Brands You Should Know

Onassis

The brand’s creative director on color, attention to detail, and the story behind the name.

Launched in 2010 in NYC, Onassis makes stylish casual staples and smart accessories that dress up or down with ease. To celebrate its debut on Gilt, we asked creative director Martin Diment to give us a few key details that differentiate the collection.

1) Onassis is about discovery.
“Our inspiration is a guy who’s always discovering and loves traveling. For us, design isn’t just about drawing something on a piece of paper, it’s an open-minded process of finding out, for example, how a certain fabric reacts with a certain dye. And our sense of discovery goes hand-in-hand with the brand’s global feel — we want our stores to feel at home, wherever they are.”

2) Their creative director has serious pedigree.
“I did my master’s at St. Martins in London, and I went to school with a great class including Alexander McQueen. I was at John Varvatos for six years, which was wonderful training, and then at Burberry in London and also Ralph Lauren. Before I came here I was at Gap for 18 months as the global design director for the knits and sweaters, but I needed something with this kind of soul.”

3) It’s all about the details.
“The details are what really make up the brand — from the way every seam is intricately taped on the interior, to our signature anchor-stitch on every button. We want everything to feel very comfortable and familiar but still be a cut above the rest.”

4) Color is key.
“We have some really great, state-of-the-art Italian dye machinery, as well as a lot of new German and Italian dye chemicals. We’re not scared of trying things — we’ll say, ‘What if we turn the heat up there? What if we add a little more reactive dye or pigment dye and mix them together?’ It’s like a kid in the school chemistry labs — we really get to be open-minded in our trials.”

5) They have one hell of a name.
“When I think of Aristotle Onassis, I think of a charming rogue. He lived at a time when you could count the world’s billionaires on one hand. We aren’t from the Onassis family, but we have that common ground — that search for expedition and travel, and having that global viewpoint on things. We want to encompass the best of all continents and all experiences.”

Shop Onassis on Gilt >>

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