A happy go lucky sound track. The colour orange. City scapes. Pretty youths hanging out. It’s a dream sequence isn’t it? No – it’s the debut lookbook for OH OK. Patrick Visser and Joni Blud are the founders of the new Capetonian street label. The pair have been working on the brand since the beginning of 2017. The launch event of the label happened two months ago at the Castle of Good Hope featuring Samiyam, Rose Bonica, FAKA, Stiff Pap, yoyo, the Stone Soup collective, DJ Lag and Uppercut. Today their debut video lookbook is public, and I had an interview with them to find out more about their label, image and stylistic vices of insane orange tones, real oranges and youths.
Patrick tells me that the lookbook was shot by Martin Magner over three weekends at the homes of different friends. “We incorporated photos of everyday orange that Joni and I had taken around Cape Town and taken on a recent trip I took to New York.” While shooting the lookbook, Joni and Patrick used Martin’s mom’s handheld video camera and shot behind the scenes footage. Their footage included any orange objects that were spotted while travelling to the various locations where the shoot took place. A week and a half ago OH OK was launched at the Joe Soap Laundromat in Cape Town fitted with a pop-up shop. After the pop-up shop followed the premiere screening of the video lookbook at The Labia with The big Lebowski as desert.
“With OH OK we pride ourselves in the fact that everything is done in-house or in collaboration with like minded individuals and friends. We want to place a strong emphasis on quality, sincerity and comfort. Everything we put out into the world is developed by us from concept to creation. OH OK is a multi-disciplinary brand with the main focus of clothing but we also plan on doing more interesting, big events.”
Patrick tells me that the film materialized as documentation of the photo shoot for the lookbook. This can be seen when looking at the stylistic film piece, as it seems to be built on super cuts that flow into each other with ease. Joni explains that they decided to use their friends’ homes as backdrops for the debut lookbook as they wanted to be in a space where their friends, who also happen to be their models, would feel the most comfortable.
“I think we want to leave a bit open for interpretation and have people feel a bit more with this one as it’s the first thing we have put out.” Their intent of having you feel more was achieved in my opinion as the footage that was collected was authentic considering that it was documentary footage. The realness of the models and their relatable nature combined with ice lollies, sparklers, and the way that they all appear to know each other makes the viewer comfortable. Watching this lookbook brought up past memories of chill sessions with my friends at our homes. The use of the handheld video camera affected the colour and characteristics of the piece and as it feels like a home movie from the 90s, it contributes to creating feelings of warm nostalgia.
The choice of analogue photography came about as Patrick explains: “We wanted to incorporate our son, James Nash into the shoot as we believe he has a lot of potential. James is most comfortable on film and we wanted to capture raw, real moments. Plus, it looks really nice.” Their choice of analogue imagery displays well accompanied with the handheld video lookbook as the styles feed off one another.
When asked about the name for the label Joni says, “The name OH OK came about really quite simply. We’ve always felt drawn to names that are simple and concise and that somewhat find their way into everyday speech. I mean, I think we say ‘Oh Okay’ unintentionally like 432 times day. Furthermore, aesthetically it looks cool and lends itself to looking good in various ways or forms.”
Joni explains their design choices and colour schemes as follows: “The orange came about just because it was a colour we were both really into at the time (still are) and thought it was also a super underrated colour despite its honest vibrancy. The clean, minimalism just came about naturally, but more so I guess because we wanted to design something that was understated and have each item speak for itself through it’s fit rather and quality rather then have it distract people through some elaborate design.”
Not wanting to put themselves into a box or cater for a niche market, Joni and Patrick designed a range that is gender fluid. They explain that it was more for them than it is in any way trying to abide to hype. “At the end of the day, were just want to create comfortable, honest clothes we would wear everyday, because that’s really all it is, it’s just clothing?” The irony in Joni’s last response is an indication for me that OH OK is more than just a fashion label and has the potential to grow into a lifestyle which could be easily achieved as its creators have been known for event organizing. Their video lookbook debut pays testament to this notion.
Edit by James Blyth
Starring Alexander Pankiv-Greene
Michael Du Toit
James Nash shot the behind the scenes lookbook.
Photo lookbook was shot by Martin Magner.