We had a chance to interview Creative Director of OPENMARKET, Kevin Chen. OPENMARKET is a new brand that modernizes the classic James Dean look into pieces that are sure to be classics themselves and coveted by many who own them. The collection is amazing. There are some really great pieces, especially those striped trousers and those jackets. You can read about how he first started in the industry, what inspired him this season, and more below. You can also see looks from the current look book below.
DenimBlog: How did you get your start?
OPENMARKET: I started working in the fashion industry back in 1983 while I lived in New York. It was then that I fell in love with fashion. Over these past 30 years, my experience includes working in the garment factory as a trim buyer, pattern maker, and a production manager. I was also an owner of several high-end retail boutiques in California. For a brief time, I also designed an exclusive men’s dress shirt and neck-tie label under the name “Cinn Kediaoni” which was made in Italy as well as a private label leather jacket brand for Bergdorf Goodman.
The experience I attained from my previous years in the industry has led me to launch MEK Denim, where I was a founder, CEO and Creative Director from 2005 – 2011. I have always been passionate about fashion and its high pace. Although the fashion industry has been rewarding to me in many facets, it has also been challenging at times. However, I enjoy overcoming the challenges and being on my toes. Most importantly, I find being in the fashion industry allows me to be on the forefront of what the next big thing is, and that I find truly exciting.
DB: What made you want to start your own line?
OM: My vision for OPENMARKET was to create a platform that would allow designers and artists to work with me to build a company and a brand that represents these individuals in a UNITED environment, where each individual associated with the brand is PASSIONATE and SUCCESSFUL in what they do, and from that, to be able to achieve their personal WEALTH. I envision OPENMARKET as a place where I am able to bring creative and like minded individuals together. I can only hope that my contribution to the fashion industry is to give you another reason to smile.
DB: How did you come up with the name OPENMARKET?
OM: Well, my wife, Cynthia and I are quite fond of flea markets. It’s a pastime that we both enjoy doing together. Often times, we would attend the Rose Bowl Flea Market to rediscover old ideas, and to see if we can reinvent them and make something new from it. We have always found the idea of a flea market to be very unique and extraordinary because you never know what you’ll find, but you’re almost sure you’ll find something cool and interesting by the end of your search. In short, the name OPENMARKET comes from our love of flea markets and while on a drive with Cynthia upon this open road, the word OPEN came to her mind, and she suggested OPENMARKET. In other words, that OPEN road ahead of us signified the thought of simply being OPEN to ideas and staying OPENMINDED. Hence, OPENMARKET was born.