DANQI CHEN STUDIED AT BEIJING INSTITUTE OF FASHION TECHNOLOGY, HAILING FROM BEIJING, WON THE SWAROVSKI INTERNATIONAL FASHION AWARD AT GRADUATE FASHION WEEK 2018, WITH HER THOUGHTFUL AND STRUCTURAL PIECES. HER INSPIRATION COMES FROM CHINA HUAIYANG, MUD DOG CLAY SCULPTURE, WHICH BELONGS TO CHINA'S INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE. CLAY DOGS HAS BOTH A TRADITIONAL AND MODERN AESTHETIC FEELING AND IS FULL OF VITALITY. IT IS ALSO THE REPRESENTATIVE OF CHINA'S AUSPICIOUS CULTURE, SYMBOLIZING THAT ALL THINGS ARE SPIRITUAL AND THE UNITES FROM THE PERSON TO GOD. WE CAUGHT UP WITH THE EMERGING DESIGNER TO HEAR MORE ABOUT HER CULTURAL INSPIRATIONS, PLANS FOR THE FUTURE AND HER ADVICE FOR FUTURE TALENTS.
1.Describe DANQI CHEN as a person in five words.
Interesting, curious, creative, serious, rigorous.
2.Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
I came into contact with fashion design unconsciously, and gradually fell in love with it… On the one hand, i based on a passion for art and design and a desire to create commercial value.On the other hand, fashion design is a very comprehensive subject, almost covering space design, material design, ergonomics, psychology, history and so on. I am deeply attracted by its
3.How the DANQI CHEN’s mission evolved since you won ‘’Swarovski International Fashion Award’’ as a young designer?
I’ve always had this sense of mission — to create beautiful things for the world. When I become
more influential, this will not change. Now I feel like I have more mission to export Chinese culture to the world with international design language as a Chinese designer, so that more people can feel the charm of Chinese culture.
4.In your experience, what are some of the negative points regarding fashion design schools?
In my opinion, the advantages of school outweigh its disadvantages.The only fly in the ointment is that can’t teach according to students’ aptitude and features in most cases, so students have to depend on themselves to find out their own design features.
5.How sustainability can change fashion industry? Do you think we can see, in the next future, a positive change regarding sustainable design?
Sustainable development brings more possibilities to the fashion industry, so that fashion is not only about business, but also about the whole natural ecological environment. This make fashion more empathetic and friendly instead of just making money. I think in the future, with the progress of science and technology, sustainable design will become more market-oriented and people-friendly. It will no longer be a lofty label, but will become a normal part of life, just like McDonald’s can be seen everywhere when shopping.
6.In your opinion, will it be the consumer who will facilitate the change in the supply chain or will it be the design and manufacturing industry?
This is like the “chicken or egg” issue. In terms of price, I think consumers make the supply chain more efficient. The more consumers, the lower the price of individual products. However, in terms of technology, I think it’s design manufacturing that gives consumers more choice. Designing new products produced by the manufacturing industry can enrich the supply
chain and stimulate the integration ability of suppliers to achieve crossover.
7.What should a customer expect when buying DANQI CHEN?
In my opinion, designing serves to people.Due to the busy city life, fashion should not very complicated.On the contrary, fashion is a natural and spontaneous state. The basic idea is interesting and relaxing, because I believe that light-hearted can brings natural feeling.All clothes are easy to take care of.Pithy but strong, and with a sense of art.Arousing people’s love for life, giving people confidence and freedom to fight for the busy work.
8.What was the biggest challenge for you in fashion school?
The biggest challenge is finding my own personal style. Personal style covers too many factors. Finding personal style is to find yourself, understand yourself, shape yourself and be yourself .If you don’t understand yourself, then it is difficult for others to understand you, and understand your design.
9.Would you like to showcase your collection in one of the most important fashion weeks around the world? Where exactly?
I want to showcase my collection at the four fashion weeks in the world. Besides, I also want to showcase in Japan and Korea. At the same time, I am also keen on showing in China. China is my motherland, and the fashion industry in China developing rapidly, which I have a lot of expectations for.
10.What we should expect next from DANQI CHEN?
I plan to launch my personal brand at the beginning of next year, and now I am working on product development and business negotiation, please stay tuned！
Interview Myra Postolache
Photos courtesy of the artist