OHW? SS16 Mens Shoes
OHW? is a men’s shoe brand started by two shoe professionals who share the same vision to create contemporary and functional shoes. The brand manufactures in its own factory in China where they have full control over how the shoes are made and the end result is quality footwear that can be worn for function or for style.
The S16 collection is divided into two ranges – Reflection and Traveller – and sees new luxury and technical materials, distinctive detailing and more texture and colour.
The material combinations, perforation, angle cuts and hidden gillie laces are this seasons’ distinct features while the brand’s signature touches such as size markers along the cut edges of the upper materials and contrast hand stitching finish each pair of shoes.
The brand designs in the UK and the aesthetics of the footwear are kept clean to emphasise the craftsmanship and attention to detail. The factory has won several quality, development and technical awards and the craftsmanship is evident in the products.
OHW? collaborates with leading footwear designers to come up with relevant designs and use premium suede and nubuck to full grain leathers and rubber/phylon soles. While the design of the shoes is a vital aspect, comfort and functionality are key as well. Some styles feature an internal elastic sock for improved fit while phylon makes the shoes easy to wear.
I chatted with the brand to get an insight on what is next, where inspirations come from and how it all began.
– Tell me about about OHW? How did the brand come about?
Our CEO Stephen has been in the industry for years and has formed some great relationships with individuals who share his passion. One of them, Hiro Chen, is his now business partner & co-owner. Their shared love for footwear inspired them to start their own brand & here we are 6 seasons later.
– What is the inspiration for the SS16 collection?
SS16 is about textures and colour. There is an architectural influence this season, the perforations and technical fabrics draw inspiration from modern buildings.
– How do you find the balance between aesthetic and functionality when it comes to designing?
We don’t just pride ourselves on design, we ensure that all designs are functional. If we designed something that wasn’t functional we wouldn’t run with it.
– The shoes have an urban yet sophisticated look. Who would you imagine wearing your shoes?
Whether it’s our commuter who is on his feet all day & looking for comfort, our Hipster looking to be part of the latest trend or our businessman looking for those contemporary meets traditional stylings, all of our designs draw inspiration from London life.
– Where do you see the brand in 5 years?
It sometimes take a few seasons for new brands to find themselves, everything is a learning curve. I believe that AW15 was the birth of ohw?, introducing our best collection yet and really defining who we are. In 5 years from now I hope we are staying true to ourselves and continuing to grow our brand.