Dragons and NFTs took to the runway at Kim Shui’s SS23 show
We catch up with the much-hyped designer in wake of her NYFW outing and its Soho Friends-powered afterparty
Thursday 14 September 2022 by Abigail Hirsch Photography by Lihi Brosh
Among a sea of giants of the likes of Fendi, Marni and Tommy Hilfiger that showed at NYFW this season, it was in fact New York’s young downtown designers who stole the spotlight. And one of the standouts was Kim Shui, who’s sexy, unapologetic womenswear designs have been worn by the likes of Hailey Bieber, Megan Thee Stallion and Kylie Jenner.
Soho Friends teamed up with Kim Shui for an exclusive afterparty at Soho House New York to celebrate the show. We sat down with the designer to hear more about her SS23 collection and what’s next for her eponymous label.
Scroll on for a peek inside Kim Shui’s show and afterparty at SHNY.
Can you tell us about some of the inspiration behind the collection?
‘This season we were inspired by female warriors, Chinese Miao garb and celestial dragons.’
How is this season’s ‘Kim Shui Girl’ different from previous ones?
‘She’s taking more risks, experimenting with more volume – she’s evolving.’
You’ve been cited as bringing sexiness back into fashion – how does this collection do that?
‘It still shows skin, but in a more experimental way perhaps this season. It’s a little more subtle and more playful with volume. It’s not as straightforwardly body-con.’
You placed an emphasis on making your fans part of this season’s show – what was your thinking behind that?
‘Our community has been core to our development as a brand. We were co-created on the internet really and we wanted this season to reflect that. It was through the women wearing our clothes and sharing it with others that we were able to grow, and we wanted to really have them be a part of the show no matter where they are.’
Tell us about the outfit you’re co-creating with netizens. Where did this idea come from?
‘It came from telling the story of how each piece is never really made by one person; everything is made by people coming together, inspired by others around us. You can’t accomplish things alone. I thought this idea of artwork on clothing and multiple contributions, as well as ways to credit each person through NFTs ownership, was interesting.’
You’re known for your broad, inclusive casting – this year you’re crowd sourcing models?
‘We received so many great submissions so far. It’s hard to pick just one person, there are some really amazing stories.’
Where do you plan to go next in terms of casting?
‘I think my casting is always open-ended. I want to be sure I can represent all types of beauty.’
Your collections always include digital-first elements. What’s new this season?
‘Working with this idea of partial ownership of a contribution through NFTs.’
Last season, you mentioned interest in web3 and NFTs, specifically in terms of increasing accessibility for women in that space. How are you working towards that goal?
‘I think there’s so much possibility in the space and I’m looking forward to exploring more. We have an exciting collaboration coming up too.’
How do you think the relationship between fashion and the internet is changing?
‘I think it’s becoming more and more personal, especially with this shift to video and reels. People want to connect with who’s behind the brand, see behind the scenes in real time.’
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