Shen Yao SS 16 Collection
Taipei based menswear brand SHEN YAO showcased his spring summer collection during Vancouver Fashion Week. Designer Sheng Yao Huang believes the body is just a vehicle. Beautiful clothes should not be confined by social gender roles which provides an innovative gender style in a delicate and elegant yet quaint manner. We took this opportunity to ask Sheng Yao Huang a few questions about his brand.
Tell us your story? Why Fashion, how did you start?
To be honest, I don't have a fancy story.
At first, I thought fashion was fun and interesting, so I studied this. At the beginning, I thought fashion was just about making cool and beautiful clothes. This is one of the elements, it's true! But as time passes, I think it's more important for a designer to be able to express their message through their collection, it's also what I'm trying to do now.
Are your family & friends supportive of your dream?
Yes they are! Even my dad is excited about my runway show in VFW. I said even my dad is because compared to my Mother, he is not as expressive when it comes to emotions, however this time it really shone through.
Which designer was your first inspiration?
I think it would be Jonathan Anderson, he really blurs the boundary between male and female, which I really admire.
What inspires you daily? What inspired your designs for this SS16 collection? What was your motif?
This collection was named “boy don't cry”.
The inspiration of this season comes from the tender part inside a boy’s heart.
We all think that males should be tough, strong and not allowed to cry, but I think this is not normal.
Sometimes we can be sentimental as well, even though most of us won't admit it.
“Boys are tender, boys are soft. Boys are fragile and sometimes they cry. ”
This is the message I want to express this season.
What process do you go through choosing your materials?
Usually, I will find my materials after my research, then I will sketch.
I don't usually sketch before I find materials mainly because you don´t know what you can really create until you get your hands on real fabrics. I think it's really important to touch and feel the materials, clothing not only makes you look good, it should make you feel good as well.
Besides, fabrics will tell you what to do with them by themselves. Every time I touch fabrics, it will be like "Oh, this is a shirt or these are perfect for pants" - It's really interesting!
Tell us more about your team.
I currently work on my own mostly, including material sourcing, pattern design, dealing with production, PR and marketing, although I have a sample maker who helps me makes most of the samples, but it's still hard to do all this work by myself. However, this is what it takes to be an emerging designer, you have to be a multi-tasker.
Describe the type of customers you aim to sell your clothes to and their style?
They are gentle and romantic but still rational, they are not afraid to try new things, and they want to look stylish without trying too hard.
Any collaborations you have planned for the future?
I kind of want to play with patterns in my next collection.
Here we have lots of great illustrators in Taiwan, I think I will find the perfect one to produce some interesting and inspiring patterns and use print or embroidery.
What is your next goal?
I hope I can have my own studio soon! Because [I] currently draft my patterns on a kitchen table and sew some toile by myself at home. It's not convenient and I think it's better so separate the place you rest and the place you work.
I also hope I can do [a] presentation in Paris. I think Paris is the highest palace and dreams come true to every fashion designer, it will also bring a positive image to my brand.
Give us your favorite sentence that would end with "And...That´s it!"
This is awesome! And...That´s it!