– Manhattan, New York. A few blocks away from the glittering Public Hotel on the Lower Side is a store that stands out from the crowd. The show windows are decorated with brightly printed dresses, giving the store a distinctly oriental feel. The colorful charm of these beautiful garments stops people in their tracks as they walk down the street.
One such eye-catching boutique is the New York-born fashion brand Snow Xue Gao, founded in 2017 by Chinese-American fashion designer Snow Xue Gao.
The brand is characterized by asymmetrical draping and tailored lines that are free from the traditional feminine or masculine framework. Gao’s aesthetic is heavily influenced by Eastern and Western artwork and costume culture, and her creations reflect a “duality” where cultural and timeless elements collide.
In this article, we will explore the story of Snow Xue Gao in depth through an exclusive interview with designer Gao.
– Please tell us about your background as a designer.
“Growing up in China, I was immersed in a rich tapestry of culture and tradition that ignited my passion for design. However, it was my move to the vibrant city of New York that truly shaped my perspective and fueled my creative journey. After completing my Master’s degree in Fashion Design and Society at Parsons the New School of Design, I found myself at the intersection of tradition and innovation. In 2017, I took the leap to start my own brand, driven by a desire to carve a unique space in the world of fashion. New York’s dynamic energy and diversity became the canvas for my creations, and each piece I design reflects a harmonious blend of my cultural roots and the avant-garde spirit of the city.
My background, from East to West, is not just a story; it’s the foundation of my design philosophy—a celebration of heritage, a commitment to craftsmanship, and a constant exploration of the ever-evolving language of fashion.”
– What is the brand concept of Snow Xue Gao?
“At the heart of Snow Xue Gao lies a unique brand concept that seamlessly fuses the elegance of silk prints with meticulously tailored pieces, all thoughtfully curated for the modern woman. Our brand is a celebration of the intersection between East and West cultures, a harmonious blend that finds its expression in every thread and silhouette.
Specializing in silk prints, we aim to elevate everyday wear to the realm of special occasions. Each piece is a canvas where the delicate beauty of silk meets the precision of tailoring, resulting in garments that are not just clothing but wearable art. Our designs draw inspiration from the rich tapestry of East and West, creating a visual language that transcends borders and resonates with women who appreciate the beauty of cultural diversity.
At Snow Xue Gao, we believe that women deserve to feel exceptional every day. Hence, our brand concept revolves around offering tailored prices without compromising on the luxurious experience of silk prints. It’s about making every day a special occasion, where fashion becomes a personal celebration of individual style and cultural appreciation.”
– Where do you always find inspiration for your collections?
“Finding inspiration is a deeply personal and eclectic journey for me. I draw from a myriad of sources, but at the core of my creative process lies a profound appreciation for Asian art in all its forms. Whether it’s the intricate strokes of old paintings, the timeless beauty of traditional furniture, movies, or the captivating exhibits in museums, I find a wealth of inspiration in the rich artistic heritage of Asia.
My roots play a significant role in shaping my perspective. Coming from a family where creativity is a way of life, I’m fortunate to be surrounded by influences that are both profound and personal. My grandfather, a renowned Chinese traditional painting artist, instilled in me a love for the delicate beauty found in each brushstroke. My grandmother, a Beijing opera performer, added a theatrical dimension to my understanding of aesthetics.
Beyond the canvas and stage, I explore the works of contemporary Asian artists and delve into the pages of art books, seeking fresh perspectives and evolving expressions. It’s this dynamic interplay between tradition and modernity, familial influence, and the broader spectrum of Asian art that forms the essence of my design philosophy. Every collection is a narrative that weaves together these diverse threads, creating garments that not only adorn the body but also tell a story that spans generations and cultures.”
– What are the features of this new collection?
“This new collection is a true embodiment of our roots and the vibrant energy of our neighborhood—the Lower East Side and Bowery in New York. It’s a celebration of the dynamic tapestry of cultures, styles, and the ever-evolving spirit of the city. Our primary source of inspiration comes not just from the streets but also from the invaluable feedback we receive from our incredible customers.
The color palette and prints in this collection are a reflection of the eclectic mix that defines our neighborhood. From bold hues that capture the essence of street art to subtle tones inspired by the historic architecture, every piece is a nod to the diversity that surrounds us.
Floral shirts take center stage, bringing a touch of nature into the urban landscape. These shirts are not just garments; they are wearable expressions of the beauty found amidst the city’s hustle and bustle. Paired with tweed jackets, we’ve curated a juxtaposition of textures that mirrors the diverse experiences one encounters in this lively part of New York.
A special highlight is our decision to shoot the lookbook right in our neighborhood. The streets, the people, and the ever-changing scenery became an integral part of the visual storytelling for this collection. It’s our way of inviting everyone to experience the essence of our inspiration firsthand.
In essence, this collection is a love letter to our neighborhood, a visual narrative shaped by the dynamic Lower East Side and Bowery. It’s a testament to the symbiotic relationship between fashion, community, and the ever-evolving stories written on the streets of New York.”
– What are your future prospects as a designer?
“We aspire to build Snow Xue Gao into more than just a brand—it’s a destination where shopping becomes an immersive and joyful experience.
Our goal is to continue offering something special for every occasion, ensuring that our collections cater to the diverse needs of individuals who seek both style and versatility. We want Snow Xue Gao to be the go-to place for those who appreciate unique pieces that effortlessly fit into all events, be it casual outings or formal affairs.
Moreover, we envision Snow Xue Gao as a space for art enthusiasts. Beyond just clothing, we want to curate an atmosphere that celebrates artistic expression. Whether it’s through the prints on our garments or through collaborations with artists, we aim to infuse the brand with a creative spirit that resonates with those who have a deep appreciation for the intersection of fashion and art.
In essence, our future prospects involve cultivating Snow Xue Gao as a fun and inclusive space—a place where individuals not only find the perfect outfit but also embark on a journey of self-expression, creativity, and enjoyment in the world of fashion.”
Snow Xue Gao Spring/Summer 2024
Snow Xue Gao Official Website: https://snowxuegao.com/