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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Taking Organic Designs to the Streets

by Danielle Wong of www.theGreenCity.ca- Toronto

Jing Liu designs clothes for the urban space, but his inspiration comes from nature.

Unlike Baby Phat or Sean Jean, this newcomer’s line of high-end street wear, JUZD (pronounced “joost”), is organic. The clothing brand, which is based in Toronto, uses organic bamboo as its primary material and also as inspiration.

The designer describes the theme of the brand as “primal energy.”

“We want to have a respect for nature and the individual,” Jing, who goes by his first name, said.

In contrast to the fashion industry at large, JUZD clothing tries to steer clear of materialistic, disposable designs. It’s anti-modern—it brings it back to nature, Jing said.

This philosophy is reflected even in the prints on JUZD T-shirts. As a conscious decision by Jing and his team, the designing technique is one without rigid patterns, but, instead, depicts random lines and unstructured curves. “It’s more organic… just like the way it is in nature,” Jing said.

JUZD, which was created in April, officially launches during the L’Oreal Fashion Week from March 17th to the 22nd of next year. The spring 2008 collection will be available online for purchase in March or April.

The brand is currently still in talks with boutiques, namely Over the Rainbow and Holt Renfrew about carrying their line of T-shirts. Other JUZD pieces are in the works for next year’s fall collection.

All brands, Jing said, go back to the vision of the brand’s creator. And the attitude found in JUZD echoes his, Jing said. “I have a lot of respect for nature.”

That might be an understatement for Jing -- especially when it comes to the bamboo plant. This designer is a bamboo fanatic. Jing, who was born in China and moved to Canada when he was 8, said his love of bamboo might be ingrained in his subconscious because of his Chinese roots.

But whatever the reason, once he gets talking about the plant, he lights up and can’t contain his excitement for it. “It’s the most amazing fabric out there,” Jing said. For one, it’s eco-friendly because bamboo can grow anywhere and even enriches the soil it’s planted in, Jing said. Plus, a bamboo stalk regenerates itself even if you cut it down, he added.

Also, the plant, Jing said, can grow a few metres in just 24 hours and into its full size after six months.

As a fabric, it is odour-free, anti-bacterial and UV-protective. Not only that, Jing said, It’s insulating. “So it keeps you cool in the summer and in the winter it keeps you two degrees warmer.”

When worn as clothing, bamboo fabric has a silky feel, like cashmere. It is comparable to rayon. “My prediction is that in two or three years, it [bamboo] will be the next big thing.” Jing said.

And to those looking to become designers themselves, Jing has words of wisdom: “(They should) look inside and discover themselves.” And that will show them what they are really passionate about, Jing said. “Once you discover that, you discover the answer to your life.”

To find out more about JUZD clothing and view the shirts themselves, visit http://www.juzdwear.com/ and look out for it during next year’s L’Oreal Fashion Week in March 17-22.

Reproduced from www.theGreenCity.ca Nov. 22 2007