UARM was founded in 2003 by Ulrik Trojaborg. Mr. Trojaborg was a personal friend of the legendry graf artist Keith Haring and upon Keith’s death, Mr. Trojaborg managed parts of the Haring’s estate. Sensing the imminent demise of PopShop in NYC, and wanting to extend his work with a new generation of artists, Mr. Trojaborg partnered with Ryan McGinness in the Fall of 2003 to produce the first line of UARM shirts.
Here is concept behind UARM, described by themseleves…
As a platform, UARM actively supports the artist’s name above our own company branding. That is why the first shirt they produced had ‘Ryan McGinness’ tags and signatures on them rather than UARM labeling. It is the prerogative of UARM to act as a platform for the artist they work with employing our product as a canvas for their art.
UARM then co-opted subculture renaissance man Mark Gonzales, who in addition to being one of the most legendary skateboarders of all time and a fairly prolific artist, had an entire cut-and-sew line in Japan titled ‘Gonzo Cuntry’. The Mark Gonzalez signature line for America would be the Gonzo Cuntry-UARM love child, associating Mark’s distinct style with our own UARM aesthetic.
In 2004, UARM added Todd James/REAS to the fold after learning that he worked in the same building as UARM…that immediately became an easy relationship to manage. Also in 2004, UARM liscensed artwork from Ben Saffer, of SMART and LEVI’s fame, and immortal legend Jean-Michel Basquiat to consolidate the intense power already fermenting within the line. Young bloods Neck Face and Rambo gave us designs for shirts soon after. On the heels of our Saffer-Basquiat endeavor was a cooperative moment with young bloods Neck Face and Rambo, two newly minted graffiti cognoscenti who would design some of our tops.
In 2005, we conceived a relationship with BAST and Faile and they’ve maintained an open lane of creative traffic with us every season since. Again, UARM is primarily concerned with being a launch zone for the artists it represents, so in 2005 we birthed ‘Black Label.’ This would allow for in-house designers and unknown artists a space to speak from that may not have been afforded them otherwise.
For Spring ’06 we’ve added Philadelphia artist Thom Lessner, who’s shirts are already on fire. For the future UARM wants to continue to grow organically: The plan for now is to add a few more artists each season and keep the line fresh, build relationships with the best stores in every country and really solidify the operation. UARM should be the most respected T-shirt label in the world–not just NYC, LA, Tokyo and Paris. There are people fiending for culture almost everywhere, even if they don’t know it yet!
UARM line will be available at Union (NYC), Supreme (LA), 90 Square Meters (Amsterdam), Colette (Paris), Norse Projects (Copenhagen), Cartelgoods.com and the newmuseum (NYC)