“Pineapple’s Secret” First Capsule Collection For Gripoix
Shanghai- and Paris-based Chinese multimedia artist Yi Zhou, who has been involved in projects like Phillip Lim’s “4 X 3.1″, Nicola Formichetti’s “Nicola’s” Pop-Up, Persol’s “8 Days of Persol” ad campaign, and Chanel’s “Little Black Jacket” exhibition, recently collaborated with French couture jewelry house Gripoix on their first capsule line. Famous for creating pieces for Chanel, Gripoix’s new 11-piece Yi Zhou ”Pineapple’s Secret” collaboration incorporates semi-precious metals and the intricate glass casting process pâte de verre to dramatic effect.
This week, Jing Daily sat down with Yi Zhou at the launch of the capsule collection in London to learn more about her relationship with Gripoix and the inspiration behind their collaboration.
Jing Daily (JD): Thank you for taking time out to speak to Jing Daily. We love the collection.
Yi Zhou (YZ): First of all, I want to say that Jing Daily got the exclusive on the collaboration with Gripoix, so I am really happy you’re here covering the launch in London.
JD: How did the partnership with Gripoix come about?
YZ: It was all purely accidental. As you know, I am an artist and for the past 10 years I’ve worked passionately and honestly, and [I've] collected Gripoix for many years, especially their vintage pieces.
When they revamped the brand they introduced me to Marie Keslassy, creative director for Gripoix. We got along really well and as a joke we said we should work together. And here we are today!
JD: Tell us about the inspiration behind the “Pineapple’s Secret” collection.
YZ: I was working in Shanghai on my sculptures, then at dinner with my friends later I was eating rice out of a hollowed pineapple [and] saw everything in that pineapple. I saw everything that I wanted to convey in different pieces of jewelry.
I wanted to take the radical concept of taking a pineapple, taking every slice and piece and turning it into reality.
JD: You yourself are a cocktail of cultures, having lived in China, Rome, Paris and London. Did this influence your process when creating pieces for Gripoix?
YZ: Yes, I have a different eye, from someone who is born and raised in China. You absorb the cultures you are exposed to. I try to preserve my eye when I’m in China by avoiding reading too many magazines. They overexpose brightness and contrast, it’s all overly airbrushed. I prefer natural [looks], so I try to keep my eye pure.
JD: You’re a self-confessed multimedia artist. Are you worried being labeled as a “Jack of All Trades – Master of None”?
YZ: There will always be people who make that criticism. People that criticize like that can only accept only one channel and probably can’t even do one right. If you look at the world we live in, we use multi-capacity items so we need to be [that way] also. People shouldn’t accept the world as one channel, and people who have an issue with that are probably just jealous of those who dare to do more.
We need more Charlotte Gainsbourgs in the world!
JD: Is there a second collection on the way, and if so will it evolve from Pineapple’s Secret or be an entirely new concept?
YZ: There is a second collection, yes. We plan to release four over the course of a year! The inspiration hasn’t come to me yet, but it will be a very different, fresh new concept yet still very Gripoix with melted glass.
JD: And finally, what’s next for you?
YZ: A short film that arrives in Hong Hong in October. Wait for it, because I can’t give any details at the moment. But I’m sure Jing Daily will get the exclusive again!
Alexa Beatriz is a London-based Economics graduate and independent journalist from Spain. In addition to being the UK correspondent for AnyWearStyle.com, Beatriz is the blogger behind www.thebeatrizpotter.