Since its inception in 2004, Commonwealth has been a mainstay in street, fashion and sportswear for the DMV area and the rest of the world. They’ve been able to make a name for themselves and stay ahead of the game not only with their well-edited selection of goods and strong self-branded merchandise, but also with a portfolio of premier collaborations. This weekend, Commonwealth is releasing the “Gemini” Gel Lyte V, their latest sneaker project with ASICS. We caught up with Omar Quiambao, co-founder of Commonwealth, to discuss the inspirations and the creative process behind the “Gemini” sneaker.
Nice Kicks: How did the collaboration with ASICS come about?
Omar Quiambao: Like a majority of our collaborative efforts, it usually starts out of a dialogue between like-minded individuals with similar intentions. Sometimes, it can be as simple as an enjoyable business/working relationship and wanting to build on that, or an admiration for what each brand does in their respective field/category.
Nice Kicks: What was the process of working with ASICS like?
Omar Quiambao: The team at ASICS have been great to work with during the sampling process. For this particular project, the conversation started almost two years ago. We started off talking about which models we like and what was going on in the market at the time. I’ll usually go through my sketchbook and a list of running ideas I have in the studio. Once I figure out the directions I’d like to go with, I’ll do comps/mock ups and share them with the Commonwealth team and a few confidants to get initial feedback. After that, tech packs. At the time, the Gel Lyte III was the dominant [collaborative] model, and the Gel Lyte V wasn’t even in the market yet. We sampled a few different concepts, and in different models. They all came out looking really good, but we decided the “Gemini” was what we wanted to come out of the gate with.