Recycled Asia

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Currie Lee opened D-SATA, a store in Beijing, carrying her creations, which include colorful party purses and card holders, made of snake and frog skin, and chunky necklaces made from water buffalo horns, to name a few. Yu Wu (吴俣) had a discussion with her recently.

YW: Are you a Westerner?

Currie Lee创立自己的品牌D-SATA在北京。第一个店在三里屯。

YW: Currie你算是西方人还是亚洲人?

CL: I am a Westerner on paper. I have a Canadian passport, am licensed to practice law in the U.S., and have an Italian marriage certificate, but I remain at heart Asian. I was raised and educated in the West but my parents sent me to a private South-Korean boarding school after an embarrassing visit by the South Korean ambassador when it was revealed that my sister and I could neither read nor write Korean and the little Korean we spoke was elementary at best.

YW: What from Asia especially attracts you? Discuss your trips.
CL: What attracts me about Asia is not only its diverse history but also its culture and infusion of influences from the West, from the metropolises of Seoul, Tokyo, and Beijing to the tribal or minority villages of Southeast Asia. Though I am bare faced and bare footed when hand selecting the materials for my collections during my visits to minority and tribal villages, i am much inspired by the timelessness in the materials or methods used (for example T’nalak from the T’boli Tribe… it is a traditional method of hand weaving and hand dyeing that is from even before my grandmum’s time yet more exquisite in its color and intricate in its weave than most other fabrics…). Natural over synthetic… and hand made over factory made.

YW: How do you define Asian style?
CL: Modern Asian style tends to be more about status, but my definition of Asian style is to infuse traditional materials and methods with more contemporary designs.

YW: What made you decide to switch from being a lawyer to a free style designer?
CL: It was a change… I’ve always designed my own clothing and accessories (and for my close friends and family) but never had the courage to change careers until I met a girlfriend who was an editor at Vogue and now is flown around on corporate jets as a brand manager… She, upon viewing my collections, told me I have a natural gift and to do something with it! Of course, my husband and mum have been so absolutely supportive.

YW: How did you come up with the slogan “RE-uSe, don’t AbUSe!!!”?
CL: Everything that has been made was made to be used for something and by someone… and I believe it is abusive to the person who created it to merely discard it with absolute disregard …someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure. The Chenille Chanel suit that my grandmum could no longer wear due to mothballs was fashioned into my favorite little peacoat as a little girl!

It is so difficult to be consistent in only using natural or recycled materials (most of my natural materials are also indirectly recycled). Some designs I have been unable to execute due to the unavailability of natural or upcycled materials usable… however, with the diversity of materials naturally available and those being wasted in turn inspire designs themselves… so there has never been a want for new designs!

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图片2:clutch是自己”Olimoli”款式. 金属是从泰国,木头是菲律宾的, 黑色壳是越南的, 里布是印度的.

CL: 理论上我的确是西方人。我拿加拿大的护照和国籍,持有纽约律师证,还有一张意大利结婚证书,等等,

YW: 亚洲什么最吸引你?

CL: 亚洲最吸引我的不仅是它多样的历史,还有它本身的文化及与西方影响的融合。从大都市首尔,东京还有北京到东南亚的一些部落或者少数民族村庄,绝对是有一些什么东西的!旅行所带给我的影响和我的上一辈的穿衣风格给我的影响其实还是很相似的。

YW: 你自己对于亚洲风格的定义是什么呢

CL: 虽然亚洲风格有为了满足人们购物时标榜身份的趋势,我个人对它的定义是融合了传统材料与方法的更为现代有时也会涉及古着风格的设计……

YW: 我想放弃当一个律师而从事自由设计职业是需要些勇气的。到底是什么让你做了这样的决定呢?

CL: 我一直都自己给自己设计衣服和配饰,但从来想到要改行,直到我一个在Vogue杂志作编辑的女朋友看完我的设计后肯定了我的天赋,觉得我可以接着做下去!当然,我的丈夫和妈妈也都是绝对的支持

YW: 你怎么想到“重复使用,谢绝滥用!”这个口号的?

CL: 所有物品生产出来都是为了给某些人用的……而且我坚信对于做出那件物品的人来说随随便便就把东西弃之不理了绝对是种侮辱……一个人的垃圾也许会是别人的珍宝。比如我祖母由于蛀虫再也穿不了的那件绳绒香奈儿套装就在我很小的时候改成我的短大衣啦。

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