In light of the first delivery from OAMC SS17 arriving last week, I sat down with the creator Luke Meier to catch up on his brand and what he’s been up to lately. Check out the interview below and shop the new collection here. Peace.
How are you, How have you been?
Things are great! I’ve been busy as there are a lot of projects happening simultaneously, but it makes every day different which I really enjoy.
Can you talk about your recent Travels, Where have you been the past few months?
Mostly been bouncing around Europe and New York. Have been trying to get out there to LA and Vancouver lately also, but things haven’t lined up properly recently. I was lucky enough to get to Vals in Switzerland a few weeks back. Peter Zumthor is the man. Pushing to get to Uruguay ASAP.
OAMC comes off as a very global brand to me, do you like traveling?
I love traveling and I feel fortunate to do it so often. It’s obvious that traveling is a constant source of inspiration for anyone in any creative field, but I still feel privileged to be able to move around so much. I really have close friends in so many places, and my family is spread around all around the world that to see them all with relative frequency I have to move a lot.
Do you like feeling busy?
I like feeling busy, but only when busy means productive. Busy can be a result of having to untangle badly organized things too, which isn’t enjoyable. Being productive is the shit.
What keeps you going?
I’m obsessive about new. I always want to see new things, try new things, understand new things. I can get absorbed by things easily. Have always been.
What has been your latest source(s) of inspiration, outside of the clothing industry?
I’m rarely inspired by the clothing industry. Why I became involved in it was for the sociological aspect and the way that people use clothing as such strong expression. Fashion reflects feelings and perspectives, so I prefer to look at what motivates people to feel the way that they do, which results in certain expressions through clothes. Cultural movements, music, film, art, photography are all important sources of inspiration, as are my friends.
Is it hard to share your autobiographical experiences through garments?
Not really. I would say that my designs have a somewhat autobiographical aspect because they’re usually pieces that I want to wear myself. I don’t think of fictional characters; I think of what I want, and what my friends want, and make that.
How important is it to you to be creating a high quality product over an accessible one?
Those two ideas don’t necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. To me it’s always about value, which I think people have been misled about. There should be an honesty to the products. I always try to make the highest quality possible, with the right value. ‘Cheap’ or ‘expensive’ should always have the same level of value, although the price is of course different.
What do you hope your customer takes away from the brand?
That OAMC is something that represents the way they feel, or makes them feel better. OAMC is extremely high quality and reflects a current perspective about aesthetics. I believe that our customers are clever and they relate to the ideas I propose.
From what perspective would you say you are creating from?
A personal one which is shaped by what’s around me. I have an open mind to what brands can do, and I’m fortunate to be able to direct a brand in a free way. Being in Europe can sometimes make you feel that doing things in different ways is more difficult than it really is. I’m lucky that I grew up on the West Coast with a completely opposite attitude.
Has this perspective changed since you started the brand?
No, but as we grow I become more aware of the importance of doing things in an honest and genuine way. If you compromise that, you lose everything.
What does personal identity mean to you?
The way you view yourself. It’s why you choose to wear what you wear, it’s how you conduct yourself. It’s what you choose to support, and how you express yourself. Clothing is a powerful way to express your personal identity.
How do you identify yourself?
Forever a student, sometimes a teacher.
What scares you most about the industry?
That it perpetuates false images and creates false desire. I was initially attracted to the business because I related to certain brands and wanted to express exactly who I was by wearing something by that brand. Clothes are deeply personal to me. Now it seems like people only care about the brand itself, and are forgetting what the brand actually means beyond the logo.
How do you thrive off this fear?
What was your greatest achievement of 2016?
It wasn’t mine, but my Mom’s. It’s personal, but she achieved something miraculous this year.
Any major goals for 2017?
Continuing to learn, progressing, getting better. Also, starting a new job next month.
Beyond the industry what sort of impact do you hope to make with your craft?
I think that design is really an approach to how you see the world and interact within it, so I don’t think that the skills I have developed can only apply to this industry. The technical side is something that you need to acquire in a practical way, but a design or aesthetic approach is something that can be developed in a certain field and then practiced in another. I’m confident that I will work outside the fashion industry at some point. I hope that my work inspires people to create and helps them to see that it’s good to challenge the established ways of doing things.
Where do you hope to take the brand in the next 5 years?
My goal is to create an environment in which people can really experience OAMC. Not only something online, but an environment that lets people truly understand what the brand is about. Tactile experience, sound experience, spacial experience. It’s what I’m working toward and hopefully we’ll be able to create this environment worldwide.