Haizhen Wang

...NJAL's exclusive interview with the 2012 Fashion Fringe winner!

Haizhen Wang’s namesake label began the journey of entering fashion n a small studio off Portobello Rd. in 2010. Before starting up his own brand, Haizhen graduated from Central Saint Martins with a MA (Hons) in Womenswear Fashion -2005, after completing a BA(Hons) at the London College of Fashion. Stints working for Max Mara, Boudicca and All Saints filled the time before he felt the need to launch his own label. With a foundation based on precise tailoring and immaculate craftsmanship combined with high quality fabrics and professional finishing Haizhen’s imaginative approach to the female identity stands out in a bold way. Influenced by contemporary cultural feminist and philosophy theory, his designs adopt an interdisciplinary understanding of the relation between fabric and the body. Grounded in the intellectual approach, the designs express a reinterpretation of classic British heritage process being and unisex as the cutting-edge. Continuing to develop his universe, Haizhen is pushing his vision and label to new limits, exploring the multiple and endless variations from native cultures, and perceiving beauty in ever changing ways. This is revealed through a fusion of past and present. Contrast is a key element, whether it’s materials, proportions, light, genders or the physics of nature.

Nothing inspires me like…
Cultures and people. I believe that so much can be learnt from understanding and appreciating that everyone is individual and this is what I hope to resonate throughout my collections.

I hope…
The day comes when I look back at all of my efforts and sacrifices, and see that I brought myself to my goal. Having put so much of myself into my work, knowing that I’ve reached my goal would be a great achievement.

Cultural influences…
Being Chinese and living in multicultural London, cultural influences are an inevitable part of my everyday. I constantly seek to broaden my knowledge and insight of other cultures, taking inspiration from the vast, ever-changing mixture of people and places around me and use this as a platform for my work.

I got where I am...
Thanks to countless hours of working, watching other experts at work and having good people around me. The experiences that I’ve had, my determination and many long days and nights are what have enabled me to get where I am today.

Fashion can sometimes...
Make you cry, but when it’s where your heart is, you have no choice but to keep holding on. If these emotions weren’t instilled in me it then I wouldn’t be where I am today. Fashion is always challenging and can be tough but it’s what drives me forwards.

I scream when…
When I am in my dream. This may sound like an oxymoron but sometimes if I’m that happy, I can’t keep quiet!

Cake makes me…
Re-live my childhood and is a guilty pleasure of mine. Even better if it’s paired with a cup of tea.

Creativity comes from…
An open and curious mind.

If I could…
I would be reborn.

I once thought…
I could be a singer even though I am not good at singing. I guess it could be an alter ego of mine but in hindsight I think fashion is more my calling than singing on a pub karaoke.

Love is…
Persistence.

My future is…
Coming, and I am excited to see what it will bring.

Studios make me…
Calm and nervous at same time. I think it’s important to set yourself in a creative environment. One where you aren’t too comfortable but at the same time you want to work there, you want to put yourself on the edge and keep pushing new ideas forward.

I'm a perfectionist…
In a natural way. I tend not to force myself. Naturally I want my work to reflect what I am passionate about but I’m always aware that I have to keep pushing myself.

My mum…
Is brave, encouraging and sincere. Her input within my life has definitely enabled me to travel in the right direction. As a Mother and an individual she has many strong qualities that have shaped my views on life and have, therefore, been big inspirations within my collections. I’d like to say that I’m like her in many ways.

I like making...
Myself alive. Whatever I may be doing, I always want to stay true to myself and make sure that this resonates through my actions. You can’t always live everyday as if it’s your last as life does include responsibility, but I think it’s important to live it to the fullest.