Actress Shay Mitchell is covering all her bases. Mitchell, the chief brand officer of tequila brand Onda, is branching into a new category, Onda Sport, to wear at workouts before, after, or while enjoying tequila.
The beverage’s branding was inspired by the “surf style” of Los Angeles in the 1990s, and the can stands out with its vibrant design and orange coloring. The drink is offered in two flavors: grapefruit and lime. Each 12-oz. can is mixed with specially crafted tequila, sparkling water and real fruit juice. The company was cofounded by Mitchell, along with chief executive officer Noah Gray, chief operating officer Max Dworin and chief creative officer Kelli Adams.
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The apparel line is designed by Mitchell and Adams. The two Onda cofounders created the merchandise with that same 1990s surf culture nostalgia in mind for today’s consumer. The first item is a French Terry washed charcoal sweatsuit with a raised puff lime green ink logo. Sizes range from XS to XXL, and each item is $50, and $100 for the set. More items will be added in the coming months.
Onda Sport will be available for presale starting Jan. 29. and for purchase Feb. 11. It is available at Onda.com/merch.
Mitchell, the 33-year-old Canadian-born actress, model, entrepreneur and author first became known for starring in “Pretty Little Lies.” She has since appeared in “Aaron Stone,” and “You,” and currently stars in the Hulu comedy series, “Dollface.”
In discussing what other apparel categories they are considering getting into, Mitchell said, “Launching an apparel line has always been part of our plan. We are a beverage brand, yes, but we wanted to elaborate and build upon the lifestyle that surrounds our beverage to further enhance our relationship with our consumers.” She said the sweatsuit is the first of many apparel drops that embody the lifestyle of the Onda community. They plan to launch other items such as windbreakers, bike shorts and bikinis in the near future.
Onda, which is bicoastal, has half its team in New York and half in Los Angeles. The Onda Sport line is manufactured in Los Angeles.
Asked if she’s always had an interest in fashion, Mitchell told WWD, “Listen, I love fashion in the sense that I love clothes. I love to wear all different kinds…fun, complex, comfortable, couture, you name it. I know my limitations though, and while I would not necessarily try my hand at designing a runway collection, the Onda Sport style is so my innate jam that I knew I could bring something special to the table.
“I love trying my hand at new things and expanding my own experience, and have loved working on this suit. I also love that we have been able to make everything locally and with as little a footprint as possible. Can’t wait to build from here,” Mitchell said.
As for how the sport line ties in with tequila, she said consumers are now seeking a deeper connection with the brands and products they enjoy. “They’re looking for an all-encompassing brand that relates to their social lives and wellness routines and when we founded Onda, we had that in mind.” She said Onda, with its 5 percent ABV (alcohol by volume), is for more “day life” occasions such as hanging out with friends at the beach, socially distanced pool days and backyard BBQs. “We know everyone is lounging around at home, so we’re starting with this cozy sweatsuit. Our visual brand identity updates the surf style of the ’90s for the 2020s, and we took inspiration from the fashion and brands that have long united Pacific Coast travelers, chasing sun and waves, from L.A. to Puerto Escondido — and you will find that inspiration in our apparel,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said she’s interested in growing the brand with more non-tequila categories. “My response to things like this is always the same…more, more, more. We are expanding our flavor offerings beyond lime and grapefruit, and as the beverage vertical grows, so will the rest of our categories. For me I like to dream big and pare down as needed, so anything is on the table.”