Celebrating her multicultural background in her collections, fashion designer Kim Shui was born in the US, and grew up in Rome, Italy. Assimilating diverse influences, Shui’s work playfully embraces eclectic materials and techniques, often subverting traditional Chinese motifs as a signature. She debuted her AW16 ready-to-wear collection at NYFW, and went on to be selected by Vogue Italia to exhibit her pieces at Pitti Super Talents in Milan. Shui has since presented a further six collections and dressed eminent artists like Solange, Cardi B and Kehlani, building a thriving fan base for her trademark silks and mini-dresses, among other joyful reinterpretations of familiar garments. To learn more about the designer, what she’s working on now and how the pandemic has affected her operation, Something Curated spoke with Shui.

Something Curated: Can you give us some insight into your background; how did you enter the world of fashion?

Kim Shui: I came from an economics background actually — I graduated with a double major in Economics and French Literature before I went into Fashion. When I was in school though I realized what I was most passionate about and I started looking for ways to make that happen. I had to sort a lot of things out before I got my first capsule collection right but I got selected to show at NYFW via VFILES and things started for me from there. 

SC: What are you working on at present, and how has the pandemic affected your way of working?

KS: I’m working on SS21 at the moment. It has definitely been a new way of working for me, as normally I would be travelling for work. I’ve been getting used to tackling things I would be doing in person digitally. 

SC: What materials or processes are you particularly enjoying exploring currently?

KS: We are working on new prints and more tailoring as well as different bustier construction techniques. I’m also looking at incorporating fabrics like Tencel and Lyocell, as well as bamboo fibres.  

SC: What do you want to learn more about? 

KS: I would love to learn about more printing techniques, incorporating graphics into some pieces and accessories. I’m hoping to come out with a bag soon too. 

Feature image: Kim Shui AW19 / Images courtesy Kim Shui

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