Olima Atelier

Oscar started designing on October 5, 2009 the day of his 25th birthday, having just been let go from his job, and so decided to jump into the industry on his own. Oscar took a leap of faith and it paid off as two weeks later he found himself creating for Lady Gaga.

Olima Atelier


FAULT: When did you start Olima Atelier and what were your initial fashion and otherwise inspirations?

Oscar: I started on my 25th birthday – October 5, 2009. I had just gotten let go of my job due to the economy, so I just decided to jump into the industry on my own. I took a leap of faith and threw myself into it. My inspiration was basically to do something  myself – out of my name. I always knew what I wanted to do, but I never had the courage to do it. Within two weeks I was creating for Gaga.

FAULT: When did Olima start getting a lot of attention? Was it when Gaga started wearing your stuff?

Oscar: Basically it was Gaga. I had done stuff for a number of magazines before, but I think the fact that she wore my stuff really catapulted me into a place where people started paying attention to what I was doing. It really just started everything.

FAULT: How did it happen? Did Nicola [Formichetti] find you?

Oscar: They were looking for somebody to make something for them, and my friend, Frank Fernandez, who did the meat dress and pieces for the “Bad Romance” video, recommended me for the job. I was asked to do a piece for her basically overnight, and she loved it.

FAULT: So many of your pieces are one-of-a-kind and delicately hand-made. What made you go this creative route instead of doing heavy mass-production?

Oscar: A lot of people don’t know that I do mass-produced work. My Olima brand is where I spend a lot of my craftsmanship and time on, but I have another label, Costume Department, that reaches the masses. We’re a very contemporary brand sold all over the U.S. and in Europe. I get to do things that are really fun for me – t-shirts, leggings, dresses.

FAULT: Does Olima plan to collaborate with any other fashion or otherwise artists? Any dream collaborations?

Oscar:That’s definitely part of the business, and of course I look forward to doing stuff like that. At the moment, I’m collaborating with musical artists, but I’d love to collaborate with people in my field and design for other labels to have my vision translated in other places. Like I said, the reason I came into the industry was to make things that represented me. I mainly have ambitions to further my own brand and make a name for myself. Of course there are amazing labels that it would be an honor to design for – McQueen, Celine, you know – but you think about it when it comes to you.

Read Oscar’s full interview in FAULT- FALL 2011: on Zinio 


Interview by Cedar Pasori

Photographed by Cedar Pasori

Creative & Fashion Direction: Oscar Lima