YYAtomic: Blasting off with Ziwei Qu
LCF Stories spoke with Ziwei Qu, an alum of BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Menswear. After graduating from the course in 2020, Ziwei's focus has been on the development of YYAtomic - a menswear brand "dedicated to contemporary craftsmanship and new technologies."
In our interview below, we find out about the origins of YYAtomic and the designers that paved the way for Ziwei.
What was your thought process behind YYAtomic?
The name "YYAtomic" is a portmanteau of YYA and Atomic, the former being the name of my family's business, and the latter a reference to the futurism of using atomic energy to fuel the infrastructure of various industries.
The main inspirations behind my collection were space operas, such as 'The Last Starfighter', as well as modern city life. The image of athletic young men is conjured in my design, and each piece is uniquely crafted to represent a vision inspired by youth and street culture. Those elements were crucial in creating YYAtomic's identity.
What are some of your stylistic influences?
First of all, I am a big fan of vintage pieces. I often thought about how people in the past saw futuristic clothing (that's us), and how contemporary people would see the futuristic clothing of people in the past. Pierre Cardin gave me the biggest style inspiration, he's known for having avant-garde style and Space Age designs.
How long have you had the idea of starting a clothing brand?
My last year at LCF opened up my world to streetwear and various subcultures (such as motorbiking and hip-hop). And I thought to myself: why not combine them together? So I came up with the idea to create a brand that challenges traditional methods of menswear cutting and styling techniques, blending new-style street aesthetics with timeless classic menswear pieces.
What are some of your future plans for the brand?
Currently, my attention is focused on preparing for the Fall 22 collection sales launch, and also managing customer pre-orders. In the near future, I wish to collaborate with other designers and artists and explore new frontiers for YYAtomic.