There comes a time in every successful rapper's life when he has to ask himself one of the most important questions of his career: Should I start a clothing line? Some have done it successfully (Jay-Z and 50 Cent come to mind), while others haven't had such good fortune.
For Drake and his brand October's Very Own (bettern known as just OVO), it's more complicated than just getting his gear into Macy's and making bank. We had an opportunity to pick his brain for our cover story, and here's what he has to say about the future of his brand.
Interview by Damien Scott (@thisisdscott)
On His Brand
“Of course people want to monetize my brand and make me endorse this shit and that shit, whatever. I'm in this for the long run. I want some longevity.
I remember the excitement of having to find shit, and not having shit, as opposed to having it. That was the excitement. Whether it was like that obscure clothing brand from London called Orchard Street. I don't know if you remember that, Jay wore it one time in a video. They hung sneakers from the electrical wires in New York so that people could climb up there and get them.
I remember not having more than I remember having in excess. I remember what I wanted more than I remember what I had.”
“With our brand, it really is something we started just for us. The owl being bootleg to the point where I see people walking around with owl sweatshirts—it blows my mind. And me and Oliver [Oliver el-Khatib, Drake’s brand manager] talk about it all the time like, ‘Man, what should we do? Should we just make these sweaters and sell them?’
I want people to be a part of our movement, I just want it to be right. And everybody else wants me to make it with the cheaper fabric and put it in Macy’s and ‘Oh don't worry we will make 100 million in the first year.’ Naw, fuck you, because that's not what we are about. I'm not ready for OVO to be that. Because OVO is still something I represent. I'll go make that money one day off something else. When someone gets my OVO jackets, or gets my sweater I want them to be like, ‘That's my shit, this is mine.’"
On the Future
"I’m about this young, energetic, hungry movement. That’s what I stand for now. That’s why we put all this time and all this attention to detail into everything we do. It’s coming… And it’s better this way. Because if I was over exposed, like in your face, that's also when that light flickers out and you are gone. I’m on my second album. I want to do this right for at least another 10 years. I’m not trying to rap when I’m much older than that. So I’m just taking my time…
I'm not Jay, I’m not 50 Cent—not yet. I'm not there yet. And even if someone would tell me I am there, I'm going to keep telling myself I'm not so I can work harder and keep building. It’s the same reason I don’t want to start a label and sign artists, I'm working on myself. I'm 25. I just want to be young and do this shit for us."
On Doing Things His Way
"I love when people do get their hands on a Canada goose. I love when people do have an OVO jacket, how proud they wear it. Or when they see us all in the owl sweaters how evil it looks. I just live for those moments.
As far as my fans, they mean the world to me, and I would want to share it with them, but I just want to find a way to do it where its not so fucking turkey pie, selling you a bunch of shitty product, and me just taking your money and laughing and holding it like, ‘Ha ha ha! Look how much money I made off of you.’
I want to give you a product. I want to give people a piece of myself, that’s me, that’s all I have. I’m just trying to find a way to do it properly. Until then, I even told Ollie the other day, I need more shit! My owl sweaters, I washed them.
OVO is a growing brand. I don’t want to jump the gun."
[Images courtesy of October's Very Own]