INTERVIEW BY CARLOTTA BUOSI
Many of the key elements of Chinese tradition - just like pretty much any kind of tradition, world-wide - seem anachronistic today. Obsolete. The fact that most youngsters - Chinese and non Chinese - are brought up being completely out of touch with these values, catapulted into irrepressible modernity since a very young age, is what upsets Kate Han the most. Creative Director of contemporary brand MUKZIN, Han embraces the challenge - but also the opportunity! - of bringing elements of her culture and its rich tradition back to new life, through fashion. The balance between historical references and contemporary transgression is precisely where Mukzin finds its sweet spot. Selected by Vip.com in collaboration with the British Fashion Council and brought to London Fashion Week, Mukzin showcased their Spring/Summer 2019 collection in the British capital for the first time this season. Lurve caught up with Kate after the show, to find out more about her incredibly creative brand and the unique concept behind it.
1. Katie, You are very much inspired about your culture. Tell us more about that.
I always get my inspiration from the heritage of Chinese culture. I’m not interested in the future - it doesn’t exist yet! - but I’m really interested in the past and in the present. My workplace is full of antique pieces and contemporary art. I put everything together like an art installation.
2. Where else do you draw your inspiration from?
Recently, I lived in Hangzhou. It’s a characteristically vivid city in China with the best tech business mixed with beautiful old gardens, towers and ancient architecture. Whenever I walked out from home, I just saw ideas for my new collections materialising in front of me.
3. How would you describe MUKZIN’s style in 3 words?
Defining MUKZIN’s aesthetic in a few words is almost impossible. Despite that, I believe you could point out my design immediately among hundreds of other designers.
4. What do you like to experiment the most with?
I like to give the old things new lives.
5. Would you say that for a fashion designer it’s more important to be consistent or to keep introducing new elements and concepts in their work?
The new elements I like to introduce are always related with the history and heritage of my culture, which I believe have the power to be reinvented into something new. So I would say consistency it’s very important. Also, I don’t really follow any trend.
6. You’ve previously collaborated with a series of artists for your collections. Tell us more about that.
I am completely obsessed with the contemporary art. Years ago, I began collecting the work of some young Chinese artists, and we then became close friend. When I started my brand, some of them understood the concept immediately. They felt that it was a fresh, cool thing to re-design old Chinese elements and they wanted to be involved in it. We started working together in my tiny studio, making patterns. We had a lot of fun.
7. Tell us the core inspiration behind Mukzin SS19 collection.
The collection is inspired by the traditional packaging of Chinese medicines.
8. How would you describe your ideal customer?
Smart, open minded. Someone who love colours and is willing to accept new ideas.
9. What would you like for your brand to convey to its wearers?
A feeling of empathy, yet temperamental. Something you would have found ages ago and which is now coming into reality once again.
10. What are your plans for the future of MUKZIN?
I would like to see my pieces being worn everywhere in the world.
Special thanks to Charlotte Berghman and the British Fashion Council.