Zhao Huizhou is a Chinese designer whose fashion creations display a balance between tradition and modernity, enhancing timeless elegance and classic oriental beauty in a contemporary avant-garde mix.
The fashion designer in her collections pays particular attention to innovation without neglecting the rich and varied heritage of the past. In the name of this profound bond, Zhao Huizhou is committed to protecting and promoting the cultural heritage of ethnic minorities, the artisan and ancestral techniques of Chinese culture in the fashion and textile sectors.
China-underground: When and why did you get into fashion design? How did you develop your interest in fashion?
Zhao Huizhou: I really entered the fashion design industry after graduation from my university, because I chose the professional direction of fashion design, I enjoy day and nightwear, the in-depth study of clothing makes me more and more interested in fashion design, so when I was facing with career choices, I did not hesitate. And what I love is the fashion design industry.
To cultivate the interest in fashion, we must really integrate fashion into our own blood, keep our passion for life, pay attention to any small details of life, a sudden feeling, a special texture effect or a scene that we meet inadvertently will inspire my sense of fashion.
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What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion means soul and life to me. Fashion comes from life, higher than life, and fashion can also arouse my passion for life. I can hardly imagine what my life would be like without fashion.
Your collections balance innovative fashion design creation between the East and the West. How do you manage to make this cultural mix?
The West has a strong artistic atmosphere, while the East has a broad and profound Chinese culture. Both have their advantages. If we want to integrate the two cultures, we must do it based on our understanding. Because I had a period of experience in Milan Polytechnic, which gave me some new understanding and orientation of international fashion. During that period, I constantly was in contact and I absorbed Western culture and design so that I could better stand in the international perspective and let the East and West cultures and elements collide in innovation.
Where does the idea of Centennial Fashion Museum come from?
For fashion designers, they should not only have a keen sense of fashion trends but also have a deep understanding of the origin and development of fashion. Therefore, I urge myself to the idea of establishing a 100-years old fashion museum. What I hope is that not only do I understand the development and culture of fashion but also that more people can see the origin and development of fashion through museums.
Can you tell us something about Hui Foundation? What are its main projects and purposes?
HUI Fund is a public welfare fund jointly initiated by me and Shenzhen Women’s Fund. Because I believe that culture is the root of design, so as a designer, I have the responsibility to inherit the ingenious intangible cultural heritage, so I created the HUI Fund.
Its main projects include regular non-legacy activities into the classroom, regular public welfare exhibitions, and the design of poverty alleviation to help handicraftsmen in poor areas and so on. Its purpose is to devote itself to the inheritance, the innovation, and development of intangible cultural heritage and the care for women and children.
How would you describe the current fashion scene in China? Does social media change fashion habits in China?
The current fashion trend in China is actually in a pluralistic state. At present, China has a very high awareness of art, luxury and is extremely inclusive. Innovation and integration are the trend of the Chinese fashion industry at the time. Designers and ordinary consumers are constantly exploring the new realms of fashion.
The widespread use of social media has changed China’s fashion habits to a certain extent. Fashion information can be conveyed to everyone through social media in a timely, intuitive and direct manner. It has truly achieved the globalization of fashion information and changed China’s fashion habits.
What the greatest challenge nowadays when it comes to creating environmental sustainability fashion design?
In the process of creating environmentally sustainable fashion design, the greatest challenge may resolve in innovation. This is not only a requirement for innovative fabrics but also a need for designers to look at environmental sustainability design with an innovative perspective in the process of focusing on environmental sustainability, so that fashion design, natural and human integration can be truly achieved, leading design to environmental protection and ecological development, so that the sense of art and humanization can be better concluded.
CHINA-UNDERGROUND. Ciao! My name is Dominique. I’m Italian and I’m proud to be a mix. My father was an Italian chemical engineer and high school teacher, with Greek and Polish heritage. My mother is Haitian, she was high school language teacher, with Dominican, Spanish, French, Portuguese, African and Native American heritage. Being a mix makes me appreciate to want to understand different cultures and lifestyles. I grew up in Italy, lived few years in Haiti, travel around main European capitals, lived seven years in China, six in Spain and UK. Traveling makes me feel that we can learn something from every situation in every part of the world.