OATW’s Place in the Shade

Published July 25, 2013

“I was excited to see a fashion icon was interested in the design and supporting the OATW brand,” Floyd Johnson (better known as Floyd From Ohio) says coolly.

The icon he’s referring to is none other than Rihanna, who has been spotted sporting the designer’s Collier de Chien Cap, a leather baseball hat with an Hermes-esque cuff attached to its front. The superstar singer is merely at the top of an otherwise impressive list of celebs seen wearing the emerging line’s signature piece, also including G.O.O.D Music’s Teyana Taylor and mega-producer/performer Ryan Leslie. “There has been a significant consumer growth, as well as notoriety,” notes Johnson, who has also released a collection of crewneck sweaters that parody the high prices of fashion labels (one reads “Givenchy,” with “13.99” printed below in a dollar-store-style font).

Johnson’s newest endeavor is perhaps his most unexpected—OATW’s “The Shade” visor, which boasts a long, sleek black brim with the word “Shade” overlaid in white block letters. “The next move was to make a design that had a functional double entendre,” explains the designer, who cites Jennie Livingston’s famous ballroom documentary Paris Is Burning as “a total inspiration” for the item.

The oversized visor, which has already (like most of Johnson’s work) become a big hit on Instagram, follows suit as another one of the designer’s stabs at morphing the irregular article of clothing into a must-have for fashion heads. “The WTF reaction is always great. It means the envelope has been pushed a bit,” Johnson says of his inventive designs. With a Habitat Skateboards skate deck collaboration up next, one may wonder whom the fast-rising talent sees as his competition. Floyd’s answer is simple: “Myself.”