Hi DAWANG fam! It’s been a bit since I’ve hopped on the blog, but I’m so excited to be welcoming a dear friend of mine to our community, so I had to come share a little bit about her!
This spring, I’m celebrating growth — and one person who has grown with me moving into SS23 is Ab Jialun Li, my best friend and an incredible designer from Shanghai who blends inspiration from both architecture and her personal culture into haunting high fashion garments.
If there’s one thing I love even more than sharing new pieces and exciting designs with you, it’s building our community. The DAWANG Gang is made up of individuals who are looking to the future of fashion, staying one step ahead, and always celebrating culture and craft. The best way to do that? By getting to know each other as people. The fashion world can feel so distant sometimes, and I’m always looking to create bridges between cultures, customers, and more.
That’s why I’m turning the spotlight onto the newest member of our crew — Abbbbb! I know you’re going to love her just as much as I do <3
Name + pronouns:
Ab Jialun Li, she/her
Tell me a little bit about yourself!
I was born in 1995, and moved to the United States when I was 13. I eventually moved to New York for college, where I went to Parsons to study fashion design. I joined the Dawang team in 2022 — yay!
I’ve always admired your work so much. How did you get into design?
It kind of just happened. In all honesty, my plan for the future before I turned 17 was to be a housewife because I didn't have anything that I wanted to do. Then, during my junior year, my school opened up a fashion class. I’ve always loved making stuff so I joined, and that was pretty fun, so that’s how it all began.
Do you remember the first thing you designed?
A bra for my Barbie with chestnut shells when I was 9. I was thinking sustainably from day one!
Who or what are your biggest design influences?
I probably have to go with Ann Demeulemeester, her work is chill and effortlessly cool.
Now, I already know this of course, but how did you and I meet?
We met back in boarding school, when I first started off my freshman year. Daisy was already a junior there haha. We lived in the same dorm when I first started, and she was like an older sister to me. We would gather in her dorm room to cook and chill together. After graduating from high school, we reunited again at Parsons!
What is a challenge you’ve faced in the design space?
How to combine the commercial and conceptual, just like all other designers. When I was in college, my overall concept for design was that boobs and private areas are just part of the body, they are not that private. But when it comes to commercial, not everybody is going to wear those boobs-out, butt-out items on the street, so there has to be some compromise.
What is something you’ve made that you are most proud of?
Probably my thesis pieces in college. I didn’t have to think of the commercial and was just able to make things that I love.
What made you want to work with DAWANG, and what are you most excited to see moving forward?
I’ve always been around Daisy’s creativity, even back when she first started DAWANG. She’d walk through her creative process and the concept for the brand, and because we have a very similar background growing up (half in China and the rest in the US), I understand what DAWANG’s vision and goals are. Plus, being her best friend for the past 10+ years, I’d say I know her style and aesthetic the best.
I’m honestly just so excited to be working in an environment where we understand and value each others interests and passions, and can combine forces for a new chapter for DAWANG.
Welcome to the DAWANG family <3
Thanks for hanging with me in this new chapter, I can’t wait for you to see what we have in store!
Oct 09, 2023
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