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Freshness Feature: ACU

ACU x SUBCREW Trucker Cap ACU Monogram Raglan Tee ACU Hoodie ACU Hoodie ACU Pullover Describe what its like working with a team of close friends that happen to be as talented as yours? I believe as a team we cannot make it without each othe. Of …
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Freshness Feature: ACU

Interview with Tom Chung, Owner of ACU

Interview and Written by: Tom Bradley

Produced by: Dan Hwang

Founded by a group of longtime friends, ACU has given life to the fledgling Chinese streetwear market. Western ideals are infused with Eastern values as the brand develops into an internationally renowned label. With a few collaborations under their belt, ACU is forging a new identity for their community and changing the market as a whole.


Shop#15, 139 Changle Road | Map

Shanghai, China

Interview and Feature continue after the jump…

Tom Chung, owner of ACU


ACU Team


Discuss the type of friendship that exists among the founding members of CLOT/ACU?

We’ve known each other for AGES!!! We practically grew up together, then split up for Uni, then got back together afterwards. We are a family!!!

How did the ideas and practices of Acupuncture inspire and inform your work on this project?

Personally I believe in Chinese Medicine more than Western Medicine… I’ve also tried ACUpuncture for about 2 years now. And it really does work…..and why the name ACU is also because most of our members have gotten their education in the west… and we wanted to make ACU a place where East meets West….

ACU x CLOT – Nike Footscape Woven & ACU x CLOT – Nike Presto Dunk (Dunkesto)


ACU x CLOT – Nike Footscape Woven


ACU x CLOT – Nike Footscape Woven


ACU x CLOT – Nike Presto Dunk (Dunkesto)


ACU x CLOT – Nike Presto Dunk (Dunkesto)


What are some of the design cues we can look to as obvious representations of this influence?

Well basically a lot of our inspirations come from certain Chinese elements and through that we try and apply it to areas where we find it applicable. Hence the “East Meets West” is where we try and fuse the two together to create something that no one has ever created before.

What is the Chinese streetwear community like in comparison to Japan, NY and LA?

This market is definitely less mature in some parts….but the market is growing really fast….most people in cities like Tokyo, New York City or Los Angeles they have adapted the street culture into their daily lives but most ppl here in china are still thinking of it as a trend more than a lifestyle.



Can you remember a particular moment when the idea for a shop/brand crystallized, motion began to take place and arrangements started being made?

I believe it was at the CLOT office in Hong Kong…..where most of us meet on a regular basic and this was shortly after the Nike CLOT Air Max 1 launch…

What was that energy like and how has it changed over time?

We were very excited in doing this, the energy was very strong, and over time it has developed into a business and now a part of what I do everyday.





What has been the most difficult aspect of owning and operating a store in addition to a house label?

Getting the story out to a totally new market and new audience!

Currently, how close is the project to your original vision for it?

We are still working on it 200%..but at the mean time I think it is good. But our visions have always been straight and we haven’t made any turns…

ACU Logo Tee


ACU tee

ACU Polo Tee


What growth has occurred within the crew regarding sense of style, business, and overall capabilities?

We have always been the same people since we meet each other 15+ yrs ago….but as a crew we’ve definitely matured over these past few years, and we’re better at what we do now I suppose hahaha.

We operate in a very brand-conscious world. How does the level of awareness on behalf of the consumers help or hurt what you do as a store or label?

I love it when the CONSUMERS talk about our store and our label…we can only make things better if we hear from them…

ACU x SUBCREW Trucker Cap


ACU Monogram Raglan Tee


ACU Hoodie


ACU Hoodie


ACU Pullover


Describe what its like working with a team of close friends that happen to be as talented as yours?

I believe as a team we cannot make it without each othe. Of course some team members are stronger in other aspects than me. So, we strive to do the best at what we each can produce.

How do you change your design process when collaborating on a product with other brands?

I believe we stand pretty strong on our point of view…but we love comments!!! When it comes to collaborating we would like to sit and chat and brainstorm….so we can make both sides happy. We normally have a basic idea of what we want to do, and we try and execute it, but once the other side sees it, they might have a couple comments, and from there we work together and try and find the common ground in which where we can truly collaborate and produce something exciting.

What are you working on right now that you are excited about?

My Life!