UK Design Competition Accessory Winner 2022 : Hanzhi Tang
17th January 2023
During her university years, Hanzhi majored in industrial design but had an interest in fashion, which is why she eventually chose to study fashion at postgraduate level. During her time at university, she had a passion for studying materials and was interested in the use of industrial related techniques in fashion. During her postgraduate studies, she explored ways to combine new materials with fashionable, traditional materials. She hopes to continue to use natural materials in combination with new industrial techniques to better allow users to connect with their surroundings.
INTERVIEW WITH HANZHI
Tell us about the inspiration behind your project:
It seems to me that there is a connection between people and the natural environment. I hope to explore the emotional connection between things and people, and to express emotions through my work. I have often wondered how humans interact and resonate with their surroundings. In the process of imitating the form of water I noticed that some plants grow rapidly on rainy days, just like people’s emotions get amplified during rainy days. I started to observe reflection-related objects appearing in my life and trying to find a material that I could use in my work.
What are your thoughts on leather and sustainability, and how you think leather can adapt to a fashion industry increasingly focused on sustainability?
It is mouldable and hard-wearing, and if used wisely in fashion designs it can be an environmentally friendly material. In my opinion, leather goods should not be a fast fashion product. We should promote the idea that it is not easily damaged in design. For example, in my design the combination of mirrors and leather goods allows the surrounding environment to interact with the leather bag, increasing the connection between the user and the object, and in this way allowing the leather goods to be more compatible with the surrounding scenery. In today’s world of fast fashion, a bag should be given more possibilities to be matched with other objects.
What has been your experience in working with leather for this competition?
It seems to me that leather goods can be made not only in the traditional way, but it can also be combined with many materials. Constantly experimenting with new ideas and materials allows for more possibilities.
How do you think winning this competition will impact your career as a designer?
It was a great pleasure to win this competition and I think it means a lot to me because it is the first international competition I have won and it has given me more confidence for the rest of my design career. It has also reinforced my desire to continue researching new materials and combining existing materials with different things. I am very grateful to this competition for providing me with a platform to present myself to others.