Zherui Huang’s first fashion memory comes from an almost universal experience – primary school art class.

“One of the assignments for art class was to make shoes with paper,” he recalled. “I put papers on my feet and marked the shapes and measured the sizes. I created the pattern for the shoes and carefully taped it from inside on a paper sole. That's my earliest memory of fashion.” Not too many years later, he had graduated to a long draped dress with beige chiffon. “My mother got me a mannequin and a sewing machine. I didn't want to be restricted by patterns, so I just figured I would do some draping and then just sew the connecting parts. The quality looks so bad now, but the experience making it was so much fun.”

_HU_A_NG_ is very much a brand in its infancy, with much of the current collection drawn from his graduating thesis from Parsons School of Design in New York. The team is small – only three members – but Huang values communication above all else. “I think being able to communicate within the team, also being able to convey the ideas and the mood to the audience is very important.”

Huang is showing at Vancouver Fashion Week as a joint show with good friend Yuner Shao. It will be the first time Huang has appeared at VFW. “I think it’s definitely a good platform for young designers to showcase their talent.”