WHO AM I?
My name is Timothy Parent and I've been following and working in China's fashion industry since 2008. I've consulted for and blogged about China's Fashion Weeks, designers, and stores, but my favorite part about China is probably the people. I've been interested in Asia since I was a kid because I'd only been exposed to the West, and so I studied East Asian Studies at Harvard College with a focus on China and its clothing culture. I went on to write my thesis about the difference between clothing, fashion, and style, and how these concepts manifested in China. It was super theoretical because I'd only been to China once and so when I got Magna Cum Laude I decided I should do my own field research... and 6+ years and 80,000 pictures later, here we are!
WHAT AM I MAKING FOR YOU ALL?
I'm making a series of zines about Chinese street style that traces "long-term trends" in China's rapidly developing, volatile fashion system. Instead of trying to grapple with "what's hot" or "now", I am more concerned with what has stayed, those cultural elements that have remained constant over the past 5 years...
So the first issue is all about LOVE! It contains 60 of my favorite photographs from 2010-2015 that portray Chinese people doing everyday sorts of things, but wearing a piece of clothing that says something nonsensical and/or hilarious and/or insightful about love. It's basically the best from my massive collection of photos.
WHERE DID THIS PROJECT COME FROM?
This project started as a blog, which was a way for myself to organize and trace ideas and photographs. It was more of a personal log than anything else, and initially it didn't matter if people read it... but now I've got a small audience and something I've been dedicated to for a long time, and I'm SO EXCITED to create something myself. I've introduced companies like Italian Vogue, Forbes, Lane Crawford, and Opening Ceremony to the Chinese fashion industry, but this project is the first time I'm presenting my work directly to YOU!
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Street style is often seen as superficial and contrived, and I won't argue with that... but my pictures are never staged and rarely perfect like most street style blog pictures are today. I've very purposefully tried to document everyday people in a raw, natural way in order to give a face to the real China. Too often we hear negative and sensationalized news about China, but everyday life is extremely different from what the media reports on, and individual citizens are not the same as governments. I want to #humanizechina and give people the opportunity to experience a piece of China without necessarily having to travel or live there. I want people to find beauty in the everyday, to identify with the proverbial Other, and to imagine the complexity of the lives of others with limited information. Aside from just being entertaining, I truly believe that this book can be informative and educational.
I've taken the pictures, organized them, cropped them, and made incredibly cute stickers... then I made a sample, and another, and........ I'm almost there!
And this is where you come in: I don't have the funds to self-publish (to actually print!), but with your support I'll start printing the first issue in February and be able to use the funds from the 1st issue to fund the other 29 other issues I have planned for the series. So this Kickstarter and YOU will make not only 1 issue but actually 30 issues possible.
See some simple examples of rewards below:
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge for the project is distribution... I'm trying to self-publish and self-distribute, meaning that the zine may not be widely accessible, but I will make it available through chinafashionbloggers.com and Kickstarter, at the very least. Another challenge is scaling the project to be able to offer the zine at an even cheaper price. The final risk is the collector's edition, as I plan on producing very non-traditional books/zines... I don't know what the cost or final result will be, but I want to try and keep it at a reasonable price as well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (19 days)