Nana: Fashion has infinite possibilities, and new power is born from it. As a carrier of culture and times, fashion encompasses everything. From trendy to traditional culture, from celebrities, idols to everyone’s daily life, and from West to East, it is our discourse, our power, our time. Through Asian Voice, we hope to spread the local Asian fashion culture to the world by moving cross languages and borders.
In this issue, we welcome #DAMUR, a Taiwan streetwear brand based in Berlin, Germany. Each collection of Damur is closely related to social issues, hoping to express attitudes and break social norms through fashion. #Damur uses discarded fabrics to make clothes, achieving the freedom to express attitudes through fashion while reducing the environmental impact of fashion production. Genderless, playing with silhouettes, and cut-out designs are all full of freedom and openness, bringing the unique style and color to the city. If there are three words to describe Damur, they must be “diverse”, “genderless” and “bold”.
Nana: Could you give us an introduction about #DAMUR?
Damur Huang: I opened #DAMUR, my own namesake brand in 2015. The studio is located in the Kreuzberg store, in Berlin, Germany. Growing up in Taiwan and studying in Belgium, thatʼs where I found my passion for fashion, with Asian pop culture being ever present in my designs.
Our mission is to free the individual expression while reducing the environmental impact of fashion production. This is achieved by creating long-lasting and innovative pieces of streetwear built from deadstock premium fabrics under ethical working conditions.
#DAMUR brings colour to the Berlin style and attitude. The designs are genderless and play with silhouettes by using oversize construction to shape collections that donʼt abide by gender categories. upcycled denim is also featured in the collections resulting in pieces that combine different colours and textures. Cutouts bring freedom to pieces by allowing a more transparent expression of our bodies.
Nana: Why did you initially create the brand and name it “#DAMUR”?
Damur Huang: I created #DAMUR because I didn ́t feel fully identified with any of the brands in the market and wanted to create something of my own. The # is a way to communicate with everyone, through the digital world. Our voice is present in our clothing through the # logo. It is the new generationʼs means of self-expression. With the # we distinguish, and we belong, we identify and assemble, we express the freedom of being non-standard in style, culture, and social norm, the Berliner attitude.
Nana: How do you describe the style of #DAMUR in three words?
Damur Huang: Diverse, genderless, and bold.
Nana: How do you come up and decide on the themes for your collections?
Damur Huang: We produce an authentic fashion series with each collection centered around breaking through stereotypes and controversial issues present in todayʼs society. With each collection, we challenge the labels society wants to impose upon us.
Nana: Is it possible to let readers know more about your SS23 collection? The pearls in the faces of the models are very impressing. What has inspired the theme and the pieces in them?
Damur Huang: The #DAMUR SS23 collection “Impact Zone” is refering to the moment when the wave is at its most powerful stage. It’s for the surfer to take control and use the energy that comes with it. In some cases, this energy might be peaceful and soothing, but in others, it can be a source of tremendous strength and power. From #DAMURʼs point of view, the need to always surpass oneself, to go beyond limits, is the aim of humanity.
The collection was created to emphasize the faces and emotions of future generations, representing the desire of freedom and hope within them. Chaos and uncertainty have taken over the world, impacting the expectations and dreams of youth. Unfortunately, due to the world’s circumstances many juveniles use daydreaming as an escape route, even though this is only momentaneous. Once you open your eyes again, you are back to reality. Future generations are scared and not ready to face the real world due to the unpredictability it entails. #DAMUR wants to encourage everybody to face reality, believe in themselves and achieve their goals.
The new collection embodies the chaotic but electric character of humans and waves binding them together, fighting the restrictions of society. Inspired by the aspirations and desires of the young generation, #DAMUR united liberating thoughts and high-end streetwear creating urban and functional sunglasses with the signature half-heart design and an elastic strap. They are part of #DAMURʼs latest collaboration with the Taiwanese eyewear company KlassiC. Straps play a leading role in the entire collection, representing constraints of daily life as we free ourselves of those binds.
The straps are modular and designed to work with all the pieces and can be attached and detached, changing the clothing into a new version of it every time. This approach allows the fabrics to have wave-like, fluent, ever-changing forms.
The pearl make-up was inspired on a minimalistic approach, wed decided to go with pearls for it to be visible. Itʼs all about asymmetry, no clean lines and based on texture mostly. We wanted to play with the structure of the face.
Nana: Is there any culture/artist/books/cities/movies etc. that you want our readers to check for the inspirations?
Damur Huang: I want the readers to take time to see the street art in berlin, there are many graffities and even though many people don ́t like them, to me they represent liberty, individual self-expression. The graffities give freedom, the street art in berlin(ex: @1up_crew_official and @artofbust) is inspiring for humanity, not always about having a fixed time and a structured life, they always help see outside the box, and always provide creativity.
Nana: Can you tell us about some of the most challenging experiences you have had during the process of building your brand?
Damur Huang: The most challenging experience has been overcoming the pandemic. Covid- 19 has affected many, if not all businesses, including the fashion industry. The impact has been reflected in the supply chain, in all aspects. This has created an economic crisis and a hard political situation. The fashion market is now saturated, making it a difficult one. All these factors affected planning, what is coming next, what is the next step for the brand, the circumstances were so unpredictable.
The political issue is still very challenging, and even more being from Taiwan. I was offered a project with a company from China and we weren ́t able to sign the contact because the political tension is too high. Nationality is too sensitive, everything had to be put on hold, it seems like the political timing is never right. I can now say 2 years after the pandemic the brand is still here and back on track.
Nana: Do you have any advice for our readers who are seeking to find a way to build a brand just like “#DAMUR “?
Damur Huang: A well-developed company should have a clear direction, a well-executed plan, and a strong ability to execute. You know where you want to end up, you know how to get there, and youʼre prepared to deal with any problems that arise along the way.
My advice to people is that they don ́t overthink, trust themselves, and then just do it. Believe in your instincts and your vision. The performance of aa brand may not always be ideal, but building a brand takes time, at least a few years.
You need to be fearless, want to take a risk, no matter how hard the risk is. Never let other peopleʼs opinion change your mind, everyone is different, other peopleʼs success does not mean your success. Focus on your own path, think about what is better for yourself.
You need to be fearless, want to take a risk, no matter how hard the risk is.