Label MOVCREATOR creates fluid designs inspired by movement. The brand casts its pieces not on mannequins, but on bodies in motion, creating a simultaneous complexity and ease of wear that is sure to captivate both the wearer and anyone who views it. MOVCREATOR’s latest collection, MOVEMENT CREATES, takes this idea to its extreme, employing assistance from a physical therapist to craft entrancing, technical looks. Schön! speaks with label founder Qian Wu for more information.
What’s your history as a designer?
My name is Qian Wu. I come from Changsha, one of the hottest cities in China, and I’m now an activewear fashion designer based in NYC. I believe in creations inspired by movement. Athleisure appears in each of my collections, which was initially because I used to live close to Yue Lu Mountain before college. I had to hike for 30 minutes to get to school, so hiking has always been part of my daily exercise. I got used to that, and that inspired a lot of athleisure.
I graduated with a BFA degree in fashion design and engineering in 2019. Now, I pay more attention to wearability, functionality, and always design in an ergonomic way… Then, I studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and graduated last year. I was honoured to be selected to showcase my SS22 in CFDA and was interviewed by 1 Granary after graduation.
The contrast of both feminine and masculine is always part of my inspiration.
Introduce our readers to MOVCREATOR.
I founded MOVCREATOR in 2021. This label was developed from what I have seen and heard, which represented my thoughts and attitudes through fashion.
As a designer, I made my manifesto statement by encouraging women with rebellious, sexy design. The contrast of both feminine and masculine is always part of the inspiration for my designs. To most of us, functional garments such as sportswear are always underestimated from a fashion perspective. I was so curious to see what would happen if these two things were combined. That’s how my label was born.
I look at my design in a rather anatomic and ergonomic way; the biggest difference between the human body and a mannequin is the movement. Fabric creates a variety of silhouettes while the body is moving. Instead of taking fitting pics, I always look at the fitting videos to make sure the design looks good in motion. With each prototype draped on a human body in motion, the most beautiful moments are captured from the movement of the human body. My design references are no longer based on the front and back, but evolving into a lot more subtle moments in an ergonomic way.
What does the design process for a MOVCREATOR piece look like?
Pieces from MOVCREATOR enable wearers to feel uninhibited and tough. The design process focusses more on the wearing experience, which contains more testing, wearing feedback, etc. It might not be that attractive at the first sight, but when you really touch and wear it, you start to build your relationship with it, because it brings you a lot more than your first impression. You might find the ergonomic laser-cut pattern with gradient details ensure ventilation in a unique way, and you can only find that with MOVCREATOR.
I would like to say this feeling is what I’ve pursued throughout my design career. Even though pieces are designed in a logical way — they always start from a concept, are fully researched, are draped and then fitted — sometimes, accidents happen, and that’s my favourite. You know, things happen! So I am embracing most of the possibilities, never setting a boundary, like I always do in my life.
Your new collection, MOVEMENT CREATES, was made in collaboration with a physical therapist. Why did you choose to recruit a physical therapist to create this collection?
Fields outside of fashion always give a new perspective and inspiration for design. I was inspired very initially by KT Tape; the unique and vibrant colours tight to the skin highlighted each of a person’s movements, and showed the beauty of the body in motion 100%.
Meanwhile, functional pieces such as sportswear are always underestimated from a fashion perspective. But for me, they are too cool to be true — you are not making them just because they look cool, each of the details have a lot more meaning and function. To challenge the stereotype, I decided to collaborate with physical therapist Mr. Bernard to elevate the collection to a new level, and finally, I took inspiration from the fascial system. Based on all this, I created the “all over body harness construction” — Body Support System. Garments from this collection are made of two parts, the harness and out layer.
Instead of garments, I treat my design as a media which is an outlet for my thoughts. By creating them, I make my statement.
Can you tell us more about this collection’s “all over body harness construction”?
Initially inspired by KT Tape which often could be seen on athletes’ bodies, the vibrant colours and tightness of the tape highlight how beautiful movements can be. Also, based on my collaboration with physical therapist Mr. Bernard, I started to think, ‘why don’t I develop something wearable but functional enough to hold specific parts of body muscle and provide support for movements?’ So I first tested out a wearable leg support harness underneath a very asymmetrical designed skirt. Then I tried different ways of combining the harness and garments — the harness goes between body and garment, and the tension of it not only holds the specific muscle, but creates an organic shape on top of the fabric. The athleisure component together with the very elegant shape — here it is! So I put my prototypes in tons of fittings and captured them in motion. Because of this theory, I ensured I had an ideal silhouette while keeping everything flowing on the body. Pattern adjustments, harness construction wearability and openings positioning were all things I needed to balance.
What has been inspiring you lately?
The concept of FUSION. The idea is to build a community out of a fashion-connection, which I think is quite attractive to me. Garments can be unisex, and even different pieces are available to assemble. Fashion needs to reuse and look back.
What are your long-term goals as a designer?
I always want to think of design in a function-driven way whilst celebrating sexiness from a woman-dominated perspective.
What’s next for you and MOVCREATOR?
As I mentioned when discussing my latest inspiration, my next project will be focusing on the concept of ‘fusion’, which also aligns with my own design universe. Since I see each of my collections as a growth from previous ones, this collection will be more focussed on how to make every different item in multiple styles, with each other or even with my previous collections’ items. That’s the most attractive thing I see in fashion — its opportunities for sustainability. And I hope the outcomes will encourage people to take another look at and rethink their interpretation of beauty — is it a powerful and masculine body shape? Mental toughness? Ambitious goals? Or anything else…
Follow QIAN WU and MOVCREATOR on Instagram.
collection. Movement Creates by MOVCREATOR
photography + videography. Michael Hu
fashion design + creative direction. Qian Wu
styling. Andree Kong
models. Ciara @ APM New York + Viki Foti @ Official Models NY & LA
make up + hair. Emma
photography assistant. Yuning Gong