Drawing inspiration from the 90’s hip hop culture and the American football scene, Justin Chew’s F/W 2014 collection “The Evolvement” is based on the concept of reconstructing the 90’s hop hop fashion items. With this inspiration, Justin Chew has also collaborated with Edmund Yew (NESTWO), a local graffiti artist to bring graffiti into the printed garments.
Justin chew is a Malaysian Designer who began his career in fashion during the first year of attending Raffles College of Higher Education, Kuala Lumpur. In 2010, he showcased his first collection at MIFA 2010. A collection heavily inspired by the concept of bondage and boundaries. 2011 he emerged as a finalist in “MIFA 2011 Kronenbourg Who’s Next” with an expansion of his graduation collection, based upon the concept of human body. Upon gaining further experience, 2013 Justin Chew Basic Label has been launched along with his new start up store, THISAPPEAR. Justin Chew first ready-to-wear collection Fall/Winter 2014 under his main label has be launched at the recent Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2014.
First of all, could you tell us about yourself and your brand ?
If I were to describe myself, I’ll call myself a silent designer.Silent is my personality. I refrain from explaining who I am and what I am doing as silence is more eloquent than words. My view and thoughts are mainly conveyed through my designs and drawings in my brand.
Lots of students who want to be a designer often worry about how to begin their first steps in the fashion field. What were the first steps you took in the world of fashion?
The first step was definitely identifying which direction I am heading towards and what I would envision for my brand.
What has been happening in your career? in Malaysia or internationally ?
Currently I’ve only started my career in Malaysia. My main line Justin Chew along with my basic line which are both stock in “Thisappear” a shop I founded with another designer.
I saw your this fashion week collection , it was absolutely brilliant ! How was it for yourself? satisried or not??
Yes definitely. I am really satisfied with this collection. This debut collection was what I have always been preparing for. Being able to finally debut my own label and showing who I really am along with the direction I am heading for after all the hard work placed into it. It is also really exciting for me to have finally begin what I’ve always wanted and I am so looking forward to the future.
Actually, most of all fashion lovers do not know about klfw .. what do you think of it ?
I think it’s a really good platform for young designers to showcase their collection to an audience. It allows and open up new opportunity for any new designers who are interested in releasing their own collection to showcase in a proper environment similiar to other international fashion week. The experience I obtained from preparation, backstage to the actual runway is really valuable.
What’s the inspiration behind your current / upcoming Collection?
My current collection “The Evolvement” was based on reconstructing the 90s hip hop items. A mixture of sporty clean cut to printed graffiti. For my upcoming collection, I will still follow up with clean cuts along with prints. However I would to incorporate more sports wear element into it.
Where do you find your inspiration?
A lot of my inspirations are from the music I listen to. However, I also get inspirations from photos I come across and those that I capture with my phone throughout my daily life.
Where do you see your career going next ?
I would hope stabilized my brand and then expand into other countries and to participate in trade shows.
One thing I love about fashion is that there is still a capacity for amazing surprises! Do you feel the same way about what you do?
Definitely. In fashion, it’s all about expressing yourself. A similiar concept used by two different person will always result in different outcomes. It’s all about who we are and incorporating it into fashion. Everybody is different in their own ways, which makes fashion filled with surprises.
As you know, 12:30 magazine is focused on discovering new faces, especially designers and artists.Do you feel there is significant interest for young designers, especially unknown globally yet, at this moment in time?
Yes, as being discovered would give young designers who are yet to be known globally a chance for them to be exposed to a wider market and for their work to be recognised globally.
Could you tell me about your designer friends and do you have any designers to recommend?
I would say that the fashion scene in Malaysia is growing rapidly with many new emerging designer. One designer friend that I would highly recommend is Joe Chia, the partner of my fashion store “Thisappear” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.