Golden Delicious: Candy Lin

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California-bred Candy Lin, designer of Candy and Caviar, dishes on the inspirations behind her newest line, and her ambitions for reaching the world through fashion design — starting with bases in L.A. and Beijing. Stylites contributors Marilyn Mai Ong (English) and Renee Liu (Chinese) wrote this profile of Candy.

加州长大的Candy Lin不加客套的与我们聊起她新一季设计的灵感,这个女孩有关用时装征服世界的梦想,开始于洛杉矶和北京这两个城市。

As we entered the CBD showroom of up-and-coming fashion line candy & caviar, we waited as founder and designer Candy Lin picked her way down the spiral stairs to greet us, a small band-aid lining her left eyebrow. She pointed and said, apologetically, “I wasn’t feeling well this morning, so I lost my balance and hit my head. I’m afraid I won’t be as energetic as I usually am, so you’ll have to excuse me.”

Band-aid aside, Candy looked poised and put-together in a relaxed black ensemble, her hair pulled back in a loose braid. Her “less energetic” self remained upbeat, gracious, and full of smiles, which made me wonder what she’s like when she hasn’t just injured herself.
Endlessly industrious, judging by what she’s accomplished for her business in just two years. Between learning the ropes in the clothing production industry and familiarizing herself with design software so she can escape the limits of her own self-admitted drawing handicap, Candy has worked tirelessly to guide every aspect of the brand’s development.
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Armed with a communications background at the University of Southern California, frequent trips to Asia as a child, and copious sunshine and optimism from her upbringing in Irvine, California by entrepreneurial parents, Candy fuses classic chic, versatility and fun in her designs, then markets them to a growing global fan base through an online store, small boutique distributors, and her own Beijing showroom.
Now, she’s getting ready to launch her Spring 2011 collection, inspired by Hollywood’s old black and white films. Though Candy professes her line is not meant to be quintessential California (structured outerwear in black and tweed are certainly more New York than Newport), this Tinseltown touch and her signature hoods — on anything from houndstooth blazers to silk-lined vests — give her designs just a touch of that Socal devil-may-care attitude. Sass & luxury, sweetness & gravitas, candy & caviar. Yum.
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Determined to contribute much more than a pretty face (for herself and her company), Candy is also working with the Volunteer Center at her alma mater USC on Project 141; for every Project 141 cardigan purchased, candy & caviar will donate a matching, customized cardigan to a child in need. While similar organizations provide shoes, books, or computers, Candy is interested in filling a different need: “For candy & caviar, giving is not always about necessity, it’s more about giving the children something new and made just for them.”
With her huge vision and positive attitude, Candy is ready to take that golden California sunshine she grew up with and light up everything she does. And when that band-aid comes off, she just might be poised to outfit the world.
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Candy Lin从她的工作室台阶上微笑着走下来迎接我们,简单的黑色短装,随意的麻花辫垂落一侧,加上黑色的小烟熏眼妆和裸色双唇,这个南加州女孩很有点好莱坞华裔女星刘玉玲的犀利味道。不过一旦开口交谈,Candy的柔美声线立即出卖了她的外表酷劲,十足一颗清甜的加州甜心。

占据了Candy这间位于北京华贸商务楼两层展示室大部分空间的时装成品,全部来自Candy&Caviar品牌,也正是Candy Lin于2008年创立的个人品牌。这个在美国出生长大的黄皮肤女孩,用短短两年时间让这个以“连帽衫”为标志的品牌,并成功在2010年中国时装周上演了精彩的时装秀。Candy&Caviar在北美,澳洲,欧洲以及中国多地拥有大量忠实追随者,这其中还包括美国知名合唱团“黑眼豆豆”主唱之一的Will.I.AM.,以及亚洲知名歌手周杰伦。Candy提及这些穿戴自己品牌服饰的名人时,表情中反而带着几分谦逊:“其实都是因为一些长辈的关系或是朋友的间接关系,让这些明星有机会接触并且喜欢上我的品牌。并没有刻意推荐,反而是他们穿着Candy&Caviar的服装被媒体拍下来之后,朋友们看到了会发回给我。不过这确实很让我惊喜,我觉得自己能够用短短时间走到这样的地步,真的十分幸运。”

这个世界上有一种女人,即使她们没有身处时尚行业,凭借与生俱来的潮流感觉,也能够轻松用最基础的单品将自己装扮得品味非凡,Candy Lin 应该就是这群女人中的一名。难以想象,在这样的顺利职业生涯背后,Candy并非出身于专业的时装设计类专业,想做自己品牌服装的想法也是突然萌发。2008年前,她曾经有机会留在中央电视台国际频道担任一名外语主持人,如此对别人看似光鲜的机会,Candy却觉得不是自己的生活方式。辞职之后,回到美国的Candy对父母说想做自己爱做的事情,所幸也得到了他们的全力支持。Candy对我们坦然提及自己创业路程中所得到的长辈支持:“因为父亲的工作缘故,我结识了一些中国国内的服装加工商,这层关系也使得我最初的小批量订单能够被工厂所接受,而这对于创业初期而言是很大的帮助。”

在Candy Lin的陪同下我们细细欣赏了一番2010Candy&Caviar秋冬款,异常简约的设计风格,加上精致而考究的细节处理,而色调上亦是同样的低调优雅。“我自己本人一直都喜欢干净和简单的东西,”Candy转而谈及了自己最新的2011年春夏款设计,“在经历了几季的多色彩作品之后,最新一季的Candy&Caviar春夏,我选择了来自好莱坞旧时黑白电影的灵感,让服装回归黑白,不过有些细节上的特别设计,相信能够令大家有惊喜的感觉。”

随后被问及南加州的生活背景是否对自己的设计有所影响时,Candy并未同意我们的假设。看来这位容颜身姿东方,行为模式西化的甜心服装设计师,骨子里认为自己仍然是受东方影响多一些。而我们眼中的Candy Lin的作品,却有着100%的南加州印记,从她标志性的连帽衫设计所隐含的典型加州轻松风格,以及最新一季灵感来源的好莱坞黑白元素,这些部分一丝一毫和东方无关。不过此时辩驳东方或西方的意义微乎其微,Candy本来就是一个融合了东西方文化的杂合体,不管是她哪一种的心有所属,或是潜移默化的文化迁移,都混合着她随身携带的加州阳光,为Candy&Caviar品牌加入多重魅力。

Photos: candy & caviar

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