An Insight into the Mind Behind GOOPiMADE | Touching Base on Design Ethos, Future Direction and Flagship Styles
Written by Ali George Hinkins
Established and based in Taipei, Taiwan, GOOPiMADE is flying the flag for the whole urban utility aesthetic that has been on an upward trajectory since the brand was conceived in 2016. During those years, they have been paving a path of their own, refusing to be swept up by transient trends that others would falter to; adding to that, their name, GOOPiMADE is said to be a literal translation from Chinese of ‘Doing things your own way.’ Operating in a slightly different manner to the traditional seasonal calendar, GOOPiMADE offers regular drip-feeding of product throughout the year, building and consolidating upon each previous rendition of that style to optimise its comfort and functionality. Did I mention? Once it’s gone, it really is gone - no restocks.
When This Thing of Ours was started in 2019, they became the first independent retailer in the UK to carry GOOPiMADE and they have both remained intertwined since, forging a relationship that is hard to rattle and one that is built on a common interest.
The key to their success over the last 6 years cannot be attributed to one single factor, instead they focus their efforts on a multifaceted approach that accounts for thoughtful design, functionality, the quality of fabrics and seeking collaboration with those outside of their realm. With all these combined, their thriving success is no surprise. With Spring/Summer deliveries arriving thick and fast, This Thing of Ours has been the recipient of a number of key GOOPiMADE styles including their R-1K Bucket Hat, P-3S Utility Track Pant, D-9S Functional Pocket Shirt and F-5A Field Jacket which are all suitably indicative of what they bring to the table and characterised by concealed pockets, oversized cuts and technical fabrications.
Taking a closer look at their P-3S "Hyperbola" Utility Track Pants from their latest release, it’s a kind of sweatpant-technical-track-pant-hybrid that embodies the sensibilities of the Taiwanese-based label whilst ensuring comfort is at the forefront of the design. Crafted from a blend of spandex and polyester, the pants are lightweight in nature and provide freedom of movement throughout. The cut is wide and oversized providing volume throughout to the wearer and features an elasticated hem that extends up towards the knee. Finishing touches include magnetic side pockets and a strip of webbing running down the front of the bottoms.
To understand a bit more about the psyche of the brand and their future direction, I spoke to the founder of GOOPiMADE Smirk about the brands approach to design and their relationship with This Thing Of Ours among other things.
Ali: To those who aren’t in the know, could you try and sum up the GOOPiMADE approach to design?
Smirk: “The designs we make are for all ages of people who are seeking unique styles and functional garments, not only for outdoor activity but also very comfortable to wear even if you’re traveling in the city. The most important thing we want to build is a unique shape, which also provides the functionality to make you comfortable..”
Ali: Your background somewhat includes a period of military service in Taiwan, is that right? If so, can you expand on how that might have informed or impacted your approach to design?
Smirk: “Yes, that’s true. During the days I was serving in the military, I was in the department which takes charge of all the military garments and supplies which means I saw a lot of different products that are designed to be useful for a soldier. Some of them were so rare or new that even a general would not have seen them before. This gave me a lot of inspiration on what we could do to make the products more useful and functional. So many details we design are based on the need of a soldier during a war, it's just an imagination of mine.”
Ali: Can you tell us a bit more about your experience dealing with This Thing of Ours and how your relationship has developed over the last two years, where both of you have made a clear impact on the market?
Smirk: “It’s like the best thing that ever happened. To us, This Thing of Ours is one of the best stores in the UK. No matter the quality they provide or the images they show, they make GOOPiMADE different and through this partnership we have together, we have learned a lot from This Thing of Ours too. No doubt, they really built up the reputation and image for GOOPiMADE in the UK from zero. It’s an honour for us to work together.”
Ali: Is there a flagship GOOPiMADE product that you would recommend for newcomers to the brand to explore?
Smirk: “For any friends who are new to GOOPiMADE, I suggest trying any pants we make. I believe that the shape and all of the details will amaze those who try them on for the first time.”
Ali: What does the future hold for GOOPiMADE? Do you plan to continue on staying focused on an urban utility style or are you looking to carve out a different path?
Smirk: “The main path for GOOPiMADE is very clear: to produce high-quality garments that are useful, functional, and comfortable. As for the style, we never limit ourselves to make only one type of look. We collaborated with TIMEX to produce a military watch, collaborated with SUICOKE to make Tabi sandals and even collaborated with GQ to make suits. We will collaborate with some very nice Japanese brands this year to make something really cool; it’s all about making something cool! We can always design cool stuff not only in the “urban utility-style”, although that is what we are doing right now, but who knows? We can develop many cool things based on the Urban Outdoor concept, I suppose.”
Shop This Thing of Ours’ latest pieces from GOOPiMADE including the MB-01 Softbox Knit Beanie and D-9S Divisor Functional Pocket Shirt, to name but a few.