Retailer of the Week
25 Apr. 2013
Judson Harmon, Owner of ØDD. in New York CityOne of the most cutting-edge stores in New York City, ØDD. is a multibrand fashion retailer and styling house on the Lower East Side that specializes in men’s, women’s and unisex apparel, accessories and cosmetics that are, well, odd–meaning that they are singular, fantastic and unusual. This arty store often works with its designers to create shop exclusives and also sells an eponymous in-house collection. Owner and CEO Judson Harmon recently discussed the young shop’s history, future and unique selection of merchandise. Interview by Christopher Blomquist
What is the history and background of the store?
I founded ØDD. in 2011 with a firm belief that fashion is relative to the person, not to the gender. We carry a wide array of pieces for both the conservative types and the diehard fashionistas/fashionistos. With a dark undertone we strive to provide a new artistic perspective on a growing aesthetic. Heavily inspired by art, which is apparent through our collaborations, we welcome you to our ever-evolving world of ØDD.
Who is your “typical” customer?
Someone confident. It couldn’t be more simply put. We have found that our clients ages vary from being a young twentysomething fashionista to an old New Yorker in their sixties.
What are your best-selling brands? And what do you think accounts for their popularity?
Gareth Pugh, Jean-Pierre Braganza and Rochambeau. All of these designers have classic elements mixed with new ideas, while using the finest textiles available.
How would you describe the overall retail scene on the Lower East Side at the moment?
Growing. It’s the last neighborhood in downtown Manhattan that hasn’t been touched by corporate America. Most of the retail businesses in our neighborhood are small businesses and you’ll often see the owners working in the stores.
What has been your favorite memory at the store thus far?
It’s a toss between having the store open last October and presenting our first namesake collection at New York Fashion Week.
What sets the store apart from other boutiques in NYC?
Our approachable demeanor paired with our buy. Most things you will find at ØDD. are pieces that you sometimes can’t find anywhere else in the world.
What are the biggest challenges of being a retailer today and how have you overcome them?
Inventing a new prospective while still respecting the classic elements of the retail environment. We have overcome this obstacle through collaboration; many people refer to our store as an “art gallery” of sorts.
How do you attract new customers?
We have a very heavy social media base but being in New York we get to work with some of the best publications and stylists in the industry.
Describe the store’s buying philosophy. How do you select brands/items? And where do you find them?
The buy is a collaboration between me and Razzano Consulting Group. We find our designers at showrooms in London, Paris and New York.
How important is it to have an in-house line in addition to the others you carry? And do you think every boutique should have one?
It’s not absolutely necessary, but the ØDD. team is full of artists so we have the private label to feel fulfilled and to offer a full experience of our vision.
What would be your advice to a new shop owner?
Formulate a vision that you don’t share with another business, create your own market within a market.
How important is the store’s interior?
It’s an amoeba of sorts. It’s constantly evolving, featuring various artists.
What have you learned since the store opened?
I’ve learned to trust my vision, but to also embrace the visions of those around me.
What has been the best or worst experience in the shop thus far?
Having the US Issey Miyake team be so adamant about our success, being that we are starting to carry the label in the fall.
What can one expect from ØDD. in the future?
Don't expect to see the same thing twice but always expect beautiful things to be displayed in a new way. We are a retailer of confidence.
164 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002
+1 646 559 0406
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