Shanghai transplant Yixi Chen’s retro-futuristic Los Angeles label C2H4 is rooted in rebellion and scientific philosophy, plunging deep into an intergalactic underground culture through daringly experimental hi-tech garment construction. Named after the molecular formula for ethylene, which is a homophone for “Yixi” in Chinese, the label's innovative disposition deploys unconventional methods to create never-before-seen textiles, shaping a resoundingly distinct menswear aesthetic. After leaving China at age 17 to study film and theatre at the University of California, Chen dropped out to pursue a career in fashion, launching C2H4 in 2014. Her combined love for cinema and science-fiction subculture generated an all-consuming interest in the field of garment and textile design, casting her on a subversive path of sartorial storytelling. Concepts range from hypothetical space scientists to binary codes and DNA’s nucleobases, producing sport and streetwear-inspired designs with forward-thinking functionality emphatic hardware intricacies. Using her studio as a laboratory, Chen’s meticulous approach elevates wardrobe mainstays like lounge pants, shorts and jackets into space-age casualwear with contrast piping and 3M reflective elements. Achromatic t-shirts and hoodies with bungee-drawstrings are ironically modernized with vintage tech and sci-fi-inspired graphics and logos.
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