Once a not-for-profit organization promoting positivity and self-empowerment, Orisue now boasts eight employees and distribution in eight countries around the world including the US, Canada, Denmark, Puerto Rico, and Japan. The Fountain Valley, California based-brand creates for those individuals who are driven by their passion and strive towards excellence, and is one of the hottest, up-and-coming streetwear brands on the scene.
Formerly known as Origami Clothing and re-branding itself as the label it holds today, the young company has already seen several transitions in its three years of infancy. At the tender ages of 23 and 24, a mere three years hasnâ€™t held founder and creative director Michael Huynh and president Allen Doan back from expanding enormously. Orisue unfolds as Doan tells Format what theyâ€™re really all about.
â€œTradeshows are so important in any industry. Itâ€™s a great opportunity to get drunk and promise things youâ€™ll probably regret later on.â€
Format: Who are the players on your team and what a unique quality does each member bring to the table?
Allen: Itâ€™s really hard to say. Throughout the past two years weâ€™ve been in business, there have been so many people that have taken part in growing Orisue. I wouldnâ€™t feel right to just name the players now when there are others that deserve the same amount of shine. One thing is true and that is everyone brings a unique talent to the company, otherwise they wouldnâ€™t be here.
Format: There are four members listed on the site, so who are they?
Allen: There are five main people that are involved in the company, they are: Allen Doan, President. Michael Huynh, Creative. Wally Vu, Operations. Vince Domingo, Marketing. Alain Montiel, Sales
Format: Orisue launched in late 2005. You now have distribution in: the US, Japan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Puerto Rico and Taiwan. How did you attain this worldwide coverage in such a short period of time?
Allen: Orisue publicly appeared in December 2005, but didnâ€™t actually begin as a business until January 2006. After two months into the business, we found — or should I say they found us, our first distributor out of Japan. At this stage, we were learning so much about the industry and diligently searched out qualified distributors. And weâ€™re not finished yet! There is still a lot of world left that havenâ€™t been introduced to the Orisue way of living.
Format: What is the most important learning experience thus far?
Allen: Saving money is important!
Format: The models you use in your press kit are young (18-24) and multicultural. What made you select this demographic of models?
Allen: I wanted the image of the brand to truly represent Orisue and the lifestyle we lead. Our team consists of individuals of all walks of life. Regardless of color and class, Orisue represents these special individuals and we always want to represent that at all times.
Format: If you could break down the Orisue demographic in five words, what would they be?
Allen: Orisue is for the hungry!
Format: Who is the lifestyle?
Allen: Defining ones lifestyle is hard to encompass in a few words alone. The main theme behind the lifestyle myself, my company, and my team lives by is hard work, dedication, and responsibility.
Format: Michael, you are in your twenties, and Allen, I assume you are not far off from that age either. With so many young entrepreneurs and streetwear designers in this day in age, how is this phenomenon changing the fashion industry at large?
Allen: Actually, Mike just turned 24 and Iâ€™m still 23. I donâ€™t feel that young entrepreneurs are just changing the fashion industry. Young entrepreneurs are changing a lot of industries and a lot of the older cats in the game arenâ€™t really receptive to this. â€œKidsâ€ they call us, but I wouldnâ€™t say anything. People pay their dues and weâ€™re paying ours right now.
Format: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as such a young brand?
Allen: Identification as a legitimate company and clothing brand.
Format: You guys hit up Bread & Butter this year, how much of your success is attributed to trade shows like Magic and B&B?
Allen: Tradeshows are so important in any industry. Itâ€™s a great opportunity to get drunk and promise things youâ€™ll probably regret later on.
Format: What is your brand category?
Allen: Our roots came from the â€œstreetwearâ€ industry, which fosters the life of many small, independent brands. At Magic, we would be showing at the â€œProgressive Streetwearâ€ section.
Format: You’ve featured tiger prints previously in your Holiday 2007 collection. Do you see animal prints crossing over to the Spring 2008 season? Fall 2008?
Allen: No. Not for us at least. [laughs]
Format: Nas, Alchemist and Evidence of Dilated Peoples sport Orisue. Have you found celebrity endorsement a big part of your success?
Allen: I think any brand, fashion or not, will find success if they can get celebrities to use their product.
Format: What are some trends that you can predict for Fall 2008?
Allen: Thatâ€™s our secret!
Format: Where is streetwear culture going?
Allen: No where that I know ofâ€¦