In this issue of ASIAN VOICE, we feature UNDORABLE, a brand that celebrates the many faces and feelings that girls have, as they reflect this strong message into their clothing. Having the brand’s background in various and international environments as well as getting its inspirations from other brands and art forms, the brand will continue to evolve.
Nana : What was the start of “UNDORABLE” as a brand?
UNDORABLE : UNDORABLE was founded in 2017 in Shenzhen, China, with the ambition to popularize well-dedicated designs to new-generation females. In accordance with our slogan “Uniquely Adorable”, we would like to celebrate energetic and independent feminine values through our products and contents.
We embrace two essential colors – black and pink as our brand color. As we believe that black is the most classic color, representing the cool and independent state of a girl. And pink, on the other hand, represents femininity and cuteness. The collision between black & pink, coolness & cuteness, independence & femininity, is an ever-lasting theme that UNDORABLE seeks to explore and deliver.
Nana : Why did you decide to name it “UNDORABLE”?
UNDORABLE : The co-founders of UNDORABLE, Melody and Henry, grew up together since their childhood, then left their hometown Shenzhen to pursue college education in New York, one of the renowned “fashion capitals” of the world.
Melody went to School of Visual Arts, alma mater of KAWS and Keith Haring, to pursue her Bachelors degree in Illustration. She joined the luxurious fashion label MARCHESA in the design department, and the high-end street fashion brand YOHANIX afterwards, with the experiences of New York, Paris, Milan, Seoul and Shanghai Fashion Week.
Meanwhile, Henry went to Stern School of Business in New York University for management and finance major. He is a big fan of street fashion and visited fashion stores in New York City every week. As he joined global leading investment banks after graduation, He got the chance to work on multiple e-commerce projects, where he found it extremely mind-blowing to see how e-commerce has revolutionized traditional businesses in China.
Traditional independent designers produce garments with great design effort and precious materials, mostly targeting a niche demographic; however, Melody aims to deliver fashionable senses directly to more customers on the street, especially for Asian females – that perfectly clicks with Henry. UNDORABLE was then founded in 2017.
We had no second choice when choosing the brand name – the name chose us. UNDORABLE, as the combination of a negative prefix “un” and the word “adorable”, perfectly fits the spirit and attitude we want to convey – cool yet cute, independent while feminine, showing the completeness of a girl.
Nana : What were some of the inspirations for the brand?
UNDORABLE : Originally focusing on high-end street carpets, Melody’s background was filled with top-notch fashion runways around the globe. When creating UNDORABLE, Melody and Henry had the vision to bring the high-end streetwear styles down to the real streets and a much greater audience.
Melody’s experience in high fashion labels MARCHESA and YOHANIX has been a major influence in conjugating the brand and its designs. MARCHESA is famous for its red-carpet gowns that applaud femininity, elegance and delicacy. Almost to the contrary, YOHANIX’s high-end streetwear designs are effortlessly cool, feminine but hard as nails, expressive yet mysterious. The colliding yet somehow harmonious concepts are exactly what UNDORABLE sees in each and every girl, who can be adorable & cute yet cool & independent at the same time, or on a switching basis. We materialize such concepts not only in our brand name, the black and pink color theme, but also the intricate yet wearable designs.
Pop art has also played a role in UNDORABLE as it highly resonates with young contemporary women. Since its establishment, UNDORABLE has accomplished 3 international artist collaborations with Spanish artist Andreea Robescu, New York City-based artist Jonny Ruzzo and Brooke Pelczynski. Through these collaborations, our fans in China has gained more exposure to international pop art, and the artists also have been exposed to our 300k+ fans on all our social media platforms. Meanwhile, we are more than proud to persist with using Asian faces as our models, in order to voice up for Asian beauties & aesthetics and eventually become a major Asian voice in fashion. We see UNDORABLE as a global brand that bridges China and Asia to the world.
Nana : What does your brand value most?
UNDORABLE : Our vision and value as a brand is to fulfill a lot of girls’ wishes to express themselves boldly and convey their attitudes freely through UNDORABLE. Black and pink are just for everybody that they exist as two opposite sides in every girl’s spirit. We strive to become not just a reflecting mirror, but more of an intangible amour for a girl, no matter if she wants to go cool or cute, black or pink for the day.
Nana : What were some of the challenges you had building the brand?
UNDORABLE : Ever since we created UNDORABLE, we kept exploring the possibilities in the fashion world. Nevertheless, as we explore more, we found ourselves lost in the fast-pace and ever-changing fashion and e-commerce industry. One day we stopped and look back to ourselves, reconsidered what we want to deliver most as a brand, until we finally found that the answer is always with us – we have created lots of garments and visuals in dark and pink, we have named ourselves UN-(A)DORALE, we have even painted our logo in black and pink… Without further hesitation, we decided to narrow down our colors to black and pink, representing two sides of a girl that are actually in one harmonious being.
The transition was never just about picking the right colors, it was enduring and requires market feedback which could take months and even seasons to testify. Luckily, we have received warm supports from our fans, friends and families and also Chinese government organizations that were highly supportive of cultural and e-commerce related entrepreneurship. With all the supports, we were able to make ourselves through the predicament and re-debuted ourselves as the black & pink-focused design brand, and we were delighted and grateful with our decisions.
Nana : Can you give our readers a peek into your next collection?
UNDORABLE : As for the incoming UNDORABLE 2022S/S collection, we will be carrying on our exploration with the black & pink theme. We would like to further experiment with models in different Asian faces to show the black & pink UNDORABLE spirit. We have so far collaborated with Chinese, Korean and Southeast Asian & Chinese-mixed models in our shootings, and we love to see the chemistry between them and UNDORABLE. The spirit of UNDORABLE is within every single girl and we want to make every UNDORABLE girl one of a kind, which resonates with our goal to be unique yet accessible to the mass at the same time.
As for the main pieces in 2022S/S, dresses will definitely be our go-to offerings. We think that dresses are the best form to present our feminine image, and can easily mingle with our cool elements.
Nana : What aspect do you enjoy most about running a brand?
UNDORABLE : Our fans’ recognition would be the greatest reward to us of course. We have seen our fans sharing their unique experiences with UNDORABLE on social media, including unboxing and comparing with counterfeits, going on a dating TV show, and even meeting with boyfriend’s parents dressing in UNDORABLE. We are glad to see that girls wearing UNDORABLE in their important moments, which means they have identified with our commitment to spread positivity and confidence through UNDORABLE.
Nana : Do you have any advice for our readers who are seeking to find a way to build a brand with a strong message like “UNDORABLE”?
UNDORABLE : To build a unique brand, you must believe that only you can make the mission come true. As there are countless and incessant speculations from the market, your team, your friends and families, even part of you would be skeptical about yourself. You could have a thousand reasons to quit the journey anytime. After all, the answer that keeps you going on shall always be within your inner self, intact and unwavering.
Once you have the firm resolute as a steady backbone, it is important for you to be humble and absorptive. Once you persist with doing so, you will start to attract and pull over resources around you to help you make things happen. In every stage of building UNDORABLE, we have not given up and always kept our feet on ground.
In addition to your heart, the environment and market are also important. And for this we are very thankful for the transformative era of China stepping up as one of the largest fashion markets in the world.
“To build a unique brand, you must believe that only you can make the mission come true.”UNDORABLE