Peep our chat with the duo behind MARRKNULL
From deconstructed leather garments to bags built like jackets, you can expect the unexpected from the futuristic fashion brand MARRKNULL.
What always stays consistent, tho, is the brand's reverence for their Chinese heritage and dedication to constantly rethinking apparel in striking new ways. Founded in the uniquely modern yet traditional Beijing creative scene in 2016 by Wang Wei and Tim Shi, the goal of the diverse brand is to create pieces that capture meaningful regional roots while completely deconstructing and rebuilding design itself in never-been-done-before ways.
This philosophy of what the duo calls "de-designing" resulted in one of their most recognizable pieces, the incomparable Hanger Bag which embodies both a classic bag & classic jacket in one. The significant use of leather in the design embodies the brand's creative attitude that always functions with intention, to creative something innovative that will have lasing impact ― not unlike the way leather itself endures time by only improving with age. That's just one of the elements that solidified the Hanger Bag design in today's streetwear zeitgeist. But their creative journey is far from over.
Scroll to our interview with founders Tim Shi and Wang Wei below to dive into the duo's design journey & constantly evolving creative philosophy. 👇
Your roots are clearly influential in your design work. Can you dive into the culture of the modern Chinese social system and tell us how its values both contradict & influence your work?
We have all experienced the era of mutual exclusion and integration of foreign pop culture and local culture in China's rapid development, which has nurtured China's current popular culture. It is more commonly known as “Tu Wei". In our opinion, the term is not derogatory. We have been trying to convey this culture to the world.
So what message were you looking to convey with Homesick collection?
The story we want to talk about behind HOMESICK collection is about the scene a small-town youngsters came back hometown.
What sparks the inspiration to explore new dimensions of basic clothes and deconstruct something ordinary like a jacket, a dress, a pair of pants, etc. by completely reinventing them?
People living under regional culture who inspired us are barely influenced by foreign culture. That’s why they have a certain style. They can match their confident look even with cheap and old-fashioned clothes. The way they dress up influenced our thinking way. We try to change the common dress up method of a ordinary piece without create a totally new silhouette, in which way a whole new piece comes up naturally. This is also the concept of “De-designing” we want to express.
The Hanger Shirt bag is definitely an notable piece of the brand. The bag and many of your other pieces transform such classic fashion concepts, like a leather jacket, into something never done before. What’s the process of taking something so well known in the fashion field and transforming it into something completely your own?
The inspiration for the hanger bag comes from the clothes drying scenes that can be seen everywhere in Chinese streets and lanes. We want to restore this state through the hanger bag. And we pick some pieces, like leather jackets, down jackets and shirts to combine with hangers to create a new piece.
Focusing on leather in your designs opens so many doors to new colors and finishes. How do you feel that the freedom the material creates has impacted your final products?
The materials and colors are all about assisting in finish the final piece and help us to let people understand the silhouette and design point of the piece.
How Beijing creative scene is it uniquely different from your perspective? And what elements of it are visible in your designs?
Beijing is a city with its own unique cultural heritage. The life here always give us inspiration. What is special about Beijing is that it is a modern and traditional city where modernity and markets blend.
What creative challenge will you take on next?
I think most of the previous exploration was about the relationship between culture and clothing, then we will pay more attention to the clothing itself, How to truly integrate our cultural concept into the clothing itself.
"DE-DESIGNING IS WHAT WE WILL DISCUSS AND CHALLENGE NEXT. "
We can't wait to see that challenge tackled, especially if it means more one-of-a-kind leather must-haves.
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