We think that once you take away the turkey dinners and tinsel, Christmas is really defined by the people we hold dear, the family we choose to surround ourselves with. At Universal Works we like to think of this as our “Universal Family".
This year we asked the Universal Works team to invite someone they consider to be part of their “family” circle, to feature in a series of videos and portraits that we will be releasing in the run up to Christmas. We hope to capture the essence of these unique relationships.
Allan & Bleu.
Seeing family is all fine and dandy when they live round the corner but for U.W's customer service guru Allan, seeing his family now involves a 14-hour journey by ferry and road.
Earlier this year Allan relocated to the Outer Hebrides (did we do something wrong Allan?) so we were thrilled that our festive shoot acted as a bit of an excuse to bring him together with his family again.
In this case, he was reunited with his grandson Bleu who kept us all laughing and smiling throughout the day. We think that they both look pretty amazing in our UW AW21 collection too, and if you're wondering if we are breaking into the kidswear market... sorry, not just yet, this was a one off Wool Fleece Cardigan, custom made for Bleu!
UW: What does family mean to you?
Allan: "Family to me means a lot more washing up, especially at Christmas time 😉"
Bleu: “Family is all the people with the same name as me. My mum, Nana, Grandad, Uncle Todd, Uncle Calum, my cousins and our dogs River, Rigby, Porter and Chadwick. Animals are family too.”
Allan, left: Norfolk Bakers Jacket in Grey Wales Check, Brixton Waistcoat In Brown Dogtooth Mix, Double Pleat Pant In Grey Wales Check, Short Scarf In Green Dot Print, Shoes models own.
Bleu, right: Custom made kids version of our trusty Universal Works Wool Fleece Cardigan in Red. Bucket Hat In Red Brisbane Cord, Boiler suit, Monty and Co, Shoes models own.
Josh & Araluen.
There are people in life whose world’s collide in a way that can’t be explained, the people who the universe brings together, and, by some twist of fate, also happen to get along with one another!
Next in the Universal Family lineup are a pair whose lives have run in parallel for some time now; having worked together previously, their shared history has helped their friendship become something more akin to family.
Introducing Josh our E-Commerce Merchandising Co-ordinator and Araluen our Customer Services Co-ordinator who both work at Universal Works HQ in Nottingham and who are most definitely part of our “Universal Family”.
UW: The phrase “you can’t choose your family’ is often used, do you agree with this?
Araluen: I couldn’t disagree more… You don’t choose your “immediate/blood” family, but you definitely DO choose your family of friends. My family are my close circle, the people that I can be a freak around care free. My safe place.
UW: What does "Family" mean to you?
Josh: For me, family is the most important thing we have in this world. Often family is not just blood-related, but is made up of people who come into your life and leave a lasting impression - the people you can laugh and cry with, who boost and ground you when you need it, and who make the best food!!!
Josh, left: Short Watch Cap In Black British Wool, Universal Works Vince Cardigan in Black Recycled Wool, Military Liner Gilet In Black Burel, Oxford Pant In White Winter Twill, Shoes models own.
Araluen, right: Insulated Kyoto Work Jacket In Deep Blue Quilted Canvas, Zip Gilet In Blue/Brown Checked Wool Fleece, Roll Neck In Sand Recycled Wool, Cargo Pant In Navy Water-Resistant Scottish Twill, Shoes models own.
Stephanie, David, Terry & Gurminder.
For the final instalment of our "Universal Family" series we have our Universal Works co-founders, David and Steph, and their long time friends Terry and Gurminder. These four share 30 plus years of friendship having met whilst working in the clothing industry and frequenting the same local pubs in the Nottingham's 'Lacemarket' in the late 1980’s. Both Terry and Gurminder have been part of our “Universal Family” since before Universal Works was Universal Works: David and Steph are Godparents to Gurminder's children and Terry modelled in our first ever look book over a decade ago.
UW: What does 'family' mean to you?
Stephanie: A group of people who share your beliefs and morals, the people you can be less inhibited with, and be yourself. Which sums up Love, Peace and Soul.
David: Three best mates on Christmas Day, with a 10:30 a.m margarita discussing the philosophy of modern football management.
UW: What does Christmas mean for you and your family?
Gurminder: Over the years, as much as I try to deny it, I really enjoy Christmas. It's changed as the kids have got older though always retaining its sense of excitement and controlled chaos with the heart of it always being family. It's been pretty traditional but we have also introduced some traditions that came from David and Steph, wrapping presents late on Christmas Eve and tequila with Dylan's Christmas album on repeat.”
Terry: Christmas is a time for getting leisurely drunk and loudly argumentative with the people I love.
Left to right) Gurminder wears, NW Jacket In Navy Moleskin, Zip Gilet In Navy/Yellow Large Plaid Fleece, Worker Shirt In Grey Lumber Cotton, Military Chino In Navy Nebraska Cotton, Shoes models own.
Terry, Three Button Jacket In Forest Green Cord, Everyday Shirt In Forest Green Super Fine Cord, Military Chino In Forest Green Cord.
Stephanie, Zip Liner Jacket In Ecru Tibet Fleece, Frill Front Shirt In Black/White Patchwork Shirting, Pleated Track Pant In Dark Navy Cez Pinstripe (shortened), accessories models own.
David, Bakers Jacket In Black Velveteen, Treck Shirt In Ecru Super Fine Cord, Kyoto Work Pant In Black Lightweight Moleskin, Shoes, Sebago x Universal Works - Koala.