Wearing Cultures

By Eve Wee-Ang 2022-07-14 12:05:11

Cultures can be appreciated in many ways. When I arrived in Shanghai 14 years ago, I was captivated by a team of Hangzhou design students who created the label JNBY. My first down jacket was made by them, and I wore it till it was torn and repatched numerous times until I finally retired it last month. Local designers are like the eyes and heart of a country and wearing their creations feels like an intimate invitation into their culture.


Photos by Mavindu (WeChat: Mavinduzero)


For American teacher Naimah Bazemore, fashion and style pulse through her veins. Her sartorial influence came from her dad and grandmothers whom she spoke fondly of and whose sense of chic clearly rubbed off on her. With a penchant for bright colors and accessories, Naimah is a self-professed chameleon who dresses according to her mood and the different stages of her life. Prior to Shanghai, Naimah taught in the UAE where she would don an abaya (long robe), hijab (head scarf) and a neck scarf in the capital’s flag colours for special occasions. For this shoot, she is dancing to Beyonce in a ruby tailored blouse with Chinese abacus prints, clasped with black glittery frog buttons. Her earrings are made by tribal women from Yunnan.


Double Happiness Tote, 108 RMB from DPO Studio


Lipstick with carvings, 90 RMB by CATKIN


Chinese Opera Earrings, 30 RMB from La Rosa


Strawberry Print Qipao, 399 RMB by PLUSMALL


Mum in Focus:

Mum of two boys Naimah Bazemore is a bundle of authenticity and joy. Confidently barefaced with just a slick of lipstick, she recounted how pre-Covid days, she would lug empty baggage to the US to stock up on her fashion fixes. These days, Naimah gets her fashion dips from WeChat shopping group chats like “+ Size Taobao Queenz” and a good tailor by the name of Nevi (WeChat: Immzvee1995) who made her cute blouse.


Photos by Mavindu (WeChat: Mavinduzero)


Naimah’s tips on wearing cultures:


Take Risks and Be Curious:

Don’t be afraid to try a style that’s out of your comfort zone. The locals appreciate when you embrace their cultures. Start small; an earring, a bag can add flair and change the aesthetics.


Blend Cultures: 

Make it your own by mixing your cultures into the fashion pot. Naimah’s favourite pairing is her qipao with Tommy Hilfiger sneakers.