Interview: The boys behind OZSIPARK

0251 aka OZSI

OZSIPARK is a small brand that was founded in 2015 by Melle Homminga and Bryan Toorenent. You may know them from their clothes worn by, for example, Dutch TV presenter Tim Hofman or their social network channels.

TV Presenter Tim Hofman wearing an OZSIPARK hoodie – Photo courtesy of Tim Hofman’s Instagram

Since they are my homies, I have a good idea of what they are working on but still I felt the need to sit down with Melle to see what he has to say about OZSI, so I invited him for an interview. Tim Christiani joined the interview as he was chilling with us at that moment.

Melle, introduce yourself!

Hi, I am Melle Homminga and I live in OZSI aka the 0251 area in Noord Holland. I am 17 years old and in the last year of my high school. I hang out with my friends a lot. We are all busy with our own creative things, some of us rap, some of us skate and others make art. I have a brand called OZSIPARK that I run together with Bryan Toorenent, we call him Toozus or Toozthecartoonist, he makes the dopest art.

As you already mentioned, OZSI is a nickname for Beverwijk and surroundings, how did you come up with the name?

Bryan and me always had the idea to do something with Fashion. We started out with our Fashion Instagram account @Globalfvshion. Along the way, we started to put more and more time in this account. We would take pictures from Tumblr and other social media to post. This lead to having an account with over 50k followers and I realized through this that I really liked fashion mixed with hiphop culture.

At a certain point Bryan and I thought: We just want to start a brand.

We started off with making hats under the name Globe which was linked to Globalfvshion. However, we soon discovered that Globe is an already established skateboard brand so we had to part with that name.

To come up with a new name Bryan and I sat down for a few days. We tried at least 30 different names but in the end Bryan said: what if we use our area code, 0251, and make those numbers into letters? That became OZSI.

We started making shirts right after we came up with the name.

As you guys are a graphic based brand I would like to ask; what is your inspiration and where do your designs come from?

I am on the internet a lot, that is my main thing because I always come across some cool shit. What I find most inspiring is to see young people that climbed their way to the top. They started from nothing and by just doing what they like they are achieving great things. This goes for guys like Ian Connor or A$AP Bari but also I also draw inspiration from people like Kurt Cobain and David Bowie but then mainly in terms of style. Our friends are also helping us a lot, we just hang out a lot and we create just for fun, and they have the dopest ideas for us.

For the designs Bryan and me usually use unconscious inspiration. We do not really have a clear vision of what we want to make when we start designing. When I make the designs with Bryan we just start trying out different things. We are always going in blank and we just see what happens. We do know what kind of clothes we want but we do not have a clear vision, we just try different things and see what looks dope.

What happens after you make a design?

If we think something is cool, we first make samples for ourselves. We don’t really take others’ opinions into account, it is just what we like. Then, if we get good response on the stuff and we hear from people that they want it, we will make a batch. That is how we have done it so far.

We have worn our Park shirts for a while before we actually sold them. After a while we got the question: what is it? And because we wore it everyone in our neighbourhood knows about our brand. I think it really helps that you rock the clothing yourself or have your friends rock it. If you then get positive feedback on it in real life or someone comments something on Instagram, then you can easily see if people are interested or not.

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Noah van Grootheest wearing an OZSIPARK T-shirt – Photo courtesy of Kaweian Esmaieli

Do you think that you will only be putting out graphic tees or will there be other kinds like photo tees? And are you also going to do other things like pants or accessories?

We want to try a lot of different things for sure. We only have released four designs for our tees and hoodies so far but we are working on a new collection at the moment which will be released in July. We are also launching a website with it. This will be our first real collection and it exist of more than just shirts.

So you guys want to do other clothing pieces and accessories if you have a cool idea for it, do you want to work towards making collections or do you want to keep the random releases.

Uhh, both could be possible.

Tim Christiani: Random releases are pretty cool as you cannot expect what is going to drop. It will be something new every time. If you work with collections, you most of the time have the same kind of items, if you do random releases, you can for example, make a glass with OZSIPARK on it and a few weeks later drop a pair of socks.

Back to Melle Homminga: I also think that random releases would be a good option. In that case we are able to do what we think is the sickest at that point without having to live up to the expectations of what items to put into a collection because I think we would have to force it too much in that case. However, I also think it is helpfull if you have spring summer or fall winter collections, we won’t drop hoodies in June for example. Also, the deadline – of the collections – can be usefull too, then you know when it should be finished and that motivates us to work even harder.  That’s why we are launching a collection this summer.

Last question already, where do you think OZSIPARK will be in 5 years?

In 5 years we still want to feel free. We do what we want, all of us. OZSIPARK is not only a brand, it is a close group of friends, who like to make things and do what they want. That is because we really feel free at the moment and we feel like we are doing what we want to be doing. In 5 years we only want to have a stronger feeling of freedom. Of course, we are not sure of everything yet and we are not really in the fashion world yet but in 5 years we do want to be there and be known as a brand, or just have made a lot of contacts in the Netherlands as well as international.

Thanks so much for the interview, I am sure OZSIPARK will grow in the coming year and I wish you guys the best luck. I now want to give you the last word to round up this interview.

Thank you for having us and supporting us. Be safe.

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Featured Image courtesy of Kaweian Esmaieli