As the fashion industry is saturated with similar brands, it can be easy to fall into the trap of buying the same names over and over again. Some fashion fans are happy in their comfort zone, but others are always on the lookout for a new label to add to their wardrobe. If that's you, you're in luck, for Chinese fashion brand Mukzin is now super easy to buy in the UK.
You may never have heard of the label until now, but that doesn't mean it's a new one. In fact, it was established in 2014 by designers Kate Han and George Feng. Mukzin's aim? To blend traditional Chinese culture with elements of Western wear.
The pair — who are married in real life — studied in the UK, returning to China to start the brand. As Asian American magazine Hyphen notes, they were dismayed to see just how Westernised fashion in their own country was becoming. So they decided to bring back an appreciation of Chinese craftsmanship and enlighten both people in China and across the world on their culture's hidden gems.
Mukzin, as a name, references this ethos. It is "the Cantonese pronunciation for Mi Shan or 'secret fan'," Han told the South China Morning Post. "'Secret' refers to China's 5,000-year history while 'fan' is a typical Chinese cultural symbol."
What does that translate to in terms of clothing? Well, think highly visible colours, traditional Chinese graphics, and a blend of Eastern and Western silhouettes. While you could always buy Mukzin's striking designs online, ASOS has now decided to stock the brand.
Eight pieces are currently available, ranging from a cobalt blue high-necked midi dress and tiger crop top to a clashing button-up shirt and graphic T-shirt dress printed with old-school medicine packaging. Prices aren't exactly cheap (starting at £70), but that's to be expected for a brand that has previously provided local craftswomen with a much higher income.
Mukzin is also renowned for its commitment to ethics. Its various strict policies are clearly laid out on its site. When it comes to animal welfare, the design duo refuse to use real fur, exotic skins, or hair from animals that have been reared in cages.
They are also dedicated to improving the lives of their workers, telling suppliers the following: employment must be freely chosen, working conditions must be safe and hygienic, and wages must meet national standards and be enough to "meet basic needs and to provide some discretionary income." Child labour, it goes without saying, is explicitly banned.
If you hadn't noticed, Chinese fashion is having a real moment. The number of Chinese designers known to the industry is slowly growing. With that comes global exposure. Mukzin, for example, has been invited to show its collections in London and Paris and has found fans in blogger Susie Bubble and model Gigi Hadid.
Buying Mukzin's pieces will only increase awareness of the country's talent, allowing more Chinese designers to flourish. Plus, you're guaranteed to have a look unlike anyone else.