#KREEPfuture: BING.

Bingjin Zhu is a graduate of F.I.T’s MFA Fashion program. During childhood, Bing. witnessed her dad, a dextrous wood sculptor building traditional Chinese fictional characters. Inspired by her father, a sculptor in his local community, Bing was interested in the idea of interaction and interchangeability between 2D and 3D formats. As a fashion designer, Bing sees her designs in the format of 3D sculpture, as wearing of the 2D cloth­ing pieces serves as the most natural 2D-to-3D transformation process. 

Bing’s mom, a typical Chinese lady, dedicated herself to her family and her husband’s career. In Bing’s memory, Mom would always smile and calm her down whenever she’s upset or impatient. But behind the softness there has always been power – Mom was the one who held the whole family together, through ups and downs. When building this collection, Bing was honoring her soft, yet powerful mom, her power of softness.

SOFT SCULTURE / ABOUT THE COLLECTION

To honor her mother, and the power of softness that she stood for, Bing selected jersey and horsehair canvas as the main textiles used in this collection. Softness, and closeness to wearers that jersey creates is supported by horsehair canvas which brings structure, support and function to the tailoring of the clothes, resonating with the theme of this collection.

Inspired by her father, Bing focused on the idea of interaction and interchangeability between 2D and 3D formats. As a fashion designer, Bing sees her designs in the format of 3D sculpture, as wearing of the 2D clothing pieces serves as the most natural 3D transformation process. 

In order to emphasize this idea, Bing used 8 large pieces of horsehair canvas to set the foundation of structure for her clothing, then layered on with draping on model’s body. Bing then chose jersey as her fabrics, as the softness of jersey could handle heavy duty horsehair canvas, demonstrating the power of jersey, the power of softness.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH BING.

What motivated you to move from just designing to starting your label, BING?

After graduation from FIT’s Master’s in Fine Arts program, I started off my career in fashion at a luxury brand’s apparel department. During my time of observing and learning there, I was fortunate enough to find my path and my target audience, while exploring the connection between fashion and cultural and social perspectives that I try to perceive and continue to voice through my own works.

I was laid off at the outbreak of the pandemic, and during my “forced” time home, I started my first personal collection, using the unique combination of horsehair canvas and jersey fabrics to build comfortable yet structured Avant Garde pieces for female figures who are soft yet powerful. I took great pride and self-fulfillment in the collection I built and during the process I took the time and settled down to decide what I really wanted out of my career as a designer. I want my own label, this way, I have my own voice. This is how BING was born, to be my own channel of thoughts.

You’ve said you design for “Ladies”. Who are the “ladies” you envision, and how does that influence your design?

I believe in people, and I design for a specific group of people, I call them Ladies, but it is not from a gender perspective, Ladies are the kind of people who believe in power behind softness. I met so many ‘ladies’ in my life, they are vulnerable yet still powerful, they work hard, they support the family through ups and down, they are not typically labeled as a powerful person, they are the unsung heroes who has been consistently supporting and strong. This is a group of people I want to use each piece to portrait and reflect both the softness and power of Ladies. This balance between youthful freedoms and adult ambitions, strong and gentle femininity are reflected in the unique combination and usage of specific textiles I select. As a brand, we are inspired by the Ladies, working with the Ladies and using aesthetically and functionally appealing designs for the Ladies. Part of profits from BING goes to support Womankind NYC.

Why were you inspired to use jersey and horsehair canvas as the basis for this collection?

In creating this collection, I selected jersey and horsehair canvas as the main textiles used. Softness, and closeness to wearers that jersey creates is supported by horsehair canvas which brings structure, support and function to the tailoring of the clothes, resonating with the theme of this collection, as the softness of jersey could handle heavy duty horsehair canvas, demonstrating the power of jersey, the power of softness.

You’ve said this collection is inspired by the woods. Why is that, and where do you see this in your collection?

My dad is a wood sculptor. Growing up with his artwork, his sculptures are basically all my toys in my childhood, those sculpture are really big, hard and dedicate, unlike other kids playing fluffy and soft toys, my childhood doesn’t feel that way, it feels hard, heavy, and I think that experience influenced my personality, how I see things and how I portrait people in my life.

You say your work is influenced by sculpture. How does that thinking make your approach to design different from others in the industry?


During childhood, I witnessed my dad, a dexterous wood sculptor building traditional Chinese fictional characters. Inspired by my dad, a sculptor in his local community, I was interested in the idea of interaction and interchangeability between 2D and 3D formats. As a fashion designer, I see my designs in the format of 3D sculpture, as wearing of the 2D cloth­ing pieces serves as the most natural 2D-to-3D transformation process.

What role does family play in your history as a designer?

While the 3D sculpture idea behind this particular collection was due to my father’s influence, my mother influenced me most as a designer. My mom is a typical Chinese lady, she dedicated herself to our family and my dad’s career. In my memory, my mom would always smile and calm me down whenever I am upset or impatient. But behind the softness there has always been power- Mom was the one who held the whole family together, through ups and downs. When building this collection, I was honoring her soft, yet powerful mom, her power of softness.

What can you tell us about the future of BING?

BING does not have to appeal to the mass audience, as long as it is loyal to its niche of clientele. In the meantime, I want to keep optimizing my process of production and operating behind BING, for it to become more accessible, friendly to our LADIES, who deserve a lot of credit for what they are doing.

CFDA / FASHION FUTURE GRADUATE SHOWCASE

https://cfda.com/programs/designers/fashion-future-graduate-showcase/future-graduate/bingjin-zhu

BING.

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