Inspired by daily life and every day objects, PabePabe creates stunning pieces by combining ready-made products and a strong visual aesthetic. PabePabe is a great representation of Asian fashion but how has this changed over the years?
Once an embarrassment, now a matter of pride. A label made in Asian countries used to conjure up negative associations for some people, including problems with quality, materials, and even the working environment. Others may picture more traditional styles like the Chinese Hanfu or Qipao when thinking of Asian fashion. Remove these thoughts!
In recent years, the Asian fashion industry and culture have seen rapid growth and are undergoing a modern renaissance. The catalysts for emerging designers are the new generations of trendmakers influencing not only the domestic Asian market but the global scene. Similarly, with the development of Korean and Japanese streetwear, modern Hong Kong designers are incorporating Western fashion with traditional garments and ideas to invent an innovative hybrid of aesthetics. With Asian brands making their mark within the luxury sector, we as consumers are rethinking what it means to be Made in Asia.
To celebrate the success of Asian brands, we are profiling PabePabe, a Hong Kong based fashion and art accessories brand focusing on creating a truly unique aesthetic for their audience.
Establishing the brand in 2018, the inspiration behind PabePabe came from observing local Hong Kong daily life and objects. Creating a new form of art by combining ready-made products with a strong physical visual aesthetic, the brand’s signature leather designs use leather as a medium to communicate and emphasise meaning beyond functional purposes, bringing a sense of humour and fun to their designs.
Liu Xing, the originator of the brand, is a Central Academy of Fine Arts graduate with a strong interest in avant-garde theatrical design, familiarity with leather materials, as well as an eye for artistic design and leather samples. Liu uses a variety of stimulating media to expand his thinking. He also pays close attention to current events and incorporates them into his work. Logan Chan, a co-founder, also obtained his degree from the Central Academy of Fine Arts. His artwork is primarily influenced by current events and different scenarios. Instead of limiting any form of media, he uses it to create and open up all possibilities. He also embraces society as a whole and works to transform everyday objects into exciting experiences.
So what is PabePabe all about?
Five years ago, the brand’s inaugural season was inspired by the water boots of leather factory workers, paint buckets, labour gloves, and swaddling straps used by female factory workers. Challenging mainstream fashion expectations with quirky and camp designs not seen elsewhere, with one bag incorporating a pair of rainboots, and another created from a diving flipper using high-quality ox leather, creating a truly unique piece of art reflecting the personality of its owner.
PabePabe handbags are immediately recognised. Their unusual designs are inseparable from the creators’ lives, which adds to the individuality of their products. As for being ‘non-mainstream’, the designer argues, “I don’t need to be mainstream. I just need to be mainstream for my own customers.” Given their intriguing shape and design, PabePabe’s handbags are priced at a reasonable mid-tier price point, which indicates that the brand can persuade buyers to try out unconventional designs once the price is appropriate.
In this day and age, there is an endless list of fashion choices, but often it’s more of the same generic trends copying each other. Hopefully more brands like PabePabe will start to emerge and offer people the courage to reveal their genuine true self, emphasising that it’s good to be different.
To discover more, visit pabepabeofficial.com
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All imagery courtesy of PabePabe.