Urban Outfitters (shop report)

Urban Outfitters is one cool as hell place. At least that’s what they want you to think. Selling all the latest trends from hipster to skater to nerdy to arty, they’ve got it all…

You want a selection of cool middle-of-the-range brands with tongue-in-cheek slogans slapped across the front in french? They’ve got it.

You want the whiney indie band soundtrack as you shop? They’ve got that to.

How about some fun gift ideas for you and your hipster friends? Yep, you guessed it – they’ve got ’em.

In fact there’s only one thing missing at Urban Outfitters and that’s¬†originality.

It just feels like we’ve seen this a hundred times before. It’s not that the clothes aren’t bang on trend, or that the bands they play aren’t good, or even that their selection of gifts aren’t interesting cos they actually are quite fun! It’s just an ongoing issue I have with this place that it thinks it’s much better than it really is. I feel like they rely on the word ‘cool’ way too much. And I feel like a complete hypocrite because I do pick up the odd item of clothing from them from time to time. Urban Outfitters is just one hell of an annoying store. Even looking at these photos I took whilst visiting annoy me.


There are however a couple of positive aspects to about Urban Outfitters that should not be overlooked. One being what they call the Urban Renewal section. This is where the kindhearted people at Urban Outfitters Inc take old battered secondhand items of clothing and turn them into a new wearable garment that still has those grand old features of the ruined one. A rebirth of style if you like. Ignore the fact that they charge ridiculous amounts for this ‘green’/’vintage’ service and it’s actually quite a swell little idea. The leather jackets, denim shirts and farmer coats are all restored to their former glory, ready to be worn by every young East Londoner in town so you and your hipster friends can all look exactly the same. How cool’s that?! Okay, I’ll stop with the sarcasm now.

The other thing I quite enjoy about Urban Outfitters is the way they promote different types of photography like no other store I know. Walk in to any of their shops and you’ll immediately notice the wall of literature, music and photography. If you ignore the annoying pretentious coffee table books and that hideous array of overpriced headphones, your eyes will fall upon a surprisingly impressive collection of cameras. Fantastic Diana F+ cameras with the old style attachable flashes, plus Lomography fisheye cameras in creamy pastel colours and fun compact sizes. Great investment pieces for the wannabe photographer and experimental art student out there. Nice one Urban!

Dear Urban Outfitters,

Sorry for being so harsh. It’s not you, it’s me.

You’re not all that bad really. I’ll still pop by sometime and see how you’re doing.

xoxo


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