Branch means two things to Gamla: It's the name of our new retail shop, as in a "branch" of our existing design studio and business. It's also the name of Gamla's co-founder and lead designer, Branch (Brent) Freedman.
But to really understand Why Branch? we should start at the start:
Branch (the man) was born with the name Brent, a fine given name that has never particularly suited him or his personality. Branch had long ago resigned himself to the name Brent, until one winter day while visiting Brian Hunter, a friend who was then living in Gwangju, near Seoul, Korea.
Many hours and copious amounts of soju into Brent and Brian's visit, a man approached them and exclaimed, "I've been looking all over for a man with a beard! I'm a fashion designer — will you model for my catalogue?" Brent being Brent, he thought it might be a fun adventure, and agreed to go to a secluded area on a mountaintop in the middle of winter to model clothing that was at least three sizes too small.
When the designer asked for Brent's name, Brent answered:
"Sure. Yeah, Branch."
"And your last name?"
"I don't use a last name. It's just Branch."
Long story short, it turns out the man really is a fashion designer and Branch really was a "model" for a day in Korea. Ever since then, he's been known by friends and family as Branch. And now our store is, too.