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Edge Yang Talks Queer Masculinity and The Power of Feminine Energy
NCO 043
2023-04-14
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N: Hi, Edge! It's a pleasure to have this interview. I have followed your work for quite some time, and I would love to know more about your journey. Can you tell me a bit about your upbringing and how you first became involved in the world of fashion?

E: Hi! Thank you very much for this interview. Yeah, actually, I was in London from 2014 to 2017, studying Fashion Styling and Production at university. During that time, I was assisting Anna Pesonen and Gary David Moore, who are amazing, and got me involved with various shooting and show styling. After my time in London, I moved back to Shanghai. I was assisting Liu Xiao for Wallpaper China for about a year and a half, and then I started my own styling career. Along the way, Untitled Folder was always on, and at the end of 2020, I started Sultry Virgin with Qiuge Wang.

N: The Covid pandemic has undoubtedly had a significant impact on the global fashion scene. How has China's fashion landscape evolved in recent years, particularly in light of the pandemic? We're also curious to hear about the ways in which the creative youth have adapted and come together during these challenging times.

E: At the beginning, everyone was panicked, as nobody had an idea of when this was going to end, and all the news was increasing worries. Every shooting was delayed, as nobody knew how long, and there wasn't much work to do at that time. In 2021, fashion weeks began to move to digital as a solution, as a way to continue presenting.

In my practice, Sultry Virgin presented an animation instead of an online show, which was super fun and brought people together to accomplish that.

N: As the founder of Untitled Folder magazine, you've placed a spotlight on queer masculinity in Asia. What inspired you to embark on this project, and what messages do you hope to communicate through the publication?

E: At the beginning, Untitled Folder was focusing only on fashion. At the time, @boihugo participated, and Untitled Folder started to place interests in queer masculinity in Asia. Actually, the first issue was in 2014, and I was doing it on my own, and at that time, Untitled Folder was trying only one thing: doing it without limitation. After we located in queer masculinity in Asia, Untitled Folder grew into multiple platforms - culture, art, and fashion.

With a focus on masculinities and global oriental queer, we persist in marching forward in the exploration of multiple truths. We expect the rise of newborn powers. We raise questions and try to defend our values alongside our doubts. We explore the boundaries of our identifications to seek a friendlier context for dialogue.

N: On the other hand, you're also a co-founder of Sultry Virgin, a fashion brand that primarily focuses on femininity. How did the name "Sultry Virgin" come about, and could you share more about the brand's aesthetic and vision? Describe the ideal Sultry Virgin customer for me.

E: For Sultry Virgin, I wanted to try something new for me. Gender studies have always fascinated me. As Untitled Folder was focusing on exploring masculinities, I wanted to have another practice focused on femininities. So that's kind of how it started. The name Sultry Virgin was meant to convey a sense of contrast and rebellion.

Sultry Virgin wants to encourage self-care and inner strength by having playful garments become symbol of resistance to normative aesthetics of gender.

N: Thank you, Edge. One last question: What's next for you? Are there any exciting projects coming soon?

E: During the time of Covid, Untitled Folder was resting for three years, so maybe this year would be good to start it again. And just Endless Romance, which is a lifetime project for myself (lol).

All images courtesy of Edge Yang.
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