Dear Shaded Viewers,
Route Six is the result of a ten year journey between two friends Kent Lin and Xing Hoo. They met in Paris and November 13 of this year the brand was launched. The theme of the collection is “Protection” and it is about finding the courage of unwillingness to be ordinary.
I had a chat with Xing Hoo:
DP: How did you meet Kent Lin and launch Route Six.
XH: Before going to Paris, Kent worked in interior design for 8 years, and Xing graduated from college in fashion design. In October 2010, we both went to study in Paris coming from different cities in China. On the first day they arrived in Paris, we met for the first time because we were looking for an apartment with the same agent, and then we happened to be in the same class of language school. Once in a chat on Pont Neuf, Kent appreciated Xing’s graduation design theme “Memory”, at that time, he was attracted by Xing’s ideas in fashion and art. Since then, we became very good friends, we travelled together, played together, and dreamed together. Always had this idea that we will definitely do something together in the future, and we found the strongest intersection between us is fashion, so naturally we were led on this path. Our friendship always remind us of the novel《Just kids》by Patti Smith, when she wrote about the story between Robert Mapplethorpe and her. This pure feeling in each other’s memories will become the spiritual power to support each other no matter any problems in the future.
DP: You say you’ve been working on this for 10 years, why did it take 10 years?
XH: We met in 2010 in Paris, Kent studied fashion design at Studio Berçot in 2011, and then he worked at Alexis Mabille for his internship. Then he went back to China in 2015, continued working as an interior designer, and kept thinking about the concept of the first collection for our brand. After I obtained my master degree in Fashion Management from Ipag Paris, I started working for Diane Pernet as an intern, thanks to this valuable experience and generous advice from Diane, I learned and built a brand new perception about fashion. After that, I’ve been working doing several different roles: brand agent, fashion & art teacher, events organizer, and fashion film producer. In 2020, we felt that we should give ourselves a gift for the ten years friendship, so we launched our brand.
The name of the brand “Route Six” was already decided when we were in Paris.
“ROUTE SIX” comes from the novel 《On the Road》 by Jack Kerouac. The Route 6 is the closest road to the destination of the journey on the map, but in reality it no longer exists, which is a metaphor for the reality. ROUTE SIX means that we are always on the road, we don’t know how we will be, but we don’t care. We seek, we question, and we try to get as close as possible to the limit that we can reach.
DP: You talk about protection, how do you define that in the collection?
XH: Both of us are easily touched by pure things, just as we were touched by the friendship between Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. We did not deliberately search for a certain subject, but things that touch us from our memory.
In the last segment of the movie “Brokeback Mountain”, Ennis found that Jack had hung their shirts together on the same hanger, then he puts their clothes inside out, his shirt on the outside to cover Jack’s: This time, it’s my turn to protect you.
In the movie “The Kite Runner”, Hassan’s unconditional protection to Amir moved us deeply.
Combining our own experience, we thought of the theme “Protection”.
XH: This idea also comes from:
- In the environment where we grew up, we were protected by our families at home and teachers at school. But once we enter the society, we find that the reality is very different than the education that we had before, we realise that we have been in a well-protected environment, and once we get outside of this world, we should ask ourselves: “who or what is protecting us?” In the end, we find out that there’s only our own independence and consciousness can protect us.
- We use dance to show the relationship between the individual and the group. We are eager to integrate into the group, but we are afraid of losing ourselves. We are always in the conflict of merging and escaping, so we are always seeking, It is also the core value of our brand: looking for ourselves.
- How to realise this abstract concept and in the collection, the two of us always believe that a good design is to convey a profound insight idea with the simplest elements. So starting from the structure of two clothes (idea from the film Brokeback Mountain), the outer clothes are holding the inner clothes, and then the two clothes are turned into one. This is the most basic logic in the whole collection. The outline of the shirt, the structure of the length of the sleeves, we will extend the design of T-shirts, shirts, suits, jackets, and turn two pieces of clothing into one. The way the clothes are presented in layers is inspired by the way how people wear in the film “The Kite Runner”. In fact, the most influential is the elegance of Parisian style, we try to mix the Oriental style and French elegance.
Thank you Xing I really appreciate your insight and feel fortunate that I we met and worked together while you were in Paris. I wish you both great success.