VIDEMUS OMNIA: A TALK WITH YUN QU

Videmus Omnia is an artisan fashion brand based in New York City. Founded in 2016 by Chinese fashion designer Yun Qu.

Music and fashion have been closely intertwined for most of the 20th and 21st centuries. The grunge stylings of the 1990s are forever synonymous with the music of Nirvana whilst the flapper dresses of 1920’s New York evoke a vibrant vision of a live Jazz band. These powerful connections between clothing and music form the basis for the designs of Videmus Omnia (We see everything) by designer Yun Qu. This is especially true of her latest AW2021 collection “The Wanderer”.

The New York based brand focuses on creating innovative, unconventional fashion while taking cues from modern art and music pioneers. The brand aims to design timeless wearable art garments with deconstructed silhouettes, infused with luxurious and intricate textiles.

Videmus Omnia is originated from Latin. It means We See Everything. 

Videmus Omnia breaks with traditional garment construction exploring new ways to dress people. As the designer, Yun tried to break the stereotypical method of developing a collection. Different from other young designer’s brand, the designer doesn’t follow a commercial or classic route. She designs for the women who genuinely want to dress unique and artistic, but also care about the quality and tailoring of the garments.

INTERVIEW WITH YUN QU, FOUNDER OF VIDEMUS OMNIA

Describe yourself as a creative and how VIDEMUS OMNIA grew up since our last interview? 

I see myself as a fashion designer and an amateur musician. Growing up playing classical piano and electronic guitar, music certainly influenced my life in many aspects. I like unique objects, preferably with odd or strange shapes. I like original items. I’ve always considered myself as an alien that lives on earth who is trying to find where she belongs. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that I’ve moved to different countries to find myself and where I truly belong. 

After our last interview, I released a few more Couture collections and Ready-To-Wear Collections. I joined New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week to promote the brand and to work with different creatives. Videmus Omnia worked with numerous stylists, celebrities, influencers as well as boutiques and showrooms. Even though the process is slow, my brand is building up some recognition in the United States, and in the next few years, we will be working hard to build up brand awareness in the European and Asian markets. 

How do you manage the creativity process exactly as it’s really challenging when you are based in NYC?

I found the creative process quite effortless before the coronavirus outbreak. I usually pick up inspiration by walking around different parts of the city. I used to go to Jazz bars and underground music clubs. I also like to travel to another country to find inspiration from time to time. I usually get inspired by travel experiences. In New York, it is convenient to find materials in the city. There is a fashion district near time square where designers can get all kinds of materials, look for sample rooms and production companies.

During the pandemic, everything has changed. I have to start doing most of the work myself. I used to work with a seamstress and a pattern maker in my studio. It was more effective. At this moment, most people don’t want to travel back and forth for work. In this case, I decided to do most of the design works such as draping, pattern making, and sewing myself. Then I have to send my patterns or sample garments to the seamstress and pattern maker’s house to make modifications. I also work with a production company that can help me with Ready-To-Wear patterns and samples. However, I started to get frustrated with all the processes because the progress moves slower, and the cost will become higher. 

At this moment, I believe the design processes are very challenging for all of us independent designers. However, we should consider this as an opportunity to push ourselves out of our comfort zone, and to learn new skills as a designer, so we can develop the designs in more advanced and efficient ways.

What was the most challenging issue in launching VIDEMUS OMNIA though various showrooms based in Paris? Can you tell us the main difference between the two markets as mentality in promoting brands?

The most challenging issue is to search and decide the right showrooms to work with, and the showrooms that can help me reach out to the RIGHT buyers. Since I don’t live in Europe anymore and it would be hard for me to visit them one by one, I need to do extensive research before I decide which ones to work with. Sometimes showrooms work with so many designers so that they can’t really find the right buyers for each one of us.

From my experience, the US market is open to new designers and new ideas. People are extremely open-minded when it comes to creativity. However, it is hard to sell the products as a luxury independent fashion brand. Fast fashion and famous luxury brands are playing important roles in the US market. Celebrities and bloggers have also influenced people’s buying habits in the US. Customers prefer the provocative, sexy, or hip-hop-inspired street styles more in the US.

European markets are very interesting. There are so many countries, and people have distinguished taste when it comes to fashion. European are proud of their heritage. They like brands that have a story behind them. Compare to the US market, European customers like to wear clothes that are less curvy or provocative. They prefer the elegant style with good details. I’ve noticed that they are more likely to shop with unique and independent brands and are willing to spend more money on craftsmanship. 

What’s the main impact of social media in art industry in both ways, fashion buying and brand marketing?

Social media apps are ubiquitous. Brands see the opportunity to promote and sell the products on the platforms. The platforms provide convenience to the customers and make them want to keep buying things, as well as transforming the way they purchase fashion goods with just a few clicks. Customers’ behavior change has also influenced fashion buyers. The buyers have to consider what is trending on social media, what customers like at the moment, and make the purchase plan for the stores accordingly. 

As for brand marketing, it brings convenience to us as brands. Once you learn how to manipulate the functions of each app, you can promote to specific customers based on your terms. The platforms can help young brands to lower the budgets on PR and promotions. However, convenience can also bring chaos, meaning that the customers are giving enormous information from different brands. Social media platforms have increased more competition for brands. They have to keep promoting products constantly across various social media platforms to expect the maximum results. It will be frustrating to the customers if they see too many advertisements as soon as they open the apps. 

What is your favorite and NON-favorite part about being part of this industry?

My favorite part is the indefinite creativity of design, and you meet amazing creative people and inspire each other all the time. The best part is that we can dress as creative and exaggeratedly as we can, and don’t have to worry about if it’s inappropriate for work. It’s the creative industry that people can truly be themselves and express themselves in creative ways. 

My non-favorite part about being part of this industry is that sometimes, we are a bit of a hypocrite. We constantly promote the concept of sustainability. On the other hand, we keep producing a large number of clothes each year. The media is expecting us to release new designs and new clothes all the time. The buyers want to buy only the new seasons. Some brands can release numerous seasons per year claiming that they are practicing the idea of sustainability. We need to look for the right solution instead of using sustainability as a marketing gimmick to promote brands. 

Can you tell us how VIDEMUS OMNIA makes a difference in fashion industry?

We are a slow fashion Avant-grade luxury brand. We aim to bring value, long-lasting garments, superior craftsmanship, innovations, unique aesthetics, and true sustainability to the customers. I started this brand intended to change the way people dress. It is not simple to achieve the goals in a short term. Ultimately, we plan to work with scientists and engineers to develop artificial intelligence and technology-related innovative designs. 

What do you think is the biggest challenge in promoting your brand worldwide?

The biggest challenges in promoting our brand worldwide are generating quality traffic and promote to the right clients so it can lead to sales and revenues. I have to adjust the promotion and marketing strategies constantly by doing extensive research on customer behaviors in different countries. It will take time to see the results, and sometimes the slow process can be absolutely frustrating. 

Define VIDEMUS OMNIA’s new collection in few words and where will be showcased?

Expressive, Parisian inspired, sculptural, liberation, Emotional. 

It is showcasing with Imoni Showroom Paris at this moment to find buyers. 

We are also showcasing with Pink Maison, a luxury showroom and boutique located in Atlanta. 

How do you think your label can play an important role for your clients’ life?

We present our unconventional fashion pieces inspired by modern art and music pioneers. I hope our customers or clients appreciate the luxurious feeling of the silk linings when they wear our designs. I also hope that our unique and artists clothes will bring joy and confidence to our customers. Our label will bring valuable experience to the clients. 

What do you think about the opportunity of selling your pieces online nowadays?

Customer buying behavior has changed drastically over the past few years. It is very important to have an online presence. Customer can shop unique brands online from anywhere in the world. To have an online E-commerce store is a must for brands, especially a small brand like us. I am working on building up our E-commerce store at this moment. The new collection will be release and can be pre-ordered in a couple of weeks. We are also reaching out to different online stores so the customers can buy our new collections based on their shopping habits and preferences. 

Imagine that you must write a letter to your FUTURE SELF. What would you write?

Whenever you are facing hardships, never give up on what you are doing. Keep exploring the possibilities in design. Challenge and push yourself to study new technologies and new techniques so you can be a better designer.

Videmus Omnia Releases their debut Ready-to-Wear Collection inspired by the parisian Années Folles

Music and fashion have been closely intertwined for most of the 20th and 21st centuries. The grunge stylings of the 1990s are forever synonymous with the music of Nirvana whilst the flapper dresses of 1920’s New York evoke a vibrant vision of a live Jazz band. These powerful connections between clothing and music form the basis for the designs of Videmus Omnia (We see everything) by designer Yun Qu. This is especially true of her latest AW2021 collection “The Wanderer”.

Yun Qu’s passion for fashion is matched only by her enduring love of music. A trained musician, she plays piano, electric guitar and drums, and whilst in High School played in a rock band. While her earlier AW2019 collection, “Enigma”, explored the music and fashion possibilities of a 21st century grunge, her AW2021 collection set it sights on the interwar Parisian jazz scene. Considering the fusion of music and fashion Yun reimagines the expressive, elegant a bold outfits worn by the Parisian women of the Années Folles. Women like dancer Josephine Baker, who would spend her days drinking coffee in Montmartre, and her nights dancing at the Folies-Bergere. Yun captures the sense of movement and emotion evoked by jazz; from the up-tempo heart thumping thrills to the low-tempo graceful sway.

Using metallic colours, exaggerated sleeves, fringing and frills, Yun has created pieces that evoke the artistry and sculptural elegance of the period whilst feeling thoroughly modern. Puff sleeves, patterned knitwear, bows, polka dots and harlequin prints are all drawn into the maelstrom of Yun’s reimagined Parisian Jazz scene. A structured lace bodice dress grants the wearer the musical sensuality of the era, while a knitted dress underscores the feminine freedoms rediscovered in the 1920s. Yun’s expansive silhouettes are matched only by her broad palette of textures and materials. Coloured metallics mirror the Parisian avant-garde’s fascination with the machine age, exaggerated frills conjure a vision of the bustling cabaret and knitwear reinforces the era’s shift away from restrictive corsets and unruly crinolines.

Yun captures the essence and spirit of the Années Folles when women began to discover the path to political, economic and sexual liberation. Reimagining the golden age of style and grace in and the dawn of the modern era of female liberation, she distills a moment in history pregnant with possibility into an exciting and beautiful collection that empowers the 21st century wearer.

An advocate for slow fashion items made with care and love, Yun’s AW2021 collection embrace classic construction techniques that produce beautiful, long lasting apparel. The classic and timeless designs, produced with the finest quality materials engage with the movement for clothing that translates across multiple seasons.

In 2016, after Yun graduated in 2016 from Fashion Institute of Technology, she started her artisanal avant-garde brand Videmus Omnia. The brand has been producing Couture collection for the last two years before taking a brief break to develop the ready to wear collection.

Videmus Omnia AW2021 Ready To Wear

Pre-order for customers coming soon on the website

Buyers can order at @imonishowroomparis

* All images: Courtesy of Videmus Omnia

Photographer: @pmphotographynyc 
Model: @anna_eberg 
MUA/Hair: @catcam__

VIDEMUS OMNIA

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