The story behind Odrin…. After observing and thinking about how apparel is consumed and produced in the US and Nigeria, I wanted to create a better way for men to shop. For me, that meant providing good quality products at the right price, on the right platform for people to access whether online or offline.

The founding principles and philosophies behind the brand… For us there are essentials, like a classic white shirt, that are the building blocks for any man’s wardrobe. We get the perfect quality products and that is our starting point and show people how to combine them how to create different looks.

Ultimately it is about giving people the right kind of service and advice to help people dress better, while helping them to become the best version of themselves. What is equally important to us is giving people great clothing prices that are accessible while shifting the narrative on local production. It is not about just supporting something just because it is local, but rather us saying that we can make world class products locally.

What the production and creation process at Odrin looks like… We have two guiding principles. Firstly, our products have to be world class. Secondly, where possible, we want most of the value add to be done on the continent and so every item that has the Odrin tag is made on the continent.

At Odrin we stock a combination of our brands and a few global brands.  For our brands we source great luxury fabrics from Japan and Europe and we find local manufacturers to help us create a world class product. For example, with our cotton shirts we worked with a French Mauritian shirt factory brand to get the right level of stitching, while our slim fit chinos are made in Johannesburg in a factory that is a fifteen-minute drive from the store. To produce something that is world-class quality and have that made on the continent, is our way of celebrating African excellence, that is the guiding principle.

For Odrin the products are the starting point then it is about providing a service for people. We talk to people about their style and what occasion they need to dress for and pick up something for them to incorporate into their wardrobes.  We also have a made to measure suiting service, manufactured outside of the continent the finishing’s are done by hand in Johannesburg. For this product clients can choose from over 200 fabrics and it takes 3-5 weeks for the suits to get tailored. Price points range between R7999-R8999. This is more expensive because we use super fine and delicate wool for the suits.

Thoughts on sustainability… Back in the days it was about selling a lifestyle and no one knew where or how the product was made. Now people want to know where the products are from, what the environmental impact is, whether something is sustainable and whether workers are paid a fair wage. This is all very important for customers when buying a product. We believe that this is not something special anymore. It is the right thing to do.  I believe that the form in which the product comes is just as important as the transparency behind it. In our production process using things like organic cotton or natural pearl buttons are just some of the ways in which we make these considerations.

Business sustainability in a hostile economic environment… If you are creating a product that is truly the best product then when people are making a choice between your products and something else, that is a no-brainer. Good quality makes for a better product. Within South Africa our products are well made and they align with people’s lifestyle values

We are also increasingly competitive and have customers around the world who buy our product. Our website alone, reaches customers who are also based in the US and Nigeria. That gives us more flexibility.

The curation and merchandising of the store… We wanted something airy, clean and open, which is why you see a lot of light wood. It is masculine but yet minimalistic. When it comes to merchandising our collections are divided into two. Our core focus on wardrobe essentials as building blocks, which makes for 70%, can be seen throughout the space: the white shirts, the chinos and more.

Then we have the seasonal collections that vary in colour and fabrics depending on the time of year. Now that we are in fall/winter you see the browns come through. In summer you will see more linens and brown bright colours.

Visit Odrin at their store: 44 Stanley Ave, Milpark, Johannesburg, 2092.

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