Introducing: Ziggy Chen

Shanghai-born designer Ziggy Chen launched his namesake label in 2012 with the goal of crafting a line that blends modern elegance with practicality.

After studying fashion in the early 1990s, Ziggy Chen became a university lecturer on the subject of textile design. He then worked on the corporate side of fashion. After 20 years in the industry, at the age of 40, Ziggy gave himself permission to pursue his wildest dreams: venturing out to design his own clothing collection.

In 2013, Ziggy decided to produce his own custom fabrics, with a penchant for the natural fibers of wool, cotton, hemp and linen. Developing his designs starting from the perspective of how they will lay on the body, Ziggy believes the comfort of the wearer is his highest priority.

Inspired by his studies of history, architecture, photography and painting, Ziggy Chen’s aesthetic is primarily shaped by his understanding of the past and his appreciation for objects that transcend time. He explains, “Some [objects] are housed in majestic and splendid museums, others are buried in flea markets, but all of these things have one thing in common: they have a beauty that we cannot see in this day and age.” 

With a throughline of both material innovation and high quality fabrics, each of Ziggy Chen’s collections build upon the designer’s prior seasons. Ziggy is particularly interested in the lived-in patina of unpretentious antique furniture and textiles. He notes a particular fondness for both Eastern and Western clothing from the 17th and 18th centuries, whose techniques are nearly unmatched by those produced in modern times.

Shirking a precious notion of perfection, Ziggy explains “Much of my inspiration for patterns and details in my clothing comes from tools, pottery, textiles and furniture that have been used, deformed, and broken down over time.”

For Ziggy Chen’s latest delivery, the designer has mined ancient books and antique fabrics from his private collection — cutting and reassembling them — to create unique prints on both the interior and exterior of his pieces. By yarn-dying and over-dyeing his expertly cut fabrics, Ziggy creates highly dimensional pieces that drape beautifully on the body.

“Rather than creating clothes that make you feel like someone else – for example, when you wear something and you immediately feel like you’re a different person – I want the clothes to feel like a part of you.”

-Ziggy Chen

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