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T恤人字拖的厦门也是时尚之都

更新时间:2017-5-26 12:17:40 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Chinese Fashion Designers Flock to City of T-Shirts and Flip-Flops
T恤人字拖的厦门也是时尚之都

XIAMEN, China — In the seven years she lived in Beijing, Vega Zaishi Wang started her eponymous label and made her name as one of China’s top young fashion designers.

中国厦门——王在实(Vega Zaishi Wang)在北京生活的七年里,不仅开创了同名的时装品牌,还跻身中国顶尖的年轻时装设计师之列。

But the capital city’s grueling pace of life — the media, the parties, the pollution, the cost of living — was taking its toll. She struggled with depression so oppressive she named her 2014 autumn/winter collection “The Dark Night of the Soul.”

但首都的生活节奏很磨人,媒体、派对、污染、生活成本……都在侵蚀着她的生活。她与抑郁症的斗争太压抑,以至于把自己2014秋冬系列命名为“灵魂暗夜”。

And so, last September, Ms. Wang finally made her escape. Like a bird in search of warmer climes, she fled south to Xiamen, a coastal city between Hong Kong and Shanghai. She set up a studio in a four-story mansion in a quiet neighborhood on Xiamen Island, just a short walk from the beach.

于是去年9月,王在实终于选择了逃离。她像一只寻找温暖气候区的小鸟一样,南下来到地处香港和上海之间的沿海城市厦门。在厦门岛上一个安静地段,在一栋距离海边几步之遥的四层小楼里成立了工作室。

On a recent sunny afternoon, an ocean breeze blew in through the studio’s open windows. Gritty Beijing, so often blanketed in smog and traffic, felt like a world away.

不久前一个阳光明媚的下午,海风轻轻地从工作室开着的窗户吹进来。空气里弥漫着沙尘且经常出现雾霾天气和交通拥堵的北京,感觉像是在世界的另一头。

“In Beijing, there was no such thing as work-life balance,” said Ms. Wang, 32, settling into a vintage raspberry-colored leather armchair. “But here in Xiamen, I can slow down my pace and focus on my collections. I’m much happier here.”

“在北京,没有工作和生活平衡这种东西,”32岁的王在实坐在一把老式的树莓色皮质扶手椅里说。“但在厦门这里,我可以放慢节奏,专注于自己的系列。在这里,我开心多了。”

In moving to Xiamen, Ms. Wang became the latest addition to a small but robust community of up-and-coming young Chinese fashion designers who have forgone the glamour of cosmopolitan Shanghai and Beijing in favor of off-the-beaten-path Xiamen.

一批颇有前途的中国服装设计师纷纷放弃上海和北京的都市魅力,选择了不甚有名的厦门。这个群体虽小,但却充满活力。移居厦门的行动,让王在实成了他们中的最新一员。

Known as the “Xiamen gang,” these designers — whose aesthetics range from elevated street wear to high-end fashion — are beloved by fashionistas from Beijing to Hong Kong. Their creations have been promenaded on the elite catwalks of London and Paris fashion weeks and have even inspired numerous knockoffs on Chinese e-commerce platforms like Alibaba’s Taobao.

被称作“厦门帮”的这些设计师,深受从北京到香港的时尚达人的喜爱。他们的美学涉及的范围广泛,从高端街头休闲服装到高档时装。他们的作品登上了伦敦和巴黎时装周,中国的电商平台,如阿里巴巴旗下的淘宝上甚至出现了大量仿品。

In addition to Ms. Wang, their ranks include designers like Shangguan Zhe of Sankuanz and Liu Min of Ms Min. All three were featured last year in Opening Ceremony’s “Year of China,” for which the influential New York-based fashion retailer highlighted a select group of emerging Chinese designers.

除了王在实,这一群人还包括Sankuanz的设计师上官喆和Ms Min的设计师刘旻。去年,这三位设计师的作品都在开幕式(Opening Ceremony)的中国年上亮相。开幕式是很有影响力的纽约时装零售公司,它着重推出了几位精选的中国新秀设计师的作品。

Together, the designers are behind some of the most cutting-edge fashion trends coming out of China. That strikes many as curious, given they are working out of a city where the concept of fashion seems to be an afterthought.

这些设计师是中国最前卫的一些时尚潮流的幕后人物。这令很多人感到奇怪,因为他们的大本营是一个时尚概念似乎无足轻重的城市。

“Xiamen is a place that doesn’t have any fashion,” said Dido Liu, founder of the Xiamen-based brand Deepmoss. “It’s so hot, most people just go out wearing T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops.”

“厦门没有时尚,”厦门品牌Deepmoss的创始人刘小路(Dido Liu)说。“这儿太热了,大部分人出门只穿T恤、短裤和人字拖。”

The term “chill” comes up often in discussions about Xiamen. Visitors to the city stroll along boulevards lined with stately colonial buildings, the legacy of 19th-century European traders who once frequented the port of Xiamen — then known as Amoy — looking to exchange sugar and opium for Chinese tea and porcelain.

在关于厦门的讨论中,经常出现“轻松”这个概念。游客们沿着两侧满是恢宏的殖民地风格建筑的大道散步。那是19世纪欧洲商人的遗迹,他们一度经常光顾厦门港,用糖和鸦片交换中国的茶叶和瓷器。

The more adventurous wander through Bashi, the bustling seafood market where fishermen drop off their daily hauls, or meander around Shapowei, a local art zone that comes alive at night with skateboarders and small vendors selling handmade jewelry and crafts. (Thank You Cafe in Shapowei, started by the designer Cotton Yu of Mymymy, is a favorite watering hole for the fashion gang.)

更爱猎奇的游客在热闹的海鲜市场“八市”闲逛——渔民们把每天捕到的海鲜运到这里——或者在当地艺术区沙坡尾漫步,那里到了晚上生机勃勃,充满滑板爱好者和售卖手工珠宝和工艺品的小贩(沙坡尾的Thank You Cafe咖啡馆是Mymymy的设计师于静[Cotton Yu]开设的,它是时尚业界人士青睐的酒吧)。

Residents often converse in Hokkien, the dialect native to the Fujian region. In language, culture and atmosphere, the city more closely resembles Taiwan, which is within swimming distance of Xiamen, than the frenetic metropolises of Beijing and Shanghai to the north.

当地居民经常用闽南话交谈——闽南话是福建的方言。这座城市在语言、文化和氛围上更接近台湾——从厦门游泳就能到达台湾——而不太像北边的北京和上海这类有着疯狂节奏的大都市。

But it is precisely Xiamen’s laid-back vibe that attracts designers like Ms. Liu. The harbor city of almost four million consistently ranks near the top in lists of most livable cities in China. Couples from around China flock to Xiamen to take romantic photos on the island’s beaches.

不过,正是厦门悠闲的氛围吸引了刘旻这样的设计师。这座拥有近400万居民的港口城市一直名列中国宜居城市排行榜前列。中国各地的情侣们蜂拥来到厦门,在小岛的沙滩上拍摄浪漫照片。

And what the city may lack in fashion sense, it more than makes up for with its abundant greenery, waterside cafe culture, and vibrant culinary scene. Here, an idea of a good night out means squeezing into a dimly lit hole-in-the-wall restaurant and feasting on fresh seafood and cold beer.

这座城市可能缺乏时尚感,但它茂盛的绿色植被、滨海的咖啡馆文化,以及生机勃勃的美食文化大大弥补了这一点。这里美好的夜生活就是挤进一家灯光灰暗的小餐馆,尽情享用新鲜的海鲜和凉爽的啤酒。

“Xiamen is one of those rare cities where you can work really hard and get a lot done but you can also relax,” said Ian Hylton, the president of Ms Min and former creative director of men’s wear for Ports, which maintains its China headquarters in Xiamen.

“厦门是几个罕见的城市之一,你在这里可以非常努力地工作,完成很多事情,但你也可以放松,”Ms Min的首席执行官、前宝姿(Ports)男装创意总监伊恩·希尔顿(Ian Hylton)说。宝姿的中国总部就在厦门。

Unlike Ms. Wang, who sought out Xiamen as a refuge, the other designers in the so-called Xiamen gang settled here more by circumstance. Many, including Mr. Zhe, Ms. Liu of Deepmoss and Ms. Liu of Ms Min, grew up in the region.

王在实是为了远离喧嚣而来到厦门的,而厦门帮的其他设计师生活在这里则更多的是环境使然。他们中的很多人在这个地区长大,包括上官喆、刘小路和刘旻。

But what keeps them here is more than inertia. Work-life balance aside, there are concrete incentives to running a fashion label out of Xiamen. For one, the operation costs can be much lower in Xiamen than in Shanghai, China’s de facto fashion capital, and Beijing, the nexus of China’s fashion media.

但把他们留在这里的不只是惰性。除了能获得工作和生活的平衡,在厦门经营一个时装品牌还有一些具体的动力。比如,厦门的运营成本要比上海和北京低得多。上海是中国事实上的时尚之都,北京则是中国时尚媒体的大本营。

Ms. Wang estimated that she paid about one-quarter of what she would pay to rent a comparable studio space in Beijing. Skilled employees, like machinists, can also be easier to find, given the region’s history as a garment manufacturing hub.

据王在实估计,她在厦门租一个面积相同的工作室所支付的租金是在北京的约四分之一。在这里,也更容易找到熟练工人,比如机械工,因为该地区有着作为服装制作业中心的历史。

Local designers can also apply for generous rent subsidies from the Xiamen city government, which has been eager to promote the city’s image as a contemporary fashion hub.

当地设计师还可以从厦门市政府申请丰厚的租金补贴。该市政府渴望推广该市作为当代时尚中心的形象。

But taking government subsidies can come with challenges. Designers are often pressured by officials to participate in local government-sponsored fashion events. Accepting the benefits also subjects designers to strict regulations that often don’t take into account the nuances of the fashion design business.

不过,接受政府的补贴也带有一些挑战。设计师们经常迫于官员们的压力,去参加当地政府赞助的一些时尚活动。设计师接受补贴后也不得不遵守一些严格的规定,那些规定往往不考虑时装设计行业的具体情况。

The designer Wan Yifang discovered that reality recently when local officials seized on the sewing machines in her small subsidized studio space as a violation of the building’s fire code prohibiting production.

前不久,设计师万一方就经历了这种情况,当地官员指出,她接受补贴的小工作室所用的缝纫机有违该大楼禁止生产的消防规定。

“The government doesn’t really know what it’s doing,” said Ms. Wan, who is currently looking for a new studio. “Design studios are really a new thing for them. They’ve never thought about how to differentiate between large-scale manufacturers and small design studios.”

“政府也不是太了解情况,”万一方说。眼下,她正在寻找新的工作室。“对他们来说,设计工作室真的是个新鲜事物。他们从来没想过如何区别对待规模生产企业和小设计工作室。”

Still, such drawbacks are minimal when compared with the city’s relaxed lifestyle and many conveniences. The ease of communication platforms like Tencent’s WeChat and the frequency of flights out of Xiamen have further bridged the gap, allowing local designers to tap into what has become a fast-moving fashion revolution in China, a country that just one generation ago had little option but to wear somber-colored Mao suits.

不过,与这座城市轻松的生活方式和许多便利条件相比,这些缺陷微不足道。微信等便捷的沟通平台以及厦门繁忙的航班进一步弥补了隔阂,使得当地设计师可以融入中国快速发展的时尚革命。仅在约25年前,中国人几乎没什么选择,只能穿颜色灰暗的中山装。

“Fashion in China moves so quickly,” said Timothy Parent, founder of China Fashion Bloggers, a blog about Chinese fashion. “In just a few decades, the concept of ‘made in China’ has become ‘designed in China.’ Instead of producing clothes, more and more people now want to create and design them.”

“中国的时尚业发展得非常迅速,”关于中国时尚的博客China Fashion Bloggers的创始人蒂莫西·帕伦特(Timothy Parent)说。“就在这几十年里,‘中国制造’的概念已经变成了‘中国设计’。现在,越来越多的中国人不再只是生产服装,而是想创造和设计服装。”

As a result, a growing number of young Chinese fashion designers are rising to the fore. Many, like Ms. Wang and Ms. Wan, are returning home after studying abroad at prestigious institutes like Central St. Martin’s in London, bringing with them a unique design language that fuses a multitude of influences and cultures.

结果,越来越多的中国年轻服装设计师涌现出来。其中很多人——比如王在实和万一方——是在国外著名学院学成回国的,比如伦敦的中央圣马丁学院(Central St. Martin’s),他们带回了独特的设计语言,融合了各种影响和文化。

“These days, Chinese designers are more international,” said Mr. Zhe, who created Sankuanz in 2008 and has since mentored many young local designers. “But of course, the sense of nationality — that sense of being Chinese — can be difficult to shake off.”

“如今的中国设计师更加国际化,”上官喆说。他于2008年创立了Sankuanz,后来指导了很多当地的年轻设计师。“当然,民族感,也就是身为中国人的感觉,很难摆脱。”

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