China Fashion Finds menswear New York Shanghai

Staff Only Studio Serves Up Menswear Exclusives And Exquisites. Not Only A Label

Not Just A Label is "the world's leading designer platform for showcasing and nurturing today's pioneers in contemporary fashion". It's not only Temper Trending Time; it's Staff Only time.

Not Just A Label (NJAL) since 2008 has provided a critical platform for over 30,000 designers to date, helping budding designers to gain exposure in the fashion industry — at no additional cost. With creative minds hailing from more than 150 countries, NJAL supports thriving artists in- and outside of the world’s major fashion capitals. Shanghai-based Staff Only included. Time to rock ‘n roll!

Disclaimer: Temper Magazine’s Trending segment casts a net upon all that is throwing tantrums within the world of China Fashion across a variety of global sources. This very necessary segment makes for a collection of largely non-Temper Magazine-original content dipping its toe into the deep indigo-dyed pool that is the ocean of Middle Kingdom fashionable astonishment. This time around, we take a beep peep at our new favorite kitty on the block, Staff Only Studio, courtesy of NJAL.

A juxtapose with geeky and poetic atmosphere is what the designers are looking for: A new attitude and a revolution in traditional menswear.

Staff Only Studio: STAY ALERT / STAY ALIVE. SEASON 5 - AUTUMN WINTER 2018. Now available in stores!
Staff Only Studio: STAY ALERT / STAY ALIVE. SEASON 5 – AUTUMN WINTER 2018. Now available in stores! (IG: @staffonlystudio)

Poetry In Motion

Shimo Zhou and Une Yea established their brand Staff Only Studio in 2015 after their graduation. A Staff Only man always possesses an abundance of curiosity and a sense of humour and is willing to break the boundaries and explore the unknown eras of the world. The brand focuses on establishing collections based on a sharp concept and the use of innovative materials.

A juxtapose with geeky and poetic atmosphere is what the designers are looking for: A new attitude and a revolution in traditional menswear.

Yea is a Beijing-born designer who attended the capital’s Tsinghua University before moving on to obtaining an MA in Accessory Design from the Royal College of Arts in London. Her research interests lie generally in the area of creating provoking silhouettes and breaking borders between fashion design and accessories design, all the while combining sound and mechanics plus throwing in new concepts and techniques.

Yea’s designer viewpoint offers an innovative interpretation of masculinity and femininity by harmonizing philosophy in depth and a sense of future imagination. Her collection “Are We Slaves of Objects Around Us?” shown as the finale collection on RCA graduation show, and also won the “Best Fashion Item” award from “ Who’s Next ” Prize in Paris.

Zhou’s aesthetic offers an abstract metaphor of poetry and logic with interpretations of fashion that generally find themselves lingering in the area of beauty that hides from any type of systematic and philosophical form or restriction.

Staff Only Studio: STAY ALERT / STAY ALIVE. SEASON 5 - AUTUMN WINTER 2018. Now available in stores!
Staff Only Studio: STAY ALERT / STAY ALIVE. SEASON 5 – AUTUMN WINTER 2018. Now available in stores! (IG: @staffonlystudio)

Where The Poetic Meets The Aesthetic

Born and raised in Shenzhen, Zhou grew up in on of the most rapidly developing and dynamic cities in China. She accomplished her studies in menswear design at the London College of Fashion (LCF) in 2015 and had since 2010 been gaining work experience with Alexander McQueen, Erdem and Tom Ford during her BA studies.

Zhou’s aesthetic offers an abstract metaphor of poetry and logic with interpretations of fashion that generally find themselves lingering in the area of beauty that hides from any type of systematic and philosophical form or restriction. Zhou is all about modernizing heritage and constructing methodology into graphic ornament, mingling with a passion for experimental textile and color palettes.

“We create all of our samples in-house and in doing so, we have 100 percent control over things. All the ensuing products are manufactured inside a factory in Shanghai.” Shimo Zhou, co-founder of Staff Only Studio

Staff Only Studio: STAY ALERT / STAY ALIVE. SEASON 5 - AUTUMN WINTER 2018. Now available in stores! (IG: @staffonlystudio)
Staff Only Studio: STAY ALERT / STAY ALIVE. SEASON 5 – AUTUMN WINTER 2018. Now available in stores! (IG: @staffonlystudio)

R&R vs Q&A: Vogue Italia Reports

R&R for Temper given it’s, and unprofessionally so, trending time and a time to take things easy-peasy. A quick 2016 (yet updated and up-to-date) Q&A between Zhou and Vogue Italia (VI) to wrap things up:

1. VI: Your first experiences in fashion?

Zhou: I would say I began my ‘fashion journey’ making small ribbon bows to decorate my bikes, which sounds somewhat weird. Una [Yea] once told me that she used to try her best at designing costumes for manga characters.

 

2. VI: What do you recall as a turning point in you careers?

Zhou: For me, the turning point was when I met my tutor Darren Cabon in the Menswear course at LCF. Cabon encouraged me to find a way to establish a new system for developing my designs and aesthetic.

3. VI: When and where did you found your brand?

Zhou: We founded and registered our brand in London as well as in Shanghai. These two cities are amazing in terms of creative living and working. The name “Staff Only” came up when we were having a break at London’s renowned Saatchi Gallery.

4. VI: From where do you draw your inspiration?

Zhou: Always from those stupid, silly things that occur in daily life, you know, the usual. At other times, it will come to us when watching a BBC documentary. Or just when in the bathtub.

5. VI: Where do you produce and why?

Zhou: We create all of our samples in-house and in doing so, we have 100 percent control over things. All the ensuing products are manufactured inside a factory in Shanghai.

 

It’s Staff Only, with menswear surprises served up in their most exquisitely daring aesthetic form. On that note, we leave you only with the words of Alexander McQueen:

 

“Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment.”

 

 

 

Staff Only Studio’s top physical stockists:
Lane Crawford / 10 Corso Como /I.T.< / A> / Opening Ceremony / Dongliang
Staff Only Studio’s top online stockists:
KKTP / SNATCHBOOK / DONGLIANG

 

Originally published by Not Just A Label and Vogue Italia, 2016-2018. All rights reserved
Additional editing by Elsbeth van Paridon for Temper Magazine
Featured image: Courtesy of Staff Only Studio
Temper Magazine does not own any of the above English content. All featured English content was re-published by Temper Magazine according to the “fair use” agreement and originally belongs to Vogue Italia and Not Just A Label, 2018. All rights reserved.
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Elsbeth van Paridon

China Fashion/ Urban Lifestyle Expert, Editor-in-Chief at Temper Magazine
Elsbeth van Paridon holds a degree in Sinology from the University of Leiden (Netherlands) and additionally is just another run-of-the-mill fashion aficionada.

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.
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