interviewed by Clementine Darby, 23 June 2015
At one of the most successful London Collections: Men yet, QH couldn't resist speaking to the contemporary menswear label that explores the juxtaposition of modernity with innovation in traditional artisanal craft. Our Style Editor, Clementine Darby, caught up with Wan Hung Cheung...
Tell Quel Homme a brief history of Wan Hung Cheung?
The eponymous brand was founded in 2014 after I graduated from Central St Martins Fashion BA.
Originally from Hainan Island in China, I moved to the UK to study and pursue my career in the industry. Before launching my own label I worked for a number of prolific designers, including Tom Ford, John Rocha, Simone Rocha and Bernhard Willhelm. My graduate collection won Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery in 2014.
What was the inspiration?
Since I was a little boy I have always been interested and fascinated by fashion. I find inspiration in all aspects of life; current issues, nature, history, cultures etc so design is a way of channeling my thoughts, whilst making them relevant to our daily life. I’m hugely inspired by traditional artisanal crafts and therefore want to bring them back to life by reinventing and combining them with the modernity of my design. I also like to challenge conventions in the menswear market by creating designs which feature ornate embroidery applied clean cut tailoring.
What has been the best moment since starting the brand?
SS16 is the first season I exhibited with the BFC at The Hospital Club in the Emerging & Street Wear Designer Showrooms. Seeing people getting excited when looking at my designs felt great, knowing that your work can do that and make people happy! Stavros Karelis, the founder of Machine A showed great interest in some of the pieces and also tried them on, such reaction from a well established buyer is great recognition for me.
Was LC:M beneficial and are you doing any other shows in 2015?
LC:M has been of huge help! It’s a great platform to present yourself and approach a wider audience, especially for emerging designers. I will also be at Moorwosh Showroom in Paris during Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
Who is favourite designer?
Tom Ford, Thom Browne, John Rocha and Bernhard Willhelm.
Do you have any advice for budding young designers?
The most important thing is to remain true to you, but also be prepared to take risks and to be patient, as it may be a long time before you get any recognition. Once you start, persist and enjoy the journey!
What’s your favourite piece from the latest collection?
One of my favourite pieces is the sleeveless woven top, but if I am able to choose another, it would be the yellow sweatshirt with Swarovski horse embroidery.
What’s next for Wan Hung Cheung?
I have just reached the final stages of the Lane Crawford PLATFORM initiative, where I am working and designing a very special project for their 165th anniversary which also ties in with Swarovski’s 120th anniversary. I can’t say much more, but all will be revealed soon.