Fresh out of Parsons The New School for Design, China-born, New York-based fashion designer Leaf Xia made a big mark on London Fashion Week with her bold, colorful designs.
After graduating this year, Xia’s work has already been displayed in the window at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, and she made her London Fashion Week debut this season after being chosen as one of four designers for Fashion Scout’s Spring/Summer 2016 “Ones to Watch” program, receiving a sponsored catwalk show and exhibition during London Fashion Week.
Debuting at Freemason’s Hall on September 18, Xia’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection featured boldly colorful silhouettes and showcased her specialization in collage and combining energetic playful palettes. Xia’s philosophy is that fashion can lift spirits, and she said that she seeks to communicate her positive energy to everyone who loves life through the vehicle of fashion.
Jing Daily spoke to Xia after her show to see where this infectious energy brews from and how it feels to be shortlisted from 50 other designers to be sponsored for London Fashion Week at such an early point in her career.
How does it feel to be chosen to showcase during London Fashion Week?
It’s a incredible opportunity to be a part of London Fashion Week. The other three designers here today—we all have different personalities and styles, which is reflected in our designs and it’s great to be able to come together. I came from New York and I’m very excited to get something new out of London and from the Ones to Watch showcase to take back with me.
How much does your Chinese heritage influence your designs?
I am from China originally, and my heritage will always be who I am, but my fashion inspiration is from where I am based now—New York. I would say my Chinese heritage influences me 100 percent, but you go to different places and you get different inspirations. I draw a lot of inspiration from where I am based and what is around me. So, in general, 70 percent Chinese influence. But now I’m in London; I’m already drawing inspiration from here! But I’m still Chinese.
Where do you get your energy and inspiration from?
In New York, it’s a change of pace for me, I stay upbeat and keep creating. To pinpoint inspiration is hard to say, but the New Yorker lifestyle—it’s so quick and fast. My garments have this consciousness, the collection is easy to wear, stylish but not time consuming.
What separates you from the other selected designers at One to Watch?
We are all so different. The other designers’ fabric, colors, designer style, and silhouettes are exciting. My collection reflects the New York way of life; it’s more simple and cool.
More looks from Leaf Xia’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection (all photos courtesy of Leaf Xia):