Interview with Olima – Archive Issue iii

December 12, 2014

Fashionprint magazine | by Suzie Street


The master creator of LA based brand OLIMA is currently enjoying huge success transcribing his darker vision into coveted collections, cleverly combining high end glamour with a darker ambience.

His sophisticated, sensual womenswear has caught the attention of many noteworthy women, from Daphne Guinness to Beyoncé.

A regular to many high-end editorials, OLIMA is cleverly piercing the mainstream silhouette with his own take on modern darkness.

As with all of our featured designers Oscar describes his transition process to get him to where he is today –

“It took a while to develop a signature style for my brand. I feel self growth played a huge part in developing my taste for darker moods in my collections.”

Olima’s signature Goth glamour has of course flirted with both ends of the spectrum over the years as he explains –

“I feel in the beginning it was vital for me. OLIMA as an emerging brand stood out from the rest. I was a patent leather black sheep in a sea of white knits. There were few setbacks in terms of my aesthetic because for my second collection I decided to go soft and light with my collection. To prove I can do soft just as good as I could do dark. Even now I am not married to only doing dark things it’s just a preference but not set in stone.”

The striking vision of ‘a patent leather black sheep in a sea of white knits’ is a powerful one. In his own journey Oscars clearly has explored all areas of his creative flow and now currently resides within the darker undercurrents, yet seemingly is ever evolving.

Just as all the designers mentioned Oscar is too a LA native. He reflects on his childhood and the fashion subcultures that infiltrated his youth –

“I grew up in Echo Park (when it wasn’t as popular as it is today.) There was a lot of punk and rebellion going around amongst kids in my area. I found myself through my experiences as a youth.”

Having grown the brand extensively in the last 5 years – Oscar looks back on how the LA fashion industry has evolved –

“Since I started I’ve noticed LA has become more diverse
with fashion. Not only local talent but European talent has joined the market. I feel its good and bad, there’s definitely important designers to look out for that are pushing new and exciting boundaries”

Powerful women seem to run through the very veins of the Olima Brand, Oscar’s muse – the striking model Charlotte Carey, perfectly showcases the brands softness yet its compelling feminine strength.

I ask Oscar on his viewpoint regarding the future of the dark LA fashion scene, this beautiful and thought provoking answer summarises my journey through this entire article and indeed complete trip to Los Angeles.

“I think trends and aesthetics don’t stay around for too long. I can’t say what the future holds for fashion, but do feel the environment will play a huge role in the future of fashion. We may have to give up comfort for survival.”

Throughout this article and drawing on past and present observations of LA life, it is clear that a picturesque utopia is alive, surviving and breeding on the harmonic subcultures founded back in the 60s. An unwritten consciousness strives constantly to create a beautiful eco system for the city of LA.

Fashion and subcultures shape our very being, it’s the difference of acceptance and rebellion, humans by human nature are visually stimulated, and we actively seek visually gratification subconsciously at all times.

wearing olima