From movie and theatre actress to fashion designer, meet Dodo Bar Or. She’s always loved fashion, ever since she was bewitched by mannequins donned in Tom Ford when she was a young girl (and who can blame her?)
As the years passed, her creativity took her on the acting path, where this Israeli starred in movies and on stage, but still fashion called to her. This resulted in her cutting up, adapting, and updating designer clothing to her own exacting taste, creating truly customised pieces. This allowed her not only to be the leading lady, but also the director, screenwriter, and producer, but this time, of fine wears.
Taking the jump in 2009, she founded her own brand, testing and trailing the line on her friends, and needless to say, her designs were popular. For Dodo, she draws on inspirations from art and architecture, which is evident in the shapes, colors, and patterns she utilizes (cue geometrics and a hybrid of color blocks).
We all have a crush on the Dodo Bar Or customer – she’s free, she’s fun, and she’s gregarious but thoroughly elegant with it. In that vein, expect pieces that are unashamedly head-turning, designed to showcase confidence, and helping the wearer to become the best version of themselves.
This ethos has gone down very well globally, as the label is stocked with top-tier retailers including MatchesFashion, Luisa Via Roma, Revolve, Saks, Harrods, and the list continues.
Dodo discusses her customer, inspirations, and the evolution of her namesake label.
Felicity Carter: What was your first fashionable memory?
Dodo Bar Or: I remember when I was a teenager I used to walk around luxury stores window shopping and I’d imagine that the mannequins were asking me to buy the clothes off their back. But my strongest memory was seeing the Tom Ford Gucci collection arrive in the store, I directly entered the store saying I was willing to sell my kidney for a piece this of collection! Luckily, the store owner knew my parents and I convinced her to loan me a few pieces and that I would pay her over time, with money I earned. Little did she know, I was actually taking the money from my parents and my older sister, I blame Tom Ford for turning me into a thief.
FC: How, when, why did you get into the industry?
DBO: I was a movie and theatre actress for years and always loved fashion. I wanted to express myself in another way, so I started buying beautiful designer clothes and cutting them up – I think that’s when I realised I had a problem! I knew that if I didn’t explore that side of my personality it would cost me a lot of money, either from cutting up designer clothes or in therapy! The moment I started designing it felt completely natural. I was creating something where I was not just the actress but the director, screen writer and producer.
FC: How would you sum up the aesthetic?
DBO: My aesthetic is really to give women the power to enforce their own personality, show off their coolness, remain effortless combined with elegance, sophistication and still make a statement – never afraid of being noticed or mentioning her opinion, because count on it – she definitely has one!
FC: What is luxury to you?
DBO: Luxury, to me, is anything that makes you feel better and defines you in your best way to yourself and your surroundings. It’s not a question of price, if it helps you show off who you are and describes you from the little to the biggest details, it is luxury to me.
FC: Who is your customer?
DBO: The Dodo Bar Or woman always radiates with an assertive elegance. She is a trendsetter, not a follower and adapts to every situation and crowd she finds herself in, while always staying true to her personal and interesting style. She is a woman who is always classy but larger than life, free, not afraid to break loose once in a while, she makes a statement and cannot be ignored. The Dodo Bar Or woman knows there is no second chance at a first impression and always uses that to her advantage.
FC: What are the cornerstones of your company?
DBO: Female empowerment, my heritage, and my values.
FC: Which was the first-ever piece that you designed and how did it come about?
DBO: It’s a funny story actually! It was after I decided I wanted to start designing, I went to buy fabrics, started cutting them up and making garments. Before I knew it I had a whole collection so thought it’d be a good idea to start selling pieces to my friends. After everything was sold out, I realized I had actually sold everything I had made and thus had no samples to build a future collection from! I went to all my friends’ houses to repay them and ask for my samples back, which became the blueprint of my first collection.
FC: What is on your current mood board?
DBO: No more rules for mixing colors and patterns – there are lots of colors in the collection, lots of fabrics, a lot of geometric shapes made using an amazing new technique, printed jacquard and knitwear, all inspired my artists’ paintings and pictures and truly inspirational architectural buildings.
FC: Currently which is your favorite piece and how do you wear it?
DBO: First of all, all my pieces are my children. But to be honest, usually my favorite piece is the last piece I created, because I’m usually in love with it until I design the new collection. Currently, it is a white white patterned leather coat dress with belt and a versatile two piece top and skirt with a sophisticated cut and fool, it’s a mix between young and old, making one look elegant with a sporty twist.
See the full collection on dodobaror.com.