ROPI Studio’s founder and designer Ping Rong’s philosophy emerges from the female independent consciousness and the independence of the individual. With inspirations found in architecture, sculpture, painting, music or cultural phenomena such as redhead emojis or the “Ocean’s Eight” #GirlSquad, just to name a randomly trending pair, excellence is pursued and wooed with all of Rong’s might and every bit of creative effort that she has. Time for Temper and Rong to Take Five!
Take 1! The ROPI Studio collection and client, each in three sentences. Go!
Rong: Short ‘n sweet, this shall be!
- The collection:
- Pure expression;
- Soft sculpture-like architecture in motion;
- Where asymmetry meets geometry.
- The client:
- Eternally elegant;
- The power of a lady-like force of nature;
- The independence of a fierce woman
Take 2! Does fashion reflect what’s happening in China — socio-economically speaking?
Rong: Firstly, I believe fashion everywhere has always been a reflection of one society’s socio-economic ongoings and the Middle Kingdom is no exception to this rule. China is experiencing stable economic growth and therefore is slowly yet steadily becoming a very potent fashion market. With great potential.
The China Fashion scene since 2010 has been well on its way to gaining global exposure. Thanks to increasingly higher levels in their education, the Chinese consumer has been leaning towards looking outwards, thus gaining more insight into what the world has on offer — (life)style-wise. The stylish Chinese trendwatcher now wants to discover and put together be their own person; a person who is no longer crazy about big luxury brands or logos and is starting to look for unique, special, original design to complete the puzzle that is their persona. So it will be a opening world of China Fashion in the future.
Take 3! What’s your creative viewpoint on the new crop of Chinese designers?
Rong: The Chinese fashion-devotee’s sense of aesthetic and taste is submitted to a consistent process of evolution. This new consumer wants to wear something exceptional and exclusive — in terms of design — and through this desire is creating the space and market for new fashion designers to realize their dream. They’re all so diverse, too… Some may apply Chinese traditional elements, whereas others may only put to use Western notions or play with a mixture of Western and Eastern components.
Needless to say, those budding Chinese fashion designers already have an innate understanding of Chinese culture as this is their background, ergo… They often know the taste and needs of their Chinese clientele. Sharing the same cultural background creates a bridge between designer and customer.
Take 4! How does the up and coming myriad of post-80 and -90 Chinese artists reflect a rearrangement within China’s cultural climate?
Rong: Their spirit is one of openness and freedom, with the most important edge being that they can get in touch with and relate to different cultures. This specially goes for those who attend school in the West; their minds and aesthetic ideas will be more comprehensive and more internationally inclined, creating a breeding ground for more innovative design. And as they bring their open-mindedness and new design concepts in from abroad, they are better equipped to create a new enclave within the Chinese fashion market.
These artists do also still reflect a shift in China’s cultural Zeitgeist, if only because of their background. I personally think their main contribution to the overall “New Made in China” label is to be viewed on a more international level. I myself am a Chinese fashion designer, but I’m also not a Chinese fashion designer given my designs cannot be defined by my passport.
Today, good design should have no borders. [Fashion Sans Frontières]
Take Five! Speaking of that pure, powerful woman… Gender in fashion. Your POV?
Rong: I design for that powerful and independent woman who knows who she is, what she wants and gets hers by working hard for it. I’m not a feminist per se and in my mind, “gender” merely constitutes a word referring to the physical realm; by no means can it define spirituality.
In sum, and from my POV, fashion doesn’t do “gender”. There, I’ve said it!
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence,” Vince Lombardi. Who said fashion and football couldn’t do a run and pass? When throw comes to catch, it’s all about those structured and calculated formations.
Photography: MOOI Studio
Photographer: Alejandro Del Castillo for MOOI Studio
Make-up Artist: @frau_romanova
For more info, contact Ping Rong via:
WECHAT: fashion 1980-0531
Copyright@Temper Magazine, 2018. All rights reserved
After tackling Beijing for some six years where she worked for China International Publishing Group, she spent a moment in time moseying down steep alleyways and writing about their fashionable and underground features in Hong Kong.
Van Paridon most recently managed to claw her way through a Europe-based academic endeavor called "Journalism". 'Tis in such fashion that she has now turned her lust for China Fashion/ Lifestyle and Underground into a full time occupation.
Van Paridon hunts down the latest in Chinese menswear, women’s clothing, designer newbies, established names, changes in the nation’s street scenery, close-ups of particular trends presently at play or of historical socio-cultural value in Chinaplus a selection of budding photographers.
Paired with a deep devotion to China’s urban underground scene, van Paridon holds a particular interest in the topics of androgyny, the exploration of individuality and the power that is the Key Opinion Leader (the local term for “influencers”) in contemporary China.