Street, Vision – PUBLISH Brand Interview
Original Link (Mandarin Version)
Publish is a brand full of great vigor. Jogger pants is trending not just in the U.S., but in the entire Asia region. Michael Huynh, the founder and CEO of Publish Brand, says: “We love traveling, and we really like to see the local markets ourselves. One of our favorite things to do is to interact with our partners, friends and fans in local regions. We usually travel twice a year, just to explore the world.”
Publish is a growing rapidly in Taiwan and throughout Asia. These areas are developing tremendously in terms of fashion, and the acceptability for new elements is extremely high.
“We want to actually feel the energy here ourselves,” Michael says.
Interviewed on April 9, 2015 – Taipei, Taiwan
Photographed and produced by Sam Deng
The Style from Internet
About 10 years ago, when streetwear was still new, Michael was brainstorming: “What kind of clothes can grow and evolve with me?” Except for his favorite shoes, he wanted to have clothing that was better and more unique than what was readily available. Michael met his friend Alan on MySpace, and they decided to give their new ideas a shot. Other than the guys topics such as shoes, movies, music (not to mention girls as well), they began building up the lifestyle and value of the Publish Brand.
Up until 2015, Publish Brand has been and are still successful on their way of communicating with customer through internet, that’s also why Publish brand is so popular among the younger generation.
The sneaker culture has been flourishing these years, but for the streetwear fans, it’s actually taken more than 10 years to build this trend up. Publish’s founder Michael and designer Alex became friends through the NikeTalk forum. They had conversations about shoes, collections all the way to fashion style.
Alex, Publish designer said “our initial idea was to show off our sneakers.” Michael added ” It is like when girls bought a nice and new bag, they’ll want people to notice that. Although there has been many type of pants like baggy pants, slim Pants, and many more, but we believe there should a better pants to compliment our sneakers … after all we spent so much money on nice sneakers.” (Laughing)
Connection to Sneakers
Sneakers continued to connect with young people, but Publish is the pioneer brand that combined streetwear and lifestyle looks to go well with sneakers. “Back in early 2000, sneakers, especially running shoes, were not as popular as now, but right after Nike launched its Flyknit racer shoes, things changed. In addition to the help provided by social media, more and more photos of Publish products with all kinds of sneakers went viral. “Alex recalls, “That was when Publish starting to take off.”
For the PUBLISH team, we love sneakers but we do not call ourselves “Sneaker Heads”; but we are a team that loves to mix sneakers into our lifestyle. Lalo, PUBLISH designer, is also a big fan of unique sneakers, but they have to match his simple and elegant style with sneakers such as Nike, Converse, Adidas, ASICS and Timberland. Michael says “In the ’80s and ’90s, we were crazy about collecting sneakers. I’ve never counted how many sneakers I have, and with age, our fashion style has probably transformed to be more sophisticated, but sneakers will always stay with me. As Publish deeply connects with sneaker community, I am 100 percent sure that we will always be like that. Even when I am wearing a suit, I’ll still put a pair of New Balance to go with it. I’m sure you know what I mean.”
During our conversation, we discovered Publish team members’ fond memories of sneakers. Having grown up in New York, Alex recalls, “When North Carolina won the championship of NCAA in 1993, my mom bought me a pair of the blue legend Air Jordan 11, and it unleashed my passion for sneakers.”
Michael also shared his personal story. He once begged his father to buy him a pair of Converse, but his father always said they are too expensive. Until one day, his father bought him a pair of red Converse in U.S. size 9, which was on sale, although Michael was wearing U.S. size U.S. 6 at that time. Michael laughed and said “It was probably because his father worried about me growing too fast. Those red shoes got me a nickname of Bobby during my whole high school life.” (i.e. From an American Cartoon, Bobby’s World.)
Today for Tomorrow
Michael and Alex started using the Internet, like eBay and NikeTalk, around 1996, and it inspired them deeply. “Nowadays, people’s only concern is if the price is right, but back then we were truly talking about the shoes and styles.”
Alex recalled when he was standing in line in front of the Supreme store for hours just so he could get the Nike Dunk SB new release. That was ridiculous for him already back then, but now, it is common to see people staying overnight at stores for a new release of shoes.
“We also noticed the differences and details between each release among all kind of shoes collection, and it’s fascinating.” designer Lalo said.
With the evolving of pop culture, Alex says that Publish is not a brand that follows the trends. Head designer Josh adds, “The key is to always be ambitious and keep bringing fresh ideas as we are the ones to designs the products and lead the trends.” The best example of this statement is Publish’s Mono Collection; it’s new, different and was a fun collection for the Publish design team to create. Another example is Publish’s new women’s collection. As more and more guys began wearing the Publish silhouette, many girls began looking for smaller sizes in the men’s collection. Thus, Publish women’s collection was born.
“We used to do everything online, and we know our fans always look for the newest and most unique stuff out there.” Michael says, and adds how important it to spread Publish’s news via Internet as well as how Publish’s next steps always interests and influences both its competitors and followers. For Michael, part of the uniqueness of his team, in his words, “We are a family.”
Publish’s CFO, Will, says “The consensus of the team is, ‘how do we make people happy?’”
“When we spend one of third of a day at work, I want everyone to enjoy working at Publish.” Michael adds.
“We see our company as our second home. Michael gives us lots of freedom to design, allows our creativity to go wild and makes ideas come true. This kind of opportunity is rare.” says Lalo.
Head designer Josh says the team thinks about “Besides jeans and work pants, what kinds of pants are good for people like us? That’s why we always come up with something new, and apparently many people in the world think alike with Publish; that’s why Publish can resonate with young people.”
As Publish continues developing new designs and styles, Alex, who can’t live without his bicycle and skateboard, says “before the Jogger Pants were born, I was used to rolling up the jeans. Since launching the Jogger Pants, we are creating different ways of thinking and wearing.”