Belgium-based Taiwanese fashion designer Shi Jen Huang (黃璽珍), whose winter collection was lauded by a leading Belgian fashion institute last month, said her ultimate goal is to promote her designs internationally as a “made in Taiwan” brand.
Huang’s new collection, titled God will speed you, was posted on Aug. 9 on the blog of Belgium’s Flanders Fashion Institute (FFI), which helps fashion designers and companies improve their marketing and management skills with government funds.
As the first Taiwanese graduate of fashion design in Belgium, Huang said in a recent interview that all the hard work she put in at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent (KASK) was worth it after being recognized by the institute.
The KASK 2007 graduate said the school’s fashion design program, which she described as “rigorous to the point of almost being harsh,” accepts between 20 and 30 new students a year, but only six receive a diploma after a strict selection process by teachers there.
Huang, who launched the brand Shi Jen last year, was also one of the few non-local designers recommended by the institute.
As a Christian, Huang said she hopes her designs can help distressed people appreciate faith in a proper way.
“Her storytelling comes alive through haute couture techniques combined with street wear, suitable for a modern day lifestyle ... Her vision comes alive through references to Christian iconography but also through soft materials such as wool that protect their wearer,” the FFI blog said of the designer’s works.
However, Huang’s biggest hope is to see her home country embrace her designs as her brand grows, she said.