Posted by Kevin Yu
THE LIGHTBULB
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I'm not good runner. I'm getting old and it hurts my knees. But the Katy Trail is right by my house. And it is as close to nature as we can get living in the city.  Over the years, the trail has become my refuge.
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Years ago, I joined the local running club and have come to love my gear. I sweat profusely. At the end of each workout, I'm usually covered from head to toe.  My favorite running shirt is a thin, moisture-wicking, short sleeve that makes me feel light as air. I remember looking down at my shirt and thinking 

Why can't I be this comfortable while I'm on stage?

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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT
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It was a crowded stage. There are giant spotlights cooking over us. In the older concert halls, the circulation is so bad you can smell each other.
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We had just finished performing Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. You'll recognize the melody. Most of us haven't heard the entire piece. That's because it's five movements and lasts an eternity.
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It was getting hot up there! It started as sweat beneath my armpits. Then my forehead started dripping. My shirt grabbed on to my arms and my chest. The collar was choking my breath. There was an odor from my jacket.  After the last chord, I ran off the stage as fast as I could. 
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I GOT 99 PROBLEMS

I needed more comfortable formal wear! I visited every Men's Wearhouse and scoured the internet. I went to every tailor for advice and even visited with the Opera company's costume designer. After an exhaustive search, I reached a broad conclusion -

Those that fit are not functional. And those that are functional do not fit.

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A SHORT HISTORY

"Women's fashion changes every day. Men's fashion changes once a century"

In the West, men's and women's fashions changed with similar frequency before the modern era. When the Enlightenment proclaimed the equality of all men, the need for fashion to distinguish social rank was somewhat neutralized. Additionally, the standardization of military uniforms meant that men no longer went to war in their own clothes, which further promoted conformity. The tailored man's suit emerged as a great social leveler in the 19th century, and it has changed very little since.

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THE INCEPTION

We had two objectives when we started this journey:

(1) Honor the Occasion - We want to look good. First and foremost, formal wear must serve to honor the occasion.  

(2) Support Movement - Formal wear must support, rather than restrict, movement.

We wanted to begin with the largest paint point, which is the tuxedo jacket. But for a more attainable first project, we chose to solve a problem that is closest to the body and next to skin -- the tuxedo shirt.

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EPIPHANY

We took inspiration from the top athletes in the world. From the NBA to NFL, uniforms have progressed from cotton to stretchable-breathable performance fabrics.  There is greater emphasis on concepts such as: performance enhancement, comfort, range of motion, and moisture transport. 

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RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Based on the Two Rules, we began to research different fabrics and design patterns.  We were unsurprised by the infinite varieties of advanced fabrics on the market. Advanced fabrics are somewhat amorphous and do not hold shape. With regards to design, we also found the existing pattern to be stale and highly unsuitable for movement.

 

FORM + FUNCTION

We had to ask a lot of questions. But more importantly, we have to use our imagination. What were were trying to make had never existed.
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Our earliest prototypes began from a simple need: a particular item that does not yet exist; refinements to an existing piece of formal attire; addressing comfort or textile compromises; a feature that wastes time. We tried to re-imagine the next generation of performance wear for musicians that are both formal as well as functional.
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THE STUDY OF MOTION
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We passed the prototype to some of the top musicians in the area. We simply asked them to put the product to the test.
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From then, we observed and asked questions. How to violinists move? Where does the collar meet the instrument? Are they able to move their shoulders? How does the motion of other musicians such as cellists, timpanists, pianists and conductors differ? 
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Ergonomic fit is an important detail that may not be immediately visible but makes a significant difference to your overall comfort. The Coregami experience is emphasized by the fit of our products: there is a unique sensation of freedom inside our garments ergonomically planned articulation designed to move with your body.
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FEATURES & INNOVATIONS
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  • Moisture-wicking fabric keeps you cool and dry
  • 4-Way stretch fabric follows your every move
  • Open-shoulder design allows for wider range of motion
  • Anti-Stink to do away with body odors
  • Flat Seems to eliminate chaffing
  • Good bye dry cleaning bill
  • Battle tested by professional musicians
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RINSE & REPEAT
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Our stage testing is unique: our designer tests the product under real world conditions as well as put them on elite concert musicians for serious situational testing. Design is a process, not an event. Feedback is collected and we continue to let the design concept evolve.

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WHY WE DO IT

I've spent a few decades in the corporate world. However, I'm a musician at heart. 

Music is part of our lives and who we are today. As such, we have created a platform to give back to our community of musicians and support music education for our next generation. Today, we are actively lending our time and expertise to young musicians across the country. 

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QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, or FEEDBACK?

There's a long road ahead. It's our rookie season and we're trying to get better. If you have any comments or simply would like to have a chat, please send me an email or give me a call. I'll be here!

 

Kevin 

kevin@coregami.com

214.530.0022

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