On Saturday (Dec. 10), a typically low-key afternoon in New York City’s Bowery neighborhood turned into a tourist’s dream as Santa Con-goers pounding the pavement in festive red get-ups and a long line of Drake diehards lined up around 54 Bond Street to shell out some cash at the Toronto rapper’s new OVO flagship store.
The OVO storefront — named after Drake’s imprint and fan movement signifying “October’s Very Own,” whose mascot is an owl — lied on the corner of Bond street, an ideal location given the foot traffic in the bustling Bowery intersection and its super close proximity to shoppers’ paradise, SoHo. Leather jackets with the words “October’s Very Own” engraved on them and other OVO memorabilia were spotted throughout the line that wrapped the white edifice filled with fans waiting in mid-30-degree weather and a light, temporary snowfall. (Some were said to have reserved their spot in line after RSVPing to a private list the night before.)
However, despite a few shouts from security telling those in line to back up, the crowd appeared compliant and peaceful as a handful were allowed in at a time. The not-so-unruly behavior could be credited to the OVO shop not being a temporary pop-up, like other rap acts (A Tribe Called Quest, Jay Z and Kanye West) have executed earlier this year. (There was no sight of Drake himself, though, probably due to his appearance at Partynextdoor’s L.A. show hours before.)
The store’s interior was similar to that of the Toronto store — a spacious room with white walls, an OVO Sound-ready playlist that featured label signee DVSN and dancehall tunes, and the brand’s signature golden owl hovering over the register. The available merch was appropriate for the season (or SZN, perhaps) as denim blue crewnecks with the white OVO owl (retailing for $148 each) as well as bright purple owl logo camo hoodies (selling for $158 and also available in green and orange camo) lined the racks. Beanies and dad caps also bearing the owl emblem sold for $48 each. T-shirts that read “October’s Very Own” or bore large owl logos were also available for purchase, ranging from $40 to $58 depending on the design. Newer merch showed the insignia as a university badge while sweatshirts also featured the runner “OVO” logo.
Design aside, OVO’s third home not only means another revenue stream for Drake and his team, but allows his diverse fans in the tri-state area to rep his Toronto-bred set with pride. However, it’s entertaining to think that perhaps the New York City-based store is part of some personal agenda for the self-proclaimed 6 God. On a red long-sleeve shirt reads a message in white lettering that also appeared on a random billboard that the rapper shared three months ago on Instagram: “Let’s all get along like they do in Canada.”