Namesake creative director Steve Hsieh mines mental heath struggles each season in ways others might want to keep under wraps. Instead, the Taiwanese-American puts them front and center — this season in a three-pronged sculpture set center stage. It was cloaked in black as guests entered the room; the opening models dramatically tore down the cover.
Exposure, perhaps, is the best medicine.
For Hsieh, the equine statue by industrial designer Alberto Vitelio represents tenacity, a quality Hsieh said he learned after undergoing abuse as a child at a fraudulent Buddhist camp. Basketball, and a close bond with his brother cofounder Michael, is what got him through.
Now on the other side, Hsieh brings those two forces together in an unusual twist: using Hermès and equestrian codes as inspirations and mixing them up with basketball style and a dash of Y2K.
Mesh jersey wasn’t relegated to tanks, instead reworked into trousers and jodhpurs, or overlaid as skirts. Satin appeared as smart bombers in sky blue, or as the shoulder and sleeve of a well-cut camel coat. Leather jackets bore the imprint of a basketball’s grip lines, which was an homage to the late Kobe Bryant. Quotes from his retirement speech were played throughout the show.
Hermès came in the colorways, in tones of tan and orange, and the leather goods. A key piece was Hsieh’s take on the riding boot combined with a trainer. The shoe, with a 3D-printed sole based on fishermen’s nets and shown last season, serves as a base for a removable shaft. It’s the first time the brand has branched out into bags and headwear.
That repurposing spirit carried over into other looks, such as a pair of jeans being reworked into a denim puff. One might think the two worlds are opposed, but Hsieh brought them together cohesively.