RFactory Shines A Light On The Future Of Fun Fashion. RFactory点亮乐趣时尚的未来

Bizarre to non-aficionados, illogical to non-techies and fantastical to many, wearable tech is no harum-scarum trend. Looking through the keyhole into the world of fashionable tech is the apotheosis of that “Alice in Wonderland” feel: Curiouser and curiouser! Enter RFactory bags and accessories: Through the looking glass with an indulgence in fun and a dabbling in tech. Like Carroll’s story, wearable tech develops a characteristic mixture of vagueness and vividness. Nothing remains the same for long; the fun and magic of technology has infiltrated real wearable fashion, where, like the White Rabbit, the LED lights disappear and reappear. As “grownup” giants, we ask… Is fashion an illusion?

从怪诞到平常、从悖理到常理、从空想到普及,可穿戴科技早已不是肆意的狂想。窥探时尚科技世界犹如爱丽丝漫游仙境:眼前的一切变的越来越神奇!带着放纵的乐趣和浅尝科技的兴奋,让我们一起走进Rfactory的包包配饰世界。就好像卡罗所写的爱丽丝的故事(Carrol’s story)那样,可穿戴科技是一种虚幻和动态的结合,没有什么是长时间存在的。无约束的乐趣和科技的魔力已经渗透到现实的可穿戴时尚里,那些的一闪一闪的LED灯真的就好像爱丽丝故事里时隐时现的白色兔子。难道时尚也是一种幻觉吗?

 “We find ourselves in an age of cookie-cutter sameness; there are few that are rarities. A lot of people have taste, but they don’t have the dare to be creative.” “我们生活在一个很多事物都十分相似的时代;与众不同的人其实很少。很多人虽然有自己独到的品味,但是真正敢去创造的人却很少。” 比尔·坎宁汉 (Bill Cunningham)

Snug-as-a-bug settled in a corner of old Beijing’s Qiguaibaguai Hutong, fashionably futuristic RFactory’s Founder and Designer Wu Yingnan, you may call her “Océan”, runs her studio with “a mixture of hardcore factory culture, playfulness, respect for time and curiosity about the future.” In the five years since its conception, the RFactory brand has remained faithful to its initial complex design consciousness that comes to life and shines within each piece of work. “Conflict and unity, strong and full of fun” sums up the brand’s signature style. The RFactory charm, and the brand’s knack for accessorizing its products with a perfect interpretation of cultural connotation even landed it a deal with The Walt Disney Company China to design the Star Wars bags line, including RFactory in the handful of designer brands selected to participate in the Star Wars series of cross-brand cooperation. Add to the list of partnerships heavy-hitters such as LENOVO and Maybelline and we have a veritable cross-border bigshot-to-watch on our hands.

正在老北京一个七拐八拐的胡同里,吴英男Rfactory的创始人、设计师的工作室就在这里。“硬派工厂文化、趣味玩心,对时光的尊重和对未来探索的好奇心”是Rfactory的设计基因。 “冲突又统一,强烈又充满趣味”是Rfactory年轻但根植于品牌血液中的风格语言。它的魅力之大,和以完美诠释文化内涵的设计,甚至获邀迪士尼(中国)公司授权设计《星球大战》系列包袋,成为中国迪士尼唯一授权的生产星战系列包袋的品牌,成为中国设计师品牌中极少数被选择参与星战系列跨品牌合作的代表之一。Rfactory品牌亦受曾受到LENOVO、美宝莲以及宝岛眼镜、博士伦等等品牌的合作邀约,是名副其实的“跨界王”。

Rfactory in September of 2016 officially landed in Beijing’s Galeries Lafayette — the only Chinese accessories brand among a host of international names. The brand counts Chinese A+ listers with the likes of Fan Bingbing, Su Mang, ANGELABABY, Yang Mi, Shang Wenjie and Han Geng, as well as international fashion names such as Diane Von Fuerstenberg, model Zuzanna Bijoch and Japan’s IT girl Suwon Hiroshi among its loyal supporters.

2016年9月,Rfactory正式登陆北京老佛爷百货,成众多国际大牌中唯一的中国包袋配饰品牌。Rfactory持续以前卫又不乏复古的设计、大牌产品的品质和轻奢价位征服越来越多的粉丝,得到众多媒体追捧和报道;范冰冰、苏芒、ANGELABABY、杨幂、尚雯婕、韩庚及美国传奇时尚女王DVF女士、国际超模Zuzanna Bijoch 、日本IT girl水原希子等众多超级明星都是品牌的忠实拥护者。Rfactory也被行业专业人士评价为代表中国设计师包袋类别的最高水平。

The creation of Rfactory in 2011 was not merely limited to the designing and manufacturing of bags and other fashionable items, the brand opted to present its clientele with a mixture showing off futuristic retro fantasy and the exploration of a future filled with interestingly accessorizing curiosities. The full spectrum of RFactory’s designs emphasizes the brand’s varied roots as well as a variety of colors and materials. With a strategically orchestrated stylized sensation, each and every creation gives off an unequivocal futuristic sense with the ever-simmering “is it a 1970 worn anew or a 2017 never-before-seen preview?” question aroused by their vintage-vibed details. It’s all an illusion.

于2011年创生的Rfactory,设计并制造包括但不限于包包的时髦物品。坚硬的工厂文化与未来感复古嵌合是这个品牌最显著的设计语言,尊重时光并对未来探索充满趣味奇心——Rfactory就是这样的复合混合体。作品强调Rfactory的趣味基因,融和多种色彩与材质的实验,你会觉得这些作品来自未来,但是总有一些细节在提醒你“也许她来自过去”。

 

With its now internationally trending retro core concept, the idea behind RFactory in fact aims to abandon that abovementioned illusion of fashion by respecting the different textures of different times. Characterized by a strong opposition to blind obedience, the RFactory wearer is a true advocate of her self-developed style and sense of fashionable fun. “Fun” includes dabbling in fashion tech as proven by the range of LED bags, using the 360Fash Tech “LED Bag” Kit, the brand unleashed onto Beijing Design Week on October 1 of this year. The Kit comes with everything that you need to create a LED bag from the hardware side, as well as a basic lighting pattern from the software side. With Bluetooth embedded, the kit can connect to your phone for more functionality. RFactory, or any designer willing to have a go at it, simply had to figure out what type of bag they  wanted to make and how they would incorporate the kit the  into the bag design — then simply fit in the pieces.

国际新晋热宠品牌Rfactory复古、经典的核心理念,推崇时光带来的质感,抛弃浮幻的时尚。主张使用者拒绝盲从,成为自己的风格和乐趣制造者。比如我们的LED包套件就既包含了制作LED包所需要的硬件,还包含了基础荧光图案的软件,并内置蓝牙以便和手机连接享受更多功能。设计师只需要去思考如何将这个套件与自己的设计统一起来,这个包的样式如何,然后将各个部件拼接联合起来。

In order to provide those smart consumer cookies out there with classic, meaningful, interesting and, most importantly, innovative products, the brand’s contrivances are set to deliver. Though still a relative newborn, the brand is already breaking the barriers within consumer attitudes and product concepts, brazenly paving the way for the future of fashion right this minute.

为聪明的消费者们提供经典、隽永、有趣、革新的产品,做真皮皮具的新经典品提供者。这个新兴的品牌虽然刚刚萌芽,却已经超出待发之势,已经在改变人们的消费观和品牌观念的道路上快步前进着。

“Science. It’s the only thing that brings us forward.”

“科学是唯一能让我们一直前进的事物。” 戴安娜·弗里兰(Diana Vreeland)

Diana Vreeland, aka the Delphi Oracle. Girlfriend threw out the above statement some 35 years ago and  it has become a global truth in fashion anno 2016. Hence, we owe it to Vreeland to set out and gather as much knowledge as our tiny fashion brains (tongue-firmly-in-cheek) can possibly grasp. Temper managed to grab hold of RFactory’s Océan and tear her away from the Shanghai Fashion Week catwalk for a quick Futuristic Fashion 101. And as we’re all mad here anyway, together we jump though the keyhole on a fantastical excursion into the realm of LED-lit bags and fun basics for a fashionable future: Océan’s Enlightenment.

戴安娜·弗里兰(Diana Vreeland), 又称德尔斐先知(Delphi Oracle)。她35年前的这句话在2016年的时尚界真的就成了适用全球的真理。听从弗里兰女士的预言,Temper在上海时装周有幸采访到了RFactory的Océan女士,听听她有关未来主义时尚的介绍。就让我们从Océan女士最具启迪性的LED闪光包出发,开启探索未来乐趣时尚的神奇旅行。

 

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Temper: RFactory has seen the future. How about the future of China Wearable Tech? How do you bring the future into the fashionable customer’s wardrobe? RFactory看到了未来,那么你认为可穿戴技术在中国时尚的未来呢?你是如何把未来带到时尚人士的衣橱里的?

Océan: “We refer to ourselves as a ‘fun provider’. RFactory offers bags, sunglasses, as well as a smattering of other accessories. We believe that from now on, people will actually happily pay for items they deem fun, good quality and reasonably priced. The target consumers are the dudes and dudettes who represent the new generation: Young, vibrant, edgy and unique. And most importantly, not afraid to be different!

“我们称自己为“乐趣提供者”。RFactory里有包包、太阳眼镜、和其他一些配饰。我们相信从现在开始人们会乐意花钱购买那些让他们觉得有趣,质量好,价格合理的东西。我们的目标群体是那些代表新一代的男生和女生们,他们年轻富有活力,前卫而独特,最重要的是他们不怕跟别人不一样!

When it comes to the current state of China Fashion affairs, we see legions of traditional brands currently ‘on the out’. When we’re talking ‘wearable tech’, we at RFactory see the future of fashion in the smart-yet-fun way, i.e. powered by technology. This is the reason we teamed up with 360 Fashion Tech and used their LED Bag Kit to create some literally bling-bling bags! Sometimes, you have to set foot outside the designer box and look at the bigger picture. Technology talks in the 21st Century; full stop.

说到中国时尚的当前形势,我们看到许多传统品牌正在’走出去’。当谈到’可穿戴科技’,在RFactory我们看到的是时尚智能又有趣的未来,例如借助科技的力量。这就是我们与360 Fashion Tech合作,借助他们的LED包套件来创造所谓的闪闪发光的包包!有时你需要走出设计师的局限来看看更广阔的天地。21世纪讲的就是科技。

The downside to our ever-swifter society is that people’s attention spans and their ability to focus are becoming ever more limited. See, designing is the easy part here; the toughest part is your ‘branding’. The customer is no longer loyal, if you will. When it comes to fashion, or the consumer society at large, we have entered the era of ‘updating’! Your clientele needs new things and new ideas; it needs to be different and unique… Altogether, they are increasingly harder to please and in turn creating a whole new market situation for the competing brands!

社会的瞬息万变所带来的不利点是人们的注意力和专注力变得越来越有限。设计很容易,然而难的是‘做品牌’。客户不再忠诚。纵观时尚界和整个社会,我们已经进入了一个时时都在‘更新’的时代!你的客户需要新的东西和新的想法;要独特的、与众不同的… 这一切使得让客户满意变得更加困难,我们要来创造一个全新的市场来与其他品牌竞争!

The fashionista needs new brands so in with the vibrant, the changes, the designer headaches, the death of some brands and the birth of others. It’s all moving at a pace that might make you trip over your own legs. The China Fashion scene, including its wearable niche, can boast a lot of talent, ambition and opportunity, but it’s rushed. And when you’re in a rush, you easily drop a stitch.” [As they say in China: Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. A bite of Laozi’s philosophy for all you peeps.]

时尚需要新的品牌来灌入生机,新旧品牌的更替等推动其发展变化。这一切都在以飞快的速度发展着。中国的时尚包括可穿戴时尚是一个人才辈出,充满野心和机会的产业,可是它发展的太快了。当事情发展过快的时候,往往就会有疏漏。” [中国哲学家老子曾告诉过我们:自然不急,万事皆成。]

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Temper: The RFactory designs come in all shapes and sizes, never avoiding the cheeky ‘n quirky and ever honoring the bold ‘n beautiful – in every way. Aside from your leather fetish, how does “material” inspire you? How does the RFactory vision of fun fashion translate into wearable art? RFactory有不同的形状和大小的设计产品,你们不会去回避离奇古怪的想法,推崇大胆隽美的设计。除了皮料,其他材料是如何激发你的设计灵感的?你是如何将RFactory的乐趣时尚转化为可穿戴艺术的?

Océan: “I actually fancy all kinds of materials. I like to see their different patterns, different layers, different colors and so on. What I find essential, though, is the touch. I need to feel the materials — in every way. We experiment a lot inside the RFactory lab, running with all types and kinds of material; in fact, we play with the concept that is ‘material’! One funny example here is a series we launched called ‘MT FAKE’ (‘material fake’), which saw us actually print WALL, CHAIN and LEATHER onto leather! Quirky materialized! Overall, then, when it comes to the RFactory look… It changes with my own experiences! I can give you a little hint (tiny top secret, mind you!) about the ‘silhouette’ of my upcoming collection: It’s all about EXPRESSION and TINY. For more details, please check us on WeChat (Rfactory2012) or visit our store in Lafayette! Please note that I’m winking over here, hehe. [Noted and insert ‘wink’.]

“我其实喜爱所有的材料,喜欢他们不同的质感,不同的层次,不同的颜色等等。我认为最重要的是材料的触感。我需要亲手去摸这些材料。我们在RFactory的实验室里以‘材料’为概念去尝试各种各样的材料。其中一个有趣的例子是我们做了一个叫‘MT FAKE’(‘材料伪造’)系列,我们把WALL, CHAIN和LEATHER等字母印到皮料上!一个古怪想法的具现化!总体来说,整个RFactory的设计随着我个人的经验而改变!告诉你一个小秘密(绝对的机密,要注意了!)我下个系列的主题是有关表现(EXPRESSION)与细微(TINY)的。有关具体信息请查看我们的微信(Rfactory2012)或到北京老佛爷百货去看看!

Travel, cliché – I know, travel is what gets me excited and thus inspired every time! I never want to loose that ability to be teased so easily by what the world in se has to offer. I often visit museums, and I really do mean often… The biggest ones, the most famous ones, the most unknown ones; all of them! They form another endless source of inspiration, yet the very best inspiration simply remains up in the air, meaning you never know what, when, why and something will inspire you, but you simply get that fresh feel about you… You know that feeling? [I do, indeed. And agreed. ] For a while there, I took a lot of pictures, and I do mean lots and lots of them! Sometimes I’d snap an ice cream, a ghoulish ghost drawn by my daughter, and in such fashion I would kick off the overall pattern of my design process! Most of the time, though, I’ll figure out my key elements and information for the collection, flip through all those snapshots and start building up every item piece by piece. Like my daughter’s Lego.”

旅行,虽然有些陈词老调了,但是我的每一次的旅行总是让我兴奋的同时又带给我灵感的!我永远都不想失去这份用来感受这个世界的敏锐的情感。我经常会去逛博物馆,真的很频繁。最大的、最有名的、最不为人知的;所有的博物馆!这些博物馆是我创作的无限灵感来源,然而最好的灵感仍然是无形的,你不知道为什么、什么时候、在哪个地点的一些事物是会给予你灵感,那是一种很新鲜的感觉,你知道那种感觉吗?[我十分了解并赞同。] 在那个时候,我会拍很多很多的照片!有时候我会去拍一个冰激凌,甚至我女儿画的看上去有点吓人的幽灵,我设计创作的过程经常是这样被开启的!很多时候,我会先想清楚有关系列的关键元素和信息,翻阅我所拍摄的全部照片,最后再把一件作品一点一点地组建起来。有点像我女儿玩的乐高(Lego)。”

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Temper: What’s your stance on sustainability — in its broadest sense — within the China Design Scene anno 2016? 在2016年中国的设计领域里,你如何看待广义上的可持续发展的?

Océan: “I like this question a lot and would like to talk about the ‘sustainability’ of a designer in the fashion industry. The fashion industry is cruel. It’s relatively easy to set up shop, get a collection up and running, but the tricky part is to develop it further and eventually make a name for yourself and, most of all, maintain this name – which I do believe is every brand founder’s dream. Yes, I use the term ‘founder’ on purpose. Mind you, a designer can be a brand founder too, but perhaps the designer might not be as apt at the business aspect of fashion as they may presume to be…

“我非常喜欢这个问题,我想谈一下有关一个设计师在时尚产业的’可持续发展’。时尚产业是很残酷的。开一家店,做一个系列其实是很容易的,但是难的是如何继续发展下去并最终打响品牌的知名度,最重要的是让品牌做的长久——我知道这是所有品牌创始人的梦想。我在这里特别用到了’创始人’一词。提醒你一下,一个设计师同时也可以是一位品牌创始人,但是很有可能设计师并不像他们想象地那样善于时尚商业运筹方面的事…

The cliché scenario unfolds as follows: You like to design cloth, you’ve created a few pieces, you think they’re fabulous, your friends encourage you to present your collection in a show, you open that door and discover a world of novel ideas and opportunities. You don’t hesitate, enthusiasm can overshadow reason at times hence you dive right in and start to design collections twice a year. You set up your showroom to expand your brand exposure, but then it becomes cringingly clear… Your designs don’t sell as well as you thought they would and, lo ‘n behold, doubt sets in. At the same time, you has to pay the annual rent for your teeny tiny studio, make sure your employees get their paychecks on time and things are becoming more uncomfortable by the day. To top it all off, a designer’s worst nightmare comes true and your production factory bails on you. After all is said and done, you decide to give up. This story happens to hopeful designers all over the world, every day of the month. This is the illusion of fashion shattered.

事情发展经常是这样:你喜欢设计服装甚至已经设计了几件,你觉得它们看上去太美了,你的朋友们也鼓励你带着你设计的系列去参展,突然间你发现那个充满新奇想法和机遇的另一个世界的大门向你打开了。被热情冲昏了头脑,于是你毫不犹豫地一头扎进设计里,开始了一年两次的设计系列。你开始建立自己的样品间来提高品牌曝光度,但是慢慢地你看到… 你的设计并不像你想像中卖的那么好,于是你开始产生怀疑。同时,你还需要为那小的可怜的工作室支付每年的租金,保证按时分发员工们的工资,事情开始变得不那么乐观了。这一切还不算糟,最糟糕的噩梦成真了,你的生产商背弃了合约。在经过了这么多的事情之后,你最终决定放弃。在世界各地的持乐观态度的设计师身上这样的故事几乎每天都在发生。时尚的幻想破灭了。

All of the above negativity aside, my point is that if you are a good designer and coincidentally have a nose for entrepreneurship: Bingo! Start up your brand and promote the hell out of it; never in history has there been a better time to gain global exposure! Nevertheless, if you are only good at designing and you want to set up shop, you better find a trustworthy partner who can handle that all-vital business aspect. This is how you will achieve sustainability!”

在谈了以上的负面观点后,我的意见是如果你是一位好的设计师,同时巧的是你对创业有敏锐的感知力:那么恭喜你!开始创建你的品牌并努力地去推销它吧,因为在历史上从来没有比现在更好的时代可以在全世界范围内推广你的品牌!然而如果你只是善于设计并想要开家店,你最好是找一个你信得过的合伙人,让他来帮你应付重要的生意上的事。这样你就是可持续发展的!”

 

Temper: How do you see the China Fashion scene (and yourself in it) evolve from here on out? 你是如何看待(包括你自己在内的)中国时尚从今以后的发展的?

Océan: “I am very proud of what we have thus far managed to accomplish with RFactory. This year alone, we were invited by Disney China to work on the STAR WARS bags series – getting the invitation was a compliment in itself as Disney only collaborates with the best a country has to offer – and the collection received much love from both the media and the market! The other thing is that we recently opened up a new brand store in Beijing’s Galeries Lafayette, where we are the only Chinese bag brand on an entire floor brimming with the big international names; I am absolutely psyched about this! As a designer label dream, then, I’d dare say we now find ourselves on a pretty high level in China and I aim to create a real and respected accessories brand which is both commercially successful as well as fun across the spectrum. After all, we do call ourselves a ‘fun provider’, remember that!”

“我对RFactory到现在为止取得的成功十分骄傲。今年我们收到迪士尼中国(Disney China)的邀请来设计星球大战的包包系列——获得邀请本身对我们来说已经是一份殊荣了,迪士尼只跟一个国家最好的品牌合作——我们这个系列问世后得到了很多媒体和市场的关注!另一件可喜的事是我们最近在北京老佛爷百货开了一家专卖店,在很多国际品牌中我们是入驻老佛爷的唯一一家中国的包具品牌;这真的是让我特别激动的事!作为一个设计师品牌,我现在敢说在中国我们现在已经站到了一个相当高的水平。我的目标是创立一个真正的、受人推崇的配饰品牌,商业上成功运营的同时并带着乐趣来经营。别忘了我们可是一直在称自己为‘乐趣提供者’!”

Fashion in its very Self is the Mistress of (Optical) Illusion — just consider the visual effects of vertical stripes or the power of a little five-layer touch-up.  Nevertheless, the future of this illusion is very much a reality — a paradoxical yet facetious liaison. While desperately chasing the illusionary White Rabbit, Alice falls into the absurdly extraordinary but still vulnerable Wonderland. Translated into fashion, when in relentless pursuit of the latest trends, we have seen many fall victim to the trappings of looking hilarious-borderline-ridiculous, all executed in very serious mode. Word to the wise: Don’t buy into the illusionary hype, don’t embark on a quest for the perfect pair of mom-jeans (speaking of paradoxical), but just create your own fashionably fun reality and make people wonder! 

时尚的本身就是幻象的情人——只注重竖向条纹和层层修饰的视觉效果。然而,这幻象的未来就是现实——一种矛盾而诙谐的结合。在不顾一切地追寻幻象的白色兔子的时候,爱丽丝掉进了一个荒诞并脆弱的奇异世界里。从时尚的观点来看,那些无休止地追随最新潮流的人就好像是被困在了滑稽而荒诞的外表陷阱里,最终迷失了自己。送给那些有智慧的人一句话:不要相信那些不真实的炒作,不要去追求那些不存在的完美,只要专注于去创造一个属于自己的时尚的乐趣现实,让其他人来漫游吧!

 

 

Images: China’s Key Opinion Leaders and fashionistas show off some RFactory love. 

图片:中国的网红和时尚达人展示她们对RFactory产品的热爱

Dishing the deets on RFactory (RFactory联系方式):

TEL:  +86 10 87184060

MOB:+86 13910300518

ADD: 27 XINSI Hutong Dongcheng District, Beijing China 100007; 

地址:中国北京市东城区辛寺胡同27号,邮编100007

Website (网站): www.Rfactory.cn

Wechat (微信): rfactory2012

Weibo (微博): @rfactory

 

Original interview and text by Elsbeth van Paridon

Chinese translation by Li Dan (李丹)