News__ 80%20 S/S ’10 Preview & Interview

August 12, 2009 | By

Marlee Floral Pink.

Math may or may not be your specialty, but 80%20 are some numbers to get familiar with. After developing her taste with fashion plates during her childhood, designer Ce Ce Chin, worked for some big name fashion houses (think Mr. Klein, Mr. Kors and Ms. Karan) before launching 80%20 in 2004.

80%20 upcoming Spring/Summer 2010 line was inspired by the movie, The Smithereens, and Ce Ce says it has an has an emo preppy look to it. We caught up with Ce Ce to delve into the upcoming Spring/Summer collection, talk about living in a rent controlled apartment in Chinatown and to see if you can really judge a woman by her shoes.

What made you want to be a designer?

Do you remember Fashion Plates? It was a toy for girls to sketch clothing and compose different outfits by interchanging the "plates." I was mesmerized by the TV commercial and begged for it as a Xmas gift. There was something very satisfying about creating that image. I felt sophisticated at the age of 8--I was developing my taste. I wanted to wear those outfits.

Can you judge a woman by her shoes?

Certainly, but is more how she "wears them." Is she walking with confident strides or wobbly ankles? I'd rather see a cutie running about in sneakers than wincing as she hobbles about in 5 inch stilettos. However, if you can really rock those stilettos, then more power to you!

The 80%20 SS10 collection was inspired by the movie the Smithereens and a hungry creative spirit in these economic times. How will that be translated to the shoes?

Wren, the main character, is seen walking a lot. There's some great gritty city shots of just her feet walking in red Converse high tops. She's a young hustler and bad things keep happening to her: she gets thrown out of her apartment, Richard Hell is an ass to her. But she's always picking herself up and trying to move forward- she's got the dream of being "someone."

I feel most people come to NY driven by that impulse. When I moved to NY in the mid-1990s, it was a gritty time-- pre-Giuliani. We waitressed and picked our wardrobes from the Beggar's Bazaar on 9th street and Ave D. That's where the homeless sold the clothing they stole from suitcases at Grand Central. It was possible then, to live for the dream of art or fashion or music and not have to get "jobs" because of high rents. In fact, you could get a one bed room in the East Village for $800 a month! And that seemed like a lot.

I feel the economics since then have inflated our need for comfort. I mean, we all got used to making more money and the cost of living rises. Then we must wear expensive designer heels but we can't walk across town, so we have to take a town car and so on...

So the current economy puts us back "into place". What are we striving for? Comfort or Art? I'm striving to make comfortable shoes for those striving for art.

Sophie Mesh Leather Black.

You're going for an emo preppy look with this line, what kind of clothes will the SS10 shoe collection be able to be paired with?

Preppy seersucker blazer with torn skinny jeans and pearls. Hair that's "done," pinned in a chignon- showing that tattoo on the back of your neck. Classic jewelry. Blouson pants and tank tops.
You've had your apartment in Chinatown in the family since the 1940's. Rent must be good but how do you feel about the gentrification of the neighborhood?

Even though China town is central Downtown, its pretty damn Chinese. It's hard to get normal stuff, like butter or orange juice. So in that sense, it's cool that I can walk to Whole Foods on Bowery. I like the fact that it's still pretty hard to get an apartment down there unless your family is connected. It means that gentrification is slower and that families really value their apartments.

Now there's that place, Apotheke on Doyers Street. On weekends I see all these people from the Meat Packing district heading there. I think the fact that most of them can't get in only adds to the appeal. The old Chinese ladies are like, what?! I like that place because in the winter I can meet someone for a drink without a coat.
What trends/looks are you forecasting for the upcoming seasons?

Refinery for both men and women. I love the styling on Mad Men. Clothing instinctively for women, distinctively for men. Getting a shoe shine while reading NY times on your BlackBerry.

Where's your heart at?

Creating possibilities for myself and those I love.

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