We live in a multimedia world with machines, smartphones and software that converge at breakneck speed
The New Yooxer met Yi Zhou to get better acquainted and discover the secrets of her creativity and her unmistakable contemporary and romantic style. In a word: versatile.
Yi Zhou has an ultra-contemporary approach to art:“We live in a multimedia world with machines, smartphones and software that converge at breakneck speed.” This according to the young Chinese designer whose work appears simultaneously in parallel universes, on different media channels. Although still very young, Yi Zhou is a citizen of the world: she lives in Shanghai and Paris, as well as in all the homes of her followers on Twitter, Instagram and TumblrGeneration. In 2011 she became the first artist-ambassador to endorse a beauty brand, Clarins. She also recently directed a much-hyped short film for Persol and acted as art director for some lines of French couture jewellery brand Gripoix. Today, exclusively for yoox.com, she is presenting a capsule collection of jewelry: "Rippling Orchids Melody-Affordable Couture Jewelry", inspired by and named after the homonymous oriental poem. The poetic and introspective approach blends perfectly with the ultra-modern mood.The end result? A flower power of metallic petals, in stylized forms, for an urban-chic St. Valentine.
How would you define your "Rippling Orchids Melody-Affordable Couture Jewelry" collection?
A Chinese rap. A modern-day hippie. A new Chinese style. Inspired by the idea that affordable couture should be part of our daily lives: on the beach, while watching tv, on the street, on vacation.
The collection is inspired by the homonymous Chinese poem. Why did you use it as your inspiration?
Poetry always inspires me. I even have a tumblr dedicated to poetry: http://yi-zhou.tumblr.com/
What is your favorite place for designing your jewelry collections?
I’m just an artist, so I design in an atelier in Shanghai where I also sculpt.
How was it to pose for Karl Lagerfeld for the book “The little black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld”?
Unforgettable! It was like an art performance andKarl Lagerfeld andCarineRoitfeld work so well together.
What is the first thing you do when you get up? And the last before you go to sleep?
I always do different things because since I was young I have always lived a “nomad” lifestyle. I don’t like routine, but seeing as I am Chinese with Italian citizenship, in the morning I drink an espresso.
What three things would you take with you on a desert island?
Only my iPhone! Nowadays you really can do everything from a desert island: shopping, drawing, staying in touch with friends, reading the news, taking photos and videos…
Favorite holiday destination?
A place that inspires me, that gives me new ideas for my work.
Can creativity be a form of self-expression available to all?
Yes, but not everyone makes it a lifestyle.
Is there an icon that inspires you?If so, which one?
Lauren Bacall. Yoko ONO. Peggy Guggenheim.
How would you define your style?
Eclectic. I don’t like to have only one style, I prefer to be adaptable based on my aesthetic research and my work.
Which outfit are you happiest wearing?
A sweatsuit. Or an extremely sexy dress to wear day and night.
What would you never wear?
Matching designer clothes. A matching suit is so passé in 2013.
How do you use social networks in your work?
Communication is an important part of my work. It is a form of expression I use, as do other artists such as Ai Weiwei. I am very active on social networks.
What is the funniest post a fan ever wrote to you?
On Weibo I was recently asked: What does the peace sign mean?
What media best represents your creativity?
New media: 3D, social media, the cross-world approach.
Do you ever shop online?If so, what was the last thing you bought?
A mirror for a video shoot. I also download a lot of apps and music.
Love letter or e-mail?
What is the weirdest thing you ever did for love?
A relationship served as inspiration for a work of art.
In three words, what are the qualities that a great artist should have?