Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. My name is TzuLi Hsu. I am a knitwear and womenswear designer. I graduated from Parsons, The New School for Design. I realized in my junior year at Parsons my passion for knitwear and decided to further work on creating knitwear collections. At the end of 2016 I decided to launch the brand TZULI HSU. TZULI HSU is a brand which loves colors and cares about quality and details. We don’t follow trends, we know what we want, and explore our own styles. We use only high quality yarn, and make sure every second we are doing a good job during our creation and production. We believe that our knits combine the beauty of both fashion and craftsmanship, and we are eager to bring the beautiful yarns and knits in front of everyone, and let people see the beauty and possibilities of knitwear, further giving them better representations of themselves.
How has living in Taipei affected your work? Having lived in New York, London and Taipei, and traveled to different countries, I embrace diverse cultures and experiences, which I believe shapes my visual sensibility on fashion in some ways. Now TZULI HSU is based in Taipei, while my Western education and working background is merged with current Eastern surroundings. And interestingly, Taipei is a city where you see fusion of Western and Eastern cultures very often.
How long have you lived in Taipei and what brought you there? It’s been 2 years since I moved back to my hometown of Taipei from New York. Before coming back I stayed in New York for about 5 years, and decided to come back to my hometown to start running my little studio. It feels quite different for me this time coming back. Perhaps because I grew up in Taipei, I didn’t pay much attention to the city.
What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? Every collection I do is inspired by my own narratives, so my work is very much influenced by subjective emotional feelings. The exhibition I sewed recently, the places I went last weekend, the magazine I read yesterday. All these experiences are influencing my work in different ways.
What’s your absolute favorite place in the city/the world to be? Definitely afternoon tea shop. I have certain tea shops I like to go to in every city I’ve stayed. I like to go there, order a pot of tea with one to two cakes or waffles, and sketch or read or knit. I’d stay for the whole afternoon, even an entire day, working on what I feel right at the moment.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Currently I’m working on our Autumn/Winter 2018 collection. Our favorite season is Autumn/Winter because we get to use lots of wools like merino and cashmere. Our brand personality embraces comfortable quality and colors. The next collection is going to have diverse stitches and patterns different from previous collections, with new combinations of colors.
Where do you plan to travel next? I haven’t been back to New York since I last left, so I’m planing to return to my second hometown soon in the next few months. I want to see the changes the city has made and revisit the places I loved in the city.
What was the last collection you saw that stuck out to you? Delpozo’s FW17 knit collection was really impressive. There are several sweaters playing with textures and going beyond boundaries, which really stuck out to me.
Describe your current studio or workspace. Currently I have my little studio in Taipei. It is a cozy and warm space piled with balls and cones of yarns. There’s a big working table in the middle of the studio and a yarn swift, ball winder, and knitting machine on the side. Beside that there’s another drawing table with sketchbooks, mood boards, colored pencils, and markers. I have a shelf of all kinds of fashion and art related magazines. On the other side of the studio is a rack of samples from previous collections.
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after experiencing your work? I want people to feel comfortable and leave with a smile after experiencing my work. As I said, I want to show quality and craftsmanship through my collections. Although my work is inspired by my personal narratives, I don’t think viewers have to resonate all the time, instead I’d like people to have their own interpretation and experience toward the collections.