ICNY Interview

Interview series from people and brans who've inspired us

INTRODUCTION

  1. As a fresh face to Taiwan’s market and Taiwanese fashion followers, can you please briefly introduce yourself?
    My name is Michael Cherman, I’m a 23 year old graphic designer based out of Brooklyn, NY
  2. What is your growing background and how did it influence who are you today?
    I am first and foremost a designer at heart. From being a kid and spending endless hours drawing apparel and sneakers to spending a large portion of my high school years on my computer teaching myself the adobe suite it all culminated into what I am today.
  3. What obstacles and challenges have you faced along the way? Please briefly describe the most significant one.
    I was arrested trying to get a job with jeff staple. I put posters up from where he lived to where he worked one summer in hopes that he would notice it and then hire me as a designer. I did get the interview but I didn’t get the gig. Turned out 2 weeks later Nike called me up and offered me a job, it was all history from there.
  4. What inspired you to become a designer or an owner of a brand?
    The day I was hit by a car and run over by a suburban I realized that I needed something to keep myself more safe. With that lead me into developing product for myself which then I realized why not make it for other people? That it where the brand was born.
  5. After all these struggles and challenges, how would you define yourself as a designer or a creative director today? Do you think it will change in the future?
    I try to constantly push the envelope, design what I like and believe in. At the end of the day we’re constantly changing and growing and I’d like to think that the brand will do the same.

DESIGN / STYLE

  1. Please use one sentence to describe your brand’s identity and aesthetics.
    Speed, Sweat and Sport.
  2. Since AW14 collection is the first season for this brand to be in a store in Taiwan, can you briefly talk about the inspiration and focus for the AW14 collection?
    AW14 is my exploration into the cut and sew garment and what you can do with reflectives. It’s a review of my cloest as a kid. Every piece you see in the collection derives from a garment that I wear on a regular basis and has function in my everyday life.
  3. Within the AW14 collection, what is your favorite garment that you think customers should definitely have it in their wardrobe?
    The Diamond Crewneck is my personal favorite piece. It’s so futuristic and crazy, I hope people see it the same! Though usually people love something totally different than me.
  4. For AW14, what styling advices would you give for readers and fashion followers in Taiwan?
    Don’t be afraid to fuse fashion and function. Sweating a little bit isn’t bad and you can look cool doing it. Don’t change your outfit just because you might sweat a little bit, this collection is supposed to help you do just that.
  5. As a designer, you know that creating a collection is not only about constructing individual garments, but also having a vision for the entire look and style for the season. What is your own style and where is it mostly influenced from?
    My childhood and the pieces I wore the most as a kid are what you see in the collection today.

TRENDS

  1. Nowadays, a lot of brands are creating similar fits and just crowning their owns as “essentials.” In your opinion, what are some real essential garments that can survive through trends?
    The socks are our one product that will stand the test of time no matter what. I believe they are a necessity not a “want”. They truly function in a nighttime setting and when a product really works it will not die.
  2. Everyone knows that fashion industry is getting very saturated and industrialized, how do you separate yourself/your brand from the crowd?
    Trying to do something different than every street brand out there, we’re securing our own niche.
  3. With the explosion of social media’s power (tumblr and instagram) for people to share their inspiration and ideas, do you think it’s a bonus for designers to find more inspirations or do you think it’s a limitation for designers to come up with unique and creative ideas for developing his/her own identity? In other words, is social media a plus or minus to designers?
    It’s a plus and minus. It sucks our minds clean and allows all of our visual inspiration to be openly shared on the internet. That’s good and bad however you look at it. Saturation is a good and bad thing but I believe it only helps to have the people be more and more connected.
  4. The fine line between streetwear and high-end fashion is blurring. Do you agree with this on-going movement? In your opinion, Is this trend/movement a good or bad thing for fashion industry?
    I believe that we look to fuse streetwear and sportswear together. The mix of street and high fashion is utterly stupid. Slapping ridiculous price tags onto pieces that can be done so cheaply is sad. I do respect a well crafted piece though, I won’t lie!
  5. In addition, the seasons are slowly blurring as well. Is this slowly becoming an issue for you to design garments according to just Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter?
    Not at all, its perfect for us as we generally do 2 releases per year along with a small Holiday capsule!

FUTURE

  1. After this successful AW14 collection, what can we expect from the brand moving into next season and next year?
    Lots of suprises, well designed cut and sew and a new perspective on reflectives.
  2. Ne.Sense’s AW14 theme for the store and styling lookbook is “outcast.” The message we are trying to bring out is that everyone is an outcast in some way, which can be culturally, mentally, or physically. However, the ability to truly embrace your outcast-ness is the most organic way to find your own passion and identity. This is true because the moment when you discover that you are different is the moment that you know you are special for something. Have you experienced one of these turning moments in your life before? Please briefly describe it.
    Absolutely, I’ve always felt like an outcast and I’ve always felt like I was meant to be doing something different than anyone else. This finally feels like I found that goal. I dropped out of college and set my sights on making the brand happen and it really worked.
  3. Ne.Sense, short for Necessity Sense, is a boutique store which has vision to raise appreciations toward art, design, and fashion in Taiwan. To you, what is necessity sense? In other words, what kind of sense do you think is necessary to live a high-quality life?
    Sense is the consciousness to know what sense of style art and design YOU like. Not what everyone else tells you to like.
  4. Do you have any teasing updates that you can share with us?
    You’ll have to be patient!
  5. Any last words for Taiwanese fashion followers?

    Can’t wait to grow with you!