As far as international fashion competitions go, the International Woolmark Prize is akin to the clothing Olympics, often showcasing brilliant young talent on the rise before they become household names. Chinese creative Victor Zhu is one such designer.
Less than two years after co-founding the fashion label he now runs solo, this London School of Fashion graduate who now lives in China’s manufacturing capital Shenzen, won the prestigious Woolmark Prize for Asia 2014 before competing to widespread accolades in the global final.
By coincidence Dion Lee, Christopher Esber and Macgraw, who will all show at year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, are Woolmark alumni too, with all having won the Australian arm of the prize over past years.
This week, Zhu travels to Sydney to show on the same MBFWA schedule as them for his debut runway show as an invited guest of IMG, which runs the global Fashion Week calendars. We spoke to the talented designer ahead of his visit.
How would you describe VMajor’s aesthetic or look to someone who’s not seen your clothes? Multicultural, free spirited, casual elegance.
At what point in your life did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer and why did you choose London for your studies? I’m always interesting in Art and craftsmanship-related stuff so I think it came naturally that I choose fashion as my career. I like to discover different cultures and London as a global multicultural city inspired me a lot. [It also] combines cutting edge elements and tradition, which makes it so unique. These all made me decide to study there.
Do you have a signature fabric you like to work with? Australian wool.
What was the greatest lesson you learned about fashion, design and running a label during your time interning at Vivienne Westwood? Do not be afraid to express yourself.
Do you have a muse or particular type of woman in mind when you are designing? The different type of women I happen to meet in my daily life.
Which designers or other creatives inspire you? When I was young, Vivienne Westwood, but right now I don’t have particular designer or artist [I draw] inspiration from.
Will this be your first trip to Sydney and what are your feelings about showing at MBFWA? Yes, this is my first trip to Australia and I’m very excited and looking forward to it.
What do you hope to be the main result of your show? To let a greater audience to know my brand globally and to hopefully cause resonance with our point of aesthetic.
Where can excited potential customers in Australia currently buy your clothes? We are not selling in Australia yet but hopefully we will be soon after MBFWA.