TheUrbanShop Interview

the urban shop logo

the urban shop logo


Now entering its tenth year of trading the UK’s number one on-line clothing store is so much more than just a place to get quality garms and urban apparel. They sponsor acts and events, they have their own radio show, release mixtapes, the list is endless. Here is an interview that Brendan Deane did with Glyn Berrington, the man behind the whole situation.

Hi Glyn, thanks for taking the time out to do this interview. So let’s kick off by giving people a little bit of a background about The Urban Shop. When exactly did you start doing what you are doing and tell us how it all unfolded.

Well it all started back in 1999 when a couple of friends were looking to get into e-commerce, 5 months later headstrong was born and they realised they needed somebody to run things as the manager they had in was a bit flaky. November 99 they employed me and a week later sacked they other guy and put me in charge but that was a joke. These guys were suits, had no interest in what we did and didn’t understand the whole scene that we were involved in consequently nothing happened and I couldn’t manage anything. A few years on they realised they were not making money one of the partners dropped out and eventually the remaining partner made me an offer which we chatted about and in 2002 I took over Headstrong. The first year I took over I made major changes and we saw an increase in business by 400-500%.

You used to be called Headstrong but changed to The Urban Shop. Why was that?

Man that was one of those suit things, you know you are made an offer in good will and you bite the mans hand off but in the mists of it all you don’t dot all the i’s an cross all the t’s and they come back and bite your ass. I don’t want to go into it too much right now but we didn’t own the domain name headstrong.co.uk and were offered it for rent by the owner for £25,000.00 which is silly, so we changed the name proving that we could do it all again and that the name was not important, but a costly lesson that still goes on but that’s another story.

I see you support a lot of the smaller UK underground labels, rather than the typical US or mainstream lines. Why is this and is supporting independent something you see as important?

That goes back to my background, I was brought up the punk rock scene and went on to compete internationally in an underground sport that had no funding, so the concept of DIY and doing it better appeals to me and I understand what it’s like to get up at 5am every morning to train then work 8 hours a day, go back to the gym till about 9pm for nothing more than the love of it and that answers your question, that’s why we support the little guy, the underground.

Ten years trading! That’s a long time! Congratulations too that. Over the ten years you must have seen a lot of changes. How is it different now to when you first started? Is it better or worse?!

Better, worse it don’t matter everyday you get up and apply yourself, everyday you learn and everyday you try and earn a crust. I don’t have time to worry about wannabies, ifs and buts, I don’t watch other sites and worry about what they are doing and what brands are big, looking for the next bandwagon to jump on I just do what I do.

What lines did you do really well with in 2008? What are you top sellers?

2008 what a year all that doom and gloom. Zoo York always sells well for us, I think people know that we have done Zoo since we start (almost), that we understand the brand and that we get the biggest and best product in the UK because of that. Lumberjack shirts did well as was predicted, the Orisue and Insight carrot leg jeans did well I don’t think any other sites took these styles so it was like a real core find, Selvedge denim finally took off for us after pushing it for years. Winter jackets are something we always do well with again not many people carry bigger jackets has the last few years the winters have been kinda warm, and of course all over prints from the likes of Nomis which as only just entered the UK market.

What can we expect for the 2009 season? Anything that people should be up on?

Right now it’s just a progression of 2008 plaid is still there, selvedge denim, all over prints but mainly from core brands not bandwagon jumpers. I think 09 will be slim pickins brands are going bang, changing hands and retailers are playing it cautious.

You seem closely connected with a bunch of musicians from all genres including Hip-Hop, Grime, Dubstep, Dub Reggae, Drum’n’Bass, etc. Let’s talk about some of the people that you have previously sponsored.

Yeah again the way we sponsor is random I personally have to like what they are doing or the person behind the music which is why things are varied. We have strong connections with UkRunnings, Wolftown, Tricksta and LATE those guys have been through thick and thin with us and I support everything they do because I respected them 100% . Other than that off top of my head we sponsor http://www.bringdaruckus.com a Scottish hip hop site, Juttla dubstep, RealTalk magazine a reggae dancehall publication, HHBRadio.com and Out of Your Mind, Jelluzz grime and even as random as Drifter Jon a guy who races drift as in Tokyo Drift.

You have the new mixtape and DVD ‘100% Exclusive’ out at the moment with leading UK mixtape series UK Runnings. How did all that come about and tell us how you met up with Tricksta and UK Runnings.

Me and Tricksta bothers from another lump we chat daily and we think so alike and I know if I say I need a beat for a video Tricksta will send exactly what I need in 5 mins and it will be spot on. “100% exclusive” is the third mixtape we have done with UKRunnings, we were chatting about how wannabies were copying what we were doing with theurbanshop/UKRunnings mixtapes and I was mad I hate it when people cant be original, anyway out the blue Tricksta went ok let’s do a mixtape and DVD and make every track on the mixtape EXCLUSIVE to TheUrbanShop, and that was it but I think Tricksta in an attempt to help me out and kick back, shot himself in the foot. 100% Exclusive came out, took abit longer than expected but Tricksta pulled out all the stops and made it and made it good, everybody in the industry stood up and said man you’re mad doing this as a freebie this should have been a UKRunnings album and sold, but Tricksta stuck to his word and made it 100% Exclusive and more importantly made it so that no other wannabie could copy the concept it was off the scale!!!

You have always done FREE delivery which is a big look. Is this just for UK customers?

Nope that’s worldwide and something we have done since 1999, others are starting to offer it now but usually if you spend over a certain amount we do it on every order.

Do you sell a lot of clothes to other countries?

Yeah at the min we do loads to Europe due to the exchange rate, places like Australia and New Zealand are also big we used to sponsor a Drum & Bass radio show in NZ a few years back, USA is always big strange they are willing to pay double for their clothing by buying from the UK but I think that they love their home brands and often have trouble getting them, Zoo York, Rogue Status and Diamond all sell back to the US in a big way and I suppose that leave Japan. When we first start Japan was a big market for us but they had a major economic downturn a bit like we are facing now, however Japan is out of it and we are starting to see major orders coming from there again.

Your blog and podcasts seem to be really taking off too, as well you doing a radio show for Hip-Hop Basement Radio. Where and when can people check for all that?

The blog is probably the main place to pick up al theUrbanShop gos check out TheUrbanShop Blog, we update it daily and are always on the look out for people interested in writing for it, we think the whole community feel is the vibe we are going for not some blog that just sells out site but informs people about what’s behind the brands, us what’s going on that may interest them. If you interested in the podcasts which change weekly check the forums we have rooms dedicated to graffiti/streetart, hip hop and the podcasts. We run this thread where we start with a track then people suggest tracks to follow on with some connection and then they are get complied into podcasts it works well and gets support form some of our core customers and friends. HHBRadio show is basically our podcast and goes out every Friday at 7pm vai HHBRadio.com.

Well all the best of look for 2009, before you go is there anybody you want to shout-out or anything you’d like to add?

I’d like to say thanks to The Urban Shop for taking time out of their busy daytime schedule to do this interview. Please visit www.TheUrbanShop.co.uk NOW and check out all the latest lines, as well as making the most of their current discounted SALE!!!

Interview by Brendan Deane
www.myspace.com/ragomagazine

TheUrbanShop “HEROICALLY” Saves the World as Christmas is Cancelled! (Maybe)

The Guy’s over at TheUrbanShop are so funny man they crack us up, check out this latest release from them.

It’s long been know that Santa Claus lives in the Nordic region with Mrs Claus and his helper elves who tend his reindeer and help make presents for the children of the world. What is less well known is Kris (as he prefers to be called) lives and invests heavily in Iceland and as we all know Iceland has been burdened by the global financial meltdown, more to the point Kris had huge investments held by Icelandic banking giant Landsbanki, which was the parent company of internet banking provider Icesave, and this collapsed recently freezing funds. Kris is not a happy chappy and the usual “ho ho ho” cannot be heard ringing through his Santa factories. Due to generous welfare systems and high wages Kris has recently had to let go many of the traditional Santa’s helpers that made presents for children all over the world and helped tend the reindeers. El Ves union representative for Santa’s helpers is quoted as saying “many of the helpers that have worked for many years with Kris are having to return to traditional jobs in shoemaking, but this is a small market and Kris was the biggest single employer of elves in the world, it will have knock on effects”.

Recently Kris released this shock statement “if the global economy continues the path it is going I’m not sure if Santa’s factories and indeed Christmas can survive”, this will have a huge effect and millions of children worldwide could wake up Christmas morning with no presents and wonder what Christmas is all about without Santa. We put that question to Kris and he replied “yes it is that bad, we are all trying our hardest but we may have to miss out some countries or cut back on some of the naughty children”, he went on to add “It’s a sign of the times and very sad but yes, Santa is bigger that Jesus”.

This leaves one very important question, well two actually – will Christmas survive and has anybody got a job for a fat lad with flying reindeer for one day a year?

We asked TheUrbanShop.co.uk for there comments “in light of these latest statements from Kris we at TheUrbanShop are cancelling Christmas and moving on to The January Sales early”. When reminded TheUrbanShop that January sales are actually named after the calendar month, they responded, ”It may seem odd to have January sales in December but as Kris says things are hard out there I mean who ever thought elves would have to return to shoe making?”

Vinatge Clothing

Our mate over at THE Urban Shop wrote a blog article “More clarification on the phrase Urban Clothing” the other date that stated “some brands are still growing the secrets of success are clear — they’ve evolved with their customers, integrated themselves into the mix of other brands in department stores and changed with the trends.” And that’s not only true about streetwear brands it’s also applies to retailers and here at THE Urban Shop (not any old urban shop THE) we have changed and chopped our style and delivery since 1999 and I’m sure you will all agree that we now have our fair share of impersonators but what really separates us from the chaff is our ability to see trends and react so behold the new incarnation well little change we are now stocking vintage Levi 501’s, Adidas track Jackets, Lumberjack shirts and UK College t-shirt from as little as £8 and that includes our free delivery and no quibble guarantee beat that or copy us (I bet they do). That said I don’t think any other site is offering free worldwide delivery on all orders so they’ve never copied that.

So vintage clothing why simple and there’s a number of reasons and I think the first has to be:-

“Credit Cash Crunch” many of you are feeling the crunch right now some are students on a limited budget, but you still wanna look cool so what’s wrong with buying pre-owned clothing? Nothing it’s nicely worn in, hey people pay £100’s from brand new vintage Levi 501’s so why not pick up a pair from us for under £20

Exclusive and original clothing that exactly what you are buying when you buy a vintage clothing item as no 2 piece will ever be the same some they may also show signs of wear such as fading and bobbling fabric, printed t-shirts and hoodie designs may be cracked or peeled. It’s these quirks and uniqueness but all the items are wearable and we wont pass anything on in a condition which we wouldn’t wear ourselves.

Buying vintage clothing not only keeps waste to a minimum, but also tackles hot topics such as ‘clothes miles’. Increasing numbers of consumers are becoming aware of the distance their clothes may have to travel across the world to get to stores, and how the carbon emissions produced from this may have implications for the environment.

So that 3 sound reason to buy vintage but here’s a few collectors tips when looking for Levi 501’s and if we spot any of these we wont be passing these on for £20 either;-)

The big “E” between the lat 1930’s to late 60’stags were printed LEVI’S and pairs for the 50’s have been known to sell for over USD3000.

Single stitching on back pockets indicates old jeans.

Check for red stripe selvage on inside of legs as Levi’s stopped this in the 80’s.

Between 1960-65 Levi’s used to rivet the 4 corners of the pockets and the bottom of the zip.

Also look for zinc buttons discontinued in the 50’s, crotch rivet discontinued 1941, buttons instead of belt loops, a buckle on the back of the jeans, leather brand patches.

Big Smoke speaks

Big Smoke bigging up The Urban Shop just wanna add our support to both Urban Shop and Big Smoke for keepin’ it real all these years
Original Post bigsmokelive.blogspot.com
The UK’s number one on-line clothing store The Urban Shop is something that al fans of street apparel should definitely check out. With competitive prices, exclusive ranges, FREE postage & packaging, The Urban Shop is guaranteed to service all your clothing needs.
From Tee-Shirts to Jeans, Hoodies, Shirts, caps and much more, The Urban Shop stocks some of the most exclusive brands in the urban fashion world. Expect to see brand new ranges from the likes of Zoo York, King Apparel, Temple Effective, Diamond, Rogue Status, Nomis, Mada, Ambiguous, Dilate, Eleven, Five Four, Abuze London, DC, Fenchurch, FLY53R135, Freshjive, Fuct, Live Mechanics, MethodsNYC, Obey, Planet Earth, Supremebeing, THTC, Ubiquity and many more.

The Monster Maggot Dubstep Podcast for The Urban Shop

A dubstep Podcast form your favorite urban blog see we do do other stuff as well as bring you the best links to news from the gutter
Original Post the-urban-shop.blogspot.com
Thxs to Monster Maggot from this weeks podcast 100% dubstep, it’s mainly old school dubstep with a regga feel so not to heavy, I think any dubstep fans will know every track on there and if you not sure about dubstep maybe this is the place to start.
Tracklisting
Step 2 it – Pinch ft Rudey Lee
Anti War Dub – Digital Mystikz
Deep Concentration – Skream
Truly Dread – Skream
Jah Red Gold and Green – Disrupt
Ancient Memories (Skream remix) – Digital Mystikz
Bablon Timewarp – Skream vs Hijak
Root – Loefah
0800 Dub – Kode 9 ft Spaceape
Tubby Rom Module – Disrupt
Smiley Face – Skream
J Dub – Boxcutter
Too Many Freedoms – Amit
Kingstown – Kode9
Crusher Dub – Vex’d
Let Go Mi Shirt – Cotti ft Kingpin
Soul-Jah Boogie – Sub Vesion
Monsoon – Skream

Fixed gear racing

Finger on the button that’s all I can say about these guys, if you wanna know what’s happening within the UK streetwear scene then check The Urban Shop first these guy’s always have the dopest brands before anybody else
Original Post the-urban-shop.blogspot.com
It is one of the most basic machines you can build with two wheels. A fixed-gear bike – or fixie – has no derailleur as it has only one gear, so as long as the wheels turn, so do the pedals. Its rider can’t freewheel and the only way to brake is to stand on the pedals.
However, as the fixie craze has taken off so has the number of new riders who enter ‘alleycats’ – unofficial road races consisting of a series of checkpoints on a set route.
Alleycats originated in America and were organised for and by cycle couriers but now inexperienced riders participate. Matthew Manger-Lynch, 29, was killed in a collision with a four-wheel drive after running a red light. He was competing in an alleycat known as Tour Da Chicago. A similar race – the New York Monstertrack, normally the biggest annual alleycat in the US – was
Check out the Ambiguous Fixed gear inspired clothing at The Urban Shop

PSP3 and Plasma TV Giveaway

Not only do The Urban Shop bring the coolest clothing collection around they have some mighty fine giveaways
Original Post www.theurbanshop.co.uk

We have an extra FREE to enter competition this week and one lucky winner can win a Playstation� 3 with Need For Speed™ Prostreet, a Plasma TV, Bamboo A product simply enter below. Winners will be randomly picked and notified by email. We have an extra rule for tis competition but it shouldn’t effect most of you, this competition is only open to UK residents aged thirteen (13) and over.

The cause of the East Midland earthquake revealed

so funny
Original Post the-urban-shop.blogspot.com

As many of you will have heard a 5.3 earthquake rocked the East Midlands on Wednesday morning approx 12:53 GMT but you may not know the cause, so we have tracked it down.
Early on Wednesday afternoon The Urban Shop were preparing their email newsletter to be sent out that day and with lots of there customers having experienced the credit card crunch, they wanted it to be extra special, so they unsuspectingly went about writing it not knowing what they were about to unleash.

Dephect @ The Urban Shop

Nice to see a UK company doing well and getting boost and that seems to be what The Urban Shop do well they stock and promote homegrown clothing brands, the little guy and don’t just jump on the next big brand
Original Post the-urban-shop.blogspot.com

You know some clothing brands just stroll a long and keep doing same same year in year out and some grow. Dephect is a brand we have dealt with for years it fitted what we do they and a graffiti design background and produced some funky t-shirts but for us it didn’t develop but this season that’s all changed and if there’s is aclothing brand that I had to tip to blow in the next few seasons I’d put some money on Dephect.