Jeremy Ho and Peter Hu announce their New York-based design studio, Ouer, with their latest collection, Collection 000. Ouer stems from the Mandarin word “偶尔” which means “occasionally,” as the duo has created a body of occasion-wear clothing inspired by masculinity and queer experience.
The eight-piece collection consists of pants, shorts, shirts, and cardigan jackets consisting of oversized silhouettes and aesthetics of formality and youthfulness. Ho and Hu fuse together culture, generational fashion, and icons of masculinity to create a timeless, versatile collection. The two designers spoke with Flaunt about the influences behind Collection 000, their time creating together, and what they hope their creation brings to the world.
Can you talk about your inspiration and first ideas for this collection, and expand on the idea of creating a collection rooted in queer experience
Ouer, for the both of us has been a visualization of the thoughts and feelings we have been feeling for a while, and it is rooted in our wants and also our shared history. For the first collection that we just released, we thought about what Asian Masculinity meant to us, especially because there are not a lot of examples in popular culture. One of the biggest culture exports with Asian male leads have been the Kung-Fu or Wuxia films, and while great for representation, the image that these characters have are of traditional macho heroism. That is very limiting to people who don't fit that mold, like for us. We wanted to pay tribute but also twist that idea a bit to reflect on ourselves. Queerness to us is the desire to express our true selves, from high glam to sexiness, we want to be multifaceted humans. We designed the collection with expression in mind, it can be styled in so many ways, or worn separately, it still feels special.
How has your experience in the industry shaped your ideas of fashion and creation?
Having worked in the industry for a while, we really have an appreciation for the craft of making clothes, and we often geek out about fabric, construction and cut. However we also know what all that has to result in a product that makes the wearer feel something. We want our customers to feel like they are the most special person in the world when they are wearing Ouer.
What does the brainstorming process look like for the two of you? How do you move forward on creative ideas that you don’t see eye to eye on?
We have known each other for a long time and have a lot of experiences that are similar or shared, so the process comes quite naturally to us. We are constantly talking to each other about ideas in a casual way, and are very aligned on the vision. We have a lot of trust in each other to be collaborative while retaining openness and adaptability, it has worked well for us.
What is your first memory of loving fashion/design? When did you know this was important to you?
PH: When I was growing up in Calgary, Canada, Fashion Television with Jeanne Beker and Fashion Files with Tim Blanks had the time slot on TV just when I was getting home from school. I became so enamored with those programs, and couldn’t believe the worlds that these designers were creating. Fashion became a vehicle for me to fantasize and an outlet for me to express myself.
JH: Growing up in Hong Kong, my first touchpoint for fashion was admiring pop idols like Leslie Cheung. His daring aesthetic was one that stood out from everything at the time. Being a closeted celebrity then, he used fashion as a mean for storytelling and self expression that had a huge impact on me as a kid.
What do you hope to contribute to the fashion world? Do you have any goals or plans for this upcoming year?
We really want Ouer to stand for humility and community, and be a different voice that can speak to someone in a way that is not a dictation but a dialogue. We are already working on our next range, and hoping to work with more collaborators that we love.