Couple and design duo Yangsen Hsu and Zachary Wu of Y-Z Studio on the inspiration behind their Spring 2017 collection.
How did you two meet?
Zachary Wu: “Through a friend of a friend. One day they approached me and said ‘Hey, you should know this guy.' We met up and after three days we started dating and it’s been four years now. Yangsen does more more of the styling while I'm the classically trained designer.”
How do you go about building a collection together?
ZW: “Basically we think of the main topic of the collection and then grab materials that suit it. For example, this seasons theme is ‘social anxiety disorder.’ How we transform this idea is that we search for hashtags and keywords online and then we think about how to turn them into shapes and details of the collection. We have a contrast in style – I'm more sophisticated and Yangsen likes street style and really colourful looks and we combine that together.”
I saw hashtags like “delete me” and “unfriend me” on some of the looks. Do you personally relate to those hashtags?
ZW: "Yes. I have social anxiety and I get annoyed when I go on social media and see people wanting others to worship them. And that’s why I want to use the hashtag ‘unfriend me’ because I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to feel pressured when I’m using social media because it was supposed to be a place where you could express yourself. Now you have to think about what should I say, or shouldn’t I say. We collaborated with an artist based in Taiwan named Sic Lee and he created some graphics that we put on the backs of the blazers and T-shirts that reference the collections theme.”
What was your thought process behind the headphones and phone chargers that you used to accessories some of the looks?
ZW: “Like I mentioned before, social media has taken over our lives and we are so preoccupied by it. So by wrapping headphones and chargers through some of the pieces we expressed how you can’t be separated from [social media] – but in a sarcastic way. On one of our jumpsuits you could actually see an outline of a phone right on the pocket. Our brand is all about facing the day-to-day with some sarcasm."
Where do you see yourselves taking this brand?
ZW: “This is our fourth collection but our first Fashion Week, so this is a big step. We studied in Taiwan and as you know, it’s a really small island so it’s not easy to get our brand out there so that’s why we’re here. London Fashion Week would be the next level.”
Who is the woman you design for?
ZW: “We have a very specific type of woman in mind when designing. She's an independent thinker and you don’t have to persuade her to buy anything, she knows what she wants.”
If you could choose a song that represents your emotions post-show, what would it be?
ZW: “The post-show atmosphere would definitely be the song HONNE & Izzy Bizu – 'Someone That Loves You.'”