Why have your art hanging on your walls when you could be wearing it instead? Artist and accessories designer Christina Wang makes a convincing argument for the latter in her collection of scarves, pyjamas and other textiles depicting scenarios that resonate with all of us. Just check out her silk pyjama set entitled ‘Netflix and Chill’ which features a fuzzy fleece robe, furry Gucci loafers, the iconic Netflix home screen, Chinese take out boxes, Milano cookies and even a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows for the ultimate homebody, or her scarf made in homage to our favourite brunch foods.
We caught up with the New Yorker (by way of Hong Kong) who is in town for a special pop-up this weekend.
Can you tell us a bit about your life before you started CJW?
I studied visual arts, art history and economics at Brown University and I was an oil painter in my studio in Brooklyn after I graduated. I love working with my hands but felt a little lonely since I was working on my own all the time. I started making scarves as a way to bring more attention to my artwork, but I loved the process.
You draw things that you like, but how do you decide how to put them together?
My scarf design process is similar to my painting process. I’m inspired by objects, food and cities that I come across and develop full obsessions with. I try to pair unlikely objects together that tell a playful and cheeky narrative that's relevant to our time. I hand illustrate all of the drawings with a fountain pen and colour crayons, then scan them into Photoshop where I play with laying them out to create a pattern. The files are then printed on wool or silk fabrics.
Do you have an illustrator that you really admire?
I love the painter Marilyn Minter. I studied her works during graduate school and I love her paintings and the charitable works she does to promote organizations such as Planned Parenthood in the States.
What are some of the most special collaborations or projects you’ve done to date?
I got married last year and I created a scarf print filled with my husband Brian and I’s favourite things as a wedding favour to our guests. I also made our first batch of cushions for the cocktail reception and hoodies for my bridesmaids. But one of my favourite collaborations has to be with New York’s Momofuku Milk Bar. I have always been a big fan of Christina Tosi and her baked goods; I basically stalked her non-stop at her baking classes until we became friends. The Milk Bar scarf has all of the bar’s best sellers on it and is available on their website.
Tell us about your adorable models #PhinntheLab and #BaileytheChi
I’m very fortunate to say that everyone in my family contributes to CJW. My pets, Phinn the chocolate lab and Bailey the chinchilla, model my products and my husband helps out with web orders when I travel. During my first season of CJW, I was looking for a low cost yet impactful imagery, so I thought of Phinn. Who doesn’t love a good dog photo?
Phinn loves being on set, he’s super professional and loves the attention. He also sits at trade shows and pop-up shops with me. He’s the best brand ambassador and now has many “phans”. Bailey, my chinchilla, joined the CJW team a little later.
You’re back in Hong Kong for just a few days. What are some of your go-to restaurants when you're in town?
When it comes to restaurants, my top three include Che’s Cantonese restaurant for dim sum and pineapple pork buns, Lau Yuen Pavilion for crab and sticky rice and Kau Kee for beef brisket noodle soup.
First scarves and more recently, home textiles and pyjamas. What’s next for you?
Pyjamas were a big step for CJW, and have been very well received by clients, celebrities and press. For the next step, I want to keep building our direct to consumer business. We’ve been doing several pop-ups, including one coming up in Hong Kong this weekend and one in New York in November.
Lastly, what you’re obsessed with on Netflix and what's your favourite Momofuku dessert?
I love the Ali Wong: Baby Cobra comedy special! And from the Momofuku Milk Bar, my favourite is the cereal milk soft serve with hot fudge and cereal crunch. Mmm...
Love Christina’s designs as much as we do? Check out her pop up at La La Curio (32-33 Sau Wa Fong, Wanchai, Hong Kong) on Saturday October 28 and Sunday October 29 from 12pm to 6pm
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