#DAMUR: Patchwork instead of shredding – the #kiosk upcycled collection

“Give me your old designer clothes and I’ll turn them into cool new fashion.” Taiwanese designer Damur Huang has already made a name for himself with his “naughty elegance”, his playful, Asian-inspired colour combinations and his bold use of the hashtag symbol. Now he is presenting #kiosk, his first fully upcycled collection.

The Berliner by choice launched his trendy #kiosk streetwear label in 2015. And now the confidence and love of experimentation that is so palpable in Berlin and its young residents is inspiring him as he addresses the topic of sustainability. Damur takes a both practical and creative approach to tackling the pressing problem of worldwide overproduction in the textile industry and the mountains of brand-new, unworn clothes that just keep growing season by season.

At last year’s Positions Berlin Art Fair, Damur called attention to this wastage and the industry’s catastrophic ecological balance resulting from it in a work of art. Now he is showing his first collection that responds to these issues at Berlin Fashion Week. His #kiosk designs use patchwork techniques and are made exclusively from high-quality leftover fabrics and dead stock sourced from other designers and top-tier fashion labels.

Cutting-edge technology to process vintage fabrics.

Damur applies an innovative ultra-light, waterproof lamination technique to the dead-stock fabrics and rejoins the disassembled clothing to create his typical #DAMUR styles and silhouettes. In addition to his signature hashtag logo, his Spring 2021 collection includes vibrant new prints featuring lightning bolts, hound’s tooth and floral patterns.

Damur also encouraged his followers and fans to scour their closets for old, high-quality garments, ill-advised purchases or designer pieces that have been relegated to the back of the drawer for whatever reason and send them to him. There was such a huge response from the #DAMUR community that he had to temporarily stop accepting any more clothes.

Tracking the circular system …

He describes the re- and upcycling process in great detail on his blog, where his fashion supporters can track what is happening to their clothes and also learn how circularity and cutting-edge upcycling work. And these eager fans can hardly wait for his boldly publicised #kiosk collection. An app that allows users to collect points on their “karma tree” is in the works. Interested investors are welcome!

#kiosk is a clear statement to the industry. “The pandemic is forcing us to finally address our sustainability/circularity issues, if we want the textile industry to have a realistic chance in the future,” says Damur, reflecting on the ecological awareness that the industry, consumers and, above all, designers need to develop.

From Taiwan to Belgium and Berlin.

Damur (Shih-Shun) Huang grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, and moved to Belgium in 2007 to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. One year later he changed to L’École nationale supérieure des arts visuels de La Cambre, where he graduated in fashion design. His career as an unconventional fashion designer began even before he completed his studies. In 2013 he followed his intuition and moved to Berlin, where he launched his own label in 2015. He called it #DAMUR, after his chosen first name (from the French d’amour: “of love”), as Europeans struggled to pronounce Shih-Shun correctly.

The #DAMUR collections have already been seen on catwalks in Paris, Berlin, Shanghai, Copenhagen and Taipei. DAMUR is a privately held company and a startup member of the McKinsey Berlin Experience Studio, which has allowed him to establish valuable contacts with industry experts and consultants. While he has remained loyal to his textile partners in Taiwan, his designs are produced mainly in Germany and Poland.

In January 2019 the #DAMUR collection titled #ThisisTRANS received the Premium Young Talents Award in recognition of Damur’s efforts to challenge gender clichés with his fashion. And now we can’t wait to see what he’s come up with for #kiosk. // Uta Gruenberger 

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