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In Con­ver­sa­ti­on with Odeeh’s Otto Drögs­ler and Jörg Ehrlich

Last week, as a part of Mer­ce­des-Benz Fashion Week Ber­lin, we atten­ded the ODEEH fashion show that took place at the Ber­lin insti­tu­ti­on, Kraft­werk. The run­way show was not only a show­ca­se of the eccentric brand’s new collec­tion but also a dis­play of a coope­ra­ti­on we’re proud to be a part of: ODEEHx­NEU­BAU. For this coope­ra­ti­on, Odeeh spun a litt­le magic on our clas­sic neu­bau Sarah3D frames which were ador­ned by models on the run­way in new tints and shades!

Odeeh is quint­essen­ti­al­ly Ber­lin; avant-gar­de, crea­ti­ve and one of a kind. Having worked for big names in the fashion indus­try for most of their lives, Otto Drögs­ler and Jörg Ehr­lich foun­ded their brand after noti­cing the nega­ti­ve impacts of the fashion indus­try at lar­ge. ODEEH was thus crea­ted with the inten­ti­on of chal­len­ging the indus­tria­list values of lar­ger brands and ins­tead focu­sing on craft­s­manship. Their ent­i­re pro­cess from the incep­ti­on of their collec­tion to the final pro­ducts, is an ode to long stan­ding methods — one that pre­ser­ves both tra­di­tio­nal prac­ti­ces and advo­ca­tes con­scious con­sump­ti­on. We got a chan­ce to sit down with them for a quick chat after their suc­cess­ful run­way show to dis­cuss the evo­lu­ti­on of their brand, cur­rent inspi­ra­ti­ons and goals for the new year.

1) How would you descri­be your brand in one sentence?

We think it’s bet­ter to descri­be the ODEEH women — one who is curious, open min­ded, tole­rant and inte­res­ted in dres­sing herself playfully. 

2) What inspi­red you to start ODEEH?

After working for big estab­lis­hed names in the fashion indus­try for over two deca­des, we had a kind of dream; star­ting our own, manu­fac­tu­re-dri­ven design house. It was and still is domi­na­ted by this thought: the big­ger ver­si­on of some­thing is not always the bet­ter choice. 

3) What prac­ti­ces do you adopt in your designing and manu­fac­tu­ring pro­ces­ses that you con­si­der anti-indus­tria­list, one of the foun­ding princi­ples of ODEEH?

The main issue we try to main­tain in the pro­cess of designing is sket­ching all designs by hand. After that we deve­lop the three-dimen­sio­nal pat­tern pro­cess by star­ting with a so cal­led toi­le”; Which means for every model we start by deve­lo­ping it in a white plan fab­ric once Otto is done with the sketch. This is a tech­ni­que all tra­di­tio­nal pret a por­ter houses still work with.

4) Your collec­tions are eclec­tic and uni­que — whe­re do you get inspi­ra­ti­on from?

Honest­ly from ever­y­whe­re, some­ti­mes in very coin­ci­den­tal situa­tions — you would­n’t expect anything. The­se unex­pec­ted, pro­bab­ly in a more uni­que way inspi­ring, situa­tions can be very abs­tract, but for us are often a star­ting point to crea­te some­thing spe­cial. As our friend and col­league Paul Smith once said: You can find inspi­ra­ti­on in everything!

(Behind the sce­ne at ODEEH’s run­way show)

5) What is your pro­cess of sourcing mate­ri­als and fab­rics for your collec­tion and to what extent are you kee­ping sus­taina­bi­li­ty in mind while doing so?

We work direct­ly with the best wea­ving mills in Ita­ly. Fab­ric fairs are not very essen­ti­al in our sourcing pro­cess. Rather, it is the direct dia­lo­gue with a hand­ful of our wea­ving part­ners near Lake Como, that we value. Almost 100 % of our fab­rics are pro­du­ced in Ita­ly and 90 % of our cot­tons are orga­nic, not to men­ti­on that our per­cen­ta­ge of sus­tainab­le fab­rics is gro­wing every sea­son. Pro­duc­tion is con­cen­tra­ted on small manu­fac­tu­ring ate­liers in Ger­ma­ny and Euro­pe, kee­ping all our pro­duc­tion pro­ces­ses as near as possible.

Fair part­ners­hips are not­hing we loud­ly talk about, they are obvious!

6) What are some of the big thre­ats in the fashion indus­try today that you think brands like ODEEH are suc­cess­ful­ly tackling?

Fin­ding the balan­ce bet­ween gro­wing eco­no­mi­c­al­ly while try­ing to think and behave small at the same time. It is important to us to not be domi­na­ted by a busi­ness ener­gy — that does not lea­ve us space for the princi­ples we defi­ned when we star­ted 10 years ago.

7) How did you deci­de to col­la­bo­ra­te with neu­bau and did you alrea­dy design eye­we­ar before?

This is our first eye­we­ar coope­ra­ti­on and we are very exci­ted about this pro­ject. We were drawn to neu­bau for two rea­sons. The first being the pro­ducts’ sen­si­bi­li­ty we felt when we first saw the neu­bau pro­duct line. We immedia­te­ly thought that neu­bau will under­stand what we like. Second­ly, the che­mi­stry; how we felt when we first tal­ked, good com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and a good com­mon sen­se is essen­ti­al when you want to build some­thing tog­e­ther. In this case, it is not only about the pro­duct its­elf but also the human fac­tor that is intangible. 

8) How do you think fashion and per­so­nal style play a role in hel­ping us under­stand an individual?

We belie­ve that the way you dress yourself can be an ide­al tool to express yourself without words. It gives a first impres­si­on and can be very power­ful. Clot­hing and fashion can pro­tect you, enab­le and empower you in various situa­tions. It is chal­len­ging, to ide­al­ly help our cus­to­mers by what we do with ODEEH.

Neubau eyewear x Odeeh Fall Winter 2020 Modell Sarah 3 D 19
9) How do you hope to see the brand grow/​what are some of your goals in this next year?

Visi­bi­li­ty is key and we don’t belie­ve in con­ven­tio­nal big adver­ti­sing cam­pai­gns or stra­te­gies that are dri­ven by a cor­po­ra­te sen­se. That is why coope­ra­ti­ons like ODEEHNEU­BAU are sub­stan­ti­ve and essen­ti­al for us. Such part­ners­hips enlar­ge com­mu­nities on both sides, a win-win pos­si­bi­li­ty for both.

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