If you want to know more about CHUNKS or Chinese manufacturing, read them in full. If they’re a bit TL;DR, here are my fav Q&A’s from both.
BY CLAIRE BUTWINICK APRIL 15, 2020
Tell me about where you get your design inspiration.
I love the Memphis style. It was definitely on my moodboard. Visually, it also aligns well with being a child of the ‘90s (cue the intro theme to Saved By The Bell). I also love the work of material artists like Chen Chen and Kai Williams and Chiaozza who all make amazing, weird colorful chunks.
You are transparent about manufacturing Chunks in China, in order to dispel stereotypes and stigmas toward Chinese production. Can you expand on that?
We all have such a knee-jerk reaction to Chinese manufacturing as being synonymous with knocked-off goods, poor quality, or unethical. It also only takes a second to realize that such a generalized belief cannot possibly be true. These three specific words of Made in China carry so much complexity beyond manufacturing and national economies and have always held a lot of interest for me. While I was defining my ethos and messaging, I came up against this discomfort as well and I saw it as an opportunity for investigation. I have an amazing relationship with my vendors and I think they do such great work. I think independent designers and conscious brands have so much potential to implement more responsible practices and to create demand for it.
Can you take me through your design process?
I come up with random ideas all the time so I carry a notebook around so I don’t lose them. Then I’ll dedicate a few days per month to gather those ideas and flesh them out, usually first by sketching and looking at swatches. Then I’ll finalize them in Illustrator with all the detailed specs. My manufacturer will make samples which I then approve and they make! It’s a really fun process. I love the actual size and scale of hair accessories. I love the back and forth with my manufacturers and the speed in which they work. And finally getting the products and wearing them is pure squeal-inducing delight. The hair accessories are made from acetate, which is synthesized from plant material and is biodegradable—unlike other plastics such as acrylic that I’ve learned will last until the end of time.