Our latest Q+A with co-founder, Nathan Romano, on the new Technical Gear Collection. See what inspired the new category, how it relates to Onia’s brand DNA & how he’s wearing the pieces.
What led you to design Onia’s new Technical Gear Collection?
If 2020 taught us anything, it was that comfort-first wasn’t just a clothing category anymore; it had evolved into a literal state of mind. And more than ever, having versatile, casual, easy-wearing but great-quality basics became essential to getting through this complete seismic shift in our day-to-day lives. You no longer saw this clear divide between workwear, leisurewear, and active pieces and so, it made sense for us to push our brand forward and lean into the times and needs of our customers. What we have is this very clean, very multipurpose, and highly tailored assortment that we don’t just see as technical performance or gym wear, but really, a lifestyle collection designed for navigating the modern world.
How does it relate to the brand's DNA?
There are three main touchpoints we aim to deliver on with every garment we create, and that’s: fit, form and function. Meaning, it’s not enough that something looks good or wears well. It needs to stand the test of time. It needs to deliver on the investment you’ve made on the product and provide versatility, comfort, and really superior fabrication. It’s what we feel sets Onia apart and so the Technical Gear collection naturally had to be an extension of that. You’re not just getting a pair of workout shorts but also something you can swim in, then will dry off minutes later, so change your shoes and easily head off to the airport. We very much kept lifestyle in mind when creating every piece in the range.
What's your favorite piece from the drop?
The Hybrid Compression Short is definitely a favorite and a piece we’re really excited to bring to market. It’s made from a moisture-wicking, four-way stretch fabric that moves with you and recovers well so that it always looks really tailored and crisp. On the inside, we added a compression lining, but it’s not that really dense, rigid kind that feels constrictive. It’s actually mesh that’s quite supportive and will hold you in, but it also has flexibility and give and is odor-resistant, plus it lets air circulate so there’s a lot of cooling breathability built into the short. These features were very important to us when designing it.
What inspired you to create these specific styles?
We thought about how we live and the clothing that we keep on heavy rotation in our own wardrobes. We considered why certain garments are those fail-safe, go-to, indispensable pieces for us, and it really came down to function. Or, more accurately, multifunction. The more you can get out of one single item, the more you come to rely on it. It will feel right in any setting. It will keep you looking sharp even when all you want is to be comfortable and lazy.
Which Technical Gear fabric are you most excited about introducing to your customer base?
Stretch chambray. The beauty of this material is that it has performance features, as well as a tailored finish to it. We used it in our Hybrid Compression Short because it has four-way stretch with a fairly high percentage of spandex, so it’s comfortable and has a lot of give, especially when you move. When the fabric gets wet, water won’t soak through it because of a special coating that forces the liquid to bead over the surface instead. It’s pretty remarkable, actually.
How do you see the Technical Gear pieces being styled into your wardrobe for looks that are more put together?
We have an anything-goes kind of outlook on styling, so it’s really a matter of preference and choice. Some of the leisurewear pieces in garment-dyed terry are especially good for travel, so they’d pair well with our performance shorts. You can swap out running shoes for white leather sneakers to create a cleaner overall look.
What do you feel these new styles deliver that similar products in this space can't?
Often, you’ll find tech pieces that look the part, meaning they have SPF 50+ and breathability and the ability to wick away moisture, but can’t be worn outside the gym because their function is limited to performance only. Style, insofar as it being appropriate for other occasions, other venues, is missing from that equation. So, what you end up with is a divided wardrobe: clothing for work, clothing for workouts, clothing to relax in. With Onia, we’re blurring those lines so that one piece can answer multiple needs at once and give you fashion beyond that garment’s singular, intended purpose. In other words, our Technical Gear styles are meant to be worn without limits.
Shop the Technical Gear Collection here.