style file: Obesity + Speed Speeds Up

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Oct 31st 2013, 20:42, by Matthew Schneier

Lyz Olko's Spring 2014 Obesity + Speed collection

Lyz Olko has a lot on her plate at any given moment. In addition to running her cult downtown label Obesity + Speed, Olko doubles as the social director of both The Jane Hotel and The Westway, and clocks just four hours of sleep each night. That’s a lot of blood, sweat, and cheers, but it’s paid off for the designer, who described the latest Spring lineup as her “most elevated yet.” Over the past eight years, O+S has become known for its punky, goth-tinged aesthetic and best-selling destroyed T-shirts, which Olko individually shreds in her Lower East Side apartment. (“My fingers are bleeding because I had to destroy 100 of them last night,” she said at a preview earlier this week.) Olko switched things up a bit this season, and traded out her typically dark stuff for clothes that had more street appeal, citing early-nineties hip-hop as an influence. “It’s a lot more positive and bright, with no boundaries,” she told “This collection is about working hard, kicking butt, and striving to do better.”

Her positive outlook was evident in a range of novelty tees emblazoned with phrases like “Love Without Limits,” “Do You Ever Dream of Candy Coated Rain Drops,” and “The Hustle Never Dies.” In addition to rolling out those trendy, made-for-hashtag pieces , Olko also focused more on tailoring this go-round. She introduced outerwear for the first time with a slouchy twill car coat, and whipped up iridescent organza button-ups as well as crepe basketball shorts and mesh basketball jerseys with twisted backs. To further up O+S’s street cred, Olko teamed up with Ruth Gruca a.k.a. Miss Been Trill (she dates Heron Preston), who both styled and posed for the new lookbook, shot in a Russian boxing gym and debuting here on “I wanted the sports influence to feel vague and dreamy—like The Cremaster Cycle meets Boyz n the Hood meets Do the Right Thing,” Olko said.

Obesity + Speed is currently sold in New York at Barneys, American Two Shot, and Oak. For more information, visit

— Brittany Adams
Photos: Courtesy of Obesity + Speed

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