|Useless-Design by Ma Ke|
Amidst the controversy and the clichés, one can sometimes forget that China is also a country with a rich ancestral spiritual tradition. A tradition that can sometimes resurface in the most surprising places, like in the work of one of China’s most successful designers: Ma Ke. Following her intuition of creating simple organic designs using sustainable fabrics and hand made artisan production, Ma Ke has fashioned two unique collections. Launched in 1996, Exception de Mixmind is a line of sophisticated minimalist daywear distributed in 58 namesake stores and corners throughout China. Ma Ke’s latest endeavour Wu Yong (Useless) was invited to launch at Paris Fashion Week in 2007 and has since been accumulating accolades from the design and art communities. Ma Ke was awarded the title of ‘Best Asian Fashion Designer’ at the 2007 Elle Style Awards. In 2008 she was invited to show her work at London’s prestigious Victoria&Albert Museum and at Paris Haute Couture Week. She is also the subject of the film “Useless” by Jia Zhang-Ke, a poetic documentary contrasting the artful creation of Ma Ke’s collection with the lives of China’s garment factory
workers. We caught up with Ma Ke in an online interview.
Eco Fashion World: Where are you now? Can you describe the environment that surrounds you as you’re answering these questions?
EFW: How did you get started doing eco fashion?
EFW: What are your design and artistic inspirations?
EFW: How do you operate your eco fashion business?
EFW: Has the international recognition that you’ve received in the
past years changed something for you?
EFW: What do you think about the production of fashion in China today?
Will other designers be inspired to get into sustainable production in
the short term, or do you think China has to go through the same cycle
as western countries have in the 20th century?
EFW: How would you describe the difference between your two
collections, Exception and Wuyong?
EFW: Who would you like to see wearing your clothes? Do you have any style icons?
EFW: How do you see your collection evolving in the future?
EFW: Would you share any of your favorite sustainable tips?
EFW: Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
Images by Mixmind Click here to see more spectacular black and white pictures of Wu Yong by photographer Zhou Mi.
written by Dagny, September 15, 2008
Words are meaningless in front of our actions.
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News Anchor/Executive Producer. Media Psychologist @ LCM, Atlanta, GA USA
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