JBNY: The Arty Side of Chinese Fashion
The term “Made in China” brings along with it the unsavory associations of low quality pieces that fall apart, fit poorly or generally lack personality. That stereotype is coming apart at the seams, at least in certain cases. These days, there’s an increasing number of intriguing indie labels springing out of Shanghai, Beijing and the nether regions of China.
Take for example, JNBY, a Chinese label based in Hangzhou that’s gained success abroad for it’s architecture-inspired shapes, clean lines and reasonable price points. Since its debut in China in 1994, the brand has been building a worldwide following. The contemporary brand launched in the U.S. last year and now has freestanding stores in Spain, Russia, Canada and wholesale distribution in the UK. At first, there were some wary stateside editors, but since then the label has taken off quite beautifully. The Spring 2011 collection is strong on the basics including distressed jackets in nudes and putty, button down blouses that nod to safari wear and utilitarian slouchy shorts. The pieces are currently stocked at prestigious U.S. stores such as Barneys New York, Fred Segal and Shopbop.com, among others.
There’s a nice story that plays backdrop as well. JNBY was launched by a design collective that met while attending art school and many of the pieces have a multi-functional, fashion forward feel. At the least, there’s a sense that the designers gave the cuts intelligent discourse.
With its growing success, JNBY is expanding. For Fall 2011, there’s more pieces for womenswear but a kids’ line too. For women, the theme revolves around “The New Uniform.” Colors are generally muted and neutral, and of course drab olive plays a part, but there’s plenty of texture to play around with.
Photos courtesy of JNBY
By: Bee-Shyuan Chang