From the monthly archives:

February 2007

It’s in the Genes

by Andy on February 27, 2007

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I have no idea why Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner are printed on this hoodie (any ideas?), but I do like the style. The drawing has a kind of 70s feels to it, a feeling that I’ve probably got from the one-colour print. Printed on Gildan Ultra Cotton.

Costiness=$65 URL

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Cotton Filter: 260207

by Andy on February 26, 2007

Yeah, a lot of this news is likely to have been covered whilst I’ve been away by other bloggers, but I’d like to clear my inbox of this info:

Orange Button: They dropped some cute new items. Check’em out.

Oddica: 4 new tees this month, and whilst the Exploded 8-track design looks good, I’m going to have to say that Gramaphone Ghosts is my favourite from this wave of releases.

Streetwear Store Locator: This is pretty cool, by utilising Google Maps a directory is coming together of good streetwear stores from around the world. If you own a bricks-and-mortar store then I recommend you get on their and add yourself in to help make this resource really valuable.

Stereo Panda: Their new Spring/Summer line dropped a couple of weeks ago, they had some limited edition stuff at launch which may or may not have sold out already, I can’t be sure.

Sascha Says: They sell some cool tees, but because they’re a bunch of Melbourne-based Aussies, they sell printed aprons too, love it!

Buttermilk: Such a cool website from this new tee label, it has grazing cows! And I actually like every tee in their rotating range, which makes a pleasant change!

ComBoutique: I like this startup, they’ve taken some of the best parts of other business models and combined them with their own style. You can make that one off tee, and it will be in a design competition as well. I haven’t really tested it yet, so my thoughts are based upon initial impressions, but I’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

Custom Dogs: Good designs, good prices, nicely designed website, poster prints that aren’t a rip off. Check it out.

Deathhippie: These guys have been getting a lot of press from people far more authoritative than me, and their goods are being worn by people far more famous than me (despite my appearance on Japanese TV), but I like their designs and want to give this brand more of a look in the coming days.

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HYA goes to Tokyo

by Andy on February 25, 2007

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If I were to sum up Tokyo in one word, it would be this: amazing. I totally loved the city and my time there.

I’m going to do a quick recap of my experience of clothing and shopping in Japan, parts of which I’ve already written about on my personal blog. For other coverage of my trip (most of which was done on bi-lingual keyboards, which I never fully understood) check out the Travel category on Bigguybigcity.com.

Shopping in Tokyo is very much an enjoyable experience, even for a guy who is far larger than most Japanese people (well, I do own a website called ‘a big guy in a big city’…). So even though I couldn’t fit in any of the clothes, most labels only went up to size large, I had a good time going through stores and seeing how their style differs from ours in the UK. And differ it does, Japan seems to suffer (or benefit) from fashion schizophrenia. On one hand there are a lot of very clean lines on subdued colours, sharply suited salarymen, elegant simplicity of design, basically these people were dressing well without attracting any attention for it. And on the other hand, cosplay, bright colours, giant sunglasses, punk-inspired aesthetics, geek-chic, ganguro style, ripped jeans, people who were clearly in their mid-20s dressing like schoolgirls, and a surprisingly large amount of tartan. I know its a blanket description, but I felt that in Tokyo people of all ages were more fashion conscious than those of us in Britain, and thats not meant to reflect badly on my home country, but there was a lot of horribly dressed people in Heathrow when I landed on Thrusday afternoon.

Considering Tokyo is meant to be one of the most expensive cities in the world I actually came home with quite a lot of Yen left over (and only hotel payments on my credit card). Of course there were a lot of expensive shops, but $1000 Louis Vitton bags aren’t particularly my thing (though their shops did look very cool), but there were also a lot of cheap places, such as the place where I bought a new white belt for Â¥525 (about $4). I also bought a cream coloured beanie for Â¥1050, and that came with a cool metal pin on it. When I see those kind of prices I don’t really understand why people were telling me how expensive Japan is, yes I did see a melon for Â¥11000 ($91!), but I also had lunches that were both tasty and substantial for less than $5, with tea included!

I think I’ve mentioned on HYA before that I don’t really understand the culture that there is surrounding limited edition and rare sneakers. I take it back, I get it now. To reference (probably incorrectly) one of my favourite movies, “you wouldn’t believe the things I’ve seen”. I did go to Japan with getting a pair of sneakers since I’d heard stories about how great the choice is there, and I wasn’t really dissapointed. I actually went into stores and gasped when I saw particularly nice shoes, if I weren’t in the land of otaku culture they probably would’ve thought I was weird. Admittedly, despite the wide choice I was pretty limited, whilst in the UK my feet aren’t out of the ordinary, in Japan they’re positively boat-like, and not a lot of sales people were rushing back to me with shoeboxes when I asked them for 11s. After 5 hours in Harajuku and Shibuya going around every store I could find I acutally bought a pair of Nike SBs (size 10.5, you gotta make sacrifices) from the very first store that I’d visited earlier in the morning.

They had some amazing t-shirt boutiques, Graniph were a particular favourite of mine, and because their sizes only went up to L my brother was the lucky recipient of this t-shirt, after I had explained to the (really quite cute) sales girl that I wasn’t going to attempt to squeeze myself into a tee that was merely large.

They do seem to have a penchant for hats, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a Japanese blog called ‘Hide Your Scalp’ out there, and there was several stores that only sold hats, and one which only sold trucker caps! There did seem to be a lot of identical items from store to store, but there was quite a lot of good stuff out there that wouldn’t be so easy to find in the UK where hats are generally an afterthought.

If I had really planned out this whole shopping thing out then I would have gone there with some business cards with HYAs address on them so that I could explain to the staff who I was and get some pictures of the stores and products, because there was some really cool stuff out there, but I guess there’s always next time…

Beyond clothing I had a fun time in Akihabara, the world famous electonics area and where my hotel was for the first week. Electronics certainly are cheaper there, but they weren’t exactly years ahead of us, and there was a lot less variety in terms of MP3 players and digital cameras than I had expectly, which resulted in me buying a iPod shuffle instead of something rather more exotic. And memory cards were surprisingly expensive, I spent about $70 on a SanDisk 1GB compact flash card for my camera, although I did find some cheap generic brands when I ventured into the backstreets of Akiba, though they were still on the expensive side. I also struggled to find ‘wacky Japan’ electronic souvenirs, and whilst a $1.50 USB-powered vibrator personal massage device shaped like a hand giving the Vs was quite funny, it wasn’t a purchase I was willing to make. The wackiest thing I could find was a solar-powered plastic plant, which has been happily flapping away on my windowsill for the past few days.

I’ll slowly be adding my favourite pictures from the 100s I took to my Zooomr profile over the next few days, so keep an eye on that if you want to see what I saw.

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Gone to Tokyo, back soon

by Andy on February 11, 2007

Since I’m going away on holiday without my laptop (I do have medicine for the inevitable panic attack of being away from my beloved Dell) I’m not going to be updating the site until after I get back on the 22nd.

The hotel I’m at from the 19th to the 22nd does claim to have a PC in every room, so maybe I’ll upload some pictures of all the cool clothes I’ve seen if I can.

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Soft Touch Reviews: Shane Grammer

by Andy on February 11, 2007

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I was all prepared for my break after last night’s Cordell post, and then this morning I got a rather nice package in the mail. It was from Shane Grammer, and it was quite a nice surprise.

Shane Grammer is an artist and designer in many different disciplines (since I’m not so au fait with the art world I assume that means working with different media?) and in one of those disciplines the canvas is cotton. And like many artists, Merchline has taken the hassle out of running a store and is providing the front-end for the shop.

I really like this image, it conveys quite a lot of feeling without me knowing a back story, the design is called ‘Fatherless Boy’ so you can pretty much interpret that any way you want. Oh, and to those desperate boyfriends out there, just because it has a heart on it and some pink it is not necessarily be the perfect Valentine’s Day present.

The printing if pretty heavy, so I think it would need a couple of washes for it to bed in first. The tee itself feels good and soft too, I should note that its slightly longer and tighter fitting than most stock brands I’ve worn, so if possible you should probably buy one larger than you usually would (unless you like’em tight). And for those of you that are logo obsessed, shanegrammer.com is printed in small letters on the left sleeve.

In terms of price I think $14.95 is pretty fair, although I don’t really know what we’re talking about in terms of shipping.

ShaneGrammer.com (Flash site)
Merchline Store

Click through for one more pic:
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I Cordell-ially invite you to the shower

by Andy on February 10, 2007

Blake from the Kazbah gave me a tip-off on some cool new hoodies that he’s recently made available for sale from a brand I’d never heard of before called Cordell. I’m feeling indecisive at the moment so let’s have two recommendations instead of one for a change.

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I didn’t quite get this hoodie until I saw the close up (how much of a link tease is that?), nuy I quite like the colourway so I’m going to let the pottymouth slide this time. Also, why’s the model so angry? $125 URL


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As I’ve never seen the movie, the blurb can take care of this description: “Purple and black marble washed thermal hoody with “Purple Reign” (in the same style as the prince movie) embroidered across it in thick pink yarn stitching. Below Purple Reign is a spider crawling down the stomach. The back and left sleeve both have giant embroidered spiderwebs. There’s also an embroidered spider on the back of the hood. This piece is full of detail and is a tribute to all Appollonia’s out there world-wide.” $125 URL

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Cotton Filter: 090207

by Andy on February 9, 2007

Okay, last CF before I go on holiday:

  • Owl Movement: They had one of their tees on ‘The War At Home’, which I’ve never seen before, but whether the show sucks or not that’s pretty cool. See a few pics at their Flickr. They also said that they’ve sold out of the featured design, but there was a chance you could get it at Urban Outfitters, do UO often sell tees from indie labels? I was under the impression that they did a lot of in-house stuff that was often influenced by the indie crowd.
  • Wrongwroks: I really like the tees they’ve been doing recently and the Kate Moss tee is no exception, they’re in demand, limited edition, and a few are available on their site.
  • Bean Dip Clothing: Being a favourite of HYA does get you certain privileges, one being that I’ll take a total topic departure and mention your seriously nice Vans high top sneaker collaboration with Logan Real (is that a person or a company?). Unfortunately I couldn’t tell you if they’re on sale yet, but the related hoodie certainly is.
  • Replicant Gear: Anyone that might reference Blade Runner in the name of their store can’t be all bad. Some pretty cool designs in this Spreadshirt powered store.
  • Brookyln Industries: Get 10% of their Designs We Love range with the coupon code ‘LOVEBKI’. Also, how great is this track jacket?
  • Only NY Lives:Not too many designs on sale at this newly launched site, but I like what I see, especially the design employing the New Yorker’s font.

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Run!

by Andy on February 8, 2007

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Nicely patterned hoodie today in a surprisingly complimentary colourway. Those of you that don’t like having logos on your clothing will probably hate this because the pattern is actually the rocksmith logo, but I’d guess that unless you were up close to the hoodie you probably wouldn’t notice. The Orange interior is a pretty decent touch, it sets off the outside whilst maintaining the visual style, especially since they’ve finished it off with that orange zip.

Costiness=$132 URL

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Perfection Through Silence

by Andy on February 8, 2007

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So I’m sat here in bed, and my abstract post titling has reminded me of something. It’s totally silent here. Where I live there are only three houses, so it’s pretty rare you get much noise other than the river or the wind (neither of which I can hear tonight). I imagine things will be quite different next week. Tokyo is home to more than 12 million people, whereas my hamlet can rarely claim even 12 people. And my first hotel is in the Akihabara district, so I think quiet will be a memory fairly soon.

Anyway, now that I’ve indulged my holiday ramblings we can talk about a hoodie. Even though this is only available as a ladies medium I think it deserves a mention. Despite being such a simple style the birds and tree are done very well on this graphic. I know, you’re wondering why there’s no picture, the store’s owner doesn’t allow the use of right-clicking to save the image unless you have written permission, and I don’t really have time to ask right now, and whilst I could find a devious work around to download it we both know I’m not that kind of guy so you’re just going to have to trust me that it’s a great hoodie that deserves you clicking on the link.

Costiness=$30 URL

*UPDATE: Pic added, thanks Susie!*

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by Andy on February 7, 2007

Sorry about not posting last night, I seem to have got some nasty flu-like virus and didn’t fel like looking at a bright LCD screen:

Lucky Threadz: I got a tip-off on this BustTees-esque store and whilst I don’t think that their designs are consistently great, there certainly are a few that are worth a look.

Mount Republic: I’m pretty excited about this new venture, which is a UK website trying to bring the best of the US to us Brits. The prices are pretty good for a UK site, since we usually pay a bit of a premium when buying off the internet.

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Some great product shots this week, with Nesting Dolls being a really great way of handling the subject, incidientally, when I went to Russia and saw nesting dolls on sale a lot of them were actually American cultural icons, which I thought was both odd and perfectly logical at the same time. Something else which is very logically done (can you feel the segue?) is the new critiques feature. I like how they’ve built it so that you can see the evolution of a tee, making comparisons with previous versions of designs very easy. If you want a good example of the process, check out ‘The Great Mousetrap‘ where Threadless bigwig Jake Nickell throws his opinion into the mix.

I know this is meant to be a pick of the week, but ‘Star Men in Moon’s Milk‘ is pretty much a perfect choice for a Kids tee, especially since it’s partially printed with glow in the dark ink. ‘A Voyage of Discovery‘ is a great, well thought out design, although the bottom three books feel a bit unnecessary for me, although I can understand why they’re in there.

My pick this week is ‘destroy NYC‘, its a fairly busy design, but the simple lines of the not-very-threatening monsters really balances things out. I think that the colour of this tee also really compliments the design, something that I often feel is lacking in some Threadless submissions. The hand drawn style really lends itself to this kind of design. As one rather insightful commenters says “I’m thinking about framing this,” how long do you think it will be before Threadless start releasing some canvas prints?

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They’re not gonna get us

by Andy on February 5, 2007

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Not enough people reference Tatu in their post titles nowadays, what a shame.

To me, this feels as if it could be the unofficial hoodie for PostSecret. I love the way that despite being very simple, it seems to be a very powerful message. I usually assume that you need a graphic to get an emotional response, but I think that in this case it is simplicity that gives such a great design. I don’t really know if this hoodie is actually meant to be looked at seriously, or if it’s meant to be interpreted on an personal basis, but I guess that’s the glory of typography. [via notcot]

Costiness=$52 URL

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by Andy on February 3, 2007

Critique on Threadless: Good idea this, it should help them bring up the quality and let those poorly implemented designs with potential get more of a chance when they’re eventually submitted for scoring.

Old Threadless back in Stock: This item is the reason why I’m posting on a weekend, they’re gonna put it in their Monday mailout that they’ve got a few old designs back in very limited stock, but Jake let it slip a bit early on his blog.


Burton Travel
hoodie: Pretty cool hoodie for travellers from snowboarding giants Burton. It has an inflatable pillow in the neck for when you’re on a plane, comes with earplugs, and internal pockets for your iPod and passport. There seems to be some confusion as to whether this is actually available yet, since it’s part of an ’08 sneak peek, yet there are people in the comments and on the Burton message board from people that already have it and say it’s awesome. It will be priced around $125 USD.

Divine Clothing Co.: Bill’s launched his latest season, not everything is available yet (should be within the next few days) but there’s some great stuff to check out.

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Damn, I’ve forgotten all the quotes

by Andy on February 3, 2007

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Or perhaps I just couldn’t quote because I don’t like to swear in my post titles. Yep, this is a Jay and Silent Bob referencing hoodie, I usually wouldn’t force my taste in movies on you, but I remember watching this movie so many times in my first year at university and got a bit of a kick out of seeing this design a couple of days ago, and if Cosper can run tees that remind him of days-gone-by then I’m damned if I can’t!

To be fair, the hoodie’s actually pretty well done, it has the look of merchandise from a theme park, which I guess is the point, although I don’t really know how necessary it was to use a yellow hoodie. Did staff at Mooby’s wear yellow uniforms? That might explain the colour choice, but I still think that black or grey would have been a better choice.

Costiness=$40-43 URL

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HYA Charity Donation #1

by Andy on February 2, 2007

After many hours of searching I finally decided that UNICEF would be a good cause to kick things off with. They’ve got a good ethos and I really believe in what they’re trying to achieve for children around the world who didn’t get the kind of start in life that most people reading this blog did. It is amazing to think that our donation of £25.38 (around $50) could actually save lives. And all this from writing about hoodies!

I’d like to thank Enclothe, Oddica, Indie Threads, Quixotic Clothing, Karmaloop, and those who purchased space through Text Link Ads. If it wasn’t for them then this donation would have been a lot smaller.

If you have any suggestions for next months charity then please feel free to comment on this post.

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Time to rob some banks (or just get piste)

by Andy on February 2, 2007

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Yes, I put a ‘piste’ pun in my title, no, I will not apologise for it.

Sometimes when I post a hoodie I really think that quite a few of you will like it enough to buy that item (or at least something else in the same store), but I can’t really see it happening with this hoodie, not because of the styling, it’s more because of the price. This simple yet stylish hoodie will set you back $340.

Still, I’ve got a soft spot for innovation like this, and presuming that it’s actually functional as a layer when you’re on the slopes (or just somewhere cold) then it is actually quite a good idea rather than a gimmick. Besides the hood, the cut of it looks really well fitted, and I really like the inclusion of velcro sleeves. [via Gohgirl on Stylehive]

Costiness=$340 URL

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Cotton Filter: 010207

by Andy on February 1, 2007

Just two bits today.

The Handsome Sausage: He’s back! After being out of the game for way too long (for me, at least) doing a redesign of the site, Rafael is back and he’s making an assault on your eyes. The new site is bright, really bright (and very nicely put together), but hey, so are his designs so would you really expect anything else?

Oddica: Who said that 13 was an unlucky number, fools, that’s who. For the next 12 days Oddica are having a clearance sale, you can get 2 tees for $28 or just $12 a piece if you buy three or more tees. Then on the 13th of Feb. new designs will be available, including a few things that aren’t on their coming soon page.

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