The Mill

That's it. The holidays are over. You can drink the last of your Christmas ale in peace knowing you don't have to listen to another holiday album for at least another 10 months. It's time to break out the ladder and put the final nail in the Christmas coffin by taking down those icicle lights your wife insisted you put up. But before you risk your life by climbing onto your frozen roof, it's important to take a moment to reflect on the year that was, because unless your name is Bill Cosby or Meek Mill, there's a good chance 2015 was a good year. After all, it's hard not to enjoy a year that gave us a brand new Star Wars and this incredible story. So please, join us as we recap our favorite albums, purchases, and moments of 2015 in our first-ever Year in Review.

Album of the Year: Destroyer, Poison Season 

Favorite purchase: Kazuyuki Kumagai Attachment Black Zip Hoodie
"Everyone needs a good hoodie considering how versatile they are. When it comes to everyday basics I think you should treat yourself to something nicer than usual, and this hoodie kills it. Nice mediumweight fabric, black Riri zipper, and a really unique anatomical cut. It works well under heavier jackets, and as a standalone piece. "

Biggest surprise/disappointment of 2015: Cookiezi Returning to Osu
"Osu is a rhythm game for the PC in where you click circles to the beat. This guy was the god of clicking circles. Back in 2012 he would full combo tracks in double time that the next best players could barely beat, but he quit the game citing eye issues. He made a return this year to competition that has finally caught up to his skill. Now we get to see how the untouchable master will hold up against today's greats after 3 years hiatus."

Stand-out moment of 2015: Tokyo, Japan
"Studying Japanese for six months in Tokyo. It was amazing to have the opportunity and support to go round off my language study. Spending months immersed really took my ability to a new level."

Where do you see fashion going in 2016?
"More collarless shirts, and more drop crotch. I think relaxed yet clean is the direction we're headed in."

Album of the Year: Stray From The Path, Subliminal Criminals 

Favorite purchase: Tuft & Needle Queen Mattress
"For me, 2015 was the year of adult purchases. No, not sex toys. I'm talking insurance, furniture, and beer koozies that stick inside your shower. You know, the kind of stuff your parents told you to save your money for back when you were too busy buying Tech Decks and Totino's Pizza Rolls. Well guess what mom and dad?! Your boy bought himself a new mattress! And now I can spend 1/3 of my life sleeping in positions that were never possible on my beloved twin mattress."

Biggest surprise/disappointment of 2015: True Detective Season 2
"Spoiler alert: True Detective sucked. I mean it really sucked. I mean I haven't been so utterly confused by a storyline in my life. At least, not since I downed four pints of Guinness and watched Interstellar. Which, come to think of it, probably wasn't all that different from writer Nic Pizzolatto's creative process, based on surefire award-winning lines like 'Never do anything out of hunger. Not even eating.' Screw it, I'll stick to watching Ballers."

Stand-out moment of 2015: SHARKS
"I love shark week. It's educational and entertaining, but most importantly, it's safe. I don't have to get in one of those shoddily built cages and have a giant slab of meat in my face in order to get close to the sharks. Nope, I get to enjoy my couch and my 1080P and watch someone risk their life instead. Until this summer, when I got tricked into doing a cage of my own. Except, there wasn't a cage. That's right, the crack team of Hawaiian experts I went diving with decided it'd be fun to swim WITHOUT A CAGE. I sat in horror as we blew past our designated cage, and into an area of the ocean that was known for its high density of Galapagos sharks. Except, as I quickly learned, any area where there's a high density of sharks typically means one very bad thing - they're hungry. Naturally, this seemed like a great place to get off the boat, so we did. Just four guys with flippers and super intimidating snorkels, swimming aimlessly around shark-infested waters. What should've been the headline of the next day's local paper, actually became an extremely eye-opening and surprisingly smooth experience. It's also something I only need to try once. "

Where do you see fashion going in 2016?
"BRIGHT COLORS. That's my prediction. I'm talking, the kind of stuff typically reserved for crossing guards or EDM festivals. Not necessarily full outfits consisting of these colors, but lots and lots of contrast highlights and detailing. We're already seeing it with sneakers, and after Palewave™ 2015 I think people are finally ready to throw some color back into their lives. Beyond that, I'm expecting fleece, patches, and windbreakers to become cool again. Also, I'm still patiently awaiting the day sweater vests make their triumphant return to mainstream fashion. You heard it here first, folks. "

Album of the Year: Deerhunter, Fading Frontier / Ought, Sun Coming Down

Favorite purchase: BOM00X
"I've been waiting years to wear this denim and I haven't been able to take them off since I first put them on. Not shop related; a Wine Decanter. I couldn't believe I waited so long to actually get one for myself! Makes my favorite $10 bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir taste that much smoother."

Biggest surprise/disappointment of 2015: Oregon Ducks Football
"All politics, MASSIVE social and environmental issues aside, the biggest disappointment for me is a no-brainer, the Oregon Ducks football team losing to Ohio State for the College Football Championship. Heart breaking. It's taboo for a Duck fan to mention our championship losses but so be it. Being from Oregon and living in Seattle I get a lot of hate for my hometown teams, the Ducks and 49ers, so the unfortunate season didn't leave me a ton of bragging rights. On the flip-side to that (and just to win over all my friends here in Seattle) I can say a pleasant surprise was Malcolm Butler's interception in Super Bowl XLIX."

Stand-out moment of 2015: Rogue Territory x Blue Owl Workshop "Expedition"
"What stood out to me most this past year about the shop was 'Blue Owl Beach Day' as we call it. The soaking process we did for the release of our 'Expedition series' denim collaboration with Rogue Territory. We just all had a blast and bonded as a team while making our mark on such a unique denim. The response we had was amazing and definitely a highlight of the year for me! I'm already excited for our next Expedition."

Where do you see fashion going in 2016?
"I see selvedge raw denim continuing to grow exponentially as more and more people seek out quality garments and artisan crafted clothing. With more people being conscious about their clothing and actually caring about how and where it's made, more styles will continue to develop and grow from the individual. With so many internet forums about fashion these days everyone has access to a wealth of knowledge, suggestions about brands, ideas and styles. I think change is good but quality made garments will never go out of style."

Album of the Year: Jamie XX, In Colour / Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, A Year with 13 Moons / Chastity Belt, Time to Go Home

Favorite purchase: Freitag F512 Voyager Backpack
"My favorite non clothing related purchase would easily have to be my Rega RP1 Turntable. It's my first entry into the world of audiophile turntable and makes all my records sound amazing. Also it's a pretty sexy looking piece of audio equipment. My favorite clothing related purchase is definitely my Freitag F512 Voyager backpack. I love bags and bag design and Freitag is a brand that I have followed for a while and loved their story and creative designs. This year my chrome bag finally broke down and I decided to pull the trigger on the F512 Voyager from them which I think is the coolest bag design I've ever seen. It's a simple design that uses space efficiently and allows for the space to be organized any way you need it to be making it an incredibly versatile bag. Also, it's waterproof making it perfect for the Seattle rain which I spend a lot of time in given that I take the bus."

Biggest surprise/disappointment of 2015: Meeting Lil Bub
"Getting to meet Lil' Bub was a surprise that I could not have anticipated. I have been a fan of Lil' Bub for a few years now and when she (Her owner) not only dropped a record out of nowhere but also announced a record store tour that included Seattle I was stoked."

Stand-out moment of 2015: Amsterdam, Netherlands
"I had the privilege of going to holland this summer and touring some design studios and masters programs and it was an amazing experience that has had a significant impact on my design work and and what I want to do with my design career in the future."

Where do you see fashion going in 2016?
"I don't know if I really know where it's going because there are so many little subcultures now, which I think is great!. However, I hope that things continue to stay long, loose, and layered with strong contrast between dark and pastel neutral colors, with unique textures and materials."

Album of the Year: Travi$ Scott, Rodeo / Bryson Tiller, T R A P S O U L

Favorite purchase: wings+ horns x New Balance Parka

Biggest surprise/disappointment of 2015: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Stand-out moment of 2015: Rogue Territory x Blue Owl Workshop "Expedition"
"Our collaboration with Rogue Territory was a crazy experience. Going out to the Puget Sound at 8AM and soaking over 20+ pairs of denim and hanging them on trees was well worth the stares and sunburn."

Where do you see fashion going in 2016?
"Acronym Tech Ninjas vs Yeezy Season 2 Post-Apocalyptic Survivors. Let the battle begin!"

Album of the Year: Wilco, Star Wars 

Favorite purchase: Apple Watch
"I had not worn a watch for nearly 10 years and was not sure if I would wear it daily. Well, I wear it every day and am addicted to the health app, which has really has changed my every day activity."

Biggest surprise/disappointment of 2015: Kansas City Royals World Series Champions
"I grew up back in Kansas and remember the '85 season very well. I played a lot of little league back as a kid and George Brett was one of my idols. I remember George Brett and Brett Saberhagen come back from down 1-3 in the World Series to take the title in a dramatic game 7 blow out. Seeing the current team not get it done last year, and come back one year later with a little more experience and a chip on their shoulder was a beautiful thing to experience. Glad they got it done!"

Stand-out moment of 2015: Stephen Reed
"I recently learned that a friend who was part of the Blue Owl team passed away of motorcycle accident in September. Stephen Reed was one of our models and the face of Blue Owl 6 years ago. 8 years ago I met Stephen as he auditioned for a fashion event where we were involved. Stephen was incredibly driven, intelligent, and a good friend. Reed was 1 day shy of his 30th birthday, and left us in his prime! We miss you Stephen!"

Where do you see fashion going in 2016?
"In the raw denim scene - expect more brands to embrace the more thigh room/strong taper fit, and the selection of available fabrics will continue to improve. I do not see any major game changers, but more brands are playing with heavyweight fabrics and more intricate weaves so there will be some fun denims out there from brands who have not already established themselves in this area. Overall, more great denim out there and the selection will continue to get better."