Happy Spring Everyone!

I would like to introduce you to Joanna who is a fashion designer and business owner of OBA Outerwear. Make sure you read our interview to find out what OBA Outwewear is all about and maybe make a purchase of one of their colorful spring jackets.

oba stair well wide

Ayasha: Now Joanna, I would like to begin this interview by asking you where are you from?

Joanna: I was born and raised in Hong Kong, but have since lived in England, France, New York, and now Shanghai China.

Ayasha: 2) How long have you been designing and creating women’s outerwear?

Joanna: I have been in women’s wear for almost the last decade and only started designing when I started OBA.

Ayasha :3) Did you always have a passion for fashion?

Joanna: I’ve always had a keen interest in fashion but only so much as what I saw around me. Meaning I never religiously followed catwalks or new trends. Having been given the chance to live both in Asia, Europe and US, I find local trends in all places extremely interesting, each place with its own unique style that I have learned to love.

Ayasha: 4) Did you go to school? If so, what college? If not, how did you learn how to design?

Joanna: I did not go to any design or fashion school. In fact I entered the industry from a manufacturing and merchandising background, slowly moving my way into design.
Ayasha: 5) When did you decide that you want to become a business owner?

Joanna: Both my parents are entrepreneurs, so I suppose it was always something I thought about. I worked in small companies as well as large corporations, and from those experiences, I decided that I wanted to create something of my own, a family of some sort, in my own business.

Ayasha: 6) How did you come with the name OBA?

Joanna: I am half Korean half Chinese. In Korean, many words are phonetically derived from English. The word ‘overcoat’ is hence translated into ‘obah-koh-te’ in English (bearing the same meaning), and then shortened to a colloquial Korean slang ‘oh-bah’, meaning outerwear or overcoat. Of course, similar to Chinese, if you adjust the tone slightly, it could be easily mistaken for ‘brother’ or ‘father’!

Ayasha: 7) How long has your business been established?

Joanna: I started OBA from my own bedroom at home in Shanghai back in 2011. I rented a small office space later that year, and 2 years later, we moved into our own showroom office space in the heart of Shanghai.

oba front entranceStreet front of OBA Outerwear Store

8) Ayasha: What kind of fabrics do use that makes OBA Outerwear so different from the rest?

Joanna: I source most of my fabrics from within China. However I can also appreciate fabrics and trims from other countries, despite the price different. As such we also use fabrics from Korea, Japan and France. In general I find fabrics that are either interesting in color, or texture. As far as outerwear is concerned, once typically is brought up to believe that ‘you only need the ONE good coat’. However, at OBA we try to create different and more interesting styles so that the coat can become the centerpiece of an outfit and not just a coverup. As such we try to stay away from basic, classic colors such as navy or black and shapes such as traditional trench or pea-coat.

Ayasha 9) What are your coat sizes?

Ayasha 10) What is autumn winter collection? (Explain)

Joanna: The new Autumn Winter 2014 collection is separated into two categories: woman and man. We also used a beautiful batik inspired print for the lining and trims, to give that little extra surprise when you have the coat on hand and open it up to wear.

Ayasha: 11) What are your price ranges?

Joanna: Average retail USD 550

Ayasha 12) Right now in United States, we are experiencing very cold weather….For example, we have had about two snow storms so far this year with highs in the 20’s during the day. What type of coat would you suggest or recommend for a customer to purchase?

Joanna: Unfortunately at the moment OBA doesn’t have any down jackets or coats to cater for snowy weather. However I’ve always been a firm believer of layering up. As such, start with slim fitting jackets inside (that can be kept on indoors if needed), with thicker heavier and wider shaped coats on the outer layer,preferably with removable collars and cuffs to add extra warmth when needed – a signature design detail of pieces our new AW14 collection!

Ayasha 13) What are your top seller coats?

Joanna: From our Autumn winter 2013 collection: Hardwire Kimono, Freedom and La Belle Epoque

Ayasha: 14) Where can people buy OBA Outerwear from?

Joanna: Current season styles can be found on our website www.oba.asia. We are currently in discussion with retailers throughout North America, so you can expect to see us in stores by next season.

Ayasha 15) Are there any sales or discounts going on right now? If so, how would customers go about getting their discounts?

Joanna: Unfortunately there are no current sales right now. However, if you join our mailing list from our website, we will keep you up to date with sale events and trunk shows in various cities around the world as well as any online promotions. Some of the cities where we have held shows to date include: Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York.

oba coat sweater pic 4 oba coat wrap pic 5

Ladies make sure you purchase your fashionable OBA Outwear this spring. Be the first of many to rock one of OBA’s Spring Jacket collection this year. It is also a great jacket to purchase for someone or yourself for Easter.

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