Design Atelier paves a way for Taiwan's textile industry
By Lydia Lin, Supplement Writer
December 30, 2011, 12:53 pm TWN
More interestingly, Loki's first Spring/Summer line, with its impending local debut in 2012, is produced here in Taiwan with the assistance of the TTF. Unbeknownst to most of the public, the inextricable link between the ski-slope blazing Loki Gear and snow-deprived Taiwan has long been a great source of MIT (Made in Taiwan) pride.
"The reason Loki can exist is because of Taiwan," Hsieh said, emphasizing that for the past 20 years, Taiwan textiles and design have provided the high-quality and high-tech materials that help uphold the brand's prestige. A prime example is the lightweight and flexible fiber "Thinsulate Flex Insulation Type FX," which provides warmth and insulation in damp conditions.
All this can be traced to the Taiwan Textile Federation (TTF,中華民國紡織業拓展會), whose Design Atelier (台北服飾快速設計打樣中心) helped create the new Loki spring line featuring fashion-forward sportswear in the form of sleek T-shirts made with breathable fabrics.
In addition to offering consultation on market niche, brand style, color planning and proofing, the TTF assisted Loki in design and prototyping; it also liaised between designers and suppliers of fabric and other materials.
Members of the Design Atelier describe the collaboration as one based on general instruction and understanding key brand concepts. Creative execution, on the other hand, is theirs to explore; "Loki colors" are tweaked by designers who want to ensure that the palette follows runway trends to appeal to the fashion-conscious masses. Further, the spring/summer line is marketed specifically in Asia and tailored for Taiwan's tropical climate.
While business in Japan and South Korea are burgeoning, Hsieh did reveal that Loki is taking its expansion in mainland China — a huge market with numerous locales for winter sports — very "slowly and cautiously."
Atelier Assists Designer Lu Xue-zheng
Design Atelier assists the upcoming designers at the Fashion Institute of Taipei (西園29服飾創作基地), commercializing avant-garde ideas into products. For example, the TTF jointly launched apparels in collaboration with designer Lu Xue-zheng (呂學政) and 3M. After persistent research and development on waterproof features and adhesive techniques, the Atelier and Lu's foray from aesthetic design to functional design yielded the warm, robust, comfortable and flattering "3M unisex jacket," launched to wide professional and public acclaim.
Recognized domestically as a multi-award winning designer (recipient of the Taiwan Fashion Award and the Taiwan Sin Sa Award to name a few), Lu now boasts his own label "Lu Xue Zheng," with collections for both men and women. The designer was among the few featured prominently at the TTF-organized 2011 Taipei IN Style (台北魅力國際服裝服飾品牌展) in late October.
Lu describes his design aesthetic as "a fusion of East meets West or the deconstruction of oriental elements with minimalist influence" that "reflects the philosophy of architecture." A layman translation would depict his clothes as modern and structural garments embellished with a subtle Asian twist.