24 Hours With… NAMESAKE
Introducing NAMESAKE, the Tapei-based brand with three brothers at its helm. Named after their father, whose love of fashion shaped their childhood, the brothers lived in Taiwan, Japan and the USA, coming together to create a label that fuses their shared love of basketball with the cultural influence of these respective homes. We chatted to two out of three - style director Michael and creative director Steve, to find out more about their unique way of working.
“Sicilian coffee and some beautiful fabrics.”
“The morning walk to the office in Taipei.”
What time do you wake up and where?
Michael: I usually wake up at 8am in my house. I live with my brother Steve in Taipei. My parents and Richard live in Kaohsiung, our home city.
Steve: Usually around 9am. We currently live in the heart of Taipei, in a very quiet but super convenient street.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Steve: Iced Americano, two eggs, and a cold shower.
Where are you usually based?
Michael: In Taipei, Taiwan.
What does your average day look like?
Michael: Numerous meetings!
Steve: A quick and refreshing walk to the office, where I start working on our new collection, figuring out production schedules, and having constant discussions with the team about designs and concepts. I usually finish work around 7pm. Then, we usually have friends gathering at our home over a hotpot. After that, we sometimes go play basketball together. Finish the night with a few glasses of wine.
Do you have any rituals?
Michael: Taking outfit selfie pictures every morning.
Steve: An iced coffee in the morning and basketball on Wednesday night.
Where is your studio located and how do you get there?
Michael: I walk to our studio every morning - It’s 15 minutes away from our house.
Steve: The walk is a nice opportunity to listen to some music en route.
“The view from our lunch break.”
“Our brand is about fulfilling our childhood love of basketball through fashion.”
How would you describe what you do?
Michael: I set the style for our brand and take care of our social media.
Steve: I would say I’m a researcher and a storyteller. I believe that basketball is not just about the action itself. There’s a lot of heart and soul surrounding the culture. We are often looking for new ways to uplift the perception of basketball through our stories of growing up in Taiwan, Japan, and the US, whilst combining this theme with our background in agriculture. It’s a complex mix that we try to reveal slowly through each collection. We want to revamp and elevate the “casual” pieces that are usually related to sports into something interesting.
How has your background influenced who you are today?
Michael: I grew up in Taiwan, lived in Japan during high school, and studied in the US for college. This definitely influenced my style.
Steve: Strongly. As a third culture kid, growing up in an agricultural family and a sports-centric environment, I became a fast learner in adapting to my environment and finding ways to express these things in my perspective.
How did you get your start in fashion?
Michael: Through our dad – hence NAMESAKE, as in the name of our father.
Steve: We never went to fashion school, but we grew up learning about fashion from day one, as our dad is super passionate about it. We grew up with shelves and shelves of fashion magazines around us.
What was the impetus behind starting your label?
Michael: Our love of basketball. The label allows us to fulfil our childhood passion through fashion.
Steve: Our family. I think there’s a lack of family representation in the fashion industry. Our brotherly bond is super strong and I think it’s important to spread the message of family through fashion.
“The team behind the brand are one of the
most important things for us.”
What are the most important factors for the brand?
Michael: The team behind it.
Steve: Family. Basketball. Agriculture.
How do you get into a creative headspace?
Michael: Being three brothers debating consistently.
Steve: Conversations I think. I’m an active learner, and interesting conversations usually spark something new. Sometimes just sitting in the studio, my ideas could be stuck, but through a conversation, it could just click.
Whilst working, where do you go and what do you do to take a break?
Steve: Breaks with the team, which are our time to share ideas and talk about our lives outside of fashion.
Do you have a favourite piece from your new collection?
Michael: Definitely the black short Monica blouson. Love it!
Steve: The Giorgio Collarless Bomber. Growing up in a sports environment, the varsity jacket means a lot to us, but we haven’t seen anyone take a stab on revamping it. We wanted to make it into an interesting pattern while keeping the historic representation of it.
Who would you most like to see wearing NAMESAKE?
Michael: ASAP Rocky.
Steve: Allen Iverson. He has been our idol growing up. He gave the number 3 even more meaning.
“A homemade hotpot for dinner.”
“Late night fun with friends…”
What’s on your bookshelf right now?
Steve: Dark Uncles by Klaas Rommelaere. My current favorite artist.
What do you usually do for dinner?
Michael: I usually go out to eat with friends or eat alone. Grabbing a drink with friends after dinner is a must too.
Steve: I usually do steamed chicken with sauteed broccoli if I’m on my own. With friends, we often do a hotpot.
What time do you go to bed?
Michael: I usually go to bed around midnight or 1am. Sometimes even later if I go out drinking with friends.
Steve: I usually go to bed around 1am.
Last thing you do before you sleep?
Michael: Set my alarm!
Steve: I have a late-night jam playlist that I put on to go to sleep with.
What do you dream about?
Michael: Living with my wife in our future house.
Steve: Work and love. Mostly things that are happening in my life right now.
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