Dingyun Zhang, the buzzy Shanghai-based designer known for his puffer-centric collaborations with Moncler and Marni, on Friday released the first-ever product under his own name: a helmut-like puffer bag.
Touted to be an extension and commercial adaptation of Zhang’s graduate collection from Central Saint Martins, the silhouette draws inspiration from icons in Sanxingdui, a Bronze Age culture discovered in the outskirts of Chengdu, China.
“The ancient remains found in that period feature bronze heads, mythical creatures, eye-shaped objects, dragon-shaped objects, a hybrid tiger-dragon figure, as well as a jade rectangular stand with animal face and phoenix-bird motifs. Sanxingdui is an integral part of this development of early civilizations and demonstrates the remarkable achievements of the contemporaneous cultures in the upper Yangtze River region,” Zhang explained.
Designed with two inner zipped pockets, lined with nylon, and wearable as both a tote bag and backpack, the style’s inflated exterior gives a nod to the oversized style of characters on street corners and MTV stars of the 2000s, added Zhang.
The designer, who is now based in Shanghai, hasn’t released a collection since the Central Saint Martins graduation show in February 2020, despite working on several collaborations while amassing more than 200,000 followers on Instagram.
He told WWD that the brand is working toward a collection for Paris Fashion Week “that’ll consist of a slew of singular ideas in an all-encompassing sense.”
In the meantime, Zhang said he will continue to work on the inaugural collection with a series of products that “stem from ideas that blend functionality and innovation.”
Looking ahead, the designer said he wishes to create designs “driven by the concept of fluidity and pushing the boundaries to fashion with a new language.”