Have you ever wondered about the story behind the name Smith+Parka? Well, let me share it with you!

When I embarked on my journey in the menswear fashion industry, I chose to brand my designs under the name Smith. It was a deliberate choice—a name that was clear, straightforward and carried an American vibe. Back then, inclusivity wasn't as prevalent, especially for an Asian designer like myself. Using a hypothetical moniker made it easier for people to grasp the essence of my designs without preconceptions.

For over a decade, the name Smith adorned my portfolio, proving its effectiveness. It resonated with interviewers, swiftly conveying the aesthetic of my brand. The corporate designer opportunities flowed in, fueled by this relatable branding.

However, by 2014, I found myself in a creative slump within the confines of my corporate design job. I yearned to reclaim my identity as a designer in my own right. I firmly believed that if I couldn't bring my designs to life, I wasn't truly fulfilling my calling. Despite vowing never to sew again after my graduation, I was eager to express my tailoring and pattern-making skills acquired at F.I.T.

Thus, the idea of establishing my own brand took root. Yet, the nondescript nature of "Smith" posed a challenge. It lacked the distinctiveness needed to launch a standout brand, especially amidst countless others bearing the same surname. I needed to add something to make this name more unique. Drawing inspiration from my favorite designer Ralph Lauren, who ingeniously merged "Polo" with his brand, I sought to infuse significance into my own label. I know he is referring to the sport but it also heavily is based on the name of the shirt.

"Parka" emerged as the perfect complement—a nod to both my affection for the garment and its symbolic connection to my journey, being the first piece I crafted at F.I.T. Combining the two words (reminiscent of other brand names like Smith & Hawken and Smith & Wesson, etc...) felt harmonious. Phonetically pleasing and evenly balanced, it struck the right chord, hinting at craftsmanship, outdoor allure, and a touch of luxury, adaptable to various aesthetics.

As time passed, my fondness for the name deepened. Crafting a brand narrative intertwined with its name's origin became an unexpected yet cherished aspect of my entrepreneurial journey.