Experimental label, Depression, is famous for its notorious deconstruction and clinical aesthetics that eschews cookie-cutter formulas of design.
Their fame grew further when they nabbed the first prize at the Pioneer designer Superior Club Sound competition (if they’re not already famous for Adam Lambert donning a pair of their shoes at the 2013 VMAs).
We caught up with the designers behind the brand – creative director, Andrew Loh, and designer/director, Kenny Lim – at the Stuff Cover Girl Search 2014, and picked their brains on the thoughts that went behind their design, as well as why fashion is an important element in tech.
What’s the story behind Depression?
Kenny: "We were in the advertising industry for more than five years and the long working hours were beginning to take a toll on us, so much so that we started feeling depressed. So we thought why not create a brand that picks up from that and can be translated into our designs."
Andrew: "Moving into the fashion space enabled us to use our creativity in other industries as well. For example, tech brands, such as HTC, Sennheiser, and obviously, Pioneer, started coming to us to create designs for them."
What was your thought process behind the Pioneer designer headset?
Kenny: "Pioneer is all about breakthrough technology, and we’re all about breakthrough design. We want to lead in our industry and break as much ground just as they do in theirs. It’s also all about our similar ideas of not being followers."
Andrew: "The thing that I find in common with Pioneer is to not think and go all out in the designs. We experimented with studs, leather, and chains, and Pioneer did not restrict any of our creative process, which we loved. Creativity in any industry should not be constrained."
How does Depression’s design fit into tech?
Kenny: "We focus on the “dark natural” side of things. Using designs such as the black beetle or black rose, we target the “evil twin” side of any person. I think it’s a psychological process to purchase, which is also what tech does – use psychological power to appeal to people."
Andrew: "Tech is no longer restricted to tech geeks anymore. It is worn on a person, and has become part of his/her lifestyle, very much like a fashion accessory. Tech is now big in fashion and people want it to complement their personality and the clothes they wear."
If you could change one piece of tech to make it look better, what would that be?
Kenny: "It will definitely be the overhead projector – it’s mostly mounted on the ceiling and sticks out like a sore point. Creativity in its look can be fit seamlessly to match the interior design of the room."
Andrew: "I would change something in furnishing too, or even the NETS machine – it looks so boring – there is a still lot of room for growth in that area. There is nothing wrong in adding edgy studs or leather to tech that sit in a home or business."