Having established himself over the past 10 years as one of the world’s leading Chinese fashion designers, London-based Haizhen Wang recently collaborated with the nearly two-decade-old Korean fashion brand Hazzys to design and curate a collection for this year’s London Fashion Week. The collaboration was also sponsored by the Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, which, earlier this year, became the first and only Chinese sponsor of the British Fashion Council.
With a runway show featuring actor, singer, and comedian Calvin Chen, Wang’s Back to London collection showcased the designer’s trademark mix of dissonant design inspirations, mixing crisp tailoring and craftsmanship with playful hues and unexpected colorways. Sharp jackets, blouses, and trench coats mingled with casual polos and dresses, offering a new concept of today’s urban commuter.
Recently, Jing Daily spoke with Wang and Hazzys about the collection, JD’s role in their collaboration, and Wang’s overall approach to design:
How did this collaboration with Hazzys (HZ) and Haizhen Wang (HW) come about?
Hazzys: Hazzys was invited by the British Fashion Council and JD.com to take part in London Fashion Week this year, and we can say that taking part in this kind of event is a great opportunity for Hazzys to enhance its international brand image in China.
What is JD.com’s role in this collaboration and why did they want to be involved?
HZ: JD.com is a chief partner of the British Fashion Council in addition to being a very well-known e-commerce giant in China. We already have a good foundation of collaboration with JD.com, so they invited us to participate in London Fashion Week.
What does the future hold for Hazzys?
HZ: Although it’s always been important for Hazzys to reflect and innovate on the British way of life, in terms of the future of the brand, the most important thing is [for it] to continue to fuse elements in a contemporary context and position the brand in the cultural background of a modern urban landscape.
What’s the inspiration behind your SS20 collection and who do you think it will resonate the most with?
Haizhen Wang: The theme of the new collection is moving from the past into the future, inspired by memories from the British seaside. This collection is an interpretation of British traditions re-constructed through modern language, iterating, rebuilding, and reshaping classic British elements like polo shirts, trenches, and tartans. So whether it’s the use of British tailoring or color choices, the collection riffs on both modern and classic.
Do you feel designers with mixed cultural heritage such as yourself have a different approach to design?
HW: I think the language of design is not just centered on a style or a culture, it’s completely inseparable from the times we live in, and different educational backgrounds can lead to very unique design differences. I think the language of my design is still most closely related to silhouettes — the body as soft sculpture. And my consciousness of shaping this type of sculpture has been informed by my experience of living and working in an open and creative environment.