How the Art Collection came to life

Posted by Ying Cai on

When people see the first Art Collection online, a few asked where did the idea come from…? What inspires me and why show an Art Collection with 5 times the price of our ready to wear at a time that everyone is promoting sales to grab attention…?

First of all, the idea of the Art Collection just came to mind like a speck of light without any brainstorming or the need of a marketing strategy, it came effortlessly almost like something bigger trying to point that direction… I was born and lived in China for 21 years growing up, looking back to the history, there is a rich history of luxury in China which every few can compare, especially in art, detailed painting; silk embroidery art on fabric; paintings on porcelain plates, bowls and vases; even the craftsmanship of garment making is superior tracing back to as early as 20 BC and bloomed for the next few thousand years. The history is so rich yet, the new generations today in China forgotten about that history of luxury and culture, look to the west for business opportunities and offer their labor at very low cost disregard quality for quantity and speed… The image of “Made in China” is destroyed by the new generation because they forgotten about their own roots. I decided to take a trip back to China visiting Shanghai and Guangzhou in the fall this year and visited 16 museums of China Art. I was mesmerized and lost in the world of Chinese Art history… I want to bring that elegant aesthetic back to this generation and make something that people can wear today with that essence simply because it’s so beautiful and noble that I can’t describe it with words, the only way I can describe it is through art on garment… So I started to work on the first Art Collection as soon as I return to New York from China, in September.

It took two and a half months to make the 8 pieces minimalistic collection, each piece need 100 hours or more to make that’s with measurements and pattern already in place. The painting inside each garment takes about one to two days to paint, another day or so to color, the original one took longer with creating the concept of the painting. It's very challenging to paint on soft, delicate fabrics, very different from painting on paper or hard materials. The collection also contains the first eight verses of the original “Tao Te Ching” in Chinese language, one verse inside each style with my logo stamped on the silk lining also in Chinese. The logo stamp is a handmade sculpture made from jade-stone by an artist from my hometown, GuangZhou. On the outside, we embellish each garment with different Chinese buttons, some made from jade; some made from porcelain with small detail paintings on each one; some made from jade stone with gold paint, some made from wood with paint; some made from different colors of enamel and we also use some crystal buttons and rabbit fur balls as embellishment. If you look at them up close, you will find each button is different because they are hand painted, except the jade ones we can’t paint on them, but you can see the difference of each jade buttons… This collection is just a fraction of what I have in mind, it’s just the beginning.

The collection is limited to 5 orders on each style, we will not make more than five, we want to keep it exclusive, it’s something you collect and look at from time to time, it’s a piece of art. It’s not for everyone, that’s the way art is. Some will like it, some will love it, some will buy it and some won’t care for it.

It’s just passion, I feel enthusiastic while creating, it’s not work for me, I just can’t stop… I have more ideas than time to make them all come to life, I wish I have more hours in the day and more days in the week to work on them, I don’t think about profits or return when I work, it’s just passion…


New York, New York



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