The Mill

Our annual "Year in Review" takes a look back on this past year through the eyes of the Blue Owl Workshop staff. Join us as we recap our favorite albums, purchases, of moments of 2017. Thank you for another incredible year of support.

Album of the Year: Kashiwa Daisuke, RED 

Release of the Year: Rogue Territory x Blue Owl Workshop "Expedition 2"
"This collaboration was more than a year in the making, and we couldn't be happier with how it turned out. The Scout Edition in particular was a complete joy, combining three things we love: quality Japanese denim, Rogue's construction and fits, and the fun of PNW adventure!"

Favorite purchase: Attachment Coaches Jacket
"I had never thought of buying a coaches jacket until I saw this piece, but as soon as I tried it on I needed to have it. It has been the perfect fall jacket for me, and I've worn it almost every day."

Moment of 2017: Taiko Kai Spring Concert
"This year I planned and organized the very first concert for my University's Japanese taiko drumming group. It is a group that I've been involved with for four years, and this year as an advisor I was very proud to see the progress the group has made."

Brand to Watch in 2017: Soulive
"I picked Soulive last year, and they did not disappoint! Once again, I see some great things on the horizon for this brand as they bring repair-work and traditional Japanese styling to an affordable price point with incredible custom-made fabrics."

Album of the Year: Counterparts, You're Not You Anymore 

Release of the Year: Shoes Like Pottery x Blue Owl Workshop 01JP Indigo Overdye
"This was an idea we tossed around awhile back and it was cool to finally make it happen. A lot of work went on behind the scenes in order to get these just right. We did a few test batches of various styles, eventually settling on the high-top overdye as the best application of the indigo. The final result really came together, and it's been a ton of fun seeing all of the faded pairs online and in-store."

Favorite Purchase: .006 Bitcoin.
"I love gambling so naturally this is the perfect investment strategy for me. I'm a big believer in the 'go big or go home' mentality, and by 'go big' I mean purchase 3/5 of 1% of a bitcoin. See you all in retirement."

Moment of 2017: Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
"Without a doubt one of the most beautiful parts of the world I've ever been to. Taking long-tail boats over to uninhabited islands itched my longtime dream of being a cast member on Survivor, but with the added benefit of going back to the hotel (and buffet) whenever you wanted. A close second would be stepping foot inside the location for our "Nuclear Waste" lookbook."

Brand to Watch in 2018: Gitman Vintage
"The forthcoming collection marks the brand's 40th anniversary, and the Gitman team is poised to introduce some of their best (and most outlandish) fabrics to date. It's going to be a fun season."

Album of the Year: TSVFOG., Perfect Day To Quit

Release of the Year: Rogue Territory x Blue Owl Workshop "Expedition 2"
"We really out did ourselves with this one. Mountain water, cold-soak denim by Nate and I -- was quite the experience. The extra frigid water brought out the bumpy, but soft texture of the denim... I definitely felt like I was clamming for denim. Also losing a pair and creating a legendary tale made for quite the memorable experience."

Favorite Purchase: Master-Piece Lightning Backpack
"This was the only luggage I took to Europe and it was more than enough for the trip. Very light weight with a plethora of pockets to organize with."

Moment of 2017: Europe
"My first time abroad to Europe. I traveled to Italy for a couple weeks and it was both spectacular and eye opening. Never have I set foot in places so old yet thriving. From the Amalfi Coast to the Ruins of Pompeii and Rome it was very surreal. The Pizza and Pasta were exceptionally dope."

Brand to Watch in 2018: Naked & Famous
"With how seasoned Naked & Famous has been, 2017 was their year. Not only was it their 10 year anniversary as a brand, but they had some releases that really shook both the denim world and the streetwear world. The Vulgar being so loud and provocative was a hit, while ending the year with their greatest collaboration to date -- the Naked & Famous X Street Fighter 2 series. You can tell that Brandon and Bahzad are only getting started and 2018 will bring a bevy of great releases. Thanks again for being one of the best denim brands in the game!"

Album of the Year: Tyler, the Creator, Flower Boy

Release of the Year: Military Field Jacket from Soulive
"I remember putting that jacket on for the first time right when we pulled it out of the box and I just knew instantly that I had to have it. The fit is perfectly oversized in all the right places, the hood has a unique shape, and the camouflage is the perfect color. I bought it as soon as it went up for sale and haven't looked back, which is good because it sold out pretty quickly."

Favorite Purchase: Antique rug
"This was the first year I lived on my own and to celebrate the occasion I bought my first real nice rug. Found it digging around all the antique stores in Tacoma one day. It's red and blue, and has little alpacas on it and is hand woven so thats cool."

Moment of 2017: Printed Matter's New York Art Book Fair
"My biggest passion outside of my job at Blue Owl has to be book design and independent publishing, and the NY and LA Art Book Fairs by Printed Matter are definitely the epicenters of independent publishing in the states. This year I had the privilege of attending both, but the NY one stood out as far as an experience goes because it was also my first real trip to NY and my girlfriend came with which made it extra special. We had an amazing time hitting up all the museums, boutiques, and vintage stores as well as taking in all the great food."

Brand to Watch in 2017: SOULIVE
"This label has quickly become one of my favorite labels in the shop. Their effortless mix of streetwear and traditional Japanese silhouettes perfectly aligns with the vision of the shop at the moment, and I cannot wait to see what they do next. "

Album of the Year: No Warning, Torture Culture

Release of the Year: Blue Blue Japan Suede Double Riders Jacket
"Fashion is moving faster than ever, and so are we! Items that I thought were released last year actually came out a month ago. In the context of BOW, I'd have to go with the Blue Blue Japan Suede Double Riders Jacket. That piece remains a real breath-taker for anyone who lays eyes on it."

Favorite Purchase: Red Bull Orange Edition
"Of all the stuff I bought in 2107, I'd have to go with a can of Red Bull Orange Edition. My world has been changed."

Moment of 2017: Employment at the illustrious Blue Owl Workshop
"While 2017 has been a tumultuous year for the world, it's been a great one for me on a personal level. So it's hard to center on just one moment, but I'd have to go with getting hired at BOW!"

Brand to Watch in 2017: OUR LEGACY
"Hard to pick just one! Our Legacy's SS '18 is going to be stellar, with clear references to the PNW of the late 90's. We're going to be carrying some great pieces from that collection, keep an eye out for it if you're a fan of the brand!"

Album of the Year: Trey Songz, Tremaine The Album

Release of the Year: Blue Owl Workshop's 5 Years in Fremont Halloween Bandana
"Having the Halloween party be one of my first events apart of the Blue Owl team; also celebrating our 5-year stay in Fremont were pretty big moments. The Bandana designed by Ryan and printed by Champagne Nasty was cool in itself as well! "

Favorite Purchase: Suicoke Kaws-VS
"I've wanted a pair of these slides for a very long time. The main reason being that I needed something to wear in between hoop sessions, working out, or just the casual grocery store run which accentuates my fashion sense while blending with my lifestyle/hobbies."

Moment of 2017: Birthday 2K17
"So many greats moments of 2017, however, my birthday stood out the most. Sitting back drinking with my group of friends doesn't particularly stand out, but it does bring fond memories to mind. Being surrounded by people that have been riding with me since day one is what makes it my favorite moment of the year. I'm a fan of the simpler things, and that day felt like another summer day in Seattle."

Brand to Watch in 2018: Studio D'artisan
"I've always appreciated how well-established SDA is and their take on Americana. I'm a personal fan of the pigs and the parodies that they do and they don't seem to be stopping in the coming year. I love the stuff in the current season as well; particularly the surfing pigs!! Look forward to a lot of cool stuff coming in 2018!"

Album of the Year: LCD Soundsystem, American Dream 

Release of the Year: Rogue Territory x Blue Owl Workshop "Expedition 2"
"When we start a project with any brand, our goal is to top the previous project and it continues to get harder every time. This one took about 18 months to fully put together and it turned out perfect. The fabric is super unique and truly stands out among the other denim in our store. It has the perfect blend of a dark indigo tone with a semi-heavy weight with texture and hardware/stitch color/details that all come together. The extras were a also lot of fun to develop, and the team bonding day where we gave the Scout edition a soak was an incredible outing."

Favorite Purchase: Isamu Noguchi floor lamp
"It is a vintage design by Isamu Noguchi from the 1950’s, the shade is made of handmade washi paper and bamboo ribs, made in Gifu, Japan. It is a great art work but also functional lamp that is modern and unique. Purchased at the Seattle Art Museum as an impulse buy with no regret."

Moment of 2017: 2017 Oscars
"Moonlight winning best picture over La La Land was an amazingly strange event to watch unravel on live television."

Brand to Watch in 2017: Gitman Vintage
"SS18 will be their 40th Anniversary collection and they pulled out some of their best fabrics from their archives of the last 40 years. By far the best collection we have seen from Gitman, it makes me really anxious for summer!"