Ground Zero are the Hong Kong based fashion brand blurring the boundaries between art, fashion, graphic design and luxury street wear.
Ground Zero are a brother design-duo making a name for themselves in their native Hong Kong and beyond. Their design language is born from a love of art, graphic design and in short, everything around them. Famous fans like Beth Ditto and rigging Asian star, Fan Bing Bing, are both avid wearers of Ground Zero’s bold statement pieces season after season.
It’s their work ethic that keeps them grounded (excuse the pun), constantly working from the bottom up. Always reminding themselves about the all consuming, relative power of zero, they retain a consistently fresh approach to design. We caught up with the duo to talk reality TV wins, fantasy collaborations and car racing culture.
So tell us, where did the name Ground Zero come from? What does it mean?
The name Ground Zero came from our initial vision and hope that we had when we decided to pursue fashion design. Prior to that, Eri was working in a company where he did not see himself working at in the long run, and I was fired from my job. Since we were starting from nothing or “zero”, we thought Ground Zero summarized this new beginning. The point where we would begin building our own creative work.
As brothers, does fashion run in the family?
My family does not do fashion nor do we have any links to it, except some relatives were tailors. Our sister largely influenced us to pursue fashion. Growing up, our sister loved shopping for clothes and accessories so we would always go with her to her favorite stores – Moschino and Jean Paul Gaultier. We were so attracted to the extravagance and chicness of fashion, that we felt a sense of belonging to this world.
What inspired your FW15 collection?
FW15 was inspired by the car racing culture. We wanted to portray our Ground Zero girls to be brave and courageous, stepping into the future at full speed like car racers.
Who would you like to see wearing Ground Zero?
We’d love to see Rihanna or Miley Cyrus wearing Ground Zero. They both push the envelope when it comes to fashion and they are trendsetters in their own right.
What would you say has been the highlight of your success so far?
It would definitely be the opportunity to compete and win a reality TV program (女神的新衣) in China. It was a tough challenge. We had to face the public as designers and receive immediate responses from judges and audiences. It gave us a lot of positive feedback on our work, and of course we had a lot of fun shooting the show, not to mention winning it!
Amazing. So why is it important for you to shoot in Paris?
To us, showing in Paris is not just about doing the show to launch the new collection to the public. It puts together everything that we have been working on for months into a final outcome that we could be proud of. Taking a concept that was just an idea on pen and paper into a full collection, and also deciding then hair and makeup, how the models walk… All these details and experiences mean so much to us, it’s more than merely just a show in Paris. This coming September, we will show at New York Fashion Week for the first time, which is an exciting next step for us.
That’s very exciting. So you’ve done a few collaborations so far, who would you like to work with in the future?
We would like to work on a collaboration that is completely unrelated to fashion. It could be a lifestyle product, such as a bicycle or something that seems very common and ordinary. Taking that product and collaborating to redesign it would be very refreshing and exciting.
Definitely. Your designs are very bold and and graphic, is that how you would describe your signature style?
Ground Zero represents a mix of street style and ready-to-wear. Although ready-to-wear can be more subtle, the boldness from street wear creates an interesting spark. And that’s where Ground Zero’s signature style is born.
Okay, your debut was in the UK, you’re based in Hong Kong and you show in Paris, where do you look for inspiration?
Our inspiration is influenced by many cultures. Hong Kong has its unique culture where we combine things from different cultures to create something distinct and unique. Since we studied in London, we are also largely influenced by the city’s attitude and vibe.
Can you summarise Ground Zero in one word?