“I Wanted to Reinvent Myself”

Longtime menswear fashion designer John Varvatos is reinventing himself with his eight-month-old brand OTD, a unisex clothing line with stores in New York and Los Angeles.

“When I started this, it was about a new story,” Varvatos tells The Hollywood Reporter about the beginnings of OTD. “I really felt like I had a new story. I wanted to reinvent myself. It was that moment during COVID that I had this kind of lightning bolt. I had this story that I’ve been playing around with, which is what this brand is.”

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OTD stands for “On This Day,” and its collections feature clothing, jewelry, footwear and accessories for all genders. With its flagship store located in the heart of Soho in New York City, the unisex line has found a second home in Los Angeles on West Hollywood’s iconic Sunset Strip in the same space where H&M previously stood. It’s the latest in Varvatos’ ongoing journey to round out his business ventures. From his own record label to tequila brand Villa One (that he started with Nick Jonas), Varvatos isn’t focused on just menswear anymore. This summer, Varvatos and Jonas launched a pop-up tequila bar on the Las Vegas Strip to promote their brand Villa One.

As for OTD, the brand is the designer’s follow-up fashion company after his eponymous menswear line filed for bankruptcy in 2020, following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This time around, OTD encompasses women’s, men’s and unisex styles. As the name implies, patrons are encouraged to utilize fashion and personal style to write their own story “on this day” — living in the moment, each and every day.

“Whatever the word is, I don’t really care,” Varavtos says in regard to the differences between men’s and women’s clothing. “I just

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Here’s How 5 Fashion and Beauty Brands Owned by People of Color Are Dealing With Inflation

Small businesses, and particularly those owned by people of color, have been facing a multitude of challenges since the onset of the pandemic and its resulting impact on store closures, supply chain tie-ups and altered consumer demand.

And with the impact of inflation, those challenges aren’t letting up.

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The latest U.S. inflation rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in June, was 9.1 percent, higher than it’s been since the early ’80s.

A March survey from Bank of America found that 88 percent of small business owners said inflation was affecting their business, 68 percent have raised prices and 34 percent have had to reevaluate cash flow and spending.

And just as communities of color tend to feel the impacts of inflation more greatly, businesses owned by people of color that may have less access to capital to cover some of the rising costs, as has historically been the case, can also be harder hit.

Here, WWD hears from five fashion and beauty brands owned by people of color about how inflation is affecting their businesses.

Cuyana

Panama hats being made in Ecuador for Cuyana. - Credit: Cuyana

Panama hats being made in Ecuador for Cuyana. – Credit: Cuyana

Cuyana

Cuyana, a womenswear and accessories brand specializing in sustainable handbags, has had to increase its prices as a result of inflation, but company cofounder and chief executive officer Karla Gallardo said customers have remained supportive in spite of the hikes.

“Like most businesses, Cuyana is not immune to the impact of inflation. The current climate has faced us with challenges such as rising costs of our materials, production and transportation, ultimately leading to an increase in the price of our products. At the outset of the pandemic, when these fluctuations were very unpredictable, we decided to take on the initial increases without impacting our suppliers and customers,”

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