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May 9, 2017

Behind the Brand: An Interview with Onia

Posted at 8:00 AM


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With a firm commitment to producing the finest swim and ready-to-wear garments possible, Onia ("Ship" in Hebrew) produces timeless, quality designs.  The brand is dedicated to developing clean silhouettes, crafted from high-quality materials and technical fabrics, in innovative fits and styles. They embody a refined aesthetic and feature versatile and transitional designs that can be worn for a broad range of activities.

Minimal, yet meticulously crafted; durable, but still soft and comfortable from the first wear; stylish without being subject to the vagaries of seasonal fashions. We're proud to welcome Onia to THE TENTS for another season.  Read on for our exclusive interview, and get to know the brand a little bit better.

Can you tell us a little bit about Onia's founding?  Why swim? How did Nathan and Carl meet and why did they decide to go into business together? 

Co-founders Carl Cunow and Nathan Romano come from backgrounds where they learned the art of constructing quality garments that led them to develop a strategy to create their own vision. It was a void in the luxury men’s’ market that inspired Carl and Nathan to develop Onia initially by offering cleaner lines and items that men can wear from day to night.


Onia was founded on swim, why the move into Ready to Wear?  How has this impacted your business?  

Ready to wear was naturally the next level for the men’s collection and now the women’s collection will be expanding as well.  When Onia was launched as a brand, the goal was to offer guys a casual short that dually functioned as a swim short.  It was never about making swim, but more about making something that was multi-functional.  Onia pieces are meant to be transitional throughout the day while remaining classic staples in men’s and women’s wardrobes for years to come.  


Is the business primarily wholesale, direct to consumer, or both?  What segments is Onia interested in expanding into? 

Both wholesale and direct to consumer are equally as important for different reasons. As far as expansions go, the current focus is the Onia ecommerce site – creating more of a shopping experience for the consumer.


How does the seasonal nature of swim impact the business, if at all?  

It doesn’t. 50% of Onia sales are within the ready to wear categories. In addition, hotel and resort partners around the world are season-less so the business is year-round.

Onia Womens

Can you tell us a bit about the move into women’s?  How has the brand had to adapt to the women's market?

It took a few seasons of developing the women’s collection to really be able to understand how completely different it was from men’s. From fabrics to production, it’s a totally different beast.  Now, the men’s and women’s business is completely separate on the back end, yet, the two come together each season to create a cohesive brand that merchandises well.


You've shown with PROJECT / THE TENTS for several seasons now, any advise for first time exhibitors? 

If you’re new, the most important thing is to get your feet wet. Make contacts, make appointments, get to know the buyers and don’t be discouraged. In the end, if you have good product, people will notice.


What's next for the brand? Anything special retailers can look forward to seeing at the show? 

There is a lot going on within the company but for now, retailers can look forward to seeing the evolution in both the accessories and women’s ready to wear sku’s, especially with cover ups.

Images courtesy of Onia