For the first time, the brand VAPOUR BLUE (founded in 2016) offers its collections to the western market. A big step for founder and head designer, Lanqing Pang (‘92) and his team.
Over the years, VAPOUR BLUE developed a consistent haute couture style and became an established high end fashion brand in China. Currently, the brand has over 30 employees, over 15 diverse collections, all produced in a family run factory. Raised by a family working in the fashion industry, Lanqing feels blessed to be able to work out his dreams with the people he loves most.
After visiting Lanqing’s studio in Chengdu back in 2019, the VERSEAS team directly saw a lot of potential in the brand. It was a no-brainer to work with Lanqing, offering selected pieces from VAPOUR BLUE’s collections on the platform. Today, it has become a successful collaboration, with noticeable overseas interest.
VERSEAS co-founder May Wang, met up with Lanqing over the holiday break. The two had a conversation about the history of the brand and his dreams for the future.
Find out more below.
MAY: How did you get interested in fashion?
LANQING: I remember watching runway shows on TV in high school. I quickly became obsessed with it. It’s hard to say why, but it just happened. This made me enrol in art school, where I majored in painting. I chose painting, so I would get better at drawing silhouettes. This gave me the skills I needed to design clothes later on.
Your family runs the factory where you produce VAPOUR BLUE. How did that happen?
When I started VAPOUR BLUE in 2016, I worked with two different factories and had so many problems. I felt that I was being played as a young designer. In the end my parents came to help me negotiate with them, but still it did not go smoothly. After that, they decided to use their experience from working in clothing factories, to start their own. They saw the potential of VAPOUR BLUE and I am so grateful. It was not an easy decision, and took around two years. In the end I am glad that we are working together, because we trust each other and have the same goal.
Today, how many people work at VAPOUR BLUE?
In total, our brand is divided into three departments. The garment factory has 30 employees, our studio/marketing team consists of 10 people and the physical store is run by 2 people.
You must be proud! Where do you get inspiration for new collections?
Initially, I have to say that my inspiration comes from within. I have a strong emotion around the aesthetic of VAPOUR BLUE and it’s quite easy for me to come up with new ideas. I really have a type of person in mind when designing the garments. Designing clothes is for me a way to release my emotions. It really makes me feel better. I hope people that wear VAPOUR BLUE will also find themselves through wearing the garments.
Which designers do you look up to?
My favourite designers at the moment are Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. I also really like Chinese designer Uma Wang.
Where do you source the materials and fabrics?
Every year I go to the biggest fabric market in China, located in the city of Guangzhou. All the fabrics we use today are collected over the years. I am incredibly happy with the quality we are able to source. This is really one of the benefits of living here, to be able to source and touch it yourself.
What is your dream for the brand?
I hope to reach a bigger audience, not only people in China. The brand is ready to grow internationally and this is definitely our goal. My biggest dream is to present a show at fashion week. Working with VERSEAS gives me the opportunity to reach people worldwide. Something I was not able to do before. I’m hoping that now, I will get a lot more opportunities.
Thank you for the chat Lanqing, and we will do what we can to help realise your dreams.
All pictures made at Lanqing’s family factory, by photographer Dandan.
Dressed in full VAPOUR BLUE.
More content on the VERSEAS Instagram - with videos of the studio in our highlights