Austin’s yellowest dating app is turning heads in a whole new way with a wearable collab debuting with California-based lifestyle brand Aviator Nation.
Bumble x Aviator Nation gear and a separate capsule collection called Bumble Basics will be hosted on the app’s new website Bumble Shop. On the site, you’ll see branded T-shirts, hats, sweaters, games and baubles.
“We originally created our merchandise for the Bumble staff, brand ambassadors, and those who attended our events,” Chief brand officer Selby Drummond said in a release. “However, before we knew it, people were asking where they could purchase our items–from pens to T-shirts, and everything in between.”
The 1970s-inspired Aviator Nation collection is made up of three pieces, all with the same yellow stripe pattern: the double-zipper cowl neck Ninja pullover, drawstring Ninja sweatpants and a trucker hat with a sizable Bumble emblem.
The collaborative collection is on the pricey end: $200 for the hoodie, $150 for the sweatpants and $45 for the hat. Bumble said the collaborations will be quarterly, with the California brand cinching the first spot.
Meanwhile, the Bumble Basics collection is more robust with 12 pieces to peruse. The taped crewneck, featuring white ribbon with the tagline “make the first move” down the arms, and varsity sweater, with thick yellow stripes and the word “Bumble” across the front, both stand out on the page for their uniqueness.
If you prefer a more simple silhouette, a cropped and embroidered logo shirt still stuns in bright marigold but the simple T-shirt provides a more muted color scheme. You can go for the classic dad hat in black, white or yellow, or opt for the trendy corduroy bucket hat in sunny hues.
“Though we’ll initially be focusing on apparel, we envision Bumble Shop will eventually become a space where people can purchase everything from date night kits, custom houseware items, and more,” Drummond said.
Bumble has already begun that venture with pronoun keychains, a playing card deck and its Question Game, which gives players topics to talk about to “push past small talk.” The capsule collection tends toward the more affordable side: $68-79 for the long sleeve shirts, $25-30 for the hats and tees, and $14-16 for everything else.
The capsule collection is indefinite but Aviator Nation’s collection is limited edition, lasting until the next quarter. Sizes range from XS-XXXXL.
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Stephanie Ashworth lived in a neighborhood north of Tarrytown, near W. 35th St. and Balcones Drive the summer of 2013. One of her neighbors wanted to move to a different school district and decided to rent out their home on Airbnb upon leaving.
“We’re like—’ok’—we didn’t know any better,” Ashworth said. “And it was awful.”
Ashworth said guests played loud music, used the pool naked and would return from trips at the lake stumbling drunk out of party buses.
“It ruins your peace of mind where you should be able to have it. Where you should be able to feel safe, where the kids should be able to go out front,” Ashworth said. “And we shouldn't find used condoms, empty beer bottles, the trash, the parking, it's so disturbing.”
Ashworth is now head of the Austin chapter of the Texas Neighborhood Coalition, a statewide group that assists people looking to restrict and regulate short-term rentals in their residential neighborhoods. She talked to Austonia following Airbnb’s announcement this week that it will deploy new anti-party technology in the US and Canada.
The initiative aims to prevent potentially high-risk reservations by being a more robust version of the “under 25” system, which reviews guests under the age of 25 without positive reviews who are booking locally. A similar variation of this system has been piloted in Australia since October 2021 and has resulted in a 35% drop in incidents of unauthorized parties in pilot areas.
Airbnb is hoping for similar success in other regions but noted that there could still be some hiccups once the system is in effect.
“While we are optimistic that this technology will have a positive impact for the safety of our community and our goal to reduce unauthorized parties—we want to be clear that no system is perfect,” Airbnb wrote in a statement announcing the new tech. “We work hard to deter bad actors from using our platform, but ultimately Airbnb is an online platform that facilitates real world connections.”
For Ashworth, this system falls short of what she’d like to see from the company and she’d like for them to be clearer about what constitutes a party in the company’s eyes.
“So I have no doubt that this technology they're touting for the party houses is nonsense,” Ashworth said. “They are not a company that's run with integrity, they're not a good corporate citizen.”
But people will continue to flock to Airbnb as Austin continues to be a major tourist destination with festivals like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest drawing in thousands. Even on a regular weekend pandemic recovery has been in full swing with downtown entertainment districts seeing visits close to 2019 levels.
Ultimately, Ashworth sees room to accommodate tourists while ensuring neighborhoods remain homey for Austinites.
“My personal opinion is the home team comes first,” Ashworth said. “The whole city doesn't need to be turned over to the tourist industry and areas that are zoned residentially should remain for residents. I do understand that we are a tourist destination. But you can have a short-term rental pretty much anywhere in the city except in residential zones.”
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