Elegant Rain - JUBY CHIU
philosophy that “design is a kind of abstract language
used to express an internal awareness." JUBY CHIU
designs have been described as wearable works of art,
yet their versatile aesthetic—combining traditional motifs
and silhouettes with modern materials—is surprisingly
practical, comfortable and suitable for everyday wear.
lining the wall, sewing machines, and workspaces tucked neatly into the corners. But
there’s also a row of adorable tiny cacti along the windows near the balcony. There's a
family sized kitchen for cooking up a hot lunch. A door opens to reveal a small bedroom
with a desk and photos taped to the wall. Books are stacked neatly on a rug. This is not
only a comfortable, creative space for Juby Chiu to work, but it’s her home as well.
Juby’s home is a lot like her; soft and reserved, a bit
delicate. Juby appears more artist than designer, with an
emotional energy revealing her deep-thinking nature. Her
philosophical personality is what seems to drive the
concepts of her work, all of which exhibit a similar
lightness of touch and home-like sense of comfort.
Seeking to explore how this thinking could be applied to a
new material like Duopel is what drove her collaboration
with the Doing More project. Here Juby shares her
thoughts on fashion, design and what the future of
fashion should be.
Who is Juby Chiu?
Juby is just my nickname. It comes from my mother. I
want to be a freedom person. But I need to control
Why did you choose to live and work
in this area?
It’s close to the university where I studied, and I always
liked this area. There are mountains nearby and a nice
library. Very good coffee shops as well.
You were working in China for a while,
did that have any impact on you and
I grew up in Taiwan, so I love it here, but I want to see
more of the world, too. Being considered an international
designer is very important in today’s world. I think I can't
always stay here because the world is always changing
and I have to change as well.
What is your dream place to work?
Next year I will go to France. There is a big park there and it's very comfortable, I want to
work in places like this. If I had my own space in Taiwan, it would be in Yilan or Hualian.
What is Juby Chiu style?
Natural and traditional, but I also remix everything. Taiwan remixes everything too, its
food, its language. But it’s all very delicious. I’m like Taiwan, my style is very delicious.
Where do you look in the world
The work I did in Paris was very inspiring for me. In Paris
everyone does themselves. They do what they want, and
never work too hard. It's more natural. At 6pm my boss in
Paris would tell me to go home, go out, take a look
around Paris, don't always be working. But in Taiwan,
every boss is stuck. You can't go, you need to stay, even if
you are doing nothing. It's very strange for me. We should
work hard during the day, but finish work and do
something else, doing more, but with other parts of our
lives. That's where real inspiration comes from.
Who do you see as a mentor in
My teacher in Shih Chien, her name is Judy. She is an old
woman now, but when we talk she seems very young.
She never made me feel I need to work hard in fashion,
but that I just need to read a lot. She told me to go to
different schools, study subjects or look at architecture.
Do more, not just focus on fashion.
When did you know you wanted to be
a fashion designer?
I chose fashion design for the expected reasons. I liked
clothes when I was young so I knew already, but the
clothes I liked were my mother's. I would see all of my
mother's interesting clothes and want to put them on. So
I say my mother also inspired me to go into fashion.
How did you feel about being asked to join the Doing
think it’s a good thing for the world, and for design, and collaboration. It's very
interesting for me because it's a chance to design the actual material. It’s exciting to be
doing something new and interesting in my projects.
What did you create for this project?
There is a lot of rain here most of the year, and the rain can come at any moment. So
raincoats are needed, and that’s what I created. But the raincoats we are most familiar
with here are so characterless—cheap and yellow and dull. I wanted to design
something with more character; something with good taste that focused on style and
not just performance. The Duopel material works well for this. It’s waterproof and
windproof so it has good performance, but it’s also self-expressive, and personalized.
Did the final jacket come out as you expected?
I would say it came out as I hoped it would. My expectations were low in the beginning.
I never worked with this type of material so I was unsure of how the results could be.
The result was much better than I thought it could be, to be honest. The coat has a
great silhouette and light airy feel to it, and it has a great sense of design. It’s a nice
jacket to wear.
Do you feel people would enjoy wearing this type of material?
Of course. It’s very comfortable. I’m very fond of this jacket actually and would like to
wear this one myself.
What is the future of fashion in your opinion?
I think fashion in the future is very comfortable and normal. Good for
work, or good for sport. Simple is easier, but simple is a power, and less can be doing more.
3 things people should be doing more:
- Being themselves.
- Thinking before buying.