Taiwan Part 3: When Harry Met Sung.

Let me start by telling you a little bit about our beloved CEO, Harry Chen.  In the shoe business, he’s a living legend, a demigod of shoes.  Any trade show I walk into with him, at least 5 people of any age or background will know who he is then make sure to tell me I’m working for the right guy.  He’s got a real acute talent for finding other talent and maximizing it.  When you meet him, within the first few moments, you realize you’re not really talking to any typical guy but more of a ‘spirit’ as Sung described him.  It was he who told his brothers that for their family business to really blossom, they should evolve from an already very successful trading company to a brand.

And he made it happen.  In 5000 years of Chinese history, no brand has ever managed to become a global fashion footwear brand.  That’s right, we did it.  Do we get an award?  He’s a natural born PR/Marketing genius so in a very short time I’ve managed to learn quite a bit from him.

Anyway, while Sung and I were in Taiwan, Harry was in China.  While the ads were being shot, I sent over a few pictures I snapped of the goings ons.

Sung getting styled up.

Here’s some from the fittings:

Sneaker Deluxe

Indie Exec

Officer Couture

Footballer Chic

Tuxedo Man

Easy Rider

Shooting Footballer Chic

Julie was lovely enough to document it all.  The documentary will be coming out soon!

That evening, after I had sent these out, I got a call from Harry.  He told me he’d be in Taiwan the next day.  He could sense the energy and knew that if he were there, he’d could bring something to the table.  Sure enough the next day, Harry was there.  When Harry’s around, everything goes tenfold.  It was also the first time he’d meet Sung so he decided he’d take us out for some insane teppanyaki.

As it turned out, Harry and Sung got along really well.  It wasn’t any surprise to me really because Sung perfectly embodies the philosophy and spirit of Jump that Harry has worked so hard for the past 30 years to instill into the brand.

The next day was equally as crazy as the last.  We started the day by scouting out some spots for opening a Jump store in Taipei.  That’s right, you heard it here first, we’ll be bringing it back to where it all started!  We then had lunch with some of Harry’s old buddies who happen to be the heads of all the major media networks in Taiwan.  He introduced them to Sung and caught up with them to talk about what we’d accomplished in the rest of the world and our plans for Asia.  They all agreed that when the store opened, we would have to do a big press conference.  Our next stop was to the ICRT radio station’s studio where DJ Louisa Lee would interview Sung.  ICRT is Taiwan’s international radio station.

It turned out to be a really good interview.  Check it out here.

After that we had dinner plans where Sung would meet the Taiwanese press.  Things were tight as Sung’s flight left that night but we managed to meet everyone.

It so happens that some of the journalists happened to be his big fans, some of which had even traveled to Korea the last time he was there.  I tried acting as interpreter but as it turned out, the journalists spoke korean and thus they were able to communicate better that way!  In attendance were members of the press from The Liberty Times, The Apple Daily, Trend Media, The Taiwan Times and The United Daily News.  The next day, at the China Airlines Lounge, I found these.

By the way, Jeff has begun to send me the completed ads.  Remember those times when you were a kid and you parents got you that new toy and you were all excited but then went home and it sucked?  This is the exact opposite of that.  They are everything I could’ve ever wanted them to be and more.  Don’t worry.  I’ll post them soon enough.

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