In this issue of ASIAN VOICE, we feature REDEMPTIVE, a band with a clear message and aim to provoke imagination and spark thought into people’s (especially the youth) minds. How can we use fashion to think about world and its problems, as well as its relationship with each of us?
Nana : What is REDEMPTIVE as a brand?
Wilson : REDEMPTIVE is a Hong Kong-based menswear label established in 2018, founded by WILSON CHOI. We define REDEMPTIVE as a group of rebellious teenagers that is concerned with the world and the society, “Fresh and distinctive, young and mature.” The brand enriched those fresh blood in this era that are brave seeking breakthroughs and pursuing freedom. The brand’s creative style is based on a rebellious young generation and our inspiration mostly comes from social issues such as contemporary events. Our designer loves to do reflection through creative work and brings out the unique story by the brand.
Nana : Why did you initially create “REDEMPTIVE”?
Wilson : In 2016, I received the 「DFA Hong Kong Young Design Talent Awards」, and get an overseas study scholarship to work as an intern in Germany. During the internship, l was invited by HKTDC to launch my own label and get a Fashion Presentation opportunity. I began to prepare my first collection “The Stolen Soul” in my spare time. Once I finished my internship and returned to Hong Kong, my own fashion brand “REDEMPTIVE” was formally launched.
Nana : What are some things that have influenced your designs?
Wilson : My inspiration comes from every experience I had during my life. For instance, “The Stolen Soul” was inspired by a movie about bullying. When people see the clothes, they can reflect on their experience in their youth and hopefully this might redeem the bullying that each may have faced. I also remember the days when I was working abroad. One day I randomly walked into a bookstore in London and picked up a photo album. This social documentary album created a deep reflection in me. The “The Unheard Voices” collection is inspired by this, using my design language to explore the helplessness and solitude of the isolated individuals of society – the problem of the elderly living alone.
Nana : What are some of the aspects that you value most in your designs and directions?
Wilson : Every little detail in life can be a source of inspiration for our next collection. When coming up with the theme of the collection, what I value the most is what positive messages each collection can share with the world. I hope that the story behind each of our collections can inspire our audience, and highlight some forgotten voices through fashion design.
Nana : Have you face any challenges during the process of building “REDEMPTIVE”?
Wilson : I believe that we are facing the same potential challenge with other men’s wear brands, which is a relatively small market compared to the women’s wear market. The majority of inventory is targeted at women’s wear. While girls are more likely to pursue beauty than boys, this undoubtedly narrows our customer base. However, the new generation of male consumers pay more attention to personal image and dress, and their sense of fashion is becoming stronger. This inevitably played an important role in promoting the growth of the menswear industry. In addition, genderless clothing has gradually become popular, and female consumers tend to buy some fashionable men’s clothing, which has provided an opportunity for the men’s clothing market to grow. Of course, it is always an advantage to have more products for customers to choose from. Therefore, in the future, we will continuously develop women’s clothing elements, improve brand recognition and broaden our reach across consumer profiles.
Nana : Can you give us a glimpse of your next collection?
Wilson : REDEMPTIVE Spring/Summer 2022 Collection – “Stand By Me”. The movie “Stand by Me” inspired the designer for the new ideas. By arrangement from the “fate”, the four actors go on their life journey together. The newborn calves passionately take up the adventure. The story showed the reflection and inspiration that the teenagers learnt from life. Most importantly, it brought up the fear and frustration that they will face during the journey of growing up. Through this uneasy process, youngsters’ hearts gradually grow and become powerful. There are numerous unknowns and uncertainties that need to be explored and faced, but embracing the uncertainties may be the key to lead us to a better life. SS22 collection newly added a series of women’s products besides just continuing our signature High Street Fashion design elements for menswear, and the multifunctional design would still be the main ideas for this season. Integrating the ideas of sustainable development, we recycled the unwanted fabrics from factories. And we upcycled it by tie-dye, wash water treatment etc. And the tie-dye echoed the journey of teenagers: they are always unknown before you arrive at your destination.
Nana : How do you wish to see the fashion industry after the pandemic?
Wilson : We hope that everyone can overcome the negative impacts of the pandemic on the economy, meanwhile, create more meaningful designs with Asian fashion products, as well as spread more excellent design concepts and culture to the world.
Nana : Do you have any advice for our readers who are seeking to find a way to build a provoking brand like “REDEMPTIVE”?
Wilson : Give your best shot at everything you do, prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
What I value the most is what positive messages each collection can share with the world.REDemptive