By day, Ollie Rodgers manages social media for Vans and Gemma Harrad is a videographer at The Floristry, but by night, they’re at the forefront of documenting what’s cool in Hong Kong. That includes capturing skate culture in Asia, boat noodles in Aberdeen or the last calligrapher in North Point.
Their multi-media platform, Likewise, is dedicated to exploring the nooks and crannies of this city, and we spoke to them about how they express their creativity as a couple, and how the perspectives they’ve been exposed to have influenced their fashion choices.
How long have you been together?
Ollie Rodgers (OR): Three years.
What were your first impressions of each other?
Gemma Harrad (GH): You had long hair, tied back, and you were wearing a relaxed jacket and you had your point and shoot camera. You seemed approachable and outgoing—a quiet creative.
OR: We first met on a rooftop. Gemma was wearing these blue hi-top Converse, and the laces were too long so she tied them around her ankles. I remember thinking that was pretty cool, and she also had her point and shoot. Early on in our relationship, we bonded over those funny slogan T-shirts that a lot of local people wear that say random things. Our sense of humour connects us. That also made us look at certain words in a new way, and that’s how we came up with the name Likewise. It’s an enjoyable word to look at.
Tell us about Likewise.
OR: It began as an outlet for ideas and projects that we wanted to do—an online platform showcasing stories that we think are cool. Now Likewise is a voice for us to showcase our friends and their work. We mostly do videos, and it works so much better as a team, as we chime in with different skills.
GH: This platform is a framework to try different ideas out. That could be in the form of a documentary, our first being a video on the clothing brand Victoria and capturing skate culture in Asia, or maybe a skate event. We’ve worked with different people on these projects, and it’s always been very collaborative.
OR: This all stemmed from wanting to start a collective movement. In the beginning we were hosting clothing markets and gigs, and we were seeing regular faces and wanted to keep up with them. We support the music scene, skate scene, our friends making clothes, art and so on—there are no boundaries with Likewise.
See more: Couple Style Files: Fu & Mengzy
Do you feel influenced by the people you’ve showcased?
GH: Yeah, it’s helped shape our vision of Hong Kong, and our respective styles.
OR: We wear a lot of our friend’s clothes.
GH: Because Ollie is a skater, I wear more skate brands now. We know the guys at Victoria, so it feels nice to wear their pieces.
OR: They make amazing clothes too—I recently got these green corduroy shorts with a cool button. And I got Gemma a Yat Pit shirt for Christmas.
GH: Our friend Heidi has a jewellery brand, Re-attach, and she makes silver pieces that I love.
OR: And now we have our own merch! Another friend, street artist Lousy, helped make this dragon graphic for us to put on a T-shirt for the Canto Pop film screening at Soho House, and we screen printed them ourselves.
How has your style changed since you first met?
OR: My style has changed a lot. I used to wear pinky rings and tight trousers, but not anymore. Gemma hoped I’d wear baggier trousers, but that change came naturally from hanging out with my skater friends. I also wear more graphic T-shirts.
GH: I used to wear more vintage clothing and would experiment with bolder looks in London. Although I’m still into thrifted pieces, I’ve found that since moving back to Hong Kong I’ve lost my taste for dressing up. Being in London, I was inspired and motivated because it’s part of that culture. Now I wear more casual clothes like T-shirts, jeans and trainers—it's more boyish. However, I’m happy about this style shift because I’m more comfortable. Working in video production, most of the time you want to be comfortable, and you have to be discreet. You’ll usually wear black, practical clothes, and we both have a lot of those pieces in our closet.