Juhao Zeng (better known as Zane) is the man behind one of the hottest new fashion brands to blow up on Instagram, JH Zane. Originally from Shenzhen, China, the Winchester School of Art graduate has trained with some of the industry’s finest, including Gareth Pugh and Katie Eary, both known for their cutting-edge, avant garde aesthetics. One look at JH Zane’s A/W ’16 collection proves that the young designer is well on his way to someday rivalling his former mentors. His covetable knitwear pieces and modern silhouettes mark him out as a star on the rise. @jh.zane I want to empower women, make them feel confident and most importantly, help them discover a part of themselves that they’re not even aware of. I learnt to be extremely precise at Gareth Pugh. His work is very theatrical and there’s no room for errors. Katie Eary was a completely different experience. She is spontaneous and fun, which is evident in her brand and I learnt to think creatively when it comes to the development of materials. I’m inspired by culture and people. It could be an old photograph, a piece of vintage furniture, or just a stylish individual in the street. My curiosity can be triggered by anything. I keep an open mind. Living in London allows me to explore different things. Coming from a completely different background makes me very curious and I believe my creativity is purely from my curiosity. Because I’m from a different cultural background, to me everything I experience here is very interesting. The historical evolution in this country, the music, architecture and subcultures are very mesmerising. I find myself very taken by the beauty of London. Financial challenges are one of the toughest. There’s also marketing – as a young brand it’s crucial to be seen and heard. In order to attract traffic to the website it’s crucial to focus on social media. Direct selling is now our main focus. Another great challenge is growing the business and team. But we are going from strength to strength, the future looks bright. Immensely. Vanessa is my muse, she is the kind of woman that inspires me as a designer – she is intelligent, influential and has her own voice. She has been generous with her support for us, as have some other bloggers I have collaborated with. The power of social media and the influence these girls have is phenomenal; it has elevated my brand to a different level. Tilda Swinton. She’s experimental when it comes to style. Women like her give designers endless inspiration. We are expanding our product categories and at the same time looking for exclusive retailers in various countries to carry the brand and build long-term relationships. Asia is a huge market. Our loyal customers are growing and it is mostly through word of mouth. For now, I am happy to be a brand that people think is cool, but not many have heard of. They keep it as a secret shared with close friends. We have dressed a few A-list celebrities in China, so it’s only a matter of time before more people start noticing the brand. It’s a work in progress but we are very excited about it all.
Long silhouettes and utilitarian shapes are JH Zane signatures