UGLYVILLE | Skillshare Projects

Kariem Young





NAME:  Kariem A. Young

Location:  Philadelphia


Slogan:  "Home of the Have-Nots"


Twitter: @freekugly

Instagram: freekugly 

Instagram:  Uglyville



There is "ugly" inside everyone

What we do is bring that to light. 

People see you on an everyday basis, but to see your "ugly" is to show

a different side of yourself.

Accept your flaws and imperfections

It makes you different...beautiful...awesome

Being pretty is overrated. It's time to change the game. Anyone can conform. Anyone can fit into the crowd.  Anyone can be ordinary, average, or mediocre. It takes an unique individual to be UGLY. Ugly is the new cool. To be FreekUgly means to be undefined, to be unconventional; it means to define your individuality; never compromising, never being a part of the crowd and always promising yourself to be you.

We at FreekUgly are never afraid to push the outermost limits with our designs. Some people will look at some of our creations and think of it as slightly offensive; we like to think of our caricatures as our symbol of flattery. We give our own twist to iconic celebrities and public figures. Some people are going to assume we're mocking people for their outer appearance. Not the case. Being Ugly has nothing to do with an individual's looks. It's all about bringing out that inner creator, innovator, artist, hype beast, or freek. FreekUgly is the deepest corner of your imagination and never stopping to explore it. FreekUgly is not a brand; it is a way of life.


About the Brand:

The brand started in 2006 stemming from some characitures done of my managers and co-workers.  At the time I was already in the midst of another project and had the means of producing my own samples.

Below are images from the very first run of tees that I called "Freekugly"

With funds being limited, all I had was bleach, transfer paper and some anvil tees so I did the best I could.

As I created the characters, I gave them all names and had the idea of adding personalities.  Being a kid of the 80's, I was a fan of Garbage Pail Kids and other trading cards, but GPK were my favorite with the artwork and their creative play on names.  My intention with the brand after seeing that it was a sellable item was for people to know the characters and collect them shirts as you would trading cards.  

I set up my Myspace page and got to pushing.  I gained good traction but all within Philadelphia and it's surrounding areas.

It got to a point where people had the shirts...all of them but the question was "what's next? we want something other than characters."  I tried my hand at some other designs, designs, they were okay but they didn't get the response that I wanted.  The economy changed, the stores that carried the brand closed so I shut it down.  After a year or so of just fiddling, making stuff and playing with some ideas I decided to revisit the brand.  I keep my characters and tried the add more. In 2008 I started to lay out my ideas and tried to rebrand and get back in motion.  Below are the linesheets that I produced for the re-release of the brand.


I placed it on a couple streetwear forums such as Hypebeast and Niketalk and It got trashed "it's ugly, just like the name", "why would someone wear a shirt with the word ugly", "why sould someone rock a brand that calls itself ugly"  I let those remarks get to me weaken my confidence in my brand and vision.

During the time off I gave the brand a look.  It needed something, I had characters and some other elements but it wasn't quite cohesive.  I've played with the name Uglyville a little bit but never did much with it.  I Created a mascot for the brand just for the heck of it.  

I put more thougt into Uglyville and how to properly implement it in the brand.  I turned Uglyville from a word to the place where my characters and ideas could call home.   After more brainstorming I came to find that Uglyville had so many facets that I can venture into that each could yield it's own collection or items.   With art being my foremost passion I felt the need to encompass that as well.

At 35 I've seen and experience a good deal of things and have been through my fair share of hardships.  At the end of the day I find that there is beauty in everthing, some are easier than others, but it's there.  I also find that most people my age and older take life and themselves waaaay too serious.  I tend to find humor in any situation...yup even funerals.  But on a serious note, life is short and I've found my way of appreciating it.  I invite you into my world to have fun and to make it what you want it to be.




Aside from the the characters that I create, I also make Uglies of celebrities or people I know.



Names in order from left to right

Burg, Gooch, Dexter, Sgt. Pepper


My new vision was to make this a lifestyle brand that offers things that are outside the realm of apparel. 

Along with the artwork I wanted to brand Uglyville as an actual place, so where else better to start than my own city.  I take places and social situations that are familiar to us and stylize them to connect back to the brand.  

All production for the brand is done in-house except for allover dye sub.  I enjoy this because it allows me to be more hands on...with some things I feel like "hey, I created it why can't I make it?"




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