After the excitement of i-am-chen’s debut solo show as the SS19 Merit Award winner, we caught up with the Hong Kong based designer to find out how she felt it went, why London’s corner shops are full of inspiration and the environment as portrayed in the Scent of the Green Papaya.

Since it’s inception i-am-chen has been a knitwear label, and as Chen expressed previously - it can be difficult to convince the industry that knitwear is appropriate for Spring. As the first catwalk show for the brand, SS19 marked an important intersection for the emerging and rising designer, as they were recently announced as a finalist for the International Woolmark Prize. See what Chen thought as the last model returned backstage!

How do you think the show went?

Really calm and really organised. I was happy with everything, it was amazing. Everything went well, it was perfect. It all went as we planned.

How does it feel to be showcasing with Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week?

It’s amazing, it’s a good platform to show to the media. It’s such a vibrant environment here – I was inspired by every corner shop. It’s just really good to come back and the hall is amazing.



How does this collection differ from your other collections?

Last season we were ‘Ones to Watch’, so this is the first solo show for ‘i-am-chen’. I have more control – I got to select my own models and I can dress them before the show. It’s just more organised and inclusive. 

What are you inspired by?

The film Scent of Green Papaya. It’s about the mood and the environment and the layers of green. Also, there’s a lot of pictures in the film of leaves and windows and figures – so there’s a lot of layers mixed together. It’s a beautiful movie.

How have you found the experience with Fashion Scout?

It’s amazing, they’re so supportive and it’s a great platform for young designers.

Interview by Zoe Bennets

Words by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins

Are you an emerging designer, looking for recognition and an opportunity to showcase to the global market? We’ve opened applications for next seasons Merit Award! Apply here now, for the chance to be considered for AW19.