Ones to Watch: Ovadia & Sons

by Elise Diamantini

Brotherly Love

Shimon and Ariel Ovadia learned the apparel business firsthand at the young age of 14. Their father opened a children’s wear company after moving to the U.S. from Israel nearly 30 years ago. “Our father showed us the ropes,” says Shimon. “He taught us that there are no shortcuts and hard work pays off. We always had a passion for apparel, but wanted to make clothing that we could wear. So we launched the first collection of Ovadia & Sons for spring of 2010.”

Ovadia & Sons is classic tailored clothing, updated for today’s contemporary man. “We like to borrow from the past and make it new again. The fits are modern, but not gimmicky; we make honest, quality clothing.” Made in Brooklyn, New York and sold at stores like Barneys and Bloomingdale’s, trousers retail from $195 to $495, shirts from $175 to $595, sportcoats from $1,495 to $3,495, suits from $1,895 to $5,995, ties from $85 to $195, and shoes from $595 to $895.

For fall 2012, Shimon and Ariel were inspired by vintage winter sporting. One of the most popular items from this collection was a 1940s-inspired Nordic sweater. Other retail favorites include tweed sport jackets with suede elbow patches and double-breasted blue mélange jackets with silver crest buttons. “We’re noticing an industry trend of blending tailored clothing with sportswear. Mixing the two together creates a great balance and a fresh look. Men really care about what they’re wearing and how they look. They understand quality and fit. They want to put on a tie or a sportcoat and are doing so in a modern way.”

When asked what’s challenging about working with family, Shimon is diplomatic. “We’ve been working together for so long that we almost have it figured out. We both have strong opinions and sometimes we just have to agree to disagree. We have equal responsibilities and work together on all aspects of the brand, from design and creative to the day-to-day business.”