It’s nearing three o’clock on a beautiful fall afternoon in Chicago, as I make my way over to Iguana Café in the West Loop, to sit down with Olivia Goodman aka OG, owner and founder of Og Brand, a Chicago based clothing company quickly picking up steam. As I step into the café, Olivia is already sitting down, awaiting my arrival. I quickly place my bag down, make our introductions and we quickly dive into the recent and increasing success of her brand, since its inception in the summer of 2013. A product of hard work from Olivia, close friends and her boyfriend Greg.
It’s common in the fashion industry for designers to use their first name, last name, or both, when it comes to creating the name of their brand. Following in the footsteps of some of the best designers in the game like Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, Giorgio Armani, and many others, Olivia branded her clothing using her initials ‘Og’. “The initials Og also encompass a multitude of meanings that include original gentleman, original gangster, one’s mother, anyone respected and distinguished. Supporting this brand means their self-recognition as an “Og”.”
Growing up in the South Suburbs, Beverly to be exact, Olivia began to find her love for fashion through her Mom. At a young age she was exposed to high-end designer and quality timeless pieces, with brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Later in life Olivia made the decision to attend Jones College Prep High School downtown. While attending Jones, she found herself surrounded by some of the most creative people in the city, some of which are better known for their Save Money affiliation. Quickly becoming friends with them, she admired just how cool and effortless they were with their style. Around this time, Kids These Days had been heading to perform at SXSW, and Olivia made them t-shirts and boxers for their trip. The idea for boxers came from the fact that most of her guy friends would sag their pants and have their boxers show. In her exact words, Olivia says, “Why not make them some cool ass boxers”. That was Olivia’s first attempt at creating her own clothing.
There’s been no slowing down for Olivia and Og Brand, as she’s debuted three killer collections since her modest debut. Her first release as Og Brand was “The Red Dot” collection in late summer of 2015. Olivia created a well thought out design, simple, but loud, a white button down shirt with a large red dot placed right in the middle. Quickly getting national recognition, we began to see that shirt everywhere. Stix, drummer of The Social Experiment, wore the shirt during his Windy City Live performance, Lido was caught wearing the red dot shirt at his Chicago show, Nico Segal of the Social Experiment wore a red dot shirt on Jimmy Fallon, and many others. The Og launch was popular and more successful than I think anyone could have imagined.
Following The Red Dot collection, Olivia dropped what would be my favorite collection of hers, “Ghetto University”. This collection was more conceptual, as she told us, “Ghetto University is a concept that was inspired by the high energy, fast-paced, off-beat community that is Chicago, Illinois. Those that have learned from the OGs that came before them, absorbing that knowledge and applying it to their own hustle. This collection was created to salute those that continue to grind, paving the way for those that are up next.” Continuing with the simplicity, Olivia sticks with her favorite color palette, incorporating reds, greens, and blues in her new designs. Like usual, she did a great job of marketing this collection as well. With a look book shot by Bryan Lamb, a beer pong tournament to debut the new collection at Maybe Sunday, and once again she got her product in the hands of some recognizable names in the industry.
Following her latest collection, it’s important to note the growth and maturity of Olivia and Og over the past year. The “Doodle Collection” keeps it simple once again, this time creating clothing inspired by Oliva’s birth year, 1992. Grabbing the Burns Twins (a name you’ll soon know if you don’t already) to model the look book, she also grabs Dolly Ave and Celia Glastris to create a fun and visual appealing production.
As we wrap up our conversation, I end by asking Olivia “what’s next for you and your brand.” Olivia begins to take one last sip of her drink and says, “I’m just always looking to get better and better. A big thing I’m looking to work on is improving on quality. Just keep your eye out, you’ll be seeing me around.” Keep your eyes open is right, as Olivia just dropped a sheer bomber, and on the brand's Instagram she told us “New collection coming soon, check back for updates.” With 2016 coming to a quick end, it will be interesting to see what Olivia and Og Brand have in store for us in these next 6 weeks.