Interview with Ric Chiang (è”£å…ˆå¨) & Jay Chou (å‘¨æ°å€«) of PHANTACi
Interview by: AJH
Translated by: Poe
Produced by: Dan Hwang (DAN H.)
Situated in the trend setting neighborhood of Taipei City’s Eastern District (æ±å€), where shoppers would find landmarks such as Taipei 101 skyscraper and stores like Undercover Taipei, is PHANTACi. More than just a simple urban fashion retailer, PHANTACi has the unique distinguishment as the only store with Nike’s “Tier 0” account on this island nation.
A partnership between famed musician/actor Jay Chou (å‘¨æ°å€«) and his long time friend Ric Chiang (è”£å…ˆå¨). PHANTACi is the materialization of the 2 owners’ life-long interest with urban culture, from its cloistered stance from mainstream culture to its limitless potentials for individual expression. These 2 ideals played important roles in the store’s unique name, an amalgamation of the words “phantom” and “fantasy”.
Since its founding in 2006, PHANTACi has not only become the event space of many Nike product premiere events. It is now hub where Taiwan-based and international artists showcased their collaborations, such as the “I Can’t Brake” exhibition to promote fixed gear culture. To understand PHANTACi’s plans for both near and long term, plus its insights on the Taiwan marketplace, Freshness sat with both founders for a brief chat.
1F., No.63, Lane 223, Sec. 4, Jhongsiao E. Rd., | Map
Da-an District, Taipei City 106, Taiwan
TEL: +886 2 8773 1426
Could you share with us how PHANTACi, the store and its name came about?
Ric: In its earliest form, PHANTACi was just a small store Jay and I started. We wanted to it to focus on things that we like, trends we thought that were interesting. Including, of course, lots of sneakers. However recently, we begin to test PHANTACi as a brand on the global arena, especially after our collaborations with Nike and others. As for the name PHANTACi, it was Jay’s idea. By combining the ideals he like about urban culture, along with his multi-facet roots in the music and movie world. He thought we should combined the words “fantasy” and “phantom” together. It is a bit mysterious and a bit playful take on the definitions of the 2 words.
*Note:* “Fantasy” was the title of Jay Chou’s second album.
Feature and Interview continue after the jump…
Since PHANTACi opened 2 years, what moments stood out the most for you both?
Jay Chou: Of course when you own a store and a label, there are many moments that would be memorable. But one that stood out from the rest was when we got the Nike “Tier 0” account. By the way, did I mention we got “Tier 0” account? (Laughs)
Yes, about the Nike “Tier 0” account and to be the only retailer in Taiwan to have it, can you discuss the process in obtaining it?
Ric: We were extremely happy to get such an important account in such a short period of time. But, the work we put in before Nike’s approval was unimaginable. What really helped PHANTACi, I think, was our previous collaborations with Nike. These gained their trust of us to do things correctly. Plus the fact that Jay’s able to keep track of the constant changing trends. I think both played important parts in us getting the “Tier 0” account.