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Bricks & Mortar

Join us this Saturday at 1pm to celebrate the 2nd year anniversary of the Johnny Cupcakes London shop! We will be unveiling a couple special exclusive goods, and as always we’ll be handing out all sorts of high-fives and good vibes.

So if you’re in London this weekend you might as well go to Johnny Cupcakes as you’re likely to get a free cupcake out of it.


Johnny Cupcakes London First Year Anniversary

by Adam_L on March 21, 2012

This past weekend was, as the title suggests Johnny Cupcakes London First Year Anniversary and the celebrations kicked off with a pre-anniversary show.

There were in store exclusive designs based around the traditional British postal stamp but of course with a JC twist, her royal highness was cheekily wearing a bakers hat and live music from Sharks front man James, ripping it up on acoustic guitar! On the Saturday rumour had it there was free tea, free cupcakes, some giveaways, and special edition items throughout the day!

As always there was a huge buzz about the brand and the in store exclusives with fans queuing for hours to get their own little ‘slice’ of history (including a guy named Ry, who flew to London all the way from Hawaii, just for the store’s first anniversary). By the time the store opened on Saturday the majority of customers had been waiting for over 24 hours.

The interiors of his stores are themed around, yes you guessed it, bakeries and the London store is no different with the legendary ‘patisserie’ display units, cake boxes and general homely feel.

The next time you need a sugar fix I’d suggest stopping off at Johnny Cupcakes and have a look around, I guarantee you’ll leave full of happiness and more than likely with a limited edition tee, cap or vinyl toy! Make cupcakes, not war!

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johnny cupcakes london store 1 year anniversary

Nice little release from Johnny Cupcakes, and cool to see that they’re going to be celebrating the 1st year of the London store being open by having real cupckaes in the store and presumably some special tees that will only be on sale that day.


T-shirt News for January 18th

by Andy on January 18, 2012

dexter t-shirt

Any Dexter fans in the house? I’m sure this TeeFury design will be right up your street.

I don’t think that sounds like a good idea AT ALL. Shirt.Woot.

RIPT couldn’t decide on a reference today so they had to just use all of them.

I don’t get it. Nowhere Bad.

Awful lot of skulls today at Shirt Punch.

One for the atheists over at

I don’t watch Archer, but I’m fairly sure that’s what this TeeMinus24 shirt is referencing.

There’s a new Doctor Who t-shirt at 24tee.

As long as you like all-over prints this shirt at DBH is rather lovely.

Hey look, Tilteed are selling that cool sushi t-shirt again.

Design Juices showcase 50 t-shirts with interesting typography.

T-Post are giving away the T-shirt Stories documentary DVD (which I can’t find anywhere in the UK, and I don’t know if I can order it off French Amazon) to people who subscribe to their tee service.

Green Day are running a t-shirt design contest, except you have to be part of their ‘Idiot Club’ to enter, and that has a $20 annual subscription, so you effectively have to pay to enter this contest… lame.

Miles To Go are running a poster sale until Friday.

Wrongwroks have opened a 2nd store in China, it’s fun to watch Tony’s brand expanding.

HYA isn’t going dark in protest of SOPA/PIPA (mostly because I don’t think anyone would miss it) but a lot of other websites are.

Rigu is still a thing.

Karmaloop have a video about L’il Wayne’s new clothing line (that doesn’t look at all like every other BAPE-esque brand out there), TRUKFIT.

604Republic have upped the prize in their design competition.


Life Offline for Online Brands (Part Two)

by LadyUmbrella on December 15, 2011

LadyUmbrella at the Pop Up Style Swap Shop

Andy: Here’s part two of Rob from LadyUmbrella’s column about ways that t-shirt brands that are more used to online business can extend themselves in the real world.

Something to try look out for in the offline world of t-shirts is pop up shops.. I don’t know how it is in your town but right now Ireland is thriving with pop up shops..The idea of a pop up shop is simple – a group of brands or retailers team up together, pool resources and acquire a premises for a very short term let.. All the brands involved then work together to promote the life out of the pop up shop and they can be quite beneficial.. We’ve done a few pop ups in the past and I’m currently working on another one, The Blind Tiger Collective, which hopefully might become a more long term thing..And, therein lies the other advantage of doing pop ups..You get to meet lots of other brands in your area and I’ll tell you what, when you put a bunch of motivated dreamers together ideas can flow..

Another avenue for an offline t-shirt life is doing fairs..Now, these can be hit and miss, some of them might be good for your brand and some just might not work..We’ve done a few of them in the past and have sold in random places like Microsoft and a hospital here in Dublin, as well as in pubs and festivals – not all of them were homeruns but they were all enjoyable..And they do spur your on to “double down” your efforts, both online and offline..

The other thing I really like about the t-shirt life offline is that it gives you great online fodder like this video or the picture below to the right.

Elena Selling in Microsoft

Every event you attend will give you a photo opp to showcase your t-shirts – like the picture from Project 51 above..It’ll give you something to let your facebook/twitter friends and followers know about which will ultimately feed into you online activities.. Also, attending offline events should go some way to help build up the “trust factor” for potential online customers..I don’t know about you but I’m still apprehensive about buying online and so it’s logical to assume that some potential customers might also be..Now, if these potential customers see that you’ve been doing X, Y and Z and realise that you’re not some dodgy site your chances of getting a sale have just shot up dramatically.. Or, that’s my take on it anyway..

And so, to conclude, if things aren’t going as swimmingly as you want online don’t box yourself into maniacal tweeting (believe me, I’ve done it) but take a step back and see if there is anything that can be done offline.. There are lots of options out there like pop up shops, fairs and wholesale deals and by just partaking in them, even if they aren’t homeruns, you’ll get a renewed umph and motivation to push on and keep going.. And, ultimately, I think that pushing on is what is vital – nothing happens overnight ..Maybe a little flirt with life offline might give you the pep in the step you need to keep going until you get to where you want to go..

Anyway, thank you for reading and I want to hear your thoughts..Are you at times fed up with online life too? Have you been a part of any offline events? If so, any do’s or don’ts to share? (Um, that could be another blog post maybe if anyone is interested?) Speak freely…Ole!


Life Offline for Online T-Shirt Brands (Part One)

by LadyUmbrella on December 12, 2011

LadyUmbrella in Project 51 Pop Up Shop

So, first things first, I better briefly introduce myself, I’m Rob from LadyUmbrella, a ladies t-shirt company based in Ireland..Andy, from this globally renowned site HYA asked me to write a blog post about our offline life and I’m all to happy to oblige..Now, that concludes the intro, lets get to the meat and potatoes…

Now, I think we’ll all be in agreement when I say selling t-shirts online isn’t easy! God, how I wish it was but the reality is that it isn’t easy.. I have embraced the grind with LadyUmbrella, facebooking daily and tweeting til my fingers bleed..Putting in the hard yards to try get a slice out of the online t-shirt sales pie..No doubt, we’ve been fortunate enough to get a taste and in no way am I saying that being a social media soldier won’t give you some joy but lots of times it is joyless..Perhaps it’s just me or maybe you feel it too – when you put in a truckload of effort into online promotion and see very little coming back..It can suck the life out of you and get you down..And, at times like these it is useful to consider leading a “double life” and trying to get some action offline via wholesale deals, fairs and pop up shops..

Now, I think we’ll all be in agreement when I say selling t-shirts offline isn’t easy! Sound familiar? And, whilst it isn’t easy there can be more joy to it..The reason for this is the interaction, the human interaction, the face to face stuff that gets lost in the 140 character online melee, is refreshing and can be invigorating.. When you can see the happiness people derive from your designs as the try them on and buy them it really gives you a shot in the arm – especially compared to tweeting to, at times, an empty room..

So, now, how to try find retail deals or fairs or pop ups.. One thing I’ve done to try find wholesale deals is to ask our facebook/twitter friends if they know of any shops in their area that might be interested in stocking our brand..This has yielded some leads for us and is worth giving a shot..Another way to try get some wholesale business is to step away from the computer for a bit and, with t-shirts and products in hand, call in to whatever shop you want to try get stocked in and sweet talk as best you can..Now, this approach won’t work for big shops as you’ll have to go through the “proper buying channels” but for independent boutiques and the likes where the buyer is the person behind the counter (or in the back room) you just might get some important face time to make your pitch.. Important thing here is to make sure you know your numbers – how many of each style can you sell and at what price? will you give a discount over a certain amount? do you give credit? what payment terms will you accept? By knowing your numbers you’ll be able show that, whilst you just came in off the street, you’re not a mickey mouse outfit.. Obviously, make sure to have a business card or lookbook or something to leave with the shop owner if they express an interest – or a notepad to jot down their order ;)

Andy: Thanks for Rob for putting together this advice column, the second half will be posted later in the week.


blind tiger collective

The Blind Tiger Collective is a really cool project spearheaded by Dualta Jones of Project A Apparel that is bringing together ten of Ireland’s finest indie brands to open a pop-up shop in Dublin in the run up to Christmas. They’ve written a really good press release, and it’s Saturday night, so I’m feeling lazy enough to just copy/paste that:

Hot on the tail of the collapse of the Celtic Tiger comes 10 Irish Designers as Blind Tiger Collective

The Blind Tiger Collective, a collection of 10 Irish clothing brands, are launching their pop-up shop on the 20th of December in the distinctive Dublin North Inner City.The pop-up will be open for 4 days until the 24th and will give customers a chance buy Irish this Christmas from independent designers.The collective consists of over 10 brands aiming to give the Irish shopper an opportunity to support their local designers and young businesses this Christmas and to do so with distinctive style and swagrrr.

The Blind Tiger Collective will spring to life on the 20th of December until the 24th at Little Green Gallery on Green Street and the temporary space will be retailing exclusive Irish Streetwear and accessories. In the run up to the launch, Dualta Jones, organiser of the event and co-owner of Project A Apparel decided he was tired of large foreign companies opening pop up stores to promote brands that were already saturating the market. He said “I decided that small Irish brands like my own need to come to together and help promote each other in a joint effort a stake a claim on our territory.”

There will be a wide variety of brands at the Blind Tiger Collective pop up like Turtlehead, Swallows and Daggers and LadyUmbrella, ranging from tattoo inspired hand drawn designs, skate apparel, street art and graffiti inspired work, showcasing the diversity of Irish design talent. A lot of the brands in the Blind Tiger Collective work on very limited print runs, some as low as 25 pieces, and when a design is finished its finished for good which guarantees exclusivity.

To celebrate the launch night and make the Blind Tiger pop up a bit more special, Galway based screen printer will be screen printing a unique “Blind Tiger Collective” tee. All good collectives need some good music and there will be a DJ for the launch as well as a range of free drinks to get the launch started. With a big push to buy Irish this Christmas and campaigns like “Irish Indie Xmas” getting a lot of attention maybe it’s time to forget the Celtic Tiger and listen to the roar of the Blind Tiger Collective.

“forget the Celtic Tiger and check out the swagrrr of the Blind Tiger Collective.” Follow the ambush at

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As you would imagine, I’m all for a project like this, and looking at the people that they’ve got involved it should be a big success as long as they can get enough people through the door. In the past I’ve made it clear that I have issues with the term pop-up shop, and I still do, but at least this seems to be a be an actual pop-up shop, as in a shop that will only be around for a couple of days, rather than when some fancy brand takes a corner of a hotel and calls it a pop-up shop.


Wrongwroks open a in Beijing, how big are they?

by Andy on September 18, 2011

wrongwroks beijing store

I knew that Wrongwroks was popular in Asia, but I didn’t realise that they had reached the point where they could open a store in Beijing. Yes, they’re sharing it with Stussy, but I think that association alone shows how much of a well respected an entity they are on that continent. I don’t think that there are any HYA readers in China (please leave a comment if you are), but on the off-chance that a HYAer is in Beijning you’ll probably want to check the store out, I presume that the address is in the image below. More pictures here.



Some Super News from Super Superficial

by Andy on September 6, 2011

super superficial x galleries lafayette

I’ve never been to Paris before but I’m well aware of the reputation of Galleries Lafayette, so it is a real coup for a brand like Super Superficial to be involved with such a well respected shopping institution.

Running a ‘London theme’ through out the store, we’ve sent a selection of classic designs their way, along with our specially commissioned piece. Keeping this schtum was no easy task, believe you, me. The event will be running for three weeks, (12 Sep – 1 Oct) so if you find yourself in Paris, pop in and let us know what you think.

They’ve also put their latest design ‘bobbies’ on sale at 40% off, making it £21 instead of £35, which is a pretty hefty discount. They say that the discount is for newsletter readers only, but they sent me the e-mail knowing who I am, so they’ve only got themselves to blame. The discount isn’t available by inputting a coupon code, you need to click on this link, which will automatically add the shirt to your basket.


out of step sample sale flyer

From what I’ve heard the previous Out of Step Sample Sale was a big success so you can hope for more of the same this time around, and with three days you’ve got plenty of time to get down there and have a look around to pick up some top brands at a fraction of the usual price. I would presume that the amount of stock left on Sunday afternoon would be fairly minimal though, so the early you get there the better in terms of selection.

Let me know if any of you make it down there and share your experience/any bargains you picked up.


Well isn’t this just lovely. I’m not too sure what I think of Johnny’s new beard, but I guess when you’re as busy as Johnny it’s hard to find the time to shave.

Johnny Cupcakes


cool video shop tours

I think you can file this under ‘things I like’. Even though the web is my life, I always love going into a cool shop that is trying to do something different and is passionate about the products they sell, which seems to be the case for all the stores that Margin are profiling in their video tours. With Margin being a London-based tradeshow it is hardly surprising to find that the majority of the shop tours are for British shops, but there are a few from Continental Europe too. Check them all out at the Vimeo Shop Tours Channel.


johnny cupcakes london store grand opening

I know I’ve already shown you the Johnny Cupcakes London store grand opening in video thanks to Suck! Clothing, but it’s cool seeing these behind the scenes vids from Johnny (and his crew).

This video shows the build out of the store.

These are the Rube Goldberg-eqsue machines that Johnny had made.

This is the final part of Johnny’s video trilogy, the grand opening itself.


Suck! Clothing – JC London Grand Opening from SUCK! on Vimeo.

This vid is available in HD so you’ll probably want to check it out full screen. Really nice vid that captures what was going on at the grand opening on the Johnny Cupcakes store in London a couple of weeks ago. hopefully I’ll find an excuse to visit sooner rather than later. Nice work, Suck! Clothing.


Renegade Craft is coming to London!

by Andy on March 16, 2011

renegade craft london

I have no idea if this news is old hat, but Fuzzy Ink told me on Twitter yesterday that Renegade Craft, the craft fair that is well established in many US cities and at which many HYA-loved brands trade at, is going to be popping over to merry old England in October!

I’ve always felt that Britain lacks a larger ‘name’ for craft shows. Yes, there a big craft shows, but they aren’t cool and they still have a reputation of being for old ladies that want to knit. If there are any cool craft shows out there, they’re small and they don’t market themselves well enough. Hopefully a show like this might be able to kickstart a few more small shows to happen around the country if it is successful. Writing this post has made me think, “hey, why I don’t stop moaning about it and do something” but let’s be honest, I’m good on promises and usually fairly poor on execution.

The show isn’t until October 8-9th (my birthday, a good time for a trip down to London perhaps?) and will be held in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in London. Trade applications are from July 1st to the 29th, so for a change I’m early in telling you guys something, but if you’re a brand that might want to trade at the show then you’ll probably appreciate having an early heads-up.

Renegade Craft London

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Out of Step sample sale

As ever I’ll have to be super-bitter that I won’t be in attendance at this kind of event since I live in the middle of nowhere, but any Southern HYA fans might want to hop on a train or the tube to Liverpool Street Station so that they can go and pick up some quality streetwear at totally knocked down prices. Clearly, all the info you need is in that poster, but how about some links? Here’s a google map of where it’s at, a link to their Facebook event page, and a link to their sticker competition in which you can win some cool stickers (from the brands involved with the sale) by inviting your friends to the Facebook event.


concrete hermit kingly court store

I forgot to mention that when I was in London a couple of weeks ago I passed by the new Concrete Hermit shop in Kingly Court (a boutique shopping arcade just off Carnaby Street). The shop is in the unit that Lazy Oaf used to occupy (I don’t know if they’ve moved or decided not to have a shop anymore), and I think the people behind Lazy Oaf and the people behind Concrete Hermit know each other, so it might be more than just a coincidence that CH now find themselves with this corner of Kingly Court. As it was about 8pm the store was obviously closed, but it looked good as I peered through the window and got some stares from passers-by as I took pictures of the shop front. If you’d like to see what it’s like inside, Creative-Idle has a few shots of the interior, I especially like the shopping basket bookshelves, and the arms as racks for the tees to be hung on, they’re creepy and fun, just how I like it!

If you happen to be in the area check it out, they’re on the first floor. By first floor I of course mean the ground floor, sorry.


Threadless NYC Pop-UP Shop Open This Week Only

by Andy on September 27, 2010

threadless pop up shop

I totally missed telling you guys about Threadless launching their book in Brooklyn last night, but there’s still a chance to check out their pop-up shop at 186 Orchard St. from now until Saturday (store open 12pm-8pm). There’s also events going on everyday so if you’re a Threadless fan then I’m sure you’ll want to go and have a look.


concrete hermit kingly court

Obviously I’m not going to be there (10% off everything in store and free drinks sounds nice, but I’m not going to travel more than 300 miles for it), but I’m pretty excited about Concrete Hermit opening up their store on Thursday in the fashionable Kingly Court boutique shopping centre just-off Carnaby Strret in London.

The picture above suggests that they haven’t quite finished with the shop fitting (which comes as no surprised to someone whose been involved with shop fits in the past), as you’d usually see some kind of a sneak peek (or maybe they’re just really keeping it under wraps), but I’m sure it will look great on Thursday, especially since it will be filled with all their lovely goodies. If any HYAers pop by on Thursday and snap a picture or two of the new shop feel free to let me know, or file your own report!


cpncrete hermit kingly court

I really like Concrete Hermit, they’re the kind of people I’m glad to have in Britain bridging the scene between art and t-shirts, and the last couple of times I’ve been to London I’ve always tried to visit their shop/gallery off Brick Lane, but it’s a bit out of the way for a tourist like me, so them opening a new store just off one of the most famous shopping streets in the world is a pretty exciting development. The new shop is going to be in Kingly Court, which is like a mini-shopping centre for cool brands (and bars/restaurants/clubs) that aren’t quite big enough to be on Carnaby Street, but definitely deserve a share of the spotlight, and I’m sure that Concrete Hermit will fit right in. There’s no official date fore the opening, though it is promised to be ‘very soon’, so naturally I’ll let you know when the doors swing open.

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