Always Be My Maybe provoked plenty of Twitter chatter: for its groundbreaking lead performances from Ali Wong and Randall Park, that face-melting cameo from Keanu Reeves, and its general wonderfulness. There’s a lot to talk about in this movie, including its representation of Asian-American life, the food, and the super cast.
One aspect of the film remains to be fully dissected: the Adidas tracksuit Daniel Dae Kim’s character Brandon wears. It’s so perfect it’s a shame Rodin isn’t alive to memorialize it. Leisurewear is far from a rarity on-screen or even in the celebrity world, but this particular outfit spoke volumes about wealthy, distant, picture-perfect Brandon, who’s both engaged to and managing famous chef Sasha (Wong). The internet also loved it:
ELLE.com talked to the film’s costume designer Leesa Evans about the *chef’s kiss* selection, why it’s like a silk peignoir set, and whether you can still get it.
Okay, I really need the story behind Brandon’s tracksuit.
When Daniel Dae Kim was cast, of course he’s so incredibly handsome, and we were all talking about his character, his tone of everything just being so perfect at all times. His suits are just effortless—he’s always going for the sexy man, he can’t help himself. Even when he’s at home, he’s in a tracksuit. And I had this idea of, what’s his loungewear? When I was looking around for that, I knew I wanted something pale in color that was incredibly elegant. The female version of a silk peignoir set—the manly version of that. And I came across the Adidas tracksuit in that color. There was never any other option. It was going to be that, or nothing. It was going to be that, or naked.
Well, I love that. But these tracksuits are super comfortable, and they happen to have a kind of formality to them, too, because it’s “a look.”
Yeah, they’re polished and comfortable and they’re all things that you need. When it came in that color, I was so sold.
It wasn’t custom?
You know, surprisingly, it wasn’t custom. Adidas is so supportive of film and have been so supportive of me. When we were looking for the right look, I didn’t even know at that point that it was going to be an Adidas tracksuit. I weirdly found it in Vancouver, I can’t even remember which store. I came across it, and we needed a few of them, so I reached out to them and they gladly helped us out. But it was that tracksuit from the get-go.
No other option, nothing else?
Nothing else. Normally you have a few options and you’re in the fitting, and you’re playing around with it—if one thing doesn’t work, maybe something else will. The minute that [Kim] came into the fitting, I said, “I’ve got the perfect thing,” and he was like, “You really do.”
It was the color, the idea of the color, the whole thing. The only thing we debated was, do we wear a T-shirt or an undershirt underneath, or do we just go no shirt? That was the only conversation we had.
It’s got quite a low neck, that T-shirt. Or is it a tank?
Yeah. It was actually just a classic tank.
What color was the tracksuit exactly?
It was kind of like an elegant beige. It was that perfect kind of neutral.
Usually Brandon is super-polished, he’s in a suit.
Yeah. I knew [Kim] was going to be flying in the night before he was working. My go-to suits so much of the time for a particular guy are Theory. He fits in a Theory suit with almost no alterations. It was just too easy to pop him into the Theory suit and the Adidas tracksuit and then we got a couple of Indian kurta shirts for when he goes to India, and that was it. It was so perfect. We were like, “Okay, done.” He just is sample size. He just walks into anything and he looks great.
What I also love about Daniel Dae Kim is that he’s so up to collaborate and be part of whatever it is that he’s doing. He’s an actor, he’s a producer, he’s just a great person to have around. So it’s really fun to work with him and everyone was so blown away that he was part of the film. That whole movie in general is just like a dream.
I’m looking at Daniel in the tracksuit and he’s also wearing a watch. Is that his watch, or was that wardrobe?
Oh yeah, that was a prop watch. We knew we wanted it to be incredibly elegant and sophisticated, just like his character. And he’s a guy that just has all this success, and kind of has a laissez-faire tone to his demeanor, and we just wanted to have that rich, successful, minimalist-guy watch.
Did you model it on any particular label?
We knew it had to be Rolex or Cartier. There’s a pretense about him that’s hilarious, in the film, and so we just wanted everything to feel a little too perfect. A little too done. The shirt is just open, it’s too much of the right place, you know.
What do you mean?
Sometimes someone…you can tell they’re really going for that sexy look, and you can feel that it’s purposeful, and it’s so distinctly different to someone who’s doing something effortlessly.
When did you acquire this tracksuit? It’s not in season anymore, I am guessing.
It was last summer. I would say around this time last year. That’s always the trick, right, because it takes like a year for a movie to come out, and then I get the sweetest e-mails and people are looking for the stuff and I’m like, “I don’t know.”