Ximon Lee, 24 years old and graduated from Parsons in New York, is the first menswear designer who receives the award from H&M Design Award. He is originally from Hong Kong but living in the Big Apple, and his garments create a layering and organic textures. His main inspiration was the documentary “Children of Leningradsky” which is about a group of homeless children living in a train station in Moscow during the post-Soviet era. In fact, Lee traveled to Russia to create his own collage of ideas for collection. On January 27 he presented his winning collection in a parade during Fashion Week of Stockholm and today we published a short interview about how he has lived this event.
Looking back, how do you remember the design process of this last collection? Where did you find inspiration?
I used sandwiched denims, knits, and trash bags in this collection. Most hard wears are industrial parts or other metal objects. Natural indigo denims have been bleached into different shades of blue. This collection is a juxtaposition of soft and hard; organic and synthetic materials. The collection was inspired by the documentary “The Children of Leningradsky”.
Who or what are your referents when you are composing a collection?
I am very interested in real persons, communities and stories when it comes to research. For example, for this collection I was inspired by the documentary “The Children of Leningradsky”. As inspiration I started searching for post-soviet photo books and documentaries. People watching give me endless resources and New York city, where I am based, is one of the best place for this.
In this tricky world, what barriers do young designers must face up?
Internet. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t born during the age of internet.
Have you had any mentor during your learning process?
I had many mentors throughout my learning process. My senior professors, my boss at Phillip Lim and many other good friends, they are all my mentors.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned from this sector?
The best lesson I’ve learned so far is to be honest.. It is important to be honest during a design process.
One essential rule when you’re designing…
Always start with big big ideas and then narrow them down.
And, any rule when you’re putting on?
Look at the model and dress form in the mirror. That always helps me to see my designs in a different angle or light.
What would you be if you were not a designer?
I would open a restaurant with a bar, a social space and a gallery. I think food is always the most important part of my life.
What was the first thing you thought when you did realize that you were the winner?
How can I do a better collection than this one. How can I use the award cash efficiently in my next collection.