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  • The Name
  • The Concept
  • 視野的開拓
  • 追求的夢想
  • Mulberry St.的起源
  • 品牌名稱的來源
  • 設計的理念

The Brand Name of Mulberry St.
Design for weaving a dream, not for responding to the market

StreetThe name of the brand, “Mulberry Street,” comes from a street located in Nolita, New York. When the famous Soho was gradually occupied by luxurious brands, independent designers began to move into the area around Mulberry Street. As the development of the early Soho, shining and clean shop windows began to emerge from the street’s old, messy neighborhood. Mulberry Street has now turned romantic under the charm of modernist and New York minimalist designers. The waste and ugly surrounding area has also obtained a strong personality with the decoration of post-modernist artists.

There are various kinds of small markets during the holidays in Mulberry Street with handmade designs coming from different ethnic groups, cultures, and styles. Although these artists have not yet been famous with their works, they have shown the passion and determination to design through their keen and sparkling eyes. Without the consideration for the acceptance of the market, they get to have more space in bringing their talents into full play. The displays of their works are as stunning as a star’s debut. In the past, Gary liked to use his holidays to have a little treasure hunt in the crowded Mulberry Street. Along with the paths of trekking in this magical sanctuary, Gary sensed the unique artistic phenomenon of New York City and grasped the definition of fashion from Mulberry Street. He then decided to name his brand “Mulberry St.” in the hope of sharing his passion in design with everyone.

The unlimited stylistic designs in Mulberry Street touched Gary deeply. One of the reasons that Gary named his brand Mulberry St. is to remind himself that he works for weaving dreams rather than conforming to the trends. It is the passion and love that pull one’s heartstrings: “If this piece of clothes can’t touch me, how can I convince my friends and customers?” said Gary with a gentle smile.



The Concept
Pain the city with Taipei’s unique urban culture

StreetBecause of the love for knitwear, Gary chose knitwear to be the start of his brand

“I have an intense feeling for knitwear. From the choice of yarn, the density of knitting, prewash, suture, to ironing, all the details affecting the finished products. For those who know about knitwear, sweaters have pores, they do breathe!” said Gary.

Gary recalled his first question asked to himself while the first time arriving in New York: “What’s the urban culture in Taipei?” Now, he’s got his answer:

    “Taipiei is a crowded city with multi-culture. You can immerse yourself in the bath of art and literature in Eslite bookstore, while entering into a night club to have a spree just across a street. Those who live in Taipei get to suit themselves in various situations in a short time. Every Saturday night, men and women walk out of the bar at dawn and move toward the bookstore. They do not have so much thirst for the knowledge but searching for a kind of peace after the relaxation of their daily pressure.” “The inspiration of my design originated from the mixture of Taipei’s cultural phenomenon and its wild, sexy appearance. There is a strong sense of contrast and asymmetry, while everything seems so gentle and harmonious at the same time.

StreetIn order to get close to the life of Taipei’s business women, Gary spent a long time watching how they live. The talks, lifestyles, and intimate interactions of the passengers in the street, his friends, and the women and couples on the MRT are all the sources to inspire him. They are also the basic elements of his design: to customize clothes for Taipei’s women. Meanwhile, Gary also combined his idea with New York’s minimalist elements. He tried to make his works look elegant rather than luxurious, in personality rather than just in the fashion trend. “Taipei is a city with the combination of multiple cultures. Our design is for the urban ladies to show themselves one day in different occasions. They can go with our clothes at work, at a banquet, a party or a family gathering. This kind of design is most suitable for the women living under the fast pace of Taipei’s urban life.” said Gary excitedly.

Gary loves neutral shades, especially black and gray. He is specialized in designing with the drapable quality of knitwear and using asymmetrical details to demonstrate Taipei’s women’s strong characteristics, an intense tendency being unsubmissive to the bonds of tradition. Gary also made a lot of effort on the tactile sensations and the qualities of his sweaters. He also adopts a different way of production in making his clothes. He uses knitting wool as his base with the making of plain weaving to endow his sweaters with elasticity and variability. His whole design is the mixture of New York’s minimalist concept and Taipei’s crowded but multiple lifestyles. He makes his works distinctive with his personal style, and all of his clothes come from Gary’s impression of the urban life in Taipei.

Now, let’s see the look of Taipei in his eyes!

文化的衝擊
紐約令人著迷的是那多元文化的融合

Street Street

「我的創作靈感來自於台北都會獨特的文化氛圍與狂野性感的環境中,一種強烈的對比與不對稱,但卻又是如此的柔順和融洽」
2006年春初,一位獨坐華航經濟艙的年輕人興奮地不停翻閱手中密密麻麻的筆記本。此刻是,他第一次出國,即將踏上前往美國的旅途,遠地沒有親友且語言不流暢的情況下,小夥子滿腦試著尋找心中疑惑的答案。紐約,她所散發的炫麗真的如Norah Jones用充滿爵士風格的嗓音唱出New York City—Such A Beautiful Disease嗎?紐約的浪漫是否如影集六人行所詮釋的令人憧憬?Gary,這位來自台灣的年輕小伙子即將展開與紐約相戀的旅程。

初到世界的中心-紐約,乍看下市容不是這麼的整潔,治安與交通也不如想像中的有秩序,人來人往的街道更不是那麼的友善;但Gary細細咀嚼紐約的生活、音樂與美食,卻別有一番風味,紐約多元的文化差異巨大,但卻彼此尊重,更將融合後的新文化,在紐約人文調和中給予新的定義,不是拋棄傳統,而是在既有的傳統文化中挖掘出新價值,這就是紐約烙印在Gary心中最深刻的畫面。

紐約的流行文化與藝術品味如同其多民族市民所呈現的多元化相似,從世界精品聚集的第五大道到蘇活區、從上西區經由上東區到達布魯克林區、從古根漢博物館到惠特尼博物館,再從Donna Karan到Rick Owens。這些風格迥異的流行文化,從不同設計師對紐約給予的創作靈感中窺見,紐約的美麗正因所有人對於城市的熱愛,使紐約因而更浪漫璀璨。

此時,浮現Gary腦中的念頭「台北的都會文化究竟是什麼?」這也是日後Gary在創立Mulberry St.時所要表達的意念!

追求的夢想
尋找不平凡的人生旅途

Street

2007年底,Gary順利於紐約取得商學院學歷。但是,此時Gary對於生命中亟欲追求的目標還是很模糊。雖然,畢業後即進入紐約的證券公司,取得數張財金執照,表現優異。但是,身處2008年全球金融風暴發源地-紐約,Gary無法在工作上一展身手,更無法汲取當初遠度太平洋所要得到的答案;Gary隨即離開紐約進入中國的台商公司,因工作需求,除天天需與客戶應酬談業務,就是上果嶺揮桿。雖然,表面上看來充實且安穩,但對Gary而言卻不具意義。「這不是我要的生活態度與生涯規劃」,Gary如此告訴自己,期許未來的工作更具挑戰。因此,Gary不久後就離開中國,回到那曾經逃離的台北;

回到熟悉又陌生的台北後,金融風暴持續延燒,Gary承受不住父母的壓力,進入某金融集團的銀行外匯交易室工作,儘管他還在思考究竟自己想要什麼、想成為什麼樣的人?然而,外匯交易的工作是如此的嚴謹與保守,對於喜歡天馬行空思考的Gary而言,工作簡直就像是折磨,與同事更是格格不入。幾經思考後,Gary毅然決然離開工作崗位,只是這次他下了一個重大決心,成立屬於自己的服裝設計品牌。他當然知道,這必將是艱困與孤獨的過程,不僅沒人看好,大環境也持續蕭條。只是,這次總算可以隨心所欲地去創作、去做出自己想做的事情,去找尋當初執意踏上紐約的那份初衷。

為何Gary會有如此大的轉變呢?就這樣一腳跨入似乎與他不相干的流行服飾產業呢?!

Mulberry St.的起源
對於設計的熱情是一切的原點

StreetGary的父母從事針織毛衣的生產已數十年,從小耳濡目染接觸到許多不同的紗線與成衣,當同年齡的小朋友還在看漫畫時,小時候的Gary喜歡把在家中堆積過期的時裝雜誌剪剪貼貼,貼成一面屬於-Gary的時裝秀看板,也因此累積出對於設計的獨特見解;Gary從小對自己的穿著很有想法,有時把自己打扮成將前往決鬥的西域牛仔,或是梳個西裝油頭配上格紋襯衫準備出席當天的母姊會。甚至,沒有精心打扮就趕著出門,小Gary還為此哭鬧生氣,只因他喜歡與眾不同,或許Gary天生注定要走進流行產業。

「我要以台北都會風貌來設計最具創意特色的針織毛衣!」。Gary徒有企圖心,但心中非常清楚台灣流行產業是艱困的象徵,而成衣產業在台灣則更是黃昏產業;雖然,創業可以找幾個志同道合的伙伴在車庫敲敲打打中進行,但對於缺乏資金與伙伴的Gary而言,創業的路程就像一條不歸路。但此時,Gary腦中依舊專注思考在如何設計出有台北都會氣息的創意毛衣。

Gary踏入針織毛衣的設計,期許自己如同海綿般吸收所有的基礎與專業,從紗線的知識到組織的變化開始學習起,但在台灣日趨萎縮的針織環境進行創作,Gary也深切感受到針織產業在台灣的困境,不同於一般的成衣生產,針織服飾在設計與生產上複雜許多,針織機台都陸續轉移至中國或其它生產成本更低的國家,台灣現存的編織機大多是傳統舊式機台,能進行的變化不僅有限,也因機台老舊,編織上普遍有較多的瑕疵品;因此,Gary開始嘗試不同的設計與生產流程,利用結合針織與平織的非傳統方式,讓毛衣的生產可以突破編織機台的限制,讓設計毛衣有更大的空間,讓毛衣可以更活潑、更具揮灑的空間,這也成為Mulberry St.品牌的設計主軸。


Mulberry St. 品牌的名稱
設計是為了編織理想,而不是為了回應市場

StreetMulberry St.的品牌名稱是來自於紐約諾利塔區一條名為Mulberry Street的街道,在知名的蘇活區逐漸被國際精品品牌佔領下,原本的獨立或小眾型的設計師逐漸移入以Mulberry Street為中心的周遭區域,也如同早期的蘇活區,Mulberry Street從過往陳舊髒亂慢慢出現明亮乾淨的櫥窗,設計師們的現代主義與紐約風格的極簡主義,把Mulberry Street變得更浪漫,而原本的醜陋與荒涼則在後現代主義頹廢的裝飾下變得更有個性。

假日的Mulberry Street出現大大小小的市集,不同人種、文化及風格的手創品與設計品皆出現於此,雖然這些設計師尚無名氣,但從他們的眼神中可看出對設計的熱情與執著。由於,少了市場考量,在設計上有更大的揮灑空間,擺飾的作品如同初登台的明星令人驚艷;Gary總是利用假日時至熱鬧的Mulberry Street尋寶,感受紐約特有的文藝氣息,也因為對這條街展現出Gary對流行的定義,索性就把品牌名稱取為Mulberry St.,希望能夠把自己對於設計的熱情分享給大家。

無侷限的設計氛圍深深感動了Gary,定名為Mulberry St.的原因之一,就是希望能夠提醒自己設計是為了要編織自己的理想,而不是要符合市場的趨勢,在設計上注入熱情與夢想才能打動人心;「如果這件衣服都無法打動我,那要如何說服支持我的朋友與顧客」Gary面帶微笑得說著。



設計的理念
以台北獨特的都會文化來彩繪城市

Street由於,對於針織毛衣的熱愛,Gary選擇以毛衣作為品牌的核心與出發點;

「我對針織毛衣有獨特的濃厚情感,從紗線的選擇、針數的計算、編織的密度、預洗、縫合到整燙,所有的細節皆會引想到最終成品,懂針織毛衣的內行人都知道,毛衣是有毛細孔、會呼吸的!」,Gary對於針織衣物的喜愛可想而知;

Gary回想第一次抵達紐約市時問自己:『台北的都會文化是什麼?』,現在Gary有了答案:

    「台北都會是個很緊密卻多元的城市,你可以在充滿藝術與文學氣質的誠品書局感受那股濃濃的人文氣息,僅一條街道之隔,則是充斥歡愉的酒吧,深處台北都會的人們可以迅速轉換心情去追求不同的情感,周末凌晨步出酒吧的男女,朝書店前進,與其說他們強烈的求知慾,倒不如說他們在釋放壓力後,尋求都會夜晚中的心靈平和」「我的創作靈感來自於台北都會獨特的文化氛圍與狂野性感的環境中,一種強烈的對比與不對稱,但卻又是如此的柔順和融洽」

Street為了讓設計更貼近台北都會女性,Gary長時間觀察都會女性的生活,包含陌生的路人、身旁的友人、甚至是街道與捷運上的個人與情侶;他們的交談舉止、生活節奏、親密舉動,都激發Gary的設計靈感,造就其設計中的基本定位:為台北都會女性量身設計;同時,Gary也將紐約獨特的簡約元素結合在設計中,讓整體設計精緻而非奢華,時尚卻不被視為奇裝異服;「台北蘊藏多元的都會文化,我們的設計針對都會女性一天中所處不同場合中能盡情展現自我,職場、宴會、派對、或是家庭聚會上都能穿搭,最適合人口密集的台北都會文化。」,Gary興奮得說道。

Gary鍾愛黑色與灰色等中性色調,善於利用針織布料的垂墜特性去做設計,而大量使用不對稱的設計細節展現出台北都會女性不屈服傳統束縛的個性;Gary也在穿著的舒適性與質感下了很大的功夫,同時更採用不同於傳統毛衣的生產方式,以針織毛線布料為基底,並採用平織成衣的製程方式,賦予毛衣在設計上更大的變化與彈性;整體設計融合紐約式的簡約風格與台北緊密卻多元的生活型態,使其設計別樹一格,個人風格強烈,這些設計就是來自Gary對於台北都會的印象。

現在就來看看Gary眼中的台北都會的模樣吧!