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TALENT Q&A with Designer Ken Chen

By June 12, 2012June 14th, 2012No Comments3 min read
By Marcy Clark

What does fashion mean to you?

Individually fashion is the link between yourself and the world outside.  Who you are changes over time and so does your fashion.  If you step back and see the view on a larger scale fashion is a reflection of our political, social, and environmental surroundings. You can see changes in the way we view gender roles, breakthroughs in technology or new trades in raw materials, our interest in color or lack thereof, design trends, etc. Knowing that, what you wear and how you wear it can be a powerful thing.

Where do you get your design inspiration?

General inspiration comes to me in every event, no matter how small.  It’s a matter of paying attention to the details; those fine elements that make things work together so well.

For the 2012 collection, I focused on the relationship between human development and the balance of nature in our cities, social constructs, and our bodies.  I was inspired by architects, buildings, biology, and organic design of solid structures.  You can see in the shapes that I was interested in how architecture meets nature.  On the runway there’s a conversation of jackets of solid structure and dresses with organic movement.

What makes your designs unique?

Our focus is on the fit and material.  We spend much of our time making our garments fit perfectly and making the clothes feel as luxurious as they look.

How would you like your brand to evolve in the next 10 years?

We are very ambitious and in ten years would like to have our own fashion house that produce sample for stores and customers worldwide.  We’d like our name to be akin to today’s top-tier luxury brands.

Describe your creations with 5 words.

Elegant. Sophisticated. Luxurious. Modern. Bold.

Favorite designer or artist that you think has influenced you the most?

Definitely Donatella Versace for her aesthetic. Burberry Brand for their business model.

What’s the aspect of being a fashion designer that you enjoy the most?

My favorite part about being a fashion designer is designing.  I love making beautiful things.  My perspective on design is: if you’re going to make it at all, why not make it beautiful.  I don’t expect everyone to see what I do as beautiful but that’s what I strive for in myself.

KENCHEN SF made waves and gained an international following for his debut collection in 2011, while still studying at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He recently took the New York Fashion Week by storm with a nearly 50 look collection for men and women that debuted at the ASTONISH Magazine FW 2012 NYFW event. He also recently had the memorable experience of designing for his first feature film. He designed costumes for James Franco and several of the other characters in the new film Cherry (2012), also starring Dev Patel and Heather Graham.
Born in Taiwan and once competing internationally in Taiwan and Singapore as a Gold Medaling figure skater, Ken Chen has always been a driven, determined artist. His designs focus on the balance of humanity, nature and the architecture of the man-made world. The new collection emphasizes fit, with strong shoulders, accentuated waists and lots of shapes and variation in the jackets. The observant viewer of his collection will also notice understated floral details: he watched many time-elapsed videos of plants growing to inspire the movement and detailing of his pieces. Featuring luxurious fabrics such as wool, cashmere, silk charmeuse, real and faux fur and lots of leather, Ken Chen’s pieces are designed to bring out the sexy, powerful and strong individual in his clientele. His Fall/Winter 2012 collection in now available to order.