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When I moved to New York, there was a lot I didn’t know. There still is (there always will be). New York is over 7,000 miles from China. There is a 13-hour time difference. A different language, a different climate, the list goes on. For a while, it was daunting to feel so distant from the life I’d known. I searched for little pieces of myself in the big city. Sometimes I found them (at Ye’s Apothecary on Orchard St., with new friends, when the sun hit just a certain way). It wasn’t always easy to feel connected, but there will always be a few things that feel exactly like home, no matter where I go. The chatter of my whole family gathered around a table at the holidays. The aroma of one of my grandma’s home-cooked meals. The steam when you open a pot of freshly cooked dumplings.


That’s the one that takes me back the most. The one that feels like deja vu in the sweetest way. It’s the smell and the shape and the way your taste buds tingle a little. But, really, it's the steam coming off of round centers and pointed and pinched edges that reminds me of where I came from — and where I’ll always be.


Back in last February, I was sitting at the dining room table folding fried dumplings Dorian, my boyfriend — who also happens to be the most talented chef in our house. Now, I don’t know how to wrap a perfect dumpling. But I found such joy at playing around with traditional shapes, and I instantly felt such parallels between this and the way I view fashion. I love that with one fold you can fit more stuffing inside than before, that there are all different shapes, and that everyone will end up with something a little different. We kept folding until we ended up with a square shape that fit the most stuffing possible (my favorite part) that had just one mini opening on top — which, yes, let me put even more stuffing in. It looked a little different than what I was used to, but that’s the kind of bite that reminds me feel at home. Home is what inspires me. It always has been. That’s where the original idea for DAWANG bloomed from, and that’s where this new bag is rooted. I love that the dumpling wrapper is a humble vessel. It holds the filling gently. The dumpling wouldn’t be the dumpling without it.


I knew I wanted to make something inspired by the technique of the folding. I also knew I didn’t want to complicate things. Like the dumplings we know and love, simple is often better. It’s about going back to basics, so I knew it had to be a purse. Something that reminds us it’s what’s inside that counts. But with this bag — and with our favorite homemade fried dumplings — it’s the outside too.


I sent a photo of the dumplings to our factory, and after four rounds of samples, we got the Fang Convertible Crossbody Bag. A bag inspired by our culture, modernized for our everyday modern lifestyle. And now it’s here, fresh just for you. That’s our kind of melting pot. 



Daisy Wang


Written and edited by Julia Lin and Alexia Wong

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