We caught up with the founder and CEO of California-based streetwear brand Publish to talk about our limited-edition, head-to-toe collaboration.
Like hip-hop and Broadway, socks and sandals, or streetwear and outdoors—once you see these two unlikely, yet innovative ideas come together, you can’t imagine the world without them.
Sharing a thirst for creative expression, we teamed up with our friends at the lifestyle brand Publish to design a full head-to-toe outfit that blends our river roots with their streetwear sensibility. Best known for pioneering men’s Jogger Pants, Publish is a favorite amongst urban creatives—photographers, writers, musicians, and artists—who live for making and seeing their work “published.”
The limited-edition collaboration includes the men’s Original Universal Premier sandal with a custom military-inspired webbing pattern, Teva x Publish Brand Tee, and Legacy Jogger pant customized with reinforced saddle and thigh seams featuring the Teva x Publish Brand signature webbing.
We caught up with Michael Huynh, Founder & CEO of Publish to talk more about the company’s origins, his favorite international cities for inspiration, and why golfing is his latest obsession.
Close-up on the Teva x Publish Original Universal Premier sandals with custom military-inspired webbing pattern, safety orange midsole and tri-ring.
Tell us about how you started Publish.
Publish Brand began as a way to put my creative work and identity out in the world. I started doing graphic design at 14-years-old and went to school for interactive media design. I’ve always been interested in how things are created and making things. My father had a footwear business in Vietnam and I thought about picking it up, but instead, I felt drawn to clothing. Though I didn’t have formal training as an apparel designer, I designed a collection of garments and booked a trip to China, Vietnam, and the Philippines where I blindly visited factories. The rest got us here today.
It was a leap, for sure, but I was young and I could start over if it didn’t work out. It was about creating an opportunity against relatively minimal risk. At the time, I knew that I had to work hard today so that the tomorrow I dreamed of would manifest. “Today for Tomorrow.” Publish was built on the idea that people strive to establish their identity through acts of creation. We hope to inspire others to publish themselves, as we are, and hope that our mantra, “Today for Tomorrow,” resonates with other creatives.
Meet Michael Huynh, Founder and CEO of Publish.
As the founder and creative director, what’s a typical day at work look like for you?
There is no typical day. It’s a balance between immediate tasks, team management, and creative direction. Each day is different. One day could be all emails, the next could be all phone calls or meetings, and the next could be all photoshoots. It’s more a typical week full of motivating our team, taking meetings to stay connected to the industry, and hours where I lock my door to find inspiration and do creative work.
Pictured: The Teva x Publish Limited-Edition collection.
Your Jogger Pants have a cult following! How did the first Jogger Pants come to life?
It was a happy accident. We sent off a tech pack [a package that explains all the design and construction details of a product to the manufacturer] with the intent of making a sweatpant. When the sample came back, it was in a cotton twill fabric. We were shocked but also, it was interesting and unique. At the time, skinny jeans were transitioning into a trend and we knew we needed to stay ahead of the curve and shake things up a bit. Our Brand Director, Alex James, and I started putting together ideas on how we could market the pants and things started taking off from there—from 50 units, to 300 units, to 5,000 units, to 100,000 units a season. The rest was history.
Publish is made for creators and “publishers” of all kinds. What are some of your creative hobbies?
Luckily, my career is my creative outlet. I enjoy every bit of it. However, lately, I’ve picked up another creative hobby: golf. Let me explain. Golf is the most difficult sport, period. There is an immense amount of strategic and creative thinking in golf and it’s a game of “misses.” There are many ways to hit, or “shape,” a shot. It’s similar to an artist laying down a foundation of colors before painting. Golf allows my mind to be free, to take a break from everyday obligations, and just focus on the craft of the game. I wished I participated in it a long time ago. Now, I’m on a mission to grab every creative friend I have to go golfing.
The Legacy Jogger features Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating that repels water. The style’s relaxed rise and tapered leg are designed to be paired with the Original Universal Premier sandal. Pictured: The Teva x Publish Limited-Edition collection.
Tell us more about the head-to-toe Teva x Publish collab outfit. What’s the story behind the styling, color palette, and the special design details?
In every project, we try to outline and highlight our strongest suit and in this Teva collab, we focused on the jogger pants. Even though we’re known as the “jogger pants” brand, there are many more layers to our brand than a single category. At our core, we try to elevate every product and garment we touch. The challenge here was putting our touch on our signature joggers in a way that we hope will resonate with Teva’s audience. It’s very streetwear vs. outdoors. As for the colors of the project, we went with Orange, Olive and Black as those resonate with our military aesthetic. Since day one, military and workwear are the core inspirations behind our garments.
Publish has done quite a few cool collabs. What was special about working with Teva and why?
Publish isn’t a streetwear company—we’re a brand founded on the idea of publishing ideas, in this instance, ours. That’s why we have the flexibility of doing different, unique collaborations from one end of the spectrum to the other. Teva was a special project for us as it’s our continuation into the outdoors market. Teva allowed us to be free of creative restraints while challenging us to be strategic with the design language so it would be digestible to both spectrums of both audiences.
The Teva x Publish Brand Tee, available in orange and constructed from a brushed microfiber fabric.
What are your first memories of wearing Teva sandals?
On my first junior high school field trip to see tide pools. And now 20-something years later to be able to land a project with Teva is definitely a dream.
I hear you travel often for inspiration. What are your favorite cities to get inspired and why?
Hands down, Tokyo, Japan. Japanese people are crazy fanatics, often times too much. But they do everything RIGHT. If you’re a greaser, you expect the fullest representation of that culture. If you’re into outdoors, they will embrace it 110%. I just love the pureness of the country. You can get the robust, busy life of Tokyo, or you can embrace the serenity of a small town like Ise. Self-exploration has always helped me creatively. When I am burnt out creatively, I can take a quick trip and I am able to return to the creative process again. This is partially why we enjoy doing collaborations with outdoor brands. I’d love for our audience to have similar participation with self-exploration. In 2020, we’re gearing up for some really cool outdoors-inspired products!