The gals of Off Duty, Abby, Casey and Chloe are pretty much best friend goals. They met while studying at FIT, studied abroad in Europe together and created their booming tote company, Off Duty based on their individual strengths.
,Off Duty was born in and operates out of NYC. How does NYC inspire you and your products? NYC is fast paced and vibrant, and we wanted our designs and pieces to work for the people that live here. People notoriously wear black on black on black (including us), and we wanted to create an effortless way to add a graphic pop of color to New Yorker's every day lives.
Tell us about your dream team! Where are you all from and how did you meet? Off Duty NYC is comprised of Abby Kong, Casey Lee and Chloe Arauz, and we met while attending FIT in NYC. We all grew up in New Jersey right outside of NYC, but did not know each other (strange coincidence). After becoming roommates at an FIT study abroad program in Italy, we knew it was a for life friendship. We each have different backgrounds, including technical design, graphic design and sales, which enables us to bring our individual strengths to the table and make our business work for us.
How did you decide to start Off Duty? We are all big fans of easy to wear tote bags, tees and street style in general, and were confused by the lack of affordable yet visually appealing merchandise. We all love to make things, and with the help of some really great materials we decided we were going have fun and start a business our way. We realized pretty quickly that no one had ever seen clothing and accessories with our signature textured glitter and super shiny metallics, and we were even more excited to introduce these materials into New Yorkers’ wardrobes!
How did you settle on your “aesthetic of adventure and intent to live colorfully?" We met while traveling and to this day travel regularly together, which we like to feature with our Off Duty merchandise on social media. It shows that our products are meant to be worn in, and useful for your, next adventure, all while showing off a tote like you would a designer handbag. We feel that every piece you wear should be an expression, and to live colorfully in both spirit and look is important to us.
Who would you all totally geek out over wearing your products? Rihanna, Robyn, Grace Coddington.
What inspires you? Our travels, and especially our more recent travels within nature inspire us. We are also very inspired by the badass every day New Yorkers who do it all and look great while doing it – this is our ideal customer!
Crowning achievement? Running into people on the street wearing our pieces, and hearing that they wear their totes every day!
What do you want people to know about each product they buy? Every Off Duty NYC product is handmade by us in our South Street Seaport studio. Our totes are 100% organic cotton and we take care to make every piece perfect.
Your products are wearable, casual and colorful. How does it feel knowing you’ve added a pop of color to your buyers’ lives? All we want is to make people smile, and we believe that color is essential to being happy! Nothing makes us feel more warm and fuzzy than making a useful product that doubles as a bold fashion statement.