Postcards from Shanghai. The most populous city in China attracts more and more dreamers in search for a new future in a new world. Hanging between past and present, between ancient traditions and pioneering innovations, in a few decades the so-called Pearl of the Orient has become one of the most powerful economic pole in the international system. Seduced by its irresistible charm, in 2012 also Hadas Zucker decides to settle in and explore the exciting possibilities of the burgeoning Chinese fashion industry. The following year she took on the creative directorship of BLACKGATEONE.

Already founder of the Israeli brand Rhus Ovata along with her sister Einav, Hadas has an original creative vision. It is a complex fusion of forward thinking and avant-garde elements with user-friendly aesthetics, an approach that emphasizes the individual personality of the wearer while provoking the constant redefinition of the bounds of his persona. Through a retail network that will reach 50 stores in China and a global distribution plan in the making, BLACKGATEONE answers the needs of today’s men through a unique offer of designer items, balanced with a strong line of basics that keep the signature design twist.

And if Hadas is the creative mind, Thomas Thompson and Agustin Diaz represent both the mind and the heart. Together they are an explosive mix, a multicultural team with the common goal of creating unique, versatile, irreverent garments.

Fucking Young! – Hello Hadas! What is the fashion for you?

Hadas Zucker – Hello Luca! Thanks for inviting me to take part in your fucking awesome world! Fashion for me is quite a complex thing. In my creation I feel it’s a platform, an incredible playground where I can take all these thoughts in my head, filter them down to a coherent concept and then see it realized in tangible form.  Stepping back, though, it’s not just navel-gazing. You can’t be totally selfish or outlandish as a designer: you have to serve the people, and listen, understand, adapt to the pulse of the market. Delicate interplay between integrity to your “vision” or your creative impulses on the one hand and being aware of commercial sensibilities on the other. The word fashion  comes from the Latin “faction”,  a group of people that makes thing together. That’s another exciting part of this world. the cooperation of many people creating a brand. For the consumer, fashion is a great form of an individual self-expression and liberation which only depends on how you use it.

FY! – Along with your sister Einav, in 2006 you found the brand Rhus Ovata that soon becomes a real cult in Israel. How do you remember that experience? Is it to be considered your first tangible approach with the fashion industry, the commercial one?

HZ – Wao, Rhus ovate was an amazing chapter in my life. I think I can almost compare it to first love. It was a special, magical and very truthful ambition to create an independent international brand out of Israel back in that time. It was full on, lots of devotion, strong emotions and true creation. I was privileged to work with Einav who is an amazing person and designer (she is older than me and already established her name  winning IT’S1 award and  working for DIESEL).We have a special synergy. I feel a certain satisfaction from our achievements and the INTL stores that carried the brand, the designers we shared hangers with and the loyal lovely customers we had in Israel. We are actually launching an online platform in Israel these days called ZUCKER (zuckerstudio.com), which is an evolution of Rhus Ovata. It’s really important to me to keep working with Einav and in Israel.

FY! – In 2012 you decide to leave your country and move you to Shanghai. Why?

HZ – I wanted  to explore my professional abilities in other parts of the world, see how they translated to a new context, then adapt and rejig the toolkit to see if I could make it all work in totally different context.  I see changes as great way to redefine and discover other aspect of myself and my creative world. Moving from my country, and both moving from women’s wear to men’s wear collection were incredible changes, I love it.

 FY! – For many people China represents the future, the  progress although still strongly tied to certain traditions. What is the relationship between the Chinese people and fashion? Which are the mean differences between the Eastern and Western Market?

HZ – It’s hard to refer to China as a one thing. It’s a huge country in different stages of development. From very educated, advanced international cities to far provinces that are still not quite aligned with the international fashion market. It’s shaping while its fast developing, which is always hard since fashion didn’t really exist here. I see it more as a cultural tradition than a fashion tradition. Thanks to that you can see here a great deal of openness from the consumer. As a designer it creates an opportunity to shape and influence as appose to Western consumer which  is already tied up with its own tradition and style codes.

FY! – The year after your move you become the creative director for BLACKGATEONE. How was the collaboration born?

HZ – I met Thomas when I was working , that year, creating  a womenswear brand for a French company. We immediately found a common language. After few months, when I finished that project, was offered to join the brand.

FY! – Tradition and innovation, avant-garde and craftsmanship. What is BLACKGATEONE? Who are the men wearing it?

HZ – BLACKGATEONE is a fusion of all of the above. It’s a trying to give the customer a real reason to be part of it. Starting from the quality standards going through a thoughtful design details and last to the experience of being part of the brand, its identity, image and the story telling behind it. We are trying to make it worth, while listening to.

FY! – Together with you, Thomas Thompson and Agustin Diaz are the mind and heart of this project. How do you interact with each other? What are the difficulties and the benefits of being part of a team?

HZ – The working environment is another challenging aspect of the creation. most of the company naturally is Chinese and rest of us are from different countries – France, Spain and Israel accordingly. The language barrier is not easy since we don’t speak Chinese apart from Thomas but, in the same time, I always say that the most valuable word you need to know in every language is Thank-You and try to use it quite a lot, together with a smile. All the rest will come along.

FY! – Let’s talk about FW14-15 Collection presented during the Shanghai Fashion Week. From high-quality casual and contemporary wear to formal wear with a twist, BLACKGATEONE redefines men’s lines through cutting-edge designs accessible to all. Would you like to explain it?

HZ – I guess you explained pretty well, we make accessible premium, cutting edge, ready to wear fashion. We try to keep it coherent and simple, we are simple people. I’m trying to always give a good reason for someone to want it, so every garment has some interesting details, branding and a strong theme around of each collection. Its corresponds with international fashion sphere but in the same time I’m trying to integrate Chinese contemporary elements to it. Like those printed anti-pollution masks we introduced last collection, which became a total hit from both marketing and fashion aspects.

FY! – What do you have in store for the future? 

HZ – The next collection for summer 2015 is an exciting, colorful, sad and happy one. It’s inspired form both the movie HER by Spike Jones and from a satellite images of earth from space that shows the damage of pollution in the landscape. on the wide aspect of, it shows the evolution of people and landscape thanks to technology and development but in the same time the alienation, loneliness of the individual and the negative aspect progress may cause. The dark aspect of the BLACKGATEONE is revealed in vivid colors.

FY! – As usual, the last question… Hadas, for you, what is really FUCKING YOUNG!?

HZ – FUCKING YOUNG is a state of being. If you research you the source of it comes from the world “origin” in German. Young is being fresh, individual thinker, being yourself at every state of being. My grandmother is German born 94 years old, she is one of the youngest people I know: open, curious and free thinker, a great inspiration for me. It’s also manifest exactly what you guys are doing in your magazine and website, you open door to creative people to show their work, and for others to be inspired from it. Creating this immortal community of FUCKING YOUNG! people. Thank you for that!

Thanks a lot!