Brand To Watch: Ground Zero

Hong Kong-Based Brand Recently Showed At Paris Fashion Week

Ground Zero F/W 2013-14

Founded in 2003 by brothers Phillip and Eri Chu, the Hong Kong fashion label Ground Zero has steadily gained exposure and accolades worldwide, with the duo recently showing their second collection at Paris Fashion Week.

Initially coming to the attention of Hong Kong fashion lovers and local celebrities alike via their distressed, unisex t-shirts, the Chu brothers have more recently broadened their horizons, refining their silhouettes and streamlining designs while still keeping their trademark sense of humor and playfulness.

This week, Divia Harilela profiles Ground Zero on her blog, The D’Vine:

“We have a unique style because we like to put two things together that dramatically conflict with the other – not only visually but also in terms of inspiration. We sometimes start with an image, or think about what we want to create. Pop culture really inspires us especially pop music. It’s important for easy to understand and recognize. It’s easy for people to understand and recognise. And I quite like to give it a twist.

“Our look can be described as a futuristic and robotic, although we give it a more feminine touch. Our style is not really high fashion but we wanted to add a street edge to our first runway collection with the graphics. It’s about taking the formal and sophisticated and making it edgy and street-like,” says Phillip, who cites Belgian designer Raf Simons as an influence.

Although the spring/summer collection was a hit, Phillip says that the recent autumn/winter collection speaks more to their true style. An exploration of femininity and technology, the look is elegant yet futuristic thanks to new applications of neoprene, cashmere and leather, on structured silhouettes including peplum tops that protect the body. On the other end of the spectrum are lighter, more delicate fabrics such silk, chiffon and organza.

Phillip & Eri Chu

Coming off their Paris Fashion Week debut, look for the Chu brothers to collaborate on a series of knitwear with local HK label BYPAC, while also building up their ready-to-wear collection and spinning their t-shirts into a secondary collection.

Going a step further, however, Phillip and Eri also hope to make more of a name worldwide for Hong Kong designers — who are often overshadowed by their mainland Chinese counterparts. A difficult proposition, to be sure, but as Ground Zero’s recent appearance at Paris Fashion Week would attest, one that the Chu brothers could certainly achieve.

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