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Our Origins
We were 24 years old when, our hearts bursting with impatience, fire and recklessness, we decided to put pen to paper and outline what would soon become one of the most important projects of our lives.

During our communication studies, we developed a multitude of creative projects together:
advertising campaigns, graphic identities, short-films… And in 2003, there we were, thrown into the deep end. Mathieu continued his studies, Valentin worked a string of odd jobs during which he was faced with that universal in-between, that obscure time, caught between a head full of dreams and
the inability to fulfil them. What dream? To set up a joint artistic project.

In the beginning, the project seemed obvious: through the creation of a clothing brand, we wanted to bring our creative ideas and convictions, whether they be ethical, environmental or moral, to life. The pitch was crystal clear, but strangely enough, reality was slightly less so. The world stretched out before our eyes reminded us that nothing is ever a done deal. You’d think that Seine-Saint-Denis wasn’t a favourable setting for TV films where everything begins well. It’s therefore with unruly perseverance, passionate frenzy, relentless stubbornness and the irrepressible desire to crystallise our commitment to the art world that we created OLOW.
In 2006, with only 2000€ each, we set up an online store for graphic t-shirts created in collaboration with artists. The road was winding and we decided to turn the first corner. We took part in a competition to kick-start businesses organised by the Département, and we won first prize. We used the prize money to invest in the creation of 1,200 t-shirts silk-screen printed by hand by quite a punk workshop located in the Lilas (a commune of Seine-Saint-Denis, northeast of Paris - ed.). Fortunately, printing techniques, just like the production minima, have since evolved.
1,200? That’s, more or less, the number of t-shirts we stocked at Valentin’s parents, and the total number of products that we just couldn’t unload for the following two years.

From 2008 to 2012, by ceaselessly producing new models and offering new clothing categories (sweatshirts, shirts and coats), OLOW looked just like the A-Team. Our friends became our bankers, bankers rarely became our friends. And yet, despite its obstinate recklessness, we were committed to the OLOW adventure, convinced by our slightly crazy challenge of building a bridge between fashion and art.
"An artistic attachment, an ethical engagement and a desire for proximity."
In 2008, we set up our offices in an earthen-floored cellar of a Parisian residential building, and on three occasions decided to road-trip around France by car, our boot packed full of t-shirts, our hearts filled with ardor. Our last trip remains to this day the most memorable and marks the true turning point of the OLOW (hollow, ed.) epic. In a car belonging to the father of our old friend, skater and designer Christophe Luez, we headed out to meet our future retailers, and travelled
nearly 8,000 km up to Belgium and Holland. “Victory without squatting friends’ sofas, linos and cheap campsites brings triumph with no glory!”

That day, we officially launched our brand with forty-or-so retailers, and were about to develop a more classic range made of organic cotton. Our indestructible perseverance got the better of the obstacle-strewn road, and the OLOW adventure was well and truly under way.
Based in Nantes from 2010 to 2016, we gathered the local creative and artistic community around cultural events. The concerts and film projections organised in our offices in the heart of the city were the perfect opportunity to instil a spirit of sharing and establish a proximity with our most loyal customers. In the image of “Planchettes”, our now famous travelling exhibition, we gathered many French and international artists around common themes. Playing by ear and with style, OLOW follows its instincts. Graphic designer friends, anonymous illustrators, unknown photographers, we unearth artists from magazines, blogs and exhibitions in order to give life to collaborations, as instinctual as they are natural, often spontaneous and deliberately timeless.
Back then, our number of retailers were continually evolving, catapulting, to our delight, OLOW to the status of major brand in France, but also in many other European countries.
Now back in Paris since 2016, OLOW draws its inspiration from the capital’s cultural melting-pot in order to organise openings within our headquarters rue de Montmorency. To be more than just a clothing label, to meet artists and be able to invite friends to openings… an initial wish that has now been broadened and shared with our second Parisian boutique, opened in 2018 rue de Marseille in the 10th arrondissement, as well as with a fine selection of shops, such as l’Exception, La Garçonniere or le Bon Marché in Paris. Our network of retailers now spans continents, adding to the list Rotation in Berlin, Thomas I Punk in Hamburg, Mr. Courbet in Cologne, La Compania Polar in Madrid, Wing One in Hong Kong, or even Robinson in Singapore.
We are, today, incredibly delighted to have been able to expand the OLOW family by not only creating jobs but also by passing onto our employees our passion for artistic culture, our desire for independence, and our need for proximity. Above all, OLOW embodies this unique opportunity to jointly take part in the development of a project which seems just.

A decade rich in learning, collaboration and travel has allowed us to reinforce our artistic attachment, our ethical engagement and our desire for proximity, indelible, inexhaustible and more than ever characteristic to the brand’s DNA.