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Angel Yi Pan: Don’t be afraid to work hard and hustle for your passion.

Can you share your fashion design journey?

We are a pair of recent alumni from Parsons, School of Fashion in New York City. Angel Pan, a Canadian born Chinese, and Yidi Zuo, originally from Harbin, China, came together during their academics at Parsons. Their encounter cultivated a harmonious convergence of design aesthetics and a shared passion for exploring the symbiotic relationship between nature and fashion.

What or who inspired you to pursue a career in this field?

We draw profound inspiration from cultural narratives and myths, transcending the boundaries of our own heritage to delve into the rich tapestry of global traditions. Our exploration extends to deciphering how various cultures perceive and interpret the essence of nature. We enjoy synthesizing contemporary technological methods with historical research, to create future forward innovative designs.

Can you tell us about your creative process from concept to creation? How do you design a new piece or series?

Our collection commences with organic conceptualization, where we curate a general visual moodboard. Delving into contemporary trends, we study motifs and emergent fascinations captivating the imagination of today's generation, including artificial intelligence and biomimicry. With that, we deliberate upon color palettes and innovative technological methodologies for integration within our designs. We continue to communicate this to our manufacturing partners, as we initiate the collaborative journey towards materializing our creative vision into tangible form.

How are current trends affecting your work (if any)? Do you strive to stay ahead of trends, or do you focus on creating timeless designs?

We diligently engage in trend analysis to be knowledgable in the evolving preferences of our clientele, particularly focusing on silhouettes that accentuate the feminine form. Central to our ethos is the thought that our designs transcend time, bearing a narrative woven into the essence regardless of the transient whims of passing fads.

With the increasing focus on sustainability in the fashion industry, how do you integrate sustainable practices into your design and production processes?

Sustainability remains a commitment throughout our daily operations We conscientiously source deadstock materials locally in New York City, to create custom and made-to-order designs that epitomize both individuality and eco-consciousness. Additionally, we meticulously vet our manufacturing partners and factories, ensuring adherence to ethical labor standards. Collaborating closely with reputable mills, we only use premium fabrics of impeccable quality, with a concerted effort to minimize the presence of polyester within their composition. Moreover, we opt to offer our styles in a singular size, a decision informed by both feasibility considerations and a dedication to longevity. Given the scale of our brand, maintaining multiple size options would engender excessive stock surplus—a practice incongruent with our sustainability ethos. Furthermore, our garments are crafted with a thoughtful design ethos, incorporating stretch fabrics that accommodate a broader spectrum of body sizes. This inherent adaptability not only promotes prolonged wear but also accommodates natural fluctuations in body size over time, thereby enhancing the garment's enduring relevance and longevity.

Every designer has their own signature style or element that makes their work unique. How would you describe your situation and how it developed?

Our distinctive aesthetic is deeply rooted in the ethos of Nausicaa's narrative—a tale of a princess embodying warrior-like qualities amidst a harmonious bond with nature. This organic ideology serves as a guiding principle, both in our jewelry and apparel designs, all while embracing technological innovation. Given the scale of our brand, we maintain a balance between custom one-of-a-kind creations and factory-produced designs. This allows us to offer a diverse spectrum of editorial, avant-garde pieces alongside more accessible ready-to-wear ensembles, ensuring a dynamic and inclusive repertoire that caters to varied tastes and occasions.

As a fashion designer, what is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career? How did you overcome it?

Among the challenges encountered in our journey, the imperative to scale our operations in regards with the expansion of our brand was one of the biggest. As designers, we have navigated the terrain of business management, often relying on self-directed learning to master the intricacies of entrepreneurship—a facet often overlooked in academic fashion schooling. Post-graduation, we found ourselves straddling the demands of full-time employment while shouldering the responsibilities of overseeing the day-to-day operations and orchestrating the release of our collections. The inception of a brand definitely demands an unwavering reservoir of passion and conviction.

Collaboration can play an important role in the fashion industry. Have you collaborated with other designers, brands or artists? If so, what was that experience like? How has it affected your work?

Presently, we are engaged in several collaborative endeavors, primarily with fellow designers, with the aim of harmonizing distinct design aesthetics and presenting a different offering to our audience. The collaborative process is one we relish, finding it both intellectually stimulating and rooted in mutual respect, as we seamlessly blend our unique design visions with those of our partners. This collaborative ethos is one we wholeheartedly embrace and intend to perpetuate, recognizing its capacity to foster innovation and broaden the creative horizons of all involved.

Where do you see the fashion industry heading in the next five years, especially with advances in technology and the rise of digital fashion?

We position ourselves as trailblazers poised at the forefront of futuristic innovation. Presently, our designs encompass the seamless integration of 3D printing technology into our jewelry creations, alongside a pioneering collaboration with the virtual fashion platform, Girl Globe, enabling us to showcase our apparel offerings to an online audience in a digital realm. Our commitment to technological advancement remains steadfast as we diligently explore novel methods of creation for our forthcoming collections. Looking ahead to the next five years, our vision encompasses the distribution of digital renditions of our clothing—an initiative aimed at fostering greater accessibility and inclusivity within the digital sphere and social media.

What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers just starting out in the industry?

Don’t be afraid to work hard and hustle for your passion.

Looking back on your career so far, what are you most proud of?

We are most proud of the vision that we have created that resonates with our audience. Visual imagery is utmost important to our process and we often get praised for the creative direction of our campaigns.

What are your goals for the future of the brand or for your personal development as a designer?

The overarching goal for our brand is to embark on a gradual trajectory towards expansion, refining and reinvesting in every facet of our operations, with a keen focus on enhancing both quality and design elements. Our ultimate aim is to cultivate a timeless vision and narrative that resonates deeply with our audience, leaving an imprint in their memories. Undoubtedly, this journey constitutes a profound process of sophisticated development, not only for our brand but also for us as designers. Each step forward represents a deliberate stride towards realizing our artistic vision and solidifying our brand identity within the competitive landscape of the industry.

Visual Assistant: Skylar @brilliantwjy

Photographer: Chai Qi @cherrychai2000

Fashion Designer: yidi zuo @uuuuuidi

Fashion Designer: Nausicaa Nyc @nausicaa_nyc

Fashion Designer: Angel Yi Pan @angelpan_studio

Makeup Artist: ShanJu Wu @bella_yumi1221

Model: Julia Willett @julia.willett

Visual Assistant: Ziyi Jinyang @ziyiart2022



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