During the past couple of weeks, there was an intriguing cork fashion and accessories exhibition staged in the prestigious MoCA Shanghai. Arguably the first of its kind in this modern metropolitan of China, the exhibition featured a wide range of items from clothing, bag, purse to storage box which are all made of cork fabrics. Their designer was Jinky Huang.
“When in Europe, I had lots of opportunities to touch, feel and use cork products in daily life. My gut feel suggested that cork had the potentials to become my signature fabric for fashion and accessories design,” Jinky noted. Nevertheless, this remained to be an idea in mind as he did not possess the necessary technical expertise for processing cork into fabric.
It took five or six years before Jinky was able to find his dream fabric.
Jinky went back to China in a bid to drive his career to new heights in the mid-2010s. In a trade exhibition, he accidentally met Jean Li who is a trailblazer and pioneer in manufacturing cork fabrics in China.
Jinky designed 400 types of cork fabrics with different patterns so far – All are made of natural cork of Portugal.
In 2017, Jinky and Jean decided to establish a joint venture called Kaoge which aims at marketing proprietary cork fashion and accessory items. Jinky acts as Kaoge’s creative director.
“This venture provides me with the key to unlock my creativity. During the past couple of years, I have designed some 200 different proof-of-concepts and products.” Jinky said and chuckled.
Jinky noted that he is now in a new chapter for working with cork.
“It is fair to say that cork has already become my signature fabric. I feel very comfortable and am well versed in using cork fabrics to fully express my creative concepts and aesthetic taste. More importantly cork is for both now and the future – Its tremendous sustainability benefit is being recognized and well received by next generations of consumers in China,” Jinky said.
“As a designer with social responsibility in my heart, I believe I could contribute to the promotion of sustainability in China by further introducing my fashion design works with cork fabrics,” Jinky said.
Jinky is an artist and designer specializing in installation and fashion in China. His design orientation focuses on upholding sustainability.
He cut his teeth and started his career in design in Europe and the Middle East. After a ten-year stint in these countries, he returned to China to start a new chapter of his career development in 2014.
At present he is the founding partner and principal designer for Kaoge, a brand specializing in using fabrics made of Portuguese cork for making fashion items.
Jinky also owns other design brands including JINKYHUANG, MUZAO, COLORFULLL and NLNL. The core business of NLNL is to explore the possibilities of sustainable fine arts by using eco-friendly materials.