Taiwan Region Footwear Winner 2022 : Jia-Wen Zhang
18th January 2023
Jia-Wen Zhang is currently studying in her senior year at Shizhan University and has studied bag design, shoe design and knitting design amongst a range of other courses. Her project draws upon themes of toxic love; where people seek to control you emotionally in the name of love, and blackmail you in the name of passion.
INTERVIEW WITH JIA-WEN
Tell us about the inspiration behind your project:
The inspiration behind Hot Rebirth comes from a toxic concept of love. The flames are a metaphor for being devoured like a flame and the ribbon is like a vine, which surrounds you slowly before tightly restraining you. The hollow heart represents someone that has been gradually consumed by feelings and has gradually become hollow. The high heels overall express the hope that everyone who has experienced this toxicity can go on living confidently after, being reborn. The bright red signifies that you can now walk-through life with enthusiasm just like before.
What do you think makes leather a great material to design with?
Leather has a unique feel and texture. Whether you want to make the leather three-dimensional or soft, there are many options to choose from. The use of leather can also improve the texture of a piece of work and not to mention the longevity of the piece.
What are your thoughts on leather and sustainability, and how you think leather can adapt to a fashion industry increasingly focused on sustainability?
Leather is fashionable and durable; it can be gorgeous, it can be retro, and it is flooded with a variety of design opportunities. It can bring texture to the work and there are many possibilities to form a style of its own.
How has this competition influenced your view of working with leather in the future?
For my graduation final piece I designed a six-pack made completely from leather, so I already had a passion for incorporating leather into my work. Although this competition has not only opened my eyes to different ways leather can be presented brilliantly, it has deepened my love for leather.