Looking deep into the heaven that is under our feet. A journey of eternal innovation: HUI Autumn/Winter ’21 digital campaign shot by Marco Giuliano and styled by Anca Macavei.
Huizhou Zhao, the creative mind behind the brand Hui, you spent 2 years in Milan studying at the Polytechnic, how did the culture of the “Made in Italy”and of the Italian fashion influence you?
Life needs repetition on the other hand the brand needs continuous innovation. After two years of study in Italy I felt like a sponge, absorbing the technology of western fashion and its whimsical clothing culture. This experience made me collaborate with foreign designers, experimenting deeply the mix of my culture and their culture. Looking at the West with the eyes of the East and reading the East throuout western concepts. Now I am more skilled in using these exquisite crafmantship techniques that i’ve learned in the West as a resource for the Chinese elements of my design, both being an intrinsical part of me. This process allowed me to explore a better expression and a more international approach on the astern DNA.
You usually hold fashion shows both in Milan and China, how would you describe the Chinese fashion scene compared to the Italian one?
Right now all eyes are on the Chinese fashion scene, I think that Chinese fashion week will become more and more interesting in the future. Furthermore our fashion week is not only an opportunity for the designer’s visibility but is also a very well organized platform for communication in China, which makes Chinese design known all over the world.
What about your creative design process? How do you start working on a collection?
My creative process comes from life: my personal experiences, from my feelings and from my world’s perception. I try to design in a the most personal way possible, considering the culture, the tradition and the future.
How would you describe Hui?
Subtle, intellectual elegance, the power to convey past and modern beauty in a contemporary way.
Hui rediscovers and perfectly inherits the mysterious totems and special crafts of Chinese intangible cultural heritage. What does tradition mean for you and how important is innovative exploration in exchange?
The Chinese culture for thousands of years: embroidery, lanterns, umbrella oil paper, dragon design, Yingluo, copper money… These traditional oriental cultural elements are my inspiration. In fact, it is difficult to gain recognition of Western fashion circles and even the younger generation of the modern China with pure Chinese style. Good design needs ingenuity. Intangible cultural heritage is the soul of Chinese ingenuity. It is the social responsibility of a designer to protect and inherit the lost craftsmanship and ensure that, future generations understand their charm and style.I love traditional culture, and I also hope to “redesign” modern fashion elements and the beautiful technology of the Chinese heritage; integrating the culture of eastern and Western fashion. I would like with my design to activate the Chinese intangible heritage and make it part of our life (mainstream), showing “the east tune” of the fashion design to the world. The design is a journey of eternal innovation. I enjoy exploring and redesigning integration and creating a cultural collision with the exchange between East and West. If I have a better expression it is the international elaboration on the Eastern DNA. This is my life: traditional elements and international expression.
Future plans you want to share with us?
I hope that by arousing the world’s interest in design, the cultural heritage of Shenzhen and China, they can change lives and promote the development of the Shenzhen fashion industry, making China the design guide of the world. With “clothes” as a medium, we will “redesign” modern fashion elements and Chinese cultural heritage, building a fashion design bridge between Shenzhen and the world. We will speed up the exchange and the development, collaborating with the international fashion creative industries, constantly enriching and enhancing the creative gene and the innovation of the city.
Which is the best advice you were ever given in life?
My husband said to me once: “be a pure person and do pure things”.
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Styling assistant: Selin Celik / @selinceliks
Editorial assistant: Silvia Valente / @silviavalentevi
Soundtrack: Synth Kid – Heartache
Model: Nastya at Select Model Milano / @_nastyacherkasova_ @selectmodelmilano
HUI A/W21 / @hui.official