Like a city itself, Urban Chic has a distinctively hardened edge. A streetwise sensibility belies a preparedness to handle whatever could be around the corner. The shoes perhaps best summarize the Urban Chic philosophy: the wearer must be able to take... [more]
Like a city itself, Urban Chic has a distinctively hardened edge. A streetwise sensibility belies a preparedness to handle whatever could be around the corner. The shoes perhaps best summarize the Urban Chic philosophy: the wearer must be able to take off running at any given moment. Thick soles are the order of the streets, and the bigger the better. Platforms, running shoes -- anything that increases the barrier between the foot and the inexplicable grit on the pavement.
In essence, Urban Chic caters to a lifestyle that combines a desire for hip sophistication with a need for street mobility. The order of importance for clothing is functionality first. The city streets are no Miami beach, and city dwellers don the layers to prove it. Resembling nothing so much as industrial-age Eskimos, hipsters parade their parkas whether the setting be New York, Paris, or Tokyo. Gangsta knit hats, big scarves or wraps, and the occasional umbrella fend off the cold, sleet, sewage, and smells that accompany sidewalk treks. And from this emphasis on utility has sprung a whole slew of trend-setting styles, from cargo pants to compartmentalized shoulder packs -- enough pockets to fill the toting needs of any cell-phone slinger or water-bottle swiller.
As it combines traditional notions of sophistication with the steel-and-soot look of the urban jungle, black has proven to be the prevailing color of choice. But there's plenty of room for other hues, including heathered charcoal, navy, and chocolate brown. Recurring fabrics are cotton, matte jersey, and leather, but the look has branched out to include synthetics such as Lycra and nylon. Major designers who outfit urbanites include Prada, Agnes B., Donna Karan, and sometimes Ralph Lauren. Chain stores such as Benneton, Urban Outfitters, Diesel, and Fornarina help consumers usher in each new season. [show less]