I came across a really interesting streetwear concept early in the year – bamboo designer clothing. JUZD is a local brand that has established its line based on the concept of organic bamboo fabric. Want to learn more? Jing Liu, JUZD’s Lead Designer, takes us through the ins and outs of the brand.
- Tell us about JUZD – how could we describe it in 10 words and under?
- The brand just launched in March 2008, where has JUZD taken us so far?
- Where did the concept of Bamboo Clothing arise?
- Are there any big names that we can find organic bamboo being used?
- What does street wear mean in Toronto?
- How do you develop your line to be street wear oriented?
- What is your process like in developing the product?
- The general inclination is towards using organic materials to develop our fashions – how much do you think the eco-consciousness play into the next wave of clothing design?
- What’s the best way to wear your line – how do you style your clothing?
- Where are you looking to take the design of the line – how do you reinvent yourselves each season?
JUZD is the planet’s first bamboo designer clothing.
The most innovative fabric in over 50 years. The founders of a clothing store chain which now has several hundred locations felt the fabric and was very impressed. These guys have been in the industry for over 50 years and are impressed by NOTHING.
The reason I started JUZD was I wanted a clothing label that represented nature and the raw power the human being. There is no line out there that paid respect to nature and us as humans. With that as the founding concept I wanted a fabric that was organic and natural. And growing up in China my subconscious was imprinted with imageries of luscious, green, beautiful bamboos. With all this in my subconscious when my friend told me about bamboo fabric, it felt so right. It’s like one of those moments when you meet your soul mate or discover your true passion in life.
The big names that use bamboo are Roots, Lululemon, and now Affliction. Personally I really don’t like their bamboos. It’s an older generation so it’s heavy clingy, and not as soft as our bamboo. I guess I’ve been spoiled with the JUZD bamboo. No one else has the JUZD bamboo because its custom designed and milled.
There are some very fashion forward and creative individuals in Toronto but there are just too few! I remember my trips to California and New York and even China, each person is different and it was accepted. We the Toronto streetwear fashion culture is a follower, dressing mainstream with things from H&M and Zara. Nothing’s wrong with H&M and Zara but the way things are paired up is very safe. I think the Toronto street fashion culture needs to move forward and embrace individual expression.
The secret is I’m just an artist looking for an outlet. I just create edgy art and it happens to fit into the street fashion culture.
The process is pretty extensive. Here’s the brief version.
First I come up with an overall concept for the season that dictates everything. The designs and the colours, this has to match the cultural mood and the season. Then I finalize a small palette of colours and textures to use. Followed by the shirt styles I want for that season. Now comes the most creative challenging part, I have to come up unique concept and designs that match all the elements I’ve chosen. Then I collaborate with artists all across the world that matches the theme I want. In the Fall there’s one shirt that was the collaboration of four artists! The most fun, creative, and challenging element is making sure each shirt has a unique concept that no one has ever seen before, something totally fresh.
In one respect I think the innovation of organic fashion is very slow. Designers associate organic with nature and nature with hippies. So all this ‘organic’ clothing is designed for hippies and tree huggers. God bless them but you can’t change society by getting the 3% of the population making conscious decision on their clothing.
Where I want to go with JUZD and hope the other designers will follow is to make it compete with the major labels such as Diesel, Energie, Christian Audigier, and other contemporary labels. That’s going to be the next wave that will turn the mass market onto sustainable clothing.
Pair it up with your favourite pair of premium denim. I designed for the full shirt so it’s hard to layer it. Maybe add accessories such as a chain, scarf, or a pair of bad ass shades. But always wear the tees directly against the skin, because it feels so good.
With most artists when I create a piece that very creative (and I make sure every piece is) initially I get very excited. I jump I hop and show it to everyone. Then fear hits me hard. It’s like “how am I going to outdo myself next time? Is that my last? Is that all I got? Oh no! I think I exhausted all creative possibilities.”
But there are always more creative possibilities. I take inspiration from all around me. Whenever I see a design that’s innovative and edgy I think how can I translate that to a shirt. As with the art direction I want to go back to my roots, I want to take it back to Asia.
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