November 23, 2010

Jan Lamb x Eric Kot: The Cultural Connectors

A massively developed financial infrastructure aside, Hong Kong still holds a strong penchant for fashion together with the fast cars and lavish lifestyles that dominate the cityscape. However strong the high-fashion market is and beyond the flagship stores on virtually every corner of major shopping areas lies a well-established streetwear landscape. Two notable Hong Kong personalities, Jan Lamb and Eric Kot are the focal point of a large four-way collaboration which look to re-inspire and develop the local streetwear community.
Having each grown up through some interesting childhoods and sharing the same schooling experience, Jan Lamb and Eric Kot went on to become two powerhouse voices on the radio airwaves of Hong Kong as well as local Hip-Hop pioneers with SoftHard. Branching outwards, they have become cultural pioneers in helping develop a Hong Kong identity for creativity that may be new to some. Individually, Jan Lamb went on to start 30METHING and Eric Kot with 4A LIKE BLACK. It’s true that Hong Kong’s fashion stage for streetwear is not on the same level of development of other cities, but nevertheless the efforts of both Lamb and Kot are admirable as they use their resources and platform as cultural tools.
For 30METHING in Common, 4A LIKE BLACK, :CHOCOOLATE & fingercroxx, the collaboration brings together four different local Hong Kong entities as the goal becomes to tastefully combine the sensibilities of all included parties through an extensive range. Some streetwear staples are inclusive such as t-shirts and hoodies, while marquee items also come in the form of down jackets, mountain parkas and toys.

Hit the jump to read the interview

Interview with Jan Lamb
How did the planning work for this project with so many parties involved?
Without a doubt, when you bring together so many different creative minds, there will be different thoughts and ideas that each party maintains. Luckily, we all shared the same common goal, so the details became the most important part. It came down to choosing materials, cuts and styles during each meeting.
What was your favorite experience that you took away from working?
I would say the brainstorming part was probably my favorite experience. You could essentially go as crazy or innovative as you want since it’s just a brainstorming session. The fun comes from everybody’s different ideas and direction coming together to create one big idea.
What is your favorite piece in the collaboration?
I can honestly say the whole collection was really well executed and something we put a lot of effort into. I can’t really single anything out. As well, this collection is entirely different from what I have done in the past with :CHOCOOLATE.

What does each party bring to the collaboration?
With four different parties involved, we each respectively filled certain holes and gaps to compliment one another to succeed.
Were there any difficulties in the design as you were working with new styles?
Harnessing creativity is always challenging yet it’s necessary to create something memorable and worthwhile.
What were you wanting to achieve with the collection in terms of aesthetics?
The outcome was interesting to say the least. A lot of new elements were injected into the overall range. It’s a very interesting trial in which a lot of new elements were injected into the collection. We were able to have 3OMETHING IN COMMON combine the brand elements of :CHOCOOLATE, fingercroxx, 4A into something cohesive. And for 3OMETHING, we’ve had some new opportunities to experiment with different cuts and garment styles such as down [jackets], something we’ve never done before.
What does a project like this mean to the Hong Kong creative scene?
I anticipate that this is a memorable project since it’s a brand new experiment. Eric and I have known I.T’s Wallace and Godfrey for quite a while already, so I think it was time for a challenging project and to see what we could come up with amongst ourselves.

Interview with Eric Kot
What did you learn from this collaboration?
Be yourself and you can create something great! It’s interesting to combine the best elements of each brand and incorporate into something that fits all the audience from kids, youth and parents. Through the process of design and communication, we put creative ideas, innovative materials and extensive marketing plans all into one project. The result is what we hope is something even bigger and more influential, with a great deal of anticipation.
How did you decide on what sort of items to include in this collection?
I’ve been collaborating with fingercroxx together with my own label 4A LIKE BLACK since last year. The four parties within this project have all worked together in some facet in the past. These per-established relationships made the decision process relatively easy. For this collection, we are putting everyone’s best items forward to combine into a collection that suits a variety of people.
How did the planning work for this project with so many parties involved?
fingercroxx and I have been acquitted for a long time. Wallace and Junkie of fingercroxx’s I.T are my long-time friends, and my brand 4A LIKE BLACK have previously collaborated with them. All of us know each other so well, we know what we want, it’s so natural to come up something we all agreed upon. Looking forward, the planning work was very smooth and we easily settled into the right track.

What is your favorite piece in the collaboration?
Each item has a bit of its own unique character. But if I had to pick one, I would say the 3-layer jacket. The waterproof breathable materials and silhouette are perfect in my eyes.
What does each party bring to the collaboration?
It’s hard to do something like this on a solo level, we all brainstorm ideas together. Jan gives creative ideas on design, whereas I’m throwing out ideas on materials and styles of the products. I.T (who run fingercroxx and :CHOCOOLATE) also pay a lot of attention on visual display, packaging, PR and marketing plan etc.
Were there any difficulties in the design as you were working with new styles?
The main difficulties were timing and quality. Sample production takes time and we had to cope with quality issues to ensure everything was up to par.

The 30METHINGin Common, 4A LIKE BLACK, :CHOCOOLATE & fingercroxx collection will be available at the following locations in Hong Kong:
TEL: +852 2677-0061
TEL: +852 2377-4622
TEL: +852 2730-8238
TEL: +852 2895-2303

VIA - HypeBeast

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