• A lesson in commitment

    Japanese made, 100% organic cotton tees. Sounds good doesn’t it…and these are. Available now online and in store Fil Melange are all about quality.

     

    fil melange journal post 1

    Continue reading

  • Creative Flow + Beer = Sloppy Filmmaking

    Last month it dawned on us that we had made some denim garments that are really special, and we wanted to make some noise about it. Instead of going down standard conventions of look-books and press releases, we wanted to create something that was a little different.

    workshop-denim-making-of-3

     

    Continue reading

  • Soho’s Finest

    As you know, Universal Works set up our second store right in the heart of the Soho on Berwick Street last August. As with any new place it takes a while to sniff out where the best flat white is to get you through the first meeting of the day, or where to trim your mop before that date you’ve got lined up. You might also be wondering what bar, pub or secret cocktail clubs you are taking said lucky date to… well fear not friend, Universal Works has got your back! Stick with us and before long you will know Soho like the back of your hand.

    feet on map journal

    Continue reading

  • Smedley’s Sea Island Cotton

    Here at UWHQ we’ve been trying out a bit more moving image lately. You might have noticed our stop motion video “are your jeans handmade?” So when the Universal Works X John Smedley’s Sea Island Cotton arrived in HQ we thought that we really needed to make a short video to show off how good these garments are.

    Continue reading

  • Introducing Workshop Denim

    To celebrate the Launch of Workshop Denim we have created a short film in collaboration with the talented Allan Buxton, titled “Are Your Jeans Handmade?”

    Continue reading

  • The Perfect Fit

    UWHQ

    Some things in life, well…. they just fit don’t they.

    You know how you tend to just come across things that go together effortlessly. Maybe it’s a bit like that old adage that owners start to look like their dogs after a while? I don’t know!!

    Anyway being based in London I get to travel back up to Nottingham on a monthly basis to visit the guys at Universal Works HQ, and to be honest I’ve never really thought too much about the building where the office has been based for the last few years.

    Continue reading

  • A new hat

    lock & Co copy

    I have been thinking for a while now that it would be nice to get myself a hat. Not a baseball cap, not even a baker’s boy cap, but a real gentleman’s hat. I don’t know maybe it’s an age thing? Or maybe it’s a confidence thing or maybe it’s a confidence thing that comes with age!! Anyway I thought the time has now come to buy myself a hat. So off I went. Continue reading

  • Veras Q&A with David

    Veras2

    Veras recently interviewed David for a quick Q&A and here are the results:

    Veras was founded in the mountains of Spain in 2010 and is the brainchild of Neil Morris who works with local factories developing and producing a line of shoes which is named after a local village. This small independent company has since gone from strength to strength and can now be found in premium stores around the globe.

    What did you have for breakfast?

    I had scrambled eggs with bacon and a lot of coffee

    What’s good about your hometown?

    I’m from near Birmingham but I live in Nottingham, so I guess Nottingham is where I call home. For me the best thing in the city is that I have a great bunch of close friends here, that’s why I am here really, but as a city I love the Contemporary Art Gallery.  It is a great modern space and one of the best small galleries in the country, my other favourite place is the great independent cinema, the Broadway. Oh and it’s a great city for runners, some great routes around the city.

    Continue reading

  • Also available in navy!

    new-Millican-Navy copy

    So we have added to our bag range collaboration with Millican. We have a new style, George the Crew Bag and a new colour for three of our bags, navy.

    Continue reading

  • New shoes online and in store

    UW_Bumper_Boot

     

    Let us introduce you to the first ever Universal Works shoe. Yes we have done collaborations before, but this is us going it alone.

    Continue reading

  • Fott Features Universal Works

    Fott Journal

    Our good friends and loyal stockist Fott, Russia’s premier fashion retailer have put together this shoot featuring UW‘s Autumn/Winter 13 collection.

    So we thought we would share it with you, click here to see more.

    Thanks to the guys at Fott, we love it. Good beard too.

    UWHQ

  • PROBABLY THE BEST JEANS IN THE WORLD

    Boncoura new

    So what is the best pair of jeans in the world? I guess for most of us it’s the one that fits us the best; fits our style the best and the one we have worn in long enough, to feel like an old friend.

    Here at UW,  before we launch our own, made in England denim, we have a few favourites. We continue to sell our favourite pair of Levis, an old style 501, a beauty for sure. We also sell what some in Japan would say are the best jean in the world!

    Continue reading

  • Universal Works X Le Fix

    UW X LE FIX

    There can be no better reason to collaborate with another brand than the fact that you have a mutual admiration and friendship.  Le Fix is both a store based in Copenhagen and a Street wear brand, one of the best in Denmark.

    Continue reading

  • Goods by Goodhood x Universal Works

    Goodhood X UW Windcheater

    The great and super cool Goodhood store has recently celebrated their 6 year anniversary, having been one of the fashion pioneers in the Hoxton area of London.  Why not kick off your shoes and celebrate the great style and street wear that they have given us over the last few years.

    Kyle and Jo stock some great collections and brands and have done some fine collaboration work recently for their GOODS project  and, to celebrate our 4 year’s of working together we were delighted to team up with them, making a version of our Windcheater Jacket.  We see it as an updated James Dean style short bomber with a great fit which Kyle and Jo loved too.  The polka dot print was added from Goodhood’s original artwork and we finished it in a white print on a washed black cotton twill fabric.

    Continue reading

  • UW13 Inspiration

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Team UW visting Harris

     

    The Outer Hebrides, a 130 mile archipelago of 119 islands, sit marooned in the Atlantic ocean off the North West coast of Scotland. They are the home of some of the most content people in the UK (according to a recent survey), some of the best beaches in the world and of course Harris Tweed, a fabric we are very fond of here at UW.

    Continue reading

  • Berwick’s official opening

    Berwick Street Opening

    Last night saw the official opening of our second store in Berwick Street, Soho. It was also a chance to show off our collaboration with John Smedley and play the film short (see here).

    Team UW really enjoyed the evening which wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our great staff, our PR team Cube Company and all the great guests that helped us celebrate.

    We love an excuse to have a beer and catch up with friends, Thanks for all the support guys.

    More Images can be found here

    UWHQ

  • Universal Works x John Smedley film short

    As part of our collaboration with John Smedley, we spent some time at their factory in the Peak District National Park to shoot this short film.

    A place steeped in history where you can also find the most up to date and modern knitting machinery used today.

    We think the film shows the heritage and contemporary vision of both companies.

    Universal Works & John Smedley from Liam Saint-Pierre on Vimeo.

    UWHQ

  • Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

     

    redbull cliff 1

     Image courtesy of Martyn Daykin

    At UWHQ we firmly believe in trying to find a good balance between work, rest and play.  With that in mind some of Team UW headed to Wales for a long weekend with the aim to take in the Red Bull Cliff diving World Series.

    Continue reading

  • 40 Berwick Street Store

    Berwick_Street_Store

    In our quest for world domination We have recently opened our second London shop. Following the success of our first venture into retail on Lambs Conduit Street, we have taken the plunge again with a shiny new store on Berwick Street in Soho.

    Continue reading

  • A night in the Kiosk

    Kiosk1

    In an effort to foster some team bonding, well that was the excuse, the UWHQ team had a night out recently.  The venue for the “exercise” was the Kiosk in Sherwood, Nottingham.

    Continue reading

  • So what’s in a name — Bakers Jacket

    Nick bakers Ad

    November 2008, I was working on the launch of the first UW menswear collection; I had 25 years worth of ideas;  had worked with some of the best names in UK mens fashion, but never on my own terms or on my own collection; now was my chance to hit the menswear world with my own creations.

    Continue reading

  • Copenhagen Summers

    Copenhagen in the summer is truly a magical city. After a long winter and chilly spring, the city really comes to life with people spending as much time as humanly possible outside, be it by the harbour, in a park or by the beach. This year we’re basking not only in particularly hot and sunny weather but also in the glory of being number one in the Monocle Most Liveable City in the world survey for the second time so it really is a good time to visit.
    Continue reading

  • London Collections: Men

    LCM_4

     

    Also Available in Navy

    Last week we showed for the first time at London Collections: Men presenting a capsule collection with a distinctive twist. We decided to turn people’s expectation of Universal Works on its head and produce an entirely pink collection. Looking forward to summer we are celebrating bravery and optimism by presenting this rebellious mix between the traditional and the innovative.

    Continue reading

  • London Collections: Men

    We’re presenting our  Universal Works Spring Summer 14 collection this weekend at London Collections:Men from Sunday till Tuesday.

    Here’s David applying the finishing touches to our exhibition stand ready to go to the show. I wonder if karl lagerfeld will be spraying his own stand this weekend?

    Come to think of it I wonder if David will be wearing a tiny collared shirt with a teenie weenie little tie?

    UWHQ

  • Weavers Door

    Whilst in Liverpool last month David and Stephanie popped into our stockist, Weavers Door.

    Continue reading

  • 20:50

    If you are in or around London anytime soon and haven’t seen Richard Wilson’s 1987 piece titled 20:50 then may we suggest a visit to the Saatchi Gallery.

    Continue reading

  • Brazil vs England

    As a kid, when I was not outside playing football, I would be inside on the kitchen table, playing Subbuteo with my brother and my mate.

    Continue reading

  • The Milk Race

    The Milk Race returned on Sunday the 26th for the first time in 20 years and was held in our fair city of Nottingham.

    Continue reading

  • Feasting on Fashion

    Feasting on Fashion for Schön! from Dionne Loftus on Vimeo.

    A short film Featuring our pink Syke shirt In gingham spot, Commissioned by Schon magazine.  Nice film and a great track by the Fall (Eat Yourself Fitter) to go with it.

    UWHQ

  • “Classic Dog Moments”

    The guys from Togs and Clogs have teamed up with creative practice Lazerian to produce their SS13 lookbook entilted ‘Classic Dog Moments’

    Continue reading

  • The BSMC Event London

    Bike Shed Motorcycle Club is all about celebrating motorcycle custom builds, art, photography, design and culture. A place for builders, riders, bloggers, followers and aficionados to congregate and share in their passion for custom bikes through a dedicated website, meets and events.

    Continue reading

  • SS13 T-Shirt Prints

    Click here to check out our SS13 Printed Tee’s.

    UWHQ

     

  • Universal Works x J Shoes Collaboration

    We wanted to make a good looking shoe with great comfort and fit.  The Harry is our homage to the dessert boot in suede and Tom is a simple sneaker in leather.  Both shoes have a crepe sole and the foot bed is more anatomically shaped for greater fit and comfort.

    Continue reading

  • Yayoi Kusama

    The Yayoi Tee and shirts are a favourite of ours here at UWHQ. And since the weather is slowly improving we thought it would be fitting to share the story of the print.

    Continue reading

  • Loop Wheel Update

    Sam Pearce from Jelly Products Ltd, popped in to UWHQ for a cuppa and to show us his amazing new Loop Wheels.

    Sam has successfully achieved his Kickstarter goal for his new invention of the Loop Wheel but you still have time to pledge and there are some great rewards too.

    The UW team were very excited to see the loop wheel in person and after a chat and a wizz round the studio, we certainly weren’t disappointed.

    Thanks Sam for coming in and talking to us and good luck for the furture.

    UWHQ

     

  • The Loop Wheel

    Nottingham is well known for many things, Robin Hood, mushy peas and mint sauce, Brian Clough and now the re-invention of the wheel?

    The Loop Wheel is the brain child of Sam Pearce of Jelly products from Nottingham and you can find out more on his Kickstarter Project here.

    We think this product is simply inspiring and have backed Sam, maybe you could too!

    UWHQ

  • Universal Works x Millican – Spring 2013

    SS/13 Universal Works x Millican Collaboration from Millican on Vimeo.

    Our very good friends Jorrit, Nicky and Rob from Millican have put together a short film and interview with David. The film was made for the launch of the SS13 capsule collection.

    Continue reading

  • kapok SS13

    Kapok our friends from Hong Kong have beautifully put together their lookbook for SS13.

    The lookbook entitled ‘the origami wildlife’ features a good array of brands and showcases the UW Strapping Cardigan and the City Jacket.

    http://www.ka-pok.com/webshop/

    UWHQ

  • London Silver Vaults

    It’s not that often you discover something amazing that is situated right on your doorstep that you had absolutely no idea was there.

    Continue reading

  • LIKE CLUB FINALISTS

    Here are our top six LIKE CLUB picks.

    Continue reading

  • Pastel De Nata

    We love it when DK travels to portugal because he brings the UW team these little jewels of the pastry world and we love um!

    Nom nom nom.

    UWHQ

     

  • David Wilkinson

    David Wilkinson paid us a visit today here at UWHQ, he was collecting a pair of shoes he will be wearing in his new film.

    David was sporting our twill Suit Jacket and Pant, a Tarleton sweat jacket which he personalised himself with his own buttons, topped off with a UW Scarf. We think he was looking very distinguished.

    A freind of Universal Works as well as being the founder and Chairman of Guerilla Films Limited, a production and distribution company based in London.

    Good luck with the new film David!

    UWHQ

  • Maps

    Maps-Unique Fashion Magazine from Seoul has featured us in 2 of their latest issues. David and Steph brought back both issues after their recent trip to Korea.

    Continue reading

  • Six Whiting Street.

    Some people are addicted to Facebook, probably even more to Twitter. There are a small group of my mates that have a ‘liking’ for on-line betting; it’s far too easy to form the habit when the sites can be accessed so quickly on the phone. Am I any different? No, although my habit is a little different. My name is Ryan and I am addicted to men’s clothing websites.

    Continue reading

  • LIKE CLUB

    So we’ve decided to throw you guys a competition to celebrate Universal Works reaching 1000 Facebook likes.

    I like to call it ……..LIKE Club!

    In order to join LIKE Club and for your chance to win £500 worth of Universal works kit from us, all you have to do is follow the LIKE Club rules below.

    1. The first rule of LIKE Club is…. you don’t talk about LIKE Club!

    2. The second rule of LIKE Club is ……. you don’t talk about LIKE Club ( Well tell your mates then we can get more likes)

    3. The third rule of LIKE Club is…. Take a photo of yourself wearing your favourite Universal Works kit.

    4. The forth rule of LIKE Club is… Email the picture to competition@universalworks.co.uk or tweet the picture to @Universal_Works and include the hashtag #universalworks

    The five entries we like most will be put to a vote for you on facebook to decide who will win! So get snapping and you could be enjoying a generous shopping spree and the chance to stock up our latest collection.

    We’ll showcase the finalists on Facebook after 15th of April 2013 and the pictures with the most likes by Friday the 26th of April 2013 will win.

  • Pop Art

    Tempting though it is to spend all your time in Copenhagen itself when you visit, it’s good to take the occasional trip out of town and explore Denmark beyond the city limits and at just 35km up the coast, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art makes a fantastic day trip.

    Continue reading

  • Jocks and Nerds

    The FREE quarterly style, history and culture magazine Jocks and Nerds has arrived in the Universal Works Office.

    Continue reading

  • Goodhood

     

    I have always followed Goodhood since I stepped into the store on the second or third day they opened back in 2007, intrigued by the mix of street, fashion and classics, a mix very much to my own taste.

    Continue reading

  • Wood

    The last few seasons have been interesting from a reps point of view- stores traditionally driven by the understated and handmade are now emblazoned with the logo’s and hype that accompanies the big sports brands. Air bubbles, torsion bars and pumps are squeezing in aside the crepe soles and hand-stitched leathers from Maine and Northampton. It’s not so much a change in direction for most but more a change in focus. It’s refreshing in many ways. The life of a rep takes you in and out of the stores on a daily basis; it’s good to see some newness. Though with newness comes new challenges and it’s how those stores and brands evolve that makes it interesting.

    Continue reading

  • Ride what you love, love what you ride

    Here at Universal Works we all like to think we’re a fit and healthy bunch, so since the sun has been shining off and on this week and there’s been a spring scent in the air, I only thought it was right to dust off my Long-Board and ride to work.

    Continue reading

  • Universal Works x Millican

    It was nice to see our good friend Jorritt from Millican bags when he popped in yesterday to do some filming with David. Here are some behind the scene images. We’ll keep you posted.

    Continue reading

  • If You Could Specialise In Just One Thing?

    Here at Universal Works we like to think that we know a thing or two about menswear. Now that’s not to say that we don’t know stuff about other things, but menswear is our business so we concentrate pretty much on that.

    Continue reading

  • Short Track Racing

    This weekend I was given the opportunity to go to a UK Short Track race meeting, 450cc flat tracker motorbikes racing around an indoor equestrian arena, who wouldn’t want to see that?

    Flat track racing is fairly new to the UK but it can trace its roots back to the early 20th century in the US, ShorttrackUK imported the sport to the UK and held it’s first meet in 2005 with just 18 enthusiastic riders. There are now over 150 Short Track ACU License Holders with up to 80 riders per meet competing.

    Saturday saw the launch of the 2013 season for ShorttrackUK at Arena UK in Allington, near Grantham in Lincolshire. The meet was spilt into two sessions, I went to the second event, the International Short Track arena Championships for individuals from all over Europe from different motorcycle disciplines. The evening consisted of three main rounds, semis and finals and the main event grand final, there were 24 Flat Track and 18 Mini Bike riders competing.

    Continue reading

  • A Peak District Day

    A hike on a Sunday with friends out in the Peak District (in the snow, yes snow and nearly in March!) is always a treat.  It’s a busy time for us right now, so it was a rare but needed break from 9-5.

    We picked a route near the villages of Hartington and Alstonfields, around beautiful deserted hills in one of the most visited national parks in the world.  The attraction of the Peak District dates back to the beginning of the last century by working people in need of a place to enjoy beyond the factory.  The area is surrounded by old industrial cities of the Midlands and the North, places like Sheffield, Manchester, Stoke, Derby and Nottingham.  It meant people from these cities after a week of hard graft could get out into the hills and take in some fresh air, real fresh air, stunning hills and dales.  Many people really fought hard for us all to have the universal right to walk or run and cycle in the hills.  Today it still does not disappoint, the roads are always full of cyclists climbing mad hills in Lycra, great walking and if you seek them out one or two excellent pubs too.

    Continue reading

  • Ernö Goldfinger

    Who would have thought that a visit to a National Trust house could be so interesting?

    Well certainly growing up, not me.

    I can still remember the thought of spending a Saturday or Sunday walking around a national trust house with my Mum, Dad and sister as something that I really didn’t want to do.  Back then setting up Subbuteo on the hall landing carpet was much more appealing to me than wandering around some old house.

    The only saving grace back in those days was the thought that as long as I behaved myself, then I could probably talk my Dad into buying me a cider lolly from the ice cream van and letting me and my sister loose for an hour on the kids play area that generally appear in the grounds of these brick built national treasures.

    So having managed to navigate what felt like the whole of the country’s National Trust housing as a child I was slightly surprised to come across 2 Willow Road in Hampstead. Continue reading

  • Lambs Conduit

    So as the Universal Works man in the South and based here in our Lambs Conduit Street Shop in Bloomsbury London, I thought that it would be a nice idea to get out and about and try to give you a picture of what the street is like and it’s surrounding areas.

    So with this in mind I thought I’d start at the beginning with the street name?

    Now what better place to start than another place that shares the name of the street the Lamb public house, any excuse I know but here is a little bit more information .

    The Lamb was built around the 1720s and the pub and the street were named after William Lamb who had erected a water conduit along the street in 1577.

    Continue reading

  • Stripe Sock

    We thought we would give you a little background on our much loved Universal Works Stripe Sock.  What makes this sock a glorious thing is what the Japanese call wabi-sabi, the beauty of imperfection. These imperfections in our eyes are what makes these socks perfect.

    The Stripe Sock is knitted on old, traditional machines here in Nottingham. There are loose ends running up the back of the sock but they won’t come undone.  These traditional machines construct the stripes in a different way to modern machines, as the machine changes the stripe colour the yarn feeders have to step up a line, where the two colours meet, and cut off the yarn to feed in the next colour. This is what causes the step in the stripe and what appears to be, loose ends.  The ends are secure in the knit construction but cannot be cut closer to the sock.  The sock is then hand-finished with a linked toe.

    We love the stripe sock because they are produced in small batches, on traditional sock knitting machines, some being more than 60 years old.  We feel that this gives the sock a unique, vintage feel.

    We understand it might not be everyone’s cup of tea but they are a firm favourite with the UW team and we are confident that if you try any of our socks that you will love them too, in fact perfect wabi-sabi.

    UWHQ

  • Cool Jul

    I guess it’s no surprise that Christmas in Scandinavia is a particularly chilly but attractive season. Copenhagen is currently festooned with pretty white lights and illuminated hearts, boughs of fir tree are around shop windows and doors, candles are in every window and there’s a Christmas market in every square. Admittedly, they tend to sell the same old hokey wooden rubbish as every other Christmas market in Europe but there are enough stalls selling ‘gløgg’ (a sort of mulled wine with almonds and spices) to make you forget. Add in about 20cm of snow which arrived this weekend and you have a scene right out of Hans Christian Anderson. But for the full yuletide experience, you have to go to Tivoli.

    Continue reading

  • UW does Christmas

    The Universal Works team decided to get together in the capital to celebrate a little Christmas cheer.

    First on the agenda was a trip to Bloomsbury Lanes for a spot of bowling. Located just off Russell Square the venue has a very authentic feel unique details within lanes and a cracking bar. The bar was made from 60-year-old bowling lane wood from the famous Lucky’s Lanes in Los Angeles.

    Continue reading

  • Tonic

    Tonic has been one of Universal Works stockists for some time, here is a little introduction from Phil and Maura.

    Time flies! It’s been 12 years since we set up shop here at the far end of Portobello Road hidden amongst shrift stalls, small cafes and other independent boutiques. We love our little neighbourhood, it’s nice to be part of a friendly community, we’ve made many friends here and hopefully we’ll make many more!

    Continue reading

  • Boston

    Straying a little further afield than my normal ‘oop North of England, last week I jumped on a plane to Boston, US of A.  The city ‘where-everybody-knows-your-name’ was just gearing up for Xmas and I’m pleased to say an absolute goldmine of good clobber.  Having spent the first few days of my trip in and out of meetings and letting my bagel breakfast settle each day it was good to stretch the old legs and have a wander about.

    With limited time and a Samuel Adams induced hangover my first port of call was Bodega.  I was aware of the store through their on-going collaboration with Saucony- I had also heard whilst in my various meetings that their store was most definitely worth the trip.  I wasn’t however told about the secret entrance.  Reminiscent of someone trying to find Bruce Wayne’s Bat Cave and looking dangerously touristy I find myself walking up and down the street with no sign of the store.  Had I listened a little more astutely during my high school Spanish classes then I may have clocked on to the clue in the name- translated from Spanish Bodega means Convenience Store.

    Continue reading

  • Hidden Treasure

    Lidkoeb, Vesterbrogade 72b, Copenhagen V

    Considering how much the Danes like a drink, it seems a bit strange that the biggest trend of the past couple of years has been for bars that are damned hard to find.  The Scandi speakeasies started with Rubys in an un-signposted apartment near the city centre and eventually progressed to The Union (press the buzzer at a plain black door near Nyhavn and go into the cellar).  But the latest place to get lost BEFORE you even get drunk is Lidkoeb in food-and-drink mecca, Vesterbro.  Go down a main street devoted almost entirely to retail, then go through an unmarked gateway next to a supermarket.  Follow the candles through a couple of courtyards til you get to a cute three-story old apothecary and there you are – cocktail heaven!  Owned by the same team as the original Rubys in town, the cosy bar is all vintage lighting and blonde wood (and indeed blonde customers) with plaid-clad bartenders serving up gooseberry daiquiris, pisco sours and – well to be honest, after two or three of these I really can’t remember what else was on the menu.  The frankly unpronounceable name – try Lithllkobe and you might just wing it -  is the old term for a verbal agreement between traders sealed over a glass of aquavit and after only being open a week, the bar is already heaving with locals.  See if you can find it next time you’re in town.

    Graham

  • Cloth

    Cloth is one of the original Nine stores as mentioned in our first featured stockist journal entry, so please allow us to introduce them to you in their own words.

    “Cloth was established in Lurgan, N.Ireland, in October 2008, born out of the frustration at the identikit menswear shops found in the surrounding areas. We’re proud to be one of the first stockists of Universal Works opening collection back in Winter 2009 (If I remember correctly we were the 3rd shop to write a order!). Our mission was simple, to create a shop that we would want to shop in. Alongside UW we also stock some menswear favourites including Oliver Spencer, Folk, Sunspel, Our Legacy, Penfield, Alan Paine, Veras, YMC, Pointer & Il Bussetto. We’re a independent store that pride ourselves providing a friendly and relaxed shopping atmosphere.”

    Continue reading

  • The Spoken Word

    photo by Lynda Koolish

    As I get older I find that it becomes easier to live your life in a comfort zone and float along doing things that you have always done. So with this in mind a couple of weeks ago I went to listen to my first live spoken word gig? Not sure that gig is the right term , but let’s go with it for know. This was hosted at the British liberty with the guest speaker going by the name of Amiri Baraka.

    Now just so that we are all up to speed, let me give you a bit of background on the said Mr Baraka. Baraka was born Emmit Leroy Jones in Newark New Jersey in 1934, and after the humdrum early job years and army service, moved to Greenwich Village New York and settled down to become one of the founding members of the beat generation which included Allen Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac.

    Continue reading

  • Behind the scenes

    A little look back at some images taken from behind the scenes at the making of the recent short film from Universal works x Jacket Required.

    Continue reading

  • Kapok FW2012 Lookbook

    The Guys over at Kapok have produced a very nice lookbook for Fall/Winter 2012.

    We are very pleased to be featured and here are the images from the lookbook.

    Continue reading

  • Universal Works x Millican Collaboration

    Through a shared passion for the outdoors, honest tradition and modern functionality Universal Works have teamed up with Millican in a collaboration to create four new bags.

    Jamie the holdall, Jan the daypack, David the tote and Martin the courier, in Millican tradition are all named after friends and colleagues of UW.  The first collaboration is limited to 25 Pieces per style which are available through both Millican and UW’s online stores.  We are very proud of these bags so if you’re in the market for a new one, we honestly believe if you give a Millican bag a try you will not be disappointed.

    Continue reading

  • Academy

    It’s always a treat to visit Cornwall, one of my favourite places to just, well be.

    I have memories from childhood of driving for what seemed like days to get from Birmingham to Devon and onto Cornwall for family holidays as a child, and they are fond memories too, the sun was always shining the beaches of golden sands the fish and chips fresh and tasty, mackerel fishing in a rowing boat, and some of those memories are probably actually true rather than just romantic ideals embellished through the last few decades.

    Continue reading

  • Books

    As a grown-up man of 30 something there is probably a good case to say that I shouldn’t even be thinking about Christmas yet.  But I am.  In-fact I am proper excited about it!!  Yes, society dictates that by now I should have grown out of it, and, for a few years I think I actually did.  But this year it is back and I’m embracing it whole heartedly.  It all started with those first few mornings when you step out the door and feel that chilling new nip in the air that prompts replacement of the anorak with something more fitting for the next few months- waxed, Ventile, Millerain??  Definitely.  Away go the deck shoes and ciao the hand stitched leathers, red laces and Vibram soles.  There is no denying that the winter wardrobe is far superior to the single layer summer.  The more I wrap up, the more Christmassy I feel.

    So, as I send off an e-mail to the boss requesting the last of my holiday entitlement to extend my Xmas week, I find my mind wandering to wrapped shiny parcels and red envelopes with the Oi Polloi Magpie on.  Everyone loves getting presents don’t they? Of course they do.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not about to start my shopping just yet, but I may start to drop of a few ‘hints’ myself.

    Now, as a bit of a nerd for all things clothing, I admittedly enjoy nothing more than a good book on the matter.  If Santa has received my list through ok this year then hopefully there will be a new ones under the tree for me to open on Xmas day (or even Xmas Eve night- If I’m allowed?!).  There are a couple of people I meet out on my travels that have proved to be a great source of reading suggestions and in the last few months they have come up trumps.  With plenty of hinting time between now and the big day I thought I would share 2 or 3 recent purchases that would provide a good few hours escape over the Xmas period;

    Continue reading

  • Anamorphic Logo

  • Peggs & Son


    Photo Courtesy of Adam Kola

    From time to time we will feature one of our fantastic stockists in the journal. We have made many friends along the way and we owe them a lot.

    When we launched our first collection for autumn/winter 2009 we had decided that we would consider it prudent to continue if we could successfully obtain ten stockists, well we managed nine and went for it anyway.

    Peggs & Son are one of the original nine. It is a great store and they have continued to support us by buying our brand ever since. We have quite a large collection which you may be discovering and Peggs and Son always buy a nice selection of it.

    Since 2000 Peggs & Son based on Duke Street in the seaside town of Brighton, have been offering gents of all ages the chance to stand out from the crowd.

    Continue reading

  • Hair and Now

    Barberen i Vognmagergade, Vognmagergade 9, Copenhagen K

    It’s fair to say that, with the likes of Erik Bloodaxe and Erik the Red, the Scandinavians were early adopters of the trophy beard but no-one could fail to have noticed the (literal) growth in facial hair amongst the fashionable males of Europe and America.  From Williamsburg to Shoreditch, via the Marais and Mitte, the streets are full of hirsute hipsters sporting everything from stubble to full-on Brian Blessed topiary.  But forget any notions of a care-free viking attitude – the new beards are trimmed, shaped and groomed to perfection and this has, in turn, lead to a resurgence of the art of barbering and a welcome return of the joy of an open-blade and warm-towel routine to many men’s lives.  Here in Copenhagen, leading this renaissance is Jonas Shiran Larsen who opened Barberen i Vognmagergade (don’t even try to pronounce it…) in premises dating back to 1936.  In this men-only environment guys queue up for their weekly beard trims and cut-throat-razor neck-shaves, maybe drinking a beer or whisky and reading a vintage comic whilst they wait.  The rat-pack atmosphere is a million miles away from the chest-waxing, eyebrow-tweaking beauty salons of the turn-of-the-century metrosexual though, to be honest, just as rooted in vanity.

    Continue reading

  • Save the Date

    The team behind menswear tradeshow Jacket Required have came together to embark on a journey in film. The brand plan to unveil a number of short films profiling a range of menswear figureheads on the run up to their next show, happening February 7th and 8th 2013.

    The series, entitled ”Save the Date,” debuts with a profile of David. Here is the film for your viewing.

    UWHQ

  • The Liquor Store

    What today seems like a very long time ago, I was in the employment of one of the big 3 ‘original’ denim companies.  It wasn’t the one with the big ‘E’, nor the one with the iconic ‘W’, it was the other one- the one with the lazy ‘S’.  Anyway, it was here that I met with Phil who was to become a very good friend and now the owner of Birmingham’s newest and brilliantly-original menswear store.

    I don’t think Phil will mind me saying that the Liquor Store has been in the melting pot for some time, year’s in-fact.  In the time it’s taken Phil to meticously plan and design the Liquor Store I have actually opened (…and closed) my own store, but, that’s another story.  Having been so close to Phil over the last few years, through this period of ‘planning’ it’s been inspiring to see that despite various name changes, potential shop-fit’s and locations the concept has always remained the same- the Liquor Store is a denim mecca!  Yes,  if you were to look down the brand list the store does carry some very desirable apparel, but, how many shop-fits do you see today that dedicate the majority of wall space in-store to possibly the biggest denim wall in the UK?

    Continue reading

  • A fishy tale

    I am not a morning person but I do seem to manage getting up before first light in the pursuit of piscis.

    There’s something quite special about sitting at the waters edge watching the morning mist lift as the first rays of sun peak over the horizon, For me it’s the peace and quiet that accompanies trying to outwit our fishy friends, the time to think and relax are also welcomed.

    If you’re lucky, when you least expect it, you may just experience a singing reel or a bend in a rod, your heart will race in anticipation of the unknown species that is now kiting away from you in the hope of escape. Respectfully and thoughtfully you encourage the fish to your net and when ready, gently lift it from the water to a padded landing mat. Remove the hook and check the fish’s condition, take a picture if that’s your persuasion and then it’s carefully returned to the water and held until it can return unassisted to the murky depths from whence it came.

    Maybe it’s the hunter gather instincts, this simple experience is enough to motivate one to sit for hours and for some, days in the hope of catching a fish.

    Jamie,
    UWHQ.

  • From our man in the North

    Illustration courtesy of Peter O’Toole www.peter-otoole.co.uk

    I think I can safely say that 2012 will prove to be a fairly defining year for me.  By the time we had reached the half way mark there had already been some fairly life-changing events, which has proved to be an on-going trend.  Some of this has been good, some has been ‘un-expected’ but generally all has contributed to putting me in a completely different place than I thought I would be 6 months earlier.  Having spent the last 3 years embarking on an un-paralled learning curve in to the world of business and retailing I now find myself back in employment and writing a little introduction in to my world of blogging.

    The ‘learning curve’ I refer to, (since it’s closure), was a menswear shop based in the heart of Northern England.  A labour of love, that ultimately was the bricks and mortar realization of years in the rag trade and a desire to create something myself.  The result was a very nice shop in the wrong town and a website that has left me with many un-answered questions.

    As is often the case in life, we are thrown the odd curve-ball that turns everything upside down and makes you look a little harder at what is important.  More time at home became the priority and a jump back over the fence into wholesale.

    Continue reading

  • From our man in Scandinavia

    The UW Copenhagen Office.  Don’t be fooled by the computer… normally it’s all wine bottles and smorrebrød.

    Universal by name, Universal by nature:  UW may have it’s heart and soul in England but two or three times a year, the design team reconvenes to their Danish outpost, partly to meet old friends and enjoy the new Nordic cooking scene of Copenhagen but also to have an injection of Scandi style inspiration. Danish scarf-use is documented, mid-century furniture and ceramics are perused and more than a few beers are drunk before the team flies on to their next international destination, leaving a wake of UW pocket squares and excited new customers.

    But, to keep them and you all up to date with what is happening over here in Vikingland on a more regular basis, expect frequent blog updates from downtown Copenhagen.  It’s not all Little Mermaids and Lego here – you’ll hear about new shops and old bars, about blondes, bikes and beards, and mostly about the joys of living in one of the worlds coolest and happiest cities.

    More from me later,

    Hej Hej!
    Graham

  • Real Ale

    Robin Hood Beer festival.

    Some of the UW team celebrated our first online order by going for a half or two of real ale. Nottingham hosts the festival offering the world’s largest selection of real ales.

    If you like your real ale then it’s worth a visit, well at least we think so.

    UWHQ

  • From our man in the South

    I have to say that after living in London for nearly seven years it still feels a little bit strange to be called Universal Works man in the South.

    So having cut my teeth in independent menswear this midlands boy is here with a slightly northern angle on life in the mad crazy mega city that is London Town.

    I will be keeping you up to date with UW retail happenings down here in London Midtown (Bloomsbury) and also keeping an eye on all our Local UW stockists  as well as other great retail stores, restaurants, pubs and pretty much anything else that takes my fancy, as well as trying to keep up with what ‘s hot and happening in London.

    So sit back buckle yourself in and get ready for The Universal Works London Blog.

  • First Journal Post

    So finally 3 years after the first Universal Works collection first hit the world we get round to having a proper website, what took us so long I hear you ask? Well sometimes things just take longer than hoped, but to be honest we have just been really busy and these things take time and money, both of which can be in short supply for a small brand like us!

    I guess we have not been in any rush to have a site with a web store either as we have been very happy to have many good stockists and hope you will continue to shop with them, and if you find something in our store not available else where we will be happy to have you as a customer. We have recently opened our first real store in London’s Bloomsbury, it’s a small space but we like it, come see us if you are in London.

    Continue reading