Strutting down the catwalk in fantastically funky sunglasses, the models posed in the spotlight before hundreds of eager fans: that was a scene from last week’s London Fashion Week show.
The sunglasses’ shiny metals, sharp edges, and eccentric designs are all the brainchildren of 27-year-old Chinese fashion designer Victor Wong.
As one of the few Chinese designers to be featured in the world-famous fashion show, Wong has brought a breath of fresh air to the fashion industry.
Inspiration for sunglasses
For Victor Wong, breaking into the fashion industry with his innovative sunglasses was both a coincidence and a certainty.
Growing up in a small county named Xupu in China’s culturally diverse Hunan province, Wong always enjoyed walking along the Xushui River in his hometown. On its banks, he saw many vendors selling their beautifully-made handicrafts.
The bright colours, the tinkling sounds of their metals, and the unique hawking styles of the sellers all fascinated him.
“I can still recall the scene near the river, and I feel so attached to my hometown,” says the designer. “Every day when I went to school I would walk past that river and take a look at the crafts. They have definitely influenced my designs in a way that I didn’t even notice. I guess it’s in my blood now.”
However, the decision to make sunglasses the flagship products of his brand was a chance event.
While Wong was studying product design at the UK’s University for the Creative Arts, he enjoyed looking for inspiration in shops and exhibitions. One day, as he walked out of the department store Harrods in London, something shiny in a nearby shop window caught his eye.
The powerful and piercing light reflected from the mystery object was visible even from a distance. Wong approached the window with great curiosity, and was surprised to discover he was looking at a pair of sunglasses.
“It certainly stood out, and I realized right then that sunglasses were going to be the first things that I designed,” says Wong, recalling the special day when he got his inspiration. “At the end of that day, I dreamt of that sharp, shiny metal pattern – as if it was reminding me of something. So when I woke up, I immediately drew the design.”