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Urban Outfitters’ Mysterious New ‘Lifestyle Center’ Concept: Bowling Alley or Unicorn Research Lab?

Urban Outfitters

Retro Urban Outfitters (2004) / Image: Getty

Clothing retailer Urban Outfitters (actual tagline: "Always open, always awesome.") has just signed a 15-year lease on an enormous new location in Herald Square. Rent on the three-floor, 56,730-square-foot space is reportedly set at a cool $6.5 million a year, about 224,137 times the cost of a pair of Cosmic Unicorn Leggings. Early reports of the deal emerged in February, but it has only now officially been finalized. 

Urban Outfitters' new Herald Square mega-compound is more than double the size of the retailer's largest locations worldwide (which are normally in the 25,000-square-foot range) and there are big, mysterious plans for the space, which will reportedly function as an "innovative new lifestyle center concept with features never before seen from the brand." 

From WWD:

"Officials at Urban Outfitters could not be reached for comment Tuesday on the new concept or its name. 'It’s to be determined. There are a lot of moving parts,' said a real estate source." 

Nothing piques our interest more than the phrase, "innovative new lifestyle center concept," which promises fun and fulfilling times ahead. But since Urban Outfitters is playing the specific details close to the vest, for now we can only imagine what the revolutionary new retail experience could be. 

Some possibilities:

  • Bowling alley
  • Dine-in movie theater
  • Ice skating rink
  • Music venue
  • Salt-water pool
  • Metal shop
  • Frozen yogurt supplier
  • Hair salon
  • Organic vegetable stand
  • Airport
  • Wine bar
  • Dry cleaners
  • Recycling plant
  • Sushi restaurant
  • Office share
  • Skateboard park
  • Tweet up center
  • Cat adoption facility
  • Photo developer
  • Microbrewery
  • Knitting school
  • YouTube screening theater
  • School bus
  • Cycling gym 
  • Day camp
  • Unicorn research lab
  • Seinfeld nostalgia center
  • Pastry cooking lessons

Could really be anything. 

The Buzz Latest News

Fall 2013 Sneak Peek: French Connection’s Key Footwear Trends

French Connection Portrait coverThere’s no denying that French Connection has become somewhat of an institution on the British high street over the years. Here’s a sneak peek at some of its key footwear for next season to add to your wish lists.

The range is all about classic detailing meets sports luxe cool, with a colour palette trending towards bitter blue and evening wine. It features footwear for every occasion, including mirrored party heels, heeled pumps and even equestrian-inspired knee-high buckled boots.

French Connection has also introduced the use of polished box leather in place of patent leather on several of its heeled pumps, and that trendy pony hair effect is back once more due to its success in previous seasons as it decorates some of the line’s key shoe boots.

For those who do love a good equestrian infused winter boot, then next season French Connection is providing you with the choice between two trends: the classic Olga knee-high riding boot complete with sturdy block heel, or its more trend led Rada wedge knee-high boot with a cool leather overlay detail.  

So, get planning which pieces you need to inject into your wardrobe next season with the slideshow below.



The Buzz Latest News

Link Buzz: Paris Street Style; Which Designer Labels Manufacture in Bangladesh?

Image: Getty

Image: Getty

  • His and hers street style from Paris Fashion Week. [FabSugar]
  • Really well-reported story on higher-end designer brands (like Ralph Lauren, Armani, Hugo Boss) that manufacture in Bangladesh. [WSJ]
  • Extremely attractive and/or weird beauty looks from the Paris couture shows. [BellaSugar]
  • Viktor & Rolf is scheduled to show tomorrow night, but half of its couture collection has already sold to an unknown collector. [Fashionologie]
  • An iPhone clutch. I guess. [SheFinds]
  • Buyers are excited about the "bold fashions" shown at the men's shows in Paris. Get ready to see all the boys on the street wearing florals. [WWD]

The Buzz Forum Buzz

Chanel and Miu Miu Release Racially Diverse Fall 2013 Campaigns (Forum Buzz)


Miu Miu Fall/Winter 2013 Campaign, Image Credit: a-state-of-bliss.tumblr via the tFS forums

This week started off with more good news regarding the improvement of racial diversity in the fashion world. Not only did we get an unusually diverse casting at the Christian Dior Haute Couture show, we also got previews from Fall/Winter campaigns by major designers that cast several non-white models. DSquared went for an interesting concept in its Fall campaign, which was shot by photographers Mert & Marcus, that involves a cast consisting solely of black male models and female models of Asian descent. Chanel booked two Asians for the Fall campaign, Korean model Soo Joo Park and Japanese beauty Chiharu Okunugi, alongside Karl Lagerfeld’s new muse Ashleigh Good. And a preview shot for the Miu Miu campaign, shot by Inez & Vinoodh, features Brazilian newcomer Marina Nery and Moroccan stunner Hind Sahli.

TFS forum members are obviously pleased to see so many non-Caucasian models finally getting the recognition they deserve and being cast for blue chip campaigns.

About the Miu Miu campaign, member Fiercification, who was the first to post the images on the forums, said, “And the diversity trend continues! Loving Hind here!”

“Really proud of these diversity things going on in a lot of campaigns this season,” added Fashiognosis when commenting on the ad.

Fer19dog was another member who couldn't contain his excitement over seeing such a surprising and interesting model cast. “This is amazing!!! This made the rest of the year for me. Very happy for both girls, they look great and eye catching. Long live diversity!!!” he swooned.

Elfinkova applauded the art direction of the campaign itself and noted, “This looks like a Miu Miu campaign of the past – and I love it.”


Chanel Fall/Winter 2013 campaign, Image Credit: a-state-of-bliss.tumblr via the tFS forums

Reactions to the Chanel campaign were less positive. Valliaddict commented, “This is dreadful….that's all I can say. Dreadful.”

“This is so awkward and static. Karl doesn’t have a clue what he is doing…” mused jmrmartinho.  

“I’m glad that I see more Asian girls than white girls …….for once in a campaign. But I’m not impressed with the result,” shared congacon.  

I couldn't help but think the same when looking at those images from the Chanel campaign. While I appreciate the diversity here, it is really about the only highlight in these images. The confused concept, the awkward styling, the mediocre photography. It all seems a little random and lackluster. The good thing is that the models are definitely not at fault here. And with luxury houses as impactful as Chanel and Prada (whose Fall campaign includes Chinese model Fei Fei Sun and multiethnic beauty Malaika Firth, the first black model to star in a Prada campaign since Naomi Campbell in 1994!) embracing racial diversity more and more we hope that this diverse casting is not just a trend, but will eventually be the norm in fashion campaigns.

The Buzz Forum Buzz

Gisele, Karen Elson, Isabeli Fontana and Carolyn Murphy Front Louis Vuitton Fall Campaign (Forum Buzz)


Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2013 Campaign, Image Credit: zinio via the tFS forums

Gisele Bündchen sharing the spotlight with other models only happens about once in a blue moon. But for Louis Vuitton’s top model-studded Fall/Winter 2013 campaign, we see her pictured alongside fellow Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana, iconic Estée Lauder face Carolyn Murphy and model/musician Karen Elson in the very same frame. As per usual, the campaign was shot by Steven Meisel, who managed to make the cast look harmonious rather than it seeming like the models were cast just for the sake of being well-known and expensive. The mood conveyed in the one shot that has been released so far is especially impressive. The cold but luxurious-looking setting, the sexual undertone to the models’ get-up, the dramatic makeup and the beautiful lighting all add up to a stunning image capturing the essence of the collection perfectly. 

Members of the tFS forums liked what they saw, expressing mostly positive sentiments about the cast and concept of the campaign.

“THIS IS SO ICONIC ALREADY! It looks amazing, It fits so well with the clothes concept. I can’t identify a single flaw, it’s simply perfect,” gushed an excited jmrmartinho.  

Tigerrouge admitted that “wigs aside, this is the first campaign that I've actually liked this season.”

And anlabe32 found that the shot was “alluring and appropriate for the collection” and, like many others, stated that she  “cannot wait to see more.”

“Now this is what I call a campaign. Something there's an atmosphere that emanates from and in which I'm instantaneously absorbed. And of course, all of these supermodels in only one picture. I'm sold, this is perfection,” wrote Valentine27.  

Testinofan couldn't help but notice that the campaign seems reminiscent of a Missoni campaign from the Fall/Winter 2008/2009 season, which was also shot by Meisel. An assessment several other members agreed with, although it did not seem to take away from their excitement over this campaign. 

With a cast this phenomenal and a concept so universally appealing, it is no surprise most of us are delighted with what Louis Vuitton and its creative director Marc Jacobs delivered here. Since you most likely don’t want to miss when more shots from the campaign surface, follow our thread on the tFS forums: Louis Vuitton F/W 13.14.

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