WORKAHOLIC // ODYN VOVK
Meet Austin, founder and designer of the clothing brand ODYN VOVK:
What do you do?
I am the Founder/Designer of ODYN VOVK. I’m a designer, pattern adjuster, production manager, graphic artist, and photographer. Hustler is a good word.
How did you get to where you are now?
A lot of fucking work, late nights and hustling contractors all around LA promising them the world. It took a while for me to find my groove. I canned the first collection in ‘07 and waited until I felt the moment was right to launch the first collection properly for SS-09.
What made you turn to this direction?
I don’t really know. All I knew was how I wanted to dress, construct garments and what I wanted to make. I studied fabrics and garment construction since I was a kid. My mom’s fault!
Was this always your dream job?
I don’t even consider what I do a job really. It’s just what I’m supposed to be doing right now.
How much of the week is work, how much is play?
I’m at the warehouse anywhere from 40-60 hours a week. It just depends on what time of year it is. I do play a lot though! That’s why I don’t feel like this is a “JOB”. I get to do whatever I want. I’ll wrench on my bike for an hour or so, eat lunch, make sure my guys are sewing what we need to get done that day, go upstairs to my office and draw up the next thing we’re going to make for the next day!
How do you find your inspiration and do you find it easy to stay organized?
I draw inspiration from all over the place. My travels, music, history and my little notebook I take on all my trips. I make millions of notes when I’m traveling constantly. I can never really pin point where I come up with most of my creations. They come very organically. Music is an important part of what I do, it’s constantly putting me in different moods. Some of the more functional pieces are inspired by motorcycles and the way the body is shaped and moves. I’m pretty organized and not much of a scatter head, when designing, I don’t think. I’m usually alone when creating so I can’t even answer!!!
How important is your work, and do you feel it defines you?
My work is very important to me, it is me, it isn’t anyone else. I don’t have a “design team” or graphic artists, or any of that. It’s all me 100% and I’m very proud of that. I have a business partner who runs the show, but it’s my brand and vision always.
What has been the most exciting thing you have done with your work, and what is a dream situation you’d like to find yourself in?
I recall the most exciting moment was: walking out at the end of my first runway show for the AW09 collection. I felt I had accomplished so much in so little time. I wouldn’t let anyone in my family even help with the show, I so badly wanted to prove to my pops that I had this game in the bag. And I felt like I did it. It was a very important part of my career and it made me very eager to experience that feeling again, so I did 5 more shows after that, then that feeling became too familiar, so I stopped doing shows. Not because we couldn’t afford it, not because of any other reason, other than me not feeling like it. And this is exactly why I continue to do my own thing. The freedom of knowing I don’t have to report to anyone, or get approved. There is definitely hard times that suck really, really bad, but It comes full circle at the end of the day and I remain happy. I’m living my dream now, creating exactly what I want, building bikes and riding with all my friends!
How do you define your personal style, work and clothing, etc. ?
My personal style is minimal, functional and oily! I’m on my 3rd pair of Sig13 Loop Jeans. I only get a new pair when they start to disintegrate off of me, literally. I hate getting new jeans (new anything at that). People always ask me, “why don’t you wear this, or that, or take that?”. My answer is always the same, I’d rather sell it and see someone else in my garments. I don’t need all this shit. I don’t need much at all. Oh, and I have about 50 Curved Seam Tees, and 100 pairs of Vovk Socks! I’m obsessed with socks oddly.
Do you listen to music during your work day?
All day erry day! Spotify lately, but I hate the fucking ads. I’m really into “Urfaust” right now. I actually mixed the music for the Ukraine Runway show we recently did in Kiev, and Urfaust-“Verächtung wird einen Messertragenden Schatten" is the opening song. Yes, another runway show! We got invited to Mercedes-Benz Fashion week in Kiev, Ukraine (my homeland) and I’ve never been! So of course we had to go. It’s not just for the current SS12 collection, I’m showing 25-30 looks and I pulled 5 or so looks from the past 5 collections. It will be a fun show to do, kind of an archive show.
What’s something someone may not know about you?
I’m in love with Katy Perry… why? I have no idea, she has the worst style.
Anything else you would like to say or for us to know?
• $2 tuesdays at Pizza Nista
• I never leave the house without: OV Sig13 Loops Jeans, Chrome Hearts Silver, Red Wing Boots, Rolex watch.
• All my money goes to vintage Harleys.
• I want to buy a house.
• I don’t and won’t ever smoke a cigarette in my life.
• LIVE TO RIDE RIDE TO DIE. I’ll die on my bike.
* The photos (except runway images) are by Cicero DeGuzman of GODSPEED 45/06