Cover Fashion designer Caroline Hu shares her firsts

New York-based, China-born designer Caroline Hu launched her eponymous label in 2018 and quickly became famous for her romantic dresses in sophisticated fabrics

New York-based, China-born designer Caroline Hu launched her eponymous label in 2018 and quickly became famous for her romantic dresses in sophisticated fabrics, which earned her the inaugural Business of Fashion China Prize and an LVMH Prize nomination in just two years. She was also recently selected as one of Ten Asian Designers to Watch by Fashion Asia Hong Kong. Popular demand has led Hu to expand her range for the first time this season—her designs are now stocked by retailers like Moda Operandi.

How did you first come to realise you wanted to work in fashion?

I studied oil painting and art from an early age. My family has always been very passionate about the arts, so naturally I wanted to find my own creative outlet as I grew up. Later, I discovered an interest in working with fabrics, so I decided that fashion design would be my expression of choice.

What was your first job and what was the experience like?

While studying, I interned at many brands. I got formal work experience under the design team of DKNY before it was purchased by G-III. The team and work environment were great and it was so valuable to learn about the design process of a commercial brand.

See also: Meet The Rising Design Trio Behind Fashion Label Commission, Finalists For The 2020 LVMH Prize

When did you first realise your brand was getting a lot of buzz?

It was definitely when I was nominated for the LVMH Prize and won the Business of Fashion China Prize. It was such a huge surprise because I had only just started the brand. The exposure I got from these two awards was huge.

Who’s the first celebrity you dressed and who do you want to dress?

Jemima Kirke was the first big celebrity to wear my clothes on the Jungle magazine cover and [famed fashion consultant] Julie Gilhart wore my dress to the Business of Fashion 500 gala. I’d really love to dress Faye Wong.

See also: South Korean Designer Minju Kim Gets Candid About Her Firsts

Where is the first place you look for inspiration?

My inspiration usually comes from the emotions I experience in my day-to-day life and also works of art I come across.

What is your next goal?

I want to build a more stable team, and get better at adapting my designs to the market. Starting with the spring-summer 2021 collection, I am also launching ready-to-wear garments that still have signature elements of the Caroline Hu style.

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