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An Interview with Nathan Romano

January 18, 2021 2 min read

Nathan romano CO-FOUNDER OF ONIA

Nathan Romano, the co-founder of Onia, has been seen an uptick in online purchasing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reason? Amongst many, the ease of his loungewear, the ethos of traveling which is embedded into the DNA of his brand, and, perhaps top of the list, a brand that celebrates craftsmanship, fit, and forward-thinking patterns and prints. A New York-based Man About Town, MAT checked in with Mr. Romano to see what’s on his mind.


MAT: Where did the name Onia come from? I know it’s the word ‘sailboat’ in Hebrew, but why did it make sense for your brand? It was one of those things that just hit us.
NR: It’s a funny story actually. My business partner was on vacation in Israel and his wife came up with the name. My first instinct was, “What does that mean?”, and when it clicked, it made complete sense. The next thing you know we initiated the registration and purchased the domain.
MAT: You launched in 2009 with the idea of being inspired by the modern voyager. With COVID-19, how has this idea changed and evolved? When COVID hit, like everyone else we had to make a pivot. 
NR: Our brand is primarily ‘direct to consumer’ alongside a layering of a very tight wholesale distribution model. The pandemic catapulted our voice to our online distribution even more - creating accessible luxury products for the modern traveler. Expanding our loungewear and knitwear was a big initiative that happened during the pandemic.

Gingham Swim Trunks

MAT: You love adventure – what’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
NR: Great question - I would say skydiving on my 18th birthday!
MAT: What’s new and exciting for the Onia brand in 2021?
NR: There are several things that are exciting! “Development" is the key word that comes to mind. We will start to see the expansion to the Onia classification offerings and a new marketing approach to our product releases online. So, stay tuned!
MAT: Prints and patterns are integral to your design ethos. What are some new patens we can look forward to in seasons ahead? 
NR: Prints and patterns are super important to our design ethos. For 2021, our print partnership with Liberty of London continues, so you will find prints from their archives alongside some of their newer prints rolling out within our collection.
MAT: A personal favorite of mine is terry. Can we see more of this fabric in upcoming seasons? 
NR: Hmm..So much! I would say...our new footwear slides, garment dyes cotton tees and our new weekender bags.
MAT: When it comes to the Onia man, who is he? What does he like to do?
NR: The Onia Man appreciates the ease of our design. He is someone that appreciates quality, understands and appreciates tailored as well as the importance to the detail of a garment.

Linen Liberty Poppy Camp Shirt

Cashmere Jamie Hoodie

Editor/Words: Yale Breslin

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