LA CANVAS Magazine Interviews our Creative Director

Valentin Ozich our Founder & Creative Director recently sat down with LA Canvas Magazine to discuss the past, present and future of I Love Ugly. To accompany this, NE SENSE did an editorial. 

Can you describe the overall ethos of I Love Ugly? 
I Love Ugly is refined, groomed, educated, and sanguine. If you are part of the brand, you have an eye for detail and are particular. You’re decisive and understand realness. You’re socially connected and verbally precocious. Our customer knows how to dress and is not at the mercy of trends; he exudes ingenuity, passion, and creativity. 

What can you tell us about starting I Love Ugly? 
It was hard—really fucking hard. But my passion for success was also my fuel. I am now blessed with a team and a business partner that wants this as much as I do, and when you have a group of people working on one goal, it becomes easier and secures a more powerful outcome. 

The intersection of luxury and sportswear seems to be the crux of your brand. Can you speak about the influence sportswear has on the garments? 
Well, we felt this was just a natural progression for us. The majority of our staff enjoy or, once upon a time, played sports. We are all about fusing classic menswear garments and adding our modern day twist. Once you go through the basic categories for a man’s wardrobe, you naturally begin looking elsewhere for inspiration. In this case, it was sportswear. Also the sports industry is changing now too, and you can clearly see that athletes and teams are beginning to understand the importance of branding. We thought it would be interesting to play with this idea, but from our point of view. The result is something we are satisfied with. 

How do you approach new design? How do you keep your vision both cohesive and innovative? 
We always scrutinize what we have just done. The beauty of doing around 12+ collections per year is, if something has gone wrong, you can make it right pretty damn quick. It’s all about being responsive these days. Even something like a brand’s vision needs to be re-evaluated every six months. 

What do you guys have going on right now?
Quite a lot. We just opened our Los Angeles store on La Brea Ave., which was a great challenge and by far our best work to date. We are also looking at opening another ILU store in Melbourne by the end of the year, along with four more next year. We have a number of different collaborations in the works with some highly credible brands. 

You can read this in context with the rest of the magazine issue here

Photography by 
Allen Park 
Styling and Creative Direction by 
NE.STREET 
Model 
Leonardo Lawrence at Ford Models 
All clothing by 
I Love Ugly