N: Hi~ Please give us some background on who you are, where you are from and what’s your passion in life? Maybe also 5 emojis that describe your current mood~?
F: Hi~ My name is Wen Fu, and I was born and raised in China. I'm a Tokyo-based designer and founder of Fuguihua. After graduating high school, I traveled to London to study womenswear fashion design at the London College of Fashion, where I built my understanding of fashion and continued to discover myself. I am passionate about various things like tennis, calligraphy, or exploring something new. For example, I started snowboarding last winter, which was amazing. But for now, I am focusing on my brand. It's starting to integrate with the new young and cool generation of Japan, and I am so grateful for it.
N: I was very intrigued when seeing your style. What were your main inspirations? You seem to blend Y2K with a little bit of gothic, and it reminds me of a long legacy of Japanese street style fashion but also of the Shanghai underground. I apologize if I’m totally wrong. If you were to give us some words to describe the multiple inspirations that constitute your style, what would they be?
F: I was super into the Victorian era and 70’s London subculture when I did my school project. Since I moved to Tokyo and explored the culture of Japan, my rebellious character came out and made me reflect on the limitations of Asian womenswear. I kept asking myself why people dress to cater to others and why they cover up and not show their beautiful body shape.
I would say my main inspiration is mixing vulgar, lobotomy chic, Japanese sex culture, and of course, 70’s subculture street style.
N: Could you tell us more about the creative process behind making pieces for Fuguihua? How do you translate your inspiration into tangible pieces that people can wear and enjoy?
F: My last collection was inspired by my own experience of injustice. I imagined myself as a tattered girl who came back from the war. I used this image to develop the whole theme, for example, using dirty tones, comfy fabrics, and a lot of misplaced pockets that can hold all the equipment you have to fight. Iron gates, stethoscopes, hospital symbols, blades, crosses, and other childlike prints satirize the injustice suffered at that time, and also combines lobotomy chic and Fuguihua girl's original hot girl image. It is true that sometimes it is difficult to balance between ready-to-wear and creative stuff during the design process, but I try to find the balance through high-quality workmanship and of course, Japanese comfy fabric, without losing interesting and creative design. I want Fuguihua girls to express their confidence by wearing the most comfortable clothes.
N: If you could style any fictional character in a Fuguihua garment, who would it be and why?
F: I would love to say Launch from Dragon Ball. It's quite a personal reason because it's my first and favorite anime that I watched. I even got a tattoo like her name before I watched this anime haha.
She has a strange disorder that causes her to switch between two different personalities each time she sneezes. One is a blue-haired sweet girl, and the other one is a blonde-haired girl who commits crimes for money. There's not much reason why, but I'm just so attracted to her and I want to style her with a total Fuguihua look.
N: Where do you see Fuguihua in 5 years and what do you hope to accomplish with your brand in that time?
F: Firstly, I will keep making high-quality products, continue self-exploring, and have more connections with customers and stockists. Secondly, I definitely want to bring my brand to the wider world. It's like I'm trying to make a big snowball, but I need it based on a really solid and round shape, ensuring it rolls bigger and bigger, faster and faster, and I'm still shaping this snowball at the moment. I want people to know how charming this brand is. I want them to touch the physical clothes, to see the actual creation, not just check from online photos. I want to show my brand potential to the world and deliver my fashion to all the young generation.
N: Thank you very much for taking the time to exchange with me today. To finish on a high note, what is next for you? What’s next for Fuguihua?
F: Thank you so much for inviting me to this interesting interview. Since the COVID situation is improving, I’m planning to travel somewhere, to escape from reality, and explore more new things. Fuguihua will have more stockists and, of course, pop-ups in Tokyo and Shanghai, create a stronger Fuguihua team, and show the world our next creation.
All images courtesy of Wen Fu.