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When You Think of Knitwear, Think of PH5

PH5 goes beyond the limits of fashion to incorporate the use of technology into their state-of-the-art and year-round knitwear designs. We met up with co-founders Wei Lin and Mijia Zhang at their Autumn/Winter 2018 presentation during New York Fashion Week to talk more about their new collection which highlights the matriarchal system.

Lin and Zhang drew inspiration from The Memphis Group, an Italian design and architecture group from the 1980’s. The group’s structural designs and use of bold colors left their customers thinking whether functionality and design can seamlessly coexist.

“People often think that if a design is too dramatic and too colorful it’s not functional anymore,” explains Zhang.

PH5’s leading ladies successfully tackled the challenges of balancing their bold designs and structural frameworks with the elements of comfort and wearability. The A/W18 collection plays with asymmetry, architectural shapes, and Post-modern expressive color similar to that of The Memphis Group’s art deco movement. The graphical and decorative pieces also feature pockets for added comfort which provides the functionality Lin and Zhang aimed for.

PH5 has shown us that there is more than one way to remix the traditional sweater. Rather than reaching for your basic black, white, or beige, cable-knit or chunky sweater, opt for a funkier knit that stands out rather than blends in.

Similar to us, PH5 also aims to connect women across the globe. So it’s no surprise that half of the models in their A/W18 presentation are real women.

Their street casting included Kahlana Barfield Brown, InStyle’s Fashion and Beauty Editor-at-Large; Nowell Boardman, pediatric NICU nurse at Georgetown Hospital; sculptor Dina Satti; De’Ara Balenger of the Hillary Clinton campaign; and two young women from Girls Who Code.

The models come from job titles of varying backgrounds, but share a commonality in strength and diligence. Lin explains that “it’s not about what you do; it’s about how you do it. If you have confidence in what you do, [if] you’re hardworking, and you care about what you do, then you’re our girl.

Every season PH5 refreshes our palettes with new colors and designs. Zhang says that their objective is to be bolder than the previous year and that it starts with a bit of fear. The fear comes from balancing their designs over the thin line of editorial versus commercial.

Nevertheless, they never let that hold them back from adding innovative elements to their garments and testing new designs. From designing on new silhouettes to testing new yarns and stitches, the duo tune out the critics and guidelines to remain faithful to their niche.


By Serée Joseph | Photos: Courtesy of PH5

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