Published in VAULT: Australasian Art & Culture, Issue 17, 2017.
“We like to use fashion as a tool to examine the production and consumption of contemporary culture,” reveals Picken. “There are these extreme poles in fashion where you see crazy, inaccessible luxury on one end, and cheap fashion at the other end. We want our label to sit in the middle space, where there is integrity in design and production, but also accessibility.”
The pair are currently based in an integrated living and working space at the foot of Shenzhen’s Wutong Mountain, enabling them to prototype designs and manage administrative tasks in-house while being close to local garment manufacturers. While Shenzhen has a reputation for being the world’s main hub for mass production, the area also offers these sustainability-driven, slow fashion designers grassroots access to highly-skilled labourers and quality textiles. “Being close to the creation point gives us better control over working conditions and design outcomes,” Picken explains.
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Image: Kain Picken and Fiona Lau in their Shenzhen studio. (Photo supplied).