ODE personifies Coco Chanel’s statement that fashion has two purposes: comfort and love; beauty comes when fashion succeeds. Rebecca Odendaal, the founder of ODE has created a high fashion, high quality clothing brand that incorporates locally sourced, handcrafted elements. She tells us more.
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Rebecca and I am the founder of the fashion label ODE. I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. I studied fashion full time and completed a short business course that allowed me to chase my dreams of owning my own fashion brand.
Tell us about your inspiration in starting your clothing brand ODE?
I’ve always loved fashion and dreamt of having my own label that showcases around the world. The main inspiration was to create fashion with a cause. Ode creates collections around social issues locally and internationally. We showcase artisans and the beautiful South African made textiles. I want clothes to empower the woman who wear them and who has made the garments. Thus ultimately building and supporting woman around the world.
What is your brand’s aesthetic?
Our brands aesthetic focuses on timeless pieces that are made of the highest quality and luxurious fabrication. Each piece is designed with a new take on updating timeless silhouettes and making you look effortless whilst feeling comfortable and chic.
What makes your brand distinct?
ODE is distinct due to its abundance of textural fabrication that is hand embroidered, hand painted or knitted. We bring an artisanal element to each garment created so that our customer can be part of a story and due to the timelessness of the garments can ultimately keep them forever.
We have also started making transeasonal collections which allows you to buy one garment such as a jacket which can then be zipped off into short sleeves as well as unbuttoned to be a cropped jacket. Our customers can get more use out of our garments and invest in pieces that can be worn throughout the year.
Describe the person who wears your clothes.
The person who wears my clothes appreciates textures, quality and timelessness. She is someone who is effortlessly chic and loves investing in pieces that will last her a lifetime. She is relevant and sees fashion in an elegant sophisticated way with a twist. This is a busy, successful lady who wears these garments from day to night dressing the pieces up and down. She appreciates luxury thoughtful slow design.
Do you have any future designs in mind to join the move towards ethical consciousness in how clothes are made?
Yes, all of our garments are ethically produced. We are also using fabrics that are organically produced. We are totally transparent with where our garments are made and the type of fabrication we use. We make use of all organic wools, linens and cottons. We also created the transeasonal pieces; moving into the slow fashion movement where garments don’t need to be bought as often. Over time we will be implementing new things and will continue to improve in all aspects as it is a very important movement and close to our hearts.
What are your favorite textiles to work with?
I have two favorites. One would have to be knitwear as you go through the whole process of selecting the yarn right through pattern making, production and then the final outcome. I also love working with linens from lightweight right through to heavy weights. It’s such a diverse fabric; adding a sophisticated organic look.
What would be your greatest achievement this far?
It was showcasing at the South Africa Fashion Week in Johannesburg. It was amazing to see the support from huge industry leaders for young and upcoming designers.
If you could work with a famous designer, who would it be and why?
Easy; Ryan Roche. Her aesthetic, her principles, her execution of garments, her fabric choices and philosophy on life is something I strive for. She is an artist in every way and is someone I could learn so much from. I have loved her work for many years.
Every woman should have a little black dress. What else would you consider a simply must have for a wardrobe?
An oversized denim jacket; it is timeless and makes any outfit look effortlessly cool, relaxed and updated. One should never be without this statement piece. I still wear my mom’s denim jacket they never go out of style.
Name you car to table shoes; you know the ones that are only comfortable for that distance.
A low block sandal, shoe or boot dependent on the season. It’s a look that can be dressed up or down but allows you to get everything done whilst still being comfortable, elegant and productive. 5/6 days I’m in block heeled shoes the other days probably my slippers ha-ha.
What jeans would you go for, skinny, boyfriend, dungarees and why?
My boyfriend jeans; you can’t go wrong with being comfortable. They are on trend and look great whether you are dressing for a formal occasion (paired with your block heel and a smart top) or a casual night out (pair with your oversized denim J and your block heel); you just can’t go wrong.
Name your go to beauty product that never fails.
My Mac lipstick “Hug Me” or “Ruby Woo” you can’t go wrong. Got a big meeting – put lipstick on. Feeling down put lipstick on having an ugly day, put lipstick on when in doubt put lipstick on. I was taught this in my first job and now it has become my go to, it’s the final piece for bringing your outfit to the next level.
Which social media is your favorite platform to use and why?
Instagram. I love seeing what my customer’s interests are, their likes and dislikes. I like to engage with them on an everyday level. I learn from them and they inspire me. The amount you can do on Instagram is really amazing and the best thing about it, is engaging with your audience.
What’s next for Ode?
Our online store is launching in September 2019. I am beyond excited to take this brand international and to showcase South Africa’s amazing artisans. I hope in the next few years to be showcasing at international fashion weeks too.
Name your favorite quote/mantra to live by.
“A woman that knows what she brings to the table is not afraid to eat alone”. This is a mantra I live by daily, it’s so important to know your worth and to dream things that you never thought were possible. If you can’t dream it you will never live it.
@ODE Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/odebyrebecca/