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CAA Agent Christina Chou, Co-Founder of Must-Have Fashion Label Goodfight, on Dressing for Her Dual Roles

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Christina Chou’s days are filled with the usual duties of a Hollywood agent: taking meetings, closing deals and representing an all-star roster of writers, directors (Birds of Prey’s Cathy Yan, Minari’s Lee Isaac Chung) and actors (Steven Yeun, Squid Game’s Jung Ho-yeon). But beyond what’s required of her in the motion picture literary department at CAA, Chou also moonlights as a co-founder and CEO of fashion brand Goodfight.

The five-year-old label — which makes everything from high-tech athleisure to bespoke suiting — has had a banner year, dressing Chung at the Oscars in March; selling out of its Sound Room Shirt (a camp-collar top in Japanese velvet) after Justin Bieber wore it in DJ Khaled’s and Drake’s “Popstar” video; and designing a custom black skirt for Billie Eilish to wear at the MTV Movie Awards. Other names who have worn Goodfight include Kendrick Lamar, Baby Keem, Judas and the Black Messiah director Shaka King and The Umbrella Academy actor Justin Min. Most of its clothing items range between $80 and $750; the label is stocked in retailers like Dover Street Market and Union Los Angeles in addition to Goodfight.shop.

“We were so honored to make that bespoke suit for Lee Isaac Chung for the Oscars. He was approached by so many places, but he specifically was like: ‘I do want to wear an Asian American suiting brand,’” says Chou, who started the label with her husband, Caleb Lin (who serves as brand director), Calvin Nguyen (designer) and Julia Chu (creative director). “All of us try on and wear-test everything that we make,” says Lin.

The aesthetic is for professionals who aren’t cookie-cutter, says Chou: “They’re [people] who [as kids] maybe were reading during recess or were playing with everybody but felt a little lonely, or were really into underground culture and may or may not have had to suppress it growing up. We want some of our pieces to remind folks that it’s OK — we’re those kids, too. We might be in the professional world, we might be growing adults, but there’s that weird, awesome, peculiar kid in you; we want to bring it out.”

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Sound Room Shirt in black velvet ($300); the Elastic Waist Permapress Trousers Taper ($315) features subtle waistband loops for hanging keys and extra phone/wallet pockets; a model sports the Standard Fit Tee in “Slime” ($80), goodfight.shop

Courtesy of Subject (2)

Chou’s go-to pieces include the Venus Bowler Shirt, embroidered in Japan with images of a Venus flytrap plant — “It’s kind of like my ‘hero piece.’ It’s [in] a beautiful black velvet fabric that’s been really popular,” she says — and the Rappeler Hoodie, which features a slightly oversize dropped shoulder for maximum comfort and two drawstrings. “Anytime I’m on the plane, I’m wearing this. There’s a bit of quirkiness with having two laces instead of one,” says Chou, adding of her CEO position at Goodfight, “I feel like my role is simply to keep the company up and running, making sure we’re not getting lost in the weeds too much and that we’re pivoting in the right way.”

Many items in the line address the current environment where people — transitioning back to office life — are searching for the perfect mix of sophistication, utility and ease. The Elastic Waist Permapress Trousers, for example, are unisex dress pants that are cut in a suiting-style polygabardine and are designed to pivot effortlessly between home and office — hence the elevated pin-tuck seam paired with a comfortable, stretchy waist. And the Eaze Shirt illustrates the Goodfight team’s focus on elevating basics: The button-down is versatile for all occasions and comes in a special blue-striped Japanese poplin that keeps wrinkles at bay. (To manufacture its clothing, the company says it works with factories based in Los Angeles that pay living wages.)

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Artist Azikiwe Mohammed (with director Garrett Bradley) in a Goodfight bespoke suit at the 2021 Oscars; Shaka King in the wool-blend Grandpa Cardigan

Matt Petit/A.M.P.A.S./Getty Images; Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

According to Chou — who grew up in Illinois as a child of Chinese immigrants (and who was named to THR‘s Next Gen 2021 list in November) — her formula for infusing the office environment with personal style rests on staying true to one’s roots.

“I have loved a lot of the women leadership of the company [CAA] and seeing how they approach not only their professional lives but their own individual voices,” she says. “I love seeing a lot of mentors and peers of mine feeling confident, feeling professional, being respectful to people around them and dressing for the occasion, but also with a little bit of personality. I feel like that jibes really well with not only Goodfight but how I like to conduct myself at work.”

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Justin Bieber in the velvet Sound Room Shirt in the “Popstar” video. “We sourced a heavyweight Japanese velvet to mimic the velvet often used in recording studios. The result was a subtle yet stunning camp collar shirt that is perfect for formal or office settings for all genders,” says Goodfight co-founder Caleb Lin.

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Recently, Goodfight launched their everyday technology collection, a response to the pandemic’s effect on personal style and the utility of clothes mostly worn in the home.

“[It] was really birthed out of a time where we started valuing the everyday essentials in the closet — your favorite things that you always wear, that you turn to especially in the pandemic because it’s comfortable and makes [you] feel good,” Chou says. “And so a lot of the everyday technology pieces are exactly that. They still have a little bit of flair, a little bit of quirkiness and sharpness, but are meant to be like you could live in them every day.” The runner shorts, for instance, are a deceptively simple but highly engineered product, featuring a mesh interior to limit pocket sagging.

And though Chou’s parallel roles as CAA agent and brand co-founder might seem like they exist in two different orbits, her skill set working in entertainment has proven transferrable to the fashion business.

“I find you often have to relate with your clients, and a lot of my clients are small-business owners — they are thinking of their people, their team, their systems, their creative executives,” she says. “They’re producers thinking about, ‘How do we grow? How do we not just get the next job, but actually have a career? How do we get our spaceship to the moon and back?’ I find it’s always really fun to talk with people that I consider my friends and my partners in life and say, ‘All right, let’s do this together. Where do we want to be in five years? How do we want to grow?’”

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Lee Isaac Chung (in Goodfight), left, and Valerie Chung at the Academy Awards on April 25, 2021.

Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

source : https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/style/caa-christina-chou-fashion-label-goodfight-1235058158/

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