The last time Taiwanese label Namesake was in Paris, just before the pandemic hit, it had staged a basketball match. For its return, and first official participation, the follow-up was a post-game press conference, branded microphones and all.
On a call, Michael and Steve Hsieh, who cofounded the brand with brother Richard, explained that the season was a retelling of a seminal moment of their high school careers, when the school’s marching band galvanized its basketball team on the way to the season’s last championship game. They’d lost but come away as a tight-knit group, as shown in their play-by-play film featuring jocks and music geeks facing off before coming together.
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Hence the blending of a band uniform’s formalism with the ball game’s de rigueur jerseys and extra-wide shorts, with a dash of the off-beat retro aesthetics of musician Andre 3000. Crochet, used for panels or an entire tracksuit, was a nod to the Hsieh brothers’ hometown of Kaohsiung, a major international port in the South of Taiwan, and their family’s ties to the fishing industry.
Standing out were the silhouettes where the informality of sporting goods was kept in check by tailoring, such as an A-line blouson with puffy sleeves that flowed into long mesh ones, paired with wide shorts; a “little black suit” with ribbing the waistband and outlining the leg diagonally, or banana leg trousers in a marbled print.
Elsewhere, the over-wide trouser legs, best exemplified in a boiler suit made to look like a jersey tucked into skort-like bottoms, lent an impression of gender-fluidity. That made this play of sportswear angle feel refreshing.
Launch Gallery: Namesake Men's Fall 2022