Taipei, Sept. 3 (CNA) Taiwanese fashion designer Shi Jen Huang, whose winter collection was recommended by a leading Belgian fashion institute in August, said her ultimate goal is to promote her designs internationally as a "made in Taiwan" brand.
Belgium-based Huang's new collection, titled "God will speed you," was posted on Aug. 9 on the blog of Belgium's Flanders Fashion Institute (FFI), which helps fashion designers and companies improve their marketing and management skills with government funds.
As the first Taiwanese graduate of fashion design in Belgium, Huang said in a recent interview with CNA that all the hard work she put in at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent (KASK) was worth it after being recognized by the FFI.
The KASK graduate in 2007 said the school's fashion design program, which she described as "rigorous to the point of almost being harsh," accepts 20 to 30 new students a year, but only six receive a diploma after a strict selection process by teachers there.
Huang, who launched the brand Shi Jen in 2011, was also one of the few non-local designers recommended by the FFI.
As a Christian, Huang said she hopes her designs can help distressed people appreciate faith in the proper way.
"Her storytelling comes alive through haute couture techniques combined with street wear fitted for a modern day lifestyle... Her vision comes alive through references to Christian iconography but also through soft materials such as wool that protect their wearer," the FFI blog said of her works.
Her biggest hope, however, is to see her home country embrace her designs as her brand grows, she said.
(By Tsao Yu-fan and Kendra Lin)