Shop: Urban Outfitters

Stephen Coles

Urban Outfitters is on a mid-century kick this season. Their new furniture line includes some nice tables with McCobbian angled legs (a rarity in new case goods), a very clean armless sofa in polyester fabric, and a modular lounge chair system in buttoned vinyl. The construction is laminated MDF, so quality should be (like the prices) on par with IKEA, but I am curious how the joinery compares. Comment if you’ve tried ’em!

Update (9/3/07): snapshotradio on Flickr has posted a photo of her Urban Outfitters sofa to the MC,M Group.

living room

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  1. 04.09.07 Souris

    I have not shopped at Urban Outfitters since the late 90s. Thank you for giving me a reason to pop back inside.

  2. 09.04.07 jh

    Hi there,
    Thanks for using my living room photo. In response to your question on how my sofa is doing… I’m loving it so far! A really great purchase for the money as far as I’m concerned :)

  3. 09.14.07 — Jessi

    I have to say that I was really excited when UO came out with this sofa, and I rushed to the store to check it out…and was very disappointed. The “wood” areas were incredibly plastic-looking, and the cushions weren’t filled with great stuffing, as they smushed every time I sat on it. They didn’t have the tables yet when I visited – but the sofa was a real bummer!

  4. 10.28.07 — jh

    re jessi:
    really i quite like the look. perhaps you were expecting the grain/texture of teak rather than rubberwood.

  5. 01.12.08 — SK

    I really liked the look of the couch when I saw and bought it. Take the back cushions off and you have yourself a guest bed. It came in really handy over the Holidays.

  6. 04.26.08 — moddo

    i’m an urban employee, and while i’m happy to see the company heading in this direction i haven’t been too impressed with the quality of the mid-century styled stuff so far. the picture above is a good example – the piece looks good from the front but the back is super ugly with the exposed metal bars and everything. not that anyone is really expecting high quality in a $400 sofa from urban, but it would be nice to see a little bit more attention paid to the details instead of making something that only looks good for the catalog.

  7. 06.06.09 — Kristy zadrozny

    I have an authentic Danish Teak sofa frame, and need that exact bottom cushion and top cushions on the Urban Outfitters sofa! Does anyone know where I can get those premade, or someone who makes them?!
    i live in Brooklyn and will travel!

  8. 06.29.09 — janet

    i love my sofa! despite what you might think about UO merch, it’s comfortable and sturdy.

    however, a few months after i bought it, UO came out with the same sofa in olive green upholstery and a darker “wood” finish. blast!

  9. 08.21.09 — Celia Bancroft

    I bought the couch for my son’s first place. Within a year the cushion upholstery had slipped around a bit and a couple of the buttons had come off. The frame seems to be holding up pretty well but I will have to have some reupholstery work done on it soon.

  10. 09.28.09 Andrew Korf

    just an FYI – the urban outfitters CEO dude is nut case right-wing conservative – your urban outfitters dollars are probably better spent elsewhere if you care about these sorts of things.

  11. 09.28.09 Stephen Coles

    Andrew, perhaps you’re referring to the fact that Urban Outfitters founder Richard Hayne supported the famously homophobic senator Rick Santorum. UO CEO Glen Senk, who happens to be gay, had this to say about it:

    “There is nothing homophobic about Dick Heyne,” he continued. “When he made these donations I said to him: ‘I’m personally offended by the fact that you would support this guy. If he had his way I’d be in jail’. And he said to me: ‘You’re right, I hate his views regarding homosexuality, but I’m not a one-issue voter’.”
    Senk continued: “I’ll go on record saying I don’t think he should’ve done it. But, if you’re talking about Urban Outfitters, talk about me being the CEO, that I’ve given the maximum amount of financial backing to Obama, that I supported Dan Anders – one of the first gay judges in America. There is no organisation, that I’m aware of, that is more of a democracy than this company.”

    From what I can see, if you choose to boycott Urban Outfitters because its founder made some (admittedly jackass) campaign contributions 4 years ago, you’re more likely affecting the thousands of gay staff that the company employs every year under the direction of an openly gay CEO.

  12. 09.28.09 Andrew Korf

    Correction noted. I have to wonder about anyone who could have supported Santorum at any point no matter who their subsequent hires are … that said, perhaps there is more to the story?
    Personally – I’m not that into the commercialization of vintage modern anyway… there is so much truly great vintage modern to be found at shops like, your local passionate collectors vintage shop or lucky finds on ebay – get the really cool real stuff instead of the Ikea/Urban Outfitters knockoffs.

  13. 09.28.09 Stephen Coles

    I have similarly mixed feelings about mass-produced reproductions, Andrew. Sometimes I’m protective and snobbish about my love of MCM, but when it gets down to it: I’d rather the love spread. I’d rather walk into more homes and public spaces that adopt modernist design ideals than keep it all to myself and my friends. Ikea opened the door for a shift in American style. Affordable modern design doesn’t replace appreciation for the real deal — it’s a gateway drug. Pass the pipe.

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