Monday 1 December 2008

BNTL X Urban Industry

Our good friends Dan King and Sean Hammett over at Urban Industry have been doing their thing for a while now, so I thought i'd let the poeple who dont know about this amazing store know what they are missing.

Urban Industry opened its doors in 2002 and since then they have put together a arsenal of heavy hitting streetwear brands. Theres no doubt that these guys are one of the leading stockists in the UK for forward thinking labels. In this day and age so many stores are content with running with the well established brands and play it safe, whats different with Urban industry is that they are not afraid to give those new brands a chance. With this mentality you are never dissapointed when presented with their selection.


Just to give you a better insight into Urban Industry Dan took time out to answer a few of my questions....

Where did it all begin?

We started Urban Industry back in November 2002. We opened a small store here in Eastbourne on a back street as the rent was cheap, didn't really even think of location too much just got super enthusiastic about opening a store! We opened the webstore 6 months later in 2003 and just poured all our efforts into that while the store was quiet during the week. 2 years later we moved and opened a bigger store closer in towards the town centre which worked a bit better but there's only so many niche street wear brands you can sell in a town like Eastbourne, the majority of customers are interested in basic surf brands, top shop or primark so try selling them a £150 Stussy jacket! We plowed on with the site and then in late 2007 we finally decided that the internet was the way forward for us, shut the shop, moved into a new warehouse close by and opened a small, destination store for our local loyal customers...

Have you been effected by the economic crisis?

Touch wood, no. We're still up month on month compared to last year so we can't complain, i think it will get tougher early next year though, we'll have to wait and see.

Have you changed your buying to cater for the credit crunch?

A bit yes, we've had to think long and hard about taking on brand new brands that have a lot of hype behind them and instead put more money with some of the more established brands. The crazy hyped stuff is great to have and looks cool, but cool doesn't often pay the bills! Some street wear is so niche that there may only be a few hundred people in the UK that have even heard of some stuff. It either has to be absolutely fantastic design, dirt cheap or David Beckham needs have been seen wearing it...haha.

What brands are doing well for you?

All the old guard, Adidas, Stussy, Carhartt, Dickies, DC, in age it seems!

What brands should we be keeping our eyes out for?

Mishka for one, some great stuff coming through, unusual design that you don't see elsewhere. Alphanumeric is making a come back and there was some great designs 4 years ago and from what i've seen it looks good again.
Our own Urban Industry designs! We're working on a range and sorting out some choice collaborators at the moment if anyone is interested, give me a shout!


With Europe now producing so many new brands.
Does the US and Japan need to start taking Europe more serious?

Definitely! Half the time it seems the US brands see the UK as a back water to sort out later. We often get a less than great service in getting all the stock we ordered and on time. Design wise i'm not sure as the US is so big they have their own specific markets, tastes and styles so it probably doesn't bother them about the rest as much. Also its very difficult to export to the US because of the £/$ rate, its stacked against us most of the time..

What are your favourite UK brands?

It would have to be A.IN.T, MHI/Maharishi, Addict...we need more cool brands coming through from the UK!!

What are your thoughts on streetwear blogs?

I love reading them and I check about 40 a day with the help of my Google Reader! The only think that sometimes annoys me, present company excluded of course!, is that some of these big blogs show stuff just too early! I've been to a buying appointment for Spring 2009 back in August this year and within 2-3 days of getting back the items i've just ordered are on half a dozen blogs! Any punter wanting to buy is going to be really disappointed as the item won't be out for 5-6 months! By the time they get delivered to us people have moved on to the next early hyped item! Some of these blogs need to chill out and display things nearer the time...turn the Hype down a notch or two!


What do you think of the current state of sneaker buying?
In regards to resells, custom/personalised sneakers.

Its something we don't really get involved in as its difficult to get going with personalised/custom stuff..we're not set up to do it I guess...Other than that we're as happy as pigs in shit as we've got our Nike account open at long last! Generally though sneaker sales are fairly strong for us, it still seems to be all about the retro styles from Adidas and Vans...its hard for a lot of these brands to push it forward with totally new shapes as neither them or us as the retailer has the balls to stock them! New styles come in very small increments so i like to see other brands like The Hundreds bring their own style even though they are fusing a few retro styles together!

How will streetwear look in 10years?

I'm thinking it will be very similar to what it is now! We're starting a new concept site called the Original Store in collaboration with another guy in the industry and with that we're selling Champion sweaters sourced direct from the US, Buzz Rickson Crews from Japan and other similar Original Streetwear/Workwear products. The Champion stuff is straight from the 1980's and the Buzz gear is a Japanese remake of 1950's US Military gear! So you can see there is still a market for good, well designed product from over 50 years ago. I think some things will always be classic and there will always be someone looking back on a product because they use to wear it when they were young or someone else because its retro and cool. I think amongst this we will still have the start up t-shirt brands mixing it up a little with up-to-date designs, colourways, collabs. If these guys can move on to cut and sew items then thats where the innovation will come from, I think its a healthy future ahead for 'street wear'


And because they are super nice they are giving away 10% on any order to BNTL readers.

All you need to do is enter this code when prompted: bntl10

The promotion only lasts for 10 days so dont sleep.

Click here for the store.


@witts_bntl said...

Huge post Ollie

Matthew Schnickens said...

Yep, the post was maaassive.

MARK said...

Awesome post and big up on A.IN.T

Agostinho said...

sussex ya kna, pissed! lol

but still good pics dude!

Anonymous said...

Big post Ollie!

@greg_bntl said...

your chest ollie.
really enjoyed that post!

@witts_bntl said...

My order has been placed...

@OllieDanger said...

Thank you guys. Urban Industry are the safest guys out there.

They really give a fuck about their customers. No pretentious bullshit in sight.