IN Interviews : Linda Huang
As a small island in East Asia, Taiwan does not receive as much love and regard as its more popular neighbors, China and Japan. But don't be fooled: Taiwan is brimming with new talent within fashion and design and the stream of creativity is constant. Infashuated had a chance to sit down with Linda Huang, Visual Merchandising Consultant at Georg Jensen, designer, and writer. Huang speaks to being a multifaceted creative, the Taipei fashion scene, and her upcoming projects including a new fashion line.
What’s your full name and where are you from?My full name is Linda Huang, I am from Taiwan.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background in design and what led you into pursuing a career in fashion?[In undergrad], I majored in Interior Design and studied Communication Design at Pratt Institute for grad school. During my seven years in New York, I’ve participated in many projects, held a vintage booth in Brooklyn Artist & Flea, was a graphic designer in artists’ studio in Chelsea, did visual merchandising for a 5th Avenue luxury beauty brand, was an Art Director for a television advertisement at a Union Square advertising agency … for me it was never just fashion and design, but a lifestyle of being involved in many projects that bring me great pleasure.
Tell us a little bit about your work at Georg Jensen. What does your day consist of and what are your daily responsibilities in your department?As a Visual Merchandising Consultant, there really isn’t much of a routine schedule, and most of the time is spent outside of the office. I do a weekly retail store tour to check and see if there is any display issues I need to tackle, there’s concept development, display tools development, constructing display guidelines, trend researching, budget control, etc.
Can you also share some of the projects you’re currently working on for your own self-titled brand, ‘Linda Huang?’ I have been working on a green wardrobe project called “NonSexual Fashion (NSF)” for a couple of years now. It combines androgynous fashion with a contemporary lifestyle. The project launched and toured in New York, Los Angeles and Taiwan with great reception.
The collection breaks through the limitations of gender, age and nationality, creates a one-size-fits-all style, and gives the wearers great convenience at the same time. It comprises eco-friendly fashion clothing (with certificated 35% recycled coffee grinds fabric), multiple-use leather goods, and a wood comb sautoir. All items present dual or more functions, which are made with superior quality material that carry a simplistic design style.
How would you describe your style?
I call it, "Linda Freestyle." I was highly inspired during my time in New York: modern with a bit of vintage, and a lot of adventure — no set limits.
Where do you find your style inspiration?British and US television series like Downtown Abbey, Mad Men, Sherlock Holmes ... I also follow many designer brands, fashion websites, Refinery29, and Racked NY on social media.
How would you describe the Taipei fashion scene when compared to Western fashion in cities such as New York and LA?New York is a great melting pot of different cultures, every borough has its own style, every person has their own style, whether it's retro, modern, artistic, or punk, there’s probably a specialty store for that just around the corner. In comparison, LA’s fashion is a lot more casual.
While Taiwan’s fashion is highly influenced by nearby Korea and Japan, the “sweetheart” look is very dominant here, and being in the sub-tropical climate zone, high humidity and heat really restricts the options we have (breezy clothing and rain gears are a must)! So it’s safe to say that every city will develop its own take on fashion from the characteristics of the city itself.
"NEW YORK IS A GREAT MELTING POT OF DIFFERENT CULTURES, EVERY BOROUGH HAS ITS OWN STYLE, EVERY PERSON HAS THEIR OWN STYLE."
What emerging brands are you most excited about right now in Taiwan and abroad?To be honest, I don't have much brand loyalty, I usually just look at the designs. In every collection, I can always find a few items that are just majestic and inspiring, and in the same collection will have a few items that make me think, “What happened here?” The designer and brand that I’m most interested in lately is Alessandro Trincone and DZHUS.
How does the work at Georg Jensen influence the work you do in your own personal projects? The way business is handled, GJ is a very well organized luxury brand, so I bring the same level of expectation and execution to my own projects.
What’s next for Linda Huang?Maybe my second book, or maybe designing a line for fashionable living. My brand is just like my life, no set limits, but when the time comes, some new project will just arise.