As a huge fan of travel, fashion, and Rebecca Bunker, the opportunity to travel to China with HAH was a dream. Being friends with such a badass designer has many perks (one of the coolest is having access to her incredible closet) but this was one I wasn’t expecting and one I could not be more grateful for. Rebecca and I were at dinner with friends when she told me about her upcoming work trip to Shanghai to meet with some of their manufacturers. I was so jealous she got to travel to such incredible places and experience so many cultures for her job and she suggested I come along to witness it first hand! Two weeks later I booked my ticket and two weeks after that we touched down in China.
Not only did I get to tag along and experience all the hard work HAH and their business partners do but I also got to look good doing it thanks to a suitcase full of HAH clothes. I’ve never felt more conflicted on what to wear everyday than I did when faced with so many incredible choices and the weather wasn’t going to stop me from rocking the ‘Mags About U Dress’, which is now my favorite piece in my closet.
First thing we did when we arrived in Shanghai was eat our weight in dumplings… something we continued to do whenever we had the chance. The next morning we got right down to business with a full day at the Shanghai Silk offices. The moment we arrived we were offered tea and chocolates and settled in to a room full of beautiful fabrics and garments they were working on. I knew right away that this was going to be an amazing trip.
Rebecca tried on all of the designs they had been working on to check for fit and quality. She meticulously checked for tiny changes to be sure the final product would be up to standard. I was blown away by the time and care that goes in to each and every piece… and how cute/cool Becca looked in literally every new design.
HAH is incredibly devoted to being as sustainable as possible and I saw first hand just how many things go into that. They work with recycled fabrics and make sure not to be wasteful with materials by using all of their resources in the smartest and most efficient way. Everything they do from start to finish is geared towards making their pieces not only beautiful but functional and eco friendly as well. It was super cool to see Rebecca’s passion and determination to make sure everything is being produced perfectly. I highly recommend witnessing your friends in their work environment to see just how rad they are.
The next day we went to the stunning GTL offices. They have rooms and rooms filled with gorgeous fabrics they’ve developed and walls full of incredible pieces of art. It’s 100% my new dream space to create in. Linda brought out the new fabrics they had made for HAH and wow, they are amazing. One of the new prints was inspired by a mural of flowers that each have their own story that blooms until they fall. It was so cool to hear how one piece of art inspired a completely new piece of art that will get to be shared with a new demographic of people.
Linda told me I looked very familiar and asked if I’m an actress… It was definitely the dress so if you ever want to feel like a movie star I highly recommend the ‘Lovin’ LindHAH Dress’.
Next we headed over to Splendor and met the incredibly warm and welcoming owner Maggie and her staff. The meeting room walls were covered in lingerie they had made and the table was covered in treats. Rebecca was giddy when they laid out all the new designs they had been working on for HAH. It was all so lacy and colorful that I immediately got just as excited over them. She tried them all on for fit and made some minor changes to ensure they work for every body type and are functional as well as pretty.
We spent the next day shopping all over Shanghai looking for design inspiration. We stopped in crazy boutiques, little knock-off shops, and the huge Xiantiandi Mall. The fashion was unreal and unlike anything I had ever seen. It was hard to limit myself to window-shopping especially when I had my most stylish friend with me to help pick things out… so I definitely went home with some unique goodies.
Rebecca stayed focused and bought some unbelievable pieces for inspiration. She explained how some of the more out there designs are perfect for runway where they can be more Avant Garde. It was really cool to see how the smallest part of a garment like the sleeve of a shirt or the collar of a dress can be the catalyst to inspire a whole new design.
The girls from Splendor invited us to an amazing dinner overlooking the Bund. We were treated to an insane feast of local flavors and an authentic geisha performance. It was truly an experience we will never forget. We also quickly figured out that before you take a sip of wine you have to toast someone at the table… Needless to say there were a lot of toasts made that night.
We had so much fun talking with them about all the ways to be creative and having passion for what you do. As a female led company it was so inspiring to hear about their tremendous success and all of their plans for the future.
On our last day in Shanghai we visited Yu Garden to take some pictures and explore the spectacle. I’ve never had more heads turn when I walked by than I did here. It could have been the incredible ‘Yoko Kimono’ I was wearing, or the fact that we were shamelessly photo shooting in the middle of the huge crowds, but regardless it was a good time.