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People, Fashion & Trends

ODDA: Breaking Barriers
Interview with founder David Martin

By Sofia Celeste 08 March 2018

MILAN, ITALY - What do Sharon Stone, Lindsay Lohan, Pamela Anderson, Kim Kardashian, Miss Piggy and transgender beauty Valentina Sampaio all have in common? They have all been featured in the high-brow fashion glossy ODDA, a tribute to the industry’s zeitgeist and a celebration of all that is kool, klassy and kitsch about popular culture today.

Its mastermind is David Martin, an under 30 editor, whose rolodex transcends some of the toughest European and Hollywood PR circles. The Madrid native started the magazine in 2012 and churns out nearly 600 pages of provocative interviews, competitive advertisements and photo shoots styled with looks from the most exclusive fashion houses. Issue No. 14 (QUEEN BE) features Kardashian wearing Fendi, Stone wearing Mulberry and Sampaio on the cover, paving the way for the transgender community, in a sultry Versace spaghetti strap ensemble.

Fairplay’s Sofia Celeste chatted with Martin at Milan’s Fashion Week:

You are really young. Not even thirty yet. How did you get your start in fashion?

Haha well, I don't know if that is really young or not…

Dude under 30 is super young. 

I don't feel young anymore but is true, I probably found where I want to go earlier than expected or before my peers. My first real intro to fashion happened through a friend, who is a model that invited me to Fashion Week in Madrid... and suddenly, minutes later, I fell in love with the industry.

I studied at Central Saint Martins and after coming to the conclusion that fashion design wasn't for me, I discovered that communication was what I wanted to follow, starting first with a blog about the industry with interviews and then I launched ODDA April 2012.

How did you get the idea for ODDA? Such an amazing name.

I was learning a lot due of the many travels, events and experiences I was able to live with high fashion brands, but I wanted to have something more real, something you can touch, feel, smell, keep forever... and the idea of creating a magazine came to me while having a shower.

Why the shower?

Well… the shower is the place I get more ideas and inspiration. I’m more relaxed and with nothing on my mind for a while.

ODDA name also came to me in the shower when I started to think how to name the magazine. I wanted ODDA to be a “place” where people feel free and happy while discovering fashion industry through our pages.

I remember at that time, nobody believed in me, even my friends, but I think if you have a passion and you work hard, you can little by little discover things, create your way and see what future has ready for you!

Some amazing muses and divas have graced your magazine. Miss Piggy, Pamela Anderson, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, Sharon Stone...What do these women all have in common?

First of all, personally has been a pleasure to work with them all and some became my friends after working together. They are women I admire for different things and I respect so much. They are all part of our culture, history and influence different decades of our life. They are all women who work very hard and dedicate the most part of their day to preparing themselves and at the same time, dealing with their lack of privacy.

I also have a special attraction for women with strong personalities and a “woah” attitude. They all have that attitude.

You must have a lot of patience... How do you find balance and the calm to deal with all of these personalities and organise all of these shoots around the world?

I think is a dynamic you develop little by little. It is not easy to deal with big productions with celebrities, also ODDA is very young and our possibilities are limited so we have to be very creative. At the same time I have an amazing team that helps me out with everything such as my assistant Mariano who is so great, to Seona who is the casting director working with Anna for production or my fashion director Georgia Tal, who is a diamond.

Keeping calm is the most important thing to a good flow of development and sometimes it is harder than others, but I think is possible and learn about your own mistakes. When I produce I wanna be happy and enjoy it. I'm not in this world to have a bad time in my work . I'm feel privileged every day of my life to be able to do what I love.

 

Your latest cover features transgender model Valentina Sampaio wearing Versace womenswear. How did that come about?

I have been always fascinated by Valentina Sampaio. Her beauty and aura is so positive and strong. The first time I saw her I said to myself, I need to shoot her and I started to speak with my friend Diego Villarreal about it.

I’m not that kind of person who keeps in mind differences between who you are or skin color… Come on! We are ALL the same!!! So was never an issue or an idea that stood out to feature a transgender model in the cover, it was just what she communicates to me when I see her which is power and human beauty.

Sampaio is really breaking barriers in mainstream fashion publishing and advertising - L’Oreal and French Vogue for example…

There is a real importance to featuring transgender models in magazines etc, of course. I'm extremely proud for doing it. I do many many interviews and feature extremely strong people who have been battling an extreme change in life and society didn't help that much.
For me they are in another level of character, personality and they are superior to us.
I feel privilege to be next to them and learn.

Versace was very excited about your issue. Hence Donatella Versace wrote you a personal note saying she loved it and how this is the type of cover she adores. How have vanguard fashion brands helped propel your magazine forward?

There are several brands who helped ODDA grow trusting in me and my ideas and the projects. The first brand who supported me 100% was Prada, and I will never forget what they did for me, my team and ODDA. My love for them and their crew is forever and at the same time my admiration for Ms Miuccia Prada and the brand.

Donatella’s letter also means a lot to me, as she is a woman who loves beauty, loves the power of woman and loves a message and the meaning of them. The fact that she appreciates ODDA and what we doing, is a power of positive feelings for me to keep going.

Anyway I can stay here hours speaking about everybody who helped us: Calvin Klein, FendiCristiana Monfardini, Valentina, Audrey, Giulio, Miu Miu, Missoni, Karla Otto, Givenchy, Carlo MengucciAEFFE...

It's really hard to find your magazine. How can we get it?

Hahah, is NOT! But our distribution strategy is about promoting desire. We always launch during Milan Fashion Week at 10 Corso Como, right after in Paris for the Fashion Week. This time is at Palais de Tokyo during the shows in an amazing promo, and after that in all Europe, US, Asia, Australia...

You're a millennial but you don't have an online magazine. Why is that?

I have to confess, I hate online magazines. For me they aren’t personal, with no life, not real... A magazine for me must be a thing you can touch, smell, feel, appreciate, discover and keep forever. Online nothing is real, so for me my work would be exactly that, not real.

You are pioneering a print reality in an age where print is dying. What is your advice to print media people out there... how can they survive?

I don't think print is dying and will never do. Online platforms today will be working tomorrow and will be down and will never come back. I believe in the near future, we will all be surprised by the fact media platforms are not as strong as we all thought they will be and paper will co-exist with this on a probably higher level.

Even the brands who started to move all their media budgets to digital, are now returning to paper and invest majority of their budget in print.

I tell people to be free and follow their instincts!

Lastly, you shoot a lot in LA. It's almost like its your muse. What do you like so much about LA?

LA for me is a constant inspiration with no limits in creativity. Is a city which provides me calm, giving me the chance to discover myself in many levels as well as find the perfect spots for my ideas, projects and collaborations. I always have good times in LA and unique experiences so for me, is my 'muse' city.

  

 



Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

MILAN, ITALY - What do Sharon Stone, Lindsay Lohan, Pamela Anderson, Kim Kardashian, Miss Piggy and transgender beauty Valentina Sampaio all have in common? They have all been featured in the high-brow fashion glossy ODDA, a tribute to the industry’s zeitgeist and a celebration of all that is kool, klassy and kitsch about popular culture today.

Its mastermind is David Martin, an under 30 editor, whose rolodex transcends some of the toughest European and Hollywood PR circles. The Madrid native started the magazine in 2012 and churns out nearly 600 pages of provocative interviews, competitive advertisements and photo shoots styled with looks from the most exclusive fashion houses. Issue No. 14 (QUEEN BE) features Kardashian wearing Fendi, Stone wearing Mulberry and Sampaio on the cover, paving the way for the transgender community, in a sultry Versace spaghetti strap ensemble.

Fairplay’s Sofia Celeste chatted with Martin at Milan’s Fashion Week:

You are really young. Not even thirty yet. How did you get your start in fashion?

Haha well, I don't know if that is really young or not…

Dude under 30 is super young. 

I don't feel young anymore but is true, I probably found where I want to go earlier than expected or before my peers. My first real intro to fashion happened through a friend, who is a model that invited me to Fashion Week in Madrid... and suddenly, minutes later, I fell in love with the industry.

I studied at Central Saint Martins and after coming to the conclusion that fashion design wasn't for me, I discovered that communication was what I wanted to follow, starting first with a blog about the industry with interviews and then I launched ODDA April 2012.

How did you get the idea for ODDA? Such an amazing name.

I was learning a lot due of the many travels, events and experiences I was able to live with high fashion brands, but I wanted to have something more real, something you can touch, feel, smell, keep forever... and the idea of creating a magazine came to me while having a shower.

Why the shower?

Well… the shower is the place I get more ideas and inspiration. I’m more relaxed and with nothing on my mind for a while.

ODDA name also came to me in the shower when I started to think how to name the magazine. I wanted ODDA to be a “place” where people feel free and happy while discovering fashion industry through our pages.

I remember at that time, nobody believed in me, even my friends, but I think if you have a passion and you work hard, you can little by little discover things, create your way and see what future has ready for you!

Some amazing muses and divas have graced your magazine. Miss Piggy, Pamela Anderson, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, Sharon Stone...What do these women all have in common?

First of all, personally has been a pleasure to work with them all and some became my friends after working together. They are women I admire for different things and I respect so much. They are all part of our culture, history and influence different decades of our life. They are all women who work very hard and dedicate the most part of their day to preparing themselves and at the same time, dealing with their lack of privacy.

I also have a special attraction for women with strong personalities and a “woah” attitude. They all have that attitude.

You must have a lot of patience... How do you find balance and the calm to deal with all of these personalities and organise all of these shoots around the world?

I think is a dynamic you develop little by little. It is not easy to deal with big productions with celebrities, also ODDA is very young and our possibilities are limited so we have to be very creative. At the same time I have an amazing team that helps me out with everything such as my assistant Mariano who is so great, to Seona who is the casting director working with Anna for production or my fashion director Georgia Tal, who is a diamond.

Keeping calm is the most important thing to a good flow of development and sometimes it is harder than others, but I think is possible and learn about your own mistakes. When I produce I wanna be happy and enjoy it. I'm not in this world to have a bad time in my work . I'm feel privileged every day of my life to be able to do what I love.

 

Your latest cover features transgender model Valentina Sampaio wearing Versace womenswear. How did that come about?

I have been always fascinated by Valentina Sampaio. Her beauty and aura is so positive and strong. The first time I saw her I said to myself, I need to shoot her and I started to speak with my friend Diego Villarreal about it.

I’m not that kind of person who keeps in mind differences between who you are or skin color… Come on! We are ALL the same!!! So was never an issue or an idea that stood out to feature a transgender model in the cover, it was just what she communicates to me when I see her which is power and human beauty.

Sampaio is really breaking barriers in mainstream fashion publishing and advertising - L’Oreal and French Vogue for example…

There is a real importance to featuring transgender models in magazines etc, of course. I'm extremely proud for doing it. I do many many interviews and feature extremely strong people who have been battling an extreme change in life and society didn't help that much.
For me they are in another level of character, personality and they are superior to us.
I feel privilege to be next to them and learn.

Versace was very excited about your issue. Hence Donatella Versace wrote you a personal note saying she loved it and how this is the type of cover she adores. How have vanguard fashion brands helped propel your magazine forward?

There are several brands who helped ODDA grow trusting in me and my ideas and the projects. The first brand who supported me 100% was Prada, and I will never forget what they did for me, my team and ODDA. My love for them and their crew is forever and at the same time my admiration for Ms Miuccia Prada and the brand.

Donatella’s letter also means a lot to me, as she is a woman who loves beauty, loves the power of woman and loves a message and the meaning of them. The fact that she appreciates ODDA and what we doing, is a power of positive feelings for me to keep going.

Anyway I can stay here hours speaking about everybody who helped us: Calvin Klein, FendiCristiana Monfardini, Valentina, Audrey, Giulio, Miu Miu, Missoni, Karla Otto, Givenchy, Carlo MengucciAEFFE...

It's really hard to find your magazine. How can we get it?

Hahah, is NOT! But our distribution strategy is about promoting desire. We always launch during Milan Fashion Week at 10 Corso Como, right after in Paris for the Fashion Week. This time is at Palais de Tokyo during the shows in an amazing promo, and after that in all Europe, US, Asia, Australia...

You're a millennial but you don't have an online magazine. Why is that?

I have to confess, I hate online magazines. For me they aren’t personal, with no life, not real... A magazine for me must be a thing you can touch, smell, feel, appreciate, discover and keep forever. Online nothing is real, so for me my work would be exactly that, not real.

You are pioneering a print reality in an age where print is dying. What is your advice to print media people out there... how can they survive?

I don't think print is dying and will never do. Online platforms today will be working tomorrow and will be down and will never come back. I believe in the near future, we will all be surprised by the fact media platforms are not as strong as we all thought they will be and paper will co-exist with this on a probably higher level.

Even the brands who started to move all their media budgets to digital, are now returning to paper and invest majority of their budget in print.

I tell people to be free and follow their instincts!

Lastly, you shoot a lot in LA. It's almost like its your muse. What do you like so much about LA?

LA for me is a constant inspiration with no limits in creativity. Is a city which provides me calm, giving me the chance to discover myself in many levels as well as find the perfect spots for my ideas, projects and collaborations. I always have good times in LA and unique experiences so for me, is my 'muse' city.

  

 



Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

Photo: COURTESY OF DAVID MARTIN

Photo: COURTESY OF DAVID MARTIN

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