics; mixing style and comfort since 2004

--Dustin Schaad


July 20, 2009

Model Focus - Dylan Davis


You might have noticed this young man recently if you've shopped our stores or surfed our site, Dylan Davis has been our lead model in several campaigns as well as our head model for I thought it was high time we take a deeper look into those baby blues and find out, Who is Dylan?

When I first met Dylan, I was seventeen and crashing a dorm party at the Ringling School of Art and Design. If you've seen any of Dylan's ads you can tell it wasn't hard for this then wide-eyed teen from small town Florida to spot him from across the room. We had a brief conversation and he introduced me to a few of his friends, Dylan seemed like a great guy, little did I know that in seven years time he would be modeling for a company I worked for and I would be writing about him. Earlier this week I sent Mr. Davis a questionnaire, with the standards and a few fun questions thrown in for good measure, Surprisingly what I got back was a great deal more.

Dylan was born in Evergreen, Colorado but by age four he moved to Panama with his mother and two sisters to live with his grandfather, the Ambassador. Growing up in Panama, he learned to speak both Spanish and English, when he was six, the family moved back to the states and Davis feeling insecure and awkward about his bilingual abilities he forwent the usage of his Spanish tongue, something he regrets to this day. Dylan developed a taste and skill for the arts very young and during his junior and senior years of high school went to the Interlochen Arts Academy. Dylan found this environment intellectually stimulating and freeing, after finishing boarding school he completed the first of many commissions over that following summer. Dylan proceeded to go to Art School at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota Florida where he graduated with the class of 2005. Following School in Florida he spent two years in NYC and is coming on his second year in DC. When Davis is not hard at work in the studio he makes a little extra on the side bartending. District residents who frequent the popular 17th street lounge, Cobalt, all know Dylan. " It's had it's up and downs, but right now Cobalt is a very positive work experience. I feel EXTREMELY lucky to have a job where I go in, make drinks, get compliments, and have plenty of time to paint." Dylan says. (Trust me, he makes one mean Cosmo!)

Recently Dylan had a show here in DC that was a huge success, something he attributes to the power of Facebook and good friends. Besides being modest, he is also quite the model, Dylan has modeled for Universal Gear since the winter of 07 starting off doing various fashion shows and then on to ad work (that's right I may of had a little hand in twisting his arm to do the first fashion show, guilty). Currently he is "painting more then ever, living on my favorite street in DC (14th and P) and enjoying urban life." If you would like to get to know Dylan Davis a little better check out his model questionnaire below.

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What interested you in modeling?
Well, I've always pursued art in general, which includes photography, so I actually was quite uncomfortable in front of a camera. Tending bar and having people take pictures of me shirtless (aka hundreds of shirtless pics of me untagged on facebook) helped me learn to be more natural and relaxed in front of the camera. Generally people have asked me if I model and that's where you came in again Dustin. You were one of the first people to ask me to do something more serious when you asked me to do a runway show for universal gear. I had fun with it and after you referred me to the universal gear website here I am posing every week for the new arrivals and email ads.

Do you see a future in it? Where do you want to be in ten years time?
I definitely see a future in modeling. I never really pursued it and it kind of found me, and if that's not a sign, I don't know what is. As for being the cover of GQ I'm not too sure about that, lol. Right now I'm just having a great time posing for your talented photographer Will Gordon. We shoot the shit and have fun. I think we have a great model/photographer chemistry.
As for where I want to be in ten years, Ideally selling my art for millions of dollars and posing on the cover of GQ shirtless and covered in paint with an article on the artist "Dylan Davis" As for where I think I'll be, it's hard to say. Life is unpredictable and I like it that way.

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I know that you are a self-proclaimed G-Star "whore" what about this brand do you love?
What makes me a G-star whore is that I've actually had to impose sanctions on my G-star spending. My favorite thing about G-star is the patchy look of the shorts and jeans. I think the jeans have a very nice deconstructive feel to them, but are well crafted. I used to think that they were pricey, but it's well worth it. I'd rather buy one pair of jeans that I'll keep forever, rather then waisting the same amount of money on 3 pairs of crappy Jeans that end up becoming my "painting jeans"¦ which actually end of looking pretty cool once they're covered in paint, lol.

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Are there any other brands that you love?
I love Aqua (shirs, hats), red-monkey (hats), lulu moon (workout), puma (shoes, socks), diesel (everything), prada (sunglasses), Affliction (hats, shirts) and anything that is a bargain. Believe it or not, most of my shopping is bargain.

What's your favorite underwear brand?
I probably have to go with Rips. It fits me well.

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Have you been noticed more since you started our ad campaigns? (Not that you weren't already Mr. Popular, seeing as you are a very well liked bartender at one of the most notable bars in DC.)
Yes I have been noticed more. I had some friends from Chicago, NYC, and of course DC congratulate me. I'm just having fun and really don't take myself too seriously. I'm confident and not cocky, and would like to close by saying that everyone should have confidence and not let anyone drag you down.

If you could invite 3 people living or dead to a dinner party who would you choose?
Hmmm, I'd choose Michelangelo, Barack Obama and Jackie Kennedy.
What would you serve them?
Oh, I wouldn't serve them, I'd take them to my favorite restaurant, Posto

--Dustin Schaad

July 08, 2009

Put some muscle into It

From the neon spandex clad 80's (thanks Olivia) to the classic grey and black cotton combos of the 90's (thanks Calvin), fashion and physical fitness have always been the best of friends. Well guys, it's 2009 and it's high time you checked your look...are you still wearing the passe A&F tank (so 2000) or have you stepped up your game?
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For freshness in the athletics realm we look to fashion designer turned reality star, Andrew Christian for a few pointers. Andrew has come out with a fun collegiate inspired athletic line that has a comfortable fit mixed with a cool retro-jock feel. Using a lot of heathers and navy's with a touch of red, the Andrew Christian line has an All-American look. It's complimented with contrast stitching and retro 70's piping with patchwork lettering and vintage detailing. Christian plays with lengths and silhouettes in this line; here you can find your basic crew necks and tanks along with a few new v-neck styles as well as shorts ranging from long, medium and upper thigh lengths. Click here to view the entire Andrew Christian line sold here at Universal Gear.

* In case the name Andrew Christian sounds familiar, it's probably because you've seen him on Bravo's hit TV reality series, The Fashion Show. Click here to catch up on this celebrity designer.
Until next, love, peace and all things fashion.
--Dustin Schaad

July 06, 2009

Summer Style Trend

It's Summer 2009 boys, are you still sporting last year's look? Don't be caught off guard, here's one summer style trend that is easy to capture; This season is all about relaxing and going with the flow. We are seeing a lot of collegiate tees and cut off shorts. Grays, Whites, & Khakis are all over, as well as burnout tees and light weight fabrics.

To achieve this laid-back look, shop around for great styles that are smart and versatile. Save Khaki has a great line of cut off corduroy shorts that are very in this season. These styles showcase a unique, quirky feel that's perfect for summer. Note the detailing, length and cut of the shorts as well as the raw edge finish (a must have in my book). Compliment this look by adding a vintage collegiate inspired top by Chip & Pepper, Chaser, Diesel, or our own private label UGT. Tie the look together with a canvas belt and you have a new hip look.

If you want to accessorize this look, keep it simple; A comfortable pair of sandals (might I suggest Bed Stu), and casual watch are all you need (try a funky Diesel watch). If you need a bag, go with a messenger style or a fun fashion tote. This trend is all about having a laid-back attitude and enjoying the moment. Until next, love, peace and all things fashion.

--Dustin Schaad