OMSOM x Gentle Oriental

I was invited by OMSOM to design a pair of socks for their Lunar New Year merch launch! This project was particularly exciting because I have been a big fan of OMSOM for quite a while. Their brand is "Loud and Proud," paving the way for new Asian American culture that deviates from the old (stereotypical) norms that we are held against as Asians.

The Design Brief

What really drove this creative brief was the fact that OMSOM said they are: maximalist, bold, surprising and delightful, and are NOT: retro/vintage, pristine, old-school. For this Lunar New Year launch, they were focused on celebrating our Asian roots but also imagining the future of Asian America: rethinking an Asian American holiday that doesn't have to be tied down by traditions and nostalgia. What does a third culture New Year celebration look like?

The turnaround for this brief was very fast; within less than a week I was creating a unique pair of socks that responded successfully.


Right away I started sketching ideas; with a quick turnaround the order of operations is to quickly ideate, pare down ideas that most successfully fit, and then decide on a final design. These are the sketches that I designed with their brief in mind, as well as their color scheme as a constraint (which is always helpful):

Sketches Page 1
Sketches Page 2

I was inspired by ideas of "loudness" and "boldness" so I was initially exploring visual concepts that expanded on this disruptive nature: soundwaves, bang's, and flames. Chili peppers were very literal. I also explored the words, "SPICY" and "ZESTY" (words that accentuate the pungent flavors of Asian cuisine. I sent over these sketches within the first 3 days to see what they thought.

Revision 1

Revision 1 sketches

Their feedback was that they enjoyed the "mouth sequence" socks as well as the "zesty/spicy" pairing. They were also interested in a mismatched pair.

Revision 2

Revision 2 sketches

Second revision they were interested in seeing both the mouth sequence as well as "shouting mouth" as it felt very bold and proud. And, asked to see one of the socks with an abstract pattern to make an asymmetrical pair.

Revision 3

Final Sketch

With this final sketch approved, I went ahead to create the final print files and we ended up with the version that shipped a week later!

Final Design

Final Design photography
Final Sock Design

OMSOM is a culinary brand that makes ready-to-cook sauce packets for Asian cuisine.