The clothing brand known as "October's Very Own," which features Drake's distinctive owl logo, originated from the creative collaboration between Drake and his tour manager, Oliver El-Khatib. Going beyond mere "Drake label merchandise," the brand has expanded its reach through partnerships with iconic Canadian retailer Roots, understated t-shirts in collaboration with the Japanese fashion store Nepenthes, and notably, a collaboration with Jordan Brand. Since its establishment in 2011, OVO has evolved into a fascinating label that combines the mainstream cultural allure found in collaborations with artists like Kanye West, with the secretive and exclusive approach reminiscent of brands like Supreme.
“At the core, OVO is a group of friends, artists, entrepreneurs, and athletes who have come together from our city to pursue one goal, which was a belief in Drake’s talent. OVO was started as an umbrella to catch all of the different endeavours that we were embarking on. The work that Drake and all of us have done in building the culture has laid the groundwork to tell other stories, whether it be in a product space with OVO or identifying new talent and music with OVO Sound. The throughline of it all is presenting it as the most authentic reflection of who we are.”
Oliver El- Khatib
A lasting symbol associated with OVO is the owl. Initially appearing somewhat random, its origin becomes apparent when you type "OvO." During Drake's tour stops in various towns, fans had the opportunity to acquire items such as an OVO owl-branded lighter, carabiner and headwear. However, aside from these exclusive offerings, access to OVO gear was generally restricted. As the crew's fame grew, so did the demand for OVO merchandise, leading to a surge in counterfeit products flooding the market.
In 2012, coinciding with Drake's 26th birthday, an OVO online store was appropriately launched. Later that December, NYC's Nepenthes store introduced "No New Friends" merchandise and an OVO hoodie design that remains available to this day. The majority of OVO clothing aligns with Drake's established black-and-gold aesthetic. This aesthetic gained recognition from the Toronto Raptors, leading to Drake's appointment as a global
ambassador for the brand in September 2013, marked by themed home games called "Drake Nights." The MLB also joined the OVO trend by releasing a Toronto Blue Jays hat with an OVO theme, celebrating the fourth edition of OVO Fest.
October's Very Own has transcended its origins as a music merchandise extension, establishing itself as a fashion powerhouse with a unique aesthetic. Drake's vision, combined with strategic collaborations and a commitment to exclusivity, has propelled OVO into the spotlight, influencing not only the music industry but also the world of fashion. As the brand continues to evolve, it remains a symbol of artistic expression and individuality, setting the standard for celebrity-endorsed clothing lines.
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