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April 14, 2010

Annie, Jess and Mel

Filed by Om Republic @ 8:42 am

From L to R: With Annie; with Jessica; Melini

“How did you come up with names for the designs?”¬† That’s a question I’ve been asked¬†several times.

When the design prototypes were finalized and it was time to give a name to each style, the first names that came to my mind were the names of long-time friends of mine who are passionate about movement, and have been extremely generous in providing input, comments and suggestions all along.

Annie¬†and¬†I¬†met through dance club in secondary school, where we¬†shared the same crazy enthusiasm over Chinese dance.¬† Annie’s now ¬†into pilates.¬† She has¬†always¬†been¬†my go-to person for a candid opinion on anything from styles and colors, to business ideas.¬† Annie loves halters, so the first halter in the collection was named after her.

Jessica is another dance fanatic I met through dance club.  She still attends ballet classes today.  Always thoughtful and infinitely patient, Jessica endured countless versions of my drafts in the planning stages and provided invaluable feedback.   The cami with the cute ruched front is named after her, not least for her unwavering support.

Melini¬†and¬†I met in¬†business school.¬† We bonded over job recruiting,¬†and share similar¬†interests in¬†dance and movement.¬† Yoga,¬†pilates, dance–she does them all with finesse.¬† Feedback, suggestions,¬†thoughts–she has given me more than I can thank her for.¬†¬†When it came to naming¬†the cami with the dance-inspired scoop back, Mel naturally came to mind.

And there you have it: Annie Halter, Jess Cami, and Mel Cami.

April 6, 2010

Designing for Movement

Filed by Om Republic @ 4:20 pm


Om Republic is the coming together of¬†my interests in¬†yoga, dance, art, and design.¬† One of the¬†best things about¬†designing a line of apparel centered around my interest in movement is that work never really feels like work.¬† Here’s a¬†look¬†at what goes on during part of the design process.

When I receive¬†the fitting samples, one of the first things I do is to put them through a wear test.¬†¬†The¬†garments have to look good, feel good and allow a full range of motion.¬† Forward bends, twists, backbends, inversions–you name it.¬† It’s quite a lot¬†of work to put every design through these stress (and stretch) tests, but it’s also a lot of fun.¬† Of course,¬†a side benefit¬†is that¬†it helps me get better at¬†the yoga asanas.¬† But¬†the most rewarding part is, tweaking and refining a style such¬†that not only does it have¬†a¬†distinct design element, it’s comfortable to wear¬†and¬†provides freedom of movement.

April 3, 2010

Inspiration – Sights, Sounds & Silhouettes

Filed by Om Republic @ 6:19 pm

When you browse our online store, you’ll notice that about one-third of our collection¬†is distinguished by subtle Oriental styling.¬†¬†We’ve gotten a lot of flattering feedback on these¬†Eastern touches from our customers and friends (thank you all!), so I wanted to share where the inspiration comes from.

It’s Chinese classical dance–the sights, sounds and silhouettes that I grew up with.¬† And what is Chinese classical dance?¬† I don’t think I can do it enough justice by summarizing it in a sentence, but here’s a¬†photo that¬†provides a sampling.¬†¬†Titled Moon Night, this is¬†a dance that I performed in many, many years¬†ago–at age 15.¬† The set was sublimely beautiful, the music liltingly lyrical, and¬†the steps¬†expertly choreographed like a seamless wave.¬† When I started sketching the designs for the first Om Republic collection, memories from my growing up years as a dance student naturally came flooding back.¬† The result?¬† Several styles that were inspired by the¬†essence and¬†fluidity¬†Chinese classical dance.

p.s.¬†… and in¬†case you’re wondering, that’s me in the front row, leftmost, in a backbend.

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