The talented young Japanese designer, Noritaka Tatehana, who collaborated with Iris Van Herpen to design Lady Gaga’s shoes.
NEW TYPE #19: PAMPLEMOUSSE - Danica Zheng Interview
“Introducing a dedicated, innovative designer to awaken every woman’s inner voice.”
Born into a Chinese family, Danica Zheng was raised in Singapore. Developing an appreciation and talent for art growing up, she was selected with a prestigious art scholarship program at just the age of thirteen. Focusing her energy toward the study of Art and Design, she attended architecture school in California at USC, then decided to move to New York City to attend Parsons for fashion design. While in the Big Apple, Zheng’s designs were selected for the Parson’s Benefit Show, displayed in Saks Fifth Avenue’s window, and nominated for the Neiman Marcus Innovative Project.
In 2015, Zheng founded Pamplemousse in downtown New York. Being open-minded and always paying attention to details, her creations are very meaningful and intricate.
--------- DANICA ZHENG’S INTWEVIEW ---------
1. How was moving from Singapore, to California, and now New York City?
DZ: Each place has it's own different charm and contributed differently to shaping the person I am today. New York City is definitely home for me now but I can never stop thinking about all that hawker food back in Singapore!
2. With a name Danica Zheng, why did you name your company, “Pamplemousse?”
DZ: I wanted a name that encapsulates the spirit of this brand and communicates the aesthetics of the line immediately. It's all about spontaneity, fun whimsical nature and a zesty twist, and the name 'Pamplemousse', French for grapefruit, is exactly that.
3. You had an interest for art at a young age, how did you first discover your talent?
DZ: It was actually completely accidental. I have never even thought of doing anything related to Art as a child except for dressing paper dolls. On my first day of middle school, there was a selection test for a prestigious Art scholarship program that the government offered and I tried it out just for fun, when I did get selected it opened up a whole new world to me.
4. What or who do you use for inspiration for your designs?
DZ: Probably myself! Not in an egoistic sense of being a narcissist but rather my immediate environment, people around me, everything that happens around me that I see and hear about. My designs are always a reflection of who I am as a designer or a person, as well as subjects and emotions expressed from my point of view.
5. Leading up to position at Calvin Klein, you interned with a lot of designers such as Carolina Herrera, Narciso Rodriguez, and Jen Kao. Which was the best experience for you?
DZ: I think every experience was necessary at a different stage of my study/career, there is no one better or worse than another. All the internships were a build up to landing my first dream job at Calvin Klein fresh out of school, and eventually making the decision to start Pamplemousse. I did learn that no matter what your job is, the most important thing is to keep an open mind and to get the most out of it, there is always a learning point, if not many.
6. Your spring/summer collection are mostly red, white, black, and blue. Are there meanings behind these colors and a reason why you chose them?
DZ: The inspiration for this collection comes from Le Petit Prince, these colors speak royalty to me and thus the color palette.
7. Do you have any upcoming projects or events you can share with us?
DZ: We are planning for something fun this upcoming fashion week to which I shall keep the suspense for now. We have also been working hard to organize pop up stores next year where customers can see and shop for Pamplemousse pieces in person. More details to come!
8. What is your ultimate goal with your clothing?
DZ: I hope to see more women feel beautiful, comfortable and confident in Pamplemousse.
INTERVIEW BY GINA GARGIULO
PHOTOGRAPHY: CHIAKI KATO