Admit it, we all spend countless hours scouring the many profiles of Instagram. Many are scanned without mush attention given, but every so often a glistening gem appears. One which makes you scroll further and further, until there is no page left to scroll. Sometimes it is a new style muse, every now and again it is someone from years ago, and other time it can be a brand new and shiny, never-before-seen, talent. A talent so great and scroll-worthy, you have no hesitation in pressing the follow button. Sure, social media may be the worst for tempting procrastination. But, it is acts as a very large window to emerging talents, who otherwise may have gone undiscovered. On that note, allow us to introduce you to Winchester School of Art graduate and fashion designer, JH. Zane.
Landing on his profile, it was the sharp angles and bright images which grabbed us. Then it was the twists and turns of fabric. And finally it was the refreshing colours. Each image told a story, and altogether they represented his development, his talent and his ethos. Wanting to discover more about the person behind the profile, we had a chat with Zane about his past, present and future, as well as taking a look at the SS15 collection.
Firstly, tell us the basics and about your personal background.
I am Zane, I am originally from China, but it’s going to be my ten year anniversary of living in the UK soon.
What lead you to fashion initially?
Interest I guess. I always knew I wanted to work in the art and design field, but never knew it would be fashion, until I got into university.
While studying, what was the greatest and hardest lesson you learned?
I think the greatest lesson I learned would be pushing your limits and don’t easily compromise. Achieving something great takes greater willpower. And for the hardest, it would definitely be time management, which I am still trying to improve. Well, who isn’t at the end of the day?
Describe your design processes.
The mood of the collection comes to me first. I tend to know how I want to shoot my look book before any clothes are even made. I then design each piece around that mood or character. Each season, I try to present a different attitude in women, I am really driven by feminism. When initial sketches are created, I move on to the structure of garments. I try hard to create interesting and new shapes; I develop a range, and then find the right fabric for these shapes.
Tell us about your personal relationship with fashion.
My designs speak of my personality. They seem quiet and calm, but when you get to know them or get up close to see them, you find something quirky, and different in details.
How has your label developed since graduation?
My vision has always been the same. But, what has changed is the way I look at fashion. When you’re a student, all you need to think about is being creative. But, when you are running a fashion label, it is finding the right balance of being creative and business minded. I am still learning.
Tell us the story behind each collection you have created to date.
Like I said, each season I try to present different attitude in women.
SS14 was the clean, sharp and sometimes angular personality of women.
AW14 was the mystery and darker side of women, which I remember, I actually referenced Bonnie from Bonnie and Clyde. She is deadly, but driven by love; the psychological side of this interested me.
SS15 was the energy and freedom of women. I had very sophisticated pieces styled with super casual sporty flares and sandals. Each look seems very slovenly, but in fact, it is the freedom of style.
Define your aesthetic in five words.
Quirky. Androgyny. Clean. Sharp. Tailored.
In the long run, where do you want to be as a designer?
I just would like to make a living out of what I love to do. And I want JH.ZANE become a lifestyle brand, eventually.
In the short term, what are your plans for 2015?
I am launching e-commerce and have a collaboration coming up.