FASHION FRIENDS: Lyz Olko of Obesity and Speed

Known for iconic t-shirts and a nihilist-chic aesthetic that directly mirrors downtown New York’s perennial infatuation with paradise lost, Obesity and Speed have perfected a style that eschews luxury for uncompromising independence. Creating men’s and women’s collections, partners Lyz Olko and Josh Conner ransack punk America to create looks that highlight a degenerate take on elegance.The label was started in 2003, when the two friends met at then fledgling avant garde lower east side boutique Seven New York. There they discovered their shared interests in punk music, a dark fashion aesthetic and horror movies. These interests led them to begin collaborating in various mediums, zines, collages, mixtapes, photo shoots, jewelry, and so on….Obesity and Speed began with just one hand sewn lace appliquéd skull sweatshirt and really took off from there. We were privileged to have conversation with Lyz about the brand and about her personal style...

Sarah: Obesity and Speed has become a staple for a lot of people...your clothes are really relevant to what people want to wear right now. How do you tap into that?
Lyz: It's great to hear that actually. We try and do something different in terms of color, new fabrics, and graphic prints each season and evolving over the years, while still staying true to the brand identity. I think what we are all about in terms of our message and aesthetic translates through various trend phases and whatnot. We have a few style staples in the collection that carry through each season, like our tie back tank top, oversize drape neck top, and denim, that continue to do well.

S: You've done some collaborations, a line for Urban Outfitters and a pop-up shop for Earnest Sewn. Tell us about it.
L: We do a line for urban outfitters called "nothing sacred." It consists mostly of graphic knit bodies for women, and some men's items. A few years ago we did a pop-up shop for Earnest Sewn , in which we decorated the back room gallery space to look like a angry teenager's room with posters, props, photos and things and did a limited edition denim collaboration with Earnest. We also made a zine for the collaboration. We have also worked with Nike, Tory Burch, Oak, Nylon and are currently working on another secret project.....

S: In terms of your personal style, what are some essentials for everyday?
L: Josh and I are always wearing some sort of fucked up denim short, leather or army jacket, crusty tee, for me a black boot, josh wears converse. I also wear a lot of Pamela Love jewelry.

S: You've featured people like Isabelle McNally, Sky Ferreira, and Greg K on your site modeling O&S wares. Who is the O&S woman/man? Do you have someone or (an idea of someone) in mind when you design?
L: Someone who has great personal style follows their heart.

S: If you could wipe out one current trend that you find tragic, what would it be?
L: Ummm, hmmmmmmm.....I don't know just because I don't like something doesn't mean it's tragic. It's just my personal taste.

S: VERY democratic! Who is your style soul mate?
L: Josh.

S: Has your style evolved a lot over the years? Is there anything you used to wear all the time that now you regret?
L: My style has evolved over the years, definitely becoming more grown up. I don't know that there is anything I specifically regret, just items I don't wear now, because I'm not a 15 year old crust punk anymore.

Shop the Obesity and Speed collection at the IDLM Store.

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