lilD: Ollie Nicole is a Toledo fashion stapleWritten by lilD | | email@example.com
There are five key components in the Hip-Hop game; MCing, break dancing, DJing, beat boxing and grafitti. But Fashion is the ever-so-needed sixth man that helps wins the championship.
Ollie Nicole clothing has become a staple in Toledo urban fashion. It was taken over by Regginal “Reggie” Penrose in 2005 to preserve his cousin and original designer’s memory; and it has grown into a must-have for special events.
Dressed from hat to socks in Ollie Nicole, and proudly displaying the label’s emblem on his car’s license plate, Reggie says he is his biggest promotional tool. Even dressing his son in the brand every day, Reggie told me “you’ll never see me in anything other than Ollie Nicole.”
First impressions are everything, and in an industry where image means just as much as musical content, a Hip-Hop artist’s best friend should be a fashion designer. Toledo Hip-Hop artists have embraced Ollie Nicole, wearing it to their performances and even recording songs promoting the brand. Whenever an artist has a special performance, Reggie makes sure that the Ollie Nicole emblem is displayed proudly on his/her threads. But Ollie Nicole is not just for special events.
According to the designer, Ollie Nicole is “everyday wear.” The biggest roadblock on the path to national recognition thus far has been the misconception that Ollie Nicole is only a specialty brand. But it doesn’t have to be anyone’s birthday to wear the brand. Reggie is working on a signature line now, in hopes that people will embrace Ollie Nicole as a casual line as well as an event line.
The only other issue with the Ollie Nicole brand is the price. For the amount of time and effort that goes into designing, sewing and delivering each piece of clothing, the clothes are extremely reasonable. But just like a local artist trying to sell his/her album for $10 because albums in the stores are that price, people think that until that person “makes it,” nothing he/she produces is worth it.
But what happens if that same local artist starts selling his/her album for $2? More albums may be sold, but the product will be looked upon as mediocre compared to albums that cost more. This is the trap that Reggie refuses to let Ollie Nicole fall into. He says that his prices reflect the economy, but “I don’t want to sell it too cheap, and people perceive it as cheap.”
Also, because the Ollie Nicole brand is not sitting on the rack next to national name brands (yet), people think the quality is not up to par, but Reggie said he’s seen “[rapper 50 Cent’s brand] G-Unit use the same exact stitching as me.”
For those people who absolutely need to see clothes on racks at department stores, the Ollie Nicole fall brand will be in a store, to be announced soon, in the upcoming months.
Most Hip-Hop artists (the smart ones) aspire to achieve mainstream success. Becoming a pop superstar isn’t a negative thing; “pop” is short for “popular,” and being popular is the goal, right? While Ollie Nicole was first embraced by Toledo hip hop artists, it’s reaching more people in different environments. Andre Savage, host of the television show “Game Savvy Late Night,” wears the brand during each taping; the owner of Fat Fish Blue owns some clothing; even doctors are asking for it. When asked about his journey to national recognition, Reggie says “I’m already on the right path.”
The goal of Ollie Nicole clothing is no different than that of any aspiring rapper: to be on shelves across the country, next to those with national recognition. Reggie’s star has already taken off, and continues to rise, so the smart thing to do is take heed to his slogan: Get on. Get Ollie Nicole.