For years, women have been overlooked in the world of streetwear.
That said, major brands like Jordan and Nike are starting to expand their range of options for more than just one gender, designing pieces like sports bras with intricate details or dropping sneakers in smaller, female-friendly sizes. We've also seen labels use elements of salmon-pink tones and edgy graphic roses on clothing pieces to weasel into a women's closet, which may not always work, while others simply add feminine touches to their established menswear pieces. Regardless, there's an underlying issue at play: Women don’t want to be an afterthought in the world of streetwear anymore.
Thankfully, aside from Nike, Jordan, and Adidas, there are many brands trying to change the dude-ruled narrative and shift their focus to include women. One of them is rapper Drake’s clothing line, October’s Very Own, better known as OVO. Just last December, OVO introduced its Fall/Winter 2020 womenswear capsule, which managed to ace the aesthetic major brands have longed to design by taking a different approach: making their female audience feel like the main character in the story.
While wearing an OVO clothing piece, you’re not just representing Drake, but all Toronto-based artists signed under the label such as PartyNextDoor, dsvn, Majid Jordan and more. OVO was founded as a record label by Drake himself, producer and Grammy Award winner Noah "40" Shebib, and manager Oliver El-Khatib. The down-tempo production they’re famously known for can be heard with ease. Whether it’s waking up to the sunrise with an R&B melody or background music when getting ready for a night out in the city, the womenswear collection is a projection of the OVO sound, with easy-to-pair pieces for morning and evening looks.
OVO shared a glimpse of the line on Instagram, featuring Sofia Richie as the face of the campaign, who is well-known for her lavish aesthetic. Pieces from the collection shriek sprezzatura, where it’s made it natural for one to put together a t-shirt with polished details, like a cropped turtle neck with joggers. Beyond that, there are pieces such as sweatpants, pajamas, sheer turtlenecks, sleeping mask, hoodies in neutral colors: sand, heather grey, sky blue, and black, all of which make it easier to mix and match with other apparel while still representing OVO.
But the most intriguing piece, without a doubt, is the OVO headband. Headbands are no longer used to stray away baby hairs in the front (we’re proudly styling those now), a headband is now more than just a best friend on lazy hair days. The headband is embellished with OVO gold monograms and a black elastic strap that includes a detailed twist in the front. It’s a statement piece that is plainly recognizable. Oh, and the best part, the most distinctive piece was only $38.
If you’ve been a fan of Drake since before he became mainstream (Comeback Season, anyone?), then it’s no surprise to know that women have been somewhat of a muse to his art. And, through OVO, perhaps he's found another way to express his creativity — plus, cash in along the way. While OVO has designed apparel for Drake's female fans before, in 2015, those were heavily influenced by its menswear clothes.
If there’s anyone to take an artistic endeavor and exceed expectations, it’s Drake.
In February 2020, Drake’s OVO collaborated with Canada basketball, and sponsored the Canadian women's National Basketball team with red jerseys, featuring its trademarked “Owl” logo in the center. The partnership was designed to support the team ahead of the FIBA Women’s Olympic Tournament, emphasizing growth in women’s sports. It was another example of the brand trying to bring progress to another industry that would be considered as male-dominated.
Even with a full agenda, which includes his upcoming sixth studio album, Certified Lover Boy, and collaborating with Nike for his sub-brand, “NOCTA,” Drake is still making waves in as many areas as possible. With all its subtle flair, OVO's Fall/Winter 2020 womenswear line has a chance to be an influential collection that paves the way for streetwear brands to design with a more open mind — and, hopefully, Drake and his brand will double down on these efforts.
Like any designer or brand, Drake and OVO are hopeful that their pieces will create trends, and to make an emotional impact on those who buy them. And as we’ve all experienced when he drops new music, most of Drake and his musical creations make their way into our playlists and stay there. If there’s anyone to give streetwear brands the green light to step out of their comfort zone when designing streetwear pieces for women, it’s Drake. What OVO is doing with its clothing line is, in a way, a mere reflection of the fact the rapper listens to his female audience and exactly what they crave.
Despite his past of perseverance in attracting women that constantly reject him, or having an underaged BFF like Milly Bobby Brown, Drake’s sustained platform is high enough for him to see how this line can shift the notion in streetwear. And if it takes a rapper to dip into women’s apparel and make the change, and not a well-established apparel company, then so be it. With their contributions to streetwear, women have the power to take a simple pair of neutral-colored sweatpants and turn them into a fashion trend — that's no secret.
Although it's been around for years, it's obvious OVO is just getting started. The inclusivity in their pieces inspires more than just style options: it encourages streetwear brands to step out of their comfort zone when redesigning the street style essentials and considering more what their female consumers want — to feel equally part of a team. Although there’s still work to be done, OVO’s minimalistic line has the freedom to move in any direction creatively in future collections. And if there’s anyone to take an artistic endeavor and exceed expectations, it’s Drake. It goes 0-100 with him, real quick.