9 November 2019

Title Photo: Courtesy of Jun Li
Photos & Interview: Martin Hufnagel


Jun Li is, without a doubt, one of the most promising new designers. Hailing from Shanghai, China he fuses his experience, craftsmanship and inspirations to create beautiful collections. To introduce him to you, I sat down with Jun for a Q&A.

What was your first contact with fashion?

When I was around 6 years old, my cousin was very good at drawing. All of my family believed that she would become a fashion designer in the future. That was the first time I remember noticing the word fashion designer.

At what point did you think about starting your own label?

I made a 12 piece capsule collection when I was in the second year of school. One of my friends saw my collection and suggested I should do a showroom in Paris. So, I took the collection to Paris without an idea about what would I do there. I sent mails to 5 different shops, and I was really lucky that 2 of the shops replied and placed their orders directly.

The Lasercut Metallic Sweater

The Twilight Samurai Flower Shadow Coat

How has the label JUNLI evolved since its inception?

It evolved accordingly to how I evolved myself through each collection I made. The imperfection always drives me to think more and feel more.

You centre each collection around a moment in order to tell a story. Can you put a finger on which moments/images have inspired you?

The AW19 menswear collection represents a real and surreal moment at sunset: a set of gold samurai armor sitting in the room, the scorching light passing through the window and onto a flower in a vase, forming a blurred shadow on the floor.

The Poem Sweatshirt

Your label is based in Shanghai. How’s the fashion scene in the city?

Shanghai is energetic. Thousands of new brands are opening every year, and we have a lot of space to grow here.

How do you choose the materials for your clothes? From where do you source them?

Texture is the tone of the collection, it has to be related to the brand identity. Fabric is the skin of a garment, I’m very selective about the material for each garment as a technical aspect. Most of our fabrics are from Italy and Japan. Faliero Sarti and Dinamo are 2 Italian fabric companies that I have worked with from the beginning of the brand.

What are the next plans for your label and for you personally?

Recently we just launched our first womenswear collection during the last Shanghai fashion week, so now we have both menswear and womenswear products. Personally, as a designer and the founder of the label, I just simply want be a filter to share not only garments but also any format of art through JUNLI to the world.

Thank you, Jun, for being part of THE WASTED HOUR.

See more of JUNLI here:
The Wasted Hour Podcast