It was like being in the stands to watch your high school quarterback make it to the pros. The room was filled with every fixture of the New York scene, from buyers, to bloggers (as if we really needed an excuse to get together) but it still felt entirely personal. I don’t like writing about NYFW, as the lack of any real possibility for critique in “fashion reviews” makes me question how authentic I really am whenever I write a piece such as this, but for Ovadia & Sons, I’ll make an exception. It’s not because I feel that I know the brothers well enough to critique them, but because I genuinely feel extremely proud of what they accomplished this season.
It was in late 2010, just as my interest in clothing became less a hobby and more of an obsession, that Ariel and Shimon Ovadia, two identical twins from Brooklyn emerged on the scene as the face(s) of what would the New York Times would call the “neo-geezer” movement. To me, and many of my peers, it was just American sportswear done right, a collection of clothes that was designed with us in mind. The inspirations were classic, the cuts were flattering. The designs were innovative, the clothes were wearable. The collections were timely, the spirit was timeless.
From the first time I saw their collection in person, at Capsule a couple years back, I was amazed by the duo’s extraordinary creative output. That collection felt like four, or even five collections in one, spanning across eras, movements, and cultures, to create one of the deepest debut offerings I’ve ever seen. They continued on this way with each subsequent collection, exceeding expectations, and progressing the line without ever losing their direction.
The evolution of O&S has always felt organic, a term that is rarely used properly when talking about fashion. The brothers have never leapt off the line, or skipped a few steps, they’ve merely harnessed their brand to grow at a steady, natural pace. And so I wasn’t surprised this year when they decided to present their collection at NYFW, it felt like the right move for a brand that had grown from an upstart underdog to a bona fide contender on the world stage. I was surprised however, by just how refined the collection was. For as amazed as I was at the breadth of their first couple collections, I was equally as astonished by how polished this latest offering was. There wasn’t a single piece out of place, not one superfluous element, not a shred of excess. It showed a level of skill in self-editing that I think few designers possess, especially when it comes to the often fuzzy sphere of American sportswear. Each individual piece thrived, and as a whole it was probably the finest collection I’ve seen in person thus far at any NYFW.