We Interview Bad Ass Olivia Anthony from Liv Streetwear
The designer with the 205 digits.
Fizzy Mag chats to the lady behind Liv Streetwear and House of Olivia Anthony, Bad Ass Babe Olivia Anthony. Find out how Chance the Rapper helped this young ambitious designer reach her dreams on the subway, and why she's being called the next Virgil. If there is anyone to watch out for in the Streetwear game we got our eyes on Olivia. Alabama native and making it big in NYC, this 90's loving designer sews each piece with boldness and rebellious flair. Liv Streetwear is a love letter to the freedom of the '90s and Black and minority cultures, the original rebels.
Hey Olivia! Thank you for chatting to us!
You recently were featured on Good Looking Out on Complex. You handled yourself so well on the show. How did that feel?
Olivia: It literally felt like an outer of body experience, I had to forget that there were camera’s there and just zone in on what I wanted to do and what I wanted to come across. So I kind of blacked out, going off of muscle memory on deciding what I wanted to say. And then watching it back I was like wow I really talked a lot because I don’t really remember what happened. But I remember that I was literally done with my presentation and then the producers called me back in and thats when they asked me the questions like: How was it like living in New York City? That’s when I got really emotional, cause I thought I was done but I guess they wanted more feedback and what I’d been through. Its crazy that they came back and actually got more out of me. It was an amazing experience because I don’t really like talking all that much, but I think it was a really good experience to handle that.
You have been said to be the next Virgil! That’s something very different and such a great honour to be considered the next icon! You are definantly going places. Congratulations!
Olivia: Thank you! I am so excited because the vision that I have for my company is endless and the opportunities that have been coming knocking on my door is crazy. So I am really excited.
In your first year you achieved so much with the likes of Kehlani, rocking out your creations. What do you envision for next year? Your company is really growing and you are already looking to expand your team in the office. So what is the next adventure?
Olivia: So the next time we are going to do some cute pieces for resort and for the summer for Liv Streetwear. What a lot of people don’t know is that I have a whole other brand which is House of Olivia Anthony and I kind of put that on pause, it is more high-end editorial and it’s inspired by Harajuku meets Clueless, it’s a lot. So once Liv Streetwear is established established like we are doing runways for it I would probably bring House back and I am excited and a lot of people don’t know about it. It is introducing a whole other world and a chance for me to challenge myself in a whole other way and that’s what I mean when I say I am inspired by Thom Browne and Moschino because it’s like of that world that a lot of people don’t know. So I am excited about that as well and merge the two.
Photo: Daryl Oh
What was it like to jump from the more high fashion of House of Olivia Anthony to Streetwear? That is a big leap and you’ve managed to do it so smoothly and successfully.
Olivia: A lot of people don’t know but I started Liv Streetwear first. I started it in college, back in 2012, I was styling at first. So I am from Alabama originally, you probably noticed my 205 number, I love my 205 number and I will probably get a whole new phone before I get rid of this number I have had it since the 9th grade or 8th grade. But I once did in college a whole website oliviaanthony.com and I had people rock my logo on a t-shirt and so from that t-shirts went to hats to jean-jackets and then I started touring to different other colleges to show the streetwear line. But when I moved to New York at that time everybody literally had a t-shirt line. It was literally like the whole world had a t-shirt line. It was overwhelming, because I felt I was original and I don’t want to do that. I literally had made a t-shirt that said ‘Everybody and their mother have a t-shirt line’.
I wanted to try something different because my background is editorial styling and ok I want to make a brand where stylists can put these pieces in their editorials so that is how House was started. So House was started after Liv Streetwear, but I I bought Liv Streetwear back last year, and that was my first time doing actual cut and sew and not like t-shirts. That’s just to the timeline.
We love that you hustled and are still hustling hard for your dream. You worked your ass off! What gave you that push to just quit your job and work on your business full-time?
Olivia: I feel like this is so crazy, but my best friend had quit her job the week before I quit mine and I was still debating it. On my way to work, I was on the train and I was listening to Chance The Rapper, I love him, I am obsessed with him. He said something in the song like his mom wanted him to go to college but he didn’t go but he ended up working hard. It was on the gist of him working hard and it paid off. He wanted to go to college and he felt he was behind because everybody was doing this and that and they were in school and it actually paid off. I am really big in my faith and I really just have to trust God and know that anything is possible if I just jump out and trust him.
I got off the subway I called my best friend and said, ‘I think Imma quit’ and I got home and called my dad and was like ‘Dad I want to quit my job’. This is something I had been fighting with since I moved to New York. I quit my job and walked back in and was like I am sorry I need my job back! Cause I hate working for someone else. And my dad said “It’s fine we got you”. I went into work and gave my two weeks notice. The last day of my job I was interviewing a designer and I felt a full circle moment and went this is going to be ok.
It has been a journey and every step of the way it’s been trial and tribulations, but what is not.
Doing it on your own is hard, what pushed you to keep going?
Olivia: My parents have been so supportive and they have helped me so much. That I just have to pay them back and I have to show them that this is all worth it. They are that wheel that keeps the energy going. Of course this is something that I want, but they support me so much and never even second guessed it. I just have to show them that this was all worth it. That’s what literally keeps me going.
And people who support me, like you guys! The support is endless so it keeps me going. I feel like I am doing something correct. Like the first year to have Kehlani and HypeBae, all these crazy things you think take so long to get and are happening keep me going to. Because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You guys are going to be so excited for my first fashion, it’s going to go.
Liv Bold, Liv Brave, Be You — Love the concept behind your brand. Where did that come from?
Olivia: For me, my whole brand is inspired by the ‘90s and what I love about the 90’s is that it was so free. I don’t like just a section of the ’90s, I like Lil’ Kim to Gwen Stefani. Everyone was so free. For me being from Alabama and dressing the way I was dressing I used to get used to get made fun of for wearing Vans, it takes a bold person to walk around wearing yellow overalls that people might not get and make fun of, so it takes a bold free person. That’s the type of person that wears Liv Streetwear. Cause they don’t follow trends they try and set them and that’s the type of person my client is and that is where the concept came from, just a bold free person wearing bold colors and living their best life to their fullest.
Photo: Lizzie Steimer
How do you see streetwear evolve in the fashion industry?
Olivia: I feel like fashion is a complete circle and street wear will always be there. it may not be to this extreme. Fashion challenges you to keep doing something different and evolving but still being true to your DNA. So I don’t feel like street wear is going anywhere because we have brands like Tommy Hilfiger that with stood the test of time. Even if something is high end, the streets make it street wear, if they bought blazers and a t-shirt to street like what they are doing now it is still streetwear because people actually wear it and make it what it is.
I feel it is never going to go anywhere because we are going to constantly wear it and evolve with it. I am excited to be apart of the history of street wear. I watch Fresh Dressed on Netflix. You have to watch it, it literally breaks down the history of street wear, where it comes from, like FUBU. And that’s all coming back. FUBU and Rocawear. And there are not a lot of women in streetwear, especially Black Women. There is April Walker and she literally took me under her wing and worked with 2pac and Biggie and everyone wearing her stuff. Its like connecting the past with the future. It is the most powerful time to be apart of street wear right now and I am so blessed to be apart of the generation right now.
If there is a girl sitting somewhere in her room right now and she wants to do what you do, what would you tell her?
Olivia: Keep going! Don’t matter what people say. A lot of people will say I don’t know if it’s a great idea. Consistency is key. Do it for you and who ever supports you. Social media makes you feel like you are in competition with these brands. Stay in your lane. Know your customer and keep going and you will see the results. That is with everything you do. Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Stay consistent to what you want to do in life and you will see results. Consistency is key. That is what I would tell them.
We have Virgil at LV, Kanye at adidas and Jay- Z at Puma. Who would you love to collaborate with?
Olivia: I want to collab with Echo. I definitely want to do a collab with Dickies because I feel I can take them and go on a whole other level together. In one year ask me which fashion house you want to take over, but they are my short term goals.
If you could be any sneaker what would you be?
Olivia: I would be your classic check board Vans. I am about longevity so I am a Vans girl!
Great choice Girl! Thank you for speaking to us and we are excited for what you got coming up. Check out Liv Streetwear here.
Photos: Micaiah Carter
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