Album of the Year: David Bowie, Blackstar
Release of the Year: Oak Street Bootmakers Dainite Trench Boot in Indigo Rough-Out
Favorite Purchase: Shoes Like Pottery Low Top Sneaker in White
"Most comfortable and best fitting canvas sneaker I have ever worn."
Moment of 2016: Game 7 of the World Series
"Crazy nail-biter going to extra innings after rain and the Cubs winning. Probably the best baseball game ever."
Brand to Watch in 2017: Momotaro
"Too many great denims about to get released this spring including several limited editions."
Album of the Year: World's End Girlfriend, Last Waltz
Release of the Year: Attachment at Blue Owl
"The most exciting release for me this year was finally being able to introduce Attachment to our customers. I've been a long time fan of the label for the same reason we love our denim brands - their style is timeless, details are incredible, and construction is at the highest level. If I had to pick one piece out of the bunch it would be the Kasuri Gabardine Blazer. It is a near-perfect representation of the label's devotion to unique high-quality fabrics and minimal styling."
Favorite purchase: Shoes Like Pottery Low Top Sneaker in White
"While it wasn't my most expensive or flashiest purchase of 2016, it has definitely got the most mileage. They are among the most comfortable and versatile sneakers I've owned, not to mention their durability. After wearing my pair for the better part of this year, through everything from desert to snow, the sole is still holding up great. I'll definitely be picking up another pair when our spring release arrives!"
Moment of 2016: Graduating from UW
"After a little more than four years, two summers studying in Japan, and countless hours writing essays, this year I finally received my degree from the University of Washington. Although it is a bit bittersweet to close this chapter of my life, I'll always treasure the friends and memories that I made along the way. I'm very thankful to have had so many wonderful teachers that imparted their passions to me, and made college an entirely enjoyable experience."
Brand to Watch in 2017: Soulive
"Japan Blue Group really surprised me this year with their Soulive collection. I never expected such innovative and interesting pieces to come from the same group behind the more traditionally tailored brands of Momotaro and Japan Blue. Everything from Soulive's Fall season was both incredibly wearable and put forth a new and exciting aesthetic for our store. I'm excited to see what 2017's collections will bring! "
Album of the Year: Architects, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
Release of the Year: Freeman x Blue Owl Workshop “The Freeman” Rain Jacket
"Our #MadeInWA collection was definitely a high point for me, and this piece in particular really stood out. A lot of work went on behind the scenes to make this jacket happen, and the final result turned out better than we had ever imagined. To see such a successful release on an item that was such a departure from our usual formula made me extremely excited for future projects. Also, our #MadeInWA release party was insane!"
Favorite Purchase: Tacos from Guisados in Los Angeles, CA
"I had heard the hype ahead of time and wasn’t quite sure if Guisados - Echo Park’s legendary taco stand - was going to live up to its billing, but after one bite I was a believer. Holy crap these were good! If Amazon ever speeds up this drone delivery thing, I’ll be shelling out big bucks to Prime Now for some out-of-state lunch delivery."
Moment of 2016: New Orleans, LA
"New Orleans is a city I had always wanted to visit, and this year I was fortunate enough to take a short visit in October to visit some friends. It’s unlike anywhere I’ve ever been in the country. Also, gumbo was absolutely the BOMB! 💥"
Brand to Watch in 2017: Attachment
"Attachment is a brand we’ve admired for a very long time, and only recently did we have the opportunity to add it to our roster. I’ve been trying to add new silhouettes and styles into my wardrobe, and Attachment really stood out. They do such a large variety of things so well, that it’s hard not to find something from their collection that catches your eye, and based on what I’ve seen for Spring - 2017 is going to be a big year fro Attachment."
Album of the Year: Kid Cudi, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'
Release of the Year: BOM011
"BOM011 Momotaro X Blue Owl 15.7oz Denim Jacket, best denim jacket on the market. Merging Momotaro's first ever black vintage fabric and a modified type-two jacket with pockets, only denim jacket I'll wear. A black denim jacket pairs with any denim, being a neutral color makes it an easy jacket to wear. "
Favorite Purchase: Simple Eyeware Frames from Eyes on Fremont
"I have worn mall brand eye frames growing up and when I was introduced to handcrafted frames I was amazed at the attention to detail and how much better they fit my face. Just like denim it is an incredible investment that you will wear everyday."
Moment of 2016: The Overalls Challenge
"I wore Naked & Famous Left Hand Twill overalls for 6 months straight. It was a struggle for the first week but it was nice knowing that you have an outfit decided for you. It was my only outfit for Sasquatch 2016 and took it hiking for the Ancient Lakes photoshoot, they were hot! The experience was incredible overall, and I definitely was known as 'that guy who wore overalls for half a year.' Thanks Bahzad!"
Brand to Watch in 2017: Soulive
"Soulive is a brand we brought in for F/W 2016 and easily became one of my favorite brands out of Japan. There take on Japanese heritage with streetwear caught my attention at first and after picking up the haori jacket, easily found why they will become a brand to look forward to in 2017."
Album of the Year: Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial
Release of the Year: Outclass Bomber Jacket in Charcoal
"Been looking for a jacket like this for a while and this one came along and fits me perfectly. The leather sleeves and details feel nice and it looks great with everything."
Favorite Purchase: Atelier De L'armée Flight Carrier
"I have been following this label for a minute now and love their designs because they are unique and unlike what I usually see from most bag labels. Their style is the perfect mix of urban and workwear aesthetics resulting in bags that look great and are incredibly functional. I picked up this bag as a birthday present to myself and have been in love with it ever since. "
Moment of 2016: Finishing BFA in Visual Communications
"Finishing my BFA in Visual Communications was pretty dope. Close second though would have been the Made in Washington event and Series of products. That event was such an awesome culmination of so much hard work from everyone on the team and those that we collaborated with. Also, making an enamel pin was a huge bucket list item I got to cross off with that series."
Brand to Watch in 2017: Tanuki
"This brand came out of no where and quickly became a shop favorite. With their core fabrics they clearly demonstrated that not only can they make dope fabrics, but they also created two perfect fits. Furthermore their attention to detail like the bigger front pocket opening shows that they are thinking about how raw denim can be improved. Seriously, I cannot say how much of a game changer those front pockets are. With the already awesome line of core fabrics and Oni collab under their belt in the first year I am very excited to see what comes next."