Rex Lo and Elly Cheng are the creative masterminds behind Somewhere Nowhere, a dreamy and colourful brand filled with fantastical colours, whimsical fabrics and nostalgic references from the ‘90s. The design duo met studying Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear at the London College of Fashion and were fast friends, eventually becoming housemates. The year following graduation, Somewhere Nowhere was officially born, a home project that began in London in 2013 before the designers eventually set up shop in Hong Kong in 2015.
Hong Kong has been an endless source of inspiration for Rex and Elly. The two are particularly fond of memories from the city in the ‘90s when they were growing up, from the clothes they wore to the parks and playgrounds they romped around in. In fact, their chunky corduroy designs – available in a spectrum of colours – were inspired by the corduroy pieces they wore as kids and the denim on denim look that was incredibly trendy at the time. Now, in 2022, these designs are among their bestsellers.
Somewhere Nowhere’s designs are all at once playful, dreamlike and contemporary, featuring an amalgamation of fanciful fabrics and unique colour combinations to inspire and delight. Versatile and dynamic, pieces range from a whisper-thin, sheer white blouse to a plush faux shearling coat in colour-blocked pastel. This shoot was photographed in Chai Wan Park as an ode to Somewhere Nowhere’s childlike innocence and Rex and Elly’s nostalgic memories of Hong Kong that shaped the brand into what it is today.
What inspires you about Hong Kong?
All the memories, bits and pieces that we grew up with. Especially the ‘90s.
How has your brand evolved since its inception?
We first started the brand as a home project in London and then moved back to Hong Kong in 2015. The studio became somewhere we develop and produce instead of experimenting and day dreaming. We continue to make and visualise our daydreams, turning them into something we can feel and hold on to.
Can you recount a nostalgic memory from Hong Kong and how it impacted your brand’s journey?
One of our iconic designs was actually inspired by our memories of corduroy clothings when we were a child. We remember it was one of the must have items in the 90s, along with the full denim style. Eventually we combined colourful corduroys into denim outfits and it became one of our bestsellers.
What advice would you give to someone trying to incorporate more colour and excitement in their wardrobe?
Don’t try to impress others. Just excite yourself with all the colour and texture combinations – even a slight highlight detail will work.
How does art and colour inform your work?
Just like David Shrigley’s work. We can always find love and comfort, and perhaps a little bit of comedy as well. Something that gives us joy and will to imagine.
Have you incorporated any elements inspired by Hong Kong into your designs?
When we came back to Hong Kong in 2015, we created an entire collection inspired by Hong Kong. We revisited all the places we used to go as kids, the food we used to eat, the playgrounds we hung out at…etc. We just loved the colours of the buildings, especially when you go to an aged housing estate, the pastel colours of the walls along with the nostalgic living style of the elderly always inspire us.
Can you share the inspiration behind your brand’s name?
We wanted our brand to be anywhere, arts and designs, limitless and formless.
What is it like designing as a duo? How do you brainstorm designs together? Do you ever clash?
We brainstorm, design and create together. We clash, argue and judge each other’s work. We think that this is the best method for a duo to create something new and fresh, instead of designing and thinking parallel to one another.
What motivates you? What’s the next step for Somewhere Nowhere?
Collaborations. We always want Somewhere Nowhere to be an experience instead of a clothing brand only. Collaborations are what motivates us to push ourselves to create something new and step out of our comfort zone.
Photography: Ken Leung
Styling: Carina Fischer
Makeup Artist: Lavinia Tang
Hair Stylist: Kristy Wai Ling
Model: Kat Cheng @Primo Management
Photography Assistant: Sammy Lo
Fashion Assistant: Foxla Chiu
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CreditLead image: Ken Leung