Genuine article. Designer TinTin Zhang set up shop in a city famous for fashion fakes and bootlegs – and found real inspiration. The NCHS founder tells Karchun Leung about community, local values and design innovation that’s proudly Made In Putian.
TinTin’s avant-garde creativity had classical roots. Her work at Central St Martins and the RCA earned her a prestigious stint in product development at Adidas and an International Talent Support (ITS 2018) OTB Award. With a string of fashion capitals – London, Berlin, Shanghai – and an innovator’s skillset under her belt, the time was right to launch her creative empire on home soil. Neon Cloud Hat System (NCHS) is bringing bold, directional millinery and accessories to China – but as TinTin explains, the local people and culture are her muse as well as her market. Her breakout “Putianciaga” hats repurpose the knock-off sneakers consumers can’t get enough of. Designer fakes are reborn as original co-created street-style.
Thanks to online platforms, a brand like NCHS can stay local and embedded in a community – while reaching a bigger audience and boosting an emerging creative hub like Putian on the world stage. As TinTin sees it, ethical, game-changing fashion can happen far from bright lights and runways. NCHS just asks that we watch this space.