In this issue, we welcome FFIXXED STUDIOS as we talk about the current times and the importance of being able to adapt to new situations and changes at both a personal and professional level. How do we find the balance between adapting to change and staying original and unique?
Nana : Can you gives us an introduction to FFIXXED STUDIOS?
FFIXXED STUDIOS : We make clothing and objects that respond, adapt to, and inspire changing conditions for contemporary living. Reflecting on the “everyday”, the collections respond to the construction of daily life, exploring notions of work and life in contemporary culture. Design wise propose a laid back simplicity, emphasized by modern cutting and a fluid, eclectic aesthetic.
Nana : I see. Why did you decide to create the brand?
FFIXXED STUDIOS : We didn’t set out to create a brand, we just started working together as a way to explore our shared interests in art and fashion. It was a little later that we made a conscious decision to develop what we were doing into a brand. We felt that making a fashion brand would be the most suitable platform for further developing the ideas and processes we wanted to work with. Before the brand was established we were working on a collaborative art project and we needed a title and we didn’t want to use our individual names, so we came up with FFIXXED. For us, it was a play on the idea of having no fixed meaning, or no fixed location, and we played with the structure and spelling of the word fixed. So later this became the brand name, and on a more practical level it’s very easy to search on google.
Nana : What are some of the inspirations behind the brand?
FFIXXED STUDIOS : In the beginning we were influenced a lot by certain discourse and practices in contemporary art, specifically discussion around work and life and commodification in contemporary culture, and this kind of laid the foundation of the brand. More recently we have been really interested in D.I.Y. culture, certain new age
lifestyles and alternative social structures. To varying degrees these themes permeate all of the collections
and are materialized in different ways.
Nana : Do you have a particular impression about the current Chinese fashion scene?
FFIXXED STUDIOS : It feels like a highly nuanced and self-aware moment in the industry, which has been building momentum over the past. There is a new generation driven by a strong sense of culture confidence, both on a creative level, but also a confidence in how they understand and connect wither their audiences. Coupled with this confidence is a wealth of resourcefulness that has quite rapidly propelled the industry, at least at level of
independent designers brands. There are always new platforms, new brands, new stores all proposing new
ideas and ways of working. This allows creatives here to glen influences from everywhere while still making
something very specifically Chinese for a predominantly domestic audience. At the same time local
audiences, along with the every expanding network of sales and marketing platforms and maybe most
significantly KOL’s have shaped the ways in which designers work and structure their businesses.
It’s kind of fearless… people in the industry here aren’t afraid to take chance, and really adapt to new things
quickly. It’s very fluid and fast paced, which makes it super exciting and quite exhausting at the same time.
Nana : We see that your directions for each collection are very well structured and thought out in
complex ways. What do you most value when deciding on a theme for each collection?
FFIXXED STUDIOS : Fo us the direction and the theme of collection evolves pretty naturally from whatever we are interested in at that moment. There are underlying threads and ideas that evolve with each season, so sometimes it’s about rethinking or redeveloping the same ideas in new ways, and sometimes it’s about how to introduce new ideas into our existing themes. It’s always a balancing act between what we interested in on a personal level and what is relevant to our audience. Usually these things are pretty aligned, but not always… maybe what we value the most is finding a healthy balance within the collection.
Nana : How has your brand been using social media to deliver your pieces?
FFIXXED STUDIOS : Recently we have been focused on Chinese social media platforms, which for us is mainly Little Red Book. Different platforms fulfill different needs with regard to delivering the brand story, and therefore each require a different approach to creating content. For Redbook we are seeding more influencers and really trying to understand our audience there while developing future content strategies. For me social media is a blessing and a curse, it’s great to be able to communicate with your audience and have such a high degree of
connection and transparency, but I’m also dubious about the ways in which these platforms completely
shape and define not only the way we communicate but the way we create.
Nana : What has been some of the most challenging experiences building your brand?
FFIXXED STUDIOS : I guess the main challenges we have faced are probably the same with a lot of small businesses, dealing with cash flow, supply chain issues etc. Of course we have also faced some more creative and existential challenges like how to manage creative and commercial aspects of the brand, or how to balance business and personal life. But I think the ultimate challenge is adapt to change, because if there’s anything the past two years have proven is that things always change and sometimes it’s really hard find new ways of working and living that make sense.
Nana : Is it possible to let readers know a little about your next Spring Summer 2022 collection? If so,
what has inspired the theme and the pieces in them?
FFIXXED STUDIOS : We were really inspired by these old ‘Scouts of the World’ postcards depicting boy scouts from all over the world. So we’re looking at “boy Scouts and Girls guides paraphernalia”, which was really fun. But ultimately the collection was a bit about the domestication of nature and our weird obsession with nature, but nature as a domesticated and commercial space.
Nana : What do you hope for the Asian fashion industry to look like after the pandemic?
FFIXXED STUDIOS : Hopefully the shift towards re-evaluating lifestyle has some lasting impact in the industry, and not just in terms of new product categories or new marketing strategies, but in the ways in which we actually live our
lives. I hope this kind of shift in thinking can help better shape the way designers and brands connect with
our audience’s to produce something more meaningful for all of us.
Nana : Do you have any advice for our readers who are seeking to find a way to build a unique brand
like “FFIXXED STUDIOS”?
FFIXXED STUDIOS : Balancing the belief in what you do with the realities of the world around you.
It’s always a balancing act between what we interested in on a personal level and what is relevant to our audience.ffixxed studios