Increasingly, the online world is bleeding into the off-line world. The second comment on Schlossman’s original 2010 Sartorially Inclined post on Ovadia & Sons is from a newly minted fan named Nicolas Lazaro. He now handles the company’s press. Schlossman has moved from independent blogger to editor in chief of Complex magazine’s men’s Web site, Four Pins. “A lot of people were paying attention to the Internet, what the bloggers were doing,” Shimon says. “Fast-forward a few seasons later, the bloggers are working at magazines, or they’re sitting front-row, or they’re editors or even buyers.”
Meanwhile, establishment accolades continue to roll in. In 2012, GQ named them one of its Best New Menswear Designers in America; later that year, the 111-year-old collegiate label J. Press named them creative directors of its new secondary collection, York Street. This past July, their own line was announced as one of ten finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, a sponsorship competition that includes a cash prize and business mentorship.
On the heels of that announcement, the brothers launched themselves into the New York fashion week schedule with a presentation. The collection was by far their largest yet, and the most pronounced departure from their all-tailored look: Besides the usual double- breasted jackets and monk-strap shoes were emerald-green Hawaiian-print shirts and neoprene biker jackets. It was looks from this collection that they presented as part of the Fashion Fund group show at the Chateau Marmont, in L.A. They were a long way from Flatbush. David Beckham was overheard enthusing about their suiting; The Wire actor Michael B. Jordan was tweeting with them in the days after the show.
By the time this magazine reaches you, the winner will have been announced, and the odds for the Ovadias, to be frank, are long. But the momentum isn’t slowing, and though they acknowledge help and supporters along the way, the two have a way of making their own luck, not depending on outside forces.
“I was looking at the companies in the Fashion Fund, and, from what I know about the other brands, the other designers, they worked over here, they worked over there. It’s easier to have your voice heard if you’ve been in the business,” Ariel says.
“We’re really the only company that just came into this business, calling people on the phone with just the entrepreneurial spirit. Where we come from, everyone has this spirit, everyone has their own business. I called Barneys or Bloomingdale’s, and I said, ‘Hi, my name is Ariel Ovadia. I have a new brand that’s called Ovadia & Sons, and you have to come see it, because it’s the best collection you’ll see this season.’ ”
Their father, they report, thinks it is crazy that his sons sell shirts for more than $200 apiece, though he will wear one if they send it to him. And what it means for the future of the business they couldn’t say, but six months ago, Shimon had his first son.