Punk and Emo Nostalgia, Behind the Scenes at Ovadia & Sons’ Fall ’18 Runway Show
Photo by Mike Chard
At New York Fashion Week: Men’s, one recent development is brands deciding to show collections out in the city, at non-fashion venues. And why not? Designers are always talking about their influences. Sometimes it’s best to take that classic writer’s advice: show, don’t tell.
For Ovadia & Sons’ punk rock–influenced fall 2018 collection, twin brothers Ariel and Shimon Ovadia booked the concert hall Irving Plaza. The venue, a former community center converted to a rock venue in 1978, holds fond memories for Ariel – who designed the collection with his brother Shimon. He saw a ton of shows there in the late ’90s.
The brothers have always been inspired by music and worked it into their designs. Last season, Ariel and I were talking about how their clothes reflected a love of Fabolous mixtapes and Lexus coupes. This season we talked about emo, hardcore and post-hardcore punk.
The soundtrack to the show was the soundtrack to young Ariel’s life: Alkaline Trio, Rancid, Pennywise, and My Chemical Romance—a disaffected, guitar-loving teen’s playlist from 1999. And the clothes were some of Ovadia’s best.
Check out our interview with Ariel Ovadia below and get inside his electric guitar nostalgia.
SHOP: Ovadia & Sons
Here we are at Irving Plaza. What memorable concerts have you seen here recently?
The last show I saw here was A Day to Remember. But I haven’t been here for a while. I started coming here in the late ’90s. I’ve seen a ton of shows here. I saw my favorite bands growing up here. Thursday: I’ve seen them a bunch of times here.
Are they a New York band?
New Jersey. New Brunswick.
I knew that you hip-hopped, but I didn’t know you rocked.
I was hip-hop for a while and the majority of my life I was rock. Hardcore, post-hardcore. In my early days I used to go out and see Brand New on Long Island. Brand New, Taking Back Sunday: those were the first rock bands I was into. But then it got a little harder after that.
I saw the cassette cases on the chairs. What’s the story there?
Those are all vintage cassettes and the run of show is printed inside.
They’re all different albums inside?
Yeah, it’s luck of the draw. You get what you deserve.
The cassettes are a nice touch for the rock theme of this collection.
With this show, we wanted to provide a full 360-degree vision. From the clothing, the venue, the music on the runway, the finale song [“Vampires Will Never Hurt You” by My Chemical Romance]: it’s all tied together.
Is there one piece that was a pet project for you to design?
I used to collect a lot of vintage clothing. So we have these varsity jackets, based on a vintage one I used to wear all the time. It was a melton varsity jacket, black with orange snaps. It said “bears” on the back. It was probably a high school team or something; it wasn’t a professional team.
You’re a New Yorker. And Nordstrom is opening our standalone men’s store on West 57th Street in April. How do you think it will be received?
I think it’s going to be really well received. Nordstrom has a unique point of view, a unique customer which you deeply understand—[your buyers] buy our collections totally differently from other retailers. It’s going to be a great thing that helps Nordstrom stand out from the crowd.
How do you picture Ovadia 10 years from now?
Ten years? World takeover.