Launched in late 2017, Kumi Xu’s namesake label is the perfect mix of casual style and athletic wear. Featuring staple pieces like relaxed tees and camis as well as more unique designs such as sheer jackets and open back dresses.
With a minimalist aesthetic, kumi xu is perfect for those days when you want to go from gym to brunch to work. To find out more about the label, we caught up with Kumi to talk all things fashion.
Why did you create kumi xu? Have you always wanted to be a fashion designer?
My love for fashion design started whilst studying fashion and textiles design as an elective in Years 11 and 12. I went on to study at the University of Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor in Socio-Legal Studies in 2012. I enjoyed the course and was fascinated by the studies but at the end of three years, I still wanted to do something in fashion.
In 2011 I applied for an internship at an Australian designer label so I could immerse myself in the fashion industry, while still studying. It was a great experience as I had the opportunity to participate hands-on alongside designers, pattern makers, manufacturers and their dispatch team. It gave me an insight [into] how the industry worked and the processes that came with creating a collection.
In 2013, I attended the University of Technology Sydney (UTS)…graduating with a Bachelor in Fashion and Textiles Design in 2015. I definitely enjoyed my time here and knew [that] I wanted to have my own label one day.
In 2017, I was ready to start my label! With all the experience I had under my arm, I was eager to try my own hand at building my own brand. And this is officially when kumi xu began.
What are your clothes designed to be worn for?
I chose to focus on minimal everyday pieces with an athletic feel that can easily be transitioned from day to night. I wanted an outfit I could walk my French Bulldog Mila in, wear to a nice brunch, and then go do some shopping in – outfits that look chic with minimal styling. I wanted versatile pieces that could be mixed and matched, worn during the day with sneakers and at night with heels.
How do you choose which sorts of fabrics to include in your designs?
The fabrics I choose are mainly based on what will match the design: the versatility, durability and drape. It all begins though with an array of fabric swatches at my desk. It’s important to get a touch and feel of each fabric to get an idea of handle and quality.
Your designs are very minimal, is that a reflection of your own personal style?
The minimal aesthetic is what I love – it’s easy to mix and match items [and] easy to throw things on in the morning. You can’t go wrong with easy basics in your wardrobe. [It’s] definitely a reflection of my own day to day style, though I’m not afraid to inject a bit of bold colour and patterns every now and then for fun.
Where is kumi xu manufactured?
kumi xu is designed in Sydney [and] manufactured in China. With the fashion industry being so fast in nature, I made sure the factories I am working with have a mindful work ethic. I went to visit the factories to see their process – it was an interesting experience.
What’s next for kumi xu?
Bigger and better things! The second season of kumi xu went live last month, which I’m really excited about. And I’m currently working on the third instalment, which is hopefully coming soon. But a part from that, with the label being less than a year old, I’m focusing on getting kumi xu out there and increasing brand awareness!